The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

Hi everyone!

You’ll notice by the tagline that this recap is being posted by a brand new writer from the AVV family – moi~ ^.^

I’ve been a fairly familiar shadow presence on this forum and have posted a few comments here and there (cookies for anyone that can tell who I am xD).

I’ve joined on as a recapper/reviewer, so if you have any dramas that you would like to be seen recapped – do let me know. I’m always open to new drama addictions (particularly wuxia or xianxia ones) =D.

Now, enough about me, let’s get started with the recap.

Oh, just a word of warning, if you don’t like spoilers, don’t watch the opening and closing clips for each episode xD.

For those of you that have been long time fans of wuxia novels/dramas, the story of Flying Daggers will be well known and much-loved. Over the years there have been one other adaptation of this particular story (Feidao Youjian Feidao), I think, the 2003 version starring Julian Cheung and Ruby Lin.

The MainThe RivalsThe SidekicksThe EldersGuest Starring

2016 sees Hawick Lau as Li Huai (LH) and Yang Rong as Xue Cai Yue (CY).

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I know many of you aren’t a fan of his acting, but stick with me. The whole trumps the individual, trust me!

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Of course with illegitimate children, we have half-siblings who generally start out good, but for some reason or other *coughlovecough* will turn evil. In this series, this character trope belongs to Li Zheng  (LZ), played by Huang Ming.

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Now for him ^ to change, we’ll need a third party to round out this love triangle. Stage left enters Fang Keke (KK), played by Wu Ying Jie (aka. the loveable, Gui Gui).

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As of this episode, the following two characters have yet to appear. However, I’ll introduce them here since they will be tagging along with our main characters throughout the drama. Shui Wushang doesn’t appear until mid-way through the drama though~

To round out the cast and ensure that our main characters don’t go out of their mind from revenge and loneliness, let us introduce the sidekicks.

Let us start with Long Yi (LY), played by Guan Zhibin (Kenny Kwan). As a note, he’s probably my most loved character just for his…sheer tactlessness xD.

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For the ladies, we have CY’s cute mei mei, Shui Wushang (SW), played by Yuan Bingyan (Crystal).

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Dramas don’t start out of thin-air, so of course we need some elders for the blood feud to begin.

Young Li Manqing played by Xu Zheng Xi (Jeremy Jones) – LH’s father.

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Young Shangguan Xian played by Bai Bing (Michelle Bai) – LH’s mother.

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Young Princess of De’an, Ying Wei played by Xu Yajun – LZ’s mother.

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For the characters that aren’t recurring, we have some recognisable faces.
Li Xunhuan played by Yan Yikuan – LH’s paternal grandfather.

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Shangguan Jinhong played by Zong Feng Yan – LH’s maternal grandfather.

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Shangguan Xian played by Bai Shan.

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Please let me know if you like the tab style of organising characters or if you would rather see them all open in the post. I’m trying to find the best way to keep things simple and organised ^.^.

Episode 1 starts off with recap of the fight between Li Xunhuan and Shangguan Jinhong. (For those that don’t know the story of Flying Daggers, this drama is based on the last novel of the series.)

In true wuxia form, the backstory is played out in as little detail with as much impact as possible. We get a fight, an injury and a man falling off a cliff. Such a simple 5 min sequence begins the unfolding of a two generation tragedy.

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Jettison forward to Li Manqing ( Li Xunhuan’s son) and Shangguan Xian (Shangguan Jinhong’s daughter) who are destined to love, yet, must hate each other.

She goes to meet him ‘one last time’ only to be promised marriage.
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A marriage that would never eventuate and result in the demise of her entire family. Not from outside sects or clans, but from the royal family.

What is a trumped up love triangle without an imperial edict of marriage – cue Mr Eunuch (who will become a fixed recurring character).

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In true, naive fashion, our main man believes he can simply decline the wishes of the princess. Little does he know that she’s a vindictive little witch that will order this:

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To top it all off, we have a meeting of the she-dragons, a bit of trash talk and some torture:

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Of course, the next 10 mins are pretty predictable. Shangguan Xian is released as an incentive for Li Manqing to marry the Princess -> Princess marries Li Manqing (without him knowing that the love of his life is already pregnant with his child) -> Shangguan Xian is pregnant, then gives birth -> Shangguan Xian swears revenge against those that wronged her while taking her child away in the darkness of the night.

Li Manqing really is a poor soul in all of this…he doesn’t know that Shangguan Xian is pregnant until she has disappeared from the city. Admittedly, I have to give him kudos for sending out his most trusted aid in trying to find and protect mother and child.

Fast forward  to current day and we get to meet an all grown up Li Huai (LH), looking for his mother’s, Dragon & Phoenix Bracelets.

It’s the day of Feng Keke’s (KK) wedding (or at least her dad thinks and hopes it is). Our loveable support character is attempting to run away before being caught by LH. He’s guessed that the she’s taken the bracelets in her bag of things since he can’t find them elsewhere.

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The way she runs circles around him with her mediocre martial arts skills is pretty indicative of just how talentless he is at this point. The only thing he has going for him is his sharp tongue and wit.

LH manages to convince the ‘groom’ to call the whole thing off to the dismay of KK’s father.

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LH returns the Dragon & Phoenix Bracelets to his mother, but not before being slapped for causing such a commotion.

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But of course, mother and son are about to encounter the darkest night of their lives. Even after all these years, there are outstanding orders from Princess of De’an for the deaths of the two.

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The assassins are sent an exploding jar by Shangguan Xian with her newly re-discovered bracelets and the mother & son duo run into the night. LH attempts to escape with his mother while heavily injured, and the two are pursued by the team of assassins.

All hope is, however, not lost.

Please send a round of applause to this lovely lady~
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Who we will get introduced to next episode.

Episode 1 is fairly straight forward with no real development of character. The backstory is also fairly skimpy and more focus is given to Shangguan Xian’s struggle than the story of the Li Flying Daggers.

I must say though, the special effects given to these new daggers is spectacularly amazing. It’s not too flashy that it errs on the side of fantasy, but definitely more ‘modern’ than can stay true to the period of the drama.

Costuming may also be a sticky point for some viewers with Feng Keke always VERY brightly coloured. I’m more partial to the muted tones and white of Li Huai and Xue Cai Yue.

I’ll try to keep all my recaps fairly short, but as of now, I can already tell that from about E10 onwards, they’re going to get lengthy T_T.

If you have started watching this drama, what do you think of it so far?

Just a note:


(If you would like to leave a comment, please be mindful of those
that may not have watched the proceeding episodes.)

  1. 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

    I’m on ep 20, and I can’t really identify why but I am totally LOVING this show. It’s not spectacular or special, but it’s insanely addicting to me. I think it’s because it reminds me of old-time wuxia where the heroes go on there meandering hero-journey adventures. It’s really good. Not liking the rivals, but I LOVE Cai Yue and Shangguan Huai and Long Yi and Wushang. Chemistry’s decent but I think mostly cuz Yang Rong is seriously awesome.

    • 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

      Isn’t it just? I love the special effects mainly – but the throwback to old-style wuxia is super nice. A lot of the recent adaptations have left me feeling empty for not having lived up to the legacy of the story. This one is doing pretty well so far. Admittedly, it differs quite a bit from the 2003 version.

      Yang Rong is a goddess – the end. I think without her, the drama would have fallen flat as soon as Shangguan Xian died =.=”

      • 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

        do you all know mandarim? if not where do you get the subbed serie??? its so hard there are so many good dramas but no sub like Secret of the Linked Cities i want to watch but there is no sub anywhere.

        and its from 2003 🙁

        • 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

          I actually watch all Chinese dramas either subbed or dubbed in Vietnamese (which is how I can get a hold of the older versions). Dramas as old as the ’03 version are hard to get with Eng subs – although you could try your luck on YT. I find YT is more likely to have it if you search for the title in Chinese with ‘eng sub’.

      • 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

        Agreed ! I love Li Zheng too – please don’t go all bad! Yang Rong is really doing well here giving her icy cool demeanor a heart – was hoping this would be her breakout drama (together with Memory Lost) but unfortunately it got mired in the Hawick Lau scandal 🙁

  2. 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

    Thanks for recapping this series! I love the tab style of organizing the characters – keeps the overall look a lot more simple. Still getting used to Hawick playing this kind of carefree character. Yang Rong never disappoints and I love Kenny and Crystal in their respective roles. To be honest, this is not a great drama but it is very entertaining, so I guess it appeals to you as long as you aren’t too critical and is simply looking for some pretty and fun. Keep up the good work!

    • 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

      OHHHH have you watched Hawick in ‘A Clear Midsummer Night’. iirc his character in that series is much more carefree than even here.

      This drama is more appealing (to me at least) because the plot is so open. Compared to the ’03 version, everything is laid out on the table as soon as the characters meet. There’s no subterfuge in relationships and everyone knows what they’re getting into from the get go.

      It’s refreshing ^.^

  3. 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

    Please release episodes here, thanks! 1080 or 720p!!! WOOT

  4. 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

    I’m on a sound of the desert withdrawal badly so I’ll be checking this out. The only flying daggers I know is the movie version with Tony Leung KF and Jimmy Lin. Haha

    All the comments about old wuxia throw back is encouraging. ?

  5. 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

    ok everyone is going to ignore me 🙁

    • 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

      Hey sorry I saw your post just now. I never really reading through everything all the time. I actually do not speak Mandarin..only understand a little bit enough to understand the basic things in dramas bc I love watching chinese movies. This drama is so new I don’t know if it will be subbed any time soon, lets hope they will on viki?

      • 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap


        do you know anything about ode to gallatry the remake that is Being shooted?

        or do you know any place to watch ode to gallantry from 2002 or secret of the linked cities 2003???

        • 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

          sorry I do not.
          I’m very old hearted and there are tons of old dramas out there I really want them to be subbed too but unfortunately I don’t think that will really happen.
          So that was why I did what I never thought I would, watch them without subs, and turns out…I am amazed I kind of pick up the language pretty fast that way. I started understanding at least 70-80% of what is going on. I think that is probably the only way to go around it.

  6. 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

    Cool, didn’t know this is out already. gonna go check it out quick! Yang Rong is looking so pretty in those pictures.

    I’m already excited what type of ending this one is going to be, the ruby lin + Julian version back then has an ambiguous ending! I find that one somewhat boring because I didn’t totally understand the flying dagger story, but they were all hotties! Dong Jie was very beautiful as I remember too.

    Vincent Jiao also did two flying daggers drama too, but I wasn’t sure how it’s related to this one…I just love and miss that one old style soundtrack in there, it’s that one with Jacky wu and Alyssa Chia in it.

    • 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

      The Vincent Jiao one, iirc, is the first novel of the series as he play Li Xunhuan (the original practitioner of the Flying Dagger). His story is a bit….err what the heck (according to my dad xD). THIS drama is about his grandson.

      At 21 episodes so far, I like this version better so far. i think I spent a good 3/4 of the 2003 version going…. NOOOOOOO why you so stupid….

      Yang Rong’s costuming is very elegant here. i remember Ruby Lin’s version and she was constantly in fur O-o”

      Definitely check it out and let us know what you think ^.^

  7. 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

    Congrats imomusings on your first recap here! I have seen only the first two ep of this, (if skimming through count lol) awesome to know you and others have enjoyed it. Traditional Wuxia is already rare now, so it’s cool we still get some every now and then. I got the plot for the most part, but your recap help clear some bits.

    Thanks for your recap, and best of wishes to all your future recap! 😀

    • 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

      Thanks gege ^.^

      Well remakes aren’t so rare, but the rarity is in a drama keeping true to the wuxia genre. This one toes the line of xianxia in the effects side but at least the characters aren’t totally changed up like Romance of Condor Heroes T_T.

      Thank you! I look forward to the blackhole that is 2017 drama releases =D

  8. 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

    I feel like I might check this show out just for Gui Gui

  9. 19 thoughts on “The Legend of Flying Daggers (2016) Episode 1 Recap

    I love the tab style for your recap – very neat and easy to read XD

    Only seen one episode so far and hoping to watch more episodes soon!

What do you think?