After a long four-year break from season 1, tvN’s new weekend drama ‘Arthdal Chronicles: The Sword of Aramun’ is receiving praise, overcoming the risk of changing its lead actors
Lee Jun-ki and Shin Se-kyung played a significant role in this success. They are successfully creating new characters Eunseom and Saya, Tanya, as portrayed by Song Joong-ki and Kim Ji-won in Season 1.
For Lee Jun-ki and Shin Se-kyung, ‘The Sword of Aramun’ was like a challenging adventure. ‘Arthdal Chronicles‘ (2019) faced criticism despite a total production cost of 54 billion won ($40 million), with issues like subpar CG and complex concepts hindering viewer understanding.
Season 2 had similar production costs, and the replacement of the lead actors added even more pressure. Kim Young-hyun, the writer, reportedly had to persuade actors like Jang Dong-gun and Kim Ok-bin to join the drama.
Despite these risks, Lee Jun-ki and Shin Se-kyung chose ‘The Sword of Aramun.’ Lee Jun-ki said, ‘I felt immense pressure to be a part of such a vast world. Reading the script was mentally challenging, and I felt a sense of fear every time I read the script. I could hardly sleep until the filming of episode 10.’
Shin Se-kyung also said, ‘Of course, there was pressure and I thought it would be challenging, but I had high expectations for the story eight years later. I was looking forward to what Tanya would achieve and thought, ‘It would be cool.’ Personally, I’ve acted in historical dramas before, but I found it very fun to be able to show a different side.’
In ‘The Sword of Aramun,’ the two drew favorable reviews by expressing their characters perfectly. Lee Jun-ki, who is usually good at action, showed passionate performance in the war scene.
Shin Se-kyung created the image of a high priest with her overwhelming visuals. She expressed the dignity and sacredness of the high priest with her eyes and voice.
Lee Joon-ki has been breaking life characters in historical dramas. He is known as for his role in the movie “The King’s Man,” and in “Moon Lovers,” he acted as King Gwangjong and showed a heartbreaking romance and cool madness. Shin Se-kyung is also a veteran who has appeared in a number of historical dramas, including “Queen Seondeok.”
Despite concerns about high expectations, the work continues to be well received. As a result, attention is focusing on whether ‘The Sword of Aramun,’ which has stopped in the 5% range regarding its ratings, will be able to achieve an upward trend through word of mouth.