Hottest Kings, Emperors, and Princes in K-dramas Through 2020

I realized that nearly all of the most popular younger generation K-actors have had a chance now to play a sageuk king, prince, or even fictional modern day Korean king/emperor. It’s totally an excuse for me to collect the entire menagerie of regal hotness for a question – who is your hottest His Majesty or His Royal Highness? For me it’s a no brainer – Kim Soo Hyun in The Moon Embraces the Sun for the sageuk drama and Lee Min Ho as the modern day ruler in The King: Eternal Monarch. The former was passionate and burned brightly like the sun and the latter a royal scientist solving problems with logic, both are hot in their own way.

Other notable royal male leads in the last decade or so include, and in no particular order: Yoo Ah In twice in Jung Ok Jung, Live in Love and again in Six Flying Dragons, Song Joong Ki in Tree With Deep Roots, Shin Sung Rok in The Last Empress, Seo In Guk in The King’s Face, Yoo Seung Ho in Ruler: Master of the Mask, D. O. in 100 Days My Prince, Yeo Jin Gu in The Crowned Clown, Lee Jun Ki in Moon Lovers, Im Shi Won in The King Loves, Joo Ji Hoon in Goong (Princess Hours), Park Bo Gum in Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, Lee Dong Wook in Goblin, Jang Geun Seok in Hong Gil Dong, Lee Seung Gi in The King 2 Hearts, Jung Il Woo in The Moon Embraces the Sun, and Ji Chang Wook in Empress Ki. Whew, this is an amazing array of hotties with major power, and yes you’re welcome.


Hottest Kings, Emperors, and Princes in K-dramas Through 2020 — 41 Comments

  1. Joo Jihoon will always be in that running. He has a few of kingly/princely roles, most recent in Kingdom. But Prince Shin is my korea first Love.
    But definitely, Kim Soohyun. He is always is just awesome to watch and when he was playing King, he was definitely Kingly.

    Others I wanna add are, though I guess not as notable:
    Kang Haneul in Scarlet Heart Romance, though he was playinh second lead. He really was mesmerizing in that role
    DooJoon in Splash Splash love, i guess cause this was only a mini drama
    Jung KyungHo in Ja Myunggu
    Lee Jehoon in Secret Door
    Yeon Woojin in Queen of Seven Days
    Lee JinWook in Three Musketeers
    Park HyungShik in Hwarang

  2. I go for SONG JOONG KI he almost wear different korea’s traditional hanbok in sungkyunkwan scandal and he’s awesomeon tree deep roos,he’s so perfect and daebak ❤❤❤saranghae oppa ❤❤❤

  3. I am not a Saguek person but I really love Moon Embracing the Sun. I have probably watched the drama many times and I could watch it again and again anytime.

    And then, again I found another gem in Moon Lovers and fall in love with Wang So. To this day in my book, that character still holds ‘the best interpreted’ kdrama character of all time. I watched not drama not knowing who Lee Joon Gi was at that time and watched the character as Wang So himself. That drama even made me ready about the Goryo Dynasty.

    I am pretty there are many kdrama viewers who are like me back before Moon Lovers time, who have heard the name Lee Joon Gi but have not actually watched any of his dramas or movies.

  4. For me, the one with the most commanding visual is Lee Min Ho and Kim So Hyun a close second. The most brooding sexy is Lee Jun Ki. The most playful, cheeky one is a tie between noraebang mates JCW and SIG. Jung Ill Woo has the most winsome smile.

  5. Idk dude, Park Bo Gum suited Saeguk clothes like a gloves.
    I mean, he just look like he is made to wear it, I am not saying other aren’t cause they are all handsome. It just PBG features with saeguk and historical drama, especially saeguk matches so well. He needs to do another saeguk.

    Him,Yeo Jin Goo and D.O has the face that looks so good in hanbok.

    Im Si Wan suit Chinese historical clothes better than Saeguk, like LJK.

    KSH has charisma and definitely handsome, it just he looks a lot better in normal drama setting than Saeguk.

  6. Cha Eun Woo in Rookie Historian was very regal and elegant also. Loved all your picks- have seen them all except the zombies/vampires dramas. Very good list- sagueks are very interesting.

  7. Park Bogum in saeguk clothing is just WOW. I remember the fashion designer that designed his costumes in Moonlight Drawn By Clouds made a post to praise him, saying nobody had manage to carry her designs quite like him. I love his charismatic and devilish persona in Moonlight. Bogum needs to act in saeguk again!!

    I also like Kim Soohyun as the Emperor in Moon Embracing The Sun but his character really annoyed me that it affect how much I actually like it. He was a muddle-headed, incompetent king who only care about his childhood love and neglected his duties. But he was also very charismatic as an Emperor.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more. This article just needs a past testimony who wore best this Royalty clothes and the soompi article goes like this:

      Lee Jin Hee, the hanbok designer for “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds,” praised Park Bo Gum’s ability to complement the clothes with just the right aura and poise.

      So that’s it.

    • Lee Jin Hee said through social media, “I worked on a lot of projects, and I’ve met a lot of actors. There have been many actors who have great bodies and a great figure for clothes, but I think this is a first for an actor who can perfectly portray the feeling and message that I intended, as if he is one with the clothes.”

    • Lee Jin Hee has previously designed clothes for many dramas, including “Behind the White Tower,” “Sungkyunkwan Scandal,” “The Kingdom of the Winds,” and “Dream High.

  8. Kim Soo Hyun’s Hwon was legendary. No one comes close to his presence on screen. So much charisma and charm and in general KSH can make any character shine. He’s the kind of actor who just sucks you in no matter what the drama or role is. He’s phenomenal.

    I also really liked LSG in K2H; no one mentioned him but he had such convincing growth in the drama from an immature crown prince to a great king.

    • ? agree on Kim Soo Hyun as top #1 King. He exudes royalty elegance like he was born with it. His every move in Moon Embracing were so amazing and phenomenal,like you wouldn’t wanna miss any of fav scene was when he was confronting his grandmother,& screamed, “dont take me for my father”, was absolutely increadible,really award worthy. He is indeed a phenomenal actor, a genius, a gem in his generation. No wonder he received numerous awards,both minor and major. He achieved a lot at a young age.Hail to the King Kim Soo Hyun?

  9. Scrolling down the pictures really brings back the feels … thanks to Koala.

    And the ones that brings back the most feel has to be JCW for Empress Ki, because he looks surreal in that role, yet manage to give a performance as a vulnerable king. Me thinks with the peril of having a too-pretty face, he had to work extra hard to do that. One of my favorite roles of JCW.

  10. Down with boy-toy princes and kings in historical drama. That’s one of the things that’s made sageuk no longer interesting to me, when it was the form that first introduced me to Korean drama. Never watch ’em now.

  11. Ju Ji Hoon’s answer in Kingdom Jenga game was funny : what’s the difference between your previous roles and your current one? Nothing change, I debuted as a prince. 😀 Still handsome one!

    KSH looks good as King but the drama was boring, too much politics for me and I’m not a big fan of HGI. I always felt sorry for the little sister, she was young and manipulated by her grandmother.

    Yeo Jin Gu was incredible in The Crowned Clown in the both roles.

    I loved Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, the trio PBG, KYJ and KDY was great.

    Park Ki Woong looked great in Rookie Historian, it was a shame he wasn’t the male lead or Lee Ji Hoon.

  12. Don’t forget Yoon Si Yoon in Grand Prince, and Park Ki Woong and Cha Eun Woo in Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung. Maybe not super hot yet, but getting there.

  13. Kim Soo Hyun in Moon Embracing the Sun, superb acting. You feel his pain?
    I have not seen the drama where SongJoongKi was king, but I am very sure he was also good there♥️

  14. Ohhh, I LOVE MY PRINCE LEE YEONG! BOGUMMY FOREVER! His eyes says it, all. When he acts, his pure and innocent acting transcend the beauty and elegance of the drama. Bogum Magic indeed that gives Bogum Magic Effect.
    #LoveintheMoonlight #MoonlightDrawnByClouds

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