[caption id="attachment_3205" align="alignleft" width="360" caption="YI SAN's Queen Hyo Eui"][/caption] Alrighty, and we're back! So far we've covered several main character themes found in Korean Dramas, ranging from the unbelievably naive, to the incomprehensibly evil. In case you've missed these themes, here they are order of discussion: The Village Idiot, The Jealous Lover, The Evil Minion, and The Evil Mastermind. Now, if you've been keeping up from the start, you are aware that for the most part, these character themes are a little on the dark side (save our friend the Village Idiot), but never worry! For we are now taking a turn to the less certifiable side of K-drama, and will be taking a look at The Benevolent Benefactor. This character would usually be dubbed as "the fairy god-mother" or "guardian angel" in Western colloquial terms, but not because they wield a magic wand!  Read on, and get to know this priceless character, and why you wish they were in your corner. [Warning: Possible SPOILERS ahead!] Description: As stated, The Benevolent Benefactor is somewhat a guardian angel of sorts. They are usually an older male, female or couple who will take in our Prince(ess) or Damsel in their darkest hour, as one of their own and shower them with love, affection, and often times buckets of money. Almost too nice for their own good, the Benefactor's heart of gold will even try to see the light in the evil forces. However, don't let their sugar and spice fool you, because if they get wind of trouble in the nest, they will do whatever it takes to protect our heroes from the follies and tomfoolery of their enemies. Social Network: As stated before, The Benefactor is usually basking in wealth, so they are often hanging with other wealthy peoples, however, there are instances where our beloved friend is dirt poor, but rich in spirit. In this case, they raise and mold our heroes to be stand up citizens with honor and dignity, which is one of the greatest achievements they could ever do. Such as it is, The Benefactor can be found at all levels of society, depending on the drama; from the richest of the rich, to the poorest of the poor. Purpose: Aside from being the safety net of The Prince(ss) Charming and Damsel In Distress, The Benevolent Benefactor teaches us that we are not alone in this thing called life. When we feel like there's no one who cares, they remind us that there is someone out there willing to go through the fire with us; and that unconditional love and trust really do exist, and that we as humans are compelled to shield and protect. So take a look at your life, and let your Benefactor(s) know you appreciate their presence.


[caption id="attachment_3207" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae in MY GIRL"][/caption] I'm sure that all you Drama Fans have your favorite Benevolent Benefactor, but for me, the most standout Benefactors are in the dramas Yi San (which I'm currently watching), East of Eden and My Girl. In Yi San, I've noticed that they've included both aspects of the Benefactor: in Princess/Queen Hyo Eui (played by Park Eun Hye) and Eunuch Dal Ho (played by Lee Hee Do). The Queen, in her glowing heart decides to take our heroine under her wing and protect her as much as she can from the pitfalls that are waiting for her. From allowing her to be close to His Highness, encouraging her artwork, making her a royal concubine and shielding her from the displeasure of The Dowager Queen, Queen Hyo Eui is one of the most gracious characters in Yi San. At first her benevolence comes off as her being naïve and a push-over, but as we get to know her through the story, we see that she has a true heart of gold and will stand up for what is right. In her majestic wealth, she is able to do this with fairly no resistance, yet on the other end of the spectrum, we have Eunuch Dal Ho. Dal Ho gave up his life in the palace to raise innocent child fugitives Song Yeon and coincidentally his nephew Dae Su. In doing so, they were forced to live as peasants; yet Dal Ho in all his flustered ways, raised two righteous children into inspiring adults. As the stand in father-figure for both children, Dal Ho made sure that the kids were not lacking in the basics (food, shelter, and love) but also that they had things such as compassion and loyalty instilled within. For a “half-man” (Dal Ho's words, not mine!) he did what some of the “whole men” in the drama could have never done...especially without a mate. In My Girl, our Benefactor was actually the Prince Charming. Surprise, surprise! Yes, the twist here is that in the course of our drama, our Benefactor changes places from the sick grandfather (so cliché) to the Prince Charming! As a reluctant Prince Charming, Seol Gong Chan (played by Lee Dong Wook) gets to know our mischievous heroine Joo Yoo Rin (played by Lee Da Hae) and soon we find him taking her into his privileged existence from her vagabond life, shielding her from harm, drying her tears, and ultimately falling in love with her. A very nice twist that gives The Benevolent Benefactor a modern, romantic and young face. Now, with The Benevolent Benefactor, what are your thoughts? Do you think that as Korean Drama Characters, they are needed to combat the evil forces in a more removed way? What about the fact that in a way, The Benefactor (if rich) kind of takes advantage of the hero's bad luck, and could (if they so choose) to become an Evil Mastermind (gasp!)! This actually did happen in a way with East of Eden's Guk Dae Hwa, but instead of analyzing this, I'll just tell you to check out EOE because I'd like to hear from you!