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Today you awake to a world in the grip of chaos and corruption. I will restore order, I will retake what is mine. I will crush any idea of freedom. I will slaughter without mercy. I will conquer without compassion. I will now lead you past the Great Wall. Once you cross, you will be indestructible. I raised you for one purpose: to enforce my will on the entire world!
~ The Dragon Emperor addressing his Terracotta army.

Qin Han, also known as the Dragon Emperor, Emperor Qin Shi Huang and Emperor Han, is the titular main antagonist of the 2008 film The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. He is a tyrannical and brutal king who first founded the country of China.

He was portrayed by Jet Li, who also played Wah Sing Ku in Lethal Weapon 4 and Gabriel Yulaw in The One.

History

In ancient China, Qin Han, a brutal and tyrannical warlord, unites the country's kingdoms into an empire and becomes the Dragon Emperor. He had intended to conquer lands in his name, and succeeded in claiming many territories for himself with no opposition; none in China could best him in strategy or strength, as many times during his campaigns, several assassins were sent to kill him in his sleep, but the men were all defeated before they could come close to harming the Emperor. Han went on to vanquish all opponents, destroy many settlements, and slaughter countless innocents, but in time, Han managed to defeat his enemies, as well as to order the construction of a massive wall that served to protect his newly-acquired empire from invaders. He also commanded his enemies and even his servants to be buried within the great wall upon their deaths. The Emperor's mystics taught him supernatural mastery over the classical elements fire, water, earth, wood and metal, making his power seem limitless and ensure his kingdom would continue to prosper under his rule.

After some time in years later, Han's interests turned to preserving his youth as an immortal when he began to grow fearful that all he has accomplished will be lost upon his death, and so sought a witch named Zi Yuan, who was said to know the secrets behind immortality.

Han had sent his general and the sorceress to Turfan to find the formula to become immortal, though Ming Guo and Zi Yuan had, while in Turfan, fallen in love, to the Emperor's displeasure and defied his command that no man touch her. Zi Yuan had returned from Turfan with the Oracle Bones, a book of ancient spells and enchantments that contained the secrets of immortality, and cast the spell to grant the Emperor his desire in Sanskrit, a language that the Emperor did not know: The Emperor pretended to reward Zi Yuan for her work, but, he lied because he knew of her disloyalty because he had been informed of it beforehand by an ally; as punishment, Han ordered Ming Guo to be drawn and quartered by four horses. Han told Zi Yuan that if she agreed to become his queen, Ming would be spared, but Zi Yuan knew that the Emperor would never keep his word: the Emperor indifferently responded that she was right, and had Ming killed regardless. Enraged, Zi Yuan attacked Han who obtained her dagger and stabbed her. As Zi Yuan painfully staggered away, she cursed him for his betrayal of the sorceress. Han was preserved as a terracotta statue along with all his troops and their horses that too transformed into terracotta statues as she escaped, for centuries.

In his demise, the Emperor was entombed in an elaborate terracotta tomb, shaped to resemble a carriage with horses, but the Emperor's body was interred in one of the terracotta figures rather than the area for his body, in which was stored the corpse of a eunuch; the resulting coffin was interred in a chamber in which resided the Emperor's prized possessions and was even adorned with the Emperor's favored concubines, all mummified with him.

Upon being resurrected, Han attempted to once again conquer, reaching immortality at one point, but was finally destroyed by Rick O'Connell and his family along with the help of Zi Yuan and her daughter Lin who both aided in resurrecting the corpses of all the Emperor's enemies and victims including Lin's birth father, General Ming Guo.

Other Media

Video Game

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Serves as the main enemy and final boss, he acts in a similar way as in the original story, showing more of his mystical abilities, including its monstrous forms. In the mobile version, he takes up new skills as a defense in his last fight.

Personality

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Han was a ruthless tyrant who asserted himself into power by leading his troops on a merciless campaign throughout ancient China, killing any resisters along the way. Han could not be defeated by any assassins, regardless of their skills, but knew that, as he aged and his empire grew, he would need to become immortal to savor it always. Han displayed remorseless coldness in his orders and plans, notably at the execution of his former friend and most trusted general, Ming Guo, and the emperor was not known for keeping his word, even when he promised it. A spiteful and vengeful man, the emperor would strike down any that attempted to fight against him with callous prejudice. However, he appeared to have some sense of honor, since he agreed to a fair fight at Rick O'Connell when the later questioned his honor. After his revival, he showed more care for his men, going out of his way to protect those loyal to him.

His personality was based on the real-life first emperor named Qin Shi Huangdi. They were both tyrannical rulers and obsessed with cheating death. As the emperor, Han dressed in body armor typical of his time, and when in his prime, Han had a long ponytail and a clean-shaven face. When he was made the emperor of all China, he had shorter hair, a mustache and small beard. By the time that the emperor was revived from his curse, he was encased in a movable shell-like encasing made of terracotta that could be blasted or broken apart but could regenerate into a molten form and finally back into terracotta. The emperor had reached the waters of Shangri-La and bathed in them, returning him to his physical prime and youthful appearance.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Undead Lord Physiology: As the result of Oracle Bones' immortality spell and a terracotta undead curse Zi Yuan placed upon him (latter which weakened and ultimately broken thanks to repeated exposure to the mystical water of Pool of Eternal Life of Shangri-La), Emperor Han turned into an undead lord in the same vein with Imhotep.
    • Supernatural Strength: Han was noted to be much stronger in his partially restored state thanks to the lingering curse and terracotta layers embedded into every single part of his very being. His great strength eventually diminished upon his restoration into a true immortal being, as he could be overpowered with great effort.
    • Supernatural Durability: Han was also much resilient in his partially restored state thanks to the lingering curse and terracotta layers embedded into every single part of his very being. His durability eventually diminished upon his restoration into a true immortal being, as he could be stunned by strikes and physically overpowered.
    • Supernatural Reflexes: Carried over from his training regimen which allows him to sense attacks even in his sleep, Han's remarkable reaction time further enhanced by his dark transformation. Combined with his impressive martial arts skills, he can deflect incoming projectiles and attacks on ease. He retain this upon becoming a true immortal being.
    • Supernatural Mobility: Han's remarkable speed further enhanced upon his dark transformation, though it was temporarily hampered by both the curse and terracotta layers embedded into his body until he completely shed them all after immersing into the Pool of Eternal Life in Shangri-La.
    • Immortality: As discussed previously, Emperor Han became an immortal being thanks to the immortality spell Zi Yuan casted upon him, a spell documented within Oracle Bones. The spell itself however, only worked at its fullest if the recipient consumes the water of Shangri-La's Pool of Eternal Life with the side effect of it bolstering his mystical abilities to the point of capable of shapeshifting into beasts of his liking. Regardless, the only way to kill him at that point is by stabbing his heart with a weapon imbued with a curse specifically designed to undo both enchantments. It was for this very reason Zi Yuan imbued said curse within the dragon dagger he stole from Han himself and even cursed him into a terracotta-encased undead both to avenge Ming Guo and render him vulnerable (though the latter plan eventually failed).
    • Regenerative Healing Factor: When resurrected by General Yang, Han was revived in form of a desiccated corpse encased in a terracotta statue. Whenever he regenerates, molten substances would form on his body and reformed his lost terracotta casing and bodily tissues before cools off. This gave him advantages as terracotta undead given that when he heats up his rocky limbs to the red-hot point, his said limbs would also more vulnerable had this also not compensated with his elemental powers. The catch as terracota undead however, Han would continually shed away his terracotta casings, usually by either he or someone attacking him breaking the casing as they would harden over time and slight movement could shatter it. In spite of his, he can use the falling pieces of his terracotta casing as improvised thrown weapon as seek in the fight at the streets of Shanghai. Once restore into an immortal human, he would lose the casing and retain his regenerating ability, with the only thing that can destroyed him was his dragon dagger that had since infused with the curse to counter his immortality.
  • Chinese Witchcraft: To supplement his natural combat abilities, Emperor Han studied mystical arts from his land's most accomplished mystics.
    • Wu Xing Manipulation: Han's signature mystical ability was the mastery of five elements of Wu Xing: Wood (木 mù), Fire (火 huǒ), Earth (土 tǔ), Metal (金 jīn), and Water (水 shuǐ). This was shown through his demonstration in conjuring icy spikes, stopping an
      Emperor han spitting fire.gif
      avalanche with immense effort; generate and manipulate fire (even from his mouth); and heating his terracota-infused limbs to the point of hot enough to both burn and sever things on ease.
      • Elemental Sealing: Han can also conjure five spheres each formed out of and representing elements of Wu Xing as the catalysts to seal restless soul of his fallen enemies and slaves who are buried beneath the Great Wall. The orbs' destruction would neutralize their sealing power.
    • Telekinesis: Han also mastered a form of telekinesis as part of his mystical training, as he did a throwing motion with his arms and caused Lin to fly in the direction his arms moved, all while she was leaping towards him.
    • Shapeshifting:
      Emperor han fu dog.gif
      After immersing himself within the water of Shangri-La's Pool of Eternal Life, Han's mystical powers enhanced to a sufficient level for him to shapeshift into any creature that he saw fit, notably a three-headed dragon or giant Fu-dog.

Abilities

  • Martial Arts and Swordsmanship: As a warlord in his ancient empire, Han was feared for his formidable fighting skills, and even able to sense attacks even in his sleep. A testament of his combat ability were his fight against multiple trained assassins on his own as well as overpowering the veteran Rick O'Connell on ease. Even so, he can still be overpowered and outsmarted, as Rick and Alex managed to defeat him via. divide and conquer tactic as per the latter's suggestion.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The emperor, "Emperor Han" in the film, is based on Qin Shi Huangdi of the Qin Dynasty, and the first emperor of China, not the first Emperor of the Han Dynasty known as Emperor Gaozu of Han.
  • He is the only main antagonist who does not speak the anglo-saxon language.
  • Jet Li portrayed another Emperor in the 2020 live action remake of Mulan and will act similar to Emperor Han.

Navigation

           TheMummyTitle.png Villains

Movies
The Mummy (1932): Imhotep
The Mummy (1999): Imhotep | Beni Gabor | Anck-Su-Namun
The Mummy Returns: Imhotep | Mathayus the Scorpion King | Cult of Imhotep (Baltus Hafez, Meela Nais/Anck-Su-Namun, Lock-Nah & Shafek) | Army of Anubis | Pygmies | "Red" Willits | Jacob Spivey | Jacques Clemons | Anubis
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Emperor Han | General Yang | Colonel Choi | Roger Wilson | Terracotta Warriors
The Scorpion King: Memnon | Takmet | Thorak
The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior: Sargon
The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption: King Talus
The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power: Drazen | Boris | Roland
The Scorpion King: Book of Souls: Nebserek | Khensa | Mennofer
The Mummy (2017): Ahmanet | Set | Mr. Hyde

Video Games
The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris: Menthu
The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian: Magus | Set | Apep