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The Qiao sisters are featured as characters in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which romanticises the historical events before and during the Three Kingdoms period. In the novel, the Chinese character for “Qiao” in their names, 橋/桥, is replaced with 喬/乔.
In the novel, the Qiao sisters are the daughters of a certain Qiao Guolao (喬國老; literally “State Elder Qiao”), possibly referring to Qiao Xuan. Zhou Yu’s biography in the third-century historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms did not mention the name of the Qiao sisters’ father, who was simply referred to as Qiao Gong (橋公; literally “Elder Qiao” or “Lord Qiao”). Historically, Qiao Xuan died in 184, while the Qiao sisters married Sun Ce and Zhou Yu around 199, so it was not possible that Qiao Xuan was still living when the marriages took place. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Qiao Xuan was the “Qiao Gong” mentioned in Zhou Yu’s biography.
In Chapter 44 of the novel, Zhuge Liang tells Zhou Yu that Cao Cao‘s desire to have the Two Qiaos for himself is evident in “Ode to the Bronze Sparrow Platform” (銅雀臺賦), a poem written by Cao Cao’s son Cao Zhi. An enraged Zhou Yu then hardens his decision to convince Sun Quan to ally with Liu Bei against Cao Cao.