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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.||„|
|~ The Dragon Emperor addressing his Terracotta army|
The Dragon Emperor (real name: Qin Han), also known as Emperor Qin Shi Huang and Emperor Han is the main antagonist of the 2008 movie The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. He is a tyrannical and brutal king who first founded the country of China.
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 packet 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: 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.
Video GameServes as the main enemy and final boss, he acts in a similar way as in the original story, showing more of its magical abilities, including its monstrous forms. In the mobile version, he takes up new skills as a defense in his last fight.
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
As a warlord in his ancient empire, Han initially had formidable fighting skills, and was able to sense attacks even in his sleep.
- Wu Xing Manipulation: Han's natural fighting capabilities are coupled with 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 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.
- Telekinetic Powers: In addition, he appeared to have a form of telekinesis, 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.
- Superhuman Strength, Resilience, and Agility: He was also highly agile and strong despite the casing, allowing him to deflect a firework shot at him with an aerial kick. It also made his hits harder, as he easily knocked down Alex by head butting him, while he was not hurt by it. His resilience was also made him extreme durable to the point of near indestructibility, as he was not fazed by an avalanche hitting him, along with being shot repeatedly, even without his statue casings intact. However, his resilience reduced to that of peak human level when he restored his body to normal and become an immortal, as he now flesh and bones once more and can be stunned and easily overpowered due to reduced resilience.
- Martial Arts and Swordsmanship: He was a master of martial arts and swordsmanship, but was eventually overpowered by Rick and Alex O'Connell when they challenge him in unarmed combat to outsmart him with divide and conquer tactic by Alex's suggestion.
- Regeneration: 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 terracota 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 now cursed dragon dagger.
- Immortality and Shapeshifting: After gained immortality, Han was able to shapeshift into any creature that he saw fit, notably a three-headed dragon or giant Fu-dog. He is also incapable of being killed thanks to his immortality. The only thing that can destroyed him however, stabbed at the heart with his now cursed dragon dagger.
- 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.