Joan Lin, born Joan Chou, is Hay Lin's mother, the wife of Chen Lin and the daughter-in-law of Yan Lin. Together with her family, she runs and works in their family-owned restaurant, The Silver Dragon, where she lives.
Joan is a very kind and outgoing woman. She enjoys teasing and joking with the people she loves and cares for. She is also very protective of them and willing to defend them.
She is not afraid to speak her mind, as seen when she refused to be a part of an arranged marriage and choosing to get married to a person she actually loved.
When she was younger, she was somewhat mischievous as she constantly avoided her private tutors when she wanted to hangout with her friends instead.
Joan was born into the very affluent Chou family in Hong Kong. Her father, Khan Chou, had hired the best private tutors for her and kept her to a very tight schedule. She did her best to attend to her lessons and social appearance, but sometimes deviated and rebelled. Due to her upbringing, she had many wealthy and high-class friends whom she enjoyed being around.
When Joan turned fifteen, her mother presented her with a furisode that she bought while in Japan. While she acknowledged how beautiful the kimono was, she decided not to wear it, instead saving it for her possible future daughter to wear. Her mother placed it in her trousseau for her, which Joan presented her daughter with years later.
Meeting Chen Lin
When Joan was eighteen, Chen Lin started working for her family as a servant. She teased and flirted with him several times as she enjoyed watching him blush. When her friends complained about him, she was always quick to defend him.
When Chen tripped and spilled several drinks (thanks to a jealous Fu-Mintung) while at a pool party, he quickly cleaned up the mess and brought them new drinks without a complaint. That's when Joan started to develop feelings for him.
Marriage and disinheritance
During a dinner, Joan's father announced that Fu-Mintung had asked him for Joan's hand in marriage, which her father happily approved. Joan, however, did not agree with the arrangement and fought against it. Later, Chen confessed his feelings to her. The pair began to see each other in secret. After a few days, Chen spoke with her father and got thrown out of the house.
After that, Joan tried to reason with her father and told him that she was going to marry Chen no matter what he thought. Khan was not willing to listen and threatened to throw her out the house, but Joan decided to leave of her own free will. Joan and Chen got married several months later, which resulted in Joan's disinheritance.
Since that day, Khan sends documents for divorce to Joan once per year, promising to let her rejoin his family if she should leave Chen for good; however, she always refused.
At some point after their marriage, Joan and Chen began living with Chen's mother, Yan Lin and moved to Heatherfield. Then created their own restaurant, The Silver Dragon, and Joan used recipes passed down through her family for generations 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.
Joan and Chen 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. 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 mom. 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 Joan or Chen, Hay Lin was chosen to replace Yan Lin as a Guardian of the Veil. With her mission on Earth completed, Yan Lin passed away, though unknown to her daughter-in-law or son, she was able to transcend to Kandrakar and live on as part of its council.
When Hay Lin needed a story to write a plan on for Theatre night, Joan told her the story of the Four Dragons, as told to her by Yan Lin. Hay Lin used this story and on the night of the play, Joan and Chen went to see it.
Joan took Hay Lin to her dentist appointment where she found out she would need braces, to the girl’s horror. On the way back home, Joan went over the brochure of possible styles to try, though Hay Lin refused those, too. Joan insisted that Hay Lin think of her health first, but the girl continued to have an attitude at Joan for not understanding how having braces would make her feel. One of the restaurant workers sided with Hay Lin about not needing braces, but this started to change the girl’s mind after seeing his teeth. He delivered a letter to Hay Lin that she was expecting (from Kadma). Hay Lin finally got her braces but, to make them more personal, she designed them with symbols that had a special meaning to her (the elemental symbols of the Guardians). With this touch, she liked the braces much better.
Joan got a call from the Heatherfield police department that Hay Lin had been taken downtown over a public disturbance while out with Taranee, Eric Lyndon, and Nigel Ashcroft. Joan rushed to the station but was glad that her daughter was alright, with the girl crying in her arms that it would never happen again. Knowing Hay Lin wouldn’t actually cause trouble, Joan was empathetic and joked about Hay Lin’s make-up instead, offering to advice her the next time she wanted to dress up. The tender moment was ruined by the arrival of a furious Judge Cook who, not as empathetic, didn’t wait to hear what Taranee had to say. Joan watched in shock as Theresa slapped Taranee in front of everyone.
When Hay Lin was chosen to go to Redstone Academy, Joan and Chen saw her off at the airport for her first trip abroad. Joan hugged her, telling her to study hard while a worried Chen said she should call if she needed them. Hay Lin returned home with the rest of her school once the trip was finished.
On the day of the Heatherfield Winter Carnival, The Lins said goodbye to “Hay Lin” (her Astral Drop). The girl insisted on being called Pao Chai but after suddenly changed her mind (after being elbowed by an invisible Hay Lin) and scampered off. Chen declared that Joan’s daughter could be pretty strange at times, to which she retorted it was because she was his daughter. The Lins were contacted about Hay Lin's sudden drop in behavior at school (actually the work of her rebellious Astral Drop).
Hay Lin made another visit to the dentist who, impressed with her teeth, told her she could soon get her braces removed. Hay Lin went out for a while (to see the new Oracle selections) but the Lins received a call about her bad grades at school. When Hay Lin returned, she told her of her need to meet with Principal Knickerbocker and discuss community service to pull up her grades. Once she completed this, peace returned to the Lin household.
A crystal butterfly was sent to Earth to erase all traces of Cornelia's existence, including memories. When Hay Lin arrived home, she mentioned Cornelia and a confused Joan asked if she was a "new friend". This was reversed by W.I.T.C.H.
There was an incident in the restaurant where Hay Lin spilt soup on a guest, though it was handled by Chen with the visitors being very forgiving. Hay Lin finally got her braces removed.
Joan went to the kitchen in the early morning to make breakfast but found a vision of Yan Lin (created by the Breath of Time). Shocked by this "ghost", Joan fainted on the spot. She later told Chen about what she'd seen, but he convinced her it was probably just a dream, an idea seconded by Hay Lin. Time was reset by Cornelia, meaning neither Joan nor Chen remember this incident.
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.
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. Joan and Chen 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.). 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.
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. 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 Joan to pick up her 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). Joan gave Hay Lin a check up that evening and was glad that her fever had gone down, though was happy to offer her daughter more "get well hugs" until she felt better.
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, and Joan called to her to keep warm on the trip. When alone, Hay Lin worried that she was too dependent on her parents even while knowing they wouldn't always be with her.
Joan asked Hay Lin to set the table while she made breakfast. A strong draft came through the windows (tricking Hay Lin into thinking she summoned wind) so Joan closed the window. She proceeded to cook breakfast for them. Later in the day, Hay Lin left to apply to the Jensen Dance Academy with the rest of her friends. Hay Lin learned later that she did not get into the school with her dancing skills but was given another test to make costumes. She took to the challenge and set right to work, asking Joan to serve her dinner with a straw, though the woman pointed out they were eating rice.
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.
With The Silver Dragon restaurant doing great business, Joan and Chen 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. Joan shared a proverb Yan Lin and her own experience with moving, encouraging Hay Lin to put up decorations to make the space feel like hers. Hay Lin was still too upset for this and seeing her unhappy, the parents 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.
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.
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 a girl her age wanted to start working so early. Chen pointed out that he and Joan could already provide for Hay Lin without her need to work. 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. On the day of her first two jobs, they Hay Lin rushed through breakfast to Joan's annoyance at her lack of manners. After talking with her mouth full and belching, Joan became fed up and asked her to just go. Exasperated, she asked Chen who raised the child and when he playfully pointed out that they did, she declared they did not deserve dessert.
Hay Lin struggled to find clothes for the day and Joan suggested she pick something at random. When her pick turned out to be a witch's hat, Joan playfully offered to get her a broom to match, then warned that there might not be any breakfast left if she takes too long. After Joan left, Hay Lin found an amnesiac boy, Liam, in her closet. By the time she got him into Chen's clothing, Joan returned to hurry Hay Lin along. Seeing her daughter acting weird, Joan suspected love problems and wanted to talk about it while Hay Lin dragged her on to the kitchen so they could eat. Breakfast was interrupted when Hay Lin got up (trying to push Liam back to her room) and Joan continued to question her behavior. She declared they would talk about it later after breakfast. Neither she nor Chen ever learned about Liam living secretly in their house. Liam would eventually move out without either of them ever noticing.
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.
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 ran away and Joan was stressed out. When Hay Lin asked her mother for an explanation and if the fighting would lead to a divorce, Joan only cried. Eventually, Joan found the strength to tell Hay Lin what was wrong, as well as her personal history of when she met Chen. The memories are happy ones but now, with Chen so anxious, he made it difficult for Joan to feel confident in her decisions. When Mr. Li the lawyer arrived, Joan scolded Hay Lin for trying to keep him out. She greeted him kindly but the meeting was cut short as Chen declared all of them would be going to China together to meet Joan's father in person. 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". Joan greeted her now elderly father, declaring that she would always love him but that it was time for him to accept that she loved Chen as well and would not pick sides for the sake of money. Having finally said this, Joan left with Chen following her out, both happy to have ended the long struggle. The Lins left after this and to Joan's surprise, she discovered Fu-Mingtung as a butler for the house. Chen admitted he wanted to tease his former bully, but Joan pointed out her husband wasn't that kind of person. The two shared a romantic kiss before taking Hay Lin back to Heatherfield. It's unknown if the Chou's ever accepted Chen as part of their family or if Joan saw her mother during the trip.
Hay Lin arrived home after a day out with her friends, but disappeared for several hours. She returned later in the night and told her parents she had gone to the cinema (was actually trapped in the Fast World). Joan was livid and 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.
When Hay Lin caught the chicken pox on her last day of school, Joan did her best caring for the grumpy girl. Contrasting Hay Lin's bad temper, Joan remained cheerful and teasing, offering the girl soup despite her protests. There was a slight incident involving Chen bringing a mirror, but Joan pushed him back out of the door and convinced Hay Lin to eat the soup. When Taranee, Cornelia, and a few others offered to stop by, Joan was glad for it and hoped they could lift Hay Lin's mood, which they did. 
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. Scolding her didn't work but at the offer of breakfast, Hay Lin agreed though wanted it served to her in the closet. Joan asked Chen to get Hay Lin’s food which confused him that she would let Hay Lin have her way. Joan asked him to be empathetic to the girl's nerves about the first day. Hay Lin was served her breakfast and once finished, she left for school in a better mood. While she was gone, Joan straightened up the closet some so that when Hay Lin returned, she could tease her daughter that there was space for her to climb back in if she wanted to. Hay Lin was not amused.
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. Joan noticed a change in Hay Lin who was no longer pleased with her old clothes or fashions. Joan also noticed Hay Lin hadn't finished her homework but when the girl promised to finish later, Joan trusted her. Getting back to the clothing problem, Joan recognized that Hay Lin had changed a lot lately and thought it's natural to try new things, she should not forget that she is special. Joan suggested her sparkling alien necklace, declaring it said something about Hay Lin, and the girl agreed to it. Despite Joan's advice, Hay Lin continued to spiral both in her views of herself an in her grades. Joan scolded her for neglecting her neglecting her schoolwork and lying about where she was going. She forbade Hay Lin to go out until she graduated but Hay Lin declared she would do so anyway, saying Joan didn't understand what she was going through. As this conversation took place in the restaurant, Joan had to stay in the dining hall while Hay Lin ran to her room. Just as she threatened, Hay Lin did leave the house and even cut her hair, all to impress the boy she liked. However, she was rejected and returned home that evening to face the consequences. Over time, Joan and Hay Lin made up though she was still not allowed to go out as she pleased. Joan was glad to see Hay Lin's hair was growing back nicely and Hay Lin did her best to bring up her grades, though was still going to need summer courses.
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.
While the Lins were spending time in their White Mountain house, Joan asked Hay Lin to pick up her coat from the dry cleaners which the girl agreed to, writing a reminder on her hand. Joan and Chen both 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. When Hay Lin had to confront Nihila over the weight of one's life, seeing the reminder of the dry cleaners meant a lot to the girl. She found the courage to defeat the queen and save the town, letting them all returned home none the wiser.
To Joan's frustration, Chen went through a period of several manias in a row. The first was his decision that his family should live like minimalists; Joan entered her kitchen to find all the decorations moved to a box. She was outraged but Hay Lin found it funny. She knew there was no point in trying to scold him for it and waited a week until he changed his mind on his own and put everything back in its place.
Next, Chen decided to give The Silver Dragon a new color scheme to impact people’s moods. Joan entered the dinning room to find everything a green color which she hated, then into the kitchen where the bright orange hurt her eyes. When Chen finally gave up on the idea, they shut down the restaurant for a week to repaint everything.
His latest mania was to revolutionize the restaurant menu for healthier food and changed all the recipes. Joan was furious, saying he had ruined the recipe passed down through her family and he scoffed that her family had been risking their health for generations, to which she declared they had always been healthy. Seeing no way to convince him, she turned to Hay Lin who suggested they just fix everything behind Chen's back. Joan snatched the unfried food from Chen and offered it as an appetizer to the guests while Hay Lin cooked their real food without Chen noticing. Eventually, Chen changed his mania again 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 Joan and Chen 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. It’s unknown if Joan or Chen agreed to this.
Joan chose to show Hay Lin the trousseau box she'd saved for her over the years, explaining it was a tradition. She showed Hay Lin her future bride clothes (if she chose to get married), presents from relatives, Joan's humorous delivery gown, and Joan's wedding dress. Hay Lin insisted she put it on and Joan did, feeling a bit silly. She thought that if Chen saw her in it he would laugh, not knowing Chen did see her and was amazed by her beauty. They women continued looking through the chest and Joan pulled out the last treasure: the kimono her own mother had given her but she chose to save for her possible daughter, that being Hay Lin. With the sentiment that Joan had been thinking of Hay Lin long before she'd been born, they shared a hug that connected linked the teenage Joan with the current Hay Lin, connected by this garment.
Hay Lin received a call from Will and after putting on the special kimono, told her mother they should go for a walk together. Joan asked if Hay Lin wanted to wear the kimono outside and the girl was adamant that it was important to her. On the way out, they passed Chen but refused to tell him what they were up to. Even so, Joan was overexcited about the surprise Hay Lin had planned and wanted to know what it was. They bumped into the other W.I.T.C.H. members with their mothers and Joan was glad to reacquaint with Susan Vandom, Anna Lair, Theresa Cook, and Elizabeth Hale. All together, mothers and daughters enjoyed a fun lunch party.
During the summer, Joan woke Hay Lin early to begin her summer school courses, having promised Hay Lin's teacher that the girl wouldn't miss any math lessons over the break. The tired girl wanted to stay in bed, offering a timetable for her day but as Joan pointed out her math was incorrect, she finally got up. Joan asked about breakfast but Hay Lin chose to skip for now and Joan left her to her work. Unknown to Joan, Hay Lin spent the day entertaining We and his cousin, Boring. Once Hay Lin finished her summer school work, she was allowed on a beach trip with her friends, chaperoned by Susan and Anna.
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.
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. Following this, Hay Lin began dating that flutist and though Joan caught them talking, its unknown if she or Chen were ever told of their daughter's new boyfriend.
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. 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 Joan or Chen knowing. W.I.T.C.H. eventually got the dragon back to its mother.
- Joan is a name that has been common among European royalty, which is very fitting for a girl raised in a high-class family.
- Joan received German language lessons while growing up. Her fluency level is not known though.
Images of Joan Lin from the comics.
Images of Joan Lin from the TV series.
- Issue 093: It Comes From Far Away
- Issue 110: Magical Moms
- Issue 108: A Father's Heart
- The Cruel Empress
- Issue 086: The Heart of It All
- Issue 126: Lady Kimikal
- Issue 002: The Twelve Portals
- Issue 009: The Four Dragons
- Issue 019: The Other Truth
- Issue 023: Good-bye!
- Issue 024: Trust Me
- Issue 027: The Departure
- Issue 034: Drops of Freedom
- Issue 038: The Heart's Desire
- Issue 039: A Flutter of Wings
- Issue 044: Never Alone Again
- Issue 047: The Sands of Time
- Issue 050: It's Magical Anyway
- Issue 052: The Book's Eye
- Issue 053: Dancing to a Different Tune
- Issue 064: The Screaming Man
- Issue 071: The Mark of Fear
- Issue 073: The Black Beat
- Issue 075: You're Back to Who You Used to Be
- Issue 076: Earth
- Issue 077: Of All the Stars
- Issue 081: Air
- Issue 085: I Am You
- Issue 087: Cold Magic
- Issue 088: Who Among You?
- Issue 094: The Reckoning
- Issue 096: Here in Your Heart
- Issue 098: Sweet, in the End
- Issue 102: The First Day
- Issue 103: The One You're Not
- Issue 105: A Special Letter
- Issue 106: Zodiac
- Issue 107: It Was Fate
- Issue 109: The Green Truth
- Issue 112: First Days
- Issue 113: The Long Kiss
- Issue 115: A Special Voyage
- Issue 119: Music In The Air
- Issue 122: Mathematically Possible
- Issue 124: A Puppy for a Friend
- Behind the name: Joan, archived version