5 Reasons to check out the Chinese drama Tribes & Empires: Storm of Prophecy

If you have not already started Tribes & Empires than do so ASAP…. or as soon as you are done reading this post. I can’t express how much I am loving this show and it has set the bar at an all-new high. So join me as I attempt to express my love through the top 5 reasons you should be watching Tribes and Empires: Storm of Prophecy

There are actually infinite reasons as to why everyone should be watching this drama.  However, since I do need to get back to watching today’s episodes I will limit myself to only 5.  Just keep in mind there are many many more…

#5 Intricate Politicking

Episode 1 introduces us to  Novoland.  A world which has been split between nine different kingdoms after a historic great war.  However, a series of prophecies have begun predicting that various new leaders would arise and cause great war.  Not only that but the arrival of these changes were already causing everything to be out of sync which in turn causes famines.

So begins the journey of these future leaders. So far, we don’t know which friendships will become epic bromances or enemies. I for one, am enjoying the mystery. I suspect that we will have three men: an orphaned prince of the prairies who is the last of his slaughtered tribe, a deserted son of a general who is prophesied to be a future emperor, and the half human, half faerie 6th Prince who is shunned at court for his heritage.  These men are the  main focus in the future, but so far they are currently pawns to those in power.

Since we are at the beginning of a very long story (75 episodes) it is early days to know all the factions. Especially since there are literally a truckload of characters being introduced. So I will just share three that have really stood out in the first six episodes. With no specific details, since you need to experience them as the story unfolds…

  • Empress Nanku – This is a woman who is very aware of her place of power as well as where her husband’s affection lies.  Small spoiler, it is not with his wife.  She uses her authority to get revenge of those who have wronged her and is not against killing people to keep her pride intact.
  • The Emperor -Now this is what you want in an Emperor.   Sure he has that extreme ruthless streak that is the standard Chinese Emperor personality.  But where normally we often have an out of touch with reality type of king, this one is savvy to everything and everyone around him .  Instead of letting his anger rule his actions he waits and watches until someone becomes a threat to his power and then he strikes.
  • General Muru- Out of loyalty to the throne General Muru casts out his third son when it is prophesied that he will overthrow the current ruling family.  He takes it a step further when the third son’s existence comes to light and asks his abandoned son to die for the good of the country.  While I would usually be really annoyed with these kind of actions, there is something so engaging about the man’s love for both his family and country.  I am looking forward to seeing what his character does in the future.

#4 Talented Actors

You know you have a good drama when even side characters with limited story arcs can bring you close to tears.  There have been multiple scenes that have wowed me with the beauty of the acting.  You will experience this quality within the first episode as you meet the prairie tribe.  Rather than try to wow you with botoxed or CGIed perfection (thinking of you Princess Agents) this director uses a person’s natural looks to create strength and depth.  Sure, he might do it with amazing lighting skills and distract with larger than life scenery, but the strong acting basics are present in every character big and small.

#3 Fated Connections

If you hadn’t already guessed from previous comments in this post.  Fate is a HUGE part of this drama.  Everything revolves around what the stars have declared will happen.  Everything from who will be the next Empress, to the fact that Han Jiang is fated to overthrow the current monarchy, even which ladies in waiting can enter into the court, is decided by the heavens.  I especially am enjoying how people just accept that no matter what, this is what is going to happen.  It is different from the shows where everyone is trying to murder everyone to change prophecies…. although there is still plenty of time for that to come into play.

I am absolutely in LOVE with the friendship that is developing between the three boys.  I really like the fact that all three are essentially outcasts and alone (despite their different lifestyles) but remain strong and resolute in what they want.  I don’t want to ruin plot points but will just say that I can’t wait to see where these fated relationships go in the future.

#2 It’s All in the Styling

I think the following photos speak for themselves. The wardrobe and styling in this drama are on a whole different level than your usual C-drama. Every little detail is thought out to create the right vibe for the various characters. I don’t even want to know how much money was invested towards this endeavor.

#1 Cinematography

Talking about spending some serious money…….can we discuss how much all the location shots must have cost in the first two episodes? I would say that even if you don’t watch the whole drama because it is “not your thing” you should check out these episodes for the visual feast alone.

It gives us a glimpse into a China that we rarely see. How often do we actually see the landscape in a drama? Sure we might see a grassy area or your token bamboo grove where a sword fight occurs but that could easily be 15 minutes outside of the city. Heck, the bamboo grove might be in a local park and the paved parking lot could be 20 steps away.  In Tribes and Empires, we see locations that seem untouched by the influence of man. I would even compare them to the mountain scenes in the Lord of the Ring series. Who knew that the mountains in China could equal the beauty of New Zealand. It really makes me want to go take a trip to rural China.

But, it is not just the amazing scenery that makes this drama a step above everything else when it comes to cinematography. The sets, costumes, lighting, acting, and everything in between creates a visual event that is overwhelming with its beauty.

So now you know exactly why you should be watching Tribes and Empires. If you are still not convinced, just think of how much fun it would be to chat about it with the rest of us. I know that half the fun for me is texting Kdrama Jen in the middle of the night that such and such character just did something awesome. It is one of those shows that is going to bring us closer as a drama community.


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

7 thoughts on “5 Reasons to check out the Chinese drama Tribes & Empires: Storm of Prophecy

  1. This drama really is a feast for the eyes and overwhelming at times. I can see this much effort put into a movie, but at a whopping 70 something episodes, it’s insane. Even though we get 2 episodes per weekday which is plenty, it still feels like an eternity of waiting until the next day comes. Story pulls you in from the start and gets better and better, I can’t wait until they all grow up. I really feel like costuming, cinematography, etc. has set the bar so high that I won’t want to watch anything afterwards for a while. I believe the budget was around 40-50 million USD which was a lot at the time it was filmed, but even after watching Win the World trailer which supposedly cost over 70 million USD, it still cannot compare to how breathtaking and high quality this is. They filmed in some seriously harsh conditions if you watch the bts videos, I am so thankful they went through so much just to give us as realistic of a backdrop to this epic story. I am loving every minute of watching this and hope word spreads so more people can be exposed to this amazing drama.

  2. yes, yes, yes! i’ve been raving about this drama so much and you’ve pretty much hit all the reasons why:) I’m not as caught up as I hope to be just because I don’t want to rush watching and there are already 30 episodes out as we speak.

  3. I was initially attracted to this drama by #1 and #2 reason. It’s so rare to see an epic fantasy Chinese drama that doesn’t look like a copy and paste from GOT or LOR. For that alone, I give it two thumbs up. Then I started watching… And OMG, the teen actors (or younger version of the main characters) really sold the story. The 6th prince tugged my heartstring with his understated loneliness and resignation. I wanted to give him a tight hug and tell him that his father loves him very much… Which is the exactly opposite of what I would tell Hanjiang. How could his father ask him to commit suicide?! I almost cried for him out of frustration. But at the same time, I was proud of him for his resolution. He was indeed his father’s son: For country and honor! As for Heye, he was the luckiest and the most unfortunately of the three. He was well loved by his parents, even though his father chained him and lashed him, making his loss more acute than the other two. But he replaced that emptiness with a purpose. There is a fire in his eyes.

  4. The cinematography is truly on another level here in this drama, and combined with the production values, it is a visual feast. The visual beauty is stunning and at times overwhelming. I hope that the storytelling can stay solid throughout the entire run of the drama.

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