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[Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] The Rise of Phoenixes 凰权·弈天下


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35 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

I actually do not find this to be true. Maybe before his mother "died". But soon after that, his father changed. Especially because of the curse between him and Ning Yi. Ning YI has mentioned it before, how suddenly the emperor has ceased to care for him. He was even accusatory when he stated this. He felt like the moment his mother died, his father also abandoned him. He didn't understand anything at that time because he was simply told his mother fell ill. But after he grew up, he understood there was something more to it. This is the reason that the 3rd prince Ning Qiao became his only solace. At that time after his mother "died", Ning Qiao was the only one who showed him affection. After he got out of prison (the temple) he was still doubtful that his father still held some affection for him. There was still a little boy in Ning Yi who craved for his father's love. But then again, I find this true with all the other princes.

Yes, I agree. Sorry, I didn't articulate what I was thinking properly there! Once his mother disappeared, Ning Yi became the least favoured son for the reasons you listed above. But during those formative years (up to age 8?), he probably experienced a much more 'normal' father-son relationship than some of the other princes. 

 

I wonder if Crown Prince Ning Chuan also experienced a lot more love from dad when he was young, since his mother was also highly favoured. It probably explains why he is so desperate to regain his father's affections as an adult. While all the other princes crave that love in varying degrees, I always thought Ning Chuan seems to take daddy's criticism particularly hard. 

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I'm going through Phoenixes very slowly and am only up to Episode 20. Life's busy and one can only do what one is able.  Fascinating show and as a whole I find it worth persevering through. When it's

If there is anyone who is 100% fluent in Chinese, please make corrections to this! I had trouble translating since a lot of the lyrics draw from ancient poetry. Chinese also doesn't have tenses and in

I think somewhere down the the director forgot that this is called the RISE of the FREAKIN PHOENIXES, not the FALL of the FREAKIN PHOENIXES.     

3 hours ago, morganian said:

Yes, I agree. Sorry, I didn't articulate what I was thinking properly there! Once his mother disappeared, Ning Yi became the least favoured son for the reasons you listed above. But during those formative years (up to age 8?), he probably experienced a much more 'normal' father-son relationship than some of the other princes. 

 

I wonder if Crown Prince Ning Chuan also experienced a lot more love from dad when he was young, since his mother was also highly favoured. It probably explains why he is so desperate to regain his father's affections as an adult. While all the other princes crave that love in varying degrees, I always thought Ning Chuan seems to take daddy's criticism particularly hard. 

That is true. Ning Yi was doted upon which is why at a young age, he was arrogant enough to believe he could change everything. That eight-year-old who held hostage the wife and child of Gu Yan and forced him to change sides, was someone who believed he was better than others and that he could do more than anyone else.

 

Although, Ning Yi now has grown to understand the naivete of that little boy, he still retains some of that arrogance. Unlike the others who want to be Emperor because they wanted power, Ning Yi wanted to become emperor so he can change the Kingdom. He was more ambitious than any of them. Xin Ziyan also believes this and feeds Ning Yi's hunger for change. This is what made Xin Ziyan scary to me at the beginning. Although he was Ning Yi's friend, he saw Ning Yi as an irreplaceable icon that can lead to a better future. He was like a parent who fed fire to their child's ambition no matter the consequence. I don't know if you are familiar with that kind of mentoring, but children of prodigies usually find themselves in such situations. But Ning Yi is pretty stubborn so there really was no problem there.

 

I think the crown prince also got a lot of love when he was young. He was the child of the Empress as well as the eldest. But I think Ning Yi's birth changed all that. Suddenly there is this really smart kid who was the son of his father's most beloved concubine. And this smart kid does not stay in the shadows. He flaunts his superiority. I think this is the reason why Ning Chuan wanted to do everything in his power to get back his father's affections. But there was also a greediness in him and a lust for power.

 

Anyway, I just re-watched the part of the show where Zhiwei tells Ning Yi that it's all his fault for being a prince and Ning Yi agreed. But I wonder... if Ning Yi wasn't a prince, would he be the same interesting character he is now? Would Zhiwei even fall in love with him had he been just a normal person without his enigmatic personality? And the same thing for Zhiwei. Had she not been a remnant, would her mother have sent her to school instead of her brother? Had she been just a proper girl would Ning Yi even look at her twice? Unfortunately, I believe these characters have to be in their respective roles to actually see and fall in love with each other.

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21 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

I think it was mentioned in the novel ending translation that he was Gu Yan's son. I think they didn't have enough time to do a reveal? I mean they did lessen Zhiwei's involvement in Minhai, killed off Hua Qiong  and acted as if she never existed, and made a PowerPoint presentation of the ending (I still laugh at the accuracy of this term) so I guess they don't have time to expand on Gu Nanyi's heritage. Or they just decided to make them not related.

 

Which is weird because when he first talked to Ning Yi, Ning Yi was still looking for his family and suddenly they are dead? Hmmm...

I think it's possible Ning Yi could have found out they died after that scene, or he's a master manipulator, both of it could be true too (manipulation ->  find out they are dead). Yeah that was a last minute reveal, in the book Gu Yan didn't leave that much of an impression on me (he was just head of the guards that swayed between Emperor and Ning Yi), it was revealed he wasn't a traitor and he was looking for the real traitor and there was a fight. I'm not overly fussed over it besides the fact I want Gu Nanyi to have family, he's a pretty lonely kid.

 

I'm still mad they didn't even have Zhiwei mention her in passing, they are meant to be best friends, she and Gu Nanyi are literally the only ones who tried to console her. I'm bitter in general that Zhiwei is always kind of second fiddle to Ning Yi because he's the main main character. All the plot that display his abilities gets kept, and hers get cut, which is total bs, this drama is unique in how in sync they are, have similar ambitions/dream but still clash over methods. *grumbles* Characters around her also gets less focus and are less layered.

 

21 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

But since his mother "died" when he was eight, Ning Yi had lost his father's favor. So unless he got that title before he was eight... wow.

I honestly have no idea how that happened. I headcanon'ed that even though he lost favor with his father, he still did amazing things that meant he got the title?

 

Re: Ning Yi in the book. He's darker and much more bitter, he's not as ambitious and he was exhausted at the end (so was Zhiwei,  they both kept trucking along because they can't let down people that supported them). Ning Ji sought them out because he's a good kid and think they are more experienced than him in ruling, he didn't want the job lol.  Nothing really stops you from using the book ending to follow up to drama ending tbh.

 

Re: stableman. aside from that, stableman was trying to kill the emperor at the time. Honestly, that alone, for a son and for a prince, killing him was part of Ning Yi's duty. Not killing him also pose a threat towards Zhiwei since he knows her identity. (although I wouldn't say he wants to protect her, his eradicate all evil principle and protecting the emperor is much more significant here. but Crown Prince could use her connection to Ning Yi to put him in hot water.) The moment stableman appeared, he's basically dead, and he knows it.

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I ve just stumbled upon an eng sub of an interview with Chen Kun talking a bit about his character as Ning Yi and also Nini. He's so enjoyable.

 

 


 Ning Yi is a drama queen. Haha. And now I finally understand the razor remarks several pages back.

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14 hours ago, brutusthebear said:

I'm totally obsessed with this show as well! It has a nice balance between being romantic vs. political intrigue focused. Plus Chen Kun's acting is quite good. I was put off at first when he was  "acting naive" in front of his brothers, but perhaps his "act" was supposed to seem like an "act" for the viewer's benefit.  His acting really shines in the later episodes when he's just being himself. I recently watched Babylon Berlin, and like this show it has beautiful cinematography, morally grey characters, great acting,  and an engrossing plot too. You should check it out :)

 

Really nice to see more new people on here graduating from ROTP! And thank you for this suggestion. I'll give it a shot particularly because you said its got morally grey characters.

 

9 hours ago, morganian said:

Glad to meet another Expanse fan! And an Outlander fan too! Yes, Expanse is a bit light on the romance. James Holden isn't the most enthralling protagonist, but I see the entire crew of the Rocinante providing the spectrum of morality, seriousness and humour required. You focus on them as a family, not as individual characters. 

 

Outlander does have that mix of historical drama, romance and politics. James Alexander Fraser and Claire Randall are two wonderful protagonists. Even Blackjack Randall is a well-fleshed out character.

 

However, Outlander is a bit raunchy (other side of the spectrum compared to RotP). Not too much of a fan of the later books from the Outlander series...really struggling to get through book 5, so I'm not sure how to show will play out in later seasons. So far, it's mostly faithful to the books.

 

Oh I bet we have more shows in common :D  And yea its not like romance is the only worthy or interesting human relationship. But the hopeless romantic deep inside me has got a soft spot for it.

I still love the expanse tho, its vibe and setting is different. Its got so much else going for it that holden not having an interesting romance isn't a big deal. Even if naomi had better chemistry with holden it would still only make a small difference. I liked miller and holden's dynamic better. And more than interpersonal relationships in this show what impressed me was the group and identity politics. Oh and can't forget that U.N. leader in sari. She is very captivating. Ofcourse the mysterious and exciting sci-fi premise also keeps it interesting. I couldn't have watched this story it if it wasn't sci-fi.

 

With Mr. Sunshine too I noticed I wasn't that into the romance. Even though the female lead has chemistry with the male lead, I can't seem to get interested in her. She is so blah. There's a burgeoning unlikely bromance though that's really caught my eye and I'm looking forward to see how that goes.

 

As for outlander, I wonder if this might be one of the few stories that was portrayed better on TV rather than written. I may be biased because I watched the show first but I couldn't even make it through the first book! The characters were more 2-dimensional and all I got from jamie was that he was 6'3, handsome and red headed over and over. looll. Book claire seemed kindof immature too. idk this might not the most informed opinion because I never felt like reading it after that.

And the raunch ahahaha....yea very different from ROTP. But isn't your husband the one person you can watch this with? :P I get it though, its extremely intimate and uncomfortable. Even porn isn't that uncomfortable to see. I think thats the point though. We aren't supposed to fawn over it like a CW show.

 

I'm curious if you'd like shows like Bates Motel and Mr. Robot. Where the protagonists have deeply disturbed minds. Not just NingYi disturbed haha but much more.

 

Yikes am I gonna get banned from here for talking about so many other shows??

 

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7 hours ago, 40somethingahjumma said:

I don't know if it's deliberate on his part but the way Chen Kun portrays NY leads me to think that there's an eight year old boy still lurking around inside of adult NY. A very precocious, charming 8 year old who's so angry that the world isn't how it should be.

 

Ahahaha...well said!! Some parts of his personality does seem to be stunted as an 8yr old.

 

7 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

Anyway, I just re-watched the part of the show where Zhiwei tells Ning Yi that it's all his fault for being a prince and Ning Yi agreed. But I wonder... if Ning Yi wasn't a prince, would he be the same interesting character he is now? Would Zhiwei even fall in love with him had he been just a normal person without his enigmatic personality? And the same thing for Zhiwei. Had she not been a remnant, would her mother have sent her to school instead of her brother? Had she been just a proper girl would Ning Yi even look at her twice? Unfortunately, I believe these characters have to be in their respective roles to actually see and fall in love with each other.

 

I've also thought about this. Feng Zhiwei definitely would not have been sent to school. They were very poor and the education she got was also different from what other girls (even boys) might've received. For starters she read 'overview of dacheng' which even Qingming students hadn't studied. Though she might not have realized I think her education was far superior than many couldve dreamed.

And NingYi's polarizing experience of being an entitled prince yet struck by tragedy and trauma definitely made him the person we got to know. So it becomes a question of Nature vs Nurture. Would they still be as interesting to us and fallen for each other?

Heres my take, its a bit optimistic but I want to say yes...in a way.

Experiences make a profound impact on an individual no doubt but a person's core genetically ascertained personality gets to make the first move. I think NingYi wouldve been smart and ambitious either way and that would've led him down a path that got him in trouble, thereby experiencing hardship which could add 'darkness' to his personality similar to what we know. Someone made a point of him being so strong willed as an 8yr old possibly because he was pampered. But wasn't the crown prince also likely very pampered as a firstborn? Yet Ningyi was stronger willed than Ning Chuan and they both reacted differently to losing their fathers favor.

I think NY's core personality would lead him to live an interesting life and be an intriguing person no matter the circumstance.

 

With FZW its hard to be sure. But I think she would've stood out too. I mean imagine if Yu luo was in Zhi Wei's position. Would she have been interested in her studies and not wanted to marry (a.k.a go against the status quo). I doubt it. I believe even Feng Hao was sent to school yet he and zhiwei turned out so different. Yu Luo wouldve just whined and wanted to be like other girls. Education and opportunity only helps if you are smart to begin with.

It's her inherent curiosity and boldness that made her visit Chu Wang's residence ,personally request him to cancel the marriage, then lead her down the path to qingming and eventually to court as Wei Zhi.

Because she's smart, caring and willing to go against the fray for what she believes in (usually helping others) I want to think she would've turned out an interesting person regardless.

Would they have been interesting enough for us? Maybe not but I think they could've still fallen for each other.

 

2 hours ago, aisama said:

I ve just stumbled upon an eng sub of an interview with Chen Kun talking a bit about his character as Ning Yi and also Nini. He's so enjoyable.

 

Thank you for posting this! He is so damn precious!!! No one else could've played Ning Yi. Period.

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3 hours ago, skibbies said:

I'm still mad they didn't even have Zhiwei mention her in passing, they are meant to be best friends, she and Gu Nanyi are literally the only ones who tried to console her. I'm bitter in general that Zhiwei is always kind of second fiddle to Ning Yi because he's the main main character. All the plot that display his abilities gets kept, and hers get cut, which is total bs, this drama is unique in how in sync they are, have similar ambitions/dream but still clash over methods. *grumbles* Characters around her also gets less focus and are less layered.

Yeah, it would be nice if they expanded more on Zhiwei's side as well, but not at the expense of Ning Yi's of course. The Minhai arc should have more of her participation because I can tell there were a lot of cuts there. I wanted that scene where she meets Ning Yi in the battlefield and they smile at each other.

 

And if she really decided to stand with her people, they should have had her really go against Ning Yi in an all out war, then realize that for peace purposes she has to die. That could work if they wanted a tragedy too. This show really needed at least 90 episodes.

 

But Ning Yi still has to be the lead. But that is my own selfishness. Because to be honest, it is very hard for me to like female-centric dramas. Maybe it's because it usually caters to female fantasies of grandeur, just like Disney princess movies (except that its a totally different dream of course), and even at childhood, I was never one of those kids who dreamed of being "that girl" who the entire story revolves on. For some reason, I always had more appreciation to powerful side characters whose support was necessary for the leads but was not always in the limelight. So in the end, I enjoy seeing female characters in powerful support roles that the main character cannot live without. As I said before, I have very particular tastes.

 

3 hours ago, skibbies said:

I honestly have no idea how that happened. I headcanon'ed that even though he lost favor with his father, he still did amazing things that meant he got the title?

 

Re: Ning Yi in the book. He's darker and much more bitter, he's not as ambitious and he was exhausted at the end (so was Zhiwei,  they both kept trucking along because they can't let down people that supported them). Ning Ji sought them out because he's a good kid and think they are more experienced than him in ruling, he didn't want the job lol.  Nothing really stops you from using the book ending to follow up to drama ending tbh.

Yea, that's what I thought. Or maybe it is just plot devise with no basis. It happens. lol

 

As for the ending, I wish I could just twist my mind like that. I really do. But I am usually the kind of person who treats the movies and books separately. Although I can compare them, I never judge one on the basis of the other. I am the type who can enjoy movies of my favorite books without complaining about changes. Of course, there are some regrets when they choose not to showcase a certain character or add a particular scene I liked in the book. But otherwise, they are stories told by different people. I look at it as an alternate reality. So yeah, I really wanted the series to have a satisfying ending, not necessarily the same as the novel but better than what we got. And I think having that illusion of them being both in the mountain would have been so much better. They didn't really give us a moment to cry for them, I mean did anyone really cry at that end instead of saying "wtf happened?"

 

2 hours ago, aisama said:

I ve just stumbled upon an eng sub of an interview with Chen Kun talking a bit about his character as Ning Yi and also Nini. He's so enjoyable.

 

 


 Ning Yi is a drama queen. Haha. And now I finally understand the razor remarks several pages back.

Yes, and Chen Kun is so funny. Love the guy.

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23 minutes ago, niniandkun said:

 

Ahahaha...well said!! Some parts of his personality does seem to be stunted as an 8yr old.

 

 

I've also thought about this. Feng Zhiwei definitely would not have been sent to school. They were very poor and the education she got was also different from what other girls (even boys) might've received. For starters she read 'overview of dacheng' which even Qingming students hadn't studied. Though she might not have realized I think her education was far superior than many couldve dreamed.

And NingYi's polarizing experience of being an entitled prince yet struck by tragedy and trauma definitely made him the person we got to know. So it becomes a question of Nature vs Nurture. Would they still be as interesting to us and fallen for each other?

Heres my take, its a bit optimistic but I want to say yes...in a way.

Experiences make a profound impact on an individual no doubt but a person's core genetically ascertained personality gets to make the first move. I think NingYi wouldve been smart and ambitious either way and that would've led him down a path that got him in trouble, thereby experiencing hardship which could add 'darkness' to his personality similar to what we know. Someone made a point of him being so strong willed as an 8yr old possibly because he was pampered. But wasn't the crown prince also likely very pampered as a firstborn? Yet Ningyi was stronger willed than Ning Chuan and they both reacted differently to losing their fathers favor.

I think NY's core personality would lead him to live an interesting life and be an intriguing person no matter the circumstance.

 

With FZW its hard to be sure. But I think she would've stood out too. I mean imagine if Yu luo was in Zhi Wei's position. Would she have been interested in her studies and not wanted to marry (a.k.a go against the status quo). I doubt it. I believe even Feng Hao was sent to school yet he and zhiwei turned out so different. Yu Luo wouldve just whined and wanted to be like other girls. Education and opportunity only helps if you are smart to begin with.

It's her inherent curiosity and boldness that made her visit Chu Wang's residence ,personally request him to cancel the marriage, then lead her down the path to qingming and eventually to court as Wei Zhi.

Because she's smart, caring and willing to go against the fray for what she believes in (usually helping others) I want to think she would've turned out an interesting person regardless.

Would they have been interesting enough for us? Maybe not but I think they could've still fallen for each other.

You make an excellent point. I too am a firm believer of a person's inherent being. That circumstances can shape you into what you become only up to the lengths of your foundation or core being. But core being can also just simply be "choices". A person becomes totally different despite going through the exact same circumstance because of the choices they make. So in the end, I guess it could go either way. Depending on the choices they make, they may fall in love with each other or just completely pass each other without notice.

 

Btw, for Feng Hao, he didn't go to school, as far as I know, Zhiwei was supposed to pretend to be him and went to school for him, hence she had been disguising as a male from the start.

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19 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

Btw, for Feng Hao, he didn't go to school, as far as I know, Zhiwei was supposed to pretend to be him and went to school for him, hence she had been disguising as a male from the start.

 

Wasn't there a line in the beginning where mingying asks her to stop her lessons with zong and zhiwei says feng hao is too lazy to study so I'll take his place? as in take his place from now on not "I am already going in his place"?

I get she was dressing as a guy to go outside and attend zong's lessons (since it wasn't acceptable for a girl to do so)

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28 minutes ago, Pollen Ainne said:

You make an excellent point. I too am a firm believer of a person's inherent being. That circumstances can shape you into what you become only up to the lengths of your foundation or core being. But core being can also just simply be "choices". A person becomes totally different despite going through the exact same circumstance because of the choices they make. So in the end, I guess it could go either way. Depending on the choices they make, they may fall in love with each other or just completely pass each other without notice.

 

Ah but choices are also influenced by our personality or core traits. Some people are inherently more empathetic than others, have more ambition, may be more neurotic, more introverted or extroverted etc. So I'm betting that their choices will mostly be in line with their core personality traits. Ofcourse there's no guarantee, external influences can still sway them to make choices and experience life in a way that makes them very different to what we expect. So yea in absolute probability it can go either way but I think the chances for them to be similar to how they are now is strong.

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2 hours ago, niniandkun said:

I'm curious if you'd like shows like Bates Motel and Mr. Robot. Where the protagonists have deeply disturbed minds. Not just NingYi disturbed haha but much more.

 

Yikes am I gonna get banned from here for talking about so many other shows??

 

 

Mr. Robot is the one tv show I've watched where I wouldn't change a thing. Season 2 was a little slow, but it transitioned so beautifully into season 3, which was basically a season long climax. Their depiction of coding is also the most accurate I have ever seen. 

 

It's interesting that people here find Ning Qi kind of bland, but I thought his actor was fantastic in the role. When Zhiwei's mom and brother were facing death, that almost imperceptible flash of sympathy in his eyes was so well done. I did like him because when he was introduced, even I was a little confused as to what his intentions were. His introduction to us in court also harkens back to Ning Yi's first appearance. The character Ning Qi takes his facade very seriously; the faces he wore in front of the emperor were so much more effective because Ning Yi always maintains this mocking undercurrent beneath his obsequeence. Ning Qi utilized the fact that Ning Shizheng was unfamiliar with his character due to banishing him to the borders, along with the attacks launched against him by the Changs, to portray himself as this dutiful, much maligned son, so different from the schemers that abound in the palace. This show set up so many foils to Ning Yi's character, what with Ning Qi and Prince An. 

 

I also felt that Ning Qi was the one prince who suffered no delusions of his father's love. As someone already mentioned, the Crown Prince and Ning Yi, and to a lesser extent Ning Sheng, were all at one point showered with affection by virtue of their mother's status. Yet later on, when all the other concubines of the emperor had already fallen, it is his mother's sincere devotion to the emperor that allowed him to seem honest in association. 

 

I really enjoyed the dynamic between the siblings. Every scene with all of them in court lying to each other, you could tell the most predominant thought in their heads were "I hate my family." Also, I know princess Shaoning was evil, but girl was so dumb I found her endearing. Her manipulations were completely incompetent and she gave us that scene with FZW and NY in the little house. They are all soo extra, pretending to pass out, crying on cue. It added a bit of levity even though I knew their dad messed them all up.

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1 hour ago, niniandkun said:

Wasn't there a line in the beginning where mingying asks her to stop her lessons with zong and zhiwei says feng hao is too lazy to study so I'll take his place? as in take his place from now on not "I am already going in his place"?

I get she was dressing as a guy to go outside and attend zong's lessons (since it wasn't acceptable for a girl to do so)

Maybe I misunderstood it. I thought the convo was that she was asked to stop her lessons but she didn't want to do so and Feng Hao was too lazy to study anyway so she wanted to continue to take his place... but now I am not so sure.

 

1 hour ago, niniandkun said:

 

Ah but choices are also influenced by our personality or core traits. Some people are inherently more empathetic than others, have more ambition, may be more neurotic, more introverted or extroverted etc. So I'm betting that their choices will mostly be in line with their core personality traits. Ofcourse there's no guarantee, external influences can still sway them to make choices and experience life in a way that makes them very different to what we expect. So yea in absolute probability it can go either way but I think the chances for them to be similar to how they are now is strong.

True. However, it can also be just spur of the moment decision that change your entire life. There are a lot of times when your choice could have gone either way despite the urges. Take for example Ning Yi. He decided to drop everything to be with his mother. Had he decided otherwise, had he decided to scheme his way into getting his mother back instead, he might have become a different person than what he became afterwards and yet still stay true to his core.

 

This is simply my own view. But despite the fact that Zhiwei was afraid of Ning Yi's aspirations she also admired and loved him for it. Had she met the broken prince who have given up his dreams without meeting the scheming one, I doubt she would actually have noticed him. She continued to love Ning Yi simply because she already saw the person from before and knows he is still there somewhere. 

 

Zhiwei also made choices that changed her. But had she chosen some other path, she would have still remained faithful to her inherent being, and yet there would be changes to her personality and views. In the end the inherent being is just a foundation and is no basis for love. It is their choices that has mold them to what they become, and regardless of their core, they could have gone multiple ways and not be each other's "chosen one".

 

I can even go so far as to say, that the choices ones make defines their core and adds layers to it. Ones core is not the same from birth to adulthood. It evolves.

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1 hour ago, tendrilsofwind said:

It's interesting that people here find Ning Qi kind of bland, but I thought his actor was fantastic in the role. When Zhiwei's mom and brother were facing death, that almost imperceptible flash of sympathy in his eyes was so well done. I did like him because when he was introduced, even I was a little confused as to what his intentions were. His introduction to us in court also harkens back to Ning Yi's first appearance. The character Ning Qi takes his facade very seriously; the faces he wore in front of the emperor were so much more effective because Ning Yi always maintains this mocking undercurrent beneath his obsequeence. Ning Qi utilized the fact that Ning Shizheng was unfamiliar with his character due to banishing him to the borders, along with the attacks launched against him by the Changs, to portray himself as this dutiful, much maligned son, so different from the schemers that abound in the palace. This show set up so many foils to Ning Yi's character, what with Ning Qi and Prince An. 

It is so weird that I find everything you said perfect and yet proves more to me how bland Ning Qi was. I actually stated it before how I found the "character" itself interesting. And had I read a summary of the character, my interest would be piqued. The idea of this "nobody" character able to wiggle his way and become Ning Yi's darkest nemesis is a very interesting premise. But his presence on screen just totally kills it for me. Maybe it is his lines. Or how he had no charm at all. I don't really know for sure. But the prince of Yue was more interesting to me despite the fact that I didn't like his character at all. I abhor him, but that is a win for the actor because that is something he should instigate to the audience. There is just something missing with the Prince of Wei, why I can't feel anything for him at all except "oh you again?". 

 

For some reason, instead of being angry at him for what he has done to create disruption, I instead feel insulted for Ning Yi, that he was going against this person... as someone stated a similar analogy, it is like having the last boss turn out to be a slime mob, it simply just deals 9999 damage. How odd.

 

You know what. I also just realized that even Ning Yi was not able to muster enough emotion to really hate Ning Qi. When his mother died, he mainly blamed the Bloody Pagoda for it. And then at the end, when Ning Qi was sent to prison after all the pain he caused Ning Yi, he didn't really feel like avenging himself. He basically didn't really care for the guy.

 

Maybe that is the entire reason. Maybe I was so in-tuned to Ning Yi's feelings that the fact that he never really had any deep feelings for Ning Qi, hatred or otherwise made me not care too. Now that I think about it, Ning Sheng was also not as interesting as Ning Chuan to me. His mother, Consort Chang was actually a more interesting character to me. But the fact that Ning Yi was actively scheming against him made me look up to Ning Sheng. He was an adversary. Ning Yi basically let the prince of Wei do anything... which is prolly why I couldn't care less about him.

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3 hours ago, tendrilsofwind said:

Mr. Robot is the one tv show I've watched where I wouldn't change a thing. Season 2 was a little slow, but it transitioned so beautifully into season 3, which was basically a season long climax. Their depiction of coding is also the most accurate I have ever seen. 

 

Definitely. A well made show throughout and on such a level that even if I wanted to I couldn't make any changes that made sense. 

3 hours ago, tendrilsofwind said:

It's interesting that people here find Ning Qi kind of bland, but I thought his actor was fantastic in the role. When Zhiwei's mom and brother were facing death, that almost imperceptible flash of sympathy in his eyes was so well done. I did like him because when he was introduced, even I was a little confused as to what his intentions were. His introduction to us in court also harkens back to Ning Yi's first appearance.

 

I didn't mind him in the beginning. It was later when he started scheming against Ning Yi and getting more priority in the story. I get that they wrote him like a slow ticking bomb that starts out benign then slowly grows to become the enemy know one saw coming. But I don't think he pulled it off. Again idk if it's the actor or the way those scenes were written but I could never see him as a believable evil mastermind. I mostly felt annoyed like I want to shoo him off screen. He was better when he was just a minor character worried about protecting his mom. 

And I really like shaoning she was so cute. She's too immature and simple minded to be considered evil. I felt bad for her death because in the end she never did any real damage for us to hate her and died before getting closure. 

Actually come to think of it I wouldn't have minded if shaoning was the one who grew up, finally got a brain and went against NingYi. It doesn't work for the story but atleast I can watch long scenes with her character. 

3 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

For some reason, instead of being angry at him for what he has done to create disruption, I instead feel insulted for Ning Yi, that he was going against this person... as someone stated a similar analogy, it is like having the last boss turn out to be a slime mob, it simply just deals 9999 damage. How odd.

 

You know what. I also just realized that even Ning Yi was not able to muster enough emotion to really hate Ning Qi. When his mother died, he mainly blamed the Bloody Pagoda for it. And then at the end, when Ning Qi was sent to prison after all the pain he caused Ning Yi, he didn't really feel like avenging himself. He basically didn't really care for the guy.

 

Yea pretty much. In the end even though Ning Qi was supposed to be the big bad villain who wouldn't stop at anything I think of their fate and circumstances as the biggest enemy. 

When they showed Ning Qi in hiding after Ning Yi became emperor my first thought was dude you're still here? Lol idk every scene with him seems too long. Except the emperor reveal scene but that's only because it was such a climax. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, tendrilsofwind said:

I really enjoyed the dynamic between the siblings. Every scene with all of them in court lying to each other, you could tell the most predominant thought in their heads were "I hate my family." Also, I know princess Shaoning was evil, but girl was so dumb I found her endearing. Her manipulations were completely incompetent and she gave us that scene with FZW and NY in the little house. They are all soo extra, pretending to pass out, crying on cue. It added a bit of levity even though I knew their dad messed them all up.

Me too. One thing RotP done right is the dynamics between siblings and father and sons. It was enjoyable to watchas they go plotting behind each other's back, yet when face to face have to pretend they like each other. And even if they all know the other is acting innocent, they can't rebut it. 

 

Oh Shaoning. Even though I can't come to like her character because she gullible and doesn't seem to have a mind of her own. Like her character is programmed with only the one purpose: killing Ning You. Really almost no dimensions. But, still

I even felt a little bad when Ning qi kill her.

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1 hour ago, niniandkun said:

Definitely. A well made show throughout and on such a level that even if I wanted to I couldn't make any changes that made sense. 

 

I didn't mind him in the beginning. It was later when he started scheming against Ning Yi and getting more priority in the story. I get that they wrote him like a slow ticking bomb that starts out benign then slowly grows to become the enemy know one saw coming. But I don't think he pulled it off. Again idk if it's the actor or the way those scenes were written but I could never see him as a believable evil mastermind. I mostly felt annoyed like I want to shoo him off screen. He was better when he was just a minor character worried about protecting his mom. 

And I really like shaoning she was so cute. She's too immature and simple minded to be considered evil. I felt bad for her death because in the end she never did any real damage for us to hate her and died before getting closure. 

Actually come to think of it I wouldn't have minded if shaoning was the one who grew up, finally got a brain and went against NingYi. It doesn't work for the story but atleast I can watch long scenes with her character. 

 

Yea pretty much. In the end even though Ning Qi was supposed to be the big bad villain who wouldn't stop at anything I think of their fate and circumstances as the biggest enemy. 

When they showed Ning Qi in hiding after Ning Yi became emperor my first thought was dude you're still here? Lol idk every scene with him seems too long. Except the emperor reveal scene but that's only because it was such a climax. 

I feel exactly the way you do. He was way better off just as a side character. I could not really get convinced he was the big bad, nor did anyone in the show apparently. Despite all the stuff he managed to reveal, no one gave him any credit. He was just pawn material.

 

1 hour ago, aisama said:

Oh Shaoning. Even though I can't come to like her character because she gullible and doesn't seem to have a mind of her own. Like her character is programmed with only the one purpose: killing Ning You. Really almost no dimensions. But, still

 

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I even felt a little bad when Ning qi kill her.

 

I actually liked Shaoning. Not like "like" as in admire her but I enjoyed her scenes. She was quite annoying at times, but that was her role and I appreciated it. She wasn't boring to me. She hated Ning Yi with a passion but the way she was so open about it all the time made her a force on screen. She had presence. I really enjoyed all her efforts to thwart Ning Yi... in his face. She was the only genuine one in the show actually.

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9 hours ago, niniandkun said:

As for outlander, I wonder if this might be one of the few stories that was portrayed better on TV rather than written. I may be biased because I watched the show first but I couldn't even make it through the first book! The characters were more 2-dimensional and all I got from jamie was that he was 6'3, handsome and red headed over and over. looll. Book claire seemed kindof immature too. idk this might not the most informed opinion because I never felt like reading it after that.

 

I'm curious if you'd like shows like Bates Motel and Mr. Robot. Where the protagonists have deeply disturbed minds. Not just NingYi disturbed haha but much more.

 

Yikes am I gonna get banned from here for talking about so many other shows??

 

Lol. The books are in no way literary masterpieces.

 

Haven't heard of Bates Motel. Hubby watches Mr Robot. Will have to ask him whether he thinks I'll like it. :) Just finished watching second seasons of Harlots and Handmaid's Tale. Strong female protagonists and heavy stuff (i.e. women's rights, sexual assault, dystopian). Not something that will brighten up your day.

 

I've been going through movies by Chen Kun an Ni Ni: Beautiful Accident, Mojin, Suddenly Seventeen. Seeing the actors in other roles is helping me get over my RotP addiction. :) 

 

8 hours ago, niniandkun said:

 Yu Luo wouldve just whined and wanted to be like other girls. Education and opportunity only helps if you are smart to begin with.

Oh my, this made me laugh so hard.

 

Imagining Yu Luo in the scenarios that Feng Zhi Wei/Wei Zhi has been in is going to entertain me for hours. For instance, when everyone is at court and Ning Yi's temporary birthmarks are revealed? Yu Luo would have fainted straightaway!

5 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

You know what. I also just realized that even Ning Yi was not able to muster enough emotion to really hate Ning Qi. When his mother died, he mainly blamed the Bloody Pagoda for it. And then at the end, when Ning Qi was sent to prison after all the pain he caused Ning Yi, he didn't really feel like avenging himself. He basically didn't really care for the guy.

 

Maybe that is the entire reason. Maybe I was so in-tuned to Ning Yi's feelings that the fact that he never really had any deep feelings for Ning Qi, hatred or otherwise made me not care too. Now that I think about it, Ning Sheng was also not as interesting as Ning Chuan to me. His mother, Consort Chang was actually a more interesting character to me. But the fact that Ning Yi was actively scheming against him made me look up to Ning Sheng. He was an adversary. Ning Yi basically let the prince of Wei do anything... which is prolly why I couldn't care less about him.

You're right there. Ning Qi did some of the most damage to Ning Yi, mostly affecting the women in his life, and yet Ning Yi was just 'meh'. And that rubs off on us viewers. 

 

By the time Ning Qi becomes a power in court, Ning Yi had matured somewhat. His change of heart was a result of that protracted near-death experience in Minhai. While Ning Yi was always at risk of being killed off in battle or by assassination, the weeks/months of not knowing whether he was going to survive his illness gave him a lot of time to reassess his priorities. Grudges didn't matter so much any more. I think they still did to him, but it was like he was going through the motions. 

 

I love his admission to Prince of An after he was found 'drunk'. It sums up his frame of mind perfectly: 'Insults received cannot be washed away. They are always there. Father's eyes cannot be opened wide. He never sees me...Will you be the second Ning Yi? You'll end up sad. You'll end up disappointed.'

 

If Ning Yi had never fallen ill in Minhai, he would have never let his emotions for the women in his life rule his heart. He would have pushed them down deep like Prince of An and continued on his bloodthirsty quest for power and revenge. He would have schemed from inside the prison to get back at Ning Qi. He probably would have even tried to avenge Shaoning's death; they didn't get along in life, but Ning Yi would have definitely found her murder an insult to his sense of justice. 

 

Gosh, only in RotP would your older brother be like 'Oh little Shaoning just tried to kill me again. I guess I'm still in her bad books. Too bad she's dead now.'

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1 hour ago, morganian said:

Haven't heard of Bates Motel. Hubby watches Mr Robot. Will have to ask him whether he thinks I'll like it. :) Just finished watching second seasons of Harlots and Handmaid's Tale. Strong female protagonists and heavy stuff (i.e. women's rights, sexual assault, dystopian). Not something that will brighten up your day.

 

You're right there. Ning Qi did some of the most damage to Ning Yi, mostly affecting the women in his life, and yet Ning Yi was just 'meh'. And that rubs off on us viewers. 

 

Gosh, only in RotP would your older brother be like 'Oh little Shaoning just tried to kill me again. I guess I'm still in her bad books. Too bad she's dead now.'

 

I enjoyed Harlots and Handmaid's Tale as well. You should definitely check out Mr. Robot! And The Americans if anyone is looking for a female protagonist who is both somewhat likable and ruthless. 

 

2 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

I feel exactly the way you do. He was way better off just as a side character. I could not really get convinced he was the big bad, nor did anyone in the show apparently. Despite all the stuff he managed to reveal, no one gave him any credit. He was just pawn material.

 

I actually liked Shaoning. Not like "like" as in admire her but I enjoyed her scenes. She was quite annoying at times, but that was her role and I appreciated it. She wasn't boring to me. She hated Ning Yi with a passion but the way she was so open about it all the time made her a force on screen. She had presence. I really enjoyed all her efforts to thwart Ning Yi... in his face. She was the only genuine one in the show actually.

You guys are right I never saw him to be the big bad. I think the show set up Prince An and Zhiwei's brother to be the only ones to challenge Ning Yi. The rest of them were all within his control. 

 

In the poster the production crew released for Shaoning, it said that Ning Yi is actually her favorite brother because she knows all the people she expresses affection for dies :lol:

Someone mentioned this earlier, but I love how she tells Ning Sheng and his mom to their faces that the children of concubines are worthless. And when all the people supposed to marry her either suddenly acquired ten concubines or developed ED. 

 

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5 hours ago, morganian said:

If Ning Yi had never fallen ill in Minhai, he would have never let his emotions for the women in his life rule his heart. He would have pushed them down deep like Prince of An and continued on his bloodthirsty quest for power and revenge. He would have schemed from inside the prison to get back at Ning Qi. He probably would have even tried to avenge Shaoning's death; they didn't get along in life, but Ning Yi would have definitely found her murder an insult to his sense of justice. 

Hmmm... I try to run everything in my mind and I can't believe that the illness actually changed him that much. It did help him make some decisions rather quickly, but I believe he wold have done everything the same without falling ill.

 

I know he used that reason when he confessed but knowing Ning Yi, it could all just be introduction. I mean, when they were in the cave and when he was looking at the view with Zhiwei, he was basically just the same person who was reluctant to place his hand over hers at the end of episode 47 despite the fact they he already confessed. He already admitted to himself that he was in love with Zhiwei before he got ill. Maybe after he almost lost her. I think that triggered more of a change in him rather than him being ill, it was just he wasn't ready to face the music yet afterwards because he had responsibilities in Minhai. He also did tell Xin Ziyan, although rather mockingly, that he was going to marry Zhiwei when he gets back from Minhai, as Xin Ziyan was telling him to marry her before he goes because he might never come back. lol

 

It might have made him confess fast. I think he had all the intentions to confess after Minhai because that would have been the end of his vengeance, but he confessed before everything was over because he realized it was better to do so or something might happen and he couldn't anymore. And good thing too... or maybe bad, knowing what happens afterwards...

 

But Ning Yi would have probably stepped down for his mother regardless. And this is the most painful thing, is because he has been deprived of her for so long he was so afraid that if he took time to plot anything he would loose her before he could see her. I really do understand why he had to do that. But the effect it had on him was devastating. If we are talking about change, that would be the largest change Ning Yi ever underwent. He became a totally different person. He lost his arrogance and ambition and his dreams. It hurts to think about it. That was the greatest tragedy of this show.

 

3 hours ago, tendrilsofwind said:

In the poster the production crew released for Shaoning, it said that Ning Yi is actually her favorite brother because she knows all the people she expresses affection for dies :lol:

lol that is a funny thought. Although I don't think Ning Sheng really cared about her much. He was just using her. But Consort Chang did care about her. I guess that is why Ning Sheng lived longer. lol. And Zhiwei did have some sympathy for her... oh no, so Shaoning was the culprit of the ending we got... bad Shaoning.

 

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8 hours ago, morganian said:

Haven't heard of Bates Motel. Hubby watches Mr Robot. Will have to ask him whether he thinks I'll like it. :) Just finished watching second seasons of Harlots and Handmaid's Tale. Strong female protagonists and heavy stuff (i.e. women's rights, sexual assault, dystopian). Not something that will brighten up your day.

 

I've been going through movies by Chen Kun an Ni Ni: Beautiful Accident, Mojin, Suddenly Seventeen. Seeing the actors in other roles is helping me get over my RotP addiction. :) 

Handmaid's tale yaas!! I can't wait to see where it goes next season. Good stuff. I think you should give bates and Mr robot a shot. An episode or two to get a feel for it but as someone who's come out the other end its worth it!! 

Harlots is a period show yeah? I think I'd be into that. @tendrilsofwind I'll keep the Americans on my radar too. 

I thought about looking into chen kun and ni ni's other works but didn't know where to start.

I think my next c-drama will be the infamous NIF I hear so much about. But where can I watch it with subs?

 

8 hours ago, morganian said:

Gosh, only in RotP would your older brother be like 'Oh little Shaoning just tried to kill me again. I guess I'm still in her bad books. Too bad she's dead now.'

Keeping up with the Nings :P

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