Yi Won

Yi Won 12

Yi Won 31

Young Yi Won

Alias Jin Won (진원)
Nickname "Apple Lord" (by Ma Mi Song)
"Drunkard" (by Hong)
Title 13th Emperor of Ga Guk
Age 20 years old
Debut Chapter 0
Gender Male
Hair Red
Eyes Gold
Father Yi Hyul
Mother Yoon Yeon Lee
Half-brother Yi Hwi
Concubine Jang Rei
Issue Unnamed twins (male and female)
Love Interest Nabi
Well, I guess the human heart is a pesky thing. After all, I can't control my own... How stupid. Both you... and I.

–Referring to Yoo Dan Ah

Yi Won is the son of the late Emperor Jin Hyul and Empress dowager Yoon Yeon Lee, and the elder half-brother of the former Crown Prince Jin Yeon. He is the 13th and current Emperor of Ga Guk.[1]


      See also: Yi Won's Outfits
Yi Won is a tall, fair-skinned, and slim man with distinct long red hair, golden eyes, and visible Adam's apple. Befitting his status as emperor, he wears various elaborate bright outfits during his excursions and in the court. He has a mannerism of putting his left hand behind him and he is never seen without his pipe.


Yi Won glare Nabi

Yi Won's "cold" demeanor towards Nabi

Yi Won is usually grumpy and hot-headed, especially when attending the court with his ministers. He does not usually care about other people's affairs despite being the emperor and he is very frank in conveying his message to others. However, when it comes to Nabi, he appears to be vulnerable and obsessive towards her, and gets jealous whenever she is with other people. Aside from his vices of gambling and drinking, Yi Won is also a heavy smoker and a womanizer. He regards Hong as his friend with whom he spent some memorable times such as getting into a fight at a gambling den and sharing "secrets" to each other. At first, he is a cold person towards Yoo Dan Ah who he does not like to see crying and following him, but soon they developed a rather close relationship. Despite knowing the fact that she is in love with him, he agrees to elope with her but he still does not reciprocate his feelings for her. Unbeknownst to her, Dan Ah will be marrying him in which he later knew that she is the Prime Minister's daughter.


Yi Won succeeded his father, Emperor Jin Hyul, when he was no more than ten years old under his official title Jin Won. Because he is still too young, his mother, Yoon Yeon Lee, acted as his regent until he turned twenty years old. His indolence during the long regency and his irresponsible and autocratic attitude towards ruling had long disappointed his ministers. Combined with his less than illustrious lineage, the ministers no longer had any faith left in the Imperial Family of Ga Guk.[1]


Yi Won vs Nam Yang Heon

Yi Won attacks Nam Hang Yeon with his smoking pipe

During the festival in Ga Guk, Yi Won is seen being introduced to the Water Beetle Game on the marketplace when he, along with the people, hears two people arguing: Nam Yang Heon and a disguised Dan Ah. Unlike the people, he does not care about the two of them and sits idly, smoking his pipe. After the lad was revealed to be a girl and carried by Yang Heon, Dan Ah asks help from Yi Won which he does not entertain. When Nabi throws a fan at Yang Heon, he loses his balance, tipping over to Yi Won with Dan Ah as well. The fan's owner then apologizes and is revealed to be Nabi. After recovering from the fall, he witnesses Nabi's criticism of Yang Heon and laughs at approval with her, even angering Yang Heon more. As Nabi is slapped, she tells him that he should become a person first, much to Yi Won's delight. He then attacks Yang Heon with his smoking pipe before he could hit him first. As Yang Heon's subordinates come to kill him, Dan Ah, and Nabi, Yi Won single-handedly beats Yang Heon, making his condition worse. After the fight, Yi Won's excitement fades away and ruins his outfit, making him angry. He looks around to find Nabi, but fails to do so.[2]

The next day at the palace, Yi Won asks Baek Yoo Shin about any information on Nabi, to which he found out that she is a gisaeng from Yu Hyang Ru with which he is then revealed to be the current emperor of Ga Guk. In court, he only thinks and mumbles of Nabi, even asking his ministers about her. He later finds out that she is still a dong-gi, much to his excitement. He immediately leaves the court, complaining that they are always asking for his permission regarding political matters. He then left for Yu Hyang Ru to meet Nabi, giving her one bottle of alcohol. With this, she rejects him, explaining that even a grandiose present such as a pavilion did not get her much favor, advising him to try much harder if he truly wants to have her. He then leaves the place and wanders off, drinking the alcohol alone, commenting that Nabi is rather shrewd. He then encounters Dan Ah, hiding from her servants.[1] He remains silent and continues drinking, as if he did not see Dan Ah. When her servants leave, he also leaves and goes to the palace, having spent all his money on liquor. Dan Ah thanks him for his "help" and for last night as well, repaying him with liquor. At Yeon Wol Jung, Yi Won drinks until he is fully satisfied, but since the liquor runs out, he lies on Dan Ah's lap and tries to get some sleep, singing the Butterfly lullaby, much to Dan Ah's surprise. He is then asked if he still remembers her from ten years ago at Bi Hwa Rim.[3]

While Dan Ah searches and wanders around the creek at Bi Hwa Rim, Yi Won sings the Butterfly lullaby, causing Dan Ah to find the person. To her surprise, she finds him singing and is continuously asked by Dan Ah if he truly is the person from ten years ago, answering frankly that it was not him. Yi Won then reminisces of his moments with his late father at Bi Hwa Rim.[4] Going back to the palace, he hears of Yoon Yeon Lee's and Yoo Ja Gyeom's conversation about the Crimson Moon and bursts in singing the Crimson Moon song, much to the exasperation of his mother. He asks about Jin Yeon's status and the Prime Minister answers that the rumor that he is alive seems to be true. He states that he thought they have already killed him ten years ago, offending the Prime Minister. Yi Won then unsheathes Baek Yoo Shin's sword and threatens a servant to sing the song in return for her life. She then sings it but was personally beheaded by Yi Won, stating that she still should not have sung it.[5]

In his chambers at night, Yi Won and his concubine are woken by Jang Rei and informs him that his reward is ready outside. He then praises her because she seems to always have what he wants even before he asks. He then goes out with Baek Ryung to Yu Hyang Ru and visit Nabi.[6] Arriving at Yu Hyang Ru, he gets caught up in a ruckus with a servant of the place and beats him up while the servant keeps on apologizing. Wol Young Hwa then arrives and asks for the matter. He demands to see Nabi, bringing forth tons of nyangs with him as payment.[7]

Apple lord

Yi Won "patiently" waited for Nabi to be treated by eating a bunch of apples

One midnight, he goes to Yu Hyang Ru and is able to drink at least two entire jugs of liquor, but still is not able to meet Nabi. On his way, he complains about the gisaeng he is given who has a high tolerance for liquor. He then unexpectedly meets Nabi who constantly rejects him. He then notices that she looks pale and grasps her shoulder, leaving traces of blood on his hand. He insists on inspecting her wound then takes off her clothes. She immediately puts them back on, leaving Yi Won astounded. [8] He scolds her for working while having a huge wound and brings her to the physician. Despite her struggle with him, she faints and is carried by Yi Won to their destination. Having found the place, Yi Won impatiently calls for the physician and demands to save Nabi: if she dies, he dies as well. The physician tells him that he is quite expensive and asks him if he has brought sufficient money as payment. Yi Won gives him a small pouch of money, but Ma Mi Song still tells him that it is not yet enough. Yi Won promises that he will pay a hundred times as much after he saves Nabi, to which the physician agrees. As he is about to enter the room, he is stopped by the physician from entering since that is his domain and and drunkards like him get in the way, so he tells him to eat some apples at the side while waiting. The next morning, Yi Won is met by the physician and tells him that Nabi has "flown away" and sets out without further ado. While finding her, Baek Ryung tells Yi Won to return to the palace for the court meetings, but he reprimands her for letting Nabi leave. She answers him that the Bi Yeong Pal Mu are his shadow and will not appear unless he calls for them. However, he is dissatisfied with her and tells her to be thankful that he does not have a sword with him, much to Baek Ryung's nervousness. Having no choice, they then head back to the palace.[9]

At the market streets, Dan Ah finds Yi Won playing the Water Beetle Game, much to his annoyance. As he sets off, she follows him and shouts at her not to do so. She asks him if she is going to Ju Wah Ae Rim to which he denies and then leaves her behind. On one side of the street, a painting of "Hong" is hung and Dan Ah explains that he is a famous ambiguous painter who only paints Bi Hwa Rim. At the mention of his full alias "Hong Wol", Yi Won becomes interested in him.[10] Later, after finally being free from Dan Ah, he visits Physician Ma to pick up medicine for Nabi and is on his way to Ju Wah Ae Rim to see her. The medicine is snatched from him by a pickpocket and runs towards him, following him up to the slums.[11] He then gets into an argument with Chung, ordering him to give back the medicine. A younger child points out to his brother that Yi Won is the Crimson Moon because of his red hair. Yi Won, overhearing their discussion, asks Woon if he admires the Crimson Moon. Woon enthusiastically answers that the Crimson Moon is the real emperor and that people like them who live in darkness do not need the sun, for the moon is their light. Woon wishes that the current emperor would disappear. Insulted, Yi Won orders Baek Ryung to call for the Imperial Army to burn the place down.

Woon lifted

Yi Won lifts Woon on the neck

Later, while the Imperial Army raids the village, Yi Won lifts Woon on the neck while Chung fights him. He kicks Chung out, and Dan Ah and Hong witness this. Hong grabs the child from him and kicks Yi Won off the wall. They engage in a one-on-one battle but are stopped by Dan Ah. He then gets delusioned Hong as Nabi, but he realizes that he is a man. Chung shouts at the people that the Crimson Moon is nearby.[12] Chung reiterates that Yi Won is the Crimson Moon due to his red hair. Hong asks him if this is true, but he denies it at once. Amid the angry villagers, Dan Ah closes the door shut. As the villagers break in, they find the room empty. The three run away from the place, but Yi Won complains why they need to run since he is confident that he can knock them down. He then tells them that if he truly is the Crimson Moon, they will be charged with harboring a fugitive, but they tell him that he himself said he was not the Crimson Moon. The two believe him and Hong promises to protect him. As they reach a bridge, Hong pushes Yi Won and Dan Ah to the water to hide from the villagers. After some time, Hong returns and they hide themselves in the woods. Wet from the water, Yi Won takes his tops off and builds some fire. Hong then gives some cloth to Dan Ah, but Yi Won grabs it and argues with Hong, saying that he is cold, too. Finally, he decides to share his blanket by hugging Dan Ah, but Hong immediately separates them.[13]

After the incident in the slums, Yi Won heads to the palace where Bi Yeong Pal Mu captain Baek Yoo Shin apologizes to him and reprimands Baek Ryung for her carelessness. However, the emperor insists that he is fine and wants to go rest, but the captain tells him that the empress dowager is inside. She scolds him for his daily absences especially in the council meetings. She further informs him that the compact was stolen. He mockingly tells her that they should have been more careful, but she informs him that, since the safety of the Imperial Family depends on it, an imperial wedding will take place. He then agrees to it, thinking that she can do anything regardless of what he thinks. Later, he is visited in the bathhouse by Hyun Bin and tells him that she has come up with the next wager.[14]

The next morning, Yi Won is at the marketplace playing the Water Beetle Game where Dan Ah sneaks in again, much to his annoyance. As he looks at Dan Ah, he inadvertently notices Nabi with Yi Jeok. Jealous, he grabs Nabi's arm and gets in a fight with Yi Jeok. They are then stopped by Baek Ryung and Nabi lectures him that there are things that cannot be obtained no matter how hard one works for them. He asks her what she wants and answers "the nation". As they go, he answers with a smirk that he will give it to her.[15]

Yi Won goes to Yu Hyang Ru to give Nabi her medicine, but, a few steps away, he sees Nabi and Yi Jeok together. Infuriated and jealous, he walks out of the place instead of giving her the medicine. On his way, a butterfly lands on his shoulder which he crushes in despair. The next day at the palace, Emperor Jin Won is visited by Hyun Bin who will accompany the empress dowager to go to the Valley of the Emperors. He assigns the Bi Yeong Pal Mu as an escort to the party in exchange for Hyun Bin's bodyguard Gwak Ji Ryeon. Outside, Baek Yoo Shin advises him to avoid going on excursions until they return from the Valley and leaves afterwards. A butterfly once again comes to his sight, admitting that he does not want to see her.

On the market streets, Yi Won, as usual, gambles and plays the Water Beetle Game who seems to be luckily winning. Despite his "luck", he enviously recalls the moment when Nabi and Yi Jeok were together in the pavilion. He turns around and expects to see Dan Ah, but instead, he is visited by Nabi, saying that today is really his "lucky" day.[16] With this, Yi Won grows excited to think that she would find him first. She tells him that she is only there to deliver a letter from Dan Ah. After reading the letter, he rips the letter and kicks the table near him. He angrily tells Nabi that she is cruel and seems to be mocking his feelings for her. Afterwards, he walks out angrily. That night, he spends the night in Ju Cheon Inn at Ju Wah Ae Rim and overhears three men talking about Nabi's "putting her hair up" and that her lover turns out to be Yi Jeok. He interferes with the three and asks them to repeat what they know. Under the rain, Yi Won dashes to the closed Yu Hyang Ru to find Nabi. He bangs at the door and plans to send a palanquin to come get her. After shouting a few sentiments, Yi Won weeps and collapses on the floor.[17]

As midnight strikes, Yi Won passes by Dan Ah at Hwa Gwi Cheon but does not pay any attention to her. As she follows him, Yi Won and Dan Ah are then surrounded by men from Nam Hyeon. She covers him from an attack but Gwak Ji Ryeon appears and tells him to run away, so he walks away without ado. On his way, Dan Ah sees Yi Won but still does not show any interest in her. However, he returns for her and gives her his shoes since she does not have any. They then continue to walk while an unmasked Crimson Moon watches from a distance with Dan Ah's shoes.[18]

After the incident, Yi Won has been drinking much alcohol without eating. In his room, Yi Won asks Hyun Bin to drink with him. She tries to stop him because she worries for his health. He admits that he tries to get drunk to forget a "flower", but does not get drunk. He then seeks advice from her; she tells him that if he truly wants that "flower", he should take it forcibly to him.[19]

At the gallery, Hong desperately needs some money and asks the seller how much it will roughly cost if Hong paints his "last piece". The seller panics, while Yi Won listens nearby and interrupts them, saying that he can give him the money. He asks the seller if Hong's "Bi Hwa Rim" can make a woman fall in love with him, and the seller answers that she will eventually fall for him if she receives the painting. He asks for Hong's answer and tells Yi Won that it is not so great as to sway a person's heart. Sparking his interest, Yi Won declares that he will buy Hong's last piece. He asks him how much he needs, and Hong tells him that he needs 100,000 nyang. He laughs at this regard, but then tells Hong to follow him.[20]

Yi Won catches cheater

Yi Won catches the cheating gambler

Yi Won and Hong enter a gambling den in order to get Yi Won's money to pay Hong. Yi Won uses Hong's money to gamble, much to the latter's chagrin. No matter how much they lose, they still continue to play. They then catch a gambler who cheats them and expose him. He threatens him by pointing his pipe at his eye, but Hong stops him. The owner of the gambling den arrives and Hong tries to explain what happened, but the cheater reverses the story and points out that he and Yi Won were the ones who cheated. Another gambler agrees to this and clarifies to the owner that they were indeed cheating. Convinced, the owner orders his thugs to drag Yi Won and Hong out of the place. Yi Won resists and gets beaten up, while Hong also gets hit and kicked. They are then kicked out of the place and orders them never to enter the place again. Yi Won tells Hong he now does not have any money to buy himself a drink, but Hong unexpectedly gives him one nyang to buy a cheap drink. Hong apologizes to him that he was not able to protect Yi Won. The latter remembers his "promise" from that night in the slums. He then tells him that one nyang is not fine then and asks Hong to drink with him.[21]

He spends the night near a lake with Hong. Yi Won stares at him and asks him if he has a sister because, according to him, he looks like Nabi, much to Hong's alarm. He tells him all about his effort in order to see and meet Nabi, but ended up in a mess. Hong tells him that she left him because she did not like him. Yi Won asks Hong if he ever met someone like her, so Hong answers that he does. Referring to Dan Ah, he tells him that she was a beautiful person who made him live as the true self that he is, but she is going to be married to another man (Yi Won). Interested, Yi Won also tells Hong about Nabi whom he tries to forget. Yi Won then tells Hong that it is the first time that he is able to have some fun and calls the two of them as "friends", much to Hong's surprise. The next morning, Yi Won is awakened by Baek Ryung who worries about him. Astonished, he asks her if no one was with him, and she acquiesces. Yi Won thinks that what happened last night was a dream, but Baek Ryung informs him that he seems to have "grown wings", as a proof that his "friend" truly exists.[22]

Yi Won arrives at the palace and sees Yoon Yeon Lee and Yoo Ja Gyeom discussing some matters. He immediately tells the two that they should now select the three candidates. He adds that the Prime Minister's daughter is automatically chosen because it is a shame if his daughter is not to be chosen; the empress dowager gets to choose a "loyalist daughter" which suits her taste; and the third candidate is to be chosen by himself.[23]

Skills and AbilitiesEdit

Physical Strength: As shown in the first part of the series, Yi Won is able to single-handedly beat up Nam Yang Heon[2] and as noted by Hong, he is physically strong.[12]

Swordsmanship: It is hinted that Yi Won is also knowledgeable when it comes to using a sword. Though he does not carry a sword with him possibly because it was unnecessary for protection, given that the Bi Yeong Pal Mu always monitors him, it is shown that he knows how to unsheathe a sword with sheer speed and agility which he later uses to threaten and eventually behead a palace servant.[5]

Archery: As emperor, it is implied that he underwent training such as archery. In addition to this, Yi Won is also skilled when it comes to using the bow and arrow as shown when he was able to successfully and accurately hit a very small item in Jang Rok Ha's hand without injuring him or Nabi, with whom Rok Ha is speaking.[24]


  • "(laughs) The bug has fallen on its back!" (To Nam Yang Heon)[2]
  • "To me, this place is just... A past that is as cold as a knife's edge. My only peaceful memory." (Referring to Bi Hwa Rim)[4]
  • "Mother, why are you getting so angry? It is only a song." (To Yoon Yeon Lee about the Crimson Moon song)[5]
  • "You still shouldn't have sung it. It upsets me. Oh my, another person has died because of the Crimson Moon. Or, is it because of me? (laughs)" (Referring to a palace servant)[5]
  • "As expected of a princess of the great Seo Seo! Quick to catch on, quick to calculate, and quick to react. " (To Jang Rei)[6]
  • "Bring Nabi to me! There should be enough money here to last for her entire life and even afterlife!" (To Wol Young Hwa)[7]
  • "We haven't even shared a drink together. If you die, I won't forgive you." (Referring to Nabi)[9]
  • "Fine, try and protect me then." (To Hong)[13]
  • "Mother... Am I simply a tool used to fulfill your desires? When will I become a son to you?" (Referring to Yoon Yeon Lee)[14]
  • "How is it that, although I've become the sun, you still shine brighter than me as the moon?" (Referring to Jin Yeon)[14]
  • "Don't smile in front of any other man besides me." (To Nabi)[15]
  • "Don't think you can get away with putting your hands on what belongs to me!" (To Yi Jeok)[15]
  • "So are you saying you can't even share a drink with me? You can't become mine?" (To Nabi)[15]
  • "I don't want to see you... But Nabi, you keep coming to my sight." (Referring to Nabi)[16]
  • "You really... are pathetic." (To Dan Ah)[18]
  • "I wanted to get drunk, but it doesn't seem to be working. It only leaves a bitter taste in my mouth... and in my heart. I wanted to get drunk and forget everything." (To Hyun Bin)[19]
  • "I forgot that when people cannot have what they desire, they begin to obsess."[19]
  • "My heart is in a lot of pain. I wonder if the pain will lessen if I get drunk..." (To Hong)[21]
  • "Do you have a sister by any chance?" (To Hong)[22]
  • "Have you ever met someone like that? Someone you would think of whether you are awake or asleep; someone you can't forget no matter how hard you try." (To Hong)[22]
  • "I liked her from the moment I saw her. Her cold, unflinching gaze. Her arrogant words. I was attracted to her unyielding demeanor. So I wanted her. She belongs to another. I tried to forget. But no matter how hard I try, I can't." (To Hong about Nabi)[22]


  • As a child, Yi Won did not know how to play rock-paper-scissors. He was later taught by Jang Rei, but he still was not able to learn it.[25]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 1
  3. Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 3
  4. 4.0 4.1 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 6
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 7
  6. 6.0 6.1 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 8
  7. 7.0 7.1 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 10
  8. Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 11
  9. 9.0 9.1 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 12
  10. Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 13
  11. Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 14
  12. 12.0 12.1 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 15
  13. 13.0 13.1 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 16
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 17
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 18
  16. 16.0 16.1 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 20
  17. Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 21
  18. 18.0 18.1 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 22
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 25
  20. Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 26
  21. 21.0 21.1 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 27
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 28
  23. Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 29
  24. Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 55
  25. Twelve Nights manhwa, Chapter 43


Characters of Twelve Nights
Ga Guk
Imperial Family Ahn YoungHyun BinJin HyulJin WonJin YeonYi Sae GiYoon Yeon Lee
Ministers Hwang Se HyungKim Hak GyuSa Hwa HyeonSeon Woo Seo InWi Ji HyunYoo Ja Gyeom
Bi Yeong Pal Mu Baek AhBaek JuBaek LinBaek RyungBaek SaBaek Yoo Shin
Bi Yeong Ship Mu Mu Jin
Deung Ha Bul Myung Baek HoCrimson MoonMu JinNabiSeol HwaSeon Woo Seo InWol Young HwaYi Jeok
Yu Hyang Ru NabiWol Young HwaYi Jeok
Others ChungHwang Se RyeonHyunMa Mi SongNam Yang HeonSoriWoonYi HaYoo Dan AhYoo Dan Ah's Mother
Seo Seo
Imperial Family First PrinceFirst PrincessJang ReiJang Rok HaJang RyunSecond PrincessThree Wives of Jang RyunYeong Bi
Others Gwak Ji RyeonMeng Gyeom
Ja Eui
Others Yoon Yeon Lee
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