Marco Polo
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Quotes for
Marco Polo (Character)
from "Marco Polo" (1982)

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"Marco Polo: The Fourth Step (#1.4)" (2014)
[first lines]
Hundred Eyes: Stop struggling, fool. You were struck by a five-step snake. His venom moves swiftly. Most die before their fifth step.
Marco Polo: Where is my sword?
Hundred Eyes: Taken away. Punishment for breaking curfew.
Marco Polo: I need to go, Sifu. Now.
[struggling to get up]
Hundred Eyes: How do you revenge a snake? You would be a fool to think only one serpent lays in wait. There is always a deadlier strike to come. One should walk away.

Za Bing: [urinating and groaning] Have you ever sampled the third sex, Latin?
Marco Polo: [quickly turns and leaves]

Empress Chabi: Do not let your father doubt you the better man.
Marco Polo: I *am* the better man.
Empress Chabi: The better man does not sit in the dark with his woman and his jealousies. The better man stands erect and strong and finds a way to tilt the scales in his favor.

Kublai Khan: I grew hearing tales of the Great Genghis. I knew him only as a small boy, but the man my eyes saw was not big enough. Genghis of my mind he was a giant.
Marco Polo: Our imaginations outrun us, Sire.

Kublai Khan: It's the cocoon that gives the silk. Comes out like sweet milk, then hardens. Ugly worm turns into an ugly moth, but leaves such treasure behind. Then some child somewhere crushes the moth, but the silk is still mine. The worm, the silk, the child, all mine. You will be spared. Your father and uncle will be sentenced. Artful color will not alter their character.
Marco Polo: What is their punishment?
Kublai Khan: It is on this that I dwell.

[last lines]
Kublai Khan: Amends must be made for your father's crime.
Marco Polo: I understand.
Kublai Khan: *You* will decide his fate.
Marco Polo: My Lord?
Kublai Khan: Left to my vice regent, Yusuf or myself, your father's punishment would be certain. His thief heart would now be still. I know the pain this will cause you. I know compassion. And you know our laws our customs. You will choose your father's punishment. And then you shall find sleep.


"Marco Polo: Feast (#1.3)" (2014)
[first lines]
Hundred Eyes: In Kung Fu, we say "One hand lies,
[attempting blows]
Hundred Eyes: the other hand tells the truth."
[counter-strikes]
Marco Polo: Try that again.
Hundred Eyes: If you one day you make it back to the West, what will you tell men of this strange word, "Kung Fu?" Will you tell them that it means to fight? Or will you say, like a monk from Shaolin
[inhales sharply]
Hundred Eyes: to summon the spirit of the crane and the tiger?
Hundred Eyes: [both grunting and panting] Kung Fu. It means, "supreme skill from hard work."
Hundred Eyes: A great poet has reached Kung Fu. The painter, the calligrapher, they can be said to have Kung Fu. Even the cook, the one who sweeps steps, or a masterful servant, can have Kung Fu. Practice. Preparation. Endless repetition. Until your mind is weary, and your bones ache. Until you're too tired to sweat. Too wasted to breathe.
Hundred Eyes: [continues dueling] That is the way, the only way one acquires Kung Fu. Unfortunately boy, you have not.

Kublai Khan: Do you have brothers?
Marco Polo: I wish I had. Someone to play with.
Kublai Khan: Someone to conspire with. Brothers sometime blessing, sometime curse. Like those in your holy book. Cain and Abel? Tell me of them.
Marco Polo: Sons of Adam. Cain was the first man to be born. Abel, the first to die.
Kublai Khan: By the blade of his brother, yes?
Marco Polo: Envious of God's love for Abel, Cain killed his brother, concealed his body and lied to the Lord above.
Kublai Khan: What became of the murderer?
Marco Polo: He bore the mark of Cain and was cursed to roam the Earth, endlessly.
Kublai Khan: To this day?
Marco Polo: No. He wandered until he could wander no more. So he took a wife, built a house and lived there until it collapsed and crushed him dead. Some say this is an invented story, nothing more. Meant to impart a greater lesson.
Kublai Khan: Which is?
Marco Polo: The scholars and historians of Venice are superior to all others across the land. I have not the studies to begin to explore such questions.
Kublai Khan: Try.
Marco Polo: It is in our nature to seek our brother's possessions. And be willing to destroy to obtain them.

Kaidu: Tell us, Marco, do your feasts compare to this?
Marco Polo: They are different.
Byamba: Here, we eat the pig. In Venice, they dance with it.

Khutulun: Marco Polo. What does that mean?
Marco Polo: "The Great Explorer."
Khutulun: No. I think it means "Pale Flower."
Marco Polo: "Flower"?
Khutulun: You look delicate to the touch.
Marco Polo: I have killed hundreds of men in battle.
Khutulun: I didn't say the Pale Flower didn't have thorns.
Marco Polo: Sharper than a Mongolian's arrow.
Khutulun: Should I be afraid?
Marco Polo: Only if you insult me.
Khutulun: Then I must watch my words. And the women you have conquered. Did they melt in your hands?
Marco Polo: Like snow in the desert.
Khutulun: Take me in your hands.
[but laughs and slaps him away]
Khutulun: Not that! Do you wrestle in Venice?
Marco Polo: Of course.
Khutulun: Show me.
[wrestling turns to passion]


"Marco Polo: The Heavenly and Primal (#1.10)" (2014)
[first lines]
Engineer: [proudly] The aim could not be more true.
Marco Polo: [making notes] If the tree line is the wall, and we are two arrow flights scarce, true aim does not matter, does it?
Engineer: We need to bring the engine closer.
Marco Polo: Bring it closer, we will become pin cushions. We need a longer arm.
Engineer: Longer arm is bigger frame. Bigger frame is giant wheel. Bigger rocks. You are making me to build a monster.
Marco Polo: You were the finest engine builder in Damascus, no?
Engineer: Yes.
Marco Polo: Then build me a monster.

Marco Polo: We run, as you say. We make it past the guards, the gate, the mountains and praise our good fortune every day we awaken. Because there will not be a single night in which we are fully certain that a Mongol blade will not find us in our sleep. There is nothing beyond those walls but doubt and fear. All we can change is here in this place.

Marco Polo: Kaidu did not ride with the Khan. If we lose tomorrow, he will become Khan.
Byamba: Of what? There will be nothing left to rule when Chinese loyalty returns to Jia Sidao. In truth, I fear what may happen should we win.

Jia Sidao: A round-eye? What stake do you have in this fight?
Marco Polo: Come down and surrender to your Khan.
Jia Sidao: Surrender the Song dynasty to a Mongol, by order of a European?


"Marco Polo: Prisoners (#1.9)" (2014)
Marco Polo: [in chains] Respectfully, Lord Khan we reap what we sow.
Kublai Khan: You speak recklessly.
Marco Polo: I speak honestly. You deserve honesty. You believe I should not conquer the West? On the contrary, Lord Khan. The most common law of nature and of man is to take what has been mandated by God or by the swords and arrows you command. You claim both. But you must be prepared for the resistance of the lionhearted. And the West is not weak.

Prince Jingim: In our culture, your first hunt, as in many things in life, is a very lonely enterprise. You're cast into the wilderness with nothing more than a bow and an arrow, and instructed not to return without meat. For the kingdom. It can take a day, a week. Some never return. What do you think is the most vital trait for the hunter to possess?
Marco Polo: Please, Jingim, do not mar my final hours.
Prince Jingim: Patience. I saw its horns first. Grand, stretching to the heavens and catching the morning light. A mighty trophy. I set my arrow, took aim. He was gone. But I had a feeling about him and so I waited another night. It was so cold, I wanted to run home. A handful of kills passed me by. I could have slain them all, returned triumphant, dipped my finger in the fat of the kill, been deemed a man and slept in my own bed. But I waited. As I felt the sun warm me the next morning there it was, passing between the trees. My father was so proud. Patience. Patience to ensure that true aim finds the true target.
Marco Polo: An innocent target, whose offense was crossing paths at the wrong time, with the wrong person.
Prince Jingim: Death. Another lonely enterprise. May your God accompany you, Master Polo. You will need it more than I.

Yusuf: Altruism still? Even in the face of your execution?
Marco Polo: Not purely. I'm not afraid to die, but I'm terrified to do so while branded a traitor.
Yusuf: What is the entirety you spoke of earlier? What else made you stay?
Marco Polo: The moment the Khan gave me the choice to deliver my father from death. He is a good man.

[last lines]
Marco Polo: I thought I had until dawn.
Yusuf: The final battle looms. Be decisive in your victory. You are released from this prison. But *I* am truly free.
[steps inside the cell]


"Marco Polo: Hug (#2.2)" (2016)
[first lines]
Boy Emperor: [riding along] Will I stay in your house with Ling?
Mei Lin: She doesn't live in my house. She has her own with many servants. As a princess should.
Boy Emperor: Do you still dance with her?
Mei Lin: Always.
Boy Emperor: I need to use a tree.
Mei Lin: To stand or sit?
Boy Emperor: Stand.
Mei Lin: Stop.
Marco Polo: Why?
Mei Lin: He needs to use a tree.
Marco Polo: Take him.
Mei Lin: It's your turn.
Marco Polo: Not by my count.
[cut to scene with him sharing a tree with the boy]

Marco Polo: They drowned themselves. Hundreds. That was one bend of one river. There are hundreds more who'd rather meet their God than fall to you. The South is not secure.
Kublai Khan: You're ruining my lunch.

Ahmad: Even a dog unknowingly craves discipline. And by the time he attains it, he has forgotten how hard he was beaten.
Marco Polo: I was taken prisoner, too, but you let me live and I've served you well.


"Marco Polo: The Wolf and the Deer (#1.2)" (2014)
Kublai Khan: I was just about your age when I knew.
Marco Polo: Knew what sire?
Kublai Khan: That I had to become the man I wished my father was.

Marco Polo: [street urchins grabbing at him] Hey, can we get away from these piss ants?
Sanga: These are my children. They follow me around like a king.

Marco Polo: I called Ariq a liar tonight.
Hundred Eyes: That was foolish. Were your words true?
Marco Polo: Yes.
Hundred Eyes: Run now, they will find you. Stay I can train you to survive in whatever world you choose to make your home.
Marco Polo: This is not my home.
Hundred Eyes: I understand.
Marco Polo: Where did the Khan get you from?
Hundred Eyes: I said I would train you not wallow in nostalgia with you.


"Doctor Who: The Roof of the World (#1.14)" (1964)
Marco Polo: Listen, the carriage they travel in has no wheels! It just stands there, like a warlord's tomb on one end. And another thing... it is not large enough to carry four people.
Tegana: It must be!
Marco Polo: I say it is not, and yet I saw all four walk from it. Upon my sword, I swear it to you!

Marco Polo: [writing in his journal] Success - my plan has worked! The strangers and their unusual caravan accompany me to Lop. Our route takes us across the Roof of the World, down to the Kashgar Valley, and south-east to Tarkand. Here, we join the old silk road, along which the commerce and culture of a thousand years has traveled to and from Cathay. I wonder what the strangers' reaction will be when I tell them what I propose to do?

Marco Polo: A caravan that flies!... Do you imagine what this will mean to the Khan? It will make him the most powerful ruler the world has ever known; stronger than Hannibal... mightier than Alexander the Great!


"Marco Polo: Whitehorse (#2.8)" (2016)
[first lines]
Byamba: [waking Niccolò in the forest] Quiet.
Marco Polo: Expecting the Khan? I'll reunite you soon enough.

Niccolò Polo: I serve a master greater than yours.
Marco Polo: Your pride.

[last lines]
Niccolò Polo: The Mongols are destined to be little more than a vague memory in history. Whereas you? You could be hailed as a hero for generations to come.
Marco Polo: Dressed in chainmail and a Crusader cross?
Niccolò Polo: Why not? This is God's will, Marco. What are the chances we'd find each other here without a divine hand guiding us?
Marco Polo: You assembled an army in the backyard of my Khan.
Niccolò Polo: Your Khan? Such loyalty. Until a time of his choosing, and then he'll grind your bones to dust.
[chuckles]
Niccolò Polo: I know it's hard for you to believe but should you change your mind, come and find me.
Marco Polo: You speak as though I'm letting you go. I cannot.
Byamba: [summoning] Marco!
[they observe troops coming in the night]


"Marco Polo: Hashshashin (#1.5)" (2014)
Marco Polo: Who are you?
Armed Escort: There are two answers to that question. The first is I am the owner of the chair upon which you sit.
Marco Polo: And the second?
Armed Escort: The last face you will see before descending into darkness.

[last lines]
Kublai Khan: You defended me courageously even in the face of death.
Marco Polo: I was one of many, and it pleases me greatly to return and find you well.
Kublai Khan: Mmm. Have you made your decision regarding the fate of your father and uncle?
Marco Polo: No, Lord Kublai. I thought - I hoped you might pardon them.
Kublai Khan: Is pardon punishment?
Marco Polo: I wished you would spare them.
Kublai Khan: Why would I do that?


"Marco Polo: Lost Crane (#2.7)" (2016)
Marco Polo: You weren't going to say goodbye?
Shoreh: I said goodbye the night we met.

[last lines]
Byamba: [observing camp from the wood line] Black powder. I tracked those barrels all the way from Quinsai.
Marco Polo: Nayan.
Byamba: Kaidu.


"Marco Polo: The Scholar's Pen (#1.7)" (2014)
Hundred Eyes: I fear your mind has followed your body into bondage.
Marco Polo: You do not believe in the cause?
Hundred Eyes: What one chooses to believe in and what one is compelled to believe in, there is a difference.


"Doctor Who: Assassin at Peking (#1.20)" (1964)
[last lines]
Marco Polo: I wonder there they are now. The past, or the future?


"Marco Polo: White Moon (#1.6)" (2014)
Yusuf: I am a servant who has but one function.
Marco Polo: Which is?
Yusuf: I speak truth. It is this respect I show my Khan. My days are driven by this alone. How do I best serve Kublai and his kingdom? There is clarity in service but you lack this.
Marco Polo: Yet here we are.
Yusuf: Yet here we are.


"Marco Polo: Heirs (#2.9)" (2016)
[last lines]
Kublai Khan: [to Jingim] Now you must go, my son.
Empress Chabi: What is this?
Kublai Khan: Ahmad.
Empress Chabi: Has been found?
Prince Jingim: Father...
Kublai Khan: [to stunned Marco] Your service is complete. Your service is complete. Blood only!
Marco Polo: [baby crying as he departs]


"Marco Polo: Serpent's Terms (#2.6)" (2016)
Empress Chabi: You have done what few before have ever managed of me.
Marco Polo: What's that?
Empress Chabi: You've changed my opinion of you.


"Marco Polo: Rendering (#1.8)" (2014)
[last lines]
Prince Jingim: We advanced, slaughtering every rebel who crossed our path. We reached the wall and pushed towards the weakness, the one the Latin described. We breached the wall with little more than battering rams. But our men were wedged into a dead end. Death rained down upon us. Oil, fire, arrows. Men died. Mongols died, because Master Marco pointed our army into a trap.
Marco Polo: [on his knees] It was bait, Sire, the weakness in the wall. Jia Sidao drew us into a trap. I am sorry, Great Khan
Prince Jingim: Why do you feign contrition, Latin? Why are you not at the breast of your master, Jia Sidao? Huh? You delivered us to the devil! You betrayed us! You brought us to our knees at the wall!
Prince Jingim: Father he has brought us nothing but ruin. You can see it. You can all see it!
Marco Polo: I devote myself to you, Great Khan.
Prince Jingim: [drawing his sword] Enough of your twisted talk! You would protect him?
Byamba: [deflects Jingim's sword]
Prince Jingim: He is not one of us, brother! He is the rot within our bones.
Byamba: He reported what he saw as he was asked to do.
Prince Jingim: Father what shall we do?
Kublai Khan: Retreat.


"Doctor Who: The Singing Sands (#1.15)" (1964)
Marco Polo: To make matters worse, the old Doctor continually shows his disapproval of my action by being both difficult and bad-tempered. For three days now, during which time we have covered no more than thirty miles, I have had to endure his insults.


"Marco Polo: Let God's Work Begin (#2.4)" (2016)
[first lines]
Marco Polo: [riding up] Eight keshig dead. And ten horses.
Kublai Khan: My son's horses?
Marco Polo: No sign of Jingim or Ahmad.
Kublai Khan: How close to Karakorum?
Marco Polo: Close enough.
Kublai Khan: Kaidu...
Marco Polo: Who else?
Kublai Khan: To harm my sons...
Marco Polo: An act of war.
Kublai Khan: We ride for Karakorum!