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Literature: Legend of the Condor Heroes
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.
  • Adult Child: Zhou Botong, to the point that his nickname is "Old Urchin."
  • Adult Fear: How about watching your baby son, the only reminder of a lover who left you, slowly suffer and die over the course of a day because the only person who could save him was a Green-Eyed Monster that you broke up with in the past? No wonder Ying Gu went white with the shock.
  • 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 Bookworm: Also Huang Rong, who is known for her wits.
  • 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.
  • Bastard Bastard: Ouyang Ke
  • Big Bad: Ouyang Feng fills this position towards the end of the book.
  • Big Eater: Hong Jiugong
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Zhou Botong and Ouyang Feng in the sequel
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Zhou Botong, the "Old Urchin".
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: More justified than most examples in Monk Yideng's case. Ying Gu asked him to save her son with Zhou Botong and he agreed, but had an attack of jealousy at the last minute and decided to let the baby die.
  • Freudian Excuse: Huang Yaoshi's brutality can be traced to the eloping of two of his students, which led to his wife's death. Ying Gu's vengeance-filled mindset is the result of losing her son.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Zig-zagged. Ouyang Feng's adultery with his older brother's wife, for the brief time it's mentioned, is used to highlight his evil behavior. On the other hand, Zhou Botong and Ying Gu, Monk Yideng's ex-queen, had their affair portrayed sympathetically.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Monk Yideng, the Southern Emperor, had a very brief bout of this. His ex-wife's lovechild with Zhou Botong was badly wounded and needed his help. Instead, he let the baby die after seeing that there was a love poem from Zhou Botong to Ying Gu on the baby's clothing.
  • Handicapped Badass: Ke Zheng'e, Mei Xiaofeng after being blinded.
  • Happily Adopted: Yang Kang is a little too happily adopted, given the father who raised him actually killed his biological father
  • 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Yang Kang and Ouyang Feng. The first one dies, the second one goes mad.
  • Love Makes You Evil: All over the place. Huang Yaoshi became a grouchy, brutal old man after the death of his beloved wife. Wanyan Honglie murdered Yang Tiexin for Bao Xiruo. Monk Yideng had a very brief stint of this that left him The Atoner and inflicted this trope on his ex-wife Ying Gu. Mei Chaofeng and Chen Xuanfeng were this for each other.
  • Master Poisoner: Ouyang Feng, the "Old Poison".
  • Morality Pet: Yang Kang is a weird version for his father actually stepfather, Wanyan Honglie. No matter what evil things he does over the course of the book, he loves and wants the best for Yang Kang.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: And then adopt his son, if you're Wanyan Honglie.
  • Oh Crap: Huang Rong, upon realizing the Qiu Qianren she's fighting is the real deal.
  • Papa Wolf: Huang Yaoshi, in spades.
    • Ouyang Feng is a dark version. While he was pretty terrible at instilling any sort of ethics into Ouyang Ke, he's still very protective of his nephew who is actually his illegitimate son. He becomes a full-on non-evil version to Yang Guo in the sequel, despite also being a Cuckoo Cloudlander.
  • 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.
  • Raised by Orcs: Subverted for Yang Kang. His adoptive father loved him and gave him a happy childhood, even though he was the one who murdered Yang Kang's real father to begin with.
  • Signature Move: all of the Five Greats get at least one, as does Zhong Botong.
  • Supreme Chef: Huang Rong. Actually used as a plot point once.
  • The Atoner: Monk Yideng
  • 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.
  • The White Prince: Yang Kang at the start.
  • You Killed My Father: Both Guo Jing and Yang Kang are supposed to have this for Wanyan Honglie, but what complicates things is that Wanyan Honglie is Yang Kang's adoptive father who genuinely loved him.

Journey to the WestChinese MediaRomance of the Three Kingdoms
The Last HurrahLiterature of the 1950sThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Journey to the WestNon-English LiteratureRomance of the Three Kingdoms
Red NailsFantasy LiteratureThe Return of the Condor Heroes

alternative title(s): Legend Of The Condor Heroes
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