SBS’s Friday-Saturday drama The King: Eternal Monarch ended on June 12. In the final episode, Yi Gon (Lee Min Ho), who returned to the Night of Treason, joined forces with Jo Young (Woo Do Hwan) to save himself in the past, and succeed in killing Yi Rim (Lee Jung Jin) with the “Unbreakable” sword, restoring the balance of the parallel universe. Yi Gon and Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) reunited in tears and promise eternal love. Both the worldview of parallel universe and romance came to a “fully closed” happy ending.
According to Nielsen Korean, the final episode recorded 5.8 percent and 8.1 percent viewership. The King: Eternal Monarch, which started off well with 11.4 percent viewership in the first episode and 11.6 percent viewership in the second, failed to recover the double-digit viewership and averaged around 6 to 7 percent range.
Even from the production stage, The King: Eternal Monarch drew much attention as a new work of writer Kim Eun Sook. She is a leading star writer who made a hit with every work for nearly 20 years. Her best works are South of the Sun, Lovers in Paris, On Air, Secret Garden, The Heirs, Descendants of the Sun, Goblin, and Mr. Sunshine.
The King: Eternal Monarch, however, became a painful work that shook Kim Eun Sook’s reputation. The story revolved around a unique setting of the parallel universe, but it was unfamiliar for viewers. The characters moved before the viewers could dive into the setting.
But among all the negative reviews it received, the most criticized one is the excessive product placements.
Although The King: Eternal Monarch started with explosive reactions and expectations, it had to end with regret in terms of viewership and evaluations.