12 Must-Watch Kdramas Set in the Goryeo Dynasty
The Goryeo Dynasty was a golden age of Korean history, marked by artistic and intellectual flourishing, political intrigue, and complex interpersonal relationships.
During this era, which lasted from 918 to 1392, Korea underwent significant change, as the country developed new art forms, literature, and religious practices.
Today, historical Kdramas set in the Goryeo Dynasty offer a fascinating window into this captivating period, immersing viewers in the rich tapestry of life in ancient Korea, and I just know you’ll love them.
So, if you watched Shin Don and Empress Cheonchu and you loved them, here are some other recommendations for Kdramas set in this time period that you’ll enjoy as well.
Here are some of the best Kdramas set in the Goryeo dynasty:
1. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
Transported back in time during a total eclipse of the sun, Go Ha Jin finds herself living in the Goryeo Dynasty of Korea.
As 16-year-old Hae Soo, she befriends several of the princes and becomes entangled in palace intrigues over the succession to the throne.
Despite knowing the dangers, she can’t resist the attention of several lovesick Princes, including the ostracized 4th Prince, Wang So.
In this thrilling historical drama, we follow Hae Soo as she navigates the treacherous waters of court politics and forbidden love.
2. The King In Love
Born with good looks, a magnetic personality, and the wisdom of a snake, Wang Won is the son of the king of Goryeo and the daughter of the Yuan emperor.
With his ambitions to conquer other lands, he has a loyal friend and comrade, Rin, who shares his goals.
One day, he meets San, a confident young woman who he remembers from his childhood.
Entranced by her beauty, Wang Won befriends her, but this friendship sparks tragedy as both he and Rin become captivated by her.
3. Shine Or Go Crazy
Wang So is a Goryeo prince born with the name “Shine,” who has suffered from a cursed prophecy that brought him vile remarks, and Shin Yul, a woman from the Balhae kingdom with the powers of an oracle.
Despite their differences, the two are drawn to each other in this enthralling historical drama.
But their love is at a crossroads, as a former princess from a fallen kingdom faces death for her fate to become the light of another kingdom.
4. Empress Ki
Empress Ki, a woman of Goryeo descent, rose to power in the Mongol-founded Yuan Dynasty.
Though taken against her will as a Gungnyeo (palace woman), she managed to overcome her lowly status and hold immense power for 37 years as the last empress of another land.
This remarkable historical figure defied the odds and made her mark on a world dominated by men.
This is one of the most popular Kdramas set during the Goryeo dynasty that’s a testament to Empress Ki’s journey of perseverance, ambition, strength, and triumph.
In this captivating time-travel and enemies to lovers Korean drama, a skilled plastic surgeon of the 21st century, Eun Soo, finds herself kidnapped and taken 700 years back in time for her incredible healing abilities.
Once there, she meets General Choi Yeong, a clever but serious bodyguard to the king of Goryeo era Korea, who rarely cracks a smile.
Although they initially clash, Eun Soo and Choi Yeong soon find themselves drawn to each other in ways they never expected, and they start navigating the challenges of love and duty in a world far removed from their own.
6. God Of War
In this drama, a man born to the slave class rises to power in the Goryeo Dynasty.
Kim Jun, raised by monks after his mother escapes from the palace, must leave his peaceful life behind and enter a dangerous game to gain freedom from his masters.
As the Mongols invade Korea, Kim Jun becomes a top military official and eventually rules the Goryeo empire for 60 years.
7. The Great Seer
In the time of King Gong Min – the 31st ruler of Goryeo from 1351 – 1374 –, The Great Seer follows the story of Mok Ji Sang, a seer/geomancer with a unique ability to see into the past and future.
Despite being falsely accused of possessing supernatural powers, Mok Ji Sang becomes a powerful political advisor known as a kingmaker.
He uses his talents to shape the future of Korea, leading to the overthrow of Goryeo and the rise of Joseon.
The drama is less about fantasy and more about the political power struggles that shape the course of history.
8. The Iron Empress
The Iron Empress fights to protect Goryeo from its enemies, earning her the nickname that reflects her strong will and determination.
As the granddaughter of the first emperor of Goryeo, she inherits his vision and spirit, leading her to battle against the Liao Dynasty to reclaim lost lands.
Despite facing numerous obstacles, including her own family members, she never loses sight of her goal to protect her empire and ensure its survival.
Through her struggles, she becomes a symbol of strength and resilience, inspiring future generations.
If you’re in the mood for a Kdrama featuring a strong female lead, then you’re going to love this Kdrama set in Goryeo – it’s really beautiful.
9. The King of Tears, Lee Bang Won
The King of Tears is a historical series about Lee Bang-won, also known as Taejong, the third king of the Joseon Kingdom.
The story takes place during the fall of the Goryeo Kingdom and the founding of Joseon, shedding light on Bang-won’s life as he works to establish the new empire.
Despite the challenges he faces, including betrayals and heartbreak, Bang-won is determined to see his vision for the future of Korea come to fruition.
10. Jeong Do Jeon
Set in late 14th century Goryeo, this political historical Kdrama follows a group of young scholars who strive to bring peace and justice to their country, which is plagued by corruption and abuse of power.
Among them is Sambong Jeong Do Jeon, who dreams of building an idealistic society by dismantling the corrupt government.
Despite the obstacles they face, the Sungkyunkwan scholars hold onto their values and become a beacon of hope in a troubled era.
11. Age of Warriors
Amidst a turbulent era in Korean history, warriors including Jung Joong Bu, Lee Ui Bang, Lee Go, and Chae Won rise against the government of King Ui Jong of Goryeo.
The government is ruled by scholars and ministers, resulting in corruption and oppression. The warriors aim to overthrow the government and establish a military rule in its place.
12. My Country: The New Age
During the end of the Goryeo period to the early Joseon period, My Country: The New Age follows the lives of two friends whose differences in opinion about their nation lead to a showdown.
Seo Hwi, son of famous commander Seo Geom, is a warrior who stands against injustice. Even when life becomes unbearable, he remains steadfast with a smile.
Meanwhile, Nam Sun Ho, born to a low-class mother, strives to pass the military service examination.
However, a corruption scandal involving his father shatters his dreams, and a misunderstanding with Seo Hwi only makes things worse.
As we’ve seen, Kdramas set in the Goryeo Dynasty offer a fascinating look into a pivotal period in Korean history.
These shows will transport you back in time to experience the sights, sounds, and emotions of ancient Korea, with all its beauty, complexity, and conflict.
If you’re looking for more historical dramas to explore, check out my list of the best Kdramas set in the Joseon Dynasty.
And, if you’re in the mood for some more recommendations, please check out the related posts below.