Hu Sanniang

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Hu Sanniang
Water Margin character
Nickname "Ten Feet of Blue"
一丈青
Rank 59th, Bright Star (地慧星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Cavalry leader of Liangshan
Ancestral home / Place of origin Yunzhou, Zhongshan Prefecture (around present-day Dongping County, Tai'an, Shandong)
First appearance Chapter 47
Weapon Pair of sabers, lasso
Names
Simplified Chinese 扈三娘
Traditional Chinese 扈三娘
Pinyin Hù Sānniáng
Wade–Giles Hu San-niang
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Hu.

Hu Sanniang (lit. "Third Sister Hu") is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. She ranks 59th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 23rd of the 72 Earthly Fiends. She is nicknamed "Ten Feet of Blue".

Background[edit]

Hu Sanniang is the daughter of Squire Hu, the master of the Hu Family Village (扈家莊) near Lone Dragon Ridge (獨龍崗), which houses two other villages – Li Family Village (headed by Li Ying) and Zhu Family Village. The ridge is in Yunzhou (鄆州), Zhongshan Prefecture (中山府), which is around present-day Dongping County, Tai'an, Shandong. Hu Sanniang dons a suit of armour over a red robe, a golden helmet and a silk belt. A martial arts expert capable of fighting several enemies at the same time, she wields a pair of sabers in battle and carries a lasso, which she uses to trip and pull opponents off their steeds.

Joining Liangshan[edit]

Hu Sanniang is originally engaged to Zhu Biao, the third son of Zhu Chaofeng, the master of the neighbouring Zhu Family Village (祝家莊). The Zhus offend the outlaws from Liangshan Marsh, who attack them in retaliation. Hu Sanniang comes to the Zhus' aid and challenges the outlaws to a duel. The lecherous Wang Ying is aroused when he sees a female warrior and takes up her challenge. Wang Ying underestimates Hu Sanniang and is defeated and captured by her. She continues to fight with Liangshan's Ou Peng and Ma Lin without showing any signs of weariness after defeating Wang Ying. She gets closer to Liangshan's leader Song Jiang and pursues him as he flees. Song Jiang lures Hu Sanniang into an ambush, where she is defeated by Lin Chong and captured and escorted back to Liangshan as a captive.

Hu Sanniang's elder brother, Hu Cheng, comes to meet Song Jiang and plead with him to release his sister. Song Jiang agrees on the condition that Hu Cheng captures one of the Zhu brothers in exchange for her. The outlaws defeat the Zhus eventually and capture the village. Zhu Biao runs into Hu Cheng during his escape and is taken captive. Hu Cheng and his men meet Li Kui on their way to Song Jiang's camp. Li Kui beheads Zhu Biao upon seeing him and tries to kill Hu Cheng too, but Hu escapes and his eventual fate is unknown. Although the Hu family and their forces have surrendered, Li Kui nonetheless charges into the Hu Family Village and kills everyone inside to satiate his bloodlust. He is later reprimanded by Song Jiang for disobeying orders.

Back on Liangshan, Hu Sanniang has been made a ward of Song Jiang's father. With Song Jiang and the other outlaw chiefs as the matchmakers, Hu Sanniang is married to Wang Ying to fulfil Song Jiang's earlier promise to find Wang a bride. Hu Sanniang notes how seriously Song Jiang takes his chivalrous obligations and does not dare to refuse.

Campaigns and death[edit]

Hu Sanniang becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan cavalry after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. She follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong. During the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La, Hu Sanniang and Wang Ying are assigned to attack the enemy-controlled city of Muzhou (睦州; in present-day Hangzhou, Zhejiang), where they engage Fang La's general Zheng Biao in battle. Zheng Biao uses his sorcery skills to confuse Wang Ying and kill him. Hu Sanniang attempts to avenge her husband but Zheng Biao uses his magical gold bricks to kill her.

References[edit]