Due to being quite a {{Door Stopper}}, Romance of the Three Kingdoms has {{Loads And Loads Of Characters}}, here sorted by the kingdoms they serve.



[[folder:Kingdom of Shu-Han]]

!!Liu Bei

Founder of the Kingdom of Shu. Portrayed as a loyal servant of the Han Empire and its people. After the Han's downfall, he continues the Han lineage as the ruler of Shu-Han.

* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Lampshaded by one of Sun Quan's officers.
* DualWielding: His rarely seen fighting style.
* {{Gonk}}: If you take his description in the novel literally, it is hard to believe he was even human.
** His eyes were able to look at the back of his head.
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade
* HonorBeforeReason
* HypocriteHasAPoint: Was the person who pointed out Lu Bu's ChronicBackstabbingDisorder when Cao Cao considered sparing the former.
* MessianicArchetype
* PowerTrio: With Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, of course.
* RevengeBeforeReason: Everything that happens after [[spoiler: Guan Yu's death.]]
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: [[spoiler: On Wu.]]

!!Liu Shan
Second and final emperor of Shu. His bungling is largely blamed for Shu's downfall.

* ChildhoodBrainDamage: His father threw him on the ground as a baby in anger for nearly losing one of his generals. Many believe that this had an effect on his eventual rule.
* TheHedonist: Liu Shan has been living in its capital city Luoyang for some time after surrendering to the kingdom of Wei. When Sima Zhao asks him if he misses the country that used to be under his rule, Liu Shan responded that he is so happy living here and enjoys the music, wine, and the dancing women that he doesn't miss his former land at all.
* TheLoad: Even his father would rather have Zhuge Liang rule his kingdom if he proves to be incompetent as a leader.

!!Guan Yu

One of Liu Bei's oath brothers. Famous for his moral rectitude and incredibly long beard. The leader of the Five Tiger Generals.

* AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: A lifetime of badassery made him do this.
* BadassBeard: It made people who saw it surrender instantly.
* TheBigGuy: The taller and more imposing brother.
* BladeOnAStick: The guan dao.
* CoolHorse: The Red Hare, or Chi Tu Ma.
* GeniusBruiser: His Fan Castle tactics made him one.
** Later subverted as he was easily tricked by Lu Meng.
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: What happens to most of his enemies.
* HonorBeforeReason
* MadeOfIron: He plays a game of [[TabletopGame/{{Go}} Weiqi]] and drinks a few cups of wine when he undergoes surgery because his arm was shot by a poison arrow. This man doesn't even flinch and even smiles when the surgeon carves out the toxin off his bones, though the other player and bystanders couldn't help but cringe at the disturbing sight.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Earlier, Guan Yu is pretty loyal, also humble and well-meaning. Late on his life, he got more callous in his position and treated his subordinates poorly (in particular Mi Fang and Fu Shiren). This eventually bit him in the ass and led him to his defeat and death.
* SuperStrength: He bisects people in half with ease.

!!Zhang Fei

The youngest of Liu Bei's oath brothers. He had a fiery personality and a love of alcohol that got him into trouble at times. A member of the Five Tiger Generals.

* TheAlcoholic: Even for the standards of his time.
%%* AntiHero: A bit of a Type III.
* BadBoss: He had a reputation for being harsh with his men, even beating or killing them if enraged.
* HotBlooded
* BadassBoast: "I am Zhang Fei of Yan! Who dares to challenge me?!"
* BloodKnight: He lives to fight, and he's damn good at it. He tends to get himself into trouble and debauchery when he doesn't have a battle to occupy him.
* BoisterousBruiser
* DrowningMySorrows: Every single time something bad happens to him.
* GeniusBruiser: During Liu Bei's conquests of Shu and Han Zhong.
* ManlyTears: His emotional volatility sometimes induced these.
* TookALevelInBadass: Goes from an incredibly strong drunkard to a crafty general.
* UndyingLoyalty: His defining trait, after his alcoholism and skill. He's unshakably devoted to his BloodBrothers Liu Bei and Guan Yu.
* YouShallNotPass: He manages to make Cao Cao's army retreat simply through VictoryThroughIntimidation when one of the generals died of shock from excessive fear.

!!Zhao Yun

A former servant of Yuan Shao and Gongsun Zan. He joins with Liu Bei when the latter is fleeing from Yuan Shao. A member of the Five Tiger Generals.

* BadassGrandpa: Later on.
* {{Bishonen}}: Pretty much every adaptation makes him one.
* OneManArmy: He was able to plow through Cao Cao's army just to rescue Liu Chan. However, Cao Cao was so impressed by his combat prowess that he ordered his men to capture him.

!!Ma Chao

The eldest son of Ma Teng, the ruler of the Liangzhou region in northwest China. When his father is assassinated by Cao Cao, Ma attempts to fight off the Wei army on his own, but fails and is forced into the service of Zhang Lu. He would eventually defect to Liu Bei's force, where he would become one of the Five Tiger Generals.

* AntiHero
* DespairEventHorizon: His repeated defeats by Cao Cao, as well as him having to watch his family slaughtered, led him to give up on his wish to kill Cao Cao and instead made him an underling to Zhang Lu.
* KickTheDog: Murdered the mother of a Wei officer, as well as every denizen of her town.
* LaResistance: He led one, for a short time. It didn't end well...
* YouKilledMyFather

!!Huang Zhong

A veteran general who has to deal with being discriminated against because of his age. Famous for his ability with a bow. The last of the Five Tiger Generals.

* BadAssGrandpa: Hell yes!
* CoolOldGuy
* OldMaster
* ThoseTwoGuys: With Wei Yan when they first join Shu.

!!Zhuge Liang/Kongming

A master strategist, politician, scholar, and inventor, possibly the greatest of his age. He joined with Liu Bei after Liu made three visits to his cottage, and served him and his son loyally until his death. Rose to the position of Prime Minister of Shu.

* AutomaticCrossbows: An invention of his.
* BatmanGambit
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Delivers one so good, the recipient ''died'' from exasperation.
* TheSmartGuy
* TheStrategist: He is one of the archetypes against which other strategists in fiction are measured.

!!Pang Tong

A strategist of Shu. Was turned away from Wu for being too ugly. Died relatively young in an ambush by Liu Zhang's forces.

* {{Gonk}}: Since it was said that fledgling phoenixes were ugly and they were to grow to be majestuous creatures, he gained the nickname of "Young Phoenix".
* TheStrategist: Well, more like "a strategist". But he was considered incredibly skilled: it was said that if you could control both him and Zhuge Liang, you could reunite China. His early death means this was never really tested.

!!Wei Yan

Defected from Han Xuan because of Han's shoddy treatment of Huang Zhong and his own desire to serve Liu Bei. Served Liu Bei loyally and skillfully, but after Liu Bei's death he became dissatisfied. Zhuge Liang was able to keep a leash on him, but on Zhuge's death he revolted and was eventually killed.

* AmbitionIsEvil
* TooDumbToLive: After having spent most of his later live serving Zhuge Liang, he should have known that the guy had taken some precautions against potential traitors.
* UnknownRival: To Huang Zhong when they first join.

!!Mi Zhu

An officer under Tao Qian who joined Liu Bei when Tao left his city to Liu. Protected Liu Bei's family from Lu Bu.

* BewareOfHitchhikingGhosts
* NonActionGuy
* OfficerAndAGentleman

!!Mi Fang

Brother of Mi Zhu. When Wu invaded Jing province, he defected to avoid a threatened punishment from Guan Yu.

* EvilCounterpart
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: His first treason went off well. But when he tried to get back into Liu Bei's good books by bringing him the head of one of Guan Yu's killers, Liu Bei had him executed.

!!Sun Qian

Another officer of Tao Qian that Liu Bei inherited on Tao's death.

* {{Ambadassador}}: He is usually the guy to go on diplomatic missions for Liu Bei.

!!Ma Dai

A cousin of Ma Chao, who served under him. He served in Zhuge Liang's Southern and Northern Campaigns, often playing crucial roles.

* DistressedDude: He was one of two Shu officers defeated and captured by Lady Zhurong.
* [[NotMyDriver Not My Boat Captain]]: [[spoiler: When Meng Huo flees to what looks like a Nanman ship, Ma Dai is actually the captain.]]

!!Liu Feng

Liu Bei's adopted son. Was forced to commit suicide after failing to supply Guan Yu with reinforcements on Meng Da's advice.

* DrivenToSuicide
* RevengeBeforeReason: A victim of this: Liu Bei would eventually regret forcing him to commit suicide.

!!Liao Hua

A bandit who quits banditry to serve Guan Yu. Briefly survived the fall of the Kingdom of Shu.

* BadassGrandpa: He's first seen as a bandit and a former Yellow Turban rebel, meaning he was at least of fighting age in 205CE. He would be at least in his fifties when he chased Sima Yi alone into a dense forest and, despite being unable to kill him, returned to Zhuge Liang with his helmet. It would be at least another thirty years before he died, having been part of Shu since the very beginning and outliving all of his contemporaries.
* ChasteHero: When he kidnaps Liu Bei's wives, his partner wants them to marry the two women. When Liao realizes who he's kidnapped, he kills his partner and returns the wives, along with his partners head, to Guan Yu as an apology.
* DeathByDespair: Died of grief when Liu Shan surrendered Shu to Jin.

!!Jiang Wei

An officer of Wei who defected to Shu because of the machinations of Zhuge Liang. He would be the main support of Shu for most of the last quarter of the story.

* ArrowCatch
* BadassBookworm: In his first appearance he outsmarts Zhuge Liang and outfights Zhao Yun.
* CatchAndReturn: [[spoiler: How he killed Guo Huai.]]

!!Meng Da

An officer of Liu Bei's who defects to Wei after Fan Castle to escape execution. He is killed by Sima Yi as he tries to return to Shu.

* HeelFaceDoorSlam
* TooDumbToLive: Was told multiple times by Zhuge Liang not to fight against Sima Yi and winds up being killed for it.

[[folder:Kingdom of Wei]]

!!Cao Cao

Minister of Han. While young, a sage told him he was "a good subject in peaceful times; a crafty hero in a troubled land." This prediction was borne out: as the land became more and more divided, Cao amassed more and more power until even the Emperor was afraid of him.

* TheAce: Aside from being a warlord, Cao was noted to be an accomplished martial artist, and reportedly an archaeologist. Whether or not it is an [[InformedAbility informed ability]] has yet to be decided.
* AmbitionIsEvil
* BornLucky: Fortune favours him like no other. [[LampshadeHanging The text even starts complaining about it.]]
* DisproportionateRetribution: Against Tao Qian.
* FakingTheDead: Against Lu Bu.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: And how!
* HumiliationConga: Happens a couple of times to him.
* LetNoCrisisGoToWaste: As a "crafty hero in a troubled land," he has a knack for exploiting chaotic situations to his advantage.
* TheMan: One of his many official titles.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Played straight, but also famously averted after he accidentally kills his father's sworn brother after suspecting treason:
-->'''Cao Cao:''' Better I betray the world than the world betray me.
* RegentForLife
* SpeakOfTheDevil: The Chinese version of the proverb is "Speak of Cao Cao and he shall appear".
* UnfortunateName: His name is unfortunately close to a Chinese word for fucking.
* WarriorPoet: One of the greatest poets of his age.
* WickedCultured: Though he's portrayed as a villain, he's also a WarriorPoet.

!!Cao Pi
Cao Cao's eldest son and heir. He was the one who took the step of usurping the Imperial Mandate from the Han Emperor. Well known for his poetry.

* BigScrewedUpFamily: Pi and his brothers Zhi and Zhang squabbled over becoming Cao Cao's heir.
* OfferedTheCrown: Subversion. In order to maintain an air of propriety, Cao Pi insists that the Imperial title be offered to him, not once, but three times. The terrified Emperor does so.
* UnfortunateName: Even worse than his dad's, as his given name ("Pi" with a flat tone) is unfortunately close to the Chinese word for fart ("Pi" with a falling tone).
* WarriorPoet: Much like his dad.

!!Cao Rui

Cao Pi's heir. He indulged in palaces and women after Zhuge Liang's death

* TheHedonist: Ordered the construction of numerous palaces in spite of officials' protests and bad omens. He also moved numerous statues from Chang'an which caused the death of many workers.
* KarmicDeath: Became deathly ill after he was [[TheDogBitesBack haunted by his dead wife]].
* LikeFatherLikeSon: Just like Cao Pi, he ordered his wife to commit suicide after he found a new favorite

!!Lady Zhen
The widow of Yuan Shao's son, Cao Pi was taken by her beauty and made her his wife. Later, she would be replaced by Lady Guo, who intrigued against her. She was forced to commit suicide.

* DisposableWoman
* DrivenToSuicide

!!Xiahou Dun
A general of Wei. One of Cao Cao's most loyal generals. Famous for eating his own eye after it was shot through with an arrow.

* EyepatchOfPower
* EyeScream

!!Xiahou Yuan
A general of Wei, and elder cousin of Dun. Was famous for his lightning-quick attack, but was easily provoked into attacking which led to his downfall.

!!Dian Wei
Cao Cao's personal bodyguard. A man of great physical strength and loyalty to Cao Cao. He died holding a gate against Cao Cao's enemies.

* DualWielding: He was strong enough to dual wield polearms.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: When his weapon broke during his last stand, he used fallen enemy soldiers as bludgeons.
* YouShallNotPass

!!Xu Zhu
Head of Cao Cao's personal bodyguard, the Tiger Guards. A man of great size, both girth and height, and strength, but known for being gentle and simple off the battlefield. Also known as "Crazy Tiger" or "Marquis Tiger".

* GentleGiant
* StoutStrength: Once dragged two stampeding oxen backward by their tails.

!!Zhang Liao
The leader of the Five Generals of Wei. Originally served Lu Bu, but was spared at the request of Liu Bei and Guan Yu after Lu Bu's defeat and execution. After a devastating victory against Wu with an inferior force, he became used as a boogeyman by Wu mothers.

* FriendlyEnemy: Of Guan Yu.
* PleaseSpareHimMyLiege

!!Xu Huang
One of the Five Generals of Wei. Was instrumental in the campaign against Guan Yu in Jing.

* BigDamnHeroes: His first appearance is saving the emperor from bandits.
* FriendlyEnemy: Of Guan Yu.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: When Guan Yu attempts to turn him to the side of Shu, he states that his public obligations outweigh his private friendship with Guan.
* WorthyOpponent: Of Guan Yu.

!!Zhang He
One of the Five Generals of Wei. Frequently served as Sima Yi's front-line commander, and was feared by Zhuge Liang.

* BadassBookworm: Off the battlefield, he promoted learning of the Five Classics.
* TheDragon: To Sima Yi.

!!Yu Jin
One of the Five Generals of Wei. After a meritorious career, he was sent against Guan Yu, who captured him due to his obstinacy and jealousy of Pang De. He died of illness after being ridiculed by Cao Pi for being captured.

* BadassInDistress
* DeathByDespair
* DrivenByEnvy
* GreenEyedMonster

!!Yue Jin
One of the Five Generals of Wei. Amongst other accomplishments, he was one of the three generals who held Hefei against Sun Quan's large army.

* DefensiveFeintTrap: His role in the Battle of Hefei.

!!Li Dian
The third of the generals who held Hefei. Famously cautious, especially compared to many of the other generals mentioned here.

* TheResenter: Towards Zhang Liao. However, he overcomes this for the Battle of Hefei.
* SourSupporter: His cautiousness clashed with most of his compatriot's more direct style of combat. However, he was usually justified.

!!Pang De
The former officer of Ma Chao and Zhang Lu. Marched against Guan Yu to prove his loyalty to Cao Cao, he was captured by Guan Yu owing to the jealousy of Yu Jin and then executed.

* DeathSeeker: He took a coffin with him to battle Guan Yu.

!!Guo Jia
Advisor to Cao Cao, responsible for many of his early victories. He would die of illness in his thirties while on a campaign, and Cao Cao would lament his absence at the Battle of Chi Bi.

* MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning: He leaves instructions in his will that end in the deaths in the final two sons of Yuan Shao.
* ProfessionalButtKisser: Famous for his description of Cao Cao's ten strengths compared to Yuan Shao's ten weaknesses.
* TheStrategist

!!Xun Yu
Advisor to Cao Cao. He was highly favoured, often acting as Cao Cao's steward when he was away on campaigns. However, he opposed Cao's ascent to dukeship, and was forced to commit suicide.

* DrivenToSuicide
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. He served along with his nephew Xun You. In certain romanizations, the only difference between their given names was an umlaut.

!!Xu Shu
Advisor to Cao Cao. Originally served Liu Bei, but was intrigued against and came to Cao's court against his will. He promised to never make a plan for Cao.

* EvilChancellor: Towards Cao Cao.
* TheStrategist: Albeit more during his tenure with Liu Bei.

!!Sima Yi
Advisor to Cao Cao and his heirs. He would later plot to usurp power from the Cao family.

* EvilChancellor
* IShallTauntYou
* MagnificentBastard
* TheStrategist
* TheStarscream

!!Sima Zhao

Sima Yi's second son who originally planned to usurp Wei, but left the actual abdication to his son, Sima Yan.

* HoistByHisOwnPetard: His takeover of Wei is seen as a direct parallel to Cao Cao's takeover of the Han, including having his son actually be the first one to take the throne. Some translations even call it revenge for the Han dynasty's fall.

[[folder:Kingdom of Wu]]
!!Sun Jian
Patriarch of the Sun family, who claims to be a descendant of Sun Zi. He is killed by an ambush.

* GeniusBruiser: A given for a man who descends from Sun Tzu, the writer of the ''Art of War''.
* LaserGuidedKarma
* OneManArmy: See badass.

!!Sun Ce
Heir of Sun Jian, who managed to set the foundations of what would become Wu. He would die young. Also called "The Little Prince", after crushing a captured officer to death under one arm while scaring another to death with a shout.

* BloodBrothers: With Zhou Yu.
* BurnTheWitch: Didn't like Taoists.
* DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength
* TheMagnificent
* MakeMeWannaShout

!!Sun Quan
Sun Ce's brother and heir. He took Wu to its largest boundaries, eventually declaring himself Emperor.

* DistressedDude: Is frequently needing rescue.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Subverted. His attempts to lead his army from the front just wind up with the entire enemy army targeting him, and his favourite officers being forced to risk life and limb to get him out of danger.

!!Lady Wu
Sun Jian's wife, and mother of Ce, Quan, and Shangxiang. She was instrumental in Liu Bei's survival during his marriage to Lady Sun.

* CoolOldLady
* MyBelovedSmother

!!Lady Sun
Sun Quan's younger sister, who would marry Liu Bei. Was something of a tomboy, who enjoyed arms and taught all of her serving maids swordplay.

* ActionGirl
* AmazonBrigade: Her maids.
* LadyOfWar
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage

!!Zhou Yu
Advisor to the Sun family. He was especially close to Sun Ce, who was his blood brother. After Ce's death, he served Sun Quan capably but was never able to keep up with the wiles of Zhuge Liang.

* AlwaysSecondBest: To Zhuge Liang.
* BloodBrothers
* DeathByDespair
* DrivenByEnvy
* FakingTheDead: Uses this to beat Wei forces.
* TheStrategist

!!Lu Su
Strategist of Wu, famous for his generosity. He is Zhou Yu's eventual successor as chief strategist of Wu.

* TheWatson: For Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang's plots.

!!Lu Meng
An officer of Wu, who also took up scholarship after being criticized by Sun Quan. He was the successor of Lu Su as chief strategist of Wu. He was the mastermind of the campaign against Guan Yu in Jing.

* BadassBookworm: Was the one that eventually outwitted and killed Guan Yu.
* PlayingSick: A fake illness, followed by a show of meekness from his supposed successor, caused Guan Yu to lower his guard against Wu invasion.

!!Lu Xun
A scholar who was named Lu Meng's successor. Served in the campaign against Guan Yu in Jing, as well as masterminding the victory over Liu Bei at Yiling.

* ExtremeDoormat: When taking over during Lu Meng's fake illness, he pretends to be one of these towards Guan Yu to lower his guard further.
* TheStrategist
* StrawCivilian: Subversion. All of the military officers under him are unhappy with serving someone they view to be a mere scholar, right up until he manages the Wu victory at Yiling.

!!Gan Ning
A former pirate who joins Sun Quan after serving Sun Quan's rival, Liu Biao. During his previous service, he killed Ling Tong's father, causing friction between the two.

* AgentPeacock: When he was a pirate he would wear feathers in his and have bells attached to his clothes.
* BoisterousBruiser
* CoolBoat: Gan Ning was called "The Pirate of the Silk Sails", because his ship only used silk sails.
* NiceHat: During a famous night raid on a Wei camp, Gan Ning and his men stuck white goose feathers into their helmets so as to be able to tell each other apart. The raid went off without a single casualty for Wu.
* TheRival: To Ling Tong

!!Ling Tong
A general of Wu. His father was killed by Gan Ning, causing friction between the two. This is exacerbated by the fact that Gan Ning is a better commander than he is.

* AlwaysSecondBest: To Gan Ning.
* EmbarrassingRescue: By Gan Ning.

!!Zhou Tai
An officer of Wu, famous for the injuries he received defending Sun Quan.

* GoodScarsEvilScars: Good, in his case.

!!Huang Gai
An officer of Wu. His false surrender allowed for the fire attack at Chibi. One of the few to have served under three rulers of Wu.

* FakeDefector
* WoundedGazelleGambit: He and Zhou Yu pretend to have a feud each other to give Cao Cao a false sense of opportunity for him to exploit. He gains the trust of Cao Cao after he gets flogged with 50 sticks for talking back to Zhou Yu and becomes TheMole within the Wei army.

!!Taishi Ci
An officer of Wu. He joined after having been defeated in Liu Yao's service.

* DefeatMeansFriendship


[[folder:Other Factions]]
!!Zhang Jiao
A Taoist mystic leading a rebellion against the Han Empire, kickstarting the end of the Dynasty.

* AGodAmI: So he claims.
* EvilSorcerer: For a given definition of "evil".
* {{Foreshadowing}}: His rebellion serves as a foreshadowing to problems the Han Dynasty will suffer.
* PlotTriggeringDeath: His death is what puts in motion the downfall of the Eunuchs.
* ReligionIsMagic
* SiblingTeam: He has two Brothers and they form a PowerTrio. Doesn't last long though.
* SmallRoleBigImpact: Despite being a relatively minor character, his rebellion triggers a lot of important events (such as Zhang Fei, Guan Yu and Liu Bei becoming Brothers).
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The historical pronunciation of his name is actually "Zhang Jue", but the second character of his name has the modern reading "Jiao" instead.
* WarmupBoss: The first threat to appear in the story, his rebellion basically there for the various characters to show their military ability and personal quirks.

!!Dong Zhuo
A tyrant who attempts to take control of the Empire by deposing one emperor and ruling through that emperor's younger brother. A woman comes between him and his second-in-command, Lu Bu, and he is assassinated.

* DiscOneFinalBoss: He is effectively the BigBad for the firs portion of the book, but he's defeated very early on.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas
* FatBastard: The biggest one in the story.
* FatIdiot: Compared to Lu Bu and Li Ru, yeah.
* HateSink: Although the story lionizes the Shu characters at the expense of Wu and Wei, it is still possible to respect and root for the latter kingdoms. Dong Zhuo, though, is just repulsive, and probably has no fans whatsoever.
* {{Jerkass}}: He is by far one of the most unlikable characters of the whole tale.
* RegentForLife: His plan is to become this.
* VillainousGlutton: He grows ''ridicuously'' fat when he becomes regent.

!!Li Ru
Dong Zhuo's most trusted advisor. He is the one who kills the deposed Emperor Shao, his consort, and his mother. He is executed after Dong Zhuo's death.

* BrainsAndBrawn: The brains to Lu Bu's brawn.
* TheChessmaster: To an extent he sometimes seems to be full-on precognitive.
* TheCorrupter: For Lu Bu.
* TheDragon: Shares this role with Lu Bu for Dong Zhuo.
* EvilGenius: Being Zhuo's most trusted avisor, this is a given.
* HyperCompetentSidekick: For Dong Zhuo. He effectively solves all crisis for him.
* KickTheDog: His murder of the royal Family is seen as this.
* ManipulativeBastard: Displayed when he converts Lu Bu to his side.
* TheStrategist: He sees through Diao Chan, but can't get Dong Zhuo to listen to reason.

The mightiest warrior in all of China. After serving Ding Yuan and Dong Zhuo (and assassinating both), he becomes a powerful warlord in his own right. He is eventually defeated by Cao Cao and executed.

* TheAce: Even in the WorldOfBadass of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, he was legendary. There's a reason why people continued to want him on their side despite his ChronicBackstabbingDisorder.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: It eventually comes back to bite him in the ass when Cao Cao considers accepting his service after defeating him, only to be reminded that he suffers from this.
* TheDragon: To Dong Zhuo.
* FourStarBadass: In a series full of them, he deserves special mention.
* InSeriesNickname: 'Bastard of Three Fathers'. This because, aside from his birth father, he also chose a general as a 'Father' later, and not long after that, ''killed'' his 'father', and chose the tyrannical Dong Zhuo as his 'father'. Add to that, the fact that he keeps on changing his allegiances at the drop of hat, and that's how that nickname to be.
* PleaseSpareHimMyLiege: Inverted. Cao Cao was going to spare him in order to make use of him, until Liu Bei pointed out the fate of his previous lords. Cao then changes his mind and executes him.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Both of the lords whom he assassinated were also adoptive fathers.

!!Diao Chan
A singing girl who is roped into bringing down Dong Zhuo by her adopted father by playing him and Lu Bu against each other.

* HoneyTrap
* WoundedGazelleGambit: She convinces both Dong and Lu that she is miserable whenever she is with the other one, making them both want her more.

!!Chen Gong
A strategist who followed Cao Cao until he became disgusted by his immoral behaviour, then joined up with Lu Bu in order to oppose him. When Lu Bu is defeated, Cao Cao offers him a chance to repent, but he refuses and is executed. Cao Cao was so moved that he provided for Chen Gong's family thereafter.

* DoomedMoralVictor
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: He assists Cao Cao in killing his adoptive uncle's household, under the false impression that they were going to betray him and Cao Cao to the authorities.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: After Cao Cao proves to be more ruthless than he thought.

!!Chen Deng
Another strategist for Lu Bu who, along with his father, acted as a fifth column in favour of Liu Bei and Cao Cao. They were both highly rewarded after Lu Bu was defeated.

* EvilChancellor: Towards Lu Bu.
* TheMole, possibly the ReverseMole depending on how you feel towards Lu Bu and Cao Cao.

!!Yuan Shu
A warlord vying for power and brother of Yuan Shao. He declares himself Emperor when Sun Ce trades him the Imperial Seal for troops.

* AlasPoorVillain: His death is arguably the most pathetic in the entire book.
* SmugSnake: All of Cao Cao or Sima Yi's arrogance with only a tiny fraction of their competence.

!!Yuan Shao
The most powerful warlord in the north. His arrogance eventually leads to his downfall at Guan Du.

* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Like most generals in the book.
* BlueBlood: The Yuan family is one of the most distinguished at the beginning of the story.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: The most likely explanation why he TookALevelInJerkass is that the writer originally modeled him on the historical Yuan Shao, before inventing {{Fatal Flaw}}s for the doomed warlord to fit the novel's Confucian moral slant.
* HotBlooded: One gets the feeling he never thinks his actions through.
* TheLeader: For the coalition against Dong Zhou.
* OnlySaneMan: He and Cao Cao are the only people of the plot against the Eunuchs with any sanity.
* TheProudElite: His FatalFlaw is his high-born arrogance.
* ThePurge: He ''really'' hates Eunuchs. [[KarmicDeath Not that they didn't have it coming]].
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: ''Boy'' can he hold a grudge. Specially if you're an Eunuch.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Early on he seems a fundamentally decent character. His arrogance and high and mighty approach only appear when he talks with the three Brothers.

!!Liu Zhang
The governor of Yizhou. He was considered an incompetent by some of his own officers, who wanted Liu Bei to replace him. The rest served him loyally until his defeat, whereupon most of the survivors joined Liu Bei.

* GeneralFailure: He was unable to correctly use the talented officers under his command, which led to their resenting him.

!!Meng Huo
A barbarian king, he attempts to rebel against the rule of Shu only to be beaten seven times by Zhuge Liang. After the seventh time, he repents and swears loyalty to Shu.

* HumiliationConga

!!Lady Zhurong
Meng Huo's wife who claimed to be a descendant of the goddess of fire. She is the only woman in the book to actually fight.

* ActionGirl
* LadyOfWar

!!Gongsun Yuan
The ruler of Liaodong who rebels against Cao Rui. He was defeated by Sima Yi.

* BadBoss: Publicly executed two of his strategists for criticizing his rebellion.