The Legend of Zhen Huan: Eps 67-69

Chinese DramasDrama Reviews

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The most major part of these episodes is Ling Rong’s demise.  If you remember from the previous episodes, Ling Rong’s father was in deep trouble with the emperor, per Zhen Huan’s scheming.  Interestingly enough, the empress helps Ling Rong out by giving her a special medicine that helps her become pregnant more easily or something.  This just shows how absolutely desperate the empress is to keep her minion on her side, she needs all the support she can get in the harem now that her position is even weaker than ever.  Beforehand, the empress would’ve never let Ling Rong get pregnant because that is almost like the ‘price’ for her protection of Ling Rong in the harem.

Anyways I find it hard to believe that Ling Rong actually got pregnant so quickly considering that her body has been damaged by the medicines that the empress used to always make her drink.  But it is necessary for the plot so.. T_T  The catch with the pregnancy is that Ling Rong isn’t physically well enough to give birth and the empress wants her to have a miscarriage.

*Updated*  Zhen Huan beats them to it and puts an arousing scent in Ling Rong’s room.  The scent arouses the emperor and it shocks Ling Rong into having a miscarriage.   How ironic that Zhen Huan frames Ling Rong for her very own miscarriage.

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^middle right pic: My favorite hairstyle for the empress, I really like the hair ornament on the left side.

^bottom left pic: Duan Fei’s headpiece is gorgeous!!!

Conveniently enough for the emperor, now that Zhen Huan & Co. frame Ling Rong, he’s off the hook!  He doesn’t have to blame himself for the miscarriage anymore because now he can just blame it on Ling Rong. *sigh*  It sucks to see how quickly the emperor drops Ling Rong, just like that.  No guilt over the miscarriage, no pregnancy/baby, no political benefit of being with Ling Rong, and so he drops her.  I doubt he had any sort of affection for her except for her voice in the first place.

It is pretty awesome seeing Jing Fei & Duan Fei actually having a larger influence on the harem now.  They get promoted one rank up, so now they are even more valuable allies for Zhen Huan’s!  And they can actually throw their weight around against the empress, since now they are supported by Zhen Huan and have a significant ranking in the harem.

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I have a love-hate relationship with Ling Rong.  Ok not quite a love-hate relationship, but more like I really really want to hate her 100%, but I can’t because there are still moments when I feel really bad for her.  I hated Ling Rong for causing Mei Zhuang’s death and yet, as much as I wanted to cackle at Ling Rong’s downfall, I couldn’t.  T_T I will not go so far as to say that Ling Rong’s actions are justified, but I can still sympathize with her in some cases.

That being said, Ling Rong has a rather epic ending.  She really freaks me out when she starts giving off Hua-Fei-vibes as she quietly and calmly awaits her punishment.  It is like now she has nothing to fight for, nothing to live for, and she has a sense of peace because she is free.  She doesn’t care about rank or survival anymore.  It really reminds me of how Hua Fei was (before Hua Fei found out about the truth of her miscarriage)–beat down, but not defeated.  In a way, it is almost like she is tougher than she ever was before now that she is faced with her death.  My favorite moment is right before Ling Rong goes to see the emperor (to get her punishment).  She just looks up at the sky one last time and smiles.  I don’t know why but I just loved that moment.

Ling Rong also has a long talk with Zhen Huan before she finally dies.  It is sad to see Ling Rong & Zhen Huan sitting together for the last time.  One thing I don’t get about Ling Rong’s death though, is how exactly she died.  She wasn’t supposed to die because the emperor ordered her to live and suffer.  So did Zhen Huan put poison in the almonds that she gave to Ling Rong? And if so, was that what Ling Rong wanted?  Anyways, after Ling Rong’s death Zhen Huan is visibly affected, I think no matter how much she blames Ling Rong for all that has happened, she still can’t get rid of their past connection.

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So after Ling Rong’s death pretty much nothing significant happens.  Now I will just spam you with lots of pretty pics, HEH.

Zhen Huan is still #1 in the harem, and yet even though she has alliances and friendships with Duan Fei, Jing Fei, and sorta Ning Pin (promoted from Ning Gui Ren), she seems lonelier than ever.  I guess it almost feels like there is something missing now that Mei Zhuang is gone..Zhen Huan may be good friends with some of the other concubines, but they will never be as close bosom friends as she was with Mei Zhuang.  It is sad to see Zhen Huan always keeping a smile on her face.  Sometimes it is genuine, like when she is playing with her daughter, talking to her adopted son, or chatting with Jing Fei.  But oftentimes (in other words, whenever she’s with the emperor) her smile is forced.

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Yeah in case it wasn’t obvious, I am a fan of Jing Fei! She and Zhen Huan are a great duo, especially since they are united by Zhen Huan’s daughter as well as Mei Zhuang. (Jing Fei was the head of the palace where Mei Zhuang used to live)   Zhen Huan can be kinda intimidating at times but Jing Fei helps to balance that out with her cheerfulness.

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And of course I’m also a fan of Ning Pin!  Omg, I loveee her new hairstyle with the beaded fringe that is on both sides of the headpiece.  Ning Pin is more accustomed to the palace life now, especially since she is still one of the emperor’s favorites.  I think it is interesting how she can totally avoid the harem politics and yet keep her favor with the emperor.  Maybe it is partly because none of the other concubines want to mess with her, I mean, not that they know it but she is not afraid of whipping out her knife and confronting someone face-to-face.  O_O

We also see 17th, who is apparently sorta doing alright with his 2 wives.  Still though, I can’t help but think that he is way too cold to Huan Bi & Wife #2.  I feel bad for wife #2, who is trying hard to do loving wifely things like tying 17th’s cape for him, but then 17th is all I’LL DO IT MYSELF.  Or when she holds his hand and then he OBVIOUSLY takes his hand away in response.  *sigh*  I also feel bad for Huan Bi, who feels like her hold over the household is slipping.  Plus she is shocked to find out that wife #2 is pregnant.  (Omg so 17th actually slept with his wives! *shock*)

Overall

I am rather bored with the whole battle-of-the-princes story now.  I know that we need to see how the empress’ prince ruins his chances of becoming crown prince, but I’m just not that interested in his story in the first place.  On the other hand, Zhen Huan really got lucky because her adopted prince is really sweet and kindhearted!

It is fun seeing Duan Fei, Jing Fei, and Ning Pin having more of an active role in Zhen Huan’s schemes.  A part of me kinda wonders why a new group of concubines hasn’t been selected though.  I mean, a lot of the older concubines (that entered the palace at the same time of Zhen Huan) are all gone now!  Don’t they need replacements? O_O”  I guess Qi Pin and her minions can be counted as replacements, but they were wiped out too!! (the ex-minions are still there but they don’t really do anything noteworthy)

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There were a lot of new hairstyles in these few episodes.  I guess it’s because a lot of the concubines were promoted, so of course they need a new hairstyle to suit the occasion!  My favorite of all is Duan Fei’s!  Some people think that the older concubines’ hairstyles are boring but, OMG.  Duan Fei’s is GORGEOUS.  It definitely caught my eye, especially with the silver dangly hair ornament on the left side.  Also there is an interesting embroidered headband thingy that looks so beautiful!

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • the almonds are the bitter kind , and as far as i remember they produce cyanide so when she ate them in large amount she died of cyanide over dose as i think it only takes a few almonds to do the job !

    • O_O Those are very powerful almonds then. So they weren’t poison but they were naturally deadly? I guess that means Ling Rong wanted to die so Zhen Huan fulfilled her request.

      • Hiii heisui! I think if I remember correctly it was because Ling Rong kept asking for the almonds to be delivered to her daily and she just kept eating them so that she could control her own fate and die of cyanide poisoning. That was my impression of the drama though – that Ling Rong wanted to be free at the end so she did it this way. It took a while for the almond poison to take effect though!

  • Ling Rong didn’t use the scent to seduce the Emperor, the Empress’ plan was to try to blame the miscarriage on Zhen Huan. But Zhen Huan knew they were going to blame it on her, so she stayed in her palace and refused to go out.

    The previous time, when Zhen Huan visited Ling Rong to “celebrate” the news of the pregnancy, her eunuch managed to get a bit of the scent (the scene with the imperial physician). Initially, she sent Ling Rong some lilies which were accepted as the Empress’ imperial physican said they would help her to sleep peacefully. On the day that Ling Rong miscarriaged, Zhen Huan put some of the scent inside the lilies’s buds, so when the buds flowered and the palace maids scattered water on the flowers to freshen the flowers, the scent was activated. So it was actually Zhen Huan’s plot to make Ling Rong miscarriage. I guess it was revenge for her first baby.

    • OH!!!!!!!!!! OMG! I totally misunderstood then! I thought it was Ling Rong’s plan all along since she is good with perfumes. T_T I was wondering why they were focusing so much on the flowers O_O So Zhen Huan framed Ling Rong for her very own miscarriage.

      • ehm… more like Zhen Huan indirectly INDUCED Ling Rong’s miscarriage… I think you’re getting this part of the story mixed up still so I’ll try some explaining from my understanding of what’s going on.

        Basically, when Ling Rong was trying to regain the Emperor’s favor after losing her voice, there’s a scene where Zhen Huan is discussing Ling Rong with Jing Xi. Jing Xi talks about how she heard that Ling Rong is trying to learn an ice dance on ice skates in order to regain the emperor’s favor. Zhen Huan responds that Ling Rong won’t be able to learn the dance properly due to her health and other factors. Zhen Huan then talks about how Ling Rong will absolutely fail to learn the dance but mentions that there is one possibility of Ling Rong successfully learning the dance and that is with the help of a certain beauty formula. The formula makes you more beautiful and elegantly thin (Which is why Ling Rong’s entire look changed after this part). It also makes your body supple and perfect for dancing. Jing Xi then says they should make sure that Ling Rong never learns about this beauty formula but Zhen Huan responds saying they have to make sure she finds out about it. Zhen Huan then goes on this fantasy/Chinese History claim that the infamous Empress Zhao Feiyan, who was famous for her beauty and dancing, used this formula to master an extremely difficult dance and gain the Emperor’s favor. Zhen Huan then goes on to note that the downside to the pill is that you will never be able to have children since the beauty formula has a powerful musk in it. Jing Xi then says that she has heard that a certain special herb is able to remove musk from a woman’s body. Zhen Huan then counters that she isn’t worried since Empress Zhao Feiyan was childless all her life and even with all the power of an Empress and access to all the special herb in the world, Empress Zhao Feiyan was still unable to cure herself.

        Flashback to current episodes.

        Ling Rong begs the Empress for help. The Empress agrees to help and gives her an extremely powerful medicine that can help get her pregnant. Ling Rong than tells the Empress that she probably will not be able to bring the child into this world since she took the beauty formula. The Empress responds saying that basically, duh, Ling Rong won’t be able to carry a child full term but all she needs to do is become pregnant and Ling Rong can save her father from ruin. Who cares about if the child will actually live through the ordeal? However, the Empress also wants to use this opportunity to push the blame of the future miscarriage of Ling Rong’s child onto Zhen Huan. As always, the Empress gives help but wants something in return.

        Ling Rong gets pregnant but the pregnancy is highly unstable and the Empress pays an imperial physician to report that all is well while giving Ling Rong powerful drugs to stabilize Ling Rong’s pregnancy and wait for an opportunity to strike Zhen Huan.

        Zhen Huan hears about Ling Rong’s pregnancy and becomes worried that Ling Rong actually found a way to become pregnant since that will shift the power struggle but she also sees the other side of the coin and smells a rat so she goes to Ling Rong’s palace on a congratulatory visit but actually to investigate the situation.

        From this investigation, she learns from her imperial physician that, while the doctor that the Empress paid off is continuously reporting that Ling Rong’s baby is doing well, Ling Rong’s daily pregnancy medicine actually contains powerful herbs used for stabilizing very unstable pregnancies. Her eunuch also manages to steal some of Ling Rong’s incense which has the ability to cause men to lose control to their sexual desires (this was how she seduced the emperor in the past).

        With this, Zhen Huan deduces that Ling Rong is simply waiting for an opportunity to strike and feigns illness to avoid Ling Rong. She says that whoever ends up being around Ling Rong when she miscarries will probably get all the blame for the miscarriage and decides that the only one immune to punishment is the Emperor so why not let him take it on? She then tells the flower department in the palace to send lilies that have a calming effect to Ling Rong to help with the pregnancy. The Empress’s physician verifies that the flowers can help so that’s why they are allowed to stay.

        Then, as mentioned before, on the day the emperor visited Ling Rong, Zhen Huan snuck some of the sexual incense into the lilies to be delivered that day. This caused the emperor to lose control and since Ling Rong’s condition was extremely unstable already, a miscarriage resulted.

        Zhen Huan and Co. then revealed Ling Rong’s use of the forbidden sexual incense to the emperor and a whole laundry list of crimes Ling Rong had committed while under the Empress including causing Mei Zhuang’s death and being the one actually behind Zhen Huan’s first miscarriage as well as possibly killing a whole lot of other people. All this put together is what resulted in Ling Rong’s downfall.

        • Thanks for the mini-recap/explanation, O. T_T I guess it is even more complex than I initially thought, omg! Hmm I still kinda think it would be considered ‘framing’ because LR did not mean to use the perfume to cause her miscarriage. But then again, LR was planning on taking advantage of her miscarriage already. So confusing!!

          • Difference in personal definition I guess… to me, framing means more of you do the crime but blame somebody else… this, to me, is more setting up somebody else to take a fall… both evil and devious though >.<

          • Ling Rong definitely meant to cause Zhen Huan’s miscarriage as she slipped subtle toxins into the face cream meant as a gift for Zhen Huan’s scar removal after Zhen Huan got scratched by a cat. So don’t post wrong details that undermine the show. Your blog post is very flawed.

  • Those hairstyles and ornaments are pretty and eye-catching! The ranks determine the hairstyles but I like how the ornaments are some sort of personalizing the wearers’ taste, through their picks of different types of ornaments: beads, dangling hairpins etc.

    Also, I love their dangling earrings 😀 Not watching the drama but your posts are worth checking because I like to read your thoughts and I am fascinated with their hair ornaments 😉

    • I’m not sure that all hairstyles are rank-restricted, only some are. The headpieces that look like hats (Zhen Huan, Duan Fei) are for higher ranks, but the type that Ning Pin and Jing Fei are wearing here can be worn by any rank. I think, I’m not sure though. >_<""

      Yeah I love all the jewelry too, the earrings are beautiful.

  • in a review, Sun li said:if you move too fast, the beaded fringe that is on both sides of the headpiece will beat your face :D
    all the accessories promoted they to be a elegance lady ^^

    • HAHA I never thought about that!! They must have to walk extra gracefully and carefully. And they are walking on those high shoes too! I would definitely fail at that.

  • Ning Pin can avoid the harem politics, I think they are 2 reason.

    1.she can’t pregnant.
    2.empress like her.

    it’s not all the women in the harem can get empress’s love. and it’s so funny that except HUA FEI, other women would like solve the baby in the dark rather than direct get sb into trouble.and it’s why was out in advance 😀

    her adopted prince is not real pure and kindhearted. if he is a really pure boy, maybe he can’t growing smoothly and could never become a empress. in the end of this drama you will got konw it.

    actually ZHEN HUAN is a unfortunate girl. lose love, friend,can’t trust anyone……even she is still a girl under 30 year old.

    I don’t know if you ever remember the empress‘s mom, after she kill her oldlover, she had talk something……I was cry when I look this story T-T all the women in the Forbidden City have the same tragedy.it’s a circulate.

    [PS: I’m not good at English, wash you can understand what I mean! ^^ ]

    • I guess the other concubines also know that Ning Pin isn’t interested in the harem politics anyways so they leave her alone.

      HM I got the impression that the adopted prince is a good kid, maybe it is because I’m comparing him to the empress’ prince, LOL. But you are right, to be the emperor, he cannot be a totally pure guy.

  • The embroidered head-band thing is used for health reasons. It is believed in Chinese medicine that your forehead is a major entry point for qi from the environment that might disrupt your system if you are weak. Therefore, you will see lots of elderly people and sick people in dramas wearing them such as Zhen Huan after she gave birth. It’s supposed to go over your forehead though… I guess sometimes they try to make it fashionable… -_-;;

    • Ohhh I was wondering what they were for, I thought maybe they were for headaches or something. I didn’t realize that Duan Fei’s headband was like the same kind that Zhen Huan wore

    • Huang Gui Fei was the rank that Hua Fei originally wanted. It goes like this, Pin > Fei > Gui Fei > Huang Gui Fei. Remember when Hua Fei got super happy, thinking she was going to go from Fei directly to Huang Gui Fei? That’s because there can be only one Huang Gui Fei, just like how there can be only one Empress. Huang Gui Fei is the highest rank you can get without becoming the Empress.

      Zhen Huan was the one who asked the Emperor to promote Duan Fei to Huang Gui Fei. I think in the end this is how Zhen Huan won. She isn’t greedy about power, like Hua Fei or the Empress, so she had no qualms about promoting her friends into higher ranks than herself (she knew and understood that in the end, ranking isn’t everything. You can have a lower rank and have more power.) She wasn’t afraid of bowing to other people, unlike Hua Fei and the Empress, who both needed daily reassurances that they are the most powerful in the harem. She put her money where her mouth is. By promoting her friends to high ranks, she let’s them know that she trusts them, and that their support and friendship will come with rewards.

      Zhen Huan was the one that told 17th’s other wife to stop thinking too much, because imagining other people’s schemes whether true or not without evidence or only heresy is a sure way to downfall.

      I wouldn’t say this made her a good person, because that all depends on relativity. But this made her the smartest, the most patient, and the only one who thought far, far ahead.

      • I think Zhen Huan was very lucky that Duan Fei & Jing Fei were already her allies so she could promote them without worrying about them backstabbing her or anything. Zhen Huan really used her connections well in the harem whereas Hua Fei & the empress did not.

        • Definitely lol. Zhen Huan was good at trusting people, and taking a risk. She knew that there had to be trustworthy people who would support her cause, it was just about finding them. The Empress and Hua Fei were both bad at it.

  • It’s no wonder that the children of the Emperor didn’t survive into adulthood if the palace was full with scheming people. Yes, this is only story. But I think ZH also shed some light about the life in the Forbidden City.

    In the history, Yong Zheng Emperor had many children. But from 14 children born to him and his Empress and consorts, only five are known to have survived to adulthood.

  • Great drama i would say, twisting story and actors play very well. I have finished all episodes on yodrama.com. Highly recommended!

  • Bitter almonds are poisonous. I think you have to heat them up or something like that to get rid of toxins. Similarly, appleseeds are poisonous as well, if chewed, instead of just being swallowed and passing through the body. That’s why Ling Rong ended up dying. I admit I cried when she said her last words, about how her life was never her own and only then was she able to finally control her life.

    • Ling Rong’s ending is a sad one, especially with her last conversation with Zhen Huan. Ling Rong & Zhen Huan are actually quite similar in their unhappiness & their desire for revenge.

      • How can you say Ling Rong and Zhen Huan are similar? From your blog post I don’t think you understand LR’s moral atrocities.

  • I felt sad and totally emotional after seeing Ling Rong’s ending too; how she was like a chess piece that others used for their own desires. She might have committed many crimes, but she had her own sad story to tell. I felt the same for the Empress and Hua Fei; they were driven by the grief of losing their children. I used to feel that the Empress and Hua Fei were totally evil but after seeing their stories I couldn’t help but feel a wave of sympathy for them, tormented and lives torn apart by the Emperor. Zhen Huan too, had her personality and character totally changed and twisted so much by successive plots and schemes that it conveyed the fact that in the royal harem, a woman’s life is completely ruined; her destiny is no longer in her hands and the only way to escape this fate is death.

  • I’ve watched this drama so many times (all time fave) yet I still don’t understand why Ling Rong ended up hating Zhen Huan so much.

    Despite their evil intentions, Hua Fei and the Empress genuinely loved the Emperor so it makes sense that they hated ZH as their rival. LR clearly didn’t love the Emperor like that so that can’t be the reason. Yet her hate for ZH was so deep that she even caused the death of Mei Zhuang just to hurt ZH (that’s what LR meant during when she was drinking after MZ death and said that MZ should blame ZH for causing her death).

    Even in her last scenes with ZH, LR stated that she “turned” evil to survive as she didn’t want to be a insignificant, a pawn/controlled by anyone – but that’s exactly what she was under the Empresses control. Whereas ZH atleast genuinely cared for her in the beginning. Until the very end, ZH never even did much to LR to even warrant that kind of hatred. Out of everyone she should have hated the Empress (who she knew was just using her) yet she seems to take out all he insecurities and anger out on ZH.

    Is it because ZH represented everything LR wanted to be? ZH came from a good family, had genuine friend in MZ and was loved/favoured by the Emperor for who she was. Unlike LR who was the opposite and only used by the Emperor as entertainment. It’s funny and sad that in the end LR’s dwelling of her insecurities ended up stopping her from getting what she truly wanted which was acceptance. But even with that reasoning I still don’t understand why in the end it was ZH she seemed to hate deeply.

    I think the character arcs of ZH and LR are essentially two sides of the same coin and the drama points to how you can lose your way in life.

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