The Story of Minglan Episode 17 Recap

Now we’re getting to the 20 digits! Story of Minglan episode 17! Yuan Ruo pursues Minglan with passion without any regard for her circumstances.

Story of Minglan Episode 17 Recap Highlights:

  • Yuan Ruo wants Minglan to confirm if she has feelings for him
  • Minglan’s courtyard gets messy with the maids from other courtyards
  • Gu Tingye has an idea of who to marry to give his mistress a status

What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. Let’s see how Minglan handles her courtyard and other troubles in this Story of Minglan episode 17!

More Important Matters

Wang Ruofu can’t help but wonder if Old Madam Sheng plans on having Yuan Ruo as a grandson-in-law. But her maid tells her that Old Madam Sheng would never think that.

Because Duchess Qi is a former princess and has lofty ambitions. So she will definitely want her son to marry a princess or at least a second ranked princess.

She won’t settle for less.

Then the maid wonders if her madam considered having Yuan Ruo as a son-in-law. Wang Ruofu recites her background through the family connections and doesn’t believe it’s too far fetched.

However, her maid points out that Rulan doesn’t have any interest in him at all. She pretends to do so just to spite Molan.


Wang Ruofu sighs. She believes her daughter is too young to understand these matters.

Her maid continues to provide more insight. The capital is full of noble families and each one of them have various internal mother figures that can be fierce and difficult to deal with.

Even Hualan can barely deal with her own mother-in-law. Why bother throwing Rulan to the wolves?

Because even if Rulan marries Yuan Ruo and Yuan Ruo favors her, she would be stuck fighting the mother-in-law day-in and day-out. Which will eventually wear down the feelings between husband and wife.

I feel like this is something Old Madam Sheng would tell Minglan. Funny how this maid is wiser than her madam.

Wang Ruofu sighs again and gives up for now. She will consider it more before planning Rulan’s marriage.

In the meantime, it’s better to focus on Changbai’s marriage to the Hai household.

Since management of the household has been passed onto Minglan, Wang Ruofu can focus solely on the marriage.

She’ll let Molan fuss and complain about Minglan’s involvement at the polo event.

Meeting At the Monastery

When the Sheng women arrive at the monastery to rest for a bit, Minglan takes this chance to pay respect to her mother.

Because her mother’s mortuary tablet is here.

She cleans the dust off and tells her mother that she’s been doing well.

When Yuan Ruo surprises her from behind.

Calling her a liar.


Xiaotao left Minglan to take care of their carriage. Because Yuan Ruo tricked her.

So Minglan is alone with Yuan Ruo.

Minglan tells Yuan Ruo that this could damage her reputation but he just wants answers.

He wants to know why she sent him those knee guards. Because he’s afraid that she has no feelings for him.

Every time he sees her, she avoids him like a snake.


Minglan then tells him that because he’s a man, he doesn’t understand the hardships of a woman.

So true. While it’s cute, they are not good for each other.

And tries to explain how delicate a woman’s position is. If her reputation is comprised, her whole family goes down with her.

She cannot take that risk.

But Yuan Ruo refuses to believe that they cannot be together.

Minglan clarifies that she swore to her mother’s mortuary tablet that she would rather marry a farmer than to become someone’s concubine.

And Yuan Ruo tells her that he wants her as his main wife.

She tells him it’s impossible but Yuan Ruo tells her that he will convince her mother to come to the Sheng household to propose.

He believes she’s just afraid and that she does have feelings for him.

So he leaves.

Meanwhile, Minglan tells Xiaotao that she and Yuan Ruo are impossible.

And if Xiaotao ever leaves her alone again, she will dismiss her.

Courtyard Troubles

Minglan calculates expenses in the books and overhears an argument outside. Wondering what’s going on.

A servant at her side tells her that two maids are fighting like cats and dogs. This courtyard has been a mess ever since they’ve received these other servants.


So Minglan heads outside to check it out.

Jiu’er is scolding one of Minglan’s original servants, using her status to oppress her.

Jiu’er is the daughter of Wang Ruofu’s head maid.

As soon as Minglan shows herself, her servant reveals what’s she’s done.

And she’s willing to accept her punishment but refuses to let outsiders oppress her.

Jiu’er in pink

Minglan tells her servant that it’s not such a big deal. Since it’s just clothes.

Danju then takes this maid off to the side to comfort her.

Jiu’er complains that if the maid was under her mother’s, she would be beaten for negligence.

And walks off in a huff.

I’m sorry who’s courtyard is this? Jeez.

Then Sheng Hong walks in and he doesn’t look happy at all.


Minglan greets him before he praises her for a good deed. But in a sarcastic manner.

Then they speak privately.

Sheng Hong lectures Minglan for showing off her polo skills with Yuan Ruo. She’s an unmarried lady and dared to play polo with a male who’s not part of her family.

Even if Minglan didn’t care for her own reputation, she should at least care for the Sheng family’s reputation.

As if letting someone bully someone else is good for the Sheng family’s reputation hmph. I think Molan tattled and purposely made it look bad for Minglan. Under her mother’s instructions.

Seeking for Something Out of Reach

Sheng values his household’s reputation very seriously and would be offended if others thought badly of him.

So he continues to lecture Minglan.

And points out that she shouldn’t be aiming to get married into the Qi household.

Minglan argues that it was not her intent. Explaining how Yanran tried to get her late mother’s accessory back.

And how Changfeng left her hanging. But no, Sheng Hong still believes Minglan is at fault.

Despite her mentioning how she tells him that she can relate to Yanran because she also misses her deceased mother.

Sheng Hong doesn’t want to hear it though and orders her to kneel for the night.

T_T Sheng Hong is an awful father. I thought he had some regrets when he was saved by Minglan. But no, some people just don’t change that easily.

Gu Tingye’s Plans

At Gu Tingye’s side residence, Nanny Chang expresses her happiness when she hears Gu Tingye’s plans to marry the imperial tutor’s granddaughter.


Because he wants to move out and start his own family. He cannot do that officially without marrying a proper wife.

He picked Yu Yanran because she’s known to be gentle and virtuous. She would definitely grant Manniang a title.

Outside, Manniang is eavesdropping.

Nanny Chang’s happiness is short-lived when she hears Gu Tingye mention Manniang.

Manniang then walks in with clothing in her arms, asking Nanny Chang to inspect her washing.

As usual, Nanny Chang is blunt to her and questions her own work ethics.

Nanny Chang wants Manniang to know her place so she can serve the future madam properly.

Manniang cheerfully agrees to serve the future Madam Yu (by giving Yanran this title, she’s implying that it’s set in stone for Yanran to marry Gu Tingye).

So Gu Tingye warns her not to say this in public. Because it will hurt Miss Yu’s reputation.

After Manniang leaves the room, Nanny Chang warns Gu Tingye not to discuss such affairs with his mistress. Because Manniang puts on airs as if she’s his main wife already.

So if he marries an official wife in the future, his courtyard and future will get messy.

Gu Tingye tells his nanny that he doesn’t care because his future is stunted anyways.

And she smacks him.

That night, Gu Tingye tells Manniang how virtuous Miss Yu is. And how she will give Manniang a proper title.

But Manniang remarks that this is just like a dream coming true.

Undermining Minglan’s Authority

Several maids within Minglan’s courtyard plead Cuiwei to give them justice. Because the servants from other courtyards are harassing them.

But Cuiwei tells them that harmony is the utmost importance. She doesn’t want this to give Minglan a bad reputation.

After this, she disperses them and finds the other servants eavesdropping.


Seeing the servants run off, the one complaining earlier remarks how their current courtyard is full of holes.

Anyone can spy on what they are doing, their privacy is comprised.

Meanwhile, Minglan is still kneeling in her study room and she eyes her two paintings. Which remind her of the bigger picture.

Nearby, a servant spies on her.

That’s probably not one of her own maids.

In the morning, Old Madam Sheng’s trusted maid comes over with medication. And wonders why Minglan didn’t ask Cuiwei to send news to her grandmother.

Because her grandmother was the last to know. Wang Ruofu and Madam Lin found out about her punishment first.

And her grandmother felt sad for Minglan.

Minglan knows that her grandmother dotes on her but she cannot tattle to her grandmother all the time. Especially not when she’s managing the household now.

But she tells her grandmother’s maid that she has a plan.

Just as soon as she says that, Minglan hears something breaking.

Xiaotao scolds a servant for breaking cups from a gifted tea set.

The servant was originally from Changfeng’s courtyard and argues that she’s never been lectured.

Even when she broke several cups in her former master’s courtyard. So she wonders why Xiaotao is lecturing her when the madam of this courtyard has yet to do so.


Then Minglan appears.

She says that it’s not a big deal so Xiaotao should just clean it up.

The other servant girl, Mei’er walks off feeling wrongly accused.

Molan’s Future Prospects

And Minglan tells Xiaotao to apologize to her.

Hmm, I wonder what this plan is.

At Madam Lin’s courtyard, Sheng Hong takes a seat and sips some tea while Madam Lin pleads on Minglan’s behalf.

Her reasoning seems to highlight that Minglan was purposely reaching out to Yuan Ruo. Causing Sheng Hong to lecture Madam Lin for spoiling her.

I feel like Sheng Hong has already forgotten Madam Kong’s warnings. *facepalm

So then Madam skillfully diverts the topic to Molan. Hinting to Sheng Hong how her daughter is different.

Sheng Hong then understands that Madam Lin wants Molan to marry Yuan Ruo and refuses her on the spot.

The Qi household is definitely out of their reach.

Duchess Qi was raised in the palace and holds a second rank princess title while Duke Qi earned his title himself.

If Yuan Ruo was your typical young, womanizing male, Molan would have a chance but Yuan Ruo is an upright individual.

And destined for greatness.

Was Sheng Hong subtly hinting that if Molan has the slightest chance of getting married to Yuan Ruo, she would only be a concubine? Ouch.

Madam Lin then proposes adding a bigger dowry so Molan can marry over but Sheng Hong points out that she doesn’t have much.

And he doesn’t want to be the kind of man to rely on his wife (Wang Ruofu)’s dowry.


Madam Lin pleads with Sheng Hong to consider Molan’s future. Sheng Hong promises that he will before taking off.

But Madam Lin believes the conversation didn’t go as well as she hoped.

Molan doesn’t like the news her mother shares with her. She refuses to believe that she can only marry a scholar.

Backup Plans

Molan shows ambition but worries that she may have to do things that will compromise the Sheng family reputation.

Madam Lin tells her that the Sheng family’s reputation doesn’t matter. Only their own.

So if she had a choice between Sheng family’s reputation or her own dignity, she would rather choose her own dignity.

Oh Madam Lin, what are you teaching your daughter!?

Madam Lin then tells her daughter that her earlier hunch was right, Yuan Ruo has feelings for Minglan. Because it was so odd that he gifted her the brushes.

Then stood out to help her on the polo match. Molan’s chances with Yuan Ruo will be slim then.

So Madam Lin convinces Molan to consider the Liang household as a backup plan and Molan agrees.

As long as she can beat Rulan and Hualan, she’ll be happy.

Cleaning Up the Courtyard

Minglan calculates the stipend for Madam Lin and her children.

While Sister Zhou sits patiently to pick up the silvers.

Afterwards, Minglan escorts her out and they bump into Changfeng and his former maid.

Changfeng was supposedly here to visit Minglan.

But instead he’s here comforting one of his former maids. That he used to dote on.

Sister Zhou is ashamed to see this in front of her. And tells Changfeng that they must go now.

She then reports this to Madam Lin who is frustrated that her initial plans aren’t working.

These two maids were preventing her son from studying so she assigned them to Minglan.

But she wasn’t expecting Minglan to be a pushover.

Meanwhile Gu Tingye’s matchmaker is refused at the door because the imperial tutor is not taking guests.

She advises Gu Tingye that this won’t work unless he gets his mother to step in. And Gu Tingye dismisses her with some coin for the trouble.

He then walks off with a troubled expression.

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Story of Minglan Episode 17 recap! Just three away from the episodes in the twenties.

Ugh, Yuan Ruo you’re cute but sometimes I want to smack you! How DARE you put Minglan’s reputation at risk!

He thinks that even if her reputation is ruined, he can make it up by marrying her officially? He didn’t even think that his mother may refuse.

He’s so naive. Yuan Ruo grew up without fighting for anything while Minglan has had to fight all her life. They are just worlds apart.


Sheng Hong made me angry in this episode too. He just wouldn’t listen to reason. Minglan doesn’t need that accessory but Yanran doesn. It’s the ONLY thing that she can remember her mother by.

Yet Sheng Hong dismisses its importance. I bet he would want to maintain keepsakes from his birth mother too.

Gu Tingye is still unaware of Manniang’s true colors despite Nanny Chang warning him. I guess he won’t wake up unless he sees it in front of him.

Based on the conversations between Molan and her mother, I would think the rankings go like this: Duke>Marquess>Earl. They just want a high enough status to beat the girls from Wang Ruofu’s courtyard.

Rulan would tell them that she’d rather have comfort than status. Because she’s never had to worry about status. I wonder if she could say the same if she were in Molan’s position.

At the same time, Wang Ruofu, Madam Lin and Old Madam Sheng have different standards for an ideal marriage.

Wang Ruofu and Madam Lin both focus on wealth and status while Old Madam Sheng wants to focus on what would make Minglan live a comfortable and peaceful life.

What were your thoughts on Story of Minglan episode 17? Leave a comment below!

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4 years ago

This episode is so good because it leaves so many easter eggs for future episodes. Madam Lin and Molan talking about Minglan being regretful over her mother, making Madam Lin suspicious and ordering her daughter to keep her informed if Minglan says anything else about her mother. Madam Lin and Molan discussing and conspiring in regards to marriage prospects. Sheng Hong’s blindness and almost calculatted ignorance when it comes to the scheming in his harem. Yuan Ruo talking about Minglan being a coward and how he’s going to become her husband when

after he wears her down enough to give him a chance he’s the one who winds up being a coward
Tingye being turned down at the door when he proposed marriage. Just the first taste of what’s coming your way my boy gah it’s just briming with all these little things that are even more interesting on a rewatch. Poor Changfeng, he’s kind of like Minglan I feel at times. Regarded as inept and bumbling and subjected to his mother’s scheming while supporting her cause she’s his mother but at the same time he never does anything malicious or undermining. He’s just there and both Madam Lin and Molan regard him with disdain almost at different times during the show. I feel bad for him.
I’m really glad he gets a good ending. He’s one of my favorite background characters. Someone who gets used and taken advantage of almost simply because he’s loyal but after Madam Lin dies he turns his life around and has a family and its really nice.

4 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Lol I’m going through extremely slowly now. I watch an episode that corresponds with the recap you post. Technically it’s only the third watch through since all the rest I usually skip from episode like 8ish straight to episode 23 and then bounce around from there. FF button is my friend on rewatchs but when I watch the episode with your recaps I actually watch the whole episode like I did for the first time all over again its fun.

4 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Very true. Gotta love his friendship with Changbai. Especially how Changbai is at times exasperated, resigned or just plain completely unsurprised by Tingye’s antics as the series goes on. Definitely one of my favorite friendships in the series.

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