Kingdom: Ashin of the North
“Vengeance never dies” –my recently watched “Kingdom: Ashin Of The North” perfectly shows Ashin’s thirst for revenge for losing her entire family and tribe. It’s a special episode that acts as a sidequel to the second season of Kingdom and explores the back-story of Ashin, the mysterious character, crown prince’s group encountered on their journey to north for discovering the origins of the infected. Though Netflix teaser trailer shows warrior Ashin covered in a black cloak and determined to face enemies, I was doubtful how the story will cover her past and link it with Crown prince’s life path. It’s a huge applause to entire team for showing this creative special episode effortlessly.
Story and screenplay
As a pre story of first season, this episode shows Ashin’s childhood struggle and her traumatic experiences that she faces as an elder daughter of Ta Hab (Kim Roi-ha) who was one of the Jurchen people living in the border of Korea and China and also the head of their settlement.
It’s terrific to watch how her entire clan got victimized for the sake of Joseon Crown’s amusement. It’s definitely heart wrenching from my end to watch how commander Chi-Rok uses Ashin’s village smartly to escape the heating war situation and Ashin became the sole survivor of the massacre.
Unaware with the entire situation, Ashin goes to the Commander and begs for a chance to avenge her family. He places her in a military settlement post, where she begins to perform odd jobs while training relentlessly and quietly in the woodlands. Eventually, she learns the bitter fact and becomes a bloodthirsty killer.
The entire storytelling is really seamlessly executed that you will fall for her, trust me.
Performance & Direction
Directed by Kim Seong-hun, “Kingdom: Ashin Of The North” is a perfect Revenge episode that explores cruel geopolitics of Jurchen Army and birth of Zombie league in Joseon era.
The very first deer scene is beautifully executed and actually sets the prefect zombie vibe that lasts till the end.
Mysterious purple flower’s magical property is also beautifully explained. Cinematography and all visual effects are awesome, being a Zombie and Period genre, it perfectly shows martial arts scene with proper costume. Wild animal’s scene is effortlessly executed with the perfect CGI effect.
Kudos to the director for choosing Kim Shi-Ah as young Ashin’s character. She perfectly portrays the transition of young Ashin’s character from innocence to vengeance, she nailed it no doubt.
Now coming to the main attraction, Jun Ji-hyun. I was very excited to watch her after long time. Being her fan, I am definitely sad for her limited presence. But this is the essence of KDRAMA where story is the main focus area.
She is a classic actress and it’s surreal to watch her as Ashin. She is flawless and perfect in all angles. I love her cold gaze, warrior spirit and vindictive smile. I will wait for the coming part surely to watch her more 🙂
All character’s additions are properly explained and they play important roles to carry on the entire show perfectly.
Kingdom: Ashin’s story is definitely fascinating one that shows how purple flower brings bloodthirsty nature in a dead body and Ashin uses it to take revenge for her victimized tribe.
As a side story of main Kingdom series it’s a beautiful and logical representation. I am exciting for the next special episode “Kingdom: Tale of the Crown Prince” where crown price’s life journey will be explained. I missed Ju Ji-hoon here as kingdom is all about crown prince’s journey and I am really happy to check the recent news of his return 😀 I really want to know the missing link of Ashin’s and Crown prince’s journey.
It’s definitely binge watched from my end.
It’s available in Netflix.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.