Main Characters: Wei Wuxian | Lan Wangji
Five Great Sects: Gusu Lan Sect | Yunmeng Jiang Sect (Jiang Cheng) | Lanling Jin Sect (Jin Guangyao) | Qinghe Nie Sect | Qishan Wen Sect
Other Characters: Other Sects | Yi City Group | Miscellaneous Characters
Voiced by (Mandarin): Zhang Jie (animation), Tong Yin (audio drama), Lu Zhixing (live-action)
Voiced by (Japanese): Kazuhisa Nakayama (audio drama)
Played by: Xiao Zhan (live-action)
Another illegitimate son of Jin Guangshan, Mo Xuanyu was taken in by Jin Guangshan after the death of Wei Wuxian, specifically to counter Jin Guangyao. A homosexual ("cut-sleeve" in Chinese parlance), Mo Xuanyu's choice of paramour was Jin Guangyao - which did not bode well for his reputation. Jin Guangyao was however one step ahead of him, and chased Mo Xuanyu out of Koi Tower at the first chance, on top of (allegedly) driving Mo Xuanyu insane. However, Mo Xuanyu had read the theory of the sacrificial rite, and used it to summon a villainous ghoul to possess his body, trading his own soul to kill the Mo family.
Note: For the person currently inhabiting his body, see Wei Wuxian in his respective character page.
- Adaptational Sexuality: In the novel, he was explicitly stated to be gay. The donghua makes him an Extreme Omnisexual, and The Untamed makes him straight due to the rumors of him hitting on Jin Guangyao's wife rather than Jin Guangyao himself. However, in the very latter case there are some hints where not all is at it seems (see Hidden Depths below).
- Beware the Silly Ones: The Mo family doesn't seem to be aware of this trope, unfortunately for them, as eventually Mo Xuanyu had enough of their abuse and summoned none other than the Yiling Patriarch to kill them. One also must not forget that he actually managed to summon Wei Wuxian's soul when hundreds of other full-fledged cultivators have been trying to do the same for years with no success. Granted, he used a forbidden spell to pull it off, but still.
- Compressed Hair: When Wei Wuxian first reincarnated into Mo Xuanyu's body, the latter's hair is styled in a cross between a bun and a short ponytail, but not much loose hair is shown. When it gets retied later, it's easy for the viewer to assume that Wei Wuxian suddenly grew out a very long ponytail.
- Cool Mask: In The Untamed, his habit of wearing ghostly makeup is replaced with donning a mask that hides half his face. Although according to Jin Ling, there are times that Mo Xuanyu went with the makeup instead of the mask.
- Deader Than Dead: The ritual he used to summon Wei Wuxian's soul requires the destruction of his own; meaning his soul can never return to the mortal world.
- Depraved Homosexual: How he came to be known by just about everyone.
- Destroy the Abusive Home: His reason for summoning Wei Wuxian.
- Expy: It's easy to see Mo Xuanyu as one to Shen Qingqiu/Shen Jiu from Ren Zha Fan Pai Zi Jiu Xi Tong, since both are characters who had to die for the protagonists — who already died once — to get reincarnated (in a sense) and get the plot rolling. The difference is that in Mo Dao Zu Shi, there's no transmigration involved.
- Extreme Omnisexual: In the donghua, he is this instead of a Depraved Homosexual. Rumor is that he would harass anyone and anything he found pretty, including animals and plants. It's never confirmed on whether this is true or merely the result of gossips exaggerating his homosexuality.
- Foil: Mo Xuanyu and Wei Wuxian have a few other things in common besides their faces.
- Wei Wuxian was born from a marriage between two common-blooded people who genuinely loved each other, while Mo Xuanyu was born from a one-night stand between two nobles.
- Both were adopted into a major sect. But while Wei Wuxian was accepted as a full-fledged disciple and soon became the head disciple; Mo Xuanyu was only accepted as a guest disciple. Both also ended up leaving the sect: in Wei Wuxian's case, he left to spare the Jiang Sect from any further political fallout; and in Mo Xuanyu's case, he got kicked out after allegedly harassing his half-brother who he was (again, allegedly) attracted to.
- Their relationships with the family they grew up with is also similar: they're despised by the family matriarch, who treats them as kindly as they would dirt. Mo Ziyuan's resentment towards Mo Xuanyu mirrors Jiang Cheng's own bitterness towards Wei Wuxian born out of envy.
- Because of the abuse he suffered from the rest of his family, Mo Xuanyu wanted them dead in retaliation. In spite of Wei Wuxian's own complicated and blood-soaked history with the Jiang family, he never wishes any ill will on either Yu Ziyuan or Jiang Cheng and merely chooses to move on from his past while telling the latter that he should do the same.
- Hidden Depths:
- The Untamed provides his character with a few additional layers. In the novel, all that's known about him is that he's gay and was interested in his half-brother, had a few screws loose, and summoned Wei Wuxian to take revenge on his family. While the last part remains true in the series, the series adds an additional target of Mo Xuanyu's revenge — namely Jin Guangyao. From this, Wei Wuxian infers that the possible reason Mo Xuanyu really got kicked out of the Jin Sect was because He Knows Too Much about Jin Guangyao and tried to warn Qin Su before he got thwarted and that his insanity was possibly induced by Jin Guangyao via a song from the Collection of Turmoil.
- Even in the original novel, there are hints of him knowing more than it seems and that the reason he got kicked out was very different than claimed; the ritual he used to summon Wei Wuxian is found in a book hidden in Jin Guangyao's rooms and he definitely had some skill with demonic cultivation to pull off said ritual. Considering the Jin Sect was trying to gain the power of demonic cultivation that Wei Wuxian had, this implies that Mo Xuanyu was part of the sect because of his talent for The Dark Arts.
- Identical Stranger:
- While the manhua shows that his appearance and Wei Wuxian's original appearance have some similarities but are still distinguishable from the other, his character design in the donghua makes him look as if he is Wei Wuxian himself. The only differences are that Mo Xuanyu has longer hair and a shorter and slightly less masculine build, but that's about it.
- The trope is completely played straight in The Untamed, where Wei Wuxian and Mo Xuanyu are played by the same actor. This is justified since it's explicitly stated in the live-action drama that the summoning ritual includes the effect of Wei Wuxian's appearance being slowly assimilated into Mo Xuanyu's body. The only way to tell them apart is that Wei Wuxian has a Beauty Mark whereas Mo Xuanyu doesn't.
- Lineage Comes from the Father: Downplayed. He's not acknowledged as a candidate for the position of the Jin Sect leader, but he was still enlisted as a guest disciple. While he got kicked out, it's not due to his mother's background but rather, his preference for men.
- Plot-Triggering Death: The events of the book really centered around the sacrifice that brought Wei Wuxian back into the world.
- Uncanny Valley Makeup: When Wei Wuxian first wakes up in Mo Xuanyu's body, he sees that his face is garishly covered with white powder, with the eyes caked in red. Some characters likened it to a "hanging ghost".
- Unwitting Pawn:
- It can't actually be proven, but Wei Wuxian's hypothesis was that Nie Huaisang used Mo Xuanyu to deliberately summon Wei Wuxian back into the world, kicking off the long Xanatos Gambit that Nie Huaisang had prepared for the downfall of Jin Guangyao as revenge for Nie Mingjue's death.
- The Untamed plays around with this. Whether or not he remains a pawn in Nie Huaisang's plans isn't confirmed, but either way his role as one is diminished since in the adaptation he actively sought revenge against both his family and Jin Guangyao. Whether or not Nie Huaisang used him in his plans, Mo Xuanyu would have found a way to have both his family and his half-brother killed.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Xu Jiaqi (animation), Chen Nianru (audio drama), Zhang Yumeng (live-action)
Played by: Wang Yifei (live-action)
A servant of an unnamed sect that was brought to the Wen Sect's "re-education camp" along with several other cultivators.
- Action Survivor: During the Xuanwu Cave arc, she managed to escape Dusk Creek Mountain, even though there were several Wen clansmen hunting anyone who tried to get away.
- Adaptational Badass: Downplayed. During the Xuanwu Cave arc, she served purely as a Damsel in Distress in the novel. In The Untamed, while she still got nearly branded by Wang Lingjiao, she was able to join the others in the fighting beforehand.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: She appears long before the Sunshot Campaign began in The Untamed. See Ascended Extra below as to why.
- Ascended Extra: In the Live-Action Adaptation, she's a guest disciple of the Jin Sect rather than a servant of an unnamed and lesser-known sect like she was in the original story; thus she's given a bit more screentime.
- Back for the Finale: Thirty or so chapters after her appearance during the conference at Koi Tower, she appears again in the epilogue when she and the protagonists run into each other in Guangling.
- Chekhov's Gun: Her medicinal pouch — which she gave to Wei Wuxian either in an embarrassed fit (in the novel) or out of guilt for him getting hurt from protecting her (in the donghua) — as it ended up being of great help to Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji when they got trapped in the Xuanwu Cave. On a more hilarious note, her pouch also shows how petty Lan Wangji can be when jealous, since the epilogue reveals that he stole it from Wei Wuxian and has been using it as his wallet ever since.
- Damsel in Distress: She was this during the Xuanwu Cave arc. This is justified, however, since her weapon was confiscated and she was surrounded by armed Wen soldiers.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: She's the only prominent female character to survive all the way to the epilogue, living a content life as a rogue cultivator with a family of her own.
- To Jin Guangyao. Both were born of lowly origins but were given an opportunity to rise in rank after the events of the Sunshot Campaign. However, when faced with the self-serving hypocrisy of the other cultivation clans, Mianmian chose to have none of it and walked away; whereas Jin Guangyao remained a Slave to PR and thought it's better to keep quiet, bide his time, and get back at anyone who slighted him. In return, Mianmian — despite giving up her status — finds happiness with a loving family; whereas Jin Guangyao — who's driven to preserve and elevate his position — lives a life of deceit, murder, and suspicion before finally facing the consequences of his actions.
- To Sisi, who gives credence to Wei Wuxian's worry that Mianmian's life would be irrevocably ruined if her face got branded, since Sisi couldn't properly do her job anymore since her scarred face repulsed any potential customers.
- To Cangse Sanren. While Mianmian never studied under Baoshan Sanren, her life as an adult has almost everything else in common with Cangse Sanren's. She's a cultivator with no ties to any sect, is Happily Married to a man who's considered to be of a lower status than her, and has a child who's more or less a mini version of her.
- Good Parents: From the little that is shown in her actions between her and her daughter, she and her husband seem to treat little Mianmian well.
- Happily Married: She marries a merchant who quit his job to accompany her during night hunts, and bore a daughter with him.
- Name's the Same: In-Universe; her nickname is Mianmian, and she gave her daughter the same nickname.
- Nice Girl: She had a bit of a temper in the past, but she was still one of the two people who publicly spoke in Wei Wuxian's defense, and even years later continues to feel grateful towards him for saving her life.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Played with. While her real name is revealed since her introduction, in the story almost everyone calls her Mianmian. The only exceptions are Lan Wangji, who refers to her as "Maiden Luo"; and her husband, who calls her by her given name.
- Only Sane Man: Gender-inverted; she's the only other person besides Lan Wangji who doesn't buy the Blatant Lies that the Jin Sect feeds to the other cultivation clans.
- Pink Is Feminine: Her character design in the Animated Adaptation features her with pink clothing and hair decorations.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: She leaves her sect out of disgust when she defended Wei Wuxian after the Sunshot Campaign but was dismissed by everyone on the sexist pretext of her being a woman who Wei Wuxian saved once.
- Shipper on Deck: In The Untamed, she's this for Jin Zixuan and Jiang Yanli.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Her presence is the (unintended) root cause of the fall of the Lotus Pier.
- Stay in the Kitchen: She gets this treatment from the other cultivators when she attempts to defend Wei Wuxian, with her statements being dismissed solely on the account that she's a woman, much to her justified indignation.
- Take This Job and Shove It: When she sees just how unreasonable and sexist the other cultivators are, she chooses to leave her sect, even when no one takes her claim seriously.
- Took a Level in Badass: An implicit example. Her main role in the story is being a Damsel in Distress. Then the epilogue reveals that since she left her sect, she's been going on night hunts solo.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Wu Hao (audio drama)
Wei Wuxian's father. Formerly a servant of the Jiang Sect, he left after marrying Cangse Sanren and had a son with her. They and their son were happy... until he and his wife died while on a night-hunt.
- Action Dad: Wei Changze was only but a servant of the Jiang Sect, but he seemed to be skilled enough in cultivation to have studied with his master in the Cloud Recesses. He and his wife would also go night-hunting together.
- Childhood Friends: Wei Changze previously served the Jiang Sect and was on good enough terms with Jiang Fengmian that the latter would take the initiative to adopt Wei Changze's son after his death.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: He's one of the very few fathers or father figures who was kind to his wife and nurturing towards his child. Naturally, he's dead.
- The Faceless: The artists for the audio drama never give the viewer even a brief glimpse of what his face might look life, in contrast to his wife. In the manhua, his wife is the only one of the pair to make a brief appearance.
- Foil: Wei Changze is a general foil to most of the fathers in Mo Dao Zu Shi, as he married for love instead of political connections and he never neglecting or mistreating his son; he's also specifically a perfect foil to his friend Jiang Fengmian. They do share something in common: dying in tragic circumstances and leaving their children orphaned at a young age (and much younger in Wei Wuxian's case).
- Good Parents: Although very little is known about him compared to his wife, there's no proof that points to the contrary. Wei Wuxian's only memory of his father involves him being carried on the latter's back while the entire family is traveling merrily.
- Happily Married: Almost every other parent duo in the story are bound by Arranged Marriage, hence marital problems were inevitable. Wei Changze's married life with Cangse Sanren is even a complete contrast of Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan's marriage; both chose to marry each other without being forced or obligated to.
- Posthumous Character: He and his wife are dead even in the flashback arcs. This is consistent in all adaptations.
- The Quiet One: Implied. Wei Wuxian's sole memory of his parents indicated that Wei Changze was rather quiet and not one for talking.
- We Used to Be Friends: Averted. While he eventually left the Jiang Sect and married the woman Jiang Fengmian was rumored to be in love with, there's no mention or hint of him falling out with his former master.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Chen Nianru (audio drama)
Wei Wuxian's mother. In her younger years, Cangse Sanren studied under Baoshan Sanren before leaving her mentorship and eventually marrying Wei Changze and having a son with him. However, she and her husband died a few years later while they were night-hunting.
- Action Mom: Cangse Sanren is a disciple of Baoshan Sanren, which is saying something.
- Affectionate Nickname: In the audio drama, she calls her husband "Young Master Wei" with the same fond tone her son uses when he calls Lan Wangji "Second Brother Lan".
- Childhood Friends: She studied the same school with Wei Changze and Jiang Fengmian when they were younger.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: She's the only other known female character besides Jiang Yanli and Luo Qingyang to have no issues with both her marriage or raising a son. It's no surprise then that she kicked the bucket when Wei Wuxian was still a child.
- Dude Magnet: Cangse Sanren had many men vying for her hand in marriage, but she chose to be with Wei Changze.
- Foil: To Yu Ziyuan. Yu Ziyuan is said to have forced Jiang Fengmian into a marriage with him, resulting in them having an unhappy relationship, and she's far from a decent mother to both her biological children and her ward. Cangse Sanren, on the other hand, entered in a mutually consented in a joyful marriage with someone she loved, and she proved to be a good and loving mother in the few years she spent with her son.
- The Gadfly: It's easy to see where Wei Wuxian got his trolling personality from. An extra from the audio drama shows her teasing Wei Wuxian, with Wei Changze gently chiding her for putting a fish in her son's shirt some time ago, which is similar to how Wei Wuxian would tease Wen Yuan despite his affection for the boy.
- Good Parents: Like mother, like son indeed. Wei Wuxian took a lot after her, including a soft spot with children and good knowledge in dealing with them.
- Happily Married: Compared to the most of the other female characters who were in an Arranged Marriage, Cangse Sanren eloped with Wei Changze on her own free will. As such, both were completely content together.
- It Runs in the Family: Cangse Sanren fell in love with a man who is kind but quiet in nature, and so did her son.
- Noodle Incident: According to an interview with the author, Cangse Sanren once pranked Lan Qiren by cutting off his beard in retaliation for him nearly getting his brother and Jiang Fengmian killed during a night-hunt and not apologizing for it.
- Posthumous Character: She and her husband are dead even in the flashback arcs. This is consistent in all adaptations.
- Spell My Name with an "S": One can be forgiven for translating the mother's name into Zangse Sanren, since the 藏 in her name can be pronounced as either cang or zang. The donghua and the audio drama use the former pronunciation, while the Live-Action Adaptation uses the latter.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Bai Xuecen (live-action)
Played by: Liu Tingyu (live-action)
A powerful and ancient cultivator whose location is unknown, and the teacher of the late Cangse Sanren and Xiao Xingchen.
- Action Girl: Strongly implied at the very least. She managed to cultivate to immortality, after all, and her students are all said to be highly skilled swordsmen.
- Adaptation Expansion: Baoshan Sanren gets to make an appearance in The Untamed via a brief flashback involving her and Lan Yi.
- The Ageless: She's one of the very few cultivators who achieved immortality and is still alive at present.
- Ambiguous Gender: Played with. As the Chinese language uses genderless pronouns, whether Baoshan Sanren is truly a woman or a man is unknown. Even the manhua adaptation was initially unsure on which gender to portray the character with. The Untamed portrays Baoshan Sanren as a woman, and majority of the fandom goes with the interpretation that Baoshan Sanren is a woman since the fan English translations also make use of female pronouns when referring to the character.
- Foreshadowing: In the manhua, Baoshan Sanren was initially drawn as a man before the artist changed it to a woman, alluding to Wen Qing and how she's really the one who restored Jiang Cheng's golden core.
- Healing Hands: According to others, Baoshan Sanren can restore life and bring flesh back to bone. Wei Wuxian even justifies this as the reason that she can also repair damaged golden cores, except that he wasn't being honest.
- The Hermit: She chose to isolate themselves from the rest of the mortal world so as to not get involved with their various conflicts, and she encourage their disciples to do the same.
- Meaningful Name: Baoshan literally translates to "to embrace a mountain", referring to her choice to live in solitude and reside on a mountain.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Inverted. All her three students didn't die peaceful deaths, and the reader even gets to witness the exact circumstances of how her third student kicked the bucket.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: This happened with Yanling Daoren, her first student who left her tutelage. This trope is played with in that Yanling Daoren became evil long after he went down the mountain.
- Really 700 Years Old: Baoshan Sanren is rumored to be born on the same generation as the founders of the Lan and Wen Sects, who were born centuries ago.
- The Unseen: She never makes a proper appearance (except for the Live-Action Adaptation due to plot divergence), and is only mentioned by name. This is the case even when Wei Wuxian told Jiang Cheng that she's the only one who can restore his golden core, although that's because he was lying to him.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Xing Chao (animation), Li Qingyang (audio drama)
Voiced by (Japanese): Takeshi Nishimura (audio drama)
Voiced by (Korean): Cho Jin-suk (animation)
Played by: Sun Shengxuan (live-action)
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In The Untamed. While it would be far-fetched to call him handsome, he's nowhere as obese as he appeared in the Animated Adaptation.
- An Arm and a Leg: He loses his left arm after being possessed by an evil spirit.
- Asshole Victim: Almost. The only one who mourns his death is his mother, but not even Wei Wuxian feels even a smidgen of pity for his death.
- Back from the Dead:
- Dirty Coward: Played with. He still gets violent, but he's clearly out of his element when his "cousin" starts to fight back against him. Played straight in the donghua, where he runs away when "Mo Xuanyu" kicks him in the face.
- Fat Bastard: In the donghua and the manhua, compared to the novel where he's described with a "sickly-looking constitution".
- For Want of a Nail: Mo Xuanyu wouldn't have any reason to summon Wei Wuxian if Mo Ziyuan wasn't cruel towards him, after all.
- Green-Eyed Monster: The main reason he treats Mo Xuanyu like dirt is because he's envious of Mo Xuanyu for having the cultivational abilities that he himself lacks.
- Karmic Death: He abused Mo Xuanyu, who summoned Wei Wuxian to kill him, but Mo Ziyuan ended up dying from stealing one of Wei Wuxian's inventions. Wei Wuxian even lampshades how it's almost like poetic justice.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: He does this often to Mo Xuanyu, literally even. Too bad he failed to realize that even lunatics are more than capable of snapping and fighting back.
- Large Ham: While he's far from a restrained character, he's nearly wailing all of lines in the Japanese audio drama.
- Manchild: Borders on Psychopathic Manchild. Even at the age of 17 (or 20 in the Live-Action Adaptation), his mother's doting ensured that he would never mature or wisen up.
- Momma's Boy: He's quick to go crying to his mom if distressed or upset.
- Spoiled Brat: The adult version. He's quick to get mad and throw violent tantrums when things don't go this way.
- Sticky Fingers: He tends to steal all of Mo Xuanyu's belongings, believing that he's entitled to own them.
- Too Dumb to Live: Despite being instructed clearly and repeatedly by full-fledged cultivators to not go to the courtyard and touch anything, he ignored their warnings and did just that. Guess what happens to him next.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Liao Jing (animation), Chang Rongshan (audio drama)
Voiced by (Japanese): Kae Oki (audio drama)
Voiced by (Korean): Sin Gyeong-sun (animation)
Played by: Jia Shuyi (live-action)
- Demonic Possession: She's last of the Mo family to get possessed by the ghost arm.
- Foil: To Yu Ziyuan.
- Both are the matriarchs of a family who despise someone for outshining their own son, and subsequently treats them horribly. What differs is that while Mo Xuanyu eventually snapped and wanted revenge for Madam Mo's abuse, Wei Wuxian never harbored any grudges against Yu Ziyuan for her mistreatment of him.
- While they love their sons, they treat their boys differently. Madam Mo spoils her son and lets him get away with whatever he does (only scolding him in one instance), resulting in him becoming a spoiled Manchild. On the other hand, Yu Ziyuan is stricter than strict on her son and berates him when he falls slightly of her expectations, causing him to grow up with both anger and self-esteem issues.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She abused Mo Xuanyu out of resentment for him getting chosen as a guest disciple of the Jin Sect instead of her own son. By extension, she resented her sister for the same reason.
- Large Ham: If all of her Chinese voice actors portray her as a mean old lady, then her Japanese voice actor in the audio drama portrays her as a hysterical old lady... and this is before her son kicks the bucket.
- Never My Fault: In a way; when Wei Wuxian bluntly reminds her that Mo Ziyuan's refusal to listen to warnings resulted in his death, Madam Mo refused to admit that her son brought his doom on himself.
- No Name Given: She's only referred to as "Madam Mo" by the others.
- Wicked Stepmother: She's just as bad as her son in her treatment of Mo Xuanyu. Constantly calling him a lunatic is just icing on the cake.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Kuo Haojun (audio drama)
Jin Guangyao's mother, and a formerly famous prostitute in Yunmeng.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Despite her profession, she wholeheartedly loves her son and is one of the very few positive influences on Jin Guangyao's life.
- Desecrating the Dead: Implied. Her body was buried underneath the Guanyin temple after her death, but her grave was emptied some time before Jin Guangyao attempted to retrieve her remains. What happened to her corpse is unknown, but Wei Wuxian speculates that her corpse was dismembered and scattered to spite Jin Guangyao, since he did the exact same thing to Nie Mingjue's corpse after sending him into qi deviation.
- Due to the Dead: After Jin Guangyao burned down the temple where he and his mother used to work at, he built a temple over its remains and modeled the Guanyin statue after her so people would honor and worship her.
- Hidden Depths: As stated in her description, she's known to be rather well-educated for a prostitute, as she can read, write, and play the guqin. Not that many think it amounted to much because in the eyes of the public, the stigma of her profession outweighs her talents.
- Horrible Judge of Character: In her defense, she's not the first to be blind to Jin Guangshan's true character and how he doesn't care for any of his mistresses or the children he conceived with them.
- Ill Girl: She got an unknown illness some time after giving birth to Jin Guangyao. Her conditioned severely worsened by the time her son was ten years old, and she eventually succumbed to her illness some time later.
- Parents as People: She never mistreated Jin Guangyao and did her best to take care of him in spite of the environment they lived in. However, she made the (albeit innocent and well-meaning) mistake of telling him about who his father is and instilling in him her hope that he would eventually be accepted into the Jin Sect so they would escape their life of difficulty and poverty. Long after she died, Jin Guangyao never got rid of that hope, which ended up being his undoing.
- Posthumous Character: She died long before the Sunshot Campaign began.
- Pride: She gets accused of this by her co-workers and some of her patrons as well, since she used to be a famous prostitute but held on to the glory of being one even long after she had a son and was no longer in her prime. Even Sisi, the only one who was nice to her, called her out on this.
- Reality Ensues: As she didn't have the wealth or the means to constantly take care of herself, giving birth to a child slowly weathered out Meng Shi over the years which made her less and less desirable for customers. Naturally, this didn't work out in her favor. In one instance, it got her beaten up by a client.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Yan Meme (audio drama)
Played by: Su Yue (live-action)
- Adapted Out: Not her, exactly; although the series never showed Jin Guangyao's flashback during his life in the brothel which would then explain why he spared only Sisi and not the other prostitutes.
- Beware the Nice Ones: While not much is known about her, it still requires a lot of kindness for someone to show concern towards people everyone else either slandered or treated poorly. And whenever she's defending those people, it usually involves her yelling at the others to piss off or getting into a violent catfight with someone who decided to get a little too mouthy.
- Covered in Scars: Her face is full of cuts, and in the novel they're said to be so gruesome that the others are immediately creeped out. This is why she covers up her scarred face with a veil.
- Nice Girl: Everyone in the brothel Jin Guangyao grew up in would always make fun of him or his mother behind their backs. Sisi is the only one who stood up for both of them.
- Properly Paranoid: She's the only one who realized how suspicious it was for someone to hire several prostitutes who were past their prime and take them somewhere without informing anyone else. She's also the only one who gets spared, albeit for a completely different reason.
- Token Good Teammate: Downplayed. Between her and Bicao, Sisi had significantly less self-serving reasons to tell the others what she knew. She spent eleven years in prison and then was rescued by someone who urged her to tell her story to the other cultivation clans, which would be a very understandable thing to do from her point of view. Even if she was compensated, Wei Wuxian never noted on her acting out of greed, unlike Bicao.
- Vocal Evolution: Sisi sounds completely different in the flashbacks (both when she defended Meng Shi and when she was called to "service" Jin Guangshan) and in the present. This is justified since several years had passed since both events had occurred, and she was also locked up for eleven years.
- Woman Scorned: She's on the receiving end of this trope. One of her customers whom she intended to marry had a wife, and said wife hired some thugs to scar her face.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Yang Neng note (audio drama)
- Adapted Out: She's not present in any way in The Untamed, unless the viewer counts her as one of the ghosts Jin Guangyao sees in a hallucination near the finale.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: While the story shows that there are many more unpleasant ways to die, being burned alive is still far from a merciful way to go.
- Jerkass: From the little the reader knows of her, she's catty, unpleasant, and takes fun in talking about people behind their backs.
- Small Role, Big Impact: She's just a Bit Character, but it's through her memories that the main cast realize more vital information about Jin Guangyao.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Xu Jing note (audio drama)
Played by: Fan Huawei (live-action)
Qin Su's handmaid, and previously Madam Qin's handmaid.
- Didn't Think This Through: While she told Qin Su about how she and her husband are half-siblings, she never accounted for the possibility that her mistress would kill herself out of despair. Wei Wuxian even calls her out on it.
- Have We Met?: The cultivators gathered in Lotus Pier eventually recognize Bicao when Lan Qiren points out that she looks familiar.
- Only in It for the Money: Wei Wuxian suspects that Bicao disobeyed Madam Qin's orders to never tell anyone the truth about Qin Su's birth is because she was offered a hefty sum of money. The fact that Bicao quickly hides her expensive jade bracelet when Wei Wuxian points it out further supports the possibility.
- Secret Keeper: For years, she's the only one who knew about how Qin Su is yet another of Jin Guangshan's illegitimate children. At least, until a good bribe loosened her tongue.
Voiced by (Mandarin): Feng Ming (audio drama)
A wealthy man who appears only in the 'Gate-Crashing'' extra. He's been troubled by a fierce corpse constantly rapping at the gates of his house by night and calls for help, receiving the assistance of Lan Sizhui, who's accompanied by Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji.
- Adapted Out: Since The Untamed doesn't cover the extra chapters, he's not present in the live-action drama.
- Blatant Lies: Wei Wuxian initially refuses to be helpful with him regarding the fierce corpse because he can tell that the guy is hiding vital information from them.
- Due to the Dead: After the fierce corpse that's been trying to break into his household finally accomplishes his goal, Young Master Qin pays for the corpse's burial services.
- Jerkass: While he's not rude or dismissive to the protagonists, they notice that Young Master Qin is obstinate and doesn't think too highly of servants. He even rubs Lan Sizhui off the wrong way.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Again, downplayed, as when the fierce corpse finally breaks into his house, the worst it does to him is knock him out with one punch before deciding that its business is done. However, the experience does scare Young Master Qin straight in the long run.
- Name's the Same: In universe; he has the same family as the Qin family of the Laoling Qin Sect, although they don't seem to be related in any way, especially since Young Master Qin is not a cultivator.
- Never My Fault: He's very reluctant to admit that he's the reason there's even a fierce corpse harassing his household late at night, and refrains from telling the whole truth to the very people he called to help deal with the issue. It takes a lot of pressing and more nights of the fierce corpse's persistence to get in that he breaks and starts spilling the beans.
A donkey that Wei Wuxian brought along with him after he left Mo Village.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: In the donghua, Little Apple appears in the Mo Village arc rather than the Dafan Mountain arc, which is when he makes his first appearance in the novel.
- Adaptational Jerkass: In every adaptation, Wei Wuxian initially had difficulty in getting the animal to come with him. Although in the donghua, its stubbornness seems to come from personally disliking Wei Wuxian rather than from simply being a Picky Eater. There's also when it intentionally harasses the rabbits in the Cloud Recesses just because. In the novel, it was only acting aggressive because it was hungry.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: In the manhua, Little Apple is still overall prickly, but a few panels show him to be more affectionate towards Wei Wuxian. When the two see each other after the conclusion of the Yi City arc, Little Apple starts to running to Wei Wuxiian with tears in its eyes, as if saying that it missed its owner.
- Animal Jingoism: In Real Life, whether donkeys and dogs can get along is a mixed issue; there are cases when they do, and there are other cases when they don't. In Little Apple and Fairy's case, it's the latter.
- Big Eater: It can eat several apples at once.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As one would expect from a donkey, Little Apple is stubborn and difficult to have around; but they willingly continued to tag along with Wei Wuxian during the Dafan Mountain arc when they could have just left, and didn't make any noise when they sensed that the latter wasn't in a good mood.
- Meaningful Name: The donkey is called Xiao Pingguo in Chinese, which literally translates to "Little Apple". Three guesses as to why.
- Mr. Muffykins: While they're not a dog, but their finicky and stubborn attitude perfectly fits this trope.
- Picky Eater: As stated in the novel, they're very particular about what kind of grass they eat.Although it was only a donkey, it would exclusively eat fresh, young grass with dewdrops still hanging off them. If the tip of the grass had a streak of yellow, it wouldn't eat it... If it didn't eat high-quality food, it wouldn't budge, and it'd lose its temper and kick around.
- Silent Snarker: In the donghua, where they're almost as expressive as Khan.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Guess.
- Unusual Pets for Unusual People: As already stated, donkeys are noted to be stubborn and are also known as animals of burden. Wei Wuxian himself is headstrong and part of his personality involves shouldering all his troubles and those of his loved ones on his own, while refusing to ask for the help of others.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Lampshaded by Jin Ling, who thinks that a name that means "Little Apple" is stupid for a donkey. This also counts as Hypocritical Humor, since Lan Jingyi points out that Jin Ling gave his own dog an even more ridiculous name.
Jin Ling's pet Husky, a spiritual dog.
- Ambiguous Gender: Because of the lack of gendered pronouns in the Chinese language, Fairy is referred to as "it" in the fan translations, albeit with the rare occasion of being referred to with male pronouns. In The Untamed, they're played by a female dog, and the WeTV subtitles occasionally makes use of female pronouns.
- Amplified Animal Aptitude: Fairy manages to understand and imitate the events at the Guanyin temple enough to convey it to other people, something that no real dog is capable of doing. Generally, they're a lot smarter than the average Husky, and Huskies in Real Life aren't noted for their intelligence.
- Animal Jingoism: In Real Life, whether donkeys and dogs can get along is a mixed issue; there are cases when they do, and there are other cases when they don't. In Little Apple and Fairy's case, it's the latter. According to the juniors, it's even Fairy who attacks first, causing Little Apple to return the favor with a hard kick.
- Big Friendly Dog: Downplayed, given that they're often called to spook a certain cynophobe, but they're a Husky (a breed of dogs that are as large as wolves) and are generally energetic and playful when their master isn't in danger.
- Canine Companion: To Jin Ling. That being said, they're not always accompanying him.
- The Dreaded: To Wei Wuxian, who either pales or shrieks in fear at the sight of the dog and already tenses up whenever he hears its barking even from far away.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: They're a spiritual dog and one that's good at detecting evil creatures and evil intentions.
- Heroic Dog: While its mere presence scares the crap out of Wei Wuxian, there's no arguing that the dog is on the side of good.
- Mundane Utility: They're a spiritual dog, and serves as both a scent tracker and Attack Animal. Jin Ling and Jiang Cheng also use them to intimidate Wei Wuxian.
- Undying Loyalty: This is a common trait shared among all spiritual dogs; they'll never abandon their owner no matter whhat.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: They're a dog whose name is "Xianzi", which translates to "Fairy". Even Wei Wuxian and Lan Jingyi lampshade the silliness of the name.
- Adaptational Backstory Change:
- Downplayed in the donghua, where Wei Wuxian saved one of the rabbits from a group of fierce corpses and caught another the next day (so that the first one would have some company) before giving them both to Lan Wangji.
- In The Untamed, the rabbits served as companions to Lan Yi, who was trapped in a cave within the Cloud Recesses for some time. After Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji meet the latter's predecessor, whose spirit then leaves the mortal world in piece, Lan Wangji decides to take the rabbits into his own care.
- Adaptational Dye Job: In the novel, both the original rabbits Wei Wuxian gave Lan Wangji are described to have white fur. The donghua and the manhua depict the pair as one of a black and a white rabbit, respectively.
- Bunnies for Cuteness: It's a given for the rabbits, being the adorably round, plump, cuddly, and fluffy things they are.
- Love at First Sight: Played for Laughs. Within likely less than a day of meeting each other, the original two rabbits immediately decided to start humping. The Lotus Seed Pod extra strongly hints that ever since then, they're almost never apart. Then a bonus episode in the audio drama has the rabbit that resembles Lan Wangji drive away all the other rabbits that the other rabbit (who resembles Wei Wuxian) attempted to befriend.
- No Name Given: Played with. In the Lotus Seed Pod extra, Lan Xichen stated that Lan Wangji named the rabbits, but Lan Wangji was reluctant on telling him their names. Even the author confirmed that the bunnies' names are a secret that only Lan Wangji knows.
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: Played for Laughs when after Wei Wuxian gifted two bunnies to Lan Wangji, the bunnies immediately started mating, and Lan Wangji freaks out over how both bunnies are male.
A weapon which Wei Wuxian forged from an ancient sword teeming with resentful energy to turn the tide of war in the Sunshot Campaign. While not a sentient entity on its own, its mere presence drives part of the plot.
- Adaptational Backstory Change: How it's created in The Untamed is different what was depicted in the novel's canon.
- Amplifier Artifact: It drastically increases its user's ability to use demonic cultivation. For example, Wei Wuxian's use of the Stygian Tiger Amulet allows him to control thousands instead of hundreds of fierce corpses.
- Artifact of Doom: Simply put, several things went downhill in the past because of Jin Guangshan's desire to obtain the Stygian Tiger Amulet and use it to rule over the cultivation world. This is taken further in The Untamed, where the battle at the Nightless City shows that almost every other cultivator also wishes to get their hands on it.
- Lost in Translation: Although Exiled Rebels goes with the term "Stygian Tiger Amulet", it would be more contextually and culturally accurate to call the artifact the "Yin Tiger Tally".
- In Chinese culture, a tiger tally (hu-fu) is a two-piece item used by a king for commanding armies. One piece is entrusted to the government officials, whereas the other half is issued to the commanders; and the latter had to show their piece of the tally as a means of gaining permission to dispatch troops. This serves as a meaningful symbolism to how Wei Wuxian used the amulet, and why the Jin Sect needed to recreate the other half after Wei Wuxian had it destroyed.
- Shoddy Knockoff Product: In a sense; when Wei Wuxian destroyed half of the amulet, the Jin Sect enlisted Xue Yang's help to recreate the lost half. While it proved to be functional, it was still lacking in power compared to its original version and would lose its effectivity after enough uses... if Jin Guangyao is telling the truth, as he claims that he wouldn't have any use for it in his attempt to escape.
- Uncertain Doom: In the final arc, Jin Guangyao claims that the Stygian Tiger Amulet is destroyed, although Wei Wuxian doubts his words as there's no physical proof. There's no further mention of it in the epilogue, however, so what can be said is that even if it isn't destroyed, no one has their hands on it.
- Adaptation Deviation: In The Untamed, fierce corpses are instead referred to as "ghoulish puppets" — humans who aren't dead but are nevertheless placed in a mindless, zombie-like state. This change is due to Chinese media not being very approving of showing zombies and the like on television.
- Elite Zombie: The sentient fierce corpses are considered this; since not only do they retain their intelligence and awareness from when they were alive, but they also have heightened strength and senses.
- Friendly Zombie: There are a few fierce corpses that have no intention of being a threat. The blood corpses in the Second Siege arc are a good example of that.
- Not Using the "Z" Word: While they function similarly to undead zombies, they're only referred to either as "corpses" or "fierce corpses".
- Our Zombies Are Different: Again, they're not zombies, but dead humans reanimated by resentful energy. Usually, one has to have harbored regrets or grudges in life in order to come back as a fierce corpse.
- Technically Living Zombie: The living corpses are this; they became such not because they were reanimated with necromancy, but because they were afflicted with the corpse poisoning, which slowly affected their organs until their entire bodies functioned similar to that of an actual fierce corpse.
- Zerg Rush: While a single fierce corpse isn't too difficult for a cultivator of decent skill to deal with, it's a whole other issue when one is facing a horde (which is still an understatement) of them. Not even a hundred cultivators will have an easy time fending them off.
An aquatic monster that's formed from the resentful energy of several beings that drowned in a certain area of water.
- Human Sacrifice: It requires one every now and then to keep it pacified, otherwise it would create trouble.
- Mega Maelstrom: It can take the form of a dark whirlpool that swallows anything near it.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Given that it's basically a mass of resentful energy thriving underwater, it's extremely hard to kill. Not even the more powerful cultivators could weaken it. The only way to exterminate it would be to drain the waterbed it's living in, dig up all the people and things it had consumed, and let the entire place dry for a few years.
- Sea Monster: What else would you call it?
- Tentacled Terror: In the donghua, it can also create something between a reversed waterspout and a giant tentacle. And when it goes after the protagonists, the resentful energy that makes up the creature appears in the form of black tendrils.
- Berserk Button: Downplayed, but the spirit knocks out anyone who recites subpar or outright horrible poetry to her.
- Petal Power: The more harmless version; she can summon flowers out of thin air, and the fragrance can last for up to three years if she wills it.
- The Unseen: She never shows her face to anyone. Only Wei Wuxian is the exception as he repeatedly annoyed her so that she would show her face to him, and once she did, he immediately bragged that she's pretty.
- Dies Differently in Adaptation: The way it's killed in the donghua is more or less similar to how it's described in the novel; the difference is that the death happened in a flash in the former adaptation, whereas in the novel Lan Wangji took six hours of pulling the guqin strings to decapitate the monster.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: While referred to as a tortoise, the creature is actually a hybrid between a tortoise and a serpent.
- Off with His Head!: It meets its demise this way after Lan Wangji uses the Chord Assassination Technique on it.
- Really 700 Years Old: According to Lan Wangji, the Tortoise of Slaughter appeared in Qishan four-hundred years ago.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In contrast to the yellow eyes it's described to have in the novel, the donghua depicts it with a hellish red eye color.
- That's No Moon!: When Wei Wuxian took Wen Chao hostage, they were standing on a boulder in the lake. Except that it was not a boulder, but the tortoise's shell...
- Turtle Power: Averted; the real Xuanwu is associated with the trope. On the other hand, this "fake" version of the mythological creature is basically a large and dangerous beast that resembles the aforementioned divine being.
True to its name, the Measuring Snake is a beast that compares its height to that of the person it encounters; when it's taller, it will eat the other.
- Adaptation Expansion: It gets a larger role in the donghua, as both Jiang Yanli and Jin Ling's lives were nearly endangered by a Measuring Snake. In the novel, it's only mentioned in passing as one of the beasts that Jin Zixuan shot down.
- Snakes Are Sinister: It's a monster that devours anything it towers over. Needless to say, it's bad news; although according to Jin Zixuan, it's one of the less difficult monsters to kill and only looks scary.
A malevolent spirit that haunts a mansion where he was defeated. The spirit earned his moniker from wielding an iron hook, which he used to cut off the tongues of any woman he sees.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When he was alive, he was said to be a kind man. Of course, until a certain spousal betrayal happened.
- He Who Fights Monsters: When he killed his wife, who was unarguably deserving of her death, he became just as bad as her. If not, even worse. Then again, he might have even been too consumed with rage to consider or even realize this.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- Tongue Trauma: His wife cut off his tongue after killing him so he wouldn't be able to tell his story in the afterlife. He managed to get even with his wife by cutting off hers, and would do the same to his other victims.
- Woman Scorned: Gender-inverted. The Hook Hand was originally a blacksmith who was killed by his wife and the man she was cheating with. While the blacksmith rose from the grave and slaughtered his wife, his hatred wasn't sated and he continued to linger about, killing every beautiful woman he would see since they would remind him of his unfaithful wife.
Canon Foreigners — Warning: Walking Spoiler
Played by: Yu Zikuan (live-action)
- Ambiguously Related: A few characters have speculated that he may be Xue Yang's ancestor in Episode 10, although this is never touched upon again in the series.
- The Beastmaster: When he was alive, he controlled the Tortoise of Slaughter.
- Canon Foreigner: Xue Chonghai's existence is what influences the series' canon-divergent plot, which involves the existence of the Stygian Iron and why both Wen Ruohan and Xue Yang have been practicing demonic cultivation before Wei Wuxian.
- Evil Sorcerer: He's this in a nutshell, complete with creating an artifact fueled with evil power and living sacrifices.
- Greater-Scope Villain: His creation of the Stygian Iron is what gave Wen Ruohan the opportunity to subjugate the cultivation world. The Stygian Iron's existence is also filled the Jin Sect with ambition, leading to their attempts to try and take over after the Wen Sect was defeated.
- Laughing Mad: His only two appearances have him doing this.
- Madness Makeover: After he got mad from using the Stygian Iron, when Wen Mao finds him, he appears completely disheveled and has a maniacal expression on his face.
- Mysterious Past: Lan Yi even states that no one knew why he turned evil and created the Stygian Iron.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: After he becomes insane, his eyes are shown to be glowing a permanent red.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: While not explained in detail, his choice to create the Stygian Iron and nourish it with resentful energy took quite the toll on his mental state.
The Living Dead
Played by: Wang Yifei (live-action)
The first-born child of the Xiao clan, a family of famous lantern-makers.
- Canon Foreigner: She doesn't exist in the novel or in any of the other adaptations that more closely follow the novel's canon. However, her role in the movie's plot can easily remind the audience of the Yi City arc.
- She has a lot in common with Wen Qing. Same name whether written in hanzi or pinyin? Check. Has a younger brother who she cared for? Check. Burned to death? Also check. Except that Xiao Yi isn't really her younger brother.
- She's also similar to Xiao Xingchen. While she's not blinded or tricked into killing anyone like he was, nor did she commit suicide, she's a Posthumous Character that the villain tries in vain to revive.
- The Lost Lenore: For Xiao Yi, in a platonic sense. This is then played straight in the romantic sense when it's revealed that they're not actually siblings and that Xiao Yi has feelings for her.
- Nice Girl: From what's seen of her, she's gentle and kind-hearted, and is the only one in the Xiao family to treat Zhao Yi nicely.
Played by: Gao Han (live-action)
The second-born child of the Xiao family, and Xiao Qing's younger half-brother.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: He's a demonic cultivator, and has managed to create his own version of a piece of the Stygian Iron.
- Believing Their Own Lies: While he's mainly lying to avoid being exposed as the true killer, there are hints that he's deluded himself with those lies to justify his motives to resurrect Xiao Qing.
- Canon Foreigner: He doesn't exist in the novel or in any of the other adaptations that more closely follow the novel's canon. As seen in Expy below, however, the plot of The Living Dead is similar to the novel-canonical Yi City arc.
- Cruel Mercy: Wen Ning decides to not kill him, outright stating that he deserves to live with the pain of his crimes for eternity.
- To Wen Ning, minus being a fierce corpse. Both have an older sister that they lost in tragic circumstances. This is eventually subverted, as the real truth is a lot more sinister and complicated.
- Another character who he's more heavily based off of is Xue Yang. They're both practitioners of demonic cultvation
- Fate Worse than Death: He suffers this in the climax; Wen Ning refuses to kill him and states that it's a more fitting punishment for him to live with the consequences of his actions. This fate causes Zhao Yi to scream in endless suffering.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: He turns on the Xiao family after being abused by the clan's disciples one too many times.
- Serial Killer: He's the true murderer of the Xiao household.
- Significant Wardrobe Shift: He gets rid of his disheveled appearance and puts on red robes once his true colors are revealed.
- Sole Survivor: He's the last one of the Xiao Sect who's still alive. Eventually subverted when it's revealed he's not really a member of the Xiao family is actually the one responsible for all the murders.
- Unreliable Narrator: All the things he tells Wen Ning and Lan Sizhui are complete lies.
- Yandere: For Xiao Qing. One of the reasons why he snapped was because Xiao Qing fell in love with Zhou Zishu, and he spent the next few years trying to resurrect her.
Played by: He Longlong (live-action)
- Canon Foreigner: He doesn't exist in the novel or in any of the other adaptations that more closely follow the novel's canon. That being said, his role in the movie has quite the few shout-outs to the Yi City arc.
- Expy: To Song Lan. Both were turned into fierce corpses against their well by either Xue Yang or an Expy of Xue Yang. Song Lan was freed of Xue Yang's control and left Yi City to go Wandering the Earth, while Zhou Zishu was killed by Wen Ning and Lan Sizhui before they found out the truth about him being under Xiao Yi's control.
- Good All Along: He's actually one of the victims of the Xiao family massacre; and Xiao Yi is the real culprit. Zhou Zishu even attempted to apprehend Xiao Yi and have him face trial.
- Red Herring: The promotional posters and trailers set him up as the Big Bad. However, the real villain of the film is Xiao Yi.
- Serial Killer: Strongly implied in the trailers, where he seems to be responsible for killing off the entire Xiao clan. The late half of the movie subverts this.
Played by: He Xiang (live-action)
- Dual Wielding: He fights with two sabres, which is an unusual fighting style in both the Nie Sect and the cultivation world as a whole.
- Nice Guy: Downplayed, since he's of the Nie Sect and is thus a fierce warrior. However, he is completely loyal to Nie Mingjue and doesn't look down on Nie Huaisang, even telling him that he's not useless.
- Number Two: He's Nie Mingjue's right-hand man in the film.
- Remember the New Guy?: He's never seen in The Untamed. This is partly explained that the production for Fatal Journey started months after that of the main series, and there's also the possibility that Nie Zonghui was promoted to the position of lieutenant some time during the sixteen-year Time Skip. Of course, there's also how he gets killed near the end of the movie, which would explain why he doesn't appear in the present time.
- Slashed Throat: A possessed/berserk Nie Mingjue kills him this way.
- Undying Loyalty
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When Nie Huaisang remarks on how others may be thinking that he's useless, Nie Zonghui sincerely reassures him that he's not, his strengths simply lie somewhere else.