‘Alchemy of Souls’: A Breakdown of Jang Uk’s Unique Birth and Future Destiny in the K-Drama

There are many mysteries in Netflix’s popular fantasy K-drama, Alchemy of Souls. Not only are fans trying to uncover the mystery of Mu-deok and her real lineage, but the fate of the main characters. Jang Uk is one of Alchemy of Souls’ lead characters, destined for something greater. It is all due to his unique birth, birth time, and ability to master the four levels to become a mage.

[WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Alchemy of Souls.]

Jang Gang is not Jang Uk’s real father in ‘Alchemy of Souls’

In the first episode of the June K-drama, fans get a flashback to Jang Gang’s past. The King summons him to discuss the new spell he is trying to master. Jang Gang learns the King has a plan as his body slowly dies. Angered over his deteriorating health and had not fathered a male heir, the King asks Jang Gang to do the forbidden.

The King wants Jang Gang to use forbidden sorcery to transport his soul into the mage’s body for seven days. Unable to say no, Jang Gang uses the Soul Ejector created from the Ice Stone to perform the Alchemy of Souls. They are successful, but when Jang Gang awakens in the King’s body, he learns of a horrifying truth.

The King left a note telling Jang Gang he would bed his wife to have an heir. Fans later learn she successfully has a son, but the palace assumes Jang Uk is the son of Jang Gang. Everyone is unaware Jang Uk has a right to the throne. But there is another unique detail to Jang Uk’s birth that led Jang Gang to seal his gate of energy that stops him from learning spells in Alchemy of Souls.

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Jang Uk was born under a King’s star – a foretelling of his power

Alchemy of Souls further explains Jang Uk’s destiny in the second episode. After Jang Gang seals Jang Uk’s gate of energy, Park Jin confronts him as he plans to leave Songrim. Park Jin is baffled to learn Jang Uk’s technical birth father is the late King. But Jang Uk tells him another key detail as to why the child’s fate needed to be sealed for his protection.

The star symbolizing the King was found in the night sky when Jang Uk was born. It is a clear marker of the rightful heir to the throne. But by the time Jang Uk was born, the King’s brother had taken the throne and produced a male heir. No one in Daeho can know that Jang Uk was born through the Alchemy of Souls and the future rightful King. Jang Gang explains the royal family will see it as treason.

The third episode also reveals that the King was given a prophecy during his coronation. He was told he would produce an heir with the power of the King’s Star. The prophecy came true, and the child is Jang Uk. To make his fate even more complex, because Jang Uk is the supposed son of Jang Gang, he is also destined to become one of the most powerful mages in Alchemy of Souls.

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Jang Uk can master the four stages of spells in ‘Alchemy of Souls’

To become a powerful mage, one must master the four stages of Jipsu, Ryusu, Chisu, and Hwansu. It can take a mage decades to master Chisu, and very few get the opportunity to master Hwansu. But due to Jang Uk’s hidden power and grit, he shocks everyone with his abilities.

Despite not formally training, he masters Jipsu and the sword technique Tansu. The technique is only capable when a mage reaches Chinsu. The third level is the hardest to reach and took Park Jin over a decade to learn.

But with the help of Master Lee and fishing, Jang Uk masters Chisu within days. Fans of Alchemy of Souls may say that Jang Uk is destined for greatness as every aspect of his birth foretold his destiny.

Watch Alchemy of Souls on Netflix.

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