In my last Dong Yi post I looked at the ranking system for the King’s concubines in the Joseon period. The 내명부 (內命婦) ne-myeong-bu were the concubines and court ladies in the palace and they were divided into two groups – the higher 내관 ne-gwan (for concubines) and then the lower 궁관 kung-gwan (for court ladies). There were 9 ranks altogether. The top 4 ranks were held by the concubines and the remainder by the court ladies. In episode 12 Dong Yi moves into the kung-gwan inner court and becomes a court lady 궁녀 kung-nyo working in the investigations bureau. We are not told what her rank is but she has to speak plain Korean to the palace slaves as she is now above them and finds this difficult. The other court ladies in the investigation bureau don’t want to accept her though, because they still see her as a slave.
episode 12 Dong Yi becomes a court lady, MBC