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|
|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– October 4, 2018|
Story of Yanxi Palace (Chinese: 延禧攻略) is a 2018 Chinese television drama co-produced by Huanyu Film and iQiyi Pictures, and starring Wu Jinyan, Charmaine Sheh, Qin Lan, Nie Yuan and Xu Kai. The series is based on the novel Yan Xi Gong Lüe by Zhou Mo. It was broadcast on iQiyi from 19 July 2018. The drama is distributed globally in over 70 countries worldwide.
In 18th century Beijing, the smart and witty Wei Yingluo enters the court of the Qianlong Emperor, Hong Li, as a seamstress to find the truth behind her older sister’s death. Believing the imperial guard Fuca Fuheng to be her sister's killer, Yingluo purposely attracts the attention of his sister the Empress Fuca, and is successfully transferred to Changchun Palace as a maid. Over time, she learns that the Fuca siblings are honest and kind-hearted people, and also develops romantic affections for Fuheng, who is much admired by many people in the Imperial Palace, including Consort Chun, who assists Empress Fuca's because of her crush on Fuca's brother.
Though Wei Yingluo is not of noble birth, the kind-hearted Empress Fuca personally teaches her how to read and write, and encourages her to treat everyone with kindness. Though Wei Yingluo has reached a stable position as a trusted palace maid, she hadn't forgotten that avenging her sister's death was her top priority. After a long and secret investigation, she discovers that the murderer is a Consort of the former Emperor and mother of Qianlong's half brother, and sets the stage for the culprit's death. Empress Fuca banishes her to the slave house before the Emperor could order her death. There, she befriends and becomes sworn brothers with a eunuch, Yuan Chunwang, who is eventually revealed to be the bastard son of the previous emperor.
Yingluo is eventually permitted to return to the side of Empress Fuca after she falls into a coma due to the machinations of Noble Consort Gao. Empress Fuca then becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son, but Consort Chun, who has been rejected by Fuheng, conspires to drive Empress Fuca to suicide by setting fire to part of her palace and killing her son. After Fuca's death, Yingluo is sent to the Summer Palace to guard over her grave, where she stays for a number of years with Yuan Chunwang. During an imperial visit to Fuca's grave, however, Yingluo becomes aware that Consort Chun manipulated Fuca into suicide, and so decides to reenter the palace to avenge her death.
Yingluo becomes the Emperor's woman, and is given the title of Consort Ling. She outmanoeuvres her rivals in the imperial harem both new and old, such as Noble Consort Chun, whose role in the death of Empress Fuca she exposes, causing her demotion and eventual death at the hands of the new Empress Hoifa-Nara. Her position is briefly threatened by a newcomer, Concubine Shun, a beautiful woman who has a grudge against Qianlong and Fuheng, having been forced into concubinage in the Forbidden City. After being framed by Concubine Shun for attempting to assasinate her, Yingluo is nearly starved to death, but eventually reverses the situation, reveals Shun's treachery, and restores Qianlong's affections for her. At this point, having reached a stable position in the Emperor’s harem, Yingluo declares a truce with Hoifa-Nara, the new Empress, on the condition that in the future she does not harm any of the children of the palace.
A decade later, however, Yuan Chunwang, who has betrayed Yingluo and joined Empress Hoifa-Nara, causes a series of disruptions, forcing the Empress’ hand. Hong Zhou, the Emperor’s brother, at the same time plots to sabotage Qianlong’s Southern tour. In the night, a band of rebels storm the ship and a fire is lit in the Empress Dowager’s cabin, prompting Emperor Qianlong to charge into the flaming cabin and save his mother, seemingly perishing himself in the process.
The next morning, as Hong Zhou has taken control of the ship and seeming restored order, Emperor Qianlong and the Empress Dowager emerge from a secret passage built in the ship by Fuheng as a trap to expose Hong Zhou's treachery. After Qian Long sentences Hong Zhou to death, Yuan Chunwang gets on his knees in front of the Emperor and claims he is a long-lost son of the past Yongzheng Emperor. The Empress Dowager denies this and he is driven mad, although it is left ambiguous whether or not she has lied to protect Qianlong's feelings and reign. Consort Ling emerges from her hiding spot under the protection of the Emperor’s men, prompting Empress Hoifa-Nara to protest the Emperor’s excessive affection for Wei Yingluo. She then cuts her hair, sacrosanct in Manchu tradition.
Empress Hoifa-Nara is permitted to keep her title, but loses the emperor’s affection entirely. Wei Yingluo is given the title of ‘Imperial Noble Consort (皇贵妃）‘, the highest possible rank for someone of her 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 as Wei Yingluo, Consort Ling (令) - A smart girl who enters the palace as a palace maid to find out the real cause behind the death of her sister, Wei Yingning. She falls in love with Fuca Fuheng, the brother of Empress Xiao Xian Chun but ultimately marries Emperor Qianlong.
- Charmaine Sheh as Hoifa Nara Shushen, Consort Xian (娴) - Consort of Emperor Qianlong. The kind and amiable consort's personality changed immensely after her whole family's demise and she became cunning. She became the empress when Empress Xiao Xian Chun passed away.
- Qin Lan as Fuca Rongyin, Empress Xiaoxianchun - The Empress of Emperor Qianlong. Kind and amiable, teacher and mistress of Wei Yingluo. Elder sister of Fuca Fuheng. Dies at the hands of Consort Chun after Consort Chun killed her son.
- Nie Yuan as Emperor Qianlong - Emperor of the Qing Dynasty.
- Xu Kai as Fuca Fuheng - Leader of the imperial guard, younger brother of Empress Xiao Xian Chun.
- Tan Zhuo as Gao Ningxin - Noble Imperial Consort of Emperor Qianlong. Vicious, evil and power-lusting. Hates Empress Xiao Xian Chun. After being burned by molten hot iron mixed with urine, she commits suicide after begging the emperor to give her birth mother a place in the Gao family tomb.
- Wang Yuanke as Su Jinghao, Consort Chun (纯) - Consort of Emperor Qianlong. However she loves Fuca Fuheng, but after she was rejected by him, she went berserk and caused the death of Empress Xiao Xian Chun's son, which therefore directly caused her death. Soon after, Consort Ling entered the palace and exposed her deeds and she died at the hands of the new Empress Hoifa-Nara.
- Jenny Zhang as Niohuru Chenbi, Concubine Shun (顺)
- Lian Lian as Keliyete Ayan, Consort Yu (愉)
- Xu Baihui as Noble Lady / Imperial Concubine Yi (怡)
- Pan Shiqi as Imperial Concubine / Noble Lady Jia (嘉)
- Li Chun'ai as Nalan Chunxue, Noble Lady Shu (舒)
- Li Ruoning as Lu Wanwan, Femalew Attendant Qing (庆)
- Fu Xiaoyu as Socoro Yuli, Consort Rui (瑞)
- Wang Xinhui as Consort Wan (婉)
- Liu Lu as Consort Ying (颖)
- Su Qing as Hitara Erqing
- Jiang Zixin as Mingyu
- Zhang Zexi as Jixiang
- Gao Yu'er as Jinxiu
- Chen Ruoxi as Linglong
- He Jiayi as Supervisor Zhang
- Zhang Tingting as Supervisor Liu
- Yin Xu as Fang Nizi
- Fang Anna as Zhen'er
- Ren Wanjing as Fangcao
- Qian Chenjie as Ah'Shuang
- Shi Yufei as Zhilan
- Chen Mo as Yuhu
- Deng Sha as Wei Yingning
- Yang Jingru as Hupo
- Zhang Tianyun as Zhenzhu
- An An as Manao
- Zhao Mengjie as Feicui
- Gao Rui as Bailing
- Zhang Jie as Yizhu
- Liu Enshang as Li Yu
- Lawrence Wong as Hailancha
- Wang Maolei as Yuan Chunwang
- Li Peng as Zhang
- Tan Xuqi as Cigiya Qingxi
- Zheng Long as Quan
- Sun Di as Wu Shulai
- Chang Cheng as Desheng
- Wang Huichun as the Yongzheng Emperor
- Ma Chunyan as the Empress Xiao Jing Xian
- Song Chunli as the Empress Dowager Chong Qing
- Fang Yangfei as Yongcheng, Prince Lü
- Chen Youwei as Yongqi, Prince Rong
- Zhou Yicheng as Yongrong, Prince Zhi
- Tang Jiatong as the Jiaqing Emperor
- Wang Herun as the Princess Zhaohua
- Bai Shan as Consort Yu (裕)
- Hong Yao as Hongzhou, Prince He
- Cheng Junwen as Hongxiao, Prince Yi
- Gong Fangmin as Yuntao, Prince Lü
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 preferences of concubines. 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.
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 Google's #1 trending TV show search worldwide 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. Due to its success, there has been an increased amount of visitor-ship to the Palace Museum in Beijing, which is where all the main characters in the show used to live in times gone by.
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||Nominated|||
|Best Supporting Actress||Charmaine Sheh||Nominated|
|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|
|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||Coming Soon||Following With GMA The Heart of Asia and Dubbed With 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)
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