Concubine / Spy
Appearance and Character
Mei Lin is beautiful and alluring woman, as she is expected to be. She is also a dangerous warrior and possesses a proud and intelligent personality.
Mei Lin as a young child became a prostitute to earn money to keep herself, and her older brother alive. Even at that age she took control of her life, and did what it took to stay alive, fed and sheltered.
When the emperor died the bad feelings began to increase between Mei Lin and her brother. Jia Sidao sends three guards to rape his sister. Mei Lin responds by seductively taking off her robe and then she murders them. As punishment, Jia Sidao casts Mei Lin off and sells her into Kublai Khan’s harem. Her task is to infiltrate the ranks and spy on him. Jia Sidao will hold her daughter, Ling Ling, as currency. Before she’s sent off, she tells her brother that his generals mock him by calling him “the Cricket Minister.”
Mei Lin, worried about not being picked to be a royal consort, slashes one of the girls who was chosen on the cheek with a knife so she can replace her. When the Empress walks in on Mei Lin sleeping with the Khan, it becomes clear that the two women know that they are one another’s adversaries.
Mei Lin’s friend sneaks into Karakorum to give her new orders. She also gets the bad news that Jia Sidao has bound her daughter’s feet. She’s warned that if she can’t pull off an impossible assassination that he will do worse to her daughter. Kublai Khan and his wife visit their pleasure dome on the night before the White Moon. Mei Lin uses this opportunity to paint her lips with poison, in the hopes that she will be able to kiss Chabi to death. However, Chabi refuses and forces Mei Lin to kiss another consort. That girl dies and they figure out that she was poisoned.
During the ceremony of the White Moon, a desperate Mei Lin sees a little girl in the crowd who reminds her of Ling Ling and then immediately makes an audacious run at the Khan and his family. She almost succeeds in making her target, but she is shot with an arrow by none other than Empress Chabi herself. She is then arrested.
Mei Li is begging Kublai Khan for mercy. Mei Lin says that she will betray Jia Sidao and help the Mongols penetrate the Walled City of Xiangyang if they spare her daughter’s life. Despite her rage, Empress Chabi likes this plan. She spares Mei Lin and convinces Kublai Khan that this could be their major opportunity to take down the Song dynasty.
Ahmad and Mei Lin are getting closer. He clearly has a thing for the disgraced courtesan and sees an opportunity in her. Later, he councils Chabi to use Ling as leverage over her mother much as Jia Sidao did. She attempts to emotionally manipulate him, and he turns the tables and reveals that he could hurt her – or Ling – at anytime. Empress Chabi shows Mei Lin that Ling Ling still lives and officially sets the little girl up as blackmail.
Mei Lin kills her way out of Ahmad’s quarters. She sneaks through the palace and tries to find Ling. Instead, she finds a mural that puts Ahmad on the throne, holding Kublai Khan’s head. He asks her if she likes it and she answers "I find it exquisite".
Episode 7-Mei Lin finally gets to see Ling Ling arranged by Marco Polo.
Episode 8-Mei Lin is fleeing the Kublai Khan with Ling Ling. She reveals vital information about Ahmad's betrayal to Marco Polo. She is ambushed after Ahmad goes to the Kublai Khan to gain resources in tracking Mei Lin and Ling Ling down to bring them back.
Mei Lin returns to the capital where Ahmad is trying to decide what to do next after being exposed as a traitor. Mei Lin surprises him while his guards look for Byamba, Marco (Marco isn't with them, but Jinjim tells Ahmad he is) and Hundred Eyes. As the guards arrest Byamba and Hundred Eyes, Mei Lin finds her way into Ahmad's personal chambers to kill him. Mei Lin gets her revenge and kills Ahmad with a dagger to the stomach. Once she is discovered by Byamba, Hundred Eyes and Jinjim, she fears for her life but they allow her to flee as long as she never returns. Hundred Eyes will accompany her safely to her daughter.
Quotes by Mei Lin
"Two eels, one cave. Do you know this forbidden game?"
"This is the game you paid for. The danger game."
"Will you come out? Or cling to the shadows' like a snake?!"