There Was Supposed To Be A Different Ending To “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo”

Which ending would you prefer?

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo was one of the most popular dramas of 2016. It had an all-star cast of Lee Joon Gi, IU, Kang Ha Neul, Nam Joo Hyuk, Girls’ Generation‘s Seohyun, and EXO’s Baekhyun. The main couple, Hae Soo (played by IU) and Wang So (played by Lee Joon Gi), stole hearts with their chemistry. They had great romantic and sweet scenes, such as this adorable peck…

Hae Soo and Wang So being lovey-dovey. | SBS

…but everyone’s hearts were ripped apart with the ending. Originally from modern-day Korea, Go Ha Jin was thrust into ancient Goguryeo and took on the identity of Hae Soo, the younger sister of a court lady wed to one of the princes. She experienced many trials and tribulations, falling in love with Wang Wook at first, then coming to care for Wang So. Ultimately, she was forced into exile near the borders due to misunderstandings and jealousy and took ill. Hae Soo returned to her own time after passing away in ancient Goguryeo. Now, Go Ha Jin once more, visits an exhibition on the history and comes across a painting of Wang So. She tears up as all her memories from the past return.

Go Ha Jin experiences overwhelming sadness after coming across the painting of Wang So. | SBS

Cruel, huh? She went through all the pain only to end up alone, while Wang So also died a lonely death after his reign.

Fans were outraged at the unsatisfying ending. The silver lining is that Lee Joon Gi himself admitted that they had filmed an alternate ending that was never aired. On an episode of MMTG, Lee Joon Gi shared that he knew fans had been left wanting with the aired ending. Fans were initially made aware of an alternative ending thanks to photos shared by IU on her Instagram previously. But IU had never revealed what the scene was about. Lee Joon Gi finally satiated fans’ curiosity.

The alternative ending scenes as uploaded by IU. | MMTG

In the alternative ending, Wang So’s reincarnation walks up to a crying Hae Soo and hands her a handkerchief. He is wearing a suit and completely doesn’t know who she is. She looks up at him as if asking if he remembers her. With a smile, he walks away. Hae Soo gets up to go. They both turn around at the same time and meet eyes. Hae Soo smiles at him, and they both part ways.

Lee Joon Gi explains the alternative ending. | MMTG

The alternative ending did not make it out into the world thanks to the director who stopped it from even appearing in the DVD collection. The director had been in a dilemma about a sad vs. happy ending for ages and finally decided on a sad one. At least we finally know what could’ve been! Check out his full episode on MMTG below.

Scroll to top