The Return of the Condor Heroes

The Return of the Condor Heroes (1983) is a Hong Kong wuxia TV series adapted from Louis Cha‘s novel. The story concerns the adventures of Yang Guo, an orphaned boy in a mid-13th Century China.

The Return of the Condor Heroes (1983) is a Hong Kong wuxia TV series adapted from Louis Cha‘s novel of the same title, produced by TVB and starring Idy Chan and Andy Lau.

Synopsis

Adapted from the novel by Jin Yong, this is a sequel to Legend of Condor Heroes and a prequel of sorts to Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre. The story concerns the adventures of Yang Guo, an orphaned boy in a mid-13th Century China.

From his humble beginnings, the street wise Yang Guo gets passed around from one prestigious master to another but none of them will teach him any martial arts. While escaping from a tortured experience under Quan Zhen Sect‘s Zhao Zhi Jing, he meets Xiao Long Nu, the girl who will become his martial arts master and eventually the love of his life. —Dramawiki

Historical background 1236-1259
Zhongnan Mountains, 終南山 

Zhongnan Mountains are a branch of the Qin Mountains located in Shaanxi Province, south of Xi’an, China. At 2604 meters the range’s highest point is the Cui Hua Mountain. Other notable peaks and places in the Zhongnan mountains include Lou Guan Tai, (where Taoist sage Laozi is said to have dwelt and conveyed the Dao De Jing), as well as Nan Wutai (南五臺) and Guifeng (圭峰). The Zhongnan mountains have been a popular dwelling-place for Taoist hermits since at least the Qin Dynasty.

Chongyang Palace
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Chongyang Palace is a Taoist holy land, ranks first among the three birthplaces; the other two are White Cloud Temple in Beijing and Palace of Eternal Joy in Shanxi.

The Palace was first built in Wang Chongyang’s old residence upon his death. Ma Yu, the director of the Quanzhen School at that time signed “Zuting” for it which meant it was the residence of the founder. After Ma Yu died, Lingxu Taoist Temple was built in the same place at the request of Wang Chuyi. Later Qiu Chuji advised changing the name to Chongyang Palace. During the reign of the Shizu Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty (1215-1294), the temple was imperially named Royal Chongyang Long Live Palace.

Xiangyang 1236-1259

The prefectural town of Xiangyang (present-day Xianfan) on the Han River was a key fortress, blocking the access to the Yangtze River. The Song dynasty was difficult to conquer because of the strategic location of Xiangyang, which became a vital position for Kublai to capture and hold.

Xiangyang surrendered to the army of the Mongol Empire without resistance in 1236. But the Mongols left the city after it was briefly held by them in 1236-38. The twin cities of Xiangyang-Fenchang, with walls almost 5 kilometers around and 200,000 people, withstood a Mongol assault in 1257. The Mongolian cavalry were lured in Xiangyang where they were slaughtered by the Song defenders due to the fortress’ double layered wall design. Mongols lifted the siege of Xiangyang. The sudden death of Möngke Khan forced the imperial army of the Mongol Empire to withdraw from the Song territory in 1259-60.

Historical characters
Prince Kublai, 四王子忽必烈

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Kublai (ᠬᠤᠪᠢᠯᠠᠢ, 忽必來; 1215-1294) was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire (reigned 1260–94). He also founded the Yuan dynasty in China in 1271, and ruled as the first Yuan emperor until his death in 1294. He was the fourth son of Tolui and a grandson of Genghis Khan. Kublai Khan

Möngke khan, 蒙哥

Möngke (ᠮᠥᠩᠬᠡ; 1208—1259), grandson of Genghis Khan. Elected great khan in 1251, he was the last man who held this title to base his capital at Karakorum, in central Mongolia. Its territory became so large and diverse that Möngke was the last great khan capable of exerting real authority over all the Mongol conquests.

In the West, Möngke’s armies conquered Iran, crushing the last resistance there by the end of 1256. The Mongols then advanced on Iraq, taking the capital at Baghdad in 1258. From there they moved into Syria in 1259, took Damascus and Aleppo, and reached the Mediterranean Sea.

In the East, Möngke’s armies, under the command of his famous brother, Kublai (1215–94), outflanked the Chinese in the south and then brought much of present-day Vietnam under their suzerainty. Meanwhile the main Mongol forces began to advance against China proper. In 1257 Möngke took personal charge of his armies within China. Disease, however, ravaged his ranks, and Möngke died in the field. He was succeeded by his brother Kublai, who completed the conquest of China. —Möngke|Britannica

Yelü family

Yelü Chucai (耶律楚材; 1190—1244), Chinese statesman of Khitan extraction with royal family lineage to the Liao Dynasty, adviser to Genghis Khan and his son Ögödei, and administrator in the Confucian tradition. He established a formal bureaucracy and rationalized taxation system for the Mongol-controlled portions of China. By persuading Ögödei to spare the inhabitants of northern China in order to utilize their wealth and skills, Yelü gave the Mongols access to the Chinese weapons that later enabled them to conquer the Song dynasty.

Condor Trilogy