CW: Spoilers for the Donghua ahead, read at your own risk.


Disclaimer: Men in this story often have three names. A birth name, a courtesy name and a title. In the case of Wei Wuxian, his birth name is Wei Ying, his courtesy name is Wei Wuxian, and it could be argued that the Yiling Patriarch is his title (though he was never given an official title, unlike Lan Wangji). On the bottom of the page are a number of characters listed with their names and titles. Within this article, Wei Wuxian will be referred to by either his courtesy name, Wei Wuxian, or his title, The Yiling Patriarch. All other characters will, hereafter, be referred to by their courtesy names.


Mo Dao Zu Shi: Xian Yun Pian‘ (lit. ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi: Clouds Longing’) is the second season of the critically-acclaimed Donghua adaption of the BL web novel ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’ (The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation). This season focuses on a single arc, titled: Clouds Longing, rather than multiple arcs with an interconnecting theme (which was the case throughout the first season).

The story — following a short exposition and flashback scene, detailing the events³ of the Sunshot Campaign⁴ — picks up in the present, where we are introduced to the two surviving members of the ‘Venerated Triad’ ⁵: Jin Guangyao, the chief-cultivator and current leader of the Lanling Jin Sect, and Lan Xichen, the elder brother of Lan Wangji and sect leader of the ‘Gusu Lan Sect’. They are introduced during a meeting at Koi Tower, the residence of the ‘Lanling Jin Sect’, while preparing for the upcoming discussion conference, an annual gathering for members of the cultivation world. They discuss the events surrounding the severed ghost hand that Lan Wangji encountered and brought back — along with a newly resurrected Wei Wuxian  to the Cloud Recesses. Meanwhile, back in Gusu, Lan Wangji has successfully brought Wei Wuxian back to his home, after failing to do so throughout the entirety of the first season. Wei Wuxian, while attempting to escape the Cloud Recesses, runs into Lan Wangji in the cold spring.⁶ While leaving the spring, the two are approached by Lan Sizhui, one of the junior disciples introduced at the beginning of season one. He informs the pair that the ghost hand captured at Mo Manor is still unable to be suppressed. The two then successfully subdue the ghost hand, after which they begin on their quest to find the other missing parts of the body that conjoins to the ghost hand.

A resurrected Wei Wuxian using Demonic Cultivation (hence the red eyes).

The ‘Clouds Longing’ arc is divided into two distinct storylines. The first is set in the present timeline, where Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji have set out on a quest surrounding the ghost hand, to look for its missing limbs and slowly piece the owner’s shattered soul back together. On their journey, they uncover a conspiracy surrounding Wei Wuxian and question if it was really his madness that caused the massacre at Nightless City thirteen years ago, or if there was another person pulling their strings behind the scenes. The second storyline focuses on Wei Wuxian‘s time as the Yiling Patriarch. This includes his slow descent into madness following a failed siege against him (at the hands of the Jin Sect) at ‘Qiongqi Path’, which resulted in the death of some of the people closest to him.

The story progression, much like that of the first season, progressed at a slow but steady pace. However, it began to drag out about midway through the series, mainly due to the fact that almost an entire episode was dedicated to a hallucination sequence. This was mainly used to hint at plot elements that were set to appear in the future episodes and develop Wei Wuxian‘s relationship with his nephew Jin Ling. However, the sequence did not blend with the overarching plot elements of the story.

Wei Wuxian as the Yiling Patriarch.

Mo Dao Zu Shi: Xian Yun Pian’ focuses much more on the story development aspect of the series, rather than the relationship between Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji (previously showcased in season one), relying heavily on flashbacks throughout the latter half of the season. However, there is still a heavy romantic and homosexual subtext to the main two characters if you look for it.⁷ The major relationship development that was a focus of the second season, aside from the main relationship, is Wei Wuxian‘s relationship with his nephew Jin Ling. Their relationship began as a somewhat antagonistic relationship, slowly developing into a friendly relationship (at least from the POV of Wei Wuxian). There is even an entire episode dedicated to Wei Wuxian, who learns of the struggles his nephew had to go through while growing up due to a number of events that Wei Wuxian directly had a hand in causing.

The animation throughout the second season of ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’ continues to be top-tier, with the animation studio having further developed the season one technique of overlaying 2D character models onto 3D backgrounds. They pulled this off seamlessly. Though, in regards to the animation, I found that the color grading of the scenes stood out more than the animation itself, specifically in scenes surrounding the nature of Wei Wuxian‘s abilities. The voice acting in this also holds up, with the Zhang Jie, the voice actor of Wei Wuxian, being particularly memorable in the way he portrays Wei Wuxian’s continual mental instability. This spanned across the years where he was the Yiling Patriarch, including when he has an absolute mental breakdown and ends up turning on a group of 3000 cultivators, following the inadvertent death of a loved one at the hands of an unknown cultivator.

Xiao Xingchen, as seen in flashbacks in ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi: Xian Yun Pian’.

The season ends with Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji outside the gates of ‘Yi City’ after having found the legs that belong to the body of the ghost hand. Outside the city, they encounter a man that looks like Xiao XingchenWei Wuxian‘s maternal Uncle (non-related), setting up the story for season three. Season 3 will likely cover the ‘Yi City’ arc, with the story of Xiao Xingchen, his partner Song Lan, as well as their relationships with A-Qing and Xue Yang. It likely won’t come out until 2021, due to the production team working on the spin-off Chibi series ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi: Q‘ (working title), which is set to release sometime in 2020.

Story: 7/10
Characters: 10/10
Music: 9/10
Animation: 9/10

Overall Rating: 8.75/10

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji thirteen years ago, while Wei Wuxian was still the Yiling Patriarch.

¹ The meaning behind the title of ‘Clouds Longing’ is quite obvious— Lan Wangji belongs to a sect, whose main motif is the cloud pattern both on their robes and forehead ribbon (though only for members of the main branch). Therefore, the ‘cloud’ in ‘clouds longing’ represents Lan Wangji, with Lan Wangji longing for Wei Wuxian.
² Xian Yun (Clouds Longing) is also the title of the main Wangxian theme in the Donghua – Wei Wuxian x Lan Wangji couple song
³ This shows just how formidable Wen Ruohan, the leader of the now eradicated ‘Qishan Wen Sect’, was prior to his defeat. It also goes on to show just how powerful Wei Wuxian, while in the possession of the Stygian Tiger Seal, was— wiping out at least 100 Wen cultivators in a matter of seconds.
⁴ The Sunshot Campaign was a war of independence that the two main characters were pulled into prior to the death of Wei WuxianWei Wuxian was an integral player in attaining victory in the Sunshot Campaign.
⁵ Following the Sunshot Campaign and the breakdown of the relationship between Nie Mingjue and Jin Guangyao (at the time known as Meng Yao), Lan Xichen proposed that the three of them enter a ‘sworn brotherhood’ in an effort to mend the relationship between the two  thus becoming known as the ‘Venerated Triad’. Only two of the three remain, as Nie Mingjue died from ‘qi deviation’ years prior.
⁶ A sect is an organisation for cultivation that may or may not be blood related, whereas a clan is a cultivation family related by blood. An example of a sect can be seen in the ‘Gusu Lan Sect’, whereas the clan is the main branch of the Lan family.
⁷ Seen when Lan Wangji looks upon Wei Wuxian fondly, while remembering their time spent slaying the ‘Tortoise of the Slaughter’ thirteen years ago, as well as the fact that Lan Wangji keeps Emperor’s Smile (WWX’s favourite wine) under his floor boards, despite the fact that alcohol is forbidden in the ‘Cloud Recesses’.


Wei Wuxian:
Birth Name: Wèi Yīng
Courtesy Name: Wèi Wúxiàn
Title: Yílíng Lǎozǔ (Yiling Patriarch)
Weapons: the Chénqíng flute (To express sentiments), his sword: Suíbiàn (lit. whatever), Stygian Tiger Seal (formerly)
Inventions: Stygian Tiger Seal, Compass of Evil, the Spirit Attraction Flag

Lan Wangji:
Birth Name: Lán Zhàn
Courtesy Name: Lán Wàngjī
Title: Hánguāng-jūn (Light Bearing Lord)
Weapons: his sword Bìchén (lit. to avoid worldly matters) and the Wàngjī Guqin

Jiang Cheng:
Birth Name: Jiāng Chéng
Courtesy Name: Jiāng Wǎnyín
Title: Sāndú Shèngshǒu
Weapons: the electric whip Zǐdiàn and his sword Sāndú

Wen Ning:
Birth Name: Wēn Níng
Courtesy Name: Wēn Qiónglín
Title: Guǐ jiāngjūn (Ghost General)

Jin Ling:
Birth Name: Jīn Líng
Courtesy Name: Jīn Rúlán
Weapons: Suìhuá (his sword) and Xiānzǐ (his spiritual dog)


Find the Donghua on Youtube and WeTV
For the Novel:
OG Chinese version:
English Translation:
Find the Web Drama on YouTubeWeTV, Netflix or Rakuten Viki
^ Its spin-off movie on the IQIYI App, with full English Subtitles
Find the Audio Drama at Suibian Subs (via their Discord)
Find the Manhua at Exiled Rebels Scans: – you must have an account to view the chapters