Kingdom: Ashin of the North ending explained – how it all began…

July 23, 2021 (Last updated: July 26, 2021)
Christina Geani 4
Ending Explained, Film, K-Drama, Netflix

This article discusses the ending of Netflix’s special episode Kingdom: Ashin of the North, so it will contain major spoilers.

Read the review.

Kingdom: Ashin of the North, starring Gianna Jun, or famously known as Jun Ji-Hyun, is an emotionally vengeful story. One of the biggest reveals from this special episode is how Ashin is the one who found the reincarnation plant and how Lee Chang and Seo-bi find the secret barn with the unreleased zombie. It also gives us an insight into how it was used to spread the zombie disease to the people of Joseon.

The spins-off episode travels back to the time when Joseon faced a possible invasion from Japan on one side and Jurchens on the other. For information, Jurchens were people who belonged to one of the last dynasties of China before the Mongol conquest. Gianna Jun portrays Ashin, a Jurchen, who holds the pivotal role in causing the death and chaos in Joseon.

Ashin’s father was a Jurchen himself. He did not go to cross the border as the rest of the Jurchen did. He was one of the few who had settled in Joseon. He devoted himself to the King of Joseon for his generosity in giving his people a piece of land. But, he does this hoping that the king will grant his tribe and their land a governmental status, which never happens.

Everything turns into a series of tragic events when fifteen of Pajeowi Jurchen men go to Pyesa-gun, the forbidden area, and never return. It was later revealed how they all die unexpectedly. Pajeowi are known for being excellent martial artists, so it only needs less than 1,000 Pajeowi soldiers to wipe out the armies. The Chupajin group, who is in charge of protecting the border, claims that a tiger attacks them. The deputy commander of the Chupajin group, Min Chi Rok (Park Byung-eun), investigates and then later goes to the Jurchen tribe to do some damage control, seeing that tensions are running high between the tribes and the monarchy.

To prevent the rebellion act of Pajeowi, the commander went straight to the border village. He abuses Ta-ban’s loyalty by ordering him to go to the Pajeowi and tell them that their people are killed by the tiger. Of course, Ashin’s father knows the cost of the lies that he has to bear. But due to the hopes of building a better life for his ill wife and community, he paddles the boat to the other side of the land, only to find no way back.

What happens to Ashin after her father’s disappearance?

The night after her father goes to the land of Pajeowi, Ashin goes to the deep forest to find the resurrection flower. On her way back, she stumbles upon a dead body with a brown feather air bow. Upon returning to her village, she finds that the whole village has been slaughtered and burned to the ground by the Pajeowi military. She encounters all the dead bodies who were hanged, including her younger siblings.

Life does not wait for anyone. Being the only survivor of the village, Ashin paddles her boat to cross the border where Joseon’s army is. She meets the commander and begs for a chance to avenge her family. Seeing her tenaciously begging, the commander orders the camp to take care of her. They place her in a military settlement, living in the pig cage while being the only woman in the all-men territory. She begins to do odd jobs such as doing laundry, taking care of the pigs while training relentlessly by herself. Like daughter like father, her first mission from the commander (years later) is to spy on the military camp of Pajeowi.

We can clearly see the manipulative and deceiving sides of the Joseon armies. She does the same thing for years. A soldier even routinely sexually assaulted her by abusing his power and authority as a Joseon soldier. One night, the deputy commander knows about it, but he does nothing but let the assaulter go.

Does Ashin’s father die?

One night, Ashin receives an order to go to the Pajeowi’s territory to gather some information about the war. Little did she know, she uncovers something frightful. Yup, she finds her father, with a label traitor rounding on his neck, and his limbs are cut off. He barely recognizes her. She tries to breaks the chain while she weeps and promises to save him. But, he begs his daughter to kill him instead, insisting there’s nothing left to live for. Ashin embraces her father, while he calls out her name, and tears stream down his face. At that moment, she fulfills his final wish; ending his misery.

She later complies and sets the camp on fire before going back to the camp only to find more reoccurring questions. She saw something that led her to believe that she had been betrayed. The arrow tail of one of the Joseon men who left the camp to get ready for battle matched the one that had killed the Jurchen men from the other side of the river. Upon reading the report by the commander, she soon uncovers that the commander and his army were the ones who led the tribes to fight with each other. They purposely create propaganda while saving themselves from trouble.

The start of the chaos – Netflix’s Kingdom: Ashin of the North ending explained

On the same night, the soldier who has been assaulting her came to to the barn. This time, Ashin does not give in to the superiority. She kills him with his own knives and forces the alluring mysterious plant into his head and turns him into a zombie. She unleashes him on the soldiers’ camp, watching each of them turn into zombies, while the others die in vain. After burning down the zombies and soldiers, she kills everyone through her archery.

Her intention is clear. The one she despises the most will pay the price the hardest. After the horror of the camping area, Ashin is seen dragging a giant sack into an abandoned forest, where a lone zombie from her “people” remains. As she comes back to the long-gone village, she has flashbacks of her tribe and its people. All the warmth and pleasant memories. She is brought back to reality by the screams of the zombies; it is revealed that although Ashin’s tribe was murdered, and the rumor spread that she had buried them all, the truth is that she converted them all into zombies. Chained in a barn in the middle of a forbidden forest, Ashin has been feeding them for years with animals such as deer, rabbits, pigs, but these were never enough. She finds that they deserve something more valuable and worth her grief, a human.

She leaves the commander and the zombies begin to devour him like there’s no tomorrow. After that, she travels her way to Joseon where she takes the flower to the King’s physician, which later gets Lee Chang’s father infected. This explains where it all started.

What did you think of the ending of Kingdom: Ashin of the North? Comment below.

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4 thoughts on “Kingdom: Ashin of the North ending explained – how it all began…

  • July 27, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    The person inside the sack is not the commander. The commander and his colleague who killed the wild ginseng seeker are not at the camp that night. The commander appeared at Kingdom season 2 but I don’t remember whether He’s still alive or not, meanwhile his comrade is the Queen’s older brother. He appeared in KIngdom season 1 and got infected so decapitated by Crown prince in the end.

  • July 30, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    A few errors on the above.

    She dragged the soldiers that used to sexually assault her to the village in a wheelbarrow. She then offers him up for her loved ones to feed upon, promising once her revenge is done, she’ll join them too. This informs Season 2’s ending, when former Prince Lee Chang and his medical aide, Seo Bi, found Ashin’s lair with these reanimated souls seemingly under her control.

    That’s not where it ends, actually.

    Kingdom: Ashin of the North ends with Ashin, cloaked and with her bow and arrow, obstructing the Jurchens from the Pajeowi lands. The horsemen murdered her village after Chi-rok’s lies, but they also tortured her dad, so no matter what, in her eyes they are culpable. She’s especially bitter because her village was Jurchen as well, but opted to remain in Korea as farmers rather than move to the borders or into China as warlords.

    Their leader, Ai-da-gan, loves murder and enjoyed slaughtering her tribe, becoming a legend across the lands. Now, she’s ready to fulfil her vow to kill everyone, but the group stands amused that one person would oppose a gang this big. It concludes with her taking aim at Ai-da-gan first while he smiles. Audiences don’t see the firing shot after she lined the arrow up from her quiver, which leaves it up to the imagination how she went about killing so many warriors, who have a reputation as being Asia’s deadliest.

  • August 9, 2021 at 7:21 am

    In kingdom series, the king bite doesnt change the man into a zombie, only got sick n died. Ater tje villager eat tje flesh of the dead body, the bi bite spread the zombie plague. So how can the soldier ashin killed n raised, turn into.zombie that contagious?
    And how come little ashin manage to get all those zombies of her viilage into a barn? Asumming that ashin did not.know that the flower will will the dead into zombie?

  • February 6, 2022 at 5:46 pm

    I was confused by this, too. If Ashin used the plant to turn the soldier into zombie, then he would’ve just bit the other villagers but not turn them.

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