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okay so the reason I'm so insistent on Lan Xichen/Jin GuangYao- or more accurately, on Lan Xichen---> Jin GuangYao- is because I believe that relationship, Lan Wangji--->Wei Wuxian, and Lanfather--->Lanmother all parallel each other in interesting and important ways, and we lose that if we downplay Lan Xichen's feelings for Jin Guangyao. It's tragic. That's the point. The intense way all three felt has more potential for disaster than happiness, and that's important

MDZS spoilers 

Wangji too, narrowly missed disaster. Not just of the regular "his love is dead and he mourns forever" variety (though, shout out to him for NOT staying secluded. A lot of that is probs due to having to raise A-Yuan, but his dad had two kids whom he *didn't* raise) but also of the "becomes controlling and abusively restrictive" variety. Obviously when wwx was in the Cloud Recesses the first time he was set on making him behave b/c he was a student and a guest, but-

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MDZS spoilers 

he kept that sort of attitude later, all the way through until at least the Yiling Patriarch arc. When exactly he starts moving beyond it is, I think, debatable, but certainly no earlier than that. His desire to take wwx back to Gusu was to help him, yes, but in the way he believed was best, and without reference to wwx's opinions. He wished, consciously or not, to do wwx what his father did to his mother (though perhaps minus the separation).

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But he did change his mind. He learned to value wwx's freedom and opinions.
Lan Xichen's love represents a different failure mode for Wangji. He gets the "what if wwx really was as evil as everyone thought he was" . Which- fucking tragic! I get why people don't want that! But....when you love unconditionally...sometimes that happens. Specifically, the way lx couldn't believe what jgy had done, and kept giving him more chances is exactly parallel to how lwj trusted wwx absolutely

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lan xichen's love for jin guangyao is basically exactly what the rest of the world thought lan wangji's love for wwx was.
and then of course he goes into seclusion exactly like his fucking dad (burn in hell lanfather).
ANYWAY my point is that hyper-monogamous, hyper devoted, outsized love is a Lan family Thing, and it's a fucking miracle Wangji managed to make something healthy out of it, and both xichen and his dad are examples of how it could have Gone Wrong. Literary stylez.

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I don't really care that much if you think Lan Xichen's love was returned*, Lan Xichen's feelings are what's important to the parallel/mirror.

*I do think Jin Guangyao loved Lan Xichen as much as he was able, but I think his "as much as he was able" is a lot less that Xichen's, and less than his own ambition and fear.

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@Rionnal I really love your analysis of the Lan family parallels! I like that LXC himself does directly compare his relationship with JGY to LWJ's with WWX. And yes, this last point is really crucial to their relationship - because if JGY had given up those things for LWJ, they might have worked out, but it's just... not really in him to do so.

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