This was quite a decent drama, is how I rate it. It has its faults and even weaknesses yet I still considered it a rather good story, at least the main character isn’t a Mary Sue. And that here the plot was decent although leaving a fill plot holes here and there. But overall, it was enjoyable and that I was moved to tears for most of the scenes.
And the reason why I used the Chinese title is because the English title is just one of the funniest and most ridiculous for a Chinese historical war drama. Given only ten episodes was spent on the inner court and most on the war itself, I’m putting it on the war side of things.
As the main chatacter, I’m thankful thay she isn’t perfect. Such as in the middle when she chose to leave him, because she couldn’t take in her pride and swallow being treated that way. That made her imperfect as a character and showed me that there was more to her than just being able to fight.
She has her own weaknesses and moments of weakness and even when her pride comes in place of her emotions. And she breaks down a few times, when it was just too much. And that’s why I like her as she is relatable enough when she knew her husband married another who took her place as the official wife, anyone would be unable to stand it. Even though she was luckier, but it was more towards the end that she went back. And I’m fine. That’s was her weakest point but made her human. And her misjudgement of Yanzhi thinking she would be able to leave, and escape safely but it turned out she didn’t.
Even with marrying another women for power I still cannot hate him, applause to Yuan Hong here. For making me unable to hate a character that married another and basically wasted her years and even letting down Lihua many times over. But I could feel that he was bound by circumstances and even strained by his situation. Some things he couldn’t just give up, but at least he tried and cared for her. And let’s face it, he’s probably one of the Emperors with the least amount of wives. Many Emperors have hundreds, even thousands and he only has: three. Yes, three which shows how much he cared for his Lihua. And how much he didn’t want to hurt her, even Yanzhi had to drug him to sleep with him, only to turn out that it may possibly not be his child at all(not that it is of and importance, since it was never mentioned). And that why the inner palace only gotten ten episodes, if it spent too much on it as it is too boring(as Yanzhi chose to leave the palace battles and raise her only child, and Lihua never took part. The only one scheming is Guo Shengtong and her mother.) But he is an effective ruler and I can see why he should become an Emperor. And even best his own brother at this. As he knows when to forgive and knows how to rule as well as helping the normal people and when to even tolerate and wait. Well, he probably learned after doing a lot of waiting.
I pitied her in the end, where she was so worn down. She may have been jealous, but how she was raised clearly didn’t help. And that with every scheme the Emperor further drifted from her, and almost everything she did had no impact to her positive image but rather worsened her. But most importantly why I pity her, is that most of the schemes she doesn’t know about them. Liu Xiu always think she is on it. And that she just married the wrong person, she married someone who had no eyes for her. And couldn’t even leave space for her in his heart, and she was her family’s apple of the eye. Her only problem was her jealously and spoiled attitude and inability to accept that Liu Xiu probably had no space for her and cared much more for Lihua. And thinking that once Lihua is gone he would turn to her. But other than that, she was a nice girl in the beginning and middle when she was first introduced. And I agreed with her mother, married her to a normal guy or at least someone who would treat her well because her personality couldn’t take not being the center of attention.
He was a nice person, and that he kinda took failures too harshly. But at the beginning I liked him for his kindness and even personality. He chooses to never oppose Lihua and helps them in anyway possible. Even marrying when there was rumors concerning them. He is selfless sometimes overly so, but at least he had some failures to further show his character and his personality in times of failure. That he runs away and believes himself unworthy, and tries to understand. And that he cares for Lihua, sometimes even more than Liu Xiu himself. But to give Liu Xiu credit, he needs to worry about the country and a lot more things before Lihua but his mind always thinks of her as well.
The eldest brother of Lihua, and personally a great guy. He cares for her no matter what she does, even if she chooses to waste his people and money. Even when she defies him time and time again, he always chooses to help her in the end. And despite all that, he protects his sister when she couldn’t. And all he does is for the family and Lihua.
He really grows a lot, in the beginning when he was childish and followed jis brother’s orders. But eventually he matures a lot, and his ending was honestly sad but concides with history on when he leaves the world.
Actually I think he’s a good character, he wasn’t a great Emperor but more by his lack of power. He’s quite a skilled strategist and is able to fight. He’s a puppet who had no ability to change any of things that happened, and when he begins to change and try to take back his true power he fails horribly. As he cannot trust anyone, neither did he keep the most important. And he lacked good people by his side who can help him, apart from Ma Wu, no one else truly cared for him. Not even his wife, be it Lady Han who only wanted the Empress position but neither cared about him. To Lady Zhao, who loves him but doesn’t know about his current situation. That he is being controlled and having little power to change that. In the end, I liked his ending, it set him free truly.
He is one of the most likeable men, sometimes even more likeable that Liu Xiu himself. Even when his family was held by others, he chose to help Liu Xiu. And that he is humble and never asks for anything, not even a place. But really other than that, I don’t have much to say about him.
She is the kindest and the woman who doesn’t care about any status. Given that she is probably of the lowest classes at the time, I think that she was glad to be a concubine as long as she could be with her beloved.
I fully agree with the fact that he is kind but wholly unsuited to be a subject rather than an Emperor. He is extremely loyal to his brothers which ultimately contributed to his rather brutal death. He is someone with great kindness, but I really didn’t think he was suited to be an Emperor. He may have great benevolence and kindness, to be able to forgive a general for killing many of his family members, but he lacks something that I cannot pinpoint in an Emperor. Probably it’s the ability to see hidden dangers and look at the bigger picture. But he is selfless and chooses to do many things and puts other first and treasures relationships.
I hated her for most of it. Until after Liu Xiu went to look for Lihua then did I kinda like her. Since she likes Deng Yu, which ended up making her hare Lihua for forcing him away. And always thinking the worst of her even on baseless rumors spreaded by someone who hated Lihua’s guts. She sometimes have great lack of intellect, but glad she managed to change her ways once she realised the goodness of her husband, who is great husband material.
The most perfect husband, when he cares for Boji and never even asks her or forces her to do anything. Even choosing to die in her place, he is a great person overall. But doesn’t have much of a role to play other than that. And his family’s fate which was honestly sad.
She was just someone who believed that as long as Lihua wasn’t around her daughter would be able to keep the Empress position. And that her ending when she realised what she had done was wrong that she had used her daughter’s happiness only to have a moment of power. When she realised that, I felt sympathy for her character. And she chose to keep her own hand, deciding that they have lost and she stopped scheming. Although I find her way of thinking the most ludicrous sometimes thinking that Liu Xiu would give them something if they didn’t do anything other than marrying Guo Shengtong to him. They did absolutely nothing when Liu Xiu was in his most difficult time. When there was no one else to help him. I find her funny but her end she was quite pitiful as she realised it too late that her daughter would only suffer.
As the elder brother, I dislike him. He is a complete scumbag, defiling so many girls and the schemes he cooks up are just stupid. He also has no mercy, even choosing to use his own nephew. I was like: WTH. He utterly deserves the end that comes to him.
How he ended up changing has never felt so real, being grief stricken and choosing to kill himself in the end. I pitied him as he was just too grief stricken by all that had happened to him. But in the beginning I loved him, choosing to do anything for his older sister.
As the maidservant to Yin Xing than Lihua, she is someone that I admire. But other than that, I loved her love for Yin Xing and accepted it instead of just constantly denying. And her ending was sad and tragic they were so close to getting what they wanted yet this befell them when she died.
Personally another character that I feel as though have depth. He is kind, but unsuited to rule as he doesn’t know how to set rules unlike his younger brother. He chooses to step down from his position realising that he probably wasn’t suited to rule and unable to handle the position. And knowing his current situation and not doing anything stupid to endanger it. It’s mostly the Guo’s who asked for it, and he did nothing which was quite the good thing to do.
She was quite pitiful when she was left behind and raped by so many. Her hatred and resentment was understood, even if she was quick to trust Guo Kuang, but at least smart enough to cut off ties with them. And how she entered to me was understandable and even why she hated Lihua. It was truly the fault of Lihua’s to have left her behind. Personally, I like her for all that she went through and hated her, even though Lihua’s own hands were tied. But sadly I gotten almost nothing of her ending at all.
I rather like him for his quirky ways and always wanting to leave. He does have some pretty high intellect and existed in real life history, like really as a scholar whose background was quite bare. But I feel as though Ma Tianyu did a decent job portraying him.
There were some holes in the ending and some were loose. Especially concerning Yanzhi’s child which seemed to have been utterly random. But other than that, the focus being in the war was what I believe is a good thing and not spending too much time at the harem. The only place I think it dragged was in the middle where I skipped over some parts. But the plot does keep many on their toes.
Overall I would recommend this if you want a drama that has likeable characters even if they do quite unlikeable things sometimes. And won’t make you vomit blood, I assure you. Nor does the drama has some moments when it’s brainless. And that most of the characters here are those that I remember as far as I can remember about it. Mostly those that stood out.
Rating: 4 out of 5