Hwarang
Seo Ye-ji as Princess Sukmyeong in 'Hwarang' episode 9. Youtube.com/KBS World TV

'Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth,' which has beaten both 'Goblin' and 'The Legend of the Blue Sea' in ratings, will air its ninth episode tonight. As if the existing tensions between the lead characters weren't enough, a new female character is being introduced on the drama.

Website Soompi reports that actor Seo Ye-ji will join the cast members of 'Hwarang' on epsode 9. She will be playing the role of a Shilla dynasty princess called Sookmyeong, daughter of Queen Mother Kim Ji-soo as well as the future consort of her half-brother and king Sammaekjong, played by Park Hyung-sik.

"Seo Ye Ji has been confirmed to appear on 'Hwarang,'" her agency King Entertainment had informed TV Daily, as quoted by website Allkpop in July, last year. She was also to take lessons in dancing and horseback riding, as per an insider. "In order to properly portray the role of Sukmyeong, Seo Ye Ji will take lessons in dance and horseback riding until the filming starts. She will join the filming in the middle of July," the insider had said, as quoted in the Allkpop article.

Soompi notes that due to the neglect of her mother, Queen Jiso, from her childhood, Sukmyeong grew up to have a cold personality. However, the princess will eventually discover the hidden warmth in her personality through her interactions with Kim Ah-ro and the other Hwarang warriors.

From the preview, we learn that Queen Mother Jiso has decided to get her son married to her daughter, who is his half-sister. It will be interesting to see whether she silently accepts her fate of marriage to her half-brother or fights against the royals, especially her Queen Mother. Hopefully, her horseback riding skills, learned during rehearsals, will come into play. However, as history tells us, she did become King Jinheung/Sammaekjong's queen.

It will be interesting to see how her introduction affects the proceedings of the drama. It was learned that Queen Jiso had planned the wedding of her son, King Jinheung with Sukmyeong, to which he objected by replying that he will find his own bride rather than accept his mother's choice for him. The Queen got furious at this infuriating reply from her son, which spoils all her plans. She said he was ruining his life by not obeying his mother.

Enraged by her son's decision she asks her bodyguard to kidnap Kim Ah-ro, played by Go Ara. We see the evil queen confront Ah-ro inside a room and tell her "How should I save you...I was trying to find a way. But I can't," the Queen says. Then she stands up and leaves the room after ordering her bodyguard Hyun-chu to kill physician Kim Ahn-ji's daughter.

'Hwarang' episode 9 airs tonight at 10 pm KST, on KBS2 and at 9.50 pm, Tuesday on KBS World. It airs in Singapore at 8.50 pm on KBS World as well. Watch the preview here.