12 Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix

Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix - The Drama Paradise
Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix – The Drama Paradise

Although Korea’s distant past was marked by centuries of division between three kingdoms, it holds a captivating cultural history that has served as inspiration for numerous films and TV shows over the years. For K-culture fans eager to delve into the country’s imperial ages, there’s no better way to immerse oneself than by indulging in binge-watching gripping period dramas featuring beloved actors.

Whether it’s a sweet romance, a gut-wrenching melodrama, or an exhilarating thriller, these shows transport us to a world adorned with ancient Korean architecture, stunning landscapes, and vibrant traditional costumes.

Here, we present a list of 12 historical Korean dramas available on Netflix that will transport you to a bygone era of hwarangs (flower knights), hanboks (traditional clothing), and royal courts.

Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth

 | 12 Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix
Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix – The Drama Paradise

In the kingdom of Silla, a group of skilled and charismatic warriors known as the hwarang emerges during a time of societal unrest. Among them is Moo Myung, a young man from the lowest social class who rises through the ranks to seek justice for his best friend’s murder, perpetrated by the Queen Mother’s loyalists.

In reality, the hwarang were noble and well-educated individuals, often referred to as Flowering Knights. They played a significant role in Korean history until the 10th century, leaving behind a legacy that continues to captivate our imaginations.

Mr. Queen (2020)

 | 12 Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix
Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix – The Drama Paradise

“Mr. Queen,” follows the adventurous journey of Jang Bong Hwan, a hot-tempered chef working at the Blue House. Wrongfully accused of a crime, Bong Hwan finds himself on the run from pursuers. However, through a twist of fate, he suddenly wakes up in the body of Queen Cheorin during the Joseon era.

Thrown into the unfamiliar world of the past, Bong Hwan faces the hilarious challenge of adapting to life as a woman and a member of the royal family. As Queen Cheorin, “she” encounters the enigmatic King Cheoljong, her husband. Their unexpected connection sparks a unique dynamic, filled with comedic moments and unexpected romance.

“Mr. Queen” combines elements of comedy, romance, and historical intrigue to create an entertaining and light-hearted drama. Through Bong Hwan’s journey, the series explores themes of identity, gender roles, and the power of love.

Alchemy Of Souls (2022)

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In this enchanting world, mages possess the ability to exchange souls with others to ensure their survival. Our story revolves around Naksu (played by So Min), a skilled shadow assassin who unexpectedly experiences soul shifting, awakening in the body of Mu Deok, a servant serving nobleman Jang Uk (portrayed by Jae Wook).

Jang Uk belongs to the influential Jang family, a lineage of mages renowned for their magical prowess. However, he faces rejection and isolation due to his own lack of magical abilities. As the narrative unfolds, we are introduced to other mage families, including the Seo family, led by the seemingly flawless mage Seo Yul (played by Mihyun).

The drama seamlessly blends elements of fantasy, humor, and romance, captivating the audience with its engaging plot and impressive visual effects. As Naksu navigates her new identity and confronts the complexities of her situation, a tale of self-discovery, adventure, and unexpected connections emerges. The humorous moments are skillfully executed, adding a delightful touch to the storytelling.

Also Read: Review: Alchemy Of Souls Part 1 – A Modern Classic

My Only Love Song (2017)

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Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix – The Drama Paradise

Song Soo Jong, a renowned and self-centered actress, holds firm to the belief that money is the driving force of the world. However, her perspective undergoes a dramatic transformation when she unexpectedly finds herself transported through a time portal, hurling her back to the 6th century during Korea’s Goguryeo era, under the rule of King Pyeongwon.

In this unfamiliar world, she crosses paths with On Dal, a man driven by the pursuit of wealth, yet hindered by his compassionate nature. Together, they navigate the complexities of love, ambition, and the clash between their contrasting values in a captivating tale set against the backdrop of ancient Korea.

The Tale of Nokdu (2019)

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Jeon Nok Du, a skilled and talented swordsman, enjoys a tranquil existence alongside his father and older brother on a secluded island during the Joseon dynasty. However, their peaceful life is abruptly disrupted when a mysterious group of female assassins sets their sights on Nok Du’s family, their motives shrouded in secrecy.

Determined to unravel the truth behind the attacks, Nok Du embarks on a pursuit, tracking one of the assailants to a village populated solely by widows. In order to infiltrate the community and uncover the group’s intentions, he adopts a disguise, masquerading as a woman.

Thus begins a captivating tale of deception, intrigue, and unexpected encounters as Nok Du navigates the challenges of concealing his true identity while delving into the secrets that lie within the widowed village.

My Country: The New Age (2019)

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Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix – The Drama Paradise

Amidst the transition from the Goguryeo dynasty to the Joseon dynasty, the bond between two close friends, Seo Hwi and Nam Sun Ho, begins to crumble under the weight of their conflicting beliefs. As the winds of change sweep through the nation, the two find themselves on opposing sides, driven by divergent ideologies.

Seo Hwi, unwavering in his loyalty and commitment to his country, adopts a path of unwavering righteousness and uses his skills to safeguard his homeland and those he holds dear. Meanwhile, Nam Sun Ho, torn between his loyalties and personal aspirations, takes a different approach, navigating a more complex web of politics and compromise in his pursuit of power and protection.

Love in the Moonlight (2016)

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Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix – The Drama Paradise

Hong Ra On, determined to help men in her kingdom navigate the world of romance, assumes the identity of a man to provide dating advice. However, an unexpected turn of events brings her face to face with Crown Prince Hyo Myeong through a love letter she pens on behalf of a client. Unbeknownst to each other, Ra On is a young woman disguised as a man, while Hyo Myeong is a member of the noble class.

Caught in a whirlwind of mistaken identities and concealed truths, Ra On captures the attention and curiosity of the prince. Fascinated by her wit and charm, Hyo Myeong becomes drawn to Ra On, unaware of her true gender. The situation takes a more complex turn when the prince’s political eunuchs see potential in Ra On and seek to recruit her as one of their own.

As the boundaries between their worlds blur, Ra On and Hyo Myeong find themselves entangled in a web of secrets, intrigue, and forbidden desires. Their relationship hangs delicately in the balance as they navigate the challenges of their respective positions and the ever-present threat of discovery.

Queen for Seven Days (2017)

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Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix – The Drama Paradise

“Queen for Seven Days” portrays the heart-wrenching love story between King Jung Jong and Queen Dangyeong during the Joseon era. According to legend, Queen Dangyeong, known as Danyeoog, was forcefully removed from her position as queen by powerful noblemen who controlled the king’s authority. Shockingly, her reign lasted only seven days before she was dethroned.

Following her removal, Dangyeong was banished from the palace and confined to Mt. Inwang for the remainder of her life. Despite their separation, King Jung Jong, who deeply cherished his wife, yearned for her presence. Throughout his rule, it is said that he gazed longingly towards Mt. Inwang, consumed by grief and longing for his beloved queen.

The tragic tale of King Jung Jong and Queen Dangyeong captures the sorrow and longing that permeated their relationship, as they were torn apart by political strife and the machinations of rival nobles. Their love, cut short by the cruel forces of fate, left an indelible mark on history, symbolizing the power of enduring love and the profound impact of loss and separation.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung (2019)

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Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix – The Drama Paradise

“Set in the early 19th century Joseon era, where women are regarded as inferior to men, “Goo Hae Ryung” follows the story of a spirited palace historian intern named Goo Hae Ryung. With a strong conviction that gender equality should prevail, she sets out to challenge the societal norms and prove that both men and women are capable and deserving of equal treatment.

Within the confines of the royal court, Goo Hae Ryung’s determination and passion bring her face-to-face with Prince Lee Rim, who carries a hidden secret of his own. As their paths intertwine, they navigate the complexities of the rigid palace hierarchy, political intrigue, and personal struggles.

Together, Goo Hae Ryung and Prince Lee Rim embark on a journey that challenges the existing power dynamics, and they strive to bring about positive change in a society deeply rooted in traditional beliefs. Their encounter not only tests their resolve but also ignites a profound connection that transcends societal expectations.

The King’s Affection (2021)

 | 12 Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix
Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix – The Drama Paradise

Dam Yi finds herself in a predicament when her twin brother, Crown Prince Lee Hwi, tragically passes away. Forced to step into her brother’s shoes and assume his identity, Dam Yi faces the challenge of concealing her true identity while navigating the intricate world of royalty.

Adding fuel to the fire is the arrival of Jung Ji Woon, portrayed by the charismatic Rowoon. Ji Woon, who happens to be Dam Yi’s first love, unexpectedly becomes her royal tutor, creating a web of complications and heart-fluttering moments. As their connection reignites, Dam Yi must carefully guard her secret, all while her feelings for Ji Woon grow stronger.

The drama beautifully captures the struggles and comedic situations that arise as Dam Yi tries to maintain her disguise while dealing with her blossoming affection for Ji Woon. With a blend of romance, humor, and captivating performances, viewers are in for an enchanting ride filled with delightful surprises.

Mr. Sunshine (2018)

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Set during the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident, also known as the Battle of Ganghwa, this captivating historical drama follows the journey of a young boy born into a family of house servants. Against the backdrop of social hierarchy and turbulent times, the boy embarks on a life-altering journey to the United States.

Years later, now a grown man and an American military officer, he returns to his homeland of Korea. As he navigates the complex dynamics of his divided identity, he finds himself entangled in a forbidden love story with the daughter of an aristocrat. Simultaneously, he becomes entwined in a perilous plot orchestrated by foreign nationals, who seek to colonize Korea for their own gain.

Amidst a backdrop of political intrigue, romance, and the fight for independence, our protagonist must unravel the sinister conspiracy and protect his homeland from external forces. The story delves into themes of love, loyalty, and the struggle for national sovereignty, painting a vivid picture of a tumultuous era in Korean history.

Under the Queen’s Umbrella

 | 12 Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix
Best Historical Korean Dramas on Netflix – The Drama Paradise

“Under the Queen’s Umbrella” is a captivating drama centered around the story of Im Hwa-ryeong, a fearless queen who takes a bold stand against her rebellious children as they are on the verge of being named the crown prince. Directed by Kim Hyung-Shik, this royal family drama boasts an impressive cast, including acclaimed actors Kim Hye-soo, Bae In-hyuk, Moon Sang-min, and many others.

The series delves into the intricate dynamics of the royal court, exploring the complexities of power, family relationships, and the sacrifices that come with wearing the crown. Queen Im Hwa-ryeong, with her unwavering determination and unwavering sense of justice, challenges the status quo and makes difficult choices in order to maintain order and protect the kingdom.

As the story unfolds, viewers are immersed in a world of political intrigue, secrets, and conflicts that shape the fate of the royal family. The performances of the talented cast bring the characters to life, depicting their struggles, ambitions, and deep emotions.

Final Thoughts

These Historical Korean Dramas not only entertain but also offer valuable insights into the past, providing a window into the historical and cultural aspects of Korea. With a wide range of options available on Netflix, viewers can delve into the world of Korean historical dramas and enjoy both entertainment and education.

These dramas often meticulously recreate the social, political, and cultural landscapes of different time periods, offering a unique opportunity to learn about Korean history in an engaging and immersive way. From royal courts and political intrigue to love stories and personal journeys, historical dramas provide a diverse array of narratives that explore various aspects of life in the past.

Did you find any more Historical Korean Dramas that aren’t included in this list? Let us know in the comment section!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new historical Korean drama on Netflix?

Alchemy of Souls is the newest historical korean drama on Netflix.

“Alchemy of Souls” is a captivating historical Korean drama series that captivated audiences from its premiere on June 18, 2022, until its recent conclusion on January 8, 2023. The narrative revolves around a remarkable sorceress who inhabits the body of a blind woman. Fate brings her together with a man from a distinguished family who seeks her assistance in altering his predetermined destiny.

Throughout the series, viewers are immersed in a world filled with intricate relationships, magical encounters, and the exploration of profound themes such as identity, love, and the power of choice. As the sorceress and the man embark on their intertwined journey, their paths become entangled in a mesmerizing tapestry of secrets, challenges, and unexpected revelations.

“Alchemy of Souls” offers a unique blend of historical context, supernatural elements, and compelling character development, making it a memorable and engaging viewing experience for fans of Korean dramas.

Which K-drama is based on real history?

There are several K-dramas that are based on real history, offering viewers a chance to learn about significant events and figures from Korean history. One such example is “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth.” This drama is set during the Silla Dynasty and revolves around the elite group of young men known as Hwarang, who played important roles in the kingdom’s history.

What are Historical Korean Dramas called?

Historical Korean Dramas are commonly referred to as “sageuk” in Korean. The term “sageuk” translates to “historical drama” in English. These dramas are set in various historical periods of Korea, such as the Joseon Dynasty, Goryeo Dynasty, or Silla Dynasty, and often incorporate elements of historical events, figures, and cultural aspects of the time. Sageuk dramas are known for their elaborate costumes, sets, and attention to historical detail, offering viewers a glimpse into Korea’s rich history and traditions.

What are historical dramas called?

Historical dramas are a genre of television or film that depict events, characters, and settings from the past. They are often set in specific historical periods and strive to recreate the historical context, costumes, and customs of that time. These dramas may draw inspiration from real historical events or figures, or they may be fictional stories set in a historical backdrop.

Historical dramas are known for their attention to detail in portraying historical settings and for exploring themes related to the social, political, and cultural aspects of the time period. They offer viewers a chance to learn about history while being entertained by compelling stories and characters.

What Historical Korean Drama has 16 episodes?

“The Crowned Clown” is a historical korean drama that has 16 episodes. This drama is set during the Joseon dynasty and tells the story of a king who hires a look-alike clown to stand in for him to avoid assassination attempts.

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About the author

Neha Garia is the founder and Editor at The Drama Paradise. She is a long-time K-Drama addict and K-Pop lover. Her favorite K-Pop artists are BTS, SF9, ATEEZ, and INFINITE but there are many more groups she is having a look at. Her favorite actors include Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim GoEun, and Kim TaeRi, to name a few. She hopes to share her love for Korean culture with people across the globe.

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