Red Hare

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Unread postby LING_TONG ^0^ » Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:49 pm

The Red Hare did historically exist. (should be a Tai- Yuan/ Da- Yuan? horse)
But legends have it's ability and life span exaggerated.
There were a few Red Hares, (in fact the offspring from the original one) making "his" life span longer on battlefield.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Sep 28, 2004 8:07 am

LING_TONG ^0^ wrote:There were a few Red Hares, (in fact the offspring from the original one) making "his" life span longer on battlefield.

Hm, I didn't know this. I can't seem to find reference to the Red Hare apart from that one mention in Lu Bu's bio ("Lu Bu had a steed called the Red Hare, and would often charge into the enemy along with his officers Cheng Lian etc..."). Do you have the source of this info or know more about it?
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Unread postby LING_TONG ^0^ » Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:56 am

From the mouth of a Chinese professor, (and I think/hope :?: he is right)
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Unread postby Wizardman » Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:04 am

It's tough to say whether Red Hare was real or not based on the events shown. There are several theories that may work. The first is that Red Hare actuall ylived a rediculously long life, and the reason he didn't eat during his reign with Sun Quan was that he had fallen very ill. Another is taht The Red Hare c. 200 and the one c. 219 were different, though that's doubtful. Or, possibly, Red Hare was added in after Guan Yu's death for dramatic effect.
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:15 am

I think the most likely explanation is that Red Hare (the one and only) became so legendary after the historical fact that storytellers and mythmakers incorporated him into more of the 3K-era stories than he originally participated in. He probably only ever belonged to Lu Bu, and lived the normal life of a war horse, but was later added to Guan Yu's legends just to aggrandize them even more. After all, if Guan Yu is supposed to be the god of war, why not give him the best war horse ever?

I think there was one Red Hare: the one that is documented in the history book. The later Red Hare was just a fictional extention of the myth, for dramatic purposes.
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Unread postby Equinox » Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:14 pm

I'm with Kong Wen here - it is not unusual for LGZ to insert famous characters into battles they didn't take part in, or didn't do anything in, to add to their achievement list. Stories like the one of Red Hare killing itself upon Guan Yu's death are highly romanticized and unlikely to be true, much like the drama of opening a letter and dying as a result of the slanders contained within it!

Guan Yu seems to be a focal point in the novel, and as I stated a long, long time ago in a post which I don't even remember anymore, he is being built up not only as a war god, but as a model of Confucian values. Therefore, why not add to his already huge stature (complete with several fictional exploits, an enormous weapon, a huge body, etc.) with the greatest war horse of all time?
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:37 pm

Equinox wrote:I'm with Kong Wen here - it is not unusual for LGZ to insert famous characters into battles they didn't take part in, or didn't do anything in, to add to their achievement list.

I'm going to diverge on one point and state my strong doubt that LGZ was responsible for Red Hare. My guess would be that Red Hare became a powerful legendary figure only a few hundred years after the 3K period, when most of the legend-building (specifically surrounding Guan Yu) began to take place. Some storyteller probably just picked up on Red Hare from a passage about Lu Bu (another heroic figure) in the histories and, not wanting one hero to have an edge on Guan (hey, that guy can't have a better horse than the god of war!), made a slight reattribution. This would explain why the read Red Hare doesn't do much of anything (i.e. with Lu Bu), but it is the fictionally reassigned Red Hare that gets more "mythic" mention (undying loyalty to Guan Yu, etc.). LGZ would have picked up on this for his novel, of course, but it doesn't make sense for him to be the original cause of the Red Hare myths.
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