Xiahou Mao (and other underdogs)

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Xiahou Mao (and other underdogs)

Unread postby Xiahou Mao » Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:01 am

Okay, before people laugh too much here.. yes, I'm going to defend Xiahou Mao. And no, I'm not posting this as a joke. When people are given embarassing roles in the SGYY, or glossed over in the SGZ, oftentimes they're assumed to be unimportant. Is that always the truth? I direct you to the case of Xiahou Mao.

Xiahou Mao was the son of Xiahou Dun (adopted from Yuan, according to the SGYY), he married a daughter of Cao Cao and thus became the Imperial Son-In-Law. In the SGYY, obviously, he's best known for his series of crushing defeats at the hands of Zhuge Liang. Should we ridicule him for that, though? Meng Huo suffered crushing defeats at the hands of Zhuge Liang, yet he winds up with prominent roles in various video-games, and somewhat of a fan base, despite having actually accomplished nothing. If you look beneath the surface, you can see there's more to Xiahou Mao than his string of losses.

Xiahou Mao rose to prominence after Sima Yi was demoted from his post, in the SGYY, due to Zhuge Liang's plan. When Cao Rui needed a commander to oppose Zhuge Liang, Xiahou Mao spoke up. Only Wang Lang raised a dissenting opinion. Clearly, Xiahou Mao showed courage in desiring to go forward and fight. He spoke of wishing to avenge Xiahou Yuan. Is this not a noble trait? It is often overlooked when people mock him.

When Xiahou Mao did lead his forces to oppose Zhuge Liang, he had a great deal of help, of course. After all, the Wei ranks at the time contained such generals as Guo Huai, Jiang Wei, Zhang He, Cao Zhen, Cao Xiu, Jia Kui, Xiahou Shang.. except none of those men were assigned to him. Instead, Xiahou Mao had under his command Cheng Wu and Han De. Has anyone ever heard of Cheng Wu and Han De? Okay, you in the back, you get points for knowing Cheng Wu is the son of Cheng Yu. But still.. with all the able generals Wei had, Xiahou Mao got none of them underneath his banner. So what does he do in the first battle he fights? He and Cheng Wu trick and almost capture Zhao Yun, who until that point had been portrayed as invincible. Had he succeeded, who knows what might have happened, or how much Zhuge Liang would have traded to get his favourite general back..

Obviously, from there it all went downhill. Still, the future commanders defending against Shu were obviously present in greater numbers. Sima Yi had Zhang He, a stalwart veteran of many decades, at his side. Of course he would be able to have more success. How would Xiahou Mao have done with Zhang He helping, instead of Cheng Wu? Perhaps just as well as Sima Yi, we shall never know. And the most important thing to remember, Xiahou Mao was young at the time he went forward to defend Wei. He was in his 20s only, yet in command of hundreds of thousands of troops. If his ability was nurtured more carefully by wise leaders, instead of allowing him to be placed in command at such a young age with little assistance or advice from others, who knows how good he could have become? He certainly had the lineage to be a good general. Instead, because of the mistakes of those around him, he ended up upholding the promise he made to Cao Rui before marching.. "Unless I capture this Zhuge Liang, I pledge myself never again to see the Emperor's face." As you see, even his fleeing to Qiang when all was said and done was simply to keep his promise. Another example of Xiahou Mao's honour and bravery.

Are there any other underdogs out there who people appreciate or are fans of? Anyone else who gets a bad rap? Feel free to leave input here!
Xiahou Mao -- True Hero of the Three Kingdoms!
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Unread postby Lance » Thu Mar 06, 2003 2:38 pm

Heh...put that way...Xiahou Mao doesn't seem half-bad. I'd like to bring up Wang Lang. I think he was a good lord, he just got assigned to Hui Ji. Nonetheless, historical accounts do say he was doing a good job with his poor position. When Sun Ce comes along, he hastily forms an alliance with Yan Baihu, showing he had an ability to plan resistance unlike Liu Yong and Xu Gong, who fought and fell alone. Nonetheless, more due to Sun Ce's incredible skill than any short coming on Wang Lang's part, Sun Ce crushes them. We all know the great job he did as a civil administrator under Wei and he lived a long, productive life. Yet Koei doesn't seem to appreciate him, probably because he was used in SGYY to pump up Kong-Ming....
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Unread postby HauntedPerfection » Thu Mar 06, 2003 5:06 pm

Ya know it is weird that you brought this up. I just got to that part of the book this week and I agree 100%. When I first heard him speak up I was a lyal fan right away, seeing as how I love the Xiahous. The son of such a warrior should not had been looked down upon so much, and should had recieved better help. I actually did like Han De for some reason, but yeah, like you said Zhang He would help a lot more.
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Unread postby Shadowlink » Thu Mar 06, 2003 5:26 pm

I wish I know more of this guy because the novel talks so little about him. Ca you give me more info on him?
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Unread postby Xiahou Mao » Thu Mar 06, 2003 11:37 pm

Zhugeliang wrote:I wish I know more of this guy because the novel talks so little about him. Ca you give me more info on him?


Unfortunately, the info in the novel is almost all there is of him.. I asked a few people, and Xiahou Mao doesn't have his own bio in the SGZ. Lady Wu did manage to dig up some info on him from another part of the SGZ, though. It's in the following thread, about 6 posts down. A somewhat humourous story.

http://the-scholars.com/viewtopic.php?t=3696&start=0

If anyone else can find more things in the SGZ about Xiahou Mao, feel free to add them here. I'd check myself, but unfortunately I can't read Chinese.

Wang Lang, by the way, is a good underdog. He actually was the only person who disagreed with Xiahou Mao's appointment to Supreme Commander, as I stated in my post above. Everyone else in the court was too afraid to point out that Cao Rui was wrong to send the young scion of the Xiahou family to battle without much aid, but Wang Lang did. He gets points for that!
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Unread postby Cao Zhi » Fri Mar 07, 2003 6:57 am

I am a fan of Cao Zhi (big surprise there). Cao Zhi's biography has all the information that I would otherwise post, but I would like to make a few comments.

Despite getting shafted by his brother Cao Pi and nephew Cao Rui, Cao Zhi did his best to try to be a good lord. Only his drunkenness kept him from being all that he could be in Wei (Cao Cao would have made him the successor to Wei were it not for Cao Pi taking advantage of Cao Zhi's thirst and wanton-ness). In spite of his lack of appointments, he deserves credit for at least trying; he pertitioned Cao Rui many times so that they may discuss political matters, but Cao Rui shrugged him off.

The love triangle between Cao Pi, Cao Zhi, and Lady Zhen (though it was probably a fairy tale) always brings a tear to my eye, as it hits home for me, as does Cao Zhi's life in general :cry:

I believe that Cao Zhi was a very well-meaning man who let his desire for fun and drink get the best of him. By the time he shaped up, it was too late.

What if he were more moderate in his ways and Mengde made him the heir? What might have been Wei's fate?
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Unread postby Shadowlink » Fri Mar 07, 2003 8:51 pm

Eh I think Cao Zhi is great but too bad he drinks too much. Image
Last edited by Shadowlink on Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Lu Kang » Sun Mar 30, 2003 2:34 pm

He Qi of Wu.
Nobody really knows who is but he actually had a pretty successful military career. In the year 205 he captured the city of ShangRao
IN the year 206 He was ordered by Sun Quan to settle the bandits in Yi and She.
He used a sneak attack to scale a cliff to defeat them.
After wards he was given the rank of Grand Adminstrator.
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2 more Wu underdogs

Unread postby Liang Erdao » Tue Apr 01, 2003 4:10 am

Speaking of Wu, two fellows who I like a lot were Xu Sheng and Ding Feng. They became prominent later in the story, and both had some strong victories to their credit. Xu Sheng showed flexibility in sending Ding Feng to back up the talented but disobedient Sun Shao. His great bluffing display so befuddled Cao Pi that the Wei force was paralyzed by fear. Then, Xu Sheng's attack resulted in a decisive Wu victory and resulted in Zhang Liao's death... :cry:

Ding Feng's most famous exploit was to personally lead 3,000 unarmoured swordsmen to victory by routing the numerically superior Wei forces on top of a hill accross the Yangzi river.
Our enemies are a bunch of sassy little brats, are'nt they....? Aren't they?! Hey! NO........ I should never have played as Liu Yong against Sun Ce! How can I be such a dumbass...?!
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Re: 2 more Wu underdogs

Unread postby Chao Tzu Lung1 » Tue Apr 01, 2003 5:24 pm

Liang Erdao wrote:Speaking of Wu, two fellows who I like a lot were Xu Sheng and Ding Feng. They became prominent later in the story, and both had some strong victories to their credit. Xu Sheng showed flexibility in sending Ding Feng to back up the talented but disobedient Sun Shao. His great bluffing display so befuddled Cao Pi that the Wei force was paralyzed by fear. Then, Xu Sheng's attack resulted in a decisive Wu victory and resulted in Zhang Liao's death... :cry:



I agree,Xu Sheng was a great general,quite underrated in the SGYY & DW games also. He was a capable officer & an exceptional warrior, i dont think he lost any duels at his carreer
Zhao Yun, the best general for any ruler, but everyone has to die just as they live, even the heroes.....
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