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

Voiced by (Mandarin): Zhang Jie note  (animation), Lu Zhixing (audio drama - adult, live-action), Ye Zhiqiu (audio drama - child)
Voiced by (Japanese): Tatsuhisa Suzuki (audio drama), Ryohei Kimura (live-action)
Voiced by (Korean): Shim Gyu-hyuk (animation)
Played by: Xiao Zhan (live-action - adult), Su Yaxin (live-action - child)

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Height: 186 cm (in original body); 180 cm (in Mo Xuanyu's body)
Weapons: Suibian | 随便 (jian), Chenqing | 陈情 (dizi)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mdzs_wwx.png
Click here  to see Wei Wuxian in his original body
Click here  to see Wei Wuxian as the Yiling Patriarch
Click here  to see Wei Wuxian in The Untamed
Click here  to see Wei Wuxian as a child in The Untamed

"Nobody can give me a nice, broad road to walk on. A road where I could protect those I want to protect without having to cultivate the ghostly path."


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 resentful energy, 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 favor.

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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.


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    A-B 
  • The Ace:
    • Wei Wuxian is all but stated to be the best archer of his generation. While he ranks fourth among the top five cultivators in terms of overall charm, archery is the one skill he's superior at, as he can hit his target even while blindfolded. In the donghua, he ranked first at the archery competition during the Discussion Conference, surpassing even the likes of the Twin Jades of Lan (never mind the fact that Lan Wangji quit the competition halfway) and Jin Zixuan.
    • The jury is out on who is the most powerful cultivator among the cast, but Wei Wuxian is guaranteed to be among the top. Even before he founded demonic cultivation, he was known to be skilled with the sword and he had already formed a golden core at a young age. After the events of the Sunshot Campaign, no one could deny the power he held from being able to control resentful energy, which is also why many resented him.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade:
    • In case he already didn't have enough baggage in the original story, The Untamed adds more by upping the severity of his Sanity Slippage prior to the events of Qiongqi Path and making him completely unaccountable for the bloodshed that he's partially guilty of in the novel, intensifying his status as The Scapegoat.
    • The donghua also takes a similar approach. While he still played a direct (albeit inadvertent role) in Jin Zixuan's death, there are heavy implications that his loss of control over the corpses in the Nightless City massacre was not a result of Power Incontinence but from Jin Guangshan's scheming and a few of his cronies who could tamper with or exacerbate the negative effects of Wei Wuxian's demonic cultivation. However the donghua's incarnation of Wei Wuxian still has more blood on his hands than his live-action counterpart, since he still killed countless cultivators with the Stygian Tiger Amulet during the attack.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Wei Wuxian was already powerful in the novel as both a spiritual and demonic cultivator, but in the donghua he's able to make a hundred more uses of resentful energy and lives up and beyond to his title as the Yiling Patriarch. 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 — all of which are just the beginning entries of a long list of the many other things he can do. Even being dead for thirteen years hasn't made him lose his touch in the slightest.
    • Zigzagged in the Live-Action Adaptation, where his abilities get a downgrade (see Adaptational Wimp below). On the other hand, while he's more mentally worn down by his powers, he never lost control like he did in the novel and the events that made it look otherwise (i.e. Wen Ning going berserk and killing Jin Zixuan, and the corpses no longer heeding Wei Wuxian's commands in the Nightless City massacre) were instead due to Jin Guangyao and Su She's machinations.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • After he came back to life in the novel, he acts a lot more distant towards Jiang Cheng whenever they meet, given their entire history and his knowledge of how much Jiang Cheng hates his guts now. The live-action drama softens this aspect of his personality to an extent — in the finale, he's a bit more emotional in his final confrontation with Jiang Cheng and reaches out to the latter while consoling him. This is a sharp contrast to how he acted in the source material, where he keeps his distance throughout and responds to Jiang Cheng in a more neutral and melancholy tone.
    • In the donghua, he still disliked Jin Zixuan but he was a lot less violent in how he expressed it. When Jin Zixuan first insulted Jiang Yanli in the Cloud Recesses, Wei Wuxian initially approached the issue in a casual manner before responding with silent (instead of explosive) fury when Jin Zixuan continued to regard both Jiang Yanli and Jiang Cheng dismissively. Then when Jin Zixuan humiliated Jiang Yanli in Langya, Wei Wuxian opted only to punch him once rather than beat him senseless like he did in the novel, and merely told Jin Zixuan to get out of his sight instead of screaming that he'll kill him one day.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • His personality remains the same in The Untamed; but after he became the Yiling Patriarch, his fuse was much shorter and his mental state was a lot more volatile, and he even came close to experiencing a total emotional hijack a few times.
    • This also applies in the donghua, but in the opposite manner from the live-action series. Whereas he's more prone to losing his temper in the latter adaptation, the donghua shows him having more maturity in his choice to take up demonic cultivation and the way he reacts to others confronting him about it.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In The Untamed, he remains a powerful cultivator in his own right and still became infamous as the Yiling Patriarch, but he's no longer the founder of demonic cultivation. He's also a lot more physically frail after he began practicing The Dark Arts, whether it's in his original body or in Mo Xuanyu's body, and there has been at least five times when he either came close to fainting or actually did pass out.
  • Adopted into Royalty: The Four Great Sects are, simply put, the royal families of the cultivation world. As Wei Wuxian was formally adopted into the Jiang Sect and is treated by the family as one of their own, he qualifies for the trope... at least before he defected.
  • Adorkable: His friendly and cheerful nature means he's bound to be this.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Although Lan Wangji initially calls him Wei Ying to show how annoyed he was with him, over time it does come off as genuinely affectionate since he only refers to him as Wei Wuxian when a situation is very serious.
  • Afraid of Needles: While nowhere near as bad as his fear of dogs, Wen Qing usually kept him in check by threatening to use her medicinal needles on him.
  • Aggressive Submissive: Wei Wuxian isn't exactly aggressive, but he's definitely more outspoken and candid than Lan Wangji. When it comes to their bedroom activities, however, Wei Wuxian is more than happy to let Lan Wangji take charge, and even enjoys the idea of being pinned down or tied up and left at his beloved's mercy.
  • 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.
  • All for Nothing: Despite everything he sacrificed to save Wen Ning and his relatives, all his efforts were turned against him through both horrible luck and tragic injustice, and it all ended in his death and all the remaining Wens being brutally and remorselessly slaughtered. After the Time Skip, however, Wei Wuxian gets the reassurance that his efforts weren't in vain when he learns that Lan Sizhui and Wen Yuan are the same person.
  • Alliterative Name: Wei Wuxian.
  • Almighty Janitor: In contrast to the other high-ranking cultivators of his generation, who are either sect leaders or the children of sect leaders, Wei Wuxian is ranked fourth despite being known as the son of a servant. Then again, people tend to forget that he's also the son of a disciple of the legendary Baoshan Sanren.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Played with. He and Jiang Cheng had a brotherly relationship once, but Wei Wuxian left the Jiang Sect a long time ago, and Jiang Cheng also announced that he was essentially disowned. But after Wei Wuxian came back to the mortal world, any interaction he has with his former foster brother has him speak as little words to him as possible, and his mood around the man is mostly resigned. However, Wei Wuxian wasn't always impersonal towards Jiang Cheng in the past just as how Jiang Cheng wasn't always so hateful towards him back then. Wei Wuxian actually holds no ill will towards his former brother, but he doesn't make any effort to reach out to him because he knows that he may as well be talking to a giant iron wall.
  • Always Someone Better: To Jiang Cheng, even when it comes to Parental Favoritism.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • A lot of his character tics, thought processes, and actions - especially in the novel where we get his POV directly - suggests he has ADHD; aside from his notorious bad memory he is prone to being easily distracted, is impulsive, has trouble coping with stress, excessively active, frequent mood swings, is terrible with planning, and can hyper-focus to an unhealthy degree. This trait becomes downplayed after he came back to life.
    • Given what he went through up until now, it wouldn't be baseless to assume that Wei Wuxian suffers from some form of post-traumatic stress disorder. In his last few months of his first life, his ordeals had actually broken both his spirit and mind for a time. While he's proven to have recovered after he was revived, some adaptations hint that he still gets nightmares about the worst segments of his past, and at times he becomes melancholy whenever he reminisces (or is confronted by) anything or anyone connected to the bleaker parts of his past. After all, in spite of his maturity, his emotional strength, and his healthier coping mechanisms, Wei Wuxian is still only human and he has his limits.
  • Androcles' Lion:
    • In the past, Wei Wuxian faced endless ruthless persecution up until his very last moments because of his decision to rescue the survivors of the Wen Sect, which the Jin Sect were torturing. While all of Wei Wuxian's efforts only allowed the Wens to live free for a few more months, the Wens' gratitude towards him still runs so deep that they briefly come back as fierce corpses to defend him during the Second Siege.
    • When Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and a group of young cultivators are stuck in Yi City, Wei Wuxian helps shelter the juniors and even mentors them. He, Lan Wangji, and Wen Ning would end up saving them once more when the children get captured and left in the Burial Mounds. In return, all the juniors stand against their elders and/or parents when the latter group attempts to unjustly persecute Wei Wuxian a second time, and are firm in showing both concern and support for him.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Crows. Crows are believed to represent bad luck, and Wei Wuxian is infamous as the cultivation bogeyman. Crows are also commonly associated with death, which alludes to his powers of necromancy. They also symbolize change, highlighting the significance in his transformation from a spiritual to a demonic cultivator. And lastly, Crows are said to be often misunderstood, much like how Wei Wuxian himself is misunderstood and villainized by almost everyone.
    • Played for Laughs in the Banquet extra when he implicitly refers to himself as a pig by expressing his intentions to "nibble [his] cabbage". This is a reference to the Chinese saying of "the little white cabbage was dug up by a pig", which describes a parent's distress upon seeing their child marry someone the parent deems to be unworthy — a perfect analogy to what Lan Qiren thinks of his nephew's marriage to Wei Wuxian.
  • 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 he became the Yiling Patriarch, Wei Wuxian was more ruthless in nature and even exhibited sadism towards some of 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. He's notably the only character in the story who took morally dubious actions either for good reasons, or because he was pushed repeatedly into a corner and he could find no other way out.
  • The Archmage: Combined with Black Mage, which is a given since he's the founder — and therefore the most proficient practitioner — of demonic cultivation. 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 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. However, he makes it clear to everyone that he won't take responsibility for the things he didn't do.
  • 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 "Bad Acting": While he had certain tells that allowed a few people to recognize him, to everyone else he's able to pass off as Mo Xuanyu. However, the reader/audience can see that he doesn't really try to act differently from his usual personality, besides occasionally taking the opportunity to act in a dramatic manner without fear of saving face. Even then, the fact that most people can't recognize him is somewhat justified since aside from the people he's personally close to, no one else has a good idea of what kind of person he really is.
  • Bad Dreams: Some of the adaptations imply that Wei Wuxian occasionally has guilt-ridden dreams about his past.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: His powers of necromancy made him feared among cultivators, but he's no doubt a hero with noble intentions.
  • Batman Gambit: Wei Wuxian doesn't do it as often as Jin Guangyao or Nie Huaisang does since he's more of a detective than a schemer, but he's capable of pulling one if he has to. There's how he effortlessly got Su She to expose his true colors in front of hundreds of cultivators, as an example.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Zigzagged. His face never gets permanently mangled or wounded in any way, but the rest of his body is fair game when it comes to scars. In his past life, he got a brand mark on his chest then a gutting scar on his stomach, and an extra briefly mentioned that he also had several scars on his back, all of which were inflicted by Yu Ziyuan whenever she would discipline him. In the present, excluding the ones he initially got from Mo Xuanyu (which eventually disappeared after Mo Xuanyu's revenge was fulfilled), the only scar that stays is the one he gets from Jin Ling.
  • Beauty Mark: In The Untamed, he has a mole under the left side of his lip. This disappears after his First Episode Resurrection in Mo Xuanyu's body.
  • 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...
  • Been There, Shaped History: Downplayed, since the novel's entire plot spans for about twenty years at best and Wei Wuxian is far from a century old. Still, Wei Wuxian made one hell of a mark in history by creating demonic cultivation.
  • Beneath the Mask: While he never once seemed upset or distressed over giving away his golden core nor does he regret it, he's actually more melancholy about it than he lets on and lamented deep down about 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? Part of it is 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 The Dark Arts irritated Wei Wuxian and with only a bit more prodding, instantly enraged him. This is downplayed in the donghua; while he got livid the first time around, the next few times Lan Wangji brought up the topic, Wei Wuxian would respond in a calmer and more reasonable manner.
    • 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.
    • While more subtle than the other examples, Wei Wuxian doesn't like being called the son of a servant; not because his pride is hurt, but because he takes it as an insult to his parents' honor and memory.
  • 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 only be adopted and would technically be considered the middle child of the Jiang family, but he's protective of his adoptive siblings. Talk badly of — or worse, try to harm — Jiang Cheng and Yanli at your own peril.
  • Big Sister Worship: He adored Jiang Yanli, always looked up to her and felt that she deserved only the best, which was why he was so adamantly against her engagement with Jin Zixuan, who treated her poorly. It was also Jiang Yanli's death that was the final straw that broke Wei Wuxian's sanity.
  • 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.
  • Break Them by Talking: As a people person, he knows what makes someone tick and can get someone to lose their composure by pointing out the flaws in their logic and arguments or poking at their Berserk Buttons. He effectively uses this against the villains a few times.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Played with, as he's less lazy and more unorthodox. As a kid, Wei Wuxian was the top disciple of the Jiang Sect despite his reputation as 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.
  • Broken Ace: He may have become one of the most powerful and (in)famous warriors of his generation because he founded demonic cultivation, but all the political and personal trouble involved with it drove him to the corner over and over, and while he tried his best to pull through, there was only so much his mind and heart could take. He gets remarkably better after his revival, but the scars of his past will always remain, something he acknowledges.
  • 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: He's one of the less kookier examples of the trope, however. 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 a 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.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Downplayed. People are well-aware that Wei Wuxian earned his title as the Yiling Patriarch for a reason, but many cultivators feel that it's easy to take him on as long as they have numbers. It turns out to not be that simple, and the only reason they even had something close to an upper hand in the past was that Wei Wuxian was not in the best mental and emotional state, and other outside factors had greatly tipped the scales against his favor. Take those out, however, and they would have already been corpse fodder in seconds had that been Wei Wuxian's intention. Luckily for them, Wei Wuxian is above that.
  • But I Read a Book About It: When Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng first realized that Wei Wuxian learned demonic cultivation, the latter asked how he got his newfound abilities. Wei Wuxian merely claims that he saw an ancient book in an ancient cave somewhere — a statement which Jiang Cheng buys. Lan Wangji, however, knows better than to believe that.
  • But Now I Must Go: His final fate in The Untamed. After the issues with Nie Mingjue's spirit and Jin Guangyao are dealt with, Wei Wuxian decides to travel the world.
    Lan Wangji: Have you decided where you're going to go?
    Wei Wuxian: This world is wide. To a faraway place on a horse ride and wine. All the four corners of this world are our home.
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    C-E 
  • Cain and Abel: He's the Abel to Jiang Cheng's Cain, and they fit the trope to a tee. Jiang Cheng has long since been bitter about Wei Wuxian being better than him in everything, including winning Jiang Fengmian's affection and favor. Jiang Cheng also led the First Siege with the intent to kill Wei Wuxian, although Wei Wuxian clarifies that Jiang Cheng was not the reason he died. However, their relationship wasn't always so hostile and is more complicated than it seems.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Downplayed and Played for Laughs. He's unable to understand that others can't stomach his cooking because he tends to make it way too spicy for anyone's palates to handle.
  • The Casanova: Subverted. Wei Wuxian had a reputation for wooing beautiful girls, although Wei Wuxian doesn't actively seek a romantic relationship. He doesn't even really flirt with women per se, his "flirting" amounts to him acting courteous and slightly playful towards them and giving them compliments or gifts as thanks. His First Love even ended up being a man.
  • Cassandra Truth: Wei Wuxian is the first to recognize that the Jin Sect is just repeating the Wen Sect's reign of oppression, even if they're more low-key about their approach. When he stated his thoughts out loud, his voice falls on deaf ears, because the other clans were either too blind to recognize the truth or voluntarily chose to stay blind. The only one who truly heeded his words was Lan Wangji.
  • Casual Kink: When it comes to his "nightly activities" with Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxian is 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.
  • Character Development:
    • Wei Wuxian's personality after his First Episode Resurrection shows his newfound maturity. He learns from his past experiences that while it's okay to be selfless and to help others, he should still ask help from others if he has to 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.
    • Wei Wuxian's kind and selfless nature is inborn, but his experiences with the Jiang family often causes him to take his selflessness to unhealthy levels because while he doesn't think he's worth trash, he believes that his life isn't still worth much when compared to the lives of the people he cares for, and thus is rarely honest with others about his innermost thoughts and desires. And because of society labeling him as nothing more than a servant's son, he has to always be careful about over or under-achieving. After his death, he slowly starts changing this outlook; while his compassion remains intact, he starts to learn to be more open about what he wants without any hesitance or guilt, and he also learns to make his choices and be completely himself without having to confirm to society's expectations or to any obligations anyone would try to place on him.
  • Character Tics: In the donghua and the manhua, he holds his chin whenever he's deep in thought. In the Live-Action Adaptation, he brushes the tip of his nose instead.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Not to the same extent as Lan Wangji, but in his past life, Wei Wuxian proved to be capable of feats that require near-superhuman strength, such as when he broke the necks of two Wen cultivators in the donghua while trying to rescue Jiang Cheng, and when he did the same to the cultivator that killed Jiang Yanli. The latter case is more notable since he no longer had his golden core at the time.
  • Cheerful Child: He was this to a tee in the past. He's still this now, but is a lot more grounded by his experiences.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: If someone's in danger or in need of more help than him, or if there's a terrible situation in need of fixing, Wei Wuxian will always try to do what he thinks his right andwon't care for what anyone else has to say about it. However, 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.
  • Cinderella Circumstances: It's not hard to draw a few parallels between Wei Wuxian and Cinderella, given their similar lives with their foster family. Cinderella lived a good life with her father, but after his death, she found herself under the mistreatment of her stepmother and two stepsisters because they resented and envied her. Wei Wuxian briefly had a happy life with his parents, but he lost them to a night-hunt that went wrong. He was adopted by a friend of his parents, who took him into his own family. Wei Wuxian got along with most of the family, but the mother despised him and abused him both physically and emotionally, and his relationship with the family's son was wrought with tensions since while they loved each other, they were always pitted against each other. Ultimately, he leaves the family and marries someone he loves who sees his value in the form of Lan Wangji, who has the "prince" position with his status and wealth.
  • Class Clown: He didn't exactly 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.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: He's considered a Cloudcuckoolander In-Universe, but not because he's flighty and exhibits alien behavior. He's grounded and intelligent, but his progressive and innovative methods and his tendency to think outside the box is seen as unorthodox — and at times heretical — by a society that is all around narrow-minded and opposed to the idea of anything that isn't in line with their rules or methods. However, many scenes in the story prove that just because he's unconventional doesn't mean he's also wrong.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: His eye color has a mix of blue, gray, and purple hues. All three colors show how much of a multifaceted character Wei Wuxian is, since part of the story focuses on what everyone perceives him to be and what kind of person he really is.
  • Color Motif: Black and red.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Interestingly, when he was still a member of the Jiang Sect, his character design for both the donghua and the manhua depict him with black and red instead of purple robes, even though purple is the characteristic color of the Jiang Sect.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • He's the first to suggest that resentful energy can be harnessed to aid in cultivation and battle, since in the end resentful energy is, by essence, energy. He ended up being the first to practice this theory.
    • Demonic cultivation aside, he's not above the tactic of catching people by surprise or attacking them when they're at their most vulnerable.
  • Confusion Fu: Wei Wuxian attempts this on Lan Wangji by asking him several questions about the corpse-related case they're investigating before suddenly asking him about how he recognized him. Lan Wangji sees right through it and gives him a Non-Answer.
  • Cool Big Bro: The junior disciples see Wei Wuxian as one, both adoring and respecting him.
  • Cool Mask: He wears one in The Untamed to prevent others from finding out that he's Wei Wuxian, since his appearance was assimilated into Mo Xuanyu's body after the summoning ritual.
  • 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 Iron Hook extra, the junior trio even make 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 before Jin Ling finds out who he really is. Despite teasing him often, 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 soon he lets him call him A-Ling without any complaints.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Fate wasn't really kind to Wei Wuxian in his first life. Thankfully, fate decided to give him a break the second time around.
  • Creepy Crows: The donghua takes full advantage of this trope during Wei Wuxian's days as the Yiling Patriarch. Wei Wuxian's Animal Motif is a crow, and in the graver scenes, there'd be murders of the feathered creatures flying above the sky to signal his arrival.
  • Crush Blush: In the manhua, Wei Wuxian's face turns pink out of affection plenty of times after he and Lan Wangji share a second drink and he sees just how Adorkable Lan Wangji gets when he's intoxicated.
  • Cry Laughing: Wei Wuxian does this at the Nightless City when he realizes that no matter what he does and says, everyone will always find a way to blame him and label him a monster.
  • Cuteness Proximity:
    • Played with. He thinks that rabbits are cute and he can see why anyone would like them but he states that he prefers eating them, although he may have just been teasing Lan Wangji. This is then played straight in The Untamed, where he's seen playing with rabbits in the outskirts of the Cloud Recesses.
    • He's still a Friend to All Children in The Untamed, but he's more open with showing his adoration towards them. Besides being playful with Wen Yuan, he can't help himself from pinching the boy's cheeks every now and then; and when he meets Mianmian's daughter, he does the same thing in contrast to when he held back in the novel.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: He exposes himself when he reflexively draws Suibian after Jin Guangyao pulls a surprise attack on him, since Suibian sealed itself after Wei Wuxian's death and thus would respond only to its master.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He wears black and red and is a necromancer; and The Trickster tendencies aside, is a kind and caring person.
  • Deadpan Snarker: After he was brought back to life, while he 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 Glare: He doesn't do this as much as Lan Wangji or Jiang Cheng, but you will know when he's giving a murderous look.
  • Death Seeker: While he had put up a hell of a fight against the Four Great Sects during the Nightless City massacre and the First Siege, he had already crossed the Despair Event Horizon after Jiang Yanli's death, and there are hints that he intentionally triggered his backlash because he wanted to die. While there was the fact that he also wanted to destroy the Stygian Tiger Amulet before it fell into the wrong hands, there was the possibility that he decided to kill two birds with one stone. Additionally, he never turned into a vengeful ghost during the thirteen-year Time Skip, indicating that whether he deliberately killed himself or not, he fully accepted his death nevertheless.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Wei Wuxian's parents died when he was very young and he doesn't have many memories of them. However, he does remember his mother telling him to "always remember people's kindness towards [him] and never [his] kindness towards others" which heavily influenced the way he lives his life and, according to him, is the reason for his terrible memory.
  • Defector from Decadence: Demonic cultivation aside, part of what differentiates Wei Wuxian from most other cultivators is that he marches to the beat of his own drum and no one else's. He is respectful of the other sects' rules and traditions, but he refuses to involve himself in their dirty politics, which puts him at odds with the other clans then and now.
  • Defiant to the End: When Wen Chao and Wang Lingjiao discussed how they should torture Wei Wuxian to death, he laughed and vows that whatever they do to him, he will come back as ferocious ghost and haunt and curse the Wen Sect until none of them are left. He kept his words, to an extent, after he came back from the Burial Mounds with the newfound ability to control resentful energy — which he uses to give Wen Chao and Wang Lingjia Cruel and Unusual Deaths.
  • Desecrating the Dead: In the donghua the viewers are treated to a full scene of him summoning dark spikes to impale Wen Chao and an already dead Wang Lingjiao with dark spikes that eventually tear them apart.
  • Determinator: Wei Wuxian is not the type of person who gives up so easily. It takes a lot of resilience and willpower to survive three months of starvation, solitude, and endless amounts of torture in a place that is the nearest equivalent to the cultivation world's Hell on Earth, and come out with newfound abilities.
    • In The Untamed he was hellbent on growing lotus flowers despite Wen Qing arguing that he was wasting his time because the soil wasn't right for the plants. He ends up growing a small patch of lotus pods and flowers, although the seeds were inedible.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He had a bad habit of doing things without properly considering 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. In his defense, not every bad thing that happened is solely due to his lack of foresight or caution, as there are many other outside factors.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In The Untamed, Wei Wuxian's death involved him falling down a cliff instead of being torn apart to pieces by corpses. In the donghua, it's implied that he didn't die from cultivation backlash; however, Wei Wuxian doesn't clarify or deny anything, saying that how he died no longer matters.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Played with. It's not really the motive that he's disappointed with; it's how the entire fiasco behind the Hundred Holes Curse — which led to all the deaths surrounding Wei Wuxian, including Wei Wuxian's own death — originated from an incident entirely unrelated to him.
  • Discard and Draw: He sacrificed his cultivation powers and discovers demonic cultivation shortly afterwards. In his second life, he uses much less demonic cultivation but compensates with lower-level cultivation and talismans.
  • Does Not Like Spam: He doesn't like radishes, which he says word-for-word while arguing with Wen Qing over whether to plant potatoes or radishes in the Burial Mounds.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: His actions during the Nightless City massacre strongly imply this. He knew that after Jin Zixuan's death, it's only a matter of time until the cultivation clans conspire to kill him, even after both Wen Qing and Wen Ning sacrificed themselves in the (false) hope that the Jin clan would be appeased. As such, he headed to the Nightless City to confront the other clans himself before they get the chance to ambush him, as he won't go down without a fight and he will always live by his principles to the bitter end.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: It's not really sympathy or pity he hates, but he despises receiving any sentiment that hides the underlying worry that he won't be able to handle something on his own or that he may be tinkering with something that can make him appear evil. He becomes more accepting of others' help after his resurrection, and even tells Lan Wangji that he trusts him to protect him.
  • Dramatic Irony: He became the Yiling Patriarch to take revenge on the Wen Sect for murdering his adoptive family. He would soon earn the masses' hatred as the Yiling Patriarch because he protected the sect's remaining survivors, and eventually perished for it.
    • When he was still studying in the Cloud Recesses, he would tell Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang that he would never want to marry into the Gusu Lan clan due to all of their stifling rules. He also would tell Lan Wangji no one would ever want to marry him due to his cold personality. After the events of the finale, he ends up living at the Cloud Recesses with Lan Wangji and marrying him.
  • Dreadful Musician: Wei Wuxian is known to be skilled with the dizi which is explained with the fact that as a master of the Six Arts, Wei Wuxian would naturally be proficient in music. But after he's brought back to life, he initially had trouble playing the instrument since he had been dead for thirteen years and hastily carved his new flute in the middle of battle; hence, it would be understandable that he'd a bit out of touch. However, he also deliberately invokes this trope whenever his help is needed but he knows he can't blow his cover. He only stops it when Lan Wangji tells him he knows who he really is.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: It's implied in The Untamed that after the Sunshot Campaign ended, he started drinking more to deal with the stress he's getting from both his personal losses and the effects of his newfound abilities.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Almost all the cultivators conveniently forgot that Wei Wuxian is one of the few good reasons the Four Great Sects even had a chance to take on the Wen Sect once and for all, and preferred to focus on how he's the founder of The Dark Arts and that he's not obsequious to their whims.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Averted. Even after Wei Wuxian cleared his name in the Second Siege, several cultivators continue to hold him responsible for all the deaths that occurred in the Nightless City massacre. He understands and accepts this, but also tells them that killing him (again) won't solve anything. The only time this is played straight is with Jiang Yanli, who doesn't blame him for Jin Zixuan's death and even took a blow meant for him.
    • On his end, he has every right to hate all the cultivators that unjustly slandered and attacked him; but he chooses not to. This is played with, however, since he doesn't exactly forgive them but he sees no point in holding a grudge against every single person or everyone as a whole. Instead, he just prefers to stay out of their business and seeing that they stay out of his.
  • Eidetic Memory: He's normally known for being a Forgetful Jones. But when it comes to music, 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: He can use "Empathy", an ability that allows a cultivator to access the memories of corpses and spirits. Wei Wuxian uses said ability on A-Qing and Nie Mingjue.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Despite his prankster personality, he never intends to have his antics get others in serious trouble, and feels bad whenever that happens.
    • 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 was over.
    • 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.
    • A more lighthearted example: while he doesn't mind being reborn in the body of someone who's infamous as both a maniac and a homosexual, he's shocked when he learns that Mo Xuanyu got kicked out of the Jin clan because he made passes at Jin Guangyao, his half-brother.
  • Evil Genius: The cultivation world sees him as this. Despite condemning him and his abilities, many have a hard time denying the usefulness of his research and inventions. Wei Wuxian even lampshades the hypocrisy of this.
  • 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 Amulet) or when a loss of control ends in tragedy like the death of Jin Zixuan. That said, it's ambiguous how much was the effects of demonic cultivation and how much was due to his worsening mental state at the time.
  • Exact Words: Not intentionally invoked, but it counts regardless.
    • When they were younger, Wei Wuxian promised Jiang Cheng that he would serve him the same way his father served Jiang Cheng's father. However, Wei Changze left the Jiang Sect after eloping with Cangse Sanren; and Wei Wuxian cemented his departure from the Jiang Sect after choosing to be with Lan Wangji. Granted, he had already left the Jiang Sect long ago for other reasons; but true to his words, Wei Wuxian did serve Jiang Cheng like how Wei Changze served Jiang Fengmian.
    • He followed Yu Ziyuan and Jiang Fengmian's final order to protect their son with his own life, which deeply weighed on him because of his self-sacrificing nature and since he felt that he owed the Jiangs for giving him a home. After he was brought back to life, Jiang Cheng would often bring up the topic of fealty (or lack thereof) whenever he confronted him... except that since Wei Wuxian had already died once, he had already fulfilled his promise and more. As such, he no longer owes anything to the Jiang Sect and is free to live his own life without the concern of debts and gratitude or being burdened by his past, which he resolutely chooses to do.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: It takes a closer look to notice, but the donghua and the Live-Action Adaptation show that he gained these after his time being stuck in the Burial Mounds. The latter adaptation even adds bloodshot eyes to the equation.
  • The Exile:
    • In the past, Wei Wuxian was formerly a member of the Jiang Sect, but he defected some time after the Sunshot Campaign. Jiang Cheng even declared that Wei Wuxian was now an enemy of the Jiang Sect, essentially making him this. What further seals this in is when Wei Wuxian finds himself in Lotus Pier once more after he came back to life, he's told by Jiang Cheng to leave and never come back since he's a blight to his sect and his home, and Wei Wuxian takes his words to heart. Whether or not Jiang Cheng truly meant what he said, it's already too late for him to retract his words.
      • Not even the epilogue or the extra chapters hint at Wei Wuxian being able to visit Lotus Pier again. While the Dream Come True extra featured Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji going on a date in Yunmeng, there's no mention of them roaming around Lotus Pier whatsoever, as Lotus Pier is only one of the many areas within the region. The final extra episode of the audio drama did confirm that Wei Wuxian reclaimed Suibian, which was previously in Jiang Cheng's possession, but no explanation is given on how Wei Wuxian got the sword back.
    • 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 when the old man isn't around.
  • Expository Hair Style Change: He was introduced with all his hair tied up into a high ponytail. After his time at the Burial Mounds, as the Yiling Patriach Wei Wuxian wore most of his hair down and tied his red ribbon loosely into the rest of his hair. After he's resurrected in the body of Mo Xuanyu, he puts his hair back up into a ponytail.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: He can be incredibly brutal if he feels that the other party deserves it. There's how he dealt with the Wen Sect in the past, and there's also his inner thoughts that sum up his reaction after hearing about the things Xue Yang has done.
    If he were Chang Ping, he wouldn't have cared how prominent or powerful the Lanling Jin Sect was, or how much glory the road ahead offered him, and he wouldn't have let the matter go. Instead, he would've went to the dungeons on his own, cut Xue Yang up so that he was nothing more than a puddle of flesh on the ground, and summoned his soul back to repeat the process to the point that he regretted ever being born in this world.
  • Expressive Hair: Not usually, but there's one instance in the donghua where his ahoge wiggles in delight when he takes a bite of an ice cream dish.

    F-I 
  • Face Death with Dignity: While falling to his death in The Untamed, Wei Wuxian only smiles and closes his eyes.
  • Facial Composite Failure: After being brought back to life, Wei Wuxian realizes to his consternation that the portraits of him that people sell on the streets do not accurately capture any aspect of his looks. He makes sure to tell the charlatan selling said portraits to make sure to draw him better in the future.
    Wei Wuxian: Wei Wuxian was a man famous for his good looks. What is this that you've drawn?! If you haven't seen the actual person, then don't draw anything. You're gonna mislead the younger generation.
    • However, while Wei Wuxian doesn't realize it, this trope actually works in his favor. Because many are misinformed about his appearance, it's difficult for anyone who's not closely affiliated with either him or Mo Xuanyu to recognize him on sight, which allowed him to remain Beneath Notice for a while.
  • Failed a Spot Check: There's one rare instance in the Phoenix Mountain hunt, where his First Kiss was stolen from him while he was blindfolded. He searched around to find the culprit but found no one nearby... except for Lan Wangji, who was uncharacteristically punching trees in anger and distress. Yet Wei Wuxian couldn't put two and two together.
  • Failure Montage: In the audio drama, he's given a hilarious one regarding his many attempts in annoying the Damsel of Annual Blossoms just to be able to see her face.
  • Falling into His Arms: Whenever Wei Wuxian feels faint, Lan Wangji always makes sure to catch and hold him. Wei Wuxian even invokes this trope at one point when he jumps from a tree to see if Lan Wangji would catch him, and he does — symbolizing how Lan Wangji is the only person who always stood by his side.
  • Fate Worse than Death: According to the author, Wei Wuxian didn't find peace even after his death. During the thirteen years he was dead, his soul was said to be trapped in an unending nightmare, although the author doesn't elaborate on that.
  • Faux Yay: Initially, at least. 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. The problem is that Lan Wangji has been holding a torch for him the entire time, and thought that Wei Wuxian was making fun of his feelings. He only keeps up with it because he's that selfless and in love.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Part of what soured Wei Wuxian's standing among cultivators after the Sunshot Campaign was his refusal to bring his sword to any formal event, since doing so is a common formality. However, people act as if Wei Wuxian committed a grave crime, although he ignored their complaints.
  • Fight Magnet: In the past, several cultivators wanted to prove their skills and fight Wei Wuxian after he started practicing demonic cultivation. However, they were frustrated as he never brought his sword with him, thus they accused him of being mannerless.
  • First Episode Resurrection: Near the start of the story, he gets brought back to life by Mo Xuanyu.
  • Fisticuff-Provoking Comment:
    • When Jiang Cheng starts insulting both Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji in the Jiang ancestral hall, Wei Wuxian tries to settle the issue non-violently and leave in peace. However, once it becomes clear Jiang Cheng won't let them be and decides to get a little too scathing with his words, Wei Wuxian loses his patience and attacks his former friend with a talisman.
    • In the donghua, Wei Wuxian punched Jiang Cheng in anger when the latter made a callous remark at how Wen Qing and Wen Ning's innocence and act of saving their lives didn't matter because they were still part of the Wen clan. In the novel and the other adaptations, he only warned Jiang Cheng to not say or do anything that would make him get physical with him.
    • He has a particularly short temper for this with Jin Zixuan. He got expelled from the Cloud Recesses early on because he punched Jin Zixuan for insulting Jiang Yanli. He did this again when Jin Zixuan yelled at Jiang Yanli out of the belief she's trying to take false credit for making the soup he ate.
  • Foil:
    • Wei Wuxian is an effective one to Jin Guangyao. Both have one parent of lowly origins, which the others mock them for; yet both came out on top in spite of it. The contrast lies there, however: Wei Wuxian ignores everyone's remarks on him being the son of a servant (even if it slightly irks him) and gained his reputation by proving his intelligence and fighting skills; whereas Jin Guangyao hates being called the Son of a Whore and while he initially rose in rank through honest means, he eventually started back-stabbing people (both literally and figuratively) to get even higher. Also, Wei Wuxian is ready to take responsibility and make up for what he did wrong, while Jin Guangyao always tries to shirk responsibility or convince himself and the others that his actions were justified.
    • He and Jiang Cheng would qualify for the Sibling Yin-Yang trope if they were related by blood. To summarize, their dispositions, beliefs, and virtues are perfect parallels. However, this is what results in them clashing and drifting apart. While they care for each other, their characters are simply too different for them to remain side-by-side, especially after they assume positions of power or renown. In the finale, both come to a mutual understanding about their differences, allowing them to stop dwelling on the past and by extension, each other.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Zigzagged between him and Jiang Cheng. In the more casual moments, Wei Wuxian is the former whereas Jiang Cheng is the latter. In times of duress, both assume the latter role even with their different approaches due to contrasting temperaments. But in situations where morality is involved, Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng tend to be seen In-Universe as the Foolish and the Responsible Sibline, respectively, although the narrative shows that it's the other way around.
  • Foreshadowing: While subtle, there are a few clues that would build up to The Reveal regarding regarding Wei Wuxian and his golden core.
    • The donghua hints earlier on what happened, in the scene where Wei Wuxian gets ambushed. He looks exhausted — a hint that he's just gone through something extremely dangerous. There's also a small Time Skip between Jiang Cheng climbing the mountain and this scene — because during said time skip Wei Wuxian was being operated on to have his golden core transplanted into Jiang Cheng. It's why he's not able to fight back against Wen Chao and co.
      • The Untamed pulls something similar. After Jiang Cheng heads up the mountains to have his golden core restored Wei Wuxian is moving slowly and clutching his stomach, which first-time viewers might assume just means he's exhausted and hungry. But upon a second watch, it's clear that he is exhausted and in pain after surgery.
    • Ever since the Sunshot Campaign ended, Wei Wuxian's tendency to never bring his sword with him was repeatedly brought up. At one point, Wei Wuxian told Jiang Cheng that he'd rather not bring his sword because he knew he would be repeatedly challenged to a sword fight, which he's not in the mood for. In the present, Wen Ning confirms his claim — a cultivator's weapon is linked to their golden core and Wei Wuxian didn't want anyone finding out that he no longer had his.
  • Forgetful Jones: Downplayed. A few characters In-Universe have commented on Wei Wuxian's terrible memory, and Wei Wuxian even admits to his tendency to forget things. This is justified given the emotional trauma he endured in the past, which likely caused him to subconsciously repress a few of his less pleasant memories. Wei Wuxian says that another reason for his forgetfulness is his mother's saying to remember only the kindness others show him and not the other way around.
  • Forgot About His Powers: In The Untamed, Wei Wuxian exhibits the ability to stop or manipulate time or other people's perception of time. He only uses this ability in one other instance in the Yi City arc, but never again for the rest of the series. Either this is a lapse on the writers' part, or the ability only works on those with weak or nonexistent spiritual power.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: In the donghua's second season, there are a few scenes that feature a rattle drum, and in the final episode he picks up one and wonders why he's so fond of it. A flashback shows that when he was still living in the streets, Lan Wangji stumbled upon him and gave him his own rattle drum as an act of kindness.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Not really from an objective point of view, but Wei Wuxian sees himself as this when he, while using Empathy on someone, gets to watch his past self from an outside perspective.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
  • Fragile Speedster: While he was a Lightning Bruiser in the past, he's currently this since Mo Xuanyu has a weaker physical build and lower cultivation power. As such, he mostly dodges when confronted in physical combat and relies mostly on talismans or demonic cultivation.
  • Freak Out: He has a glorious one shortly after the Yi City arc. After learning what the Lan Sect's forehead ribbon symbolizes, his response is to walk around a dead bush at least fifty times, all the while his face is constantly changing colors.
    • He also has major freak-outs whenever a dog (mostly Fairy) is nearby due to his cynophobia. It's so bad that he screams in fear and climbs the closest thing near him, like a tree or Lan Wangji.
  • 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. He's never mean-spirited about his teasing, however.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Wei Wuxian is the cultivation equivalent of one, having come up with many inventions (such as the Spirit Attraction Flag and the Compass of Evil) that others admit are highly useful, even if said inventions are created by someone who they had deemed to be dangerous and evil. In The Untamed his inventions would sometimes blow up in his face and going off the Wen's expressions, it hasn't been the first time.
  • Gallows Humor: Wei Wuxian tends to make an offhand joke about his death once in a while, and in the past he would make a few morbid jokes about his wounds. Naturally, no one's laughing at them.
  • 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, Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng fell out and became enemies for a long time.
    • Wei Wuxian and his mother share a lot of similar traits, from being The Gadfly to even having similar tastes in the men they ended up marrying.
    • While he's not related to the man, he and Jiang Fengmian also turn out to have one thing in common. Jiang Fengmian could never get along with Yu Ziyuan, even though he did care for her, due to their contrasting beliefs and personalities — which is the exact same reason why Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng eventually drifted apart.
  • Genki Boy: He has an energetic and sunny disposition, and is noted by Jiang Fengmian to be a boy who always smiles. This side of him becomes a lot more subdued after the Sunshot Campaign began, but some hints of his jovial personality remain.
  • 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.
  • Good Feels Good: In the audio drama's take on the Intrusion extra, Wei Wuxian tells Lan Wangji that he understands the importance of Lan Wangji appearing "wherever the chaos is", as per his reputation, and it feels nice to accompany him in helping the common folk since that's its own reward. .
  • Go Out with a Smile: He has a serene expression on his face while falling down to his death in The Untamed.
  • Grave Robbing: During the Sunshot Campaign, Wei Wuxian exhumed several graves to add the corpses to his own Army of the Dead.
  • 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".
  • Guilt Complex: He's present or involved in a lot of tragedies, such as the loss of his biological family, his adoptive family, and then his surrogate family. Given the reasons or circumstances that influenced those events, it's no surprise that Wei Wuxian's spirit is crippled with guilt to at least some extent. It doesn't help that a lot of the people around him tend to blame him whenever something bad happens, even when it has nothing to do with him.
  • Happily Adopted: Zigzagged. While he's officially no more than a disciple of the Jiang Sect, he was well-beloved and got along with everyone... except for the family matriarch Yu Ziyuan, who resented him because her husband treated him more warmly than he did his own son, who Wei Wuxian just so happened to surpass in every way.
  • Hartman Hips: Played with, since he's never drawn this way, and he's physically fit in both his old and his new body. However, the Incense Burner extras describe Wei Wuxian having a thin waist, slim hips, and quite the round backside. And if you take a closer look, he keeps this figure in The Untamed, especially with the thin waist.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Whenever Wei Wuxian ever shows signs of being attracted to Lan Wangji, he plays it off as if no one of any gender or rank would be able to resist Lan Wangji's charm, and he also believes that it doesn't need to mean that he has feelings for him. Unlike with the usual examples, however, Weo Wuxian doesn't fear being Mistaken for Gay or anything of the sort; he's just that oblivious to his own feelings.
  • Hearing Voices: Implied; due to his abilities of necromancy, Wei Wuxian has a stronger connection with the dead than most other cultivators. When he and Lan Wangji enter the Nie family's ancestral hall, which is rife with buried corpses and lingering spirits, he's the only one who thinks that the place is insanely noisy.
  • 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 six centimetres shorter, Wei Wuxian finds himself feeling small when standing right next to the people 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. This is because he no longer had his golden core, which significantly slows the body's aging process.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Whenever Wei Wuxian 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 won't hesitate to do the right thing when he has to. However, he no longer wishes for the adventurous and dangerous life he once had and prefers to live in peace 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 want to help him like he helped them, to the point that he 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 Amulet, 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.
    • A more lighthearted example occurs involving the jars of Emperor's Smile he found in Lan Wangji's bedroom. Initially thinking that Lan Wangji kept the jars for himself, Wei Wuxian refilled the jars that he consumed with water as a prank — and Lan Wangji would end up giving him the same jars the next time they returned to the Cloud Recesses.
  • 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, as well as many other reasons, it doesn't always work out.
  • Humble Goal: Even before their Relationship Upgrade, he subconsciously thought of what he and Lan Wangji would do in the future, and his thoughts mainly consisted of them building a home and possibly even adopting a child. The Incense Burner extra also shows that he frequently has dreams of him and Lan Wangji retiring from cultivation and living a peaceful life together.
  • Humble Hero: Zigzagged. While he can be prideful, even claiming 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 prioritizes about saving lives over getting praised for defeating big monsters.
  • Hurting Hero: He never lets it show, but Wei Wuxian is deeply affected by his losses and the actions he took to avenge those losses.
  • Hypocrite: Normally, Wei Wuxian is the last thing from one, except during the instances where he encouraged Lan Wangji to be more honest about whether he's in pain or needs help, even though he himself never did the same thing no matter what crisis he's in. This is deconstructed, however, his self-contradiction about helping and being helped is tied his selfless nature and his low sense of self-worth. Growing out of this is part of his Character Development.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • When it comes to his sex life with Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxian is very much open to rough play. Yet he draws the line when it comes to spanking, which is essentially one of the mildest parts of rough play, even when Wei Wuxian has already dabbled in lewder stuff. Granted, it's explained that he dislikes it not because of the pain, but because it feels humiliating since parents do the same thing to their unruly children.
    • Wei Wuxian takes almost every opportunity to tease Lan Wangji in an attempt to fluster him. However, Wei Wuxian himself gets flustered very easily just from a few affectionate words from the other.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Wei Wuxian is not a romantically insecure guy, 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.
  • I Choose to Stay: It's implicit at best in the novel, where he makes it clear to Jiang Cheng that he will not leave the Wen survivors until he knows they'll be completely safe even when he's not around. The Untamed actually makes this explicit through an exchange.
    Jiang Cheng: If you go back this time, you might not be able to see all of us, the people you're familiar with, for a long time.
    Wei Wuxian: But I'm going back to see people I'm also familiar with.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: He has no regrets about taking up demonic cultivation and using it to annihilate the Wen Sect. However, he expresses to Lan Wangji that if he could take a different path, he would. Except that there is no such path, so he'll see things through to the end.
    Wei Wuxian: I, too, wanted to walk the bright path — a path that allows me to protect those I care about without resorting to demonic ways or the Stygian Tiger Amulet. Now, I no longer can.
  • Idiot Hair: He has an ahoge both in his past and present lives. While he's not an idiot, he can be emotionally dense.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: He does this three times throughout the novel.
    • He denies Jin Zixun's accusations of casting the Hundred Holes Curse on him by invoking the trope word-for-word.
    • 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.
    • In the finale, when Su She accuses him of tampering with the grave buried beneath the Guanyin Temple by having it poison anyone who tried to dig it up, Wei Wuxian replies that he would have used more direct means to deal with them if he really was the culprit.
  • I Hate Past Me: When he recalls how he used to be in the past, his immediate reaction is getting the urge to beat up his younger self for his follies.
  • The Illegible: Downplayed. Wei Wuxian is a master of calligraphy and can write beautifully, but his default handwriting consists of wild and rough strokes.
  • I Love the Dead: Played with. He's not a necrophiliac, although he doesn't mind being surrounded by undead corpses all the time. In one of his past encounters with Lan Wangji, he had a harem of female ghouls 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.
    • Wei Wuxian always flirted with Lan Wangji either to disgust him away or to tease him, but then it turns out that Lan Wangji had feelings for him the entire time, which would then make it seem like Wei Wuxian was leading him on.
    • Wei Wuxian deeply cares for Jiang Cheng, and is aware that his actions in the aftermath of the Sunshot Campaign deeply affected his relationship with Jiang Cheng. However, Wei Wuxian took enough precautions to ensure that Jiang Cheng wouldn't suffer the consequences of his actions, and he always wished for friend's safety and trusted that Jiang Cheng would fare well even when he's not around. Regardless, he only realizes too late the full extent of how hurt Jiang Cheng is by being left alone. Wei Wuxian is only able to apologize for breaking his promise of always being there for Jiang Cheng, even if Wei Wuxian's reasons for leaving the Jiang Sect were gravely understandable.
  • Instant Expert: Downplayed; after coming out from the Burial Mounds, Wei Wuxian already proved to be skilled with using resentful energy for several kinds of purposes. Then again, three months passed between the time he was thrown into the wasteland and when he came out of it, so he had time to practice. While the learning practice was strongly implied to be a Training from Hell for him, it still took him only a few months instead of years to gain great control and knowledge over a new and previously unfounded practice of cultivation, which is notably impressive.
  • Insufferable Genius: Wei Wuxian admits that in the past he was quite arrogant and thought he was a one-of-a-kind talent, which is more or less true as no one could deny his skills in cultivation. However, he never rubbed his successes in anyone's faces, and it wasn't his intelligence but his impulsiveness and untamed nature 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.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: He doesn't have any problems with putting on makeup, and he loves being pampered like a princess. Just ask Lan Wangji.
  • Ironic Name: Wei Wuxian's flute, Chenqing, means "to explain something in complete detail". However, he made the flute after becoming a demonic cultivator, and many of the problems he encountered as the Yiling Patriarch were born from miscommunication.
  • Irony:
    • When he was still studying, he didn't get along with his teacher; but he himself turns out to be a very good teacher who his students would readily listen to.
    • Similarly, back when he was a teenager he remarked on how uncomfortable life must be in the Cloud Recesses due to how ascetic and rule-abiding the Lan disciples are, and even stated that he had zero intentions of ever marrying in the Lan Sect because of it. Two or so decades later, he and Lan Wangji become cultivation partners, and he's finally able to live a completely peaceful life in the Cloud Recesses.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: Wei Wuxian doesn't care when others would talk about his reputation either as an Evil Overlord, a crazed power-hungry villain, or The Casanova — all of which are false and inaccurate. However, he gets insulted when someone says that his flute-playing is terrible or draws him as ugly; since he takes pride in both his musical skills and his looks.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: It wasn't initially his plan to investigate a corpse that's related to a huge conspiracy. After his resurrection, his plan simply comprised of traveling around while staying out of the business of any of the big clans. However, the events in the Dafan Mountain arc show that fate had other plans for him. Then the finale hints that his getting involved in the mysteries surrounding the demonic arm was actually planned from the beginning.

    J-P 
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Wei Wuxian isn't a spiteful person nor does he normally feel contempt towards other people, but it's no secret that he hates Jin Zixuan's guts like no other. While he can go overboard with how he expresses it, his anger isn't without reason, since Jin Zixuan did disrespect and humiliate Jiang Yanli more than once before.
  • Just for Pun: He has an odd sense of humor when naming things. In the Burial Mounds he names his residence "Demon Slaughtering Cave", because he often sleeps in the cave after his work "slaughters" him, and since he's a "demon" he only found the name to be fitting.
  • Kiddie Kid: He normally acts like his age or more mature than his age in certain situations, but there are a few times when he acts childish so he could be babied. However, he only acts in such a way towards Lan Wangji or Jiang Yanli whenever he feels like receiving affection from them, since they're the only people he feels completely safe around.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: His personality after his resurrection shows that he's become this, due to seeing the cultivation world at its worst firsthand and suffering because of it. He remains heroic at heart, but he's no longer as idealistic as he used to be.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After everything that happened in his first life, Wei Wuxian learns much faster on when someone can't be reasoned with directly. However, he still finds other creative ways to get others to listen to him or at least get off his case.
  • 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 as he could no longer wield spiritual energy.
  • Lame Excuse: Played for Laughs. When he and Lan Wangji arrive at Koi Tower to investigate Jin Guangyao, Jin Ling sees him and demands the reason for his presence, and Wei Wuxian chirps that he's there for the food.
  • Large Ham: 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. Of course, he's doing it on purpose and the audience can easily tell that he's having a ball with acting as unrestrained as he can.
  • 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 aftermath of the Nightless City massacre.
  • Laughing Mad:
    • The audio drama has Wei Wuxian break out into laughter when faced with the cultivators who cornered him in the Burial Mounds as he's reminded of the last time he was in a similar situation.
    • In The Untamed, Wei Wuxian laughs at the other cultivation clans in mockery while watching them fight each other for the remaining half of the Stygian Tiger Amulet.
  • Lethal Chef: He burned a hole through a wok once; whether he meant it literally or otherwise is unclear. Also, he can only cook insanely spicy stuff; although it's likely that he could have been a decent cook if he didn't spike his food with so much chili.
  • 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 purely platonic and sibling-like in nature.
    • He also has this relationship with Wen Qing when they met again after the Sunshot Campaign.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Not much is known about Wei Changze to completely confirm this trope, although a few characters usually comment on how Wei Wuxian strongly resembles his mother. There's no mention of how he takes after his father in any capacity.
  • The Lost Lenore: Deconstructed. His death didn't send Lan Wangji into a depression, although the latter mourned his death for some time. After recovering from both his wounds (which he received from defending Wei Wuxian) and his grief, Lan Wangji continued living the best he can, honoring Wei Wuxian's memory all the while.
  • Love Epiphany: Over the course of the story, Wei Wuxian gradually becomes more and more aware that his feelings for Lan Wangji are going beyond platonic. But it takes Lan Xichen telling him about what Lan Wangji did for him during the aftermath of the First Siege to give him the final push to confess his feelings.
  • 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.
  • Luminescent Blush: Wei Wuxian, specifically his post-Time Skip self, easily turns red whenever he feels overwhelmed by his blossoming feelings for Lan Wangji (which isn't hard to do). Even after they get together, there are still some instances when Wei Wuxian breaks into a blushing fit out of his and his husband's affection for each other.
  • Madness Mantra: After Jiang Yanli's caused his sanity to snap, Wei Wuxian lost awareness of his surroundings and kept repeating "Get lost!" even after Lan Wangji took him away from the battlefield.
  • Make an Example of Them: When he was still studying in the Cloud Recesses, Wei Wuxian was punished to copy the Lan Sect's rules a few times. But it didn't really do anything to straighten him up. After he left, anyone in the Cloud Recesses who would break a rule would be punished with copying the rules while doing handstands, to ensure that they really learn their lesson.
  • Magic Music: Played with. 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.
  • 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 treated it as if it's merely a superficial injury.
    • When he got shot in the chest with an arrow during the Nightless City attack, his response was to calmly yank out the arrow and throw it back at the archer responsible.
    • When Jin Ling stabs him after finding out who he really is, Wei Wuxian only mentally remarks in annoyance how Jin Ling and Jiang Cheng are really alike since they stab in the same places.
  • Malicious Slander: Wei Wuxian is the most frequent victim of this In-Universe, both in the past and the present. Sometimes, it happens behind his back, and other times people are hurling vicious insults at his face.
  • 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 how he's seen In-Universe as a Fallen Hero.
  • Megaton Punch: His fight with the gravedigger shows that when he powers his punches with resentful energy, his punches become strong enough to go through the ground and break the earth around him.
  • Men Can't Keep House: When Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji first visited Wei Wuxian in the Burial Mounds (on separate occasions), they quickly saw that Wei Wuxian wasn't someone who liked to organize his stuff as they couldn't take a step in his lair without nearly stepping on something.
  • Mind Rape: During the Sunshot Campaign, Wei Wuxian drove several Wen clansmen mad to the extent that they either committed suicide or died by self-mutilation. However, it's unknown whether he pulled this off through his ghouls/corpses or through another dark spell.
  • Misery Builds Character: Reconstructed. A good portion of Wei Wuxian's life is linked to the losses he suffered, whether it involves either his family, his friends, or his powers. However, Wei Wuxian's character is defined by how he, in spite of all the suffering he had underwent, always remain true to his heart. As such, he is able to overcome his struggles. He can never forget his losses, but his inner strength allows him to accept, learn, improve, press on, and move forward in a healthy manner.
  • Misblamed: It happens to him a lot In-Universe, what with him being The Scapegoat and all.
  • 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 in 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.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Played for Laughs when Jin Ling wakes up and finds himself shirtless... with Wei Wuxian holding his clothes. Wei Wuxian didn't help the situation at first by joking along, although the misunderstanding is cleared up pretty quickly.
    Jin Ling: [panicking] I am not a cut-sleeve [homosexual]!!!
    Wei Wuxian: [beaming] What a coincidence— I am!
  • Mr. Seahorse: Wei Wuxian makes a few jokes about the trope a few times.
    • When Lan Wangji first met Wen Yuan, Wei Wuxian's reply translates to "I gave birth to him," even though he contextually (and falsely) meant that Wen Yuan was his son. Lan Wangji actually bought the joke for a second.
    • In one of the extras, Wei Wuxian joked that if it was possible for men to get pregnant, he would have given birth to a lot of children by now due to his sex life with Lan Wangji.
  • 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 between hilarious and heartbreaking.
  • My Greatest Failure: In the present, he regrets ever having created the Stygian Tiger Amulet, given all the bad stuff that happened because the Jin Sect coveted it.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: While he never expected it to happen, he views his revival as this even if he doesn't say it out loud. He ensures that he doesn't repeat the mistakes he committed in the past, improves in how he deals with others who have disagreements with him or he used to misunderstand, and he never stays stuck in the past.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: A platonic 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 as long as Jiang Yanli is happy.
  • 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 rumors.
  • Never-Forgotten Skill: The author confirmed that his state after his death was far from peaceful or liberating, but neither that nor thirteen years of being separated from the mortal world cripples his ability to use demonic cultivation. The donghua takes this Up to Eleven — not even a week has passed since he came back, yet slaying a dangerous mutated beast and breaking an ancient powerful seal (that was said to be nearly impossible to break by just anybody) is still a cakewalk for him.
  • 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.
  • Never My Fault: He's one of the very few characters in the entire cast who averts this trope, readily taking responsibility for his mistakes and never deflecting the blame onto others. However, he understandably refuses to take the blame for the things that he didn't even do in the first place — which he makes clear to everybody else.
  • 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 three currently living uncles, Wei Wuxian is the Nice one. He's patient with Jin Ling but never spoils 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 tease or advise Jin Ling whenever he makes mistakes.
  • No Badass to His Valet: He's neither disrespectful nor dismissive of authority, but he's not afraid of calling out the other clans when they're being outright assholes or making zero sense with their logic.
  • No Body Left Behind: 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 the Burial Mounds.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: While it could be argued whether he was truly at fault or not, 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 survivors of the Wen Sect, and rescuing Su She from the Waterborne Abyss.
  • No Respect Guy: No matter what he does, almost everyone will always find ways to blame and demean him. Only very few do recognize, remember, and honor his deeds (e.g. Lan Wangji, Mianmian, and the junior cultivators).
  • No-Sell: He does this a few times in the final arc, particularly towards anything that would come out of the Big Bad's mouth. Aside from the revelation that Lan Wangji was in love with him (and for longer than he would have thought), when Jin Guangyao attempts to give him a Breaking Speech in the final arc, Wei Wuxian simply takes it on the chin. Then later, when Jin Guangyao tries to squeeze any remaining sympathy from Lan Xichen, Wei Wuxian butts in with a half-annoyed and half-embarrassed request that they should just stop talking and start fighting — an unusual twist on the phrase to settle matters with words and not swords.
  • 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.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Majority of the narrative is how everyone sees Wei Wuxian as an embodiment of pure evil and destruction. But the truth is that it's not the case, and nothing about the legend of the Yiling Patriarch was as simple and black-and-white as everyone believed it to be.
  • Not Good with Rejection: The novel reveals that Wei Wuxian secretly fears the possibility that Lan Wangji would find out about his real feelings and consequently reject them. Consequently, he would rather be seen as a flirtatious fool than get taken seriously yet be dismissed anyway.
  • Not So Different: Zigzagged. He and Jiang Cheng are completely different like ice and fire... because they're both their mother's sons.
  • 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. That, and he's no longer welcome there, which Jiang Cheng likes to remind him about.
  • 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 to be Mo Xuanyu around everyone else.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He usually acts like a goofball slacker until he goes 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. Although the audio drama hints that he may not have been oblivious to how he felt about Lan Wangji after all, since a bonus episode details Wei Wuxian giving Lan Wangji a peony while being aware about the romantic symbolism of the flower.
  • Occult Detective: His main role in the present time's storyline, as he and Lan Wangji set out to find all the dismembered limbs, figure out who the limb's owner is, then find out why they died.
  • 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 was rumored to have taken on five-thousand Wen soldiers by himself, and massacred them with barely any survivors. Then during the Nightless City attack, he's held accountable for the deaths of at least three-thousand cultivators; although he does clarify that while he killed a lot of cultivators, it's impossible for him to be solely responsible for a total of three-thousand casualties.
  • Only I Can Make It Go: To a degree. Wei Wuxian created the Stygian Tiger Amulet, which the Lanling Jin Sect wanted because of its power to draw large amounts of resentful energy and command waves of corpses endlessly. However, Wei Wuxian was only able to create it from a sword that spent centuries absorbing the resentful energies of the Tortoise of Slaughter's victims, and such a thing can't easily be found anywhere, let alone replicated. When half of the amulet was obliterated, Xue Yang recreated the missing half, but Jin Guangyao claims that its function and potential is still nowhere close to the original version and can only be used so many times until it becomes a useless scrap of metal.
  • Only Sane Man: He's not fooled by what people say or show, and doesn't take anything at face value. The novel even has some scenes where when he's of the extremely small minority who's thinking clearly and rationally in contrast to the other people in the same room as him.
  • Opposites Attract: The outgoing and exuberant Wei Wuxian falls in love with and ends up marrying the quiet and reserved Lan Wangji.
  • Papa Wolf: From the moment he realized that Jin Ling is Jiang Yanli's son, Wei Wuxian developed a bit of a protective streak towards him. He doesn't hesitate to call out the youth on the poorer aspects of his personality, but he also shows worry about Jin Ling's Friendless Background and dreads the thought of any harm happening to him.
  • 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 or creates tiny papermen for sneaking around.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In The Untamed, he wears a Cool Mask (like Mo Xuanyu did) since the summoning ritual caused Mo Xuanyu's body inhabit both Wei Wuxian's sole and appearance, and Wei Wuxian has no plans of being found out any time soon. While this works against unsuspecting strangers and those who never personally knew him, it's a different story with those who do. However, it's his powers that give him away first before anyone even starts thinking of asking him to take off his mask.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: His mindset during the Sunshot Campaign. The Wen Sect 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 saw that when he first took Wei Wuxian, Wei Wuxian would always put on a smile no matter what went his way. This part of him slowly sheds as he grew older and experienced more and more hardships.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: After the events of the Second Siege, Wei Wuxian faints once he gets on a boat as he's overtaxed himself from fighting waves of fierce corpses. Although it turns out that while he was exhausted, he merely pretended to faint as he wanted an excuse to sleep in Lan Wangji's arms.
  • Power Incontinence: His degree of control over his dark powers partially depends on his emotional state.
  • The Power of Blood: Some demonic cultivation spells require the use of blood, and there are times when Wei Wuxian uses his own blood to perform the more complex spells.
  • The Power of Hate: Demonic cultivation 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 and Nightless City attack was his hatred and anger towards anyone who wronged him and those he held dear.
  • Precision F-Strike: Wei Wuxian doesn't curse that much, unless he's really pissed or frustrated. Such is the case in the audio drama where he utters "妈的", which commonly translates to "Fuck!", in Jin Zixuan's face.
  • Pride: Wei 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 things without thinking his words through, 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.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Invoked In-Universe. The overall story shows that Wei Wuxian, while a heroic man at heart, is still far from a complete saint; although this applies for every other character as well, given the novel's Grey-and-Gray Morality. That aside, the flashbacks tell the story of how and why Wei Wuxian came to be known from a beloved cultivator to a heretical villain.
  • Proud Beauty: Downplayed. Wei Wuxian is not so narcissistic that he brags about his beauty often or even occasionally, but he is well aware of the fact that he has good looks. So when he sees in the present that charlatans would depict him as an ugly man, he gets extremely offended.

    Q-Z 
  • Rags to Riches: His marriage to Lan Wangji greatly improves his financial situation by the end of the novel.
  • 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 in truth a Hero with Bad Publicity.
  • Red Baron: Wei Wuxian is known by society as the feared and reviled Yiling Patriarch. The mention of Wei Wuxian's title alone gives shivers down almost everyone's spines.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the donghua, 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 the more stressful situations he becomes 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.
  • Rejected Apology: Downplayed; when he apologizes to Jiang Cheng for breaking the promise he made to him years ago, Jiang Cheng responds with a bitter laugh, stating (in his special roundabout way) that he's the one who should be apologizing to Wei Wuxian for all the times he wronged him.
  • Riches to Rags: Being one of the top disciples of the Jiang Sect and one of the best cultivators of his generation meant he had a lot of good things going for him. After he sacrificed his golden core and thus had to take up demonic cultivation to compensate, his life ever so slowly went downhill. Wei Wuxian himself lampshaded how when he was still with the Jiang Sect, he never had to worry about buying anything; whereas after he left, he and a few other characters remarked on how broke he was.
  • 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. He dealt with Wang Lingjiao by making her eat a table leg and consequently choke on it, then he drove Wen Chao insane enough that he ate a good portion of his flesh to the point that he feared the sight of meat. That was only the beginning of what he had planned, and the rest is left for the reader to guess. And for good reason.
    • In the donghua, he used the corpse of Wang Lingjiao (who he killed not long before) to attack Wen Chao and then impaling and eviscerate them both with dark energy. And in between, he twisted Wen Zhuliu's legs and right arm until they were broken beyond repair before destroying his golden core, leaving him defenseless when the fierce corpses start to have at him.
  • 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 from Wuxian to Wuqian, and Wuqian translates to "no money".
    • From the past to the present, Lan Wangji sometimes remarks 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.
  • Sacred First Kiss: In spite of his reputation as a flirt, Wei Wuxian was careful regarding who to share his First Kiss with and was shocked when it was stolen from him during the Phoenix Mountain hunt.
  • 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 or when he casually talks about the abuse that was heaped on him by Yu Ziyuan.
  • Sadist: Although, he only showed his bloodthirsty side when he was dealing with the Wen Sect, and he certainly didn't hold back with his brutality at that time.
  • Samaritan Syndrome: Jiang Cheng accuses him of having the need to play hero. He's half-correct; Wei Wuxian does has the habit of saving people in need; but not because it makes him feel better, only because it's the right thing to do. However, this gets deconstructed in the moments where Wei Wuxian's acts of kindness get used against him in the long run.
  • 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 — even if Wei Wuxian isn't at fault — the people who are involved or affected always lash out at him because they have a hard time accepting responsibility for their actions, can't admit that no one was truly at fault for what happened, or need someone to let out their resentment on, and Wei Wuxian's recklessness and Ineffectual Loner status make him a very easy target.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Not so much in the donghua and the audio drama, but in The Untamed Lu Zhixing increases the pitch of his screams in the scenes where Wei Wuxian gets scared by a dog, giving off this effect.
  • Seen It All: He gives off this impression most of the time after his reincarnation. It's justified, given the many horrible experiences he had in his first life.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: The Intrusion extra shows that Wei Wuxian has gained a habit of accidentally wearing Lan Wangji's inner robes whenever he wakes up. Given their respective sleeping schedules, however, this is likely invoked on purpose by Lan Wangji.
  • 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.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Part of the narrative is showing the difference between Wei Wuxian as the person he really is and the legend everyone sees him as.
  • Signature Hair Decs: He uses a red ribbon to tie up his hair both in his first and second lives. While it's subtle, this makes him stand out from the other male cultivators, who wear special crown-like hairpieces — something which Wei Wuxian never has.
  • 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. After coming Back from the Dead, he wears a different set of robes with a similar color scheme, which symbolize how he's moved on from his past either as Wei Wuxian of the Jiang Sect or as the fearsome legend that is the Yiling Patriarch.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Downplayed. Wei Wuxian is bisexual; he has shown to be attracted to women before and isn't immune to admiring the physique of other men, but Lan Wangji is the only person he has ever fallen for.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Downplayed. During night-hunts, while he'll give good advice to the juniors and intervene if he believes their lives are in real danger, he'll usually sit off to the side as they handle whatever ghost they're trying to exorcise and brush them off if they ask for his help.
  • 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: Wei Wuxian is better at interacting with people than most other cultivators of his generation, especially since he approaches them without any regard for their reputation, gender, or status.
  • So Much for Stealth: In the Dafan Mountain arc, he could have gotten away with hiding his true identity had it not been for the threat that the Dancing Goddess posed. Said threat left him with no choice but to summon Wen Ning (which attracted Jiang Cheng's suspicions) and then playing a song to calm down Wen Ning afterwards (which then attracted Lan Wangji's suspicions).
  • So Proud of You: In the Iron Hook extra, Wei Wuxian happily remarks on how much Jin Ling has grown as a person.
  • Squishy Wizard:
    • Downplayed in his first life. While he wasn't as physically resilient as he used to be when he still fought with the sword, he was still able to endure and live through a lot of severe attacks, and what did him in was being torn apart into nothing — something that no one could ever survive.
    • In his second life, Mo Xuanyu's body isn't as well-built as his original one, which makes him more of this trope. However, Wei Wuxian is still tough on his own, he retains his combat senses and is still able to react quickly when he's in danger.
  • 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 Smart: He's far from Book Dumb, being quick-witted and educated. But compared to the other cultivators of his generation, he's the most well-equipped in casual conversations with the common folk and understanding how people think and act, especially since he has had the most exposure to a world that lacked the privilege and fortune that the cultivation clans have.
  • Street Urchin: He was one from the time of his parents' deaths to when he was found and taken in by Jiang Fengmian.
  • Superpower Lottery: It's understated, but if the audio drama is anything to go by — as it's the most faithful to the novel and any of its additional content is personally approved by the author herself — Wei Wuxian was able to form another golden core in his new body. This would make him one of the few cultivators capable of manipulating both spiritual and resentful energy. And since he's the Yiling Patriarch and was known to be an expert cultivator back in the days...
  • Survivor's Guilt: Played with, since he had already died once and didn't anticipate being brought back to life. While he acts like the past is no longer his concern, some moments would prove that he still often thinks about it. He never goes into episodes of "I could have done something else," or "It should have been me,", and he feels guilt and remorse for everything that happened; but because the past can't be changed, he won't spend the rest of his life holding onto grudges and regrets.
    Wei Wuxian: No matter how much regret I feel, my mistakes will never vanish. The deceased cannot return to life. My death brought an end to the old scores of my previous life. Now that I have come back, I should only look to the future.
  • Sweet Tooth: It's not as pronounced as his love for spicy foods, but Wei Wuxian is also fond of eating desserts. The novel has a chapter where he eats candied haws, and the donghua features him eating ice cream.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Deconstructed. While he understands Xue Yang and Jin Guangyao's motives and why they became the people the are now, he doesn't condone their actions in any way.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: It's heavily implied that several cultivators had it out for Wei Wuxian in the past not just because he's a Defector from Decadence, but they resent and envy his prowess and how he managed to create and advance an entirely new path of cultivation at such a young age. Normally, the clans wouldn't find this to be that big an issue... except that they don't like being surpassed by someone who's essentially of commoner blood. As such, this fueled their desire to take him down so they could brag about taking down a supposed Evil Genius.
  • Taught by Experience: Everything Wei Wuxian imparts to the juniors, whether it's life advice or anything related to cultivation, corpses, and night-hunting, is based on what he went through in his past life.
  • 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 junior cultivators. 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.
  • Teen Genius: When it comes to ranking each cultivator by their intelligence, Wei Wuxian has always been in a league of his own. To say that discovering and rapidly developing demonic cultivation at a young age is no small feat is still a major understatement. It says something that despite the many bad things others say about Wei Wuxian, no one ever calls him unintelligent.
  • Tell Me About My Father: In the first few episodes of The Untamed, any mention of his mother immediately has him ask the person who mentioned her to tell him anything else they knew about Cangse Sanren.
  • Terrible Artist: Averted. In The Untamed and the donghua, he's shown to be a pretty good artist, it's just that he prefers to only show off this talent when he's goofing around.
  • Theme Song: The opening song of the donghua, "Drunken Dreams of the Past", is sung from Wei Wuxian's point of view as the song narrates how he views his life and how he never betrays his beliefs in spite of all the trials and tribulations he goes through.
    Overlooking both good and evil, I witness the chaos of life
    Side by side, we fight against the world
    Not once did I betray my principles
    Leading a carefree life, I have transcended virtues and vices
    Yet I cannot erase the scars from within my heart
    In this life, we shall not be caught in strife
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: As a result of the events at Qiongqi Path, Wei Wuxian started rapidly losing his grip on his sanity. When he arrived at the Nightless City and is confronted with the injustice, cruelty, and hypocrisy of the other sects — which was worsened by the thought that there's no one left who cares for him and that his own family and friends now see him as a monster — he decided to become what they had always feared him to be.
    He felt that everyone loathed him and he loathed everyone as well. He wouldn't be scared no matter who came at him. It wouldn't matter no matter who came at him. It was all the same anyway.
  • Thrill Seeker: According to the Intrusion extra, Wei Wuxian prefers to go on the more dangerous night-hunts, although he's only after the risk and not the reward.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: His second life is this in a nutshell. As seen in My Greatest Second Chance, Wei Wuxian lost almost everything before, including his own life, because of the injustice of others and because of circumstances he proved unable to control despite his best efforts. After his reincarnation, he doesn't go through the same sufferings once again and after the finale, he now lives a pleasant and fulfilled life free of the troubles of the cultivation world's politics and the toxicity of his past.
  • Too Powerful to Live: Despite his assurances, Wei Wuxian isn't always in control of his powers especially when he's stressed beyond reason. However, the reason why the cultivation world wanted him dead wasn't because they feared that his demonic cultivation was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. As Jiang Cheng had put it best, when his powers were useful to them, they saw him as the greatest ally they could ever have. However, once his interests no longer aligned with theirs they immediately labeled him as their most threatening liability since they could no longer use his powers to meet their own ends, and it didn't matter to them whether he's truly turning evil or not.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Rice wine, his shijie's cooking, and all things spicy.
  • Tragic Hero: All Wei Wuxian wanted to do was save and protect the people around him. It always backfired on him and eventually led to his death, although he gets a second chance after he's brought back to the mortal world.
  • Training from Hell: Almost literally, in this case. For three months, Wei Wuxian was stuck in the Burial Mounds, which is a lifeless wasteland that's overflowing with vengeful ghosts and resentful energy. Also, he was in extreme pain from the wounds he received from being thrown into the place. Even then, he persevered and in less than half a year, became the first to use resentful energy in an efficient manner.
  • Tranquil Fury: He can display his anger in this manner depending on the target and the reason for his anger.
  • 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.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Played with, since demonic cultivation wasn't an ability he always had. While it's never shown outright, the entire process of Wei Wuxian learning The Dark Arts is hinted to be anything but easy. After all, he was stuck in the Burial Mounds, emaciated and with broken bones, and he was uncertain whether the Wen Sect would win and if his foster siblings would remain safe. Yet while all the resentment in the place was both physically and mentally wearing him out, he refused to die, allowing him to emerge from the Burial Mounds with a new power at his arsenal in three months' time.
  • Trickster Mentor: He acts as this towards the junior disciples, most notably during the Yi City arc. He properly explains about what others ask him, but he still encourages the juniors to figure things out for themselves and lets them try to solve cases using their own skills. He even tells 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.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Zigzagged; most of the story is told from Wei Wuxian's point of view. However, he doesn't intentionally omit or change any details, and any detail that is left out is explained by the fact that he didn't either witness or remember them.
    • One of the two things that makes his recounting of events slightly doubtful is how his opinion of some events and the people involved in them is unusually forgiving. For example, he brushes off the abuse he suffered with the Jiang family like it wasn't such a big deal, whereas any reader would know that it is a big deal as Yu Ziyuan's constant belittling is one of the primary sources of his Heroic Self-Deprecation issues.
    • The second thing that casts doubts on his narration is whenever his relationship with Lan Wangji is involved. Anyone who first reads the novel is likely to believe that Lan Wangji is nothing but impassive and neutral towards him for most of the story, but upon a reread, they would realize that Wei Wuxian is mistaken. Then again, it's not as if he's lying, that's simply what he believes.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Even if some things were inevitable,
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Played with. While he's certainly not happy with the misfortunes brought on him, he never felt the desire to take bloody revenge against Jin Guangyao even when he and his sect played a huge part in Wei Wuxian's life going downhill after the Wens' defeat. Wei Wuxian only wants to stop Jin Guangyao simply because he's connected to the murder mystery he's currently investigating. Then when the truth about the Big Bad comes out and all the cultivation clans turn against him, Wei Wuxian feels annoyed, disappointed and disgusted as he's reminded of when he was the target of the same treatment caused by schadenfreude and mob mentality, and he could see that no one learned their lesson about such things.
  • Villain Protagonist: Subverted. In truth 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 sharper edge. In the donghua, his voice goes through a second evolution after his resurrection, being an amalgamation of how he sounded before and after he became the Yiling Patriarch.
  • Weak, but Skilled: At present, 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 Are Not Going Through That Again: It's all but stated that the reason he immediately leaves with Lan Wangji after the entire matter with Jin Guangyao and Nie Mingjue is resolved is because he doesn't want to deal with the fallout or anything else the cultivation world might throw at him, which was what happened to him before.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • He and Jiang Cheng were once as close as brothers, but various events, decisions, and circumstances worsened their relationship to the point that Jiang Cheng now hates him. While he still cares for Jiang Cheng and is saddened about what happened between them, Wei Wuxian understands why their friendship deteriorated and is completely resigned to the fact that it can't be repaired. He even tells Jiang Cheng that too much had already happened between them and that it's better if they move on.
    • To a lesser extent, Wei Wuxian also has this dynamic with Nie Huaisang, which is shown more explicitly in the finale of The Untamed. The two were close during their teenage years at the Cloud Recesses, but after Wei Wuxian is resurrected and he figures out Nie Huaisang was the reason he's alive again, as well as the one behind Jin Guangyao's demise, he's thankful, but warns him of the one of the Lan Sect's rules that "one mustn't associate with evil". Nie Huaisang understands that they've both changed too much to ever return to their friendship during their youthful years, but they do part on more respectable terms.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: The defensive variant; in The Untamed, Wei Wuxian uses his own flute to block sword attacks.
  • 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. Consequently, he's also averse to being bitten (unless sex is involved) since it reminds him of dogs.
  • 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.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: While his generation as a whole was forced to grow up much sooner than expected because of the discord and wars that they were faced with at a young age, Wei Wuxian still outshines his peers and even his elders with his ability to healthily deal with the adversities that come his way, his profound understanding of human behavior, and his wide knowledge of the world around him.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Deconstructed. Lan Wangji feared that this trope is the effect demonic cultivation would have on Wei Wuxian. While it did mentally wear him out to an extent, it was not the direct cause of his Sanity Slippage.
  • The Worf Effect: Mo Xuanyu isn't as physically adept or gifted in cultivation as Wei Wuxian, so Wei Wuxian isn't as powerful as he used to be. Still, Wei Wuxian remains the most proficient user of The Dark Arts, and the author confirmed in her notes that he's training to cultivate a new golden core in his current body after the main events of the novel. The audio drama confirms that by the time of the Dream Come True extra, Wei Wuxian eventually formed another golden core that's powerful enough for him to be able to carry his sword with him again.
  • Worf Had the Flu: His powers weren't exactly impaired at the time, but it's obvious that the Nightless City attack would have a completely different outcome if Wei Wuxian's emotional and mental state weren't impaired by all the hardships he's been dealing with.
  • 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.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: It comes with being a Friend to All Children. Even when Jin Ling attacks him nonstop during their first encounter, the most Wei Wuxian does to fight back is to use a talisman that pins Jin Ling down but doesn't actually hurt him.
  • Wrong Name Outburst: While he was still posing as Mo Xuanyu, Wei Wuxian strictly referred to Lan Wangji by his title, but slipped to calling him by his birth name whenever he got spooked by dogs.
  • 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 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 Jiang family. 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 resentful energy could provide when it comes to hunting or analyzing corpses and spirits.

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