The Tale of Nokdu

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The Tale of Nokdu
The Tale of Nokdu.jpg
Promotional poster
Also known asJoseon Rom-com Mung Bean Chronicles
Based onJoseon Love Story: The Tale of Nokdu [ko]
by Hye Jin-yang
Written by
  • Baek So-yeon
  • Lim Ye-jin
Directed byKim Dong-hwi
Opening theme"Miracle" by Woozi (Seventeen)
Ending theme"I'll Be The Light" by Younha
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes32
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time35 minutes
Production companies
  • The Tale of Nokdu Production Partners
  • Production H
  • Monster Union[2]
DistributorKorean Broadcasting System
Budget10 billion[3]
Original networkKBS2
Wavve [3]
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original releaseSeptember 30 (2019-09-30) –
November 25, 2019 (2019-11-25)
External links

The Tale of Nokdu (Korean조선로코-녹두전; Hanja朝鮮로코-綠豆傳; RRJoseolloko Nokdujeon; lit. Joseon Rom-com Tale of Nok-du) is a 2019 South Korean television series starring Jang Dong-yoon, Kim So-hyun, Kang Tae-oh and Jung Joon-ho. It is based on the webtoon by Hye Jin-yang which was published in 2014 on Naver Webtoon. It premiered on KBS2 on September 30, 2019.[4][5]

The series had average ratings nationwide. It was among the ten most talked about Korean dramas among the 104 primetime dramas aired during 2019.[6] Further, it captured the heart of the generation Z in South Korea and was well-received from online viewers.[7]


Set in the Joseon dynasty, the series is about a man who disguises as a woman to enter a mysterious women-only village in search of the truth about his birth; and a young woman who does not want to become a kisaeng in pursuit of revenge for her family.[1]



Cast members
  • Jang Dong-yoon as Jeon Nok-du / Lady Kim Nok-soon / Yeon Soo[2]
    • Kim Ji-woo as young Jeon Nok-du
A smart and athletic man who, due to an incident, enters an all-women village where men are strictly forbidden. To do so, he dresses himself as a woman in the guise of the widowed Lady Kim Nok-soon.
  • Kim So-hyun as Dong Dong-joo / Yoo Eun-seo[8]
    • Cho Ye-lin as young Dong Dong-joo / Yoo Eun-seo
A clumsy and hot-tempered kisaeng trainee who has no skills in performing arts, but is an artisan. Wanting to take revenge on the man who wronged her family, she uses her skills in developing a concealed weapon.
The king's cousin who seemingly lives a simple life. He is a man known for his looks and talent in cooking. He cherishes Dong-joo, having been betrothed to her before her family's disgrace. He stages a coup and becomes the next king of Joseon.[10]
Upon the death of his father and after finding out that he was not the intended successor, he orders the execution of the supporters of his father's will. He jealously guards the throne against possible contenders.


People around Nok-du[edit]

  • Lee Seung-joon as Jung Yoon-jeo, Nok-du and Hwang-tae's father.[12]
  • Song Geon-hee as Jeon Hwang-tae, Nok-du's older brother.[13]
  • Lee Moon-sik as Hwang Jang-gun, a martial art master and soon to be father-in-law of Nokdu.[14]
  • Go Geon-han as Yeon Geun, a rich man who manages the widow village and is entangled with Nok-du.[15][16]
  • Park Da-Yeon as Hwang Aeng-du, 7 years old daughter of Hwang Jang-gun. She is convinced that her father promised to marry her with Nokdu, so she called Nokdu "honey".

People around Cha Yool-moo[edit]

  • Hwang In-youp as Park Dan-ho, Cha Yool-moo's escort warrior with an excellent sword skill. He is ambitious in sword-fighting and very loyal to Yool-moo, willing to even lay down his life if needed to protect him.[17]
  • Kim Yi-kyung as Ok-ran, a kisaeng who is jealous of Yool-moo's one-sided devotion towards Dong-joo.[18]

People around King Gwanghae[edit]


  • Yoon Yoo-sun as Cheon Hae-soo, the head and guardian of the village to protect the kisaeng and the widow village.[23]
  • Lee Joo-bin as Mae Hwa-soo, a friend of Dong-joo and the most popular kisaeng with her talent and natural dancing ability.[24]

Member of the Virtuous Women Corps (Yeollyeodan)[edit]

  • Yoon Sa-bong as Kang Soon-nyeo[25]
  • Hwang Mi-young as Park Bok-nyeo
  • Yoon Geum Sun Ah as Lee Mal-nyeon

Member of the Muwol Corps (Muwoldan)[edit]

  • Cho Soo-hyang as Kim Ssook, a widow who has impressive sword skills.[26]
  • Song Chae-yoon as Min Deul-re, a mysterious person who is following Nok-du and the dandelion.[27]
  • Han Ga-rim as No Yeon Boon[28]
  • Yang So-min as Ahn Jeong-sook [29]


Special appearances[edit]

  • Park Chul-min as the father-in-law of the escaper and the holder of elephant treasure statue of Ming Dynasty. (Ep.1, 8) [31]
  • Lee Ho-jae as the father who threw the stone at the king. (Ep.1)
  • Jung Yi-rang as the inn owner. (Ep.1)


  • The first script reading was held in June 2019 at KBS Annex Broadcasting Station in Yeouido, Seoul, South Korea.[32]
  • Yeonwoo of Momoland was offered the role of Mae Hwa-soo, but declined due to health concerns.[33][34]
  • The series was filmed in Dongmakgol, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon Province, South Korea from June 1 to August 31, 2019.[35]
  • The series suspended its production on July 4, 2019 in wake of actress Jeon Mi-seon's death.[36][37] She was cast as Cheon Hae-soo.[38]
  • On July 18, 2019, it was revealed that lead actress Kim So-hyun suffered a minor injury when she fell off a horse while filming. Filming was cancelled and rescheduled after her recovery.[39]
  • On August 26, 2019, The Tale of Nokdu, Naver Music and National Gugak Center announced the opening of K-Drama Music Competition Season 3 to select ten songs for the series' original soundtrack. The winner's song will be released as an official soundtrack on various music portals with the prize money of 2 million.[40][41]
  • It is the first series produced by Wavve and aired simultaneously on KBS2 and Wavve starting September 30.[3]

Original soundtrack[edit]

The Tale of Nokdu
OST Special Album
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedNovember 26, 2019

Part 1[edit]

Released on October 1, 2019 (2019-10-01)
1."Baby Only You"Park Beom-geunPark Beom-geunNCT U (Doyoung, Mark)3:17
2."Baby Only You" (Inst.) Park Beom-geun 3:17
Total length:6:34

Part 2[edit]

Released on October 8, 2019 (2019-10-08)
1."I'll Be The Light" (빛이 되어줄게)Honey JarHoney JarYounha4:11
2."I'll Be The Light" (Inst.) Honey Jar 4:11
Total length:8:22

Part 3[edit]

Released on October 15, 2019 (2019-10-15)
1."Miracle"Zigzag Note, Moon Sang-seon, mooncZigzag Note, Moon Sang-seon, mooncWoozi (Seventeen)3:39
2."Miracle" (Inst.) Zigzag Note, Moon Sang-seon, moonc 3:39
Total length:7:18

Part 4[edit]

Released on October 21, 2019 (2019-10-21)
1."Most Beautiful Days" (가장 완벽한 날들)Yang Jae-seon, GaemiGaemiGummy4:45
2."Most Beautiful Days" (Inst.) Gaemi 4:45
Total length:9:30

Part 5[edit]

Released on October 22, 2019 (2019-10-22)
1."Going Round And Round Inside Me" (내 안에 맴돌아)Heo Sung-jin, GaemiKim Se-jinSandeul (B1A4)3:36
2."Going Round And Round Inside Me" (Inst.) Kim Se-jin 3:36
Total length:7:12

Part 6[edit]

Released on October 29, 2019 (2019-10-29)
1."It Hurts" (아프고 아파서)Jin Hyo-jeongJin Hyo-jeong, EcobridgeMin Seo3:34
2."It Hurts" (Inst.) Jin Hyo-jeong, Ecobridge 3:34
Total length:7:08

Part 7[edit]

Released on November 5, 2019 (2019-11-05)
1."Scar" (흉터)GA EUNGaemiKim Yeon-ji4:01
2."Scar" (Inst.) Gaemi 4:01
Total length:8:02

Part 8[edit]

Released on November 9, 2019 (2019-11-09)
1."Your Warmth" (너의 온기)Kim Seong-yeonJin Min-hoHuh Gak4:04
2."Your Warmth" (Inst.) Jin Min-ho 4:04
Total length:8:08

Part 9[edit]

Released on November 11, 2019 (2019-11-11)
1."Sunshine Wind Starlight" (햇살 바람 별빛 그대)Lee Da-heeLee Da-heePark Jae Jung4:01
2."Sunshine Wind Starlight" (Inst.) Lee Da-hee 4:01
Total length:8:02

Part 10[edit]

Released on November 11, 2019 (2019-11-11)
1."The Never Ending Melody" (끝나지 않은 이 멜로디)Rael, Naomi개미, Ra.LKim Na-yeon3:26
2."The Never Ending Melody" (Inst.) 개미, Ra.L 3:26
Total length:6:52
Disc 2:
1."The Fate From Scars" (흉터로 만든 운명)개미1:30
2."Escape"Yoo Min-ho1:50
3."Destined To Be King" (왕이 될 운명)Park Yun-seo2:02
4."Hardship"Lee Seong-gu1:57
5."Conspiracy" (역모)Park Mi-sun1:32
6."Twisted Choice" (엇갈린 선택)Park Ji-hwan2:01
7."Grey Wind" (잿바람)Junghwan Park1:07
8."The Day When The Sky Opened" (하늘이 열리는 날)개미2:27
9."Fate" (운명)개미3:08
10."Withstand"Lee Seong-gu2:00
11."Attack" (습격)Park Mi-sun1:56
12."Swing" (그네터)Park Mi-sun3:01
13."The Day of the Battle" (결전의 날)Park Ji-hwan1:50
14."Avoid the Rain" (비를 긋다)Park Yun-seo2:48
15."Far Away" (멀어진 길)Park Ji-hwan2:06
16."Sweet Dream" (단꿈)Lee Geon-yeong4:14
17."Dark Shadow" (검은 그림자)Park Ji-hwan2:42
18."Perfect Days" (완벽한 날들)개미4:19
19."Shoes with Flowers" (꽃신)Park Yun-seo4:16
20."First Love"Yoo Min-ho2:26
21."Light Tread" (가벼운 발걸음)Lee Seong-gu2:45
22."Flower Shaped Rice Cake" (꽃전)Park Mi-sun1:47
23."Village of Widows" (과부촌)Yoo Min-ho1:47
24."Fairytale"Lee Geon-yeong2:38
25."Widow Kim" (김과부)Yoo Min-ho2:05
26."A Widow Need Lots of Hand" (손이 많이 가는 과부님)Park Mi-sun2:27
27."The Flower's Way" (꽃길)Dear Island2:45


Jang Dong-yoon & Kim So-Hyun at The Tale of Nokdu's conference.

The series had a strong opening week for KBS2 22:00 Monday/Tuesday timeslot with ratings ranging from 6-8% that was last achieved by Sweet Stranger and Me back in 2016.[42] It was announced on October 2 that due to "The Tale of Nokdu effect", Wavve has increased 4.5 times in paid subscribers daily and peak-time traffic rose more than 30% due to service reorganization, wave marketing and monopoly contents after launching a month before the drama aired.[43] In addition, the drama reached 8.8% of the total viewing time of domestic dramas provided by Wavve considering it provides both latest and old series.[44]

Jang Dong-yoon saddled to a difficult task in transforming himself into a woman by growing out his hair and going on a severe diet to be able to pass as a woman in hanbok received praises from the viewers.[45][46] He and Kim So-hyun were donned the nickname "Manhwa tearing" chemistry by the viewers for capturing everything from laughter to excitement and adding their own colours to the original characters.[47][48]

According to the Content Power Index, The Tale of Nokdu was ranked second in both drama and non-drama and first in the drama category.[49][50] In addition, according to the Good Data Corporation survey, the series was ranked third place in online video consumption of currently airing and upcoming dramas, and Jang Dong-yoon and Kim So-hyun were ranked third and fifth respectively in the list of top 10 most talked about actors and actresses in South Korea.[51] As of 4th Week of November, the drama ended topped on the list of top 10 most talked about dramas.[52]

SeoulBeats gave the drama a positive review, saying: "...cannot be defined by a single genre. The ability of the drama to experiment with various genres at once is due in large part to the complex character motives, desires, and relationships that drive the plot."[53] Although mild, The Tale of Nokdu indirectly demonstrates the great abilities of women from special bodyguards, female assassins to a community of widows.[54] Moon Soo-yeon of The Fact praised Jang dong-yoon, Kim So-hyun and Kang Tae-oh's acting performance to the ever-changing atmosphere in a work where the elements of comic, melo, action, and traditional historical drama were properly harmonized.[55] Sarah Kim, SVP of content and partnerships at Rakuten Viki stated that "It was good to have a cross-dressing drama, which has not been produced since Coffee Prince."[56]

The Tale of Nokdu ranked 15th on 2019 Wavve Chart.[57] According to a survey conducted by SBS, the series ranked 5th among the Korean dramas in 2019.[58]


  • In this table, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
  • N/R denotes that the drama did not rank in the top 20 daily programs on that date.
  • N/A denotes that the rating is not known.
  • Each night's broadcast is divided into two 35-minute episodes with a commercial break in between.
Ep. Original broadcast date Average audience share
AGB Nielsen[59] TNmS[60]
Nationwide Seoul Nationwide
1 September 30, 2019 5.6% (14th) 5.0% (17th) 6.2% (15th)
2 7.1% (8th) 6.3% (9th) 8.0% (10th)
3 October 1, 2019 6.5% (11th) 6.4% (11th) 6.1% (14th)
4 8.3% (5th) 8.2% (5th) 7.3% (11th)
5 October 7, 2019 5.4% (17th) 5.3% (19th) 5.8% (15th)
6 7.1% (10th) 6.9% (10th) 7.3% (13th)
7 October 8, 2019 5.8% 16th) 5.5% 16th) 5.0% (20th)
8 6.7% (11th) 6.5% (12th) 6.3% (12th)
9 October 15, 2019[a] 5.0% (17th) N/A
10 6.6% (12th) 6.5% (11th) 5.4% (14th)
11 October 21, 2019 4.3% (NR) N/A
12 5.9% (14th) 5.6% (16th) 5.5% (19th)
13 October 22, 2019[b] 6.0% (15th) 6.1% (15th) N/A
14 6.2% (13th) 6.3% (12th) 5.7% (15th)
15 October 28, 2019 4.9% (NR) N/A 4.7% (NR)
16 7.3% (11th) 6.9% (13th) 5.9% (19th)
17 October 29, 2019 6.0% (16th) 5.7% (16th) N/A
18 7.4% (8th) 7.4% (8th) 6.3% (15th)
19 November 4, 2019 4.6% (NR) N/A
20 6.4% (14th) 6.3% (16th) 6.2% (16th)
21 November 5, 2019 4.7% (NR) N/A
22 6.2% (12th) 6.0% (15th) 5.5% (17th)
23 November 11, 2019 5.1% (18th) 5.1% (19th) 5.5% (17th)
24 6.9% (11th) 7.0% (12th) 6.4% (14th)
25 November 12, 2019 5.4% (15th) 5.2% (15th) 5.7% (15th)
26 7.7% (6th) 7.4% (5th) 7.0% (10th)
27 November 18, 2019 5.6% (20th) 5.9% (19th) N/A
28 6.5% (14th) 6.5% (13th) 6.3% (16th)
29 November 19, 2019 6.3% (12th) 6.2% (14th) 5.9% (18th)
30 7.8% (9th) 8.0% (7th) 6.9% (13th)
31 November 25, 2019 6.0% (17th) N/A
32 7.3% (11th) 6.4% (15th) 6.5% (16th)
Average 6.2% [c] [c]

International broadcast[edit]

The drama is available on the online streaming services such as Viki, KOCOWA, Viu,[63][64] and Netflix.[65][66] The drama did not air on KBS World for global viewers.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2019 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Jang Dong-yoon Won [69][70][71][72][73][74]
Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Kim So-hyun Won
Best Supporting Actor Jung Joon-ho Nominated
Best Young Actress Park Da-Yeon Won
Best New Actor Kang Tae-oh Won
Netizen Award Jang Dong-yoon Nominated
Kang Tae-oh Nominated
Kim So-hyun Nominated
Best Couple Jang Dong-yoon and Kim So-hyun Won
Jang Dong-yoon and Kang Tae-oh Nominated
2020 7th APAN Star Awards Popular Star Award, Actor Jang Dong-yoon Nominated [75]
Best New Actor Won [76][77]


  1. ^ On October 14, regular broadcasting of the drama was cancelled due to the delay of 2019 KBO League season Play-Off Game Kiwoom Heroes vs SK Wyverns.[61]
  2. ^ On October 22, regular broadcasting of the drama began broadcasting 40 minutes later than usual after 2019 KBO League season Kiwoom Heroes vs Doosan Bears.[62]
  3. ^ a b Due to some ratings not recorded, the exact average rating is unknown.


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