The drama is based on the historical Dowager Queen Empress Cheonchu of the Goryeo, who fought against the Liao Dynasty in order to achieve her Grandmother's personal dream of reclaiming old lands lost over the years to other associated tribes and countries such as the Silla and Khitans.
The series largely revolves around her desire to influence and win back her son later known as Mokjong from her brother Seongjong when he decided to have his nephew succeed him as ruler. Seongjong deemed her unacceptable to raise the boy in preparation of his future as king and has his barren wife raise the boy as their son.
This causes a lot of conflict between Seongjong and his sister despite their continual working together to maintain the country from external and internal threats such as the Khitan invasion and various royal court intrigues and power struggles.
There are several liberties taken in the series the most obvious is that Mokjong is depicted as having epilepsy which is part of the reason General Gang Jo later removes him from ruling the country. There is no known facts supporting that the historical Mokjong had epilepsy.
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