Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber the ninth cast unveals

Zeng Shunxi as Zhang Wuji the 9th, at your service.

Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber the 9th 倚天屠龙记  has released its first set of stills. I’d always thought this is the perfect Jin Yong novel to adapt for melodramas with idol actors. Glad someone finally took the advice and went for it.  The cast is at least pretty and young , and I already like this Zhou Zhiruo more than the last one.

Tang Yan-employee  Chen Yuqi as Zhao Min, the smarter, more decisive half.

Zhu Xudan as Zhou Zhiruo, the man-killing fangirl favorite. It kind of looks like fellow Yang Mi-employee Daisi behind her?

Former Zhou Zhiruo actress Kathy Chow plays Nun Miejue , reminding us that we all grow up to be the person we hate the most.

Kabby Hui as Xiaozhao, who is too good for this world. Can someone who is well-versed in Hong Kong entertainment tell me  if she’s mixed?

Cao Xiyue as Yin Li, who rounds out the quartet of woman that Zhang Wuji can’t pick from. Dude, wake up, Yin Li doesn’t even like the grown-up you.

Song Qingshu, the foil to Zhang Wuji who becomes a tool to Zhou Zhiruo

Yang Mingna as Daiqisi, the half-Persian ambassador who is tasked to bring back the lost art back to the Persian sect of Manicheism

Sun Anke plays Yang Buhui, the Jin Yong  equivalent of Edward and Bella’s baby because she marries her parents’ third wheel.

Li Dongxue plays Zhang Cuishan, the guy who everyone thought was the male lead until *spoiler* he dies a third of the way through the book.

Yin Susu, the way cooler version of Zhao Min.

23 thoughts on “Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber the ninth cast unveals

  1. LOL at your commentary. Honestly I never particularly like the story and only follow the adaptations cuz I fell in love with Alyssa Chia’s Zhao Min in the Taiwanese version. I never really liked Zhou ZhiRuo tho, mostly because MieJue was such an utter tool and ZZR listened to her every word except maybe to not kill indecisive-ZWJ. I guess that’s what you get for having an unreasonable psychotic parental-figure.

    Yin SuSu was definitely damn cool, and also really liked the taiwanese version her, altho that’s the version I grew up with so I don’t have much perspective to talk about the other versions.

    Curious about how I’ll feel about Zhou ZhiRuo this time tho…all the other adaptations, I knew the actresses as ZZR first so I was biased against them. Now tho, I recognize and like the actress from other supporting roles (and lead for those unpopular web dramas and stuff), so I’ll prob be biased towards ZZR this time…hmmm.

    • I also never like this story too much :p ..probably the least favourite compared to it’s predecessor. The story is great, until ZWJ is tangled with the 4 girls (and he cant decide). I loved ZZR at first, and Xiao Zhao, then thought about which one that I liked more, until the ‘dramatic events’ that made me realize that ZWJ might choose another girl *LOL*. Yinli was always out of the competition coz she kept on being dreamy about a guy who was not there, but she didnt even realize it when he was there. Seriously, this girl . Luckily ZWJ treated her right.

      My feeling towards ZZR is determined by the actress who acted as her .If the character is played right, then she’ll be gentle, charming, cool and tragic. The 80’s and 2003 versions were amazing. Wonder how this version is gonna be.

      And yeah, I also end up liking all the girls after watching them played by different gorgeous artists in the newer adaptations (including Meijue :p . She is not less pretty than Zhiruo this time. ) .

    • I feel like everyone in the ‘03 version was just so much nicer than the books. Even Zhang Wuji was likable and he’s the worst.

      Tbh, I think a lot of people stan Zhou Zhiru just because they really don’t like Zhang Wuji and want her to make him suffer.

      • Gao Yuan Yuan was gorgeous and tragic (funnily enough, I remember her eyebrows having a show of their own…all her expressions involved various eyebrow movement I felt like…just an impression), but I think I was definitely biased because I went in KNOWING that ZWJ would end up with Zhao Min (mostly cuz my sister was a huge Alyssa Chia fan then), so I never really invested in either ZZR or Xiao Zhao as a love interest.

        Yeah, to me Yinli was also not really in the running, though she was actually one of my favs just for herself. She was interesting and to me gave attitude without purpose of being coy; like, Zhao Min was more “mischievous princess, I do what I can cuz I got power and like being badass” whereas to me YinLi was more “I’m prickly cuz I have issues, but also cuz I don’t give any fucks about what you think”. She was my fav, living under Golden Flower Granny’s thumb or not.
        She was also why I fell in love with Zhang Meng in the 2009 version before she…radically changed her face…

        Xiao Zhao was my fav as a personality (cuz she was the most level headed and sane…like Zhao Min was clever, but only when the plot suited her…she could be quite dumb about common sense and life in general sometimes) but none of the versions I watched had actresses and enough screen-time to really let her grow and take root as a character, so as a result she never grew on me (regretfully I never read the books).

        • I think my biggest issue with Zhao Min is how irresponsible she is. She’s living this spoiled princess life, but then goes around messing with people’s lives for fun, inadvertently forcing the Ming to rebel and essentially take down her people. Of course, she’s not to blame for the fall of the Yuan, but for her to be so reckless when her whole family and empire is on the verge of collapse is too big a strike against her.

          It doesn’t help that her husband also stepped down from his responsibilities knowing Zhu Yuanzhang is not the best leader for the Ming.

          • Yeah; to me, her greatest offense was so readily giving up her family. She’s very selfish. I see her stirring up the Ming mostly as an ambitious move to try to stamp out the peeps against her ppl. But her problem was that 1) she didn’t really have the capability to finish what she started (and we all know if you leave an enemy behind that you attacked first, know that they’ll counter attack), and 2) she gave up very easily and veered off to do her own thing just because of a man who MAYBE had the hots for her and one she had the hots for.

            And then her final betrayal of her family. Her people, is one thing, but her family? Her dad adored her, and while a tad sexist, totally spoiled her and took a lot of crap always cleaning up after her. Her bro, while definitely sexist and more than a little bit of a dick, still loved his sister. And her betrothed, while kinda dumb and clueless DEFINITELY loved MinMin for who she was troublesome toerag and all, no matter how dickish his dad was. All these ppl she just left behind to deal with the falling out of her screwing shit up and refusing a decree. Her family could be severely punished, even killed, for all she knew when she’s decided to elope, and all she cared about was this wishy washy dude.
            Honestly I liked her cuz she’s portrayed pretty positively by all the adaptations (and Alyssa rocked) but as a whole, I thought the plot and story just got crappier and crappier as it continued.

            • the very fact that zhao min was willing to give up her princess responsibility was the deciding factor that made ZWJ like her. theres a flashback in the drama that shows ZWJ ask ZZR the same question about giving up the wulin world and she rejects and says that she doesnt wanna give up responsibilities that her late master gave to her. and on the other hand princess was willing to give up everything for his sake. this is pretty classic chinese novel tbh since chinese people like characters who are willing to forgo wealth and fame for love. which is why Zhao min came to be the leads girl after.

              • u can also watch 2001 version from hong kong, that version actually is kinda better than mainlands 2003 version tbh. even tho the MC isnt all that great but the female leads were top notch for their time

        • Regarding Yinli, I actually started paying attention on her after watching the 2003 version and Zhang Meng in 2009 :p. They were very pretty . I love her last scenes with Wuji in 2009 version. So sad and touching. I think she deserves that kinda attention from him, considering that her life was so pitiful, and her loyalty and love (forgeting the ‘why’ she fell in love, oh whatever).

          Yes. ZM is the typical mischievous cunning princess, while Yinli doesnt care about anything (but Wuji). She is just a lone poor girl trying to survive . And she is the only one who doesnt have any ulterior motive towards Wuji *LOL – he is basically surrounded by cunning/smart girls who, luckily, fall in love with him, so they dont have the heart to hurt him*

      • And yes! in ’03 everyone seemed much nicer than other versions, cuz while I could objectively understand the hate for ZWJ and looking at other versions/source material he’s just a dick, but since I base my understanding of the story off the ’03 version, I never really hated ZWJ. Alec Su made him at worst a little dumb and indecisive and mildly too much like Guo Jing sometimes even tho ZWJ was supposed to be at least somewhat intelligent.

        • Hmm..I didnt feel that everyone is nicer in 03, probably I should rewatch :p. I did skip some parts (like ZM appearing earlier). And although I like Alec Su as ZWJ, I dont really like him as ZCS, so I skipped some parts in the island with Susu as well.

          And I dont hate ZWJ, just dont like him as much as I like Yang Guo or Guo Jing. He is actually a nice intelligent fellow, except that his wishy-washy attitude towards girls (okay, I hate this part of him). I love his bromance with WuDang uncles and the fellow Ming cult, and of course the father-son love of him-XieXun (and Zhang Sanfeng as well).

          Still, I used to like ZZR not because I have problems with Wuji, but because I truly liked her. She is the first girl-friend that he has, and I like her forbidden love between her-Wuji (under the angry eyes of Miejue). At first time I watched HSDS adaptation, I didnt know the story at all, so I kept on rooting for her until near the ending *LOL*. Even until now, I still pity her, although she is no longer my fave character. Gao Yuan Yuan was pretty and cool and just classy. No wonder Song Qingsu fell head over heels for her.

          Xiao zhao is just ..sweet, kind and understandable. Too bad that the story show much about her interesting secret, until later. I didnt suspect her at all at first. Well, she just had to leave just after she showed how cool she was. Xiao Zhao should be my fave character, if the story explored her more.

          • Too bad that the story show much about her interesting secret, until later. => “doesnt show much about her interesting secret”, sorry

          • I feel like Zhao Min was more sassy than cruel in the ’03 one. Zhang Wuji was not super indecisive relationship-wise and imo had a pretty clear preference for Zhao Min, then Zhou Zhiruo, and little toward the other girls.

            Zhang Wuji’s indecision didn’t just mess up the lives of the four women. His wish to shrink from responsibility resulted in Zhu Yuanzhang taking all the credit and eventually rising to power. He was entrusted with the Ming but he left it to its ruin. This is especially if you consider the fact that when Zhu Yuanzhang came to power, he banned the Ming cult from China and essentially put an end to that whole religion.

  2. Wow..the new HSDS.

    A little spoiler question+thoughts here :

    I always wonder about Yinli. She has an instant deep crush towards a guy, which lasted a life time, but she cant even remember his face? I mean, they’ve only met for a short time, so the guy must be very attractive and handsome to her . They dont even have time to chat for long.

    I actually wish that this adaptation made their interactions longer, before she fell in love. But dunno whether fans will agree or not. I just find her love to be, well, rather unconvincing.

    End of spoiler question/thoughts

    • Yin Li liked him because of the way he rebelled against Daipeisi and it left an impression of a lifetime both figuratively and literally through the bite scar. I don’t think she cares what he looks like.

      • Yes, I know , but..still rather strange to me. If it’s a big crush, then it’s okay..but her feeling is more than that. I’ve alwayd found her love to be unconvincing. Since she isnt the main lead,then it doesnt ruin my enjoyment toward the whole story .

        I’ve always thought that her story and characters have a lot potential, but it was too bad that they were not developed more. Perhaps Jin Yong thought that it was too difficult to build a story for the 4 girls, so he eliminated half of them :p

        • I feel that way about Xiaozhao. Let’s find a studio and get them to do an entire series about Xiaozhao (played by Dilraba) and Yin Li, the semi-sisters and their struggles through life.

          • I wonder what happened if Xiaozhao’s story was continued. Wasnt it cool to see her leading the Persian Ming Cult to help the Central plain? Plus, she changed the rules, so that the sect holy girl could married.


            Yeah, Yinli and Xiao Zhao are 2 good girls that’s kinda wasted ..similar like Chen Ying and Lu Wu Shuang in ROCH

            • Sequel pitch:

              Part II of the three-part trilogy:
              Yin Li goes to Persia with them as the fish-out-of-the-water character. The three tries to restructure what’s left of the Persian cult but fails because the patriarchy. Daipeisi realizes that she’s what’s preventing her daughters from living their own lives, and sacrifices herself to help them escape (along with the 圣火令). They burn the whole thing down before they leave (because symbolism).

              Part III :
              They escape back to China, where Zhu Yuanzhuang has become the emperor. They become unlikely allies with him as Zhu fights the Chinese Ming’s wish for more freedom as promised under the new government while they fight the Persian Ming. Zhu is horrible so of course he betrays them after the Persian Ming are defeated. Luckily, Yang Buhui comes and help them.

              A series of political events leads to Zhu Yuanzhuang decreeing the elimination of the Ming cult (as per history), forcing all remaining Ming members to go into hiding. The three women must once more run for their lives.

              Already, that’s my dog blood for the day.

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