Moon Embracing the Sun (Korean: 해 를 품은 달; RR: Haereul Pum-eun Dal, also known as Moon Embracing the Sun or Sun and Moon) is a 2012-series Korean drama Quoc, starring Kim Soo-hyun, Han Ga-in, Jung Il-woo, and Kim Min-seo.
The historical-fantasy movie is adapted from the novel of the same name written by Jung Eun-gwol. It tells a deep, secret love story between a fictional king of the Joseon Dynasty and a female mage in the traditional Korean palace setting; and conflicts and conspiracy for political power.
Moon Embracing the Sun achieved the highest rating of 42.2%. The film won the Best Drama and Best Actor awards in the TV category at the 48th Baeksang Art Awards, and numerous awards at the 2012 MBC Drama Awards, Including Drama of the Year.
The Queen Mother ordered the assassination of her stepchild to protect her son's ability to become king. Ari, a mage of the Royal Star Mansion, witnesses the murder. The palace Chief Scholar's pregnant wife helps her escape, and Ari vows to protect her unborn child, who has "great destiny".
Ari was arrested, tortured and imprisoned. She tells her friend and mage, Jang Nok-yeong, to take care of the baby in her womb instead. Ari was declared guilty of treason and was killed.
Yeon-woo, the baby in the womb that Ari vows to protect, and Prince Lee Hwon falling in love. Prince Yang Myung, the Crown Prince's half-brother, is also in love with Yeon-woo, who doesn't reciprocate his feelings.
The Queen Mother sought to promote Bo-kyung, the daughter of the Prime Minister and her bloodline, as Queen Dowager to maintain the power of the family. However, the king was impressed by Yeon-Woo's intelligence and chose her as Prince Lee Hwon's wife instead of Bo-Kyung, making the Queen Dowager and Prime Minister Yoon extremely angry. The Queen Mother secretly ordered Nok-yeong to put a death curse on Yeon-woo to let Bo-kyung take his place.
Yeon-woo is diagnosed with an unexplained illness, expelled from the palace and lost the title of Princess. She "died" from the disease and was buried. Nok-yeong digs Yeon-woo out of the grave; the spell is temporary and only imitates the appearance of death. However, Yeon-woo was so severely wounded from being buried alive that she lost all of her memories. She and Nok-yeong left the capital. Crown Prince Lee Hwon does not want to marry Bo-kyung. He refuses a fulfilling marriage by invoking an unnamed illness; he's brooding about his "dead" first love, Yeon-woo.
Eight years later, Lee Hwon is now king. Yeon-woo is now Shaman Wol (meaning "moon"); Unaware of Wol's true identity, The Queen Mother calls her into the palace so she can cure the king's "illness". The king is impressed by Wol's unmistakable resemblance to Yeon-woo, and he quietly opens an investigation into Yeon-woo's death. Meanwhile, Wol struggles to understand the strange memories of her life as Yeon-woo, which she understands as spooky visions. Wol must fight Queen Bo-Kyung, The Queen Mother and Prime Minister Yoon to regain his rightful position as the Queen of Joseon. Political intrigues continue to build and become astonishing as King Lee Hwon fights for the throne and the woman he loves.
Kim Soo-hyun as Crown Prince / King Lee Hwon (李 暄) / King Taejong
Yeo Jin-goo as 15-year-old Lee Hwon
"Sun Reaching for the Moon": Lee Hwon is the intelligent and kind Crown Prince of Joseon. He loves Yeon-woo; even after her sudden death, he still gave her memories. Upon meeting Wol, he suspects Yeon-woo's death and begins an investigation, unearthing political conspiracies and dark secrets.
Han Ga-in as Heo Yeon-woo (許 煙雨) / Shaman Wol (月)
Kim Yoo-jung as 13-year-old Heo Yeon-woo
"Moon Embracing the Sun": Although destined to be the Queen of Joseon, but Yeon-woo is still deceived by her fate by the conspiracy Queen Dowager and Prime Minister Yoon. She was appointed Princess of Thailand, but she mysteriously died before the wedding. In fact, she loses her memory and becomes a mage. Eight years later, she returns to the palace as Shaman Wol and is impressed by her inexplicable attraction to the king and her bizarre "visions" of the king's mysterious first love.
Jung Il-woo as Prince Yang-myung (陽明)
Lee Tae-ri as the young Yang-myung
"Overshadowed by the Sun": Yang Myung is Lee Hwon's half-brother. Although he is the eldest, he is the son of the king's concubine and is therefore ineligible for the throne. He struggles to reconcile his lifelong unrequited love for Yeon-woo, his brotherly love for his brother, and his attraction to the Shaman Wol.
Kim Min-seo as Yoon Bo-kyung （尹 寶鏡）
Kim So-hyun as the young Yoon Bo-kyung
Bo-kyung is used by the Empress Dowager and her father, Prime Minister Yoon, to maintain the power of their clan. After Yeon-woo's death, she became the queen of Lee Hwon. She still loves Lee Hwon all her life, but he still loves Yeon-woo.
Sunwoo Jae-duk as Heo Young-jae
Yeon-woo and Yeom's father. He is King Sungjo's trusted advisor and Prime Minister Yoon's enemy.
Yang Mi-kyung as Shin Jung-kyung / Madam Heo
Yeon-woo and Yeom's mother. She grieved about the death of her daughter and husband.
Song Jae-hee as Heo Yeom
Yim Si-wan as 17-year-old Heo Yeom
Yeon-woo's brother and Hwon's tutor. After Yeon-woo's death, his family loses grace, and he marries Princess Min-hwa.
Yoon Seung-ah as Seol
Seo Ji-hee as the young Seol
Yeon-woo's private servant. She protected Yeon-woo during her time as Shaman Wol.
Kim Young-ae as Queen Dowager Jung-hui
Queen Mother: The mother of King Sungjo and the grandmother of Lee Hwon. She kills Prince Uiseong to make sure her son becomes king; she tries to kill Yeon-woo in order to appoint her loved one as Lee Hwon's wife and future queen. She and Prime Minister Yoon work together to protect the interests of their families.
Ahn Nae-sang as King Sung-jo
Hwon's father, Yang-myung and Min-hwa. He is haunted by the death of his beloved half brother and knows that his mother killed him. To prevent such a conflict between his sons, he concealed his love for Yang-myung.
Kim Sun-kyung as Queen So-hye
Lee Hwon's mother
Kim Ye-ryeong as Lady Park
Yang-myung's mother. The concubine of King Sung-jo. She had no political ambitions and retreated to a Buddhist monastery.
Nam Bo-ra as Princess Min-hwa
Jin Ji-hee as the young Min-hwa
Lee Hwon's younger sister. She falls in love with Yeom and is determined to marry him at all costs.
Song Jae-rim as Kim Jae-woon
Lee Won-keun as 15-year-old Kim Jae-woon
Lee Hwon's loyal bodyguard. His loyalty to Lee Hwon extended his friendship with Yang-myung.
Jung Eun-pyo as Hyung-sun
Manager Eunuch Hyung-sun is Lee Hwon's trustworthy friend and confidant.
Kim Min-kyung as Court Lady Min
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