Oh man, how could I not choose Mishil from Queen Seondeok? Women villains are often a rarity (I’m not counting evil mothers-in-law as there’s an endless supply of those, lol). Mishil shines as a truly powerful opponent who felt so real at times you wanted to root for her as she went against society’s expectations for a non-royal woman. Plus, she’s got that villain smile down pat.
Mishil grew up in Silla as a noble lady who valiantly served her country as a lady warrior and even became the emperor’s concubine. In the palace, Mishil’s desire for more took a dark turn – she dreamed of a world where she was queen and could influence the nation. Despite her numerous attempts, Mishil couldn’t find her way to the throne chair but continued to gain power as a succession of kings went by. She had many powerful lovers who became tools for her to spread her influence and control. She was the central opposing force against Princess Deokman who took back the palace from Mishil and fought to gain the throne herself. In the end, it was the intellect, strategic cunning and strength of these two political women that shaped their country and even each other.