Glorious news! Brooding heroes are a universal theme not just limited to regency period dramas. (Though we owe much gratitude to our brooding Mr. Darcy.) Why, there are loads of Asian dramas full of brooding, angsty, tortured souls.
If you’d like to know the secret to becoming an expert brooder, there are many paths to reaching your goal, most of them involving tragedy, rejection and life-long isolation! Throw in some boss sword-fighting skills or mega-wealth as a prince or pop idol and you’re well on your way. Here are twelve characters with that unforgettable smolder!
12 Awesome Brooding Heroes of Asian Dramas!
(in no particular order)
#1 Li Gexiao
Drama: The Vigilantes in Masks/Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei
Tragedy is probably Li Gexiao’s middle name. After he lost his beloved wife, he spent his days in his cups until destiny demanded he brood his way to saving the kingdom. He really doesn’t want to be a hero, he just can’t help it.
#2 Choi Young
Drama: Faith/The Great Doctor
Choi Young knows that being the best warrior in the kingdom means also having a frown permanently seared into his face. He’s been run down by selfish rulers pulling him this way and that. But a spunky time-traveling girl will bring a rare smile to his lips… and lots of anguish to balance it out.
#3 Ha Woo-Jin
Drama: Liar Game
Is being smart and being a brooder synonymous? Yes! Woo-Jin only knows betrayal and pain after the heartbreaking death of his mother. That’s why his motto is trust no one. He spends his time furrowing his brows and solving complex reality games turned deadly. And he looks awesome while doing it.
#4 Kim Seung-Yoo
Drama: The Princess’ Man
Seung-Yoo, you poor tortured soul. His entire family was wiped out by betrayal and the woman he loved was the key to his family’s destruction. Of course, he spends all his time plotting revenge and sitting in dark rooms, staring at the wall, loathing and longing for his star-crossed love.
Drama: Queen Seondeok
Bidam, the captivating dichotomy. To people around him he wears a façade of craziness; a mischievous fool. But in the shadows we see the dark, vengeful brooder lurking. I mean, his mother abandoned him and his father-figure is terrified of him. That’ll make anyone go a little loopy. He probably doesn’t make the hero list, but he has his moments.
#6 Kang Chae-Yoon
Drama: A Tree with Deep Roots
You don’t know tortured souls (yes, all great brooders must have a rotten, traumatizing past!) until you meet Chae-Yoon, whose entire family and friends were killed by political intrigue when he was just a child. He broods his way to the king’s palace as a guard, swearing to take the king’s life, but there’s a vulnerable boy inside looking for healing if a fellow girl survivor can find him in time.