The Legend of Zhen Huan: Eps 8-10 (Updated)
(*Updated*: Watched with subs, so I have a much better understanding of what went on now, haha) It’s been a while since I’ve last posted about Zhen Huan! For those of you who are asking where to watch it, please realize I’m just watching the raws. The subs are being released very slowly so I go back to watch the subbed version later on.
I didn’t mention a lot of the major plot developments in my last post because..I didn’t even know they happened. Thank goodness for subs. I was basically going, OHHHH every other second while rewatching the episodes with subs, haha. Zhen Huan is promoted to a higher rank perhaps a bit too easily. However she needs to ‘serve the Emperor’ aka sleep with him to make her promotion ‘official’.
“To Your Majesty, I’m just a normal girl. But I see your majesty as my husband.”
I wasn’t really looking forward to this scene because if you think about the age difference..it’s a bit too much. But I was surprised it’s actually a really romantic scene. It still has that sort of whimsical feel that we got from the snow scene and the garden scenes. I loved the shot of the Emperor leading Zhen Huan through his room while a whole bunch of pretty curtains fall behind them. But I don’t understand why Zhen Huan got to walk to the bed in a normal nightgown-robe-thing, while Mei Zhuang & Ling Rong had to be wrapped up in a blanket and carried to the emperor. Huh!?!?!?
Anyway I think it’s really sweet that Zhen Huan is brave enough to tell the emperor she thinks of him as her husband, not just the emperor. Maybe Zhen Huan didn’t exactly earn her way up into the ranks, but she already has the qualities to make her worthy of the promotion.
Now that Zhen Huan has a higher status, everything changes. It’s amazing to see just how much can change with the emperor’s favor & a promotion.
“…the most favored is the most hated.”
I love the concept that having the emperor’s favor is like a double-edged sword. Receiving the emperor’s favor is good but at the same time it puts Zhen Huan into more danger. Zhen Huan needs to somehow keep the emperor’s favor while avoiding the other concubines’ wrath at the same time. A very tricky endeavor indeed. Lucky for us though, Zhen Huan is very humble and prudent, so she advises the emperor to make the other concubines happy as well.
“I don’t dare to be the most and the only favored one.”
“Among so many people in the palace, the only one I trust is you.”
I love the sort of alliance between Mei Zhuang and Zhen Huan..even though technically it’s just them being loyal to each other as friends, not as strategic allies. It’s a wonder that Mei Zhuang didn’t get jealous of Zhen Huan’s success, and this goes to show how deep of a bond they already have. Since they are childhood friends and are already loyal, they have no problem with supporting each other. On the other hand, although Ling Rong is a good friend, she doesn’t have as close of a bond with Mei Zhuang & Zhen Huan. I think it’s interesting that Mei Zhuang dotes on Ling Rong, but doesn’t trust her completely, whereas Zhen Huan fully accepts Ling Rong.
The threesome is still intact, and now they’re more formidable than before. However, now that Zhen Huan is the most favored concubine, and Mei Zhuang is also highly favored, Ling Rong is just sorta..there. At one point Mei Zhuang & Zhen Huan don’t tell Ling Rong about Zhen Huan’s poisoning until after the fact. They mean well because they seriously believe that Ling Rong is just a harmless, kind soul. But to Ling Rong, this means she’s not worthy enough to be entrusted with such matters.
“I want Jie Jie to know that I’d do anything for her.”
So Ling Rong is pretty much trying to prove her worth to her two best friends. She doesn’t want to just ride on the coat-tails of Mei Zhuang & Zhen Huan’s power…she also wants to contribute to the group. It’s interesting that Ling Rong is willing to go to such lengths just to prove herself to her friends. Is it out of desperation and her need for approval, or was her harsher side always there in the first place? Ling Rong is a very complex character and I’m just waiting to see something trigger a change in her.
Long story short, one of Hua Fei’s minions pushes Mei Zhuang into a koi pond and leaves her there to drown. This is where I realized that things can go WAY out of hand in the Inner Palace. I mean, seriously, Hua Fei’s gonna go this far to bring down Mei Zhuang? AND YES, SHE IS WILLING TO GO THIS FAR. In fact, as you’ll see later on, THIS ISN’T EVEN THE LIMIT. Hua Fei is incredibly ruthless and the pond incident isn’t the end of things. Maybe it’s more like the start of her mission to eliminate Mei Zhuang.
^Bottom left pic: Hua Fei has many beautiful hairstyles, but this is NOT one of them.
It’s awesome that whenever Hua Fei thinks she’s one step ahead of the threesome, Zhen Huan always surprises her and strikes back. The power plays are always fascinating because it’s never certain who the victor will be. You’d think that since Hua Fei has so much power, she’d obviously win, but now that Zhen Huan has such influence, you can’t be sure. On the other hand, you’d think that Zhen Huan’s high favor would also make her invincible, but that’s hardly the case.
^Yeah, you might as well get used to seeing pics devoted to Mei Zhuang in every Zhen Huan post.
As I said before, all the drama with Hua Fei’s bullying of Mei Zhuang is just the beginning. Seriously, we haven’t even gotten started yet. This is just a glimpse of how cruel the harem can be. It’s shocking to see just how much Hua Fei can get away with, but if you think about it, it’s not like everyone wants to tolerate her. It’s that they have to tolerate her to survive.