Serpent's Terms
Season 2, Episode 6
Episode Information
Written By

Noelle Valdivia

Directed By

Jon Amiel

Episode Navigation
Lost Crane

Serpent's Terms is the sixth episode of the second season of Marco Polo. It is the seventeenth episode of the series overall. It was written by executive story editor Noelle Valdivia and directed by Jon Amiel.


Ahmed's deadly and secret chess match against Kublai enters is endgame, even as Kublai's thirst for power grows stronger than ever.


“Serpent’s Terms” is essentially divided into two separate stories, but their outcomes bear significant consequence on one another. First, as the episode opens, we see Kaidu and his mother secretly finding their way to Cambulac. They arrive in the middle of the night shrouded in hoods. The purpose of their meeting in the capital is to discuss the overthrow of the Khan with Ahmad. The Khan’s Vice Regent has made it clear that he wants Kublai gone, and he sees Kaidu as his own tool. Along with Kaidu he invites Nayan for the meeting, securing both in opposition to Kublai, the offer of Mei Lin’s daughter to the sinful Nayan helping to sway him.

Meanwhile, Kublai is in Xanadu petitioning for votes, bringing a vision of empirical expansion, complete with cool fireworks, to the people there. There are harbingers of death all around though. Horses that were gifted to Kublai are attacked, found with their eyes carved out. Marco and Jingim believe it’s the work of Kaidu, but Kublai doesn’t seem worried. Eventually, after a night of passion with an exotic dancer who’s traveled the world, the Blue Princess visits Marco and the mystery of the horses seems solved.

You see, the fake Blue Princess believes it was the real Blue Princess who attacked the horses, sending a message to Kublai and, more importantly the impostor Blue Princess, that she wanted her life back. When she goes to Marco with this theory though it’s revealed that she has blood all over her hands. The real Blue Princess seems to be a figment of her imagination, perhaps brought on by her guilt over her child and the dead stableboy.

“Serpent’s Terms” ends with Ahmad, Nayan, and Kaidu forming an alliance — one which Khutlulun isn’t happy about — while Kublai remains unaware, and Byamba is off on his own following barrels of black powder that he believes will reveal something corrupt.






Guest starring

Cast notes


Season Two Episodes

Hunter and the Sable Weaver, Hug, Measure Against the LinchPin, Let God's Work Begin , Lullaby, Serpent's Terms, Lost Crane , Whitehorse , Heirs, The Fellowship ,