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

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I agree with Lyserose on both loves of WYL.I personally feel that Fheng is a better match. YL and QL have similar temperaments and outlook in life and both have a very unsentimental side and would use others where necess to achieve their own ends. FH would have bit a better fit emotionally as  I think he and YL would balance each other and their romance and love would have had more depth and more endearing. WYL with the mischievous side of her would have made her more adorable in her interactions with FH who is more stoic. Similarly Empress Fuca was a very good fit for QL and their relationship was wonderful to watch and audience gets to see how much he loves her - she was emotionally a better fit for him.

 

This same mischievous streak in WYL's relationship with QL makes her childish and it somehow I feel it doesnt do much for the characterisation. It was like watching a little girl trying to be an adult trying very hard to make herself likeable and i cringed now and then watching the later episodes. 

 

Both Empress Fuca and Step Empress (Charmaine Seah) were regal in their roles and carried themselves - physically and emotionally - well in their roles as empresses. Maybe Wu Jinyan is to young and she has that little girl behaviour which didnt quite fit into that role.

 

All said, I agree with the sentiments : amazing series, cast and soundtracks. 

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@UnniSarah  QL or FH ships already been discussed in earlier pages and I m absolutely on QL ship. But somehow i felt that due to YL's characters and circumstances with no turning back, she can only keep FH in her heart. She will not let anyone knows that FH remains in her heart and that she refused to answer Hai Lancha on Fuheng's question if she is willing to protect him in next life. But eventually she answer to herself that she is willing. What is your guess? Just my personal opinion. 

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1 hour ago, cheeriekwan said:

@UnniSarah  QL or FH ships already been discussed in earlier pages and I m absolutely on QL ship. But somehow i felt that due to YL's characters and circumstances with no turning back, she can only keep FH in her heart. She will not let anyone knows that FH remains in her heart and that she refused to answer Hai Lancha on Fuheng's question if she is willing to protect him in next life. But eventually she answer to herself that she is willing. What is your guess? Just my personal opinion. 

There's always this thing call "First Love" and why it is special because that is the first person who touched your heart, especially a first love that is as wonderful as Fuheng. I agree she keeps Fuheng in her heart but that does not necessarily means that her love for Fuheng is deeper than QL. Her silence in response to Hai Lan Cha is more reflective of her character who keep her thoughts and feelings to herself. Fuheng been her guardian angel all her life and loving her unconditionally. She noted all his sacrifices, protection and devotion on her and YL is definitely not the ungrateful type. I would say, she is willing to give her next life to him because she knew he deserved it. She also knew that their love was not meant to be in this life.

 

As for me, I still think QL is a better match for YL as she is for him. For a man and a woman with that larger than life personality, they definitely need a companion of equal footing and sharing common ground. Fuheng is a good balance to YL but he could be a little too submissive. Fuca did not understand QL that much and neither did he able to really understand her. The fact that YL could adjust her expectation for QL (but not with Fuheng) is the deal breaker for me. 

 

 

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@hakunamatata8  Well said chingu, I agree QL loved his first empress very much . He mourned the loss of his children but because of his responsibilities, he couldn't let his emotions rule him unlike the empress emotions were to great for her to let go. Fuca and QL were opposites but they loved each other and she was able to be his confident but wasn't quite smart to stop people from causing harm to his harem. I agree with @lyserose Fuca sometimes couldn't understand him or how he handles stuff in the Forbidden City. YL and QL were a match made in heaven , they loved each other, they were loyal and they understood each other. YL kept QL on his toes and made him work to get her attention. Like she told Step Empress, she shouldn't have told him she loved him, she should have kept it to herself. YL decided to show him how much she loved him but never said it so he would never stop growing bored with her. 

@cheeriekwan   THis is my opinion QL and YL both loved two people but the question is who were they in love with.   I loved both Fuheng and QL because they were different and loved her differently like @lyserose pointed it out.  I believe she did answer that question to herself that she would be willing to in the next life. YL wasn't the kind to share her emotions. She keeps it all in or would find a place to cry alone where no none can see. 

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Oh I’m having withdrawal from Yanxi. Wish they were more scene between QL and YL... anyone know where there are cut scenes available to watch??

 

Rewatching some of the scenes... Eps 34, when QL was summoned YL about seeing her and Fuheng together at night at (Fuca’s), do you think QL would have really executed YL if Fuheng didn’t seek permission to marry Er Ching? 

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In Eps 17, the scene when QL came to visit Fuca and saw 明玉 chasing YL, QL was having his dinner at Fuca and asked to leave the windows open. Do you think he wanted to leave the windows open to see YL? (This scene is after QL told Fuca he thought YL is trying to seduce him with her smiles etc) 

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I also think that while Fuheng has his knight-in-shining armour identity by doing the secret sweet stuff for WYL eg replacing her heater, making sure she is okay and generally watching over her etc, sometimes this can walk the fine line between true concern and overbearing "I know what's best" attitude, ignoring or not understanding WYL's true motivations and character. There are two instances where I saw this happen: 

 

1) He married Erqing to 'save' WYL. Even Fuca empress knew that WYL would rather have gone the distance (even if it meant death) than to squirrel out of it with this marriage. Fuheng thought he knew best, that he was acting in  WYL's best interests but in truth, he did not understand her  at all. He was the Noble Idiot. But WYL is not your average submissive maid who needs rescuing, at least not in that way. Hers is a fierce "take no prisoners" type of personality. She would have found another way; to her, their relationship was too precious to just give up, no matter the threat. In her eyes, and to her disappointment, he gave up on their love too easily. That scene in the snow was beautiful because of that double message - there he was standing there with ErQing, a picture of the compromise 'deal with the devil' that he willingly made. But there she was - WYL who would rather walk/kowtow for hours in the freezing snow than to compromise her feelings for Fuheng. Hence, when she said that this would be the last thing she would do in acknowledgement of their relationship, that they would henceforth go separate ways permanently, she meant it. It was a great contrast between her and Fuheng. And the scene ended beautifully - with her collapsing and the emperor picking her up in his arms (almost like a foreshadowing and confirmation of a 'handover' in a way, of the next phase of WYL's life - this time with the emperor. One stood to let her pass (albeit in pain to watch her  suffer) and the other picked her up. 

 

2) He 'forced' WYL into compromising her ideals/mission to avenge her sister with Prince Hong's insincere apology for sexually assaulting WYL's sister and his subsequent callous (without any sincerity or true remorse) offer to 'marry' WYL's sister.  Here, I think is the strongest example of how Fuheng completely did not understand WYL's character/motivations. What she wanted was not 'compensation' or acknowledgement of the crime and a cover-up. What she wanted was justice and no less than Prince Hong's death and punishment. Fuheng thought a compromise and an apology would be sufficient. How wrong he was. Avenging her sister was the driving force behind WYL's entry into the palace. It was her consuming mission to seek revenge that drove her.  Fuheng underestimated that or maybe never even truly understood the depth of her single-minded hatred/desire for justice. 

 

Given all this, while I think Fuheng is a real sweetie-pie, he does border on the overbearing and not in a good way. He might have been WYL's first love (cos who can resist his sweetness and overall goodness?) but certainly he would not have bee the right match for her. She needed a strong character who respects her views, understands where she is coming from and really, a largeness of character to match hers. In this, QL ticks all the boxes. He is regal, powerful, authoritative as a king should be, shrewd and discerning enough to see through most of her nonsense and will yet allow her enough free rein and latitude not given to any other concubine. The closest comparison I have is the relationship between the classic Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. Wilful, strong-minded, obstinate and smart Scarlett met her match in Rhett, who loved her, indulged her and yet had the power to rein her in if needed. 

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On 10/16/2018 at 7:06 PM, sharonfu18 said:

Rewatching some of the scenes... Eps 34, when QL was summoned YL about seeing her and Fuheng together at night at (Fuca’s), do you think QL would have really executed YL if Fuheng didn’t seek permission to marry Er Ching? 

I think I have answered this in previous post. No, I don't think he really would. As I said before, the only time he was serious was when he sentenced her to commit suicide. Thankfully, Fuca saved QL from losing his bride.

 

On 10/17/2018 at 8:50 AM, jadore1 said:

Ep 14 on youtube subbed :love:   I love the way QL tells YL that her calligraphy is poor 

I always think it would be cute if the drama featured some scenes with QL and YL actually have real conversation over their cute bickering pasts. Like how he used to think she is "shameless" for trying to seduce him, commenting on her poor calligraphy and so on.

 

23 hours ago, sharonfu18 said:

In Eps 17, the scene when QL came to visit Fuca and saw 明玉 chasing YL, QL was having his dinner at Fuca and asked to leave the windows open. Do you think he wanted to leave the windows open to see YL? (This scene is after QL told Fuca he thought YL is trying to seduce him with her smiles etc) 

IMO, not likely. He verbalize his prediction that YL was trying to seduce him and though that realization made him more aware of her, I still think at that juncture, he felt that she was annoying. 

 

@dramanoob8818 You beautifully worded your thoughts and opinion. Thank you. It's true, as much as a kind sweet gentleman Fuheng is, his care and love can be overbearing and that's why I am in the opinion, he and YL do not have equal footing. Like you said, he always thought he knew what is best for her but at the same time, robbing her from her rights to make a decision in their relationship. In a long run, this kind of devotion could become taxing.

 

In contrast, QL is a better match because he understands YL characters and what she is capable of. He knows she is strong, willful and intelligent and not the kind whom is in need of saving. Unlike Fuheng whose devotion is obvious for everyone to appreciate, QL's devotion is intangible - he gave her chances to defend herself (ie. when up against MY shortly after Yongqi's birth, when YL was accused of poisoning Yongqi) and the freedom to fight for what she wanted (ie. he gave her liberty to choose whether to stay in Yuanming Garden or return to the palace and reconcile with him). This is more true and befitting to YL's characters. She is not the kind who could simply allow others to hand her food and spoon feed her, to allow others to decide for her, it is her who cut the deal.

 

And again @dramanoob8818 I love the significance of that snow scene as you highlighted. Another love gone by with another great love picking her up. And I think I remember somewhere between ep 34-35, when YL was sobbing over Fuheng's decision to marry Er Qing, she told YCW that "it's ok, there will be a greater man destined for me." She never could have thought an emperor is already waiting in line. 

 

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In eps 42, if YL didn’t plan to impress the Empress Dowager and orchestrated to be QL’s  concubine, do you think QL would have eventually have YL?

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6 hours ago, lyserose said:

In contrast, QL is a better match because he understands YL characters and what she is capable of. He knows she is strong, willful and intelligent and not the kind whom is in need of saving. Unlike Fuheng whose devotion is obvious for everyone to appreciate, QL's devotion is intangible - he gave her chances to defend herself (ie. when up against MY shortly after Yongqi's birth, when YL was accused of poisoning Yongqi) and the freedom to fight for what she wanted (ie. he gave her liberty to choose whether to stay in Yuanming Garden or return to the palace and reconcile with him). This is more true and befitting to YL's characters. She is not the kind who could simply allow others to hand her food and spoon feed her, to allow others to decide for her, it is her who cut the deal.

This is at the heart of one of my favorite QL+YL/show scenes -- in 53? when everyone thinks that YL is the one behind Consort Chun's death because of the kite strings and YL doesn't defend herself against the rumors. QL is mad at her and everyone else thinks it's because he suspects YL but in fact, it's because he's upset that she wouldn't talk to him about it. He thinks that she doesn't value his opinion of her. And he knows that she wouldn't kill someone who was already being punished/suffering (which is such a good way to understand who YL is). I love that conversation between them, it's one of the most open ones they've had at that point, which has consisted mostly of YL figuring out how to get QL to fall in love with her. I wish they had more conversations where they were honest and vulnerable to each other (though we get some in the last few episodes) because that's where you really see how well they fit together and how much they just get each other.

 

And!! @dramanoob8818 your thoughts were perfect and I lved reading them! You really put into words what I've been unable to articulate, thank you so much!

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2 hours ago, sharonfu18 said:

In eps 42, if YL didn’t plan to impress the Empress Dowager and orchestrated to be QL’s  concubine, do you think QL would have eventually have YL?

While QL has been fancying her since Fuca was still alive, I am in the opinion that he has forgotten about her for that past 2 years. Seeing her again probably ignited that little sparks in him but not likely enough to make him want to make her his concubine. 

 

And again, there's Fuheng. If YL didn't stage that auspicious event to win Dowager's favour, she would still remain in Yuan Ming Garden and Fuheng could arrived in time to trade his victory for a permission to marry YL. The interesting question is... After that lapse of time, would QL actually willing to let YL marrying Fuheng (since I assumed he has forgotten about her)? 

 

@believed I also love that scene in episode 53. It was QL indirect way of expressing his love for her. To him, up till that extend, he was still in control (though slowly losing it) of his feelings. It was also at that point (I guess) that YL actually feel the depth of his love for her. My fave moment between them is when QL came to see her lost in her thoughts and teased her by pushing her on the swing and she responded by sulking over the assumption that he wasn't siding her and not protecting her. When QL told her that if he sided her openly, she would be the target of all his wives and he won't give her a chance if he didn't trust her. I like how YL was overjoyed to learn that intangible way of QL expressing his trust in her at the same time protecting her. It goes to say, she did find his opinion on her matters. If you look closely, YL never revealed so much of her backstory with QL as compared with Fuheng who knew every bits, yet with the little info, he cared to trust and understands her. That is why I said, QL's devotion is intangible and overshadowed by his emperor's presence and many women in his harem, thus not being appreciated by viewers enough. 

 

Just a curiousity on the historical bit... I noticed both QL in Yanxi and Ruyi wore jade ring on their thumb. So, i assumed this could be one staple accessory of the real QL. And I also noticed that the jade ring on Yanxi's QL grew darker in colour over that 10years time jump. 

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The Economist based in UK had an english article on Yanxi, comparing it to modern workplace etc. Before this was article in spanish newspaper, rare mention for a chinese drama.

https://www.economist.com/china/2018/10/13/stressed-out-chinese-love-melodrama-about-courtly-life

 

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Came across some lovely illustrations of the chars in this drama. Another proof of its popularity beyond the chinese community would be such fan drawings.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/673358581762543715/

 

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Sharing some stuff i read from chinese forum :


On Fuheng, remember Fucha's little doubts when he 1st mentioned his plan to marry Yingluo? she did understand both of them well. Fuheng often do things thinking it's for the best for that person. At the same time i think he would respect his parents too. (remember when one time he wanted to punish Erqing, his mother objected and he gave in abit). 

 

So think about it....even like modern day family, if Yingluo and his parents came to a dispute, how would u think he would settle it? he would ask Yingluo to compromise and give in abit....b'cos his mindset would be it's the best for her since they would still be living together. But YIngluo's type of char....if she keep compromising, she would lose her spirit....that's what Fuca didn't want to see....b'cos that's what happened to herself. 

 

This is already seen in the way he settled Prince Hongzou's case.


 

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One article mention 2 factors why the Step Empress/Xian consort failed...esp at the period when Yingluo got more of Qianlong's affection after Chen Bi was defeated.

 

1) Her lack of understanding of Qianlong. She thought he really doted on Chen Bi and even initially got Yingluo to help her bring Chen Bi down. If she would understand him, she should have worked with Chen Bi right from the start. Yingluo might have a more difficult time dealing with them.

 

2) Her lack of collaboration with others. Probably stemmed from her initial mentality of not siding with anyone, keeping herself "clean". Even when turned villain, she preferred to work solo, run mind games and manipulated from the side. Though later on, she "worked" more openly but looking at the time Chen Bi framed Yingluo, the Step Empress and her weren't really working together....if they did so with fully-collaborated plans, again Yingluo might not have an easy time.

 

Even later she and Prince Hongzou, she got her own plans....to save Qianlong instead and became his savior, thus to get back his love.

 

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There's a mirror theme btw the Empress Dowager and Yingluo in their plans to get back Qianlong's trust in 2 different periods.

 

1) When the Dowager realised that Qianlong believed that she killed his biological mother, she didn't spend time trying to persuade him anymore. She realised someone was behind it....and instead put herself into the most dangerous and fragile status....pretending to be sick. In the dark, she managed to fool others with the help of her maid (which i feel the Step Empress really let down her guard by not isolating the Dowager's palace) and probably by the same maid, passed message to that retired minister to help her....by telling Qianlong she's not involved.

 

So later Qianlong felt so guilty towards her. And remember when she and Yingluo was driving away, she said u still have much to learn. Indeed Yingluo later proved she did learn something...haha.

 

2) So that part after Mingyu died, when Yingluo realised Fuheng and her presence in the same room in Changchun Palace were being "arranged", probably Qianlong had seen them. When her attempt to see him was rejected, she did the same thing as the Dowager did.....made her situation even worse than current. Don't spend time waiting around, begging Qianlong. Instead, do something to make the enemy underestimate u and let down guard....at the same time, use some hidden help (for the Dowager, it's her maid...for Yingluo, it's her eunuch Xiao Quan Zi). Then who's parallel to the retired minister in Dowager's case, it's Fuheng. He didn't need to say anything, just his action not to elope is good enough.

 

So same in the end, Qianlong felt abit guilty to test her....and doted on her even more after this incident.

 

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About his jade thumb ring. Such rings (quite thick) originated from archers shooting from horseback, the ring helped to protect their thumb.

Later it came to symbolise power and status. Qianlong indeed loved such rings that he mentioned them in around 50 poems...haha. Usually worn by royalty and sometimes as gifts. 

English article

https://www.asianart.com/articles/rings/index.html

Chinese articles with pics.

https://kknews.cc/zh-sg/culture/jvkeql.html

http://www.sohu.com/a/227470764_100028727

 

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Some screenshots from chinese article..showing times when Yingluo acted like a romantic little girl.

 

The 1st few are when Yingluo was expecting Fuheng to visit her in bed again....she pretend to sleep....but she was disappointed when the physician Ye Tianshi came instead.

 

The last few were the morning after at night Qianlong bedded her....she thought he would still be around...but instead it was Mingyu. Again look of disappointment.

 

https://www.douban.com/group/topic/126143596/

 

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English version of The Sounds of Snowfall. Not every part is word to word direct translation (but most parts manage to convey similar feelings).

 

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Hahahaha I think it is quite funny we are keeping these conversations going because we (maybe just me) are not wanting to move on from Yanxi. (side note, can someone plsss recommend someone similar to Yanxi... i think I need to move on but the bar has been set pretty high with Yanxi)

 

I think both YL and QL are attracted on an intellectual level as well. Very early on, YL realised how intelligent QL is. There was a tea scene when YL was  a servant girl working for Fuca, YL mentioned QL is smart  and complicated and he will never revealed what tea he likes to drink ... and she always make reference how intelligent he is.  I think QL also realised how smart YL is too. ...how fast her brain work (he said that in chinese).  They both challenge each other intellectually. Do you guys agree with this?  I think this has added the attraction and mutual respect they have for each other. 
With Fuheng, YL respects and loves him but not on the same level of love between QL and her.  Fuheng and YL (like a few people mentioned previously) is more sweet and innocent love. "Young" love.  Whereas love between QL and YL is more "grown up" and more mature type of love. My opinion, QL is more suitable for YL because of her strong character and I think she is the type that needs to have powerful partner (husband).  Someone who will challenge her intellectually and emotionally. Thoughts? 

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Thanks @dramanoob8818 for the review and all who has posted, it is really fun reading and keep my Yanxi fever going on :) .

 

I also do think that YL and QL are better match due to their character, temperament and intellect. They seems to be on a closer wave length and they can somehow read each others thoughts (apart when QL is jealous - which than he never understands YL and listens to other concubines).

 

However, although I do think that Fuheng and YL does not match in terms of character, as mentioned by @Cedric Ong  earlier and the rest in the forum, but does anyone think that actually Fuheng at the later stage also changed?

 

At the time when QL was jealous of Fuheng and YL - Fuheng steps in to make QL realized his mistake.  Didn't Fuheng later told his maid what he did was to fulfill YL's wishes ( I think that was what he said - cause my understanding of Chinese without sub is only 70%). Also he did not choose to elope with YL because he understands her and once again does only as what YL wanted and help YL revealed Chenbi's scheme. So could it be the younger Fuheng maybe overbearing, but the more mature Fuheng changed and molded to be an equally good match to YL's, but it was just too late.

 

I have to agree with Chenbi - YL is a very lucky women, she has 2 man who loves her.

 

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Not sure whether this has been posted previously... who did Er Ching's son belong to? QL? Fuheng (don;t think so since they never consumated their marriage?)? Fuheng's brother? (Rewatching eps 54, Er Ching's conversation with QL). 

 

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1 hour ago, sharonfu18 said:

Not sure whether this has been posted previously... who did Er Ching's son belong to? QL? Fuheng (don;t think so since they never consumated their marriage?)? Fuheng's brother? (Rewatching eps 54, Er Ching's conversation with QL). 

 

Fuheng's brother. It was hinted in the drama when once Erqing vowed that the son has the blood of Fucha's family...instead of simply saying Fuheng. And i think some chinese articles or interviews also confirmed that.

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