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Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 6 Review – Best In Show

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Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 6 – Quick Summary

In Raven of the Inner Palace episode 6, ”The Summer King and the Winter King,” the Raven Consort poured through the archives in search of a ghost’s identity. What she learned came as a shock. Meanwhile, the Emperor could not relent in his search for answers about the Raven Consort’s history. What he learned led to more questions, which led him to ask the Raven Consort herself. What reaction did she have to his question? How did he react to what he learned?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 6

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 6: The Raven Consort did not like the Emperor's nagging questions

The Raven Consort got kind of prickly over the Emperor’s questions. We found out why later! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The Raven Consort was giving a report to the Emperor. She had discovered the identity of one of the ghosts, who turned out to be the Second Princess in a previous dynasty. That princess had taken her own life rather than let the usurpers capture and murder her.

The Emperor tried to get a little more information from the Raven Consort. This time, he asked her about a palace that had been a shrine to Niao Lian. He asked if Niao Lian was still worshiped there.

She didn’t answer. Since he’s the Emperor, he didn’t like that, so he asked her why she remained silent.

“Don’t poke your nose where it doesn’t belong,” she said (07:26). “It’s irksome.”

At first, I thought it was funny because it was another example of her not being respectful to the Emperor’s position. But after watching the whole episode, the quote took on quite a different meaning!

Best in Show Moment for Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 6

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 6: The Raven Consort finally told the Emperor the truth

I don’t blame her defenses for crumbling. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: The Raven Consort’s True Position

This episode, more than most, made me realize how much the language is a barrier to me. After watching anime for as long as I have, I am comfortable with Japanese names. But Chinese names present an obstacle. And when you throw in the issue of the subtitles changing the relationship between the spoken word what’s in the captions, well, that makes things even harder.

Please don’t take that as a complaint about the anime, or even a complaint about the people performing the translations. I guess I’m offering it as an excuse if I misinterpret something. So, at least for this show I have an excuse!

For the entire run of the series to this point, I’ve had the impression that Shouxue Liu, the Raven Consort, has kept a tight rein on her feelings. Turns out, yep, she has. But even before that confirmation, I wondered what it would take for her to let her defenses down and tell us how she really feels. What would it take? What circumstances would prompt her to open up?

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 6: The Raven Consort did not want the Emperor's pity

The Raven Consort reacted with anger when the Emperor said he pitied her. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Now we know. All it took was the Emperor researching her past, discovering a discrepancy in the records, forcing her to confront her enormously painful past, and then urging her to tell the real history, which laid bare the torment she lives with every day.

Oh, and the key? The Emperor didn’t harshly demand something from her. He tried to show her kindness. I swear, I can defend myself against almost any hardship. But kindness? That’s a strategic weapon. Looks like it was the same for the Raven Consort.

Simple, huh?

Delivery: Shouxue Liu’s Control Breaks

Her display of authentic emotion is my favorite moment. She had just told him the true story of the Raven Consort – how the Raven Consort is actually the Winter King, without whom the Summer King (the Emperor) cannot rule. She had just told him that she cannot declare her real importance, because in doing so, she would trigger war.

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 6: The Raven Consort's answer floored the Emperor

The Emperor had a hard time accepting all he had heard. But he responded to her feelings. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“Trapped within the Ye Ming Palace, I must desire nothing, form no close relationships, and never flee,” she said, her emotional control fraying (21:25). “Do you understand what that’s like?”

Of course, the Emperor had no answer to that. So she added, her face anguished, “Now, tell me again that you pity me, as though it’s none of your concern!”

Pushing a character to the edge, and then seeing how they respond is the foundation of conflict-driven fiction. I live for moments like this, and I have to say, seeing her strained expression, hearing the pain in her voice, made this my favorite moment. Not because I want to see her hurting. To be clear, I don’t! But that’s the lot of fictional characters. So I honor the sacrifice her character has made for my entertainment!

What did you think of the Raven Consort’s origin story? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 6 Review – Best In Show

  1. The entire backstory, as presented to us, makes it clear that summer and winter kings have had entanglements of the heart before, and it did not end well. The first Raven Consort and her emperor clearly had feelings for each other as well, but bore the pain of never acting on it, and all the Ravens since have born a unique pain for their entire lives, one after another, for generations. And now it’s her turn.

    So we have an emperor who is actually a decent man, and a beautiful young woman he clearly has feeling for, and it turns out she is utterly enslaved by the whim of a goddess. (I TOLD you that creature gave me the willies!) Yeah, *that’s* really going to turn out well! Oh, and there are meddling ghosts getting involved, too.

    1. I remember you sharing your concerns about that goddess! And you were right!
      This is tragic stuff. It explains a lot of Shouxue’s personality, too. I’m glad she’s on a better path than previous Raven Consorts. She has Jiu-Jiu and Hongqiao So with her now. Also, she has a developing relationship with the Emperor. Still, it was tough seeing what she’s been through.

  2. Oh, I was wondering who the Winter King was. I thought it was going to be the white haired ghost from the previous dynasty. I’m definitely looking forward to watching this episode! Thanks for the review!

    1. I had the same impression you did! This development took me by surprise, but it’s consistent with what came before. I love it when a story can evoke that kind of surprise!

Please let me know what you think!

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