I just watched the official kick-ass long preview for an upcoming period C-drama that reminds me so much of the currently airing Empress Ki, but with the two male leads combined into one and the female lead a strong warrior lady who becomes his Empress with a love story ending. History books write of countless royal political marriages and it’s rare to actually have a real life love story between an Emperor and his Empress. Soon we’re all going to be watching a drama based on one such grand love story set during one of the most amazing political rebellions and dynasty restorations in Chinese history. The powerful Han dynasty was bisected into Western Han and Eastern Han by the coup staged by a calculating official named Wang Mang who created the short-lived Xin dynasty (which royally sucked). After the fall of the ruling Liu family, some were content to be farmers and live the quiet life while others plotted to overthrow Wang Mang and restore the Han dynasty. It wasn’t all personal since Wang Mang was a terrible ruler, and in this time period of great insurgency came a man who would go down in Chinese history as both a smart military leader, wise rule, and quite a loverboy. The upcoming C-drama Chang Ge Xing (长歌行 Long Song March) is based on a C-novel called Xiu Li Jiang Shan (秀丽江山 Beautiful Rivers and Mountains) dramatizing the real life love story of Emperor Guangwu Liu Xiu and his Empress Yin Li Hua. Theirs was a love story with a happy ending, and its so rare in history books it’s easier to spot unicorns. Starring two of my faves Yuan Hong and Ruby Lin, their chemistry and acting ability in this drama appears to be through the roof, the production values are insanely gorgeous without being jarring and inauthentic, and the passion already leaves a mark on me. Liu Xiu left a real life saying that goes down as one of THE most romantic declarations in history when he knew he loved Yin Li Hua and wanted only her – 娶妻當娶陰麗華 – “To take as a wife, there is only Yin Li Hua”. *swooning forever* Read on for a short summary of their story and watch the long drama preview.
A little history of the Han dynasty set during Chang Ge Xing:
Liu Xiu is one of the direct descendants of the Liu family line, the ruling family of the Han dynasty. He was the second son who was content to be a farmer during the period right after Wang Mang, a Han dynasty official, staged a coup and ended the Liu family rule. Wang Mang started the Xin dynasty, to be short-lived from AD 9–23 at a mere 14 years reign, but he didn’t know it at the time. The story of Chang Ge Xing dramatizes how Liu Xiu overthrew Wang Mang and restored the Han dynasty, with the history books marking the period before the Xin dynasty as the Western Han Dynasty and the ruling period after Liu Xiu restored the empire to the Eastern Han Dynasty. Liu Xiu will go down in history as Emperor Guangwu – other famous Han dynasty Emperors in recent film and fiction include Founding Emperor of the dynasty Liu Bang (White Vengeance), Emperor Wu of Han Liu Che (Da Mo Yao), and Emperor Zhao of Han Liu Fu Ling and his direct successor Emperor Xuan of Han Liu Xun (Yun Zhong Ge).
Wang Mang’s entire rule was a cesspool of incompetence so it wasn’t just the Liu family but everyone hated him. Liu Yan, the older brother of Liu Xiu, led the rebellion to overthrow Wang Mang. There were also lots of other Liu cousins involved in his rebellion or staging their own. The novel and drama will be about then Liu Xiu-led rebellion and how in the end he became the restored Han dynasty Emperor over his brother and other Liu cousins. The love story in the novel is based on history as Liu Xiu married his childhood sweetheart, the famed beauty Yin Li Hua who was the daughter of a respected Han dynasty official. He was a great military leader and later a great ruler, as history shows that Emperor Guangwu’s reign was marked by promulgating sensible laws and cutting wasteful spending. Despite Liu Xiu marrying his true love Yin Li Hua, in the rebellion to overthrow Wang Mang, he was forced to marry to sister of a powerful local warlord in order to gain control of his armed forces and financial backing. Her name was Guo Sheng Tong and it was Yin Li Hua that told him the defeat of Wang Mang was more important than their love and pushed him to marry her.
Liu Xiu made no secret that his marriage to Yin Li Hua was for love, and in the drama she is a warrior princess that accompanied him on his military exploits as well as a devoted wife. Guo Sheng Tong was made Empress due to her powerful background and she had a son with Liu Xiu who was made Crown Prince. But she was a spiteful and jealous woman who could not live with the Emperor not loving her and tried to eliminate Consort Yin Li Hua. She angered Emperor Guangwu so much that he deposed her, but did not kill her but instead gave her a honorary title of Dowager Empress and sent her to live elsewhere. He made Yin Li Hua his Empress in the end, and by then they had a son together. The Crown Prince wanted to step down but his father chose him to remain as successor. Eventually the Crown Prince did step down and ruled as a Prince over a region, and it was the son of Liu Xiu and Yin Li Hua who became the next Emperor Ming. All in all, in real life Liu Xiu was an AWESOME EMPEROR and his love story with Yin Li Hua was even MORE AWESOME. And this is the story we’re going to be able to watch soon! Bring it on, drama, bring it on!
Long preview for Chang Ge Xing:
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Yin Li Hua is so freaking amazing. The action sequences where she fights the men coming to kill her baby and when she goes to battle alongside Liu Xiu convince me that she is pure steel wrapped in silk. When she speared enemies from astride her horse and then pulled Liu Xiu up behind her, I was smiling from cheek to cheek. Thank god Liu Xiu sees how amazing she is and loves her from beginning to end. The drama is scheduled to air sometime in 2014. I am so excited for this it’s not even funny.