Queen of Ambition

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  • Drama: Queen of Ambition (English title) / King of Ambition (English title)
  • Revised romanization: Yawang
  • Hangul: 야왕
  • Director: Jo Young-Gwang
  • Writer: Park In-Kwon (comic), Lee Hee-Myung
  • Network: SBS
  • Episodes: 24
  • Release Date: January 14 - April 2, 2013
  • Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:55
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea


The special prosecutor's investigation team arrives at the Presidential Blue House. They are investigating the First Lady for allegedly accepting bribes. As they begin to embark on their search and seizure, First Lady Da-Hae (Soo-Ae) appears in front of them. She asks special prosecutor Ha-Ryoo (Kwon Sang-Woo) to enter with her into the bedroom. There, Dae-Hae tells Ha-Ryoo to stop the investigation and the case will just disappear. Ha-Ryoo then shouts out at her "Murder is different. Why did you kill me?" Da-Hae then turns around and points a gun at Ha-Ryoo. A gunshot is fired. Da-Hae and Ha-Ryoo embrace. Blood drips out onto the floor and the gun is dropped.

Prosecutor Ha-Ryoo grew up at an orphanage with First Lady Da-Hae as children. One day, her mother and stepfather came and took her away from the orphanage. Before she left, Da-Hae gave Ha-Ryoo a pair of dice.

Seven years later, Ha-Ryoo works at a horse riding stable. He goes to Seoul to meet Taek-Bae (Kwon Hyun-Sang), who also grew up at the same orphanage. Taek-Bae now works as an enforcer for a loan shark. He's having a hard time collecting money from a borrower. Ha-Ryoo and Taek-Bae go to the house in a poor residential area to collect payment. Ha-Ryoo goes inside the house. He finds someone covered in a white fabric and a young woman sitting next to the body. Ha-Ryoo pulls back the white fabric and sees a dead body. The young woman suddenly collapses. Ha-Ryoo grabs the woman and realizes the woman is Da-Hae (his close friend from the orphanage). He calls for an ambulance.

The next moment, Da-Hae wakes up and finds herself in the hospital. Ha-Ryoo is there with her. Da-Hae now realizes who he is. With Ha-Ryoo's money, Da-Hae holds a funeral for her mother. After the funeral, Da-Hae tells Ha-Ryoo that she will study hard and enter a university. She tells him that is the only way she can get out of her poor situation. After Ha-Ryoo leaves and while walking to her house, her stepbrother stops her and tells her that her stepfather is around and looking for her. Da-Hae panics. As a child, her stepfather sexually abused her. Right away, Da-Hae goes home and packs up to leave. She doesn't have anywhere to go and becomes desperate. Da-Hae ends up going to a hostess bar. At this time, Taek-Bae sees Da-Hae entering the hostess bar and calls Ha-Ryoo.

Ha-Ryoo rushes to the hostess bar and catches her leaving the place. Ha-Ryoo enters the hostess bar and returns the money which Da-Hae received for working there. Later, Da-Hae explains to Ha-Ryoo why she had to leave home. Ha-Ryoo takes her to the horse riding stable where he works and makes her stay there. He promises to support her. From that moment, Da-Hae studies hard and graduates from a university. They are also happy together and go on a short trip together. When they arrive back at the horse riding stable from their trip, the place is empty and a note tells them that everybody went to a neighbor's for a barbecue. Ha-Ryoo drives to the neighbor's house to get some food and Da-Hae stays behind at the riding club. While Ha-Ryoo is leaving, he sees a stranger walking on the road. Ha-Ryoo feels something weird.

Shortly later, Da-Hae sees her stepfather in front of her. She runs and gets inside a stable. Her stepfather follows her into the stable. Da-Hae turns around and stabs her stepfather with a knife. Ha-Ryoo enters the stable and sees the man collapse to the floor.


  1. "King of Ambition" takes over the SBS Monday & Tuesday 21:55 time slot previously occupied by "The Lord of Dramas" and will be replaced by "Jang Ok-Jung" on March 18, 2013.
  2. English title first appeared on global.sbs.co.kr as "King of Ambition" and then appeared on sbs-int.com as "Queen of Ambition".
  3. Based on comic book series "Yawang" by Park In-Kwon (published July 25, 2006 - September 3, 2007 by Gwijok).
  4. Filming began December 12, 2012. Kwon Sang-Woo & Soo-Ae filmed separate scenes on the first day. Actress Soo-Ae's first scene began at 7am in front of Sogang University, in Seoul. Her first scene involved her character meeting a friend to look for a private tutoring job. Actor Kwon Sang-Woo's first took place in the afternoon, in the suburbs of Seoul. His character rides a bus and he holds a dice given to him by Soo-Ae's character. Their characters grew up together in an orphanage.
  5. Actor Kim Nam-Gil sings a track for the OST of SBS drama series "King of Ambition". The title of the track is "You Don't Know" ("Neoneun Moreunda"). Song is written by singer Park Sun-Joo and first given to Kim Nam-Gil to perform at his December, 2012 fan meeting. A person in charge of the OST for "King of Ambition" then suggested to add the track on their OST. The song will be released January 14, 2013 to coincide with the airing of ep.1 of "King of Ambition".


Night King - Korean Drama-Kwon Sang-Woo.jpg Night King - Korean Drama-Soo-Ae.jpg Night King - Korean Drama-U-Know Yunho.jpg Night King - Korean Drama-Kim Sung-Ryeong.jpg
Kwon Sang-Woo Soo-Ae U-Know Yunho Kim Sung-Ryoung
Ha Ryoo / Cha Jae-Woong Joo Da-Hae Baek Do-Hoon Baek Do-Kyung

Additional Cast Members:


Image Gallery

Episode Ratings

Date Episode TNmS AGB
Nationwide Seoul Nationwide Seoul
2013-01-14 1 NR 9.8% (20th) NR NR
2013-01-15 2 NR NR NR NR
2013-01-21 3 NR NR 10.2% (19th) 11.1% (17th)
2013-01-22 4 9.7% (18th) 10.6% (14th) 9.9% (17th) 10.6% (16th)
2013-01-28 5 10.4% (20th) 11.7% (12th) 10.1% (18th) 11.2% (14th)
2013-01-29 6 12.0% (13th) 13.5% (6th) 12.3% (10th) 13.6% (4th)
2013-02-04 7 13.4% (9th) 14.7% (6th) 12.7% (8th) 14.0% (5th)
2013-02-05 8 16.4% (5th) 18.4% (4th) 15.3% (5th) 16.4% (4th)
2013-02-11 9 16.4% (4th) 18.7% (4th) 15.2% (4th) 16.1% (4th)
2013-02-12 10 20.1% (3rd) 23.3% (2nd) 17.5% (4th) 18.4% (4th)
2013-02-18 11 19.4% (4th) 21.8% (3rd) 18.6% (4th) 19.9% (4th)
2013-02-19 12 19.6% (4th) 21.1% (4th) 19.4% (3rd) 20.8% (3rd)
2013-02-25 13 17.9% (5th) 20.2% (4th) 17.5% (4th) 18.9% (4th)
2013-02-26 14 18.8% (4th) 20.4% (4th) 17.7% (4th) 18.1% (4th)
2013-03-04 15 17.4% (4th) 19.2% (4th) 16.3% (4th) 17.2% (4th)
2013-03-05 16 18.3% (5th) 20.0% (3rd) 18.6% (3rd) 19.9% (4th)
2013-03-11 17 18.8% (5th) 21.3% (4th) 18.5% (4th) 20.3% (4th)
2013-03-12 18 18.8% (5th) 21.0% (3rd) 18.3% (4th) 19.4% (4th)
2013-03-18 19 18.2% (4th) 21.4% (3rd) 17.8% (5th) 19.1% (4th)
2013-03-19 20 18.3% (4th) 21.9% (2nd) 18.6% (5th) 20.1% (4th)
2013-03-25 21 17.0% (5th) 20.0% (4th) 18.0% (3rd) 19.9% (4th)
2013-03-26 22 22.8% (2nd) 26.1% (1st) 22.9% (2nd) 24.3% (2nd)
2013-04-01 23 23.1% (3rd) 25.9% (2nd) 22.5% (3rd) 24.5% (2nd)
2013-04-02 24 26.7% (2nd) 30.7% (1st) 25.8% (2nd) 27.5% (1st)

Source: TNS Media Korea & AGB Nielson

  • NR denotes not ranked within the Top 20 daily shows according to TNS Media Korea and AGB Nielson.


Leave a Comment


Jim If you can get through the first 8 or 9 episodes, the last 15 episodes are fantastic! It gets better the more you watch. How much can a guy love a woman? Watch to find out.

Karyl Watched it for Soo Ae and although her character here is so mean, I was blown away by it and managed to finish it. It is very fast paced and I always pause the scenes every now and then because I was afraid I would have a heart attack with the intense happenings in this drama. It could have had a better ending but nevertheless, It ended up in my top 10 Korean dramas.

Jessie Great drama.One of the Best Revenge Melodramas I've watched and it's very fast paced. The lead actress Soo Ae is phenomenally great in acting that I've hated her so much as Da Hae. I was amazed she took this role knowing that many will hate her character here but I know it's just a drama. Highly Recommended if you liked revenge melos like Secret and Innocent Man.

debie Theres nothing wrong with this drama.


First, it doesnt have any Nice Ending so dont assume. BUT.. but.. but, it doesnt mean that this drama is such a waste. Soo ae portrays her character VERY WELL. She' s a bitch here. Really. Shes a bad bad girl. You might curse her. Hahaha. Same as i did. But it only means that shes a VERY GOOD ACTRESS AT ALL. Her acting is excellent. *clap clap clap* Good job everyone. Soo ae i admire sooo much! Please do make more drama and hoping that u get married soon :) hahah.

Truly yours, Your fan from philippnes :)

sarah i want to know why was ha ryu left at the orphanage

Sarah It was the best drama I've ever watched about revenge along with Innocent Man.

Jrakeah-Alasdair i hate Da Hae...why did her character have to be so mean and bithcy??

dd Image 20 is the nicest

Kristine @Yvonne2012, really Cinderella Man was much better than this??? I hated that drama, so all the more I'll hate this! Though saw ep.1, it kinda seems to dragged. Aiisssshh!

nafis Guys..i just watched 21 eps!now after hearing ur comments,i really dont know what to doo!cause i can not stand for bad endings! :(i really love the innocent man because of its happy ending&also the perfect way that song joong gi & moon chae won played!!!yeah...it's the fact that it's similar to innoceny man but have you ever attention thar most korean drama ate similar?!! :O

yana I'm watching this drama because of Yunho. ^^ Nevertheless, sometimes I find the story very exaggerating. Well, the actors did a great job... their acting skills are really commendable.

Khuncho Yvonne2012 , is that bad? I have bought the DVD yesterday only. I am not going to watch. Thanks for sincere comment.

Yvonne2012 I hated this drama I watched its becoz of him Kwon if not I wouldn't want to wat h it she was so annoying everything she did it didn't do any bad things to her instead others pay for wat she did it was a stupid ending & dragged on too long towards the end!!! Did not like it much Cinderella man was much better

Patricia Hayden I cried through this whole drama...No matter what Da Hae did to Ha Ryu, I knew they were always in love with one another..It's hard to explain the love hate relationship but I have been there, so I get it. I prayed for my loved one to die everyday, then when he was on his deathbed, I begged the heavens to save him. four years later my heart still bleeds for him. so I get this tragedy. yes little girls it can happen to you, so stay away from the really damaged and if you are damaged seek help.

FeiLi Does anyone know which is the song at the very end of the teaser 1 ? I know this music from another drama but I can't remember the name ! Please help me, it just drives me crazy !!!!

aicy i am an avid fan of kwan sang woo. i watched almost all his kreandramas.he is really a versatile actor.could emote what is really the supposed feelings esp. in shedding of tears.he is the best.more power to you.

SenDo God, This drama is sooo intense and very exciting! i'm really impressed with Ju Dae Hee acting skill and really hate her at the same time. If i did't watch 9 Ends 2 out before, i'd like really really HATE her!

But i don't understand about the ending so Kwon sang woo is always love her and not really hate her right? He was dream about happy family with her after what she did? WTF?!!

And i feel really sad for that girl (Ha Ryu twin girlfriend's) i think it would be great if they end up together but no! because Ha Ryu always love that Bi**ch all the times! The ending was annoyed me but before that was interesting!

rediff.com Heya i'm for the primary time here. I came across this board and I to find It truly helpful & it helped me out much. I hope to provide something again and help others like you helped me.

vevine kwon sang woo is a great actor 1st saw him in drama called Cruel Love, since then all his work is superb including this one. good job mr director and staff great drama.

Tokki In ep 2, when she wake up from her dream, how can she have a child? Because when she was a child she was sexually abused by her stepfather, then why does she have a child???

Simon is ep 24 the finale or is there a ep 25?? pls help

Andy It is a "stupid" plot in the sense that presidential election could be single-handedly manupulated so easily by a woman with no experience or previous knowhow in running an election nor the background to begin with. Will a man sell his body and soul for a woman he loves? Why are viewers allowing themselves to be treated like retards?

roman Kwon Sang Woo as always did a splendid job....love this guy. His Sad Love Story (a.k.a. Sad Love Song) is what got me into South Korean dramas and movies in the first place. The way he gives life to his characters, leaves me with tears most of the time and which is why he is my most favorite....

Arezu wow, kwon sang woo's acting is perfect. i really adore his acting. i love this drama, i couldnt stop crying espesially when i was watching last episode, he keeps sacrificing himself until the last moment, so touching. KSW is definitely one of the best korean actor.

kris Baek Do-Hoon (U-Know's) sister Kim Sung-Ryeong (Baek Do-Kyung) is really pretty in this drama!!! and so is U-Know!!!

Syahirah the best drama ever ! wohooo , i love to watch Kwon Sang Woo :)

Lexy Cheng Love beautiful Soo Ae in all her past dramas and cutie Kwon Sangwoo is as usual very good actor BUT this is INNOCENT MAN all over again. Very disappointing.

A kwon sang woo & u-know yunho acting r excellent. soo aeh character is such an evil, i couldnt stop crying when i was watching episode 18!

djbullock I've watched from the beginning but it's hard to understand the high ratings this drama is receiving versus the ratings of "That Winter, The Wind Blows"... only thing I can figure is that Wednesday and Thursday must be bowling nights in South Korea.

Anso This drama reminds me of Innocent Man. Joo Da Hae is being smart all over the place... Strange plot..

Nicholas I love the show, but I do not know 100% what is going on. Could someone tell me what happens each week?

Thanks :)

jay º°˚˚°ºohh my god its best drama,,kwan son woo really great actor..after I'm watched this drama..I'm looking for anything about kwan son woo...thanks for make this drama...I don't want missed every episode....

valerie The first in My daughter seoyeong. Weekend drama at kbs.

chacha23 its a good drama,,!! Yunho fighting,,!!! btw can i ask what drama or program took the 1st and 2nd place???

funky Comment #16This drama is based on comic book .

kumsuter I think this drama is just becoming the rating saviour for the broadcaster. It's a very conservative approach, they know (sad) melodrama is very attractive for housewives. It's a bet to make a good drama to get good rating in Korea, but almost all of sad melodrama and saeguk drama grab good rating.

haryu i really love this drama. cant wait for the next episode. who dislike this drama are, you guys very pitiful. you guys should watch from 1st episode.

damn this drama is a copy of the innocent man!! they should be ashamed of even releasing it.

riafeatriana i think this is another great melodrama we're having this year...i started following it at ep.4...after that i felt so sad with the story...even though at first i dont intend to watch it..but Kwon sang woo never dissapoint me with his acting skill..but this drama is just like Cinderella Man where kwon sangwoo have a twin here...huhu...it's kinda funny but i'm going to watch it anyway^^

Pepi I watch the first 2 episodes in onetvasia. Not like King of Dramas, this drama is so dark, and I will not watch the rest. Really sad that good series like King of Dramas replaced by series like this.

suha This drama plot is so naïve. In fact, how many guy did that? And how many of those lady can reach the top? Maybe just one, or zero?

Kang Cheonsa agree with kimie. the chaser was such an unbeatable drama. but lets see. the plot was not so interesting. but, I just want to see the 'speciality' of this drama. can queen of amibition re-live the glory of the chaser! fighting!

Kimie Yeah, this is just another melodrama story. Nothing special. Just wondering why Kwon Sang Woo, Yunho and Kim Sung Ryeong accept to be cast in this drama. Because of the director? Oh come on man, The Chaser will be his one hit wonder. But about Soo Ae, I'm happy for her to get this drama's main role. I'm wondering if there're lot of producers want her to acting in their dramas, because of her ugly face, sorry.

MydearYunho Just because of Yunho, I will watch this drama.

Tin The story is somehow similar to Innocent Man. Another melodrama story I would watch for. I must commend the casting. Been making a list of dramas I will watch. Queen of Ambition, That Winter, The Wind Blows, and Jang Ok Dun. Yay!

Li This sounds like Daemul and no wonder...The title is also the title of a comic book by the same author which is a part of the trilogy together with Daemul and Wars of Money.

DaDa Been there, done that. I feel like I've seen this drama before. *YAWN*

Keith Finally Kwon Sang Woo is retirning in the small screen!

MsGB Kind of reminds me of Byakuyako. I mean the basic plot, not the first lady stuff.

Tench Can't wait for this awesome drama to come out.

diana Oh no, not another "sacrificing" drama. The Innocent Man was also "sacrificing" Will see because of Kwan Soo Woo is starring in it. One of my favourite actor.

arrashy waiting for this drama ... soo ae, korean artist inocent face.... Hwaiting, eunnie... (^_^)

MUSIK+ In the section 'Plot' the word 'sacrifices' itself is making me some what sad. I was happy that a new drama of Soo Ae is appearing. But, the word 'sacrifices' says that it will be a sad drama.

Is it true that this will be a sad drama?

black_blood In the section 'Plot' the word 'sacrifices' itself is making me some what sad. I was happy that a new drama of Soo Ae is appearing. But, the word 'sacrifices' says that it will be a sad drama.

Is it true that this will be a sad drama?

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