Ode to Gallantry

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Ode to Gallantry
Ode to Gallantry (俠客行).jpg
Cover of a 1980 edition of the novel.
Author Jin Yong
Original title 俠客行
Country Hong Kong
Language Chinese
Genre Wuxia
Publisher Ming Pao
Publication date
Media type Print
Ode to Gallantry
Traditional Chinese 俠客行
Simplified Chinese 侠客行

Ode to Gallantry is a wuxia novel by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). It was first serialised in Hong Kong from 11 June 1966 to 19 April 1967 in the newspaper Ming Pao.[1] The novel shares the same Chinese title as a poem by the Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, which was used as its epigraph.


The plot revolves around a case of mistaken identity between a pair of identical twins. In the afterword, Jin Yong acknowledges that the story resembles some of the works of William Shakespeare (cf. Twelfth Night and The Comedy of Errors).[2]

The protagonist, who refers to himself as "Gouzazhong" (狗雜種; literally "mongrel dog", a colloquialism for "bastard"), first appears as a young beggar roaming the streets of Kaifeng in search of his lost mother. He witnesses a fight between several jianghu figures[3] and meets the Shi couple and members of the Snowy Mountain Sect (雪山派). An accident causes him to be taken away by Xie Yanke, an eccentric martial artist, to his secluded home on Motian Cliff. Xie Yanke, who is frequently bothered by Gouzazhong, decides to teach him martial arts. Gouzazhong learns qi cultivation techniques under Xie Yanke's tutelage for six years, but is unaware that Xie actually harbours ill intentions and has been teaching him the wrong methods, in the hope that he will sustain internal wounds and eventually die.[4]

At the same time, the leader of the Changle Sect, Shi Zhongyu, mysteriously disappears.[5] The greater part of the novel deals with the complications that arise as Gouzhazhong is mistaken for Shi Zhongyu, not only by members of the sect (for ulterior motives), by also by Shi Zhongyu's parents, the Shi couple, Shi Zhongyu's lover Ding Dang, and members of the Snowy Mountain Sect. Although the two bear a splitting resemblance, their characters cannot be more different: Gouzhazhong is simple, honest and clever, while Shi Zhongyu, the son of the Shi couple, has a bad reputation for being a lewd and sly womaniser. Gouzhazhong acquires consummate combat skills in the process. He is hounded by members of the Snowy Mountain Sect who mistake him for Shi Zhongyu, who molested Axiu, the granddaughter of the Snowy Mountain Sect's leader. He acquires Axiu as his girlfriend after various incidents, during which the misunderstandings are gradually resolved.

The novel culminates in an episode when the leaders of various sects are coerced into visiting a secluded island by a pair of mysterious, highly skilled messengers to celebrate the Laba Festival. The story then leads to a surprising conclusion: revelations on the island and more revelations concerning Gouzhazhong's true parentage.




Year Production Main cast Additional information
1982 Shaw Brothers Studio (Hong Kong) Philip Kwok, Wen Hsueh-erh See Ode to Gallantry (film)


Year Production Main cast Additional information
1985 CTS (Taiwan) Max Mok, Chao Yung-hsin, Chao Chia-jung See Ode to Gallantry (1985 TV series)
1989 TVB (Hong Kong) Tony Leung, Sheren Tang, Chan Ka-pik See Ode to Gallantry (1989 TV series)
2002 Mainland China Wu Jian, Zhou Li, Zhang Yanmin See Ode to Gallantry (2002 TV series)
2017 Mainland China Cai Yida, Jenny Zhang, Li Jingyang See Ode to Gallantry (2017 TV series)


  1. ^ The date conforms to the data published in Chen Zhenhui (陳鎮輝), Wuxia Xiaoshuo Xiaoyao Tan (武俠小說逍遙談), 2000, Huizhi Publishing Company (匯智出版有限公司), p. 57.
  2. ^ Afterword
  3. ^ Chapter 1
  4. ^ Chapter 3 Archived 2012-02-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Chapter 15 Archived 2012-01-11 at the Wayback Machine.