Joo Jin Mo is Put Out of His Empress Ki Misery as Wang Yoo Gets Killed Off with One Episode Left

It’s time for me to finally finally say goodbye to the now completely ape-shit bizarre sageuk drama that is Empress Ki. The only main character left in the drama that is decent and upstanding and kindhearted has just gone to the great sageuk death party in the sky. With just one episode left until it wraps up tomorrow with episode 51, EK decided to give Joo Jin Mo an early vacation start and killed off his King Wang Yoo character in the most deflating and pointless way possible. Of all the three leads, he’s the one that held my sympathies from the very beginning all the way until even when the drama plot went to pot at least his character remained sane and consistent. Ha Ji Won‘s Seung Nyang was very awesome in the beginning but towards the end she reaped what she sowed while Ji Chang Wook‘s Ta Hwan was a sniveling whiner from the get-go who got mildly palatable in the middle only to devolve into pure rapey drugged out loon with moments of clarity.

This drama promised an epic love triangle and delivered one of the worst love triangles I’ve ever seen. The chemistry was there both ways but one side got narratively cockblocked while the other side got character assassinated. I’m glad EK got no nominations at the Baeksang Awards except for Baek Jin Hee‘s delightfully entertaining supporting character of Empress Tanasiri. This was one drama that failed so miserably in the second half it needs to slink away into the night tomorrow and disappear from the collective consciousness. When Queen Seondeok decided to throw historical accuracy to the wind and let the crazy flag fly, it did so as fanservice and kept the audience happy. I don’t think anyone can be happy with watching Wang Yoo die in a lame way and Ta Hwan acting like an insecure tyrant. I’m pretty sure Ta Hwan is dying tomorrow as well and the drama will end will Empress Ki all alone and ruling the nation. Oh yay. *snerks*


Joo Jin Mo is Put Out of His Empress Ki Misery as Wang Yoo Gets Killed Off with One Episode Left — 81 Comments

  1. I’m glad that I didn’t invest all my time into this drama. I did start watching here and there and it got really addicting but half way through the drama the story went CRAZY!!! They better kill Toghon!!!

  2. I am so glad I didn’t watch this one. The cast was good, but I was afraid it might be extended 20 episodes (I’ve been burned before) and I would go mad! Enjoyed reading this, however, and want you to know that I feel your pain.

  3. HJW deserved to be in the list of nominees for best actress.You’re entitled to your opinion but as for me the cast of Empress Ki did a great job especially HJW.Empress Ki fighting.

    • The drama is not good. But the acting is daebak. HJW, JJM, and the rest of supporting actors save this drama. Imagine if they casted group of inexperienced actors to act in this drama. HJW (despite of the inconsistent character) and JJM (despite of the little screen time) managed to pull out the character to be believable.

    • In my opinion, Empress Ki, is one of the best dramas I’ve seen. Ha Ji Won and others did a great performance. It will continue to be a favorite.

  4. I am so confused. Did she have her coronation as Empress? Because Wong Yoo was there, in the first scene of the first episode as she gets crowned. What the hell?

    • I was wondering this myself. I had to stop watching when they started wasting the talents of Joo Jin Mo (that is a crime), but how does the show explain that opening scene of him walking off after seeing her get the crown? Is that all going to be some figment of her imagination?

    • I hope someone answers this, Bianca, because I am curious, too. I checked out after they started to completely waste the talents of Joo Jin Mo, so maybe I missed something. Or maybe that whole scene was her imagining that she could see him and he walks away in her mind . . .?

      • It can’t be her imagination. We see Wang Yoo talking to the Emperor alone, and we see a servant telling her that he left. Not to mention that Ta Hwan seemed happy with her at the coronation, but that is less likely to happen now that he know the truth. I think the drama just screwed up, which is a shame because the middle portion episodes of it were so good!

      • did you finish the whole drama? The first scene from the first episode is not Wang Yu’s imagination. It is the wedding as well as coronation of Nyang in becoming the Empress of Yuan. The first empress Danashiri was deposed, the second empress Bayan was also deposed, that’s why the Emperor is marrying Nyang as she is the chosen consort. Also, at that time, Wang Yu is already married to El Temur’s niece.

    • WY was still alive at the moment of her coronation and it was shown in ep50 .. he had to die afterwards .. and for JJM he´s a great Actor but beeing kinda the only “fictional” chara in a Drama that´s based on real history don´t make it easy to give him more screentime .. after all the Drama is about E.Ki and she lived her live in the palace with Tahwan … but still his death was as Koala said just pointless (at least for me … )

  5. nooooo TH will not die!
    i have no interest in this drama until you recomend it!
    hahahahaha things of life!
    i get so inmerse in this, and so in love with TH character in the first half… that im watching this only to know how will it end…
    it is a shame that writers ruin it!
    forever my fav character is TH and i hoping a happy ending! or somebody tell me the adress of the writer to throw them tomatos and ease my fury!

  6. I don’t think this drama is a fail. Some plots didn’t go the way I wanted but I was entertained and the cast did a fantastic job. The actor who played El Temur should get something. It’s a shame that only the popular younger actors get recognized at award shows. This is the 2nd sageuk that I’ve finished and I didn’t think that i would stick around until the last ep.

  7. I personally feel HJW deserves to be in the list. Her performance is awesome in EK even if its no longer exciting to watch….that got nothing to do with her. She did her best imo.

    Oh well, am looking forward to her next movie and hopefully another drama…go EK team ..fighting!

  8. Once the kid died I knew Wang Yoo was going to soon…I totally expect Ki to reign as regent and since I ship Nyang/Tal Tal…

    I think HJW is doing a good job with the script

  9. Good thing I stop watching this or else I’ll be pulling my hair out and crying out of anger. Maybe I will watch the ending just because…to see Empress Ki going into looney town.

  10. I gave up watching long time ago but just read recap to make sure I did not miss anything. This show reminds me of What happens in Bali acted by Ha Ji Won when all of them died in the final episode. I felt so cheated by the writer. And this show is quite similar with that show when majority of the main casts died. I also did not understand why the writer killed the character of Maha and Wang Yoo 🙁

  11. I gave up watching long time ago but just read recap to make sure I did not miss anything. This show reminds me of What happens in Bali acted by Ha Ji Won when all of them died in the final episode. And this show is quite similar with that show when majority of the main casts died. I also did not understand why the writer killed the character of Maha and Wang Yoo 🙁

  12. How could it start out so promising between HJW and JJM and the writers NOT capitalize on it?

    I do wonder what he thinks of his part. He’s a class act so we will never hear anything bad from his lips…Still he must be disappointed.

    HJW still looks ama-zi-zing after all those weeks. If she does a drama in the next two years, I hope she does a K2H type – romance and action. That is where she shines.

  13. I enjoyed every episode of EK, every story arc. There wasn’t any slow episode for me or an episode that wasted my time. The cliffhangers at the end of almost every episode made sure that I went straight to the next (I started watching EK only after ep. 47 aired and have caught up.) I haven’t watched ep. 50 but am not surprised WY died. He was first and last a sad character so his death is in line with the story. I would still highly recommend this drama.

    • I agree I love this show to the bits. I love TH (JCW) and SY (HJW) everybody has their opinion but bashing the leading actor JCW becouse he stole the attention and screen time from JJM is realy lame. What about JJH that stole every girls heart (TAlTAl) I am glad I watched this show and I will rewatch it again and again. The best drama since BFF.

      • I beg your pardon, who has been bashing who? JCW has been bashed? are you kidding? Go look out for the rude and uncalled for remarks made by JCW fans on JJM all of the place, esp at the Soompi thread. JCW stole the attention? Whose attention did he steal, definitely not mine as Ive ff all his scenes. JCW is the leading actor? Possible he has been given that label after all the manipulation done back door.

    • Totally agree with you on the storyline. Even though it was loosely based on a historical figure, they had to stay with some facts – WY was fictional, thus his end was doomed. However tragic the story is depicted, Empress Ki’s character in this drama was one of protecting those she loved, sacrificially, over and over again. Ha Ji Won was fabulous!

  14. I’m a bit sad that the drama wont end the way i wanted (i wanted ek and wy to be tgther since according to history she went missing aft ayu became took the throne). I didnt think that the way how wy died was a crazy ass move by the writers. Th probably wanted no one else to know that wy and ek had a child togther. We have to remember that during that time, a woman’s chasity is very important before marriage. And she’s the nation’s empress, if any news was released to the public, it could very well end in ayu and ek being thrown out of the palace. Tbh, i think the writers shldnt have dragged out the tanshiri storyline too much eventhough kor loved her character. It made the latter part short and seemed underdeveloped.

  15. ARRGHHH!!!! I don’t usually leave comments but I hated the second half of this drama so much that I have the need to vent…….I checked this drama out due to Koala’s recommendation and I fell in love with the WY-SN OTP right away and enjoyed the first 21 episodes immensely. I loved WY(how can you not love a king who is heroic, noble, unselfish, intelligent, passionate and just all round awesome) but could not stand TH (why anybody could like a whiny, childish, useless, obsessive and just plain annoying king is beyond me) – No doubt this comment will attract lot of hate mail…..

    The writers also killed any love I had for SN after she became LK. I’m glad I stopped watching at episode 25 but regret following the drama’s news over the net in the hope that WY would get a better deal towards the end. RIP WY and I hope to forever erase this drama from my memory!!!!

    • It was a complete waste of my time.stopped watching after the first half and only read episodes recaps but i would still get annoyed by just reading them. It made me wonder if the writer would write parts after taking 5 bottles of soju i mean dint he realise its was so terrible

  16. I personally like this drama, and will be added EK in my favorite list. Yes, this drama has a rollercoaster journey, upsetting moments, and became unpredictable in terms of how the story goes, but that’s the beauty of watching drama… If the story is so predictable, where anyone can guess how it’ll go, then I must say that the writer is failed to deliver good scenario… but this is just my humble opinion, though…. I give my two thumbs up for all people involved in this production……

  17. the story went downhill, yes, you can blame the writers. But it has nothing to do with the actors and actresses. They have done their best to portray their roles despite the illogical/senseless/sloppy writing. If it weren’t them, i doubt the ratings would be high. Its reasonable to not have EK being nominated as Best Drama/Best director/best scriptwriter, but to dismiss the actor and actress’s amazing acting is not right just because of the script turned bad. Look at the list of nominees of Baeksang, and views can easily tell some of them don’t even performed as good as the EK leads.

  18. Yeah, for woman power (snerks)!!
    I know it would be tragic, but I wished at the end she can be together with someone till old. But the writers kill off every male characters in the drama.

  19. It’s scary how right you were. It really was just her in the end – they killed off all the male characters who were at her side. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say she had off’d them herself.

  20. You are way too harsh, the characters were perfectly realistic. Unlike all the other brain candy dramas out there that relies on picturesque, idealized stock characters to gain the appeal of the masses, the script writers for this drama actually tried to diversify their characters by giving them varying levels of qualities and flaws. Not all protagonists can be cookie-cutter heroes that are strong, intelligent, suave, righteous, and morally infallible all at once. Ji Chang Wook was brilliant in his portrayal – just because he wasn’t the typical assertive Mary Stu doesn’t make his performance any less praise-worthy. This drama definitely had its shortfalls, especially by spending way too much time with villains El Temur and Tanashiri and cramming the rest of Empress Ki’s much more eventful life in the last few episodes, but overall it is commendable.

    • Agreed. Acting was amazing. Really despised the bad people and fell in love with the good people. Can’t fault the actors because we hate their characters. We should praise them because that’s the way we are supposed to feel if they did a good job. And we can’t fault the actors because we didn’t like the script. I’m just watching this drama now. I’m on episode 26 and I don’t know if I want to continue watching. I fell in love with empress ki and wang yoo and don’t think I can sit through over 20 episodes where they don’t have any more moments together. It’s breaking my heart, especially because I now know how it ends. Heartbreaking

  21. Agree w/ everything you’ve. Its good that JJM is finally released from his misery as Wang Yoo, from a miserable drama. The drama started so well and then went all way down. The poor script have been blamed. H/w to me TH is the weakest link and JCW execution of this char has make it worse and is the main issue. His excessive gestures, whether its prancing, pacing, moaning really makes it a tuned off. Over the top screen time, over the top time to give away his flaws. Kdramas has been here for a while and there are more outrageous characters than that of TH portrayed in other dramas. H/w Ive enjoyed watching many of those supposed ridiculous chars, warts and all, as they are well acted out.

    • I wanted to write a long reply but I don’t think you deserve this much consideration.
      Bitterness is what drives you to spout such nonsense. Unhappy over the fact JJM didn’t get the attention you think he deserves, unhappy that he wasn’t the main attraction of the drama. Things didn’t go your way so your throw a fit. You take your anger out on the poor JCW who is just doing his job as an actor (a terrific job btw) because you feel he stole the spotlight away from your fav star. Simple as that. One word : pathetic. Happy bashing and trolling. JJM would be so proud of you :/

      • Saying JCW is doing a terrific job is not nonsense. Saying he does not act well is nonsense. Isnt this nonsense reasoning. Am I not entitled to an opinion. Does an opinion amount to bashing? why should I be unhappy that JJM didn’t get attention. I’m extremely happy in the real whether JJM get attention or not. By the way, I’m not a JJM fan as its first time I meet him on screen. I don’t invest my precious time “bashing”, “trolling” anyone Ive not even spoke with or met. There are better things to do. Im commenting on a drama. If anyone does well, I’ll say so. If anyone does not do so well in my opinion I’ll speak up too. Anyway, “poor JCW” must be over the moon knowing that someone here stands up for him for being “bashed”. Keep up your good work.

      • Really, it’s called an opinion. This person was just expressing their opinion. Calm down.

  22. this drama was good. only thing i dont like is how the writer kill both man off. these kind o ending always make me so mad at the writer.
    love all the scene between JCW&HJW. they make a great couple.

  23. Saying that JCW did a terrific job is not nonsense. Saying he did not do as well is nonsense. Isnt this a nonsense reasoning. Am I not entitle to an opinion. Is an opinion considered bashing. Im not a JJM fan and its the first time I meet him on EK screen. Im extremely happy in the real whether JJM gets or not get screen time.I don’t waste time “bashing” trolling over someone Ive not spoken to or met. Ive better things to do. Im commenting on a drama. If its done well Ill say so. If its not so well done I speak up too. Its that simple.

  24. Thank you for the article. For me, the best thing of this drama is JJM. It is really too bad that his talents got wasted in the show.

  25. Joo jin mo is the reason i followed up w EK in the first place n i think he did a great portrayal of a nobel king…having little screen time didnt bother me much…cz first he proved that giving the best at ur acting doesnt necessarily involve having much screen time(quality is what matters) 2nd little screen time always kept me anticipated and looking forward for him to show up n just amaze me with his powerful presence…even a minute of jjm acting is worth while!

    • I live in the US and this is the first foreign show I have ever watch. I was hooked because of JJM. I saw some of the scenes on FB recently. And I just had to watch this show. Wang Yu was my character. The man suffered so much. He went through hell being dethroned losing his true love not once but twice and then his child. He fought with his men in battle and didn’t back down . He saved the emperor life so many times helped the emperor country from famine. How does the emperor repaid him by killing him. He couldn’t handle know he was her second choice. Wang Yu would have took Maha secret to the grave.

  26. JJM was the only saving grace of EK. I like HJW’s acting but her character started to piss me off after she became a consort. i didn’t watch all the episodes, but i did watch all of WY’s parts. had WY been killed earlier i would’ve completely forgotten about EK. it did have a few good things but the writers didn’t know how to develop them until the end. I ended up hating every character except for WY and the Koryeo team. JJM was the perfect Wang Yoo and I became a die hard fan of his after watching him in EK. King Wang Yoo will always be one of the greatest characters ever created.

  27. Especially towards the end, it was hard to decide if the blame was on the scripwriters or on JJM as an actor – or more probably both parties were guilty of making Wang Yoo such an unbelievable character. But again, most series and movies I’ve watched so far with JJM, oh my, I know he can be a good actor, but it certainly doesn’t happen that often.

  28. I finished the whole 51 eps. Had to say I am disappointed. This story has so much promise from beginning to mid but afterward it went south all the way. The love between HJW and JCW character was realistic since there was so much effort from beginning to mid for HJW to stay with JJM. JCW was one of the most useless character ever created; through ut the show he didn’t do a single things beside crying to HJW. JJM character became useless after mid he is so much less then a supporting character. There is no real LOVE TRIANGLE; HJW just stock JCW and can break free and JJM just sit there and watch them and do nothing about it. Such a wasted of potential with so much promise from beginning to mid.

    • All the actors were amazing. Just some of the characters you root for and some you don’t like. I was so happy when Yom and Tangqishi finally meet their fate and Lady Soh.

  29. I love this drama from the start but it went crazy in the middle of it. I started hating it when Seungnyang became a consort and killed Wang Yoo. This drama is so heart breaking for Wang Yoo and Seungnyang. I hate how the drama runs and it’s ending, I thought in the end Seungnyang and King Wang Yoo will be together and back to Koryo but instead he got killed by a selfish and whining emperor that was also killed with a poison..what a chaos

    • I agree with you. I would’ve preferred Wang Yoo died in a battlefield fighting for his country and not for a girl, and definitely not in the hands of a coward, selfish and ungrateful emperor. What a cruel way of treating the only consistent character in the story that did so much good for his people.

  30. I just love WY character. I am saddened with his death scene and I stopped watching this drama. It would have been good if EK and WY ended up together as they started in the first episodes together. Sigh..

  31. I loved Empress Ki but hated the writers! Nearly everyone’s character towards the end of the drama did a 180! The writers made me scream at the screen! That being said I really have to applaud the acting in this drama especially that of Ji Chang Wook he was epic as the emperor! He and Ha ji Won are what made me stick with the drama! Their chemistry was off the charts!

  32. I hope the ending is not like that, i hope they make another ending “reuniting wang yu and seungnyang in Koryo as king and queen. Empress ki deposed from her throne and send back to koryo as normal citizen.I hope their son “maha” also alive and ayu seongnyang son to emporer will rule yuan after Toghon died with his sickness and loneliness. I like Wang yu and Seungnyang as king and queen. Make another ending… hehehe n 🙂

  33. The end of this drama did not make any sense at all,i mean for her to run away while her fight was all about building a strong Yuan that protects Koryo its insane.though she had no one left on her side they should’ve shown us an ending that is compatible with the name of the drama,that is,an Empress who is brave and wise.really liked the chemistry btwn HJW and JJM they were so great

  34. I think the other name whch is suitable for Empress Ki is “palace of betrayal”,it was a dog eat dog world for survival.i mean the one who amazed me was Kolta,with that funny humble face no one really imagined he would betray the king who trusted him with his life.they say your enermies are not always those you are facing on the front bt those who are behind you with daggers ready to stab at any given time

  35. I normally don’t leave any comments but I have such mixed feelings for this drama. It was such a good drama till the last one third of it! All the characters were so well-acted and well-developed. The plot lines were very satisfying until ep30+. Then it went downhill. But still it was acceptable until the last 2 eps and everything unraveled. Why??? Why did they ruin such a good drama??

    The writers spent the whole drama depicting how Empress Ki is a more-or-less noble and very smart character who, although had revenge as a driving force, put the people of the nation first. Then suddenly, in the last ep, *after a few years* she suddenly became someone who would go to war with Koryo despite the famine?? It just doesn’t make any sense. If they wanted to show that power corroded her, they should have made it a gradual development. And don’t get me started on how pointless Wang Yoo’s death is. And how stupid Togon’s plan in the final ep was. What was the point of continuing to take the poison and not telling Empress Ki?? He already overheard from Golta that the Dowager and all the ppl who supported her are going to meet that night, he could so easily have informed Empress Ki and gotten all of them killed that night.

    I understand that maybe the last two episodes were an effort on the writers’ part to comply with history, but it was not in keeping with the development of the rest of the drama. It could have been so much better if they just ended with the coronation of Empress Ki.

  36. I don’t think the Korean novel/ Korean scriptwriters would have understood the original writer’s intention as this was a copy and paste drama/script that was originally written by a Hong Kong scriptwriter. Even the dialogue was copied and paste.

    But I think the actors did a fantastic job acting out the drama. Great Job!

  37. Totally agree with your review! What bothered me even more than the tragedy is the heroine’s reactions!? How irresponsible and warped to handle rape by romanticizing it!? And after Wang Yu is murdered, it’s one thing if she realizes she has to suck it up given her political position, but for there to be voiceover reflecting her thoughts that are sympathetic to the murderous/jealous/insane emperor!? How ridiculous!! The show started off so strong and then ended horribly!!!

    • Lol no one wants to talk about these facts. So true. People romanticizing the emperor make me wonder if we all watched the same show

  38. Obviously you are a joules person, empress ki is the most popular korean drama in my country (USA) this drama has a powerful screenplay , Ha Ji Won acting is just perfect, and about Baeksang Awards it’s not important if empress ki wasn’t in the nomination list, ha ji won won the GRAND PRIZE at 2013 MBC DRAMA AWARDS, joo jinmo ji chang wook back jinhee and 2 writers of the drama awarded to, it seems you are angry about the Popularity of Empress Ki so you are saying such stupid words,I’m sorry for you!

  39. WY was my only favourite carachter in the series. I never liked the emperor even a quarter as much. How could he be killed? The director didn’t do a good job there at all.
    It was such an addicting series and I fell in love with it. This spoils it all.

    • Anyway. I’ve never watched a very good and enticing series that ended well. Check out Mexico’s Broken Angel (Santa Diaba) if you like.

  40. I was actually so done with how they treated Wang Yu. He died such a stupid death, at the hands of the worst person it could be to. Imo, Nyang really should have ended up with him; yes I know that differs from history, but then what was the whole point of all that build up between the two?

    Wang Yu helped Yang since the beginning. He was the one who let her and her mother free from being captive, though her mother died because of that – Nyang would never have been able to escape and live the life she had.

    The chemistry was all there, Wang Yu also made her feel happy. She respected him so much and loved him – ready to give up her life at any time. Besides, Wang was deserving of her, unlike the Emperor I feel like he actually loved Nyang. Their relationship had so much depth. The Emperor was just obsessed with her and it had such a r*pey, weird feel. Like being forced.

    They should have made it end with her and Wang living together. It’s different from history, but at least it would satisfy the viewers, which would be important for a show. They put all that effort into building them up only for him to die pointlessly, man he didn’t really deserve that. And Nyang doesn’t deserve to be with the guy who was the reason of her father’s death and treated her so poorly.

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