- Drama: The Moon Embracing The Sun (literal title)
- Revised romanization: Haereul Poomeun Dal
- Hangul: 해를 품은 달
- Director: Kim Do-Hoon, Lee Sung-Joon
- Writer: Jung Eun-Gwol (novel), Jin Soo-Wan
- Network: MBC
- Episodes: 20
- Release Date: January 4 – March 15, 2012
- Runtime: Wed. & Thurs. 21:55-23:05
- Genre: Period / Romance
- Language: Korean
- Country: South Korea
Historical drama “The Moon Embracing The Sun” tells a love story between King Lee Hwon (Kim Soo-Hyun) and a female shaman named Wol (Han Ga-In). Wol was born from a noble family and became the crown princess, but she was entrapped and faced execution. Finally, she lived as a shaman.
(ep.1) The Sun symbolises the fate which only a king or a future king possess.
Instructing that the sun must become one, Queen Yoon (Kim Young-Ae) orders Yoon Dae-Hyung (Kim Eung-Soo) to kill Prince Uisung (Kim Myeong-Su), who is the stepbrother of King Sungjo. At night, Yoon Dae-Hyung and his men breaks into Prince Uisung’s home.
Meanwhile, shaman court ladies Ari (Jang Young-Nam) and Jang Nok-Young (Jeon Mi-Seon) prepare for a rite at the royal palace. Ari then senses that something horrific is about to happen at the home of Prince Uisung whom she lived at as a servant. Even though Ari’s roommate, shaman Court Lady Nok-Young (Jeon Mi-Seon), tells her not to go she leaves for Prince Uisung’s home. When Ari veers over the wall surrounding his home she sees Yoon Dae-Hyung kill Prince Uisung with his sword. Yoon Dae-Hyung then notices Ari looking over the wall and goes in pursuit of Ari. As Ari tries to escape the assassins, she falls from a cliff.
Yoon Dae-Hyung goes back to the palace and tells Queen Yoon about the shaman Court Lady Ari. Queen Yoon puts forth a plan to manipulate the evidence at Prince Uisung’s home.
Shaman Court Lady Ari is now conscious again, but severely injured. She collapses on a trail where a gama (wheelless carriage) is being carried by four men. A noblewoman (Yang Mi-Kyeong), who is pregnant, gets out of the gama and tries to help Ari. The noblewoman hides the injured shaman Court Lady in her gama and has the men continue. They are able to get back into the city.
Before shaman Court Lady Ari leaves she thanks the pregnant noblewoman and tells her that she will have a girl. Ari also tells the pregnant noblewoman that her daughter will be born with noble fate. Ari also foresees the death of the baby and sees her future tomb, but Ari is unable to tell the pregnant noblewoman about this. Instead, Ari promises that she will protect the baby in the future.
Later, Ari is arrested and interrogated by torture. Shaman Court Lady Nok-Young bribes a guard to let her into the prison and talk to Ari. Ari, barely conscious at this time, asks Nok-Young to protect someone. Someone who should not come close to the sun, but should be near the sun. Nok-Young asks Ari who that person is, but Ari says she can’t say.
The next day Ari is publically executed.
As Ari predicted, the noblewoman gives birth to a girl. Her father names her Yeon-Woo.
Years later, Yeon-Woo (later played by Han Ga-In) is now an inquisitive 13-year-old girl. Yeon-Woo and her mother goes to the royal palace to see a ceremony which her older brother Yeom (later played by Song Jae-Hee) will take part in and will be attended by King Sungjo (Ahn Nae-Sang). During the ceremony, while people bow to King Sungjo, Yeon-Woo sees a yellow butterfly and starts to follow the butterfly.
Meanwhile, a Crown Prince (later played by Kim Soo-Hyun) places some valuables into a small bag and sneaks out of the royal palace. While he is atop a ladder he sees Yeon-Woo walking towards him. The Crown Prince falls off the ladder and onto Yeon-Woo. They are both highly embarrassed.
Yeon-Woo then sees the bag carried by the Crown Prince on the ground. Yeon-Woo is certain that the man is a thief. Yeon-Woo calls for the palace guards. When the Crown Prince sees the palace guards coming, he grabs Yeon-Woo and runs. The Crown Prince and Yeon-Woo stop in front of a pavilion. Instead of revealing his identity, the Crown Prince tells Yeon-Woo that he is eunuch and is attempting to leave the palace to visit his brother. By this time, Yeon-Woo’s mother is worried sick by Yeon-Woo’s disappearance. Yeon-Woo’s mother then sees Yeon-Woo walking with the Crown Prince. The Crown Prince walks off with a palace guard. When Yeon-Woo is about to leave the royal palace, a Court Lady gives her a piece of fabric with letters.
Prince Yangmyung (later played by Jung Il-Woo) is the older stepbrother of the Crown Prince. Because of King Sungjo’s strict control, Prince Yangmyung can not see his stepbrother and is prohibited from entering the royal palace. Prince Yangmyung then sees a fortune teller’s house with people waiting in line. Prince Yangmyung becomes curious also stands in line. At this time shaman Court Lady Nok-Young arrives to visit a little girl fortune teller. Shaman Court Lady Nok-Young sees Prince Yangmyung. Without knowing that he is a prince, Nok-Young feels that possesses the fate of sun, which only a king or future king has. Prince Yangmyung now sits in front of the little girl fortune teller. Prince Yangmyung senses that she is abused. He picks up the girl and begins to run. A bunch of men then blocks his path. One of the men snatches the girl and leaves. Then, Nok-Young stops the man and saves the little girl. Prince Yangmyung, meanwhile, defeats the other men.
At night, the Prince Yangmyung walks on a street and jumps atop the fence of someone’s home. Meanwhile, Yeon-Woo can’t figure out the letters on the piece of fabric she received at the royal palace. Yeon-Woo goes out of her room and then suddenly realizes what the letters mean. The letters represents the Crown Prince. She now realizes that the man she met is the Crown Prince. Sitting on top of the fence, Prince Yangmyung sees Yeon-Woo and smiles …
- Based on the novel “Haereul Poomeun Dal” by Jung Eun-Gwol (first published December 29, 2005).
- Main characters King Lee Hwon & Wol are fictional characters.
- Actor Joo Won was originally cast as Prince Yangmyung, but dropped out of the show due to KBS2 drama series “Ojakgyo Family” being extended (by an additional 10-15 episodes).
- Kim Jeong-Hoon (John-Hoon) (scheduled to play Heo Yeom) dropped out the series prior to filming due to his album being released early 2012 in Japan.
- On December 25, 2011, the first adult characters’ screenplay reading took place at MBC Ilsan Dream Center in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea (participating in the reading is Kim Soo-Hyun, Han Ga-In & Jung Il-Woo).
- “The Moon Embracing The Sun” takes over the MBC Wed. & Thurs. 21:55 time slot previously occupied by “Me Too, Flower!” and will be followed by “The King 2hearts” on March 21, 2012.
- Filming for “The Moon Embracing The Sun” takes place at the Korean Folk Village, located in Yongin (satellite city of Seoul), Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.
- From ep.6 (first airs January 19, 2012) the main leads appears as the adult characters.
- Ep.7 will have its runtime extended to 80 minutes from its usual 70 minutes length. This is due to a strike by news reporter at MBC where “The Moon Embracing The Sun” airs. Because of the strike, the news program that airs prior to “The Moon Embracing The Sun” will be shortened and the drama series extended.
- Final two episodes of “The Moon Embracing The Sun,” ep.19 and ep.20 (originally scheduled to air March 7th and March 8th, 2012 ), will not air on its scheduled air dates and is postponed due to the MBC labor strike. Series director Kim Do-Hoonjoined the labor strike at the request of his colleagues. The labor strike is in protest of the appointment of Kim Jae-Chul as the MBC president, which the news bureau claims to be a political appointment and negatively affects their ability to publish unbiased reports or unfavorable reports on the government.
- Final two episodes “The Moon Embracing The Sun” will air Wednesday March 14, 2012 (ep.19) and Thursday March 15, 2012 (ep.20). Series director Kim Do-Hooncame back to finish filming the last two episodes on March 6.
- Actor Kim Soo-Hyun finished filming his scenes for ep.19 and 20 on March 6th through March 8th. His scheduled was filled after March 8th and hence the need to finish his scenes by that date.
- Actor Kim Soo-Hyun sings the song “You Are The One” (“Geudae Han Saram”) for the drama series’ OST which will be released March 13th in Korea.
- Director version of drama series “The Moon Embracing The Sun” will be release on DVD in South Korea sometime in June, 2012. The DVD set will include footage edited out of the series due to time constraints, as well as interviews with cast and staff and a making of the series segment.
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