Xiaolongnü is a fictional character from the Chinese wuxia novel The Return of the Condor Heroes (Shen Diao Xia Lü), 1959, by writer Louis Cha under the pen name Jinyong.
Xiaolongnü was an orphan picked up by Granny Sun when she was still an infant. She was raised by Lin Chaoying's disciple and became the third generation disciple of the secret Ancient Tomb Sect (Gumu Pai). The Ancient Tomb Sect (Gumu Pai) is a kung fu school founded by Grand Ancestress Lin Chaoying. As all the disciples of Ancient Tomb were females, the kung fu of this Sect is elegant, graceful, light, beautiful and appears harmless to outsiders.
- Surname: Long
- Given name: Bixia (initial version) / (unknown) (later versions)
- Gender: Female
- Birth: May 1220
- Death: (unknown)
- Father: (unknown)
- Mother: (unknown)
- Husband: Yang Guo
- Descendant: A girl (in yellow dress) appeared in the later novel: The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber
The junior disciple sister of Li Mochou has no name as she was an orphan, and was named Dragon (Long).
It was told that she was left outside the Chong Yang Palace by an unknown figure and was discovered by the Taoist priests when a loud cry broke the silence of the night. Before they could decide on the fate of the baby girl (since women are not allowed in the temple), a middle-aged woman appeared before them and brought the baby to the nearby Gumu, the ancient tomb.
From a very young age, Xiaolongnü was taught all of Gumu Sect’s martial arts syllabus. After many years, she had successfully acquired all the essences of Gumu martial arts' techniques and skills -- the Unparalleled Lightness of Ancient Tomb, Swordplay of Jade Maiden, the Fist of Beauties, the Palm of Infinity Web, the Gloves of White Silver, the Long Sash of Gold Bells and the Gold Needles of Jade Bee. She had begun learning the Scriptures of Jade Maiden, but as her own master had an incomplete understanding of those techniques, her own understanding was even more limited.
After Li was expelled from the sect, Xiaolongnü became the successor to the Gumu Sect. Xiaolongnü was unlike the erratic Li. She never left the tomb and grew up to be an innocent, seemingly vulnerable great beauty with inborn calmness, coldness (to the point of being unsociable), incurious and emotionless characteristics. Evidently, these were the prerequisites to master the martial arts, which Li lacked. She wore white long dresses which made her pale and bloodless features appear even paler and distinctively prettier - icy, fairy-like and ghostly.
Xiaolongnü inherited the tomb when she was fourteen after the passing of her Master and was accompanied only by Grandma Sun, the old servant who took care of her since she was a baby. Meanwhile, her senior disciple sister, Li Mochou spread rumours in Jianghu that when Xiaolongnü turned 18, she would give her hand in marriage to a man who could defeat her. In addition, the lucky man would claim possession of the tomb, rumored to contain great treasures and powerful martial arts scriptures like the Jade Maiden Heart Manual. Hearing this tall tale, the Mongolian Prince Huo Du and his disciple brother, Da Er Ba came to Zhong Nan Mountain, raiding the Chong Yang Palace Shrine along with other men from Jianghu.
Guo Jing, with his young surrogate nephew Yang Guo in tow, came just at that moment. Guo Jing defeated Huo Du and sent them running towards the nearby ancient tomb. But they were stopped from entering when a swarm of jade bees attacked them. The jade bees appeared to be controlled by Xiaolongnü from inside.
The Dragon's disciple
first met Xiaolongnü while she was playing the zither
in the tomb. He saw her again when Grandma Sun brought him inside the tomb to treat his wounds. Due to the maltreatments he suffered at the hands of Zhao Zhijing
, Yang Guo developed a hatred for Quanzhen
. Using a stance taught to him by Ouyang Feng
, Yang Guo fought against a senior Taoist, causing serious injuries. Because of this, he ran away from Chong Yang Palace and came to Gumu Sect.
Gumu Sect considered itself a rival of Quanzhen and the relationship between the disciples of both schools had always been strained. Grandma Sun sympathized with Yang Guo but Xiaolongnü did not want anything to do with him. She told Grandma Sun to return the boy to Chong Yang Palace but once they got there, the Taoists began insulting Yang Guo, which in turn raised the old maid's ire. The result was a deadly duel between her and one of the Elder Taoists Hao Datong. When Grandma Sun was mortally wounded by Hao Datong, one of the Seven Immortal Elders of Quanzhen, she made Xiaolongnü grant her deathbed wish to take care of Yang Guo. Her intention was for the two of them, both orphans alone in the world after she died, to have a companion. Xiaolongnü took Yang Guo in as her disciple and brought Grandma Sun back to the tomb, after defeating Hao Datong by breaking his sword.
Xiaolongnü taught most of what she knew of her own kung fu to Yang Guo. Later in the story, Xiaolongnü acquired a new skill called The Technique of Ambidexterity. This was taught by the mischievous, Zhou Botong. She learnt to wield two swords and executed two distinct techniques flawlessly - the Jade Maiden Sword Technique and the QuanZhen Sword Technique at the same time. This enabled her to fight six great martial arts masters at the same time.
History of Xiaolongnü's martial arts
According to the book, the Grand Ancestress of Ancient Tomb Sect Kung Fu, Lin Chaoying
was one of the foremost martial artists of Jiang Hu at the time. No one was her match except the revered Taoist, Grand Elder Wang Chongyang
, who founded the Taoist philosophy of Quanzhen sect
(All True Religion
). Although each of them had fallen in love with the other, their great level of kung fu and egos made them rivals and they ended up in a bitter-sweet ending.
The strange duel
In a story told by one of the Seven Elders of Quanzhen
, Qiu Chuji
, it was said that before Grand Ancestress Lin disappeared from the face of Jiang Hu, she and Elder Wang who still went by the name Wang Ji
had a strange duel. Lin Chaoying
won that duel (Wang Ji that time was in love with her) and as her prize, she took the tomb-fortress built by Wang
and spent the rest of her life there. As a result of his losing the bet Wang Ji was, at first, forced to become a Taoist priest, Wang Chongyang
. But as he gained more understanding he created the temple nearby in Zhong Nan
mountain which became the famous Chong Yang Palace
The first generation of Ancient Tomb
When Lin Chaoying
entered the tomb, she had a young maid (name unknown). The maid became her first disciple but because Grand Ancestress Lin laid down rules that her disciples would never leave the Ancient Tomb, the exquisite martial arts of their Sect was never heard in Jiang Hu. The young maid later became the master of both Li Mochou and Xiaolongnü.
The infamous Li Mochou
was the infamous third-generation disciple of Gumu Pai and was recruited by the young maid who became master herself after Grand Ancestress Lin died. She is the senior disciple sister of Xiaolongnü.
Xiaolongnü's martial arts
Swordplay of Jade Maiden
The "Swordplay of Jade Maiden" （玉女素心劍法）or "Jade Maiden Heart Manual" is the beautiful swordplay inherited during her training in Ancient Tomb. Created by Ancestor Lin Chaoying, its moves are the nemesis of Quanzhen swordplay, which gives any disciple of the Gumu school an advantage over any disciple of the Quanzhen school, seemingly reflecting Lin Chaoying's grudge against Wang Chongyang. Later on, however, Xiaolongnü and Yang Guo discover that when the two sword styles are coordinated together by a pair of lovers against an opponent, each protects the other flawlessly, reflecting the Gumu school ancestor's true feelings towards her lover and rival. After learning Ambidextrous Hands from Zhou Botong, she is able to use a sword in each hand and unlock the skills of the concerted swordplay even without Yang Guo at her side.
Fist of Beauties
The Fist of Beauties （美女拳法）
is a graceful and seemingly harmless technique where all the moves are named after gestures of famous beauties in the past dynasties.
Palm of Infinity Web
The Palm of Infinity Web （天羅地網勢）
is a major swift defensive technique where a gigantic invisible web is executed to trap and blur an enemy’s weapons and advances.
Gloves of White Silver
These gloves were made from white silver that are unpierceable and allowed the user to hold and even break enemy weapons.
Long Sash of Gold Bells
This was a favorite weapon Xiaolongnü used with the Gumu techniques manipulating long, flexible weapons for short and long distance attacks. Two gold bells were tied at each end of the sash and were hidden in the sleeves. It was only unsheathed by flapping the sleeves. The rhythmic and random ringing sound of the bells served as a distraction while the bells themselves were used to tap and seal opponent's significant and exposed nerve points. This technique had weakening and paralyzing effects. The velocity was unbelievable.
Gold Needles of Jade Bee
This is one of the techniques Xiaolongnü inherited during her training in Gumu Pai Sect. The venom of a rare breed of Jade Bees was carefully absorbed into the needles made of heavy gold and steel. The degree of poison was greater than that of Li's Soul Freezing Needles. Causes hives and horrific pain for long periods and eventual death. The poison is cured by the honey of the Jade Bees, which also has great health benefits.
The Jade Bees
are the only animated weapon that could only attack when instructed by a music instrument, rhythmic whistles and of course, honey which she kept in a jar that was always with her.
Unparalleled Lightness of Ancient Tomb
This is the greatest martial arts technique of the sect. The only other school whose lightness kungfu comes close to that of the Ancient Tomb is that of former Iron Palm Sect leader, Qiu Qianren, whose own light steps allowed him to skim across the top of water.
Technique of Ambidexterity
This is one of the greatest martial arts taught to Xiaolongnu by Zhou Botong when they were trapped in a cave by the Golden Wheel Lama. This martial arts was very useful to Xiaolongnu, as it enabled her to perform the Swordplay of Jade Maiden and Quanzhen swordplay without Yang Guo by her side.
Notable actresses who have played Xiaolongnü in a television or film adaptation are: