This drama was created in the spirit of some of my favorite fantasy/sageuk dramas like “Faith,” “Chuno,” and “Rooftop Prince” with a dash of “Thousand Years of Love” (not my favorite but could have been brilliant), and “Queen In-hyun’s Man.” I added concepts from some of my favorite Western Time Travel movies and shows and borrowed ideas I have used in the past for my own Fan-Fiction stories.
I now present the first *Official* Dream Drama Post on this blog: Aurora
~ Lady G.
Eun Mi is a young, hardworking museum employee who is particularly passionate about the Silla era. One day, to her shock and surprise, she mysteriously time travels back to the Silla era, landing right into the life of Hyun Ki, a rough-and-tough street fighter and mercenary. Despite their vast differences in personality, upbringing and era, the two eventually fall deeply in love.
How will they overcome the colossal obstacles – literally spanning the time-space divide – that stand in the way of their love? An epic love story of truly cosmic proportions.
- Kim Woo Bin as Hyun Ki
- IU (Lee Ji-Eun) as Han Eun Mi
- Song Joong Ki as Kang Woo
- Park Bo Young as Bo Ra
- Yoo Seung Ho as Yang Gil
- Kim Yoo Jung as Jin Sun Hee
~Meet Eun Mi~
Han Eun Mi (IU), 23, is a newly-minted employee at a fancy and very popular museum in Seoul. She is working hard for the grand opening of the Ancient Silla exhibition. Eun Mi is loyal and very dedicated to her job, so much so that she sometimes gets used without credit. She’s intelligent, though her head can be in the clouds when she’s focused on her work. Everything she does is for the love and preservation of Korea’s history.
Eun Mi’s father, Han Sung Po (Baek Yun Shik), was a history Professor. Her mother, fed up with competing with dusty old artifacts, left the family when Eun Mi was around eight years old, and Sung Po raised Eun Mi alone. Twelve years later, on a drive home from the grand opening of the museum, they get into a tragic car accident from the icy roads. Sung Po is killed, but Eun Mi is rescued by a mysterious stranger before the car explodes. Eun Mi only remembers her rescuer’s deep, soothing voice and “long, calloused fingers as gentle as a feather” stroking her face to keep her calm.
Two days later, in and out of consciousness, Eun Mi wakes up in the VIP wing of a prestigious hospital. The nurse tells her the bills are all paid and there is a car to take her home when she’s well enough, courtesy of the museum. The nurse gives no contact name or info, nor does the driver of the car.
Not long after, Eun Mi’s mother returns. She is looking for insurance money and claims her rights to the house, etc. Things go downhill fast. After a big fight, Eun Mi moves to a tiny shack-like apartment, leaving her mom to her booze and boyfriends.
Eun Mi uses up her savings to survive and takes any odd job she can find. She still has two years of college left. She falls into despair, thinking she has to give up the dreams she shared with her father, and she still mourns for him. She feels completely abandoned by everyone.
Eun Mi gets very drunk and in a desperate move, almost takes her life by attempting to jump in the Han River. But once again, the mysterious stranger rescues her and brings her home. She still never sees him.
The following day she receives another miracle in the form of a “daddy long legs.” He provides her with a steady flow of funds, a beautiful apartment, and whatever she needs to become a success, including sweet notes of encouragement left in her mailbox every few days. The only condition is that she continues to study the Silla and Goryeo Empires and not waver off. That’s no hardship for her, because she’s very interested in that time period.
Eun Mi tries hard to find her benefactor but it’s impossible. She finally accepts it all with a gracious heart and goes on to become one of the youngest experts in her field.
Working late one night, Eun Mi finds a brass artifact shaped like a compass with a globe-shaped piece of jade in the center. Her co-workers try to coax her out to see the Aurora Borealis, but she insists she has to finish the display. She will join them later.
She cannot seem to date the device and wonders where it came from. It looks too new.
Curious, she triggers a mechanism on it by twisting a dial and the jade begins to glow. Green blinding light envelopes the room; it seems to seep through the museum windows from the sky outside. Before she can think she is transported to the past in the blink of an eye. Eun Mi lands into muddy quicksand, near to suffocating and drowning, and is rescued by a man with the voice and touch of the mysterious stranger…
~Meet Hyun Ki~
Hyun Ki, (Kim Woo Bin), 26, was at first reared on the Palace grounds, just before the real start of the Goryeo empire. Tensions and fears of an overthrow are high. Everyone suspects everyone and leadership is floundering. Hyun Ki’s father, Jung Soon (So Ji Sub), had always been a fiercely proud and formidable warrior for the King (Kim Gab Soo).
Jung Soon wavers in loyalty when he falls madly in love with the King’s most favored concubine, Hyun Ok (Sung Yu Ri). Eventually she gives birth to Hyun Ki.
At first, Hyun Ki is reared like royalty, but suspicion surrounds his parentage and the King begins to doubt and show him disfavor. As the baby grows, the King realizes that he and the boy are nothing alike, and notices Hyun Ki developing a strong bond with Jung Soon (because he is often ignored and cast aside by his siblings, the Queen, and other concubines).
One day the King sees Jung Soon, Hyun Ok, and Hyun Ki walking and laughing together in the gardens and it clicks that they are a real family.
Jung Soon sees the writing on the wall for the Silla Empire and he gets wind of plans about a raid that will surely destroy everyone in the palace without mercy. He wants to protect his family more than anything so he plots to sneak them safely out beforehand.
The King, meanwhile, wants to have the family executed, but it’s too late. A battle rages, and in one night the palace is desolated and ready for take-over. Jung Soon fights valiantly, but many of his own soldiers betray him by siding with the enemy. The King and all in his household are killed or taken to slavery.
Jung Soon makes it out alive, and finds his way back to his family.
Their blissful reunion is shattered two years later when corrupted General Seo In Tak (Park Sang Min) from the rival army recognizes Jung Soon as his mortal enemy.
In Tak kills Hyun Ok before a wounded Jung Soon can stop him. Jung Soon begs him to spare his son.
Eight-year-old Hyun Ki watches his family cut down before his eyes. He screams and tries to fight In Tak. Just as another soldier’s sword is about to come down on him, General In Tak stops the soldier. He knows how skilled and powerful Jung Soon was and discerns a fiery will in the son that he feels he can harness for his own army. The soldiers kidnap Hyun Ki and train him in the art of combat and war.
The army underestimated Hyun Ki. As he grows into adulthood, he never forgets his parents and how much they tried to teach and protect him in their short time together. He vaguely remembers the secret passing glances and touches of love his parents shared when not in view of prying eyes at the palace. Hyun Ki decides he wants no part of the disjointed factions or armies. Especially the one who killed his family. He wants to live free.
One night he makes his escape. He has a chance to kill General Seo In Tak, but stops himself, because the man had granted his father’s last wish and let him live. This will come back to haunt Hyun Ki years later.
Warrior Hyun Ki goes out on his own. He trains on the mean streets and he joins a band of mercenaries led by the cunning Chul Soo. (Kim Yeong Chul) He learns all kinds of survival skills. Despite his unique looks, he knows how to weave in and out undetected; he’s a master of disguise, and can charm the silks off anyone if he has to.
Because of his army training, many of the mercenaries defer to Hyun Ki as their leader. This makes Chul Soo very angry and he eventually wants to kill Hyun Ki. However, he meets with General In Tak and learns of his fight to establish a new Silla. Chul Soo secretly becomes preoccupied with that and orders his mercenaries to step up their attacks and threats on villages and aristocrats. They must donate funds to support In Tak’s army or else suffer fatal consequences.
Unseen Potential – Sam Cardon
~The Year 883~
Hyun Ki is depressed. Without a family or roots, he does whatever jobs come his way with little regard to his nagging conscience. He’s never fallen in love and basically lives a rebellious, immoral life. He does have a soft spot for children, and he refuses to kill women, because the image of his dying mother always comes back to him.
Hyun Ki is given a big assignment to make a hit on a wealthy tradesman. The man puts up a hard fight, almost killing Hyun Ki. But when cornered, he pleads for his son’s life.
Hyun Ki looks into the little son’s eyes and remembers his father doing the same for him. He can’t follow through. Hyun Ki takes off and is determined to end his fruitless life. Their entire empire is crumbling with the upheavals surrounding the three Kingdoms and there is much war and bloodshed.
As he wanders through the forests, he sees a blinding and gorgeous green light enveloping the night sky, then hears a splash and a woman’s cries for help…
Hyun Ki needs a breath of fresh air like Eun Mi in his life. She matches him wit for wit, and is very forward thinking like he is. She calls him out when he’s wrong and questions his methods and motives. She brings out the best in him.
Eun Mi is spunky, but very feminine, and gentle, while he can be needlessly harsh. She loves to sing – more to herself – but he loves her throaty, soothing voice and makes her sing for him. After some time he affectionately calls her ‘Jag-eun Il’ or “Little One” because he towers over her and she is light as a feather.
Eun Mi makes mistakes, argues over the injustices she sees, and gets herself in heaps of trouble that Hyun Ki has to keep saving her from. As much as she knows history, and all about a ‘woman’s place’ in ancient society, it’s hard to actually live it and be treated in such a manner.
He loves that she’s so strong-willed and gutsy in terms of being his equal. He likes all the challenges, and his heart had never been stirred by a woman like that before. Eun Mi has a vulnerability that makes him proud to be her big hero and protector on their adventures together.
~Main Supporting Characters~
~Meet Kang Woo~
In an early episode when Eun Mi is in the future, the TV is on as background noise. The news is reporting that the fantastic aberration of nature – the Aurora Borealis – will make another rare appearance over Korea. They talk about a young scientist, Doctor Kang Woo (Song Joong Ki), who disappeared 2 years earlier during the first Aurora Borealis. The news airs his last interview. He looks handsome and quirky. He firmly believes in his time travel theories and he connects them to the Aurora Borealis energies floating around. His discussion is very convincing, but he’s still viewed as a quack. After that time, he was never seen again.
While in Silla, Eun Mi is not sure how to return home. Eun Mi needs to ascertain when the next Aurora Borealis might appear – If that is the reason why she time-traveled. She begins a hunt for a scientist, or anyone who may help her understand the forces that brought her to Silla; anyone that won’t look at her like she has lobsters coming out of her ears. It seems a near impossible feat.
This obsession she has puts more of a rift between her and Hyun Ki. He wants to help her, but her tales are too outlandish. He tells her to give up her old life and just live in Silla… hinting at the possibility of settling down with him.
But then she actually finds Kang Woo.
In a mind-blowing twist, she discovers Kang Woo has blueprint designs for the exact time travel object she has, and has already built two versions. Kang Woo in both the present and past had always been shunned and made fun of for his ideas about electromagnetism and forces beyond human control.
It turns out Kang Woo is from her future, and he was the one who set everything in motion.
While trapped in Silla for two years, Kang Woo had tried to build devices to harness any electromagnetic power that would activate the time machines he had built. He is desperate to get home. But despite all his brain-wracking he realizes the power lies within the Aurora Borealis and they are at the mercy of its appearance.
In true Kdrama fashion, a love-square develops.
Kang Woo falls for Eun Mi, and doesn’t realize that his pretty and meek assistant/maid Bo Ra (Park Bo Young) is madly in love with him. A year prior, he had helped her escape slavery and impending prostitution by hiding her away.
Hyun Ki is jealous because Kang Woo and Eun Mi bond immediately. And Hyun Ki is forced to admit Kang Woo is a handsome man. Eun Mi is oblivious and enjoys his company. The two are from the same era of time and have so much to share with each other. They are always talking and laughing over their modern-day interests and memories.
Whenever she is with Hyun Ki there is always frustration because they don’t understand each other as deeply as they’d like. Their lifestyles and cultures are far too different.
Over time, Eun Mi’s time travel device, which she guards with her life, begins to glow again. The Aurora Borealis is set to re-appear but will only stay for 3 nights. Her time in Silla is nearly over. Kang Woo is determined to go with her. But in a sad moment, he realizes that Bo Ra cannot travel with him… which also means that Hyun Ki cannot travel with Eun Mi.
This truth devastates Hyun Ki and he needs to be alone to vent his fury and cry.
Throughout the drama Kang Woo forms an uneasy ‘bromance’ with Hyun Ki and helps his mercenaries and the peasant warriors by building crude but useful war instruments; smoke bombs, chemical weapons, arrow shooters and so forth.
After saving Bo Ra’s life, Kang Woo fully realizes his true love feelings for her. Although he was brilliant in the battle, he was never at ease. He is a peace loving person. He chooses to stay with Bo Ra and help the new Korea advance and develop through science and useful technology, not warfare. Bo Ra was always good at making natural remedies so she decides to study medicine so they can continue to help the peasants. They make their own happily ever after.
In the future, when Eun Mi is back to work at the museum, she is startled to meet a cheerful young man who almost looks exactly like Kang Woo. (Soong Joong Ki with golden eye contacts like he had in “A Werewolf Boy”)
He introduces himself as Kang Sung Jo, a direct descendent of Kang Woo’s line, and a scientist and researcher in the field of chemistry. He’s excited to see an ancient medical bag, along with samples of tools and inventions that his ancestor made. In the Silla era, Kang Woo had hidden these artifacts for Eun Mi to find in the future. He put a letter inside, thanking her for her friendship and reminding him of his life in the modern era Korea. Eun Mi also keeps a sweet picture of him and Bo Ra.
~Meet Yang Gil~
In keeping with real Korean history (but fictionalized a heckuva lot!) Hyun Ki has a younger best friend among the Mercenaries named Yang Gil (Yoo Seung Ho). In real history, Yang Gil’s birth, family line, and death is unknown. (Gee, someone should create a cool K-drama for this guy!)
Hyun Ki loves his bestie dearly even if he doesn’t show it often and gets gruff with him from time to time. He does that to keep Yang Gil strong. They protect and support each other, and Hyun Ki teaches him all his warrior tricks. He sees the younger man’s potential for greatness.
Hyun Ki had found 14-year-old Yang Gil wandering around scavenging for food in a poor village. My drama version of Yang Gil is an ex-aristocrat who has lost his parents. He was once spoiled and rude, but had a big change of heart after living amongst the peasants and being shown kindness.
His new life spurs him in later years to fight for the peasants because of the Queen’s tax imposition. Yang Gil’s father had been on the mercenary hit list and killed for certain misdeeds against another aristocrat. But the charges had later proved false. Hyun Ki discovers this fact not long after he takes the teen under his wing. Fearful of losing the closest person he has to a family, Hyun Ki never tells him the truth. But one day Chul Soo reveals it in a drunken tirade against Hyun Ki.
Yang Gil is shocked and runs away, but Hyun Ki catches up to him. He allows Yang Gil to beat on him and let his anger out. Yang Gil even draws his swords, but Hyun Ki refuses to draw his.
After a long wrestling match, Yang Gil gives up and cries to his hyung. Hyun Ki apologizes over and over and tells him that he was not part of the crew that killed his father. He even gets on his knees in tears. Yang Gil believes him and their relationship is restored.
Eun Mi watches the exchange and her heart swells for Hyun Ki when she realizes he is not the empty shell he considers himself to be. His capacity for love and yearning for family pours out of him in that scene and she cries for him, hoping that somehow, she too, can fill his void.
~Yang Gil’s True Love~
Yang Gil becomes smitten with Jin Sun Hee (Kim Yoo Jung). She is an aristocrat while he’s a low-class mercenary, so their love seems doomed from the start.
2 years prior to the current story, they’d met in a busy market. A vagrant had tried to rob her and had knocked her down, but Yang Gil had caught the fiend and returned her valuables.
They meet again in the same market in the present. Yang Gil is 20 and she is 17. They’d never forgotten their first encounter and now, their love blossoms. He tells her the truth about his rich heritage, but she says she doesn’t care. She loves him, not his title. Sun Hee is very forward thinking and feels for the plight of the peasants and slaves. She does what she can to help them and Yang Gil loves and admires her even more for that.
At one point Sun Hee falls ill; she had spent the night helping a family take care of a sick child and she’d gone out in the rain. Knowing she had done this, Yang Gil finds her disorientated and feverish on the path back to her home. He rides her straightaway to Kang Woo. Sun Hee lives very sheltered, and Eun Mi remarks that she’s not used to the rugged outdoor life and being around germs. Everyone is sure she will die. Yang Gil is in agony.
Eun Mi and Kang Woo step in to save her using the medicine in her purse and remedies that are not yet known in that era. Sun Hee’s recovery is deemed a miracle and other sick people in the peasant village start flocking to Kang Woo. Although it cuts into his time-travel work, he finds that he genuinely enjoys helping them thrive and get well. He had once considered becoming a medical doctor, but he’d enjoyed physics and the mysteries of the universe too much.
~The Plot Thickens!~
One of the driving forces of this drama is that the child Hyun Ki spares from a mercenary hit, becomes a future General and King of Korea (aka Goryeo/Koryeo) – his name is Wang Kon.
Wang Kon is only 6 years-old in this drama. Wang Kon in history later becomes a General and eventually takes the throne in 935 when the last King of Silla hands it to him. He is instrumental in uniting the Three Kingdoms.
In this fictional drama story, thanks to Eun Mi’s knowledge of history, Hyun Ki and his crew eventually discover that the boy is a hidden prince, disguised as a wealthy commoner since he was a baby.
This was a secret that even Eun Mi didn’t know about. The King is Wang Kon’s father; The King was protecting Wang Kon from the devious In Tak and he tricked In Tak into believing the baby died. The man raising him (Lee Jong Hyuk) is a bodyguard and Second-in-Command to the current King. Although it’d started off just an assignment, he’d fallen in love with the boy. He felt like a real father.
The bodyguard was given the power to control trade on the Yeseong River and the new name, Wang Yung. He was also allowed to take the faithful Palace chamber maid he loved, Soon Young (Chae Rim), as his wife. Soon Young was also very attached to Wang Kon, having nursed him since birth.
This arrangement worked out well and they all lived along the river happily until the Mercenaries came. Hyun Ki and his crew eventually help the family escape to China and they remain until things die down.
Paper Lanterns – Michael Hoppe
~Drama Bits and Pieces~
Scriptwriter’s Note: I don’t actually have fully-written, ready-to-air scripts for my Dream Dramas. If only! I conjure up bits and pieces of the plot throughout my day as I go into daydream mode (which happens far too often!). So this is not exactly a play-by-play or sequenced post. But hey, dramas are filmed out of sequence anyway, right? ~Lady G.
1. Eun Mi wonders why Hyun Ki’s name never came up in her studies of the Silla era. In a bonding scene, Hyun Ki admits that he had been prepared to die when she literally fell into his life and it changed him forever. It dawns on her that major points in history are playing out because she intervenes. She’s helping to keep Korea’s history on its proper course. She eventually realizes that the mercenary leader, Han Chul Soo, is her direct ancestor. She remembers that her father spoke of their family history often. Chul Soo is in the history books as a vicious mercenary who’d had a change of heart and fought for a better Korea alongside Yang Gil.
2. At first Hyun Ki is frustrated with this bewitched woman who’d fallen from the sky. She clings to him like glue because she is afraid of her strange surroundings. She follows him everywhere, even into ‘bars’ filled with rowdy men who are stunned by her presence. She feels threatened, but Hyun Ki seems not to care. When one man makes lewd advances on her she slaps him hard in the face. He responds to her in kind and tries to drag her out. And in a favorite kdrama cliche, Hyun Ki’s hand flies out of nowhere and clamps on the baddie’s wrist. There’s jealous fire in his eyes when he tells him to let go of her and a sword fight breaks out. Eun Mi intervenes and stops Hyun Ki from killing the man, even though she’s secretly touched that he’d defended her honor so fiercely.
3. After a bitter disagreement, Hyun Ki forces Eun Mi away. He calls her crazy when she tries many times to explain about the future and he twirls a flower in her hair to tease her. He wants nothing to do with her because by that point all she’d done was cause trouble and bring unwanted attention to him and the mercenaries. They have a big argument and Hyun Ki warns her to stop interfering and telling him and his men what to do and how to go about business. She insists she’s only trying to help and to keep them alive. He cuts her to the core when he almost slaps her, and screams in her face that she is more trouble than she’s worth.
Deep down, Hyun Ki enjoys her presence and desires to protect her. His heart continues to hurt that entire day because of what he’d done. He admires her sweet smile and infectious, loud laughter that turns heads. He’s amazed that she can find joy in almost anything.
He enjoys the unusual love songs she sings prettily to herself when she thinks no one is listening. But his pride and lifestyle get in the way. For the first time he feels a shame he can’t shake off, but rather than want to kill himself, he wants to become a better man… for her.
4. After the argument, Eun Mi wanders around for hours in tears. She has begun to fall for this irritating but beguiling rogue of a man. She curses herself for behaving like a typical ‘Korean drama’ woman, pining away after a jerk who sometimes emotionally abuses her. But then she reflects on how he had rescued her from the quicksand, their near-kiss, and when he’d stood up to the giant man harassing her. Along with all the intense and seductive gazes he shoots her way that flush her from head to toe. (Flashback heavy sequence!)
5. At night, Hyun Ki is hanging with his mercenary buddies in a rowdy place gambling and drinking with gisaengs on his lap. A thunderstorm rages outside and he feels guilty for leaving Eun Mi alone. After winning and paying for the next round of makgeolli, he runs into the storm to find her. By this time Eun Mi is wandering around the forest scared out of her wits, exhausted, starving, and in dire need of cover. When at last she finds a cave, a wild animal appears, but Hyun Ki swoops in and saves her again.
6. There are a ton of feels in the storm sequence. At first she’s furious and beats his chest, then gets dizzy and cries against him and makes him promise not to leave her alone again. And he actually agrees with a reluctant “kdrama hug.” He brings her back to the inn (on piggyback of course!) and helps her get fed and warm. He gives a strong warning to the other men to keep their distance and nobody wants to challenge him. She’s a little sick, but tells him to go in her big purse and get some aspirin (she keeps a bunch of packets). One of Eun Mi’s character quirks is the way she carries and guards her oversized designer purse, which she claims holds her entire ‘life’ – and that includes the Time Device.
As Hyun Ki rifles through the contents he becomes more and more amazed at the stuff inside. We see a crazy sequence of his imagination as he envisions the future and her world. His curiosity burns and he believes her future tales at last. He becomes determined to join her in that future.
~The First Kiss~
Eun Mi teaches Hyun Ki about the art of “aegyo” seduction. She had often rolled her eyes and mocked it in her modern world, yet she sees it plenty even in the Silla era. Plus it makes her jealous to see the gisaengs come on to “Nae Hyun-Ki-orabeoni.” She wants to set him straight on women’s wiles. She’s goofing around all cute and he’s just staring her down. He grasps her wrist and says, “Enough foolishness, woman!”
Hyun Ki doesn’t kiss her hard. On the contrary. He moves in quickly, then stops short right before his lips make contact, and kisses her gently. It’s fleeting but sensuous, and his eyes lock with hers as they process the moment. Their longing gazes get broken by a rude interruption… (of course it’s nothing important).
~The Penultimate Episodes~
Many little events, like secret meetings of the ruling of class in Silla, the Emperor with his Generals, and the plight of the peasants, will climax in a giant battle between them all. Everything revolves around the hidden prince and the secret plans of the wicked General Seo In Tak to re-establish the Silla Empire. It was Seo In Tak who had ordered the surprise raid on the King’s Palace when Hyun-Ki was a child. And he had had to get rid of Jung Soon (Hyun Ki’s father) because he’d discovered the treacherous plot.
However, Silla’s days are numbered. It’s time for the Korea as the world knows it today to take shape and form. Hyun Ki and his group all play a hand in the unraveling history.
Eun Mi is kidnapped by In Tak and somewhat tortured to tell him how she knows facts about the future. The rumors have spread that she is an odd woman, a Seer who has made wild predictions about the end of Silla and a new country called “Goryeo” that suffers from a split between North and South.
Eun Mi is kept in a rusted iron cage and constantly prodded and heckled by the soldiers. She regrets not listening to Hyun Ki when he’d warned her to stop spreading future stories. Mostly she regrets not admitting her love for him.
Hyun Ki and Eun Mi are separated for days and the search for her is on. Hyun Ki enlists the help of all his allies. Wang Yung, The little Prince’s father, shakes down some of the river merchants. He finds out where she had been taken from a trader who saw her forcibly put on a boat across the river.
Before she can be charged for treason by the Emperor, Hyun Ki and his mercenaries rescue her. Kang Woo takes her in to nurse her back to health, but Hyun Ki insists that he treat her wounds and angrily demands that no other man may touch “his woman.”
~Satisfying 2nd Lead Syndrome~
Kang Woo finally sees that there is a real affection between Eun Mi and Hyun Ki and decides to step aside. He lets Eun Mi sleep in a furnished, hidden interior room he had built in his home. He had once used it to hide Bo Ra.
At night, Bo Ra comforts him as he drinks himself to sleep and he confesses to her that the only woman who had ever understood and supported him was her. Bo Ra never called him crazy and always believed in his ideas and theories, even if she couldn’t understand a word of it. We see a flashback montage of how she cooked for him, making sure he stayed healthy when his work would keep him awake most nights. How she cleaned, washed, and helped him construct his inventions (with some funny scenes of them going awry and blowing up, forcing them to run for it). Bo Ra even groomed him when he needed it.
Kang Woo gives her a long hug. Bo Ra escorts him to bed and tucks him and kisses him softly. When she turns away, Kang Woo opens his eyes briefly and smiles. He has decided on his fate.
~Hyun Ki & Eun Mi~
Hyun Ki sits by Eun Mi’s side overnight, sponging her down and keeping her warm. She wakes up periodically from nightmares of the torture but he’s right there to keep her safe and calm.
In the morning when he tries to feed her breakfast, Eun Mi cries and admits that her only thought when she’d thought she was going to die, was that she would never see him again. Hyun Ki is touched and holds her face for a tender kiss. He gently whispers that she is his ‘one’ and they must never be apart again.
Days pass, and as she heals, they find time to be young, goofy, and in love despite the chaos around them. We see adorable montages, long walks and deep talks under cherry blossoms, picnics, swimming, laying under the stars, more discreet kisses and whispered love vows.
There are some tissue-worthy casualties in the battle, minor characters peppered throughout the drama that give it charm, mostly those from the Peasant Village, and two of the Mercenaries who were loyal to Hyun Ki despite Chul Soo’s demands.
Near the end, Hyun Ki is once again forced to decide whether In Tak lives or dies by his hand. Hyun Ki fears losing Eun Mi’s respect, even though she knows there is a river of blood on his hands from his past. Chul Soo has by now switched sides. He will turn In Tak over to the Emperor. Rather than die in shame and shackles, In Tak rips Hyun Ki’s sword from his sheath, and falls on it, killing himself as he chants “Long Live Silla!”
After the final battle, the remaining soldiers scatter and peace is restored for a time. Eun Mi and Hyun Ki share an epic kiss under the glow of the Aurora Borealis as she fades away before his eyes. He savors the taste and scent of strawberry from her mouth and falls to his knees in grief.
She returns to the future, miserable, believing Hyun Ki had died young in some revolution because he is not in any history records. Hyun Ki is stuck in the past without the love of his life. He keeps a beautiful photograph of her close to his heart, that he’d swiped from her purse. On her phone she has a picture of them very happy and close, making the ‘V’ sign she taught him. She prints it out and keeps it on her work desk.
~The Final Episodes~
Two years years pass and all along, Hyun Ki secretly stashes artifacts for the future museum. He obsessively times the appearance of the Aurora Borealis with Kang Woo’s help. But it seems time plays a cruel trick. He time travels using the device Kang Woo gave him – but lands 2 years before Eun Mi’s adventures (which is the same time that Kang Woo had been transported to the past).
At first Hyun Ki is devastated and lost in this new world. He tries to remember all of Eun Mi’s Future Stories. He gets involved with a wrong crowd and becomes a gangster of sorts. His depression leads him to fall back into his old ways, even in the future.
One night, Hyun Ki is feeling lousy with himself and the course he’d taken. He is no longer a man Eun Mi would be proud of.
He’s walking along the Han River bridge and reflects on the stories she’d told him of the mysterious benefactor. He suddenly realizes that it was meant to be him all along. All the events in modern times must happen first, for ‘time’ to come full circle. When he finds a younger, depressed Eun Mi, it tears his heart that he can’t be with her.
The time-travel cycle begins when he rescues her from jumping in the river. (A different replay of that scene from his POV.)
Hyun Ki has waited 4 years between the past and present, to be reunited with his true love. But to him it is worth every second and he is finally at peace with himself. He’s not easily looked down upon and builds up his fortune when he goes back and finds the stash of artifacts he’d hidden. He begins to secretly take care of Eun Mi. On the night she is supposed to time travel, he sneaks into the museum to put his time machine with the other artifacts.
When Eun Mi returns, her life becomes a whirlwind of busyness because the Silla exhibition is to open within the next month. Everyone is on edge about meeting the new museum owner. There are many rumors about him, and not all are complimentary. The big one is that he has the Korean underworld in the palm of his hand. This is partly true, but they all look to Hyun Ki with fear and respect and keep their distance, sensing the warrior spirit in him that cannot be toyed with.
At the glamorous museum exhibit opening, Eun Mi is excited to meet the mega-rich investor of the museum who had donated so many precious artifacts in amazing preserved condition. Because no one has ever seen him, she pictures a mysterious ahjussi with silver hair. Her jealous co-worker says the owner is “dying” to meet the young woman who put the whole Silla display together with such perfect detail. This will mean a big advancement for Eun Mi on the job.
When her jealous frenemy points him out, Eun Mi is shocked beyond belief to see Hyun Ki hobnobbing with the guests. She even wonders if he’s Hyun Ki’s descendant. Hyun Ki pretends not to know her almost all night, and she gets into a confrontation with him, full of grief that he doesn’t remember. The stress makes her faint.
When Eun Mi awakens, he is leaning over her with a compress and stroking her small face (It’s their little ‘love thing’ that pops up throughout the drama. Squee!).
He whispers in his husky voice, “I never thought you were so weak that you’d faint,” and gives her a big smile.
“I’m here for you, now and forever. I love you, Eun Mi-ah. I have always loved you, and despite a few lapses in my judgement, I have waited for you to return to me. Eun Mi-ah, you are my one.”
She gapes at him and asks if he had been her benefactor all along. He says yes and that she was the one who gave him the idea. She tells him she loves him too. They give each other a big hug and fall into a long, steamy kiss…
~Epilogue: Two Years Later~
Eun Mi and Hyun Ki are in rich marital bliss. They have set up educational programs and charities to help the less fortunate under the names of Yang Gil and Sun Hee. Eun Mi writes a popular fictionalized book of her time travel adventures called “Aurora.” It becomes a bestseller, a wildly popular manhwa, and a hit kdrama starring Lee Min Ho and Park Shin Hye. At night while watching it, she complains to Hyun Ki that Park Shin Hye totally ruins all the kiss scenes.
Eun Mi instructs a tour group at the museum and discusses the mysterious life of Yang Gil. As she hypothesizes about his life, it becomes a voiceover to the past. We see Yang Gil fighting revolutions to help peasants, among other noble feats, and finally, older, riding off into the sunset and out of history’s eye with his loyal Sun Hee to settle down and start a family of his own.
The montage fades over Hyun Ki smiling knowingly at the back of the group. His wife fills him with pride every time he sees her working at what she loves and bringing attention to Silla.
Eun Mi and Hyun Ki became historical consultants on the drama set because they are well-known experts on all things Silla. Korean audiences were tired of Joseon era dramas and want to know more about their ancient history. They tour the sets before shooting, meet and greet the cast and compliment the performances (Eun Mi holds back on complaining about the wide-eyed kisses) and everything is designed near exact to the real past. Hyun Ki boyishly marvels over the future and the inventions the modern world takes for granted.
In a funny montage we see their married life and how he still struggles with electronics, cooking, and his shaking hands whenever he’s angry at something (not her) and wants to reach for his sword (a number of household items suffered death that way).
As Hyun Ki drones on and on about the Silla era, Eun Mi puts his hand on her abdomen and tells him that they are about to start a new era together. Hyun Ki stares at her in happy shock and Eun Mi pulls him in for a sweet kiss.
Did you enjoy this dream drama? Let us know how you feel about it in the comments! 🙂
Aurora by LadyG & Kfangurl is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://thefangirlverdict.com/2014/08/28/kim-woo-bin-dream-drama-aurora/.