You guys know it is insane to try to recap C-dramas…especially one that put out 10 episodes at a time so I am only committing to doing short episode summaries for the first 8 episodes of Oh My General then we will see what happens after that.
Elated to receive the great news that after eight years of fighting, his top military general, General Xie Zhao has finally defeated all their enemies and reclaim the land they lost before, the Emperor’s excitement turns to stunned disbelief when he receives a letter from his fierce general confessing that he is actually a she. Rather secretly pleased that a great potential political crisis (an awesome general is forever an emperor’s greatest pride…and worry) has been avoided thanks to Xie Zhao’s surprising revelation, the emperor promptly follows his mother’s advice to marry his female general off to his nephew.
Far away from the capital, our heroine Xie Zhao is enjoying her long awaited revenge of defeating the very enemy that had killed her father and two brothers. (A military family, Xie Zhao has lost a total of 13 family members will defending her nation.) After spending the last eight years in the army, Xie Zhao clearly sees herself as one of the boys and harbors little hope that any man would dare to ask her hand in marriage. (Xie Chao’s right hand man obviously harbors a crush on her after accidentally discovering her real gender but our heroine is unfortunately clueless about anything that involves romance.)
Despite our heroine’s expectation to spend the rest of life without a husband though, there is one particularly interesting scene that reveals Xie Zhao’s taste in men. Pleasantly surprised when she comes upon a lovely painting of a couple on a cliffside, Xie Zhao mutters in a dreamy tone “The man looks even lovelier than the woman. So pretty!” (There is also a brief flashback scene that suggests Xie Zhao might’ve known our hero back when they were little.)
While our heroine is busy spending her days chopping down her enemy’s head, our hero, Zhao Yu Jin is busy…dancing in a brothel and having fun with his three best friends. The extreme opposite from our heroine, Yu Jin is a fragile flower boy who dazzles all with his beauty. Huffy when a man dared to demand that he spends a night with him, Yu Jin proudly preens as the brothel madam urgently tells the ignorant man that Yu Jin is the emperor’s nephew and his friends are all related to powerful people as well.
Returning to the capital with her army, Yu Jin receives a warm hero’s welcome by the emperor. Surprised when one of the rewards from the emperor came in the form of marriage to Yu Jin, our heroine could hardly contain her glee.
Impatient when his friend runs into the brothel and yells “Yu Jin, you are in big trouble!”, Yu Jin retorts “I am already having a bad day! You know how easily frightened I am!” Horrified once his friend finally informs him of the emperor’s edict that he is to marry the famously fierce general, Yu Jin mistakenly assumes at first that his no good uncle is going to sacrifice him to a burly man. Belatedly remembering Xie Zhao’s real gender, Yu Jin’s friend pulls out a news leaflet that describes Xie Zhao’s appearance.
Not exactly comforted when his friends start to describe a female that looks more like a walking ape, Yu Jin runs home only to be met by the sight of his sobbing mother and his three terrified concubines who plead with him to sell them off. (To add salt to injury, the emperor fearing Yu Jin’s station is too low for his general had given Yu Jin the title of a “prince”. This is something that is usually done to a girl who is marrying someone out of their league…so that’s why it was funny.) Any hope of a happy future shattered as he looks at his sobbing mother and concubines, Yu Jin promptly throws himself into the lake. (Again, something that is usually done by a desperate girl being made to marry a man against her will.)
Feeling the heavy weight of making our heroine into some semblance of a woman before she is married, Xie Zhao’s sister-in-law finally shakes her head in hopelessness as Xie Zhao proudly points out her seemingly haphazardly flower bouquet is actually an illustration of a military strategy. (It is interesting to point out that from Xie Zhao’s conversation with her sister-in-law, especially the part about her sister-in-law had actually once duked it out physically with her mother-in-law, our heroine probably had plenty of reason to turn out like she did.)
Poor Hu Qing (our heroine’s right hand man) pays our heroine an unexpected visit to give her a wedding gift. Immensely pleased with the gift, Xie Zhao hugs Hu Qing without realizing her friend’s heart is breaking even as he forces himself to smile at her.
The big wedding day finally comes and not surprisingly, our hero has cooked up a plan of escape with the help of his friends and concubines. Unfortunately/fortunately, our hero’s friends turn out to be quite inept and any hope of Yu Jin escaping promptly dies when Xie Zhao’s guards show up to personally escort him to the wedding.
Pouting all the way as he walks towards his soon to be bride, Yu Jin’s spirit of rebellion flares up when our heroine’s grandfather calls him “daughter-in-law” then proceeds to admonish him to produce lots of “fine boys” for their family. Severely displeased to hear Yu Jin’s vehement declaration that he refuses to go through with the marriage, the emperor calmly warns our hero that his other choice is death.
Wisely deciding not to test the emperor’s patience, Yu Jin grumpily goes through with the rest of the ceremony but then throws another one of his tantrums again when it comes time for him to take off his new bride’s head covering. (The bride is supposed to keep the head covering on until the groom takes it off.) Mustering up his courage, Yu Jin walks out after telling his new bride that he is going to spending their wedding night with one of his concubines. Confident that he could spend the night in the soft and womanly arms of his beautiful concubines, Yu Jin soon finds out that he was sorely mistaken as one concubine after another sob in fear of what the fierce general would do to them the next morning.
(I love how the two concubines stopped sobbing and hollering at each other the moment Yu Jin is out of sight.)
Forcing himself not to instinctively cower the moment he sees Xie Zhao walks in, Yu Jin stubbornly rejects his new bride’s request for him to take off her head covering. Her patience finally gone, Xie Zhao grabs Yu Jin’s hand and forcefully makes him take off her head cover. Not blind to Yu Jin’s obvious distaste for her, Xie Zhao quietly declares “The marriage ceremony is done.” and walks off without another backward glance.
Learning from their previous failed attempt, Yu Jin’s three friends successfully helps our beleaguered hero escape from his house the next morning. Not surprised when she is informed of Yu Jin’s escape, Xie Zhao’s immediate concern is how to deal with the brand new experience of having a mother-in-law. Nodding obediently as her mother-in-law gives her a jade bracelet and tells her that it is supposed to be a constant reminder for her to a docile refined wife to her son, Xie Zhao puts the jade bracelet on her wrist… then much to the horror of her mother-in-law proceeds to throw out a few punches to see if the jade bracelet would stay on. Amused by Xie Zhao’s complete puzzlement of why her mother-in-law seems so displeased, Xie Zhao’s sister-in-law assures our heroine that she will help her in whatever way she can.
So fearful that they seriously contemplated group suicide on the morning of their first audience with Xie Zhao, our hero’s three concubines are overjoyed when the famously fearsome general turns out to be generous and easy going. For her part, Xie Zhao is actually quite pleased to have an opportunity to meet her husband’s lovely concubines and tells her guards “We spent all these years in the army and have no chance of seeing delicate beautiful girls so this is a great chance!”
Displeased that her new daughter-in-law seems completely unconcerned about her son who ran away from home, Madam Zhao (heroine’s mother-in-law. She has a title but I am just going to use this for the ease of typing.) interrupts Xie Zhao’s morning sword practice, shoos away her son’s concubines that were busy lamenting why our heroine isn’t a man, and demands that Xie Zhao bring her son back home.
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