Arthdal Chronicles Wraps Up First Two Seasons With Disappointing Ratings and Break Before Third Season Airs in September

Watching the first two seasons (12 episodes) of tvN fantasy saguek Arthdal Chronicles is like sticking with a whole lotta meh hoping for something drastic to happen to make it suddenly better. I stuck with it thinking perhaps the dull and lame stuff was just stage setting and the good stuff was imminent and I didn’t want to miss out once it arrived. And I’m sad to report it never really arrived other than the sorta twist that Song Joong Ki was playing a pair of twin male leads with very different hair styles and personalities.

I like his take on both dudes but am so put off by Kim Ji Won as the female lead, a combo of not liking her character but even more not liking her much as an actress in this drama. The better actors Jang Dong Gun and Kim Ok Bin play the antagonists so there’s not much to glom on there and root for. Ultimately the ratings low was 5.767% and high hit 7.705% with an average in the mid 6% range, super low the biggest budget K-drama of all time and such massive hype. Let’s hope the final six-episodes that make up season 3 make for a whizbang type of conclusion.


Arthdal Chronicles Wraps Up First Two Seasons With Disappointing Ratings and Break Before Third Season Airs in September — 34 Comments

    • I’m a fan of ji won and I find her performance in the early episodes okay (cos she shined in the ep where she casted a spell).

      Just okay and quite lackluster compared to the other veterans who evidently outshined her in the drama. Hope she takes this well and use it to improve.

    • Very unjustifiable to KJW. Her TY character was portrayed as carefree young tribal girl, clueless of the world outside her tribe boundary. Her character development was practically none in S1, being a chained-up captive and always dragged around in rags. Only in S2, she finally learned from Saya. Thus, she appeared as weak and helpless. Let’s wait for S3 for her transformation in embracing power.

    • Those KJW fans are already calling Koala an anti.
      They act like KJW is some acting genius and people arent allowed to dislike her acting.

  1. I was actually disappointed that I have to wait til September for the 3rd season!!!

    Also, I think the LOR and GOT made us feel cliched for those viewers who watched but I still like this a lot and am looking forward to the 3rd season.

  2. I am loving arthdal chronicles. Especially sjk performance as Saya. I am looking forward to see how the three prophecy will come together and form a new arthdal.

  3. Well truth to be truth I haven’t watched season 2. But almost anyobody doing good. And the character might be not the strongest point. But at least it look solid. Kim Won Suk is doing a great job Imo. Whatever you called it too dark, but that’s expected to a world who hasn’t has a proper llighting. I agree KJW seems the weakest link. But what did anyone expected from her? Sorry. I actually didn’t ecpected anything from her since beginning.

  4. I think the show got better and better. For me Kim Ji Won is doing OK enough that she’s not distracting me from enjoying the show. The cliffhanger ending to season one was rather great though, can’t wait for season 3!

  5. I don’t find Arthdal Chronicles as bad as people were saying, the story is actually pretty good, I find myself looking forward to new episodes. It’s kinda sad the ratings don’t live up to the budget.

    • Me too,
      what’s more compelling is when you re-watch the old episodes after episode 12 aired, and it’s somehow makes sense…the rumors, the chit-chat and the logic. Even more for the relationships in Wahan Tribe, all of the incident had been foreshadowing in the earlier episode.

      I think Kim Ji Won got Tanya role since the drama need Tanya dancing in season 2 finale episode, she was trained as idol before breaking into acting so it’s understandable that she can pulled it off.

      I’m quite surprised that subconsciously I watched and waiting for the next episodes, so season 3..bring it on!

      • Actually I read in Soompi that while the writers were digitally drawing/conceptualizing the characters, they thought TanYa looked like KJW so that was how she got the role

        The drama is the worst yet for both the writers and the PD. Their styles did not match at all, unfortunately.

      • Both writers write Circle. It ends with 2% plus rating. If you have watched it, you might realise that the writers are not a rating magnet even though Circle has a decent writing.

      • Writer Kim produced Circle, which was written by someone else. She and writer Park wrote Deep Rooted Tree and Six Flying Dragons, both with double digit ratings.

  6. I love this show and 6% wasnt bad at all. I love this show and that’s all matter.

    I just wish people stopped commenting on it before watching it. And judged the actors. I watched arthdal not for one or two particular actors, but for the story itself.

  7. 6% is bad with all time biggest budget drama whether you like the drama or not. That means the drama flop commercially and it wouldn’t help the cast or team

  8. KJW as Taya has been unjustly underrated in earlier seasons. She was chained up and dragged around in rags for 4 episodes in S1 and learning the political intricacies from Saya in S2 before realizing power was key. That’s the journey of an innocent young gal, who was once reluctant of her tribal leadership role, to embrace an important calling in a foreign and political nation.

    She delivered the required emotional roles well, esp in ep 4 of the infamous cursing scenes towards their brutal captors, conflicted feelings towards Saya in S2 and mesmerizing dancing skills at end of ep 12, to be rightfully anointed as the high priestess. Really looking forward S3 – reunion of TY, ES and SY, great battle and how they will revolutionize Arth in S3.

    • Agree. Very frustrating for the slow development of TY and ES as well as excessive politicking scenes between TG, MH, Asa Ron. SJK, while had to portray a weak captive ES in whole of S2, he was able to shine as the scheming SY; whereas KJW as TY appeared as weak and fragile in both seasons, despite her supposedly heroine role.

  9. This drama is meh. The story, the characters, the production, etc.

    I’m very disapointing by the PD and the writer but they tried a genre that doesn’t suit them.

    SJK playing twins is nothing incredible, the characters are so different. KJW is good in some scenes, when they gave to her character something to do…

    The final scene was pretty cringey…

    • My thoughts exactly. It is painfully flopping because of the subpar writing and very bad directing. Disappointed is an understatement; this is on the production side more than the overall acting of the leads, though I thought SJK, KJW, and KOB had some good moments

    • They characters are different that is why viewers are appreciating his performance because he is doing fine job with it. If saya is chaos eunsom is calm. Sjk is proving his versatility here. He is literally playing hero and anti hero in this drama.

      • Yes, he’s a good actor but there is nothing incredible to play two characters who are so much different. They look very different : white with long hair/brown with short hair. Their personalities are different too. Yeo Jin Goo was great in The Crowned Clown because he had to play to different characters looking the same and even if when the Clown was acting like the King who could see a subtil difference. It was a great performance to see.

  10. AC is definitely refreshing and engaging with its unique tale, visuals and cinematography. It is laudable of SK to undertake this daring venture of new genre.

    What I didn’t like:-
    1. Unfamiliarity – So many mythological and tribal figures such as Asa Sin, Aramun Haesulla, blue blooded Neanthal, Saram, Igutu, Saenyeok, Hae, Asa clan, Wahan, etc, which they should have done a proper introductory prelude instead of overwhelming information dumping in the first episode, which simply confused the viewers. I often had to refer to Wikipedia and rewatch ep 1. We mostly grew up with Greek and Chinese mythology but they shouldn’t dump names of the Arthdal gods as if we know.

    2. Slow development of key characters – Tanya was chained up and dragged around in rags for 4 whole episodes in S1 while Eunseom was tortured for 6 episodes in all of S2.

    3. Unnecessary prolonged scenes – The brutal battle, torturing of slaves and politicking scenes amongst Sanung, Tagon, Mihol, Asa Ron and Taealha were excessive, resulting in compromised screen time for many other key supporting characters.

    4. Costumes – My pet peeves of Taealha and Asa women with their modern tailored gowns, cloaks and jewelry.

    I support this show purely for SJK and KJW so I certainly look forward to how the 3 characters will overcome obstacles and challenges to revolutionize Arth in the final S3, just 6 episodes to do so much!? Too few to depict well so hope they won’t rush through. Believe the writers had thought they could expand to more seasons but the lackluster ratings must had disappointed them and Director Kim, thus, I empathized with the entire crew and cast for their under-appreciated hard work.

    • Saw in IG that Director Kim had acknowledged and apologized for the controversies surrounding AC – hard to follow plot development and unconvincing costumes, saying that it was his first time venturing into this new genre.

      Let’s give this drama a chance and applaud their efforts!

      • Also saw in IG that the writers, Kim & Park have just published AC novel series. If the only novels had been previously around (just like LotR & GoT), viewers won’t be that stumped over the unfamiliar mythological names and plot development.

    • This is so true, this drama honestly my cup of tea. I love lord of the rings, game of thrones, viking, etc. But I still cant make myself to like AC. The PD really ruined this drama for me. Story telling is so bad. Im not into any of characters, I dont care if they are alive or dead.

  11. It’s seems u couldn’t quite follow the storyline and had some prejudice against KJW so it’s understandable u didn’t like the drama.. Stories like this are not everyone’s cup of tea.. Specially with all the politics going on in major portion of the drama.. For me, I really enjoyed the show.. The cast did a great work… Waiting eagerly for 3rd season 🙂

  12. Yeah I have been waiting for the drama to get to the good part but it just never arrived. Maybe the drama isn’t for me. Hopefully the next project by the writers would be better. SFD and Queen Seondeok are two of my fave historical dramas ever, so I have hope.

  13. Not my cup of tea but I thought it will get high ratings depends on the outstanding cast..I still watch a bit but stop after season 1..I guess popular actor like Joong Ki is not a guarantee for a drama to be addictive one..same goes for ratings..

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