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Home » Books » Death’s End by Cixin Liu – Part III Chapters Recap (Spoilers)

Death’s End by Cixin Liu – Part III Chapters Recap (Spoilers)

Death’s End chapter summary of events for Part 3.

Broadcast Era, Year 7 Cheng Xin

  • Earth began to regard Gravity and Blue Space as heroes.
  • ESF members guilty of crimes against humanity.

Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time Delusions of Cosmic Persecution: The Last Attempt to Invalidate Dark Forest Theory

  • Humanity still questioning Dark Forest Theory
    • Luo Ji’s broadcast that destroyed the star could’ve been a natural cause.
    • Trisolaris feared the broadcast probably from religious beliefs
    • The Ring mentioned Dark Forest but it’s not clear that they understood the meaning.

Broadcast Era, Year 7 Cheng Xin

  • Public mainly forgave Cheng Xin and overtime, her name faded away from the public.
  • Fraisse calls Cheng Xin to look outside. A star in the sky had become extremely bright and then faded away. Dark Forest theory had been confirmed. Trisolaris has been destroyed.

Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time A New Model for the Dark Forest

  • Humanity studied the Photoid and realized it probably came from a spacecraft since there were no other nearby solar systems that were close enough to reach Trisolaris so quickly.

Broadcast Era, Year 7 Sophon

  • Sophon recalls the destruction of Trisolaris with Cheng Xin and Luoji. The Photoid pierced one of the suns.
    • Trisolaran system was more dangerous than Solar System
    • The attacks are economical. They are not to wage war. 
  • Luoji wants to ask more questions. Sophon only allows a yes, no or maybe question. Luoji asks if they can send a safety notice to the universe showing they are not dangerous. Sophon says yes. And doesn’t explain further.

Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time The Cosmic Safety Notice: A Lonely Performance Art

  • In attempts to make Earth look harmless, humanity tried to mutilate itself into lowering intelligence.

Broadcast Era, Year 7 Sophon

  • Green Saviors – Group that wanted Earth to return to an agrarian society. Failed because humanity can’t handle that kind of boring labor anymore
  • Earth turned religious and prayed a lot for God to let them know they are harmless.
  • Trisolarans image changed over the years.
    • Powerful, evil > turned into people > Savages living with humans > Conquerors > Refugees
  • Blue Space and Gravity became a devil
  • Cheng Xin became a great woman rather than a Swordholder.
  • Cheng Xin and Luoji meet with Sophon. Sophon announces she will be leaving and that Yun Tianming wants to see Cheng Xin.

Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time The Long Staircase

  • Estimated that the first Trisolaran Fleet captured the probe with Tianming.
  • Tianming became a savior when the Earth was at its lowest point.

Broadcast Era, Year 7 Yun Tianming

  • Cheng Xin takes the space elevator into space for the first time in her life.
  • They explain that the meeting between Cheng Xin and Tianming will be monitored. There are 3 lights controlled by Sophon. Red, Yellow, Green.
    • Green – Conversation is good. Continue.
    • Yellow – Conversation said on track to something unacceptable. Warning.
    • Red – Conversation is talking about information Cheng Xin should not receive. Bomb will go off, killing Cheng Xin but not Tianming. Even if the conversation is over. They will review the conversation. It can go from Green to Red light immediately and skip yellow.
  • Cheng Xin sees Tianming farming in a wheat field.
    • Tianming mentions the sparkling soil is made from meteoroids. Yellow Light.
    • Cheng Xin asks if it’s time for the wheat to harvest. Tianming says it’s been a good year and begins talking about the engines operating at high power. Yellow Light.
    • Cheng Xin asks about Tianming’s experience. He begins to think without saying anything. Yellow light.
  • Tianming mentions the stories that they used to tell each other when they were little. At least a hundred different made up stories. Cheng Xin is surprised but follows through. She realizes this is probably code for more information.
  • Tianming had been telling the children of Trisolarans the stories of his childhood and they loved it.
  • Trisolarans reproduce with their offspring inheriting memories from the parents.
  • Cheng Xin requests to hear the stories again. Tianming looks up at the light to see if it will change. They have an hour to talk about the fairy tales.
    • The New Royal Painter
    • The Glutton’s Sea
    • Prince Deep Water
  • Once done, Cheng Xin mentions they should meet again one day at their star.
  • Once she gets back she goes into a blind zone for Sophons so that she can record the conversation.
  • Sophons house and avatar burn up and they believe Trisolarans are taking back all the Sophons since they can’t build anymore for a long time.

Broadcast Era, Year 7 Yun Tianming’s Fairy Tales

  • A team of scientists gathered to decipher the fairy tales in a Sophon proof room. They weren’t too sure if there was still a Sophon around so they decided to play it safe.
  • They discussed that Tianming did a lot of work to create 100 stories with 3 stories containing the secret message for Earth.
  • Cheng Xin mentions that they didn’t know each other as kids and AA said she could’ve been killed.

The First Tale of Yun Tianming “The New Royal Painter”

  • The story is about the Storyless Kingdom. The King of this kingdom had 2 sons and a daughter named: Prince Deep Water, Prince Ice Sand and Princess Dewdrop. Prince Deep water lived on Tomb Island since a child. Prince Ice sand was cruel. Princess Dewdrop became the heir of the kingdom.
  • Prince Ice Sand introduced a new Painter named Needle Eye during the celebrations of the soon to be new Queen.
  • Prince Ice Sand and Needle Eye go to a bunker miles away and Needle Eye paints Princess Dewdrop, the King, and all the ministers that are loyal to them. He paints the Princess last since she is the least threatening. This will make Ice Sand the new King. Needle Eye also shows a picture of his master Ethereal who taught him the skill.
  • Master Ethereal appears in the kingdom to try and save the princess. He’s holding a Dragon Bone Umbrella that protects him from being killed by Needle Eye’s paintings. He tells them they need to go to the Gluttons Sea to get materials to paint.

The Second Tale of Yun Tianming “The Glutton’s Sea”

  • Princess Dewdrop, Ethereal, Auntie Wide, and Captain Longsail travel together to the Glutton’s Sea. Auntie Wide is holding the umbrella to keep Dewdrop from dying.

The Third Tale of Yun Tianming “Prince Deep Water”

  • They reach Tomb Island. Prince Deep Water does not follow the rules of perspective. He looks the same whether you are close or far away.
  • Prince Ice Sand and Needle Eye arrive at Tomb Island. Prince wants Needle Eye to paint Deep Water to kill him but the painter cannot. He does not follow the rules of Perspective and the only way to draw that is with the Eastern Style of painting which wasn’t taught to him by Ethereal.
  • Prince Ice Sand and Deep Water fight. Ice Sand was disadvantaged by Deep Waters’ perspective and eventually died by a stab wound.
  • Captain Longsail looks for Needle Eye. He goes into a room and finds a portrait of Needle Eye. He finds Princess Dewdrop’s painting and burns it. Deep Water becomes king.

Broadcast Era, Year 7 Yun Tianming’s Fairy Tales

  • Scientists all try to decipher the message which was full of symbols and metaphors.
  • It became too much work to focus on the message that wasn’t guaranteed to save them. Different projects developed to save earth alongside deciphering the message.

Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time The Bunker Project: An Ark for Earth Civilization

  • Many projects were dismissed and many projects were started with calculations of how many people needed to be saved and projected timeframes of when the attack will land.
  • Bunker Project: Humans will flee behind the gas planets, using them as shields, where it’s safest during the explosion.
  • After the attack, they are expecting that they will need to rely on nuclear fusion which would be abundant in the Solar System. They would just need to gather them.

Broadcast Era, Year 7 Yun Tianming’s Fairy Tales

  • Cheng Xin and AA play around with soap and origami boats for research. They realize curvature propulsion as they are playing with the physics of how the soap and boat interact.

Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time Motion Through Bending Space

  • Concept of space dragging pulling the destination to you by bending space.

Broadcast Era, Year 7 Yun Tianming’s Fairy Tales

  • Researchers realize that the umbrella is a centrifugal governor for steam engines that control the speed of the steam engine. They relate the constant speed to the speed of light.
  • They decipher the name He’ershingenmosiken as 2 ancient areas in Norway: Helseggen and Mosken. Helseggen is a mountain and Mosken is an isle next to it.
  • They visit the area and find a guy named Jason living there. They end up getting on a boat and going into the Maelstrom for research. They read this as a blackhole.

Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time Three Paths of Survival for Earth Civilization

  • Humanity had 3 different theories for survival.
    • Bunker Project – Colonize the rest of the Solar System
    • Black Domain – Reduced light speed blackhole to broadcast a safety notice.
    • Lightspeed Spaceflight – 

Broadcast Era, Year 8 Fate’s Choice

  • A warning broadcasts that a photoid was found and is on its way to the Solar System.
  • Everyone panics but Cheng Xin seems to remain calm.
  • Chaos ensues and everyone is scrambling to leave the planet and escape to the gas planets.
  • There’s a teacher with kids that need help. Cheng Xin says to bring them. AA says they only have room for 3. AA quizzes them with riddles to determine which of the children can go.
  • Ships begin to launch their thrusters and end up killing massive pools of people. AA hesitates and says they need to go too. Chengxin stops her and firmly tells her to wait, not wanting to hurt anyone. AA listens but goes outside and shoots all the ships damaging them and also stranding them in the process.
  • Turns out it was a false alarm by an anomaly in the detection systems.

Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time Space Sentries: The Solar System Advance Warning System

  • Photoid is not massless so it’s moving at slightly less than the speed of light. Its radiation moved a little faster. There were observation units spread throughout the Solar System looking out for Photoids.

Broadcast Era, Year 8 Fate’s Choice

  • At one of the observation units, they notice massive soap bubbles in space. They realize that was where the Trisolaran fleets went into lightspeed. 
  • It’s determined that the Trisolarans left their solar system through conventional methods and delayed going to lightspeed as long as possible because it would leave a trail. 
  • There was a trail near the Sun of a space that jumped into lightspeed. 
  • This discovery led to the end of the lightspeed project.

Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time Terror of the Endless Night

  • No one cared for the Lightspeed project anymore and then only really cared about the Bunker Project which was the most feasible route to survival.

Broadcast Era, Year 8 Sun-Earth Lagrangian Point

  • Thomas Wade appears and says he’s finished his sentence early. 
  • Cheng Xin wants lightspeed ships because it will make Humanity grand. Thomas Wade suggests Cheng Xin gives her company to him and everything and he will use all the resources to build lightspeed ships. 
  • Cheng Xin tells AA and she says that Wade will be able to do it.
  • Cheng Xin agrees to Wade on one condition that if the project has the possibility to hurt the human race, he needs to awaken her from hibernation and let her make the final decision. Thomas Wade agrees.

Jump to Death’s End Chapter Recaps

Death’s End Part I Recap
Death’s End Part II Recap
Death’s End Part III Recap
Death’s End Part IV Recap
Death’s End Part V Recap
Death’s End Part VI Recap

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