Guardian: The Lonely and Great God or Goblin (2016) [Sseulsseulhago Chanlanhasin – Dokkaeb] is a South Korean television series directed by Lee Eung Bok and written by popular drama writer Kim Eun-sook. It stars Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook, Yoo In-na, and Yook Sung-jae. It was shown on the cable network tvN from December 2, 2016 through January 21, 2017.
As of February 2020, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016) is the fifth-highest rated Korean drama in cable television history behind The World of the Married, SKY Castle, Crash Landing on You and Reply 1988. It received critical acclaim and became a cultural phenomenon in South Korea.
Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is a decorated military general from the Goryeo Dynasty who is framed as a traitor and killed by his master, the young King. Years after his death, he is cursed by the almighty to stay immortal forever to endure the pain of seeing his loved ones die as a punishment for the killings he committed during wars to protect his country. He is a kind man, in-spite of his grievous past and he has become terribly weary of watching everyone around him die. The only way to put an end to his immortality is to find and marry the Goblin’s bride, who can aid in pulling out the sword which will culminate in ending his painful immortality. He has spent over 900 years searching to find the prophesied human bride who can set his soul free.
Kim Shin’s nephew, Yoo Deok Hwa (Yook Sungjae), is a rebellious chaebol heir whose family has been caretakers of the Goblin for many generations. He leases the Goblin’s house to a grim reaper (Lee Dong-wook), who ushers people’s souls into the afterlife. The Goblin and the Reaper end up living under the same roof and the two see off those who have passed away and are leaving this world.
Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) is a high school senior whose mother was saved from an accident by Kim Shin 19 years ago, and ever since then, she has been able to communicate with the dead. She is a bubbly high school student who works part time at a chicken shop owned by Sunny (Yoo In-na), a charismatic young woman. Even though Ji Eun Tak has had a tragic life, she remains cheerful and hopeful. One day she accidentally summons the Goblin and the lives of Kim Shin, grim reaper, Ji Eun-Tak and Sunny begin to become entwined and as such, a deeper story unfolds and they realize that they are not strangers who met by chance, but people with deep-rooted relations.