7 user 1 critic

Empresses in the Palace 

Zhen Huan Zhuan (original title)
Grand story of the inner workings of the harem of classic China.
4,218 ( 4,512)




32 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Empresses in the Palace (TV Mini-Series 2015)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A young woman born from one of the Eight Banners family marries the Emperor. After surviving through many murderous scandals and betrayals, she prevails as the most powerful woman in the ... See full summary »

Stars: Li Sun, Kang Luo, Qian Sun
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Chronicle the marriage of Qianlong Emperor and the Step Empress, Ru Yi Ulanara.

Stars: Xun Zhou, Wallace Huo, Janine Chun-Ning Chang
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Biography of legendary widow Zhou Ying who revitalized the business of Wu's family, a prominent clan in Guanzhong of Shaanxi, in late Qing Dynasty.

Stars: Li Sun, Mimi Chi Yan Kung, Xiao Chen
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young girl searches for the truth about her older sister's death by becoming a seamstress in the Emperor's harem.

Stars: Jinyan Wu, Yuan Nie, Enshang Liu
Nirvana in Fire (TV Series 2015)
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Story about a son's search for his family's lost honor.

Stars: Ge Hu, Yongdai Ding, Kai Wang
Legend of Miyue (TV Series 2015)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A drama about Mi Yue, the outstanding female politician in Chinese history, who made a great contribution to the unification of China two thousand years ago.

Stars: Li Sun, Tao Liu, Chuyue Chen
Startling by Each Step (TV Series 2011)
Drama | Fantasy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After a car accident plunges a woman into the dreamy Chinese past that gave the whole life in the Beijing imperial palace after that she returns to her life in the modern world.

Stars: Shi Shi Liu, Nicky Wu, Kevin Cheng
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The story of power, desire, lust and love among people of different kingdoms in ancient China. No matter who you are, you have to rise from the mud to become The Great Phoenix.

Stars: Kun Chen, Hong Yuan, Ni Ni
The Story of Ming Lan (TV Series 2018)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An unfavoured child of a rich family, Ming Lan studies and works hard, and falls in love with the son of a high official. Through cunning schemes, they both rise in position and work to obtain justice from those that have wronged them.

Stars: Zanilia Zhao, Shuzhen Zhao, Shaofeng Feng
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two deities Ye Hua (Mark Chao) and Bai Qian (Mi Yang) meet and fall in love. Their love story transcends time and has become a legend.

Stars: Mi Yang, Mark Chao, Weiguang Gao
Huan zhu ge ge (1998–1999)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A street girl, Xiao Yan Zi, in a mix-up ends up as a Princess (officially titled Huan Zhu Ge Ge) instead of her sworn sister (played by Ruby Lin). The adventures continue as Xiao Yan Zi ... See full summary »

Stars: Wei Zhao, Ruby Lin, Alec Su
The Disguiser (TV Series 2015)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Story of resistance, espionage, familial ties, friendship and romance in the Japanese-occupied Shanghai.

Stars: Ge Hu, Kai Wang, Mintao Liu


Series cast summary:
Li Sun ...  Zhen Huan 76 episodes, 2012
Jianbin Chen ...  Yongzheng Emperor 74 episodes, 2012
Qian Sun ...  Cui Jinxi 72 episodes, 2012
Ada Choi ...  Empress 70 episodes, 2012
Lyric Lan ...  Huanbi / ... 67 episodes, 2012
Tien-Chu Lee ...  Su Peisheng 67 episodes, 2012
Kai-chun Yang ...  Jianqiu 67 episodes, 2012
Xin-ran Tao ...  An Lingrong 59 episodes, 2012
Ziyan Yang ...  Feng Ruozhao 58 episodes, 2012
Xi Lan ...  Shen Meizhuang 55 episodes, 2012
Yixin Liang ...  Baojuan 54 episodes, 2012
Zihan Zhou ...  Caiyue 51 episodes, 2012
Kang Luo ...  Xiao Yunzi 47 episodes, 2012
Meixi Wan ...  Xin 45 episodes, 2012
Xin Jiang ...  Nian Shilan 40 episodes, 2012
Yi-tong Liu ...  Songzhi 38 episodes, 2012
Jing-yi Zhan ...  Liuzhu 37 episodes, 2012
Si-si Chen ...  Cao Qinmo 35 episodes, 2012
Dong-xue Li ...  Yunli 35 episodes, 2012
Yameng Zhang ...  Consort Qi 35 episodes, 2012
Leanne Lau ...  Empress Dowager Renshou 33 episodes, 2012
Xiaolong Zhang ...  Wen Shichu 33 episodes, 2012
Shumei Tian ...  Sun Zhuxi 32 episodes, 2012
Hanbang Wang ...  Zhou Ninghai 31 episodes, 2012


Grand story of the inner workings of the harem of classic China.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | Romance


See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 November 2011 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

The Legend of Zhen Huan See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(6 episodes) | (76 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Yongzheng emperor in reality only ruled for 12 years See more »


At the temple, Zhen Huan performs regular hard labour of chopping wood, carrying water, scrubbing floors and doing laundry. Yet her fingernails remain long and perfectly manicured throughout. See more »


Yongzheng Emperor (2011): Only by enduring loneliness, can someone enjoy constancy.
See more »


Alternate-language version of Empresses in the Palace (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Exotic and exciting! P.S. Beware of the plum soup!
15 September 2016 | by laptoppclaptopSee all my reviews

This series is a kind of Chinese equivalent of Tudors which is one of my favorite historic TV series. There is much common with Tudors: most of the story plays out in the Emperors court that is full of intrigues, plots and beautiful women. Also it falls largely into the similar sort of era: 17th century if I understand correctly,Henry's life was a bit earlier but not too much.

Also the Emperor is similar sort of fella to our Henry: right old moron, serial wife killer and a sociopath. And the directors/script writers take is the same: they are creating a believable historic world but are not too worried to follow every historic fact to the dot. The story is loosely based on some real peoples lives but obviously a lot of artistic freedom is taken to create this story.

There is a lot to love about this series: it is really well written and directed and it never gets dull. The scriptwriter surely knows how to create cliff hangers and keep the audiences on their toes. The Chinese people are known to be very medicoulos in everything throughout the history and the director proves that: he firmly guides his massive amount of main and side characters through vast amounts of plot twists and still manages to remember the character continuity details for each one of them.

What I also liked very much, the character development is as deep as in a feature movie. Often in series characters remain sketch-like whilst here the director digs deep into the human depth with all the main ladies. Also the character development is very thorough and well planned, revealing layer by layer every ones true nature (Empress, Consort Hua, Lady Cao) or character changes (Zhen Huang).

It would have been very easy just to show these women as evil scheming bitches, but the director shows the depth of human tragedy how they were caught up in the evil infrastructure where they often had no choice as to resort to evil methods to survive. Every important characters personal story is revealed layer by layer and how they came to the point where they were in the story.

What I found particularly fascinating was all the customs and rituals of the palace. It seems that a lot of historical research had gone into that production. I doubted if they really dressed and behaved in such peculiar ways, such as women wearing these long finger extentions for example. So I did some research online. And indeed, at these times aristocratic women wore those weird things, as sign that they did not have to work. They were common accessories.

I found it very amusing how they all offered each other bowls of soups, teas and medicines all the time, half of them poisoned or laced with something very harmful - either making you infertile, destroying your voice, infecting you with plague. A lethal plum soup was funniest.

Everyone in the palace was busy sending each other medicines, teas, fabrics, jewellery, fragrances, pot plants, precious stones, incense, all of them meant to manipulate the target one way or other.

Killing each other off in most brutal ways was also common place in palace, and almost in every episode a person is beaten to death either on order of Emperor or other high standing person. The concubines and female servants are beaten to death at the same rate as male subjects.

As for the weaknesses of the series,the weakest link in the whole story is the actor who plays the Emperor. Where did they get him from? They have the whole China to choose from,why did they choose him???? The female leads tear the screen apart like she-wolves but he is like out of amateur theatre.

He is so wooden. He simply delivers the lines and that's about it. He has no emotions, no reactions and no concept of his character. Now and then, on the orders of the director apparently, he throws a bowl on the floor to show he is angry. On his death bed he rolls his eyes left and right a few times. That's it! And he was not good-looking either, so there was nothing to compensate his boring and dull presence. This actor really annoyed the hell out of me.

In a way, he reflects the principle of the society that is portrayed in the series: the female actresses work so hard to create exciting characters and he is just sitting there like a Muppet, has not put any effort into his character, yet holds a lead role in major TV series.

But in spite of disappointing Emperor, it is still very exciting series. And I very much recommend to watch the original 76 episodes, not the 6 part short version. There are so many story lines and details and 6 part version is not doing justice to this exciting 76 episode series.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed