The Throne (2015) - full transcript

Set in 18th century Korea, long-ruling King Yeongjo's struggle with his son, Sado, sees the king take extreme measures in order to deal with his heir.

Fixed & Synced by bozxphd. Enjoy The Flick

Directed by LEE Joon-ik

The soul that left us today

If you may visit us

SONG Kang-ho

Enjoy this good food

YOO Ah-in

And drink from this cup

May you pass unto
your descendants

the good fortune
unspent in your life

Following the words
of this mantra

May you enter nirvana
and reincarnate as a man

My Lady!

My Lady!

The Crown Prince has set out for
the King's palace with his sword.

I fear for King's safety.

If we don't stop him now,

he's going to bring down
the Royal Grandson with him.


Namo Amitabha



The only reason I'm informing you
of last night's events,

although I'm the birth mother
of the Crown Prince

is to protect you, Your Majesty.

My Lady,

you are a faithful retainer.

Truly faithful.

You're the only one I can trust.

Even so

his illness is to blame
for this disaster.

If you must punish him,
please show him mercy

and spare the Royal Grandson,
the Grand Heir.

Your Majesty!
I beseech you to stop.

This is by the request

of the Crown Prince's own mother.

Why do you intend to shake
the stability of this country

based on words of
a mere concubine?


Which gate does Your Majesty
wish to take?

Gyeonghwa Gate.

To Gyeonghwa Gate.

The King summons you, Your Highness.

Which gate did His Majesty use?

Gyeonghwa Gate, Your Highness.

Shall I take the Royal Grandson
with me?

You choose your son
over your husband.

My Lady,

you are a cold, heartless woman.

Take off your hat and
dragon robe.


No, my son...


I see you really intend to kill me
already dressed for a funeral.

I've been wearing them since the passing of
the Queen and the Queen Dowager.

Even after the three-year
mourning period has long ended?

Bring them out.

What are all these?

Did you not dig a grave

in the palace garden, made caskets
and have been wearing mourning clothes,

to curse me to death!

You've been treating me
like a dead man.

So I made myself a tomb.

And last night...?

I won't speak further of it.

Repent by taking your own life.

If I die, this kingdom will fall

but if you die, the 300-year
Yi dynasty will be saved.

Is 'suicide' a punishment
in the laws of this country?

If I am guilty of a crime,
hand me over to the court.

This is a family matter,
not a national affair.

I am here as the head of a family,

passing judgment upon a son
who conspired to kill his father.

If you atone by death now,
you will not lose your title as Crown Prince.

When did you ever regard me as Crown Prince?
Or as your son?

What would become of us
if the Crown Prince dies?

All those who served him
will go down with him.

Not just us but our entire
clan will be wiped out.

This is no time to worry
about your own safety

when the fate of this kingdom
is at stake.

Your Highness!

- We beg you to stop.
- Withdraw the sword.

- Your Highness!
- No!

Mother, aren't we going to
help Father?

- Leave me!
- We beg Your Highness to withdraw your sword.

Let go of me.

We beg you, sir.

No, Your Highness!

Your Majesty! Kill us first.

Please kill us first.

Your Majesty,

even a king cannot impose
a punishment that is not

in the Great Ming Code
or in any books of law.

Please, sir.

Remove them from my sight.

Your majesty!

Your Highness!

Your majesty!

We beg you to take heed.

Please, Your Majesty!

Rice chest... Bring out the rice chest.

Put him inside.

Don't touch me.

I command you to let go.

Seal it with nails.

Son, no!

Father, come out of there.

Take the Grand Heir away.

Your Majesty,
please spare my Father.

I beg of you.

Didn't I command to let no one in?

Do you want the Grand Heir
locked up, too?

I'll do whatever he couldn't,
Your Majesty.

If you want him to study,
I will instead.

I'll do whatever you wish.

Spare my father's life.

Take him away.

Father, come out of there.


Father, come out of there.



What is a luxury and what is not?

This silk is a luxury.

And this cotton is not.

Who will you give that writing to?

I shall hold it dear until the clay I die.

I shall preserve it as a family treasure.

Your Highness,

I give you all my remaining life.

Long live, Your Highness.


Even the way you eat pleases me.

What are you reading these days?

The Book of Filial Piety,
Your Majesty the Queen.

What does it say about filial duties?

That it represents a man

carrying his old parent
on his back, Mother.

Who will you carry on your back?

My precious baby!

It is time for your studies,
Your Highness.

Oh, my head hurts!

Go on, my dear.

“He who loves his parents
does no evil unto others.”

“He who loves his parents
does no evil unto others...”

“He who respects his parents
dare not be arrogant.”

Your Highness, how can you be dozing off?

If you understood the true meaning of
filial piety, you could not be falling asleep.

You will be tested by
the King in two days.

Please take heed.

Your filial duty as the prince is to study.

Can I sleep with mama?

A Crown Prince must sleep
on his own.

Can't he stay with me, just tonight?

It's against court rules.

His Highness is not your son,
but the Queen's now.

Your Majesty, it is past your bedtime.

As a father transcribing a book for his son,
how could I go to sleep?


As Your Majesty commanded,

we've captured all those involved with
the Crown Prince in his misconducts.

Royal Secretary,

issue a decree that demotes
Crown Prince to a commoner.

I'm a servant to this kingdom.

Please give me a justification
to honor your wishes.

Is that right?

Then, Chief Secretary, you write it.

I can't do it either, Sire.

How embarrassing for the King.

Bring out the ink and paper.

Can't he sentence the Prince
to drink poison?

If he bestows poison,
it makes the Crown Prince a traitor.

If the Prince be a traitor,
his father is also a traitor.

That is the law of this country
which follows the laws of Ming China.

The Crown Prince was born
with many fine talents.

He brought me great joy
and I loved him deeply.

But since the age often,
he began to neglect his studies

and after assuming the regency,
developed a serious illness

that turned him into an obscene
and wicked character.

When the illness deteriorated he lost his reason
and even murdered a eunuch.

He associated with shamans, Buddhist nuns
and courtesans day and night,

and abandoned his duties to the King.

Moreover, he built a tomb in the palace garden,

and conspired to carry out an unspeakable act.

Hence, Consort Yi, the birth mother
of the Crown Prince informed me

that my life is at stake
and requested to make a decision.

Thereupon, I depose the Crown Prince

and order that he be
locked up as a commoner.

I am blessed with such
a beautiful daughter-in-law!

Since I received your formal greetings today,
I shall give a word of advice.

Serve your husband with utmost devotion.

Never let your voice or your face be frivolous.

Whatever happens in court
shall be deemed normal.

So do not show any signs
of acknowledgement.

A wife shall not greet her husband
in undergarments.

Always maintain the proper attire
in front of the Crown Prince.

However pretty your make-up is,

lipstick mark on your husband's attire is
not pretty. Take care not to...

Why do you laugh?

How dare you!

How can a princess born from a concubine

sit alongside the future queen?

Behave with due courtesy.

There're things you must remember
when serving the King.

I'm the Queen only by title.

Lady Yi should tell her as one
who served the King closer.

His Majesty takes care
to avoid using certain words.

He shuns ominous characters such as 'death'
so, never uses them.

After finishing his royal duties
for the day...

he always gets changed
before entering his chamber.

If he has heard ominous words,

he rinses out his mouth and
washes his ears before bed.

Then, he summons someone he disfavors
and says a word to him,

Everything well?

- Yes, Your Majesty.
- Leave me now.

As to get rid of bad luck.

He uses different gates
for pleasant and unpleasant matters.

For pleasant, he takes Manan Gate,

but for the unpleasant,
he takes the Gyeonghwa Gate.


he never lets those he loves

be in the same place as
those he disfavors.

As such, the King is unfathomably blatant
in how he expresses

his love and resentment.

You, Crown Princess shall tread carefully
to avoid falling out of favor.

So whimsical...

Your Highness,

take heed not to upset
the elders of the royal court.

Always tread carefully then,
even more carefully.



Your Highness,
don't cry on such a joyous day.

Let her cry.

Grow, Magical Staff!

People envy us for
becoming the King's in-laws

but we should be on guard
to protect our clan.

Your Highness.

Qing Emperor has sent this puppy
as your wedding gift.

What is your name?

Do you know how great Father is?

He surpasses any courtiers even in studies.

Do not fear him though.

You have me to rely on.

You have passed Father's test.
I can guarantee.

Yes, my Lord.

Keep still, Mong.

My Lady, can you hold him still?

I am blessed with such a beautiful wife!

Always serve your husband with a smile.

It's time to study, Your Highness.

“The path cannot be diverted at any time.“

“If it can be diverted, it is not the path.“

“Nothing is more visible than the hidden

and nothing is more apparent
than the subtle.“

“Therefore, a man of integrity
is cautious even more when alone.“


Pass? Did you say pass?

“A man of integrity is cautious even
at a place where he is not seen,

and is apprehensive
even where he is not heard.“

He skipped a whole phrase, not a word.
Yet, you say pass?

He is the future King and
the root of the kingdom.

How can you act this way
unless you wish to ruin this country?

This is a book I stayed up all night
to transcribe for your studies.

If you can't even memorize this,
what could you possibly learn?

How many times in a year
do you think about studying?

Once or twice, Sire.


Sir, how can you specifically say
once or twice?

Your Highness is too modest.

Teacher, I know my own heart.

Is that so?

Good for being so honest!

When I was your age,

I was afraid that something may
hinder my studies.

But you, in this fortunate condition,
neglect your studies.

The Crown Prince is not very
fond of strict books of codes,

- but novels like 'Journey to the West'...
- What?

You're letting the Crown Prince
read such rubbish?

Your Majesty, I beg you to watch him
with patience and affection

for he has excellent disposition...

How can you say that
looking at his tanned face

from playing outside all day!

Playing is a pleasure of a moment,

but learning offers a pleasure of a lifetime.

You have nothing to say
but to stare at me?


Open up!

Open this gate at once!

Open it.

Open the gate.

Open the gate.

Open the gate.

Open it.

Open it.

Open the gate.

Open it.


Your Highness. You can't do this.

I'd rather take the poison!

Your Highness!

- Sir!
- Please!

This could get the Royal Grandson killed.

Let him murder his own son. His grandson, too!
Let him kill everyone!

Your Highness...

Your Highness...

Kill us all! Let him reign for
thousands of years all by himself.

Lock him up again.

Let go of me.

Why is it all my fault?

Think about what you did to me.

You have no right to say that.

If you're so blameless...
Then, kill me now!

Shut the lid.

This is not the conduct of a king.
This is not the conduct of a king!

Your Highness, you must think of the future.

Bind the chest.

Put moss over it.

In regular homes, parents raise
their children with love.

But in the royal household,
they regard their children as enemies.

Why do you think that is?

How can a father's love
for his child be different?

It is different.

Every time I visit the Shrines,

I hear the bloody cries of my forefathers.

This here

is the shrine of my father, Sukjong the Great
who reigned for 46 years.

This king bestowed poison upon his wife.

And this is the shrine of my older brother,
Gyeongjong the Great.

People say that I killed him
to steal the throne.

What do you think?

I'm sure it's nothing more than a malicious rumor
created by your opposition.

Pay no heed, Sire.

There are kings who have killed their own
brothers and nephews

to preserve the dynasty.

To regard children as enemies
in a royal household...

Can you understand now?

You will when you become King.

No, Your Majesty!

How can you command us
something we cannot accept?

I have waited 25 years for this day.

Now that Crown Prince has come of age,
it's time for me to hand over the throne.

Stop the King at once.

He is not speaking from his heart again.

The Crown Prince still has more to learn.

Why do you interrupt his studies
by giving him duties as king?

I never cared for the throne.

As you all know, I only held
the position temporarily

since my brother had no heir.

Indeed, we know Your Majesty's
genuine intentions.

Let us assist you with even greater effort.

Your Majesty, please revoke your royal decree.

We beg of you, Your Majesty!

If so, what if I make
the Crown Prince regent?

Is that also unacceptable?

Creation of the Hangul alphabet and
expansion of northern territories are

known feats of Sejong the Great.

But these were achieved
during his son Munjong's regency.

That is why they say
that regency ruling has no real reward.

My Teachers,

the regency is for Father, not me.

You need not worry.

Do this right. People always judge
the father with his son's work.

If we reduce the military tax

from two rolls of textile to one,
as Your Highness commands,

the defense budget will be
short by 800,000 nyang.

What is your solution,
Defense Minister?

If we have each province contribute 120,000 nyang
from their reserve funds

and impose penalty on those avoiding
military duties for additional 50,000 nyang,

170,000 nyang in total
can be collected.

And for the remaining 630,000 nyang?

From 800,000 tracts of land
owned by the nobles,

we can impose a land tax of
1 nyang for every 2 tracts...

Your Highness!

By law, the nobles are exempt
from military duty.

You always claim that
this is a land of noblemen.

Yet, you leave the duty of
defense to starving commoners?

The royal household shall set an example

by paying 100,000 nyang as tax
from its fisheries, salt ponds and ships.

The remaining 130,000 nyang

shall be saved by uniting five armies
for efficiency.

- What do you think?
- Your Highness...

You cannot interfere with
the military control.

Why is that?

His Majesty the King gave us a pledge
when he ascended the throne.

So their faction took the advantage and

had complete control of
the military for past 25 years.

- Corruption getting beyond control.
- How dare you!


Your Highness, the indictment of a faction
monopolizing military control

must be uprooted.

How can segregation be tolerated
even within the military?

Your Highness, it is not segregation.

He's talking about mere social groups.

Is Joseon's army a place for your socializing?

How can there be segregation
in King's royal army?

As of today, all factional segregation
in all five armies

shall be abolished and reformed.

I order you to unify the command system
into one between His Majesty and armies.

A fair and square decision, Sire.

A fair and square decision, Sire.

Those who have relished control of
the military as a reward for

having helped the King seize the throne,

finally met their match.

You must be so proud
of your husband.

For appearance or character,
our Crown Prince surpasses the King.

We've been expecting,
so we can accept military taxes.

- However...
- I hear you.

Military control is a matter of loyalty
between us, Sire.


Mind your attire.

Not quite like the way
you handled state affairs.

Tie your hem again.

Did you have fun making
your whimsical decisions?

That is your problem.

Why divide the court into
your side and mine?

As your son, I wanted to restore military
control back into your hands...

You think I left things as
they are because I'm ignorant?

My policy of 'Magnificent Harmony'...

You rendered my life's work
worthless in just one day.

The throne is not a place
for making decisions.

It's a place to moderate decisions
and ask who's responsible.

This is a petition by
the Governor of Hamgyeong.

For relocation of the defense camp
in Seogjin back to Gilju.

Gilju can block all nine routes
leading to six fortresses

whereas Seongjin can block
only three routes.

If we move the defense camp back to Gilju,
how can we defend Seongjin?

We can leave a reserve of soldiers.

Then, it would be advisable
to move the camp back to Gilju.

Ministry of Military, discuss
details and execute.

- As Your Highness commands.
- Wait, wait.

My decision to move the defense camp
to Seongjin was made for a reason.

If you overturn that decision,
where does that leave me?

You all trying to undermine me
behind the Prince regent?


What do you know about
national defense?

Ever been to the northern state?

Leave the defense camp as it is

and consult with me first
on all major decisions from now.


Your Highness, Ministry of Defense borrowed
silver from the central army,

while central army is due to pay us
300 bags of rice as tax.

But central army is refusing to pay

in exchange of the silver
we must repay.

Your Highness, the Defense Minister's
claim is one-sided.

He's not returning the silver we had
for emergencies

yet, demands the rice as tax.
That is totally absurd.

How dare can they call it even

with the temporary loan of silver we used for
the Qing's envoy and the tax to our country?

Your Highness, please settle this matter.

What... should I do, Sire?

You trouble me over
such trivial matter?

Making you regent was futile.

Order the central army
to send the rice,

and the Defense Ministry to repay
the silver. What else?

As His Majesty commands.


A petition from the Governor of
the southern state, Your Highness.

They haven't had any rain
in four months

so their crops are all ruined.

Your Highness, what should we do?

The heavens didn't give rain
due to my lack of virtue as King.

Why ask the Prince?

That is not true.

It hasn't rained since
I assumed regency.

It's all due to my lack of virtue
as the Crown Prince!

Your Highness, let's go to the interrogation hall
where His Majesty presides.

You must attend the interrogation.

My Lord,

is this how regency ruling is?

You must endure it, Your Highness.

I don't want to.

Your Highness...

Is the policy of Magnificent Harmony

all about being conscious of
high officials?

How can I serve a King
who murdered his own brother?

Still babbling about that?

The rumor was judged groundless
when I ascended the throne.

If that is true,
why did Yi In-jwa rise in revolt?

Isn't it because he couldn't
acknowledge you as King?

Rip out his mouth!

Killing one man will not change
the way of this world.

How can a son of a lowly court slave
succeed Sukjong the Great?

It's not just people from Naju
who think this

but everyone in the south does.

Rip out his mouth, too.

You may be the king of dogs
in Qing China. But this is Joseon.

If you keep barking,
I will mate you with a mutt.

Your Highness,

the King seeks you.

Such abominable bastards!

I have heard more horrendous
curses than I can bear.

- Is everything well?
- Yes, Your Majesty.

Why didn't you come
to the interrogation?

Did you study?

When your father works so hard day and night...
And you call yourself my son.

Get out.

Yes, Sire.


Did you write a poem to
Yi Eui-gyeong for his journey

that says that reading
is your greatest pleasure?

Yes, Your Majesty.

How can reading be
your greatest pleasure?

Not only did you deceive him,

but you deceived everyone in that region
who will read your poem and praise you.

It's because of your lies

that this rain they need
in their drought-ridden region

is pouring down here on our
sacred visit to the royal tomb!

Don't you ever pretend to be honest.

You're unworthy of paying
respects to my father's tomb.

Return to the palace!

If only I had another son...

Move it!



Bring water.

Bring water.

Water! Bring me water at once!

The moss is dry. Water it!

Your Highness!

You must breathe out slowly.

It's a boy!

I saw a blue dragon
in my dream last night.

We're going to have
a Royal Grandson!

Thank you, my dear.

I can finally face the ancestors
at the Royal Shrine.

Your Highness, let me have a fan made
from this painting

and offer it to the Grand Heir
on the day he ascends the throne.

Congratulations, madam!

You're going to have an audience
with your grandfather.

You mustn't cry, my dear.

The Grand Heir is here
to pay his respects to the King.

Not now. Take him away.

The Queen's 60th birthday is in two days.

But we haven't been able to prepare
without your word, Your Majesty.

Lady Yi, when the King doesn't issue a decree,

there must be a reason, right?

What should I do?

His Majesty is swamped with duties.

We, concubines, shouldn't
trouble him further.

How dare you...!

I won't hear any more of it.

Leave! All of you!

You dare disrespect the Crown Prince's
birth mother, only because the King favors you?

Strike her harder.

Give it here!

You spiteful wench! I'll teach you
a lesson you won't forget.

What do you think you're doing?

Leave us!

However little your affection
for the Queen is,

you're yet to issue a decree
for her 60th birthday.

Is that your intention
or that of your new consort?

Isn't it thoughtful of
the Crown Prince's birth mother

in wishing to celebrate the Queen's birthday?

And yet, the new consort
was disrespectful to her,

instead of learning from her. So, I am showing
discipline among the royal consorts.

If you act this way,
I cannot be King anymore.

What did you say?

Are you siding with that lowly thing

because she has conceived your seed?

Lowly thing?

You call her lowly?

You're the one who made me,
a low-born, king.

Why don't you take away my throne, too?

I shall abdicate my throne.
Grant your royal permission!


Suit yourself.

I give you my royal permission.

No, Your Majesty!
We beg you to rescind the decree.

Your Majesty!
I beseech you to revoke.

It cannot be accepted.

Your Majesty! Please rescind
the royal decree to turning over your throne.

How many times did I tell you
that I don't care for the throne?

I already obtained permission
from the Queen Dowager.

Let's go.

Your Highness, the King has left the palace.

Let's get up now.

Please go back, Mother.

Your Majesty the Queen Dowager, will you allow
the unthinkable to happen to the Crown Prince?

Please revoke your royal permission.

I shall teach the King a lesson

so he won't distress
the poor Crown Prince again

with insincere threats of abdication.

But till now, you are the one
who's been protecting the Crown Prince.

You're the only one in court,
who can save him now.

Though I may be a frail woman,
I'm the Queen Dowager of this country.

How can I revoke the words
that I've already spoken?

However, Your Majesty, if you delay
the Crown Prince dies.

Please save him, madam!

If that is the case,

it will all end when I die.

From this day forward,

do not bring me food.

Your majesty!

Tell the King that

my aging ears misheard him

and mistakenly issued the permission.

Your Highness, the Queen Dowager revoked
her royal permission.

Please rise.

Your Highness.

Your Highness.


If you had stayed put,
you'd have become King in time.

Why did you have to make her revoke
her permission, and drove her to her death?

I am to blame for her death.

You despicable serpent!

Do you think I don't know
how you really feel?

Yes! It is all is my fault.

The soul that left us today

If you may visit us

enjoy this good food

and drink from this cup

May you pass unto your descendants

the good fortune unspent in your life

Following the words of this mantra

please rid of grudges
and all hard feelings

but encourage kindness

and unload all worries

May only luck remain

May you enter nirvana

and reincarnate as a man

Namo Amitabha

By the Seven Stars

and the Supreme God...

That's enough. His Highness doesn't have
the constitution for alcohol.

Fill the cup.

I fear for your health, Sire.

Does this look like wine to you?

These are the bloody tears of
my grandmother whom I got killed.

Your Highness, the King asks for you
at the Palace Academy.

You've been neglecting
your duties as regent,

using the passing of the Queen
and Queen Dowager as excuses.

So, I came here to greet you.

I see you have abandoned your studies.

Look at the state of your attire.

Where is your hat?
And your coat tie is all loose.

You... Have you been drinking?

I have, Sire.

A Crown Prince, drunk during
the period of mourning...

Don't you know an army commander was beheaded
last month for violating alcohol prohibition?

Majesty, His Highness doesn't have
the constitution for alcohol.

You Majesty should smell
his breath for wine.

I just told the King that I drank.
How dare you say otherwise?

Leave us.

One should not scold even a dog
in front of an elder.

How dare you scold a court matron
in front of me?

I did so as she dared to
make an excuse.

Bring water so I can
cleanse my ears.

I am at fault

for appointing a useless wretch
like you as the Crown Prince.

A mere woman risks her life
to defend me.

Yet none of you spoke a word!



Is that you?

Does the Royal Grandson
feed you well?

And Crown Princess brushes you?

Why didn't you bark last night?

Are you frightened of the King, too?

Shouldn't we seek a way to protect
the Royal Grandson?

My intention was to save
both the King and the Crown Prince.

Let me take care of my nephew
the Grand Heir.

I beg your pardon?

Who in here other than myself
can make him King?

You must entrust me with your son.

Father listens to me.


Surely, you cannot bet the life of this family
on words of a low rank princess.

Since the new Queen is installed,
the King's health has improved.

This is without a doubt...
What are you doing here?

I must seek ways to
save myself and my family.

Should the Grand Heir become King,

it'll be the end for all who
didn't stop his father's death.

What do you suggest?

We must do everything to prevent
the Grand Heir from ascending the throne.

Then what?

If the new Queen bears a son,
that will put an end to the matter.

And even if that fails, we could put
a dumb royalty on the throne

and have the Queen rule
as regent behind the veil.

Indeed, it was our fathers
who drank poison

to save the King when he faced
charges of treason.



I'm terrified of the King.

What is greater than a mountain
and deeper than an ocean?

It's the love of a parent.

What do you think?

It's the King's benevolence.

It's a man's heart.

A man's heart?
Why is that?

I learned that a man's spirit
is higher than a mountain

and a woman's fidelity
is deeper than an ocean.

Sorry I...

If there's anything I can do
for you, tell me.

I beg Your Majesty not to promote
the men in my family.

I am blessed
with a wife of great wisdom.

I'm not asking him to do
daily greetings.

It's been over a month since
his new mother, the Queen is here.

And the Crown Prince doesn't
pay his respects?

Due to his illness,

he has not been out
for some time now.

Have him visit me
when he gets better.

Yes, Your Majesty.

What nonsense!

Is he in his death bed?

Died in vain

is this young soul

Your Highness...

Open it.

White Guardian of the West

Black Guardian of the North

Yellow Guardian of the Center

Where is the Crown Prince?

My dear mother...

How have you come to this,
having to serve a young Queen?

My Lord, you must stop this.

And pay your respects
to the new Queen.

I don't even visit my own mother.

Why would I bother visiting her?

What would the Grand Heir
learn from your behavior?

Grand Heir! Grand Heir!
Is he all you care about?

I don't exist in your eyes, do I?

My Prince, I beg you
to reconsider for my sake.

Oh my poor mother.

Is the old fart mistreating you
since he has a new young wife?


I know, I know...

I'll stop by tomorrow morning
to show my face. So, don't you worry.

It doesn't fit!

- Bring me another robe.
- Yes, Your Highness.

Here is a new one.

It's a brand new robe
completed this morning.

Your Highness must hurry.

The Queen hasn't had her breakfast
to wait for your greeting.

This is not right. It's all wrong!

Your Highness. Sir...

Bring out another.

A new robe!

Right now!

Please calm down, Sir.

Bring out a robe!

There are no more, your Highness.

Get me another!

I beg you to take heed.

There are no more robes.

Your Highness!

What's delaying him?

I cannot tell whether she is
thoughtful or just dumb.

You mustn't speak of
the Queen that way.

I wonder how she bewitched
the Father so completely.

I heard they only hold hands in bed.

Everyone that the old fart
favors are here.

I cannot spend another day
in the same palace as him.

Have the old man move
to Gyeonghui Palace.

Or we shall all die together!

I hear you, brother. I'll do all I can
to make that happen.

I will... I guarantee you, brother.


Stop shaking, you wretches.

I'll die from dizziness.

He's still alive.

You cannot be here, Your Highness.

Step aside!

I'm afraid I can't, sir.
It's the royal command.

What is your name and rank?

Head of the King's guards,
Kim Do-su, Sir.

I shall remember your name.
Step aside.

Father, your daughter-in-law
brought you water.

Father, your daughter-in-law
brought you water.

Father, your daughter-in-law
brought you water.

Come out of there, Father.

Come out of there, Father.

Father, your daughter-in-law
brought you water.

Father, come out of there.

Please come out.

Your daughter-in-law brought you water.

Your daughter-in-law brought you water. Father!

Didn't I order to let no one in?

Can't a son offer water
to his own father?

The Grand Heir

is to stay with his mother's family

until further command.

Does a king need many vassals
to be a good ruler?

Even with few vassals, one can be a good ruler
if he is a loyal king.

Will it be easy to bring in wise men?

If the king sets good examples,
it will be easy.

A child barely 10 years old
has such a deep insight!

Then, can one match the heavenly high
virtues of kings Yaw and Sun?

Even though unattainably high, one can match
that by endeavoring day and night..

Pass. He has passed.

It's a pass!

Lineage of our dynasty depends
only on the Grand Heir.

How can a son like this
come from a father like him?

'Like father like son'
doesn't apply to my family.

Who is Sukjong the Great
who rests here?

He is my great-grandfather
and a king who reigned

for the longest period of 46 years
in Joseon's history.

You must reign for even longer,

WW do you say that?

Because that is the filial duty
in royal household.

What does it mean to be King?

And to be a subject?

I have sat on this throne
for 37 years.

I'm no longer sure
what it means to be King.

The king doesn't always get to
hold the sword handle,

and a servant doesn't
always hold the blade.

Study hard.

If you're not a learned king,
you can't hold the sword handle.

I will take that to my heart.


I heard you visited Sukjong's
tomb with your grandfather.

Yes, Father.

Do you really enjoy studying
that much?

Yes, Father.

Why do you enjoy it?

Because it makes Grandfather happy.

Is that right?

I hate myself for that.

How dignified is that arrow
that flies freely through the air!

I could not attend your royal wedding
because the King didn't allow it.

I'm sorry for that.

My dear daughter-in-law.

Man and wife must always cover
each other's mistakes.

And not subject themselves
to trivial rules of etiquette,

but love each other dearly,
and more dearly for eternity.

I'll take that to my heart.

I wish to turn over the throne
to the Grand Heir.

Who among you

will submit a petition
to depose the Crown Prince?

I'm afraid I cannot
obey that command, Sire.

Even after witnessing all
the misconducts of the Prince?

I was even forced
to move out to this palace.


As his teachers, you are responsible
for what he has become.

Write the petition as I instructed.

It is a royal command.

Finally, what we feared has happened.

This was why the King
promoted us to ministers.

Your Majesty,

your joy and your wrath
change so whimsically

that it is difficult to discern
your true intentions.

I beseech you on my knees

to suppress your anger and
to show benevolence to the Crown Prince,

so that harmony can be
restored in this dynasty.

Your Highness,

please go to Gyeonghui Palace
and reconcile with the King.

If you don't, all your vassals
will be put to death.

When did I have any vassals?

Power cannot be shared
even between father and son.

Just a few more years, and
you'll sit on the throne.

Is it that hard to visit the King now
and then and pretending to study?

I don't want to live like that.
I can't live like that.

I shall live by my own ways.

Take a seat, mother.

Make yourself comfortable.

My dear mother,

please forgive your son for delaying 6 years
in celebrating your 60th birthday.

Please forgive me.

May you be blessed with
long life and good health.









The Grand Heir shall bow 4 times.

But it is against the decorum.

Wearing a queen's ceremonial robe
alone can cause trouble.

If the King hears that
we bowed 4 times...

Who is the head of this family?

At least for today,
let my mother be the Queen.

Finish your bows.





Everyone shall bow 4 times!




Stand back!

It's the Queen's royal progress!

Stand back!

It's the Queen's royal progress!

Stand back!

It's my mother,

the Queen's progress!

It's my mother, the Queen's progress!

Stand back.

Stand back.

Stand back.

Since vice-premier died to act
against the Crown Prince's deposition,

Ministers Min and Yi
have also committed suicide.

Those weak-hearted souls
only speak of reforms and cause.

They run away when they're
scared to face the real world.

The King's troubles are deep.

We could help him.

Why would he have any feelings left

for the Crown Prince who
doesn't even come to see him.

If only the King's mind is set...

This could end in your death.

I am prepared, my Lord.

Know that your family
will be taken care of.

The Crown Prince associated himself with
Buddhist nuns and courtesans.

He killed a eunuch

and conspired to kill the King
by storing weapons in a cave

behind the palace garden.

I can't read any more.
Burn it.

But Your Majesty,

it's an important evidence.

Your Majesty, I find it hard to believe that
someone of his lowly status

can dare to report on the Crown Prince.

I beg you to investigate who is behind him.

How can you know about
affairs within the court walls?

The eunuch who was murdered by
the Crown Prince was my brother.

We must find out who's behind.

We beg of you, Your Majesty!

Your Highness, you can't be here.

Sire! Allow me to confront him.

Accusation of treason is preposterous!

How dare you try to frame me?

Who put you up to this?

My brother who you brutally killed!

You are more than capable
of high treason.

Your majesty!

I lied about treason

to have an audience with you,
Your Majesty, to plead injustice.

But everything about the Prince's misconduct
is true to the letter.

Your Majesty,

falsely accusing the Crown Prince of treason is
a serious crime that shouldn't be taken lightly.

You abominable wretches!

Even a lowly man like him acts
out of concern for this country

and bravely reports
the Crown Prince's faults.

You who receive stipend
didn't bother to report on him?

How can this country not be ruined?

Please allow the Crown Prince
to confront the man

and discover who is behind this.

Please, Your Majesty.

Your Majesty, even if you take our disloyalty

and his unfortunate
circumstances into account,

his crime of deceiving the King must be
punished by the most severe sentence.

No, Your Majesty.
You mustn't execute him yet.

I appreciate your loyalty and
I sympathize with your circumstances.

Because of you, I have learned of
the Prince's misconducts.

However, falsely accusing treason
is a great offense.

I command you

to behead him.

Your majesty!

Before you execute him,
please find out who's behind him.

Please reveal the truth, Sire!

Do you really wish to
make your son a traitor?

Your existence in itself is treason.

How dare you wield your sword
at your wife and sister?

What are you, a butcher?

This is all because of
my pent-up anger.

Pent-up anger?

Why don't you just go mad?

I don't want to see your face.
Go to Geumcheon Bridge and beg for punishment.

The soul that left us today

If you may visit us

Enjoy this good food

And drink from this cup

May you pass unto

the good fortune
unspent in your life

Following the words of this mantra

please rid of grudges
and all hard feelings

but encourage kindness

and unload all worries

May only luck remain

May you enter nirvana
and reincarnate as a man

What's the matter?

The Crown Prince headed out
to the King's palace with his sword.

My Lord!

Step aside.

Please stop, my Lord.
No, not this!

He says my existence
in itself is treason.

I will show him.

Get out of my way.

- Please stop.
- Out!

My Lord!

My Lord!

My Lady!

My Lady!

The Crown Prince has set out for
the King's palace with his sword.

I fear for King's safety.

If we don't stop him now,

he's going to bring down
the Royal Grandson with him.

My Lady!

That's my grandson.

I hear that your father threw a banquet
for your grandmother's 60th birthday?

That's true, Grandfather.

I heard you bowed 4 times, too.

That is also true, Grandfather.

Your real grandmother is
but a mere concubine.

Why did you bow 4 times
like you would to king or queen?

Isn't that against the decorum?

Answer me.

I can bow before you a hundred,
a thousand times even if you weren't King.

Why is that?

Because men come before
all laws and decorum.

Not the other way round.

Confucius also said not to see
the trivia of decorum but to see the heart.

That day, I saw my father's heart.

When your

older brother died

and I begot you at the age of forty.


I was so overjoyed

that I invested you
the Crown Prince as a baby

and started educating you
as King from the age of 2.

I could never forget

the brightness and wisdom
you showed in those days.

But then...

you started playing with swords,

painting pictures of dogs,
and neglected your studies.

And I felt as though the heaven
collapsed from top of me.

Is that why you had me
sit in front of your vassals

and made an imbecile out of me?

I did so out of desire
to make you a good king.

Do you know how anxious I got

every time you made a mistake?

How is that my fault?

It was because you

gave the sword handle to your vassals
when you became King.

Don't you know the fate of a prince
who doesn't seize the throne?

If I didn't become the King
with their help,

I would've long been killed.

You wouldn't exist, if I died back then.

Because I know that,

I tried so hard to understand you.

But... the way you treated me

smothered me.
I couldn't endure it.

Is learning so important?

Is one's attire so important?

Your subjects will look down on you

for your lack of learning
or for a crooked trouser tie.

In this country, learning is the country's
prime value. The decorum is the prime value.

Do you know why
I didn't kill you that night?

Because men come before
all laws and decorum.

How can learning or decorum
be the prime value if it oppresses men?

I don't want to be king,
I don't want power.

All I wanted was

one loving gaze and...

one warm word from my father.

How is it that

you and I could only
have this conversation

at the crossroads of life and death?

I shall be...

recorded as a father
who killed his own son.


won't be recorded as a traitor
who conspired to kill King

but as a lunatic

who tried to kill his own father.

That's the only way...

that your son can be saved.

If I weren't a King

and if you weren't the King's son,

how could this have happened?

This is our fate.


my silly boy.

Why did you have to

make your old father

commit this atrocity?

How could a mother
who drove her son to death

expect to live?

Even the grass won't grow
on my tomb.

Oh my baby.

My Lady...


How can you be at fault?

My son...

It wasn't me that got him killed.

It wasn't my fault, was it?

It wasn't my fault.
Tell me it wasn't my fault...

My baby... my son...

Head back to the palace.

Play the song of triumph.

How relentless...

A triumphal music after
putting his own son to death.


1,000 bags of rice!

2,000 bags!

3,000 bags!

In considering the Royal Grandson's heart,

and remonstration of my vassals,

I reinstate the Crown Prince's title

and grant him
the posthumous name 'Sa-Do'.

Sa as in 'to think'

and Do as in 'to mourn.'

Come with me.


He is not Prince Sado's
son any more.

We must send him off
to the King at once.

Take off your mourning clothes.

No, Mother.

I don't want to.

You must take it off and leave now.



No, Mother.

You must accede to the throne
if you wish to avenge your father's death.


The reason

I abolish your father's record

is for your kingship,
and this country's future.

Whoever tries to elevate
your late father's title to a king

will be deemed traitor
to the dynasty.

This is

a matter of loyalty to the throne.

I will take that to my heart.

From this moment,

never speak of the matters
concerning your father.

Agony is one thing,

loyalty is another.

Return my King!

Return my King!

Return my King!

The spirit of Joseon's King,

please come back to the palace.

Long live our King!

Long live our King!

Long live our King!

Father, your daughter-in-law
brought you water.

Father, your daughter-in-law
brought you water.

Come out, Father.
Your daughter-in-law brought you water.


drink this water.

Forgive your heartless wife.

I came before you, my husband,

now that I turned 60 and
streaked with gray hair.

Father, I am to blame for your death.

If I wasn't born,

it all wouldn't have happened.

Look at the commanding stature
of your son.

Please stretch your legs

and rest in peace.









I wish to share with you
this joy of celebrating

the 60th birthday of
my mother and late father.

I witnessed so many
horrible events as a child,

I never had the chance
to make my mother laugh.

So, today, I will make up for it all.