K-Drama Review: “The King’s Affection” Bestows Understanding That A Blissful Life Equates To Living True To Oneself

Decked with a refined palace romance, The King’s Affection also imparts potent messages about genuine happiness.

Pretending to be someone else for the rest of one’s existence would definitely be a daunting task to undertake, especially if one is forced to do so. On that note, The King’s Affection sealed their promise of a flowing poignant narrative that is habit-forming owing to a cast of well-developed characters.

  • Main Cast: Park Eun Bin | Kim Rowoon
  • Supporting Cast: Nam Yoon Su | Choi Byung Chan|  Bae Yoon Kyung | Jung Chae Yeon
  • Romance/ Addictive Meter:
  • Overall Rating:
  • Rewatch value:

ms. sunshine watched The King’s Affection on Netflix

Episode Recaps: 01 & 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Finale + Review |


The King’s Affection Finale Episode Quick Recap

Lord Sangheon and Prince Wonsan have already breached the palace grounds. At the request of her closest people, Yi Hwi must flee for her own safety. However, she did not consent to abandon them to sacrifice their lives for her.

Seeking Jaeun’s help, Yi Hwi asks him to escort Prince Jehyeon to a safe location outside the palace. Complying with Yi Hwi’s request, Jaeun and Jehyeon were on their way to leave, but they were stopped by Prince Wonsan.

Wonsan brutally murdered Jehyeon because of his greed to ascend the throne. Jaeun informs Yi Hwi of her brother’s death. She then realizes they would lose the battle against Sangheon’s massive army.

Undoubtedly, Yi Hwi made the decision to speak with her grandfather about abdicating the crown.


“That is how I have lived so far. I was alive. And yet, I was not. That was my life.”

Secretly giving orders to Court Lady Kim, Yi Hwi earnestly asks her to put the sonangcho in their tea. Correspondingly, Yi Hwi doesn’t want to give her grandfather any doubts about putting something in the tea. So, she drinks it first, followed by Lord Sangheon.

Revealing that the tea has the same poison that killed the late King, Yi Hwi firmly affirms to Sangheon that she is delighted they can both die together.

Arriving just in time, Ji-un saves Yi Hwi from entirely consuming her body with the poison.

After regaining her consciousness, the Queen Dowager meets with her and instructs her to seek a place where she can hide. Whereas, Yi Hwi disagrees with doing so because it is how she has lived her entire life.

With Jaeun assuming the throne, Yi Hwi accepts any punishment for lying about her gender and acquiescing to the throne.

Surprisingly, King Jaeun sentenced paenghyeong to Yi Hwi. That is, all records of her existence as Prince Yi Hwi would be obliterated, and her identity as Dam-i, the deceased court maid, would be restored.

Dam-i and Ji-un finally fulfilled their promise to live a normal life by the beach.


The King’s Affection Quick Plot Recap

Yi Hwi (Park Eun Bin) was forced to live the life of her twin brother after he was killed and mistaken for Dam-i. After 10 years, Yi Hwi succeeded in concealing her secret and becoming the Crown Prince.

Since she had adapted well to life in the palace, Yi Hwi was regarded as the Ice Prince for her frigid and disdainful appearance.

While keeping her secret as a disguised prince, Yi Hwi eventually entangled her fate with that of Royal Tutor Jung Ji-un (Kim Rowoon), who is also her childhood friend and first love.


The King’s Affection Peak Points

Park Eun Bin’s Enchanting Gender-Changing Role

From her portrayal of a Prince, a King, a Princess, and a commoner, Park Eun Bin’s versatility of acting is absolutely impeccable as seen in this series.

Depicting the cold prince, she must pretend to live her twin brother’s life. She greatly exudes the charms of a prince with her combat prowess and proves that she deserves the kingdom even when disguised as a prince.

Switching from a male Yi Hwi to a female Yi Hwi, as practically everyone close to her has known her secret all along. She can freely express her feminine side. Eun Bin elegantly flaunted the expressions of both the Dam-i and Yi Hwi characters with her bodily movements, emotions, and glances.


Inevitable Love Fulfillment of the Fated Couple

There were countless times the fated couple were repeatedly apart and then reunited as though destiny had drawn them back into each other’s arms. When they were children, they met in the secret garden, fell into the pond and Ji-un transcribed a book for Dam-i.

Due to switching places with her twin brother and the real prince’s death, Dam-i must forget her life as a court maid and assume the identity of Prince Yi Hwi. As a result, Ji-un and Dam-i are separated.

Nevertheless, the two met again and did not leave a favorable impression. Yi Hwi drives Ji-un away, fearful that he may discover her secret.

Their affections for each other did not grow apart; rather, they became utterly in love with one another. Aside from this, it came to a point where Ji-un was almost married to someone else, but once again, he returned to Yi Hwi after discovering she was Dam-i.


A Well-Deserved Ending For The Second Lead

Given that Prince Jaeun (Nam Yoon Su) has formed his sympathy for Yi Hwi into loving affections and is aware that she is a woman, he suppresses his feelings for her. Clearly, it is because he promised to protect her no matter what happens, as well as that he wanted to keep Yi Hwi’s secret.

Besides this, he pondered withholding his feelings for Yi Hwi since learning that Ji-un was in love with her. It is admirable to see how strong he is in holding back his affection for the sake of his friendship with Ji-un.

Notably, The King’s Affection fully justified the conclusion of his character, as viewers saw that he did not suffer death in all those bloodshed battles, but instead he became a King.


On Defining Variety of Affection In A Non-Romantic Way

Featuring a variety of affections, the series highlights the ways love can be embraced by families. There’s a mother who has no intention of sacrificing any of her children simply to comply with a royal mandate.

One father does not exemplify his love for his daughter, but he goes to great lengths to protect her from threats in the palace. And, there is another father who is willing to deviate from his chosen path and make the ultimate sacrifice for his son’s life.

In these presented definitions of love, we all have varying degrees of affection for our loved ones. It may have encompassed, implicitly or explicitly approached, sacrifice, sympathy, and even more than we can ever define.

PRESS CONFERENCE: “The King’s Affection” Aspires A Well-Made Story of Varying Definitions of Love


The King’s Affection Series Musings

The King’s Affection certainly presented a uniquely superb main lead rendition. Coupled with a well-functioning supporting cast propelled an admirable run for the series’ narrative.

Beginning with Park Eun Bin, who flawlessly portrayed herself as a prince, a king, a princess, and a commoner. Each quick transition from one character to the next will have viewers adoring her as an actress.

Likewise, the emphasis is placed on Kim Rowoon’s character. His depiction of expressing his affection is without a doubt exceptional, and will certainly cause your heart to flutter as well.

Furthermore, it is worthwhile to watch Rowoon’s character as Ji-un, who is remarkably consistent with his affection for Yi Hwi. Despite Yi Hwi’s frequent rejections, he remains steadfast in his commitment and love for her.

Apart from that, The King’s Affection showed the life Dam-i would lead if there was no verdict against the prince sharing a womb with a girl in the royal family. It was represented in the finale episode, in which Yi Hwi dreamed mindlessly of being a princess, with her twin brother still alive and marrying Ji-un.

Above all, the series ruminates on the underlying notion that we can achieve happiness by remaining true to ourselves. When we feel like hiding in order to fit in, The King’s Affection teaches us to be different and unique because we are braver than we thought we believed.

Don’t miss the heart warming palace romance of The King’s Affection on Netflix!


Photos/Videos: KBS | 1theK | Netflix


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