Korean historical dramas, also known as sageuk, have become increasingly popular in recent years. These dramas offer viewers a glimpse into the Joseon era, a period of rich history and culture in Korean history. Among these historical dramas, there are some romantic ones that stand out. Here are the top 10 romantic Joseon historical K-dramas to watch.

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(1) Love in the Moonlight (English title) / Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (literal title) (2016)

“Love in the Moonlight” (English title) / “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds” (literal title) is a South Korean historical romance drama series that aired in 2016. Love in the Moonlight” is a South Korean historical romance television series that unfolds against the backdrop of the Joseon Dynasty. The story revolves around Hong Ra-On, a young woman who disguises herself as a man (eunich) to survive in a patriarchal society. As she navigates her way through various challenges, she encounters Crown Prince Lee Yeong. Unaware of her true identity, the Crown Prince becomes close friends with Ra-On, leading to a complex web of relationships, secrets, and political intrigues. However, their romance is complicated by the fact that Ra-on is actually a daughter of a rebel leader who opposes the royal family, and the prince’s position as heir to the throne means that their love is forbidden. As they navigate their feelings for each other, they must also face political turmoil and intrigue in the royal court. The series was well-received for its strong performances, beautiful cinematography, and engaging storyline.


(2) Lovers of the Red Sky (2021)

“Lovers of the Red Sky” unfolds against the backdrop of the Joseon Dynasty, where a tale of love, destiny, and mysticism takes center stage. Hong Cheon-Ki, a talented female painter, becomes the first woman admitted to the esteemed Dohwaseo, the Korean Royal Academy of Painting. Her encounter with Ha Ram, an officer in charge of astronomy and other sciences, becomes a pivotal moment. Despite Ha Ram’s blindness, a deep connection forms between them, and as their love story unfolds, it intertwines with the rich tapestry of Joseon’s historical and mystical elements. “Lovers of the Red Sky” promises a captivating journey through art, romance, and the supernatural.

(3) The Red Sleeve Cuff (2014)

The Red Sleeve Cuff is a 2014 South Korean historical drama tv series based on a novel of the same name. The story is set in the Joseon dynasty and revolves around the romantic relationship between the king of Joseon, who is devoted to his country, and a court lady who is determined to protect her own life and interests. As the king struggles to balance his love for the court lady with his duty to his country, the two find themselves caught up in political intrigue and must navigate the dangerous waters of the royal court to protect themselves and their love. The tv series explores themes of duty, loyalty, and the conflict between personal desires and the demands of the state.


(4) Mr. Queen (2020)

Mr. Queen is a South Korean television drama series that aired in 2020. The show follows the story of Jang Bong-hwan, a modern-day chef who works at the Blue House, the residence of the South Korean President. After a freak accident, Bong-hwan finds himself transported back in time to the Joseon era, where he inhabits the body of Queen Cheorin. Despite the challenges of adapting to life in the past and navigating the complex politics of the royal court, Bong-hwan uses his knowledge of modern cuisine to win over the palace staff and eventually become a trusted advisor to the king. Along the way, he develops a complicated relationship with the queen’s husband, King Cheoljong, and uncovers a conspiracy to overthrow the royal family. The show combines elements of historical drama, comedy, and romance to create a unique and engaging story that has captured the attention of audiences around the world.


(5) The Tale of Nokdu (2019)

The Tale of Nokdu is a South Korean historical romantic-comedy television drama that aired in 2019. The story revolves around a young man named Jeon Nok-du, who lives in the Joseon Dynasty era. After an incident forces him to flee his home, he disguises himself as a woman and enters a village that is inhabited entirely by widows. There, he meets a young woman named Dong Dong-ju, who is determined to find out why Nok-du is in the village. As Nok-du tries to keep his true identity a secret, he becomes embroiled in a web of political intrigue and romantic entanglements. The drama is based on a popular webtoon and features a mix of action, romance, and comedy.


(6) The King’s Affection (2021)

The King’s Affection (2021) is a Korean drama series that follows the story of a young woman named Kim So-yong who discovers that she has a twin brother who was abandoned at birth and grew up to become the crown prince of Joseon. Despite the risks, she decides to take her brother’s place and disguise herself as him in order to protect her country and her loved ones. Along the way, she faces many challenges and dangers as she struggles to maintain her secret identity and navigate the complex politics of the royal court. As she spends more time in her brother’s shoes, she begins to develop feelings for the prince’s close advisor, who becomes her confidant and ally in her quest to maintain her deception.

(7) 100 Days My Prince (2018)

“100 Days My Prince” is a South Korean historical romantic-comedy drama that tells the story of Lee Yool, a Joseon prince who loses his memory after an assassination attempt and ends up living as a commoner for 100 days. During this time, he meets and falls in love with Hong Shim, a strong-willed woman who runs a detective agency with her father. As Lee Yool struggles to regain his memory and identity, he must also navigate the dangerous political landscape of the Joseon court, where he is seen as a threat to the throne. With Hong Shim’s help, Lee Yool must uncover the truth behind the assassination attempt and reclaim his rightful place as prince, all while facing growing feelings of love and loyalty to the woman who has captured his heart.


(8) The Moon Embracing the Sun (2012)

The Moon Embracing the Sun is a South Korean historical drama television series that aired in 2012. The story is set during the Joseon era and follows the love story between King Lee Hwon and a shaman named Wol. As a young prince, Lee Hwon falls in love with a young girl named Yeon-woo, but she suddenly dies under mysterious circumstances. Devastated by her death, Lee Hwon becomes a cold and distant king. However, years later, he meets a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Yeon-woo and is revealed to be her long-lost twin sister, Wol. As the two fall in love, they must navigate the dangers of court politics and the threat of a powerful enemy who seeks to destroy the royal family. The Moon Embracing the Sun is known for its lush cinematography, intricate plot, and strong performances by its cast, which includes Kim Soo-hyun, Han Ga-in, and Jung Il-woo. It was a commercial and critical success, winning multiple awards and becoming one of the highest-rated Korean dramas of all time.


(9) Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is a South Korean historical romance drama that aired in 2016. The series follows a modern-day woman named Go Ha-jin (played by Lee Ji-eun), who is transported back in time to the Goryeo Dynasty, where she becomes involved in the politics and power struggles of the royal court. Go Ha-jin takes on the identity of Hae Soo and finds herself caught up in the complicated relationships between the various princes vying for the throne. She becomes romantically involved with the fourth prince, Wang So (played by Lee Joon-gi), who is initially feared and ostracized due to his facial scar, but who later becomes a powerful and respected figure. As Hae Soo navigates the dangerous political landscape of the Goryeo court, she becomes embroiled in love triangles, family feuds, and tragic events that threaten to tear her apart. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is a sweeping epic that combines romance, drama, and historical intrigue, with a strong focus on the emotional journey of its central characters.


(10) The Crowned Clown (2019)

The Crowned Clown is a South Korean historical drama series that aired in 2019. The show is set in the Joseon dynasty and tells the story of a king who fears for his life and hires a clown to impersonate him in public appearances and ceremonies. The clown, Ha Sun, who looks exactly like the king, takes on the role and finds himself caught up in palace politics and intrigue. As he navigates the dangerous world of the court, Ha Sun begins to realize the true cost of his role and the sacrifices he will need to make to protect those he cares about. Meanwhile, the real king struggles with his own demons and tries to regain control of his kingdom. The series explores themes of power, identity, and loyalty in a complex and captivating historical setting. In an unexpected turn of events, the queen finds herself falling for the charming clown, setting the stage for a captivating journey as they navigate the complexities of their burgeoning romance.


These 10 romantic Joseon historical K-dramas from 2012 to 2022 offer something for every fan of the genre. Whether you’re looking for comedy, drama, or heartwarming romance, there’s a drama on this list for you.