5 STRIKING THINGS KINGDOM: ASHIN OF THE NORTH REVEALS & HOW IT TIES INTO THE KINGDOM UNIVERSE
BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Kingdom: Ashin of the North is a special episode that serves as an origin story and shows audiences how the undead plague in the first two seasons of Kingdom came about. As a standalone prequel, you can watch it either before or after watching the two seasons. However, the experience is that much better once you have viewed all of the parts in order to better understand and enjoy the Kingdom universe. Check out some of the most striking revelations of Kingdom: Ashin of the North and how they tie into the greater story here.
Watch it first if you want to avoid seeing any spoilers! Spoilers below!
- Min Chi-rok’s Lies
Min Chi-rok (Park Byung-eun) appeared in season 2 as the Head of the Royal Commandery. His character was much loved for being a righteous investigator who discovers the queen’s secret. He’s smart, brave, and intent on uncovering the truth. Therefore, it comes as a surprise when we see Min Chi-rok in Kingdom: Ashin of the North lying to the Pajeowi tribe about the deaths of their tribesmen and pinning the blame on the innocent Seongjeoyains. While we understand that Min Chi-rok did this in order to avoid a war from beginning, it is clear that he and other characters are not all morally black and white.
- Ashin’s Trauma
We are first introduced to Ashin at the end of season 2 and it is obvious that she is responsible for spreading the resurrection plant all over the kingdom and contributing to the undead plague that ravaged the kingdom. However, as we get to know more about her childhood and life prior to these events, it becomes clear that Ashin is also a victim. Her family and everyone she grew up around get killed when her village is massacred by the Pajeowi. She becomes completely alone and vulnerable to mistreatment and sexual assault.
- Ashin’s Heartbreaking Reunion
As if all of that wasn’t traumatic enough, Ashin realizes her father had been alive all along upon finding him during a spy mission. After a tearful reunion, Ashin relieves her father of his misery and sets out to find out the truth. Upon viewing official records, she realizes that Min Chi-rok had ordered her father to lie about a tiger being responsible for the death of the Pajeowi men. Min Chi-rok’s actions led to her village being massacred and her father being chained and tortured for all these years. This revelation instigates Ashin’s plans for bloody vengeance.
- The Beginning of Ashin’s Revenge
Ashin quickly moves into action by killing and infecting unsuspecting soldiers. The infected soldiers help her swiftly achieve her goal of killing every soldier in the camp. Ashin definitely looks badass, deftly using her bow and arrows to kill any survivors trying to escape. While we can empathize with her character in desiring revenge after experiencing those traumatic events, it’s clear that she’s neither a hero nor completely a villain. Ashin is on a warpath and is determined to take everyone down, including innocent people.
- The Extent of Ashin’s Revenge
It is revealed that Ashin used the resurrection plant on the deceased village members. Over the years she fed them animals, but now she promises to feed them more delicious food (humans). She vows to kill everyone and to join them once she has done so. Her plan begins when she intentionally shares the resurrection plant with physician Lee Seung-hui after finding him in Uiju. This ties into how Prime Minister Cho and Lord Ahn Hyeon utilized the plant to create zombies and win the battle against the Japanese. Furthermore, this knowledge is used to resurrect the king later which leads to the undead plague. It all started with Ashin.
The special episode ends with Ashin facing Aidagan, the leader of the Pajeowi. We see Ashin shoot an arrow towards the group, but we don’t know what will happen yet. Considering Ashin’s hunger for revenge, it’s clear that she probably has a master plan in mind. Also, we know that Joseon is not actually safe since the new crown prince is infected. We can expect some major battles ahead as Ashin strives for annihilation while others will fight for survival.
While we “patiently” wait for what’s next in the Kingdom universe, be awed by the intricately woven plot as you rewatch the first two seasons and Kingdom: Ashin of the North, only on Netflix.
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