Why “Hotel Del Luna” Wasn’t Going To Give You That Happy Ending You Wanted So Bad

Published Categorized as K-Dramas and K-Movies

“Hotel Del Luna” might have concluded its run a week ago, but fans still can’t stop talking about it and its ending.

“Hotel Del Luna” became one of the most popular kdramas of 2019 and one of the highest rated tvN dramas of the year as well. However, its final episode left fans wanting for more, many were left not-so satisfied with the ending and some even called it a sad-ending.

Today, I’d like to discuss all the signs that pointed to the direction of this inevitable ending and why the ending was obvious.

[Note: serious spoilers ahead of the final episode.]

The core idea behind “Hotel Del Luna” was that it was a hotel for the dead, a place where they rest for a while before being guided to the final resting place; they usually get escorted after taking care of their business in a limousine and then cross a long bridge to the afterlife, a simple yet beautiful idea.


Throughout the drama runtime, it became pretty apparent that IU was a shell of what she used to be, a dead person with unfinished business and huge scars she’s held on for dear life, this is why she couldn’t leave, she had unfinished business to take care of.

Goo Chan Sung, with the help of Jang Man Wol, would help ghosts with unfinished business, usually trying their best to prevent them from becoming evil and ruining their chances of a happy ending.

During the second half of the drama, it became clear to Jang Man Wol that Goo Chan Sung was going to be the person who would eventually send her off, it was becoming so difficult on her because she fell in love with him. She didn’t want to start anything because she knew how they’d end.

Despite some differences she had with other ghosts who came to the hotel, she was also a dead person who needed to confront reality and learn about how everything actually happened to then be sent to the afterlife just like everybody else.



With the core idea of the drama in mind and the direction of it, it was pretty clear to me that Hong sisters (the drama writers) wouldn’t want any other ending besides a sad one that ultimately ends with the departure of Jang Man Wol to the afterlife. It wouldn’t have made sense for a ghost like her to stay on earth like that after all. It would defeat the idea of the hotel and the setup the Hong sisters worked so hard on all along.

While fans might believe the drama was a sad ending and some might’ve wanted a happier ending, to me, it was the perfect ending. They met each other and fell in love which made it even more difficult to part ways but it was their destiny and they couldn’t change it. They spent Jang Man Wol last days together enjoying whatever time they had left.


The Hong sisters also agree with me, they recently sat down for an interview where they spoke about the ending. One of the sisters, Hong Mi Ran, actually stated that the script ending came out a month prior because they needed CGI effects for the final episode, so the ending was already set in stone a while before the last episode even aired. This also confirms another theory I had in mind, watching the drama, it was clear to me that it was written a while ago, everything fit perfectly and everything seemed to fall in place, it was obvious the sisters have written the drama and finished it a while ago.


The other sister, Hong Jung Eun, also added,

“The goal of Del Luna is to be a space where ghosts can rest before they are sent off to the afterlife. Since the initial creation of this hotel, the end was always meant to be Jang Man Wol’s departure, in which she is seen off by Goo Chan Sung.”

Of course, since IU and Yeo Jin Goo’s chemistry was so good, viewers wanted them to end up together so badly, but the characters already knew in their hearts that she would eventually leave.

Hong Jung Eun also said,

“Since Jang Man Wol is dead and Goo Chan Sung is alive, it was impossible for them to be together in that lifetime, unless unnecessarily forced.”

I was personally scared of the ending because I wanted it to be that way, it was clear to me that this is what the writers were leading up to as the drama unraveled before our eyes. I was afraid they’d try to force a happy ending to give fans what they want but I am happy to learn that they didn’t feel the need to force it.

Often times, Kdrama writers fall into that trap and divert the course of the drama if they see good response, the goal in mind is to please the viewers who gave their attention to the drama. “SKY Castle” is a drama that comes to mind when I talk about this, despite its dark-humor style and tackling of heavy subjects, the last episode ended on a happy note, unrealistic compared to everything that happened throughout the drama run time. The writer was actually criticized for that.

While making viewers happy is important, viewers also appreciate writers sticking to their work and not steering clear because of comments here and there.


The sisters also explain the last scene of the drama that many thought was an open-ending. [The scene where Goo Chan Sung stares at the painting of the mountains]

“[The scene] shows that though [Chan Sung] may not know how much later it is, or what lifetime they are in, he hopes for all of the ghosts to be reborn so they can meet and love one another all over again.”

There you have it guys, an explanation from the women who wrote the beloved kdrama. To me, it was a beautiful grounded ending, something that I saw coming. It didn’t mean I enjoyed the drama any less; the writers gave us many clues about this throughout the episodes.

“Hotel Del Luna” is one of the best 2019 kdramas in my opinion. I hope you guys enjoyed it despite the ending some didn’t like.

What about you guys? Did you like the ending? Or would you have preferred the happier ending?

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. Ending fit I would have liked to seen a tiny glimpse of them meeting again in there next life. Overall I loved it. I’m American so watching on Viki. I have never been so intense waiting each week for the next episode.

  2. Tbh, i wanted a little longer episode with happy ending, I wanted all of them to reincarnate and love one another all over again….
    And of course “Hotel del luna” is one of the best 2019 kdrama

    1. The owner of hotel blue moon was kim so hyun but I don’t think there is gonna be any season 2 . Consept of hotel blue moon just depicts that even after IU and Yeo jin goo , the hotel kept running and found itself with a new owner having a new story of his own . Thus , everything keeps going on ….

  3. I loved the drama and the ending was lovingly beautiful but sad. We all have to leave our loved ones at some point with the hopes of seeing them again in a future life, if you believe that to be possible. Actually, could have had a little more romance or skinship at the end for me but was very happy with the entire drama.

  4. So, it was exactly as I thought: that scene at the park was only a product of his imagination; like his hopes for a future lifetime manifested in a daydream. That makes it even more special and “realistic”, despite being a fantasy drama. I have to admit that, though it was a bittersweet ending, it was the best possible, because it was exactly as they where hinting throughout the whole drama. But I won’t deny that I really was hoping for a plot twist in which she was alive (it took me a while to realize that she was just a “palpable ghost” not an immortal being like a vampire, for example), and that her lifespan would have been reactivated since the moon tree dissapeared and her soul was not longer attached to it. But it would have been opposed to the main idea of the drama and the hotel, and probably would have ruined a beautiful work just to please the audience. Thanks for this clarification Now I think I’ll be able to peacefully get over this drama since I was still affected by the ending lol

  5. Well for me, thats the right ending for “hotel del luna” because (man wol ) is already dead for 1300 years.and for (chan sung) i feel his pain seeing someone you love leaving on this earth. It was sad ending but thats the reality ..for the creator of hotel del luna great job..you choose the ending of being reality

  6. I also want to see a glimpse of Man Wol and Chan Sung being together after their reincarnation. Just like how Goblin shown us the moment of Grim Reaper and Sunny being together after being reincarnated.

    1. Or TVN should make another romcom drama with IU and Yeo Jin Goo as leading men again. Just like how our longing heart for Sunny and Grim Reaper was satisfied in another drama Touch Your Heart.

      1. That’s exactly what I was hoping! When I saw Touch Your Heart after Goblin, I seriously broke down crying. They could finally live happily after years of heartbreak. I hope they do something like this for IU and Yeo Jin Goo.

  7. The kdrama was amazing from the first episode it managed to grasp my attention and it grew in my heart with each episode I watch, but I don’t know why this sad ending felt a little just not right, first of all it’s a fictional drama not a realistic one so the writers could’ve managed something more like a better way to feel about it as the ending really crushed my fragile heart without sense, second as I was watching the series I don’t know if anyone focused when man wol was talking to someone maybe the grim reaper or one of the dities when they were discussing what may happen to wan wol by the tree of hers were her sword got sucked in it and her time (age) froze and got cursed to be the hotel of the moon owner for her doings, I don’t ever think she was really dead as she said herself in one of the episodes that she was rather “stuck” with the hotel after the night one of the dities sister tied her with the hotel and the tree she was alive by then so I dont ever think that the sister killed her when she tied her, and even for 1300 years went along i don’t really think it mattered because her time and age was just paused and one of the dities said that it prevented her reincarnation, think of it as a movie were you pause it for a period of time then the only common sense thing to do is to continue it not just end it without seeing it through, so the ending in my point of view while conducting all these facts made the sad ending really unreal and forced in my eyes.
    They could have looked in to the fact that as a gift to goo Chung sung efforts and mal wol’s ability to finally forgive herself and who ever did her wrong they could un-pause man wol’s time or they could have shown us the reincarnation of her like they did with all of man wol’s past characters, to see this pure love end in such a sad way really upset me but the writers want what they want, don’t really know if the ending when the hotel del luna became the blue moon hotel by some new owner made a statement that there will be a new series or story there, or it’s just a way to tell us that the house of the moon must continue to raise and have a new owner, even with the forced sad ending this drama was amazing♡

    1. That was sadly his imagination. He wished for all of them to be together and love each other again like in Hotel Del Luna.

  8. The ending broke my heart, but it was perfect. Seeing how everyone in the hotel was able to leave without regret made my clench and smile at the same time. I’ve spent the whole day crying over this beautiful. This is the best film of 2019 hands down!

  9. I love the whole plot… d connection chun song have with man wol from d beginning.. it was mago who told chan sung bout the rest house and in turn out chan sung saved her when she was dying and told her bout the rest house..

    And it was mago again who orchestrated on how chan sung who will b chosen again to save man wol 1300 years later..

    And how lovely to know that they both still have connection as mentioned by one of the sisters in d final episode…

  10. A great series and yes a very sad but inevitable ending. The truth is it sums up and reflects real life exactly, i.e. we don’t know what happens at death, we all hope for something else other than eternal empty darkness, and the end of someone’s life who you have loved dearly is a real fact that one day will hit most of us ..often very hard!!! That is the sad bitter sweet two edged sword of life and love, eventually it will end..one way or another for all of us.
    There could of been many ways to enable man wol and Chan Sung getting together, but it would of created too many problems…Like say for example, Chan Sung committing suicide and walking with man wol through the afterlife tunnel and holding hands as they walk together along the bridge, but that would just encourage and condone suicide!…We could of had a reincarnated man wol finding Chan Sung in a new life instead of what he just imagined sat on the bench. We could of had Chan Sung begging Mago to send him back to the past to live with man wol and starting the whole process all again, but he would of eventually died whilst she lived on still trapped in her own world, so all these possible ‘happy’ endings would of been just a bit silly and defeating the object of the main story. There could of been many ways to reunite man wol and Chan Sung and trust me like you i hoped for one….but they would of all been so far fetched and a massive diversion from the hong sisters reasons for the series, it probably would of been all a bit too corny and daft.
    In films and tv series we are all to often treated to happy endings and ones that make us feel good, but in real life and reality, that’s not usually how things work out. So kudos to the Hong sisters fro delivering such a masterpiece albeit one with a sad ending!
    My only real gripe with this series was the lame hugs and pretend kisses from man wol and chan sung…very north Korean!…I found myself saying..’go on Chan Sung…give her a proper kiss and hold her tight for gods sake lad!’ I notice the Korean dramas love to keep the suspense and anticipation up for each episode, without actually delivering a proper real man/woman kiss and embrace…always the fake plastic hugs and pretend touch lips as if they are kissing lol.
    Anyway other than that this series is easily the best Korean drama on Netflix and one of the best in the world..i loved all the characters and the music and songs were perfect too! 10 out of 10 from me!

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