|Water Margin character|
|Nickname||"Living Goddess of Lightning"
|Rank||104th, Inferior Star (地劣星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Scout leader of Liangshan|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Jiankang Prefecture (present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu)|
|First appearance||Chapter 65|
Wang Dingliu is a fictional character in 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 novel describes Wang Dingliu as a man with a sharp head, sparkling eyes and a pair of skinny legs. He walks at an astonishing speed, as if he is gliding on air. His fast walking pace earns him the nickname "Living Goddess of Lightning".[notes 1]
Wang Dingliu is from Jiankang Prefecture (建康府; present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu). He runs a tavern on the bank of the Yangtze River. He is proficient in swimming and has learnt martial arts from various instructors before, but did not really master the skills he was taught.
Zhang Shun goes to find An Daoquan to cure Song Jiang of a tumour on his back. He unknowingly boards a boat operated by the pirate Zhang Wang, who catches him off guard, robs him and ties him up and throws him overboard. Zhang Shun manages to free himself underwater and swim to the riverbank, where he chances upon Wang Dingliu's tavern. Wang Dingliu gives him a set of dry clothes and promises to help him take revenge on Zhang Wang, but Zhang Shun leaves in a hurry before they did anything.
Zhang Shun succeeds in forcing An Daoquan to join the outlaw band and they make their way back to Liangshan Marsh. When they arrive at the riverbank, they see Wang Dingliu calling out to Zhang Wang to ferry them across the river. Zhang Shun recognises Zhang Wang and grabs him, ties him up and throws him into the river. He then invites Wang Dingliu to join the outlaw band; Wang agrees and follows them back to Liangshan.
In a later chapter, when the outlaws are attacking Dongping Prefecture (東平府; present-day Dongping County, Tai'an, Shandong), Song Jiang sends Wang Dingliu and Yu Baosi as Liangshan's envoys to meet the prefect of Dongping and demand his surrender. Dong Ping, the general defending Dongping Prefecture, suggests to the prefect to execute Wang and Yu. The prefect refuses, but still orders his men to beat up Wang and Yu and drive them out of the city. The outlaws succeed in capturing the prefecture and making Dong Ping join them.
Campaigns and death
Wang Dingliu becomes one of the scout leaders of Liangshan after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. He is stationed in the tavern north of Liangshan and is in charge of making preparations to receive the imperial envoy from Emperor Huizong, who grants the outlaws amnesty. Later, he follows the Liangshan heroes on the campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces within the Song Empire. He dies after being hit by a poisoned arrow at the battle of Xuanzhou (宣州; around present-day Xuanzhou District, Xuancheng, Anhui) during the final campaign against the rebel leader Fang La.
- (Chinese) Li, Mengxia. 108 Heroes from the Water Margin, page 209. EPB Publishers Pte Ltd, 1992. ISBN 9971-0-0252-3.
- Buck, Pearl. All Men are Brothers. Moyer Bell Ltd, 2006. ISBN 9781559213035.
- Zhang, Lin Ching. Biographies of Characters in Water Margin. Writers Publishing House, 2009. ISBN 978-7506344784.
- Keffer, David. Outlaws of the Marsh.
- Miyamotois, Yoko. Water Margin: Chinese Robin Hood and His Bandits.
- (Japanese) Ichisada, Miyazaki. Suikoden: Kyoko no naka no Shijitsu. Chuo Koronsha, 1993. ISBN 978-4122020559.
- Shibusawa, Kou. Bandit Kings of Ancient China. KOEI, 1989.