Unlike your typical Korean history class lessons, historical Korean drama delivers excitement and entertainment which will change your perspective in History. Even though researchers suggest that any activity related to history is quite boring, historical kdrama is an exception.
Historical Korean drama is set in a different period, which will give you an awesome and jaw-dropping plot as well as great storylines. If you have been craving for a comic, easy to watch, entertaining and romantic series, here are the top historical Korean dramas that will surely bring pleasure to your scarlet heart.
- 1 The Top 10 List of Best Historical Korean Dramas and All Time Favorite  UPDATED
- 2 1. Mirror of the Witch
- 3 2. Iljimae
- 4 3. Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth
- 5 4. The Scholar Who Walks in the Night
- 6 5. Sungkyunkwan Scandal
- 7 6. Ruler: Master of the Mask
- 8 7. Dong Yi
- 9 8. Moon Lovers
- 10 9. Moon Embracing the Sun
- 11 10. Empress Ki
The Top 10 List of Best Historical Korean Dramas and All Time Favorite  UPDATED
1. Mirror of the Witch
If you are looking for a mysterious and temperamental drama, then Mirror of the Witch is a must-watch for you. An ordinary drama with a touch of sweet romantic Korean drama shot in a fairy tale concept.
Mirror of the Witch tells the story of two cursed babies and a twin crowned Prince and Princess that brings death to anyone who they love and who loves them in return.
In order to save the other, their mother needs to sacrifice one of the twins. Their mother chose the girl which made her not entitled to be the heir to the throne. Instead, the girl lives in the middle of the forest for seventeen years.
The girl, who’s named Seo Ri has been cursed that whoever falls in love with her will die. In order to find a cure for her curse, Seo Ri creates magical treatments that help cure sick people along her way.
Seo Ri will then meet an illegitimate son who succumbs to the limits of his social status, Heo Jun. When Heo Jun accidentally sets Seo Ri’s book of magic on fire, he stays in the mountain to help cure the sick people in the mountain village.
Seo Jun will then begin to grow a passion for medicine and decides to become a doctor. Seo Jun will develop affection for Seo Ri and he too will soon believe that if Seo Ri thinks she can fight against her destiny, he too can change his fate.
Mirror of the Witch stars Yoon Shi Yoon as Heo Jun and Kim SaeRon as Seo Ri.
This historical Korean drama is set in the Joseon period. The drama is inspired by the famous Robin Hood, a person who robs from the government to help the poor people. However, Lee Gyeom transforms himself as Iljimae or Robin Hood not to rob others, but to find the owner of the sword responsible for killing his entire family.
Lee Gyeom witnessed his father’s murder when he was a child. He was adopted by a retired chef. When he was a teenager, he then witnessed his sister being sentenced and hanged.
The events took a turn on Lee Gyeom and he began to seek revenge for his family’s death. At night, he disguises himself as an eljimae only to search for the owner of the sword who killed his family. As Lee Gyeom tries to seek revenge, he will fall in love with a girl named Eun Chae.
The actor who portrays the character of Lee Gyeom is Lee Joon-gi while the main actress who plays the role of Eun Chae is Han Hyo-Joo.
3. Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth
Hwarang is a group of men in the kingdom of Silla and possesses all the skills and expertise needed for a battle. They are tasked to cut existing power factions in their kingdom.
These elite male youths bond and grow friendship in their brotherhood, not knowing that one of them is their future king, Sammaekjong, who disguises himself as a commoner.
The casts of Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth include Park Hyung-Sik who plays the character of Sammaekjong. He is a young and thoughtful future king who secretly joins the Hwarang group to hide in his assassination attempts. His membership in Hwarang will give him strength and leadership in the process.
Park Seo-Joon plays the role of Moo-Myung. He is a legendary Hwarang warrior with a mysterious birth identity. He will later find out that he came from a noble family and he is the cousin of the future king, Sammaekjong.
Go Ara will play the character of Kim Ah-ro. She works as a physician to the Hwarang in order to support her family. She will eventually fall in love with Sun-woo.
4. The Scholar Who Walks in the Night
The Scholar Who Walks in the Night is a historical kdrama set during the Joseon dynasty.
The drama tells the story of a scholar named Kim Sung-yeol, played by Lee Joon-gi, who reveals untold truths about the evil vampire in the royal kingdom. Kim Sung-yeol has a desire to free his countrymen and dedicates his entire life to finding the mysterious creature.
He will join dangerous walks only to accidentally turn himself into a vampire.
He will meet Jo Yang-sun, a kind, and cheerful bookseller who dresses up like a man. Jo Yang-sun came from a collapsed noble family as she is a direct descendant of Gwi from her mother’s side. The two will eventually find love in each other. Will they be able to find happiness despite the secret identities of each other?
5. Sungkyunkwan Scandal
This historical Korean drama is set in the Joseon period. Sungkyunkwan is the Joseon dynasty’s highest educational institute. However, females are not allowed to be educated nor employed during this era.
Kim Yun-hee, played by Park Min-Young, is a smart and responsible young woman who from her early age, has worked for her family since her father died. Kim Yoon-Shik disguises herself as her brother and goes through a series of odd jobs in order to support her family’s financial needs.
At Sungkyunkwan University, Ku Yong-Ha (Song Jong-Ki) is good at singing, drinking, and also popular with the ladies. Ku Yong-Ha discovers that Kim Yun-Hee is a woman. For fun, Ku Yong-Ha does not reveal her secret and observes her through the school. Soon enough, Ku Yong-Ha starts to develop feelings for Kim Yun-Hee.
Moon Jae-Sin (Yoo Ah-In) is a guy with troubles at Sungkyunkwan. An impulsive person, Moon Jae-Sin tends to act before thinking. He hates his father who is a politician and his opportunistic ways. He comes to Sungkyunkwan to get even with his dad. Moon Jae-Sin also discovers Kim Yun-Hee’s secret. He attempts to protect her while wanting to spend the rest of his life with her …
One day, Kim Yoon-Shik is offered a chance to become a substitute test taker in the upcoming entrance examination in Sungkyunkwan. However, her disguise will be caught by Lee Sun-Joon, played by Park Yoo-chun). Lee Sun-Joon came from a well-off family.
He is a good looking yet arrogant man. Lee Sun-Joon and Kim Yun-Hee both passed the entrance exam and they even share a room together at Sungkyunkwan University.
She must bear the endless mischief of her upperclassmen while trying to hide her real identity and eventually grow affection towards Lee Sun-Joon.
Kim Yun-Hee managed to keep up with her long charade just enough to get the education she always desired? Will she be able to pursue her dreams while keeping her emotions towards Lee Sun-joon at bay?
6. Ruler: Master of the Mask
The historical Korean drama tells the story of a prince who is always covered in a mask in order to prevent the Punnsoo group from seeing his face. Puunsoo is a hidden and separate group that tries to control the Joseon period by holding their waters.
The Puunsoo secret society wants to take over the entire kingdom and control the water supply by privatizing it. This drama involves not only romance but also action and politics. The crown prince will then fight heroically in order to protect his people.
The prince is well guarded yet he still manages to escape many times so that he can experience the outside world. In the midst of his escape, the prince will meet a girl who will eventually help him grow as a ruler of the kingdom.
The main stars in the historical Korean drama are Yoo Seung-ho who will play the role of theCrown Prince Yi Sun. The female lead is Kim So-hyun who will portray the character of Han Ga-eun.
7. Dong Yi
This drama tells about more on successfulness and will certainly entertain your eyes and makes you laugh sometimes with the playing chemistry between the leading characters.
Dong Yi is a historical Korean drama that narrates the story of a widow named Don Yi. Dong Yi came from extreme poverty and slavery. She works as a water maid in the royal palace. Eventually, Dong Yi will become selected as the king’s concubine. Dong Yi gives birth to the second son of the king which will become the future king of Joseon.
This historical Korean drama tells a story of success and how a woman who came from a lowly family managed to pick herself up and become the mother of the future king of Joseon.
Dong Yi will be played by the actress Han Hyo-Joo and King Sukjong is played by Ji Jin-hee.
8. Moon Lovers
This historical Korean drama narrates the story of a 21st-century girl who travels back in the Goryeo era. The girl wakes up in another woman’s body and falls in love with a Prince.
Moon Lovers gives you a story of love, betrayal, violence, hunger for power, rivalry, and a dark past.
The main character named Go Ha-jin is played by the well known Korean singer IU. As the story progresses, Go Ha-jin will unintendedly become torn between all the devious ways of the royal family’s claim to the throne.
Prince Wang So, played by Lee Joon-gi, falls in love with Go Ha-jin. But their love story won’t be as easy as you would like to think.
This historical Korean drama creates a massive impact on all K drama fans all over the world. Not only that it showers its fans with lots of emotions but also power and politics are part of the story. Now fans are demanding a season 2 and patiently waiting for an announcement anytime soon.
9. Moon Embracing the Sun
Moon Embracing the Sun is a historical Korean drama that narrates the story of a figment king and a shaman who are both forcefully separated by black magic. They were destined to find each other again and continue the love they once shared.
King Lee Hwon’s character was played by Kim Soo-Hyun, while the female shaman named Wol is played by Han Ga-In. Wol came from a noble family and when she became a crowned princess, she was entrapped and faced execution.
Because of this, she began to live as a shaman. King Lee Kwon on the other hand, not only fights for his throne, but also for the woman he loves and his very own endangered life.
10. Empress Ki
Empress Ki is based and inspired by a true to life historical korean drama set in the Goryeo dynasty. Seung Myang is a slave in Goryeo who pretends to be a man so that she won’t be forced to go to China. Seung Myang develops to become a strong-willed person with a passion for saving girls from forcing them to go to China. Seung Mayng became Empress Ki and eventually, she will fall in love with the king of Goryeo and Prince of Magnolia
Empress Ki gained numerous positive reactions from fans all over the world. Not only that it delivers a great love story, but it also features lots of reasons why fans should watch it. First according to fans, is the romance between the two kingdoms.
In the story, Empress Ki has two love interests. The first one is Wang Yoo, who represents her homeland, or Tae Hwan from invading the Mongol Empire of the Yuan Dynasty. The love triangle that grows between the trio will set the direction to an important path in finding their real identities and own place in the middle of chaos and war between warring nations.
This exciting Korean drama also talks about the rise of the new empress, Seung Nyang, who reunites Goryeo and the Mongol empire. She was hindered by many obstacles yet she will still manage to rightfully claim her seat of authority.