Qian Zhaou is a fictional character, but he is based on real New Song dynasty warriors in Emperor Taizu’s army. His armour and fighting style are based on New Song Dynasty armour and tactics. Additionally, Qian’s rise up the ranks based on his skill as a warrior is consistent with Emperor Taizu’s approach of focusing on skill and merit more than class. Emperor Taizu’s successors sometimes failed to follow his example in this regard, which led in part, to a weakening of the dynasty.
Qian’s marriage to Lia based on love rather than arrangement by his family is somewhat unusual, but not unheard of, during that era. Qian’s loyalty to his friend Bar Asher, despite Bar Asher’s foreign ancestors, is one of Qian’s most inspirational traits. It is also consistent with Emperor Taizu’s openness to people of foreign descent living in China.