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

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13 hours ago, sonosong said:

 I'm just sad it's not fully subbed in English. I got by after Ep 6 with my limited Mandarin and a lot of guessing.  

 

Now I'm onto Lost in 1949 (2018). It's more of a spy comedy than espionage/thriller, but sold itself as a serious drama, which threw me off a bit. If you're looking for great acting, this wouldn't be the right drama. I think it's just supposed to be fun to watch. Chen Kun's Qiao Zhi Cai and Wan Qian's Huang Liwen are cute together.

I don't have any Mandarin knowledge at all T_T

 

And I saw Lost in 1949 but could not finish the last few eps because I was starting to throw my shoes at the monitor. The girl just frustrated me so much. I hate one-sided love stories.

 

11 hours ago, tendrilsofwind said:

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. 

Actually, I think Ning Yi gave Zhiwei credit more than any Tiansheng man ever could... it's just that, in the end Tiansheng wasn't Jinshi. Zhiwei came up with the plan about deceiving Zhongyi which Ning Yi obediently followed. Also followed her advice to light the flare. Sent her to the Yan family to conduct investigation. Believed that she already had a plan to handle Zhongxin and agreed to her plans. Told the head of the guards in Minhai (???) to consult with Zhiwei instead of him. Left her in charge of finding a cure. He allowed Zhiwei to do her job.

 

In fact, before her gender came out to the public, Ning Yi was willing to let her go alone to Minhai. Not once did Ning Yi treat her like a woman tbh, unless he was flirting with her. However, his protectiveness always came first, since of course, he was in love with her and I don't think Ning Yi has ever been in love before. But then I think had Zhiwei been in the same situation she might have done the same thing too. Anyway, for a person who lived in a very patriarchal society, it amazes me how Ning Yi allows Zhiwei to run around at all.

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21 hours ago, sonosong said:
On 11/28/2018 at 5:31 PM, skibbies said:

They had better kisses in behind the scenes! I don't really count the one in drama as a kiss tbh, it felt more like "oh you are out of air, let me give you some air" which is as unromantic as it gets.

LOL – you guys! I thought the underwater kiss was beautiful and poetic. I guess I’m alone. Only in private can they be just two people in love. For me, the kiss wasn’t supposed to be sizzling with chemistry but a reaffirmation of their love. The way they caressed each other’s faces was full of tenderness and affection.

I don't think you're alone. Think most had a lukewarm reaction while mine is on the colder end of the spectrum. The way I saw it, they don't normally kiss. That's the first and only one we've seen and it was wasted on that moment, that situation. Any other physical interaction could've been taken as a tender moment between those two maybe their clothes get tangled together underwater and they help each other while pausing for a stare, or some other embrace or face grabbing, hand holding or even smiling warmly. (this OTP can inject meaning into any scene if they wanted to). That doesn't sound like much but considering how much they'd drifted apart after Zhi Wei's mom died this would have been plenty to chew on.

A kiss for me is more direct, more charged...more sensual. Atleast it ought to be, between this couple especially. They aren't casual huggers or peckers.

 

The BTS was really beautiful. Even the vibe was different. This scene needed more quiet and calm before showing. The atmosphere of the flood doesn't work at all, its too urgent and adrenaline packed. And this wasn't a fierce you know what lets just go for it since we're about to die anyway kiss.  Not to mention as viewers we're still scratching our heads in shock of the flood like wtf where did that come from? Was it planned by NY?  Did Hua Qiong just die for good?? Who else in gonna die now?? Oh look NingYi is trying to save ZhiWei from drowning...and then...oh hey you know what lets just chill out here underwater and make out for a bit while everyone else is drowning and fighting for survival. It just didn't work for me, especially when I first watched it.

 

On 11/28/2018 at 5:31 PM, skibbies said:

It made more sense than in the drama though because it had far more time (they were there for better half of a year if not close to a year). It + Jinshi made up a "book" (out of four in total. The drama's initial 50 episodes draw from the first two "book", and the last one is another country + her reviving her kingdom).

One whole book for Jinshi? damn. And they were trapped in Dayue for nearly a year? No wonder the years racked up in the Novel. Also makes their stay more dire and claustrophobic.

Speaking of the difference in years, drama zhi wei calls it quits when shes just 20..21? more harsh.

 

12 hours ago, tendrilsofwind said:

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. 

Woah really?? That does make me feel better. Is it just a Wuxia thing tho? I just finished watching a show called Bloody Romance. I didn't take it too seriously just started seeing casually because of its opening theme (so pretty) and somehow stuck till the end. Anyway I found it hilarious when everyone was flying around like superman on this show but only during the fight scenes or when they have to get away from danger. Does the anti gravity not work in other situations? LOOL..

 

I think someone described tRop as wuxia too but I didn't find the sequences that absurd. It didn't stand out to me even though its the first time I'm seeing this sort of flying martial arts.

 

On 11/28/2018 at 5:31 PM, skibbies said:

Fun trivia I should mention before I forget, AGAIN. C!net mentioned the way Ning Yi paid respects during Mama Qiu's burial is for parents. He's a prince and he treated her mum like a parent. 

Oh that is so sweet. I didn't know it as fact but this is apparent from those scenes. He really acted like a son-in-law there.

 

12 hours ago, tendrilsofwind said:

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. 

Out of topic, but its always a joy seeing your perspective on here. If you ever start a review blog/vlog anything I'd follow for sure.

Along with this I think he felt really insecure and guilty at that point too. Don't think he got over what Zhi Wei told him when she was drugged.   

Also can we not forget the oath !!

 

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8 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

Actually, I think Ning Yi gave Zhiwei credit more than any Tiansheng man ever could... it's just that, in the end Tiansheng wasn't Jinshi. Zhiwei came up with the plan about deceiving Zhongyi which Ning Yi obediently followed. Also followed her advice to light the flare. Sent her to the Yan family to conduct investigation. Believed that she already had a plan to handle Zhongxin and agreed to her plans. Told the head of the guards in Minhai (???) to consult with Zhiwei instead of him. Left her in charge of finding a cure. He allowed Zhiwei to do her job.

 

In fact, before her gender came out to the public, Ning Yi was willing to let her go alone to Minhai. Not once did Ning Yi treat her like a woman tbh, unless he was flirting with her. However, his protectiveness always came first, since of course, he was in love with her and I don't think Ning Yi has ever been in love before. But then I think had Zhiwei been in the same situation she might have done the same thing too. Anyway, for a person who lived in a very patriarchal society, it amazes me how Ning Yi allows Zhiwei to run around at all.

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). 

 

7 hours ago, niniandkun said:

Woah really?? That does make me feel better. Is it just a Wuxia thing tho? I just finished watching a show called Bloody Romance. I didn't take it too seriously just started seeing casually because of its opening theme (so pretty) and somehow stuck till the end. Anyway I found it hilarious when everyone was flying around like superman on this show but only during the fight scenes or when they have to get away from danger. Does the anti gravity not work in other situations? LOOL..

 

I think someone described tRop as wuxia too but I didn't find the sequences that absurd. It didn't stand out to me even though its the first time I'm seeing this sort of flying martial arts.

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

 

7 hours ago, niniandkun said:

Out of topic, but its always a joy seeing your perspective on here. If you ever start a review blog/vlog anything I'd follow for sure.

Along with this I think he felt really insecure and guilty at that point too. Don't think he got over what Zhi Wei told him when she was drugged.   

Also can we not forget the oath !!

 

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.

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8 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

I don't have any Mandarin knowledge at all T_T

 

And I saw Lost in 1949 but could not finish the last few eps because I was starting to throw my shoes at the monitor. The girl just frustrated me so much. I hate one-sided love stories.

 

Actually, I think Ning Yi gave Zhiwei credit more than any Tiansheng man ever could... it's just that, in the end Tiansheng wasn't Jinshi. Zhiwei came up with the plan about deceiving Zhongyi which Ning Yi obediently followed. Also followed her advice to light the flare. Sent her to the Yan family to conduct investigation. Believed that she already had a plan to handle Zhongxin and agreed to her plans. Told the head of the guards in Minhai (???) to consult with Zhiwei instead of him. Left her in charge of finding a cure. He allowed Zhiwei to do her job.

 

In fact, before her gender came out to the public, Ning Yi was willing to let her go alone to Minhai. Not once did Ning Yi treat her like a woman tbh, unless he was flirting with her. However, his protectiveness always came first, since of course, he was in love with her and I don't think Ning Yi has ever been in love before. But then I think had Zhiwei been in the same situation she might have done the same thing too. Anyway, for a person who lived in a very patriarchal society, it amazes me how Ning Yi allows Zhiwei to run around at all.

I have zero experience  with Chinese  or any Asian language, but I  have become so accustomed  over my time watching that I've  began to recognize a good handful of words and phrases. So now I'm  ticked off that I'm  missing so much because of imperfect subs, grrr the direct recording is going to be one of my must haves going forward.

 

I agree that Feng Zhiwei had many opportunities to give input and have her opinions taken seriously,  I loved the balance on the ship, intimate then all business, a partnership. I can't  understand the "you never listened, you never asked ... " jmo bs and it smacked of the predictable  female complaint aimed at men pushed into the script.

 

Mama Qui funeral was heartbreaking on so many levels. Mama is on my villain  list because of the oath,but beyond that her lies. Even her last request to Zone was a lie. She asked him to promise to let FW decide for herself while in reality Mama had already locked in FWs fate with her own inability to disengage from the past. Her self sacrifice a study in selfishness, considering she was willing to take FW with her and did take FH rather than disavow the former empire and Bloody Pagoda. Zone is on my bad list too. His exploitation of GuNanyi is something I  can't  forgive. 

 

The underwater kiss was lovely. I would have loved it more if he dragged her to the surface and really planted one, lol. 

 

This pairing of leads would be perfect in a Chinese retelling of Jane Eyre. Chen Kun a wonderful flawed Rochester to Nini as the feisty Jane. A girl can dream.

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9 hours ago, niniandkun said:

The way I saw it, they don't normally kiss. That's the first and only one we've seen and it was wasted on that moment, that situation. Any other physical interaction could've been taken as a tender moment between those two maybe their clothes get tangled together underwater and they help each other while pausing for a stare, or some other embrace or face grabbing, hand holding or even smiling warmly. (this OTP can inject meaning into any scene if they wanted to). That doesn't sound like much but considering how much they'd drifted apart after Zhi Wei's mom died this would have been plenty to chew on.

A kiss for me is more direct, more charged...more sensual. Atleast it ought to be, between this couple especially. They aren't casual huggers or peckers.

Desperate times calls for desperate measures? Haha. No, I get what you're saying. They did drift apart after she renewed her oath, and I agree this kiss isn't meant to be a sweet moment like the Face Nuzzling in the Dark Room or The Wrist Bite or the Minhai Cave. Personally, that underwater scene and the kiss felt bittersweet, especially the way Zhiwei was desperately pressing her lips against Ning Yi's. Even the moment of silence except for the gurgling of the water and then the music playing sounded hauntingly melancholic. It just seemed like they had this one moment and this moment only, but once they reach the surface, they'd go back to pretending to be strangers again. Well, in any case, it was more sad than anything else. But my takeaway from it is that she may have sworn an oath not to marry him in this lifetime, but that sure as hell doesn't stop her from loving him and vice versa. That's why it was a beautifully melancholic, non-sensual kiss for me. Although I'd rather have the writers never let them drift apart emotionally and give us the ending this couple DESERVED.

 

10 hours ago, Pollen Ainne said:

In fact, before her gender came out to the public, Ning Yi was willing to let her go alone to Minhai. Not once did Ning Yi treat her like a woman tbh, unless he was flirting with her. However, his protectiveness always came first, since of course, he was in love with her and I don't think Ning Yi has ever been in love before. But then I think had Zhiwei been in the same situation she might have done the same thing too. Anyway, for a person who lived in a very patriarchal society, it amazes me how Ning Yi allows Zhiwei to run around at all.

I totally agree that he did this out of love. Even I - female human that I am - want to protect the people I love. But he really needed to share things with her in order for their relationship to be truly equal. Without confiding in her, he wasn't putting enough trust in her to help him with his problems. I don't see him as patriarchal, but rather stubborn. I do see that he values her opinion, that he knows he can't control her, that he realizes she can take care of herself, BUT at least tell her what you're planning to do and why. Girl may be smart, but she's not perfect. He can't always expect her to read in-between the lines all the time. 

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10 hours ago, niniandkun said:

The BTS was really beautiful. Even the vibe was different. This scene needed more quiet and calm before showing. The atmosphere of the flood doesn't work at all, its too urgent and adrenaline packed. And this wasn't a fierce you know what lets just go for it since we're about to die anyway kiss.  Not to mention as viewers we're still scratching our heads in shock of the flood like wtf where did that come from? Was it planned by NY?  Did Hua Qiong just die for good?? Who else in gonna die now?? Oh look NingYi is trying to save ZhiWei from drowning...and then...oh hey you know what lets just chill out here underwater and make out for a bit while everyone else is drowning and fighting for survival. It just didn't work for me, especially when I first watched it.

Agreed. The context just made you feel a bit confused... I still believe the kiss was great... the timing bad.

 

10 hours ago, niniandkun said:

Anyway I found it hilarious when everyone was flying around like superman on this show but only during the fight scenes or when they have to get away from danger. Does the anti gravity not work in other situations? LOOL..

It doesn't because you have to be in battle mode when you do it  And there is also an RNG of battle mode just suddenly turning off... It's like that. :D

 

2 hours ago, tendrilsofwind said:

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).

I would be miffed too if I were her. But I think in the end Zhiwei understood. 

 

2 hours ago, whisper1 said:

I can't  understand the "you never listened, you never asked ... " jmo bs and it smacked of the predictable  female complaint aimed at men pushed into the script.

Ugh! You and me both. Zhiwei and Ning Yi were such well written characters and yet sometimes they just suddenly say lines that make you ask "REALLY?" Sometimes I feel like any emotional barrier they placed between this couple is completely forced. Except for the vow which was really the only real barrier, I think this couple would have managed to get through anything. Their interactions had proven that... They did such a good job at creating their relationship... but the writers had to make conflict... and now they weren't sure how to do it. It's like you building an impregnable castle then suddenly being given the task to siege it.  So the conflicts came off as really forced... Like Ning Yi being doubtful of Zhiwei because "She is Queen of Jinshi now." Like huh?

 

52 minutes ago, sonosong said:

I totally agree that he did this out of love. Even I - female human that I am - want to protect the people I love. But he really needed to share things with her in order for their relationship to be truly equal. Without confiding in her, he wasn't putting enough trust in her to help him with his problems. I don't see him as patriarchal, but rather stubborn. I do see that he values her opinion, that he knows he can't control her, that he realizes she can take care of herself, BUT at least tell her what you're planning to do and why. Girl may be smart, but she's not perfect. He can't always expect her to read in-between the lines all the time. 

You have a point. It is a flaw of his. But although she didn't like it, it is great Zhiwei was smart enough to adapt. She might scold him about it but she didn't whine and complain like a lot of girls would do. And I think had they been given a chance, Ning Yi would have gradually opened up more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/29/2018 at 10:06 PM, niniandkun said:

One whole book for Jinshi? damn. And they were trapped in Dayue for nearly a year? No wonder the years racked up in the Novel. Also makes their stay more dire and claustrophobic.

Speaking of the difference in years, drama zhi wei calls it quits when shes just 20..21? more harsh.

 

I think someone described tRop as wuxia too but I didn't find the sequences that absurd. It didn't stand out to me even though its the first time I'm seeing this sort of flying martial arts.

They were trapped in Dayue for at least several months. Jinshi had more power struggle and Zhiwei had to help Helian Zheng claim the throne and stablise his position. That said, she was still like 18 at the time, the book started when she was 15, 16 as Imperial advisor + Minhai, 17 to 18 when she became a deputy general as Wei Zhi. (she married as Feng Zhiwei and went back to Tiansheng as Wei Zhi lol, oh yeah the emperor didn't know about her identity because she literally has a different face via face mask as Wei Zhi). It started when she was 15 because that's when girls used to came of age, it's when they get married and such.

 

Wait I just checked, the books are varying length and it's book 2. She was there for about 4 or 5 months? The two years after Dayue was Xi Liang (book 3), omg that arc was that long?? I can't remember most of it rip. book 4 cover another two years then it flies through 2 more years in few chapters, Ning Yi ascends the throne and 5 years gets time skipped in ending chapters.

 

The drama have wuxia elements, but it's mostly when Gu Nanyi is concerned, I wouldn't tag it as such because it's so minimal. It's meant to be gliding + jumping really high, and you have to practice for it. The martial arts bit are kind of ??? here because they keep having to come up with stupid reasons for Gu Nanyi to not get involved.

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On 11/30/2018 at 5:55 AM, Pollen Ainne said:
On 11/30/2018 at 5:04 AM, sonosong said:

I totally agree that he did this out of love. Even I - female human that I am - want to protect the people I love. But he really needed to share things with her in order for their relationship to be truly equal. Without confiding in her, he wasn't putting enough trust in her to help him with his problems. I don't see him as patriarchal, but rather stubborn. I do see that he values her opinion, that he knows he can't control her, that he realizes she can take care of herself, BUT at least tell her what you're planning to do and why. Girl may be smart, but she's not perfect. He can't always expect her to read in-between the lines all the time. 

You have a point. It is a flaw of his. But although she didn't like it, it is great Zhiwei was smart enough to adapt. She might scold him about it but she didn't whine and complain like a lot of girls would do. And I think had they been given a chance, Ning Yi would have gradually opened up more.

 

On 11/30/2018 at 3:38 AM, tendrilsofwind said:

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).  

 

IMO, NY wasn't patriarchal but he respected class differences. And being a woman altered your class. I think that's different from pure sexism. He believed in the fair treatment of people and humanity within that framework but didn't think there was anything wrong with humans having different ranks and some people having to bow down to others just because of their birth. Even then he was willing to look beyond status often for the sake of the person.

 

What warmed me to NY was how his treatment of her changed throughout, in the beginning he treated her like a damsel in distress not involving her in anything (remember when he locked her in his room while he went out and made decisions that involved her own family) but that slowly changed.

I sometimes wonder what could've happened between them if FZW decided to stay with him after he offered the same (after Qiu Mingying kicked her out). If they had become a couple then, it would've been a very unbalanced relationship. Hate to think of her having as little agency as Ning Cheng. Yikes.

 

But that's unlikely. FZW wouldn't be FZW if she agreed to stay with him and NY couldn't have fallen in love with anyone but the real FZW. I believe in the vice versa too,  FZW wouldn't have accepted NY if he didn't open up to her and start treating her as an equal. He still had issues to work on but that's to be expected you can't change a key characteristic of your personality (being stubborn and wanting to do everything by yourself) overnight. But he made a lot of progress and I want to believe that had they stayed together he could've improved on this. Also these two seem to do better after they've spent time together than when they're apart. What I mean is its not a 'distance makes the heart grow fonder' deal with them. Even in the later episodes, the longer they're apart the more misunderstandings pop up.

 

Regarding the plague scene, I think that was another turning point in their relationship. Even though she was hurt, she worked her way around it by writing in code that she understood he was lying and I think it opened his eyes bit. It shows their compatibility as a couple. She found a way to deal with his stubbornness and to me it seemed like he was starting to change. He was very different after the plague.

 

Unfortunately we can only speculate how they'd be as a long term couple because that never happened. Maybe they'd fight and turn bitter or work on their problems and grow stronger. Who knows...

 

On 11/30/2018 at 3:43 AM, whisper1 said:

Mama Qui funeral was heartbreaking on so many levels. Mama is on my villain  list because of the oath,but beyond that her lies. Even her last request to Zone was a lie. She asked him to promise to let FW decide for herself while in reality Mama had already locked in FWs fate with her own inability to disengage from the past. Her self sacrifice a study in selfishness, considering she was willing to take FW with her and did take FH rather than disavow the former empire and Bloody Pagoda. Zone is on my bad list too. His exploitation of GuNanyi is something I  can't  forgive. 

Spot on about her hypocrisy. I hate her but I do think she was genuinely confused on what to do with zhiwei since the beginning of the show. It does make her character more interesting that, she was struggling with her commitment to dacheng vs her love of zhiwei as a mother. Not that her maternal instincts are anything to go on about (miss sacrifice your own kids for dacheng). I think ultimately that's where it went wrong. She is a better dacheng subject than a mom. Hmm can we draw a parallel between her and the emperor as parents?

 

Just one scene of her being nice to Zhiwei would've greyed her character more. I really want to understand her for Zhiwei's sake but damn that woman is a b.itch. FZW is way too kind lol.

 

I'm curious why you think this way about Master Zong? How would you say he exploited Gu Nanyi particularly?

I feel like all the masters on this show were kindof d.icks to their subordinates, even NingYi, compared to modern standards. Except Zhi Wei. She was an angel to Yan Huaishi and Gu Nanyi.

 

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23 hours ago, skibbies said:

The drama have wuxia elements, but it's mostly when Gu Nanyi is concerned, I wouldn't tag it as such because it's so minimal. It's meant to be gliding + jumping really high, and you have to practice for it. The martial arts bit are kind of ??? here because they keep having to come up with stupid reasons for Gu Nanyi to not get involved.

On 11/30/2018 at 5:55 AM, Pollen Ainne said:

It doesn't because you have to be in battle mode when you do it  And there is also an RNG of battle mode just suddenly turning off... It's like that. :D

On 11/30/2018 at 3:38 AM, tendrilsofwind said:

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

 

I'm glad there weren't any superman scenes in tRop. I'm laughing just thinking about it. Looking back I really admire how realistic this world was despite being in a fictional universe and sort of having a free pass to do anything. Elements of fantasy were restricted to magical realism (thanks for that nugget earlier @tendrilsofwind). It's not fair to compare it to Bloody Romance since its made with a much lower budget and obviously a different genre but I can't help it since its my second chinese period/costume drama. I even got NingYi vibes from one of the characters. What's funny is that story takes place in the real past during the later Tang dynasty and one of the characters is the grandson of Empress Wu Zetian.

I thought of commenting on that forum but my first thought is how much it pales in comparison to tRop and idk if I should rain on their parade. Hmm...it does have its pros. For one, ending wasn't rushed and I guess its sad? but I didn't care about the OTP much so whatever. SEE I keep looking at it from the perspective of tRop.

 

The most 'wuxia' plot armour I hope for FZW  is that she faked her death and lived a quiet life far away or traveled the world with Nanyi.

 

On 11/30/2018 at 9:27 PM, skibbies said:

That said, she was still like 18 at the time, the book started when she was 15, 16 as Imperial advisor + Minhai, 17 to 18 when she became a deputy general as Wei Zhi. (she married as Feng Zhiwei and went back to Tiansheng as Wei Zhi lol, oh yeah the emperor didn't know about her identity because she literally has a different face via face mask as Wei Zhi). It started when she was 15 because that's when girls used to came of age, it's when they get married and such.

Yo...15 is wayy too young. Even if everyone considered that old enough my modern eyes can't help but see a child. Is NingYi only 8yrs older than her or is he 26 when she's 15?. And she was imperial advisor before becoming Wei Zhi? Woah Novel is pretty different.

I think a lot of changes in the drama were for good.

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Hi Everyone, I joined just to be able to follow this forum!  Like all of you, I'm also a HUGE fan of TROP!  I've probably rewatched the series at least several times!  I know there are big differences between the drama and novel, but can some of you help me understand how you figured out whether FZW is really the remnant or not?  I was confused with the flashback that showed Gu Hen with 2 infant boys and presumably a girl wrapped in the yellow blanket.  I thought Mama Gu gave birth to twin boys.  So does this mean that either Mama Gu isn't really her birth mom or that she's not the real remnant?  I also heard that Feng Hao isn't really her brother.  Can someone help me with this confusion?  And also to clarify the differences in her identity in the drama vs novel?  Thanks so much!

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3 hours ago, niniandkun said:

 

 

IMO, NY wasn't patriarchal but he respected class differences. And being a woman altered your class. I think that's different from pure sexism. He believed in the fair treatment of people and humanity within that framework but didn't think there was anything wrong with humans having different ranks and some people having to bow down to others just because of their birth. Even then he was willing to look beyond status often for the sake of the person.

 

What warmed me to NY was how his treatment of her changed throughout, in the beginning he treated her like a damsel in distress not involving her in anything (remember when he locked her in his room while he went out and made decisions that involved her own family) but that slowly changed.

I sometimes wonder what could've happened between them if FZW decided to stay with him after he offered the same (after Qiu Mingying kicked her out). If they had become a couple then, it would've been a very unbalanced relationship. Hate to think of her having as little agency as Ning Cheng. Yikes.

 

But that's unlikely. FZW wouldn't be FZW if she agreed to stay with him and NY couldn't have fallen in love with anyone but the real FZW. I believe in the vice versa too,  FZW wouldn't have accepted NY if he didn't open up to her and start treating her as an equal. He still had issues to work on but that's to be expected you can't change a key characteristic of your personality (being stubborn and wanting to do everything by yourself) overnight. But he made a lot of progress and I want to believe that had they stayed together he could've improved on this. Also these two seem to do better after they've spent time together than when they're apart. What I mean is its not a 'distance makes the heart grow fonder' deal with them. Even in the later episodes, the longer they're apart the more misunderstandings pop up.

 

Regarding the plague scene, I think that was another turning point in their relationship. Even though she was hurt, she worked her way around it by writing in code that she understood he was lying and I think it opened his eyes bit. It shows their compatibility as a couple. She found a way to deal with his stubbornness and to me it seemed like he was starting to change. He was very different after the plague.

 

Unfortunately we can only speculate how they'd be as a long term couple because that never happened. Maybe they'd fight and turn bitter or work on their problems and grow stronger. Who knows...

Beautiful. And I agree. Although I do strongly believe that they would have made it. A connection that strong is not something that will break lightly.

 

As for social class, yes, the patriarchy was one of the reasons that women at the time were demoted to a lower status. Like Shaoning not being able to be heir or an strong person like Qui Mingying still needing to be protected and housed by her brother with the loss of her husband. A woman is either a daughter, a sister or a wife. She cannot be just herself. The only exceptions are the entertainers. Thus as Zhiwei said, they lived a more independent life. I imagine they are like geishas. 

 

Zhiwei was completely different as she had her own identity without a man by acting like a man. And even when she didn't, she acted like she had. I think that at the start NIng Yi thought of her as some sort of special pet that can be useful. So when he didn't have use of her, he didn't want her to be involved as it would just be a nuisance to him. It's like having a pet tiger. You want to use it to attack your enemies, but otherwise, you keep it on a cage.

 

But then he fell in love with her and then he just wanted to keep her safe. It must be tiring to love Zhiwei to be honest. He respects her intelligence and abilities, but the instinct of a man is to protect his woman (at least at that time period). I think it is hard to just shrug off. And I think it's not just Ning Yi that needs to change, but the both of them have to meet at the middle. As Zhiwei becomes more understanding of his drive to keep her safe, he will also open up more to his plans knowing that she will understand. This is not the modern world. It is an entirely different society. But I think they were reaching to that point of understanding. Had the scene where Zhiwei came to the battle site to meet Ning Yi been added, it would actually serve as a culmination of their understanding. Zhiwei did understand that the battlefield was not her place and chose to be his support instead of insisting on being in the front lines too. But Ning Yi also appreciated her presence and didn't complain that she came. It was perfect. They were perfect... unfortunately it didn't continue to be so. I wish they added that scene. I would have marked that as END! lol

1 hour ago, niniandkun said:

SEE I keep looking at it from the perspective of tRop.

Unfortunately that is how I look at the world right now.

 

1 hour ago, niniandkun said:

The most 'wuxia' plot armour I hope for FZW  is that she faked her death and lived a quiet life far away or traveled the world with Nanyi.

This. It was her original dream until she got worried about Ning Yi, and thus a different life started for her. At the end, had she went back to her original dream after Ning Yi got his, it would have been a bittersweet end.

 

1 hour ago, troptina said:

Hi Everyone, I joined just to be able to follow this forum!  Like all of you, I'm also a HUGE fan of TROP!  I've probably rewatched the series at least several times!  I know there are big differences between the drama and novel, but can some of you help me understand how you figured out whether FZW is really the remnant or not?  I was confused with the flashback that showed Gu Hen with 2 infant boys and presumably a girl wrapped in the yellow blanket.  I thought Mama Gu gave birth to twin boys.  So does this mean that either Mama Gu isn't really her birth mom or that she's not the real remnant?  I also heard that Feng Hao isn't really her brother.  Can someone help me with this confusion?  And also to clarify the differences in her identity in the drama vs novel?  Thanks so much!

Qui Mingying had twin sons. They exchanged Zhiwei (who was a princess) for one of her sons. Thus the baby that fell into the cliff was not the real remnant, but Qui Mingying's son and Feng Hao's twin brother. Zhiwei is the real remnant.

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@troptina Hey!! Welcome to the forum. Mama Gu (Qiu Mingying) gave birth to twin boys..

The real Dacheng remnant was Feng Zhiwei, real name Zhangsun Zhiwei and she was given to Qiu Mingying to take care of in place of one of her twins. You can check Episode 52 when master zong reveals it to zhiwei.

 

@Pollen Ainne Oh yea the society was patriarchal. Men had more power than women. But it was also an unequal society beyond just the patriarchy. Everyone can't be anyone. In that sense, being a woman is just one more class identifier. idk how to explain it but some people are sexist at their core. They truly believe women are subhuman and not deserving of personhood. Some people believe that about other races, castes etc. Many characters in tRop probably believe that. Ning Chuan probably thought he was semi-divine. looll.

I just meant, from what I can understand about NingYi, he wasn't extra prejudiced towards women. Probably believed in gender roles as part of other structural divisions and customs in society like family line, birth order...etc. But can recognize the humanity in others and empathize with them. If they didn't richard simmons with him or his loves ones. Then he'll kill you lol.

 

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33 minutes ago, niniandkun said:

Oh yea the society was patriarchal. Men had more power than women. But it was also an unequal society beyond just the patriarchy. Everyone can't be anyone. In that sense, being a woman is just one more class identifier. idk how to explain it but some people are sexist at their core. They truly believe women are subhuman and not deserving of personhood. Some people believe that about other races, castes etc. Many characters in tRop probably believe that. Ning Chuan probably thought he was semi-divine. looll.

Yes there was more than just the patriarchy. It was also a monarchy. And more than a monarchy it was an imperial monarchy in which the Emperor is seen as one chosen by the heavens. It takes a certain amount of self-confidence (bordering on arrogance) to be Emperor. Hence, they never admit to mistakes. Gods make no mistakes. Everyone being subservient to you is a right. Hence the excessive bowing. And this trickles downwards. Which is why Ning Yi lost a lot of confidence as he shed his title. He was really a person of that era. He was used to the social norms of the time. But Ning Yi had a good heart. He respects people and cares for them because he has a kind nature beneath all his thorns. I think this has also something to do with his mother who was a loving mother to him and Ning Qiao who became his benefactor after his mother died. 

 

A man arrogant enough to rule but kind enough to care. He was really a special person and thus to Xin ZIyan getting him on the throne was so important.

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4 hours ago, niniandkun said:

Spot on about her hypocrisy. I hate her but I do think she was genuinely confused on what to do with zhiwei since the beginning of the show. It does make her character more interesting that, she was struggling with her commitment to dacheng vs her love of zhiwei as a mother. Not that her maternal instincts are anything to go on about (miss sacrifice your own kids for dacheng). I think ultimately that's where it went wrong. She is a better dacheng subject than a mom. Hmm can we draw a parallel between her and the emperor as parents?

 

Just one scene of her being nice to Zhiwei would've greyed her character more. I really want to understand her for Zhiwei's sake but damn that woman is a b.itch. FZW is way too kind lol.

 

 

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.

 

 

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On 11/30/2018 at 10:57 AM, skibbies said:

The drama have wuxia elements, but it's mostly when Gu Nanyi is concerned, I wouldn't tag it as such because it's so minimal. It's meant to be gliding + jumping really high, and you have to practice for it. The martial arts bit are kind of ??? here because they keep having to come up with stupid reasons for Gu Nanyi to not get involved.

 

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.

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25 minutes ago, tendrilsofwind said:

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.

 

 

I definitely have encountered a lot of media that showcases mindless loyalty. It is not just prevalent in ancient China. It is rooted deeply into the monarchy system. Even people who do not care who the King is as they are living in such remote areas, if a monarch suddenly visits and and smiles at them, suddenly they are willing to die for him. As these monarchs are like gods, it is easy to see people willing to give up their lives out of loyalty. "For the King" is a term that until now is popularly used in books, movies, or games. But it doesn't make it any easier to swallow when it comes to sacrificing the ones you love. I mean sacrificing themselves, sure. But sacrificing their children? it's cultish in nature... I think the mindset might almost be similar to that.

 

22 minutes ago, tendrilsofwind said:

 

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.

Haha! you are right. For someone who has done some modeling, I think NiNi doesn't do action poses really well. But I blame the training. As they weren't going to do a lot of martial arts I think they completely just neglected it.

 

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7 hours ago, niniandkun said:

@troptina Hey!! Welcome to the forum. Mama Gu (Qiu Mingying) gave birth to twin boys..

The real Dacheng remnant was Feng Zhiwei, real name Zhangsun Zhiwei and she was given to Qiu Mingying to take care of in place of one of her twins. You can check Episode 52 when master zong reveals it to zhiwei.

 

@Pollen Ainne

What was with the birthcard belonging to FengHao? 

 

You asked why I  have Master Zong on my blacklist for exploiting one of my favorite characters  GuNanyi. MZ is essentially the only family and home GN knows, but what has Zong done with him? Decided early on after an assessment of Nanyi's abilities that martial arts was the kid's powerhouse neglecting  the development  of everything else. What he created was a weapon to be used, and he used him. First to guard and protect FengZhiwei. He is presented to us as a monosylabic,  flat, socially inept body guard, refered to as an idiot, basically a half of a person. Zong was content with that. FW little by little draws out GN's hidden abilities, not by demanding but by accepting what she could, correcting what she had to, and leading by example. GuNanyi was made whole by FW.

When Zong tells GuNanyi to protect FengZhiwei  and while you are at it kill NingYi. That did it for me. Zoneg wanted a weapon without a heart but he didn't  get it, because GN had learned to sympathize  and empathize  from FW, and refuses to carry out Zong's order to kill. GN goes on to memorize the medical manual  and transcribe it from memory, find a bit of romance with the little princess, and so much more, wish we had seen a bit more of him. He represents one of many in society who are overlooked, regected or exploited because they don't  fit the mold, and Zong jmo represents how that happens.

Being used as weapon is something NingYi struggles with too, deciding that he can become "the weapon with a heart", so I  was impressed when he cried as Ning Sheng went down.

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@Pollen AinneI completely agree that they really fell in love only after their own transformations.  However, it seemed pretty clear they were attracted to each other from the very beginning. I think it was the early realization that "this person is so different from anyone I've met." That's why FZW carried the clothes that NY gave her when she was running away from Qiu residence for her life.  It's also the reason for why he couldn't stay back when the masked men went to save her from Chang Hai's soldiers.  I still find it so funny that NY was so frank in responding to FZWs question of why he saved her in the first place by saying it's because he likes girls like her.  And for a split second she debates whether any of it could be the honest truth.

 

@niniandkun I'm still pretty confused about the history of the Da Cheng "remnants." I had assumed a remnant referred to the children of Gu Heng.  Did Gu Heng have multiple consorts, and was  Mama Qiu one of them?  Since she gave birth to twins, shouldn't the twin kids be real remnants too?  If Mama Qiu isn't FZWs birth mother, who is then?  And presumably the Fourth Prince was also a child of Gu Heng from another consort?  And is Yueling also a child of Gu Heng too, or a more distant relative?  The Da Cheng story line was so disorganized compared to the beginning of the series.

 

I find it hard to believe that, with all the Da Cheng subjects around, that Yueling (assuming she was a princess) had no protection from people like ZC and had to be sold to a brothel.  Even ZC seemed to have made a decent humble living being a teacher.

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13 hours ago, niniandkun said:

Just one scene of her being nice to Zhiwei would've greyed her character more. I really want to understand her for Zhiwei's sake but damn that woman is a b.itch. FZW is way too kind lol.

I wouldn't call it nice but a scene that stuck with me was when Zhiwei went home after becoming Imperial Advisor and they had a fight. She wanted her to stop doing what she was doing, because it was dangerous, not just because she's a remnant, but because she's a girl and lying to the emperor would leave her dead. She said it super angrily and very much "I'm telling you to do this because I think it's good for you" which is an incredibly common way Chinese parents tend to communicate with their kids. I know that doesn't necessarily make her sympathetic, but it does make her real to me, make it very clear she was struggling between her duty to Dacheng and her love for her child. The scene when Zhiwei was in jail was fantastic too, but well, Zhiwei was sentenced to death.

 

12 hours ago, niniandkun said:

Yo...15 is wayy too young. Even if everyone considered that old enough my modern eyes can't help but see a child. Is NingYi only 8yrs older than her or is he 26 when she's 15?. And she was imperial advisor before becoming Wei Zhi? Woah Novel is pretty different.

You can mentally up her age, it doesn't make much difference since it's not like she acts her age. I've read too many WN to bat an eye at protagonists being 15, it's only when they get pregnant, I go wait wait no! Killing people and storming a country by force is somehow ok though, I guess it's like teens saving the world in games, and YA books? Ning Yi is 7 years older than her. She became Wei Zhi when she went to school, so it was before imperial advisor thing, she mostly became imperial advisor to avoid getting murdered too, and by using a cheat (she was handed the answers but the person who asked the question did that on purpose).

 

2 hours ago, whisper1 said:

What was with the birthcard belonging to FengHao? 

Faked. More evidence to hammer in he's the "real" prince (but he isn't).

 

12 hours ago, troptina said:

I know there are big differences between the drama and novel, but can some of you help me understand how you figured out whether FZW is really the remnant or not?  I was confused with the flashback that showed Gu Hen with 2 infant boys and presumably a girl wrapped in the yellow blanket.  I thought Mama Gu gave birth to twin boys.  So does this mean that either Mama Gu isn't really her birth mom or that she's not the real remnant?  I also heard that Feng Hao isn't really her brother.  Can someone help me with this confusion?  And also to clarify the differences in her identity in the drama vs novel?  Thanks so much!

It's been implied since the beginning that one of the siblings are remnants, yeah? Narrative speaking, it'd make more sense for our Zhiwei to be one. When it's revealed Mama Qiu gave birth to twin boys, it basically confirm that they swapped the girl with one of the boys and he died at the cliff 18 years ago, so yeah they aren't blood related.

 

Her identity is the same in the novel too since it's one of the core elements that cause conflicts. It's clearer in the novel

Spoiler

because of the way Mama Qiu raised her. Mum was a former general and got her to learn martial arts, go to school to learn presumbly what all nobility would learn and more. Feng Hao on the other hand was just a spoilt brat that tend to cause problems wherever he goes. Mum felt guilty for making her son eventually having to be sacrificed, so she let him do whatever he wants. This is implied in the drama too but there's less details about how she grew up, and she seem to have grown up in better environment than in the novel. They were pretty broke there, and bullied by her relatives.

Okay I guess the Real Real remnant is actually Zhangsun Hong, the bald guy, but I always like to pretend he doesn't exist. He's a drama original character that's used to tied up loose ends, really badly. Also probably to make it more realistic, because they can't restore their kingdom with a princess.

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31 minutes ago, troptina said:

@niniandkun I'm still pretty confused about the history of the Da Cheng "remnants." I had assumed a remnant referred to the children of Gu Heng.  Did Gu Heng have multiple consorts, and was  Mama Qiu one of them?  Since she gave birth to twins, shouldn't the twin kids be real remnants too?  If Mama Qiu isn't FZWs birth mother, who is then?  And presumably the Fourth Prince was also a child of Gu Heng from another consort?  And is Yueling also a child of Gu Heng too, or a more distant relative?  The Da Cheng story line was so disorganized compared to the beginning of the series.

 

I find it hard to believe that, with all the Da Cheng subjects around, that Yueling (assuming she was a princess) had no protection from people like ZC and had to be sold to a brothel.  Even ZC seemed to have made a decent humble living being a teacher.

No, Gu Heng was like head of Secret Guards which was named Bloody Pagoda. Gu Yan, his brother was also part of that as well betrayed them, and end up working as Jinyu Guard for 18 years. The Dacheng emperor only appears in a flash in the drama in episode 1, Zhiwei and 4th prince probably had different mothers. Yue Ling's dad is a friend + colleague of Gu Heng, named San Hu (third tiger), he's mentioned like once in the drama because they cut out too much at the end, when 4th prince was about to die. But he's mentioned probably 3 times in the novel so. (prologue, Yue Ling backstory, ending)

 

EDIT: I thought this was an edit instead new post. rip. darn quotes.

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