Hua Xu Yin: Eps 2-8
Ironically, after I wrote a post on the signs of drama addiction, I went and watched 5 episodes of Hua Xu Yin in a row. OOPS. Yes, everyone, I confirm–I’m REALLY enjoying HXY so far. >:D It’s angsty and full of misunderstandings (I doubt there will be many happy endings for any of the characters.) but somehow it’s still keeping me watching episode after episode. The drama is fast-paced so far, both in terms of the action & the romance. And there’s LOTS of juicy scenes! 😀
Here’s a quick summary of the major players in the story:
- The Wei Kingdom: Includes Princess Ye Zhen and General Song Ning. The Wei Kingdom views the Chen Kingdom as a dirty player that will do anything to win. The main conflict is between the Wei & Chen Kingdoms.
- The Chen Kingdom: Includes Mu Yan, his brother Su Xie, General Shen An, and Qin Ziyan. There’s a power struggle between Mu Yan & Su Xie, both of whom vie for the Crown Prince position.
- The Jun Family: Includes Emperor Jun Wei and his aunt, Princess Yun. Jun Wei is the emperor of the Nine Lands, but in name only. He doesn’t hold much power and seems more like a puppet emperor, especially because he doesn’t even take his duties seriously. He’s the typical “lazy prince” kind of character.
All of the kingdoms, as well as the Jun Family, want to obtain the Hua Xu Tune, which only Ye Zhen can activate. Whoever plays the Hua Xu Tune can create illusions for people to manipulate their desires. Because of this, the Hua Xu Tune is believed to be the key to unparalleled power.
When I first started HXY episode 2, I was determined not to watch any Ye Zhen scenes. I had enough of her whining from episode 1. I wasn’t that eager to watch Kevin Cheng scenes either, since Ye Zhen is in most of them too. BUT…this one specific moment in episode 3 changed my mind. (see the top left pic above) It’s the moment when Ye Zhen murmurs “Don’t go Mo Yan” in her sleep, and Mu Yan turns around and looks at her before leaves. The heartbreaking, torn expression on his face is what made me go “Darn, now I have to watch all the Kevin scenes!”.
One thing I don’t understand is why Mo Yan fell for Ye Zhen. It’s obvious why Ye Zhen fell for Mo Yan–I can even pinpoint the very moment when she started developing romantic feelings for him. However, Mo Yan’s feelings seem to appear out of nowhere. One moment he’s setting Ye Zhen up to be captured, the next moment he’s suddenly thinking to himself that he has to protect Ye Zhen no matter what. Huh!?! I’m kinda disappointed that Mo Yan changed his way of thinking so quickly and that we didn’t get to see his conflict of interests in more depth. I would’ve liked to see him struggle more with his dilemma between protecting his Crown Prince position and protecting Ye Zhen.
^bottom right pic: CGI fiery wings. O_O
You may be surprised that I’ve devoted an entire collage to Qin Ziyan (Yang Rui). Even though Ziyan has played a minor role so far, I find her to be not only strong but also an interesting character. Ziyan is Mo Yan’s sidekick, bodyguard and servant. She infiltrates enemy camps, protects Mo Yan, gathers intel, goes into battle, etc. In short, she kicks butt and she is Mo Yan’s equal companion. Mo Yan views Ziyan as his little sister (she served him since she was 8 years old) but it’s questionable as to how Ziyan views her master. Sometimes I think she just views him with adoration and respect due to their master-servant childhood bond. Other times it seems like she may have deeper feelings for him that go beyond respect. It’s hard to tell.
AND there’s a TWIST! Ziyan betrays Mo Yan by giving him over to his crafty brother Su Xie!! It seems like she has been in cahoots with Su Xie for a long time! Plus she knew that Mo Yan’s dad would invade the Wei Kingdom on his wedding day! NOOOO!!! Now I don’t know what to think of Ziyan. A part of me thinks there’s no way her looks of respect and doting affection towards Mo Yan could be fake. But maybe she’s just that good of a spy! One of my friends who already finished HXY told me that there will be another twist with her later on. I’m looking forward to it and I HOPE HOPE that Ziyan isn’t a bad character…but I kinda doubt it. She may turn out to be Mo Yan’s enemy, darn it! :'( DON’T SPOIL ME!
“In that moment, I was confused by all the beauty before my eyes. I thought I liked him from the bottom of my heart…This kind of liking is unforgettable. This sort of feeling, became my fated calamity.” – Ye Zhen
Long story short, Ye Zhen and Mo Yan get their parents approval for their marriage. I know I said I wouldn’t watch any Ye Zhen scenes but it’s kinda hard considering she’s a main character and there are some important scenes with her in these episodes. If you’re skipping through her part of the story, I’d recommend you at least watch her ending because it is VERY important. On the day of Mo Yan & Ye Zhen’s wedding, the Chen King launches an ambush attack on the Wei Kingdom. Talk about wedding-crashers. Ye Zhen’s dad commits suicide. Ye Zhen, full of despair and self-loathing, jumps to her death off of the city walls right when Mo Yan arrives. (Don’t worry, she’ll be resurrected soon after.) So much angst!!!
One question that arises from Ye Zhen’s death is: Did she die for her love or for her country? In the opening narration of ep1, Ye Zhen says that she died for her country. According to a HXY novel fan, Ye Zhen was supposed to die for her country in the novel but she died for her love in the drama. Personally I don’t think she died for either one–she died for herself. To me it seems like Ye Zhen committed suicide because her entire life just crumbled in front of her–her dad committed suicide, her kingdom was coming to an end, her marriage was a sham, she believed that Mo Yan had betrayed her, and she felt that she was to blame for everything.
As I predicted, my favorite OTP so far (granted there’s only 2 OTP’s at the moment) is Song Ning x Shen An. Even though they are from opposing armies, they treat each other with respect. They view each other as a worthy opponent, a warrior & admirable general. One thing I like about HXY is the interesting character dynamics between the characters that come from enemy kingdoms. Song Ning was raised on the belief that the Chen Kingdom (where Shen An is from) plays dirty and is heartless. Then she finds out that the Chen general, Shen An, is one of the most admirable heroes she has ever met, a man worthy of respect. And on top of that, her army is the one that plays dirty by using poisonous gas as a weapon!
Again, long story short: Song Ning & Shen An duke it out 3 times in battle. Song Ning wins the first two times, Shen An wins the third time & spares Song Ning’s life. But the third time, Song Ning’s army defeats Shen An’s army, thus temporarily blinding Shen An and putting him on his deathbed. Song Ning feels guilty that she repaid Shen An’s mercy with malice, so she saves his life to show her gratitude. She pretends to be mute so that he won’t realize that his enemy saved him. Of course, the two of them fall hard for each other BUT……MISUNDERSTANDING #1 HAPPENS! NOOOO! Song Ning leaves and has a mute doctor girl, Liu Qi Qi, take care of Shen An in her stead. The problem is that Song Ning never tells Shen An that she left! So he just thinks that the mute girl is her! *FACEPALM* As you can imagine, this results in a HUGE misunderstanding in the future episodes. X_X I’m super frustrated because this entire issue could’ve been avoided if Song Ning had simply said “Bye Shen An, this girl will take care of you instead.”
^middle left pic, bottom middle pic: Song Ning’s “I know I won” face.
Maybe the reason why I can bear all the angst of the Song Ning x Yuan Hong OTP is because I loveee Jiang Xin. I love her signature smirk and “hmph!,” her steely gaze, her “I’ve won” expression, and of course, her ability to tear up on a moment’s notice. Every single one of her scenes is gold. I will gladly watch all upcoming angsty scenes as long as Jiang Xin is in them. In terms of costuming, I think Jiang Xin has had good luck with her general outfits. I like her red outfit that she wears for her 3rd duel with Shen An (bottom right pic) as well as her teal outfit for her 2nd duel (top right & left pics).
What is it with c-dramas and their angst!?! I told myself before that I didn’t want more c-period angst but here I am gobbling up HXY of my own will. Likely if HXY didn’t have the cast of Jiang Xin, Kevin & Yuan Hong, I wouldn’t have been so into it & willing to suffer through angsty love stories. It is such a treat to see these 3 together and especially to have Yuan Hong x Jiang Xin as an OTP. 😉
Lately I’ve been searching high and low for good high quality stills of HXY. But it’s hard to find them! I want good stills of Song Ning & Shen An’s epic duels! And pics of Song Ning in all her different general outfits! But there are none! :'( If anyone finds any please refer them over to me!
Quote translation credit: Viki