“So there was once a tweet, and then there was a reply to that tweet, and that is how this collaboration started.”
This is actually my first collaboration post in wordpress and I am excited to share my thoughts on this Mo Dao Zu Shi / The Untamed appreciation post. Collab posts are fun because I do not just ramble alone and I have someone to talk to and bounce ideas with. Before you continue reading this one, you might want to head over to Rose @ Wretched and Divine to check out the first part of this post.
Have you read it yet? If yes you may now proceed to the second part of this two-part post which is just below. Rose & Elle just sharing and discussing our love and appreciation for the series.
WARNING: SPOILERS ahead, for those who haven’t seen the series yet!
Rose: If you haven’t read Part 1, go read it now! 😀
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER?
Elle: It is said that you don’t really get to appreciate the depth of each character until you re-watch the series for a second, a third time or for the nth time and it’s kind of the truth. In this case, watching different versions made me realize how I’m really partial to Lan Wangji/Lan Zhan as a character. Maybe a bit of that was because Wang Yibo portrayed his character and even though his acting can be improved in some scenes I really appreciated him as the stoic Hanguang-Jun. I could not imagine a different actor playing him now. As a dancer himself, the fight scenes and choreography in the drama were really given the justice it deserves. Most of his expressions are pretty much stoic/poker face but because of that you could really see when he has a change in emotion and it makes for a greater impact because we’re seeing Lan Wangji emote.
Elle: Lan Wangji as a character ❤️ – His manner, his restraint, his proud aura and his gracefulness draws you in. But the real clincher is seeing how his character struggled with his relationship with Wei Wuxian and how it collided with his own principles. His growth as a person and how his horizon broadened throughout the series. I could really appreciate a character who seemed impregnable at first but a real softie inside.
Elle: I remember particular scene(s) when I rewatched the drama for maybe like the hundredth time and seeing Lan Zhan gaze into Wei Ying with such depth and sincerity and I told myself, this is it… That moment is when I fell not only for the character but the whole series itself.
Rose: That last line was beautiful. I’ve watched clips of Wang Yibo and he is very different in real life. He’s nothing like the stoic character he plays. It shows how great of an actor he is.
Elle: Actually, an interesting fact is that Wang Yibo is known as an extremely introverted person in the industry and he is said to be cold and does not engage in small talk. It was a pleasant surprise to fans and all how comfortable he is with Xiao Zhan and their on & off screen chemistry.
Rose: Their chemistry is on another level. ^^ My favourite character is Xue Yang. Xue Yang is one of the villains. You could describe him as a yandere. Well, you could describe him with a lot of names but he’s still my favourite hahaha. What do I like about him? Let me think… There’s not many good things about Xue Yang, to be honest. He’s killed lots of people and has done a lot of questionable things. At the same time, I feel like he lives a very carefree life and does what he wants. He’s the opposite of Lan Zhan as he doesn’t follow the rules and formalities. Not only are villains necessary and make the story more interesting, I like this kind of carefreeness in a character. I don’t agree with all of Xue Yang’s actions. I don’t think his actions are justified but this is fiction! I don’t see anything wrong with loving villains if you are able to differentiate fiction from reality.
Elle: That definitely makes for an interesting favorite. Cool take on such a badass evil character!
Quick question, is there anyone who can classify as a BIAS WRECKER of sort for you? Cause mine is Wen Ning! That pure gentle soul. And how the actor portrayed the meek and naive Wen Ning in direct contrast when he is on rampage mode is just so cool. This makes me feel a bit guilty because Wei Wuxian could be it (as he is one of the leads and an amazing character to boot!) but Wen Ning beats him in my eyes. I guess it’s purity over shamelessness. 😂
Rose: Wen Ning is so wholesome! It’s funny how you like purity while I like shamelessness more hahaha.
Rose: My bias wrecker would be Wei Wuxian. I fell in love with Xiao Zhan, the actor who plays Wei Wuxian. Wei Wuxian was wrongfully accused and mistreated by so many characters in the series. Despite all the setbacks, he continued to do what he thought was right (help out the Wen clan). The way he placed others before himself was inspiring to watch. If I didn’t like yandere characters and villains that much, Wei Wu Xian would be my number one.
FAVORITE MOMENTS / QUOTES
Wei Wu Xian: “I used to treat you as my lifelong confidant,”
Lan Wang Ji responds “I still am.”
Elle: The simplicity of that – I. STILL. AM. Like if Rose told me, “You used to be obsessed with this series…” I’ll be like: Of course I STILL AM!
Simple, short, concise. Yeah, I’m just using synonyms now. But you get my point. The way he managed to convey much more meaning into three words in one sentence, than me composing an entire paragraph to explain my love for this series.
SAVAGE Lan Wangji to Su She: “You are not qualified to talk to me.”
Elle: I really loved that one scene where LWJ gets savage when he shuts down Su She. Classic Wangji and his one liners. As I told Rose in our chat – all Lan Wangji quotes are impactful because he rarely speaks. There’s also his countless one word comebacks to Wei Ying (and the “Wei Ying!” quote itself) but I consider that their lovable banter and not as savage. We know you’re really just flirting, Lan Zhan. Maybe we’ll ask your big brother Xichen to confirm because he can decode your expressions..
BIG BROTHER WISDOM
Elle: Speaking of Lan Zhan’s brother, something he said really stuck to me and how wise his words were when he shared his thoughts to his Wangji on the subject of Wei Wuxian.
“As we evaluate others, we shall not label them as black or white, but instead know their deep intentions within.”
“You believe in your judgement, then am I not allowed to believe in my own?”
– Lan Xichen
Elle: It’s admirable how he always gives everyone a chance and is not ready to believe the worst things about anybody. I don’t know if it’s naivety or just his natural positivism but I can still admire that because I am usually the opposite. It is such a vulnerable trait in a character, you see. It opens you up to heartbreak and pain. But nonetheless, in this cynical world, we need a Lan Xichen too.
Elle: These quotes, in my opinion, highlight the major theme addressed in the drama. How there is no clear distinction between black and white, right and wrong. Even the most heinous acts can be done in service of protecting others. Some though, like being loyal and always believing the best in others which is generally a good trait can result in a disaster of epic proportions for oneself and for others.
“Who cares about the crowded, broad road? I’ll walk the single-plank bridge into the night.”
– Wei Wuxian
“When you’re standing on their side, you’re the bizarre genius, the miraculous hero, the force of the rebellion, the flower that blooms alone. But the second your voice differs from theirs, you’ve lost your mind, you’ve ignored morality, you’ve walked the crooked path.”
– Jiang Cheng to Wei Wuxian
“At best, you’re the untamed hero; at worst, you offend people wherever you go.”
– Jin Guang Yao
Elle: Wei Wuxian is that untamed hero who defied the norms and limits their world set for him and he dared them all to judge him. Not only he suffered greatly in the process but he also found his purpose and the path he was meant to walk. And he also found his soulmate as well!
Elle: This scene in the cave of the tortoise of slaughter is also a favorite of mine, where Wei Wuxian being the shameless person that he is, concocts a scheme to make Lan Wangji feel better by teasing him to near death (the rogue!) and messing with his clothes and the latter’s headband. This is also where their WangXian song was born. I think another notable cave scene is when they were trying to bathe in the healing pool and got dragged into the cold cave for Gusu Lan sect members only, and so they shared Lan Wangji’s headband for protection O_O. Now, that headband is a significant item of the Gusu Lan because only family and their significant others can touch it. And did I mention Wei Wuxian’s obsession with that headband? (Yep, I just did.)
ALSO: Drunk Lan Zhan is an adorable Lan Zhan.
Rose: The cave of the tortoise of the slaughter scene was so intimate! The experience really helped to progress their relationship. The other cave scene was also intimate. I guess if you want to have some good luck in a relationship, go to a cave. I’m kidding! Hahaha.
Elle: I just might look for a cave…
Rose: As for my favourite quotes, the following lines are from the novel:
Lan Xi Chen: “You believe in him?”
Lan Wang Ji: “I do.” He answered without any hesitation. Wei Wuxian felt his chest warm up.
Rose: As Elle wrote above, Lan Zhan does not speak much. When he does, it’s usually to Wei Wuxian or in defence of Wei Wuxian. This is another example of that.
Rose: I like this quote because Lan Zhan trusts Wei Wuxian completely. Unconditional trust is rare… Nonexistent? Perhaps this trust is what it means to have a soulmate. If there was someone out there that trusted me completely – even when faced with challenges and misunderstandings – I don’t know how I would respond, honestly.
Elle: I’ll respond, “Yes, you may now ask for my hand in marriage.” LOL
Rose: LOL! You’re not wrong…
Rose: Two favourite scenes come to mind. Surprisingly, they are not WangXian scenes but other couples. I ship Xue Yang with Xiao Xingchen. I really enjoyed watching the scenes of the two of them living together. I can’t believe a couple of years passed just like that. We didn’t get enough scenes. U_U
Rose: I also ship Lan Xichen with Mengyao/Jin Guangyao. Like Lan Zhan, Lan Xichen is so trusting of the people he cares about. He didn’t want to believe that Mengyao was doing evil deeds. My favourite scene of theirs was their final scene. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Rose: Lan Xichen showed Mengyao that he was willing to die with him. Mengyao pushed him away when he realized this. Following Mengyao’s death, Lan Xichen went into seclusion. Very tragic, indeed.
Rose: Zhu Zanjin, the actor who played Mengyao, said in an interview that their final scene was supposed to be different. However, it didn’t feel right to him so he asked for the scene to be filmed one more time, in the way he thought was right. That is the scene you see in The Untamed. Although it’s a little different from what the director originally envisioned, it comes from Zhu Zanjin’s feeling. I think that’s beautiful.
To wrap it up…
Elle: The Untamed was a happy surprise. In my case it’s because I watched the drama first (I’m partial to live action series these days) and so I was able to appreciate it even more because their stories were portrayed in live action really well. Though for the chinese drama there was censorship to contend with, it did not detract at all to the intensity of the relationship between our leads, and I think it’s amazing and very well done. It felt like a gradual unraveling of the whole series for me. My journey started from the drama to the novel, then to the donghua and now even the manhua version. It’s like a whole package deal. I’m glad I started the series when I did. Perfect timing for another obsession.
Rose: The Untamed is the best drama I’ve seen. The cast is perfect. I cannot imagine anybody else as Wei Wuxian or the other characters. The music is perfect. So much care, love, and dedication went into making The Untamed. The cast still regularly keep in touch. I can see how much this drama means to them and I’m so proud of everyone. Thank you, The Untamed, for giving us this wonderful and remarkable drama.
That is it for this collab post!
Thank you Rose @ Wretched and Divine for being such an awesome collab partner. I really enjoyed doing this! Now, it is the perfect time for another round of re-watching just because…
Thanks for reading!