River Where the Moon Rises is a Korean historical drama that aired in 2021. The drama explores themes such as love, identity, sacrifice, and leadership, as well as the history and culture of Goguryeo, one of the ancient kingdoms of Korea. The drama also features a stellar cast, a captivating plot, and stunning cinematography.
River Where the Moon Rises (2021) Cast
- Kim So Hyun as Princess Pyeonggang / Yeom Ga Jin / Queen Yeon
- Na In Woo as On Dal
- Lee Ji Hoon as Go Geon
- Choi Yoo Hwa as Hae Mo Yong
- Kim Pub Rae as King Pyeongwon
River Where The Moon Rises (2021) – How It All Began?
The drama retells the classic Goguryeo folktale of Princess Pyeonggang and On Dal, who defied their backgrounds and destinies for love. Princess Pyeonggang was born as the daughter of King Pyeongwon and Queen Yeon, but she was kidnapped by the assassin Lady Sa when she was a baby. She grew up as Yeom Ga Jin, a skilled warrior who worked for Lady Sa and her son, Go Geon. On Dal was the son of General On Hyeop, who died protecting King Pyeongwon from a coup. He lived, a peaceful life in the Sunno Tribe with his mother, Lady Sa Sa, and his friend Wol Yi. One day, he met Yeom Ga Jin when she was injured and saved her life. They nurtured a friendship that evolved into love but faced numerous obstacles and enemies that tested their relationship.
River Where The Moon Rises (2021) – Who Survived The End?
The drama had a tragic ending, as many characters died or sacrificed themselves for their loved ones or their country. Some of the main characters who survived were:
- Princess Pyeonggang: She became the first female ruler of Goguryeo after defeating her enemies and reclaiming her throne. She honored On Dal’s memory by building a temple for him and declaring him her husband.
- Go Geon: He was Pyeonggang’s childhood friend and rival, who loved her but also betrayed her for his ambition. Despite losing an arm and an eye in battle, he survived and aided Pyeonggang in her fight against Silla. He later left Goguryeo to live as a wanderer.
- Wol Yi: She was On Dal’s loyal friend and protector, who also had feelings for him. She survived the war and became a general of Goguryeo under Pyeonggang’s reign. She also took care of On Dal’s horse, Bbeol Gae.
- Hae Mo Yong: She was the princess of Silla, who had a secret alliance with Go Geon. She was obsessed with Pyeonggang and wanted to make her suffer. She survived the war and returned to Silla, where she became the queen.
River Where The Moon Rises (2021) – The Final Scene
The final scene showed Pyeonggang visiting On Dal’s temple, where she prayed and talked to him. She expressed how she missed him and her happiness at having him with her. She also said that she would come back to see him again. The scene then switched to a flashback of their wedding day, where they exchanged vows and kissed under the moonlight. The drama ended with a voice-over of Pyeonggang confessing her love for On Dal.
River Where The Moon Rises (2021) – Ending Explained
The ending suggested a spiritual connection between Pyeonggang and On Dal despite their separation through death. Their love transcended time and space, and they were able to communicate through their dreams and prayers. The ending also showed that Pyeonggang fulfilled her dream of becoming a great leader of Goguryeo, while On Dal fulfilled his wish of protecting her and his country. Their love story became a legend that inspired generations to come.
The ending of River Where the Moon Rises can be further explained by looking at the themes and messages that the drama conveyed. Some of the main themes and messages were:
The power of love
The drama portrays love’s triumph over all obstacles, including enemies, fate, and death, in the enduring bond between Pyeonggang and On Dal. Their love gave them courage, strength, and hope to face their difficulties and achieve their goals. Their affection also influenced others like Go Geon, Wol Yi, and Hae Mo Yong, inspiring changes in their perspectives and actions.
The importance of identity
The drama explored how identity can shape one’s personality, choices, and destiny. Pyeonggang and On Dal grappled with multiple roles as lovers, warriors, leaders, and citizens while confronting their pasts, secrets, and traumas. They learned to accept themselves and each other and to embrace their true selves. They also helped others find their identities, such as Go Geon, who realized his true feelings and loyalties, and Hae Mo Yong, who discovered her true heritage and purpose.
The value of sacrifice
The drama highlighted how sacrifice can be a noble and heroic act that can save lives and change history. Pyeonggang and On Dal sacrificed themselves for their loved ones and their country. They sacrificed happiness, freedom, and being for the greater good. They also inspired others to sacrifice themselves, such as General Go Won Pyo, who died protecting Pyeonggang from an arrow, and Lady Sa Sa, who died saving On Dal from a sword. Their sacrifices were not in vain, as they paved the way for a better future for Goguryeo and its people.
River Where The Moon Rises (2021) – Will There Be A Season 2?
There is no official confirmation or announcement about the possibility of River Where the Moon Rises Season 2. However, some fans have speculated that there could be a sequel or a spin-off based on the following reasons:
- The drama, based on Choi Sagyu’s novel with a sequel titled The Moon Rising River: The King’s Wrath, follows Pyeonggang’s son, King Yeongnyu, battling a rebellion led by half-brother Yeon Gaesomun. Hae Mo Yong returns as Yeongnyu’s wife and ally. Some fans propose adapting the sequel for a continued Goguryeo royal family saga.
- With a dedicated global fan base, the drama earned high ratings, critical acclaim, and awards, like the Best TV Drama at the 2021 Korea Broadcasting Awards and the Best Couple Award for Kim So Hyun and Na In Woo at the 2021 KBS Drama Awards. This success may encourage more content.
- The talented cast, including Kim So Hyun and Na In Woo, expressed gratitude for the meaningful project and their co-stars. Their chemistry and camaraderie could spark interest in a potential reunion for another season or special episode.
These are potential reasons for a future River Where the Moon Rises Season 2. However, these are only speculations and not official statements. Until there is any confirmation from the production team or the network, we can only hope and wait for more news about River Where the Moon Rises Season 2. But in case, a Season 2 happens, what can the plot be? The Movie Culture explains below:
- Season 2 will start with a time skip of 20 years after Pyeonggang became the first female ruler of Goguryeo. She has a son named Yeongnyu, the brave and wise crown prince, who takes after his father, On Dal, in looks and character. He shares a strong bond with his mother, seeing her as queen and mentor.
- Yet, Pyeonggang’s rule is far from tranquil as she confronts internal and external threats and challenges in Goguryeo. One of her enemies is her half-brother, Yeon Gaesomun, who is the leader of a powerful faction that opposes her rule. He’s a ruthless and ambitious man aiming to dethrone Pyeonggang and seize the throne. Additionally, he maintains a secret alliance with Silla, Goguryeo’s rival kingdom, led by Hae Mo Yong, the former princess turned queen.
- Hae Mo Yong remains obsessed with Pyeonggang and holds a grudge for taking On Dal away from her. She also wants to conquer Goguryeo and make it part of Silla’s territory. She uses her cunning and charm to manipulate Yeon Gaesomun and other enemies of Pyeonggang, and she also sends spies and assassins to infiltrate Goguryeo’s palace and army.
- Pyeonggang has loyal friends and allies in her corner. Among them is Go Geon, who returned to Goguryeo after years of wandering, now known as Go Won Pyo. He remains devoted to Pyeonggang, serving as a trusted general and advisor. Additionally, he mentors and protects Yeongnyu.
- Another ally of Pyeonggang is Wol Yi, who is now the leader of the Sunno Tribe and a general of Goguryeo. She inherits On Dal’s spirit and legacy, serving Pyeonggang with loyalty. Her daughter, Wol Ha, is Yeongnyu’s childhood friend and love interest. Wol Ha possesses Wol Yi’s skills and courage, and she’s known for her beauty and cheerfulness.
- Season 2 will follow the events of the sequel novel, which include Yeon Gaesomun’s rebellion, Hae Mo Yong’s invasion, Yeongnyu’s coronation, Wol Ha’s kidnapping, Go Won Pyo’s betrayal, and Pyeonggang’s death. In Season 2, Yeongnyu will rise as a great Goguryeo king, guided by his mother’s spirit and father’s legacy. It will also feature flashbacks of Pyeonggang and On Dal’s joyful moments with their dreams and messages for their son.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
River Where the Moon Rises, a captivating Korean historical drama, explored themes of love, identity, sacrifice, and leadership while immersing viewers in the history and culture of Goguryeo. The talented cast and compelling storyline left a lasting impact on viewers. Although there is no official confirmation of a Season 2, the potential for further exploration of the Goguryeo royal family saga and the enduring legacy of Pyeonggang and On Dal keeps fans hopeful. If Season 2 does come to fruition, it promises to continue the saga with new challenges and triumphs, all while honoring the powerful themes that made the original series so memorable.