Romance of the Three Kingdoms (TV series)

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Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Romance of the Three Kingdoms (TV series).jpg
DVD cover art
MandarinSān Guó Yǎn Yì
GenreHistorical drama
Based onRomance of the Three Kingdoms
by Luo Guanzhong
Screenplay byDu Jiafu
Li Yibo
Zhou Kai
Zhu Xiaoping
Ye Shisheng
Liu Shusheng
Directed byWang Fulin
Zhang Shaolin
Shen Haofang
Sun Guangming
Zhang Zhongyi
Cai Xiaoqing
StarringSun Yanjun
Tang Guoqiang
Bao Guo'an
Wu Xiaodong
Lu Shuming
Li Jingfei
Theme music composerGu Jianfen
Opening themeGungun Changjiang Dongshishui (滚滚长江东逝水) performed by Yang Hongji
Ending themeLishi De Tiankong (历史的天空) performed by Mao Amin
Composer(s)Gu Jianfen
Li Yiding
Wang Xian
Country of originChina
Original language(s)Mandarin
No. of episodes84
Executive producer(s)You Shijun
Zhang Guangqian
Shan Yusheng
Zhang Jizhong
Hao Heming
Producer(s)Wang Feng
Ren Dahui
Dai Linfeng
Yang Weiguang
Zhang Tianmin
Yu Changhua
Zhou Ming
Liu Jinru
Production location(s)Hebei
Inner Mongolia
CinematographyChen Jun
Wang Dianchen
Liu Shuliang
Bi Fujian
Zhang Shaolin
Zhao Xinchang
Gu Qiming
Running time45 minutes per episode
Production company(s)CCTV
Original networkCCTV
First shown in1994

Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a Chinese television series adapted from the classical novel of the same title by Luo Guanzhong. The series was produced by China Central Television (CCTV) and was first aired on the network in 1994. It spanned a total of 84 episodes, each approximately 45 minutes long. One of the most expensive television series produced at the time, the project was completed over four years and involved over 400,000 cast and crew members, including divisions of the People's Liberation Army from the Beijing, Nanjing and Chengdu military regions. Some of the dialogues spoken by characters were adapted directly from the novel. Extensive battle scenes, such as the battles of Guandu, Red Cliffs and Xiaoting, were also live-acted.

List of episodes[edit]

The series is divided into five parts and each part has a different executive producer and director(s).

Part One[edit]

  • Title: 第一部:群雄逐鹿 (Part One: Heroes compete for power)
  • Executive producer: You Shijun
  • Director(s): Shen Haofang, Cai Xiaoqing
# Rough translation of title (in English) Original title (in Chinese)
1 Oath of the Peach Garden 桃园三结义
2 The Ten Attendants cause political turmoil 十常侍乱政
3 Dong Zhuo takes control of the capital 董卓霸京师
4 Cao Cao presents a sword 孟德献刀
5 The three heroes fight Lü Bu 三英战吕布
6 The Chain-links Strategy 连环计
7 Fengyi Pavilion 凤仪亭
8 Offering Xu Province thrice 三让徐州
9 Sun Ce builds a dynasty 孙策立业
10 Shooting an arrow through a halberd 辕门射戟
11 Battle of Wancheng 宛城之战
12 White Gate Tower (part 1) 白门楼 (上)
13 White Gate Tower (part 2) 白门楼 (下)
14 Discussing about heroes over drinks 煮酒论英雄
15 Yuan Shao and Cao Cao mobilise their armies 袁曹起兵
16 Guan Yu lists three conditions 关羽约三事
17 Returning riches and a seal 挂印封金
18 A lone journey over a thousand li 千里走单骑
19 Reunion in Gucheng 古城相会
20 Sun Ce's death 孙策之死
21 Battle of Guandu (part 1) 官渡之战 (上)
22 Battle of Guandu (part 2) 官渡之战 (下)
23 Yuan Shao is defeated 大破袁绍

Part Two[edit]

  • Title: 第二部:赤壁鏖战 (Part Two: The Battle of Red Cliffs)
  • Executive producer: Zhang Guangqian
  • Director: Cai Xiaoqing
# Rough translation of title (in English) Original title (in Chinese)
24 Leaping across the Tan Stream on horseback 跃马檀溪
25 Liu Bei seeks the virtuous 刘备求贤
26 Turning back to recommend Zhuge Liang 回马荐诸葛
27 Three visits to the thatched cottage 三顾茅庐
28 The inferno at Bowang Slope 火烧博望坡
29 Assisting the people across the river 携民渡江
30 Arguing with the Confucian scholars 舌战群儒
31 Cleverly instigating Zhou Yu 智激周瑜
32 Zhou Yu's plan goes to waste 周瑜空设计
33 The Heroes' Gathering 群英会
34 Borrowing arrows with straw boats 草船借箭
35 The Self-torture Ruse 苦肉计
36 Pang Tong presents the Chain-links Strategy 庞统献连环
37 Thrusting a spear and composing a poem 横槊赋诗
38 Zhuge Liang prays for the wind 诸葛祭风
39 Burning of the Red Cliffs 火烧赤壁
40 Seizing Nan Commandery by wit 智取南郡
41 Conquering the four commanderies 力夺四郡
42 The Beauty Scheme 美人计
43 Ganlu Temple 甘露寺
44 Return to Jing Province 回荆州
45 Zhou Yu is infuriated thrice 三气周瑜
46 The Crouching Dragon attends a funeral 卧龙吊孝
47 Slicing off beard and discarding robe 割须弃袍

Part Three[edit]

  • Title: 第三部:三国鼎立 (Part Three: Emergence of the Three Kingdoms)
  • Executive producer: Shan Yusheng
  • Director: Sun Guangming
# Rough translation of title (in English) Original title (in Chinese)
48 Zhang Song presents a map 张松献图
49 Liu Bei enters Sichuan 刘备入川
50 The Phoenix falls at a slope 凤雏落坡
51 Righteously releasing Yan Yan 义释严颜
52 Conquering western Sichuan 夺战西川
53 Attending a banquet alone and armed with only a blade 单刀赴会
54 Battle of Hefei 合肥会战
55 Contention for the succession 立嗣之争
56 Mount Dingjun 定军山
57 Strategic capture of Hanzhong 巧取汉中
58 Drowning the seven armies 水淹七军
59 Leaving Maicheng 走麦城
60 Cao Cao's death 曹操之死
61 Cao Pi usurps the Han throne 曹丕篡汉
62 Campaign against Wu 兴兵伐吴
63 Burning of the linked camps 火烧连营
64 Calmly holding off five enemy forces 安居平五路

Part Four[edit]

  • Title: 第四部:南征北战 (Part Four: Battles in the south and north)
  • Executive producer: Zhang Jizhong
  • Director: Zhang Shaolin
# Rough translation of title (in English) Original title (in Chinese)
65 Troops cross the Lu River 兵渡泸水
66 Seeking a path out in dire straits 绝路问津
67 Meng Huo is captured seven times 七擒孟获
68 Northern Expedition 出师北伐
69 Winning over Jiang Wei 收姜维
70 Sima Yi returns 司马复出
71 Empty Fort Strategy 空城退敌
72 Sima Yi obtains a seal 司马取印
73 Battle of wits at Mount Qi 祁山斗智
74 Zhuge Liang disguises himself as a god 诸葛妆神
75 Six campaigns on Mount Qi 六出祁山
76 The fire is extinguished in Shangfang Valley 火熄上方谷
77 Autumn winds on the Wuzhang Plains 秋风五丈原

Part Five[edit]

  • Title: 第五部:三分归一 (Part Five: Three united as one)
  • Executive producer: Hao Hengmin
  • Director: Zhang Zhongyi
# Rough translation of title (in English) Original title (in Chinese)
78 Feigning illness to trick Cao Shuang 诈病赚曹爽
79 Conflict in the Wu palace 吴宫干戈
80 Siege of Mount Tielong 兵困铁笼山
81 Sima Zhao commits regicide 司马昭弑君
82 Nine campaigns on the Central Plains 九伐中原
83 Stealth march to Yinping 偷渡阴平
84 Three united under Jin 三分归晋


Due to the time taken to complete the project (four years), there were numerous instances of (1) multiple actors playing the same character or (2) the same actor taking on multiple roles. An example of case (1) is the character Zhang Liao, who is portrayed by Xu Shaohua in episode 12, Zhang Yakun in episode 39, and Wang Weiguo in episode 54. Chen Zhihui is an extreme example of case (2) because he played a total of four roles – three as generals from Wei, Shu and Wu (Xu Chu, Liao Hua and Taishi Ci) and one as minor warlord Bao Xin. Two other prominent examples of case (2) were Wu Xiaodong and Hong Yuzhou – Wu portrayed Sun Jian in episode 5 and Sun Quan from episode 30 onwards; Hong played a young Yuan Shao in episode 5 and Zhou Yu from episode 9 onwards.

Main cast[edit]

Other cast[edit]

Sorted by role in alphabetical order


The music for the series was composed by Gu Jianfen (谷建芬) and Li Yiding (李一丁).

# Track title Credits Notes
1 滚滚长江东逝水
(pinyin: Gǔngǔn Chángjiāng Dōngshì Shuĭ)
(translation: The Billowing Yangtze River Flows East)
Lyrics by Yang Shen;
performed by Yang Hongji
The opening theme song and the ending theme song of episode 84.
2 这一拜
(pinyin: Zhè Yī Bài)
(translation: This Oath)
Lyrics by Wang Jian;
performed by Liu Huan
Played during the Peach Garden Oath scene in episode 1 and during the three brothers' reunion scene in episode 19 and the ending theme song of episode 19.
3 烈火雄风
(pinyin: Lièhuŏ Xíóngfēng)
(translation: Raging Fire and Majestic Wind)
Lyrics by Wang Jian;
performed by Lü Jianhong
Played during Lü Bu's riding scene in episode 3.
4 貂蝉已随清风去
(pinyin: Diāochán Yĭsuí Qīngfēng Qù)
(translation: Diaochan Has Gone with the Wind)
Lyrics by Wang Jian;
performed by Wan Shanhong
Played during the last scene showing Diaochan's departure in episode 7 and the ending theme song of episode 7.
5 淯水吟
(pinyin: Yùshuĭ Yín)
(translation: Ode to the Yu River)
Lyrics by Wang Jian;
performed by Mao Amin
Played during the Battle of Wancheng scene in episode 11 and when Cao Cao mourns those who died at Wancheng in episode 12.
6 明主求贤兮却不知吾
(pinyin: Míngzhŭ Qíuxián Xī Què Bùzhī Wú)
(translation: The Wise Ruler Seeks Talents But Knows Me Not)
Lyrics by Luo Guanzhong Played during the scene where Liu Bei meets Xu Shu in episode 25.
7 壮士功名尚未成
(pinyin: Zhuàngshì Gōngmíng Shàngwèi Chéng)
(translation: A Hero Has Yet to Achieve Glory)
Lyrics by Zhu Xiaoping Played during the scene showing Zhuge Liang's friends singing in episode 26.
8 谁肯论英雄
(pinyin: Shéikěn Lùn Yīngxióng)
(translation: Who Would Talk About Heroes)
Lyrics by Zhu Xiaoping Played during the scene showing Zhuge Liang's friends singing in episode 26.
9 一夜北风寨
(pinyin: Yīyè Běifēng Zhài)
(translation: A Night in the Northern Wind Fort)
Lyrics by Luo Guanzhong Played during Huang Chengyan's scene in episode 27.
10 有为歌
(pinyin: Yŏuwéi Gē)
(translation: A Promising Song)
Lyrics by Wang Jian;
performed by Dai Jianming
Played during Zhuge Liang's scene in episode 27.
11 民得平安天下安
(pinyin: Míndé Píng'ān Tiānxià Ān)
(translation: The World is Peaceful When the People Are at Peace)
Lyrics by Wang Jian;
performed by Cui Jinghao
Played during the scene showing Liu Bei crossing the river with civilians in episode 29.
12 当阳常志此心丹
(pinyin: Dāngyáng Chángzhì Cĭ Xīndān)
(translation: A Heart of Courage in Dangyang)
Lyrics by Wang Jian;
performed by Cui Jinghao
Played during Zhao Yun's heroics scene in episode 30.
13 豹头环眼好兄弟
(pinyin: Bàotóu Huányăn Hăo Xiōngdì)
(translation: The Good Brother with a Leopard's Head and Big Round Eyes)
Lyrics by Wang Jian; performed by Yin Xiangjie Played during Zhang Fei's scene in episode 30.
14 丈夫歌
(pinyin: Zhàngfū Gē)
(translation: A Song for Men)
Lyrics by Luo Guanzhong;
performed by Lü Jianhong
Played during Zhou Yu's dance scene in episode 33.
15 短歌行
(pinyin: Duăngē Xíng)
(translation: A Short Song)
Lyrics by Cao Cao;
performed by Yang Hongji
Played during Cao Cao's poem recitation scene in episode 37.
16 子夜四时歌
(pinyin: Zĭyè Sìshí Gē)
(translation: The Midnight Song)
Lyrics adapted from a Southern Dynasties era poem;
performed in a Wu accent
Played during Liu Bei and Sun Shangxiang's wedding scene in episode 43.
17 江上行
(pinyin: Jiāngshàng Xíng)
(translation: Sail Along the River)
Lyrics by Wang Jian;
performed by Cui Jinghao
Played during the scene showing Guan Yu's arrival by boat in episode 53.
18 七步诗
(pinyin: Qībù Shī)
(translation: The Seven Steps Poem)
Lyrics by Cao Zhi;
performed by Liu Huan
Played during Cao Zhi's poem recitation scene in episode 61.
19 哭诸葛
(pinyin: Kū Zhūgě)
(translation: Mourning Zhuge)
Lyrics by Wang Jian;
performed by Liu Huan
Played during Zhuge Liang's funeral scene in episode 77.
20 历史的天空
(pinyin: Lìshĭ Dē Tiānkōng)
(translation: The Sky of History)
Lyrics by Wang Jian;
performed by Mao Amin
The ending theme song of Episode 1 to Episode 6 and Episode 8 to Episode 18 and Episode 20 to Episode 83.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]