Hwarang fans are enraged over the latest episode of the k-drama, which aired on February 14. This is because they did not expect that BTS idol, Kim Tae Hyung, better known simply as V, would die in the series. V plays Han Sung, the cheerful and easy-go-lucky lad who is one of Silla Kingdom’s Hwarangs.
Han Sung was the last true bone in the family, and this worried his grandfather, who is a member of Queen Ji So’s council. As Han Sung is their family’s only hope to continue their ranks in the council, Seok Hyun Je, his grandfather, expected a lot from him in order to be in the Park Young Sil’s good graces. But the young Hwarang would rather look at the stars and chase after girls than use his sword in battle. This frustrated his half-breed brother, Dan Se, who would be happy to do their grandfather’s bidding, if not for his social status.
Han Sung’s death was one of the pivotal moments in the Korean drama, which has been struggling in the ratings department. Since Episode 12, the Hwarang boys have been unsuccessful in bringing the k-drama to even hit the 10-percent mark. According to AGB Nielson, Episode 18 only raked in 7.7 percent nationwide and 7.6 percent in Seoul. This is unfortunate since the drama has brought in a star-studded cast headed by Park Seo Joon, Park Hyungsik, and SHINee’s Minho.
[Eng Sub] Episode 13❣ . . . ☆Plot☆ Drama series depicts the story of Hwarang (literally "Flowering Knights") – an elite group of male youth in during the Kingdom of Silla. . . @bn_sj2013 @phs1116 @w2798ccc @swsw0616 @j.t_k1124 @kkimminam @masijacoke850714 @dojihan @ara_go_0211 @xx_dain ___________________________________________________ [#Hwarang #HwarangTheBeginning #goblin #화랑 #ParkSeoJoon #박서준 #GoAra #고아라 #ParkHyungSik #박형식 #HyungSik #ChoiMinho #최민호 #Minho #민호 #bangtanboys #kdramas #koreandrama #김태형 #TaeHyung #V #leeminho #legendofthebluesea #gongyoo #shinee #like4like #l4l #dojihan #kdrama #kbs2]
A post shared by Hwarang : The Beginning ( 화랑 ) (@hwarang_kdrama) on
The low ratings could be attributed to the weak storyline, where the love triangle between Ah Ro (Go Ara), Sun Woo/Moo Myung (Park Seo Joon) and Sam Maek Jong (Park Hyungsik) kept on monopolizing majority of the episodes. Fans have often commented how annoying it was to watch Ah Ro portrayed as a crybaby when her feisty character had shown so much promise at the beginning of the k-drama.
After several episodes of the same drama, the storyline became stale and boring and only picked up on chosen moments. One of these is the arrival of the cold-hearted Princess Sookmyung, who has taken a liking to Sun Woo. Unlike what people thought was a weak princess, she proved them wrong by showing her skills with the sword and the bow and arrow. Another cute arc that fans fondly anticipated was the growing romance between Soo Hoo’s sister, Soo Yeon, and his frenemy, the often-angry Ban Ryu. It was refreshing to see the tormented facial expressions of Ban Ryu light up into a smile of surprise and delight every time he saw Soo Yeon.
Unfortunately, the real essence of Hwarang, which was the warriors that actually existed in the Silla Kingdom under King Jinheung’s rule, was weakly presented in this KBS2 k-drama. The show runners must’ve banked on the usual formula of a love story, which had a second lead actor. What they failed to realize was that the Hwarangs themselves each have an interesting story to tell. Perhaps, if the Hwarangs’ struggle to attain brotherhood was explored more, the k-drama would’ve had attracted more viewers.
“I am frustrated [on how] that story was told in this drama. King Jinheung was one of the great rulers of the Silla Empire and eventually, Silla beat the other two countries to form the predecessor of modern Korea. Hwarang was supposed to play an important role in this history, therefore I [expected] the Hwarang and King Jinheung to turn into something worth their places in history,” commented Simon K in KoreanDrama.org.
With the last two episodes coming next week, it’s a shame to have this drama fail to reach its full potential. If only there was more depth, this would’ve been one of the better historical dramas shown in 2017.
[Featured Image by KBS2]