Finally, a drama that has lived up to expectations. Nirvana in Fire will not disappoint. This is well on its way to becoming my number one drama of the year. As a side note, it was Hu Ge’s 33rd birthday on Sept. 20th so happy birthday to Hu Ge! He also currently has another ongoing drama called The Disguiser playing on Hunan TV right now if anyone’s interested. Although, I highly recommend Nirvana in Fire. So without any further ado:
Episode 1 Recap
Right away after the opening scene, we arrive at a battle scene. People are dying, blood is everywhere, and the world is going up in flames. A young general named Lin Shu falls off a cliff after his father tells him to, “live on,” and lets go of his hand.
In the next scene we find out that the battle scene that just occurred was the dream of our mystery person, who happens to be clutching a bangle with the same surname “Lin” as was displayed on the flag at the battle scene. Any guesses as to who our mystery person may be?
We get a glimpse of his face at last. It’s Mei Changsu (Hu Ge) and if you’ve read my character guide, you’ll know his connection to that “Lin” surname.
In the next scene, a messenger pigeon flies to a remote mountain and there disposes a message informing us that Bei Yan’s 6th prince has become the crown prince. The mysterious Lang Ya Hall has made its appearance. The young master of the Lang Ya Hall murmurs to himself that “he” has really succeeded. The messenger who delivers this information asks the young master if the Lang Ya Hall should send this information to the capital. Lin Chen (Jin Dong), replies that there is no need.
Meanwhile, 5th Prince 0f Yu (Huang Wei De)has made his appearance. He asks about the 6th prince of Bei Yan and is told that he had received a “Qilin” genius. Prince Yu concludes that he must go to the Lang Ya Hall to find out who this person is.
Just then, an assassin appears. He is quickly disposed of, and we learn that the crown prince (Gao Xi) sent him.
The Prince of Yu visits the Lang Ya Hall and receives the identity of the “Qilin” genius, meanwhile the crown prince who has been monitoring Prince Yu’s movements, also receives an identical note from the Lang Ya Hall which was brought to him by Xie Yu, the Ning Guo Marquis (Liu Yi Jun). Both princes decide that they must get this genius on their side.
Next, we see some serfs from Duke Qin’s (Prince Yu’s faction) estate running away from their pursuers, led by a wandering hero, .
The Jiangzuo Alliance’s Mei Changsu finally appears, and surprise, surprise, he is the mystery person we saw in the first scene. Anyways, Mei Changsu threatens the hired assassins, forcing them to withdraw from the Jiangzuo 14 states and back out of the jianghu until spring arrives.
Meanwhile, the shot pans over to two young men, Yan Yujin (left) and Xiao Jingrui. They are here in Langzhuo to invite Mei Changsu to Jinling to recuperate.
While the two are walking, a group of armed riders pass them on the street. Yan Yujin asks Xiao Jingrui if they are from the country of Da Yu, to which Xiao Jingrui replies that, yes they are. Jingrui then proceeds to say that since the battle at the Meilin (plum orchard) 12 years ago, their country has never had much contact with Da Yu, so why have these calvary appeared?
The screen then turns back to Mei Changsu and Lin Chen, who is taking Mei Changsu’s pulse. Lin Chen asks him if he’s sure that he wants to go back to Jinling. Changsu replies that he wants to go back and finish his unaccomplished dream while his body can still work for him. Changsu asks for another two years, Lin Chen is unable to persuade him and leaves him with a bottle of medication, reminding him to call him when he runs out.
Mei Changsu travels back to Jinling accompanied by Xiao Jingrui and Yan Yujin. Outside the city gates, they meet Princess Nihuang, and proceed in a spar with her as Mei Changsu watches from his carriage.
Xiao Jingrui brings Mei Changsu to his home, the Marquis of Ning Guo’s estate. Xie Yu, the marquis, is discussing business with our wandering hero! It turns out the whole serf running away thing was plot by the crown prince to get rid of the Qing Guo Duke, who is part of Prince Yu’s faction.
Meanwhile in the palace, the Emperor is conversing with Princess Nihuang about hosting a competition to select a husband for her. Nihuang agrees to this process but requires that the champion must be able to win her before she will marry him. The Emperor complies with her request.
At this point in time, an eunuch announces the arrival of a female official, in charge of the investigation bureau. This official, Xia Dong, converses with the Emperor who will be sending her on an investigation.
It turns out that Xia Dong knows Princess Nihuang from the military. She congratulates her on her soon to come marriage. Princess Nihuang replies that Xia Dong can never forget her engagement with the traitorous Lin clan until she marries; thus Xia Dong can never treat her as a true friend. Xia Dong then replies that her husband died at Meilin under the General Lin’s command, she can never forget this hatred. Xiao Dong then replies that no matter what, Princess Nihuang should get married as she is no longer young.
Princess Nihuang responds by saying that the Emperor has his own calculations. Even if she does not get married, she may not be able to return back to Yunnan.
And there you have it! The first episode of Nirvana in Fire. It truly is such a well produced drama. There are so many tiny details that will exemplify the care paid to this drama. Of course we must thank Hai Yan for writing the book in the first place.
Unfortunately, my recaps can not get more detailed than this as I have been extraordinarily busy with real life issues these days. I actually just got back from China (along with a copy of the Nirvana in Fire book. Based on that version, this drama is extremely faithful in its reproduction).
My main goal is to provide non-Mandarin speakers the opportunity to appreciate this beautiful drama. It takes an insane amount of time to actually recap these episodes. So please forgive me for spelling/grammar mistakes as I haven’t even had the chance to edit anything. I will not be able to keep up with the drama in real time, so don’t expect to much. I will do my best!
Anyone who wishes to watch Nirvana in Fire raw can find it on youtube by searching 琅琊榜. Viki does have a fan channel, but the first episode has been subbed for 2%.
I hope I see you next episode, until next time!!! (btw the real action starts in episodes 3-4, if you found this episode boring, hang out for a bit; don’t miss this jewel!)