Nirvana in Fire

Nirvana in Fire (2015)

Your Rating:
Ratings: 9.2/10 from 1,592 users
Reviews: 51 users

During the Datong era of the Southern Liang Dynasty, Northern Wei sent troops southward and General Lin Xie took his only child, the 17 year old Lin Shu to the battlefield. Unexpectedly, Lin Xie was framed by a political rival, causing the unjust deaths of seventy thousand Chi Yan army soldiers, just after they drove off the hostile Wei forces. Fortunately, Lin Shu was rescued by a loyal subordinate, although he barely read moreescaped with his life. With the help of Lang Ya Hall, Lin Shu was able to establish the Jiang Zuo Alliance, and returns to the capital 12 years on as the leader Mei Changsu. He secretly assists his friend Xiao Jingyan, the unfavoured son of Emperor Wu and wisely rids the court of all scheming officials.

*The drama is based off the novel by Hai Yan (海宴).

Add Cast Show More Cast (30)Cast

  • Hu Ge
    Mei Chang Su / Su Zhe / Lin Shu
    Main Role
  • Liu Tao
    Princess Mu Ni Huang
    Main Role
  • Wang Kai
    Xiao Jing Yan / Prince Jing
    Main Role
  • Victor Huang
    Xiao Jing Huan / Prince Yu
    Supporting Role
  • Chen Long
    General Meng Zhi
    Supporting Role
  • Guo Xiao Ran
    Yan Yu Jin
    Supporting Role

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Write a Review More Reviews (49) Reviews

159 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 13, 2015
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
This is such a phenomenal drama, it is truly one of a kind. If you're left unsatisfied after finishing dramas, thinking to yourself if only the writers made better choices, or if only the characters were better developed … then you should give this drama a try. Everything about this drama is AMAZING; it has a mind-blowing screenplay with incredible characters, not to mention its great directing and cinematography. (the action in read more this drama is top-notch, and the war in the later episodes was impressive beyond imagination!)

At First glance, this might look like another revenge drama, but it is much more than that. The goal of the main characters is not to infect pain and suffering on the ones who have done them wrong, and it's not to simply right the wrongs, but to do so while making the ones who've committed the wrong realize the gravity of their actions. In a sense, this is the hardest route to take for correcting what has been wronged, people don’t want to be reminded of their dark past, and even more to accept their faults. Nevertheless, the reason why I love this drama so much is exactly this, the main characters, although they’ve literally been through hell, are not out there for revenge nor to make themselves feel better, but they’re trying to reveal the truth.

The plot is complicated and very intelligently written. There are 54 episodes, but I have to say there is no dull moment. The story has many layers and builds up on its episodes, becoming more and more intense as the episodes go by; we watch the characters execute their plans and try to overcome all the foreseen and un-foreseen obstacles in the most magnificent way possible.

In my opinion there are two main characters, Mei Chang Su and Prince Jing.
Mei Chang Su is the most intelligent character that I’ve ever came across in a drama. For achieving his goals, he uses his knowledge to manipulate people to do exactly what he wants them to do, without them even realizing his involvement! Despite his ingenious and composed personality, he carries the deepest sadness inside him, and that is what gives him the greatest determination for concluding his goals.
Prince Jing is the moral barometer of the story. He is bold and true to himself, he values his loved ones more than anything, and he’s willing to do anything to protect them. That said, he would never go against his moral code, he is a constant reminder for Mei Chang Su (and us the audience) that they should never be untrue to themselves. His bold and strong character attracts capable people to him enabling him to have true leadership characteristic.

This duo is the best I’ve ever seen anywhere, their relationship is so endearing to watch and their personalities compliment each other so well. Just having them both on screen was enough to make me give up everything I was planning to do for the rest of the day and give my undivided attention to this drama.

Another thing that I really like about this drama is that the other characters are all intelligent as well, which makes us understand why they were in power to begin with and why they’ve been successful so far. This point makes watching the main character manipulate these smart and sneaky characters much more enjoyable

This drama is for the intelligent, for the ones who are willing to sit through long conversations and enjoy putting the pieces of the puzzle together, for the ones who understand that sometimes no matter the cost one has to fight for what is right. (sorry for the long review! if you made it this far, that means you're interested!! give it a try, you won't be disappointed!)
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38 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Dec 6, 2015
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
Well, I just wouldn't know where to start. This is my first completed Wu Xia drama I was completely amazed by it. I have so much to say and it'll probably be long so let me summarize it first. If you like Scheming dramas, where wining isn't really about how strong you are, or how strong your army is, but how smart, then this is a drama you'll definitely enjoy. However there read more is much more that this drama offers. The characters, their relationships and how things develop around them are at the heart of the drama. Love, loyalty, brotherhood portrayed in such a beautiful way. Like one of the comments I read on a blog said about this drama: *It hurts so good!*

As for the plot, it basically is a Chinese version of The Count of Monti Cristo transposed in Chinese empire. However, the story felt grander than the original French novel, and more than just a revenge tale. It is a story that goes beyond life and death, but setting the truth free. We are introduced to Mei Chang Su, a sickly man and part of the pugilistic world. He has established the Jiangzuo Alliance, a very powerful alliance with eyes and ears basically everywhere. Such power has given Mr. Su the title of Divine Talent. Two princes that are fighting for the throne sought after such talent. He was welcomed to the capital, but he had his own agenda. The two princes have been set against each other by the emperor. However such an act has corrupted the royal court, making the whole empire lose its strength. Mr. Su wants to remove both princes as contenders to the throne and bring forth the seventh prince, who's unfavoured by the emperor and looked down upon in the court. Mr.Su does so by studying the whole situation, going after each of the corrupt officials and brings their misdeeds to light. This is his way of removing corruption, and rebuilding the empire's strength.

That set the story forth as things start changing since the appearance of the mysterious Mei Chang Su. Soon enough, people start realizing that things are moving, and interest starts to increase in that mysterious figure. Little do they know he’s Lin Shu, survivor of the Chiyang army, and a victim of a tragedy from 12 years ago. The capital is full of people who benefitted from his tragedy, and those whose time has stopped since that time, unable to accept reality, but incapable of changing reality. Among them loyal friends join our protagonist in his quest to set things right.

Though the story is all about machinations, with smart villains, and smarter hero, what make this drama so special, addicting, memorable and endearing are the characters and relationships. Starting with Mei Chang Su, he’s a tragic character. The son of General Lin, and cousin to the princes, his world with filled with love, his potential was infinite and his dreams are big. Suddenly, all was stolen from him, even his face. He goes back home but it isn’t home anymore. As much as he denies himself the desire to go back to his previous self, he can’t help but show it in the most vital moments. Then there’s the 7th prince, Prince Jing. He’s very straight forward, to a fault, and never hides his feelings. What he thinks of the Chiyang army is no secret to all, making him unfavoured by his father, the emperor. He and Lin Shu grew up as brothers, and his feelings for Lin Shu haven’t changed. However he seemed to have inherited his doubtful side from his father. He has a hard time trusting Mei Chang Su since Mr. Su isn’t as straightforward as he’d like him to be, and he has a prejudice against strategist. I have to say seeing the relationship between these two develop is the most appealing in the drama, and the most carefully planned.

Then there is Princess Ni Huang, Lin Shu’s fiancé who can’t get her hand on what makes her trust Mr. Su this much. Princess Ni Huang is an army general, and the emperor wants to control her by finding her a husband from the capital. However she isn’t one to be controlled and will always get her way, and has a cute brother watching out for her. She is the weakness that makes Mei Chang Su go back to being Lin Shu, even for a moment. She is always the warmth he needs when things are too hard or too sad for him. Next is general Meng, the ever so loyal friend of Mei Changsu, and captain of the royal guards. He’s the strongest person in the capital, but not the smarted of the bunch. Even so he is one Mr. Su depends on most and when he takes charge, he kicks ass.

Other memorable characters are: the smart and warm Concubine Jing; the strong and childish puppy-like Fei Liu; the upright heartbreaking sweetheart Jing Rui; the sunshine Yu Jin; the kickass Xia Dong… the list goes on and on.

The opposing side doesn’t disappoint either. Many antagonists were interesting but most intriguing for me was Prince Yu. He’s very careful in what he does, and knows how to always make himself look in a favourable light in front of the emperor, making him favoured among the princes. However, there was always this emotional detachment he felt from his father, creating a void in him. Throughout the drama, with all his actions, being good or hateful ones, I felt he was always trying to fill this void. Another intriguing character, and maybe the most intriguing of all characters, is the emperor. My first impression of him is, that man is no fool. However everyone know he’s no fool, and of his doubtful nature, which became a tool used by our protagonists and enemies alike. He gives this fatherly figure impression, but that can change in a moment. He does care for his sons, but the power he has over the throne precedes all. He rather punishes innocents rather than let go of suspect. His conscience still haunts him because of past misdeeds, but he rather ignores it to protect his pride.

What brought those characters to life are talented actors and their on screen chemistry. Those favourite moments of mine when Hu Ge looses his composure, or veteran Ding Yong Dai playing such a complicated character like the emperor, who you both hate to love and love to hate.

Of course there is more to this drama than acting and characterization. The writing itself is fantastic. You got the tight plot, you got the character depth, and you got a great balance between all. Not a moment was wasted, as every arc got better than its predecessor. As for the direction, it was flawless for the most part. The story was fast paced, the action scenes were engaging, and overall the scenery was just gorgeous. The music is spot on, and the OST was beautifully fitting, written just for this drama. My only complaint in that area is the beginning, which was overwhelming with information. Especially to a newbie to cdramas like me, I’m getting to know the actors as well as the characters, and this drama doesn’t make it easy. Thankfully, by episode 4-5 things clear up and everything becomes easier to swallow. Another complaint would be when some characters disappear for a long period of time, and we miss them too much. However we’re usually too preoccupied with what is going on, so it’s not like we have the time to get bored.

The ending did not disappoint, and all brought together, with closure to all.

This drama is a perfect example portrayal of the possibility of what is means to run a kingdom through loyalty, love, strength, and wisdom. I’m usually a cynical person, but the experience we go through in this drama doesn’t leave any cynicism in me. I think it’s mostly the focus on love and loyalty between characters throughout the drama that eliminated any doubt in me.

Again beautiful drama and was worth every moment of my time. If you’re not sure yet do try the OST:

When the Wind Blows by Hu Ge
Loyal Blood Runs Forever Red by Wang Kai
Aging of a Beauty by Liu Tao
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Make a Recommendation More recs (17)Recommendations

At first, it seems like the shows have little in common. The Myth is a time traveling-adventure-comedy drama and Nirvana in Fire is a historical-political-war-revenge drama plot. Although both portrayed by Hu Ge, the respective leads appear very different, Yi Xiao Chuan (The Myth) is a childish troublemaker from modern-day with a penchant for womanizing, while Mei Chang Su/Su Zhe (Nirvana in Fire) is the mature, elegant gentleman strategist. At first, I thought the Myth was only a time-traveling Hu Ge comedy that didn't take itself too seriously. Then, Yi Xiao Chuan's character started to change. As Xiao Chuan's role in the drama changes and he starts to be involved in the court and the battlefield, the drama becomes a lot more like Nirvana in Fire. There's political intrigue, battles, strategy, and inventive plots. I'm at episode 38 right now and just raised my score from a 7.0 to an 8.5. If you liked Hu Ge in Nirvana in Fire, give The Myth a gracious chance. You may be surprised.
Recommended by KittyAnn
Both are breathtaking dramas with excellent acting, direction and scenery. Both should be required viewing for drama addicts - hehehehe.
Recommended by MysteryMel-Bookish

Comments (671)

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  • Reply
    TinaSanders 20 hours ago

    Cool show)

  • Reply
    nufazhou 2 days ago

    The 54 episodes from this drama are very worth to spend time. Every episode has it drama, tension, & unpredictable story line, so you won't be bored. Each characters have great chemistry, especially between Mei chang su & jing yan. Jingyan eyes always sparkling and intense when see mei chang su, the way Jingyang look, always make my hearts skip a beat! Sorry Nihuang...

  • Reply
    nufazhou 2 days ago

    The 54 episodes from this drama are very worth to spend time. Every episode has it drama, tension, & unpredictable story line, so you won't be bored. Each characters have great chemistry, especially between Mei chang su & jing yan. Jingyan eyes always sparkling and intense when see mei chang su, the way Jingyang look, always make my hearts skip a beat! Sorry Nihuang...

  • Reply
    JadeDarcy 7 days ago

    I kept reading so many recommendations and positive things about this drama, but when I tried it the fist couple of times I could not get into it at all. I think the first thing was that I had never watched a chinese historical drama and could not understand the large cast. Then I watched Eternal Love, and loved it. I went back to NIF while I was hungover from Eternal Love, and LOVED Nirvana in Fire. I didn't skip an episode. I stayed up till really late watching this. It was like a mixture of Count of Monte Cristo meets Sherlock Holmes. Game of Thrones lite. Highly recommend. Worthy of the fame and compliments.

  • Reply
    ayse 8 days ago

    this was a master piece indeed, from start to very end, i could not skip a single episode nor a moment, i would like to write to a lot of things yet words do fail me as it's been only few minutes since i've finished it
    it was simply wonderful

  • Reply
    Yu Qi Zeng 10 days ago - edited

    I haven't watched this show but this show has a lot of cast that is the same as the one in Ode to Joy 1 and 2.

    • Reply
      Mitti 4 days ago

      Yes! They have same producing team, Daylight Entertainment.

  • Reply
    Daylight4 15 days ago

    I'm back after finishing this drama. I made an earlier comment but felt the need to comment again. Great drama. I'm going to miss every character. A special shoutout to my favorite adorable character Fei Lu, thank you for your loyalty towards Mei Chang Su. His screen time brought comic relief. I especially loved when he threw a bucket of water at the physician in the middle of his conversation with Mei Chang Su. His little pouts were the best. I'm especially going to miss Mei Chang Su. I cried. And you probably will too. I miss him so much!

  • Reply
    mrsanastasia 16 days ago

    masterpiece and epicfullness!

    I have rewatched again and again.. i my drama years of 20 years nothing come perfect as this...the writing is top notch so does the acting..

    a superior..

  • Reply
    rachelsse78 21 days ago - edited

    Can somebody recommend me some nice drama like this...not included ten miles because I watched it 3 times already.

    • Reply
      pinkmilk 13 days ago

      Try The Advisors Alliance. It's a new show; very popular in China right now.

    • Reply
      cia 4 days ago

      Princess Agents, a records breaking drama in China and internationally recognized phenomenon! A must watch!

    • Reply
      cia 4 days ago

      Princess Agents, a records breaking drama in China and internationally recognized phenomenon! A must watch!

  • Reply
    rachelsse78 21 days ago

    I love it very much

  • Reply
    Dreamhigh 27 days ago - edited

    Is this drama romantic? Does it have a love story? the synopsis doesn't really tell anything about the relationship between the 2 main leads.

    • Reply
      Uyen Phuong Truong 26 days ago

      There is a love story but it is not the focus of NIF. However, the love between them is really deep and touching.

    • Reply
      silvermcv 21 days ago

      not really but it is a good drama.

  • Reply
    rumtumcat 27 days ago - edited

    i dropped this once. i come back again because everyone has been saying this is best drama ever. hopes it wont fail me =)

    • Reply
      rumtumcat 25 days ago

      How u find it so far?? Im on ep10 still doesnt get hook

    • Reply
      Alekwang 25 days ago

      It's good but what you have to do in order to enjoy it is to not read any spoilers before (don't read the comments or don't turn on the timed comments on viki! They really kill the mood) and don't try to understand everything. At first I thought it was too complicated for me and all those names would have made it impossible for me to enjoy a show that I didn't even understand but I started not to care anymore and the storyline got interesting. I'm not thinking of dropping it this time around too!

    • Reply
      Tszzzz 23 days ago

      ^Me when I watch every historical drama series.
      For real though, Viki timed comments that spoil the end literally is the most annoying thing ever.

    • Reply
      KianaRose 22 days ago

      I started watching it and I'm finding it really hard to understand what's going on and who all these people are so hopefully I can pull through too lol.. Also are these subtitles quicker then usual??

    • Reply
      nastou19 20 days ago - edited

      I was only hooked around episode 20. At episode 7, I rated it 7/10 but it went up after that. I know it's long but it's worth it.

  • Reply
    Daylight4 Jul 17, 2017 - edited

    On episode 10 of this and oh my goodness it is beyond my expectation. Like wow. I'm anticipating future episodes and can only guess that it will get better from here on out. I was hooked from the first episode. To be honest I started watching this show because of Ode to Joy. Andi was my favorite character in there and I love her acting. I wasn't expecting to love this drama this much. This is my first Chinese historical drama and I'm not disappointed. Anyways, I fell in love with Su Zhe and even though he tells himself that he doesn't love the princess I know deep down he does. Uggghh. Lol. Just end up together already and make babies. ;) Haha.

  • Reply
    salma017 Jul 12, 2017


  • Reply
    Mimi Jul 11, 2017 - edited

    Had to drop it even tho I love Hu Ge

    • Reply
      ryubin Jul 15, 2017

      how come you dropped it?


  • Country:

  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Sep 19, 2015 to Oct 15, 2015
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    45 min.


  • Score:

    9.2 (scored by 1,592 users)
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  • Popularity:


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