|First Appearance:||Shin Sangoku Musou Blast|
|Real name:|| |
Hé Huáng Hòu
|Chinese name:|| |
|Formally known as Empress Lingsi (靈思皇后, literally: "The Unattentive and Deep-Thinking Empress").|
Empress He (onyomi: Kakōgō) is the second wife of Han Emperor Ling as well as the younger half-sister of He Jin and He Miao. After her husband's death, she was able to briefly control the imperial court as empress dowager and support her brothers until Dong Zhuo deposed her one year later.
Role in GamesEdit
Heshi (何氏, onyomi: Kashi) is a minor character in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. During the eighth title, she is referred to as "Princess He" and appears in specific cutscene events. She encourages her brother to crush their enemies in one scene while chastising Dong Zhuo for his audacity in another.
As an officer in the twelfth title, her stats are geared more towards intelligence and politics. However, she is mediocre in everything outside those two fields.
- "Lord Dong Zhuo, do you have no regard for His Imperial Highness? What business do you have coming to the Imperial Palace?"
- "I will speak the truth. The current emperor is weak and has no dignity. He does not have the caliber of an emperor. The last Emperor's orphan, the King of Chen Liu is wise, learned and fit for the position. From now, I demand the ascension of King Chen Liu. And the abdication of the emperor!"
- "What the?! A mere subject, and you have the nerve to demand the abdication of His Imperial Highness! Do you think such an outrage will be forgiven? People will not let you get away with this."
- ~~Princess He and Dong Zhuo; Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII
According to historical documents, Empress He was originally the daughter of a butcher named He Zhen from the city of Wan in Nanyang Commandery. The Book of the Later Han describes her as tall and beautiful woman who became one of Emperor Ling's imperial consorts, though some legends claim that her family bribed the eunuchs in charge of selecting concubines to ensure their daughter's success. She eventually became empress in 180 and used her position to promote her mother and brothers. Despite being the emperor's favorite and bearing him a son, Empress He grew jealous and hateful towards his other consorts. During the year 181, she poisoned Consort Wang's rice porridge in a fit of jealousy after the latter had given birth to Prince Liu Xie. The enraged Emperor Ling wanted to depose his empress for this atrocity, though the eunuchs interceded on her behalf.
In 189, Empress He's influence grew stronger after her son Prince Bian succeeded the throne. She and her brother He Jin saw fit to expel those who opposed their authority, among them being the eunuch Jian Shuo (who wanted Liu Xie instated as emperor) and Grand Empress Dowager Dong (who threatened to have her nephew Dong Chong decapitate He Jin). However, she refused to help get rid of the eunuchs who had supported her and was willing to aid them behind her brother's back. Upon seeing He Jin's troops surrounding the palace, Empress He ordered the eunuchs to return home for their safety only to bring them back upon the request of their leader Zhang Rang who caught wind of Yuan Shao's plot to capture their families. She and the two princes were soon taken hostage by the fleeing eunuchs who killed He Jin out of desperation, though the empress dowager was freed by Duan Gui.
When Dong Zhuo took over the capital of Luoyang with the princes in tow, he coerced Empress He to acknowledge Prince Xie as the new emperor and moved her away from the main palace under the pretext of dishonoring the late Empress Dong. Two days later following her house arrest, she was sentenced to death by poison. Although Empress He was buried beside her husband, not one minister in attendance mourned or paid homage to her as an empress dowager. Her son and mother, Lady Xian, were executed soon afterwards.
Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit
The novel dramatizes Empress He's feud with Empress Dong over the latter's attempts to counter the former's nepotism. Though Empress He sought to appease her mother-in-law by throwing her a banquet, the two could not see eye to eye with one another and thus remained on bad terms. In response to one of Empress Dong's threats, she convinced He Jin to banish the older woman from the palace.
In the fourth chapter, Empress He and Prince Bian were stripped of their titles and exiled to the Palace of Perpetual Peace by Dong Zhuo where Li Ru would be sent to execute them with poison. When the deposed empress vehemently refused to drink the tainted wine, an impatient Li Ru threw her out of a window and forced her son to ingest the poison while having his consort strangled to death. All three were then buried outside the city walls.