The Story of Minglan Episode 36 Recap

One more episode before we’re halfway through the series! Story of Minglan episode 36! Now that the new emperor is on the throne, there are so many things to clean up.

Including the remaining rebels. So Gu Tingye is off again but Nanny Chang reminds him that he has yet to marry a main wife.

Story of Minglan Episode 36 Recap Highlights:

  • Gu Tingye heads back to the main Gu household to take back what is his
  • Minglan and He Hongwen have been meeting more frequently with marriage talks on the way
  • Minglan discovers He Hongwen may not be the ideal candidate

Now that the politics are out of the way, the show can focus on Minglan and Rulan’s wedding. Woohoo!

Let’s jump into Story of minglan episode 36!

Returning to the Gu Household

Yuan Ruo calls for his mother and his father tells him to be quiet.

Because his mother suffered a major setback.

Duke Qi wonders why Yuan Ruo is so happy. It turns out he can retake the imperial exams in the Spring.

Instead of waiting for the next year.

Well there’s a new emperor, so he may want new officials.


Then Yuan Ruo makes a request. Asking his mother if she would help him propose marriage to the Sheng household if he passes.

Duchess Qi agrees in a deflated voice. Yuan Ruo can do whatever he wants.

Meanwhile, Gu Tingye makes a trip to the Gu household with his men.

He heads to the ancestral hall first and pays his respects.

While Madam Gu and his brother approach, realizing that Gu Tingye is not in the same position as before.

Madam Gu portrays herself as a caring mother but Gu Tingye knows her better now.

She then suggests they celebrate with a reunion dinner. But Gu Tingye informs them that Gu Tingwei has been captured because he was out celebrating in brothels during the mourning period.

But instead of proposing to help out Gu Tingwei, Gu Tingye mentions how Madam Gu has plotted against him all this time.

If he knew she wanted Tingwei to inherit the Marquis position, he would have yielded.

But now he won’t. He’s here to tell them that he wants the Marquis title as well.

It feels like a declaration of war from Gu Tingye.

Taking Back What is His

Gu Tingyu asks if Gu Tingye considers him dead.

Because Gu Tingyu is currently the Marquis. If Gu Tingye wants the title, it has to be after Gu Tingyu passes away or gives it to him.

Gu Tingye tells his older brother that he use to respect him and love him. That’s why he told them about those poems and literature he admired.

(One of which lead him to losing his chance at becoming an official).

But his brother didn’t allow him to send off his father. So should Gu Tingye still treat him like a older brother?


Gu Tingye will no longer respect him as an older brother any more.

Then Gu Tingyu wants him to leave because they are disturbing their ancestors with their bickering.

And Gu Tingye agrees. He will leave if he can take his spear away. The one bestowed to him by the previous emperor.

If Gu Tingyu doesn’t, Gu Tingye makes a gesture and his soldiers unsheathe their swords.

So Madam Gu takes the spear and offers it to Gu Tingye.

Fulling the promise he made a few episodes ago.

He then comments that Madam Gu’s acting is done so well that it’s a shame she doesn’t act in a troupe.

Before he leaves with the spear.

Marriage Plans

Changbai visits Gu Tingye at his new mansion and comments how grand it is.


As the two walk through the newly renovated mansion, Changbai wonders if Gu Tingye will take the exams again.

But Gu Tingye would rather not.

Changbai thinks it’s a waste because he’s a man full of talents.

Gu Tingye disagrees because he can still support the country with his military skills.

Moments later, Shitou calls out and delivers a whole bunch of marriage proposals to Gu Tingye.

So Gu Tingye explains his predicament. And how he’s been troubled over it.

Then he asks why hasn’t the Sheng household sent a proposal over to him.

Changbai explains that it’s not happening because there are plans for both Rulan and Minglan already.

Rulan is going to marry someone her mother recommends while Minglan’s marriage is arranged by her grandmother.

To someone from the He household.

Gu Tingye then stops him for a moment. And asks if the He household have sent over betrothal gifts yet.

But of course it’s the mourning period so gifts haven’t sent yet.

Changbai continues on, mentioning how Minglan and her future husband candidate will be a great match.

Not noticing how Gu Tingye is deep in thought.

Gu Tingye is probably thinking how to secure his wife from being stolen hahaha

When Gu Tingye heads off to battle, Changbai and Nanny Chang send him off.

He shares his concerns about finding his son so Changbai offers to help while Nanny Chang nags him about marriage.

Nanny Chang knows what’s most important XD

But instead of answering Gu Tingye prepares to set off.

After they leave the capital, Gu Tingye asks Shitou to perform a task for him.

He Hongwen Visits

Days past and Danju comments how the osmanthus flower harvest this year is better than usual.

Minglan then shares that it would be a great to make them into snacks for Xiaotao to eat.

As if she doesn’t eat them herself.

Danju then teases how the days are going so slow and Minglan is eager to get married into the He household.

While Cuiwei lectures her for doing so.

Xiaotao chimes in as well, mentioning how Minglan has been embroidering things that are related to harmony in marriage.

But Minglan argues that she can’t embroider food instead.

Moments later, a servant reports that He Hongwen has come to visit and to share a meal.

And since Old Madam Sheng doesn’t feel well enough to chat with their guest, she wants Minglan to assist.

During the meal, He Hongwen explains that he hasn’t been able to come visit lately because he’s helping with matters.

But Old Madam Sheng doesn’t mind.


However, He Hongwen comments how he’s eager to visit Old Madam Sheng.

And then warns Minglan not to eat so many cold things.

While they are on the topic of food, He Hongwen mentions how his mother returned from their hometown and brought some delicious food with her.

He brought some over to share with both Minglan and her grandmother.

Then he hints to them that there is a reason why his mother returned. Because there’s a “big” event that only his mother can handle.

Old Madam Sheng reads between the lines and smiles. While Danju and Xiaotao off to the side smile with joy.

Ah so they all believe He Hongwen is going to have his mother propose marriage to the Sheng family.

Minglan faintly smiles as well but focuses on eating.

A Cousin’s Concerns

Old Madam Sheng has heard of He Hongwen’s sickly mother and she tells him that she’s been sick quite often before.

Plus with Minglan being so gluttinous, Old Madam Sheng then mentions how she and Minglan have come up with medicinal recipes.

Using food as medicine.

And offer the recipes to He Hongwen’s mother as a gift.

Hoping He Hongwen won’t think less of it because they’re not really doctors.

He Hongwen gets up to thank them graciously for the gift.

Afterwards, Danju and Xiaotao escort He Hongwen back to his carriage.

When he leaves, the two of them start to walk back.

Danju believes their miss will truly be blessed if she marries He Hongwen. Considering how gentle and respectful he is.

However, Xiaotao believes the opposite. Commenting that whomever marries their miss will be blessed.

But before they go too far, they hear a woman in the distance calling out to He Hongwen.

Clinging onto him and hugging him in public. Xiaotao and Danju share a worry glance before rushing back to report to their miss.

Meanwhile, He Hongwen and his cousin (the woman from earlier) chat in a remote area.

His cousin reveals that her mother (his aunt) wants him to take her in as a concubine.

Then seeing his hesitation, the cousin begs him to promise her and kneels in front of him.


He Hongwen tries to pull her up but the cousin refuses to get up until he promises her.

Minglan arrives with her two maids. And He Hongwen greets her.

A Person’s Weakest Trait

While the cousin rushes to kneel at Minglan’s feet. Asking her to give her a chance to live.

Sound familiar? I’m getting deja vu like the time when Manniang asked Yanran to give her a chance to live.

She won’t compete with Minglan for anything because she has no right to. Then the cousin reveals her face.


Because she has a tattoo on her face because she was originally an exiled prisoner.

He Hongwen promises to help her remove the tattoo but the cousin continues to beg Minglan.

Minglan sees that He Hongwen is too kind and reveals her thoughts. Since He Hongwen has feelings for his cousin, she won’t marry him.

Her ideal husband is one that has only her in his heart.

He Hongwen appears to be contemplating something.

Minglan proposes he help his cousin with additional dowry so she can marry into a good family. And he is surprised that there’s another method.

But cousin refuses saying that this way will force her to die.

Later, Old Madam Sheng lectures Minglan for volunteering to help with He Hongwen’s cousin. Because she was attempting to steal her future husband.

But Minglan pitied her.

She understands that her grandmother spent a lot of time finding the right husband for her.

And in the end she thought He Hongwen was the best. Because he is an upright and moral gentleman.

Minglan then comments when you start to get closer to someone, you need to evaluate their weakest trait.

Old Madam Sheng wonders what she means by that.

Minglan explains how Shulan (her cousin) married a scholar and his weakest trait was being too shameless. While He Hongwen’s weakest trait is being too soft-hearted.

Evening Stroll

And concludes that when you commit to live with someone for years you must be able to tolerate your spouse’s weakest trait.

Old Madam Sheng then praises Minglan. She has really grown up.

So the plan is to wait for 10 days and see how the He household responds.

That night Minglan prepares to sleep with the help of her maids, but is unable to sleep.

So she takes a stroll outside and gazes at the moon. She wishes how she could live for herself but she can’t.

Back then Gu Tingye said she could. But Minglan doesn’t believe she can.

While Minglan leisurely strolls back to her courtyard, she witnesses Rulan meeting up with a man at night.

She gasps loudly and turns away. Rulan bolts after her while the man runs off.

Rulan catches up and realizes it’s Minglan with a sigh of relief.

The two make small chat while walking at a brisk pace. But Rulan ends up pulling her to her room.

Rulan tells Minglan not to tell anyone about what happened tonight. But Minglan doesn’t think it’s a big deal.

Commenting how their father may prefer poor scholars over nobles.

When Rulan tells her it’s Wen Yanjing, the former scholar that their father originally arranged for Molan, Minglan thinks less of him.

So Rulan explains that Wen Yanjing saw her first.

Then continues to share more thoughts about Wen Yanjing.

Rulan even kept the letter he sent to her. But Minglan tells her to burn it.

She refuses, wanting to keep it forever.

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All of Old Madam Sheng’s hard work is going to waste! As we saw in Story of Minglan episode 36, He Hongwen may not be Minglan’s ideal husband.

He’s too soft-hearted and is unable to say no.

His cousin continues to cling onto him and Minglan doesn’t want another Madam Lin in the making in her own marriage.

Despite Minglan staying so calm and saying she doesn’t mind, she truly wishes she could live freely. For her own happiness.

But the current situation doesn’t allow for that. If He Hongwen wants to save his cousin and take her as a concubine, then Minglan will have to search for another husband.

Well her hubby is on his way back soon, I can’t wait for the next few episodes! What were your thoughts on Story of Minglan episode 36?

Leave a comment below!

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3 years ago

One last point. Isn’t it ironic how no family would touch Gu tingye with a stick before? Now they’re all scrambling to form a marriage alliance with him? No wonder he doesn’t like any of them!

3 years ago

Gu Tongue is so pretty and I am here for it! He came back to his home ready to serve out his revenge and I loved every bit of it.

What is up with all these feisty concubines always trying to ruin the main marriages?

4 years ago

Also, can we take a moment to admire Rulan? She has come a long way since the beginning. Unlike Molan, who is a copy of Concubine Lin but lacks her brains and her patience, Rulan started off as being a lot like Wang Ruofu but she is slowly getting calmer, braver and less spoiled as the series progresses. It’s a shame we are not privy to her romance with Wen Yanjing, I wouldn’t mind having them as a side couple. I mean, Rulan and a SCHOLAR? It’s just too precious! Can’t wait to see where the story takes her!

4 years ago

My favorite moment in this episode was the dialogue between Changbai and Tingye:
Changbai: “Oh, and Grandmother has found a husband for Minglan too!”
*scheming mode activated*

4 years ago
Reply to  Ela

I know right. Such a good moment. William Feng has such expressive facial expressions you can see he’s thinking a mile a minute about how he’s going to get around this new roadblock. And again his expression when Nanny Chang is nagging him about a wife as he’s leaving for war gah. Love him so much.

4 years ago
Reply to  Krystal

Yeah, that was awesome too, hopefully, Nanny Chang is happy now with Minglan around!

4 years ago

In this series I sometimes think about game of thrones, everything you see is something you’ve seen before. We see the repetition of similar scenarios over and over again but the outcomes change depending on who is involved. Minglan sent away Manniang on behalf of Yanran and while she’s prepared to do the same to Hongwen’s cousin it seems the more she thinks on the situation the more she pities her. Perhaps she’s not finding it as easy when it’s her own marriage she’s defending against or

she truly just wants a husband who has the courage to stand up for her so she can stand up for herself like what will happen later when she finds herself again in the same situation and Madam Gu tries to stuff a the chamber maid into her home as a concubine.

We also have Rulan meeting secretly with a man ala Molan however Rulan is truly just meeting with him to talk no hanky panky but still very similar to Molan *le gasp* could she be heading towards a similar fate?

Poor Tingye being hounded by marriage offers can’t even go out to eat without people blocking his way. I giggled at the line where he said he took Rongjie back from the people because of course these numbskulls picked her up and talked about how they don’t mind her and walked away making the excuse he needed to use the bathroom. His look when Nanny Chang asked him if he already had a main madam in mind. Lol of course he does. The start of Tingye’s long game to win his bride, not that the casual viewer knows that yet. Love it. Next episode Tingye returns and makes a surprising proposal.

3 years ago
Reply to  Krystal

I had a similar comment on an earlier episode about how the show should be renamed “game of marriages” looooil!

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