The Legend of the Condor Heroes
is a Wuxia
tetralogy written by Chinese author Jin Yong
(pen name for Louis Cha). It follows the adventures of many members of the Jianghu world, especially Guo Jing, a slow-witted, talentless child who, with the help of lady luck and many incredibly talented masters, slowly rises to a prominent position in the martial arts world.
It's one of Jin Yong's most widely known works, and it has been ported to many media, including an acclaimed TV series.
Legend of the Condor Heroes presents examples of:
- Action Girl: Huang Rong fits the role perfectly. As does Mu Nianci.
- Bad Ass: Almost every person who gets to speak a line, with very few exceptions. It gets to the point where it reaches World of Badass levels.
- Badass Adorable: Huang Rong.
- Badass Grandpa: Every single old man in the books, to a varying degree. Foremost among them are Huang Yaoshi and the Beggar King Hong Qigong.
- Big Bad: Ouyang Feng fills this position towards the end of the book.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Zhong Botong, the "Old Urchin".
- Handicapped Badass: Ke Zheng'e, Mei Xiaofeng after being blinded.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Subverted. It's pretty safe to say that Guo Jing had a lot less natural talent for kung fu than Yang Kang. However, due to Huang Rong's help, his own ridiculous amount of persistence, along with some of the most legendary kung fu masters pounding all their techniques into his slow head, he eventually manages to surpass Yang Kang and become very strong.
- Historical-Domain Character: Genghis Khan.
- Honor Before Reason: Guo Jing and, to a lesser extent, the Seven Freaks.
- Master Poisoner: Ouyang Feng, the "Old Poison".
- Oh Crap: Huang Rong, upon realizing the Qiu Qianren she's fighting is the real deal.
- Papa Wolf: Huang Yaoshi, in spades.
- Person of Mass Destruction: The Five Masters could easily become this if they were so inclined.
- Power Floats: One of the many kung fu skills are the ones related to lightness, allowing to climb steep cliffs running, make impossible jumps and so on. When the fake Qiu Qianren is introduced, everyone thinks he has a superhuman level of martial arts because he could walk over water.
- Punch Parry: happens quite a lot, specially with palm strikes.
- Signature Move: all of the Five Greats get at least one, as does Zhong Botong.
- The Rival: both Ouyang Ke and Yang Kang could be considered to fill this position towards Guo Jing.
- Took a Level in Badass: Throughout the books, the mastery levels of many characters varies wildly due to training, meditation and discovery of ancient secrets. Guo Jing and Zhong Botong deserve a special mention. The former went from being a nobody to a level nearing those of the supreme Five Masters in less than a year, while the latter went from truly skilled to probably being the most powerful martial artist of the time.
- Training from Hell: Guo Jing's ten years at the hands of the Six Freaks... Not that it did him much good, though.