Ari, a young shaman of the Royal Star Mansion (Royal Astrology House), is awakened one night by a psychic impression of imminent danger to one of the king’s sons, who was considered a potential rival for the throne. When she investigates, she witnesses his murder and is discovered by the perpetrators who gave chase. She manages to escape but is greatly injured in the process. The next day, after she receives help from the pregnant wife of the palace’s Chief Scholar, Ari has a vision about the fate of the unborn child. In gratitude for the aid she received, Ari promises to watch over the child, even in death.
Later that day, Ari is arrested, tortured, and thrown in jail. Her friend and fellow shaman, Jang Nok-yeong, visits her in secret. Ari tells Nok-yeong that she has foreseen the birth of a young woman who has a “noble fate” and who is connected to the royal house. Knowing that her death is near, Ari begs Nok-yeong to watch over this child in her stead. Nok-yeong makes a promise without even knowing who or where the child is. The next day, Ari is declared guilty of treason and tortured, refusing to lie about the murder, and is executed by a primitive form of dismemberment while receiving visions of the future once more.
Several years pass and the aristocratic but modest and loving Heo family now includes two children: seventeen-year-old son Yeom and thirteen-year-old daughter, Yeon-woo (which means “misty rain”). Even at such a young age, Yeon-woo already exhibits wisdom beyond her years. One day, Yeon-woo accompanies her mother to the royal palace to attend Yeom’s civil service examination congratulatory ceremony. During this visit, Yeon-woo wanders away from the ceremony after being distracted by a butterfly and has a chance encounter with Crown Prince Lee Hwon. Although there was brief misunderstanding about each other’s identities, as a result of their chance encounter, Lee Hwon and Yeon-woo fall in love.
Meanwhile, Yeom’s outstanding scholarship caused him to be immediately engaged as a tutor for the Crown Prince. Yeon-woo, on the other hand, is chosen to be a companion for the prepubescent Princess Min-Hwa along with Bo-kyung, the ambitious and deceitful daughter of the palace’s Prime Minister and maternal blood relative to the Queen Dowager. Jang Nok-yeong, now the Head Shaman, realizes that Yeon-Woo is the child whom Ari begged her to protect years ago.
Min-hwa, the younger sister of Crown Prince Lee Hwon, is a young girl of mercurial moods who cries, whines, and screams when she does not get her way. Upon seeing her brother’s handsome “Teacher Heo”, Min-hwa becomes obsessed with him. When she discovers that Yeon-woo is Teacher Heo’s sister she expresses her preference for Yeon-woo’s company. Bo-kyung, who is all but ignored by the princess, feels slighted and jealous about the princess’ favoritism. Min-hwa soon asks her father to allow her to marry Yeom. The king refuses, for reasons that are rooted in tradition, political strategy, and socio-cultural correctness. He explains to Min-hwa that the husband of a princess(Prince Consort) is not allowed to be involved in political matters and cannot have any governmental position. He also says that Yeom is an intelligent and morally upright person and that by allowing the princess to marry him, would ruin his political aspirations. Enraged and devastated, Min-hwa throws a terrible tantrum.
Some time later, Yeon-woo is demonstrated to be the superior choice (over Bo-kyung and another young woman) to wed Lee Hwon and become the Crown Princess of Joseon. This decision upsets Prince Yang Myung, the Crown Prince’s freewheeling but misunderstood half-brother, who has also met and fallen in love with Yeon-woo, as well as Bo-kyung and her corrupt father, Prime Minister Yoon.
Yeon-woo undertakes her training to become the Crown Princess; she seems to be a bit physically clumsy at first, but is also lovingly courted by Crown Prince Lee Hwon during the training period.
Before Lee Hwon and Yeon-woo can marry, the Queen Dowager secretly orders Nok-yeong to cast a curse on Yeon-woo to afflict her with a sickness that will lead to her death. The Queen Dowager wants to install her blood relative, Bo-kyung, as the Crown Princess instead. Nok-yeong breaks her promise to protect Yeon-woo, feeling that she has no choice but to obey the Queen Dowager. The Queen Dowager uses Princess Min-hwa as a conduit to intensify the effect of the shaman’s spell, as it is known that a young virgin with strong desires and motivations lend a great deal of power to sorcery. The Queen Dowager promises Min-hwa that if she participates in the spell, Min-hwa can have what she wants: to marry Yeom. Min-hwa’s selfish immaturity and obsession with Yeom lead her to participate willingly, though it is also clear that she was manipulated by the Queen Dowager.
The black magic is successful and Yeon-woo is diagnosed with an unidentifiable illness by the royal physicians. She is thus expelled from the palace, losing her title as Crown Princess. As she inches closer and closer to death, Nok-yeong secretly visits Yeon-woo’s father and gives him a special potion, promising that it will bring a peaceful death for his daughter. He gives her the potion and she dies, as her death is the only way to release her from the spell. After her burial, Nok-yeong and a paid help hurriedly dig up the grave and retrieve Yeon-woo, knowing that she will soon awaken from the potion. Yeon-woo is deeply traumatized by dying and then waking up buried alive, losing all memories of her previous life. With assistance and support from a Taoist priest, Shaman Jang, Yeon-woo, and Seol (the Heo family’s loyal former maidservant) go into hiding in a distant location.
Crown Prince Lee Hwon is soon married to Bo-kyung. Lee Hwon flatly refuses to consummate the marriage with Bo-kyung; he repeatedly feigns illness in order to avoid physical intimacy and further tries to avoid any interactions at all with her. The only people Lee Hwon allows near him are the eunuch who serves him and the sword master Woon. Woon’s ever-presence with the prince leads some in the palace to quietly question Lee Hwon’s sexuality, not understanding that Lee Hwon’s heart still belongs to a woman presumed dead. Bo-kyung becomes progressively more humiliated and bitter about the Crown Prince’s obvious distaste for her. The king dies, and Crown Prince Lee Hwon becomes the King of Joseon. With the former king’s death, the need for Lee Hwon to produce an heir to the throne becomes more and more urgent. For this reason, the people around Lee Hwon are willing to try anything to help him recover from his “illness.”
Eight years later, it is learned that the flow of the universe has shifted and the three “exiles” in hiding are sent back to the capital city. Yeon-woo has now become a shaman after being adopted as a “spiritual daughter” by Shaman Jang. Shaman Jang has sworn Seol to secrecy about Yeon-woo’s true identity. Yeon-woo, now known as Shaman Wol (which means “moon”) returns to the palace as a living talisman – a “bad-luck-absorbing” shaman — suggested by Shaman Jang as a way to cure the king’s “illness.” The king awakens one night to find Shaman Wol sitting by his bedside, and her unmistakable resemblance to his true love, Yeon-woo, causes the young king to start questioning what really happened to Yeon-woo eight years ago and quietly launches a thorough investigation. Meanwhile, Yeon-woo must try to understand the strange memories that are coming back to her while simultaneously contending with Queen Bo-kyung, the Queen’s Father (who is still the Prime Minister), and the Queen Dowager in order to claim her rightful place as the Queen of Joseon. Political intrigue continues to build and comes shockingly to a head as King Lee Hwon fights for his throne, fights for the woman he loves, and fights for his very life.
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