I was actually considering not writing about Lan Ling Wang considering almost every drama-blog I follow has been covering the drama already. O_O Also I guess you could say that I started watching it later than most fans who watched it avidly from day 1. Instead I just marathoned straight through the first 6 episodes, haha! Anyways so far this is not a groundbreaking drama for me but considering the heavier dramas I’m watching this season, it is a nice change of pace. It’s about time I watch a fluffy drama to boost my spirits, eh?
Of course the leading lady is played by Ariel Lin–she plays the role of Xue Wu, a very naive, spirited and clever young woman who just so happens to be….THE HEAVENLY MAIDEN PRIESTESS WHO CAN BRING PROSPERITY TO WHOEVER SHE IS WITH AND HAS THE DESTINY OF FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE MASKED WARRIOR LAN LING WANG WHO WILL DIE YOUNG WHILE BRINGING PEACE TO THE WHOLE WORLD. Oh yes, even my run-on sentence doesn’t even include the entire backstory of Xue Wu’s whole ‘fate as the heavenly maiden’ thing but you get the idea. It’s gonna be a tragedy. I also think they’re emphasizing the whole “oh nooo Xue Wu is one step closer to her fate!! Oh nooo we can’t stop her fate from happening!” aspect way too much. T___T But the thing that will make this whole fate thing more interesting is whether or not this fate can be changed. Is Xue Wu falling in love with Lan Ling Wang only because of her fate, or is it of her own free-will? Maybe the predestination debate is too weighty for this drama but I’m curious about how it will handle the fate vs. free will paradox.
At first Xue Wu feels like the typical c-drama heroine–she’s adventurous, spunky, naive, and bumbling. She brings a lot of life to the drama especially since she is often our source of comic relief. There are several laugh-out-loud moments with Xue Wu even though some of the scenes are a bit exaggerated. Pretty much all of episodes 1-6 show how Xue Wu always coincidentally gets into a sticky situation and then somehow saves the lives of both the male leads. She may be naive and trusting but she is also very resourceful and has the stubbornness of an ox. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy Xue Wu’s character but I also wish that we could’ve had a heroine that is not a Mary Sue. I feel like Xue Wu is Cinderella or something because she’s just THAT kindhearted and nice. Also to make her even NICER, Xue Wu is still very trusting towards people even though she grew up isolated and was bullied by her village. The poor girl gets double-crossed like three times in a row. T___T”””
On the other hand though, I do like the subtle message about how even though Xue Wu is shunned by her village and grew up being told that she would amount to nothing in life, she actually will become a great priestess who plays a large role in the country’s fate.
As for Lan Ling Wang, also known as Lord Lan Ling (literal translation), Chang Gong, or 4th Prince, I know a lot of the hype about him is that he exotically wears a fierce mask into battle….but really, it’s not that big of a deal. T____T So he wears a mask. Whatever, I prefer him without the mask. :P I won’t complain about how Feng Shao Feng is not blindingly beautiful enough to fit the role, since he still has a very regal aura and I’ve been staring at Daniel Chan instead.
I don’t really have much to say about LLW yet because he’s just so perfect. He’s seriously like the knight in shining armor. I think his character is much more interesting when he has to make difficult decisions as the general of the Qi Army. For instance in episode 6 he is hunting down the spy from the Zhou kingdom (who happens to be the Zhou Emperor in disguise!) and makes the jaded decision to burn down a poor village. It’s in moments like those where we see that actually LLW is not a God of War or the perfect hero…as a leader and as a warrior he must make difficult decisions that may go against his morals. I also like the hints that LLW is usually not as gentle as he is towards Xue Wu–he is also a man obsessed with revenge and he has no mercy for the enemy.
Obviously the OTP is LLW x Xue Wu, no doubt about it. Let’s just list some of the things they’ve done, all in the time period of 6 EPISODES. An underwater kiss, a fake marriage, a moonlit dinner, wishing on the stars together, riding on a horse together, bathing in the hotsprings together, AND THE LIST GOES ON!!! However I’m not really on their ship yet. I like their scenes together but the thing is that I’m not emotionally invested in their relationship at all. In fact I don’t feel really emotionally invested in the drama yet. Granted, it is too early to say that LLW and Xue Wu are really in love, and the story is still being set up but…somehow I don’t really care about the romance yet. O___O”” BUT! I’m happy to say that LLW is the one who is falling for Xue Wu first, BWAHAHAHA.
But maybe another reason why I’m not fully on board with the LLW x Xue Wu ship is that our second male lead, Yu Wen Yong (Daniel Chan) has barely gotten any screentime. My first impression of him is that he looks like a dead raccoon. O______O I kid you not. He is not in good shape when Xue Wu first discovers him. Don’t worry though…pretty soon, Yu Wen Yong will look like……..
THIS. *SWOONS* OMG. IS IT BAD THAT I’M ALREADY ANTICIPATING THE SECOND LEAD MORE THAN LLW? I can’t explain quite why I’m already drawn to Daniel Chan (other than my tendency to root for the second lead) but already I love the aura he has. Also so far I feel like his character has more complexity than LLW’s. O_O There are hints that he’s a very sly and sneaky guy who is really good at manipulating people. Also he knows about Xue Wu’s identity as the heavenly maiden so I bet he’s gonna try to lure her over to his side!
IMO the quality of the costumes, set and action scenes are rather average. But OMG…….this c-drama actually does the CG right!!! *MIND BLOWN* The scenery is stunning and I also like the fantasy feel to some of the places.
Of course there are some bitter naysayers out there who are all ‘omg the CG is so fakey it ruins the drama MEHHHH’. In response to those people….Gee someone has high standards. =____= Trust me, this CG is the GOOD CG in c-dramas. The CG is great, it’s not overused, and it really enhances the beauty of the drama!
So far this drama is an enjoyable watch with plenty of fluff and a surprisingly fast pace. I do find it a problem that I’m not as emotionally invested in it as I would like to be, but I hope that this might change as the drama progresses and gets more serious. Also I’m really excited to see the second male lead play more of a role in the drama now that his identity as the emperor has been revealed!
Lastly, here is a really beautiful piano version of the ending theme song. I actually enjoy it more than the actual ending theme song itself although it has no vocals!
Lan Ling Wang Ending Theme Song (Piano Version)