Princess Wei Young | 锦绣未央 | Chinese Drama | Review | Episode Guide

Available on: Viki, Netflix, YouTube

Total episode #: 54

Dumpling-rating scale:  4.5/5

4.5 dumplings

Princess Wei Young (锦绣未央) is a palace drama loosely based on Tuoba Jun’s rise to power during the Northern Wei Dynasty. Only that the protagonist isn’t Tuoba Jun but a fictional princess of a defeated state — a princess who is known as Princess Wei Young.

It is quite possible that Princess Wei Young (and the novel it is based on, The Poisonous Daughter 庶女有毒) is an attempt to favourably portray the reign of Empress Wenming — Tuoba Jun’s actual Empress. Although “Wenming” literally means civil and understanding, she was ruthless and vengeful. And it is those attributes which form the basis of Princess Weiyoung — just in a sympathetic way.

princess-weiyoung-75 – Site Title

Princess of the Northern Liang, Feng Xin’er escapes an assassination attempt which claims the lives of her entire family. She is saved by a country girl called Wei Young who happens to be the illegitimate daughter of the Prime Minister to the Northern Wei. After Wei Young is killed by her father’s legitimate wife, Xin’er assumes her identity and vows to seek revenge for Wei Young and her dead family…

Image result for princess weiyoung cast

It’s true that the story isn’t original and it has been told multitudes of time before and after — see, The Story of Ming Lan, The Story of Yanxi Palace, Empress Ki. While the production value and acting/voice dubbing is of a much lower standard than newer versions of this story, there is a simplicity and innocence to this version, which make it a little different and in some instances more pleasant to watch.

I wouldn’t recommend going into this drama expecting logic or a particularly strong female lead — Wei Young is quite passive and often acts defensively rather than preemptively (unlike her drama successors). If you can accept that, the short sub-plots and fast pace make it engaging and enjoyable, particularly if you are looking for a palace drama with a romance/love triangle typically found in Cdramas.

Image result for princess wei young

I’ve definitely re-watched parts of this drama — partly because it doesn’t come with the same emotional baggage and partly because it has that fairy tale romance aspect. For more details and ‼️ spoilers ‼️, below is my episode guide with 🌟 next to my favourites —

  • Arc 1 | Episodes 1 – 3 | Princess Wei Young
  • Arc 2 | Episodes 4 – 17 | Lady An Ping 🌟
  • Arc 3 | Episode 18 – 36 | No more pretending 🌟
  • Arc 4 | Episode 37 – 54 | Emperor of the Northern Wei

Arc 1 | Episodes 1 – 3 | Princess Wei Young

Princess of the Northern Liang, Feng Xin-er’s mother dies at childbirth. On her birth date, a fortune teller/seer predicts and tells her royal family that Xin-er is ‘lucky’ and will bring great prosperity to the kingdom.

Related image

Her birth day also happens to be the day that her father (King of the Northern Liang) is held hostage by the Great Wei in order to control/subdue the Northern Liang.  As her father is held hostage, Xin-er is raised by her paternal grandmother and is cherished by all her subject.

After what seems like at least two decades, Xin-er’s father returns for his mother’s birthday. In preparing for the celebrations, Xin-er in disguise encounters and is ‘saved’ by Prince Tuoba Jun (the first of many times) but goes on her merry way.

Princess Weiyoung Tuoba Jun GIF

As the celebration is underway, it becomes very clear that something very sinister is happening behind the scenes. It is revealed that a power-hungry Chi-yun family has framed Xin-er’s father for treason. In doing so, they execute him and hunt down both Xin-er and her grandmother.

In an effort to slow them down, Xin-er’s grandmother sacrifices herself and is killed by Li Min Feng. Jun Tao (Xin-er friend and maidservant) disguises herself and leads the Chi-yun forces away from Xin-er giving her a chance to escape.

Image result for chiyun nan

Xin-er seriously injured passes out but is found and cared for by … Wei Young. Wei Young is the daughter of the Prime Minister to the Emperor of the Great Wei and his servant. She had been sent away at birth to the country because she was deemed to be ‘unlucky’ (something about her birth date and astrology) and was also the result of the Prime Minister liaison with a servant (now his 7th concubine).

Image result for princess wei young

It so happens that Wei Young is being called back to Li Manor by her grandmother. In an effort to stop her from returning Wei Young’s legitimate mother sends an assassin to kill her. Ultimately, the assassin successfully kills Wei Young but before she dies, Wei Young tells Xin-er to get revenge on her legitimate mother (who happens to be from the same family which killed Xin-er’s family) and to care for her birth mother.

In order to fulfill her promise to Wei Young, Xin-er assumes her identity and finally (after an arduous journey) enters into Li Manor. Her goal is two-fold – get revenge on the Chi Yun Family and to care for Wei Young’s mother.

Related image

Arc 2 | Episodes 4 – 18 | Lady An Ping 🌟

The first thing Xi-er (now Wei Young) has to do in Li Manor is learn how to survive. Among her family she has identified potential friends and enemies. Over the course of Arc 2, Wei Young becomes close friends with her adopted cousin Min De and Li Chang Ru. She also soon becomes her grandmother’s favourite and solidifies her relationship with her ‘mother’.

Despite quickly establishing herself in Li Manor, she is poisoned by Chi Yun Ru (literally her third/fourth attempt at killing Wei Young) but once again encounters and is saved by Tuoba Jun. Wei Young returns to the manor (shocking everyone) and discovers Tuoba Jun is in fact the Crown Prince’s Son and the Emperor’s favourite — this means that Tuoba Jun is connected to the Empire that destroyed her family. Fighting her true feeling, Wei Young is cold toward Tuoba Jun who only grows to love her more. Thus the love triangle begins — Wei Young’s older sister Li Chang Le is in love with Tuoba Jun who loves Wei Young.

Image result for princess wei young

In trying to frame and get rid of Wei Young, Li Chang Le and Li Meng Feng (her brother) use Zi Yan to steal a flood relief plan drafted by Wei Young for Tuoba Jun. However, Li Chang Le and Li Meng Feng’s fraud is exposed in front of the Emperor who punishes both of them, elevates Wei Young to ‘Lady An Ping’ and her mother to 3rd level Concubine.  Wei Young’s intelligence attracts the attention of Tuoba Yu (Tuoba Jun’s uncle and contender for the throne). Tuoba Yu hopes to use Wei Young in his effort to become Emperor which is the start of a secondary love triangle — Li Chang Ru is in love with Tuoba Jun who loves Wei Young.

Related image

This flood relief plan mini-arc concludes with the death of Li Min Feng. After Li Mein Feng and Chang Le were shamed in front of the Emperor, Min Feng is out to destroy Wei Young. However, he takes out his anger on Zi Yan who is now living with him as she is pregnant with his child. In one of his violent outbursts he kills Zi Yan. Vowing to get revenge on Li Min Feng, Wei Young uses her body expose Li Min Feng’s crime in front of the royal family during a birthday celebration.

Princess Weiyoung GIF

This is the last straw for the Emperor who exiles Li Min Feng. On his journey to a remote region in China, he is killed by none of than Jun Tao. Naturally, Chi Yun Rou and Chang Le are upset but instead of leaving Wei Young alone they expedite their plans to kill Wei Young. They employ three different methods (all of which fail) —

  • the first is Chi Yun Rou poisoning herself and framing Wei Young. Wei Young once again outmaneuvers her and proves her innocence;
  • the second is trying to expose Wei Young as not being the real Wei Young — which for once is true. However, Mama Wei Young (who has grown to care for her) has her back and saves her. Afterwards Wei Young tells her ‘mum’ what happened to the real Wei Young and they grow even closer; and
  • the third is a staged suicide (Wei Young’s apparent motive is that she has a country-side lover), Tuoba Jun has her back, saves her and openly declares that he loves her.

Uh-oh, now with Tuoba Jun openly declaring his love… what is going to happen?

Image result for princess wei young minde

Arc 3 | Episodes 19 – 36 | No more pretending 🌟

In Arc 3 true identities and intentions are uncovered. A lot happens in this arc — my favourite of course is when Wei Young finally accepts her feelings for Tuo Ba Jun and they become an official couple. This is even after Wei Young identity as Princess of the Liang is uncovered (in episode 14), facing the Emperor’s disapproval (episodes 30) and surviving Tuoba Yu attempts on Tuoba Jun’s life (episodes 25 and again at 31).

Related image

It is also disclosed that Min De is in fact the Prince of Khan. He was abandoned as a child and adopted by Zhou Xue Mei. He has since been an ally/admirer of Wei Young but is now in a strange relationship with Tuoba Di. Tuoba Di in this arc reveals to Min De that she is in fact a princess not a prince and is in love with Min De.

Image result for princess wei young minde

Other more unpleasant revelations include Changru’s conniving and malicious nature. It was obvious from the start that she was in love with Tuoba Yu but seeing him falling in love with Wei Young makes her jealous and vindictive. She soon replaces Chang Le and Chi Yun Rou as the main antagonist.

Image result for princess wei young min de

Chang Le and Chi Yun Rou are still trying to kill Wei Young (trying and failing about 50 times wasn’t enough). Ultimately, their machinations result in the death of Min De’s mum — who is poisoned by Chi Yun Rou, she had also sent assassins to kill Min De — and poisoning the Prime Minister. Chang Le for the latter offense is sent to the country as punishment — where she become more ruthless and calculating. In the end, Chi Yun Nan (who killed Wei Young’s father) returns and saves Chang Le. Although Chi Yun Nan returns he is too late to save Chi Yun Rou (his aunt) who dies from the poison she ingested in episode 16 in an attempt to frame Wei Young.

This arc culminates with the death of the Crown Princess in episode 34 and of course the framing Wei Young — the Crown Princess is killed by Chang Le but both Changru and Tuoba Yu had a hand in it.

Tang Yan in Chinese historical revenge drama Princess Weiyoung

Wei Young is sentenced to be executed for the murder of the Crown Princess. Despite her impending execution she is more upset that Tuoba Jun doesn’t believe she had nothing to do with his mother’s murder.  Still in love with Wei Young Tuoba Jun asks Tuoba Yu to save Wei Young — Tuoba Yu is now favoured by the Emperor after his victory at episode 36. Tuoba Yu agrees to help Tuoba Jun on the condition he marry Chang Le and not tell Wei Young about their arrangement. Changru — who has become crazed and obsessive —  is obviously not thrilled as she had worked incredibly hard to frame Wei Young.

Tuoba Yu honors his bargain with Tuoba Jun and saves Wei Young. This gives Wei Young the opportunity to clear her name and expose Chi Yun Nan’s crimes. Although Wei Young is now cleared from all wrongdoing, she is stripped of her title and is sent to work in the laundry service.

Arc 4 | Episodes 38 – 54 | Emperor of the Northern Wei

With Chi Yun Nan out of the picture (temporarily), Wei Young and Tuoba Jun now only need to defend themselves against Tuoba Yu, Tuoba Han, Changru and Changle (a much shorter list than we started with!).

The fight to be Crown Prince between Tuoba Yu and Tuoba Jun becomes real as Tuoba Jun realizes the only way he can protect Wei Young is to become Emperor. Meanwhile Tuoba Yu is now more intent than ever to destroy Tuoba Jun not only for the throne but also to win Wei Young’s affection. This last bit was a little weird for me because he still keeps Changru around as his side piece …

Related image

Anyways… this arc starts with a couple of filler episodes chronicling Wei Young’s time in the laundry department and dealing with being framed (again!) for attempting to poison the Empress with a needle. Again Wei Young is able to expose the true culprit, Tuoba Han. Tuoba Han as punishment is stripped of his title and confined to his manor — goodbye Tuoba Han.

In saying goodbye to Tuoba Han, we welcome Min De as he returns (now the Prince of the Khan) with his sister to solidify a relationship between the two kingdoms with a marriage.  Min De’s sister and Wei Young initially do not get along which gives Changru (who has now already killed Bai Zhi) the confidence to frame Wei Young again — this time for murdering Min De’s sister. Instead, Changru gets played and her treachery is revealed — I was just glad that Wei Young finally realized that Changru was not on her side.

Princess Weiyoung GIF

Because Changru is pregnant with Tuoba Yu’s child her she is given some sort of clemency till after childbirth. However that does not stop her and she tries again to frame Wei Young — using an aphrodisiac to get Tuoba Yu and Wei Young together — again she is exposed and is sentenced to death. Tuoba Yu decides to save her by faking her death (such a weird couple).

Image result for princess wei young stills

Drawing nearer to the end (episode 48), Tuoba Jun discovers that his father was framed for corruption by Tuoba Yu (in his quest to be Crown Prince). Tuoba Yu to cover his tracks uses Chi Yun Nan (yup, he is back) to kill an entire clan. Chi Yun Nan however is killed (by Tuoba Yu) after Tuoba Jun apprehends him.

However, Tuoba Jun and Wei Young are able to find evidence against Tuoba Yu and show it to the Emperor (who names Tuoba Jun as Crown Prince). Tuoba Yu in response  kills his father, crowns himself Emperor and imprisons both Wei Young and Tuoba Jun.

Princess Weiyoung GIF

Tuoba Yu releases Tuoba Jun after Wei Young agrees to marry him although by this stage Chang Le and Chang Ru have poisoned both Wei Young and Tuoba Jun with the same poison. Upon his release, Tuoba Jun joins forces with Minde and launch a rebellion.

In the final episode, the rebellion favours the good guys — Tuoba Jun, Wei Young and Minde. All is not sunshine and roses, it is revealed that Wei Young took the only antidote and Tuoba Jun is dying. The bearer of this news of course is Tuoba Yu who dies after shielding Wei Young for an attack by Chang Ru —  Chang Ru kills herself to die with Tuoba Yu. Chang Le also meets her maker when Tuoba Jun give her the option to kill herself (which takes). The only ‘happy ending’ is Minde and Tuoba Di finally ending up together.

Image result for princess wei young stills

For the next ten years, Wei Young and Tuoba Jun are able to live a happy life as Emperor and Empress together with their son. The poison slowly begins to effect Tuoba Jun and he dies peacefully sitting next to Wei Young in the garden he had planted for her years before.

Image result for princess wei young

Although I wasn’t thrilled with the ending and would have much preferred a Story of Ming Lan styled ending, I take refuge in the fact that Li Wei Young and Tuo Ba Jun got together in real life.

Related image

What did you think of Princess Wei Young?




      1. I haven’t watched all of it. I just watched the first few episodes. It didn’t catch my interest, but I may go back and watch it eventually. Did you like it?


  1. I found this drama interesting, although the fact that the main characters counted so much in pure luck to get out of so many (so many!) ploys against their lives made me want to skip some parts. Tuoba Jun is a fine and endearing male lead, but so much weaker and naive than his uncle, the one who indeed gained my admiration at the end. If it was not for Tuoba Yu being so heartless with everyone (even with Weiyoung) I would surely not complain if she ended up with him at the end. I confess that I’m not much of a fan of maniqueist stories, where people are totally bad or totally good, and I found that Tuoba Yu was the most interesting character among them all, even kind of redeeming himself at the end, just before criticizing Tuoba Jun for doing the same as he ends up doing, which is *SPOILER* sacrifice himself to save the one he loves.


  2. I never leave blog reviews! BUT THANK YOU FOR POSTING AND WRITING THIS REVIEW!!! Especially adding the episode numbers!! I found this show on Netflix and binged watched 24 hours of it in 2 days. I was like I can’t waste this much time 🤣😅. Good to know they had some what of a happy ending and in real life they actually got married. This was a pretty great storyline. Eventhough long. Thank you for writing. I’m Nigerian-American. I live in the US. This show reminds me of Game of Thrones the Chinese verison and I couldn’t real get into GOT as much. But Princess Wei Young I loved the show!! Does she ever tell Tuoba Jun she is the northern Princess and mask as Wei Young. Poor Bai Zhi. They didn’t have to kill her. (Now i can go back and watch thank you again for writing!!)


  3. I agree with you. His character is actually the most interesting and humanistic. He just needed to love the woman that loved him back. I was hoping that Chang Ru and him would have a happy ending 😔 eventhough she was blinded by obsession. I still need to go back and watch as i haven’t finished the rest. Maybe i’ll feel different. But i enjoyed his character!


  4. I finally finished watching!!! After 4 days!! Loved it!!! Wish Luo Jin had a Facebook or Instagram page to follow. His acting was the best!!! He could cry instantly!!

    And Tuoba Yu definitely had mental disorder from being abuse as a child. Part 2 – if ever one. Would be interesting if Changru mom rised Changru and Tuoba Yu son to hate and kill Tuoba Jun and Weiyoung’ son – who’s now the emperor. To see that palace drama play out. But that doesn’t make sense because he’s Emperor and he could banish and kill him … eventhough Tuoba Yu son is still royal blood. Like to see how Weiyoung still maneuvers.(But without Tuoba Jun not being there they would have to find another love interest maybe the younger generation. Could the young Emperor Han and Changru son fight over Minde and Princess Di – who can have a daughter) Plot may not be as good. But maybe worth watching!!

    One of the main reason. I don’t watch Chinese love stories, is they always end in death and suicide. That’s exactly why i came to this site. Because i was like I’m not about to seat here and watch this show and they all end up dying. Wish they did suicide and deaths in love stories. But i also understand that’s apart of their culture as they believe in reincarnation.

    That being said i’m glad Tuoba Jun at least got 5 years. But they could have just ended on the scene of them getting married and writing what happened. Instead i ended up crying again.

    This was an amazing drama!! WONDERFUL!!!


  5. I hurt so much after Tuoba Jun,s death. I had to research the actors to get some peace. Tuoba Yu (Vanness Wu) I suggest watching “Autumn Concerto”. Another tearjerker. His character in the final episodes ofPrincess Weiyoung caused me such stress. Evil! And then when he had that neck crack before exploding or calmly giving ultimatums…. evil. I decided to find him in a role that was kinder and more human. I highly recommend “Autumn Concerto”. I am hooked on Asian series now. Enjoying them more than the western movies.


  6. I started to watch Korean , Chinese dramas and romantic comedies in lockdown . I love them . Although I now hesitate to start one which goes over 20 episodes as I tend to binge watch and it is not good for conjugal felicity particularly if your husband does not share your same love. For me Tuoba Jun and Weiyoung were my favourite caractères followed by Minde and the young very endearing princess Di .yes Tuoba Yu was interesting but at the end I can’t tolerate wickedness . He retrieved himself by protecting Weiyoung from Changru sword attack and showing he was just in love with Weiyoung as Tuoba Jun . This drama was too long and far too sad would have liked a bit more humour or light relief subplot (Minde and Di )and they should have lived happy ever after .


  7. I’ve already started watching other Chinese dramas but I am sure that I’ll never get over The Princess Weiyoung. I absolutely LOVED every minute of it and everything about it. I tried with “Ashes of Love” but as soon as I saw that 3/4 of settings are green-screened, I lost interest. :c I’ll be giving “Yanxi Palace: The Adventures of the Princess” a chance. But Weiyoung will stay my favorite foreverrrr haha. Will probably re-watch 😀


  8. I really enjoyed the movie but was upset with the ending. They went through too much pain and heartache to not have the happily ever after ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I truly love love loved this awesome Novel what I admired most about Princess Weiyoung as a whole is how she never lost her hearts moral code her heart was pure and noble and loyal her love for Tuaba Jun was also pure and unadulterated. I love Novels that portrays who we really are supposed to be in our hearts and actions when in rulership, in leadership and when equally yoked. I watched it 3 times because of all the awesome in-depth teaching and schooling it gave me in so many ways. I absolutely consider this novel top of the line I give it 10 stars the professional acting the quality of the film the life of that world fiction or not came to life in side of me and impacted me in a personal way. I also loved all the beautiful sceneries and beautiful Palaces and backgrounds, Oh but most of all the wardrobe for every actress and actor OH MY MY MY ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE AND BEAUTIFUL. Thank you to you all for this beautiful Novel. Definitely made it on my list of favorites. God bless you all. Sincerely Gloria Gonzalez


  10. I was also very sad with the end for me I would have kept Tuaba Jun alive after all they went through it truly broke my heart I cried so many tears through out the Novel but as I said before I really needed to watch this Novel it truly taught me so much thanks again OH but to find out that the Protoganists are together in reality is also awesome to know y’all definitely belong together beautiful beautiful couple Sincerely Gloria Gonzalez


    1. I love princess weiyoung! I have watched it 3 or more times. I often wondered what happed to tuboa yu’s child. Will he grow up in the city with a foster family like minde? Then when he learns of his father, he fights Hong for the throne. Sequel???? If so I’d totally watch it!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.