Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (Korean: 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神 – 도깨비; RR: Sseulsseulhago Chanlanhasin – Dokkaebi; lit. The Lonely and Great God – Goblin) is a South Korean television series starring Gong Yoo in the title role with Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook, Yoo In-na, and Yook Sung-jae. It was shown on the cable network tvN from December 2, 2016 to January 21, 2017. It was written by popular drama writer Kim Eun-sook. As of February 2020, it is the fifth-highest rated Korean drama in cable television history.
Guardian’s final episode recorded an 18.68% nationwide audience share, making it the fifth highest rated drama in Korean cable television history. It received critical acclaim and became a cultural phenomenon in South Korea. The show won numerous awards, including the Grand Prize (Daesang) for writer Kim Eun-sook and Best Actor for Gong Yoo at the 54th Baeksang Arts Awards.
Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) a decorated military general from the Goryeo Dynasty is framed as a traitor and killed by the young king. Years after his death, he is cursed by the almighty to stay immortal forever and endure the pain of seeing his loved ones die as the punishment for the kills he committed in the wars to protect his country. He becomes an immortal goblin, helping people with his powers and being a kind man in spite of his grieving past. The only way to put an end to his immortality is the Goblin’s bride, whose aid in pulling out the sword will end his painful immortality. Ji Eun-Tak (Kim Go-eun) is a bubbly high school student who remains cheerful and hopeful despite her tragic life. She summons the goblin by chance and their fates begin to entwine. Goblin’s nephew Yoo Deok-Hwa (Yook Sung-jae) leases the Goblin’s house to a Grim Reaper (Lee Dong-wook) and the two end up living under the same roof. Sunny (Yoo In-na) is a charismatic young lady who runs a chicken shop where Ji Eun-Tak works as a part timer.
As the lives of Kim Shin, Grim Reaper, Ji Eun-Tak and Sunny interweave, a deeper story unfolds as they are not just strangers who met-by chance but people with deep-rooted relations.