Let’s admit it, stories are made even more interesting if not for villains. In Korean dramas, they come in different forms and villainy, but there are those that really stood out among the lot. In this article, we shortlisted 12 female villains who made their respective dramas even more interesting!
Kang So Young – The Bully in ‘School 2015′
Nothing like a school bully to get you all worked up. In the world of K-dramas, Kang So Young was that character in School 2015. Played by Jo Soo Hyang, she raised hell for the subject of her ire, which was Lee Eun-bi (Kim So Hyun), and she enjoyed doing it. It’s appalling to see that this kind of violence is being perpetrated in schools and against helpless children. At one point in the thrilling drama, Kang So Young even frames Lee Eun Bi for school violence.
Kim Joo Young – The Evil Tutor in ‘SKY Castle’
“SKY Castle” is a black comedy and thriller that aired on JTBC. It tackles the materialistic desires of upper-class parents in South Korea and how they savagely secure the successes of their families even at the cost of other’s lives. Kim Seo Young plays Kim Joo-young, a sought-after professional coordinator for college admissions who manipulates rich, high-class parents in a deal with the devil to get their children admitted to the country’s top medical school. But what they think is a sure-fire way to lock their children’s educational success is actually their undoing. Kim Seo Young immaculately and chillingly played her villainous character who, having destroyed her own gifted daughter with her cutthroat desire for academic excellence, seeks revenge to bring down parents like her.
Cheon So Jin – The Scheming Primadonna in ‘The Penthouse’
If SBS‘s hit drama The Penthouse: War in Life had you pulling your hair in anger and always at the edge of your seat, you’re not alone. It mostly had to do with its crop of crazy villains of which Cheon So Jin takes the crown! Clad in class, opulence, and sleek fashion, all the elegance she exudes on the outside only disguised pure evil. Actress Kim So Yeon played this unforgivable villain who has driven people to death for her goals, such as the honor of a prima donna, securing her place as the chairman of the Cheong-A Foundation, the ownership of the topmost floor of a penthouse, and the success of her daughter Ha Eun-byeol (Choi Ye-bin). Here we see the extent to which greed and ambition can drive a person to the lowest depths of depravity.
Cha Hee Joo – The Evil Twin Sister in ‘The Master’s Sun’
Straight from the first episode, we get an interesting story between a soccer player and his girlfriend the day he is getting married, except the girlfriend is dead. All this chaos stemmed from the villainy of one person and that is Chae Hee-joo. She is sorely jealous of her twin sister which pushed her to scheme and have her killed. Having succeeded in that, she then moves on to kidnap her sister’s rich boyfriend to earn a quick buck from the ransom. While she is mean to the bone, viewers noticed that actress Han Bo Reum should tone down her beauty if she wants to convince people to think she’s the villain!
Rachel Yoo – The Haughty Chaebol in ‘The Heirs’
Before Kim Ji Won became one of the favorite leading ladies in K-dramas today, she was first Rachel Yoo in ‘The Heirs’. Viewers loved to hate her due to her arrogant nature. She’s the chic heiress of RS International and the fianceé of Kim Tan (Lee Min-Ho). She’s pretty much the “Paris Hilton of Jeguk High School’ who holds a deep dislike for Cha Eun Sang (Park Shin Hye) due to her growing closeness with Kim Tan. Now, it is worth noting that Rachel already kicked Kim Tan to the curb, but now that he’s showing interest in someone else, she suddenly wants him back. Indeed quite a selfish brat, she was hated even more because of her underhanded tactics.
Chief Kang Seok Soon – The Misguided Woman from ‘You’re All Surrounded’
Chief Kang Seok-soon was a clever character with a broken moral compass. She was cunning and frequently a step ahead of the heroes. She went into a downward spiral where her villainy stems from her belief that the-end-justifies-the-means. This was precipitated by a corrupt case and her partner’s ensuing suicide. Chief Kang was a morally complex force to be reckoned with—she could care for the hero like a mother and yet also actively work against his goals in order to achieve her own.
Yeo Da Kyung – The Other Woman We Love to Hate in ‘The World of Married’
Yeo Da Kyung (Han So Hee) had people pulling their hair while watching ‘The World of Married.” Her character is the spoiled daughter of Yeo Byung Gyu (Lee Geung Young) and Uhm Hyo Jung (Kim Sun Kyung), who grew up in luxury. Feeling every bit of the princess, and everything handed to her so easily, it never dawned on Da-kyun that romancing someone’s husband was wrong. She even has the gall to be angry at the wife. Everyone hated her, and her youth and beauty only showed her as a threat—your typical “other woman.”
Moo Yeon – The Exiled Fairy from Arang and the Magistrate
Moo-yeon is the main antagonist of the 2012 fantasy horror period drama. She’s an unforgettable villain as a body-hopping, virgin-eating fairy who was exiled from heaven. Moo-yeon made use of humans’ greed to help her stay in the mortal world, undetected by the heavenly beings. She was clever enough to hide and out-scheme the Jade Emperor and the King of Hell for four centuries. Moo-yeon is envious of mortal desires and emotions, to the extent of returning back to the mortal world and wreaking havoc through murders just so she can become a human again. She turns out to be a serious threat to all of the heroes in the story. Adding to that, she also inspired terrible devotion and terror through her surrogate-son and pseudo-lover.
Mi-ryung/Hyang-sun – The Corrupted Dreamer in ‘The Three Musketeers’
Mi-ryung was an ambitious lady in an era where it was hard for a woman to establish herself in society. It was almost in her grasp when her dreams came crashing down. Desperate, she ended up murdering an innocent girl. The crown prince, despite his genuine love for her, ordered her execution. Fortunately for her, she survived her execution and came back years later to seek revenge on the man she loves and her own country. With some unresolved feelings between her and the crown prince, their twisted romantic feelings also made the show interesting. In all ways and forms, Mi-ryung is indeed the epitome of a woman scorned.
Senator Jo Seo-hee – The Two-Faced Politician in ‘Two Weeks
Senator Jo is a two-faced public servant. She gives sponsorships to students, a representative of the women’s group, and she smiles a lot. She wore the face of an angel for the public, but in private she has no second thoughts about getting people murdered in cold blood. Kim Hye Ok is often known for her roles as a timid mother, but she takes a full 360 as Senator Jo Seo Hee. Being cunningly evil, she goes about her villainous agenda dead set on making sure everything went according to her plan. While justice caught up to her in the end, she always came so close to getting away with it all.
Queen Consort Cho – The Evil Queen of Joseon in ‘Kingdom’
Like her father, Queen Consort Cho is hungry for power and desperate to secure the throne by giving birth to a son that will displace Crown Prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji Hoon) as the rightful heir. She always looked calm and reserved even in the midst of the monstrosity she unleashed, which only made her deviousness even more unnerving. She was manipulative and selfish, to a point where her greed blinded her from even showing compassion for her own father. If all the rabid zombies are not enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, the presence of Queen Consort Cho made this drama emotionally engaging.