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Romance of the Three Kingdoms

 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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TVTItem
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
label
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
comment
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })"The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus has it ever been."The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Traditional: 三國演義; Simplified: 三国演义; Pinyin: Sānguó Yǎnyì) is a 14th-century Chinese epic novel about the century of war, turmoil, and bloodshed known as the Three Kingdoms Period (188-280 AD), written by Luo Guanzhong. It is considered one of the "Four Great Classical Novels" of Chinese literature alongside Journey to the West, Water Margin, and Dream of the Red Chamber — and for good reason. This epic is renowned for its beautiful style, complex and heroic characters, and enduring motifs and themes that remain relevant even in modern society. It not only left its influence throughout the Chinese culture, language, and literature, but also spawned many, many derivative works in various media (some more derivative than others) throughout the world.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })The tale begins in the last days of the corrupt Han Dynasty, showing how the government and Emperor lost the "Mandate of Heaven" (天命), and the land fell into anarchy, with various warlords carving out their own territories in a struggle for supremacy. Gradually, out of the chaos, three kingdoms take shape: the kingdom of Shu, led by the virtuous Liu Bei (a distant cousin of the Emperor) and his sworn brothers, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei; the kingdom of Wei, led by the scheming Cao Cao; and the kingdom of Wu, led by the ambitious Sun family. All seek to unify the nation for one reason or another, and claim the right to rule for their own. And so the three kingdoms contend with one another over the century, and heroes rise and fall in the strife, until the nation is finally reunified.And, as you'd expect from a pivotal work like this, it's managed to gather quite a collection of tropes. Interested tropers can find the full text of an older English translation, now in the public domain, here. The site has added some annotations to help readers keep track of events and characters.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_3'); })
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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DBTropes
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_107edaa4
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Comforting the Widow
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_107edaa4
comment
And there's Zhao Yun, who turned down an offer to marry a beautiful woman in favor of serving his lord. Of course, what complicated matters was: 1.) She was the widow of the brother of 2.) a recently conquered vassal who 3.) had recently sworn brotherhood with him. Though it is not depicted in the novel itself, that move paid off later when said recently conquered vassal fled from Liu Bei, and Zhao Yun avoided considerable trouble.
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_107edaa4
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_147996f2
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Love Ruins the Realm
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_147996f2
comment
Love Ruins the Realm: Played with by the whole Diao Chan incident, where the realm was at a nadir anyway and getting rid of the tyrant was an attempt at making things better. Unfortunately, it inadvertently trades the tyranny of Dong Zhuo for the chaotic rivalries of the regional warlords, while his puppet emperor simply comes "under new management." Invoked in the buildup to the battle of Chi Bi, where Zhuge Liang provokes Zhou Yu (and the kingdom of Wu) into fighting by claiming that Cao Cao was lusting after the Qiao sisters, one being Zhou Yu's own wife and the other, his late best friend and sworn brother Sun Ce's widow.
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_147996f2
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_153299b4
type
Boisterous Bruiser
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_153299b4
comment
Zhang Fei gets hit with a Historical Hero Downgrade, going from historically being the most strategically accomplished of Liu Bei's main generals to a blundering drunkard. While he's still smart enough to utilize some war strategies such as during the battle to take Cheng Du, he's portrayed as more of a Boisterous Bruiser Battle God in the novel. However it still applies with the real life Zhang Fei being nowhere near heroic.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_153299b4
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_153299b4
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_19769f50
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Defeat Means Friendship
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_19769f50
comment
Defeat Means Friendship: Huang Zhong, Xu Chu, and Taishi Ci amongst others.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_19769f50
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_19769f50
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The Horde
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_1bb2c500
comment
The Horde: The Yellow Scarves are a popular but disorganised uprising led by charismatic mystics, and the early chapters are all about the kingdom's attempt to put their insurrection down.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_1bb2c500
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_1bb2c500
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_1c34e06b
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Only the Chosen May Ride
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_1c34e06b
comment
Only the Chosen May Ride: Red Hare, a huge Cool Horse so named because "it can run fast as a hare and is colored red", only ever allowed Lu Bu and later - after Lu Bu's death - Guan Yu to ride him, as no one else could tame him.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_1c34e06b
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_1c34e06b
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_22071825
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I'm a Humanitarian
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_22071825
comment
I'm a Humanitarian: Liu Bei, on the run and starving, is given some meat by a local peasant. The source? The peasant's wife. Liu Bei is ignorant at the time, but grateful when he finds out... not to mention the fact that when he tells Cao Cao about it, Cao Cao rewards the peasant with a hundred ounces of silver.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_22071825
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_22071825
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_23015b1f
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Magnificent Bastard
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_23015b1f
comment
In the official Chinese histories, Cao Cao and his successors are generally considered the bearers of dynastic legitimacy. In the novel, they are portrayed as the main villains even if a Magnificent Bastard family.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_23015b1f
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_23015b1f
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_237404cc
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Ironic Echo
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_237404cc
comment
Ironic Echo: "I trust you have been well since we last parted?" First spoken by Guan Yu, taunting Cao Cao about his escape back to his sworn brothers. Later Cao Cao says it upon being presented with Guan Yu's severed head.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_237404cc
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_237404cc
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_262861e1
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Blade on a Stick
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_262861e1
comment
Blade on a Stick: TONS of warriors in the book are decked with such weapons. From the average spears and halberds (the mainstay battlefield equipment of the time) of your average Mooks, to those big fancy pole-blades used by generals (Zhang Fei's spear with a snake-shaped blade, Lu Bu's halberd, and Xu Huang's battle-axe to name a few) used by the author as a symbol of each character's personalities and as making action scenes appear more flashy to the readers, since most of those weapons didn't even exist at the time. But among these, the most famous would be Guan Yu's "Green Dragon Crescent Blade". He's the reason why the Chinese glaive is called the "Guan Dao".
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_262861e1
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 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_272abb98
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Shoot the Shaggy Dog
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_272abb98
comment
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The entire fate of Kingdom of Shu. Beginning with the execution of Guan Yu and the assassination of Zhang Fei, they more or less begin to face collapse. Not too long after declaring himself emperor, Liu Bei dies, his rule passing to his possibly mentally handicapped Puppet King of a son Liu Shan. After Zhuge Liang, who ruled the kingdom on the emperor's behalf dies, a group of eunuchs, including Huang Hao, ruin the war plans of the final protagonist Jiang Wei which eventually led to his murder and the kingdom being subsequently taken over by Wei. So in whole, the efforts of the romanticized main characters of the Three Kingdoms story to reunite China fail, with all their accomplishments resulting in nothing (although it would eventually be reunified by the Simas under the Jin Dynasty). With the context of why the novel was written, it may be downplayed, however. While the Shu Kingdom eventually fell first, they would more likely go down as a Tragic Hero and Doomed Moral Victor, those who struggled to restore the rightful dynasty (Han) to the throne but was denied the chance of success by fate, therefore hopefully leaving a greater legacy.
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_272abb98
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Abnormal Limb Rotation Range
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_294f1400
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Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Sima Yi could supposedly turn his head 180° to look behind him.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_294f1400
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Speak of the Devil
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_2bc8bdeb
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Speak of the Devil: Or, as the Chinese say, "Speak of Cao Cao and he appears."
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_2bc8bdeb
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_2bc8bdeb
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_2dddd99d
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False Flag Operation
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_2dddd99d
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False Flag Operation: Done several times by various sides. Cao Cao's raid at Wuchao is a particularly important one.
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_2dddd99d
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_319e4a2f
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Even Evil Has Standards
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_319e4a2f
comment
Huang Hao, an eunuch that manipulates the weak Liu Shan and made Jiang Wei's campaign a failure, dooming Shu. After escaping execution via bribery, Sima Zhao caught him and executed him on spot, disgusted at his actions.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_319e4a2f
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 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_329a19a0
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Hollywood Healing
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_329a19a0
comment
Hollywood Healing: Huang Gai, who had himself whipped as part of a plot against Cao Cao as a Fake Defector. He healed fast enough to participate in the battle... only to get wounded again!
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_329a19a0
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_329a19a0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_352def2a
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Burn the Witch!
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_352def2a
comment
Burn the Witch!: Taoists. Sun Ce hates superstitions, and Cao Cao just hates people who speak against him. As seen later on, things don't turn out too well for either of them.
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_352def2a
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_356e26da
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Good Hair, Evil Hair
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_356e26da
comment
Good Hair, Evil Hair: Guan Yu's beard was reputedly fabulous to the point where Cao Cao gave him a beard bag. Oh, and when confronted by bandits, his taking off the bag caused them to promptly surrender and their leaders to beg to join him — albeit this was probably also because they recognized him for the badass that he was.
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_356e26da
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_36c64123
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Gentle Giant
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_36c64123
comment
Gentle Giant: Xu Chu. He was at least 6 foot 5, with a 52 inch belly, but he was known by names such as Sleeping Tiger, Tiger Fool, etc. because while in battle, Xu was like a tiger, while outside of battle he was known as being simple-minded and honest.
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Rule of Cool
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_36e63b81
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Rule of Cool: Most of the liberties taken with history in the novel.
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Murder the Hypotenuse
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_373e2b9f
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Murder the Hypotenuse: Lu Bu eventually kills his patron and adoptive father, Dong Zhuo, for the sake of Diao Chan.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_373e2b9f
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Does Not Know His Own Strength
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_38291355
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Does Not Know His Own Strength: Sun Ce crushed Yu Mi to death while trying to take him prisoner.
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Catch and Return
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_38805691
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Catch and Return: Jiang Wei (having accidentally spilled his quiver) catches an arrow fired at him by Guo Huai and then fires it back at the shooter, killing him.
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Batman Gambit
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_38d02d44
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Batman Gambit: Zhuge Liang, who shows a near-psychic ability to predict people's actions based on their character.
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Kill 'Em All
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_398692d6
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Kill 'Em All: Redundant, but all the famous characters are dead by the end of the novel. It lasted a hundred years - should you be surprised?
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You Shall Not Pass
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_3b0479f2
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You Shall Not Pass!: Dian Wei holding off Zhang Xiu's forces. Zhang Fei at the Battle of Chang Ban, where he shouts a challenge for anyone in Wei's army to come and pass, and no one comes forward, allowing Liu Bei time to escape.
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Artifact of Doom
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_3b5fcbb7
comment
Artifact of Doom: The Imperial Seal comes off like that. Before the novel it was thrown into a lake as a sacrifice to stop a storm and held by at least two emperors who were rebelled against. During the novel, it's held by a woman who escapes the burning capital by jumping into a well. Then it is retrieved by Sun Jian, who died shortly after. It was then inherited by Sun Ce, who traded it to Yuan Shu for troops, dying young awhile later. Then Yuan Shu used it to establish himself as emperor, causing many of his supporters to turn on him. Despite it's purported divine providence, the artifact seems to be bad luck for anyone who holds on to it for too long.
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Arrow Catch
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_3e01fd7
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Arrow Catch: Jiang Wei. See below for more details.
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 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_3e8d9cd3
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Historical Hero Upgrade
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_3e8d9cd3
comment
Historical Hero Upgrade: Guan Yu's sense of honor was more or less given a Flanderization while in history, his arrogance has more showing (although some of his sense of honor were still there, just not overblown). This is more of the fault of traditional opera and certain biased emperors. Most of the heroic deeds attributed to him in Romance were either performed by other people or completely fabricated, not to mention his apotheosis. But even then, it may be downplayed, because the novel still made it that it was his arrogance that turned out to be his downfall. This trope applies to Shu-Han as a whole. In the post-Three Kingdoms era, Liu Bei's faction had always been painted as an obstruction to the reunification of China. This perception only changed during the Song Dynasty, when after losing half of the empire to the Northern Jurchens, remnants of the Song government required a political justification to relocate and retain a dynasty in the south. For this purpose, they have chosen Shu-Han as precedent. Thus Liu-Bei's negative aspects were diminished, and eventual heroic status cemented. On the other hand, this meant applying a Historical Villain Upgrade for Cao Cao as seen below for usurping the throne from its rightful owner.
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 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4023b8c8
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First-Name Basis
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4023b8c8
comment
First-Name Basis: It was common practice for men to take "style names": Guan Yu was Yunchang ("Long Cloud"), Zhao Yun was Zilong ("Young Dragon"), Zhuge Liang was Kongming, Zhang Liao was Wenyuan, and so on. Relationship titles may also be substituted for names. How one character addresses another one can indicate a great deal about their relationship.
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Shoot the Messenger
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4276401c
comment
Shoot the Messenger: If you were the bearer of bad news in the novel, expect your life to be nasty, brutish and short. When Cao Cao demands that Wu kingdom surrender, the following exchange ensues: On another occasion, an example of Please Shoot the Messenger ensues. Mi Heng is an Insufferable Genius who insults everyone he meets. However, since Cao Cao does not wish to kill a famous man of letters himself, he sends him as a messenger to Liu Biao, who, in turn, sends him to short-tempered Huang Zu, who finally has him executed after being publicly insulted.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4276401c
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4276401c
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4276401c
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_433e732f
type
Only Smart People May Pass
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_433e732f
comment
Only Smart People May Pass: Cao Cao was fond of word games, even going so far to give inconsequential instructions (the disposition of some cheese, his opinion on a door) in codes. Yang Xiu solved both those mentioned, but in a subversion his intelligence (along with his support of one of Cao's younger sons for succession) made Cao fear him and would eventually lead to Yang's downfall.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_433e732f
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_433e732f
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_433e732f
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_43f2f606
type
Annoying Arrows
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_43f2f606
comment
Annoying Arrows: Guan Yu and Xiahou Dun - but averted by the large number of characters who actually do get killed by arrows. And while even Guan Yu plays this trope straight most of the time, he does get knocked off his horse by an arrow, requiring extensive surgery to heal the wound.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_43f2f606
featureApplicability
-1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_43f2f606
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_43f2f606
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_44fc28e8
type
Honor Before Reason
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_44fc28e8
comment
Honor Before Reason: Following the battle at Chi Bi, Guan Yu trapped Cao Cao in one of Zhuge Liang's ambushes. But because Cao Cao had treated him well previously when he was in service, Guan Yu lets him go.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_44fc28e8
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_44fc28e8
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_44fc28e8
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4604fd4d
type
Worthy Opponent
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4604fd4d
comment
Worthy Opponent: When Cao Cao and Liu Bei were both in the capital, they held a famously-depicted "talk of heroes" in Cao Cao's garden where Cao Cao discounted several "heroes" that Liu Bei suggested before declaring that "the only two heroes in the world under heaven are you and I!" It causes Liu Bei to have an Oh, Crap! moment as he realizes that Cao Cao just implicitly declared him the only real threat to his rule.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4604fd4d
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4604fd4d
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4604fd4d
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4655ec83
type
Important Haircut
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4655ec83
comment
Important Haircut: It should be noted that it was against the filial piety values of the time to cut one's hair. Played straight by Cao Cao, cutting his hair to show loss of face after he lost control of his horse, which trampling over some crops after he'd issued an edict that any soldier who trampled over crops would lose his head. Subverted by Zhou Fang, who cut off his hair to impress Cao Xiu with his trustworthiness. He was lying, and it really shows how far he's willing to go for his true lord, Sun Quan.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4655ec83
featureApplicability
-0.3
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4655ec83
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4655ec83
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_47b6a1e5
type
"Just Joking" Justification
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_47b6a1e5
comment
"Just Joking" Justification: The most common excuse for changing your mind about executing people/handing your concubine to your adoptive son/threatening to expose an assassination plot. Honestly, they need to work on their routine a little.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_47b6a1e5
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_47b6a1e5
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_47b6a1e5
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_49e50ba0
type
Dueling Messiahs
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_49e50ba0
comment
Dueling Messiahs: The three emperors. All three want to unify China, but their methods and motivations are incompatible with each other.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_49e50ba0
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_49e50ba0
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_49e50ba0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4cacfcc3
type
Honey Trap
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4cacfcc3
comment
Honey Trap: Diao Chan, with Lu Bu and Dong Zhuo, the latter eventually coming to his downfall because of her.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4cacfcc3
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4cacfcc3
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4cacfcc3
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4f84cdef
type
Smug Snake
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4f84cdef
comment
Smug Snake: Cao Cao never really gets a chance to shine in the novel, despite being the designated villain of the story.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4f84cdef
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4f84cdef
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_4f84cdef
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_50b05d30
type
Disproportionate Retribution
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_50b05d30
comment
Disproportionate Retribution: When his father is robbed and killed by one of Tao Qian's officers who went bandit, Cao Cao raises an army and ravages Tao Qian's territories. Tao Qian only managed to escape personal injury thanks to Cao Cao withdrawing his armies when his home territories came under attack by Lu Bu.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_50b05d30
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_50b05d30
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_50b05d30
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5313c266
type
Book-Ends
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5313c266
comment
Book-Ends: At the opening of the novel: "The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide." At the end: "The empire, long united, must divide; long divided, must unite."
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5313c266
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5313c266
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5313c266
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_53f5119f
type
The Dragon
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_53f5119f
comment
The Dragon: Basically Lu Bu while in Dong Zhuo's service, as his defection eliminates the last check on Dong Zhuo's rise to power and he's recognized as the linchpin that holds the regime together even moreso than the army and other officers.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_53f5119f
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_53f5119f
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_53f5119f
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_559b4bb3
type
Call to Agriculture
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_559b4bb3
comment
Call to Agriculture: Subverted, when Liu Bei had to share temporary lodging in the same city as Cao Cao, he deflected suspicion from himself by taking up gardening in his yard as a disguise.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_559b4bb3
featureApplicability
-0.3
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_559b4bb3
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_559b4bb3
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5869bd44
type
Arrows on Fire
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5869bd44
comment
Arrows on Fire: A staple of any fire attack.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5869bd44
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5869bd44
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5869bd44
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_593d7cbe
type
Designated Villain
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_593d7cbe
comment
While it's hard to say if anyone was a true villain in history, Cao Cao and the kingdom of Wei end up being cast as the main villains, while the kingdom of Wu is relegated to a secondary position because they're fighting the Designated Villain half the time and the Designated Hero the rest of it.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_593d7cbe
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_593d7cbe
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_593d7cbe
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5ab24dc5
type
Portent of Doom
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5ab24dc5
comment
Portent of Doom: In the first few chapters, the end of the Han dynasty is seen in some very bad portents (a horrible plague among one of those things), kicking of the chain of events that leads to decades of war.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5ab24dc5
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5ab24dc5
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5ab24dc5
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5c5d0032
type
Eyepatch of Power
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5c5d0032
comment
Eyepatch of Power: Xiahou Dun gets hit in the eye with an arrow - and eats it.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5c5d0032
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5c5d0032
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_5c5d0032
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_629fa757
type
Perfectly Arranged Marriage
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_629fa757
comment
Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Liu Bei and Lady Sun (at least as far as the novel is concerned), were perfectly content with their political marriage.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_629fa757
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_629fa757
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_629fa757
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6366f900
type
Old Soldier
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6366f900
comment
Old Soldier: Huang Zhong's first appearance in the novel is at the age of 60 - and tellingly, when his horse suddenly keels over in his fight against Guan Yu, his excuse is that "The horse is too old." He served Shu as a top general for 15 whole years after that. Unfortunately, in his attempt to prove that he can still kick ass with the next generation of generals, he gets lured into a Wu ambush and dies from his wounds. Later on, Zhao Yun at age 70 when he personally kills three generals and captures one, all of them brothers, in the same engagement and rendering an army of 80,000 Qiang tribesmen (working for Wei) frozen with fear, then kills their father in a second engagement and winning that skirmish too. The reason? "[T]he Prime Minister thought me too old and did not wish to employ me. I had to give him a proof." Zhang He fought the Yellow Turban Uprising, which began in 184. During Zhuge Liang's fourth Northern Expedition in 231, he decides that Zhang He (fighting for the other side) is too dangerous and must die, and arranges for this to happen. Zhang He must have been close to seventy by then, if not even older.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6366f900
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6366f900
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6366f900
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6377d6e6
type
Grievous Harm with a Body
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6377d6e6
comment
Grievous Harm with a Body: Dian Wei's last stand had him using enemy soldiers as bludgeons.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6377d6e6
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6377d6e6
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6377d6e6
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6991bb9
type
Oracular Urchin
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6991bb9
comment
Oracular Urchin: Luo Guanzhong liked to put street children in just for the sake of singing ominous songs, usually hinting at subsequent events. However, there's at least one time where it's a character (who needs to steer his mark towards a certain course of action) merely claiming that such children exist and are singing such songs... Genre Savvy, perhaps?
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6991bb9
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6991bb9
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6991bb9
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_69aa26d1
type
Poison Is Corrosive
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_69aa26d1
comment
Poison Is Corrosive: Cao Cao spills a poison meant for him, and "the bricks upon which it fell were split asunder".
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_69aa26d1
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_69aa26d1
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_69aa26d1
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6a0f3c49
type
Beardness Protection Program
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6a0f3c49
comment
Beardness Protection Program: Cao Cao loses his cape and beard in quick succession after Ma Chao's men start looking for "that guy in the red cape" and (soon after) "that guy with the long beard". And then they start looking for "that guy with the shaved beard"... whereupon he decides to give up on the disguises and just run.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6a0f3c49
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6a0f3c49
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6a0f3c49
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6d332aea
type
Driven to Suicide
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6d332aea
comment
Driven to Suicide: Xun Yu opposed Cao Cao's ascension to the rank of Duke. When Xun Yu pled illness to get out of being sent on an expedition, Cao Cao sent him a box like those that normally hold presents. Opening the box to find it empty, Xun Yu took the hint and committed suicide.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6d332aea
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6d332aea
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_6d332aea
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_723be11b
type
Villain Has a Point
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_723be11b
comment
Villain Has a Point: Despite the fact that he is a murderous tyrant, Dong Zhuo has a point about deposing Emperor Shao in favor of the Prince of Chenliu. During their flight from the capital, Shao was almost entirely incapable, where as the Prince was strong willed, charismatic, and kept them both safe. Chenliu definitely demonstrated more leadership skill than the young emperor.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_723be11b
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_723be11b
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_723be11b
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_73641290
type
The Strategist
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_73641290
comment
The Strategist: Everyone's got at least one, but Zhuge Liang is the King of Strategists in the novel, routinely outshining all his peers.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_73641290
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_73641290
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_73641290
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_746704c9
type
Divided for Publication
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_746704c9
comment
Divided for Publication: Most publishers break the novel up into multiple parts, thanks to its length: at 800,000 words and 120 chapters, it's a Doorstopper.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_746704c9
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_746704c9
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_746704c9
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_77a495f1
type
Historical Badass Upgrade
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_77a495f1
comment
Historical Badass Upgrade Zhuge Liang was historically considered the top political and domestic administrator, not the supreme tactician and strategist he is in the novel... on top of his political and administrative prowess. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei's sons Guan Xing and Zhang Bao are portrayed in the novel to be some of the greatest warriors of Shu in their later years. In reality, Guan Xing never entered a battlefield, and Zhang Bao died young without proving himself - he got outlived by his father.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_77a495f1
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_77a495f1
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_77a495f1
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7a5f720f
type
Sturgeon's Law
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7a5f720f
comment
In an inversion of Sturgeon's Law, Just Another Pandora's Box, from the director of Stephen Chow's Chinese Odyssey movies, takes a Seltzer and Friedberg approach.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7a5f720f
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7a5f720f
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7a5f720f
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7c862b8a
type
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7c862b8a
comment
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Multiple characters: Lu Bu stands out among them. Lu Bu's penchant for treachery was well-known, having betrayed his two adoptive fathers Ding Yuan and Dong Zhuo. This eventually comes back to haunt him, courtesy of Liu Bei. Liu Bei: Not repaying Lu Bu, planning to assassinate Cao Cao, claiming he had no interest in Yi province, backstabbing Liu Zhang who asked for Liu Bei's help in fighting Cao Cao to take over Yi province, refusing to return the cities Sun Quan lent him...
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7c862b8a
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7c862b8a
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7c862b8a
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7d44b017
type
Balance of Power
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7d44b017
comment
Balance of Power: The kingdoms of Wei and Shu develop a rivalry, while Wu functions as the Wild Card, allying with one or other of the realms as is convenient to keep either of them from getting powerful enough to overwhelm Wu.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7d44b017
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7d44b017
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7d44b017
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7e6c0522
type
Off with His Head!
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7e6c0522
comment
Off with His Head!: Many characters, notably Guan Yu, both committing (with the most named victims!) and falling victim to this trope. His ghost is admonished: "[W]ho will also return the heads of your several victims—Yan Liang, Wen Chou, and the commanders of the five passes?" He takes the hint.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7e6c0522
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7e6c0522
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_7e6c0522
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_80360df0
type
Dark Horse Victory
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_80360df0
comment
Dark Horse Victory: The eventual unifier of the Three Kingdoms? None of them. It's the Jin Dynasty, founded by the descendants of Sima Yi - Cao Cao's strategist.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_80360df0
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_80360df0
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_80360df0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_80621707
type
Arranged Marriage
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_80621707
comment
Arranged Marriage: A staple of the times, not uncommonly forced, but Liu Bei's marriage to Sun Quan's sister is a hilarious subversion of the trope: Zhou Yu convinces Sun Quan to organise it as a pretext to capture Liu Bei, only for Zhuge Liang to turn the entire situation around into a Humiliation Conga for Zhou Yu instead.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_80621707
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_80621707
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_80621707
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_82bdf1f8
type
Fear of Thunder
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_82bdf1f8
comment
Fear of Thunder: Inverted: Liu Bei uses it as an excuse to cover up his shock when Cao Cao predicts that the two of them are the only true heroes of the age.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_82bdf1f8
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_82bdf1f8
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_82bdf1f8
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_82f05a5d
type
ConservationOfNinjitsu
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_82f05a5d
comment
Conservation of Ninjutsu : Woe betide any soldier not identified by name.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_82f05a5d
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_82f05a5d
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_82f05a5d
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_83ede4e3
type
Automatic Crossbows
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_83ede4e3
comment
Automatic Crossbows: Zhuge Liang is credited in-novel with inventing these. Historically, the Zhuge crossbow was useful only if the projectile is covered with poison or when used for close range combat, as it did not have much penetrative power on its own.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_83ede4e3
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_83ede4e3
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_83ede4e3
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_84fa1d7d
type
Disposable Woman
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_84fa1d7d
comment
Disposable Woman: Thanks to a colossal helping of Values Dissonance, female characters tend to end up as collateral damage, examples to discourage others, or, in one case, emergency rations.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_84fa1d7d
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_84fa1d7d
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_84fa1d7d
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_88799cf4
type
Badass Cape
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_88799cf4
comment
Badass Cape: The "battle gown" worn with the armor of the time, wide enough to cover the arms.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_88799cf4
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_88799cf4
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_88799cf4
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_890d4ef2
type
Humiliation Conga
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_890d4ef2
comment
Humiliation Conga: Meng Huo's seven defeats and Cao Cao's retreat from Chi Bi, among others.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_890d4ef2
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_890d4ef2
featureConfidence
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_890d4ef2
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_8e11040f
type
Designated Hero
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_8e11040f
comment
Designated Hero: Liu Bei does a lot of morally dubious things, even by the book's own standards. His enemies often point this out.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_8e11040f
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_8e11040f
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_8e11040f
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_901dbf9a
type
Cliff Hanger
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_901dbf9a
comment
Cliffhanger: Every single chapter ending, which fits with the oral tradition similarly to the Arabian Nights - so that the storyteller could keep the audience hooked and coming back for more.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_901dbf9a
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_901dbf9a
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_901dbf9a
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_903e9dc9
type
RegentForLife
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_903e9dc9
comment
Regent for Life: Between the eunuchs, Dong Zhuo and Cao Cao, emperors had absolutely no power and even less luck. - heck, Dong Zhuo overtly has one emperor deposed and then forced to drink poison, while the empress dowager is literally thrown out the window.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_903e9dc9
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_903e9dc9
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_903e9dc9
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_90e31482
type
Laser-Guided Karma
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_90e31482
comment
Laser-Guided Karma: It doesn't take long for Sun Jian to reap the consequences of lying about the Imperial Seal. He dies in the very next chapter.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_90e31482
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_90e31482
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_90e31482
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_921cdca8
type
Nothing Personal
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_921cdca8
comment
Nothing Personal: Chen Lin, one of Yuan Shao's retainers who wrote the deeply insulting manifesto as a declaration of war to Cao Cao, simply said this to the latter when he was finally captured. Cao Cao took the hint and gave him a desk job in his administration, perhaps out of pity.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_921cdca8
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_921cdca8
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_921cdca8
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_97d97c28
type
Revenge Before Reason
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_97d97c28
comment
Revenge Before Reason: Liu Bei marches on Sun Quan to seek revenge for the death of Guan Yu. Everyone besides Guan Yu's immediate relatives and Zhang Fei tries to convince him to focus on Wei, but Liu Bei insists on invading Wu. Even after Sun Quan makes a large number of concessions, he refuses to back off and focus on Wei. The result is a massive defeat for Shu. Cao Cao attacks Tao Qian when he had other, more serious enemies (such as Lu Bu and Yuan Shao) to deal with, because Cao Cao's father died while in his territory.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_97d97c28
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_97d97c28
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_97d97c28
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_99298c71
type
Better to Die than Be Killed
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_99298c71
comment
Better to Die than Be Killed: Several examples. Notably, Guan Yu's subordinates Zhou Cang and Wang Fu after Guan's capture and execution.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_99298c71
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_99298c71
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_99298c71
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_997d5872
type
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_997d5872
comment
"Ass" in Ambassador: Mi Heng, a talented but rude scholar, came out swinging in his only appearance and manages to insult the courts of Cao Cao, Liu Biao and Huang Zu, all in a single chapter. So how did anyone think he'd be a good ambassador? Afraid of directly executing a popular figure, Cao Cao hoped that Liu Biao would execute Mi Heng for him; Liu Biao saw through Cao Cao's trick and sent him to Huang Zu with the same intent.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_997d5872
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_997d5872
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_997d5872
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9c1f758a
type
Kill It with Fire
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9c1f758a
comment
Kill It with Fire: Fire attacks are a common staple of combat strategy. Two of the biggest and most successful fire attacks occured at the Battle of Chibi and the Battle of Yiling.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9c1f758a
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9c1f758a
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9c1f758a
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9d17b859
type
Made of Iron
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9d17b859
comment
Made of Iron: Several characters, including Zhou Tai (who takes twelve wounds defending Sun Quan from bandits when Quan was a child) and Dian Wei.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9d17b859
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9d17b859
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9d17b859
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9d49c512
type
Please Shoot the Messenger
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9d49c512
comment
On another occasion, an example of Please Shoot the Messenger ensues. Mi Heng is an Insufferable Genius who insults everyone he meets. However, since Cao Cao does not wish to kill a famous man of letters himself, he sends him as a messenger to Liu Biao, who, in turn, sends him to short-tempered Huang Zu, who finally has him executed after being publicly insulted.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9d49c512
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9d49c512
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9d49c512
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9e943076
type
One-Man Army
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9e943076
comment
One-Man Army: Zhang Fei scares off an entire army at the bridge of Chang Ban. Also possible Truth in Television, since most fights tended to be decided by duels between the generals.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9e943076
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9e943076
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9e943076
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9f81bd21
type
Stealth Parody
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9f81bd21
comment
Stealth Parody: Despite having been written to satisfy the Imperial guidelines, Luo Guanzhong managed to sneak in a few subversions on the nature of loyalty. Blink and you'll miss them, though.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9f81bd21
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9f81bd21
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9f81bd21
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9fe35833
type
Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9fe35833
comment
Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Dong Zhuo. That's pretty much his only positive trait.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9fe35833
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9fe35833
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_9fe35833
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a1b141f4
type
My God, What Have I Done?
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a1b141f4
comment
My God, What Have I Done?: Cao Cao had several: When Cao Cao was on the run following a failed assassination attempt against Dong Zhuo, his father's sworn brother gives him shelter. Due to a series of misheard statements, Cao Cao mistakenly assumes that his hosts plan to kill him and slaughters the entire household. This is however subverted that shortly after, Cao Cao lets out his famous quote that excuses his actions and defines his character: He had one when he had Ju Shou executed ("I just killed the one guy who isn't a backstabbing freak... even if his loyalty was for the other guy and he tried to run away!") He had another when his leading admirals were executed for treason during the campaign against Sun Quan, only to realize right afterward that he'd been had. It seems to run in the family, with two examples in Cao Pi's case: Trying to execute his poetic intellectual brother Cao Zhi (who at worst was merely a layabout with his drinking buddies), but gives him a chance by challenging him to compose a poem, then another, without using certain words. Both poems reminds him what a Jerkass he's being, and having been called to account, he lessens Zhi's punishment to exile. When taking his son Cao Rui to a hunt, he kills a deer's mother and tells Rui to kill the child, but Rui asks why he should kill the son when the mother is already killed. This led to Cao Pi possibly remembering about that he'd ordered Rui's mother (Lady Zhen) to commit suicide, and he eventually named Rui his successor.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a1b141f4
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-0.3
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a1b141f4
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a1b141f4
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a2b38d3b
type
Eye Scream
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a2b38d3b
comment
Eye Scream: Xiahou Dun. See the above.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a2b38d3b
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a2b38d3b
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a2b38d3b
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a588c1cf
type
Cool Horse
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a588c1cf
comment
Cool Horse: Red Hare, said to be faster and stronger than the horses of its day (the Chinese term is "thousand-li horse"), and whose body and hair are entirely "glowing-sun red." May or may not go three times as fast as a regular horse.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a588c1cf
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a588c1cf
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a588c1cf
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a6c69bd
type
MacGuffin
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a6c69bd
comment
MacGuffin: The Imperial Seal is supposed to signify the Mandate of Heaven and the right to rule the land. People fights for it, Sun Jian dies on account of it. Sun Ce trades it off for an army which he uses to found the kingdom of Wu, although Yuan Shu (who had made that trade with Sun Ce) ended up using it as the basis for founding his stillborn dynasty. The seal eventually passes to the kingdom of Wei, and while it's still used to claim the right to rule, nobody really cares at that point.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a6c69bd
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a6c69bd
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a6c69bd
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a9eb984b
type
Warrior Poet
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a9eb984b
comment
Warrior Poet: Cao Cao and his sons were renowned poets, and founded one of the major styles of poetry of the time.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a9eb984b
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a9eb984b
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_a9eb984b
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_ac09dc0f
type
Alas, Poor Villain
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_ac09dc0f
comment
Alas, Poor Villain: Cao Cao receives one of the longest poems in the book upon his death, almost entirely complimentary. The final lines run:
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_ac09dc0f
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_ac09dc0f
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 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_ac09dc0f
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_ac928039
type
Four-Star Badass
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_ac928039
comment
Four-Star Badass: Too many to count — generals routinely lead their troops from the front and meet on the battlefield. Probably the best example is Lu Bu, whose knowledge of military tactics and strategy, and in fact any talent he may have as a military leader, is dwarfed by his personal combat ability.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_ac928039
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_ac928039
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_ac928039
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b060856d
type
Big Book of War
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b060856d
comment
Big Book of War: The Art of War and various contemporary texts. Oddly enough, it's treated somewhat sceptically - while a worthwhile strategist will study the texts, he should also be able to improvise. Meanwhile, characters who rely exclusively on theories and ideas they derive from ancient texts are more likely than not to be General Failure.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b060856d
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b060856d
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b060856d
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b11ac9f5
type
Abusive Parents
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b11ac9f5
comment
Abusive Parents: Liu Bei's infant son, Liu Shan, was lost at Chang Ban, so Zhao Yun made a selfless charge into enemy lines to bring the kid back. So what does Liu Bei do? He throws his kid to the ground, pissed that he nearly lost a great general. The kid later grows up and loses the kingdom, and is considered by most readers to be completely useless. Probably because he was dropped on his head as a kid. In a major example of Values Dissonance, no one in the story calls Liu Bei out on this. Then again, he's the one who quoted lore as saying that "Brothers are as hands and feet; wives and children are as clothing. You may mend your torn dress, but who can reattach a lost limb?"
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b11ac9f5
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b11ac9f5
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b11ac9f5
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b4c406a6
type
Death by Despair
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b4c406a6
comment
Death by Despair: Zhuge Liang managed to irritate Zhou Yu to death. He managed to Hannibal Lecture two other Wei officials into a fatal fit later on as well. Happens to others as well. Zhuge Liang himself is victim to this at the very end, after the freak rainstorm at Mount Qi that saved Sima Yi's butt from a trap that quite literally took ten years for him to set up. This wound up being the thing that finally pushes Zhuge Liang's already fragile health at the time over the edge.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b4c406a6
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b4c406a6
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b4c406a6
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b7042372
type
Cycle of Revenge
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b7042372
comment
Cycle of Revenge: Guan Yu gets executed by the kingdom of Wu. Liu Bei, enraged, renews hostilities with Sun Quan leading to a disastrous military campaign and his eventual death after the failure. In the meantime, Guan Yu's ghost comes back to kill Lu Meng, the general who planned the trap. And Liu Bei's wife - who is also Sun Quan's sister - drowns herself on hearing the news.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b7042372
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b7042372
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b7042372
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b707726f
type
Hypocritical Humor
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b707726f
comment
Hypocritical Humor: Perhaps unintended. But for some reason every time one of the characters plots a conspiracy or a civil war, or other such things, it is "for the good of the State".
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b707726f
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b707726f
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b707726f
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b7d41084
type
You Rebel Scum!
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b7d41084
comment
You Rebel Scum! : Everyone calls everyone else this. It makes sense in an odd way. If you claim to be rightful emperor, your opponents are rebels by extension.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b7d41084
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b7d41084
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b7d41084
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b8ab7dc4
type
Treacherous Advisor
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b8ab7dc4
comment
Treacherous Advisor: Chen Deng advised Lu Bu very poorly, as he was plotting to sell him out anyway. Sima Yi and his descendants against Wei after Cao Rui's death. One of his descendants even had the reigning Wei emperor murdered in broad daylight. A rare heroic example: Xu Shu (for Cao Cao) was one by neglect, keeping quiet upon discovering that Pang Tong was involved in the Liu Bei-Sun Quan alliance's plot leading up to the Battle of Chi Bi.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b8ab7dc4
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b8ab7dc4
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_b8ab7dc4
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bbb6c059
type
I Shall Taunt You
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bbb6c059
comment
I Shall Taunt You: Zhou Yu, Zhuge Liang and Sima Yi were all fond of doing this... and usually with each other. Zhuge Liang, however, kills people via taunting.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bbb6c059
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bbb6c059
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bbb6c059
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bbd25056
type
Eunuchs Are Evil
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bbd25056
comment
Eunuchs Are Evil: When you find a eunuch, they're never going to be portrayed as decent: In the very first chapter, the Ten Regular Attendants abuse their power, leading to the uprising of the Yellow Scarves. Huang Hao is regarded as the one who brought downfall to Shu by influencing Liu Shan, Liu Bei's Sucksessor. Cen Hun was stated to be the 'Huang Hao' for Wu's last emperor Sun Hao, although this is novel-exclusive.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bbd25056
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bbd25056
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bbd25056
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bc103f8b
type
Subverted
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bc103f8b
comment
Subverted by Zhuge Liang who claimed to summon the east wind at the battle of Chi Bi, but really just did the whole ritual to waste time since he'd predicted the change in weather previously.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bc103f8b
featureApplicability
-0.3
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bc103f8b
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bc103f8b
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bc437105
type
Bambification
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bc437105
comment
When taking his son Cao Rui to a hunt, he kills a deer's mother and tells Rui to kill the child, but Rui asks why he should kill the son when the mother is already killed. This led to Cao Pi possibly remembering about that he'd ordered Rui's mother (Lady Zhen) to commit suicide, and he eventually named Rui his successor.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bc437105
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bc437105
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bc437105
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bd2812b5
type
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bd2812b5
comment
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Following Guan Yu's death, he gets promoted to minor deity by a later emperor, but not before scaring Sun Quan by possessing and killing Lu Meng, who "fell over dead with blood gushing from the seven orifices of his body." To this day, you can still find altars to Guan Yu in many Chinese-speaking areas.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bd2812b5
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bd2812b5
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_bd2812b5
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c209fc7
type
Chaste Hero
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c209fc7
comment
Chaste Hero: Multiple characters either directly or by proxy in ensuring that their charges aren't violated. The most fortunate to do so may have been civil official Mi Zhu (who served Tao Qian and Liu Bei)... since the woman revealed herself to be the Goddess of Fire and that she had a command to burn his house down that night. Thanks to her early warning, he kept his life, health, and his valuables. And there's Zhao Yun, who turned down an offer to marry a beautiful woman in favor of serving his lord. Of course, what complicated matters was: 1.) She was the widow of the brother of 2.) a recently conquered vassal who 3.) had recently sworn brotherhood with him. Though it is not depicted in the novel itself, that move paid off later when said recently conquered vassal fled from Liu Bei, and Zhao Yun avoided considerable trouble. And Liao Hua, who refused to take Liu Bei's captured wives for himself, killed his partner (who did want to take them) and then promptly turned himself and his partner's head over to Guan Yu. An excellent career choice, as he outlives most of the other characters — an accomplishment for one who turns up that early in the novel. Another famous example is Guan Yu refusing to sleep with Liu Bei's wives while in Cao Cao's custody, as one of his three conditions for surrendering to Cao Cao was the protection of Liu Bei's wives. Then again, the incident — and all of his privileges — were attempts to sway his loyalty to Liu Bei, and Guan Yu was probably aware of this. (Later, when presented with ten maids, Guan Yu turned them over to his sisters-in-law.)
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c209fc7
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c209fc7
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c209fc7
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c36cba70
type
Mooks
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c36cba70
comment
Mooks: Galore, of course, with special mention going to the poor messengers. Those poor, poor, messengers...
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c36cba70
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c36cba70
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c36cba70
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c5385ad9
type
Horrible Judge of Character
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c5385ad9
comment
Horrible Judge of Character: Chen Gong, who believes that first Cao Cao, then Lü Bu are righteous heroes worthy of ruling the land.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c5385ad9
featureApplicability
1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c5385ad9
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c5385ad9
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c63e7d67
type
Invoked
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c63e7d67
comment
Invoked in the buildup to the battle of Chi Bi, where Zhuge Liang provokes Zhou Yu (and the kingdom of Wu) into fighting by claiming that Cao Cao was lusting after the Qiao sisters, one being Zhou Yu's own wife and the other, his late best friend and sworn brother Sun Ce's widow.
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c63e7d67
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c63e7d67
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1.0
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c63e7d67
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c82e751f
type
Unspoken Plan Guarantee
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_c82e751f
comment
Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Done several times. Might be the reason for Zhuge Liang's habit of handing his plans to his subordinates in brocade sacks, to be revealed only at the very last minute. The most famous example in the novel would be Zhuge Liang's three instructions to Zhao Yun regarding the Lady Sun affair.
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Sucksessor
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Huang Hao is regarded as the one who brought downfall to Shu by influencing Liu Shan, Liu Bei's Sucksessor.
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Two Lines, No Waiting
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China-produced 2016 series God of War Zhao Zilong puts the focus instead of Zhao Yun, leading to a Two Lines, No Waiting approach as the main Romance storyline starts long before Zhao Yun should be in it. The new backstory of Zhao Yun immediately takes the form of the typical idol drama, albeit with tenuous connections to the main story like his father Zhao An being a former royal guard to the very emperor Dong Zhuo has killed.
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Rain of Arrows
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Rain of Arrows: Exploited when Zhuge Liang "borrowed" Cao Cao's arrows by sailing out dummy ships laden with straw.
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Weather Saves the Day
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Weather Saves the Day: The deciding battle between Sun Chuan and Cao Cao's forces is decided by the weather at the Battle of Red Cliffs. Cao Cao's navy attacks Sun Chuan's in a line formation with the wind in his sails. This is so that if Cao Cao's flagship catches on fire, the wind will blow the fire away from his other ships (also, Sun Chuan's navy is downwind). Liu Bei, however, has a friend who can change the weather, and his choice whether to intervene between the two warlords now or to wait means everything.
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Religion Is Magic
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Religion Is Magic: As Cao Cao and Sun Ce learnt, do not under any circumstances screw around with Taoist mystics - even if you kill them, they inevitably come back to haunt you, and usually to death. Subverted by Zhuge Liang who claimed to summon the east wind at the battle of Chi Bi, but really just did the whole ritual to waste time since he'd predicted the change in weather previously.
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Please Spare Him, My Liege!
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Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Intercession for close friends and relatives was common in the novel, but there were exceptional examples where generals and commanders would appeal on behalf of captured Worthy Opponents. A famous example was Guan Yu's and Liu Bei's intercession on Zhang Liao's behalf after the fall of Xiapi Castle, ironically just after Liu Bei had thrown Lu Bu under the bus. Zhang Liao would end up being the envoy who would convince Guan Yu to surrender to Cao Cao. Inverted when Zhuge Liang ordered Guan Yu's execution for sparing Cao Cao in Huarong Valley — at which point Zhuge Liang's own lord Liu Bei begged for his sworn brother's life.
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Loads and Loads of Characters
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Loads and Loads of Characters: and loads, and loads, and loads and loads, and loads... The Other Wiki lists 185. Compare that to 177 for the entire Harry Potter series.
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Incendiary Exponent
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Incendiary Exponent: Most famously, the Fire Ship attack at the battle of Chi Bi. Legendary and effective.
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Professional Butt-Kisser
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Professional Butt-Kisser: When Cao Cao is debating whether or not to declare war on Yuan Shao, Guo Jia lays out ten ways in which Cao Cao is better. However, Guo Jia was also a gifted strategist (smart enough to set off a My Death Is Just the Beginning plot) and not above questioning his boss from time to time (when he let Liu Bei go to take on Yuan Shu, for instance).
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Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts
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Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: Mi Zhu picked up a woman in his carriage who was actually a spirit of fire, sent to burn his house down. His kindness towards her caused her to warn him of this, however, early enough that he was able to hurry home and save his valuables and his family's lives.
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Action Girl
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Action Girl: Zhurong, Meng Huo's wife, goes into battle against Shu and manages to capture a couple of Shu generals before getting captured herself - which is a pretty good record for the Nanman. Lady Sun (Whom you might know better as Sun Shangxiang in most opera adaptations and Dynasty Warriors), Sun Quan and Sun Ce's sister, practiced swordplay, has an entourage of a hundred maids decked out in armor and weapons, scared Liu Bei half to death on his wedding night, and scolds her brother's generals into submission when she eventually elopes with her husband. Historically, she raised havoc on a regular basis and had to be monitored by Zhao Yun. Lady Wang Yi note While the novel left out her name, it was recorded down in history., Zhao Ang's wife, was the only woman to be recorded as actually fighting in that period when she took up arms and attempted to murder Ma Chao after he slaughtered her husband.
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Thanatos Gambit
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Thanatos Gambit: As an old Chinese saying goes, a dead Zhuge Liang scared a live Sima Yi in the battle of Wuzhang Plains.
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Historical Downgrade
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Historical Downgrade: Zhang Fei gets hit with a Historical Hero Downgrade, going from historically being the most strategically accomplished of Liu Bei's main generals to a blundering drunkard. While he's still smart enough to utilize some war strategies such as during the battle to take Cheng Du, he's portrayed as more of a Boisterous Bruiser Battle God in the novel. However it still applies with the real life Zhang Fei being nowhere near heroic. Liu Bei himself was actually a competent commander and not the weeping wreck we most often see, and some of the strategies in the novel attributed to Zhuge Liang were actually his own. In the official Chinese histories, Cao Cao and his successors are generally considered the bearers of dynastic legitimacy. In the novel, they are portrayed as the main villains even if a Magnificent Bastard family.
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Unfortunate Names
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Unfortunate Names: Cao Cao's given name consists of a character that, when pronounced slightly differently, is also used to write one of the many Chinese words for "fuck," and is the "grass" of the infamous "grass mud horse" meme. The "mud horse" part just sounds similar to "Your mother." Additionally, "Cao" is usually mispronounced as "Cow" by some English speakers, instead of the more correct-sounding "Tsaow". Hence, Cao Cao is referred as "Cow Cow" and his son, Cao Pi, is regrettably referred as "Cow Pee". In addition, there are some names that are unfortunate for English speakers, such as He Man, who lasts only two or three paragraphs in Chapter 12. His only line of dialogue: "I am He Man, the devil who shoots across the sky. Who dare fight with me?" (Unfortunately for him, the relatively minor character Cao Hong does, faking retreat before cutting him down.) Note that this name is not pronounced even remotely like the English "He Man", but more like "Huh Mahn". In the same vein of He Man, there's also the Wu general Lu Kang, son of Lu Xun. It sounds normal at first, but add one letter, and he may be mistaken as that turkey-yelling kombatant. There is also the case of Du Yu, a Jin general near the end of the book, which leads to many a poor joke.Example Du Yu Understand? Man Chong, the Wei official responsible for defending Hefei and subsequently many of Sun Quan's failures to conquer it, has the style name, "Boning". Judging from the records of the time, Man Boning was very popular in Wei. Of course, no list is complete without mentioning the most unfortunate one of all, a very obscure man who served Gongsun Zan: Wang Men.
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Gambit Pileup
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Gambit Pileup: With that many factions opposing each other, this is unavoidable - for each strategist that's shown developing a plan, odds are that the next scene will be another strategist developing a countermeasure to it.
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Historical Villain Upgrade
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Historical Villain Upgrade: While it's hard to say if anyone was a true villain in history, Cao Cao and the kingdom of Wei end up being cast as the main villains, while the kingdom of Wu is relegated to a secondary position because they're fighting the Designated Villain half the time and the Designated Hero the rest of it. Han Xuan gets turned into a loud, rude and cruel person, while he historically was known to be quiet and kind... and he gave up instead of getting slain.
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Hannibal Lecture
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Zhuge Liang managed to irritate Zhou Yu to death. He managed to Hannibal Lecture two other Wei officials into a fatal fit later on as well. Happens to others as well.
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Very Loosely Based on a True Story
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms / int_e4b69188
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Very Loosely Based on a True Story: One early editor referred to it as 70% fact and 30% fiction, which is a generous estimation: Luo Guanzhong's sources included not only historical records, but period Chinese operas, poetry and folktales as well. Some of the most memorable scenes in the book never really happened, or (at best) could not have happened as described; That Other Wiki has a list.
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Flanderization
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Flanderization: EVERYBODY. The scary thing is, it's not clear which is more deviant from the historical account: this or Dynasty Warriors.
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Hate Sink
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Hate Sink: In between many-many characters, three of them stand out as the kind of characters meant to be hated: Dong Zhuo, the repulsive, hedonistic warlord who took over Luoyang and started a reign of tyranny for his own pleasure. Huang Hao, an eunuch that manipulates the weak Liu Shan and made Jiang Wei's campaign a failure, dooming Shu. After escaping execution via bribery, Sima Zhao caught him and executed him on spot, disgusted at his actions. Sun Hao, the last Emperor of Wu, who began as a promising ruler, but suddenly turned into an extreme tyrant that is either on par or worse than Dong Zhuo, that Jin's invasion under Sima Yan is seen as a salvation and the people of Wu turned him over to Jin.
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Satellite Character
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Satellite Character: Whilst even the most minor officers often get their own motives and little details fleshing them out, this is the default personality template for female characters. Female agency wasn't much of a thing in literature back then.
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Defensive Feint Trap
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Defensive Feint Trap: If you think you're winning against Zhuge Liang, that means it's time for the ambush to come out. Other characters use this as well.
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All Just a Dream
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All Just a Dream: Dong Cheng summons his servants, gathers his co-conspirators, marches on the Prime Minister's palace, and runs Cao Cao through with his jeweled sword...
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Jerkass
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Trying to execute his poetic intellectual brother Cao Zhi (who at worst was merely a layabout with his drinking buddies), but gives him a chance by challenging him to compose a poem, then another, without using certain words. Both poems reminds him what a Jerkass he's being, and having been called to account, he lessens Zhi's punishment to exile.
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Tender Tears
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Tender Tears: Characters will cry out of sorrow, happiness or despair at least once per chapter - even the most battle-hardened of generals. If Liu Bei is in a chapter, the odds of someone crying out of gratitude become even higher.
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One Steve Limit
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One Steve Limit: Averted, sort of. There are a lot of characters with similar sounding names, most of which have distinct characters which have the same romanisation. Plus, many character names sound just like place names. Much of the novel is filled with lines like "Zhang Fei fought at Chang Ban". It's easy to get confused after a while.
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Combat by Champion
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Combat by Champion
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Not My Driver
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Not My Driver: Meng Huo, fleeing from Shu forces, jumps on what appears to be a Nanman boat. Since he was up against Zhuge Liang, the boat was predictably manned by Shu troops.
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Villainous Glutton
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Villainous Glutton: Dong Zhuo. An official lit a wick in his corpse, and it burnt for days.
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Sarcastic Clapping
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Sarcastic Clapping: Cao Cao does this at Wang Yun's "birthday party" once he and the guests weep at the decline of the Han dynasty, saying that crying isn't going to kill Dong Zhuo.
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Faking the Dead
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Faking the Dead: Played straight by Cao Cao against Lu Bu, and by Sun Ce against Liu Yao. Invoked and subverted by Zhuge Liang: he really was dead, but manages to convince Sima Yi that he was only Faking the Dead to cause him to retreat.
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You Killed My Father
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You Killed My Father: Subverted by Ling Tong, who intended to kill Gan Ning for killing his father Ling Cao (before Gan Ning's surrender to Sun Quan). Sun Quan interceded during Ling Tong's attempt and forbade any further attempts, and the two eventually became friendly rivals. After Ma Teng is executed for his involvement in an assassination plot against Cao Cao, his son Ma Chao declares war for this very reason. After Cao Cao's father (and many other relatives) are killed by a subordinate of Tao Qian who turned bandit, Cao wages a brutal war of vengeance against Tao, only to be stopped by Lu Bu's attack on his own territory. A variant in case of Xu Shu. One of Cao Cao's advisors was a childhood friend of Xu and, knowing him to be devoted to his mother, fakes a letter from his mother asking him to come to the capital, where Cao Cao rules behind the emperor. Xu's mother is ashamed and kills herself. Xu considers Cao to be the murderer of his mother and never performs useful service for him (see above under Treacherous Advisor.)
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The Magnificent
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The Magnificent: Sun Ce became known as the "Little Conqueror", after scaring one enemy officer to death and crushing another one between his arm and torso.
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The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 Koutetsu Sangokushi
seeAlso
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
 Ryofukochan
seeAlso
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
 RomanceoftheThreeKingdoms
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Rule of Cool / int_4037825e
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Adipose Rex / int_4037825e
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An Axe to Grind / int_4037825e
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Antagonist in Mourning / int_4037825e
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 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
/ int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Autocannibalism / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Automatic Crossbows / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Awesome Anachronistic Apparel / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Backed by the Pentagon / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Backup Bluff / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Badass and Baby / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Badass Beard / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Badass Longcoat / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Balance of Power / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Balkanize Me / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Band of Brothers / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Battle Epic / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Battle in the Rain / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Beardness Protection Program / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Best Her to Bed Her / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Blade on a Stick / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Blood from Every Orifice / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Blood from the Mouth / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Bolt of Divine Retribution / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Bros Before Hoes / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Call to Agriculture / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Calling the Old Man Out / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Catch and Return / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Character Exaggeration / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Characters Dropping Like Flies / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Childhood Brain Damage / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Combat by Champion / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Cool Horse / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Cool Old Guy / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Corrupt Quartermaster / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Dark Horse Victory / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Death by Despair / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Decapitation Presentation / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Decomposite Character / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Defensive Feint Trap / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Defiant to the End / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Died Standing Up / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Dies Differently in Adaptation / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Divided for Publication / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Divided We Fall / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Doomed Moral Victor / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Dragon-in-Chief / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Driven by Envy / int_4af821e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
El Cid Ploy / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Esoteric Happy Ending / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Eureka Moment / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Evil Chancellor / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Eyepatch of Power / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
/ int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Fake Defector / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
False Flag Operation / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Famous Ancestor / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Fear of Thunder / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Feed the Mole / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Finders Rulers / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Fisher King / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Forced into Evil / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Forging Scene / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Four Is Death / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Four-Star Badass / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Frontline General / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Gambit Pileup / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Gender Flip / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Genghis Gambit / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Glad I Thought of It / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Good Eyes, Evil Eyes / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
He Went That Way / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Hero Killer / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Hidden Purpose Test / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Historical Badass Upgrade / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Historical Gender Flip / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Historical Hero Upgrade / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Honest Advisor / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Honey Trap / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Horse Archer / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Horse Jump / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
I Am Your Opponent / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
I Fight for the Strongest Side / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
I Shall Taunt You / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Iconic Item / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Iconic Outfit / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Impaled Palm / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Imperial China / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Inadequate Inheritor / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
International Coproduction / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
It Only Works Once / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Just a Kid / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
"Just Joking" Justification / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Kansas City Shuffle / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Kirin / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Lawful Good / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Lawful Stupid / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Let No Crisis Go to Waste / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Like a Duck Takes to Water / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Living Legend / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Lotus-Eater Machine / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Manly Men Can Hunt / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Master Archer / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Mêlée à Trois / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Mighty Whitey / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Million Mook March / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Modest Royalty / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Moe Greene Special / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Molotov Truck / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
My Beloved Smother / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Named Weapons / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Nasty Party / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Ninja Maid / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Not My Driver / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Of Corpse He's Alive / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Offered the Crown / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Omniscient Morality License / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
One-Handed Zweihänder / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Only One Name / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Only Smart People May Pass / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Only the Chosen May Ride / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Oracular Urchin / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Out-Gambitted / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Paranoia Gambit / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Parental Marriage Veto / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Passive-Aggressive Kombat / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Pater Familicide / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Playing Sick / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Please Spare Him, My Liege! / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Plot-Powered Stamina / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Pose of Supplication / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Prisoner Exchange / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Puppet King / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Rain of Arrows / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Rated M for Manly / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Red Ones Go Faster / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Released to Elsewhere / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Religion Is Magic / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Reluctant Ruler / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Revenge Before Reason / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
seeAlso
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Rule of Cool / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Sacred Hospitality / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Scarecrow Solution / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Screw the Money, I Have Rules! / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Shoot the Messenger / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Speak of the Devil / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Stock Weapon Names / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Straw Civilian / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Stroke the Beard / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Stupid Good / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Talking the Monster to Death / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Ace / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Annotated Edition / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Brute / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Croc Is Ticking / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Dead Have Names / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Engineer / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Fighting Narcissist / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Good Chancellor / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Law of Conservation of Detail / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Man / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Savage South / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Scapegoat / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Secret of Long Pork Pies / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Spymaster / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
The Strategist / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Trapped Behind Enemy Lines / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Treacherous Advisor / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card! / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
*Twang* Hello / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Two Lines, No Waiting / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Very Loosely Based on a True Story / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Victory Through Intimidation / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Video Game Historical Revisionism / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Warrior Poet / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Weather Saves the Day / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
White Stallion / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Who Dares? / int_4037825e
 Ikki Tousen (Manga)
seeAlso
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
 JourneyToTheWest2011
seeAlso
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
 The 10th Kingdom
seeAlso
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
No Problem with Licensed Games / Sugar Wiki / int_4037825e
 SangoFighter
seeAlso
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
 romanceofthethreekingdoms
sameAs
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Happily Ever Before / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Law of Chromatic Superiority / int_4037825e
 Romance of the Three Kingdoms
hasFeature
Regent for Life / int_4037825e