Goodbye My Princess 東宮 has ended and contrary to previous speculations that it might have two endings, the drama only had one and I have to say that it might have left more than a few viewers in tears. Were they happy tears or sad tears? Before I go on, spoiler alert!
Before the final episode, Xiao Feng, played by Peng Xiaoran, already jumped off the city gates triggering the return of Li Chengyin’s memories, played by Chen Xingxu. He coughs out a mouthful of blood from shock, faints and wakes up to the news that they are at war.
What really got to me were the show’s final moments in the desert when Xiao Feng puts herself between the two armies, her brother on one side and her lover on the other. She pleads with the two of them for peace and calls Li Chengyin by the name Gu Xiaowu, finally admitting to him that he was the one and only man that she ever loved.
With a sword held to her neck, she asks Li Chengyin to promise her to fulfill her two remaining wishes. One was that Li Chengyin’s army would never set foot in Xizhou. He agrees while begging Xiao Feng to put the sword down. He says that if she were to die, he would die with her. She smiles and says that her second wish is for Li Chengyin to live well and having said that, she slits her own throat. Her death scene was a bit overly dramatic with blood spraying everywhere but somewhat forgivable as it certainly had emotions running high throughout the scene.
Chen Xingxu’s portrayal was very, very convincing as he yelled in despair, wept and cried over her dead body while calling out her name. Someone was definitely cutting onions beside me as it was extremely hard not to cry along.
After all the foul things Li Chengyin did to Xiao Feng, he still loved her dearly and it shines through at this particular moment. Seeing him suffer as he did almost made me want to forgive the guy for all the stuff he put her through. Chen Xingxu even lost his voice when he filmed this as he had to constantly shout for Xiao Feng and cry a lot. The actor shared that he really almost fainted for a moment as he could no longer breathe. He also had help from the crew and Peng Xiaoran to snap him out of character.
Li Chengyin eventually becomes emperor, does not have any children and leads a lonely existence, perhaps as a way to atone for his mistakes. In the last scene, we see an old Li Chengyin, free from his royal obligations and realizing too late that what he what he had wanted all along was Xiao Feng. Now that she’s gone, he traverses the desert alone, ready to be with her again.
Goodbye My Princess is probably one of the best tragic dramas out there right now and despite the hiccups, it did not disappoint and certainly satisfied fans who wanted a bad ending. Chen Xingxu and Peng Xiaoran worked really well together. Extra points for Chen Xingxu as you can really tell he didn’t just played Li Chengyin, at least for me, he WAS Li Chengyin. What did you guys think? Did the ending meet your expectations?
Rather have a sad/tragic ending than an open ending – cough cough Princess Agent arggh still mad at myself for wasting my time with that one…
Did not like the ending on this. Watch this. Now she wasn’t perfect either!!
Did not like the ending on this. Watch this. Now she wasn’t perfect either!!
Yeah me too! I’d rather have a bad ending as well. Open endings to me are just sloppy writing where the writer doesn’t know how to end it or they’re scared of the backlash if they ended the way the audience didn’t want. No matter what people say to try to change my mind open endings are dumb and a waste of time. You spent your time reading or watching show/book, getting emotionally invested only for it to end with no questions answered. Dumb af.
I really enjoyed this drama, and I think the sad ending is appropriate given everything that happened between out two leads. I can't imagine how they would have weaved a "happy ending" into the story.
I never expected a happy ending, and I'm still only to episode 44, knowing what's coming. What I have never understood is why all the hate dumped on Li Chengyin? Yes, he used her to infiltrate the Danchi and killed her grandfather (after making a deal with him and even allowing him a death ritual). But it's not like the Danchi were some peace-loving people and they were at war. Other than that, what did he do that was so wrong? Played a role to protect her from certain palace intrigues? Lied to her about his revenge efforts? But didn't Gu Jian mislead her as well? He did worse- tried to put himself in LCY's place while betraying the Gu and Chen cause. Yet he gets a pass. Even beloved A'Du deceived XF. I don't mind XF killing herself to stop a war. I did mind the unfair treatment of LCY.
I agree with you. I feel like everyone just ignored that Gu Jian deceived and used Xiao Feng as well. Sure, he was kind to her, but that's because he doesn't have the same political worries that Li ChengYin does. And, like you said, he pretended to be someone he wasn't. He's just as bad, in my opinion, and equally as selfish. I'm not saying Li ChengYin was a great character, either, because he definitely mistreated Xiao Feng, but neither is Gu Jian.
Ihate thecending. Ibwant happy ending becoz our life in realirty too much streesed thats why i want happy endinh.
Yes I agree about CXX. He did not act as LCY but WAS LCY. I saw the bts of that quicksand scene and it was risky and 3-4 persons has to pull him out as he was going further into that sand suddenly. PXR was edcellentex beautiful and awesome. Both of them had given their all and the chemistry was excellent. This was a tragically beautiful drama which I enjoyed throughout.??
This drama has traces of the King's Woman except done and executed better. While they don't have the bigger star power of ZBB and DLRB, both couples exude amazing chemistry. The costumes and sets are stunning. But it was the fantastic theme songs that really carried the scenes in my opinion. I am inclined to think that if you don't need to pay as much to your lead stars, then money can go into creating a better quality production, such as in this one. So the Chinese government might have a point in putting a cap to stars' salary and allowing lesser known stars the chance to play lead roles.
However, I don't understand why XF has to die if not only for dramatic flair (in spite of the novel end). When she was rescued by Ah Du from the fall, I had thought they were having a happy ending. And she had understood after that war is inevitable between kingdoms, even his brother wants to go to war. She should have understood why LCY had made those decisions and actions in the past. And would it not be for the good of all to go back and take her place as his wife in order to maintain peace between the 2 kingdoms? And how sure is she that by her death they will maintain the peace? Isn't it being alive provides more guarantee to promote peace than dying? If she loves him so much as she has shown till the end, isn't it easier to free herself and indulge in that love rather than be miserable without him? It just feels like a senseless death to me… and I don't understand her rationale in doing so. She could have stayed put and grow old, but why die? And to be honest, LCY is not ruthless compared with Qin Shi Huang. He would have died with her if she didn't say her last wish is for him to stay alive. And in one scene he did say he chose her over his kingdom.
I will miss PXR and CXX. I wished there was a second ending if only for fans to indulge in a happier ending. I hope they will have another drama or movie, as they have the right chemistry. Both stars own their roles and are excellent actors.
finally someone has the same thoughts like me. this drama's main point is to win "best tragic ending" drama, not "best problem solving". feels like watching two different dramas, the sweet scenes means nothing and the ending means everything.
Just finished ep52. Too sad to comment further about the ending as the above mentioned comments are also some of my thoughts.
Chen Xingxu aged 22 only has a lot of potential because he can carry a leading villainous role convincingly and at the same time can have a devilish charm and be loved on screen. I think he got the role as GuXiaoWu/Li Chengyin in Goodbye My Princess was because he played Yang Kang so well and memorable in Legend of the Condor Heroes 2017 version, he outshone the actor who played Guo Jing. In fact, he has now acted with Yang Kang v.1983 – Michael Miu and also Yang Kang v.1994 – Gallen Lo, in CXX's most recent 2 dramas. Well it wasn't a repetition but he played an even heavier and colder role than Yang Kang.
Peng Xiaoran has also played XiaoFeng really well. She's so pretty like the younger version of Cheung Man. Nowadays hardly any C Drama new actresses can cry like her without overdoing it.
Given that the guy killed her grandfather and forced her into watching her shifu die, I don't think she'll be able to have a happy life with him.
I think it was already established early on, when the grandma said killings between royalties happen due to war. And as to her Shi Fu, she should have known she married a powerful guy, and would be King so he will definitely not take it sitting down seeing the wife in love/ wanting to leave with GJ. If there's anything, she is not cut out to live the life in the palace. But she is destined to be, having been born to royalty.
CXX was maybe even 20 when he filmed this, since production started in August 2017. He is more impressive than a lot of the popular young stars out there.
Agreed. I think people who blindly hate on LCY most likely skipped out the political parts. They did not fully understand all the reasons behind everything that LCY did. LCY's mistake was trusting his cousin, GJ. And yes, GJ is no less despicable and selfish. The story came to a bad ending because XF could not put the greater good – peace between the 2 nations above herself – only until the end did she realize the cause of hers selfishness for returning to Xizhou had encouraged her brother to rage war against Li Dynasty. In the end, she sacrificed her life to stop the war. There could have been another choice; to follow the foot steps of Princess Ming Yuan by staying in Li Dynasty as the crown princess to ensure peace between the two nations. By that time, LCY had full control of the dynasty – happiness between them was possible. Those who did not catch the story, Ming Yuan's great grandfather was also murdered by Danchi's King <— XF's grandfather. The difference was that Ming Yuan was able to forgive and put the two nation's peace above herself.
Totally agree with above! I understood CP’s stand… they had to withstand all that was going on around them. The princess should’ve been less selfish but instead forgave GJ easier than the prince who really loved and protected her covertly many times. He had to do a lot of “cruel things” to her to protect her.
This is a really really late reply.
Firstly, just because Xiao Feng understands and forgives LCY's past actions it doesn't mean that she's capable of blindly moving on from the heartbreak that she remembers from him deliberately manipulating her (and her feelings to some extent) so that Danchi would be annihilated. It may be argued that she was previously able to forget and seemingly forgive LCY previously (when she lost her memories) when she found out that he killed her family but I would also argue that she had no recollection that she had an indirect hand playing into the outcome. This is added unto the last straw of an ignorant LCY brutally murdering Gu Jian in front of XF, which I interpreted as basically the shows way of telling us that LCY at core will continue to make the same mistakes trying to achieve the things he wants. She will never return to the capital because she knows that staying will only be prolong the same cycle of suffering that the both of them will have to endure for the rest of their lives.
Moreover, even if she did not go back and remained in Xi, just the mere fact that she is/was the princess consort of the Li Empire will always pose as a political threat to the safety of both nations. The Li Empire for whatever reasons and purpose in the future can always use it as a legitimate reason to attack the Xi. (aka 'collecting what is ours')
She also mentioned in the final episode that she was naive into believing that going back to Xi would truly resolve her problems emotionally, because as aforementioned everything she does will have political repercussions. And from all of that she finally gained the insight that in order for her and LCY to truly attain peace is for her to die and for him to atone for it.
Hope this clarifies your questions.
There are 4 bonus episodes on youtube, showing them re-born in modern times and living together happily, and he is an actual tea seller.
Good thing I read this review,I won't continue watching I don't like tragic ending
Please recommend some happy ending, tired of these tragic ending's stories
The only thing LCY did wrong was fall in love with his pawn. What XF couldn’t get over was that he used her to kill her family. If she had never remembered everything there may have been a chance but she could not live with the memories and guilt. LCY did not truly treat her bad, he used Sese as a way to protect XF otherwise the empress would have done all those things to her. He surrounded XF with trustworthy servants who took care of her and treated her well, he literally wore his heart on his sleeve with XF. Everything he did was to protect her in the palace. Notice how distantly polite he was with Sese, even avoiding her for the most part. He could only ever be himself with XF and this was reflected in his eyes every time they were together. LCY loved XF with his everything and it was always clear to us. They ending is understandable as there are certain things you just can’t come back from, too much had happened but I wish we could’ve had an extra episode of a third lifetime where they could meet again and be happy. The tragedy for me was really the fact that they loved each other so much but due to bad decisions and politics could not have the ending they deserved. LCY truly reminded me of Eternal Love’s Yehua in that he was persistent and never gave up on his love. I don’t know how to move on from Goodbye My Princess.
Well said😭😭I cannot move on
Countless dramas, especially palace dramas, involve the male lead “protecting” the female lead from suffering if his true feelings for her were made known to enemies.
Yet emotional sufferings, and even physical (enemies see through and cause or female lead leaps off something eg Ten Miles, or here) always occurs. In other words, that protection is rendered useless.
I don’t understand why the male lead doesn’t just let the female lead in on his real intentions so she can act with him. There’s always ample opportunity for this to happen, when they are sharing private moments.
But I guess this would just make for very short drama series if there wasn’t misunderstanding littered throughout.
Deception and comparisons
Poor Xiao Feng was deceived by pretty much everybody she loved, for their selfish intentions or thinking they were protecting her. We can sympathise with Adu as there was good intention there but I couldn’t stomach Gu Jian continuing to deceive her under the the guise of love. He knew full well that her past and present love was LCY and yet took her away, letting her believe that he was GXW. This was knowing that he only had 6 months left to live! She had not recovered her full memory at that point, and still loved LCY (or at least didn’t hate him), so GJ took her away, knowing that in 6 months, she’ll be alone, lost LCY and two kingdoms will be at war because of his selfish 6 months. I’m glad it didn’t eventuate, but I think this is as bad as LCY’s deception at the start to get close to her.
I wished for a happy ending but I can’t see how XF could have continued to live with LCY after regaining her full memory. The comparison with Princess Ming Yuan made by the great grandmother is superficial as there is a huge difference. Ming Yuan only had to deal with killing between two sets of grandfathers, eg historical. XF had to deal with loving a husband for the next 50 years, who directly killed her grandfather, after deceiving her. It is raw and personal, not historical.
Why why why … did she have to kill herself.. i hate it errr…
Why why why … did she have to kill herself.. i hate it errr…
I’m confused on one part. when Xiao Feng had her fortune read by that Persian witch. she was told that she shared 3 lives with the guy she loves. From what I concluded, one life was when they both jumped on the cliff to the river of forgetfulness. The second was their life together living in the palace with thier memories missing but they never showed the 3rd one. It gave me the impression that they were going give a happy ending or atleast a love hate ending/ enduring each other for stability and peace of some sort. in the end Xiao Feng only had two “lives” and li cheng yi had three. His last life was as a lonely emperor. Xiao feng’s last life was death? or did she actually fake her death and li cheg yi went to go look for her at the end when walking through the desert and that concludes their 3rd life together? I don’t know if the ending was rushed or if that’s how it’s meant to end?
Juliana L Adam
Cried my eyes out. Li Cheng Yi truly loves Xiao Feng. A classic example of how love does not always conquer all. So heart wrenching. I hate Gu Jian. How can I move on?