Sun Li (Water Margin)

Sun Li (Water Margin)

Sun Li (zh-cp|c=孙立|p=Sūn Lì) is a fictional character in the epic Chinese tale "Water Margin".

Sun Li's ancestors were from Liangzhou, but he served as a garrison major in Dengzhou. Sun stood at above 8 feet, a wide bearded face and jet-black eyes. He was an excellent archer, and used a wide variety of weapons including steel rods, just like Huyuan Zhuo's. He was an impatient man and was often compared with Yuchi Gong. However, due to his paler complexion, he was nicknamed 'Sick Yuchi' (病尉迟) as people in those days think that people with pale complexions are ill.

Sun Li had a younger brother named Sun Xin, known as the 'Little Yuchi', who was married to Gu Dasao. Once, he received a distress call from Yue He and found out that his cousins Xie Zhen and Xie Bao were in trouble. Sun Li, together with his brother and sister-in-law, Yue He as well as Zou Run and Zou Yuan, broke into prison and rescued the Xie brothers. Then, they went to Liangshan for refuge.

At that time, the Liangshan heroes were at war with the Zhu Family Village. Sun Li and the Zhus' military instructor Luan Tingyu were once fellow students. Sun Li volunteered to pretend to surrender to the Zhus and act as a spy from within. At first, Luan and the Zhus were suspicious of Sun Li, but later Sun Li proved his loyalty by 'capturing' Shi Xiu. The Zhus then no longer suspected his loyalty. Sun Li and the Liangshan heroes worked together from inside and outside, and in the end, conquered the Zhu Family Village.

Sun Li became one of the leaders of the Liangshan cavalry, and one of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He followed the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao Tartars and Fang La, and was one of the few lucky survivors. Then he and his brother, sister-in-law, went back to Dengzhou to take up their official positions.

Appearance in other media

Films and TV adaptations

In the 1997 TV serial from Mainland China based on the novel, Sun Li was played by Qi Jingbin, and he only joined the Liangshan after the Xie brothers were rescued from prison and after persuasion from Song Jiang. He was killed during the Fang La campaign in the last few episodes, which was different from the novel in which he survived and resumed his official post.


In the novel "Iron Arm, Golden Sabre," he is portrayed as being a younger martial arts brother of Zhou Tong, the military arts tutor of Song Dynasty General Yue Fei. They (and Luan Tingyu) learn martial arts from a Shaolin master named Tan Zhengfan. Zhou uses his position as the martial arts instructor of the Imperial Guard to get Sun installed as the garrison major in Dengzhou. [Wang, Yun Heng (汪运衡) and Xiao Yun Long (筱云龙). "Tie Bei Jin Dao Zhou Tong Zhuan" (铁臂金刀周侗传 - "Iron Arm, Golden Sabre: The Biography of Zhou Tong"). Hangzhou: Zhejiang People's Publishing House, 1986 (UBSN --- Union Books and Serials Number) CN (10103.414) and 464574]


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