Emperor Xian
ROTK12 Emperor Xian
Character Information
Force(s): Han
Weapon Type: Sword
Unit Type: Special
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Dynasty Warriors 6
Historical Information
Real name:
Liú Xié
Chinese name:
劉協 - 刘协
Style name:
Chinese name:

Emperor Xian (漢獻帝, onyomi: Kankentei) is the fourteenth Han Emperor and lived during the Three Kingdoms era. Though young and inexperienced, he had noble qualities that made him more favorable than his older half-brother, Emperor Shao. He ascended to the throne but was forced to flee after Dong Zhuo's death. While in Cao Cao's protection, the conqueror held more power and the Han empire's influence dwindled. His status, as well as the Han Dynasty, ended with Cao Pi's forced abdication of the throne. Cao Jie is one of his wives.

He is known to have taken a great liking towards Liu Bei and called him "Honored Uncle" or "Royal Uncle".

Roles in GamesEdit

Dynasty WarriorsEdit

During his first Dynasty Warriors appearance, he talks with Cao Cao and Sun Jian during their respective Musou modes. In them, he expresses his wishes to defend his falling empire and thanks both warlords for their efforts. In the former, he is surprised when Cao Cao declines the throne yet, after hearing his reasoning, dubs him to be a fearful man.

In subsequent games, Emperor Xian is usually given a passing mention as the last Han Emperor. His decline of authority under Cao Cao and his abdication of the throne are mentioned quite often.

Emperor Xian also has a special event in the following Empires installment in which if the player welcomes the emperor the player's land cannot be invaded by enemies.

Due to sheer fear of Cao Cao, he tries to order a covert assassination for Cao Cao's life in Dynasty Warriors 7. When Cao Cao learns of it, he confronts the emperor personally to accept his death if the emperor so wills it. As he hesitates, the emperor admits his fears to Cao Cao, thinking that his vassal's ambition could even include killing him. Cao Cao states Emperor Xian plays a role for his plans for the people would riot without an emperor, and the presence of their liege allows him the freedom to achieve a new world for them. After hearing his vassal's resolve and his role as a puppet, the emperor drops his sword in shock.

In Dynasty Warriors 8, Emperor Xian first appears during Cao Cao's flight from Chang'an to Luoyang, and must be escorted from his carriage. Later in the stage, Yuan Shao's men will force Emperor Xian out of the carriage, and the Emperor must be led to the escape point on foot instead. Once Xuchang is declared as the temporary capital, he shows concern over being used to fulfill Cao Cao's ambitions. His fears are mitigated after hearing the conqueror's philosophy of using power and logic to quell the chaos. On the alternate route, he congratulates the generals of Wei for their efforts and hopes to see them bring forth a new era for the land.

In Wu's hypothetical story, Emperor Xian is briefly mentioned to have dissolved the imperial court in favor of allowing all three kingdoms to rule China. In Shu's hypothetical scenario, he is finally secured by Liu Bei's forces after Cao Cao's death, and he allows the Liu Bei and Sun Quan to rule as vassal kings. His abdication in favor of Cao Pi is mentioned in Wu and Shu's historical routes. Emperor Xian plays a major role in the game's ambition mode, as the main objective is to have him visit the player's developing camp. After the first objective, a fake emperor will appear, forcing the player to pacify the regions one at a time. Completely pacifying a region will cause Emperor Xian to give the player treasure weapons, and he may occasionally give rare animals if special conditions are fulfilled.

The Xtreme Legends expansion has the emperor appear in Lu Bu's hypothetical ending. Fearing for his life after the deaths of Guo Si and Li Jue, he is ultimately spared by Lu Bu in exchange for the throne. In another story, Emperor Xian hosts an "Ultimate Warriors Competition" at Xuchang to see who the strongest warlord is. During the tournament, he is abducted by warlords against Dong Zhuo, and must be rescued before Yuan Shao completely blocks the escape route.

In Dynasty Warriors 9, Cao Cao once again receives the emperor but the route towards Luoyang, due to the open-world has much more complications than last time. Dong Cheng and Yang Feng both contribute to getting the emperor away from the remnants of Dong Zhuo's army led by Li Jue and Guo Si, but Yang Feng betrays during the battle and is taken out of the equation. Regardless of his dangerous journey, the emperor personally thanks Cao Cao for the trouble, though Dong Cheng never formally joins Cao Cao and tries to assasinate him before Guandu. He is eventually deposed in Xuchang by Cao Pi, who defeats his guards and few remaining ministers before claiming that the Han is long dead, and the emperor should step down peacefully before Cao Pi may resort to further violence. He also appears in Chen Gong's DLC ending where he congratulates the crafty counsel of Chen Gong, and how he reestablished the Han and Tongquettai after the struggles of the war, and how Cao Cao had planned to decline the Han, replacing it with an army of his own. 

Dynasty TacticsEdit

He is referred to as either the "Emperor" or "Emperor Xiao" in Dynasty Tactics 2. In Liu Bei's Epilogue, after the armies of Cao Cao are obliterated by the joint efforts of Liu Bei and Sun Quan, the Wu patriarch seizes control of their enemies' former territory as well as the emperor. Sun Quan stations himself at Xu Chang, calling it his own castle, prompting the end of his and Liu Bei's alliance.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

His role in Romance of the Three Kingdoms is mostly limited to awarding ranks and titles to the regional lords in the land. In return, they may optionally declare their intentions to support the Han Empire. When he passes his throne to Cao Pi in the games, he does so because he fears incompetence of his rule and sees the heir to be more adequate for the right. His stats are low in all areas except charisma.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms III calls him Emperor Hsien and has him request Zhang Lu to eliminate Cao Cao at the start of the fourth historical scenario.


In Kessen II, he is referred to in passing as the "child emperor" who entrusts the Imperial Seal to Diao Chan. It's not quite elaborated on how or when this event occurs but, shortly after he gives her the treasure, he is enshrouded by flames.

Voice ActorsEdit

  • Tony Oliver - Dynasty Warriors 7 (English-uncredited)
  • Gwon Changwuk - Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of Cao Cao (Korean)
  • Kenji Nojima - Dynasty Warriors series (Japanese)
  • Hisayoshi Suganuma - Kessen II (Japanese)
  • Nozomu Sasaki - Romance of the Three Kingdoms drama CD series


  • "You... frighten me. You shed no tears for your allies; you side with the enemy if necessary. And when someone is not needed, you get rid of them. Even... if it is me."
"A country needs its people... And without a ruler, the people are lost. Your highness is needed. At least... while I am still alive that is."
~~Emperor Xian and Cao Cao; Dynasty Warriors 7

Historical InformationEdit

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

Emperor Xian (given name Liu Xie) was the second son of Emperor Ling and the younger brother of Emperor Shao. After the death of Emperor Ling, Emperor Shao ascended to the throne, while Liu Xie was made Prince of Chenliu. After He Jin's assassination, he fled with his brother, but was brought back to the palace after the death of the Ten Eunuchs.

Not long later, when Dong Zhuo took control of the capital, he dethroned Emperor Shao and placed Liu Xie on the throne as Emperor Xian. However, by this point, Emperor Xian was little more than a figurehead under Dong Zhuo's control. He was forced to Chang'an when Dong Zhuo abandoned Luoyang, but fell into the hands of Li Jue and Guo Si after Dong Zhuo's assassination.

Eventually, with the help of Yang Biao and Zhu Jun, Emperor Xian managed to escape Li Jue, only to fall into the hands of Cao Cao, who moved the Imperial Capital to Xuchang.

After Lu Bu's defeat, Emperor Xian was introduced to Liu Bei, who he found out was his uncle by descent. A short time later, Cao Cao pressed the Emperor to join an imperial hunt, and Cao Cao shot a deer with the Emperor's bow. When everyone called out their congratulations, thinking the Emperor was the one who took the shot, Cao Cao acknowledged the congratulations, pushing the Emperor into the background.

Feeling that this show of disrespect would soon be followed by far worse, Emperor Xian conspired with his father-in-law, Dong Cheng, to assassinate Cao Cao. However, the plot was discovered and everyone connected was put to death, including Emperor Xian's wife. Emperor Xian would later remarry, then another plot against Cao Cao was made. This plot also failed, and once again, the Empress was executed. This time, Cao Cao's daughter would become the Empress.

After the death of Cao Cao, the Emperor was forced to produce an edict proclaiming Cao Pi Prince of Wei in his father's stead. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Xian was forced to abdicate the throne, ending the Han Dynasty. Cao Pi became Emperor of Wei, and Emperor Xian was made Duke of Shanyang and sent away. This would be his last appearance in the story.


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