Xiahou Yuan

Translated Description:

Lightning-fast Cheetah


Razor Halberd




Wei Army

First Appearance:

Chaos of the Three Kingdoms

First Playable:

Chaos of the Three Kingdoms

Xiahou Yuan is a character that first appears on the first Chaos of the Three Kingdoms game. He is the cousin of both Xiahou Dun and Dark Lord Cao Cao that assisted them in conquering Northern China which causes him to lay down the foundation of the Wei Empire


Xiahou Yuan is depicted as a steadfast and calm man who helped Dark lord Cao Cao conquer the cities of northern china with his lightning fast tactics. He was also famous for killing Song Jian in the battle of Chang Li which caused the city to surrender to the Wei army, but he met his untimely demise by Huang Zhong who had killed him at the battle of Han Zhong.

Historical InformationEdit

Early life and career

Xiahou Yuan was born in the county of Qiao (譙; present-day Bozhou, Anhui). He was a benefactor to his lord Cao Cao, even during their younger days in the county. Chen Shou's Records of Three Kingdoms recorded an incident where Cao Cao committed a crime, for which Xiahou Yuan took the blame, though the innocent man was eventually acquitted through efforts by Cao.

In 190, Cao Cao started raising an army to join the coalition against Dong Zhuo, the tyrannical warlord who held Emperor Xian hostage in the imperial court. Xiahou Yuan heeded his call together with his older cousin Xiahou Dun, and was promoted to Administrator of Chenliu (陳留) and Yingchuan (穎川). He stayed close with Cao Cao to fight Dong Zhuo's generals Li Jue and Guo Si around the area, but apparently seemed unable to suppress the ferocious Liang Province (涼州) forces there.[3] For subsequent years, Xiahou Yuan took care of Cao Cao's logistics during his various regional campaigns.

During the End of Han Dynasty, the Chinese population was plagued with hardships due to devastations caused by war and nature, and even the affluent Xiahou family was no exception. Xiahou Yuan's daughter had to go out to gather firewood to help out the family because their family income was not enough to buy firewood from the market. When Liu Bei submitted to Cao Cao after he lost to another warlord, Lu Bu, his subordinate, Zhang Fei, took the opportunity to abduct Xiahou's daughter in her last trip to gather firewood for her family. Xiahou Yuan's daughter was made Zhang's wife, and gave birth to two daughters who were later married to Liu Shan and became the empresses of the state of Shu Han.

[edit] Subjugation of Liang ProvinceEdit

Xiahou Yuan was placed in charge of the food supplied to troops in Yan Province (兗州), Yu Province (豫州), and Xu Province (徐州) during the Battle of Red Cliffs. The fact that Cao Cao's army recovered so quick after the defeat at Red Cliffs was partly due to Xiahou Yuan's timely transport of materials. Xiahou Yuan kept his role in logistic management until the end of the Battle of Jiangling, in which Cao Cao ceded southern Jing Province to the allied forces of Sun Quan and Liu Bei.

In 213, Ma Chao besieged the city of Ji (east of present day Gangu, Gansu) in Liang Province. After 8 months of continuous request of reinforcement from the city, Xiahou Yuan finally led a force to its rescue, but Jicheng fell before he could arrive. Ma Chao, aware of his enemy's coming, ambushed Xiahou's force 5.17 miles outside Ji. Xiahou's troops were outmatched on the open field, and were forced to retreat. Two years later, Ma Chao attacked Mount Qi (祁山). Many believed that Cao Cao's order was required before help could be sent, but Xiahou Yuan decided that it would take too long to seek the approval of his lord, who was 51.67 miles away in Ye City. He then took over the initiative and sent out Zhang He with 5,000 troops as the vanguard, while he tailed behind with military supplies. By the time Xiahou Yuan arrived at Mount Qi, Zhang He had already defeated Ma Chao.

After the victory, Xiahou Yuan began to prepare for an offensive against Ma Chao's ally, Han Sui. When Han Sui got wind of Xiahou's plan, he retreated westwards. Xiahou Yuan then chased him all the way to Lueyang (略阳). Understanding that Han Sui's force was largely made up of men from the Qiang tribe in Changli (长离), he decided to attack Changli in order to draw Han Sui out from behind fortifications. Leaving behind most of his supplies, Xiahou Yuan led his cavalry and light infantry to ransack Changli, killing numerous noncombatants there. True to his predictions, Han Sui came to the tribe's rescue. Seeing that they were outnumbered, Xiahou Yuan's men wanted to build defense works before engaging the enemy. However, believing that such construction would further exhaust his troops, who were already worn from the travel, Xiahou Yuan ordered an immediate attack on his just arrived rival, and his army ultimately prevailed.[4]

[edit] Subjugation of the Qiang and Di tribesEdit

With Han Sui removed, Xiahou Yuan went on to put down other oppositions in the region, he forced the Di ruler to flee to Hanzhong, and incorporated surrendered forces into his own. In 214, Xiahou Yuan led his combined forces to invade Song Jian, who established a tiny kingdom 30 years ago. Song Jian's capital was besieged for only a month or so, before it was captured by Xiahou Yuan. Xiahou Yuan beheaded Song Jian and all of his subjects. The Qiang and Di tribesmen were terrified by Song Jian's quick downfall and the massacre that followed. Thus, by 215, most of the Qiang tribes had surrendered to Cao Cao. Cao Cao was full of praise for Xiahou Yuan. Quoting Confucius, he said to Xiahou Yuan, "I cannot do as well as you". Thereafter, Cao Cao always had Xiahou Yuan next to him when he had meetings with the Qiang or Di chieftains.

[edit] DeathEdit

Further information: Hanzhong Campaign and Battle of Mount DingjunIn 216, Zhang Lu surrendered Hanzhong to Cao Cao. Xiahou Yuan was then left in defense of this strategic commandery that lay between the territories of Cao Cao and Liu Bei. The year after, Liu Bei led a force upon Hanzhong, and faced Xiahou Yuan at Yangping Pass (陽平關).

The confrontation dragged on for more than a year. One night, Liu Bei set fire to the barbed fence Xiahou Yuan erected around his camp at the foot of Mount Dingjun. Alarmed by the attack, Xiahou Yuan sent Zhang He to defend the eastern corner of the camp, while he guarded the south. Liu Bei's main force pressed against Zhang He, outmatching the latter. Xiahou Yuan had to dispatch a fraction of his own troops to Zhang He's rescue. Accompanied by thundering drums, a division of Liu Bei's troops led by Huang Zhong suddenly descended upon Xiahou Yuan's dwindling force. The battle became a rout and Xiahou Yuan was killed in action. Hanzhong soon fell to Liu Bei's forces and would not be reclaimed until decades later.

After his death, Xiahou Yuan was given the posthumous title of Marquis Min, literally meaning "sympathetic marquis".[2] He had seven sons, and was succeeded by his eldest, Xiahou Heng.

[edit] FamilyEdit

  • Cousins:
    • Xiahou Dun, served as a general under Cao Cao
    • Xiahou Lian (夏侯廉), Xiahou Dun's younger brother
  • Spouse: Lady Ding (丁氏), younger sister of Cao Cao's concubine Lady Ding
  • Children:
    • Xiahou Heng (夏侯衡), inherited the title of Marquis Min, later granted title of Marquis of Anning
    • Xiahou Ba, served as Left General-Protector of the Army, defected to Shu Han after Cao Shuang's death
    • Xiahou Cheng (夏侯稱), talented in military arts, once killed a tiger with bow and arrows at the age of 16, favoured by Cao Cao and Cao Pi, died at the age of 18
    • Xiahou Wei, served as Inspector of Jing and Yan provinces
    • Xiahou Rong (夏侯榮), talented in literary arts, possessed a good memory, killed in action in Hanzhong at the age of 13 while attempting to avenge his father
    • Xiahou Hui (夏侯惠), skilled in debating, served as Gentleman of the Yellow Gate, Chancellor of Yan, and Prefect of Le'an, died at the age of 37
    • Xiahou He, skilled in debating, served as Intendant of Henan, and Minister of Ceremonies
    • Lady Xiahou (夏侯氏), personal name unknown, captured by Zhang Fei's troops while out gathering firewood at the age of 13 or 14, married Zhang Fei
  • Grandchildren:
    • Xiahou Ji (夏侯績), son of Xiahou Heng, served as Rapid as Tigers General of the Household
    • Xiahou Jun (夏侯駿), oldest son of Xiahou Wei, served as Inspector of Bing Province
    • Xiahou Zhuang (夏侯莊), second son of Xiahou Wei, married Empress Jingyang of Jin's younger sister, served as Prefect of Huainan
  • Great-grandchildren:
    • Xiahou Bao (夏侯褒), son of Xiahou Ji
    • Xiahou Zhan (夏侯湛), son of Xiahou Zhuang, served as chancellor of Nanyang, and Intendant of Cavalry
    • Xiahou Guangji (夏侯光姬), daughter of Xiahou Zhuang, married Sima Guan (司馬覲), mother of Emperor Yuan of Jin

[edit] In fictionEdit

Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a historical novel by Luo Guanzhong, was a romanticization of the events that occurred before and during the Three Kingdoms era. The Battle of Mount Dingjun, where Xiahou Yuan lost his life, was given a huge dramatic makeup by Luo.

In the novel, Xiahou Yuan stationed his troops on Mount Dingjun and effectively resisted the advance of Huang Zhong, a general serving under Liu Bei. Under the council of advisor Fa Zheng, Huang Zhong occupied Mount Tiandang, a taller peak that lay to the west of Mount Dingjun. From this new vantage point Huang Zhong had an excellent view of Xiahou Yuan's troop movements.

Xiahou Yuan could not tolerate his enemy spying on him and insisted on attacking Mount Tiandang, though Zhang He tried to dissuade him from doing so. Setting out his troops to surround Mount Tiandang, Xiahou Yuan rode forth and challenged his enemy to battle. However, Huang Zhong refused to engage him.

In the afternoon, Fa Zheng saw from his lookout post near the peak that Xiahou Yuan's troops had grown tired and dispirited. He then hoisted a red flag, signalling Huang Zhong to attack. Amid deafening drums and war horns, Huang Zhong's troops rushed downhill with Huang himself galloping in the forefront. Before he could react, Xiahou Yuan was sliced into two below his shoulders by Huang Zhong. With their commander dead, Xiahou Yuan's soldiers were easily defeated and Mount Dingjun was taken.

When Cao Cao heard of Xiahou Yuan's death, he broke down in tears. Only then did he understand the words of the soothsayer Guan Lu (管辂):

Three and eight run criss-cross (The year was the twenty-fourth of Jian'an or AD 219);
A yellow pig meets a tiger (It was the month of the tiger in the year of the pig);
South of the halted army (Actually the south of Mount Dingjun (which means a halted army));
A limb will be lost (Referring to Xiahou Yuan, who was said to be a good, loyal friend and cousin of Cao Cao).


Tenacious Illusion

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Xiahou Yuan surrounds himself in a electrical aura and crashes into enemy soldiers, electricuting them with a devastating impact. Lightning Elemental.

Imperial Blossom

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Xiahou Yuan spins his razor halberd in a circluar motion and slashes enemy soldiers with an electrifying 20 hit elemental combo. Lightning Elemental.

Mandate's Deliverance

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Xiahou Yuan performs a series of rapid fast lightning elemental stabs at enemy soldiers and then finishes them off with a vicious lightning thrust, killing them. Lightning Elemental.

Valor Attack: A Tyrant's Funeral

  • First Appearance: Chaos of the Three Kingdoms
  • Description: Xiahou Yuan's powerful desperation attack, he will unleash a series of devastating lightning fast electric slashes at the enemy soldiers until he launches a barrage of scattered lightning bolts that strikes and disintegrate the enemy soldiers. Lightning Elemental.