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The Untamed (陈情令; Chen Qing Ling) is a web series loosely based on the danmei novel Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. It is directed by Zheng Weiwen and Chen Jialin, and stars idols Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo as the main leads.

The Untamed aired on Tencent from June to August 2019, with a total of 50 episodes.

The series is also available with English subtitles on Youtube,note  WeTV, Viki, and Netflix.

Two web movies serving as "side stories" were also released. The first movie The Living Dead (生魂; Sheng Hun) was released on November 7, 2019, and focuses on Wen Ning and Lan Sizhui after the events of the series finale, where they investigate a murder mystery in a town near Qishan. The second movie Fatal Journey (乱魄; Luan Po) was released on March 26, 2020, and focuses on the lives of Nie Huaisang, Nie Mingjue, and Jin Guangyao prior to Nie Mingjue's death.

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A mobile game based on the series is slated for 2022.


The Untamed contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Wei Wuxian trolls Wen Chao by reciting the Lan Clan's rules rather than the Wen Clan's as he was supposed to do, Jin Zixuan is seen trying not to smile.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: In the novel, Wei Wuxian confesses his love to Lan Wangji at Guanyin temple and they get married. In the drama, they become Heterosexual Life-Partners and part ways to wander the country as Knights Errant in the original airing. (The Special Edition has an alternate ending close to the original where both live at the Cloud Recesses, albeit still as Heterosexual Life-Partners.)
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: The fall of Lotus Pier was even more tragic by having Jiang Yanli be there to see her father one last time and crying alongside Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng when they informed her of their parents' deaths.
  • Adaptation Deviation: While the series still follows the main concepts of the original story, some things here and there are either slightly changed or completely altered.
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    • The biggest change is that it was a different person, Xue Chonghai, who founded demonic cultivation to be used in an effective way, centuries before Wei Wuxian was even born. He created the Yin Iron as well as the sword stuck in the Xuanwu of Slaughter. These 'Yin Iron' pieces allowed Wen Ruohan to use demonic cultivation for his plans of conquest.
    • In the novel, Jiang Fengmian left Lotus Pier because he intended to reclaim Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng's swords, which were being kept in the Nightless City. But in the series, it's because he escorted a wounded Clan Leader Yao to safety in Lanling.
    • The amount of years that passed during the Time Skip is increased from 13 to 16 years. Lan Qiren ordered Lan Wangji into seclusion for three years as part of his punishment.
    • In the novel, Jiang Cheng is known to be the one who killed Wei Wuxian, but the latter clarifies that it's false. The series reverses this fact. Episode 33 reveals that it's not actually false, but not completely true either.
    • When the Sunshot Campaign ended, the cultivation clans held a celebratory banquet in the Nightless City instead of Golden Carp Tower as they did in the novel.
    • Lan Wangji, instead of fighting and injuring 33 Lan elders, stood against the Jin Clan at the end of the Sunshot Campaign.
    • By the time Lan Wangji takes Wei Wuxian back to the Cloud Recesses in the present time, the latter already knows that Lan Wangji has figured out his real identity, hence he doesn't wear his mask in his presence.
    • It isn't an arm that causes the deaths at Mo Manor and starts the plot, but the spirit of Baxia, Nie Mingjue's spiritual sabre leading to its master's remains. The Nie tomb is for the Nie Clan's sabres because their spirits tend to become resentful. Jin Guangyao still hid Nie Mingjue's head in Golden Carp Tower, but the rest of his body remained whole and was hidden in Yi City. This change also leads to a different sequence of events at the climax. Nie Mingjue's fierce corpse doesn't rise and attack Jin Guangyao. Baxia does, however, by possessing Wen Ning. Nie Mingjue's angry spirit eventually rises too, then killing Jin Guangyao, although this happens off-screen.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Canon divergence aside, the series does expand on things that are only either mentioned or featured briefly in the novel and the other adaptations.
    • Wei Wuxian is seen interacting a lot more with the Jiang siblings and with Nie Huaisang in the flashbacks. Additionally, he had more interactions with Lan Wangji prior to the Xuanwu Cave arc.
    • The Soul-Eating Goddess has a larger role in the plot, even appearing in the Flashback Arc and being part of the cause of Wen Ning's weak constitution.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Both the original Chinese and official English names are different to the novel's name (Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation in English, Mo Dao Zu Shi in Chinese), due to a significant plot change in which Wei Wuxian is not the founder of demonic cultivation
    • The Chinese title Chen Qing Ling (陈情令) has multiple interpretations and can vary from "a song to explain myself" to "a song of past relationships" to "a song to command the world".
    • The official English name The Untamed comes from the alternate portmanteau of the protagonists' names, Wei Wuxian (魏无羡) and Lan Wangji (蓝忘机). Using the Chinese characters from their names can spell 'wuji' (无机) — this is a homophone of 'wuji' (无羁) which translates to 'untamed.' 'Wuji' is also the name of the theme/end credits song — in the novel, this song is called 'wangxian' (忘羡).
  • Adapted Out: There are a number of novel details that are unadapted, vague or unmentioned in the drama.
    • The romance between Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji is absent due to censorship. That being said, there's still a lot of homoerotic subtext to be found in the series.
    • The Second Siege still happens, although it doesn't include the part where the Wen remnants briefly come back to life to help the protagonists fend off the corpses summoned by the Yin Tiger Seal.
    • What is Jin Guangyao so desperate to dig up at Guanyin temple? The corpse of his mother, who he buried there so she would be venerated in the after life. He planned to take her body and run away to Dongying.
    • Why was Sisi spared when all of her colleagues were killed? She used to work in the same brothel as Jin Guanyao's mother and was kind to the both of them.
    • How did Lan Wangji get a Wen brand on his chest? After Wei Wuxian's death, Lan Wangji was so overcome with grief that the only way he could alleviate it was by injuring himself the same way that Wei Wuxian had been.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: While she died at his hands in the novel, A-Qing was blinded and rendered mute by Xue Yang but not dead in this series. This makes her ability to stay alive in Yi City up to the present timeline more puzzling, as the city's been desolate and inhabited by fierce corpses and a Serial Killer for years.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: One can play music with the leaf, and leaf-blowing is an actual thing in Real Life, although it wouldn't produce flute-like sounds.
  • Angry Collar Grab: Angrily grabbing people by the collar happens often. The biggest offender is Jiang Cheng, with Wei Wuxian unsurprisingly his most frequent target.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Jiang Cheng offered Wen Qing a comb as a gift and to let her know that she could use it if she ever needed his help. However, once she and her family had settled at the Burial Mounds and after Jiang Cheng confronted Wei Wuxian about sheltering the Wens, Wen Qing returned the comb to him. He asked her why she didn't call for his help, and she calmly asked if he would had truly helped her save her brother without question like Wei Wuxian did, to which Jiang Cheng couldn't reply.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Those who own a rabbit or are generally familiar with Real Life animal care are likely to wince when Wei Wuxian tossed a rabbit at Jiang Cheng and when he held another rabbit in a way that it was lying belly-up. This is because rabbits are sensitive animals that frighten easily, so when they're shocked enough they might literally die of a heart attack. Throwing them or making them lie on their backs is a good way to do that.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Jiang Fengmian first appeared, the first thing he did was firmly tell Wei Wuxian to kneel properly (as part of his punishment for punching Jin Zixuan), and he gave Jiang Cheng a stern look when the latter protested to his suggestion to dissolve Jiang Yanli's engagement. But once he was done talking to Lan Qiren, his attitude towards Wei Wuxian and his children notably mellowed, which is how he actually acted towards them.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Part of the reason why the cultivation clans turned against Wei Wuxian was because they wanted the power of the Yin Tiger Seal. During the Nightless City attack, Wei Wuxian destroyed half of it and watched in mad glee as the clans fought and killed each other for the other half.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Exempting the protagonists, some of the characters win some as much as they lose some. One such example is Jiang Cheng; he doesn't lose Jin Ling nor suffer the loss of his clan again, but even after finding closure with Wei Wuxian their relationship remains distant without any reassurance that they can be friends, let alone brothers, again. Although in contrast to the novel, the series adds a slightly more hopeful touch by having Jiang Cheng gently telling Wei Wuxian to take care of himself, confirming that at least there's no hard feelings anymore.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Blood leaking from one's mouth is a common occurrence for both lethal and non-lethal reasons, like a sword through the gut, vomiting tainted blood, or somebody having their spiritual powers forcefully sealed.
  • Bloodless Carnage: While there are a few fight scenes that feature blood, more often than not there isn't.
  • Bookends:
    • Wei Wuxian's existence as the Yiling Patriarch started the same way as it ended — by falling off a cliff in the Burial Mounds.
    • The Yi City arc begins with Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian, two cultivators clad in white and black respectively, walking the path towards the eponymous city, facing the audience. Shortly before it ends, Song Lan leaves the city, mind free, holding Xiao Xingchen's soul in the sprit-trapping pouch. The scene blurs to both him and Xiao Xingchen walking side by side, clad in black and white respectively, backs turned to the audience.
    • Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji parted on top of a cliff as Wei Wuxian plummeted to the drop Lan Wangji was trying to save him from in Episode 1. Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian part in Episode 50 on top of another mountain in front of a cliff, amiciable, both at peace, to fulfill the oath they made to and with each other as disciples, with the hope to meet again... and they do.
    • Wei Wuxian's bloodied, tear-stained face in close-up is one of the first shots of the series. The very last shot of Episode 50 is Wei Wuxian's face in close-up again, almost exactly the same angle... but this time, as he turns around, he breaks into a wide, warm smile as he sees who has called his name.
  • Call-Back:
    • Lan Wangji offers to carry Wei Wuxian who is in pain because of the curse mark on his leg. He reminds him that the roles were previously reversed when he had his leg injury during their time as the Wens' hostages. Unlike Wei Wuxian back then, and because they can show weakness, Lan Wangji doesn't take no for an answer and pulls Wei Wuxian onto his back.
    • Lan Wangji accuses Wei Wuxian that he never remembers important moments between them. Later, Wei Wuxian voluntarily reminisces with him about the adventures and little moments they shared.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • When Lan Wangji got punished for defending Wei Wuxian, he resolutely responded to his uncle's reminder about never associating with evil, that the line between right and wrong is more blurred than anyone would like to believe. All while being struck with a whip, too.
    • In Fatal Journey, Nie Huaisang really let his brother have it when he learned about the sabre spirits, how they soon claim the lives of their owners and how they need to be appeased with human sacrifices.
  • Canon Foreigner: Xue Chonghai, the creator of the Yin Iron and possibly Xue Yang's ancestor, didn't exist in the novel nor in the other adaptations. He exists purely so that someone else is the creator of demonic cultivation in this adaptation instead of Wei Wuxian himself.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: The cast is primarily made up of young (or at least youthful-looking), long-haired pretty guys.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early on, Wei Wuxian created a talisman that explodes into small flashes of light, which is best for creating distractions. Lan Wangji used this when the Wen Clan arrived to attack the Cloud Recesses, and is revealed to hold onto another when they arrive at Yunping City and Wen Ning gets harassed (albeit harmlessly) by some young boys.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The main five clans mostly have the same colors as the novel. The Gusu Lan Clan, Lanling Jin Clan and Yunmeng Jiang Clan are still blue/white, yellow and purple respectively; however, the Qinghe Nie Clan is now dark gray instead of dark green and the Qishan Wen Clan is now red and black instead of white and red.
  • Corpse Land: The Burial Mounds are an ancient battlefield littered with the corpses of the fallen.
  • Counting to Three: Inverted. When Jin Zixun continues to be reluctant in telling Wei Wuxian where the surviving Wens are being detained, Wei Wuxian threatens to use lethal force if he doesn't start talking and begins to count down from three to one. Jin Zixuan caves after Wei Wuxian counts down to two.
  • Cruel Mercy: In The Living Dead, Wen Ning decides to not kill Xiao Yi and outright states that he deserves to live with the pain of his crimes for eternity.
  • Desecrating the Dead:
    • Wen Chao poured wine over Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan's corpses, and later on hung their corpses at the front gate while he and his men had a party.
    • Xue Yang had no qualms in kicking over Song Lan's corpse after Xiao Xingchen unknowingly killed him.
  • Disappointed in You: Lan Qiren expressed his disappointment in Lan Wangji while having him flagellated for acting in Wei Wuxian's defense.
  • Double Weapon: Jiangzai still takes the form of a standard jian sword, but it can also transform into a double-bladed sword.
  • Dramatic Unmask: In Episode 34, Wei Wuxian is threatened into revealing his face during a tense moment with Jiang Cheng. It happens again in Episode 42 when Wei Wuxian's true identity is exposed to the rest of the cultivators and he's cornered with nowhere to run.
  • Dramatic Irony: Jiang Yanli's Arc Words was her way of assuring Wei Wuxian that they and Jiang Cheng were inseparable. As the audience would already know based on the beginning episodes, she married into the Jin Clan (and is long dead) and Wei Wuxian had a falling out with Jiang Cheng and the Jiang Clan.
  • Dramatic Wind: Even when Wen Ruohan's just sitting on his throne, there was wind constantly flowing around him since his hair never stopped moving about.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: It's implied that after the Sunshot Campaign ended, Wei Wuxian started drinking more to deal with the stress he's getting from both his personal losses and the effects of his newfound abilities.
  • Dying Town: There are a few people still living in Yi City, but it's become desolate over time due to Xue Yang killing them.
  • Eldritch Location: The Burial Mounds is haunted by hundreds of resentful spirits, which called out to Wei Wuxian after he's thrown in by Wen Chao.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: In Fatal Journey, Nie Huaisang sees the composition for the song Cleansing, which Jin Guangyao taught to him, and notices that some of the notes are meant to amplify rather than recede the symptoms of qi deviation, allowing him to figure out that Jin Guangyao (indirectly) killed Nie Mingjue.
  • Eyes Always Averted: Qin Su feels awkward and tense around "Mo Xuanyu" when he attends the Discussion Conference, and does her best to never look at him. According to the disciples, it's because he tried to harass her while he was still in the sect — this is what got him kicked out.
  • Fainting:
    • Wei Wuxian falls unconscious several times across the span of the series due to exhaustion, often while he is still recovering from injuries. Occasionally it's a Power-Strain Blackout after using demonic cultivation.
    • Nie Huaisang is very prone to fainting which drives home how useless he is as a cultivator, but it's unclear how much of it is due to his low cultivation and how much is just an act.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In the finale, once Jin Guangyao is completely cornered with no more means of escaping, Lan Xichen warns him that he will strike him down if he tries anything. Almost immediately, the camera cuts to Nie Huaisang giving a cold and calculating look at both of them. When Lan Xichen turns to Nie Huaisang to tend to his wounds, the latter suddenly shouts that Jin Guangyao was about to do something... and Lan Xichen carries through with his threat.
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: Episode 19 shows Jiang Cheng dreaming about his family, including Wei Wuxian, living happily together with none of the problems that plagued them in reality.
  • Foreshadowing: When the Wens captured Wei Wuxian, he was dramatically thrown into the inn and Wen Zhuliu (the Core-Melting Hand) walked in while giving his own hand a curious look. He tried melting Wei Wuxian's core, but it failed because Wei Wuxian has secretly had it removed and transferred to Jiang Cheng.
  • Forgot About His Powers: In general, The Untamed has the characters pull off new abilities that weren't featured in the novel or the other adaptations. Said abilities are used only once or twice throughout the entire duration of the series even when they would come in handy.
  • Framing Device: Wei Wuxian's dreams after he falls unconscious in Episode 2 serve as a window into the past, showing in one long series of one Flashback the story of his demise.
  • Freak Out: Jin Guangyao has a massive freak out when Wei Wuxian forces him to see apparitions of the people he previously killed.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The series keeps the scene where Wei Wuxian pranks Lan Wangji by switching his book with porn. But when paused at the right moment, the viewer can see that he actually showed Lan Wangji longyang (homosexual porn).
  • Good Victims, Bad Victims: Deconstructed. Everyone showed sympathy to the Lan and Jiang clans when they're massacred, but when it's the Wen clan, everyone acted as if it was justified even when it came to civilians, doctors, old folks, and children. When Wei Wuxian called out this hypocrisy and pondered what would happen if he turned the tables on the people around him, everyone panicked.
    Wei Wuxian: Then if I kill you today, is that still moral and just?
  • Go Through Me:
    • Lan Wangji tried to prevent the Jin Clan from razing the Burial Mounds to take Wei Wuxian's belongings. Unfortunately, Jin Guangyao informed Lan Qiren of his actions, resulting in his punishment of 300 lashes.
    • In the present time, when Wei Wuxian's true identity gets exposed, Lan Wangji quickly denies being manipulated by Wei Wuxian and draws his sword at all the cultivators pointing their blades at the latter.
  • Held Gaze: Nearly every time Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji are looking at each other, they hold this gaze far longer than normal. It doesn't matter what's going on in the background — these two will stare at each other, seemingly having entire conversations without uttering a word.
  • Howl of Sorrow: Xiao Xingchen let out a painful howl after finding out he had killed his best friend and other innocent people his sword mistook for corpses.
  • Implied Death Threat: In the finale, while Wei Wuxian and Nie Huaisang seem to be sharing a casual conversation, Wei Wuxian hints that he knows the latter was behind everything. While he is grateful for a second chance at life, he subtly warns Nie Huaisang to be careful, especially if his future plans are nefarious in nature. The character in question is quiet for a beat before acknowledging Wei Wuxian's words, and the two eventually part ways for good.
  • Improvised Weapon: Lan Sizhui uses his guqin to knock enemies back in The Living Dead.
  • Irony: Wei Wuxian gifted Wen Ning with a pouch that was meant to be a good luck charm. While looking for him in Qiongqi Path, Wen Qing and Wei Wuxian find him impaled and thrown amongst the other Wen corpses by the Jin Clan, and he died holding the pouch in his hand.
  • Joke and Receive: Jiang Cheng sniped at Wei Wuxian that if he liked spending time with Lan Wangji so much then he should just stay in the Cloud Recesses and not come back to Lotus Pier anymore. Cut to around 20 years later and that more or less becomes the case, especially after he repeats his words with a more venomous and hateful tone.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Xue Yang literally kicked down Song Lan's body after Xiao Xingchen fatally stabbed him.
  • Kubrick Stare:
    • Xue Yang tends to give the creepy heads-down eyes-up stare every now and then. Alongside with his Psychotic Smirks, it reminds the audience just how manic he can be.
    • The Big Bad gives a lot of these creepy tilted stares, especially at the moment when people turn their backs on him. This is to further emphasize his double-dealing nature.
    • Wen Ning gives a chilling tilted stare when he gets possessed by Baxia's spirit in the climactic arc.
    • Nie Huaisang gives a downright terrifying head-down eyes-up stare in Fatal Journey. What gives this more impact is that he does this just after realizing that Jin Guangyao caused his brother's death, and is now beginning to plan his revenge.
  • Laughing Mad:
    • Xue Chonghai's only two appearances had him laughing mad from power.
    • Wei Wuxian laughed at the other cultivation clans in mockery while watching them fight each other for the remaining half of the Yin Tiger Tally. However, he quickly descended into Cry Laughing afterwards before deciding to commit suicide.
  • Libation for the Dead:
    • Food and drink offerings to the dead come up a few times throughout the series as as way for people to show their respect.
    • A inverted example happened when Wen Chao poured wine over Madam Yu's and Jiang Fengmian's faces, showing a mockery of the usual rites.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Untamed takes a less graphic approach in adapting the more disturbing scenes of the novel.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: As it was custom in ancient China, all the men have long hair. This helps accentuates many of their pretty looks.
  • Madness Mantra: Jiang Cheng keeps repeating "No..." in a frenzy after Wen Ning tells him who his current golden core originally belonged to. It zigzags between a Little "No" and a Big "NO!".
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When Wei Wuxian threatened to use Chenqing in one of the banquets hosted by the Jin Clan, all the cultivators present immediately stood up with half of them brandishing their swords.
  • Master Actor: Jin Guangyao and Nie Huaisang have both spent years concealing their true natures from the entire world. Nie Huaisang takes it a step further and manages to fool even Jin Guangyao.
  • Meaningful Echo: During one of their conversations in the Nightless City, Wei Wuxian gave Lan Wangji an Armor-Piercing Question about the Grey-and-Gray Morality of their world. Later on, Lan Wangji repeated this question to his uncle while receiving his punishment for defending Wei Wuxian.
  • Mirror Character: A character's behavior in public is a mask to hide their true nature. They're involved in plotting against (and ultimately causing the death of) someone they were once close to. Now, is this a description of Jin Guangyao or Nie Huaisang?
  • Mythology Gag: In Episode 20, Lan Wangji attacked a few Wen soldiers and asked them about Wei Wuxian's whereabouts, and learned that the latter was thrown into the Burial Mounds. This also happened in the donghua, although it was Wen Chao who told Lan Wangji the news and it was the latter who was at a disadvantage.
  • Neck Lift: Wen Ruohan dragged Wei Wuxian several meters through the air with his powers before he physically grabbed him by the throat when his intervention undid his control over his puppets.
  • Nothing Personal:
    • While Wei Wuxian and the Big Bad don't have any history together, the latter takes delight in making him suffer, regardless of whether he worked for his father or for himself.
    • Downplayed. While Nie Huaisang plotted Wei Wuxian's revival and made him a pawn for his revenge plan against Jin Guangyao, he doesn't see him as an obstacle to be rid of and simply used him for convenience sake. In the finale, he implicitly assures him that their businesses don't conflict, and as such they have nothing to worry about from each other.
  • Ominous Fog: Yi City is wreathed inside mist, hinting at its unsettling environment and circumstances.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The first episode starts with showing Wei Wuxian's final moments in the Burial Mounds, with Lan Wangji trying to save Wei Wuxian from falling and Jiang Cheng stabbing the latter so he would fall. Episode 33 replays the same scene again and reveals that not all was as it seemed.
  • Public Execution: The Wen Remnants were hung in front of the gates going into the Nightless City.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The rabbits, of course. They're basically walking cotton balls with paws and ears.
  • Same Language Dub: The Chinese language contains several dialects than can sound confusing for part of the Chinese audience note . Therefore, as is the standard practice for Chinese dramas, voice actors who speak standard Mandarin were hired to dub over the actors to account for their different dialects.
  • Series Continuity Error: Wen Ning eventually loses the chains that were cast on him by the Jin Clan. However, in The Living Dead he's wearing the same set of chains again as if they were never removed in the first place and no explanation for this is given, even if the chains eventually come in handy near the finale.
  • Sheath Strike: Cultivators usually dual wield their swords and their sheaths in battle.
  • Ship Sinking: The series hints at the romantic potential between Jiang Cheng and Wen Qing in the flashback arc, but it ultimately went nowhere due to their loyalties to their respective clans, and any novel reader knows that Wen Qing's death is a Foregone Conclusion.
  • Shown Their Work: When Lan Wangji plays a song from Dongying (Japan), anyone with a keen ear will notice that the song is Japanese rather than Chinese in terms of music composition.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Played for Laughs. When Wei Wuxian sneaks into the other chambers of Golden Carp Tower via a paper talisman, the track playing at the moment is reminiscent of a modern-day spy comedy film, which can sound odd and jarring.
  • Squish the Cheeks: Wei Wuxian would often pinch Wen Yuan's cheeks whenever he doted on him, and he does the same when he meets Mianmian's daughter.
  • Sword Plant: Lan Wangji sticks his sword in the ground twice.
    • The first is when he tried to keep himself standing after he got exhausted trying to fend off anyone who attempted to destroy the Burial Mounds.
    • The second was when he learned about Wei Wuxian sacrificing his golden core so Jiang Cheng would regain his cultivation, and he slammed his (sheathed) sword on the ground to vent all his sadness and anger. It also serves as a warning to Jiang Cheng: if he stops them from leaving Lotus Pier a third time, Lan Wangji will run him through.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: Prior to the finale, many hints are dropped that Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji will go their separate ways in the end. While that initially seems to be the case near the final five minutes of the episode, the very last scene implies otherwise; after playing the flute alone on a mountaintop, Wei Wuxian hears a very familiar voice calling his name and smiles after turning around to see who it is. The alternate ending shown in the Special Edition confirms this happier eding by showing that Wei Wuxian is now living in the Cloud Recesses.
  • Take a Third Option: While the Four Great Clans were celebrating the Wen Clan's defeat, Jin Guangshan brought up the dissolved Arranged Marriage between Jin Zixuan and Jiang Yanli and subtly tried to railroad Jiang Cheng into reconsidering his father's decision. Jiang Cheng knew that he couldn't just refuse, but there were just as many downsides to accepting — his personal dislike for Jin Zixuan notwithstanding. Wei Wuxian then stepped in and stated that Jiang Yanli is the one who should decide since she's the one they want to have married off.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Wen Ning drugged the Wens' wine so he could sneak Jiang Cheng out of Lotus Pier and make sure they wouldn't awaken until morning with heavy hangovers.
  • Tears of Joy: Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui shed happy tears after they properly recognize each other from their past.
  • Tears of Remorse:
    • Lan Wangji sheds tears of guilt twice. The first time was when after he allowed Wei Wuxian to escape with the surviving Wens, and the second is when he learns of Wei Wuxian's sacrifice of his original golden core.
    • Once he learns about Wei Wuxian giving his golden core to him, Jiang Cheng sheds tears while recalling all the hints pointing to the aforementioned truth.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Lan Xichen has an empty and distant look on his eyes after Jin Guangyao dies.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Most of the characters are seen changing their attire every now and then. Even Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji wore different garments in the past, although in the present time they stick to one or two outfits at best.
  • The Unreveal:
    • It stays a mystery where Wei Wuxian's body vanished to after he fell off the cliff in Episode 1.
    • While Lan Wangji's brand scar is kept in the series, how he got it is never explained.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Downplayed. Nie Huaisang's reaction in the finale implies he doesn't feel elated by what he did against Jin Guangyao, but he doesn't regret it either since he still had to avenge his brother.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: After fainting in the middle of Episode 2, Wei Wuxian dreams of the events that led to his demise sixteen years ago. This flashback ends in Episode 33 where he wakes up in Lan Wangji's chambers.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: The soul-summoning ritual brings Wei Wuxian back into Mo Xuanyu's body but this is identified only by the fact that the actor's mole is covered with makeup during the present-day scenes, and unobscured in the flashback scenes. Various characters react to him as Mo Xuanyu, and the dialogue confirms he wears the mask because other cultivators - namely those from the Jin Clan - have seen Mo Xuanyu's uncovered face when he studied in Lanling.
  • Wire Fu: Holding actors with wires during action scenes is used liberally in lieu of showing the cultivators flying on their swords, which only happens a few times over the show's run.
  • You Are Grounded!: An implicit example in Episode 25 when Lan Qiren prevented Lan Wangji from accompanying his brother and told him to rewrite the clan's rulebook instead. This happened again when Lan Wangji attempted to stop the Jin Clan from razing the Burial Mounds. After being whipped, Lan Wangji was forced to stay in a cave for three years.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In Fatal Journey when Nie Huaisang remarked on how others may be thinking that he's useless, Nie Zonghui sincerely reassured him that he's not and that his strengths simply lie somewhere else.
  • You Are Not Alone: Lan Wangji reassures Wei Wuxian that he is not alone after the latter's identity gets exposed to the public.

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