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

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16 hours ago, Wotad said:

I wanted to watch this but ending got spoiled so did not.. that feel.

Watch the first 50? or 55, depending how depressing you want to get. They are okay stopping points I think.

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JMO dramas very rarely come with HEA endings. RotP is described as historical, drama,romance and I think it fulfills that promise. In most episodes the viewer has to invest actual brain cells to follow the delicate power plays involved in the plot, quoedos for not throwing in gratuitous  sex and violence to fill empty storytime, while retaining the elements of of a deep devoted love.

Unlike the Game of Thrones showrunners who are criminal for inserting useless, shocking, garbage to entertain the audience while they try to come up with ways to make visual sense out of  the as yet unfinished  novels. The actual plot of GoTs is simplistic and predictable.

We take issue with the poor editing in the push to finish RotP, and our frustration with the lack of the HEA. GoTs  has had 5 years of episodes and now the writers think they can wrap in 6 installments. Just have to say...they better be spectacular episodes, and there better be a HEA, if any characters survive to provide it,lol.  ( sorry for the rant, I watched a lot of GoThrones  over the week )

 

Back to RotP,  in the bedroom scene I would have liked the scene to have started out the same including the push, but have had it transition to unbridled  passion as FengZhiwei pulls out all the stops finally expressing her unconditional love freeing NingYi  to do the same. Lol, Morning after guilt has her running for the cliff. 

 

14 hours ago, skibbies said:

Watch the first 50? or 55, depending how depressing you want to get. They are okay stopping points I think.

 

Haha You have got to be determined to jump feet first and see it to the end, because after all the sharper the knife the less it hurts.

 

Ps  has anyone seen Tuo Shen, if so, where?

 

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On 12/31/2018 at 1:24 PM, whisper1 said:

I agree, in RotP  Nini really shines, her comedic as well as dramatic  talents are wonderful, hard to follow up. ChenKun, what can I say? ... I watched 2 complete viewings because I couldn't  focus on anything but their pairing.

 

I can certainly  envision a second season. There are loads of threads to pull. 

I have no problem with the show deviating from the book, and many times the show is better than the source. Example: Game of Thrones, I found the show a huge improvement over the books. (Reading them was like getting unmedicated dental  work) whole storylines, characters, settings were chucked into the dustbin with good result. 

 

MTS on second season: 

FengZhiwei  is smiling way too much for a suicide. The ever loyal and vigilant  Gu Nanyi  uses his wuxia powers to save her but she is injured. He takes her to a secret location where she recuperats under his doctoring, but there is some memory loss. Oh and she is pregnant but the details escape her.

 

NingYi  soldiers on as emporor,  heartbroken without her love and estute council. Remaining celibate  despite several romantic closecalls. All the while grooming NingJi to eventually replace him so he can roam the empire trying to satisfy the question " where is her body??"

Please feel free to add on, I love a challenge to put creativity to use over the holiday. All passionate and talented members here could probably build a killer storyline!!!

 

Ps I watched Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, I thought it a lovely film,very well done. Going to try Painted Skin.

 

 

 

The last episode of S1 promised that Gu Nanyi would save or find FZ and I see them traveling together for a while, maybe via Minhai and reuniting  old friends on the way. I didn't see anything to make me  think FZ and NY slept together in the harem, though, like you, I wish they had. It felt to me that they talked through their anger and reconnected with their love. When they parted, FZ's last little smile made me feel she already had plans that did not include NY.

 

NY will throw himself into bringing order to the empire and I'd like him to have some love in his life. Maybe he'll marry Yao Yanci?  I like her for him; she's smart and courageous. But I imagine she wouldn't like court life, or maybe there will be some harem drama - though that's hard to imagine given NY's principles - and they will divorce. He'll eventually abdicate, Ning Ji will become emperor and NY will go off in search of FZ.

 

I watched Painted Skin 2, which was fun and gorgeous to look at - much better than Mulan.

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On 1/1/2019 at 8:57 PM, whisper1 said:

JMO dramas very rarely come with HEA endings. RotP is described as historical, drama,romance and I think it fulfills that promise. In most episodes the viewer has to invest actual brain cells to follow the delicate power plays involved in the plot, quoedos for not throwing in gratuitous  sex and violence to fill empty storytime, while retaining the elements of of a deep devoted love.

Unlike the Game of Thrones showrunners who are criminal for inserting useless, shocking, garbage to entertain the audience while they try to come up with ways to make visual sense out of  the as yet unfinished  novels. The actual plot of GoTs is simplistic and predictable.

We take issue with the poor editing in the push to finish RotP, and our frustration with the lack of the HEA. GoTs  has had 5 years of episodes and now the writers think they can wrap in 6 installments. Just have to say...they better be spectacular episodes, and there better be a HEA, if any characters survive to provide it,lol.  ( sorry for the rant, I watched a lot of GoThrones  over the week )

 

Back to RotP,  in the bedroom scene I would have liked the scene to have started out the same including the push, but have had it transition to unbridled  passion as FengZhiwei pulls out all the stops finally expressing her unconditional love freeing NingYi  to do the same. Lol, Morning after guilt has her running for the cliff. 

 

 

Haha You have got to be determined to jump feet first and see it to the end, because after all the sharper the knife the less it hurts.

 

Ps  has anyone seen Tuo Shen, if so, where?

 

RoTP is stronger that GoT in just about every respect I care about. The only character I feel for in GoT is Arya, whereas I find so many of the major and minor characters in RoTP compelling, because their acting is so strong. My guess is that the final season of GoT will be heavy on spectacle, with end-of-the-world type of face-offs between the Night King's evil hordes and Jon Snow and Daenerys's alliance. I'm not counting on a HEA...

 

There are also so many more interesting plot lines in RoTP that would be good to see developed and resolved in a second season. Is Chief Gu the father of Gu Nanyi'? If so, what is GN's story and how will they find each other? What will FZ learn about her father Emperor Ai, her birth mother and her family inheritance and what impact will that have on her sense of self and her ambivalence about NY? Will she recognize and accept that Qui Mingyi was complicated and a murderer?  Did Hua Qiong (?) survive her wound and  will she and FZ be reunited and have an adventure together? And of course, FZ and NY must find their way back to each other and get married.

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On 1/3/2019 at 7:41 AM, Diaroadic said:

There are also so many more interesting plot lines in RoTP that would be good to see developed and resolved in a second season. Is Chief Gu the father of Gu Nanyi'? If so, what is GN's story and how will they find each other? What will FZ learn about her father Emperor Ai, her birth mother and her family inheritance and what impact will that have on her sense of self and her ambivalence about NY? Will she recognize and accept that Qui Mingyi was complicated and a murderer?  Did Hua Qiong (?) survive her wound and  will she and FZ be reunited and have an adventure together? And of course, FZ and NY must find their way back to each other and get married.

 

On 1/1/2019 at 5:57 PM, whisper1 said:

Back to RotP,  in the bedroom scene I would have liked the scene to have started out the same including the push, but have had it transition to unbridled  passion as FengZhiwei pulls out all the stops finally expressing her unconditional love freeing NingYi  to do the same. Lol, Morning after guilt has her running for the cliff. 

 

How fun to dream about a possible S2!  I like the idea of developing the story of Emperor Ai and FZW's birth mother.  I also really like the idea of her becoming pregnant!

 

My take on S2 would be something like this:

- Cliff Scene and Wanderers: GNY saves her at the cliff scene. They spend the next 5 years with new identities, traveling around the country and exploring.  She raises the baby (it's a boy!) with GNY's help.  At one point they stayed at Minhai with the remaining DaCheng subjects for some time, and there she learned more about Ai Emperor and her birth mom.  Ai Emperor was a corrupt emperor and her mom was the daughter of an official.  She doesn't feel as bad anymore about DaCheng being overthrown. With Yan Huai Shi's help, the DaCheng subjects live a decent life, so no one wants a rebirth of Da Cheng.

-Ruling the Nation: Meanwhile, NY continues being Emperor.  For the next 5 years, he focuses on uniting TianSheng with Jinshi (after HLZ's death).  Also, the DaYue crown prince was really happy about Prince An's death and they continue to increase their trade between the two countries.  Secretly, NY is also scheming to take over DaYue.  In those 5 years, NY was "forced" to marry a few consort (including Yao Yangci) and have a few sons/daughters, but didn't have an empress. 

-Family Life: 5 years into NY's reign, his emperor dad finally dies.  Unbeknownst to NY, the ShuangSheng Gu didn't completely become undone before by GuGu, so NY is in grave condition too.  The country goes into 28d mourning for his improved health.  During this time, FZW travels to DaYue to see Jiarong to understand what might have happened.  It turns out one of the key ingredients to break the spell was missing.  So FZW, GNY, and Jiarong travel back to to Tiansheng to bring the missing ingredient and fully break the spell.

-Reunited: When FZW returned, NY asked her to stay with him and help run the country in disguise, even if she couldn't officially be his Empress.  She says she can't do that, but they can be together if he leaves his Emperor position.  When she introduces him to their son, he breaks down crying and decides that he will abdicate the throne to NJ.  Officially, the people think NY dies, but really he runs off with FZW and their son for a few years.

-Jinshi Revolt: They live as wanderers peacefully for a number of years until Jinshi plots a revolt against NJ.  By this time HeLian Tu  (who was was exiled from Jinshi along with the Queen Dowager) is 18 and wants to take back Jinshi.  FZW feels responsible for the death of HLZ and goes back with NY to secretly talk with NJ.  By this time, NJ is older and was misguided by his advisors, and no longer cares about the opinions of FZW/NY.  NY's own sons (now teenagers) start fighting each other for the throne as well. 

-NY Reinstated: NY feels compelled to go back to ruling the nation to "remove all evil" like NJ, and to rehabilitate his sons to the good side.  FZW (remembering her oath) remains a common person and continues to raise her son like a commoner.  Her son resents FZW because he wants to be a prince too, and she's conflicted of whether to allow him to live in the palace with his dad.  NY tries to negotiate with HeLianTu to end the revolt, but instead HeLianTu and his troops plan an attack on NY.  FZW comes out of hiding to appeal to the former Queen Dowager, with which she previously had established a close relationship.  Together, they all agree to a compromise in which part of Jinshi is returned to HeLianTu.

 

Would love to get more suggestions or subplot ideas!

 

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Back with more MV, remember to slide the blue button to turn comments off. 

Novel ending MV. P2 is married life. 

Tiansheng boyband

Ning Yi and Zhiwei looking for each other through multiple lives P2 is minor edit of P1, I linked P2 I think. Eng subbed!

Happy ending! unsubbed but the gist is Ning Yi ask for permission to marry Zhiwei after Minhai. idk if subs are necessary.

 

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2 hours ago, skibbies said:

Back with more MV, remember to slide the blue button to turn comments off. 

Novel ending MV. P2 is married life. 

Tiansheng boyband

Ning Yi and Zhiwei looking for each other through multiple lives P2 is minor edit of P1, I linked P2 I think. Eng subbed!

Happy ending! unsubbed but the gist is Ning Yi ask for permission to marry Zhiwei after Minhai. idk if subs are necessary.

 

Skibbies, thanks for these videos. I wouldn't have been able to find these on bilibili.  I really liked the Happy ending one!

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I think the ending was also disappointing, but after much thought about the episodes toward the end, I think the director meant to show that feng Zhiwei is still true and pure like she was when she first met Ning Yi (wanting to be righteous etc, because she couldn’t bear to live a life with Ning Yi after so many innocent lives were lost), hence, Ning Yi wanting to fulfill that dream of upholding righteous at the end. Both Ning Yi and Feng Zhiwei wanted that. It’s still a good movie in my opinion. Some good actors! 

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On 1/9/2019 at 1:51 AM, troptina said:

 

 

How fun to dream about a possible S2!  I like the idea of developing the story of Emperor Ai and FZW's birth mother.  I also really like the idea of her becoming pregnant!

 

My take on S2 would be something like this:

- Cliff Scene and Wanderers: GNY saves her at the cliff scene. They spend the next 5 years with new identities, traveling around the country and exploring.  She raises the baby (it's a boy!) with GNY's help.  At one point they stayed at Minhai with the remaining DaCheng subjects for some time, and there she learned more about Ai Emperor and her birth mom.  Ai Emperor was a corrupt emperor and her mom was the daughter of an official.  She doesn't feel as bad anymore about DaCheng being overthrown. With Yan Huai Shi's help, the DaCheng subjects live a decent life, so no one wants a rebirth of Da Cheng.

-Ruling the Nation: Meanwhile, NY continues being Emperor.  For the next 5 years, he focuses on uniting TianSheng with Jinshi (after HLZ's death).  Also, the DaYue crown prince was really happy about Prince An's death and they continue to increase their trade between the two countries.  Secretly, NY is also scheming to take over DaYue.  In those 5 years, NY was "forced" to marry a few consort (including Yao Yangci) and have a few sons/daughters, but didn't have an empress. 

-Family Life: 5 years into NY's reign, his emperor dad finally dies.  Unbeknownst to NY, the ShuangSheng Gu didn't completely become undone before by GuGu, so NY is in grave condition too.  The country goes into 28d mourning for his improved health.  During this time, FZW travels to DaYue to see Jiarong to understand what might have happened.  It turns out one of the key ingredients to break the spell was missing.  So FZW, GNY, and Jiarong travel back to to Tiansheng to bring the missing ingredient and fully break the spell.

-Reunited: When FZW returned, NY asked her to stay with him and help run the country in disguise, even if she couldn't officially be his Empress.  She says she can't do that, but they can be together if he leaves his Emperor position.  When she introduces him to their son, he breaks down crying and decides that he will abdicate the throne to NJ.  Officially, the people think NY dies, but really he runs off with FZW and their son for a few years.

-Jinshi Revolt: They live as wanderers peacefully for a number of years until Jinshi plots a revolt against NJ.  By this time HeLian Tu  (who was was exiled from Jinshi along with the Queen Dowager) is 18 and wants to take back Jinshi.  FZW feels responsible for the death of HLZ and goes back with NY to secretly talk with NJ.  By this time, NJ is older and was misguided by his advisors, and no longer cares about the opinions of FZW/NY.  NY's own sons (now teenagers) start fighting each other for the throne as well. 

-NY Reinstated: NY feels compelled to go back to ruling the nation to "remove all evil" like NJ, and to rehabilitate his sons to the good side.  FZW (remembering her oath) remains a common person and continues to raise her son like a commoner.  Her son resents FZW because he wants to be a prince too, and she's conflicted of whether to allow him to live in the palace with his dad.  NY tries to negotiate with HeLianTu to end the revolt, but instead HeLianTu and his troops plan an attack on NY.  FZW comes out of hiding to appeal to the former Queen Dowager, with which she previously had established a close relationship.  Together, they all agree to a compromise in which part of Jinshi is returned to HeLianTu.

 

Would love to get more suggestions or subplot ideas!

 

Been so long since i last came on here. I'm glad I came back just so I could read this.

I love the idea of Zhiwei being pregnant but how does she not miscarry after a fall? oh well. I still love these characters. It's been so long but they still have a special place in my heart.

 

I just started watching story of yanxi palace. Really like it so far...plot and pacing. But characters still aren't as magnetic as the ones in ROTP. And manchu aesthetic takes some getting used to...(the men's hairstyles ugh...).

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Hello to all. I spent the last few weeks some past work by ChenKun.  The camera loved him from day one and he made great use of that fact. Over the course of Little Chinese  Seamstress,  through Painted Skin 1 & 2, and on to Lost in 1949 he certainly stepped up his acting game, but none of them match the spectrum of abilities displayed in RotP.  Sadly it isn't as easy to find much of NiNi. Their chemistry is extraordinary. 

On 1/15/2019 at 9:30 AM, niniandkun said:

Been so long since i last came on here. I'm glad I came back just so I could read this.

I love the idea of Zhiwei being pregnant but how does she not miscarry after a fall? oh well. I still love these characters. It's been so long but they still have a special place in my heart

 

 

Me too. I just finished a book on daily life in the Tang Dynasty and much of the dangerous intrigue  in the royal court is substantiated  in fact.

 

A second season could easily include a pregnancy. JMO. NingYi  and FengZhiwei finally give their love to each other. Remember that FW couldn't  refuse him at the funeral. Something to the effect " I'm  not my mother" no kidding, lol.

 

The guilt, and that bogus speech from daddy emporor  has her plan the ultimate escape, but the devoted GuNanyi  uses his skills to save her life and they escape to rethink things. At that early stage she wouldn't  even know she was pregnant, and she would have been protected from serious injury, maybe a bump on the head to insert a little amnesia into the mix.

 

They could travel to Jinshi where she would be recognized as the right full Empress and Princess  of Tiensheng  ( after a little tussle  with the Dowager Empress. ) And by the way she is sure she is pregnant and it is assumed by the court that the deceased Helian Zheng is the daddy, but FengZhiwei  knows better. She was a virgin when she and NingYi  made love. 

 

She throws herself into governing Jinshi, proving to be a capable ruler  and gives birth to a Prince.

 

Meanwhile  back at the Capitol, NingYi  has his own problems...fill in the blanks...among them the news of a strong, popular, and competent  Empress in Jinsei and he follows her exploits closely becoming  more and more curious.

 

FengZhiwei  learns a lot, one by one all the lies of her life are revealed and she comes to the realization that her own parents were a lie, her brother the Dacheng prince lied, her teacher lied. The only truth was her love for NY and his love for her. But she is a ruler  in her own right and has responsibility  to her peeps.

 

Wanting to solidify relations with Jinshi  and satisfy his curiosity  NingYi  invites the Empress  to the capitol. She can't  refuse for a number of reasons ie: breech of etiquette, automatic war drums, love etc. So she arrives at the palace and pays homage to the Emperor Ning Yi. BOOM,boom boom...and introduces  her baby boy as the Royal Prince of Jinshi.

Only NingYi  and FengZhiwei, know his true identity and the circumstances  of his conception. 

NingYi  is immediately  overcome with emotion and collapses stunning the court officials, his eunuch  calls for the Imperial Doctor. 

 

Will someone please name the Royal Prince of Jinshi?

 

Troptina,  great thoughts on the story! Love it.

Come on help me out here.

 

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So after watching Meteor Garden and Ashes of love, I thought I’d take a break from c-dramas because they’re just so loooong and dramatic. Fast forward 4 months later and I finally decided to watch this and I just can’t believe I didn’t watch it sooner! Omg. The Rise of Phonixes was just INCREDIBLE! I typically like dramas that are heavy on the romance, but TRoP had so few in between...yet, I could feel it was one of the most powerful love stories I’ve ever seen. (Hats off to Chen Kun and Ni Ni)

 

Yes, there were flaws and yes that ending was THE worst, but I’m willing to look past that. It would’ve been nice if they ended up together because it would’ve made watching the drama so worth it because we watched them go through SO much....but After thinking about it, the ending didn’t really upset me as much because I understood it. There were just too many reasons for her not to marry Ning Yi: Like the former emperor said, if Zhiwei married Ning Yi, evil people would have twisted it to cause his down fall....that plus all the guilt she carried for all of those people who died to keep them apart (especially her mom) and the ones who died to keep them together.....and I guess IF she married him, she would’ve had her heart broken if he had marry other women to solidify political support/connections...she wouldn’t have been truly “free”....and yada yada yada.

 

I think I’m more upset because Zhiwei was an amazing character....And the drama decided to Kill her off so Ning Yi could be an amazing and just Emperor in dedication to her...

 

I highly doubt there will be a season 2. I watch a lot of dramas and it looks like TRoP is a wrap. I just think ZhiWei deserved a better ending than that. :tears:

 

Anyway, amazing drama. I just finished it but I’ll probably watch it again this weekend.:D

 

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They will be rebroadcasting The Rise of Phoenixes in China! 70 episodes at primetime instead of the 56 episodes HunanTV randomly wedged in between variety shows. 

Hopefully that means more people get to appreciate it~

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I just finished the series so most of this is just going to be brainstorming, but for my own part I'm really having difficulty looking past the last few episodes (but especially from ep 64 and outwards), because apart from being rushed as hell, they also for me almost completely ruined the characters? 

 

Zhiwei and Ning Yi's romance is one of the few I've actually been engaged in ever, because for the first 54 episodes or so their entire relationship is based on a mutual trust and respect. And while both the Jinshi and Dayue arcs weren't the best written in terms of romance, that never really changed, but in the last 10 episodes he shows he have no regard for Zhiwei's autonomy. "If you don't show yourself and marry me, I'll kill your followers", basically forcing her to join his harem when she makes it clear that she does not want to, and then being outright angry when Zhiwei isn't thrilled about sleeping with him. Ning Yi had a good handful of lines in the last 4~ episodes or so that sounded straight out of The King's Woman. And I know I'm being dramatic here, but that is such a betrayal of Ning Yi's character. Ning Yi is constantly shown earlier on to be one of the least sexist, abusive, and bigoted character in the entire series, and this is just throw out the window. There are plenty of "subtle", not-as-obvious sexists throughout the series, like Ning Cheng and Ziyan, but Ning Yi doesn't fit that bill. One of his closest and most trusted aides is a woman forced into prostitution, and he's never shown to judge or think lesser of Zhuyin because of that. Ning Yi is shown to take genuine and unashamed joy in doing "women's work", even if it serves as a cover, and he never, ever thinks lesser of Zhiwei being a scholar/intellectual/chancellor/warrior/etc because she is a woman. His refusal to work together with Shaoning is entirely because of her character, not because she is a young girl. And of course, he isn't an outright chauvanist/misogynist either, like the Crown Prince, Chang Hai, or Qiu Mingying. Zhiwei shows far more signs of internalized misogyny (a good deal thanks to Mingying, which is why i mention her above) than Ning Yi ever does of male chauvinism.

 

Nearly all of the imperial children are shown to beat and abuse their servants; the absolute worst physical punishment Ning Yi ever gives Ning Cheng is ordering him to "kneel and never get up" when he more or less makes light of Zhiwei being set for execution the following day. To say that he would coerce Zhiwei into sleeping with him goes against everything the character has stood and fought for throughout the entire series. It's one of the worst character assassinations I have ever seen.

 

What is equally disappointing is that almost the exact same thing happened to Helian Zheng, even if it is to a lesser degree. From near the moment Zhiwei came to Jinshi, Helian Zheng did always make it clear that whatever she choose to do would be her decision alone. Yes, he would try to make her happy and forget about Ning Yi, yes he would be sad if she would choose to leave, but it would ultimately be up to her what to do with her own life. But then he has two conversations with a bald guy and suddenly he believes he is entitled to have her as his wife? He says blatanly sexist things that is completely out of character? For me it also seemed to break the worldbuilding quite a bit, since Jinshi after all is supposed to be a lot more gender egalitarian than Tiansheng, so Zheng's reaction that Zhiwei should "be like other women" and "leave her problems to her husband" and borderline forcing her to come back to Jinshi seemed very out of place. 

 

When it comes to Zhiwei... I really don't know what to say. It was really disappointing seeing how she ended up, I really loved her character in the first 52~ episodes. After she went to Jinshi was almost like she lost her intelligence; she became extremely passive, and she had nothing of the cheekiness and boldness that was present in the earlier episodes. It's of course entirely normal and expected that she developed depression/etc after watching Mingying and Feng Hao die, but for me I didn't feel it was really well executed (no pun intended). Ni Ni's acting was amazing throughout - definitely no complains there - but the actual writing for Zhiwei 2/3's in I felt was just lackluster. I actually think how she reacted to seeing strangers and loved ones die and how she reacted to and progressed from that afterwards was a lot better written in the first part of TRoP. For me, Zhiwei didn't have any actual growth overall from the Jinshi arc and onwards, it was almost like she just changed archetypes. Also, the (extremely) rushed nature of the last 10-15 episodes just made her suicide seem almost strange - though that could also be a problem of the weird editing in the last episode. But tbh, many plot lines in the final arc was strange bc of the episodes being rushed. It definitely would have been a lot better having the 100 episodes instead.

 

Other things that really sucked: 

- Hua Qiong's uneccessary and nonsensical death. I get that she didn't have Jin Siyu in her line of sight, but killing her off served absolutely no purpose. Also, her death isn't even noticed by anyone?? She and Zhiwei are supposed to be sisters, but Zhiwei doesn't even get to react to her death, let alone mourn her. I mean, it's a kinder fate than she had in the books, but that's really not saying much.

 

-It's really the same with Shaoning's death. Sure, her murder set of a string of events but her death is only mourned for a few scenes, and it never really reaches a conclusion. Ning Qi isn't even revealed as her murderer - it's all a bit disappointing, imo.

 

-The pacing of the Jinshi and Dayue arcs was just really weird. The whole Jinshi thing was set up for relatively many episodes, but the arc was so underwhelming and short and imo just really dull. I just couldn't care for the majority of the Jinshi characters, as they were given no proper amount of time to develop, while also having some of the poorest actors in the series. Meidou was particuraly bad, she was basically a walking cliche. The whole rape plot in general was kinda gross and unesseccary. The Dayue arc had the opposite problem, being very long with very little happening. For me it felt kinda like the entire arc was one big conversation, while the actual.... action happened off-screen. Plus, the amnesia storyline was uneeded and very convoluted. It made the underwater kiss scene feel out of place and underwhelming.

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19 hours ago, yshtola said:

Nearly all of the imperial children are shown to beat and abuse their servants; the absolute worst physical punishment Ning Yi ever gives Ning Cheng is ordering him to "kneel and never get up" when he more or less makes light of Zhiwei being set for execution the following day. To say that he would coerce Zhiwei into sleeping with him goes against everything the character has stood and fought for throughout the entire series. It's one of the worst character assassinations I have ever seen.

I thought only Crown Prince beats servants, Ning Yan (5th prince) likes to get foot massage or something, I can't remember what Ning Sheng's shtick was. The latter aren't as nice to their servants, but I don't think they were abusive unless they did so in fits of anger?

 

As for coercing Zhiwei, I interpret that scene differently. I thought it as him angrily lashing out as a half mock request. He was genuinely surprised when she said yes, then he got angry that she was using their relationship as bargaining chip and pushed her onto the bed (which have been mentioned is rough), and then we zoomed out. I don't think Zhiwei agreed under duress (she said she needed it as excuse to say yes), though that doesn't mean Ning Yi wasn't aggressive of course. I guess my point is Zhiwei was on level play field with Ning Yi in that scene?

 

19 hours ago, yshtola said:

But then he has two conversations with a bald guy and suddenly he believes he is entitled to have her as his wife? He says blatanly sexist things that is completely out of character? For me it also seemed to break the worldbuilding quite a bit, since Jinshi after all is supposed to be a lot more gender egalitarian than Tiansheng, so Zheng's reaction that Zhiwei should "be like other women" and "leave her problems to her husband" and borderline forcing her to come back to Jinshi seemed very out of place. 

He said those things before he met Zhangsun Hong, he said it to Zhiwei when she wanted to go back to Tiansheng. (ep 65) He was idealistic and thought he could make her happy, but after they got married, she left the country just to avoid sleeping with him/being with him. (and also to fight a war to stablise his position but she wasn't the best candidate for it, let's be real) So, I think his entitlement just exploded in his desperation of holding onto her. The only thing he has of her is they are technically married, but that doesn't mean anything if she just leaves and go back to Ning Yi. I'm not sure if Jinshi is more egalitarian tbh, it might just manifest in different ways, we saw relatively little of Jinshi after all. (maybe they could fight in wars but still had to obey their husband?)

 

I do think the last ep broke his character though because that was an incredibly stupid plot and why would he even risk Zhiwei's life? I'm incredibly annoyed about it and wished they gave him a better ending. He could have considered the dumb scheme but backed out and died anyways, and it would have kept his character.

 

19 hours ago, yshtola said:

she became extremely passive, and she had nothing of the cheekiness and boldness that was present in the earlier episodes.

She was mourning for lost loved ones and lost romance in Jinshi, but she was pretty bold in the very brief Dayue arc. I know she's like confused half the time, but she was bold when she was clearheaded. The last 7 episodes though ahahhaha, I got through by focusing on acting and individual segment.

 

Zhangsun Hong was basically last straw that broke the camel than her having actual feelings for him or the remnants. Although I do think she feels more than what the audience feel, last blood relative + only remaining royal blood is profoundly tragic in a fleeting way? I don't know how to describe this. For remnants, it's of course responsibility. Wait wait, there was the emperor too, but that was notably dubbed over, I want to know what he actually said to her before! As is, it's more pseudo-parallels that barely make sense and furthering her guilt.

 

Her suicide for me made sense because:

1. depression like you said, she felt responsible for every single death that she had connection to, even if she didn't cause them.

2. her identity is a huge, huge weakness to Ning Yi. People can use it to attack him (he's connected to old dynasty? or try to kill Zhiwei, in secret maybe, because of who she is? or even if not, it'd be difficult for her to marry him. Not to mention the whole Queen of Jinshi thing, even if it's relatively minor in comparison.) It's not just out of love too, she believes he can achieve their ambition, but she's in the way. (again, she interalise problems)

3. even if they married, I don't think she'd be happy in palace because typically empress can't interfere with court, especially one with yknow, her identity. Ning Yi can certainly consult her in private, but it'd be a shame. There's also the whole sharing her husband with other women thing, since Ning Yi will need them for a) more chance of sons who will survive b) control the court, he'll marry daughters of powerful government official to ensure loyalty/establish closeness.

4. Ning Yi seem like the kind of person who will try find her even if she fakes her death, since she's the only person he's close with who's left. 

 

Of course, they totally could have planned it more. I want those scenes they shown in the documentary!! I think that explains their thought process/feelings which would at least give closure. (please watch the documentaries on youtube if you haven't! They are in either Ning Yi's or Zhiwei's, also it's just good documentary.) I totally get if suicide seems OOC to you though, since others have said so before too. (I will take her faking death and just staying away though.)

 

19 hours ago, yshtola said:

- Hua Qiong's uneccessary and nonsensical death. I get that she didn't have Jin Siyu in her line of sight, but killing her off served absolutely no purpose. Also, her death isn't even noticed by anyone?? She and Zhiwei are supposed to be sisters, but Zhiwei doesn't even get to react to her death, let alone mourn her. I mean, it's a kinder fate than she had in the books, but that's really not saying much.

Agreed on Hua Qiong's death and lack of closure there. I really think she had a different ending initially? it's like they just needed her out of the picture but didn't know how? (sort of like how Yan Huaishi just dropped off face of the earth without a mention and you are just meant to extrapolate that he stayed behind in Minhai for some reason)

 

She had better fate in the books though.

Spoiler

IDK if you read she was raped in Dayue, if that's what you mean by worse fate. Because that wasn't her, it's someone else that Prince of An was using to test Zhiwei's (fake) amnesia. She was the general of the army that helped establish Zhiwei's kingdom. Survived till the end and happily married to Yan Huaishi.

 

19 hours ago, yshtola said:

The pacing of the Jinshi and Dayue arcs was just really weird. 

I agree it seems off. In-universe explanation for Jinshi is they are all fairly straightforward, so there's not much political scheming. Out-of-universe explanation is the writers had to avoid Jinshi because it involves minorities and that's a touchy subject for SARFT (the gov agency that all media broadcasted in China have to go through).

 

Dayue is odd, I think it's meant to show Zhiwei's feelings towards Ning Yi? (since she rejected him and she buried her feelings so deeply they only surface when she's not herself.) Also to get yet another foil for Ning Yi. It would have been more interesting if they struggled more with Prince of An? OH It's also another collaborative effort to get them out of trouble, while Zhiwei isn't particularly lucid. But yeah I think they cut a bit here too, and the way they do it does seem pretty convoluted. I can't believe I think the book's way was less awkward, though that had more time to develop (and you get to see Zhiwei trying to get herself out of trouble, which is fun). *complains loudly about missing Zhiwei scheming time*

 

Personally I think they could have just deleted the arcs =w= They are meant to be foreshadowing for all three countries becoming one under Ning Yi's reign, but he never gets there, and he doesn't even get alliances out of them. As a comparison, in the book, Zhiwei gets Jinshi and Dayue as allies. Former cos they are friends, latter cos she helped him get the throne and he admires her ability. The latter is kind of flimsy but there was a peace treaty for x number of years with Tiansheng (? iirc), while he's busy grabbing for the throne, and he does help her later.

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On 1/16/2019 at 4:08 PM, whisper1 said:

A second season could easily include a pregnancy. JMO. NingYi  and FengZhiwei finally give their love to each other. Remember that FW couldn't  refuse him at the funeral. Something to the effect " I'm  not my mother" no kidding, lol.

 

The guilt, and that bogus speech from daddy emporor  has her plan the ultimate escape, but the devoted GuNanyi  uses his skills to save her life and they escape to rethink things. At that early stage she wouldn't  even know she was pregnant, and she would have been protected from serious injury, maybe a bump on the head to insert a little amnesia into the mix.

 

They could travel to Jinshi where she would be recognized as the right full Empress and Princess  of Tiensheng  ( after a little tussle  with the Dowager Empress. ) And by the way she is sure she is pregnant and it is assumed by the court that the deceased Helian Zheng is the daddy, but FengZhiwei  knows better. She was a virgin when she and NingYi  made love. 

 

She throws herself into governing Jinshi, proving to be a capable ruler  and gives birth to a Prince.

 

Meanwhile  back at the Capitol, NingYi  has his own problems...fill in the blanks...among them the news of a strong, popular, and competent  Empress in Jinsei and he follows her exploits closely becoming  more and more curious.

 

FengZhiwei  learns a lot, one by one all the lies of her life are revealed and she comes to the realization that her own parents were a lie, her brother the Dacheng prince lied, her teacher lied. The only truth was her love for NY and his love for her. But she is a ruler  in her own right and has responsibility  to her peeps.

 

Wanting to solidify relations with Jinshi  and satisfy his curiosity  NingYi  invites the Empress  to the capitol. She can't  refuse for a number of reasons ie: breech of etiquette, automatic war drums, love etc. So she arrives at the palace and pays homage to the Emperor Ning Yi. BOOM,boom boom...and introduces  her baby boy as the Royal Prince of Jinshi.

Only NingYi  and FengZhiwei, know his true identity and the circumstances  of his conception. 

NingYi  is immediately  overcome with emotion and collapses stunning the court officials, his eunuch  calls for the Imperial Doctor. 

 

Will someone please name the Royal Prince of Jinshi?

 

I like it alot!  I might suggest for the Royal Prince of Jinshi should be named "HeLian Yi" (Yi= 义, which means righteousness) as a tribute to both fathers.  Their meeting in Tiansheng would have been on the outside productive for increasing trade between Tiansheng and Jinshi.  But in fact it kindles their feelings for each other.  After this initial meeting, they decide on a mutual location for secret meetings somewhere in the middle of nowhere--maybe on a ship that connects Tiansheng to Minhai.  In the desertedness of the ship, NY and FZW and their son is able to get some privacy and time together.

 

WIth both FZW and NY in powerful positions, perhaps would be fun working together to defeat DaYue or some other neighboring bad guys, which requires a large amount of scheming, politics, and interactions.   Any ideas?

 

One thing I would've wanted to see in TROP is some more interaction between FZW and Gu Yan, as Gu Yan is probably the closest living family to her (eventhough Gu Heng wasn't biologically her dad).  Perhaps in season 2 Gu Yan has more interactions with her. Maybe he gets sent to Jinshi for various trade negotiations, and through it FZW learns more about Gu Heng.  She also gets some solace from Gu Yan since he too had to give up Da Cheng aspirations.

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On 1/22/2019 at 7:09 PM, yshtola said:

The Dayue arc had the opposite problem, being very long with very little happening. For me it felt kinda like the entire arc was one big conversation, while the actual.... action happened off-screen. Plus, the amnesia storyline was uneeded and very convoluted. It made the underwater kiss scene feel out of place and underwhelming.

 

Wait, do you think Jin Siyu actually raped FZ? I don't. He knew who she was and that Helian Zhang was at his gates - also that Ning Yi's army was close by. Crazy as he was, even he realized he'd have to 'marry' her to have his way.

 

I agree with @skibbies that the changes in FZ's behavior and personality  made sense given the enormous losses she experienced within a relatively short timeframe. Losing her mother, her brother, her country, her identity and the man she loved amounts to a devastating array of losses. Prior to her arrival at the emperor's court she was inexperienced and idealistic. Much of her strength was based on idealism, which the sequence of events after her arrival at court totally deflated. Even falling for her brother's lies makes sense, given her longing for family and a cause to believe in.

 

All of this makes me feel certain that there will be a second season, in which FZ will rise up (like a phoenix!) and find her strength again.

 

 

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On 1/23/2019 at 2:27 PM, skibbies said:

Personally I think they could have just deleted the arcs =w= They are meant to be foreshadowing for all three countries becoming one under Ning Yi's reign, but he never gets there, and he doesn't even get alliances out of them. As a comparison, in the book, Zhiwei gets Jinshi and Dayue as allies. Former cos they are friends, latter cos she helped him get the throne and he admires her ability. The latter is kind of flimsy but there was a peace treaty for x number of years with Tiansheng (? iirc), while he's busy grabbing for the throne, and he does help her later.

 

Maybe the struggle to unify the three countries will be a thread in season2? I'm feeling quite optimistic about a second season after seeing a photo taken last week of Chen Kun and Ni Ni with one of the writers.

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This show was so well done visually and ascetically.  I fell in love with Ning Yi's character and the Actor Chen kun, I think he is sooo handsome and I love his real life personality. Like I'm actually going to learn Chinese and visit china now because of this show. 

 

I just finished the show last night and my heart is so heavy. I cant believe they ended the series this way. I felt frustrated the entire show because of all the unrequited love between Ning Yi and FZW. Im even more upset that they never even got a sex scene what the heck is up with that? Like I would've been consolable knowing that they at least made love before either of them died. Or was sex implied when FZW showed up to Ning Yi's when she had on the purple robe and he pushed her on the bed. I'm also wondering why they never showed FZW and Helian Zheng consummating their marriage. 

 

Is there going to be a second season? I just had a feeling that his mother wasn't really dead and maybe she will come back again and as well as FZW. 

 

Some of my favorite episode were Ning Yi killing the crown prince and him begging the emperor for his mother. Those were really powerful scenes with some killer acting by Chen Kun. Overall this show invokes some powerful emotions in the viewer, but there were a lot of unanswered questions and the last 20 episodes felt rushed and incomplete. 

 

Also side note is Chen Kun gay or straight? I know he has a son but never married and there seems to be rumors that he's gay but no real info online. Also does he speak english none of his interviews are in English. 

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