Currently Watching; Hwarang (화랑)

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During the Kingdom of Silla a queen is the regent to the king. She is hiding her son and reigning all power. Now she wants to create Hwarang; a group of beautiful elite youngsters who will give their lives for their country and king.

First off Hwarang’s first episode was bad. Really bad. There was nothing interesting in it and it seems like all the makers wanted people to know of the drama was that it starred some handsome people and that they were privileged. There was nothing interesting in the story and no depth. It was shallow and ridiculous. The second, third, and fourth episodes gave us some background but it wasn’t until the fifth and sixth episode when this drama actually started to seem like a drama.

To make a long story short, Hwarang had an unprecedentedly long start before it actually became interesting.


“Hwarang. Men as beautiful as flowers. Regardless of genealogy, these loyal commanders will lay down their lives for the nation and its people. These wise and benevolent commanders will ensure the future of Silla. They will receive the people’s adoration and respect. They will be beautiful and special.”

Let’s meet the flower knights.

Our main character is Moo Myung (Park Seo Joon). He sneaked in to the capital with his friend and is now living with the name Sun Woo. He has a fake father and sister and in order to protect them he agrees to becoming a Hwarang. There is a mystery surrounding his past.

 

 

 

Our second lead is the secretive king (Park Hyung Shik) whose face no one knows. He joined Hwarang in order to spite his mother the queen. He wants to rise to his throne and change his country. He falls in love with Sun Woo’s (fake)sister.

 

My favorite Hwarang Soo Ho Rang (Choi Min Ho from Shinee) is a son of a high official who is loyal to the queen. He is a known flirt who loves women. His nemesis is Ban Ryu Rang. The two often get in to fights and love to compete with each other.

 

 

Ban Ryu Rang (Do Ji Han) is also popular with the women despite his cold character. He is the son of a nobleman but the adopted son of a man who wants to be the king. (What would a historical drama be without someone who wants to be the king..?) Ban Ryu Rang believes in social classes and upholding them so naturally he hates Sun Woo who is from a lover class. He loves to fight and compete with Soo Ho Rang.

 

 

Yeo Wool Rang (Jo Yoon Woo) is described as the most beautiful man in Silla who bewitches both men and women with his looks. His favorite pastime is watching others fight.

 

 

These five above are roommates in the Hwarang house (yes, they all live together) and they have to eat, sleep and bathe with each other. Naturally, as they’re each others’ enemies and love rivals this creates some friction and fighting (which I love).

Honestly, the reason this series is interesting is because of these guys. I love the friendly fighting Soo Ho and Ban Ryu have going on. I believe all of these guys will have amazing bromances going on and that seems more interesting than the romance…

 

There’s one more Hwarang worth naming at this point and that is Han Sung Rang (V from BTS). He has a half-brother who looks after him despite the fact that they’re from different social classes. I hope that we’ll see the two brothers come together!

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Silla is divided and ruled with a clear hierarchy between people. At the top is the queen and the “True Bones” who hold the power. The people can also be separated by their loyalty; to the queen, those opposing her and those in the middle.

The True Bones (many of the Hwarangs are True Bones) are scheming men who try to put their own man on the throne. They love hierarchy and believe that only the strong can rule. Peasants, like Sun Woo, are at the bottom and worthless to them.

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Our female lead Ah Ro (Go Ah Ra) is the sister of Sun Woo and half a True Bone. She works many jobs in order to pay debts; she tells R-rated stories and works as a doctor. She is a brave and bright lady who teaches her brother everything he needs and loves him (maybe more than she should).

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Her and Sun Woo’s father is a doctor in the capital named Ahn Ji Gong (Choi Won Young). He used to be the lover of the queen but after they broke up she married the queen and punished him by sending his son and wife away from him.

Now on to the romances.

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It looks like the main romance will be between the fake sibling pair Sun Woo and Ah Ro. In my opinion I would like them to just be real brother and sister. It would be nice to see a drama revolve around siblings.

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The king is also in love with Ah Ro. I don’t see the chemistry here and believe me when I say that this romance would never work for many reasons.


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So what’s Hwarang’s pull? Bromance.

The cast is built off flower men (seems wrong to call them flower boys). In my opinion some of them aren’t so good-looking but for Min Ho I’ll forgive this. We have big names from Shinee and BTS so that is sure to pull more fangirls (like me) to the screen also Lee Kwang Soo made a long cameo. Like many others I’m looking forward to the friendships and bromance more than the romance in this drama.

Read the review for the drama here.

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