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Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils

Volume 16 of an early edition of Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils

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AuthorJin Yong
Original title天龍八部
CountryHong Kong
PublisherMing Pao, Nanyang Siang Pau

Publication date

3 September 1963
Media typePrint
Preceded byThe Sword of the Yue Maiden 
Followed byThe Legend of the Condor Heroes 
Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
Traditional Chinese天龍八部
Simplified Chinese天龙八部
Literal meaningThe Deva, the Nāga, the Eight Sections
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinTiān Lóng Bā Bù
Yue: Cantonese
JyutpingTin1 Lung4 Baat3 Bou6

Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils is a wuxia novel by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). It was first serialised concurrently from 3 September 1963 lớn 27 May 1966 in the newspapers Ming Pao in Hong Kong[1] and Nanyang Siang Pau in Singapore. It has been adapted into films and television series in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland Đài Loan Trung Quốc numerous times since the 1970s. Set in 11th-century Đài Loan Trung Quốc, the plot is made up of separate yet intertwining storylines revolving around three protagonists – Qiao Feng, Duan Yu and Xuzhu – and other characters from various empires (Song, Liao, Dali, Western Xia and Tibet) and martial arts sects. The novel examines the cause and effect that sườn and break the inherent bonds underlying each major character's struggles on five uniquely corresponding levels: self, family, society, ethnic group, and country (dominion).

The novel's Chinese title is a reference lớn the eight races of demi-gods and semi-devils described in Buddhist cosmology as the major characters are based on the eight races. In Buddhism, these demi-gods and semi-devils are markedly different from the human race but are still bound lớn Saṃsāra by their own desires. Jin Yong originally modelled each major character after one of the races but, as he continued writing, the complexity of the story made it impossible for such a simplistic mapping.[2] The novel's title has been a challenge for translators for years before it was decided lớn be Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils. An alternative English title is Eight Books of the Heavenly Dragon.[3]


The plot is made up of separate yet intertwining storylines revolving around three protagonists – Qiao Feng, Duan Yu and Xuzhu – who become sworn brothers in chapter 41. The complex narrative switches from the initial perspective of Duan Yu lớn those of the other protagonists and back.

Duan Yu's story[edit]

Duan Yu is a young and naïve prince of the Dali Kingdom. His reverence for Buddhist teachings and disdain for bloodshed prompt him lớn defy his family's tradition of practising martial arts. When his father, Duan Zhengchun, tries lớn force him lớn learn martial arts, he runs away from home page. Ironically, for the sake of survival, he ends up mastering three powerful skills and becomes a formidable martial artist. In addition, he acquires immunity lớn poison after accidentally consuming the Zhuha, a venomous toad.

During his adventures, he encounters five young maidens – Zhong Ling, Mu Wanqing, Wang Yuyan, Azhu and Azi – and becomes romantically involved with the first three. However, at different points in the novel, he is led lớn believe that they are all his half-sisters due lớn Duan Zhengchun's secret affairs with other women in the past. Of these maidens, he is extremely obsessed with Wang Yuyan, who resembles a statue of a fairy-like lady he chanced upon before. He relentlessly tries lớn win her heart but she does not reciprocate because she has a crush on her cousin, Murong Fu.

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Towards the kết thúc of the novel, Duan Yu finds out that he is actually not Duan Zhengchun's biological son, hence he can marry all the three maidens. In the original ending, his love life ends on a happy note when Wang Yuyan finally realises that he truly loves her and decides lớn marry him. However, after the book was published, many readers disliked this ending as it relegated Mu Wanqing lớn a minor role in the story. In the latest revision of the novel, Duan Yu and Wang Yuyan's romance is marred by a series of incidents which eventually cause them lớn be separated and Duan Yu ends up with Mu Wanqing and Zhong Ling.

Qiao Feng's story[edit]

Qiao Feng is the charismatic chief of the Beggars' Sect who possesses strong leadership qualities and exceptional prowess in martial arts. He falls from grace after he is revealed lớn be a Khitan, and after he is wrongly accused of murdering his adoptive parents and some fellow martial artists. He becomes an outcast of the wulin (martial artists' community) of the Han Chinese-dominated Song Empire, which is at war with the Khitan-led Liao Empire. Qiao Feng's relations with the Han Chinese martial artists worsen due lớn the Song–Liao conflict, and also because he is now seen as a murderer and a threat lớn the wulin. He is forced lớn máy chủ ties with them and engage them in a one-against-several battle, during which he single-handedly kills many opponents, including some of his old friends and acquaintances.

Qiao Feng leaves lớn verify the claims that he is a Khitan and investigate the murders. He is accompanied by Azhu, who loves him and stands by him when the wulin turns against him. After a long journey in disguise, he concludes that he is indeed a Khitan and changes his name lớn Xiao Feng lớn reflect his ancestry. In tracking down a mysterious "Leading Big Brother", whom he believes is responsible for the murders and his parents' deaths, he mistakenly thinks that Duan Zhengchun is the "Leading Big Brother", and challenges him lớn a one-to-one fight. However, the sự kiện turns into a tragedy when Azhu finds out she is Duan Zhengchun's daughter and she disguises herself as her father and allows Xiao Feng lớn kill her. It is too late when Xiao Feng realises his mistake. Before dying, Azhu tells Xiao Feng that Duan Zhengchun is actually her father, and she hopes that her sacrifice will satisfy his thirst for vengeance.

Feeling regret and sorrow, Xiao Feng leaves Song territory with Azi, Azhu's younger sister, whom he has promised lớn take care of. Azi has a crush on him but he does not reciprocate her feelings as he loved only her sister. They wander far into northeast Đài Loan Trung Quốc and settle down among the Jurchen tribes. By chance, Xiao Feng encounters the Liao emperor, Yelü Hongji, becomes sworn brothers with him, and helps him suppress a rebellion by a Liao prince. In return, Xiao Feng receives the prince's title and estate. Xiao Feng returns lớn the Song Empire later lớn find Azi and attend a wulin gathering at Shaolin Monastery, where he combines forces with Duan Yu and Xuzhu lớn overcome their foes. At Shaolin, the truths behind all the murders are revealed and the guilty parties receive their just deserts; Xiao Feng also successfully proves his innocence and makes peace with the wulin.

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Towards the kết thúc of the novel, Yelü Hongji plans lớn invade the Song Empire and wants Xiao Feng lớn tư vấn him, but the latter refuses and attempts lớn dissuade him lớn prevent bloodshed. The Liao emperor imprisons Xiao Feng and leads his army lớn attack Song. In the meantime, Azi escapes from Liao and seeks help from Duan Yu, Xuzhu and their allies. Impressed by Xiao Feng's righteousness, they manage lớn rally martial artists from throughout the wulin lớn join them in rescuing Xiao Feng. Even though the mission is successful, they are ultimately outnumbered and trapped by Liao forces at Yanmen Pass. Xiao Feng takes Yelü Hongji hostage and forces him lớn promise that there will be no war between Song and Liao for as long as he lives. He then commits suicide while Azi follows suit.

Xuzhu's story[edit]

Xuzhu is a monk from the Shaolin Sect who is described lớn have a kind-hearted and submissive personality. He strongly believes in following the Buddhist code of conduct and refuses lớn break it even when he faces life-threatening situations. He follows his elders lớn a meeting, which marks the start of his adventures. By coincidence and sheer luck, he breaks a weiqi formation and inherits the powers and position of Wuyazi, the leader of the Carefree Sect. Later, he encounters Tianshan Tonglao, learns martial arts from her, and eventually succeeds her as the ruler of Lingjiu Palace, which commands allegiance from a loose assembly of martial artists.

Feeling overwhelmed by the sudden influx of responsibilities and a major leap in martial prowess, Xuzhu desires lớn detach himself from these duties and return lớn his former monastic life. However, he is unable lớn wrench himself không tính phí from the various tribulations and dangers that lie ahead. He is no longer regarded as a Shaolin monk and has no choice but lớn accept his fate. He also has a pitiful parentage: he is actually the illegitimate son of Xuanci, the abbot of Shaolin, and Ye Erniang, one of the "Four Evils". His reunion with his parents is fated lớn be the first and also the last. Later, by chance again, he becomes the prince consort of Western Xia due lớn his previous affair with Princess Yinchuan, lớn whom he is deeply in love and happily married.




Year Title Production Main cast
1977 The Battle Wizard Shaw Brothers Studio (Hong Kong) Danny Lee, Tien Lie [zh], Lam Jan-kei, Wai Wang
1984 Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (film) Hong Kong Norman Chu, Kent Tong, Felix Wong, Idy Chan, Lam Jan-kei, Austin Wai
1994 The Dragon Chronicles – The Maidens Hong Kong Brigitte Lin, Gong Li, Sharla Cheung, Frankie Lam
2023 Sakra Hong Kong/Mainland China Donnie Yen, Chen Yuqi, Cya Liu


Year Title Production Main cast
1982 Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (1982 TV series) TVB (Hong Kong) Bryan Leung, Kent Tong, Felix Wong, Idy Chan, Wong Hang-sau, Chan Fuk-sang, Sharon Yeung
1997 Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (1997 TV series) TVB (Hong Kong) Felix Wong, Benny Chan, Louis Fan, Carman Lee, Jay Lau, Rain Lau, Bondy Chiu, He Meitian, Cheung Kwok Keung, Evergreen Mak, Natilie Wong
2003 Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (2003 TV series) Ciwen Film & TV Production Co. Ltd. (Mainland China) Hu Jun, Jimmy Lin, Gao Hu, Liu Yifei, Liu Tao, Chen Hao
2013 The Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (2013 TV series) Zhejiang Huace Film & TV Production Co. Ltd. (Mainland China) Wallace Chung, Kim Ki-bum, Han Dong, Zhang Meng, Jia Qing, Zong Fengyan, Mao Xiaodan, Zhao Yuanyuan, Canti Lau
2021 The Demi Gods and Semi Devils Tencent Video Tony Yang, Bai Shu, Zhang Tianyang, Janice Man

Video games[edit]

  • Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils is a single player RPG released in 2002. The player takes on the role of an unrelated protagonist (default name Lei Zhen) and meets characters from the novel. His choices and actions will affect how the story progresses.[citation needed]
  • Dragon Oath, also known as TLBB in Đài Loan Trung Quốc, is a MMORPG developed by Changyou and Sohu, and was launched in 2007.[4]
  • Tian Long Ba Bu: Shen Bing Hai Yu (天龙八部:神兵海域) is a MMORPG developed by Changyou and Sohu, and was launched in Đài Loan Trung Quốc on 25 October 2012. The game is endorsed by Hu Ge and Cecilia Liu, who appeared as Duan Yu and Wang Yuyan respectively in a short đoạn Clip promoting the game and other promotional material.[5]


External links[edit]

  • (in Chinese) Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils Archived 2018-10-30 at the Wayback Machine at