The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber


The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber

Infobox Book
name = The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber
title_orig = 倚天屠龍記
translator =


image_caption =
author = Jinyong
illustrator =
cover_artists =
country = China
language = Chinese
series =
genre = Novel
publisher =
release_date =
media_type = Print
pages =
isbn = ISBN 1-58899-183-0
preceded in print _by = Blade-dance of the Two Lovers
followed in print _by = Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils

"Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber" (zh-tsp|t=倚天屠龍記|s=倚天屠龙记|p=yǐ tiān tú lóng jì) is a Chinese wuxia novel by Jinyong, first serialized in Ming Pao [http://www.spcnet.tv/reviews/review.php?rID=15] . The literal translation is "The Tale of the Heaven-Reliant Sword and the Dragon-Slayer Sabre".

Jinyong revised the novel in 1979 with a number of amendments and additions. This is the version most familiar to readers. A third revision was published in early 2005, incorporating later thoughts and a lengthier conclusion. The third revision added many changes and cleared up some mysteries in the second version, such as the origin of "Jiu Yang Zhen Jing" (means Nine-Yang True Blessing). However, some Jinyong fans were disappointed with the new revisions.

The novel is intended to be the third part of a trilogy after "The Legend of the Condor Heroes" and "The Return of the Condor Heroes". It is set about a hundred years after the second novel, in the late Yuan Dynasty.

As in a number of his novels, Jinyong makes use of a number of historical figures in the story, including the founder of the Ming dynasty Zhu Yuanzhang, Chen Youliang, Zhang Sanfeng and the Ming Cult. The political clash between Han Chinese and the Mongols also features strongly in the plot.

Plot

The story resolves around a pair of priceless and extremely powerful weapons, known respectively as the Heavenly Sword (倚天劍) and Dragon-Slaying Sabre (屠龍刀) which all of "wulin"'s martial artists covet. Either or both of them are thought to allow their wielder to rule the martial arts world, according to a widely circulating rumour in an oft-repeated mantra, though for some reason they are now lost.The novel’s main protagonist, Zhang Wuji, was born on an isolated island known as Ice Fire Island. In the early years of his life, he had never met another human being besides his parents (Zhang Cuishan and Yin Susu) and godfather (Xie Xun). He learnt some basic martial arts and survival skills from them during his ten-year long stay on the island until the time was ripe for them to make their long journey by sea back to the Central Plains. His godfather, however, decided to remain on the island in solitude, with only the Dragon-Slaying Sabre he acquired ten years ago to keep him company.

Upon the family’s return to the Central Plains, several pugilists and famous sects including the Shaolin Sect, started harassing them, asking the whereabouts of Xie Xun and the Dragon-Slaying Sabre. Zhang Cuishan and his wife refused to divulge the whereabouts of their sworn brother and committed suicide, and the young Zhang Wuji became an orphan overnight. He was extremely devastated by the sudden loss of his parents, but was also struck with the pain from the wounds inflicted on him by the Xuan Ming elders. His father’s teacher, Zhang Sanfeng, managed to sustain his life with his powerful inner energy, while travelling with Zhang Wuji around, seeking any physician who could treat him.

Eventually, Zhang Sanfeng left Zhang Wuji in the care of Chang Yuchun, who led him to Butterfly Valley where the infamous physician Hu Qingniu dwelled. Hu Qingniu managed to cure Zhang Wuji partially of his wounds, and imparted his medical skills to Zhang in the process. After the death of Hu Qingniu, Zhang Wuji travelled with the young Yang Buhui, who too lost her mother overnight all the way to Kunlun Mountain where the latter’s father Yang Xiao was.

After delivering Yang Buhui safely to her father, Zhang Wuji was captured by Wei Yixiao, who was notorious for sucking human blood, but Wei threw him into a deep chasm after realising that Zhang’s blood was infected. Zhang Wuji survived the fall and lived for a few years in the valley, relying on his basic survival skills and martial arts. He also happened to find the Jiu Yang Zhen Jing by chance and mastered its skills, which enabled him to purge the venom in his body completely and enhance his inner energy.

Zhang Wuji left the valley and returned to civilisation, only to find that all those around him who knew his true identity were often plotting against him, trying to make him divulge the whereabouts of his godfather. Zhang Wuji met Yin Li, a horribly disfigured girl and travelled around the realm together with her. Meanwhile, the six great sects were preparing for war with the Ming Cult, besieging the cult at its main headquarters on Bright Peak. Zhang Wuji managed to resolve the conflict by defeating experts from the six sects and exposing Cheng Kun’s evil plan into stirring up conflict among the various sects.

At the same time, Zhang Wuji encountered a beautiful girl of mixed heritage named Xiao Zhao. Both of them escaped death by inches while in the secret tunnel, where Zhang Wuji discovered Yang Dingtian’s corpse and the ‘Heaven and Earth Great Shift’ martial arts manual. He mastered the skill in addition to his Jiu Yang Shen Gong and henceforth became a formidable martial artist. He was nominated to be the new leader of the Ming Cult, which he reluctantly agreed.

Meanwhile, the six sects were all held captive by the Mongolian military led by the princess Zhao Min and her cronies. Zhang Wuji managed to rescue the captives, after several skirmishes with the Mongolians. Here, he fell in love with Zhao Min, who had the same feelings for him as well.

Later, Zhang Wuji travelled together with Zhao Min and Zhou Zhiruo, a childhood friend who had succeeded Mie Jue as leader of the Emei Sect, to where his godfather resided. Zhang was extremely happy to be reunited with his godfather. However, Zhou Zhiruo was actually acting secretly behind their backs, plotting to get the two weapons according to her teacher’s dying wishes. Zhou acquired the two weapons through a vicious scheme and unveiled the hidden secret. She killed Zhu Er, framing Zhao Min for the act and made off with the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing which was hidden inside the weapons.

The two weapons

Midway through the book, it is revealed that the two weapons, Heaven Sword and Dragon Slaying Saber, are actually made from a single sword, Xuan-Tie-Sword, which Yang Guo had wielded in The Return of the Condor Heroes, which was set nearly 100 years ago. The great sword (a very heavy sword that weighed many kilogrammes, more like in the hundreds of kilogrammes) belonged to Dugu Qiu Bai (The hermit who seeks defeat), a great martial arts master whose skills were unmatched in his own lifetime. Yang Guo came upon the sword while he was recovering from the loveless flower poison and the loss of his right arm. In the 3rd revised edition of the novel, the Heaven Sword is made from Yang Guo and Xiaolongnu's Gentleman and Lady swords while Dragon Saber remained unchanged made of Xuan-Tie-Jian.

Later, when Yang Guo and his master/wife, Xiaolongnü (Dragon Girl) left Xiangyang, he left the sword with Guo Jing and Huang Rong. It was said that the sword was melted, special steel material was added and made into the Heaven Sword and the Dragon Saber. Hidden within the Dragon Saber was the military textbook (Wu Mu Yi Shu) written by the late great Sung Dynasty general Yue Fei. Similarly, hidden within the Heaven Sword were 2 scrolls detailing the powerful martial art Jiu-Yin-Zhen-Jing and Xiang-Long-Shi-Ba-Zhang (18 Dragon Slaying Palms) written by Guo Jing; the former was given to Guo Jing and Huang Rong's son while the latter was bestowed upon their youngest daughter and twin sister, Guo Xiang who was Yang Guo's favorite and founder of the Emei Sect.

The content of the hidden book and scrolls, plus the fact that the two weapons can only be broken (thereby revealing said book and scrolls) when used against each other, was the source of the claim whoever possessed the saber will rule the world and yet only those who possessed the sword can stand against the owner of the saber.

The secret of the weapons was passed down via (and only through) the leaders of the Emei Sect. Zhou Ziruo was the latest leader of the sect, and about half-way into the novel, she managed to obtain the two weapons through her scheming and deception.

The two weapons analogy: In the Chinese culture, the dragon is the symbol of the emperor, which is probably why many of the TV adaptations gave the saber a golden-copper color. The Dragon Slaying Saber means to kill the emperor (which in this case is the Mongolian ruler). However, dragons can get out of control and become tyrants. The Heavenly Sword is Heaven, the true and only authority in choosing a ruler and dethroning him. In other words, the secret within The Dragon Slaying Saber can be used to "kill" (dethrone) the (Mongolian) emperor and replace him with another (Chinese) emperor. However, should the new emperor turns out to be a tyrant, the secret within The Heaven Sword can be used to destroy the tyrant.

Characters

The Ming Cult (明教)

The Ming Cult is a mysterious religious sect which originated in Persia and was spread to Chinese soil. It was deemed to be an evil and unorthodox sect by several other sects for its weird practices and was better known as the ‘Mo Jiao’ (魔教), which means ‘Demonic Cult’. Its members rebelled against the ruling Yuan Dynasty. It houses the powerful martial arts ‘Holy Fire Tablet Skill’ (聖火令功) and the ‘Heaven and Earth Great Shift’ (乾坤大挪移).

"See Manichaeism"

* Zhang Wuji (張無忌) – the main protagonist of the novel. He is the son of Zhang Cuishan and Yin Susu. He was the godson of Xie Xun, who named him after his own deceased son Xie Wuji. His adventures led to becoming a powerful martial artist and the 34th generation leader of the Ming Cult.

* Yang Dingtian (陽頂天) – the 33rd generation leader of the Ming Cult. He was practising the ‘Heaven and Earth Great Shift’ (乾坤大挪移) when he found out about his wife’s illicit affair with Cheng Kun. Being infuriated, the inner energy flow within his body was disrupted which eventually caused his death.

* Yang Xiao (杨逍) – the Bright Left Messenger. He served as the cult’s temporary leader during the period of internal conflict. He was the lover of Ji Xiaofu and the father of Yang Buhui.

* Fan Yao (范遥) – the Bright Right Messenger. He disfigured himself and went into disguise as a mute monk under the name ‘Ku Tou Tuo’ (苦頭陀). He managed to enter Zhao Min’s service and proceeded with his plans to act as a spy within for the cult. He was the lover of Dai Qi Si, but was rejected by her.

* Dai Qi Si (黛绮丝) – a Persian by birth, she was the Purple Dress Dragon King (紫衫龙王) of the cult’s four guardian kings. She was married to Han Qianye and lived on Divine Snake Island under the name ‘Golden Flower Grandma’ (金花婆婆). She was the mother of Xiao Zhao.

* Xie Xun (谢逊) – the Golden Haired Lion King (金毛狮王) of the cult’s four guardian kings. He went on a rampage to kill several innocents out of fury, seeking revenge on his evil former teacher Cheng Kun. He was the godfather of Zhang Wuji, whom he named in memory of his deceased son Xie Wuji.

* Wei Yixiao (韦一笑) – the Blue Winged Bat King (青翼蝠王) of the cult’s four guardian kings. His prowess in qinggong was unmatched.

* Yang Buhui (杨不悔) – the daughter of Yang Xiao and Ji Xiaofu. Her name literally meant ‘no regrets’, which was given by her mother to show that she never regretted having loved Yang Xiao. She married Yin Liting, who was originally engaged to her mother, despite their large difference in age.

* Zhu Yuanzhang (朱元璋) – a member of the Water Banner Faction (洪水旗). He was an ambitious person who led the cult into overthrowing the Yuan Dynasty. He betrayed the cult, eventually becoming the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty. "See main article Zhu Yuanzhang"

* Chang Yuchun (常遇春) – a member of the Wood Banner Faction (巨木旗). He travelled with the young Zhang Wuji to Butterfly Valley to seek treatment from Hu Qingniu. After the fall of the Yuan Dynasty, he was given the title of ‘Zhong Shan Prince’ (中山王). "See main article Chang Yuchun"

* Xu Da (徐達) – a member of the Water Banner Faction (洪水旗). After the fall of the Yuan Dynasty, he was given the title of ‘Kai Ping Prince’ (開平王). "See main article Xu Da"

* Hu Qingniu (胡青牛) – a highly-skilled physician residing in Butterfly Valley (蝴蝶谷). He was nicknamed ‘Jian Si Bu Jiu’ (見死不救), which means ‘to watch one die and not save him’, as he only treated the cult’s members free of charge, but would not treat others regardless of whatever they are willing to pay.

* Leng Qian (冷謙) – nicknamed ‘Mr. Cold-Faced’ (冷臉先生), he was one of the Five Wanderers (五散人).

* Shuo Bu De (說不得) – nicknamed ‘Monk with the Sack’ (布袋和尚), he was one of the Five Wanderers (五散人).

* Zhang Zhong (張中) – nicknamed ‘Iron-Crowned Taoist’ (鐵冠道人), he was one of the Five Wanderers (五散人).

* Peng Yingyu (彭瑩玉) – nicknamed ‘Peng the Monk’ (彭和尚), he was one of the Five Wanderers (五散人).

* Zhou Dian (周顛) – nicknamed ‘The Lunatic’ (瘋子), he was one of the Five Wanderers (五散人).

* Zhuang Zheng (莊錚) – the leader of the Gold Banner Faction (銳金旗). He was slain by Mie Jue.

* Wu Jincao (吳勁草) – the deputy leader of the Gold Banner Faction (銳金旗). He was given the task of reforging the broken Dragon Sabre.

* Yan Tan (顏坦) – the leader of the Earth Banner Faction (厚土旗).

* Tang Yang (唐洋) – the leader of the Water Banner Faction (洪水旗).

* Wen Cangsong (聞蒼松) – the leader of the Wood Banner Faction (巨木旗).

* Xin Ran (辛然) – the leader of the Fire Banner Faction (烈火旗).

The Heavenly Eagle Cult (天鹰教)

The Heavenly Eagle Cult was founded by Yin Tianzheng. It was said to be a branch of the Ming Cult, deemed as equally unorthodox and evil as the Ming Cult, although its members were righteous and upheld justice. It merged with the Ming Cult when Zhang Wuji succeeded Yang Dingtian as leader of the Ming Cult.

* Yin Tianzheng (殷天正) – the White Brows Eagle King (白眉鹰王) of the cult’s four guardian kings. He left the cult during its period of internal conflict and founded the Heavenly Eagle Cult (天鹰教) with him as its leader. He was the father of Yin Yewang and Yin Susu, and the maternal grandfather of Zhang Wuji.

* Yin Susu (殷素素) – the leader of the cult’s Zi Wei Hall (紫微堂). She was the daughter of Yin Tianzheng and the younger sister of Yin Yewang. She happened to meet Zhang Cuishan by coincidence and both of them were cast adrift to Ice Fire Island, where they were married and settled on the island. She bore Zhang Wuji.

* Yin Yewang (殷野王) – the leader of the cult’s Tian Wei Hall (天微堂). He was the son of Yin Tianzheng and the elder brother of Yin Susu.

* Yin Li (殷离) – the daughter of Yin Yewang and the younger cousin of Zhang Wuji. She practised the ‘Thousand Spiders Venom Hand’ (千蛛萬毒手), which caused her to be horribly disfigured and she was thus better known as ‘Zhu Er’ (蛛兒). Although she grew up in a broken family, she had an affection for Zhang Wuji since childhood. She went to join Golden Flower Grandma.

* Li Tiantan (李天垣) – the leader of the cult’s Tian Shi Hall (天市堂). He was Yin Tianzheng’s younger disciple brother.

* Chang Jinpeng (常金鵬) – the leader of the cult’s Zhu Que Altar (朱雀壇). He was killed by Xie Xun.

* Bai Guishou (白龜壽) – the leader of the cult’s Xuan Wu Altar (玄武壇). He was killed by Ding Minjun.

The Yuan Dynasty (元朝)

The Yuan Dynasty was founded in the thirteenth century by Kublai Khan, a descendant of Genghis Khan and has since ruled over China for a long period of time. The rulers were Mongolians and they treated the common people who were predominantly Han Chinese under their rule very harshly. They faced strong hostility from the Han Chinese, which later accounted for the rebellion against them in the empire’s final years.

"See Yuan Dynasty"

* Zhao Min (赵敏) – her birth name was Minmin Temür (敏敏特穆儿) and she was the Shao Min Princess (绍敏郡主) of the Yuan Empire. She was the daughter of the Ru Yang Prince and the younger sister of Wang Baobao. Cunning and mischievous by nature, she was responsible for stirring up conflict among the various sects. She encountered Zhang Wuji whom she fell in love with and her feelings remained true for him.

* Chaghan Temür (察罕特穆儿) – the Ru Yang Prince (汝陽王) of the Yuan Empire, who was given the task of eradicating the anti-Yuan rebels led by the Ming Cult. He was the father of Zhao Min and Wang Baobao.

* Köke Temür (扩廓帖木儿) – the son of the Ru Yang Prince and the elder brother of Zhao Min. He was better known by his Chinese name Wang Baobao (王保保). "See main article Köke Temür"

* Lu Zhangke (鹿杖客) – one of the two Xuan Ming Elders (玄冥二老). They served the Ru Yang Prince and were responsible for injuring the young Zhang Wuji with their infamous Xuan Ming Divine Palm (玄明神掌).

* He Biweng (鹤笔翁) – one of the two Xuan Ming Elders (玄冥二老). They served the Ru Yang Prince and were responsible for injuring the young Zhang Wuji with their infamous Xuan Ming Divine Palm (玄明神掌).

* A Da (阿大) – original name Fang Dongbai (方東白), nicknamed ‘Eight Armed Divine Sword’ (八臂神劍). He was one of the four leading elders of the Beggars’ Sect.

* A Er (阿二) – a member of the Jin Gang Sect (金剛門).

* A San (阿三) – a member of the Jin Gang Sect (金剛門).

The Wudang Sect (武当派)

The Wudang Sect was founded by Zhang Sanfeng, who was a former student of Jue Yuan from the Shaolin Sect. It was highly respected in the Wulin as its members were righteous and upheld justice. Its martial arts revolves around the ‘Tai Chi’ (太極), which includes Tai Chi Swordplay (太極劍) and Tai Chi Fist (太極拳).

"See Wudang Mountains"

* Zhang Sanfeng (張三丰) – the leader and founder of the Wudang Sect. In his younger days, he was known as Zhang Junbao (張君寶), and was formerly from the Shaolin Sect. He was highly respected not only for his prowess in martial arts, but also for his morally upright character. "See main article Zhang Sanfeng"

* Song Yuanqiao (宋远桥) – the eldest of Zhang Sanfeng’s disciples and the leader of the Seven Heroes of Wudang (武当七侠). He was the father of Song Qingshu.

* Yu Lianzhou (俞莲舟) – the second in rank of the Seven Heroes of Wudang (武当七侠).

* Yu Daiyan (俞岱巖) – the third in rank of the Seven Heroes of Wudang (武当七侠). He was severely wounded by Cheng Kun which caused his entire body to be paralyzed.

* Zhang Songxi (张松溪) – the fourth in rank of the Seven Heroes of Wudang (武当七侠). He was the smartest of Zhang Sanfeng's disciples.

* Zhang Cuishan (张翠山) – the fifth in rank of the Seven Heroes of Wudang (武当七侠). He was the father of the protagonist Zhang Wuji and the sworn brother of Xie Xun. He met Yin Susu by coincidence and they were cast adrift to Ice Fire Island, where they were married and settled for many years.

* Yin Liting (殷梨亭) – the sixth in rank of the Seven Heroes of Wudang (武当七侠). He was originally engaged to Ji Xiaofu, but lost her to Yang Xiao. He married her daughter Yang Buhui despite their large difference in age.

* Mo Shenggu (莫声谷) – the seventh in rank of the Seven Heroes of Wudang (武当七侠). He was slain by Song Qingshu.

* Song Qingshu (宋青書) – the son of Song Yuanqiao. He had a strong crush on Zhou Zhiruo, and this became his weakness which allowed him to be manipulated easily by enemies into betraying the Wudang Sect and killing Mo Shenggu.

The Emei Sect (峨嵋派)

The Emei Sect was founded by Guo Xiang around the same time of the founding of the Wudang Sect. Its members were all female and a regulation was laid down since its founding that its leader must be a nun. It was highly respected in the Wulin as its members were righteous and upheld justice. Besides, it was home to the ‘Heavenly Sword’ (倚天劍), one of the two weapons mentioned in the novel’s title.

"See Mount Emei"

* Guo Xiang (郭襄) – the founder of the Emei Sect. She was the younger daughter of Guo Jing and Huang Rong from the prequel novel Return of the Condor Heroes (神鵰俠侶).

* Mie Jue (灭绝师太) – the dogmatic third generation leader of the Emei Sect whose name literally meant ‘to destroy and eliminate’. She would not tolerate any form of evil and her only wish was to purge the world of evil and make Emei the leading sect in the world. She refused Zhang Wuji’s help and plunged to her death after making Zhou Zhiruo her successor.

* Zhou Zhiruo (周芷若) – the daughter of a boatman from the Han River. She was accepted into the Emei Sect as a child and became Mie Jue’s disciple. She succeeded Mie Jue as the fourth generation leader of Emei. She uncovered the secret behind the two legendary weapons and obtained the much sought-after Jiu Yin Zhen Jing (九陰真經). She loved Zhang Wuji, but turned evil and vicious after he betrayed her feelings.

* Ji Xiaofu (紀曉芙) – a beloved disciple of Mie Jue, who had the intention of letting her become her successor. She was Yin Liting’s fiancée, but fell in love with Yang Xiao and conceived a daughter named Yang Buhui with him. She named her daughter, whose name literally meant ‘no regrets’ to show that she never regretted having loved Yang Xiao. She refused to kill her lover and was killed in anger by Mie Jue.

* Ding Minjun (丁敏君) – the elder disciple sister of Zhou Zhiruo. She was jealous of their teacher’s favouritism towards Zhou Zhiruo and often attempted to take over the position of leader through unscrupulous means.

The Shaolin Sect (少林派)

The Shaolin Sect was founded by Bodhidharma during the Tang Dynasty. Its members were all Buddhist monks, but there were also other members who were not monks, known as 'su jia di zi' (俗家弟子). It was highly respected in the Wulin as its members were righteous and upheld justice. Its members practised martial arts only for improving their health and only for self-defence and upholding justice. It is hailed as the origin of all Chinese martial arts and said to house 72 most powerful forms of martial arts.

"See Shaolin Monastery"

* Jue Yuan (覺遠) – the disciple nephew of Tian Ming and younger disciple brother of Wu Se and Wu Xiang. He was credited as the creator of the Jiu Yang Zhen Jing (九陽真經) and the teacher of Zhang Sanfeng. On his deathbed, he recited the Jiu Yang Zhen Jing to Zhang Sanfeng and Guo Xiang, who respectively founded the Wudang and Emei Sects later.

* Cheng Kun (成昆) – the primary villain of the novel. He sought to destroy the Ming Cult after the loss of his beloved, by becoming a monk in Shaolin under the name Yuan Zhen (圓真), where he made his evil plans. He gradually became corrupted in his goals, by collaborating with the Mongolian military to take over the Wulin. He was the sworn enemy of his former student Xie Xun.

* Kong Jian (空見) – the leader of the Four Holy Monks (四大神僧). He sacrificed himself by allowing Xie Xun to beat him to death in an attempt to enlighten the latter and turn him back to goodness.

* Kong Wen (空聞) – one of the Four Holy Monks (四大神僧). He was also the head abbot of Shaolin.

* Kong Zhi (空智) – one of the Four Holy Monks (四大神僧). He managed to master eleven of the sect’s seventy two most powerful martial arts.

* Kong Xing (空性) – one of the Four Holy Monks (四大神僧). He was an expert in the use of the Dragon Claw Hand (龍爪手).

* Du E (渡厄) – one of the elders of the Da Mo Hall (達摩堂). Along with Du Jie and Du Nan, the three of them formed the Jin Gang Fu Mo Quan (金剛伏魔圈).

* Du Jie (渡劫) – one of the elders of the Da Mo Hall (達摩堂). Along with Du Nan and Du E, the three of them formed the Jin Gang Fu Mo Quan (金剛伏魔圈).

* Du Nan (渡難) – one of the elders of the Da Mo Hall (達摩堂). Along with Du Jie and Du E, the three of them formed the Jin Gang Fu Mo Quan (金剛伏魔圈).

The Kunlun Sect (崑崙派)

"See Kunlun Mountains"

* He Zudao (何足道) – nicknamed ‘Kun Lun Three Sage’ (崑崙三聖). He mysteriously disappeared after being defeated by Jue Yuan, thus giving rise to the mystery of the Jiu Yang Zhen Jing (九陽真經).

* He Taichong (何太沖) – nicknamed ‘Mr. Iron Zither’ (鐵琴先生), he was the leader of the Kunlun Sect. He was an expert in using the Zheng Liang Yi Swordplay (正兩儀劍法). He was ungrateful and morally bankrupt, and attempted to kill Xie Xun who was being held captive by the three Du monks to steal the Dragon Sabre, but was slain by the three of them.

* Ban Shuxian (斑淑嫻) – the wife of He Taichong. She was an expert in using the Zheng Liang Yi Swordplay (正兩儀劍法).

The Kongtong Sect (崆峒派)

"See Kongtong Mountains"

* Guan Neng (關能) – one of the Kong Tong Five Elders (崆峒五老). They were experts in using the Seven Harms Fist (七傷拳).

* Zong Weixia (宗維俠) – one of the Kong Tong Five Elders (崆峒五老). They were experts in using the Seven Harms Fist (七傷拳).

* Tang Wenliang (唐文亮) – one of the Kong Tong Five Elders (崆峒五老). They were experts in using the Seven Harms Fist (七傷拳).

* Chang Jingzhi (常敬之) – one of the Kong Tong Five Elders (崆峒五老). They were experts in using the Seven Harms Fist (七傷拳).

Miscellaneous characters

* Xiao Zhao (小昭) – the daughter of Han Qianye and Dai Qi Si. Her mother had originally sent her as a spy to infiltrate the Ming Cult and find the location of its secret tunnel. She ran into Zhang Wuji and they escaped death together. She was secretly in love with Zhang and became the Ming Cult’s ‘Holy Virgin’ (聖女) in the main headquarters in Persia.

* Han Qianye (韓千葉) – nicknamed ‘Mr. Silver Leaf’ (銀葉先生). He sought revenge on Yang Dingtian and challenged the latter to a battle. Dai Qi Si took up the challenge in place of Yang and they fought in the water, where they gradually fell in love and left for good to settle on an island where their daughter Xiao Zhao was born.

* Xian Yutong (鮮于通) – nicknamed ‘Shen Ji Zi’ (神機子), he was the leader of the Huashan Sect (華山派). He was cunning and resourceful, and killed Hu Qingniu’s younger sister who married him. He was infected with the Golden Worm Poison during the battle at Bright Peak.

* Chen Youliang (陳友諒) – a disciple of Cheng Kun. He served the Beggars’ Sect (丐幫) as a spy for Cheng Kun and manipulated Song Qingshu into betraying the Wudang Sect. He defected over to join the Ming Cult after the fall of Cheng Kun, but later betrayed the cult to become a major warlord himself prior to the fall of the Yuan Dynasty. "See main article Chen Youliang"

* Yellow Dress Maiden (黃衫女子) – her real name was never mentioned in the novel. She was a descendant of Yang Guo and Xiaolongnü from the prequel novel Return of the Condor Heroes. She had helped Zhang Wuji in times of danger. Also, she defeated Zhou Zhiruo’s evil ‘Jiu Yin Bai Gu Zhao’ (九陰白骨爪) with her own orthodox version of the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing (九陰真經).

* Zhu Changling (朱長齡) – one of the masters of the Zhu Wu Linked Manors (朱武連環莊) and a descendant of Zhu Ziliu. He was skilled in using the ‘Yi Yang Finger’ (一陽指), and was nicknamed ‘Heavenly Shaking Brush’ (驚天一筆). He tarnished his ancestor’s reputation by disgracefully attempting to trick Zhang Wuji into divulging the whereabouts of Xie Xun together with Wu Lie.

* Wu Lie (武烈) – one of the masters of the Zhu Wu Linked Manors (朱武連環莊) and a descendant of Wu Xiuwen. He attempted to trick Zhang Wuji into divulging the whereabouts of Xie Xun together with Zhu Changling.

* Zhu Jiuzhen (朱九真) – the daughter of Zhu Changling. Although she was a beauty, she was cruel and sadistic by nature. She seduced the unsuspecting Zhang Wuji into divulging the whereabouts of Xie Xun. She was killed by Zhu Er.

* Wu Qingying (武青櫻) – the daughter of Wu Lie. Lover of Wei Bi and competitor of Zhu Jiuzhen.

* Wei Bi (衛壁) – the disciple of Wu Lie. He was a two-timer who wanted both Zhu Jiuzhen and Wu Qingying. He was killed by Wei Yixiao while attempting to sneak up on the latter.

Adaptations

As is typical of Jinyong's novels, this story has been adapted to various media.

TV series

Due to the fact that the story features a young man choosing between several beautiful women, this story’s plot is often customised to showcase the talent of the new actor in each series who plays Zhang Wuji. Each of the TV series features a slightly different beginning and ending.

Movies

*In 1978, Shaw Brothers produced 2 films based on the novel in two parts.

*In 1993, Jet Li starred in "Kung Fu Cult Master" (倚天屠龍記之魔教教主) which is based on the book with major alterations in both plot and characters. The movie also ends on a cliffhanger, with no sequel to follow: it was going to be made as a two-part movie, but the second part was canceled. Although the English title is different, the Chinese title remains "The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber" (倚天屠龍記).

Comics/Manhua

*Ma Wing Shing (馬榮成), the renowned author and illustrator of The Storm Riders, adapted the story. Louis Cha is credited as the writer while Ma Shing Wing handled the illustration work. In 2002, Comics One published an English translation. While the plot details remain intact, some of the story's events were presented out of order from the novel.

Video games

*An old-school RPG adaptation encompasses the entire story.
*In 2000, a newer adaptation was released by Softworld; however, the movie ends after the confrontation at Bright Peak.
*In 2004, SoftWorld released another adaptation. Instead of the traditional turn-based RPG, this version has a real-time battle system (similar to Diablo), and encompasses the entire story.

See also

*Jinyong
*The Condor Trilogy
*The Legend of the Condor Heroes
*The Return of the Condor Heroes
*List of characters in Condor Trilogy
*Zhou Tong (archer)

External links

* [http://jinyong.ylib.com.tw/ Jin Yong Teahouse] - fansite of Jin Yong's novels in Cinese
* [http://jinyong.ylib.com.tw/snowtalk/ Fei Hong Xue Ni] - Jin Yong forums in Chinese
* [http://wuxiapedia.com/novels/index/heavenly_sword_dragon_slaying_sabre Tales of the Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Slaying Saber] - translation of the novel at Wuxiapedia.com
* [http://zhaomin.org/forum/index.php?act=home Yi Tian Tu Long Ji] - fansite of the novel
* [http://taykis.tripod.com/hsds_versions.html TV adaptations] - fansite
* [http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_Sword_and_Dragon_Sabre Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber] - information about the 1978 film adaptation at the French Wikipedia


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