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Series / Kings War

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King's War (Chinese: 楚汉传奇, Chu Han Chuan Qi) is a Chinese series starring Chen Daoming (Qin Shihuang in Hero) as Liu Bang, Peter Ho as Xiang Yu and Li Yixiao as Lady Yu. The series is set during the final years of the chaotic Qin dynasty, and traces the origins of Liu Bang and Xiang Yu: one, a middle-aged hooligan who nonetheless has his personal charm; the other, a young grandson of a famous general of Chu during the Warring States and anxious to restore his destroyed kingdom. After the death of Qin Shihuang, Qin quickly descended into chaos, and the stage is set for the two men to rise to prominence, but ultimately, only one man can become the next emperor of China...


King's War contains examples of:

  • Arrogant Kungfu Guy: Xiang Yu, who only knows how to fight and win wars, but is largely useless in politics and governance. Ultimately, Liu Bang defeated him by using good advice and obtaining the support of the masses, resulting in a battlefield advantage which even Xiang could not overcome.
    • Over at Liu Bang's side, Han Xin is another example. His utter failure at managing his relationship with Liu Bang was one major reason why Liu took action against him after the Han Dynasty was established.
  • Artistic License – History: Princess Chen Xi was a character created for the series; Fusu's family details were not recorded down or had been lost to history.
    • Historically, Zhang Liang's assassination attempt on Shi Huangdi at Bolangsha only consists of him hiring the strong man to throw a massive hammer at one of the emperor's carriages. In-series, Bolangsha became a Big Badass Battle Sequence, complete with Zhang Liang pulling off a fantastical escape.
    • Historically, there were no records of Yong Chi joining the Chu army, nor was he recorded to be present at the Feast of Hong Gate; it was Xiang Yu himself who revealed to Liu Bang Cao Wushang's role in the whole affair. Also, after Yong Chi's failed attempt to ally with Wei, he had defected to Zhao before surrendering to Liu Bang.
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    • Historically, while Lady Bo was indeed a concubine of Wei Bao note  before she met Liu Bang, there were no records indicating that she ever gave Wei any advice. note 
    • Historically, Sima Xin killed himself along with Cao Jiu after Chenggao fell.
    • Historically, Xiang Zhuang's activities were not recorded after his participation in the Feast of Hong Gate; similarly, records on Ding Gong were limited to him letting Liu Bang off near Peng city, and Liu killing him later.
  • Composite Character: Lady Cao is an amalgamation of the historical Lady Cao (mother of Liu Fei) and one/two inn owners who allowed Liu Bang to have meals on credit. note 
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  • Dated History: While Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian did indicate that Ziying was Fusu's son, modern historians have disputed this, arguing that if Ziying did discuss with his sons the plan to assassinate Zhao Gao, him being Fusu's son would have been too young for this scenario. Similarly, there are no consensus on whether Zhao Gao was truly a eunuch.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Xiahou Ying, when Liu Bang was in danger; he later became Minister Coachman ("Taipu", 太僕) note 
  • Doomed by Canon: Knowing the historical fates of the various characters can spoil the story to a certain extent.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: After becoming emperor, Liu Bang's relationships with his comrades had to change due to his new status. However, he remained cordial with those who posed no threat to him. note 
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Liu Bang and his buddies from Pei county, who joined him very early in his rebellion and all contributed greatly to the establishment of the Han. note 
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Liu Bang, who in historical sources was an even bigger asshole than he was in the incidents listed below.
    • The fight between him and Xiahou Ying was historically a prank played by him on Xiahou, which injured Xiahou. When the authorities were notified, Liu Bang lied and Xiahou Ying covered up for Liu. Later, when Xiahou was discovered to have lied, he was given several hundred lashes and imprisoned for more than a year, while Liu was off the hook.
    • During Li Yiji's initial audience with Liu Bang, Liu was said to have two maids washing his feet for him.
    • While not depicted in the series, Liu Bang actually had Ding Gong killed after Xiang Yu was defeated, and this was after Ding had approached Liu expecting a reward for the leniency shown at Peng city.
  • Historical In-Joke: Fan Zeng dying while lying on his back is a nod to his historical death from a subcutaneous ulcer on his back.
    • Lady Qi's admonition to her son Ruyi to fight for the title of crown prince was the main reason why mother and son later died horribly after Liu Bang's death. note 
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Liu Bang, during his initial occupation of Xianyang. Historical sources indicated that he did not cause any disturbance in the city at all, left everything untouched note  and returned to Ba Shang with the troops.
    • Historically, while Xiao He was indeed imprisoned for a time during the last years of Liu Bang's reign, the series did not depict his eventual release. note 
  • Iron Lady: Lv Zhi, keeping the Liu household afloat while Liu Bang was away. Once Liu became King of Han, she graduates to The High Queen, as she had a keen sense for politics, and was well-liked by Liu Bang's various generals from Pei county. note 
  • Magnetic Hero: Liu Bang, more so than Xiang Yu. Along the way, most of Xiang Yu's followers were either driven away from him via Han schemes or outright joined Liu Bang. note  In contrast, most of those who joined Liu stayed with him until Xiang was defeated.
  • Mood Whiplash: Han Xin before and after the Time Skip, from his moment of triumph to his downfall in a span of a few minutes. note 
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. Over at Liu Bang's side, there are 2 persons with the names "Ying" note  and Yiji note  respectively. A bigger example is that there are 2 persons with the exact same name of Han Xin during this period. note 
  • Prophecy Twist: Wei Bao automatically assumed that he would be the father to the "Son of Heaven" mentioned by the soothsayer; those who know their history would know that this son of Lady Bo's was Emperor Wen of Han, and the father would be Liu Bang.
  • Puppet King: Huhai and King Huai of Chu. As expected, Zhao Gao and Xiang Yu disposed of them once they had outlived their usefulness.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Liu Bang putting down the various non-Liu vassal kings. Not only did it earn him a wound which would eventually kill him, the Liu vassal kings eventually proved to be unreliable as well. note 
  • Regent for Life: Zhao Gao tried to enforce this after Shi Huangdi's death. He succeeded in killing Huhai, but fell to Ziying.
  • Sibling Murder: After ascending the throne, Huhai killed tens of his brothers and sisters.
  • The Spymaster: Chen Ping, who used misinformation to devastate Xiang Yu's ranks. note 
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: After the Feast of Hong Gate, once Cao Wushang admitted that he had betrayed Liu Bang, Liu's officers descended upon him and essentially reduced him to meat paste. note 
  • Time Skip: The series skips over the majority of Liu Bang's reign as emperor. The scene of Han Xin returning to his hometown of Huai Yin took place around 202 B.C., when he was the newly minted King of Chu. The next scene, where news of Chen Xi's rebellion being put down was announced, took place in around 196 B.C.; by this time, Han Xin was already demoted to the Marquis of Huai Yin.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Liu Bang and Lu Wan. As Liu removed the various non-Liu vassal kings one by one, Lu eventually rebelled, but failed and escaped north to the Xiongnu; Lu eventually died in exile.
    • Downplayed with Xiao He and Cao Can; although they did drift apart, they were still professional enough to work together for the Han. note 
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: While Xiang Yu won almost every battle he fought, his lack of wisdom and governance ultimately turned the masses and many of his followers against him. note 
  • Young Future Famous People: Lady Bo would later become empress dowager after the death of Lv Zhi and the ascension of her son (Emperor Wen); all subsequent Han emperors were descended from her and Liu Bang.
    • Liu Bang's grandson Liu Xiang, seen as a kid in the last episode, would later help his grandfather's comrades to put down the Lv clan after Lv Zhi's death in 180 B.C..

Example of: