The "What If" Thread

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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby PyroMystic » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:51 pm

Is this thread still alive?

Just wondering why people often asked "what if Guan Yu wasn' killed after Fan?" I want to ask a similar question: "what if Guan Yu just surrendered to Wu instead of being a stubborn?"

Also, I didn't know if this has been asked before but:

1. What if Zhao Yun actually joined the battle of Yi Ling? Would Liu Bei stand a chance?

2. What if this Cao Chong (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cao_Chong) survived and ACTUALLY became Cao Cao's successor? Cao Pi himself said "My elder brother (Cao Ang) was a xiaolian and had the right to the succession. If Cangshu was around, I'd not have been able to obtain the empire." (Cangshu is Cao Chong style name)

3. What if Sun Quan did sent his son Sun Deng to Wei (after the incident at Fan)?

4. What if the succession struggle in Wu didn't happen? What I mean is that if Sun He just became an emperor, Sun Hao woud still end up being an emperor. I read somewhere that the reason Sun Hao became such a despicable human being is that his childhood is filled with this kind of misery and adversary within his own family. Suppose all this didn't happen, would Sun Hao be a better emperor or was he just predestined to be the worst emperor in 3K ever?
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:31 pm

Guan Yu: His reputation for honour would be hugely damaged, would probably not be used for some time, Liu Bei still attacks Wu due to wider issues

1) A good officer though Zhao Yun was, I'm not sure what he would bring to change the result. Liu Bei needed an offensive strategist to allow him to try to make something happen

2) Chaos, non eldest son doesn't tend to end well. The ambitious or the Han loyal can pick a Cao to challenge Chong for power and how much support will Chong have in court?

3) Hello hostage. Sun Quan would have to pick another heir but always have the awkwardness of his natural heir (till Deng dies) being in a rival state and Wei would try to use that for political advantage. Deng dying before Quan would provide some limit to how much damage could be done

4) It would certainly have helped Wu but fundamental issues brought about by Quan's ageing and declining grip+overly powerful gentry would still be there. Sun He's weak handling, loss of support and failure to win poltically when heir doesn't fill me with encouragement about his skills.

As for Sun Hao, one does wonder how badly everything he saw (the deaths of Emperors, coups, the destruction of his own father) shaped him, dito the dire straights Wu were in. There is also issue that we don't have a 100% trustworthy sources on Sun Hao who is hit by last king trope. It is possible with a better childhood, not the last king trope and a less dire situation, Sun Hao may have been able to use his intelligence to change things
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby PyroMystic » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:46 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Guan Yu: His reputation for honour would be hugely damaged, would probably not be used for some time, Liu Bei still attacks Wu due to wider issues

1) A good officer though Zhao Yun was, I'm not sure what he would bring to change the result. Liu Bei needed an offensive strategist to allow him to try to make something happen

2) Chaos, non eldest son doesn't tend to end well. The ambitious or the Han loyal can pick a Cao to challenge Chong for power and how much support will Chong have in court?

3) Hello hostage. Sun Quan would have to pick another heir but always have the awkwardness of his natural heir (till Deng dies) being in a rival state and Wei would try to use that for political advantage. Deng dying before Quan would provide some limit to how much damage could be done

4) It would certainly have helped Wu but fundamental issues brought about by Quan's ageing and declining grip+overly powerful gentry would still be there. Sun He's weak handling, loss of support and failure to win poltically when heir doesn't fill me with encouragement about his skills.

As for Sun Hao, one does wonder how badly everything he saw (the deaths of Emperors, coups, the destruction of his own father) shaped him, dito the dire straights Wu were in. There is also issue that we don't have a 100% trustworthy sources on Sun Hao who is hit by last king trope. It is possible with a better childhood, not the last king trope and a less dire situation, Sun Hao may have been able to use his intelligence to change things

Hmmm... But Guan Yu could always escape Wu, I think. He could escape Cao Cao with no harm and Liu Bei seems to be okay with that (at least in the novel). I think if Guan Yu surrendered for some time, Yi Ling could be prevented and some time later Guan Yu could return to Shu, effectively avoiding Shu's demise. So, I still think Guan Yu being stubborn is just not a good idea. He could do to Sun Quan what he did to Cao Cao (assuming Sun Quan was willing to accept his surrender).

On a side note, does anyone see the parallel between Lu Bu and Guan Yu? when Lu Bu was captured and Cao Cao was thinking about recruiting him, Liu Bei told him not to do so and causing the death of the greatest warrior of Three Kingdoms. Now when Guan Yu was captured and Sun Quan was thinking about recruiting him (I don't know if this is a novel-only material or historical), Lu Meng told him not to do so and causing the death of the (presumably, of at least what people believe) greatest warrior of Three Kingdoms after Lu Bu?

3) On the contrary, however, perhaps Sun Deng's death could be prevented (the Weis wouldn't kill him, would they? Or perhaps I'm being too optimistic). What I am thinking is that since Lady Sun (Sun Shangxiang) could flee from Shu, Sun Deng being (presumably) stronger than Lady Sun would find it easier to escape Wei if the time is right?

4) Wait, are you saying that Sun He was a weak ruler? I know he could not gain the support of some young officials but the older ones were supporting him. He would be in a pretty strong position, I think, if Sun Luban didn't slander his mother. Also, you seem to be saying that Sun He was not qualified to be the successor because he's incapable of being a strong, charismatic ruler like Sun Quan was. If this is true, how do you know about this? Is there any account saying Sun He not being a good enough successor?
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:08 pm

Cao Cao let him go and Guan Yu would be heavily watched by Wu to prevent such escape. Liu Bei needs Jing and needs to show it is not Wu's puppet after a second invasion in a few years, I can't see Liu Bei letting the loss of Jing go. Guan Yu was a defeated captured general, Sun Quan was a warlord safe in his lands, different kinds of surrender with very different options.

I see the comparison your making and novel only I think

It is possible Sun Deng doesn't suffer the same illness that killed him and given the use of political hostage Sun Deng would be, I doubt Wei would kill him. SSX was in Jing, next to Wu, her own personal bodyguards, probably the element of suprise, Wu navy and she may have used Liu Shan as a hostage. Sun Deng would have had none of these and would have been in Ye or Xuchang so a lot harder to escape

Weak heir, he failed to gain some key figures of Wu's support despite the advantage of being heir. He couldn't command the gentry, he couldn't command family, he allowed things to spiral away from him. I base it on his struggles as heir and there doesn't seem to be anything to suggest Sun He would be a good ruler. Maybe there is something in Sun He's biography or something I missed that suggests he could be a good ruler or had real potential but I haven't seen anything but loss of support and failure in political sphere.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Elitemsh » Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:41 pm

Wasn’t Guan Yu immediately killed upon capture? I don’t think he was given the option (there was some source but was unreliable if I remember right).

On Zhao Yun and Yi Ling. Agree with Dong Zhou that although Zhao Yun was a good general, he‘s more of a warrior. Not a strategist although he could use tactics on a smaller scale. You didn’t ask about this but I’ll say it anywhere, I am one of the rare ones in believing that Liu Bei was completely wrong in attaching Wu. Although, I get that he may have appeared weak if he didn’t, I don’t think that was a priority. Think Zhao Yun’s argument has good merit and more wisdom than it first appears.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:05 pm

Guan Yu's SGZ states:
Quán had already occupied Jiānglíng and captured all the wives and children of Yǔ’s soldiers, and Yǔ’s army therefore all deserted. Quán sent officers to intercept and attack Yǔ, beheading Yǔ and his son Píng at Línjǔ. (3)

Shǔjì states:
Quán sent his Generals to attack Yǔ, and captured Yǔ and his son Píng. Quán wished to keep Yǔ alive to use against Liú [Bèi] and Cáo [Cāo], but his attendants said: “A wolf cub cannot be raised, or else later it will certainly do harm. Lord Cáo did not destroy him, bringing on himself great misfortune so that he even discussed moving the capital. Now how can be be left alive?” Therefore they beheaded him.

Your Servant Sōngzhī comments that according to Wúshū, Sūn Quán sent his officer Pān Zhāng to cut off Yǔ’s escape route, and when Yǔ arrived he was beheaded. Moreover, Línjǔ is two to three hundred lǐ from Jiānglíng. How could there be enough time to kill Yǔ after discussing on whether to keep alive or kill? Also the saying: “Quán wished to keep Yǔ alive to use against Liú [Bèi] and Cáo [Cāo],” this cannot be, and can by no means come from the mouth of the knowledgeable.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:47 pm

Fair point, I stand very much corrected
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:04 am

PyroMystic wrote:Hmmm... But Guan Yu could always escape Wu, I think. He could escape Cao Cao with no harm and Liu Bei seems to be okay with that (at least in the novel). I think if Guan Yu surrendered for some time, Yi Ling could be prevented and some time later Guan Yu could return to Shu, effectively avoiding Shu's demise. So, I still think Guan Yu being stubborn is just not a good idea. He could do to Sun Quan what he did to Cao Cao (assuming Sun Quan was willing to accept his surrender).


How can a lone old rebel accompanied only by his son could survive against hundred or thousand of angry and wary soldier chasing him?
Umm, aside of Novel though, the kindhearted Cao let the long beard rebel Yu go. Unlike the angry blue eyed Quan who wanted his head, thats pretty much notable difference.

Okay, here it is:
Cao Cao: "We're cool?"
Guan Yu: "Cool! *:wink:*"

Sun Quan: "We're cool?"
Guan Yu: (glaring at Quan, as if he wanted to behead Quan)
Sun Quan: (felt insulted, glare back, order his men to chase and behead Yu) :mrgreen:


On a side note, does anyone see the parallel between Lu Bu and Guan Yu? when Lu Bu was captured and Cao Cao was thinking about recruiting him, Liu Bei told him not to do so and causing the death of the greatest warrior of Three Kingdoms. Now when Guan Yu was captured and Sun Quan was thinking about recruiting him (I don't know if this is a novel-only material or historical), Lu Meng told him not to do so and causing the death of the (presumably, of at least what people believe) greatest warrior of Three Kingdoms after Lu Bu?


I think it was right Cao Cao kill the man, Lu Bu was only loyal to himself. About Liu Bei advises thing is part of novel i think. i doubt Lu Bu was the greatest warrior anyway, he even lose to Li Jue and Guo Si on Changan so far i know.
I dont think Sun Quan wanted to keep Guan Yu, maybe it's just crosses his mind once. He was beheaded the moment he is captured just like Elitemesh and the annotation from Daolun quote there.

Dong Zhou wrote:As for Sun Hao, one does wonder how badly everything he saw (the deaths of Emperors, coups, the destruction of his own father) shaped him, dito the dire straights Wu were in. There is also issue that we don't have a 100% trustworthy sources on Sun Hao who is hit by last king trope. It is possible with a better childhood, not the last king trope and a less dire situation, Sun Hao may have been able to use his intelligence to change things


Im not sure even with better childhood, that Sun Hao would change things. I remember reading somewhere, it wasn't his intelligence that causes the fall of Wu. It was how he underestimate his enemies is, not to mention his overconfidence on Wu's natural barrier, the River. Wasn't it mentioned he neglecting to station any defense just because he believed Jin wouldn't invade Wu because of those natural barrier?
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:55 am

Li_Shengsun wrote:I think it was right Cao Cao kill the man, Lu Bu was only loyal to himself. About Liu Bei advises thing is part of novel i think. i doubt Lu Bu was the greatest warrior anyway, he even lose to Li Jue and Guo Si on Changan so far i know.


Liu Bei's advice (and the big ears shotback) is historical.

People tend to divide warrior (feats of streth and archer) from abilities as commander/general (winning battles). Lu Bu was famed as one of the great warriors of his era and had many such feats, his weaknesses as a commander were badly exposed and as a general his record was a bit erratic. Though no shame, given their skill and circumstances of that war that saw even Xu Rong lose, in losing to Li Jue and co.

Li_Shengsun wrote:Im not sure even with better childhood, that Sun Hao would change things. I remember reading somewhere, it wasn't his intelligence that causes the fall of Wu. It was how he underestimate his enemies is, not to mention his overconfidence on Wu's natural barrier, the River. Wasn't it mentioned he neglecting to station any defense just because he believed Jin wouldn't invade Wu because of those natural barrier?


Sun Hao was an intelligent figure, he got picked for the throne based on that, he was apparently an accomplished lyricist and was a great wit. There were fundamental issues with Wu's miliatry, some of which was due to Sun Hao's paranoia but also due to long issues (both on Wu and Jin's side) before he became heir that led to Wu's defences weakening.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:58 am

Dong Zhou wrote:People tend to divide warrior (feats of streth and archer) from abilities as commander/general (winning battles). Lu Bu was famed as one of the great warriors of his era and had many such feats, his weaknesses as a commander were badly exposed and as a general his record was a bit erratic. Though no shame, given their skill and circumstances of that war that saw even Xu Rong lose, in losing to Li Jue and co.


Uhh, what are his many feats? Assassinating Ding Yuan and Dong Zhuo? Beating Heishan bandits azz? or his ability in seizing Cao Cao's and Liu Bei's land while they're away? or allying with Yuan Shu?
so far i know about Seizing's warlords land wasn't his feat, but Chen Gong's advise is, so the credit must go to Gong.

Li_Shengsun wrote:Im not sure even with better childhood, that Sun Hao would change things. I remember reading somewhere, it wasn't his intelligence that causes the fall of Wu. It was how he underestimate his enemies is, not to mention his overconfidence on Wu's natural barrier, the River. Wasn't it mentioned he neglecting to station any defense just because he believed Jin wouldn't invade Wu because of those natural barrier?

Sun Hao was an intelligent figure, he got picked for the throne based on that, he was apparently an accomplished lyricist and was a great wit. There were fundamental issues with Wu's miliatry, some of which was due to Sun Hao's paranoia but also due to long issues (both on Wu and Jin's side) before he became heir that led to Wu's defences weakening.


Well, i know about him dividing Lu Kang's power to his sons after Kang died, thus weakening Wu military strength. Was his underestimation on his enemies were part of his paranoia or something?

---

About the Yu Jin's SGZ were stated on Daolunshiji's Comprehensive Biography for Yu Jin.
It was clearly stated there, because of Yu Jin and his men surrendering, Yu's supplies were running low, so he raided Wu depot on Xiangguan.
Its also true that Wu has been prepared for an attack on Jingzhou, and that Xiangguan incident were used to justify those attack.
i remember reading it somewhere that Sun Quan purposely told an emissary thing to slow their travel to notify Yu about passing their territory thing, or was it novel invention? :?

im also remember reading somewhere that the supplies sent by Mi Fang (or was it both Mi Fang and Shi Ren?) were insufficient that Yu wanted to 'deal' with them when he return? thats also a prove that his supplies weren't meant for a long run, let alone feeding thousands of surrendered enemies troop and general.

I'm wondering why you to doubted it when there was many sources pointing it up?
I were meant to say, Wu are clearly wanted Yu to act first to justify their invasion, and Yu was taking up those bait. Had he thought it up calmly, he wouldnt fall into Wu's bait and Wu, albeit they're going to invade Jing sooner or later, might decided thats not the right time to act.
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