Let’s not speak ill of the dead…

Happy Friday! I’m still going on my series of the Yona of the Dawn/ Akatsuki No Yona characters. I’m going to take a quick break from the dragons since the last dragons story is mostly in the manga and talk about Yona’s Father and save the last dragon for later :).


One thing I love about this anime is that things are not always as they seem. Yona’s father is seen (through Yona’s eyes) as an emperor who brought peace to the land. Most of the time you would think that is a good thing. The further you delve into what happened the more secrets are revealed.

Yona knows nothing of what is going on in the kingdom and her father even refuses for her to ever hold a weapon. He hates violence and we aren’t really given a reason why at the beginning of the anime. He is someone who can come across as somewhat silly, but he impressed the immovable Hak by stopping a sword with his bare hand. So in Hak’s mind there is more to the emperor than meets the eye. With that action he wins Hak’s loyalty which isn’t a small matter and that turns things in the end for Yona.


The Emperor gives into Yona in most situations. But when it comes to anything dangerous and her marrying Soo-Won that is when he puts his foot down and says no. This is shocking to a girl who is used to getting what she wants.


After his death and Yona is forced outside the palace she starts to see the state of the country. The peace wasn’t all that the emperor said it was. The tribes were in turmoil. Land was given away as bribes. People were going hungry. The fire tribe was out of control (this rings a bit like avatar, no?).

This forces Yona to see that maybe her father wasn’t a good ruler. She struggles to hold the good memories of him when seeing what a disaster the kingdom is in. One thing I really like about this is that we always want peace but you still need to be a strong ruler to uphold it.

Even though her father had his weak points, this in turn helps Yona see what makes a good ruler and it gives more sides to the character, Soo-Won… But more on him later ;).

If you are curious about my earlier entries about Yona please give them a look:


Blue Dragon

White Dragon

Green Dragon


Happy watching!




Author: kimchisama

Anime for the soul.

15 thoughts on “Let’s not speak ill of the dead…”

  1. It can’t be easy to keep a kingdom made up of warring factions at peace. Many rulers fall into the trap of focusing on the capital and ignore the rest of the populace. Yona’s dad was incompetent, but clearly a loving father who didn’t deserve his demise.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great insight! I do feel Yona’s plight after she realized how her father was incompetent in governing Kokha. Her mixed emotions towards her father and suwon was on point. Unfortunately, having a good heart (King Il) is not enough to make you a good ruler. Still, I don’t think he deserves to die though. </3

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting. I’m glad they took the route of the king having flaws in ruling like that which can be overlooked in other media involving monarchs. You might like Strings which deals with a concept of the dead “good king” actually doing something extremely heinous in his rule without his son knowing and his regime getting justifiably called out on it by a rival kingdom. Besides, real kings throughout history have done savage things while maintaining a good publicity with their subjects. One example would be King Leopold II who was a Belgian King who was beloved by his people and was known as the Builder King for his architectural prowess. However, he invaded Congo and his regime killed 10 million Congolese during his rule of that nation and never got punished for it. Okay, so that’s WAY more extreme than Yona’s dad, but I’ve been fascinating by the dynamic of ideal kings vs. real life kings after reading some history and even watching the Jungle Emperor Leo: Hon-O-Ji short film despite some of it’s flaws.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for this comment and yeah it makes sense and I am happy too that they went that way. It was so shocking for Yona to see that her father who she loved and loved her didn’t run the kingdom well and that the peace was really fake in a way. They didn’t have war but all the people were still at each others throats. That is so interesting and as I get older it is funny to see that sometimes the leaders where taught to have different attributes when I was younger. We never learned about the darker sides of their rule.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No problem, Kimchisama. It must have been a shocking event for the Yona character. Peace can totally be fabricated as seen in real life. It does get saddening when one finds out about history that doesn’t get taught. Funny enough, I have a theory that the concept of the benevolent monarch is so pushed in some anime and a TON of Western animation when they could never exist in real life.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great title (there’s a pun in there waiting to happen too) … and I think Suwon would disagree ? 😀
    Suwon and King Il are characters seemingly easy to place at first but has mysterious sides and secrets still uncovered. I think it’s also one of the reasons why I kept on reading/watching Akatsuki no Yona, because I wanted to know more about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The King is actually a sort of complicated character.
    I mean, sure, he was sort of useless, but at the same time he had some ideals that can’t be ignored. In the end it’s just him not being able to get others to support his ideals, I think?
    I mean he’s looking at a utopian world for godssake (or can I say Hiryuu’s sake?).

    Ooh Suwon! I’m still desperately waiting for Hak’s hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

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