Six Flying Dragons Korean Drama Review

Six Flying Dragons is set during the end of the Goryeo era and depicts the founding of the Joseon dynasty through immense political struggle.  Six people become prominent figures in the movement that centers around the future king Lee Bang Won (Yoo Ah In) and political strategist Jung Do Jeon (Kim Myung Min).

I did it! I completed the 50 episode Six Flying Dragons! I had been waiting to find a good opening to get this drama in and finally found one. It was quite a journey that was filled with action, politics, family, friendship, betrayal, heartbreak, a dash of romance, and the epic story of the founding of a nation.

So let’s jump right in and meet our six dragons:

Lee Bang Won (Yoo Ah In) is the hero at the center of our story. He learns at an early age that power is needed for justice to prevail. He takes matters into his own hands and positions himself to be an integral part of the great political strategist Jung Do Jeon’s plan to build a new country.

Jung Do Jeon (Kim Myung Min), also known as Sam Bong, has faced much heartache due to the corruption in Goryeo. Because of that, he decides to end the current political system and build a new country from the ground up. As he sets his plans in motion, he identifies who he wants to be the new king, General Lee Seong Gye.

General Lee Seong Gye (Chun Ho Jin) is the father of Lee Bang Won. He is the most powerful and respected general in Goryeo, and he has led massive armies to victory countless times. He is a stern and honorable man who wants to do what is right for the people. He really wants no part of politics, but the corrupt happenings and power plays put him in a position where he has to take a stand. And that stand ultimately leads him to the throne.

Boon Yi (Shin Se Kyung) is a woman of the lower class who becomes a sort of leader for her people. She and her brother Ddang Sae’s mother disappeared when they were children leaving them alone. Boon Yi gets entangled with Lee Bang Won and Jung Do Jeon and their cause as she works to better the lives of her people.

Ddang Sae (Byun Yo Han) is Boon Yi’s brother. After a difficult childhood, his path leads him to becoming one of the greatest swordsmen in Goryeo. While at first he is mostly out for revenge on those who wronged him, he soon joins Jung Do Jeon and his cause too.

Moo Hyul (Yoon Kyun Sang) is our good-natured and hapless warrior. He’s super awkward with an innocence to him. His personality is in complete contrast to his amazing fighting skills. He can go from being bumbling and confused to a skilled swordsman in battle in an instant. Circumstances lead him to becoming the bodyguard of Lee Bang Won.

Overall, I really enjoyed Six Flying Dragons. It has a lot to like as we get to go deep into this story of power struggles and political maneuverings. For the most part, the drama is paced well which is something you would hope for with 50 episodes. New plot developments are frequent with multiple story arcs consistently building up tension and then delivering a satisfying resolution. Things would be set in motion during one arc that would then become prominent in the next arc. It was all laid out beautifully.

Now I will say that I thought the first half of the drama was much more engaging for me than the second half. The first half just felt more exciting and easily held my attention. Which brings me to my main negative. The drama was extremely heavy on the political maneuverings. Though this is very understandable considering what the story is about. There are plenty of baddies ready and waiting to take on Jung Do Jeon and his crew. And when one threat is taken out, another is ready to step in and cause more trouble.


But this created some stretches of episodes that felt a little slow as our players meticulously worked to put their plans into motion. And this became worse as the drama progressed. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, it’s mostly just my own personal tastes that doesn’t generally prefer a lot of politics. And this is a story with A LOT of politics.

But even then, I found this story incredibly fascinating to watch as key players were positioned according to well laid out plans. It takes a lot of work to take down one government and build a new country. It really was an epic journey that these people went on to birth a new nation.


The acting is top notch from start to finish. All of the actors really put their all into their characters and delivered powerful and moving performances. Yoo Ah In and Kim Min Myung were the most notable with some truly intense scenes. But Yoon Kyun Sang, Chun Ho Jin, Byun Yo Han, and Shin Se Kyung also brought their best and made for a very remarkable cast.

There are some really well done action scenes featuring some intense sword battles on a large scale. Lots of swords, arrows, and hatchets made for bloody battles where no one escaped injury. The depiction of General Lee’s army is also quite impressive and feels very grand. It made the battle for the throne very exciting.

The story as whole feels quite epic. There are so many moving parts and the stakes are so high for everyone. Plus, a big advantage to having 50 episodes is the ability to spend more time with our characters over a longer period of time. There are so many ups and downs, and they really go through so much to accomplish their goals.

These people grow and change throughout the drama. Alliances are formed and sometimes allies become enemies. Things definitely aren’t black and white concerning what they are doing. It gives the audience a lot to think about as to what the right way to take on corruption is and whether or not doing bad things for the greater good is okay.

Many times I wasn’t sure who was good and if I was rooting for the right people. And then as people changed sometimes I would change my view of what was going on. This sort of complexity and moral greyness keeps things very interesting.

I read up on some Korean history as I watched this drama, and it was very fascinating to see some of those key historical events play out on my screen. Of course, there are a lot of liberties taken as there are with most stories, but it’s a great way to get a feel for what shaped this nation.

So overall, my journey through Six Flying Dragons was a mostly positive one. It’s a rich story with drama, betrayal, and action. Though it did have some slow spells because of the abundance of politics, the characters and story were so well done that it would always reengage me.

It’s a drama that will make you think as you question what is the right way to achieve your goals. This is the legendary story of the complicated and tumultuous happenings that transformed the nation of Goryeo into Joseon.

My Rating: 7/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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26 Responses to Six Flying Dragons Korean Drama Review

  1. raistlin0903 says:

    I was looking forward to this review and it did not disappoint. Looking at those pictures of the army, and you describing the battlescenes makes me want to watch this, but I really would not know where I could fit in 50 episodes right now. That said, later on in the year when I have my vacation there might be time for it. Even though there are so evslower episodes (that usually happens with longer running series), this is something I really want to check out at some point.
    The characters, the setting pretty much everything in this review appeals to me. Terrific review, and congrats on completing such a long show 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 It really did have some entertaining battle scenes. And the setting is one that always interests me. I was particularly interested in seeing the transitional period between the Goryeo and Joseon eras.

      I know what you mean about finding time to fit it in. I had been looking for a good spot pretty much ever since it came out. And then I finally decided months ago I would use December as a good time to finally watch it. And despite the excess of politics, I’m glad I watched it because it did have a whole lot going for it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Timescout says:

    I lost interest somewhere half way through and had the hardest of times finishing Dragons. Took me forever to get to the end. I can’t help it but the palace politics bore me to tears in most sageuks, no matter how good the drama is. Actually, I liked Tree With Deep Roots much better. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Yes, halfway is about where the politics started overwhelming me. I tend to avoid saguek politics like the plague because I usually find them boring, so I really know what you mean. That’s why I tend to prefer fantasy or romance historicals. Luckily, it was able to continually reengage me with the characters and their story though.

      I actually had the almost exact experience with Tree With Deep Roots. Great characters and story, but way too much bad guy politics and scheming. I do think I fared better with Six Flying Dragons though. But both are well done and for those who like politics, either would be perfect 🙂


  3. Great post! I agree with most of what you said. It was definitely not an easy watch and I also had a hard time through the second part, but still, it ranks high on my sageuk list because of the amazing acting and the epic music! I actually haven’t been able to write a review yet… I only wrote about the music:

    I totally fell in love with Byun Yo Han, by the way 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Yes, the second part was a bit more challenging, but it still engaged me with the characters and story. And I agree, the music was fantastic! I especially love the main ending song and Byun Yo Han’s song was so sad and beautiful. I will check out your post too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. where did you find the time to watch this?! I am impressed. I am currently watching father is strange and even though I love it, it is killing all my time. I read the recaps for 6 flying dragons, so I have a special spot in my heart for this drama, even if I don’t think I will ever watch another 50 episode drama again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Haha, well it took some planning to get in it. I had been wanting to watch it since it came out, but I don’t watch many long dramas either. But I’ve sort of made it a tradition to watch one during the latter part of December so that I can focus on my year end stuff on the blog and not be doing a weekly review. Since it takes me a few weeks to watch a long one, it actually helps me out some, hehe.

      I REALLY want to watch Father is Strange. I’ve never completed a long family drama, but I hear so many amazing things about it. I really hope I can find time to work in it before the end of this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate says:

    I knew there was a reason I follow you when you said “I tend to avoid saguek politics like the plague because I usually find them boring…That’s why I tend to prefer fantasy or romance historicals.” SFD is next in my historicals queue but I keep procrastinating and watching modern romances because it takes a different mindset to watch the period pieces and I’m currently watching New Tales of Gisang so I don’t know when I would find the time for another 50 episodes! How would you compare SFD to Empress Ki? I loved that one so would love to know how it compares to help me decide if I should invest the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Sounds like we think a lot when it comes to historicals 🙂 Empress Ki is my favorite historical, and I loved it so much! I think Empress Ki and Six Flying Dragons are completely different though. Empress Ki has a lot of romance and the love triangle is one of the major plot points whereas SFD has very little romance. There are a couple romance subplots but they are very much secondary.

      And SFD has A LOT of politics with it increasing even more after ep 20. I thought Empress Ki was fairly low on the politics and liked how they handled what there was. Much of the political scenes or bad guy scheming was done in short scenes and spread out while also usually being fairly entertaining because of the great characters.

      SFD had extended political scenes of plotting and several stretches of episodes definitely dragged because of them. You really have to go into SFD with the mindset that there will be a lot of politics and just brace yourself. But if you are like me and don’t care for them, some of the drama will definitely be a challenge and you may lose interest. SFD is a good solid drama that had a lot I liked, but for me Empress Ki was so much better, and it was entertaining from start to finish. Hope that helps you some with your decision 🙂


      • Kate says:

        That absolutely helps! Thank you! I will keep SFD in the queue but will be sure I’m ready for it when the time comes. I have yet to have my fill of the lighter fare available. I’m only a newbie when it comes to kdramas, with only 49 dramas under my belt (42 modern/7 historical). When I feel in the mood for a 50 episode, political intrigue, historical drama this one sounds like it will fit the bill 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Yes, sometimes it’s a good idea to make sure you’re in the right mood for a particular drama. And with so many other wonderful dramas out there, you have plenty to choose from to fit your current mood 🙂 Since you have only seen 7 historicals, you definitely have some good ones to look forward to in the future too. When done right, there is nothing like the rich worlds they create with high stakes and beautiful romances 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Korean Drama Update for January 2018 | Kdrama Kisses

  7. Doris Stevenson says:

    Looking forward to seeing Six Flying Dragons. Looking forward to see Byun Yo-han play a different, harder (as in character) role than he did in Mr. Sunshine (I liked his character in that). I realize 6 Dragons was originally released in 2015 – so Byun Yo-han probably did SFD before Mr. Sunshine. Besides I love period pieces!!! Love martial arts, sword fighting in general, battles & a good storyline. Just finished “Rise of the Phoenixes” (not Korean) & it was epic too (we’ll to me anyway). So I’m ready for another good period piece with some history. #Hungry for more Asian drama#

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I really hope you enjoy Six Flying Dragons 🙂 It’s got a great story line, fantastic acting, and some great battle scenes. It gets a bit heavy on the politics in the second half, but it’s still such an interesting drama.

      And Byun Yo Han is great in it too. I also loved him in Mr. Sunshine. Six Flying Dragons is a great chance to see him in a bit of a different role. I’m like you in that I love period pieces and am always ready to dig into a new one. Have fun with it!


  8. Snow Flower says:

    I read a little on the historical period depicted in the drama, and it helped a lot. Of course, that also meant that I knew what happened to the real historical people portrayed in the drama. That did not make the viewing less exciting, though. I discovered Byun Yo Han through this drama, and have been a fan ever since. Also, I rewatched Tree With Deep Roots after 6FD, and found it more engaging and enjoyable because I had a greater understanding of the historical background.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It’s always interesting learning the history behind the characters 🙂 I knew some of the basics before watching it and then read a bit more in depth while watching. It definitely enhanced my experience. These particular writers get a little heavy on the politics for my liking, but they create such and epic and well written stories that it usually makes up for it for me since I know they will give me a quality story.

      Oh yes, I really enjoyed Byun Yo Han in this drama too! Was thrilled to get to see him later on in Mr. Sunshine too 🙂


  9. Kim says:

    I loved it…. I loved boon yi, she was so gentle. Bang won deserved her

    Liked by 1 person

  10. muchi says:

    well it was really hard to start watching considering it’s long and a historical serie…the characters are great. am I the only one who was upset with sambong for not understanding Bang won… I watched up to ep43 and stop ahhhhh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It’s definitely a long one! I thought the first half was quite a bit better than the second too. Ah, you made it so far before dropping it! The completionist in me would have probably held out being that close, hehe 😉


  11. Neha says:

    Nice Review… I stopped watching SFD after 39 episodes… may pick it up later. Sadly read the real histories enough to know who the general winner is going to be..! It was tough to watch everyone turning against each other.
    3-4 of the actors in SFD are in Rookie Historian – Goo Hae Ryung which is also a very nice period drama. Its gentler than SFD and a good mix of politics and romance.
    Also Yi-Bang Wan’s character also turns up in the show called – My Country: The new age. The actor who plays Bang-Wan in this is quite stylish.
    You’re so right… It’s fascinating as you watch the different shows, the history of the land starts emerging (even though mixed with a lot of fiction)… The Mings, Mongols, Japanese, from Goryeo to Joseon empires, and the tensions between Buddhism, neo-Confusionism, Shamanism and in later years also Christianity (comes up in Rookie Historian). Fascinating… I feel that it is after decades that there is such mass consumption of a culture, which is not from the English speaking West. Cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Thank you 🙂 You made it along way through SFD before dropping it. It did get a bit draggy during that time. The drama is definitely a roller coaster watching everyone trying to find their way and even turn against each other. Ah yes, both Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung and My Country were terrific dramas! I really liked seeing the different portrayals of Lee Bang Won between My Country and SFD.

      And I know what you mean. There are many reasons that I love historicals, but one of them is seeing all of that rich history come together. So much to learn about and it is all so interesting. I love seeing people across the world interested in the history of other cultures 🙂


  12. Paula Gomes says:

    I loved it. At first I feared it would drag on after the first 10 episodes but it didn’t. It gets more and more interesting. I understand the focus on the political manoeuvres as an essential part to understanding the culture’s way of thinking, which is more thoughtful and meaningful than the western culture. The characters were well chosen and beautifully portrayed. I highly recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It’s great that you enjoyed it so much! This was a really good drama 🙂 It’s an accomplishment to do well with so many episodes. And yes, the characters were great with fantastic actors portraying them. It was interesting to see this story play out 🙂


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