Xun Yu (Chinese: 荀彧) is a character in the 14th-century Chinese classic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by the late Luo Guanzhong, and its multiple adaptations. He is a strategist and statesman of Wei kingdom who served under the warlord Cao Cao.
Xun Yu was responsible for the many valuable advice he gave to Cao Cao. He advised Cao Cao to make the existing emperor at that time become a puppet emperor so that Cao Cao had political advantage over other warlords. When Cao Cao facing Tao Qian, Chen Gong and Zhang Miao tried to betrayed Cao Cao and later joined Lu Bu side. At that time, Xun Yu could only stayed in Juancheng, Guo Gong led several tens of thousands of soldiers to the city, Xun Yu had to go out to meet in person. Xiahou Dun dissuaded, but Xun Yu thought that Guo Gong, Lu Bu, and Zhang Miao were not familiar with each other.
Though attacked must be undecided and convince him if the strategy is undecided, even if it is not used and also make him neutral. He is suspected first and will be angered to determined, Xun Yu went to see him personally, Guo Gong saw that Xun Yu was not afraid of it. Xun Yu believed that Juancheng was not easy to attack and led the troops to leave. Xun Yu and Cheng Yu and Xiahou Dun defended the three cities and waited for Cao Cao to back, Cao Cao returned from Xu Province and defeated Lu Bu. Cao Cao tried to deal with Zhang Xiu and lost, the warlord Yuan Shao is more embarrassed and wrote a letter to Cao Cao, proud of his remarks, Cao Cao was furious after seeing it.
Since then, the generals thought that it was the reason for defeating Zhang Xiu. Zhong Yao asked Xun Yu, Xun Yu always saw Cao Cao and Cao Cao sent Yuan Shao's letter to Xun Yu. Xun Yu is actually quite useful for Cao Cao during the Battle of Guandu, which eventually led to defeated Yuan Shao. For example, when Cao Cao realized his food supply was running low, Xun Yu is often advised him to use "unexpected tactics because major changes were waiting". This advice caused Cao Cao to launch a silent attack on Yuan Shao. This incident resulted in the beheading of general Yuan Shao, Chunyu Qiong and the surrender of Xu You to Cao Cao.
When Xun Yu ran out of time when he fell ill when forming the Kingdom of Wei, Cao Cao wanted to become the ruler of Wei, Xun Yu opposed it, Cao Cao thought Xun Yu didn't want to help him anymore. One day Cao Cao fought with Sun Quan, Xun Yu fell ill and stayed at home. Cao Cao then sent a "gift", when Xun Yu opened the box, he found that the box was empty. The intelligent advisor grasped the hidden purpose of sending the box, he then drank poison and died. Xun Yu is 49 years old at the time of his death. Cao Cao later became Wei's nobleman the following year (Xun Yu's nephew, Xun You, died the same way). He was continued by his son Xun Han who died at the age of 30.
- He is a playable character in the Dynasty Warriors video game series.