Leader of the five tiger generals of Shu. I’m sure many rtk fans feel sad reading about the capture and subsequent execution of Guan Yu. Sharing the same vision of government and the desire to restore peace and order led him to swear brotherhood with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei.
During the suppression of the Yellow Scarves Rebellion, Guan Yu fought alongside with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei and their success brought them some fame in the country and soon the ailing Han Dynasty enlisted their aid in helping to put down the yellow scarves rebellion elsewhere. Later on while Liu Bei was governing Xuzhou, Cao Cao launched an attack and Liu Bei and Zhang Fei led troops out to try to take the weary enemy by surprise but unfortunately was beaten back. Guan Yu defending the city of Xuzhou left the city to aid his brothers as he is worried about them due to the lack of news on the battle progress.
Guan Yu fell into Cao Cao’s trap by leaving the city and the city was easily taken by Cao Cao with Guan Yu away. With Liu Bei’s wives trapped in the city when the city fell, Guan Yu felt letting his brother down and thought about comitting suicide if not for the persuasion of Cao Cao’s general Zhang Liao. To secure the safety of Liu Bei’s wives, Guan Yu agreed to surrender to Cao Cao temporarily till he know the whereabouts of Liu Bei.
Since the defeat by Cao Cao, Liu Bei had sook refuge with Yuan Shao and manage to convince Yuan Shao to attack Cao Cao. Though vastly outnumbered, Cao Cao still led troops to engage Yuan Shao. Initially left out of the battle due to fears by Cao Cao that Guan Yu would leave him after repaying him, Guan Yu was called upon to relieve Cao Cao’s predicament at Baima slope by slaying Yuan Shao’s feroicous general Yan Liang and later Wen Chou. With these deeds along with the return of precious gifts from Cao Cao, Guan Yu felt at ease and left Cao Cao and began the thousand mile journey escorting Liu Bei’s wives to meet up with Liu Bei. The ardous journey saw Guan Yu fighting his way and killing a few of Cao Cao’s generals who refuse to let him through the pass.
During the battle of Chibi, Zhuge Liang assigned Guan Yu to ambush the escaping Cao Cao at Huarong Trail. It was a very easy task of capturing Cao Cao but Guan Yu, reminded of Cao Cao’s kind treatment when he was under him let Cao Cao go. Ashamed of himself when he return back he may have committed suicide but was given another chance to make amends by conquering Xiangyang.
Zhuge Liang and Liu Bei entrusted the care of Jingzhou to Guan Yu when they were away to capture Xichuan. With Cao Cao to the north and Sun Quan to the east, the defense of Jingzhou is no easy feat. Though Guan Yu managed to starved off the invasion of Cao Cao’s forces to the north, Jingzhou fell to the surprise attack by the Wu forces while Guan Yu is engaged in battle with Cao Cao’s troops. Forced by desertion of troops as well as being wounded in battle, Guan Yu and his son Guan Ping together with his close aides fled to Maicheng. A call for reinforcements from Chengdu was taking too long and growing impatient, Guan Yu and his adopted son Guan Ping attempted to break out of the enemy encircelement of Maicheng and make their way back to Chengdu. They were both captured in an ambush soon after leaving Maicheng. Guan Yu refused to surrender and thus executed together with his adopted son.