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Why "Goblin" Kdrama Is Too Addictive

Also known as" Guardian: The Lonely &  Great God" or "Goblin,"  this television series was aired on December 2, 2016 on cable network tvN and ended on January 21, 2017.

Also known as" Guardian: The Lonely & Great God" or "Goblin," this television series was aired on December 2, 2016 on cable network tvN and ended on January 21, 2017.

Goblin: The Lonely & Great God

Goblin was a big hit, consistently topping the viewership ratings in cable television with a final episode rating of 18.68% nationwide based from Nilsen. The television series gathered so many awards in 2017. It was recognized by Korean Cable TV Awards for Best Drama, Best OST, VOD Broadcasting and a Rising Star Award was given to Yook Sung-jae. Lead actor Gong Yoo was also awarded as Best Actor during the 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards, along with writer Kim Eun-sook who bagged the Grand Prize.

The Story Is Immensely Addictive

In my entire existence as a TV and movie buff, I have never watched any television series twice. I can watch movies over and over if I get overly fascinated by it but a TV series with 16 episodes? Come on! That is crazy! And I totally agree!

I watched the Korean drama, Goblin: The Lonely & Great God for over 5 times and still counting. There is not one episode that isn't worth watching again and again because the entire television series is just immensely addictive with the most interesting characters and story line ever written in the history of Korean drama.


Back in the Goryeo time, a warrior general named Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is envied by the King for being referred to as the divine warrior. Kim Shin is invincible in the battlefield on the countless of wars that he had lead and won. The King sends him to the most dangerous war that would finish his life but Kim Shin miraculously returns, making the people of Goryeo worship him even more. Kim Shin is accused with high treason and ends up being stabbed through his heart with his own sword. The people who trust and love him pray solemnly for his soul so the divinity hears their cries. Thus, Kim Shin resurrects from his death and becomes an immortal goblin. His powers serve as his gift but his immortality serves as his punishment for the souls of the thousands of humans he killed with his sword. He will not forget a single passing of any life and will live as a lonely and great God until he finds his bride. His bride shall remove his sword so that he can return to ashes. Kim Shin lives for over 930 years and saves a woman who's a victim of hit and run. He accidentally imprints on the baby whom he later on meets when she turns 19-years old. Her name is Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go-eun), a miserable teenager who can see ghosts, and claims to be the goblin's bride. Kim Shin is skeptical at first but Ji Eun Tak eventually proves that she is indeed, the goblin's bride by being able to see the sword and touch it, not knowing that removing the sword will end Kim Shin's life. Kim Shin's desperation to end his life from his misery changes when he realizes that he has fallen in love with Ji Eun Tak. She becomes his first love. With the prophecy that his bride shall be the only one to remove his sword so that he can finally be at peace, Kim Shin decides to extend the fulfillment of that prophecy. He wants to live for 80 years more to be with 19-year-old Ji Eun Tak. It is the average years of existence for women. This decision is interrupted by the sudden presence of the divinity as Kim Shin finds out that Ji Eun Tak's only purpose in life is to remove his sword. Hence, if she doesn't fulfill her duty, she will constantly be in a danger until she completely dies. A grim reaper (Lee Dong-wook) with no name and memories of his past life, helps Kim Shin by disclosing the cause and date of Ji Eun Tak's death. Kim Shin and the grim reaper saves her a number of times but later on uncovers that the sword inflicted through his heart, has a bigger purpose.

The Humor & Dialogues Are Hilarious

While the script is well-written and formatted to the taste of the audience of all ages, the most hilarious scenes came from the actors' ad libs that their lines came out naturally funny without any efforts. I am very much impressed with the humor on this television series because it cracks me up all the time, no matter how many times I've already watched it. I love the sudden turn around of the drama scenes where I'd get teary-eyed from the emotions the actors have poured heavily with all their heart but all of a sudden, they would put humor in them. I would end up laughing like a hyena. Most of the time, they get their humor from the fact that Kim Shin's immortality will soon come to an end and some hilarious moments are derived from the fact that both Kim Shin and the grim reaper have lived hundreds of years so their knowledge, way of speaking and actions seem awkward in the 20th century.


This is Gong Yoo's big comeback after 5 years.

I have literally watched all of Gong Yoo's television series like Biscuit Teacher, One Fine Day, Coffee Prince and Big so I am very much aware of how great he is as an actor in whatever genre he's in whether it is action, comedy, romance or a mix of all. What separates Goblin from the rest is the fact that it is a fantasy television series. In several interviews, Gong Yoo had explained that he didn't accept any project for the last 5 years because he felt that with the consistent and long hours and days of taping, he might not be at his best when he gets too stressed out but when he read the script, he instantly accepted the offer because of its unique story line.

Kim Go-eun is the most amazing actress.

Kim Go-eun portrayed the role of Ji Eun Tak, the goblin's bride with an amazing impact. She brought the audience to tears, looked too cute with how she speaks and acts as a 19-year old teenager and has that magnetic force that could lure anyone to watch her as a 29-year old woman. Whether she had to be cute, serious, comedic or dramatic, she completely pulled that off.


The goblin and the grim reaper bromance cracks me up.

Kim Shin and the amnesiac grim reaper both live in the same house to either annoy or support each other. Their love and hate relationship just brings so much fascination and their sarcasm cracks me up. What else could be more interesting than the fact that they are completely opposite? Kim Shin suffers from the memories of his past while the grim reaper feels burdened with having no name and memories of his past life. Kim Shin's blue flame can boil an egg in his hands and the grim reaper's cold temperature makes good cold beer when he touches it. A drinking session with boiled egg and a brotherly conversation is just way too cool to forget.


Ji Eun Tak & Kim Shin brings so much laughter and excitement.

Ji Eun Tak & Kim Shin always have bickering moments that are amusing. Ji Eun Tak is the cinderella type whose aunt, niece and nephews are making her life difficult. She's pitiful --- a teenage girl with no friends because the other students find her weird for her ability to see ghosts, and her teacher is no help at all. Ji Eun Tak is alone in her miserable journey in life until she meets Kim Shin, a handsome and wealthy goblin that she has been waiting for all her life. Ji Eun Tak sees Kim Shin as her savior from her unfavorable life so she uses that opportunity to make sure he sees her as his bride. She makes wishes and constantly bothers Kim Shin, often asks for $5000 and tells him she loves him in the most childish way. Kim Shin finds Ji Eun Tak very peculiar, straight forward and a big pain the as$ which develops into love. Ji Eun Tak feels the same though both are in denial for awhile and are always trying to make their conversations casual to hide their feeling for each other. However, their effort is dominated by their own feelings so they are always caught up in a situation where they unconsciously prove how much they care for each other.


Grim Reaper & Sunny are the oddest couple.

Sunny (Yoo In-na) is Ji Eun Tak's boss who owns a chicken restaurant. She and the grim reaper cross paths when both find themselves interested in a green ring (owned by the Queen of Goryeo over 900 years ago). The ring plays a big role in a past life that they are both unaware of. Sunny gets easily attracted to the grim reaper for his handsome looks while the grim reaper tries to solve the mystery as to why he cried when he saw Sunny for the first time. Sunny grows more interested in the grim reaper without knowing that he is a grim reaper. Their relationship is unprogressive because of the circumstances but their awkward dates and conversations add up to how interesting the story is.

The supernatural element makes it more exciting.

* Kim Shin can fly, freeze time, teleport, go through a portal to another place or country, move things with his mind, create heat or fire, can see anyone's future (except Ji Eun Tak's), and change the weather depending on his mood (it rains when he's sad and flowers blossom when he's happy). He is divine and immortal so he's like a God that is visible on earth.

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* Ji Eun Tak can see ghosts, helps them cross over and is the only person who can summon Kim Shin by blowing a candle or any fire. She is the goblin's bride and the only one who can remove his sword.

* The grim reaper can hypnotize or control people with his eyes (except Ji Eun Tak), freeze time, teleport, make icy temperature and he is invisible for as long as he wears his black hat. His job is to get the souls of the dead people, give them wisdom tea to erase their memories and let them crossover. He can also see a person's past from his touch.

* The Divinity and the Almighty comes in many forms --- human, butterflies, a boy, a beautiful woman in a red wardrobe or Deok-hwa (Jung Ji-hoon).


Shey Saints (author) from Philippines on August 25, 2020:

Thank you for the comment, Shawindi. I watched it five times!

Shawindi Silva from Sri lanka on August 25, 2020:

I watched this drama twice. And It's one of my top 3! I really like this and that feeling which came to me when I watch the drama cannot be explained. I know that's kind of a foolish thing, but this drama really caught me!

Shey Saints (author) from Philippines on January 02, 2020:

It's definitely not late, Melbabu. You can still catch up on a lot of Gong Yoo's series, movies, and even songs. Thank you for taking time in reading this.

Melbabu on January 01, 2020:

I guess I am a late avid rabid fan of Gong Yoo, while others have been swooning over him since 2007 and goblin! 2017. Nways 2020 is not that late

Shey Saints (author) from Philippines on May 24, 2017:

thanks for the comment! unfortunately, there's no plan of making a second season but I made an article about it on this page:

tattuwurn on May 24, 2017:

"I have never watched any television series twice."

I totally agree! Hahaha. Same situation too.

I'm never a fan of Korean dramas but I used to have a top favorite, which is "Secret Garden" (written by Kim Eun-sook also). But I've never been affected by any K-drama's that I am now by "Goblin." The story down to the characters to the cinematography (I feel like I'm watching a movie than a TV drama) to the OST's (which are addictive, all of them!!!) -- it is almost perfect!

I wanted to watch "Goblin" because of Gong Yoo... my "ahjussi" hehehe. But as the series unfolded, I became so drawn to it. Now I can't get over it.

I take note of the female lead.. Kim Go Eun is excellent! I was unwittingly carried away by her acting especially in sad and poignant moments (when Kim Shin dies and then when she finally remembers him). In her kissing scenes with Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun is not passively standing like a pole like the other South Korean female leads who would rather want the leading men take the charge. She is pro-active in those scenes. :)

I still can't get over this drama -- the ending left me hanging (I think it's an indication that there's a sequel or something?)

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