List of changes in the third edition : 1. Zhang Zhaozhong, the evil Wudang expert, redeems himself a bit in this edition. In the past he was thrown into the pit filled with wolves, his martial arts brother Lu Feiqing jumped down to save him and he bear hugged Lu Feiqing hoping to go down with him. At that point he was a bit crazed and didn't know exactly who jumped down. Now, he does the same thing but he suddenly sees the face of Lu Feiqing and shouted:"It's you. You were always very good to me and treated me like your brother..." And when a wolf wanted to attack Lu Feiqing, Zhang Zhaozhong blocked the wolf. However, in the end Zhang was still eaten by the wolves and Lu Feiqing was saved by the others.
2. An error was corrected in this edition. In the past, it seemed that the imperial guards commander, Bai Zhen was in two places at the same time. He was in Beijing and also in "Jiangnan" on a special mission. (He was ordered to inform the governor of Fujian to burn down Southern Shaolin). In order to correct this mistake, Jin Yong created another imperial guard commander, named Wang Qing. Wang Qing was in Beijing and met with the heroes of the Red Flower Society while Bai Zhen was still in Fujian. Bai Zhen was back in Beijing again when Southern Shaolin was burnt to a crisp. So the error in the past was corrected.
3. In the previous editions, Bai Zhen committed suicide when he was forced to confront Chen Jialuo again, this happened when the heroes of the Red Flower Society had cornered Emperor Qianlong. (*Chen saved the life of Bai Zhen once).
The heroes respected Bai Zhen for being a rather good man and allowed him to leave, but he didn't and committed suicide. But now, he does leave and sighs that he won't show his face in the realm again. In the past he was more or less forced to commit suicide by Qianlong. Qianlong in the past saw that Bai Zhen was reluctant to fight Chen Jialuo and remarked sarcastically that Chen saves Bai Zhen's life. Bai Zhen knew that Qianlong was wary of himself now and killed himself.
Fortunately, Bai Zhen survives now in edition 3.
4. Jin Yong added another chapter to the novel, this chapter happens when the heroes have retreated to the Muslim regions. And Chen Jialuo was just saved because he tried to commit suicide. Lu Feiqing and others reprimanded him for this foolish act. Huo Qingtong and Chen Jialuo discussed the islam and in a semi-conscious he hallucinated or perhaps it wasn't a hallucination in which he saw Princess Fragrance telling him to be strong. I thought it was quite touching.
I just bought this novel and read a few paragraph of it. I was surprised that the first girl to appear in the novel is Li Yuanzhi. The 1987 adaption of the series has Li Yuanzhi only appear when Chen Jialuo first met Huo Chingtong.
Here's what I wrote at the end of my reveiw of Book and sword 2008 in my thread Adam Cheng martial arts tv series :
"The good point of this series is that it has English subtitles, so, it allowed me to better understand what I had seen when I had watched the TVB series from 1976. However, there are some difference between the two series. In the TVB one, there is no mention of the 9th prince and the RFS is already established , while in the 2008 series, we see how each member is chosen and that it’s 9th prince who was the founder of the RFS. Also, in the TVB series, there is no mention of the episode with the Yue Princess and Bu Qianjia. As I read somewhere that the TVB series has 95 episodes and as the vcds and dvds of this series have less than 95 episodes, perhaps that actually there is no difference in the plots between the two series. Does anyone have had the luck to see the whole 95 episodes of the TVB series and can tell if the plot is exactly the same as the one of the 2008 series ?
Also, which one of the two series is the closest to the novel ? "
Does anyone have an answer for me regarding the presence of 9th prince and Bu Qianjia in the book or not, please ?
Sorry, cannot help you. I know nothing about 9th prince. But, I doubt the 1976 can be very close to the novel. The novel is short. How can it made into a 95 episode series if not not adding a lot of original stuff?