Is Arthdal Chronicles Korea’s Game of Thrones???

Arthdal=GoT

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The highly anticipated Korean Drama Arthdal Chronicles was just released through TvN and Netflix on June 1, 2019.

And after just the first two episodes, there has already been some backlash with some viewers complaining that the show is copying the high profile show which just recently came to an end: Game of Thrones.

I have to admit that the moment I began watching, Game of Thrones immediately came to mind even before I heard about the controversy. While there are some definite similarities, after completing (lol like the only 2 available episodes) I don’t think it is fair to make such assumptions.

Lets take a look at why people are saying this, and debunk the arguments.

The Visuals

jon snow.PNG

Tagon = John Snow
So what? They are both wearing fur.
John snow wears fur for two important reasons. Firstly its damn cold in the north and secondly, his house’s sigil is the wolf.
Tagon wears fur because fabrics would have been expensive, taken a great deal of time to create and, is not as durable as leather. Early people wear leather and fur, that’s all there is to it.
For both men, the fur gives them distinction as leaders. It is a common trope that the leader is strong and fierce. The fur symbolizes who is the head of the pack by drawing on wolf behavior.

REd woman.PNG

Taealha=The Red Woman
Red is a symbol of power and sexuality. Caeser and his armies wore red.  Jessica Rabbit? Red. The Moulin Rouge? Red.
Put a woman in a red dress and the viewer instantly knows that this woman is confidant, powerful, sexy and a force to be reckoned with.
As for the “hood” well,
The Red Woman the hood keeps her out of the cold. She only wears red- so what other color would her hood be?
Taealha these are early times and if you look closely, clothing / sweing/ tayloring is kept pretty simple. What could be more simple than draping a square cloth around yourself? Nothing I tell you. we are evoking the elegance of Greece- which hasn’t even happened yet. fairy.PNG

Flower Crowns=Children of the Forest
Why is this even being compared?
Children of the Forest they are thier own kind of being- they are like fairies or nymphs or something
Flower Crowns you’ve got a tribe of humans dressing up for a festival. No fairies. This is not everyday wear.

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nean

Neanderthals=White Walkers
To be honest- I think that opening the show with this as an introduction is what started this whole comparison in the first place. Game of Thrones is just so fresh in our minds after the final season, that we can’t help but see the comparison. I think we’ll all be afraid of our blue eyed friends after the trauma GoT gave us.
BUT belive it or not- piecing, glowing eyes, blue or any other color for that matter, are NOT NEW. GoT did not invent this. Lets look at superheros for example.

We could play this game all day.

Take a look at the visual comparisons yourself and see what you think:

The Plot

The Battle For the Throne

Groups struggleing to be the leader is not exactly a revolutionary idea. That is how cilvization works. Look into recent history and you’ll see imperialism- how is that any different?

While in Game of Thrones you have different houses fighting for the throne, here we have tribes seeking to dominate one another- and to be honest, that seems a lot more plausible. Driven by a desire for wealth, comfort and resources, the tribes fight hopeing to build a more stable nation- its not all politics and title seekers like GoT.

We’ve got to agree with Forbes that “battles at the dawn of time do not make the Arthdal Chronicles Game of Thrones“, in fact the Arthdal Chronicles takes place eons before the world of GoT would ever have existed.

wass.PNG

The Wall

I have to admit that if anything- this one is a bit of a struggle. But I’m going to attempt it anyways.

I can definitely understand that the wall- isn’t really NECESSARY and that it seems like a GoT copy. BUT while it may have visually been inspired by GoT, you can’t deny that big walls like that are part of many other stories and shows (Think of Attack on Titan, Donald Trump etc)

The concept that a civilization builds/uses a wall to protect itself from the ‘other’ is not new. What do you think moats are for in castles? If anything, this wall is different since it is a natural barrier to unexplored territory rather than a deliberate attempt of protection.

But yeah- I’ll give it to you- this aspect does ring Game of Thrones.

The Point?

Lets not get carried away by trying to find similarities between the two. Its complicated to do worldbuilding and creators often resort to classic tropes and symbols as ways of organizing ideas and to imply character traits etc.

Think about how the Divergent series are organized- organized traits given to different groups. Game of Thrones does EXACTLY the same thing (see this video If you don’t believe me).

Think of colors- black is usually associated with evil or mystery and is usually worn by men, whereas white is usually associated with goodness and is often worn by women. Since your Game of Thrones fans, think of John vs. Dany- black and white right there.

My point is, it is easy to find similarities when these authors are trying to express and convey a lot of information in s short period of time. They are definitely playing off what you as an audience already know.

SO? Don’t get too worked up. The tropes you see repeated from GoT- arn’t exactly Game of Thrones originals anyways.

Overall, we really wouldn’t say that Arthdal Chronicles is Korean Game of Thrones.

 

Have you watched this new TV series yet?

Do you agree or disagree with us?

Let us know in the comments below we’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

 

 

Drama Drop: The K2 Review 더 케이투

Image result for the k2 poster

Title: The K2 더 케이투

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date: September 23-November 12 2016

Starring: Ji Chang-Wook, Yoona, Song Yoon-A

If you are a Kdrama skeptic, or new to the genre, we highly recommend this drama. The show leans away from the cutesy romance and focuses heavily on its political plot and is filled with action scenes.

Watch our video for a quick version of our Reaction and Review

Synopsis

The plot follows the story of a former soldier (Kim Je-Ha) who is dishonorably discharged from the military. Wanted for committing a military crime, he is constantly in hiding and on the run, until he is caught at the wrong place and the wrong time and becomes a witness that needs to be eliminated. Je-Ha becomes involved with powerful political candidates for whom he becomes a bodyguard. Things become complicated when Je-Ha learns he is the body guard of the presidential candidate’s love child. He becomes conflicted when he struggles to understand whether he is safeguarding or holding the young woman hostage, especially after falling in love with her.

The Trailer

The Plot

I found the plot a little to politically heavy. Without an understanding of Korean government structure, it was difficult to follow what was going on and why certain developments were a big deal.

The politics got boring when the candidates continued to play a back and forth game, each trying to damaged their rival’s public appearance. While it made sense, it just got repetitive after a while.

However, I enjoyed the suspense and mystery aspect (though it was not as compelling as other dramas) as it kept you guessing.

The drama was full of action shots featuring Ji Chang Wook that was full of fantastic stunts. It was nice to see some fights that did not look pathetic (such as the PATHETIC fight between the boys at the amusement park in Accidentally in Love)

The Characters

Related image

http://en.yibada.com/articles/174864/20161122/girls-generation-yoona-k2-ji-chang-wook-recounts.htm

Kim Je-Ha: Great character development. We get a backstory early on in the drama which helps the viewer to get a good sense of his head space. Je-Ha is badass but cute, serious but funny, fighter but gentle, is suffering from PTSD.

Everything he does makes sense. His character is complex and interesting and while he embodies many contradictions- they all make sense. We know where he’s coming from, and we love him.

Image result for the k2 ko anna

http://www.juliaandtania.com/blog/?p=4368

Ko An-Na: Is not a believable character. She is incredibly weak and feeble, except in some rare moments where she shows courage and resourcefulness- but this is rare and only lasts a few minutes. Her character was not well thought through, not consistent and not really well acted. She didn’t deserve Je-Ha though we can see why he fell for her.

Image result for the k2 choi yoo jin
http://www.dramabeans.com/2016/10/the-k2-episode-11/

Choi Yoo-Jin: Is absolutely psychotic. Her character is overacted- her fits are overplayed and ridiculous. Just when the viewer starts to/ wants to respect her, she falls into her psycho personality (like she is schizophrenic or something) one can’t take her seriously. We liked her strong personality that although ruthless and selfish showed a strong woman. Taking this into consideration, we were extremely disappointed that she didn’t actually persue the one thing she wanted- Je-Ha – even though it would have complicated the plot and morally been wrong, she should have expressed her desires.

Overall

I enjoyed the show, and it was really refreshing to get away from the cutesy, cliche packed, over sweet dramas.

I have to compare this drama to Healer, since they are in the same genre and have the same leading actor (Ji Chang-Wook).

While I strongly prefer the character of Je-Ha to that of Healer’s, I found the plot and supporting cast more compelling in Healer.

This Drama makes it to my top 5, but is a FAR cry from top 3 due to its weak characters and plot.

What do you think of The K2?

Do you disagree with our review?

What is your favorite Kdrama with Ji Chang-Wook?

let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!