Goblin: The Lonely and Great God / 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비 (2016) (Kdrama Review)

goblin-poster2Title: Goblin: The Lonely and Great God
Revised romanization: Sseulsseulhago Chalranhashin-Dokkaebi
Hangul: 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비
Director: Lee Eung-Bok
Writer: Kim Eun-Sook
Network: tvN
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Drama
Episodes: 16
Broadcasting Dates: December 2, 2016 – January 21, 2017
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea
Source: watched online on www.dramafever.com

Synopsis: Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is a goblin and protector of souls. He lives with an amnesiac grim reaper (Lee Dong-wook) who is in charge of taking deceased souls. Shin doesn’t want immortality anymore, but needs a human bride in order to end his long life. Meanwhile, Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go-eun) is a high school student who despite her painful reality, remains optimistic. She summons the goblin by chance and through various encounters, ended up falling in love with him. Sunny (Yoo In-na) is an owner of a chicken wing shop, and is a bright and attractive girl who is loved by all men. Everything changes when the grim reaper and Sunny meet.

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Gong Yoo as Kim Shin, also known as Goblin
Kim Go-eun as Ji Eun-tak
Han Seo-jin as young Ji Eun-tak
Lee Dong-wook as Grim Reaper
Yoo In-na as Sunny
Yook Sung-jae as Yoo Deok-hwa
Jung Ji-hoon as young Yoo Deok-hwa

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Since I stopped working full-time (and thereby watching kdramas in the background while doing work that doesn’t require a lot of thinking), I haven’t finished any kdramas except for this one! I have been filling more of my time with books which I’m reading for review, and I might also have needed a kdrama break. Who knows? I remember that after I visited Japan the first time, I was unable to watch any jdramas (especially if they took place in Tokyo) because they reminded me of my time there, and thereby made me sad. Since I’ve now also been to Korea (and Seoul specifically), the same might have happened? But anyway, back to Goblin: The Lonely and Great God!


I watched this drama with my bestie, and due to this, we would usually only have time to watch about 2 episodes a week (if we could get together at all). It therefore took us quite a while to get through, but we finally made it to the end! And let me tell you, it was quite the rollercoaster. The first thing that struck us about this kdrama was that it was just visually magnificent. You could really see how much effort and money had been put into the visual aspects of this production. I am also glad that they did not use the aesthetics of this drama to draw attention away from a bad plot, screenplay, cinematography, or dialogue, because those too were on point!


Oh, and I also need to mention that I think (we thought) it was so amazing that they shot a good part of this drama in one of my favourite places on Earth: Quebec City! I’d never come across a Korean drama that’d been filmed in Canada (that I remember), and this just made us so happy. Another funny fact is that my bestie, another friend of ours, and I were actually in Quebec City just a few days before they started filming Goblin! If we’d stayed just a bit longer, we might have bumped into them! Maybe that’s not so much a fun fact, as a sad fact, but yes…Sigh.


While mostly dealing with some serious subject matter, and the sad story about two women and two men who have been wronged, there were also some very funny moments. There were some that we would literally rewind just so that we could see them again, and laugh again while tumbling off the couch. The interactions of the two main male characters (played by Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook) were particularly funny, and their chemistry in general was great to watch. Romance between the two couples was very believable, as each couple clicked quite nicely. I was especially happy that this drama better showcased Kim Go Eun’s acting much better than Cheese in the Trap had, because I really like her and want her to do well! The chemistry between all of the other characters was great as well, and it all just came together really nicely.


The story line was very good also, and things progressed at a very good pace. I like that this drama was 16 episodes long, rather than 20, because that would have stretched the story out a bit too much. This way, it was compact and told at a natural speed/pace. This drama’s soundtrack is also quite great, with some very memorable songs. Listening to the soundtrack now, weeks after finishing the drama, my bestie and I will still recall how certain songs had represented certain relationships, and we’re filled with feels all over again! I highly recommend this kdrama to those who enjoy a plot filled with tears, laughter, and a good dose of fantasy!


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You can watch episodes 1-7 for free on Dramafever, but need a paid account to watch 8-16 (until they make the entire series free for all users).


I apologize for the inconvenience, everyone!

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16 thoughts on “Goblin: The Lonely and Great God / 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비 (2016) (Kdrama Review)

  1. thebookprophet says:

    This drama is really high on my to-watch list because I’ve heard literally nothing but amazing things about it. That’s so cool that they filmed in Canada! And that if you had stayed there just a few more days you could’ve possibly run into the cast 0.0

    Liked by 1 person

  2. iamdes says:

    I’ve been meaning to watch Goblin for a long time but I can’t seem to finish one Kdrama to get me to the next. So, yeah, not one episode of Goblin, yet. It’s been getting a lot of hype and I’m really curious as to why. This looks really interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Flavia says:

      I definitely recommend it! It moves a little slow at times, but you’re unlikely to really notice, because the script is SO GOOD, and the visuals are just….a feast for your eyes. Curious to see what you think of it when you get to watching it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brenda Rochelle says:

    I have also watched this Korean drama and reviewed it a few months back. I think the chemistry between Gong Yoo and Lee Dong-Wook is just perfect and funny, even better than Gong Yoo and Kim Go-Eun. The overall story is also very good. I have some good laughs when I watched it. I’m really entertained. Thank you for sharing a great review! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Flavia says:

      Yessss Gong Yoo and Lee Dong-Wook were amazing together. Makes me wonder if they’re friends IRL, or if they are now after filming, hehe. They all certainly looked like they had fun on set 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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