Watch Episodes

Part 1- Early ambition

Nurhaci was born on a cold winter´s day in 1559. The silence of a small village in northeastern China was broken by the cry of a baby, coming form a snow-covered cottage. The baby looked no different to any other child born into ordinary village families...

Part 2 - The unification of Jianzhou

In 1583, threatened and outnumbered by a stronger enemy, Nurhaci led more than 30 of his tribesmen in a rebellion against Nikan Wailan. All they had to protect them were 13 suits of armor, left by Nurhaci´s ancestors...

Part 3 - Expedition and unification

The 9 allied tribes were defeated by Nurhaci in the Battle of Gure. This greatly increased his military power and prestige. In October, he conquered the Juseri tribe at Changbai Mountain. In November, he travelled to Beijing to hand over some tribute.

Part 4 - The reign of Khan

Hidden away in the Forbidden City, Emperor Wanli had neglected state affairs for over 10 years since the beginning of 1589. He didn´t seem to notice the rise of the Jurchens in the northeast. His ministers handled state affairs and his generals guarded the territory. The Emperor was preoccupied with luxury and dissipation...

Part 5 - Battle of life and death

It was now April 1618, it was still cold, even in early spring. The city of Hetu Ala was filled with resentment. Clad in his military uniform, Nurhaci expressed his pent-up dissatisfaction towards the Ming Empire to his people and army...

Part 6 - Wars in Shenyang and Liaoyang

The loss of the Battle of Sarhu was unbearable for the decadent Ming Dynasty. In the shadow of defeat, the Ming capital was rife with blame and confusion. Emperor Wanli, who had been stirred from his indolence, once again retreated into lethargy...

Part 7 - Regret for Ningyuan

In March 1625, Nurhaci, the Khan of the Later Jin Dynasty, moved the capital to Shenyang, a fortified city in Liaoyang. Urged on by Nurhaci himself, the Dazheng Hall and Ten Kings Pavillions were soon finished...