Top 8 K-Drama Betrayals: Writer and Audience Edition

By Sarah Wong

You may have seen many memes using the phrase “Top 10 Anime Betrayals,” such as the Verizon guy becoming the Sprint guy. Although we love watching both anime and Korean dramas, let us tell you: Korean dramas take you on a whole different rollercoaster of emotions. Whether your favorite character is written off or your most trusted characters turn against each other, nothing can beat the angst from a K-drama. Here are our top 8 K-drama betrayals:

NOTE: In order to avoid unwanted spoilers, we have listed the Top 8 betrayals by K-drama name.


8) City Hunter

After spending the majority of the show believing that Lee Yoon-Sung was avenging his late father’s death, it is revealed that his last target, President Choi Eung-Chan, is Lee Yoon-Sung’s biological father. All while father figure Jin Pyo knew from the beginning that this would be Lee Yoon-Sung’s fate.

7) Boys Over Flowers

Despite being from 2009, Boys Over Flowers is definitely one of the most popular Korean dramas. After spending much of the show’s beginning chasing after Jan-Di, the audience is left with the impression that Jun Pyo is meant to be with Jan-Di; however, Jun Pyo eventually chooses his friendship with Ji-Hoo over his love for Jan-Di. As if that wasn’t heartbreaking enough, Jun Pyo decides to follow through with his arranged marriage in order to forget about Jan-Di. 

6) Gu Family Book

Can you hate a character more than Jo Gwan Woong? Forget about those typical rich and powerful characters, this guy manipulates everyone and anyone just because he doesn’t get what he wants. Just when you thought Jo Gwan Woong was about to be beheaded at the order of Seo Hwa, Japanese Merchant Chae Ryung reveals that he has sided with Jo Gwan Woong and all swords are now pointed towards her.

5) Goblin: The Lonely and Great God

Goblin and Grim Reaper share an unlikely friendship; however, they both struggle with their lost memories. After learning about how Yoo Duk Hwa helped Eun Tak in a few mysterious ways, they both sense that something about Yoo Duk Hwa is strange. While Goblin and Grim Reaper try confronting Duk Hwa at a bar, Duk Hwa stops time and recites a couple of quotes that only Goblin and Grim Reaper would know. Indicating that he had caused all of the current events for a reason, he soon refers to himself as God. A stream of bright butterflies leaves then Duk Hwa’s body and brings him back to his normal self.

4) Love Rain

Even though Ha Na broke up with Seo Joon in order for Ha Na’s mother and Seo Joon’s father to date, the couple is miserable pretending that everything is alright. Seo Joon’s father is absolutely smitten being with his first love, but you could tell something was wrong. Seo Joon finds out that his father has known about Seo Joon and Ha Na’s relationship but ignored it because he wanted to be with his first love.

3) Romance is a Bonus Book

After the publishing company finds out that Dan-I lied on her resume, stating that she only has a high school degree, there is tension in the office. Everyone is uncomfortable and becomes very awkward towards Dan-I. Soon, Song-I is openly scolded by the boss due to a huge mistake in some paperwork. Through Song-I’s frustration, she throws Dan-I under the bus, falsely stating that she gave the paperwork to complete. We couldn’t even believe what happening at this point, and had to rewatch it three times to make sure we were seeing things correctly!

2) Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth

As Dan-Se and Hansung’s grandfather’s hatred for the hidden king grows, the greater the assassination attempts become. In order to protect Hansung from dying at the hand of their grandfather, Dan-Se is blackmailed into killing the king. When Hansung sees his half brother and Dog Bird sparring, he realizes something bad is about to happen. To protect Dog Bird, Hansung grabs the poisoned blade with his hands. His death leaves many fans heartbroken.

1) Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

It seems as though writers enjoy betraying their audience by writing off their faves. Being the 10th prince, Wang Eun spends most of the show in love with Hae Soo even after becoming married to Soon Deok. He soon learns that he does, indeed, love his wife. After going into battle, the bubbly Wang Eun is struck down by a couple of arrows from the king and a strike from the sword of his brother, Wang So.

This is only eight out of the many K-dramas in existence, so it's nearly impossible to document every K-drama betrayal! Which betrayal is your all-time favorite? Leave us a comment along with any Korean drama recommendations. We would love to hear it!

Cover Image: Goblin: The Lonely and Great God (tvN)
Written by Sarah Wong

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