Updated: Jan 15
Alright, today I’m going back to my Asian roots…well, as Asian as I can get. Over the last few months, I’ve been obsessed with K-Pop, but that’s not the only Korean form of entertainment I’ve been obsessed with. Their drama series are just as addictive as their music, and one in particular is a must-watch. This one is called:
Goblin: The Lonely And Shining God
This one is probably one of the greatest dramas I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend it to everyone who wants to see what a K-drama is like. Of course, fair warning, it is a typical Asian drama, so if you’re tired of melodramas, and over-acting then you might not want to watch this one, but if you can still stand it, I promise you, you won’t regret watching it.
What's It About?
In a nutshell Goblin (for short) is a love story. Actually, it’s several love stories, intertwined into one, but made up into a whole. The main story, however, is between a teenage girl and a Korean Goblin, otherwise known as a Dokkaebi. What defines their love story, is the fact that the girl is destined to pull out the sword in the Goblin’s chest, so that he can be free to finally die.
The other love story that’s involved is between a woman and a reaper. Their love story is rather complicated, and actually crosses lifetimes, since they were once together in a past life. What brings them together is the story between the Goblin and his love interest.
Ok, before I get onto the storyline properly, I need to get a few things straight. First of all, what is a Dokkaebi? Why is he called a Goblin right? Well, if you’re thinking that the Goblin is an ugly underground-living creature, then you’re wrong.
In Korean mythology, a Goblin is a being with unbelievable power, they can even summon gold at their whim. Of course, not everything is as it seems with them. They can be tricky and will do everything they can to stay with you, while you turn ill and fragile. The only way to get rid of them is to trick them back.
In the myths, a Dokkaebi is afraid of blood, so you can guess where I’m going with this. In one myth, a man had struck a deal with the Dokkaebi, and as time went on, he began to feel sick, and lose his vitality, so he asked the Dokkaebi what he was afraid of, and when the Dokkaebi asked him what he was afraid of, he told him that he was afraid of gold.
In the end, the old man killed a cow, and covered his property and land in blood, causing the Dokkaebi to flee. For revenge, the Dokkaebi came back the next day with bags of money and threw it at the old man, and he never returned after that.
Ok, So What About The Drama?
The drama itself uses a very different approach to the myth. Instead of a mythical being who was all powerful, Dokkaebi, played by Gong Yoo, is actually a man who could not die, because God had decided he needed to stay alive, until his bride could remove the sword from his chest, as both punishment and reward.
At the same time, a Grim Reaper, played by Lee Dong Wook (or Dong Wook Lee), who Dokkaebi lives with, starts to wonder about himself, since he’d lost all his memories, of his past life. He also falls in love with a woman called Sunny, played by Yoo In Na (or In Na Yoo) who he recognises, despite not actually knowing her.
Now, the main girl, Ji Eun Tak (or in the Western world Eun Tak Ji), played by Kim Go Eun (Go Eun Kim), has a classic “Cinderella” story. Since her mother died, when she was nine years old, she’d been living with her aunt and her two children. For ten years, she was miserable, until one day, on her birthday, she decided to make a wish while blowing out the candles on a cake. Of course, you’d expect a fairy godmother, or at least some powerful female influence to help her out, right?
Wrong! Dokkaebi is the one who shows up, and let’s just say their very first meeting doesn’t go very well, and so the love story begins.
I still highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get to know the K-drama scene. It’s a beautiful love story. In fact, I call it a poetic fairytale, why? It’s because there are many lines in the show that are beautifully poetic, something you’d never expect to come out of the mouth of anyone, nor do people think in a similar way. For example, in one of the episodes Dokkaebi says this line “Because the day was good, because the day was not good, because the day was good enough, I loved each and every day.”
Do you see what I mean? I guess you might get it every now and then, in real life, but this drama is chock-full of them! Now, most of the time, these cheesy lines wouldn’t work, and a lot of the time, they just make me cringe, but this drama times them perfectly, that they make absolute sense.
Not to mention, because the budget was so big, they were able to include special effects that make the drama more like mini films instead. It’s also thanks to this that it can even cross genres. What I mean is that the drama cannot be defined simply as a melodrama, or a romance. There are elements of fantasy, supernatural, horror, history and comedy. There are so many elements to this drama, it literally cannot be defined.
Where Can I Watch This?
Have I sold it to you guys yet? Well, if you want to know where to watch this drama, I recommend going to Viki and signing up. I do believe the drama is free on their website, but you’ll have to suffer ads, unless you subscribe. In fact, I recommend that once you’ve watched the drama, you check out whatever else they have there too. There’s a whole wealth of dramas there that you could watch, ones that are almost as sensational as Goblin.
Well, that’s it from me today, I’ll see you guys again soon with another fandom post! In the meantime, let me know if you’ve watched the drama! What did you think of it? I’d love to hear your conspiracy theories too!