Crowned Clown Summary

Main Leads: Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Sang-kyung, and Lee Se-young
Genre: Historical, Romance, Melodrama
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2017


The Crowned Clown is the drama version of the 2012 Lee Byung-hun starrer, Masquerade.

Crowned Clown Summary – The crowned clown depicts the story of a  Joseon King Yi Heon and his doppelganger, a clown, who has to impersonate and fill the king’s place under a situation where the king is being treated for a severe illness. The clown has to manage the Royal court and the Queen by not revealing his original identity. The ending storyline is changed and differs from Masquerade, the original story!

Know the characters:

Ha seon-Clown
King in deathbed- Crown’s Prince Father
Yi Heon-The present King
So-woon –The Queen(Yi Heon’s)
Prince Yul – a child and prince, step-brother of the crown prince.
Lord Shin-Vice Minister of War, a man who plots to control the royal court
Lord Yoo – A Minister in Royal Court and Father of the Queen.
Yi Kyu/Haksan- Chief Royal Secretary


Episode 1:The King and the doppelganger, The King’s addiction and his plan.

The King is in the deathbed. He is very sad that his younger son Yul is still a child and fears that the Crown Prince (yeo jin hoo) would persecute his younger brother after his death. When the king asked for a promise from the crown prince to not kill his younger son, he refused and says that he should plead him with tears. Furious King, after cursing the crown Prince, dies.

The crown Prince now becomes the King and ordered every criminal to be killed! On the other end, a clown who is a doppelganger (of crown prince) performs a Show. Young Prince Yul is framed for treason and the vice minister of War now wanted that child to be killed though others in the court condemn this merciless decision against a child. Finally, Yul is poisoned and killed and the others are beheaded. Moreover, the vice minister of War is honored with the title however the king seemed to dislike his doings and in extreme suffering.

Meanwhile, the clown enjoys his life irrespective of destitution.

The King is already addicted to drugs, and after drugged some attempted to kill him which is thwarted by his guards. The King loses balance after finding the rebels. He begs his confidant, chief Royal secretary to find out a solution for this as he is aware that someone is plotting to kill him by slow drugs that make him mentally unstable.

The clown Ha-seon with his troops arrives Hanyang. The Queen who is rumored to be inconsiderate and evil greets the King’s consort who is actually Lord Shin’s(vice-minister of War) niece. He gave her a talisman and told to keep it with her during the consummation with the king.

The King mistreats the concubine after finding the talisman and tells that all he wanted is a legitimate heir, not one from a mere concubine. He furiously reaches the queen’s Palace without notice and questions her why she not even doing anything when one even using talisman to get a son. The King is in distress and tries to kiss her. She immediately turns out her head and expresses her unwillingness. The king says that though the world thinks he is rejecting her, the truth is he is being rejected by her! However, all she wanted from her husband is, A good ruler. Meanwhile, the clown after hearing the gossiping now criticizes the Queen through his shows.

Finally, it is revealed that the assassination order was given by none other than the Queen dowager.
But during the trial, the rebel names Lord Yoo, father of the Queen. The Queen pleaded and finally confronted him by clearly stating that she would leave the Palace if his father was not given a chance to clear his name. The king who is always in love with his queen got furious and shouted that her blackmailing tactics won’t work on him, but in heart, he was deeply saddened when she puts her father in the first place instead of her husband.

The chief Royal secretary meets the clown and surprised to see a lookalike king! The next when he goes to meet the King, he is completely out of mind. He even harasses a servant who served him porridge. The King meets the clown and now ha-seon becomes the scapegoat. If someone tries to kill the king, Ha-seon will be killed and the king will reappear. The clown now becomes ‘THE CROWNED CLOWN’.

Episode 2: Ha-Seon, The Crowned Clown

The King is shocked at the same time is full of astonishment to see a man like him. He thinks all his perils should be vanished when used him correctly. The King leaves the palace the same day and reluctant ha-seon finally agreed to play the role of the King after the Chief Royal Secretary agreed him to pay a huge money. He is smitten by the lavish lifestyle and delicious food of the palace. Eunuch Cho tries to help him in making his way smooth. The cunning court lady is quite confused to see this new version of him. Even to maids, he uses horrifics and forgive the same previous maid who served him water this time, easily which is unlike to the usual quality of the incumbent king. Eunuch Cho advices him not to show emotions henceforth.

The Left State Councilor visits the King to ask about the Punishment of Lord Yoo! He insists that he must be given death Penalty! As the Royal Secretary trained him to say “I approve” for the request. He says that he approves without being knowing that the father of Queen and All commotion is the palace is because of this. Eunuch cho did not know what to do and becomes quiet. Left State Councilor felt unusual to see such sudden approval from the king for a crucial matter.

Shattered as much as Furious Queen visits the King! Ha-seon really don’t know what to do as he is not aware of who Lord Yoo actually is. the Queen wants to prove his father’s innocence with her life. she takes out the knife and tries to pierce her heart but was stopped by ha-seon. He agrees to do whatever she says. she is quite perplexed to see him that he would cancel the order. she is well aware of the backlash. But he does not know anything. All he wants is no one should die before him. For the first time, the queen likes his actions.

Enraged Royal secretary is looking for an idea to sort out this mess. He warned him to be careful about the Left State Councilor Shin Chi-soo. Further, he meets the King to get his orders. The king is now fully addicted and not in stable condition. His order is also the same. To execute his father-in-law though he is sad that queen will be in agony.

The King order is “Remove the Criminal Yoo Ho Joon from Office and Execute”. The Royal Chief secretary Lee Yi Kyu ordered him to practice those words. But During the Court meeting, ha-seon read it as “Remove the Criminal Yoo Ho Joon from Office and imprison him in exile”. He just changed the word to keep up his promise given to his Queen so-woon.

He let the Queen to bid farewell to his father without anyone knowing. He also led the maid to eat his food when he came to know that the leftover food only will be served to the maids. He acts more normal as he is a normal man himself. Meanwhile, his sister Dal Rae searches for him everywhere and learnt that he is not under custody of Department of Justice. She was lured by someone so that a nobleman wants to have her.

Someone poisoned in the King’s Snacks. The 15-Year-old girl brought him and he gave to maid after hearing her sad story. She suddenly vomited blood. Considering the urgency, ha-seon himself carried her to the Royal Physician. He understood that the little girl took the fall for him. He confronted with Secretary Lee for making him a scapegoat and the make him vulnerable to such a dreadly environment. he could not tolerate the truth that he was chosen to die instead of King. he tries to run away, led his way to meet Dal rae, who was raped by a nobleman who often visits courtesan house. Ga Soo blamed himself for letting her like this. That man is none other than the son of Left State Councilor, Lord Shin chi-soo! He goes to Lord Shin Place with a Clown On, he mistreats him by throwing 2 Yang for his sister life. Inability at some point will make someone dangerous. Ha-seon returns to Palace!

Episode 3: Ha-Seon’s Only Condition!  

The queen dowager is the one who poisoned. ha-seon managed to get her sister and gab so out of the city with the help of courtesan lady, who is very close to secretary Lee. he returned to the palace and boils with rage. he wanted to live as a king under one condition that lord shin son shin yi-gyum must be torched and killed. Lee informs the same to the king. the king condition still worsens as he has hallucinations now a days and want that drug which court lady Kim use to give him. As the king agrees, now the first course of action is to find who poisoned the food. Royal secretary Lee knows that it must be the queen dowager, he led ha-seon to go and create a scene at her that she can find the king is now better.

Episode 4: Queen Dowager’s Revenge!

Woon Shin, the courtesan Maid is visited by secretary Lee often. He shares a close bond with her. Seon Hwa-dang, one of the concubines and Lord chin’s people visits the Queen along with the other concubines. He immediately fell ill after drinking the tea and chief court lady Park, who serves the Queen is blamed for this. Meanwhile, dal-rae is in a monk’s place where the king is also staying.

Park is arrested and ha-seon is in fear that it may take a toll on queen. Park is actually one of the people of the queen dowager and is killed by her as she could reveal what she did to the queen. Previously, the dowager prepares some medicine For the Queen and is served by chief court lady Park on a regular basis. So, to shut her mouth up, she is eliminated.

Queen orders Ae Yeong, her another close aid to meet the deceased Park family. Park mother mistook her as dowager aide and gives secret letter which Park had wrote about witch crafting the queen’s Place. Ae-yeong gets all those evidences and gives it to the Queen in turn gives it to King. As this is not sufficient to save the Queen, ha-seon himself writes a fake letter and blackmails queen dowager. it says that Park asks for money for her doings. He even threatened that he could frame it by hiding evidences at the court lady jang’s place. The dowager had no choice but to sacrifice her court lady jang. And jang heart fully agrees. All dowager wants is the revenge for the death of her son yul,a normal thought of a mother whose little, innocent son was mercilessly killed for the sake of the throne.

Episode 5: Queen’s Love

The Royal Secretary Wants Ha-seon to become the real King after Considering the current condition of the King. He pierced his chest with a knife making a mark on his right chest like the King’s so that no one would doubt him in the future. The real king is now fully mentally unstable and even harmed his ears himself as he cannot stop hearing Yul.

Queen step in to treat the King, Ha-seon. he is drawn towards her unknowingly. Court Lady Kim is completely ignored by the King despite she was the close aide of the then King as she provides drugs to him on orders of Lord Shin. Queen and Ha-seon grew close helping each other In every possible ways.

Now with the help of a man named Joo Ho-geol, the king plans to implement Rice Payment Tax. So that normal people would not burden up with heavy taxes. Further, pocketing rice can be prevented. As this Rice Payment Tax would affect only Land Lords and rich Noble men, secretary Lee and Minister of Taxation foresees the upcoming chaos. Joo Ho-Geol is a pro in Calculations.

Queen expresses her love for the King when he pretends as sleeping. She kisses him and without knowing how to react, he just opens his eyes but did not try to avoid her kiss.

Episode 6: The Real King Comes!

Joo Ho-Geol check out the documents of Taxation and points out Shin Son, Shin Yi Gyum as the culprit. yi gyum had already charged for attempt of murdering Ho-Geol with concrete evidence. As beheading him is not possible, ha-seon wants to humiliate him at least. He orders Lord Shin to cane his son 100 times.

The plot of giving slow poison to the queen worked for the Queen Dowager. Previously, she executed the plan through Court Lady Park. King sends Queen for a vacation. Secretary Lee in disguise is stabbed and fortunately found by Ho-Geol. He rests now in Woon-shim place.

The king ha-seon met the queen on his way in disguise and both have good time. He fell in love with her and the real King escapes and co es countryside followed by Dal Rae who happened to see him in the Monk place. The king is infuriated to see Ha-seon holding hands with his Queen.

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