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'Guardian' -- not 'Goblin'

  • Published : Dec 7, 2016 - 15:02
  • Updated : Dec 7, 2016 - 15:02

Actor Gong Yoo plays the role of the dokkaebi Kim Shin (tvN)
The fantasy-romance starring Gong Yoo and Lee Dong-wook has been called by many names in English: first “Dokkaebi,” then “Goblin” and now finally “Guardian.”

“Dokkaebi,” which the show is called in Korean, refers to a mythical monster from folktales. A dokkaebi is immortal, has supernatural powers to control the rain and has a special club that can conjure up gold.

The Korean dokkaebi has a few characteristics similar to the mythical European goblin, which is why the show had at one point opted for that translation.

However, the unraveling show portrays dokkaebi Kim Shin as more akin to an angelic guardian than a crooked goblin.

Now, tvN has officially changed the title to “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” in English.

Kim Shin, with over 300 years of wealth and knowledge to his name, has a soft side that yields to the naive lead female Ji Eun-tak.

Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) and Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go-eun) (tvN)
Eun-tak claims she is a “dokkaebi bride” and that she has beaten death to marry Shin. Kim Shin outwardly pretends he does not care, but whenever Eun-tak falls in danger, he appears out of thin air to save her.

“Shin,” unrelated to the common surname in Korea, means “god” in Korean.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)

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