The longest surviving of the five tiger generals of the Shu Kingdom, Zhao Yun originally served under the warlord Gongsun Zan but abandoned him after finding him to be a warlord who fights for his own gains and didn’t bother about suffering of the general populace. He joined up with Liu Bei when Liu Bei was escaping from Yuan Shao’s camp.
Calm and level-headed, he was assigned as escort for Liu Bei on functions and trips. He is best remembered for his courageous breakout at Changban slope from the encirclement of the Cao army to rescue Liu Bei’s new born child Liu Chan to safety. Aside from Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun is the most seasoned and experienced general and Liu Bei relied upon him on practically every battle up till he became the King of Hanzhong.
Zhuge Liang was relieved when he managed to intercept Lady Sun’s boat and together with Zhang Fei brought back Liu Chan thus avoiding a blackmail from the Wu Kingdom to use Liu Bei’s son to exchange for the territories of Jingzhou.
When Liu Bei breathed his last, he entrusted Zhao Yun to look after his sons. The death of Guan Yu was quickly followed up by Zhang Fei and Huang Zhong leaving only two tiger generals alive after the death of Liu Bei thus Zhao Yun is highly valued to the Shu Kingdom. During the suppression of the southern rebellion by Meng Huo, Zhuge Liang brought him and Wei Yan along as senior officers. With the south pacified, the plans for the invasion of Wei proceeded and though by that time Zhao Yun is very old, he is still a fearsome warrior on the battlefield despite his age.
Zhuge Liang was greatly saddened when Zhao Yun’s sons Zhao Tong and Zhao Guang went to Chengdu to report the death of their father.