The Legend of Haolan
|The Legend of Haolan|
|Also known as||Beauty Haolan|
|Mandarin||Hào Làn Zhuán|
|Directed by||Li Dachao|
|Country of origin||China|
|No. of episodes||62|
|Executive producer(s)||Yu Zheng|
|Production company(s)||Huanyu Film|
|Original network||iQiyi (China)|
Star Chinese Channel (Southeast Asia Distribution)
|First shown in||China|
|Original release||January 19, 2019|
|Related shows||Story of Yanxi Palace (2018)|
The series is set during the Warring States period, and chronicles the rise of Li Haolan to become the Empress Dowager.
Betrayed by her family and her first love, Li Haolan finds herself in desperate circumstances at the start of the series. Her father, State Censor Li He, arranges marriage between her and the far-older Yu Ping, who treats his other wives brutally. When she tries to circumvent this fate by begging her first love, Prince Jiao, ask to marry her, Li Haolan's stepmother, Gao Min, orders her killed and thrown into the river. Surviving only by chance, Li Haolan crawls back from the brink of death to discover her reputation in tatters, as Gao Min spread the rumor that Li Haolan shamed the family by eloping with a stranger to explain the girl's disappearance. Li Haolan's mother, Wang Wan'er, a lowly concubine, has gone mad with grief over her daughter's unknown fate. Gao Min orders the murder of Li Haolan's mother and sells Li Haolan into slavery, just as Li Haolan watches her sweetheart marrying her little sister, Li Xiuyu.
Stricken with the knowledge of everyone's complicity, and unable to return home, Li Haolan vows she will never beg for another thing in her life as she tries to claw her way out of her fallen circumstances and avenge the death of her mother and the wrongs done to her.
The scheming merchant Lu Buwei purchases Li Haolan and takes interest in the fate of this intelligent, unusual girl. Together, they form an unlikely partnership as they both begin to climb the ladders of power.
Through Lu Buwei's influence, Li Haolan enters Zhao's imperial court and makes a match with Ying Yinren, the captive prince of Qin. As Qin and Zhao fall into war, the balance of power may find itself upended, with Li Haolan on top.
|Wu Jinyan||Li Haolan / Zhao Ji||Li He's eldest daughter, by Wang Wan'er. Intelligent, talented, and kind, this gentle, favored daughter of a high official becomes a woman fiercely determined to avenge the great wrongs done to her and gain enough power to ensure no one can bend her pride again after she is sold into slavery. Because they are on the same path for power, she makes a pact with Lu Buwei to act as his partner. She is unafraid to call out misbehavior or demand she be treated fairly.|
|Nie Yuan||Lü Buwei||A Littlefinger-esque merchant with a reputation for cunning and excellent business sense, Lu Buwei understands the importance of appearance and connections. Despite being from the wealthiest family in Zhao, the upper classes were allowed to step on Lu Buwei and his father due to their merchant status, causing him to vow that, one day, he would have more power and influence than them all. He often hides his altruism under the guise of profit scheming and is never afraid to take advantage of a bad situation, causing others to misunderstand him.|
|Mao Zijun||Ying Yiren/Zichu||Lord Anguo's son, by his concubine Xia Ji, adopted by his wife Lady Huayang.|
A prince of Qin, later King Zhuangxiang of Qin. Initially the insignificant 27th prince of Qin, Yiren is held in the Zhao imperial court as a royal hostage to ensure the compliance of his home country. He loves art and music, and is kind to those beneath him, but hates his captors. His warm, pleasant demeanor hides chilly depths.
|Wang Zhifei||Zhao Dan||King Xiaocheng of Zhao. A specially known lover of beauty and dancing girls, the King of Zhao can be superstitious and fills his harem with easy distractions.|
|Ning Jing||Lady Li||King Xiaocheng's queen. Often overlooked, Queen Li is extremely intelligent and extremely bored. She easily sees through most schemes, including Haolan's, though she favors keeping the knowledge to herself. Li Haolan's quick wits endear her to the Queen, who makes Haolan her maid-in-waiting as a form of amusement and mental exercise.|
|Yin Xu||Yun Chisu||A dancing girl, later King Xiaocheng's concubine.|
|Yang Caiying||Lady Mei||King Xiaocheng's concubine.|
|Zhang Nan||Han Qionghua||A princess of Han, later King Xiaocheng's concubine.|
|Hong Yao||Prince Jiao||King Xiaocheng's eldest son, adopted by his queen Lady Li. Li Xiuyu's husband. He shared a first love with Li Haolan and vowed to her that they'd marry. Self-important and selfish, he has very high political aspirations, which Li Haolan's status as concubine-born would have inconvenienced. Because of this, he looks the other way when Haolan is in danger and marries her younger sister. He is quick to impetuously demand his way and not afraid to spread false accusations to get it.|
|He Fengtian||Prince Yu||King Xiaocheng's second son.|
|Zhao Yiqin||Prince Yi||King Xiaocheng's third son, by his concubine Lady Yuan.|
|Hai Ling||Princess Ya||King Xiaocheng's daughter, by his queen Lady Li. The fiery spirit of a warrior trapped in the body of the King's favorite and most-indulged daughter. She fancies herself in love with the hostage prince of Qin, Prince Yinren. In temperament, Princess Ya resembles a child crushing to death a bird she's caught and is loving to death. A creature of extreme opposites: she is both smotheringly obsessive and possessive towards the things she wants, but dismissive and destructive of everything else. She is also quickly bored and changeable once she gets what she desires.|
|Liu Enshang||Zhao Sheng||Lord Pingyuan. The Prime Minister of Zhao. Interacting with the normal classes more often than his superiors and savvy at navigating the ridiculous whims of the upper nobility, the Prime Minister is a surprisingly practical and intelligent official who does much to ensure the state continues to function equally practically.|
|Nan Fulong||Gongsun Qian||A general.|
|Jiang Zixin||Yin Xiaochun||A physician. No-nonsense and does not accept bribes. Yin Xiaochun is a rare female physician and the best doctor in the Zhao court.|
|Lu Zhongtai||The Director of the Grand Diviners.|
|Yang Hongwu||Gao Meng||A general.|
|Pei Zitian||Gao Haoyang||A general.|
|Yao Weiping||Lian Po||A general.|
|Lian Lian||Xiao Hongye||Lady Li's servant.|
|Zhang Jingru||Azhao||Lady Li's servant.|
|Shi Jingzi||Lüzhu||Han Qionghua's servant, later Lady Li's servant.|
|Chen Haoming||Xiaxue||Princess Ya's servant.|
|Du Lingli||Baihe||A servant in Xuri Palace.|
|Shen Baoping||Li He||Li Haolan's father. The Censor of Zhao. |
Motivated by personal and familial glory and willing to take hand ups to get it. Li He is aware of the truth behind Li Haolan's circumstances, but, despite his apparent sorrow over the situation of his favorites, makes no effort to champion her or her mother since he benefits from their suffering.
|Lu Ling||Wang Wan'er||Li He's first wife/ concubine, Li Haolan's mother. |
Though legally his wife and first in his affections, Li He used Wang Wan'er's foreign status to disregard the law and strip her of her position, reducing her to a concubine, when the rich and powerful Gao Min desired to marry him.
|Wang Lin||Gao Min||Li He's main wife. Cruel and calculating, Gao Min thinks little of taking brutal action against others in her quest to get what she desires. She uses her family affluence and shark-like intelligence to rule the Li family.|
|Li Chun'ai||Li Xiuyu||Li He's younger daughter, by his second wife Gao Min. Prince Jiao's wife. Though close as children, Li Xiuyu has long envied her more talented and favored older sister, Li Haolan, and ultimately shows her true colors as an adult.|
|Liu Shitong||Fangcao||Gao Min's servant, later Li Xiuyu's servant.|
|Wang Jianguo||Yu Ping||The Minister of Criminal Justice of Zhao. |
Yu Ping has a brutish reputation and several of his past wives have died under suspicious circumstances. The Li family owes Yu Ping and offending him could have dire consequences. Yu Ping's undesired request for Li Haolan's hand in marriage set off her initial fall from grace.
|Gong Zhengnan||Yu Hao||Yu Ping's eldest son. A petty bully with none of the intelligence of his father, but all of the entitlement.|
|Wen Haibo||Lü Buwei's father.|
|Gao Yu'er||Yao Ji||Lü Buwei's dancing girl.|
|Zheng Long||Situ Que||Situ Yue's elder brother.|
Lü Buwei's servant.
|Zhang Yixi||Situ Yue||Situ Que's younger sister.|
Lü Buwei's servant, later a servant in the palace.
|He Qiang||Ying Ji||Ying Yiren's grandfather.|
Lord Anguo's father. King Zhao Xiang of Qin.
|Wang Maolei||Ying Zhu||Ying Yiren's father.|
Lord Anguo. The Crown Prince of Qin, later King Xiaowen of Qin.
|Tan Zhuo||Lady Huayang||A lady of the Mi clan of Chu. Lord Anguo's wife. Ying Yiren's adoptive mother.|
The future Queen of Qin and Queen Dowager Huayang of Qin.
|He Jiayi||Xia Ji||Lord Anguo's concubine. Ying Yiren's mother.|
The future Queen Dowager Xia of Qin.
|Wang Yu||Ying Zixi||Lord Anguo's son.|
|Fang Anna||Siluo||Ying Yiren's concubine.|
|Tong Mengshi||Ying Zheng||Ying Yiren's eldest son, by his wife Li Haolan.|
A prince of Qin, later the Crown Prince of Qin and Qin Shi Huang.
|Zhu Jian||Lao Ai||A eunuch.|
|Yu Yankai||Bai Qi||Lord Wu'an.|
|Li Chuan||Bai Zhong||Bai Qi's son.|
|Pu Guanjin||Bai Ling'er||Bai Qi's daughter.|
|Tan Jianchang||Fan Ju||The Prime Minister of Qin.|
|Xu Muchan||Fan Ya||Fan Ju's daughter.|
|Gu Kaili||Fan Ya's nanny.|
|Zhao Jiuyi||Xiong Wan||The Crown Prince of Chu, later King Kaolie of Chu.|
|Liu Min||Lady Xiong||Lady Huayang's elder sister. The wife of Marquis Xuan.|
|Zhou Yunshen||Xiong Chen||Lady Huayang's younger brother.|
|Tang Xiangen||Zhu Xian|
|Hong Tuya||Cheng Xiu||killed by Lu Buwei.|
|Wang Meixin||Pang Min||Daughter of a Qin Officer. Admirer of Prince Yu.|