Queen: Love and War is an ongoing Korean historical drama that airs every Saturday and Sunday. It started broadcasting on December 14th of 2019, and it will have a total of sixteen episodes. Sypnosis: Kang Eun Bo is on a mission to find the person that murdered her twin sister. She vows to bring whoever it is to justice. But during the Joseon Dynasty era (1392-1910), the only woman with the power to order a manhunt for a murderer is the Queen. So Kang Eun Bo resolves to become Queen. To do so, she must first win the heart of King Lee Kyung. After entering the palace as a candidate for the position of queen, Kang Eun Bo discovers that winning the king’s favour will not be easy. The royal court is already filled with beautiful young women who hope to marry the king. But when the king suddenly realizes that he recognizes Kang Eun Bo from a dream, the two begin to form an unlikely bond.
English subbed episodes of this show are available on Viki 👉🏼 Queen: Love and War on Viki
My Expectations: I do not expect much from the series because I initially did not plan to watch it. Viki kept on promoting it, so I decided to check it out and know what the push was all about. My only prayer is that they will not make me spend hours watching sixteen episodes of the antagonists consistently winning and then give me a rushed finale. Please be good 🙏🏼🙏🏼
(warning – spoilers ahead)
Honestly, I will have to say that as of now, there is nothing special about this drama. It is pretty much the standard Sageuk formula with revenge, political fights and the constant kdrama cliche of childhood romance. The murder mystery is the only thing keeping me glued. The first two episodes were just there, but by the third one, the story started picking up.
Okay, let me backtrack a little bit. I absolutely love the one-minute intro for this drama, most notably the soundtrack that plays during that time. I was thoroughly entranced by it. I also love the costume colours. Historical series are always a beauty to watch because of the colours and elegance.
Now the timeline arrangement in the first few minutes of episode one was quite confusing, but I knew that there was going to be a flashback that will provide an explanation. So that was not much of an issue. One thing I noticed is that everyone related to the palace has a hidden agenda, and they are all scheming towards achieving their plans. A few still have their mask on (cough)😶 – Lee Jae Hwa. Even Eun Gi was aware that the girl the king met was her twin sister, but yet she went along with his assumption. It was still sad that she died, but she was also not truthful.
In the first two episodes, Lee Kyung came off as a very naive ruler. By openly showing his affection for a candidate before the final stage, he had already put her life in danger. Also, he made promises without making plans that ensured his word. Thankfully, he has learnt, and we can see him showcases his tricks and brains in court. I hope that he gets more people on his side soon and that he actually succeeds in protecting Eun Bo this time around. Another thing – the gunshot to the king’s head, did it actually go through or was it just a graze. I am trying not to question it, but that plotline is kind of questionable because I am not sure of how deep the injury was.
Anyways, I think Lee Jae Hwa might be the gunman that shot Eun Bo’s twin sister. He is sketchy, I do not like two-faced individuals. And I am so not looking forward to the love triangle that is about to go down. Love triangles drain my energy.
Lastly, am I the only one that feels like the synopsis for this drama does not exactly go in sync with the story that has been shown so far. It does not mention that Eun Bo’s twin sister was the queen. I guess that was left out to prevent spoilers, but it also goes on to state that the King is not interested in romance. Hmmm, and apparently he sees Eun Bo in his dreams. Is that not their memory together as children? This is not important, it is just something I noticed.
Character Analysis: I am going to touch on the characters that stood out to me so far, and I will address the others in due time.
- Jin Se Yeon as Kang Eun Bo/Kang Eun Gi This is my third drama with Ji Se Yeon in a lead role. I previously saw her in The Bridal Mask and Doctor Stanger, but I still have not gotten a real taste of her acting skills. So far, she is doing a great job in this series, and her character seems very promising. As Eun Gi, she was soft-spoken and very gentle, but as Eun Bo, she has high energy and is quite street smart. Also, I think her connections with the investigation agency might be of great aid to her as queen. She will need all the support she can access. I admire the fact that she does not act rashly based on her doubts concerning the King. She actually investigates. I hope she stops believing everything that Baek Ja Yong tells her. He is using her to achieve his goals. I know this will be a cause for conflict at some point.
- Kim Min Kyu as Lee KyungYes he does start off a bit naive and weak. But if he continues to keep up and improve on the momentum from episodes three and four, he might turn out to be a solid character. I appreciate his zeal to rule his nation in the right way and serve his people as a ruler should. Unfortunately, with all the forces against him in court, there will be a long fight to achieve that ideal. I was so angry when they showed how he was threatened as a kid to sign the petition against Eun Bo’s father. That is just brutal, so his revenge should take up the same energy. Also, I think he signed the letter with the wrong character because Eun Bo kept on looking at it suspiciously, but we will see how things go. All the same, he needs to learn how to conceal his intentions more and start working towards getting trustworthy people to his side.
- Do Sang Woo as Lee Jae HwaLike I already mentioned, I do not appreciate this character so far. Yes, he is kind to Eun Bo and always saves her, but the fact that he is plotting something unknown and pretends to be someone else really throws me off. What if he actually turns out to be the gunman that killed Eun Gi?… Ooo, the betrayal. Now he is already in love with Eun Bo, but she is going to be Queen. That will only cause him to want the throne more, which means he might not stay nice for too long. I know that some people already caught the “second lead syndrome,” but I am so not going down that lane. I can clearly see where this boat is sailing to. I hope he surprises me because, so far, I do not have a good impression of Lee Jae Hwa.
- Uhm Hyo Sub as Baek Ja YongStarting out this drama, I had a feeling that he was not wholly trustworthy. This actor tends to take on villain roles, so I did not believe the act, but I still gave him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, I was right. He is so manipulative. I think he was manipulating Eun Bo’s father as well, but there is no proof of that yet. He does not care for Eun Bo’s safety, all that matters is the power to make the change he desires. Why does he withhold the whole truth from her? He picks the parts that suit the narration to entice her, so annoying.
- Jung Ae Ri as Queen Dowager Her character is kind of intriguing. She certainly was not pleased about Lee Kyung being alive. At the same time, she does things that may look like she supports the king. My opinion is that her agenda is to fight against the Queen’s clan. Basically, she is willing to do anything to stop the Kim clan from gaining more control in court. Even if it means killing her grandson, who holds blood relations with them. I am excited to see how her character evolves and what her actual intentions are.
Although Queen: Love and War did not provide a solid premiere, it does have the potential to get better. So I will be looking forward to more episodes.
What do you all think of the series so far?