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Chen Lin (voiced by James Sie) is Yan Lin's son and Hay Lin's worrisome father who does not believe that she is old enough to take care of herself.


He, like the rest of Hay Lin's family, is of Chinese origin.


In the comics, Chen is displayed as a man who can be serious or easy-going when the mood suits him. Though sometimes he cares greatly for rules and orders[1], other times he is more carefree than his wife, amused by Hay Lin's free-spirit.[2] He and Hay Lin have a close, emotional relationship. She will often come to him when she is feeling overwhelmed and he offers both comfort and advice. Chen is sometimes prone to "manias" in which he gets an idea to change things around him and expects everyone else to be on board with him. This greatly aggravates Joan and amuses Hay Lin, but nothing can stop him until he moves on to another idea.[3]

In the TV series, Chen is a bit more serious, wanting Hay Lin to be responsible, though still greatly supports her artistic talents.[4] Chen is a bit of a worrier, especially about his daughter[5] and his mother.[4]

Besides cooking, Chen's greatest passion is for ornithology which he is happy to share with others[6]. He and Hay Lin will often go out bird-watching together.[3] Chen also has a great fondness for kites, buying a new one every year and flying them until they become tattered.[7]



Chen was born in China to Yan Lin, previous Guardian of air, though Chen never knew this. As a child, he was fond of horses (particularly mechanical horse rides) and dreamed of being a horse jockey, though he outgrew this.[8]

When Chen was eighteen, he worked as a butler for the family of Joan Chou, daughter of a rich trader in Hong Kong. He immediately fell in love with her and though he was bullied by Joan's friends (especially Fu-Mingtung who wanted to marry Joan), he continued to do his job without complaint. Joan greatly respected him for this and began to fall in love with him, too. When Joan's father announced he would have her marry Fu-Mingtung, Chen confessed his feelings to Joan who returned them. They started to meet secretly until Chen admit his feelings for Joan to her father and was fired for it. Joan, refusing to give him up, left home and married Chen, preferring to live with the man she loved. Together, they traveled and enjoyed their married years. Despite having disowned her, Joan's father would annually send a lawyer to offer Joan a chance to reclaim her inheritance. The condition for this was to divorce Chen and Joan refused the offer every year with Chen confidently laughing it off.[9]

At some point, Chen and Joan began living with Yan Lin and moved to Heatherfield. He was a model in a fashion show at one point, but only did so once as he took an embarrassing fall off the catwalk.[8] Following this, Chen went to college and studied engineering, though found his true passion was for cooking.[8]

The Lin family created their own restaurant, The Silver Dragon, presumably named by Yan Lin after a real Silver Dragon which has been secretly watching over her family for years.[10]

During their time in Heatherfield, the Lin's became close with many other families including an old friend of Yan Lin, Kao and his daughter Lee.[7]

Chen and Joan eventually had their first and only child, Hay Lin. In contrast to their own restrictive childhoods, they raised her with a lot of freedom. Even so, they would sometimes struggle whenever she wanted more independence.[11] As Hay Lin grew up, her parents and grandmother relied on her to help out with running the restaurant and Hay Lin enjoyed learning to cook from them all, including her dad.[12] Hay Lin became good friends with Irma Lair, Cornelia Hale, and Elyon Brown. This later extended to Will Vandom and Taranee Cook, all of whom enjoyed spending time in The Silver Dragon.

New Guardians are chosen

Unknown to Chen or Joan, Hay Lin was chosen to replace Yan Lin as a Guardian of the Veil. With her mission nearing its end, Yan Lin began to grow sick which worried her son. Yan Lin eventually passed away, though unknown to her son or daughter-in-law, she was able to transcend to Kandrakar and live on as part of its council.[13]

When Hay Lin was chosen to go to Redstone Academy, Chen and Joan saw her off at the airport for her first trip abroad. Chen asked her if she had enough cash to take along which she assured she did, asking him not to worry too much.[14] Hay Lin returned home with the rest of her school once the trip was finished.

The Lins were contacted about Hay Lin's sudden drop in behavior at school (actually the work of her rebellious Astral Drop).[15] With community service, she gradually improved her grades and peace returned to their home.[16]

Chen found a set of beautiful windchimes Yan Lin had once gifted to him. These were set up by the restaurant door and enjoyed their wonderful sound. When Hay Lin listened to them, she could see his memory of how happy he was to receive them.[17]

Like Joan, he was supposedly affected by the crystal butterfly which made him forget Cornelia's existence. This was reversed by W.I.T.C.H.[10]

Hay Lin became distracted with watching the windchimes and Chen called her, reminding her to finish serving the customers. he noticed her taking soup to the wrong table and when he tried to warn her, she spilt it on other guests. He apologized to the guests, assuring that Hay Lin was usually a very thoughtful server though seemed preoccupied. Hay Lin apologized to her dad but he thought that she was just happy about getting her braces removed and empathized that it was a "special day" for her.[18]

There was an incident in the early morning when Joan fainted in the kitchen. She told Chen she had seen Yan Lin there (a vision created by the Breath of Time) but Chen assured her it was probably just a dream, an idea seconded by Hay Lin. Time was reset by Cornelia, meaning neither Chen nor Joan remember this incident.[19]

When the Oracle showed W.I.T.C.H. an alternate version of their futures if they retired from being Guardians, Hay Lin had moved out to live with her friends in Galgheita Rudolph's house. When they were suddenly evicted, Hay Lin moved back in with her parents until Will's new novel gave them enough money to buy back Rudolph's house.[20]

It is unknown if Hay Lin ever properly introduced Eric Lyndon as her boyfriend but when the boy decided to move away with his parents, Hay Lin became depressed. So much so that she refused to join her parents at the Sunday market which they visited as a family every month. Chen and Joan went without her, giving her some space. During the market, a fire broke out that forces everyone to evacuate, though no one was hurt (thanks to W.I.T.C.H.).[21] Her depression continued until receiving a package from Eric, a laptop computer, with which the two could communicate with each other. This brightened her mood.[22]

Hay Lin convinced her parents to let her spend a weekend in Open Hill with Eric and his family. A week after this visit, she made a return trip with Will and Dean Collins who would be attending a history symposium.[23] Unknown to her parents, Hay Lin became involved with Ragorlang user, Tecla Ibsen, who had infected Hay Lin to become a Ragorlang herself. Dr. Folkner, Sheffield Institute's newest physician, called the Lins to pick up their daughter from school as he said she was suffering from a fever. He later came to visit her at home, claiming it was policy to check sick students, though Hay Lin avoided him. The doctor said he would come by later and the Lins thanked him for his concern, not knowing the danger Hay Lin was in. Hay Lin slipped out of the house in her Ragorlang form but was rescued and healed by W.I.T.C.H. and Folkner (who was actually a Ragorlang hunter). Hay Lin returned to normal after that.[24]

Hay Lin took part in Sheffield Institute's field trip to Noah's Isle. They watched her ride away on the train, not knowing the separation was harder for her this time than the others. When alone, Hay Lin worried that she was too dependent on her parents even while knowing they wouldn't always be with her.[25]

The Lins decided to close down the restaurant for the summer and brought Hay Lin and Irma to the beach. According to Hay Lin, they'd never done this before. Hay Lin and Irma enjoyed a really great time with the local teenagers.[26]

New home

With The Silver Dragon restaurant doing great business, Chen and Joan decided they needed to expand their dining area. For this reason, they chose to leave their upstairs apartment and move into a new house. Hay Lin was devastated by the idea of moving, even as they tried to convince her it was a necessary change. They found a house in White Mountain, an affluent though distant neighborhood, which was designed to survive tornados and nicknamed the Dragonfly. Though there were threats of tornados approaching Heatherfield, they went ahead with the move even as Hay Lin expressed her discontent the entire time. With her so unhappy, they began to consider if it would be best to return to their previous home and cancel the expansions. The next morning, the tornados struck Heatherfield but Hay Lin had disappeared. While other houses around them were damaged, the design of their home let it go untouched by the storm until it suddenly died down (thanks to Hay Lin). Hay Lin returned home unharmed and her parents mentioned they were willing to go back, but the girl had changed her mind, ready to give the new home a chance.[27]

Hay Lin went through a sudden attitude change, becoming very cold and wouldn't even say goodbye as she left home in the morning. This was due to her new powers and after W.I.T.C.H. defeated Dark Mother, she returned home in a great mood, being back to normal.[28]

With the Lins new house being so far from Sheffield Institute, they started driving Hay Lin to school on their way to the restaurant. She appreciated their attempt to be more present in her life, but she was beginning to desire more independence. When she finally told her parents she wanted to get a job as a babysitter, Joan couldn't understand why she wanted to work so young. Chen was more sympathetic, merely explaining that she had no need to work since he and Joan could provide her with enough. Even so, Hay Lin wanted to prepare more for her future and asked that they trust in her. They eventually agreed to let her apply to ads in the newspaper.[11] On the day of her first two jobs, they Hay Lin rushed through breakfast to Joan's annoyance but Chen's amusement. After she ran off, Joan questioned her bad manners and asked who raised her, to which Chen playfully pointed out that they did.[2]

Hay Lin began secretly hosting amnesiac Liam in the house without telling her parents. Since the boy had no clothes of his own, she gave him some of her dad's as they were the same size.[29] He would eventually move out without either of them ever noticing.[9]

Despite having a new house, the Lins would spend so much time at The Silver Dragon that they began to live out of their former apartment just for convenience. As Hay Lin told Yan Lin, it's as if they moved back in. They still kept their White Mountain house and lived there at time, too.[citation needed]

Love changes over time

When it grew time for the Chou's lawyer to arrive, Chen felt less sure of his worth compared to the wealth Joan was born into. She tried to assure him of her love but they argued and eventually, stopped talking. This silence scared Hay Lin but Chen refused to explain the situation, running way from the stress. By the time Mr. Li arrived with the divorce offer, Chen had decided the best course of action was to take Joan and Hay Lin back to China to meet Joan's father. On their arrival, they were escorted to Khan Chou and Chen explained the visit: he wanted Joan to look once more at the wealth that could be hers and compared it to the man he was today, older and "more boring". Even so, Joan chose Chen and asked her father to accept that would never pick sides. The Lins left after this and to Chen's amusement, he discovered Fu-Mingtung as a butler for the house. He admitted to Joan he wanted to tease him about it, but he wasn't that kind of person. The two shared a romantic kiss before taking Hay Lin back to Heatherfield.[9] It's unknown if the Chou's ever accepted Chen as part of their family.

Hay Lin arrived home after a day out with her friends, but disappeared for several hours.[30] She returned later in the night and told her parents she had gone to the cinema (was actually trapped in the Fast World). Her mother punished her with no cinema for a year. The Lins went to bed and when The White Queen attacked Heatherfield in the middle of the night, they were swept away to safety by Hay Lin. Once the battle was over, they were returned to their beds and the next day, believed it was just a dream about flying.[31]

When Hay Lin caught the chicken pox on her last day of school, becoming very grumpy and horrified by her appearance. She made her father move out all the mirrors but when Chen accidentally walked one past her room, she got upset. Joan pushed him back the way he came. Taranee, Cornelia, and a few of Hay Lin’s classmates came by to cheer her up. [32]

On the morning of Hay Lin’s first day back at school, the girl locked herself in her closet, claiming she had no clothes to wear. She only agreed to go after a promise of breakfast but wanted it served to her in the closet. Chen was ready to scold her but Joan asked him to get Hay Lin’s food and be empathetic to her nerves about the first day. Chen declared that when he was her age, he only owned two pairs of pants and three sweaters. After finishing her food, Hay Lin left for school in a better mood.[1]

Hay Lin suddenly took an interest in being more fashionable (secretly trying to impress a boy). Since she got an A in math, her parents bought her the expensive new clothes she wanted. Over time, Hay Lin continued to act differently, ignoring her responsibilities and failing schoolwork which caused a rift between her and Joan. This eventually reached a head when Hay Lin cut her hair and snuck off to a party, though she returned late that night. Mother and daughter made up, but it’s implied Hay Lin was punished with restrictions on going out.[33]

During the holidays, Hay Lin was invited by Cornelia to join her friends on a trip abroad. Originally this “trip” involved a visit to the North Pole, leaving her gone for several days. “Christmas magic” allowed time to reverse, and it’s assumed she was able to spend the holidays with her parents after all.[34]

While the Lins were spending time in their White Mountain house, Chen and Joan fell under the effects of Queen Nihila who forced them to leave their home. During this time, the house would have burned down but was saved thanks to Will Vandom using the fire extinguisher. W.I.T.C.H. cured them of the curse and they returned home none the wiser.[35]

Chen went through a period of several manias in a row. The first was his decision that his family should live like minimalists, so he removed all of their household decorations during the night. Joan was outraged but Hay Lin found it funny. A week later, he had changed his mind about it and put everything back in its place.[3]

Next, Chen decided to give The Silver Dragon a new color scheme to impact people’s moods. He painted the dinning room green for relaxation which Joan hated. He also made the kitchen bright orange, hoping it would give the kitchen staff more energy, but it hurt their eyes. When he finally gave up on the idea, they shut down the restaurant for a week to repaint everything.[3]

His latest mania was to revolutionize the restaurant menu for healthier food and changed all the recipes behind Joan’s back. Joan and Hay Lin secretly fixed the food without his knowing and chose to wait it out until he changed his mind.[3] Eventually he did and the restaurant food went back to normal.

During Ecology Week, Hay Lin was oddly distracted during a busy dinner rush. She suddenly rushed outside and when Chen and Joan went to check on her, they found she’d convinced the chef to taxi guests in a chariot so they wouldn’t drive around to find parking spaces, thus lessen air pollution. She also volunteered the rest of her family to take turns with it.[36] It’s unknown if Chen or Joan agreed to this.

Chen walked past Joan showing Hay Lin her trousseau box. At her daughter’s urging, Joan had put on her wedding dress to show her. Chen was stunned to see her, finding her just as beautiful as the day they married. Later on, the ladies left home to spend time with friends, Hay Lin wearing a kimono and not wanting to tell Chen where they were going.[37]

Because of her previously declined grades,[33] Hay Lin was forced to take summer school courses at home. Unknown to Chen or Joan, Hay Lin spent the day entertaining We and his cousin, Boring.[38] Once she finished her summer school, she went to the beach with her friends.[39]

Hay Lin joined the Heatherfield theatre festival doing a play with her friends in which she was in charge of the costumes. Late in the night, a thunderstorm knocked out the restaurant’s power which ruined her digital sketches. They attended the play on its opening night to watch Hay Lin act.[40]

For Chinese New Year, The Silver Dragon hosted its big annual party. They hired the great Chinese Orchestra to play for the event but due to a mix-up by Hay Lin, their flutist didn’t arrive until late. Even so, it was a successful party.[41] Following this, Hay Lin began dating that flutist, though its unknown if she told her parents.

The Silver Dragon hosted another big party for which W.I.T.C.H. had each volunteered to help out. On the night of the event, the girls left early (going to comfort Irma who was grounded) and put Peter Cook and Matt Olsen in charge of serving the guests.[42] The party was a success, anyway.

Hay Lin took some time off of the restaurant to help Will at the Olsen's Pet Shop. After this, she began to keep a baby dragon secret in the house without Chen or Joan knowing. W.I.T.C.H. eventually got the dragon back to its mother.[43]

There was an incident in the kitchen with Hay Lin overfilling a pot of soup, causing it to boil over. She asked her dad how to tell when it was full and he admitted he’d learned from trial and error. He volunteered to help her remake the soup but she suddenly had to run off, saying there was something she had to do (her appearance had magically changed thanks to Lady Kimikal’s powers).[12]

TV series

Chen called Hay Lin every two minutes to make sure she was safe at a movie premiere.[5] Chen later fell under the spell of the Horn of Hypnos.[44] Chen also came to Parents' Night[45] and helped ward off angry customers at The Silver Dragon.[46] Later in the series, he was greatly worried about Yan Lin's disappearance, confused by Hay Lin's lie that his mother had gone back to China to visit relatives. When Hay Lin participated in the Heatherfield Art show, he was nervous.[4]





Images of Chen Lin from the comics.

TV series

Images of Chen Lin from the TV series.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Issue 102: The First Day
  2. 2.0 2.1 Issue 087: Cold Magic
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Issue 108: A Father's Heart
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 X is for Xanadu
  5. 5.0 5.1 Return of The Tracker
  6. Issue 010: A Bridge Between Two Worlds
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Cruel Empress
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Issue 134: Tomorrow
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Issue 093: From Far Away
  10. 10.0 10.1 Issue 039: A Flutter of Wings
  11. 11.0 11.1 Issue 086: The Heart of It All
  12. 12.0 12.1 Issue 126: Lady Kimikal
  13. Issue 002: The Twelve Portals
  14. Issue 027: The Departure
  15. Issue 034: Drops of Freedom
  16. Issue 038: The Heart's Desire
  17. Issue 037: The Dispute
  18. Issue 044: Never Alone Again
  19. Issue 047: The Sands of Time
  20. Issue 050: It's Magical Anyway
  21. Issue 052: The Book's Eye
  22. Issue 053: Dancing to a Different Tune
  23. Issue 064: The Screaming Man
  24. Issue 071: The Mark of Fear
  25. Issue 073: The Black Beat
  26. Issue 077: Of All the Stars
  27. Issue 081: Air
  28. Issue 085: I Am You
  29. Issue 088: Who Among You?
  30. Issue 094: The Reckoning
  31. Issue 096: Here in Your Heart
  32. Issue 098: Sweet, in the End
  33. 33.0 33.1 Issue 103: The One You're Not
  34. Issue 105: A Special Letter
  35. Issue 106: Zodiac
  36. Issue 109: The Green Truth
  37. Issue 110: Magical Moms
  38. Issue 112: First Days
  39. Issue 113: The Long Kiss
  40. Issue 115: A Special Journey
  41. Issue 119: Music In The Air
  42. Issue 122: Mathematically Possible
  43. Issue 124: A Puppy for a Friend
  44. Walk This Way
  45. Parent's Night
  46. D is for Dangerous