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Liu Shan (in Chinese: 劉禪), also known as Adou (in Chinese: 阿斗), is one of the major protagonists in the 14th-century Chinese classic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by the late Luo Guanzhong, and its multiple adaptations. He is Liu Bei's eldest son and successor and Empress Zhang's husband.

History

Cao Cao is a rival and archenemy of Liu Bei who is dominates almost all of northern China, sets out to conquer the Jing province. As he retreats to the south, Liu Bei is overtaken by Cao Cao, at the head of his elite riders. During the Battle of Changban, Liu Bei is separated from his wife Lady Gan and son. Seeing this, Zhao Yun, one of the loyal generals of Liu Bei, stays behind to protect his lord's family, then after taking Liu Shan in her arms, brings the mother and the son back to Liu Bei. Ironically, Liu Shan loses her mother when he is very young, because even though the exact date of Lady Gan's death is unknown. When Liu Bei's wife, Lady Sun divorce of her husband, the latter was then the only legal guardian of Liu Shan. When Liu Bei leaves Chengdu, the capital of Shu Han, to go to war against Sun Quan. While the latter sent one of Wu generals, Lu Meng to invade the Jing Province, but he did while capturing and executing one of Liu Bei's sworn brothers, Guan Yu and his son Guan Ping. After Liu Bei become the emperor of Shu, Liu Bei suffered a stinging defeat at the Battle of Yiling and retreat to Baidi Castle with his army. Before his dying, Liu Bei entrusts the young Liu Shan to the good care of his Prime Minister Zhuge Liang, even advising the latter to ascend the throne, if ever Liu Shan reveals to be unable to assume his role.

After Liu Bei's death, Liu Shan has seems to become a good emperor and new leader of Shu. Liu Shan has always wanted to live through the extravagant life and solve it through these expression, but his property was become a lot. As well as Zhuge Liang is still alive, Liu Shan respects him and regards him as a father figure, letting the prime minister handle all affairs of the kingdom. Zhuge Liang took the opportunity to place in key positions men he trusts, such as Fei Yi, Dong Yun, Guo Youzhi, and Xiang Chong. Following Zhuge Liang's advice, Liu Shan was taking control the alliance between the Shu and the Wu Kingdom, which allows the two kingdoms to survive in the face of their much more powerful enemy, Wei kingdom. But later on, Liu Shan was married Empress Zhang, one of the daughters of the late general Zhang Fei, her father's other sworn brother. The Nanman tribes revolt to free themselves from the domination of Shu. In some case, Zhuge Liang went south to lead an army and managed to quell the rebellion, thanks in part to military victories and partly through persuasion. However, he managed to bring this region of the South back into the fold of the Shu, to whom the Nanmans would provide support without which Zhuge Liang would never have been able to launch his expeditions against the Wei. Zhuge Liang launched his five Northern Campaigns against Wei.

Except for one of them, all these expeditions end with military failures, without turning into disaster. Each time, the Shu armies fall short of supply and are forced to retreat without inflicting significant damage to the Wei, which Liu Shan immediately accepts. However, Zhuge Liang fell seriously ill during his ultimate northern expedition. On being made aware of the health of his prime minister, Liu Shan was sent Li Fu, his personal secretary, to the dying man, so that the latter could leave his final instructions on how to run the affairs of the kingdom. Among other things, Zhuge Liang recommends that Jiang Wan succeed him, and Fei Yi succeed Jiang Wan when the time comes. When Li Fu asks who should succeed Fei Yi, Zhuge Liang refuses to answer. Zhuge Liang dies soon after and Liu Shan executes his last wishes by making Jiang Wan the new regent. Jiang Wan was a capable administrator, and he continued Zhuge Liang's authoritarian policies, so that the government administration remained efficient. Shu was in a defensive position, no longer a threat to Wei. For many Wu generals, this was a falsely sign of the Alliance's demise and the beginning of a reference to Wei, but Sun Quan saw it as correct Sign of weakness Shu Han. Jiang Wan fell ill and transferred most of his authority to Fei Yi and his assistant Dong Yun.

Fei Yi led the army to Hanzhong, when Wei chancellor Cao Shuang is trying to attacked there, inflicting a significant defeat on Wei. Jiang Wan retained his influence until his death. After Jiang Wan and Dong Yun dies, the emperor is quite appointed the able general Jiang Wei as his assistant, but both were busy with military plans, while the emperor became more and more concerned with personal matters. Liu Shan began his travels through the empire and increased the luxury at court, which burdens the state budget intensely. Jiang Wei wanted to resume Zhuge Liang's attacks on Wei, in which Fei Yi partially agreed. Although he allowed him to hold raids on the borders with Wei, but never gave him enough troops to seriously threaten Wei. A few years later, Sima Yi launched a coup, Xiahou Ba was forced to visit Shu Han. However, because did not know the road of Shu and lost the way, Xiahou Ba still unable to find a way to walk down the foot. Liu Shan immediately sent someone to pick up after learning, he always comforted Xiahou Ba after seeing him, who said that Xiahou Ba's father, Xiahou Yuan was killed by Huang Zhong on the battlefield. Liu Shan only helped Jiang Wei and other troops continue to praise and managed to let Fei Yi enjoy any blow. Under his own efforts, Jiang Wei can be stabilized with approval and should not be regrettable for some of them.

Liu Shan must know that it is easy to be ingenious, Fei Yi was murdered by General Guo Xun, who had previously defected from Wei to Shu. Jiang Wei took command of the forces of Shu Han, but a power vacuum on internal affairs arose as Jiang Wei stayed at the border to conduct campaigns against Wei. Jiang Wei is launched a joint attack against Wu regent Zhuge Ke, Shu Han's oldest ally, against the Wei kingdom. The Wei forces concentrated on Zhuge Ke's forces falling in battle and was the second and final joint attack by Shu and Wu on Wei empire. Wei supreme minister, Sima Zhao dispatched his generals Zhong Hui, Deng Ai, and Zhuge Xu to conquer Shu, Liu Shan sent Zhang Yi, Liao Hua, and Dong Jue to dismiss the enemies. Jiang Wei led the public to block more than 100,000 troops in the sword court, but Deng Ai sneaked into the capital and went straight to Chengdu. After negotiating with the ministers, Liu Shan decided to send Zhuge Liang's son, Zhuge Zhan to lead the troops to defeated the enemy. Although Zhuge Zhan broke the forward of Deng Ai's army, Zhuge Zhan refused to listen to Huang Chong's advice and could keep their posts without flattery. Huang Hao even tried to replace Jiang Wei with his friend Yan Yu. When Jiang Wei heard about it, he ordered the Emperor to execute Huang Hao, but he refused.

Sima Zhao devised a plan to finally destroy Shu Han, Jiang Wei heard rumors about it, he warned the emperor at the border before the Wei troops were trodden under Zhong Hui and Deng Ai. Huang Hao, however, relied on the fortune-tellers who declared an attack on Wei unlikely and persuaded the emperor not to do anything. However, Sima Zhao started the attack led by Zhong Hui and Deng Ai. Liu Shan followed Jiang Wei's old plan, pulled the troops off the border and let them prepare the trap for Wei. But instead of besieging the border towns, Deng Ai and Zhong Hui ignored them and took the Yang'an Pass. Jiang Wei was able to joined his armies and call them back, Deng Ai led his forces deep into Shu territory through the almost impassable mountains, launching a surprise attack on Jiangyou. After defeating Zhuge Zhan there were no more troops between Deng Ai and the capital Chengdu. In view of the hopeless situation, the emperor accepted the advice of his secretary Qiao Zhou and surrendered.

Many criticized this move, Weng Yin described it in his notes of Shu as an act of charity towards the people. Zhong Hui made an attempt to break the power of the Sima family in the Wei kingdom and rose with the support of Jiang Wei, who once again wanted to proclaim Liu Shan as emperor of Shu. After Zhong Hui and Jiang Wei's death, Liu Shan and his family were ordered to the capital, Luoyang. After the spring and autumn annals of Han and Jin, Sima Zhao one day invited Liu Shan to a festival where he played traditional dances and music from Shu. When all this left Liu Shan unmoved among his wistful officials, Sima asked him if he did not miss his kingdom. This saying became a Chinese proverb meaning "too cheerful to think of the homeland", usually with a negative implication. Sima Zhao regarded Liu Shan as an incompetent fool. Later historians see it as a sign of Liu Shan's wisdom not to appear as a threat to Sima Zhao. Liu Shan seems to decide to change his own destiny, but he wants to live that ordinary life anyway. Liu Shan also died in later years, it was given the posthumous name "Duke Si of Anle" and "Emperor Xiaohuai".

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Trivia

  • He is one of the playable characters in the Dynasty Warriors series.

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