Wu Zhao is not only a record setting emperor in the prosperity she brought to china and her gender, but also in her ruthlessness. Wu Zhao is one of the best known emperors of China for a reason. She brought great prosperity. Wu Zhao also was very strategic in plotting her rise to power. She used and manipulated people and then disposed of anyone who got in her way. Wu Zhao did all it took to get to the top, making her successful, but exceptionally controversial.
The young Wu Zhao found herself summoned to the Imperial Palace in 637 A.D. She was summoned by emperor Taizong. Eventually Wu Zhao would find herself the fifth ranked concubine in the Imperial Palace. When the Empress died Taizong turned to his concubines for assistance and companionship. Wu Zhao was at this time presented to Taizong. Some say that an old friend of the loyal Wu Shiyue Wu Zhao’s father may have introduced Wu Zhao to Taizong. Taizong called her “enchanting Miss Wu”.
When all the women of the Imperial palace had been removed, due to the prophecy that a woman would rule of China and end Taizong’s Dynasty Wu Zhao was sent to the Ganye Convent which was Buddhist. It was no surprise that on the anniversary of Taizong’s death his son Gaozong who had always been attracted to Wu Zhao would appear in the Ganye Convent. Gaozong would begin to visit Wu Zhao often and attempt to spend as much time as possible with Wu Zhao. Eventually despite the opposition by the Confusion court Gaozong would bring Wu Zhao back into the Imperial Palace. Empress Wang, Gaozong’s wife didn’t resent Wu Zhao, or even suspect anything for that matter. She thought she was light-years ahead of Wu Zhao, because she was from the elite Han clan of the north.
After Wu Zhao was in the Imperial Palace her true colors began to show. The maliciousness and cold, strategic, violent logic began to become action. Wu Zhao would slowly start her expedition to the top at this time. Wu Zhao would convince Gaozong at this time to grant honors to Tang Dynasty officials including her father. Wu Zhao already was trying to close the class gap between herself and Empress Wang and Pure Escort Xiao.