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Based on the novel of the same title, The Moon That Embraces the Sun (also known as "The Sun and the Moon") reached almost 20% in viewership from its first episode. The acting and the visual appeal of the young actors have stolen the hearts of young female viewers, and the show’s ratings only improve with each new episode.
The Moon That Embraces the Sun is a historical drama depicting the first love of a fictional king, set in the royal court of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It is a sad but beautiful love story of innocent young people, with the story developing around the conflicts and conspiracy of political powers vying for the throne against the king’s efforts for good politics.
The drama is a quality fusion historical drama enhanced by the strong acting of the main and supporting actors, its visual appeal, and the engaging dialogue that draws from the humor on the Internet.

Drama Information

Head producer:
Oh Gyeong-hun
Directed by:
Kim Do-hun, Lee Seong-jun
Screenplay by:
Jin Su-wan
Cast:
Han Ga-in, Kim Soo-hyun, Jung Il-woo, Kim Min-seo
Aired on:
January 4, 2012 - March 8, 2012 (20 episodes)
Broadcasting channel:
MBC
Website:
http://www.imbc.com/broad/tv/drama/sunNmoon/ (Korean)

Synopsis

Heo Yeon-u, the daughter of a high-ranking official, visits the royal court with her mother to see her brother attend a ceremony congratulating his first place in the state examination. By chance, she comes across crown prince Lee Hwon, and the two feel attracted by each other. Yeon-u’s brother, a person of high scholarship with a great personality, is ordered by the king to become the mentor of the crown prince. After learning that his mentor is Yeon-u’s brother, the crown prince uses him as a messenger of love.
Inside the palace, there is a conspiracy to have Yoon Bo-gyeong, the daughter of a family clan that is in opposition to the king, selected as the crown princess. Lee Hwon manages to have Yeon-u selected as the crown princess, but his great-grandmother Yoon asks shaman Nok-yeong to cast a spell on Yeon-u so that she becomes stricken with an unknown sickness. Yeon-u is taken to her home in her last remaining days of life, and passes away. Nok-yeong secretly visits Yeon-u’s father and tells him how to break the spells. Upon being resurrected from her grave, Yeon-u lives her life as a shaman by the name Wol, without any recollection of her past. Meanwhile, after Yeon-u’s believed death, Yoon Bo-gyeong becomes the crown princess and expands her political power in the court. Amid difficult political circumstances, Lee Hwon grows to be a cold and aloof king. As time passes, his yearning for Yeon-u only grows. One day, he sets out on an excursion to a hot spring. Seeing him in the royal procession from afar, Yeon-u (Wol) becomes confused as Hwon comes back vaguely in her memory.

Characters

Heo Yeon-u played by Han Ga-in
Yeon-u - the moon containing the sun. Though her name means ‘misty rain,’ Yeon-u is like the clear sky after a shower. The daughter of a high-ranking official, she is educated and wise. She comes across Lee Hwon when she happens to visit the royal palace to attend a ceremony congratulating her brother’s first place in the state examination. Her first impressions of the crown prince turn into love. Though selected to be the crown princess, she is stricken with an unknown illness and is forced out of the palace. At home, she dies in her father’s arms. Not knowing what had happened to her, Yeon-u is brought back to life and becomes a shaman. One day, she comes across Lee Hwon again.
Lee Hwon played by Kim Soo-hyun
Lee Hwon - the sun reaching out for the moon. Handsome and always bright, he learns from his mentor (Yeon-u’s brother) the pleasure of scholarship and the etiquette expected of a king, while also learning about the world outside the palace and the joy of first love from Yeon-u. After the sudden death of Yeon-u, who was selected to be his crown princess, and the court’s decision to declare Yoon Bo-gyeong as the crown princess, he turns into a cold and cynical king. During a royal procession one day, he steps inside a shaman’s home to escape the rain. There, he meets a shaman called Wol who looks uncannily like Yeon-u.
Yang Myeong played by Jung Il-woo
Yang Myeong - a sad light overshadowed by the sun. Though he looks like he doesn’t care about anything in the world, he strives to be free from his destiny. As the half brother of Lee Hwon, he grew up in the shadow of Hwon. His father, the king, shuns him. To cope, he leaves the palace and roams about the world. He is a friend of Yeon-u’s brother and feels love for Yeon-u, but he falls in despair after Yeon-u’s death.
Yoon Bo-gyeong played by Kim Min-seo
Bo-gyeong - a mirror longing to be the moon. With a ladylike demeanor, she has a nice, warm personality on the surface. But her affection of the elderly, the respect of those who serve her, and the sympathy of the royal relatives are all the outcomes of her carefully crafted strategy to become crown princess. It was her father that turned the innocent young Bo-gyeong into an ambitious person. When Yeon-u dies, her wish to become Hwon’s consort comes true. But eight years later, her worries start to grow after seeing shaman Wol appear in front of the king.

< Photo courtesy by MBC >

Filming Locations

Choichampandaek (Residence of Choi Champan)
The residence of Choi Champan is the background of Korea’s noted historical novel Toji (The Land) and a famous filming location. In The Moon That Embraces the Sun, it appears as the house where Yeon-woo spent her childhood. The residence is housed in a hanok building and has on exhibit various items showing the lifestyle and culture of the later part of the Joseon Dynasty. It boasts a splendid natural landscape with an expansive neighboring field and the Seomjingang River. In the spring, the area is bright with cherry flower blossoms along the river, and in the fall, the area turns into the venue for the Toji Literature Festival.
Yongin MBC Dramia
Yongin MBC Dramia is the filming set where Korean historical dramas like Jumong, Queen Seondeok, and Dong Yi were filmed. The facility features buildings from the Three Kingdoms era (the era of the Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla Kingdoms, between the 4th and mid-7th century) to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). In The Moon That Embraces the Sun, royal palace scenes were mostly filmed here. With the popularity of Korean drama series, Yongin MBC Dramia is becoming a major tourist destination for both local and international tourists.
☞ Click here for more on MBC Dramia
Korean Folk Village
The Korean Folk Village features the lifestyle and private houses of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It has on exhibit various items from the era, including household tools, farming tools, and crafts. Various events are held by season, such as farmers’ music performances, tightrope dancing, and traditional wedding reenactments. The market inside the village sells various traditional foods like injeolmi (rice cake), bindaetteok (mung bean pancake), pajeon (spring onion pancake), and Korean liquors. In The Sun and the Moon, the local markets, the private residences of the commoners, and the night scenes were filmed here.
☞ Click here for more on Korean Folk Village



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