Lin Daiyu (Chinese: 林黛玉; pinyin: Lín Dàiyù; Wade–Giles: Lin Tai-yu; Meaning: Blue-black Jade)
Jia Baoyu's younger first cousin and his primary love interest. She is the daughter of Lin Ruhai (林如海), a Yangzhou scholar-official, and Lady Jia Min (贾敏), Baoyu's paternal aunt. She is sickly, but beautiful in a way that is unconventional. She also suffers from a respiratory ailment. The novel proper starts in Chapter 3 with Daiyu's arrival at the Rongguo House shortly after the death of her mother. Fragile emotionally, prone to fits of jealousy, Daiyu is nevertheless an extremely accomplished poet and musician. The novel designates her one of the Twelve Beauties of Jinling, and describes her as a lonely, proud and ultimately tragic figure. Daiyu is the reincarnation of a flower from the frame story, and the purpose of her mortal birth is to repay Baoyu with tears for watering her in her previous incarnation.