Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Ravages Of Time Dong Clan

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes Applying To Dong clan 
  • Asshole Victim: Dong Zhuo and later Li Jue and Guo Si.
  • Best Served Cold: Hua Xiong's subordinates Song Xian, Wei Xu and Hou Cheng joined Lu Bu's army to have a chance at revenge for Hua Xiong and Dong Zhuo. Their patience is finally rewarded at the end of Cao Cao's 2nd Xuzhou campaign.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Hua Xiong's subordinates Song Xian, Wei Xu and Hou Cheng, who disappeared since volume 6 only to return in volume 28 with much more significant roles.
  • Divided We Fall: What ultimately brings them down is neither the combined powers of the Guandong warlords nor Cao Cao, but the chronic blow-for-blow backstabbings that their leader figures cannot keep in reins.
  • Dragon with an Agenda/The Starscream: Lu Bu to Dong Zhuo.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: According to many generals attending Dong Zhuo's Imperial banquet, the Xiliang men have to fight tooth-and-nail with the barbarian tribes for generations to protect the borders of the Middle Kingdom, and yet they are always looked down on as savages by other warlords. This plays a big part in their desire to rebel under Dong Zhuo's banner.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Any top commander with a shred of honor and sense would be favored with this treatment, from Dong Zhuo and his sons-in-law to decent leader figures like Zhang Ji and Dong Yue.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Niu Fu and Dong Yue.
  • Idiot Ball: After Dong Zhuo's death, his generals keep juggling it. Understandably, they don't last long.
  • Ignored Expert: Had Dong Zhuo listened to Jia Xu's plans instead of Li Ru's, history as we know it would have turned out very differently.
  • Motive Decay: The Xiliang army under Dong Zhuo saw the deposition of the young Emperor and their bloody purge in Luyang it as acts of reform that would decisively and necessarily cleanse the Imperial court of incompetent and corrupt officials who were the indirect cause of the Yellow Turban rebellion. Finally gaining the prestige and power that come with being the de facto authority at the Imperial seat and behind the Emperor is also a sweet long overdue Take That! to the Middle Kingdom warlords who used to snub them. The successive deaths of Dong Zhuo and all of his legitimate, capable heirs cause their morale to break apart, which is not helped by the leadership of Li Jue and Guo Si. By the end of the Emperor escorting arc, Zhang Ji himself remarks that Dong Zhuo's dream was long since over.
  • Off with His Head!: Their leaders are surprisingly prone to this, really. Barring Li Ru and maybe Dong Zhuo, all major characters meet their ends minus a head.
  • Spanner in the Works: Happens in succession to Li Ru's and Lu Bu's schemes to one-up each other and seize power, making sure neither victory is long-lived.
    • To Li Ru, the culprit are the 3rd camp captains. Having been tasked by Lu Bu with "escorting" Li Jue, Guo Si, Fan Chou and Zhang Ji to exile in Liangzhou, they are conveniently not around to hear of the moves that Lu Bu makes in their absence or Lu Bu's usurpation being exposed. When the purge begins against Lu Bu, the returning three camp captains are unaware of the changed situation, so they assume the purge — carried out by Li Ru's forces — to be a coup against the "loyal" Lu Bu and by extension against Dong Zhuo. Their "joining in the defense" against Li Ru's forces by Lu Bu's forces is what undoes the purge.
    • To Lu Bu, it's Sima Yi's sudden appearance and Dong Zhuo's own prepared edict which exposed Lu Bu's treachery and his entire scheme. Sima Yi chanced upon the envoy who was carrying the edict to Liangzhou and had him killed to secure it, then privately turned the edict over to Wang Yun - Lu Bu's political cohort - to ensure that the old man would have an ace up his sleeve when dealing with Lu Bu, who intended to use Wang Yun's court position for his own gain. Lu Bu, on the other hand, still believes that the edict remains in Sima Yi's possession and thus dismiss its effects on his long-term plans due to the Sima clan's distance from Chang'an, residing in Henei in the east. However, when Lu Bu is later driven from Chang'an and Wang Yun is hanged/hangs himself, Jia Xu discovers the edict when he sacks Wang residence and sends it to Liangzhou's Administrator Dong Yue. Dong Yue then concocts a scheme to sacrifice himself to Zhang Liao's blade to lure Lu Bu back to Liangzhou, while his own generals are to pretend to disbelieve the edict. As it happens when the generals revolt Lu Bu is taken completely unaware, loses most of his resources and is driven out of his last stronghold into a period of exile.
  • Villain Decay: They started out as the Big Bad of the story, and literally the entire military powers of the Middle Kingdom had to band together to bring them to justice (and failed). Without Dong Zhuo (or any decent leaders, for that matter), their rule in the capital city quickly degenerates into a long series of power abuse, corruption and internal wars in the top ranks. Their final days are marked by external and internal chaos, the Emperor escaping from the palace, entire collapse of the army, and unceremonious ends for all responsible parties.

    Dong Zhuo
Dong Zhuo is at the beginning of the series the most prominent warlord of China by virtue of holding not only the capital Luoyang but is usurping the emperor's authority, having in practice taken the very young emperor as a hostage. His usurpation and disrespect of Imperial authority make him branded as a villain by every other warlord, but Dong Zhuo shows in this series that he's merely overt about his ambition.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Every other adaption of Romance of Three Kingdoms portrays him as a fat, ugly, lecherous old man. In this version, he's a seasoned war commander and his body's still in top shape despite his age to the point it warranted a Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • Anti-Villain: Type III.
  • Ax-Crazy: He looks and acts the part of a typical gloating, cackling Evil Overlord when he deposes the young Emperor. When Xiao Meng sees him in person, though, he's anything but.
  • Break Them by Talking
  • Brutal Honesty: And we're not talking the metaphorically brutal kind here. When he deposed the young Emperor Liu Bian and crowned his nine-year-old cousin Liu Xie, he gave Liu Xie a speech about the nature of his father's Decadent Court and the self-serving, cowardly mandarins and imperial relatives as he forced the boy to ride on a spike-wheeled chariot over tied-up court officials, making a bloody mess of the Imperial palace's court yard. It helped Liu Xie learn the lesson very quickly and triggered an almost-Face–Heel Turn for the boy.
  • The Chessmaster
  • Chewing the Scenery
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When an old patriarch of Yuan family (that he has taken hostage) tries to shame him on his repeated records of crossing Moral Event Horizon, he verbally tears the old man to shreds and leaves the physical tearing to the blade of Hua Xiong.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: By Diao Chan aka Xiao Meng, as per tradition of Ro TK adaptions.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In Dong Zhuo's first on-screen moment, we see him charge into the Imperial palace with his soldiers and Lu Bu in tow and sit on young Emperor Liu Bian, ridiculing him as "the chair" for Dong Zhuo's "empire" as his men looked on and laughed.
  • Evil Mentor: To Emperor Liu Xie.
  • Gory Discretion Shot
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He adopted Lu Bu and conferred great military authority onto him, despite every smart man under him (Xu Lin, Li Ru) warning that Lu Bu is dangerous and untrustworthy, with a record of killing foster fathers for power to boot. Though unlike most examples and adaptations, he is perfectly aware of Lu Bu's nature; he just keeps on using him for his talents and is confident he can keep Lu Bu in check. This later comes back to bite him and Li Ru in the ass when Lu Bu finally reveals his hand; Li Ru's troops are the ones tasked with shutting down the would-be coup d'etat, but Lu Bu had so utterly convinced other troops and officers of his loyalty that when they arrive on the scene, they see Li Ru's troops surrounding and besieging Lu Bu's troops, put two and two together... and join in Lu Bu's "defense" of Dong Zhuo against the "usurping" Li Ru!
  • Killed Off for Real
  • Knight Templar Well-Intentioned Extremist
  • Large Ham: In term of being ridiculously bombastic with his morale-breaking or morale-raising speeches, no hammy characters in this series, not even Cao Cao or Yuan Shao, can break his records.
  • Licked by the Dog: He's a respected role model to his daughter, nephew and two sons-in-law, who are both very loyal to his cause. In one son-in-law's case, when Jia Xu asks one to allow himself to be killed by an assassin from Lu Bu's case so that Lu Bu will lower his guard, leaving him ripe for an ambush to avenge Dong Zhuo, the son-in-law cites "How can I forget our lord's kindness?" and promptly agrees.
  • Magnetic Hero: YMMV on "hero", but you cannot deny he is extremely charismatic. Xiao Meng as Diao Chan nearly fell for him on the spot due to the effect of his charisma alone.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard
  • Moral Event Horizon: Mass-murdering court officials, deposing the young Emperornote  and giving his brother the throne, installing himself as the Grand Tutor, among others. The universal opinion is that he crossed it a long time ago... although it's revealed by one of Cao Cao's historians that Dong Zhuo will further be denigrated to make Cao Cao's own "holding of the Emperor" not look so bad in comparison.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning
  • Obi-Wan Moment: He faces death with quite the dignity.
  • Predecessor Villain: The first Evil Chancellor in the series, succeeded by Cao Cao.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dealt it to way too many people, and to Yuan Shao's credit only he had strong enough convictions to remain unwavered and talk back to him. Gets one himself from Lu Bu when the later mortally wounds him.
  • Screw Destiny: Basically his response to Li Ru's prophecy of his death. He almost made it, but eventually was not quite there.
  • The Unfettered
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm
  • Übermensch
  • Villainous Friendship: Or something akin to this with the young Emperor Liu Xie, whom he won over by citing the court's corruption as an excuse for his rebellion and proving himself to be a cruel but effective mentor, ready to aid the Emperor and reform the court.

    Dong Huang 

  • All Men Are Perverts
  • Attempted Rape: Almost pulled this on Xiao Meng, if not for Yuan Dangnote 's timely intervention. Turns out it's all an act between them to out Xiao Meng as a spy from the Crippled Legion.
  • Jerkass
  • Killed Off for Real
  • Large Ham: Like uncle like nephew.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: When he sees for himself how deadly Xiao Meng can be with just a kissnote , he quickly backs off from his just-before loud demand to marry Xiao Meng after Lu Bu teases him about it.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He first appears to be a haughty lech who, like Dong Zhuo's sons, tries to rape Xiao Meng in his Diaochan disguise even though (s)he was obviously a lust object to his uncle. Ugh, no, he has that Smart Ball hidden just around the corner, and he inherited some of that penchant for awesome inspirational speeches from Dong Zhuo too.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Just as he's revealed to be a decent enough manipulator and quite a charismatic talker, who Hua Xiong realizes is bolstering his inheritance against Lu Bu by focusing the troops' attention and praise onto himself, Lu Bu tops it by foiling a bold assassination attempt from Yuan Fang and Yuan Shao in broad daylight, earning him back the praise and attention from Dong Zhuo and foot soldiers alike. It might be the reason Dong Zhuo believes him to be an Inadequate Inheritor and selects his son-in-law Li Ru as the heir instead.
  • Sacrificial Lion: An intentional example in-universe; Dong Zhuo sets Huang up as his heir (or secretly switches heirdom to Li Ru half-way, see above) only so that when Lu Bu kills Huang, he will know that Lu Bu's finally ready to show his true colors.
  • Sucksessor: Trying to rape a girl his uncle's shown interest in and beating up an esteemed officer when he tries to talk him out of it? Not cool. Except not really, it's just a little scheme to help Lu Bu fraternize with someone he (correctly) suspects to be sent by the Crippled Legion.
  • The Scapegoat: He's not Dong Zhuo's true heir, Li Ru is.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Posthumously so — Lu Bu recommended to Li Ru a particular house with a well, as Li Ru realizes too late, because that was where Lu Bu had Dong Huang's body dumped.

    Li Ru 
  • The Chessmaster: De facto successor to Xu Lin after the latter's death.
  • Cool Mask: Dons one during his shaman session.
  • The Fatalist: As Dong Zhuo's shaman, he is a believer in heavens and destiny. He predicted Xu Lin's death before it happened and is moved to tears when the prophecy came out that Dong Zhuo would die as well. In the later case he doesn't merely stop at You Can't Fight Fate and instead is inspired to actively prevent the prophecy from being realized.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: His plan to expose Lu Bu's treachery. Subvertednote , then subverted againnote . To sum it up, Lu Bu wins.
  • Hope Spot: After he fully uncovers Lu Bu's false loyalty in front of Dong Zhuo's soldiers, he returns to his quarter to find the lantern symbolizing Dong Zhuo's life in his oracle, which was supposed to go out, lit up and takes it as a sign from Heaven that Dong Zhuo's life has been spared thanks to his efforts to counter the previous prophecy. ... only to be stabbed in the chest by an unharmed Zhang Liao, who reveals that he was the one who lit the lantern for Lu Bu's life, before siccing three beguiled hostile captains onto Li Ru, who they believe is actually usurping Dong Zhuo by having his forces attack Lu Bu's...
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: He tries hard, but eventually it dawns on him just how hopelessly overshadowed he is in the gambit expertise by other brilliant men like Lu Bu or Sima Yi.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy (fatalist, quick to tears) to his father-in-law Dong Zhuo's Manly Man (Determinator, overall stoic and unflappable).
  • Tears of Joy: As Dong Zhuo announces him his rightful heir after they successfully conspired to expose Lu Bu's usurpation.
  • Too Clever by Half: Not only does his complex plan fail to save Dong Zhuo's life, it also causes his own death at the hands of the beguiled 3rd camp captains and sets him up as Dong Zhuo's murderer thanks to Lu Bu's very clever maneuvering.

    Hua Xiong
  • An Arm and a Leg: He lost his arm against Guan Yu at Hulao Pass.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
  • Butt-Monkey: Established as a veteran and Dong Zhuo's right-hand-man, can kick ass for his money's worth, still gets his ass kicked to prove his ass-kicker/his ass-kicker's ass-kicker is smarter or more badass than him.
    • Yuan Tai, a spy of Guandong alliance and the trainer of the imperial army challenged Hua Xiong to a five-strike match and proved his equal until he suddenly turned Combat Pragmatist and defeated Hua Xiong by kicking burning ashes into his eyes... at which point Lu Bu immediately took over, simultaneously broke Yuan Tai's arm and upended a bowl of fire into his face, burning him alive, as his only attack. Yuan Tai's soldiers surrendered without further ado, fearing that they would otherwise taste Lu Bu's remaining four strikes.
    • Yuan Fang led him around by the nose during the climax of the hostage rescue operation even as Hua Xiong cornered him and his men, and knocked down Hua Xiong's horse too, which — like the rest of the Red Hare troops — had become tired out by chasing Yuan Fang and company around Luoyang.
    • Eventually he falls for a subsequent scheme of Yuan Fang's when he leaves Dong Zhuo's side to intercept the charging Wen Chou at the City of Kings, leaving Dong Zhuo defenseless had that not been the moment at which Lu Bu finally figured out the scheme and intercepted Yuan Fang and Yuan Shaonote .
    • At Hulao Pass, Hua Xiong made up for these earlier humiliations with a string of victories against thirteen high-ranked generals from Guandong alliance, mostly earned by One-Hit Kill. Unbeknownst to him and everyone else though, he's for the third time a pawn in Yuan Fang's scheme, this one however directed against the other lords in the Guandong alliance. Then came Guan Yu and the rest needs not be said.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Just as he starts to appreciate Lu Bu and Zhang Liao for saving his life, Zhang Liao murders him.
  • Four-Star Badass
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Him to Lu Bu. One of the reasons he dislikes and distrusts Lu Bu is Lu Bu's rapid promotion in the army and being adopted by Dong Zhuo within a year of joining them, despite Hua Xiong's decades-long veterancy.
  • Off with His Head!: And in this version it was done by Zhang Liao, not Guan Yu who merely took his arm.
  • The Worf Effect: In-story example, his loss against Guan Yu at Hulao Pass serves to reveal and highlight Guan Yu's One-Man Army status to the Guandong warlords.
  • Unwitting Pawn: At Hulao Pass, he's for the third time a pawn in Yuan Fang's scheme, this one however directed against the other lords in the Guandong alliance. By wantonly offing their generals, they ensure that the other lords no longer have any commander capable of breaking the siege, which means certain death for all at the hands of Lu Bu once their rations run out.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Hua Xiong, it seems Lu Bu is a nice guy after all! He goes to battle to cover your retreat after you lost an arm to Guan Yu and even sends his subordinate Zhang Liao to help you out; look like you have to change your opinion of the guy this time! Uh oh.. is that Zhang Liao's blade sticking out of your chest from behind? And is Zhang Liao telling you that Lu Bu already killed your lord's nephew Dong Huang, tricked Xu Lin and is now prepared to kill your lord Dong Zhuo, so only you're left as an obstacle and you should disappear now?... and that's the last thing you ever hear because he just cut off your head.

    Xu Lin
  • Catchphrase: "[Those who are] fated to die will die. [Those who are] fated to live will live". Then one Liaoyuan Huo quickly proved to him that he's not the latter.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Twice. Hint: He's dead, but he has sons.
  • Decapitation Presentation: After the Crippled Legion killed him, his head was sent back to Dong Zhuo. Seeing it enraged Lu Bu and motivated him into curb-stomping the Guandong alliance army the next time they met.
    • In a strange Continuity Nod, his son Xu Chu was later seen carving his head from wood to put inside the coffin with his body because his head was not present.
  • Generation Xerox: With his sons. Note the plural form.
  • Faking the Dead: And it was perfect until the scapegoat screamed for help in what was evidently not Xu Lin's Xiliang accent. Huo noticed it and staged a fake failure to lure Xu Lin out and kill him for real.
  • Genre Savvy: He's aware that people would try to assassinate him some way or the other because he's Dong Zhuo's advisor and commands his army. Coupled with his deduction that the Sima family has a private assassin squadnote , he prepared a scapegoat who dressed and looked like him to fool the Crippled Legion assassins. Huo still got the better of him.
  • Killed Off for Real
  • Red Baron: "Wisest man", or something.
  • Right in Front of Me: After Zhao Huo (aka Liaoyuan Huo), his dead trusted subordinate Zhao Xian's "son", casually revealed that Zhao Xian only begot daughters - "Zhao Xian does not have a son? Then who are you?" The leader of Crippled Legion, ladies and gentlemen.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He's killed in the second chapter and his role, had he survived the assasination, is to become another victim in Lu Bu's scenario to usurp Dong Zhuo. However, through acts of vengeance carried out by his Blood Knight sons, his death ultimately caused Sima Yi's Start of Darkness and consequently the rise of Jin kingdom at the end of this era.
  • The Smart Guy: Besides being known as one of the most famous advisors, he apparently writes theses and composes music too. When Dong Zhuo is not only impressed with "Diaochan"'s beauty but also hernote  singing of a song that Xu Lin wrote called "Pondering Homeland", Dong Zhuo's choice of opening pick-up line is "If you were a man, you would be another Xu Lin!"
  • Villainous Friendship: With Lu Bu, whom he introduced to Dong Zhuo, although Zhang Liao eventually tells the mortally-wounded Hua Xiong that "Friendship is friendship, but power is power", strongly suggesting that Lu Bu would have had Xu Lin killed eventually had not Liaoyuan Huo gotten to him first.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He is praised as Dong Zhuo's best advisor, only to die in the first chapters; his death is also the start of many worf-effect-induced incidents caused by Sima Yi and the Crippled Legion in the entire Dong Zhuo arc.

     Li Jue & Guo Si 

  • Decapitation Presentation: After retreating back to Chang'an following their defeat to Cao's army, they were killed by their own men and their heads was presented inside a box to Cao Cao.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Liu Xie was about to escape their grasp, Li Jue tried to kill the young Emperor. Even Guo Si, who was not a moral pillar to begin with, was appalled and tried to stop him. Thankfully Dian Wei arrived in time.
  • Evil Is Petty: They are prejudiced against Jia Xu even before the event that leads to their reaction of You Have Outlived Your Usefulness regarding him below, even though he deserves credit for Niu Fu's vengeance team going as far as they did in the first place.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: With that said, Jia Xu did get back at Lu Bu by sacrificing Niu Fu and Dong Yue, the last two major leaders of their faction without batting an eye. Anyone is bound to get cold feet when they keep around a Hypercompetent Sidekick who they know never really answers to them, disregards their authority and considers his own lords mere tools for revenge.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: Guo Si.
  • Motive Decay: They were initially among Dong Zhuo's few loyal supporters who were aware of Lu Bu's true colors. In the Lu Bu usurpation arc, they steadfastly stood behind Li Ru to expose Lu Bu and after Li Ru and Dong Zhuo died, joined Niu Fu to seek vengeance. At the end of that arc, being left with neither a leader to rally under (Niu Fu having sacrificed himself) nor an enemy to fight against (Lu Bu having been exiled from Chang'an by Jia Xu's scheme), they quickly turned against each other.
  • Stupid Evil: They abuse the Emperor, kick out Jia Xu and then ransack Chang'an after Jia Xu's departure, ultimately causing the downfall of Dong Zhuo's remnant faction with their interminable in-fighting. Eventually Jia Xu sells them both out by giving Cao Cao a date upon which he should march on Chang'an, and they're made the villains in Xun Yu's "escorting the Emperor" scheme. Even then, they not-so-secretly plot to get rid of the other once they can get the Emperor back, but the Cao army beats them back and for the finale Xun Yu has the Cao army break off pursuit specifically so that their last cohort Wu Xi will see Li Jue and Guo Si as the more immediately threat and kill them.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: After Niu Fu's death and Jia Xu's departure.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: They've always had their problem wih resident Chessmaster Sidekick Jia Xu, but the water that broke the camel's back for them is when he went behind their backs with his own scheme to thwart Lu Bu one more time — sneak Dong Zhuo's edict to Dong Yue, then just flat-out tell the Ma clan that Lu Bu will betray them. Granted, he did so because he felt that they couldn't be trusted with the scheme and Lu Bu likely had planted spies around them, but Li Jue still took that as an excuse to nearly shoot Jia Xu to death.

    Zhang Ji 

  • A Father to His Men: In the last day of Dong Zhuo's regime, his final act as a commanding officer of Dong Zhuo's army is to discharge all his men, believing there's no longer any reason for them to lose their lives over. With this, he also removes Li Jue's and Guo Si's last backup army, allowing Cao Cao and Xun Yu to finish them easily.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Aware of the inevitable outcome, he stays behind Li Jue and Guo Si to hold off the charging Xiahou Dun, however little that counts, with Dong Zhuo's flag in hand. In response, Xiahou Dun gives him a thumb up and takes his head.
  • The Generic Guy: Unlike Li Jue and Guo Si who sport distinct villainous features, he looks (pretty much) like a random captain. Probably speaks to the fact that he's the most grounded among them all.
  • Last Request: As he goes off to take his Last Stand against Cao Cao's cavalry, he asks Jia Xu to take care of his nephew Zhang Xiu. For all the trouble that it's worth, Jia Xu keeps his promise.
  • Off with His Head!: Courtesy of Xiahou Dun.
  • Only Sane Man
  • Sarcasm Mode: Mockingly tells Li Jue and Guo Si to take the Heel–Face Turn and return to farming in Xiliang, a jab at their inability (and his own) to keep Chang'an together.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: He's not ugly, just plain, but clearly contrasts his wife who is reputedly a great beauty. In Pang Tong's debut arc, Xiao Meng impersonated her to get close to Cao Cao to assassinate him.