It is based on a popular novel by Hai Yan 海宴 but even so, its success was a slow burn that resembles the story’s quiet pace which follows an intriguing character named Mei Changsu (Hu Ge) whose hidden motivations are revealed through subtle nuances that eventually explode into a full blown revenge.
NIF is the guy-centric equivalent to the usual palace conspiracies that tend to revolve around women. I welcome the change that focuses on brotherhood as opposed to catfights since women of the palace are unfortunately often relegated to a lifetime of fighting over a man of power.
I hear there is a Nirvana in Fire tour catering to Korean tourists to visit places such as Hengdian Studio (a gigantic plot of land where pretty much most historical dramas are shot) and they also make a pitstop at Hu Ge’s restaurant in Shanghai. If it’s real, I kind of wanna go. Oh and by the way, there’s a sequel too.
Check out mydramatea for an in-depth analysis of each episode.