Kingdom: Ashin of the North Plot Synopsis
Ashin of the North takes place several years before the main series does. Here, we follow a young girl who lives in a border village surrounded by enemies. Her tribe, the Seongjeoyain, are Jurchen but have lived in Joseon for so long that they’ve been cut off from their people and branded as traitors.
Everyone in Ashin’s village are shunned and that’s only made worse with the country facing an invasion to the south from the Japanese. A separate conflict with the Jurchen warriors over land in the North spells even more trouble. This inevitably sees Ashin and her villagers sandwiched in the middle. Suffice to say, it’s a very volatile situation!
When disaster does strike, Ashin finds herself alone and contemplating using the mythical resurrection flower, saengsacho. For now she holds off, driven by murderous rage and desperate to exact revenge on those who have wronged her.
What happened to Ashin’s Father?
Early on in this special, Ashin bears witness to her village being plundered and burned to the ground by the Pajeowi military. This leads her to assume that her Father was among those killed. As the sole survivor, Ashin pleads with the army commander to give her a chance to avenge her family and hit back against the Pajeowi.
Years pass and Ashin, now a competent fighter, is sent out to spy on the Pajeowi military camp. There, she finds her Father barely alive and branded a traitor. His limbs are cut and he barely recognizes her.
Clinging to the last ounce of his life, Ta-Han pleads with his daughter to kill him. She agrees and heads back to camp with renewed hunger to strike out against those who are responsible.
Who is responsible for plundering Ashin’s village?
After burning the Pajeowi camp to the ground, Ashin remains determined to get some answers. As she soon comes to learn, the Joseon military are actually the ones responsible for sacking her village. not the Pajeowi. Realizing that she’s been played, she sets out to hit the army commander and the other Joseon military men.
Driven by anger, Ashin returns and begins to concoct her plan.
How does the zombie outbreak start?
Ashin is on a path of unbridled revenge and desperate to hit out against all those who have wronged her and her villagers in the past. Heading back to camp, she immediately goes after one of the soldiers who has been abusing her.
After killing him, Ashin feeds the resurrection plant to him. In essence, she’s the one who starts this whole zombie apocalypse, using her knowledge of the flower to her advantage.
Watching from the rooftops, Ashin hits out with a volley of arrows to anyone who tries to escape. She makes sure the infection spreads, consuming each and every one of the soldiers. The final one she shoots straight through the hand while he’s hanging on the rooftop. This inevitably attracts the horde, who all rush in to get a bite of the action.
Ashin is prepared for this though. She pours oil over all the zombies and sets them alight, killing them all…but one.
What is Ashin’s secret?
After killing these infected and presumably stopping the infection from spreading, we’re granted a pretty big twist. Ashin drags a large sack into an eerie tranquil forest to a solitary cabin. As she enters, bloodcurdling screams ring out.
It turns out Ashin did use the resurrection plant as a child. She actually resurrected the villagers and has kept them chained up in this cabin ever since. This explains why Ashin was so adamant to work with the commander all those years back. This allowed Ashin direct access to livestock which she stole and gave as food to the zombie villagers.
Her final act down this cold, twisted route was providing something with more sustenance to these villagers – a real live human. And that human comes in the form of the army commander, who happens to be inside the giant sack that Ashin has been hauling about. She drops him off like a takeout meal for these hungry zombies and watches, stone-faced, as he’s eaten alive.
How does Ashin of the North end?
During the epilogue, Ashin provides the resurrection flowers to the royal physician just before he leaves town. This is actually a pretty significant moment in Kingdom lore. This single act ties back to the events during the first episode of Kingdom season 1.
Ashin specifically didn’t mention the effects of this flower to the physician, aware that this would start the undead horde anew. After what happened to her father, she’s sworn a personal vow of vengeance to kill everyone in Joseon as revenge for what’s happened to her.
Ashin is now well and truly the antagonist of this series, with the ending setting things up nicely for a tantalizing third season to come.
Read More: Kingdom: Ashin of the North Review
Thanks for reading our Ending Explained article! So what did you think of the ending? Were you surprised by the twists and turns? Did you enjoy learning about Ashin’s past? Let us know in the comments below!