Ji-yeon Guk: Queenmaker character explained

In Queenmaker, Do-hee’s subordinate, Ji-yeon Guk, not only replaces her after she is fired but also aims to surpass her. However, she realizes a little too late that she is just as disposable as Do-hee. Ok Ja-yeon plays the role of Guk Ji-yeon.

After I-seul’s death, Do-hee refuses a direct order from Ms. Son; she cannot help a monster like Baek Jae-min become the next mayor of Seoul. It does not take Ms. Son long to fire Do-hee, who has loyally served her for the past 10 years.

As soon as Do-hee is fired, Guk Ji-yeon, who worked under Do-hee, takes over her position. She treats Do-hee as ruthlessly as she has seen Do-hee treat other employees who were fired. She also tells Do-hee that she will rise higher than Do-hee ever did.

Ms. Guk’s work

When Ms. Guk worked as Do-hee’s subordinate in Eunsung’s Corporate Strategy Team, she was taught never to question Do-hee’s judgment and to do as she is told without asking questions. Ms. Guk later admits that she never liked groveling under her.

Even before Do-hee loses her job, Ms. Guk starts meeting Jae-min directly and giving him the information that the Corporate Strategy Team has accumulated on I-seul’s past without Do-hee’s permission.

Once Do-hee gets fired, Ms. Guk tells her that she cannot reveal the truth about I-seul’s death, as Ms. Guk will release the recording of I-seul and Do-hee’s last conversation, which would make I-seul look like a gold-digger who lied about being sexually assaulted.

It will also reveal I-seul’s past and how Do-hee used it to blackmail her. An angry Do-hee slaps Ms. Guk for insulting I-seul, and Ms. Guk points out that she is just using the lesson about targeting your opponent’s weakness that Do-hee taught her.

After that, Ms. Guk is determined to make her own place and hold on to her new position, so she fires most of the team members who worked for Do-hee. She also becomes Jae-min’s campaign manager, the position that Do-hee had refused to take.

When Jae-min asks Ms. Guk to get rid of Do-hee, Ms. Guk hesitates. Since Jae-min knows that Ms. Guk would do anything to get better than Do-hee, he uses that to his advantage and tells her that Do-hee would not have questioned him about this.

After that, Ms. Guk does not hesitate to get Do-hee attacked; she sends people to hit Do-hee with a car, but Do-hee survives the accident. Ms. Guk then focuses on assisting Carl in every lie and immoral act to make Jae-min the next mayor.

Ms. Guk and Jae-min’s relationship 

Do-hee’s senior had told her that quitting her job would not change anything, as someone just as smart as Do-hee will take her place. It turns out to be true, as Ms. Guk not only takes Do-hee’s place but also starts sleeping with Jae-min.

With time, it becomes quite evident that there is something going on between the two of them. Ms. Guk does not even like seeing Jae-min with his wife, Chae-ryoung, and often tries to lay her claim on Jae-min in front of her.

Due to this, Carl warns Jae-min to keep his affair behind closed doors because this will severely affect the image of a good husband that they have been trying to create and cost him this election.

What is surprising is that Ms. Guk is the only person besides Jae-min who knows what really happened to I-seul. She has been keeping I-seul’s phone in a safe because the phone has a recording of I-seul’s last conversation with Jae-min.

Queenmaker Guk Ji-yeon
Ms. Guk has I-seul’s phone

Despite knowing everything, she helped Jae-min hide his crime by getting rid of the CCTV footage and replacing the security contractor. She proves her worth and shows him that she is loyal to him.

She fails to understand that Jae-min has been taking advantage of her and exploiting her. He uses her physically and also to clean up after him. Eventually, Ms. Guk gets pregnant, but she knows what is best for her and decides to keep this from everyone.

Siding with the Devil

When Do-hee finally realizes that I-seul did not kill herself, she pays Ms. Guk a visit. She asks her about replacing the security contractor and keeping I-seul’s belongings, including her phone, from her family.

Ms. Guk has an answer to all these questions. It does not take Do-hee long to deduce that Ms. Guk has been having an affair with Jae-min. Do-hee warns her that once Jae-min falls, she will fall with him, as Ms. Guk is dispensable to him.

However, Ms. Guk is very confident that Jae-min cannot get rid of her easily. Do-hee sees pregnancy vitamins in her house and figures out that Ms. Guk is pregnant; that is why she thinks she is too valuable.

It is when Ms. Guk defends Jae-min and cruelly refers to I-seul as a cheap girl who did not value her own life that Do-hee loses her cool. She tells Ms. Guk that she is no longer going to treat her like a human being and leaves her with this warning.

However, Ms. Guk does not tell anyone about Do-hee coming to her apartment, and Do-hee does not leak the news of her pregnancy to the press, even though it would help Kyung-sook win.

It is when Ms. Guk threatens Kyung-sook’s son and gives her 12 hours to withdraw that Do-hee decides to fight Jae-min’s camp with everything that they have. Ms. Guk fails to outwit her old mentor, who becomes even more adamant to fight after meeting Ms. Guk.

Before leaving her, Do-hee lets Ms. Guk know that she is aware of her pregnancy. She emphasizes the fact that no one wants her child, and Eunsung will try to crush her as well as her unborn child. Do-hee finally leaks the news of the affair and Ms. Guk’s pregnancy.

Ms. Guk’s downfall

When the news of Jae-min and Ms. Guk’s affair and her pregnancy breaks out, Jae-min wants to get rid of Ms. Guk immediately. Carl stops him because the media is closely watching her, and if anything were to happen to her now, it would harm their camp.

Do-hee also keeps Ms. Guk’s news constantly circulating in the media because, that way, she would be surrounded by the media at all times and would not be harmed by Eunsung. 

Ms. Guk becomes the biggest and the most dangerous weapon against Jae-min in the election, and Jae-min is advised to get her on his side. 

He meets an anxious Ms. Guk and pretends as if he is only worried about her. He tries to get her on his side by pretending to have feelings for her and giving her a pair of baby shoes to show her that he is not upset about her pregnancy.

Queenmaker Guk Ji-yeon
The press conference

Due to this, she agrees to do a press conference with him, where Jae-min and Ms. Guk deny having an affair. In fact, they bring out a man and make him pose as Ms. Guk’s boyfriend to show that she is pregnant with his child.

Their plan to present Ms. Guk as a victim of fake news does not work, as Do-hee releases a video of Jae-min leaving Ms. Guk’s apartment all by himself late at night at that very moment. A stressed Ms. Guk ends up passing out right there and is taken to the hospital.

The attack

At this point, Ms. Guk knows that Jae-min’s image has been ruined because of her, and that puts her in danger. She prepares an escape route by getting a paternal DNA test done.

Unfortunately, Carl finds out about it, and Jae-min comes up with a plan to get rid of Ms. Guk in a way that would benefit him. He decides to get her killed and make it look like she killed herself because Do-hee and Kyung-sook spread malicious rumors about her.

He also convinces his wife to escort Ms. Guk home to put on a show for the public. Chae-ryoung meets Ms. Guk and shows her the DNA test report that Jae-min fabricated, taking away Ms. Guk’s advantage from her.

She makes Ms. Guk believe that Jae-min wants to get rid of her, but she wants Ms. Guk to live, as Ms. Guk is Jae-min’s only weakness, and she can use it to control her husband once he wins the elections.

She promises to raise Ms. Guk’s child as her own after she inherits Eunsung and gives Ms. Guk the recording of their conversation, where Chae-ryoung has admitted that she herself was an illegitimate child, to win her trust.

Queenmaker Guk Ji-yeon
Chae-ryoung convinces Ms. Guk to help her

Ms. Guk agrees to help Chae-ryoung. They act like they are united, and Chae-ryoung tells the media that she trusts Ms. Guk completely. When the show is over, she whispers to Ms. Guk that she is going to die soon. 

Ms. Guk does not have a chance to react, as she is taken away immediately. The security team takes away her phone. They had earlier broken into her house and gotten access to her social media account. They also rented a car using her computer to make her suicide look believable. 

While Ms. Guk is taken away to be killed, Kyung-soo faces Jae-min in their final debate. Jae-min’s men post Ms. Guk’s suicide note just then, and Jae-min gets a chance to cry on television to gain people’s sympathy and make Kyung-soo and Do-hee look like villains. 

Is Ms. Guk dead or alive?

Do-hee discovers Jae-min’s plan to kill Ms. Guk, so she goes to find her and also sends Don-joo to follow her car. It is Do-hee who finds Ms. Guk first.

Ms. Guk tried to struggle to save herself, but her attackers put her to sleep. When Do-hee finds her, she is unconscious and locked in a rented car with a burning coal briquette that will suffocate her to death. 

Do-hee tries to save her, but she is attacked by the men who were tasked with killing Ms. Guk. Don-joo arrives there in time and risks his life to save the two women. Do-hee then manages to take Ms. Guk to a hospital in time.

With Ms. Guk missing, Kyung-soo’s popularity declines overnight. However, Ms. Guk comes to Kyung-soo’s office when she is addressing the voters via live stream and joins her to tell her story to the public. 

Ms. Guk got convinced to prove Kyung-soo’s innocence when Do-hee told her that she saved Ms. Guk to save herself, as she could not let another victim of Jae-min die because of her.

Ms. Guk talks about what happened to her. She admits that she had an affair with Jae-min, who got her kidnapped and tried to kill her. She believes that she is being punished for making the wrong choices and that she will have to suffer for the rest of her life. 

She also thanks Do-hee in front of everyone for saving her life. She gives Do-hee access to the safe, where I-seul’s phone is kept. Using this, Do-hee exposes Jae-min’s crimes, and he ends up losing the election. 

Eventually, Kyung-soo was able to win the election because of Ms. Guk and because Do-hee treated her like a human being, even though she had earlier claimed that she would not do it. While Jae-min is killed, Ms. Guk gets to live, but not without regrets. 

Also Read: Queenmaker summary and ending explained

More from The Envoy Web