- List of A Deadly Secret characters
- Di Yun (狄雲) – the protagonist of the novel. He is framed for larceny and wrongly imprisoned. He learns the "Divine Light Skill" (神照功) from Ding Dian and escapes from prison to take his revenge and uncover the truth. He finally realises the dark side of human nature, after witnessing how his teacher and the villains attempt to seize the prized "Liancheng Swordplay" manual by resorting to various unscrupulous means. He remains true and loyal to himself and eventually his goodness is rewarded when he is reunited with Shui Sheng.
- Ding Dian (丁典) – Di Yun's fellow inmate while he was in prison. He accuses Di Yun of being a spy and beats him up regularly. However, he is finally convinced that Di Yun is not a spy and befriends him. He gains the highly-sought "Liancheng Swordplay" manual from Mei Niansheng and becomes the target of several pugilists eyeing the prized manual. He is poisoned and killed by Ling Tuisi.
- Qi Fang (戚芳) – Qi Zhangfa's daughter and Di Yun's first love interest. She marries Wan Gui after giving up on Di Yun when she believes he is guilty. She is killed by the Wans.
- Shui Sheng (水笙) – Shui Dai's daughter. She is taken hostage by Grandmaster Xuedao and brought to Sichuan. She is suspicious of Di Yun initially but falls in love with him gradually as she sees his kind nature. They are forced to separate after Hua Tiegan accuses them of having done something immoral. She is reunited with Di Yun at the end of the novel.
- Qi Zhangfa (戚長發) – Di Yun's martial arts teacher and Mei Niansheng's second disciple. He murders his teacher to seize the "Liancheng Swordplay" manual. He becomes insane after coming into contact with the cursed jewels.
- Wan Zhenshan (萬震山) – Mei Niansheng's oldest student. He murders his teacher to seize the "Liancheng Swordplay" manual, and discovers the secret of the manual unexpectedly when his blood soaks through a book of Tang poetry. He is murdered in cold blood by Qi Zhangfa.
- Yan Daping (言達平) - Mei Niansheng's youngest disciple. He murders his teacher to seize the "Liancheng Swordplay" manual. He disguises himself as an old beggar and teaches Di Yun some swordplay techniques as part of the conspiracy to frame Di. He is murdered in cold blood by Qi Zhangfa.
Wan Zhenshan's associates
- Wan Gui (萬圭) – Wan Zhenshan's son. He lusts for Qi Fang and tricks her into believing that Di Yun is guilty. Qi Fang falls for his lies and gives up on Di Yun and marries him instead. He conspires with his father to seize the "Liancheng Swordplay" manual and kills his wife when she discovers their conspiracy. He becomes insane after coming into contact with the cursed jewels.
- Disciples of Wan Zhenshan - they are attracted to Qi Fang and devise a plot to get rid of Di Yun to win Qi's attention. Zhou Yin and Wu Kan die at the hands of Di Yun and Wan Zhenshan respectively.
- Lu Kun (魯坤)
- Zhou Yin (周圻)
- Sun Jun (孫均)
- Bu Yuan (卜垣)
- Wu Kan (吳坎)
- Feng Tan (馮坦)
- Shen Cheng (沈城)
Blood Saber Sect (血刀門)
- Grandmaster Xuedao (血刀老祖) – literally "Blood Saber Elder". He is the leader of the sect. He mistakes Di Yun as a grand-disciple and teaches Di martial arts after saving him from death. Later he discovers that Di Yun is an imposter and wants to kill him. Unexpectedly, he helps Di Yun complete the inner energy cycle and dies at Di's hands instead.
- Baoxiang (寶象) - a disciple of Grandmaster Xuedao. He is involved in the fight with Ding Dian in prison but manages to escape. He meets Di Yun by chance at a temple and attempts to kill him for food. He is outwitted and poisoned to death by Di Yun.
- Disciples of Grandmaster Xuedao - killed by Ding Dian in a fight in prison while trying to force him to reveal the whereabouts of the "Liancheng Swordplay" manual.
- Shanyong (善勇)
- Shengdi (勝諦)
Luohua Liushui (落花流水)
- Lu Tianshu (陸天抒) - the oldest member of the group. He trails Grandmaster Xuedao to Tibet with his mates to free Shui Sheng from hostage, but is killed by Xuedao while trapped in the snow. His corpse is eaten by Hua Tiegan.
- Hua Tiegan (花鐵杆) - the most scheming and treacherous member of the group. He reveals his true colours after Grandmaster Xuedao is killed by Di Yun. He resorts to cannibalism and sustains himself by eating the corpses of his mates. After he escapes from the snowy valley together with Di Yun and Shui Sheng, he accuses them of committing an immoral act and forces them to be separated. He becomes insane after coming into contact with the cursed jewels.
- Liu Chengfeng (劉乘風) - killed by Hua Tiegan unintentionally during a duel with Grandmaster Xuedao. His corpse is eaten by Hua Tiegan.
- Shui Dai (水岱) - Shui Sheng's father. He is severely injured in the fight with Grandmaster Xuedao and begs for Di Yun to kill him to end his suffering, which Di reluctantly did.
- Mei Niansheng (梅念笙) – the teacher of Qi Zhangfa, Wan Zhenshan and Yan Daping. He is murdered by them in their attempt to seize his "Liancheng Swordplay" manual. He passes the manual to Ding Dian before his death.
- Kongxincai (空心菜) – the daughter of Wan Gui and Qi Fang. Her real name is unknown and her nickname literally means "hollow hearted vegetable", the common Mandarin term for water spinach. She is raised by Di Yun and Shui Sheng after her mother dies.
- Wang Xiaofeng (汪嘯風) - Shui Sheng's cousin and one of the members of the Twin Sword Heroes (铃剑双侠). He attempts to save Shui Sheng from Grandmaster Xuedao but fails. He becomes insane after coming into contact with the cursed jewels.
- Ling Tuisi (凌退思) - a cruel and sadistic landlord from Jingzhou. He spreads poison over his daughter's coffin to lure Ding Dian into a trap and capture him to claim the reward. He becomes insane after coming in contact with the cursed jewels.
- Ling Shuanghua (凌霜華) - Ling Tuisi's daughter and Ding Dian's lover. She is buried alive by her father to prevent her from meeting Ding.
- Juyou (菊友) - Ling Shuanghua's maid. She was murdered by Ling Tuisi after Ling suspects her of revealing information about his daughter to Ding Dian.
- Lü Tong (呂通) – a bandit chief from Mount Taihang
- Taohong (桃紅) - Wan Zhenshan's concubine. Wan Zhenshan forces her to frame Di Yun for rape. She told Qi Fang the truth about Di Yun and the Wans before leaving for good.
- Ma Daming (馬大鳴) - a member of the Ten Thousand Victories Saber Sect. He is killed by Ding Dian.
- Geng Tianba (耿天霸) - a pugilist killed by Ding Dian
- Shui Fu (水福) - a servant of the Shui family
Jin Yong's wuxia novels The Book and the Sword (characters) (1955)書劍恩仇錄 Sword Stained with Royal Blood (characters) (1956)碧血劍 The Legend of the Condor Heroes (characters) (1957)射雕英雄傳 The Return of the Condor Heroes (characters) (1959)神雕俠侶 Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain (1959)雪山飛狐 Other Tales of the Flying Fox (1960)飛狐外傳 Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse (1961)白馬嘯西風 Blade-dance of the Two Lovers (1961)鴛鴦刀 The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber (characters) (1961)倚天屠龍記 Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (characters) (1963)天龍八部 A Deadly Secret (characters) (1963)連城訣 Ode to Gallantry (characters) (1963)俠客行 The Smiling, Proud Wanderer (characters) (1967)笑傲江湖 The Deer and the Cauldron (characters) (1969)鹿鼎記 "Sword of the Yue Maiden" (1970)越女劍
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