10 Historical K-Dramas you can’t afford to miss

If you’re fascinated by the magnetic charm of historical Korean dramas, you’re in luck. These shows provide a complex telling of political intrigue, stunning scenery, elaborate attire, and martial arts mastery. Here are 10 must-see historical K-Dramas that should be on your viewing radar.

My Dearest Part 1 & 2

10 Historical K-Dramas you can't afford to miss: My Dearest

One of the most well-received historical K-dramas in recent memory, My Dearest is set in a Joseon era marked by the devastating Qing invasion. My Dearest Part 1 introduces us to Lee Jang-Hyun (Namkoong Min), a man of enigma who emerges in high society. Though he exudes cheerfulness, his persona hides a labyrinth of dark secrets. His life takes a turn when he encounters Yoo Gil-Chae (Ahn Eun-Jin), a confident and radiant noblewoman.

Amidst the chaos of the Qing invasion, their love story flourishes, and both undergo significant personal growth. The sequel, My Dearest Part 2, is set to premiere on Oct 13, 2023.

Goryeo–Khitan War

This drama chronicles the life of King Hyeonjong of Goryeo (Kim Dong-Jun). He unifies his nation and triumphs over the Khitans. Assisted by his political mentor Gang Gam-chan (Choi Soo-Jong), the series is a tribute to strategic warfare and leadership. The show will air on KBS2 starting Nov 11, 2023, every weekend at 20:25 KST.

River Where the Moon Rises

This historical K-drama series reimagines the classic Goguryeo tale of love between Princess Pyeonggang (Kim So-Hyun) and On-Dal (Na In-Woo). Born a princess but raised as an assassin, Pyeonggang seeks to reclaim her throne from the clutches of corruption. On-Dal, a man of peace, finds himself compromising his values to protect the woman he loves, especially as they get entangled in a deadly struggle for power.

Poong, the Joseon Psychiatrist

Set in a Joseon-era mental clinic, this drama follows Yoo Se-Yeop (Kim Min-Jae), a brilliant royal physician who is banished due to a conspiracy. He finds solace and a new purpose in the idyllic Gyesu Village, where he meets Gye Ji-Han (Kim Sang-Kyung) and Seo Eun-Woo (Kim Hyang-Gi). Transforming into a healer of the mind, he writes prescriptions for happiness, making this series a unique take on mental health during ancient times.

Bossam: Steal the Fate

In this series, Ba-Woo (Jung Il-Woo) is a man of questionable morals, engaging in gambling, theft, and even bossam—a traditional remarriage ritual involving kidnapping a widow. His life takes a dramatic turn when he accidentally kidnaps Princess Soo-Kyung (Kwon Yuri), setting off a chain of events that involve political intrigue and hidden identities.


10 Historical K-Dramas you can't afford to miss: Hwarang

Queen Jiso (Kim Ji-Soo) has been ruling Silla, safeguarding her son Sammaekjong (Park Hyung-Sik) from potential threats. As he matures, the pressure mounts for her to relinquish power. To counteract the nobility’s growing influence, she forms the Hwarang, an elite group of young men sworn to protect the throne. Unbeknownst to them, their ranks include the hidden King and a commoner with an undiscovered secret.

Mr. Queen

10 Historical K-Dramas you can't afford to miss Mr. Queen

Jang Bong-hwan (Choi Jin-Hyuk), a modern-day chef, finds himself transported into the body of Queen Cheorin (Shin Hye-Sun) in the Joseon period. While navigating court politics and trying to return to his time, he discovers hidden facets of the King and other court members, adding layers of complexity to his already complicated situation. This hilarious historical K-drama should be on everyone’s watch list.


10 Historical K-Dramas you can't afford to miss: Kingdom

No list of the best Historical K-dramas is complete without Kingdom. Set in the Joseon Dynasty post-Imjin War, this series follows Crown Prince Lee-Chang who uncovers a horrifying zombie plague while investigating political unrest. The series evolves as he tries to save his kingdom from both the undead and political enemies, making it a must-watch for fans of horror and historical drama.

The King’s Affection

This Historical K-drama is set in an era when twins were considered a bad omen, a royal daughter is secretly sent away for her safety. Years later, Dam-Yi (Park Eun-Bin) returns to the palace, only to find her twin brother, Crown Prince Lee-Hwi, dead. She assumes his identity, complicating her life further when her first love, Jung Ji-Woon (Rowoon), becomes her royal tutor.

Royal Secret Inspector & Joy

Ra Yi-Eon (Taecyeon), a brilliant young man, dreams of opening a dumpling store but is roped into becoming a royal inspector due to his intellect. His life takes another twist when he meets Kim-Joy (Kim Hye-Yoon), a woman seeking to break societal norms and end her unhappy marriage. Their alliance forms the crux of the story, as they navigate through corruption and personal dilemmas.

Each of these historical K-Dramas offers a unique blend of storytelling, character development, and historical depth. Make sure to add them to your must-watch list!

Stay tuned for more K-Entertainment news, and check out these other articles in the meantime:

Read | The Ultimate K-Drama Binge List for October 2023

Read | Song of the Bandits review

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