Meilin is stunningly beautiful. Coming from Zhong, she wears intricate silk kimonos and, at special occasions, a light parasol. She has pretty, large deep brown eyes and long dark hair and is of an average height and weight; It states she likes or prefers to do her own makeup on special occasions. Jhi's tattoo is on her hand. She wears a greencloak once she joins the Greencloaks. She was also mentioned to be shorter than Conor and Rollan.
|“||That girl's heart is a battlefield.||”|
–Abeke about Meilin, Hunted page 61
Meilin was the only child born to a family of great warriors, great merchants, and great wealth in an country called Zhong, a land representing Asia(mainly China) in culture and appearance. Her father, General Teng, is one of the esteemed five High Commanders of the Zhongese military. Coming from a proud line of such great warriors, Meilin took private lessons in battling technique similar to karate under an expert known only as Master Chu. In battling a champion much older than her, she bested him without a scratch, showing a natural talent just as predicted by her family line. Due to her family's high status and wealth, she has employed many servants, including a kind, gentle handmaiden named Kusha.
Not only does Meilin possess natural fighting talent, but she is stunning. It has been said about her that, "she had never needed paint on her face to earn compliments . . . she possessed an allure beyond . . . natural beauty." She is well practiced in acting as well, and has the ability to make many different expressions ranging from a shy smile, to a confident dazzling smile, to a stormy scowl.
Meilin frequently worries about Zhong, as when she was carried away to safety, her father's house was attacked, and different parts of Zhong invaded. To begin with, she often does not feel like many things are relevant if they are not helping to unite the Great Beasts and expel the invaders from Zhong. But towards the end of Wild Born, Meilin starts to think about all of Erdas, and while still passionate about saving her homeland, is more eager to help out, even if not to free Zhong. However, at the end of Hunted, Meilin decides to go back to Zhong for a short while before she realizes that the Greencloaks need her. In Against the Tide, it is revealed that General Teng had given Meilin the Bile instead of the Nectar; before he died in Blood Ties, he tried to warn her, saying 'should have told you. . .betrayed. . .the Bile.' She becomes determined to fight Gerathon's control, and sometimes succeeds, even if only for a split-second.
Meilin is loyal to the Greencloaks, and although she finds them pathetic at first, she trusts the other Four Fallen kids. She cares and worries deeply for Abeke and Conor, and she also is shown to have romantic feelings for Rollan, which he returns.
In the Books
Meilin is first seen in Wild Born in the chapter Jhi, where she summoned Jhi. The chapter opened up showing Meilin getting ready for her Nectar Ceremony. Her father is revealed to be General Teng, a high commander in the military. She was late for the Ceremony and wanted to be a little late on purpose so all eyes would be on her.
General Chin then came in and informed her that they were at war, and the city of Shar Liwao had fallen and the Zhongese invasion had begun. Meilin tried not to panic and attended her Ceremony, where she was able to summon Jhi. It was noted she had hoped for something else other than a panda.
Even though Meilin was nice and caring, she often got disappointed about Jhi. It was stated in one chapter "It was easy for Rollan and Conor to have faith in their animals, they had swift ones . . ." It may not be exact, but the idea revolves around the main thing- stating that Meilin underestimated what Jhi was capable of. As usual Jhi was a little lazy and prefers passive state.
In the beginning of the book, Meilin is told that Zhong is taken by the conquerors, and her father is missing. Initially, Meilin decides that she is going to go back to Zhong to find her father, and see if she can save what little is left of Zhong. But another Greencloak helps her to realize that if she left for Zhong, there would be no way Zhong would ever be saved. Also, she develops a stronger bond with Jhi, finding that Jhi can help her think clearly.
The book starts off with Meilin trying to find her way through the Great Bamboo Maze. She meets Xue, a former Greencloak, who helps her and gives her advice. Her father is killed fighting the conquers.
Meilin is distraught over her fathers death. She and Rollan hold hands.
Throughout the book, she suspects everyone else of being the mole, especially Abeke. It is later revealed that she was unknowingly the mole. Gerathon could see through her eyes and take over her body ("sleepwalking") because she was tricked by her father into drinking the Bile. It is revealed that Jhi knew that she was summoned because of a forced bond.
Meilin tries to fight the bile, but can only do it for a short time. She manages to help Abeke escape before the bile takes over her again.
Meilin is forced to fight her friends on the battlefield. Rollan manages to snap her out of it for a long time. When the group runs into Tellun, he cures her of the biles infulence, In his joy, Rollan kissed Meilin for the first time.
On her Bonding Day, Meilin drank the Bile without knowing and summoned Jhi, one of the Fallen and a Great Beast. But far from being pleased, Meilin, expecting to call an animal whose expertise is fighting, was very disappointed and shocked to have called the gentle panda. Through most of the first book, she tries to tolerate Jhi, but many times flares up when the panda won't be nearly as war-like as she had hoped. Later, in a dream, Jhi approaches her and apologizes for disappointing her, causing Meilin to realize that her fighting spirit and the panda's gently healing nature compliment each other, and she starts to form a stronger bond and accept the each other's differences; Meilin soon starts to receive powers from Jhi. In Against the Tide, Meilin worries when Jhi disappears on Nightshade Island, and even kisses the panda on the forehead when she returns. When Meilin realizes her and Jhi's bond was forced by the Bile, she is devastated and wonders if Jhi felt trapped the whole time.
At first, Rollan and Meilin clashed, because they have different morals and senses of duty. They get into arguments frequently, but occasionally they would both show signs of caring for the other (such as when Meilin sleepwalks in Hunted, and Conor sees that Rollan has a concerned look on his face but quickly changes it to a smirk.) Rollan described her as the "snotty general's daughter", but enjoys getting a smile or even laugh out of her. They create their own inside joke about tutors in Zhong by teasing each other. Throughout the series, they learn to trust and care deeply for each other (the fact that they also have romantic feelings for each other becomes quite obvious). After General Teng dies, Meilin realizes that she was more like Rollan than she ever thought possible, and even admits that he would smile his 'Rollan smile' that she was coming to know so well. While attempting to calm Suka in Fire and Ice, they hold hands for the first time, and during their trip to Nightshade Island in Against the Tide, Rollan holds Meilin's hand twice as a source of comfort (to which Meilin feels the same). As Gerathon takes control of Meilin's mind and forces her to betray the Greencloaks, Rollan is devastated when he realizes what is happening to her, and angry that somebody gave her the Bile. Throughout Rise and Fall and The Evertree, they both miss and worry about each other greatly and when Meilin is cured of the Bile's poisoning and reunited with the group, Rollan hugs then kisses her, causing Meilin is become shy. Rollan admits that it seemed like the natural thing to do. Many other characters are aware of Rollan and Meilin's feelings for eachother, such as Abeke, Xue, and Shane, and the two are often teased about it. They will both become flustered if the subject is brought up.
In the first few books, Meilin is the person that distrusts Abeke the most. Meilin would frequently suspect her of spying on the Greencloaks, but her view started to change when she learns that Abeke hates Zerif just as much as Meilin does. Abeke tries multiple times to get Meilin to trust her, even telling her that she's hopeless on what to do to make her trust her. In Against the Tide, Meilin still suspected Abeke to be the mole that was secretly with the Conquerors, but she was proved wrong, and when they both get captured Meilin finally learns to trust Abeke. By Rise and Fall they are good friends and Meilin even starts to cry in guilt when she accidentally attacks Abeke in her sleep. When they are separated once again, Abeke admits to Conor that 'Meilin was her friend, and she had no choice but to love her, whatever she did.'
In the beginning of the series, Conor was immensely impressed by Meilin, and a bit embarrassed to talk to her. Eventually they both regard each other as equals and friends. In a battle with the Conquerors, Conor makes a joke about using his axe, and Meilin admits to herself that it took courage to joke at a time like that. In the second series, Meilin and Conor journey to Sadre. Although Conor is infected with a parasite, Meilin is unwilling to leave him behind, even when Takoda and Xanthe believe they should. The two are shown to be very close, and Conor jokes about Meilin being afraid of heights.
- In Fire and Ice, it's revealed that Meilin's mother died giving birth to her.
- Meilin is a Chinese name that means "plum jade".