Emperor Ta Hwan, played by Ji Chang Wook in the drama ‘Empress Ki’, has been ranked as one of the top 20 best television characters of the year in TV Report’s ‘Character Awards 99’, emerging at 13th place out of 99.
In commemoration of its 10th anniversary, online entertainment news portal TV Report conducted its 2nd Character Awards 99, whereby its editorial team picked out 99 of the most memorable characters from Korean dramas that were aired between July 2013 and July 2014. A total of 1866 characters were considered from 83 different Korean dramas across all stations.
Unlike other acting awards, TV Report does not consider factors like the actor’s experience or the character’s significance in the show, but makes its selection solely based on the quality of the character itself. Such a judging criteria stems from a belief that the character is a product of the script, direction and acting, and also has the power to capture the audience’s attention towards a drama.
Ji Chang Wook’s Emperor Ta Hwan was ranked at 13th place, making him the second highest ranked character from MBC after Ha Ji Won’s Ki Seung Nyang, who ranked 11th. Among the dramas with the most number of characters on the list, ‘Empress Ki’ was placed third with a total of 5 winning characters:
11th place – Ki Seung Nyang (Ha Ji Won)
13th place – Ta Hwan (Ji Chang Wook)
32nd place – Tanashiri (Baek Jin Hee)
51st place – El Temur (Jeon Guk Hwan)
60th place – Tal Tal (Jin Yi Han)
[View the complete list of winners here]
If a character is really popular, his unique actions and famous lines in the drama will also become popular trends. TV Report gave special mention to 9 characters in this aspect, including Ji Chang Wook’s Ta Hwan. According to TV Report, the pitiful Emperor Ta Hwan stirred the hearts of women, and his tender heart and total devotion towards Seung Nyang tugged at the heartstrings of viewers. Ta Hwan eventually succeeded at truly winning the heart of Seung Nyang and his loving cries of “Seung Nyang ah~” breathe life into his character. Ta Hwan’s love for Seung Nyang was his only goal, and this classic line followed Ta Hwan right till the last episode.
Personally, I think Ta Hwan had many other more memorable lines in ‘Empress Ki’, such as that famous (cheesy) ‘mother bird’ line and his almighty “짐을 사모하거라! (Give me your affection?…the english translation of this line doesn’t quite have the same effect)” in episode 45. Since TV Report places emphasis on separating the actor from the character, I doubt TV Report will be giving a physical trophy to Ji Chang Wook for this, but it is still quite an achievement to place 13 out of more than 1000 characters, which is a testament to Ji Chang Wook’s acting somewhat.