Asian Drama Fever

Legend of Condor Heroes: Final Thoughts

Posted on: July 24, 2008

Now that I’ve finished all 50 episodes and am at a lack things to do, I’ve decided to write down some of my reflections on the 2008 version of LOCH. Let me know if you agree or disagree!

The Plot & the 2008 Version

The original plot of the book is worshiped by generations of readers of Wu Xia novels. The new version has a couple of twists to keep everyone interested. Also, the 2008 production has a cast targeting a younger audience (i.e. Hu Ge and Ariel Lin). The long history of the dynasties and fueds, that cover a good deal of Jin Yong’s novel, are quickly covered in the first couple of episodes. A big ‘Thank You!’ to the director and screenwriter. Huge changes were also made for the character Yang Kang but you’ll have to scroll down to the spoilers section to read about the specifics.

As for casting for the four lead character, I have some accolades and some grievances. I really appreciate that the 2008 version has the hottest Guo Jing to date. His first appearances, mostly his hair, has the viewers (including myself) questioning the costume director. Please get that dreadful curtain of frizzed bangs away from Hu Ge’s gorgeous face! However, his lookdoes improve significantly in a couple episodes of part 2 of LOCH. He even picks up a cute unshaven look near the end.

a) Part 1 Look, b) Part 2 Look, and c) an Unshaven Guo Jing played by Hu Ge 胡歌

Ariel Lin is also probably the cutest Huang Rong. We’ve had some really gorgeous Huang Rongs in previous version of LOCH but I think Ariel Lin did a wonderful job in this adaptation. Her bouncy and mischievous personality really grabs the screen. Love the little movements and habits that Ariel used to create this character. I watched LOCH because of Ariel Lin and she doesn’t disappoint. As reported, she has lost a lot of weight for the shooting of LOCH. You can tell by looking her body but her face didn’t loose that innocent childish look. However, the way she uses her eyes and the way she moves really brings Huang Rong to life. The dubbed voice also helps since a Taiwanese accent is hardly convincing in a Wu Xia drama.

Ariel Lin 林依晨 (from Taiwan) as Huang Rong

The chemistry between Guo Jing and Huang Rong is quite convicing even though they do not kiss even once in all fifty episodes. Their relationship feels a lot more innocent compared to that between Yang Kang and Mu Nian Ci

I’m not a big fan of Yuan Hong who plays Yang Kang here. I’ve seems pictures of the actor promoting LOCH and am convinced that it’s the fault of the costumes director again. What is up with Yang Kang’s hair? It looks like he combed his super long and overgrown sideburns together with the rest of his hair into a huge ponytail at the top of his head. How did costumes manage to attach the extentions with perfect symmetry? I don’t think I can be an unbiased judge of Yuan Hong’s performance since I have a deep rooted hatred for his character. Sorry, Yang Kang but you just piss me off. Maybe Yuan Hong could have done of better job of redeeming Yang Kang for the audience. He’s really good at playing the villain but not so much for the good side of Yang Kang.

Yuan Hong 袁弘 as Yang Kang, and Liu Shi Shi 刘诗诗 as Mu Nian Ci

As for Liu Shi Shi’s performance as Mu Nian Ci. I have to say she’s inconsistant. There’s some really good momments; she plays the helpless young woman in love with a monster very well. But you can often find her with a very blank expression at very important momments when she is expected to perform. Her expression for internal struggle needs some work. Overall, I respect her character and approve of Liu Shi Shi as Mu Nian Ci.

The Supporting Cast

I think one of the main reason LOCH 2008 rocks is not only do we have a great cast for the major characters but the supporting cast is even more amazing. The variety of mainland, taiwan, and HK actors brings a broad group of viewers. I love the performances of all the older characters like Huang Yao Shi and Hong Qi Gong who are both played by Hong Kong actors. Here are some of my favorites:

from left to right: Li Jie 李解 as Ouyang Ke, Bryan Leung 梁家仁 (from Hong Kong) as Hong Qi Gong, Xu Jin Jiang 徐錦江 as Ouyang Feng, Li Yu 李彧 as Zhou Bo Tong, Anthony Wong 黃秋生 (from Hong Kong) as Huang Yao Shi, and Weng Jia Ming 翁家明 as Yang Tie Xin

A Complete List of Major Casts
(in the order they appear in the ending theme)
Guo Jing – 胡歌 Hu Ge
Huang Rong – 林依晨 Ariel Lin (Taiwan)
Yang Kang – 袁弘 Yuan Hong
Mu Nian Ci – 刘诗诗 Liu Shi Shi
Huang Yao Shi – 黃秋生 Anthony Wong (Hong Kong)
Ouyang Feng – 徐錦江 Xu Jin Jiang
Hong Qi Gong – 梁家仁 Bryan Leung (Hong Kong)
Hua Zheng – 谢娜 Xie Na
Mei Chao Feng – 孔维 Kong Wei
Ouyang Ke – 李解 Li Jie
Bao Xi Ruo – 周海媚 Kathy Chow (Hong Kong)
Yang Tie Xin – 翁家明 Weng Jia Ming (Taiwan)
Wanyan Hong Lie – 郭亮 Guo Liang
… Zhou Bo Tong – 李彧 Li Yu

A lot of the cast seems to have worked together before. Ariel and Hu Ge in Tian Wai Fei Xian which can not compare to LOCH at all. Then a lot of the older actors like Xu Jin Jiang and Guo Liang were in Chinese Paladin with Hu Ge. Also, I found Hu Ge and Xie Na in a mainland drama together. The Chinese title translates to ‘Don’t Love Me’. I skimmed the first episode. They are in modern clothing and it seems Xie Na and Hu Ge play another unrequited love relationship. Hu Ge and Yuan Hong are also in The Yong Warriors which focus on the members of the Yang clan, the same family that LOCH’s Yang Kang decends from. Weng Jia Ming and Liu Shi Shi are also in Young Warriors and play similar parts in both LOCH and YW. Weng Jia Ming is again the head of the Yang family and Liu Shi Shi, his daughter in law. Coincidence? Ironically Yuan Hong (who plays Yang Kang in LOCH) plays the villain in The Young Warriors, where as Hu Ge plays a son of the Yang clan. So if you love a certain cast member of LOCH, these are some Wu Xia shows that you can check out.

Costumes & Set

The costumes for the 2008 version are amazing compared to previous versions of LOCH. Maybe they have a bigger budget this time around. They seem to have chosen a color theme for some of the characters: pink for Nian Ci (really suits her character), yellow for Huang Rong (because of her last name?), gold for the Jing people (because Jing means gold and they are royalty?), and blue for Taoists. Guo Jing seems to wear a lot of blue also. Oh and how can I forget, white for Ouyang Ke and his female groupies. Everyone else seems to wear a mixture of earth toned fabrics that somehow twist together into wearable clothing.

As for the sets, I’m also really impressed by this production. My favorites are:
1. Taohuadao 桃花岛 (Peach Blossom Island, home of Huang Yaoshi and Huang Rong) I love the blossoms. They viberant without looking fake. Also, the hall that Huang Yaoshi greets his guests is gorgeous! The indoor pond is filled with water with a magical green tint and topped with beautiful flowers and wonderous water plants. So in my plans for my dream home, I now have an atrium with a pool just like that.
2. Mongolia. I’m so glad the crew travelled to actual Mongolia to film that part of the series. The sky and span of grassland is gorgeous even on my small computer screen. Really appreciate this! Thank you!
3. Mountains. China, you are absolutely and naturally gorgeous!
4. Buildings. All the buildings are very architecually pretty. I even adore the simpleness of Liu Jia Chuen 牛家村, the village that the Guo and Yang family lived together.

One problem I have with the set production are the scenes inside caves. Can we be a little more realistic? How likely is every natural cave going to have perfectly smooth floors? I won’t complain if they actually used real caves. But those scenes were just not realistic enough for me.

The Soundtrack

I love all the the instrumental backgroud music especially one that resembles the Pirates of the Caribbean theme. It sounds extremely heroic and I love it when they pair it with Guo Jing’s fight scenes!

The lyrical background songs come from a limited selection. The three that are most played and well reconized are…

The opening theme, Ying Xiong Mo 英雄寞 by Ronald Cheng 鄭中基 which is also played a lot during fight scenes. It showed up first in the background in episode one when the historical background is being set up by the narrator and couple more times during Guo Jing’s heroic momments. It also showed up unexpected in episode 19 when Huang Rong and Guo Jing are confessing their feelings under the bridge. Thank you for not using:

The insert song, Zhi Neng Ai Ni 我只能爱你 by 彭青. Listen here

The ending theme, Wu Yun Ran 乌云然 by Hu Ge. Listen here

Favorite Scenes

The first scene with Guo Jing. His eagle shooting stance totally makes up for his awkward Mongolian hairdo. Here the picture shows the actor Hu Ge being holstered on strings to create that shot.

I also love the the introduction of Huang Rong when she shows up in her beggar costume. Sitting on the rooftop in the rain… very cute!

*Spoilers* Huge changes were made for the character Yang Kang. He lasted a lot longer in the drama than most people would like. Perhaps this was in order to have this character redeem himself before his final scene. I do appreciate the new ending where Yang Kang galliantly steps out to face his death, showing that he has really changed. But long before *Spoilers End*

37 Responses to "Legend of Condor Heroes: Final Thoughts"

wow you did move crazy fast between dramas and movies. 50 episodes and you’ve seen them all already.

I skip around a lot 😛
But I did go back to watch some of the really good Ariel/Hu Ge scenes a second time!

i like the ost for this drama a lot. i disagree with you. Liu Shishi did really well playing Mu Nianci.

i don’t think hu ge does it well, my mum saw a picture of 2008 MNC and said she looked like a servant girl.

Yeah Hu Ge looks too much of a pretty boy for Guo Jing but his acting wasn’t bad. As for Mu Nian Ci, the clothing were kinda servant like but her acting was wonderful, I would say that she did as good as Yeung Pan Pan.

Lol. I don’t know if MNC looked liked a servant girl in the 2008 version but wouldn’t that play well with her character? She’s suppose to be submissive and foolishly in love with Yang Kang. However I do think that Hu Ge does a damn good job compared to the Guo Jing in version 2003.

Yes Hu Ge does have better acting than Faye’s Husband but the 2003 version was almost word for word from the book.

I really liked Hu Ge’s Guo Jing. Personally, Yang Kang’s a jerk, but Yuan Hong’s acting is pretty good. Mu Nianci lacked emotions. Ariel’s eye were, as you say, good. But she seemed too perfect and single-dimensioned. To be honest, she seemed like a main character from a Taiwanese idol drama rather than a wuxia drama. Ariel’s Huang Rong lacked the craziness that she should’ve inherited from her dad (the things she did were “crazy,” but Ariel didn’t really make that “craziness” part of ROng’er’s personality)

Lin, I see your point about Huang Rong. I’m slowly moving through the novel right now but since I saw the drama first, I guess I’ve already have a biased impression of the characters. I’m surprised to find how closely the 2008 version followed the book. You can find dialogs word for word in almost every scene! Like I mentioned before, they did cut a lot from the beginning of the book. Thank god!

I really really liked this version of LOCH, for me the benchmark was LOCH 1995 with Julian Cheung and Athena Chu, especially for Huang Rong’s part. But I was definitely pleasantly surprised with Ariel Lin’s performance, she def surpassed all my expectations!! She really felt like a special Huang Rong, and she displays her charm and wit so really well you can’t help but really really like her character! the chemistry between her and Hu Ge was amazing, so much so that I was constantly fast forwarding the villains’ parts so that i can enjoy their scenes more!! hahah.

and the supporting causes were simply SUPERBBBBBBBBBBBB!!!!!!!!!!! One of my favourite scenes was the first Peach Blossom set.. when you see all the veterans acting together.. the feeling is almost surreal, like watching an artshouse film, they are so convincing, they totally shore up the entire drama and made the 4 main actors shine. Liu Shi Shi has definitey improved since shao nian yang jia jiang. she was literally a robot there.

I’m quite disappointed with this 2008 series of LOCH. I feel that there are too few kung fu actions. I feel LOCH 1995 with Julian Cheung and Athena Chu is the classic.

So far, China production of Jin yong wu xia drama has not surpassed HK production in terms of Kung fu scenes.

You can’t compare the 2008 with the other versions because just Yang Kang and Ou Yang Ke’s role and characteristics were altered. Defintly 2008 version deeper in terms of emotions and psycolgical conflicts.

I think Mu nianci is really pretty. Can fight with Liu Yifei.

we love the condor heroes with my friend kate and my name is pia we love you ariel lin

I love LOCH08 so much! In particular Ariel as Huang Rong, can’t believe she’s Xiang Qin from ISWAK who is so annoyingly dumb like the female counterpart of Guo Jing. And I love Hu Ge & Ariel’s scenes together, so cute and sweet. For Yang Kang & Mu Nian Ci (Yuan Hong & Liu Shi Shi), sorry to say i forwarded 90% of them, MNC’s crying & wooden acting gets super annoying. Love Ou Yang Ke (Li Jie) more than YK!

i dont agree with above reviews i was very much dissappointed watching this version of loch2008 i love the loch 2003 more as compared to this
i agree there was too little kunfu fighting scenes ,even if i neglect that ,acting of huge was very dissapointing
frankly i have watched this series only because of ariel lin ,if one excludes out ariel lin from this series, there is nothing in this series which have to praised,huge doesnt suite as guo jing at all
i prefer li ya peng more
in short this is one of worst version of loch till now

instead of huge if they take xiog ming from “roch2006 “or song II from “legend of three han” as guo jing it might be best loch
just like roch2006 which is one of the best version of roch till date

omg you are totally right!!!! LOCH 2003 is definietly better!!! i saw the movie previews and a lot of the stuff look so fake and unrealistic unlike in LOCH 2003. the reaseon why i would actually watch this verison is because of ariel lin. but still zhou xun as huang rong and li yapeng as guo jing makes the cutest couple. the martial arts in LOCH 2003 is reallyyyyyyyyyyyy good too.

i think, Felix Wong Version is the best, but I really like Ariel Lin Charachter, she play it wonderfull.

i really have to commend you on your review. it is really so detailed. i was so impressed. i wanted to write just a short one with my views but haven’t gotten round to it yet mainly because though i have watched the full eps on veoh as well, i don’t understand chi that much so i want one with eng subs.
i too agree personally that this was better than loch 2003. both the leads here did better i felt though i don’t know about 1995 since i’ve never watched it. i watched this because of the leads too, and yes ariel did wonderful i felt. with the eyes and her dub was really good also, didn’t feel like a dub.
though this had fewer fighting scenes, but i felt the scenes were much more detailed and better than the ones before. the hands, the emotions and all, the small details were there. hu ge was wonderful too. they really did have many sweet moments. i can’t wait to see the subbed version again.

Ariel Lin & Hu Ge does the job Excellent !!
they have made the version of LOCH 2008 become awesome

Liu shi shi is good enough as Mu Nian Ce

Yuan Hong got all the cruel and antagonist face as Yang Kang…just perfect

Kathy Chow is amazing playing as Bao Xi Ruo

Bryan Leung as Hong Qi Gong this is two thumbs up !!…his acting is very good…one of my favorite cast

the rest is just wonderful

I loved Ariel Lin’s performance of Rong Er, Hu Ge’s acting is very good as well, I only watched the fighting scenes and the couples acting above, otherwise most of the series is not comparable to any other since the “action” is so fake, I mean the computer generation doesn’t even pass QC of a first gen animation made back in the 2000s.

I will continue watching Aerial Lin and Hu Ge’s movies/series as they make it interesting. I noe that Aerial has a series coming up called the love or bread but I don’t know if the guy is any good plus Taiwanese films are so silly.

Seriously I think this is the BEST Adaption. THis version goes outside of the box. THink Logically Condor Heroes Series were Jin Yong’s earlier novels at a not so developed stage. At that times his themes wre strictly based on loyalty to one’s nation. THe person who did the script is very creative. Yang Kang, Bao Shi Ruo, Yang Tie Xin, Ou Yang Ke and Wan Yan Hong Lie’s acting were outstanding. Guo Jing and Huang Rong’s acting were good but it wasn’t unique. This verson shows that Yang Kang made an effort to be a good guy, honestly if Guo Jing would have taught him Shang Long 18 palms or 9 Yin Jen Jing he wouldn’t have to be a bad guy.

still 2003 is the best ever….. 😛

I don’t know about you guys but I consider Yang Kang the most memorable character is the whole series. The adjustments made for his character was SUPERB.

Hu ge and Ariel Forever!!!

I love U so much..

Personally, I love Yuan Hong’s performance as Yang Kang. Besides being the hottest villain, he played this tortured character well. I also agree that Liu Shi Shi lacked a bit more emotional turmoil. As for Li Jie as Ou Yang Ke, his performance is just as wonderful as Yuan Hong’s. Don’t know why, but these two actors made me like the two villains even though they are evil. It is their superb acting skills since it is harder to play the bad guy who has to exhibit difficult expressions & emotions often. LOCH 2008 did well in that we see also the good sides of evil characters. I even felt pity for Ou Yang Ke in the end…

I personally think that this movie is really well made,
and that Ariel Lin was a great actress. Funny, kind and lively. As for Guo Jing, he was like a big brother to her except he falls in love with Huang Rong eventually. I really loved this movie and
recommend it to anyone who loves these type of movies


Yuan Hong was outrageously handsome as Yang Kang. He looked beautiful in those prince costumes.

Hu Ge as Guo Jing is cute, adorable, and kind but needs to improve on acting more stupid.

Ariel Lin as Huang Rong is cute and very expressive but needs to improve on acting smarter and more temperamental.

Hu Ge and Ariel Lin definitely have great chemistry. Their relationship feels so real, making the drama very interesting to watch whenever they’re on.

Yuan Hong as Yang Kang is good! I have no complaint about him, as his acting skills were superb. It seems easy for him to act like a villain. I just wished that he and Mu Nian Ci could’ve had better chemistry. They were boring couples to me.

Liu Shi Shi as Mu Nian Ci is average in acting because she lacked a lot of emotions at times and so she made the character so boring to watch. Ironically, she acted so well in her role in Chinese Paladin 3! Love her there but didn’t love her here:(

Li Jie as Ouyang Ke is good, too! His acting is so good in this role that it helps make his character very intriguing. I couldn’t believe I could like this villain, but that’s how good he was.

Overall, compared to LOCH 2003, I love LOCH 2008! LOCH 2008 is way better. 2008 has better character and story development and the casts were better to watch and the costumes and settings were all nice. Best of all was the chemistry between Guo Jing and Huang Rong… unbelievable! Too bad they are not real couples in life.

Totally agree with you for Li Jie as Ou Yang Ke. Great acting!

i like LOCH…..I LOVE ariel lin and huge

in the story of ‘the legend condor heroes’ the most characters that I like besides Huang Rong is Ouyang Ke. a charismatic, elegant, smart, clean and disciplined. he can arrange everything in a calm no need to rush. it’s just that he has not found a woman who truly loves before dying.

i love u legend of condor heroes

i love u ariel lin and hu ge

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New MP3s!

Leo Ku 古巨基: 情歌王, 年年有今日 (Feat. Beatbox X 金牌一條順)
LOCH 2008 (射雕英雄传) Soundtrack: 英雄寞, 乌云然, 我只能爱你
Look for more MP3s on the Downloads page.


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