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Date: 2017-06-20 11:02 pm (UTC)
maat_seshat: Winged Maat sitting (Default)
From: [personal profile] maat_seshat
Interesting! I agree with a lot of this, but I think I'd argue about Yujin's lack of midrange connection: it seems to me more like he has a problem with close connections. Yujin is very good at taking casual friendships at face value: he's friendly with Xie Bi, Prince Ji, and even Xia Dong, for all his obvious nervousness around her. He's the one delegated at the summer palace to list off everyone, because he knows them all. He even manages to remain friendly with Mei Changsu after MCS rips Jingrui's life apart. Yujin actually can do friendship without trust better than almost anyone else in the show, because he takes what people give him and keeps his expectations realistic. And he's quite good at reading what people are willing to give him: he knows that MCS will throw him under a bus for his principles but that he still makes a good friend if Yujin can appeal to those principles.

On the other hand, he's not of a military family, and his father explicitly refuses to be part of the Empress's empire-building, which means Yujin has little exposure to having retainers, as opposed to informants. Retainers--Jingyan's generals, Mei Changsu's Jiangzuo, the Xia siblings to Xia Jiang--are people you trust on a fundamental level to support your goals at least in part because they're yours, right? Whereas informants and allies are people whose goals you think you understand and can work with: the way that Yan Que perceives Mei Changsu. In a hereditary world, a child generally inherits their first retainers from their family: Jingyan got assigned an army, Lin Shu was the young Marshal, Nihuang got the Mu forces, Jingrui got the Tianquan connections in jianghu, etc. Yujin got an empty house (he has the line about how their house would be a Daoist temple if he weren't in town) and an aunt that his father holds at a distance.

Which means that he has hella trust issues, which may get you to the same place, in terms of being unwilling to take risks with his relationship with Jingrui. But it also means he's very good at reading people, so if Jingrui acts like he trusts and is attracted to Yujin, even if it's subconscious or never made overt, Yujin probably has a decent chance of seeing that. And he was willing to take the risk of trusting his father to MCS's plans, even after what happened to Jingrui (that line about please understand that his father has reasons for everything he does, before taking MCS in to see him), because he has hope that it will improve both the court and his family, so I'm not sure Yujin is entirely unwilling to risk those he loves.
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