The Tale of Nokdu Ends Historically Consistent with a Happy Ending for the Adorable Jang Dong Yoon and Kim So Hyun OTP

The last 9 weeks flew by probably because I was so addicted to KBS Mon-Tues sageuk The Tale of Nokdu that I looked forward to each Monday arriving. I’m going to genuinely miss this drama that managed to start off wacky with the cross-dressing hijinks but settle into a serious and heartwarming romance and family issues drama. The politics always played second fiddle probably why Kang Tae Oh as the second male lead always felt like a plot device though he did a great job and is yet another talented actor I’ll keep an eye on. This drama was about a father who put his own ambition and needs above all else even to the point of killing his newborn son who would threaten that. In the end he accepted his actions and those affected could move on, including the lead couple Jang Dong Yoon‘s Nokdu and Kim So Hyun‘s Dong Joo, with even a happy ending with the Queen to boot. The last episode wasn’t wasted on the succession and coup drama and more time was spent really showing us Nokdu and Dong Joo’s future together on the island, complete with marriage and a low key satisfaction that good people are somewhere living together happily.


The Tale of Nokdu Ends Historically Consistent with a Happy Ending for the Adorable Jang Dong Yoon and Kim So Hyun OTP — 57 Comments

  1. I loved it. Even though somewhere in the middle the court politics got weary. But its in the MAKING clips that revived my interest in the drama every time and the crazy flirtatious off screen chemistry between the leads and onscreen love affair. I have never seen kim so hyun so cheeky with her co star before and so free. Its like she genuinely trusts him and likes him enough to play a good game of love table tennis leading to the drama being this memorable. I know that when I am having a bad day… i can always watch their NGs to alleviate some stress. Goodbye nokdu and dongjoo. Thank you for reminding this auntie how sweet and beautiful first love can be and creating a believable happily ever after…

    • “love table tennis” lol that’s a good way to describe it. They had such good chemistry, I hope they get a Best Couple award!

      I actually found even the villains interesting and human, a rare thing in kdrama. Especially the king.

  2. I like the show, but they force too many kissing scenes. I don’t think it’s really necessary in the sageuk, even though this is just a fusion sageuk. I know you need to raise the rating to the level of Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, but it wont work with unnecessary scenes like this. All you need is PBG.

    • I’m glad they didn’t think like you did, I wanted more. More kisses. Thank you director! Thank you writer! Thank you for all those kisses, genuinely kisses and not kisses like a frozen dead fish.

      I don’t understand why you have to make the assumption that they had many kissing scenes because they want ratings like love in the moonlight.

      They did it because they want to and because JDY & KSH relationship is so beautiful.

      It’s not just sageuk, most modern day shows don’t have as much kisses as tale of nokdu. I’m believing that there are some secret shippers of JDY & KSH. If I was director, I would do the same. I would make them kiss every twenty minutes. I’m trash LOL

      • Me too! I hate the frozen popsicle/dead fish kind of kiss but applaud a drama for geniune looking, character driven, spontaneous reaction signs of affection. So I guess I’m trash, too! ?

    • @chloe – what a lame way to bring up PBG here! There is no role for PBG so leave him out for the enjoyment of all viewers who like Tale of Nokdu. It’s really shameful if your intention is to crash this thread by such an unrelatable actor who I’m sure has his share of spotlight somewhere else sometime ago but just not here!! I enjoy all the sweet kisses, it’s very beautifully shot, and never forced. I don’t believe the production ever wanted to hype its rating to compare to Moonlight, there was barely much promotions at the beginning, no “Stupid dancing with sunglasses”, so I don’t understand WHY you are comparing the two dramas. JDY cross dressing as a lady is sure more beautiful than a shorty cross dressing as a eunuch in my opinion. Absolutely no comparison at all!

    • That’s why you are single. Being fussy because of the kisses..They in love with each other that they want to kiss everytime. You just want to compare this drama to the Moonlight.

    • There is no such thing as too many kisses! The ratings were fabulous in this era of online streaming! A perfect drama exceeding other fusion sageuks! The beautiful message of strong women makes this one a true winner!

    • Why are you comparing the two dramas with different plot and casts. If you don’t like the drama and the kisses like every normal fan did then fuck off and stop spoiling people’s happiness. Ode oshi

  3. The ending of this show made me feel relieved. Many shows I watched had incredibly unsatisfying endings. Vagabond ending was so trashy that it doesn’t deserve to be at the dump. It deserves to be strap to a rocket and launched to a black hole.

    The ending of Tales of Nokdu could had easily been a melodramatic ending with Dong Joo dreaming of a happy life with Nokdu but in reality he died. I thought that was what happened when Nokdu sneaked into her dwelling and lit the candle. I thought he was a figment of her imagination. Whew.

    This is a great ending at the right time since it is Thanksgiving week until the U.S.

    Thank you Tales of Nokdu crew for giving me a dessert that’s healthy for me. It was sweet but not artificial.
    Thank you to those who shared insightful comments. Thank you show for cheering me up in my time of depression.

    • Lol at your way describing vagabond ending. You’re so funny. Good thing i waited on that one, cause i knew something like this would happen. I was glad i got onto nokdu’s ship. And so happy with the ending. The writer give us 1 ep of happiness which is very rare these days.

    • You can enterpreting it that way…. The first half and second half is sooo jarring. So i think there is two version ending. You can enterpreted both way. I was more drawn into the first half of the show though… What a good acting from Jang Dong Yoon in the final.

  4. Great ending!!!! I love how the show assured the loyal viewers that the couple and their extended family/friends are living a happy life surrounded by the people they love and who love them in return in an island. And I too, am glad that there are a lot of kisses, they were sweet pecks nothing too scandalous 😀
    I will miss this drama!! My favorite for 2019!

  5. What I love the most about the final episode is how believable their love is ? It felt Dongju and Nokdu and everyone in that new island village really exist and we’re like watching snippet of their life ?
    These two beautiful souls will always being together and live happily ever after.

    Thanks to The Tale of Nokdu team. I’m sure this drama will remains as good memories for all of us. This drama for sure will become a career booster to Jang Dong Yoon and will open more quality roles to Kim So Hyun.. Her crying scene while Nokdu is dying deserve an award I must say, with the cracking voice, sobbing eyes pull me to cry together with her ?

  6. Who the f complains about too many kisses in a drama? I have never heard of anyone ever complained about that before. That’s new lmao

    Great show, great ending. Good way to end 2019 ~(^^)~

    • I love reading the comments here. You guys make me laugh. I love the kisses, especially the off the boat jumping on his waist kisses. Their expressions look so natural, my gosh. I cant stop smiling watching it.

      • Oh my word, that’s my favorite part too. The first three pecks were obviously scripted, but the last peck that KSY initiated looked unrehearsed. DJY just simply reacted to her puckered lips! That scene will take me a long time to get over…LOL

      • That was so cute and natural! It makes me so happy to see a couple like that in kdrama, JDY and KSH did an amazing job and so did the director, by directing the kiss scenes so well.

    • those who complain about too many kisses are losers, total losers in life who cannot hack anything… lol… those who turn their heads when they see people in love…. shame on them… are they dinosaurs? this drama is soooo good, best of the year for me.

      • @Asdefk – you are not wrong. but dinosaurs extinct for a reason, they do not make enough babies because they do not love enough… if Joseon people behaved like dinosaurs, we will not have Koreans now, true?

  7. Such a great ending! A excellent drama executed perfectly! The rewatch value for the drama is high! Excellent work for the main leads and their chemistry was the sweetest!

    • Totally on board with that. AengDu was such a riot and the most enjoyable character to watch throughout the entire series. Could you imagine her all grown up with all that sass?! Could you imagine her cross dressing this time around to save a kingdom whose not ready for a female ruler? Could you imagine all the shanannigans she’ll do to satisfy her always-hungry belly?

      • I think AD likes YM, so a sequel with AD encountering the now King YM and beat the hell out of him and eat him alive will be fun. Maybe we will also see shirtless mini-Nokdu and bob-cut mini-DJ as her tiny followers… LOL.

  8. I athough the final episode about the king is rather anti climatic, and such a let down. They focus on him in the second half of drama and in the end, the writers throw him under the bus in the final to give room happy ending to the otp. Well after all this is rom com so I shouldn’t expecting something satisfying or meaty execution on sageuk and politics aspect of the show.

  9. Moonlight Drawn by Clouds and The Tale of Nokdu are the same for me. Great 10 first episodes with a lovely couple, then the plot took over and the issue is in the both cases it wasn’t really interesting, then a happy ending.

    KSH and JYD were lovely in their role 🙂

    • Nope, The male lead is too dominant in MDBC, no development character or girl power in KYJ character. I stop watched the drama because KYJ’s useless character. KSH character is so much better. She is strong, independent and not always need her male lead to save her.

      • Good analysis. No girl power… her character only sells with the eunuch cross dressing. I could not finish the last two episodes. Boring.

      • I don’t agree. The both feminine characters were less important than the male leads but KYJ’S character was far from useless. But my post was not about the one is better but just the fact they were written pretty much the same.

      • How can the two dramas be written the same when Moonlight male lead clearly knows his identity (being a royal) while Nokdu does not even know who his true identity is. At the most, you might relate PBG character to the cruel King or YM who is a royal but they are not the lead. Female lead is a peasant in Moonlight while DJ is a noble. Historical timeline may be close but I never study Korean history. @Sayaris – maybe you can list some similarities (besides both being fusion sageuks)?

      • @candycane. At least you made it to ep 14. I dropped it at 10. The continuous girl gets into trouble, pbg to rescue. Shampoo, rinse repeat. It got tiresome after a while. Did not like the chemistry either. She looks like a kid. He tries too hard. Different strokes for different folks i guess. That drama just didn’t work for me. I preferred Scarlett Lovers in the same timeslot.

      • @lydia same! I’ve watched scarlet that time. Then year after i watched mdbc, and imo the former is so much better and i dunno why the latter got the high ratings for that slot.

    • Agree with you about the dominant of male lead story. In fact, Nokdu’s story is too dominant in tale of Nokdu. But I think, the directing and acting is better for me though. And especially the male lead in tale of Nokdu has more range to give justice the character.

      • Dominance of Nokdu is clearly indicated in the title of the drama (hence no hidden agenda), Moonlight does not even have any indication on its title. Agree on the acting range of JDY, he is obviously much more superior, both in physical strength (fighting scenes) and beauty (subjective visuals in my opinion).

      • I just like the fact he is consistent from day 1 the kind of person that he is and the love he pursues. His heart is warm and generous too. JDY was perfect as Nokdu but it is really KSH that completed the perfection of the show. Their chemistry makes everything else play second fiddle. Such a sweet show. Argh… need to get out of pressing repeat on their making vids and last interviews

      • @candycane – I agree about JDY teeth! That slight crookedness gives him a natural charm, it’s so cute.

        Also the snaggletooth makes sense in a sageuk because this is from the 1600s, before modern dentistry and braces were a thing in Korea.

      • Honestly, whether it’s BTS or JDY or anyone…. I think shipping real life people is crossing the line. They’re actual people, not drama characters.

        Their drama characters, though? I totally ship!

      • @Royal We – agree with you that shipping real life people is crossing the line, i never understand a shipper’s mentality. i like Nokdu with DJ and i can rewatch the drama many times to enjoy their sweetness. i don’t know if i will like JDY this much once he puts back on his everyday modern clothes, i think i just like Nokdu but his character is fictional, no one is as perfect in today’s world, no one makes ring out of daisies, no one can fight as manly and still not die in pain. all men wearing lady’s dresses can only be friends but not lover. as for KSH, she can date whoever just don’t tell the public bcoz some fans are toxic, dating a BTS member will be very difficult with all their touring & long distance separation unless they are both very committed but who would when she is only 20… no need to settle down with one guy so early. better yet date a non-celeb to avoid all the scandals…

      • @candycane – I’ve loved JDY in most of his works I’ve seen so far, especially Solomon’s Perjury, If We Were A Season and Dance Sport Girls. It’s nice to see him in a lead role (and what a role!) and moving on from playing a high school student. I think he picks good projects, and hope he gets more opportunities after this, if it was up to me Nokdu would be a 20 percenter ratings hit but I’m happy it received lots of love in Korea.

        As for shipping….it would be nice if Korean media and fandom culture wasn’t so toxic about dating. KSH isn’t even an idol (who rely on that fantasy bf/gf marketing that idols do), she’s an actress and been working since she was a literal child. But looking at netizens throwing tantrums over the prospect of even late-30s veteran actresses like Son Ye Jin and Jang Nara maybe dating, it’s quite sad.

        It’s not healthy to have to suppress yourself for the sake of an image or for fear of public reaction :/ And dating noncelebrities brings its own risks, imagine a scumbag media whore like Choi Jung Bum (who is at least partially responsible for Goo Hara’s death, may she rest in peace).

        Anyway, dating or not (and I agree, even if she’s dating it can be just casual, she’s barely 20 after all, no need for commitment at this age!), I hope KSH is happy and gets to do lots of great projects. I found Ruler and Radio Romance very underwhelming and not making the best use of her as an actress, but with Love Alarm and Nokdu, it feels like she’s found the good roles.

    • Tale of Nokdu over Moonlight any day. The latter was so dull after the first 6 episodes and the FL was useless through and through. Didn’t even need her for the plot but Tale of Nokdu was brilliant. What especially stood out was the balance between ML and FL with her being the one that always saved him. She was awesome and he was sweet. They are the most perfect drama couple of all drama couples to ever exist.

    • I disagreed, I dropped MDBC after episodes 6, the plot is boring and the girl character is annoying. Tale of Nokdu is much more interesting in terms of story development and the affection between the two love birds. The female character is strong but yet cute and adorable at the same time. And Nokdu is hahaha, pretty and handsome, this adorable guy when he dressed up as a lady is even more beautiful than anyone else.

  10. The ending is just perfect, after all the heartbreaks and sufferings Nokdu and Dong Joo experienced {and well, us viewers of course}.. I cried buckets but it was worth it 🙂

    They already gave so much sweet moments for the ending episode and yet I still kinda wanna see if they had mini Dong Joos or Nokdus already… LOL…

    The new behind-the-scenes of the beach and wedding scene is out too ~! And guys, they said there’s supposed to be more during their 9 years of marriage but it was not in the broadcast. And apparently when Jang Dong Yoon asked Kim So Hyun if she were to pick one of the happiest time they had together during those 9 years, what would it be, and she answered their first night.. HAHA.. I know that was in the Blu-Ray they’ll release… too bad it’s so expensive 🙂

    • A first for her to take the lead in flirting with her co-star. While I am in the camp that thinks she is dating BTS member V, she does definitely seem to like JDY alot. They laugh alot together.

      • Oh, I see.. haha.. while on the other hand, I’m also one of the Macaron Couple shippers of Jang Dong Yoon and Kim So Hyun… LOL…

      • Who are those deluded moron linking her with kim tae hyung with no interaction at all. Please I don’t want my lovey kim so hyun to date any BTS member,his toxic fans won’t leave her alone. I ship her with yeo jin goo, jang dong yoon, yook sung jae and yoo seung ho.

      • @kittykat – i fully agree with you on the toxic fandom part. However their shippers do put on a strong case for them though. Random or not #taeso

    • I’m fine with the ending being just Nokdu/Dongjoo, I came to this show for them, not their future kids! If they have them, it’s good, if they don’t, I’m fine with the ending being of the couple we love. Maybe they finally start a family after he’s reunited with his mother? Grandma can help with the kids and see them grow up as she didn’t get to do with Nokdu!

      • I am very much satisfied also… I was just thinking it would be fun too to see their kids after like 9 years of marriage… or I would think they are still enjoying each other’s company without any kids yet 🙂

  11. Dong Joo and Nokdu can never have enough kissing and flirting! Each kiss was so natural and loving. I honestly couldn’t get over it. Lol.

  12. I love this drama SO MUCH, and I’m sad to see it end but also happy it had a good ending! It’s my favourite of 2019 for sure, I’m going to rewatch it many times ❤

    Also, with chemistry like that, why not take advantage of it by having the lead couple show that they actually like and are attracted to each other? No forced kissing, no jerk behaviour by the male lead, just a healthy, happy relationship where they talk to each other and behave like regular kids in love. There should be more of that in kdramas!

    It’s sad to say goodbye to Nokdu and Dongjoo, but I look forward to Jang Dong Yoon and Kim So Hyun’s future work, they did such a great job here, 11/10 kids!

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