‘The Untamed’: Why does everyone hate Jiang Cheng?
The Untamed has a number of complicated storylines going, and it can be hard to keep track of all the ins and outs in the series. One of the most polarizing characters to have emerged is Jiang Cheng (Wang Zhou Cheng). With a myriad of reasons to feel he is either the worst or wholly misunderstood, we are diving in on Jiang Cheng and what makes fans of the show so passionate about his character.
Jiang Cheng: the backstory
When Wei Wuxian (Xiao Zhan) is adopted by Jiang Fengmian (Lu Jiangmin), Jiang Cheng becomes Wei Wuxian’s new brother. The two get off to a rocky start, as Wei Wuxian is terrified of dogs, and Jiang Cheng is forced to get rid of his pets for his new brother. However, Jiang Cheng does come around and eventually the two develop an authentic brotherly bond.
Unfortunately, Jiang Fengmian’s favoritism of Wei Wuxian does begin to create tension between the brothers. The tension reaches a peak as Wei Wuxian defended Lan Wangji (Wang Yibo) from Wen Chao (He Peng), and Wen Chao subsequently murders the Jiang Clan in retaliation. Wei Wuxian becomes the new patriarch of Yiling, which Jiang supports, as he is relieved that his brother has survived Wen Chao’s massacre.
However, when Wei Wuxian goes against the Jin Sect to defend two Wen Sect members, Jiang Chen becomes increasingly concerned about Wei Wuxian and his alliance with those in the dark arts.
After Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng’s sister, Jiang Yanli (Xuan Lu) sacrifices herself to save Wei Wuxian, all of the tension between the two comes to a head, and Jiang Cheng murders Wei Wuxian.
When Wei Wuxian is eventually reincarnated, he regrets his previous actions that led to Jiang Yanli’s death and his rift his Jiang Cheng. In contrast, Jiang Cheng’s hatred and jealousy for Wei Wuxian just grows.
Wei Wuxian: the hero
Those who hate Jiang Cheng obviously l0ve Wei Wuxian, and for good reason. Wei is the charming, bright, loyal hero of The Untamed, and the show’s fans are completely on Team Wei Wuxian.
While Wei Wuxian has made some mistakes with tremendous consequences, he is not malicious. The original tension in the relationship between Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian comes from their father’s clear favoritism and Wei Wuxian’s exceptional talents, which are out of his control.
While Jiang Cheng blames his brother for the near-annihilation of the Jiang Clan, Wei Wuxian’s love for Lan Wangji, which is what gives The Untamed its depth, is what caused him to go against Wen Chao, so fans can’t help but forgive him.
Wei Wuxian’s true intentions for Jiang Cheng
Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian fight, and Jiang Cheng knocks Wei Wuxian unconscious. As Jiang Cheng is gearing up to fight Lan Wangji as well, Wen Ning (Paul Yu) appears and reveals to Jiang Cheng that Wei Wuxian once saved Jiang Cheng’s life by placing his own golden core into Jiang Cheng.
For cultivators, a golden core is a person’s life. The discovery that Wei Wuxian had saved his life without his knowledge challenges Jiang Cheng, as he is both frustrated that he was weak enough to need his brother’s help, and frustrated that he didn’t realize his brother had stepped in for him. The brothers do manage to find a new relationship, but they still have serious tension between them.
Jiang Cheng can be cruel and angry, but understanding his anger towards his adopted brother is a big piece to the dynamic relationships in The Untamed. The two’s bond has withstood death, jealousy, and sacrifice, and seeing how the brothers have managed to ride such a roller coaster gives each of their characters a new level of depth.