Beware of spoilers, marked or unmarked.
Gusu Lan Sect | 姑苏蓝氏
Location: Cloud Recesses | 云深不知处 note
Region: Gusu | 姑苏 (based on modern Jiangsu)
One of the top four families in the cultivation world, the Gusu Lan Sect was founded by a monk turned ministrel Lan An centuries ago, and is famed for its many, many rules, the elegance of its uniform, and for producing handsome and talented disciples each generation.
Their motto is "righteousness". Direct disciples (those with actual relation to the Lan clan founder) wear a cloud-patterned forehead ribbon; whereas disciples of other families, guests and associates wear a plain white forehead ribbon.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: According to the author, the Lans' inability to hold their liquor is genetic. This leads to Alcohol-Induced Idiocy starts with a specific pattern: fall asleep with one bowl, and then wake up drunk after a while, run wild, and fall asleep when the biological clock takes over to make them sleep.
- Chekhov's Gun: The forehead ribbon. Its meaning is "to conduct oneself well", but the founder once claimed that before the person one loves, no rules are necessary, hence the forehead ribbon is a token of love between a member of the Lan clan and the lover. Wei Wuxian's reaction upon finding out was hilarious.
- Code of Honour: All four thousand-plus rules crammed into the giant rock wall at the entrance of the Cloud Recesses.
- Creature of Habit: The Lan Sect mandates waking up at five in the morning, and going to bed at nine in the evening (although night-hunts are an exception in the curfew). The trope borders on Clock King sometimes, as Lan Wangji demonstrated the ability to know what time to sleep without any indicator to tell the time, even while drunk.
- Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: White uniforms and white forehead ribbons.
- Everyone Knows Morse: The qin language used by the Lan clansmen, whether to communicate with the dead or to conjure a certain spell, functions in a manner similar to Real Life Morse code.
- Fisher Kingdom: Cultivators tend to pick an area with good fengshui in order to accumulate good qi or spiritual energy. The Cloud Recesses looks like a mountain-top temple complex.
- Hidden Elf Village: The other sects tend to be more integrated in their local communities, being the center of busy towns. The Cloud Recesses, however, is isolated at the top of a mountain behind a magical barrier.
- Highly Conspicuous Uniform: The school colors are white. Must've been hell to clean...
- Irony: For a clan that practices asceticism, several of its members are romantic in nature — which Wei Wuxian lampshades.
- It Runs in the Family: Apparently, Love at First Sight and Dating Catwoman is a generational pattern.
- Loophole Abuse: Many of their rules only count as long as one is inside the Cloud Recesses.
- Lost in Translation: The meaning behind why Lan Wangji and Xichen are referred to as the Twin Jades of Lan. Jade is the stone associated with gentlemen in Chinese culture. Beautiful women are also referred to as "jade-like beauties", because their skin should be as white as white nephrite jade, as opposed to green jadeite.
- Meaningful Surname: The Lan clan's surname comes from 伽蓝, which refers to a Buddhist temple, indicating their ancestor's origins as a Buddhist monk.
- Officer and a Gentleman: The ancient Chinese version. The Lan sect strictly upholds "elegance" as its motto.
- Razor Floss: The Chord Assassination technique, which uses guqin strings (usually made of silk).
- Theme Naming: The Lan brothers share in their birth names the water radical (氵).
- Their titles also have an association with light (Ze 泽 means 'lustrous', while 光 means 'light'). As the jewels of the Lan clan, thus they are the Twin Jades of Lan.
Voiced by: Jin Xian (donghua), Wang Kai (audio drama - adult), Yan Meme (audio drama - child)
Played by: Liu Haikuan
Height: 188 cm
Weapons: Shuoyue (sword), Liebing (xiao)
The current head of the Lan Sect, and known for his warm and refined, as well as his sincere and gentle nature. He is Lan Wangji's older brother; together, they are known as the Twin Jades of Lan, especially since they are very similar in appearance. He swore an oath of brotherhood with Nie Mingjue and Jin Guangyao, and he is the middle brother. Together, they are called the Three ''Zun''/Respected Ones.
- 100% Adoration Rating: Everyone who meets him likes and respects him (even the antagonists). For all the atrocities that Jin Guangyao ever did he never once thought about betraying Lan Xichen.
- The Ace: As the number one cultivator, Lan Xichen is powerful, wise and learned but unlike his brother is also friendly and approachable. He's genuinely a nice person and he's also named the world's most beautiful gentleman.
- Adorkable: Lan Xichen, when drunk, is essentially a hyperactive and happy goofball.
- Animal Motifs: Deers. Similar to cranes (which is Lan Wangji's respective animal motif), in Chinese culture deers are seen as symbols of longevity and wealth and are admired for their graceful nature — which fits both Lan Xichen and his sect.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Lan Xichen is one of the most genial characters in the story, which is why it's jarring to see him show outright anger at Wei Wuxian when he tells him of the events at the Nightless City and what Lan Wangji had done for him and went through for him then, even telling the latter point-blank that he's the only mistake his younger brother has ever made.
- Big Brother Instinct: He's a good brother to Lan Wangji, and to his sworn brother Jin Guangyao. In fact, his mistaken assumption that Wei Wuxian was toying with his brother's feelings was one of the few things that angered him.
- Break the Cutie:
- The first time was when the Cloud Recesses was razed to the ground in the lead-up to the Sunshot Campaign against the Wen sect, and he was forced to flee for his life with the Lan sect's library.
- He went into seclusion after the death of Jin Guangyao.
- Broken Ace: He's highly regarded as the best cultivator of his generation, as well as a shining example of what a Lan clansman should live up to. By the epilogue, he's a grieving recluse (with only his younger brother visiting him periodically). During the family feast in the extras, Wei Wuxian also observed that Lan Xichen seems to be neglecting his health and is somewhat absent-minded.
- Bystander Syndrome: Lan Xichen is guilty of being a fence-sitter when it comes to matters involving Jin Guangyao, partly because he doesn't want to accept that the friend who always helped him in his time of need was in truth a manipulative and duplicitous man who had committed countless crimes.
- Conflicting Loyalties:
- Part of the conflict Lan Xichen is faced with in the plot is whether he sides with his biological brother against his sworn brother or the other way around; and what doesn't help is that he's close to both of them. While he would never go against Lan Wangji, he's also reluctant to confront Jin Guangyao since it would mean admitting that his closest friend is an evildoer.
- Even before the current events of the novel, Lan Xichen was faced with conflict between two of his sworn brothers and handled it badly. His attempts to make peace only resulted in him being played into Jin Guangyao's hands by preventing Nie Mingjue from acting more decisively, and Jin Guangyao used the songs Lan Xichen taught him to help kill Nie Mingjue.
- Cool Big Bro: Lan Xichen is a good brother to Lan Wangji, being patient and respectful and equally doting and loving. As such, Lan Wangji respects and trusts him, and even confides to him about his troubles sometimes.
- Easily Forgiven: It's easy to forget that Lan Xichen also participated in the First Siege, which involved the plan to kill Wei Wuxian, whom his brother has feelings for. Lan Wangji doesn't hold it against him, however.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
- Genki Boy: He becomes over-enthusiastic when drunk, and his every sentence would end with three exclamation marks.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Technically this, due to his unrelenting belief in Jin Guangyao right before being captured and held hostage. To be fair, better men than him, including Nie Mingjue who knew Jin Guangyao's tendency to kill people who insult him, have also been fooled by Jin Guangyao.
- The Kirk: A deconstruction of this trope. Lan Xichen tries to play peacemaker between his friends, mediating conflict between two people who have completely different personalities. However due to his trusting nature, he ends up being used by more unscrupulous people to help them weasel out of punishment and reprisal from other parties that have very valid reasons to be angry.
- Like Father, Like Son: Lan Xichen secluded himself as he was broken by the Awful Truth about the friend he deeply trusted; similar to how his father went into seclusion out of guilt for defending his wife, who also killed his mentor.
- Morality Pet: He's the only person Jin Guangyao is genuinely kind to.
- Nice Guy: His defining mark. Lan Xichen is constantly nice to everyone regardless of their social status.
- Non-Action Guy: In the present, he doesn't fight that much. In the past, though, he was one of the three to help in killing the Wen Ruohan besides Nie Mingjue and Jin Guangyao.
- Not So Different: Like his brother, Lan Xichen's devotion to a loved one (although in his case it's platonic) causes him to make mistakes and eventually cross the Despair Event Horizon after said loved one's death. It doesn't help that he learned that the same person turned out to be the real villain.
- Oblivious to His Own Description: Lan Xichen stated that his brother's worst mistake was trusting and loving Wei Wuxian, except that he's actually the one deserving of the same criticism since he trusted and sided with the wrong guy and only realized it when it was too late to do anything about it.
- Power Trio: With Nie Mingjue and Jin Guangyao.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- Lan Xichen is more lenient than Lan Qiren with Wei Wuxian being a prankster (even with his younger brother often on the receiving end of those pranks), as he understands that Wei Wuxian means no harm and is just being the free-spirited youth that he is.
- In general, he's patient and diplomatic to everyone about any matter, which is what earned him his 100% Adoration Rating.
- Shipper on Deck: Played with. Lan Xichen encouraged Lan Wangji to befriend Wei Wuxian, not to fall in love with him; although even when he holds Wei Wuxian at fault for his younger brother's actions during the siege at the Nightless City, Lan Xichen still called out Wei Wuxian on not knowing about Lan Wangji's feelings for him sooner, and he doesn't object when the two confess to each other and become a couple.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Unlike his younger brother, Lan Xichen is more sociable and approachable.
- Strong Family Resemblance: He and Lan Wangji are brothers so this is a given, but one would be forgiven for thinking that they're twins at times.
- Unwitting Pawn: While Jin Guangyao never harmed Lan Xichen and truly cared for him, he still used their friendship and treated him as a tool. In particular, he used the songs and knowledge Lan Xichen taught him to kill and attempt to kill his enemies.
- World's Best Warrior: He's the strongest cultivator of his generation.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: A gender-inverted example; he's at the top of the list of cultivator gentlemen in his generation, which implies that on some level his looks surpass Lan Wangji's.
Voiced by: Liu Cong (donghua), Song Ming note (audio drama)
The elder of the Lan family and uncle to the Twin Jades of Lan. He is stern, pedantic, and a strict teacher who turns out outstanding students. The former two traits make people avoid him, but the last trait makes parents try everything to get their kids into the Cloud Recesses for a period of study. The only stain on his otherwise pristine record is Wei Wuxian.
- Badass Grandpa: He's the one who taught swordplay to both his nephews, and he's more than capable of fighting.
- Beautiful All Along: He doesn't look unattractive per se, but according to the author he looks very handsome without the beard.
- Butt-Monkey: He had his hands full when he was teaching Wei Wuxian, who caused him no end of grief.
- Character Tic: The man sure loves to stroke his beard.
- Grumpy Old Man
- Noodle Incident: The author revealed that he also taught Wei Wuxian's mother, who once cut his beard as part of a prank. History Repeats when Wei Wuxian himself did the same thing.
- An interview with the author eventually revealed why Cangse Sanren committed the prank. During a night-hunt, Lan Qiren almost got her and Jiang Fengmian killed but refused to apologize for it, so Cangse Sanren retaliated by cutting off his beard.
- Parental Marriage Veto: Attempted. Lan Qiren didn't approve of Wei Wuxian as a student, and he doesn't approve of him as Lan Wangji's cultivation partner either. While he reluctantly acknowledges their marriage (although it took a lot of persuasion from Lan Wangji), he still shows his disapproval by creating the rule where no one is to talk to Wei Wuxian; although this is a mainly futile effort.
- Promotion to Parent: Given how the mother is technically locked up and the father is living in seclusion, Lan Qiren essentially raised Xichen and Wangji.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He may be grouchy and has very rigid viewpoints, but he is sensible, even when in the same room with the people who get on his nerves the most.
- Stern Teacher: He's both famous and infamous for this.
- Strict Parents Make Sneaky Kids: Lan Qiren increased his nephews' education in order to ensure that they wouldn't make the same mistakes their father made. However, History Repeats Itself with Lan Wangji eloping with Wei Wuxian, and Lan Xichen going into seclusion after the death of his beloved friend.
- Throw the Book at Them: His reaction whenever a student provokes his anger.
Voiced by: Chenzhang Taikang (donghua), Qian Wenqing (audio drama)
Played by: Zheng Fanxing
Lan Sizhui is one of the younger-generation cultivators that Wei Wuxian first meets after he came Back from the Dead. The Nice Guy, he immediately inspires good feelings in Wei Wuxian, who thinks that Lan Sizhui is just the latest of the Lan clan's famously strict education. Of course, Lan Sizhui has a connection to Wei Wuxian's past too...
- Amnesiac Hero: He spends the series of the book until after the climax forgetting about his past as part of the Wen family. Granted, a high fever at two or three years old would have encouraged that.
- Animal Motifs: Swallows. They symbolize happiness, which could be interpreted as him being Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangjis "joy" as their adopted son; and they signify new life, much like how he was once Wen Yuan, then after the First Siege he was taken in by Lan Wangji and he lived from then on as Lan Sizhui. Swallows are also associated with peace, loyalty, and most importantly, love — all of which play a part in Lan Sizhui's personality, backstory, and connection to the main protagonists.
- Awful Truth: The reason Lan Wangji didn't tell him of his past, and why Wen Ning also kept quiet even after finding out who he really is; although both agree that it's only a matter of time until he remembers. Eventually, this trope is averted as he takes the truth of his origins relatively well.
- Butt-Monkey: Downplayed as Wen Yuan. While Wei Wuxian loved him and doted on him, he also liked to tease the boy often and made him a frequent victim of his antics.
- Cuddle Bug: When he was still a child, he would latch himself onto anyone he liked by hugging their legs.
- Embarrassing Old Story:
- At the end of the novel, Wei Wuxian recounted a story about Lan Sizhui when he was still Wen Yuan when he was young and called Lan Wangji "dad" in public, clinging to his legs and crying while surrounded by a crowd of disapproving onlookers. Sizhui reacted as one might expect.
- There's also the stories about burying your kids in mud to make them grow taller, and burying them in a pile of rabbits... just because.
- Forgotten First Meeting: Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui actually knew each other from years ago. Until the ending, he didn't know that Lan Sizhui is Wen Yuan, or that the kid who tried to eat his flute was still alive after the First Siege.
- Happily Adopted
- Has Two Mommies: A gender inversion in Lan Sizhui's case, having been adopted by Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji in all but name.
- Last of His Kind: He's revealed to be the last surviving member of the Wen Clan.
- Meaningful Name: Invoked by Lan Wangji, who gave him his courtesy name. Sizhui means "to remember and long for" which is a hint at his status as the last Wen and as Wei Wuxian's relic.
- Musical Trigger: An unique and benevolent twist of the trope in that it's not a song but a musical instrument that serves as a memory trigger for Lan Sizhui, who remembers his past as Wen Yuan after seeing Chenqing (Wei Wuxian's dizi) since he often played with the flute when he was a child.
- Not So Above It All:
- Lan Sizhui is usually the most level-headed and mature of the juniors, but he can still give in to anger, especially when the others are past reasoning with. He also gets easily embarrassed.
- He also can't help but poke fun at Wei Wuxian for being broke, given his excited reaction when Wei Wuxian admits to having no money.
- Not So Stoic: He normally exhibits a calm and gentle demeanor, but he becomes unusually emotional during the Second Siege when he insists on fighting by the protagonists' side even when they explicitly told him to go to safety. This trope occurs again when he remembers who he really is.
- Older Than He Looks: He may not look like it, but Lan Sizhui is actually a few years older than Jingyi even though they're roughly the same height and look youthful enough to be of the same age. The author revealed that his height is stunted due to suffering from malnutrition during his childhood.
- Quality over Quantity: Lan Wangji taught Lan Sizhui to always invoke this trope in learning the qin language. Wei Wuxian also notices that he exhibits this trope when Sizhui listed his observations of Ah-Qing (in her corpse form).
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Downplayed, but he's far more calm and stoic than Jingyi.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Averted in the possibility that the other Lan clansmen know that Sizhui is of Wen blood, since no one seems to treat him differently.
- Someone to Remember Him By: In a sense. After his birth parents died and his caretaker Wei Wuxian died, he was found and taken in by Lan Wangji who he had met once. Lan Sizhui was essentially Lan Wangji's last connection to Wei Wuxian so it's literally this trope.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: The Straight Man to Lan Jingyi's Wise Guy.
- Third Wheel: Being the Happily Adopted kid he is, Lan Sizhui ends up as the kid that Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji drag out together the most often for extra training. Most of this extra training ends up being to leave the elders alone for their time together, making excuses to irate clients, the donkey, and lying about when the elders would rise for the day... everyday.
Voiced by: Wang Chenguang (donghua), Xiahou Luofeng (audio drama)
Played by: Guo Cheng
The second younger-generation cultivator that Wei Wuxian meets. Cheerful but brash, Lan Jingyi tends to end up talking without a filter.
- Book Dumb: Part of his lack of smarts can be attributed to childish naivete, but the "From Night to Morning" extra note shows that Lan Jingyi is definitely no honor student. His reports were graded "B" (and Wei Wuxian's comments imply that he's the only one to get that score), and said reports were already the revised version.
- Brutal Honesty: He's very frank about his opinions on anything and anyone, and either Lan Wangji or Lan Sizhui has to remind him that talking behind people's backs is against the rules.
- Hot-Blooded: It's more subdued than most examples, but he's quite excitable and has a short fuse, making him a rather atypical disciple of the Lan Sect.
- Hypocritical Humor: He tends to berate Wei Wuxian for breaking rules... when he's unknowingly doing the same thing himself. One infamous example would be him shouting, "Noise is prohibited in the Cloud Recesses!"
- Ironic Fear: Despite being a cultivator who slays ghosts for a living, he is afraid of ghosts.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed. He's outspoken and quick to anger, but he's not really unpleasant. And despite being often annoyed or exasperated with Wei Wuxian, Lan Jingyi acknowledges his skills, always appreciates his help and never hesitates to speak up for him or defend him from other people.
- Odd Friendship: Sizhui is patient and diplomatic, whereas Jingyi is impulsive and blunt with his words. Nevertheless, the two get along well and never argue.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Downplayed, but he's far more hotheaded and temperamental than Sizhui.
- Shipper on Deck: While Lan Jingyi didn't like how Wei Wuxian initially kept on harassing Lan Wangji, he doesn't object when he sees that the two may actually have eyes for the other, and at one point he even expected them to act more like a lovey-dovey couple.
- Static Character: Compared to Lan Sizhui and Jin Ling, who in one way or another have some relation to the protagonists and thus have more prominence in the plot... whereas Lan Jingyi doesn't, causing him to slightly suffer from this trope.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: The Wise Guy to Lan Sizhui's Straight Man.
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel: He exhibits this trope during the Yi City arc.Wei Wuxian: Hanguang-Jun, it's up to you now. We're gonna go ahead!
Lan Jingyi: That was it? You're not going to say anything else?
Wei Wuxian: What else do you want me to do? What else should I say?
Lan Jingyi: Why didn't you two say, "I'm worried about you. I'm staying!", "Go!", "No! I'm not going! If I'm going, you're going with me!"? Isn't it a must?
- Vitriolic Best Buds: While they won't acknowledge it easily, he is friends with Jin Ling and it's shown through their several snark-filled conversations.
Madam Lan voiced by: Yue Yeqiao (audio drama)
The parents of the Twin Jades of Lan. Qingheng-Jun was the previous leader of the Lan Sect, but died some time after the Wen Sect burned down the Cloud Recesses. Even when he was still alive, no one saw him much as he cultivated in seclusion. His wife was also rarely seen as she was said to be bedridden with an illness. However, unbeknownst to many, the truth is a lot graver, and proves that even the righteous Lan Sect has its own share of dark secrets.
- All Love Is Unrequited: It was Love at First Sight for Qingheng-Jun when he met Madam Lan, although she didn't return his feelings.
- Good Parents: Madam Lan, at least, was kind and gentle to both her sons despite only getting to see them once a month. In return, while both know of her history with their father they have nothing but good memories of her.
- Love Makes You Crazy: The rest of the Lan clan believed this happened with Qingheng-Jun regarding Madam Lan. Want to know the whole story? He fell in love with her, but she killed a benefactor of the Lan Sect. Heedless of the repercussions, he brought her back to the Cloud Recesses, did the ceremony, and threatened the elders to take her over his dead body. Then, Honor Before Reason made him seclude himself in the Cloud Recesses and never share a bedroom with her.
- No Name Given: Titles aside, their names were never revealed.
- Posthumous Character: Madam Lan was already dead even in the flashbacks.
- The Un-Reveal: Even Lan Xichen doesn't know the exact reason why Madam Lan killed her husband's teacher, only knowing that it had something to do with "grievances".
Yunmeng Jiang Sect | 云梦江氏
Residence: Lotus Pier | 莲花坞
Region: Yunmeng | 云梦 (based on modern Hubei)
Another of the top four families of the cultivation world, the Yunmeng Jiang Sect was founded by a wandering swordsman-turned-cultivator Jiang Chi.
Their motto is "attempt the impossible", and their Motif is a nine-petal lotus. All disciples wear purple, and the direct disciples carry a silver bell inscribed with the clan symbol.
- Back from the Brink: The Yunmeng Jiang Sect was nearly wiped out during the burning of Lotus Pier. Jiang Cheng basically had to rebuild from nothing.
- Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: Purple uniforms.
- Fisher Kingdom: Cultivators tend to pick an area with good fengshui in order to accumulate good qi or spiritual energy. The Lotus Pier is a riverside manor in a lake of lotuses, more or less.
- Flower Motifs
- Honor Before Reason: Their motto is "know it to be impossible but do it anyway", an idiom referring to the persistence in pursuing what one believes is right against all odds.
- Inciting Incident: The burning of Lotus Pier is what sparks the Sunshot Campaign.
Voiced by: Guo Haoran (donghua), Peng Yao note (audio drama)
Played by: Wang Zhuocheng
Height: 185 cm
Weapons: Sandu (sword), Zidian (whip)
The current leader of the Yunmeng Jiang Sect, Jin Ling's maternal uncle, the son of Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan, and Wei Wuxian's friend-turned-enemy. He's sharp, handsome, strong, and proud; but he also has a fearsome temper. He grew up with Wei Wuxian, and when they were younger, they had vowed to become the Twin Heroes of Yunmeng. Sadly, the future did not turn out as they hoped, and Jiang Cheng was the one who laid the final blow at the first siege of the Burial Mounds.
- Adorkable: Both the manhua and official artworks show a younger Jiang Cheng completely melt in the presence of dogs.
- Alone Among the Couples: More of a fandom joke than anything else. The author has noted that Jiang Cheng has gone on three matchmaking attempts and has been blacklisted.His requirements are: A gentle beauty who's obedient, is economical when taking care of the household and is from a good family, her cultivations should not be too high, her personality not too strong, doesn't talk too much, isn't too loud, doesn't spend too much money, and is good to Jin Ling.
- Always Second Best: It's basically a running joke. Can shoot down a kite from far away? Wei Wuxian hits even farther, blindfolded. Ran for 7 days to save his friend? Wei Wuxian kills a 400-year-old spirit. Rebuilds his sect and gain renown during the Sunshot Campaign? Wei Wuxian invents necromancy and becomes the cultivator bogeyman.
- Animal Motifs: Dogs, like with his nephew.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The familial version: for all his blusters and threats, Jiang Cheng truly cares for his nephew, and beneath his hatred for Wei Wuxian lies the same brotherly love he had for him years ago.
- Ax-Crazy: For the most part, Jiang Cheng is relatively sane, but his severe personal issues — which are worsened by the loss of many of his loved ones, and his tumultuous relationship with Wei Wuxian — causes him to act borderline psychotic whenever he's consumed by anger or grief.
- Berserk Button:
- Demonic cultivators in general and Wei Wuxian in particular.
- Everyone knew better than to mention in Jiang Cheng's presence how Wei Wuxian was one rank above him in everything.
- Big Brother Instinct: Inverted as he's the little brother. Both he and Wei Wuxian respect and admire Jiang Yanli, and won't allow any harm to come to her. They also won't stand for anyone talking badly of her, which is why they both aren't exactly welcoming of Jin Zixuan, even after he and Yanli got Happily Married. While Wei Wuxian is the only one who outwardly shows his hostility, Jiang Cheng dislikes Jin Zixuan just as much but refrains from acting on it since his standing would be affected.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Chapter 110 reveals that the reason Jiang Cheng got captured by the Wens was not because he got desperate and blindly went back to Lotus Pier to scrounge any family relics he could find; he drew the Wens' attention on purpose to prevent Wei Wuxian from getting caught. He wanted to tell Wei Wuxian about this, although he couldn't say anything and kept silent.
- Cassandra Truth: Jiang Cheng knew early on that "Mo Xuanyu" is actually Wei Wuxian. However, no one believes him as Zidian failed to expel Wei Wuxian's soul, and the latter's fear of dogs doesn't count as sound evidence to prove his identity.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: When they were younger, Jiang Cheng cleaned up after Wei Wuxian when he caused too much trouble and tried his best to stop him from doing something stupid.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: For the past thirteen years, Jiang Cheng hunted and tortured (and most likely killed) any demonic cultivator he would encounter, on the charges that they practiced The Dark Arts, or they may be a reincarnation of Wei Wuxian, or both.
- Combat Pragmatist: No matter the situation, Jiang Cheng doesn't care about fighting fairly or how ethical the methods are.
- The Comically Serious: Especially after the fall of Lotus Pier, Jiang Cheng spends most of his time dour and angry. So it's really funny to see him react to Wei Wuxian's antics and troublemaking.
- Compressed Hair: He's never seen with his hair down; but given that cutting one's own hair is a sign of dishonor in ancient China, it's likely that Jiang Cheng's topknot holds a lot of hair. The live-action adaptation even features him with most of his hair down.
- Cosmic Plaything: Like Wei Wuxian, Jiang Cheng didn't have it easy. Jiang Cheng already had a lot of emotional baggage since childhood from futilely attempting to be either acknowledged or praised by his parents, whom he then lost to the Wens. And that was just the beginning of the many tragedies he would endure, to the extent that at best he gets not a happy, but a Bittersweet Ending.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype
- The Determinator: His greatest strength. Jiang Cheng manages against overwhelming odds through sheer force of will.
- Didn't Think This Through: Jiang Cheng can let his emotions cloud his judgement, causing him to act thoughtlessly. Running back to Lotus Pier after the Wen Sect occupied it is a good example.
- The Dreaded: He's not exactly popular in Yunmeng due to his violent temper and harsh personality, and had actually scared off a few visitors from Lotus Pier before.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: After taking over as the leader of the Jiang Sect, Jiang Cheng braids his hair in a manner similar to his father's.
- Expy: Jiang Cheng is essentially a more embittered version of Liu Qingge. Both are the resident Straight Man, have tough personalities and aren't good with expressing themselves without coming across as mean (intentionally or otherwise), are close friends of the protagonist, and both dislike the protagonist's love interest. The only difference is that Liu Qingge stayed as Shen Yuan's most loyal friend, whereas Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian have a friends-turned-enemies dynamic.
- Feuding Families: The Wens destroyed his home, killed his entire clan except for him and his siblings, then tortured him and destroyed his golden core. As such, Jiang Cheng wants all the Wens dead to the point that he'll condone any immoral or forbidden means if it means their annihilation. Except that by "all the Wens", we mean "all the Wens", as he disapproved of Wei Wuxian sheltering some Wen survivors even if they were the elderly, women, and children — generally, the Wen-blooded people who never participated in the massacre of Lotus Pier or in the Sunshot Campaign.
- Foil: To Lan Wangji.
- Both are Always Second Best to their brother (or brother figure, in Jiang Cheng's case), but Lan Wangji was never resentful of being overshadowed whereas the same issue dealt a severe blow on Jiang Cheng's self-worth and drove him to be extremely competitive.
- When faced with conflict, Lan Wangji doesn't hesitate to break rules in pursuit of doing the right thing, while Jiang Cheng tries to avoid getting in trouble with the law even when he knows it would be wrong to do so.
- Most importantly, they contrast each other in the development of their relationship with Wei Wuxian, as throughout the story, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji grow closer while Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian fall out.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Friend Versus Lover: Jiang Cheng is one of the most important people in Wei Wuxian's life, and he regards Wei Wuxian in the same manner (even if he won't admit it), thus he took to heart Wei Wuxian's promise of serving by his side when he succeeds as the Jiang Sect leader. When he confronts Wei Wuxian over this in the final arc, Wei Wuxian can only apologize as certain circumstances (such as lacking his golden core, and his status as the Yiling Patriarch) made it impossible for him to keep his promise. There's also the fact that by the time the confrontation happened, Wei Wuxian had already resolved to be by Lan Wangji's side as his cultivation partner.
- Generation Xerox: Especially in the present time where he's lost a lot of his soft edges, Jiang Cheng almost entirely resembles his mother. It's also strongly implied that he raised Jin Ling the way his mother raised him.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He inherits this from his mother, and he's also rather notorious for it.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Deconstructed. He cries the most among all the characters in the story; although each time he sheds tears is justified, given that it involves either losing his family or coming to terms with the sacrifices his former friend had made for him.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: He was always overshadowed by Wei Wuxian which fed his insecurities and caused him to lash out.
- Ironic Name: His family name stands for "river" and his birth name means "clear". His complete name would then translate to "clear river", which is usually associated with an emotionally and mentally peaceful state — and this doesn't describe someone like Jiang Cheng.
- I Will Wait for You: A less friendly take on the trope. Despite Wei Wuxian's death in the First Siege, Jiang Cheng refused to accept that he's truly gone. This is part of why he kept Chenqing, believing that Wei Wuxian would immediately come for it when he returned. However, while waiting Jiang Cheng hunted and tortured several demonic cultivators; and even if it was unlikely that he planned to kill Wei Wuxian a second time, he definitely planned to exact some form of retribution.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: To call Jiang Cheng unpleasant is so spot-on that it becomes a fact rather than an insult. However, he undeniably has a kinder side, even if it's reserved for his family.
- Kick the Dog: He has a bad habit of lashing out when he's angry, saying and doing hurtful things. Wei Wuxian is a frequent target of his rages.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: This causes him a lot of pain as it's why he and his father are always distant. Jiang Cheng takes more after his mother, to his frustration.
- Locked Out of the Loop: For most of the book, he did not know that not only did he truly lose his golden core in the past, but the current core in his body was Wei Wuxian's, which was excised by Wen Qing.
- If he had known, then Jiang Cheng would have been honor-bound to protect Wei Wuxian and the Wen siblings. Wei Wuxian knew, but also knew that it would have overtaxed the Jiang sect in the current political climate. This knowledge combined with his understanding of Jiang Cheng's character probably played into the decision to keep it secret from Jiang Cheng.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Because of both his pride and his wrath, Jiang Cheng is never able to make clear what his deal with Wei Wuxian is, even when he's directly confronting the other. What is clear is that he still envies Wei Wuxian and is angry with him, holding him responsible for the death of his family; but Jiang Cheng remains inconsistent in deciding and consequently, expressing whether he wants Wei Wuxian dead, or simply out of his sight, or back in his life. This is likely because he himself is unsure on how he feels about Wei Wuxian.
- Meaningful Name: The "three poisons" in his title refers to a Buddhist teaching about the three root causes of human suffering: greed, anger, and ignorance/ill will. No need to guess which among the three Jiang Cheng is guilty of.
- Mistaken for Murderer: Many believed that Jiang Cheng felled Wei Wuxian in the First Siege. When Wen Ning brings this up, Wei Wuxian corrects him by saying that he died from backlash.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Hinted at. Jiang Cheng is both angered and horrified after learning that Wei Wuxian gave him his own golden core, as it sheds a new light on Wei Wuxian's past actions and behavior. Then there's their argument in the Guanyin Temple arc, which ends in him breaking down and crying out, "Why didn't you tell me?!"
- Name's the Same: In-Universe; Sandu is the name of his sword as well part of his title (Sandu Shengshou).
- Nice Mean And Inbetween: Among Jin Ling's three living uncles, Jiang Cheng would easily be seen as the mean one; as he scolds his nephew often and would threaten to hit him over almost anything. However, he's actually the In-between, since in contrast to Jin Guangyao, he sincerely loves his nephew and even if he's terrible at showing it.
- Not So Above It All:
- While he tends to scold Wei Wuxian for constantly breaking rules while they were studying in Gusu, Jiang Cheng was just as guilty of drinking alcohol and reading pornography in secret. He also gets amused at some of Wei Wuxian's pranks.
- He's not above trolling Wei Wuxian, such as when he gave Wei Wuxian a bowl of soup... after he ate all the meat in it.
- Not So Different:
- Both he and Wei Wuxian made the ultimate sacrifice for the other: Wei Wuxian sacrificed his golden core for Jiang Cheng, while Jiang Cheng readily gave himself up to the Wens to save Wei Wuxian even if it meant his own death. However, both couldn't tell the other about it.
- While they have their fair share of differences, Jiang Cheng also has some similarities with Jin Guangyao. Both have personal issues that stemmed from trying (and failing) to impress their father. Consequently, they're also very determined to prove their worth to others, but are always looked down upon either due to their lineage, their age, or because of someone else overshadowing them (Wei Wuxian for Jiang Cheng, and Jin Zixuan for Jin Guangyao).
- Papa Wolf: Do not hurt, threaten or insult Jin Ling in Jiang Cheng's presence. He nearly lost his temper at and started a fight with Lan Wangji for forcibly silencing Jin Ling. This crosses over with Hypocritical Heartwarming as Jiang Cheng constantly chews out and berates his nephew; he just won't let anyone else do it.
- Parental Substitute: To Jin Ling.
- Parents as People: Jiang Cheng is not Jin Ling's father, but he's the closest the latter has for one nevertheless. When it comes to raising his nephew, Jiang Cheng takes a lot after his mother — which also means that he's terrible at providing proper emotional support at times when it's needed and can often be too harsh at moments when it's uncalled for.
- Pride: The vast inner strength and will that drives Jiang Cheng is simultaneously his greatest strength and weakness. It allows him to rebuild his clan, lead it through a war and raise his nephew at an incredibly young age. It also makes him quick to anger, slow to forgive, often blind to reason, emotionally fragile and incredibly insecure.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: In normal circumstances, he's the Blue to Wei Wuxian's Red as he tries to prevent Wei Wuxian from causing mischief and berates him whenever he gets in trouble. But in the more dangerous situations, he becomes the Red to Wei Wuxian's Blue, as he easily succumbs to his emotions whereas Wei Wuxian tries to keep a clear head and rein in Jiang Cheng's temper.
- Sadist: Jiang Cheng shows a sadistic streak towards anyone he specifically hates. He was pleased rather than horrified at the various brutal ways Wei Wuxian dealt with the Wen clansmen; and there's how he inflicted Cold-Blooded Torture on all the demonic cultivators he had captured, rather than just immediately kill them.
- Scars Are Forever: He has a scar across his chest that will never fade, as he was struck with a discipline whip.
- Shared Family Quirks: He shares his mother's habit of fiddling with Zidian whenever he's really angry.
- Shock and Awe: Like his mother, he uses Zidian's lightning to great effect. Jiang Cheng can clear an entire room of cultivators with its lightning alone.
- Slave to PR: As a sect leader, Jiang Cheng is naturally expected to always follow the proper decorum; and it would reflect badly on him and his sect if he speaks or acts out of line, even when he would be in the right to do so, because politics is implicitly given as much importance as cultivation. The novel even states that he highly values maintining his reputation.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: His rage and loathing, which he outwardly shows, hides a young boy who still hasn't found closure with his family's deaths, with his closest friend, and with himself.
- Strong Family Resemblance: He mainly takes after his mother, especially personality-wise; but he also looks a lot like his father.
- Thicker Than Water: While Wei Wuxian's summoning of Wen Ning and his cynophobia were dead giveaways, it's likely that their formerly close relationship also contributed to Jiang Cheng figuring out early on who Wei Wuxian really is. Even Wei Wuxian knew there was no way he could fool Jiang Cheng into thinking he got the wrong person.
- To Be Lawful or Good: Lawful. While Jiang Cheng has morals, he has both his sect's and his own reputation and well-being to worry about; hence even in times of crisis he won't act unless he's sure he has nothing to lose. He also warns Wei Wuxian that doing the right thing doesn't always end well.Jiang Cheng: Wei Wuxian, do you believe that even if you don't stir up trouble on your own, trouble won't come and find you? It's often impossible to save someone, but there are more than thousands of ways to harm someone.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Jiang Cheng's always struggled with anger and envy but over a decade of grief and bitterness took away a lot of his soft edges and redeeming features.
- Tough Love: He's incredibly strict towards Jin Ling, and even threatens or retaliates with physical violence, but he does treasure his nephew and is trying to make sure that Jin Ling can take care of himself.
- Tragic Keepsake:
- Zidian is one of the last things Jiang Cheng has left of his mother.
- The final arc reveals that Jiang Cheng kept Chenqing with him the entire time, even though one would expect him — given his history with Wei Wuxian — to have destroyed it instead.
- Tritagonist: Jiang Cheng is the other most important person in Wei Wuxian's life, and played a huge role during the flashbacks.
- One minute he's threatening Jin Ling and the next he's handing him Zidian and trying to protect him.
- Generally, Jiang Cheng has a hard time in being honest about his feelings if they don't involve anger in some way. However, this prevents him from having a proper confrontation with Wei Wuxian, and every encounter they have at present almost always involves Jiang Cheng making vicious remarks and overriding anything Wei Wuxian had to say, killing any chance for them to talk things out.
- The Unfavorite: How he feels compared to Wei Wuxian. Jiang Fengmian is more lenient and caring towards his childhood friend, leading him to believe that his father does not love him.
- Ungrateful Bastard: While Jiang Cheng is aware that Wen Ning and Wen Qing saved his and Wei Wuxian's lives, his hatred for everyone of Wen blood overrides his sense of gratitude as he still attempted to get Wei Wuxian to hand over the survivors of the Wen Sect to the Jin Sect.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: After he learned about how his golden core was restored, Jiang Cheng lets go of his resentment towards Wei Wuxian. But because he held onto his anger and hate for thirteen years, he's left with frustration towards himself.
- Vocal Evolution: In both the donghua and the audio drama, Jiang Cheng's voice underwent a noticeable change from before and after the Time Skip, sounding lower and rougher in the present timeline. While this is normal since he naturally grew up during the Time Skip, it can also reflect how his experiences made him jaded and bitter.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: The underlying source of Jiang Cheng's envy. Jiang Cheng desperately wants to live up to his role as Yunmeng Jiang's heir but fails to reach the standards set by his father. His mother truly loves him, but she's terrible at showing affection and praise. Jiang Cheng's always fallen short which was exacerbated by Wei Wuxian effortlessly showing him up.
- We Used to Be Friends: He and Wei Wuxian were as thick as thieves in the past, but at present Jiang Cheng harbors a burning hatred towards him, and only barely tolerates him in situations where they're forced to work together. By the end of the novel, he no longer hates Wei Wuxian and their relationship improves, but they can never regain the friendship they once had.
- Whip It Good: His other weapon, Zidian, is a ring which can turn into a whip and expel ghosts out of the bodies that they possess. It cannot, however, whip out spirits in a body which was offered, which was how Wei Wuxian evaded detection the first time around.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: You think that Jin Ling naming his dog Xianzi (Fairy) is bad? Jiang Cheng named his own dogs Moli (Jasmine), Feifei (Princess), and Xiao-Ai (Little Love) — names that Wei Wuxian likened to that of high-class prostitutes.
- Wrath: Another of his greatest flaws. When sufficiently angered, it takes a lot to calm him down; and when that anger turns into hatred, it's almost impossible for him to get rid of it as he chooses to hold onto that hatred and use it as a drive. There are times when his hatred is justified, but like with his pride it makes it difficult for him to see reason and be careful of what he's saying.
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Jiang Cheng calls Jin Ling "A-Ling" whenever he gets worried about him to the extent that he can't even be stern or angry about it.
- You Make Me Sick: He implicitly tells Wei Wuxian this regarding the latter's burgeoning romance with Lan Wangji; although while he felt disgusted upon seeing the two embrace, he was mainly trying to get a reaction from Wei Wuxian.
- Young and in Charge: He rebuilt his entire sect from scratch at age 16 after the death of his parents. This trope is deconstructed, however, in that Jiang Cheng has trouble navigating politics both due to his inexperience and the fact that no one respects a sect leader that is so young. He also made multiple missteps after the Sunshot Campaign that led to tragedy.
Voiced by: Li Shimeng (donghua), Qiao Shiyu (audio drama)
Played by: Xuan Lu
Jiang Cheng's sister, Wei Wuxian's shijie, and Jin Ling's mother. She's not too particularly beautiful but has a gentle and graceful personality, and really good culinary skills. Since her youth, she's been betrothed to Jin Zixuan, the young master of the Lanling Jin Sect.
- Animal Motifs: Sheeps. Sheeps are known to be docile, and Jiang Yanli is gentle and sweet; and were also commonly used as wedding gifts in Chinese culture, and a huge part of Yanli's story involved her Arranged Marriage with Jin Zixuan. They're also regarded in China as symbols of luck and gratitude, which mirrors how Yanli was the Morality Chain of her family. Lastly, they symbolized justice — likely a twisted allusion to her death, which led Jiang Cheng to finally hate Wei Wuxian and seek revenge.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's the kindest person you'll ever meet, but if you cross her family she's more than capable of decimating you with words alone without actually getting angry.
- Big Sister Instinct: While she's not physically strong nor does she has a high level of cultivation, she tries to protect her younger brothers emotionally and is their greatest support.
- Cool Big Sis: Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng immediately soften in her presence, and it's not hard to see why they're protective of her. Likewise, she proves to be a kind and supportive figure to them when their parents can't act as that.
- Generation Xerox: Averted. Unlike her parents, although she and Jin Zixuan were also different in many ways, they eventually ended up in a Perfectly Arranged Marriage. While their time with their son was short-lived, they would have undoubtedly been Good Parents rather than well-meaning but severely flawed parents.
- Happily Married: She eventually attains this status with Jin Zixuan, although it took some Character Development on his part.
- Informed Deformity: She's supposed to be rather plain and it's the biggest reason why Jin Zixuan initially didn't want to marry her. Every depiction we see of her is lovely and beautiful.
- Meaningful Name: Yanli means "to detest separation", foreshadowing the significance of her role in Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng's friendship (see Morality Chain below).
- Morality Chain:
- She acted as one to both Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng during the aftermath of the Sunshot Campaign, and why the two still had an amicable relationship in spite of their growing differences. It was also her death that caused Wei Wuxian to lose his sanity and cause a bloodbath during the raid at the Nightless City.
- She was also this in general to her brother and her parents. Regardless of the myriad of problems they had with each other, they never once lashed out at her for it.
- Nice Girl: She's implied to take after her father. She's so nice that she grows to have feelings for Jin Zixuan even after knowing he insulted her in the past, which she never held against him. Luckily, things between them worked out well.
- Only Sane Man: She's the only well-adjusted member of the Jiang family, in the sense that she didn't suffer from self-esteem and communication issues.
- Supreme Chef: She's one of the best cooks in her sect.
- Through His Stomach: How she caught the attention of Jin Zixuan.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: She's one of the nicest characters in the novel, being nothing but kind to her family and to everyone else she meets. So naturally, she's dead by the story's current timeline.
Voiced by: Tang Shuiyu (donghua), Zhang Zhen (audio drama)
Jiang Cheng's father and the previous head of the Jiang Sect. He was friends with Wei Wuxian's parents and adopted him after their deaths.
- Arranged Marriage: With Yu Ziyuan. It hasn't worked out all that well. The novel expands on this: Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan were in the same cultivation school, and in time the Meishan Yu Sect proposed an alliance between clans via their marriage. While he politely declined since he knew they were too different to get along, he was continuously pressured by the sect until he was left with no choice but to agree to the arrangement.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: He rushed back to Lotus Pier to find his wife even when he knew that it meant certain death.
- Childhood Friends: With both of Wei Wuxian's parents, having studied with the mother in the same cultivation school, and the father being his subordinate.
- Extreme Doormat: Deconstructed. He always lets his wife know when he's losing his patience with her sniping (be it towards him or their children), but instead of properly confronting her, he would say no more than along the lines of a firm "That's enough," and walk away.
- Giver of Lame Names: He's actually the one who named Wei Wuxian's sword Suibian (Mandarin for "whatever"), since when Wei Wuxian was unable to think of a suitable name and shrugged, "Whatever," Jiang Fengmian suggested they could use that as the name. It's even likely that Jiang Cheng got his terrible naming sense from his father.
- Good Parents: Zigzagged. He was a good father figure to Wei Wuxian, and to a lesser extent, Jiang Yanli as well. However, how he was to Jiang Cheng is a different and contentious matter.
- Honor Before Reason: He strongly believed in the motto of his sect, and one of his conversations with Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng imply that he doesn't favor pragmatism over morality.
- Innocently Insensitive: To put it simply, he may be a good man, but he was no doubt a poor father and husband. While he didn't mean to cause discord in the family, it doesn't change the fact that he was terrible in how he approached them. He shares half the blame for why he and his wife would always run around in circles around one another, and he never once provided Jiang Cheng with the affection, assurance, and approval that he sorely needed.
- The Leader: Of the Yunmeng Jiang Sect.
- Nice Guy: While he had so many flaws as a father, it's still easy to see where Jiang Yanli got her personality from.
- Not So Different: Tragically right before their deaths, Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan start unknowingly echoing each other, going Papa Wolf and Mama Bear on their sons, wielding Zidian in similar ways and even having similar Last Words. They may argue often, but they had more in common than they thought.
- Parental Favoritism: He's accused of this by Ziyuan, who states several times that Fengmian prefers Wei Wuxian over their son, Jiang Cheng. Unfortunately, she's not the only one, as many characters refer to this and even his own son seems to believe it.
- Parents as People:
- He's a good man and has undeniably treated Wei Wuxian well. The problem is that he forgot to extend the same courtesy to his own biological son, who he may care for but is clearly more distant with, and he has trouble addressing this issue even as his wife continuously confronts him about it.
- Jiang Fengmian's indulgence did Wei Wuxian no favors as he encouraged some of Wei Wuxian's worst flaws — in particular his arrogance and Chronic Hero Syndrome.
- In general, Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan undermined each other's parenting. Both had valid points about raising their children but their constant fighting and overriding each other meant that their lessons went unheeded and ignored.
- Papa Wolf: While not as prominent as with his wife, Jiang Fengmian also wouldn't hesitate to protect his family even if he knows he'll die doing it.
- Parting Words Regret: Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan quarreled bitterly the day of the burning of Lotus Pier. Wei Wuxian hoped that they got to exchange one more sentence before they died.
- Pining After Protagonist's Parent: When he was young, Jiang Fengmian was in love with Wei Wuxian's mother, but she married his best friend instead. The way he favors Wei Wuxian over his own son and his strained relationship with Yu Ziyuan have made people question if he still has feelings for Wei Wuxian's mother. The more mean-spirited gossips claim that Jiang Fengmian cheated on his wife with her, and Wei Wuxian is his illegitimate son. While he gets angry whenever those rumors are brought up, he neither confirms nor denies them.
- Plot-Triggering Death: Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan's deaths and the burning of Lotus Pier is what kickstarts the Sunshot Campaign.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He never abused his power and was known for being level-headed and kind.
- Tough Love: Implied. Almost everyone believed that Jiang Fengmian is distant with Jiang Cheng due to (allegedly) holding a torch for Wei Wuxian's mother and was forced in an Arranged Marriage with Jiang Cheng's mother. However, Wei Wuxian believed that he did love Jiang Cheng, but only treated him with a firmer hand because he's his heir.
Voiced by: Ji Guanlin (donghua), Zhang Kai (audio drama)
Jiang Cheng's mother and Jiang Fengmian's wife. She is a forceful and powerful character, and the original owner of Zidian. Due to old rumors surrounding the relationship between Jiang Fengmian and Wei Wuxian's mother Cangse Sanren, she does not like Wei Wuxian.
- Action Mom: She is a high ranking cultivation master in the sect and has the ability and experience to back up her position, as well as being a caring mother for her children.
- Arranged Marriage: With Jiang Fengmian. It's not the happiest of arrangements.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: She secretly made Jiang Fengmian the second master of Zidian, showing that she did trust and respect her husband even underneath all the resentment.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: She kills scores of Wen disciples to protect her son, breaks Wang Lingjiao's arm and nearly kills Wen Zhuliu, and smuggles her real and adopted sons to safety before dying fighting more Wen soldiers.
- Education Mama: Downplayed and deconstructed. When it comes to teaching cultivation, she's strict on everyone, including her own son. Normally, there's nothing problematic with that... except there's her animosity towards Wei Wuxian, which drove her to keep on pitting Jiang Cheng against him and pushing her son to surpass him, which only served to worsen the latter's Inferiority Superiority Complex.
- Everyone Has Standards: While her resentment towards Wei Wuxian was undeniable, she never wished on him a terrible fate.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Jiang Cheng got his temperament from her, and it was often her anger towards the many issues surrounding her family that did the talking for her.
- Iron Lady: Her most defining trait.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- While it is true that her treatment of Wei Wuxian can be overly hostile, it has to be taken in consideration that her husband seems to prefer the child of someone else over their own. It certainly doesn't help matters that Wei Wuxian's mother was someone many say was the lover of Fengmian, even if that was never proven and she fell in love with his best friend instead.
- While she was lashing out in this particular case (the Wen clan was always going to attack Lotus Pier and was simply looking for a pretext), she's not wrong in pointing out that Wei Wuxian's thoughtlessness, arrogance and Chronic Hero Syndrome would bring tragedy to her family and sect.
- Lady of War: A beautiful and elegant lady who is a recognised cultivation master and one of the toughest teachers in the Jiang Sect.
- Mama Bear: She would do everything to protect Jiang Cheng and Yanli.
- Parents as People: She's as guilty as her husband is of this trope.
- While most of her quarrels with Jiang Fengmian were out of her love for her own son, she tended to drag the latter into the middle of said quarrels, which didn't help Jiang Cheng's issues with his Inferiority Superiority Complex. Her resentment of Wei Wuxian also caused her to keep comparing Jiang Cheng to him and driving her son to surpass him, rather than helping Jiang Cheng develop and overcome his own strengths and weaknesses, respectively.
- Even if she raised a few valid points about the Parental Favoritism her husband is giving to Wei Wuxian, it didn't mean that Wei Wuxian deserved any emotional abuse from her whenever she felt particularly acrimonious towards him, which was often.
- Resentful Guardian: It's more than obvious that Yu Ziyuan was this to Wei Wuxian; and she's so resentful that there wasn't one scene including her where she didn't argue with her husband over how he favored Wei Wuxian over Jiang Cheng, or how Wei Wuxian was always one step ahead of their son, or both.
- Shock and Awe: Zidian releases purple lightning which she uses to great effect.
- Stern Teacher: She has her disciples follow a strict regime and code.
- The Tell: When she's fidgeting with Zidian, you know she's really mad.
- Whip It Good: As stated above, she was the original owner of Zidian, a ring that can transform into a whip.