The Rise of Phoenixes
|The Rise of Phoenixes|
|Also known as||凰权·弈天下|
|Based on||Huang Quan|
by Tianxia Guiyuan
|Country of origin||China|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||70 (uncut), 56 (TV)|
|Camera setup||Multiple-camera setup|
|Running time||40-45 minutes|
|Original network||Hunan TV |
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|First shown in||China|
|Original release||August 14 –|
September 17, 2018
|The Rise of Phoenixes|
The Rise of Phoenixes (Chinese: 天盛长歌; pinyin: Tiānshèng Cháng Gē) is a 2018 Chinese television series that is loosely based on the novel Huang Quan (Chinese: 凰权) by Tianxia Guiyuan, taking place in the fictional kingdom of Tiansheng. It stars Chen Kun and Ni Ni. The series premiered on Hunan Television starting August 14, 2018, and then on Netflix starting on September 14, 2018. It became one of the highest rated shows of the year, was nominated for several awards including for Best Drama Series at the Asian Television Awards, and won for best cinematography at the 25th Shanghai Television Festival.
Ning Yi (Chen Kun) is the highly intelligent and calculating sixth prince of the Tiansheng kingdom. He has learned to hide his true personality behind a carefree facade after the corrupt and duplicitous court officials charged the third prince Ning Qiao, Ning Yi's older half-brother, with high treason. Over the next decade, he establishes a secret information network led by Qingming Academy's headmaster (equivalent to a modern day college chancellor) Xin Ziyan, and waits for the perfect chance to strike down his enemies and overturn the charges laid against his half-brother, whom he sees as a just ruler.
Feng Zhiwei (Ni Ni) is the niece of Colonel Qiu, who is supposed to take the place of Qiu's daughter in an arranged marriage to Ning Yi. After convincing him to call off the marriage, she is banished from her household after being falsely accused of a crime. With the help of Ning Yi and Headmaster Xin, she cross-dresses as a man and joins the prestigious Qingming Academy, to help them serve their purpose. She enters court as the Ultimate Scholar (Royal Designated Scholar) and becomes an official after stunning the world with her talent and knowledge.
Feng Zhiwei remains loyal and honest to the reigning Emperor as Wei Zhi, who values her candid, wise advice during the princes’ fight for the throne, but she is forced to reveal her true identity when the emperor wants to marry Wei Zhi to his daughter. After being arrested and sentenced to death, she is pardoned thanks to Ning Yi, Headmaster Xin, and the emperor's head eunuch, and sent on a diplomatic mission alongside the prince of Chu. While on the mission, her feelings for Ning Yi as well as his for her become evident to both. After Ning Yi contracts a contagious disease while trying to demolish the power of the Chang family and nearly dies, he confesses to her and she confesses back to him, and they plan to ask the emperor to allow them to marry when they get back to the capital.
Feng ultimately finds out she is surviving royalty from the previous empire. Manipulated into thinking that the current kingdom of Tiansheng was built upon the corpses of her loved ones, Zhiwei decides to take revenge against her enemies, including Ning Yi.
|Chen Kun||Ning Yi (宁弈)||
Sixth prince of Tiansheng Kingdom, the Prince of Chu.
|Ni Ni||Feng Zhiwei (凤知微)
Wei Zhi (魏知)
The unfavored niece of the Qiu Family, who is actually the last princess of the fallen Dacheng Dynasty.
Tiansheng Kingdom Royal Family
|Ni Dahong||Ning Shizheng (宁世征)||The 60-year-old ruler of Tiansheng Kingdom.|
A calculating and distrustful man skilled in balancing the different factions in his court. Though ruthless when it comes to the empire's safety, he can sometimes show something resembling affection towards his children. Yale, Consort Yan and Ning Yi's mother, has always been the woman he loved most.
|Hai Yitian||Ning Chuan (宁川)||First prince of Tiansheng Kingdom, the Crown Prince.|
Though ambitious, ruthless, and cruel, he lacks judgement and insight, and relies heavily on Chang Hai and other advisors to strategize for him. He is part of the Chang bloodline and thus is backed by the Chang clan. He uses the Bloody Pagoda to eliminate his political opponents for almost two decades and is the mastermind behind Ning Qiao's death.
|Shi An||Ning Sheng (宁昇)||Second prince of Tiansheng Kingdom, the Prince of Yan.|
Ambitious and cruel, he is a top contender for the throne. Like the Crown Prince, he is also part of the Chang bloodline and is backed by the Chang clan.
|Liu Zhehui||Ning Qiao (宁乔)||Third prince of Tiansheng Kingdom, posthumously Crown Prince Zhuangyi.|
He was unjustly killed after being framed by his opponents for high treason. Prior to his death, he had a close relationship with Ning Yi.
|Tong Shao||Ning Yan (宁研)||Fifth prince of Tiansheng Kingdom, the Prince of Zhao.|
Brainless and greedy, he is a lackey of the Crown Prince, until he is tricked by Headmaster Xin into thinking he is the rightful Crown Prince and he should bring down Ning Chuan.
|Qu Gaowei||Ning Qi (宁齐)||Seventh prince of Tiansheng Kingdom, the Prince of Wei.|
He returns to the capital after ten years at the border. Ning Qi is a candid prince who loves his mother very dearly. He becomes ruthless and ambitious and ends up seeing Ning Yi as his biggest adversary. Ning Qi goes to extreme lengths to eliminate him from the competition for the empire.
|Wang Kaiyi||Ning Ji (宁霁)||Tenth prince of Tiansheng Kingdom, the Prince of Duan. The emperor’s youngest son. |
A kind boy at heart, he trusts and respects Ning Yi.
|Xu Hao||Ning Shao (宁韶)||Princess Shaoning of Tiansheng Kingdom.|
She is doted on by the Emperor and the Crown Prince.
|Song Jiayang||Ning Qing (宁清)||Ning Yi's bodyguard. A subordinate to Ning Cheng.|
|Du Hongbin||Ning Zhuo (宁濯)||Ning Yi's bodyguard. A subordinate to Ning Cheng.|
|Mei Ting||Yale (雅乐)||Consort Yan. Princess of the Sunset tribe and Ning Yi's mother.|
She was assumed to be killed on charges of witchcraft. She has actually been detained in a windowless room for the past twenty years and is finally released when Ning Yi discovers the truth and bargains with the emperor.
|Yu Mingjia||Chang Yongmei||Noble Consort Chang. Ning Sheng's birth mother and Ning Yi's step-mother. Member of the Chang clan, younger sister of the late empress (Ning Chuan's and Shao Ning's mother).|
|Zhu Rui||Yueling (月泠)||Consort Qing. Lover of Zhangsun Huong, Crown Prince of the Cheng Dynasty.|
She pretends to collaborate with Ning Qi but actually is plotting to demise the emperor. Enters court as a female attendant, and tries to fracture the dynasty by sowing discord between the emperor and his sons. She is the daughter of Sanhu.
|Wang Oulei||Lady Wang (王才人)||A kind yet unfavored concubine of the emperor. |
Ning Qi's biological mother.
|Chen Yingying||Yijun||Princess Consort of Wei.|
Tiansheng Kingdom Court Officials and Servants
|Zhao Lixin||Xin Ziyan (辛子砚)||Headmaster of Qingming Academy. |
Appears to be an advisor in the Crown Prince's faction, yet is actually a trusted mentor and good friend of Ning Yi. He was close to the late Prince Ning Qiao.
|Wang Ou||Hua Qiong (华琼)||Daughter of a family who fell victim to Chang Yuan, the Duke of Min. She allies with Ning Yi and Wei Zhi to bring Chang Yuan to justice and later becomes Zhiwei's best friend.|
|Yin Zhusheng||Chang Yuan (常远)||Duke of Min and head of the Chang family. A powerful general who contributed greatly to the founding of the Tiansheng Kingdom and holds significant power in court. He is the older brother of Chang Hai and is the uncle of both the Crown Prince and the second prince. He is viewed as the biggest threat to the Emperor's authority.|
|Xu Wei||Chang Hai (常海)||Uncle of the Crown Prince and second prince, and the Duke of Min's younger brother. |
A loyal ally of the Crown Prince.
|Lu Yong||Qiu Shangqi (秋尚奇)||Commander-in-chief of the infantry and leader of the Flying Shadow guards.|
Appears to be an ally of the Crown Prince. However, he prioritizes his own welfare above all else, and is a fence-sitter who always plays it safe in politics. Feng Zhiwei's uncle through her mother, Mingying.
|Wang Ce||Gu Yan (顾衍)||Head of the Royal Guards.|
Originally the second-in-command of the Bloody Pagoda, he betrays his organisation and joins the Tiansheng Kingdom as head of the royal guards.
|Qin Yan||Yao Ying (姚英)||Grand Secretary of Internal Affairs.|
Ning Yi's ally.
|Chang Cheng||Peng Pei (彭沛)||Ministry of Penalty.|
Ning Sheng's ally.
|Ren Luomin||Ge Hongying (葛鸿英)||Assistant minister.|
Ning Yan's ally.
|Zhao Chengshun||Chunyu Hong (淳于鸿)||Chunyu Meng's father.|
|Hou Yansong||Zhao Yuan (赵渊)||The emperor's trusted head eunuch. In charge of the Internal Affairs Department.|
|He Lei||Ning Cheng (宁澄)||Ning Yi's loyal bodyguard.|
|Liu Yun||Manchun (曼春)||Ning Yi's personal attendant.|
|Rong Fei||Wu Ying (吴英)||An eunuch who was sent to spy on Ning Yi by the emperor, but decided to remain faithful to the prince after hearing the truth behind his schemes.|
|Chen Liang||Ah Chou (阿丑)||Gu Yan's trusted aide.|
People of Tiansheng Kingdom
|Hu Ke||Dahua (大花)||Xin Ziyan's wife. A very jealous woman who also deeply loves her husband.|
|Xu Jian||Yan Huaishi (燕怀石)||Son of the prominent Yan clan of Minhai. Enters the Qingming Academy at the same time with Feng Zhiwei disguised as Wei Zhi and befriends her, knowing she is a woman. Hua Qiong’s betrothed, or, fiancé.|
|Liu Haoyan||Chunyu Meng (淳于猛)||Son of a powerful warrior.|
He is loyal to Ning Yi and aids him in his conquest.
|Mao Yi||Yao Yangyu (姚扬宇)||Son of Yao Ying.|
He is the top student at Qingming Academy, but is unruly and arrogant.
|Wang Jiaqi||Zhuyin (珠茵)||Daughter of one of Ning Qiao's trusted generals. |
She is a courtesan at Lanxiang court who collects intelligence for Ning Yi.
|Liu Mintao||Qiu Mingying (秋明缨)||Sister of Qiu Shangqi. Wife of Gu Heng, previous commander of the Fire Wind army and leader of the Bloody Pagoda.|
She takes in Zhiwei and raises her as her own. She is willing to die along with her son in order to protect her adopted daughter.
|Yang Ziyan||Madame Qiu (秋夫人)||Qiu Shangqi's wife.|
|Deng Sha||Yuhua (玉华)||Qiu Shangqi's fifth concubine. She suspects something concerning the Feng children's identity and soon ends up being killed by Qiu Mingying for it.|
|Xu Ge||Qiu Yuluo (秋玉落)||Qiu Shangqi's daughter.|
A spoiled and unruly girl who was chosen to be betrothed to Ning Yi by the Emperor. She often tries to humiliate Feng Zhiwei and her brother but always ends up being bullied by them instead.
|Chang Long||Feng Hao (凤皓)||Qiu Mingying's biological son, who is used as a decoy for the Dacheng Remnant, Feng Zhiwei.|
A cheeky manchild who loves his mother and sister dearly, and ultimately chooses to sacrifice himself to let them live.
|Bai Jingting||Gu Nanyi (顾南衣)||An assassin and member of the Bloody Pagoda. |
He becomes Feng Zhiwei's bodyguard, and views her as the most important person in his life.
|Xiu Qing||Zong Chen (宗宸)||One of the leaders of the Bloody Pagoda, and Gu Nanyi's mentor. |
He masquerades as a teacher of a private school, yet is extremely skilled in martial arts and an expert of medicine.
|Hei Zi||Gu Heng (顾衡)||Previous leader of the Bloody Pagoda.|
Feng Zhiwei's foster father; Qiu Mingying's husband.
|Tan Kai||Emperor of Da Cheng (大成皇帝)||Feng Zhiwei's father.|
|Zhang Dinghan||Empress of Da Cheng (大成皇后)||Feng Zhiwei's mother.|
|Zhang Xiaochen||Helian Zheng (赫连铮)||Heir of Jinshi, a kingdom ruled by a nomadic tribe - North of Tiansheng. |
He wants Zhiwei's hand in marriage, but his plans collide with Ning Yi's. He falls for Zhiwei's strong personality, and is willing to give anything to help her accomplish her dreams and aspirations.
|Li Jingjing||Liu Mudan (刘牡丹)||Grand Royal Consort. Helian Zheng's stepmother, who raised him after his mother's death.|
|Qin Yong||San Sun (三隼)||General of Jinshi.|
|Zhou Kui||Helian Lie (赫连烈)||Helian Zheng's Uncle, and the previous Jinshi King's twin brother, also self-proclaimed King Regent after the death of his twin.|
|Deng Hanyu||Helian Tu (赫连图)||Current King of Jinshi, the younger half-brother of Helian Zheng. Used by Helian Lie as a puppet king.|
Kingdom of Yue
|Yuan Hong||Jin Siyu (晋思羽)||Third prince of Yue, the Prince of An.|
|Shen Xiaohai||Zhanbi (占壁)||A spy of the Kingdom of Yue, Yale's lover.|
The series is directed by Shen Yan and Liu Haibo (Chinese Style Relationship), and written by internet novel writers Lu Jing (original author), Lu Yi, Zou Yue, Wang Pei and Qiu Yongyi. Costume designer and artistic director William Chang (The Flowers of War, The Grandmaster) was in charge of costumes designing along with Lu Fengshan and Fang Sizhe. Other notable crew members include stunt choreographer Yuan Bin (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate), stills photographer Bao Xiangyu (Coming Home, Mojin: The Lost Legend), composer Dong Yingda (Sweet Sixteen, All Quiet in Peking), cinematographer Li Xi (Love is Not Blind), artistic director Kun Xiaotong, editor Zhang Jia (Go Lala Go!). and etiquette consultant Li Bin (Nirvana in Fire, The Legend of Mi Yue).
On 20 October 2016, Chen Kun was announced as the male lead. On 7 March 2017, Ni Ni was announced as the female lead; this also marks Ni Ni's first television series. The extended cast was revealed on 27 April 2017.
The series is the first television drama to be filmed in Tang City Film Studios, Xiangyang, which was built specifically for Chen Kaige's fantasy film The Legend of the Cat Demon. Reportedly, the location was picked not only because it fits the time period of the story setting, but also because the location is not featured in dramas frequently, as most historical/ancient Chinese dramas are filmed at Hengdian World Studios. The series was also filmed in other places including Wuxi and Duyun.
In September 2017, cast members Zhao Lixin and Zhang Xiaochen attended the Weibo Awards Ceremony, where The Rise of Phoenixes was awarded the "Most Anticipated Television Series" award.
In May 2018, it was revealed that the Chinese name for the series was changed from "凰权•弈天下 (Huang Quan Yi Tian Xia)" to "天盛长歌 (Tiansheng Chang Ge)" and the episode count was officially confirmed to be 70 episodes.
|1.||"To No Avail (奈何)" (Insert song)||Dong Yingda||Dong Yingda||Sam Lee||3:40|
|2.||"If Like Yesterday (如昨)" (Concept song)||Zhang Pengpeng, Lin Qiao||Wu Shuting||Liu Xijun||5:06|
|3.||"Schemes of the Heart (心·机)" (Insert song)||Cui Shu||Dong Yingda||Tracy Wang||3:02|
|4.||"Schemes; Love Comes Along (心机·爱相随)" (Insert song)||Dong Yingda||Dong Yingda||Xu Hongbin||3:02|
|5.||"Like Dust (轻尘)" (Insert song)||Zhang Ying||Chen Xueran||Tang Hanxiao||3:07|
|6.||"Why to No Avail (何·奈何)" (Ending theme song)||Dong Yingda||Dong Yingda||Ni Ni||2:58|
Due to its slow pacing and heavy plot, the series received low viewership ratings, and the original 70 episodes were cut down to 56 episodes on television. However, Douban gave it a score of 8.3/10 with over 113,000 votes, making it the highest rated show out of all the dramas that aired over the summer holidays and one of the highest rated TV dramas of the year so far.
|Hunan Satellite TV first broadcast ratings|
|Air date||Episode||CSM52 city network ratings||National Internet ratings|
|Ratings (%)||Audience share (%)||Rank||Ratings (%)||Audience share (%)||Rank|
|2018-08-17||Due to the broadcast of the Tanabata Love Song, it was suspended for one day.|
Awards and nominations
|24th Huading Awards||Best Actor||Chen Kun||Nominated|||
|Best Actress (Ancient Drama)||Ni Ni||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Zhao Lixin||Nominated|
|25th Shanghai Television Festival||Best Television Series||Nominated|||
|Best Director||Shen Yan, Liu Haibo||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Chen Kun||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Li Xi||Won|
|Best Art Direction||Nominated|
|24th Asian Television Awards||Best Drama Series||The Rise of Phoenixes||Nominated|||
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