Hey guys. Today, I will go over the synopsis and explain the ending to Kingdom: Ashin of the North. I'll also give my take on the drama and what I thought of it.
The special premiered on July 23, 2021, on Netflix, and I watched the whole thing the moment I saw it show up on my watchlist. I've been waiting for this one. There will obviously be spoilers in this article. Still, I wanted to share my thoughts on how this little mini-movie ended because it did kind of end confusingly.
So anyways, Ashin of the North is supposed to be a unique introduction to the character of Ashin, played by the only My Sassy Girl, Jun Ji‑Hyun. She was also in "My Love from the Star" and "The Legend of the Blue Sea." Needs no introduction. I've been waiting so long to see her in a drama again.
Kingdom:Ashin of the North goes over the story of her character, the titular Ashin, from a small border village of the Jurchen tribe. The events here happen before the events of Kingdom season one.
The local magistrate slaughters some people from the nearby Pajeowi tribe and blames it on her village. In response, the Pajeowi tribe kills everyone in her tribe and takes her father, the village leader, as a prisoner. She was unaware of this as she looked for the resurrection flower to cure her mother's illness. When she comes back, everyone is slain, and she joins the Joseon settlement until adulthood. She then finds out the truth about who betrayed her tribe after finding her father during a spy mission for Joseon and reading the official report about the incident from a scroll. She unleashes the zombies on the settlement using the resurrection flower. She slaughters everyone, only bringing one victim back to her village, where she proceeds to feed him to her zombified family.
In a sort of metaphor, the image is juxtaposed with scenes of her beloved family, implying that if they were still living, she would be helping to feed them after a hunt. Remember, she was trying to catch a boar from earlier.
The rest of the show sets up the first season of Kingdom by showing Ashin introducing the doctor to the resurrection plant, who ultimately uses it to revive the king in season one.
The last scene is Ashin facing off with the Pajeowi tribe, who were tricked but the direct killers of her village. And then it ends, there you go.
I don't think you can shrink down this story any shorter than that. So I wanted to talk about what I felt about this, and maybe you felt the same way.
I was waiting for adult Ashin for most of the movie. I think many K-drama fans were. Reviews online currently are raving about the child actress for Ashin, and yeah, she was good. Still, I came in waiting for Jun Ji-Hyun, and she doesn't show up until the last 2/3rd of the movie. Don't worry. I kept track, so you guys don't have. She shows up at precisely 50 minutes zero seconds of the one hour and a half movie. 50:00, talk about cruel. I was waiting for her for so long that I got distracted by the young version of Ashin. I just couldn't concentrate on feeling for the character yet. It also made the pacing of the first part of the story feel a lot slower.
The only thing that was slower to appear than adult Ashin were the zombies themselves. The first two-thirds of Ashin of the North could have just been a straight historical drama. The atmosphere for this special didn't really feel as ominous or foreboding as the first season of Kingdom. The forest and nighttime just weren't as menacing or scary. Don't get me wrong. The cinematography was fantastic. Still, I felt they were recycling more shocking sequences from the first two seasons, such as when the Joseon officer is piled dove by zombies. I think it was sort of an iconic moment from season one in the original village that just got redone again. We've seen it already.
Otherwise, I thought overall Kingdom: Ashin of the North was okay. If you haven't seen the original Kingdom seasons, I will go for those first because they set the mood better. Still, if you have been waiting for more Kingdom content, Ashin of the North can hold you over until the third season.
I was sort of blown away by Kingdom season one. I had to binge it when it was first released. I watched season two. I started feeling like the series was moving in an odd direction, and in Ashin of the North, I guess I just feel indifferent. I am interested in Ashin's character and think she makes a great antagonist. I'm not sure how I think about the backstory; her hamlet of a few dozen people and relatives is destroyed. Therefore she'll massacre thousands of innocent people in ancient Korea? I don't know if that holds up too well. But we'll see. I definitely admit they made the character enjoyable, so it does have me hyped up a bit for season three.
Let me know what you guys think down in the comments section below.
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