I disappeared for six months and now I’m reappearing with a different sort of post! I have not forgotten about this poor, neglected blog but it’s been hard to find the time and mental space to write here. For now, probably the most regularly updated place I’m writing in is my newsletter. Also, I got very into The Untamed and here we are! If you are not into The Untamed, feel free to skip the rest of this post. I will be back here sooner or later. ❤
I have read a lot of fic for The Untamed and I wanted to share some of my favorites. These are chosen according to my personal taste, but I hope you find something you like! If you are looking for a starter pack, I highly recommend my friend forestofglory’s post here, and her thread on fic featuring women here. I am also only including completed works here, but I’ll add new titles as I read them/as they’re finished.
How much do I love the ducklings? A LOT.
“A Civil Combpaign” | Ariaste | 19k | teen
This is one of the first Untamed fics I read after finishing the show and I love it so much. Jin Ling tries to reason himself through arranging a marriage with Sizhui and it goes about as well as you’d expect. Featuring: great uncle content, combs good, and the immortal line, “Ah, it is barren and empty, like my heart.” Plus the title is a Bujold reference, so how could I possibly resist? Follow it up with “Beseiged” (see below).
“I want to spit out my heart” | annadream | 3k | general
Poor little angsty Jin Ling! I would like to squish his angsty sweet face and give him a hug. But don’t worry, Wei Wuxian will take care of that for us.
“The Absolutely True Story of the Yiling Patriarch: A Manifesto in Many Parts” | aubreyli | 19k | teen
Post-canon, the ducklings are absolutely over the fact that Wei Wuxian and Hanguang-jun aren’t together when clearly they should be. So they write and publish a book that fixes that small detail! This is absolutely delightful and charming, and I speak as someone who does not enjoy RPF, like, at all. Features: Ouyang Zizhen being his most romantic self, Sizhui reluctantly roped into everyone’s nonsense again.
“seclusion, inclusion” | esmeraldablazingsky | 3k | general
Post-canon, the ducklings gently bully Lan Xichen into being a little more okay by cooking for him. This is just so sweet and I love how it plays with the theme of caring for someone by feeding them that runs through the show. Also features a flustered Lan Qiren.
Extremely Married WangXian
I know they get married. You know they get married. Have some husbands doing their thing.
“Beseiged” | Ariaste | 11k | mature
Sequel to “A Civil Combpaign” and you probably should read that one first, really. I love the way Wei Wuxian is really attuned to Lan Zhan’s feelings in this one, while also trying to balance his care for Jin Ling and Suzhui. It’s a bit angstier than the first story, but also just really lovely. Featuring: my favorite tag (“wei wuxian’s avuncular powers”), weird negotiations, and WWX breaking into the library to study, because of course.
“The only way out” | cafecliche | 12k | teen
This could just as easily go under the next category, because it’s all about Lan Zhan and Jiang Cheng learning to be a family for Wei Wuxian’s sake. But the appeal of it for me, besides being a sucker for the Yunmeng siblings reconciliation, is the way it shows Wei Wuxian and Lan Zhan as husbands. Also features some amazing Jingyi sass for those of you who are fans of the loudest Lan.
“Linger in the sun” | etymologyplayground | 39k | teen
Okay, technically they’re not quite married here, sort of. It’s complicated. Anyway, this is a really feelingsy casefic with a bonus alligator and some sibling stuff with Jiang Cheng just for extra emotions, I guess. A nice Teacher Wei Wuxian one!
“The Guests of Cloud Recesses” | cafecliche | 10k | teen
Post-canon, Wei Wuxian wakes up one night and sees a ghost in the Jingshi. One of the things I love about our disaster child is how immediately he wants to help people who need it. That really comes through here. It’s a lovely exploration of how he feels about Lan Zhan as well, AND has some really nice stuff with Sizhui.
Family is hard and sometimes beautiful
A collection of fics about the various family relationships in the show.
“Nidicolous” | dorkangel | 2k | general
A short one about Lan Zhan raising Sizhui. It’s melancholy but also does a great job exploring how Lan Zhan wants to do better for the next generation.
“Gathered herbs & sweet grasses” | hansbekhart |19k | not rated
Another exploration of Lan Zhan raising Sizhui. I love this one a lot and although it is really, really sad in a lot of ways, there’s also a sense of tenderness and even hope. There’s one line that just lifts the whole thing beautifully (you’ll know it when you get there).
“filled with gold” | lily_winterwood | 4k | teen
Post-canon, Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian reluctantly team up to save Jin Ling and end up having to actually talk instead. Just the worst, really.
“tintinnabulum” | respira | 8k | teen
Jiang Cheng learns how to be a good uncle and how to make amends. I really liked how this one had him work through both the ways he’s been hurt and the ways he’s hurt others and the last scene maaay have made me cry.
At first I wasn’t that into modern AUs in this universe, but they’ve gradually crept into my heart and now several of these are some of my all-time favorites. Growth, I guess?!
“The Simplest Way Forward” | harrietvane | 71k | explicit
This is probably my favorite modern AU; A-Yuan gets dumped on Wei Ying by a distant cousin and Lan Zhan offers to marry him for legal reasons. It’s really sweet and funny, and I love the way the relationship unfolds.
“Unstrictly Ballroom” | ariaste | 47k | teen
Yes, they’re all competitive ballroom dancers, except for Wei Wuxian, who’s a disgraced former competitive ballroom dancer. The setup sounds lightish, but there are a ton of feelings here. Also the dancing is used really, really well, I think. It also features one of my favorite sub-tropes: Teacher Wei Wuxian.
“through a window softly” | impossibletruths | 14k | teen
I just read this one recently but it totally charmed me. Wei Wuxian as a grad school music education student, who starts playing duets with a mysterious violinist. It’s sweet and light but really lovely.
“请兔子吃晚饭; treating a bunny to dinner” | yiqie | 5k | teen
A sweet little modern AU where Wei Wuxian invites Lan Zhan to Korean barbecue, not realizing he’s a vegetarian. This is very much on the fluffy side and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
“plant a little happiness (let the roots run deep)” | fleurdeliser | 47k | explicit
Doctor Wei Wuxian moves back to Gusu 13 years later and promptly helps Jingyi and Sizhui after they get in an accident. This is one of my favorite longer modern AUs–it is a bit angsty and also very tender, and I just really like it.
“one good thing” | Yuu_chi | 27k | teen
This is a modern AU where Wei Wuxian is haunting his childhood home and then Lan Zhan moves in. It’s very, very, very good and very, very full of feelings. Like I cannot overstate how many feelings. It’s a lot, but the end is beautiful.
“Out of the bin and into your heart” | alaceron | 27k | teen
Fake dating AU, FAKE DATING AU!! I love this one quite a bit, not the least for the absolutely amazing puns on Hanguang-jun. I love the cultural details as well, and the narrative style is just a perfect balance of fun and feelings.
This show is absolutely rife with great post-canon possibilities. I especially love the epistolary ones, but I’ve enjoyed a lot of them. These are mostly WangXian specific, although there’s some good duckling stuff in a lot of them too.
“爱不释手; never let me go” | yiqie | 68k | explicit
A post-canon casefic with feeeeeelings. This one is quite angsty, but I love the eventual resolution and the way the case and the emotional plot are woven together. Also features some great duckling content and I’m always here for that.
“No more looking, I’ve found home” | annadream | 3.5K | general
Post-canon fic for The Untamed lends itself so well to epistolary stories, and I love those. This one is a particularly nice version from Lan Zhan’s perspective.
“It’s Only Time” | etymologyplayground | 8k | teen
Another epistolary rec, which features letters from both Wei Wuxian and Lan Zhan! I liked that tweak quite a bit. And I enjoy the idea that Lan Zhan is more verbose and eloquent on paper than he allows himself to be in verbal communications.
“my age has never made me wise” | idrilka | 63k | explicit
Oh ho ho, my friends, have some feelings. Wei Wuxian travels around post-episode 50 and uh, somehow is still very oblivious? I will admit that I personally do not think he is ever actually this oblivious, but I’m not going to argue with the results here. Features: a Significant Comb and some nice duckling content.
“I hope that you will come and meet me” | feyburner | 28k | mature
I’ve already mentioned that I love the epistolary post-canon fics several times, and I’ll be honest–I think the way this one weaves the letters into the rest of the story is absolutely amazing. It really deepens the emotional journey and it’s just lovely, and sad, and tender all at once. It’s from Wei Wuxian’s point of view and I think the author really captures his inner landscape.
“蓝色生死恋; a blue love (to live and to die for)” | yiqie | 24k | mature
I like this one mostly for the ways it manages to acknowledge the shadows of the past while still being very hopeful. Also, A+ Sizhui content, which, in case it wasn’t obvious, is one of my favorite things.
“let me come home” | cafecliche | 4k | general
Little vignettes of Lan Zhan and Wei Wuxian as they travel around post-canon. I love this one for the way it draws together some of the relationship strands. Also, I really enjoy Lan Zhan’s sense of humor here.
But What About The Ladies
I just have umpty-million feelings about the female characters on The Untamed. So here are some of my favorite fics centered on them & their stories.
“Spring’s Greening” | Shadaras | 600 words | general
I will restrain myself and not go on my rant about the lack of Lan Yi fic available when she is RIGHT THERE, and amazing and beautiful and all. But anyway, this is a lovely short fic from her point of view.
“Arpeggio” | Shadaras | 1k | teen
More Baoshan Sanren/Lan Yi content! I love the way this one depicts their partnership and the process of Lan Yi’s invention.
“Time held me green and dying” | twigofwillow | 1k | general
This is a self-rec because I’m going to be obnoxious for a second and say that I just really loved writing this and also (see above) I love Lan Yi and wanted to give her a second chance.
“Bloom in darkness” | EHyde | 1.8k | general
Oh, this one is really sad, and also so good. Fierce corpse Yanli tries to come to terms with her second life and her current family. This line is what hooked me: “You know that soup cannot mend a family, not one as broken as this, but even so, you’re going to try.”
“My home is not a place, it is people” | forestofglory | 10k | general
Wen Qing survives the Jin dungeons and finds a new life. I love the way this one explores the ripple effect of the characters’ choices in canon.
“Written, never said” | sandorara | 6k | general
Mianmian and Lan Wangji correspond during the years Wei Wuxian is dead. I loved the way this gave me a different perspective on both of them, and the careful friendship they build together.
“A Simpler World” | GrapefruitSketches | 1.8k | general
A short fic from Mianmian’s perspective as she adjusts to life after leaving Carp Tower. I love the subtle way this deals with her changing perspectives on herself and the world.
When I was putting this list together, I ended up surprised at how many of these I found in my bookmarks. They take place across a variety of settings, some mashups and some canon-divergent.
“Rare the man who’ll hold to faith” | fahye | 13k | mature
Okay, if you just said, hey Maureen, WangXian + Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I might be a tad dubious. But this works. It works so well. It actually manages to be totally satisfying and revelatory as both an Untamed fic AND a Gawain fic? I don’t know. Trust me.
“what else is there?” | mme_anxious | 12k | teen
AU where Meng Yao turns Lan Wangji and Jon Zixuan into swans. Somehow this is super intense and beautiful? Lan Wangji is just always stubborn and intent, even when he’s a swan most of the time.
“asymptotic” | chinxe | 26k | teen
AU where Wei Wuxian died as a rogue cultivator and his spirit answers Lan Zhan’ Inquiry. This is sweet and sad and weaves around canon in some interesting ways. It’s from Lan Zhan’s point of view as well, which I think really works for this story.
“the way to purpose” | dea_liberty | 5k | mature
I get really sad whenever I think about Song Lan and Xiao Xingchen, so I’m glad this short but very satisfying fix-it fic exists.
“seldom all they seem” | fahye | 24k | explicit
AU where Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji have an arranged marriage. I love this one mostly for the way it explores the role of the Lan principles in Lan Zhan’s life and lets them be important to him.