The Rebel Princess Episode 1 Recap

It’s a brand new year! Happy 2021! And we have a new historical cdrama! Called The Rebel Princess or formally the Monarch Industry.

It tells the tale of a romance between a spoiled princess and a general from humble beginnings.

Who later on become a power couple. I can’t help but think of Minglan and Gu Tingye from The Story of Minglan.

So will these two make the cut? I guess I’ll have to watch and find out!

The Rebel Princess Episode 1 Recap Highlights:

  • Princess Shangyang has her coming-of-age ceremony and plans on marrying her childhood crush
  • Marquis Xie and Prime Minister Wang have different viewpoints of the current political situation
  • Xiao Qi brings a great victory to the Cheng kingdom

Oh and the scenes are sooooo vibrant and gorgeous! Reminds me of The Song of Glory.

This is definitely a high production cdrama.

Let’s hope it’s as good as it looks. Without further adieu, let’s jump into the Rebel Princess episode 1!

Wang Xuan (aka A’wu)

A little girl dressed in the robes of a noble family hops around blind-folded as she recites various facts.

One of which is about her father, who is the Prime Minister of the country.

And how her uncle is the current emperor.

Then moments later, she accidentally bumps into her maternal grandmother who is the Empress Dowager.

the rebel princess episode 1 recap empress dowager
Young Wang Xuan (aka A’wu) in her grandmother’s arms

The Empress Dowager tells A’wu to be careful and then starts quizzing her about various locations of the kingdom.

Because there’s a golden metal map right beneath her feet and imbedded in the floor of the current room.

A’wu would literally translate to little five (the “a” signaling that this is an endearing nickname for the girl) I wonder if she’s the fifth child of the family?

A’wu has no trouble answering her grandmother’s questions one by one.

Then a palace maid interrupts.

Passing along a message from A’wu’s family. Her mother, Princess Jinmin wants her home.

But A’wu refuses to go back because she previously burnt down the kitchen.

And her father plans on punishing her when she gets back.

So her grandmother heeds her wishes and plans on letting her stay longer in the palace.

So young and already so pampered and spoiled, jeez

Wang Xuan is A’wu’s formal name and her title is Princess Shangyang.

Her mother possesses the title of the Eldest Princess and she is the sister of the Emperor.

While her father is the current Prime Minister.

Very powerful background, I’m guessing her mother had to marry the Prime Minister for political reasons

Three Princes

A’wu basically grew up in the imperial palace because her maternal grandmother, the Empress Dowager didn’t mind her company at all.

And pampered her a LOT.

She also grew up with the three princes from the imperial family.

The Crown Prince, Ma Zilong.

Second Prince, Ma Zilu.

And the third prince, Ma Zitan.

Zitan is her childhood playmate and crush. Because he always had a gentle temperament.

Aww look how cute these kids are

Whenever A’wu gets in trouble for playing pranks on someone, she can always run to her uncle for help.

Emperor of the Cheng kingdom

A’wu is so clever as a child too, claiming that there was a rabbit involved which caused the Crown Prince to slip and fall when it was actually her XD

But even though A’wu tries to hide under her uncle’s robes, the Empress comes looking for her.

Crown Prince’s mother, Empress of the Cheng kingdom, from Wang family

Empress Wang tells the Emperor that she could never punish A’wu since she’s her precious neice.

Ugh so complicated, the princes are A’wu’s cousins and it’s fine to marry your cousins back then

Princess Shangyang’s Coming Of Age

Several years past by in a flash and it’s finally the day of Princess Shangyang’s coming of age ceremony.

As A’wu walks up to the Emperor in the imperial court, she holds her head up with pride.

Reaching the highest platform where the Emperor is sitting, A’wu kneels and bows.

While a nearby eunuch calls out for Princess Jinmin to do the honors.

the rebel princess episode 1 recap princess jinmin
Princess Jinmin (Eldest Princess) performs the ceremony for her daughter, A’Wu

After the ceremony, A’wu is now considered an adult.

And she’s eligible for marriage.

In the background, various officials murmur about who A’wu should marry.

Because there are three princes and two of them like her.

the rebel princess episode 1 recap three princes
Prince Zitan, Prince Zilu, Crown Prince Zilong (from left to right)

On one side you have the officials siding with Marquis Xie from the Xie family and on the other, the Wang family.

The two main powerhouses.

After the ceremonial procedures are over, the Crown Prince gestures with his eyes to tell his mother to bring up marriage.

But A’wu expresses her opinion on the matter.

And almost reveals her intent until her father, the Prime Minister interrupts her.

With urgent military news.

The Wang Family

the rebel princess episode 1 wang yisu
Wang Yisu, A’Wu’s older brother, his wife is in the background

A’wu is back home with her family. Except she’s getting punished.

A’wu refuses to go to the ancestral hall and her brother comes over to convince her.

Because the Wang family is devoted to their ancestral teachings.

Everyone recites but A’wu doesn’t even bother to pretend. And her mother notices.

the rebel princess episode 1 recap ancestral hall

At the very end, Wang Lin, the head of the family is asked if he has forgotten the family’s mission.

And he replies that he has never forgotten.

Hmmm what is the Wang family’s main goal? Does it have to do with the imperial family?

Wang Lin, Prime Minister Wang, A’Wu’s father

Later, at a family meal, A’wu brings up how her father interrupted her at court.

Thinking how he may be unsupportive of her wanting to marry the man she loves.

But he counters that military matters always take priority.

Smooth, I see where A’wu gets her smarts from

A’wu pouts and leaves the room, complaining that she will discuss this with the Emperor. Because she doesn’t want to marry anyone but Zitan.

Meanwhile, a fierce battle is at the forefront of Ningshuo.

A city within the Cheng kingdom.

Xiao Qi

A soldier reports that they have finally discovered the location of the Hulan king.

And Xiao Qi rallies his soldiers.

It’s time to grab victory.

People of the Hulan tribe appear like they are from the grassy plains? There’s no backstory so not sure what era this is, plus this show is an adaptation of this novel

Award for Victory

Officials debate about Xiao Qi’s prize if he wins the battle.

The chance to become a titled lord.

In the past, the Emperor made a promise to dub whoever defeated the Hulan king a lord.

But the noble families didn’t think this would mean a low-born person could become a lord.

Preceptor Gu, the Crown Prince’s teacher
the rebel princess episode 1 recap  duke xie
Marquis Xie

Prime Minister Wang stays silent as others debate.

Meanwhile, A’wu sneaks into the Emperor’s study and plays a game of chess with him.

If she wins, she gets a wish.

Anyone know what kind of ancient chess this is?

A’wu wins and gets the Emperor to promise that she has the final say on whom to marry.

The Empress hears about it and is NOT happy.

But A’wu doesn’t know that yet and is thrilled to have secured her way to happiness.

When she returns home, she dances and her brother wonders who her future husband will be.

Xiao Qi killed the Hulan king and is summoned to the capital to receive his award.

His soldiers are so excited to hear that he will become a lord.

I see a female solider at the right!!!

And Xiao Qi prepares to enter the capital.

Meanwhile, the Emperor plans to welcome Xiao Qi back in person and discusses a marriage plan for Marquis Xie’s daughter, Wanru.

Back in the palace, A’wu plays a game blind folded and someone stops by to visit her.

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Phew, there were a TON of characters introduced in the Rebel Princess episode 1. And some didn’t even have names highlighted next to them!

Just from this episode alone, we can see A’wu is pampered and spoiled by her family and relatives.

There’s no shortage of love given to her.

She’s clever, headstrong and not afraid to voice out what she wants. A strong female lead! Her father, the Prime Minister is a crafty person and I can tell he has other plans.

It’s also typical that in these sort of cdramas, the Prime Minister may aim for the throne.

Especially if the Crown Prince that shares the same blood and surname as him turns out to be a simpleton.

Why would such an intelligent man choose to support a fool? I may be wrong but we shall see.

The third prince, Zitan and A’wu are cute. But puppy love doesn’t last long in the face of palace politics. Sigh.

Xiao Qi, on the other hand just oozes masculinity. He’s a powerful general with the skills and aura to boot.

I can’t wait to see his budding romance with our female lead!

And I can tell his soldiers are fiercely loyal to him. What were your thoughts on the Rebel Princess episode 1?

Leave a comment below!

**I realized I got the title wrong for Xie Yuan! He’s actually a Marquis NOT a duke, fixed. Sorry about that!

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3 years ago

Just started this drama and I’m loving it so far as well! There seems to be a lot of potential and possible plots coming up so that I’m excited to carry on!

I’m currently watching on VIKI and a lot of people are commenting on the age of the actors vs age of the characters but honestly it’s nice to see mature acting skills in a C-drama with amazing visuals and I think ZZY is doing great so far trying to capture the essence of a young girl.

Will be watching and reading your recaps as I go along 😉

3 years ago

Alright so I planned for legend of fei to be my next drama but I just couldn’t get into it but I couldn’t get into it. I guess I’m just not the wuxia type lol. I wasn’t going to start this one till there were more episodes released but I kept seeing screen caps on tumblr then I saw you start recapping it and comparing it to Minglan so I couldn’t resist. I’ve only seen this episode so far but I’m already hooked. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I love my historical dramas.

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