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Guardian: The Lonely and Great God

Guardian: The Lonely and Great God[1] (Hangul쓸쓸하고 찬란하神 - 도깨비; RRSseulsseulhago Chanlanhasin - Dokkaebi) is a South Korean television series starring Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook, Yoo In-na, and Yook Sung-jae. It aired on cable network tvN every Friday and Saturday at 20:00 starting December 2, 2016 until January 21, 2017.[2][3]

Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
Golbin Poster.jpg
Also known as Goblin
Genre Fantasy
Created by Yoon Ha-rim
Written by Kim Eun-sook
Directed by Lee Eung-bok
Kwon Hyuk-chan
Yoon Jong-ho
Starring Gong Yoo
Kim Go-eun
Lee Dong-wook
Yoo In-na
Yook Sung-jae
Opening theme "Round and Round" by Heize & Han Soo-ji
Ending theme "Stay With Me" by Chanyeol and Punch
Composer(s) Nam Hye-seung
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 16 + 3 specials
Executive producer(s) Kim Beom-rae
Producer(s) Joo Kyung-ha
Kim Ji-yeon
Location(s) Gimje, South Korea
Gangwon-do, South Korea
Seoul, South Korea
Quebec City, Canada
Cinematography Park Sung-yong
Kang Yoon-soon
Editor(s) Lee Sang-rok
Running time 60-90 mins
Production company(s) Hwa and Dam Pictures
Studio Dragon
Distributor tvN
Original network tvN
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital
First shown in South Korea
Original release December 2, 2016 (2016-12-02) – January 21, 2017 (2017-01-21)
External links
Korean name
Hangul 쓸쓸하고 찬란하신 - 도깨비
Hanja 쓸쓸하고 燦爛하神 - 도깨비
Revised Romanization Sseulsseulhago Chanlanhasin - Dokkaebi

Its final episode recorded an 18.680% nationwide audience share making it the second highest rated drama in Korean cable television history behind Reply 1988.[4]



Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is an invincible warrior and an assigned general of the ancient kingdom. However, his glory is destroyed when he kills a king in a war. The young prince (Lee Dong-wook) is furious and banishes him out of the kingdom. Kim Shin disobeys and comes back to the palace, which leads him to be killed along with his sister, Sun (Yoo In-na), who was married to the young prince by order of the previous king. Kim Shin was killed by his own blade, but given a second chance at life. However, he soon finds it to be a curse as this meant that the ones he loved would eventually all leave him as he lived on for eternity. The only one who could pull the sword out of his body and send him to the afterlife was a mysterious girl who is only known as the Goblin's bride.



A 939-year-old immortal goblin and protector of souls who is in search for his bride, the only one who can remove the sword he was killed with, piercing his chest. Once the sword is removed, he may finally move to the afterlife and rest in peace. Although initially skeptical that Eun-tak is the Goblin bride, he gradually begins to love her and accept her as his long-awaited bride. He can teleport through any door, freeze time and can look into the future of a person's life. His mood also influences the weather. He and the Grim Reaper are the best of friends until he discovers that his friend is actually his great enemy, Wang Yeo, the king who ordered his and his household's death. Yet he forgives him in the end and lets him date Sunny, the reincarnation of Dokkaebi/Goblin's sister.
  • Kim Go-eun as Ji Eun-tak
    • Han Seo-jin as young Ji Eun-tak
An optimistic and bubbly high school student, who is one of the two missing souls that the Grim Reaper is after, and the legendary Goblin's bride. She was born by the Goblin's mercy: he saved her mother from dying while she was pregnant with her. It left a mark on her back, a sign that she was destined to be the Goblin's wife. Her mom died when she was 9 and at first, she struggled under her vicious aunt's custody until she is 19 years old. Having the ability to see and speak to dead spirits since a young age, additionally, she can always summon the Goblin by extinguishing any candle-light by blowing on it, which leads to their first encounter. Immune to the Goblin's powers, she can teleport through doors with him, and isn't affected by the Goblin's time-freezing.
A good-looking, amnesiac grim reaper (grim reapers come into being as punishment for committing the greatest and heaviest of sins; taking of their own lives in their past incarnations) who escorts souls of the dead to their afterlife or to be reincarnated. Him, along with other Grim Reapers, have no memory of their past life and serves their role as an escort as a punishment. He is the reincarnation of Wang Yeo, a Goryeo Dynasty king who ordered the killing of his brother-in-law Kim Shin for treason and sentenced his family to death out of fear induced by his "advisor". Initially he and the Goblin have a difficult relationship but later on become good friends due to him helping Goblin protect Eun-tak from dying. He finds various ways to please Sunny, whom he likes to call Sun-hee.
A bright and attractive owner of a chicken restaurant who falls in love with the Grim Reaper from the very first time they meet. Kim Sun is the reincarnation of Kim Shin/Goblin's younger sister, Wang Yeo's queen consort, who was tragically killed along with Kim Shin's family. She is constantly confused at the Grim Reaper's strange behaviors, but is intrigued by him otherwise.
A rebellious but kind-hearted chaebol heir and the only grandson of the Yoo family, a household that has the responsibility of taking care of the Goblin. Living under the same roof with the Goblin and the Grim Reaper, Deok-hwa learns of their true identities, and the trio grows to be good companions of one another. The Almighty also borrows Deok-hwa's body to speak to Goblin, Grim Reaper, and Samshin.
Yook Sung-jae & Jung Ji-hoon (as well as Kim Sung-kyum below) also play various Yoo ancestors in flashbacks.


[citation needed]

  • Lee El as Samshin, goddess of birth and fate
  • Kim Sung-kyum as Chairman Yoo Shin-woo, Deok-hwa's grandfather
  • Yum Hye-ran as Ji Yeon-suk, Eun-tak's aunt
  • Jung Young-gi as Park Kyung-shik, Eun-tak's male cousin
  • Choi Ri as Park Kyung-mi, Eun-tak's female cousin
  • Jo Woo-jin as Kim Do-young, Deok-hwa's secretary


  • Hwang Seok-jeong as triplet sisters; 2 of them as a shaman fortune teller and a ghost
  • Park Kyung-hye as ghost trying to take Eun-tak with her
  • Park Se-wan as ghost wearing glasses (Ep. 5)
  • Kim So-ra as Lee Jung-hwa, a ghost trying to take revenge on her husband
  • Ko Bo-gyeol as Kim Yoo-na, Eun-tak's class president
  • Lee Moon-soo as an old man from the Goryeo era who kept Kim Shin's body
  • Yoon Kyung-ho as Kim Woo-sik, Kim Shin's loyal lieutenant from the Goryeo era
  • Kim Byung-chul as Park Joong-heon, a cunning and manipulative eunuch from the Goryeo Dynasty
  • Nam Da-reum as Kim Soo-bok, boy who met Kim Shin in Canada
  • Kim Nan-hee as Eun-tak's teacher
  • Kim Min-young as Soo-jin, Eun-tak's schoolmate
  • Ma Min-hee as one of Soo-jin's school friends
  • Yoon Hee-kyung as one of Soo-jin's school friends
  • Choi Woong as Wang Yeo's junior grim reaper
  • Kim Ki-doo as one of the junior grim reapers
  • Jo Hyun-sik as Loan shark
  • Yoon Joo-man as Loan shark
  • Yoon Da-young as a female grim Reaper, reincarnation of Wang Yeo's lady-in-waiting
  • Ahn Ji-hyun as Go Jung-hyun, ghost of Eun-tak's mother's friend; later Eun-tak's friend
  • Choi Ji-hyun
  • Ahn Doo-ho
  • Lee Seul-bi as vain woman at cafe
  • Yoon Kyung-ho
  • Lee Han-seo as girl giving Eun-tak a book
  • Sung Nak-kyung as Na Kyung-won, man who hit Eun-tak's mother by car
  • Kim Nam-hee
  • Kang Jung-goo
  • Seol Yoo-jin
  • Oh Yoo-mi
  • Ko Ja-eun
  • Lee Na-hyun
  • Kim Ian
  • Kim Do-joon
  • Yoon Boo-jin as Eun-tak's house landlady
  • Kim Mi-hye
  • Yoo Yeong-bok
  • Hwang In-joon as detective
  • Ahn Sung-geon
  • Seo Hye-jin
  • Kim Seo-jung
  • Kim In-hee
  • Jung Ji-eun
  • Lee Seung-yeon
  • Kim Ji-hoon
  • Kim Yoo-jung
  • Hong Boo-hyang as mother of the ghost with glasses (Ep. 5)

Cameo appearancesEdit

  • Park Hee-von as Ji Yeon-hee, Ji Eun-tak's mother (Ep. 1, 7)
  • Kim Min-jae as Wang Yeo, the Grim Reaper's past mortal incarnation. (Ep. 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)[10]
  • Kim So-hyun as Kim Sun, Sunny's past mortal incarnation. (Ep. 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)[11][12]
  • Jung Hae-in as Choi Tae-hee, Ji Eun-tak's first love (Ep. 7, 8)


Lee, Gong and Kim at the drama's press conference, November 2016

The series was written by Kim Eun-sook, who also wrote the popular series Secret Garden (2010), The Heirs (2013) and Descendants of the Sun (2016). The drama marked her second collaboration with director Lee Eun-bok after both worked on Descendants.[13][14]

The first script-reading was held at Nuri Dream Square in Sangam-dong, Seoul, South Korea, on 30 August 2016.[15][16] The Goryeo-era flashback scenes were filmed on Gimje, North Jeolla Province in September 22[17][18][19] for the battlefield scenes, while the palace scenes were shot at Naju Image Theme Park.[20] Goblin and Grim Reaper's house (external shots) was filmed at (formerly) Unhyeongung's Western House,[21] presently inside Duksung Women's University (utilized for administration offices).[22][20]

Overseas filming mainly took place in Quebec City, Canada in October,[23][24][25] featuring locations such as the Château Frontenac, Parc du Bastion-de-la-Reine (the Yoo family cemetery), Petit Champlain (Goblin's door to Canada), & the Fontaine de Tourny.[20]


The drama was a hit and consistently topped cable television viewership ratings in its timeslot. Its final episode recorded an 18.680% nationwide audience share according to Nielsen paid platform, making the episode the second highest rated in Korean cable television history.[26] Kim In-yook's poetry book, The Physics of Love, also gained renewed attention after one of its verses was featured in the drama.[27] The original soundtracks also topped local digital music charts.[28][29][30]

The Korea Times stated, "...the depth of perspective looking at life of the goblin that bears a bloody sword in his chest and has been given eternal life as punishment, immerses the audience into the fantasy story. The twist and complexity of life and death make the story more interesting."[31]

Despite its success, Guardian was criticized for its several consumer product placements (as well as Kim Eun-sook's previous hit-drama "Descendants of the Sun" 2016)[32] [33] [34] which drew an estimated 2-4 billion KRW from revenue.[35][36][37] It has surpassed Descendants of the Sun (2016) in video-on-demand sales.[38]

Original soundtrackEdit

OST Part 1Edit

Guardian: The Lonely and Great God OST
Soundtrack album
Studio CJ E&M Music Studios
Genre Pop, K-pop, Rap, Soundtrack
Language Korean, English
Label CJ E&M, Hwa & Dam Pictures
No. Title Artists Length
1. "Stay With Me" Chanyeol (EXO), Punch 03:13
2. "Stay With Me" (Inst.)   03:13
Total length: 06:26

OST Part 2Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "My Eyes" (내 눈에만 보여) 10cm 02:37
2. "My Eyes" (Inst.)   02:37
Total length: 05:14

OST Part 3Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "Hush" Lasse Lindh 04:20
Total length: 04:20

OST Part 4Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "Beautiful" Crush 3:48
2. "Beautiful" (Inst.)   3:48
Total length: 7:36

OST Part 5Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "You Are So Beautiful" (이쁘다니까) Eddy Kim 03:16
2. "You Are So Beautiful" (Inst.)   03:16
Total length: 06:32

OST Part 6Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "Who Are You" Sam Kim 04:16
2. "Who Are You" (Inst.)   04:16
Total length: 08:32

OST Part 7Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "I Miss You" Soyou (Sistar) 02:50
2. "I Miss You" (Inst.)   02:50
Total length: 05:40

OST Part 8Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "First Snow" (첫 눈) Jung Joon Il 04:57
2. "First Snow" (Inst.)   04:57
Total length: 09:54

OST Part 9Edit

No. Title Artist Length
1. "I Will Go to You Like the First Snow" (첫눈처럼 너에게 가겠다) Ailee 03:50
2. "I Will Go to You Like the First Snow" (Inst.)   03:50
Total length: 07:40

OST Part 10Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "Wish" (소원) Urban Zakapa 03:56
2. "Wish" (Inst.)   03:56
Total length: 07:52

OST Part 11Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "And I'm here" Kim Kyung Hee (April 2nd) 04:08
2. "Winter is coming" Han Soo Ji 02:30
3. "Stuck in love" Kim Kyung Hee (April 2nd) 02:39
Total length: 09:17

OST Part 12Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "HEAVEN" Roy Kim , Kim EZ (GGot Jam Project) 04:20
2. "HEAVEN" (Inst.)   04:20
Total length: 08:40

OST Part 13Edit

No. Title Artists Length
1. "LOVE" Mamamoo 02:58
2. "LOVE" (Inst.)   02:58
Total length: 05:56

OST Part 14Edit

No. Title Writer(s) Artists Length
1. "Round and Round" John Christopher Cruz Heize & Han Soo-ji 03:22
2. "Round and Round" (Inst.) Gene Martin Pineda And Jr Benavides iKONG pOLOKONG KONG 03:22
3. "Gurdian Of the Kingkong Goblin"      
Total length: 06:44

Track listing error: Time value does not contain a colon

Charted performanceEdit


In the table below, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.

Episode # Original broadcast date AGB Nielsen

Ratings[56] [57]

TNmS Ratings[58]
Nationwide Seoul
December 2, 2016
December 3, 2016
December 9, 2016
December 10, 2016
December 16, 2016
December 17, 2016
December 23, 2016
December 24, 2016
December 30, 2016
December 31, 2016
January 6, 2017
January 7, 2017
January 13, 2017
January 20, 2017
January 21, 2017
Average 12.924% 14.729% 13.7%
January 14, 2017
February 3, 2017
February 4, 2017
  • This drama aired on a cable channel/pay TV which normally has a relatively smaller audience compared to free-to-air TV/public broadcasters (KBS, SBS, MBC & EBS).
  • Episodes 15 and 16 aired back-to-back on January 21, 2017

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2017 1st Korea Brand Awards Special Award Guardian: The Lonely and Great God Won [62]
Korean Cable TV Awards Best Drama Won [63]
Best OST Ailee (I Will Go to You Like the First Snow) Won
Rising Star Award Yook Sung-jae Won
VOD Broadcasting Guardian: The Lonely and Great God Won
53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize Kim Eun-sook Won [64][65]
Best Drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God Nominated
Best Director Lee Eung-bok Nominated
Best Screenplay Kim Eun-sook Nominated
Best Actor Gong Yoo Won
Best Actress Kim Go-eun Nominated


  1. ^ Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. tvN Drama via Youtube. 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  2. ^ E., Maolen (2016-08-31). "tvN's 'Goblin' starring Gong Yoo, Kim Go-Eun begins test shooting". Yibada. Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  3. ^ "[단독] 김고은, 공유의 여자 된다..김은숙 신작 주인공". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  4. ^ "January 21, 2017 Nationwide Cable Ratings". Nielsen Korea. 1st (tvN) 쓸쓸하고찬란하신도깨비<본> 18.680% 
  5. ^ "공유, 김은숙 차기작 ‘도깨비’ 출연 확정…11월 tvN 첫방송 [공식입장]". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  6. ^ "[단독] 김고은, 공유의 여자 된다…김은숙 신작 주인공". 네이트뉴스 (in Korean). Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  7. ^ "‘도깨비’ 이동욱, 저승사자→왕여 변신…비극적 운명 예고". 2017-01-05. Retrieved 2017-01-05. 
  8. ^ "tvN 측 "육성재·유인나 '도깨비' 출연 확정"(공식입장)". 뉴스1. 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  9. ^ Kim, E. (2016-08-29). "Yook Sungjae And Yoo In Na To Join Gong Yoo And More In tvN Fantasy Drama". Soompi. Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  10. ^ Charmaine. "Kim Min Jae to also cameo in Goblin!". Kpop Fighting!. Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  11. ^ K, J. (2016-09-26). "Kim So Hyun To Make Cameo In Gong Yoo And Kim Go Eun's Upcoming Drama". Soompi. Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  12. ^ "김소현 측 "‘도깨비’ 특별출연… 캐릭터 비중 높다" [공식입장]". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  13. ^ "극구 부인하던 tvN ´도깨비´, 결국 ´태후´ 이응복 PD가 연출 - 일간스포츠". 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
  14. ^ "'Descendants' writer, director team up for new fantasy piece". The Korea Herald. 2016-11-22. Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
  15. ^ "'도깨비', 1·2회 90분 특별 편성". Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  16. ^ "‘도깨비’ 대본리딩 현장, 공유-김고은 케미 어땠나". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  17. ^ "'도깨비' 공유, '찬란하神' 장군 눈빛...데뷔 첫 사극 연기 도전". Retrieved 2016-11-15. 
  18. ^ Hong, C. (2016-10-07). "Gong Yoo Is The Prettiest 'Goblin' Ever In New Drama Stills". Soompi. Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  19. ^ "'도깨비' 공유, 우수에 찬 첫 촬영 포착…몽환적 분위기". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  20. ^ a b c "[Filming Location] Goblin: The Lonely and Great God". WordPress. Flyhoneystars. December 26, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2017. 
  21. ^ "운현궁 양관". Naver Blog (in Korean). 길벗 (011gilbut). February 4, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  22. ^ "서울여행코스 여행지 드라마 도깨비 촬영지 공유 집 촬영장소". Naver Blog (in Korean). 부산여행 (busanpen). December 12, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Overseas K-drama Filming Sends Goblin to Canada and Man to Man Heads to Hungary | A Koala's Playground". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  24. ^ "Le "Brad Pitt" de la Corée du Sud en tournage à Québec | David Rémillard | Cinéma". La Presse (in French). Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  25. ^, Zone Arts -. "Tournage d’une méga série sud-coréenne à Québec". (in French). Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  26. ^ "January 21, 2017 Nationwide Cable Ratings". Nielsen Korea. 1st (tvN) 쓸쓸하고찬란하신도깨비<본> 18.680% 
  27. ^ "Book sales jump as Guardian's popularity soars". 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  28. ^ "“‘도깨비’X에일리 통했다” ‘첫눈처럼 너에게 가겠다’ 가온차트 3관왕". Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  29. ^ "'도깨비' 신드롬, OST로 이어진다..크러쉬 '뷰티풀' 차트 1위 석권 :: 네이버 TV연예" (in (Korean)). Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  30. ^ 기사입력2017.01.21 오전 7:18. "[美친차트] '도깨비' 끝없는 질주, 헤이즈X한수지 6개 차트 1위 :: 네이버 TV연예" (in (Korean)). Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  31. ^ "Fantasy drama "Guardian" enjoys unprecedented popularity". 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  32. ^ "‘Descendants of the Sun’ under fire for too much PPL". Kpopherald (in ENG). April 7, 2016. 
  33. ^ "'PPL 폭탄' 터트린 태양의 후예". Chosun (in Korean). April 8, 2016. 
  34. ^ "'태양의 후예'는 PPL범벅?…간접광고 제재 절차 개시(종합)". Yonhapnews (in Korean). April 18, 2016. 
  35. ^ Herald, The Korea (2017-01-04). "‘Guardian,’ popular but controversial". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  36. ^ "Despite flaws, 'Guardian' reaches new heights in rating, themes". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  37. ^ 윤고은 (2017-01-22). "[단독][도깨비 20.5%] VOD 흥행기록 깼다…중국 없이도 흑자③" [[Exclusive] [Guardian20.5%] VOD Breaks Records... China Market Excluded③]. 연합뉴스 (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  38. ^ "April 27th, 2017 Goblin beats Descendants of Sun in video-on-demand sales". The Straits Times. 1st (straits times) 
  39. ^ "쓸쓸하고찬란하神-도깨비 OST (孤单又灿烂的神-鬼怪 OST)" [Guardian: The Lonely and Great God OST] (in Chinese). QQ Music. April 2, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017. 
  40. ^ Cumulative sales for "Stay With Me":
  41. ^ Cumulative sales "My Eyes":
  42. ^ Cumulative sales for "Hush":
  43. ^ Cumulative sales for "Beautiful":
  44. ^ Cumulative sales for "You Are So Beautiful":
  45. ^ Cumulative sales for "Who Are You":
  46. ^ Cumulative sales for "I Miss You":
  47. ^ Cumulative sales for "First Snow":
  48. ^ Cumulative sales for "I Will Go to You Like the First Snow":
  49. ^ Cumulative sales for "Wish":
  50. ^ a b c d Cumulative sales for "And I'm here", "Winter is coming", "Stuck in love" & "LOVE":
  51. ^ Cumulative sales for "HEAVEN":
  52. ^ Cumulative sales for "Round and Round":
  53. ^ * "Goblin OST Pack". Archived from the original on August 27, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  54. ^ *"Gaon Album Chart - Month 04". Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  55. ^ Goblin OST Sales in China's two major music platforms:
  56. ^ "AGB Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Retrieved July 11, 2016. 
  57. ^ "‘도깨비’, 최고의 드라마..시청률·화제성·해외반응 다가졌다". OSEN (in Korean). January 23, 2017. 
  58. ^ "TNMS Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Archived from the original on November 28, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2017. 
  59. ^ "TNMS Ratings". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  60. ^ "TNMS Ratings". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  61. ^ "TNMS Ratings". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  62. ^ "박보검·조정석·'도깨비', '2017 대한민국 퍼스트브랜드' 특별상". Retrieved 2016-12-17. 
  63. ^
  64. ^ "공유·박보검·남궁민·한석규…백상예술대상 男TV연기상 4파전". 7 April 2017. 
  65. ^ "‘Guardian,’ ‘The Handmaiden’ win big at Baeksang Awards". Korea Herald. 4 May 2017. 

External linksEdit