Mo Dao Zu Shi

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Mo Dao Zu Shi
One of the official posters for Mo Dao Zu Shi by Tencent.jpg
Also known asThe Founder of Diabolism
Created byMo Xiang Tong Xiu
Based onMo Dao Zu Shi
by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu
Written byLiang Sha
Directed byXiong Ke
Creative directorShen Lin
Voices ofZhang Jie
Bian Jiang
Opening theme"Drunken Dreams of the Past" by Lin Zhixuan
Ending theme"Asking the Zither" by Yin Lin
"No Envies" by S.I.N.G
"Unchanging Youth" by R1SE
ComposersSun Yujing
Wen Teng
Kun Shuo
Country of originChina
Original languageMandarin
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes23
Executive producerXu Yuanyuan
ProducersJin Wenjun
Wang Juan
Liu Xing
Zhu Ke
Yan Mengya
Running time24 minutes per episodes
Production companiesTencent Penguin Pictures
B.C May Pictures
Original networkTencent Video
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseJuly 9, 2018 (2018-07-09) –
present (present)
Related showsThe Untamed
External links

Mo Dao Zu Shi (Chinese: 魔道祖师; pinyin: Mó Dào Zǔ Shī; lit. 'Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation') is a donghua series based on the novel of the same name written by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu (Chinese: 墨香铜臭). It is produced by Tencent Penguin Pictures and B.C May Pictures. The series depicts a fictional Xianxia world where humans attempt to cultivate to a state of immortality, known as Xian (Chinese: ).[1] The protagonist of the series, Wei Wuxian, due to certain circumstances, deviated from the conventional cultivation path to Xian, and eventually created Mo Dao (the Demonic Path).

The first season, titled Qian Chen Pian (Chinese: 前尘篇), aired from July 9 to October 6, 2018 on Tencent Video for 15 episodes.[2] The second season, titled Xian Yun Pian (Chinese: 羡云篇), aired from August 3, 2019 to August 31, 2019 with 8 episodes.[3] A third season has been confirmed in the post credit scene of the final episode of second season. A trailer for the third season was released on January 22nd, 2021.[4] A chibi series started airing since July 31, 2020, and is set to run for 30 episodes.


Despite his merits during the Sunshot Campaign to bring down the tyrannical Wen Clan, Wei Wuxian (魏无羡) was feared by the world for the unorthodox path in cultivation he himself created. Thirteen years after he was killed, he is summoned into the body of a lunatic called Mo Xuanyu (莫玄羽), who was rejected by his clan and despised by his family, therefore sacrificing his own body to Wei Wuxian so he could avenge him. He'll soon meet a cultivator from his past, Lan Wangji (蓝忘机). Together, they will try to discover the identity of the person to whom belongs the dismembered left arm they found at the Mo house. What they don't know is that this mystery will lead them to unravel what lies behind the tragic events that caused the death of many people and of Wei Wuxian himself.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
115July 9, 2018 (2018-07-09)October 6, 2018 (2018-10-06)
28August 3, 2019 (2019-08-03)August 31, 2019 (2019-08-31)


Main characters[edit]

Wei Ying (魏婴), courtesy name Wuxian (无羡)

Wei Wuxian is the protagonist of the series, born as the only son of Cangse Sanren (藏色散人) and Wei Changze (魏长泽). He was a former disciple of the Jiang Clan of Yunmeng (云梦江氏) and later created the Demonic Path (鬼道), thus earning him the title of Yiling Patriarch (夷陵老祖). His weapons included the sword Suibian (随便), the flute Chenqing (陈情笛), and various weapons crafted using Demonic power. After losing his golden core, he was unable to wield Suibian and resorted to using the Chenqing to control corpses under the Demonic Path. No one apart from Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng has been able to unsheathe Suibian.
After the death of his parents during a Night Hunt (夜猎), he was brought to Lotus Pier (莲花坞) by Jiang Fengmian (江枫眠) and joined the Jiang Clan of Yunmeng. He is an intelligent, bright, optimistic, mischievous but good-hearted cultivator, whose intelligence and strength lie more in his ability to invent new spiritual techniques and inventions not defined by conventional cultivation methods. Growing up in Lotus Pier, Wuxian was raised like a son to Jiang Fengmian and a brother to Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli. Despite showing little to no affection to him, Yu Ziyuan (虞紫鸢) proved to be protective of him when Lotus Pier was under siege.
He met Lan Wangji (蓝忘机) while he traveled to Gusu to study under the Lan Clan of Gusu (姑苏蓝氏) at Cloud Recesses (云深不知处). During his studies there, he broke multiple rules of Cloud Recesses and was punished to copy down the 3000 rules with Lan Wangji supervising. He was later kicked out of Cloud Recesses after punching Jin Zixuan when he overheard him talking about Jiang Yanli disrespectfully. He returned to Yunmeng to continue his training.
Shortly after the Siege of Lotus Pier, after rescuing Jiang Cheng, Wei Wuxian realized his Golden Core was destroyed by Wen Zhuliu during his capture. He sacrificed his own Golden Core so Jiang Cheng can continue his cultivation but was captured by Wen Chao shortly after the sacrifice. During his weak stage, he was thrown into the Burial Mounds where he created the Demonic Path within three months.
During the Sunshot Campaign (射日之征), he returned as a practicer of Demonic Path. Although he was able to turn the tides and ended the campaign with the defeat of the Wen Clan, his methods were frowned upon due to its unorthodox nature. After the events of Qiongqi Path (穷奇道), he took in the Wen Clan branch which Wen Ning and Wen Qing belonged to, as well as revived Wen Ning back as a living corpse. The Jin Clan, which was quickly rising to power after the demise of the Wen Clan, started exerting pressure on the Jiang Clan with the other clans. As a result, his childhood friend Jiang Cheng, the new leader of the Jiang Clan was under pressure. Wei Wuxian chose to leave the Jiang Clan of Yunmeng shortly to preserve the clan's name and pretended to cut ties with Jiang Cheng. He set up base in the Burial Mounds as the Yiling Patriarch, where he provided sanctuary for the Wen Clan survivors prior to the First Siege of the Burial Mounds.
He died in the First Siege of the Burial Mounds, which is thirteen years prior to the start of the story. He was then summoned into the body of Mo Xuanyu (莫玄羽) through a sacrificial ritual. He travels with Lan Wangji to discover the identity of the person a left arm belonged to, and falls in love with him along the way.
Wei Wuxian is terribly afraid of dogs. This is due to his traumatic experience on the streets shortly after his parents passed away and before he was taken in by Jiang Fengmian. He also has a liking for alcohol, specifically the Emperor's Smile of Gusu, and spicy food.

Lan Zhan (蓝湛), courtesy name Wangji (忘机).

Lan Wangji is the second young master of the Lan Clan. Titled as Hanguang-Jun (含光君). He is known for his cold, aloof and strict nature.
He first met Wei Wuxian at the walls of Cloud Recesses, where Wei Wuxian was sneaking in Emperor's Smile, which was banned within Cloud Recesses. The two bonded when they battled the Xuanwu (玄武) in a cave after being trapped by the Wen Clan. The two stayed behind to distract the creature while the others escaped to call for backup. It was in the cave when Lan Zhan first performed the song WangXian (忘羡, meaning to forget envies) to Wei Wuxian when the latter was weak after being injured by the creature.
When Wei Wuxian became the Yiling Patriarch, he often tried to persuade him to stop following the dark arts and attempted to protect him from being persecuted by the other cultivation clans, but to no avail. During the First Siege of the Burial Mounds, he tried the protect Wei Wuxian and in the process injured 33 of his clansmen. After the battle, he was punished to receive 33 whips and was grounded for 3 years, which he spent recovering from his punishment. During the 3--year period he heard of Wei Wuxian's death and despite his injuries, rushed to the Burial Mounds to look for him. Although he was unable to find anything related to Wei Wuxian, he found Wen Yuan (温苑), suffering from a fever, hidden away in a hollowed out tree.
During his youth, he fell in love with Wei Wuxian, and mourned for him during the thirteen years of his absence.
Lan Wangji was the first to recognize Wei Wuxian in the body of Mo Xuanyu when Wei Wuxian played the song Wangxian to summon Wen Ning.

Gusu Lan Clan[edit]

Lan Clan of Gusu (姑苏蓝氏) is a cultivation clan based in the Cloud Recesses (云深不知处), a residence on a remote mountain outside the city of Gusu. The current leader is Lan Xichen. All disciples wear a white band across their foreheads, inner disciples' (直系弟子) headbands have the clan emblem embroidered whilst outer disciples' (非直系弟子) doesn't. The headbands represent the quality of temperance (约束自我). Lan Clan disciples are skilled in musical instruments and are usually very good looking.

Clan Mantra: Upright; Righteous (雅正)

Clan Emblem: Rolling Clouds (卷云纹)

Lan Huan (蓝涣), courtesy name Xichen (曦臣).

Lan Xichen is the first young master of the Lan Clan. Titled as Zewu-Jun (泽芜君), he is one of the Two Jades of Lan alongside his younger brother, Lan Wangji; and one of the Three Venerated Ones alongside his sworn brothers Jin Guangyao and Nie Mingjue. He has a warm and gentle personality in contrast to Lan Wangji. He is trustful and loyal to others and his kindness is not limited to those of his clan. This is especially shown through his relationship with Jin Guangyao, as he was the only person who did not look down on Jin Guangyao despite his status as the son of a prostitute. However, Lan Xichen does possess a temper and is deeply protective of those he cares for, especially his younger brother. His anger is best seen towards Wei Wuxian, whom he developed a grudge against because Lan Wangji had defended Wei Wuxian and betrayed the Lan Clan to protect him. He even refers bitterly to Wei Wuxian as "the only mistake Lan Wangji made in his life".

Lan Qiren (蓝启仁)

Lan Qiren is an elder of the Lan Clan known for producing outstanding students, even out of the most hopeless ones. He is the uncle of Lan Xichen and Lan Wangji. Having watched his brother Qingheng-jun (青蘅君) drive himself into self-destruction over love, he took guardianship of his nephews, teaching them strictly in an effort to prevent them from following their father's footsteps, although Lan Wanji eventually eloped with Wei Wuxian. He is hence infamously known to be a pedantic, stubborn, and strict teacher.

Lan Yuan (蓝愿), courtesy name Sizhui (思追)

Lan Sizhui is a disciple of the Lan Clan. He was originally born to the Wen Clan with the name Wen Yuan (温苑). He was found by Wei Wuxian among the remains of the Wen Clan who were forced to work in a valley in Yiling. He was then relocated to the Burial Mounds and lived with his relatives under the care of Wei Wuxian before his death. Wei Wuxian then started raising him and he was seen often traveling with Wuxian. After the First Siege of the Burial Mounds, when he was only three years old, he lost both Wei Wuxian and his home as his family was murdered during the siege as well. He was later found in a hollowed out tree by Lan Wangji who came searching for Wei Wuxian's remains after the siege, but he fell into a high fever and lost all memories of his past. He was then re-named as Lan Yuan, and presumably given the courtesy name Sizhui in the same year that Wei Wuxian returned to the living world. Thirteen years after the first siege, he is finally reunited with Wei Wuxian and Wen Ning, although he only remembered his past memories much later. In the present setting, he is close friends with Lan Jingyi and Jin Ling.

Lan Jingyi (蓝景仪)

Lan Jingyi is a disciple of the Lan Clan. He is short-tempered and dislikes people who don't follow rules and are noisy, even though he is ironically noisy himself when angered. However, despite his prideful nature, he is caring. He will stand up for his friends, even for Wei Wuxian whom he had initially disliked because of his reckless personality. He is close friends with Lan Sizhui and Jin Ling.

Lanling Jin Clan[edit]

Jin Clan of Lanling (兰陵金氏) is a cultivation clan based in Golden Carp Tower, Lanling.

Meng Yao (孟瑶), renamed as Jin Guangyao (金光瑶)

Titled as Lianfang-zun (敛芳尊), Jin Guangyao was the leader of the Jin Clan after the death of Jin Guangshan. He was the illegitimate son of Jin Guangshan and uncle to Jin Ling. Due to the power of the Jin Clan before and during his reign, he also became the first Chief Cultivator (仙督), which can be seen as the leader among all cultivation clans. He is also known as one of the Three Venerated Ones alongside his sworn brothers Lan Xichen and Nie Mingjue. He sought greater amounts of power due to the fact he had often been looked down upon due to his status as the son of a prostitute. However, this is with the exception of his sworn brother Lan Xichen, whose kindness was the reason he held Lan Xichen to the highest esteem. He had accomplished many achievements in his life, such as building lookout towers and helping to rebuild the Cloud Recesses' libraries. However, his desire for power had led him to team up with shady characters like Xue Yang to harness the power of the Stygian Tiger Seal (阴虎符), which was once deemed too powerful and broken in half to prevent any more damage. He also murdered anyone who got in his way, including his father, brother, wife, son and friend.

Jin Guangshan (金光善)

Jin Guangshan was the former leader of the Jin Clan who had many illegitimate children, among them are Jin Guangyao and Mo Xuanyu. Jin Zixuan was his only legitimate son.

Jin Ling (金凌), courtesy name Rulan (如兰)

Jin Ling is a disciple of the Jin Clan. He is the son of Jiang Yanli and Jin Zixuan, and the nephew of both Jin Guangyao and Jiang Cheng. He is currently taken care of by Jiang Cheng. He is the only living, legitimate child of the Jin Clan, therefore he will inherit the clan leader position after Jin Guangyao. He owns a spiritual dog which he had named as Fairy, which was given to him by Jin Guangyao. He is prideful and short-tempered, which caused him difficulty getting along with his peers and he doesn't have many friends his age. Although he became who he is due to his life circumstances, he is still kind at heart and strives to become a better person. He is close friends with Lan Sizhui and Lan Jingyi.

Jin Zixuan (金子轩)

Jin Zixuan was Jiang Yanli's husband and the father of Jin Ling. He was Jin Guangshan's only legitimate child. He was arrogant and had no issue insulting Jiang Yanli while her brothers were in range to hear. However, he was shown to have a sense of justice, shown by his willingness to stand up to Wen Chao when the latter ordered them to seize Mianmian to be sacrificed in order to lure a monster, protecting her alongside Lan Wangji even though he knew his actions would bear consequences.

Qin Su (秦愫)

Qin Su was the legal wife of Jin Guangyao. She was the daughter of Qin Cangye, the leader of the Laoling Qin Clan, a subsidiary of the Jin Clan. After Jin Guangyao saved her life during the Sunshot Campaign (射日之征), she fell in love with him and did not give up until they were married. She then became Jin Guangyao's official wife and the mistress of Carp Tower. It is revealed that she was actually one of Jin Guangshan's illegitimate children as Jin Guangshan once raped her mother while he was drunk. But because Qin Cangye was an advent supporter of Jin Guangshan, her mother could not tell him. When her mother told Jin Guangyao the truth that he and Qin Su were siblings, Qin Su was already pregnant. Jin Guangyao still married her to not lose the support of her stepfather and Jin Guangshan. When their son was around three, Jin Guangyao murdered him as one of his plans to rise up to the Chief Cultivator title. After learning of this secret, she committed suicide in front of a crowd of people the night of the Discussion Conference hosted at Carp Tower.

Mo Xuanyu (莫玄羽)

Mo Xuanyu was one of Jin Guangshan's illegitimate sons and a former disciple of the Jin Clan. He sacrificed his soul to summon Wei Wuxian to exact revenge on the Mo family on his behalf. In his living days and even during Wei Wuxian's possession of his body, he was described as a lunatic. In his past, he was tortured with meeting the expectations of his servant mother to gain recognition of his father. He was then sent to Jin Clan to learn cultivation, but was cast out after harassing Jin Guangyao, as he is a cut-sleeve (homosexual). He returned to Mo Village and his mother died soon after, leaving him in the care of his abusive aunt, mistress Mo, and her son, Mo Ziyuan (莫子渊). Both were resentful of his wasted opportunity at becoming a cultivator of a prolific clan, and hence physically beaten and verbally abused him to the point of insanity.

Qinghe Nie Clan[edit]

Nie Clan of Qinghe (清河聂氏) is a cultivation clan that resides in the Unclean Realm. Its current leader is Nie Huaisang.

Nie Mingjue (聂明玦)

Titled Chifeng-zun (赤锋尊), Nie Mingjue was the former leader of the Nie Clan and the older half-brother of Nie Huaisang. He is known as one of the Three Zuns alongside his sworn brothers Jin Guangyao and Lan Xichen. Nie Mingjue's personality was defined by strictness, a bad temper and an intolerance for anything deviating from the moral good. While this attitude won him acclaim and reputation, the shift in power towards the Jin Clan after the Sunshot Campaign (射日之征) also marked him as a great opposition to their power. Furthermore, as the trademark cultivation of his clan affected his temper, his intolerance grew and he could not accept that two of his subordinates were killed by Jin Guangyao when they were captured with him and brought before Wen Ruohan in the Nightless City (不夜天城). This was despite Jin Guangyao pointing out that Nie Mingjue himself would have died if they did not, since all three had offended Wen Ruohan. He was murdered by Jin Guangyao and turned into a fierce corpse.

Nie Huaisang (聂怀桑)

Nie Huaisang is the current leader of the Nie Clan and the younger half-brother of Nie Mingjue, as well as an old school friend of Wei Wuxian. He is well known for his incompetence, thus being called Sir Don't Know (一问三不知, literally: one question, three don't knows) amongst both the common people and cultivators alike.

Qishan Wen Clan[edit]

Wen Clan of Qishan (岐山温氏) is a cultivation clan based in the Nightless City (不夜天城). The clan was destroyed during the Sunshot Campaign, where some survivors, specifically Wen Ning and Wen Qing's family strand, were taken under the wing of Wuxian.

Clan Emblem: the Sun, meaning to compete with the sun and to live as long as the sun (与日争辉,与日同寿)

Wen Ruohan (温若寒)

Wen Ruohan was the previous clan leader of the Wen Clan, and father to Wen Xu and Wen Chao. He was a known megalomaniac with an unpredictable temper.

Wen Xu (温旭)

Wen Xu was the eldest son of Wen Ruohan. He accused the Lan Clan of some wrongdoing and forced them to burn down the Cloud Recesses under the guise of cleansing the place so that it could be "reborn from the firelight". Eventually, he was decapitated by Nie Mingjue, with his head hung up as a demonstration to the Wen Clan's cultivators.

Wen Chao (温晁)

Wen Chao was the youngest son of Wen Ruohan and leader of the Wen Clan. He enjoyed harassing women. One instance was with Mianmian (绵绵), which ended with Wei Wuxian saving her by diverting his attention to fake erotic arts. Because of his and Wen Ruohan's malicious intent, they caused great destruction to the Lan Clan and Jiang Clan by destroying their residences and killing the entire Jiang Clan, except the three children (Wei Wuxian, Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli) who went into hiding. He was also responsible for throwing Wei Wuxian into the Burial Mounds (乱葬岗), which resulted in his own death when Wei Wuxian returned to end his clan with his new created dark arts.

Wen Qing (温情)

Wen Qing was a member of the Wen clan and Wen Ning's older sister. As part of the branch families, she is a descendant from the Wen Clan founder Wen Mao, although she does not belong to the Wen Clan's main clan. She was the greatest physician in the history of the Wen Clan and had a fairly high level of cultivation abilities. When Jiang Cheng lost his Golden Core due to the Wen Clan, she helped to transfer Wei Wuxian's core to him, by Wei Wuxian's request.
Due the downfall of the Wen Clan, as survivors she and her family were forced to work, at points to their deaths. After Wuxian liberated them and took their family branch under his wing, she relocated their family branch to the Burial Mounds. After the Qiongqi Massacre, in order to not burden Wuxian with the responsibility, she and Wen Ning (already the Ghost General) surrendered themselves. She was later burned to death, and her ashes scattered.

Wen Ning (温宁), courtesy name Qionglin (琼林).

Wen Ning was a member of the Wen clan and Wen Qing's younger brother. As part of the branch families, he is a descendant from the Wen Clan founder Wen Mao, although he does not belong to the Wen main clan. When he was alive, he was a stutterer and was shy around people. After Wei Wuxian praised his archery skills and defended him against Wen Chao, he started trusting Wei Wuxian and continues helping him even after became a fierce corpse. He assisted Wuxian and Jiang Cheng during the Siege of Lotus Pier by retrieving Jiang Fengmian's and Yu Ziyuan's remains. He was originally murdered by Jin Zixuan's followers after the downfall of the Wen Clan, which led to Wuxian liberating his family and bringing him back as the Ghost General.
Known as the Ghost General (鬼将军), he is the first feral corpse to retain his consciousness, and serves as Wei Wuxian's most powerful feral corpse during and after his Yiling Patriarch days.

Zhao Zhuliu (赵逐流), renamed as Wen Zhuliu (温逐流)

Wen Zhuliu was a servant of the Wen Clan and acted as one of Wen Chao's protectors. He was more commonly known as Core-Melting Hand (化丹手) due to his ability to melt a Golden Core, which stores and controls a cultivator's spiritual energy. He was responsible for melting away Jiang Cheng's Golden Core when he was captured by the Wen Clan during hiding. Along with Wen Chao, he died in Wei Wuxian's hands.

Wang Lingjiao (王灵娇)

Wang Lingjiao was a former maid of Wen Chao's principal wife and later his lover. Despite only achieving her status by engaging in sexual activities with Wen Chao, she was arrogant and pompous. She also guarded her status as Wen Chao's favorite, and did her best to eliminate any competition, like volunteering Mianmian as a sacrifice when she witnessed Wen Chao flirting with her. She died in Wei Wuxian's hands, and later became a fierce corpse where she turned against Wen Chao in an attempt to kill him.

Yunmeng Jiang Clan[edit]

Jiang Clan of Yunmeng (云梦江氏) is a cultivation clan located in Yunmeng's Lotus Pier (莲花坞). The current leader is Jiang Cheng.

Clan Mantra: Knowing it's impossible but still attempt to achieve it (明知不可为而为之)

Clan Emblem: Nine petal lotus (九瓣莲)

Jiang Fengmian (江枫眠)

Jiang Fengmian was the former leader of the Jiang Clan. He was the husband of Yu Ziyuan and the father of Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli. He was friends with Wei Wuxian's father, Wei Changze, who was a servant of the clan. He was also familiar with Wei Wuxian's mother, Cangse Sanren, and it was rumored that he was in love with her. When he heard that both parents had died on a night-hunt, he dedicated himself to finding their son. He eventually found Wei Wuxian on the streets of Yiling and fed him a piece of melon before carrying him home to Yunmeng. Because of his treatment to Wei Wuxian which was seen as better than how he treated his own son, he and his wife often argued. Along with his wife, he died in Wen Clan's hands during their invasion of the Lotus Pier.

Jiang Cheng (江澄), courtesy name Wanyin (晚吟),

Jiang Cheng is the current leader of the Jiang Clan. Titled Sandu Shengshou (三毒圣手), he is the brother of Jiang Yanli and Wei Wuxian, and the uncle of Jin Ling. He is a straight-laced and strict man who abides by the rules. He has a deep care for his family and friends and knows to respect his elders. At the beginning, he had a good relationship with Wei Wuxian, despite the latter often annoying him with his mischief. However, his hatred for the Wen Clan caused a great strain in their relationship as Wuxian regarded Wen Ning as a close friend and kept the survivors under his care. This eventually became pure hatred when Wen Ning accidentally killed his brother-in-law (Jin Zixuan) and his sister died while protecting Wei Wuxian. However, ultimately, he gives up this hatred after learning how Wei Wuxian had sacrificed his Golden Core for him. Though despite all these, he still loves his nephew Jin Ling, and acts in a strict manner like his mother had done to him as a child. He would sacrifice his life in order to protect his nephew.
After the death of his parents, he had to quickly step into the role of the new clan leader without Wuxian by his side as the latter was trapped in the Burial Mounds at that time. He led his clan, which was still recovering from the invasion of Lotus Pier, along with other clans and played a major leadership role in the Sunshot Campaign.

Jiang Yanli (江厌离)

Jiang Yanli was the daughter of Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan, and older sister of Jiang Cheng. She was a very kind person who would always protect her younger brothers and offer them emotional support. She was known to be very beautiful and very good at cooking. She had an arranged marriage since young with Jin Zixuan as their mothers were very close. But Jin Zixuan did not like her at first, and she was often mocked at by him for being average. Shortly after Wei Wuxian's fight with Jin Zixuan and he returned to Lotus Pier from Cloud Reclusiveness, she asked her father to break off the engagement as she saw no point in bounding him to someone he doesn't like.
After the Sunshot Campaign, Jin Zixuan developed feelings for her and they were wed. On the day of their wedding, Jiang Yanli visited the Burial Mounds with the help of Jiang Cheng to show her seemingly estranged adopted brother Wei Wuxian her wedding dress. She bore a son for Jin Zixuan (Jin Ling) before his death on the day of their son's First Month Banquet (满月宴). She does not blame Wei Wuxian for Wei Ning's rampage which killed her husband, but she was killed shortly after her husband's death in a cross fire between Wei Wuxian and other clans, making her death the straw that broke Wei Wuxian, leading to his demise.

Yu Ziyuan (虞紫鸢)

Yu Ziyuan was the wife of Jiang Fengmian, and mother of Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli. She had a cold and assertive personality which did not come off as likeable. Titled Violet Spider (紫蜘蛛), she was a formidable cultivator whose name alone could scare quite a few people away. She had a poor relationship with Wei Wuxian, as she viewed him as the cause of all problems that befall her family. She would often speak poorly of him in her conversations with Jiang Fengmian. She obliged to whip him with Zidian (紫电) when Wang Lingjiao demanded him to be punished. However, she showed some care towards Wei Wuxian when she did not chop off his hand despite Wang Lingjiao's demands. Along with her husband, she died in Wen Clan's hands during their invasion of the Lotus Pier. During her final moments, she told Wei Wuxian to protect Jiang Cheng with his life.

Yi City Arc[edit]

During Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji's mission, they arrived at Yi City (义城) and bumped into Lan Sizhui, Lan Jingyi, Jin Ling and some other disciples from different clans during their night hunt. From there, they uncover the truth of Xiao Xingchen's death.

Xiao Xingchen (晓星尘)

Xiao Xingchen was one of Baoshan Sanren's (抱山散人) disciples who left the mountain for the mortal world. At some point he became blind, giving his eyes to his best friend, Song Lan. Xiao Xinghen first met A-Qing, then found an injured person, Xue Yang, lying unconscious on the street, and the three of them started living together. Due to Xiao Xingchen's blindness, he neither recognized the man he had saved as the criminal Xue Yang, nor that the latter had tricked him into killing people. When he found out that Xue Yang had tricked him into killing Song Lan, he committed suicide, shattering his soul.

Song Lan (宋岚), courtesy name Zichen (子琛).

Song Lan was a cultivator from Baixue Temple, and a friend of Xiao Xingchen. He had his eyes blinded and poisoned by Xue Yang when Baixue Temple was destroyed. But Xiao Xingchen dug out his own eyes and gave them to him after bringing him to Baoshan Sanren's residence and begging her to save him. While searching for Xiao Xingchen after his sudden disappearance, he came across A-Qing who was out playing on her own. A-Qing then helped him get to Xiao Xingchen. When they arrived at the coffin house, he recognised Xue Yang immediately and advised A-Qing to stay away from this matter, although she then followed him secretly. During his fight with Xue Yang, the latter gave him Corpse Poisoning and cut off his tongue, hence he was rendered mute. Xue Yang later tricked Xiao Xingchen into killing him. Xue Yang turned him into a fierce corpse who will obey him, and he was also summoned to fight Wei Wuxian. But Wei Wuxian managed to return his consciousness and gave him the spirit-trapping pouch that contained Xiao Xingchen's and A-Qing's souls.

A-Qing (阿箐)

A-Qing was a young girl who lived who pretended to be blind thanks to her white pupils. She encountered Xiao Xingchen and started living together him and Xue Yang. She eventually saw Xue Yang trick Xiao Xingchen into killing Song Lan, and ran away at Xiao Xingchen's request. Xue Yang found her before she could get help, and she insulted him. Xue Yang then carved out her eyes and tongue, killing her. She later tried to warn Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and the juniors who had entered coffin city about Xue Yang. To learn more about her story, Wei Wuxian used a rite to see, feel, and hear her memories.

Xue Yang (薛洋), courtesy name Chengmei (成美).

Xue Yang was a guest of the Jin Clan who recreated the destroyed half of the Stygian Tiger Seal. He was found by Xiao Xingchen and A-Qing while he was injured and unconscious on the streets. He was then brought to an uninhabited coffin house where the two tended to his injuries. As the two did not know his real identity, he used Xiao Xingchen's blindness to his advantage and ended up living with them for years through deception. However, he was exposed when A-Qing witnessed his malicious intent. He fought Xiao Xingchen and ultimately revealed the truth, which caused Xiao Xingchen to commit suicide. As Xue Yang was unable to turn him into a fierce corpse, he stored his shattered soul in a spirit-trapping pouch. He later found A-Qing who was seeking revenge, and killed her by digging her eyes and cutting her tongue out.


1."Drunken Dreams of the Past (醉梦前尘)" (Opening theme song)Sun YujingSun YujingLin Zhixuan04:31
2."Asking the Zither (问琴)" (Ending theme song (season 1; eps 1–8, 14–15))Sun YujingSun Yujing, Feng ShuoYin Lin03:16
3."No Envies (不羡)" (Ending theme song (season 1; eps 9–13))Miao BoyangHe LiangS.I.N.G04:28
4."Unchanging Youth (少年如故)" (Ending theme song (season 2))Cheng Yi, He SiweiLin HaiR1SE04:20
5."Envying Clouds (羡云)" (Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji's theme song)Sun YujingSun YujingHita03:00
6."Drunken Dreams of the Past (醉梦前尘)"Sun YujingSun YujingZhang Jie & Bian Jiang04:31


The series received overwhelmingly positive reviews for its high production quality and storyline, and amassed a notable Internet fandom both in China and overseas.[5] Upon its release in China, the series became an instant hit, ultimately generating 1.74 billion views on Tencent's streaming platform, as of December 2018.[6] On Douban, Mo Dao Zu Shi holds a rating of 8.9 out of 10, making it one of the best received donghua series of 2018 in China.[7]

Outside China, Mo Dao Zu Shi was officially released by Tencent on its official YouTube channel on August 27, 2019.[8] It was also released by WeTV, a streaming platform for overseas users created by Tencent, under the title of The Founder of Diabolism.[9]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Results Ref.
2018 12th Tencent Video Star Awards Most Popular Fictional Idol Wei Wuxian Won [10]
Best Voice Actor Zhang Jie
Reputable Donghua of the Year Mo Dao Zu Shi
15th China Animation Golden Dragon Award Best Serial Animation Award (Gold Award) [11]
Golden Bud – The Third Network Film And Television Festival Popular Animation Award [12]
2019 7th China Xi'an International Original Animation Competition
Xinguang Award
Best New Animation [13]
12th Xiamen International Animation Festival Best Donghua (Silver Award) [14]
20th China Video Awards Donghua of the Year [15]
Golden Bud – The Fourth Network Film And Television Festival Best Animation Nominated [16]
Tencent Video All Star Awards Fictional Character of the Year Lan Wangji Won [17]



The original novel was written by its author Mo Xiang Tong Xiu (Chinese: 墨香铜臭) from 2015 until 2016, and published on the online platform Jinjiang Wenxuecheng (Chinese: 晋江文学城).[18] The paper book was published by Pinsin Studio (Chinese: 平心工作室) in 2016 in Traditional Chinese, and then published by Sichuan Literature and Art Publishing House (Chinese: 四川文艺出版社) in 2018 in Simplified Chinese.


Mo Dao Zu Shi also has a manhua adaptation with the same name, officially published by KuaiKan Manhua (Chinese: 快看漫画).[19] The first chapter was published on December 8, 2017, with a new update releasing every Saturday (GMT +08:00), and subsequently changed to every Monday (GMT +08:00).

The manhua was awarded the silver award for Best Web Popularity Comic Adaption at the 16th China Animation Golden Dragon Award.[20] The manhua was awarded the Best Manhua award at the China Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival (1st Network Drama Awards).[21]

Audio drama[edit]

Mo Dao Zu Shi was adapted as an audio drama (Chinese: 魔道祖师广播剧; pinyin: Módào zǔshī guǎngbòjù), produced by Polar Penguin Studios and supervised by the original novel's author Mo Xiang Tong Xiu.[22] It consists of three seasons and is broadcast on the Chinese audio streaming website (Chinese: 猫耳FM).[23] The first season aired from June 8 to August 24, 2018 with a total of 12 episodes along with some extras. The second season aired from October 5, 2018 to April 5, 2019 with a total of 16 episodes along with some extras.[24] The theme song is "何以歌" (pinyin: Héyǐ gē; lit. 'What To Sing'), and is performed by Aki阿杰. Starting from Season 2 Episode 11, the theme song changed to "忘羡" (pinyin: Wàngxiàn; lit. 'Forgetting Envies'). This is a duet between Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji, and is performed by Wu En and Zhu Qiang. The third and final season aired from June 17 to December 29, 2019 with a total of 17 episodes along with some extras.[25] The theme song for Season 3 is "人间纵我" (pinyin: Renjian zongwo; lit. 'Untamed as I am'), and is performed by Wu En and Yu Xia.

The audio drama proved to be a critical and financial success, praised for its storyline, high production value, and the voice actors' performances. It has amassed hundreds of million playbacks across all three seasons, with each episode placing on top of the weekly rankings during their original run. All three seasons still remain as the website's top 3 most listened to series in the overall ranking, months after they ended. As of June 2020, the series has garnered 400 million playbacks.[26]

The Chinese audio drama's massive popularity led to it being brought over to Japan for a localized adaptation, produced by Brave Hearts and in close collaboration with the original Chinese audio drama team.[27] Known as Ma Dou So Shi (魔道祖師日本語版ラジオドラマ, lit. "Ma Dou So Shi Japanese Radio Drama"), it is simultaneously broadcast on the Japanese audio streaming app MiMiFM[28] and the Chinese audio streaming website[29] every Friday at 6pm Japan Standard Time (GMT +09:00). The first season started airing on January 24, 2020.

Web series[edit]

Mo Dao Zu Shi was adapted for a live action web series titled The Untamed (Chinese: 陈情令; pinyin: Chén qíng lìng), produced by Tencent Penguin Pictures and New Style Media.[30] It stars Xiao Zhan as Wei Wuxian and Wang Yibo as Lan Wangji.[31] It aired in China on Tencent Video from June 27, 2019 to August 20, 2019 for 50 episodes; with two episodes every Thursday and Friday (GMT +08:00), but was changed to every Monday and Wednesday (GMT +08:00) starting July 1, 2019.[32] The theme song, sang by Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo, was titled "忘羡" (pinyin: Wàngxiàn; lit. 'Forgetting Envies') before being renamed to "无羁" (pinyin: Wú jī; lit. 'Without Restrain').[33]


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