‘Captivating the King’ Ending Explained, Why is Kang See-Hoo Dressed as a Man?

Captivating the King Ending Explained
Captivating the King Ending Explained

“Captivating the King” is a 2024 Korean drama with 16 episodes. It is written by Kim Seon-deok and directed by Cho Nam-guk. You can watch it on Netflix.


  • King Lee In argues with his mother over Kang Hee-soo.
  • King Lee In remains committed to the late king’s wish to make his son the next king.
  • King Lee In prioritizes protecting Kang Hee-soo.
  • The love between Kang Hee-soo and King Lee In grows stronger.
  • Kang Hee-Soo reveals her name as Kang Hee-Soo to King Lee In after he defeats her in a game of Baduk.

Captivating the King’ Ending Explained

The king's mother is suspicious that Kang Hee-soo is a woman and orders her people to take off her hat.
The king’s mother is suspicious that Kang Hee-soo is a woman and orders her servants to take off her hat

In the final episode, Episode 16, King Lee In has a big argument with his mother. She tries to capture Kang Hee-soo without telling the king. The king’s mother is already suspicious that Kang Hee-soo is a woman disguised as a man, so she tries to find proof by removing Kang Hee-Soo’s hat. While removing her hat, the king enters and finds Kang Hee-soo. He tells his mother not to summon Kang Hee-soo under any circumstances. Also, the king, Lee In, keeps his promise to the late king who wanted his son to become the king. Lee In treats the late king’s son as his own.

Later, we see Yoo Hyun-Bo captured in a place. He kills the person guarding the place but is caught trying to escape by Chu Dal-Ha and killed in the process. Court Lady Dong returns home to her parents, promising not to leave them again. This makes her parents very happy. In return for her service, the king rewards the family with a big house, wealth, and a government job for her father.

The drama ends with King Lee In and Kang Hee-Soo playing a game of Baduk. As promised, Kang Hee-Soo reveals her name to the king when he wins the game.

Why is Kang See-Hoo Dressed as a Man?

A scene where Kang See-Hoo Dressed as a Man and plays Baduk with the King Lee-in
A scene where Kang See-Hoo Dressed as a Man and plays Baduk with the King Lee-in

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Kang Hee-Soo dresses like a man because she loves playing Baduk, a game women weren’t allowed to play back then. She uses her winnings to help Joseon citizens held by the Qing empire, their rivals, to go back home. This shows how brave she is for her people. Kang Hee-Soo, in disguise, challenges anyone to beat her at Baduk, promising to reveal her identity if they do. Her confidence stems from her exceptional skills in the game. Even the king, a skilled player himself, finds her intriguing as she’s the only one to defeat him. Eventually, the king discovers her secret but chooses to protect her because he loves her. Revealing her identity would endanger her life, and he doesn’t want that. Besides, she’s not just a formidable opponent but also a cherished companion in the game he loves. Keeping her secret ensures Baduk will continue to thrive.

The Fate of Kang Hee-Soo’s Identity, Revealed or Concealed?

The Fate of Kang Hee-Soo's Identity, Revealed or Concealed?
The Fate of Kang Hee-Soo’s Identity, Revealed or Concealed?

Kang Hee-Soo’s secret remains concealed from public scrutiny, keeping it in mystery and known only to a privileged few. Despite the opposition posed by the king’s mother, who threatens Kang Hee-Soo’s safety and well-being, the situation takes an unexpected turn. Rather than succumbing to his mother’s pressure, the king defiantly stands by Kang Hee-Soo’s side, asserting his authority and protecting her from harm. The king’s firm commitment to Kang Hee-Soo’s safety shows the depth of his feelings for her, as he takes decisive action To protect her from possible dangers. With the story unfolding, his affection for her becomes stronger, ultimately raising the level of his protective instincts towards her. The king hiding Kang Hee-Soo’s identity isn’t just about showing love. It’s also to keep her safe from dangers. Moreover, it keeps Baduk fair because Kang Hee-Soo is good at it and gives the king a strong opponent. When they play, it’s not just a game. It’s a sign of how much they respect and admire each other’s abilities. Therefore, the king’s actions show a mix of love, loyalty, and smart thinking. By keeping Kang Hee-Soo’s secret safe, he keeps her out of harm’s way and also keeps the game of Baduk important to them both. So, their relationship becomes more than just playing the game. It becomes a strong connection based on trust, liking each other, and loving Baduk.

The King’s Fascination with Kang Hee-Soo

The King's Fascination with Kang Hee-Soo
The King’s Fascination with Kang Hee-Soo

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Kang Hee-Soo is really good at playing Baduk, a game like chess. The king, who is also good at Baduk, is always looking for someone to play with. But he gets bored because no one is as good as him. Then he meets Kang Hee-Soo, who pretends to be a man. As they keep playing, the king starts to wonder about her. Maybe he likes her because she is good at Baduk, or maybe because of how she looks. But what really catches his attention is how great she is at the game. He doesn’t just see her as an opponent anymore but as someone special. He keeps wanting to play with her because she gives him a real challenge. The more they play, the more he finds Kang Hee-Soo fascinating, both as a player and as a mysterious person.

King Lee In’s Dilemma: Throne or Last Wish?

King Lee In's Dilemma: Throne or Last Wish?
King Lee In’s Dilemma: Throne or Last Wish?

Lee In was held as a sacrifice for his people and the king by the Qing dynasty. Despite not wanting to go, he does so as a faithful, loyal brother to the king, fulfilling his duty. A saying spread during this process, stating that if anything bad happened to the king, Lee In would take the throne if he returned safely. Upon his safe return, he faced a big dispute in town as rumors spread widely, with the king holding his anger against him. The king passed away, leaving his last word with Lee In, telling him to make his son the king. However, Lee In chose to take the throne, going against the last wish. This decision stemmed from various reasons, mostly political. Having formed a bond with the Qing dynasty, he knew they could be of help. He was also aware of potential conspirators by his side. Despite greed and selfishness being factors, they did not overpower him. Meeting Kang Hee-Soo made him realize a lot about his conscience. In the end, he felt guilty as he tried to steer onto the right path.

Did Greed Change the King, or Did He Remain Unchanged?

When Lee In becomes King, he changes how he acts. At first, he acts proud and rude to people who have power. He feels like he deserves to be in charge. But he has a reason for acting this way. He thinks there are secret plans by people who seem innocent. Even though he’s powerful, he’s smart enough to stop any tricks from happening.

As time goes on, Lee In starts feeling really guilty about what he did. Before his brother, the old king, died, he asked Lee In to make his nephew, Munseong, the new king. But Lee In wants to be king himself, so he says to his people that his brother wanted him to be king instead. Well aware of his wrong doings he began to be filled with so much guilt as he kept the king’s last wish aside. With time we see that he wants to be a good person again. So, he starts thinking about what he can do to make things right and be a better king.

Who were the Primary Conspirators Plotting against the King?

Yoo Hyun Bo, Principal Director Park Jong-Hwan, and Minister of War Kim Jong-Bae are the three primary conspirators.

The Secret Scheme Behind King Yi Sun’s Poisoning

Court Lady Dong gave poison to the first king 'King Yi Sun' which led to his death
Court Lady Dong gave poison to the first king ‘King Yi Sun’ which led to his death

Court Lady Dong made a tough choice to poison the first king, King Yi Sun, which led to his death. She did it because she was desperate to protect herself and Lee-In. Her actions show how people sometimes have to do bad things to survive, even if they don’t want to.  Only she and Lord Park knew about it, and he used this secret to control her. For the second time around with Lee In being King, Lord Park again threatens her to do the same to King Lee In. Lord Park threatened to tell everyone if she didn’t do what he wanted, which made her feel frightened. Not having the heart to do the same to Lee In she consumes the poison makeup and reveals the truth to King Lee In about all the plot schemes with regard to the poison and dies in his arms. It’s like a big puzzle of loyalty and fear in the royal court. Lord Park’s sneaky plans show how power can make people do bad things to stay in charge. If Court Lady Dong’s secret comes out, it’ll make things even worse. Lord Park uses it to stay powerful and make others afraid. The royal court becomes a place of lies and fear, and it makes it hard to trust anyone. In the end, this scenario about  Court Lady and Lord Park’s stories show how tricky it can be to do the right thing when power is at stake.

Why did Kang Hee-Soo want Revenge against the King?

She sought revenge, blaming King Yi In for the death of her beloved Hong-Jang. She plotted to kill him as a result.

Is this K-drama, ‘Captivating the King’ a Happy Ending?

The K-drama ends happily, with everyone learning from their mistakes and becoming better people. Bad characters face consequences for their actions, teaching us about the dangers of being selfish. But those trying to do good work hard to make things right and learn important lessons about being honest and kind. The story shows that being fair and doing the right thing is important. It also teaches us that we can change and become better if we try hard enough, even when things are tough. Overall, it’s a hopeful ending that reminds us that no matter what challenges we face, we can always find a way to make things better.

Is the K-drama very Serious?

This drama is serious, focusing on evil plans, wars, and greed. It truly captures the Joseon era, so fans of historical movies will love this K-drama.

Is there any Romance in this Drama?

Yes, in this K-drama, there are two main characters: the king and Kang Hee-Soo. Their love story is full of twists and turns, and they each make the other person better in different ways.

Does this K-drama have any Plot Twists?

This drama is full of surprises, especially with many people planning against the king. As the story unfolds, Kang Hee-Soo also gets involved in the plan against the king because she holds a grudge against him. She blames the king for the death of her loved one. Additionally, a strong fighter named Chu Dal-Ha tries to kill the king but ends up hurting Kang Hee-Soo instead, almost killing her. This incident reveals her secret to the king. The king’s mother also finds out Kang Hee-Soo’s disguise as a man and threatens to tell everyone, but the king protects her and talks to his mother. Despite these threats, the king keeps Kang Hee-Soo’s secret until the very end, with only a few people knowing the truth.