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First episode of ‘The Sword of Aramun’ quashes fans’ concerns over new lead actors

Sept. 11, 2023 - 14:56 By Lee Si-jin
Lee Joon-gi plays Eun-seom, leader of the Ago tribe, in "The Sword of Aramun." (tvN)

Cable channel tvN’s fantasy period series “Arthdal Chronicles” (2019) has returned for a second season -- “The Sword of Aramun” -- with new lead actors, garnering plenty of interest from viewers with its first two episodes.

Prior to the premiere of “The Sword of Aramun” on Sept. 9, drama fans -- especially those who enjoyed “Arthdal Chronicles” -- were concerned over whether the new leads, Lee Joon-gi and Shin Sae-kyeong, would be a natural fit with the Arthdal universe.

Lee and Shin took on the roles of the Ago tribe's leader, Eun-seom, and the high priestess of Arthdal, Tan-ya. In the first season, Song Joong-ki and Kim Ji-won played the roles, respectively.

With the first episode, “The Sword of Aramun” succeeded in putting any concerns to rest.

The first episode of the 12-part fantasy series recorded a viewership share of 5.4 percent when it aired Saturday.

Compared with the highest record viewership share of 8.1 percent for “Arthdal Chronicles” and 6.1 percent for tvN’s “The Uncanny Counter Season 2,” "The Sword of Aramun" is considered to be off to a strong start. "Arthdal Chronicles" ended with an average viewership share of 6.55 percent.

Lee Joon-gi plays Sa-ya, the twin brother of Eun-seom and heir to the Arthdal Kingdom in "The Sword of Aramun." (tvN)

Lee explained that he did his utmost to immerse himself in the character and the series’ setting.

“I tried to make the most of my time at the shooting site. I was afraid of forgetting the characters, place names, tribes and the drama’s unique universe as soon as I left the shooting site and went home,” the actor said in a promotional interview with Disney+.

Some viewers who were satisfied with the change of the lead actor shared their high expectations for both Lee and the upcoming episodes.

“Lee Joon-gi is famous for shooting dynamic action scenes without a body double. Because ‘The Sword of Aramun’ is likely to present more bloody, breathtaking battles between the Arthdal Kingdom and the Ago tribes to decide the true ruler of Arthdal, Lee will shine brighter as the story continues,” Kim Min-ji, a 32-year-old chef in Busan who enjoyed the “Arthdal Chronicle” series, told The Korea Herald.

“Song Joong-ki matched season 1. But, I think Lee Joon-gi is good for season 2. There will be a lot of battle scenes and Eun-seom needs to be wild,” a YouTube comment read.

"The Sword of Aramun” is about the story of a great war between Tagon, who took the throne of Arthdal, and Eunseom.

The series is available on streaming platforms Tving and Disney+.