‘Hellbound’ Explained: What Are the Monsters in the K-Drama?

Hellbound includes celestial or monstrous entities explained to be sent by God or the greater beyond to punish people who have sinned. The Korean drama calls these creatures “angels” and “emissaries of hell.” But what are they? Where do they come from? What are their powers? In Hellbound’s six episodes, viewers and the characters come to fear the monsters and the unescapable doom they have brought to a new world order. By the end of the K-drama, viewers are left with even more unanswered questions about the monsters.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers about Hellbound.]

Emissaries of hell monsters from 'Hellbound' K-drama with outstretched hand.
Emissaries of hell monsters from ‘Hellbound’ K-drama | via Netflix

What powers do the emissaries of hell possess in ‘Hellbound’ ?

The main monsters seen in Hellbound are officially called the emissaries of hell. According to director Yeon Sang-ho, they always travel in a trio. He explained to Soompi, “I thought about how many people would be necessary for it to feel like a group, and I thought three was enough.” The emissaries of hell can do immense damage seen in the drama’s official trailers and episodes.

Besides their immense stature, they possess incredible brute strength and are impenetrable. Detective Jin Kyeong-hoon (Yang Ik-june) caused no damage when he opened fire on one of them. But, they can be fought off like Min Hye-jin (Kim Hyun-joo) did in episode 6. Hellbound’s monsters arrive on earth to fulfill the prophecies and know exactly who and where their victims are.

They travel through unseen portals to a location viewers are still unaware of. The emissaries have many powers, like transforming their limbs into spears, vine-like weapons, and more. They end their destruction by gathering around the condemned, raising their hands, and emitting a bright white light that burns the victim to death.

Viewers know very little about the angel creatures in the K-drama

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Hellbound’s trailers, teasers, and official posters always depicted the emissaries of hell as the main monsters. In episode 1, viewers are introduced to the angels that deliver the prophecies and damnation to hell. The New Truth Society and Jung Jin-soo’s (Yoo Ah-in) doctrine explain the angels appear before the condemned and sent by God. The K-drama does not reveal much else about the angels. They do not possess any real powers and always appear in the form of a big white head.

Yeon explains, “Among the images used to portray angels, there were images of large faces. I wondered what they saw to create images like that. I thought I wanted to find something close to that archetype and create the images in the drama.” It is hard to say if the angels are physical creatures or manifestations when they deliver the prophecies. Den of Geek says, “Hellbound‘s “angels” don’t seem to be corporeal.”

Are the angels and monsters of ‘Hellbound’ really sent by God?

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One of the biggest questions left open-ended by episode 6 of the K-drama is whether or not God sends the emissaries and the angels. Throughout Hellbound, viewers and the main characters are led to believe the emissaries and the prophecies are the ultimate judgment from heaven. But the new world order is questioned when an angel delivered a prophecy to a newborn child.

This raised the question of if the angels and the emissaries are really divine, as the New Truth Society claims. “Traditionally, to be divine means to be incapable of making mistakes, as everything is part of a larger plan that humans will never be able to comprehend,” said Den of Geek. The justification actions of Hellbound’s monster is questioned when Park Jung-ja (Kim Shin-rok) returns from “hell” at the end of the season. There is clearly a greater supernatural power in charge that viewers and the characters have no idea of.