nie huaisang found out about the family curse and the inevitability of each of its leaders’ declines and why they all believed it was necessary and was like oh ill deviate all right. deviate from tradition
Nie Huaisang would survive every single horror movie by not doing the brave, honorable, trope-following thing like ever. His house starts making weird noises? He moves out. Mysterious shadow? Definitely not gonna go investigate that. What is upstairs? Don’t know, don’t care. There’s a legend about this town? Great, he needed to visit his 3rd cousin who lives on the other side of the country anyway.
Regarding the pacing and narrative setup of The Untamed, it is essential that you start with the first two episodes and I hate everyone who advises people to start with the third and watch it chronologically. This is not because it obscures the reveal (rewatching eps 1 and 2 at the relevant point in 33 is a good move actually), but because the first two episodes are critical in setting up the genre flip that takes place after Wen Ruohan’s death.
The first third of The Untamed is pretty straightforward fantasy - evil dark lord set on conquering everyone with the aid of Evil Magic, the heroes have to fight the Evil Magic and kill the Evil Dark Lord (I mean, it’s a little more complex than that, but the point remains). It’s also a little goofy - see the dancing fairy, the zombie puppets/orcs, the turtle snake etc. But after WRH is killed, there’s a brief moment of respite where you’re like phew, made it through that - and then you hear the screams. And suddenly it’s not WRH who’s the villain. The story doesn’t end when the Evil Dark Lord dies, it just makes room for a different, far more banal form of evil in the character of Jin Guangshan (and Jin Guangyao). And, in my opinion, this genre flip is a huge part of the brilliance of The Untamed, with its meta-themes on narrative.
But you can’t pull a bait-and-switch like that with no setup - for one thing, you risk losing audiences who think the Evil Dark Lord plot is stupid, and two, that’s not how good plot twists work - which is where the first two episodes come into play. The very first shot of the show is Nightless City pt 2, with WWX on the cliff, tears running down his face, as he lets himself fall backwards to his death, while the voiceover tells us about how great it is that the clans banded together and killed him. There’s an immediate dissonance there, between what we see and what we hear - a suicide versus an execution - and it’s instantly intriguing. We then meet WWX post-resurrection, where despite some questions we might have about his powers and what he’s doing with them, he… does not seem like the insane murderer he’s described as. At all. This desire to figure out how the hell we got to that cliff scene, and how the narrative got written the way it did, carries us through the whole early Evil Dark Lord plot. Early on, you think that he’s going to be corrupted into evil too, or something along those lines.
And then we learn that WWX was called a ruthless killer who delighted in killing people for no reason, not because he ever actually did that, but because he spoke up against those in power who did.
And that’s the brilliance of CQL’s pacing.
Whumptober - Day 18: Wrongfully Accused (full series on ao3)
They accused him of indifference.
Lan Wangji, Hanguang-jun; the one who was always where the chaos was, who walked on the righteous path…Wei Wuxian couldn’t believe anyone would believe them, but apparently people did.
Apparently, there were people stupid enough to look at his wooden face and make assumptions about his character, and never mind his reputation, never mind his history, never mind anything – a scowl and a serious look, and people will believe anything.
Believe it enough to act on it, and really Wei Wuxian shouldn’t be surprised but somehow he was.
Nie Huaisang has favorites among his fans. Some have the nicest designs, some are so comfortable to hold.
It’s none of these he finds himself returning to every time he has to interact with Jin Guangyao.
It was a rare frivolous present from Nie Mingjue, even rarer because it survived the fire.
Its edges are a little too uneven, the wood a little too rough. If he holds it too tight, he has to clean it later from the tiny bloody cuts it leaves.
He has to clean it very often.
That’s not much of a problem, though. It gives him time to calm the seething anger and hate that wells up every time he has to restrain himself from wrapping his hands around a murderer’s throat.
Over time, the continuous cleaning and oiling gently smooths the wood. Over time, the storm of negative emotions calms.
Over time, it finishes absorbing what it needs.
Nie Huaisang never notices when the fan gains an aura of its own, a gentle fog that misdirects people from things he doesn’t want them to see. He doesn’t notice when the tips sharpen, when the paper becomes a fine razor edge.
When the shield becomes a sword.
one of my mdzs headcanons is that after Wei WuXian dies on the burial mounds, Lan WangJi just doesn’t trust any adult cultivator. not really. they all were somewhat responsible for Wei Ying’s death, and that of innocent people with the wrong surname. so he just decides not to really talk to them or anything like that. his only exception are the juniors and kids. they are not at fault, and he will be an example to them. (the juniors obviously
love admire him very much)
Prompt: in a world where Cangse Sanren and Wei Changze don't die what happens ? (please no sad ending I really can't survive angst) I love your writing btw 💗💓💞
“There’s no need to be nervous,” Wei Wuxian said, squeezing Lan Wangji’s hand encouragingly.
Then he squeezed it again, just because he could. Because Lan Wangji liked him, and he liked him back, and – it was a very good thing that he’d tricked Lan Wangji into confessing.
(That was his story of how it had happened and he was sticking with it.)