Li Ru
Li Ru (ROTK14)
Character Information
Force(s): Dong Zhuo's Forces
Weapon Type: Sword (2~6)
Iron fan (7)
Spear (8)
Unit Type: Strategist (2~8)
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Dynasty Warriors 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Lǐ Rú
Chinese name:
Style name:
Chinese name:

Li Ru (onyomi: Ri Ju) is a strategist and most trusted officer under Dong Zhuo. He was known as the "Perfect Gentleman of the Palace".

Role in GamesEdit

In the Dynasty Warriors series, Li Ru is a generic officer who participates in most of his lord's battles. As a tactician, he may provide the player with helpful information should they fight under Dong Zhuo or lure them into dangerous traps if otherwise. He is also featured in several event scenes involving Dong Zhuo's forces in the fourth installment. Strikeforce has him appear as an enemy commander in one of the side stages of Chapter 2. Upon being confronted, he immediately retaliates against the player's team by filling the area with poisonous mist.

In Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends, Li Ru will ambush Lu Bu's men at Chang'an, and is the last obstacle to reaching Dong Zhuo. In the hypothetical route, Li Ru will order an attack with fire arrows at the city's inner wall, but he is eventually defeated by Lu Bu's men.

Like Dong Zhuo, he willingly colludes with the Serpent King's army in Warriors Orochi. The sequels have him remain loyal to his lord during their time in the dimensional realm.

A playable officer in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, Li Ru excels in matters involving politics and intelligence. As fitting for his sycophantic character, however, he has no talent for leadership or charisma. He is mostly available starting from the Yellow Turban Rebellion to Dong Zhuo's reign.

Voice ActorsEdit

  • Lee Sang-hun - Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed (Korean)
  • Tomohisa Asō - Romance of the Three Kingdoms drama CD series
  • Yūichi Karasuma - Sangokushi Legion


  • "Humph! Your overconfidence will be your downfall! Archers ready! Shoot all enemies down!"
  • "We must show the rebels the true terror that is the Serpent King!"
  • "Ahh, the Imperial Seal! With this in our possession..."
"The land will soon be ours..."
~~Hu Zhen and Li Ru; Dynasty Warriors 4
  • "Lord Dong Zhuo, I have something to tell you. I finally got my hands on that thing we discussed."
"Wow! You really got it?! That's just like you, Li Ru. Using whatever means necessary to get the job done."
"Hehehe... Well I'm no match for you, Lord Dong Zhuo. Now, about my reward..."
"You don't need to tell me, I already know what you want. You're quite the devious fellow yourself. Gwahahaha!"
~~Li Ru and Dong Zhuo; Dynasty Warriors 8

Historical InformationEdit

Li Ru was a scholar who originated from the province of Sili. When Dong Zhuo came into power, he was appointed the title of prefect. He was also responsible for poisoning the deposed Emperor Han Shao in 190 by orders of his lord. When Emperor Xian sought to punish him for this misdeed two years later, Li Jue came to his defense and had him promoted as palace attendant. He was executed by Wang Yun after the assassination of Dong Zhuo.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

Li Ru is portrayed in the novel as Dong Zhuo's son-in-law and right-hand man. He first appears during Chapter 3 following his lord to the capital of Luoyang in the year 189. At this time, Dong Zhuo's army already ended their subjugation of the various rebel tribes at Liang Province. They were invited by ministers of the Han to help undermine the Ten Eunuchs.

When Prince Liu Xie's conduct impressed Dong Zhuo, Li Ru suggested him as a replacement for the current emperor. Their plan was opposed by Ding Yuan who had his adopted son Lu Bu repel Dong Zhuo's forces the next day. Eager to recruit such a powerful man, Li Ru convinced his lord to have Li Su entice Lu Bu with precious gems and the steed Red Hare. Though reluctant to follow his advise, Dong Zhuo agreed and Ding Yuan's head was delivered to him.

In the year 190, Dong Zhuo removed Emperor Shao from the throne and instated Liu Xie as Emperor Xian. Li Ru was given the task of executing the deposed emperor and his mother Empress He. He offered them a cup of poisoned wine while saying, "The prime minister wishes you your health by offering this cup of wine." The prisoners, who were aware of his true intentions, desperately stalled for time. "You will be doomed for aiding the traitor Dong!" were Empress He's last words before the impatient Li Ru threw her out the nearest window. Turning his attention to Emperor Shao and his consort, he ordered his men to force-feed the former with the tainted wine while having the latter strangled. He then reported their deaths to Dong Zhuo who had them buried without honors outside the city walls.

In response to Dong Zhuo's atrocities, several warlords from across the land gathered together to overthrow him. Li Ru was among those who accompanied Dong Zhuo during the Battle of Hulao Gate. He later advised his lord to rob Luoyang of its riches before evacuating for Chang'an. With Lu Bu serving as their ambush unit against the pursuing warlords, they were able to buy enough time to leave unscathed. Dong Zhuo's party arrived in Chang'an where they established the city as the new capital. Li Ru helped bolster the prime minister's image by having him mediate between the feuding Yuan Shao and Gongsun Zan under the emperor's decree. The dissolution of the coalition also solidified their influence throughout the land.

As time went by, Dong Zhuo began neglecting state affairs to spend time with his handmaiden Diaochan. Lu Bu became enthralled by her beauty as well which caused a rift between him and his lord. Li Ru saw the danger in this and attempted to mend their relationship with whatever means necessary. When asked to placate Lu Bu with Diaochan, Dong Zhuo became unsure until he decided not to give her up. Upon hearing his lord's decision, Li Ru left the palace in dismay and said to the heavens, "We are dead men, slain by the hand of this girl!". A few days later, one of Li Ru's house servants dragged him to the palace where Dong Zhuo was executed by Lu Bu and Wang Yun. Li Ru was beheaded as an accomplice afterwards.


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