Tale of the Nine Tailed: Why Lee Dong Wook starrer brings a blanket of memories from Gong Yoo led Goblin

Updated on Nov 12, 2020 05:26 AM IST  |  3.9M
Why Tale of the Nine Tailed reminds us of Goblin
Tale of the Nine Tailed: Why Lee Dong Wook starrer brings a blanket of memories from Gong Yoo led Goblin

Back in December 2019, it was announced that Lee Dong Wook would be playing a mystical character. Memories of Goblin instantly flood my mind. The actor prepared to play a male gumiho (a mythological nine-tailed fox), a first for the small screen. Eventually, first looks, posters and trailers made its way to the internet and Lee Dong Wook assured that Tale of the Nine-Tailed would be different. Even during the press conference ahead of the show's premiere, he confessed he felt the pressure of portraying Lee Yeon, his role in the show, different from the Grim Reaper. 

With more than half the series crossed passed us now, there is no doubt that Lee Dong Wook has established a character different from his Grim Reaper. Unlike the shy Reaper who couldn't even muster the courage of talking to Kim Sun, his "Lee Yeon" from Tale of the Nine-Tailed presents a confident man who portrays a perfect blend of suave, wit and charm that could sweep anyone off their feet. However, Tale of the Nine-Tailed doesn't allow him to completely detach from the 2016 drama. 

Let's start with the basics! Goblin revolved around an immortal man living under the shadow of his past from a different era. His mortality depended on a bride, who would free him from this never-ending life. Tale of the Nine-Tailed has Lee Dong Wook's Lee Yeon on a similar path. Waiting for the love of his life who died decades ago, Lee Yeon lives on for centuries. Although Gong Yoo's Goblin was a curse on him, Lee Dong Wook's Lee Yeon has a mountain spirit. 

While Goblin and Lee Yeon might be two different mythical creatures, Lee Dong Wook has a similar past set in both the show. Both watch the actor kill his on-screen partner. One would argue that the arrow was shot by a soldier in Goblin. However, let's not forget who's order it was! In Tale of the Nine-Tailed Ep 10, we finally learn the reason behind Lee Yeon killing the love of his life. Nevertheless, it does not take away the fact that both shows forced his character to kill his on-screen love interest. 

If the outline wasn't enough to take a walk down the memory lane, there are a number of times that the series eventually inclines towards Goblin. The most evident inclination appeared in the trailer, eventually appearing in the first episode. The red umbrella opened as the rain poured down on the streets of South Korea when Lee Dong Wook's Lee Yeon entered the frame. Covering his face with the umbrella before his big reveal was enough to remind us of Gong Yoo's Goblin walking Kim Go Eun's Ji Eun Tak. As the series proceeded, a clever play of words and writing left Lee Yeon making a reference to Grim Reaper. That was enough to cause a frenzy among Goblin fans. 

Speaking of more closer events, in Tale of the Nine-Tailed Ep 9, after Lee Yeon saves Lee Rang, he finds himself in his own fear-induced hell. Wandering through the empty land with no ends, in the quest of the Imoogi, the Tale of the Nine-Tailed subconsciously reignited memories of the Goblin wandering through time for he refused to step into the after-life. I believe that the cinematography and the shot is the cause of it. I know that it is a tad far fetched but hey, I wasn't the only one who drew the connection! 

I adore Goblin and Grim Reaper's bromance from the series. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best we've seen in Korean dramas. So when I watch Lee Yeon and his brother Lee Rang's hot and cold banter in Tale of the Nine-Tailed, although there aren't similarities, the emphasis on their relationship despite the love story playing in the heart of the series just seems like a good nod to Lee Dong Wook's previous onscreen bromance. 

Having said all this, Tale of the Nine-Tailed doesn't live in the shadows of Goblin. The rather serious and dark approach, in terms of narration and cinematography, places the tvN drama on a stage of its own. The one element that stands out with Tale of the Nine-Tailed is its experimentation of the folklore. This show urges me to get on the internet and read up about the Korean culture, episode after episode, and that is something marvellous!

What do you think of the show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

ALSO READ: Tale of the Nine Tailed stars Kim Bum, Jo Bo Ah & others celebrate Lee Dong Wook's birthday with a hearty meal


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