Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace
|Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace|
|Also known as||The Legend of Ruyi|
|Based on||Hou Gong Ru Yi Zhuan|
by Liu Lianzi
|Written by||Liu Lianzi|
|Directed by||Wang Jun|
|Country of origin||China|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||87|
|Executive producer||Huang Lan|
|Production company||New Classics Media|
|Original network||Tencent, Jiangsu Television, Dragon Television|
|First shown in||China|
|Original release||August 20 –|
October 15, 2018
Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace (Chinese: 如懿传; pinyin: Rúyì Zhuàn) is a 2018 Chinese television series based on novel Hou Gong Ru Yi Zhuan by Liu Lianzi. Starring Zhou Xun and Wallace Huo, the series chronicles the marriage of Qianlong Emperor and Hoifa-Nara, the Step Empress. It is the sequel to the critically acclaimed drama Empresses in the Palace. It aired on Tencent Video starting 20 August to 15 October 2018; during which it was streamed more than 18,9 billion times. It later went on national broadcast and aired simultaneously on Jiangsu Television and Dragon Television from 25 December 2018.
Despite receiving mixed reviews, the series eventually won acclaim for its exquisite props, lavish sets, affecting storyline and stellar cast and has a score of 7.4 points on Douban.
Ulanara Ruyi is the niece of the Empress and the childhood lover of Hongli, the fourth prince. She was initially chosen to be the third prince Hongshi's difujin (official wife), but fell out of the bride selection. Hongli's mother, Niohuru Zhenhuan, reveals to the Emperor that the Empress had killed the former Empress. Ruyi's aunt, Empress Yixiu, is locked away and she is poisoned by Zhenhuan. Before Ruyi's aunt dies, she tells Ruyi to become Hongli's Empress. With the Ulanara clan in disgrace after Empress Yixiu falls out of favor with the Emperor, Ruyi (Zhou Xun) learns the politics of the harem. She faces the schemes of Fuca Langhua the Empress, and her underling Gao Xiyue and is framed for inducing multiple miscarriages.
Ruyi is eventually forced to reside in the Cold Palace and separated from the Emperor. There, she meets Ling Yunche, an imperial guard who helps her survive. She also finds out the bracelet that Empress Fuca Langhua gave her on her wedding day prevented her from having a child. In order to help Ruyi, her close friend Keliyete Hailan decides to win Qianlong's favor and Ruyi is saved from the Cold Palace. After Gao Xiyue is exposed, she loses the favor of the Emperor. Ruyi approaches Gao Xiyue and tells her that the reason why she wasn't able to have a child is because of the bracelet that Fuca Langhua gave her. Gao Xiyue is saddened and eventually dies in the snow, after exposing Fuca Langhua's evil deeds to Emperor Qianlong. Xiyue's servant causes Fuca Langhua's son to die to comfort her owner. Fuca Langhua's daughter, Jingse, is also married to a Mongol Prince after Empress Dowager Zhenhuan refused to send her daughter for heqin. After Fuca Langhua almost drowns, she succumbed to illness out of grief.
Gao Xiyue and Fuca Langhua's downfall is actually the result of the scheming Jin Yuyan, a Korean woman in love with the King of Joseon. After Jin Yuyan's plans are revealed, she dies heartbroken when the King of Joseon refused to recognize her due to her being adopted. Another consort, Su Luyun also lost Emperor Qianlong's favor after she wanted her son to become the next Emperor. Consort Shu Yehenara Yihuan loves the Emperor, but set herself on fire after realizing the Emperor never wanted her to have his children due to her connection with his mother. Even after surviving multiple conspiracies at the hands of scheming concubines and successfully proving her innocence, Ruyi's relationship with Qianlong (Wallace Huo) eventually becomes irreparable. She eventually becomes disillusioned with her husband and the harsh reality of life in the palace.
With the love and trust between them fading, Ruyi is put aside by Qianlong in favor of Wei Yanwan, who seeks to one day displace Ruyi as Empress. Wei Yanwan is eventually promoted to the rank of Imperial Noble Consort (one rank before Empress), but her ruthless and biased actions in managing the Emperor's harem create enemies amongst notable concubines such as Hailan, Balin Meiruo, and Han Xiangjian, who work to take her down. Ling Yunche, who was Yanwan's previous lover, tells Hailan about her endeavors and sacrifices himself to save Ruyi. Eventually, Wei Yanwan's numerous evil deeds are exposed, and Qianlong delivers a stoic apology to Ruyi, knowing their relationship cannot be repaired. Ruyi eventually peacefully dies after suffering from tuberculosis, saddening the Emperor heavily and hauntingly. Wei Yanwan is given a slow-acting and extremely painful poison, for which she must ingest the antidote on a regular basis to prolong her suffering. Emperor Qianlong and Empress Dowager, knowing that if Wei Yanwan lives until her son becomes emperor she will live a life of luxury, permit her the release of death.
The series ends with Emperor Emeritus Qianlong cutting a lock of his white hair and intertwining it with the lock of black hair that Ruyi cut decades earlier when she declared she no longer wanted to be his Empress. Qianlong dies with the two locks of hair in his hand as Ruyi's favorite plant, the green plum, blooms for the first time in decades.
|Zhou Xun||Ula Nara Ruyi (乌拉那拉·如懿)||Yanxi Palace
|The Step Empress (继皇后)|
Lady Qing (Ce fujin) → Consort Xian → Noble Lady Xian → Commoner → Consort Xian → Noble Consort Xian → Imperial Noble Consort → Empress
Coming from the Ula Nara clan of Plain Yellow Banner with the birth name Qingying (青樱), niece of Empress Jingren Ula Nara Yixiu. She was the childhood friend and lover of Hongli (who later ascends to the throne as Emperor Qianlong). She later becomes one of Qianlong's secondary wives. When Empress Jingren is deposed for her crimes, Qingying's standing in the palace is affected. So, she has to make amends with Empress Dowager Chongqing.
|Wallace Huo||Aisin Gioro Hongli (爱新觉罗·弘历), Qianlong Emperor||Prince Bao Manor
|Qianlong Emperor (乾隆皇帝)|
Prince Bao of the First Rank → Qianlong Emperor
Hongli is the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor. His birth mother is a low-status servant named Li Jingui (李金桂). On one drunken occasion, Emperor Yongzheng got her pregnant when he was formerly known as Prince Yong. After giving birth to Hongli, his mother died and he is left to live at the Old Summer Palace. Later on, Hongli is appointed as Noble Consort Xi Niohuru Zhenhuan's son. After Third Prince Hongshi is removed from the yudie (genealogy records), essentially disowned by the Emperor, Hongli rose to the rank of Prince Bao. When he became the Emperor, he takes the era name Qianlong.
An unpredictable individual who can be emotional and hide his emotions really well, never truly trusts anyone, which inadvertently hurts many of his wives and sons: from Fuca Langhua, Yonghuang, Yongzhang, his sister Elder Princess Duanshu, to his childhood love Ruyi. As he grew older, he becomes more erratic. When Han Xiangjian appeared, the Emperor lost control and hurt Ruyi. Despite Han Xiangjian's continuous denial of his feelings, Qianlong orders Ruyi to convince Xiangjian to accept him, which hurts Ruyi. Later on, he believes the disparaging remarks and accusations made by Wei Yanwan, Consort Yu Borjigit Eyinzhu, and Sakda Miaoqian. He doubts Ruyi and thinks she committed infidelity with Ling Yunche. He punishes Ling Yunche into becoming a eunuch to serve at Yikun Palace in hopes to humiliate Ruyi, to satisfy his blind jealousy, and to force Yunche to die.
|Janine Chang||Keliyete Hailan (珂里叶特·海兰)||Xianfu Palace
|Noble Consort Yu (愉贵妃)|
Embroidery Lady → Lady Hai (Shu fujin) → First Class Female Attendant Hai → Noble Lady Hai → Concubine Yu → Consort Yu → Noble Consort Yu (posthumous)
|Dong Jie||Fuca Langhua (富察·琅嬅)||Changchun Palace||Empress Xiaoxianchun (孝贤纯皇后)|
Di fujin → Empress
|Xin Zhilei||Jin Yuyan/Kim Ok-yeon (金玉妍/김옥연)||Qixiang Palace||Imperial Noble Consort Shujia (淑嘉皇贵妃)|
Lady Jin (Shu fujin) → Noble Lady Jia → Concubine Jia → Consort Jia → Noble Consort Jia → Concubine Jia → Noble Lady Jia → Concubine Jia → Noble Consort Jia → Second Class Female Attendant
Jin → Noble Consort Jia → Commoner → Imperial Noble Consort Shujia (posthumous)
|Tong Yao||Gao Xiyue (高晞月)||Xianfu Palace||Imperial Noble Consort Huixian (慧贤皇贵妃)|
Lady Gao (Shu fujin) → Noble Consort Hui → Imperial Noble Consort Hui → Imperial Noble Consort Huixian (posthumous)
|Li Chun||Wei Yanwan (卫嬿婉/魏嬿婉)||Yongshou Palace||Empress Xiaoyichun (孝仪纯皇后)|
Palace maid of Consort Chun → Palace Maid of the Royal Garden → Palace Maid of Consort Jia →Palace Maid of the Yangxin Palace→ Second Class Female Attendant Wei → First Class Female Attendant Wei → Noble Lady Ling → Concubine Ling → Consort Ling → Second Class Female Attendant Wei → Noble Lady Ling → Concubine Ling → Consort Ling → Noble Consort Ling → Imperial Noble Consort →Imperial Noble Cosort Lingyi (posthumous)
|Hu Ke||Su Lüyun (苏绿筠)||Zhongcui Palace||Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui (纯惠皇贵妃)|
Lady Su (Shu fujin) → Concubine Chun → Consort Chun → Noble Consort Chun → Imperial Noble Consort
|He Hongshan||Bai Ruiji (白蕊姬)||Yonghe Palace
|Concubine Mei (玫嫔)|
Musician of South Manor → Second Class Female Attendant Mei → First Class Female Attendant Mei → Noble Lady Mei → Concubine Mei
|Chen Haoyu||Yehe Nara Yihuan (叶赫那拉·意欢)||Chuxiu Palace||Consort Shu (舒妃)|
Noble Lady Shu → Concubine Shu → Consort Shu
|Zeng Yixuan||Socolun Aruo (索绰伦·阿箬)||Qixiang Palace||Concubine Shen (慎嫔)|
Palace maid of Ruyi → Imperial palace maid → First Class Female Attendant Shen → Noble Lady Shen → Concubine Shen → Commoner
|Cao Xiwen||Chen Wanyin (陈婉茵)||Zhongcui Palace||Noble Consort Wan (婉贵妃)|
Shu fujin → Second Class Female Attendant Wan → First Class Female Attendant Wan → Noble Lady Wan → Concubine Wan → Consort Wan → Noble Consort Wan (posthumous)
|Zhang Jianing||Barin Meiruo (巴林·湄若)||Chuxiu Palace||Noble Consort Ying (颖贵妃)|
Concubine Ying → Consort Ying → Noble Consort Ying
|Liu Meitong||Bai'erguosishe (拜尔果斯氏)||Xianfu Palace||Concubine Ke (恪嫔)|
Noble Lady Ke → Concubine Ke
|Li Qin||Han Xiangjian (寒香见)||Chengqian Palace
|Consort Rong (容妃)|
Noble Lady Rong → Concubine Rong → Consort Rong
|Yu Yang||Lu Muping (陆沐萍)||Jingyang Palace||Imperial Noble Consort Qinggong (庆恭皇贵妃)|
First Class Female Attendant Qing → Noble Lady Qing → Concubine Qing → Noble Lady Qing → Concubine Qing → Consort Qing → Noble Consort Qing → Imperial Noble Consort Qinggong (posthumous)
|Han Dantong||Huang Qiying (黄琦莹)||Jingyang Palace
|Concubine Yi (仪嫔)|
Personal maid of Langhua → Shu fujin → Noble Lady Yi → Concubine Yi (posthumous)
|Zhao Ke||Borjigit Eyinzhu (博尔济吉特·厄音珠)||Yonghe Palace||Consort Yu (豫妃)|
Concubine Yu → Consort Yu
|Sun Wenting||Lady Lin (林氏)||Jingren Palace||Noble Lady Gong (恭贵人)|
First Class Female Attendant Gong → Noble Lady Gong
|Zhu Jue||Lady Socolun (索綽倫氏)||Jingyang Palace||Noble Lady Rui (瑞贵人)|
Entered the palace at the same time as Eyinzhu. She is sided with Wei Yanwan.
|Wang Mian||Lady Sirin Gioro (西林覺羅氏)||Jingren Palace||First Class Female Attendant Xi (禧常在)|
A lady of Sirin Gioro descent who entered the harem along with Concubine Ke. Originally sided with Jin Yuyan, she is close to Barin Meiruo, hates Wei Yanwan, and stays loyal to Ruyi.
|Xia Yuxia||Lady Fang (方氏)||Yonghe Palace||First Class Female Attendant Kui (揆常在) |
Palace Maid → Second Class Female Attendant Kui → First Class Female Attendant Kui
|Zhao Ruoxi||Lady Xu (徐氏)||Jingyang Palace
|First Class Female Attendant Xiu (秀常在)|
Second Class Female Attendant Xiu → First Class Female Attendant Xiu
|Qu Rong||Lady Qian (錢氏)||Yonghe Palace||First Class Female Attendant Ping (平常在) |
Lady → Second Class Female Attendant Ping → First Class Female Attendant Ping
|Huang Lulu||Lady Bai (白氏)||Jingyang Palace||First Class Female Attendant Bai (白常在)|
Entered the palace at the same time as Eyinzhu.
|Song Qinglin||Lady Lu (陸氏)||Jingyang Palace||First Class Female Attendant Lu (陸常在)|
Entered the palace at the same times as Eyinzhu.
|Yang Wanyi||First Class Female Attendant Wu (武常在)|
She is sided with Wei Yanwan.
|Gao Rui||First Class Female Attendant Lu (柏常在)|
She is sided with Wei Yanwan.
|Sun Wanting||First Class Female Attendant Ning (宁常在)|
|Jin Ning||First Class Female Attendant Fu (福常在)|
Imperial members of the Qing dynasty
|Zhang Fengyi||Aisin Gioro Yinzhen (爱新觉罗·胤禛)||Yangxin Palace||Yongzheng Emperor (雍正皇帝) |
Father of Qianlong Emperor.
|Joan Chen||Ula Nara Yixiu (乌拉那拉·宜修)||Palace of Great Benevolence||Empress Jingren (景仁宫皇后)|
Former Empress of Yongzheng Emperor; Ruyi's aunt.
|Vivian Wu||Niohuru Zhenhuan (钮祜禄·甄嬛)||Yongshou Palace
|Empress Dowager Chongqing (崇庆皇太后)|
Foster mother of Qianlong Emperor; Empress Zhenhuan.
Although she appeared to share a civil relationship with Qianlong, they are wary and suspicious of each other. In order to ensure that she continues to thrive in the inner court, she placed concubines that were subservient to her by Qianlong's side to spy on him. She hated Ruyi because of her familial relationship with Empress Jingren, but grew to respect her later on.
|Zhu Yan||Dowager Concubine Ji (吉太嫔) |
A disposed concubine who was banished to the Cold Palace, where she met Ruyi and attempted to assassinate Dowager Empress Zhenhuan.
Ma Qiyue (young)
|Aisin Gioro Hongshi (爱新觉罗·弘时)|
|Wang Xiao||Aisin Gioro Hongzhou (爱新觉罗·弘昼)||Prince He Manor||Prince He of the First Rank (和亲王)|
Fifth son of Yongzheng Emperor.
|Tang Chengjing||Lady Ujaku (吳扎庫氏)||Prince He Manor||Prince He's wife.|
|Xuan Lu||Aisin Gioro Hengchuo (爱新觉罗·恒娖)||Grand Princess Duanshu (端淑長公主)|
Yongzheng Emperor and Zhenhuan's elder daughter.
She was married to the Mongol clan since she was young.
|Wang Herun||Aisin Gioro Hengti (爱新觉罗·恆媞)||Grand Princess Roushu (柔淑長公主)|
Yongzheng Emperor and Zhenhuan's younger daughter.
Wang Donghe (teen)
Ye Kaiwan (young)
|Aisin Gioro Yonghuang (爱新觉罗·永璜)||Prince Bao Manor
Prince Ding Manor
|Prince Ding'an of the First Rank (定安亲王)|
Eldest prince; Ruyi's foster son (later Su Lüyun's).
Initially innocent and simple-minded, he later grew to become ambitious and vied for the throne. He was instigated by Jin Yuyan into thinking the Empress killed his biological mother, the Imperial Noble Consort Zhemin, causing him to lose favor with the Emperor.
|Ma Yanan||Lady Ilari (伊拉里氏)||Prince Ding Manor||Yonghuang's wife.|
|Yu Yao||Aisin Gioro Yonglian (爱新觉罗·永琏)||Prince Bao Manor
|Crown Prince Duanhui (端慧皇太子)|
Second prince, Fuca Langhua's eldest son.
He died young due to his weak health and Langhua’s bad parenting.
Wu Yuyu (teen)
Liu Sitong (young)
|Aisin Gioro Jingse (爱新觉罗·璟瑟)||Changchun Palace
Third princess Manor
|Princess Hejing of the First Rank (固倫和敬公主)|
Third princess, Fuca Langhua's daughter.
Proud and eloquent, she looks down on all the imperial consorts due to her noble birth but was later selected to marry a Mongol prince. She especially disliked Ruyi due to her rivalry with Langhua. She chose to side with Wei Yanwan, but later betrays her after Barin Meiruo convinced her of Yanwan's hypocritical deeds.
Liu Zeyu (teen)
He Luanhui (young)
|Aisin Gioro Yongzhang (爱新觉罗·永璋)||Zhongcui Palace
Third prince manor
|Prince Xun of the Second Rank (循郡王)|
Third prince, Su Lüyun's eldest son.
An ambitious and calculative royal, he was goaded by Su Lüyun to compete for the position of the Crown Prince. He lost favor with Qianlong after the death of Empress Fuca Langhua.
Hu Xianxu (teen)
Rong Zishan (young)
|Aisin Gioro Yongcheng (爱新觉罗·永珹)||Qixiang Palace
Prince Lü Manor
|Prince Lü of the First Rank (履亲王)|
Fourth prince, Jin Yuyan's eldest son.
Being the first prince born to Imperial Noble Consort Shujia after Qianlong's reign, he was initially favored which made him become more ambitious, cunning, and calculating. He later lost Qianlong's trust after the truth of the Mulan Garden incident was brought to light. He was exposed for plotting to get the position of Crown Prince, by conspiring with his mother. He was soon expelled from the palace and became the adoptive grandson of Yuntao, the Prince Lü of the First Rank, who was Qianlong's uncle.
|Tang Mengjia||Lady Irgen Gioro (伊尔根觉罗氏)||Prince Lü Manor||Yongcheng's wife.|
Bian Cheng (teen)
Wuze Jinxi (young)
|Aisin Gioro Yongqi (爱新觉罗·永琪)||Yanxi Palace
Prince Rong Manor
|Prince Rong of the First Rank (荣亲王)|
Fifth prince, Hailan's son.
Sensitive and intelligent, he was Qianlong's favorite son. He distanced from Ruyi under the manipulations of Hu Yunjiao. He later died due to recurring bone cellulitis caused by Yanwan’s machinations.
|Janice Wu||Hu Yunjiao (胡芸角)||Prince Rong Manor||Yongqi's concubine, Nursemaid Tian's daughter.|
Yunjiao was manipulated by Wei Yanwan into thinking that Ruyi caused the death of her mother. She was sent to Yongqi's side as a concubine and sowed discord between Yongqi and Ruyi, which caused the Emperor to become suspicious of Ruyi.
|Li Yiru||Lady Sirin Gioro (西林觉罗氏)||Prince Rong Manor||Yongqi's wife.|
Zhou Jinshi (teen)
Chixu Xuanzhe (young)
|Aisin Gioro Yongrong (爱新觉罗·永瑢)||Zhongcui Palace||Prince Shen|
Sixth prince, Su Lüyun's younger son.
|He Xinrui||Aisin Gioro Jingyan (愛新覺羅·璟妍)||Zhongcui Palace||Princess Hejia of the Second Rank (和硕和嘉公主)|
Fourth princess, Su Lüyun's daughter.
Ha Lin (young)
|Aisin Gioro Yongxuan (爱新觉罗·永璇)||Qixiang Palace
|Prince Yi of the First Rank (儀親王).|
Eighth prince, Jin Yuyan's second son.
He was set up by Wei Yanwan, which causes him to become crippled.
Zhang Yaoyang (young)
|Aisin Gioro Yongxing (爱新觉罗·永瑆)||Qixiang Palace
Eleventh prince, Jin Yuyan's youngest son.
Ye Shengtong (teen)
Lin Jingjie (young)
|Aisin Gioro Yongji (爱新觉罗·永璂)||Yikun Palace
|Twelfth prince, Ruyi's eldest son. Accidentally plays a part in Ruyi’s framed affair with Yunche.|
|Lin Jingyi||Aisin Gioro Jingsi (爱新觉罗·璟兕)||Yikun Palace||Princess Heyi of the First Rank (固倫和宜公主)|
Fifth princess, Ruyi's daughter.
Born with a weak heart, she was startled by Jin Yuyan's dog, in a setup by Wei Yanwan, causing her to become comatose and later pass away.
|Jin Ziqi||Aisin Gioro Jingyuan (爱新觉罗·璟妧)||Yongshou Palace
| Princess Hejing of the First Rank (固伦和静公主)|
Seventh princess, Wei Yanwan's eldest daughter.
She was raised by Barin Meiruo since birth and believed Meiruo was her birth mother. She disliked her birth mother Wei Yanwan because she thinks that she harmed Ruyi.
|Chen Yuan'er||Aisin Gioro Jingyun (爱新觉罗·璟妘)||Yongshou Palace
| Princess Heke of the Second Rank(和硕和恪公主)|
Ninth princess, Wei Yanwan's younger daughter.
She was separated from Wei Yanwan since birth and has a weak relationship with her birth mother.
Chen Xuetao (young)
|Aisin Gioro Yongyan (愛新覺羅·永琰)||Yongshou Palace
Prince Jia Manor
|Prince Jia of the First Rank (嘉亲王)|
Fifteenth prince, Wei Yanwan's son.
He was later appointed the Crown Prince nearing the end of Qianlong's reign.
|Tang Jiaze||Qingyou (庆佑)||Yikun Palace||Son of Jingse.|
|Qin Yan||Zhang Tingyu (张廷玉)||Member of the Grand Council.|
He disliked the Empress Dowager and often goes against her opinions.
|Jia Tinglong||Fuca Fuheng (富察·傅恒)||A senior officer and commander-in-chief. Brother of Empress Fuca Langhua.|
|Gao Lancun||Gao Bin (高斌)||Qianlong's trusted minister. Gao Xiyue's father.|
|Wang Jinsong||Ula Nara Na'erbu (那爾布)||Left Minister. Ruyi's father.|
|Ma Weifu||Liu Tongxun (劉統勛)||Minister of the Eight Banners.|
|Huang Wei||Niohuru Naqin (钮祜禄·讷亲)||Minister of the Eight Banners. Close relative of Empress Zhenhuan.|
|Zhang Xingzhe||Zhao Hui (兆惠)|
|Wu Lihua||Yue Zhongqi (岳钟琪)|
|Jing Chao||Ling Yunche (凌云彻)||N/A||
Imperial guard of the Cold Palace → Imperial guard of Kunning Palace → Royal Lanling Imperial guard → Royal Imperial guard of 3rd rank → Slave → Royal imperial guard of 2nd rank → Royal imperial guard of 1st rank → Eunuch of Yikun Palace
|Yuan Wenkang||Jiang Yubin (江与彬)||N/A||An imperial physician.|
He is Suoxin's childhood sweetheart and later husband. He is also Ruyi’s only tristes Imperial Doctor.
|Meng Zhaozhong||Zhao Jiuxiao (趙九霄)||Kunning Palace||An imperial guard.|
Ling Yunche's good friend. He likes Lancui, and was threatened with Lancui's life by Wei Yanwan to frame Ruyi of harming the eighth prince, Yongxuan
|Wang Quanyou||Qi Ru (齊汝)||N/A||Head imperial physician.|
He secretly worked for the Empress Dowager Zhenhuan behind Qianlong's back to weaken Gao Xiyue’s heath, causing Qianlong to be infuriated. He was killed under the orders of Qianlong, with his death disguised as an accidental drowning.
|Ha Yingqun||Imperial Astronomer (钦天监)||N/A||He collaborated with Wei Yanwan to set up Yihuan and Ruyi, causing the Emperor and Ruyi to be distanced. Following the incidents, he was chased out of the palace and killed secretly by Chunchan.|
|Steven Thomas Boergadine||Giuseppe Castiglione (郎世宁)||N/A||A royal painter from Italy.|
|Jin Song||Li Jinzhu (李金柱)||N/A||A guard at the Cold Palace.|
|Wang Liusheng||Physician Zhao (赵太医)||N/A|
|Feng Bao||Physician Bao (包太医)||N/A|
|Wang Zhimin||Physician Xu (许太医)||N/A|
|Huang Ningsheng||Physician Zhao (赵太医)||N/A|
|Xu Zhiming||Er Tao (二套)||N/A|
|Shen Baoping||Su Peisheng (蘇培盛)||Yangxin Palace||Personal attendant of Yongzheng.|
|Huang Ming||Li Yu (李玉)||Yangxin Palace||Deputy head attendant of Yangxin palace → Head attendant of Yangxin palace → Eunuch of Yuanming Garden → Head attendant of Yangxin Palace |
Personal attendant of Qianlong.
He often assists Ruyi because she once lent him a helping hand. He likes Suoxin.
|Hu Ming||Wang Qin (王钦)||Yangxin Palace||Head attendant of Yangxin Palace|
Personal attendant of Qianlong.
He likes Lianxin and forced her into marriage by agreeing to work for Fuca Langhua. He was often hostile towards attendant Li Yu. He was sentenced to death after his abused treatment toward Lianxin was exposed through an elaborate plan by Ruyi.
|Jiang Xueming||Jinzhong (进忠)||Yangxin Palace||Attendant of Qianlong, Li Yu's disciple.|
He collaborated with Wei Yanwan to bring down Ruyi, so that he can take over Li Yu's place but is later killed by Yanwan.
|Zhang Juju||Jinbao (進保)||Yangxin Palace||Attendant of Qianlong, Li Yu's disciple.|
|Han Yu||Xiao Linzi (小林子)||Yangxin Palace||Attendant of Qianlong. |
He was bribed by Gao Xiyue to obtain information for Gao Bin.
|Li Qi||San Bao (三宝)||Yanxi Palace
|Personal attendant of Ruyi.|
|Gao Weibo||Xiao Fuzi (小福子)||Yanxi Palace||Attendant of Ruyi.|
|Chen Zhuo||Wu Fu (五福)||Yanxi Palace||Attendant of Ruyi.|
|Zhong Weihua||Cheng Han (成翰)||Shoukang Palace
|Personal attendant of Zhenhuan. |
He was sent by Empress Langhua to keep an eye on Empress Dowager Zhenhuan.
|Ma Bo||Zhao Yitai (赵一泰)||Changchun Palace||Personal attendant of Empress Langhua.|
|Liu Zikai||Qian Shuangxi (钱双喜)||Xianfu Palace||Personal attendant of Gao Xiyue.|
|Chen Muyi||Wang Chan (王蟾)||Yongshou Palace||Personal attendant of Wei Yanwan.|
|Wang Peidong||Xiao Lizi (小栗子)||Zhongcui Palace||Attendant of Su Lüyun, later eunuch of the Study Room and 12th prince.|
|Yang Shuo||Xu An (徐安)||N/A||Head Eunuch of the House of Respectful Affairs.|
|Yu Tong||Qin Li (秦立)||N/A||Eunuch of the Internal Affairs Department.|
|Yang Yang||Xiao Lüzi (小禄子)||N/A||Eunuch of the Imperial kitchen. |
He was instructed by Empress Langhua to frame Ruyi.
|Zhang Shu||Xiao Anzi (小安子)||N/A||Eunuch of the Internal Affairs Department. |
He was instructed by Empress Langhua to frame Ruyi.
|A Xing||Xiao Leizi (小磊子)||Prince Rong Manor||Personal attendant of Yongqi.|
|Chang Cheng||Xiao Guizi (小贵子)|
|Wang Zhen||Xiao Shunzi (小顺子)|
|Xiao Lezi (小乐子)|
|Liu Xue||Eunuch Ma (马公公)||N/A|
|Chen Xiaoyun||Suoxin (惢心)||Yanxi Palace
|Personal attendant of Ruyi.|
Observant and kind-hearted, she remained loyal to Ruyi through thick and thin. She likes Jiang Yubin and later marries him. She became disabled after Jin Yuyan put her through excessive torture.
|Qi Huan||Rong Pei (容珮)||Yikun Palace||Personal attendant of Ruyi.|
A capable, firm and sharp-tongued woman, she is very loyal toward Ruyi. She killed herself after Ruyi passed away.
|Zheng Shuijing||Lingzhi (菱枝)||Yikun Palace||Attendant of Ruyi.|
|Chen Erjia||Yunzhi (芸枝)||Yikun Palace||Attendant of Ruyi.|
|Li Linfei||Shuizhi (水芝)||Yanxi Palace||Attendant of Ruyi.|
|Gong Xiaoxuan||Yuhu (毓瑚)||Yangxin Palace||Imperial palace maid. |
Former personal attendant of Qianlong's birth mother and current attendant of Qianlong, she assists Qianlong in keeping an eye of the internal palace.
|Guo Hong||Fujia (福珈)||Shoukang Palace
|Personal attendant of Empress Dowager Zhenhuan.|
|Zhang Yanyan||Xiuxia (绣夏)||Jingren Palace||Personal attendant of Yixiu.|
|Min Chunxiao||Sulian (素練)||Changchun Palace||Personal attendant of Fuca Langhua. |
She often helped Empress Langhua plot against the other consorts behind her back. She was later killed by Zhenshu.
|Wang Xiaocheng||Lianxin (蓮心)||Changchun Palace||Personal attendant of Fuca Langhua.|
She was married off to Wang Qin by the Empress in exchange for Wang Qin's loyalty. Lianxin chose not to save Empress Langhua when she fell into the waters, ultimately leading to Langhua's death. It is also suspected that she had a role in murdering the second prince. She committed suicide later out of guilt.
|Liu Jia||Yexin (叶心)||Xianfu Palace
|Personal attendant of Hailan.|
|Zhang Huanhuan||Xiangyun (香云)||Xianfu Palace
|Attendant of Hailan.|
She was instructed by Gao Xiyue to frame Hailan of stealing her charcoal and was executed by Qianlong due to her unloyalty.
|Li Bingyi||Zezhi (泽芝)||Xianfu Palace
|Attendant of Ruyi, later sent to serve Hailan.|
|Xia Nan||Lixin (丽心)||Qixiang Palace||Personal attendant of Jin Yuyan.|
|Guo Yuanyuan||Zhenshu/Jung Swuk (貞淑/정숙)||Qixiang Palace||Personal attendant of Jin Yuyan. A highly skilled healer from Joseon. |
She was responsible for framing Ruyi of having an affair with Anji Bosang. After her plan was exposed, she was exiled back to Joseon.
|Zhou Xiaoqin||Palace maid Yan (妍宫女)||Qixiang Palace||Attendant of Jin Yuyan.|
|Sun Qianqian||Moxin (茉心)||Xianfu Palace||Personal attendant of Gao Xiyue. |
After Gao Xiyue's death, she sought revenge for her by colluding with Bai Ruiji to pass on smallpox to the seventh prince, leading to his death.
|Li Mengyang||Xingxuan (星璇)||Xianfu Palace||Attendant of Gao Xiyue.|
|Wang Chun (王純)||Chunchan (春婵)||Yongshou Palace||Personal attendant of Wei Yanwan.|
Often the mastermind behind Wei Yanwan's schemes. She was almost murdered by and thrown under the bus by Yanwan and later exposed Wei Yanwan's evil doings to the Emperor.
|Yang Liu||Lancui (瀾翠)||Yongshou Palace||Personal maid of Wei Yanwan. |
She was used as a bait by Wei Yanwan to threaten Zhao Jiuxiao into harming the eighth prince. Was later sent to and died at the Punishment Bureau by Yanwan in order to avoid leaving evidence of her mistress' relationship with Ling Yunche
|Bai Lan||Kexin (可心)||Zhongcui Palace||Personal attendant of Su Lüyun.|
|Ding Liuyan||Suyun (俗云)||Yonghe Palace
|Personal attendant of Bai Ruiji.|
|Shi Min||Hexi (荷惜)||Chuxiu Palace||Personal attendant of Yihuan.|
|Zhang Xinying||Xinyan (新燕)||Qixiang Palace||Personal attendant of Aruo.|
|Wang Jingya||Shunxin (顺心)||Zhongcui Palace||Personal attendant of Chen Wanyin.|
|Wang Xinwen||Abao (阿宝)||Chuxiu Palace||Personal attendant of Barin Meiruo.|
|Zhang Menghan||Xianfu Palace||Personal maid of Kezhuzi.|
|Chen Mengxi||Xipo (喜珀)||Chengqian Palace
|Personal attendant of Han Xiangjian.|
|Gao Dongyu||Hali (哈丽)||Chengqian Palace
|Attendant of Han Xiangjian.|
|Zhang Xinyuan||Guli (古丽)||Chengqian Palace
|Attendant of Han Xiangjian.|
|Ma Lan||Jingyang Palace||Personal attendant of Lu Muping.|
|Huang Wen||Huaixin (怀心)||Jingyang Palace
|Personal attendant of Huang Qiying.|
|Zhao Jing||Duoyun (朵云)||Yonghe Palace||Personal attendant of Eyinzhu.|
|Jin Xi||Duoyan (朵颜)||Yonghe Palace||Personal attendant of Eyinzhu.|
|Tian Miao||Nursemaid Tian (田嬷嬷)||N/A||Hu Yunjiao's mother. |
She was bought over by Wei Yanwan and committed many evil deeds for her due to Yanwan helping her during difficult times.
|Wang Wei||Sakda Miaoqian (萨克达·茂倩)||Daughter of an official. She was bethrothed to Ling Yunche as his wife.|
Due to her background as one of the ladies of the eight banners, she looked down on Ling Yunche and did not have a good relationship with him. Due to her jealousy, she collaborated with Eyinzhu to accuse him of having an affair with Ruyi and was exiled.
|Yu Shaoqun||Anji Bosang (安吉波桑)||A senior monk. |
He was framed by Jin Yuyan and was accused of having an affair with Ruyi.
|Zhang Yuxi||Shui Linglong (水玲珑)||A famous courtesan favored by Qianlong.|
|Li Guangjie||Prince Yu (玉氐王爺)||Prince of Joseon and later the King of Joseon. Jin Yuyan's first love.|
|Fang Xiaoli||Madame Na (那夫人)||Ruyi's mother.|
|Cai Wenyan||Madame Fuca (富察夫人)||Empress Fuca Langhua's mother.|
|Meng Xiu||Madame Wei (卫夫人)||Wei Yanwan's mother. A greedy and obnoxious woman.|
She was thrown under the bus by Yanwan and took the blame of harming Ruyi's children, and was put to death.
|Song Jiateng||Zhaqi (扎齐)||Hailan's nephew. A greedy and obnoxious man.|
He was manipulated by Wei Yanwan to frame Hailan of harming Ruyi's children.
|Xu Xiaoning||Zuolu (佐禄)||Wei Yanwan's younger brother.|
|Wu Rige||Saisang Gendun (赛桑根敦)||Ruler of Khorchin tribe. Eyinzhu's father.|
|Liu Jun||Han Ati (寒阿提)||Ruler of Han tribe. Han Xiangjian's father.|
|Wang Leifang||Han Qi (寒企)||Han Xiangjian's first love.|
|Liu Yupu||Bai'erguosi (拜尔果斯)||Kezhuzi's father.|
|Zhang Xiaolin||Anduo (安多)||Anji Bosang's disciple.|
|Huang Deyi||Tian Jun (田俊)||Nursemaid Tian's son, Hu Yunjiao's brother.|
|Fang Yuchen||Yao'er (桃儿)||Madame Wei's maid.|
The series is directed by Wang Jun, produced by Huang Lan, and written by the author of the original novel Liu Lianzi. The series also employed William Chang and Tongxun Chen as their overall style director, Han Zhong as art director and Peng Xuejun as cinematography director.
New Classics Media picked up the series for a 90-episode season (later shortened to 87), and each episode cost approximately S$1.95 million, making it the most expensive television series in China.
On January 14, 2016, it was announced that Zhou Xun will play the leading role of Hoifa-Nara, the Step Empress. The role of Qianlong Emperor, the male lead, was announced to be portrayed by Wallace Huo on May 27. On August 3, actors Janine Chang, Vivian Wu, Dong Jie, Tong Yao, Jing Chao, Xin Zhilei, Li Chun, Zeng Yixuan and Chen Haoyu were cast in major supporting roles for the drama. Around 5,000 actors competed for roles in the drama.
|1.||"Double Shadow (双影)" (Theme song (Ending theme episode 47 onwards))||Yi Jiayang||Ding Wei & Jim Lee||A-mei & Sandy Lam|
|2.||"Incense & Fleeting Years (沉香流年)" (Opening theme song (episode 1-46))||Yi Ming||Yi Ming & Wang Yaoguang||Lei Jia|
|3.||"Like the Fragrance of Plum Blossoms We Once Knew (梅香如故)" (Ending theme song (episode 1-38, 40-46))||Lv Jingye||Chen Shimei||Mao Buyi & Zhou Shen|
|4.||"Things stay the same, but people have changed (人非物是)" (Opening theme (episode 47 onwards))||Chen Shimei||Asia Philharmonic Orchestra|
|5.||"Worries (心事)" (Ending theme song (episode 39 only))||Lv Jingye||Yan Qing||Deng Tongtian|
The series received mixed responses from viewers.
Many felt underwhelmed by the unaggressive heroine, who was not able to face off the villain consorts even in the second half of the drama, thus making her character design flawed and unconvincing. The drama was also criticized for its anti-climatic story and depressive tone. Critics felt that it was ironic and unbelievable for the protagonist to pursue monogamy in a highly feudalistic context. The slow pacing in the first half of the drama was pointed out, with critics believing that the screenwriters neglected to write with compact story-telling to flesh out the characters.
The series has also received criticism over the age of the leading performers, with viewers saying they made unconvincing teenagers, and criticized the series' producers for not using younger actors to portray the lovestruck teens. Viewers were also divided over the lack of dubbing for Zhou Xun’s 15-year-old character, as they felt that her voice was “too raspy” and “mature” for a teenager.
However, there were also praises for the drama. Zhang Hanyue, a writer and critic, said “The show becomes more and more heart-tugging as the story goes deeper." Many viewers agree that Ruyi bears many characteristics of a modern female. Vogue magazine commented that the drama actually recorded “the failure of a high-end girl” because what Ruyi had been pursuing was spiritual connections with her spouse; and such a pursuit represents the taste and ideal of the modern middle class. Critics agree that the drama introduces a new light to and narrative of palace dramas, deviating from the existing patterns of treacherous harem games. The drama won acclaim for its exquisite props, lavish sets, and stellar cast.
On January 25, the Beijing Daily, an official government newspaper, criticized the program for failing to promote socialist values. Four days later, on January 29, the Chinese government cancelled the program and similar programs such as Story of Yanxi Palace. CNN and other media outlets quickly reported on this incident, calling it Chinese censorship.
|Dragon TV ratings|
|Broadcast date||Episode||Ratings (%)||Audience share (%)||Rank (excluding CCTV)||Rank (including CCTV)|
|Jiangsu TV ratings|
|Broadcast date||Episode||Ratings (%)||Audience share (%)||Rank (excluding CCTV)||Rank (including CCTV)|
Awards and nominations
|24th Huading Awards||Best Director||Wang Jun||Nominated|||
|Best Actor||Wallace Huo||Nominated|
|12th Tencent Video Star Awards||Best Web Drama||Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace||Won|||
|Golden Bud - The Third Network Film And Television Festival||Top 10 Web Drama||Won|||
|Influence of Recreational Responsibilities Awards||Web Drama of the Year||Won|||
|2nd Asian Academy Creative Awards||Best Leading Actress||Zhou Xun||Won|||
On 10 June 2016, Fox Networks Group Asia (FNG) and Turner Broadcasting System Asia acquired global rights outside mainland China to the series. It was the first epic period drama secured by FNG for markets outside China, and was carried by STAR Chinese Channel (SCC), the flagship Chinese general entertainment channel, starting 20 August 2018 in selected countries, rerun on August 6, 2019 in all countries for return a year.
From 27 November 2018, it aired on Fox Taiwan. From 27 December 2018, it aired on Talentvision Canada. To date it has debuted in 18 countries and regions, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Philippines.
|United States||Fox Networks Group||20 August 2018||Dubbed with English|
|Hong Kong and Southeast Asia Countries||Star Chinese Channel||20 August - 18 December 2018||Rerun on 6 August 2019 at 15:00 and next day 1:00 in all countries|
|Hong Kong||TVB Jade||February 4, 2019 -March 19, 2019||Monday to Saturday: 120 minutes, Sunday: 60 minutes|
|myTV SUPER||August 20, 2018 – October 15, 2018|
|Vietnam||HTV7||1 September 2018||Dubbed with Vietnamese|
|Taiwan||Fox Taiwan||27 November 2018||Original Language|
|iQIYI Taiwan||August 20, 2018 – October 15, 2018||Original Language|
|Canada||Talentvision Canada||27 December 2018||Dubbed with English or Chinese|
|Japan||WOWOW TV||29 May 2019|
|Malaysia||Shuang Xing||August 20, 2018 – November 14, 2018||Original Language|
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- She was renamed as 卫嬿婉/炩妃 in the subtitles in China, to avoid historical disputes. Her original name is 魏嬿婉/令妃 in the novel and the Taiwan version.
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- Lee, Lily; Wiles, Sue, eds. (2015). Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women. II. Routledge. p. 609. ISBN 978-1-317-51562-3.
An emperor's [...] sister or a favorite daughter was called a grand princess (zhang gongzhu); and his aunt or grand-aunt was called a princess supreme (dazhang gongzhu).
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