Series: Magnificent Century
A Turkish Soap Opera
based on the life of Suleiman the Magnificent, the longest reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
After the death of his father, Sultan Suleiman is called to reign over the ever-expanding Ottoman Empire at 26 years of age. He resolves to uphold the justice of the law and make the Ottoman Empire greater than it has ever been.
Thus begins his romance with Hürrem, a Russian concubine in his harem
. Originally named Alexandra La Rossa, she was transported to his palace in Istanbul along with other slaves for his harem. The bold woman detests the people who captured and sold her, resisting her captors and wishing to follow her deceased family in death, until she falls in love with the Sultan.
However, this earns her the ire of Mahidevran Sultan, mother of Suleiman's firstborn son, and Pargali Ibrahim Pasha, the Sultan's closest advisor and right hand man.
The show begins with the Sultan's ascension to authority, but the focus of the series are the workings and intrigue of the Sultan's inner circle and the rivalries between members of the household. The budding romance between Ibrahim and Hatice, the Sultan's sister, the rivalry between concubines and heirs and the manipulations taking place behind the scenes.
The series began on the January of 2011 and currently has three seasons.
This series provides examples of:
- Animal Motifs: The Sultan and his heirs are often called lions, especially by Valide Sultan, Suleiman's mother.
- Costume Porn: Since the cast is composed of royals and their inner circle, expect to see a lot of elegant dresses and ornaments.
- Driven by Envy: Mahidevran is very unhappy about Hürrem's relationship with her husband, to the point where she beats the latter until she passes out and even tries to poison her when she gets pregnant.
- Fiery Redhead: Aleksandra/Hürrem. We first meet her as a captive on a slave ship, and even there she is unbroken and defiant.
- Made a Slave: Hürrem originally lived in Crimea with her parents, sister and fiance until they were attacked by Crimean Tartar raiders. While the rest of her family was killed, she was kidnapped and brought as a gift to the new Sultan's palace.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Mahidevran attempts to kill Hürrem by having a slave serve her poisoned sweets.
- Never Suicide: The girl who served Hürrem poisoned sweets is found having hanged herself in the cellars. Ibrahim, however, is insightful enough to realise that Gülşah, Mahidevran's maid, killed her and then staged her suicide to cover up their guilt.
- Royal Harem
- Yandere: After her first pregnancy, Hürrem becomes very possessive of the Sultan, going so far as to beat her best friend into submission and send her poisoned fur to ruin her face.