Iron Empress

Iron Empress is a Korean television show that tells the dramatic and historic tale of Empress Cheonchu. Cheonchu, played by Chae Shi-ra, has lived her entire life as a royal personage. She was born into the ruling family and became the queen by marrying her cousin, Emperor Gyeongjong. It seems that Cheonchu's life will be one of strict order. However, everything changes when her husband dies. Suddenly, Cheonchu realizes that she can reach out and take control of her own life.

In her new role as Dowager Empress, Cheonchu begins to act on her grandmother's dream of reclaiming lands lost to enemies. She quickly becomes known as a warrior, or iron, empress and gains respect from many political figures. However, even as she is gaining power and status, Cheonchu's personal life is going downhill.

When Cheonchu's husband the emporer died, Cheonchu's own brother, Seongjong, took the throne. When Seongjong sees that Cheonchu's focus is almost entirely on defeating her enemies, he realizes that she may not be the right person to raise her son, Mokjong. Seongjong is concerned because he knows that Mokjong will succeed him and believes that he must personally train the young boy in order to create a proper ruler. In order to do this, Seongjong takes Mokjong and raises him as his own.

Cheonchu soon realizes that her son is the most important thing in her life. She begins attempting to get him back from Seongjong. However, the battles she has started to regain land cannot be stopped, and her attention must be given to the issues she has created. Cheonchu must now fight an outward battle over land, while at the same time trying to once again become a mother to her son.

1 Season, 78 Episodes
January 3, 2009
Korean Drama
Cast: Shi-ra Chae, Hyo-jeong Ban, Cheol-ho Choi, Jae-Sung Choi
Iron Empress

Iron Empress Full Episode Guide

  • Yang Gyu and Kim Suk Hong have it out in one final battle that will determine the fate of the war and both countries.

  • King Hyun Jong and his ministers find themselves in a dire situation in the face of Khitan's army. The Empress Dowager races against time with Goyreo's army in an attempt to save them from the clutches of death.

  • As Kae Kyung falls into Khitan's cluches, King Hyun Jong and his ministers are forced to evacuate to the Southern area. Kang Jo and Dae Do Su hatch a plot to assassinate King Sung Jong.

  • After he is betrayed by Lee Hyun Woon and An Pae, Kang Jo is taken hostage in the heat of the Sam Su Chae war.

  • Kang Jo's army awaits an attack from Khitan's army in Sam Su Chae. After a long encampment period the two armies finally have it out.

  • After King Hyun Jong receives the news that Khitan has invaded Goryeo with an army of forty thousand behind them, Kang Jo is nominated as a supreme commander for the upcoming battle.

  • Lee Hyun Woon and An Pae succeed in assassinating King Mok Jong. The Empress Dowager finds herself in confinement in Chung Ju. King Sung Jong keeps a close watch on any chance to invade Goryeo.

  • Queen Mun Wha and Kim Sim Un people take action in an attempt to remove Kang Jo and northern people from the palace.

  • After Wang Soon becomes 8th King of Goryeo, the Empress Dowager prepares to leave, but, Kang Jo refuses to release Hwang Bo Su or his army from the imperial palace.

  • Kim Chi Yang's uprising is crushed in battle and King Mok Jong orders that Wang Soon resign his position.

  • Kim Chi Yang tries to convince Hwang Bo Su that their son should be King of Goryeo, and asks her to lead the country beside him. The Empress Dowager thinks twice about accepting his offer.

  • The Empress Dowager attempts to lead the army to protect the imperial palace, but they have trouble containing the attacks of the rebel forces.

  • After discovering the truth about Kim Chi Yang's betrayal from Kang Kam Chan and Yu Haeng Gan, she has trouble believing what she has discovered.

  • King Mok Jong announces his forbidden love and resigns from his position as head minister. Kim Chi Yang pleads with The Empress Dowager to make Kim Jin a king of Goryeo.

  • Finally, the Empress Dowager decides to depose of King Mok jong and make Wang Sun a king. Kim Chi Yang sends Sa Ga Mun and Dok Yun to pay a visit to prince Wang Sun.

  • Kim Chil Yang joins forces with Han Duk Lyang after he realizes that Hwang Bo Su's loyalty lies with prince Wang Sun. Empress Dowager, Hwang Bo Su discovers the relationship between King Mok Jong and Yu Hang Gan.

  • King Mok Jong turns to back drugs as he struggles aimlessly through days of pain after the death of Kim Mil Hwa. Meanwhile, Kim Chi Yang revels in his devious actions.

  • Kim Chi Yang takes dire measure against Chon Hayng Bi after he discovers that he may hold information that could deeply damage his reputation.

  • King Mok Jong receives joyful news of Kim Mil Hwa's pregnancy, but, Kim Chi Yang puts a damper on the situation when he gives his men orders to capture Kim Won Sung's people and Kim Mil Hwa's older brother.

  • The Empress Dowager receives the news that war has broken out between Khitan and the Song dynasty. After hearing the news, Kang Kam Chan and Kang Jo ready themselves for battle.

  • Hang Bo Su decides to launch a counterattack against the Khitan after Balhae's land is retaken from them.

  • The Empress Dowager Hwang Bo Su decides to relinquish control of internal affairs to King Mok Jong, and handle only foreign policy and military service.

  • Khitan begins to feel the hear of Goryeo's new and improved army. As a countermeasure, they decide to send an assassin to target one of Goryeo's strongest men.

  • After King Mok Jong's announcement of next King of Goryeo, the courtiers who have dissatisfactions with the Empress Dowager's policy begin to rebel.

  • Drama ensues after it is discovered that Hwang Bo Su is pregnant with Kim Chi Yang's child. Kim Chi Yang is full of hope that his child will be the next king of Goryeo, but, King Mok Jong has different plans.

  • The Empress Dowager Hwang Bo Su takes steps to improve Goryeo's army. Kim Chi Yang begins to take control of the country.

  • The Empress Dowager Hwang Bo Su and King Sung Jong of Khitan form an alliance according to the Empress Dowager of Khitan.

  • While keeping an eye on the Yeon Heung palace, Kim Chi Yang discovers the fact that King Mun Wha and So Chal Li may be behind the King's problematic addiction.

  • Hwang Bo Su decides to fight alongside the Song dynasty against the Khitan, but after King Mok Jong realizes that Kim Ghi Yang is behind the idea, he desperately opposes.

  • Hwang Bo Su decides to hold a material arts contest to find fresh new talent to assist with the National defense. It is there Yang Gyu and Kim Suk Hong are discovered.

  • The Empress Dowager (Hwang Bo Su) comes to the realization that Khitan stands against Song, and must take action.

  • Kim Chi Yang takes desperate action against Choi Sum as revenge for the cruel fate of his parents. Meanwhile, The Empress Dowager tries to punish Queen Mun Hwa and the Shin La people.

  • After many trials and tribulations, Wang Song becomes 7th King of Goryeo and Queen Hwang Bo Su stands besides him as the Empress Dowager.

  • King Sung Jong goes into council with Queen Hwang Bo Su and they return to Kae Kyung with important news about who will be the new king.

  • Choi Sum hatches a plot to send an army in secret to assassinate Queen Hwang Bo Su. King Sung Jong falls into the trap of opium addiction to ease his sorrows.

  • Queen Hwang Bo Su and her company fall victim to trap set by King Sung Jong. Prince Wang Song must go to Queen Mun Hwa to ask for her assistance in order to save his mother.

  • When Sung Jong's carriage reaches Tae Myo, Queen Hwang Bo Su's forces leave to seize King Sung Jong.

  • Kim Chi Yang receives the news that Choi Sum people have found them out, and he suggests they kill King Sung Jong right now.

  • Empress Moon Hwa orders to arrest people who spread rumors about her. After King Seong Jong discovers her horrible crime, he is furious and decides to make Wang Song a king of Goryeo.

  • Wang Song suddenly collapses after coming to Sung Duk palace. Queen Hwang Bo Su learns Wang Song has epilepsy from Kim Chi Yang.

  • Empress Moon Hwa cooperates with the Silla people for stopping the spread of Queen Sung Duk's power and makes a plan to make Hyeon Jong a king of Goryeo.

  • After Hwang Bo Su comes back to Goryeo, she realizes Empress Moon Hwa is in charge of the affairs of state, and planning to extend her powers further.

  • Despite the court's protest over protocol, Empress Moon Hwa takes over governing duties to protect the Crown Prince's illness.

  • Pledging servitude to Xiao Sunning, Lady Sungdeok refuses to return to Goryeo court. However, the Khitan queen has other plans for her.

  • Xiao Sunning plans to divide the royal court by spreading word that she will kill Lady Sungdeok, and take her own revenge against Gang Shin and the lady.

  • Rumors spread to court that Lady Sungdeok is dead, causing grief for her son. Drillmaster Gang insists on searching for her instead of believing the rumors.

  • The Khitan queen offers Lady Sungdeok a chance to be part of her court, or to be a prisoner forever in the iron mines.

  • In the aftermath of Foreman Kim's confession of love to Lady Sungdeok, the prisoners are given a undesirable proposition in order to keep their lives.

  • Lady Sungdeok is captured by Khitan's forces and the she is forced to sit down to an interesting dinner with their Queen.

  • The army continues to look for the missing Lady Sungdeok as preparations for a victory celebration are made by the King.

  • Lady Sungdeok makes a bold sacrifice in order to avoid capture, while new battle plans are being hatched at home.

  • Fearing a possbile attack on Seogyeong by the Khitan, Lady Sungdeok and her troops contemplate drastic action in order to save their homeland.

  • Xiao Sunning's plan to lure Goryeo' Army away from Anhbeok City takes shape as a detachment from the main Khitan army confronts Goryeo in Yunju.

  • Khitan delivers an ultimatum to the Goryeo army, but the King wishes for peace in spite of the Khitan army's demands. Lady Sungdeok has a disagreement with the King and suffers the consequences.

  • A battle ensues near what is today known as the Pyeongan Province between the armies or Goryeo and Khitan.

  • The Prince meets his newborn son for the first time while the Khitan scheme to raise an army for invasion

  • Seol gives birth but there are complications that put her life in danger and a decision is made about the baby's future.

  • The Prince and Choi Sum are captured and tried for treason while there is further effort into proving that Lady Sungdeok is the mastermind of the whole plot.

  • Kim Won Seung spreads lies that Hwang Bo Su tried to plot a rebellion with Choi Sum people, but King Sung Jong receives veritable evidence that casts doubt on this rumor.

  • Wang Wook is discovered by Cho Sun, and he escapes quickly to the Myung Bok palace. Hwang Bo Su warns Kim Won Sung that if he tries to kill Wang Song again, she would kill Queen Mun Hwa.

  • Hwang Bo Su and Kang Jo try to get a confession from Cho Sun, who tried to kill Wang Song, but with much difficulty.

  • Despite Hwang Bo Su's claims of innocence, King Sung Jong forbids her from meeting her son.

  • Hwang Bo Su takes Wang Song to King Sung Jong, but an attempted assassination casts doubt on his impression of her.

  • While Hwang Bo Su and Wang Song enjoy their time together, a surprising turn of events involves a near assassination attempt on both their lives.

  • Princess Yean Heung intends to bring Wang Song to Gaekyung, but Hwang Bo Su doesn't let him go for fear of his safety.

  • After Wang Wook disappears, Hwang Bo Seul leaves looking for him. Meanwhile, Hwang Bo Su receives the news that she can now meet her son.

  • As soon as Hwang Bo Su returns from Yeo Jin, she leaves for Kae Kyung to see Wang Song. But, King Sung Jong forces her to choose between Myung Bok palace or Wang Song.

  • Hwang Bo Su and Kang Jo leave to rescue the people who were kidnapped from Yeojin Tribe.

  • Hwang Bo Su tries to reform Balhae's settlement, and receives news about her son's government service.

  • When Wang Chi becomes king of Goryeo, he takes Hwang Bo Su's son and turns her out.

  • Choi Ji Mong betrays King Gyeongjong and he joins Shin La's people. King Gyeongjong gets sick after hearing that news.

  • As soon as Hwang Bo Su has a baby, King Gyeongjong is trying to be a good emperor. But, King Gyeongjong has a serious disease.

  • Hwang Bo Su and Hwang Bo Seul are imprisoned in their place, but Bo Su collapses, and the royal physician has surprising news.

  • Hwang Tae Hu knows a daughter of Kim Won Seung will be the new empress, and heads to Kae-Kyung for preventing their conspiracy. King Gyeongjong wants a granddaughter of the Empress Dowager as a concubine.

  • King Gyeongjong sees his mother from Hwang Bo Su and he loses his mind. When he collapses, Hwnag Bo Su, Kang Kam Chan, Kang Jo are imprisoned.

  • Hwang Bo Su meets Kang Kam Chan and she knows a raw deal of Balhae's people.

  • A.D. 993, So Son Nyung invades Goryeo with his army. Hwang Bo Su, who is the granddaughter of Wang-Gun and Empress of Gyeongjong, marches to the Yalu river to slow Kitan's army down.

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