Why “Arthdal Chronicles” Had To End With Such A Disappointing Cliffhanger

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

Fans still can’t get over “Arthdal Chronicles” ending and for a very good reason!

It’s been a week since “Arthdal Chronicles” aired it finale and fans still can’t stop talking about it and how disappointed they were with the ending which can only be described as incomplete.

I have been keeping up with “Arthdal Chronicles” news since its inception and I think I know why it had to end on such a bad cliffhanger. Today, I’d like to discuss why it made sense that “Arthdal Chronicles” ended that way.

If we want to grasp the situation, we have to go back to one of the initial announcements; there are a couple of clues we need to tie in together for everything to make sense.

Three Parts


tvN revealed that “Arthdal Chronicles” will be split into three parts, part one and two aired back to back while part three aired after the conclusion of the popular series “Hotel Del Luna.”

Despite the fact that this one statement isn’t really a giveaway, if you take a look at how the series was written and how it was carried out, it makes sense that tvN had bigger plans.

The Cost


“Arthdal Chronicles” is considered one of the most expensive kdramas of all time, with a budget of $43.9 million, expectations were extremely high and so were the stakes.

The drama had to be a success, not your average success, but extreme success since each episode roughly cost $2.4 million (if we were to assume the budget for each episode was roughly the same), they need to break even and to generate enough profit to make more seasons.

If I were an investor, I wouldn’t give up my money easily, people in charge would have to convince me that it’ll be a huge success enough for me to get a good ROI (return on investment), only then I would agree to invest millions. Now, if I found out that the drama didn’t generate enough profit, I’d be hesitant to pour more money into it for obvious reasons.

Since they’ve invested so much, it not unlikely to presume that they had expected to generate enough profit to ask for this budget and that they expected to earn so much profit considering the script direction, which we’ll talk about next.

The script direction


The script and layout of “Arthdal Chronicles” gave away the possibility for multiple seasons; we just never paid enough attention. Let me explain!

If you recall, since the beginning, we saw that the writers really focused on establishing the background of the characters, each sub-plot was explored fully and sometimes, we fans thought that the series might be wasting time going over so many details.

However, if you think about it, it wouldn’t make sense for someone to spend well over $43 million exploring characters and taking fans through the painstaking process of each character’s growth to the tiniest details.

Why would they try so hard and spend so much money on sub-plots just for the sake of one season? No one would do that, there is always a reason, and the reason was… it was originally supposed to be a couple of seasons.

Towards the latter half of part three, fans grew more worried because they realized how difficult it’ll be for the writers to wrap up the series at that pace. Many even voiced their concerns with the plot direction.

tvN promising but a worrisome response


Shortly after “Arthdal Chronicles” wrapped up, tvN addressed fans concerns of a second season, tvN stated that “Arthdal Chronicles” was originally planned out like a drama with many seasons, they told news outlets,

“The staff would love to move forward with a second season. The end clips in episode 18 reflect that.”

However, the source also stated that a second season is not only possible with the desire of the staff and that there must be support from the viewers, but they also ended their statement with promising to look for ways to make a final decision soon,

“We will do our best so that we can carry on with a second season.”

Filming for the three parts took about eight months to complete and the post-production work also took a lot of time, such a drama is only possible if the public is interested in it heavily, interested enough that tvN would make enough money to carry out a second season.

The main issue was with the reception. From the get-go “Arthdal Chronicles” ratings weren’t up to par. 7% is not bad, its actually really good for cable dramas but given the scale of it, the ratings should have been a lot better, 7% or 8% is not enough.

For the sake of rough comparison, let’s talk about tvN “Mr. Sunshine,” another great blockbuster drama that cost around $33.2 million. “Mr. Sunshine” is not only one of the highest-rated tvN series of all time but also one of the highest-rated cable TV dramas of all time. It was able to score 18% with its finale which is a huge accomplishment.


Filming for that drama also took a while and the cast was also equally famous and experienced, the results were noteworthy. I certainly believe tvN had high hopes for “Arthdal Chronicles” when they saw the huge success “Mr. Sunshine” had.

Despite Song Joong Ki’s highly anticipated return and pairing him with Kim Ji Won, the drama screwed up here and there, it was by no means perfect but it took chances and offered something that no kdrama was ever able to offer.

If you want to read about where I believe “Arthdal Chronicles” screwed up and missed its chance, here is the link.

Fans are trying to keep their hopes up high because of their admiration for “Arthdal Chronicles,” many netizens also share the same sentiment and would love for the drama to return with another season. However, the cast goodbye messages for “Arthdal Chronicles” were worrisome, to say the least, since all of them released statements that almost make it sound as if they’re saying goodbye forever.


According to Soompi, Song Joong Ki stated,

“It’s hard to believe that ‘Arthdal Chronicles’ is over. It was an honor to participate in a great work with good people, and I had a great time.”

Kim Ji Won also said,

“It feels surreal [that the drama has come to an end] when I remember the many hours that we spent filming with ups and downs for more than eight months….”

You can read Soompi’s translation of their goodbye messages here.

So while tvN is working hard on getting that second season, they have to also consider the main actor’s schedules, the actors are all extremely popular and in high demand. It’ll prove to be quite the task for the team behind “Arthdal Chronicles.”

While I am personally interested to see if “Arthdal Chronicles” returns for a second season, I also am a bit skeptic about that possibility. For now, let’s stay positive and hope for the best!


Do you think “Arthdal Chronicles” will return for another season? Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

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. I love the show and cannot believe Netflix would end a show like this!!!!! How do viewers petition Netflix or whomever to continue with the show!!

      1. Arthdal CHRONICLES was going to be a MAGNIFICENT masterpiece. I have never watched Game of Thrones and probably never will. They always mess up a good thing this entire world is messed up and no one will admit it. Arthdal CHRONICLES gave a different out look pertaining to how the world could be with a person like Tanya running it…it figures something that appears to be doing better than something else always get shut down.

  2. A BIG YES for arthdal chronicles to continue for another season. Hope tVn realize that we spent money to watch this show and yet we are on a hanging state… There were many questions that need to be answered. Please be considerate to the viewing public..thanks

    1. I am a huge fan and would love for its return
      I believe it on of the best in the Fantasy drama category that I have seen in a long time only comparable to game of thrones. This genre never see something of this quality I know the show is a huge investment but I believe it will eventually be a classic. Something people will return to and talk about over and over

  3. praying there would be season 2 as Arthdal Chronicles is a one of a kind story drama
    thats very unique and beautifully made
    every character comes alive that every scene is so real
    congratulations Artdhal Chronicles team for giving us viewers an extremely good drama

  4. Anyeong! I’m a big fan of Arthdal Chronicles from the Philippines. I do really wish that there’s a Season 2. Please please…I was really hooked by the story and the characters, and I want to know what will happen if the 3 (bell, sword & mirror) are together. I strongly believe that there’s gonna be another season.

  5. Why would you start a good drama you cant gaurantee to finish? This show had me up early all the time watching over and over. I love it. We cant have it end on these terms.

  6. They should…. The finale has a lot of unfinished business…. Many questions should be answered… Im positive there’s a continuation of this wonderful show…..

    1. season 2 plsss i am from malaysia… i like the whole stry line.. but the ending make me huhhhh i cannot blieve that stry is ending like that… ok admin plsss season two,. i waiting

  7. It would be a huge let down if a second season is not planned. I really enjoyed the first season with the twist and turns. Viewers need a more conclusive ending

  8. pls do the second season of this drama….its very incomplete i guess….eunsom and saya are twins but they never get a chance to see each other….my expectations are different from what i watched… iam a huge fan of kdrama and i watched a lot kdrama movies or episode but this arathdal are very tsk…. i cant say anything but im so dissappointed…..

  9. It’s not for the money making result that we must focus in showing dramas or movies. The subject must be the theoral lesson that the drama itself deficted. I think they made a goid job.

    1. I’m so disappointed in how they ended without wrapping up in a proper manner. I was worried to watch episode 18 knowing that the story is still a lot more to process and there’s only one episode left for us. The bell, mirror and dagger/sword was yet to be seen together but it didn’t happen then how can we accept the fact that this drama literally ended up, keeping us in a cliffhanger. Pleaseeeee I want more of this. I wish to see the second season very soon. Its like they gave birth to a lot of characters but they’re not looking after them like parents should. I’m bad in expressing but I really want this drama to have good comeback with its second season.

  10. It should have a second season. I watch lots of Korean dramas, and this was a really good drama in this few years I have seen. Nowadays, Korean dramas have same plot, “few years back mystery” blah, blah….and it gets boring. Arthdal chronicles is soooo good, if you wrap it up completely wid 6 more episodes. 6 more episodes will b enough. They should meet, they should know dat there r still Igutus present, then neinthals and many many more. There are so many interesting things left to do!

    Pleaseeeee, can u guys wrap it up properly? I really enjoyed it. And after u finish it properly, I will let everyone know to watch it!

  11. I am convinced that there would be a 2nd season (or more).of Arthdal Chronicles. Eunseom’s return, and Saya’s interesting character left us dumbfounded. Not to mention Tanya’s heart not only to Wahan people but also to other tribes. How long Tagon’s burning desire to lead a nation, and kept his secret as an Igutu. And Taelha’s ambition and passion to share power with her great love.

    I hope that if ever Season 2 would push through, followers of Arthdal Chronicles must show its full support to one the best-ever Korean series that we’ve ever watched.

  12. looking forward for season 2
    ive been waiting always for each episode to release☹
    Disappointing and feel so upset knowing that it ended up like that

  13. This show was far too good show to stop it now! I liked how they ended episode 18 provided another season was in the works… we must have more! And please don’t short change the follow up… I’d love another 18 episodes, minimum… PLEASE! There is so much lack luster, same old meh TV Series content out there but this show was truly riveting! We all deserve to have more. PLEASE put funding into continuing this show instead of funding other shows that can’t even compare! WE NEED MORE ARTHDAL!!!

  14. We never know, maybe if they will continue this, they will get the desired rating already. Lots of people are anticipated to see the next episode. Hoping they would continue this. *fingers crossed*

  15. Pleaseeeeee…this movie is wonderful and should be continued. I believe reason for its low rating is the fact that not many people know about the series yet but this movie is wonderful and I definitely want to keep watching it.

  16. I really hope they will make a new season. Great, great actors, and many plots to continue the story. If they will end the series like this, it will be the worse ending ever.

  17. I have been waiting anxiously and watching for a season 2. The last episode (18) can’t be the end, the story isn’t complete. I can’t believe the ratings were so low. I keep checking to see when season 2 will start, because I enjoyed season 1 so much.

    I know if Arthdal Chronicles comes back it will be well received. The actors and story line are intriguing.

  18. The story is definitely incomplete. Second season is not a wish but a requirement. The 3 – bell , mirror and sword have to meet and do something in order for the story to end

  19. I end in where tango was a king becos Tanya made him king,that was when saya knows that he as a twin but what I don’t understand is that, why does it have to end there or is another seasons coming becos I can’t wait to buy them,pls if there are seasons coming pls inform me.

  20. I looove arthdal chronicles my first Kdrama I ever watched , nothing compares to it amazing cast and characters I’ve become somewhat attached too. every month or so I check for updates but soo far no luck I truly hope they do another season and wrap up the story

  21. Please have a second season of Arthdal. I am watching it for the second time and love it just as much as the first time. Please don’t leave me hanging.

  22. I love these characters, the actors, the set, costumes, the storyline! I cannot believe that it ended like that! The twin brothers must meet, the story must have an ending, I am in love with this series! I am in Florida and have never watched a Korean show before. These are the best actors and I am so hooked on this show, please finish filming for a second season!!!

  23. The language was so absurd it was impossible to stay focused. Considering the time period was about 2000 BC, words like gosh, punk, cylinder, nonsense and dozens more were not in use. I wanted to like this series but just couldn’t get past the vocabulary or the rich, gold edged material I’m sure was not available in 2000 BC. I wanted to like this series, but there were simply too many technical problems to stay focused on the story.

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