Royal Nirvana Episode 1 Recap

I’ve been eagerly waiting for this show to be out! Let’s go over what happened in this Royal Nirvana Episode 1 recap!

Royal Nirvana Episode 1 Recap Highlights:

  • There are several political powers at play.
  • The Crown Prince is caught in a delicate balance.
  • Nothing is what it seems.

Setting Up the Stage

Once the show starts, the backdrop is gorgeous. It’s cold, it’s bleak and it has definitely captured my attention. I can tell there’s a lot of money put into this show.

Within minutes, the show tells the audience inherently that it’s going to be full of tension, intricate plots and intrigue.

How else would you interpret a man frantically banging the doors for entry? To the point where his hands are bloodied?

The show then quickly introduces a whole host of characters: Xiao Ding Quan, Xu Chang Nian, the King, Minister Lu, Duke Gu, Concubine Zhao and a few important eunuchs.

It’s almost intimidating because you’re just thrown into it.

So hang on tight because it’s going to be a wild ride.

Xiao Ding Quan, aka Crown Prince
Xu Chang Nian, son of Duke Gu
Lu Shi Yu aka Minister Lu
King Xiao Jian
Concubine Zhao
Concubine Zhao’s son, Prince Qi
Duke Gu, Crown Prince’s Uncle
Lu Wen Xi, the main FL

Underlying Tensions

Parents always have a favorite and it’s apparent who the favorite is. The king ignores the Crown Prince and reveals a sense of dislike towards his heir while allowing his oldest to address him as “father”.

Not “Royal Father” but “father.” Biased much?

But Minister Lu shows the king where the officials stand. As evident by the current standoff.

Because the officials are kneeling outside to beg the king to reconsider.

Then if the audience doesn’t get the hint already, Concubine Zhao’s comments enlighten the audience further.

Telling her maid servant (or the audience) that there’s tension between the king and his heir.

When the king told his officials to disburse, they refused yet when the Crown Prince told them, they obliged.

Doesn’t this suggest that the officials regard the Crown Prince more than the king?

Which doesn’t bode well at all for our main character. No king would tolerate being undermined by his son.

Then there’s the two-faced Prince Qi. He’s a goody-two-shoes son in front of his father and a backstabbing brother in front of the Crown Prince.

He’s definitely one of the antagonists. Prince Qi’s the oldest yet not the heir.

I’m sure that hurts his pride and ego (usually the oldest is the heir to the throne).

Mixing into this chaotic situation, we also have two main eunuchs and a Duke with military power.

The Duke seems to hold a lot of power because the king can’t help but yield to him during their conversation.

Nothing is what it seems.

The Crown Prince’s Delicate Position

Xiao Ding Quan is the son of the previously deceased empress and nephew of Duke Gu.

Who currently holds military power.

The officials favor him yet the king dislikes (almost hates?) him.

In time, the show may reveal why the king hates him but I have a few guesses.

Either it’s due to the Crown Prince’s background or some other backstory.

But he possesses some allies. Duke Gu supports him but not much is known about his personality yet so it’s not sure if he supports him wholeheartedly or not.

It’s also apparent that the Crown Prince seeks his father’s acknowledgement. Maybe even his father’s love?

Shown by the seen where the Crown Prince is kneeling on the snow. When he looks up, he’s disappointed to see his brother and not someone else.

He was probably expecting his father to come by. Or at least to show his father cares.

Palace Schemes

What’s a historical drama without schemes? Even though it’s just the first episode, something is already afoot.

Prince Qi plans something to happen during the Crown Prince’s capping ceremony.

And he seduces a palace maid to help him out.

He then reveals what happened 3 years ago. It turns out the person banging on the doors at the beginning of the show was the Crown Prince.

From 3 years ago.

The Crown Prince’s retainer helped him get in by falsifying a military report because the empress was incredibly sick.

Yet it was too late.

And the Crown Prince’s been having nightmares ever since.

But Prince Qi wants to reveal a scroll that explicitly points out the Crown Prince’s inadequacies. To disrupt the capping ceremony.

Another palace servant overhears the scheme and it turns out she’s one of the previous empress’ maids.

Who owes the Crown Prince for saving her in the past.

So she wants to inform the Crown Prince of Prince Qi’s schemes yet doesn’t get a chance to do so.

While at the same time, drawing attention to herself. Prince Qi may have a feeling that she was eavesdropping on him earlier.

His intuition is scary. Will he find out that it was her?

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Oh man oh man, Royal Nirvana Episode 1 is giving me the chills. There’s just so much tension.

I feel like I would be on pins and needles if I lived in this era or in the palace.

You just don’t know who to trust. Maybe that’s why kings become so cold after obtaining the throne?

I pity the Crown Prince. His mother is gone, his father hates him and he has an older brother who is scheming against him.

Anyone else feel like this show has a similar vibe to Nirvana in Fire?

I hope the Crown Prince smartens up soon because the enemies are not giving him a chance to gain power. Even the capping ceremony was delayed for so long.

While Prince Qi has already performed the capping ceremony AND gotten married.

Wouldn’t these actions suggest to the officials that the king wants his oldest as the heir? Or at least plant the notion inside of Prince Qi’s mind?

Then Lu Wen Xi and her father are invited back to the capital to participate in politics (or the father is). I wonder if they know what they are getting into.

The father has some idea, commenting that the Crown Prince has his hands tied.

I’m eager to watch the next episode as painful as this journey may be. What were your thoughts on this first episode?

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4 years ago

Hi, thanks for your recaps! Have to admit, the politics had me confused so was searching for someone to explain things to me. A question, why is the eldest son not the crown prince?

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