K-dramas have had their fair share of plots, all equally amazing, but sometimes a K-drama lacks a good villain; chaebol parents don’t typically fill this void very well. Every once in a while, you need a bad guy almost as charismatic as he is hateful. With this in mind, here are nine K-dramas with the coolest bad guys.
“Scholar Who Walks the Night”: Gwi
The villain in “Scholar Who Walks the Night” definitely takes his place as the most memorable part of the show. An ancient vampire with a mysterious past, Gwi controls the strings of the puppet royal court as a shadow king with an underground throne. Actor Lee Soo Hyuk plays the character perfectly, and Gwi definitely exudes a charisma that is complemented by Lee Soo Hyuk’s deep voice and dramatic features. Take one look, and it’s hard not to root for the wrong side in this K-drama.
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“Descendants of the Sun”: Argus
Argus (David McInnis) is an unusual bad guy in the K-drama world: he’s a foreign soldier gone rogue, with a rich backstory and a strategic kind of intelligence that is just enough to make you hate him all the more. He only appears in a portion of “Descendants of the Sun,” but this interesting addition just adds another component to what makes this K-drama so amazing to watch.
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“My Love From the Star”: Lee Jae Kyung
Who can forget our handsome but psychopathic killer in “My Love From the Star,” or his iconic ring: a twisted nail which he spun whenever he planned his next murder? Arrogantly confident, intelligent, and almost always one step ahead, Lee Jae Kyung (Shin Sung Rok) certainly proves to be a worthy match for our beloved alien and main character Do Min Joon (Kim Soo Hyun).
“You are only alive right now…because I let you live.” (Lee Jae Kyung to Do Min Joon)
“I Remember You”: Jung Sun Ho
There are two villains in “I Remember You”: another good-looking psychopath with a calculative intelligence that enables him to outsmart even the most brilliant of detectives, and his serial killer teacher. Our younger psychopath, Jung Sun Ho (Park Bo Gum), takes the spotlight first in the K-drama, as he lays out a brilliant trail of morbidly artistic clues for his older brother and detective, David Lee (Seo In Guk), to follow. However, the surprisingly complex motives behind the older, main antagonist will definitely pull you in later on, and his dark, but good-hearted intentions make for a compelling villain that’s difficult to dislike. As a bonus, there a lot of popular actors in this drama, including Park Bo Gum, Seo In Guk, and D.O.
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“Goblin”: The young king
The young king in “Goblin” (Kim Min Jae) certainly exudes a sort of graceful and deadly power when he is seen in the beginning of the show; the scene where he condemns Kim Shin and executes upward of 100 people plays him off as a kind of dangerous, ultimate force who can end lives without consequence. Later we see this isn’t true, when the king reappears as the adorable and good-hearted Grim Reaper — making us fall in love with the character for a number of other reasons.
“Scarlet Heart: Goryeo”: Wang So
Our main character in “Scarlet Heart: Goryeo,” Wang So (Lee Joon Gi), is supposedly the protagonist of the show; however, he certainly switched positions between villain and savior enough times to deserve a spot on this list. His cool mask and dramatically dark clothing (with equally dark eyeliner) definitely don’t help his case.
“City Hunter”: Lee Jin Pyo
Antagonist Lee Jin Pyo (Kim Sang Joong) in “City Hunter” certainly isn’t a likable villain; he’s detestably underhanded and selfish. A Korean soldier turned Thailand drug lord, Lee Jin Pyo’s all-encompassing desire for revenge leads him to crush anyone obstructing his goal. However, he also makes Lee Yun Seong (Lee Min Ho) into the hero that he is: a tough fighter that isn’t afraid to break rules to save the day. Without Lee Jin Pyo, we wouldn’t have our amazing anti-hero “City Hunter.”
You can get a load of bad guys in the 2014 hit “Bad Guys,” which has a Suicide Squad kind of vibe. The police force creates a team of criminals to combat crime issues; among their team is the incredibly handsome and incredibly intelligent psychopath Lee Jung Moon (Park Hae Jin).
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“Liar Game”: Cha Woo Jin
“Liar Game” creates a “Hunger Games” style game show where participants can lie and cheat their way to 10 billion won in prize money. The amount of deception is enough to break overly trusting and kindhearted Nam Da Jung (Kim So Eun); luckily, Cha Woo Jin (Lee Sang Yoon), who has a manta of ‘never trust anyone’ and a past murder confession, is there to save the day.
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Did I miss any? Who are your favorite bad guys? Share it in the comments section!
Ariana K. Welsh is a college student who spends most of her time obsessing over K-dramas with her sister, dancing to loud music, and writing into the wee hours of the night. Her current fave things in life are: snow, Waldeinsamkeit by R.W. Emerson, and Butterbeer.