I’ve been thinking about this. It seems that most of the conflicts in Jin Yong novels started with a treasure. It’s not a particularly shocking revelation since it is a very common way to drive plot. I’m looking at you LOTR.
Best examples would be the Heaven Sword and the Dragon-slaying Sabre.
The Sword was held by Emei so it kept away conflict, though Emei kept leaping into conflicts to get the Sabre.
The Sabre caused many tragedies:
- Blinded Xiexun
- Suicides of Zhang Wuxia and Yin Susu
- The trials and tribulations of Zhang Wuji
- The fall of Zhou Ziruo
Of course the Sabre did some good such as leading Zhao Min to Zhang Wuji.
Next would be the Nine Yin Manual.
- Death of Huang Yaoshi’s wife Feng Heng
- Betrayal of Chen Xuanfeng
- Fall of Mei Chaofeng
- Expulsion of Lu Chengfeng, Qu Lingfeng, Wu Linfeng, Feng Mofeng
- Insanity of Ouyang Feng
- The multitudes of deaths in Legend of the Condor Heroes
Third example is the Sutra of Forty-two Chapters
- Fall of Oboi
- Fall of Wu Sangui and his son
- Death of Mao Dongzhu
- Deaths of those trying to seize and defend it
What other examples can you think of?