Guo Jing

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This article is about the fictional character in wuxia fiction. For other people named Guo Jing, see Guo Jing (disambiguation).
Guo Jing
Created by Jin Yong
Appearances The Legend of the Condor Heroes,
The Return of the Condor Heroes
Personal information
Nickname(s) "Northern Hero" (北俠)
Alias(es) "Great Hero Guo" (郭大俠)
Gender Male
Family Guo Xiaotian (father),
Li Ping (mother)
Spouse(s) Huang Rong
Children Guo Fu,
Guo Xiang,
Guo Polu
Sworn siblings Zhou Botong,
Yang Kang,
Organisations Indirect affiliations:
Quanzhen Sect,
Beggars' Sect,
Peach Blossom Island
Teachers Official teachers:
"Seven Freaks of Jiangnan",
Hong Qigong
Unofficial teachers:
Ma Yu,
Zhou Botong,
Huang Yaoshi
Students Official students:
Wu Dunru,
Wu Xiuwen,
Unofficial students:
Yang Guo,
Yelü Qi
Skills and abilities
Qinggong Cloud Ascending Ladder
Neigong Quanzhen-style neigong,
Nine Yin Manual skills
Unarmed combat skills Nine Yin Manual skills,
Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms,
Technique of Ambidexterity,
Seventy-two Styles Vacant Fist,
Finger Flicking skill,
Bare Handed Disarming Skill,
Bone and Joint Dislocation Hand,
Mountain Splitting Palm Skill,
Mongolian wrestling
Armed combat skills Demon Subduing Staff Skill,
Golden Dragon Whip Skill,
Southern Mountain Saber Skill,
Huyan Spear Skill,
Yue Maiden Swordplay,
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Guo.
Guo Jing
Traditional Chinese 郭靖
Simplified Chinese 郭靖

Guo Jing is the fictional protagonist of the wuxia novel The Legend of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). He also appears as a supporting character in the sequel The Return of the Condor Heroes. He is a fictitious descendant of Guo Sheng of the 108 outlaws from Mount Liang in the classical novel Water Margin. Guo and Yang Kang were both named by Qiu Chuji, who urges them to remember the Jingkang Incident and be loyal towards their native land, the Song Empire. He was killed when the city of Xiangyang fell to Mongol invaders.


The Legend of the Condor Heroes[edit]

Guo's hometown is in Niu Family Village. His father Guo Xiaotian was from Shandong, and moved to Lin'an (present-day Hangzhou) after the Jurchens conquered the northern part of the Song Empire in the Jin–Song wars. Guo Xiaotian met Li Ping in Lin'an and married her. Two years after their marriage, Guo Xiaotian was killed by a group of soldiers led by Duan Tiande during a raid, on the order of Wanyan Honglie. Li Ping was heavily pregnant with Guo Jing then, and she was captured and held hostage by Duan, but managed to escape from Duan's clutches later. She fled north and arrived in Mongolia, where she gave birth to Guo Jing. Guo and his mother are taken in by some nomads later and become part of Genghis Khan's tribe after Guo meets Jebe, an enemy of the Khan, who is later pardoned and accepted by the Khan as a warrior. Guo befriends the Khan's children and associates, becoming anda with the Khan's fourth son Tolui. Guo later meets the "Seven Freaks of Jiangnan" and learns martial arts from them. During a few skirmishes between the Khan and rival tribes, Guo demonstrates his loyalty to the Khan and helps to fend off the attackers. Genghis Khan sees Guo as a loyal subject and places great faith and trust in him, and betroths his daughter Huazheng to the latter.

At the age of 18, Guo leaves Mongolia to meet Yang Kang, the son of his father's sworn brother Yang Tiexin, for a contest agreed by their respective teachers years ago. Guo encounters several extraordinary martial artists, who teach him some of their skills. By chance, he finds two prized texts: the Nine Yin Manual and the Book of Wumu, and the knowledge he gained from the books turned him into a formidable martial artist and skilled tactician as he gradually matures in his ideals. He also meets his future wife Huang Rong and they go on adventure together and are eventually married.

Guo returns to Mongolia after his trip to the Song Empire and joins Genghis Khan in the campaign against the Khwarezm Empire. He plays a significant role in the capture of the city of Samarkand and returns home in triumph. When he discovers later that the Khan is planning to invade his homeland (the Song Empire), he renounces his loyalty to the Khan and flees from Mongolia. Thereafter, he establishes a base of operations in one of Song's strategic strongholds, the city of Xiangyang. Since then Guo has vowed to defend his homeland from foreign invaders with his life.

The Return of the Condor Heroes[edit]

Guo appears as a supporting character in the sequel, set several years after the end of the first novel. The adult Guo is now a prominent figure in the Chinese wulin (martial artists' community) and a highly revered hero in the Han Chinese society. Guo faces the arduous task of raising the orphaned son of his late sworn brother, Yang Kang, and guiding him on the path of goodness. He names the boy 'Yang Guo', in the hope that the boy would redeem his family's honour, which had been tarnished by Yang Kang's villainy. Guo and his wife Huang Rong also accept Wu Dunru and Wu Xiuwen as their students.

Guo and his wife play active roles in shaping Yang Guo's character. Guo's fervent loyalty and sense of chivalry serves as an inspiration for Yang Guo and he serves as a role model for the boy to follow. However, Yang sees the couple as enemies for the roles they played in his father's death, and he often harbours the intention of killing them. Yang's anger and hatred gradually subsides when he discovers Guo's humble and kind character, and when he learns the true details about his father's past from Ke Zhen'e.

Guo becomes an active member in defending the city of Xiangyang from Mongol invaders. After successfully establishing a base of operations in the city, Guo and his wife work closely with Xiangyang's government and military, and their wulin allies to defend Xiangyang. Guo and Huang have three children; elder daughter Guo Fu and the twins Guo Xiang (girl) and Guo Polu (boy). Guo Xiang's name is inspired by the "Xiang" in "Xiangyang" while "Polu" means "to defeat and drive away barbarians" (the "barbarians" refer to the Mongol invaders in this context).

Guo uses his knowledge and experience from his earlier campaigns to counter the Mongol invasion. It is revealed in The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber that the Xiangyang eventually falls to the Mongol invaders, and Guo and his family died as martyrs in the battle. Only his younger daughter Guo Xiang survived, and she founded the Emei Sect later.

Character description[edit]

Guo has thick eyebrows, large eyes, a sturdy and strong stature, and a complexion somewhere between dark and fair. He is described to be "dumb", slow in learning and inarticulate. Guo's most outstanding trait is his constant strife for moral rectitude, as observed when he faces a dilemma after Genghis Khan attempts to force him to lead the Mongol army to attack his native land.[1] Although Guo was born and raised in Mongolia, he is unwilling to side with the Mongols to attack the Song Empire and exploit his own race.[1] In The Return of the Condor Heroes, the adult Guo dedicates his life and passion to serving Song and defending it from foreign invaders.[2]

Martial arts and skills[edit]

The adult Guo is the most powerful martial artist of his generation, as well as one of the most formidable of the era. His profound mastery of several different types of martial arts and skills surpasses that of most others in the wulin. Towards the end of The Return of the Condor Heroes, his wife names him as the "Northern Hero" (北俠) of the new generation of the Five Greats, replacing his master, the late Hong Qigong.[3] His repertoire of skills and martial arts are described in the following sections.


Guo is one of the finest archers in Mongolia. He was trained in his early days by the legendary archer Jebe.[4] In his youth, Guo once shot down two eagles in the sky with a single arrow. The incident earned him fame and the admiration of the Khan. In his childhood, he also played wrestling as a sport with the Khan's children and followers.

Seven Freaks of Jiangnan[edit]

Guo is first introduced to Chinese martial arts by the "Seven Freaks of Jiangnan", a group of seven martial artists from Jiaxing, Jiangnan. The Freaks find a six-year-old Guo after a long search that brought them to Mongolia. They teach him all the skills they know to prepare him for an upcoming competition with Yang Kang.[4] The Freaks did not teach Guo Jing any inner energy cultivation techniques at all.

The skills taught to Guo by the Freaks include:

  • Demon Subduing Staff Skill (伏魔杖法)
  • Bare Handed Disarming Skill (空手奪白刃)
  • Bone and Joint Dislocation Hand (分筋錯骨手)
  • Golden Dragon Whip Skill (金龍鞭法)
  • Southern Mountain Saber Skill (南山刀法)
  • Mountain Splitting Palm Skill (開山掌法)
  • Huyan Spear Skill (呼延槍法)
  • Yue Maiden Swordplay (越女劍法)

Quanzhen Sect[edit]

Ma Yu, Qiu Chuji and Wang Chuyi of the Quanzhen Sect teach Guo some basics of their sect's inner energy cultivation techniques. Guo is able to understand the basis of Quanzhen's Big Dipper Formation (七星北斗陣) after reading the Nine Yin Manual and observing the formation being deployed in actual combat.

Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms[edit]

Guo meets Hong Qigong by chance while out on adventure with Huang Rong. Huang, worrying that her father will look down on Guo's due to his simple skill, use this chance to incite Hong Qigong to teach Guo his strongest skill. Attracted by Huang's culinary skill, Hong agrees to teach Guo his 'Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms' to repay Huang's favors of preparing fine cuisine for him every day during the brief period of time he spent with them.

Zhou Botong[edit]

Guo meets Zhou Botong on Peach Blossom Island and becomes sworn brothers with him. Zhou teaches Guo the 'Seventy-two Styles Vacant Fist' (七十二路空明拳).

Zhou also teaches Guo the 'Technique of Ambidexterity' (雙手互搏)), which allows him to use two different sets of martial arts simultaneously.[5] Unexpectedly, the slow learning Guo manages to master this technique in a short period of time, whereas, ironically, his more intelligent wife is unable to grasp it at all.[6]

Nine Yin Manual[edit]

Zhou Botong has with him a copy of the Nine Yin Manual, the most coveted martial arts manual of that era, because of the incredible inner energy cultivation techniques and extraordinary skills it records. Zhou has been forbidden by Wang Chongyang to learn the skills within so he decides to let Guo learn.

Military strategy[edit]

Guo learnt military strategy and tactics from the Book of Wumu, a military treatise authored by Yue Fei. The book is coveted by many, as it is widely believed that whoever possesses it will conquer the world. The Jurchens and Mongols are among those actively seeking the book.

Guo finds the book by chance on Iron Palm Peak. He reads it thoroughly and employs some of the strategies during the war with the Khwarezm Empire. The experience he gained from the Mongol campaigns and knowledge from the book turns him into a skilled military tactician.


Before leaving for good, Yang Guo and Xiaolongnü gave Guo Xiang their Gentleman and Lady Swords and the Heavy Iron Sword. In The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber, it is revealed that the swords were later melted and forged to become the Heaven Reliant Sword and Dragon Slaying Saber.

Guo Jing wrote the Nine Yin Manual from memory during the siege of Xiangyang. He also wrote a martial arts manual for his 'Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms'. The scrolls were hidden inside the blade of the Heaven Reliant Sword. Guo Jing also detailed all his military experiences and knowledge from the Book of Wumu on a piece of cloth and hid it inside the blade of the Dragon Slaying Saber. The Heaven Reliant Sword was brought out of Xiangyang by Guo Xiang before the city was conquered, while the Dragon Slaying Saber fell into the hands of the Mongols after Guo Polu's death. The heroics of Guo Jing and Huang Rong became legendary tales and were occasionally mentioned in The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber.

Family tree[edit]

Guo Xiaotian
Guo Jing
Guo Polu
Li Ping
Guo Xiang
Huang Yaoshi
Huang Rong
Guo Fu
Feng Heng
Yelü Qi
Yelü Chucai
Yelü Zhu
Yelü Yan
Wu Santong
Wu Dunru
Wu Sanniang
Wu Xiuwen
Wanyan Ping


  1. ^ a b See Chapter 39 of the first novel.
  2. ^ See Chapter 39 of the second novel.
  3. ^ See Chapter 40 of the second novel.
  4. ^ a b See Chapter 5 of the first novel.
  5. ^ See Chapter 17 of the first novel.
  6. ^ See Chapter 25 of the second novel.