Spanning for over five centuries, the Joseon dynasty has completely dominated historical fiction in the K-Drama world. These dramas, also known as sageuks, are famous for their breathtaking period settings. From thrilling tales of political intrigues of the royal court to captivating love stories, these intricate tales let you dive back into the past that no history lesson ever prepared you for. If you’re an avid K-Drama enthusiast and find yourself swooning over the clash of swords and rustle of hanboks, we have the perfect list curated for you. So put your seatbelts on and let us travel back in time to witness the allure of the Joseon Dynasty.
1. Mr. Queen
This quirky series blends history with humor, romance, and the evergreen trope of body swapping. Witness a modern man’s soul accidentally entering the body of a Joseon Dynasty queen as he navigates the palace intrigues and gender-bending challenges while trying to return to his time.
2. Red Sleeve
This dramatic series focuses on the life of a Joseon noblewoman, Yun Seo. Forced into court politics, Yun Seo’s red sleeves symbolize her virtue and sacrifices. Packed with mind-bending twists and curses of forbidden love, the drama portrays the complexities of royal life and the consequences of ambition, making it a compelling watch.
3. Queen For Seven Days
This historically charged drama centers around Queen Dangyeong, who had a tragically short reign of only seven days. Amidst all political conspiracies and forbidden affections, what shines through the series is the protagonist’s strength and courage. This drama delivers a captivating tale of love and power set in the Joseon Dynasty.
4. Under The Queen’s Umbrella
This intriguing drama portrays the turbulent life of Queen Inhyun, who is known for her royal struggles leading to a tragic fate. The series explores the Queen’s determination and personal sacrifices amidst dirty attempts of power play, ultimately captivating the tumultuous life of royalty.
Set in the Joseon era, this drama series is a unique blend of historical and zombie genres. When a strange epidemic starts spreading, a crown prince embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover the truth behind the outbreak and save his kingdom from falling into chaos. Swords and zombies, what more do you need?
6. The Moon Embracing The Sun
This unique series revolves around the uncommon love between King Lee Hwon and a shaman, Wol. Their forbidden romance has been set as a backdrop against politics and supernatural mysteries. With compelling storytelling and amusing characters, this drama offers a mesmerizing journey through the Joseon era.
7. Tinted With You
If you’re looking for a quick watch, this series provides you with a complete package in a short amount of time. The only BL series in the list, the drama follows two men, one from the past and the other from our world, being drawn together by a painting.
8. The King’s Affection
Have you ever heard the trope of the prince and pauper? That’s precisely what this series entails for you. A crown prince escapes palace life to experience everyday life. Disguised as a commoner, he faces the complexities of love, identity, and societal pressures. The series explores his journey through romance, offering a unique take on the historical genre.
9. 100 Days My Prince
This charming series has a unique twist in the tale. Crown Prince Lee Yool loses his memory, lives as a commoner for 100 days, and falls in love with Hong Shim. As his memory returns, together, they navigate the political challenges facing them.
10. Love In The Moonlight
This charming drama revolves around a cross-dressing eunuch catching the eye of the crown prince, unaware of her true identity. Their blossoming romance is set against a backdrop of political motivations, resulting in a delightful mix of love, comedy, and palace drama, making it a beloved historical series.