A Tree With Deep Roots: A Korean Drama Review

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A Tree With Deep Roots

Hangul:       뿌리깊은 나무

 

Ddol bok (Jang Hyuk) was a slave boy who was living happily together with his mentally-challenged father and other slaves. Everything was fine because they have a good master until they were asked to pass along a letter from the king. Ddol Bok was unable to read so he asked his friend, Dam Yi (Shin Se Kyung) to read it to make sure that it will not get them in trouble. The girl couldn’t read but she played smart and it lead to the death of both their fathers and the rest of the people in their master’s household.

The Rescue

 


The queen rescued Dam Yi but she lost her speech due to trauma and guilt. Ddol Bok, on the other hand, was rescued by the king upon overhearing his curses towards him. The king’s father, who was wielding power even though his son took over the crown wanted to kill Ddol Bok but the king for the first time stood his ground to save Ddol Bok because he was guilty of the death of the boy’s father. 

Ddol Bok’s life then became full of hatred towards the king. He lived with the purpose of killing him so he trained hard, always calculating the percentage of success of his moves. Later on, he was able to become a palace guard and changed his name to Kang Chae Won, therefore increasing his chances of being successful but he learned later on that the letter that his father delivered was switched and not the king’s letter.

That did not stop his intention until he found about the letters that the king made through the palace made So Yi, who was previously Dam Yi. 

With the belief that the letters will empower people, Ddol Bok forgave the king and worked with him. Together with So Yi who was running secret missions from the king because of her astounding memory, they work together against those people who are against the new alphabet. 

 

 

What Makes A Tree With Deep Roots An Amazing Drama?

 



I just finished watching this drama and it’s really an amazing historical drama. This drama is a complete package. We have jaw-dropping action, breath-stopping suspense, and romance.

Although it doesn’t look realistic, the fighting scenes between Jang Hyuk and Yoon Pyung (Lee Soo Hyuk) are really entertaining. He is also one of the characters who stood out in the drama for me even though he is just a sidekick.He did not portray any emotional scenes. He was always described as a tall, ghost-like guy because of his white face and scary voice.

 

 

The action scenes are less than the drama, Six Flying Dragons. If I’m not mistaken it is the predecessor of A Tree With Deep Roots but is equally jaw-dropping.

Some characters from Six Flying Dragons are part of this drama. I was surprised at how Lee Bang Won or King Taejong changed after he became king. He was an ideal leader in the previous drama turned into a tyrant king in this drama. I am not sure how close it is to the real history. It was a horrible change of his personality.

 

The Korean Alphabet


The main goal of this drama is to spread the new alphabet made by King Sejong. With the opposition from the secret society called Milbon and the nobles, the king and his people suffered unbelievable difficulties. It came to the point of losing his son. From the noble’s point of view, it is not good to have new letters. The new letters are much easier to memorize. It has 28 characters. It is now known as Hangul or Hangeul. Chinese characters, on the other hand, is composed of thousands of characters.

I am studying Korean and I mastered their alphabet within a day so it is really easy to read and write with their alphabet. For those people living in that time, it is much easier to master because they just have to read and write. They didn’t have to worry about the meaning because it is already their language. 

 

Social Justice

 

The noble feared that common people and slaves would steal their power through writing. For me, it is selfishness. Up to this day, some people try to hinder the easier path for others just to keep the benefit for themselves. Milbon, on the other hand, feared chaos in the government. They believe that once people learn how to read and write, everyone will want to be government officials or elect their own leaders. At that time, it was unacceptable because they have a monarchy government. 

The king, luckily, is a good king who wanted social justice. He believed that those letters will free the people from not being able to speak for themselves through writing.

Romance in this drama is subtle. So Yi and Ddol Bok love each other but for me, they are more like siblings than lovers. The ending is horrible also from a romance lover’s perspective (sorry for the spoiler). Normally, lovers don’t end up with each other in historical dramas anyway so this is not a surprise. 


In the Korean drama, A Tree With Deep Roots, Ddol bok (Jang Hyuk) was a slave boy who was living happily together with his mentally-challenged father and other slaves. Everything was fine because they have a good master until they were asked to pass along a letter from the king. Ddol Bok’s life then became full of hatred towards the king. He lived with the purpose of killing him

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