It’s Friday the 13th, but not exactly a Black Friday. Well, for Mishil fans like moi it might as well be one. I’ve been watching the Monday-Tuesday MBC drama “Queen Seonduk” since I came back from my vacation last July. This drama is so popular that it has been a consistent top-rater in Seoul and all over the country. Like other MBC historical dramas, according to my eldest sister-in-law who majored in Korean History and minored in Chinese History, its story has been altered for cinematic purposes. So we shouldn’t believe everything we see on the drama.
The most fascinating character for me in “Queen Seonduk” is Mishil. She was a real person who lived from 540-600 AD. She was married to (6th Pungwolju) Se Jong Gong, with whom she had two sons: (11th Pungwolju) Ha Jong Gong and Ok Jong Gong. She also had relationships with six other men including Seol Won Rang (with whom she had a son: Bo Jong Gong) and Sadaham Gong. She had a son and two daughters with King Jinheung and a daughter with King Jinpyeong named Princess Bonghwa, who is a step-sister to Princesses Deokman and Cheonmyeong (the mother of Lord Chunchu who later became King MuYeol). Source: Daum Encyclopedia
Actress Go Hyun Jung portrayed the role of Mishil, and she did so excellently with her beauty and acting skills. Go Hyun Jung had been in several dramas but it was in “Sandglass” (my most favorite Korean drama) that I first saw her and loved her.
Mishil is the antagonist in “Queen Seonduk”, but I just couldn’t hate her because her intelligence is so admirable. She is what my husband would call as “foxy” (and Go Hyun Jung is his favorite Korean actress!) I just wonder how much of the cinematic Mishil is as real as the one who lived a century and a half ago. The book “Mishil” (only in Korean) was a bestseller in Korea for several months and it talks about that femme fatale.
“Queen Seonduk” was originally planned for 50 episodes. However, it is a #1 program of MBC and that’s why it has been extended to 62 episodes. I wonder if they could sustain the ratings since Mishil is already gone. I would surely miss Mishil.