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[Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Story of Yan Xi’s Palace 延禧攻略

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30 minutes ago, jadore1 said:

I finished ep 34 on youtube., :heartbreak: heartbreaking end of romance for   YL and Fuheng  . I loved the way she tells him how she listened to everything that he said...she did not dare hope or agree or disagree with his promises, but in her heart she believed them . I love the way she spills her truths to one and all , no matter what the consequence .  Even in todays society, if i can count maybe 10 people with that type of bs meter and go for the truth jugular, i would be impressed.   If  Consort Ling had even 10% of our YL i can see why poor QL does not stand a chance .  I am also developing a protective crush on QL...what a shock for a young man , just budding in youth and love, and to have his grandfather kill his first love , almost made me go and give him a hug. Poor guy.  So for him to start feeling any type of attachment would be like tearing the years off the wound from his youth.   The irony of sending his (we find out most beloved )  to do the dirtiest hard labour imaginable and for her to still exist , i have no idea what kind of angels or divine guardians she has.  When she described the wet conditions of the wood shack where she sleeps, so bad that it would even rot a wooden toy , and yet she persists . How ? What kind of will power is that ?   Did he hear what kind of place she sleeps in, does he see how thin and malnourished she has become ?   Is that the reason for his anger and  curses at her for not defending herself against  his punishment or his desire to have her beg for mercy .   Another excellent episode that has me going hmmm  and my total  support for our YL . :heart:

That girl Wan Er (can't recall the name) is not QL's first love. She is QL's maid and her mom is his wet nurse. And Wan Er was not killed by his grandfather (Kangxi Emperor), instead by QL's father (Yongzheng Emperor). Accordingly, QL's first love is Fuca. 

 

QL's anger at YL for not defending herself is actually coming from his insistence to hear YL telling him that there was nothing going on between her and Fuheng even when he knows the actual truth. He saw them together with his very own eyes but he still choose to be in denial, thus holding on to the last hope that YL would deny it. He was also angry that she is too headstrong - willing to undergo all those sufferings instead of sweet talking her way out. QL is the petty kind and pretty childish when comes to love.

 

 

 

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On 11/19/2018 at 5:31 AM, ChloeR said:

I think she had 6 kids but was pregnant for 7 times :O

 

while she was consort ling, she bore: 

 

- princess hejing (1756)

- yonglu (1757)

- princess heke (1758)

- miscarriage at 8 months (1759)

 

as noble consort ling 

 

- yongyan (1760)

- unnamed son (1763)

 

As imperial noble consort ling

 

- yongling (1766)

 

 

holy... thats like consecutive birth deliveries. :scream:

 

Poor Yingluo, this is probably Qianlong’s payback for when she took the anti-pregnancy medication LOL he knows no chill 

Well, not unexpected for the back-to-back pregnancies and births. Royalty and the wealthy usually had wet nurses for their babies. This was so for Eastern and Western cultures. Without the hormonal protection of breastfeeding, fertility returns quickly. In WYL's case, if she was so favoured by the emperor, it is likely that she got pregnant almost immediately (within 3 months) after giving birth. 

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On 11/19/2018 at 12:25 AM, housetangaryen said:

I think based on traditions passed down over the years, only the Empress' children will be considered as the direct/principle sons and daughters. Especially since the Empress was the official wife, one whom the previous Emperor and his Empress had chosen for their heir/crown prince. Most times, it was expected that the crown prince and therefore the next Emperor would be one of Empress' sons, if not her eldest son. Though there had been many incidents when this default situation didn't work or had to change.

 

Coincidentally, I received this Quora article in my mailbox right after I read your question: https://www.quora.com/Why-was-the-Emperors-successor-automatically-the-eldest-son-in-Chinese-Dynasties Quite a good read.

 

In any case, if based on Yanxi's plot and historical facts, while the Step-Empress had a son (the 12th prince I guess), and if we would to follow traditions, this son should be QL's principle son. However, his heir to the throne was WYL's son instead, though QL abdicated in favour of this son and also to keep to the promise that his reign would not be longer than Kangxi's. I think by then, the number of options he had as his heir were only a few. And given that he also loved WYL, I believe he would also have made sure her children would have extra care and gave special coaching to her son for the goal of taking over the country and throne one day.

 

I think in any case, QL felt the best way to protect WYL/Ling Huang Gui Fei would be to have her own son become the next Emperor, so that when QL passed on, her son would have to protect her and take care of her well too. Of course, in the end, she passed on before QL did. 

Read somewhere that she actually had 6 kids (3 boys 3 girls, one boy passed away) and not four. Some sources insisted she had 6 while some said 4, so not sure which is the truth. Anyway, out of the 2 remaining boys, only Yong Yan (15th prince) became his heir and hence JiaXing Emperor, but his brother wasn't well-liked by QL. Wonder why... I guess, even if he wanted to give them special treatment since he loved their mum so, QL was also not too bias to think all her kids are angels. 

In most cases, yes the eldest or principle sons usually were earmarked as obvious successors. But the Qing emperors did not practise this. They chose the son whom they felt was the brightest and the best. Hence when Kangxi passed away there was a power struggle among his many sons and much jockeying for position because it was not clear that the firstborn would automatically be the emperor. In fact Yongzhen was the 11th recorded son and the 4th prince. When it came to Yongzheng's turn to choose a successor, it was the same. Qianlong was not his eldest principle son.

 

For him to choose Yongyan as his successor, he must have seen something promising in the boy. Of course the fact that he favoured WYL also probably had a part to play, but I don't think it was to 'protect' her etc. Its quite natural that Qianlong spent a great deal of time in the Wei concubine household since he was comfortable with her and  favoured her. In doing so, he must also have spent more time with their children than with those from his other consorts. Not unusual that he would know Yongyan better or had better relationship with him than the others. 

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On 11/21/2018 at 4:55 PM, lyserose said:

 

The other 3 are Consort Jia, Consort Yu and Consort Wan (not featured in Yanxi).

Consort Yu and Wan generally not so favored judging that when he was enthroned, the two ladies were only given the title of Cangzhai (the second lowest rank) and sadly, these two ladies lived very long lives yet neglected.

 

Consort Yu at least had Yongqi whom is QL's favorite son but she was gradually neglected after his death. Even sadder is Consort Wan. Despite becoming QL's concubines before he ascended the throne, she was only promoted to Imperial Concubine (Pin) in 1749 (Consort Ling who entered the harem much later was promoted to a "Pin" the very same year she was made a concubine in 1745) and held that rank for FOUR DECADES before being promoted to a Consort (Fei) in 1794. She outlived QL.

 

 

 

Oh man, what a sad life...for Consort Wan. Judging by the ranks of Qianlong promoted his wives after he enthroned i guess that Gao and Xian probably the longest served as his wife along with Fuca compare to the other 5 of his early wives. He promoted Fuca as Empress, Gao as 3rd rank consort and Xian as 4th rank consort the other are just lower ranks.

 

So not all his early wives were buried  together in main tombs. 

 

and... It seems like Consort Ling surpassed all Qianlong's concubines and his early wives in terms of ranks and QL's affection/ respect except Fuca.

 

**p.s : I really like an actress who play Consort Yu in Yanxi. She looks regal same as Charmaine Sheh.

 

On 11/21/2018 at 4:55 PM, lyserose said:

 

Anyway, just an extra info to share based on the latest wiki updates. Not only Empress Xiaoyi (Ling) was added the title "Chun" during the reign of Jiaqing Emperor (which led to speculations and theories that it was added by her son who became the next emperor) but Empress Xiaoxian (Fuca) was also only added the title "Chun" after QL's death. So both are recognized as "his".

 

 

Oh so "Chun" on XiaoXian name was not added by Qianlong (?) ...can we trust this info? 

 

or maybe ....for Empresses, to stamp and added the character same with the Emperor only can be added after the Emperor death..? Like how "Chun" were added on Empress Xiaoyi and Empress Xiaoxian's name after Qianlong died.

 

On 11/21/2018 at 4:55 PM, lyserose said:

 

I agree on what you said about his feelings for Fuca which he well-documented it in his many poems to her. There's a lot of regrets over that little time they shared together. With Consort Ling, despite the absence of poems, his actions spoke very well of his affection towards her. 

 

 

 

Qianlong and Ling had wonderful life together, as you can tell by his actions on her. In her death decree, he described his relationship with Ling as is still fresh..meaning after her death, so probably the memories with her still fresh and alive for him. That's why he care to make her as an Empress although there was no need to do so futhermore that was after 20 years of her death.

 

While for Fuca, he can only redeem by wrote a poems for her.

I think that, he punished his sons for not giving much attention of her funeral and his officials not because he was so angry with them or they did something that cannot be forgiven. But because he regret on his action so he need to vents his anger, his sadness, his regret on other by find faults on them. hahaha maybe...later he did regretted his action on punishing his sons right..

 

On 11/21/2018 at 10:16 PM, believed said:

Does anyone know why Consort Ling's first daughter (Princess Hejing) was made a First Rank Princess (Gulun Gongzhu), which is usually reserved for daughters of the Empress (for example, Fuca's only surviving daughter was Princess Hejing (different jing character) of the First Rank), while her second daughter (Princess Heke) was made a Second Rank Princess (Heshuo Gongzhu), reserved for daughters of consorts & concubines? 

 

 

 

 

Maybe not Qianlong who gave the Gulun Rank to Hejing, probably Jiaqing Emperor did that? Like how Jiaqing  make his younger brother, Yonglin 1st rank prince. Yonglin was given second rank prince by QL. After QL death, Jiaqing make him a first rank prince.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Ok i am a bit confuse with the Han/ Manchu and the banner during that era, there was a high and low banner (?)...anyone care to explain about this and what is booi? 

 

Also, i read this on Consort Chun that she is  Han Chinese Plain White Banner.

 

" The 20th-century historical text Draft History of Qing incorrectly recorded Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui's family name as "Sugiya" (蘇佳). While some Qing dynasty imperial consorts who were of Han Chinese origin changed their family names to Manchu-sounding names after marrying the emperors, Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui never changed hers. This was because she came from a commoner background, and her family was hence not eligible to be placed under a Manchu banner."

 

She cannot change her family name because she came from commoner background and not qualified to be placed under Manchu but why Consort Ling who was born from lowly Han background family can changed her family name to Manchu? as Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner.

 

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20 minutes ago, harooxxx said:

 

Maybe not Qianlong who gave the Gulun Rank to Hejing, probably Jiaqing Emperor did that? Like how Jiaqing  make his younger brother, Yonglin 1st rank prince. Yonglin was given second rank prince by QL. After QL death, Jiaqing make him a first rank prince.

 

Presumably they would've been titled before/when they got married and that happened when Qianlong was still alive.

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30 minutes ago, believed said:

Presumably they would've been titled before/when they got married and that happened when Qianlong was still alive.

 

I have checked, Princess Hejing died in the same year Ling died., 1775 so it must be Qianlong granted the rank to her. Probably because he loved her since she is his first child with Ling after more than 10 years together. Like how he loved Consort Dun's daughter, Princess Hexiao and make her first rank princess because he thought as his age that time he could never had a child again so he was so grateful and doted on her since all his other childs already left the palace.

 

So in my opinion, it the same reason... he granted the title to both princess. He favoured Ling so much of course he wanted to have child with her and after so long he had one and on the other, he didn't expect to have child again because he was so old, she was born at his golden age, of course she is so precious to him.

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1 hour ago, harooxxx said:

Oh man, what a sad life...for Consort Wan. Judging by the ranks of Qianlong promoted his wives after he enthroned i guess that Gao and Xian probably the longest served as his wife along with Fuca compare to the other 5 of his early wives. He promoted Fuca as Empress, Gao as 3rd rank consort and Xian as 4th rank consort the other are just lower ranks.

 

So not all his early wives were buried  together in main tombs. 

 

and... It seems like Consort Ling surpassed all Qianlong's concubines and his early wives in terms of ranks and QL's affection/ respect except Fuca.

 

**p.s : I really like an actress who play Consort Yu in Yanxi. She looks regal same as Charmaine Sheh.

I read that before his enthronement, Gao and Xian were both promoted as his secondary wives, thus the higher titles given to them once he ascended the throne.

 

Chun was somewhat gifted to Qianlong whereas Jia is a Manchu with some Korean family lineage or something.

 

Consort Yu is a Mongol descent and read that in the Qing's imperial harem, Manchu ranked first, second will be Mongol and then comes the Han.

 

Also, the title Pin (5th rank) and above are of limited occupancy at a time. That's why Consort Ling's ascension in ranks is really remarkable since she is neither a Manchu (normally given priority for promotion) nor a noble and childless for the first 10 years. It seems whenever there's a vacant in spot, QL will give it to her. 

 

P/S: On the contrary, (sorry) I don't really like the visual of the actress who played Consort Yu. Together with Consort Shu, I don't feel them fitting the roles of QL's concubines. I find Consort Yu a bit too motherly for QL whereas Shu is too child-like for him.

 

1 hour ago, harooxxx said:

Oh so "Chun" on XiaoXian name was not added by Qianlong (?) ...can we trust this info? 

 

or maybe ....for Empresses, to stamp and added the character same with the Emperor only can be added after the Emperor death..? Like how "Chun" were added on Empress Xiaoyi and Empress Xiaoxian's name after Qianlong died.

I think it's rightfully can only be added upon the Emperor's death. It's the posthumous name/title.

 

1 hour ago, harooxxx said:

Maybe not Qianlong who gave the Gulun Rank to Hejing, probably Jiaqing Emperor did that? Like how Jiaqing  make his younger brother, Yonglin 1st rank prince. Yonglin was given second rank prince by QL. After QL death, Jiaqing make him a first rank prince.

Consort Ling's firstborn, Princess Hejing died the same year as her mom. So, that title (First Rank Princess) rightfully could have been given by QL himself. 

 

 

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Wow thats sad. Qianlong lost both Consort Ling and their firstborn daughter in the same year :bawling:

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14 hours ago, lyserose said:

That girl Wan Er (can't recall the name) is not QL's first love. She is QL's maid and her mom is his wet nurse. And Wan Er was not killed by his grandfather (Kangxi Emperor), instead by QL's father (Yongzheng Emperor). Accordingly, QL's first love is Fuca. 

 

QL's anger at YL for not defending herself is actually coming from his insistence to hear YL telling him that there was nothing going on between her and Fuheng even when he knows the actual truth. He saw them together with his very own eyes but he still choose to be in denial, thus holding on to the last hope that YL would deny it. He was also angry that she is too headstrong - willing to undergo all those sufferings instead of sweet talking her way out. QL is the petty kind and pretty childish when comes to love.

 

 

 

Thank you @lyserose yes , the subs were so fast that i did not catch who or what...i did see Emperor, but since both his grandfather and father were Emperors , for some reason i thought it was the grandfather.  So the young maid was almost like wet sister ...i still say poor QL ...and yet our YL lost her actual sister what would be almost the same age , so hopefully he will see the anguish and her determination for truth and justice . 

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Thought this is a clear explanation as to why Ling Huang Gui Fei wasn't made the Empress even after the Step-Empress was thrown into the cold palace (apologies for the direct translation, I wonder what would be its equivalent term in English... some translation I saw was "cold storage" :D)

The gist for those who may not understand Chinese, and I hope I got it right too (someone do add on or edit if I didn't get the points correct or missed out some important facts):

 

1. Consort Ling's family background is very low in a hierarchical system like Qing Dynasty. Hence to even be promoted from Gui Ren to Pin (within the same year) and later to Fei and Gui Fei, QL had already given her much honour. Other concubines like Consort Shu whose family status was way higher than Consort Ling/WYL didn't even get such attention and promotion. Apparently Empress Fuca had to train all these new concubines and Ling was very respectful towards Empress Fuca and hence Empress Fuca liked her alot too.

 

2. Step-Empress, while she was stripped of all the emblems of empress authority when sent to the cold palace was still Empress in name. Hence there was no way QL would risk the opposition of the other royal members and the years of Qing traditions and rules to raise Ling Huang Gui Fei to Empress Ling while the Step-Empress was still alive. Also the Step-Empress' two sons were still alive and it will be bad form for QL to make Ling to be the next Empress.

 

3. There was no one to put in a good word or recommendation for Ling Huang Gui Fei to be the next Empress. According to the video, the Empress Dowager had persuaded QL to make Consort Xian to be the Step Empress after Empress Fuca passed on. And QL obeyed his mum alot. 

 

4. QL was a shrewd man to make sure that while Ling was alive, she would continue to be the Huang Gui Fei so that no one can speculate her son Yong Yan to be the heir apparent, even though QL at 63 years old had already secretly conferred Yong Yan to be the Crown Prince. As the Step-Empress' two sons were still alive, people would still think the next Emperor would be from one of those 2 sons instead. In this way, by not conferring Ling to be the new Empress, QL prevented possible fights for the throne between the princes, and I guess gave Yong Yan a chance to grow up (he was 13 when made the crown prince) and take over the throne when he was older.

 

Some additional facts:

And according to this Qing Shi Gao (some imperial historical records, though there are people who had critiqued it), Ling while alive already held the 东珠朝珠 (https://baike.baidu.com/item/东珠) which is an emblem of status/power(?) reserved for the Emperor, Empress Dowager and/or Empress. Hence Ling was considered in that sense the Empress, even if she didn't have the title. I am guessing that is QL's way of letting her and everyone else know how important she was to him, even if politically she couldn't have that title. 

 

When Ling died, her family's banner was raised to a level (I didn't understand what it was in the video) which was a very high honour, that normally wouldn't befit her origins. Also at her funeral, the number of rites that were accorded to her had increased to 18, making it a total of 76 rites, which was 1 less than what an Empress was normally given. Compared that to Step-Empress' funeral, Ling was given way more honour and recognition befitting an Empress even though she was just a Huang Gui Fei when she died.

 

If the historical facts that had been recorded and passed down are to be believed, then I must say Yanxi did a decent job in adhering to the historical facts while adding on the modern romance and drama.

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23 hours ago, lyserose said:

 

Consort Ling's firstborn, Princess Hejing died the same year as her mom. So, that title (First Rank Princess) rightfully could have been given by QL himself. 

 

 

 

So total all Qianlong's daughters granted a First Rank Princess are 3 of them. Daughters of Empress Fuca, Consort Ling and Consort Dun. 

 

Fuca's daughter has it right to received that title but Ling and Dun are indeed lucky considering the fact the title only reserved to Empress's daughters.

 

For Ling's case probably because of  Qianlong's love for Ling but for Consort Dun's case not because of her but solely because her daughter......

based on how Consort Ling kept on elevated to the higher ranks while Consort Dun kept on getting promoted and demoted. lol

 

Either way, i think the reason behind it because he feel happy to have a child with his favourite consort after so long and also for having a child at 63 years old ( which he thought he could never had a child again at that age).

 

 

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I also read it somwhere that when A concubine is to attend to emperor, they have to be carried in a blanket to his palace and leave after the business is done (1 hr limitation) . Emperor is not allowed to stay overnight at a consorts palace due to security reasons. Is this true? Because in Yanxi, we constantly see Qianlong always coming to Yingluo’s palace and staying overnight while other consorts who serve him (ie. consort Shu has to be carried to his chamber). 

 

In Yanxi, I like how Qianlong always go back to Yingluos palace right after hes done with work. Yanxi is like his home, a place that he returns to after a tiring day. It shows that hes not only going there for basic needs. 

 

@ChloeR I have also read and watch some youtube talking about how the concubine serves the emperor. But in one Taiwan show it did mention some Emperor's actually does not follow rules all the time.

 

As for QL - does he return to Yanxi or even does he stay with Consort Ling I cannot find any history or video on this. If anyone does have any info, please do share as I would love to read more on the emperor's harem .

 

Just to share, in one historical video, I think it was Lecture Room - it did mention that once QL banished Step Empress, he had quickly send word back to the palace to renovated the room which was occupied by Step Empress for the use of Consort Ling prior to their return. It seems the room can only be occupied by Empress as it was a room next to the King. I guess/suspect perhaps QL really does adore Consort Ling and does treat their relationship like a normal marriage. To a certain extend I can relate history to Yanxi alot and that is what I like about the drama.

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I keep praising our YL and she deserves it ...her performance is spot on , QL's as well of course..... but i always forget to mention that QL's main man is keeping up with them :thumbsup:...he gives us story behind the story with his expressions LOL ..and our MY has changed so much and she deserves a kudos too . 

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21 hours ago, heychumi said:

I also read it somwhere that when A concubine is to attend to emperor, they have to be carried in a blanket to his palace and leave after the business is done (1 hr limitation) . Emperor is not allowed to stay overnight at a consorts palace due to security reasons. Is this true? Because in Yanxi, we constantly see Qianlong always coming to Yingluo’s palace and staying overnight while other consorts who serve him (ie. consort Shu has to be carried to his chamber). 

 

In Yanxi, I like how Qianlong always go back to Yingluos palace right after hes done with work. Yanxi is like his home, a place that he returns to after a tiring day. It shows that hes not only going there for basic needs. 

 

Oh so this is why in the earlier episodes when YL got QL to visit Empress instead of Consort S? we see her bundled up naked inside the duvet ...so she was just dropped of like a parcel at QL's place , or was she at her place but dressed :tounge_xd:like that ? She must have been at QL's place because the 2nd main eunuch told her that its time to go .  I am at ep 35 and through subs i am impressed that Empress guessed his attachment to YL.  When you think about it , YL is the only woman beside the Empress and his consorts that had the privilege of touching his body , and he even ordered her to dress his jewels when ErQ spilled the tea.  And when she was treating him , she was on his bed left and right , with her butt right by his face ...she was performing her nursing duties without realizing that she was probably the only woman to crouch on that bed like that.  

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@housetangaryen I think another reason why Consort Ling was never elevated as a living Empress is because there has never been a Han woman holding that position in a Manchu-led Qing government. If QL is to designate a new empress after Fuca and SE, rightfully she should be a Manchu.

 

Still I think his action of elevating her to an empress long after her death and  right after abdicating in favour of Consort Ling's son is a testament of his life long fondness of her. Thinking about it, some of his consorts were elevated to a "Huang Gui Fei" shortly before they died or after their deaths (Gao, Chun, Jia). As @Cedric mentioned before, even when Consort Ling's son becoming emperor, the mother does not necessarily need to be an Empress. Elevating Consort Ling to an empress is equate to him ranking her above those consorts who hold the Huang Gui Fei title posthumously.

 

Anyway, I happened to rewatch Yanxi since my cousin was so late in joining the fun (and he's loving Yanxi so much already). I caught up with ep 24 where Hongzhou/Prince He first met WYL and wanted to play around with her to the disapproval of Hailancha. I find it interesting when Hongzhou said it's no big deal for him to play with YL since she is just a maid and if he really wanted to, he could just ask his brother QL to give YL to him and that he hold better chance being a first rank prince than just the Emperor's brother in law. Unbeknownst to Hongzhou that the "just a maid" would ended up becoming his brother's favourite woman and certainly wouldn't want to give away to him at any cost. 

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Sorry. Not so active here nowadays.

 

My impression is the the carry-in-by-blanket is only for the 1st night the consorts/concubines served the Emperor. And they would be sent to his palace.

 

If u watch Zhen Huan Legend, this part is very obvious. 

 

Subsequently, it's not necessary. Whether the Emperor spend long or short hours at her place is flexible.

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6 hours ago, Cedric Ong said:

Sorry. Not so active here nowadays.

 

My impression is the the carry-in-by-blanket is only for the 1st night the consorts/concubines served the Emperor. And they would be sent to his palace.

 

If u watch Zhen Huan Legend, this part is very obvious. 

 

Subsequently, it's not necessary. Whether the Emperor spend long or short hours at her place is flexible.

Thank you  @Cedric Ong I just tried one ep of zhen huan ...and compared to YanXi Palace it feels too stifling and i did not like their voice over ...our YL sounds decisive ,precise and i love her speech and patterns ..and like  QL remembered it too from the first ep  ...and the Emperor in ZH looks like old slab of meat , while our QL is pretty cute ...petty , oblivious, smart, and and and .....but pretty healthy looking and virile to satisfy so many b......y  women around him .  

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Love reading comments/post, my curiosity brought me to this thread and better understanding about this drama.  Thanks to all. 

I am currently watching it and enjoying the ride:blush:.

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8 hours ago, jadore1 said:

Thank you  @Cedric Ong I just tried one ep of zhen huan ...and compared to YanXi Palace it feels too stifling and i did not like their voice over ...our YL sounds decisive ,precise and i love her speech and patterns ..and like  QL remembered it too from the first ep  ...and the Emperor in ZH looks like old slab of meat , while our QL is pretty cute ...petty , oblivious, smart, and and and .....but pretty healthy looking and virile to satisfy so many b......y  women around him .  

I'm actually watching Legend of Zhen Huan (up to ep 10 as of last night). I had stumbled upon it on Netflix, but found it strange there are so many missing links in the episode and only six 90min episodes compared to what I had read to be a more than 70 episodes show. Found that all the episodes are on its Youtube channel with English subtitles, so that's good too.

 

Interestingly I learnt a lot more historical background facts in the 10 episodes of Zhen Huan and can better appreciate the historical background of Yanxi. Oh, I saw that blanket scene @Cedric Ong had mentioned earlier.

 

Something that I've been wondering after watching Yanxi and now Zhen Huan, what is the minimum age for these ladies to go audition for the Emperor's harem? Was it compulsory all the ladies from all over China to enter the court, go through these preliminary tests before standing before the emperor at the audition? In Yanxi, it seemed the daughters from most of the middle-class/upper-class (those whose families work for the court) would have to go through this process. While others, like WYL, of lowly birth status, would also consider entering the Forbidden City to work as maids or seamstresses. Was this a compulsory thing in those times?

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