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K-Drama Premiere: “The King: Eternal Monarch” Embarks On An Intriguing Blend Of Science Fiction, Supernatural Elements & Engaging Romance Story

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Commencing to an inviting story of a hero, who stumbled on another world connected but not similar to his, The King: Eternal Monarch reigns right away with an extraordinary premise.

Finally making its eagerly-awaited launch, The King: Eternal Monarch registered double-digit ratings on its premiere week. According to Nielsen, the series scored 10.1, 11.4, 8.4 and 11.6 ratings on its first four episodes. Notably, the viewership scores attest to the series being worthy of the hype it has been getting.

The King Eternal Monarch

Premiere Week Rating:

Hinted fantasy elements adorning the parallel universe theme of the Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun starrer added an incurable hook to the series so far. For its opening week, the drama already established the integral back stories and the division of contending characters that will move between two alternate realms.

The King Eternal Monarch

Premiere Week Recap

Kingdom of Corea

In the winter of 1994, young Crown Prince Lee Gon witnessed his father brutally killed by his uncle Lee Lim. Furious, he lifts his father’s sword and strikes it wounding his uncle, who subconsciously used a revered wooden flute to shield him. The flute was sliced into two leaving Lee Lim angry at his nephew.

Lee Lim strangles and wounds his nephew’s young body mercilessly. Almost at the last thread of his life, a masked man came to young Lee Gon’s aid. Single-handedly subduing his uncle’s loyal force, the alarm for reinforcement was finally triggered.

Luckily escaping the scene, Lee Lim goes to the nearby forest with half of the wooden flute. He follows a strange flute sound and mysteriously vanishes. Later, he emerges at a new world escaping the crime he commits in the Kingdom.

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A few years later, Lee Gon lives a busy life as the King of Kingdom of Corea. He tends to governance issues, reads fairy tales to children and even participates on rowing competition. But for the last 25 years, he survives in the hope of meeting his savior. With an ID card in his possession, fate finally favored him with a fortunate meeting with the woman pictured on the identification card.

The King Eternal Monarch

Republic of Korea

When Lee Lim crossed the portal to a new dimension, his nimble mind deduced that the new world he entered has the same people living in his own world, albeit different situations. Stumbling on his brother’s counterpart, he heads to where they live and find his counterpart bound on a wheelchair living a poor life. He kills his counterpart and his brother’s son who just came back from school.

For the next 10 years, Lee Lim blends in the new world he discovered. In the Kingdom he left behind, it was presumed that he died. But his loyal retainer who patiently waited for him, believes otherwise. Interestingly, his counterpart in the Republic also becomes Lee Lim’s loyal right hand man.

The fated meeting

Keeping his life savior in his heart, Lee Gon chases after almost anyone who looks like the woman in his recollection. That leads him to track a suspicious person wearing a rabbit hoodie while he preps up for his horseriding session.

He follows the person to the nearby bamboo forest until he hears a strange flute sound. Manifesting a change to the environment, Lee Gon spots the same door his uncle saw 10 years ago. Like his uncle, he crosses to a new dimension.

The King: Eternal Monarch

Suiting up like fairytale’s “prince charming” while riding a handsome white horse, King Lee Gon joins the traffic flow in Republic of Korea. Lieutenant Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) notices the commotion and apprehends the man riding a horse in a congested road.

When Lee Gon meets Jung Tae Eul’s eyes, he warms up and pulls her closer for an embrace. Flustered at the stranger’s greeting, she lectures him of all the violations he committed. They then proceed to the police station for questioning.

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The woman he wants to become his queen

While Lee Gon already realized his intrusion to a world he does not belong, Tae Eul finds his quantum physics stories absurd. Unable to locate his identity through basic ways, she was left with no choice but to let go of Lee Gon until the DNA result can clear everything.

Quick-witted, Lee Gon pawns a diamond button from his jacket to get money and sustain his lavish lifestyle at a hotel. He also forces Tae Eul to tend to his horse Maximus. Jo Eun Sup (Woo Do Hwan) who is his right hand in the Kingdom, also belongs to the same police force as Tae Eul. Lee Gon forces him to be his lackey in the Republic world.

The King: Eternal Monarch

While awaiting at the result of Lee Gon’s DNA test, Tae Eul and his team work on a murder case. In the mean time, Lee Gon, who is an expert on studying, familarizes himself with the history and current events of the parallel world he discovered.

However, as he is keen to entrench his presence to Tae Eul’s life, Lee Gon continues to pester her with trivial things. Trying to assert that he came from another world, Tae Eul remains unyielding to believe his ideas. She argues that the ID he found could not have been available at a time when she was five years old.

To make Tae Eul even lose her wits, Lee Gon bargains another please-believe-me-plead by declaring he will take her as his Queen.

The King: Eternal Monarch

Premiere Week Afterthoughts

Lee Min Ho fan treat

I bet fans of Lee Min Ho are still popping champagne bottles celebrating his small screen comeback. Because hey, we really missed his presence in K-Dramaland.

The premiere episodes of The King: Eternal Monarch had a surplus of fan service moments for his fans. It  gave glorious pictures of Lee Min Ho as one of fan favorite K-Drama dream boys.

From riding a horse a la prince charming; adorably reading fairytale story to children; and flexing his well-toned body through boat rowing, the series smartly capitalized on his otherworldly handsome features.

The King: Eternal Monarch

Jampacked engrossing plot

Appearing to be on a fast pace, the story seems ready to accelarate the romance plot especially since the male lead is vocal to his intention to reign on Tae Eul’s heart. Interestingly, it would be nice how Tae Eul’s unbending convictions would relent to Lee Gon’s sci-fi backed-up arguments and mushy lines in the future.

For hopeless romantics, a you-and-me-against-our-parallel-worlds theme definitely spells heaven. If it is backed up by Kim Go Eun’s unfazed attitude and Lee Min Ho’s utterly melting gazes plus sweet comments, nothing else matters. *wink

Switching between the Kingdom and the Republic will be a challenge for impatient viewers. But so far, the concoction of fantasy and realistic elements make the series engaging. Presenting the overview of the narrative, there are sure wide array of directions the plot can go to.

Writer Kim Eun Sook is known for creating iconic bromance line. She is so much welcome to expound on that Lee Min Ho and Woo Do Hwan connection, and make it even more abundant.

Another of her signature art is reflected on the main villain’s sketch. Lee Jung Jin’s heartless antihero role is palpable and annoyingly effective. That I worry about the Herculean tasks Lee Gon and Jung Tae Eul are bound to face.

Plot Details on Parking Lot

Who is the man from the future who saved young Lee Gon? That’s probably one of the key plot twist to look forward to in the drama. How will Tae Eul’s Kingdom counterpart play in the story?

The preview of Tae Eul and Lee Lim’s police investigation scene is sure another cryptic clue that would be answered in later episodes. Additionally, the hinted power accumulated by Lee Lim and Lee Gon when the magical flute was broken aid to the expected climactic confrontation between them in the future.

Is Lee Gon’s Republic counterpart really dead? Or did he survive somehow?

The King: Eternal Monarch

The King: Eternal Monarch is available on Netflix.

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Images Credit To: MYM Entertainment | Netflix | SBS

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