Not Your Average Hero: 5 Reasons Why “Ever Night” Is A Fantasy C-Drama Worth Watching
“Ever Night” is the Chinese drama adaptation of the award-winning historical fantasy novel written by Mao Ni. Set in the Tang Dynasty, the story focuses on our hero Ning Que (Chen Fei Yu), the last surviving member of the General Lin household after a brutal massacre. He later saves a baby girl from a pile of corpses in a nearby village and names her Sang Sang (Song Yi Ren). From then on, the two are inseparable, and years pass as the two depend on each other for survival. Later on, Ning Que ends up joining the Wei City military with Sang Sang, whom he lists as his handmaiden. Through various military achievements, Ning Que is able to get a recommendation letter to attend the Academy, known as the best martial arts school in capital city Chang An.
The drama has it all: fantasy, action, romance, and comedy, with a great acting and a larger-than-life story. If that’s not enough to convince you to start watching, here’s my top five reasons why you should start watching “Ever Night.”
Warning: Minor spoilers below.
A great antihero
Ning Que is a non-traditional righteous hero. As the sole survivor of the General Lin household massacre, he carries the burden of getting revenge for his friends and family. He has the nickname, “Woodcutter of Shubi Lake,” as he’s known for killing bandits in the Wei City military where he developed his exceptional skills in martial arts, swordsmanship, and archery. One of the things that fans love about Ning Que is how he simply oozes charisma and coolness as a deadly fighter.
He also has many great personality traits as he does negative. He’s arrogant, shameless, and coldblooded, yet he’s an intelligent guy with a silly, mischievously cute, and caring side to him that you can’t help but love. Hilariously, during some fight scenes, Ning Que is the first to run away if he knows that he cannot win and he will not put his life on the line for strangers.
Ning Que also doesn’t give respect to just anyone, especially those belonging in upper social classes. Given his difficult upbringing, it’s not surprising one must earn his respect, and his IDGF attitude is really refreshing and funny at the same time. He is definitely not your typical hero and I’m totally fine with that because it makes him seem more human with the imperfections.
Practical and powerful heroine
Our heroine is the incredibly sweet, loyal, and endearing Sang Sang. She also holds a secret identity as the reincarnation of Yong Ye, a powerful and mysterious being that is prophesied to bring eternal night, ensuing chaos to the world. Later on in the drama, many people want to hunt her down and use her powers. Besides being Ning Que’s supportive companion, Sang Sang is incredibly resourceful, knows how to manage finances, and is talented in cooking.
I adore Sang Sang as she’s incredibly kind and has the purest heart. Her radiant smile warms the entire screen! It’s hard to believe that she is someone who could potentially destroy the world. Plus, the way Sang Sang is realistic about things is not only admirable but it’s also extremely funny! For instance, even though Sang Sang discovers her special powers she does not utilize them, as they cannot be applied to her cooking or be a source of income. Who doesn’t love a practical heroine?
A ride or die OTP
Hands down, Ning Que and Sang Sang (known online as the beloved NingSang Couple) is my favorite OTP from 2018. Their relationship is complex and layered due the unusual circumstances of how they met. Ning Que found Sang Sang and took her in as a baby when he was a young child. Naturally, Ning Que took on a caretaker role during their younger years, but as Sang Sang got older, she took on the role of domestic chores and managing their finances while Ning Que killed bandits for a living.
When you watch their interactions, you see them as older brother and younger sister, other times as best friends, and sometimes like an old married couple. They’ve spent almost all of their lives together, trying to survive as orphans and learning to get through each day without getting killed. This in turn helped to strengthen their bond, loyalty, and trust. In the first half of the drama, they seem like platonic life partners with subtle hints of romantic attraction and feelings. But later in the drama after Sang Sang and Ning Que are briefly separated, they’re forced to confront their true feelings for each other.
Throughout the drama you can see how special they are to each other because they were able to survive and live each day together. Ning Que and Sang Sang share such a pure love, and their care and concern for each other is incredibly heartwarming. They are life long companions, best friends, and soulmates. There are many touching moments throughout the drama where Ning Que expresses in different ways that Sang Sang is the most important person to him in the world. There is no doubt Ning Que would battle the heavens and earth to protect her.
Amazing supporting cast
“Ever Night” boasts an impressive supporting cast, most notably with their insane roster of A-list veteran actors. You’ve got Hong Kong actors Adam Cheng as Fu Zi, the Headmaster of the Academy, and Leon Lai as the Tang Emperor Li Zhongyi. You also have Hu Jun as the antagonist General Xia Hou and Jin Tujie as Yan Se, the Grand Priest of Divine Talisman. They’re all incredible actors playing interesting characters who contribute to Ning Que’s growth as a character.
We also have the hot Taiwanese actors Marco Chen as Li Man Man and Dylan Kuo as Jun Mo as the first and second disciples of Fu Zi. There are also plenty of strong and beautiful female characters like Mo Shan Shan (Crystal Yuan), the Expert of Talisman of Ink Pond Park; Ye Hongyu (Zoey Meng), the Head of Xiling Justice Department and Tang Empress Xia Tian (Shi Shi).
There’s just so many great characters in the world of “Ever Night” and you’ll be sure to fall in love with many of them!
High production quality and epic storyline
“Ever Night” is a standout in terms of high production quality. The production cost for the drama is reported to be over $70 million USD and it definitely shows. The cinematography is simply breathtaking as it showcases China’s natural landscapes of richly verdant grassland, the harshly cold snowy mountains, and the dry barren desert plains. The action scenes are also executed brilliantly, showcasing high energy and intensity in the fight choreography. And the musical score wonderfully heightens the emotions of each scene with its beautifully haunting original soundtrack. Even the costumes and props are of high quality and exceptionally well made. We can all agree, their money was well spent.
Since the drama is based on an award winning novel, the story is incredibly complex with lots of world building and plenty of interesting and well-rounded characters. On paper, the story sounds like a typical revenge story, but it is so much more. It is an epic saga insinuating social commentary on social class, religion, and the grey area of what is considered good versus evil. Besides romance (which is only a small part of the story), there are themes about friendship, courage, overcoming life obstacles, and how familial bonds can be formed without any blood ties.
Overall, “Ever Night” is the drama to watch with it’s strong narrative evoking plenty of laughter, tears, and praise as it follows Ning Que’s journey to becoming an extraordinary hero. You don’t want to miss it!
Start watching “Ever Night”:
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blacksesame88 is a long-time Asian drama and entertainment addict. She enjoys discussing her favorite dramas, and sharing her knowledge of Asian entertainment. When she’s not watching dramas, she’s busy snapping aesthetic photos of delicious food on Instagram. Follow her on Twitter and join her for recaps of the current dramas she’s watching, also feel free to say Hi and have a chat!
Currently watching: “I Will Never Let You Go” “Hello Dear Ancestors“ When We Were Young 2018”
All-time favorite dramas: “Nirvana In Fire,” “Queen In Hyun’s Man,” “A Witch’s Romance” “Love O2O” “My Mr. Mermaid”
Looking forward to: “Flipped“