Dynasty Warriors Plot Synopsis
Set during the late Eastern Han Dynasty, Dynasty Warriors boasts an epic story about feuding Kingdoms and a wrestle for power. At the heart of all this is ambitious and opportunistic Dong Zhuo.
After successfully defeating the Yellow Turbans on the battlefield, he quickly seizes control of the Han Court. He takes the Young Prince hostage and replaces him with a puppet King in Chen Liu.
Determined to overthrow his wicked rule, Cao Cao plots an assassination which ultimately goes wrong. One thing leads to another and Cao Cao finds himself a wanted man. He’s on the run and determined to get his revenge.
Running parallel to this are three noble and formidable fighters – Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. After helping Dong Zhuo on the battlefield, they reassess their goals. Together, they decide to try and help Cao Cao overthrow the evil dictator and bring balance back to the Han Dynasty.
Which army is victorious at Hulao Pass?
With the battle lines drawn, a devastating battle commences during the final act of the movie. Dong Zhuo sends his right-hand man Hua Xiong along with a impressive number of infantry to meet the rebels on the battlefield.
As fighting breaks out, Hua Xiong kills a number of rebel warlords. With the soldiers gripped by fear, it’s left up to Guan Yu to fight him off. Guan defeats Hua Xiong but the damage has already been done.
General Lu Bu then shows up at Hulao Pass to confront the rebels. The manpower of the King’s army has also taken a hit though, leading to a three on one fight to commence.
Lu Bu fights them within a deep chasm, with the three brothers matching him blow for blow. However, he suddenly retreats at the last moment, promising to meet the brothers again in the future.
Is Dong Zhuo killed in the battle?
King Dong Zhuo flees the Royal Palace at Luoyang. He takes the young Prince Han with him, along with Diao Chan whom he means to marry. This also explains why Lu Bu left. Dong Zhuo does destroy Luoyang before he leaves though.
In Dong Zhuo’s absence, Sun Jian lets greed get the better of him and he seizes the Imperial Jade Seal, becoming the next Grand Commander. In doing so, this also strips Dong Zhuo of his claim to the throne.
Despite being exiled though, it’s fair to say this isn’t the last we’ll see of the war-mongering lord.
What happens to Cao Cao? Does he get his revenge?
While most of the characters are pretty one-dimensional when it comes to their motivations, Cao Cao is one of the deeper and more complex personas.
Cao Cao essentially plays the antihero archetype. He’s morally corrupt and dead-set on revenge. Even after killing the family of his father’s blood brother, he’s not remorseful and remains steely eyed and focused on stopping Dong Zhuo.
However, given Dong Zhuo has got away and is currently in hiding, he hasn’t been successful in his pursuit just yet.
How does Dynasty Warriors set up part 2?
During the film’s epilogue, we cut forward a few years later. General Cao Cao arrives to greet Liu Bei down by the shore. There, they discuss the current state of the country and who among them is truly a hero.
The 18 warlords have returned home for now, intent on raising their strength while profiting from this time of crisis across the land.
As the movie closes out, Cao Cao leaves and mutters his intentions. He realizes the only way to achieve peace is for him to conquer. This sets up the story of the three Kingdoms.
We’ve already seen snippets of that across the movie but given this story is regarded as one of the great Chinese literary masterpieces, it certainly has big shoes to fill. If a sequel is green-lit, we could well see more of this Three Kingdom story play out, along with the rise of the Jin.
Thanks for reading our Ending Explained article! What did you think of the ending? Were you happy with the resolution? Or would you have liked to see Dong Zhuo meet his just desserts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!