Chatty Recap: Novoland: Eagle Flag Ep 1-4

You know you are a total drama addict when you start watching a new Chinese drama, in this case, Novoland: Eagle Flag, and you love it so much that you decide to blog about it. Because when you find a show you love you want everyone else to love it just as much. So come join me and Kdrama Jen as we bring your all our favorite moments and shallow thoughts of ep 1-4.

Just a quick note before we start squealing over this story… We are not doing a traditional recap. Instead, we enjoy picking apart our favorite moments and characters and discussing them as if we were on the phone as we watch. So there is a good chance that we will not be going into great detail over various politicking and side characters… unless it catches our fancy of course. If there is some aspect that you want to chat about that we miss, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments and we will be happy to discuss it there.

A not so impressive introduction

We meet Asule as he is cowering with his adopted sibling and mother. His tribe is being destroyed by the Qingyang army and they are trying to escape the murdering rampage that is happening all around them. I can’t help but notice that he is by far the only male (even though I think he is supposed to be in his mid-teens) that is running.

His foster mother is murdered, and it is only when someone is about to kill/pillage his foster sister, that Asule picks up a sword and goes crazy. He cuts down a massive amount of the Qingyang soldiers until he passes out in exhaustion. It kind of reminded me of a berserker kind of situation. When the rest of the Qingyang troops come upon the passed out boy, they suddenly declare that they have found the Crown Prince. Uhm? What’s that now?

Asule had been sent to live with the tribe of his foster father who rebelled against his father the king..hence, the annihilation of his tribe. You might be wondering why he was sent away? We find out that the mystical idea of children cursed by the heavens (meteors/planet alignment/ etc) is alive and well in Qingyang. Not only that, but Asule is cursed and will only bring sorrow to his country. So when Asule survives, but his mother doesn’t, his father sends him away for safekeeping.

Kmuse: I found it very interesting that Asule, as the youngest, is the Crown Prince. It is explained that this is the Qingyang tradition but I wonder at how well this works if you have a bunch of heirs and the youngest is by far the weakest. Just the age difference alone puts them at a disadvantage so I wonder why this actually is the tradition? If anyone has a logical explanation I would love to hear it.

Kdrama Jen: I also could not help but wonder…isn’t that kind of jumping the gun a bit? I mean, can they REALLY guarantee he will be the youngest? I mean, not to share too much personal stuff, but I kind of thought our child #3 was going to be the youngest. So…stuff happens. Not that we don’t love #4 dearly or anything, but if we were playing by the Qingyang rules, we would have a new heir apparent.

Kmuse: On a more shallow note, I am so glad that those horrible weak prince bangs don’t last overly long. They make Asule look super pouty and young. Not at all someone that I am going to be crushing on. It also was very effective in making him look puny compared to his father and brothers. They have very manly, might I say burly, beards and braided hair. Their clothes and hair make them look double the size of the poor bang ridden Asule.

Kdrama Jen: I felt like the first episodes dragged on… Maybe it was just the bangs!

Crown Prince Asule

People, especially his four older brothers, are not thrilled that Asule is back in the capital. Sure he made a horrible first impression on everyone and looks like he wouldn’t be a threat. But Father King is adamant that he will remain the Crown Prince despite his lack of princely burliness.

Not everyone is anti-Asule. Da Hesa, the trusted Sage of Qingyang, is adamantly on Team Asule. He encourages the King to find some loyal warriors to teach Asule how to fight and govern. After several years we see that Asule has flourished in his new situation. Sure he isn’t burly like everyone else. But he seems to be able to hold his own. He even manages to save his father from a dreaded white wolf by channeling his berserker powers.

Of course, this leads to him being magically poisoned by his own power or some such kind of situation, and a mysterious shaman comes and saves the Prince. I’m sure that will come into play in the future.

Kmuse: This was a lot of setup to get through. Especially when I hadn’t really hooked on to any characters yet. The closest I got was being in awe over the Dad King’s braids and head gear. I chuckled imagining that whoever had the burliest manly hair is who got to be king and he obviously won. You know you are a manly man if you can pull off a bear head hat.

Kdrama Jen: So much setup. I’m glad we finally moved forward with the plot.

Honored hostage

Kmuse: I love Da Hesa. The visuals of him with the white landscape behind is just so eye-catching. I’m also glad that Asule is moping a lot less after he gets his blood brothers.

Kdrama Jen: See? Definitely looking better without the bangs!

Asule is chosen to be the guest (i.e. hostage) of the Hetang kingdom. The kingdom is planning on a royal marriage between one of the Qingyang princes and the Hetang princess. Creating a marriage that will strengthen the ties between the two countries. Asule is chosen because the Hetang general saw him kill the White Wolf and thinks that Asule has inherited the bronze blood that shows up every few generations.

Asule (now going by the royal name Lu Gui Chen but I am going to continue calling him Asule), along with his warrior besties and slave foster sister, begin the long journey to Hetang. Along the way, they are waylaid by assassins from people who are against the alliance between the two countries. In the fight Asule’s foster sister/maid is killed protecting him from an assassin’s blade.

Kmuse: If I am totally honest I wasn’t really sad when Asule’s foster sister died. The character kind of annoyed me and I was thankful that she wasn’t supposed to be the female half of the OTP (One True Pairing)

Kdrama Jen: We sound cold and heartless, but…yeah. I did not shed a tear.

Kmuse: I’m also a fan of the new pulled back braid look for Asule. Our little princeling is growing up.

A fateful meeting

We have finally reached the capital of Hetang and it is time to meet our other two leads. First, we see Ji Ye. The illegitimate older son of a noble house who is forced to be a bodyguard for his pampered younger brother and his friends. He fights with a staff that has been handed down in his family for generations.

Ji Ye’s brother picks a fight with a performer at the local cavern and that is our introduction to the tomboy Princess Yu Ran. She is the honorary daughter of the Hetang King and has been allowed to roam wild within the capital. She loves dressing as a man and stealing items from the local idiot nobility.

The two get into a full-blown chase when Yu Ran steals an item from Ji Ye’s brother. Their battle lands them literally in the lap of a startled Asule, and a lasting friendship begins.

Kmuse: These three together are just flipping adorable and there was nothing I didn’t love about this whole scene. The directing was so well done during the chase scene. I really felt transported to the marketplace where two delinquents were causing trouble. This also distracted Asule from his moping over his foster sister which was a great relief. I could not go through 60+ episodes of him being all sad and angsty.

Kdrama Jen: Not gonna lie… I forced myself to watch the first few episodes because Kmuse really needed a binge-buddy. However, I was pretty sure I was going to have to fast-forward and then lie when she asked me about it. Luckily, the moping prince suddenly fell in with two awesome potential hijink-partners. This saved the show for me. From the moment they came on my screen, I was hooked!

Not love at first sight

Poor Asule, even in the more pampered country of Hetang he is considered week and undesirable. The King doesn’t understand why the youngest, despite being spindly, would be crowned as king. He also finds out that because of his blood poisoning, Asule is likely to die before he is 25. This is a fact that doesn’t bode well for a long term alliance.

In order to still get the union without sacrificing his beloved and pampered daughter, the King decides to formally adopt Princess Yu Ran so he can marry her off. Yu Ran is not thrilled and Asule is more or less indifferent. While the two are not instantly enamored, they are able to create the beginnings of a friendship.

Kmuse: I am a huge fan of Yu Ran. She is just a pixie sized princess of awesomeness. She is just so likable.

Kdrama Jen: I love her quirky brand of bubbly ferocity. Yeah, I know. It’s an odd combination, but I think it describes her.

A family secret

Our third part of our trio is dealing with a lot of disappointment and neglect from his family. They treat Ji Ye horrible and ignore his loyalty. Instead they focus only on Ji Ye’s younger brother who is an entitled useless brat.

One night a mysterious stranger (Let’s just call him Fu Zzziii—Kdrama Jen) arrives to honor the tablet of his departed grandfather. We learn that the family used to be part of a secret organization called the Tianku. Ji Ye’s father was a coward and took his family and fled when the Tianku were attacked and decimated. Before the mysterious man leaves he teaches a few spear moves to Ji Ye out of pity for the boy’s situation.

Kmuse: After watching some of these cool battle moves with the spear, I am ready for some serious spear fighting. Who knew it would look so cool?

Kdrama Jen: I have watched some fun fight scenes in my life, but I don’t think I have ever seen masterful spear action. I had no idea I needed this in my life, but I do!

Well, there you have our thoughts on the first four episodes. What do you think? Are you getting as hooked as we are? Let us know in the comments and be sure subscribe to the blog so you won’t miss any of our Novoland: Eagle Flag fun.

See you next recap,

Kmuse & Kdrama Jen

Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

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4 thoughts on “Chatty Recap: Novoland: Eagle Flag Ep 1-4

  1. I’m so glad you are doing this recap! There’s so little chatter on this awesome show. Will you be doing podcasts on this show?

    • There is a good chance that Kdrama Jen and I will do a review of the show after it is finished or possibly at the half way point. We just have to make it through the back to school stress first. So glad you are enjoying the drama.

  2. At episode 16 the English subtitles disappear leaving many so disappointed- Can’t wait for your recaps to help make sense of it all
    Thanks

  3. We will do our best to clarify! I watched without subtitles, but it definitely challenged my elementary level Chinese!

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