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[Mainland Chinese Drama 2020] Royal Nirvana 鹤唳华亭


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CP: Where is she? Chang An: Wang just went over with some men. CP: (relieved) Go fetch a few things for me.   The scene cuts to the bedchamber.   Wang: You are at death’s

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Of course, just joking! :blush:

Have people watched the whole 12 episodes? On YouTube they are up to 10 I think, but I haven't watched the last two as I dread the pain that's coming! (I have watched the last one in Chinese - that was very undisciplined of me - and it was truly painful :bawling:). 

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From the scriptwriter of the first season.

 

15: Day. Inside the Palace; Inside and outside Konghe

 

The Emperor, who has been sitting idly, is slowly going about keeping his painting.

 

Eunuch A enters: Your Majesty...

 

The Emperor makes no response as he continues keeping his painting.

 

Eunuch speaks haltingly: He...His Highness...is about to...

 

(Cut) Corridor outside Konghe. Guards are approaching, bearing something in their hands.

 

The Emperor makes no response as he continues keeping his painting.

 

Eunuch: To...depart.

 

The Emperor makes no response as he continues keeping his painting. The eunuch looks left and right but there is no longer anyone around to give him a definite response. Caught in a difficult position, he is about to take his leave.

 

Without finishing keeping his painting, the Emperor suddenly stands and walks out of the room without a word.

 

The eunuch hurries to keep up: Your Majesty....(calling out in a soft tone) Prepare His Majesty’s carriage, prepare His Majesty’s carriage....

 

Eunuch B falls in and inquires softly: To where....?

 

16: Day. Outside the Palace; Inside and outside Konghe

 

The Emperor’s boots as his footsteps move forward.

 

The hurried steps of the eunuchs following behind.

 

(Cut) Gu Se Se’s embroidered shoes as she moves forward.

 

(Cut) The orderly footsteps of Konghe guards.

 

They seem to be heading in the same direction.

 

(Cut) Inside a room. Xiao Ding Quan’s shoes, the hem of his robe, his hands placed on his knees, his face with his eyes closed.

 

The sound of approaching footsteps from outside the door grows louder.

 

Slowly, he opens his eyes.

 

Slowly, he rises.

 

Slowly and tentatively, he walks towards the door.

 

He gets closer to the door.

 

(Cut) The Emperor’s boot-shod feet stop before a certain door. Slowly, he draws nearer to the door.

 

(Cut) Separated by a door, the Emperor hesitantly reaches out a hand.

 

(Cut) Separated by a door, Xiao Ding Quan hesitantly reaches out a hand.

 

The door opens.

 

Astonishment takes over Xiao Ding Quan’s face momentarily before his brow gradually relaxes.

 

Outside the door, Gu Se Se, beautifully made up, is smiling at him softly.

 

(Cut) The Emperor opens the door and enters. In the desolate room, a lone woman sitting beside a cradle looks up; it’s Song Gui Ren.

 

20: Day. Inside the Palace.

 

Shaking a drum-shaped rattle wih one hand and rocking the cradle with the other, Song Gui Ren smiles innocently and gently at the cradle.

 

With difficulty, the Emperor says from behind her: I’ve come...to take a look at you.

 

Confused, Song Gui Ren repeats: Look?

 

Emperor: All these years, I’ve...owed you.

 

Song Gui Ren: Owed?

 

Emperor: I’m here to...apolo...

 

Song Gui Ren tilts her head, scrutinising him: Apologise?

 

Emperor hesitates for a moment, closes his eyes and continues with difficulty: In my heart, actually I’ve always known...what you said was not wrong...it needn’t have been this way. I also can’t figure out, how we got to this stage.  I...

 

Song Gui Ren, who has been listening with bewilderment, suddenly raises one finger and makes a hushing sound: Don’t say anymore.

 

The Emperor stops talking.

 

Song Gui Ren indicates: She’s crying.

 

The Emperor gazes at the empty cradle.

 

Song Gui Ren softly sings a lullaby:...Golden bell hangs, bronze mirror is cast...the beauty looks back, who does she fancy...

 

The Emperor’s face abruptly loses all colour; his fingers tremble.

 

(Cut) The anxious look on Eunuch A who is observing the situation from outside the room. He intends to enter to stop Song Gui Ren.

 

The Emperor’s hand signal stops him.

 

The Emperor desperately tries to calm himself down: I’ve come...to take you back. Let’s go back.

 

Song Gui Ren once again repeats: Go back?

 

The Emperor nods: I’ll...make it up to you.

 

Song Gui Ren studies him with curiosity and hesitancy, then she smiles, seemingly about to agree.

 

The Emperor prepares to nod as he awaits her reply with slight nervousness.

 

The confused and innocent Song Gui Ren breaks into a smile as radiant as the flowers: You’re lying.

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From the scriptwriter of the first season.

 

25: Day. Palace (exterior).

 

The Emperor walks out of the hall, his steps slightly staggered.

 

The stone steps stir a feeling of familiarity. Pausing, brows knitted, he studies them.

 

(Flashback intersperses with reality) Standing in the same location are Lu Shi Yu, Xiao Ding Quan and the Emperor.

 

Lu Shi Yu: After my son’s demise, I’ve been feeling regretful. I shouldn’t have over-pressured him. When I see those who are around the same age as he, I think of him.

 

(Reality) The Emperor sees a young Konghe guard coming to submit the royal edict.

 

Lu Shi Yu: When I see the same kind of calligraphy, I think of him.

 

(Reality) The Emperor sees the letter written by Xiao Ding Quan being held in the guard’s hands.

 

The Emperor closes his eyes.

 

Lu Shi Yu (Off-screen): Even if I do not see anything, I still think of him. I think, I regret but still have to pretend it no longer bothers me.

 

Lu Shi Yu (Off-screen): I beseech Your Majesty to have a little regard for your father-and-son relationship and not repeat my mistake. After all, in this life, the only things we cannot choose are our parents and the only things we cannot force are our children.

 

The Emperor is silent for a moment, then he opens his eyes and says: Minister Lu, rest assured I will not—

 

In front of him, Lu Shi Yu suddenly lifts his head and looks at the spot where Xiao Ding Quan is standing behind the Emperor. (9-24) (Flashback ends.)

 

Frowning, the Emperor looks in the direction of Lu Shi Yu’s gaze but there are only empty stone steps and the people who should not be before his eyes disappear.

 

On seeing this, Konghe guard falters and stops in his steps. The eunuch looks at him and gravely nods his head.

 

The Emperor lifts his head and sees them, the look in his eyes perplexed and questioning.

 

Both of them bow deeply in wordless reply.

 

The Emperor repeats to himself in a mutter: Rest assured I will not...

 

All of a sudden, Lu Shi Yu’s voice once again sounds out, cutting off his words: I think, I regret but still have to pretend it no longer bothers me. At times like that, my body feels like it is being dismembered.

 

The Emperor suddenly clutches at his heart agonisingly with one hand. He falls and sits heavily on the stone step.

 

The eunuch anxiously rushes up to him: “Your Majesty, Your Majesty, this is—“

 

Emperor pushes him aside and mutters with gritted teeth: ...regret. (This is a continuation of his previous sentence.)

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8 hours ago, bluehibiscus said:

@PPB What do you think of the Emperor’s show of regret in the script?

 I've been thinking about it.... He has a lot of regrets, his feelings towards the CP are complex. He loves him, but doesn't trust him, he has fatherly feelings towards , but rarely acts upon them. I'm not sure (also I have not seen how our poor CP falls in disgrace again) what to make of it. The writer wants us to see his love for CP, yet the result is always the same, mistrust, suspicion, jealousy, misunderstandings. I suppose that is the tragic tension between these opposing forces within him. What's your take on it @bluehibiscus

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4 hours ago, PPB said:

 I've been thinking about it.... He has a lot of regrets, his feelings towards the CP are complex. He loves him, but doesn't trust him, he has fatherly feelings towards , but rarely acts upon them. I'm not sure (also I have not seen how our poor CP falls in disgrace again) what to make of it. The writer wants us to see his love for CP, yet the result is always the same, mistrust, suspicion, jealousy, misunderstandings. I suppose that is the tragic tension between these opposing forces within him. What's your take on it @bluehibiscus

 

I’ve mentioned before, I was initially taken aback by this depiction based on what I know of the novel and the author’s intentions but I like it. It shows he is a human after all and not just a person entirely consumed by power. He too can be blindsided by emotions into making decisions he would regret later on. In the ancestral hall scene, we see that he has an inferiority complex in front of his father which inevitably contributes to his own lack as a father. The refusal to admit regret at the end is also in keeping with his prideful character.

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On 3/14/2020 at 7:32 PM, PPB said:

 

@bluehibiscus would you be so kind as to explain the demotion of Du Shi Lang (is that the correct name, the assistant minister who was corrupted but CP burned the ledger that implicated him)? Is it because he helped CP? And what he said to CP as he was leaving, was that about regret at being bad, even if at the end he did see that it was not a good thing to be corrupted? Sorry to be confused, but it's such a complex story, not helped in the least by very bad translation! 

 

I had a relook at Du Heng’s speech before his departure and made more sense of it.

 

Context: Du submitted a letter to the Emperor, taking the blame to protect CP and was demoted to a 8-pin local magistrate post in far-flung Zhangzhou.

 

Your Highness, I have come to bid my farewell. A person such as I, neither an incorruptible official nor an upright official, without any benefit to the country but with sins against the honourable (“the honourable” may also be referring to CP). A person such as I am not a gentleman but really a villain. Even so I cannot reconcile myself with this outcome.

 

Minister Lu once said, a gentleman who is unable to die in a gentlemanly way, is a gentleman’s regret. Now I finally understand, a villain who is unable to be punished for the crime of a villain (ie punished for a non-villainous act), is also a villain’s regret. (This implies he feels he is not deserving of this punishment). If I can feel this way, I dare not imagine how Your Highness must feel.

 

I take my leave. Your Highness’ kindness to me, I am unable to repay in this lifetime. This regret has nothing to do with gentleman or villain but a mortal’s selfish desires and emotions. Hence, even if it is to satisfy my selfish desire, I request Your Highness to keep your spirits up. Don’t let your servant, ten thousand miles away in a place of diseases caused by miasma (in the olden days, the term refers to areas south of the Yangtze River), have regret for the rest of his life. (He is asking CP not to let his sacrifice of his future as an official go to waste)

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7 hours ago, bluehibiscus said:

 

I’ve mentioned before, I was initially taken aback by this depiction based on what I know of the novel and the author’s intentions but I like it. It shows he is a human after all and not just a person entirely consumed by power. He too can be blindsided by emotions into making decisions he would regret later on. In the ancestral hall scene, we see that he has an inferiority complex in front of his father which inevitably contributes to his own lack as a father. The refusal to admit regret at the end is also in keeping with his prideful character.

Yes, I agree. Only I wasn't too surprised somehow as I remember the Emperor's soliloquy you translated and posted a while ago (which I think did not appear in the drama, it was cut? ). I remember thinking then, that the emperor does love CP, but his life as an Emperor is far too complicated for him to be able to show it, or even be lenient towards his son. 

Bearing in mind that I have not read the novel. 

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From the scriptwriter of the first season.

 

5: Day. Inside Deng Hua Palace

 

Zhao Wang sits on a low chair under the eaves.

 

A group of young neirens surrounds him. They are playing cat’s cradle. On and off they burst into soft laughter and conversation.

 

Jiang Shang Gong stands besides Noble Consort Zhao, watching the scene with a kindly expression.

 

Inside the house, Noble Consort Zhao paces to and fro agitatedly.

 

Zhao Wang: Have you taken a look at the pieces of calligraphy I sent over, Mother?

 

Noble Consort Zhao: I don’t look at those undecipherable things. What’s the point of constantly practising calligraphy? You can’t write better than His Highness.

 

Zhao Wang: Who can compare with him? His teacher is Minister Lu.

 

Noble Consort Zhao complains to Jiang Shang Gong: Look at him, he looks like someone with no prospects. When he’s not writing, he’s hanging out with a few girls. When Da Lang was his age, he was already reviewing the troops at the capital barracks on His Majesty’s behalf. This time round, the willow shooting competition doesn’t even have his share. Where do I put my face...

 

Zhao Wang: Anyway, I can’t outcompete His Highness, I can’t outcompete Dage—Eh, Jiejie, hold it, then hook the string on the right and move it towards me...

 

The neirens clap in delight: It’s completed! It’s completed!

 

Noble Consort Zhao (furiously): What do you call this (she means disapproval of the way he looks at that moment)?

 

Zhao Wang looks at the complex arrangement of red string on his hands: This is called Ru Yi knot.

 

Noble Consort Zhao: Ru what yi?

 

Recalling something more important, she turns to Jiang Shang Gong and asks: Isn’t the genealogy paper ready yet?

 

Zhao Wang (distractedly): A side consort? Will sister-in-law agree?

 

Noble Consort Zhao: Go outside and play. The sight of you vexes me—He Dao Ran that fox, why is he taking so long?

 

 

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From the scriptwriter of the first season.

 

43: Day. Inside Da Xiang Guo Temple

 

In the capital, it is similarly pouring heavily. Zhao Wang stands with his hand behind his back, studying the calligraphy on the inner wall of the temple.

 

Plum blossoms of Luo Fu*,

Hit by rain and blown away by wind

Green rock green moss

But no sign of a beauty

 

*Zhao Shi Xiong dreamt of conversing and drinking with a simply dressed beauty who smelt divine while asleep under the plum blossoms of Luo Fu. This gave rise to the use of “Luo Fu”, “Luo Fu Beauty”, “Dream Luo Fu”. “Luo Fu Dream”, “Luo Fu guest” in songs and poems about plum blossoms. “Luo Fu Dream” means good times rarely last.

 

Zhao Wang: Do you know this is the handwriting of the late Empress? His Highness’ talent at calligraphy takes after her—

 

Holding a brocade-wrapped parcel under his arm while shaking rainwater off his umbrella, Eunuch Chang He is not interested in listening to Zhao Wang’s explanation: The first rain of spring and it’s already so heavy!

 

Zhao Wang: Be careful not to get the copybook wet!

 

Chang He: Even if boiling oil were to fall from the sky, I would do my duty to first protect this precious—

 

Zhao Wang sighs: Seems like it won’t stop anytime soon. Looks like we can’t make it to Minister Lu’s residence today—-and I waited until both His Majesty and His Highness are not in the capital too, which is not easy.

 

Chang He: If we weren’t going to his residence, we wouldn’t have been stuck here.—If we miss the time to return to the Palace and Niang Niang asks about it, it will be my fault again.

 

Zhao Wang: When has Niang Niang ever asked about me? And is coming over here, even if you were to get scolded later, so terrible for you? This is where the late Empress used to worship —even this Goddess of Mercy statue (walks to stand under the statue) is modelled after her looks.

 

Chang He mumbles: The one who’s fond of coming here is His Highness. What has it got to do with Wu Dawang? What has it got to do with me?

 

Checking out his surroundings, Wu Dawang wanders over to the front of the statue and casually picks up the female lead’s painting. Curiosity piqued, he unrolls the painting. The landscape is completed but there is only one crane. In the blank space at the centre of the painting are the two lines of poetry that Xiao Ding Quan had written for his teacher.

 

Zhao Wang: Strange—

 

Chang He joins him: Aiyah, what kind of thing is it? Wu Dawang dares to anyhow pick it up? What’s strange?

 

Zhao Wang points at the blank space next to the lone crane: Don’t you think the empty space here is excessive and spoils the composition?

 

Chang He humphs: You are asking me?

 

Zhao Wang looks around. There is no one else so he gives up.

 

Zhao Wang mutters to himself: The handwriting is truly excellent. The lady who wrote this isn’t ordinary.

 

Chang He teases: Any good thing you see, you think it must belong to a lady. In my view, it’s an esteemed old man and half bald, like Minister He (He Dao Ran).

 

Zhao Wang makes a sound of disdain: Let’s make a bet.

 

Chang He: What do you want to bet this time?

 

Zhao Wang: If I win, you must help me again to look for Minister’s Lu memorial to the throne—

 

Chang He: What if I win?

 

Zhao Wang: If you win, then naturally you get to decide.

 

Change He: Then I sincerely request Wu Dawang to keep away from those jiejies and put more effort into serious matters.

 

Zhao Wang: The things I do are serious matters.

 

Chang He: You’re the only one who didn’t get to go to the willow shooting this time.

 

Zhao Wang: Liu Lang also didn’t go.

 

Chang He (angrily): Liu Lang is only four years old! What do you want to compare with him? Drinking milk? No, even when it comes to drinking milk, you will lose to Liu Lang!

 

Zhao Wang: Oh you know so much! (He’s telling him to stop)

 

Chang He (looking exasperated): Anyway, the owner of the painting won’t come back. Count it as I win this time.

 

Chang He makes to snatch the painting from Zhao Wang but Zhao Wang dodges him.

 

Zhao Wang: Ay, the owner hasn’t returned yet, how can it be considered as you win?

 

Chang He: So Wu Dawang still cares about winning and losing? I thought Wu Dawang had become Buddha on the spot!

 

Zhao Wang: Everyone wants to become the Emperor. If I don’t become Buddha, who will? If I don’t become Buddha, will you dare to spout nonsense in front of me everyday?

 

Chang He’s anger disappears.

 

Zhao Wang reads the poem: How come there are only two lines? 

Daidi’s clouds, Longxi’s grey geese, Zhejiang’s waters,

A lost soul waiting to be called.

 

Lu Wenxi’s voice rings from behind him: 

So many people long for wealth and riches...

 

Returning to the capital, Wenxi once again appears at Da Xiang Guo Temple, bearing the signs of wind and rain, the veil on the hat she is wearing drenched to semi-transparency. In the flickering candlelight, Zhao Wang turns and sees her slowly approach.

 

Wenxi notices the painting in Zhao Wang’s hands. Vigilantly, Chang He places himself in front of Zhao Wang: Who is it?

 

Outside the chamber, [the trees] toss in the wind and rain. Inside the chamber, the flames on the candles dance and jump while thin smoke hovers in the air.

 

Wenxi: That painting, it is not completed. Can you return it to me?

 

She lifts the soaked veil of her hat. Water drips along the dampened curls of black hair at the side of her face to her chin, forming a crystal clear globule before falling to the ground.

 

At that very moment, the sound of soft Buddhist chanting by the monks starts up.

 

Zhao Wang pushes aside Chang He who is blocking the way and gazes at her with stunned wonder in his eyes.

 

Zhao Wang: Green rock green moss, in the wind and rain comes a beauty. I win.

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So... YouTube has now released all 12 episodes. I have seen most but was waiting for better translation, as atm it really is a bit rough and hard to follow. Of course I know what happens thanks to this forum and the contributions here. Now... Someone earlier (sorry I can't remember the name) said that 

Spoiler

CP had the option not to end his life, he could have done something else

and I agree, even if I don't yet know the details. If anyone is still here  what are your thoughts about it? On the YouTube comments someone said 

Spoiler

CP has suffered such psychological and physical torture, that he could not possibly live (or words to that effect). But he had a child on the way  and the love of his life by his side.... Not enough? You can see I don't like this ending  too upsetting!!! 

 What do you think? 

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@PPB Me too, I am waiting for the good translation to be able to following the story.

 

I had the same feeling that there could be better option than ending his life. But i guess he was living this way and his value was putting on the country. Having to live in a confinement for the rest of his life, being insulted without having power to protect himself. May be die with dignity is better option for him. 

 

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@PPB Sorry I have been putting off watching the last 3 episodes while doing translations so I can’t comment on the ending in the drama yet but your questions were my exact thoughts when I read the novel. I guess we cannot use our ordinary lens to view DQ as he is from a different time and has a different set of priorities. It is not uncommon for one’s reputation to mean more than one’s life to the literati of that time.

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Thank you @Cdramaand @bluehibiscus. Yes, you are both right of course. Reputation was so important then (do you remember the choice CP made about his teacher..) and especially for a Prince. Thinking about it some more, I thought the ending  the very ending was actually quite positive. 

Spoiler

The Emperor gets a grandson he adores, another "treasure", he is going to teach him himself, and will prepare him for being the next emperor.  The problems that have constantly arisen between the emperor and the CP have now gone. No more divided loyalties, or fear of divided loyalties. It kind of is going to be smooth sailing... The CP sacrificed himself for this..... 

I just feel so sad for CP... 

Thank you for your replies btw, much appreciated. 

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33 minutes ago, PPB said:

Thank you @Cdramaand @bluehibiscus. Yes, you are both right of course. Reputation was so important then (do you remember the choice CP made about his teacher..) and especially for a Prince. Thinking about it some more, I thought the ending  the very ending was actually quite positive. 

  Reveal hidden contents

The Emperor gets a grandson he adores, another "treasure", he is going to teach him himself, and will prepare him for being the next emperor.  The problems that have constantly arisen between the emperor and the CP have now gone. No more divided loyalties, or fear of divided loyalties. It kind of is going to be smooth sailing... The CP sacrificed himself for this..... 

I just feel so sad for CP... 

Thank you for your replies btw, much appreciated. 

 

Yes and Du Heng’s farewell speech also touched on Teacher Lu’s words about dying in a dignified fashion. When I did the translations, it struck me how often they like to say, “....I’ll die with no regrets.”

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