Legend of the Condor Heroes 2008 (射雕英雄传) Part 1
Posted July 14, 2008on:
Part 1 (Also see Part 2)
Normally I hate violent dramas. I still do and this drama is probably 60% extraneous fight scenes. Even as I’m skipping through the episodes like crazy, I’m still absolutely addicted. (Now you know my secret to finishing dramas in a couple days!) Ariel Lin makes the most adorable beggar I’ve seen. She’s the main reason why I notice such a violent drama. Also, the name 射雕英雄传 (Legend of the Condor Heroes) is no stranger amongst the Chinese because of the success of the books that this drama is based and named.
Lastly, the main character Guo Jing (played by Hu Ge) is very lovable – the epitome of a stupid but courageous good guy. He tends to be very lucky in bad situations too. He’s basically a character that you never need to worry about dying in the numerous violent scenes in each episode. Basically all the people he cares about will probably die one by one before he gets anywhere near injured. Maybe I speak too early since I’ve barely started the drama. There’s 26 episodes that’s in part 1 and who know how many in part 2. [Updated 07/19/08: There are 50 episodes total released in 2 parts.] Totally recommend this drama. I should really post some other good Chinese dramas since there’s aren’t that many compared to J, K, Tw.
Where to Watch?
RAW Episode 1 – 26 http://www.0411vcd.com/movieinfo/?MovieId=2124
RAW Episode 1 – 26 http://wjxh.5d6d.com/thread-106-1-1.html Updated 07/19/08
RAW Youtube Channel: Pantinlu Updated 07/24/08
Watch the Trailer for Legend of the Condor Heroes 2008
Click here for Part 2
When their husbands were killed by the Song army, the two pregnant women found safe haven in foreign lands. Li Ping gave birth to Guo Jing, a sturdy but blockheaded young man who roamed the Mongolian prairie with the family of Temujin. Bao Xi Rou gave birth to Yang Kang, a smart and crafty young man who became the son of Wanyan Hong Lie and a successor of the Jin empire. When the truth behind their fathers’ deaths were reveals, one found kungfu enlightenment and a cause greater than his own, and another descended into darkness and destroyed everything and everyone around him.
The Main Cast (because for these drama, the cast list usually runs into the hundreds)
Hu Ge / 胡歌 as Guo Jing
Ariel Lin / 林依晨 as Huang Rong
Yuan Hong / 袁弘 as Yang Kang
Liu Shi Shi as Mu Nian Ci
Watch the Trailer for Legend of the Condor Heroes 2008
Detailed Plot (of the Book) Spoilers!
Certain characters and their personalities, especially that of Yang Kang, have been altered for the 2008 production of LOCH.The following summary of the original novel by Jin Yong is from Wikipedia.
The story was set in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and at the beginning of the Nuzhen (Jurchen 女真) Invasion of northern China. The first part of the novel revolved around the friendship of two young village men, Yang Tiexin (楊鐵心) and Guo Xiaotian (郭嘯天) who became heroes in their own right as they fought the invading Jin soldiers. The bond between the two was so deep that they swore to each other their unborn children would become either sworn brothers or sisters (if both were of same gender) or be married (if they were of different genders).
The story focuses on the trials and tribulations of their sons following Guo Xiaotian’s murder and Yang Tiexin’s disappearance. Guo Jing (郭靖), Guo Xiaotian’s son, grew up in Mongolia, under the protection of Genghis Khan. Yang Kang (楊康), on the other hand, grew up as a prince’s son in the Jin Empire.
Yang Tiexin(楊鐵心) and Guo Xiaotian (郭嘯天) were neighbors and sworn brothers. One day they meet the Taoist priest Qiu Chuji (丘處機) and invited him in from the cold to share some drinks together. During this visit, Qiu Chuji was pursued by some men whom Qiu quickly dispatched. Qiu Chuji striked up a fast friendship with the two young men and presented each with a dagger and promised to return to teach their sons martial arts.
Later that evening Yang Tiexin’s (楊鐵心) wife Bao Xiruo (包惜弱) goes to hide what she thought was a corpse from the episode with Qiu. To her surprise the person was still alive. He claimed to be a person on business when he was struck by an arrow. Bao treated his wounds and he disappeared in the morning. She did not tell Yang Tiexin about this man.
Winter passed and Bao Xiruo (包惜弱) was now quite advanced in her pregnancy. One evening, Song soldiers led by Duan Tiande (段天德) arrived to arrest Yang and Guo as traitors. Yang Tiexin and Guo Xiaotian resist but they were overmatched. Guo Xiaotian was killed but Yang Tiexin disappeared and was presumed dead. Bao Xiruo (包惜弱) was captured by the Song troops but was rescued by the same man Bao Xiruo rescued earlier (from the evening with Qiu). He turned out to be Wanyan Honglie ((完顏洪烈), the sixth prince of Jin. Due to her pregnancy, Bao Xiruo decided to stay with Wanyan Honglie.
Guo Xiaotian’s also pregnant wife Li Ping (李萍) was captured by Duan Tiande but was pursued by Qiu Chuji. Duan Tiande took refuge at the Cloud Pavilion Temple and was protected by his uncle, Kumu the Monk. The Monk summoned the Jiangnan Qi Guai (Seven Freaks) (江南七怪) to fight with Qiu Chuji. Qiu Chuji and the Seven Freaks injured each other gravely in a battle and Duan escapes taking Li Ping with him. Qiu (丘處機) and the Seven Freaks (江南七怪) decide to settle their differences in a competition devised by Qiu. Qiu would track down Yang’s unborn son and teach him his martial arts. The Seven Freaks would do likewise with Guo’s unborn. After eighteen years when the children are grown, they would compete against each other as a competition between Qiu and the Seven Freaks.
Li Ping eventually escaped Duan Tiande and gave birth to Guo Jing (郭靖). She and the infant Guo Jing were taken in by Mongolian nomads. While still a little boy growing up in Mongolia, Guo Jing saved a prominent Mongolian general, Jebe (哲別) from Genghis Khan. This event led to his subsequent tutelage under Jebe and his closeness with the Khan and his family. His childhood friend was Genghis’ son, Tolui (拖雷) and daughter, Hua Zheng (華箏). Under Genghis Khan’s patronage, Guo Jing would become one of his most trusted general and Hua Zheng’s fiance, earning the title “Golden Knife Son-in-law”. Later, Guo Jing became a disciple of Ke Zhen’e (柯鎮惡) and the rest of the Jiangnan Qi Guai.
Bao Xiruo gave birth to a boy, Yang Kang（楊康). Yang Kang, on the other hand, grew up in luxury and great comfort in the royal court of Jin. His stepfather, Wanyan Honglie was infatuated with Bao Xiruo and his love was also transferred to her son. Qiu Chuji subsequently managed to track down Bao Xiruo and Yang Kang and became Yang Kang’s teacher and taught him the martial arts of Quan Zhen Sect (全真教).
Even though Qiu Chuji was a noble patriot, his tutelage of Yang Kang was driven by his selfish motivation to win the competition with the Seven Freaks. Kang grew up with decent martial arts skills but was a master at manipulation. Throughout the story, Yang Kang was constantly in conflict, having to choose between relationship with his loving stepfather Wanyan Honglie (who indulged him with wealth and luxury) and his patriotism toward fellow Han Chinese. Ultimately, he would choose to remain loyal to Wanyan Honglie, and become one of the most empathetic antagonists in the entire trilogy (The Return of the Condor Heroes and The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber).
The Seven Freaks searched for six years for Guo Jing. Eventually, they stumble upon the six year old Guo Jing and were quite disappointed at his lack of intelligence. Nonetheless, they arrange to meet him at midnight to begin his tutelage. That Evening the Seven Freaks accidentally stumble upon the practice grounds of Mei Chaofeng (梅超風) “The Iron Zombie” (鐵屍) where she was practicing Nine Yin White Bone Claw (九陰白骨爪) on a human sacrifice. She was responsible for blinding Ke Zhen’e and murdering his older brother many years earlier. The Seven Freaks knew they wouldn’t be able to defeat both Copper Zombie(銅屍), her husband, and Iron Zombie (鐵屍) together so they decided to attack Mei Chaofeng while she was alone. The Seven Freaks were not able to penetrate her “Iron” body training but did succeed in blinding her with Ke Zhen’e’s poison darts. Mei Chaofeng summoned her husband, Chen Xuanfeng (陳玄風) “The Copper Zombie,” (銅屍) for help. Chen Xuanfeng (陳玄風) struck Zhang AhSheng, (Fifth Brother of the Seven Freaks) with a lethal hit with his Heart-Destroying Palm (摧心掌). Chen Xuanfeng grabbed a hold of little Guo Jing who was there to meet the Seven Freaks. During the battle with the freaks Chen Xuanfeng had used a technique to make his body invincible to the attacks of the Seven Freaks but this left a nodal location vulnerable at his navel. The frightened Guo Jing instinctively took out his little dagger and stabbed Chen Xuanfeng in the navel and thus killed him. Zhang AhSheng died from the strikes he received from Chen Xuanfeng (陳玄風).
Mei Chaofeng, who was blinded in that battle, swore to avenge her husband. Unable to recognize Guo Jing by sight, her only clue was the dagger and name on it: Yang Kang. When she tracked down her quarry, her subsequent attacks on Yang Kang led her to realize that she had the wrong boy. She subsequently became a master to Kang. Yang arranged the human sacrifices Mei needed to perfect her Bone Claw, and in exchange she taught him the basics of that technique. Despite the self-serving nature of each, they eventually developed a strong teacher-disciple bond over the years. All of this, was done without Qiu Chuji’s and Kang’s parents’ knowledge, showing a glimpse of Yang’s ability to deceive and willingness to break with tradition.
As the time neared for the duel, the Jiangnan Qi Guai sent Guo Jing on a journey to Song Country. In his wanderings, he met an impish young girl named Huang Rong. Guo Jing befriended her instantly, while Huang Rong was impressed by his open and honest nature. When it was revealed that she was the daughter of the eccentric (and oft reviled) martial arts master and Lord of Peach Blossom Island Huang Yaoshi, Guo Jing still stood by her.
 The Contest for a Spouse
Unknown to his family, Yang Tiexin actually survived Wanyan Honglie’s massacre and was now traveling through the lands disguised as a martial arts performer by the name of Mu Yi (穆易). His adopted daughter, Mu Nianci (穆念慈), accompanied him. It was during one of their travels through Jin country that Mu Yi first met Guo Jing and his son (although he did not know it yet), Yang Kang (who was called Wanyan Kang, 完顏康, at that time).
Mu Yi wanted to marry his daughter off to whoever could defeat her in a martial arts contest. Yang Kang came upon the contest and decided to join, easily defeating Mu Nianci who was smitten by the handsome prince. However, he refused to marry her, taking her shoe with him as a souvenir. Guo Jing fought with Yang Kang to retrieve the shoe and the girl’s honour. The result was the first explosive fight scene between the two.
The fight ended after Yang Kang’s mother came to the scene, but Yang Kang still refused to return the shoe to Mu Nianci. Mu Yi immediately recognized Yang Kang’s mother, his own wife, but did not reveal his identity.
Later, Yang Kang captured Mu Nianci and her father, whom he had accidentally hurt during the fight with Guo Jing. Bao Xiruo came to free them both, and Mu Yi went to visit her later that night to reveal his true identity to her. Yang Kang ran into them and his mother told him that Yang Tiexin was his true father, but he refused to believe it. It would crush the romantic feelings he was developing for Mu Nianci.
Wanyan Honglie found out about this meeting and Bao Xiruo’s plan to flee with her old husband and chased them down with his army. He knelt in front of her and begged her to stay, but she refused. She wanted Yang Kang, who was making progress on accepting his true father, to come with them, but he stayed with his stepfather and both Yang Tiexin and Bao Xiruo committed suicide, as they had no hope of escaping the capital of Jin alive. By following the man who is an enemy of his own country and the one who caused the death of his own mother, Yang Kang was then branded a traitor and reviled by even Qiu Chuji. Qiu Chuji admitted defeat to the Seven Freaks even though Yang Kang was superior to Guo Jing but of far inferior character.
Following the death of Yang Kang’s parents, Huang Rong wanted Guo Jing to follow her and see the rest of the world. With his teachers’ tacit approval, Guo Jing followed Huang Rong out into the world.
Huang Rong and Guo Jing wandered the land, viewing sceneries and enjoying themselves. Guo Jing and Huang Rong then met the Northern Beggar Hong Qigong, leader of the Beggars’ Sect and one of the Five Greats. Huang Rong recognized Hong Qigong and convinced him to teach the 18 Dragon Subduing Palms to Guo Jing, by exchanging one style of the skill with one day of good food, cooked by Huang Rong. Being a culinary connoisseur, he agreed and taught Guo Jing 15 of the 18 Dragon Subduing Palms. Huang Rong and Guo Jing then went on to Lake Tai, met up with the 6 remaining freaks again, and exposed a false Qiu Qianren. Wanyan Kang was captured by the people at Lake Tai, and Mei Chaofeng appeared. She fought with Guo Jing, but the fight was ultimately interrupted by Huang Yaoshi, who was looking for Huang Rong. He did not like Guo Jing. Huang Yaoshi – a master of all, with no regard to rules and traditions – cannot accept the fact that his daughter would fall for the dim-witted, plain-looking Guo Jing. Also, he wanted to kill Guo Jing for the death of Mei Chaofeng’s husband but he was too proud to lower himself and fight Guo Jing. Guo Jing promised to meet him on his island in one month’s time, to prevent dragging the 6 Freaks into a fight with Huang Yaoshi.
Guo Jing and Wanyan Kang talked to Duan Tiande, who was captured along with Wanyan Kang, and found out the truth behind their parent’s deaths, – Wanyan Honglie’s plot. Duan Tiande was then killed by Wanyan Kang. They then headed off to kill Wanyan Honglie but they never did. Wanyan Kang called himself Yang Kang in front of Guo Jing but he had no intention to kill off Wanyan Honglie. During their travels, Huang Rong and Guo Jing saved a girl from Ouyang Ke. During the fight, Hong Qigong appeared and officially took the couple as his disciples. Guo Jing learnt the remaining 3 stances of the Dragon Subduing Palms. Later, Guo Jing, Huang Rong, and Yang Kang found Wanyan Honglie, but Yang Kang decided to be loyal to his adopted father, and Wanyan Honglie was able to secretly escape. Almost a month passed. Guo Jing and Huang Rong headed to Peach Blossom Island.
When they arrived at the island, Huang Rong and Guo Jing separated. She wanted to try to assuage her father’s anger towards Guo Jing first. Guo Jing wandered around and found Zhou Botong, martial brother of the Wang Chongyang (one of the Five Great Martial Artist), living in a cave on Peach Blossom Island. Zhou Botong told Guo Jing of the origin of “The Five Greats” phrase (‘Dong Xie Xi Du Nan Di Bei Gai Zhong Shen Tong’ or 東邪 西毒 南帝 北丐 中神通), the Nine Yin Manual, and the relationships between him, Huang Yaoshi, Ouyang Feng, and Wang Chongyang. Later, he convinced Guo Jing to become his sworn brother despite their age difference.
Zhou Butong was trapped in the cave by Huang Yaoshi who blamed him for the death of his wife, Feng Heng and wanted to take the Nine Yin Manual from Zhou Botong’s possession who refused due to the promise with Wang Chongyang. Zhou Botong, with his playfulness and infatuation for martial arts, had learnt to separate his mind so that he could have his left hand fight his right alone in the cave.
Zhou Botong wanted Guo Jing to fight with him so it can be a four man fight. He also taught Guo Jing the Vacant Fist style, how to fight as two different people by separating his mind, and tricked him into memorizing the entire Nine Yin Manual (which Guo Jing unknowingly obtained from Mei Chaofeng.)
Guo Jing received a note from Huang Rong saying Ouyang Ke (Ouyang Feng’s and his brother’s wife’s son) was betrothed to her by her father and is coming to visit with Ouyang Feng. Guo Jing found his way there to interrupt their meeting. Hong Qigong appeared to try to betroth Huang Rong to Guo Jing. Huang Yaoshi decided to have a contest between Ouyang Ke and Guo Jing to decide things.