Il Ji-Mae: The Phantom Thief

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  • Drama: Il Ji-Mae: The Phantom Thief
  • Revised romanization: Iljimae
  • Hangul: 일지매
  • Director: Yong-seok Lee
  • Assistant Director: Choi Hyeong-Hun
  • Writer: Choi Ran
  • Network: SBS
  • Episodes: 20
  • Release Date: May 21 - July 24, 2008
  • Runtime: 21:55
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea


On a night when the plum blossoms were in full bloom, young Geom (actor Yeo Jin-gu) witnessed the death of his father. The black emblem engraved on the sword shone under the moonlight... His father’s blood was splattered on the plum blossoms... After that night, Geom’s life became a wretched existence. He was adopted by a thief, Swe Dol (actor Lee Moon Shik) who named him Yong.

One day, Yong (actor Lee Joon-ki) remembered his past when he was being chased by a group 13 years ago (1644. 22nd year of King In-jo’s reign). Thoughts of revenge didn’t occur to him. His dreams were to be reunited with his mother and sister, recover his family home, and live with his family again. But when he finally met his sister again, she was executed in front of him. Revenge was all he wanted after that. Yong has a tattoo of the black emblem, which he saw on the sword that killed his father, engraved on his chest.

With the skills he learned from his foster father, who was a small-time thief, he obtained information from the nobles by committing his first break-in. But he left behind a plum blossom by accident. When the officials found this evidence, people began calling him “Iljimae” which means "A single stalk of plum ". From then on, he left behind a painting of red plum blossom to mark his presence and prove that he was the burglar everytime he robbed a house. Yong discovered the existence of a secret list, with the names of all the members of the secret Tianyou Clan while slipping into a nobleman’s home in search of the sword with the black emblem. Yong recalled that his father was a member of the secret Tianyou Clan. He then decided to use Eun-chae (actress Han Hyo-ju) to obtain the full list. Under his meticulous plan, Iljimae approached Eun-chae. Eun-chae fell into love with Iljimae and the feelings became mutual but he kept his focus on getting revenge and holding back on telling the truth to Eun-chae.

The royal court was deploying all their forces to capture Iljimae. Shi-hoo (actor Park Shi-hoo) failed to capture Iljimae twice during a stakeout. But Iljimae suffered a deep gash from Shi-hoo’s sword. Bong-soon (actress Lee Young-ae) discovered Yong lying half-unconscious from his wound and she took him to her foster father Gonggal, who saves Yong’s life. Yong then found out that Gonggal is one of the two legendary assassins and begged Gonggal to teach him martial arts. The stories of various incidents involving Iljimae spreaded among the people who began to worship him as the hero of the commoners. Iljimae robbed more noblemen to the delight of the people.

Royal palace prosecutor Shi-hoo became obsessed with catching Iljimae. King In-jo felt threaten by the growing reputation of Iljimae as the king of the commoners and wanted him captured at all cost.

Mysterious deaths kept occurring after the death of his father. Small nail scratches are found on the dead bodies that keep turning up. The shocking truth emerged... Who wielded the sword with the black emblem? Iljimae then bravely embarked on his final mission!


  1. The 2009 MBC drama "Moon River" (Dolahon Il Ji-Mae), also centers around the character Il Ji-Mae, but "Moon River" focuses more on Il Ji-mae's personal life.


Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Lee Jun-Ki.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Park Shi-Hu.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Han Hyo-Joo.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Lee Young-Ah.jpg
Lee Jun-Ki Park Si-Hoo Han Hyo-Joo Lee Young-Ah
Il Ji-Mae / Yong-Yi Si-Hoo Eun Chae Bong-Soon
Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Lee Mun-Shik.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Lee Il-Hwa.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Son Tae-Young.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Kim Sung-Ryeong.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Jo Min-Gi.jpg
Lee Moon-Sik Lee Il-Hwa Son Tae-Young Kim Sung-Ryoung Jo Min-Gi
Soe-Dol Mrs. Han Yeon-Yi Dan-Yi Lee Won-Ho
Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Ahn Kil-Kang.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Kim Hyun-Sung.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Lee Won-Jae.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Do Ki-Seok.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Mun Ji-Yun.jpg
Ahn Kil-Kang Kim Hyun-Sung Lee Won-Jae Do Ki-Seok Moon Ji-Yoon
Kong Gul Ah je Hong-Gyeon Jang Po-Gyo Hee-Bong Dae-Sik
Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Jeong Jae-Eun.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Seo Dong-Won.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Kim Kwang-Sik.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Lee Won-Jong.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Yang Jae-Seong.jpg
Jeong Jae-Eun Seo Dong-Won Kim Kwang-Sik Lee Won-Jong Yang Jae-Seong
Sim-Duk Eun-Bok Kuk-Doo Byeon-Sik Shim Ki-Won
Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Kim Roe-Ha.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Kim Mu-Yeol.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Kim Chang-Wan.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Jo Sang-Ki.jpg
Kim Roe-Ha Kim Moo-Yul Kim Chang-Wan Jo Sang-Ki
Sa-Chun Si-Wan Huin Do-Po Mu Lee
Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Yeo Jin-Ku.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Lee Da-Wit.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Kim You-Jung.jpg Il Ji-Mae-The Phantom Thief-Jeong Da-Bin.jpg
Yeo Jin-Ku David Lee Kim You-Jung Jeong Da-Bin
Geom Lee (young) Si-Hoo (young) Eun-Chae (young) Bong-Soon (young)

Additional Cast Members


Leave a Comment


osam i dont just like the movie but i love it, keep it up lee jun ki. what i love most is the way u act funny, nd d way u denied that u re not goem to the hunter when ur sister was executed ur fighting skills. u re more than great iljimae.

vny good work guys the plot is not obviously apparent which i like in series.havent finished yet but fully expectant of the end. i hope its soon.thnk y

Miyu Iljimae was so fun. It had some of the best fighting scenes in a drama. I liked it when Lee Joon Gi acted as Iljimae. The parts where he breaks into places and escapes were really good. The director did a good job doing the fight scenes, paying a lot of attention to details. I particularly liked the first and last scenes where Iljimae is inside the secret room of the palace stealing the frog and he gets confronted by the soldiers leaping down from the ceiling and Iljimae pulls down the curtain and uses it as a weapon and to extinguish the candles. I've watched it like a hundred times especially with the main OST theme playing. The music is beautiful. Lee Joon Gi is so good to watch when he does physical acting. I didn't know he would be one of the best athletic actors I've seen. Lee Joon Gi is so talented as an actor. He played the two different personalities - Yong and Iljimae - very well. Lee Joon Gi - so cute and handsome and funny and talented and athletic in this drama. One of the best K-dramas I've seen.

MiRa Another amazing series to one of the best Korean actors ever.. the Brilliant.. ♥Lee Joon-Gi♥ :D .. I can easily get bored from a TV show.. but it never happened to any of your dramas.. I know when I start watching any of your dramas that I will definitely enjoy it.. and you have never disappointed me :D although I wished to see a clear, and a happy end to this drama.. but I still enjoyed it to the last second. I adore the way you act.. seriously!! whether you act funny, romantic, playful, or grieved.. you are so convincing, believable, and adorable too!!.. Thank you for the great drama, and wish you all the best our amazing ♥Lee Joon-Gi♥.. the many-sided actor :D

greatesthighbee This drama is very interesting.....though I watched it as a. Series movie in ma country bt I still enjoyed I'm not soo sure if young ee died.......its somehow confusing

Michael It was so interesting watching this drama, I enjoyed it so much and never wanted to miss any thing about it. Thanks so much.

teuk girl Waaaaah lee joon ki and park si hoo omg my best ever actors both of them too handsome and beautiful acting i love them and their drama

dOpey Just finish watching it.,all i can say is worth watching.The whole casts are excellent.I'll rate this drama 9/10..LJK is really good in action,im curious if whats his next project after Joseon Gunman'

zzZera There is so much beauty and wisdom in this drama.. just stunning ! The plot is very gripping,the characters are acting very well and there are lots of cool fighting scenes ! I am proud to say that Il Ji-Mae is one of my favourtie TV series !

Lorato I really like this drama, I watch it every sunday

Kinggofing I loved the series a lot, but the ending not so much, it was kinda confusing and it has some considerable amount of loose ends. But over all, i don't really regret watching this, it was interesting.

delancy this is a beautiful story i loved it.yongee oppa and eunchae unnie"s performance are best . hwaiting!

d1d2d3 this was the first drama I've watched for lee jun ki and after that I've fell in love with him and became his #1 fan <3 , i really loved this drama and i really love lee joon ki <3

Rose This drama was my best Korean historical drama oh I love it.

FU It is a classic. Beautiful story, beautiful actors, beautiful pictures and beautiful OSTs - beautiful atmospherical drama!

Rose Why couldn't yong yi choose bong soon instead of eun chae I think bong soon loved him more than eun chae

samaneh uh i still remember how much i cried for this drama..watched it twice!!

Gunn This drama had a good punch at the beginning but right at the end it still felt like we were in the middle and then they tried to tie up everything in the last 30min of the drama which was a bit overwhelming .frankly I didn't see the growth of Si Hoo being a good man and all .it was sought of like he just switched on which was bizarre .and my question is why didn't youngee go back to either of the girls .everyone was just lonely no one ended up with anyone including the parents .and might I say this is the first Korean drama I have seen where the lead girl (I mean the girl which our hero has feelings for) doesn't actually get to see the face of the hero and to know both of his identities in this case his triple identities (geommie, youngee,iljimae). Honestly I am so glad that there is a drama called gaksital AKA bridal mask .almost exact same storyline and basis however gaksital went a lot further and better than this drama could ever do for me . All in all you should watch this drama cause it's great but does have a lot flaws right at the end !

g.legendary its a very nice story....fantastic specially the main character from this drama .....i'm so excited to watch the part 2.. The Return of Iljimae...... its a great drama...promise :).....

Aradia One of the best korean dramas I've ever watched. The entire cast was brilliant. I was at the edge of my seat each time Iljimae pulled a burglary or heist. Lee Jun ki was an awesome actor. So was Lee moon sik who played as his second father. I actually cried when Yong lost his sister and during the scene where his father (Lee moon sik) passed away. However, I didn't particularly like the ending of the story. It was quite confusing and too much loose end. I somewhat felt that there was something missing towards the conclusion. But overall, I really enjoyed Iljimae. The cast, plot, costume and scenery truly captured the era of the legendary Iljimae, in my opinion. It was very believable!

Mimiya Outstanding cast!!! Great show. ... In response to few comments....(SPOILERS!) 1st to Hanabi: Well said; but want to add that Young's real father is the king's real brother, not just by a sworn oath---> Young is the king's nephew and entitled to the throne, that's why the king feared another "sun".... 2nd to Scarlet : Thanks about info regarding the last episode being shot the same day it aired... Korean dramas sometimes have that problem of being rushed; so, many times, it is evident in the outcome, with a lot of editing errors etc... Gets on my nerve! (P.S. British shows are years in development before airing- and their quality is evident- wish Koreans would take a little more time in productions)

Babsi This drama was very good, but ended too soon. The whole cast was excellent, and Lee Joon Ki was outstanding. They should have made Iljimae king, after all the king who killed his father and caused his birth right to be forfeited was also his uncle. The return of Iljimae was a totally different story and did not live up to it's original story, nor did it get the hi ratings of the first one. It actually should have been named something else.

An American Fan

LoveAmerica A rather good prequel to Return of Il-jimae, but quite different. His origin is not the same. He doesn't really become Il-Jimae until the later chapters. There is sufficient action and comedy relief. The actor, Lee Moon-Sik, who plays his adoptive father, is a standout and the whole cast is very good. Somehow the plum trees are forever blooming. For us this was not quite as good as Return of, but still very worthwhile.

Kayode Am so so loving. This Movie

okstem The drama's pretty interesting but I'm confused of the ending part where iljimae burgled the palace again after been dead. This is confusing.

Media It is in point of fact a great and useful piece of info. I'm happy that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

Hanabi In response to Scarlett’s comment down there…. This contains SPOILERS, so DON’T read it unless you have finished the drama! You’ll wreck the ending if you do!

1. The ending is set up so you could argue in either direction. It’s quite clear from the reactions people closest to him have (his brother and at least Eun-Chae) that they haven’t seen him since that night. But is it cause he died? Or because they think he died? Remember he pulled that stunt once before, disappearing long enough everyone thought he was dead. Also, why is the king still on the throne if he’s so scared Iljima will come get him? Why HASN’T Iljima come to get him? Could be he just hasn’t come yet, could be the king is being a lot smarter now than he was before and is actually ruling somewhat fairly, which was the important part, so Iljima doesn’t deem it necessary to come back (yet). And besides, if he’s that senile and jittery, is HE really the one ruling any more? I kind of doubt it. Someone else would have to be taking care of things for him. Also the fact Yong didn’t close his eyes while lying on the ground, at all even briefly, makes me doubt he died… And even more so, the whole opening scene is the same as the ending scene. And considering who he’s talking to, the outfit he’s wearing, the job he’s doing, and who is and isn’t there to stop him (for instance his brother?) and his smirk at the end means that whole scene is THE ending scene, he’s still alive and in fact back to his tricks (they SAID someone was robbed again…) or arguably it could be “his spirit will always live on!” So good points either way: but I personally believe the ones for him still being alive are stronger than the ones for his death.

2. Must have had sex? Er, YEAH they had sex? On their wedding night! Even if they didn’t show it, they showed enough, and with everyone’s grinning and poking at them the next day? It’s so obvious. Did you actually WATCH this drama??

3. Once again I have to ask if you actually watched the drama. Yong’s real dad was one of the 6 men that helped the current king overthrow the Prince to sit on his throne instead. Even though they call each other brothers and have tattoos to prove their sworn “blood ties”, the current king is so so afraid someone’s gonna take his throne that he decides to kill everyone that shows the slightest wavering in keeping him on the throne. And since Yong’s real dad outright said he’s not so sure any more that taking the throne away from the Prince was the right thing to do, THAT’S why the current king named him a traitor and set up his “suicide”. And as far as Bong-Soo’s “stepdad” the assassin? She knows perfectly well he isn’t her real dad. Always did. The only thing she didn’t know was that he was the one that killed her family because she never actually saw who did it. Wasn’t there when he dad died, was currently running when her mom died, and Yong hid her eyes so she wouldn’t see her brothers death. And it wasn’t just throwing a rock at his mom that lead to the memory loss: it was seeing his dad die, seeing what they were gonna do to his body, denying his mom, her denying him, getting Bong-Soo’s brother killed, loosing his grip on Bong-Soo…. Everything happening all at once and overwhelming him is what did it. And he doesn’t know who got his real dad killed because he never saw it! They did that in secret – obviously he wouldn’t know! I don’t know if he even knew the letter existed, did he ever see IT let alone someone putting it there?

There, now I spoke my mind, I’m sorry it irritated me enough to leave a reply comment. But what I wrote is what you get if you watch the drama cause it’s all in there. Watch it twice if you don’t get it the first time – Korean dramas are always confusing but somewhere along the line they usually explain at least 97% of their plot twists!

precious ijimae drives me crazy sometimes pls let him remain alive for me

Allen Ben the drama was so sad to watch, ..........but good to learn the truth and reality of the hidden plan a person has in his life

Gladis This movie really need 2nd season with the original cast. Now since joon gi has been dispatched from military it be possible. It's really sad that awesome drama and characters have to end :'(

Gladis Very awesome! Lee joon gi acting skill surely brilliant! It's first time I shed tears over Korean drama hehe, mostly Korean drama just ridiculously sad and I found it bit funny. But in the scene where joong gi cried for his dead sister, with pastry in his mouth and shaking, I start to cried too :'( he delivered the emotion in this scene perfectly!!

Mel Lee Wow - I loved it.

Episode 1 was awesome, episodes 2-5 or 6 were slightly boring, but lead up to an AMAZING story.

감사합니다 이준기! 정말 굉장!!!

Barbie ARGHHHHHH xo confused dunno if iljimae is alive or nt the season3 bores me 2 death.Eun chae,shin hoo,daishik and the remaning weren't shown in the return of iljimae.ARGHHHH xo confused.

harrison truly it was a beautiful display of art.

Scarlett Scarlett quickly scampered into the darkness. FOR ALL THE QUESTIONS UP HERE, I'LL ANSWER THEM (I was at the set when they were filming an episode (17 and 20, I believe)...

1. Iljimae did NOT die. I asked the writers and director about this. It also shows clearly in the first episode... if I recall correctly, wasn't one of his catchphrases: 'I won't die... because I'm Iljimae' or something like that? 2. The kid in the end… his name was ‘Dog Crap’ or something like that. Think carefully. Who wanted to name their kid ‘Dog Crap’ but managed to kill himself? That’s right, it’s Dan-Yi and Seo-Dol’s son. Must’ve had sex or smt in the middle of the drama sometime but you know… he was born. 3. Yong’s real dad was a noble. I think he was against the king/prince at the time so the king/prince sent assassins to kill him. He died, and his household was considered to be traitors and were on the wanted list or something. He was forced to throw a rock at his mother’s head which lead him to shock from remembering anything. One of these assassins were Kong Gul Ah Jae, Bong Sun’s stepfather. The problem is Yong doesn’t realize he was one of the people who killed his father (I THINK) and Bong Sun think’s he’s her real father, but he’s actually not. The bigger problem is I don’t think she knows that this guy was the man who killed her brother, years ago. 4. His love interest… Bong-Sun? I’m pretty sure she know’s he’s alive but hasn’t met him yet. Same for Eun Chae. I’m pretty sure they’re both in love as well. 5. The king part still confuses me. After Iljimae’s threatening, the king promised to step down from the throne. It shows in the afterstory though, he didn’t and has gone completely senile. He kept on muttering about how Iljimae was gonna kill him and I believe it was one of the assassins that that told him ‘Iljimae is dead’. 6. You’re exactly right. They rushed to finish the shooting. It was a DISASTER. They filmed on the day it was supposed to air. In my opinion, they should’ve waited another week and told fans to wait and slowly film the thing but noooo they just had to film it last minute. My personal guess is that they didn’t want to lose viewer ratings (I just thought of this now as I was reading through Wikipedia), but ep 19 had a 26% viewer ratings, very high. The last episode had 31, a MAJOR jump. Though they did get a LOT of views, I’m pretty sure 0.1 percent of us were actually satisfied with the ending. Except for Return of Iljimae which uses different actors, there will not be a season 2. 7. If I recall correctly, I think I had my mom send an email to one of the Iljimae staff members. Someone confirmed that his is alive. This makes a great start to fanfictions! I check this site often. Any questions? Just ask and I’ll reply ASAP.

David Did iljimae die or nt

TUOYINTIR ALFRED JNR wow,,, fantastic series....... thanks to all my korean friends who made this possible,,,, i love you Lee Jun-Ki. keep up the good works

Johnboy Great until the end which confusing, full of holes, and left a lot of loose ends. Who was the kid? Who was his Dad? What happend to Iljimae's brother, his love interest, the King .. Verey rushed ending ...seemed like they neede to finish rg he drama and ran out of time and the great writers who handled the first 19 episodes didnt show uo for episode 20....such a disappointment for what should have been an excellent series. Return of Iljimae is far better just for this reason.

McCartney A griping drama with a less than satisfying (for me) ending. Lee Junki was excellant as Iljamie and Han Hyo Joo perfectly radiant as his lady love. I would rather have seen him end up with the spunky character ('Bong-soon') played by Lee Young-ah, though. As lovely and sweet as 'Eun-chae' was, my heart would have gone to 'Bong-soon'. I also enjoyed his father who gave his everlasting love and loyalty to "the beautiful" Dan-Yi. A first rate production from start to finish...

Ojo emmanuel My buddies don't get confused iljimae is alive,the sword dat was used to slash him is bladeless.

ana is there any chance theres gonna be season 2? it was a great show :)

emmah kisau i love this series i wish you could bring us more like this.thanks koreans for your good work i love you all.

Nathan Mutiso Kioko I really love this show.There are many lessons to learn from the show which is very wonderful,a very smart and beautiful show.

cntuxy Just a thank you to GBS station for having introduced these remarkable Tv drama/ series.But where can one get the whole series of the Phantom thief and Winter sonata?

mubia Its so good and its a great one. Thanks to GBS

muthoni just started watchin' it en am loving it! Thanks to GBS-Kenya

ayindeh why did this film end this way it's so annoying

ayindeh what kind of drama film is this which has no good ending

djexodus yes.. ILJIMAE: The Phantom Thief is indeed a very nice drama with love story, action and family bond. I love this story very much.. Thanks to SBS and the director in charge. ILJIMAE is absolutely alive..

Ann Ha He's alive, watch the 1st episode, and the guy that slashed him switched sword with Ijimae's dull sword (Plus i heard that the Director said that Iljimae is alive so he can end the ending controversy). He remain single though, He will continue to steal from the palace because the king didn't keep his promise. I hope Ryung will become king later, Remember what the fortune telling guy said, and it makes total sense because Iljimae's dad and the king are brother. Woah if he's king he can keep both Eun chae and Bong Soon. >=]

compa sure he alive... if not he won`t acting anymore :P

sarah Iljimae dead? or not? I can't understand. he was dead or not?

Moses We demand an explanation from the director,coz we used to watch a good ending drama

p I like Lee Jun Ki. He's very cute in Iljimae. He is amazing.

raneem Great drama I love it

NessZa This film is really awesome, but i'm very dissapointed with the ending..

I really hope that at least Eun-Chae could see who's the real Il Ji Mae, aaarrrggggghhh!!! T_T

MT Iljimae was alive, at the ending part, he was slashed, but only in the back. He was slashed countless of time in the back and he survived them all. After Sa cheon was killed, he still could talk. He ran up to the mountain in spite of his injuries. From then on, he never met his real mother, dani, bong soon, eun chae or his real brother. the only people who knew he was alive are: Ajik gang, Dae-shik and his palace friend(the shoemaker). If you observe carefully, the flower he drew was the same flower he drew the first time he burglered Lord Lee Myung's secret warehouse. so he is still alive, and the whole story is him recalling what happened in the past.

Misty3e Hi Yasmin! ^^

No, thank you for creating a website about "Iljimae". Let's hope more people watch the drama. Everyone, we really recommend it.

By the way, I was a bit disappointed when "Iljimae" didn't win best drama in the SEOUL INTERNATIONAL DRAMA AWARDS 2009. "We invite you to enjoy the world best drama where you can be moved to tears," they said. For me, "Iljimae" was the one that moved me to tears. Also, I wanted Lee Jun Ki to win as best actor. Oh, well... Even if you didn't win, we appreciate your hard work. Fighting! ^^v

Thank you again. Have a nice day!

YASMIN Thank you " Misty3e " for your Message ,

I like ILJIMAE drama and i like story too because it is an interesting drama about the history of korea.....

this is my website of ILJIMAE :

thanks for coming to my web

have a nice day

thank you again

Misty3e I think this drama was awesome. It made me cry, laugh, get angry and everything. At the end of every episode I couldn't wait to watch the next one.

By the way, I don't get why some people thought the boy at the end was Iljimae and Eun Chae's son. That's so wrong. Really. The boy even say that he didn't have a tooth because he was like his father. So, do you know who lost a tooth through the series? Right! Yong-ee's adoptive father. Now, the boy was with Yong-ee's adoptive mother and called her mother, what can we all conclude? Yes! The boy at the end was actually the son of Yong-ee's adoptive parents; Yong-ee's little brother.

You know, Iljimae/Eun-Chae love story wasn't that good to me. I liked Yong-ee/Bong Soon story better. She truly loved him; and her story was so touching.

About the ending, the way I see it, there are only two ways: he died and the scene of the beginning/ending, was just the legend that went on even with him dead. However, what I want to believe is that he is alive. He went to train/live in the mountains, and then returned four years later to remind the king of his promise to leave the throne.

I think that if Yong-ee is alive, he wouldn't leave Bong Soon alone. After all, he promised her to this time not let go of her hand (he was the kind of man that kept his promises and he was so happy when he realized she was alive), and so she was waiting for him. Moreover, she's sacrificed a lot for him (she couldn't walk well and lost her status as a woman after nearly dying for him).

True, he loved Eun-Chae, but when he burned her handkerchief, he firmly decided to let her go. Even after he went to save her, he never intend to let her know who he really was. Eun-Chae just loved what Iljimae represented and the memory of a young first love (she too soon started treating bad Yong-ee).

At the other hand, Bong-Soon felt in love with Yong-ee, was thankful to Geum and admired Iljimae; and then, she knew and loved all of him. Her love for him was similar to the love of Yong-ee's adoptive father for Danee, and you know, at the end, in Danee's heart was only him.

Anyway, I want to believe Bong-Soon was living in the mountains along with Yong-ee and her adoptive father. She went to the town after four years that's why she didn't know the son of Danee, but she did know Yong-ee's birth mother.

Thank you for read my rambling.

Victor sorry to dissapoint,but had the bow BEFORE the ending scene,TOO,guys.Not only that,but he used it,as well.

If u don't belive me,just check out the last episode,when he learns that the king killed his father (in the king's portret room). minute 27.


" the killer hit Iljimae with Iljimae-sword,and the sword that it blades doesn't cut ...remember his "teacher" given him and telling him it is not for killing...but to protect...also in all the drama nobody caught cut by that sword "   <-- I AGREE WITH THIS
" if you look closer he has new weapon added, the bow at his hand...that sth he did not own before " <-- THIS IS NOT TRUE,BECAUSE OF WHAT I'VE JUST SAID IN THE BEGINING OF THIS POST.

so...IS HE DEAD? i don't know,lol.

feia of course he is alive! the opening of the series is actually the ending part. if you can see, dae-shik (yongi best fren) was in the group planning for the next attempt while in the last episode, dae-shik was in the palace and did not know who is iljimae and had not join the group. but in the opening, the group included dae-shik.

and other commenters were right about the sword used by sa-cheon to kill iljimae was bladeless. and the small kid ke-dong is yongi brother son of soe-dol and dani.

i love this show sooooo much! and i admit, it is because of lee jun ki! ;p

sabiha when the drama ended I was confused too. The last part (that is over 4 years lather) you could see some things dat will let you think he is dead but alsow he is not dead.

It's the sword that was been picked up. The sword off his measter.

Canon For Comment 14 Il Ji Mae doesn't die. Becourse assasin didn't use HIS OWN BLADE.It's true that Iljimae used assasin's blade and threw away but the blade which assasin pick up was layed upon the floor before Iljimae threw it away. If you not sure.You should notice an appearance of the blade and you would know that It's a Iljimae blade.

likeuknowit I really like this drama! But, I really confuse with the ending cos the chief assasin is using HIS OWN blade I mean, he is not using Iljimae's blade you guys must watch it one more time when Iljimae and that man are fighting -after Iljimae's blade are drop-, Iljimae take over that man's blade and after the end of the fighting, Iljimae throw that man's blade and the assassin pick it and slash him

Sayaka I really like this drama! But, i do really confuse with the ending Is he really alive? And, i just read some of your comment which say that the boy who looks like iljimae is his child and the mother is eun chae I dont think so Cos if the boy is really eun chae's child, why the boy is not with her but with both iljimae's mother? And eun chae herself didn't try to find or meet her child

angelwing871 Ok... after watching the series.. I was kinda unsure whether he was dead or not because well.. when Eun Chae was asking about Yong-ee, the maid and the other guy were really 'nervous' when they said he's living well, and another thing was that the boy at the end.. he said he wished to have a name like Yong-ee instead of his so it kind of proves that he didn't know who Yong-ee was therefore meaning Yong-ee wasn't living amonst them... And I also remembered that when his 'teacher' gave him the sword, he told him that even though there is no blade, with enough intention, it could kill. So there was a possibility that he died because after his few words, we saw a flash of white.

But then my hope revived when the familiar scene we have seen at the beginning played again.. I've notice he had more advance weapons than he did before and.. a new place/ headquarters that he didn't have before. His brother was near him (because he killed Sa Chun) so there is a possibility that he saved Yong-ee. After facing all these facts and theories, I still concluded that he is alive.

animehime_2 PEOPLE LISTEN TO ME!!!! iljimae is not dead but alive and well and there are clues to that at the end of the last episode. first of all, the sword taht was used to kill him was a reversed blade sword so he could not be dead and his teacher asked for TWO pairs of shoes instead of one and we also saw the apricot tree blossom note at the end in the scene of a theft. so people ILJIMAE IS STILL ALIVE SO QUIT ASKING WETHER HE'S ALIVE OR NOT!!!! XD

wendy The best series that i ever seen.And sadness.It is drama and action movie i think.And i think iljimae doesn't die. Isn't it??

Miyuki This show is AMAZING! although i watched it in the dubbed version he's still as funny as ever. Oh, and Thanks Mariya. Otherwise if i get to watch "the return of iljimae" i would be confused because i might think that it is something like a sequel.

sunnypooh hmmm.. i watch the show again... he is alive.. but i don't think he is with any of the girls..

jenny isnt the opening scene part of the story the story teller and the kid is telling in the end?

Angel Actually, the ending is some sort of an open ending...

The show only leaves clues to show that he is alive ... (eg, he was only hit with the bladeless knife his master gave him, his shoemaker friend delivered two pairs of shoes to his master who is living on an island instead of one pair, his little brother mentioned tat he cannot remember the correct story to tell when asked about Iljimae) I think the last part went back to the first scene in the show because he is very much alive and started to go into the palace to do his good work again...

However, that son raised by his mothers is not his own child... is actually the child between his adopted parents. Even though his dad died, he died only after he got married and managed to consumate his marriage finally to his beautiful Danee..

The Return of Iljimae is actually revolved around the same storyline... but it is named this way because it is made by a different broadcasting company in Korea. They changed the name to avoid confusion and delayed the release date to the one played by Lee Joon Ki. So it is actually not like a sequel. Is actually has a similar but totally different storyline to the one done by Lee Junki...

Mariya The ending is a bit confusing...but you have not to if you haven't see all the drama yet, do not read it...because it will ruin the end, and the hole story! Its is realy a awesome drama so watch it ...after seeing it and you to not get the ending I am reviling the end...

Iljimae is killed, but at last scenes and you focused at the drama you will see that the killer, hit Iljimae with Iljimae-sword, the sword that it blades doesn't cut ...remember his "teacher" given him and telling him it is not for killing...but to protect...also in all the drama nobody caught cut by that sword...

So he could not be dead, after all the scene that we see at the begin is after his death, cause if you look closer he has new weapon added, the bow at his hand...that sth he did not own before...

And if I am not wrong the child that acts at the end like Iljimae, raised by Iljimae mothers (biological and none) is his own child (the one that will act at "The Return of Iljimae" that will be procusting at jan-2009, and Iljimae son will be played be Iljimae and will be palyed by the actor Joo Ji Hoon (who was considered for the lead role at Iljimae, but lost to Lee Joon Ki...lee joon ki will not appearing at "The return of Iljimae"...ohh and the mother is Chae Eun ...

So that he is not dead is keep a secret to protect him, after all the king is still at the throne...and his half brother mention it that is for their protection...

KumikOcHaN wow! the sadness drama i ever seen!! Lee Jun-Ki looks so gentle ! i loveeee him sooo much!! *_* actually i'm lee jun-ki's hard fan after he showed up in Virgin Snow, then i always went to shop and asked the same question untill NOW.. "Excuse me, what's the new drama will be showed after this? was it on sale??" =x (sry my english sucks)

Wingx He is alive.. The starting of the show ia what became of him at the end of all the misery revenge.

Ze ...I am confuse about the it that it was in the past and it just showed him...or is it that he really is alive and stole the things....that is why it was the beginning part of the opening?

ARRGHH...I'm confuse

dragonlady I was so sad that this show ended so fast! I wish there's a follow-up....don't really know the he alive,is he not???

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