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First Episode 62: 神雕侠侣 (Return of the Condor Heroes)


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A part of the Grand First Episode Project -- See this thread for more info.

Modern Wuxia fantasy based on a famous Jin Yong novel.

Wikipedia article about the novel

Language Difficulty Level: Upper Intermediate

Download: Emule MKV - Emule RMVB - Emule RM

Watch: youku - Stream with English subtitles

I've been watching this recently, as I really enjoy the modern wuxia series that have appeared during the last few years.

This one continues where 射雕英雄传 left off. It is not really necessary to know what happened in that one, as the main characters are new, but you'll probably enjoy this one more if you know the back story.

Overall, I have found this one enjoyable so far, but not as good as 射雕英雄传 and 天龍八部. It has the same larger-than-life, lord of the rings-inspired fantasy feel to it and beautiful cinematography that makes it easy to get into, but some of the scenes have too much slapstick and the early episodes following Yang Guo as a child test your patience at times. The special effects are also gratuitous. Overall, though, as soon as the story starts moving (Yang Guo grows up), it becomes lots of fun to follow.

This is the show that made Liu Yifei famous, through her role as 小龍女. So far, 李莫愁 makes a memorable villain.

The language is somewhere between intermediate and upper intermediate. Generally, the conversations are more modern than in the previous wuxia shows, but there is enough classical stuff thrown in to make you need the subtitles in places. Intermediate people should have not problems following the basic story, though. Summary and wordlist are coming.



Edited by renzhe
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I bought this on DVD, with English subtitles, a couple of years ago ... was bored out of my mind at the start, when he's just a kid, so stopped watching. But started again, managed to get through the beginning, and was hooked -- I really liked it, have to admit. Even if there were too many dialogues consisting of just: "gu gu" ... "gou'er" ..." gu gu" ... "gou'er" .....

Edited by realmayo
misspelling, I think
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You've got to love the Engraving Heroes!

Is 金轮法王/金轮国师 Tibetan in the TV series? I heard that he was originally written as Tibetan, but this was cited as an example of Chinese prejudice against Tibetan monks. So when 金庸 revised the book in 2004 he changed the character to a Mongolian monk who studied in Tibet.

The Tibetan monk in 天龍八部 was also a prick until he was sorted out by a right thinking Chinese person of course.

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李莫愁 = 赤练仙子 -- the most powerful of the disciples of the tomb sect, 小龙女's 师姐

小龙女 -- the girl guarding the 活死人墓 tomb, the most graceful of the disciples of the tomb sect

陆展元 -- 李莫愁's former lover turned mortal enemy

郭靖 -- a very powerful warrior, and the protagonist of the previous book, 射雕英雄传

黄蓉 -- 郭靖's wife, also a very powerful warrior

黄药师 -- "The eastern heretic", father of 黄蓉 and the master of the Peach Blossom Island. One of the five great masters of Wulin

杨过 -- son of 杨康, who died in the previous book. 郭靖 is taking care of him together with 黄蓉 out of a sense of duty.

欧阳锋 -- "The western poison", one of the five great masters of Wulin turned madman after studying a tampered copy of the 九阴真经 manual

王重阳 -- "The central deity", one of the five great masters of Wulin, former guardian of the 九阴真经 manual and the former leader of the 全真 Daoist sect

丘真人/长春 -- The most powerful of the disciples of the 全真 sect

霍都王子 -- one of 小龙女's many admirers who starts a fight with the 全真 sect at the beginning of the show

Here is the vocabulary list. Most of the series is very easy to follow, but you'll notice that some occasional words are really rare. If it's not in the 新世纪汉英大词典, then it is a really really rare word, and several of these weren't in there.

血掌印 xiě zhǎng yìn * bloody palm mark, a technique used by 李莫愁

冲 chōng * to rinse

仇家 chóujiā * personal enemy

其中 qí zhōng * among / in / included among these

锦帕 jǐn pà * embroidered handkerchief

求情 qiúqíng * beg for leniency

精光 jīngguāng * completely empty, completely bare

魔头 mótóu * devil, demon, evil spirit

贪心 tān xīn * greedy

何方 hé fāng * where

神圣 shén shèng * divine / hallow / holy

懒得 lǎn dé * not wishing to do anything / disinclined

严加管教 yánjiā * to give strict instruction or education.

蛤蟆功 há má gōng * toad gong-fu, a fictional martial arts style taught to 杨过 by 欧阳锋

漂泊 piāo bó * to drift (in the tide) / to rove / to lead a wandering existence

忍心 rěn xīn * to have the heart to do sth / to steel oneself to a task

正宗 zhèng zōng * orthodox school / fig. traditional / old school

终南山 zhōng nán shān * a mountain in southern China

误入歧途 wùrùqítú * to go astray

怄气 òuqì * to be annoyed

撒气 sā qì * to vent one's anger

道士 dào shì * a Daoist priest

恩怨 ēn yuàn * (feeling of) resentment / (longstanding) grudge

聋子 lóngzi * a deaf person

留步 liú bù * please stay / no need to see me out

淫贼 yín zéi * insult similar in meaning to "pervert"

嘴硬 zuǐyìng * stubborn

援兵 yuán bīng * reinforcement

剑阵 jiàn zhèn * a sword formation used by the 全真 sect

在下 zài xià * under / polite way to refer to oneself

乃 nǎi * to be (archaic)

分晓 fēn xiǎo * the result (becomes apparent) / now one understands

持强 chí qiáng * to use one's power

逞能 chěngnéng * to show off

莫怪 = 别怪

杂种 zázhǒng * bastard

承让 chéng ràng * (archaic) apology, "please forgive me"

玉女心经 yù nǚ xīn jīng * fictional gongfu style taught to 杨过 by 小龙女

以大欺小 yǐ dà qī xiǎo * the big bullying the small, in this show it is reversed to mean the opposite

草包 cǎo bāo * idiot / straw bag

另寻 lìng xún * to look for something else (not really a word)

教诲 jiào huì * to instruct

顾忌 gù jì * scruple

叹服 tàn fú * (to gasp) with admiration

行侠仗义 xíng xiá zhàng yì * to do good, be a noble warrior

奸邪 jiān xié * crafty and evil / a treacherous villain

循规蹈矩 xún guī dǎo jǔ * to follow the rules

严于律己 yányúlǜjǐ * to be strict in controlling oneself.

怠误 dài wù * carelesness, negligence

强词夺理 qiǎng cí duó lǐ * powerful words devoid of sense (成语 saw); sophistry / loud rhetoric making up for fallacious argument / shoving false arguments down people's throats

Edited by renzhe
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Plot summary, it should be helpful for people not familiar with the story:

We start with 陆展元's brother finding bloody palm marks at his home. It's a signal by 李莫愁 that she is coming to kill off his family, one

palm for each member, presumably as a revenge for his brother leaving her. This includes the two young girls. They decide to send the girls away with a servant, each

one carrying half of an embroidered handkerchief, an old gift 陆展元 gave to 李莫愁, hoping that she would spare them

upon seeing it. She is infuriated that they tried to save two girls with one handkerchief, so she decides to kill

both, but they are saved by a young 杨过 who is roaming the forrest with his guardian 郭靖. A mysterious master

shows up and humiliates 李莫愁 (she guesses it must be 黄药师), but she manages to get away with one of the girls. 黄药师 doesn't want

to meet 郭靖, so he gets away before 郭靖 shows up.

郭靖 is taking 杨过 to the 终南山, to leave him with the Daoist monks of the respected 全真 sect. Both he and 杨过's father

杨康 have studied with the 全真 masters, before 杨康 was led astray and turned into a villain. Since 杨过 was causing too much

trouble to 郭靖 and 黄蓉 on the Peach Blossom Island, and even injured people using 蛤蟆功, a style from the

west he learned from who-knows-where, they thought that taking him to the 全真 sect is the only way to teach him some


When they arrive there, the temple is in disarray. 郭靖 is mistaken for an enemy and attacked, and while he's defending himself,

杨过 is kidnapped by the temple's cook. After he defeats the monks and sees the sect leaders, the misunderstanding is

cleared -- they mistook him for 霍都王子, a guy who comes up the hill every year trying to win over the heart of

小龙女, a mysterious girl who lives in a nearby cave and who is left alone by the 全真 sect. 霍都王子 challenges 郭靖, but is

obviously not his match, so he retreats. He tries to talk to 小龙女, but is chased away buy a swarm of bees, a strange

technique of the Tomb sect. We find out that 李莫愁 is 小龙女's 师姐, but that she wasn't taught the techniques of

玉女心经, which means 小龙女 is the only person who can weild this most graceful of all fighting styles.

The rest of the episode is 郭靖 leaving 杨过 to the monks, and 杨过 not adapting well to the strict rules of the sect.

As a result, he gets sent to serve in the kitchen with his old foe.

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Basic meaning:哪里的神圣


金庸《飞狐外传》: 例句: “这十人究竟是何方神圣?”


See :http://paper.sznews.com/tqb/20071121/ca2833091.htm

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Thanks, both of you. I wouldn't have caught that on my own.

Is 金轮法王/金轮国师 Tibetan in the TV series?

I'm still not sure. Both his disciples are Mongolian, though.

Edit: He's Mongolian, as far as I can tell. The Khan refers to him as one of the Mongolians, in any case.

Edited by renzhe
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  • 2 weeks later...

So, I've finished all of this. Overall, it was really enjoyable. Many of the things that made 天龙八部 and 射雕英雄传 fun to watch were also present here, and I've become a fan of the wuxia genre during the last couple of years, so I went through this one very quickly.

It's not as good as 天龙八部 and 射雕英雄传 though, for a number of reasons. The special effects are overplayed and inexcusably bad in places. The pacing is off from time to time, and it seems to try too hard to copy the Lord of the Rings movies (the director is a huge fan of the movies, but he didn't turn characters into Gollum in the other shows, and it was a bad idea to do it here). At the end of the day, the story simply isn't as good as with some other 金庸 novels.

That said, there are definitely some things going for it (both the story and this series). 杨过 must be the one of the most likable heroes 金庸 has created. He maintains a positive attitude even in the harshest of times. Also, 李莫愁 is certainly one of the coolest villains around, and 金轮大王 also makes a memorable villain.

In my view, this is well worth the watch if you're into the wuxia genre. If you're just starting with the genre, I recommend one of the other shows (especially since 射雕 is a prequel to this one, with many of the same characters and it provides much of the back story). There are some gripes and annoyances here, but at the end of the day, it is entertaining, has interesting story and beautiful shots, and is easy to watch in large quantities.

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杨过 must be the one of the most likable heroes 金庸 has created. He maintains a positive attitude even in the harshest of times.

Yes, I agree (pity his girlfriend is so annoying). One of the things I don't like about the heroes from 天龙八部 and 射雕英雄传 is that it just seems too easy for them to become supernaturally powerful beings. 郭靖 reminds me a bit of Forrest Gump, am I the only one? So when you see what 杨过 struggles through, it is easier to buy into his story. Having the ghost of 杨康 perpetually hovering works well too (I forget, does 杨过 ever find out what his name actually means?)

李莫愁 is certainly one of the coolest villains around

Funnily enough, I just the other day read a poem credited to a 梁 emperor about another girl called 莫愁. 河中之水向东流,洛阳女儿名莫愁 ... This led me to the story of 莫愁湖 in Nanjing:

According to one legend, the name of the lake came from a young woman of beauty and virtue named Mochou.who lived during the Northern and Southern Dynasty (386-589). She married a man from the Lu family in Jinling (now known as Nanjing City) and had a baby. They lived a happy life until one day Lu was recruited to the army. Because there had been no news of him since he had left, she missed her husband dearly day and night. Finally, it is said that Mochou turned into a lake, with the hope of flowing to her husband's side. In memory of the young woman's undying devotion to her husband, the lake was aptly named Mochou Lake by the local people.

So maybe the name 莫愁 is a joke? Although the Lu in the 莫愁湖 story is 卢lu2 unlike the 陆lu4 in 神雕.

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I don't find 小龙女 annoying. In fact, there are very appealing aspects to her -- she grew up removed from the world and doesn't understand the rules of the world at large. She does what she thinks is right. It's also hilarious how the two of them are totally aloof and indifferent about the carnage that's taking place all around them.

The annoying part is that she embodies the all the macho prejudices of what a woman should be like. This is the reason why I like 黄蓉 far more.

But it is a recurring theme throughout all 金庸's novels that I'm familiar with. Major female characters are either wretched and cruel villains, or brittle and tender goodies who need a strong man to take care of them. 黄蓉 is very special in that sense. At least 小龙女 becomes one of the most powerful characters by the end of the novel, which is also rare, and you get the feeling that 杨过 needs her even more than she needs him.

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  • 1 month later...

Doesn't it bother people even a little that 小龙女 looks exactly the same throughout the entire series even though Yang Guo aged like twenty something years? :conf She looks way too young to play 小龙女.

The actress who played Li Mochou would've made a good Mei Chaofeng in Legend of the Conder Heroes.

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renzhe, now that you have finished 射鵰, 神鵰 and 天龍八部, it is time to take a look at 倚天屠龍記 to learn about what happens to 郭襄, and to get to know 張無忌, the doctor who can't decide who he loves.

ah these characters in Louis Cha's novels have such nice names.

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The actress who played Li Mochou would've made a good Mei Chaofeng in Legend of the Conder Heroes.

Yes! Li Mochou was awesome!

renzhe, now that you have finished 射鵰, 神鵰 and 天龍八部, it is time to take a look at 倚天屠龍記 to learn about what happens to 郭襄, and to get to know 張無忌, the doctor who can't decide who he loves.

I'm planning to! I might wait for the 2010 version which is supposed to come out in March, though, so I can complete the trilogy by the same director.

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