What Are the 10 Rings in ‘Shang Chi’? Where Do They Come From?

Marvel’s phase 4 kick-off of its cinematic universe hasn’t been without its hiccups.

While Disney+ shows like Wandavision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki have been huge successes for the streaming platform among fans and critics alike, and serve as proof that the comic book intellectual properties can thrive in other mediums even outside of blockbuster releases, its first standalone film that zeroes in on a popular hero, Black Widow, didn’t receive the warmest reception.

What are the 10 rings in ‘Shang Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings’.

Introducing a new hero into the cinematic universe is always a big gamble. Many superhero properties rely on name recognition but Marvel has consistently proven that they’ve been able to rake in huge box office returns on even lesser-known and not as celebrated heroes, like Ant-Man and Captain Marvel along with the Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Source: Marvel

These superheroes have become household names and fan favorites, and a burning question heading into Phase 4 of the MCU’s world building has been whether or not the Disney-owned studio would be able to keep that momentum going.

It appears that Shang Chi is a raging success, however, even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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At the center of the film’s plot isn’t just the MCU’s first-ever Asian lead franchise (Simu Liu and Akwafina are front and center in the action flick) but a compelling plot point that has Marvel fans excited for the cinematic universe’s future — and it all has to do with the 10 rings mentioned in the title.

The movie establishes that these objects are of an immensely powerful and incredibly ancient origin.

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There are key differences between the 10 rings in the comics and the ‘Shang Chi’ movie.

In Marvel comics, the 10 rings are most closely associated with The Mandarin: a villain who is the descendant of Genghis Khan. The Mandarin is a villain that appeared in another Marvel movie whose appearance ticked off a lot of fans in Iron Man 3, aka the best Iron Man movie.

That’s because the Mandarin really wasn’t the “Mandarin” at all: but an actor portrayed by Ben Kingsley who was a smokescreen for the film’s main villain: Guy Pearce who can shoot fire beams out of his mouth.

The comics also depict them as actual rings, but Marvel decided to go all in when it came to Chinese martial arts in Shang Chi and they also wanted to create a weapon that was tantamount to the power of the Infinity Stones but didn’t necessarily attach to someone’s fingers as they would be too similar to Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet.

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So after countless production meetings, creatives settled on the Iron Rings traditionally worn by Shaolin Monks around their wrists for training. Martial arts movie fans would also recognize them from countless other beat ’em up movies, like Kung Fu Hustle.

What was created was a distinctly new vision for the Ten Rings.

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