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Coup Increases Tension in 'The Iron Empress'

2009/05/25 | Permalink

On the May 23 episode of "The Iron Empress", Hwang Bo-su, played by Chae Si-ra, finally carried out a coup where her followers captured King Seongjong, played by Kim Myung-soo.

Hwang had been concerned that Goryeo would be put in danger again as the king tried to depend on the Song Dynasty of China for its defense rather than trying to strengthen its own power when it had recently had a war with the Khitan people.

Hwang and her followers had made thorough preparations for the coup by winning over political rivals; organizing militias; getting rid of Prince Daeryang, the rival of Prince Gaeryeong; causing a stir among people; and seizing the military power in the palace.

But Prince Gaeryeong, who would succeed to the throne in case of the ousting of King Seongjong, has lost confidence in his own ability since learning that he is epileptic. He was also displeased that Hwang was trying to cause damage to her own brother, King Seongjong.

Queen Munhwa (Moon Jung-hee) asked Choi Ryang (Kim Jong-kyul), a teacher of Seongjong, to tell the king about the scheme Hwang was conspiring to carry out. The king did not believe what he was told, saying that his sister was not such a conniving person, but Choi pleaded with him to keep a sharp eye on her party. "This is the last wish I have as a person who has known you since you were very young and is now getting older and weaker", he said.

Meanwhile, Hwang's party had an internal conflict. Kim Chi-yang (Kim Suk-hoon) told Gangjo (Choi Jae-sung) that Queen Munhwa's father had come to know of the relations between Hwang and the Khitans and asked him to get rid of him. But Gangjo, who found out Kim and Hwang had fallen in love with each other, rejected his request, saying, "Even if what you're saying is true, I don't feel like doing what you're asking".

What's worse, Lee Hyeon-un (Choi Joon-yong), a subordinate of Gangjo who works as a spy for Queen Munhwa, happened to eavesdrop on the conversation between Kim Chi-yang and Gangjo. He passed on the information to Choi Seom (Lee Ki-yeol), a follower of Queen Munhwa, who planned to attack the Hwang party in an ambush on the anniversary of King Gyeongjong's death.

This has increased viewers' curiosity about how the story will unfold, as Hwang Bo-su has met an obstacle to her plan to dethrone King Seongjong and rule as regent.

On the drama web board, viewers offered their predictions, saying, "I feel anxious whenever Gangjo says something, and Lee Hyeon-un will be a great obstacle to succeeding in any plan", "It will be pitiful to watch, but the coup will succeed because that's the fate of Goryeo, and the drama seems to put a priority on it", and "The coup will fail. Whether Hwang Bo-su is right or not, a coup cannot happen right way".

"The Iron Empress" is being aired on KBS2 on Saturdays and Sundays.

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