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Daniel Thomas Rand-K'ai /Iron Fist

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mcu_iron_fist_5.png
"I am the weapon."

Species: Human

Citizenship: American/K'un-Lunan

Portrayed By: Finn Jones

Voiced By: Juan Pablo Muñoz (Latin-America Chilean Spanish dub)

Appearances: Iron Fist | The Defenders | Luke Cage note 

"I'm still trying to figure out who I'm gonna be as the Iron Fist. Lei Kung taught me that I was a powerful weapon... a flame meant to destroy our enemies. But I keep thinking that... maybe I can be something else. A light... for those trapped in the darkness."
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The wealthy heir to the New York based Rand Enterprises who went missing years ago over an uncharted region in Asia in a plane crash that killed his mother and father. In truth, Danny was taken in by monks from a rumored mystical city known as "K'un-Lun", where he was trained in the ways of Supernatural Martial Arts. Now Danny fights against the criminal element corrupting New York City with his incredible kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the power of the fiery Iron Fist.


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    # - K 
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: While the life of Danny Rand in the comics was no picnic, he generally kept a sane head on his shoulders and was known for his amiable, jovial, open-minded, social, laid-back, and casual joking personality. This Danny is more obviously suffering from the trauma he endured (and had to suppress) during his time in K'un-Lun, and as a result is much more serious and straight-forward and impulsive and hot-blooded. He gets better in time for his cameo in season 2 of Luke Cage, the explanation being that he's finally acclimated to modern society.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Danny, K'un-Lun, and the Iron Fist have nothing to do with the Hand in the comics, save for a few fights here or there, while here the Hand are directly tied to K'un-Lun and the Iron Fist is seemingly bestowed for the sole purpose of keeping them out of K'un-Lun.
  • Adorkable: After so much time out of society, he is a naive Fish out of Water. It gets worse given his rich upbringing (he tries to order takeout... but the only restaurant he knew was a fancy one) and all the weird stories he shares from K'un-L'un.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Danny has obvious parallels with both Christopher Nolan's Bruce Wayne and Arrow's Oliver Queen; an heir to a powerful company who vanished and was declared dead, only to reappear with finely honed combat skills on a crusade to purge first his company and eventually his hometown of evil which has corrupted it.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He hallucinated his sifu, spoke to his hallucinations as if they're real, and has PTSD-like flashbacks when he freaked out. This intensified in Iron Fist Season 1's finale after Harold frames him and Gao breaks him with her speech.
  • Amicable Exes: With Colleen at the end of season two. They still love each other, but with Danny giving up the Iron Fist and Colleen taking it in his stead, they decide they need some time apart to find themselves.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: The Iron Fist power that Danny can summon is devastating, but can only be used sparingly due to it draining Danny's chi and requiring time to build the energy back up. This leaves him unable to use it a few times during the first season of his own show.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: He's the youngest of the Defenders. Since he's also the most naive (though he's grown a bit since his own series) and impetuous, Stick frequently calls him "The Kid".
  • Back-to-Back Badass: Does this with Davos when they try to break out of the Hand complex.
  • Bad Dreams: He regularly has nightmares about the dying monks of K'un-Lun condemning him for abandoning them and letting them get killed.
  • Badass Beard: Danny gives Thor's a run for its money.
  • Barefoot Loon: He couldn't afford shoes after his time in K'un Lun, and it makes him look like a crazy vagrant. He continues ditching his shoes, in line with martial arts traditions, whenever possible throughout season 1 and The Defenders. But by season 2, he's grown out of it and always wears socks when seen without his shoes (Out of universe explanation probably being due to Finn Jones's numerous tattoos on his ankles and feet.)
  • Bash Brothers: To Davos back in K'un Lun.
  • Battle Couple: With Colleen in the second half of the first season.
  • Berserk Button: Probably because of the extreme way in which he was taught, Danny becomes enraged when he sees Colleen's students slacking off and joking during practice, saying they were disrespecting the Dojo.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Among the Defenders, he's the cheeriest member you'll meet despite him having suffered comparable trauma during his youth, with his temper having a very high threshold. He also hits the hardest once that threshold is breached.
  • Big Eater: He eats a lot to replendish his chi.
  • Brought Down to Badass: For half of second season, he loses the Iron Fist after Davos steals it for himself but he remains a highly skilled martial artist without it. And at the end of the season, when they have the chance to take it back, he insists on Colleen taking it, leaving him a Badass Normal to the end. At least until the epilogue.
  • Butt-Monkey: Having easily the goofiest-sounding backstory of the Defenders does him no favors when everyone introduces themselves, and they keep ragging him on it for the rest of the show.
  • The Cape: Compared to the other Defenders, Danny goes out of his way to check on the wellbeing of civilians and tries to inspire hope in them, having a case of Chronic Hero Syndrome even at the risk of damaging the reputation of his day job. However he does have The Cowl aspect to him towards The Hand, whom he will ruthlessly hunt down if significantly motivated.
  • Cassandra Truth: Try as he might, Danny cannot convince anyone he got the Iron Fist by punching a dragon. He even calls Luke on this one during their second team-up.
  • Cast from Calories: His chi requires a lot of energy to summon so he needs to eat a lot to recharge. Luke is amazed at how someone so skinny can keep on eating long after everyone else is full.
  • Catchphrase: "I am the (Immortal) Iron Fist." He says it so often that Colleen actually makes a joke out of it.
  • Celibate Hero: Danny took a self-imposed vow of chastity to further reduce the amount of distractions that stood in the way of his training. Colleen gets him out of this. He's also notably the only Defender to not have any kind of romance with Claire since even Jessica had some mock flirting with her.
  • Character Development: Starts off his solo series as a naive, reckless Idiot Hero who is little more than a ruthless instrument for K'un-Lun. In The Defenders, he starts to realize that just beating people up as the Iron Fist isn't enough and actively uses his wealth and business connections to fight the Hand and by the end, embraces New York as his new home and inspired to become a full-fledged superhero by Matt's presumed death.
    • Continues in season two of Luke Cage, being calmer and more mature and introspective. Luke even comments on it, saying that Danny seems more "settled."
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He can't help but do the absolute squeaky clean right thing, even if it is in direct opposition to his company's interests. He used his 51% shareholder status to make Rand Enterprises sell drugs "at cost", while he directly apologizes to a possible victim of Rand Enterprise pollution which got filmed and went viral.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Downplayed. He enjoys getting hurt in combat because it keeps him focused and it gives him a brief sense of purpose.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Jeri Hogarth once secretly cussed at an unbearable superior of hers back while she was still an intern at Rand Enterprises... while a young Danny was in earshot. She gave him five dollars to stay mum about it. Keep in mind, he's the son of her billionaire boss.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: All of the previous Defenders had relatively normal civilian identities, while Danny is well-known as the heir to Rand Enterprises. All of the other Defenders gained their abilities through unwilling scientific accidents and/or experiments, Danny trained his entire life to gain his powers through mystical means. The rest of the Defenders excel at their day jobs (Matt is a Crusading Lawyer, Jessica is a Great Detective, Luke is proficient at the various casual jobs he's taken up), while Danny is a hopeless CEO. Finally, all the other Defenders serve as The Cowl with criminals being terrified as they get hunted down, while Danny leans more towards playing The Cape and tries to inspire hope among civilians, even though The Hand still fear him.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: Whenever Danny can't defeat an enemy with brute force, he turns to his wealth and resources.
    • He offers to pay for the rent of Coleen's dojo in exchange for her help.
    • He uses Rand enterprises resources to track down the Hand's headquarters at Midland Circles, then uses his authority position to arrange a meeting with the board, to which he fights the Alexandra's Hand minions head on.
    • To hide from the Hand, the Defenders take refuge in the Royal Dragon, where to owners cooperate after Danny offers to pay for their rent for a year.
    • While working with Luke, he buys the land rights to a drug warehouse they burn down, meaning no-one's going to press charges for it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He wouldn't be a Defender if he wasn't one of these, but he's the least venomous.
  • Depower: Partway through Season 2 of his show, Davos steals the Iron Fist from him... and Danny decides not to take it back, but arranges it so Colleen inherits the Fist instead. But the last scene of the season shows that Danny manages to get the power back some other way... and far stronger than before.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: He's spent his entire life trying to find something to give him purpose. For fifteen years, he fought to become the Iron Fist, thinking that was what he was meant to be doing, but in the end that failed to fill the emptiness inside him. He then returned to New York and his company, thinking that would be it, but it wasn't. Destroying the Hand wasn't as simple as he thought either. He spends the entire season struggling to hold onto a clear goal, but in the end he can't do much better than fight to survive. It's not until The Defenders that he decides that, with the Hand destroyed, his real goal is to protect the city of New York in Daredevil's presumed absence.
    Danny: Buddha said that your purpose in life is to find your purpose.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He wanted to become the Iron Fist not for power, glory, or righteousness, but because he thought that becoming the Iron Fist would help him win the respect of the people who had saved his life and flee the memory of his parents' deaths. He didn't actually have a plan for what he'd do once he became an Immortal Weapon - especially as he was still called "Gweilo" even after he completed the ritual. This is later shown to be a reoccurring problem of his, he gets back his company and has no idea what to do after that, and later he decides to capture Gao but has no idea what to do with her afterwards.
  • Distressed Dude: He turns out to be the target of the Hand, and is therefore tied to a chair by the other heroes to prevent him from leaving and getting caught by the Hand. He's kidnapped anyway when Elektra comes for him.
  • Drugs Are Bad: They impede his flow of chi, hobbling his overall combat abilities. He also runs afoul of the same drug distribution Hand racket that Matt has encountered.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He was name dropped in the official Iron Man video game, years before the Netflix series was even announced.
  • Enhanced Punch: Danny's signature move, concentrating his chi to enable him to punch with superhuman hardness and impact, while his hand becomes impervious to pain and injury.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: To use the Iron Fist, one needs a clear mind and an exceptional command of one's own chi. Danny has no problem summoning it at the start of the show, but it starts to go haywire once his resolve and emotions are rattled during the last third of his first season.
  • Failure Hero: Out of all the Defenders, Danny's first season outing was the least impressive. All of his achievements were short-lived and most often manipulated into: becoming the Iron Fist was for the wrong reason and he couldn't achieve full power; becoming Danny Rand was only possible because of Harold's manipulation; taking down Gao and Bakuto was entirely inconsequential because Gao got away unscathed and Bakuto can resurrect himself. The finale also implied that his leaving his post as the Gate Guardian led to a Hand invasion and the disappearance of K'un-Lun. That being said, he's able to enjoy some success come The Defenders when most of the Hand is destroyed, although that doesn't explain what happened to K'un-Lun.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Though he is a master of the Iron Fist — an attack capable of blasting the door off a bank vault — it has a significant cooldown time during which he is weakened. He thus uses it only when pressured, but remains a world-class martial artist even without it.
  • Fish out of Water: Danny is a pleasant person, but being raised by monks in a hidden mystical city has left him ignorant of certain things: women, shoes, that people may have a hard time believing some guy off the streets claiming to be a kid whom everyone thought to have died in a plane crash. This also proves to be one of his biggest weaknesses. His lack of social understanding makes him an easy target to manipulate by the people around him. He does get better as the story goes. See Skilled, but Naïve below.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: In the Defenders, he's Choleric.
  • Glass Cannon: Compared to the other Defenders. He's not nearly as durable as Luke or Jessica, and doesn't have protective armor like Matt, but at full power, his punches can far exceed the former two's Super Strength, as seen when he punches the floor of the Rand boardroom hard enough to upheave everyone standing on it and blow out all the windows with the shockwave.
  • Gone Horribly Right: His devotion to becoming the Iron Fist made him a prime candidate for the position. One of the final trials to do so, the relinquishing of his previous identity came easily to him as a result. As an unforeseen consequence, it also reminded him of his old life as Danny Rand, causing him to return to New York to find himself.
  • Good vs. Good: Luke and Danny have a brief scuffle the first time they encounter each other in the streets. Later he gets into a fight with Matt, which leads to him getting his ass kicked when Luke and Jessica intervene.
  • Healing Hands: One of the lesser known powers of the Iron Fist that he didn't learn because he left before he completed his training. They can heal themselves and others if damaged.
  • The Heart: He's the one who tries to convince the Defenders to come together and stay together. In the words of Finn Jones, "Danny Rand, he's the one that kind of drives the group to get shit done."
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Was this with Davos during his childhood. Unfortunately, this is permanently ruined by the end of season 1, where the two become enemies.
    • Becomes this with Ward by season 2. They now refer to and consider each other as brothers, and said season ends with the two of them Walking the Earth together.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Deconstructed. Once Harold Meachum agrees to give him his father's stocks in Rand Enterprises, Danny tries to act as a moral center for his new board of directors. However, it turns out that being away from civilization for over a decade and being a Wide-Eyed Idealist doesn't lead one to make the best business decisions, which leads to friction within the company. He nearly gets fired before handing his position as CEO to Ward Meachum, who is thankfully more willing to embrace Danny's idealistic take on the company while being a good corporate executive.
  • Idiot Hero:
    • Downplayed at least in his own series. Danny is not a stupid man, but he makes decisions primarily on impulse and emotions, repeatedly demonstrates critical lack of common sense and foresight, initiates fights with Suicidal Overconfidence, and is quick to dismiss cold rational arguments as irrelevant. He is well aware of these flaws and acknowledges that they prevent him from being a good businessman, and make him doubt if he is fit for his duty as Iron Fist. Unfortunately, his enemies also see these weaknesses clear as day and are quick to exploit them.
    • In The Defenders, Danny is the nicest, most approachable person out of the four Defenders, who not only succeeds at uniting the team but is also a great fighter in his own right. Stick, however, calls Danny a "thundering dumbass", with good reason:
      • Deliberately and needlessly confronting the Hand at their stronghold alone, in broad daylight, without bothering with research or basic preparation. Unsurprisingly, Danny gets overrun pretty fast and is saved only by coincidental intervention of Luke Cage.
      • When Matt, Jessica and Luke suddenly lose some IQ points themselves and decide that grounding Danny is the best course of action he does not try to make a solid argument for his case or put effort in debating them. Instead he just punches Matt in the face and ends up outnumbered again, this time by superhumans.
      • Once Danny's kidnapped and taken beneath Midland Circle, Elektra outright tells him that the Iron Fist is needed to open the barrier. Then she tries to manipulate him into joining her and when that fails makes obvious attempts to make him angry enough to activate the power. This transparent plan actually works.
      • And of course, the thing that made Stick call him a thundering dumbass: Bringing a smart phone, with a traceable GPS, to the Royal Dragon. You can guess how well that works out.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: At the end of Season Two, he's able to use the Iron Fist on guns to shoot bullets out of the air, after they've been fired.
  • Incompletely Trained: Danny discovers that the power of the Iron Fist holds more uses than just as sheer force. Bakuto, cast out of K'un-Lun with the other founding Fingers of the Hand, is able to teach Danny new facets of this power by studying legends about the Iron Fist.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: While lacking the enhanced abilities of Matt or Luke, he can fight as well as any of the Defenders without being burdened with the crippling drawbacks that come with their hypersensitive senses or unbreakable skin, and eventually becomes uniquely capable of healing others with his Iron Fist power. Not to mention being a billionaire with the financial stability and resources of a giant corporation at his disposal.
  • Ki Manipulation: Focuses his spirit to enhance his martial arts. Unlike many cases, doing so weakens him for a time, making it a Desperation Attack. He later learns to channel it for healing powers like purging poison from the human body.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": He's thoroughly impressed by Jessica's Super Strength when he sees her barricading a door at the Royal Dragon. He also pretty much gushes over Matt's billyclub.
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    L - Z 
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He's not proud of it, but he bought a stolen passport and stole a man's identity in Morocco so he'd have the proper documents to enter America. When he's locked in Birch Psychiatric, the medical staff find the item among his belongings and assume he's actually the original owner of the passport and is just pretending to be Danny Rand.
  • Laser-Guided Tyke-Bomb: Raised and trained in martial arts to become the sworn enemy of the Hand.
  • Legacy Character: There have been multiple holders of the Iron Fist title and power over the years; Danny is merely the latest wielder.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Has the fighting skills, agility, and acrobatic ability of Matt Murdock, but can hit hard enough to shatter concrete and punch out metal doors with his Iron Fist power when needed.
  • Living MacGuffin: In The Defenders the Hand want him captured alive to use the Iron Fist to unlock a magical door that's guarding dragon bones, allowing them to make more of the serum that can resurrect people.
  • Living Weapon: The Iron Fist is literally described as a weapon for K'un-Lun, intended to protect the sacred city from invaders and to fight off the Hand.
  • Loser Protagonist: In stark contrast to the rest of the Defenders who excel at their day jobs and are reasonably proficient at their superhero duties, Danny is a hopeless CEO and failed his duty as the Iron Fist.
  • Master of None: He has Matt's hand-to-hand expertise, but none of his gadgets, heightened senses, or crimefighting experience. The Iron Fist can grant him durability and super strength on par with Jessica or Luke, but only for short bursts.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Like Matt and Luke, he has plenty of shirtless scenes over the course of the series.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Inside the dojo, he and Davos were the pinnacles of discipline as children. They were quick to get into mischief once outside of it: stealing sacred wine, recklessly driving their shared donkey cart, and trying to catch glimpses of the girls in their village bathing.
  • Nice Guy: Out of all the Defenders he is the most benevolent. One of his first orders of business after he gets his company back is to order that the company sell a lifesaving drug at cost instead of upping the prices.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Finn Jones's natural British accent can be heard at the Royal Dragon when he's describing the team members.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: He abandoned his post in K'un-Lun to suss out the circumstances of his parents' death.
  • Power Glows: His fists light up yellow when he channels his ki to summon the power of the Iron Fist.
  • The Power of Hate: Madame Gao claims that Iron Fists are at their most powerful when they have purged their souls of conflict, leaving only two sole occupants: duty and rage.
  • The Power of Love: Danny's Iron Fist punches thrown in bouts of anger are rather impressive, but the blow he strikes to save Colleen from getting shot by Harold is of tremendous impact.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: He spent his boyhood trapped in K'un-Lun, leading a largely ascetic lifestyle that allowed for little else besides martial arts training. In New York, he's only ever in his element when he's either fighting or in settings that relate to combat.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: Danny starts off as this thanks to his cloistered upbringing and is especially so in comparison to the other Defenders. A Reconstructed Trope as Claire brings up that compared to Matt, Jessica, and Luke, his childlike sweetness is one of his better character traits and advises Danny to not lose that quality while fighting his enemies.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He understands that K'un-Lun is a mystical city that barely anyone's ever heard of, but he's quite proud of it and his accomplishments so he has a tendency to boast about his teachers from there and his being one of its best warriors.
  • Stepford Smiler: K'un-Lun residents are trained to keep their emotions contained at all times. Unfortunately, this means whenever his anger does come out it's all the more violent, almost seeming like a split personality.
  • Strong and Skilled: Unlike the other Defenders who are either Unskilled, but Strong (Jessica and Luke) or Weak, but Skilled (Matt), Danny has both extensive martial arts training and the raw power to back it up. His Iron Fist technique actually makes him the second strongest Defender after Luke, while his fighting skill is only just behind Matt.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Danny speaks fluent Mandarin as a result of his time in K'un-Lun. While he isn't perfect, Finn's pronunciation is fairly good for a Westerner.
  • Super Hero Origin: Has the longest one out of all the Defenders. He's spent years in K'un-Lun being trained in Supernatural Martial Arts, before returning decades later to try reclaim his corrupt company.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: His titular "Iron Fist" allows him to channel his ki into his hand, making it "Like unto a thing of iron."
  • Super Toughness: The frequent beatings during sparring and endurance exercises helped, but the Iron Fist can make his hands nigh-invulnerable for a few seconds at a time.
  • Survivor Guilt: Madame Gao identifies this as his main motivation. He's weakly denied this but it's obvious how bad it gets to him.
  • Tagalong Kid: Played for Laughs but also kinda purposely invoked. He's the youngest of the Defenders being only in his mid-twenties, while Matt, Jessica, and Luke are in their thirties. Due to that and his naivete, Matt, Luke, and Jessica often view and treat Danny as an overly enthusiastic and often ridiculous child.
    • Stick even calls him "the kid with the glowing fist" while going through the members of the Defenders.
    • After the three of them rescue Danny from Midland Circle:
      Matt Murdock: I promise you, you cannot fight these people. Not even with whatever it is your hand can do.
      Danny Rand: It's chi.
      Jessica Jones: It's not.
    • When Matt flings out his his cord-attached billy club so the cord wraps around Sowande's throat from about 20 feet away:
      Danny Rand: [chuckles] So cool.
      Luke Cage: I mean, it's... it's kind of cool.
  • Take Up My Sword: At the end of the first season of The Defenders, he has taken up Daredevil's place as the defender of New York at Matt's request, even standing in the same pose as Daredevil on a rooftop overlooking Hell's Kitchen.
  • A Taste of Power: Gets a glimpse of how powerful he could be when Bakuto shows him footage of the 1948 Iron Fist.
  • Technical Pacifist: He loves martial arts, but tries to avoid violence unless sufficiently threatened or wronged.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Despite the Iron Fist being expected to kill any member of the Hand he comes across, Danny ultimately decides that he's not a killer, and makes the conscious choice to not kill people.
  • Token Wizard: Of the Defenders, Matt being a Badass Normal and Luke and Jessica getting their Super Strength from scientific experiments.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • In his guest staring episode in season 2 of Luke Cage, Danny is way more experienced the last time we saw him and is able to summon his Iron Fist at will, with greater control over it than he had previously.
    • At the end of season 2 of his own show, Danny has not only regained the Iron Fist without Colleen losing hers, but he's now able to do it two-handed. And he can channel the energy through a gun.
  • Totally Radical: His iPod playlist.
  • Training from Hell: Subjected to this, but the Thunderer wasn't nearly as much of a jerk as Stick, so he looks back on his lessons with more fondness. Ironically, this training from Hell occurred in one of the seven capital cities of Heaven.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Had this with Davos, until they lost the "best buds" part by the end of season 1.
    • Is beginning to form this kind of relationship with Luke, with them repeatedly poking fun at each other but clearly pretty good pals.
    • Has this with Ward by season 2.
  • Walking the Earth: At the end of season 2 of his show, Danny and Ward go travelling across Asia to find out more about the legacy of the Iron Fist.
  • Was It All a Lie?: When Danny learns that Colleen is part of the Hand, he's convinced that Bakuto sent her to seduce him to the Hand. Colleen tries to convince Danny that their relationship didn't have anything to do with the Hand, though it isn't until he sees her escaping from the Hand that he realizes that she was telling the truth and forgives her.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Danny and Davos have a falling out by the end of season 1, and in season 2, he is Danny's main enemy.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: K'un-Lun vanishes from the earthly plane for 15 whole years at a time and New York is a very different place since he left it.


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