Fan Yu Qi/Heng Yi 樊於期 & the Master’s offer of the head (2 min read)

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In ep 9, when Pan Jianchi receives orders for a mission from his superior they compare their assassination attempt to a famous real life assassination attempt where Jing Ke was sent by the Crown Prince of the state of Yan to try to assassinate the 1st Emperor of China. And his superior with the title “Ji Bei” described himself as Fan Yu Qi who sent Jing Ke to assassinate the Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang).

Who was Fan Yu Qi?

He was a general of the state of Qin during the warring states period but had to flee the state to the state of Yan in 233 BC after being defeated in battle with the state of Zhao in fear of being punished by the king, although some historical records show it was because he spread rumors that the Emperor of Qin was not actually the late king’s son and tried to help his younger brother ascend the throne which ended up failing.

Regardless, his desertion raised the ire of the Emperor Qin who killed his entire family and sent word that anyone who protected him will be prosecuted. However, the crown prince of Yan hated the emperor and therefore made Fan Yu Qi his general.

However, after the Emperor of Qin took over the state of Zhao, he turned his attention to the state of Yan. This alerted the crown prince of Yan and Jing Ke that time was short and it was best to assassinate the King of Qin as soon as possible. However, they knew that the King of Qin would not lower his defence as easily so they needed a token of goodwill to be enter the palace to see him in order to assassinate him. Jing Ke remembering that the King was still looking for Fan Yu Qi to kill him. So in 227BC, Jing Ke managed to persuade Fan Yu Qi to help him assassinate the King of Qin by offering his head to him. Records suggest that Fan Yu Qi killed himself and Jing Ke took his head to visit the King of Qin. However, although he managed to get close to his target, but the King of Qin was still wary of him and the assassination failed and Jing Ke was killed.



1) 茅坤《史記抄》

2) Zhan Guo Ce/ Strategies of the Warring States

3) Comprehensive Mirror in Aid of Governance by Sima Guang


1 Comment

  1. Just a FYI, but this plot is a main point in the recent c-drama, The King’s Woman. Including the head! Although, I like it as an metaphor better.


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