Condor Trilogy

Condor Trilogy
Condor Trilogy
Traditional Chinese 射鵰三部曲
Simplified Chinese 射雕三部曲

The Condor Trilogy is a trilogy of three wuxia novels by Jin Yong.

The novels in the trilogy are:



Book I

Book cover

The story is set in the Song Dynasty and at the beginning of the Jurchen Jin Dynasty's invasion of northern China. The first part of the novel revolves around the friendship of two men, Yang Tiexin and Guo Xiaotian, who become heroes in their own right as they fight the Jin invaders. The bond between the duo is so strong that they pledge to each other that their unborn children will become either sworn brothers (if both are of the same sex) or a couple (if they are of opposite sexes).

The story focuses on the trials and tribulations of their sons after Guo's death and Yang's disappearance. Guo Jing, Guo Xiaotian's son, grows up in Mongolia under the care of Genghis Khan. Yang Kang, on the other hand, grows up in Jin as a Jurchen prince's son. Guo is mentored by the "Seven Freaks of Jiangnan" in martial arts but he is a slow learner and only manages to master part of the skills he was taught. Yang is mentored by Qiu Chuji of the Quanzhen Sect and he learns the evil "Nine Yin White Bone Claw" from Mei Chaofeng secretly.

The boys' personalities differ largely from each other due to the difference in the manners they were raised. Guo is honest, loyal and righteous, but slow witted. Conversely, Yang is clever, but scheming and treacherous. They eventually meet one another and their respective lovers, Huang Rong and Mu Nianci. The main plot follows Guo and Huang's adventures and their encounters with the Five Greats. Meanwhile, Yang plots with the Jurchens to destroy his native land of Song. Yang refuses to acknowledge his ethnicity and is strongly driven to acquire wealth, fame and glory. His treachery is slowly unveiled throughout the novel through the encounters he has with the protagonists.

Assisted by Guo, the Mongol military destroys the Khwarezm Empire and Western Xia, leaving the Jin Dynasty with no ally left to turn to and its eventual destruction. The Mongols subsequently turn their attention towards Song. Guo is unwilling to aid the Mongols in conquering his native homeland and leaves Mongolia. Guo returns to Song and helps his countrymen in countering the Mongol invasion. On the other hand, Yang meets his retributive end, leaving behind Mu Nianci and their unborn son.

Book II

Book cover

The protagonist, Yang Guo, is the orphaned son of the antagonist Yang Kang from the first novel. He is raised briefly by the couple Guo Jing and Huang Rong before being sent to the Quanzhen Sect for better guidance in moral values and orthodox martial arts. At Quanzhen, Yang is often picked on and bullied by his fellow students and his teacher Zhao Zhijing is biased against him. Yang flees and ventures unknowingly into the nearby Tomb of the Living Dead, where the Ancient Tomb Sect is housed. He is saved by Xiaolongnü, a mysterious maiden of unknown origin, and becomes her disciple. They live together in the tomb for many years until Yang grows up. By then, Yang sees Xiaolongnü more than merely his highly-respected teacher, as he has gradually developed romantic feelings for her.

However, their love is forbidden by societal laws in the Confucianist society of that time. Throughout the story, their love meets with several trials, such as the misunderstandings that threaten to tear them apart and the encounter with Gongsun Zhi. Finally, after their reunion and marriage, Xiaolongnü leaves Yang again, owing to her belief she cannot recover from a fatal poison, and promises to meet him again sixteen years later. While Yang is wandering the land alone, he meets several formidable pugilists and a giant Condor. His adventures gradually mould him into a courageous pugilist, whose prowess matches the Greats of his age. Yang serves his nation by helping the Han Chinese of the Song Dynasty defeat the Mongol invaders, delaying their advances for another fourteen years. At the end of the novel, he is finally reunited with Xiaolongnü and they are recognized as heroes.

Book III

Book cover

Set in the late Yuan Dynasty, the story revolves around a pair of priceless and extremely powerful weapons, known respectively as the Heaven-reliant Sword (倚天劍) and Dragon-slaying Saber (屠龍刀), which many pugilists covet. Either or both of them are thought to allow their wielder to rule the wulin (martial artists' community), according to a widely circulating rumour in a repeated mantra, "Honoured by the wulin, the precious saber slays the dragon, it commands the world, who dares disobey? If the Heaven-reliant does not appear, who can challenge it?" (武林至尊,寶刀屠龍,號令天下,莫敢不從!倚天不出,誰與爭鋒?). The reason for that is lost at the beginning of the story. In addition, a subplot reveals the fates of the Guo and Yang families from the first two novels.

The protagonist, Zhang Wuji, is of mixed heritage: his father, Zhang Cuishan, hails from the righteous Wudang Sect under the master Zhang Sanfeng, while his mother, Yin Susu, is from the unorthodox Heavenly Eagle Cult. As a boy, he lives with them and his godfather, Xie Xun, on the isolated northerrn island where he was born. He returns to the Chinese mainland and loses his parents after they are cornered by several pugilists coveting the Dragon-slaying Saber. At the same time, he is wounded by the Xuanming Elders and survives after seeking medical treatment from Hu Qingniu.

His adventures further lead him to discover the long-lost Nine Yang Manual and he masters the skills within, becoming a formidable pugilist. Subsequently, he resolves the conflict between the Ming Cult and the six major orthodox sects, who are intent on destroying the cult. He earns the respect of the cult's members and becomes its leader after mastering the powerful skill "Heaven and Earth Great Shift". He reforms the cult and helps to improve its relations with the other sects. He becomes a key figure in leading the rebel forces to overthrow the Yuan Dynasty.

Throughout his adventures, Zhang finds himself entangled in a complex web of love relationships with four maidens. The first, Yin Li, is a horribly disfigured girl, who is actually his cousin. The second, Xiaozhao, is a Chinese Persian servant girl who understands him very well. The third, Zhou Zhiruo, is a childhood friend whom he develops a strong bond with. The fourth, Zhao Min, is a Mongol princess and his former arch-rival. Yin Li is apparently killed in the middle of the story while Xiaozhao returns to Persia after it is revealed that she is destined to lead the Persian Ming Cult.

Zhou Zhiruo only loves Zhang Wuji, but has to turn against him as she is bound by an oath to her teacher Abbess Miejue (who hates and distrusts Zhang). Miejue devises a vicious scheme for Zhou Zhiruo to seize the two weapons by exploiting Zhang Wuji's love for Zhou Zhiruo. Zhou Zhiruo also turns vicious after Zhang Wuji reneges his promise to marry her and she swears vengeance on him. Zhao Min is initially Zhang Wuji's rival as they are on opposing sides. However, Zhao Min gradually falls in love with Zhang Wuji after their various encounters and she even turns against her clan to help Zhang Wuji.

At the end of the novel, Zhang Wuji decides to retire from the jianghu after he mistakenly believes that the Ming Cult's members are intending to turn against him. He realizes that Zhao Min is his true love and they leave for a reclusive life far away from society. Zhang gives up an opportunity to become the emperor, as the Ming Cult eventually overthrows the Yuan Dynasty, and ideally he will become the new sovereign. Instead, Zhu Yuanzhang becomes the emperor and founds the Ming Dynasty.

Romanization of some common names

Chinese (Traditional / Simplified) Mandarin (Pinyin) Cantonese (Jyutping) Hokkien
射鵰英雄傳 / 射雕英雄传 She Diao Ying Xiong Zhuan Se Diu Jing Hung Zyun Sia Tiauw Eng Hiong
郭靖 Guo Jing Gwok Zing Kwee Ceng
黃蓉 / 黄蓉 Huang Rong Wong Jung Oey Yong
楊康 / 杨康 Yang Kang Joeng Hong Yo Kang
穆念慈 Mu Nianci Muk Nim-ci Bok Liam-ci
王重陽 / 王重阳 Wang Chongyang Wong Cung-joeng Ong Tiong-yang
洪七公 Hong Qigong Hung Cat-gung Ang Cit-kong
黃藥師 / 黄药师 Huang Yaoshi Wong Joek-si Oey Yok-su
歐陽鋒 / 欧阳锋 Ouyang Feng Au-joeng Fung Auw-yang Hong
楊鐵心 / 杨铁心 Yang Tiexin Joeng Tit-sam Yo Tiat-sim
包惜弱 Bao Xiruo Baau Sik-joek Pauw Sek-yok
郭嘨天 / 郭啸天 Guo Xiaotian Gwok Siu-tin Kwee Siau-tin
李萍 Li Ping Lei Ping Li Ping
歐陽克 / 欧阳克 Ouyang Ke Au-joeng Hak Auw-yang Hok
梅超風 / 梅超风 Mei Chaofeng Mui Ciu-fung Bwee Tiauw-hong
一燈大師 / 一灯大师 Yideng Dashi Jat-dang Daai-si It-teng Tay-su
周伯通 Zhou Botong Zau Baak-tung Ciu Pek-thong
丘處機 / 丘处机 Qiu Chuji Jau Cyu-gei Khu Ci-kee
馬鈺 / 马钰 Ma Yu Maa Juk Ma Giok
華箏 / 华筝 Huazheng Waa-zang Go-chin
拖雷 Tuolei To-leoi Tu-li
裘千仞 Qiu Qianren Kau Cin-jan Kiu Cian-jin
柯鎮惡 / 柯镇恶 Ke Zhen'e O Zan-ngok Kwa Tin'ok
瑛姑 Yinggu Jing-gu Eng-kouw
完顏洪烈 / 完颜洪烈 Wanyan Honglie Jyun-ngaan Hung-lit Wan-yen Hung-lieh
傻姑 Shagu So-gu Sa-kouw
尹志平 Yin Zhiping Wan Zi-peng In Ci-peng
神鵰俠侶 / 神雕侠侣 Shen Diao Xia Lü San Diu Hap Leoi Sin Tiauw Hiap Lu
楊過 / 杨过 Yang Guo Joeng Gwo Yo Ko
小龍女 / 小龙女 Xiaolongnü Siu-lung-neoi Siauw-liong-lie
郭芙 Guo Fu Gwok Fu Kwee Hu
郭襄 Guo Xiang Gwok Soeng Kwee Siang
霍都 Huodu Fok-dou Ho-tu
李莫愁 Li Mochou Lei Mok-sau Li Mo-ciu
公孫綠萼 / 公孙绿萼 Gongsun Lü'e Gung-syun Luk-ngok Kong-sun Li
公孫止 / 公孙止 Gongsun Zhi Gung-syun Zi Kong-sun Tit
金輪法王 / 金轮法王 (金輪國師 / 金轮国师) Jinlun Fawang (Jinlun Guoshi) Gam-leon Faat-wong (Gam-leon Gwok-si) Kim-loen Hoat'ong
程英 Cheng Ying Cing Jing Thia Eng
陸無雙 / 陆无双 Lu Wushuang Luk Mou-soeng Liok Boe-song
趙志敬 / 赵志敬 Zhao Zhijing Ziu Zi-ging Tio Ci-keng
耶律齊 / 耶律齐 Yelü Qi Je-leot Cai Yeh-lu Chi
耶律燕 Yelü Yan Je-leot Jin Yeh-lu Yen
完顏萍 / 完颜萍 Wanyan Ping Jyun-ngaan Ping Wan-yen Ping
武敦儒 Wu Dunru Mou Deon-jyu Bu Tun-ji
武修文 Wu Xiuwen Mou Sau-man Bu Siu-bun
倚天屠龍記 / 倚天屠龙记 Yi Tian Tu Long Ji Ji Tin Tou Lung Gei To Liong To
張無忌 / 张无忌 Zhang Wuji Zoeng Mou-gei Thio Bu-ki
趙明 / 赵明 (趙敏 / 赵敏) Zhao Ming (Zhao Min) Ziu Ming (Ziu Man) Tio Beng
周芷若 Zhou Zhiruo Zau Zi-joek Ciu Ci-jiak
殷離 / 殷离 Yin Li Jan Lei In Li
小昭 Xiaozhao Siu-ziu Siao-ciao
張翠山 / 张翠山 Zhang Cuishan Zoeng Ceoi-saan Thio Cui-san
殷素素 Yin Susu Jan Sou-sou In So-so
謝遜 / 谢逊 Xie Xun Ze Seon Cia Sun
楊逍 / 杨逍 Yang Xiao Joeng Siu Yo Siauw
宋遠橋 / 宋远桥 Song Yuanqiao Sung Jyun-kiu Song Wan-kiauw
殷梨亭 Yin Liting Jan Lei-ting In Li-heng
張三豐 / 张三丰 Zhang Sanfeng Zoeng Saam-fung Thio Sam-hong
宋青書 / 宋青书 Song Qingshu Sung Cing-syu Song Ching-su
楊不悔 / 杨不悔 Yang Buhui Joeng Bat-fui Yo Put-hui
紀曉芙 / 纪晓芙 Ji Xiaofu Gei Hiu-fu Ke Siau-hu
范遙 / 范遥 Fan Yao Faan Jiu Hoan Yauw
殷野王 Yin Yewang Jan Je-wong In Ya'ong
王保保 Wang Baobao Wong Bou-bou Ong Po-po
成昆 Cheng Kun Sing Gwan Seng Kun
莫聲谷 / 莫声谷 Mo Shenggu Mok Sing-guk Boh Seng-kok
汝南王 Runan Wang Jyu-naam Wong Ji-lam Ong
俞岱巖 / 俞岱岩 Yu Daiyan Jyu Doi-ngaam Ji Thay-giam
俞蓮舟 / 俞莲舟 Yu Lianzhou Jyu Lin-zau Ji Lian-ciu
韋一笑 / 韦一笑 Wei Yixiao Wai Jat-siu Wi It-siauw
Chinese (Traditional / Simplified) Mandarin (Pinyin) Cantonese (Jyutping) Hokkien
打狗棒法 Da Gou Bang Fa Daa Gau Paang Faat Tah-kauw Pang Hoat
胡家刀法 Hu Jia Dao Fa Wu Gaa Dou Faat Ouw Kee To Hoat
九陽真經 / 九阳真经 Jiu Yang Zhen Jing Gau Joeng Zan Ging Kiu Yang Cin Keng
九陰真經 / 九阴真经 Jiu Yin Zhen Jing Gau Jam Zan Ging Kiu Im Cin Keng
乾坤大挪移 Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi Kin Kwan Daai No Ji Kian-kun Tay-lo-ie
彈指神通 / 弹指神通 Tan Zhi Shen Tong Taan Zi San Tung Tan Ci Sin Thong
降龍十八掌 / 降龙十八掌 Xiang Long Shi Ba Zhang Hong Lung Sap Baat Zoeng Hang Liong Tsap Pue Ciang
易筋經 / 易筋经 Yi Jin Jing Jik Gan Ging Ih-kin-keng
一陽指 / 一阳指 Yi Yang Zhi Jat Joeng Zi It Yang Ci
玉女心經 / 玉女心经 Yu Nü Xin Jing Juk Neoi Sam Ging Giok-li Sim Keng
玉簫劍法 / 玉箫剑法 Yu Xiao Jian Fa Juk Siu Gim Faat Giok Siau Kiam-hoat
華山 / 华山 Hua Shan Waa Saan Hoa San
少林 Shao Lin Siu Lam Siauw Lim
武當 / 武当 Wu Dang Mou Dong Bu Tong
峨嵋 E Mei Ngo Mei Go Bie

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