Story of Yanxi Palace
|Story of Yanxi Palace |
|Mandarin||Yán Xǐ Gōng Lüè|
|Based on||Yan Xi Gong Lüe by Zhou Mo|
|Written by||Zhou Mo|
|Directed by||Hui Kaidong|
|Opening theme||Look (看) by Yu Zheng|
|Ending theme||Sighs of the Palace Walls (红墙叹) by Hu Xia |
"The Sound of Snow Falling (雪落下的声音)" by Lu Hu
"Forgetting About Each Other (相忘)" by Su Qing
"Willows of the Palace (宫墙柳)" by Li Chunai
|Country of origin||China|
|No. of episodes||70|
|Executive producer(s)||Yu Zheng|
|Production location(s)||Hengdian World Studios|
|Running time||45 mins|
|Production company(s)||Huanyu Film|
|Original release||July 7 –|
August 26, 2018
|Related shows||The Legend of Haolan (2019)|
Story of Yanxi Palace (Chinese: 延禧攻略) is a Chinese period drama series created by Yu Zheng. It is an original screenplay written by Zhou Mo, and later developed into a novel by Xiao Lian Mao. Starring Wu Jinyan, Charmaine Sheh, Qin Lan, Nie Yuan and Xu Kai, the series premiered on iQiyi from July 19, 2018 to August 26, 2018, during which time it was streamed more than 15 billion times. State television channels pulled out the TV series in 2018 because there was a magazine article that criticised the TV show.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Reception
- 5 Controversy
- 6 Soundtrack
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 8 International broadcast
- 9 References
- 10 External links
In 18th century Beijing (18 March 1741), a young firecracker by the name of Wei Yingluo enters the court of the Qianlong Emperor, Aisin Gioro Hongli, as one of the palace embroiderers to secretly investigate her beloved sister's mysterious death and find the truth. At first believing the imperial guard Fuca Fuheng to be the prime suspect, Yingluo schemes to approach his sister, the Empress Fuca Rongyin, and succeeds in getting transferred from her embroidery unit to the Empress's Changchun Palace as her maid. Over time, she learns that the Fuca siblings are honest and kindhearted people, innocent of the crime, and even develops romantic affections for Fuheng, who is admired by many around the Palace, including Qianlong's Consort Chun who allies herself to Empress Fuca because of a deep-seated crush on her brother.
Though Yingluo is not noble by birth and is illiterate, the kindhearted Empress Fuca teaches her how to read and write, along with all the proper etiquette and mannerisms for noblewomen at the time. Yingluo also helps Empress Fuca survive a series of maneuvers by her chief rivals, becoming a trusted friend and confidant while never forgetting her own agenda of avenging her sister's murder. In time, Yingluo discovers that the actual murderer is a Consort of the late Emperor Yongzheng and mother of Qianlong's half brother, and hatches a plot to drive the culprit to her untimely death. Empress Fuca, for fear of Qianlong's fury over Yingluo's outrageous action, quickly banishes her to the palace sanitation unit to escape from his decree of punishment. There, Yingluo befriends and becomes sworn brothers with a handsome but conniving eunuch, Yuan Chunwang, who is subsequently revealed to be a bastard son of Emperor Yongzheng.
Without Yingluo, Empress Fuca falls victim to the machinations of Noble Consort Gao that puts her in a coma. News reaches Yingluo who hurriedly steals midnight visits into Empress Fuca's chamber to sit by her mistress's side and care for her. Yingluo's devotion to Empress Fuca convinces Qianlong to relent on his tough stance towards her and eventually allows her to return as maid. Empress Fuca is able to wake from her coma, and even becomes pregnant again. She goes through almost life-ending labor to give birth to another son, who is immediately the target of assassination by the duplicitous Consort Chun, devastated for having been rejected by Fuheng. Empress Fuca is driven to suicide when she is not able to save her newborn in a bizarre fire that rose overnight. After Empress Fuca's death, Yingluo is sent to live and guard over her mistress's grave at the Old Summer Palace. She stays there for a number of years with Yuan Chunwang until one year (1750), during an imperial visit by Qianlong and his consorts to Fuca's grave, Yingluo unexpectedly learns that Consort Chun was responsible for her late mistress's suicide. She decides once again to enter the Forbidden City and exact retribution on the evildoers.
In order to achieve the goal, Yingluo knows she needs the hand of authority so she soon sets her eyes on the Emperor. She skillfully charms Qianlong, becoming part of his harem, and is bestowed a title, Consort Ling. With meticulous planning, she topples her rivals one after another, including the villainess, now Noble Consort Chun, even insofar as exposing her role in Empress Fuca's death, which incidentally leads to her fall from grace at the hands of Yingluo's archrival, the newly-named Empress Hoifa-Nara (1751). Yingluo's captivation of Qianlong brings her numerous threats, such as from newcomer Concubine Shun, a beautiful and cunning woman dead set to even the score with Qianlong and Fuheng for having been forced into political marriage in the Forbidden City. Framing Yingluo for attempted assassination, Concubine Shun deftly teams up with Empress Hoifa-Nara to put Yingluo under house arrest and pull strings to starve her nearly to death. Nevertheless, Yingluo is able to reverse her situation, reveal Shun's treachery, and restore Qianlong's affections for her. Having reached stalemate at this point, Yingluo negotiates for a truce with Hoifa-Nara on the condition that they both not harm any children of the palace in spite of the rivalry.
A decade later (1765), however, the nihilistic Yuan Chunwang betrays Yingluo and joins Hoifa-Nara, causing a series of mishaps in the palace that even force the Empress's hand and break her hold on power. Hongzhou, the Emperor's brother, at the same time plots to sabotage Qianlong's Southern river tour. On a chosen night, a band of rebels suddenly storms onto the royal vessel just as a fire engulfs the Empress Dowager's cabin, prompting Qianlong to charge into the flaming cabin to save his mother, seemingly perishing himself in the process.
The next morning, as Hongzhou gallantly appears to restore order from the overnight coup, Qianlong and the Empress Dowager emerge safely from a secret passageway that had been purposely designed by Fuheng and expose Hongzhou's plan of treachery. After Qianlong sentences Hongzhou to death, Yuan Chunwang gets on his knees in front of the Emperor and claims he is a long-lost son of the Yongzheng Emperor. The Empress Dowager denies this, ever so slyly, which drives Yuan Chunwang into utter madness while leaving others unable to determine whether or not it is to protect Qianlong. At this time, Consort Ling comes out of hiding under the protection of the Emperor's guards, prompting Hoifa-Nara to protest once and for all the Emperor's lavished attention for Yingluo alone. In a fit of rage and jealousy, she cuts off her own hair, a taboo in Manchu tradition analogous to an outcry for divorce, effectively cursing the entire Aisin Gioro clan.
At the end, Empress Hoifa-Nara is permitted to keep her title, but loses all of the Emperor's affections. Wei Yingluo is elevated to a new title, 'Imperial Noble Consort', the highest possible rank for someone of non-noble birth. Remembering Empress Fuca's teachings, she embodies all the qualities of a virtuous consort, and supports the Emperor until death.
|Wu Jinyan||Wei Yingluo, Consort Ling (令)||Our protagonist, an antiheroine, someone ahead of her time in terms of knowledge and reasoning, who takes advantage of her innate skills to rise above the tangles of conventional palace rivalries for nobler causes and, as a result, is able to win the power game against the big bosses on the road. She is the female version of the Monkey King who learns through trial and error the meaning of the journey, acquiring wisdom in her position next to the Emperor ultimately.|
|Charmaine Sheh||Hoifa-Nara Shushen, Consort Xian (娴)||Antithesis to the protagonist in character development, she is the angel turned Lucifer in the course of playing 'survival of the fittest' in the palace. Equally adept and intelligent as the protagonist, she exemplifies the woman who loses her head to her heart, and thus loses everything else at the end. She is a tragic heroine.|
|Qin Lan||Fuca Rongyin, Empress Xiaoxianchun||The First Empress of Emperor Qianlong. Kind, amiable, virtuous, she is the 'ideal woman' of Chinese classical traditions. Yet, she is also a woman caught in the wrong place and time, unwilling to be subjugated by her position. Her downfall is the means by which she escapes the burden of responsibility as queen and wife to the Emperor. She represents the fragility of virtue, short on requisite hardheadedness, in facing power's brutal adversaries. She is another tragic figure.|
|Nie Yuan||Emperor Qianlong||Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. He is at once the symbol and victim of a feudal system of rigidly held power positions condemning him to be fully himself. Outwardly aloof and dispassionate, he derives his pleasures from belittling those under him, from his servants to his women, often with such biting criticisms that lead his brother, Hongzhou, to describe him as “the most heartless man under the sky.” He will be suitably challenged since nature abhors a vacuum.|
|Xu Kai||Fuca Fuheng||Leader of the imperial guards, younger brother of Empress Xiaoxianchun. He is a foil for the Emperor, since he is a rather free man without the hamper of pomp and circumstance. In this way, he can be truer himself in love and life, and he maximizes the privilege by being upfront and forward in his feelings, without the hesitation and unease that clouds every step taken by his more powerful superior.|
|Tan Zhuo||Gao Ningxin||Noble Consort of Emperor Qianlong. Her palace strategy can be summed up as "the best defense is a strong offense." With an air of indifference, she walks and talks meaner than a viper, and for those who think lightly of her, cruelty is her specialty. Yet, for all that they know, she is but a lonesome, abandoned child who lives to forget her life by getting on stage as a theater star.|
|Wang Yuanke||Su Jinghao, Consort Chun (纯)||Consort of Emperor Qianlong. She is initially distant from palace strife and intrigue and was a lackey of Empress Xiaoxianchun. However, it’s later revealed she was in love with Fuca Fuheng. Thus, becoming a scorned woman, she becomes ruthless on her quest for the Emperor’s affections and power struggle to ensure her son becomes favored.|
|Jenny Zhang||Niohuru Chenbi, Concubine Shun (顺)||Gifted to Emperor Qianlong as a diplomatic gesture by a Qing vassal state. She has the face of pure innocence, and the heart of a shrew.|
|Lian Lian||Keliyete Ayan, Consort Yu (愉)||Gave birth to Qianlong's fifth son. Timid and cowardly, she remains reticent about her abuse until Yingluo comes to her protection. In time, she learns to be quite a machiavellian.|
|Xu Baihui||Noble Lady / Imperial Concubine Yi (怡)||Friend to Consort Yu. An early victim of Noble Consort Gao.|
|Pan Shiqi||Imperial Concubine / Noble Lady Jia (嘉)||Underling of Noble Consort Gao and mother of 4th Prince. To survive, she does Gao's dirty work and is there to take the fall for her. Her younger sister later enters the harem with a strong distaste for Yingluo.|
|Li Chun'ai||Nalan Chunxue, Noble Lady Shu (舒)||One of those who will be handled by Yingluo, to the point of becoming comic relief.|
|Li Ruoning||Lu Wanwan, Female Attendant Qing (庆)||Quiet but self-assured, she is a little person who can effect big changes.|
|Fu Xiaoyu||Socoro Yuli, Consort Rui (瑞)|
|Wang Xinhui||Consort Wan (婉)|
|Liu Lu||Consort Ying (颖)|
|Su Qing||Hitara Erqing||First maid to Empress Fuca. An opportunist who will not let a little thing called morals get in the way of ambition.|
|Jiang Zixin||Mingyu||Second maid to Empress Fuca. Outspoken but dim, she is loyal to Empress Fuca unreservedly, and later becomes Yingluo's reliable friend and co-conspirator.|
|Zhang Yixi (张译兮)||Jixiang||Yingluo's first friend in the embroidery unit. Got tricked by Linglong and met her death.|
|Gao Yu'er||Jinxiu||Jealous hater of Yingluo at the embroidery unit.|
|Chen Ruoxi||Linglong||Another hater of Yingluo at the embroidery unit.|
|He Jiayi||Supervisor Zhang||Head of the embroidery unit and Yingluo's palace mentor at the beginning.|
|Zhang Tingting||Supervisor Liu||Head of the crew at the palace sanitation unit. Pawn of the consorts in the schemes against Yingluo.|
|Yin Xu||Fang Nizi||Second head of the embroidery unit and part of the Yingluo hater club.|
|Fang Anna||Zhen'er||Maid of Empress Hoifa-Nara, and becomes her lacky and partner in crime. She is loyal to Empress Hoifa-Nara.|
|Ren Wanjing||Fangcao||Maid of Consort Yu.|
|Shi Yufei||Zhilan||Maid of Noble Consort Gao.|
|Chen Mo||Yuhu||Maid of Noble Consort Chun.|
|Deng Sha||Wei Yingning||Yingluo's deceased sister.|
|Yang Jingru||Hupo||Staff at Empress Fuca's Changchun House. Another pawn in the consorts' schemes.|
|Zhang Tianyun||Zhenzhu||Staff at Empress Fuca's Changchun House. Later becomes a maid for Yingluo and remain extremely loyal to her.|
|Liu Enshang||Li Yu||Head eunuch and loyal servant of Emperor Qianlong. He can read his master by his countenance and does not mind being the butt (literally) of his aggression.|
|Lawrence Wong||Hailancha||Imperial guard and friend of Fuca Fuheng. Falls in love with Mingyu.|
|Wang Maolei||Yuan Chunwang||Mysterious person with a wicked mind. He believes that he and Yingluo are two of a kind, and will do whatever it takes to make her see it his way, whether or not she wants to.|
|Tan Xuqi||Qijia Qingxi|
|Zheng Long||Xiao Quanzi||The little thief who has proven his worth to Yingluo at the end.|
|Sun Di||Wu Shulai||Eunuch supervisor of the inner courts. Rival of Yuan Chunwang.|
|Chang Cheng||Desheng||Junior eunuch and assistant to Li Yu.|
|Wang Huichun||Yongzheng Emperor|
|Ma Chunyan||Empress Xiaojingxian|
|Song Chunli||Empress Dowager Chong Qing||Surrogate mother of Emperor Qianlong and a woman with some secrets of her own. Prizes a stable empire above all and will actively pursue a stable harem for her son.|
|Fang Yangfei||Yongcheng, Prince Lü||Fourth son of Emperor Qianlong, from Noble Lady Jia. Surrogate son of Empress Hoifa-Nara.|
|Chen Youwei||Yongqi, Prince Rong||Fifth son of Emperor Qianlong, from Consort Yu. Surrogate son of Yingluo when she becomes Consort Ling.|
|Zhou Yicheng||Yongcong, Prince Zhe (哲)||Seventh son of Emperor Qianglong, from Empress Xiaoxianchun, he dies as a young age. When he was born, he was highly favored and loved.|
|Tang Jiatong||Jiaqing Emperor|
|Wang Herun||Princess Zhaohua|
|Bai Shan||Consort Yu (裕)||Consort of the Yongzheng Emperor and mother of Hongzhou. Willing to commit all kinds of evil to protect her son.|
|Hong Yao||Hongzhou, Prince He||Brother of Emperor Qianlong. Puts on an apathetic, foolhardy demeanor to conceal his ambition and lifelong disappointment of being second to Qianlong.|
|Cheng Junwen||Hongxiao, Prince Yi||Cousin of Emperor Qianlong. Collaborates with Noble Consort Gao against Yingluo.|
|Gong Fangmin||Yuntao, Prince Lü|
Many of the film props and costumes use as centerpieces exquisitely made articles from traditional Chinese crafts that are dying out with few master-level experts remaining to pass on their skills to the next generation. The acquisition of these skills requires a lifetime commitment to perfect, since they are unsurprisingly labor-intensive, demanding a sharp eye and tireless hands in order to replicate in painstaking detail the exclusive nature of their beauty.
Velvet flowers (ronghua)
The velvet flower headwear used by the main characters was designed based on historical documents or antiques housed in the Palace Museum. Each adornment is created according to the characteristics of individual palace women. Zhao Shuxian, one of the few craftsmen still making velvet flowers, created all the headwear in the show using the art of making velvet flower (ronghua). This technique dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and refers to the creation of not only floral displays, but also animal shapes made by silk on a twisted wire frame.
Worn by the Empress and Consorts as status symbols of opulence, these are hairpins of a particular vibrant blue hue, made from the preserved feathers of the wings and back of the kingfisher bird. The technique resembles cloisonné, and when inlaid with pearls and other gemstones, are especially eye-catching the way a peacock dazzles fanning its tail.
The success of the drama is due in no small part to the contributions of numerous artisans and craftspeople behind the scenes that lend to the authenticity of Qing era fashion and style visible in every frame.
The series has generated buzz online for its engaging plot of a "Cinderella" tale with Chinese characteristics. It set the single-day online viewership record in China with a total of 530 million views, and has attracted a cumulative over 13 billion views since August 2018. The drama is the most viewed Chinese language drama of 2018. The drama was also the most Googled show on earth in 2018. 
Many viewers praised the story, because unlike the usual amicable heroines, the main character Wei Yingluo fights fire with fire and outmaneuvers her opponents. It also received praise for its well-developed cast of characters and exciting interpretation by the actors; beautiful cinematography and intricate costume design; as well as its accurate portrayal of history and Qing-dynasty settings. Owing to its success, there has been an increased number of visitors to the Palace Museum in Beijing, which is where all the main characters in the show used to live in times gone by.
In August 2018 and September 2018 Story of Yanxi Palace achieved the first place in the global popularity ranking of the films.
There was uproar in China after a Vietnamese website managed to acquire episodes not yet shown in China and asked visitors to the website to answer questions confirming their Vietnamese identity before the website loads. “This service is for Vietnamese people only. Please answer the following questions: To which country do the Hoang Sa (Paracel Islands) belong? Vietnam, China, Philippines or Japan?”. The only correct answer to the question, according to the website, is Vietnam. The islands are disputed territory. Copies of the episodes were later removed from the platform. 
|1.||"Look (看)" (Opening theme song)||Yu Zheng, Lu Hu||Lu Hu||Lu Hu|
|2.||"Sighs of the Palace Walls (红墙叹)" (Ending theme song)||Wang Yaoguang||Wen Kui||Hu Xia|
|3.||"The Sound of Snow Falling (雪落下的声音)" (Ending theme song)||Yu Zheng, Lu Hu||Lu Hu||Lu Hu|
|4.||"Forgetting About Each Other (相忘)" (Ending theme song)||Wang Xiaoqian||Yang Chengyin||Su Qing|
|5.||"Willows of the Palace (宫墙柳)"||Yu Zheng||Tan Xuan||Li Chunai|
Awards and nominations
|5th Hengdian Film and TV Festival of China||Best Television Series||Story of Yanxi Palace||Won|||
|24th Huading Awards||Best Actress (Ancient Drama)||Wu Jinyan||Won|||
|Best Supporting Actress||Charmaine Sheh||Nominated|
|Golden Bud - The Third Network Film And Television Festival||Most Influential Web Series||Story of Yanxi Palace||Won|||
|Influence of Recreational Responsibilities Awards||Web Drama of the Yea||Won|||
| Hong Kong
Macau Singapore Malaysia Australia United States and Worldwide
|TVB Jade||06 August - 06 October (Monday-Friday at 8:30pm)
(Two Episode Back To Back for Saturday & Sunday) at 8:30pm.
|Dubbed With Cantonese, August 26 and September 22 Was Not Air. TVB Jade will air at 8.00pm. on 1 October|
|Indonesia||fmn||Coming Soon||Original Language with Subtitles|
|Vietnam||Ho Chi Minh City Television||9 August - Present (Monday-Friday at 5:00pm)||Dubbed With Vietnamese|
|Singapore||Hub VV Drama||20 September - (Weekdays 9:00pm)||Original Language|
|Mediacorp Channel U||8 March - 13 June (Weekdays 10:00pm)||Original Language|
|Canada||Fairchild TV 2 HD (FTV2HD)||06 August - Present (Monday-Friday)
Vancouver (West) 4:30pm, 8:30pm
Toronto (East) 7:30pm, 11:30pm
|Dubbed with Cantonese (TVB Version)|
|Philippines||GMA Network||Coming Soon||To be dubbed In Tagalog|
|India||Colors||Coming Soon||Dubbed Hindi|
|Star Vijay||Dubbed Tamil|
|Star Maa||Dubbed Telugu|
|Colors Bangla||Dubbed Bengali|
|United States||CTI America||From 3 September, 2018 - (Weekdays) At 7:00 PM (PT)
Repeat at Next Day 3:00 PM (PT)
|Cambodia||PPCTV Drama 10||10 March 2019 (Monday-Sunday) 11:30am & 19:30pm||Dubbed khmer|
|Malaysia||8TV||16 September 2019 - Present (Monday-Friday at 7:00pm)||Original Language with Subtitles|
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- "How authentic are the accessories worn in 'Story of Yanxi Palace'?". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2019-01-09.
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- ""延禧攻略"颠覆宫斗套路 "紫禁城福尔摩斯"一路打怪升级". Sina (in Chinese). July 24, 2018.
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- "How Story of Yanxi Palace's back-stabbing imperial concubines helped China's iQiyi set a viewership record". South China Morning Post. August 14, 2018.
- "Yanxi Palace: The most Googled show on Earth". BBC. December 24, 2018.
- "《延禧攻略》收获高口碑 女主"黑莲花"引热议". Netease (in Chinese). July 20, 2018.
- "《延禧攻略》呈现复古新审美". Beijing Newspaper (in Chinese). July 26, 2018.
- "Come rain or shine". The Global Times. August 12, 2018.
- Lewoniewski, Włodzimierz; Węcel, Krzysztof; Abramowicz, Witold (2019). "Multilingual Ranking of Wikipedia Articles with Quality and Popularity Assessment in Different Topics". Computers. 8 (3). doi:10.3390/computers8030060. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
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