It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of WebToons and Manhwa. Ever since I discovered the Line Webtoon app, I’ve been consuming content at the speed of sound. However, a lot of them were mostly western releases and I didn’t focus on the Korean ones. And then, I stumbled upon Remarried Empress.
I think my favorite part about WebToons is how a lot of them have genuinely refreshing storylines. I grew up on typical Shojo manga, the kind of love stories that would make your teeth rot from the sweetness. And the tropes that come from it have become ubiquitous.
You have a sweet but poor female lead. A handsome prince falls in love with how humble and beautiful she is. The prince’s ‘fiancé’ is evil and won’t let some ‘peasant’ stand in her way. But the power of love transcends all and our poor lead and prince live ‘happily ever after’! You’ve heard it all before.
A webtoon adaptation of the web novel by Alphatart, Remarried Empress subverts everything you know about the royal romance genre. It’s a fairy tale, where Cinderella is the bad guy. And boy, do I have some thoughts about this WebToon.
Remarried Empress: Basic Plot
Navier Ellie Trovi is our titular Empress, beautiful, fair, and wise. Raised to become the empress someday, she is a benevolent ruler to her subjects. And an even more devoted wife to her husband, Emperor Sovieshu of the Eastern Empire. So, when Soveishu brings in a mistress named Rashta, a slave girl, it’s the highest form of betrayal for her. What’s worse is how Rashta proclaims she is pregnant and, to legitimize their child, Sovieshu asks to divorce Navier.
Disgraced and humiliated, what does our Navier do? Well, she agrees, amiably stepping down as Empress. And then immediately turns around and asks to marry King Heinley of the Western Kingdom, shocking everyone but especially Soveishu. He had only planned to divorce Navier for a short period before reclaiming her, but now she’s out of his hands, for good.
However, Heinley couldn’t be more thrilled. He is enamored by Navier’s quiet intellect and regal manners, after spending time with her leading up to the divorce. He had already planned on being her comfort, but once again the beautiful Navier surprised him.
What follows is a tale of deceit, political intrigue, magic, and love blossoming from the ashes.
Remarried Empress: Story Breakdown
Remarried Empress has its strength lies in rich world-building and character interactions. This isn’t just a romance, it’s also a story about betrayal and political schemes. Keeping those themes in mind, the story builds its narrative without relying on the tropes that exist for this type of setting.
For example, the way Sovieshu meets Rashta is straight out of a Disney playbook – they encounter each other in the woods and her ‘innocent’ demeanor reveals to him a ‘whole new world’ outside of the political mundanity of his court. Of course, things aren’t that shallow. Really, he likes Rashta because he sees a younger Navier in her, a Navier that used to think he hung the very stars in the sky.
Navier, on the other hand, isn’t a jealous queen who is wilfully rude and terrible to the poor Rashta. She is embarrassed but brought up to rise above, to face adversity with the utmost elegance. Similarly, Heinly isn’t some smooth playboy who whisks Navier away. He’s respectful, putting her and their friendship first, even when he is hopelessly in love with her.
And then, there is Rashta. Can you feel sympathetic to her circumstances? Maybe. Does that make her any less of an antagonist to Navier’s story? No. She is very grating, her mannerisms played up so that she can gain more favor. For a villain, she’s irritating but also clearly a product of abuse.
And so, the roles get reversed. Rashta is the manipulative foil to our regal and shrewd Navier. Soveishu, our prince charming, is two-faced and cowardly whereas the man ‘stealing’ Navier away is a loving, patient individual. And all these characters are at a crossroads of where their past ends and their future diverge.
Is Remarried Empress Worth Watching?
The side characters are multifaceted personalities, with detailed pasts and aren’t just pretty background placeholders. The political discourse doesn’t seem out of place either, weaving itself into the romance without convoluting it. The story is ongoing, and yet, doesn’t end up feeling stale or tired.
With gorgeous art, nuanced character development, and a beautiful slow-burn plotline, Remarried Empress is special. And, I just like having a male love interest that isn’t toxic and drinks respect women juice! Heinley is a cinnamon roll, he and Navier deserve the world.
This is one WebToon I can’t recommend enough!
Have enjoyed reading the Remarried Empress, and if so, what are your favorite moments? Let us know in the comments below!