Prince of Lan Ling 蘭陵王 Recap/Review Episode 1 Synopsis

Watch Lan Ling Wang Online here

Lan Ling Wang is historically very well known – he’s known as the Prince of Lanling while his real name is Gao ShangGong because, well, royalty (like Kate Middleton is Duchess of Cambridge). Anyways, historically, he’s known to be a war god, but his face is so beautiful that he needs to hide it with a mask. In this drama he is played by Feng Shaofeng who I initially found really unattractive but I don’t mind anymore. I think his extremely deep double eyelids makes him look pretty I guess but in some shots you can very obviously see that they applied a wing to his eyeliner. Ariel Lin plays Yang XueWu, who is a tian nu, which is a priestess with powers to… pretty much save the world, to put it in short.


The beautiful Bai Shan Chuan!

Our story begins in Bai Shan Chuan with XueWu’s grandmother (Nai nai), who is also a tian nu. She provides a prophecy for Qi kingdom every ten years. Yang Guai is played by a pretty famous actor that I see often in dramas, but he only shows up in this episode – poor guy. That’s pretty much the only reason why I included a screenshot of him.

Anyways, Nai nai begins the prophecy. The country of Qi and the country of Zhou are constantly in the war. Nai nai predicts that in ten years, there will be four people that will be in control of the ‘world’ (which in this case is only China): Lan Ling Wang, Gao Wei, Yu Wen Hu, and Yu WenYong.

Yang Guai (poor guy) that's in the drama for literally less than 10 minutes.

Yang Guai (poor guy) that’s in the drama for literally less than 10 minutes.


Qi (on the right), Zhou on the left


Yu Wen Yong

They did some pretty spiffy animations for this section where she explains every ‘future’ character. Yu WenYong is the future king of Zhou but unfortunately, his power is masked by his uncle. Nai nai likens them to two wolves – one hungry, and one aggressive and vicious – in the end only one survives.

Gao Wei was compared to a beautiful small bird - beautiful on the outside but his wings are too small for him to be powerful.

Gao Wei was compared to a beautiful small bird – beautiful on the outside but his wings are too small for him to be powerful.

Lan Ling Wang

Lan Ling Wang

Nai Nai says that Lan Ling Wang (LLW) will become a good leader because of his good heart and he is the one that is most likely to bring world peace to people. Unfortunately he’s destined to die because of his brother. Gao Wei is the rightful king of Qi but… long story short, he’ll be useless and spoiled.

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So we finally meet LLW – and he’s pretty good looking. Pretty much he wins another war and outsmarts the Zhou army with his wits (and charms us with his good looks). Ta Xue, his horse becomes injured and he takes it (surprise, surprise) near XueWu’s salt spring to find sulfur to treat his wounds. And also upon seeing the salt spring he decides to go for a bath. Forreal.


We meet XueWu, and Ariel looks so beautiful! Her skin and her hair are on point. It doesn’t look like she’s wearing too much makeup too, which is nice because I think it’s really annoying when dramas tout the “girl-next-door” image and the actress has pounds of makeup and fake eyelashes on. Her hair quality is so good!!! That’s why she’s the spokesperson for Pantene I think. Makes me want to dye my hair black again.


So she’s introduced as a troublemaker because she’s trying to figure out how to make fireworks and they make it a point in this episode to stress that she has no friends and that no one likes her because of her weird behaviour. Normally this will turn a person bitter and jaded, but nope, somehow it’s made her into a kindhearted innocent young woman. Which is a stretch, but fortunately she does stand up for herself when she gets picked on, so she’s not such an unbelievable character after all.

"You couldn't even catch a chicken? At this point you don't deserve my eggs"

“You couldn’t even catch a chicken? At this point you don’t deserve my eggs”


Aite so this is where the first episode goes downhill and I pretty much face-palmed the whole way because it was so damn silly (there is no better word to describe it – just silly). XueWu decides to chase after her chicken… which leads her out of her village. How fast can a chicken go? How slow can you run to not catch up to a freaken chicken? Okok it’s tian yi (fate) so I get it, the chicken will run a lot faster, fine. Then she stumbles onto the same salt spring LLW is bathing at, and unlike a normal conventional person who looks away, she keeps watching, mistakes LLW for a woman, and decides to befriend LLW essentially after being a peeping tom and bathes with him. 


This scene of LLW bathing and being all feminine and sensual was thoroughly awkward and nearly rid all of my attraction to LLW. Horse looks unimpressed too.

 So some of the Zhou soldiers somehow discover this spot and decide to ambush LLW. Which is a plot hole because LLW always wears a mask to war right – how the heck do the soldiers know to attack him? Either that or Zhou soldiers are just assholes that decide to attack civilians that are taking a bath, but at this point they’re both not a very strong argument.

XueWu sees that they’re under attack and manages to take down one of the soldiers with a rock. Yes, a rock, and manages to dominate him for the remainder of the time. What kind of freaken soldier are you when you can’t even take down an unarmed and untrained civilian that’s probably half your weight?! No wonder you guys are losing all your wars.




Upon looking onwards for a good few minutes, LLW finally decides to help. Coincidentally and luckily the Zhou soldiers didn’t decide to attack until he jumped out of the water too… Again, no wonder you guys are losing – who the heck trained you guys?

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Omg the last few moments were so awkward. XueWu finally discovers that he’s a man, and…. he actually looks somewhat like a woman from some angles. Also LLW isn’t the buff type so… his shirtless look isn’t the most flattering. So awkwardness all around. I know it gets better from here but man, this scene was so cringeworthy.


10 thoughts on “Prince of Lan Ling 蘭陵王 Recap/Review Episode 1 Synopsis

  1. Kiyu says:

    I started watching this, it’s good. Though some parts I don’t understand in episode 3, why LLW have to look for a women to marry? Really wish you could review this series lol


  2. Kiyu says:

    I’m on about episode 28 now, at first I wanted LLW and XW together. I read online and stuff and couldn’t understand why EVERYONE liked YWY. Now I see why, after LLW didn’t trust XW I realise I don’t like his character anymore. I also don’t like XW for forgiving so easily. Kinda wished she just disappear from his life. YWY and XW so much better!


    • deerlee says:

      omg I am so glad you’re watching this drama!!! It’s so good right? I’ve watched it literally four times so that’s why during the fifth time I was going to review it I stopped because I actually watched it too many times… I thought she let him off too easily too! Er after putting her through all that shit I wish that she would b*Tch out at LLW, but she had to be so forgiving which is kinda annoying…. tell me what you think of the ending… I am quite afraid for you because the ending wrecked me for weeks LOL


  3. Kiyu says:

    Lol ending was fine for me. I may be cold hearted but I didn’t cry when XW died because at that point I wasn’t attached to her character anymore. It was more sad to me when YWY died. I know it was his choice to visit XW and he ended up getting poisoned. XW had no guilt whatsoever. Also the part where YWY cut himself to save her but she ran up to LLW instead when he wasn’t even hurt at all (that was frickin brutal to watch) YWY was definitely best character on the show. He surpassed LLW on many levels. And I’m surprised lots of other people on forums share same view lol. He portrayed he would be a better husband, father and ruler than LLW. Zheng Er was just despicable and destroying the kingdom with the worse possible ruling in history I could not watch. I skimmed those scenes and read online recaps.

    Overall Prince of Lan Ling started out 10/10 then midway 19-26 zheng er scenes dragged on wayyyyy toooooo long considering drama started off fast paced. It was ok drama but I wouldn’t watch it again lol


  4. ajumma says:

    Ok. I watched the first epi a few mths ago. The bathing scene made me cringed that i had to stop. So the drama gets better, eh? God willing, am gonna continue watching it soon.


  5. Nayong says:

    Hi, I just finished watching this drama and I must say I like it! Except for the Zheng Er and crazy Gao Wei, I FF a lot from eps 30 onwards, LOL
    My first FSF encounter and unlike the majority, I like him more than YWY 🙂
    I blame the script when he had to act like an idiot defending Zheng Er, Hahaha

    The ending is fine, as I was expecting LLW to die but they let him live! Yay for that
    My first time seeing Ariel Lin too, not too impressed with her though

    I just started watching C Dramas few months ago and currently hooked, stopped watching KDramas recently as they were disappointing .

    My favourite CDrama at the moment is Sound of Desert XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • deerlee says:

      I completely agree!!! This is still my favourite drama of all time – I tried watching sound of desert but I wasn’t very attracted to the male leads hahah. Maybe the ending didn’t affect you as much because you weren’t very impressed with Ariel Lin but I love her so much that the ending made me so sad ):


      • Nayong says:

        The writers could have changes the ending for Ariel/XW , crazy GW shoots the arrow aiming at LL, ZE runs to block him and gets the arrow. She dies as per the drama, LL and XW disappears and lives happily ever after with their son PA and more children to come! 🙂 See, this would have made everyone happy 🙂 🙂

        And because I want to see more of FSF, I just started watching Jade Palace 🙂
        If you have any dramas to recommend, appreciate it!
        I dropped Xuan Yuan Sword, didn’t like Perfect Couple and hated Chinese Paladin 3!
        But I seriously love Boss & Me 🙂


  6. Stephanie says:

    If you liked Lan Ling Wang (which I absolutely loved), you would like “General and I”, a 2017 new drama with Wallace Chung and Angela Baby. The “formulas” totally reminds me of Lan Ling Wang. Super intelligent girl, check! Handsome male lead who’s royal member of the family, grew up with poor mom and was raised in the palace without his mom, grows up into warrior/general who can’t lose a war and is super good to his soldiers, check! Male lead and female lead uncontrollably fall in love with each other, check! Obnoxious third wheel in love with the male lead living in the palace and determined to kill the female lead and ruin the male lead, check! Beautiful costume and scenery, check! Male lead gets injured and the female lead nurses him in an army tent, check! The show is adopted from a book and is supposed to have a happy ending, so hopefully, it leaves the audiences with less tears than Lan Ling Wang.


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