K-drama stories of the romantic fantasy genre, with supernatural characters who have lived for hundreds of years, always keep us interested.
A well-loved K-drama trope must be the existence of mythical and immortal beings. From their histories, past traumas, to eccentric personalities or maturity, all of which make the dramas unique and fun to watch. Let’s take a look at 8 characters who are over 100 years old in Korean dramas!
1. Jang Man Wol in Hotel Del Luna (2019)
Hotel Del Luna is a hotel owned by a woman named Jang Man Wol (IU). The special thing about this hotel is that it serves as a temporary resting place for souls before they pass on to the afterlife. As a “punishment” for her mistake hundreds of years ago, Jang Man Wol has to become the owner of the hotel and is tied with this place for more than 1000 years.
Through an agreement from 20 years ago, Man Wol recruits Chan Sung (Yeo Jin Goo) to help her run the hotel. He then begins to learn about her secrets. Goo Chan Sung is the only person living in the hotel and also the 99th manager of this place. During his time working here, he discovers that only when the flowers of the Moon tree bloom again, Man Wol can put an end to her punishment.
Chan Sung is also the one who makes the tree bloom, as well as learns the truth about Man Wol’s past and gradually falls in love with her. Hotel Del Luna redefines rom-com and horror genres by combining them together to deliver the spooky yet enjoyable footage.
2. Kim Shin in Goblin (2016)
When it comes to the most popular supernatural characters in K-dramas, it would be a huge mistake to not include Kim Shin, played by Gong Yoo. He spent his mortal life in the Goryeo era as a military general. After being harmed by the king he always vowed to protect, and receiving punishment from the Gods as atonement for the lives he had taken, he became an immortal Goblin.
Only the Goblin’s Bride, Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) has the ability to pull the sword out of his chest, free him from this world, and give him final peace. In addition, another character, Grim Reaper (Lee Dong Wook) is also an immortal being who calls out names and guides souls to the afterlife after they die.
Living in the world for hundreds of years, having to say goodbye to those he treasures and cherishes one by one is the most painful punishment for Kim Shin for taking the lives of thousands of people during wartime.
Although Goblin always keeps in mind that he is not allowed to interfere in the life and death of people, he could not resist once when he helped a woman, who was pregnant with a child who later became the Goblin’s bride. It might sound heavy and sad, but Goblin will definitely make you laugh because of the cuteness and goofiness of the iconic duo of Goblin and Grim Reaper!
3. Wol Ju in Mystic Pop-Up Bar (2020)
In this fantasy drama, Hwang Jung Eum plays late-night bar owner Wol Ju, who makes her way into customers’ dreams to soothe their unresolved sadness. Her mission is to help a total of 100,000 souls in need. And if it fails, she will lose her life. To do this, she decides to team up with Gang Bae (BTOB’s Yook Sung Jae), a clumsy young man with special powers.
With a fantasy setting and vibrant, colorful theme, Mystic Pop-up Bar successfully draws the attention even without prioritizing the love line. The drama focuses more on everyday stories, the pressures of life that anyone can encounter, which will be gently eased every time they come to Wol Ju‘s night bar.
4. Do Min Joon in My Love From The Star (2013)
Originally an alien who visited Earth during the Joseon Dynasty, Do Min Joon unfortunately gets stuck on Earth for a thousand years, witnessing countless changes in society and his own identity. Three months before his scheduled flight back home, he meets Chun Song Yi (Jun Ji Hyun), an A-list Korean actress whose apartment is right next to him.
In modern times, he works as a college professor and discovers that there will be a comet coming in the next three months, which means he will be able to return to his home planet. Totally opposite of the calm and stoic Do Min Joon, Chun Song Yi is a confident, quirky and hilarious character who says whatever is on her mind and has the power to drive Do Min Joon “crazy”.
One day, Do Min Joon happens to find out that Chun Song Yi looks exactly like the girl he fell for back in the Joseon era and just as he is trying to return to his hometown, he falls in love again.
5. Kim Sung Yeol in The Scholar Who Walks The Night (2015)
Lee Jun Ki‘s character Sung Yeol is a Joseon scholar with a secret that’s always been kept hidden. He is actually a vampire who has lived for over 120 years! In the present life, he appears as the “Guardian Vampire“, whose main task is to hunt down the evil vampires who always break the rules of Vampires. In particular, the guy is not afraid of sunlight, as long as he wears a special black cloak.
Set in a fictional imperial dynasty, the story centers around the young daughter of a nobleman who loses everything when her father is framed for a crime. She starts crossdressing in order to sell books to make ends meet, and ends up meeting a handsome and mysterious vampire scholar. The mystery also includes an evil vampire residing in the palace who is the master puppeteer in the political arena, and will stop at nothing to prevent the Crown Prince from ascending the throne.
6. Mi Ho in My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho (2010)
The film is the story of Mi Ho, a nine-tailed gumiho (played by Shin Min Ah), who was trapped in a painting for 500 years. One day, Dae Woong, a college student, visits a temple and accidentally sets free the Gumiho. While running away in fright, Dae Woong severely injures himself, but the Gumiho, who took the form of a beautiful woman, saves him. In exchange, the Gumiho then asks him to help her become human and teach her how to act like one. As time goes by, their mutual relationship grows deeper as they start to fall for each other.
7. Habaek in The Bride Of Habaek (2017)
In this drama, Nam Joo Hyuk plays Habaek, a water god who has to see a psychotherapist named So Ah (Shin Se Kyung). So Ah belongs to a family whose members are destined to “serve” the water god. Although this drama received mixed reviews, there’s no denying that Nam Joo Hyuk‘s character is lovable and charming.
8. Yi Yeon and Yi Rang in Tale Of Gumiho
It is a very popular drama at the time of its broadcast when it features Lee Dong Wook and Kim Bum as half-brothers! Kim Bum plays Yi Rang, the most dangerous gumiho in that world. Lee Dong Wook‘s character is Yi Yeon, who was formerly a god and now works as an ordinary civil servant between the ordinary world and the underworld.
Each character in the drama has a distinct personality. Lee Yeon – the nine-tailed fox has an odd yet amusing personality. Nam Ji Ah in the drama, in contrast to the sweet beauty, is an active, energetic, intelligent girl who has had a traumatic childhood.
Lee Rang, the villain, is known as the “master of tricks.” Lee Rang harbors a grudge against his older brother, so he attempts to make Lee Yeon‘s life miserable.
The list above is a compilation of Korean dramas with mysterious elements in which the main characters are hundreds of years old, if not immortal. The plot of a “god” falling in love with an ordinary person is always fresh and well-received by the audience, despite how many times it has been exploited.