Warning: This post contains spoilers for the end of The Defenders. If you have not yet finished watching, it could ruin the surprise.
If you are finished with The Defenders, then you know that parts of New York City were built on the bones of a dragon. These bones were the secret to immortality, the “substance” which The Hand craved so badly. The motivation for all of the fighting throughout Daredevil and Iron Fist. While Madam Gao took the time to explain some of the details of these mystical dragon bones, show-runner Marco Ramirez has explained the rest.
Of course, the first shot that brought the full skeleton of a dragon into view, was that of Danny Rand in it’s cavernous belly. But when we first met Danny, in Iron Fist we never got to see the most popular dragon of the MCU, Shou-Lao the Undying. This is the dragon in K’un Lun which Danny punched in the heart in order to earn the Iron Fist. Many viewers were confused if these bones were intended to be that same dragon, or close relations to this beast.
That dragon skeleton — that wasn’t Shou-Lao the Undying’s, is it? It’s just a pile of bones implying that there had been dragons all over the world and one wound up buried under New York?
Yeah, it’s the second one. The idea of that was that there had always been this kind of mystery that the Hand can bring people back from the dead, but we never knew exactly how, and it made sense to connect the life-force idea of the chi in the Iron Fist to the idea of the life force [the Hand members] use for various purposes, so we’re just saying it’s dragon bone that they use, that that’s the substance. That felt like the cleanest way to tie everything in.
This is the type of connection that we expected from The Defenders, as it tied together four different characters with their own background and mythology. Ramirez added that this connection also gave a way to tie in some mysteries from the first season of Daredevil, particularly related to the most well-known finger of The Hand.
And it’s been set up since Daredevil season 1; Gao operates in the background of New York with drugs made from that ground into powder. It felt like we could make back alley drug deals in New York and dragon mythology all part of the same story, so that was my way of trying to tie them all in.
It seems like a waste to put some of the limited supply of an ancient substance which provides immortality into street drugs, but evidently tying things together was more important than things making sense.
How do you feel about the idea of mystical dragons once roaming the world, and their fossils providing stability for one of the greatest cities in the world? Did the connections between Iron Fist and Daredevil work for you? Let us know, in the comments. Meanwhile, look for our final episode review for The Defenders, where I will give more of my own feelings on the subject, tomorrow!
Source: Entertainment Weekly