The King: Eternal Monarch (Korean: 더 킹: 영원의 군주; Hanja: 더 킹: 永遠의 君主; RR: Deo King: Yeongwonui Gunju) is a 2020 romantic-fantasy South Korean television series starring Lee Min-ho, Kim Go-eun, Woo Do-hwan, Kim Kyung-nam, Jung Eun-chae and Lee Jung-jin. Produced by Hwa&Dam Pictures and its parent company Studio Dragon, the series premiered on SBS TV and Netflix for the global audience on April 17, 2020.
Despite hailing as one of the most anticipated series in the first half of 2020 due to its ensemble cast, renowned screenwriter, extensive publicity and more than 30 billion Won (US$25 million) production budget, the series received criticisms for its screenplay, direction, editing, and various controversies leading to lower-than-expected domestic popularity in Korea. Contrary to that, the series was termed as a “hit Netflix drama” by GMA News Online, and South China Morning Post also mentioned it as a “hit Korean drama series” due to its popularity overseas, where it was listed among the top 10 most-viewed TV shows on Netflix in several Asian countries during its air.
Lee Gon (Lee Min-ho), a modern-day Emperor of the Kingdom of Corea, attempts to cross the barrier into an alternate reality where the Republic of Korea exists in the Kingdom’s stead. He comes across detective Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun), whom he recognises from an identity card he obtained during the turning-point of his childhood, his father’s assassination. Lee Gon’s half uncle, Lee Lim (Lee Jung-jin), who assassinated the previous king, Lee Ho (Lee Gon’s father), is in hiding and assembling armies whilst traversing back and forth between the two parallel worlds.