The "What If" Thread

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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:48 am

Hello Sanji Himura, welcome to forum and best of luck with the research. What are you researching for?

Unless the plans leak really really early before Dong Zhuo is really established (particularly while Ding Yuan was alive and had rival miliatry authority), if later then not sure there would be much other then a delay of Bian's death amidst (possibly token) protests within Xian's court and (token) memorials of protest from warlords. Coalition can't do much bar propaganda, Yuan Shao has contacts but probably difficult to get in contact with said allies while coordinating any such plan would be very difficult, doesn't seem like something that would drive him to take up his time and energy when he has other issues. Trying to miliatry take on Dong Zhuo proved extremely difficult thus the policy of blockade rather then direct fights

I don't think the gentry cared, Bian didn't make much impression due to his short reign, having him alive was awkward for everyone, it was likely expected once Bian was deposed, nobody really reacted when Bian did actually die. For form's sake, such a plan being leaked would get condemnation and Dong Zhuo probably executes someone to go "what plan? No this was so and so, I had heard of no such idea", warlords get back to infighting.

For trusted I would go with Lu Bu, Wang Yun, family, Cai Yong (who I think Sun Fin meant) as well.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Sanji Himura » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:05 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Hello Sanji Himura, welcome to forum and best of luck with the research. What are you researching for?

Unless the plans leak really really early before Dong Zhuo is really established (particularly while Ding Yuan was alive and had rival miliatry authority), if later then not sure there would be much other then a delay of Bian's death amidst (possibly token) protests within Xian's court and (token) memorials of protest from warlords. Coalition can't do much bar propaganda, Yuan Shao has contacts but probably difficult to get in contact with said allies while coordinating any such plan would be very difficult, doesn't seem like something that would drive him to take up his time and energy when he has other issues. Trying to miliatry take on Dong Zhuo proved extremely difficult thus the policy of blockade rather then direct fights

I don't think the gentry cared, Bian didn't make much impression due to his short reign, having him alive was awkward for everyone, it was likely expected once Bian was deposed, nobody really reacted when Bian did actually die. For form's sake, such a plan being leaked would get condemnation and Dong Zhuo probably executes someone to go "what plan? No this was so and so, I had heard of no such idea", warlords get back to infighting.

For trusted I would go with Lu Bu, Wang Yun, family, Cai Yong (who I think Sun Fin meant) as well.


1. I am doing a series of What-If scenarios for a Three Kingdoms dedicated YouTube channel that I own based on historical resources.

2. While I didn't necessarily specify a time point, Ding Yuan could have acted properly IF he better took control of his generals (namely Lu Bu).

3. No, I ultimately agree that the Gentry didn't care about Bian's life, but the fact remains that Bian WAS emperor. And with the death of the Ten Attendants, who ultimately decide who should be emperor rightly should fall on the gentry. Granted, it would lead to more infighting, so it may be that Dong Zhuo did everyone a favor in killing him.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:59 am

Sun Fin wrote:I would suggest Xu Rong would be in the inner circle, probably Jia Xu as well. Xu Rong was his best general, no matter what the novel says and Dong Zhuo know that. Li Ru only really held administrative roles, Jia Xu was his actual military adviser. If I was doing this what if, I think your best chance would be to go for Cai Yong. Dong Zhuo worked really hard to get him to court and he held high position. Dong Zhuo probably wouldn't have told him but he could work it out, and then leak it to someone within the coalition?

As for who had the military prowess and power base to move quickly? I doubt any of them would have. Sun Jian, Gongsun Zan and of course Ding Yuan were the experienced soldiers of the day (who weren't loyal to Dong Zhuo). Zan was never part of the coalition, Yuan got killed and Sun Jian lacked a power base. He is probably your best bet though.


Just in case Sun Fin's got missed in the page turn

Sanji Himura wrote:1. I am doing a series of What-If scenarios for a Three Kingdoms dedicated YouTube channel that I own based on historical resources.

2. While I didn't necessarily specify a time point, Ding Yuan could have acted properly IF he better took control of his generals (namely Lu Bu).

3. No, I ultimately agree that the Gentry didn't care about Bian's life, but the fact remains that Bian WAS emperor. And with the death of the Ten Attendants, who ultimately decide who should be emperor rightly should fall on the gentry. Granted, it would lead to more infighting, so it may be that Dong Zhuo did everyone a favor in killing him.


Sounds intresting

Early on (though that early, any plans Dong Zhuo had were probably vague beyond depose), had the Yuan family moved quickly while most of the army was leaderless rather then dithered. I don't think Lu Bu's betrayal should see us view Ding Yuan too harshly (he didn't have a Zhang Yang reputation for weakness) as multiple factors probably played their part but if Ding Yuan had survived the assassination, it might have turned out differently due to position and still very new control of imperial troops.

On point three: Bian was once Emperor, he wasn't anymore and that mattered, he was no longer the Son of Heaven, there were three deposed Emperor's during the three kingdoms period, none saw a major attempt to reinstate them. Sometimes a new Emperor (the saintly Liu Yu by some members of Coalition, Cao Biao by Wang Liang) was suggested but not the old one. Deposed Emperor's were perhaps damaged goods while Liu Bian's lack of record+"unimpressive"/slandered maternal background was not going to help his case. Since the deposing had been done, it was easier to just get behind the new child Emperor rather then the many problems of backing the deposed Bian

The gentry had no rights to pick an Emperor. The rights fell on an Emperor and if he failed to do so before death, the Empress turned Dowager. Now usually the Dowager's family had a strong say (as interests were aligned to the Dowager's), eunuchs position as intimate aides and senior ministers could have a say but the Dowager mostly won when push come to shove, even Sima Shi couldn't impose his choice of Emperor. If Xian suddenly died, Bian would have a strong case for return (which would have suited very few) but as the deposing had been done by a legitimate Empress Dowager (under coercion, granted), reversing that while Xian is alive would be problematic.
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