‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ post-credit scenes explained

It’s been a long time since post-credit scenes have been this confusing.

words by: Alee Kwong
Jan 6, 2022

If you still haven’t seen Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings yet, then go do yourself a favor—use someone’s Disney+ account and stream it. This film is the second film to usher in the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite featuring a completely new character to the Marvel repertoire, it was the first Marvel film of 2021 that continued the story after the events of Avengers: Endgame.





While the film did a great job showing us the origins of Shang-Chi, the two post-credits scenes left us with more questions than answers. Marvel Studios is known for its frustratingly vague post-credit scenes, but it’s been a while since we’ve experienced them with absolutely no context. In these scenes we are left with two questions: “Where and when did the Ten Rings come from?” and “What will the future of the Ten Rings criminal organization look like under Xialing’s rule?”


What is the origin story of the Ten Rings?


In the film, no one can pinpoint the origin of the Ten Rings. All that is known is that they are ancient and have been used to take down empires. In terms of comic book canon, the Ten Rings are small enough to go on your fingers, not your arms, and each has a separate power. They were the favored weapons of the Iron Man villain known as the Mandarin, who inspired the Mandarin in Iron Man 3.


In the comics, the Ten Rings came from an ancient crashed starship that used to belong to a dragon. The dragon was a Makluan, a race of advanced dragon-like alien shapeshifters from the planet Kakaranthara.


It is also entirely possible that the Ten Rings could be technology left behind on Earth, crafted by the Eternals. They are the oldest living super beings in Marvel history and have been known to construct tech that is beyond the mental reach of those on Earth. If you’ve seen Eternalsyou’ll notice that the design of the Ten Rings looks very similar to Phastos’ tech.


Xialing is now the head of the Ten Rings


Shang-Chi’s sister Xialing’s goal in life was to create something that rivaled Wenwu’s, and she did just that (and more) by taking control of his criminal empire after his death. Although her older brother is under the impression that she has taken up the task to dismantle the organization, the first post-credit scene shows us that she did the exact opposite.


The scene shows Xialing rebuilding that army in her own image, allowing women to train alongside men for the first time in its history, and covering her father’s compound in colorful graffiti, mirroring her interior design style at her former Macau operation base.


Again, with the new phase of the MCU is just getting started, it’s not easy to see more than two steps ahead. This new phase is not only introducing us to number of new characters, but is also introducing us to an entirely new grand storyline.


In related Marvel news, upcoming series Secret Invasion could have a link to the X-Men and The Marvels director Nia DaCosta blames Captain America for “The Blip”.


Photos via Marvel