In the enthralling world of Story of Kunning Palace, a historical drama that captures the essence of imperial intrigue and romance, emerges a character both enigmatic and captivating: Jiang Xue Ning. As the heroine at the heart of this sweeping narrative, Jiang's journey is not just one of survival within the gilded but perilous walls of the palace, but also a testament to the strength and resilience of a woman navigating the complexities of power, love, and duty in a time where her role was often confined to the margins of history.
Jiang Xue Ning, portrayed with a compelling blend of vulnerability and determination, emerges as more than just a figure navigating the treacherous tides of palace politics; she is a symbol of a woman's unyielding spirit in the face of adversity. Her character arc, from a young, naive girl to a wise and formidable presence in the palace, mirrors the tumultuous era she inhabits. This article seeks to delve deep into the layers of Jiang's character, exploring how her unique personality traits, decisions, and relationships with others in the palace paint a portrait of a woman who is as complex as she is inspiring.
01 A stunning and enchanting appearance
In the original work, there was a description of Jiang Xue Ning's appearance: "Too enchanting, lacking in dignity." "Jiang Xue Ning has never had a dignified appearance, but after entering the capital, she gradually shed her youthfulness, blossoming into a mature beauty. Her slender neck and graceful figure, with skin exposed outside her clothes that seemed delicate enough to be broken with a gentle touch, leaving behind a faint red mark like a fragile flower." "As she grew older, with such a captivating beauty, she was enough to make many men in the capital flock to her and become infatuated with her." From these descriptions, it can be seen that Jiang Xue Ning's looks are quite high, and this beauty of hers has overshadowed her own dignity and composure, making her appear like a fairy.
Unfortunately, her beauty also carries a hint of frivolity and charm. How can anyone not be enchanted by such a woman? In Shen Jie's selection list, there were many well-born women, and with the Empress Dowager's support for the Xue family, Jiang Xue Ning would undoubtedly encounter numerous obstacles in her application for the position of empress. Therefore, her looks became her secret weapon and capital. She could only rely on this aspect to firmly capture Shen Jie's heart and make him her backing. It can be said that she truly achieved the level of enchanting a monarch. Otherwise, Shen Jie would not have given her the right to participate in politics, and even her own brother, who coveted her looks, was killed.
As for Zhang Zhe, he is a man of upright character with a pure heart and few desires. If they had interacted normally, he would not have any excessive thoughts about Jiang Xue Ning. But unfortunately, their way of getting along was not normal. Jiang Xue Ning often employed the tactics to tempt him, and Zhang Zhe, who was not good at socializing, was provoked by such a bold and unrestrained person. Even a sage would find it hard not to be moved, right?
As for Xie Wei, Jiang Xue Ning did indeed try to use him in order to survive, and she did manage to temporarily confuse him. However, he took the Cold-food powder, thinking that everything was an illusion, and that's why he pushed Jiang Xue away. Beauty is a form of attraction, and this is undeniable. Jiang Xue Ning's enchanting beauty is undoubtedly her greatest asset, which allows her to receive more attention and a higher status. For men, a beautiful woman often captures their attention and interest more easily. Of course, this attraction is not only based on appearance, but also includes her personality.
02 Flamboyant and spontaneous character
Jiang Xue Ning's behavior has always been flamboyant, free-spirited, and straightforward. This kind of behavior makes her whole being bathed in sunlight, presenting a free and unrestrained soul. It is evident that Jiang Xue Ning's character belongs to the healing type, and her positive attitude and energy can infect and attract people around her.
Whether in the past or present, Shen Jie is trapped in the royal family, and the empress dowager's control over him is very strong, suppressing him everywhere. However, what he really wants to do is to roam the rivers and lakes to seek justice. But he is the prince, so he carries shackles on him, and he can be said to be helpless. In his life, most of the noble ladies he can come into contact with are women cultivated in prominent families, inevitably with some flattery.
On the other hand, Jiang Xue Ning grew up in the countryside with a free-thinking mindset, so she dares to challenge everything. In Shen Jie's eyes, such a person is undoubtedly refreshing. The same goes for Zhang Zhe. He himself is a narrow-minded person, not only emphasizing the importance of rituals and regulations, but also believing that women should adhere to female virtues. But Jiang Xue Ning breaks his beliefs and does many things that he dares not do. In his eyes, such a woman is undoubtedly courageous and decisive. A woman who lives stronger than himself, Jiang Xue Ning's charm is definitely very attractive to him.
As for Xie Wei, his life can be described as dark, and Jiang Xue Ning's touch of sunlight shines into his world, bringing him redemption. Xie Wei also wants to be a person like Jiang Xue Ning, but unfortunately he cannot. He wants to retaliate against those who have harmed him and reclaim what belongs to him. His life is bound, unable to relax even a bit, but he wants redemption, so he needs to approach a person full of sunlight, and Jiang Xue Ning happens to have what he wants.
Yan Lin is naturally carefree and unrestrained, and Jiang Xue Ning's straightforward character is simply to his taste, which can be said to be a perfect match. It's like having a playmate. Jiang Xue Ning can accompany him to do any crazy things, which would be impossible for any woman from a prominent family, and they would only restrict him.
Yan Lin likes Jiang Xue Ning precisely because he likes her authenticity and freedom. This is also mentioned in the original work. It is precisely because of Jiang Xue Ning's straightforward and unrestrained character that the four male characters have deep emotional resonance and yearning for her. Her character is also closely related to her ideals and pursuits. It is her firmness and persistence in pursuing her ideals that shape her character.
03 Jiang Xuning's Ideal Pursuit
Jiang Xue Ning grew up with Wan Niang and never received a formal education, but the free-range education has molded her to possess a strong vitality and taught her how to survive in adversity. Therefore, during the journey to the capital, whether encountering bandits or snowstorms, she showed no fear, even willing to cut her wrist to save Xie Wei. It is her strong determination that led her to risk her life to save Xie Wei from danger.
In Xie Wei's heart, Jiang Xue Ning at that moment was undoubtedly kind and the light of life, which deeply attracted him. Even though she changed later on, Xie Wei still cherished that moment with her. Until the palace coup, he did not despise her ambition, but rather felt heartbroken that her plans were not sufficient. In Xie Wei's heart, what he would like to see is the vitality in her bones.
And the reason why she has ambition and such lofty goals is related to Wan Niang. Wan Niang herself is a person with great ambition and arrogance. She has always advocated selfishness and values climbing up. Her ambition and arrogance subtly influence Jiang Xue Ning. It can even be said that Wan Niang painted a grand picture for Jiang Xue Ning, the position that women dream of in the world. If she had returned to the Jiang family from the countryside and received the love of the Jiang Lady, perhaps none of this would have happened.
Unfortunately, Lady Jiang's actions left her unable to find solace. In this extreme lack of affection, she developed a self-protective mechanism. Jiang Xue Ning abandoned all romantic relationships and pursued her career, making the grand promises once made by her stepmother her lifelong pursuit. Thus, she exerted all her efforts and resorted to any means necessary to climb to the supreme position, forcing everyone to pay attention to her.
Shen Jie, on the other hand, had no desire for the throne but was compelled to sit in that position because he lacked the strength and courage that Jiang Xue Ning possessed to confront authority. When he saw the determination and pursuit of her dreams, he was deeply attracted by her unwavering commitment, which was something he had longed for. He chose to stand behind Jiang Xue Ning and protect her, an act that can be seen as a form of self-preservation and seeking motivation.
Zhang Zhe's love for her actually encompassed her ambition, which refers to her ability to pursue her goals without any reservations, to do whatever she pleases, and to dare to break the rules. He had spent his own life too exhausted, always bound by many things. Now, when Jiang Xue Ning pulled him off his pedestal, it undoubtedly gave him a breather, a chance to indulge himself. He did not want her wild and unrestrained nature to disappear, so he sacrificed himself to preserve this desire.
As for Yan Lin, he had always loved her audacious nature, loving what she loved and thinking what she thought. No matter what pursuit she had, he would find a way to help her achieve it. Even when he eventually turned dark, he only resented her for abandoning him, but did not blame her for her ambition to become the queen.
In her second life, she realized clearly that everything she had worked so hard to obtain did not bring her peace when she arrived at the Ning An Palace. In this life, she underwent many changes in her character, and her ideals transformed into self-preservation and protecting others.
By saving Yan Lin, You Fangyin, Shen Zhiyi, and others, she changed the course of their predetermined fates. This also allowed her to break free from her love for Zhang Zhe. Xie Wei's coercion forced her to truly understand herself and choose reconciliation with herself.
A person with a strong spiritual core undoubtedly holds great attraction for those who seek freedom, and Jiang Xue Ning is exactly such a person. Her character conceals a brilliance that many people desire, which is why so many people admire her.