This video we’re breaking down Season 2 of Kingdom.
The long awaited zombie horror follow up is finally on Netflix and if you’ve been left in the dark over the way things ended then this is the video for you.
Throughout it we’re gonna be breaking down the main plot of the season and discussing where things could be going in the future.
There will be heavy spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to watch the show then I highly suggest that you turn off now.
With that out the way thank you for clicking this, now let’s get into our breakdown of Kingdom.
Kingdom Season 1 Recap
Ok so quick recap of the first season to get you up to speed.
The King of The Kingdom was on deaths door and a mysterious plague ravaged the land. Eyes soon turned to who would be his successor and initially it seemed like the Crown Prince Chang would be a shoe in.
However, The Queen was also apparently pregnant and due to the Crown Prince being of illegitimate birth her child would become the heir should he be born whilst the king was still alive. The King died and though it seemed like this meant that the Crown Prince would ascend to the throne, the evil Queen and her Father, Senator Cho had other plans.
Using a rare herb known as the resurrection plant the Queen was able to bring the King back from the dead and she planned to keep him this way until she had an heir in place.
As we theorised in our last breakdown of the show, the Queen had had a miscarriage and thus she had been rounding up pregnant women in the palace in the hopes of taking their child. There was a mole with the crown princes group, and to make matters worse, the zombie King had passed the disease on to others and now the undead disease was spreading like wildfire throughout the land.
The Crown Prince saw this first hand and the first season centred around him fighting off the plague that was tearing things apart.
Cho did whatever he could to kill Chang and the first season ended with him sending a legion of the undead to a location where he was making a stand.
Kingdom Season 2 Themes
After some back story to the herb Season 2 picks up almost immediately where the first season ended with the horde storming the Crown Prince’s forces.
I’ve always viewed Kingdom as a class struggle story and that is definitely exemplified here. In the first season many of the rich characters hosted large banquets whilst the poor literally ate one another and here that aesthetic is continued. Food is God and this message of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few plays heavily into the finale.
Though it wasn’t intentional, in light of recent events, the show is almost metaphorically depicting how people will try to do whatever they can to survive, even if that means stealing all the toilet paper I mean rice…
The Zombies represent people at their base instincts, fighting for whatever they can whilst those in power are cool, calm and calculated, happy to let those that they view as insignificant fight amongst themselves.
There are several examples of this in the six-episode run and ultimately the show states that on the whole though humans tend to be self-centred, we are strongest when we work together.
Though the intro is laced with subtext it’s also just amazing to watch and it’s probably one of the best openings to a season well…ever.
Kingdom Season 2 Plot Recap
Overwhelmed the forces retreat and we discover that not only is the Princes trusted advisor Mu, the mole, but that the disease had also been used in the past as part of biological warfare.
We realise later in the season that the sick and elderly were transformed into the undead through the plant and used to fend off the Japanese forces three years prior.
Once more this shows how the higher ups have little regard for the frail and the show is eerily similar to current events and rules that have been put in place when caring for those that the government view as offering little to society.
The Prince realises that he must end the disease in the land no matter what and with a skeleton crew he heads out after Cho. He sees first hand the desperation of the people and realises that he all aspects of society rely on every single element to co-exist.
The Road To Hell
Small Cogs allow the big ones to spin and so one. There isn’t really one element more important than the other and this aesthetic means that when we do lose characters you feel the impact that much more.
The show does a phenomenal job with its pacing and it’s easily one of the best things that Netflix has put out in the past year. Kingdom really hits the ground running and doesn’t let up and because of this it’s an incredible ride from start to finish.
Upon arriving at Mungyeong Sung, the group are ambushed and The Crown Prince comes fave to face with his zombified father in an arena of Cho’s making.
Cho kills one of the Royal generals named Ahn who attempted to expose the truth of the undead king. He’s shot when removing the barricade that has the king and prince locked in together and this comes at a crucial moment.
The Prince beheads his father and is announced a traitor and whilst the news of the kings death travels throughout the land, The Queen makes her play.
However, The Prince and co have a plan in which they use the resurrection plant to bring Ahn back to life and this brings light to the lies.
Ahn attacks Cho directly after blood from a soldier is splashed upon him and finally the armies of Cho realises that the Prince was telling the truth.
Cho On That One
Seo-bi leaves the area with Cho who she is attempting to keep alive in order to study the disease. Aided by Mu we learn the reason for his betrayal.
As we learned in season one his wife was pregnant and she was taken to the palace and kept under the eye of the Queen.
He was told to keep a watchful eye over the Prince and report back on his movies and it was insinuated that harm would come to his wife if he did not.
Cho is reclaimed by his forces and Mu is murdered and in the same moment, his child is taken from his wife and pronounced the heir.
I really appreciated the expertly crafted writing here and it was brilliant watching seeds that were planted in the first season come to fruition here.
The Ressurection Plant Explained
Seo-Bi discovers that the resurrection plant actually produces a parasite that causes the undead to rise and that by exposing them to water they will die. Similar to cordyceps they operate by entering a host, changing their behavior and then infecting others.
The fungi in real life grow in the larvae of insects and pass on this way however in the show it is in a rare plant. The eggs of the worm grow on the stem of the resurrection plant and once ingested they bring the bearer back to life upon death.
Seo-Bi manages to save Cho through this method but he rises even more focused on the quest for power. Cho pretty much shuts down the investigation on his daughter’s pregnancy but suspecting that it has validity he forces Seo Bi to examine her. I think Cho even realizes the monster that he has created and seeing someone who reflects his tyranny is as horrifying for the character as the undead is to the Kingdom.
The Queen knew that this would be the case though and she poisoned her father, killing him in one of the biggest twists of the season.
What I loved about this is that Cho has been such an incredible villain over the course of Kingdom that when it looked like he was going to die, I was so glad that his comeuppance had finally come. However, after he was saved I felt like the character’s rule was never going to come to an end. Seeing him saved and then taken out by his own daughter is a fitting end for the villain and it really set the stakes for just how evil that The Queen really was.
The plague is listed as his cause of death and Seo-Bi is taken prisoner and forced to study the plague further so that the Queen can build a new army.
Kingdom Season 2 Ending
The season ends with The Crown Prince gathering his forces to take down the Queen who now sits upon the throne. The ministers gather to oust her and it’s a really triumphant moment in which the Crown Prince shows that through all that he has experienced that he understands the type of leader that the country needs.
Now whilst all this has been going on you’ve probably forgotten about the undead but they make a big bad return for the finale. They are unleashed in the Queen’s palace for the final battle and they spread like wildfire.
The Crown Prince’s forces actually manage to defeat them by using the lake around the king which has now frozen. Through breaking the ice they are able to dump the entire herd into the water and thus kill the parasites. Though Mu’s child, the apparent heir is bitten, Seo-bi managed to save him through placing him in water.
This, similar to a baptism has a lot of meaning metaphorically.
To me, this not only symbolized the cleansing of the disease but also the cleansing of the dark influences that he would have from the queen who perishes during the last episode.
The Crown Prince finally has the throne and he is advised to kill the child because not everyone knows the truth about it. However, he spares the boy, states that he is to be pronounced dead due to the war and instead lets him take the position.
Kingdom Season 2 Ending Explained
Now one of the big reasons that he did this is because of his loyalty to Mu. Though he was sent as a mole, he still stood side by side with the Prince and saw the things that he did and thus he does not kill the baby.
He also believes that because the child is an innocent who has not seen the horrors of the plague that he will be able to be guided on the right path, far away from the evil influence of what would have been his mother and grandfather.
The fact that many believe the baby to be a Cho also means that the throne will not be contested. Many people are still loyal to the Cho Clan and the Prince knows that if he took the position then they would rebel against him.
This could throw the country into a further state of war and in order to avert this, he allows the lie to continue for the many lives that it would save.
We get a time jump of seven years and the country has stabilized with the memory of the incident sealed off. The King is filling his new role well, however, we discover that the infection was not fully left him and that the parasite still exists inside his body. Thus if he dies the infection will spread much in the same way that it did from the prior King.
He could also potentially pass it on to his heirs and it may exist in the kingdom for the foreseeable future. How things will go we don’t know for definite as the disease constantly mutates and how it will lie within the young boy is a complete mystery.
The New Character
Elsewhere in the land, we catch up with the Prince. With Seo-Bi and Yeong-Sin the three traveled to the epicenter of where the resurrection plant grew. On this trail they discovered a man planting them who stated that his son brought it back from China. The pair had tried to sell the plant as a cure for death but no one believed him and thus his business didn’t take off.
Someone had sold the plant to them, give them instructions, well aware that it would end up ravaging the land.
Now what this could mean is that there is a conspiracy in China to take down the country through using the resurrection plant to disease to tear it apart from the inside.
We learn that the King has traveled to the Hamgyong province with Seo-Bi and they come across a deserted village in which the plant grows and they also stumble across an infected person that has a bell tied around their ankle.
They find a woman who has the undead in boxes and is dressed like a sailor. Now by the looks of it she has been bringing the undead over to the country and due to the nature of the bells, she is aware of them.
Whether she is an enemy or simply studying the parasite we don’t know yet, however, couple with the information from the two that planted the herb, we can guess that there is a plan to overthrow the young king and invade the country.
After the initial plague didn’t work and the plan to distribute it by selling it as a miracle cure failed, whoever this is could have been sent in to unleash the undead directly and spread the worms the old fashioned way.
This would explain why the village is deserted and why this mysterious character is also dressed this way with creatures in containers.
Either way, there’s a lot of things to look forward to I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us with a third season.
As I’m sure you can guess I absolutely loved Kingdom Season 2 and it gets an…
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on Kingdom and what you took from the ending. Make sure you comment below and let me know.