Wei Dingguo

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Wei Dingguo
Water Margin character
Nickname "General of Holy Fire"
神火將
Rank 45th, Fierce Star (地猛星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Tiger Cub Scouting General of Liangshan
Origin Imperial drill instructor
Ancestral home / Place of origin Lingzhou (present-day Ling County, Dezhou, Shandong)
First appearance Chapter 67
Weapon Saber, bow and arrows
Names
Simplified Chinese 魏定国
Traditional Chinese 魏定國
Pinyin Wèi Dìngguó
Wade–Giles Wei Ting-kuo
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wei.

Wei Dingguo is a fictional character in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 45th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 9th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "General of Holy Fire".

Background[edit]

Wei Dingguo dons a red helmet with a red feather at its tip and a suit of red armour. He rides on a red steed and is armed with a saber and a bow and arrows. An accomplished general and strategist, he serves in the imperial army as a drill instructor in his hometown, Lingzhou (凌州; present-day Ling County, Dezhou, Shandong), alongside his colleague Shan Tinggui. He specialises in using fire-based weapons to attack his enemies and is thus nicknamed "General of Holy Fire".

Becoming an outlaw[edit]

After the imperial general Guan Sheng defects to the outlaw band at Liangshan Marsh, the Imperial Tutor Cai Jing recommends Shan Tinggui and Wei Dingguo to Emperor Huizong to lead the imperial army to eliminate the outlaws. When the outlaws receive news of the attack, Guan Sheng volunteers to lead an army with Xuan Zan and Hao Siwen to engage the enemy. At Lingzhou, Hao Siwen and Xuan Zan are lured into the enemy formation by Shan Tinggui and Wei Dingguo respectively and captured. Hao Siwen and Xuan Zan are escorted as prisoners of war back to Daming Prefecture (大名府; in present-day Handan, Hebei). Along the way, the bandits from Mount Deadwood (枯樹山), led by Bao Xu and Li Kui, attack the convoy and free the captives.

Shan Tinggui is defeated and captured by Guan Sheng in a man-on-man fight later. He is persuaded by Liangshan's chief, Song Jiang, to join the outlaw band. Wei Dingguo is furious when he learns of Shan Tinggui's defection and he challenges Guan Sheng to a duel outside Lingzhou. During the duel, he feigns defeat and attempts to lure Guan Sheng to pursue him so he can use his fire weapons to surprise attack Guan later. However, Guan Sheng retreats because he has been warned by Shan Tinggui earlier. While Wei Dingguo is busy fighting Guan Sheng, the Liangshan outlaws seize the opportunity to attack and occupy Lingzhou. Shan Tinggui visits Wei Dingguo alone later and succeeds in convincing his former colleague to join Liangshan as well.

Campaigns and death[edit]

Wei Dingguo becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan cavalry after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. He follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong. During the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La, Wei Dingguo and Shan Tinggui accompany Lu Junyi's army and aid the Liangshan forces in their conquests of Fang La's cities Xuanzhou (宣州; around present-day Xuanzhou District, Xuancheng, Anhui) and Huzhou. They are later assigned to lead the attack on Shezhou (歙州; present-day She County, Huangshan City, Anhui). They see that the city gates are wide open with no enemies in sight. In their eagerness to earn the top credit for victory, they lead their troops into the city without suspecting that it might be a trap. They fall into a hidden pit and are killed by enemy soldiers lying in ambush.

References[edit]