I thought long and hard about whether to even bother translating the rest of the character descriptions provided by MBC for The Moon that Embraces the Sun (I’ve translated the ones for the leads of Hwon, Yeon Woo, and Yang Myung here already). But then I realized how complicated this story might get, and it’s always nice to have some background material before wading into the deep end. The characters descriptions all add up to massive spoilers as well, so that ought to satisfy folks dying to know tidbits of what’s to come.
The Mirror that Dreams about Becoming the Moon – Bo Kyung
Hwon’s Queen, the daughter of the Interior Minister Yoon Dae Hyung
Kind-hearted, with a gentle demeanor that treats everyone well. Commands great respect amongst the court officials. She does not begrudge Hwon for refusing to consummate their marriage to produce the next heir, instead letting out a quiet smile. But that is all a front by this woman: to gain the elders love, everyone’s respect, the royal family’s sympathy, a role in politics, all of this is something she worked hard to accomplish. The person responsible for turning an ordinary child that was Bo Kyung into this power hungry woman today is her father, Yoon Dae Hyung. She wanted to become the Crown Princess and be by Hwon’s side. With the death of Yeon Woo, this became a reality. It appears that lady luck is on her side. That is, until the moon appears…..
The Flame that has His Wing’s Clipped – Heo Yeom
The brother-in-law to the King, he is Hwon’s teacher, friend, and husband to his younger sister.
Possessing unsurpassed beauty, he was the idol of all the scholars during his Sungkyunkwan days. He was the top scholar to pass the civil service exam, a once-in-a-century genius (learning is so easy!). Of course he has his flaws. He’s stubborn and doesn’t know how to yield when necessary. He’s clueless about male-female relationships, and the person who suffers the most for this is Princess Minhwa. He was the top scholar at age 17, and promptly became the younger than himself by 2 years Crown Prince’s teacher. From then on, he experienced teacher-student appreciation, sovereign-subject understanding, and similar age friendship with Hwon. But….with the death of Yeon Woo….thus begins the tragedy. To this day he still berates and regrets being the link which brought Hwon and Yeon Woo together.
The Cloud that Contains the Rain – Woon
Full name Kim Ji Woon, a 23 year old young warrior, the number one fighter in Joseon, protecting Hwon by his side.
Whatever he does, it’s like a painting. His sharp eyes, high tipped nose, six foot height, and long arm span, he always stands silently besides Hwon. His every word has an impact. Having learned Joseon’s eight martial arts, he is the complete warrior package. When he was young, he was abused by his own mother, with a father that derided him as being low born. But oddly enough, from his father’s first wife, he receives affection. Together with Yeom and Yang Myung, he experiences deep friendship. But then….the woman who makes Woon become a man, Yeon Woo…..no, the shaman Wol….he begins to waver between his loyalty to his liege and his love for a woman.
Hwon and Yang Myung’s younger sister. Carefree and outgoing, she is beloved by everyone around her. When she was young, she fell in love with Yeom at first sight. After the death of Yeon Woo, she miraculously marries Yeom. But she always feels like she’s a burden on Yeom so she feels guilty. But even then, she does not regret it.
She was once a servant in the Heo family, but now she is warrior that guards the shaman Wol. Due to a random encounter with head shaman Jang Nok Young, she discovers the secret surrounding Yeon Woo’s death. She longs for the young master who named her Seol, Yeom, and she confides her feelings to Woon when they are in the Palace.
Minister Heo – Yeom and Yeon Woo’s father
A man of great learning and integrity, commanding the respect of everyone. He gained the trust of King Sungjo, which is also why he gained an enemy in Yoon Dae Hyung. He introduces Yeom to Yang Myung and Woon, allowing the boys to form a lifelong friendship. After the death of Yeon Woo, he falls into a grave illness.
Lady Shin – Yeom and Yeon Woo’s mother
She is referred to as a female Iljimae, with her generous heart. She is the mother to Yeom and Yeon Woo, and also the mother-in-law to Princess Minhwa. But when her only daughter and her husband passes away one after the other, she becomes a wilted flower. The only person to bring back her smile is Princess Minhwa.
Queen Yoon – mother to King Sungjo, grandmother to Hwon
She ruled behind the curtains for three years, until it was clear Hwon was ready to rule alone, and then she stepped aside. She is always looking to strengthen her relatives power at court. She is directly involved in the death of Crown Princess Yeon Woo.
He is a capable ruler and the father the Hwon and Yang Myung. Because of experience caused by the betrayal of his favorite brother Prince Uisung, he does not dare show love to his son Yang Myung even though he longs to. He is responsible for turning Hwon into a firm ruler with an iron grip on the throne.
Queen Han – wife to King Sungjo, mother to Hwon
Mother to Hwon, she is gentle and kind, the ideal Joseon woman. Because she does not come from a prominent family and has no aspirations to power, Yoon Dae Hyung pays her no heed. Her ideal Crown Princess for Hwon is Yeon Woo, but that does not come to fruition. Years later, when Hwon falls ill, she believes it is caused by the spirit of Yeon Woo refusing to depart. She suggests the Palace hold a ceremony to ease Yeon Woo’s spirit.
Yoon Dae Hyung
Hwon’s father-in-law. Coming from a prominent family, with his daughter the Queen and with the backing of Queen Yoon, he finally reaches the pinnacle of court power. But even that is not enough for him, someone who will never be satisfied with the thirst for power. He is always at odds with his son-in-law Hwon, so finally he reveals his trump card….
Head Shaman Lady Jang Nok Young
In charge of the royal astrology office and Joseon’s most powerful shaman. She possess all the files on the death of Crown Princess Yeon Woo. She has unmatched spiritual powers to curse anyone, so no one dares to oppose her. She aligns with Queen Yoon to save the royal astrology office from political strife.
Royal Consort Park – mother to Yang Myung
Mother to Prince Yang Myung, she is like Queen Han, having no political ambitions. She is quiet and gentle, and she worries about Yang Myung standing close to the edge of rebellion. It hurts her heart when she sees her son pretending to be dim in order to not attract anyone’s attention.
Eunuch Hyung Sun
Serving Hwon since he became Crown Prince, he was right there when Hwon’s first love happened. Now he can only sigh watching Hwon turn into a cold man after the death of Yeon Woo.