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matrim

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  1. Well, 元Yuan as a word in names bears many lucky meanings. It may mean origin, foundation, first, beginning, heaven etc. 若Ruo in the context of the Zi may be interpreted in two ways, one is like, similar to, the other obedient to. So the Zi may mean like origin, like first or like heaven, and it may also mean be obedient to heaven, to the origin etc. Considering characterization of QH in the drama, I guess the second interpretation fits more, as he is obedient to his parents, bar his love for ML. And he attaches great importance to conventions and rules so ED uses this to manipulate him for challenging emperor's "inappropriate" proposal. Either way, Yuan Ruo may be seen as a blessing from his parents.
  2. In ancient China a person's names was a complicated matter. Usually one had two names: Ming and Zi. The former was given by one's parents and used by elders, the latter was given when one turned 20 (in the case of females, 15) and used by peers. Generally Zi bore similar or same meaning of Ming and sometimes it's a complement to Ming. Some had a third name Hao which reflected one's ideal or characters. To show respect for others, one should use Zi or Hao instead of Ming. So we seldom hear QH but Yuan Ruo. As Qi was his family name and Heng given name, Yuan Ruo his Zi (sorry there's no English equivalent for this). Niang is the informal word for Muqin, carrying more intimate feel, their relationship similar to that of mom and mother in English.
  3. A good point. I do think it's the script writers' intention to show ML's love for GTY. The love was so strong that she lost her head to beat the imperial drum. As the writers altered the plot a lot, the words you mentioned in the second argument can no longer be used in that scene, so they transferred these words into this bold and irrantional action. In a scene talking with QH and Shen Shi, ML admitted she hadn't thought about the effectiveness of beating the imperial drum and bringing the case to the emperor. She just felt it's unfair to treat GTY like that and she must seek justice for him. A clear sign that she had lost her mind. When ML handled Grandma poinsoning, furious as she was, she didn't lose her head. The bold actions proved to be effective, as she quickly gathered all the evidence and testomonies. Even if things went badly, she could still use them in the court to ensure the culprit was brought to justice. She challenged SH not simply to vent her anger, but to establish her position as master of the house. She needed the power to cotrol the situation. But GTY case was completely different. She had no say in this and no power to influence the decision. All she could wished for was emperor's good will and mercy. So beating the drum is actually her last resort. Grandma understood this was a desperate action for ML wearing noble lady's outfit would be a violation of the law. ML was prepared to risk her life to appeal for GTY, fulfilling her promise to GTY that she would sacrifice her life to repay him. However, there's a flaw in this plot. Framing GTY was not a seperate case. It's a small part in a fierce power struggle. GTY had told ML the scenario long ago, and even if ML had lost her head then because of her love for GTY, shouldn't Grandma, a strategist, analyzed the whole matter for ML? Taking down GTY would greatly undermine the emperor's power, and Grandma should have realized the significance of this. The whole matter seemed rather strange as the emperor didn't defend GTY properly as if he was on ED's side. One may argue that he got suspicious of GTY for his close relationship with Prince Huan and afraid he might help Prince Huan to usurp the throne. But if he didn't trust GTY and Prince Huan, how could he give important mission as salt mines inspection to them? And compared with ED, wasn't this supposed "threat" not that great and immediate? Clear-headed as Grandma should have seen the big picture and clarified this for ML and advised her not to take rush actions. But I guess the writers wanted more drama and suspense so all the intelligent characters have to be stupid when needed. It's sad to see the drama plummeted after Grandma poisoning. All these assasinations, scheming plots and actions made me numb. They disrupted the rhythm of the drama and made me feel as if I'm watching a different drama now, a second rate palace farce instead of a high calibre family drama. I think the strength of the drama lies in its subtle depiction of family matters, relationship between characters, layered characterization and a good sense of humor, not in dramatic twists, exciting actions and to some extent, suspense. I'm afraid the writers are busy wrapping up all the lines and forget what they did right in the past episodes.
  4. Before the imperial edict ML was a noble lady and had the right to wear that outfit, but after she lost her title she definitely shouldn't wear it. A commoner pretending to be a noble lady was not a small matter, especially as ML was using the status to appeal for her husband. Any official from ED's side could easily use it as an excuse to sue her and add more criminal charges against GTY. By doing this ML didn't help GTY, she's actually bringing more trouble to him. I know it looked impressive but honestly she should just wear normal clothes.
  5. In the novel the rebellion was mostly in the palace while in the streets, bandits attacked wealthy and noble families for money and properties. These attacks were not serious and long with the only exception of assault on Cheng Garden which was schemed by stepmom and led by GTW. In the drama ED sent soldiers to attack Cheng Garden. This was strategically pointless as ML was not a noble lady and a general's wife any more, and with the rumor of GTY's death she shouldn't be seen as a threat at all. There's not enough motive for ED to act like this. Instead of diverting resources, ED should focus her attention on controlling the emperor and the palace.
  6. The plot of recent episodes is getting ridiculous. At the end of prison meeting scene, eunuch Li announced the imperial edict that both GTY and ML lost their title and GTY would be exiled after autumn. But after this ML wore her noble lady outfit, beat the imerial drum and appealed for GTY case. Isn't it an act of open defiance of emperor's order? In that era this act alone could lead to the death of ML and her whole family. After GTY and ML lost their title, ML could still live in Cheng Yuan and held party like a noble lady is beyond me. Shouldn't Cheng Yuan be confiscated after GTY lost his title and got demoted? And as you pointed out, ML was no longer a minister's wife and a noble lady, it makes no sense for a eunuch to announce the edict.
  7. No, when ED launched the rebellion, GTY and I think Prince Huan and State Uncle Shen were not in the capital. They were out fighting battles. ED thought this was the perfect moment to strike as emperor's major forces were not with him and he was most vulnerable then. My speculation but I think it's not far from the real plot.
  8. The actress who played Daniang confirmed in a reply on wb that the headbutt was specifically designed by herself. I guess it shows although she was furious with CB, she loved CB too much to slap him like Old Madam Wang.
  9. In one of the recent previews, eunuch Li confronted ML "How dare you defy imperior edcit and not come into the palace. Is Gu Clan revolting against the emperor?" ML just ordered Shitou to detain eunuch Li. This is in line with the novel plot when ED launched rebellion and tried to lure noblewomen from families of emperor's side into the palace and used them as hostages. If ML wasn't Marquis Gu's wife, it doesn't make sense for eunuch Li to deliver such an order. This is one proof that GTY just got demoted but didn't lose his title.
  10. No, eunuch Li whom GTW met was from emperor's palace. Stepmom wanted her son to realize that eunuch Li was also ED's pawn and what eunuch Li hinted at was GTW and stepmom to help ED frame GTY. But the stupid son didn't have a clue. Stepmom was worried because they had just missed a chance and had to wait more.
  11. IMO, ep64 uncut is one of the most electrifying eps in the drama. The clash of words, swift change of plot directions and magnified personalities all keep you at the edge of your seat.
  12. Old Madam Wang appealed to ED to punish GTY for he killed her daughter. ED's attitude was unfathomable as she only said I had lost all my children but you still got two.
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