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The Novel Comparison

Interested to know whether XAJH 2001 follows the novel closely or not? You've come to the right place, whereby you can read comparison reviews by both Moinllieon and Yanie. Enjoy!! ^-^

XAJH 2001 Actors' Portrayals

The acting in CCTV's SoD 2001 are superb when viewed by themselves. But when viewed in terms of the book they are off a little, so I'll try and keep my comments between the acting and the closeness to the book separate in this comparison.

Li YaPeng as LingHu Chong

CCTV made a minor mistake in picking Li YaPeng to star as LingHu Chong. LYP is a great actor and is handsome, but he does not fit the part of LingHu Chong very well. LHC isn't suppose to be handsome or young, he has a very slack and -I don't care- look to him and he acts just like he looked too. But Li YaPeng is a dramatic actor and some of the playful scenes are a little unnatural for him. LHC gives off a feel that he always shrug things off and go "no big deal", but Li YaPeng portrayed him as if he took EVERYTHING seriously and was torn apart internally. I also do not like the fact that LHC became so wishy-washy during the last episodes, which is completely opposite of how LHC acts. LYP, the scriptwriters, and the director all seemed to have missed that what matters in the story of SoD is not WHAT is being done but in HOW it is done. When Ren WoXing asked LHC to join the Sun Moon Sect, LHC actually hesitated for a bit, but then he decided against it, not because he didn't like the idea, but because the way Ren WoXing asked. There are many examples like this in the book, LHC does not really care what is being done but he cares how it is done, which is not how CCTV had LYP portray LHC. That is a huge fundamental difference that is prevalent throughout the entire series that just made it and LYP's portrayal feel just a little "off". That having said, Li YaPeng was still very good in the dramatic parts and still did a great job acting out his idea of LHC. So basically he, and CCTV, misunderstood the character of LHC, but LYP's performance was very good in portraying the wrong LHC. I believe he is a great choice to play Guo Jing in CCTV's upcoming adaptation of Legend of Condor Heroes because Guo Jing fits his character much more than LingHu Chong.

Xu Qing as Ren YingYing

There is not a thing that just isn't cute and sweet about YingYing in the book, but CCTV decided to make RYY a much more complex character in this adaptation, which just doesn't fit in some of the scenes and make the switch in moods just weird. Another effect is that they were forced to take away some of the most romantic and cute scenes between LHC and RYY because of the change in personality of RYY. Having said that, Xu Qing did a great job acting out the RYY that she was told to portray. Her performance was very magnetic and made the series well-worth watching, once one gets over the fact that her character is completely different from the books.

Li Jie as Lin PingZhi

The actor that played LPZ was very good as well, focusing very much on how obsessed he was with revenge, so much so that he came very close to dwelling on that feature too much. But he was still very convincing as LPZ. One complaint I have was that his LPZ completely went evil after practicing PiXie JianFa and he did not care about Yue LingShan at all. But I think that's more of a complaint against the scriptwriters than the actor.

Miao YiYi as Yue LingShan

The actress did a good job and she was just like she was in the novel. Not much more could be said here I think. She and Xu Qing made a very good pair in that I would have picked Xu Qing's RYY at the end but I can understand why LHC would have such a hard time letting his little sister go in his heart.


Chen Lifeng as Yi Lin

She is probably the best girl in the story of SoD, so loving and understanding towards LingHu Chong, much more than either RYY and YLS. Add onto that the extra burden she carries around of being a nun then you get really someone special. Yet, I really do like JY's treatment of Yi Ling. I found it difficult to not hope that Yi Ling would end up with LingHu Chong, yet she is a nun, and I would have lost a lot of respect for the book had the 2 of them ended up together. That said, the actress did not fit the part of Yi Ling very well, a little too tall and old looking to be right. The best actress I have seen is Ho MeiTian in SoD TVB 96, she was almost too perfect for the part. Getting back to the actress in SoD 2001, while she did not look the part, she still acted very well and stayed very true to the book in how Yi Ling acted.

Wei Zi as Yue BuQun

Other than the fact that the series made Yue BuQun way too powerful at the end, the actor did a very good job.



Ren WoXing

While the actor looked the part, there are 2 spots that I don't like his performance. First, he was too rash, Ren WoXing planned everything he did out and always was thinking ahead, unlike in this series. Two, Ren WoXing in the book reminded me alot of Genghis Khan in LoCH, while he's cruel and bad tempered, there is a warmth, a magnetism he possessed that just draws people in. Both those features were lacking in the series.


Xiang WenTian

There is something missing with the actor's portrayal of Xiang WenTian, I can't put my fingers on it, but it just didn't feel right. Xiang WenTian was supposed to have this incredible air about him, so much so that LingHu Chong did not mind dying for this man upon first sight. The actor still did a great job, just lacking a certain intangible air that Xiang WenTian in the book covers.


Feng QingYang

He makes a brief appearance in the book yet left a very deep impression and his teachings to LHC was the turning point of the entire story. The actor in this series really did look like a hermit and acted like an oddball as well, so I have to say he did a very good job as Feng QingYang.



DungFang BuBai

I still don't understand why producers/directors feel that it is necessary to introduce this character before his/her spectacular half-an-episode cameo. I think it is most effective to just have everyone talk about him/her and then just have him/her appear in that one episode as he/she was described in the book and be done with it. That way there is the suspense the entire time leading up to the meeting with the #1 fighter in the world and the shock of it would be great as well. Anyways, the actor they invited to play this role is a famous Yue Opera star and was very convincing and appropriate in this role.

TaoGu 6 Xian

They are really annoyingly funny in this adaptation of SoD, which is exactly what they are supposed to be like in the book, even most of the conversations are word by word! Love the actors, love the acting, love these 6 brothers.


Tian BoGuang

Just a nutcase in the series, hyper and psychotic. This is very different than the book where Tian BuoGuang was actually a very honorable guy other than the unfortunate fact he was a rapist (everyone has flaws :op). I don't like the portrayal at all.



Lan FengHuang

The actress portrayed her pretty much exactly like she was in the book. So not much need to be said here.



The head of ShaoLin and WuDang

Neither one of them are very hard roles to play so both of the actors did a very good job and CCTV kept the characters like they were in the novel.



Thanks to Moinllieon!


XAJH 2001 Mutated Plot/Story

The story in XAJH 2001 was actually 30-40% mutated from the original book. I'll just mention important changed plot/scenes and mutated plot as far as I can remember^^ So, if you have any detailed question, just e-mail us!^^

1. Opening scene
I've always thought, an adaptation don't have to start from the actual opening scene from the book(which is Lin Pingzhi's family incident), because there are lots of flashbacks which were told by some characters, and it would've been just too hard, if those characters themselves have to explain all the scenes by details in an adaptation. Either that, or the producers can use some flashbacks.
So, I expected the opening scene(to be faithful to the book) would be :

  • Linghu Chong beat up Hou Renying and Hong Renxiong of QingCheng sect in the wine house, continued with Lao Denuo's found on Qing Cheng's bad intention to Fuwei Escort Agency; or

  • Linghu Chong with fellow Huashan brothers heading for Hengshan to attend the Gold Basin Hand-Washing ceremony, but then LHC meet a beggar who has a wine calabash^^; or

  • Linghu Chong's encounter with Yilin and Tian Boguang

A little surprised I was, the producers decided to create their own opening scene^^ A middle-aged, bearded guy (which we will know later as disguised-Linghu Chong) riding a horse and meet a very old man(which we will later know as Qu Yang) playing a qin. Having the same interest, they hit it off pretty well. And, suddenly, a group of Sun Moon sect members attack Qu Yang.

2. Qu Yang's appearance
XAJH 2001 : Qu Yang's life span from episode 1 through episode 5. He meet Linghu Chong couple of times, and after LHC knows his true identity, he didn't want to get too close with him, because Qu Yang is a demon cult member. But, eventually, becomes friends. For some reasons, Holy Maiden(Shen Gu) have always aftering Qu Yang in order to kill him. He died the same way as he was in the book.

The Book : Qu Yang have quite short appearance in the book. In the end of chapter 6, he appeared to save Liu Zhengfeng from Songshan people and they run away together. In chapter 7, he played the song, Xiao Ao Jiang Hu, which he and Liu Zhengfeng composed together, for the last time. He died together with Liu Zhengfeng after he pass the music score to Linghu Chong, who happens passing by with Yilin.

3. Ren Ying-Ying's appearance
XAJH 2001 : First appearance on episode 2, as the viscious Holy Maiden(Shen Gu), wanting to kill Qu Yang. She appears in a -now and then- type in the first 10 episodes =P Obviously, just to give Xu Qing more air-time.

The Book : First appearance on chapter 13, as Po-po. 'Nuff said^^


4. XAJH 2001 : Yue Lingshan and Linghu Chong in disguise as father and daughter owns a wine shop, to investigate Fuwei Escort Agency.

The Book : Yue Lingshan with Lao Denuo, her Erl-shi-xiong(second brother), disguise as grandfather and granddaughter owns a wine shop, to investigate Fuwei Escort Agency.


5. XAJH 2001 : Priestess Dingyi is the only master of Heng-Shan sect.

The Book : There are 3 priestess as the master of Heng-Shan: Dingxian as the Head-Master, Dingjing (the eldest master), and Dingyi (the youngest master also Yilin's master).


6. XAJH 2001 : Ren Woxing died in Yue Buqun's hands, then there's a final battle between Linghu Chong and Yue Buqun.

The Book : After Yue Buqun died in Linghu Chong and Yilin's hands, Ren Woxing challenge Linghu Chong a duel, but before the duel even start, Ren Woxing died because of old age.


7. Change of Events' Order
XAJH 2001 : LHC escape from the underground jail in the Mei Manor ---> sets off to Shaolin to save RYY ------> pose as the general and save Hengshan people

The Book : LHC escape from the underground jail in the Mei Manor ------> pose as the general and save Hengshan people ---> sets off to Shaolin to save RYY

8. XAJH 2001 : Qu Feiyan, Lu Zu Wen(Elder Bamboo-Green) and Tian Boguang dies.

The Book : None of them dies. After Qu Yang's death, LHC separate with Yilin and Feiyan, and tell Yilin to take care of Feiyan. Since then, Feiyan never appear again in the book.
Last time, LHC meet Lu Zu Wen is at Luoyang. Then he sees Lu Zu Wen again in the last chapter...after Ren Woxing's death, when RYY and the Sun Moon Sect gives a visit to Hengshan in a grandeur manner.
Tian Boguang is not dead till the end of the story. He even help LHC to find Hengshan people who are captured by Yue Buqun in Huashan.

The Added Scenes(meaning no such scenes exist in the book whatsoever)

1. Yue Lingshan have a pair of green daggers, and give one of them to Linghu Chong, symbolizing love.

2. Lin Pingzhi looking for Yue Lingshan's lost sword(which accidentally thrown away fell from the cliff by Linghu Chong). Well, actually most of the lovey-dovey scenes between Yue Lingshan and Lin Pingzhi in episode 7-9 are added scenes.

3. Linghu Chong and Ren Ying-Ying posing as a soldier and a prostitute in an inn. [some people find that annoying, but I find that scene to be one of the most hillarious scene ^_~]



4. Yilin take care of Ren Yingying inside a cave. Then they fight Zuo Lengchan and Songshan people.

5. The fights in the Bamboo-Hut between LHC-RYY-Lu Zu Wen vs 3 groups of enemies.


The Lost Scenes(meaning scenes exist in the book but deleted in XAJH 2001)

1. The scene in the back cave of Si Guo Ya(Repentance Cliff). Where Yue Buqun invite all Southern Hengshan, Taishan and Songshan people to learn and practice their martial arts drawings on the wall. Thousands of people inside the cave. But then, a big rock fall down and shut the exit of the cave. Linghu Chong and Ren Yingying are separated in the total dark cave full of thousands of people. Linghu Chong tries to find Ren Yingying desperately, but he cannot find her. (One of my most favorite scene in the book!^_^)

2. Linghu Chong and Ren Ying-Ying's wedding. [that's just awfully
too bad...=(]



                                                                                                                   SoD TVB 1996

Note: I'm not finished!! I'll add more!^^

written by Yanie

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