Male Lead: Gong Yoo
Female Lead: Kim Go Eun
Secondary Leads: Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na
Also Starring: Yook Sungjae, Hwang Seok Jeong, Go Bo Gyeol, Jo Woo Jin, Lee El, Kim So Hyun, Kim Min Jae, Park Hee Bon, Jung Hae In, Kim Byung Chul, Park Hyung Hye, Yeom Hye Ran
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Romance
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: TikTok
Watched it For: Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, Kim Go Eun
Is it better to live forever or to finally be able to die? Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is a decorated military general during the Goryeo Dynasty who is betrayed by the jealous king he served. When Kim Shin is faced with death instead of honor after fighting a mighty battle, God turns Kim Shin into a goblin instead, tasked with protecting certain people from the life of misery. But immortality is wearing on Kim Shin, and he longs to find the prophesied human bride who can set his soul free.
Kim Shin becomes accidental roommates with Wang Yeo (Lee Dong Wook), the grim reaper who ushers people’s souls into the afterlife. Kim Shin’s nephew, Yoo Deok Hwa (Yook Sungjae), is a rebellious chaebol heir whose family has been caretakers of the goblin for many generations. Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) is a high school senior whose mother was saved from an accident by Kim Shin 19 years ago, and ever since then, she has been able to communicate with the dead. Sunny (Yoo In Na), the owner of a chicken restaurant and Eun Tak’s boss, crosses path with Wang Yeo and becomes smitten with him.
Can Eun Tak be the true “goblin bride” with the power to release Kim Shin from his eternal misery? “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God”, also known as “Goblin”, is a 2016-2017 South Korean drama series directed by Lee Eung Bok. It is written by Kim Eun Sook, who also wrote the very successful dramas: “Heirs” (2013) and “Descendants of the Sun” (2016).
Oh man, this show. I wanted to see this show because I saw so many videos of people recommending it on TikTok (my For You Page is all Korean dramas, all the time) but also because my love of all things Gong Yoo demanded that I watch it. And boy am I glad that I did because holy shit balls, this show was fucking good.
This show follows our fellow Goblin, Kim Shin, who was wronged in his human life that his soul cried out in agony and vengeance. When he’s given the chance to avenge his family, he takes it. In return, he becomes an immortal Goblin who has to protect people from a life of misery. As decade after decade living as an immortal Goblin, protecting strangers from life, starts wearing on him, he starts searching for his Goblin bride. His Goblin bride is the only person that can set his soul free. He has to find her, get her to agree to be his bride so that she can pull the sword that only she can see out of his chest and end his immortality.
Nine hundred years later, he finds her and she’s in freaking high school. LOL. She’s also immature, naive, and living a hard life. Her mother died when she was just a kid and she never knew her father so she’s sent to live with her mother’s sister, who resents the hell out of having to take care of someone else’s kid. When she meets Goblin, she is immediately drawn to him. He’s a lot older than she is but they still strike up a friendship anyway. Goblin becomes a guardian like presence in Eun Tak’s life and she comes to rely on him a great deal. Along with Goblin, Eun Tak gets a Grim Reaper in her corner and together with Goblin and Goblin’s nephew, she gets a family to love and support her but it comes with a lot of work and some chaos.
There’s a lot going on in this show and I was here for it all. From Goblin’s complicated human life, to seeing the way that he spends his immortal days saving people from bad decisions and hard times, to the love that blossomed over the years with Eun Tak, to his budding bromance with the Grim Reaper, to the secondary romance between the Grim Reaper and Eun Tak’s boss, to all of Eun Tak’s ghost friends and their struggles, to the complications when everything starts falling into place and you’re left looking like…
There’s no denying that Gong Yoo is a gorgeous man and there’s also no denying the fact that I wanted to watch this show for his fine ass but though I came into this one strictly for Gong Yoo, I developed a love for Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, and everyone else. The writing on this show was fantastic and the actors did such a great job of portraying their characters in a way that made me connect with every single one of them. I was on board with everything. I cried happy tears, ugly cried sad tears but through it all, there was nothing but love. The ending had me ugly crying like it was nobody’s business and though I’m put back together before the absolute end, when we’re back in Canada, I felt it was a little rushed. Still, this show was amazing and it’s easily in my top 5 Korean Dramas of all time. I definitely, DEFINITELY recommend.
Listen to the OST
4.75 out of 5