In this prequel, Ashin, played by Jun Ji-Hyun, begins on a never-ending quest of vengeance that culminates in the events of Kingdom.
We sympathize with her motivations since she is cool and capable, yet her actions consistently lead us to believe she is a villain.

While we wait for a possible third season, Netflix invites us to revisit the Kingdom narrative this summer with this prequel origin story. The feature-length special Ashin of the North sheds light on the enigmatic Ashin, played by celebrity Jun Ji-hyun, who made an appearance in the last moments of the second season.

Following a lengthy preamble that outlines the geopolitics of the Jurchen forces, officials of the ancient Korean Joseon kingdom, and the Seongjeoyain tribe caught in the crossfire in northern Joseon, the special episode begins in a forest, with a nod to another Korean zombie smash hit, Train to Busan: a deer eats a mysterious blue flower and transforms into a zombie, only to be mauled by a tiger (after Army of the Dead).

The surroundings of Ashin of the North, such as this thick woodland and the frightening wide plains, set it apart from the main series visually. Zombies are being utilized as a political symbol once more. At the center of it all is Ashin, a compelling figure who challenges our perceptions of her as she goes on a revenge campaign that culminates in the events of Kingdom.

Jun is choosy about the projects she accepts, but once she does, she makes them her own. As an adult, Ashin is a rage-filled figure, which Jun depicts with unsettlingly blank glances.
We sympathize with her motivations since she’s calm and capable, yet her actions consistently lead us to believe she’s a villain.
Ashin’s arc is intriguing, but it’s a complex 90-minute episode thanks to the exposition needed to set up the plot, the twists and turns leading up to her seeking retribution, her transition from girl to adult fighter, and some unexpected discoveries.

Jun doesn’t appear until around the midway point, and the little conversation she does have provides us little insight into the character other than her desire for vengeance.
Season three, perhaps, will give us a more complete picture of Ashin, as well as a thorough introduction to Aidagan, the cruel Pajeowi Tribe chief played by Koo Gyo-hwan.
Prior to that, Ju Ji-hoon will resume his role as Lee Chang in the upcoming prequel special Kingdom: Crown Prince.

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