“The King: Eternal Monarch” Ending Explained- Episode 16 Recap

Published Categorized as Kdrama Recaps

“The King: Eternal Monarch” has finally ended its run with 16 episodes. The finale episode of “The King: Eternal Monarch” aired on June 12 and I am here to talk about it.

I didn’t expect it to end this well but “The King: Eternal Monarch” provided what could possibly be labeled the most satisfying ending of all time. The 16th episode was filled with happy moments and I am here to share a quick recap.

Lee Gon and Jo Young go back to the time of the treason but this time they’re 20 minutes earlier. Lee Gon tries to persuade Jo Young against tagging along with him but he fails. They end up arriving just in time to save the child Lee Gon.


Tae Eul takes Lee Lim with her to the passage and waits there hoping Lee Gon is able to take down Lee Lim in the past. Jo Young gets shot a couple of times while trying to save young Lee Gon.

Related: Did “The King: Eternal Monarch” End With Good Ratings Or Not? Find Out How The 16th Episode Performed


The older Lee Gon chases after Lee Lim after he acquires the manpasikjeok.

Meanwhile, Shin Jae tells his mother that he’s not her real son and takes her to where her real son is, she cries and blames him but ends up hugging him and apologizes for blaming him for something he didn’t do.


Lee Gon ends up catching to Lee Lim and with his sword he slays him. At the same time, Tae Eul is afraid that Lee Gon has failed and ends up firing a couple of bullets that don’t go off at first at Lee Lim. After Lee Gon sets back everything to its place acquiring the manpasikjeok, the realm they’re in flows and the shots fired at him ends up moving killing him instantly.  


The little mysterious boy with the yoyo transforms back and forth between his younger and older self. He says, ‘the door will close and only the memories will remain.’


Everything turns back into its place after that happens and then the drama takes back viewers in time stamps to when important events happened to the main leads and demonstrating how their destiny had changed.

Prince Lee saves Min Hyeon and his mother from committing suicide.

Young Luna tries to steal from Koo Seo-Ryeong’s mother but instead, the mother embraces her and gives money and food altering her fate.

Meanwhile, Tae Eul goes back to the present time and finds out that everything has been turned back to its place. There is no Kang Shin Jae but she still has her memories of Lee Gon.


After some time has passed, Tae Eul ends up running to Lee Gon’s other self, he didn’t die and has went on to become something cool but he’s not her man.

Lee Gon ends up travelling around everywhere through universes trying to catch a glimpse of Tae Eul, he fails a lot before he’s finally able to meet her. When they meet, they hug and kiss and profess their love for each other.

Kingdom of Corea 2022

Jo Young is doing fine and his parents have gotten back together and had twins, he’s busy protecting his king and watching the twins. He misses Eun Seop but refuses to go see him because he knows he won’t even remember him.

Shin Jae and Luna end up becoming police officers working in the same division and the drama hints at a possible romance.


Koo Seo-Ryeong has gone to jail for stealing people’s taxes, Luna checks up on her in jail and they get into an argument together. They have kept in close contact and grew up together.


In the present time, Tae Eul goes on trips each weekend with Lee Gon. They meet up and go into various places and universes but they have no control over where they end up or at what period in time.

Year 1994

Lee Gon stumbles on young Min Hyeon who lost his ball; he throws it back to him and saves him from getting hit by a car.


Year 2022

Min Hyeon grows up to be a CEO, Lee Gon looks happy to have seen him grow up well. Lee Gon goes to check on Eun Seop who has landed a job at the NIS, and we find out that Eun Seop and Nari ended up together.

Present time


Lee Gon and Tae Eul accidentally end up in the present time in the kingdom of Corea and they get caught by the royal guard. They later sneak out and end up in the palace, they go to the CCTV room to delete all traces of her but they stumble upon a secret Jo Yeong has been hiding from Lee Gon, apparently, he started dating Seung A.


The 16th episode ends with the two couple still meeting at the gate and going places together everywhere through all periods of time.

The end!

What did you think of “The King: Eternal Monarch” ending? did you like it?

My Personal Thoughts On The Ending

This is a very nice ending and I think the majority of fans will love this one, I think it’s one of the most optimistic endings I’ve seen from a Kim Eun Sook drama.

To me, it felt that “The King: Eternal Monarch” ending was made to satisfy those who stuck around the drama because they liked and cared about it. It felt like a present to those who remained invested in this drama despite its flaws.

If you read my reviews on this blog then you know I don’t personally like dramas that are about time travel in general because I’ve never seen any Korean writer execute the theme properly. It always becomes a story of ‘what if.’ Time travel dramas or movies in whatever language are hard to pull because of the endless possibilities and the fact that in most cases, the main leads needlessly make things difficult for themselves. Time travel dramas often have lots and lots of plot holes.

I would’ve personally loved “The King: Eternal Monarch” a lot more if it had just stuck to the present instead of creating weird scenarios to please plot points here and there. There are still lots of things about this drama that were not fully explored or properly explained or accounted for.

 “The King: Eternal Monarch” was one of the weakest Kim Eun Sook scripts I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen all of her dramas. I will review the second half in a couple of days, but simply put, “The King: Eternal Monarch” had lots of glaring issues. Still, it had its great moments that I love and appreciate, there is that feel the writer brings to it and for those who loved the actors, this will be more than enough.

The drama had 16 episodes to properly explore everything and end with every loose end explained fully but it never took advantage of the time it had. If we want to fully dissect every scene of the last episode we’ll be up for hours debating, I could do that but why? By the end of the day, I read fans comments and most of them loved the ending and by the end of the day, it’s all that matters.

“The King: Eternal Monarch” could’ve been so much better but I’ve always felt that it didn’t fully take advantage of the idea it had, it was an amazing core plot, it will remain one of the most ambitious kdramas I’ve ever seen. While the 16th episode was filled with filler scene and in a sense to me felt like a letdown of a buildup to something bigger, it was still sweet. I loved Woo Do Hwan and Kim Kyung Nam characters a lot and they really were the reason I kept going. They both demonstrated how good they are as actors and I am so excited to see their next projects.

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. It was a bit confusing on Jo Yeong’s part. I thought he remember Eun Sop? (Naming of the twins part) But why didn’t he remember Jeong Tae Eul when Lee Gon and JTE got caught in the forest?

    1. He actually remembered Jeong Tae Eul and that’s why he understood the reason why king Lee Gon was hiding her……because Luna exists in the kingdom of Corea.

  2. I am wondering- what else need to be explored , explained or accounted for ? Can you more specific? People who get confused in this drama means they don’t get it.I find the plot intricately and creatively written – not the conventional straight forward story lines. To substantiate this analysis of mine one example – look how the writer creatively presented the connection of Jung Tae-ul saying a quote from a poetry book and even stating the author in one of the scenes – it’s the poetry book that LeeGon brings home to his world after his first visit. No ordinary viewer would get it. That’s a subtle connection of the Lady of the Royal Court reading the poetry in her solitude and the lullabies she has been singing to Lee Gon when he was young. The reason The King brought the book from the other world – it’s the connection of the two women he loves. The lady of the High court had that previous poetry book as the only remembrance from the other world where she came from. No one would appreciate this subtle scene but for thinking viewers it is just an example of how the writer presents the complex or underlying in depth explanation of some of the details of certain scenes with some viewers not even “ getting it” or seeing the connection or parallelism.And that’s what I find so interesting in the plot . Another example too is the travel in the different universe in different times is well explained by the time and space axis and that the earth is around and you can turn 360 degrees.It is very well said in the dialogues . I am just stating these examples to let the author of this article that there is an obvious explanation and rationale of all the events / scenes in the plot so I ask what else needs to be explained , accounted or explored? You get your answers if you think and analyze the scenes and dialogues or maybe you need to watch it again !

    1. Causal loop would’ve made more sense. If you can say a time travel theme has sense at all.
      The first time they went back in time…how did he get back without the flute…?
      Going back and “changing the past” makes sense ONLY if your in a causal loop OR if you are creating another parallel universe. But in this case, neither applied, which means sense is impossible.

      If you thought about the capabilities of the space-time continuum, then you would understand this. (I’m laughing at myself…I’m no expert. But this is the general consensus of time travel buffs.)

    1. Why is the title Eternal Monarch? It did not look like the king will be living for eternity when it was shown that both he and Tae Eul will be time/universe travelling and aging together.

    2. Why does Tae eul doesnt have the burn marks? And if they keep on traveling, wont the flute continue to break? Or does breaking only happen when its cut in half?

  3. I agree with you. They wasted many Episodes honestly I literally wanted to drop after 4 eps, my interest got up in 11th Episode. Honestly I did not believe this drama would have a happy ending..I mean all fantasy dramas have Something really sad about the ending or atleast kill few characters.
    I’m happy with the ending but not satisfied with the drama…there were many things I wanted to know in detail and also it would have been very interesting if they would have shown us scenes of his ancestors using manpasikjeok but already too many characters were blowing up my mind lol

  4. It was the young and real Shin Jae who lost his ball though, not young Min Hyeon. Shin Jae is from Republic of Korea and Min Hyeon is from Kingdom of Corea.

  5. Am i the only one annoyed at how some OSTs had their moments only in the Finale? Like if it was not in this episode, it would’ve charted and be popular (that’ll help the KDrama as well). Because let’s be real the OST is sickening.

  6. He’s a king and he needs to have a queen n heir.. how’s he gonna do that with weekend meets? Won’t be declare any at all? N taeuls father also will let her be single until she dies? This was such a let down!!!

    1. I agree with your comment and response to this AR. Thats the main reason why I did not like episode 16… both lee gon and JTE living freely without a care as they explore the universe. What a let down and very unrealistic even for a fantasy…. Then who takes over the kingdom? what happens to her father?

      However in general, i loved the drama, it moved away from normal k drama conventions, i understand why the romance wasnt explicit due to younger viewers. The cast and crew worked really hard and it paid off to be a global success albelt the low ratings in korea. Thumbs up #leeminh #kimgoeun #whodohan and the rest of you . Wish you success in your future projects.

      1. So if they were traveling together every weekend, my question is what if during those days they are living their current lives separately, what if one wasn’t able to make it cause something bad happened to them like die or fall ill? That’s the sad part about it. JTE won’t be able to time travel to see what happened to lee gon if that were the case. That’s sad

  7. To the contrary, I felt The King: Eternal Monarch was definitely one of KES’ best works until now. For me, Heirs was my least favourite out of all her dramas. That probably, was one of her weakest works but that’s just how I feel. The King:Eternal Monarch definitely gave a fitting end to the story and I agree, the 16 hours worth of content could have definitely been timed better and there were scenes which could have easily been skipped, especially in the earlier half. But I loved the drama nonetheless. Time travel plots are difficult to execute because they’re still science fiction for us and as you said, there will always be a new question/loophole to explain. But this is the best attempt I’ve seen at explaining time travel along with parallel universes.
    Sure a causal loop would have been simpler to understand but it wouldn’t have carried the same impact as LG going back in time to alter his fate.
    In the end what matters is that all our characters got their happy arcs and I agree, this was the most optimistic ending I’ve seen out of a KES drama. And nobody died! That’s a huge thing for our writer-nim.

    1. Sincw you seem to grasp everything, if not, almost, could you please explain why there are people who have the weird burn marks, and some dont? Not sure if this was explained in the series, maybe i just didnt notice it. But appreaciate if you could enlighten me, or anyone. Thank you! 🙂

      1. Those who crossed to the other universe and whose counterpart has died will have the burnt mark. JTE and Eun Sap’s counterparts in the Kingdom of Korea are still alive, hence no burnt mark on them.

  8. The finale would be great if they got married. You have to rewatch the ending to understand the entire concept. It wasn’t as good as the previous episodes but at least it didn’t end sadly.

  9. Shouldn’t Prince Buyeong be alive in the new timeline, since Lee Gon killed Lee Lim? But when Lee Gon see the Prince in 2000, he keeps staring at him like he misses him or something. And I was really hoping they would show how they handled the whole getting married to a woman from another world and making her the queen problem, while there is also a doppelganger of the queen in their world. Honestly, I feel like there were some unanswered questions.

  10. I agree with your analysis! It felt like a lot of aspects were left unanswered. I have a couple of questions, and was hoping someone here could possibly explain, in case I missed out on something!
    1. Since the beginning, the characters say that the Manpasikjeok helps to travel across universes. Then, in the later episodes, why does Tae-eul say that the door will close if the Manpasikjeok becomes whole? Why would the door close?

    2. When Lee Gon goes back to 1994 for the first time and he’s waiting to get back to 2020, how is he travelling back and forth between the worlds? He no longer has the Manpasikjeok with him, so this doesn’t make sense.

    3. After Lee Gon kills Lee Lim by going to the past, how do only Lee Gon, Tae-eul, and Captain Jo still have their memories?! Young Lee Gon didn’t have the ID card so he wouldn’t have known Tae-eul. How do only those 3 remember everything?

    4. Who is that mysterious boy with the yo-yo?

    1. For number 3, I think this is because they are in between worlds when the reset happened so they got to keep their memories. Also because I think they are always destined to meet because of the red thread. Of the worlds the manpasikjeok could’ve tied together, he chose theirs. And in the end the boy also made the choice to let them keep their memories.

      For Number 4, I believe the boy is the Manpasikjeok.

  11. I found the ending rather sad. It looks like they kept meeting just on weekends having to keep their relationship secret the whole life, having no children, living their lives separately. I wouldn’t wish anyone such a relationship…

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