Zombies are fun to watch on screen, as long as you ain’t a part. Netflix’s first Korean original Kingdom tells the story of a prince stuck in between a serious government coup and a bunch of dangerous zombies.
With the end of season 2, the makers finally gives us clarity on the origin of the zombies. But Kingdom isn’t all about monsters. The fantasy thriller has much to do with politics and is inspired by some real events as well.
Written by Kim Eun hee and directed by Kim Seong-hun, Kingdom is loosely based on the webcomic series The Kingdom of the Gods. Our protagonist is Crown Prince Lee Chang (played byJu Ji-hoon). Now, apart from all the political stuff, zombies come in to create more problems.
Throughout the first season, it is said that zombies can only attack at night because they are afraid of the sun. But there’s news. Seems like things are not that simple.
Who Are The Zombies In Kingdom?
Zombies are central to Kingdom’s plot and plays the role of the main antagonists. Zombies are essentially corpses that have been sort of brought to life (not literally) by the Resurrection plant (technically by parasitic worms).
The infection of the zombies soon spreads like an epidemic (releatable much?) which means any human bitten by them would turn into another cannibalistic horrific creature like themselves.
In the show, they’re often referred to as infected or monsters. Interestingly, zombies do not target animals or other living beings, but stick to humans. There are a few ways to kill them and they’re said to be afraid of sunlight.
What Are The Zombies Afraid Of In Kingdom?
There’s a big reveal in Season 2 regarding the zombies and what they’re actually afraid of. So here goes: Zombies are not afraid of sunlight. It is the temperature that scares them. In other words, they’re afraid of heat and that spells trouble, as winter is coming.
Yeah, yeah, we have already heard that phrase too many times, didn’t we? But seems like winter is trouble in other places too.
But that being said, I do have one question. Back in season 1, the infection started when the peasants drank a stew made from the body of an infected boy without knowing. So, the stew needed to be cooked, I am guessing.
My question is, how come the heat from the cooking destroy the germs, considering they’re sensitive to high temperatures? Maybe we will get more clarity on this in the next season.
Apart from heat or high temperatures, the zombies also seem to be scared of water.
What Are The Ways To Kill The Zombies?
How To Kill A Zombie In Kingdom?
Beheading, burning or drowning seems to be the only plausible ways to kill the zombies or atleast weaken them.
The infected aka the zombies have rabies like symptoms such as hydrophobia (fear of water), so drowning is a viable option. Since they’re sensitive to heat, they will most likely be defeated by fire or otherwise strong temperature.
So burning seems to make sense. With winter coming, it will grow further difficult to weaken or kill the zombies because the temperature will no longer work against them. I am quite excited to see how our heroes find a way to defeat them.
By the way, in case an infected person has just been bitten or injected, one can dip his body in water. This way, the worms leave the body of the infected and the infection would not be spread.
Another way out is if the infected person is an infant. In that case, the worms are unable to control the infected one’s brain since their brain has not completely developed yet. So, they remain unaffected but the worms still remain his their body.
As of now, Lee Yeom is the only character who has been bitten but not infected.
How Did The Plague Start In Kingdom?
Back in season 1, the infection started when the peasants drank a stew made from the body of an infected boy without knowing it. The infection comes from a parasitic worm in the resurrection plant. Any human who is injected with potion made out of the plant will get infected.
Other than that, if infected people bite other non-infected people that too turns them into zombies. In the case of King of Joseon, it was because of the infected potion from the resurrection plant that the Queen was feeding him.
But I have one question. You could actually call this a plot hole. When the peasants drank the stew made from the body of an infected boy, the stew needed cooking. Now as we know, zombies are sensitive to high temperature.
How come the heat from the cooking did not destroy the germs then? Fire should be able to destroy the germs or nullify their effect. So that is a big loophole in my opinion. Maybe Season 3 will give us an explanation.
1. How Did The King Get Infected In The Kingdom?
One big question that Kingdom fans keep discussing is how the king got infected in Kingdom. The series begins when the current king is extremely ill due to smallpox. So his wife Queen Cho (played by Kim Hye-jun) decides to keep him alive through artificial means.
Enter Resurrection Plant. With the help of this plant, the Queen decides to keep the king alive. But there is a parasitic worm inside the plant, which is the reason why the infection began.
The infection comes from a worm in the ressurection plant due to the effect of which the king turns into a bloodthirsty, cannibalistic zombie. It seems that any person who is injected with potion made out of the plant, or is bitten by an already infected zombie will also turn into a zombie.
In the case of the king, the infection spreads due to the injected potion.
Will The Epidemic Ever End?
Actually, the plague seems to be evolving, let alone ending. How relatable is this? It seems like the Kingdom plague is giving an indirect to the Covid-19 pandemic!!
Objectively speaking, there is no one way to end the plague unless all the existing infected people are killed and the germs are destroyed. But with the ending, it is safe to say it is not ending anytime soon.
The mysterious lady introduced in the season finale is obviously selling flowers from the resurrection plant which means the disease is spreading. So, it is tough as of now.
But there definitely should be a way to end this. Maybe there is another plant that can offer a cure to this? Or maybe there is a way to stop the growth of the plant or destroy it forever. I guess we can only find out with Season 3!
About Kingdom (2019)
Kingdom is a 2019 South Korean political fantasy drama thriller series written by Kim Eun-hee and directed by Kim Seong-hun. It is Netflix’s first Korean original. The series is based on the webcomic series The Kingdom of the Gods by Kim Eun-hee.
As of now, the series has two seasons. A special episode of the series, titled “Kingdom: Ashin of the North” is set to release on 23rd July, 2021 and will be centered around the supporting character Ashin played by Jun Ji-hyun.