- Title: Divine Destiny
- Also Known As: 尘缘, Bonds of This World, Chen Yuan
- Director: Steve Cheng
- Cast: Angelababy, Ma Tian Yu, Xuan Lu, Wang Zhuo Cheng
- Genres: Romance, Wuxia, Fantasy
- Country: China
- Episodes: 36
- Aired: Jul 2, 2023 – Jul 26, 2023
- Original Network: iQiyi
- Where To Watch: iQiyi
- Adapted from the novel “Divine Destiny” by Yan Yu Jiang Nan
Hello dear readers… Divine Destiny was one of the top trending dramas on iQiyi. The poster was tempting and it has Angelababy’s name on it. So of course, I would take a look at this drama. And this post was the result. Happy Reading!
Divine Destiny Synopsis
Thousands of years ago in the God realm, a Border Patrol God was banished to the mortal world together with a Bluestone fairy. They promised to never be apart and would return to the God Realm together after a hundred lifetimes. As a token of their promise, The Bluestone fairy gave the Border Patrol God a piece of bluestone.
After 99 lifetimes, The Border Patrol God went to Kunlun Mountain to look for the Bluestone fairy. At that time, an unprecedented disaster is approaching and according to the oracle, only a Banished God born with a bluestone could overcome the calamity. Therefore, all martial arts sects in the world tried to find the person who fits the description everywhere.
Ji Ruo Chen, a small clerk in Longmen Inn accidentally killed the Banished God without knowing about his identity. His mother saw the blue stone necklace on the dead man and took it. She put it on Ji Ruo Chen’s neck. Unbeknownst to them, the bluestone was the only thing that people use to recognize the Banished God. So, the people from the martial arts sects thought that Ji Ruo Chen was the real Banished God.
On that day, several sects member fought for the confused Ji Ruo Chen, including a girl named Zhang Yin Yin. She was the number one disciple of the Xixuan Sect. Ji Ruo Chen falls in love with her at first sight.
Despite the urges from all the martial arts sects, Ji Ruo Chen chooses to follow Zhang Yin Yin to Xixuan Sect. He became the last disciple of Xixuan Sect’s hierarch, Master Ziwei. During his stay at the Xixuan Sect, Zhang Yin Yin helped and guided him while gradually falling in love with him.
Things get complicated when Gu Qing, The Bluestone fairy, turned up and recognizes the bluestone necklace. She thought that Ji Ruo Che was the real Banished God. Because they have a predestined fate, the sect leaders decided to marry Ji Ruo Chen to Gu Qing. And for the first time, Ji Ruo Chen regretted his fake identity as the Banished God.
The marriage decision between Ji Ruo Chen and Gu Qing made Zhang Yin Yin devastated. Out of her frustration, she learned sorcery from the Nine-Tailed Fox Demon to defeat Gu Qing and snatch back Ji Ruo Chen. But there was a price that she must pay for it. Meanwhile, Ji Ruo Chen had to learn that his destiny was not as simple as an impostor. There was a bigger secret behind his identity.
Divine Destiny Review
I thought I would never finish this 36-episode drama. The beginning of the story runs at a very slow pace and Angelababy’s acting was somehow a bit wooden that I almost dropped it after 8 episodes. I keep on going because I was curious about the story. But it feels like forever to finish the first 9 episodes of this drama.
The story pace was a tad too slow and I did not know which direction it goes. However, good things never come easily. You have to be patient to unravel the magic of Divine Destiny.
I’ve been watching Cdrama for years and Angelababy was always on my watchlist. She was very gorgeous and it was such a delight to see her on screen. But unfortunately, I should say that this time, she was not in her best performance. Her acting was a bit stiff and unnatural in the first half of the drama.
But later when the story gets more complicated, she was improving and ended up doing a very good job. The same thing also happened to Ma Tian Yu. At first, I barely could see the chemistry between them, but later it got better.
Divine Destiny was based on a book written by Yan Yu Jiang Nan. I haven’t read the book yet so I could not compare the story. However, it was a rare thing to have a drama that was hard to guess. Although the storyline was not too clear because the ultimate villain rarely appears, I do enjoy watching Divine Destiny.
But of course, I had to mention that the first episode made me frown. Our male lead, Ji Ruo Chen was different than I expected. I was dumbfounded when Ji Ruo Chen, Lao Zhang, and Huaniang killed the real Banished God and then dumped his body in a remote place. Like, really? Later my frown deepened when he stole his identity and he lived with it for years. I am starting to question what kind of male lead was he.
And Ji Ruo Chen was not the only lead character who was full of flaws. All of them were full of flaws, even the gods were problematic too. So when you watch this drama, you are better prepared to reign in your emotion. This drama gave clear descriptions of the main leads which were Ji Ruo Chen, Zhang Yin Yin, Gu Qing, and Yin Feng. But there was so little explanation about the supporting characters.
I was a bit disappointed with Zhang Yin Yin’s character as well. As a disciple of the number one cultivation sect, her perseverance and resilience were admirable. She knew her body was plagued by evil poison and she could never ascend into immortality. Yet, Zhang Yin Yin still works very hard to be the number one disciple in Xixuan Sect.
I thought that she was just devoted to cultivation. But it seemed that Zhang Yin Yin was a proud person who still needed validation from the people around her. If she really had a strong personality, she would not need any validation from everyone.
One more thing, when Zhang Yin Yin learned that she could not defeat Gu Qing, she immediately turned to the Nine-Tailed Fox Demon in the Peace Hall. As a disciple of the Xixuan Sect who hated demons the most, Zhang Yin Yin should have known that if her half-demon status were revealed, she would not be able to stay at Xixuan.
Much less if she turns into a real demon. Zhang Yin Yin was blinded by love and jealousy that she disregard her parents’ hard work for years and even their lives.
Just like any other fantasy drama, Divine Destiny also showed how arrogant Gods or immortals could be. They thought that their status was higher than others. So they looked down on other human beings. The gods in Divine Destiny were the real Banished God, Yin Feng, and Gu Qing. Both of them were my least favorite characters.
Yin Feng was too arrogant while Gu Qing was selfish and also blinded by love. Yin Feng realized that the leaders of the Qingxu sect had ulterior motives when they woke him up from death. But how could he did not realized when Sun Gao also manipulate him? He believed in all flatteries that Sun Gao said to him. And Gu Qing was no worse than him. These two gods had gone through 99 lifetimes but they still failed to understand the sinister of human hearts.
The director of Divine Destiny was Steve Cheng was the one behind famous dramas such as Thousand Years For You, No Boundary, The Untamed, and Secret of Three Kingdoms. He was a veteran director and I really like his dramas, especially the historical ones.
Angelababy had two dramas that premiered almost at the same time, which were Divine Destiny and Twilight. One was a fantasy genre while the other was urban romance. I watched both of the dramas, but I had to say that the chemistry between Angelababy and Ren Jia Lun in Twilight was better compared to her chemistry with Ma Tian Yu in this drama.
I did not have much impression of Ma Tian Yu before Divine Destiny. But in this drama, he had done a very good job. Ma Tian Yu started as the naïve Ji Xiao’er, a little clerk who was obsessed with the cultivation world. Later Ji Xiao’er becomes Ji Ruo Chen. Then he falls in love, still foolish though.
But I like to see his glimmering eyes whenever he saw Zhang Yin Yin. His facial expression had a major change after Zhang Yin Yin lost her memories. He becomes mature and you could see a hint of despair in it. No more foolish laugh or playful smile.
All cold and detached expressions. I was late to realize the subtle differences in Ma Tian Yu’s expression. It baffled me when I realized that Ji Ruo Chen’s personality has changed. I must say that Ma Tian Yu’s acting in this drama surpassed the other cast.
I felt that Xuan Lu who acted as Gu Qing and Wang Zhuo Cheng, who played as Yin Feng, had a good chemistry between them. I did not like their characters, but it was solid proof that they act very well. Xuan Lu used to act as a support role in Who Rules The World drama.
Yet, I did not have much impression on her though. On the contrary, Wang Zhuo Cheng was very familiar to me since he acted in Love Like the Galaxy as the weak Crown Prince Yuan. Divine Destiny was not his second time acting in Steve Cheng’s drama because he used to act in The Untamed drama as well.
What I like about Divine Destiny was the wide variety of sets. This was a story about Ji Ruo Chen and Zhang Yin Yin’s adventure. Therefore, they often moved to different places. I like this kind of story because it was more interesting for me.
I will divide the CGI effect into Divine Destiny. When it come to sets and magic effects such as Ji Ruo Chen’s Blue Fire, it was good. But when it comes to the magical beasts, I would say it was so-so. However, the magical beasts’ proportions and size were very good. I saw many fantasy dramas where the magical beast looked like toys floating in the air.🤪
The historical-fantasy genre was my favorite genre because they have beautiful costumes. Divine Destiny’s cast wore beautiful costumes but not the props. I like Angelababy’s hairdo and her costume when she was in the Nine Hell. However, I should criticize their weapon. The swords and the spear did not look like real ones, especially the sword sheaths and Ji Ruo Chen’s Demon Spear.
I found a small flaw in Episode 12. It was when Gu Qing asked Ji Ruo Chen about his decision to marry her. When they talk, Ji Ruo Chen’s hair was combed in a ponytail, yet when they finished, his hair was tied in a high bun…😅
Divine Destiny mainly talked about Ji Ruo Chen and his journey to fulfill his fate. He went from a small clerk in an inn into the most talented disciple of the Xixuan Sect. Ji Ruo Chen meets with the bold and smart Zhang Yin Yin.
During the journey, Ji Ruo Chen had to face the consequences of stealing another person’s identity. He had to lose Zhang Yin Yin because as a Banished God, he already had a fated relationship with Gu Qing.
The story pace was a bit slow with so many ups and down. When you thought that the story went in a certain direction, suddenly it turned to the opposite direction. I barely could guess where the story goes.
There were many characters involved. And to be honest, it was TOO many. Some of them only appear for a short and insignificant moment and disappear. Only after several episodes they would reappear and be involved in some important event or send an important message. But, alas! My short memories were already forgotten about them.
The mysterious Ji Tianxia was the perfect example. He showed up when Zhang Yin Yin and Qingyi were in trouble in Huofang City. I have no idea who was he and why he suddenly appeared. He disappeared shortly afterward and reappeared later when he give warnings to Ji Ruo Chen about the calamity and his fate.
Ji Tianxia also appeared as someone who helped Ji Ruo Chen when he was attacked by the Ecstasy Needle by Luo Xi Chen. Later on in the ending, it was revealed his true identity. I’ve already guessed it because of a certain thing on his body. But I really had no clue about him in the first place.
Another important character that suddenly disappear was the King of Huofang, Li An. He was Luo Xi Chen’s husband. Li An was promoted into Crown Prince and I did not know his whereabouts later. I have no idea whether I missed his scene or the writer just stopped his story midway. That poor prince was bewitched by Sun Guo and Luo Xi Chen. He was a good prince, a bit weak but has a kind heart.
Chinese drama often told us the story of a forced love. And you still find it in Divine Destiny. Let me explain some multi-sided love between the characters. Jin Ruo Chen and Zhang Yin Yin fall in love with each other. Meanwhile, Gu Qing and Yin Feng had a fated relationship that last for 99 lifetimes.
In their 100th lifetimes, Gu Qing falls in love with Ji Ruo Chen. Yin Feng could not take it and tried to convince Gu Qing, but failed miserably. He held grudges against Ji Ruo Chen and tried to kill him. The thing got messier when Luo Xi Chen appeared. She fell in love with Luo Feng (Yin Cheng’s 100th-lifetime identity). She also held grudges against Ji Ruo Chen who killed Luo Fenga.
At the same time, Luo Xi Chen projected her feelings for Luo Feng to Yin Feng who refused her mercilessly. Therefore, she was jealous of Gu Qing.
I should say that this was not only a messy affair, but also lethal. Every one of them resort to killing when they had to face their love rivals…💀 Living in ancient times was surely hard.😅
Truthfully, I am not into a story where two strong and independent women would fight over an indecisive man. So I did not like the triangle troupe between Zhang Yin Yin-Ji Ruo Chen-Gu Qing. Ji Ruo Chen accepted the betrothal because he was hesitant to refute his master. And it happened because he was afraid to admit he was not the real Banished God.
All he could do was use some tricks to deceive the master, so Ji Ruo Chen and Gu Qing’s marriage could be postponed. And my jaw dropped when Zhang Yin Yin said that Ji Ruo Chen never told her that he liked her for years. And it was all because Ji Ruo Chen also could not reveal his real identity to Zhang Yin Yin.
Was this some kind of ancient situationship? I guess Ji Ruo Chen never really thought about the consequences of stealing the identity of the Banished God.
Anyhow, when it comes to love, ancient people in the historical drama did not seem to hold back everything. They had this kind of possessiveness thought that said “If I like you, then you have to be mine”. Nobody cares whether their love interest would agree or disagree. Gu Qing forced her love for Ji Ruo Chen because in her mind he was her destined love and they ought to be together.
Gradually she fall in love with him even though he was not the real god. Gu Qing got to taste her own medicine when Yin Feng forced his love and his beliefs on her. These two gods have the same temperament and arrogance. I wonder if Gu Qing realized it…😁
In my opinion, the main character in this drama was Ji Ruo Chen. While Zhang Yin Yin was more like a sidekick. However, she had a significant role, because if it was not because of her, Ji Ruo Chen would not come up with a brilliant idea to destroy the Demon Tower.
The friendship in this drama was admirable. The disciples of the Xixuan Sect were sincere when it comes to helping Ji Ruo Chen and Zhang Yin Yin. My heart goes to their senior, Yun Feng. He was the favorite disciple of Master Ziyang. He was not the brightest, but obviously the kindest one. And unfortunately, Yun Feng was a good support character who died too early.
Yun Feng helped Ji Ruo Chen and Zhang Yin Yin when Ji Ruo Chen was heavily injured by Yin Feng. He often becomes their 3rd wheel who always enters the room at the wrong time. Yun Feng had long recognized Ji Ruo Chen as not a real god. But he believed in his Master’s arrangement, so he never questioned Ji Ruo Chen’s status.
Yun Feng also told him that whether Ji Ruo Chen was a god or not, what matter the most was having a clear conscience in his mind and heart. Senior Yun Feng, you are my favorite character…😍
The ending of Divine Destiny was a happy ending. However, because of a big war against the villain, there were several casualties and heartbreaking moments. But my tears were already dried when Yun Feng died, so I did not shed any more tears in the end. If you want to know the detail about it, you can read it on Devine Destiny ending explained post. Thank you.
One more thing, just in case you were confused about the timeline. Between the time when Ji Ruo Chen entered the Xixuan Sect and when he went to Haofang City to subdue a demon, there was a full three years. But it was not explicitly said or written. I learned it on the scene when the King of Haofang, Li An, had a meeting with Imperial Advisor and the sect’s representatives.
Zhang Yin Yin
Zhang Yin Yin (played by Angelbaby) was a bold and straightforward young woman. She was strong and smart, but also hot-tempered and stubborn. She was born to a father who was one of the school leaders in the Xixuan Sect. Her mother was also a strong martial arts master. Zhang Yin Yin was poisoned by Huanyao Root. It was a demonic plant that was planted by the Nine-Tailed Fox Demon, Su He, out of revenge.
Zhang Yin Yin and her parents hide her condition from the sect member for years. They did it because the Huanyao Roots made Zhang Yin Yin a half-demon. Meanwhile, Xixuan Sect was a natural enemy of the demon clan. Her parents were afraid if her situation was known to the sect member, they would send her away or kill her.
To prove herself, Zhang Yin Yin worked hard to be the number 1 disciple in Xixuan Sect. She had to do that because the demon poison inside her body was incurable and consequently she could not ascend into immortality. This condition made her vulnerable when Zhang Yin Yin learned that Ji Ruo Chen was betrothed to Gu Qing, a goddess with strong divine power.
So she went to Su He and learn demonic art. She emerged as a five-tailed fox demon. Later, with her power, Zhang Yin Yin managed to grow another tail and become a six-tailed fox demon. Her opponent was surprised because she grew the tail in a fight, while in normal circumstances, it took 200 years to grow a tail.
Zhang Yin Yin’s love for Ji Ruo Chen was unquestionable. She begins to fall in love with him after he becomes one of the disciples of the Xixuan Sect. Zhang Yin Yin felt that Ji Ruo Chen had the same perseverance and resilience as her.
The feelings deepened during their time practicing together. And after they left Xixuan Mountain, her feelings never faltered. Zhang Yin Yin never held anger towards Ji Ruo Chen. She was always ready to forgive him at every turn. Zhang Yin Yin sincerely gives up her precious memories to get Nuwa’s tears that could heal Ji Ruo Chen’s broken meridian.
Ji Ruo Chen
Ji Ruo Chen (played by Ma Tian Yu) used to be called Ji Xiao’er when he was a small clerk at Longmen Inn. He was an orphaned boy, adopted and raised by a couple named Lao Zhang and Huaniang. This couple runs a shady inn, where they cheat the visitors and took their money.
Ji Ruo Chen was obsessed with cultivation. And the reason why Huaniang took the bluestone necklace and in the end made the sect’s leaders recognize Ji Ruo Chen as the Banished God, was to send him into the cultivation world.
Ji Ruo Chen who seemed to be ordinary hide an immense talent inside him. He was a quick learner and he could topple Zhang Yin Yin’s position in the Qingyun List. Only in a short time, Ji Ruo Chen could be the number 1 disciple of the Xixuan Sect. Everybody was shocked because Zhang Yin Yin’s parents were elders in Xixuan Sect, meanwhile, Ji Ruo Chen was a rookie who just entered the sect.
Ji Ruo Chen had a secret identity that would be revealed later in the second half of the drama as well as his secret mission. A mission that had been decided on him long before he was born. The secret behind his identity was shown early in the first episode when a blue fire suddenly appeared when he fought Yin Feng.
Ji Ruo Chen was proven to be not an ordinary person because he managed to master the advanced spell book, took the sect’s secret treasure, and become the number one disciple of the Xixuan Sect in a short time. I wonder besides his guilty feelings regarding his lies, did Ji Ruo Chen ever question his own ability?
Although he was a bit indecisive, Ji Ruo Chen’s feelings for Zhang Yin Yin were unquestionable as well. He fell in love with her at first sight in the Longmen Inn. Since then, he never takes his sight off her. For him, Zhang Yin Yin was more than a lover. She was her mentor, senior, and comrade.
Gu Qing (played by Xuan Lu) was a fairy who believed that Ji Ruo Chen was her fated lover. Back in the God Realm, she used to be a bluestone on a river bank. It was The Border Patrol God who read the Book of Cultivation and turned the stone int into a fairy. She made a mistake by releasing a powerful demon from a celestial prison.
Heaven punished her, and the Border Patrol God was willing to be banished to the mortal world with her. She gave him a piece of blue spiritual stone that contained energy as a token of their promise.
Thousand years later, Gu Qing was a disciple of Elder Ji Shan from the Yun Zhong Ju sect. She was widely known as a fairy and her divine power was strong. Gu Qing falls in love with Ji Ruo Chen after she felt a connection with the bluestone necklace. The stone was part of her and it help her recognize the Border Patrol God in every lifetime.
Gu Qing did not realize that her feelings for Ji Ruo Chen were not under the influence of the bluestone. Because when Yin Feng took the bluestone back, she did not feel anything towards Yin Feng. Her heart and mind were full of Ji Ruo Chen. She was willing to give her divine power to help Ji Ruo Chen when he almost lost his life. Gu Qing was also willing to follow Yin Feng to the God realm if it could keep him alive.
The love trial was the scariest trial for immortality. And Gu Qing was another example of that. She could not handle the complexity of human feelings. So although she chooses Yin Feng to save Ji Ruo Chen, her heart always beats for Ji Ruo Chen.
Yin Feng/Luo Feng
Yin Feng (played by Wang Zhuo Cheng) had another identity as the Board Patrol God. He was the real Banished God. He was a proud, arrogant, narrow-minded, and stubborn person. There was nothing good about him, except his devotion to Gu Qing which was last for a 100 lifetime.
After he regain his memories as a god, Yin Feng’s train of thought was a bit simple. His goal was only to finish his 100th lifetime with Gu Qing and then ascended to the God Realms together. He did not care about the process and only aimed for the goal. Therefore, Yin Feng completely disregard Gu Qing’s feelings because he believed that they were gods who had to follow the heavenly way.
In Yin Feng’s mind, everything was black and white. He never understands the concept of the grey area between black and white. And he was clueless about the human heart, especially the sinister one. Therefore, Sun Guo and the leaders of the Qinxu sect could exploit and manipulate him.
Yet, Yin Feng did not realize it at all because they often said that Ji Ruo Chen was a sinner and impostor, so he deserve to be punished. Yin Feng who was also burned with jealousy, took their words without any consideration and was willing to be the borrowed knife to kill Ji Ruo Chen and ruined Xixuan Sect.
Divine Destiny drama made me spend more time compared to the other dramas because it took me forever to finish the first 9 episodes. A gentle reminder for those who wanted to watch this drama. Divine Destiny’s pace was very slow at the beginning. You need to have extra perseverance, at least for 6 episodes upfront. The story would get exciting afterward.
The story was full of ups and downs at every turn. There were many surprises. And if you like this kind of hard-to-guess storyline, you should try to watch this drama. So, pick a quiet weekend, stock up your snack and drink, and enjoyed the fantasy world of Divine Destiny. Hope you like this Divine Destini drama review. Happy watching!