I have seen a lot of historical dramas dealing with the love story between Queen In Hyun-King Suk Jong-Jang Hee-Bin. Jang Hee-Bin is always portrayed as the evil character as that was how she was recorded in history. However, this drama gave us a whole new perspective of Jang Ok Jung and why history was written the way it was. It was absolutely amazing and it followed history also. The ending had me pouring buckets because it brought all the memories from the previous episodes all in a few sentences that the king said. It was absolutely perfect though it did get frustrating in the middle (because of what she was doing). No one actually knows what was going on between the women in the palace. Maybe Choi Dong Yi wasn't the quiet, sweet one but the scheming one. Who knows? So I really liked how this drama used all those "who knows?" and fit them in a perfect, realistic drama that followed how history was recorded.
The famous stories about Jang Hee-bin are going to have a twist of how everything came to be. In this drama series, Jang Ok Jung (Jang Hee-bin's name) loved fashion. She loved making clothes and she was skilled at it. Her mother was a slave and so she was often treated unfairly because of that. When she was younger, she had met the crown prince without knowing who he was. He liked her and said that by marrying her, she would be wearing the prettiest clothes. He said that he would be her clothes and help raise her status higher. However, trouble occurred in the palace and the young crown prince never fulfilled the promise and he never got to see Jang Ok Jung again. Jang Ok Jung also continued on with life thinking that the "young master" didn't fulfill his promise.
They grow older and Jang Ok Jung has no intention of wanting any sort of power. She went through a lot. Her teacher died trying to save her in the fire and she's been going forward in life by making clothes and sending money to her mother. She encounters the crown prince a few times without knowing that he was the young master she met back as a child. She also thought that he was a military general because that was a lie that he told her. Prince Dongpyung, uncle of the crown prince, also came to like Jang Ok Jung. However Jang Ok Jung began having feelings for the "military general."
However, when her son gets small pox, her mother said to do an offering to help her son get better. At that time, Queen In Hyun also became sick. Due to a misunderstanding, Jang Ok Jung is under political attack again. The emperor tries to protect her as he knows the truth. However, Jang Ok Jung wanting to protect the emperor and his love, asked for her life to be taken. The emperor, reluctantly, does so and then plans for her to escape. However, she comes back to the palace and drinks the poison, to protect the emperor from any political attacks. And in the drama, the emperor made a promise to her that he would never let go of her hand. However, he was forced to and she wanted him to and he told her not to forgive him for letting go of her hand. He held her after she took the poison and it showed that with her death, he became very lonely also.
In history she was shown as this power-thirsty and ruthless woman that would do everything possible to have power. But it shows that sometimes, there are more sides to a person. No one knows how Queen In Hyun was, how Jang Ok Jung was, or how Choi Dong Yi was. The records and writings about them could be biased as it was shown in the drama. So it was very interesting to see how Queen In Hyun was portrayed as a very righteous queen but she was also very tough on keeping her position and also even tried to take away Jang Ok Jung's son for herself. Choi Dong Yi was portrayed as scheming and sly as she tries to help Queen In Hyun and ruin Jang Ok Jung. Jang Ok Jung, in this drama has more sides than being the evil concubine and it shows that she also has a personality and it was a reason why she was favored. So it was a nice perspective to see compared to the other dramas about this love story.
A lot of people had complained saying that Jang Ok Jung was not like how she was portrayed in history in the first few episodes, but who knows how history was recorded? Jang Ok Jung was under political attack often and they show how she was portrayed as evil when she did not have those intentions. I thought this was very well done and allowed the audience to be put in a different perspective than how we are usually put. Great drama and the ending truly made me have all these emotions and it truly was an amazing experience watching this story unravel.