Ruan Xiao'er is a muscular man with a sharp face, a wide mouth, a cold gleam in his eyes and some yellow hair on his chest. He is the elder brother of Ruan Xiaowu and Ruan Xiaoqi. They live in Shijie Village, where they earn a living by fishing and trading illegally on the river. Ruan Xiao'er is one of the leaders of the Liangshan navy. In the end, during the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La, he draws his sword and commits suicide by slitting his throat because he is afraid of suffering humiliation as a captive at the hands of the enemy.