I'll try to post something about the drama every day since we've got lots of promo work going on for the series' debut in July. First off, here's chapter 540 for your viewing pleasure.
Next up, Legend of Yun Xi stylized pics featuring our sizable (and female-filled) cast! I'm not kidding, Gu Qishao literally has his own harem in the dramaverse, lol. Strangely enough, a Han Yunxi graphic has yet to appear...maybe they're saving her for last? Hmm hmm~
Our Cast of Characters: [expand]
Zhang Zhehan as Long Feiye. I keep worrying he'll cut his hand on his sword, but volare editor Dray says it's just his scabbard. Pretty sharp looking for one, though...also, check out the graphics in the background. The plum blossom flowers are a symbol for perseverance and hope as well as beauty and the transitory nature of life. They represent winter in the Four Gentlemen plants. An eagle in a pine tree, on the other hand, represents a wish for strength in old age.
Mi Re as Gu Qishao. Again, his character has been combined with Jun Yixie's for the dramaverse. Hmm, I see a crane as well---longevity as well as wisdom. Then there's the random incense burner (??) and what looks like chrysanthemums (nobility, also one of the Four Gentleman plants alongside the plum blossom.) If those long pink things are supposed to be orchids, that makes GQS twice the gentleman.
Wang Youshuo as Tang Li. Pfft, look at him trying to act all scholarly. His pictures give it away though---there's a sword in the left hand corner! Meanwhile, magnolias symbolize purity and nobility (he's pretty hapless, I gotta admit) and that little bird---possibly a magpie, the harbinger of joy---is a perfect twin with his future waifu's. I can't for the life of my see what the smaller flowers are---but they resemble peach blossoms, often associated with romance. Kekek.
Hu Bing as Emperor Tianhui. I keep forgetting Tianhui's canonically 40 something. The actor also models. The large pink flowers look like peonies, fitting as they're considered the king of flowers. The small white flowers on the branch resemble pear blossoms, which represent separation. In Chinese culture, it's bad luck to split pears with your friends or lovers for this very reason. Looks like our emperor's got a rocky love life ahead.
Xu Jiaqi as Chu Qingge. She all but replaces Duanmu Yao as Princess of Western Chu and runs circles manipulating the emperor with her wiles. All for the sake of her country, of course---no crushing on LFY here, refreshingly enough. She's got peonies (fit for empresses, ah) and butterflies (for a notable beauty) as well as budding magnolias, symbols of perfect feminine beauty and 'gentleness.' In her case, that's all an act.
Shao Xuecong as Baili Mingxiang. Unfortunately, our dear, sweet Mingxiang seems to have combined with the dreaded Murong Wanru for the dramaverse. She calls LFY big brother and hates HYX for marrying into the family. Uh-oh. Mingxiang's magnolias seem to be in better bloom than CQG's, however she's also been touched with red spider lilies---a symbol of star-crossed love in Chinese culture as the flowers bloom after the leaves fall, thus insuring the two never meet. The large pink, five-petaled flower seems to resemble a hibiscus, which in some interpretations is supposed to represent a young female virgin.
Liu Guiran as Han Ruoxue. Remember HYX's little sister? Yep, this is her. And this time she's crushing on LFY...then Tang Li. Don't ask me how that happened. If that's a sparrow in the background, it's traditionally a symbol of good luck and happiness. If anyone can tell me what her flowers are, maybe I can get a meaning for them too! Not sure what the other bird on her left side might be, hmm.
Xie Leilei as Bai Su. An original female character who acts as Gu Qishao's bodyguard while being aware of his true identity as Northern Li's prince. (Remember, this is dramaverse, not novelverse!) Also crushes on her boss, most likely. Has a trusty girl sidekick who isn't shown that resembles Mu Linger thanks to her girlishness. More magnolias and peonies here, I think.
Huang Lulu as Yu Ze. Another original character, this time a courtesan that Gu Qishao saves from a brothel (or similar). Remember what I said about dramaverse GQS having enough admirers to form his own harem? Yeah...she likes him too. She's got the feminine magnolias in the foreground and what looks like clusters of cherry blossoms---female beauty, dominance, love, passion, and sometimes feminine sexuality---in the background. The dragonfly is a good luck charm!
Lin Siyi as Ning Jing. This is...not an original character! But it'll be ages before we see her in the novel. She's part of a powerful trade consortium and chases after Tang Li constantly. Crushes on him as much as she bullies him, a spunky type. May or may not be related to Ning Xiaoyao of Unruly Phoenix Xiaoyao fame, what with their ass-kicking skills and ability to walk all over their would-be husbandos. I can't for the life of me figure out hwat her flowers are, but they seem to be a rough and tumble mix that matches her personality. xD
[/expand]Other characters not shown, but confirmed (or spotted) in the drama trailers/behind-the-scenes/etc: Gu Beiyue, Long Tianmo, Chu Xifeng, Grand Concubine Yi, Tianning's Empress Dowager, Princess Changping, Bai Yanqing (JYX's master) and Lil Thing (who's actually a little boy instead of a squirrel).
I expect we'll be in for a wild ride ahead. As long as it's not all cliches, I'm game! Are you?