25 Historical Chinese Dramas To Watch In 2022
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Here is a list of 25 Historical Chinese Dramas that you must watch to keep yourself entertained. A historical drama is a piece of art set in the past and is frequently utilized in the setting of film and television. It is also known as a period drama, costume drama, or period piece. Swashbucklers, action movies, and historical romances all fall within the category of historical drama.
A period piece may be set in the distant or generic Middle Ages, the precise Roaring Twenties, the recent past, or another period. Chinese historical dramas are among the most adaptable on the planet. They combine several different genres into one and are pretty trendy and sophisticated. Others may take place in an alternate reality and have fantastical elements, while some may be based on actual historical events.
The icing on the cake includes unique original soundtracks, outstanding battle choreography with individuals defying gravity, and gorgeous costumes and set designs. Almost any plot you can imagine has been the subject of a period play.
You will undoubtedly find something beautiful on this list, regardless matter whether you are an experienced lover of Chinese historical dramas or are new to the genre. The top 25 Historical Chinese Dramas featuring time travel, ancient curses, and magical armor are included on our list.
1. Ever Night (60 episodes)
The Tang Dynasty setting of Ever Night (将夜) centered on a resentful young man who seeks to uphold justice. After his family is brutally murdered, the main character escapes and makes it through the wilderness with the help of his cunning and, occasionally, ruthlessness. Things get difficult once he meets a female who later seems to be a mystery reincarnation of a potent entity destined to destroy just his quest for vengeance.
Ever Night is a spectacular C-drama with outstanding combat choreography, unforgettable action sequences, and well-rounded characters. Given that it is based on the widely read novel of the same name by Mao Ni, it could not have been any other way. Give this one a try if you enjoy historical fantasy and adventure dramas.
2. The Princess Weiyoung (54 episodes)
The Princess Weiyoung (锦绣未央) is another literary adaption. The story is based on Qin Jian’s novel The Poisonous Daughter, about a real-life empress. It is set in the turbulent Sixteen Kingdoms era and relates the tale of Feng Xin’er, a sympathetic royal princess.
The princess is left alone after nearly the whole royal family is massacred due to the selfishness of others. She then unintentionally enters the palace of her adversary and assumes Li Wei Young’s identity (the prime minister’s daughter). The themes of love and happiness are also present in addition to retribution.
Watching a Chinese historical play where women fight and occasionally even triumph during a time when they were viewed as nothing more than belongings is incredibly fascinating. You should watch this series if you enjoy political subplots and unexpected turns.
3. Lost Love in Times (56 episodes)
Lost Love in Times (醉玲珑), based on the Shi Siye novel Drunk Linglong, is a lovely synthesis of historical drama, Romance, and fantasy. It has a beautiful and enigmatic fantasy premise, intricate connections, and endearing chemistry between the leads.
Lost Love in Times might be perfect if you enjoy historical dramas like Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms or Scarlet Heart and seek something comparable. The main plot of this drama is the tender love affair between sorceress Qincheng and prince Yuang Ling of Wei.
The prince once attempted to be killed by the Emperor, but he lives thanks to the witch’s intervention. He is incredibly appreciative and eventually falls in love. They become engaged after only a few days, but the state rejects their union. Will their relationship end in ruin, or will they be able to overcome all obstacles and find happiness together?
4. Legend of Dragon Pearl (90 episodes)
The love tale between Yi Huan, the final princess of the Ming Dynasty, and Kang Xi, the youthful Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, is depicted in Legend of the Dragon Pearl (龙珠传奇). A regent took over the throne after Kang Xi became an orphan. The oppressive government begins eavesdropping on Kang Xi and takes all necessary measures to keep him from reclaiming his legitimate position of authority.
True friendship or affection has never existed for the young heir to the throne. In this tale, he develops feelings for Princess Yi Huan because she treats him equally. The emotional whirlwind that is Legend of the Dragon Pearl is intense. You’ll simultaneously burst out laughing and sob uncontrollably at it!
5. Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace (87 episodes)
Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace (如懿传), a novel adaptation of Liu Lianzi’s Hou Gong Ru Yi Zhuan, is about the marriage of Emperor Qianlong and a step-empress. You can immerse yourself in the treacherous life of the empress by watching this television series. She has numerous obstacles to survive, even as she rises through the ranks to become the empress.
However, palace politics and intrigue are a small part of this lovely drama. It also focuses on the Emperor and empress’s love and the development of their union through the years, from their youth to their latter years. The drama also focuses on the harem women’s lives and insecurities, and it does an excellent job of illuminating their diverse motivations.
6. Princess Agents (58 episodes)
Princess Agent is for you if you enjoy watching shows about strong, independent women standing up for themselves. Princess Agents features a truly badass main female character that is funny, clever, a terrific combatant, incredibly devoted, and driven. Though some of the characters she meets don’t like her, most of the time, her choices make sense.
You will be thrust into the turbulent era of Wei, a time when it was simple for innocent people to be forced into slavery. Our protagonist, a slave girl, is one of the unfortunate persons whom wealthy rulers chase. Fortunately, the prince rescues her and adopts her into a wealthy family.
She intends to leave after seeing their brutal struggle for dominance. She tries but fails and is forced to figure out how to live in this unjust society. This drama’s trailer alone received one billion views! Therefore, you must take advantage of this if you enjoy grand historical dramas with slow-moving romances.
7. Bloody Romance (36 episodes)
The 2018 Chinese television series Bloody Romance is based on the Banming Banmei novel of the same name. On July 24, 2018, it will premiere on Youku, with Li Yitong and Qu Chuxiao playing the lead. Through Youku and Dramafever, the shows are broadcast abroad in 13 other countries. By August 2018, the series had amassed 600 million internet views, making it a commercial success.
Despite having a small budget, it received plaudits for having a tight plot, excellent production quality, and a strong female protagonist. The movie Bloody Romance (媚者无疆) was also based on a book. The tale of a woman misled and dragged into a brothel is incredible. She quickly develops into a cold-blooded assassin after learning how to survive.
She interacts with psychopaths, murderers, and other dangerous individuals. Qi Xue unintentionally enters a mysterious city during the turbulent Tang Dynasty period, where he is given the name Wan Mei. When given risky missions, she puts herself in peril, but Chang An, an enigmatic man who appears as a shadow, protects her. The two are drawn into a larger plot involving a deadly power battle. Try this fascinating series if you think this sounds appealing!
8. Scarlet Heart (35 episodes)
The 2011 Chinese television series Scarlet Heart is based on Tong Hua’s Bu Jing Xin book. On September 10, 2011, Hunan Broadcasting System broadcast the world premiere in China. The series centers on Zhang Xiao, a contemporary lady who traveled through time to the Qing Dynasty during Emperor Kangxi’s rule.
There, she encountered the EEmperor’ssons engaged in a protracted struggle for the throne as her former incarnation Ma’er’tai Ruoxi. The female lead would eventually fall in love with Fourth Prince Aisin Gioro Yinzhen, who would become Emperor Yongzheng during the story.
In the movie Scarlet Heart (步步惊心), a young woman from the twenty-first century is involved in an automobile accident and, as a result, goes back in time to the Qing Dynasty. She knows she shouldn’t get embroiled in dangerous royal intrigues because she is trapped in the teenage body of her previous existence.
But she can’t help herself and finds herself caught up in a power battle. Love plays a role in this, to some extent. Don’t pass this one up if you enjoy books with strong female characters, an excellent plot, and heartfelt sentiments.
9. Legend of Fu Yao (66 episodes)
Fu Yao’s transformation in this series from a young, obstinate slave girl to a strong, powerful woman is beautifully depicted. The story Legend of Fu Yao (扶摇) is set in the world of the Five Kingdoms and is an adaptation of Tianxia Guiyuan’s book Empress Fuyao. Following an incident, Fu Yao embarks on a quest across the kingdoms to discover how to escape a terrible curse.
She encounters adventure, palace intrigue, and love along the road. The story’s action takes place in the Five Kingdoms realm, which the Imperial City of Tianquan rules. From a lotus carried by the Ancient firmament, Fuyao was created. She was an adopted orphan who worked as an enslaved person under the Taiyuan Kingdom’s Xuanyuan sect.
She set out to gather the magical objects that could lift the spell that had cursed her life after suffering a run of catastrophes. She ran into the Crown Prince of Tianquan, who was engaged in covert operations to end turmoil throughout the Five Kingdoms. While battling the convoluted intrigues and power struggles between the various forces, the couple fell in love.
10. Nirvana in Fire (54 episodes)
The Hai Yan book Lang Ya Bang inspired the 2015 Chinese historical drama Nirvana in Fire. Mei Changsu, Princess Nihuang, and Prince Jing are played by Hu Ge, Liu Tao, and Wang Kai, respectively. Li Xue and Kong Sheng directed it. In the series, Lin Shu, disguised as Mei Changsu, approaches Liang’s capital city in search of vengeance for a plan that had labeled his family as traitors twelve years previously.
From September 19 to October 15, 2015, it was initially broadcast in two episodes per day on Beijing TV and Dragon TV, Monday through Sunday, from 19:30 to 21:00. Nirvana in Fire’s (琅琊榜) storyline and photography will astound you. Nirvana in Fire is adored by millions of followers and is frequently likened to Game of Thrones, the immensely successful American television program.
It tells the tale of a vicious betrayal and retaliation. This series is sure to please because it is set during one of China’s most turbulent eras when the nation was split between the Northern and Southern Dynasties.
11. Song of Phoenix (72 episodes)
Song of Phoenix (思美人), based on the same-titled novel by Liang Zhenhua, centers on the great Chinese poet Qu Yan during the turbulent Warring States era. In this tale, a prodigy born into a good, wealthy household develops feelings for a slave girl.
You may assume that, especially during those times, a relationship that crossed class lines would be doomed from the outset. The pair is obstinately and desperately in love, though. They are willing to overcome many challenges to be together. Additionally, it tells the tale of a prodigy’s efforts to defend his nation. Try this fantastic drama out!
It chronicles the tale of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and administrator whose achievements during the Warring States Period are well remembered. In the dramatized version, Qu Yuan develops feelings for Mo Chou Nu, a slave girl. The palace’s politics and the country’s state complicate their clandestine relationship. Qu Yuan starts a risky journey to save his people because he loves his country and wants to protect it.
12. General and I (62 episodes)
General and I (孤芳不自赏), an adaptation of Feng Nong’s book A Lonesome Fragrance Waiting to Be Enjoyed, tells a heartbreaking but lovely tale. It’s a tale of love, with all its flaws and difficulties. A bright female strategist and a prince-general known as the God of War are the two intelligent war mastermind rivals at the core of this tale.
The two, citizens of opposing kingdoms, must decide between fidelity to their nation and undying love for one another. The show also explores the sacrifices people are willing to make for their families, friends, and government. You’ll be hooked to your TV the entire time this drama is on!
He Xia and his companion Bai Pingting are compelled to leave the Kingdom of Yan when the mansion of Prince Jing’an is attacked and destroyed overnight. As a result of their separation, Pingting seeks sanctuary in a monastery where she encounters Chu Beijie, a formidable general from the Kingdom of Jin. He remembers her as his first love from a young age. However, their circumstance makes their relationship challenging because they come from rival kingdoms.
13. Fights Break Sphere (45 episodes)
Battle Through the Heavens, a xianxia novel, served as the inspiration for the film Fights Break Sphere ((斗破苍穹)). The series, set in ancient China, combines fantasy and wuxia. The story revolves around a gifted youngster who hasn’t advanced in martial arts due to his mother’s summoned ring. The young boy eventually meets an elderly guy who gives him valuable assistance.
He also discovers who was responsible for killing his family. There is no need to look further if you want a drama about superpowers, overcoming adversaries, and rescuing the planet. The parents of Xiao are Zhan and Gu. When Xiao was nine, his father never mentioned that enemies had murdered his mother.
Until age fifteen, all his advancement was consumed by his mother’s ring, preventing his martial art from progressing. One day, after making contact with the crew, Xiao runs across the older man Yao.
Xiao improves significantly in martial arts with Yao’s assistance and finds out that his mother’s passing was the leading cause. Xiao makes friends at the Jianan Academy after entering. He discovers his family is doomed after narrowly escaping after being wrongly charged.
14. Colorful Bone (53 episodes)
The female protagonist of Colourful Bone (艳骨) is an expert face-changer. She utilizes her skill to aid those in need but also causes difficulty for herself. If you enjoy heartbreaking tales of love and hate and are captivated by the protagonist’s unique talent, which has the power to bring either good or evil, watch this series. Changing one’s appearance is fraught with danger.
It is hard to say if such a method is good or evil and whether individuals who employ it would experience good fortune or poor luck. The Chu dynasty has long ruled the Kingdom of Chu, but with Feng Ru Ge in charge, the imperial line is brought to ruin. The Crown Prince has spent the previous fifteen years.
15. Ashes of Love (63 episodes)
Even though Ashes of Love (香蜜沉沉烬如霜) is somewhat long, it will be impossible for you to take your eyes off the screen. Based on the Dian Xian novel Heavy Sweetness, Ash-like Frost, the series is set in the past and centers on the lovely love affair between two prisoners: the son of the Heavenly Emperor & the daughter of the Flower Goddess.
Ashes of Love demonstrates how the power of real love can overcome barriers. Give this series a try if you’re searching for spectacular battle scenes, loyalties at odds, family turmoil, and power battles. After giving birth to her daughter Jinmi, Zifen the Flower Deity passes away. She was expecting a prophecy that in the first 10,000 years of her life, her daughter would go through a significant love test.
To prevent Jinmi from feeling and displaying passionate love before she dies, she gives Jinmi a magical pellet. Jinmi develops while residing in the Flower Realm as a low-level immortal. She runs into the Fire Deity, Xufeng, who resides in the Heavenly Realm, upsetting her calm existence.
Jinmi encounters Xufeng’s half-brother, the Night Deity Runyu, after persuading him to take her to see the Heavenly Realm. She also meets Princess Sui He, the Holy Empress’s close ally and the mother of Xufeng.
16. Sound of the Desert (35 episodes)
The protagonist of Sound of the Desert (风中奇缘) is a young woman without parents, a name, or an age. She grows up in the desert among wolves. She eventually meets her foster father and has the opportunity to live in society. But once her father dies, she is compelled to live in the desert. She returns to the developed world after some time has passed and encounters two guys there.
She rejects one of them while ignoring the other after falling in love with him. This one will be an emotional rollercoaster for those who enjoy reading stories about romantic love triangles. However, you might want to skip this one if you search for politics and intrigue. Before a Han Chinese man decided to adopt her, Jin Yu, an orphaned girl of Xiongnu descent, was raised by wolves in the desert.
Two years later, after her adoptive father passes away due to political upheaval, she decides to heed his advice and goes to Jian’an, the seat of the Western Han Dynasty, assuming the name Xin Yue. She encounters the sweet and serene disabled man Mo Xun along the way and, subsequently, the dashing but icy general Wei Wu Ji.
Thanks to her perseverance, Xin Yue in Jian’an rises to the position of dance house director and assists a shy girl by the name of Qin Xiang in seeing the Emperor. To plot against Xin Yue, Qin Xiang later transforms into the Emperor’s most potent concubine.
17. Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (58 episodes)
One of the most popular Chinese dramas ever is Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (三生三世十里桃花), commonly known as Eternal Love. The series, which includes immortals, goddesses, gods, and demons, is based on the same-named novel.
Even if you aren’t a lover of the historical or fantasy genres, you will undoubtedly enjoy watching this series because of its incredible Romance. This is a love story that spans several lifetimes and thousands of years. Discover if this pair is destined to experience tough love across three realms and three lifetimes by tuning into this show.
The narrative starts when Zhe Yan transports Bai Qian to Kunlun Mountain while she is posing as the male immortal Si Yin. There, she transforms into the God of War, Mo Yuan’s 17th disciple, and gets the Jade Purity Fan of Kunlun, which she uses as a weapon. Bai Qian has been training and causing trouble for 20,000 years. She is one day abducted by the envious goddess Yao Guang but is later saved by Mo Yuan.
She then pushes the problem again, pulling the ninth disciple, Ling Yu, along with her, and is eventually arrested by the Ghost Lord. After being imprisoned for several weeks, Mo Yuan finally frees them, which prompts Qing Cang to wage war on the Celestial Tribe.
18. God of War, Zhao Yun (49 episodes)
The 14th-century book Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which centers on Zhao Zilong, a distinguished military general, is a loose inspiration for the God of War, Zhao Yun (武神赵子龙). As we watch the series, we delve into China’s early Three Kingdoms era.
The novel primarily centers on the life of the general; you will know everything there is to know about his upbringing, personality, travels, and relationships. You will thoroughly understand Zhao Yun’s inner struggles as this series explores the most significant events in his life.
In China’s early Three Kingdoms and late Eastern Han dynasty, Zhao Zilong was a renowned military leader. Zhao Zilong, one of the renowned Five Tiger Generals, had unmatched fighting prowess, bravery, and charisma.
He first sided with Gongsun Zan but changed his allegiance to Liu Bei later in his remarkable career. Will he, however, realize that the most difficult of all conflicts are those fought in the heart when he finds himself in a love triangle with the stunning Xiahou Qingyi and another famous warrior, Gao Ze?
19. The Legend of Qin (139 episodes)
The cartoon series Qin Moon by Shen Leping, which was based on the same-named book, served as the inspiration for The Legend of Qin (秦时明月). The play takes place during the turbulent but significant Qin Dynasty. The narrative’s main character is a small child who alters the path of history. He must contend with the dictatorship’s brutality, vicious foes, marital problems, and love.
The setting for the story is one of change. It is a time of particular change and outstanding accomplishments, marking the end of one era & the start of another. The Qin dynasty is followed in The Legend of Qin by Monarch Zheng, the Qin Emperor, conquering the other six countries and unifying China through the ascension of the Western Chu king, Xiang Yu, who took control of the capital city, Xianyang.
The story centers on Jing Tianming, a young hero who possesses the blood of a hero and who develops from a helpless, illiterate youngster into a great hero who, by himself, transforms history.
It describes his encounter with Ge Nie, a master swordsman who had betrayed the Qin Empire to defend Tianming and served as his defender. They band together with the Mohists in Machinery City, who, after being attacked by the armies of the Qin, turn to the Confucianists in Sanghai for defense and support.
20. The King’s Woman (48 episodes)
The King’s Woman (秦时丽人明月心) is for you if you enjoy tales of betrayal, retaliation, love triangles, and numerous intrigues. The series centers on Sun Li, the daughter of a military commander who leaves her family and enters the palace, in addition to the main character, the first emperor of China.
Her life will become incredibly complicated once she marries and joins the harem, and she will have to learn to battle for respect. You won’t be let down if you enjoy romantic comedies with palace politics in the backdrop. Military leader Gongsun Yu’s granddaughter and pupil are Gongsun Li. When she was younger, she came across and saved Ying Zheng, who immediately fell in love with her.
Jing Ke, Gongsun Li’s childhood sweetheart, was poisoned while defending her when the Qin forces were attacked. Gongsun Li consented to marry Ying Zheng to obtain the cure for Jing Ke. She did learn, though, that she was already expecting Jing Ke’s child.
For the sake of Gongsun Li, Ying Zheng decides to conceal the truth while raising Tianming as his own. Ying Zheng’s actions moved Gongsun Li to tears. Han Shen entered the palace at the same time to save her and remained there as an imperial guard.
21. Legend of Lu Zhen (59 episodes)
Legend of Lu Zhen (陆贞传奇) is a must-watch if you enjoy strong female historical figures on television. The first female prime minister is the subject of this series, who is a remarkable, determined woman who put in a lot of effort to get there. Le Zhen, the protagonist, is a strong lady who follows her path. Due to her proficiency in producing pottery, she enters the palace and moves up the ranks fast.
She wins the crown prince’s heart, adding a healthy dose of Romance. However, they cannot be happy together due to her lesser social standing and the adversaries surrounding them. But even if she couldn’t become his empress, she could still hold the most significant office in the kingdom.
The main focus of the narrative is Lu Zhen’s ascent from being a simple lady in waiting to become the Northern Qi dynasty’s prime minister. The Northern Qi lady-in-waiting Lu Lingxuan, who had unparalleled power, is the inspiration for the character of Lu Zhen. The eldest and most aspirational daughter of the Lu family, Lu Zhen successfully ran the family porcelain business, much to the satisfaction of her father and the resentment of her stepmother.
Her stepmother Zhao Yinglan planned to poison her father and made an effort to accuse Lu Zhen of the murder out of fear that Lu Zhen would inherit a significant portion of the family’s fortune upon her upcoming marriage. After Lu Zhen was acquitted, her stepmother planned her concubine wedding for an older man so she could take control of the family’s assets.
22. The Imperial Doctress (50 episodes)
Another drama about a courageous woman who overcomes all odds in a challenging life can be found here. The Imperial Doctress (女医·明妃传), which is set during the Ming Dynasty, is about the irrepressible Tan Yun Xian, who hails from a family of palace physicians. But back then, female medical professionals were frequently accused of wrongdoing. Tan Yun Xian, however, is devoted to medicine despite being forced to keep it a secret.
Life gets much trickier when she meets the Emperor (and more intriguing). This program spans more than 20 years in its 50 episodes. Sometimes it’s hard to tell how many days or years pass in lengthy plays like this one. Fortunately, this show provides clues about how much time has elapsed so that viewers can keep track of the timeline.
Tan Yunxian (Cecilia Liu), who played her, comes from a long line of medical experts; her family had worked as court physicians for several generations throughout the Ming Dynasty under Emperor Yingzong. However, when several were accused of abusing the form, the practice for female doctors ended. Yunxian was adamant about studying medicine, so she did it covertly.
Yunxian surmounted many obstacles and advanced through the ranks to become the most well-known female physician of the Ming Dynasty via her enthusiasm and perseverance. Along the way, she meets and develops feelings for the two royal siblings, Zhu Qizhen (Wallace Huo) and Zhu Qiyu (Huang Xuan), who are engaged in a power struggle for the throne.
23. Word of Honor (36 Episodes)
Word of Honor (山河令) is undoubtedly one of the most talked-about and important historical plays in China today, if not the best. It relates the tale of an elite member of the royal secret service who meets a mysterious martial arts expert seeking revenge for his family’s killing. Eventually, the two will set out to locate a fabled treasure.
Zhou Zishu, the leader of the assassin group “The Window of Heaven,” portrayed by Zhang Zhehan, resigns from his position and takes extraordinary steps to achieve freedom. While on his travels, he meets Wen Kexing (played by Gong Jun), the solitary head of Ghost Valley who only seeks retribution.
The two get mixed up in numerous plots in the martial arts community and eventually become soulmates who help each other find forgiveness. Their destinies are intertwined by a conspiracy, two soulmates, five pieces of treasure, twenty years of grudges, and thousands of years of Jianghu dreams.
24. The Rebel Princess (68 Episodes)
The Rebel Princes (江山故人) is undoubtedly one of our picks for the best 10 Chinese historical dramas of 2021. A 15-year-old noblewoman being compelled to enter into an arranged marriage with a wealthy but lowly general is the subject of an exciting tale. Their alliance will soon stop these attempts to cause upheaval and catapult them to the top of the political food chain.
To gain authority, Wang Xuan and Xiao Qi agree. Before falling in love, they get married, and then they work together to defend their country. While he came from nothing, she is a woman who is equal to any guy. The entire imperial dynasty has degenerated into corruption. The nobles are extravagant and have no regard for the commoners.
The third prince Princess Wang Xuan’s childhood sweetheart, is used as a bargaining chip in a prophecy that claims, “To possess thee is to acquire the world.” Wang Xuan’s father marries her off to Xiao Qi, who hails from a humble family because she is drawn into the court’s affairs. Xiao Qi is compelled to flee the city on the eve of their wedding.
25. The Imperial Coroner (36 Episodes)
Chu Chu is a woman who comes from a coroner’s family. She will eventually meet Royal Xiao, a respectable prince in charge of a criminal case, thanks to fate. The two successfully solve a frightening issue that has been unsolved for 18 years.
Chuchu decided to take the coroner test in Chang’an during the late Tang Dynasty since she had always dreamed of becoming one. She ran across Lord Anjun Xiao Jinyu, a man renowned for cracking criminal problems. She then joined him as his colleague, cracked several puzzling cases together. Many powers were stunned by Chuchu’s origin, which upset the delicate equilibrium between them.
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