page contents

Listen, to the voice here in my heart

Ever thought what it would be like if Terracotta Warriors (TCW) could speak? Disclaimer: Below is a monologue by one of the Terracotta Warriors in Qin Shi Huang’s Tomb at Lintong, Shaanxi. This is a pure work of fiction written by us.


"Hi! You’ve found me! It was easy, wasn’t it?

I’ve been living here in the mausoleum complex for more than 2000 years now, together with my fellow comrades. It had been peaceful for centuries, till you humans discovered our existence and treated us like specimens to be examined through your magnifying glass. We found instant fame in 1974 when your predecessors found us buried around the tomb of the great Qin Emperor, Qin Shihuang. They then started to invade our territory that was bestowed to us by the late Emperor Qin, hence putting us under the scrutiny of the eyes of the public ever since…

Oops, did I tell you why we were all created? Did I? Did I? Did I?

There are probably a variety of reasons about why we are here in the mausoleum now. My peers and I figured out some explanations, while some are obtained by simply eavesdropping on your fellow archaeologist friends who were here to examine us. However, we have eventually choose to settle for just one.

As you might have known from @yanjiieel’s post, the late Emperor Qin Shihuang took over the throne at thirteen, and was terribly afraid of both death and afterlife. Hence, he ordered people to rebuild his entire empire so that we could accompany him, protect him and ensure that he will be well taken care of in his afterlife. Together with my 7000 comrades, horses, chariots and weaponry, we are each created to take on different roles and occupations to fulfill his needs for protection.

But honestly speaking, he is in his tomb, which is a distance away from us. How are we even supposed to reach him in time to protect him? What’s more when we are already getting the attention of you people and being separated from our peers to different places of the world for what you call “museum exhibitions”. How do we serve our loyalty to our great Emperor when we are instead, getting further and further away from him?

Despite everything, I do not think that Emperor Qin is a bad guy. “It’s always a good time” is definitely not the story of my life here, but my comrades and I are more than happy to be here, even though we may be isolated from the outside world. “Why?” you might question. In my opinion, I do feel that he is being pretty humane by sparing the lives of actual humans by using us instead (though he employed a large labor force and took a long time to create us). Imagine having men, those that bore the same faces as us (assuming we are created based on facial features of actual men then) being “executed” just to accompany our great Emperor Qin into his afterlife?

What would happen to their families, and not to mention the state of the economy with these elites of the society gone to fulfill their supposed life mission- to protect the Qin Emperor forever?

As far as what I know, Emperor Qin is a ruler who believes that our people are self-interested, since we only do things to fulfill our own needs and desires without caring about the consequences. Hence, strict law codes with harsh punishments were created and enforced back then (does this ring a bell? Let me give you a clue, it is an eight letter word starting with L). Never did we expect such a cold-blooded and merciless ruler to be willing to spare the lives of thousands when he could easily take them with him to his tomb with just one order. Hence, it is indeed a surprise for Emperor Qin to use us, clay figurines, instead of real humans to be buried near his tomb to ‘protect’ him.

However, on second thoughts, wouldn’t it be weird if the warriors had to be buried together with him when they were not punishable by any stated law?

Hence, here’s an open letter to Emperor Qin Shi Huang, The First King of Unified China:

I am thankful to him for not going along with the traditional burial customs of having human sacrifices in the Emperor’s tomb, for he has definitely claimed enough of lives in his entire reign.

I am thankful to him for creating us in such an orderly manner, making each and everyone of us to be different even though we were made from the same clay.

Lastly, I am thankful to him for existing, because without him, there will be no us.

Best wishes,

TCW #2173 "


                         The Monologue of Terracotta Warriors