Nirvana in Fire 2, the long-awaited sequel to the acclaimed Nirvana in Fire, has quickly enthralled viewers with a compelling plot full of intrigues and fascinating characters. I've already introduced the new heroes and protagonists in my First Impression article, now let's take a look at the antagonists and villains.

<Spoilers> I have watched 10 episodes of the intriguing new drama.

1. Empress Xun

Unlike other historical dramas, this Empress doesn't seem to be involved in competition with the concubines. Perhaps she did in the past and won, as a Consort Shu is mentioned to be deceased years ago. For now, Empress Xun is very protective of her young son, the crown prince, and fears the powerful military clan headed by Xiao Ting Sheng, the Prince of Changlin who commands the powerful Changlin Army. 

She probably speculates that Xiao Ting Sheng or his sons could harbor desires for the throne if her husband, the Emperor, dies early due to poor health. There's no telling what she would do to protect her own power.

2. Minister Xun Bai Shui

He is the older brother of Empress Xun, and it's clear from the early episodes that the ambitious minister is a masterful villain. His nephew, Xun Fei Zhan, is the Commander of the Imperial Guards, but he doesn't seem to be a villain. However, the real villains have a way to influence good people. Let's wait and see.

3. Guru Puyang Ying

The mysterious Guru harbors many secrets. He has become a trusted go-to adviser to the Empress with his skills in medicine and knowledge in astrology. Originally from a neighboring state that perished from famine and diseases, he blames Greater Liang for not helping. Now that he enjoys power in the palace, he quietly arranges conspiratorial deals. It's not clear if he wants to destroy a specific enemy or even the entire Great Liang dynasty. But, one thing is clear, stay away from him!

4. Prince Xiao Yuan Qi

He is the son of the Emperor's deceased younger brother. Although he is a prince, his side of the family does not hold power. His mother, Grand Madame of Laiyang, apparently hides some terrible secrets. At this point of the story, Prince Yung Qi is a low-keyed royal who doesn't seem to be ambitious for the throne. He may change his mind later on. I would put him in the "Unknown" category, somewhere between the good guys and the villains.

5. Marquis Mo Zi 

The Marquis of the Eastern Sea State is a vicious villain who is revenging for his own cause. He is ranked as the number-one fighter on the Langya Hall's ranking roll, which lists all the highly skilled martial artists that are known to the world. He isn't just a villain with brute force, it appears that he has a highly cunning mind. He may just be the worse enemy one could have.

Do these villains work in alliance with one another, or do they operate on their own? Our heroes and heroines don't even know all their enemies yet. There will be a lot of sleuthing to do first before the real battles begin.


Nirvana in Fire II - 琅琊榜之风起长林

Starring Huang Xiao Ming and Liu Hao Ran

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Which villain would you fear the most?

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