Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth (Korean: 화랑; Hanja: 花郞; lit. Hwarang) is a South Korean television series starring Park Seo-joon, Go Ara, and Park Hyung-sik. It revolves around an elite group of young men called “Hwarang”, who discover their passion, friendship and love in the turmoil of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC–AD 935).
Queen Ji So has been ruling the Kingdom of Silla as regent since King Beopheung died, keeping her young son Sam maek jong hidden outside of the capital Seorabeol and safe from enemies and assassins. As Sam maek jong comes of age, nobles, citizens, officials and Sam maek jong himself, have all grown impatient for her to cede power.
However, the powerful nobles that tried to usurp power in the Kingdom continue to eye the throne and Ji So fears the consequences of her ceding it. In order to break the power of the nobles, who have grown accustomed to their privileges under the bone rank system, Ji So plans to create a new elite group, the Hwarang, that will cut across the existing power factions, and to bind them to protect Sam maek jong and the throne.
As this new elite group of male youths bond and grow, they are unaware that within their number is their future king, Sam maek jong, and Kim Seon-u, a commoner with a secret even he is not aware of.
A young man of low birth who rises above his situation in life to become a legendary hwarang warrior. He assumes the identity of his best friend Kim Sun-woo, Ah-ro’s biological brother, after he is killed by one of the Queen Dowager’s men. Later, he realized he was of the sacred bone, belonging to the royal family.
- Go Ara as Kim Ah-ro 김아
A “half-breed” (derogative term for aristocrat (jin-gol)—lower class offspring) with a cheerful and straightforward personality, whose father is of jin-gol birth while her mother a servant. She works multiple part-time jobs to support her family; in particular as physician to the Hwarang. She easily make friends. Later she fell in love with Sun-woo.
The young and distrustful king who goes into hiding due to assassination attempts and secretly becomes a hwarang warrior, gaining strength and leadership ability in the process. He joins the hwarang under the assumed identity Kim “Ji-dwi” as the Hwarang Chief Kim Wi-hwa’s fake “nephew.”
- Kim Tae-hyung as Suk Han-sung 석한성
The youngest hwarang of the lot who has a warm personality and gets along well with everyone. He is a bright and innocent boy who carries a heavy burden as the last jin-gol of his clan, Wolseong. Dan-se’s younger half brother. He treats Sun-woo as his brother.
The first Chief (pungwolju) of the hwarangwho acts as a fatherly figure towards the boys. Secret adviser of Ji-dwi.
- Choi Min-ho as Kim Soo-ho 김수호
A jin-gol aristocrat born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Hot-blooded and chivalrous, he aces in swordplay and is seen as a shameless playboy but is devoted in love. Kim Soo-yeon’s overprotective brother.
- Do Ji-han as Park Ban-ryu 박반류
Having been taught politics (by his two fathers – Park Young-shil and Park Ho as his adoptive and biological fathers respectively) from an early age, he is a cold-blooded jin-gol, who is competitive and seeks for more power. He takes interest in Soo-ho’s younger sister, Soo-yeon.
- Jo Yoon-woo as Kim Yeo-wool 김여울
A man who “has a mysterious charm and loves dressing up more than most women,” but is also extremely thoughtful and caring. Hence, beautiful and mysterious, he possesses a sharp tongue. His mother is the sister of the previous king while his jin-gol father’s identity still remains as a mystery, which makes him a half seong-gol, but he takes no interest in the throne. He is often seen carrying a fan.
- Jin Ju-hyung as Jang Hyun
Part of Soo-ho’s clique.
- Jun Bum-soo as Kim Shin
Part of Ban-ryu’s clique.
- Ooon as Kim Ki-bo
Part of Ban-ryu’s clique.
- Park Ki-hoon as Joo Ki
- Lee Do-hoon
- Kim Hyeon-jun as Suk Dan-se 석단세
22 years old, part of Soo-ho’s clique. He is Han-sung’s elder half-brother of the same father but different mothers, who is powerless due to his “half-breed” status and is always looked down by their grandfather. Assigned as Sun-woo’s trainee.
- Yoo Jae-myung as Pa-oh
Sammaekjong’s personal bodyguard who cares for him like a father, as well as “Ji-dwi”‘s assigned trainee.
- Jang Se-hyun as Kang Sung
Part of Ban-ryu’s clique. Originally one of the hwarang rejects, scouted by Park Young-shil to undermine the Hwarang. Assigned as Ban-ryu’s trainee.
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Genre: Historical, Coming of age, Romance
Running Time: 60 minutes