Wen Ning (温宁, Wēn Níng), courtesy name Qionglin (温琼林, Qiónglín), was a member of the Qishan Wen Sect when alive and became the first fierce corpse to retain his sense of self. Known as the Ghost General (鬼将军, Guǐ jiāngjūn), he served as Wei Wuxian's righthand man.
In life, Wen Ning suffered from a stutter and was shy and nervous. However, unlike most Wen members, he had a strong sense of honor, kindness, and loyalty. After Wei Wuxian complimented his archery skills and told him to have confidence in himself, he grew to deeply admire the other man. As a result, when Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng were being hunted by the other Wen members, he willingly braved danger and execution to save them. His shy nature should not be mistaken for cowardness, as he deeply loves and cares for those close to him. He is willing to face death if it ensures the safety of his friends and family. Even when Jiang Cheng wanted to murder him after he saved him, Wen Ning bore no grudge as he understood the horrible actions and masequres his clan had done.
When he became a fierce corpse (and the first to have a consciousness of his own), he was shown to be far more temperamental and physically capable of fighting hundreds of cultivators single handedly. Wei Wuxian hypothesized that death brought about a personality flip in walking corpses which could retain their sense of self. This probably contributed to his strength and lack of restraint in death. His temper however was somewhat erratic, heavily implied to be due to the negative energy coursing through his body as a result of the demonic cultivation technique. This would lead him to accidentally murder Jiang Yanli and Jin Zixuan when Wei Wuxian lost control and couldn't stop him. However, he retained his sense of loyalty to Wei Wuxian, being grateful for reuniting him with his sister after death and also rescuing Wen members that were innocent of any crime. In death, he still retains his nervousness when talking to Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji; the former due to the death of Jiang Yanli, and the latter out of guilt from killing disciples of the Gusu Lan Sect by accident in the past. He also demonstrated protectiveness towards Jin Ling, as he was the one to orphan him. His conscious and desire to do good can also be seen through his guilt, as he becomes depressed whenever he is reminded of the innocent people he has killed or the friends and family he couldn't save during the Second Siege of the Nightless City. However, he is capable of standing up for himself and those he cares for. This is proven when he stands against Jiang Cheng and breaks his promise to Wei Wuxian, revealing to Jiang Cheng that Wei Wuxian transferred his golden core to him to protect Wei Wuxian from being murdered.
Even when he becomes a fierce corpse and is incapable of physically expressing emotions, he has proven to be emotional. He showed signs of being hurt (emotionally) when Lan Wangji (in a drunken stupor) continued to hit him in the head and was somewhat afraid of him. He becomes extremely happy to learn that Wen Yuan is alive as Lan Sizhui and even goes on night hunts with him. He is deeply saddened when he sees his friends and family murdered in the Second Siege coming to his and Wei Wuxian's aid when fierce corpses attack them in chapter 84. Towards those he is close to, he is affectionate and even a little teasing. He manages to tease Wei Wuxian regarding his romantic relation with Lan Wangji.
His biggest flaws are his shyness, lack of self confidence, and inability to think for himself. Throughout most of the book, he refers to himself as Wei Wuxian's servant and has been shown unable to think for himself or act outside of Wei Wuxian's commands. Wei Wuxian himself often worries for his friend and does not like being referred to as his master, preferring to think of Wen Ning as his friend. He also worries that Wen Ning cannot do much for himself. He also seems mildly air-headed and naive at times, at one point going to the inn Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were staying at, and when Wei Wuxian told him to go down, he obediently followed and actually fell down. However, by the end of the book, he manages to make his own decisions, protecting Wei Wuxian from Jiang Cheng even if it meant having to disobey an order of Wei Wuxian's and similarly leaving Wei Wuxian's side to find his own path by the end of the novel.
- Wen Ning was featured in a marketing picture for Qingming Festival.
- Wen Ning was mentioned as very good at digging graves.