The spoiled rich child is a common character within the Kdrama universe but the sageuk’s rich kid takes being a jerk to a whole new level. This is because his latitude to be a jerk is supported by the law of being Yangban which means this brand of mule can get literally away with murder, rape and a host of other crimes that would guarantee life imprisonment in our modern world. Remember that horrible King Geoffrey in Game of Thrones? Well the Sageuk universe has generated its own brand of evil guys who could give Geoffrey a run for his money. Most of the jerks on this list believe that since daddy or mummy has a bit of power they can get away with many atrocious deeds. The great thing about these characters is that they are very rarely one dimensional and you can understand them to some extent; however that does not stop you from howling for their blood as you watch a sageuk. please feel free to share your all time worst yangban rich kid in the comments section.
Tanquishi (Empress Ki)
Actor: Kim Jeong Hyeon (he appears twice in this list,I think he has a talent for these roles)
This guy’s dad was the evil chancellor of an empire and Tanquishi and his brother carried their brattiness across their own borders into Goryeo, torturing men, women and children along the way. Viewers had a real party when he died not many sympathized when he met his messy end.
Poong (shine or go crazy)
Actor: Kang Ki Young
Poong’s father is Wang Sik Ryeom, the evil prime minister of the early state of Goryeo and Poong his son is a jerk with no abilities to distinguish himself but because daddy practically owns the nation; Poong gets to command an army and to boss Princes and other noblemen around. He also gets to force his countrymen to become slaves. It will be fun to watch this guy go down, I hope he gets sold as a slave somewhere inhospitable.
Jin mu (king’s daughter)
Actor: Jeon Tae Soo (FYI this actor is Ha Ji Won’s younger brother)
Okay so Jin mu had quite a few reasons to be psychotic but he killed several innocent people mostly just to get back at someone who had not even really done what he thought he did. In his defense he was raised by a jerk, I cannot believe I am making excuses for this character. I guess he would be labeled a sympathetic villain but it does take a lot of patience for the viewer to put up with this guy.
Eun Ki (maids)
Actor:Kim Dong Wook
Eun Ki , starts out as a hero but by episode twelve he begins to take a rapid descent to the dark side after discovering that his father is a Darth Vader type rather than imitate Luke SkyWalker and reject his dad’s philosophy this boy embraces the dark side and causes a whole lot of pointless grief to the heroine In Yub and also causes many people to be killed or falsely accused before the king. His demise was only moaned by his mother and In Yub. From my view on the couch his demise was really not painful enough.
Yoon Ok (Maids)
Actress: Lee Shi Ah
It takes a special kind of skill for a woman to make this list which I had originally intended for guys only and Yoon Ok is special. This must have been the worst female in the whole sageuk universe, Jang Hee Bin you can retire now, your successor has come. This girl had a permanent sneer, was ruled by malice and referred to all the household staff as her livestock and her dogs. Her downfall should have lasted at least two episodes to make up for the twenty odd previous episodes we had to put up with her.
Jang Hee Jae (Dong Yi)
Actor: Kim Yu Seok
This guy was not born to wealth but once his sister became the King’s concubine and then the queen, he became unbearable. He spent his waking hours organizing murders and plotting endlessly to destroy others especially our heroine Dong Yi. His end could not come soon enough for me and it was particularly well orchestrated with several satisfying torture scenes. The torture scenes provided me with much needed closure.
Shin Myeon (Princess Man)
Actor: Song Jong Ho
He starts out as a good friend to the hero but ultimately his dark side is exposed when he falls for his best friend’s girl and begins to plot and kill both friend and foe as his obsession and hatred grows. These are the sort of guys who keep you shouting at the screen for an entire sageuk as you keep wondering “where does he stop?
Actor:Kim Seung Soo
This guy not only fails to die at the end of the drama but he tortures the hero from beginning to end, then the character still lives on to torture the hero’s grandson in the sequel. Where is the justice ye gods of sageuk! Daeso just sucked as a human being from episode one, when he tried to drown Jumong in the bog as well as making numerous other attempts on his life. When his father sent him off to exile for a while in a place equivalent to Siberia I was so happy for him, but of course like a bad weed he resurfaced. Thankfully our hero Jumong and his team prevail despite his endless attacks. I blame his mother!
Mishil’s sons: Bidam, Bojong and Hajong
Actors: Kim Nam Gil,Baek Do bin and Kim Jeong Hyeon
These boys grew up in a truly dysfunctional environment. They were saddled with a brilliant but power hungry mother. Her first act as Bidam’s mother was to abandon him soon after he was born as he could not help her attain power she craved. His dad was a king but instead he was raised as a warrior’s apprentice and when he meets mummy dearest she teaches him that true love equals betraying the one you love. This leads him to start a coup against the Queen he has sworn to serve with devastating results. Bojong, son number two is an entitled jerk and Hajong, son number three is a wimpy jerk both who get to strut around and boss everyone else around because Mishil the most powerful woman in the Kingdom Silla is their mother.