Original Title: 兰陵王
Theme: Period, love, wuxia
Yang Xue Wu grows up in White Mountain Village without ever being in contact with the outside world. She is raised by her protective and loving grandmother, who is the priestess of their Wu tribe. Their clan’s sorceresses have helped kings conquer the world in the past but decided not to get involved in political and military matters after their clan started suffering from retributions. They’ve lived isolated for generations since the start of political turmoil. Besides protecting their tribe from outsiders, Yang Xue Wu’s grandmother is determined to protect her granddaughter. A prophecy indicated that Yang Xue Wu would fall in love with an outsider, Prince Lan Ling Wang of Qi State, leave her village to follow him, and would eventually end up encountering sorrow when he would die killed by his own brothers.
When Yang Xue Wu meets Lan Ling Wang and brings him to her village in order to take care of his injured horse, she doesn’t realize that fate is knocking on her door. A series of adventures will cause Yang Xue Wu to rescue Lan Ling Wang several times – not without getting involved in military and political struggles.
Prince Lan Ling Wang (Feng Shao Feng) is a renowned warrior and historical figure of Ancient China. Also known as The God of Battle, Lan Ling Wang is able to protect his state against enemies, especially Northern Zhou. The emperor of Northern Zhou Yuwen Yung (Daniel Chan) has vowed to unify China and in order to do so he has to conquer Qi State. Yuwen Yung will also have more personal reasons to beat Lan Ling Wang – his feelings for Xue Wu. At first, Yuwen Yung sees in Xue Wu a great political asset. Everyone believes her to be the great sorceress of the clan, which is not totally false. However Xue Wu is not a great asset because she posseses magical powers but rather because of her intelligence, tact, courage, and compassion. Yuwen Yung slowly starts developing genuine and deep feelings for Xue Wu. Although he sees in her more than a political asset, Yuwen Yung cannot be with her since she already has feelings for Lan Ling Wang.
Xue Wu will eventually pick Lan Ling Wang and get married to him. The story could have ended there but unfortunately Lan Ling Wang’s enemies are numerous. The Crown Prince, who is highly influenced by his closest adviser Zu Ting, presents the biggest threat to Lan Ling Wang’s life.
The Crown Prince has always been jealous of Lan Ling Wang’s political and military triumphs. The Crown Prince feels that his position is threatened especially since he realizes the Emperor’s trust in Lan Ling Wang. Another element or person that fuels his jealousy toward Lan Ling Wang is Zheng Er. The latter had feelings for Lan Ling Wang and tried to create trouble for our main couple. Zheng Er’s love quickly turns into hatred when she is unable to break Xue Wu and Lan Ling Wang apart; she decides to turn to the Crown Prince who had feelings for her. Zheng Er’s goal: using the Crown Prince’s existing hatred to ruin Lan Ling Wang and Xue Wu.
Loved, loved, loved this drama! It took me quite some time before watching it. I had heard fans saying how the ending was sad, I wasn’t sure how I would handle it. As a matter of fact, I watched the first 25 episodes really fast and as I could feel the end approaching I slowed down – so scared T_T
The romance between Lan Ling Wang and Xue Wu was the main thing that drawn me but I partly stayed because of Yuwen Yung.
At some point, I shipped Yuwen Yung with Xue Wu. Why? I am not totally sure myself. However something that jumped to my attention was the fact that Yuwen Yung never truly had someone he trusted and deeply loved. He had the Queen and she provided a great support but that couldn’t compare to the feelings he had for Xue Wu. Yuwen Yung would have grown and learned so much from Xue Wu whereas Lan Ling Wang was pretty much accomplished even without Xue Wu – loved, respected, and powerful.
Another reason might be the way Daniel Chan portrayed Yuwen Yung; his acting skills were impressing – not saying that Feng Shao Feng sucked but Daniel Chan was at another level in this drama.
I really liked the acting. I mean even the most hated character – Crown Prince – was beautifully portrayed. The extend to which I hated him is the proof lol. Despite me hating his character, I felt a lot of pity for him too. Crown Prince always had to prove himself and live in paranoia. Their family history and his father’s hold on the throne, as well as his, were mainly possible after the murder of kin. I also felt that Crown Prince still valued his brotherhood with Lan Ling Wang. The more he hurt Lan Ling Wang, the more guilt he felt to the point of falling in a state of depression. Crown Prince and Lan Ling Wang’s relationship could have turned out differently if it wasn’t for Crown Prince being blindly influenced by Zu Ting and Zheng Er. My conclusion: he had too much faith in the wrong people and too little faith in himself.
Zheng Er was too in love or too obsessed by Lan Ling Wang; she even lost her soul and conscience throughout the journey. Nothing mattered to her more than winning Lan Ling Wang over even if she had to kill and manipulate others. The actress, who portrayed Zheng Er, doesn’t seem to have been in a lot of dramas but I think that with her role in this drama she might gain recognition. She had one of the most complex characters to play and I think she did it pretty well. I could feel her love, hatred, pain, and jealousy in her eyes, gesture, etc.
The bromance between Lan Ling Wang and Fifth Prince was cute to see! I love how the two of them stood by each other during good and bad times. I hope to see them act together again.
Least but not last the colors and costumes were breathtaking except for Lan Ling Wang and that one purple jacket *shaking my head*. Seriously what was the designer thinking?
~ maniac Ride