The Legend of Zhen Huan: Eps 67-69
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.
^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.
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.
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.
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.
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*)
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)
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!