‘Kingdom’ Season 2 Returns This March. Here’s What We Know So Far
Heads up: spoilers ahead
Last year, South Korean screenwriter Kim Eun-hee and director Kim Seong-hun introduced the explosive first season of Kingdom. A historical drama, action-thriller and zombie genre revival wrapped in one riveting Netflix original, the new series left instant fans hooked and hanging on that painfully suspenseful season finale.
Will the city of Sangju survive the massive attack by the undead? Back in the capital of Hanyang, what will be Queen Cho’s next move? Now that Seo-Bi and Beom-Pal have found the Frozen Valley flower responsible for the plague of the undead, can an antidote be expected soon? Or are all these new discoveries coming in a little too late?
On March 13, we finally get answers. The “K-zombie” writer-director tandem has come together again to give viewers precisely what they’ve been aching for: the second season of Kingdom...where more blood will spill.
Since the second season premiere date was announced fairly recently, Netflix users new to the series have a little under a month to get all caught up on Kingdom’s first season. (For existing fans, here’s your chance to binge-watch all six episodes a second, third or even a fourth time.) But if you’re already looking ahead and counting down the days, there’s something for you, too. Below, a rundown of fast facts on Kingdom season two:
A recap of the season one finale:
In many ways, the celebrated first season of Kingdom (starring Ji-hoon Ju, Doona Bae and Suk-ho Jun) is about the kingdom’s untimely takeover. One on end, it’s by devious royal officials and the pregnant Queen Cho (played by Kim Hye-jun) herself, who see the king’s mysterious illness as an opportunity to grab power as soon as the queen gives birth to an heir and the designated crown prince Chang (Ji-hoon Ju) is deposed. On the other end, it’s the literal and gory invasion of the living dead, which starts like clockwork upon sundown, sparing no one who gets in the way. The lust for human flesh takes them from town to town, body after body.
The brilliant theme that run through this first season is hunger. Among the poor, quite literally hunger, a famine. Among the rich, greed. And this is the state of unrest that the rightful heir to the throne, the Crown Prince Chang, finds himself in. As the king’s only blood relative left, he is outnumbered, overpowered and overridden. But he remains steadfast about questions he has surrounding mysterious events in the kingdom: Why is his father, the king, being kept behind closed doors? Why is Chang forbidden to see him? How is the rise of the undead connected to the royal family secret that not even Chang is allowed to know about?
Want an early potential spoiler? No one is safe.
Apparently, not even lead actor Ji-Hoon Ju, who is set to reprise his role as series protagonist the Crown Prince Lee Chang.
In February last year, he shared his initial reaction to the season two script with sportsseoul.com. “I was on a plane [going] to Singapore, reading the script with Ryu Seung Ryong and I was so surprised; I shouted, ‘What? Really?’” he said. “There are no guarantees that my character is going to live to the end. In season one of Game of Thrones, the main character dies.”
The second season is comprised of six episodes.
Like the first season, the March 13 release will feature six episodes, each one with a running time shy of 60 minutes. In the process of working out the show’s pacing, Kingdom director Kim Seong-hun shared in Netflix’s The Making of Kingdom featurette that he thought of it as “doing three two-hour films.” To this, Seung-Ryong Ryu (who plays Hak-Ju Cho) added: “A 120-minute feature film wouldn’t have been enough to tell this epic story. But this series pulled off [season one] with the quality of a movie.”
So we can definitely expect more grade-A visuals and cinematography, but a quicker pace in terms of storytelling in season two.
The main cast is also set to return with one famous South Korean actress said to make a not-so surprising cameo.
Ji-Hoon Ju, as mentioned, will pick up where his character Crown Prince Lee Chang left off. Doona Bae will also return as Seobi; the same with Jun-ho Heo, who portrays An Hyun, Kim Hye Jun as the Queen and Seung-ryong Ryu as the queen’s father, Prime Minister Cho Hak Ju. It is worth noting something about the latter: Queen Cho’s character is expected to develop into something more, as she forges a path of her own to prove she is not just her ambitious father’s puppet.
In addition, fans are readying to see one familiar face: My Sassy Girl and My Love from the Star actress Jun Ji‑hyun. Her agency Culture Depot has confirmed that the star will be making an appearance in Kingdom season two.
RELATED: Welcome to the “Kingdom”
Whether we’re ready or not, “blood will spill.” Now, who will make it through to the end?
Get caught up and watch the complete first season of ‘Kingdom’ only on Netflix, the streaming platform that allows Globe subscribers to binge on TV series, relive blockbuster movies and discover documentaries on the go. Subscription to Netflix is required.
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