Drama Review: Nirvana in Fire (琅琊榜)


(Image source: Google)

For the past few days, I have been locked in my room with several cups of tea binge watching this amazing drama.
If you haven’t heard of Nirvana in Fire/琅琊榜 (and chances are, you have) it’s an extremely popular Chinese historical drama based off of a novel by the same name that aired in the later half of 2015.
This drama became so popular in China that it garnered over thousands of comments per episode (online)!
I finally decided to buckle down and watched the entire series in a few days…
& I have SO many feelings right now!
If you haven’t seen this drama yet, let me attempt to summarize it for you!

Synopsis:
Set in fourth century China, the drama opens with a man waking up from a nightmare. In the nightmare, his father tells him that he needs to survive for the sake of the Chi Yan army. As the drama proceeds, we learn that 13 years ago, an incident occurred that changes the protagonist’s life forever! Lin Shu, the main character of our story, was a Young marshal leading the Chi Yan army with his father Lin Xie to defend Southern Liang from the attacks of the Northern Wei. After succeeding in this battle however, they were ambushed by their own emperor and their Chi Yan army, containing 70 000 soldiers were slaughtered. In the capital, the emperor receives false information stating that the crown prince at the time, Prince Qi, was planning on overthrowing him with help of the Chi Yan army, leading him to sentence Prince Qi to death for treason and destroying the Chi Yan army, as well as Lin Shu’s entire family. Lin Shu miraculously survives this incident, but has sustained permanent damages physically, which causes his appearance to change  to the point where no one is able to recognize him as Lin Shu. 13 years after this incident occurs, Lin Shu adopts the identity of Mei Chang Su, an extremely talented and smart strategist. Meanwhile, in the capital, the political battles between the present Crown Prince and a favoured prince, Prince Yu, continues. Using this as an opportunity, Mei Chang Su returns to the capital as an intelligent strategist and secretly stirs things up in the court, ultimately hoping to clear his family and the Chi Yan army of their false charges 13 years ago.

Not only is the plot extremely intriguing, it’s also filled with surprising twists and great characters. All the characters and their relationships with one another are interesting and it’s really cool to see how the protagonist manipulates situations to his benefit, as well as avenging his family for the wrong accusations placed upon them!
Bonus point: ALL the women in this drama, are bad asses. There isn’t a single female that can’t hold her own in a sparring match, and at many points in this drama, they even overpower the men!

The main characters of our story are:


Hu Ge as Mei Chang Su
(Image Source: Google)


Liu Tao as Princess Ni Huang
(Image Source: Google)


Wang Kai as Prince Jing (oh, yes.)
(Image Source: Google)


…..and many, many more! (Image Source: Google)

This drama is definitely a 10/10!
So, what’re you waiting for?
Go watch it now!

 

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!

Here are my thoughts after finishing the series:

– It ended perfectly! A lot of people were sad about Lin Shu’s ending, but I thought it was necessary and exactly what the series needed.
If he had survived after, it wouldn’t have made a lot of sense considering the condition his body was in! To have him doing what Lin Shu did in the past and to allow him to experience it again before his death was the best tribute he could’ve gave himself!
There is however, an alternative ending that they filmed but didn’t end up going with that implies that he’s still alive! Skip to 4:25!
– Although there were many emotional scenes throughout this drama, my favourite one has to be the one where he reunites with Consort Jing! Liu Min Tao is such an amazing actress and I was in a pile of tears by the end of that scene.


(Image Source: Google)
Side Note: Did she adopt Prince Jing? Because this woman was smart, had the BEST subtle schemes and was incredibly patient. Prince Jing however….let’s just say sometimes I wanted to slap his handsome face…

– The Bromance in this drama, was REAL.

– I loved how all the characters really sort of got what they deserved in the end. From Marquis Xie to Xia Jiang and Ban Ruo… even the emperor himself, justice was definitely served. Except for Xiao Jing Rui, poor child did NOT have it coming! Although, I guess he’s prince status now so that’s pretty cool!

“What do you mean my entire life was a lie?”
(Image Source: Google)

– Overall, this drama really impressed me. From the casting, the plot, the cinematography, the costumes, the makeup…EVERYTHING was on point and completely immersed me in the story. Bravo!

And with that, I leave you with a picture of my ultimate OTP and favourite couple of the entire series:

(Image Source: Google)

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2 thoughts on “Drama Review: Nirvana in Fire (琅琊榜)

  1. baby panda says:

    Love the last image you posted! I finished this series a week ago and now watching “ode to joy”. Loved spotting the cast of Nirvana in modern attire. I want to think of it as the Nirvana characters reincarnated to 2016 🙂 I heard they are making Nirvana 2 but I wish they didn’t call it that since it’ll be a completely new story with completely different characters. I’m so happy that many people appreciated the awesomeness that is Nirvana In Fire. I loved everyone in NIF, from the actors, to the directors and crew members. NIF will live on to be one of the classics.

    Like

    • xjolin says:

      Thank you!
      I should definitely check that series out! I watched the Disguiser and tried to imagine that it was the cast of Nirvana reincarnated in the 1940’s haha!
      Oh that’s really interesting! Yes they should’ve called it a different name if it’s a different story line, but if it’s the same directors/writers then I’m sure it’ll be worth a watch! Yes the series is amazing, I’ve already rewatched it several times!

      Like

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