Song of the Crimson Flower is a story about class and love that defies boundaries. It's about the truth of love that will transcend words even when the world seems to be pulling us apart. Is it more important for us to be proper than the image of propriety? For us to be honorable or to seem honorable? Dao also examines the ways we build people up in our head and put them on a pedestal. We end up seeing what we want to see, what will be most comfortable to us.
While there's this plot where the fate of the kingdoms hang in the balance, the story is centered around Bao and Lan's relationship. The ways they challenge each other, but also the way they defy each other's expectations. Bao made my heart hurt. He just wants so desperately to be loved, to have a family, to belong. And when he begins to get a taste of what he wants, he realizes that maybe it isn't what he wanted at all. We are asked if our nature is what will win out, our blood, or the qualities from those who have nurtured us.