In a matter of days, the online narrative of Descendants Of The Sun couple Song Hye Kyo and Song Joong Ki has advanced from the superstars’ surprise wedding announcement to speculation about the “Descendants Of The Songs”.
Netizens have jumped the gun, running face-recognition software to predict how gorgeous the couple’s children will be, although the 35-year-old actress and the 31-year-old actor will not tie the knot till Oct 31 and questions still remain about their secret romance.
When did sparks first fly? When did they begin dating? Did South Korean broadcaster MBC force their hand by pursuing the story of their Bali trip, even after they denied taking a holiday together?
To answer some of the questions, we have traced a timeline of the Songs’ love story.
MAY 28, 2015
Song Joong Ki, a rising actor who was discharged from the South Korean army two days ago, attends the first script reading of the military romance Descendants Of The Sun at KBS in Yeouido, Seoul.
Although he wasn’t the top candidate for the leading role of special forces captain Yoo Shi Jin, he was more keen on the project than bigger names (actors supposedly including Gong Yoo, Won Bin and Zo In Sung) and wasn’t put off by the fact that the drama would be pre-produced and shot overseas.
The reading goes extremely well, according to Naver TV. When Song reads his love scenes with his leading lady, Song Hye Kyo, an established star of the Korean Wave who will play doctor Kang Mo Yeon, “exclamations and cheers” break out.
JUNE 2015 TO DECEMBER 2015
Descendants is shot in South Korea and Greece.
JANUARY 2016 TO FEBRUARY 2016
The Songs seem to have caught feelings for each other. In an instance of boyfriend-like behaviour, he sends her snacks to surprise her during a photo shoot, according to Osen website.
FEB 24, 2016
MARCH 4, 2016
Descendants moves at a cracking pace. K-drama couples usually take eight episodes to kiss for the first time, but the Songs are at it in Episode 4, when Dr Kang offers Captain Yoo a drink of wine but he sips it from her mouth instead.
The Songs have such a crackling chemistry in Descendants, romance-minded fans start seeing things: Aren’t the couple wearing matching bracelets in the drama? What does it mean?
More explosively, the Songs are spotted shopping and dining in New York, in real life. But her agency dismisses rumours of a romance, calling him “a close colleague and junior”.
JUNE 3, 2016
The Songs show up, hand in hand, at the Baeksang Arts Awards. Descendants wins a Grand Prize and the couple win popularity awards.
“At the beginning of 2017, we made a promise to each other to spend the rest of our lives together,” Song Joong Ki later reveals, in a letter to fans after the wedding announcement.
Dispatch website also releases photos of the Songs in Tokyo in January, quoting unnamed sources as saying: “Song Joong Ki expressed his feelings in Tokyo on this day.”
The actor buys a luxury home in Itaewon-dong, Seoul.
Song Joong Ki reveals and discusses his wedding plans with his agency around June, Yonhap News Agency later reports.
Rumours surface about the Songs’ trip to Bali, but their agencies shoot down the stories. They insist the actors went separately to the resort island.
However, MBC pursues the rumours for a June 25 episode of its show Section TV. The actress is said to have gone to Bali from June 4 to 15, and the actor, from June 7 to 13. The broadcaster tracks down Villa Hermosa in Seminyak, where an employee says the actress was visited by a masked man, who also stayed there.
JULY 5, 2017
The Songs spring a major surprise. They don’t just come clean about their romance, but also announce their plans to wed on Oct 31.
This story was first published in The Straits Times.