Empress Cheonchu

Empress Cheonchu (Korean천추태후; Hanja千秋太后; RRCheonchu Taehu; also known as The Iron Empress) is a 2009 South Korean period television series based on the title character, an actual historical figure and her lifelong struggle to protect the country her ancestors built.[1][2] The granddaughter of Goryeo Dynasty founder Taejo Wanggeon, the empress ruled as the regent for her son Mokjong, the dynasty's seventh ruler. Determined to realize her ambitious goals for the kingdom of Goryeo, she dons armor, battles against foreign invaders, and tramples her lover, her son and brother in her rise to power.[3]

Empress Cheonchu
Promotional poster for Empress Cheonchu.
Also known asThe Iron Empress
Written bySon Young-mok
Lee Sang-min
Kang Young-ran
Directed byShin Chang-suk
Hwang In-hyuk
StarringChae Shi-ra
Kim Suk-hoon
Choi Jae-sung
Lee Deok-hwa
Kim Ho-jin
Shin Ae
Opening theme"Opening" (various artists)
Country of originSouth Korea
No. of episodes78
Executive producer(s)Kim Won-yong
Producer(s)Jin Hyung-wook KBS
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running timeSaturdays and Sundays at 21:30
Production company(s)KBS self-production
Original networkKBS2
Picture format1080i HDTV
Original releaseJanuary 3 (2009-01-03) –
September 27, 2009 (2009-09-27)
Preceded byKing Sejong the Great
Followed byHot Blood
External links


The drama is based on the historical Dowager Queen Empress Cheonchu of the Goryeo, who fought against the Liao Dynasty in order to achieve her Grandfather's personal dream of reclaiming old lands lost over the years to other associated tribes and countries such as the Khitans and some Jurchens.

The series largely revolves around her desire to influence and win back her son (later known as Mokjong) from her brother Seongjong when he decided to have his nephew succeed him as ruler. Seongjong deemed her unacceptable to raise the boy in preparation of his future as Emperor and has his barren wife raise the boy as their son.

This causes a lot of conflict between Seongjong and his sister despite their continual working together to maintain the country from external and internal threats such as the Khitan invasion and various royal court intrigues and power struggles.

There are several liberties taken in the series the most obvious is that Mokjong is depicted as having epilepsy which is part of the reason General Gang Jo later removes him from ruling the country. There are no known records supporting the supposition that the historical Mokjong had epilepsy.



Extended castEdit

  • Ban Hyo-jung as Empress Sinjeong (Taejo's 4th wife)
  • Lee Young-ah as Empress Daemok (Gyeongjong's mother)
  • Choi Cheol-ho as Gyeongjong (The 5th Emperor and the Empress's husband)
  • Kim Myung-soo as Seongjong (The 6th Emperor and the Empress's older brother)
  • Moon Jung-hee as Empress Munhwa / Lady Kim (Seongjong's 2nd wife)
  • Lee Hyun-kyung as Empress Mundeok / Lady Yu (Seongjong's 1st wife)
  • Lee In as Mokjong (The 7th Emperor and the Empress's son)
  • Lee In-hye as Empress Seonjeong (Mokjong's wife)
  • Kim Ji-hoon as Hyeonjong (The 8th Emperor and Empress Heonjeong's son)
  • Park Si-eun as Empress Wonjeong (Hyeonjong's wife)
  • Jung In-seo as Queen Won Pyung
  • Im Hyuk as Seo Hui (Minister of Foreign Affairs)
  • Jeon Moo-song as Lee Ji-baek
  • Won Suk-yeon as Lee Kyum-ui
  • Lee Ki-yeol as Choi Sum
  • Kim Byung-ki as Kim Won-seung
  • Kim Jong-kyeol as Choi Ryang
  • Kim Ha-kyun as Choi Hang
  • Park Ji-il as Kim Shim-eon
  • Oh Wook-chul as Jo
  • Jo Byung-kyun as Lee Yang
  • Lee Joon-woo as Seol Shin-yoo
  • Jeon Seong-hwan as Choi Ji-mong
  • Maeng Ho-rim as Park Yang-yoo
  • Im Byung-ki as Han Un-kong
  • Choi Jun-yong as Lee Hyun-woon
  • Choi Dong-joon as Dae Do-soo
  • Park Cheol-ho as Kim Hoon
  • Choi Wang-soon as Choi Jil
  • Lee Won-bal as Yoo Bang
  • Hong Il-kwon as Yang Kyu
  • Shim Hye-jin as Empress Xiao of Liao
  • Jang Dong-jik as Emperor Shengzong of Liao
  • Oh Gun-woo as young Emperor Shengzong of Liao
  • Lee Jin-woo as Han Duk-yang
  • Ji Dae-han as So Son-nyung
  • Jung Heung-chae as So Bae-ap
  • Kim Myeong-kuk as Ya Yool Juk Ryeol
  • Kim Sung-Hyun as Ya Yool Boon No
  • Lee Han-sol as Ya Wool Moo Ki
  • Hong In-young as Chun Hyang-bi
  • Lee Chae-young as Sa Il-ra
  • Kim Hyeong-min as Sa Ka-moon
  • Jung Jin as Ko Hyun
  • Ahn Hae-sook as court lady Yoon
  • Kim Mi-ra as Lee Seol-hwa

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2009 KBS Drama Awards[5] Top Excellence Award, Actress Chae Shi-ra Won
Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama Kim Suk-hoon Won
Choi Jae-sung Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama Shim Hye-jin Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Choi Cheol-ho Won
Kim Myung-soo Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Moon Jung-hee Won
Best New Actress Kim So-eun Won
Best Young Actress Park Eun-bin Won
Best Couple Award Kim Hyeong-min and Lee Eun-jung Nominated
Kim Ho-jin and Shin Ae Nominated


  1. ^ Han, Sang-hee (30 December 2008). "Whats on Cultural Horizon in 2009?". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  2. ^ Han, Sang-hee (16 September 2009). "Experienced Actors Stealing Spotlight". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  3. ^ Oh, Jean (2 January 2009). "Wonder women, eye candy herald TV's New Year". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  4. ^ Yeom, Min-a (11 February 2009). "Kim So-eun dreams to become chameleon-like actress". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  5. ^ Lim, Hye-seon (4 January 2010). "Lee Byung-hun scores triple wins at KBS Acting Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-31.

External linksEdit