Running thread for Lan brothers thoughts on rewatch #qgjp
Ugh, baby LWJ bringing the body of the injured disciple back — he has so much less contempt for the world! Fully engaged with the task before him! And how BIG bichen is in comp to him — much bigger than other people and their swords #qgjp
Like, nobody else has such an enormous sword. Which goes with the wiki stuff about how it’s big and heavy. Also the stuff about how it magically half-draws itself. #qgjp
But also, I know we all like to make fun of Xichen for being blind about about JGY, but oh god, he is a REAL ASS leader in episode 3. Like, when wwx and lwj basically crash the corpse investigation, and he has to deal out some late night punishment #qgjp
Him responding to WWX’s framing that casts doubt on lwj by having lwj pick the punishment — it’s such an ELEGANT way to affirm to lwj that he believes lwj, while also giving lwj a way to reassess things and back down a little if he wants w/o loss of face in front of wwx #qgjp
Also, the phrase, “punishment is inevitable” at least in the Netflix translation. Destro correctly called that out as my jam, preserve, and marmalade #qgjp
You’re right, sect leader, and you should say it out loud some more with a pretty boy kneeling at your feet. #qgjp
Xichen’s legit delight at seeing how wwx was misbehaving and trying to get in so that he could find out what happened to his sins is DELIGHTFUL, and so is his shepherding wwx to MAKE SOME FRIENDS who aren’t afraid of him #qgjp
That entire discussion scene with them in the gravel garden is a joy to me — we learn Daddy Lan is dead, and given the way it’s phrased, that LWJ is worried about how much his brother is doing, it seems to be relatively recent. #qgjp
it’s interesting LXC doesn’t seem to have gotten those duties until his dad actually popped off — presumably, they were being run by Uncle while dad was in seclusion, but it’s not until dad is actually d e a d that xichen has them #qgjp
No practical reason LXC couldn’t have been doing it earlier if Uncle had the authority, so I’m going to read it as LXC not having a sufficient moral claim to say to Uncle, let me handle that, until dad was actually dead #qgjp
Other tidbits: that it’s LXC sending LWJ out to run missions for him, which is smart both for training if he thinks LWJ is ready, but also as a form of power projection. Regime change, new Lan brothers in town, the followup to the calmly worded #qgjp
Notice will be my younger brother with his big fuckoff sword, and there is room to escalate from that. It’s a practical step to establishing himself as a power and LWJ as his right hand #qgjp
Also, low key, the way that LWJ worries about his brother, the way it’s a very gentle and intimate conversation that starts with LWJ is furiously brooding about WWX and fighting, and he shifts to a mix of brother and sect business, but it #qgjp
Isn’t formal — serious but not rigid, and then LXC tells him to make friends with wwx and LWJ FUCKING STORMS OFF LIKE A BRAT and lxc is doing his half-mouth grinning!!!! I love it very much #qgjp
Last notes on ep 3: uncle using cultivation to investigate the corpses and not LXC; LWJ not choosing a beating for wwx even tho we legit know that would have been uncle’s first stop, but instead to write out the rules 300 times?????? Netflix made it sound like #qgjp
He was supposed to write all of them 300 times? Assuming 4 chars per rule, that’s. A lot of characters????? #qgjp
Picking up the thread because I ended up rewatching episode 3. Mute #qgjp to save your poor pandemic timeline
First shot of Xichen we get, by the way, are of those incredible concert pianist hands holding a candle — and also full on TOUCHING a corpse and studying idk scabbed over sores. So I think the read is, “pretty but not afraid to get into the weeds” #qgjp
But also: wash your fucking hands, my man #qgjp
LXC gives uncle the report like a subordinate, but one with a fair amount of autonomy — I know that it’s partially to inform us the viewer, but way that he tells Uncle that the clans around Gusu are reporting missing cultivators suggests #qgjp
That he is the person who handles these reports as they come in and decides the initial response w/o oversight, only bringing bigger issues to Uncle. Which makes sense for a young man stepping into his role as sect leader #qgjp
It also explicitly suggests a feudal structure for cultivation where the Lan are the power in the region with a number of smaller sects inside their orbit who send word of difficulties and can reasonably expect help/Lan firepower and backup #qgjp
which opens some interesting avenues for conflicts between the main sects, if there are lots of little sects elbowing each other. Since the cultivation sects are the only power in the land AND we later hear that JGY has let su she #qgjp
Set up his Lan rip-off clan, suggesting an ability to essentially ennoble regular people, I’m going with the main sects as essentially dukedoms/sect leaders having the political and military powers traditionally associated with dukedom #qgjp
like being able to call sects within your sphere of influence to fight for you and to arbitrate disputes among sects in your domain #qgjp
Scene also has lxc mentioning the dude being a Lan disciple from the outside families — but was brought back by lxc, suggesting that if you’re from an outside family, you can end up as a Lan disciple and then go back to your??? own family??! INTERESTING?!!! #qgjp
Social note for anybody tagging along: contrary to dynamics in a lot of western settings, the fact that lxc is doing ALL the talking does not indicate that he’s the boss. the show is making SUPER CLEAR that he is reporting up to lqr #qgjp
The fact that lqr ain’t saYING SHIT and conducts his own slow walk around while hearing lxc’s report, AND his investigation involves an obvious show of spiritual power (whereas lxc just unhygienically poked at a dead body and then didn’t want his hands) #qgjp
*wash #qgjp
Followed by his dramatic and laconic WICKED SORCERY pronouncement — lxc is deferring and reporting up ALL THE WAY #qgjp
first obvious spiritual power use by lxc: using sheet to cover up the dead body #qgjp
Punishment scene with silenced wwx on his knees in front of lxc? I maintain it is a fucking L o o K. So is lwj saying “brother” in hopes that his brother will not, in fact, tell wwx thay lwj was the one who got jyl and jc in. Spoiler: he does #qgjp
I was totes wrong about lwj faking his brother sect leader in the subsequent scene in front of the main Lan Hall, but I was right about him bowing. #qgjp
And lwj doesn’t use “you” in that opening sentence to his brother, is read referring to him by family reletionship. Which is more formal, and a definite contrast to the soft tone of voice that lxc uses on him #qgjp
We’ve seen four tones of voice from lxc in the scenes so far — his tone reporting up to Uncle, his tone laying down the law to wwx full of four word phrases of direction and command, his warmer tone to wwx when he realizes that wwx was worried about the jiangs, and now #qgjp
This soft tone he uses with Wangji. I’ll even argue that he sounds kinda normal for lxc when he calls out his brother’s name, and then lwj bows to him, and his voice goes even softer as he asks wangji “you shi” which literally translates to “is there a matter”? #qgjp
Not a mandarin speaker, but in my dialect of chinese, it’s more fully translated as “What’s wrong?” And he delivers it with a camera shot of I’d call Xichen worried brother face at 60% power. And Wangji says that brother (rather than “you”) and uncle and uncle are #qgjp
And here’s the bit that’s really interesting — so lwj bows to his brother and uses a more formal term I think for brother (not ge or da ge) even tho it’s just the two of them, creating both an emotional distance and a physical distance #qgjp
So how does lxc handle this? He physically closes the gap between the two of them by walking, real slow and measured first to Wangji, then past him. He converts the bowing and formal wording that Wangji presents into #qgjp
Side by side walking, steps in sync, spiritual weapon in each of their left hands, right hand tucked behind them in the Lan way, LXC leading and LWJ following — there’s a bit where LXC turns left to go down into the garden and LWJ follows him down before syncing again #qgjp
Lxc voicing worries that this timed they’ve got somebody with real ambition on their hands and a bigger threat, then trails off and LWJ prompts him and lxc cuts himself off and says to look into the missing persons thing again, but remember not to be reckless #qgjp
Per subtitle at least — my crap toddler level chinese does not understand those word pairs because the Lans are too fancy for me, but I do understand lwj saying basically, “Eldest brother, worry not.” #qgjp
And LWJ’s little head dip to underline how seriously he takes what his brother says — it’s basically a small bow, way less stuff but heartfelt, underlining how seriously he takes LXC’s personal directive to be careful. #qgjp
and LXC makes it a point to wait until his brother is straightened up, so that look him fully in the eye and say, softly but firmly, “You have never in the past given me cause for doubt.” #qgjp
You’ll notice that for this part of the exchange, they’re facing each other again — lxc is giving orders both as brother and as sect leader, and LWJ is taking them, so it’s appropriate for them to be facing each other like this #qgjp
But then lxc very specifically breaks that physical setup for a superior and subordinate — lwj looks down acknowledging and feeling how much his brother loves and respects and values him, and the lxc steps away, intentionally breaking the face-to-face #qgjp
It’s a repeat of the same move from the passageway, where they are facing each other for business, but side by side for something personal, so we’re keyed for it — and lxc says the bit about dad being dead and how lwj has grown since then (subtitles say prudent but #qgjp
I don’t trust them, esp because of what comes up next) — lxc says that sometimes, he thinks he has asked too much of Lwj. Like, the word is “yao quaio” or wtfever it is in Pinyin. It’s NOT been too strict, like the titles say. It’s similar #qgjp
But a key linguistic difference is that “strict” implies the use of punishment and harshness in response to failure — whereas the word that lxc actually uses means more “asked” or “needed.” There is no implication of failure or even possible punishment for lwj #qgjp
Only blame for himself that he asked LWJ for too much, and then his head dip only when he hears lwj walk up to stand hear him because he has to fucking ready himself for what lwj might say — has he asked too much? Does Lwj resent being sent on these missions for him? #qgjp
And then fucking Wangji comes up and stands shoulder to shoulder with him and says something like, “Elder brother has undertaken so much. Wangji is only sharing the burden.” (I have so much trouble parsing lwj because I’m a fucking toddler) #qgjp
And they both stand shoulder to shoulder and then there’s the whole famous exchange where lxc is telling lwj to make friends with that cute, cheerful boy, and then lwj clenches his sword because he’s too formal and restrained to tell his to stay in his lane #qgjp
Also because he just fucking told his brother basically, “your lane is my lane, too, and you do not have to carry this sect alone.” And then comes the sword clench and lxc says, “Isn’t it true that this Wei gentleman has real martial arts skills?” The word #qgjp
Used is “gongfu” specifically, and then LXC basically says, with this fucking TROLL EYEBROW RAISE — wasn’t it a tie? And then fucking lwj, he of the bowing to his brother at midnight, he of the formal wording, he of the never referring himself with “I” #qgjp
In this whole fucking conversation STORMS OFF without another word!!!! It’s so rude!!!! And lxc initially looks worried, then reflects on it, and realizes that it’s a real sign of how torqued up his brother is about this wei-gongze and smiles and relaxes. #qgjp
this endeth literally an hour and a half of tweeting about five minutes of footage in one episode. Maybe next time I will actually get to episode 4??? #qgjp
Also? I love that this scene shows us not just how the brothers relate to each other, but also shows us their strengths and weaknesses — wangji’s strengths are his cultivation ability and profound, genuine, heartfelt loyalty to his brother and help him
His weakness is his rigidity, his inability to bend and accept other people and ways of being. He is too fucking FOCUSED on his little scrap eith Wwx and the rule-breaking to see the bigger picture. #qgjp
Whereas LXC is all about fitting things within the bigger picture. All about personally bending to find a way through and getting people to walk next to him. And his weakness is self-doubt. It’s so sad???? #qgjp
Rolling up this morning’s blast of episode 4 thoughts about Lan brothers. Mute #qgjp as always to avoid word vom.
Setting note: Uncle is up on the dais with a screen behind him and a beautiful scenic view behind that. But also??? A fucking koi pond with water lilies in it??? Somehow???? The bottom of the lily pond is white gravel and has been raked which #qgjp
Is, I guess, the Lan version of Jin fuck you money — koi are bottom feeders and will constantly take gravel up in their mouths and spit it back, so raking contemplative patterns in the bottom is probabky some Lan, Daoist-adjacent #qgjp
Proverb about futility. Also, carp are incredibly heavy poopers, so I don’t even know how they keep the gravel that white. Are they spiritual carp???? The niche questions I have about this show that will never be answered. #qgjp
So yeah, koi pond behind the screen, in front of the mountain, as a trap for the unwary. #qgjp
the show does a lovely job of lowkey setting up Meng Yao — only junior attending not in white, present and correct with his hands folded and PERFECTLY STILL unlike the fidgeting NHS in front of him and openly bored WWX next to that #qgjp
Only time he is shown moving is to angle his head to see wtf nhs has that’s cheeping, and please believe he keeps his hands beautifully folded and a pleasant smile while mentally throwing daggers, knives, and whips at nhs. #qgjp
(Look, this is a Lan brothers thread, but that little gremlin is going to BREAK LXC’s heart and mine, so he’s going to be appearing for all three of you following this hundreds-deep tweet SHITSHOW.) #qgjp
The relationship between NHS and MY is so fascinatingly sketched out. When they‘re called, NHS puts down his bird, smooths his hair, then turns around to MY who did not need to smooth his hair, did not need to put a bird away, #qgjp
Is the keeper of the precious gift, and if you blink you’ll miss it, but MY actually bows his head to NHS and then NHS precedes him down the aisle. When they get there, NHS introduces himself, but leaves the trickier work of describing the gift in a way that flatters #qgjp
the Lan to Meng Yao, going so far as to whisper-yell Meng Yao, which is actually how we find out his name. The show intentionally first shows us how JZX’s presentation goes, how the sect heir is supposed to be making the pretty speech #qgjp
So I think we’re definitely meant to be surprised and to notice that NHS is passing the real work off to MY. It’s of a piece with how deep the genuflection are — if you watch JZX and the disciple carrying that gift, JZX goes down deeper and stays down longer #qgjp
then the disciple, but the reverse is true with nhs and my. Even though he’s holding essentially a tray with a breakable object and a big clunky lid that isn’t actually fixed or held on, MY goes down deeper than NHS and holds it longer #qgjp
He manages to get down so low that i think he actually gets his head down below the top of the box, while keeping hold and not knocking a thing over, which damn, boy. #qgjp
Plus, to my admittedly limited Chinese level, he has a better speech than JZX, his half-brother who got the best education they Carp Tower could buy — the construction is more elegant and literary with that tidy list of contrasts that describe the pot, but also #qgjp
Praise the Lan in the ways that they value in themselves (simple but profound etc) rather than the Jin-style way that JZX has (not wanting to be common, bling bling gold makes this book special). His speech is also delivered nicely #qgjp
In a properly elevated but humble tone that lets him emphasize the literary qualities of the speech. It’s a NICE piece of work, and then those shitheads on the start throw his dirty laundry! Everywhere! Whisper-shouting it! And all Uncle does is say quiet after the fact #qgjp
The whole fucking room hear it! People ROWS AWAY can hear them talking, including JZX. in fsct, they start whisper-yelling before MY is done his speech. And it’s real shitty for him, and he is desperately trying to smooth his face — like while they’re talking, MY drops his #qgjp
eyes down to the box and keeps them there and is legit frowning and upset and gripping the box a little too hard. After Uncle says quiet, MY raises his eyes back up again while keeping his head inclined, but his expression isn’t quite smooth. You get this great shot #qgjp
Of his big fucking eyes over the edge of that box, and that, THAT is when LXC comes down off the dais to personally accept the gift rather than m the disciple who did it for the Jin. #qgjp
(Twitter doing me dirty this morning with tweet threading which is why tweets keep getting deleted #qgjp)
Which is when we get that pretty speech about how LXC has heard about NMJ’s helpful assistant, emphasizing to all listening that not only is this guy getting favored attention from LXC, but the Nie sect leader #qgjp
And then MY really, REALLY looks up from the box for a sec, and you legit see those big eyes hit LXC and I swear to God, I have watched at least 5,000 times how LXC fucking DROPS HIS OWN EYES and opens his mouth just a tiny tiny fraction #qgjp
this man is a power bottom in bed with jin guangyao, guys. it’s just a fucking fact. #qgjp
when presented with gratitude and devotion and big eyes, Lan Xichen LOWERS HIS EYES and OPENS HIS MOUTH in front of family and friends, right there in public, and I cannot deal, I cannot deal, I cannot dela #qgjp
Full on sub when it comes to Jin Guangyao, guys. It’s just a fact. #qgjp
Contrast that with his face the Wen roll in. It’s this total blank sheet paired with a polite and formal, but not warm greeting — you’ll also notice that it’s LXC who greets them, not LQR. Based on their positioni!ng (LQR center and seated, LXC to the side and standing) #qgjp
you’d expect it to be LQR, but it’s LXC. And when Wen Chao makes that hideously provoking speech (the subs say “educate” but the word he uses is “jiao”, which is closer to “teach” and is what you’d use to describe a teacher instructing students #qgjp
A superior _correcting_ a subordinate, with the clear implication therefore the Wen are superior to the Lan, Lan Wangji takes that step forward, and looks NOT TO LQR #qgjp
Who is referred to through this scene including by lxc as “teacher Lan” and presumably the person in charge — instead, lwj takes that step forward, turns to look for the OK, but NOT at LQR. It’s LXC who tells him to stand down. And Lwj takes it. #qgjp
So to me, it underlines the idea that nowadays, LWJ recognizes his brother as head of sect, head of family, the person he looks to for orders. And it’s just — legit touching? Because we know lwj doesn’t fics his loyalty easily, and he we also #qgjp
Hear him frame it as sharing his brother’s burden. It’s a lot, especially when it’s IMMEDIATELY followed by a compare contrast with the wwx and jc relationship. Like, remember how wwx steps to Wen Chao? He is NOT shown checking in with JC, let alone Yanli. And then #qgjp
yes, JC steps up to back WWX, but it isn't a full-throated endorsement. He goes after WC for being such an asshole, but there's also a small characterization of what WWX did as not right -- his honest opinion, but a contrast with LWJ who fully backs #qjgp
LXC without qualification, even though it isn't what his instinct was. The contrasts come RIGHT ON THE HEELS of each other, so it has to be intentional, you know? LWJ with full faith and confidence in his brother, JC angry at assholery but not. quite there. #qgjp
What comes next, though, gives you an idea of why LWJ is willing to hold off on the throw-down train if LXC wants him to, though -- WC is a dick, the Wen draw first, everybody draws theirs, JC has the PRETTIEST scabbard ever, JYL slides behind JC, NHS hides behind MY #qgjp
(suggesting both the relationship b/n them and that MY's job physically protecting NHS, but also that MY is better EQUIPPED to get them out of a violent situation). And everything is very pointed and tense, but there is a very specific shot of LWJ with his sheathed sword #qgjp
LXC told him not to step to Wen Chao. He isn't stepping to Wen Chao. He isn't breaking out Bichen. And the camera pulls back to show the whole room, zooms in on Uncle who is still sitting up, and they show Uncle's eyes moving to the side. #qgjp
This time, in a pretty directed way -- and we see LXC with his eyes closed, and we don't know why then, but he's presumably gathering spiritual power. And then he takes that xiao we've seen him carrying and starts playing. WC is startled #qgjp
to the point that he LOOKS AWAY from the NAKED BLADE that WWX has pointed at him to look up at LXC, and as LXC plays, every single fucking drawn sword in the room flies up into the air, hangs there, and then buries themselves in the wooden floor, like an inch or more deep. #qgjp
which just, holy shit, guys. I mean, those aren't just regular swords. They belong to cultivators from the four most powerful sects in the land. They're fucking spiritual tools. And with a half-dozen graceful little notes, LXC takes them OUT OF THE HANDS of their owners #qgjp
lifts them into the air, and then fucking drives each of them POINT DOWN into the floor, with enough force to drive them deep into hardened wood, with enough precision that it forces everybody to take a step back from each other or get impaled in the foot. You actually see#qgjp
the Wen scrambling to get a step back out of the way. And the message is clear: if he can bury your sword in the floor, he can fucking bury it in you. So chill the fuck down unless you want to get stabbed by your own spiritual tool #qgjp
It's a LOOK. It's completely in line with this old Confucian idea that true power is shown in restraint -- the truly powerful man is able to hold back. The truly powerful do not go full-throttle unless needed. LXC does just enough for the everybody, Wen and otherwise #qgjp
to remember whose house they're in. It's a goddamn flex, and there's this thing where initially, with the swords out, where MY looks over at this big sweet elven king who was so kind to him just now and is fucking playing a FLUTE when everybody has swords out #qgjp
and his expression is, i swear, "you're so cute, but i'm never going to get to break you off, because you're gonna die now, aren't you??" and then, after the sword-grabbing, nhs says that line about the JADES OF THE LAN~~ my looks up and he fucking wants it. #qgjp
like, he wants lxc. he wants that beautiful man. but he also wants the power. he wants to be able to be able to cause an entire room of cultivators to basically shit themselves and that to still not be the limit of his power. he wants the whole goddamn package #qgjp
and will crawl through fire and steel and broken glass to get it. #qgjp
laying this down until after lunch because i actually have to work #qgjp
one quick note before swinging back into Lan boys: when the swords come out, Yanli steps behind JC, and NHS steps behind MY. The third in the sequence is WQ and WN, and based on the typical gender dynamic to be reversed — didi stepping up to protect jiejie, like JC and YL #qgjp
But based on their typical dynamic, you expect it to be WQ stepping in front of WN. I’ll argue that the interaction in this scene is a subversion of that read in some ways — WQ notably does NOT step in front of WN #qgjp
Instead, she clears him back with her arm outstretched. On the one hand, he is way bigger than her so probably can’t hide behind her, but tbh that’s not how you shield someone anyways. That stiff arm reads to me more like her holding him back #qgjp
keeping him from doing something stupid like idk using poison to paralyze a Wen garrison and helping wwx rescue the new Jiang sect leader and getting them all fucking neck deep in it #qgjp
And then roll forward, Uncle looks over at LXC without saying anything, letting us know that he expects LXC to take care of this kind of thing and LXC knowing without being told. Out comes the xiao he is carrying instead of a sword, up go the swords, down fo the swords #qgjp
Everybody steps back, WQ drops her arm from her brother who does stupid shit, wwx looks startled and impressed, jc and yl look at each other in shock, MY is aroused, and NHS bats his fan, is not surprised, and comments about the Twin Jades of Lan to underline lack of surprise.
Nice early characterization bit for him being a leg up on everyone, right? And put a pin in it because there is another flash of that later this episode #qgjp
And then LXC puts his xiao away with a little flourish that ENDEARS him to me. LWJ has kept his eyes on his brother the whole time — absolute confidence that he doesn’t need to avoid a sword, because he followed LXC’s direction to chill his first #qgjp
And his expression on looking back to Wen Chao can only be described as, “Still wanna step in our house, fucker?”

But then things get real interesting, at least to a nerd like me — instead of staying up on the dais where he has just pwned a room #whip
full of poweful cultivators and a Wen honor guard, LXC comes down off the dais with his full, butter-won’t-melt-in-my-mouth diplomat face, reminds Wen Chao what he busted into because he might have forgotten, then slides into formal register to suggest Wen Chao exercise #qgjp
Self-control. Wen Chao is PISSED. You see his whole face change, he starts towards LXC, and then WQ intervenes again, coming up with her sword in formal salute position, and interestingly, addresses herself both to LXC and uncle #qgjp
She bows first to LXC, then to uncle, delivers the little description of what she and her brother are doing primrarily to Uncle before moving to the apology framed in terms of this being their first visit, which is when she turns to LXC, still holding her hands out in #qgjp
Formal posture, and then when signaled by WQ, WN comes up and brings the box to her — which she specifically turns her body again to present to LXC. So what the fuck is going on? #qgjp
I’ll argue this is WQ really, REALLY showing why she is in charge on the campaign — recognizing the insult that the Lan have given, knowing how Wen Chao is going to take the direct and personal insult he has just taken, and now having a measure of LXC. It’s a MESS, a knot #qgjp
made of the very real insult that the Wen offered to the Lan, the very real classy gentleman insult offered back to the volatile Wen Chao, and decided to make the necessary apology herself. It’s a gesture aimed purely at giving WC and LXC a way to de-escalate #qgjp
with each other without loss of face, since she is giving them a way to say that it was her error, not WC’s. That’s her give to WC. In addition, by bowing to Uncle and addressing him as “Teacher Lan,” she reminds LXC of what he just told WC to mind #qgjp
that this is the salute ceremony for the lecture series. And her give to LXC is clear, formal, respectful recognition of his status as sect leader — she calls him that, bows to him, has the box presented to him, while also giving him an out so that he only has to forgive #qgjp
her and her brother, who are blameless but willing to take blame, rather than WC who deserves blame but will not take it. You can see LXC’s acknowledgement of what is going on in his reaction to her apology. It’s a small shift away from his full diplomat fuck you mask #qgjp
But he still isn’t willing to let the matter drop. LXC is angry, too, and he wants a real apology and real consequences for the person he holds responsible — there is a shot of LWJ looking at LXC after the apology, clearly waiting to see what LXC will do, and #qgjp
what LXC does is turn back to giving WC the cold face. Like, he turns to look at WQ whole she is talking, but once she is done, he turns his head back to WC. His shoulders never turned away, and if you look at WC’s expression, it’s clear that he hasn’t taken WQ’s offer #qgjp
he is fucking shooting DAGGERS with his eyes at LXC, which LXC is throwing back. It’s a long, tense, tense moment — and how does it resolve? Uncle gets up and takes a few steps. #qgjp
The camera pulls back and we see him get up from behind the desk and go around the desk to come to the front. the show plays up the sound of his footsteps — at the beginning, lxc is locked in a cat stare standoff with WC, and does not turn around, but does after the #qgjp
Footstep sound. He very clearly pauses, then turns away from Wen Chao, and then uncle says, according to YouTube subtitles, “If that’s the case, then I’ll accept it”. Which would mean that he is actually doing a WQ and giving LXC a way out without having to back down #qgjp
To WC by reframing the conversation as being between him and WQ. Somebody who isn’t a fucking TODDLER at chinese should step in if I’m wrong, but when I look at these subtitles, I think he is actually telling LXC to accept the damn thing. there’s a no “我” in there. #qgjp
I think it’s more correctly translated as “if that’s the case, then accept it” WHICH IS REALLY, REALLY DIFFERENT. He is not saying to WQ that he will accept it. He is not giving LXC an out of the situation without overt loss of face #qgjp
I read him as overruling LXC and giving him a directive. Which. DIFFERENT, RIGHT? And then a beat, and then LXC nods, turns, and takes the gift. And then says in a much calmer, less Lan-fuck you voice #qgjp
to WC to retire to the guest house and be on time in the morning. #qgjp
People with better Chinese should definitely step in if I’m wrong, but if I’m right — as they say, tough look for my boy. Especially if he is the full on sect leader. #qgjp
And what it leads me to is the idea that pre-sunshot, LXC may be the sect leader, may be the person that LWJ takes orders from and owes personal loyalty to — but he isn’t fully in charge. He isn’t the one calling the big shots. And he is REAL GOOD at the everyday stuff #qgjp
but isn’t quite ready for the full frontal of dealing without the Wens yet. He didn’t come down from the dais with a plan. So one of my theories that I want to test on this deep-dive, Lan brothers generally, LXC heavy rewatch thread is that this is a key leadership growth #qgjp
moment for him. He came down off the dais, and didn’t have a plan for what he would do if WC didn’t back off — sure, he could have escalated, but it would’ve been a full on personal fight between the Lan sect leader and an heir to Wen Ruohan, and as pissed as he was, LXC #qgjp
wasn’t ready to go there. So my working theory for his leadership style in the eries is that he looked at what went right and wrong in this scene for him, and his takeaways are 1) leave yourself room to escalate and 2) don’t come off the dais. #qgjp
One more quick note to pick up that pin so that I can go and drink some water: there is some interesting stuff in here about nhs’s familiarity with Cloud Recesses. First, he is ZERO surprised when LXC starts playing the flute and is the one who tells MY the goss about the #qgjp
Jades. Second, he calls LWJ “Lan Zhan” while also referring to him as ferocious. Third, he sword-salutes LWJ from a distance after WWX calls him “Ji-Xiong” and NHS has this real look of worry and fear on his face. I’ve been told that maybe there is book canon saying that #qgjp
He was sent to Cloud Recesses the summer before for safety? The stuff we see from NHS in this episode is totally consistent eith that, and I like to pretend that LAST SUMMER, LXC was lowkey trying to get LWJ to make friends eith NHS. and that one of the #qgjp
knocks against him was that when he got caught breaking rules by lwj, wwx style, he did not go toe to toe, and instead just sort of blubbered and panicked. #qgjp
I’m also going to take it as personal canon that he totally knew about the back stream with fish, but let WWX tell him about it and lead him there because he wants a fun friend more than to be known as being the one who knows the most all the time. #qgjp
There’s even a part where NHS says, basically, that he’s avoided Lan Zhan, even though he’s been coming to Cloud Recesses for “ji”, which means “a period of time I think. So it’s strongly indicated that he has been to CR a BUNCH. but wwx doesn’t specifically react or #qgjp
Revisit whether he’s really introducing the stream with fun fish to NHS. #qgjp
This endeth fornanow another 50+ tweets about less than 5 minutes of screen time. This rewatch thread will be done in 2049, give or take. #qgjp
Info from an actual Mandsrin speaker on what LQR says:
tying onto this thread so that i have it, my only real insight about episode 5:
actually, a lie, a few other lxc thoughts mostly for my own annotation

- lxc remaining super soft for sibling dynamics (his face suggesting he's inclined to tell wq no until she says wn wants to see rivers and lakes) #qgjp
- lxc already being called "zewu-jun" in this, so not a sunshot title. not sure if we've heard hanguang-jun yet.

- more lxc xiao SUPERPOWERS, legit making a whirlpool in the middle of a still lake to destroy a demon. in qinghe, meng yao got hard in his sleep. #qgjp
more seriously, though, it's a nice bit of setup -- we've seen wen ruohan and the throne room of evil and so forth, but we're not deep in this world yet & don't have a sense of their power in comparison to the other sects. they're dicks, but can they actually fuck up #qgjp
the lan, for example? we've actually seen MORE of the lan at this point than any other sect, and by the end of this episode, we've seen two major displays of their cultivational power. mostly, it's stuff about their wards and we know sthg is on the back hill, but #qgjp
we've also seen lxc snatch the swords out of an ENTIRE ROOM of cultivators without breaking a sweat (and let's note that the show makes real clear he uses the music not the other way around -- he plays the notes and the swords lift up, but he drops them back to the ground #qgjp
with a decisive little move of the head) and then we watch him float on his sword like an elf prince and WHISTLE UP A FUCKING WHIRLPOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF A STILL LAKE TO COMPREHENSIVELY DESTROY DEMONS.

like, part of me was originally like, you're going to take this bunch of #qgjp
fuckup bozos out to investigate and settle UNKNOWN WEIRDO DEMONS, when we've all seen them bozo-ing about?

and then when they're proceeding out onto the lake in single file, the part of me that's into armchair military tactics was like UH WITH A FOE OF UNKNOWN SPEED & LOW #qgjp
VISIBILITY YOU ARE SETTING YOURSELF UP TO BE ATTACKED FROM THE SIDES AND CUT OFF FROM EACH OTHER & HAVE THOSE SHALLOW-DRAFTED BOATS OVERTURNED and lo and behold it started happening and the part of me that gets FURIOUS about the battle tactics in lotr started yelling #qgjp
but then xichen floats up and just WRECKS SHOP with a musical instrument.

so yeah, the show drives it home: the lan are powerful, lan wangji can lift three dudes using his cultivation and bicep day, but lan xichen is Something Else and Real Special #qgjp
it leaves you with a strong impression of what lan xichen can do

and then closes the episode with him visibly and seriously worried about the idea of conflict with the wen. classic storytelling! set up somebody as strong and use that to setup the bad guy! #qgjp
some thoughts on the front half of episode 6. as always, mute #qgjp to avoid pedantry or mute this thread
You can follow @quigonejinn.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: