Photo: Netflix 

Can’t get enough of palace dramas? You can soon catch the spin-off series of smash hit Story of Yanxi Palace on Netflix, way before the audience in China.

Yanxi Palace: Princess Adventures will air on Dec 31 and tells the story of Princess Zhaohua, daughter of imperial consort Wei Yingluo and emperor Qianlong.

The spin-off stars newcomers Wang Herun and Wang Yizhe, who plays Princess Zhaohua and Fu Kang An, the son of scheming maid Hitara Erqing respectively. 

In the show, the Qing dynasty princess contends with palace intrigue and a vendetta against her family. She also navigates the treacherous terrain of romance while battling with her own psychological scars inflicted by an old nemesis – Yuan ChunWang.

It was revealed during an interview that her character was abducted and tortured as a child by the antagonist from the original series.  Hopefully, show creators will also shed light on the parentage of Fu Kang An, a mystery that was not clarified for the viewers.

In the original series, Hitara Erqing claims that Fu Kang An was born out of a mistake with Emperor Qianlong, devastating Empress Fucha, causing her to take her own life.

But a popular theory among fans suggest that he is actually the son of Fucha Fu Qian -Fu Heng​​​​’s brother. 

If you’re a fan of Yingluo or Qianlong, you can also look forward to cameos from Wu Jinyan and Nie Yuan in the six-episode spin-off series.

Photo: Weibo/Yuzheng1978

Story of Yanxi Palace, a gripping tale of the power struggle among the emperor’s concubines, enthralled viewers from China and abroad and was streamed over 15 billion times in 2018.

With its elaborate sets and costumes, as well as characters such the sharp-witted Wei Yingluo, genteel Empress Fucha Rongyin (Qin Lan), and ruthless consort Xian (Charmaine Sheh), Yanxi Palace became a mega hit drama.

Although Princess Adventures was filmed shortly after the main series, its release hit a roadblock in China.

Photo: Weibo/Yuzheng1978

Following the immense popularity of imperial dramas in recent years, Chinese authorities starting taking them down after deeming their plots, which often include elaborate schemes hatched by back-stabbing courtiers, a negative influence on society.

After screenwriter Yu Zheng announced on Weibo earlier this month that the spin-off will be aired on Netflix, some Chinese netizens have even said they would consider ‘climbing over the Great Firewall’ so they could watch the show.

Will Yanxi Palace: Princess Adventures achieve the same success as its predecessor? Keep your eyes peeled on Dec 31.

This article was first published in AsiaOne.