Zhao Lei was an officer of Shu. He followed Guan Yu in an attack on Fan Castle, and was recognized as a faithful and loyal follower and some felt that he should be given control of Jing in place of Pan Jun. However, Guan Yu kept Zhao Lei at his side. After Jing fell to Wu, he retreated with Guan Yu to Mai Castle. He later tried to escape to the west, but was surrounded by Wu troops and died in battle.
Zhao Lei was said to be a loyal and trustworthy commander of Liu Bei. In AD 219, he fought Wei at its stronghold at Fan Castle, alongside the likes of Guan Yu and Guan Ping. Since a smoke flare alerted Yi Ji, Zhao Lei and that officer charged at Lu Xun the Wu Commander whose appearance sparked the event. Zhao Lei failed at slaying Lu Xun, and fled to Mai Castle, where the remainder of the Shu army were holed up. Zhao Lei went down fighting, spear in hands, at the arrow of Ma Zhong.