A photographic essay on why Lu Zhaoyao (played by Bai Lu) from The Legends 招摇 is Elphaba.
update: this is only true up to when she explodes the first time. After that, the series goes into original content and all consistent characterization and plot also explode.
Like Elphaba, Zhaoyao began as an idealist. She embarks on a journey go see her mentor and the head of land, thinking he’ll support her decisions and declare her good.
Do you think the Wizard is dumb?
Or, like Munchkins, so small-minded?
No! He’ll say to me, “I see who you truly are
A girl on whom I can rely!”
And that’s how we’ll begin
The Wizard and I.
Captured by her mentor, Zhaoyao realizes that he was the baddie all along.
Elphaba: It’s the wizard who should be afraid, of me.
Glinda: Elphie, listen to me, just say you’re sorry!
You can still be with the wizard
What you’ve worked and waited for
You can have all you ever wanted
Elphaba: But I don’t want it
No, I can’t want it anymore
Something has changed within me
Something is not the same …
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap!
Zhaoyao spends the next five years living up to her name of being wicked.
So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
“Ev’ryone deserves the chance to fly”
And if I’m flying solo
At least I’m flying free
To those who’d ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
I’m flying high
And soon I’ll match them in renown
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down
She becomes synonymous with wickedness throughout the land.
Ev’ry day, more wicked
Ev’ry day, the terror grows
All of Oz is ever on alert
That’s the way with Wicked
Spreading fear where e’er she goes
Seeking out new victims she can hurt
Soon, Zhaoyao is killed in an ambush by the good people of the land. She’s buried in an unmarked grave.
Let us be glad
Let us be grateful
Let us rejoicify that goodness could subdue
The wicked workings of you-know-who
Isn’t it nice to know?
That good will conquer evil?
The truth we all believe’ll by and by
Outlive a lie
For you and —
No one mourns the Wicked!
No one cries: “They won’t return!”
No one lays a lily on their grave
The good man scorns the Wicked!
When Zhaoyao first meets Zhiyan, she thinks her useless and silly. Zhiyan is thinks Zhaoyao is evil.
What is this feeling so sudden and new?
I felt the moment I laid eyes on you.
My pulse is rushing, my head is reeling…
Loathing, unadulterated loathing
For your face, your voice, your clothing
Let’s just say we loathe it all
As roommates, Zhaoyao teaches Zhiyan magic, fighting, and how to stand up for herself. Zhiyan teaches Zhaoyao that she deserves to love and be loved.
Whenever I see someone less fortunate than I
And let’s face it, who isn’t less fortunate than I?
My tender heart tends to start to bleed
And when someone needs a makeover I simply have to take over
I know, I know exactly what they need
And even in your case
Though it’s the toughest case I’ve yet to face
Don’t worry, I’m determined to succeed, follow my lead
At one point, Zhaoyao mistakenly thinks that her true love is in love with her best friend.
Blithe smile, lithe limb
She who’s winsome, she wins him
Gold hair with a gentle curl
That’s the girl he chose
And Heaven knows
I’m not that girl
Don’t wish, don’t start
Wishing only wounds the heart
I wasn’t born for the rose and the pearl
There’s a girl I know
He loves her so
I’m not that girl
She finally gets together with the guy who supported her dreams from the beginning!
Just for this moment
As long as you’re mine
Come be how you want to
And see how bright we shine
Borrow the moonlight
Until it is through
And know I’ll be here
As long as you’re mine
At the end of book and hopefully the series, her bff runs the sect using things learned from her, continuing her dreams after she and her hubby gets married.
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend
Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you