Zhou Xun as the Leading Lady in Legend of Zhen Huan Sequel

Chinese DramasDrama News / Upcoming Dramas


Initial news has recently been released about the Legend of Zhen Huan sequel!  The sequel’s official English title is  Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace, but you may also know it as the Legend of Ruyi or the Chinese title Hou Gong: Ru Yi Zhuan.  A teaser still (shown above) was released along with the exciting confirmation that the acclaimed actress Zhou Xun will be headlining the drama as the female lead.  Zhou Xun has been in a number of films and most recently returned to the silver screen in the 2014 c-drama Red Sorghum.  She will be playing the role of Empress Ulanara, who was a real historical figure.   According to Empress Ulanara’s biography, she had a tumultuous life and was actually the second empress of Emperor Qianlong.  Based on this alone I’m sure the sequel will have plenty of palace drama.

The drama is set to start filming in August 2016.  No other cast members have been confirmed for the drama as of now.


The casting of Zhou Xun makes me a lot more excited for the sequel.  Her acting is great and I know she will deliver.  I’m also hoping that the same styling team will be used so I can see more awesome hairstyles.  😉  However, I’m keeping my hopes at bay.  Just because this is the sequel doesn’t mean it will necessarily be a hit.  I really wonder if it can top or be on par with the original.  I mean, how many more schemes can the concubines come up with?!?!  If I were the author (of the novel that Ruyi is based on), I would’ve run out of schemes.  o_O The thing with this sequel is that it has to differentiate itself from LZH while still maintaining the same high quality of production, acting, writing, etc.  Lastly, although I like the period/palace genre and survived 76 episodes of scheming, backstabbing and total angst in LZH, I’m not sure I can do it again. >_>

Sources: Cfensi, Jaynestars, A Virtual Voyage, Wikipedia


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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  • I first watched Legend of Zhen Huan on Viki and fell completely in love. Then I saw “Empresses of the Palace” on Netflix and watched it a second time… just to see how they managed to reduce it that much!! I was impressed. Then I got snowed in and binge watched the short version AGAIN… lol…I know… I should be doing other things, right? I can’t wait to watch a sequel! Loved this story so much! I actually got a chance to go to China between versions and spent time sitting in one of the gardens at the Forbidden City… was a wonderful experience.

  • oh! haha I actually read the first 2 of Ru Yi Zhuan! It’s like when Zhen Huan has grown old and is the empress dowagess(?) like the Emperor’s grandmother or something like that. 2 generations after Zhen Huan Zhuan. Not bad, still as interesting. Fingers crossed for this.

  • I didn’t watch Zhen Huan, but I think this will be slightly different. Historically, she suffered a tragic end allegedly for cutting her hair, which was really taboo, as it sort of culturally seemed like she’s was cursing the Emperor an early death. The most popular theory is that she was protesting the Emperor’s frequent “trips/travels” to find beautiful women. She was de-ranked, got a terrible funeral and terrible tomb etc. She’s supposed to be more of a tragic, noble figure. So if they follow history, it’ll be less about her climb to the top and more of her …descent to the bottom? Lol just realized how ridiculous that sounds. Interestingly enough, her character’s the same as the evil hateful empress in the classic Huan Zhu Ge Ge. Which is sad that despite how awesome HZGG was, it totally tarnished Empress Ulanara’s reputation. She wasn’t actually the evil witch that HZGG portrayed. The kind Consort Li from HZGG is supposed to be Qian Long’s third empress after Empress Ulanara. For anyone interested we (basically Chasingpolaris) has a long discussion on the history of Empress Ulanara on AVV (http://www.avirtualvoyage.net/2016/01/zhou-xun-to-headline-ru-yis-royal-love-in-the-palace.html)…or you guys can check out wiki.

    • Yeah, I really wonder how Empress Ulanara will be portrayed in this drama. (Haven’t seen HZGG but it’ll be interesting to see how RYZ differs) I doubt her ending will go the way it went in history because I think the author would want Empress Ulanara to somehow be victorious in the end. Who knows how historically accurate the drama will be..

  • Idks I don’t see her matching up to period drama, but I’ll give it a chance when it comes out. Hopefully it stands out on its own, I liked LZH with the plot line, cast, production, outfits, headdress and especially the nail covers! Hopefully they bring those backback! x)

  • Story about Ulanara? That will be very tricky. Because in history, her life ended tragically. Unlike the real historical figure ZH is based on who ended up living happily as empress dowager and died in old age with a son who loved her very much.

    Ulanara accompanied the Qianlong Emperor on his fifth tour to southern China. Things went smoothly initially but then Qianlong had Ulanara sent back to Beijing. It remains a mystery as to why Ulanara lost the Qianlong’s favour in such an abrupt and rapid manner. According to pseudohistorical records of that time, Ulanara fell from the emperor’s favour because she cut her hair.

    By Manchu traditions, Ulanara could only cut her hair when either Qianlong or his mother died. As both were alive and well at that time, Ulanara had committed a grave faux pas that can be considered unforgivable, because the act of cutting her hair was interpreted as cursing the emperor and the empress dowager to die.

    I guess we’ll see how the author twist it in the drama.

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