While the first season is focused on one man’s revenge, Nirvana in Fire 2 (琅琊榜之风起长林) is all about one family’s rise and fall. The show has so many injured, sick, and dead main characters, you never know who would fall victim next. Yet, at its heart, it’s a show about family love. For every instance of darkness, love lights the way.
If one day you find yourself in a situation where your heir was dead, your younger son court-martialed for insubordination, your family stripped of power, and yourself on your last dying breath, to most people, it’s a life ruined. But to Xiao Tingsheng, the Lord of Changlin, the highest military commander of the country, it’s a life well lived. His heir had died in battle protecting their country. His younger son defied an Emperor’s edict but secured peace along the northern border for the next 10 years. His family did not do what was best, they did what was right.
I was blown away by how he handled his son’s charges. He did not use his influence to protect his son from prosecution (he had the clout to easily sweep the issue under the rug.) He did not even defend his son’s actions inside the court (there were many people who were ready to back him up if he did.) He did, however, hold his son’s hand and stood with him in front of a hall of indignant politicians. He declared that he supported his son’s decision and they would accept any punishment given. In one simple act, he demonstrated how proud he was of his son. And in the same breath, he upheld the young Emperor’s authority. He proved to a room of scared, power-hungry backstabbers that his family was no usurper. His family was and always will be a loyal defender of the crown.
I’ll take you to school. Let’s go to court. Gif source: Weibo
His last words to Pingjing had me crying a river of tears:
Father was born a slave. I have suffered more hardship than regular people ever did. I have faced the coldest treatment. But I have also experienced three luckiest things in life: One, I met a teacher who wiped away the anger in my heart. Two, I was raised by the late Emperor, and served under two wise rulers who never doubted my loyalty. Three, I had a harmonious family with two good sons.
You always loved freedom. Unfortunately for you, you were born in a military family. After I’m gone, you can let go of the Changlin title. Pingjing, go do what you want to do. Take care of your sister-in-law and your nephew, and don’t worry about anything else.
As for my funeral, remember, bury my clothes in the Royal tomb but my body in the ridge of plum trees.