Lü Dongbin (呂洞賓) is the best known of the Eight Immortals and the only one who is venerated as an individual deity.
His real name is Lü Yan (呂巖) and he was a Tang Dynasty scholar and poet, and the disciple of Zhongli Quan (钟离权) another of the Eight Immortals.
It is said that Zhongli Quan put Lu Dongbin through ten trials before he agreed to take him on as a student.
Although a scholarly man with a kind heart and a calm disposition, Zhongli Quan is said to have a weakness for women. One of his lovers was a woman called White Peony and there are several versions of their relationship. However, in all of them, White Peony eventually achieves immortality for herself.
Lü Dongbin is usually depicted dressed as a scholar and wielding a two-handed sword or a fly-whisk, which symbolises the ability to fly.
Lu is the patron deity of doctors and literature, and is the protector against all evil spirits, which he defeats with his sword. He also ensures the success of off-spring.