Another highly anticipated drama, Bride of the Water God will be making waves in July as the newest fantasy-romance drama from TvN. I cannot stress enough how most people have been keeping tabs on news and developments for this, with watchful hawk eyes since the drama is based off a highly acclaimed manhwa.
Bride of the Water God centres around the relationship of Habaek (Nam Joo Hyuk) which is the literal word for water god, and Soo Ah (Shin Se Kyung) whose family have served the water god as servants for generations and happens to be his destined bride. He comes down to earth from his realm in order to seek stones to help him claim his throne as emperor of all the natural realms but has to persuade his future bride that he isn’t a delusional maniac while attempting to fit in with humans.
Soo Ah’s character is one of a struggling heroine, a Psychiatrist wallowing in debt. She doesn’t believe in gods or deities, being a modern woman of science and doesn’t have time for superstitions or a family curse, giving Habaek a hard time, something he isn’t used to since he’s fairly narcissistic and demanding. Things get worse when the wind god, Bi Ryum (Gong Myung) and the water goddess, Mu Ra (Jung Soo-Jung/Krystal) show up to complicate things.
The drama has already garnered quite a lot of attention from devoted fans of the manhwa since it’s only ‘loosely’ based off it and that doesn’t sit well with most people. I’ve personally started reading it myself and I can see why no one would want to change such a beautifully depicted world, especially the historical elements but since TvN wants another smash hit to ride on the success of Goblin, they’ve gone a different route, creating a setting in the present, modern world.
I was quite surprised by Soo Ah’s character description more than anything else since she’s originally a poor girl from a village who gets picked as a sacrifice by the villagers of her town, to be given to the water god in exchange for rain. It seems like the drama version has made things much lighter and not as melancholic but I hope Soo Ah’s personal struggles of being discarded and constantly stepped on by her fellow humans is somehow translated into the drama as well.
Of course, I can’t leave out the biggest controversy currently floating around – Habaek. A lot of people were disappointed in Nam Joo Hyuk taking the role and I was a little skeptical myself since Habaek for all his god-like superiority, has a great deal of understanding when it comes to the darker aspects of humans and their greed in the manhwa. He also shape shifts, having two forms – a child’s body during the day and a man at night, and this is clearly something the writer has cut out despite it’s significance to the manhwa’s story.
Many were expecting an actor who would be older, able to tap into the emotional depth of the character but the more promotional material I see, convinces me that Nam Joo Hyuk will do just fine. He most definitely looks the part – I no longer see him as the adorable little boy living next door but a guy who looks great in a suit, possessing an ethereal aura.
So what are your thoughts on this? Will the drama be a hit or miss?
Release Date: July 3, 2017 (Eng Sub available on DramaFever)