In Han period, the force of Xiongnu was much stronger than that of Han Chinese. Queen Mother Lv only had one daughter and she did not have heart to marry her daughter to a place far away. Therefore, the daughter of royal family took part in the political marriage. But this time, unwilling to honor the chanyu with a real princess, Emperor Yuan ordered that the plainest girl in the harem be selected for the marriage. He asked for volunteers and promised to give the volunteer away like his own daughter. The idea of leaving their homeland and comfortable life at the court for the grasslands of the far and unknown north was abhorrent to most of the young women. But not to Wang Zhaojun: she saw it as a chance to leave the empty palace life and possibly play a more important role than she ever would. She applied. When the lady-in-charge of the harem sent the unflattering portrait of Wang Zhaojun to the emperor, he merely glanced at it and nodded his approval. Only when summoned to court, Wang Zhaojun’s beauty astonished the emperor's courtiers and made the emperor reconsider his decision to send her to the Xiongnu. However, it is too late for the Emperor to change his decision because he cannot violate his promise to the Xiongnu. In anguish and sorrow, he parted with Wang Zhaojun.