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The following is a list of events that are found in the fictitious novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, written by Luo Guanzhong 羅貫中, but are not found in the official histories Records of the Three Kingdoms, History of the Later Han and History of Jin, nor the chronological history work Zizhi tongjian. This more than likely means all of the below events did not happen in history.

Zhang Jue receives three volumes of the Book of Heaven from the Saint HermitEdit

A story found in chapter 1. Zhang Jue meets a mysterious old man while studying herbs in a forest. He follows the man into a cave, who then tells him he is the Saint Hermit of the Southern Land and hands him three volumes of the Book of Heaven, which he is told to study. Zhang Jue and his brothers Zhang Bao and Zhang Liang master its content and launch a rebellion against the Han.

Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei swear an oath of brotherhood in the Peach GardenEdit

Chapter 01.1 - Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood In The Peach Garden

The Oath, as depicted in the Ming Dynasty work Sanguo zhi tongsu yanyi.

A scene found in chapter 1, about the time of the Yellow Turban Rebellion. Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei swear an oath of brotherhood. Their goal in taking the oath was to protect the Han Dynasty from the Yellow Turban rebels. It is often alluded to as a symbol of fraternal loyalty

Zhang Fei trashes the Imperial InspectorEdit

A scene found in chapter 2. An Imperial Inspector was checking in on Liu Bei, who had assumed office as a minor county-level magistrate following his success against the Yellow Turbans. The Inspector wanted a bribe, but wasn't given any so he attempted to force the locals to file a complaint against Liu Bei. Zhang Fei became furious when he heard about this and severely trashed the Inspector.

Historicity: A similar story is found in Liu Bei's official biography in Records of the Three Kingdoms, which says it was actually Liu Bei who beat up the Inspector, because the Inspector had no interest in seeing Liu Bei. Luo Guanzhong decided to let Zhang Fei do the beating maintain Liu Bei's image as benevolent hero and because it fits more with Zhang Fei's temperemental personality.

Li Su bribes Lü Bu into joining Dong Zhuo by offering him Red HareEdit

Chapter 03.2 - Lü Bu betrays and murders Ding Yuan

Lü Bu about to murder Ding Yuan, as depicted in the Ming Dynasty work Sanguo zhi tongsu yanyi.

A scene found in chapter 3. When Dong Zhuo took control of the imperial court, Ding Yuan immediatly opposed him. Dong Zhuo was very impressed with Ding Yuan's protégé Lü Bu. Li Su told Dong Zhuo that Lü Bu is a greedy man and could be bribed by offering him Red Hare. Dong Zhuo ordered him to do so, Lü Bu murdered Ding Yuan and went to join Dong Zhuo.


Historicity: Lü Bu's official biographies in Records of the Three Kingdoms and History of the Later Han both say Lü Bu once rode a Red Hare Horse while he served Yuan Shao and fought against the Black Mountain bandits. It also mentions Li Su bribing Lü Bu with riches, but not Red Hare. These two stories were probably put together.

Cao Cao presents the Seven Star Precious Sword to Dong ZhuoEdit

A scene found in chapter 4. Wang Yun lent Cao Cao his Seven Star Precious Sword when Cao Cao promised him to assassinate Dong Zhuo with it. The assassination failed and Cao Cao fled the capital in disguise.


Historicity: this scene shows some (but few) similarities with a scene in Cao Cao's official biography in Records of the Three Kingdoms, which states that Dong Zhuo wanted to appoint Cao Cao as Colonel of Valiant Cavalry (xiāoqí xiàowèi 驍騎校尉). Cao Cao felt uneasy about it and fled the capital in disguise.

Cao Cao gets arrested and then released by Chen GongEdit

A story found in chapter 4

Cao Cao and Chen Gong slay villagers and Lü BosheEdit

A story found in chapter 4

Battle of Sishui PassEdit

A scene found in chapter 5. A coalition of "Loyal Rebels" is formed to oppose Dong Zhuo. The coalition heads towards Luoyang, but they need to pass through Sishui Pass, which is guarded by Hua Xiong. Several coalitionleaders are beaten by Hua Xiong, before Guan Yu cuts him down with a single blow.

Origin: this scene is also found in Sanguo zhi pinghua 三國志平話 (a book which pre-dates Romance of the Three Kingdoms) and Luo Guanzhong later adopted it into Romance.
Inspiration: Hard to tell. Historically the warlords of the coalition acted rather loose from each other and were stationed far away from each other. Perhaps for easier writing purposes he placed all warlords together, or it was done so that all warlords could witness the achievements of Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei against Hua Xiong and Lü Bu.

Guan Yu slays Hua XiongEdit

During the battle of Sishui Pass, Guan Yu volunteers to fight Hua Xiong, who had been very succesful in stopping the allied forces. His proposal was met with mockery, but was accepted. He killed Hua Xiong in one blow and returned with his head.

Origin: Hua Xiong fought against Sun Jian at Yangren during the Campaign against Dong Zhuo, but was killed.

Battle of Hulao PassEdit

Chapter 05.2 - The Three Brothers Fight Against Lu Bu

Three brothers fight Lü Bu, as depicting in the Ming Dynasty work Sanguo zhi tongsu yanyi.

A scene found in chapter 5. Following Hua Xiong at Sishui Pass, the allied forces now had to get through Lü Bu, who prevented the "Loyal Rebels" from getting through Hulao Pass. Lü Bu had no trouble beating officer after officer, until the three sworn brothers opposed him.

Origin: this scene is also found in Sanguo zhi pinghua 三國志平話 (a book which pre-dates Romance of the Three Kingdoms).
Inspiration: see Battle of Sishui Pass.

Three sworn brothers duel Lü BuEdit

Similar to Hua Xiong, Lü Bu was very succesful in holding off the allied forces at Hulao Pass, defeating numerous officers. Zhang Fei then challenged Lü Bu, but could not beat him. Guan Yu came to Zhang Fei's assistance, but again no side emerged victorious. Then Liu Bei rode out to his brothers' aid and after some more bouts Lü Bu decided to draw back.

Origin: this scene is also found in Sanguo zhi pinghua 三國志平話 (a book which pre-dates Romance of the Three Kingdoms).
Inspiration: Historically, there was no battle at Hulao Pass and Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei had no active role in the Campaign against Dong Zhuo. Sun Jian was the one who beat Lü Bu (twice) and Hua Xiong and by doing so established his name. It seems Luo Guanzhong wanted these honours to go to Liu Bei and thus wrote these victories to him (and his men).

Wang Yun uses Diaochan to create tension between Lü Bu and Dong ZhuoEdit

A story that starts in chapter 8 and ends in chapter 9.

Cao Xing shoots Xiahou Dun in his eyeEdit

A scene found in chapter 18.

Guan Yu surrenders to Cao Cao under three conditionsEdit

A scene found in chapter 25.

Under the service of Cao Cao Guan Yu slays Yan Liang and Wen ChouEdit

Two scenes found in chapter 26.

Guan Yu slays six generals as he traverses five passesEdit

An event found in chapter 27.

Guan Yu slays Cai YangEdit

Guo Jia proposes a strategy to deal with Yuan Shao's sonsEdit

A scene found in chapter 32.

Xu Shu serves Cao CaoEdit

Liu Bei pays three visits to Zhuge Liang in the thatched cottageEdit

Liu Bei rides Hex Mark and leaps across the Tan streamEdit

A scene found in chapter 34.

Sun Ce cursed by Yu Ji before executing himEdit

Inferno at Bowang SlopeEdit

Zhao Yun's heroics at ChangbanEdit

Zhou Yu sees through Jiang Gan's plot and tricks himEdit

Zhuge Liang borrows arrows with straw boatsEdit

Huang Gai's self-torture ruseEdit

Pang Tong presents the chain-link strategy to Cao CaoEdit

Zhuge Liangs summons the eastern wind to make the fire-attack succeedEdit

Guan Yu spares Cao Cao Huarong PassEdit

Liu Bei's and Lady Sun's marriageEdit

Zhou Yu dies enraged by Zhuge LiangEdit

Zhao Yun crosses the river to rescue Liu ShanEdit

Battle of Tong PassEdit

Death of Pang TongEdit

Battle of Jiameng PassEdit

Guan Yu attends a banquet alone armed with only a bladeEdit

Hua Tuo treats Guan Yu's armEdit

Lü Meng killed by Guan Yu's SpiritEdit

Shamoke kills Gan NingEdit

A scene found in chapter 83. During the Battle of Xiaoting the Wu general Gan Ning, down with dysentery, participated in the battle regardless of his illness. He encountered a group of barbarian men led by the tribal king Shamoke, an ally of Liu Bei during this battle. Gan Ning recognized that he had no chance of victory against such a man and did not engage Shamoke, but turned his steed to flee. Shamoke shot an arrow which pierced Gan Ning's skull. He died later under a tree.

Meng Huo captured and released seven times by Zhuge LiangEdit

A story covered in chapter 87, chapter 88, chapter 89 and chapter 90. Before embarking on campaigns to the north against Wei, the southern lands of Shu-Han had to be stabilized.

Origin: The core of this story is taken from the Han-Jin chunqiu by Xi Zuochi, quoted by Pei Songzhi in Zhuge Liang's biography in Records of the Three Kingdoms.
Inspiration:

Zhuge Liang's Sixth ExpeditionEdit

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