Emperor Kangxiâ??s 9th son has been demoted with the 8th prince years ago by Emperor Yong Zhen and the story begins when 9th Prince aka Prince Yuntang comes to visit Yong Zhen at night in order to kill him in order to take revenge, but when he arrives, Yong Zhen is already dying and he leaves the palace with anger.
Yong Zhenâ??s son Hong Li is then crowned as the new emperor, according to his fatherâ??s willing and he takes the name of Qian Long. His elder brother is already dead, his second elder brother is imprisoned because he had ploted against his father with his two uncles and his younger brother is only interested in Buddhism, flowers and birds, so, everybody thinks he is the best one to be the Emperor, but he is often lectured by his mother, who doesnâ??t allow him to do what he wants in order to rule the country.
When he becomes the Emperor, the Empress Dowager gives a secret letter from her husband to an officer and the same night, a noble Han named Chen is killed by the flying guillotines of a group of assassins and his wife is saved by 9th prince, who promises her that he will take back her son Chen Jialuo to her.
Actually, 9th prince saved her on purpose because he knows that she is the real mother of Qian Long, who is a Han. As his wife had given birth to a girl, Yong Zhen had exchanged the girl with the Chens\' elder son who was born the same day and the proofs of the exchange are hidden in the Shaolin temple.
Qian Long comes to visit his elder brother and promises him that he will set him free very soon, but just after his visit, 9th prince comes and kills him because he doesnâ??t want to help him to get rid of Qian Long.
9th Prince decides to form a group of experts in martial arts and calls it the Red Flower Society and he trains them in order to restore the Hans on the throne. He visits Qian Long (who is surprised to see him, since he was supposed to be dead ten years ago) and asks him to help him to regain his title and properties.
Later, 9th Prince brings Chen Jialuo to his mother and promises her that he will consider him as his own son and he takes him to MountTianshan, where he asks Master Yuan Shixiao to instruct him. First, Jialuo is reluctant, but he finally learns a lot from his master. Before leaving Beijing, he has met Wen Tailai and his wife Lu Bing and has helped them to escape from the soldiers, and he has also saved Master Lu Feiqing, who is Li Yuanzhiâ??s teacher (she is the daughter of an officer called Li).
Among the members of the Red Flower Society (RFS), there are Wen Tailai and his wife (4th brother and 4th sister), Tian Hong (7th brother), the Taoist one-armed priest Wuchen, the hunchback Zhan Jin, The Golden Flute (14th brother), the Chang Brothers , Chunhua and Shuangying. These four latter are actually totally devoted to 9th prince and Chunhua and Shuangying (9th and 10th brothers) have been his followers for years.
When he is in Mount Tianshan, Chen Jialuo meets one of the Seven Tribes, lead by Mu Zhuolun and his daughter Huo Qingtong, and he falls in love with Qingtong, who is the disciple of The Twin Eagles of Mount Tianshan. Itâ??s a couple and the woman, Mei, was loved by Yuan Shixiao, who is always quarelling with her husband because he married the woman he loved.
Later, 9th Prince tries to take the proofs of Qian Longâ??s identity in Shaolin temple with the help of 4th brother, but he is wounded and he is supposed to be dead. He asks 4th brother to tell Chen Jialuo that he is now the new chief, but Jialuo is reluctant to do so, but his brothers insist and he has to take the charge.
While he is trying to escape the soldiers with his wife and 14th brother, 4th brother takes refuge in Master Zhouâ??s house, but this latterâ??s young son betrays them by mistake and 4th brother is imprisoned by a renegade from the WuDang sect, Zhang Zhaozhong, who is a fellow brother of Lu Feiqing and Master Ma Zhen, and the RFS tries to set him free by all means.
During one of their try, 7th brother is hurt and he is saved by Zhouâ??s daughter, Qi, who is â?? sworn brother â?? with Chen Jialuo and they fall in love.
4th sister is hurt and 14th brother takes care of her and confess that he loves her and he decides to save 4th brother even if it means the death for him. He is also imprisoned and discovers that Zhang Zhaozhong is his masterâ??s fellow brother.
Chen Jialuo meet Qian Long on his parents tomb and they make an oath to never hurt each other (but Jialuo still doesnâ??t know that Qian Long is his elder brother).
Later, the RFS finally succeed in saving 4th brother, but 14th brother is badly burnt. Liâ??s daughter Yuanzhi has fallen in love with him and she helps him, but he doesnâ??t want her because he is still in love with Lu Bing.
9th prince uses the RFS as a tool to hurt Qian Long, but they donâ??t realize that, since they donâ??t know that he is still alive.
The princess of Yue Country comes to pay tribute to Qian Long and he discovers that her bodyguard is a girl who was raised with him and 9th prince, Bu Qianjia. He asks her to come back to the palace because she understands him, but 9th prince is in love with her and he keeps her for a while in his Yongle castle. There, she discovers that actually, he plots against both Qian Long and the RFS and that he uses one of the prince of the Yue Country in order to succeed and she fights with the prince and he is killed by one the Changs brothers, who suspect Qianjia to spy on their boss. She fights with them and kills one of them and the second one badly hurts her and he is killed by 9th prince, who is totally devastated by her death.
When he was trying to save 4th brother, Chen Jialuo learns by this latter that Qian Long is a Han and that he is his elder brother.
Later, Chen Jialuo manages to kidnap the Emperor and he informs him that he knows that they are brothers and they make an oath that Qian Long will restore the Hans.
As Qian Long is as crafty as his uncle, he has finally understood that itâ??s this latter who is behind the RFS and he asks Jialuo to be careful.
Qian Long decides to allow the Han people to wear Hanâ??s clothes and he often wears this kind of clothes himself, but his mother scolds him and reminds him that when he became Emperor, he swore before his fatherâ??s funeral tablet that if he betrays the Manchus, he will be dethroned and tortured to death, so, he has to give up his decisions.
Later, though he had promised to not start a war with the Seven Tribes, Qian Long send troops there and, in order to help Qingtong, Chen Jialuo goes there and meets Qingtongâ??s younger sister, Ka Sili aka Princess Fragrance and he falls for her, though he says that he still loves Qingtong. While they go to General Zhaohuiâ??s tent (this latter is under the orders of 9th prince, who knows some of his secrets), they discover Fu Kangan, who is a bastard son of Qian Long, who looks exactly like Chen Jialuo and they have to escape because Zhang Zahozhong is also here and wants to kill Jialuo.
14th brother, who has decided to become a monk, learns by Yuanzhi (who has witnessed it) that his master has been killed by Zhang Zhaozhong and he decides to take revenge and he joins all the brothers of the RFS who are helping Jialuo and Ka Sili.
Later, Qian Long asks his brother to get the proofs of his identity from Shaolin and he lures his brother, making him believe that he wonâ??t attack again the Seven tribes.
Later, Qian Long and his uncle decide that if 9th prince takes the proofs from Chen Jialuo and destroy the RFS, then Qian Long will give him his status back and each of them is very satisfied, believing that he has cheated the other.
Finally, Qian Long gives back his status to his uncle and this latter is ordered to destroy the RFS (he has already asked Chunhua and Suangying to kill at least 3 or 4 members and they are suspected by 3rd brother and 7th brother, as well as Chen Jialuo, and they set a trap against them and they are killed by 9th prince, who believes that they have betrayed him), but when he is about to order his soldiers to kill them all, an Emperor decree is read in which it is said that the quarrel between him and the RFS is an internal quarrel and that the soldiers shouldnâ??t be involved in it and he is alone against the 7 remaining members of his RFS. He fights with them, and then with Jialuo, and he finally commits suicide, thinking of his love Bu Qianjia.
Later, Chen Jialuo learns that the Emperor has destroyed the Seven Tribes and he is so furious that he decides to speak with him once again and there, he discovers that Ka Sili is prisoned in the Palace and that Qian Long is in love with her. He decides to take her away, but Qian Long tells him that if she stays in the palace, he promises to not invade again the Seven Tribes and that he will finally help the Han and that he wonâ??t destroy the RFS and will offer to each of his members a good status. Jialuo accepts and takes Ka Sili away just to talk with her, but she decides to return to the palace in order to save her people. When she understands that Qian Long wonâ??t keep his promise, she decides to kill herself and Qian Long is devastated.
When they learn about Ka Siliâ??s death, all the remaining members of the RFS decide to follow their chief and Huo QIngtong in order to kill Qian Long, but Fu Kangan has planed to kill them all (ordered by Qian Long), but as they are clever, they donâ??t fall in the trap and they kidnap him.
Qian Long comes to meet them and he asks for his son in exchange of 14th brother and his wife. First, the RFS want to kill him, but when he says that is he dies, the Empress Dowager will press the next emperor to oppress the Han much more than under Qian Longâ??s reign, they realize that he is right and they accept the exchange and leave, after Qian Long has promised that he will do his best to instore a better equality between the Hans and the Manchus.
Of course, I didnâ??t write all the details of the plot, and maybe that what I wrote doesnâ??t follow precisely the order of the episodesâ?¦
The good point of this series is that it has English subtitles, so, it allowed me to better understand what I had seen when I had watched the TVB series from 1976. However, there are some difference between the two series. In the TVB one, there is no mention of the 9th prince and the RFS is already established , while in the 2008 series, we see how each member is chosen and that itâ??s 9th prince who was the founder of the RFS. Also, in the TVB series, there is no mention of the episode with the Yue Princess and Bu Qianjia.
As I read somewhere that the TVB series has 95 episodes and as the vcds and dvds of this series have less than 95 episodes, perhaps that actually there is no difference in the plots between the two series. Does anyone have had the luck to see the whole 95 episodes of the TVB series and can tell if the plot is exactly the same as the one of the 2008 series ?
Also, which one of the two series is the closest to the novel ?
Iâ??m not really fond of the fight scenes filmed in slow motion or with freezing images during the action scenes or with such special effects that the fights become totally unrealistic, but I still enjoyed the 2008 series, even if Adam Cheng has only two training fights and no action scenes during the 40 episodes. He portrays very well this emperor who is restrained by his mother and the Manchusâ?? rules and who is really very cunning, which has allowed him to escape his uncleâ??s plot .
However, the TVBâ??s series is my favourite one among the two series.
The actress who plays the mother is the same who played Yung Ching\'s mother in Legend of Yung Ching.
The best of Kung Fu tv series
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