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Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 8: Favorites

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Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 8 – Quick Summary

In Raven of the Inner Palace episode 8, “Blue Swallow,” a young boy named Yi Shia received a severe caning for saying he had seen a ghost. That seemed extreme to Shouxue Liu, the Raven Consort, who listened to Yi Siha’s request for her to investigate. What did she learn? Why was Chang Huangying, the Swallow Consort, involved? And what kind of food did Gaojun Xia, the Emperor, bring for the Raven Consort this week?

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

Favorite Quote from Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 8

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 8: The Emperor is much more comfortable with Shouxue, and she with him

The Emperor seems more and more comfortable when he gently teases Shouxue. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I like how well the Emperor and Raven Consort are getting along. They’re both two lonely people, in differing degrees trapped by their positions and circumstance, and neither could be said to be socially adept. Socially here being in the sense of regular, non-Emperor kinds of relationships. 

She had invited him over because she wanted to ask about Yi Shia’s report. After he answered her questions, he said he had to leave to visit another consort who was sick. Sounding irritated, she told him he didn’t need to give her any details of his visits.

“I’m simply sorry I couldn’t stay long, even though a friend invited me over,” he said (11:01). Did you notice what she didn’t do? She didn’t freak out! She just lamented that she didn’t know what friends were all about.

Agreeing with her, saying it was the same for him, he added (11:09), “We’ll simply have to blindly feel around for the answer.”

Though the after credits scene gave me reason to be alarmed for her future, based on scenes like this, I think the Emperor is really looking out for her. And she, for him! Now if that danged goddess just leaves them alone…

Favorite Moment from Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 8

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 8: Wen Ling's request shocked Shouxue

Shouxue felt shocked at Wen Ling’s actions. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: A Dark World, Decorated with Misleading Beauty

Raven of the Inner Palace lives in a very harsh world. It’s a world I’m glad we’ve left behind, though we still struggle to throw off some aspects of it. We still have an unhealthy affection for aristocrats, for example.

But we no longer force men into the role of eunuch, at least legally. That’s something that has always bothered me about ancient China. I understand why they did it. Just as we do today with cattle to turn young bulls into steers, the practice takes the edge off aggression. But it’s a very, very high cost.

I can’t imagine what that would do to a man’s psyche. But, I see how society treated them, and in this episode, that took center stage. Remember Yi Shia and how his “master” treated him for being honest about what he saw? Turns out that was on the mild side of how eunuchs were treated.

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 8: Wen Ling had defended his friend from his troupe

Even today, there are those who think they can take what they want, without accountability. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

My favorite moment is one tinged with sadness over what Wen Ying had been forced to endure. He had been an acrobat, and during a performance, a customer raped a member of his troupe. Since Wen Ying had less social status and money than the rapist, when Wen Ying defended the woman, of course, he was castrated for it (forcibly turned into a eunuch, as he said).

And right there you have a great case for equality under the law.

Earlier in this episode, Shouxue had criticized Yi Shia’s master for caning him. Now, because Shouxue had spoken to him about the ghost, his master had cut him loose. Yi Shiba had nowhere to go.

Delivery: A Widening Web of Trust

At the end of this episode, after the Emperor had left, Wen Ying came up to Shouxue and asked if he could speak to her. I like how she still thinks such rules of courtesy are strange! But in any case, she told him to speak. The “of course” was implied.

He told her the story of how he had been forced to become a eunuch. Since he shadows her for her protection, he hears a lot of her conversations, and he had listened in on her harsh words for Yi Shia’s master. He very much wanted her to take the young eunuch into her household. Wen Ying said (21:29), “Someone like you is hard to come by for us eunuchs.”

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 8: Wen Ling had to be brave to speak to Shouxue this way

Wen Ling needed a lot of courage to speak this way to Shouxue. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That’s cool enough. It showed how much he had grown to trust her. The social implications might have meant nothing to Shouxue, but they mean everything to Wen Ling. He might have been endangering his life to have such a conversation with a consort. But then he did something that shocked the Raven Consort.

Dropping to his knees, he placed his forehead on the ground and said (21:35), “Please, help him.”

Shocked, Shouxue knelt beside him and placed her hand on his shoulder. Would she have even considered doing such a thing at the beginning of the series? I don’t think so. It’s a gesture of physical trust. It’s a small thing, but it’s very effective because of that. It shows that she’s opening up to the people around her, and she’s having a positive impact. Now it just remains to be seen what the goddess will do about that!

What did you think of the ghost from this episode? What were your favorite moments? Please feel free to let me know in the comments!

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