The Avenging Eagle May 4, 2015 16:34:35 GMT
Post by JohnD on May 4, 2015 16:34:35 GMT
This is the original novel The Avenging Eagle was adapted from. The title is the same as the film, literally Thirteen Cold-Blooded Eagles. By Qin Hong. The screenplay for the film was written by Ni Kuang.
So far I've only read the first chapter, and there are already a few differences from the movie. For starters there is more detail generally, as you would expect with a novel. Films don't have as much time to tell the story. So you get the reasoning for why the villain, Yue Xihong, wants to get revenge on Wang An and Sima Xin. Other differences in the first chapter:
The story opens with the Twelve Eagles assembled. They report to Yue Xihong that Qi Mingxing, our hero, has escaped. Yue Xihong is furious and sends the Twelve after him. The film opens with Qi Mingxing leading his wounded horse, then he passed out and is rescued by Vagrant, played by Alexander Fu Sheng. But in the novel the next scene after Yue Xihong sends the Eagles after him is Qi Mingxing riding his horse deep into the mountains (not the desert as it is in the film). There he comes upon Vagrant lying on his stomach, passed out. Qi Mingxing saves him and gives him water.
Also, Vagrant's weapon in the film are these two short knives that hide in his boots and connect to bracelets on his wrists, but in the novel he wields a judge's brush (判官筆), apparently a big one because he carries it on his back. Qi Mingxing's weapon in the film is a three-sectioned staff, but in the novel he has a regular sword. We can see Ni Kuang spiced it up a little bit for the film.
The two continue on in the novel and find an abandoned stone house by a lake in the mountains. They hole up there. Vagrant recites the Li Bai poem as in the film, but he does it on horseback. Qi Mingxing says it's a sad poem, but the novel lacks the response when Vagrant says he is more pitiful because he has no home to return to. While sitting in the house Vagrant wants to light the torch, but in the novel Qi Mingxing has no problem with this. Then Qi Mingxing tells his background story (he does this on horseback in the film).
In the novel, he is wounded when he goes up on the roof to stake out the escort agency, but he is wounded in escaping when he is found by an arrow in his back. He went there alone in the novel (in the film the whole crew is there and there is a big fight). He passes out in the woods and is saved by the Jiang family, which turns out to be Wang An, who is a retired constable who in the novel it is told once captured and sent to jail Yue Xihong when Yue Xihong was drunk, making him lose face to be captured so easily. That's why he wanted revenge. He vowed to dig out Wang An's heart and eat it with wine, which he eventually does.
Qi Mingxing and two others are sent to kill Wang An. Qi Mingxing doesn't want to go through with it, and the others don't force him to. Since they know he likes the daughter, Wang Xiaofeng, they agree to let her and the mother go. Instead of killing Wang An, they take him back alive, as per Yue Xihong's orders. Wang An knows his time is up and goes back with them willingly. He tells his family to go to someone's house who will take them in. In the film Yue Xihong is more ruthless, he had ordered the whole family to be killed, which they were.
I assume Wang Xiaofeng will make another appearance later in the novel, but everything I'm describing happens in the first chapter (seven total, one volume, 256 pages). Then there is another time Yue Xihong wants to rob an escort agency, but Sima Xin, a do-gooder of the wulin, finds out about it and snitches to the escort agency, which has an ambush ready and defeats the Eagles. Yue Xihong wants revenge on Sima Xin for spoiling his plans. This time it happens just like in the film, except Yue Xihong already knows that Qi Mingxing is having second thoughts about all this killing. He makes him kill the woman, Sima Yuqin, to atone for being lazy and not killing recently. Qi Mingxing does it, piercing her heart with his sword.
At this point we can see Vagrant, who has been listening to this story with indifference, suddenly go cold all over, his expression changes. So the reader already suspects something is up, maybe Vagrant is Sima Yuqin's wife, which would make him Zhuo Yifan (of course that's the big twist in the film as well). But it's weird that Qin Hong gave this away in the first chapter. He doesn't come out and say it, but it's really obvious by Vagrant's reaction that he must be Zhuo Yifan. Qi Mingxing doesn't notice this reaction, however, and he breaks down crying after finishing his story.
The chapter ends when some of the Eagles arrive to do battle. In the film, Qi Mingxing is at first at odds with Vagrant, not trusting him, not seeing him as a friend. But in the novel he just wonders to himself who Vagrant is, but there is no antagonism between them.
There's a lot of the film told within the first chapter of the novel, which makes me think there must be a lot in the novel that never made it in the film. It will be interesting to see what else the novel has to offer.