Six Flying Dragons – Korean Drama

The first thing I want to say about Six Flying Dragons is wow, just WOW.

NOTE: Scroll down and click on one of the OSTs and be listening to it while reading this post.


The first few episodes of this drama are a bit confusing, especially for a person who is not used to Korean historical culture.  There are quite a few characters that a person needs to keep track of, and I ended up having to re-watch the first couple of episodes just to be able to go on with the story.  My purpose in writing this is to maybe help those who wish to watch this with a little information that I wish I had known going in.

Era: The main story starts in 1375 in the country of Goryeo (Korea) and goes until about 1400 A.D.  In July 1392, the ruling Wang family is overthrown and taken over by the Lee family and the name of the country is changed to Joseon.

The Plot: This is based on a true story, the life of Lee Bang Won, who becomes the third king of Joseon. Although there are 6 flying dragons, and their stories are told, it is Lee Bang Won who is the central character or main lead, if you wish.  Of course this is fictionalized, even romanticized, after all it is not a documentary, but even so it is amazingly true to historical accounts.  I had to stop along the way and read the wikipedia pages about the historical figures.  This is truly how history should be taught in schools.  If I were home schooling I would make my kids watch this.

As a writer, the thing that impressed me the most was the character development throughout, not only of the main character, but of all the characters.  Usually a literary person will lament when a story is dramatized that there was just so much information cut out that it is like an abridged story of an abridged book.  In Six Flying Dragons, that doesn’t happen.  You never feel like you missed out on something and you are never left trying to figure out why a character makes a particular decision; you may not like that decision, but you know why the character does it.  For this reason alone, the character development; I think that everyone who wishes to tell a story should be required to watch Six Flying Dragons.  Think of it as a teaching opportunity.  Of course, you will also be given an intense history lesson.

The drama consists of 50 hour-long episodes, but don’t let that intimidate you; I promise you that there is not a single boring episode, there is not even a boring ten minutes. I really don’t know how they keep the suspense going like they do.  The writing, the direction, the actors are perfectly cast, the costumes, every single part of this drama is 100%.

So…here are the six dragons in the order they were introduced in the show. Three of them are actual historical persons.

First Dragon

First Dragon Founder of Joseon Dynasty Yi Seong Gye

Yi Seong-gye (27 October 1335 – 24 May 1408), is a military general of high reputation; he has never been defeated in battle. For years he has lived on the border of Goryeo (Korea) protecting it from all kinds of attacks.  He fathers 8 sons with 2 wives, and the oldest 3 have all been tested in battle. He also has a brother with whom he is close and who is his comrade on the battlefield. He has never been interested in politics, but there is a reason for that.

Actor Cheon Ho-Jin does a good job portraying the General Lee of Korea. At least I like him for the part.

Second Dragon

2nd Dragon Designer of Joseon Jung Do Jeon 2

Jeong Do Jeon (1342 – October 6, 1398), whose pen name is Sambong, is an idealistic scholar who dreams of creating the perfect government. He is fed up with the corruption of the Goryeo government and believes the only thing to do is start from scratch.  He is like the Thomas Jefferson of Korea in that it is his writings that shaped Korea for the last five centuries.

Actor Kim Myung-Min is a good fit for the character.  Personally, I didn’t like the character or the actor, but I think that just goes to show how great an actor he is. For me that actor is the character and portrayed him to perfection. Of course there are several other dramas about the character, but I haven’t watched them.

Third Dragon

3rd Dragon Yi Bang Won A


Lee Bang Won (13 June 1367 — 30 May 1422), is the central character around whom everything else in the story is woven. I could write boat loads about this character, but I don’t want to give away too many spoilers. We already know he becomes the third king of Joseon; we are told this within the first 15 minutes of the 1st episode when he is introduced.  Let me just say this; he becomes an absolute monarch. His later life, and the turbulent relationship with his son, is portrayed in the drama, Tree With Deep Roots written by the same screenwriters as Six Flying Dragons, but with different actors.

Actor Yoo Ah In, plays the adult Lee Bang Won to perfection. As I mentioned in my previous post, I only found out about this drama because of Yoo Ah In and how awesome he was in this role. I can promise that you will fall in love with Lee Bang Won because of Yoo Ah In’s portrayal. You will feel everything that he goes through as if it were happening to you.

Actor Nam Da Reum, portrays Yi Bang Won as a strong and idealistic child, who has a very strong sense of justice. It is his job to introduce us to the character and after he is done we have a very clear picture of who Lee Bang Won is regarding his inner character. He also contributes an enormous amount into making the viewer empathetic towards the character.  He is a better actor than many famous adult actors, in my opinion.3rd Dragon Yi Bang Won B

Fourth Dragon

4th Dragon Lee Bang Ji A

Ddang Sae, later renamed Lee Bang Ji, is a fictional character, but I can’t imagine this story without him in it. His story is sad, but empowering. Timid and cowardly as a child, he becomes the best swordsman of the country.

Actor Byun Yo-Han does an excellent job as the adult swordsman. He also sings two of the OST for this drama; I love both songs and added them to my playlist. He has a lovely singing voice. I added the YouTube videos at the bottom of this page.

Actor Yoon Chan Young plays Ddang Sae as a child. I like him and I plan to watch him in other dramas.4th Dragon Lee Bang Ji B

DdangSae YoonHee 3

Fifth Dragon

5th Dragon Boon Yi A

Boon Yi, is the only female dragon. She is the sister of Ddang Sae and together they are looking for their mother. She is the love interest for Lee Bang Won, and due to her strong character she becomes the leader of a large band of intelligence gatherers.

Actress Shin Se Kyung plays the adult Boon Yi. Actress Lee Re plays the child version of Boon Yi.  Both are good.

Six Flying Dragons 6


Sixth Dragon

6th Dragon Moo Hyool A

Moo Hyul is the final dragon. His character isn’t even shown until episode 4, and he isn’t “introduced” as the sixth dragon until episode 49. Moo Hyul is one of ten siblings, and his grandmother offers herself and his siblings into a life of slavery in order for Moo Hyul to get the training to become a swordsman and hopefully raise the family to a higher position. Moo Hyul is my favorite character in the drama, and although he is said to be a little dimwitted, he turns out to be not so dumb after all. He has some of the most amusing lines in the drama. He becomes Lee Bang Won’s bodyguard. The character (different actor) was also the bodyguard of Lee Do, Lee Bang Won’s son in the drama Tree With Deep Roots.

Yoon Kyun Sang plays the adult Moo Hyul, and from the moment I first saw him, in episode 5, I was smitten by him. Anything I say about him is an understatement, and he is now my favorite actor of all time. Not kidding!

Baek Seung Hwan plays the child (early teen) version of Moo Hyool. The actor only has about a total of 15 minutes screen time, but he does a good job with it.6th Dragon Moo Hyool B

6th Dragon Moo Hyul C

Moo Hyul 6

So, those are the six dragons. Below I will post a little about some of the other characters that a person needs to remember in order to make sense of what is going on.

Other important characters are as follows:

Gab Boon

DdangSae YoonHee A

Child to Adult

The Lee FamilyLee Family

The Lee family consists of the father, General Lee Seong Gye, his brother Lee Ji Ran, and his 6 sons with his first wife (oldest to youngest) – Lee Bang Woo, Lee Bang Gwa, Lee Bang Ui, Lee Bang Gan, Lee Bang Won, and Lee Bang Yeon. Lee Seong Gye had 2 more sons with his second wife, Lee Bang Beon and Lee Bang Seok.21.5



⇈Lee Ji-Ran⇈ / ⇊Jo Young-Kyu⇊ (Lee Bang Won’s servant)

Jo Young Kyu

The Scholars

Heo Kang A

The Scholars

These scholars are introduced in the first episode, and it can be difficult to keep them all straight, but I couldn’t include pictures of all of them. However, let me just mention Jung Mong Joo (1338-1392), whose pen name was Poeun.  He was a neo-confucian scholar who was extremely loyal to the Goryeo Dynasty.

The Evil Three

The Evil Three

The Evil Three are corrupt government officials. They are Lee In Gyeom, Gil Tae Mi and Hong In Bang (who doesn’t waste any time taking over Baek Yoon’s position).

General Choi Young

Choi Young A

Choi Young is a military general who is not corrupt (he is portrayed in the fantasy drama Faith by Lee Min Ho).  In Six Flying Dragons, he is now old and can’t let go of the Goryeo that he has fought his whole life to protect.Choi Young 3

Where to watch:  Viki or Drama Fever

Drama Fever is only $17 dollars per year compared to Viki’s $50 dollars per year for basic. However, let me make a correction from my previous post.  You can watch Viki for free – suffering through 7 commercial breaks per hour…each commercial break shows 4 commercials and most of these you can skip after 15 seconds.  Viki offers most of its content for free and only a few shows are exclusive for paid viewers.  Drama Fever on the other hand shows only a few episodes of each show for free (with commercial breaks) but once you pay the $17 dollars you have access to everything, unless you are watching overseas in which case the movies are not available but the dramas are still watchable in other countries.  One last thing is that Viki offers subtitles in many languages versus Drama Fever only offers subtitles in English, Spanish, Portuguese and sometimes Arabic.

Six Flying Dragons OST

The OST (original soundtrack) is awesome, here are some of the songs with English Subtitles and no spoilers. More of the video OST can be found here.

1. Byun Yo Han (4th dragon, Lee Bang Ji) singing “Song of Chungsan”.

2. Here he is again singing Muiiya, but without subtitles.

3. This next song is called “Time Flows By Since It’s You” sung by XIA Junsu

4. This song is called “I Guess It’s You”.

5. This song is sung by Shin Yong Jae and is called “In the Middle of the World”.



Hello Again

It has been quite a while since I posted anything to this blog. I am unclear what exactly happened to make me quit posting.  I think it must be a combination of things as it is unfair to blame just one thing.  I actually have continued to write stories, but instead of finishing them I get a great new idea and get caught up in writing the new idea, until again I hit some kind of roadblock and think of yet a new idea. Oh well.

Two years ago I was very committed to the internet, Facebook, Goodreads, various websites that I checked daily to feel like I was part of the world at large.  If I have to name one major thing, I guess it would have to be the 2016 presidential race. I have never been more disheartened by the world we are living in than when having to live through that event. I started avoiding Facebook because of it. I also avoided writing anything for this blog because I refused to contribute to the madness, but I had a hard time thinking about anything else. Facebook did not improve (it actually got worse) after the elections.  I determined to not be a part of it, so here is what I did instead.

I tried to find as many books as I could that were written before 1930 and read them exclusively instead of spending time on Facebook.  This worked and I found a sense of peace and contentment that I hadn’t had since I was a child, just by taking myself out of the rat-race that is the current human condition. The reason I decided to write this post is because maybe some other person out there is tired of the modern world and needs a break from it. So here are my suggestions.

I found several authors that I like. I won’t mention them all, but I started out reading all of Georgette Heyer’s books. She wasn’t new to me, but I hadn’t read all of her books. I also re-read the ones I had previously read.  I solidified in my own mind that she is my favorite author of all times, she never disappoints. After I read everything I could of hers, I branched out and even started reading Penny Parker books, which are good, by the way.  I read authors like Basil Thomson, Annie Haynes, Robin Forsythe and Burton Stevenson.  All of these authors are good, by the way, and it is so refreshing to read the older stories set in a less complicated world.

Of the above I will single out just one author, Burton Stevenson.  He wrote novels set just before WWI and I was so impressed by his take on things that I actually subscribed to just so that I could read news from that era.  I found that time and mindset, to be fascinating. As do all of the above authors, Burton Stevenson has his recurring characters and it is not easy to figure out the order in which to read his series.  I finally figured it out after reading them out of order. Although it is not necessary to read them in order, the relationships do build up so I believe it is more enjoyable to read them in the following order.

Published in 1903, The Holladay Case A Tale is undoubtedly the first in the series.
Published in 1907, That Affair at Elizabeth is actually the second book in regards to storytelling.
Published in 1904, The Marathon Mystery (A Story of Manhattan) (Jim Godfrey Book 2) is the third book, although published before the second book.
Published in 1911, The Mystery of the Boule Cabinet A Detective Story is the fourth book.
Published in 1920, The Gloved Hand is the fifth and last book in the series.

Burton Stevenson has a couple of other novels that are worth reading that are not part of his mystery series. The Destroyer (I recommend reading this after The Mystery of the Boule Cabinet A Detective Story) and The Girl from Alsace are both excellent.  One very interesting thing that I discovered by reading Burton Stevenson, is just how much the world, and the mindset, changed due to WWI.  He writes before WWI, before prohibition and before feminism took hold.  I wish to live in his world and not ours any day of the week.  It was definitely a different world in many, many ways.

Now to change the subject, just slightly.


chicago-typewriter-2For years I have been disappointed by Hollywood, however I continued to watch certain shows that sounded good, but were in fact just made in order to brainwash the masses. Sick of it, I finally tried watching a Korean drama called Chicago Typewriter, which was recommended by someone who writes a blog.  I started watching it with no expectations, but I was soon caught up in the story. I cannot recommend this drama too much. It is great. However, this drama was still being released weekly, so after watching a few episodes I was left hanging in anticipation.My Secret Romance 1While waiting for more episodes, I decided to give a few other dramas a try such as My Secret Romance and Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.  As these were also in the midst of being released, I decided to try Noble, My Love which has the same actor, Sung Hoon, as My Secret Romance. The stories are similar (both are worth watching), but I prefer the actress/lead-female-character in My Secret Romance.

Disclaimer: I just remembered that although the main stories in both My Secret Romance and Strong Woman Do Bong Soon were good and worth watching, I did end up fast-forwarding through several scenes.  In Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, it was any scene with the construction workers. In My Secret Romance it was the scenes with the mother of the lead female character.

After watching several Korean dramas I finally understand why my son is so addicted to Anime. Asians know how to tell a story, by actually telling the story, without trying to brainwash a person, and without any hidden agendas. My son has tried several times to get me watching Anime and I have given it the old college try by watching Full Metal Alchemist, Clannad and Kimi no Na wa, which were all good (I recommend), but not quite my thing. I never had tried Korean dramas before, but I now realize they definitely are my thing.

Getting back to Chicago Typewriter, and now that I finished watching all 16 episodes, I have to say it is really, really good.  The second lead, Ko Gyung Pyo, gives credence to the “second lead syndrome”, you can also see him in Flower Boy Next Door. He will play the lead character finally in Strongest Deliveryman coming out in August 2017.chicagotypewriter_banner2jpg

The main actor in Chicago Typewriter is Yoo Ah In …chicago-typewriter-1and while I was waiting for more episodes, I read somewhere that his best role was in a drama called Six Flying Dragons. That he was awesome in that drama, so I decided to check it out. I have to say that I think Yoo Ah In is a great actor, maybe the best Korean actor. I have now seen him in several shows and I believe he can portray any character he wishes.

My next post is about Six Flying Dragons and everything you need to know before you watch it, hopefully without spoilers.

Just a few more thoughts on Korean dramas, though.  Most, if not all, are rated PG or PG-13. There is no sex shown and there is barely any kissing.  Most Korean dramas have some sort of romance, even if bittersweet, and have a mixture of sad and comedy that balances it out.  Korean dramas are well-known for taking the viewer’s emotions on a roller coaster ride.

The music in Korean dramas is really good. It is amazing how many Korean actors can also sing and many times sing one or more of the drama ost (original soundtrack).  So far, I have added 33 songs to my playlist (listening to it as I write) and I am sure that I will be adding more as I watch more dramas.  I really like listening to them and remembering the dramas and particular scenes the songs are from.

I won’t post the videos that contain spoilers, so instead I will just post the ones that have the lyrics.

The lead couple in My Secret Romance sing this one.


The main male lead, Park Hyung Sik, in Strong Woman Do Bong Soon sings this one.


Bonus: Here is another version of this song, it does not contain spoilers because the scene is not from Strong Woman Do Bong Soon. Just because Park Hyung Sik is such a cutie.


So, you might wish to know where to watch Korean dramas.  There are free sites out there, but I am not going to put them here as I fear they will disappear.  The main two subscription (paid) sites are and  They are about the same, Viki might have a bigger selection, but I am not sure. I chose to pay for the annual membership on Drama Fever.  I like their site better, but also it is cheaper.  It only costs $18 dollars for the annual Premium membership (less than one trip to the movies) on Drama Fever.  Whereas it costs $50 dollars for the annual membership on Viki.