7 Amazing K-Dramas & The Stories, Folktales, & Fairytales That Inspired Them

One thing I love, love, love doing while watching dramas is drawing the parallels between the present one and something I’ve watched in the past. 

This effort is made all the more interesting when the primary source is something completely unrelated to Korean dramas. 

In this post I rounded up some of my personal best K-dramas based on fairy tales, folktales, and stories that I know you’ll appreciate. 

1. Goong – Cinderella

Princess hours

Chae Gyeong, a high schooler, must marry Crown Prince Lee Shin to help her family. 

And when she does, she tries to survive royal life, deal with her disagreeable husband, and she then finds solace in the prince’s cousin, Yul.

This is a rather unique twist on the Tale of Cinderella who goes from rags to riches and even finds love and you’ll enjoy drawing the similarities. 

Related: 10 Amazing Korean Dramas With The Most Satisfying Endings

2. Ja Myung Go – Price Hodong & The Princess of Nakrang

Ja myung go

Princess Ja Myung and Princess Nak Rang, born to the same father, are destined to save or destroy their nation. 

But, Princess Ja Myung manages to escape death and she ends up growing up among commoners.

The original story of Princess Nakrang places her as someone who topples the world for her loved one and you’ll definitely enjoy seeing how Ja Myung Go does this. 

3. Yong Pal – Sleeping Princess

Yong pal

Surgeon Kim Tae Hyeon, aka Yong Pal, helps those in need secretly, and so he rescues Han Yeo Jin, a chaebol heiress, from a coma, but this leads to complications. 

Just like Sleeping Beauty, Han Yeo Jin had been in a coma for years, but only Yong Pal could save her (so this makes him Prince Charming, right?)

You May Also Like: 11 Lovely Childhood Friends Turned Lovers Korean Dramas To Watch

4. Arang And The Magistrate – Tale of Arang

Arang and the Magistrate

Eun Oh, a government official who can see ghosts, meets Arang, a virgin ghost who wants to get vengeance for her murder and find more information.

Somehow, Eun Oh gets roped into the entire affair and this historical drama essentially gives context to the beginnings of Arang and how she ended up dead. 

5. The Legend Of The Blue Sea – Little Mermaid

Legend of the Blue sea

Shim Chung, a mermaid, follows her love to modern Seoul, where she meets scam artist Joon Jae.

The lovely thing about this fantasy drama and the little mermaid story is that the characters in the book talk about it so often and you’ll see the parallels between their stories.  

6. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo – Beauty and the Beast

Scarlet Heart moon Lovers kdrama to watch

Go Ha Jin accidentally travels back to the Goryeo Dynasty, and into the body of Hae Soo.

Soon enough, she becomes entangled in the different palace intrigues and a love decagon with the various princes.

Just like Beauty in the Beauty & The Beast story, Ha Jin falls for a man with both physical and emotional scars, but the difference between the two beasts is that only one has a happy ending. 

Related Post: 11 Best K-Dramas With Lovable Underdogs You’ll Definitely Cheer On

7. Healer – Superman

Healer Kdrama 1

Night courier Healer helps clients get anything except murder. His job then leads him to tabloid writer Chae Young Shin and reporter Kim Moon Ho and he discovers they have a shared past. 

These two stories might not seem similar on the face of it, but Healer stays by Chae Young Shin’s side as her assistant and he intentionally makes himself look less smart so he doesn’t attract attention. 

And if you’re wondering, yes: He wears glasses just like Clark Kent as his only disguise, but he’s skilled at subterfuge, fighting, and escaping locked elevators like Superman. 

It can’t be easy to write a 16-episode drama from line 1, so I’m very happy that these dramas breathe life into those old stories. 

Check out the related posts for even more amazing Kdrama recs that’ll keep you glued to your screen and you’ll find something for sure. 

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