The Return of the Condor Heroes (2006 TV series)


The Return of the Condor Heroes (2006 TV series)

infobox television
show_name = The Return of the Condor Heroes


caption = Title screenshot
format = Wuxia, Drama
runtime = 45 mins (per episode)
creator = Zhang Jizhong, Jinyong (novel)
starring = See Cast below
country = China
language = Mandarin
num_episodes = 41
imdb_id = 1096982|

"The Return of the Condor Heroes" (traditional Chinese: 神鵰俠侶; simplified Chinese: 神雕侠侣; pinyin: shén diāo xiá lǚ) is a Chinese wuxia television series produced by director Zhang Jizhong in 2006. This adaptation of Jinyong's novel "The Return of the Condor Heroes" was first broadcasted on 17 March 2006 in China which was followed by subsequent broadcasts in other Asian countries. Spanning over 41 episodes, this series focuses on the development of Yang Guo as he ultimately becomes the "Condor Hero" (神鵰俠) and his relationship with his master, Xiaolongnü.

Plot summary

The story continues from "The Legend of Arching Hero (射鵰英雄傳)." After the marriage of Guo Jing and Huang Rong, they adopted young Yang Guo, son of Guo Jing's late sworn brother and mortal enemy Yang Kang after his mother Mu Nianci has died due to illness. Guo Jing sent Yang Guo to learn martial arts from the Quanzhen Sect after a series of incidents on Peach Blossom Island.

Elsewhere, Li Mochou sought vengeance on the Lu family some years after her ex-lover Lu Zhanyuan and his wife died. After killing almost all the members of the Lu Family, she ran into Huang Yaoshi, father-in-law of Guo Jing, and fought with him. During the fight, she managed to distract the martial art master by poisoning Cheng Ying. She then kidnapped Lu Wushuang, Lu Zhanyuan's niece.

The Ancient Tomb sect

After Guo Jing left him in the care of the "Quanzhen Sect" (全真教), Yang Guo was ill-treated by Zhao Zhijing and his disciples. He escaped and entered the "Tomb of the Living Dead". The Taoists followed him there but were stopped by the jade bees. Upon the Taoists' return to the tomb, Grandma Sun protected Yang Guo as they fought back against the Taoists but was mortally wounded in the fight at Chongyang Palace. Suddenly, Xiaolongnü appeared; gliding down gracefully from the roof. With her last breath, Grandma Sun made Xiaolongnü promise to look after Yang Guo for all eternity. After fighting with the Taoists, Xiaolongnü brought Yang Guo and Grandma Sun’s body back to the tomb. As she sealed Grandma Sun's coffin, Xiaolongnü stood emotionlessly beside the coffin while Yang Guo cried, swearing that he will avenge Grandma Sun one day.

Keeping her promise, Xiaolongnü took Yang Guo in and accepted him as her disciple. As time passed, Yang Guo's martial arts improved under Xiaolongnü's teachings and guidance. After both Xiaolongnü and Yang Guo finally mastered the two skills (Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts and Quanzhen's martial arts), they began to learn their sect's highest level of martial arts, the "Maiden Finesse". However, one night while they were practising, they were interrupted by Zhao Zhijing and Zhen Zhibing who were fighting. With her energy flow disrupted, Xiaolongnü was injured severely. After their return to the tomb, Li Mochou seized the opportunity to demand the "Jade Maiden Manual" from Xiaolongnü. Sealing the only exit out of the tomb to prevent Li Mochou and her disciple from leaving the tomb, Xiaolongnü and Yang Guo escaped from Li's clutches and found another way out of the tomb by coincidence. Desperate to escape from the tomb, Li Mochou reluctantly co-operated with them and eventually left the tomb with them.

Alone again, Yang Guo and Xiaolongnü continued to practise the "Jade Heart Manual". Upon mastering the skill, Xiaolongnü was troubled about Yang Guo and her future. That night, Ouyang Feng came and surprised Xiaolongnü, starting a fight between them. However, they stopped by Yang Guo's interference. Upon recognising each other, Ouyang Feng and Yang Guo hugged each other as Xiaolongnü watched nearby. Ouyang Feng wanted to impart his martial arts skills to Yang Guo but did not want Xiaolongnü to watch. Out of Yang Guo's sight, Ouyang Feng immoblised Xiaolongnü in an open space under a tree. Zhen Zhibing, who had witnessed this, seized the opportunity to approach Xiaolongnü from behind. Xiaolongnü thought Yang Guo was playing with her as she was unable to see who was actually behind her. Zhen Zhibing proceeded to undress her and rape her as Zhao Zhijing watched from a distance. After a while, Yang Guo returned to find Xiaolongnü lying still underneath the tree. Yang Guo unparalysed her and was puzzled when Xiaolongnü hugged him. When Yang Guo refused to acknowledge her as his wife at her prompting, Xiaolongnü immobilised Yang Guo and left in anger.

Rejection by society

Yang Guo began to search everywhere for Xiaolongnü but could not find her. After a while, Xiaolongnü missed Yang Guo and searched everywhere for him. Xiaolongnü finally found Yang Guo at the place where the "Heroes' Feast" was being held. After their intended marriage was revealed to everyone present there, they were scorned at by the society due to the tradition that stated marital relations between a master and a disciple were forbidden. They were separated again after Huang Rong talked to Xiaolongnü about Yang Guo being looked down upon by others in the future. Naive and deeply concerned for Yang Guo, Xiaolongnü left him to return to the tomb. Yang Guo looked for her and along the way, he met Huang Yaoshi and his disciple Sha Gu, who revealed to him that Huang Rong had killed his father. Torn between love and revenge, Yang Guo decided to avenge his father and made a pact with Jinlun Guoshi, a martial arts expert in the Mongolian army who was planning an attack on China. Together, they sought to kill Guo Jing and Huang Rong.

Passionless Valley

They travelled to the Passionless Valley where Yang Guo found Xiaolongnü, who had been rescued by Gongsun Zhi, after she attempted to commit suicide. However, Xiaolongnü refused to acknowledge him and wanted him to leave her as she was. After his countless declarations of love and refusals to leave, Xiaolongnü finally acknowledged him and both promised never to leave each other again. They eventually left the Passionless Valley with a promise of an antidote to Yang Guo's poison on one condition, that they will bring back the severed heads of Huang Rong and Guo Jing. Both of them were poisoned by the fatal Love Flower that bloomed in the valley.

After they reached Xiangyang, where Guo Jing and a Chinese army were stationed to counter the Mongolians’ attack on China, Yang Guo had an inner confusion whether to kill Guo Jing and Huang Rong or not. He had only eighteen more days to live but instead, he saved Guo Jing's life when the Mongolians attacked out of respect for Guo Jing when he saw the latter risking his life for China.

During this turbulent time, Guo Xiang and her twin brother Guo Polu were born, but Li Mochou kidnapped the newborn Guo Xiang from Jinlun Guoshi, who had seized her from Xiaolongnü, whom Huang Rong had entrusted Guo Xiang to. Yang Guo and Xiaolongnü were separated again after yet another misunderstanding. During an argument, Guo Fu severed Yang Guo's right arm. Due to another misunderstanding, Guo Fu believed that Yang Guo, who was poisoned, traded her sister in for the antidote in Passionless Valley because Guo Xiang was missing. She was under the impression that the Wu brothers thought that her parents betrothed her to Yang Guo. In fact, Yang Guo had used Huang Rong's Dog Beating Stick Technique to stop the Wu brothers from fighting each other to win Guo Fu’s hand. Yang Guo had lied to them in order for them to stop fighting each other to win Guo Fu’s hand and spend their lives serving the Chinese army to counter the Mongolian attack instead. Spoiled, obstinate, and easily angered, she told her that his mentor was impure, after overhearing a conversation, from which Yang Guo's mentor learned she was impure.

Yang Guo, who knew nothing about the incident under the tree that night at the time, warned her never to insult Xiaolongnü again, but she, already angry at her father because she abandoned the injured Yang Guo after he saved her mother, thoughtlessly repeated her earlier remark. He slapped her hard, and she sliced off his arm with a sword. Shocked, she ran to her mother to beg her to plead with her father. Guo Jing was very angry after he found out about the incident and decided to punish his daughter by slicing off her arm as well as punishment, but his wife stopped him.

However, this incident would forever strain the relationships between Guo Jing and his daughter, as he will never forgive her for what she done. While recovering, Yang Guo learnt "Dugu Qiubai's Sword Techniques" from the great condor he befriended and tried to adapt to his disability. They were reunited at Chongyang Palace after the leaders of the Quanzhen Sect severely wounded Xiaolongnü. Never wanting to leave each other again, they were married at the temple in the Chongyang Palace.

Broken Heart Cliff

After they returned to the Passionless Valley to obtain the antidote for Yang Guo's poison, Yang Guo threw away the antidote which Xiaolongnü had fought very hard to retrieve from Gongsun Zhi. Since Xiaolongnü's wound was incurable, Yang Guo did not want to live without her. However, Xiaolongnü did not want Yang Guo to die. Xiaolongnü left, leaving behind a message for Yang Guo that said they would meet again in 16 years. Realising that Yang Guo had not seen through Xiaolongnü's message, Huang Rong tricked him into believing that there was a "Divine Nun of the South Sea" (Nan Hai Shen Ni) who comes around every 16 years and has the ability to heal Xiaolongnü. Heart-broken, Yang Guo believed her and returned to join the Condor which he had befriended earlier and continued his martial arts training. He also developed a new palm technique called "Melancholic Palms," which responses to his disability and emotions.

Reunited

16 years later, Yang Guo was now known as the "Condor Hero" after his numerous noble deeds. He chanced upon the teenage Guo Xiang who ran into some trouble. Infatuated with Yang Guo, Guo Xiang made him promise to meet her again on her sixteenth birthday. They had an adventure and he gave her three golden needles or wishes she wants him to fulfill for her. At the "Heroes' Feast", Yang Guo met Guo Jing, Huang Rong and Huang Yaoshi, who was also present. Yang Guo turned the festival into a birthday party with the rest of his friends and allies while defending Xiangyang from the Mongolian army led by "Möngke Khan" and Jinlun Guoshi. Huang Yaoshi later revealed to him that there was no "Divine Nun of the South Sea" in a conversation. Yang Guo raced back to the Broken Heart Cliff. On his way there, he passed by the ruined temple where his father died and met one of Guo Jing's martial art masters Ke Zhen'e, along with the former associates of the Jin prince Wanyan Honglie and Yang Kang . From them, he discovered the truth that his father was a deceitful, villainous, and murderous traitor to his country, family, and friends before he met his end. Overwhelmed with emotions by his father's villainous past, Yang Guo finally understood why Huang Rong had never fully trusted him since childhood and why he was such an outcast in the martial society even before the affair with his wife. Also, he decided to give up his desire to avenge his father. He finally reached the cliff, where he waited for one whole day for Xiaolongnü to appear. He finally realised that Xiaolongnü had sacrificed her life to save his. At that moment, his overwhelming sorrow led him to jump over the cliff. Yang Guo fell into a lake and noticed the jade bees. He dived into the lake and entered a cave. There, he noticed a "Chilled Jade Bed", similar to the one back at the ancient tomb. Suddenly, Yang Guo felt a presence and turned around to see Xiaolongnü gliding in the air gracefully with bees flying around her. Xiaolongnü also turned and said Yang Guo's name in disbelief. They flew to each other and hugged. Meanwhile at Xiangyang, a full-scale battle was taking place as the Mongolians continued their attack. Jinlun Guoshi used Guo Xiang as bait to lure Guo Jing and Huang Rong out of the city. The Mongolians attacked the Guo family, who were now outside the safety of the city walls. Suddenly, the Condor, Yang Guo and Xiaolongnü joined the battle, helping the Guo family. Yang Guo fought with Jinlun Guoshi and eventually won. He then eliminated "Möngke Khan", disbanding the entire Mongolian army, caused a civil war that disrupted the unity and invincibility of the Mongol Empire, and halting their invasion for another thirteen years until the succession of "Kublai Khan. " Yang Guo and Xiaolongnü returned to Xiangyang and were received as heroes, and Yang Guo and Guo Jing finally fully made peace with each other as they marching the street of the city together with their families and friends like father and son. They left with the Condor as Guo Xiang watched and made a wish that Yang Guo and Xiaolongnü will hopefully spend the rest of their lives together.

Offscreen

After the celebration, many heroes went to Mt. Hua to visit the graves of the late Ouyang Feng and Hong Qigong. There, Huang Rong claimed new titles for the five main heroes who defended the city as The New Five Greats:

* Zhou Botong (周伯通) - is known as the Old Imp (老頑童). At the end of the novel, he reluctantly took central position of the Five Greats as 'Zhong Wantong' (中頑童) which used to belong to his apprentice brother, Wang Chongyang (王重陽) aka Zhong Shentong(中神通).
* Huang Yaoshi (黃藥師) - is known as the Eastern Heretic (東邪), a man who had a strong dislike for the ethics of that era and has a mercurial disposition. Also respectfully called Taohua Daozhu (Master of the Peach Blossom Island) for where he lives, though he tends to wander around in this novel (as opposed to in Shediao Yingxiong Zhuan, where he stayed primarily in Taohua Dao) because his daughter and son-in-law has taken over the island.
* Yang Guo (楊過) - is known as the Western Eccentric (西狂), in reference to his flouting of the conventions, including the forbidden marriage to his master. As the name suggests, he gets along well with the Eastern Heretic Huang Yaoshi. Successor to Ouyang Feng (歐陽鋒), the Western Venom (西毒) who is also his foster father.
* Yideng Dashi (Grandmaster Yideng, 一燈大師) - is known as the Southern Monk (南僧). He used to be called the Southern Emperor ("Nan Di", 南帝), because he was the king of the Kingdom of Dali (大理國) but he abdicated and entered the monastery to become a monk.
* Guo Jing (郭靖) - is known as the Northern Hero ("Bei Xia", 北俠), for his compassion and devoted efforts in helping to defend Xiangyang over the years against the Mongolian invasion. A successor to Northern Beggar Hong Qigong (北丐, 洪七公), who was also one of his teachers.

Before leaving the city, Yang Guo gave Guo Xiang his treasured Heavy Iron Sword (玄鐵重劍) as a gift for her, and taught a fraction of his skills to a young Zhang Sanfeng. Yang Guo and Zhang Sanfeng later chased Jinlun's allies Yin Kexi and Xiaoxiangzi after they had stolen Jiu Yang Zhen Jing manual script from Shaolin Temple. But the books were nowhere to be found. Unbeknownst to all present at Mountain Hua, Yin Kexi had hidden the Jiu Yang Zhen Jing in the abdomen of a large gorilla. The story would continue in "The Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre" (倚天屠龍記), as the fates of the Guo and Yang families would reveal in the final chapter of "The Condor Trilogy".

Cast


*Huang Xiaoming (黄晓明) as Yang Guo
*Liu Yifei (刘亦菲) as Xiaolongnü
*Wang Luoyong (王洛勇) as Guo Jing
*Kong Lin (孔琳) as Huang Rong
*Meng Guangmei (孟广美) as Li Mochou
*Zhong Zhentao (钟镇涛) as Gongsun Zhi
*Chen Zihan (陈紫函) as Guo Fu
*Yang Mi (杨幂) as Guo Xiang
*Qian Bo (钱博) as Guo Polu
*Ba Yin (巴音) as Jinlun Guoshi
*Wang Ning (王宁) as Wu Dunru
*Zhao Zhentao (赵锦涛) as Wu Xiuwen
*Zhao Hongfei (赵鸿飞) as Yelü Qi
*Fu Shui (傅淼) as Gongsun Lü’e
*Zhang Jizhong (张纪中) as Yelü Chucai
*Gao Hu (高虎) as Huo Du
*Yang Rui (杨蕊) as Lu Wushuang
*Wang Jia (王嘉) Cheng Ying
*Cheng Haofeng (程皓枫) as Zhen Zhibing
*Liu Naiyi (刘乃艺) as Zhao Zhijing
*Zhai Naishe (翟乃社) as Ouyang Feng
*Zhao Liang (赵亮) as Zhou Botong
*Li Mingqi (李明启) as Sun Popo(Grandma Sun)
*Rao Min (饶敏) as Yelü Yan
*Sun Lihua (孙锂华) as Wanyan Ping
*Li Ming (李明) as Qiu Qianchi
*Yuan Wan (袁苑) as Kublai Khan
*Hei Zi (黑子) as Feng Mofeng
*Liang Li (梁丽) as Ying Gu
*Wang Weiguo (王卫国) as Duan Zhixing/Yideng
*Lü Shigang (吕士刚) as Qiu Qianren/Ci’en
*Da Li (大力) as Hong Qigong
*Ma Jielin (马杰林) as Ke Zhen’e
*Xiao Ding Dang (小叮当) as young Yang Guo
*Tian Zhong (田重) as Lu Qingdu
*Mu Lixin (穆立新) as Zhu Ziliu
*Chen Jiming (陈继铭) as Qiu Chuji
*Liu Pizhong (刘丕中) as Hao Datong
*Sun Xiaoyan (孙晓燕) as Sun Bu’er
*Li Jun (李军) as Ma Yu
*Su Mao (苏茂) as Wang Chuyi
*Gao Mingku (高明库) as Liu Chuxuan
*Li Zhonghua (李中华) as Wu Santong
*Zhao Dandan (赵丹丹) as Hong Lingbo
*Zhou Gang (周刚) as Da’er Ba
*Ma Zijun (马子俊) as The Indian Monk
*Zhang Hengping (张衡平) as Lu Youjiao
*Huang Xiaolei (黄晓雷) as Sha Gu
*Zhang Zhenyong (张振勇) as Nimoxing
*Yang Guang (洋光) as Xiaoxiangzi
*Xiu Ge (修革) as Yin Kexi
*Zhang Shen (张伸) as Ma Guangzuo
*Zhang Jidie (张寄蝶) as Fan Yiweng
*Liu Kui (刘魁) as Möngke Khan
*Li Hu (李虎) as Lü Wende
*Guo Jun (郭军) as Wang Chongyang
*Yu Ting (于婷) as Lin Chaoying
*Zhou Haodong (周浩东) as Lu Liding
*Li Yuan (李远) as Li Zhichang
*Meng Honggang (孟洪刚) as Wang Zhitan
*Tao Jixin (陶吉新) as one of the five Shi Brothers
*Wang Xiuqiang (王秀强) as one of the five Shi Brothers
*Wang Weizhen (王维桢) as one of the five Shi Brothers
*Wu Song (伍松) as one of the five Shi Brothers
*Yang Jian (杨建) as one of the five Shi Brothers
*Xu Jingyi (许敬义) as one of the Ghosts of the Western Mountain
*Qi Qi (戚琦) as one of the Ghosts of the Western Mountain
*Gao Zhao (高照) as one of the Ghosts of the Western Mountain
*Feng Songsong (冯松松) as one of the Ghosts of the Western Mountain
*Ye Qian (叶茜) as one of the Ghosts of the Western Mountain
*Zhao Qi (赵奇) as one of the Ghosts of the Western Mountain
*Zhu Lei (朱磊) as He Shiwo
*Wang Jiusheng (王九胜) as Lu Guanying
*Wang Chi (汪池) as Cheng Yaojia
*Liu Jun (刘军) as Wang Shisan
*Wang Lizhou (王丽舟) as Ji Qingxu
*Hu Zhiyong (胡志勇) as Pi Qingxuan
*Gan Yong (甘勇) as Chen the Beggar
*Wang Feibiao (王飞彪) as Han the Beggar
*Zhou Zhong (周仲) as Shen Zhifan
*Zhang Jin (张金) as Lan Tianhe
*Ren Wu (任舞) as Bai Cao Xian(The Hundred Herbs Fairy)
*Yan Boya (鄢博雅) as Sheng Yin the Black Dress Nun
*Tong Jiangang (童建刚) as Renchuzi
*Wei Binghua (魏炳华) as Qinglingzi
*Tang Qirong (唐启荣) as Sha Tongtian
*Cao Zhenyu (曹振宇) as Hou Tonghai
*Li Jianchang (李建昌) as Peng Lianhu
*Jiao Changdao (焦长道) as Lingzhi Shangren
*Ren Maocheng (任茂成) as The Dark Face Man
*Li Aiqin (李爱琴) as Xiao Bang Tou
*Chen Anni (陈安妮) as young Guo Fu
*Wang Jiayi (王佳怡) as young Cheng Ying
*Ge Shimin (葛施敏) as young Lu Wushuang
*Chen Yalun (陈亚伦) as young Wu Dunru
*Ye Qile (叶其乐) as young Wu Xiuwen
*Zhou Jie (周杰) as Yang Kang (archive footage)

Production

* Filming began in October 2004 and ended in May 2005.
* Filming locations include Zhejiang, Chongqing, Shandong, Guangdong, Liaoning, Beijing and Sichuan Jiuzhaigou Valley.

Differences with the novel

Although this television series follows the novel's plot closely, there were several details that were altered or depicted differently. As with other adaptations, various scenes from the novel were omitted from the series.

Trivia

*Producer Zhang Jizhong had previously adapted three other Jinyong's novels. "The Smiling, Proud Wanderer" (笑傲江湖) (2001) and "The Legend of the Condor Heroes" (射鵰英雄傳) (2003) were produced to great acclaim. "Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils" (天龍八部) was heavily panned by fans and critics alike.
*Actor Wang Luoyong (王洛勇) and actress Kong Lin (孔琳) took over the roles of Guo Jing and Huang Rong from Li Yapeng (李亞鵬) and Zhou Xun (周迅) of "The Legend of the Condor Heroes" (射鵰英雄傳) (2003).
*Segments from "The Legend of the Condor Heroes" (射鵰英雄傳) (2003) were featured as flashbacks including the scene depicting how Yang Kang died, who was portrayed by Zhou Jie (周杰).
*Some of the cast of the cast members from "The Legend of the Condor Heroes" (射鵰英雄傳) (2003) reprised their roles for this remake, including Zhao Liang (赵亮), Huang Xiaolei (黄晓雷), Liang Li (梁丽), and Wang Weiguo (王卫国).
*Motion picture scores from the United States's movies were used for this remake, including "," "Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow," "Van Helsing", "," and "Batman Begins."
*The chorus from Iwasaki Taku's "Shades of Revolution", a Rurouni Kenshin OVA musical score, was used in a minor fight scene between Yang Guo and Li Mochou (Ep 30).
*Actress Liu Yifei (刘亦菲) previously played another Jingyong's character as Wang Yuyan (王語嫣) from "Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils" (天龍八部).
* Huang Xiaoming worked with actress Zhou Xun on the movie "The Banquet," who previously played Huang Rong on Zhang Jizhong's "The Legend of the Condor Heroes" (2003).
* Huang Xiaoming previously worked with Zhou Jie and Jiang Qinqin previously on 還珠格格3 television series. They both played Yang Guo's parents on Zhang Jizhong's The Legend of the Condor Heroes (2003).
* Ba Yin (巴音), who play Jinlun Guoshi previously played Guo Jing's arching teacher Jebe on "The Legend of Condor Heroes" (2003), and currently playing Genghis Khan on "The Legend of Condor Heroes" (2007).
* Actress Chen Zihan (陈紫函), who play Guo Fu, previously played Yin Li (殷離) on "The Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre" (倚天屠龍記) (2003), another adaptation of Jinyong's work and also the third part of "The Condor Trilogy". She also were in another one of Jinyong's television adaptation remake ‘‘The Smiling, Proud Wanderer" (笑傲江湖) (2000).
* The melody of the song "Dearest" by Ayumi Hamasaki, famous for being in the Inuyasha television series, can be heard in the background on episode 15 during the scene where Gongsun Zhi is talking to Xiaolongnü at the Passionless Valley.

External links

* [http://ent.sina.com.cn/v/f/sdxl/index.html Official site] at SINA.com
* [http://www.chinatv.com.tw/event/2006/condor_hero/ Official Taiwan network site] at CTV.com
* [http://tvcity.tvb.com/drama/the_saviour_of_the_soul/frontpage/index.html Official Hong Kong network site] at TVB.com
* [http://www.maxam.jp/shincho/ Official Japan network site]
* [http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Return_of_the_Condor_Heroes_2006 Return of the Condor Heroes 2006] at DramaWiki


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