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When the Yiling Patriarch comes for you, his flute is the last sound you'll ever hear.
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The story isn't much about kicking ass so much as it's partly a cautionary tale about tragedy and revenge, the highs and lows of humanity, how power can corrupt, and how legends aren't always what they seem to be. However, Mo Dao Zu Shi is still a Xianxia story.

Warning: Spoilers Off applies to these pages. Proceed at your own risk.


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Main Story

Pre-Time Skip

    Studying in the Cloud Recesses 
  • Lan Xichen notices that Wei Wuxian was just about on par with Lan Wangji in terms of physical skills, which is probably one of the reasons why his younger brother took an interest in the Jiang disciple. Even when it ends with Wei Wuxian receiving some form of punishment, when one recalls all of their encounters, Wei Wuxian truly does manage to keep up and sometimes outmaneuver Lan Wangji. Keep in mind that in their encounters, Wei Wuxian was always the one on the defensive.
    • Hell, while it's usually Played for Laughs, he gets Lan Wangji to emote and even raise his voice. The novel even has him bragging about it like it's an achievement.
  • Wei Wuxian managing to fluster Lan Qiren in order to get kicked out of class when he theorizes that cultivators could use resentful energy instead of trying to exorcise it. This shows Wei Wuxian's pragmatism and willingness to look at a situation differently.
  • Wei Wuxian gets to show off his observation skills as he looks at Lan Wangji's boat and immediately deduces that there was something underneath it, which caused the boat's draft to be deeper than it should be. Wei Wuxian also manages to easily flip the boat over and up into the air with just his paddle.
  • The donghua really takes the encounter with the Waterborne Abyss encounter Up to Eleven, having the eponymous monster attack with waterspouts, water hands, and strange black tentacles of resentful energy. The fact everyone survives it becomes truly an impressive accomplishment with such a visual spectacle to back it up.
  • The second time Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian cross paths, due to the latter trying to sneak in two jars of Emperor's Smile this time, Wei Wuxian nearly tricks Lan Wangji when he pretends to surrender and is able to climb up to the roof. During their tussle, Lan Wangji chases after Wei Wuxian while holding an umbrella over himself and managing to knock one jar from Wei Wuxian's hand. In retaliation, Wei Wuxian catches Lan Wangji by surprise and tackles him off the roof and onto the ground.
  • Also in the donghua, Lan Wangji managing to fend off some fierce corpses by using a branch of flowers. Then when he gets his guqin back, he completely gains the upper hand in the fight.

    The Discussion Conference 
  • Wei Wuxian praising Wen Ning's skills, telling him he's only seen about three other people who can shoot better than him. Coming from Wei Wuxian, who's The Ace in archery, that's high praise and Wen Ning probably would have been an amazing archer if he could control his social anxiety and was given the right training.
  • Even though the Wens sit on top and make sure all of the other sects understand they're not worth anything in their eyes through the way they arranged the Discussion Conference which they're in charge of hosting this time, it's really cathartic to watch all of the other sects start to quickly wrack up points while a handful of Wen Sect members are the first ones to get kicked out of the archery competition.
  • Lan Wangji saving another cultivator from Wen Chao's wrath by not only splitting his arrow and knocking out the other two, but also hitting his target at the same time.
  • It's a mixture of terrifying and funny, but it's a hint at to incredibly strong the Lan sect's disciples are as Lan Wangji angrily breaks the bow in his hand by simply crushing it.
  • Although Wei Wuxian was being humble about his archery skills, he manages to net first place in the tournament. Lan Wangji easily could have gotten his sect into second place had Wei Wuxian not pulled off his forehead ribbon, which angered him into quitting the competition early.
    • According to Jin Guangshan, the Jiang Sect tends to consistently get first place in archery, which really is a testament to the skill of Jiang Fengmian's sect.

    Xuanwu Cave 
  • While it's a horrifying skill, there's something impressive about someone being able to wield the ability to take someone's golden core and just destroy it with your hand.
  • Lan Wangji and Jin Zixuan standing up to Wen Chao when Mianmian is chosen as bait for the Tortoise of Slaughter. It certifies that Lan Wangji is truly a selfless hero, and that underneath Jin Zixuan's snobbishness lies a noble Hidden Heart of Gold. Of course, we can't forget when Wei Wuxian follows suit by mocking Wen Chao about the hypocrisy of their clan, as they're acting against their founder's teachings.
  • Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji fighting the Tortoise of Slaughter and winning. Keep in mind that the two don't have their swords and are wounded, but come out on top simply with a bit of planning, a few leftover arrows, some Razor Wire, a cursed sword, and plenty of determination to survive and get out of the cave.

    The Fall of Lotus Pier 
  • It takes a lot of willpower and determination for Jiang Cheng to travel days on end with no rest just to save his brother.
  • Admit it, it felt amazing seeing Yu Ziyuan finally slap Wang Lingjiao across the face while proceeding to kick her to ground and drag her around with Zidian.
  • Wen Zhuliu proves to be more than muscle for Wen Chao as he takes out a lot of the Jiang Sect's disciples with only his bare hands.
  • In the donghua, we get an awesome animated fight sequence of Yu Ziyuan, Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian stepping out of the fire of Lotus Pier to take on a hoard of Wen soldiers. Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng prove that they're one of the most powerful fighters in their sect by cutting down any soldier who tried to get close to Yu Ziyuan as she calmly walks across the battlefield. Yu Ziyuan should also get a huge shout out for her skill in wielding Zidian, and she likely would have been able to defeat Wen Zhuliu had he not played dirty and used a corpse of a Wen soldier to blind her with blood.
  • Wen Ning helping Wei Wuxian rescue Jiang Cheng and giving them a safe place to hide is both this and heartwarming, since going against his fellow clansmen and hiding their targets right under their noses takes a whole lot of guts, something that Wen Ning is noted to lack.
  • Wen Zhuliu showing some respect to Yu Ziyuan, saying that the Purple Spider fought honorably and doesn't deserve to have her corpse desecrated.
    • Even though it ends it both of their deaths, at least Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan went down fighting until their last breath.
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    The Sunshot Campaign 
  • Even though it's a dark moment for Wei Wuxian, there's when, after being ill and injured, he still has the guts to spit at Wen Chao and taunt him, swearing that even if he dies, he'll come back as a ghost and haunt him and the Wen Sect until they meet their end. And he definitely keeps his words, even though it's not in the way that either were expecting.
  • Just watching Wei Wuxian slowly succumb to the evil energy at the Burial Mounds, but then getting the strength to get back up and control that same energy that had been trying to tear him to shreds. Harnessing resentful energy was originally an idea he only had as a theory, but now it's actually coming to fruition.
  • In the donghua, when their hideout is discovered Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng put up one good fight against the Wens, with the fight lasting for hours, with them only starting to lose out of exhaustion. Special points go to Lan Wangji for playing his guqin to the point where his fingers were cut and bleeding, and his guqin's strings broken. Even on his last legs, he still stood his ground and kept on fighting.
  • While it deviates from the novel, the scene in Episode 14 where Wei Wuxian arrives in Chongyang is as nightmarish as it is awe-striking. It's only a minute long and nothing actually happens yet, but it leaves one hell of an impression.
    • Episode 15 then expands on that with Wei Wuxian commanding the Army of the Dead to kill every Wen in sight (with the exceptions of Wen Chao and Wen Zhuliu) before slowly descending from above and personally torture the aforementioned two himself.
    • While it was the start of a painful and eventually-tragic path for him, it's hard not to cheer him on when he destroys Wen Zhuliu's golden core and terrifies Wen Chao by properly revealing his face before impaling and tearing apart Wen Chao with resentful energy.
  • Wei Wuxian creating the Yin Tiger Seal from the cursed sword at the Xuanwu Cave. While it would eventually kickstart all the horrible events that followed, the scene was another glimpse at just how much power Wei Wuxian wielded.
  • Even if Jin Zixuan had proved himself to have a kind side to him early on, it's hard to deny that he had it coming when Wei Wuxian beat his face in for driving Jiang Yanli to tears, even if it was due to a misunderstanding that Jin Zixuan isn't at fault for.
    • The donghua seems to downplay this by having Wei Wuxian punch Jin Zixuan only once before coldly telling him to piss off. However, those actions alone were more than enough for Jin Zixuan to have a Jerkass Realization, unlike in the novel where it required outsiders explaining the situation and a maddened Wei Wuxian beating him up and screaming at him for Jin Zixuan to fully realize his mistake. Sometimes, less is more.
  • Wen Ruohan gets more time to shine in the donghua, where he takes on Nie Mingjue and Lan Xichen with one hand behind his back, gracefully dodging all of their attacks while even catching their blades with just his fingers. As haughty as he was, there's a good reason why the Wens have been able to keep all of the other sects under their thumbs. If Jin Guangyao wasn't able to pull off his sneak attack, Lan Xichen and Nie Mingjue would have died during the war.

    The Phoenix Mountain Hunt 
  • Wei Wuxian blindfolding himself and managing to hit the bullseye on the target, all while he no longer has a golden core and has only mastered demonic cultivation for a few months.
  • Wei Wuxian easily nets game for the Jiang Sect by only playing his flute and taking up the bet to be blindfolded throughout the hunt.
  • Albeit an unintentional example, since Lan Wangji was doing it purely out of frustration with himself, it's impressive how he made several trees fall just from a few angry swings of his sword. And this is without him using any flashy techniques or having the intent to fight or kill anyone.
  • Jiang Yanli herself gets one when she — ever so politely — dresses down Jin Zixun and the other cultivators that mocked Wei Wuxian during the hunt on Phoenix Mountain. Better yet is that no one is able to refute any of her arguments. Even though she didn't share her younger brother's skill in cultivation, her ability to reason with others while standing her ground would already make her a great sect leader.

    The Rescue of the Wen Survivors 
  • While it brought about tragic and disastrous consequences, it's hard not to cheer Wei Wuxian on when he shows that he's not having any of Jin Zixun's bullcrap and bluntly calls Jin Guangshan out on trying to fill the Evil Power Vacuum that the Wen Sect left behind.
    Wei Wuxian: Sect Leader Jin, let me ask you something else. Do you think that because the Qishan Wen Sect is gone, the Lanling Jin Sect has the right to replace it? Everything has to be given to you? Everyone has to listen to you? Looking at how the Lanling Jin Sect does things, I almost thought that it was the Qishan Wen Sect's empire all over again.
    • Continuing from the above, Lan Wangji gets his moment when Jin Guangyao criticizes Wei Wuxian's bluntness, to which Lan Wangji responds by curtly asking if Wei Wuxian was wrong. Jin Guangyao, who's as silver-tongued as they can be, admits that he's not wrong.
  • It's also a tearjerker, but the way Wei Wuxian resurrects Wen Ning in the donghua will give you goosebumps. In a split second, Wei Wuxian's power was immense enough even stop the rain for a few seconds while he channels new life into the latter.
  • Even though they ended up being overruled and ignored, the bravery Lan Wangji and Mianmian showed in defending Wei Wuxian in front of several other cultivators is nevertheless commendable. Even the Venerated Triad, despite believing that she vouched for the wrong guy, respected Mianmian for the way she stood up to her sect.
  • Although Wei Wuxian already proved beforehand that people can survive in the Burial Mounds, it's still an amazing feat to see the Wen survivors manage to cultivate farmland and put up houses to live in what many would argue is a place where life shouldn't be able to thrive.

    Reunion in Yiling 
  • As Wei Wuxian returns in a hurry after realizing Wen Ning has gone berserk, Wen Qing can be seen holding a sword as she tries to calm her brother down. She may be a doctor that doesn't like violence, but she will take up a sword to protect her remaining family and brother if she must.
  • Wei Wuxian is successful in bringing back Wen Ning's conscious! He might have said he could do it, but even he doubted it. And yet still he pursued the impossible and pulled it off! Though gross exaggeration certainly was involved, it is no wonder people dubbed him "Ghost General" as for the first time in the world there is a conscious fierce corpse.

    The Ambush at Qiongqi Path 
  • Wen Ning catching an arrow that was shot at Wei Wuxian, and he doesn't even flinch.
  • While his words don't help his case, when Jin Zixun accuses Wei Wuxian of putting the Hundred Holes Curse on him, Wei Wuxian basically says if he wanted to kill him it'd be a lot faster than a curse. Given everything he's done up until this point with demonic cultivation, he's not wrong. The sole exception was Wen Chao, but that was only because Wei Wuxian had a personal score to settle with him.
  • It's not made a huge focus, but Wen Ning is basically solo holding off three hundred archers before Jin Zixuan shows up.
  • Though it doesn't end well for him, give Jin Zixuan credit for having a strong sense of honour and justice, as well as the will to follow through. If it wasn't for things having already reached a bad state and his own pride leading to him losing his temper...

    The Nightless City Attack 
  • While Wei Wuxian stated later on that he wasn't responsible for all three-thousand deaths that occurred in the event, he alone was still fighting an army of thousands of cultivators, and was still standing at the end. Of course, one has to take into account that he was left severely injured, mentally damaged, and emotionally broken; but the fact that he survived is commendable in its own way.
  • Though the circumstances are tragic, Wei Wuxian snapping the neck of a cultivator and instantly killing him is an intense moment. It becomes even more awesome in retrospect as he doesn't have a golden core and yet he's still that strong!
  • Despite barely recovering from his wounds and not having his cultivation at maximum power from using his spiritual energy to heal Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji remains strong enough to fight thirty-three elders of his sect's elders and come out as the winner. It may not be the main highlight of the scene, but it's still a small detail that should be pointed out. Even if you take into consideration that he might have gotten the upper hand because he took the elders by surprise, Lan Wangji still managed to muster enough strength to attack that many people just to protect Wei Wuxian.
    • Fridge Brilliance makes the above incident even more awesome; because of Lan Wangji's interference, Wei Wuxian lived long enough to at least destroy half of the Yin Tiger Seal. The present would be much darker if that artifact had been intact and in the hands of people like Jin Guangshan.

    The First Siege 
  • Though it is never seen, hundreds of cultivators stormed into the Burial Mounds. And yet Wei Wuxian very casually reveals one singular fact about the siege to Wen Ning; no one killed him. Not a single cultivator, not even Jiang Cheng (who is often given the credit), was able to harm Wei Wuxian. He only died because he killed himself destroying the Yin Tiger Seal. As awful as that implication is - that Wei Wuxian destroyed the Yin Tiger Seal despite knowing that the backfire would kill him - it says a lot of just how powerful Wei Wuxian was. If he had been in a better mental state, there is absolutely no way the siege would have been successful. They were attacking the Yiling Patriarch on his own grounds. In any other situation, Wei Wuxian would have killed the majority and sent the rest fleeing.

Post-Time Skip

    Mo Village 
  • Props to Mo Xuanyu for doing what all the other cultivators attempted to do but couldn't: bring Wei Wuxian back to life. Granted, it required a forbidden ritual that called for the exchange of his own soul, but it doesn't lessen how someone who was perceived as a lowly cultivator and a crazy homosexual still brought the Yiling Patriarch back to the mortal world.
  • While it's more of a funny moment, Wei Wuxian humiliating the Mo family just by acting out in front of them and exposing their abuse to everyone else in the room is still kind of cathartic to watch. It's only too bad that Mo Xuanyu wanted his revenge to be a bit bloodier.
  • When the the ghost arm that terrorized and murdered the Mo family prove to be more of a challenge than initially anticipated, Wei Wuxian effortlessly resurrects the corpses of said family and orders them to fight the arm. This scene is the reader's first glimpse at what the Yiling Patriarch is capable of.
  • Lan Sizhui and Lan Jingyi's fight against the ghost arm. They don't win, but they were able to pull their own weight and hold on long enough until Lan Wangji arrived in the nick of time.
    • The donghua shows best how the duo were able to stand their ground against it for some time, especially when you consider that they're still young and don't have much battle experience. It becomes doubly impressive when you learn later just who they were fighting.
  • Then Lan Wangji shows up, managing to stop Madam Mo's corpse from attacking anyone further simply by plucking the strings on his guqin.

    Dafan Mountain 
  • Even without weapons, Wei Wuxian can hold up in a fight just fine. The donghua shows this best: after accidentally pressing Jin Ling's biggest Berserk Button, Wei Wuxian dodges every swing and slash the boy would throw at him like it's no big deal, before swiftly pinning the younger boy down with a makeshift talisman.
  • Lan Wangji putting Jin Ling in his place by casting the Silencing Spell on the younger cultivator as punishment for acting rude and entitled. To seal it in, he previously destroyed all four-hundred nets that Jin Ling had set up around Dafan Mountain, since trying to gain an unfair advantage in capturing the prey is against the rules of night-hunting. And he does all this without saying a single word. While this nearly angers Jiang Cheng enough into fighting him, Jiang Cheng backs down because not even he's sure he would win in a fight against Lan Wangji.
  • Though his own arrogance is at fault for unleashing the Dancing Goddess, Jin Ling gets credit for fighting it and proving he's a courageous and capable cultivator. Even though it's in part fuelled by his own issues, Jin Ling is fully prepared to go down fighting against an opponent he can't beat.
  • While he slightly lost his touch with his flute-playing due to being dead for thirteen years, with a choppily-hacked flute Wei Wuxian (and by extension, Wen Ning) managed to subdue the Dancing Goddess when it started causing trouble.
    • Before that, there is Wei Wuxian doing some quick investigation and discovering the true threat hidden on the mountain. The implication is it took him at most an hour to solve what hundreds of cultivators were stumped over for the entire night. There is a good reason why he is absolutely necessary for The Chessmaster's plans to take out the Big Bad.
  • Wen Ning not only manages to pin down the goddess statue, but defeats it by simply bashing its head in with a rock repeatedly. And this was something Wen Ning did single-handedly whereas it gave the Lan Sizhui, Lan Jingyi, Jin Ling and the other cultivators an incredibly rough time.
  • Lan Jingyi speaking up to Jiang Cheng, who's feared by almost everyone for his temper. He doesn't hesitate to point out that there's no sense with hitting Wei Wuxian with Zidian a second time to prove he's not really possessed, and in the donghua, even adds to Lan Wangji's defense that demonic cultivator or no, Wei Wuxian still saved their lives.

    To the Cloud Recesses 
  • When the ghost arm goes out of control, it's in the Mingshi, which can only be opened from the inside... unless it's Wei Wuxian ordering it open. He immediately walks in, figures out the situation, and cultivates via a musical duet with Lan Wangji — who's the only one of the cultivators inside still standing — to calm the ghost arm. The donghua brings with it extra visuals, showing Wei Wuxian controlling the very resentful energy the ghost arm is producing and turning it into chains to contain it.
    • Though it is mainly played for laughs, Wei Wuxian deliberately plays poorly, yet at the same time manages to play well enough to use musical cultivation properly. That takes some serious talent and a keen ear for music to hit the important notes correctly but then follow up by muddling up the rest. All in an attempt to keep his cover, and, discounting Lan Zhan (who already knew who he was), it worked!

    Xinglu Ridge 
  • Everyone agrees that Wei Wuxian is at his most powerful in the donghua, which the second season proves as fact several times. While he was Willfully Weak in the first day of his resurrection, he shows that he hasn't rusted at all with his demonic cultivation. Case in point, he managed to bind a mutated Measuring Snake and break an ancient spell that was outright stated to be impossible to tamper with — and both times he wasn't exhausted at all. The only time he ever got taxed was when he transferred Jin Ling's Curse Mark onto himself, but that wasn't a result of overusing his powers.
  • While he argues with his uncle more often than not, even as he fears seriously angering said uncle, Jin Ling chooses to go behind Jiang Cheng's back and save Wei Wuxian as repayment for the latter saving his life. Jin Ling doesn't get to lie to his uncle in the donghua, but he still helps lead Wei Wuxian away from his uncle after Wei Wuxian escaped during a scuffle.
  • Wen Ning gets a moment in the donghua. Despite being commanded to stay out of sight by Wei Wuxian, even with the effects of the Soul-Binding Nails, Wen Ning proves to have enough agency to be far enough from human sight but close enough to be able to rush in and protect his master if any danger arises. When Jiang Cheng captures Wei Wuxian, Wen Ning immediately crashes the inn where they're at and is ready to defend Wei Wuxian from his old friend. The ensuing fight even gives Wei Wuxian enough of a window to escape Jiang Cheng's wrath, but not before he commands Wen Ning to get away first.

    Yi City 
  • In the donghua, Xiao Xingchen gets an upgrade to his powers by being able turn anything he channels his energy into turn into ice. He shows this by freezing the ground or the corpses that he strikes with his sword, leaving a mark behind.
  • Even though he had been dead for a long time, Wei Wuxian's skills hasn't diminished as he not only summons spirits to take care of the walking corpses roaming around the city, but he's also resourceful enough to use the funerary paper mannequins as soldiers and brings them to life to add to his arsenal.
  • Xue Yang being able to pull off an impeccable impression of Xiao Xingchen, something Wei Wuxian makes note of when he goes through A-Qing's memories. Xue Yang may say he's not a very good actor when compared to Jin Guangyao, but it doesn't make his impersonation skills any less shoddy.
  • A-Qing is the unsung hero of this story. She's been roaming Yi City for years, warding off any strangers who would come to close to the city to prevent them from becoming another one of Xue Yang's victims. If it weren't for her, Wei Wuxian wouldn't have been able to (or would've taken much longer to) figure out the root behind Xue Yang's motivations and actions, and without her, Xue Yang and Lan Wangji would continue to fight each other to a standstill.
    • Also, massive props goes to A-Qing for being able to hold up her blind act in front of Xue Yang for many years before he finally saw through her act and mutilated her. There was when she approached his sword with Nerves of Steel when he tested if she was really blind, nearly impaling her. Then there's when she was able to hide her distress over Song Lan's death by pretending that she's upset because someone made fun of her blindness. And in her last moments, while she was clearly afraid of Xue Yang, she still summoned enough guts to curse at his face.
  • Xue Yang deserves some credit for going toe-on-toe with Lan Wangji, one of the strongest cultivators of his generation, for hours on end. Wei Wuxian even needed to distract him just so that Lan Wangji could land a decisive blow on the delinquent.

    Koi Tower 
  • Jin Ling picking up the trick Wei Wuxian teaches him very quickly and then using it on his bullies.
  • Wei Wuxian's investigation into what is really going on in Koi Tower with Jin Guangyao. He gets an amazing amount of information, just by using two techniques; his paper talisman trick and Empathy.
  • Though it's little, Qin Su not standing at all for the very implication that her own son had to die is impressive. She refuses to buy anymore of Jin Guangyao's bullshit and immediately starts seeing through him, and at one point slaps him hard in the face when he makes the aforementioned implication.
  • When Wei Wuxian is at risk as a paper talisman to being taken out by Jin Guangyao's sword, he discovers his own sword...and despite his weakness in this state, Suibian leaps up at his command and defends him, shocking Jin Guangyao, which gives enough time for Wei Wuxian to escape. It then turns out that Suibian sealed itself against anyone drawing it except Wei Wuxian (or someone with his spiritual signature), something that is near legendary for cultivators. Even Wei Wuxian is shocked to discover it, since it's been years since he last cultivated with his sword.
  • Jin Guangyao's cunning is in full force here; staying behind to catch the paper talisman of Wei Wuxian and nearly taking him out if it wasn't for Suibian being there, quickly adapting the situation to stay innocent, likely manipulating Qin Su into killing herself by waving the assassin dagger in her face when she's in the middle of a mental break down, and then tricking Wei Wuxian into revealing himself using the fact Suibian is sealed to prove he has returned. As Wei Wuxian even notes, it's honestly scary how cunning and good Jin Guangyao is at keeping his cool.
  • Lan Wangji doing what he likely wanted to do thirteen years ago: standing right by Wei Wuxian's side, as unmovable as a mountain. As soon as Wei Wuxian's identity is outed, Lan Wangji doesn't hesitate to accompany him in escaping Koi Tower, even after Wei Wuxian warns him what this would mean for his reputation.

    The Second Siege 
  • In the audio drama, hundreds of cultivators repeat their past action of gathering together to kill Wei Wuxian. But right as some of them start to make a move, Lan Wangji quickly unsheathes Bichen to draw a line on the ground and warns them that the line divides. He's basically warning them that if any of them literally cross the line, they will be meeting his blade; and while the cultivators respond with accusatory remarks, it's obvious that they're trying to act tough because none of them are brave enough to actually take a stand against Lan Wangji.
  • Wei Wuxian quiets the mob even just for a few seconds by stating that he's not responsible for Nie Mingjue's death, Qin Su's suicide, the fierce corpses gathered around the Burial Mounds at the moment, or the kidnapping of the junior cultivators. This is topped off when he shows them Wen Ning, since the Jin Sect — who all the other clans practically lick the boots of — claimed that he was burned to ashes years ago. It doesn't seem like much, but when one remembers how Wei Wuxian is blamed for every misfortune or mishap even when it has nothing to do with him, it feels riveting for that to not be the case this time, especially since Wei Wuxian has concrete evidence that the cultivators are not able to brush aside.
  • Lan Wangji silencing Su She and the latter's disciples when they continue to mock Wei Wuxian. Admit it, it felt very vindicating. This also scares the other cultivators into staying silent throughout the entire time Wei Wuxian is figuring out the situation.
  • Wei Wuxian using nothing but his smarts and words to expose Su She in front of all the cultivators present in the cave. Bonus points for him keeping his calm the whole time, even when almost everyone else in the room (barring Lan Wangji, Wen Ning, and the juniors) is itching to kill him.
  • The entire fight against the undead horde. While majority of the (adult) cultivators are jackasses, they are cultivators for a reason, as they're all still able to fight against the corpses even without access to their spiritual energy. The juniors, who do have their cultivation abilities, are faring just as well, given how they're able to rack up a body count in the fifties.
  • The final battle against the fierce corpses. Wei Wuxian sets himself up as a lure, while Lan Wangji fights, so the rest can escape. First the juniors return to reinforce them. And then the Wen remnants return to pay off their debt to Wei Wuxian in a show of spectacular Undying Loyalty. This doubles as both a Heartwarming and Tearjerker moment.

    Return to Lotus Pier 
  • Ouyang Zizhen Shaming the Mob after they escaped the Burial Mounds by pointing out that had it not been for Wei Wuxian, none of them would even be alive right now. What's better is that all the other juniors back up his word, making the senior cultivators look like complete fools. Sure, it doesn't stick for long, but at least even for just a minute someone was able to stick it to the old men and shut them up.
  • It's not exactly a glorious moment, but fans are likely to cheer Jin Guangyao on after they learn that he killed his father, and in quite the karmic way too. Is it disturbing? Undeniably, especially when you consider the other casualties involved in the murder. But you can't say that Jin Guangshan didn't deserve a horrible death.
  • Wei Wuxian finally having enough of Jiang Cheng's badmouthing and attacking him with a talisman. Jiang Cheng has many reasons for his anger, but almost anyone can agree that he's going too far with the way he's mocking both Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji in the Jiang ancestral hall. Wei Wuxian tried to be the bigger man and just walk away but Jiang Cheng wouldn't let them leave in peace, and it's not hard to see why at that point, Wei Wuxian's patience had grown too thin to tolerate his old friend's verbal lashing any longer.
  • While the scene is more of a tearjerker, Wen Ning still deserves props for summoning the courage to defend Wei Wuxian from Jiang Cheng by revealing the truth behind how he got back his golden core. Even when he's being repeatedly yelled at and shoved back, Wen Ning refuses to budge.
    • One must remember that he is loyal to Wei Wuxian, and thus does anything he says. Yet, even when Wei Wuxian explicitly told him not to, he chose to tell the truth to Jiang Cheng, all on his own volition. This is the first sign of him truly becoming his own person, which is something that Wei Wuxian also encouraged from him.
    • One must also remember that Jiang Cheng willingly took part in the murder of the last of Wen Ning's family. Even if you take Jiang Cheng's past into account, it doesn't excuse his (willing) participation in a slaughter of innocent people. Of course, Wen Ning isn't vengeful enough to want Jiang Cheng dead in return, but it's hard to deny that his standing up to Jiang Cheng and not holding back with the Awful Truth counts as some cathartic payback.
    • Special attention has to be brought to Wen Ning's short, if painfully blunt, "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jiang Cheng. All his life, Jiang Cheng has been belittled by everyone, including his own mother, as always falling one step behind of Wei Wuxian in terms of combat, cultivation, and overall talent; which is undeniably a Kick the Dog moment on their part. But when Wen Ning's saying that similar phrase, the meaning is completely different: when it comes to where it really matters, Jiang Cheng will always lose.
    • Fridge Brilliance kicks in when one learns that in the xianxia genre, anyone's progress in cultivation can be greatly impeded if they bear grudges or unhealthy obsessions in their hearts, both of which Jiang Cheng has. Therefore, in spite of all the cultivational and political power he possesses now (both of which are partly thanks to him possessing Wei Wuxian's powerful core), his inability to reconcile with his inner demons and let go of his turmoils leaves him lacking and falling far behind in many ways. By contrast, even though he's revived into a weaker body with a barely-formed core, Wei Wuxian's ability to move forward from the past helps him grow stronger both as a person and as a cultivator.

    Guanyin Temple 
  • When Jiang Cheng storms into the Guanyin Temple, Jin Guangyao tries to attack him with his guqin. Jiang Cheng makes the smart move of scratching two swords together so the sound would drown out the Magic Music. Jin Guangyao even commends him for it.
  • Jin Guangyao proves once again just how cunning he can be when he pieces together what really happened to Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng's golden cores just from what he heard about what happened in Lotus Pier a few days ago combined with the fact that Suibian can only be unsheathed by its master.
    • Then he shows his craftiness once more by exploiting Jiang Cheng's love for Wei Wuxian by pretending to attack the latter, which would cause Jiang Cheng to attempt to defend Wei Wuxian, which leaves himself open to an attack from Jin Guangyao.
  • If you think Jiang Cheng needed some more sense verbally beaten into him, Jin Guangyao gives the man a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech, citing him as one of the sources behind the problems that befell Wei Wuxian after the Sunshot Campaign, all because he failed to trust his former brother. It's hard-hitting enough that the combative Jiang Cheng can't give a rebuttal, and Wei Wuxian — who can't deny Jin Guangyao's words either — can only stop him from saying more by pointing out how he must hate being called a Son of a Whore so much.
  • Everyone is distracted for only a small amount of time, but Wei Wuxian manages to completely turn things against Jin Guangyao by destroying the protective spells around the temple and unleashing the ghosts of the prostitutes burned to death by him.
  • Wei Wuxian regaining Chenqing and nearly successfully using it to seal Nie Mingjue. If it wasn't for the cry of his brother in distress...
  • You'll find yourself being as astonished as Wei Wuxian was when Lan Wangji lifts on only one hand a coffin that carries the weight of two dead people, sealed by a life-sized statue, and Wei Wuxian perched on the statue, without much effort. According to the novel, the total weight amounted to nearly a thousand pounds.
  • Nie Huaisang's entire Batman Gambit to take down Jin Guangyao as revenge for murdering Nie Mingjue is impressive. All the more so, since he pulls it off by doing what Jin Guangyao did when he plotted his brother's death: masterfully playing the innocent fool, using his knowledge of the people he knows to manipulate events to his advantage, and laying low for a long time until he finds the right moment to strike. And unlike with Jin Guangyao, there's no solid evidence left for anyone to convict Nie Huaisang of anything.
    Wei Wuxian: (to Jin Guangyao) Have you ever thought that perhaps tonight you're a mantis stalking a cicada, yet there's an oriole behind you? The one who's been watching you might be hiding in the dark this exact moment, observing your every move.
  • The entire scene is mostly sad, since Jin Ling is mourning Jin Guangyao's death, but there's some satisfaction to be found in the young man yelling at Sect Leader Yao to shut up and leave him alone.
  • While he and his uncle bicker almost all the time, it still takes a special kind of guts for Jin Ling to scold Jiang Cheng for his attitude towards Wei Wuxian. It also counts as both a funny and heartwarming moment.

    Post-Epilogue 
  • Jin Guangyao's death left a power vacuum which, predictably, causes many cultivators to scheme in taking over the Jin Sect, especially since Jin Ling (the remaining legitimate heir) is still very young. Jiang Cheng is having none of that, and uses Zidian to intimidate any potential rival into backing off, therefore allowing his nephew to take over as the Jin Sect leader. It's more meaningful when you remember that in the past, he was reluctant to challenge the other clans in any way even to protect the people dear to him.
  • Lan Sizhui learning two different styles of swordsmanship (the Jins' and Wens') aside from that of the Lan Sect's is impressive on its own. Wei Wuxian even notices that Wen Ning might have been teaching Lan Sizhui the Wen Sect's swordsmanship.
  • It's understated, but the audio drama confirms that Wei Wuxian has formed a golden core in his new body, one that's powerful enough to allow him to wield Suibian again. This makes him one of, if not the only living cultivator, capable of using both spiritual and resentful energy. Plus, the fact that he has a golden core means that he now has a good chance of cultivating to immortality. Any worries the fans may have over Lan Wangji losing Wei Wuxian to old age can finally be assuaged.

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  • Overall, the cast for the Animated Adaptation deserves praise for their voice acting. Most viewers who were introduced to Mo Dao Zu Shi through the donghua and haven't been exposed to Chinese voice-acting before are eventually won over by the second half of the first season due to the powerful and emotional performances of the voice actors, especially those of Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and Jiang Cheng, as they're able to truly bring their A-game into the adaptation.
  • It's more of a funny kind of awesome, but Lu Zhixing (Wei Wuxian's voice actor in the audio drama) deserves praise for nailing Wei Wuxian's entire Freak Out upon encountering a dog in the Cloud Recesses, in a single take.
  • The entirety of the audio drama adaptation managed to clinch the top 1 spot on MissEvan, including the third season even before it aired.
  • In the span of around only two years after the first adaptation (the manhua) came out, Mo Dao Zu Shi has also been adapted into an audio drama, a donghua, and a live-action drama. Every adaptation — besides the novel — has become a sensational hit both in China and essentially around the globe as well. It's hard to find another series that has received so many successful adaptations in such a short amount of time. It's also at heart just a Boys' Love series and yet it manages to have such a cross appeal to different audiences that it manages to break out of its genre.
    • There's also how in the span of six months, the latter three adaptations are confirmed to get a Japanese dub, which is rare for any non-mainstream franchise from China, which speaks about Mo Dao Zu Shi's popularity worldwide.
  • On April 2020, Wei Wuxian was selected as the official representative of the Nanjing International Examination Museum to promote Chinese culture. This makes sense given that Wei Wuxian is touted In-Universe as a master of the Six Arts, but the fact that a fictional and animated character (from a Boys' Love novel, no less) is chosen as the face of a museum is also astounding.
  • The donghua netting at least five awards since its release is an impressive feat on its own, and is a testament to how great of an adaptation it is in spite of its constraints, and how much of an impact it has made on the community.

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