Dae Jo Yeong (TV series)

Dae Jo Yeong (TV series)
Dae Joyeong
Dae Jo Yeong (TV series).jpg
Promotional poster
Genre Historical drama
Starring Choi Soo Jong
Lee Deok Hwa
Bo-seok Jeong
Park Ye-Jin
Hong Su-hyeon
Im Hyeok
Choi Chul Ho
Kim Hak-cheol
Country of origin South Korea
Language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 134 total
Running time 55 minutes
Original channel KBS 1TV
Original run September 16, 2006 – December 23, 2007
External links
Dae Jo Yeong (TV series)
Hangul 대조영
Revised Romanization Daejoyeong
McCune–Reischauer Taejoyŏng

Dae Joyeong is a historical drama aired on KBS1. The Korean drama Dae Jo-yeong (spelled Dae Jo-young in the English release) is about the life of Dae Jo-yeong, also known as the founder of the kingdom of Balhae.


Overview of the Plot


The drama begins during a war between Tang and Goguryeo before Dae Joyeong is born. Dae Jungsang, Dae Joyeong's father is introduced as a general. We are also introduced to Xue Rengui (Seol Ingui in Korean), a man with a brilliant mind who comes up with a plan to bring down Liaodong Fortress. After a failed attempt to assassinate the Tang emperor Li Shimin, Jungsang is captured by Tang. Seol, enraged for not receiving credit for his actions, frees him. Dae leaves Seol to himself, and heads to Ansi Fortress.

The emperor, meanwhile, begins plans for making a mountain of earth in order to deliberately destroy the fortress. Dae Joyoung's mother, Dalgi, comes up with the plan to dig under the mountain as it is being built. She is already pregnant with Dae Joyoung. Meanwhile, Seol rescues some Tang soldiers about to be killed. He catches the emperor's eye and is promoted to the rank of general.

As the battle begins, Tang's million men come onto the mountain. The order is given and water is released through the tunnel underneath the mountain, causing it to collapse and it crushes hundreds of thousands of Tang soldiers. Dae Joyoung was born during this time.

When Dae Joyeong is born, a prophecy says that he will become a king. Naturally, this is seen as treachery because there is already a king. So his father flees from the Supreme Commander Yeon Gaesomun, who wishes to kill the baby, only to be captured as his wife and son try to escape on a raft. She is later found and captured by the Supreme Commander as well.

The Supreme Commander intended to kill them at first but when General Yang Manchun tells him that perhaps the heavens sent Dae Joyeong to protect their country after they die, he changes his mind. General Dae Jungsang is told his wife and son are dead and ordered to command Goryeo Fortress. His wife is ordered to never communicate with her son, or be killed along with him.

Dae Joyeong is raised by Yeon Gaesomun, the Supreme Commander of Goguryeo as a slave and is called Gaedong(dog boy)so he wouldn't question why he is a slave and discover who he was with his real name. As a child he is often shown running away from the Supreme Commander's estate and trying to find his parents, although not knowing his parents are alive since the Supreme Commander constantly tells him that his parents are dead.

Dae Joyeong teaches himself to read and fight. He also (when grown up) begs the Supreme Commander's eldest son (Yeon Namsaeng) to allow him to join the martial arts contest because the reward is emancipation (freedom), but he refuses. When he hears Namseng say that he would accept anyone who had a recommendation from the Grand Martial General Yang Manchun, he runs away to Ansi Fortress and impresses Yang Manchun, who wonders if he is Dae Jungsang's son.

Dae Joyeong tells Yang Manchun that he is a slave and that he wants to be a warrior. Yang Manchun, not wanting to hurt him by letting him think he has a chance, tells him to fight the best fighter (Geol sabiu) in Yodong Fort. He surprises everyone and is about to smash the Geol Sa-Biwoo's head with a rock when General Yang Manchun stops the fight. He asks Dae-Joyeong why he would try cheating and he replies that in a fight, there are no rules, since for him this fight is worth more than his life.

Later, Yang Manchun gives him a recommendation, but when Dae-Joyeong returns to Pyongyang and gives the recommendation to Yeon Gaesomun, Yeon Gaesomun angrily rips it up and says that no one can stop Dae Joyeong from entering the contest now except for him. Dae Joyeong is flogged and returns to being a slave. On the day of the contest, he desperately tries to sneak in one last time, but gets caught and thrown into a barn.

During this time, the princess, King Bojang's niece Sukyeong dresses up as a soldier to watch the contest. Meanwhile, at the Pyongyang palace, a Tang envoy (Seol Ingui) arrives and causes mischief by offering a peace treaty, in which a princess from Goguryeo and a prince from Tang are to marry. Yeon Gaesomun instantly rejects it and forces the civil officials to reject it too, but Seol had not come for the peace treaty, but for a chance to assassinate Yeon Gaesomun, who is one of the pillars of the country. Seol teams up with Bu Kiwon, one of the civil officials, and hires some assassins to kill Yeon Gaesomun.

Right before the contest begins the assassins go to the same barn Dae Joyeong was locked in to form a plan (each of their swords are laced with a deadly poison). Dae Joyeong hears them talking and figures out what they are up to, but he then makes a tiny noise which immediately catches the assassins' attention. One of the assassins tells the others to go ahead since the martial arts contest was beginning and stays to take care of Dae Joyeong. The princess enters the barn, and the assassin is about to kill her. Joyeong is able to save the princess and knock out the assassin. When Sukyeong tries to prevent him from leaving, as she thinks that he is the assassin, he knocks her out. The assassination attempt fails, thanks to Dae Joyeong, but he is cut by one of the poisoned blades and falls unconscious.Yeon Gaesomun immediately orders a royal doctor to heal him.


Dae Jo yeong eventually goes to find his father at Goryeo Fortress. Jo yeong doesn't tell Dae Jung sang at first, but in the end they reconcile and return to Goguryeo. While they go, they meet Mimosa, a Baekje person. In that time, Dae Jo Yeong runs into the Khitans and meets Chulin(Chorin in Korean), a Khitan princess, and Li Kaigu(Li Haego in Korean), a Khitan general. Li Kaigu soon becomes Dae Jo Yeong's greatest rival. Li Kaigu has feelings for Chulin, who falls in love with Dae Jo Yeong. Li Kaigu, unknown to anyone, is Bu Ji Kwang's son.

Goguryeo falls with the deaths of Yeon Gaesomun and Yang Manchun. Dae Jo yeong does everything in his effort to save Goguryeo, but Bu Kiwon, Sa Bugu and other Goguryeo ministers, with the Tang and Khitan armies, are able to destroy it. Dae Jo Yeong, with his subordinates Geol Sabiwoo and Heuksudol, set off to rescue the refugees and with some surviving Goguryeo officials makes a second Goguryeo. Dae Jo yeong gets Chulin pregnant, but only Chulin knows. Dae Jo young is almost killed by Li Kaigu, Geol Sa Biwoo is captured by Tang, and the second Goguryeo is destroyed after a Silla-aided coup d'état. Li Kaigu takes in Dae Jo Yeong's son as his own. Only Chulin, Geol Sa Biwoo, and Li Kaigu know that Chulin's son, named Geom, is Dae Jo yeong's son.

Dae Jo yeong plans to make the 2nd Goguryeo. He tries many things, buying help from Mimosa and his subordinate Geumlan, and building a new organization, Dong Myeong Cheon Jae Dan that is brought to kill the enemy that brought Goguryeo down. They are aided by the former Goguryeo King Bojang. Bu Kiwon and Sa Bugu who betrayed the country and went to Tang are killed. But however, this organization falls down by Li Kaigu. Even this organization falls, Dae Jo Yeong and his followers don't give up in recovering Gorguryeo and try their best in doing so.

Dae Jo yeong acquires two subordinates of Gogturk descent, Gyepilsamun and Tungso. While in battle to rescue people captured in the collapse of the Dong Myeong Cheon Jae, Dae Jo Yeong and Heuksudol are captured by Chinese commander Li Wen, who hates Dae Jo Yeong with all of his heart. They suffer many hardships,like being forced to battle Wugol, a giant, after being starved for 6 days but Dae Jo Yeong eventually unites everyone to fight against the Chinese. During this time, he meets Mukchol, who eventually becomes Khan of the Gogturks. Dae Jo Yeong survives by pledging allegiance to China and then fleeing to the lands of Goguryeo. There he begins to build up Goguryeo. Dae Jo Yeong has married Suk-kyong, King Bojang's niece. In China, Empress Cheuk-cheon has risen to the throne.

Thirteen years later, the Khitans rebel from the Tang, and Dae Jo yeong comes to aid the Khitans; in exchange, they ask for all of the thousands of Goguryeo refugees living in the Khitan country. During this time, his tensions with Li Kaigu get bigger and bigger. Dae Jo Yeong also meets his son Geom and works with him a lot. Li Kaigu is captured, but Dae Jo Yeong saves him by capturing Li Wen and making a deal with Xue Rengui. Eventually, after the war ends, the king Li Jinzhong is assassinated, and Dae Jo Young takes part of the Goguryeo population with him.

The Khitan country is nearly destroyed by a Tang-Gogturk alliance, but the few defenders are rescued by Dae Jo Yeong, after he finds out that Geom is his son. Geom, and nearly everyone else, have been aware of this before. When Li Kaigu flees from Dae Jo Yeong, Dae Jo Yeong nearly kills Li Kaigu, and the Khitans are destroyed. Li Kaigu survives and goes to Tang to become a commander, trading his own eye to show he would be loyal to not only Xue Rengui, but also Tang. Dae Jo Yeong is leading the last of the refugees to his base in Dong-mo MOuntain, where he will make a new Goguryeo. Li Kaigu is assigned the leading role in this.

While they are going, the Tang army catches up. Heuksudol and Gyepilsamun stay behind to delay the army. Gyepilsamun is killed by Li Kaigu's arrows, and Heuksudol stays to avenge him. He too is killed, by Zhao Renshi(Jo-Insa), a Tang commander. The refugees are safe, but Dae Jo Yeong sets up Chungmuryeong Hill as a huge battlefield for him. The Khitan force under Chulin and Geom cannot block the Tang advance. Dae Jo Yeong kills Zhao Renshi in an act to avenge his brother, Heuksudol. Geumlan is killed by arrows, and Dae Jung Sang is captured. Dae Jung Sang is killed, and that fuels the morale of the Goguryeo-Mohe army so much that out of 30,000 Tang soldiers to enter, less than 1000 leave.


Dae Jo Yeong wins Li Kaigu and Xue Rengui's forces at Chun Mul Yong with help of Malgal Tribe. Li Kaigu runs away from Dae but Dae finds him. Li Kaigu sends his message that he will like to battle with him. Dae Jo Yeong manages to win after a fierce fight even he is the first one to get hurt. Chu-lin drinks a poisoned potion after seeing Li Kaigu die. After their deaths, Dae Jo Yeong builds the new Gorguryeo and names the country, Balhae. When Dae thinks all is over, Mimosa comes and says it isn't as Tang can go to Gorturks and persuade them to attack Balhae and the only way to stop is to enter with friendly relations with Gorturks, send people faster than Tang. Jo Yeong sends Geom to Gorturks tribe. As Mimosa has expected, Li Wen of Tang (to get Gorturks in Tang's group with a mind to perish Balhae with them) arrives after a few moments after Geom has arrived. Geom is the one who succeeds, beating Li Wen (although there are many things Balhae must fulfill for Gorturks). Dae Jo Yeong thinks all the things settled down and makes up rules.

Soon, Gorturks attack Tang and Balhae helps Gorturks as they demanded military support from Balhae. Tang almost loses so Li Wen thinks that the only way to survive is to send Dae Jo Yeong a peace treaty. Empress Wu Zetian is angry at this and hesitant over it but at last agrees, thinking of what's good for Tang. They send Dae Jo Yeong a peace treaty between them (enter into friendly relations). Dae Jo Yeong agrees on condition that Tang should give Liaodong to Balhae. They agree although there were some harsh things to get them agree.

Then Dae Jo Yeong starts to think about who will succeed him. He has two sons in mind, Geom and Dan-ni, but cannot make up his mind although he has Geom more in mind. (Dan-ni is Suk-yeong's son so has the last Goguryeo royal blood while Geom has the blood of the Khitan tribe, through his mother Chu-lin; but Geom demonstrates unusual talent, leadership abilities, and intelligence). Finally Geom decides to leave the country, thinking that if he stays there will be dissension among Dae Jo Yeong's followers about the succession. He tells Geol Sabiwu what he wants most is to be close to Jo Yeong, but if they try to make him the successor he will take his own life.

Dae comes to see Geom and finds him writing a farewell letter. He tries to stop him, saying "Don't go..." and blurts out the word he always wanted to say to Geom, "Son..." Geom, hearing the word, "Son", melts in tears and also uses the word he always wanted to say to Dae, "Father..." (Geom is actually Dae and Chu-lin's son but since he was born a Khitan Chu-lin knew he would be in danger as Dae was Khitan's enemy at that time. Li Kaigu, who was one of Khitan's greatest warriors and had loved Chu-lin for a long time, offered to protect mother and son and raise Geom as his own. Eventually Geom discovered the truth, and so did Dae Jo Yeong, but they couldn't acknowledge the truth openly.) Geom and Jo Yeong embrace each other sadly as son and father---then Geom rides off to an unknown destiny.

The drama ends with a scene where Dae Jo Yeong, with his royal procession, visits the Gwanggaeto Stele. He and his original remaining followers, Geol Sabiwoo and Mimosa, bow before it, promising that never again will their people suffer as they have in the past.


In the Havasu Resort near the Sorak Mountains (in Sokcho city, which is the official sponsor of this series) is the set for Dae Jo Yeong. Anyone visiting that place can see the Goryeo armory with every weapon you can think of hanging on the walls, the kitchen of the Tang Dynasty palace with real food in the pots, and even a live cow attached to a cart.


Based on the major casts of 100th episode, as of August 26, 2007.

Balhae's bench

  • Choi Soo Jong (최수종) : as Dae Jo-yeong(大祚榮, 대조영, later Go of Balhae)
  • Hong Su Hyeon (홍수현) : as Suk-yeong (숙영, his wife; will become as the Empress of Go of Balhae)
  • Im Hyeok (임혁) : as Dae Jung-sang (大仲象, 대중상), father of Dae Joyeong
  • Choi Chul Ho (최철호) : as Geolsa Biu (乞四比羽, 걸사비우), a sworn brother of Dae Joyeong
  • Kim Hak Cheol (김학철) : as Heuksudol (흑수돌), another sworn brother of Dae Joyeong.
  • Kim Jeong Hyeon (김정현) : as Mimosa (미모사), chief-tactician of Dae Joyeong
  • Shim Eun Jin (심은진) : as Geum-ran (금란), adopted sister of Mimosa; later become as a meritorious retainer of Balhae
  • Yoon Yong Hyeon (윤용현) : as Gyepil Samun (계필사문), minority leader of Göktürks(Korean: 돌궐, Dolgwol) group
  • Bang Hyeong Ju (방형주) : as Tungso (퉁소), general of Dolgwol group and follower of Gyepilsamun
  • Im Seon Taek (임선택) : as Jang San-hae (장산해), Advisor/Civil official of Balhae and follower of Dae Jung-sang.
  • Jang Sun Guk (장순국) : as Dolbal (돌발), Dae Jung-Sang's younger brother and general of Goguryeo, later Balhae.
  • Shin Won Gyun (신원균) : as Mu Yeom (무염), Dae Jung-Sang's subordinate officer later general of balhae.
  • Im Chae Won (임채원) : as Eohong (어홍), Wife of Heuksudol.

Goguryeo's bench

  • Kim Jin-tae (김진태) : as Yeon Gaesomun (淵蓋蘇文, 연개소문), Generalissimo of Goguryeo. Died after a battle against Tang.
  • Im Dong Jin (임동진) : as Yang Manchun (楊萬春, 양만춘), the lord of a Ansi fortress. Murdered by Bugiwon's fellow collaborators.
  • Gil Yong U (길용우) : as King Bojang (寶藏太王, 보장태왕), Last King of Goguyeo. He died of old age later in the drama.
  • Kim Ha Gyun (김하균) : as Bu Giwon (부기원), former chancellor of Goguryeo, Collaborator of Tang(later killed by Dae Joyeong's civil protesters)

Tang's bench

  • Lee Deok Hwa (이덕화) : as Xue Rengui (薛仁貴, 설인귀) (an anachronism, as Xue did not live anywhere as long as the drama indicated) General of Tang
  • Rhyu Tae Seul (류태술) : as Hong pei (홍패) Xue Rengui's right-hand man
  • Song Yong Tae (송용태) : as Emperor Taizong of Tang (唐 太宗 당 태종)
  • Yang Geum Seok (양금석) : as Wu Zetian (則天武后, 측천무후)
  • Nam Seong Jin (남성진) : as Li Wen (이문), General of Tang(later became a follower of Xue Rengui)
  • Jeon Hyeon (전현) : as Wu Chengsi (武承嗣, 무승사), chancellor of Tang (Wu Zetian's nephew).

Khitan's bench

  • Park Ye-Jin (박예진) : as Chu-lin (초린), Daughter of Khan Li Jinzhong(once Dae Joyeong's girlfriend, now wife of Li Kaigu)
  • Bo-seok Jeong (정보석) : as Li Kaigu (李楷固, 이해고), Chief-general of Khitan
  • Kim Dong Hyeon (김동현) : as Li Jinzhong (李盡忠, 이진충), the 1st Khan of Khitan
  • Cho In Pyo (조인표) : as Sun Wanrong (孫萬榮, 손만영), the 2nd Khan of Khitan
  • Kim Gyu Cheol (김규철) : as Shin-hong (신홍), tactician of Li Kaigu
  • Lee Dal Hyeong (이달형) : as Xue Jietou (설계두), follower of Li Kaigu
  • Hwang Taek Ha (황택하) : as Mou Jie (모개), another follower of Li Kaigu, later Geom
  • Jung Tae Woo (정태우) (alternately spelled Jung Tae Woo or Jung Tae Wu : as Li Geom (검). Currently, he is a son of Li Kaigu, however, he is an inherited(by blood) son of Dae Joyeong(so that, his future which featured on this series is still uncertain).

Göktürks's bench

  • Kang Jae Ik (강재익) : as Muchuo Khan (默啜, 묵철), a King (majority leader, Khan) of Göktürks group
  • Lee Yeong Ho (이영호) : as Inäl (伊然, 이넬), prince of Göktürks
  • Kim Seong Hun (김성훈) : as Tonyukuk (暾欲谷, 톤유쿡), General and facilitator of Göktürks

Awards and nominations

"Dae Jo Yeong" managed to win many awards at the 2007 KBS Drama Acting Awards.


  • 2007 KBS Acting Awards: Highest Award 대상 (Choi Soo Jong)
  • 2007 KBS Acting Awards: Top Excellence Acting Award 최우수상 (Lee Deok Hwa)
  • 2007 KBS Acting Awards: Best Writer 작가상 (Jeong Yeon Chul)
  • 2007 KBS Acting Awards: 조연상 (Im Hyeok)
  • 2007 KBS Acting Awards: Popularity Award 인기상 (Jeong Bo Seok)
  • 2007 KBS Acting Awards: Netizen Award 네티즌상 (Choi Soo Jong)
  • 2006 KBS Acting Awards: Excellence in Acting 우수상 (Kim Jin-tae)


  • 2008 Korean Drama Festival Awards: Best Drama
  • 2008 Korean Drama Festival Awards: Best Acting (Choi Soo Jong)
  • 2007 KBS Acting Awards: Top Excellence Acting Award 최우수상 (Park Ye-Jin)
  • 2007 KBS Acting Awards: Best Actor 우수상 (Jeong Bo Seok)
  • 2007 KBS Acting Awards: 조연상 (Choi Chul Ho)
  • 2007 KBS Acting Awards: Best Teen Actor Award 청소년 연기상(Kim Suk)
  • 2006 KBS Acting Awards: Top Excellence in Acting Award 최우수상 (Choi Soo Jong)

See also

External links

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