Historical dramas centered around tribal or nomadic culture?

I’ve seen quite a few Korean and Chinese historical or fantasy dramas, and I really enjoy them. However, I am getting weary of the palace life and the same type of setting. Scheming Grand Empress Dowagers, greedy ministers, jealous concubines, they get on my nerves and are kind of predictable in a historical drama after a while. That’s why I was really impressed with the first 10 or so episodes of the Chinese drama Goodbye My Princess. The princess is part of the Dan Chi tribe, and I really liked how a different culture was showcased. Instead of palaces and all that comes with them, there was an entirely different atmosphere. I was wondering if there are any other historical dramas out there, Korean or Chinese, that also show and are centered on maybe a nomadic culture, or even just a subculture? As long as the palace plot isn’t too prominent

Maybe “Sound of the Desert” with Hu Ge and Eddie Peng


Tribes and Empires - at least one third or half of the drama is about Chinese nomadic tribes in the prairie.


Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll definitely check it out

Thank you!

Tribes and Empires, yes, mythical tribes and clans. Excellent.

Sound of the Desert and its sequel…er…not so much. You’ll also get a lot of Palace politics.

Actually…ironically, what springs to my mind is more…Lawrence of Arabia. (sigh)

A different sort of “tribal” feel goes with Great Queen Seon Deuk - the brotherhood of the Hwarang. (don’t bother with the idol drama by that name, go for the really good GQSD).

Military brotherhood or tribalism…well, there’s a lot of that if you’re interested. :slight_smile: God of War - aka Soldier - (NOT Zhao Yun here, um, no) Tribal behavior like the Jin Yong novels…Beggar’s Sect etc - that would be Legend of Condor Heroes, and Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils…etc. That line.

Tribes and Empires, though entirely mythical…excellent. I need Tribes 2 NOW!!!


Wow, thanks for all the suggestions. I saw Hwarang back when I first got started in the kdrama world, and it inspired me to do research on the real-life Hwarang. I wouldn’t mind watching more about them :smiley:

I started watching Sound of the Desert, and so far, I’m on episode 10. I keep thinking of Nirvana in Fire and Scarlet Heart because of the two leads. So far, pretty interesting. Thankfully the English-subbed version is on YouTube, since Viki doesn’t have it.

As for Tribes and Empires, the preview to the show really grabbed my attention. Now I just have to find English subs to it…

I just looked up Legend of Condor Heroes, and found out that Hu Ge and Liu Shi Shi played in that one too! how interesting… and so does Ariel Lin. I watched her and Zhang Bin Bin in I Will Never Let You Go. Are Tribes and Empires and Legend of Condor Heroes similar to Ever Night in the mythological aspect?

The reason why I asked about these other dramas is because I’m waiting for new episodes of Goodbye My Princess, and I am simultaneously watching The King’s Woman and Ashes to Love while waiting. However, these dramas seem to be heading down a depressing path, and I can’t binge depressing episodes too often. I’m only sticking with The King’s Woman because I haven’t seen Dilraba Dilmurat in a drama in a while, and I really, really like Zhang Bin Bin’s acting as a possessive and cruel king (even though his behavior infuriates me). Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to watch the scheming that goes on in the harem–I get so upset with the way they treat other human beings. As for Ashes to Love, I forsee sadness of Second Lead Syndrome–I tend to suffer from that, and I can only watch those when I am ready to deal with them. I am totally ready for a drama outside of a palace. Ever Night is one of my favorites, and the drama doesn’t take place solely in the palace. I appreciated that.

Anyways, enough of my rambling. Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I am always open to more :slight_smile:

Perhaps give Legend of Fuyao a try, a kinda different genre, food for the thought not that directly court affairs more mystical and about trials and romance with deep thoughts at times… it’s on my rewatch list!

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Thanks! I’m just unsure if the Chinese historical/fantasy dramas will be around anymore due to recent news, so I’m trying to finish up the myriad historical dramas that Im watching at moment. I remember seeing a lot of hype for Legend of Fuyao a little while ago. I’ll check it out :blush:

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So I finished watching Sound in the Desert, and I thought it was a fun watch. I thought the chemistry between all the leads was great. I’m glad that it wasn’t too long, only 35 ep. And a happy ending for the main couple…finally…

I started Tribes and Empires; I am on episode 20 right now. So far, I’m really enjoying it! I am fascinated by the tribal culture and mindset, and I like how the tribe mindset is compared to the empire mindset. My fav parts of the story have to be the ones with Shuofeng He Ye and Pan Xi+Prince Sheng. The cinematography is really eye-catching too. So far, so good. :smiley: thanks y’all for the recommendations. I really do keep them in mind


Try this link: https://reelrundown.com/tv/top-30-best-historical-korean-dramas-sageuks-you-must-watch
Some do have “palaces and royalty”, but at the bottom of the list they have a description for each one…you might find something there.

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