The Condor (神鵰; 神雕; Shén Diāo; San4 Diu1) is a giant eagle-like creature living alone in a valley and a former companion of the invincible swordsman Dugu Qiubai. After roaming the land for years and failing to find someone who can rival him in swordsmanship, Dugu Qiubai came to a cave near a forest and spent the rest of his life there as a hermit. Several years after his death, the Condor encounters Yang Guo by coincidence while Yang was fighting with a giant serpent. Yang learns Dugu Qiubai's swordplay techniques from the Condor. As he has lost his right arm, Yang trains relentlessly and overcomes his disability to use Dugu Qiubai's Heavy Iron Sword (玄鐵重劍) with only one arm. After accomplishing a high level of proficiency in swordplay, Yang ventures out with the Condor to search for Xiaolongnü and reunite with her.
Guo Fu (郭芙; Guō Fú; Gwok3 Fu4) is Guo Jing and Huang Rong's elder daughter. Even though she is beautiful and attractive, she is spoilt and insolent in her behaviour. She has been unfriendly towards Yang Guo since her childhood. She slices off his arm with a sword in a heated quarrel.
Guo Xiang (郭襄; Guō Xiāng; Gwok3 Soeng1) is Guo Jing and Huang Rong's younger daughter. When she was a newborn baby, she was abducted by Li Mochou but was saved by Yang Guo, whom she has a crush on when she grows up. She is nicknamed "Little Eastern Heretic" (小東邪) after her maternal grandfather, "Eastern Heretic" Huang Yaoshi.
Guo Polu (郭破虜; 郭破虏; Guō Pòlǔ; Gwok3 Po3-lou5) is Guo Xiang's twin brother. The sequel, The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber, revealed that 14 years after the events of The Return of the Condor Heroes, he died with the rest of his family (except Guo Xiang) when the city of Xiangyang fell to the Mongol invaders.
Wu Dunru (武敦儒; Wǔ Dūnrú; Mou5 Deon1-jyu4) and Wu Xiuwen (武修文; Wǔ Xiūwén; Mou5 Sau1-man4) are Wu Santong's sons. Li Mochou caused their mother's death and their father went berserk and disappeared after that. The brothers were raised by Guo Jing and Huang Rong, who taught them martial arts. Both of them have a crush on Guo Fu and almost fought each other to the death to win her love, but the dispute is resolved by Yang Guo. They marry Yelü Yan and Wanyan Ping respectively, and are said to be expecting children with their wives near the end of the novel.
Yelü Qi (耶律齊; 耶律齐; Yēlǜ Qí; Je4-leot6 Cai4) is Zhou Botong's secret apprentice. He is a son of Yelü Chucai and a descendant of the imperial clan of the former Liao Empire. He marries Guo Fu and succeeds Lu Youjiao as the chief of the Beggars' Sect.
Yelü Yan (耶律燕; Yēlǜ Yàn; Je4-leot6 Jin3) is Yelü Qi's younger sister. She marries Wu Dunru.
Wanyan Ping (完顏萍; 完颜萍; Wányán Píng; Jyun4-ngaan4 Ping4) is a descendant of the imperial clan of the former Jin Empire. Her parents died when the Jin Empire was conquered by the Mongols and she swears vengeance on Yelü Chucai, whom she blames for her losses. She fails to assassinate him and loses to his children in a fight. She eventually reconciles with the Yelüs and marries Wu Xiuwen.
Jinlun Guoshi (金輪國師; 金轮国师; Jīnlún Guóshī; Gam1-leon4 Gwok3-si1; "Golden Wheel Imperial Advisor") is one of the antagonists in the novel. Originally a Tibetan lama, he becomes the Imperial Advisor of the Mongol Empire and represents the Mongols in challenging the Han Chinese wulin (martial artists' community). He is defeated by Yang Guo at Xiangyang and dies after a pillar collapses on him. He was known as Jinlun Fawang (金輪法王; 金轮法王; Jīnlún Fǎwáng; Gam1-leon4 Faat3-wong4; "Golden Wheel Guardian King") in the earlier editions of the novel. The "Golden Wheel" in his name is a reference to his golden-coloured chakram-like weapon.
Huodu (霍都; Huòdū; Fok3-dou1) is a Mongol prince and Jinlun's third student. A cunning and witty person, he is not very loyal to his teacher and is always the first to escape and abandon his teacher in dangerous situations. He disguises himself as a beggar, He Shiwo (何師我; 何师我; Hé Shīwǒ; Ho4 Si1-ngo5), and attempts to seize control of the position of chief of the Beggars' Sect, but is exposed by Yang Guo and eventually killed by Da'erba.
Da'erba (達爾巴; 达尔巴; Dá'ěrbā; Daat6-ji5-baa1) is a Tibetan monk and Jinlun's second student. In contrast with Huodu, he is honest and loyal towards his teacher, but very slow witted. He surrenders to Yang Guo and helps the latter eliminate Huodu.
Möngke (蒙哥; Ménggē; Mung4-go1) is the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. He personally leads his army to attack Xiangyang and is slain by Yang Guo in the final battle.
Kublai (忽必烈; Hūbìliè; Fat1-bit1-lit6) is a Mongol prince and Möngke's younger brother. He is one of the commanders of the Mongol army attacking Xiangyang.
Yelü Chucai (耶律楚才; Yēlǜ Chǔcái; Je4-leot6 Co2-coi4) is the Premier of the Mongol Empire and a descendant of the imperial clan of the former Liao Empire.
Yelü Jin (耶律晉; 耶律晋; Yēlǜ Jìn; Je4-leot6 Zeon3) is Yelü Chucai's elder son.
Xiaoxiangzi (瀟湘子; 潇湘子; Xiāoxiāngzǐ; Siu1-soeng1-zi2) is a martial artist from Xiangxi. He steals the Nine Yang Manual from Shaolin Monastery with Yinkexi and hide it inside the stomach of a white gorilla. They become suspicious and kill each other eventually.
Yinkexi (尹克西; Yǐnkèxī; Wan5-hak1-sai1) is a merchant from Persia.
Nimoxing (尼摩星; Nímóxīng; Nei4-mo1-sing1) is a martial artist from India. He has his legs amputated after falling into a trap set by Yang Guo using Li Mochou's poison needles. He is slain by Yang Guo in Xiangyang 16 years later.
Ma Guangzuo (麻光佐; Má Guāngzuǒ; Maa4 Gwong1-zo3) is a martial artist from Xinjiang. Yang Guo persuades him to leave the Mongols.
Gongsun Zhi (公孫止; 公孙止; Gōngsūn Zhǐ; Gung1-syun1 Zi2) is the master of Passionless Valley (絕情谷). Although he appears extraordinary, noble and gentlemanly, he is in fact cold-hearted, ruthless and lecherous. He is skilled in martial arts and wields a pair of blades in combat. He attempts to force Xiaolongnü to marry him but fails and his true colours are revealed when his wife returns. He is blinded in one eye and forced to flee from the valley. He returns later to take revenge on his wife and plunges to his death with her.
Qiu Qianchi (裘千尺; Qiú Qiānchǐ; Kau4 Cin1-cek3) is Qiu Qianren's younger sister and Gongsun Zhi's wife. An insolent and domineering woman, she gradually falls out of her husband's favour. He breaks her limbs and casts her into an underground pit. She was assumed to be dead. While struggling to survive, she masters a skill which allows her to overcome her disability by using her inner energy to suck distant objects into her mouth and fire them as projectiles towards enemies with extreme force and accuracy.
Gongsun Lü'e (公孫綠萼; 公孙绿萼; Gōngsūn Lǜ'è; Gung1-syun1 Luk6-ngok6) is Gongsun Zhi and Qiu Qianchi's daughter. Unlike her parents, she is kind-hearted and compassionate. She has a crush on Yang Guo and eventually sacrifices herself to help him.
Fan Yiweng (樊一翁; Fán Yīwēng; Faan4 Jat1-jung1) is Gongsun Zhi's most senior apprentice. He has a long white beard and becomes the "Long Bearded Ghost" later.
Rou'er (柔兒; 柔儿; Róu'ér; Jau4-ji4) was a servant girl whom Gongsun Zhi fell in love with. Qiu Qianchi discovered their illicit relationship and forced her husband to kill Rou'er.
Li Mochou (李莫愁; Lǐ Mòchóu; Lei5 Mok6-sau4), nicknamed "Red Fairy" (赤練仙子), is Xiaolongnü's senior. She was more powerful in martial arts than her junior at the start of the novel. Although she is beautiful in appearance, she morphs into a vicious killer after her lover betrayed her. However, she appears as a motherly figure to the baby Guo Xiang, whom she kidnaps from her parents. She is seen trying to take the Jade Maiden Sutra from Xiaolongnü on several occasions at the beginning of the novel, but has never been successful. She commits suicide by throwing herself into the fire in Passionless Valley.
Lin Chaoying (林朝英; Lín Cháoyīng; Lam4 Ciu4-jing1) was the sect's founder. She was both a rival and lover of Wang Chongyang, and equalled him in martial arts prowess.
Granny Sun (孫婆婆; 孙婆婆; Sūn Pópó; Syun1 Po4-po4) is an old woman who lives with Xiaolongnü in the Ancient Tomb. She saves Yang Guo from the bullies at Quanzhen Sect and wants to help him fend off the priests. She is accidentally killed by Hao Datong during the scuffle. Before her death, she makes Xiaolongnü promise her to take care of Yang for the rest of his life.
Hong Lingbo (洪凌波; Hóng Língbō; Hung4 Ling4-bo1) is Li Mochou's apprentice. She is rather sympathetic to Lu Wushuang, who was Li's slave then. She is used as a cushion by her teacher to escape from the love flowers and dies after being pricked by the poisonous flowers.
Cheng Ying (程英; Chéng Yīng; Cing4 Jing1) is Lu Liding's niece and Lu Wushuang's cousin. Her uncle and his family were killed by Li Mochou. She is saved by Huang Yaoshi and becomes his student. She has a crush on Yang Guo but becomes his sworn sister eventually.
Lu Wushuang (陸無雙; 陆无双; Lù Wúshuāng; Luk6 Mou4-soeng1) is Lu Liding's daughter and Cheng Ying's cousin. She was abducted in her childhood by Li Mochou, who killed her family. Li crippled her and made her a slave. She escapes later and meets Yang Guo. She also has a crush on Yang but becomes his sworn sister eventually.
Lu Zhanyuan (陸展元; 陆展元; Lù Zhǎnyuán; Luk6 Zin2-jyun4) was Li Mochou's former lover. He reneged his promise and married He Yuanjun instead.
He Yuanjun (何沅君; Hé Yuánjūn; Ho4 Jyun4-gwan1) was Lu Zhanyuan's wife.
Lu Liding (陸立鼎; 陆立鼎; Lù Lìdǐng; Luk6 Lap6-ding2) is Lu Zhanyuan's younger brother. He and his family are murdered by Li Mochou at the start of the novel.
The "Seven Immortals of Quanzhen" (全真七子; Quánzhēn Qī Zǐ; Cyun4-zan1 Cat1 Zi2) are the seven students of Wang Chongyang. They lead the sect after their teacher's death. One of them, Tan Chuduan (譚處端; 谭处端; Tán Chǔduān; Taam4 Cyu2-dyun1), was killed by Ouyang Feng in the first novel. The other six are:
Ma Yu (馬鈺; 马钰; Mǎ Yù; Maa5 Juk6), Taoist name Danyangzi (丹陽子; 丹阳子; Dānyángzǐ; Daan1-joeng4-zi2).
Liu Chuxuan (劉處玄; 刘处玄; Liú Chǔxuán; Lau4 Cyu2-jyun4), Taoist name Changshengzi (長生子; 长生子; Chángshēngzǐ; Coeng4-sang1-zi2).
Sun Bu'er (孫不二; 孙不二; Sūn Bù'èr; Syun1 Bat1-ji6), Taoist name Qingjing Sanren (清靜散人; 清静散人; Qīngjìng Sǎnrén; Cing1-zing6 Saan2-jan4).
Zhao Zhijing (趙志敬; 赵志敬; Zhào Zhìjìng; Ziu6 Zi3-ging3) is the most senior of all Quanzhen students after the "Seven Immortals". He was Yang Guo's teacher when Yang was in Quanzhen. He dislikes the boy, does not teach him any practical martial arts, and allows his other students to bully him. Later in the novel, he collaborates with the Mongols to seize the leadership position of his sect, but his plans are foiled and he is killed by Xiaolongnü's jade bees.
Zhen Zhibing (甄志丙; Zhēn Zhìbǐng; Jan1 Zi3-bing2) is a senior student of Quanzhen. He has a crush on Xiaolongnü and is unable to restrain himself and blindfolds and rapes Xiaolongnü when the latter was immobilised by Ouyang Feng. Xiaolongnü is unaware that Zhen was the one who raped her and she wrongly accused Yang Guo until the truth is revealed several years later. He sacrifices himself to save Xiaolongnü from death. He was called Yin Zhiping (尹志平; Yǐn Zhìpíng; Wan5 Zi3-ping4) in earlier editions. The amendment is due to Jin Yong's reluctance to vilify Yin Zhiping, whose historical namesake is a notable Taoist.
Liu Ying (劉瑛; 刘瑛; Liú Yīng; Lau4-jing1), also known as Yinggu (瑛姑; Yīnggū; Jing1-gu1; "Aunt Ying"), is nicknamed "Divine Mathematician" (神算子). She was originally Duan Zhixing's concubine and had an affair with Zhou Botong. She leads a reclusive life in the Black Swamp with only a pair of Nine Tailed Divine Foxes (九尾靈狐) to keep her company.
Wu Santong (武三通; Wǔ Sāntōng; Mou5 Saam1-tung1) is the father of the Wu brothers. He went mad and disappeared when his wife sacrificed herself to save him after he was poisoned by Li Mochou. He only appears again several years later when his boys have grown up.
Zhu Ziliu (朱子柳; Zhū Zǐliǔ; Zyu1 Zi2-lau5). He participates in the martial arts contest at Dasheng Pass, and later appears to help the protagonists in defending Xiangyang from the Mongols.
Wu Sanniang (武三娘; Wǔ Sānniáng; Mou5 Saam1-noeng4) was Wu Santong's wife and the mother of the Wu brothers. Her husband was injured and poisoned by Li Mochou, and she saved his life by sucking out the venom from his wound. However, she died from poisoning and Wu Santong was so traumatised that he went berserk and disappeared for many years, only to return when his sons have grown up.
Ke Zhen'e (柯鎮惡; 柯镇恶; Kē Zhèn'è; O1 Zan3-ngok3) is the sole survivor of the "Seven Freaks of Jiangnan" from the first novel. He lives with the Guos and is regarded as an elder in the family. Despite holding a grudge against Yang Guo's father for the deaths of his fellows, he treats the boy like the rest of the Guo children. Years later, he relates the story of Yang Kang to Yang Guo at the Temple of the Iron Spear. He admires Yang Guo for his chivalry, and is also grateful to Yang for saving his life from Sha Tongtian and company. He forgives Yang Guo's father and promises to help Yang reconstruct his father's tomb.
Shagu (傻姑; Shǎgū; So4-gu1; "foolish girl") is the orphaned daughter of Qu Lingfeng. She was taken into Huang Yaoshi's care and became his student. Upon learning that she was present at the scene of his father's death, Yang Guo attempts to force her to tell him the details about the incident. However, her ambiguous and unclear answers cause Yang to mistakenly believe that Guo Jing and Huang Rong murdered his father.
Feng Mofeng (馮默風; 冯默风; Féng Mòfēng; Fung4 Mak6-fung1) is a former apprentice of Huang Yaoshi, and the sole surviving one of Huang's original six apprentices (the others were either killed or died of natural causes). He was maimed and banished from Peach Blossom Island by his teacher in anger when his seniors, Chen Xuanfeng and Mei Chaofeng, betrayed their teacher. He becomes a blacksmith after leaving the island and he still respects Huang Yaoshi. He sacrifices himself to buy time for Guo Jing and Yang Guo to escape from the Mongol camp.
Jueyuan (覺遠; 觉远; Juéyuǎn; Gok3-jyun5) is the librarian of Shaolin. He was forbidden to practise martial arts but he builds up immense inner energy after reading the Nine Yang Manual.
Zhang Junbao (張君寶; 张君宝; Zhāng Jūnbǎo; Zoeng1 Gwan1-bou2) is Jueyuan's apprentice. He renames himself Zhang Sanfeng (張三丰; 张三丰; Zhāng Sānfēng; Zoeng1 Saam1-fung1) later and founds the Wudang Sect. He memorises part of the Nine Yang Manual from his teacher.
Tianming (天鳴; 天鸣; Tiānmíng; Tin1-ming4) is the abbot of Shaolin.
Wuse (無色; 无色; Wúsè; Mou4-sik1) is the head of the Arhat Hall.
Wuxiang (無相; 无相; Wúxiàng; Mou4-soeng3) is the head of the Bodhidharma Hall.
The "Ghosts of the Western Mountain Cave" (西山一窟鬼; Xīshān Yī Kū Guǐ; Sai1 Saan1 Jat1 Fat1 Gwai2) are a group of martial artists who dress up as phantoms and ghosts to scare people. They befriend Guo Xiang and become allies of her and Yang Guo. Some of them are:
Long Bearded Ghost (長鬚鬼; 长须鬼; Cháng Xū Guǐ; Coeng4 Sou1 Gwai2) was Gongsun Zhi's eldest apprentice, Fan Yiweng. He is killed by Jinlun Guoshi.
Big Headed Ghost (大頭鬼; 大头鬼; Dà Tóu Guǐ; Daai6 Tau4 Gwai2) is killed by Jinlun Guoshi.
Hanged Ghost (吊死鬼; Diào Sǐ Guǐ; Diu3 Sei2 Gwai2)
Life Taking Ghost (催命鬼; Cuī Mìng Guǐ; Ceoi1 Ming6 Gwai2)
The five Shi brothers live in Ten Thousand Beasts Mountain Manor (萬獸山莊). They are known for their abilities to tame all kinds of wild beasts. They befriend Guo Xiang and become Yang Guo's allies. The five are:
Shi Bowei (史伯威; Shǐ Bówēi; Si2 Baak3-wai1), nicknamed "Mountain King with a White Forehead" (白額山君).
Shi Zhongmeng (史仲猛; Shǐ Zhòngměng; Si2 Zung6-maang5), nicknamed "Guanjianzi" (管見子).
Qiu Qianren (裘千仞; Qiú Qiānrèn; Kau4 Cin1-jan6) was the chief of the Iron Palm Sect (鐵掌幫). He is nicknamed "Iron Palm Skimming on Water" (鐵掌水上飄) for his prowess in martial arts and qinggong. He was notorious for committing heinous crimes in the past but was saved from death by Yideng and repents. He becomes Yideng's student and renames himself Ci'en (慈恩; Cí'ēn; Ci4-jan1). He dies in peace after Zhou Botong and Yinggu forgive him for killing their infant son.
Lu Youjiao (魯有腳; 鲁有脚; Lǔ Yǒujiǎo; Lou5 Jau6-goek3) is Huang Rong's successor as the chief of the Beggars' Sect. He is slow witted but honest and loyal. He is lured into a trap and slain by Huodu, who takes the Dog Beating Staff from him.
Lu Guanying (陸冠英; 陆冠英; Lù Guànyīng; Luk6 Gun3-jing1) is the son of Lu Chengfeng, one of Huang Yaoshi's original six apprentices. He becomes the master of Guiyun Manor (歸雲莊) and leader of the pirates of Lake Tai after his father's death. He plays host to the Heroes' Feast at Dasheng Pass (大勝關).
Cheng Yaojia (程瑤迦; 程瑶迦; Chéng Yáojiā; Cing4 Jiu4-gaa1) is Sun Bu'er's apprentice and Lu Guanying's wife.
Sha Tongtian (沙通天; Shā Tōngtiān; Saa1 Tung1-tin1), Hou Tonghai (侯通海; Hóu Tōnghǎi; Hau4 Tung1-hoi2), Lingzhi Shangren (靈智上人; 灵智上人; Língzhì Shàngrén; Ling4-zi3 Soeng5-jan4), and Peng Lianhu (彭連虎; 彭连虎; Péng Liánhǔ; Pang4 Lin4-fu2) were previously the followers of Wanyan Honglie in the first novel. They were defeated on Mount Hua and captured by Zhou Botong and imprisoned in Quanzhen Sect's headquarters, Chongyang Palace. They manage to escape later, encounter Ke Zhen'e in Jiaxing, and attempt to kill him for fear that he would alert Guo Jing of their whereabouts. Yang Guo comes to Ke's aid and defeats them in a brief fight. They later relate the story of Yang Kang to Yang Guo.
Lü Wende (呂文德; 吕文德; Lǚ Wéndé; Leoi5 Man4-dak1) is the commander of Xiangyang's military forces. He dies ten years after the events of the novel.
Lü Wenhuan (呂文煥; 吕文焕; Lǚ Wénhuàn; Leoi5 Man4-wun6) is Lü Wende's brother. He takes over his brother's command of Xiangyang's military forces.