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About tendrilsofwind

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  1. It pains me to talk about Tribes and Empires. The costumes, the sets, the acting, and the cinematography were all phenomenal, but the script and the editing (oh my god the 20 minute flashbacks whyyy) were complete trash. The female characters were so poorly written it was almost offensive. They also wasted 70+ episodes on complete filler--the plot doesn't truly start until the emperor dies and he just refused to die. I actually spent 50 episodes trying to brainwash myself into liking it because of how visually sumptuous it was, but my brain kept interrupting to remind me that the plot was beyond stupid. With regards to tROP, I agree that they are most likely not going to film a second season. I don't think they have the budget and investors for it, especially considering tROP set a record for the lowest ratings in the history of the channel. I still believe that the first 50 or so episodes of tROP were as close to perfect as it gets though. If only it were possible for a director's cut of the ending to be released :')
  2. In ancient China a lot of people would carry around these little fragrance satchels. They are usually exchanged between lovers to signify their affections for each other because the satchels are considered intimate/personal belongings. I think Zhiwei inadvertently grabbed it from Ning Yi when they were in that dark room and in the confusion it seemed like Ning Yi was the one who gave it to her. She later carries it within her robes, which is a bold thing to do considering how significant the item is. It kind of counts as her accepting his affections for her. That's why Ning Yi is kind of shocked when he finds out she still had it, but since he inadvertently gave it to her, neither of them can be certain of what kind of relationship they are in. Oh wow you really compiled an entire timeline loool I admire your dedication. There are a lot of behind the scenes pictures too. I really want to ship them, but it's so dangerous to ship real people. We should probably stick to the characters instead to avoid infringing upon their personal lives.
  3. They will be rebroadcasting The Rise of Phoenixes in China! 70 episodes at primetime instead of the 56 episodes HunanTV randomly wedged in between variety shows. Hopefully that means more people get to appreciate it~
  4. @skibbies pretty much covered everything. I agree that it would be completely unrealistic for her to be coregent. Wu Zetian is really peerless and managed that feat through both tactical brilliance and ruthlessness, which the drama version of Zhiwei would never resort to. After her death, her daughter and daughter in law as well (I think) tried to emulate her, but were both killed. Wu Zetian is actually my favorite historical figure. Please don't watch the recent drama about her as they made her too insipid to bear. Zhiwei would probably have even less power than most other empresses due to the fact that she was a princess from a former dynasty. Ning Yi seems to do what he wants, but he still has to consult his advisors/court. They would probably have allowed him to marry her and then raised an uproar about designating her as his empress. NY would also have been forced to marry multiple consorts in order to ensure he had enough heirs. I also feel like NY's position is not that secure. His dad set a precedent for usurping the throne if you believe the emperor to have lost the mandate of heaven, and that destabilizes the position. It's why Ning Shizheng was so paranoid all the time and why he asked FZW that third test question. I think Zhao Kuangyin used a similar line of reasoning to legitimize himself as emperor, founding the Song Dynasty, and he asked all his old friends and generals to retire. In this atmosphere, it is even more important for NY to follow all the rules.
  5. It wasn't biologically difficult to bear children, it's just that all the rich men keep acquiring more consorts. One of those situations where the men get older, but the girls they marry stay the same age.
  6. The martial arts choreography is really not the best. I fast forwarded to spare myself from the cringe, especially since Ni Ni doesn't have a martial arts background, but I just keep telling myself the fight scenes are not the focus of the show, so I should just ignore it.
  7. I saw Qiu Mingying as a little more of a gray character though. In one of the flashback scenes, it was shown that her husband carried off one of her sons right after she gave birth, when she was too weak to stop him. Maybe it is the sunk cost fallacy? She might have felt that she already lost so much for Dacheng, she might as well keep going on this path. I think all the Chinese viewers are aware of this parallel, but those who aren't can check out Orphan of Zhao to see what this story line is referencing. It was written even before the Han dynasty, so it gives a glimpse into the kind of mindless loyalty that was lauded at the time.
  8. I agree that NY treated her better than you would expect in a patriarchal society and I don't really think that reflects badly on him since it is human nature to do something like this, but FZW still seemed miffed that he didn't share everything with her (like when he was sick with plague). It is kind of a wuxia thing. They always find a secret manual or whatever and emerge more OP than they were before. Flying takes effort though. It's kind of like how I would never run unless it was urgent lol Thank you so much! I enjoy reading everyone's perspectives here as well, even the ones I disagree with, since they are all so well thought out. The oath thing really is important even if the mindset makes no sense to me. People in the past really were all in on that whole consummate loyalty thing, what with this oath and the whole restore the previous dynasty even thought it sucked group.
  9. That's such an amazing detail. I love it when other people pick up on things like this and share it. I don't think Ning Yi knows what a healthy relationship looks like. He loves his mother like an eight year old boy--with an insatiable hunger for contact, all petulant tantrums and reckless behavior. Throughout the show, he craves intimacy, but also draws away at its unfamiliarity. The only thing he seems certain of is his mother's unconditional love for him. I can't think of a logical reason for him rejecting Zhiwei either, but NY is never logical when it comes to matters of the heart. I guess that's what happens when you start repressing your emotions at birth. Even in Minhai, he never let her plot with him. He always felt the urge to protect her, even after she learned to protect herself, even when it involved decisions he had no right to make. I don't want to say this applies to all men, but a lot of men, especially those who believe themselves to be brilliant, truly think they always know better. Is your username a reference to Dream of the Red Chamber? You should be used to anguish and misery then haha that show messed me up when I watched it as a child. For those of you devastated by the ending, just keep in mind no one in Chinese drama history has ever died after jumping off a cliff. The statistics are on our side.
  10. I feel like tRoP is more magical realism than fantasy. All the magical elements are nonchalantly thrown in and are more rooted in cultural beliefs than straight up fantasy. Check out One Hundred Years of Solitude or anything else by Marquez (or Borges) for some really outstanding examples and beautiful prose. The English and Chinese translations for both authors happen to have been done exceptionally well, although it is likely to pale in comparison to the original Spanish. Also I am so happy everyone here disagrees with all those people calling FZW a Mary Sue. I was really annoyed reading all those comments when the show was airing. Those same people never call guys Gary Stus despite their abundance. All the things they criticized FZW for could also have been applied to Wang Kai's character in NiF.
  11. Yes! This is the one. It's so gloriously composed. I thought it was one of those scenes after he was inadvertently poisoned by the eunuch, but I may be wrong. I searched everywhere and couldn't find a hd photo. They really should have used this for promotion.
  12. I honestly have no idea why not a single show manages to showcase Go correctly. It's especially important here because Ning Yi's name literally refers to playing a game of Go. His matches with his father are also supposed to emphasize this competition that has forever existed between them, transitioning at times from just within the game to their real power struggle. Also does anyone have a high quality picture of Ning Yi with his hair down, sprawled in the walkway (I guess in English it might be cloisters?) dressed all in white underclothes? The one where he is soaked in the light seeping through the carved window. I think it's one of the scenes where he is in a drug induced haze.
  13. Yea people used to dub because of accents, but now they dub because so many of the actors can't act. I think this might be the first major show to not dub? It has gotten a lot of praise for it, but unfortunately some complaints as well. I think Chinese people like women's voices to be high pitched so Ni Ni has gotten some flak for her voice. Chen Kun was also criticized for having a Sichuan accent. I couldn't discern an accent, but then again, my mandarin is also slightly accented. I don't really understand the outrage but the internet has some crazy people who are very much opposed to those seeking to change and improve the established standard. Using real voices is really incomparable and conveys a depth of emotion you don't get with dubbing. However, I will admit that one time I heard a Taiwanese accent when I was watching The Emperor in the Han Dynasty, and I was completely thrown off. Maybe that's what its like for people with perfect, Northern Mandarin when they hear us speak haha The actress for Feng Zhiwei's mother does fantastic accent work. She can transition into different local accents beautifully, a much neglected skill in the Chinese industry. A friend of mine also commented on the squeaky factor. I didn't notice either until she brought it up and then I couldn't not hear it. They have a tendency to use the same dubber for all the leads so many female protagonists end up sounding the same. A lot of girls have naturally high voices, but you are right in that the way they are dubbed, it has a strange quality to it.
  14. The way he looked away with practiced insouciance, staring into the distance with unfocused eyes, listening for the sound of her clothing falling to the floor...It contrasted so well with the previous scenes, where it is established that Ning Yi makes clothing for all the ladies at the brothel. He is constantly exposed to beautiful, willing women, but it is this moment that leaves him spellbound. I also feel like it's notable that she never asked him to step out and he never offered to step out either. It is highly improper for him to be in the room alone with her. He's referring to their affections for each other. If I remember correctly, there was a flashback to their dalliance in that little room. Both of their most intimate moments up to that point (her undressing in his manor and the scene with him on top of her) occurred in the dark. It's the only then that they allow their pretenses to drop. There is a practical element to this in that revealing their relationship would endanger Zhiwei, but it's also because Ning Yi is really emotionally repressed and thus unable/unwilling to verbalize the extent of his feelings. This motif is echoed throughout the show, like their underwater kiss before they both took their leave of each other. The only time when they were upfront was, like you mentioned, in Minhai.
  15. @sonosong That nickname might seem a little cringe worthy if it were applied to anyone else, but as soon as Ning Yi said it, I just thought it fit Ni Ni so perfectly. I'm glad your family ended up liking this drama. My dad also pretended to think the show was frivolous nonsense, but then I went home for break and saw that he had finished watching the entire show. Some guys believe themselves too pragmatic and sophisticated for anything girls like, but that is predicated on the assumption that girls only like silly things. This show, especially the first half, very much echoes HBO prestige dramas. I started it kind of apprehensive because of what a train wreck Tribes and Empires turned out to be (with some of the worst, flattest female characters I have seen in a long time might I add) despite visually looking stunning, but I was blown away by the intricacy of everything. The plot isn't as tight at the end, but it really was obscenely tight in the beginning.
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