Jiang Ziya was an ancient, 11th century BC Chinese military strategist, also known as Duke Tai of Qi.


He fished with a barbless hook all the time, which was bizarre and eventually caught the interest of a King Zhou. The King decided to ask the old man of his peculiar style of fishing. To which Jiang explained that only those who are willing to be caught will be caught by his hook. This story became a very famous and popular Chinese proverb, “姜太公釣魚,願者上鉤”. Its superficial meaning is simply "to be caught in a trap willingly or voluntarily". Its extensive meaning could be interpreted as only when one becomes powerful or influential enough, will one be able to attract voluntary and even obedient followers.

The whole situation of Ziya's is very similar to that of Doug Stamper, especially in Chapter 20.


Jiang Ziya of course never appeared in House of Cards directly, but he's represented on a painting, that hang on the wall in Doug's hotel room in China, when he paid Xander Feng a visit in Chapter 20.

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