With Mother’s Day just around the corner here in the US, it seems like the perfect time to explore the power dynamics of the four moms in the dynamic xianxia Starry Love. Come see if the Heavenly Empress, the Beast Queen, the Empress of the Void, and Consort Xue had any affect on the story and what it all means!
I loveloveLOVE when moms get to play a significant role in a drama. Moms affecting the narrative can have a profound impact on the viewer, for better or for worse, and I hate to see them pigeonholed into either the stereotypical bad/neglectful mom OR the angel who died too early.
Thankfully, the moms in Starry Love were written differently – though they don’t get much screen time, they have distinct personalities and lives. I couldn’t ask for a better Mother’s Day gift for myself!
(Mild spoilers ahead. Caution is advised!)
The mother of the Void Realm’s Third Prince, Consort Xue is the last remaining member of her slaughtered tribe, a somewhat slave forced into a relationship with the Void Emperor. Sweet and retiring, she’s a loving mother who has her son’s whole heart – almost everything he does in the drama is for her, to help her regain her standing in the Void court.
The best part of their relationship is the humor between them, even when Consort Xue thinks the Third Prince needs a little discipline. When needed, she pulls out a large spiked stick dipped in chili oil and playfully threatens him. It’s all done in good fun, and brings some much-needed light-heartedness to an overly serious place. Consort Xue’s life wisdom comes in handy later when she befriends the Mortal Emperor and they watch over their children, and her timely plea for mercy near the end resonated with me.
We don’t get a lot of the Beast Queen in Starry Love, but I adored what we did get. She’s the most powerful ruler in the Beast Kingdom, but she doesn’t act that way. She treats her husband as an equal, conspires with him to match their son with a Heavenly Princess, and when her boy needs rescuing from the beastly captives in their kingdom? Mom runs IMMEDIATELY to help him and his princess friend out. The Beast Kingdom may not have much power in the world, but what power Beast Queen has, she uses well.
Empress of the Void
Driven by the desire to put her own son, the Second Prince, on the Void Throne, there’s very little the Empress of the Void won’t do to get her way. She’s cunning, she’s willing to act, and she has the respect of enough Void soldiers and the Void Emperor to back up her schemes. She’s definitely the antagonist of this drama for the most part – until greater evils take over, as they do – and her willingness to push past all barriers for her son brought the perfect amount of tension to the story.
The Heavenly Empress
The heart of the Heavenly Realm is its Empress, a loving mother who wants the best for her three children. When her oldest comes back from his years of cultivation unwilling to touch anyone and completely closed off from his emotions, her worry and care for him are clear on her face. When he falls in love, she is his staunchest supporter, embracing his betrothed wholeheartedly and supporting her as much as she supports her son. And when the Heavenly Emperor loses sight of what’s right in the face of his ambitions, the Heavenly Empress does EVERYTHING she can to redirect his focus. She quietly unites the realm to do what’s right, even if it goes against her husband’s orders.
These moms were written so very well, by a writer who clearly understands the power of moms in her own life. Ma Jia has given these incredible women complete stories, showing how a mother’s love for her children can affect the trajectory of all their lives. I’m a fan!
Until the next xianxia drama sucks me in, I remain –
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi