Xu Rong was originally from Liaodong 遼東 commandery or Xuantu 玄菟 commandery of You Province. In the year of 190 when Yuan Shao 袁紹 led the Campaign against Dong Zhuo, Sun Jian 孫堅 led a attack on Liangdong, Dong Zhuo sent Xu Rong to defend the area. When Sun Jian arrived, Xu Rong ambushed him, and Sun Jian retreated, but Xu Rong sent forces to pursue him. Sun Jian couldn't lose the pursuing forces and so he changed headgear with Zu Mao 祖茂. This tricked Xu Rong's forces into thinking Zu Mao was Sun Jian. The forces then pursued Zu Mao instead of Sun Jian. When Xu Rong's forces came to a pillar, they saw the headgear on the pillar, realizing they had been fooled and retreated. During the battle, Xu Rong had defeated Sun Jian and Cao Cao, who were a alliance to defeat Dong Zhuo of Luoyang. When Dong Zhuo was assassinated by Lü Bu 呂布 and Wang Yun 王允 in 192 Xu Rong went to serve Wang Yun. Later, when Dong Zhuo's former generals Li Jue 李傕 and Guo Si 郭汜 led a attack on Chang'an, Xu Rong and Hu Zhen went out to battle their army. During the battle Xu Rong was captured and killed.
Fact vs. Fiction
- Historically survived the battle with Cao Cao and was killed fighting Li Jue’s army.