Original language(s) Korean
First episode date 16 September 2006
Written by Jang Young-chul
Country of origin South Korea
No. of episodes 134 total
Final episode date 23 December 2007
Number of seasons 1
|Directed by Kim Jong-sunYoon Sung-sik|
Starring Choi Soo-jongLee Deok-hwaJeong Bo-seokPark Ye-jinHong Soo-hyunIm HyukChoi Cheol-hoKim Hak-cheol
Networks Korean Broadcasting System, KBS1
Cast Choi Soo‑jong, Park Ye‑jin, Hong Soo‑hyun, Lee Deok‑hwa, Jeong Bo‑seok
Similar Yeon Gaesomun (TV series), The Blade and Petal, Emperor of the Sea
Dae Joyeong is a historical korean drama aired on KBS1; (transliterated as Dae Jo-young in the English release) about the life of Dae Jo-yeong, the founder of the kingdom of Balhae.
The drama begins during a war between Tang and Goguryeo before Dae Jo-yeong is born. Dae Jung-sang, Dae Jo-yeong's father is introduced as a general. We are also introduced to Xue Rengui (Seol Ingui in Korean), a man with a brilliant mind who comes up with a plan to bring down Liaodong Fortress. After a failed attempt to assassinate the Tang emperor Li Shimin, Jungsang is captured by Tang. Seol, enraged for not receiving credit for his actions, frees him. Dae leaves Seol to himself, and heads to Ansi Fortress.
The emperor, meanwhile, begins plans for making a mountain of earth in order to deliberately destroy the fortress. Dae Jo-yeong's mother, Dalgi, comes up with the plan to dig under the mountain as it is being built. She is already pregnant with Dae Jo-yeong. Meanwhile, Seol rescues some Tang soldiers about to be killed. He catches the emperor's eye and is promoted to the rank of general.
As the battle begins, Tang's million men come onto the mountain. The order is given and water is released through the tunnel underneath the mountain, causing it to collapse and it crushes hundreds of thousands of Tang soldiers. Dae Jo-yeong was born during this time.
When Dae Jo-yeong is born, a prophecy says that he will become a king. Naturally, this is seen as treachery because there is already a king. So his father flees from the Supreme Commander Yeon Gaesomun, who wishes to kill the baby, only to be captured as his wife and son try to escape on a raft. She is later found and captured by the Supreme Commander as well.
The Supreme Commander intended to kill them at first but when General Yang Manchun tells him that perhaps the heavens sent Dae Jo-yeong to protect their country after they die, he changes his mind. General Dae Jungsang is told his wife and son are dead and ordered to command Goryeo Fortress. His wife is ordered to never communicate with her son, or be killed along with him.
Dae Jo-yeong is raised by Yeon Gaesomun, the Supreme Commander of Goguryeo as a slave and is called Gaedong(dog boy)so he wouldn't question why he is a slave and discover who he was with his real name. As a child he is often shown running away from the Supreme Commander's estate and trying to find his parents, although not knowing his parents are alive since the Supreme Commander constantly tells him that his parents are dead.
Dae Jo-yeong teaches himself to read and fight. He also (when grown up) begs the Supreme Commander's eldest son (Yeon Namsaeng) to allow him to join the martial arts contest because the reward is emancipation (freedom), but he refuses. When he hears Namseng say that he would accept anyone who had a recommendation from the Grand Martial General Yang Manchun, he runs away to Ansi Fortress and impresses Yang Manchun, who wonders if he is Dae Jungsang's son.
Dae Jo-yeong tells Yang Manchun that he is a slave and that he wants to be a warrior. Yang Manchun, not wanting to hurt him by letting him think he has a chance, tells him to fight the best fighter (Geol sabiu) in Yodong Fort. He surprises everyone and is about to smash the Geol Sa-Biwoo's head with a rock when General Yang Manchun stops the fight. He asks Dae-Joyeong why he would try cheating and he replies that in a fight, there are no rules, since for him this fight is worth more than his life.
Later, Yang Manchun gives him a recommendation, but when Dae Jo-yeong returns to Pyongyang and gives the recommendation to Yeon Gaesomun, Yeon Gaesomun angrily rips it up and says that no one can stop Dae Joyeong from entering the contest now except for him. Dae Jo-yeong is flogged and returns to being a slave. On the day of the contest, he desperately tries to sneak in one last time, but gets caught and thrown into a barn.
During this time, the princess, King Bojang's niece Sukyeong dresses up as a soldier to watch the contest. Meanwhile, at the Pyongyang palace, a Tang envoy (Seol Ingui) arrives and causes mischief by offering a peace treaty, in which a princess from Goguryeo and a prince from Tang are to marry. Yeon Gaesomun instantly rejects it and forces the civil officials to reject it too, but Seol had not come for the peace treaty, but for a chance to assassinate Yeon Gaesomun, who is one of the pillars of the country. Seol teams up with Bu Kiwon, one of the civil officials, and hires some assassins to kill Yeon Gaesomun.
Right before the contest begins the assassins go to the same barn Dae Jo-yeong was locked in to form a plan (each of their swords are laced with a deadly poison). Dae Jo-yeong hears them talking and figures out what they are up to, but he then makes a tiny noise which immediately catches the assassins' attention. One of the assassins tells the others to go ahead since the martial arts contest was beginning and stays to take care of Dae Jo-yeong. The princess enters the barn, and the assassin is about to kill her. Dae Jo-yeong is able to save the princess and knock out the assassin. When Sukyeong tries to prevent him from leaving, as she thinks that he is the assassin, he knocks her out. The assassination attempt fails, thanks to Dae Jo-yeong, but he is cut by one of the poisoned blades and falls unconscious. Yeon Gaesomun immediately orders a royal doctor to heal him.
Dae Jo-yeong eventually goes to find his father at Goryeo Fortress. Dae Jo-yeong doesn't tell Dae Jung-sang at first, but in the end, they reconcile and return to Goguryeo. On the way, they meet Mimosa, a Baekje citizen. In that time, Dae Jo-yeong runs into the Khitans and meets Chulin (Chorin in Korean) and he love chulin, a Khitan princess, and Li Kaigu (Li Haego in Korean), a Khitan general. Li Kaigu soon becomes Dae Joyeong's greatest rival. Li Kaigu has feelings for Chulin, who falls in love with Dae Joyeong. Goguryeo falls with the deaths of Yeon Gaesomun and Yang Manchun. Dae Jo-yeong does everything in his effort to save Goguryeo, but Bu Kiwon, Sa Bugu and other Goguryeo ministers, with the Tang and Khitan armies, are able to destroy it. Dae Jo-yeong, with his subordinates Geol Sabiwu and Heuk Sudol, set off to rescue the refugees and, with some surviving Goguryeo officials, makes a second Goguryeo. Dae Jo-yeong gets Chulin pregnant, but only Chulin knows. Dae Jo-yeong is nearly killed by Li Kaigu, Geolsa Biu is captured by Tang, and the second Goguryeo is destroyed after a Silla-aided coup d'état. Li Kaigu takes in Dae Jo-yeong's son as his own. Only Chulin, Geolsa Biu, and Li Kaigu know that Chulin's son, named Geom, is Dae Jo-yeong's son.
Dae Jo-yeong plans to make the second Goguryeo. He tries many things, buying help from Mimosa and his subordinate Geumlan, and building a new organization, Dong Myeong Cheon Jae Dan that is brought to kill the enemies that brought Goguryeo down. They are aided by the former Goguryeo king, Bojang. Bu Kiwon and Sa Bugu are killed. However, this organization is felled by Li Kaigu. Even as this organization falls, Dae Joyeong and his followers refuse to give up restoring Gorguryeo.
Dae Jo-yeong acquires two subordinates of Gogturk descent, Gyepilsamun and Tungso. While in battle, to rescue the people captured in the collapse of the Dong Myeong Cheon Jae, Dae Jo-yeong and Heuk Sudol are captured by the Chinese commander Li Wen, who hates Dae Jo-yeong with all of his heart. They suffer many hardships, including being forced to fight Wugol, a giant, after being starved for six days but Dae Jo-yeong eventually unites the slaves to fight against the Chinese. During this time, he meets Mukchol, who eventually becomes Khan of the Gogturks. Dae Jo-yeong survives by pledging allegiance to China and then fleeing to the lands of Goguryeo. There he begins to build up Goguryeo. Dae Jo-yeong has married Suk-yong, King Bojang's niece. In China, Empress Cheuk-cheon has risen to the throne.
Thirteen years later, the Khitans rebel from the Tang, and Dae Jo-yeong comes to aid the Khitans; in exchange, they ask for all of the thousands of Goguryeo refugees living in the Khitan country. During this time, his tensions with Li Kaigu get bigger and bigger. Dae Jo-yeong also meets his son Geom and works with him. Li Kaigu is captured, but Dae Joyeong saves him by capturing Li Wen and making a deal with Xue Rengui. Eventually, the reigning king, Li Jinzhong, is assassinated, and the war ends. Dae Joyeong takes the Goguryeo refugees home.
The Khitan country is nearly destroyed by a Tang-Gogturk alliance, but the few defenders are rescued by Dae Jo-yeong, after he finds out that Geom is his son. Geom, and nearly everyone else, have been aware of this before. When Li Kaigu flees from Dae Jo-yeong, Dae Jo Yeong nearly kills Li Kaigu, and the Khitans are destroyed. Li Kaigu survives and goes to Tang to become a commander, trading his own eye to show he would be loyal to not only Xue Rengui, but also Tang. Dae Jo-yeong is leading the last of the refugees to his base in Mount Dong-mo, where he intends to create a new Goguryeo. Li Kaigu is assigned the leading role.
While they are going, the Tang army catches up. Heuk Sudol and Gyepilsamun stay behind to delay the army. Gyepilsamun is killed by Li Kaigu's arrows, and Heuksudol stays to avenge him, but is killed by Zhao Renshi (Jo Insa), a Tang commander. The refugees are safe, but Dae Jo-yeong sets up Chungmuryeong Hill as a huge battlefield for him. The Khitan force under Chulin and Geom cannot block the Tang advance. Dae Jo-yeong kills Zhao Renshi in an act to avenge his brother, Heuksudol. Geumlan is killed by arrows, and Dae Jung-sang is captured. Dae Jung-sang is killed, and that fuels the morale of the Goguryeo-Mohe army so much that out of 30,000 Tang soldiers to enter, less than 1000 leave.
Dae Jo-yeong wins Li Kaigu and Xue Rengui's forces at Chun Mul Yong with help of Malgal Tribe. Li Kaigu runs away from Dae but Dae finds him. Li Kaigu sends his message that he will like to battle with him. Dae Jo-yeong manages to win after a fierce fight even he is the first one to get hurt. Chulin drinks a poisoned potion after seeing Li Kaigu die. After their deaths, Dae Jo-yeong builds the new Gorguryeo and names the country, Balhae. When Dae thinks all is over, Mimosa comes and says it isn't as Tang can go to Gorturks and persuade them to attack Balhae and the only way to stop is to enter with friendly relations with Gorturks, send people faster than Tang. Jo-yeong sends Geom to Gorturks tribe. As Mimosa has expected, Li Wen of Tang (to get Gorturks in Tang's group with a mind to perish Balhae with them) arrives after a few moments after Geom has arrived. Geom is the one who succeeds, beating Li Wen (although there are many things Balhae must fulfill for Gorturks). Dae Jo-yeong thinks all the things settled down and makes up rules.
Soon, Gorturks attack Tang and Balhae helps Gorturks as they demanded military support from Balhae. Tang almost loses so Li Wen thinks that the only way to survive is to send Dae Jo-yeong a peace treaty. Empress Wu Zetian is angry at this and hesitant over it but at last agrees, thinking of what's good for Tang. They send Dae Jo Yeong a peace treaty between them (enter into friendly relations). Dae Jo-yeong agrees on condition that Tang should give Liaodong to Balhae. They agree although there were some harsh things to get them agree.
Then Dae Jo-yeong starts to think about who will succeed him. He has two sons in mind, Geom and Dan-ni, but cannot make up his mind although he has Geom more in mind. (Dan-ni is Suk-yeong's son so has the last Goguryeo royal blood while Geom has the blood of the Khitan tribe, through his mother Chulin; but Geom demonstrates unusual talent, leadership abilities, and intelligence). Finally Geom decides to leave the country, thinking that if he stays there will be dissension among Dae Jo Yeong's followers about the succession. He tells Geol Sabiwu what he wants most is to be close to Jo Yeong, but if they try to make him the successor he will take his own life.
Dae comes to see Geom and finds him writing a farewell letter. He tries to stop him, saying "Don't go..." and blurts out the word he always wanted to say to Geom, "Son..." Geom, hearing the word, "Son", melts in tears and also uses the word he always wanted to say to Dae, "Father..." (Geom is actually Dae and Chu-lin's son but since he was born a Khitan Chulin knew he would be in danger as Dae was Khitan's enemy at that time. Li Kaigu, who was one of Khitan's greatest warriors and had loved Chu-lin for a long time, offered to protect mother and son and raise Geom as his own. Eventually Geom discovered the truth, and so did Dae Jo Yeong, but they couldn't acknowledge the truth openly.) Geom and Jo Yeong embrace each other sadly as son and father then Geom rides off to an unknown destiny.
The drama ends with a scene where Dae Jo-yeong, with his royal procession, visits the Gwanggaeto Stele. He and his original remaining followers, Geolsa Biu and Mimosa, bow before it, promising that never again will their people suffer as they have in the past.
In the Havasu Resort near the Sorak Mountains (in Sokcho city, which is the official sponsor of this series) is the set for Dae Jo Yeong. Anyone visiting that place can see the Goryeo armory with every weapon you can think of hanging on the walls, the kitchen of the Tang Dynasty palace with real food in the pots, and even a live cow attached to a cart.