An emperor recruits his twin brother to help save their dynasty. But when he arrives at the palace, he's placed into the role of a lifetime. Total Episodes: 54

Yang Ping's peaceful way of life abruptly ends when he is relocated and learns his entire life has been a lie. His best friend, Zhong Da, learns of Ping's departure and follows after him.

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Ping's new life at the palace fires up quickly as he's placed in situation he never thought possible.

Ping begins interacting with officials and attendants as "the emperor," but even though he looks the part, can he act it?

Eunuch Zhang wishes khổng lồ take proper care of the late emperor's body, but it's a dangerous mission. Zhong domain authority meets with Yang Xiu.

Ping & Fu Shou are relocated again. A chaotic battle looms in the near future, setting everyone on edge.
The Cao family tends khổng lồ Ping và Fu Shou, but they're not as hospitable as they seem. Zhong domain authority finds a way to see Ping in person.
All four thành phố gates are seized by the army of Western Liang. The ferocious action puts Consort Dong's pregnancy at risk.
Ping's peaceful ways prove futile as sacrifices and wrongful deaths multiply. Unfortunately, this isn't the only thing he's been wrong about.
Ping decides to leave his royal life behind & flee with Zhong Da, leaving Fu Shou khổng lồ figure out how khổng lồ move forward. Revenge weighs heavily on Cao Pi's mind.
Fu Shou questions Eunuch Leng's past. Meanwhile, Lady Bian calls Man Chong into question. Later, Libationer Guo Jia arrives in Xu Chang.
Guo Jia meets with Ping after hearing others' suspicions. Ping devises a plan of his own, but not everyone is a fan of his ideas.
Ping sneaks out of the palace khổng lồ see Zhong Da. Deng Zhan goes khổng lồ Wen County in tìm kiếm of a new portrait of Ping.
Ping và Guo Jia continue their battle of wits. Zhong domain authority tells his brother và father about Ping's true fate.
Ping và Fu Shou wait for Guo Jia khổng lồ take action, afraid it could all be over. Two family members are reunited.
Zhong da puts his acting skills to the test. Yet another person directly questions the emperor's identity.
Guo Jia and Ping both visit the imprisoned Dong Cheng, & Guo Jia realizes not all is as he thought.
Guo Jia suggests a boys' day out with Ping. A third wheel tags along on the anonymous adventure.
Ping and Fu Shou mix out in disguise but quickly find themselves in a predicament. Zhong da arrives in Ye City.
Zhong domain authority must prove his innocence to lớn the skeptical Duke Shen. Fu Shou still isn't convinced of Cao Pi's trustworthiness.
Zhong domain authority continues lớn use Shen Rong lớn make his way lớn Tang Ying. Ping involves himself in a gathering of scholars in Ye City.
Shen Rong takes an immediate disliking lớn Ping while Zhong domain authority plays dumb. Cao Pi meets a woman who quickly gets him into trouble.
Zhong da wants to help Ping và Fu Shou connect... Physically. A familiar face unveils a deeper backstory và a new mission.
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Historical context 

The Secret of the Three Kingdoms (2018) is a historical drama. The action takes place between 200 và 220 AC and deals with the historical events of the decline of the Han Dynasty, which has been ruling china for 400 years. The story revolves around the last emperor of Han, who was a hostage of one of the feudal lords (Minister Cao Cao). The imperial family had no army, no land & no real power.


Two of the feudal lords killed the former emperor, Prince of Hongnong (the older brother of the twins) & made the 10 years old brother the new emperor, hoping lớn manipulate him, while holding him hostage. He is rescued by Minister Cao Cao & brought back khổng lồ the capital, only to become Cao Cao’s hostage. At the age of 14 he marries the empress & they both decide to lớn become political partners & attempt to restore the glory of the Empire of Han. He discovers that he has a twin brother who was hidden away from the palace and is living a carefree life, unaware of his own identity. At the age of 18 the emperor falls ill & asks the empress to lớn bring his twin brother into the palace to ask for his help, but he dies before they can meet.


Yang Ping/Liu Ping, played by Ma Tian Yu (Ice Fantasy, Ice Fantasy Destiny), is the twin brother of the reigning emperor. He has lived his life as a foster child in the Sima household, unaware of his identity. He is best friends with Sima Yi, whom he looks up to as his older brother & mentor.

The dying young emperor sends for his twin brother in hopes to save the Han Dynasty from collapse. After having his death faked, Yang Ping enters the palace, but he arrives too late. He complies with his brother last wish & takes on his identity in order to lớn carry on the fight for the survival of the Empire.

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A Brief Introduction into the Main Characters


The Emperor: unlike his deceased brother, Yang Ping is wise, compassionate và meek and will try lớn bring peace to the land by pacifying the warlords who are waging constant wars. The emperor is their ruler, but in reality, the imperial family had lost its influence over the course of time. Now the feudal lords want lớn use him as a tool khổng lồ subdue the other lords.

The Empress, Fu Shou: one of the two reasons the empress is so determined lớn sacrifice herself for the peace & unity of the Empire is because she is of royal blood (it will be made clear later into the series). Her deceased mother was a princess of Han imperial family. The other reason is her loyalty towards the deceased husband with whom she shared the same political ideals.

Princess Consort, Tang Ying: she is the ex-empress, the wife of the previous emperor, who was killed. She lives in the shrine dedicated to lớn her deceased husband. She is a trained assassin & an ally of the imperial family.

Minister of Works, Cao Cao: in his youth he rescued the imperial family, but with time he forgot his righteous ways và began undermining the authority of the emperor. His ambition is not khổng lồ subdue the land, but he genuinely wants to lớn unify the country. However, he thinks that the imperial family is too weak to accomplish that (he will appear much later in the series).

Guo Jia: he is Cao Cao’s strategist và the most feared person. He is intelligent, cunning & „he is never wrong”. The new emperor will try lớn win him over và will engage with him into a battle of witts. He is a key figure in the plot and will appear in episode 12.

Cao Pi, Cao Cao’s son: the historical records describe him as an accomplished warrior and a poet. He became the first emperor after the downfall of the Han Dynasty.

Sima Yi (also called Zhong Da): He was a skilful strategist & his descendants (grandson) took the nguồn from the Cao’s family, founding the Jin Dynasty. In this series he is the emperor’s „godbrother” & best friend.



„The Secret of the Three Kingdoms” is based on a 14th century historical novel titled „Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. Although the events described in the novel span from 169 until the reunification of the land in 280, the story of the drama covers only about trăng tròn years, from year 200 until the end of Han Dynasty in 220. The novel had numerous adaptations: films, animations and, most noteworthy, a television series in 1994 with the same title. The 1994 adaption was one of the most expensive series in television history at the time.

The drama is accurately depicting the major historical event, however, the writer took great liberties with some aspects of the story. This does not clash with the historical facts, but we simply have no proof for them. For example, there is no tài khoản of the emperor & Sima Yi being friends, nor that the Princess Consort ever crossed paths with Sima Yi, let alone having a lãng mạn relationship with him. The greatest twist that gave the story a lot of its drive is the introduction of the twin brother và the identity switch.

I enjoyed watching this drama. It kept surprising me at every turn. Although the viewer knows the unfolding of the historical events, the drama has the great merit of not being predictable. The pacing is quite good và the story does not fall flat (many other dramas, both Chinese và Korean are, unfortunately, guilty of such flaw).

The love story progresses naturally and is both strong and delicate at the same time. It certainly has the power lớn leave a long lasting impression.

Despite the premise of the story, there is no significant change in the hero’s character throughout the series. Therefore, if, after reading the plot, you’re expecting a coming-of-age story, you might be disappointed. Since the very beginning we get a glimpse into Yang Ping’s personality: he is benevolent, meek và compassionate. Later those traits bởi vì change, but only in the sense that they are perfected by wisdom và strength of character.

I have to give props lớn the director và the writer for not giving in khổng lồ the temptation of overdramatizing the story with unnecessary plot twists. Moreover, despite the anticipated sad outcome, the writer has managed to come up with the best scenario, given the historical events. We were presented with bitter-sweet ending và a satisfying closure.


The background music is minimalistic. The OST, however, is magnificent, especially the outro. It gives gravity & stature to lớn the drama.

Casting and Acting


The acting is stellar (with very few exceptions: i.e. Rã Jian Ci in the role of Cao Pi, although part of the blame goes to the writer).

My favorite portrayal is, without a doubt, the empress, played by Wan Qian („Tribes and Empires: Storm of Prophecy”). She is able to lớn portray effortlessly the most intense or delicate emotions with a glance, a frown or a simple gesture.

Although the most anticipated star of the cast was perhaps Elvis Han, („Siege of Fog”), the reigning couple stole the scene every time. On a side note, oddly enough, Elvis Han seemed to struggle getting into his character at times.

Overall, the supporting cast deserves praise as well; it presented us with memorable and very well portrayed characters, whether heroes or villains.



Foto Source: Official Weibo 

The overall impression is that the drama did not have a very big budget. That does not get in the way of thoroughly enjoying the drama, but one can spot the lack of extras & the computer generated images during battles.

However, I did appreciate the cure for details: nowhere did I see synthetic fabric either in decoration or clothing. As far that I could tell, they used natural fabric. This gave the impression of an authentic depiction of the era.

One of the staple characteristics of a Chinese drama is the luxurious costumes, extravagant hairpieces và breathtaking scenery, which in some cases are not matched by great acting or a good story. This is a drama that does not attempt to distract the viewer with special effects & saturated sceneries, instead it is a plot and character driven drama, which is why I enjoyed it more than I had expected.


The shortcoming of this series ar very obvious at times, however they are forgivable when we consider the overall unique of the drama.

All characters have two names & sometimes it can become confusing, especially early into the series.The use of wigs was overwhelming. Although we were spared the sight of poorly blended wigs on the forehead, the men’s wigs were very distracting at times (this is a sin many Chinese dramas are guilty of).The CGI was in a few battle scenes more obvious than intended.I wished they added an extra episode to lớn give more closure to lớn the viewers.

Would I recommend this drama?


Yes, wholeheartedly. It has a great story-line, amazing acting, good pacing, và a lifting message: you can achieve the best of what you can be without giving up on your principles, especially when the driving force is the love for your country, your better half & your friend.