Tong Hua Discusses Bu Bu Jing Xin and Some Other Drama Stuffs

I was going to write a lighthearted Bu Bu Jing Xin post, but I don’t think I’m ready for that just yet (though it’ll be coming soon). I must clearly be a glutton for punishment because I rewatched the ending again, and am once again just blown away. I don’t think my summary and screepcaps do it justice, because the scoring and acting raise the entire sequence a notch higher.

Below are some more BBJX-related goodies: (1) a recent interview with author Tong Hua, (2) a picspam of an indescribably poetic scene between Ruo Xi and 4th Prince towards the end of the drama that I didn’t mention before, (3) I’ve embedded the video of the final 12 minutes of BBJX for everyone to watch, and (4) some OST songs are out so have a listen. Clearly it’ll be a long time before the overwhelming sense of awe and heartache will dissipate from my heart.

Snippets from a recent interview with Tong Hua, the author of Bu Bu Jing Xin the novel:

1. Her favorite prince is 14th Prince. She doesn’t like either 4th Prince or 8th Prince. She thinks neither would make a good husband. 4th Prince is too unbending and extreme, as a husband it would be exhausting living with him. She likes a man to be happy, enjoy life a little. She thinks 14th Prince is the perfect balance – honorable and courageous, and with the emotional intelligence to be able to let things go.

2. With respect to many people disliking Ruo Xi as a heroine, because a lot of the other female characters in the book appear to love more passionately than her, yet she’s the one who keeps waffling and creating reasons not to be together. Tong Hua explained that viewers are forgetting Ruo Xi is really the soul of modern girl Zhang Xiao. And modern people are the ones who are practical, realistic, not the type to love and lose at such a grand gesture. Ruo Lan can mourn her first love for twenty some years, never once giving into a loving 8th Prince who adored her.

Ming Hui can love 8th Prince so much even when he’s down and remain the backbone of the family, even giving her life for him in the end. Lu Wu begged to be allowed to join 13th Prince in house arrest in a dark and dank little hovel, which ended up being 10 years, and in the end she killed herself rather than let her existence shame him.

So in comparison, Ruo Xi’s reluctance to love 8th Prince without reservation, her inability to stay with 4th Prince in the palace at the very end – all of her fears are very modern sensibilities which feels out-of-place in that era. But in the end Ruo Xi did throw all caution to the wind because she loved 4th Prince with her entire heart and soul, but she could never stop loving the other people she cared about as well. Ruo Xi actually loved too much, and not too little.

3. Tong Hua really buried a lot of meaning and significance in a lot of scenes and motifs in the drama. 8th Prince and Ruo Xi were often in the snow, their first walk hand-in-hand, their final break up, the coldness mixed with the beauty explains how their love could never be. 4th Prince and Ruo Xi were often seen around flowers and flora, their love as beautiful as the scenery, but ultimately would wither if not properly tended to.

The blood jade bracelet 8th Prince gave Ruo Xi symbolizes eternity, the circle shape neverending, and the bracelet a piece of jewelry a person never removes even in sleep or bathing (unlike necklace or earring). Ruo Xi’s most treasured items from 4th Prince are the magnolia flower pin (beauty), the little dog snuff bottle (playful), and the arrow he took for her (sacrifice), which explains so much their love for each other. But in the end, when she died, she couldn’t take it with her. She could only take the memories of him with her.

4. Tong Hua won’t comment on the drama version of the ending, only saying that she treasures the ending she wrote for the novel.

BBJX is a story that was perfectly able to create two compelling love stories and neither felt insignificant or any less meaningful than the other. Ruo Xi and 8th Prince’s love dominated the early part of the drama, but it’s always been Ruo Xi and 4th Prince’s soul-searing passion that turns me into a weepy sodden mess. I’ll blog more about it later, but I neglected a beautiful scene in episode 34 that really encapsulates how they love each other, even after she’s left the palace and married 14th Prince.

Ruo Xi practices her calligraphy every day, even she realizes that her handwriting is eerily identical to that of the Emperor, but she says it’s just a copycat, not the real thing. The reason Ruo Xi writes so much is because writing calligraphy is 4th Prince’s favorite thing to do in the world (one of the things she asked him about early on when she basically played 21 questions with him). She’s adopted all his likes and dislikes, subconsciously, and as a way to stay close to him.

Afterwards, Ruo Xi sits outside and pours herself a cup of tea. As she’s drinking the tea in solitude, she imagines 4th Prince is there with her. She thinks to herself, and her words rip my guts apart and then I cry for Ruo Xi and 4th Prince all over again.

“In my heart, only he remains. What remains is only every little thing between him and me. One smile, one brush past, one sigh – I’ve selfishly forgotten everyone, so that what remains is only him and me. For the first time, no one can disturb us. For the first time, I have no fear and reservation, loving only him.”

4th Prince walks through the empty chambers where he spent his days with Ruo Xi when she was in the palace and he could be with her finally. As he walks past, his mind drifts to the happy times they shared together, perhaps just a slice a Heaven that was too short, but nevertheless did happen. He looks at the magnolia tea cup she made for him, the magnolia being his favorite flower, and the flower that only means something between the two of them. He ultimately does not take a sip and puts the cup down. It’s so devastating that Ruo Xi and 4th Prince could only let everything standing between them go when they have parted, but not when they are together.

There is just something about how Ruo Xi and 4th Prince miss each other the exact same way that KILLS me inside. The tea drinking, the solitude, the imagining each other – each is so deeply ingrained into each other’s soul it’s like they can almost reach out and touch each other, yet the real person is so far away.

Below I’ve embedded the last 12 minutes of BBJX. It’s so beautiful you have to watch it. It starts with 8th Prince and 13th Prince saying farewell in prison, these brothers who have fought and hurt each other, yet in the end love and let go. The scene transitions to 13th Prince leaving, and finally 4th Prince passes and the last thing he sees is his imaginary Ruo Xi dancing for him under a shower of cherry blossoms. The final scene in modern times I’ve described before, but definitely stay for the heartwrenching closing theme song (sung by lead acress Liu Shi Shi herself) with a walk down memory lane with these character we have laughed with and wept for. Their story will live with me forever.

Watch the final 12 minutes of BBJX:

I sincerely believe the drama ending is a hopeful one, regardless of the fact that the modern 4th Prince didn’t appear to recognize Zhang Xiao. He looked curious, and his discomfort when she cried is that tiny little detail that ties him back to 4th Prince. Remember that Zhang Xiao died as Ruo Xi believing 4th Prince hated her and still refused to see her. But we know it was just a misunderstanding, and he loved her until the day he died. I think the drama ending allows us to imagine they could get another chance at love. Because otherwise why would he happen to show up at the Qing exhibit the same moment she was there?

They are fated, which was alluded to as well in the drama. When Ruo Xi first meets 4th Prince, he’s on the horse that almost runs her over. They look at each other and there is this frisson of energy between them. It is those who love the deepest, with so much regret, that makes it impossible to let go. Neither of them finished their love story, and I like to believe the fates will give them another chance now. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Modern 4th Prince walked away to grab a tissue and came right back. Who could leave a beautiful woman weeping copious tears just standing there? Afterwards they went to have some tea.

While Liu Shi Shi is an actress and not a singer at all (she was actually a ballerina before becoming an actress), her rendition of the sub-theme of the BBJX OST is quite lovely. It captures a rawness to the emotions, filled with melancholy and hope simultaneously.

Watch Liu Shi Shi singing “A Season of Waiting for You”:

Lyrics to “A Season of Waiting”

Waiting for Summer, waiting for Autumn
Waiting for the next season
I have to wait until the moon is full again
Before you will return to my side
Shall we meet again?
Can’t help it but missing you
Suddenly want to see your face
That familiar face
Holding hands is unnecessary
As we walk slowly through the snow and drift
Unable to see each other
And we still pine inside for each other
I only want you to know
I am doing just fine
A love for a lifetime, a passion for an eternity
I will wait for you until I grow old
I only want you to know
I can’t let it go and I can’t forget it
Your smile and your care
Is my warm support

The official MV is out for the theme song from BBJX “Three Feet of Heaven” by Ivy Yen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEW-lPadUgo

Yeah, just hearing the refrain from this song makes me start sobbing. It’s a Pavlovian reflex at this point.

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Comments

Tong Hua Discusses Bu Bu Jing Xin and Some Other Drama Stuffs — 84 Comments

  1. I share your passion abt this show. You echo my sentiments exactly. I understand that Ruo Xi loved everyone so much. She had a heart of gold and a strong will. She truly loved the 4th prince, willing go against the emperor and doing back breaking work as a human washing machine for 6 years. The 14th prince was an excellent choice as a husband but she had to live by her heart. The ending was so touching and satisfying. Yes, I think that the modern 4th prince went to get something for her. I too think that she would have gone out to look for him too. : )

  2. thank you for these recaps 🙂

    I’ve watched this drama without subtitles and had to guess what was going on 🙁

    Without your explanations I would’ve become lost 🙂

  3. I have a question about Rouxi’s best friend in the drama:

    What happened to her? Did she commit suicide or did 4th Prince have her killed?

    And was that her getting cremated when Rouxi came upon the burning?

    I have to wait for eng subs to come out to fully understand what’s happening in the drama so could you please clarify for me?

    Thank you

    • RX’s best friend Yu Tan was tortured to death by 4th Prince after he became the Emperor. He literally had her steamed alive. I can’t even think about that scene.

      The reasons make it impossible to take sides. Yu Tan was 9th Prince’s spy in the palace the entire time. She reported back on Emperor Kangxi’s actions. She genuinely loved RX, but her loyalty stayed with her master 9th Prince.

      When 4th Prince became Emperor, he knew she was the spy and repeatedly wanted to send her out of the palace so she could leave this all behind. But 9th Prince wouldn’t let his spy leave, so Yu Tan went to beg RX to beg the Emperor not to send her out of the palace. Yu Tan told RX that she wanted to stay and be close to RX and didn’t ever want to leave. The Emperor couldn’t tell RX the truth, that her best friend has an ulterior motive the entire time.

      One time the Emperor even had a servant beaten for daring to gossip about palace matters. He made sure Yu Tan was made to watch the beating, hoping that she would stop being 9th Prince’s spy after seeing the consequences of people spreading information within the palace. The Emperor knew how important Yu Tan was to Ruo Xi, and he gave her many many chances to stop, chances to leave the palace, but Yu Tan couldn’t/didn’t take any of those opportunities.

      The ultimate turning point came when 9th Prince made Yu Tan whisper words into the ears of the Emperor’s son, trying to drive a wedge between father and son, giving the son ideas about trying to be made Crown Prince and seeking the throne. That was an unforgiveable crime in the eyes of the Emperor, because he suffered losing his father’s trust when 8th Prince and his gang set him up years ago. So he finally had her killed.

      It’s was gruesome, but Yu Tan accepted her fate. She knew what she had done, even though she had no choice, she knew it was unforgiveable. RX ended up blaming both 9th Prince and the Emperor equally for the death of Yu Tan, who was just a hopeless pawn between these princes in the power game.

      • wow!

        heartbreaking all around. seems like the 4th prince was put in a difficult position because he didn’t want to hurt Rouxi but in fairness he gave that girl plenty of chances.

        after reading your explanation i don’t feel sorry for Rouxi’s best friend at all, i feel for the 4th prince!

        thanks for the explanation 🙂

      • Actually I was wondering about the being steamed to death part, because one of the eunuchs told Ruoxi that Yu Tan died without pain, so perhaps she got poisoned and died in an instant, before being steamed. But that would defeat the purpose of this horrible death method.

        You know, I cursed Yong Zheng to death when he used the 五马分尸 death method on the official who framed him. But the steaming? It totally topped this, and I was so happy that Ruoxi got really angry with Yong Zheng. lol.

    • Just wanted to add on to what Mrs. Koala has already graciously said:

      Yu Tan was also deeply in love with the 9th prince. When she was little, he gave her money to take care of her sick family, so he won her gratitude that way, but somewhere along the way, Yu Tan also gave him her heart, although it seems that the 9th prince pretended not to know. I think he felt that he had every right to take advantage of a servant to whom he had given charity, but he was uncomfortable with the idea that someone might willingly and wholeheartedly devote herself to his every whim and order simply out of pure and sincere feelings, with no ulterior motivation whatsoever. As someone with the personality of a “venomous snake”, who had grown up mired in the “I give you something, you give me something” selfishness of the royal palace, I think he simply couldn’t fathom that such loyalty/selflessness/love might exist and so he (cowardly) chose not to face it/the truth.

      Right before her death, Yu Tan managed to leave a message for RX on a piece of a cloth. When the 9th prince is jailed, the 13th prince visits him, per the dead RX’s last request, and offers him arsenic, as a quick way of ending his misery, but only if he is willing to “accept” YT’s feelings. When the 9th prince agrees, the 13th prince tosses YT’s cloth message to him. The last words of YT are: “Yu Tan does not blame, has no regrets!” And 9th prince can only berate, “Why, why is it not hate?!” (For ultimately sending her to her death.)

      The 9th prince’s last thoughts before dying are: “RX, you are indeed worthy of being 4th’s woman! No, you are even more cruel than he is. He can only torture our physical selves, at most kill us, but you, cannot even let me die in peace, making me leave with a heart filled with regret and pity.”

      The 9th prince is the closest you get to a “villain” in BBJX, but ultimately, he’s just one of a number of extremely complicated, scheming, power-hungry princes and other players. So I dislike him, but given the context of the story, I can’t hate him that much.

      Mrs. Koala, I love all of your BBJX posts! They are always chockfull of introspective ruminations. Please keep them coming! 🙂

      • Thanks for adding the addenda, V!

        Yes, Yu Tan’s devotion to 9th Prince was more than just servant to master, she loved him. She had no regrets going to her death doing his bidding.

        She is yet another fearless female character in this drama who lives and dies for love.

        Together with Ming Hui, Lu Wu, the three of them are so tragic yet so incomprehensibly brave for the men they loved, even if some of them never loved them back. Sigh.

      • My heart softened with he (in the drama) hesitated for a moment before letting his trained callous self take over when Ruoxi asked if he feels guilty for causing Yu Tan’s death.

      • I really like the way you explained that. I had forgitten about the part where she whispered in the child’s ear.
        I did think of the emperor as a monster when he did that, but the way you worded it makes me feel me a little more kindly towards him.

        But I think the 9th prince did have feelings for yutan. The scene after Ruoxi confronts him about yutan’s death, when he is on his own doesn’t he get emotional there.

  4. AH. I just love everything BBJX related you’ve posted. Feature a post on BBJX’s tea? – JK. But. I swear I have this strong craving for tea every time I watch BBJX. I badly wanted to try the grape tea that Ruoxi made in the magnolia cup for 4th prince. Or that chilled tea the emperor loves. ^^

    Thank you for posting the final 12 minutes. Ah it must have been so painful.

    Those final 12 mins…. I skipped out 8th prince & 13th prince’s talk though. I’m not emotionally prepared for that. I don’t think I’d ever be. But *sigh*.

    I love Liu Shi shi’s voice, it’s soothing and calm. But I couldn’t help myself as tears started to flood my eyes as the credits rolled. Damn. They captured us, made us fall in love, then they show flashbacks. T__T.

    Oh does anyone know where I can find the official recording of Liu Shi Shi singing A season of waiting with Yuan Hong (13th Prince) , I’ve watched the fancam dozens of times, but I would love to see a clearer version ^_____^.

    • I was actually hoping that she’ll find evidence of her existence at the exhibition via the Magnolia teacup, but instead it was through the painting of her. Good enough still.

      • I know!!! I personally thought the painting was kind of kitschy. There were so many actual items that would have been a great museum exhibit. I mean, it’s in the opening credits, so i expected her to come across the painting, but I thought there’d be more than that. But I do understand that the painting confirms her existence because depicts her with her hairpin and bracelet.

        I was hoping she’d run across an exhibit of something like…”Emperor’s Lost Love” or something where some archaeologist found a chest belonging to Yongzheng and there are random things in there like…a hairpin, a snuff bottle, an arrow, a letter, a magnolia teacup and hundreds of copies of the same lines and is trying to piece together the story behind it. Everyone else is wondering if Yongzheng had some affair long ago that’s not recorded and Zhang Xiao can sit and think, “YES! he was the love of my life.” I thought that would be a nice connection to modernity because what modern girl hasn’t kept some box with all the tokens of an epic romance? It would have been nice to see someone from the past with the same method of remembering a great love lost.

        Or at least a teacup collection where she can understand the meaning behind each teacup. c’mon…a painting? really. that’s it?

        And the mystery man walking away may or may not have dug a dagger into my already bleeding heart. I also would like to think he’s run off to get something for her but that doesn’t look right…but still, who would leave a girl crying like that? I hope she runs after him because the romantic in me can’t stand the tragedy of it all.

        But here’s a thought. A love like 4th Prince and RX’s, that’s everlasting, spanning space and time. Even if she fell in love with this new guy, wouldn’t the memory of his (potential) past life and her past love always be kind of in the way? It’s somewhat like having a great love die and finding a new one, but everyone about the new one reminds you of the old love, so do you really love the old or the new? I think that maybe one reason the producers and the original author didn’t want this to be a “reincarnated love” kind of thing.

        Unless…he got his memories back too!!!!! haha. maybe.

  5. I must say, I have a different take from the last scene. She saw the modern prince and when he turned his back she took her glasses of and everything was blurry. It´s like she choose to not see him clearly, like she didn´t want to start anything new with him.

    And I don´t think, that this a bad thing. One can love with her full heart, with her entire soul, but if you see, that this love is not good for you, than it´s not so tragic to end it.
    When I watched the last scene and saw modern Rou Xi´s reaction, it felt like a final goodbye to her first love. It was beautiful, passionate and tragic, but lets face it: It was a hot mess!

    When Rou Xi died, her last wish was to forget everything and to start a new life without the whole baggage. Her reaction in the last scene seems like an affirmation of her decision. It may be beautiful, but it would be definitely complicated.

    • It’s really interesting because as I replayed the ending, more specifically the very last part i.e. RuoXi taking off her glasses, my original interpretation of it changed a little. ^^

      At first, I saw it as because she wants show her bare face as she was (without the glasses) to the Modern 4th Prince, wants him to recognize and remember her as he seems perplexed why she looks at him longingly and cries.

      Then, that changed to, she does that to see him clearly, with her own two eyes savoring his presence, his existence before her.

      Now, personally, I say both. But even so, just like Ms. Koala, I like to think that their love will revive,as they are the only one for each other, because otherwise why would we have the “reincarnation” and RuoXi not able to forget and beside they are in modern time now, with everything as the past, a new beginning shall not be tragic anymore hihihi 😛

    • I actually felt the same way. I didn’t feel it was open and like me, Zhang Xiao is as blind as a bat without glasses, so taking off the glasses and having him walk off symbolised a goodbye to me as well.

      But as a romantic, I would like to think they found each other in the next life and I’d totally watch a sequel of them trying to make it modern. Their souls loved each other, but it was a tragic ending because of their lives in the palace and his position. Like 13th, I hoped they would all meet together in another life…

      • Zhang Xiao isn’t actually as blind as a bat without her glasses, because if you remember when she was looking up stuff on the internet she took off her glasses, but she could still read the screen and get emotional from reading the history things.

  6. First of all, thank you ms. koala for your posts. I have never been interested in a chinese drama before, until i started reading your post. This is such an intense drama. One moment I was laughing silly at the Tenth prince, the next I was angry at Fourth, loving Eight, major crushed on Fourthteen, etc. I guess the ending leave people to do their own interpretation. Together, not together. Fated or unfated.
    Once again thank you for your posts.
    Oh what is the difference between the series and the book’s ending?

    • in the novel, it just end with the death of YongZhen. The drama ending was not by TongHua…But since the drama put in a little addition in the beginning to show how her soul was transported back, they continue with her returning back to the present. Maybe her experience of her 2-timing boyfriend before she was transported back make her toughen her heart to love as compare as the rest of the Qing’s women who gave their lives and heart to the men they love…

  7. love, with its so many variations, is such a complex topic; and to expertly weave it on such a fascinating fabric of history makes the story so compelling. My hats off to Tong Hua for this exquisite story.

  8. Bu Bu Jing Xin is epic to me and I believe even with the sad ending it’s still a wonderful show and one I know I can watch again after my tears comes back. I love how each character was written in depth and explain in meaning so you can feel and understand why they’re doing the things they are. I still half way but spoil myself by reading spoilers but I’m not upset. I love your post for BBJX and I hope you’ll post more later on.:)
    Thanks.

  9. I love your BBJX posts! =) I just finished this drama and my heart is totally aching. It’s going to be on my mind for a few days, weeks, or maybe even months. It’s such a beautifully written and executed drama.

    I love your ending! It makes too much sense because he was unsuccessfully digging through his pockets for tissue before he ran off . Hehe =)

  10. marathoning the last 10 eps now, on ep 31. can you please tell me, where was the interview where Tong Hua defended Ruo Xi, saying that despite her modern woman’s soul, she still loved the most? I do agree with that, and would love to see the author’s word on it. Thanks in advance!

  11. I like Ruo Xi as a heroine, so I have been avoid fan sites where bashing of Rou Xi is going on. Totally agree with the writer’s POV. One reason I like Ruo Xi so much is that even when she falls in love, it does not mean that her relationships with others become less important. As the writer said, Rou Xi actually loved too much, and not too little. She is a a truly caring person who loves her sister, her friends and her lover; and capable of deep courage and self-sacrifice for others. Like kneeling in the rain for 13, risking the emperor’s wrath by turning down the marriage etc, that takes guts.

    In the end she could have chosen to be blissfully unaware of the things happening outside the palace and enjoy her hard-earned happiness with four. But she remains true to her own values and principals until the end of her life. I am glad that the writer has written such a complex heroine and did not cave in to fans’ pressure and turn Rou Xi into a love-obsessed bimbo. I would have like Rou Xi less than.

  12. I am watching this drama as well…currently in EP15.
    Firstly, i like 8th Prince at first few episodes..but in later episodes 4th prince is better. 😀

  13. You know what is the best antidote to this tear-duct-inducing CDrama?
    BBJX to come up with a sequel in modern time… this time in the realm of romantic-comedy… ROM-COM…
    Now that is the best way to balance heart aches and head aches from too much crying. You may still need the box of kleenex though. Who knows, you will still cry… in fits of laughter… 🙂

  14. I share the same thoughts and opinions as you for this drama. Thank you so much for all the posts you have written for this drama and of course, for recommending it. Without reading abt it from your blog, I wouldn’t have discovered such a wonderfully intense drama! 🙂

    • This comment may offend many Gong fan, but to me Gong is like a joke compared to BBJX. The characters were unlikable because there was the script was choppy, many scenes doesn’t flow and it just seem like it was jumping from one to another without any real connections to the previous. For example, one minute the main girl was the emperor’s maid and the next she’s jumping around to another job. Gong completely assinate all the the historic characters without any mercy. 8th prince in history was known as a scheming guy, but in Gong he has no ambition, and not much of a brain. From the beginning to the end, all he’s ever good at is pining for a girl. As the for the 4th prince, instead of showing us his intelligence and insight to win the throne, he was more or less described as a user of women. He used women to do his job. Even Kangxi didn’t escape this fate. Instead of looking like a powerful king, he was portrayed as a weak king who is easily manipulated, and more concerned with women. This coming from someone who enjoyed watching the beginning of the serie, but I couldn’t finish it because it was just so ridiculous.

    • Koala mentions her opinion of JPLH or Gong in one of her earlier posts about BBJX. I don’t think she watched more than two episodes.

      To avoid fandom war, it’s not always good to compare. I think you can like both, but for those of us who know and love history, it’s clear BBJX is more accurate than Gong. Also it’s hard to compare the two because Gong is a fluff piece to be honest. It’s romantic dramady mixed with really over the top politics. BBJX isn’t; it’s a totally different animal.

      I actually enjoyed Gong somewhat, but was a hot mess in some ways and the pacing was weird and I couldn’t get behind a lot of the romance.

  15. I have been obsessively stalking (is there such a phrase? Just wanted to emphasize my obsession for all things BBJX) your site. Thanks for sharing snippets of Tong Hua’s interview. The bit about her lacing loads of significance in various scenes and motifs of the drama greatly enhanced my wonderment for the drama. Comparing RX and 8th Prince’s relationship to snow and comparing RX and 4th Prince’s relationship to flora and fauna.
    m(_ _)m I’m very impressed and indebted to your observations and amazing ability to draw inferences.

    I am thinking that Tong Hua’s intent in her novel ending was to portray that both sets of romance were not perfect and long-lasting. Although both sets of love were beautiful for different reasons (RX and 8th Prince’s romance was romantic and fragile; RX and 4th Prince’s romance was passionate and intense), both sets of romance were not perfect and could not last. 8th Prince chose ambition above RX and 4th Prince gave in to anger and suspicion. Even though their love could not last, I was left breathless by her description of the love.

    Sigh… What a beautiful piece of love story…

  16. I was going to comment on how I love the rawness in the ending song for the final episode. Not perfectly sung or mixed, but so filled with raw emotions, I cried yet again. Ever since the episode where Kangxi passed on, I’ve been weeping every episode, for different people.

    This is what really worked for me. Tong Hua is able to create such believable characters, with depth and real motivations, that while I may curse at some characters at some point, I ultimately empathise with them and feel for them. There were no rights or wrongs in the story, just as there are no absolute rights or wrongs in life. This is the first time I’ve wavered between love and dislike for characters repeatedly in one drama. Usually, I’ll at the most swing from one end to another, and stick with that. But in BBJX, it’s always a touch and go, though at the end my fondness for each character has grew so ingrained that I cried with them, and cried for them. Even Ruoxi, who I got quite irritated with at one point, for all her mistakes, fears and modern-day-practical-thinking, won me over.

    The writing, the acting, the music, the directing, and even the dubbing (oh, such successful choice of voice actors to add flavour to the characterisation) were on the dot.

    I like the resolution at the end, where we get to see the end of each prince. It brings to mind that no matter who, be it the defeated princes or the winner of the throne, death is the ultimate end. And Thirteen might have gave Eight poison. It might have been recorded as such in history (I’m no history guru so I don’t know if it really got recorded/happened), and Thirteen might have been seen as killing his own brother. However, he was (in this story) just giving Eight an escape. When Eight told the Emperor about his past with Ruoxi, my first reaction was “Why did he become so spiteful? Isn’t he a person who refused to make use of woman in the fight among men?” And then, at that, I understood his motive. He was just trying to make the Emperor disappointed with Ruoxi so that Ruoxi’s wish to leave the Forbidden City will be granted. It’s because of Tong Hua’s consistant writing and carefully planned character growth which allowed me to trust Eight. I trust that he wasn’t such a spiteful person, and I was right.

    I’m waiting to read the novel, and I’m sure it’ll be an even more overwhelming experience. This drama might just be one of the best time travel dramas I’ve watched, on many fronts.

    • Interesting. He could have had her killed but he didn’t. he let her marry 14th Prince. This shows he is far from being the heartless cold bastard everyone says he is. Of course he treats those who treats him badly even worse.

      Am I the only one who hates his mother for what she said on her deathbed? Maybe if he wasn’t so biased, he may have been a happier person.

      Anyway I do think in real history the real yongzheng is as complicated as the series would like us to believe, minus the usurpation, blind killings. Much maligned, he turned out to be a consistent, persistent and capable ruler.

    • This is actually a scene that makes more sense in the novel – Ruoxi sings the jasmine flower (mo li hua) song for 8, and he sends her those flowers (as beaux are wont to do)

  17. I’m watching episode 33 now (and yes its so gut wrenching).

    Don’t get why Ruo Xi is at fault for the in-fighting. Warnings do not equate to taking aggressive action does it? Otherwise, I think the whole story has been very well written

    • taugei, i’m at ep 33 too, did you manage to find the complete 32? i know what happens but it’s still a little emotionally jarring like that T__T
      and rx is blaming herself, because while trying not to upset history, she set everything in motion instead, albeit inadvertantly

      • I didnt find the full version of ep32 too. But I guess that was the episode where Minghui committed suicide in a fire, and Ruoxi admitted her part in the distrust the brothers had to 13.

    • Actually she was at fault (or so Ming Hui says).

      The reason why Yong Zheng was so harsh on Eight and gang is because Eight tried to frame him for allying with court officials to spread rumours about Crown Prince’s eligiblity as the next king. And because of that:
      1. Thirteen took the rap and was put under house arrest.
      2. Four was forced apart from Ruo Xi (after Ruo Xi begged for Lu Wu to be allowed to accompany Thirteen, Four could not associate himself with her anymore and risk even greater suspicion from the Emperor that he had instigated Thirteen to spread the rumours) and unable to ask for her hand.
      3. Four had to put up an act and live with restraint, withdrawing himself from all court matters and take each step carefully to regain trust.
      (and maybe) 4. Ruoxi, now ‘free for all’, was eventually asked to marry Fourteen, and when she rejected the decree, was thrown to hard labour therebycausing irrepairable damage to her health.

      So, Four hates Eight and gang and is taking revenge.

      However, why did Eight do that? Ming Hui passed Nine’s message to Ruoxi that it was because of Ruoxi’s warning. Why didn’t Eight target Third prince (who didn’t really make a meaningful appearance in the drama) although that prince was Four’s equal in terms of planning each move stealthily?

      It was because Ruoxi warned Eight about Four. Although Eight had no reason to think that Ruoxi knew the ultimate outcome of the fight, naming Four kind of pulled Eight’s attention to him. That is especially since Ruoxi gave more details as to the officials who would be aiding Four in his quest for the throne. It seemed like Ruoxi did knew about things he didn’t, perhaps due to her proximity to the Emperor. We can also tell that Eight did believe her because when Four took the throne, Eight commented, “So (the victor) is really Four.”

      So, Ming Hui’s argument that Four is taking revenge on Eight and gang because of their acts towards him, which ultimately stemmed from Ruoxi’s warning. Of course, they might still have discovered Four’s threat eventually and did all those even without Ruoxi’s warning. But who knows for sure?

      Guilt-stricken, Ruoxi suffers a miscarriage, which gives Four even more reasons to hate Eight and gang, thereby leading to even greater misfortunes.

  18. “In my heart, only he remains. What remains is only every little thing between him and me. One smile, one brush past, one sigh – I’ve selfishly forgotten everyone, so that what remains is only him and me. For the first time, no one can disturb us. For the first time, I have no fear and reservation, loving only him.”

    – very beautiful, thanks really! *sobs here*

  19. Koala, can you tell me more about the Tong Hua novel ending version?
    Is it much different with the drama version?

    I have high hope that he’s going to come back for her. He took out his hands from his pockets and it was empty, so YESSSS… go get that tissue!!! :):):)

  20. I’ve just finished all 35 episodes and what can I say, it was very good storytelling indeed. I have to compliment you Ms Koala, for you pointed out many things I missed (like the 4th being afraid of women’s tears and then drawing the connection to the modern incarnation).

    I wished Ruoxi simply loved the 14th prince, her life would have been so much happier.

    It’s sad because up till Rx’s last moments (and even in her modern incarnation), she thinks the 4th hates her. She wanted to forget about the past so badly, and yet it did not come true. The pain stays with her, and her alone. I know I’m pessimistic.. sigh..

    • Taugei – i just posted a comment to Koala too below because I saw clips of a modern version of this show with all the exact same actors…but because I can’t read chinese and mandarin is poor I can’t tell if the tv station is saying that this show is upcoming..

    • Taugei – i posted a question to Koala below too bc I am wondering if the tv station showing clips of a modern continuation of BBJX is for real?

  21. I’m only on episode 16 but I have a question that I hope you could clarify.
    The way the princes are numbered is it by who was born first? If so, then 10 is older than 13 right? But I’m confused as to how 10 married later than 13.

    • Yes, they are all numbered by birth order and Thirteen is younger than Ten by about three years.

      Ming Yu, whom Ten married in BBJX, isn’t his first wife, but his third in real life, a concubine. This part is actually inconsistent with history, because:

      – Ten was 21 years old when Ruoxi first went back to the Qing Dynasty (he was born in the 22nd year of Kangxi’s reign and Ruoxi went back in the 43th year).
      – Ten’s concubine (郭络罗氏, supposedly Ming Yu) gave birth to Ten’s first son (who died in the month of birth) in 40th year of Kangxi.
      – ‘Ming Yu’ continued to give birth to 2 other sons and 1 daugther between the 40th and 45th years.
      – Ten’s first wife (阿霸垓博尔济吉特氏) gave birth to a son of his in the 47th years of Kangxi. So, perhaps like BBJX’s Eight Prince, Ten took in a concubine before his first wife.
      Info from http://wenwen.soso.com/z/q197499506.htm

      Oh, found another site:http://zhidao.baidu.com/question/88917580.html The first wife married Ten in around the 38th year of Kangxi.

      In comparison, Thirteen’s first child, with his second wife, was born in the 42th year of Kangxi reign.
      Info from http://baike.baidu.com/view/363727.htm

      Conclusion is, the novel, though true to many elements of Qing history, is afterall a novel. Not sure if I answered your question but….hope this was interesting information for you!!

    • Hey Sushi, yeah I think this is a fan-made clip too. Notice how the modern characters are always shown alone (rather than together with other bbjx characters?). The fan did a fantastic job!

      I’m not sure if having a modern of BBJX will be good though. The qing version has been so well done. A followup might not be able to live up to that..

  22. Thank you Ms koala for commenting such an artful piece of classic.

    I watched the drama bcos u posted beautiful trailer.

    When I read your recap for final, I felt like crying all over again.

    One of the best drama I’ve ever seen!!

  23. I really love this site…I have finished both the novel and the drama…One thing I don’t get it…I remember in Koala first few writing on this drama, she mentioned that RX is love by 8th, 4th and then 14th. I re-read the novel but beside asking for her hand in marriage for 3 times, I feel that he love her more like a very good friend…He wants to be like what 13th is to her. His proposal was more like a way to get her out of the Palace whom he know is the reason why she worries constantly..hence her ill health… It is true she dies in his arm and he treat her v v nice when she “married” him but I don’t feel the love…Can someone help me understand this? But yes, I agree, I think it would be a less tragedy if RX has try to love 14th..He outlived all his brothers even if it is under house arrest. RX know her history, so why not choose him???? Poor gal

    • I think by that time, it’s too late to choose. Had he try to pursue her from the beginning before 8th – maybe there’s a shot. But by the time he falls for her, she was already in love with the 4th prince. As for why she didn’t try to forget 4th and try to love 14th, I think it’s because she’s already completely worn out, mentally and physically. She knows that she doesn’t have much time left, so she just wants her remaining time to treasure her deep love for 4th. As for 14th, she wasn’t cold to him like RL was to 8th. She may not consummate her marriage with him, but she still cared and loved him like a very good friend.

      • Oh so he did love her as a man to a woman love and not good friend kind is it? I was really trying to figure it out..he was such a tease to her..u know, they started out not really liking each o. But since he knows that both his 10th bro and 8th like her so he starts to observe her further. Their interaction at the camp where he dress up was funny…despite their differences, he turn to her to help him find a way to met 8th prince. He trust her…I thought he start to see her as a good friend after she risk her life to win the race to protect him… So that was love???

    • Emma, I think 14th does love RX and in the novel (which I have not read but read summaries of), it’s more clear that he does. He asked to be married to her after he got over 8th, but she was in love with 4th of course. 14th loves her so much he takes care of her in her last days and supports her dying wishes.

      I think he started to fall for her after the camp incident but he loves 8th and wouldn’t go after her and was basically the Captain of their ship. He knew that if she didn’t love him, he’d be with a good guy like 8th (in his mind) so it perplexed him when she rejected the marriage and also fell for 4th.

      If she and 14th (or 13th) were in love. We wouldn’t have a drama. He was near perfect though. Sigh.

    • I have just finished wolving down the drama series and then the original chinese novel by Tong Hua. Brilliant, hauntingly beautiful and poignant, and very well-developed. I totally admired the skill of the writer. The drama series is also a milestone for chinese drama -very high quality.

      This was also the question I asked myself – because by the time 14th proposed and then became the prince who actually married her, it felt like a juggernaut that came left of the field. So, I actually went back and revisited the series again. I think the novel provided more clues.

      Here are some of the brilliant and subtle ways that the drama and novel have planted the clues throughout the plot to hint at his love for RX for the big payoff at the end (when 14th showed up with his imperial edict):

      1) my guess is the inciting incident is when he first heard RX sing for 10th at his birthday (when RX was a mere 13 yr old). -this gesture was a lot clearer from the novel that he gazes at her meaningfully, and then starts to tease her and asks when she will sing for him. -what sounded like a casual throwaway line in the first few episodes actually payoffs much much later in the plot (and several times in fact).

      2) I only understood the significance of that incident much later –

      (a) when 8th is courting RX and requests for her to sing him a song, just as she did yrs ago at the birthday of 10th because he heard from 14th about what happened

      (b) yrs later, at the 2nd mongolian expedition, his romantic secret love for RX was actually foreshadowed in the whole incident of 14th & RX being “secret fake lovers” (exactly as what happened at the end when they fake their marriage for her to leave the forbidden city).

      It was a brilliant double bluff – what is hidden is in full view – in retrospect, I now realise 14th was already secretly in love with her then. remember when MinMin badgers 14th to recount how he first fell in love with RX, the audience all thot he was improvising and making up a story. But now I realise he was telling the truth – he was able to tell the truth because he knows that even RX wouldn’t realise it as the truth about his feelings. The reason he gave MinMin was, “because yrs ago, I heard her sing a song. That caused me to fall in love with her.”

      c) the finaly payoff for this particular plot beat was right at the end of her life – in the novel it was clearer than the drama. when they spend their time talking thru the night in her bedroom, 14th once reminded RX of his youhtful request of yester-years: “RX, remember u said u would sing me a song on my birthday like u did for 10th on his? when are u going to fulfil my wish?” he never forgot it.

      3) His “over-enthusiasm” and involvement in the outcome of the romance between 8th and RX is also very suspect, now that I consider everything in retrospect. but in light of the final end, when we realise 14th loves RX, it all makes sense.

      It is what I call “emotional laundering” – when u know the secret love u have for someone is illegit and cannot be acted upon (in this case, out of loyalty to 8th), u launder it to make it “acceptable” to your conscience, and love her thru other “acceptable” avenues (like how he always play matchmaker and messenger for them) caught between two pple he loves, he pushes very aggressively for them to end up together so that he can vicariously “love” her in this way, and to secure her marital happiness, or so he thinks.

      4) The horse race was a major turning point in the dynamics of their relationship – this is further cemented and developed when 14th asked 8th to leave them alone and he posed the deal-maker question in the rain to a kneeling RX: “Tell me, u would still have risked your life to help even if 8th was not in the picture isn’t it?” when she said yes, that clinched it for him lah.

      5) he secretly smuggled food to RX when RX was kneeling in the rain. This was not significant to me in the drama, UNTIL I read the novel. In the novel, all Tong Hua planted was a hint – it was “lian rong kao” (lotus cake) that he gave her to eat to sustain her in this trial.

      Given the symbolic meaning of lotus cake in an earlier episode (when RX was counseling 10th abt candied sweets and lotus cakes), we realise the writer is hinting that 14th is really her “lotus cake” – the one who is always there, and therefore taken for granted. the familiarity that breeds contempt. But ultimately the one she cannot live w/o. Yet all she can see is the “bingtang hulu” (candied sweet) – the thing she can’t attain is what is most desirable and its memory grows in her mind – that is her 4th prince.

      That is why Kangxi’s words to her are so prophetic and so poignant. On a surface level, he was hinting to her “please one day also remember the words of counsel u gave the 10th prince – to forget the one you cannot obtain, to cherish the one who is always by your side,” Kangxi was referring to 13th (whom he mistakenly thot RX likes), but in reality as the story plays out – Kangxi’s words have a different resonance – to forget the one u can’t obtain (4th), and cherish the one who is always by your side (14th).

      RX’s answer then, was also a foreshadow of her tragic fate – she answers, ” I don’t know whether I can do it.” to the bitter end, she still can’t forget 4th.

      6) he kneeled in the rain for her – enuff said.

      7) I also have to give him credit for asking for her hand in marriage, NOT once, NOT twice, BUT three times. heck, give that man due credit for persistence! he only stepped up to the plate and go for it aggressively AFTER it was very clear to him that it was over between her and 8th (loyalty issue) and he himself was on the ascendency (by this time, he was widely rumored to become the heir apparent)

      also, do note that ultimately he was the ONLY one who actually acted upon his intention to make a honest woman out of her. Granted, both 8th and 4th have both wanted to ask for her hand in marriage, but there were always something standing between them and happiness (bad timing etc).

      8) The last parts – esp in the novel, which I just finished reading this morning – was a lot clearer in the hints of how this is deffo more than just friendship and loyalty to a childhood mate.

      The moment RX stepped into 14th house as his fake concubine, he personally ordered her bath to be strewn with flower petals “because this is how she likes it (must be the modern spa mentality), and he also instructs all her maids to leave her alone when she is in the bath “because she doesn’t like pple to be around when she is bathing.” ???!!! look, these are extremely personal living habits that only someone who is intimately associated with u would know. My guess is, all these years, he has had Yutan (spy of 9th, and therfore on the same side) to report to him all these intimate details.

      Ok, this sounds a bit voyeuristic – but heck, a lot of unrequited love is voyeurstic in nature. even the 4th succumbs to that in the end, when he is separated from her – he obsessively devours secret reports on her every move from his spies.

      • p.s. a couple more things came to mind:

        9) In novel, 14th kept the bloodied golden hairpin that RX used to stab the horse and win the race to save 14th. We didn’t know what happened to hairpin until the new epilogue by Tong Hua.

        10) was rewatching the early episodes, I realised the throne-cum-love rivalry was set up between the blood brothers 4th & 14th from as early as when they both went to their mother to ask the favor for RX to be struck off the concubine shortlist. go watch it again – the setup was brilliant – best undercover act ever – since BOTH were ostensibly acting as proxy on behalf of two other princes (8th & 13th) in reality, that plot beat foreshadows their future love rivalry over RX. Note De-Fei asking her son 14th straight into his face, “Eh, you look so overjoyed to get her off the list. are you in love with the girl?” then note 4th’s intense gaze at his younger brother.

        11) 14th’s baffling jealousy of 13th over RX from early episodes – it’s quite interesting dynamics – he is quite possessive in the sense of disapproving her to mix around with princes not of their faction since their childhood. It’s the chinese saying “fei shui bu liu wai ren tian” (fertile waters should not flow into other people’s fields) -that jealous streak continues into their adulthood when he accuses her of favoritism towards 13th, and when he tells her he aspires to be to her what 13th is to her (after witnessing their BFF status during the 3rd expedition).

        12) ultimately, 14th reminds me of Luwu – the insightful RX once made a pronouncement of Luwu’s relnshp dynamics with 13th. She said, “The depths & nature of her love and feelings towards 13th…I am afraid it is something that she would never dare to admit, even to herself.” The same can be said of 14th’s love towards RX. It is probably the best undercover love in the whole story.

  24. I think that 14th loved RX as friends at the beginning, and then as a possible future sis-in-law then gradually turn to love, just without him noticing it. I think he completely fell in love with her when she raced for him. After that his attitude towards her changed. He became alot more attentive, more understanding and always watching out for her. He would winced at every single injuries she incurred whether it’s small or big. He begged the emperor in the rain for RX’s sake, not really 13th.

  25. I’ve now watched the series twice back-to-back (as you can imagine, I am very much lacking sleep right now) and it has amazed me how much I missed the first time around. The first time watching, I picked up on some of the hints and allusions. The second time around, the number of additional things I picked up was incredible. there has been very few shows/movies/books (both english and chinese) that have allowed me to find new meaning with every view/read. This is a testament to the incredible literary ability of the author, the powerful adaptation by the director and actors…and of course to the hard-working fans that have managed to translate these subtleties into english. With each subsequent visit to the series, I find myself hoping and wishing for an alternate ending…but all the while knowing that it will not happen…and if I’d actually want it too happen. I’m glad the crew has not ruled out a sequel…but I do hope they put as much thought and love into the sequel as they did to this original.

  26. oh man I’ve watched this drama 3 times and cried countless of times. To me the ending was intentional as they left it without a closure but enough clues for us to predict what the outcome of it would turn out. Personally, i believe 4th Prince and Ruoxi do end up together as i remember him telling her that regardless of where she is, he’ll eventually find her. Not to mention the theme is based on fate and since they had no true ending, fate intervened with their life a second time.

  27. This is my first Chinese drama and I’m so obsessed with it. Before, I have been watching Korean and Thai dramas. Could someone please tell me where to watch the whole series with english subs? I’m stuck on ep. 27 waiting for it to be subbed on viki. thanks!

  28. Thank you for posting about this drama. I’m going through your posts. I just finished watching the drama today after a marathon watching weekend. I am despondent because the last 5 or so eps were so depressing. I bawled in the finale. I agree completely that “There is just something about how Ruo Xi and 4th Prince miss each other the exact same way that KILLS me inside.” YES. I loved this couple. The build up to it was incredible. It took over twenty episodes and I wanted more even though I knew the ending was going to be sad ( didn’t spoil myself with the book details, but if you know history, you can tell). I watched Gong earlier in the year and enjoyed it, but it was a fluff piece and I didn’t really care for the romances that much. I agree they are two different animals and you can like them both, but even with the sad (maybe bittersweet) ending in BBJX, I liked it much more and kinda annoyed with Gong now. Haha. This drama had all the great production stuff and the acting + writing/adaptation for the characters was incredible. Everyone was fleshed out both good and bad and I always felt for our heroine. Thanks for sharing about the drama and I hope more people see it. 🙂

    • I just realized I posted this in the wrong post thread. I had a couple open and copied and pasted into the wrong reply box. I think the above comment was for the recap of the final scene.

      As for this post, I’m glad to know the alternate endings.

      1. The novel ending – The drama was set up so that we got a glimpse of ZX so I liked they included her going back or rather she remembered what happened. This gave a sense of closure for her at least and even though c-dramas can have sad endings, it would have been too depressing if she just died. I don’t think viewers would have been happy with that.
      2. The ending in the movie – I posted above that I think this ending was really bittersweet and not as open. More emphasis on the bitter and then moving on. I’d like to think they found each other in this life, but probably the next life. ZX bears a burden as she remembers the past and that is baggage.
      3. The alternate car crash meeting new!4th ending – Very Sliding Doors and fated. I’d have like this, but I can see how the production were iffy on it. For some this would have been a bit sugary really met after the accident (and not coincidentally like in #2). This would have been more open to romance than #2 IMHO and the modern sequel we will never see.

      So, I think 2 is a good ending though i’m still distraught for RX/4. I think this is the last BBJX post I’ll comment on today. As always, THANK YOU!

  29. I do not believe the ending provided closure nor would any relationship developed between modern guy and Zhangxiao would have been possible. She knows that man is not the man she pined for as he was dead by then. She knew she existed, she knew he forgave her and loved her till his own untimely death and her shock and tears shows she can never have closure. She wanted to forget everything, when she died as Ruoxi and in the book indeed that would be her closure, the end to her suffering. But the series continued with her being alive, remembering every cursed moments. Meeting the man may be 2 reasons; 1 as he promised he will find her which he did, whether in the past life or this life. Or it could be to revive her pain, that she can never be released from this unending unfailing love and pining she has for the man who no longer lives. If she goes after this guy, it would be cheesy. She saw him left, she removed her glasses, her eyes blurry, maybe she hoped by removing her glasses she would see him clearly and hence she is still Ruoxi but it was blur and it is a confirmation she is where she is, and he was where he was, and they can never be together, not in this life at least. It is not a hopeful ending and the fact the author refuses to comment on it may be because she feels this is a cruel ending. How can Zhangxiao ever have another relationship knowing she has loved, lost and still pining for a man that no longer lives?
    I cried buckets, at everything. And I don’t like her decision. Maybe it is true they’re better apart than to be together, as she said, so she can love him without conditions, without anyone or anything between, so that she can love him freely as she intends it to be. But that sort of love is idealistic but untrue. She was loving the memory of him. I don’t know the reason for the author to write it that way, reading the post here, I am beginning to see Zhangxiao as the modern woman sensibilities does not wish to give up perhaps her principles but she gave her whole heart. Can love be as unconditional as she thinks? Not sure about the book but in the series all the emperor ever asked of her is her understanding and of course in the face of so much deaths (all of them a necessity), her conscience tells her she can’t stand by looking at the people she once cared about die the way they did. So she chose to walk away and yet she pines for that man. I do think she became the 2nd Ruolan except the man she refused to return her love physically and yet loved wholeheartedly was the same man even if in her mind she differentiates between the 4th Prince and the Emperor. What would you have done as Ruoxi? And I don’t like 14th Prince. I find him too meddlesome, hist sort if he becomes the emperor will probably not get anything done. He is not hard enough.

    • And 14th prince was the reason they both missed out on goodbyes.

      I am however feeling a tinge of sadness reading the significance of her handwriting, amongst others. But did the book (I missed this in the series I suppose) ever explain why magnolia?

    • “Modern 4th Prince walked away to grab a tissue and came right back.”

      I’m so glad ockoala wrote that. I’m going to cling on to that sentence with all the hope I have! I’ve re-watched the final episodes dozens of times to see if (by some miracle or through my own personal will) the ending changes to more definite and happier one.

      But, eventually, I agree more with SF then ockoala.

      I believe in a more pessimistic ending. They are fated to be star-crossed. RX sees modern 4th man and cries for the love they had and people/experiences they shared. Modern man not the same 4th Prince she loved. She can’t have the real 4th Prince (unless the modern 4th gets hit with a car and regains his past memories too). So RX just watches him leave and lets go of the past, but she will have the burden of remembering for this lifetime.

  30. can anyone who have read the book please tell me how the ending of the book is different from the drama? it’s killing me to know that there might be an alternative ending to the story that i don’t know about! thank you!

    • I ve only skimmed through the novel’s ending – and my chinese isn’t tt great- but fm what I understand the (online) novel ends with the death of #4 (there is no mention of whether Ruoxi goes back to the present etc). There is apparently also another edition of the novel (the published one) which has had a few amendments made to it (I’ve not had the chance to check it out yet) but is still not the same as the drama. I did read that TH said she was very pleased with the drama though (who wouldn’t be??)

  31. Xiao Qiao – I’m so glad you shared your insightful observations with us on the relationship between RX and 14th here. After re-watching the series, I have to agree with you that this is the best undercover love story that I paid little attention to as I was so charmed by the romantic yet fragile love line with 8th and blown away by the intense and passionate love with 4th that I missed the devotion ‘lotus cake’ love of 14th.

    I can now understand why Tong Hua’s fav prince is 14th as after re-watching BBJX again, I realize that 14th is actually the best choice for her if only she had not lost her heart to 4th. I blame 4th for stealing her heart (and our hearts too) by being so aggressive in chasing her from early on (remember the horse riding kiss under the moonlight kiss! Rawr!).

    14th came late into the game as he only allowed himself to realise his own feelings for RX and later to act on it after he was sure it was totally over betw 8th and RX. I really respect his loyalty to 8th and totally agree with Xiao Qiao that his aggressive matchmaking for 8th and RX was emotional laundering or maybe at that time, he had not fully realised his own love for RX out of loyalty to 8th.

    Now only do I come to appreciate 14th for being the ‘taken for granted’ lotus cake for RX. In reality, lotus cake provides sustenance and strength and is arguably better than all the grand romantic gestures such as cloak shielding from rain and promises. Sigh 14th! Why do you have to be such a principled person! (yet that is what is most admirable about you)

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