10 Favorite People of the Era

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10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:52 pm

We keep having lists of 10 best generals, 10 strongest warriors etc. But those all imply a degree of objectivity.


So here's a new idea, your ten favorite people of the era, completely subjective, doesn't matter who they are, from general to strategist to scholar to women. Just give us a reason why!


Cao Cao

Of course the man has to be here. I think he's a political and a military genius. His strategic speed and audacity has few matches in the era. But above all of that he's just the most likable guy by far. He has a great sense of humor, I really like the way he treats his friends (genial, casual but also very emotional) and of course his comical dealings with his wife the Lady Ding. I think at the end of the day he did much more good to the common people of China than bad, esp. with the tuntian system, and his policy of meritocracy marked him as almost a radical progressive for the era. He tried to change the world but unfortunately failed, and for that history has damned him for centuries. And beyond that, there's an innate greatness of the man, like the type of person who comes along once every thousand years or so. His poems speaks more than anything else to his grandeur. Yet at the same time, he was so flawed and so human. I would describe his story as a "tragic comedy".

Zhuge Liang

Lots of people here may be under the impression that I don't like Zhuge Liang. This isn't really true, I just don't rate him as a general, like at all. But Zhuge Liang is in my opinion the only person in the era who can rate alongside Cao Cao in magnanimity. He left his life as a leisurely, almost godlike scholar, and descended down from the mountains with such a singular dream and goal, the restoration of the Han. And forged an unparalleled career from this singular drive. Like Cao Cao, he too wanted to change the world, and make it fairer, less corrupt. When he died the people lined the streets day after day in mourning and erected impromptu temples, such was the manner of his character. The hopelessness of his cause was matched only by the purity of his drive, and he died, the last and lonely guardian of a vanished ideal.

Lu Meng

What's not to like about this guy? A self made man, crawling from the very bottom. Smart and daring, and apparently with a great sense of fashion (alongside the rest of his boys). And at the end of the day executed one of the smoothest operations in all Three Kingdoms and won back the pride of his entire kingdom. The ultimate symbol of cunning and determination over might and strength. His grand task completed, he passed on, forever imprinting himself amongst all as the man who killed the god of war himself.

Qiao Zhou

Without a doubt the most historically and culturally maligned on this entire list. He will always be remembered as the coward who sold his kingdom and ended Shu-Han. But Qiao Zhou is no coward. He was a virtuous and kind man, he was not corrupt and lived modestly. But above that, a man of principles and as fiercely ideological as Zhuge Liang. But where Zhuge Liang was anti-Wei and pro-Han, Qiao Zhou was for the greater good. And what is the greater good? An end to the fighting. One of the most active opponents of Zhuge Liang and Jiang Wei's exhaustive wars, Qiao Zhou understood that above one's duty to their emperor, one had a duty to their people. And above being a citizen of Shu, he was a citizen of the World. It is even unfair to say that he didn't do his duty to his emperor. He made a promise to Liu Shan, when the Wei army was approaching, he promised Liu Shan that if Liu Shan surrendered and was not treated with due respect, and was not enfeoffed with land and titles, then Qiao Zhou would go to Luoyang himself and debate the Wei court using reason, until Liu Shan received the honors he deserved. This showed a good deal of bravery, just as publishing all his anti-war essays during the height of Zhuge Liang's power did. But what makes me respect him even more, is that he still respected Zhuge Liang, despite their political differences. When Zhuge Liang passed away Qiao Zhou was one of the first to mourn.

Guo Jia

We're all aware of Guo Jia's strategic brilliance, but I think what was more poignant about Guo Jia was Cao Cao's remark, something along the lines of, "the south is full of disease, he often remarked that if he went south, he would not live to return. Yet whenever he discussed with me grand strategy, he always tells me to pacify Jing Zhou first. He is trading his life for my glory!". Guo Jia connected to Cao Cao in a way no other advisers did, not even Xun Yu.

For his lord's personal glory, Guo Jia made the ultimate sacrifice, earlier than anyone could have fathomed. A star which burns twice as bright burns half as long, and Guo Jia burnt so extraordinarily bright. He is from a certain point of view, Three Kingdom's greatest advisor.

Sun Quan

It's really hard to explain my admiration of Sun Quan, because it's based on a subjective interpretation of history. But I always thought that Sun Quan was the most politically mature of the prominent rulers. Let's get his obvious good points out of the way first. He can be a lovely and caring friend. Him caring for Lu Meng when the latter was sick is one of the more touching moments of Three Kingdoms. And he has a great touching and humorous decade spanning buddy comedy routine going with Zhang Zhao

He was a true Machiavellian. He understands that in politics, there is no eternal ally or eternal enemy. He betrays Shu, subjects himself to Wei, then he betrays Wei and allies with Shu. He welcomes the gentry to his government, then he purges them, and then he makes his government gentry based. He weaves and plots intricate webs and makes sure that at the end, he's on top. He is the type of person who doesn't mind waiting, and plotting, for decades if need be. In fact, he waited 29 years to become Emperor, whilst Liu Bei and Cao Pi rushed ahead. But Sun Quan had the last laugh, as it would be his Dynasty which lasted the longest out of all three.

Lu Su

He was one of the most brilliant advisers in all Three Kingdoms, and the most impressive "king maker" of Three Kingdoms. (He came up with the Longzhong plan before it was cool, giving him massive indie cred :lol: ) Not to mention notably generous to boot (giving half his family's supplies to Zhou Yu without hesitation).

Also, my favorite Lu Su moment has to be, after Red Cliffs, when he returned, Sun Quan got off his horse and personally welcomed Lu Su, and jokingly asked him if this was enough for Lu Su. Lu Su then said, no. His hope was, that Sun Quan can build his reputation, unite the world and become Emperor one day. And then, send a little comfortable carraige to pick up Lu Su. Then he'd be satisfied.

Sheer class. :D

Cao Mao

Balls. So much balls. In the later years of general Cao-clan mediocrity, Cao Mao exhibited some of the talent and daring of his great grandfather. Plotting as a teenager against the most powerful political establishment of the country. And when he saw that he was lost, instead of retiring as some two bit duke and giving up what his forefathers built with their blood, he made one desperate last gambit. There's a chinese proverb to describe him, 士可杀,不可辱。 The western equivalent is this: I'll die standing up, but I won't live lying down.

Sun Ce+Zhou Yu

Note: these guys are one cos I can't decide between either of them as 10th spot and don't like them as much as the others to have them squeeze somebody off

Pretty self explanatory. The little conqueror is the closest we get to an archetypal hero in Three Kingdoms. Young, valorous, skilled and a military prodigy. A filial pious son, a good husband and an excellent older brother. He also made friends well, kept his army ordered and gave the civilians peace upon conquest. His best friend then, Zhou Yu, is the other side of the young hero coin, the yin to Sun Ce's yang. Sun Ce can be seen charging heroically at the head of his army. Zhou Yu can be seen in a fashionable silk bandanna, playing his guqin and directing sweeping armies to victory from miles away. Added cool factor is of course that they're both very handsome and married the Qiao sisters.

Zhao Yun

Without a doubt one of the most badass generals in Three Kingdoms (ie. battle of han river), and probably the most personally pleasant one of the five tigers. But what makes me like him more is that I always liked to believe that like Zhuge Liang, Zhao Yun was a believer in the cause of Shu-Han.

In the new Three Kingdoms TV show, one new bit they made up was thus. Zhuge Liang was preparing for his second Northern Expedition when he heard the news. Zhao Yun had died. Before he died the old general raised his hands to the sky and shouted "northern campaign! northern campaign! northern campaign!". And Zhuge Liang heard this and wept. I think that's a very touching and poignant bit, and it's always the Zhao Yun I had in my mind.
Last edited by Crazedmongoose on Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby S.Teague » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:21 pm

I have no list prepared, so I'll number them as I think of them. But the nubers will imply nothing.
1) Lu Xun - My favorite commander in the book.
2) Zhou Yu - I started my fasination with 3K due to playing DW3 at my brother's house. And Zhou Yu was the character I would always use. So for that reason alone, I'll always think fondly lf him. He is the representation of my begining to know the 3K story.
3) Zhang Liao - Not so much of an exlaination I can give. Probably my all around favorite character though. Just have a fasination with him.
4) Pang Tong - Playing DW with my brother, this was the character he would always use. But he kind of grew on me too.
5) Zhao Yun - Probaly the one I use most in DW. Fun character in the book as well.
6) Liu Bei - The ultimate "good guy" in the book.
7) Lu Su - Same reason as Liu Bei.
8) Sun Shang Xiang/Sun Ren - The closest thing to a female warrior the games have.
9) Hu Che Er - The games say he isn't even from China. That alone makes him a fasinating person. The fact that it doesn't say where he is from, leaves room for the imagination to create whatever kind of character you want out of him. I wish he hadn't disapeared after Dian Wei's death.
10) Xu Shu - Sad story :cry: Wonder what he could have done in the right situation? How good was he, and what could he have accomplished?
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby Gray Riders » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:36 pm

I was wondering if such a topic would appear.

In no particular order;

1: Lu Meng
One of the classic stories; started out as a poor commoner taking his mother across the river to find a better life, became a warrior, then a general, then a strategist, and ended up as one of Sun Quan's highest ranked officers with such ability Sun Quan effectively flew into a panic when he got ill. Furthermore, a man of high virtue who also realizes that, in times of war, trickery is more effective then a battering ram.

2: Gao Shun
One of the most loyal men of the era. Many died for their lords, yet Gao Shun did so when his own master apparently distrusted him and took away his command to give to another. He never gave up even as his advise was apparently ignored or not followed.

3: Lu Su
Firstly, a man of great generosity as shown by the granary incident. What really impressed me is that he's one of the most bluntly honest individuals; it seems he told Sun Quan, openly and plainly, that the Han was dead, and Sun Quan should form his own Dynasty, and gave him his own Longzhong plan (as Crazedmongoose mentioned).

4: Zhang Xiu
He stood up to the power of Cao Cao for a good, long time, only finally surrendering on his own. He then fought in the campaign against Yuan Shao, apparently quite effectively considering his fief rewards. Then, the records reporting he commit suicide after a meeting with Cao Pi that ends a tragic element to his story.

5: Zhuge Liang
It's true, his military record isn't as godly as the novel says. However, he was still quite brilliant. He came up with Longzhong. He also handled Sun Quan's ascension correctly; when others apparently wanted to break the Wu-Shu alliance, he realized this was suicide and came up with a solution. Plus, he seemed to avoid killing and banishing for personal reasons, a fault many other powerful men had.
I actually like the real one a lot more than the novel, who seemed like a jerk quite often.

6: Liu Yu
Possibly the noblest man of the era. Tragically, such men do not survive times of war and chaos...

7: Pang De
I admit this was highly influenced by the novel, where Pang De was not only an incredibly warrior, but also incredibly loyal and fierce, and even rather clever. Even in history, however, he strikes me as a skilled warrior of incredibly courage, one whose loyalty was doubted yet proved it beyond question.

8: Lu Bu
One of the more interesting figures, to me. He was just very fun to read about in the histories; he showed signs of cunning and intellect, yet made serious blunders. He fought one of the very few historical duels, which shows his bravery and strength. Further, he was apparently loved by his own followers, yet his reputation is that of a villain and traitor. He's simply very intriguing to me.

9: Sun Quan
My interpretation of him has been very similar to Crazedmongoose (I thought I was the only one for a long time, too!). Cunning and willing to do whatever he needed to for his country to win, to the point he actually managed to go wit-to-wit with Cao Cao when it came to trickery and political shrewdness. Plus, his odd mixture of cunning patience with obvious impetuousness, incredibly cruelty with touching kindness. Plus, he struck me as slightly crazy early on; fighting tigers for kicks, or saving an attacked officer from one by throwing weapons at it. Later, however, it turns into a full-blown madness...

10: Yuan Shao
I am the only person that is going to list him. :wink:
One of Cao Cao's advisors seemed to consider him a fairly kind man. He recognized talent such as Guo Jia, Ju Shou and Zhang He. Yet later on, he became arrogant and faltered. Even earlier, he let his advisors fight each other without order, leading to talented scholars choosing Cao Cao over him. Even then, his ultimate fall came from upholding the law and arresting Xu You's relative. Plus, he defeated Gongsun Zan, which I consider a major plus.

There ARE some other Wei and Shu guys I really like, but they don't quite make top ten.
Last edited by Gray Riders on Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:48 pm

Ah..that's who I forgot...Lu Bu.

And I agree fully. The real Zhuge Liang comes of as much more pleasant than the novel Zhuge Liang. Like when the novel Zhuge Liang went to mourn at Zhou Yu's funeral, that was beyond a dick move.
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby Gray Riders » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:04 pm

Crazedmongoose wrote:Like when the novel Zhuge Liang went to mourn at Zhou Yu's funeral, that was beyond a dick move.

Yeah, that's the big one for me. I wanted to strangle the self-righteous "sleeping dragon" for that. I mean, killing Zhou Yu can be understood since he tried to kill him first, but that was practically flipping all of Wu the bird.

And then they're genuinely shocked when Sun Quan has Lu Meng seize Jing and kill Guan Yu.
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:13 pm

I think it's interesting to see the makeup of people's lists.

For example, my list has only one real officer, but way more rulers and advisers than I imagine the average list would have.


To clear up my list probably wasn't in order. If I put it in order, it'd go something like:

Cao Cao
Guo Jia
Zhuge Liang
Lu Su
Sun Quan
Lu Meng
Sun Ce + Zhou Yu
Zhao Yun
Qiao Zhou
Cao Mao


And there's a heavy Wu bias. Despite being a weiist I'm always impressed at the level of talent Wu possesses for a kingdom of their size. Lu Xun would be on here as well if all the videogames and TV shows haven't painted such a boring picture of him as some type of prodigy scholar.


edit: Yuan Shao had his moments. He conducted himself in an awesome way during the battle of Jieqiao, and of course his reprimand of Dong Zhuo and then fleeing the capital. However for me his failures as leader of the alliance, and the fact that he was the catalyst for the entire Dong Zhuo catastrophe, lays as two very heavy blemishes. I'm convinced he is quite a smart leader, but his lack of daring and being prone to delayed or inaction really bothers me. If he was always as decisive as he was at Jieqiao and when he fled Luoyang, then I would have a much higher opinion of him.
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:00 pm

1) Sun Ce Goes without saying.

2) Zhao Yun A bais left over from the games and books who couldn't love the valiant young general willing to sacrifice his life for his lords family.

3) Zhang Liao Again a bais from the games and novel, a great leader who held He Fei in near miraculous style.

4) Sun Jian Someone described Lu Meng as the ultimate no-one to someone. I reserve that title for Sun Jian. I have so much respect for his clamber up the social ladder.

5) Sun Gao My hatred of Sun Quan is almost as well known as my love for Sun Ce. This is the only man who tried to prevent Quan from taking over.

6) Taishi Ci A great warrior who battled Sun Ce to a draw becoming a firm friend.

7) Zhou Yu - Sun Ce's best friend and the hero of Chi Bi.

8) Xiahou Ba - Another novel bias. I always liked the Xiahou clan and this guy served Shu during the later days when they had few good officers. I was more saddened by his death than Jiang Wei's.

9) Lu Fan - the first man to spot Sun Ce's talent and to help him reach his full potential.

10) Tian Kai - I can't say why I like him I just do. I think its left over from when I liked Gongsun Zan.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby LuXunMaster102 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:32 pm

Lu Xun (duh, look at my name :D )
Cao Cao
Sun Ce
Zhuge Liang
Guo Jia
Xun Yu
Liu Bei
Ghen Gong
Zhou Yu
Zhang Liao
It is in times of chaos when heroes are made. -LuXunMaster102

Yuan Dynasty:

Ruler - Yuan Shao
Prime Minister - Guo Jia
Grand Commander - Zhou Yu
Alternate - Sun Jian
Viceroy - Lu Su
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby Mestre Will » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:39 pm

hehe my 10 are:

1-Lubu
2-Zhuge Liang
3-Zhang Liao
4-Sun Ce
5-Ma chao
6-Guan Yu
7-Zhao Yun
8-Guo Jia
9-Gan ning
10-Pang Tong
Knowledge is achieved with time, but Intelligence is born with it or without it. - Mestre Will
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby Human5 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:28 pm

I don't have 10 favorites but I have a top 5:
1.Liu Bei
2.CaoCao
3.Zhuge Liang
4.Zhang Fei
5.Guan Yu
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