Wang Dingliu

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Wang Dingliu
Water Margin character
Nickname "Living Goddess of Lightning"
Rank 104th, Inferior Star (地劣星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Scout leader of Liangshan
Origin Tavern owner
Hometown Jiankang Prefecture (present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu)
First appearance Chapter 65
Simplified Chinese 王定六
Traditional Chinese 王定六
Pinyin Wáng Dìngliù
Wade–Giles Wang Ting-liu
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wang.

Wang Dingliu is a fictional character in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 104th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 68th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Living Goddess of Lightning".


The Water Margin describes Wang Dingliu as having a sharp head, sparkling eyes and a pair of skinny legs. He walks at an astonishing speed, as though he were gliding on air. He earns himself the nickname "Living Goddess of Lightning" for his fast walking pace.1

Wang Dingliu is from Jiankang Prefecture (present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu) and runs a tavern on the bank of the Yangtze River. He is a good swimmer and he learns some martial arts from various teachers, but he does not really master the skills he was taught.

1Note that the lightning deity in Chinese mythology, Dian Mu (電母), is female, so Wang is not nicknamed "Living God of Lightning".

Joining Liangshan[edit]

Zhang Shun goes to find An Daoquan to cure Song Jiang of a tumour on his back. He boards the pirate Zhang Wang's boat. Zhang Wang robs him, binds him and throws him overboard. Zhang Shun is a powerful swimmer and he manages to bite his bonds and free himself. He swims to the riverbank and enters Wang Dingliu's tavern. Wang Dingliu helps him and gives him a set of dry clothing. Wang Dingliu agrees to help Zhang Shun take his revenge but Zhang leaves hastily without waiting for Wang.

Zhang Shun succeeds in forcing An Daoquan to join the outlaw band and they make their way back to Liangshan Marsh. They arrive at the riverbank and see Wang Dingliu calling Zhang Wang's boat for transport. Zhang Shun recognises Zhang Wang and grabs him, binds him and throws him into the river for revenge. Zhang Shun then invites Wang Dingliu to join the outlaw band and Wang follows them back to Liangshan.

When the Liangshan outlaws attack Dongping Prefecture, they send Wang Dingliu and Yu Baosi as envoys to announce their attack to the prefect. Dong Ping suggests to the prefect to kill the envoys, but the prefect ignores him. Wang Dingliu and Yu Baosi are beaten and driven out of the city. The outlaws succeed in capturing the city eventually.

Campaigns and death[edit]

Wang Dingliu becomes one of the scout leaders of Liangshan after the Grand Assembly and stationed in the tavern north of Liangshan. He is tasked with making preparations to receive the imperial envoy from the emperor, who grants the outlaws amnesty. Subsequently, he follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces. He is killed by a poisoned arrow in the battle of Xuanzhou during the Fang La campaign.