HeLan Ming Yue – 魏国夫人
So… this was a roller coaster of emotions today – with the appearance of Ming Yue and the death of … Li Hong (well you were going to find out a few paragraphs down anyways). A lot of things become unraveled and explained but the drama is deviating very very far from history (although keep in mind that my history comes mostly from wiki). We start with where we left off – Zhang Sun Wu Ji and Mei Niang are having a confrontation.
All our questions are answered, albeit badly, but answered. Mei Niang had gone to chair the celebration knowing that her life was in danger and it was a trap – why? Because she knew Zhang Sun Wu Ji was picking for either her life, or the viability of the ‘elites’. How did she know this? I don’t know. Maybe because she’s just so intelligent, but maybe, just drama. Everything just is conveniently predicted with such accuracy. To explain, after realizing the involvement of the elite chancellors in the assassination of the Emperor (as staged by Zhong Er) a few episodes back, he realized that he created a clique/clan that was growing hungrier that deviated from his original ideals of loyalty to the Tang dynasty – one that would assassinate the current Emperor.
He decided that he would incriminate himself. As he was the leader of the 24 elite chancellors, eliminating himself would weaken their power greatly in the courts. In history he was incriminated for treason, but the drama made him sound like a saint. With him gone, the balance struggle between the two clans was equalized.
Meanwhile we have a scene where Mei Niang tells the Emperor that it’s OK to have a few for concubines. In fact, to her, it’s preferred, because she wants the Emperor to appear to the entire world on how ‘strong’ he is (meaning that he can still impregnate a few women). So I’m like, so… how will this affect the appearance of Ming Yue. I mean, we’re all about the OTP, but Mei Niang is the Empress of the Tang dynasty, she surely isn’t phased by a few women.
Anyways, upon finding out Zhong Er’s connection to Mei Niang’s attempted assassination, she personally rewarded him with a poisonous cup of wine.
So during this scene where the Emperor is holding Mei Niang, they have a conversation about Mei Niang being afraid of getting old, and feeling like a wilted flower. She gave you her best, Li Zhi!!! Li Zhi tells her that he appreciates all that she’s done for him, and that she’s the only one for him (but if only he stayed true to those words!!!). We find out that Mei Niang’s mother has died. Mei Niang’s mother is Lady of Yong (her title), and Mei Niang travels to Luo Yang to go attend the funeral. Meanwhile, she brings back Ming Yue, her niece. Historically we actually don’t know what Ming Yue’s real name is, because they all adopt very royal names, and we can only confirm that her name is Helan Ming something. We don’t even know Mei Niang’s real name is Ru Yi, this was all made up by the producers. All we know from history is that her mother, Wu Shun (Lady of Han) was absolutely an gorgeous aristocrat that could enter the palace freely, and Ming Yue was equally (if not more) beautiful and stunning. Apparently it runs in the Wu family.
So when we first introduce Ming Yue, all the men in the room oogle at her. Psh. MEN. #UNIMPRESSED
I have to admit, she is pretty. But I just can’t bring myself to like homewreckers!!! Even though she’s technically not… since concubines were normal back then… But still. So Mei Niang treats Ming Yue like a daughter (trust misplaced in the wrong person obviously!) and arranges that she takes care of the Emperor himself as Mei Niang takes care of political matters, as the Emperor deals with feng chi.
ANYWAYS… Turns out Li Hong has a wife. Really?! He looks like he’s 15 years old. It’s so gross and unfathomable to me because, when you’re married, I expect couples to consummate their marriage… It’s hard to just even consider that a 15 year old got laid. Plus, earlier on in the episode (that I didn’t make a screencap for), Li Hong was pretty much asking Ming Yue out (and saying that he wanted her to be tai zi fei, meaning Crown Prince wife). He was acting so awkward and childish, like a young awkward teenager, that it was so hard to believe that he had a wife. Plus, when he asked Ming Yue to be his tai zi fei, I didn’t realize that he meant to replace his existing one!!! What a brat. While professing his love for Ming Yue, Ming Yue lies and tells him that Empress Wu forced her to come back, to make her a concubine of the Emperor, to strengthen her power within the courts.
Anyways. Li Hong’s wife is used by the chancellors to tell Li Hong that his half sisters are still alive. They wanted to use this piece of information as well as Ming Yue’s claims to make him hate the Empress.
So during chao ting, the unfilial son raised the issue, and questioned the Empress’ ability to both be politically involved while taking care of the the hou ting, the royal familial matters. This is so disrespectful, and she obviously gets mad. I’m mad for her. How can a Prince so easily become swayed by rumours and other people against his own mother? He’s just merely being used for political purposes.
This is one of the first times I noticed a repeat in outfit since the drama has started!!!
She sometimes has the same hairstyle, but I’ve never noticed her wearing the same outfit plus headdress since the start of the Empress reign. Anyways she teaches Li Hong a life lesson – she really is portrayed as a good mother within the drama. She tells him that she appreciates that he has a kind heart to want to protect his sisters, and that she is proud of his bravery of standing up to him in front of everybody. What he lacks is empathy for his mom and the ability to discern from other people’s gossip and rumours to sway him.
She hoped that during the festival later on that night, the prince and her could show everyone else that their relationship wasn’t affected. Li Hong also finds out that the Empress did not force Ming Yue to come back to the palace, and that the Empress saw her as her daughter, not a potential concubine to gain power. Upon confronting Ming Yue, she reveals that she’s back to seek revenge upon the Empress because she believes that the Empress was the cause of her mother’s death. Li Hong, being so incredibly dumb, keeps this secret for her, because he wants to investigate whether the Empress actually did kill her mother, and he wanted to protect Ming Yue. I guess it pays off to be a pretty girl.
During the festival, the Emperor and the Empress had a very sweet ‘old-married’ couple moment, where he wished for the Crown Prince to quickly become Emperor, so he could ‘retire’ and spend time with his Empress. SO CUTE.
In this very sweet moment, Li Hong takes the drink and downs it… And immediately starts dying! It’s is hinted that Ming Yue was the culprit, because he looks at her last, and wanted to say her name.
The producers are really into this ‘bleeding from all crevices poisoned-look’ because it’s happened numerous times in the drama (starting with Zheng Wan Yan). It was a really sad scene where everyone is in shock, and the Empress is just sobbing, holding her son. In history, they said that she poisoned him since he was questioning her power, but the drama has made it into a way that it’s really not her fault, and that it was someone else that killed him. I mean, out of all the deaths that Wu ZeTian is responsible for, the producers have found a way to pin it on someone else to still portray her as a good person, where her actions are justified, not the blood-thirsty person that she’s made out to be. I don’t really think that this is believable though (even though it’d be nice). I mean, to get as powerful as she did, you have to be ruthless, especially in the royal palace.
I hate Ming Yue: Episode 93 Trailer
Now according to history, after Ming Yue enters the palace, she gets the royal title of Lady of Wei. The Emperor even considers keeping her in the palace as a concubine except that she gets (allegedly) poisoned by Empress Wu, and this is pinned on Empress Wu’s stepbrothers. Now I don’t know what will happen because the drama really deviates from history (her stepbrothers aren’t even in the drama at this point) but in the trailer there’s a whole confrontation between Mei Niang and Ming Yue. There are also a few chummy scenes between her and the Emperor and I am so unimpressed.
How could you?! After all Mei Niang’s done for you! This girl could be your daughter! She’s related to you for god’s sake!!! What concerns me is that her hairstyle changes – that usually happens when you know, you get favoured by the Emperor, so I’m afraid that’ll happen in the next few episodes. She is poisoned in the trailer from the bracelets that Mei Niang had given her, and the Emperor suspects Mei Niang (but she could’ve poisoned herself to frame Mei Niang, who knows?!).
HOW COULD YOU, LI ZHI?! How can you fall for such an evil child?! The one that poisoned your own son?! Especially when I see Ming Yue and those awful bangs, all I can think of are dumb kid bangs.
The resemblance is uncanny.