‘The Untamed’: Every time Lan Wangji should have said “I love you”
The Untamed is the story of Wei Wuxian (Xiao Zhan) & Lan Wangji (Wang Yibo), two young cultivators that fall in love in ancient China. Both males, a relationship of this nature is wildly unacceptable in those times. Despite this, unable to stay away from each other, their relationship develops anyway.
Here’s the problem. Even in modern-day China, there are strict laws that prohibit the depiction of LGBTQ relationships & themes on entertainment platforms. While homosexuality is no longer strictly illegal in China, the depiction of such relationships on television is. China has been known to pull successful shows from the air, banning actors from working together on future projects.
Due to these very strict censorship laws, the creators of The Untamed had to get creative with the depiction of the relationship between Lan Wangji & Wei Wuxian. There are no physical exchanges between the characters, nor are there any verbal exchanges that solidify the characters as being in love, but it’s very clear that they are.
Fans of the show have stormed the internet to discuss & analyze all the moments that occur which can confirm that Lan Wangji & Wei Wuxian are in fact in love. There are many of these, including several exchanges that warranted verbal confirmation of the boy’s love for each other.
So come with us as we journey through The Untamed and unpack all the times Lan Wangji would have said “I love you” if Chinese censorship had allowed it.
Episode 14: WangXian in turtle cave
In this episode, Lan Wangji & Wei Wuxian are trapped inside a cave. In order to free themselves, they must first defeat Xuanwu, a mythical giant black tortoise. Lan Wangji makes it clear that the thing in front of them is not the real Xuanwu, but in fact, a fake version, the Tortoise of Slaughter left there by Xue Chonghai, who was responsible for creating the pieces of yin metal.
Lan Wangji & Wei Wuxian decide the best way to defeat the beast is from the inside of the shell. However, the Lan clan’s Chord Assassination Technique they plan to use to bring the beast down works best if members of the Lan clan are outside the turtle shell. Additionally, Lan Wangji is injured, so Wei Wuxian decides to go in alone.
Of course, an epic battle ensues. Wei Wuxian is seriously injured & catches a fever. In his delirious state, Wei Wuxian still manages to tease Lan Wangji, stating the never expecting that Lan Wangji would ever show such concern for him. Wei Wuxian continues rambling, complaining that it’s too quiet. He asked Lan Wangji to sing him a song & Lan Wangji begins humming.
The tune is, in fact, the same as the theme song to the show, which kicks in a few seconds later. Wei Wuxian is on the verge of passing out and asks the name of the song. Although we don’t hear the words because of Chinese censorship, Lan Wangji tells him that it’s called WangXian, which is a combination of both their names.
This is the first moment where Lan Wangji would have said “I love you” to Wei Wuxian, if Chinese censorship did not prevent it. Lan Wangji actually wrote the song for the two of them as a declaration of his love he feels for Wei Wuxian. It was the first time he’d shared the song with Wei Wuxian so it was an appropriate replacement for the actual words. Excuse us a moment, while we go and cry in the corner!
Note: while Lan Wangji tells Wei Wuxian the name of the song is WangXian, its official release title is actually Wuji.
Episode 36: Drunk Lan Wangji and his chickens
At the beginning of this episode, Lan Wangji is passed out drunk. Wei Wuxian puts him to bed and then goes out onto the street and begins playing Wangxian on the flute. However, it isn’t long before Lan Wangji appears on the street in front of him while he is conversing with Wen Ning. Drunk Lan Wangji just wants to be near Wei Wuxian. Wei Wuxian agrees to take him back to the inn, but in true Wei Wuxian fashion, he can’t find the way.
They stumble across a house with a chicken coop in the yard. Lan Wangji drunkenly stumbles in and pulls a rooster out of the coop. He hands it to Wei Wuxian who is somewhat confused. Lan Wangji then pulls a second rooster out of the coop and gives this one to Wei Wuxian too.
Depending on the platform you’re watching on, as the subtitles vary slightly, Lan Wangji then proceeds to ask if the roosters are good (or fat). Wei Wuxian agrees, trying to placate drunk Lan Wangji. Lan Wangji then proceeds to tell Wei Wuxian that he is giving the roosters to him.
This is significant because, in some regions in China, chickens are linked to marriage in a variety of ways. There are rituals that involve a man presenting a woman with a healthy chicken during a marriage proposal, as well as a variety of other rituals involving chickens during actual wedding ceremonies.
A popular theory here is that, in his drunken state, Lan Wangji was, in fact, declaring his love for Wei Wuxian with the chickens & proposing marriage. But wouldn’t Chinese authorities notice something like that? Well, yes. However, you’ll notice in the scene that Wei Wuxian is really confused by the whole thing and even says that Lan Wangji is just acting crazy, but we know better.
In his drunken state, if Lan Wangji is, in fact, proposing marriage here, had the show been uncensored, viewers would definitely have been treated to a drunken love confession of epic proportions. The expression on Lan Wangji’s face as he is waiting for Wei Wuxian’s response says it all. Lan Wanji is totally Wei Wuxian’s trash in this scene, and we are here for it!
Episode 42: The aftermath of Carp Tower
In this episode, all the clans are gathered at Carp Tower for a cultivation conference, but Lan Wangji & Wei Wuxian accompanies Lan Xichen (Liu Hai Kuan) (Lan Wangji’s brother) to secretly search for Nie MingJue’s decapitated head.
After demanding to look through Jin Guang Yao’s (Zhu Zan Jin) secret vaults, Wei Wuxian & Lan Wangji aggravate the man enough that he becomes combative. It is quickly uncovered that the man accompanying Lan Wangji is not, in fact, Mo Xuanyo (Xiao Zhan), but in fact a resurrected Wei Wuxian.
Chaos ensues and the two attempt to flee. Surrounded on the steps of Carp Tower, Jin Guang Yao says that he feels that Wei Wuxian must have tricked Lan Wangji, because someone as noble as Lan Wangji would never associate with someone as evil as Wei Wuxian.
In a tense, but epically beautiful moment, Lan Wangji loudly corrects him, telling everyone that he knew that he was Wei Wuxian in Mo Xuanyu’s body all along. Wei Wuxian tries to convince Lan Wangji to pretend Wei Wuxian tricked him so his reputation can remain intact, but Lan Wangji isn’t having it.
The two of them then proceed to have an incredibly intimate conversation while holding onto each other’s wrists (because they can’t hold hands due to censorship) while everyone in their cultivation society watches them and listens on. Lan Wangji essentially communicates that he will stand by Wei Wuxian, regardless of consequences. They pretty much out themselves in front of their entire cultivation society.
While this moment is indeed one of the most romantic moments in the entire show, this is not where Lan Wangji’s next “I love you” would have taken place. The two manage to escape Carp Tower after Wei Wuxian is stabbed by his nephew. Lan Wangji is assisting a very injured Wei Wuxian along in the rain when it becomes apparent they need to stop and rest.
Lan Wangji props Wei Wuxian up against a tree. Wei Wuxian points out that Lan Wangji is the only person standing by him anymore. In the scene, Lan Wangji responds by gazing longingly into Wei Wuxian’s eyes, but this is where he would have replied with “I love you” had he been able to.
The moment is very intimate & private. Although Lan Wangji had reassured him that they were in this together on the steps at Carp Tower, now that they are alone, those words would naturally have flowed, giving Wei Wuxian the reassurance he needed, while perfectly completing the scene
Episode 46: Lotus Pier Lake
In this episode, everyone is gathered at Lotus Pier, including Lan Wangji & Wei Wuxian. It’s the first time Wei Wuxian has been back since he was resurrected. After a fight with Jiang Cheng (Wang Zhuo Cheng), Wei Wuxian is passed out, laying in Lan Wangji’s arms while Wen Ning (Paul Yu) tells Jiang Cheng that the golden core running through his body actually belongs to Wei Wuxian.
On account of being passed out, Wei Wuxian doesn’t hear this conversation, but Lan Wangji certainly does. A look of complete devastation washes over Lan Wangji’s face as he listens to Wen Ning recount the details of that day. Lan Wangji begins to cry & eventually picks up Wei Wuxian and leaves Lotus Pier with Wen Ning.
Wei Wuxian eventually wakes up in Lan Wangji’s arms in a boat on the lake. Lan Wangji doesn’t tell Wei Wuxian that he knows about the transference of his golden core, but it’s obvious that Lan Wangji is having trouble holding back his emotions.
Lan Wangji is an honorable man who would never condone, or participate in stealing someone else’s property. In this particular moment though, after learning about what Wei Wuxian went through all those years ago, as Wei Wuxian begins to pick Lotus flowers from the lake to eat, Lan Wangji is unable to deny him this small pleasure.
The look on Lan Wanji’s face in this moment is clear: he loves Wei Wuxian with his entire being and can’t bear what happened to him over the years. Even Wei Wuxian seems surprised by Lan Wangji’s emotion here. The intensity of his eyes says it all. If he could have, Lan Wangji would definitely have told Wei Wuxian how much he loves him in this moment, without question.
Instead, because of censorship laws in China, viewers were robbed of this moment and the boys sit in the boat on Lotus Pier Lake eating lotus seeds instead.
Episode 50: Lan Sizhui
At the end of episode 50, Wei Wuxian & Lan Wangji begin their journey home. Lan Wangji is about to tell Wei Wuxian that Lan Sizhui (Zheng Fanxing) is actually Wen Yuan, when Lan Sizhui and Wen Ning interrupt them.
After speaking with Wen Ning over the past few days, Lan Sizhui suspects that he might actually be Wen Yuan from Burial Mounds. When Lan Sizhui asks this question to both Wei Wuxian & Lan Wangji, both Lan Sizhui & Wei Wuxian are overcome with emotion when Lan Wangji confirms it. Wei Wuxian & Lan Sizhui embrace emotionally. This is the only embrace shown on camera throughout the whole show.
Lan Wangji confirms that we went back to Burial Mounds and found Wen Yuan hiding in the cave. Apart from the fact that Lan Wangji knew how important Wen Yuan was to Wei Wuxian, someone like Lan Wangji would never leave a child to die like that. Lan Wangji took Wen Yuan back to Cloud Recesses and the Lan clan raised him as their own.
Wei Wuxian proudly tells Lan Sizhui that he is indeed the product of Lan Wangji. Lan Wangji replies and tells Wei Wuxian that Lan Sizhui is also the product of Wei Wuxian, confirming Lan Sizhui is both of theirs. They have a son.
After Lan Sizhui sets off with Wen Ning, and Lan Wangji & Wei Wuxian are alone again, this is where the final “I love you” would have taken place. This time, however, Wei Wuxian would have initiated the exchange. Overcome by the emotion of learning about Lan Sizhui, grateful for Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxian would have said it first, but Lan Wangji would have said it back immediately.
The Untamed is perfect in every single way, even without these particular moments. The relationship between Lan Wangji & Wei Wuxian, and the love they have for each other bleeds all over the screen, regardless of censorship.
Well said. Their performances are intense and in some ways, the censorship made all these tiny moments carry such emotional weight. Kind of like the small things between people in real life are sometimes the most heartwrenching. I don’t know how I stumbled upon this on Netflix but I’m glad I did. I love it. Too much, probably. I didn’t know about the significance of giving chickens in Chinese culture. Thanks for that. I did laugh at the fact that it was two roosters. Clever. These two guys impressed the hell out of me. I’m still kinda in love with both of them. So beautiful, true, but their emotions are what slayed me.January 9, 2020
I love this article right on point as a fan of untamedJanuary 9, 2020
Their chemistry was able to be seen without words
Just my thougts.January 10, 2020
There will always be changes to film adaptations of the novel. For example, in the novel, Wei Wuxian has told Lan Wangji about his childhood and growing up, the mischief he got up to (stealing chickens for example) and so when Lan Wangji got drunk, he wanted to relive these moments with Wei Wuxian and so he does exactly that.
The young Lan Wangji would never have told Wei Wuxian that he loved him. His upbringing and lack of family affection and the strict laws of his family (his ancestor was a monk) wouldn’t allow him to. Until he (thought) he lost Wei Wuxian, he would never express his feelings of affections. Even in the novel, they both didn’t confess (actually Wei Wuxian did it first) until near the very end ( which is of similar style with the author’s other novels).
There was actually one love confession scene which was not included in the film series. In the film series, Wei Wuxian jumps off the cliff and dies immediately after his sister or Shijie died. In the novel, Lan Wangji actually took him away from the scene in Wei Wuxian’s catatonic state. He took him to Luan Zang Gang and tried to heal him. All through the healing process he kept telling Wei Wuxian that he loved him and would stay by his side no matter what. However, Wei Wuxian was having a mental breakdown due to the loss of his sister and only told Lan Wangji to “guan” which means leave. Wei Wuxian had no recollection of Lan Wangji’s confession later.
Lan Wangji’s brother and uncle, and 33 seniors from the clan came along not long after and tried to make Lan Wangji give up Wei Wuxian. Lan Wangji did not and ended up inflicting injury to the seniors. Lan Wangji told them to leave and that he would take the punishment after. When Wei Wuxian was stable, Lan Wangji went home and took the punishment, 1 whip for each senior he had injured. In total 33 whips which caused him to take 3 years to recover. Just a fun fact, the 33 whips was the same number of brusht srokes to Wei Wuxian’s name in Chinese character’s.
You should also point out the three vows (I think it is in episode 45 or 46) that represent that at that point, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji already consider each other husband and husband. Because the third vow means that Wei Ying is presenting his husband to his adoptive family. Is a very cute addition, very small and many don’t notice.January 10, 2020
By three vows, you actually mean three *bows*, right?? Because I did not hear them making any vows in episodes 45-46, but they bowed thrice, side by side, in front of WWX’s adoptive family’s ancestral altar. And yeah, that *does* look very similar to the 3 bows in traditional Chinese marriage, except that in marriage, the 3 bows are distinct: the first to the heavens and the earth, the second to parents/elders, the third to each other (husband and wife). But still, it’s definitely an allusion to marriage, as you say, because normally in traditional ancient Chinese culture, only members of the family or spouses of family members would bow at the ancestral altar.March 14, 2020
Thank you for pointing that out.May 14, 2020
I have a question: where is that photo from? You know, the first photo you showed,July 9, 2020
Maybe spoilers!!! In the Novel, the Manhua, the Donghua, or the Audio Drama, not sure which ones, but Wei Wuxian says that the bows in the Jiang Clan’s ancestral shrine should be considered as their first 2 bows, and that they will follow the third later on. And he says this suggestively to Lan Zhan who is right frickin’ there.November 21, 2021
You forgot the clearest of them all. When they talk about being “bossom friends”. In the book, in this part, WeiWuxian is still wearing the blindfold and Lan WangJi uses it to steal WWX 1st kiss (WWX is too stupid to realise it’s LWJ and LWJ is too innocent back then and thinks LWJ has kissed plenty of girls, but it is, in fact, both their 1st kiss).January 11, 2020
In the series this is substituted by a very emotional scene with the music and exchange of gazes that makes clear that while they say friendship, they are both actually talking about THE love of their lives.
Aww! Beautiful scene and, despite having watched the series twice and the special edition, I don’t recall the episode #. Could ypu please remind me?July 25, 2020
I was wondering if you could say which episode in the series it was since I don’t remember…….October 20, 2021
Aaah this is so touching.❤️ It’s kinda sad that Wei and Lan Zhan weren’t able to express their love for each other clearly because of the censorship in China. Wish their would be a second season but I don’t think it’s possible ??January 11, 2020
The untamed is my all time most favorite and unforgettable love story without saying ‘I lovevyou’ makes it most precious. The chemistry between Lan wangi and Wei is beyond comprehension. Looking forward to seeing them both together again.February 1, 2020
I would have to disagree…..mostly because I read the novel and the show was pretty on point for most of it. Although the name of the song wasn’t revealed in the show, it wouldn’t have been revealed in the Xuanwu cave even without censorship. In the novel WWX is so out of it, he doesn’t really hear it so the readers don’t even know until towards the end.
Their confession and them saying I love you doesn’t happen til literally the very end right when they storm that temple and Jin Guangyao. And the reason for that….well…far too r-rated for me to mention on this platform.
So all those confessions of “i love you” would never even happen in the show until the end. Although they definitely censored the physically intimate scenes. at the end. No way China gonna allow that in.February 2, 2020
If I’m not wrong wangji actually says “wangxian” in the show when he is asked to tell the name of the song. It’s not so evident due to Chinese censorship…you gotta lip-read it.December 28, 2020
If you loved The Untamed, please read the novel Mo Dao Zu Shi (there is an online English translation, can’t tell you where bc it isn’t an official one, but a google search will work wonders!) ;-) Read it if only for the confession scene (though incidentally it’s a fabulous novel through and through). This is my favorite literary confession, hands down, and you’re talking to a woman with two literature degrees and a good 40 years of reading under her belt!March 2, 2020
I did really love this drama..umm actuly both novel n drama looked nice and good even tbe drama not showing love part.. but every time they togather there showing romantic in LWJ x WWX part..and i really love it even they never says love.. in they eyes they aleredy told us…they both inlove towards each otherMarch 27, 2020
You must have missed the other embrace in the drama when Jiang Cheng hugged Wei Wuxian upon his long absence.April 6, 2020
Deborah Starr Baribeau
With the exception of a few small scenes that were cut due to being quite unambiguous in showing that their feelings for one another were not platonic (such as Lan Zhan stealing a blindfolded Wei’s first kiss, a few rather more blatant scenes involving Zhan’s headband, and a couple of incidents of slightly suggestive behaviour while Zhan is drunk – as well as an intimate situation later on while the two were both drunk), the portrayal of all but one of those scenes you mentioned was actually very true to the novel. (The ending scene involved the two stating to Yuan that they were eloping, and they did say “I love you” to each other at the point you mentioned.)
During the bowing scene that Meru Hina mentioned, in the novel Wei silently sends a prayer to his Aunt and Uncle’s spirits to tell them that in his heart he’s offering the three bows of a couple who are marrying, because the one bowing beside him is the love of his life. Later on Zhan essentially says the same thing – the first time they go to have sex after their mutual confessions Wei teases Zhan that he’s “so shameless”, since they aren’t married and thus he’s about to break the rules of his sect. Zhan refutes this, saying that they already did the three bows together before Wei’s ancestors and he considers them to be married.
Zhan is a very stoic, self-controlled and disciplined individual, while Wei is forgetful, mischevious, and oblivious – also in some ways quite comically naive – which keeps causing misunderstandings between the two. Sometimes made worse by Wei’s love of teasing and pestering Zhan in order to get him to react.
Wei takes a long time to even recognize that he has feelings for Zhan in the first place; though in retrospect he acknowledges some of his actions when they were younger in their first life indicate that he actually liked Zhan from the beginning without realising it.
Since Lan Zhan confessed his love repeatedly right before Wei’s death and Wei never gave him any indication of returning the sentiment afterwards – only flirting shamelessly with him after his return as a joke or a distraction in a manner that would have been very cruel if he’d actually remembered Zhan’s confession – Zhan doesn’t admit his feelings again until Wei manages to convince him of his own sincerity.
Zhan isn’t holding back his “I love you”s in all but the last of those scenes because of censorship – he’s holding it back because he’s already told Wei how he feels, and believes that his feelings are unwelcome.
It actually adds to the impact when you consider that his devotion is unfaltering despite the fact that he believes he’s been rejected, and his love is so pure and enduring that he chooses to stay by Wei’s side without doing or saying anything that might make Wei uncomfortable or hint at pressuring him to change his mind. Especially when he knows just how much Wei needs his support and companionship, he refuses to do or say anything that might be considered taking advantage of his vulnerability.
Even believing that Wei is mocking his feelings, or attempting to hint that he’s willing to pay Zhan back with his body out of gratitude rather than having any desire to do so doesn’t prompt him to open up about his own feelings or desires with someone who doesn’t return them – and his love is deep enough that it doesn’t drive him away. He holds back his own heartbreak and hurt to remain loyal to what he believes is an unrequited love despite gaining absolutely nothing but more heartache for all his efforts, without ever once attempting to try to change Wei’s mind. Zhan demonstrates nothing but respect for what he believes is Wei’s rejection of his love, despite Wei’s actions making him think that Wei doesn’t respect his feelings in return.
The depiction of Lan Zhan and his feelings for Wei WuXian in the novel is the single most unequivically powerful example of selfless, unconditional love I’ve ever read.
When Wei learns what happened during the gaps in his memory from the end of his first life, he’s both thrilled and horrified – elated that Zhan does return his feelings, but disgusted by himself for his obliviousness; ashamed of how much he must have been unintentionally hurting Zhan all this time where it would have seemed like he was playing with the other’s feelings. He’s also awestruck and humbled as he’s forced to re-evaluate all of their interactions since his return with his new knowledge and realises the depth of Zhan’s devotion to him and the strength of his character. He swears to himself then and there that he’ll explain himself properly to Zhan as soon as possible, because Zhan doesn’t deserve to suffer another minute of thinking his love is one-sided.
I have to agree with Sarah about the awesomeness of the confession scene in the novel. It’s exceptional and well worth reading chapters 99 and 100 even if you’re not interested in reading the rest of the book – which in itself is well worth reading. (Chapter 99 where Wei learns how Zhan feels about him, and Chapter 100 where he confesses.)
It’s initially hilarious due to a flustered Wei blurting out the most embarrassing and least romantic confession possible in public; but it becomes extremely sweet and romantic when Wei realises that he wasn’t very clear about his actual feelings and Zhan thinks he was just teasing him again. At that point he haltingly offers a very detailed and touching explanation of exactly how he feels about the other man, which continues until Zhan realises he truly means it.
All of those romantically charged scenes and almost-“I-Love-You”s throughout the story beforehand serve to make the actual confession that much more poignant and beautiful when it finally happens. All the build-up prior to that simply lays the foundation to show how very deeply Zhan feels for Wei – despite Wei’s obliviousness and the way he keeps unintentionally hurting Zhan’s feelings. It allows Wei to understand Zhan’s seemingly hot-yet-cold attitude towards him at times, and believe in the depth of Zhan’s devotion once he learns what happened during the gaps in his memories.
Therefore, in the interest of being true to the original story, there are only two scenes in the series where they should have said the words and didn’t – during the final showdown with Jin GuangYao, and the scene you mentioned at the end. The scene where Zhan first confesses to Wei before his death is cut out completely, along with every other explicit reference towards homosexual feelings, and gay sex or a gay relationship between them due to censorship; but the series actually portrays their relationship and interactions quite faithfully to canon otherwise.May 29, 2020
Deborah Starr Baribeau
***SPOILERS FOR THE NOVEL***
There’s a scene a few chapters prior to their confession where they kiss and engage in some intimate acts (but not full penetrative sex); however since they were both drunk at the time and Zhan is a lightweight, he doesn’t remember what happened between them very clearly after he sobers up. So when he wakes up and sees the evidence of their activities, he’s horrified by the possibility that he lost control and forced himself on Wei.
This is further encouraged by Wei’s attempt to make him feel better about the situation – since he thinks that Zhan’s reaction is out of disgust at the thought of having been intimate with another man, he assures Zhan that they were both drunk and they don’t need to talk about it; he says that it “means nothing”, and they should simply never think of it again.
Seeing that Zhan is obviously not happy with his reassurances, a miserable Wei concludes that he had completely misread the situation between them, and feels guilty and ashamed for taking advantage of his friend’s drunkenness and seducing someone who didn’t want him at all when they were sober.
Hoping to keep Zhan from hating him for his feelings, he tries his best to avoid the other and refuses to look at him anymore. He requests a seperate room where he shuts himself up to give the other man some space and time to forget the incident, privately swearing to never drink again and despising himself for being foolish enough to hope that Zhan’s treatment of him was anything more than friendship.
When he can’t sleep alone afterwards, he slips out of the inn to wander around town and try to distract himself from what happened; which is how he ends up in a position to be captured by Jin GuangYao.
The actual love confession happens in chapter 100 of the novel – after Wei learns about Zhan’s feelings for him in chapter 99.
After Wei is captured by Jin GuangYao, Zhan’s brother XiChen criticizes him for his cruelty to Zhan by constantly mocking his feelings, and discovers that Wei has no memory of the events where Zhan confessed. Since it was only earlier that same evening that he’d seen Zhan’s reaction to waking up with him after their intimate encounter, Wei insists that XiChen is mistaken about Zhan’s feelings for him.
At that point, Jin GuangYao cuts in and points out that Zhan’s feelings for him were so obvious to everyone else that even he himself pitied the other man for loving someone so oblivious and wished that Wei would just put Zhan out of his misery already. Lichen tells him all about the circumstances of Zhan’s confession, and Wei understands why Zhan has reacted to all of his advances the way he has and feels terrible about his unintentional cruelty, deciding that he needs to come clean to Zhan about everything as soon as possible. He spends the rest of the chapter being repeatedly distracted by trying to come up with the words to tell Zhan how he feels the next time he sees him, and has to keep reminding himself to focus on escaping first.
When Zhan is captured due to GuangYao holding a sharp wire around Wei’s neck, Wei insists that he needs to speak with Zhan immediately. GuangYao tells him to save it for later, but Wei insists that it’s urgent. GuangYao tells him to “just say it right now”, and Wei decides he’s right; so he blurts out, “Back then, I-I really wanted to sleep with you!”
GuangYao is so startled that he drops the wire, and rather than try to take advantage of his distraction he dashes forward and throws his arms around Zhan’s neck. He starts to repeat himself when XiChen coughs and points out that, “it certainly isn’t the time and place to say such words”; reminding the two that they’re currently surrounded by enemies and their brothers.
After the captives have all been forced to sit out of the way of GuangYao and his accomplices, Wei wonders why Zhan hasn’t said anything about his confession before realising that Wei has no reason to think he was being serious or referring to anything other than sex – especially given that Zhan doesn’t know his memory was damaged after his sister’s death and in light of his behaviour towards the other since returning.
He explains to Zhan about the gaps in his memory from his last days, then tries to find the right words to express his love. He says,
“But! But, from now on, what you say to me, what you do for me, I’ll remember all of them—I won’t forget a single thing!”
Wei WuXian, “You’re really great. I like you.”
“Or in other words, I fancy you, I love you, I want you, I can’t leave you, I *whatever* you.”
“I want to night-hunt with you for the rest of my life.”
Wei WuXian put three fingers together, pointing at the sky, the earth, and finally his heart, “And I want to sleep with you every day. I swear it’s not the heat of the moment or joking around like I’ve done in the past. I’m not doing it out of gratitude either. Anyways, it’s not because of anything else. I really just like you so much I want to sleep with you. I don’t want anyone but you—it can’t be anyone but you. You can do anything you want to me, however you like it. I’ll accept everything, as long as you’re willing to…”
And Zhan shuts him up by enthusiastically embracing and kissing him; then repeats his words back to him. He even sheds a few happy tears onto Wei’s shoulder.
This is of course an abbreviated version of events – but it gives you an indication of how goes. Zhan’s reaction to the things Wei says to him is incredibly moving and demonstrates just how much he’s suffered under the weight of an unrequited love for so long.
The whole thing is honestly really well-written and sweet; very romantic and quite frankly perfect for the story.May 29, 2020
Thank youJune 11, 2020
I finished the series a few days ago and now watching it for the third time. Even thought the story line was altered it’s still great. The acting was impressive which still brings me to tears watching it again and again. I’m praying for the sequel and most importantly with the same actors. The only thing I can say about The Untamed after I watched Eternal Love, Ashes of Love and more… is that it’s my most favorite drama. Love, love and love it! Btw, is there a novel of this in English for me to buy and where? Please help!!!!!June 11, 2020
Unfortunately there’s no English translation in publication at the moment, but there is an excellent fan translation by Exiled Rebels Scanlations! As amazing as the Untamed is, believe me when I say that the novel is on a whole different level- helped most definitely by the canonical and uncensored development of WWX and LWJ’s relationship!July 7, 2020
There’s a scene where Lan Zhan asks Wei Wuxian, “what am I to you?” WWX replies, “I’ve always thought of you as my lifelong confidant (or soulmate, depending on translation). LZ then replies, ” I still am.” Cue intense eye contact. Isn’t that the ultimate declaration of love for each other?June 22, 2020
This was a really lovely and well-thought out article to read and relive all of those precious WangXian moments! I do have to say though, I still believe that the real, mutual confession of love as depicted in the novel is a million times better than any other possible confession during any other opportunity in the cannon. Mo Dao Zu Shi, and its adaption The Untamed, are remarkable as they both show the subtle developments relationships between two people who are never able to properly understand the relationship between them; Wei Wuxian in all his goodwill believes truly that Lan Zhan greatly dislikes him- Lan Wanji is unable to come to terms with his feelings for WWX until it’s too late, and after WWX’s assumption of his new body mistakenly thinks WWX has rejected his feelings.
While in the novel the cast ends up ridiculing WWX for his obliviousness during the climax, which triggers WWX’s understanding of LWJ’s true feelings for him, what I love about The Untamed is that it proves no matter how long their feelings are unsure or misunderstood, without needing to be said out loud, their affections for each other make themselves perfectly clear. Even if WWX needed a second incarnation, a little time and travel to realize :)July 7, 2020
I’m on episode 35 of the Netflix series and I’ve loved every minute of it from the beginning. The two actors playing Wei and Wangli are excellent in portraying their obvious love for each others with such subtlety. I am going to look for a translation of the novel.July 14, 2020
This article is amazing😭❤️ I couldn’t agree more. I just finished the Series yesterday and I already miss them🤧. Sadly maybe we can’t have a season 2 for The Untamed. I realy hope we could😔. I’m a new fan btw😄July 27, 2020
I haven’t finished the drama yet but it always seems like Lan Wangji was showing his heart in his eyes but I didn’t say see the same look of yearning from Wei Wuxian. But in the book it seems that Wei Wuxian shows his affection much more.August 9, 2020
I still love both versions, the drama and the book but the book is definitely my favorite.
I liked this uwu. Actually WWX and LWJ do hold hand in 3-5 chances: at the boat, at the temple, when Lan Zhan is drunk (two times) and other time I can’t remember atm (but it isn’t that noticeable tho) and there’s actually another hug scenes between WWX and JC after Wei Ying finally came back after being lost for 3 months (episode 20) also idk if it counts but when WWX saved Jin Ling in episode 49 they hug each other. I think the best times are at the Carp tower when they were surrounded, WWX should have said ILY to LWJ at the temple when he was with the “rope” around his neck, when he told LZ to get help and he refused, I think it was the best time (similar to the novel) or once they were inside the temple and Wei Ying told Lan Zhan he didn’t need to do that and Lan Zhan said he did what he had to, and when they’re at the waterfall in the last episode <3 I think LZ wouldn’t tell WY he liked/loved him when they were younger (mostly because I feel he wouldn’t say that to him if he didn’t felt the same/didn’t know if he felt the same).August 30, 2020
Muy buena reseña!!! Tantos “TE AMO” que sólo vemos en sus miradas!!! No pude leer más porque sería todo un spolier porque aún no la termino. Amo esta historia!! <3October 1, 2020
I AM A DIE- HARD FAN OF SEAN XIAO ZHAN….I LITERALLY FELL HOPELESSLY IN LOVE WITH HIM….I CAN’T CONTROL MYSELF OVER HIM…EVEN READING THIS MY HEART WAS RACING….I AM A TEENAGER WHO IS WILLING TO MARRY ZHAN EVEN IF HE IS 99YEAR OLD….I AM CLEAR OF MY DREAMS…I WILL TRAVEL WORLD AND DO EVERYTHING IMPOSSIBLE TO COMMON..MY ONE GREAT DREAM IS TO MEET ZHAN…I CAN WORK EVEN AS HIS SLAVE TO SEE HIM…THIS STORY HAS A PLACE NEXT TO MY HEART…I ACTUALLY DON’T HOOK UP WITH A GUY IN MOVIE OR DRAMA FOR MORE THAN A WEEK…BUT ZHAN HAS ALREADY TAKEN 20000 PICS IN MY GALLERY….AND ALSO 3 CHAMBERS OF MY HEART…I SIMPLY DREAM OF HIM…I HAVE SEEN MYSELF AS A ACTRESS IN A DRAMA WITH HIM…I AM NOW WRITING IT DOWN…I AM A POET ALSO…I HAVE WRITTEN POEMS ON HIM AND UNTAMED…I WONDER WHY… NOTHING STOPS ME EXCEPT HIM…THIS IS MY FIRST GOOGLE COMMENT…JUST FOR MY LOVE…SEAN XIAO ZHAN…❤️November 23, 2020
I know that in China the fans of this genre (boys’ love) are mostly heterosexual women. I’m curious if it’s similar here.December 4, 2020
I loved this series so much that I’m still watching it, I believe I’m on my 15th round, not an exaggeration. I love the subtle nuances hay the actors were able to portray their feelings for each other. I love Wei Wuxian’s scattered brained, flirty, mischievous character to Lan Wanji’s more stoic, cold but loving nature. They are truly the perfect pair. I love how Wei Ying was obviously enthralled with Lan Zhan from when they first met as teens but wasn’t truly aware of his feelings. Or that Alan Zhan falls madly in love with him but has to withhold his feelings because of Wei’s flirt with everyone behavior and it not be something easily accepted at the time. The dedication they had toward each other and how Alan Zhan would always defend him always gave me goosebumps. I love their live for each other and that makes it hard to stay away from the story. It’s so well written and developed
I have a theory, to me the most annoying character is Jiang Chen. Does anyone else think that he was jealous not only of Wei because his father seemed to favor him but because he maybe had a crush on him too?January 29, 2021
This is a great article! Though at the beginning of the article I think there’s some misconstruing on why they couldn’t get together in the first place. Being gay wasn’t unacceptable in ancient China. At least for two men it wasn’t. There is a famous story of an emperor who was sleeping next to his lover-a man-who was partially laying on his sleeve. Not wanting to disturb him, he cut his sleeve off. This led to the famous term ‘cut sleeve’ when referring to gay men specifically. It doesn’t have an equivalent in English because at the time it had a romantic connotation.February 24, 2021
Western and Central Asian influence did seep into China in the Tang Dynasty but homosexual relationships were still fairly common at least among the upper classes and royal court. The Qing Dynasty was the first to institute a law against consensual, non-monetized homosexuality, however this was possibly due to the government limiting relationships outside of government monitoring. By the 20th century more stringent laws and regulations were enforced as homophobia was imported to China from the west.
I know this article focuses on the Untamed which is really historical fantasy, and doesn’t take after historical events, but the novel is depicted in a XianXia world which has its roots in the Warring States period. Anyhoo, I just thought I would put in my two cents! I think the fact that they’re relationship could develop without having to be ashamed with being attracted to and in love with another man, although other political, social and personal elements (Lan Zhan’s disdain for base sexual needs at the beginning, for example) all played parts in preventing them from actually getting together until after Wei Wuxian was brought back 13-16 years after his death (the year discrepancy is from the novel and the live action drama).
you left out an important one!
in episode, I think it’s 27 or 28, Lan Wangji tells his brother “there is a man I want to take back to Gusu and hide.”
this is when he reveals to his brother that he loves Wei Wuxian and wants to essentially hide Wei Ying away like his father his his mother away.November 7, 2022