Jumong (TV series)

Last updated
Jumong poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Also known as
  • Prince of Legend
  • The Book of the Three Hans
삼한지: 주몽 편
三韓志: 朱蒙篇
Literal meaningThe Book of the Three Hans: The Chapter of Jumong
Revised Romanization Samhanji: Jumong Pyeon
Written by
Directed byLee Joo-hwan
Theme music composerOh Joon-sung
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes60 (extended to 81)
Executive producerKim Tae-hoon
ProducerKim Tae-hoon
Running time65 minutes
Production companies Chorokbaem Media
Original network MBC TV
Picture formatSatellite TV
Audio formatSatellite TV
Original release15 May 2006 (2006-05-15) 
6 March 2007 (2007-03-06)

Jumong (Korean : 삼한지: 주몽 편) is a epic South Korean historical series that aired on MBC from 2006 to 2007 as the network's 45th anniversary special. Originally scheduled for 60 episodes, MBC extended it to 81 because of its popularity.


The series examines the life of Jumong, founder of the kingdom of Goguryeo. The fantastic elements surrounding the original Jumong legend (such as those concerning his birth) have been replaced with events more grounded in reality. Jumong is considered part of the Korean Wave (Hallyu), with viewer ratings in Iran exceeding 80 percent. [1]


Jumong film set at Yongin Daejanggeum Park Jumong site 3.jpg
Jumong film set at Yongin Daejanggeum Park

Following the conquest of Gojoseon by Han China in 108 BCE, the surviving tribes and city-states of Manchuria and the northern Korean Peninsula are harshly subjugated as tributaries to the Han, who are portrayed as ruling with an iron fist from the Four Commanderies. Haemosu, the leader of the local resistance in the form of the Damul Army, covertly teams up with Prince Geumwa of Buyeo to defend and rescue Gojoseon refugees throughout the land. After being injured in a battle, Haemosu is rescued by Lady Yuhwa of the Habaek tribe (to whom Geumwa has taken a fancy), and they fall in love. Haemosu is subsequently ambushed and captured by Han forces (and after falling off a cliff is presumed dead by the outside world), and Lady Yuhwa is forced to seek shelter in Buyeo, where she becomes Geumwa's concubine and gives birth to a son, Jumong. They maintain that Geumwa is Jumong's father, when in fact Haemosu is his father.

Twenty years later, the young Jumong is a weak and cowardly prince overshadowed and scorned by his elder "half-brothers" Daeso and Youngpo, who are vying for inheritance of the Buyeo throne from their father (the now-King Geumwa). Because they believe Jumong is Geumwa's son, they assume that he has a justifiable claim to the throne, and their mother's hatred of Lady Yuhwa reinforces a feud between the half-brothers who aren't really brothers at all. This culminates in an assassination attempt by his brothers, setting in motion a sequence of events that leads to Jumong leaving the palace and, by a twist of fate, encounters his father, the now-elderly and blind Haemosu. Jumong becomes skilled in combat under Haemosu's covert tutelage, but is unaware of their father-son relationship. At the same time, Jumong forms a close relationship with Lady Soseono of the Gyeru trading clan of Jolbon. Following Haemosu's assassination by Daeso and Youngpo, Jumong learns the truth and vows to avenge his father and drive out the Han. He returns to Geumwa and leads the Buyeo army in a campaign against the Lintun and Zhenfan Commanderies, but is reported missing in action and presumed dead following an injury in battle. Subsequently, Daeso seizes power in Buyeo by colluding with Xuantu Commandery and forces Soseono to be his wife. In desperation, Soseono weds her trading partner Wootae (not knowing Jumong is still alive). Jumong, however, is rescued by the Hanbaek tribe and nursed back to health by Lady Yesoya, whom he weds. They return to Buyeo and Jumong feigns servitude to Daeso, thereby earning his trust. With Daeso's guard down, Jumong and his men manage to intercept and lead a large group of Gojoseon refugees into the wilds of Mount Bongye, where they establish a fortress and re-form the Damul Army, against Daeso's wishes, who holds Lady Yuhwa and a pregnant Yesoya hostage in the palace. After a solar eclipse, Geumwa regains the power with the help of the Prime Minister. He tries to convince Jumong to come back to palace and disband the Damul Army as part of the conditions given by the Prime minister in exchange for his reinstatement. Jumong refuses the offer and the Prime Minister tries to eliminate him and his men.

Over the next three years, the Damul Army grows and begins uniting various local tribes, to the discomfort of Buyeo and Han. Following Wootae's death in battle, Jumong and Soseono form an alliance and unite the five clans of Jolbon and the Damul Army into a single powerful entity, which succeeds in conquering the Xuantu Commandery and establishing the Kingdom of Goguryeo. When Yesoya and Yuri are reported missing from Buyeo (and presumed dead), a grieving Jumong weds Soseono and they become King and Queen of the new nation.

After ruling Goguryeo for fifteen years, Jumong succeeds in reuniting with Yesoya and Yuri (who had been living in exile after escaping from the palace). Following Geumwa's assassination by Han mercenaries, the newly-crowned King Daeso forms an alliance with Jumong, and the combined armies of Goguryeo and Buyeo succeed in conquering Liaodong Commandery with utter annihilation of the Han army in Manchuria. With Jumong's lifelong mission finally complete and in order to prevent internal strife due to Yuri's return, Soseono departs from Goguryeo and heads south with the pro-Jolbon faction and her teenage sons Biryu and Onjo, who subsequently becomes the founder of the Kingdom of Baekje on the Korean Peninsula. Buyeo eventually collapses following the battlefield death of Daeso at the hands of Jumong's grandson Muhyul. Jumong continues battling against Han China to consolidate his realm, and dies at the age of 40 after passing the crown of Goguryeo to Yuri.



Jumong film set Jumong site 1.jpg
Jumong film set

Jumong was filmed on location at Yongin Daejanggeum Park in Cheoin District, Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, where other period dramas (such as Dong Yi , Moon Embracing the Sun and Queen Seondeok ) were also filmed. [2]


Jumong received the highest viewership ratings of all the Korean dramas that aired in 2006. [3]

2006-05-15116.3% (3rd)17.5% (3rd)
2006-05-16218.4% (3rd)19.2% (3rd)
2006-05-22321.8% (1st)23.6% (1st)
2006-05-23425.3% (2nd)26.6% (2nd)
2006-05-29528.0% (1st)29.9% (1st)
2006-05-30628.7% (1st)29.6% (1st)
2006-06-05727.9% (1st)29.2% (1st)
2006-06-06832.3% (1st)33.7% (1st)
2006-06-20929.4% (1st)30.7% (1st)
2006-06-261033.2% (1st)35.3% (1st)
2006-06-271132.9% (1st)34.8% (1st)
2006-07-031236.4% (1st)38.1% (1st)
2006-07-041337.6% (1st)38.8% (1st)
2006-07-101435.8% (1st)37.5% (1st)
2006-07-111537.2% (1st)38.8% (1st)
2006-07-171640.1% (1st)42.8% (1st)
2006-07-181738.7% (1st)39.9% (1st)
2006-07-241839.6% (1st)41.1% (1st)
2006-07-251939.9% (1st)40.5% (1st)
2006-07-312035.1% (1st)36.1% (1st)
2006-08-012136.8% (1st)38.2% (1st)
2006-08-072237.3% (1st)37.9% (1st)
2006-08-082337.4% (1st)38.9% (1st)
2006-08-142435.5% (1st)35.8% (1st)
2006-08-152539.3% (1st)40.7% (1st)
2006-08-212638.1% (1st)39.6% (1st)
2006-08-222739.5% (1st)40.0% (1st)
2006-08-282840.3% (1st)41.7% (1st)
2006-08-292940.3% (1st)40.9% (1st)
2006-09-043039.7% (1st)40.6% (1st)
2006-09-053140.3% (1st)41.4% (1st)
2006-09-113239.3% (1st)40.6% (1st)
2006-09-123338.5% (1st)39.2% (1st)
2006-09-183439.5% (1st)40.3% (1st)
2006-09-193543.0% (1st)43.9% (1st)
2006-09-253642.8% (1st)43.9% (1st)
2006-09-263743.6% (1st)44.4% (1st)
2006-10-023842.6% (1st)43.2% (1st)
2006-10-033944.9% (1st)44.8% (1st)
2006-10-094044.2% (1st)45.0% (1st)
2006-10-104143.6% (1st)43.8% (1st)
2006-10-164243.1% (1st)43.6% (1st)
2006-10-174342.4% (1st)42.2% (1st)
2006-10-234444.5% (1st)45.4% (1st)
2006-10-244545.0% (1st)45.2% (1st)
2006-10-304644.6% (1st)45.1% (1st)
2006-10-314743.8% (1st)43.7% (1st)
2006-11-064846.6% (1st)47.9% (1st)
2006-11-074947.2% (1st)48.3% (1st)
2006-11-135043.6% (1st)43.5% (1st)
2006-11-145148.1% (1st)49.2% (1st)
2006-11-205244.8% (1st)45.4% (1st)
2006-11-215344.0% (1st)44.5% (1st)
2006-11-275445.1% (1st)45.2% (1st)
2006-11-285544.4% (1st)44.9% (1st)
2006-12-045644.0% (1st)44.4% (1st)
2006-12-055742.9% (1st)43.2% (1st)
2006-12-115846.4% (1st)46.1% (1st)
2006-12-125941.5% (1st)42.6% (1st)
2006-12-186044.4% (1st)45.3% (1st)
2006-12-196146.6% (1st)47.1% (1st)
2007-01-016244.8% (1st)45.8% (1st)
2007-01-026345.2% (1st)45.3% (1st)
2007-01-086445.5% (1st)45.4% (1st)
2007-01-096546.8% (1st)47.1% (1st)
2007-01-156646.8% (1st)47.5% (1st)
2007-01-166747.1% (1st)47.9% (1st)
2007-01-226849.8% (1st)50.5% (1st)
2007-01-236942.0% (1st)43.6% (1st)
2007-01-297047.9% (1st)48.3% (1st)
2007-01-307150.3% (1st)51.0% (1st)
2007-02-057247.1% (1st)48.5% (1st)
2007-02-067346.0% (1st)47.2% (1st)
2007-02-127447.6% (1st)48.1% (1st)
2007-02-137547.1% (1st)47.8% (1st)
2007-02-197641.9% (1st)42.1% (1st)
2007-02-207749.7% (1st)49.9% (1st)
2007-02-267847.2% (1st)47.1% (1st)
2007-02-277950.6% (1st)50.9% (1st)
2007-03-058049.8% (1st)50.0% (1st)
2007-03-068151.9% (1st)52.7% (1st)

Awards and nominations

MBC Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Song Il-gook Won [4]
Drama of the YearJumongNominated
Director of the YearLee Joo-hwanWon
Writer(s) of the YearChoi Wan-kyu and Jung Hyung-sooWon
Top Excellence Award, Actor Jun Kwang-ryul Won
Song Il-gook Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress Han Hye-jin Won
Oh Yeon-soo Nominated
Excellence Award, Actor Kim Seung-soo Won
Special Award, Actor in a Historical Drama Heo Joon-ho Won
Special Award, Actress in a Historical Drama Oh Yeon-soo Won
Special Award, Veteran Actor Lee Kye-in Won
Best New Actor Won Ki-joon Won
Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) JumongWon
Best Drama Nominated [5]
Best Director Lee Joo-hwanNominated
Best Actor Song Il-gook Nominated
Best Actress Han Hye-jin Nominated
Best Screenplay Choi Wan-kyu and Jung Hyung-sooWon
Best New Actress Song Ji-hyo Nominated
Korea Drama Awards Best DramaJumongWon
Seoul International Drama Awards Best Actor Song Il-gook Nominated [6]

International broadcast

Broadcast rights for Jumong were sold to Iran (Channel 3), Turkey, Romania (TVR1), Kazakhstan, Georgia (Imedi TV), Armenia, Japan (Fuji TV), Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam (VTV1), Singapore (Mediacorp Channel U), Indonesia, Thailand (Channel 3), Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines (GMA Network), Fiji (Fiji One), Iraqi Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Cambodia (Cambodian Television Network), United States (AZN Television), Myanmar (Myawaddy TV & MRTV-4), and Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation). [7] [8] [9] [10]

According to Reuters the most popular episodes of Jumong attracted over 90% of Iranian audience (compared to 40% in South Korea), propelling its lead actor Song Il-gook to superstar status in Iran. [11]

Hong Kong broadcast controversy

Asia Television bought the Hong Kong broadcast rights; however, controversy surrounding its translation escalated debate about ATV's editorial independence in news and drama. The controversy primarily surrounded the cutting of certain segments, [12] the alternative translation of place names and the alternative of a character's occupation. The changing of the word "nation" (in reference to Goguryeo) to "tribe" and the translation of the Han Dynasty as the "heavenly dynasty" has generated controversy about the station's editorial independence. This is related to controversies involving the governments of China and South Korea over the version of history of Goguryeo.

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