The other casting bomb dropped at same time as Moon Lovers today, was none other than Park Seo Joon‘s confirmation for a new drama named Hwarang: The Beginning. Mama Mia, I was not happy because it is another sageuk. Ah waeeeee?
Hwarang in English translates to Flowering Knights, now who the heck would call a group of men by that? Admittedly, my first impression of the name is negative, and thought it has derogatory meanings, and that the men are some kind of male prostitutues. But because Seo Joon has confirmed, so I decided to seek information from my two besties—Google and Wikipedia—and I find out how silly I am. Oops.
Hwarang were an elite group of male youth in Silla, an ancient Korean kingdom that lasted until the 10th century. There were educational institutions as well as social clubs where members gathered for all aspects of study, originally for arts and culture, and stemming mainly from Buddhism. Chinese sources referred only to the physical beauty of the “Flower Boys”. Originally, the hwarang were known for their use of make-up and cosmetic decorations and accessories. Few Koreans are said to have known about the history of hwarang until after the liberation of 1945, after which the hwarang became elevated to a symbolic importance.
I am mostly exposed to Korean dramas based in Joseon period, so I am looking forward to learn about the Silla Dynasty. The drama will be about Hwarang warriors of Silla, and Park Seo Joon (She Was Pretty) is to play Sun Woo Rang, the man who has both beauty and intelligence. He is a young man of low birth that became a legend later in life; it is a character that is filled with (male) charms.
Park Hyung Sik (High Society) will play King Jinheung, who is the 24th ruler of Silla during the Three Kingdoms period. As jotted down in history, King Jinheung was the king that established Hwarang, which they would later play a huge role in the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He is known to be one of the greatest rulers of Silla who expanded the nation’s territory.
Go Ara (Joseon Magician) plays A Ro, the woman that both Park Seo Joon and Park Hyung Sik will both love. A Ro is a bubbly young woman, well loved by people, born as a “half”— from a noble and commoner. Her character is said to bring positive energy to the drama.
This will mark the first drama that documents the history of Silla’s Hwarang, which I am now very interested to get to know about. It will be directed by Yoon Sung Shik (Gaksital, King’s Face), and written by Park Eun Young, whom I am not familiar with any of her dramas. The drama is set to start filming some time early 2016; and like Moon Lovers, it will also be 100% pre-produced and set to air on KBS2 around July or August.
Squeeeeeeeeaaaaal, I’m thrilled about this now. Hwarang = Flower Boys = Many many good-looking (?) Korean men. Damn Go Ara, why is she so lucky? Now that I think about it, both IU and Go Ara are lucky to be surrounded by so many good-looking men.