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This page is for tropes relating to the two protagonists of Mo Dao Zu Shi.

Beware of spoilers, marked or unmarked.


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Main Characters | 主角

     General Tropes 

It would be difficult to talk about the main characters without talking about how they complement as much as they contrast the other. Given the nature of their relationship, however, some spoilers are likely to be unmarked.


  • Age-Gap Romance: Played with. They're around the same age, but the body that Wei Wuxian was summoned into is a few years younger, which makes them now technically qualify for this trope.
  • Animal Motifs: Both of them are often represented by rabbits.
  • Arc Words: From Wei Wuxian to Lan Wangji, "Look at me." Then from Lan Wangji to Wei Wuxian, "I'm here."
  • Battle Couple: Whether they're solving a mystery or fighting someone, the two work well together as they're almost completely in sync with how the other thinks and acts.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji start off their relationship with this, and it eventually turns into Unresolved Sexual Tension. Emphasis on the unresolved.
  • Casual Kink: When it comes to their "nightly activities", both are more than open to trying new things, from bondage and roleplay to doing it upside down and even doing it in front of illusions of their younger selves who are also getting intimate. However, there's one thing that Wei Wuxian doesn't allow, and it's slapping.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: After they got together, the two have been enjoying a healthy and active sex life. As Lan Wangji had put it, "Everyday means everyday."
  • Happily Married: They elope shortly after the final arc.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Over the course of the story, they had become this to the other without realizing it themselves. Deconstructed however, in that it doesn't mean they can't live without the other and are completely capable of living on their own, but they had been deeply ingrained in each other's lives (and hearts) that they don't want a life without the other.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Wei Wuxian is the free-spirited and commoner-born Roguish Male, and Lan Wangji is the elegant and dignified Noble Male.
  • Not So Different:
    • Lan Sizhui makes a note that the two of them are actually more similar than they realize, taking on responsibilities and reliably seeing those responsibilities to the end.
    • In a less happy note, the two share a similar flaw. Both men tend to bottle up their feelings and frustrations which leads to the two talking past each other or outright not communicating. It takes a third party explaining the situation for the two to get together.
  • Official Couple: While the two were already guaranteed to get together, what drives part of the plot is how, and more importantly, when that happens.
  • Opposites Attract:
    • Wei Wuxian's the Motor Mouth to Lan Wangji's The Quiet One, as well as The Villain opposed to Lan Wangji's The Hero.
    • This trope more or less characterizes their entire relationship, except that where it truly matters, the two of them stand firm on protecting the things they hold dear. Circumstances in fact play a large part in making them the Star-Crossed Lovers that they would have been prior to Wei Wuxian's First Episode Resurrection.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: What Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji become after their Unresolved Sexual Tension finally gets resolved.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: While both are proficient in both combat and cultivation, in the present time Wei Wuxian serves mainly as the Sorceror while Lan Wangji acts as the Sword.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Played with. Throughout the entire story, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji remained in love with the other. However, during the former's first life, they both went attempted to approach the other only to be rejected or ignored, before their positions were later reversed.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: This persists between Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji throughout the entire novel to the point that Everyone Can See It, even the story's antagonists.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Gender-inverted; they are this to each other before and after they got together.
    • Wei Wuxian doesn't worry too much about Lan Wangji getting hurt in a fight; however, he won't take kindly to anyone throwing verbal jabs at Lan Wangji.
    • Similarly, Lan Wangji knows that Wei Wuxian is capable of defending himself, but it doesn't mean he'll just sit by and let anyone badmouth or hurt Wei Wuxian. Do the former, and he might use the Silencing Spell on you. Do the latter, and be lucky if he merely shoves you back.

     Wei Ying (魏婴) - Wuxian (无羡) - Yiling Laozu (夷陵老祖) 

Voiced by: Zhang Jie (donghua), Lu Zhixing (audio drama, The Untamed)
Played by: Xiao Zhan

Alias: Mo Xuanyu (current body's original owner)
Height: 186 cm (in original body); 180 cm (in Mo Xuanyu's body)
Weapons: Suibian (sword), Chenqing (dizi), Compass of Evil, spirit-attraction flag

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mdzs_wwx.png

The son of Wei Changze and the rogue cultivator Cangse Sanren, Wei Wuxian grew up to become a notorious terror of the cultivation world. Fourth on the list of top five cultivator gentlemen in his generation, he was originally Childhood Friends with the Jiang siblings until tragedy befell the Jiang Sect. A series of events led him to be tossed into the Burial Mounds, a mass grave teeming with walking corpses, where he walked out after inventing the ability to control corpses and other arts of The Necromancer, thus founding a dark path to cultivation. He then distinguished himself in the Sunshot Campaign against the tyranny of the Qishan Wen Sect, but the post-war political atmosphere did not exactly work in his favour. Subsequent events led to the plummeting of his reputation, the besieging of his lair, and he died without leaving a trace. Thirteen years later, the oppressed homosexual Mo Xuanyu sacrifices himself in a dark rite to summon Wei Wuxian to take revenge on the Mo family who abused him until he went insane. Stuck in a new mortal body, Wei Wuxian is then dragged into events not of his own choosing, and followed by an acquaintance of his past — Lan Wangji.


  • The Ace: In archery. While he ranks fourth among the top five cultivators, archery is the one skill he holds superior over the other four, as he can hit his target even while blindfolded.
  • Adaptational Badass: Wei Wuxian was already portrayed as powerful in the novel, but in the donghua he's able to make more uses of resentful energy besides inflicting Mind Rape and raising the dead; he can also levitate, manipulate the resentful energy in a manner similar to vectors, and extract golden cores.
  • Adorkable: His friendly and cheerful nature means he's bound to be this.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Whenever he's confronted with a dog, he's not ashamed to scream, cry, call for help, or get clingy with the person nearest to him.
    • Although dogs aside, this trope is generally averted as one of Wei Wuxian's major flaws is that he doesn't ask for help, preferring to take on his burdens alone and refuses to involve other people in his troubles which usually ends with him getting in over his head. This is likely why Lan Wangji stays close and imposes his help without bothering to ask.
  • Always Someone Better: To Jiang Cheng, even when it comes to Parental Favoritism.
  • Animal Motifs: Crows. Crows are believed to represent bad luck, and Wei Wuxian is infamous as the cultivation bogeyman; and they're commonly associated with death, which alludes to Wei Wuxian's abilities of necromancy. Additionally, crows are said to symbolize change, highlighting the significance in Wei Wuxian's transformation from a spiritual to a demonic cultivator. And crows in general are said to be often misunderstood, much like how Wei Wuxian himself is misunderstood by almost everyone else.
  • Animals Hate Him: He's not just unlucky with dogs, but with almost every other animal as well.
    Wei Wuxian: Those that fly, those that walk, those that swim — every single one of them turns around and flees as soon as it sees me.
  • Anti-Hero: After becoming the Yiling Patriarch, Wei Wuxian was more ruthless in nature and even exhibited sadism towards his enemies. But he's firmly on the side of good, even stating that he took the dark path to protect his family and so no one else would have to.
  • The Archmage: Combined with Black Mage, which is kind of a given since he's the founder — and therefore the most proficient practitioner — of demonic cultivation. Generally, he may as well also be one of the most powerful characters in the story. Case in point, the Jin Sect saw him as an immediate political threat even though he himself wanted nothing to do with politics, and during the attack at the Nightless City, it was only him against an army of more than three-thousand other cultivators.
  • At Least I Admit It: He doesn't deny that he's committed a lot of wrongdoings in his past life and that he doesn't deserve to be forgiven for what he's done, and it's why he holds no resentment over his death (the first time).
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Wei Wuxian can analyze a situation at a glance, coming to quick conclusions by noticing even the smallest of clues. It's a huge part of what made him so successful.
  • Badass in Distress: While he may be a powerful Black Mage, more often than not Wei Wuxian gets put in a position where he needs saving, either due to bad luck or emotional stress.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: His powers of necromancy make him feared among cultivators, but he's no doubt a hero with noble intentions.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When Wei Wuxian gave Jin Zixuan another beating for making Jiang Yanli cry, he vowed that one day he would kill Jin Zixuan with his own hands. Well...
  • Beneath the Mask: While he never once seemed upset or distressed over giving away his golden core, he's actually a lot more melancholy about it than he lets on, lamenting how he would never be able to properly cultivate or use his sword again. The arrogance that others associated with him as the Yiling Patriarch? That's just a front as well, so that no one would be clued in to the fact that he no longer had his core.
  • Berserk Button:
    • In the past, being lectured about or warned against practicing demonic cultivation irritated Wei Wuxian and with only a bit more prodding, instantly enraged him.
    • Jin Zixuan was a walking one for Wei Wuxian, even telling Lan Wangji that he wants to beat the guy up every time he sees him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Combined with Beware the Silly Ones; he's almost always in a cheerful mood and loves to tease others, but is nevertheless kind-hearted and ready to lend a hand. And so help him if he actually intends to haunt and kill you...
  • Big Bad: He has this reputation In-Universe, but the readers know better.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He may be only adopted and would technically be considered the middle child of the Jiang family, but still. Talk badly of — or worse, try to harm — Jiang Cheng and Yanli at your own peril.
  • Bi the Way: He flirts with women a lot, but he ultimately ends up with Lan Wangji.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Hailing from Yunmeng, where food leans towards the spicier side, Wei Wuxian's cooking is especially hot that even fellow Yunmeng native Jiang Cheng cannot handle it. He spices his foods reflexively too.
  • Blue-Collar Warlock: An ancient Chinese version. Wei Wuxian comes from an orphan background and it shows despite his later privileged upbringing. His diction is less refined, he dresses more informally (ties his hair in a messy ponytail, dresses in black) and plays the dizi, which unlike the xiao and guqin, is a peasant's instrument. He also seems more at home in bars and inns, and is able to fit in with, understand, and connect to the common folk compared to Gusu or Yunmeng where he was always a bit out of place.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: As a kid, Wei Wuxian was the top disciple of the Yunmeng Jiang Sect despite being a slacker goofball. This is best shown during his stay at Gusu where he spent most of his time sneaking out and drinking but was still able to make cheat sheets for his friends.
  • Brought Down to Badass: He gave his golden core to Jiang Cheng, losing all his abilities to cultivate. But then he learned how to raise and control the dead, as demonic cultivation doesn't require a golden core.
  • Brutal Honesty: Nice he may be, Wei Wuxian is earnest and oftentimes doesn't mince his words, especially with the people he doesn't like. A good example is when he bluntly and accurately accuses Jin Guangshan of following in Wen Ruohan's footsteps.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: No one can agree about how much benefits he brought to the cultivation world (inventing a compass to detect malevolent energy, a flag to attract spirits as bait vs. being The Villain who invented a dark path of cultivation). Everyone can however agree that his idea of burying kids until only their heads stick out of the ground to make them grow taller is not good childcare.
    • And no, spicy is not the only palate around, nor is force-feeding spicy food a (total) cure to corpse poisoning.
  • The Casanova: Subverted. Wei Wuxian had a reputation for flirting with beautiful girls. While he's nothing but courteous towards women, Wei Wuxian doesn't actively seek a romantic relationship, he simply flirts for flirting's sake and doesn't even flirt as much as people thinks he does; and his First Love ended up being a man.
  • Character Development: Wei Wuxian's personality after his First Episode Resurrection shows his newfound maturity. Due to his past, he learns that while it's okay to be selfless and to help others, he should still learn to ask help from others and accept the help they offer; and that even with all his smarts and skills, it doesn't mean that he's completely in control of the situations he puts himself into and the burdens he takes upon himself.
  • Cheerful Child: As a child.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Combined with Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!; if someone's in danger or in need of more help than him, or if he thinks a situation must be fixed, Wei Wuxian will always try to do what he thinks his right and won't care for what anyone else has to say about it. Although he eventually learns that while there's nothing wrong with being heroic, he still has to be careful about when, where, and how to perform said heroics.
  • Class Clown: He didn't perform skits or gigs during class, although his exchanges with both Lan Wangji and Lan Qiren served as a good source of comedy for his classmates.
  • Color Motif: Black and red.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He's the first to suggest that resentful energy can be harnessed to aid in cultivation, since in the end resentful energy is, by essence, energy. He also ends up being the first to practice this theory.
  • Cool Big Bro: The junior disciples of the Jiang Sect see Wei Wuxian as one, both adoring and respecting him.
  • Cool Teacher: His eccentricities and cooking aside, all the junior disciples see him as this as they highly look up to him and readily listen to any advice he gives them. In the Metal Hook extra, the junior trio even made sure to write down his lectures, a testament to how informative Wei Wuxian is as a mentor.
  • Cool Uncle: Wei Wuxian acts as one to Jin Ling after realizing he's Jiang Yanli's son, even long before Jin Ling finds out who he really is. Despite the occasional teasing, he treats Jin Ling with patience, understanding, and affection. And while Jin Ling would never admit it, he grows to see Wei Wuxian as this trope, and even lets him call him "A-Ling" without any complaints.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Fate wasn't really kind to Wei Wuxian in his first life, even when he is partly responsible for the misfortune he had suffered. Thankfully, fate decided to give him a break the second time around.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He wears black and red and is a necromancer; and The Trickster tendencies asides, is a kind and caring person.
  • Deadpan Snarker: After he was brought back to life, while he still remains a Troll at heart, he's now more prone to dishing out sarcasm especially when he gets annoyed; whereas in the past he would have just sighed or laughed it off.
  • Death Seeker: While he had put up a hell of a fight against the Four Great Sects during the First Siege, he had already crossed the Despair Event Horizon after Jiang Yanli's death, and there are hints that he actually wanted to die and intentionally triggered his cultivation backlash. Additionally, he never turned into a vengeful ghost during the thirteen-year Time Skip.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: His biological parents are dead.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He had a bad habit of doing things without considering, or more likely, not caring about the consequences. He got away with it as a kid but as Wei Wuxian grew up, the consequences got more dire. Multiple characters scold him for it but it's not until after his death that the lesson sticks.
  • Discard and Draw: He sacrifices his cultivation powers and discovers demonic cultivation shortly afterwards. Later in his second life, he uses much less demonic cultivation but compensates with lower-level cultivation and talismans.
  • Dreadful Musician: Wei Wuxian is known to be exceptional with the dizi, but after he got resurrected he initially had trouble since he had been dead for thirteen years (and hastily carved his new flute in the middle of battle), and thus would be a bit out of touch. Although for a while, he deliberately invoked this trope whenever his help was needed to not blow his cover, and stops when Lan Wangji tells him he knows who he really is.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted. Even after Wei Wuxian cleared his name during the Second Siege, several cultivators continue to hold him responsible for all the deaths that occurred during the Nightless City massacre. He understands and accepts this, but also tells them that killing him (again) won't solve anything.
  • Eidetic Memory: When it comes to music, at least; Wei Wuxian never forgets a melody that he heard at least once, even if he heard it while barely conscious.
  • Embarrassing Old Story: The time when he annoyed a flower spirit with horrible poetry got recorded in history, to his chagrin.
  • The Empath: One of the less horrifying spells of demonic cultivation is accessing the memories of corpses and spirits, which Wei Wuxian uses on A-Qing and Nie Mingjue.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Wei Wuxian hates the Wen Sect for everything they did to his family, but he remembers to distinguish the innocent from the guilty and took the elderly and the children under his wing some time after the Sunshot Campaign.
    • While Wei Wuxian had done some questionable things as the Yiling Patriarch, even he's disgusted by fellow demonic cultivator Xue Yang's actions and outright states that he needs to die.
  • Evil Genius: The cultivation world sees him as this. Despite condemning him for his practices, many have a hard time denying the usefulness of his research and inventions.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: While Wei Wuxian does use it for good, demonic cultivation is still The Dark Arts with a negative effect on the soul when overused. It's also very volatile and an art that's only recently discovered, leading to disaster when Wei Wuxian invents a weapon he can't fully control (the Stygian Tiger Seal) or when a loss of control ends in tragedy like the death of Jin Zixuan.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: It takes a closer to notice, but in the donghua he gains these after his time in the Burial Mounds, a sign that his constant usage of demonic cultivation physically taxed him.
  • The Exile: Sort of. After Wei Wuxian gets married to Lan Wangji, Lan Qiren creates a rule that no one should approach, let alone talk to Wei Wuxian lest they face punishment. Not that anyone listens, however, and even those who initially try to follow the rule quickly forgo it.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: After becoming the Yiling Patriarch, Wei Wuxian lets down most of his hair. He goes back to wearing a ponytail after his resurrection.
  • Facial Composite Failure: After being brought back to life, Wei Wuxian realizes that the portraits of him that people sell on the streets do not accurately capture any aspect of his looks.
  • Faux Yay: Initially, at least (and one-sided as well). He has no qualms about flirting with Lan Wangji, in the misconception that doing so would disgust Lan Wangji enough that he'd eventually send him on his way.
  • First Episode Resurrection: Near the start of the story, he gets brought back to life by Mo Xuanyu.
  • Foil
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
  • Friend to All Children:
    • He can't seem to help himself from mentoring the younger generation or bailing them out of trouble. In turn, all the junior cultivators respect Wei Wuxian and look up to him, even defending him from their parents during the Second Siege.
    • He also bonds with A-Qing and Wen Yuan.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He was a street urchin and the son of a servant who eventually became the Yiling Patriarch. Downplayed in that his mother was a famous cultivator but with the way inheritance works in ancient China, no one remembers that.
  • The Gadfly: Being the Troll that he is, Wei Wuxian takes amusement in riling up other people and playing pranks on them, with Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng getting the short ends of the stick during their younger days.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Wei Wuxian is the cultivation equivalent of one, having come up with many inventions that others admit are highly useful, even if said inventions are created from his research of demonic cultivation.
  • Gallows Humor: Wei Wuxian tends to make an offhand joke about his death once in a while.
  • Generation Xerox: Wei Wuxian mirrors his father in terms of their respective relationships with a leader of the Jiang Sect. Close as brothers since childhood? Check. Made an oath to (or actually did) serve the other? Check. Eventually left their friend's side due to marrying someone else? Check, although in Wei Wuxian's case the circumstances were a lot more complicated. Another notable difference is that while Jiang Fengmian and Wei Changze remained on amicable terms through out, Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng fell out and became enemies for a long time.
  • Genius Bruiser: Both his battle skill and his intelligence make him one dangerous cultivator.
  • Giver of Lame Names: His naming sense when it comes to children or pets remains to be seen, but when it comes to songs, he's completely unoriginal.
  • Guile Hero: He's noted to be silver-tongued, and there have been a few scenes in the novel where he wins with words alone. The author even described him as, to paraphrase, "unparalleled in bullshitting".
  • Happily Adopted: Zigzagged. While he's officially no more than a disciple of the Jiang Sect, he's well-beloved and gets along with everyone... except for the family matriarch Yu Ziyuan, who resents him as her husband treats him better than their own son, who Wei Wuxian also just so happens to surpass in every way.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Wei Wuxian sleeps for a normal amount of time; but his unusual sleeping schedule makes him come across as this. Lan Wangji even tried to adjust his body clock, to no avail.
  • Height Angst: Due to Mo Xuanyu being 6 cm shorter, Wei Wuxian finds himself feeling small compared to everyone whom he remembered being taller than.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Wei Wuxian underwent not only psychological but also physical changes after becoming the Yiling Patriarch, gaining a taller build and more mature features, even undergoing a Vocal Evolution.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Whenever he plays Chenqing, everyone in earshot immediately realizes that they're screwed. Even just him reaching for his flute has the people around him piss their pants in fear.
  • Heroic BSoD: He undergoes one after the events of the Nightless City bloodbath, to the point where Lan Wangji's confessions and pleas all go unheard as Wei Wuxian kept on repeating "Get lost!"
  • Heroic Neutral: At present. He still doesn't hesitate to help when it's needed and won't stand by when there's a looming threat. However, he no longer wishes for the adventurous and dangerous life he once had and prefers to live peacefully without ever being bothered by anyone's troubles.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Wei Wuxian performed a non-fatal version of this trope by giving his golden core (which is essentially a cultivator's life as it's their power source) to Jiang Cheng.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: He doesn't beat himself up over every little thing, nor does he have a low opinion of himself. But he's so selfless to the point that it doesn't register to him that other people might be concerned about him and consequently want to help him like he helped them; and even questions why his own well-being is the concern of others. This also plays a part in why he's completely unaware of Lan Wangji's feelings for him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The guy who controls ghosts gets killed by ghosts (the first time around).
    • A discussion of this was done at the climax by, of all people, Jin Guangyao: Wei Wuxian's prickly personality and hero complex, combined with Jin Guangshan's ambitions for the Stygian Tiger Seal, meant that sooner or later Wei Wuxian would have lost control and created trouble for himself, maybe ultimately dying altogether. Jin Guangyao mainly pushed events along, and bad luck helped the rest.
  • Honor Before Reason: He insists on doing the right thing regardless of the consequences, like helping Mianmian (and Lan Wangji and Jin Zixuan) against Wen Chao or helping Wen Ning and his family post-Sunshot Campaign when the Wens are all pariahs, going as far as attempting to bring Wen Ning Back from the Dead. Due to his recklessness, it doesn't always work out.
  • Humble Hero: Zigzagged. While he claimed to have boasted how he was the best during his youth, he doesn't have an inflated ego and, while he's more of a Thrill Seeker during night-hunts, he still cares more about saving lives than getting praised for defeating monsters.
  • Hurting Hero: While he never lets it show, Wei Wuxian is deeply affected by his losses and the actions he took to avenge those losses.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Reconstructed. Wei Wuxian is not insecure about love or himself in general, but given his history with Lan Wangji and the kind of person he thinks Lan Wangji is, it naturally never occurred to Wei Wuxian that the man may have fallen for him.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: He tells this to the cultivators who joined in the Second Siege after they suddenly lost their cultivation abilities, stating that they would have already known if he intended to do anything to them.
  • I Hate Past Me: When he recalls how he used to be in the past, his immediate reaction is to want to beat up his younger self for his follies.
  • I Love the Dead: Played with. He's not a necrophiliac, although he doesn't mind being surrounded by undead corpses all the time, and in one of his past encounters with Lan Wangji he had a harem of female corpses accompanying him.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Wei Wuxian's free-spirited nature makes him so earnest that there are times when he can hurt other people without intending to. He also turns out to have been this to Lan Wangji the entire time, since he always flirted with Lan Wangji either to disgust him away or to tease him when it turns out that the latter had feelings for him the entire time, which would then make it seem like he was leading him on.
  • Insufferable Genius: Played with. Wei Wuxian admits that in the past he was quite arrogant and thought he was a one-of-a-kind talent, which is kind of true as no one could deny his skills as a cultivator. However, he never rubbed his successes in anyone's faces, and it wasn't his intelligence but rather, his impulsiveness that caused others to find him insufferable.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Combined with Interrupted Intimacy; while in a passionate moment with Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxian was on the verge of confessing to him — only to be cut off halfway.
  • Ironic Name: Wei Wuxian's flute, Chenqing, means "to explain something in complete detail". However, he made the flute when he discovered demonic cultivation, and many of the problems he faced as the Yiling Patriarch were born from miscommunication.
  • Knight In Sour Armor
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Technically all cultivation emphasizes on physical — as well as mental and spiritual — training, but Wei Wuxian is a rather egregious example in being a competent swordsman, and then switching to using talismans after he gave up his golden core for Jiang Cheng and thus could no longer wield spiritual energy.
  • Large Ham: Intentionally invoked. Whenever he pretends to be Mo Xuanyu either to not give himself away to old acquaintances or to get Lan Wangji off his back, he tends to act as dramatic as possible.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: To put it this way, Wei Wuxian could have saved a lot of trouble if he just told Lan Wangji that he doesn't completely remember the massacre he orchestrated at the Nightless City, or its aftermath.
  • Lethal Chef: The guy can only cook insanely spicy stuff, and he even burned a hole through a wok once.
  • Like Brother and Sister:
    • Wei Wuxian admires Jiang Yanli and is hostile to any guy who shows the slightest amount of disrespect to her, and she dotes on him and enjoys cooking for him. It's easy to think that they're the lovey-dovey pair from those facts alone, but their relationship is platonic and sibling-like in nature.
    • He also has this relationship with Wen Qing when they met again after the Sunshot Campaign.
  • Love Epiphany: While he starts to become aware that his feelings for Lan Wangji may be going beyond platonic, he only fully realizes the true extent of his feelings when Lan Xichen told him about what Lan Wangji did for him during the aftermath of the First Siege.
  • Loving Bully: To be frank, Wei Wuxian was only teasing Lan Wangji... and he tricked Lan Wangji into opening a disguised porn book, made jokes about stealing his clothes, stole his forehead ribbon... Now they're cultivation partners.
  • Magic Music: Averted. The use of a flute to control walking corpses does not, strictly speaking, follow any In-Universe rules of magical songs — he can get by with whistles or words, but a flute adds power to his commands. He can, however, play some magical songs in a duet with Lan Wangji, along with their Leitmotif.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: To avoid the Yunmeng Jiang Sect from facing more political scrutiny due to their association with him, Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng publicly staged a fight to make the other clans think that they broke ties with the other. Jiang Cheng suffered a broken arm, whereas Wei Wuxian got nearly disemboweled; yet he treats it as if it's merely a superficial injury.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • His birth name means "infant", which in Chinese folklore is associated with the yin principle — dark, cold, death, etc.
    • His surname Wei (魏) also contains the ghost radical (鬼), furthering his association with ghosts.
    • His courtesy name Wuxian (无羡) is pronounced the same as the word for "fall" (诬陷), fitting considering his status as a Fallen Hero.
  • Mind Rape: During the Sunshot Campaign Wei Wuxian drove several Wen clansmen mad to the extent that they're driven to either suicide or death by self-mutilation. However, it's unknown whether he pulled this off through his ghouls or corpses, or through a different demonic cultivation spell.
  • Misery Poker: Subverted. He never once pulled a "woe is me" episode to either wallow in his internal grief or evoke sympathy from others, but during the Second Siege arc he firmly reminds a cultivator who sought vengeance against him that he didn't suffer any less than them.
    Wei Wuxian: He's missing a leg, while I was cut into pieces; you lost your parents, while my family had long since been gone. I'm a dog who was chased out of its home. I've never even seen the ashes of my parents.
  • Motor Mouth: This makes it hard for anyone to win an argument against him. This is also abundantly evident during sex.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Wei Wuxian always has this reaction whenever he finds out something new about Lan Wangji (that usually involves him in some way). It varies from hilarious to heartbreaking.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: A non-incestuous example; Wei Wuxian highly respects Jiang Yanli and believes that someone like her deserves only the best man — and he doesn't see Jin Zixuan as that man. However, he sees that they grew to genuinely love each other, so he tries to make peace with it.
  • The Necromancer: A Chinese take, and one of the main abilities of demonic cultivation.
  • The Need for Mead: His default way of investigating supernatural cases is to hit up the local taverns, buy a drink, and then ask the waiters about rumours.
  • Never Found the Body: His death essentially involved him being ripped apart into nothing that no flesh, bone, or even a speck of his soul could be found anywhere in Yiling.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Difficult to say, but Wei Wuxian is definitely much better at drinking than, say, the entire Lan clan. He's able to down at least half-a-dozen jars in one sitting and still remain sober.
  • Nice Guy: He is a prankster but is kind and compassionate to people, something reflected in the spirit interrogation technique of his "school" Empathy.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Among Jin Ling's uncles, Wei Wuxian is the Nice one. He's always patient with Jin Ling but never spoiling him, readily teaches him lessons about both life and cultivation and lets him learn things on his own but immediately intervenes when needed, and doesn't scold but advise or tease Jin Ling whenever he makes mistakes.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He had horrible luck when it came to helping others in the past, since for various reasons his actions always backfired on him; such as speaking out against Wen Chao, saving the remnants of the Wen Sect, and rescuing Su She from the Waterborne Abyss.
  • Not a Morning Person: Wei Wuxian's sleeping schedule involves waking up at 9-11 AM and going to bed at 1-3 AM, which is part of why he got in trouble when he was studying at the Cloud Recesses, where there's a strict curfew.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: His reaction when he goes to Lotus Pier after the events of the Second Siege, as every part of the place that was once his home is completely different from how he remembered it.
  • Not So Different
  • Obfuscating Insanity: After he's summoned into Mo Xuanyu's body, Wei Wuxian maintains the facade of being crazy (like Mo Xuanyu was) to keep others from suspecting his true identity. The narration in the novel also notes that since he's in the body of a lunatic, he's taking advantage of the opportunity to act all-out. He eventually drops the act when Lan Wangji reveals that he knows who he really is, but Wei Wuxian still pretends he's Mo Xuanyu to everyone else.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He usually acts like a goofball slacker until he's on a night-hunt.
  • Oblivious to Love: Everyone else figures out that Lan Wangji is in love with him. The juniors, Lan Xichen, Wen Ning, even the story's antagonists figure it out long before him. He's equally as blind to his own feelings, already picking out houses and planning a family without realizing what that meant.
  • Older and Wiser: Wei Wuxian in his second life is calmer, more careful and more humble. He even comments on how ashamed he is of his younger self. It's likely that the massive Trauma Conga Line leading to his death taught him a few sharp lessons.
  • One-Man Army: During the Sunshot Campaign, he would take on five-thousand Wen soldiers by himself, and massacre them with barely any survivors. Then during the raid at the Nightless City, he is said to have slaughtered at least three-thousand cultivators.
  • Paper Talisman: With some preparation, he defaults to using talismans most of the time. It takes on shades of the Paper Master when he animates funerary paper dolls to fight for him.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: His mindset during the Sunshot Campaign. The Wen Clan brought chaos and pain, especially Wen Chao and Wen Ruohan, therefore they should suffer for the crimes they committed. However, his methods, though at the beginning celebrated, came to be questioned and even feared.
  • Penny Among Diamonds: Wei Wuxian was constantly gossiped about as the son of a bondsman adopted by the Jiang sect. It doesn't help that he acts like a Lower-Class Lout (though that could be a chicken-egg scenario).
  • Perpetual Smiler: Jiang Fengmian noticed when he first took Wei Wuxian in that no matter what hardships he would go through, Wei Wuxian would always put on a smile. This part of him slowly sheds as he grew older and experienced more tragedies.
  • The Power of Blood: Some spells in the art of demonic cultivation require the use of blood, and there are instances where Wei Wuxian uses his own blood to perform more complex spells.
  • The Power of Hate: Demonic cultivation in itself is already powerful even with the most basic spells, but what allowed Wei Wuxian to manipulate resentful energy to an extremely destructive scale during the Sunshot Campaign was his hatred and anger towards anyone who wronged him and those he held dear.
  • Pride: Wuxian's hubris contributes to his downfall Greek-tragedy style. In particular, Wei Wuxian has two major flaws. The first is that he has a bad habit of saying arrogant and stupid things, worsening an already bad reputation and making it easy for his enemies to use his words against him. For the second, see Evil Is Not a Toy.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Subverted. His signature colors are black and red, and while he's seen as the villain, he's actually the Hero with Bad Publicity.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes glow red whenever he uses demonic cultivation.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In normal circumstances, he's the Red to Jiang Cheng's blue, but in times of duress he's actually the Blue to Jiang Cheng's Red.
  • Refuge in Audacity: This is a trait that embodies who Wei Wuxian is and his methods. Whatever everyone would deem as too outrageous and outlandish to even consider as a possibility, you can be sure Wei Wuxian would have already done it and gone away with it.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After managing to not only survive the Burial Mounds but make use of the resentful energy found there to control the dead, he unleashed his fury on Wen Chao and his sect. He subtly changed the talismans meant to ward off evil spirits to instead attract them, allowing chaos and fear to reign amongst the Wen army, with the members dying in several different violent ways or even dying on the spot out of fear. Finally, when showing himself to Wen Chao, he used the zombie of Wang Lingjiao (who he killed not long before) to attack her once-lover and then impaling and eviscerate them both with dark energy.
  • Running Gag:
    • His pennilessness is brought up every now and then, much to his chagrin. What makes this funnier is when his courtesy name is misspelled (Wuxian to Wuqian), the latter name translates to "no money".
    • Ever since the past, Lan Wangji would sometimes remark how shameless Wei Wuxian can be, whether it's about his tendency to flirt and pull pranks, or — at present — how brazen he acts in bed.
  • Sad Clown: He hides a lot of trauma and pain under a cheerful, goofy demeanor. It's present from the beginning when he's glossing over his own death.
  • Sadist: He only shows a bloodthirsty side when he was dealing with the Wen Sect, and he didn't hold back in terms of brutality.
  • Sanity Slippage: Whether it was really due to practicing demonic cultivation or simply because the emotional trauma of the tragedies he suffered started to take its toll on him, after he became the Yiling Patriarch, Wei Wuxian became more temperamental and stubborn, and was partly hostile to anyone who wasn't his adoptive family, his Army of the Dead or the Wen survivors he sheltered. He finally lost it after Jiang Yanli's death and unleashed hell during the Nightless City siege.
  • The Scapegoat:
    • One of the rare cases where he died, and then came Back from the Dead, and was then forced by circumstances to clear his name in a successful defence.
    • He tends to be this in general. Whenever something terrible happens and Wei Wuxian is not at fault, the people who are involved or affected always lash out at him because they need someone to let out their resentment on, and Wei Wuxian's recklessness and Ineffectual Loner status make him a very easy target.
  • Sherlock Scan: He's a master of this trope; almost no detail goes past him, and he almost immediately comes to the correct conclusion after making a few observations.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: He discarded his Jiang Sect disciple attire with a set of black robes after his Cold-Blooded Torture in the Burial Mounds.
  • The Smart Guy: As stated in the Awesomeness by Analysis trope above, Wei Wuxian's greatest strength lies in his strategic abilities, quick thinking and observation skills, as well as his vast knowledge of cultivation. He's also the one who figured out that Jin Guangyao helped influence the events that would eventually lead to the First Siege, and also theorized that Nie Huaisang orchestrated the events surrounding his revival and Nie Mingjue's dismembered corpse — a theory that others do not find implausible.
  • The Social Expert: Even if he gets on others' nerves at times, Wei Wuxian is better at interacting with people than most other cultivators of his generation, regardless of their reputation, gender, or status.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Wei Wuxian gets uncomfortable whenever Wen Ning treats him as if he's his master and prefers that they interact on equal footing. He even encourages Wen Ning to think for himself and carve his own path.
  • Street Urchin: He was one from the time of his parents' deaths to when he was found and taken in by Jiang Fengmian.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Played with, since he had already died once and didn't anticipate that he would be brought back to life. While he tends to act like the past is no longer his concern, he actually feels the complete opposite.
  • Team Mom: While he likes to cause mischief and is a prankster in general, he also has a caring and protective side that shows whenever he's with the younger members of the sects. During his several encounters with Lan Sizhui, Lan Jingyi and Jin Ling he protects them, guides them and gives them reassurance whenever there is danger.
  • The Tease: His naturally outgoing personality also translates into being a bit of a flirt, especially towards Lan Wangji.
  • Thrill Seeker: According to the Gate-Crashing extra, Wei Wuxian prefers to go on the more dangerous night-hunts, although he's only after the risk and not the reward.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Rice wine, his shijie's cooking, and all things spicy.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Not long after he was born, his parents died, which left him for some of his childhood years living in the streets before being found by Jiang Fengmian and introduced in the Jiang sect, where he found happiness and family, despite Yu Ziyuan's hostility towards him. However, it is during his teenage years that his suffering began: because of a series of events prompted by the greed and ambition of the Wen Sect, he lost his family, his home, his friends, almost everything, and in his desperation to avenge those he lost and protect those that remained he went against everything he was taught, becoming a feared and hated figure.
  • Trickster Mentor: He acts as this towards the junior disciples of various sects, most notably during the Yi City arc. He explains about what he's asked in good detail, but he still encourages the juniors to figure things out for themselves and lets them try to solve cases using their own skills, even telling them it's better to learn from experience than from theory.
  • Troll: One of Wei Wuxian's most defining characteristics is his tendency to mess with others for the heck of it, and not even children are spared from his antics. He's never malicious with his trolling, at least.
  • Uke: Or shou in Chinese terminology.
  • Unexpected Virgin: No expectations about what Mo Xuanyu was up to, but the flirtatious and infamous villain of the cultivation world had no idea about anal sex until his first time with Lan Wangji. The only kiss he had before his Plot-Triggering Death was with Lan Wangji, at Phoenix Mountain, and he thought it was a courageous yet shy woman for a really long time.
  • Villain Protagonist: Technically he's more heroic than other characters, but he has a bit of a bad reputation because of his tendency to offend people. Not to mention, there's how he dabbled in necromancy...
  • Vocal Evolution: Both the donghua and the audio drama show the pitch in Wei Wuxian's voice changing after he became the Yiling Patriarch, sounding lower and darker in tone with a much sharper edge.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Wei Wuxian lacks Lan Wangji's power; he easily gets tired and rarely directly fights anything. He contributes either in a support role (intelligence gathering, protecting the juniors) or through his zombies (which doesn't require cultivation power). Mo Xuanyu wasn't particularly powerful when Wei Wuxian took over his body so it makes sense.
    • This also serves as a foreshadowing. Wei Wuxian is used to fighting without cultivation because he spent years without a golden core.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Jiang Cheng were once as close as brothers, but various events before, during, and after the Sunshot Campaign have strained their relationship to the point that Jiang Cheng now hates him. While he's saddened about this and is remorseful for his past deeds, never mind the fact that he still cares for Jiang Cheng, Wei Wuxian understands why their friendship deteriorated and is completely resigned to the fact that it can't be repaired.
  • Where It All Began: For a time he lived in Yiling as a Street Urchin after his parents' deaths. Yiling is also where founded demonic cultivation, and where he ultimately perished.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Wei Wuxian turns out to have a pretty severe case of cynophobia. He developed this fear because he often had to fight dogs over scraps of food during his time as a Street Urchin.
  • Willfully Weak: Wei Wuxian spends much of the plot hiding his demonic cultivation to protect his identity and doesn't display the massive power he used in his first life. Although even after he's discovered, Wei Wuxian still doesn't use demonic cultivation at its full power. It's implied that he's being more careful, having learnt some harsh lessons about the dangers of reckless overuse.
  • Willing Channeler: Lots of the plot is uncovered through Wei Wuxian channeling the life experiences of ghosts and one severed head.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He's kind and respectful towards women in general... unless that woman did something to deserve otherwise. Such an example was Wang Lingjiao, who Wei Wuxian subjected to a Cruel and Unusual Death.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Wei Wuxian never calls Lan Wangji or Jiang Cheng by their courtesy names... unless they're talking about a deathly serious matter or either of them did or said something that completely pissed him off.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The Lotus Pier had been his home since his childhood, although Wei Wuxian knows he can never go back there, especially after everything that happened between him and the entire Jiang family. And the one time he does get to visit his old home, he's driven away by Jiang Cheng, who chooses to rub salt in the wound by mocking him and telling him to get out.
  • Zombie Advocate: Before he even founded The Dark Arts, he had already expressed interest in the potential benefits that demonic cultivation could provide when it comes to hunting or analyzing corpses and spirits.

     Lan Zhan (蓝湛) - Wangji (忘机) - Hanguang-Jun (含光君) 

Voiced by: Bian Jiang (donghua, The Untamed), Wei Chao (audio drama - adult), Shan Xin (audio drama - child)
Played by: Wang Yibo

Height: 188 cm
Weapons: Bichen (sword), Wangji (guqin)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mdzs_lwj.png

The second young master of the main Lan family, and together with his older brother Lan Xichen, they are called the Twin Jades of Lan. He ranks second on the list of the top five cultivator gentlemen of his and Wei Wuxian's generation, and has has an excellent reputation as a heroic cultivator for "being where the chaos is". Wei Wuxian remembers that they never got along, especially after he founded demonic cultivation. Of course, people change with time, but Wei Wuxian is rapidly finding out that the Lan Zhan from his youth has changed a lot since he died...


  • Adaptational Distillation: Due to the donghua being Tamer and Chaster than the novel, some of Lan Wangji's more jealous tendencies are either downplayed or nonexistent in the adaptation. On the other hand...
  • Adaptation Expansion: The donghua also gives Lan Wangji more screentime by adding some scenes that weren't in the novel, such as his search for Wei Wuxian after Lotus Pier got burned down.
  • Adorkable: The childishness he displays while he's drunk is as hilarious as it is endearing.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Wei Wuxian fires off plenty of these under one breath during Their First Time. But the nickname that is most often used is Lan Er-Gege (Second Brother Lan).
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Three times, to hilarious effect. When he gets drunk, he gets incredibly childish and possessive of Wei Wuxian. It Runs in the Family... although the actual first time (chronological) he gets drunk is less funny and more heartrending.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Lan Wangji's feelings for Wei Wuxian remained unnoticed in the latter's first life. While it was mainly due to them constantly misconstruing the other's intentions and actions, what didn't help was the political feud with the Jin Sect, the backlash Wei Wuxian received for practicing demonic cultivation and for harboring survivors of the Wen Sect, and many other things — all of which left him with no time to give much thought to the opinions of someone who he thought hated him.
  • Always Second Best: Lan Xichen surpasses Lan Wangji in many ways — Lan Wangji is only second to Lan Xichen on the list of cultivator gentlemen. Of course, the fact that he never smiles in public might have something to do with that...
  • Am I Just a Toy to You?:
    • One reason why he doesn't like it when Wei Wuxian flirts with others is because it gives off the impression of this trope in regards to Wei Wuxian's interactions with him.
      Lan Wangji: If you do not have those [kind of] intentions, then do not flirt with others. You are doing as you please, yet others will be in turmoil.
    • He's afflicted with this trope once more when he sobers up right when he's in the middle of an intimate moment with Wei Wuxian.
  • Animal Motifs: Cranes. In Chinese culture, cranes symbolize nobility and elegance, both of which are easily associable with Lan Wangji and by extension, his sect as well. They also represent perseverance and balance, which is also fitting for Lan Wangji given how he never gave up on searching for Wei Wuxian, and how his Character Development involves him accepting all the complementary and contrasting aspects of himself.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Not as pronounced as Wei Wuxian, but Lan Wangji is also good at analyzing situations and detecting whether something's amiss or matching up.
  • Backstory Horror: That scar below his collarbone, near his heart? He did that in a drunken meltdown after Wei Wuxian died.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Notable even in a Cast Full of Pretty Boys; while he is good-hearted in nature, Lan Wangji's princely looks make it much easier to accept. It's even Played for Laughs in some scenarios where people note that someone with his appearance could do no wrong or in one special instance, could not be a virgin.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Excluding the scars on his torso and back aside, no matter the kind of battles he fights in, he doesn't get a single cut on his face. At worst, he just ends up getting his robes bloodstained.
  • Beneath the Mask: While this describes his clan as a whole, Lan Wangji is a perfect example of the phrase "cold on the outside, passionate on the inside".
  • Berserk Button: Downplayed, although hearing the words "thank you" or "sorry" from Wei Wuxian is a sore spot for him. See Think Nothing of It as to why.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: It's one thing if you're Wei Wuxian and successfully got on his nerves at certain days. It's a whole other thing if you're someone else who's a threat either to his clan or to Wei Wuxian.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a capable cultivator, but he once tossed a kid into a pile of rabbits as part of childcare.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: His poor sociability causes him to have a hard time telling if someone is either joking or serious. This led him to believe some of the outlandish things Wei Wuxian told him, and when Wei Wuxian falsely claimed that Wen Yuan is his son, Lan Wangji took it seriously. He gets better after the Time Skip, and even learns how to joke back.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Zigzagged. Whether inebriated or sober, Lan Wangji sticks to saying only the truth. If he's confronted with a question he doesn't want to answer, he just stays quiet. That being said, he can lie if he's covering up for someone else, as shown in the audio drama extra where he catches Wei Wuxian being harassed by a dog; and in some of the extras, he goes along with Wei Wuxian's hoodwinking.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Completely inverted. Before he and Wei Wuxian properly confessed to each other, Lan Wangji refrained from making a move on him as much as possible and any physical contact they initiate with the other was chaste and mutual — excluding the times he got drunk. After their Love Confessions, however, he surprises Wei Wuxian with how passionate he can be, both romantically and sexually.
  • Cassandra Truth: Lan Wangji repeatedly warned Wei Wuxian that there are terrible consequences to using demonic cultivation, and he was repeatedly ignored. Though this is played with, however, since while The Dark Arts did have a negative effect on Wei Wuxian's physical and mental state, it was politics that mainly pushed him off the deep end, and the repercussions of his abilities were merely a side effect.
  • Character Development:
    • One of his core personal conflicts is that he took after his father in the romance department; and for a long time he dithered on whether to stay loyal to his clan's rules or to pursue his feelings for someone his clan doesn't approve of. He resolved it by understanding that he should follow the heart rather than the letter of the laws of his sect.
    • During the Time Skip, he gained some leniency towards demonic cultivation. In the past, he completely opposed it, not because it was immoral but because he feared the effect it would have on Wei Wuxian, and his fears weren't exactly unfounded. In the present time, however, he implicitly acknowledges that there's nothing inherently wrong with demonic cultivation and it all depends on how and why one uses it. What helped was that Wei Wuxian had also undergone Character Development from his experiences prior to his death, and thus is more cautious with his powers.
  • Character Tics: A closer reading of the novel would have one notice that Lan Wangji twitches his eyebrows whenever he gets jealous.
  • Child of Forbidden Love: While his parents went through the proper wedding ceremonies, the circumstances behind their marriage can make him and his brother count as this.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He has a reputation of "being where the trouble is", as explained in this excerpt from the novel.
    Powerful cultivators from prominent clans usually didn’t care to pay attention to lower level preys. However, Lan Wangji was an exception. He never cared for the prey of a night-hunt, and wouldn’t refuse to go just because the creature was not threatening enough to increase his fame. If anyone wanted help, he would be there.
  • Color Motif: White and blue.
  • Comically Serious: It's really funny to see the normally stoic man get drunk and act like a goofball. Or keep a straight face when faced with Wei Wuxian's antics.
  • Conflicting Loyalties: His feelings for Wei Wuxian place him in this position with his clan, and in the past it reached the point where he was forced to choose between love and duty. He chose the former.
  • Covert Pervert: Stoic and reserved he may be, but he's actually the more proactive of the pair when it comes to physical intimacy, even holding Wei Wuxian to his promise of them sleeping together everyday.
    • The author stated that his kink is to tie up Wei Wuxian during sex. The Lan clan's forehead ribbon is featured a lot in said kink.
    • Wei Wuxian is the one who has read more heterosexual porn, but Lan Wangji is the one who looked up how to have sex with men.
    • There's also the Incense Burner extra where he and Wei Wuxian are able to see the other's dreams. While Wei Wuxian's dream consists of them having a domestic life outside the Cloud Recesses, Lan Wangji's dream is much, much kinkier in nature.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Believe it or not, this is Lan Wangji within all those Hidden Depths. Thirteen years of mourning plus uncertainty over falling for a self-proclaimed straight man and the strict upbringing of his clan might have contributed. He is also a bit possessive since when Wei Wuxian asked Lan Wangji what he thought of him, he answered "Mine."
    • That being said, he's one of the more reasonable examples of the trope. Despite his jealousy rearing its ugly head at Wei Wuxian's flirtations with Mianmian, he doesn't hold a grudge against Mianmian herself as he protected her from Wen Chao and respects her for speaking in Wei Wuxian's defense during a conference where everyone else slandered him. There's also Wen Ning, whom he may be jealous of for the latter's close relationship with Wei Wuxian, although Lan Wangji doesn't necessarily dislike him and trusts him as an ally.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Over time, Lan Wangji grew to adore the rabbits that Wei Wuxian gave him, and eventually started raising an entire herd. He even tells Wei Wuxian, while drunk, that he likes rabbits.
  • Dating Catwoman: In modern terms, Lan Wangji was the class rep and Wei Wuxian the troublemaker when they were in school. Now they're together.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Not just dating, but also marrying what Uncle hates is more like it.
  • Death Glare: As his eyes are the most expressive part of his face, Lan Wangji is an expert in delivering these, and more than one character has noticed how icy and terrifying his glare can be.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Takes place in the Belated Backstory which is revealed throughout the plot, throughout the chronological events of the plot, and all directed only to Wei Wuxian. Although he also shows a slightly softer side to his brother to and Lan Sizhui.
  • Determinator: Even when Lan Wangji was still recovering from the pain of thirty-three lashes — which required at least three years of rest — as soon as he heard that Wei Wuxian was dead he immediately set out for the Burial Mounds to find any trace of him.
  • Deuteragonist: He's second to Wei Wuxian in terms of focus and role in the plot.
  • Dual Wielding: A variation; in the Yi City arc, he battled Xue Yang using both his sword and his guqin simultaneously.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: His first on-screen appearance in the donghua features him with lightless and distant eyes.
  • The Dutiful Son: Lan Wangji had a reputation as the model student and the living ideal of the Lan Sect's principles, which he lived up to and made sure to uphold. However, he started to have difficulty with this trope when his feelings for Wei Wuxian develop into something more.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He's one of the first to agree that the Wens must be stopped, but even he balks at the methods Wei Wuxian employs in dealing with them.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Both the discipline scars on his back and the brand mark on his chest have something to do with Wei Wuxian.
  • Foil: To Jiang Cheng, believe it or not. Both are two of the most important people in Wei Wuxian's life, which is what makes their differences more significant.
    • Jiang Cheng sees Wei Wuxian as a brother, yet part of him resents the latter for surpassing him in everything — which brought some tension into their relationship. Lan Wangji is always second to his brother in many aspects, although he never harbored any envy and the two remain close.
    • Their reactions to Wei Wuxian becoming a demonic cultivator also contrast. Jiang Cheng condones Wei Wuxian's use of The Dark Arts as it helped them against the Wens, which bridged their relationship for a time although they ended up drifting apart. Lan Wangji, on the other hand, worries that necromancy will affect Wei Wuxian both physically and mentally, which initially strained their relationship but it eventually ended with them becoming closer by the present time.
    • They stand on opposite sides of the spectrum regarding the To Be Lawful or Good trope. Both are moral men who don't approve of tyranny and needless cruelty, but Jiang Cheng hesitates to perform heroics and go against the law as he suspects it would bring down the wrath of the other sects upon his home. Lan Wangji, on the other hand, is not afraid to go even against his sect if meant doing what's right, but even then he will accept punishment for his actions so as to not dishonor his sect.
  • Fool for Love: It takes a lot of courage (or recklessness) to betray your entire clan to defend the love of your life who has no idea about your love.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
  • Friendship Denial: Lan Wangji would rebuff every one of Wei Wuxian's attempts to befriend him when they were younger, out of equal parts embarrassment and confusion. However, this eventually backfired on him since when he tried to talk Wei Wuxian out of using demonic cultivation, by then Wei Wuxian believed Lan Wangji hates him and is trying to turn him in, which caused the both of them to fall out.
  • Friend to All Children: While he doesn't openly display it, his affection towards children is still palpable, such as when he voluntarily bought Wen Yuan some toys after Wei Wuxian trolled him about getting him one, and there's his reputation among the junior Lan disciples; while he was The Dreaded as a classmate, he's highly regarded as a teacher as they are comfortable in his presence but still treat him respectfully.
  • Friend to All Living Things: He gets along just fine with any animal, and is even able to cow down the rowdier ones, such as the Team Pet donkey or any dog that would terrorize Wei Wuxian.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng never got along. While they worked together during the Sunshot Campaign, there was still some tension between them as Jiang Cheng partially blames Lan Wangji for the destruction of the Lotus Pier. Then at present, Lan Wangji grows to personally dislike Jiang Cheng (with the latter's animosity towards Wei Wuxian likely playing a part in it) to the point that he avoids speaking directly to him as much as possible. This trope then truly comes into play after the Time Skip with their opposing stances regarding what to do with Wei Wuxian, with Lan Wangji wanting to protect him and Jiang Cheng intending to persecute him.
  • Gentleman Snarker: He's more of a Silent Snarker, but he becomes this trope if he decides to deliver his sass in a verbal manner, as seen in this priceless exchange:
    Wei Wuxian: So, I'm actually really curious. Just how did you recognize me?
    Lan Wangji: I am also really curious as to why your memory is so bad.
    • There's also when he actually cracks a joke similar to how Wei Wuxian cracked one years ago regarding his sword Suibian.
      Wei Wuxian: (referring to a ghost) What did it say?
      Lan Wangji: I do not know.
      Wei Wuxian: What?
      Lan Wangji: It said, "I do not know".
  • Good Parents: While they don't introduce themselves or refer to each other as father and son, the fact that Lan Wangji took Wen Yuan into the Lan clan, gave him his courtesy name Sizhui, and taught and raised him from childhood to teenagehood still makes him qualify as the latter's father figure. And Lan Sizhui's overall character at present shows how well he took care of him.
  • Go Through Me: When his brother, uncle, and thirty-three other Lan Sect elders caught him protecting Wei Wuxian and confront him about it, Lan Wangji didn't bother to defend his actions and took them all on at once.
  • Hates Being Touched: He himself stated that he doesn't like getting into any form of physical contact with others, although Wei Wuxian eventually became an exception, and Lan Wangji didn't mind either when Lan Sizhui pulled him into a hug.
  • Hidden Depths: Lan Wangji as seen through Wei Wuxian's eyes is like an iceberg: a lot more is hidden under the surface.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His aloof attitude towards Wei Wuxian, as well as his attempts to keep some distance between them during their younger years, made it hard for Lan Wangji to reach out and get closer to Wei Wuxian by the time he became the Yiling Patriarch, which was also when Lan Wangji came to terms with his growing feelings for the latter.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Up until near the end, where his feelings are finally reciprocated.
  • Humble Hero: As stated above, he doesn't go on night-hunts for accolades or fame.
  • Hyper-Awareness: It's almost easy to forget that Lan Wangji is highly perceptive of his surroundings, which is advantageous during life-threatening situations.
  • Ice King: He has the reputation of one, what with him never smiling and being The Stoic.
  • In Vino Veritas: Wei Wuxian quickly learns that when drunk, Lan Wangji becomes more unrestrained in his actions and will honestly answer any question he would ask him. However, the one answer he can't coax from Lan Wangji is how he recognized him at Dafan Mountain.
  • Ironic Name: His courtesy name Wangji is a Daoist phrase, meaning roughly “to not seek fame or wealth, forget about worldly matters, and be at peace with the world”. He managed to resolve everything except his attachment to Wei Wuxian who, at the time, was dead.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Before the events at the Guanyin temple, Lan Wangji thought that Wei Wuxian remembered the events at the Nightless City — where he is strongly hinted to have confessed his feelings to him. Even then, after reuniting with Wei Wuxian years later he gives him anything he needs, is endlessly patient with his antics (unlike before), defends him from anyone who crosses him, and lets the latter repeatedly flirt with him. He did all of this under the impression that Wei Wuxian knew of his true feelings the entire time and was cruelly stringing him along, simply because he was that devoted to him.
  • I Will Wait for You:
    • Due to the history of how Lan Wangji's parents got married, both he and his older brother were only allowed to see their mother once a month. She died when Lan Wangji was six, but it didn't stop him from visiting her house every month, even after he realized that she's truly gone.
    • While Lan Wangji definitely lamented Wei Wuxian's death (see The Mourning After below), it's implied that a part of him refused to accept that Wei Wuxian remained dead. Some hints include him hiding jars of Emperor's Smile in his house and his reluctance to answer when Wei Wuxian asks if he burned any paper money for him (which, in China, is something one does when paying their Due to the Dead).
  • Kuudere: While he was more of a Tsundere appearing as a kuudere in the past, at present he's more of a kuudere both on the inside and the outside, and is a Type 1 with some hints of Type 2, although the latter part is reserved only for very few people.
  • The Lady's Favour: Wei Wuxian tries to do this with Lan Wangji's forehead ribbon as a joke. What nobody told him was the significance of the ribbon.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Played with. Following in his father's footsteps, Lan Wangji fell in love with someone the rest of the Lan Sect sees as an enemy. Except that unlike his father, who put Honor Before Reason and isolated himself from his wife after forcing her into marriage, Lan Wangji never forces his intentions on Wei Wuxian and they marry of their own free will and live together, either going out on night hunts or mentoring the junior disciples.
  • Lost in Translation: His courtesy name Wangji is a Daoist phrase.
  • Love Martyr: Not that Wei Wuxian is a bad person, nor did he ever once intend to hurt Lan Wangji; but there's no denying that Lan Wangji goes through a lot of pain from Wei Wuxian being completely Oblivious to Love.
  • Luminescent Blush: His earlobes turn pink whenever he gets flustered.
  • Magic Music: A master of the Lan clan's guqin and associated techniques.
  • The Mourning After: Deconstructed. Wei Wuxian's death deeply affected Lan Wangji. While Lan Wangji recovered and was mainly functional for the next thirteen years and had achieved a lot during the Time Skip, many could still notice that behind his stoic expression was the look of someone in deep mourning. However, that didn't mean that he spent the entire Time Skip pining for Wei Wuxian. He still lived his own life, but nevertheless continued to honor Wei Wuxian's death over thirteen years, which even if interpreted as part of his grieving, isn't emotionally unhealthy in any way.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • The Lan clan's silence spell is a disciplinary measure to ensure quietness. Lan Wangji uses it to stop Wei Wuxian from talking in the library.
    • There's also his personal sword, Bichen. For a sword whose name means "avoiding dust (mundane matters)", it sure sees a lot of mundane uses aside from chopping up supernatural threats; a shovel, to break through walls, a dildo... note 
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: For someone who's the epitome of a gentleman-scholar, Lan Wangji has absurdly strong arms. At the height of his adult strength he can lift with his non-dominant hand a wooden coffin, two adult male corpses inside the coffin, a large Guanyin statue of solid rock atop the coffin, and Wei Wuxian atop the statue altogether.
  • Name's the Same: An In-Universe example: Wangji is his courtesy name, and also the name of his guqin.
  • Non-Answer: When Wei Wuxian realizes that Lan Wangji knew who he was the entire time, he asked what gave him away. Lan Wangji only tells him that he should figure it out for himself and refuses to elaborate further.
  • No Social Skills: Downplayed. In spite of his taciturn nature he can interact with people just fine, even if it's mostly because his conversations with others tend to be related to cultivation. However, he does have trouble with properly expressing himself verbally or otherwise, and is somewhat less than adept in initiating small talk.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Each and every time he asks Wei Wuxian to come back with him to Gusu, he never properly explains himself and only states that there are consequences to using demonic cultivation every time the subject comes up. Naturally, this makes Wei Wuxian think that he wants him arrested, leading to him refusing, leading to them arguing, and ending with them being more distant than they were before.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • His drunken side shows that even straight-laced him wishes to goof around once in a while. As Wei Wuxian lampshaded, Lan Wangji always followed the many restrictive rules of his sect, but naturally there's some hidden desire for him to just act without any regard for those rules.
    • Jealousy is the other thing aside from liquor that can bring out his immature side. Some examples are when he bites Wei Wuxian's arm after the latter mistakenly thought he's angry because he had a crush on Mianmian, and when he kicked and rolled over a pebble when Wei Wuxian chatted with some women and gave them rouge (even though he was just getting information about Yi City).
    • He also has a sense of humor, and subtly shows amusement at some of Wei Wuxian's misadventures.
    • When he and Wei Wuxian confess to each other and finally get together, he isn't the least bit ashamed to act and talk affectionately towards Wei Wuxian even as they're directly confronting their enemies (who can also witness their flirtations); which something many of the Lan Sect would see as utterly scandalous.
  • Not So Different: While they're overall different in terms of their disposition towards other people, if there's one thing the Twin Jades of Lan have in common it's that they're easily influenced by love.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • While he's perfectly mastered putting up a cool and stoic demeanor after the thirteen-year Time Skip, he was a lot more susceptible to anger and embarrassment when he was younger, courtesy of Wei Wuxian. Although in general, Wei Wuxian is one of the very few people able to elicit any emotion out of him.
    • He also acts less stoic than usual whenever his family is involved. He started shedding tears while confiding to Wei Wuxian about the state his father and brother are in after the Wen Sect attacked the Cloud Recesses — which was also why he was more irritable than usual at the time.
  • Oblivious to Love: Despite being deeply in love with Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji is ironically blind to the latter slowly but surely reciprocating his feelings. To be fair on his part, Wei Wuxian is quite the Master of the Mixed Message.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: While his actions in the First Siege placed a lot of friction between him and his clan, he was able to rebuild his reputation with them during the thirteen-year Time Skip. It's even implied that he achieved so much that he even received a title with the honorific "-jun", which is usually reserved for sect leaders.
  • One-Man Army: As the second highest-ranking cultivator of his generation, this is a given. He was able to put down the hundreds of walking corpses that Xue Yang sicced on him in Yi City, and during the Second Siege, he managed on his own against nearly a thousand of them.
  • Papa Wolf: Even before The Reveal that Lan Wangji adopted Wen Yuan into the Lan clan and gave him the name Sizhui, there were already hints that he was this early in the story. In the Dafan Mountain arc, Lan Wangji uses the Silencing Spell on Jin Ling when the latter acts rude towards Sizhui, and doesn't budge even when this earns Jiang Cheng's anger.
  • Percussive Therapy: After stealing Wei Wuxian's First Kiss, he expresses his frustrations over his impulsiveness by punching and slashing trees about.
  • Power Perversion Potential: What to do with prodigious arm strength? Handstand sex. One can only imagine how that turned out.
  • Purple Prose: A more laconic example given the expressiveness of Chinese to use poetic language in a few characters, but the text goes into great lengths to emphasize Lan Wangji's looks every time he's (re-)introduced to the plot.
    • This also comes into play when describing his actions in the absence of Wei Wuxian. In one instance, there was a time when Wei Wuxian had to talk to some farm women, and the text goes into detail about how Lan Wangji stares, and stares... and then kicks over a pebble. All his actions take on a new meaning with The Reveal that he was attracted to Wei Wuxian all along, and his heretofore inexplicable actions was him venting out his intense feelings.
  • The Quiet One: A lot of his actions need to be understood in context, even if they're as outlandish as kicking random stones, glaring at people, suddenly dragging random maniacs who may or may not be Wei Wuxian back to his family home, etc.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: While most of the characters are fair-skinned, part of why he and his brother are called the Twin Jades is due to this trope. It's more notable in his case since he has a paler complexion than his brother's.
  • Real Men Wear Pink:
    • He raises rabbits, which is a double-joke for the Chinese god of homosexuality, and the fact that he's gay.
    • He also cooks. It's only to invoke Through His Stomach, but the effort still counts.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Lan Wangji's eyes become bloodshot when he's furious about something. This also happens whenever he gets overwhelmed with lust.
  • Scars Are Forever:
    • His chest is branded with the Wen Clan insignia, which was self-inflicted in a fit of depression.
    • The thirty-three scars on his back are meant to last forever, even with magical healing.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He's usually rule-abiding, but if the rules put him in a situation of To Be Lawful or Good, he will choose the latter without hesitation.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Wei Wuxian notices that when Lan Wangji's drunk, he'll listen only when he likes what he's hearing, otherwise he'll pretend he didn't even hear what was said.
  • Seme: Or gong, of the pair.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: He and his brother differ in that while he is aloof and distant, Lan Xichen is friendly and approachable. Although unlike most other examples of the trope, they're actually quite close.
  • Silent Snarker: Some of his grunts come off as him secretly laughing at Wei Wuxian.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Wei Wuxian is the only person he's ever formed an attraction to, which was tragic because he never expected his feelings to be returned, and then the love of his life died. Good thing Wei Wuxian came Back from the Dead.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Lan Wangji figured out that "Mo Xuanyu" is actually Wei Wuxian after hearing him play a tune that he composed for him during their time together at the Xuanwu Cave.
  • The Southpaw: It's a known fact that people who play string instruments pluck the strings with their dominant hand, and in the donghua Lan Wangji always strums his guqin with his left hand.
  • The Stoic: Combined with The Quiet One. Only his older brother can tell what's really going on behind his emotionless expression.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: One would be forgiven for thinking at times that he and Lan Xichen are twins, even though the latter is actually older than him by a few years.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He shows the "ice" side to everyone but his brother, Lan Sizhui, and most importantly, Wei Wuxian.
  • Tap on the Head: Lan Wangji does this to himself after he and Wei Wuxian share their second kiss.
  • Team Dad: Alongside Wei Wuxian, he takes an active role protecting and guiding the three youngsters they encounter but he's far more stern and a bit more distant than his partner.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • He and Wei Wuxian had this dynamic during the Sunshot Campaign, since Lan Wangji disapproved of Wei Wuxian practicing demonic cultivation while Wei Wuxian refused to hear out his concerns, thus they kept on running in circles about it. After the war ended, they were at more civil terms but remained distant due to the same issue.
    • Played with in Lan Wangji's relationship with Wen Ning. The chapters where he's drunk shows that he doesn't like how close Wen Ning and Wei Wuxian are, but he doesn't hate Wen Ning per se and trusts him in protecting Wei Wuxian and the juniors. The two eventually became more amicable with each other after Wen Ning defends Wei Wuxian from Jiang Cheng and reveals that he knows about Lan Sizhui's true identity.
  • The Tell: He tells Wei Wuxian that his heartbeat will express what his face can't.
  • Theme Song: The song he plays for Wei Wuxian in the Xuanwu Cave has an important role in their relationship, and is even the second ending song of the audio drama.
  • Think Nothing of It: Whenever Lan Wangji gives something to Wei Wuxian and gets thanked for it, he becomes upset and would immediately take back what he gave. This is because whenever they expressed gratitude to each other in the past, they met again under worse circumstances.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Every little thing Lan Wangji received from Wei Wuxian, he kept after the latter's death, such as continuing to raise the rabbits that Wei Wuxian gave him back from when they were still students, and preserving the herbal peony he gave him as a bookmark.
  • Tranquil Fury: He's much more expressive in showing his anger if it's simply due to Wei Wuxian annoying him. If he's angry for other reasons, however, this trope comes into play.
  • Tsundere: When he was younger, Wei Wuxian correctly pointed out (although he was mostly teasing him) that Lan Wangji was never honest with his feelings, and would hide his emotions beneath an icy veneer. According to Lan Xichen, he has always been that way since he was young; the more he's teased, the more guarded he acts.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: He asks Wei Wuxian the question almost word-for-word after the first time they drank together, since he doesn't remember anything he does under the influence of alcohol.
  • When He Smiles: Being The Stoic, Lan Wangji has never smiled or really have shown much of an expression (with his brother being the only one who can read him). So when he finally did, everyone was stunned, even his brother.
  • You Are Not Alone: There are a few instances he tells Wei Wuxian "I'm here," which clearly expresses this sentiment, especially since in the past Wei Wuxian had no one by his side when he was branded a heretic.
  • You Are Worth Hell: The raid at the Nightless City showed that when it comes to protecting Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji will oppose anyone and everyone, even his own family. He even tells his brother that whether Wei Wuxian was in the right or wrong, he willingly chooses to share the burden of his crimes. And in the Second Siege, he showed that he won't hesitate to do it again.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: By default, he and Wei Wuxian call each other by their birth names. Like with the latter, Lan Wangji only refers to him by his courtesy name whenever he's seriously angry at him... although notably, that happened only once.


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