One of the most redeeming qualities about the new adaptation of Return of the Condor Heroes is the cast for the"middle-aged" couple Huang Rong and Guo Jing. Compared to the first installment in the Condor Trilogy, the character of Huang Rong is written in a much less favorable light the second installment. No matter how "unpopular" Huang Rong becomes during her middle age years, she remains my favorite female character in the Louis Cha/Jin Yong's universe. My second favorite character also coincidentally happens to be her daughter, Guo Xiang, who not only inherited the mother's beauty but also her brains.
Anyway, I just love Yang Mingna's Huang Rong. She looks beautiful, sharp, and smart. It also helps a lot that she is paired with a quite handsome Zheng Guolin as her beloved hubby, Guo Jing. Guo Jing and Huang Rong definitely look more compatible and gorgeous together than the main OTP of the drama. I watched almost every single adaptation of Return of the Condor Heroes except for the Singaporean version. Except for the 1983 Andy Lau and Idy Chen version, I was dissatisfied with the actress who portrayed this character. I could not for the life of me associate her middle-aged self in Return of the Condor Heroes with the spunky, witty, and wickedly intelligent Huang Rong I saw in Legend of the Condor Heroes. Besides the change in characterization, something abstract was always missing in the portrayal. Though I would not be able to admire Xiaolongnü's beauty in this remake, I could at least enjoy the prettiness of Yang Mingna's Huang Rong and her endearing relationship with her hubby.