By Lainey Loh
23 July 2021
Finally, all explained in Netflix’s bloodlust Kingdom special, Kingdom: Ashin of the North
Netflix Kingdom Season 2 leaves audiences with a major cliffhanger as former Crown Prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji Hoon) and Seo Bi (Bae Doona) travel north to pursue the origins of resurrection plants after encountering hordes of zombies. Shortly after arriving at a seemingly empty village, they come face-to-face with Ashin (Gianna Jun Ji Hyun), who is seen standing among the undead that have been locked up.
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The sudden appearance of this mysterious new character leaves many questions unanswered and leaves viewers guessing and thirsting for more. Who’s he? Is he also a zombie hunter and researcher like Lee Chang and Seo Bi? Will they unite to save the world? Could it be that he, like the undead, was bleeding out? If he presided over the apocalypse, the question would be, why? All that was explored in the 92nd minute Kingdom special, Kingdom: Ashin of the North.
Kingdom Season 2 ends with former Crown Prince Lee Chang and Seo Bi discovering that the plant originates from the Yalu River region on the Chinese border and being told by villagers that someone from China has been selling seeds and instructions on how to use the plant across Joseon. This seems to imply that the resurrection plant is a conspiracy organized by the Chinese to overthrow Joseon, which we quickly learn is not entirely true.
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Kingdom: Ashin of the North takes place in the northern region of Joseon-era Korea where the Pajeowi and Seongjeoyain tribes live. The Pajeowi are of East Asian Tungusic descent, also known as the Jurchens. This means they are not actually Korean but live close to China, Korea and Japan. The Seongjeoyain family, as well as the Jurchens, have lived in the Korean lands of Joseon for more than 100 years.
Joseon Koreans, worried that the Pajeowi tribe, led by Aidagan (Koo Kyo Hwan), have gained power, keep an eye on the Pajeowi tribe by using Seongjeoyain to spy on them. It weaves the story of the lives of young Ashin (Kim Shi Ah) and his tribe in the village of Seongjeoyain, where his father Ta Hyeop (Kim Roi Ha) is the chief of the tribe.
When writer Kim Eun Hee introduced the new special episode as “the beginning of everything, the root of everything”, it was clear from the start that Kingdom: Ashin of the North will be a prequel to all the chaos in Kingdom Season 1 and Season 2, and Ashin will be in charge of how the kingdom ends up dealing with the zombie problem.
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On the northern border near the Pajeowi and Seongjaeyains tribes is Pyesa-gun, a place where entrance was forbidden for 100 years. Young Ashin ventures deep into the area and accidentally stumbles upon a strange magenta-colored plant that can resurrect the dead. Despite being warned by his father not to return to the forbidden area to look for him, Ashin returns to the forest to look for him, determined to find him in order to save his terminally ill mother.
When he returns to find that tragedy and betrayal have befallen his family and tribe, it prompts him to seek revenge on those who destroyed his world, vowing to “kill every living thing” and make them shed tears of blood—even if it means making sacrifices. certain. His determination eventually set off an avalanche of tragic events that would later sweep through Joseon and change the course of history.
Most of what we see in Kingdom: Ashin of the North carefully curated and calculated for the purpose of sending a powerful yet subliminal message.
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While the first two seasons showcased the elegant beauty and scenic views of majestic Joseon, Kingdom: Ashin of the North explore the vast and remote northern region, known for its harsh winters. The decision to set Kingdom particularly in the cold north is because author Kim wanted to describe the ability of resurrection plants to thrive in scorching cold temperatures.
The vast, gloomy and desolate land, with its deep and dark coniferous forests and snow-white landscapes that stand out when winter arrives, is a reflection of Ashin’s deep suffering and complex emotions. In particular, when he was left alone after losing his family and home when his village was horribly attacked by the Pajeowi tribe. While bleak, the cinematography is a poetic representation of Ashin and his trials and tribulations, providing a different kind of energy.
Watch the behind-the-scenes features below:
If you haven’t seen Kingdom Season 1 or Season 2, Kingdom: Ashin of the North will be a perfect start for you Kingdom series trip. The special premieres exclusively on Netflix on July 23, 2021.
Nonton and Synopsis of Kingdom: Ashin of the North