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King of Ambition

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Written by  Lee Hee-myung
Final episode date  2 April 2013
7.9/10 IMDb

Country of origin  South Korea
Network  Seoul Broadcasting System
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Also known as  Yawang King of the Beast Queen of the Night
Based on  Daemul - Tale of Yawang by Park In-kwon
Directed by  Jo Young-kwang Park Shin-woo
Starring  Kwon Sang-woo Soo Ae Jung Yun-ho Kim Sung-ryung Go Joon-hee
Genres  Melodrama, Romance Film, Action fiction
Cast  Kwon Sang‑woo, Soo Ae, Yunho, Kim Sung‑ryung, Go Joon‑hee

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King of Ambition (Hangul: 야왕; Hanja: 野王; RR: Yawang) is a 2013 South Korean television series, starring Kwon Sang-woo, Soo Ae, Jung Yun-ho, Kim Sung-ryung, and Go Joon-hee. It aired on SBS from January 14 to April 2, 2013 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 for 24 episodes. Based on Park In-kwon's manhwa of the same title, the same source material as Daemul, the drama tells the tale of an ambitious woman born into poverty who will let nothing stand in her way as she tries to become the First Lady, and a hopeless romantic who will sacrifice anything for her. But when she betrays him, he takes his revenge.



The name Ha Ryu means "a child flown from heaven." He was given this name by the nun who first found him in front of an orphanage; it came to her immediately the moment she saw his pure, innocent face. Ha Ryu's life began in earnest when he first laid eyes on Da-hae at the orphanage. Ha Ryu was a simple boy who disliked chores; however, for Da-hae, there was nothing he would not do or any place he would not go. Whenever Da-hae cried, Ha Ryu became too restless to do anything. But when Da-hae was adopted, they had to part.

King of Ambition King of Ambition Wikipedia

Ten years later, Ha Ryu runs into Da-hae again. He feels electrified and like he is losing his mind. Then and there, he swears that nothing will ever come between them again. He also promises himself that he will do anything and everything to make her happy until the day he dies. Da-hae is a bright young woman and Ha Ryu works day and night with all his strength to earn money to pay her university tuition abroad. No matter how tired he is, all he requires to be happy is Da-hae's smile.

King of Ambition Queen of Ambition 2013 Korean Drama Review

But over time Da-hae changes. Ha Ryu thinks it cannot be permanent when he admires her beauty and sophistication, like a bright, shining star. Even when she frames him for a murder, he tries to understand her. However, when she loses their daughter, Eun-byul, he finally snaps and he cannot forgive her. Ha Ryu changes, too. His wrath erupts like a volcano because of the betrayal of his one true love and turns Ha Ryu into a beast. He, who was once a mere minion in a gang, makes his way to the top and becomes CEO of Baekhak Group, one of Korea’s leading companies. "I will bring you down with my own two hands and put you back to where you first began. I will step on you and hurt you more than you can imagine," he promises her and his bitter revenge against Da-hae, the woman he, for so long, loved more than life itself, begins... in the end Da-hae becomes the First Lady of Korea, then she is exposed for her crimes after she shoots and injures Ha Ryu.

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Ha Ryu then chases after her when Da-hae's step brother escapes with her. He confronts Da-hae for killing his father and when she admits to it he tries to run her over. Ha-Ryu jumps in the away and then he and Da-hae are both hit by the car. Da-hae, still conscious, cries and apologizes to a severely injured Ha Ryu. Then they both pass out and end up in hospital beds. They both imagine having conversations with each other when they were young and finally understand why they grew into the people they became. Ha Ryu wakes up from his coma only to find out Da-hae has died. Ha Ryu continues to live his life and ends the series back at the old house he, Eun-Byul, and Da-hae lived. He looks at the portrait Eun-Byul drew and thinks about all he has lost trying to pursue revenge.


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  • Kwon Sang-woo - Ha Ryu / Cha Jae-woong
  • Soo Ae - Joo Da-hae
  • Jung Yun-ho - Baek Do-hoon
  • Kim Sung-ryung - Baek Do-kyung
  • Go Joon-hee - Seok Soo-jung
  • Kwon Hyun-sang - Yang Taek-bae
  • Lee Deok-hwa - Baek Chang-hak
  • Cha Hwa-yeon - Baek Ji-mi
  • Lee Jae-yoon - Joo Yang-heon
  • Sung Ji-ru - Uhm Sam-do
  • Lee Il-hwa - Hong Ahn-shim
  • Go In-beom - Cha Shim-bong
  • Jung Ho-bin - Seok Tae-il
  • Yoon Yong-hyun - Director Park
  • Chae Sang-woo - young Ha Ryu
  • Kim So-yeon - young Da-hae
  • Park Min-ha - young Da-hae / Ha Eun-byul (6 years old)
  • Kim Ha-yoo - Ha Eun-byul (5 years old)
  • Choi Hyun-seo - Eun-joo
  • Jung Soo-in - Pyo Eun-jung
  • Kim Sung-hoon - prisoner
  • Son Tae-young - room salon customer (cameo, ep 2)
  • International broadcast

    It aired in Japan on cable channel KNTV from May 10 to October 18, 2013, and was re-aired on cable channel WOWOW.

    It aired in the Philippines on GMA Network from April 15 to June 30, 2015 at 10:05pm (PST), replacing Empress Ki. It was re-aired on GMA News TV from August 15 to September 16, 2016 at 11:00pm, replacing The Producers.

    It aired in Thailand on 3SD beginning on May 2, 2016 at 01:15pm


    King of Ambition Wikipedia