Tears of the Dragon (TV series)

Tears of the Dragon (Korean용의 눈물; Hanja龍의 눈물; RRYong-ui nunmul) is a South Korean historical television series. It aired on KBS1 from November 24, 1996 to May 31, 1998 for 159 episodes. The series spans from the foundation of Joseon to the reign of King Sejong. It's considered one of the best historical dramas in South Korea, reaching a viewership rating of 49%. It is also the first series based on historical researches on Prime Minister Jeong Do-jeon.[1]

Tears of the Dragon
Tears of the Dragon drama poster.jpeg
Also known asDragon's Tears
Based onSejong the Great King
by Park Chong-hwa
Written byLee Hwan-kyung
Directed byKim Jae-hyung
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes159
Original networkKBS1
Original releaseNovember 24, 1996 (1996-11-24) –
May 31, 1998 (1998-05-31)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationYongui nunmul
McCune–ReischauerYongŭi nunmul


The series portrays the life of Yi Bang-won (posthumously known as "Taejong"), the third king of Joseon and fifth son of its founder. It depicts him as being committed to the stability of the kingdom, a commitment that translates into affection and devotion towards his father and his heir (originally Taejong's first-born son, Yi Je), although these feelings are not reciprocated due to anger about the various assassinations and executions carried out by Taejong. The anger culminates in the retired Taejo's efforts to remove his son by backing the Jo Sa-wi rebellion and personally shooting an arrow at him during a reconciliation meeting. Taejong grows to become perpetually suspicious of those around him (especially his in-laws), resulting in purges, a typical example being his execution of his wife's influence-peddling-but-loyal oldest brothers and naively-innocent youngest brothers. In disgusted response, his crown prince rejects the throne to become a playboy and his second-born son, Yi Bo, joins the Buddhist priesthood, deferring the position to the third-born son, Yi Do.


Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result
1997 KBS Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Yoo Dong-geun Won
Top Excellence in Acting Awards, Best Actor Kim Mu-saeng Won
Top Excellence in Acting Awards, Best Actress Choi Myung-gil Won
Best Supporting Actor Seon Dong-hyuk [ko] Won
Best New Actress Song Yoon-ah Nominated
Best Young Actor Kim Min-woo Nominated
1998 34th Baeksang Arts Awards Best TV Actor Yoo Dong-geun Won
Technical Award, Costume Department Won


  1. ^ "Jeong Do-jeon and Dragon Tears". The Dong-A Ilbo. 2014-02-14. Retrieved 2018-03-26.

External linksEdit