I am watching a series on Three kingdoms (2010), were it is shown that, Diaochan was really in love with Lü Bu, it was only Wang Yun, who schemed an act of proposing her daughter as a bride to Dong Zhou in order to have chaos between him and his son. So, I was confirming about this, as I can't find any proof of it, other than "Romance of Three kingdom" which is a novel written 1000 years later after that incident.

3 Answers 3


Given that is mostly fictional, not historical, it is quite unlikely.

In the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Wang Yun was the adoptive father of the fictional maiden Diaochan, whom he used to stir up conflict between Lü Bu and Dong Zhuo, causing the former to betray and assassinate the latter. Wikipedia

If this is correct, then the intrigue is an artifact of the novel, not established in history.

Note Wikipedia:RomanceOfTheThreeKing

Some 50 or 60 Yuan and early Ming plays about the Three Kingdoms are known to have existed, and their material is almost entirely fictional, based on thin threads of actual history. The novel is thus a return to greater emphasis on history, compared to these dramas.[20] The novel also shifted towards better acknowledgement of southern China's historical importance, while still portraying some prejudice against the south.[21] The Qing dynasty historian Zhang Xuecheng famously wrote that the novel was "seven-parts fact and three-parts fiction."[11][22] The fictional parts are culled from different sources, including unofficial histories, folk stories, the Sanguozhi Pinghua, and also the author's own imagination. Nonetheless, the description of the social conditions and the logic that the characters use is accurate to the Three Kingdoms period, creating "believable" situations and characters, even if they are not historically accurate.[23]

Romance of the Three Kingdoms, like the dramas and folk stories of its day, features Liu Bei and his associates as the protagonists; hence the depiction of the people in Shu Han was glorified. The antagonists, Cao Cao, Sun Quan and their followers, on the other hand, were often denigrated. This suited the political climate in the Ming dynasty, unlike in the Jin dynasty when Cao Wei was considered the legitimate successor to the Han dynasty.[citation needed]

Some non-historical scenes in the novel have become well-known and subsequently became a part of traditional Chinese culture.

The novel may be more historical, but my understanding is that period sources are quite limited.


Diaochan was one of the Four Beauties of ancient China. Although based on a minor historical personage, she is mostly a fictional character. WIkipedia Diaochan


Diao Chan is allegedly one of the four ancient Chinese beauties. Despite her absence in historical records, she was immortalized as a heroine by the well-known Chinese literary classics Romance of Three Kingdoms. wku.edu


Moot, because Diaochan is not a real person. She is described in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is a historical novel that is not history. In the actual history Sanguozhi (quoted in Wikipedia's article on Diaochan):


This is not easy to translate, but the essence is that Lü Bu had an affair with one of Dong Zhuo's maids, was afraid of being discovered, and was uneasy as a result. Notably the maid's name is not recorded, and there is no indication that the maid is related to Wang Yun.

If we associate Diaochan with the historical maid, then whether she actually loved Lü Bu is anyone's guess. If we associate Diaochan with Wang Yun's daughter, then she's not a real person, and the question of whether she loved Lü Bu does not arise.

  • 1
    You said what i tried to say, more clearly, and with citations. Upvote!
    – MCW
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 13:34

Given that Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a historical novel, it is highly unlikely that the story of Diaochan and Lübu is true. A historical source you want to refer to is 《三国志》, or else known as the Records of the Three Kingdoms, which is the universally recognized source of history from the Han Dynasty to the Three Kingdoms period that the novel was mainly based off of.

In that version of the events, it is said that the historical figure Diaochan was mainly based off of was a wife of Lübu. Sources also say that Diaochan was a maid of Dong Zhuo, with whom Lübu had an affair with, as mentioned above.

However, as historical records mainly concentrate on the male figures of this period, the real identity of Diaochan and her story is disputed and isn't factually known.

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