Here's a spoiler thread for anybody who wants to use it. Since these threads usually don't get a ton of use these days, we'll just have one combined thread for spoilers and historical spoilers.
Yes this series aired five years ago but please do use this thread for any spoiler or historical spoiler you want to share or discuss. Some of us will be watching the series for the first time. It's better if you can wait until the relevant episode airs but if you're just itching to post something spoiler-related, this is the thread for you.
Translation of the History of Koryo book I posted when this drama was on air.
The Annals of Emperor Gojong(1192-1259. R.1213-1259).
Gojong was the first son of Emperor Gangjong and Empress Wondeok. His birth name was Jin, but he later changed his name to Chul. He became the emperor at the age of 22. At this time, the Jin dynasty in China was having trouble due to the threat of Eastern Chin dynasty, Khitans, and Mongolians. The Jin dynasty asked Koryo for help, but Koryo completely ignored Jin's request.
On August, 1216, the Khitans invaded Koryo. Koryo fought back by naming High General Roh Won Soon as the Commander of Middle Cavalry, High General Oh Eung Bu as the Commander of Right Cavalry, and Great General Kim Chui Ryuh as the Commander of Back Calvalry. Koryo was able to win many battles under the command of Kim Chui Ryuh, but Koryo was not strong enough to defeat all Khitan attacks. Some Khitans managed to come down all the way down to the suburbs of Kaesung(capital city of Koryo) and robbed the tomb of Emperor Hyejong(the son of Wang Guhn). Koryo eventually ended up allying with Mongolia, Eastern Chin, and Jin in order to fight the Khitans. On December of 1218, 10000 Mongolian soldiers, 20,000 Eastern Chin soldiers, and Koryo army led by Kim Chui Ryuh and Cho Choong surrounded the Gangdong Fortess(Khitans' final fortress), located just outside present-day Pyongyang. Khitans had no choice but to surrender and the Khitan prince Han She committed suicide.
The Mongolian Commander Ha Chin then made an agreement with Koryo, which made Koryo as the "little brother state" of the Mongols. Ha Chin left 40 Mongolians in Uiju before going back to Mongolia, so many feared for a future Monglian invasion.
On 1219, Choi Choong Hun became very ill, which led to the struggle between CCH's sons Hyang and Woo. Great General Choi Joon Moon, High General Ji Yoon Shim, General Ryu Song Jul tried to get rid of Choi Woo and make Choi Hyang as the successor, but ended in failure as a result Kim Deok Myung's betrayal. These three men, Choi Hyang, Hyang's father-in-law, brother-in-law, and slaves were all exiled.
When Choi Woo took the control of power, he returned all the lands, houses, and objects that were forcefully taken away by Choi Choon Hun to the rightful owners. He also did not hesistate to appoint scholars to government jobs(warriors were usually preferred over scholars during most warrior regimes). ''
On October of 1219, Han Soon, the governor of Uiju, started a rebellion with his subordinate Da Ji. Han Soon's army was defeated by Yi Geuk Suh, Yi Jeok Yu, and Kim Chui Ryuh. Han Soon and Da Ji surrendered themselves to Jin Dynasty General Wu Ge Xia in order to survive. Wu Ge Xia, however, did not want any trouble with Koryo. He beheaded them and sent their heads to Koryo.
The Mongols, on the other hand, continued to ask Koryo for tributes. Choi Woo was uncomfortable by Mongol's request, so he built fortresses in Uiju, Hwaju, and Chul Gwan in 122 to prepare for possible future invasions. On 1223, Choi Woo ordered the repairing of Na Fortress of Kaesung(capital city of Koryo). On 1225, Mongolian diplomat Zhu Gao Yu was killed by local thieves on his way back to Mongol from Koryo. The Mongols accused the Koryo government of killing Zhu Gao Yu and pledged a retaliation.
On 1227, the Japanese pirates made raids on towns in Kyungsang Province. Koryo government made an alliance with the Japanese government and swept out the pirates.
On August of 1231, the Mongolians invaded Koryo under the command of Sa Li Ta. This was the beginning of the 28 years of war between Koryo and Mongols.
The Mongolians began its invasion on Koryo by conquering Hamshin(Uiju) Fotress. They surrounded Kaegyung(or today's Kaesung, the capital city of Koryo) in December. Koryo sent Wang Jung, the Duke of Hwae Ahn, to the Mongol encampment to negotiate peace.
The Mongols accused Koryo of killing Zhu Gao Yu, but Koryo insisted that he was killed by the Jin Chinese. Koryo also gave golds and silvers to the Mongolian commanders and established a peace treaty. The Mongols appointed darughachis(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darughachi) in 40 Koryo fortresses before leaving on January of 1232.
When the Mongols left, Choi Woo moved the capital to Ganghwa Island since the Mongols were inexperienced in fighting on water. He also moved people to either mountains and islands throughout the country.
Yoon Bok Chang(an eunuch) attacked the Darughachis in the Northwest region of Koryo and General Min Hee attacked the Darughachi in Seo Gyung(literally means Western Capital. Today's Pyongyang). The Mongols launched their 2nd invasion as a result.
The Monglols demanded Koryo to move its capital back to Kaegyung. On December of 1232, Kim Yoon Hu shot Sa Li Ta to death at the Chuh In Fortress of Suwon. The Mongols had no choice but to pull out.
On 1235, the Mongols launched their 3rd invasion after putting an end to Jin Dynasty and Eastern Chin Dynasty. Koryo made the Tripitaka Koreana to pray for Koryo victory as the war continued. This time, the Mongols pulled out due to internal conflicts for political power.
On 1247, the Mongols launched their 4th invasion. This time, the Mongols pulled out due to the death of their Khan.
On November of 1249, Choi Woo passed away and Choi Hang succeeded his father.
On 1251, The Monglols demanded Koryo to move its capital back to Kaegyung. Emperor Gojong wanted to do as the Mongols' demand, but Choi Hang disallowed him from doing so. On 1253, the Mongols launched their 5th invasion. This time, the Mongols pulled out after Emperor Gojong met up with the Mongolian diplomat.
On 1254, the Mongols launched their 6th invasion and massacred 200,000 civilians. However, the Mongols also suffered huge casualties due to the resistance by the Byeolchos. Emperor Gojong sent Kim Su Gang to the Mongolian Khan to negotiate peace. Kim Su Gang promised the Khan that Emperor Gojong himself would come to Mongol and bow down to the Khan. He also promised that Koryo would move the capital back to Kaegyung. Peace treay was established as a result and the Mongols pulled out.
However, Choi Hang did not allow Gojong's visit to Mongol nor change of capital city. He even stopped sending tributes to the Mongols. On 1257, Choi Hang passed away and his son Choi Ui became the successor.
Choi Ui was very young, so he became a puppet figure. Choi Yang Back and Seon In Ryul rose to power as a result. The Mongols asked the Crown Prince to come to Mongols and bow down to the Khan, since Koryo refused to send the emperor. However, Koryo sent Wang Chang, the Duke of Ahn Gyung, instead of the Crown Prince. This angered the Mongols, so the Mongols launched their 7th invasion.
On April of 1258, Kim Joon and Yu Gyung killed Choi Ui, Choi Yang Back, and Seon In Ryul. This was the end of Choi family's dictator regime. On December of 1258, Koryo sent Park Hee Shil and Cho Moonju to the Mongols and promised to move the capital back and Crown Prince's visit to Mongol. On 1259, the Crown Prince went to Mongol and bowed down to the Khan.
On June of 1259, Emperor Gojong died at the age of 68 in Ganghwa Island. He was longest reigning emperor in the history of Koryo.
Great General Kim Joon wanted to make Wang Chang as the next emperor, but the Crown Prince succeeded his father as soon as he returned.
The whereabouts of Gojong's tomb is unknown.
Gojong and his wife Empress Ahn Hye gave birth to Emperor Wonjong, Duke of Ahn Gyung(Wang Chang), and Princess Su Heung.
Empress Ahn Hye was the daughter of Emperor Heejong, who was formerly known as Princess Seung Bok. She married Gojong in 1218. She died on June 1st, 1232. The whereabouts of her tomb is unkown.
Duke of Ahn Gyung was the 2nd son of Gojong. His birth name was Gan, but he changed name to Chang later. He became so saddened and weakened by Gojong's death that he walked with a cane after Gojong's death.
Choi Choong Hun's private army was stronger than Koryo's national army. Emperor Gojong even gave him the royal surname Wang in 1219 and treated him as the 'Father of the State.' However, he became very ill on the September of the same year. He returned the royal surname Wang back to the emperor and freed every prisoners. One day, he had a party with musicians playing music all day long. He drank and enjoyed the last day of his life until he passed away at the age of 71 later that night.
When Choi Choong Hun died, his first son Choi Woo took over the power. Choi Choong Hun gave birth to Choi Woo and Choi Hyang through the daughter of High General Song Chung's daughter, Choi Sung through the stolen wife from Son Heung Yoon, and Choi Gu through the daughter of Emperor Gangjong.
CCH knew that Hyang wanted to rob Woo of the successor spot, so he told Choi Woo to stop visiting him until he died. Choi Woo did as he was told and sent Kim Yak Seon to nurse his father.
Choi Joon Moon, Ji Yoon Shim, Ryu Song Jeol, Kim Deok Myung tried to lure Choi Woo by lying to him that CCH was in critical condition. Choi Woo thought they were suspicious, so he did not visit his father.
Choi Woo's refusal made Kim Deok Myung to think that Choi Woo already knew about their scheme. He told Choi Woo about their plan in order to survive. Choi Joon Moon and Ji Yoon Shim visited Choi Woo soon after Kim Deok Myung's arrival and told Choi Woo the same lie again. Choi Woo arrested the two and then arrested Ryu Song Jeol. These three were exiled along with Choi Hyang, Hyang's in-laws and slaves.
When Choi Woo took the control of power, he returned all the lands, houses, and objects that were forcefully taken away by Choi Choon Hun to the rightful owners. He also did not hesistate to appoint scholars to government jobs(warriors were usually preferred over scholars during most warrior regimes). Choi Woo also changed his name to Choi Yi and gave many of CCH's treasures to Emperor Gojong.
Choi Hyang, on ther other hand, ordered the construction of a giant mansion for him at his place of exile in Hongju. Choi Yi prohibited Hyang from doing so, but Hyang ignored his brother. Choi Hyang also gathered up a gang and killed law officials Yu Moon Guh, Yi Jong, and Jeon Ryang Jae.
In addition, Hyang called up Ryu Song Jeol to his place of exile along with his other friends Kim Su Young and Park Moonja. He then requested mayors near his town to send their troops to support his coup. Choi Hyang soon began a coup to get rid of his brother.
Choi Yi sent Chae Song Nyun, Wang Yu, and Kim Ui Ryul to suppress Choi Hyang's rebellion. Choi Hyang's army was quickly defeated, so Hyang and his subordinates hid in a mountain nearby. When troops surrounded them, Hyang's subordinates deserted Hyang and scattered to other places. Hyang hid in a cave. The troops eventually found him, so Hyang stabbed his own neck and pretended to be dead. Hyang was soon arrested and imprisoned. Choi Hyang died shortly after. After his death, Jeon Ui arrested Kim Su Young, Park Moonja, and Ryu Song Jeol and executed them. The seven mayors that had a contact with Choi Hyang were all executed as well.
Choi Sanbo, a Taoist fortune teller, often flattered Choi Yi(Choi Woo) with hopes of getting a government job. One day, Sanbo told Choi Yi, "The current emperor will not be able to keep his spot very long. However, I see the fate of emperor in you. This is a destiny that you cannot avoid."
Choi Yi was very flattered by Sanbo's divination. He eventually told his subordinate Kim Hee Jae about it. Kim Hee Jae visited Sanbo, glared at him, and asked if his divination is true. Choi Sanbo couldn't answer Kim Hee Jae's question. He then went to Choi Yi and warned "You will suffer if you tell anyone about my divination."
Unfortunately, it became evident that Choi Sanbo, Kim Hee Jae, Roh Jijung were planning to get rid of Emperor Gojong and replace him with the banished ex-emperor Heejong. Choi Yi drowned these 3 men in the sea.
In 1226, Choi Yi got a boil on his foot. Almost every government officials prayed for his recovery. Almost every doctors tried to cure his boil, but all of them failed. The wife of Yim Jeong applied an ointment for him and the boil was cured. Emperor Gojong gave Yim Jeong a high spot in the government as a reward.
In 1228, Choi Yi became hated by peasants after destroying hundreds of peasant houses just to replace the area with a huge Gyeokgu stadium.
In the same year, Choi Yi organized the Yabyeocho(night patrol guards). The Yabyeolchos later became the Sambyeolchos.
In 1231, Choi Yi's wife passed away. Every royal family members, ministers, and government officials held their own memorial services for Choi Yi's wife after her funeral, which resulted in massive price inflation and threatened the Koryo economy. Her tomb was more luxurious than the tomb of an empress as it was decorated with gold, silver, and silk.
After the 1st Mongolian invasion, Choi Yi wanted to move the capital to Ganghwa Island. Emperor Gojong objected to his idea. Choi Yi moved all of his properties and every departments of the palace to Ganghwa Island. He warned that any government officials refusing to move to the new capital will be severly punished. He then built a new palace in Ganghwa Island. Emperor Gojong had no choice but to move into the new palace.
The Mongolians continued their invasion for the next 30 years. Choi Yi tried to construct a canal between Ganghwa Island and mainland Koryo. He heard that Ulleung Island was safe, so he tried to move many peasants over there. Many of these peasants drowned before getting to the island due to the bad weather. He also moved peasants to various mountains and islands to keep them safe from Mongolian raids.
Unlike the suffering pesants, Choi Yi spent everyday partying until he passed away in 1249.
Choi Yi(Choi Woo) didn't have a son with his wife, but he gave birth to two sons Manjong and Manjeon with his ex-gisaeng(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kisaeng) concubine Seo Ryun. Choi Yi chose his son-in-law Kim Yak Seon as his successor, so he sent them away to monkhood in Song Gwang Temple. However, Manjong and Manjeon often hung around with bullies, assaulted innocent people, and accumuluated wealth by taking away grains and money from the peasants. Minister of Crime Punishment Park Hwon and Governor of Kyungsang Province Song Gook Chum requested Choi Yi to summon them back. Choi Yi summoned his two sons and imprisoned all their friends.
Manjeon and Manjong accused Park Hwon of lying, so Choi Yi exiled Park Hwon and fired Song Gook Chum. Manjeon then quit monkhood and changed his name to Hang. Choi Hang became the Minister of Census.
Kim Yak Seon was greedless, so he pretended to cheat with other women, hoping that Choi Yi would cancel his decision. Kim Yak Seon's wife got upset and she got back at him by having a relationship with Choi Yi's slave. Kim Yak Seon was very angry about this, so he threatened her by saying he would tell Choi Yi about her relationship. Kim Yak Seon's wife took action faster than her husband and lied to Choi Yi that Kim Yak Seon was planning a coup. Choi Yi was furious and executed Kim Yak Seon. However, Choi Yi soon learned that his daughter had lied to him. This made Choi Yi so hostile to his daughter that he never saw his daughter again.
With Kim Yak Seon gone, Choi Hang automatically became the successor after Choi Yi's death.
High General Joo Sook wanted to put an end to warrior dicatorship and give the power back to Emperor Gojong with the help of Yabyeolcho. Unfortunately, he could not realize that goal since Choi Hang was supported by over 70 warriors including Yi Gongju, Choi Yang Back, and Kim Joon.
Choi Hang only mourned his father for 2 days(traditional Korean mourning days were 3). On the third day, he took off his mournig clothe and slept with his father's concubines.
General Min Hee and Kim Kyung Son were very popular with the peasants at this time. They were the heroes of war against Mongol. Choi Hang was afraid of their popularity, so he exiled them along with Choi Hwan, Kim Ahn, Jung Hong Yu, and 30 of Choi Yi's concubines.
Choi Hang did not have any children with his wife. However, he gave birth to a son named Choi Ui through the slave of Song Seo while he was still a monk.
Choi Hang wanted to make Choi Ui as his successor, so he ordered Ye Gi to teach poetry and writing, Kwon Wi and Yim Yik to teach history and politics, and Jeong Sejin to teach manners to Choi Ui. He also asked Seon In Ryul and Yu Neung to look after Choi Ui after his death.
After suceeding his father, Choi Ui killed anyone mentioning how his grandmother was a gisaeng and his mother was a slave. If people saw the words 'female slave' or 'prostitute' in a book, they either did not read the book or erased the letters off the book.
Choi Ui wanted to gain popularity, so he gave out grains to starving peasants and rice to soldiers. However, he was too young to take full control of the dictatorship. On April of 1258, Yu Gyung, Kim Joon, Yim Yeon murdered Choi Ui with the help of Sambyeolcho. The original plan was to murder Choi Ui on Buddha's Birthday, but they carried out their plan much earlier due to the exposure of their plan to Yi Ju.
This was the end of the 60 years of Choi family dicatorship. Yu Gyung, Kim Joon, and Yim Yeon claimed that they restored the power back to the emperor. However, the warrior dictatorship continued.
The Annals of Emperor Wonjong(1219-1274. R.1259-1274).
Wonjong was the first son of Emperor Gojong and Empress Ahn Hye. His birth name was Jeon, but he later changed his name to Shik. He became the emperor at the age of 41.
Gojong passed away while Wonjong was still in Mongol as a Crown Prince, so his eldest son Shim stayed as the acting ruler until Wonjong returned. Kim Joon tried to make Wonjong's younger brother Chang as the emperor, but he failed to do so due to objection from the rest of the Koryo government officials.
When Wonjong visited Mongol as a Crown Prince, Kubilai Khan treated him as a ruler of country, rather than a subordinate. He was treated specially, because Koryo managed to fight off the Mongols for 30 years unlike most nations that surrendered immediately after first invasions.
Kubilai was very excited about Wonjong's visit and said "We conquered a nation that even the great Li Shimin of the Tang dynasty couldn't conquer." (Obviously referring to Tang's failed invasion on Goguryo. Koryo claimed themselves as the successors of Goguryo). Kubilai later got his daughter married to Wonjong and sent his subordinate Shu Li Da to escort Wonjong back to Koryo after Gojong's death.
When Wonjong returned, the palace was being re-built in Kaegyung. However, Kim Joon, the man in charge of the new warrior dicatorship, refused to leave Ganghwa Island. They still planned to strengthen the military and continue fighting against the Mongols. Capital remained to be Ganghwa Island and Wonjong had no choice but to stay in Ganghwa.
Kim Joon claimed that he had restored the power back to the emperor, but the emperor continued to be a puppet. Wonjong spent everyday sleeping with his concubines as a result. At the same time, Wonjong tried his best to appease the Mongols in order to borrow their power to get rid of the warrior dictatorship.
On 1261, Wonjong sent Crown Prince Shim to congratulate Kubilai's victory over Ariq Boke. On 1264, Wonjong himself went to Beijing to bow down to Kubilai Khan.
The Mongol changed its name to Yuan dynasty by the time of Wonjong's visit in 1264. Yuan's next target was Japan. Yuan asked Koryo to persuade Japan to pay tributes to Yuan. Japan refused. Hong Dagu and Cho Yi(not to be confused with Choi Yi) then lied to Yuan that Koryo had allied with Japan in order to fight the Mongols off. Hong Dagu and Cho Yi were naturalized Yuan citizens of Koryo background. Hong Dagu's father Hong Bok Won surrendered immediately to the Mongols in the 1st Mongolian invasion.
On 1268, Yuan requested Koryo's aid in the invasion of the Song dynasty. Yuan wanted Kim Joon and his younger brother Kim Choong to lead the Koryo army. Kim Joon thought he would lose his power if he left, so he planned to kill the Yuan diplomat and start fighting the Mongols again. However, Emperor Wonjong objected to Kim Joon's idea.
Wonjong's objection led General Cha Song Woo to recommend taking Wonjong off the throne. Kim Joon agreed with him and sent his brother Kim Choong to persuade the Commander of Cavalry Uhm Su Ahn. Uhm Su Ahn disagreed with Kim Joon and persuaded Kim Choong to stop their plan. Kim Joon, his son, and Kim Choong had no choice but to go aid the Yuan's invasion of Song Chinese.
Wonjong's objection made Kim Joon very hostile toward the emperor. Kim Joon refused to greet Monglian diplomats, ignored every Mongolian demands, and even threatened to kill one Mongolian diplomat. Kim Joon's actions made Wonjong to hate him. On December of 1268, Wonjong ordered Yim Yeon to murder Kim Joon and Kim Choong, along with their subordinates Kim Chang Sae and Huh In Sae.
The warrior dictatorship can be divided into three periods. 1st warrior dictatorship : Yi Ui Bang, Jeong Joong Bu, Kyung Dae Seung, Yi Ui Min 2nd warrior dictatorship : Choi Choong Hun, Choi Yi, Choi Hang, Choi Ui 3rd warrior dictatorship : Yu Gyung, Kim Joon, Yim Yeon, Yim Yumu(Yim Yeon's son)
Yu Gyung was originally in charge of the dictatorship after killing Choi Ui in 1258, but Kim Joon became more powerful and took the dictator spot in 1260.
Kim Joon was the son of Choi Choong Hun's slave Kim Yoon Sung. His birth name was Injoon, but he changed his name to Joon after taking power in 1260. His brother Seung Joon changed his name to Choong. Kim Joon was tall and skilled in archery. Park Songbi and Song Kiryu thought highly of him and recommended him to Choi Yi. Kim Joon became Choi Yi's right-hand man.
However, Kim Joon was exiled to Gosung after getting caught sleeping with Choi Yi's favorite concubine Ahn Shim. Choi Yi called him back after few years.
When Kim Joon returned, he treated Choi Hang very nicely and recommended Hang as the successor of Choi Yi. Choi Hang treated Kim Joon nicely in return after taking power.
However, the nice days were over when Choi Ui succeeded Hang. Choi Ui was close to Choi Yang Back and Yu Neung, not Kim Joon. Kim Joon got dissatisfied and murdered Choi Ui, Choi Yang Back, Yu Neung in 1258. Yu Gyung and Park Songbi helped Kim Joon during these murders.
In 1265, Kim Joon was named as the prime minister and the Marquess of Hae Yang. He became more powerful than the Choi family. (Nobody in Choi family had such positions).
On 1269, Wonjong ordered Kang Yoon So to persuade Yim Yeon to murder Kim Joon. Yim Yeon used to be Kim Joon's right-hand man. They were so close that some people called Yim Yeon as a stepson of Kim Joon. However, Yim Yeon soon started hating Kim Joon after his rise to power. Kim Joon, like the other dictators, did whatever as he pleased. Wonjong knew Yim Yeon hated Kim Joon, so he used Yim Yeon to get rid of Kim Joon.
On June of 1269, Yim Yeon and the eunuchs Kim Kyung and Choi Eun, teamed up together to kill Kim Joon. Yim Yeon hid a huge club inside a box and waited for Kim Joon at the palace. The planned date was the day of Wonjong's meeting with the Mongolian diplomat. However, Kim Joon never appeared. Wonjong and Yim Yeon feared the leak of their scheme.
Kim Joon didn't appear the next day, either. Wonjong ordered Kim Joon to come to the palace. An eunuch named Park Moon Gi, who was a relative of Kim Joon's wife, found about the plan and ran straight to Kim Joon. Unfortunately, Park Moon Gi couldn't tell Kim Joon anything since Kim Joon was surrounded by hundreds of bodyguards.
When Kim Joon arrived at the palace, the eunuch Choi Eun guided Kim Joon to the emperor's room. The emperor was apparently sick when Kim Joon arrived at his room, so Choi Eun guided him out again. Kim Sang struck Kim Joon with a club on his way out. Kim Joon screamed, but he was stabbed to death shortly after. Kim Choong saw the bloodstain and tried to run away. However, he was quickly killed by Kim Jahu.
When the rumors of Kim Joon's death spread, Kim Joon's subordinates flowed into the gate of the palace. However, they scattered after the eunuch Kim Jajung confirmed Kim Joon's death.
Kim Joon's son Kim Joo and other followers of Kim Joon led an army to fight back, but they were all killed off by Yim Yeon and the Yabyeolcho. This was the end of Kim Joon's dictatorship. Yim Yeon became the next dictator after killing Kim Kyung and Choi Eun(the 2 men that helped murdering Kim Joon).
I've noticed something when reading the biographies about people in Goryeo. Gojong and Wonjong's birth names are Jin and Jeon respectively, but later changed to Cheol and Sik. I noticed something similar with Hong Mungye, one of the masterminds of Im Yumu's death; when I googled his name in Korean, the name Hong Kyu comes up. Is this a thing in Goryeo culture? To change your name at some point in your life? Doesn't look like something every single Goryeo person does it.
Also, Kim Jun was also initially named Kim Injun, but he seems to have taken out the "In" later in his life for some reason.