A Life of Fire: Jang Ok Jung Episode 24 Synopsis and Review (Finale)

Do you have tissues ready? Because you should-unless you took some kind of magical desensitizing potion I am pretty sure you are going to cry at this finale. Or maybe I am crying so much I need someone to commiserate with…..

Episode Synopsis

24 1

Suk Won enters the main hall and voices her accusation- Hee Bin put a curse on In Hyun and she has proof. To be exact she has the shaman’s doll that she stole from Chwi Seon Dang. She holds out the doll for the retainers and the King to see.

The King says that the doll is not enough proof, if Ok Jung really cursed In Hyun there must be more proof than this. Suk Won responds by saying the shamanistic altar is still in Chwi Seon Dang. Lee Soon asks Suk Won if she is ready to take responsibility for this accusation, she says that she is. Lee Soon angrily tells her if there is no altar he will sentence her to death for this.

24 2

We move to Chwi Seon Dang where Ok Jung and her maid are busy cleaning up the altar. Unaware of Suk Won’s accusation they are taking their time. Suddenly they hear the announcement that his majesty has arrived. Suk Won, the King, and the retainers enter the room and are shocked to see the partially standing altar.

Lee Soon confronts Ok Jung- did she really put this altar together to curse In Hyun?! Ok Jung tells him she only set up the altar to pray to Queen Inkyung for the Crown Prince’s health. Suk Won shouts that this is not true, Ok Jung was really cursing In Hyun. Ok Jung pleads for them to believe her- she only called in a shaman to save the Prince from small pox.

Father in law one states that just setting up an altar in the palace is a crime and that Ok Jung must be punished accordingly. The King flinches at this truth. He announces that Ok Jung will be locked in Chwi Seon Dang as the investigation is carried out, he also orders all of her maids to be arrested and interrogated. As the maids are dragged out Lee Soon looks pained- clearly upset that he has had to order this.

24 3

The maids are being interrogated by father in law one. None of them will say that Ok Jung cursed In Hyun, they insist she was only praying for her son’s recovery. With no confession the torture continues.

The retainers are up in arms at the news that Ok Jung called a shaman into the palace. Father in law one, now the leader of the Western Party tells them that this is their chance, they can ask for Ok Jung’s death now.

Ok Jung stumbles out of Chwi Seon Dang but is stopped by the captain of the royal guards. Ok Jung tells the man she needs to see the King. The captain tells her to return to her quarters, it was the King’s orders that she was not to leave Chwi Seon Dang while the investigation is taking place.

24 4

Before Ok Jung can go back inside the man himself arrives. Lee Soon asks Ok Jung if she really set up the altar to curse In Hyun, she swears that she did not. Lee Soon asks if she can swear this on the life of their son, she says she can. He believes her and tells her that he will clear her name from these baseless accusations.

We cut to father in law one and Suk Won who are busy investigating the altar. They find one of In Hyun’s favorite ornaments hidden on the altar (placed their earlier by Suk Won). They take this as proof that Ok Jung carried out the ritual in order to curse In Hyun.

24 5

The King meets with the retainers in the main hall. Father in law one announces they have found the ornament of In Hyun on the altar, clear proof of Ok Jung’s intent. The retainers demand that Ok Jung is made to drink poison as punishment for her crime. Lee Soon is beyond pissed at this suggestion but remains silent, a pained look on his face.

24 6

The scholars are back outside, demanding the same thing- Ok Jung must take her own life. I am really starting to hate those ever protesting scholars.

24 7

Uncle Prince D is meeting with the King, they can hear the scholars’ demands from inside the palace. The demands go into a fever pitch as they start to ask that the Crown Prince be removed from the palace as well. The King is disgusted that they have brought his son into their protests. Prince D tells him to stay strong in the face of this issue.

24 8

The protests continue into the night, becoming louder and louder. The King (now alone) listens to the shouts for Ok Jung’s death and his son’s deposal silently, drinking cup after cup of alcohol in the face of the peoples demands. He tells the captain of the royal guards that he misses Ok Jung.

24 9

We cut to Chwi Seon Dang. Ok Jung rushes over to the bridge where a drunk Lee Soon is waiting. They sit together holding hands, Lee Soon asks if they can stay this way for some time.

24 10

The interrogations are also still going on, middle of the night or not. The shaman who conducted the ritual is being tortured along with the maids; she suddenly says she has something to confess. Father in law one stops the torture and questions her. She proceeds to say that she cast a curse on In Hyun by request of Ok Jung. Ohhh! Seriously?! Arghhhh! Father in law smiles at the confession, there is no way the King can save Ok Jung now.

The King, who has apparently sobered up, is alone. He considers the confession, the reality of the situation hitting him.

We cut to Ok Jung, also alone. She replays Lee Soon’s vow to clear her name in her head. She remembers the happy times she has had with Lee Soon, the memories of their relationship from the beginning to the present.

24 11

Ok Jung comes to visit Lee Soon in his chambers. She tells the King she has something to ask him- will he protect their son to the very end and make him as great a king as he is? Lee Soon says that will be his only reason to keep living. I hate this dire conversation. Ok Jung says that is enough then, that he should render his command to end her life. Lee Soon looks devastated at her words. Ok Jung explains that she does not want to cause him or their son more trouble, she would rather drink poison and end her life. The King does not answer, he only looks on with a troubled expression on his face.

We cut to the King in his study. He says aloud that even in the worse situation there is a way to survive. He will make sure OK Jung survives this.

24 12

The King is in the main hall with the retainers. He announces his command at Ok Jung’s crime. After the interrogations it has become apparent that Ok Jung cursed In Hyun. The crime is so severe that he must sentence her to death. He recognizes her crime of cursing and jealousy and proclaims her death sentence (though he can barely get the words out of his mouth). He further orders Ok Jung to participate in In Hyun’s memorial service to reflect on her misdeeds. The retainers are happy but not totally happy- after all the King has made no mention of deposing the crown prince. At their words Lee Soon tells them they are crossing the line- if one of them brings this up again he will kill them. After all, he is making Ok Jung drink poison so there is nothing, nothing he would not do now.

24 13

Ok Jung is at Chwi Seon Dang when Suk Won comes for a visit. I just want to slap this girl every time I see that smug smile! Ok Jung calmly (really, she is not being vindictive or mean during this conversation just matter of fact) tells Suk Won to go ahead, keep being ambitious. But beware, as the world of Joseon politics is a bloody and unsure thing. Plus Suk Won is too low class for the Joseon upper class to every accept her- after all Ok Jung was of a higher class than Suk Won but still faced rampant discrimination and hatred over her origins.

Suk Won says that will never happen to her, she will become Queen without the complications and disasters that plagued Ok Jung. Ok Jung tells her not to be so sure, nothing is ever certain in this life- eventually Suk Won will have to pay for her sins. Suk Won just smiles, sure it will never happen to her. Plus, she asks, what has she done wrong? Ummm…I think I name about seven things off the top of my head. Ok Jung says that while others may not know of Suk Won’s crimes Suk won knows what she has done. The girl gives her bratty smug smile and leaves.

24 14

Ok Jung is alone when her Mother comes to visit, carrying the crown prince. Ok Jung tearfully hugs her son. Mom tells her she must get through this, no matter how rough the situation is. She asks if she can come to the memorial for In Hyun too. Ok Jung tells her she can come, she would be happy to have her there. Mom breaks down and apologizes for getting Ok Jung into this mess with all of her shaman talk. Ok Jung tells her not to apologize as the ritual saved the crown prince’s life. They hug, both crying.

24 15

Uncle Prince D comes to visit the King. He asks if it is true that he has ordered Ok Jung to drink poison. He shouts at the King to take back Ok Jung’s sentence, after all this could not really be what the King wants, could it?

The King says he will not overturn the death sentence. Uncle Prince D goes off on him- how could he kill the woman he loves without blinking an eye? 24 16

D drops to his knees and begs for Lee Soon to save Ok Jung, if the King kills the woman he loves he will kill his own soul. Lee Soon tells Prince D that Ok Jung said she would die for him…he then begins to cry.

24 17

Master Jin has found out about the King’s orders and he is not happy. He cannot believe that the King would kill the mother of his child.

24 18

He calls for father in law one, the two meet. Master Jin gives father in law an IOU for an enormous sum of money. He tells him it is payment for destroying Ok Jung. But he has another motive- he wants father in law to bring Ok Jung to him as an offering. After all she has been sentenced to death so why should it matter if he gets her instead. Father in law calls Master Jin ignorant- how can he dare to ask for the King’s woman. He tears up the IOU and throws it back in Jin’s face. He tells Jin to leave Joseon at once.

The retainers of the Western party meet. They think it is weird that the King accepted their demands for Ok Jung’s death so quickly. Father in law one says something is bothering him- he thinks the King must have some other plan.

24 19

Ok Jung is escorted to In Hyun’s memorial service by the captain of the royal guards. She enters a plain white palanquin, her mother walking in the front of the procession.

The King is in his study when his chief eunuch comes in to announce that Hee Bin has left for the memorial service. Lee Soon gets up at this announcement and leaves the room.

24 20

24 21

Ok Jung stares out of the palanquin as it makes its way through the palace. Lee Soon runs after the procession, stopping it before it can leave the palace Ok Jung gets out of the palanquin and runs to the King. Lee Soon tells her he has not seen her in a while. 24 22

They look at each other with tears in their eyes.

24 23

The King says he was not able to protect her, she should not forgive him as he had to let go of her hand in the end. Ok Jung says that the King has done more than enough, he never left her. They stand staring at each other, neither of them making a move towards each other. Finally the King turns, crying as he walks away.

24 24

We cut to a flashback. Master Jin is meeting with Lee Soon. The King tells Jin that he had him investigated and learned the truth- he knew that Jin was acquainted with Ok Jung long ago. He also knows that Jin loves her. He tells the man that he will never let Ok Jung die, he would even give up the throne to save her. He asks Jin to take Ok Jung and run far away, to a place where he will eventually follow. Jin looks shocked that the King would give up the throne for Ok Jung.

24 25

The flashback continues as we see Ok Jung’s Mom visiting the King. She tells Lee Soon that she was the one that caused all of the trouble by telling her daughter to make an offering with the shaman. The King says he is aware of Ok Jung’s innocence but the rest of the world will not believe in the truth. He asks Mom to accompany Ok Jung to In Hyun’s memorial service.

24 26

We return to the present, with Ok Jung still in the palace, her procession to the memorial service stopped by the King. She cries as she watches Lee Soon walk away.

24 27

Ok Jung and her mother pray at the memorial service, somber amidst the reality of In Hyun’s death and Ok Jung’s death sentence. After the prayer Ok Jung sits alone in the temple for a moment, reflecting.

24 28

Suddenly someone comes in and places a rag over Ok Jung’s mouth rendering her unconscious.

24 29

The captain of the royal guards is meeting with Master Jin outside the temple. He pulls his sword on Jin and tells him by the order of the King he must save Ok Jung. Jin tells Ok Jung’s mom that he will see her daughter to safety and once they are in China he will send someone for her. Mom pleads with the man to take good care of her daughter. Jin sets out while Mom takes Ok Jung’s place in the palanquin.

24 30

Night falls. The palanquin arrives back at the palace. Mom is inside praying for her daughter to make it out safely.

24 31

Suk Won is told by her maid that Ok Jung has returned from the memorial service. Suk Won looks unfazed by the news but still wonders aloud why Ok Jung came back. After all if it was she who was sentenced to death she would have ran away when she had the chance.

24 32

Prince D rushes into Chwi Seon Dang. The courtyard has been set up for Ok Jung’s death. The visual is too much for Prince D to bare, he rushes into Ok Jung’s room. He finds that she is not there and demands to know where she has gone. The captain of the guards tells him that Lee Soon has sent her away.

24 33

Uncle Prince D bursts into the King’s chambers and asks why he has sent Ok Jung away- after all he sent her away from a death sentence he ordered. Lee Soon admits that there is no way that he could ever sentence the woman he loves to die. Prince D wants to know what the King will do next. Lee Soon says he will face the retainers and the worst case scenario will be that he will be dethroned. He tells Prince D that he has let Jin take Ok Jung far away.

24 34

Ok Jung wakes up. Jin is by her bedside. She demands to know what happened and where they are. Jin tells her it was Lee Soon’s request that brought them here. Ok Jung starts to cry at the revelation that the King has saved her. She stands up and rushes out of the room. Jin tells her a ship from China has just arrived and they need to get on the ship to depart. Ok Jung tells him she wants to return to the palace; the King ordered her death and she intends to not cause him any trouble by running away. Seriously! Take the freaking boat! Take it! Go- go now!

24 35

Jin tells her the king only wanted to save her but Ok Jung will not hear it. She says it is no good to be a coward and run away. To drink poison will protect the future of her son and Lee Soon. Jin begs her to leave to China but Ok Jung stands firm- it is now time she protect the King as he has always protected her. She says she has lived her life to die in the palace by the man she loves, she cannot go now. Jin nods, solemnly agreeing to help her return. He tells her that by helping her return he will protect his own love as well.

24 36

The retainers have learned of Ok Jung’s disappearance. They are none too happy and accuse the King of abusing his power. They decide to go to Chwi Seon Dang at once and confirm the truth of Hee Bin’s location.

24 37

The poison is prepared in the royal kitchen. Uncle Prince D watches from afar, tears in his eyes. The kitchen maid carries the poison out on a tray, headed for Chwi Seon Dang.

24 38

At the same time Jin returns to the palace with Ok Jung (hidden in a palanquin).

24 39

The King is in his study when the captain of the royal guard comes in. Lee Soon asks if there is news of the retainers demanding his dethronement but the captain has other news- Ok Jung has returned to the palace Lee Soon is shocked.

24 40

Ok Jung, successfully smuggled back into the palace, is in her room at Chwi Seon Dang with the crown prince. She hugs the child to her chest, crying.

24 41

The retainers arrive at Chwi Seon Dang, ready to confirm that Ok Jung has disappeared. The poison arrives at the same time and the order is given for Ok Jung to emerge from her chambers and receive her death sentence.

24 42

Much to everyone’s surprise the door opens and Ok Jung walks out. She has a blank expression on her face.

24 43

Uncle Prince D runs into the courtyard of Chwi Seon Dang. He sees Ok Jung walking out of her room- he begins to cry at the reality of the situation. Ok Jung slowly descends the stone steps, towards the place where she is to drink the poison that will end her life. As she walks everyone watches her with a stony expression. Ok Jung sits at the table prepared for her. With a nod of the head from the physician the kitchen maid prepares to place the poison in front of Ok Jung. Her hands are shaking at the order.

24 44

Uncle Prince D interrupts and asks that he be allowed to set the poison down. The kitchen maid hands over the tray. Prince D kneels before Ok Jung, tray in hand. He is crying as he sets down the poison.

24 45

He gets up and turns away, sobbing he holds his hand to his mouth.

24 46

Ok Jung is crying as well. She stands and makes one last bow. She sits and reaches out both hands, taking the bowl in her grasp she raises it to her lips.

24 47

Tears flow down her cheeks as she drinks; before she can finish the bowl she grasps her throat, the poison taking effect. We see Lee Soon (who was still in his study basically hyperventilating at the reality that Ok Jung would die) rush out from the room.

24 48

Ok Jung drops the bowl, collapsing and coughing as the poison courses through her.

24 49

Lee Soon rushes into Chwi Seon Dang and sees his love. He takes her in his arms and asks her why she came back. Ok Jung says she could not run away, she had to come back to his side. She chokes, crying she tells Lee Soon that to spend the last moments of her life in his arms makes her happy.

24 50

She reaches out her hand and touches Lee Soon’s face. She thinks the following:

“I, Jang Ok Jung, lived in love of Your Majesty…so I came back to protect that love to the end.”

24 51

They look into each other’s eyes, both of them crying. Within seconds Ok Jung falls limp, her life extinguished by the poison. Lee Soon quietly calls her name over and over, telling her he loves her. He hugs her lifeless body tightly to him, rocking gently as his grief overcomes him.

24 52

An indefinite number of days later we see Lee Soon at the bridge at Chwi Seon Dang. It is night. Lee Soon surveys the place where he was once so happy. He stops on the bridge and we hear a voice over of his thoughts:

24 53

“The only thing that could protect love in the end was love. So you lived a life of fire, Jang Ok Jung. The one who would pat my lonely shoulders or the one who would wipe my tears away doesn’t exist anymore.”

24 55

He begins to sob, clutching the bridge railings he falls to the ground:

“My only beloved, the only one for Lee Soon the King, Jang Ok Jung is not in this world anymore.“

24 56

He continues to cry as the camera pans out and then fades to black. The end.

As the credits play the history of Sukjong is explained- he became a great king that ushered in the Joseon renaissance. Ok Jung was buried somewhere other than the Jang graveyard. In 1969 her body was moved to be interred next to Sukjong and In Hyun.


I am crying right now so excuse what is about to be a tearful ramble.

Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love you got to me. Hard. You were not perfect, you had your rough patches, but you were always engaging. The romance between Lee Soon and Ok Jung is one of the best that I have seen in Korean Drama, or any drama for that matter. These two characters had a million reasons why they could not be together which gave me a million reasons why I cheered for them to live happily ever after. They overcame, they learned, and I really feel like I just spent ten years with these two as they went through hell and back. It just sucks that hell and back actually meant one of them dying.

Ok Jung’s sacrifice was something I hated- but not because it did not make sense for this story. I just did not want to see her die. She sacrificed herself to allow Lee Son to remain King; an action that she saw as the only way that she could protect the one she loved. I get it, I really do. But you should have ran away to China!

24 54

I guess some people are larger than life with purposes far above those of the ordinary folk. While I would have been in some place in China waiting for Lee Soon (who would inevitably be dethroned) to visit those nobler or with more of a sense of purpose like Ok Jung would have shown the courage to see everything through and protect the King until the end. Which doesn’t make me happy but makes me realize that Ok Jung was the opposite of a coward, in fact she had more courage than most people could hope to imagine. But I still hated to see her die, which tells me that this character got to me in a powerful way- I cheered for her, I cried with her, and I wanted her to have a happy ending.

This story was built on history. Ok Jung and Lee Soon were real people, as were most of the characters in this show. History paints Ok Jung as a consummate villain, full of ambition and spite she became Queen through her conniving only to die as a result of her shamanistic curses. JOJ Live in Love gave us an alternate view, what if the evil concubine was really just a woman in love? I have to say I like this telling better. I will never again watch a saguek and curse JOJ as In hyun’s foil. This show made me a JOJ fan for life.

Having watched the finale I feel like my mind is blank. I did not hate the ending but I need time to digest how I really feel and what it really meant. The last episode definitely did not betray our characters’ motivations and attitudes- I felt like they were all sincere until the end. The consistency was there and the actors did a phenomenal job. That I know but how I will remember this show remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, I loved this show and am very upset to know that it is over. Che.. sorry, wiping my tears…ers. I will miss you show.

Parting Thoughts- I know what I want for Christmas. That talisman from Queen In Hyun’s Man. So I can jump back in time and into this show. What will I do you ask? Punch Suk Won in the face. Hard. Really hard.

47 thoughts on “A Life of Fire: Jang Ok Jung Episode 24 Synopsis and Review (Finale)

  1. I want to do more than just punch Suk Won! I want to pull her teeth and gorge her eyes out!I ammstil numb from watching this live and also with subs. This story and this couple have a very special place in my heart despite the warts and all.

    Thanks for the recap.

    • Yes, I kind of want to do that too. Actually I want to do that a lot. I freaking hate Suk Won!

      Thanks for reading my recap. I hate that this is the last episode 😦

      • I started watching the show and then decided to read up on Jang Hui bin…. I almost had a heart attack from what I saw… Then your review caught my eye…. I’m definitely watching till the end… Thanks for saving my love Jang OK jung

    • i REALLY avoided this show, as I am a monster fan of Sageuk and Dong Yi is one of my favorite Kdramas of all time. The whole premise of the show seemed silly and wrong and “who the hell could like Jang Ok Jung?” I thought.

      Then a few days ago I finally decided to watch the show, and the answer to my question is ME!!! I LOVED THIS DRAMA. More than just about any I’ve seen except for one or two. More than Dong YI; Jang Ok Jung is not perfect, but the romance and tragedy and absolute smoldering chemistry between Yoo Ah In as Prince Sukjong and Kim Tae Hee as Jang Ok Jung, was just off the richter scale.

      This drama was amazing and I have bags under my eyes from a two day cry-a-thon to prove it. It also made me think of how well done it was as some amazing points are brought up that could point to this alternate version of history as perhaps the true version or at least closer to reality than Dong Yi.

      The first thing is that when reading about the true history is how it fits strangely into the theory that King Sukjong loved Jang Ok Jung way more than history admits.

      Fact: Jang Ok Jung was the only woman from the Concubine class that King Sukjong ever made a Queen. Much has been made of the fact that Queen Inhyeon was a good woman, but there is clear written proof in the King’s own hand that he in fact disliked Queen Inhyeon and wanted to get rid of her for the sake of his Jang Ok Jung: This is from King Sukjong’s own diary:

      “For a long time I have been aware of the queen’s jealous disposition and evil mind, and I have borne with it patiently but now I can endure it no longer. Since I have taken the concubine Chang [Jang under the old Romanization system] it has been still more unendurable. The queen and the concubine Kim have been putting their heads together in an attempt to frighten me into putting away Chang, but I saw through the plan. Now what shall we do?”

      From this we can tell the historical record of Jang Ok Jung as a royal bitch and Queen Inhyeon an angel is very skewed and not shared by the King himself.

      It’s worth remembering that history is always written from the point of view of the winning side, and Jang Ok Jung was a Soron, and that party never again had much influence in Joseon after her fall.

      Anyway, I’d like to think that Jang Ok Jung is closer to reality than Dong Yi, because I have been captivated by this story as well. Oh well, time to get out more kleenex.

      Loved your review and thanks !

      • Then King could have made Choi as the next queen, after OkJung? but he never appointed Choi as the NEXT QUEEN. Because he might not have much STRONG feelings towards her.

        Then what about Lady Park Myeong-bin? Lady Park also received the favor of King Sukjon after the death of Queen Ok Jung?

        King had a son with Lady Park too and as per the records king’s favorite son was Lady Park’s son.

        And Choi was lived outside of the palace more than 20 years, untill her son got married. (king might have became fed up with her)

  2. I was teary-eyed through a great deal of this episode. When did the water-works start to flow? When Lee Soon walked sobbing away from Ok-jung’s palanquin. When did I start full on sobbing myself? When our Prince D handed Ok-jung the poison (really, from the moment he entered the scene — he was so shattered).

    I’m right with you on still taking it all in, but I can say the core of the story — the love story of Lee Soon and Ok-jung was awesome. I am so, so, so glad that their love never died.

    I’m also right there with you on wanting this to be the more accurate historical truth (because she was so damn cool!). And I’m also right there with you in wanting to punch Suk Won — punch her right in her smug little face. (But then, give Prince D a hug. Man needs some good hugging.)

    Also… totally restarted crying while reading your recap. 😦

    • I think I finally stopped crying sometime last night!

      I wish this was the real history too because I think (and I know I am now a bit biased after watching JOJ) this fictional recount is a better version of events- because JOJ is so cool! I guess it is safe to say we are both still on board for the Ok Jung fan club 🙂

      • I stopped crying, then wrote up my reaction and started crying again. (It’s Prince Dong Pyung — he gets me every. single. time.)

        I really, really, really adore Ok-jung, so the fan club is definitely a go! 😀 I have it almost worked out in my head that she historically was this awesome and she and Lee Soon were really that much in love. And that Suk Won — the historical person — was a totally different girl and actually really liked Ok-jung and became a comfort for Lee Soon as they sat around talking about how awesome Ok-jung was and totally stuck it to the retainers for being such classist snobs. *nods* Yup. That’s how it happened.

  3. This is by far the best drama that I have ever seen. Although it is not completely true the actors are so skilled that I feel like the story line is actually real. I can’t bring myself to watch the last two episodes sense I know I will go through an emotional rollercoaster and even though I read the recaps it’s so: dsjfgljksagfahfdljkhdfajshfdsafhl<3!

  4. When i read your recap, that’s when i understand why JOJ has to die. I was not able to sleep because of the ending. I was hoping for a miracle! I cried really hard…The scene when DP handed the bowl to JOJ made me cry so hard.
    Thanks for your recap! I looked forward all the time for your recap.

    • Thanks for reading the recaps! I cried really hard too, when Prince D asked to give the poison to Ok Jung I seriously wept- it was a hard scene to watch having come to love these characters over the last twenty four episodes. It was touching that he wanted to be the one to give Ok Jung the poison after all they had been through (if you can actually use the words touching and poison in the same sentence 🙂 ).

  5. OMG, OMG!! I’ve been crying rivers after reading UR recaps on the last 2 episodes…and this is finally the end of it (I haven’t watched it til this last episode yet btw). Awesome ending, I also wish this story-line was historically true…but it’s not right? Aaayy~

    I also hate this Sukwon, and unfortunately it affects me watching Running Man, I now refused to watch the episode w/ her in it, :-(( sooorrry………

    Anyway, I’m waiting until another great drama to come out & of course waiting for U to recap it as well…..

    Thanks a lot!!

    • Ummmm…I kind of feel the same way about Suk Won and seeing the actress on Running Man. Every time I see her I will think “Suk Won! Argggghhhh!” and shake my fists. Her character was just so, so annoying in JOJ that I will need some time to disassociate her from the role.

      Thanks for reading the recaps, I hope another great drama comes along soon too!

  6. I recommend you to watch dong yi,,, actually choi suk won is not bad, and actually she was promoted to suk bin,,, so I hope you don’t hate her… Just a suggestion for you

    • I have not watched Dong Yi, thanks for the suggestion. I should be more specific in that I hate this fictional account of Suk Won, not the actual historical figure. I know that history tells us Suk Won was promoted and eventually gave birth to the future Joseon King; however having just watched twenty four hours of an alternate telling where she was anything but a nice and caring person I have to say at this moment I dislike Suk Won and want to punch her in the face. Hard. Just my opinion 🙂

      • This is because after deposing Jang Ok Jeong, the King made it illegal for a consort to become queen so something like this wouldn’t happen again. I also see in another reply you wrote that Choe got kicked out for 20 year which is also incorrect, including your statement about the other consort. She was given another place to leave for the winter by the King and Yeongjo or Yeoning was actually his favorite and there are many records of complaints that he got for favoring Yeoning even though his mother was a slave

  7. Actually joj did pray for in hyun’s death… You can search it in internet… I think that because the scriptwritter wants to convey more the kindness of joj so the story become like this…

    • According to history Ok Jung was sentenced to death for cursing In Hyun. The problem with history is it is often written by the victors. The bottom line is no one really, truly knows the personality of Ok Jung or Suk Won and some of their actions have inevitably been lost by history or changed by biased recounting of events after they have happened. I think that makes this show that much more enjoyable- seeing how the writer was able to take a part of history that involves a notorious villianess and imagine “What if history as we know it is wrong, what if Ok Jung was not the conniving witch that we know her as?”. There have been similar reinterpretations of other historical figures (Anne Boleyn comes to mind) but this telling really hit home for me. I loved it.

      • Yes however we also know that what actually happened is that Sukjong claimed that he himself saw Jang ok Jeong making merry over the death of In Hyeon with a shaman and that is why she was sentenced to death

  8. Actually, i hate the suk won here with her bratty smile… And i think that she ruined this drama… Maybe because i watched dong yi first so i like this suk won character, but her personality is far different from dong yi… In dong yi, she is so lovely, but here she is so mean. I admit that i kinda hate her in this drama…. Hhehe… Well, the conclusion is in hyun is the best ^_^

  9. After having watched Dong Yi and Queen In Hyun’s man (not really an historic one but well…), I felt weird as I watched this drama. In history, Jang Ok Jeong is usually portrayed as a really manipulating person but in this drama, it’s like everything that happened wasn’t her fault and she was a victim. Also, like many, I really hated suk won since I have the image of Dong Yi in my mind. At the end, it wasn’t a bad drama and the scene and clothes were really beautifull. Also the acting wan’t too bad (especially Kim Tae Hee really improved her acting!) but again having watched previous drama about the same story, it felt really weird!
    And Thanks for the recap!

  10. First I’d like to start with saying that, I’ve never been more annoyed or enraged while watching a K-drama before. I’ve never disliked or hated the main couple so much. It literally made me sick to see them together all lovey dovey while my favourite character (In Hyun) suffered so much.

    I was glad Jang Ok Jung died. I never liked Ok jung to begin with so this last episode was irrelevant to me, or rather I liked seeing her die. I cried a lot when In Hyun died however. She and the king were my original OTP but I think the king was an asshole. He didn’t deserve In Hyun.
    I think he deserved to be left alone like that to be lonely so he could see what he did to In Hyun. I wish there was an extra episode where they just show how he suffered. Maybe that would make me hate him less.
    For me the show ended when In Hyun died.

  11. Oh boy, I haven’t watched the last episode yet (because I know what’s going to happen and I want to prevent my heart from breaking) and I probably won’t watch it at all. That Suk Won is on mean b*tch. I knew from the beginning that something was off with her. Do you know if she became queen, after all?
    I’m still battling with myself whether to get the DVD box for Christmas, because it’s very pricey (about 150$). I enjoyed all of the series (except the ending), so I need to think about that if it’s worth paying the price. (It would have been an Insta-buy if there was a happy end.)

    Thanks for the awesome recaps! Can you perhaps recommend some K- Dramas with royalty? I’ve seen Goong, Goong 2, JOJ and The moon that embraces the sun (didn’t like it at all).

    • Hi! Thank you for reading the recaps. Suk Won was never made Queen, after Ok Jung’s death Sukjong issued a royal decree that prohibited concubines from becoming the Queen.

      K-dramas with royalty- I urge you to check out Princess Man. It is my all time favorite, and gives a rather stark and honest view on the monarchy all while bringing a heavy dose of the romeo and juliet type romance. Other than Princess Man (which I would recommend above all others) I think you may like Jewel in the Palace (a long saguek, but popular for a reason) or, if you like a more contemporary setting, King 2 Hearts. K2H is a look at how contemporary Korean life could be if the South had a monarchy and the north remained communist. An interesting look at how political and geographic ties bind those who otherwise desire a life of autonomy.

  12. Not fair as a die hard fan of the version where Suk Won is painted in a favourable light I feel like this drama slandered Dong Yi. Can she get a lawyer and a time machine and sue for defamation. 😦

  13. I love d fact that prince d neva betrayed ok jung or d king because of his love for ok jung and also d fact dat the Kong neva stopped loving ok jung
    I hate suk won.I want to drag her hair out.all in all twas a wonderful drama

  14. Thank you so much for the recap… I just finished 24 eps in one sitting.. And the same with you, i have been a weeper too…
    Cant stand the this series is finally over….
    O God… I have to go cry and put my head to the pillow again….

  15. It was a great drama. Thanks for such an amazing acting. But it shouldn’t be ended like that… so sad….

  16. im a die-hard fan of dong yi,so its so weird to see jang being good…i love queen inhyun man too,so inhyun n dong yi r like top of my list,so jang practically made me annoyed.i wish they made it not to history,so ppl wont be so confused…maybe like tmtets,then i would like it more:)

  17. Just a thought.. Looking at the actual history, it appears that Suk-won Choi had more children than Hui-bin Jang, so if Suk-won was really as bad as this series makes her out to be, it seems rather strange that Sukjong had so many more children with her than Jang..

    Another point.. in the series Dong-yi her concubine status was elevated much higher than the level of Suk-won, yet historical fact shows her as being Suk-won level. Makes you wonder..

    Yet the evidence of more children with Suk-won is clear. There may have been a reason we don’t know about why her level remained at Suk-won, but still became the favorite concubine of the King after Jang fell out of favor because of her ambition.

    • Then King could have made Choi as the next queen, after OkJung? but he never appointed Choi as the NEXT QUEEN. Because he might not have much STRONG feelings towards her.

      Then what about Lady Park Myeong-bin? Lady Park also received the favor of King Sukjon after the death of Queen Ok Jung?

      King had a son with Lady Park too and as per the records king’s favorite son was Lady Park’s son.

      And Choi was lived outside of the palace more than 20 years, untill her son got married. (king might have became fed up with her)

  18. I watched this when it first aired in early 2013. Can’t believe so much time has past already. At the time, I had to drop it somewhere before the ending cause it was just too much for me. I loved the first 13 episodes. I was a huge fan of Dong Yi when I watched this in 2013 but the OTP convinced me so much that I had no problems dropping my love for dong yi. I have not touched this drama since it finished airing… But something over the last week told me to rematch it again. Still love the first 13 episodes, and I finally watched the last episode. So painful!! So sad… I knew back then that she would die as per history in the end. But it certainly didn’t lessen the blow any. I was just glad that we got to see lee soon still loving OJ to the end. These two are one of my favorite otps where I loved both the male and female counterparts the same.

  19. I’d randomly searched up the opening themes for various dramas and stumbled upon that of Jang Ok Jung and was just blown away but how beautiful the music, and cinematography was. I just finished reading all your recaps today (you’re such a great writer!) and am just blown away by how sad yet beautiful this interpretation of history is. That ending was really moving especially when he reminisced seeing her for the first time in their adult lives, all strong-willed and certain of herself, untouched by the snake-pit that was the Palace, just wanting to take his measurements and leave, unaware of the love that would sweep her away and lead to her death. This drama isn’t perfect but there’s something about its characters that you can’t help but empathize with regardless of where they are on the morality spectrum.

  20. i don’t get why she wants to do this to jang, is it because she’s a psycho biitch that really wanted to follow whatever jang does? that’s why she wanna be the queen? i mean jang was so kind to her the fuck

  21. Choi was used only as a TOOL to regain power to dethroned queen Inhyon. Choi was a Plot by queen inhyon and her backing western party.

    Choi might have received the favor of king later, but she NEVER became the Queen of Joeson. After Queen Jang, King Sukjon nameed his 4th queen as Queen Inwon, not as Choi. Plus, Choi kicked out from the palace for about 2 decades (20 years) until her son got married.

    Lady Park Myeongbin received the favor of King Sukjon and lady park’s son recorded as the most favorite son of King Sukjon.

  22. I was extremely torn watching this drama. I watched Dong Yi about a year ago and became a life long fan. I’m a huge Dong Yi fan. The whole rags to riches story always gets to me. I was all for a pro Jang story. I’m just no happy that they turned Choi Suk-Bin into such an idiodic, powerhungry, nimwit. Other than that I enjoyed it. I still prefer Dong Yi especially since the costumes were amazing in Dong Yi but I enjoyed thos one. Have you ever watched Dong Yi?

  23. I know that I am way too late for this but thanks for all of the recaps. I am a bit disappointed that Ok Jung chose to sacrifice herself to keep the king’s title. Because the reason why she had to go through all of this was because she wanted to stay by his side, it wasn’t because of his title or anything, it’s all because she loves him…so she should’ve let him resign so that they all can live happily together and let that Sukwon’s dream crash. But yeah…I know they cannot change what was written in history still (-__-) it’s so frustrating and I hate Suk won. Funny enough because when I read about their history (before watching this drama) what comes in my mind was that…”doesn’t this sound like Suk won planned this all along?” the way she pray for the Queen that made the King interested in her and how they found a shaman doll, so watching the last two episodes made me grin with that thought that there really are people who also think Sukwon planned something. But still that girl was so annoying.

  24. I really loved this drama of JOJ! I watched it several times. I believe the true love and protection of Lee Soon is what kept Ok Jung very strong personally to go through all what the mother queen and the western party retainers put her through. It was love at first sight when they were young. She was amazing! It was sad father-in-law #1 believed the lies of father-in-law #2 about JOJ being the person to cause his daughter’s death. JOJ wasn’t involved with the Lee Soon at that time. If father-in-law #1 only knew JOJ helped his daughter become queen and how she took care of her when she became ill with small pox. I wondered how he would have been towards JOJ if he knew the kindness JOJ showed to his daughter? I guess he could’ve still hated her bcuz she wasn’t of the western party! The other thing I couldn’t understand was Jin? How he sided with the western party against JOJ after she rejected him. It was weird for Jin to continue to say he loved her to the end and wanted her after what he did to her and tried to pay all those IOU’s for her? I believe Jin sold JOJ to father-in-law #1 and his western party, and they hated her and how he turned the people against her? Jin’s love did not make sense to me? It was fake to me! But I understood JOJ’s true love for Lee Song and her son being the reason why she gave her life for them. That was her decision! I think she would’ve been very devastated if she lived without him and her son. She truly loved her King!!
    (This is from Navajo Nation, USA.)

  25. You might want to check Dong Yi, that’s another version of the story of Jang ok jung.
    The closest one with the history record.

  26. I started watching the show and then decided to read up on Jang Hui bin…. I almost had a heart attack from what I saw… Then your review caught my eye…. I’m definitely watching till the end… Thanks for saving my love Jang OK jung

Ramble On...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s