Shang-Chi: Ten Rings Powers and Origins Explained - VRGyani News and Media


Saturday, September 4, 2021

Shang-Chi: Ten Rings Powers and Origins Explained

[Editor's note: The following contains spoilers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.]

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings does a lot more than introduce a new hero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie also leaves breadcrumbs behind so fans can start to piece together what’s the next universe-shaking threat that will force the Avengers to band together once again. With pocket dimensions, magical dragons, and soul-sucking demons, there’s a lot to unpack in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. However, no element is as mysterious as those titular Ten Rings.

While the Ten Rings were not created for the MCU, the cinematic version of the artifacts differs a lot from its comic book counterparts, with a whole new set of powers and a new mysterious origin. But how powerful are Shang-Chi’s Ten Rings? And how can they hint at the new menaces? It’s time to dissect all the clues left behind by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and dive into Marvel’s comic to figure out what exactly the Ten Rings are and what they mean for the future of the MCU.

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What Are the Ten Rings’ Powers?

The Ten Rings were created by Stan Lee and Don Heck for 1964’s Tales of Suspense #50, the same comic book that introduced the Mandarin. Each ring gives the Mandarin a different superpower in the comic books, such as mind control or freezing blasts. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, though, completely revamp the artifacts’ powers. For starters, instead of ten individual rings, all Ten Rings of Shang-Chi work together as a single weapon, connected by spiritual energy and capable of being shaped in different ways by its wielder. Also, the movie version of the Ten Rings are bracelets, instead of rings, worn around its wielder’s arms.

During Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Wenwu (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) uses the Ten Rings to increment his breathtaking fighting skills. The Ten Rings can be launched individually as projectiles before coming back all by themselves to its wielder arms. It’s also possible to use the energy connecting all the rings to create a destructive whip. The energy blasts from the Ten Rings can also be used as propulsors so that its wielder can leap at incredible heights and break their fall.

The Ten Rings move according to its wielder's will, which means they can react fast enough to stop bullets and reflect projectiles, and they can even stand still in middle-air to be used as steps in the middle of a kung-fu fight. To put things simply, the Ten Rings are dangerous weapons that will be a lot more effective in the hands of skilled fighters. However, those who can’t fight properly will have all the time they need to learn how, as the Ten Rings also grant its wielder immortality.

While Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings never make it clear if the wielder of the Ten Rings is invulnerable to attacks, the artifact completely halts aging. By the time Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) fights his father, Wenwu is more than one thousand years old. While wearing the Ten Rings, Wenwu didn’t age, which gave him all the time he needed to raise an army and learn new skills that allow his criminal organization to remain influential as centuries go by. But where exactly did the Ten Rings come from? Well, that’s a mystery the MCU is yet to solve.

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Where Did the Ten Rings Come From?

In the opening of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, we learn about the legend of Wenwu, a man who brought the world to its knees with the Ten Rings. Unfortunately, the origin of the artifacts is unknown, with some people claiming Wenwu found them on an asteroid that fell from the sky, while others claim he raided the Ten Rings from a tomb. Even if the origin of the Ten Rings might seem unimportant, the movie underlines the mystery with its post-credit scene, which means the MCU has plans to use the artifact to introduce some new threats.

In the post-credit scene, Wong (Benedict Wong) reveals the Ten Rings are not accounted for on the registries of Kamar-Taj, which means the artifact remained hidden from wizards. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) also confirms the Ten Rings are a lot older than a single millennium. While the scientist cannot determine precisely when the artifact was created, he can tell that it came to be long before Wenwu claimed them, and it doesn’t use any material found on Earth. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) also has something to say, as the Ten Rings don’t resemble any alien technology she has ever encountered. So, where did they come from? The answer might lie in the Multiverse.

In comic cannon, the Ten Rings were created by an alien race called Makluans. The Makluans look like dragons and have shape-shifting abilities that allow them to mingle with humans and remain undetected. One of their most famous members is Fin Fang Foom, a Makluan that landed in China while exploring the universe looking for planets to conquer. Although it seems like the Ten Rings won’t be of alien origin in the MCU, nothing prevents Disney from tweaking the story a little bit to make the Makluans come from another dimension. Especially since Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings already introduced Ta-Lo.

The movie doesn’t spend much time explaining Ta-Lo, but it does mention that the mystical city is located in a pocket dimension and that other places like Ta-Lo exist. Ta-Lo’s people are also the guardians of a portal to another dimension, inhabited by soul-sucking demons. This portal was closed with the help of the Great Protector, a dragon. The Great Protector used its scales to close the doorway, and the only weapon strong enough to breach the scales is the Ten Rings. It’s not hard to imagine that the dragon scales, the pocket dimension, and the Ten Rings might be connected somehow.

While the mystery of the Ten Rings remains in the MCU, Shang-Chi is one of the new heroes who’ll protect the Earth moving forward. It shouldn’t take long, then, for the true nature of the artifacts to be revealed. And with the Multiverse at the center of Phase 4, the Ten Rings will probably be connected to the idea of parallel dimensions and alternate timelines. Now we just have to wait and see how powerful the Ten Rings turn out to be. And if there'll be any more dragons. More dragons would be good.

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