The Tale of Nok Du is a webtoon to K-drama adaptation. It's a gender/bender. Sometimes the leading man dresses as a lady. Sometimes the leading lady dresses as a man. They're the perfect couple!
If you watch this Korean drama TV series, you will probably agree that it deserves a rating of 9.4 out of 10 stars. The rating was provided by those who viewed it on Viki.com. It’s based on the webtoon by Hye Jin-yang which was published in 2014.
Nok Du is the name of the main character. He is actually a prince only he doesn’t know it because his adopted father kept his identity a secret. There was no slow gradual build-up as to the intensity of the action in this series. In the very first episode there is an assassination attempt. Several female assassins show up at the home of Nok Du’s adopted father with the intent to kill everyone who lives there. Well! If you are just an ordinary nobody, living on an island that people rarely visit, why send in a team of assassins to kill your entire family?
In the fight, Nok Du manages to wound one of the assassins in the leg. He is unaware that she is a woman. No matter. He chases after her because he figures she will return to whoever it was that sent her on this mission to kill his family. Nok Du is determined to find out WHO and WHY.
That’s how Nok Du’s tale begins. He isn’t so much trying to figure out his identity. He just wants to figure out who sent assassins to his home. He follows one of the assassins who was wounded but got away. She ran to the Widows Village. The first time he tries to enter this village he gets beaten up and kicked out! They are widows but they’re not weaklings. (LOL.) It turns out that in order to get into the village you have to be a widow. So he disguises himself as a woman/widow. He transforms himself into the widowed Lady Kim Nok-soon.
But the transformation to widow Kim does not occur until AFTER he accidentally meets Dong Dong Joo, a lady who has disguised herself as a man. She also lives in the Widows Village, even though she is not a widow. After her family was destroyed, she was homeless and the head Gisaeng who runs a business which is located in the Village, took her in and allowed her to live and work there doing chores for the courtesans.
The main characters are:
Jang Dong Yoon stars as Jeon Nok Du / “Lady Kim” / Yeon Soo / Kim Nok Soon
Kim So Hyun stars as Dong Dong Joo
Kang Tae Oh stars as Cha Yool Mu / Grand Prince Neung Yang
The first time Nok Du crosses paths with Dong Dong Joo, she is disguised as a man, and she is determined to kill the king! She wants revenge for her family who were framed as traitors. While chasing after the female assassin who came to his home, he unintentionally causes Dong Dong Joo to miss her chance to go through with her well-planned assassination attempt and they both end up in jail. That's how their relationship begins.
As time passes, a romantic relationship develops between Dong Dong Joo and Nok Du. But of course, no K-drama is ever complete without a love triangle, so there’s the Grand Prince who is also in love with Dong Dong Joo. He is Nok Du’s rival not just for the woman he loves but also for the throne. Nok Du is not just any prince. He’s the son of the current king and is the legitimate heir to the throne. Cha Yool Mu is the king’s nephew. He could become the king if he does not have a rival for the same seat. Eh! If the nephew doesn’t become king he could always open up a restaurant. The dude can cook! (LOL.)
The supporting cast was terrific but there are four (4) characters that made a lasting impression on me.
Lee Seung-joon plays Jung Yoon-jeo, Nok Du’s adopted father
Jung Joon-ho plays King Gwanghae, Nok Du’s real father
You will love Nok Du’s adopted father, and probably hate his real father.
Lee Moon-Sik plays Hwang Jang-Koon, a loyal family friend with excellent martial arts skills. He teaches these skills to Nok Du but only after making Nok Du promise that he would marry his daughter when she grows up.
Park Da-Yeon plays Aengdoo, the daughter of Hwang Jang-Koon. Even though she is a little girl (about 8 to 10 years old), she constantly reminds Nok Du that he is her future husband and he better not forget it! She’s a scene-stealer! She may be a member of the supporting cast but she steals every scene she’s in and becomes the star! She won Best Youth Actress at the 2019 KBS Drama Awards for her role. No surprise!
My original content first published via My Sageuk Addiction.