Looking for a new K-drama to bingewatch now that Her Private Life is over? Consider going back in time with Arthdal Chronicles, starring Descendants Of The Sun (DotS) heartthrob Song Joong-ki.
The Game Of Thrones-esque epic fantasy drama is seven years in the making, according to its writers Kim Young-hyun and Park Sang-yeon. It depicts the birth of civilisations and nations in ancient times, and tells the story of two mythical heroes from an ancient civilisation called “Arth” and the power struggles that ensue (with a bit of romance thrown in, of course).
The series premiered on Netflix on June 1, with new episodes coming out weekly. Without further ado, we break down six reasons why you should check it out:
The Korean dreamboat first made waves in 2016 when he starred in smash-hit TV drama Descendants Of The Sun and acted opposite Song Hye-Kyo, who he married in 2017. Since then, he’s acted and cameo-ed in a couple of movies.
Arthdal Chronicles is the actor’s comeback to the small screen, where he stars as Eunseon, a (mainly shirtless) tribe leader and warrior who has to defend his tribe from opposing tribes, while battling internally with his own identity.
2. The Rest Of The Cast Is Equally Stellar
Besides Joong-ki, the all-star cast consists of other top Hallyu stars, including DotS alumna Kim Ji-won, k-drama veteran Jang Dong-gun of A Gentleman’s Dignity (2012), and Kim Ok-vin who starred in Children Of A Lesser God (2018). You can expect great performances and chemistry between this talented group!
3. The Chemistry
No K-drama is complete without romance, and the chemistry is off the charts with the two leads, Joong-ki and Ji-won. Having both starred in DotS, it’s a reunion of sorts, and you can expect to see lots of adorable moments between the both of them. It will be interesting to see how their romance plays out, as they both play leaders from different tribes.
4. The Production Value
From the intricate costumes to spectacular battle scenes and cinematography, it’s clear that this series sets a new standard for historical dramas in the industry. Costing over 40 billion KRW (or over S$46 million), it’s one of the most expensive Korean dramas ever produced.
To put things into perspective, DotS only cost about S$15 million to make. For Arthdal Chronicles, they also filmed some scenes in Brunei, and created a special set just for the series. With such high production value, you can expect to be visually blown away with every episode.
5. It's The First K-Drama Set In Prehistoric Times
Until Arthdal Chronicles, there has never been a Korean drama series set in ancient times, specifically the GoJoseon period (2333 BCE-108 BCE). In fact, many people typically associate stories about ancient times from Greek or Roman myths of the West, claim the writers.
“We thought that Arthdal Chronicles would be a meaningful project by presenting legends about ancient heroes who look like us,” say Young-hyun and Sang-yeon.
6. It Showcases A Different Side Of Korea
As if you needed another reason to visit South Korea. Since it’s set in prehistoric times, reports say that the crew had to search for pristine, unspoiled locations to shoot in. From vast open plains to dense forests, it’s Korea like you haven’t seen it before.
7. There Are Already Three Seasons
Unlike US TV shows that can last up to 10 seasons or more, Korean dramas rarely run longer than one season. But that’s set to change with Arthdal Chronicles, which has already filmed three seasons, with a fourth reportedly on the way. Each season has six episodes.