Before the time humans controlled Earth, different tribes lived in Arth. Different tribes struggle for power in Arthdal. Eun Som (Song Joong Ki) is born to human and neanthal parents and he is predicted to bring a disaster to Arth.
Okay get ready because I think this is going to be a little longer than usual because of the plot and many characters we have in play here.
Firstly Arth consists of different tribes. Humans (I think they’re “regular” humans, kind of like our predecessors as the show refers to their tribe as ‘saram’ (사람) which literally does mean human), neanthals and other tribes. Neanthals are physically stronger than humans and they have blue blood, eyes and lips and they can dream. To gain more fertile land humans attack the neanthals and effectively wipe out the -almost- entire race. In this setting a human has a child with a neanthal, the child, an igutu, a half blood child, is named Eun Som.
Eun Som is born at the same time Azure Comet was visible. In a dream Aramun Haesulla, an ancient god, appears to Eun Som’s mother and tries to take him away. The two then set of to find Iark, a distant land where Arth gods can’t interfere.
In Iark a different tribe finds Eun Som and his mother passes. Years later, he is still living with the tribe. He has made a friend out of Tan Ya (Kim Ji Won), a woman also born at the time of the Azura Comet. She is destined to become their great mother, a leader who has predictive dreams.
Although Eun Som has been living peacefully in Iark for years, he doesn’t feel like he belongs there. He is bothered by his mother’s last words that he must leave Iark.
One day the human tribe decides that despite wiping out the neanthals, they still don’t have enough workers or land. They send Tagon (Jang Dong Gun, [young Tangon acted by One]), the man who led the hunt against the neanthals to take control of Iark.
Tagon and his troops find Iark and the set of to conquer the land and its people. The peace loving tribes don’t stand a chance against humans with weapons and horses, but Eun Som starts to fight back against the people who destroyed his tribe and tried to take Tan Ya, the one person always on his side.
As probably visible from my long explanation, Arthdal Chronicles doesn’t exactly have the most basic plot. This actually is one of its most strongest points. Despite the numerous tribes and characters in the story, Arthdal Chronicles is very well and carefully built. All the characters are well explained and the viewer is brought into the mysterious and interesting world or Arth very well.
The acting, special effects and set are well made and fit this extraordinary story. I have to say that especially the writing seems to be done very well. Although I don’t really care for the hinted romance between Eun Som and Tan Ya, the tribes, their different characteristics and their interactions are very well thought through and play out well together.
Despite romance and fantasy, I can’t ignore the fact that Arthdal Chronicles’ bad guys are humans. Humans are destroying different tribes, different species and their planet for more power. This is also heartbreakingly brought to life in the drama.
For now I don’t have anything negative to say about Arthdal Chronicles as a series. If I can have one complaint, it is the fact that the drama is divided into three “seasons”, each to my understanding 6 episodes long. The two first seasons are going to air back to back but the last 6 episodes will air later in the fall. I seriously can’t understand the reason for this as the drama is very addicting and I can’t wait for the plot to develop more.