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Series / Iron Fist (2017)

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"A child, touched by fire, destined to be our greatest warrior."
"It was selfish and wrong of me to leave without telling you. But coming here has taught me that the Iron Fist isn't just for K'un-Lun. Others before me may have felt it was their destiny... but I am Danny Rand. And I'm the Iron Fist!"
Daniel Thomas Rand-K'ai / Iron Fist

Iron Fist is an original series based on the Marvel Comics character Iron Fist. It is the fourth entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Defenders franchise, after Daredevil (2015), Jessica Jones (2015), and Luke Cage. The first season premiered on Netflix on March 17th, 2017.

After his family meets a tragic fate on an expedition in China, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) is adopted by the people of the mystical lost city of K'un-Lun, where he's trained in the ways of Supernatural Martial Arts. 15 years later, Danny returns home to New York City to reclaim his family legacy. Now Danny must fight through the criminals and corrupt who would stand in his way using the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.

Also starring in the series are Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing, a potential ally (and love interest); David Wenham as Harold Meachum, former business partner to Danny's parents; and Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey as Joy and Ward Meachum, Harold's children and current owners of Rand Enterprises following Danny's disappearance and his parents' death. Carrie-Anne Moss reprises her role as Jeri Hogarth from Jessica Jones, and Rosario Dawson reappears as Claire Temple.

The second season was released on September 7th, 2018. Simone Missick reprises her role as Misty Knight from Luke Cage, while Alice Eve joins the cast as "Typhoid" Mary Walker, and Raven Metzner replaces Scott Buck as showrunner. A month after season two was released, Netflix officially canceled Iron Fist, making it the first of the Marvel/Netflix shows to come to an end. In February 2022, the series, alongside the rest of the Defenders franchise, exited Netflix's platform, moving to Disney+ the next month.

Comic Con Teaser Season 2 Trailer 1 Season 2 Trailer 2

As Iron Fist is part of The Defenders, spoilers from that series are included in some of the examples, and they are marked as such.

Iron Fist provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: At the end of season 1, Madame Gao is seen in Paris as she overhears Joy and Davos plotting to kill Danny. Since Gao dies in The Defenders (2017), her potential involvement in season 2 is cut short.
  • Action Girl:
    • Colleen Wing teaches self-defense as a trained martial artist and knows how to use a katana. She was technically a Dark Action Girl at the start of the show given her initial affiliation with the Hand and her training newcomers for the organization, but she breaks ties with it over the course of Season 1.
    • There's also Claire in Season 1 and Misty in Season 2 as well as multiple female villains. Considering that this is a martial arts series that has male and female fighters alike, it's practically a World of Action Girls. The only major female character who completely averts this is Joy Meachum.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • When Harold talks with Joy about going away to someplace nice and taking a family vacation, he says "I've always wanted to go to Australia." David Wenham is Australian.
    • Harold sings "Danny Boy" to a strapped-down Danny. A villain in The Proposition, where David Wenham played a rival antagonist, sings the same song to a helpless victim.
  • Adaptational Badass: Harold Meachum was a broken and crippled shell of an old man in the comics. In this series he is not only younger, able-bodied, and capable of fighting, but also revealed to be immortal and capable of resurrecting himself three days after being killed.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the comics, Ward Meachum was basically a one-note villain; Harold Meachum’s scumbag brother who schemes and connives and tries to look cool in front of actual, competent villains, before finally getting himself killed by the Super Skrull. This version of Ward is Harold's son, and as the show progresses, does a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The most notable example is Colleen Wing who is revealed to have been working with the Hand, whereas the original did no such thing.
    • Harold Meachum is a downplayed example, since he plays a more passive role in the comics (though he was by no means a saint there). He is a more active threat in the show, serving as one part of Season 1's Big Bad Ensemble. Where his comic book counterpart facilitated the death of Wendell Rand because he was in love with Wendell's wife, this Harold is revealed to have arranged all three Rands' deaths because Wendell was about to discover his dealings with the Hand.
  • Affably Evil: Bakuto has an upbeat and helpful personality and seems to genuinely believe that he's doing the right thing, both for his clan of the Hand and the world.
  • Age Lift: Ward Meachum is much older in the comics and is Harold Meachum's brother and Joy's uncle. Here, Ward is de-aged and is now Harold's son and Joy's brother.
  • Amazon Chaser: Why Danny falls for Colleen.
  • Anachronic Order:
  • And Starring: David Wenham in season 1, and Alice Eve in season 2.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Kyle, who is so meek and submissive to Harold that he can't stop apologizing about it even as Harold is mocking him for it.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • In New York alone, a crew of undead ninjas attacked a hospital in Hell's Kitchen, a sociopath with mind-control was let loose in the same neighborhood, a man with bulletproof skin became known for his vigilante activity in Harlem, not to mention a full-on extra-terrestrial invasion, and despite all this evidence, Ward has trouble believing Danny, officially stated as deceased, may actually be who he says he is. Harold is more open to the idea of it being Danny (a given since the Hand brought him back from the dead). And Jeri Hogarth believes him within a minute by quizzing him about specific details of her office space, since she's seen stranger things like Kilgrave and Jessica Jones up close.
    • In the season 1 finale, Harold walks into Rand Enterprises while Jeri Hogarth is talking with Ward. Jeri has trouble believing that Harold actually died and came back to life, despite personally knowing Jessica Jones and having been a victim of Kilgrave, and says he is committing fraud of the highest level.
      Jeri: Wait, you knew he was faking his death?
      Danny: He didn't fake it. He died, but he came back to life.
      Jeri: Okay. Let's make a list of things you're never allowed to say again, starting with that.
    • Swiftly averted by the asylum shrink studying Danny. At first, Dr. Edmonds is properly skeptical of Danny's claimed identity, but with only a small amount of digging realizes it's really him. On the other hand, he considers Danny's statements about K'un-Lun and the power of the Iron Fist to be fantasy, even while he acknowledges the Incident in the same breath (the way Danny talks about the Iron Fist doesn't help). However, he also notes a number of people have come forward since the Incident claiming to have superpowers, and thinks Danny's done the same to cope with the trauma of losing his parents in the same plane crash that nearly killed Danny himself.
    • Claire Temple has seen bullet-proof men, ninja, mind-control, and yet even after seeing Danny's Iron Fist in action, and knowing about K'un-Lun, she doesn't believe that he got it from fighting an actual dragon, much less one called "Shao Lao the Undying".
  • Arc Welding: Madame Gao and The Hand were both first seen in Daredevil (2015), but they weren't established to be connected to one another by anything other than their shared business dealings with Wilson Fisk, and were treated as separate antagonists entirely. That changes here.
  • Armed Females, Unarmed Males: Danny Rand uses Ki Manipulation and hand-to-hand combat in battle. His female ally Colleen Wing uses a sword, although she is no slouch when it comes to fighting unarmed herself.
  • Artistic License – Economics:
    • The board vs the Meachums and Danny: Somehow, the board of Rand manages to "fire" both Danny (who has a controlling interest) and the Meachums (who are both also major shareholders) from the company. But the board is elected by the shareholders, and Danny, as the majority shareholder, has the authority to singlehandedly elect the board. If the board moved to remove Danny, Ward and Joy, they could have simply called an emergency shareholder meeting, fired the existing board and reinstate themselves and whoever else they wanted.
    • In real life, when a shareholder dies, their shares are not held in limbo on the off chance that they will return. Danny's shares would be passed to his next of kin or sold off. Later we find out that Jeri Hogarth has been managing the Rand estate since their death. If Danny's shares weren't sold or passed on then they would have been held in his estate meaning that Hogarth, theoretically, would have been a majority shareholder instead of Danny. Not only that, but even if Danny was able to return and reclaim 51% of his company back that wouldn't give him as much power as we see him wielding in board meetings. Members of the board have an equal vote when it comes to board meetings. Danny's 51% share only counts in shareholder meetings, not board meetings. He wouldn't be able to wave his 51% majority shareholdings around like that.
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • The location of Rand Enterprises is unclear. The exterior shots imply that it's headquartered in One Chase Manhattan Plaza, in the Financial District, just up the way from the NYSE. Yet the skyline shown from the interiors suggest that the headquarters is in Midtown Manhattan around 45th Street and Sixth Avenue.
    • Anzhou, where Danny's family was going when the plane crashed, is located in northern China. There is no reason whatsoever for a plane going there from the United States to go over the Himalayas... unless they had departed from somewhere else.
  • Audible Sharpness: Colleen's katana makes a lot of "shing" sounds while she's practicing her forms.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Danny and Davos fight back-to-back against a small crowd of Hand fighters surrounding them.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work:
    • Both Danny and Colleen are reluctant to finish off Bakuto after the latter loses the duel. Danny is afraid to kill as it could corrupt his chi, and Colleen is willing but reluctant to break her Samurai bushido code. The moral dilemma is quickly solved by Davos executing Bakuto instead. Not that it will do anything as he can simply be revived.
    • At the end of Season 1, Danny and Colleen find themselves in the exact situation with Harold. Ward steps in to shoot Harold off the rooftop.
    • In Season 2, Davos' lieutenant Chen Wu gets seriously injured but can be saved if he gets medical care soon. Walker promptly shoots him twice in the chest to eliminate that option.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Colleen has no special powers, but mixes it up in the same circles as the other superheroes of New York City. By the end of Season 2 she gains the Iron Fist, however.
    • Danny becomes this for the second half of the second season after he is Brought Down to Badass. He has two Iron Fists by the epilogue of the season, however.
    • Walker manages to take down two Iron Fists despite having no super powers.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: The monks in K'un-Lun know martial arts and teach Danny their fighting techniques.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Danny catches a sword between his hands in one of his fights.
  • Bash Brothers: Danny and Davos are best friends and fight extremely well together. Their first onscreen fight together is designed to show this, with them joining hands and swinging each other to execute tandem fighting maneuvers and flowing around each other in a tight space without getting in each other's way. Though this falls apart before too long.
  • Battle Couple: After they get together, Danny and Colleen.
  • Battle in the Rain: Colleen's duel against Bakuto in "Bar the Big Boss".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: This is a major problem for Danny and he even lampshades it to Colleen. When he was trapped in K'un-Lun, he put all his focus and energy into becoming the Iron Fist because it was seen as a great honor and a way of showing everyone that he belonged in K'un-Lun. However, once he was chosen, he realized that he had no idea what to do next. He did not want to spend the rest of his life guarding K'un-Lun so he decided to leave and regain his legacy as Danny Rand. When he reclaims his identity and inheritance, he finds out that he has no idea what to do as a billionaire owner of a major corporation. This lack of foresight causes serious problems for Danny and those around him and make him a easy target for his enemies.
  • Bedlam House: Shortly after arriving in New York, claiming himself as the long-lost heir to Rand Enterprises, and harassing the current CEOs, Danny is sent to Birch Psychiatric Hospital.
  • Benevolent Boss: Bakuto believes that kindness and benevolence, and sparing underlings when they fail, are more effective ways of inspiring loyalty and gaining control over them, as opposed to Gao's fear tactics.
  • Big Bad Ensemble:
    • Madame Gao ends up being behind almost everything in the first season, but she's also fighting for control of the Hand with Bakuto. Meanwhile, Harold Meachum is responsible for the death of Danny's parents which caused Danny to go to K'un-Lun in the first place, and is the Final Boss that Danny must fight at the end of the season.
    • Season 2 has Joy Meachum and Davos as a Big Bad Duumvirate plotting to steal Danny's Iron Fist power, their Wild Card mercenary Mary Walker, two Triad gangs (the Hatchets and the Golden Tigers) gearing up for war because of the power vacuum left by the destruction of the Hand, and an assortment of other minor players and factions. Davos ends up as the greatest threat after gaining the Fist, trying to enforce his Black-and-White Insanity on the city and alienating all of his allies.
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: Due to being under virtual house arrest, Harold Meachum has a bank of monitors in his penthouse that allow him to spy on his company offices, with cameras installed in Ward's and Joy's offices, among other places.
  • Big Fancy House: Joy Meachum lives in 19 Gramercy Park South in the first season.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family. The Meachums. Bakuto of all people sums them up as "a pit of vipers" because of how detrimental they are to others and themselves.
    Bakuto: You poor people are such a mess. I know a good family therapist that could help, should any of you survive the night.
  • Birds of a Feather: Danny and Colleen have an awful lot in common, personality-wise. As Claire points out, this is not necessarily a good thing, given their shared propensity towards solving every problem with violence.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Season 1: Danny gets everything he initially wanted out of coming back to New York, finds a meaningful relationship with Colleen, manages to drive the Hand out of Rand Enterprises, and finds closure over his parents' death while freeing Ward from Harold. However, he discovers that running Rand Enterprises doesn't appeal to him, so he decides to go back K'un-Lun with Colleen. Meanwhile he's hopelessly estranged Davos and Joy, two of his former best friends who are now planning to kill him, and Madame Gao is still at large. And then Danny and Colleen find that the Hand attacked K'un-Lun while he wasn't guarding the pass, and the city is mysteriously gone.
    • Season 2: Danny is still at odds with Davos and has not fully reconciled with Joy. He ends the series unsure of whether he's fit to carry the Iron Fist and separates from Colleen to find himself, but in the epilogue it's revealed that he now has two Iron Fists. Meanwhile, Ward is starting to reconcile with Joy and opens up to Bethany to support their child, but she rejects him because he has not yet found his true self.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The apparent black and white of the Hand and K'un-Lun is gradually whittled away until it becomes clear that the two sides have an equally fanatical hatred of each other that drives them both to do evil acts.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: After Colleen's sword snaps in two and the pointy end flies up, when it comes back down she kicks it into Bakuto's leg point-first.
  • Blood Knight: Colleen visibly is having fun when she spars with Danny with or without weapons. She also admits that although she convinced herself it was for the money, the reason she kept going to the fight club was because she enjoyed hurting her opponents. Danny says he feels like he comes alive when fighting, and that the more intense a fight is, the more focused he gets. Claire notes that the two of them share a strong tendency to use violence first to solve their problems.
  • Bloody Hallucinations Of Guilt: Ward hallucinates blood on his cuffs and flowing down an elevator shaft when he believes he has killed Harold for good.
  • Book Ends:
    • In the first episode, Danny attacks the security guards at the Rand Enterprises headquarters trying to enter to the building by force. He attacks them again in the final episode as he and Colleen enter the building to rescue Ward and kill Harold.
    • In the same episode Danny is forced to hide in the park, where he stayed shortly after arriving in New York.
    • Season two begins and ends with a scene where Danny lights his fist (/fists) and kicks some ass.
  • Boom, Headshot!: When Lawrence Wilkins tries to oust Joy and Ward, Harold shoots him in the head and makes his death look like a suicide.
  • Brick Joke: In the third episode, Danny convinces Jeri Hogarth of his identity by calling her "J-Money", a nickname he had for her when she interned at Rand Enterprises, and reminds her that she once bribed him $5 to not tell anyone how she secretly cussed out Wendell's secretary. In the season finale, when Danny is framed, he has Claire send a message to Hogarth to know that he wants to talk: a $5 bill with "J-Money" written on it.
  • Broken Aesop: One of the key underlying aspects of Iron Fist as a character is that he's one of the few superheroes who earned his power. Others are born with them, buy them by using their great wealth to develop super-powered gadgets, are chosen, or get them through accident or chance. Danny Rand, far removed from the privileged lifestyle of a billionaire, had to endure hardships the like of which are unknown to most people in the modern world. He had to fight every other contender in K'un-Lun, endure daily beatings, and train every day, all to win the right to face Shou Lao the Dragon, including beating a dragon with his bare hands. This rings a little hollow in, Season 2, however, when Colleen gets the title without working for it because one of her ancestors also held the title.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Midway through the second season, Danny loses his Iron Fist powers when Davos steals them from him. He can still kick a lot of ass thanks to all his years of martial arts training. He gets better.
  • Came Back Wrong: The Triad boss tells Ward a tale from his great-grandfather's village, about a farmer who cut a deal with the Hand. The man kept resurrecting each time he died on the battlefield, but each time he came back, he got more and more deranged until he roasted his own children. This fits Harold Meachum's behavior, being unstable and short-tempered after being brought back from the dead and getting even worse after the second time he resurrects. Slightly subverted however: The trope leads us to believe that the resurrection is the reason for his villainy, but it turns out that he was behind the death of Danny's parents well before he died for the first time.
  • The Cameo:
    • Stan Lee's face is on a police force recruitment poster.
    • Subverted in that, unlike the other MCU Netflix series, characters visiting from other series or who appear across all of them actually play a major role here or at least appear in more than one episode, such as Claire Temple (who, to be fair, had a major role in several other Netflix series as well), Madame Gao, and Jeri Hogarth in Season 1, and Misty Knight in Season 2.
    • Played straight with Iron Fist characters appearing on other shows, though, as Danny and Colleen appear in one episode each in Luke Cage.
    • Played straight by Turk Barrett, who finally makes his Iron Fist cameo near the end of Season 2.
  • Ceiling Cling: Danny clings to the ceiling in the Chikara dojo when Ward's bodyguards come looking for him there.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
  • Central Theme: The second season's theme is the search for identity, what kind of person am I and who do I want to be?
    • Ward wants to escape addiction and stop destroying his relationships.
    • Colleen wonders who she is if she's not a martial artist and teacher inspiring students to be the best versions of themselves.
    • Joy thought she wanted revenge on Danny and Ward, but learns that was hollow and needs redemption.
    • Danny realizes he sought the Iron Fist because it was the only goal available for him and wonders who he is without it and if he even deserves it.
    • Even Davos gets in on the action, trying to be the man his mother wanted him to be.
  • Character Development: Ward and Joy Meachum have almost mirror opposite arcs.
    • Ward starts out as very unsympathetic, the former childhood bully who sics thugs on Danny and has him, with his sister's help, committed to an asylum. As the series progresses, we learn that he's been under the thumb of his abusive father, his undead abusive father the whole time, under increasing strain, and addicted to drugs. He eventually breaks, does a Heel–Face Turn, and becomes Danny's devoted right-hand man, following him in Walking the Earth.
    • Joy starts out much more sympathetic, initially scared of Danny (with good reason), she agrees to drug him and commit him, but she is far more ready to believe him, breaking down in tears on the confirmation that her childhood friend is alive. Until she learns that Ward has been lying to her for years about her undead father, and having suffered under his erratic behavior (not understanding that it was caused by said father, who saved his abuse for Ward, succumbs to Davos's blandishments and does a Face–Heel Turn, until she has a Heel Realization and turns on him, ending up rescued by Danny and becoming the head of Rand Enterprises, the seat Ward ostensibly held before Danny returned.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Although Danny is supposed to be more or less powerless aside from the Iron Fist, his training in K'un-Lun gives him the ability to perform stunts that should be impossible for a human, such as flipping over a taxi cab, taking two hops to get up to a second-story balcony, or being hit in the back of the head by brass knuckles and simply being stunned for a few moments.
  • The Chosen One: Zigzagged. Danny objects to being described as "chosen" to be the Iron Fist, stating, "I earned it." However, we later learn that the elders of K'un-Lun did, in the end, simply choose Danny over Davos to test for the position. However, Danny does display superior fighting ability to Davos, so it seems to be a meritorious selection.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Harold Meachum. He has drugs planted in Ward's car when Ward tries to break free of his control, and frames Danny for the Hand's drug smuggling activities after Danny defeats Bakuto.
  • Clear My Name: In the Season 1 finale, Harold frames Danny for Madame Gao's drug operations running through Rand and has to clear his name.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: One of the first hints that Bakuto's compound isn't what it seems is that all of his students are wearing the same red and black color scheme as The Hand.
  • Color Motif: Green, as it's the color most associated with Iron Fist, natch. Also connected with Danny's tranquility as well as money since he's very wealthy.
  • The Comically Serious: Davos. His stoic disdain for New York culture is played like this a few times. When Claire offers him the city's best pizza, he awkwardly comments, "It's chewy."
  • Comically Small Bribe: When she interned at Rand, Jeri Hogarth paid a young Danny (the sole heir to billionaires) a whole $5 to not tell anyone about her cussing out an overbearing supervisor.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Downplayed. When Danny has to fight multiple opponents, he typically has Colleen around to give him backup. They're only heavily outnumbered twice: when he and Davos are facing off against security guards in the basement of the main building in a Hand compound, and immediately after this, against a crowd of Bakuto's trainees in the compound's courtyard until Colleen can open the gate to allow their escape. The latter is justified because they're trainees and are also just kids.
  • Continuity Nod: Has its own page.
  • Continuity Snarl: Like with the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil and Jessica Jones, the MetLife Building is shown existing where the Avengers Tower is supposed to exist. This is more egregious since the building can be seen out the windows from the Rand Enterprises boardroom.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Each of the Meachums has shades of this:
      • Harold is very shady, having arranged for the Hand to resurrect him, having killed Danny's parents when they found out about his dealings, and backstabbing anyone who has outlived their usefulness.
      • Ward has embezzled millions of dollars from the Rand employee pension fund.
      • Joy hired a private investigator at some point prior to the events of the show to dig up blackmail material on the board of directors. By the end of the first season, she's also working with Davos and plotting against Danny. In Season 2, she convinces Davos to have a one-night stand with her friend Mika in order to blackmail her.
    • Half the board apparently is either stealing from the company (Ward included) or cheating on their spouses.
  • Crossover: Naturally, with the other Netflix heroes in The Defenders (2017), with Danny, Colleen, and the Hand (including Madame Gao and Bakuto) all appearing prominently.
    • Madame Gao herself is this, as while she's a prominent character in the first season, she originally showed up in both seasons of Daredevil as a fairly important supporting antagonist.
    • Besides Claire Temple (who's appeared in almost all the Netflix series) being a major character in the first season, Jeri Hogarth from Jessica Jones also makes a few appearances in Season 1, and Misty Knight from Luke Cage essentially replaces Claire in the second season as the third member of the Power Trio with Danny and Colleen.
    • Danny and Colleen also both make prominent (separate) one-episode appearances in the second season of Luke Cage.
  • Cuckoo Nest: Zigzagged. Danny is placed in Birch Psychiatric Hospital with the expectation that he'll never get out. He's also restrained and heavily sedated. However, the psychologist assigned to Danny is genuinely trying to help him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Danny delivers one to Colleen during their brief sparring session in the third episode.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The heroin patches that stops the body from building tolerance. Not only would it prevent diseases transmitted by sharing needles (including HIV and hepatitis), but had it been used for morphine toward pain control and palliative care Gao could make a large amount of money legally.
  • Dark Action Girl:
    • Madame Gao in Season 1.
    • Walker in Season 2 occasionally gets the better of our heroes. The Crane Sisters also count.
    • Both of the Hand factions in Season 1 and the street gang (who later become Davos's disciples) in Season 2 have female members.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Hand can offer someone a form of immortality — in exchange for eternal service to them, and every time the recipient resurrects, he increasingly loses some of his humanity. Harold made this deal in exchange for the Hand's use of Rand Enterprise's resources in their underworld dealings.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Walker casually sings "Monday Monday" by The Mamas & the Papas while preparing to ambush Davos.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Downplayed. Danny seems to have no problem walking barefoot on the New York sidewalk and both he and Colleen are frequently barefoot in the dojo, which is also Colleen's home and where it is traditional to be without shoes. note 
  • Dog Pile of Doom: Type A. Danny and Davos are dogpiled by Hand members in a narrow corridor, and using Ki Manipulation techniques, knock them all away.
  • The Dreaded: Madame Gao and the Hand evoke great fear in anyone who crosses their path. When Harold disobeys Madame Gao, he is forced to kneel in broken glass as punishment and he thinks he got off easy. A Triad gang has no problem attacking Joy over a broken business deal but they become extremely afraid and apologetic when they think that they interfered in Hand business.
  • Drunken Boxing: Zhou Cheng, disciple of Ch'i-Lin and Sworn Defender of the Hand, is a practitioner. He's actually drunk, too.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The show really tries to get this across.
    • Drugs interfere with Danny's chi and prevent him from summoning the power of the Iron Fist.
    • Ward is used to display a very nasty case of drug withdrawal, and he wasn't even taking illicit drugs.
  • Duel to the Death: Danny accepts an invitation to challenge the Hand to a grand duel, champion of K'un-Lun vs. champions of the Hand, to the death for agreed-upon stakes.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Colleen Wing's name appeared in Luke Cage on a flyer for her dojo.
  • Easily Forgiven: Even after the second time Ward tries to kill Harold, Harold still proclaims his love for his son.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Shou-Lao is described as an "infinite" being by Davos, and when Danny went to confront it in its lair, it's heavily implied that instead of getting a fight, he was given a traumatic vision of his future that he just barely overcame.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: Danny's fight against the Triads trying to kidnap Joy ends up in the elevator, and they fight a few of the thugs on the way down to the ground floor. Danny does most of the fighting, but Joy gets in a few punches.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Colleen becomes the new Immortal Iron Fist at the end of Season 2.
  • Enemy Civil War: The Hand is currently experiencing a schism and Matt's efforts against Nobu's clan, and Danny's efforts here, have put Madame Gao's faction on the losing side.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: This series reveals that The Hand is a bit more diverse than Daredevil would have you believe. Bakuto is Latino and he recruits a wide variety of members: black, white, Latino, and Asian.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Harold seems to genuinely love his children, even if he uses and manipulates them, Ward especially. Even after Ward kills him, Harold quickly forgives him.
    • Lawrence of the Rand board of trustees is crooked, but he has kids, and a nephew in the hospital, all of whom he loves. Harold actually asks if he wants to preserve his image as a loving uncle/father before capping him in the head.
  • Evil All Along: Colleen; at least, on the side of evil.
  • Evil Brit:
    • Sophia, one of the sales reps marketing the synthetic heroin and who works as a personal assistant for Madame Gao.
    • Davos, the main antagonist of season two, is portrayed by the British-Indian Sacha Dhawan.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Scythe sings an incredibly bad karaoke rendition of a-ha's "Take On Me" for apparently no other reason than just to play with a target a little before strangling him with the microphone cord.
    • Zigzagged by Davos. His first few scenes have him behaving in petty, mean ways to random people he comes across, like shoulder-checking Harold or tormenting a random roach coach cook with ninja throwing stars made from aluminum foil. Then it's revealed that he's Danny's good friend and he joins the heroes. Then he betrays Danny, justifying his earlier pettiness. Elevated in Season 2 when Davos kills a restaurant owner for not showing gratitude at his vow to purify Chinatown.
  • Exact Words: When Harold is asked if he had Lawrence Wilkins killed in order to reassert the Meachums' control of the company, he swears upon his good word that he didn't. It's true that Harold didn't have him killed, because he did the deed himself.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Though Joy is a gray character throughout the first season, she's primarily characterized by her desire to do the right thing in awkward, ambiguous and complicated circumstances. In the final episode she comes to believe that Ward and Danny are horrible people and joins with Davos to plot against them for the first part of season 2.
    • Where at first Davos supports Danny, materially if not emotionally, through most of his screentime, he decides to plot with Joy to kill Danny in the final episode of the first season and becomes one of the main antagonists of season 2.
    • Bakuto provides guidance to Colleen and instructs Danny on manipulating his chi. Then it's revealed that he's a leader in the Hand.
  • Failure Hero: All of Danny's achievements are short-lived and are most often manipulated into: Becoming the Iron Fist was for the wrong reasons and he can't achieve full power; returning to his old life as Danny Rand is only possible because of Harold's manipulation; taking down Gao and Bakuto is entirely inconsequential because Gao gets away unscathed and Bakuto resurrects himself. The finale also implies that his leaving his post as the Gate Guardian led to a Hand invasion and the disappearance of K'un-Lun.
  • Fake Guest Star: With her screen time and importance to the plot exceeding that of some of the leads, Madame Gao fits the bill.
    • In Season 2, Misty Knight gets almost as much screen time as any of the other series regulars.
  • Fake Mixed Raced: British Indian Sacha Dhawan portrays Davos who is revealed to be a Kun Lun native of Half Indian Half Chinese origin. Dhawan has no Chinese heritage.
  • Faking the Dead: Subverted by Harold Meachum, who supposedly died of cancer twelve years ago. At first, it seems he just faked his death. Then it turns out he actually did die, but had cut a deal with The Hand for them to resurrect him.
  • Family Business: The Meachums treat Rand Enterprises as this. Ward is the CEO, Joy is the chief legal counsel, and Harold controls things from the shadows using Ward as a puppet.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Harold Meachum acts friendly, but it's gradually revealed that he's purely a manipulator. Any affable traits he has quickly become an act after he is resurrected.
  • Fiction 500: Rand Enterprises is established to be a Fortune 500 company
  • Feet-First Introduction: The series opens with Danny walking barefoot along the sidewalk outside Rand Enterprises.
  • Fight Clubbing: To help pay for her dojo's upkeep, Colleen takes up cage matches. She isn't happy about it, going against her moral code to do so.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Compared to Captain America and Peter Quill, Danny is a more subdued version of this after having gone missing for fifteen years in the early 2000s. To emphasize this he is shown carrying around a first-generation iPod loaded up with late-'90s rap.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • An early scene showing Colleen training her students in stealth-ambush tactics is a tip-off that she's training them to be Hand soldiers.
    • Bakuto and his students clothed in red shirts and black pants and jackets is a visual example of this when they reveal themselves to be members of the Hand, whose ninja outfits are red and black.
    • At the end of a lesson, Colleen states the old parable that many rods tied together are harder to break than one. This is the origin of the word for fascism. In the comics, the Hand started off as a Japanese nationalist faction.
    • Davos's first few scenes tease him as a villain by showing him behaving in needlessly mean-spirited ways to Harold and a random food cart cook. In the end he betrays Danny and plots his death, confirming that he is in fact a rather rotten individual.
    • In "Felling Tree with Roots", Danny namedrops Karen Page as the reporter who publicized his plans to shut down the chemical plant, foreshadowing a potential connection to Matt Murdock going into The Defenders (2017) since Matt is Karen's boyfriend.
    • Also from "Felling Tree with Roots", Midland Circle Financials gets mentioned by Harold right before Ward knifes him, and on the spreadsheet on Harold's computer as the company the Hand are dumping most of their money into. They're also the company behind the site of the massive hole that Matt and Elektra stumbled upon in "Semper Fidelis," and is the location of all four Defenders' first meeting in the miniseries.
  • Gambit Pileup:
    • Both simpler and more complicated than most; Danny Rand's inheritance of the controlling interest of Fortune 500 company Rand Enterprises makes him one of the wealthiest people in the world, and as the current possessor of the Iron Fist he is one of the most mystically important. He is thus a figure of vital importance to the corporation, the monks of K'un-lun, and the Hand, all of whom seek his support. And each side has conflicting forces within it. And some of those forces change sides mid-stream because of Danny. By the end, Danny has decided that the 21st-century legal battles and ancient vendettas are the real problem, which won't stop simply because the "enemy" faction is destroyed.
    • The second season features much the same, with Joy and Davos who are allied to steal Danny's Iron Fist power for Davos, a war breaking out between Triad factions over the power vacuum left by the destruction of the Hand, a group of unaffiliated street kids just trying to survive, cops trying to deal with the Triad violence, ordinary citizens just trying to see the next sunrise, and Walker, who just does whatever job the person paying her at the moment wants done. Allegiances and enmities change almost on a per-episode basis as some goals are achieved, others denied, and new plans are put in place to try and salvage the situation.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Danny's Iron Fist is gold. Fellow hero Colleen's Iron Fist is white, while villain Davos' are red.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Although the camera shows the gored open mouths of Gao's enforcers after Harold has clawed and hammered out their teeth, it also cuts away to avoid showing it actually happening.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Though Madame Gao and Bakuto are rival leaders of the Hand with different goals, they both allude to someone else pulling their strings. Gao mentions that she has a "master" who accepts Danny's terms during the grand duel, and Bakuto says that there is someone in the Hand who wants to meet Danny. Both Madame Gao and Bakuto return in The Defenders, and that someone is revealed to be Alexandra.
  • Hallway Fight:
    • Danny fights through a hallway filled with gangsters armed with hatchets while one of them kidnaps Joy Meachum.
    • Danny and Davos fight their way out of a hallway filled with guards at a Hand base.
  • Healing Hands: The Iron Fist has some level of healing ability; at the least, it can burn poison out of someone's body.
  • The Hecate Sisters: In the second season, Davos gets help in his mystical hoodoo from a trio of women, tattoo artists who are surprisingly well-trained in martial arts. Instead of young, mature, and old, they're black, white, and asian.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ward's storyline. He starts as a jerkass white-collar bureaucrat who primarily works to obstruct Danny's actions right into the final episode of the first season, until he helps Danny take Harold down and supports him in running Rand Enterprises the way it should be run.
  • Heel Realization: At the start of the series Colleen believes the Hand is largely an organization for good and the ones doing evil are a rogue faction. She becomes disillusioned with their evil when the one who raised and supported her tries to have her killed.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • In the first season, Danny and Davos, who have been this since they were children. Unfortunately they have a falling out by the end of Season 1, and Davos is Danny's main enemy of Season 2.
    • Also in the first season, Colleen and Claire, bordering on Les Yay at times, such that Claire basically becomes part of the "main trio" together with Danny and Colleen.
    • In the second season, Misty takes Claire's place in the trio, and by the end of the season, she and Colleen are well on their way to becoming this, as in the comics.
    • Danny and Ward have become this by the second season as well (of the Vitriolic Best Buds variety), to the point that they each refer to the other as their brother, and leave together at the end of the season and spend months traveling around Asia to learn more about the Iron Fist.
  • Hidden Depths: Almost every character has some layer of complexity to them.
    • Harold is both a corporate prick and a "loving" yet abusive father.
    • Danny wants to be Danny, yet also the Iron Fist.
    • Colleen wants to be a role model and a sensei, yet is frustrated by her inability to use her prowess in a manner that isn't a disappointment of her dojo.
    • Joy has a dedication to Danny, but has a dedication to her company as well.
  • Hollywood Law:
    • A minor case, but when the DEA SWAT team raids Colleen's dojo on the "tip" from Harold's frameup, they should have immediately shouted "Police! Open up!" right before kicking in the door. Part of the reason the police do that is to avoid this exact situation. There is a significant percentage of civilians with combat training, many of whom live in high-crime neighborhoods just like Colleen's where home invasions are a very real possibility. The only legal exception is if the police have reason to believe the suspects will destroy evidence upon hearing the police are at the door, and they need a special "no-knock" warrant to not announce their presence.
    • The legal case with the chemical plant lawsuit against Rand Enterprises doesn't have a leg to stand on. There’s no proof that the chemical plant causes cancer. Rand Enterprises have met all legal and environmental requirements, so they’re not really in the wrong. As Joy herself said, the issue would be with the lawmakers. Even if there is a correlation between the chemical plant and cancer, it doesn’t necessarily prove causation. But then the lawyer rather stupidly gets one of his clients to try to coerce an admission of guilt from Danny while he films it for blackmail purposes. Everybody gets worried about it, when in reality it would be a slam-dunk for Rand Enterprises. The video wouldn’t stand up in court and this lawyer would be lucky if he only got disbarred (because blackmail is illegal).
  • Human Pincushion: Danny briefly becomes one when fighting the Bride of Nine Spiders. He somehow expels them all at once in summoning the Iron Fist, and they knock out the lights in the room he's in.
  • Hypocrite: Colleen has to admit to being one after a video of one of her cage fights shows up on YouTube, since she'd earlier chided Daryl against fighting for money.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: In Season 1, each episode is the name of a Shaolin kung-fu move. In Season 2, the episode names are from various story arcs from the comics.
  • Idiot Hero: Downplayed example. 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 those 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. Colleen specifically works to train this out of him late in Season 2.
    Colleen: Think and Choose. Not feel and react.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Said by Colleen to Danny and Davos about Bakuto.
    • Also used in Season 2 by Colleen to Davos, when she refuses to kill him.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Harold is impaled on a steel bar. He pulls himself off, though.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • The Bride of Nine Spiders uses acupuncture needles.
    • From Season 2, one of the Crane Sisters briefly fights using tattoo needles.
  • Instant Sedation: The series averts this, or at least plays it quite realistically (and intelligently), when Walker ambushes Danny. She takes an early opportunity to inject him with a pre-prepared knockout drug. It takes quite some time to take effect, in which he continues to fight very effectively — but because she knows that it's in his system, she only has to fight defensively and survive until he passes out. And she's been watching and assessing him for days beforehand, so it's plausible that she'd get the dosage right.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures:
    • Colleen Wing was raised in Japan, but happens to speak both Mandarin and Japanese. It's revealed she was born in China but moved to Japan after her mother died.
    • Danny Rand was taught Chinese martial arts while living with Tibetan Buddhist monks in the Himalayas.
    • Danny references Edo-era Ronin Samurai traditions of challenging a school master to try to get a position to teach at Colleen's school, thus assuming a kendo school should also teach kung fu.
    • During the first episode, the spontaneous Chinese street festival Danny infiltrates trying to elude Ward Meachum's goons shows participants with Japanese kabuki masks.
    • Danny, as a kung fu martial artist, also practices Hindu meditative practices.
  • It's A Small Net After All: Played with. On Harold's orders, Kyle tries to search for "Iron Fist" and only comes up with a beer brand and a clothing line. The second thing is the top result when searching for non-Marvel Iron Fists.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: The second season introduces Mary Walker, a slightly more realistic version of Marvel's Typhoid Mary from their comics. This version is a former special forces soldier and PTSD sufferer with a raging case of Hollywood dissociative identity disorder; "Mary" is a mild-mannered, fragile woman, while the amoral "Walker" has the military skills, being an effective mercenary despite her mental issues, able to take on the wielder of the Iron Fist with some smart planning and the right weapons.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Davos says to Danny, "Wow. Your are the worst Iron Fist ever." Considering that being Iron Fist means to protect the passage to K’un L’un, that Danny gave up such job, and K’un L’un was destroyed as a result, it's hard to dispute that evaluation.
  • Ki Manipulation: The Iron Fist technique involves charging one's fist with chi energy and delivering a devastating punch backed up by supernatural power.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Ward is introduced as a teen ruining a game of Monopoly and bullying Danny, establishing his jerkass tendencies and moral ambiguity.
    • Some of the first things we see Davos do are shoulder-check Harold and glare at him for no particular reason, then attack a food cart operator and needlessly torment him by hurling ninja stars around his head.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: Harold is frequently shown practicing muay Thai in his penthouse. He gets into a physical confrontation with Danny in the end of season one.
  • Klingon Promotion: According to Danny, challenging and being challenged for rank is the way of life in K'un-Lun. He's surprised to learn that Colleen doesn't need to accept challenges to maintain her position as master of her own dojo.
  • Knight Templar: Davos reveals himself as this in season 2. He has no pity or remorse for anyone he deems corrupt.
  • Left Hanging: The second season ends with a number of unresolved twists and subplots to set up a third season. With the show being cancelled shortly after the second season dropped, it is unlikely we will ever get any answers.
  • Lighter and Softer: This show is inherently lighter in tone compared to the three series prior. Claire even brings up the comparison, noting to Danny that he has an aura of sweet innocence that Matt, Jessica, and Luke don't have, and which he should see as a quality worth keeping.
  • Love Redeems: After it's revealed that Colleen is in the Hand, she is gradually redeemed due to her feelings for Danny. She helps Danny escape from the Hand compound, then chooses him over them when she disobeys Bakuto's orders by trying to get Danny help and keeping his whereabouts secret.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The dragon brand on Danny's chest serves as the "o" in the show's logo.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Harold's penthouse, in essence, functions as one, since Harold is essentially under virtual house arrest on the orders of the Hand.
  • MacGyvering: Claire improvises medical treatments, such as taping a credit card to Radovan's chest to treat his collapsed lung or using a staple gun to treat one of Danny's cuts in place of stitches.
  • Majority-Share Dictator: Upon returning to New York, Danny reclaims 51% of his company and uses his new position to overrule any questionable decision made by the board.
  • Manchild: Danny is stunted emotionally due to his childhood trauma and being taught to suppress his emotions by the monks who raised him. Because of this, he often acts childish in front of his peers (such as switching seats during a meeting so he can sit by Joy), not understanding social norms (such as going into Colleen's dojo to spar), or losing his temper (such as when he freaked out at Ward for his bullying as children).
  • Medicate the Medium: In an early episode, Joy and Ward throw Danny in a Bedlam House because he won't shut up about being the heir to Rand Enterprises. Once he wakes up strapped to a bed, the first thing he realizes is that the drugs knock out his Ki Manipulation abilities. After a few days he's able to convince one of the therapists he actually is a disenfranchised heir, but the therapist still believes (despite living in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) that Danny doesn't have powers and thus is too crazy to leave. Danny eventually focuses hard enough to purge the drugs from his system and punches his way to freedom — through a two-foot steel door.
  • Mighty Whitey: Deconstructed. Danny, an outsider, is the best fighter in K'un-Lun, but he pretty much screws up everything else he gets involved in. In fact, many of the problems stem from the fact that he is a foreigner: he feels more of a connection to his homeland than his adopted culture, and so impulsively abandons it when he gets an opportunity; yet his time away from America means he has no idea how to act properly in Western culture. The end result is that he causes major disruptions in both cultures. He's also shown as being not particularly strong or skilled by Iron Fist standards, having a long way to go before matching his predecessors (as shown by the film of the one from 1948). Possibly played straight in that it's hinted that Danny will try to grow the scope of the position beyond what K'un-Lun set for it.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Colleen holds up the bedsheets to cover her naked body the morning after she and Danny first have sex. She similarly is naked under bedsheets when she and Danny first wake up in Bakuto's compound a few episodes later.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Downplayed. Claire points out that both Danny and Colleen are disturbingly prone to include violence in their plans. This isn't surprising considering the Iron Fist is a living weapon, and Colleen was trained by the Hand.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Even when not using the Iron Fist, Danny takes on a variety of weapon-wielding opponents barehanded and wins.
  • Non-Action Guy: Ward Meachum, similar to how his sister Joy is a non-Action Girl.
  • Noodle Incident: One of Harold's bodyguards introduces another, Gary, as someone who "helped us with the Miami incident." Harold replies that he hopes their current trouble won't be as messy as that was.
  • No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus: The resurrection the Hand provides allows people to revive from virtually any injury three days after they died. Nobody mentions that this is very similar to the story of Jesus. The Hand is implied to have existed a very long time too, maybe even two thousand years or more...
  • {}Not Even Bothering With The Accent}}: British Indian Sacha Dhawan uses his own Manchester accent rather than a more realistical accent like an Asian (since he is from Kun Lun) or American (Assuming he'd pick up on Dannys accent) accent for Davos
  • The Nothing After Death: After the resurrected Harold kills his assistant Kyle in a random outburst, he says to the corpse, "It's okay. I've been where you're going. It's not so bad. It's just... nothingness." In a later episode, Harold elaborates to Joy on what it was like for him in between his death from cancer and his resurrection by the Hand.
  • Not His Sled:
    • Subverted as to the murderer of Danny's parents. Fans of the Iron Fist comics would know Harold Meachum is the one who had Danny's parents killed, since that was what happened in the original story. But it turns out the Meachums weren't involved. Instead, it was Madame Gao... or so it seems. At the Season 1 finale we find out she merely supplied the poison for the pilots, and it really was Harold who arranged the whole thing.
    • Similarly, in the comics a villain named Steel Serpent is revealed to be Davos, a former K'un-Lun monk who was banished from there and who wants to steal the Iron Fist power from Danny, as he believes it belongs to him. In the series, Davos is a friend of Danny's from K'un-Lun who accepts the fact Danny was chosen as the Iron Fist. Then this gets subverted too, as Davos becomes disillusioned with Danny and decides Danny's not worthy of being the Iron Fist. By the end of season 1 Davos is plotting to kill him.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Zhou points out he and Danny are basically the same.
    Zhou Cheng: We both have sworn an oath of loyalty and protection.
  • Official Couple: Danny and Colleen are firmly established as one by the end of the first season.
  • "Open!" Says Me:
    • Danny primarily uses his Iron Fist to punch through barriers. He escapes the hospital by punching a three-inch-thick steel door so hard it's blasted off its hinges — which are embedded in a concrete wall.
    • Misty punches a hole through a wall to reach through it and open the latch on a door.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • Harold Meachum sometimes struggles to avoid slipping into David Wenham's native Australian accent.
    • Alice Eve's British accent occasionally peeks out.
  • One-Steve Limit: Despite (Grant) Ward from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. being a pretty familiar name to the Marvel audience, this series has a Ward Meachum. Both are known by the name Ward. Tom Pelphrey's extreme similarity to Brett Dalton further complicates things.
  • Our Founder: Portraits of Wendell Rand and Harold Meachum greet people walking into the reception area of the top floor at Rand Enterprises. Following Harold's death, photos of Ward and Danny are put up in their place.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • When Harold learns that someone hit Joy, he immediately negotiates to personally kill the man.
    • When Lawrence tries to oust Joy and Ward, Harold drops in to Lawrence's office, then shoots him and makes it look like a suicide.
  • Poisoned Weapons:
    • The Bride of Nine Spiders uses poisoned needles.
    • The guards at the factory in China use poisoned weapons.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure:
    • Because Danny missed fifteen years of life in America, we see at the start of season 2 that Colleen is catching him up on movie culture. She's amused and relieved to find that Danny doesn't know what SpongeBob SquarePants is, to which Danny counters "It's about a sponge, named Bob."
    • At the community center where she volunteers, Colleen throws out a quote from the movie Chinatown to her friend Sam. It flies right over his head.
  • Power Glows: The Iron Fist causes the bearer's fist/s to glow with an internal light. The color of the light is dependent on the person: Danny's is golden, Davos' are red and Colleen's is white.
  • Protagonist Title: Danny is the eponymous Iron Fist.
  • Punch Parry:
    • When Colleen is in a cage fight with two MMA fighters, she performs a Use Your Head variation of this to block a punch. It works quite well for her.
    • Danny does a more typical one against one of Ward's stooges. The thug has brass knuckles, but Danny has the Iron Fist.
  • Race Lift: Comics Davos looks East Asian whereas his MCU counterpart is played by an actor of Indian descent. While most of the other native inhabitants of MCU K'un-Lun are shown to look East Asian, his mother also looks Indian.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Used a few times by Danny and Davos, but special mention must be made of Bride of Nine Spiders' variation of the technique, which involves her swiftly impaling her target with acupuncture needles.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Madame Gao implies she is at least 400 years old, much older than humans can naturally live, when she claims she spent most of the 17th century being interrogated.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Lampshaded in season 2. Colleen’s blue oni guides Danny’s red oni. This is lampshaded again when Danny discovers that an old Chinese ‘myth’ about a female pirate is true, and the power related to the myth appears to be the same as the Iron Fist power. This restores the power balance between Danny and Colleen.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Played With. In the comics, Ward Meachum is Harold's brother and Joy's uncle. Here he is Harold's son and Joy's brother.
  • Resurrective Immortality: The Hand can give this to whomever they choose. The affected people come back to life three days after they died. Harold has experienced this once by the start of the series and does so again in the first season. There are legends of it happening to others in the past. According to one Hand agent, the only way to kill someone who has been given this immortality is by decapitation.
  • Retcon: In Daredevil (2015), the closest association to The Hand that Madame Gao had was that she and Nobu were allies with Wilson Fisk. Iron Fist establishes her as a full-fledged member of The Hand.
  • The Reveal:
    • Colleen and Bakuto aren't part of some group opposed to Madame Gao. They're a rival faction of the Hand, although Colleen didn't know how evil the Hand was.
    • The plane crash wasn't an accident. Harold Meachum conspired with Madame Gao to poison the pilots, because Wendell Rand was on the verge of discovering the deal Harold had made with her.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Danny is on a crusade to avenge his parents' deaths.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Typhoid Mary joins the cast of season two, despite being more associated with Daredevil than any of the other Defenders. And though not a rogue, Sam Chung (also introduced in season 2) is from the Charles Soule run of Daredevil.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Danny's first day upon returning to Rand Enterprises has him using his stake in the company to force Ward to sell life-saving medicine at a lowered cost, at the expense of millions of dollars' worth of profit.
  • Secret-Keeper: Ward is the only one other than the Hand and Harold's assistant who knows that Harold is alive—at first. He has been keeping the secret for thirteen years and it's implied that this secret-keeping is part of what has contributed to his drug issues.
  • Seen It All: Claire Temple has come a long way since her shock at Matt Murdock's exploits.
    Danny: I am the Iron Fist.
    Claire: What the hell does that mean?
  • Sequel Hook:
    • In the first season:
      • Bakuto's corpse is missing. Because of the Hand's resurrection abilities, he is revived offscreen between the events of this show and the start of The Defenders (2017).
      • Bakuto mentions that someone in his organization is "very anxious to work with" Danny, specifically, Alexandra.
      • Davos and Joy join forces with the intention of avenging themselves on Danny.
      • Danny hasn't tapped into the full power of the Iron Fist. That opens all kinds of Next Tier Power-Up plots.
      • What happened to K'un-Lun with the gate closed off, no guardian, and dead Hand assassins everywhere.
      • Madame Gao disappearing and leaving many questions lingering about what she is and what she wants.
    • The second season:
      • Danny and Colleen using Iron Hands to power their weapons against villains. Interquel Hook: How Danny got his Iron Fist powers back, and what he and Ward have been doing while Walking the Earth.
      • Walker's mysterious third personality and ambiguous intentions toward Danny and Joy.
      • What (or who) Danny and Ward are looking for.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • A minor one — in Season 2, when Misty drops by for dinner, Danny and Colleen mention that they're vegetarians. Yet they had no problems serving meatballs to Joy and Davos a few days earlier, and Danny was thrilled at eating pork during the team dinner on The Defenders (2017). It's possible they both became vegetarians later, but the discrepancy is never acknowledged.
    • Another minor one: Colleen mentions that Danny doesn't know who SpongeBob is, however in Luke Cage (2016), Danny mentions the last album he bought before boarding the doomed flight was The Chronic 2001, which released November 1999; SpongeBob debuted in May 1999, so it's very unlikely Danny didn't see it, especially given his age at the time.
  • Shoot the Bullet: In the epilogue for Season 2, Danny does this with a pair of chi-infused pistols, showing he not only got his Iron Fist powers back somehow, he's improved his ability to use them.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Something Only They Would Say:
    • When Danny first encounters Jeri Hogarth, she tests his claim that he's Danny by quizzing him about her days as an intern at Rand Enterprises. This on top of reminding her of the time she paid him $5 to not tell anyone when he overheard her cussing out a supervisor:
      Jeri Hogarth: Where was my office?
      Danny Rand: Um... you didn't have one. They put you in the copy room.
      Jeri Hogarth: My desk?
      Danny Rand: Uh, it was a folding table, with a file under one leg because the flooring—it was too uneven.
    • Danny also tries this with the Meachums, but fails because he only gives them basic information that could be looked up online (in Joy's case) or are too stubborn to believe him (in Ward's). He later breaks through to Joy via a shared habit from their childhood regarding brown M&Ms, the only color they wouldn't eat.
  • Split Screen: Present in several fight scenes, such as Danny's elevator fight against the Triads trying to kidnap Joy, or Danny and Colleen's fight against Bakuto in "Bar the Big Boss".
  • Stealing from the Till: Ward has been embezzling from the company to build up an escape fund in case he had to flee the country. Joy later reveals that thanks to a private investigator she hired a while back (heavily implied to be Jessica Jones), she's found that half of the board members have been embezzling from the company as well and/or are cheating on their spouses.
  • Straight Edge Evil: Davos. He doesn't eat meat or drink alcohol, and eats food purely for nourishment. When offered the "world's best pizza," he only awkwardly comments that it's "chewy." He's completely uninterested in wealth or comfort. He's also extremely uncomfortable with the prospect of having sex, and later comments on how difficult it was.
  • Stylistic Suck: One of the viral promotional videos for this series is an ad for Colleen Wing's dojo. It looks like something you might expect from a martial arts instructor who is down on her luck and makes a commercial that will likely only be shown late at night on local TV stations. (the dojo website is also sponsored by Rand Corporation, with the ad leading to Ward Meachum's page on Linkedin)
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: After Claire learns that Danny and Colleen are about to go up against the Hand, she never considers seeking out Matt Murdock, who battled the Hand faction that attacked the hospital and killed Claire's friend, for whatever reason. It's eventually revealed in The Defenders (2017) that this is because Matt had temporarily retired from Daredevil activities following Elektra's death.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: In this series, knowing martial arts can unlock many different powers and supernatural attacks.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial in the Exact Words variety: When Joy asks her father point blank if he had Wilkins killed, he replies no, he did not have Wilkins killed. He didn't have him killed. He killed him himself.
  • Sword Fight: Colleen vs. a Chinese guard, and later Colleen vs. Bakuto.
  • Take a Third Option: Joy, finding herself having to put her loyalty in one of two men who have proven to be selfish liars, chooses to ditch them both and team up with Davos.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: A common occurrence in the show. Notably, when Danny is frightened due to airplane turbulence, Claire tries to reassure him that turbulence on planes is normal. Rather than letting his obvious fear and his backstory speak for themselves, Danny says that's what his mother told him before they crashed. Claire then engages in some "meatball therapy," getting Danny to talk about everything he's thinking and feeling to try and help him cope with the stress and the memories.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Danny moves to help Colleen against Bakuto, but Davos stops him.
    Davos: He's her sensei. This is her fight.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Claire believes this, though Colleen disagrees, and they argue about it.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: A key way to tell which personality Mary Walker is in at any given time is that Walker keeps her hair in a loose bun or tight ponytail, while Mary wears her hair down.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The pilot treats it as a big reveal that Harold Meachum is alive, but he is visibly seen interacting with Ward and others in the trailers.
  • The Unfavorite: Played With. Both Ward and Joy see themselves as this (and they're both, to an extent, right). Joy complains that she never got as much "quality time" with her father as Ward did, while Ward complains that his quality time with dad was mostly emotionally abusive, since Harold was trying to "toughen up" his son. It's made fairly clear that Harold loves Joy more than Ward, seeing Ward more as a tool than a son, and given Harold's ruthless tendencies and instability (even before he Came Back Wrong) it's implied he distanced himself from Joy so he wouldn't damage her too much.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Colleen Wing spends the series walking the streets of New York City while carrying a katana, and no one even seems to care. Must not be a lot that can faze a New Yorker after the Incident.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Danny and Davos have this in the first season, but have dropped the "best buds" part by the end. Danny and Ward have settled into this by Season 2.
  • Vow Of Chastity: Danny took one as part of his training under the Buddhist warrior monks. He later breaks it by having sex with Colleen.
  • Waif-Fu: Colleen gets into fights with muscular men literally twice her size, but still comes out on top using her martial arts.
  • Was It All a Lie?: After learning that Colleen is in the Hand, Danny is convinced that Colleen was trying to seduce him to the Hand. Their relationship actually formed independently of the Hand, but it isn't until Colleen learns the truth about the Hand that Danny finally begins believing her.
  • Weapon Title: As the title suggests, Danny's powers manifest through his fist.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Following Nobu's death and failure to capture Elektra alive, the Hand has splintered into a bunch of different factions that don't agree on the cult's goals.
  • We Can Rule Together: Bakuto asks Danny to join him and says that if they work together, no one in the world could stop them.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Danny and Davos by the end of the first season, and fully coming into play by the second season.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy:
    • Ward clearly wants to be treated as something more than a minion by his father, and resents that he dotes far more on Danny than him.
    • Davos is driven by the desire to make his merciless and emotionally distant mother proud.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: American actor Shiv Pai plays a young Davos in flashbacks during a couple of episodes of season 2. His accent is a bizarre amalgamation of Northern England, Southern London and stereotypical posh Brit, and will leave most British viewers tilting their heads.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Davos once told Danny "Wow. You are the worst Iron Fist ever".
  • Would Hit a Girl: Danny justifiably doesn't back fighting female opponents. That said, he does lay a hand when restraining Gao's female assistant Sophia to grill her about Gao's use of Rand to smuggle her drugs.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Colleen's katana is broken during her fight with Bakuto. It gets better.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: For once it is justified. The drug smuggling charges are dropped because Danny was framed, but the ones for all the crimes Danny commits while a fugitive (like attacking a DEA SWAT team whom he thought were some of Madame Gao's men) are dropped thanks to a generous contribution to the DEA Widows and Children's Fund.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once Harold believes he's free from the Hand, and has no more use for Danny, he frames up Danny for the drug smuggling.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Danny goes out of his way to look, act, and sound like a crazy person in his attempts to get people to believe he's actually Danny Rand during the first few episodes. Wearing an outfit that just screams hobo while walking around barefoot, walking up to the receptionist, Joy, and Ward at the Rand Enterprises building as well as telling any random person he encounters that he's Danny Rand and just expecting them to believe it, attacking the security at the RE building and breaking into the building to find Joy and Ward... It would be easier to name the things he does that don't make him look like a total nutcase.

Danny Rand: 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.
Colleen Wing: There's a lot of darkness right here in New York.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Iron Fist, Iron Fist 2016


Iron Fist (2017)

Iron Fist depicts Danny performing his katas as though he is painting with ink.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnimatedCreditsOpening

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