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Claire Temple will be the common link between all four heroes and the one who convinces them to work together as a team.
Or conversely, they form a team on their own and go to her to ask for help. The moment she sees all four characters in one place, the first thing she says is, "Are you fucking kidding me?".
  • Jossed. She introduces Luke to Danny, but that's it. Matt and Jess are introduced thanks to Foggy, and the four come together on their own.

Finding out who and what IGH is will form the main plot
There have already been several hints dropped in Jessica Jones (2015) about IGH and their connection to the Gifted. The Defenders, made up of Gifted people, will find out how they got their powers as well as what IGH wanted with them. They've been a significant if subtle element of every Defender to date;
  • A key element of the first season of Jessica Jones (2015) is how Kilgrave used Jessica to retrieve a thumb drive containing records of the experiments that created Kilgrave. Jessica gives Luke Cage (2016) the thumb drive near the end of her first season, and near the end of Luke's first season, he finally gets to read it; it reveals that Reeva coordinated IGH's experiments at Seagate Prison, which gave Luke Cage his powers.
  • Jessica got her powers after her family car collided with a truck containing unknown chemicals. It being an IGH truck is unconfirmed fanon, but they did supply the money and all operation procedures for Jessica's recovery and paid for her meds.
  • IGH was behind Will Simpson's combat enhancers.
  • The truck full of chemicals responsible for Daredevil (2015)'s blindness and subsequent powers showing the Rand Enterprises logo on the cab door - or at least according to a picture from production. Perhaps it was even the exact same accident as the one that gave Jessica her powers. It would fit the timeline, since Jessica was a teenager when her accident happened, and assuming that Jessica is about the same age as Krysten Ritter.
  • However, IGH is completely absent from Iron Fist (2017), save for the aforementioned connection to Danny Rand's corporation.
  • Jossed. The main plot is related to the Hand from Daredevil and Iron Fist.

IGH is tied to the Black Sky

An interesting theory seen on Facebook goes like this: the Hand plans on resurrecting an ancient entity known as The Beast by sacrificing a host body known as the Black Sky, who are revealed to be descendants of The Beast.

IGH, the guys who are responsible for the experiments done on Will Simpson, and possibly the experiments that happened at Seagate, were founded to conduct secret experiments to enhance the body, mind, and soul to basically prepare the Black Sky. Over time, members of IGH like Dr. Kozlov and Dr. Burstein began to branch out as mad scientists, who wanted to use the experiments to enhance the human body and mind. This resulted in Will Simpson and Luke Cage becoming the people they are today.

Bakuto's faction of the Hand was designed to gather intel in plain sight. Whereas Madame Gao's faction was designed to disseminate a drug disguised as heroin that will cause those who use it to be subservient to The Beast, basically amassing an army of followers for The Beast to control. And Nobu's faction was designed to prepare the Black Sky for The Beast, which is why they tried to go after Elektra by any means necessary. This will result in a Beast-possessed Elektra as the main antagonist.

The result is a plotline akin to the Shadowland storyline.

IGH will be a subset of HYDRA
Specifically, they'll be similar to Centipede from the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., being a subset based around looking to find means to create gifted people without relying on Terrigenisis, and their experiments will lead to another, a further boom in superhumans in the MCU.

We'll get more Netflix shows after The Defenders's inevitable success
Moon Knight, Hawkeye, and Young Avengers are all popular ideas from fans, and they would actually work pretty well.

Young Avengers, in particular, would work out quite well as a means to blend the mature writing with more fantastical elements of the outer MCU (including the Kree and Skrull, alien and cosmic elements, introduce time travel as a thing, etc), with the Defenders replacing the New Avengers in the original arc (with Daredevil taking Captain America's place as the hero unwilling to let them run around fighting crime without training, unless Chris Evans is willing to appear in a guest spot), IGH being the ones running the prison that Speed was held in, maybe involve them in the Twins' origin, and their pills replacing MGH as the drug Patriot uses his powers. Not to mention, Jessica was already involved in the original arc as it was.Basically, you can tie things together rather well with elements already introduced in the first two shows.

  • The only problem with the Young Avengers would be the timeline. Not including Billy and/or Tommy would be a complete fan disservice, but Wanda looks much too young to have kids as teens. Not to mention Cassie Lang is still only like six in the MCU.
    • Disney seems to be launching their own streaming service, and at the moment, only Jessica Jones and The Punisher have seasons left, as every other Netflix Marvel show has been cancelled. But of the ones you mentioned, Moon Knight was the only one who had a chance, given that the movies and TV shows not named Agents of SHIELD don't cross over much.

Supporting characters from the core series will appear alongside the main four as secondary Defenders.
Season two of Daredevil (2015) introduced Punisher and Elektra, while Jessica Jones (2015) gave us a glimpse of what Trish could do as Hellcat after using Simpson's pills; to continue the trend, Luke Cage and Iron Fist (2017) have Misty Knight and Shang-Chi. Once the central four have been gathered, the secondary characters from each series (potentially others who could debut in the miniseries, such as Colleen Wing) will arrive as backup, being the Defenders' answers to second-string Avengers such as Hawkeye and Black Widow.
  • Confirmed supporting cast members from each of the shows do show up:
    • Daredevil supplies Foggy, Karen, Stick, and Elektra
    • Jessica Jones supplies Trish, Malcolm, and Jeri Hogarth
    • Luke Cage supplies Misty Knight
    • Iron Fist supplies Colleen Wing
  • Confirmed. All of those characters (and more) appear.

Just as with the Avengers, the big threat that unites the Defenders will have ties to each of the big four.
The Hand is very clearly up to something big that involves New York in general, and Hell's Kitchen in particular. IGH is tied to Jessica and Luke, and possibly Matt as well. If it is tied to Matt, then the Rand Corporation is involved, as the truck with the chemicals which blinded Matt had the Rand logo on its cab doors (visible in some production images). Also, Madame Gao (who, by her own admission, is not from around here) is strongly hinted to be the Crane Mother, a leader from one of K'un L'un's rival Immortal Cities, further meshing Danny in with events. Claire will probably play the Nick Fury role in bringing the team together, as she'll probably be the only person who knows all four main Defenders.

Nuke's attack on Hell's Kitchen will occur here, at the behest of IGH or the Hand.
Simpson is tied to Jessica. He could show up as a merc for Fisk, assuming he's alive, but Koslov would probably keep him close. He's unhinged enough to blow up innocent people, with the right push, and Daredevil wouldn't be able to do much to stop him. The rest of the Defenders will fill the Avengers' spot as the super-powered help needed to save the Kitchen.
  • This might be saved for season 3 of Daredevil or for The Punisher.
    • Jossed. Neither IGH nor Nuke appears at all.

The Hand will be the main threat to the Defenders, with a resurrected and brainwashed Electra as a major villain
As a miniseries, it may have multiple plot threads and multiple villains, but this seems the most likely given the build up from Season 2. The Hand's Rising serves as the main threat with Electra as there leader. Matt will have a Thor-like role of having a relationship with the main villain and not wanting her killed, serving as conflict in the group.
  • This seems to now be even more of a possibility as Stick can be heard in the teaser, addressing the four Defenders.
  • All but confirmed with Season 1 of Iron Fist. Harold Meachum says that the Hand is dumping money from both Rand Enterprises and the Roxxon Corporation into Midland Circle Financials, Alexandra's company. It also carries over a lot of the Hand's plot points from Season 2 of Daredevil, such as Bakuto planning to drain Colleen's blood as her penalty for betraying the Hand.
  • Confirmed on both points.

The EXIT signs seen everywhere in both shows will have some significance in the Defenders.
Some people claim that the EXIT signs are a reference to Netflix, but they appear way too often to just be a small Shout-Out.
  • Jossed. Sometimes, an exit sign is merely an exit sign.

The story will involve Hell's Kitchen being transported to Mephisto's Realm
According to this article, Mephisto will be the Big Bad. There was a Daredevil storyline in the 80's where Mephisto transported Hell's Kitchen to his realm. With the heroes of the Defenders apparently operating in or near "The Kitchen", a situation like that would be a good way to get the team together.
  • Partially Jossed. There is a gate, but it doesn't lead to another dimension.

Mephisto will be a Composite Character with The Beast as the demon worshiped by The Hand.
  • Jossed. Neither appears, or is even mentioned.

Kilgrave will be resurrected by The Hand to fight the Defenders
And Jessica and Luke will team up to defeat him. Plus who doesn't want more creepy David Tennant?
  • Jossed... although he will appear in S2 of Jessica Jones in some capacity.

The antagonistic force of the show will be an alliance between surviving villains from each of the four shows.
  • Nobu Yoshioka and the Hand: Despite the Yellow Peril with this organization, they are shown to be a case of Equal-Opportunity Evil to some extent. They would likely want new allies in New York for whatever strange plan they're up to.
    • Nobu was killed off for good in Daredevil, but the rest of the Hand is still out there.
      • Maybe they'll have a new frontman who is related to Nobu in some way.
    • Maybe the giant hole they dug is part of the plan somehow. Seriously, it needs to be addressed that they made a giant hole!
  • Will Simpson, Dr. Kozlov, and IGH: Their motivations are involved with making super soldiers, which the other villains can provide money and new means for.
    • Burstein and them could team up to help create the MCU version of the Serpent Society, or at least some more superpowered beings who can be Elite Mooks.
  • Diamondback: He becomes a Chekhov's Gunman and becomes more relevant in this show than in Luke Cage. His presence allows for other members of the Serpent Society to appear and give more named, unique characters to bolster the ranks and give more character than mooks. They could be willing to be muscle for the group by being offered a slice of the pie. Whatever it is.
    • This lines up with the above idea of Burstein being hired by IGH. He and Kozlov could make Serpent Society members that could serve as the now-empowered Cottonmouth's lieutenants.
  • (At least one of) The Meachums: Who better to provide money than a/some Corrupt Corporate Executive style foes? Since they'll want to kill Danny, they have a motivation to work with the other stranger characters. Especially if they can make a profit in the end.
    • Most likely Joy Meachum, given that Harold is dead and Ward has done a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Wilson Fisk: When we last saw him in season 2 of Daredevil, he was clearly beginning to plot his rise back to power as a crime boss, having started to suspect Matt of being Daredevil. He also arranged for Dutton's death and Frank Castle's escape, knowing that Castle would take care of Fisk's rivals. Luke Cage saw the Harlem crime trade get greatly disrupted, and Fisk's own crooked attorney has ties to Cottonmouth and Mariah, giving him an inside line there. With those two things, plus whatever damage Danny does to the Triads in Iron Fist, it's easy to see Fisk using whatever goes on in The Defenders to further his gains.
    • Sadly, Jossed. Vincent D'onofrio tweeted that there is "no chance" of him appearing in Defenders.

The team will be formed due to Luke Cage's Trial.
With Luke Cage going back to prison, Claire will make good on her promise to get a good lawyer for Luke. She knows Matt Murdock is a good lawyer, and knows of his work with Frank Castle's trial. So she gets Matt to step up to represent him and soon learns of Seagate's illegal activities. He investigates and learns Seagate is owned by Rand Corps. Meanwhile, Jessica Jones learns of Luke's incarceration and does some investigating on her own in order to help her friend and former lover. When Danny Rand learns that his company was involved in shady activities, he also tries to set things right. The four of them soon join forces and uncover a vast conspiracy.

Alternately: Matt Murdock ends up being Luke's attorney, successfully getting him out of prison. From there, Luke finds that the Hand were behind the experiments at Seagate, including the ones that gave him his abilities. He has no idea where to start regarding hunting them down, so he turns to the only person he knows who could even have a chance at finding them, which means going back to Jessica and forgiving her for Reva's death. Likewise, Danny and Colleen are still tracking down the Hand after finding the massacre at the K'un L'un gate. Since Claire made it VERY clear she knew a hero who also had run ins with the Hand, they end up working with Matt and Karen Page, who are already looking into the Hand trying to seek justice for their kidnapping Karen and killing Elektra. As a result, Danny and Matt end up tracking Madame Gao, while Jessica and Luke try to locate the Hand scientists responsible for Luke's experiment.

Another alternative, is that as Hogarth Chao & Benowitz's resident lawyer for "humans with complexities," Foggy ends up being the one who defends Luke, and he decides to bring Matt on as an expert, figuring Matt understands Luke in a way that no other lawyer could, and since Matt is stepping back from Daredevil, he's going to dedicate himself wholeheartedly to Luke's defense to make up for bungling his part in Frank Castle's trial. But Matt and Foggy realize the deck is stacked against Luke unless they get solid evidence of Luke's innocence, and that's not really something Matt can do as Daredevil, both because he's cutting back on his nightly outings, and also because Harlem isn't his home turf. This leads Foggy to send Jessica, who is already acquainted with Luke. Jessica ends up learning about the files, and she correctly suspects that Bobby Fish has them. However, she is not the only one to suspect so; it turns out someone in the Hand knows about the files as well, so by the time she gets to Bobby, she finds him dead in his apartment, killed off by Elektra. At the same time, perhaps Karen, assigned by Ellison to cover Luke's trial, ends up going to Harlem to interview Bobby; maybe even she witnesses the crime. While Karen gets away, Jessica ends up getting arrested.

This could certainly explain why Jessica is being interrogated by Misty, given that Misty probably feels indebted to Luke after he saved her from Diamondback. It might even explain the dialogue (Jessica: "I was trying to help him." Misty: "But you didn't."). Matt learns of the news from Karen, there's a healthy helping of "Are you kidding me?", and then he shows up to represent Jessica as well.

  • Jossed, because...

Foggy Nelson will be the one defending Luke, not Matt
True, Claire may know both members of Nelson & Murdock, but in her onscreen time, she's only ever gotten to witness Foggy actually practicing law, as she was there when he talked down those gangbangers on the hospital floor with little more than his mouth and appealing to their inner nature, and Foggy made quite a reputation for his opening remarks during Frank Castle's trial.
  • Confirmed.

Turk Barrett will appear.
At some point, they will need information from New York's favorite stool-pigeon. He will see Luke Cage and Daredevil together and promptly Freak Out.
  • Confirmed, though he only appears once and only encounters Luke.

Candidates for the identity of the Big Bad played by Sigourney Weaver.
  • a female avatar of Mephisto.
    • The series in the Defenders line focus more on humans, street crimes, and corruption. A demon might be a bit out there.
  • a Gender Flipped version of Nightmare, who is manipulating the other villains through their dreams. It will be revealed that she has driven some of the previous bad guys to have done what they have in the past, all as part of a plot to find a new way to pull humans into the Dream Dimension.
    • The series in the Defenders line focus more on humans, street crimes, and corruption. A demon might be a bit out there.
  • Mephista, the daughter of Mephisto whom Doctor Strange fought.
    • The series in the Defenders line focus more on humans, street crimes, and corruption. A demon might be a bit out there.
  • The leader of IGH.
  • The CEO of a company called Alchemax.
  • Ruby Tuesday, an old Defenders villain who was a scientist that replaced her head with a shapeshifting computer. One would imagine the character could be updated a bit to fit the tone of the show.
    • Piggybacking off of this, Ruby Tuesday will be the head scientist or a part of IGH as suggested above, and will somehow be working with the Hand, thus justifying Stick's presence.
    • Turns out her name is Ruby Thursday (Thursday is even her real first name).
    • Ruby is a character who is defined by her red orb head. Without it, there would be little to connect to the original outside of her being called Ruby Thursday.
    • She was the Smurfette of a group of very weird and obscure villains, so why her?
  • The successor of Madame B, who is trying to create a newer, stronger Black Widow Program.
  • An ally of Harold Meachum at Rand Industries.
  • an audio recorded tour guide for a MarineLife Institute.
  • A gender-flipped version of Alexander Holt, a Daredevil antagonist that was a predecessor to Wilson Fisk.
  • Alexandra Draguno, an Iron Man villain that debuted in the 2013 "Believe" storyline. She would be hired by a surviving villain from any of the other four shows and eventually cross paths with the Defenders.

  • Danny's mother living under an assumed name. There's plenty of hints:
    • We never saw Heather's body after she got sucked out of the plane. And rule of thumb in fiction is that no body means no death. Danny even says that he imagined his mother had somehow survived.
    • At no time did the Hand ever seriously try to kill Danny. This suggests that someone in the Hand wanted Danny alive. Remember how in Episode 8, Madame Gao ordered to have "the women" killed, but Danny, apparently, was not to be harmed. Why?
    • Madame Gao and Bakuto both mentioned a "master" who was interested in Danny.
    • Ward obviously didn't know that Madame Gao was using Rand Enterprises as a front to smuggle drugs. But we know someone authorized Madame Gao to have a security pass and access to a floor in the Rand building. Could be something Heather set up.
    • Harold was brought back to life and then told that he couldn't leave his penthouse, or else Joy Meachum would be killed. That sounds very personal. Like, perhaps Heather realized Harold's complicity in the plane crash.
    • Madame Gao mentioned that she met Danny's mother first and she introduced her to his father. Perhaps there is more to it than just chance meetings.
    • In the comics, Danny's mother ends up coming back as a werewolf-like villain (long story), so it's not a stretch for the character.

  • Matt Murdock's mother living under an assumed name. Matt never mentions her at all, and the closest the show has come to acknowledging her is first when Jack leaves a message for her prior to the match with Creel, and this exchange between Stick and an elderly nun when he first meets Matt:
    Elderly Nun: He's getting worse. When we first took him in, Matthew's problems seemed less severe. Now he's in so much pain. Doctors, clergy, no one has any idea what's wrong with him. We heard about your work with special children and thought maybe you could help.
    Stick: Not for free.
    Elderly Nun: His father left a sizeable inheritance.
    Stick: What about the mother? Is she dead?
    Elderly Nun: No, she's - Well, that's another story.

  • A gender-flipped version of Ken Wind, a Hand-controlled presidential candidate from Elektra: Assassin. Wind was a charismatic, popular politician who was brainwashed by the Hand, as part of their plan to spread the influence of the Beast into the core of the U.S. government. Weaver’s assertion in one interview that her character is a “really nice woman” seems to suggest that she’s playing someone who is either an unwitting pawn of the Hand, or is putting up a facade. It would also be very timely… The Defenders is going to be New York City-focused, and will be coming out right in time for the real-life mayoral elections. If Weaver's character is Wind, she's operating on a smaller scale, while working with the same general goal in mind. This would be optimal, as it makes her another villain in the same general mold as Wilson Fisk, Mariah Dillard, and Harold Meachum– not superpowered or combat-based, but dangerous through the use of social capital, personal power, and manipulation (plus the benefits of the Hand). Our heroes won’t be able to just knock down the door and kick her butt. Plus, as Reyes and Mariah have shown, the political climate in New York City is currently very anti-superhero. The perfect opportunity for the Hand to use an anti-vigilante politician to discredit the Defenders and make a power grab.
  • All Jossed. She really is an original character made for the series.

The outcome of Matt's disclosure of his secret identity to Karen will start things off
Season 2 of Daredevil ended with Matt confessing his secret identity to Karen. Given both Deborah Ann Woll (Karen) and Elden Henson (Foggy) are confirmed to make appearances in The Defenders, I imagine the story starting with the end of Matt's reveal to Karen to show her reaction. Then the conversation is interrupted by Claire hiring Matt on to defend Luke, kickstarting the plot. Matt ends up having to work with Foggy and the rest of the special legal team Jeri Hogarth put together for "people with complexities", which would certainly bring together all of the important protagonists, as dialogue in "Kinbaku" made clear that Jeri still uses Jessica Jones and we know she's also an ally for Danny Rand.

If and when The Punisher appears
He will appear to assist the Defenders when are being overwhelmed by Elektra and the Hand with the Minigun that was teased at the end of Daredevil Season 2, thinning out the Hand's numbers and forcing Elektra back so the Defenders can regroup. The details about the plot already sound like they're taking elements from the Shadowland story from the comics (with an evil Elektra instead of Daredevil) and this would be a recreation of a similar scene from that comic. Considering how well received and popular he's gotten it would be a waste if he didn't appear in some fashion.
  • Jossed. He does not appear, despite some trailers hinting that he will.

Jessica will be extremely opposed to calling the group The Defenders
As a reference to her cynicism and a reference to how her series went out of the way to avoid using the Avengers' names (I.e. "The Flag Waver", "The Big Green Guy"). She'll call Matt things like "The Redhead" or "That stunt nut" and Danny things like "Karate Kid" (Even though it's Kung Fu) and "Blondie". The others will find it annoying and pointless.

The Sokovia Accords
  • Jeri will explain the Sokovia Accords to Jessica and let her know that she cannot represent her unless she signs them. Jessica refuses, Foggy overhears the conversation, and tells her to go see his friend Matt as he would be more willing to go against the rules. This sets the two up to meet one another.
  • Luke signing the Accords is what allows him to get out of prison in exchange for helping to save New York.
  • Thing is, they probably won't operate publicly. Since they're street level heroes, they'll mostly be fighting in the shadows at night and not have to worry about the Accords since they're not working for the UN.
  • Jossed. The Accords are never even mentioned.

The Defenders will somehow end up on Long Island landfill
Considering the Running Gag of the Defenders (sans Iron Fist) ending up in the trash in some form or another, it would be the logical place for them to end up in their crossover series.

Matt and/or Luke will have to tell Jessica to get off her ass
Even after defeating Kilgrave, Jessica is reluctant to be a hero. Luke on the other hand, has decided after his ordeals with Cottonmouth and Diamondback to stand and fight no matter what, and Matt will have been doing this for years by the time the series takes place. Inspiring words don't always work on Jessica, and it may be time for some tough love. Depending on who says it, selling points may include that drinking herself to death and wasting her powers means letting Kilgrave win, some insight into how much Hell's Kitchen really needs heroes, or at least that having more superheroes on the streets of Hell's Kitchen would take a huge load off of Matt's shoulders.
  • Partially Jossed. Jessica does walk away when it gets too nuts, but she comes back in the same episode, and entirely of her own accord.

Claire Temple will die in The Defenders
When one thinks about it, each of the Defenders and their show is a parallel to one of the Avengers and their standalone movies:
  • Matt Murdock and Tony Stark are both guys in red suits, each coping with a disability (blindness; a hole in the chest) but also becoming a superhero by defeating a bald villain (Wilson Fisk; Obadiah Stane).
  • Jessica Jones and Bruce Banner want to live away from everyone else and forget traumas of their past (Kilgrave; Banner's experimentation). Others seek to use them for their strength and abilities. Each finds solace in a love interest (Luke Cage; Betty Ross) but get driven apart.
  • Season 2 of Daredevil (2015), like Iron Man 2, continues with upgrading the characters and introduce new allies (Elektra and Frank Castle; Natasha Romanoff and War Machine). Matt and Tony also have self-doubts over their roles as superheroes.
  • Luke Cage and Thor both grew up in different environments than the ones they find themselves in. Both have serious issues with their brothers (Diamondback; Loki). Their powers are similar in being extremely durable bruisers.
  • Danny Rand, like Steve Rogers, was presumed dead after a plane crash into the snow, and wound up with fighting skills. Both have questions about their pasts and struggle to fit in with the newer world when they are introduced to it.

If this trend continues, Claire probably will parallel Nick Fury and pulls the team together or be like Phil Coulson and die, and her death will serve the same purpose as Coulson's death did in the Avengers: it will cause the four of them to come together as a team and take down the bad guys.

  • That Claire will die is jossed, since she's been seen on set filming for Luke Cage (2016) season 2.

The Defenders will have to leave New York City at some point to gather information.
Partially confirmed as of the first episode as it begins with Danny and Colleen in Cambodia.

Danny Rand will die.
Early reviews for Iron Fist (2017) have been highly negative and the controversy over its use of the Mighty Whitey trope hasn't helped. It's still possible they rewrite the show so that Danny dies fighting the Big Bad.
  • Alternatively, the writers will notice the flaws in Danny's personality that critics have pointed out, and try to make him more likeable and interesting. Then they'll kill him.
  • Maybe his own show simply won't get a second season and he'll become a supporting character in Luke Cage (2016) instead. After all, Luke and Danny were partnered up in the comics, and Misty Knight is Danny's love interest in the comics.
  • Jossed. The Defenders was already written and the bulk of the show was finished shooting by the time the Iron Fist show premiered. There was no time for rewrites/reshoots.

Trish Walker will be the one to come up with the name "The Defenders"...
Of all the supporting cast of the different series, Trish is the one who is a bona fide superhero Fangirl, even trying to push Jessica into being a costumed superheroine. So Trish is the one most likely to christen the group with a superhero moniker. Being a radio personality, she is also in a position to make it catch on with the general public.
...or it is Karen Page who comes up with the name
If it isn't Trish who invents the "Defenders" nickname, it will be Karen Page who invents the title. Since Nelson & Murdock's closure, Karen has become a reporter at the Bulletin, and we know from an offhand line in Iron Fist (2017) that she's Danny's media contact. Furthermore, Karen has been very supportive of vigilantes and what they do. Karen's whole arc in season 2 of Daredevil with Frank Castle shows she is supportive and compassionate towards vigilantes, even if she doesn't agree with their methods. Furthermore, she briefly dated Matt, and now she knows that he's the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, who saved her life twice. And she was more-or-less a fangirl of Daredevil even before she knew it was Matt. Furthermore, she knows two of the four, since Danny used her to leak his plans about the chemical plant shutdown.

Whether or not Matt's identity reveal prompts Karen to get back together with him is ambiguous. Even if they don't, Matt gives Karen an inside source who can give her information on the group's actions to publish in the Bulletin, and with Karen's own reputation for amateur sleuthing (finding Wilson Fisk's mom, breaking into Frank Castle's house), what's to say she'll assist them in a behind-the-scenes role. And since the Bulletin was the first paper to call Matt "The Devil of Hell's Kitchen" and later "Daredevil", it'd be fitting for the paper to do it a third time.

It's possible that both Karen and Trish might come up with the name together. I could see them bonding over their shared nosiness (and the consequences of said nosiness: Trish's near-death experiences at Kilgrave's hands, and Karen killing James Wesley).

Jessica will have to be given some sort of incentive to join the battle against the Hand

When Madame Gao is in Danny's office in "Felling with Tree Roots", she mentions three of the four Defenders: "The Devil of Hell's Kitchen. The man with unbreakable skin. And now, an immortal weapon has left K'un L'un." She doesn't mention Jessica Jones in any way. Either Madame Gao simply forgot to name her, or Jessica currently flies far under the Hand’s radar.

On a sidenote, if Jessica counts Joy Meachum as a client, she might have some (and want to find more) dirt on Danny by the time they meet.

It's possible that Jessica will get lured in because she's drawn into Matt's circle (given that Matt shows up to interrupt Misty interrogating Jessica). It's possible that Foggy has passed some of Hogarth's cases off to Matt so that he can at least make some regular income and that's how Matt and Jessica come to know each other.

  • Alternately, Foggy may give Matt cases, it's but more like he sees people he can't help because he works for a large corporate firm now, so he directs them to Matt. He can't blatantly be giving Matt cases because that'd probably break a non-compete clause.
  • Confirmed. Jessica is drawn into the fight by investigating a case.

How the Defenders are tied to Midland Circle

According to the spreadsheet on Harold Meachum's computer in "Felling with Tree Roots," the Hand has been moving a lot of money from Rand Enterprises into accounts at Midland Circle Financials. Midland Circle should sound familiar to those who paid attention to the second season of Daredevil (2015): it’s the company allegedly behind the giant hole that Matt and Elektra dropped that flashlight down. It's the operation that might pull all four solo stories into one. Word of God is that the Midland Circle offices will be the site of the Defenders’ first accidental meeting. They're all investigating the same mystery, eventually stumbling upon one another in the middle of a huge fight in a hallway.

  • Danny Rand: Danny and the Meachums discovered in Iron Fist that Rand has unknowingly funneled money into Madame Gao’s heroin trafficking, and much of that money — as indicated on that spreadsheet on Harold's computer — has gone to Midland Circle. That means Danny has the most clear-cut reason: he chooses to investigate the company by following the paper trail listed on these documents.
  • Jessica Jones: Jessica was hired by Joy Meachum in the past to take compromising photos of members of the Rand board of directors. Joy tells Ward that Jessica was worth every penny, when sober. When we last saw Joy, she was talking with Davos, seemingly plotting to get rid of Danny. It's possible that she hires Jessica to investigate Danny. Alternately, Danny reaches out to Jeri Hogarth and she hooks him up with Jessica.
  • Matt Murdock's and Luke Cage's connections aren't as clear-cut. Matt's conflicts with the Hand were with Nobu, not Gao, although he's familiar with Gao from when he was going after Wilson Fisk. And Luke doesn't have anything connecting him to The Hand, unless somehow they're tied to the experiments that happened at Seagate. The best guess I have with Matt involves Karen.

Karen Page will be the one who brings the Defenders together
Karen knows two of the Defenders for certain: she knows Matt, used to work as his office assistant, and dated him briefly. She also leaked Danny's decision to shut down the Staten Island chemical plant. And it's possible she knows Jessica or at least has heard of Jessica because presumably she's still in touch with Foggy.

I have the opinion that Karen gets back together with Matt because of him disclosing his secret. I say that because Karen's whole arc with Frank Castle in season 2 seemed to be staged to set her up as supportive and compassionate towards vigilantes, to show how supportive and understanding Karen might be about Matt’s secret. Likewise, through Karen opening up to Matt about her opinions of Frank, Matt knew she was someone he could count on to not judge him the way Foggy did.

I think, whether or not we see the followup to the reveal, or we just open two months after Elektra's death (like Charlie Cox suggests), the way the reveal goes is this: Matt gives Karen the "world on fire" speech he gave Claire and Foggy regarding his abilities. He also explains to her everything that he was doing with Elektra during and after Frank Castle's trial, including Karen getting kidnapped by the Hand as bait. As a result, Karen learns who Stick, Elektra, the Chaste, and the Hand are.

I want to think that perhaps Danny draws them into this. It's implied that Karen is his media contact, again since she was the one who published the chemical plant story. Seeing that the Hand has attacked K'un L'un, Danny and Colleen return to New York City and Danny decides that the Hand can't be fought in the shadows, they have to be fought in the open. So he contacts Karen figuring that she might be willing to run it. Danny is unaware that Karen has been involved with the Hand in the past, or knows someone else that has fought the Hand. But Matt gets drawn into the fray as a result of Karen informing him about what she's learned from Danny, for two reasons: A) Matt is familiar with Madame Gao since when they were bringing down Wilson Fisk. And Karen is on it because there's an injustice going on in her city and she can’t stand that. Also B) Matt and Karen probably take this personally. They're both outraged that the organization that kidnapped Karen is still out there, and Matt is moreso given that Elektra had been killed during the rescue. Thus, Matt and Karen begin working together to investigate Midland Circle, with Matt going after them as Daredevil, and Karen is sleuthing things out with her investigative journalism work.

Alternately, Matt and Karen immediately dive into investigating the Hand on their own, again since both have every reason to want to see them dismantled. That Karen was the one who published the chemical plant story raises the possibility that she and Matt already knew about the Hand's infiltration of Rand Enterprises before Danny came on the scene, and publishing stories about the other things going on at the company are Karen's way of giving herself an alibi.

Karen might even be the one who pushes Matt to team up with Danny, Luke and Jessica. Remember how back in season 1 of Daredevil, when Matt was distraught after seeing what was going on in Madame Gao's drug lab, it was Karen who told him "You're not alone, Matt. You never were." Matt realized the need to work with others from his time with Elektra and some of his time with Frank Castle. So Matt probably will take these words to heart and be the one to motivate the team-up. That said, Karen might very well become the next person from the supporting cast besides Claire to interact with all four. Besides Matt, Danny and Jessica, it's likely that Karen might be the Bulletin reporter assigned to cover Luke Cage's trial. With her involvement in taking down Wilson Fisk, her investigation into Frank Castle, and her having been saved twice by Daredevil, it's hard not to imagine Ellison would see Karen as one with special insight into the world of vigilantes.

It's also possible that Karen will convince Matt to work with the other Defenders, and in exchange Karen goes public on their activities.

The Chaste are aware of the Iron Fist
If the Iron Fist was created to be the ultimate weapon against the Hand, it would stand to reason that the Chaste would know of Danny, if they haven't outright worked with previous Iron Fists in the past. With Stick being in the show, it stands to reason that he'll be able to help Danny grow his skills with the Fist, the way Bakuto did in Iron Fist, so that in the end, Danny will be able to fight more like the 1948 Iron Fist.
  • Confirmed. They are K'un-Lun's agents on Earth, designed to back the Fist when/if the bearer emerges to fight the Hand.

The events of the first episode will coincide with Iron Fist
Iron Fist seems to take place a couple months after both Daredevil season 2 and Luke Cage season 1, given that Luke's still in jail and Claire is shown writing letters to him. It's likely that perhaps Danny and Colleen don't get back from K'un L'un until near the end of the first episode, so the first episode ends up spending most of its time focusing on what's going on with Matt, Luke and Jessica during the events of Iron Fist.
  • Jossed. It takes place a few months later.

The team-up fight will be the result of everyone being lured in by The Hand
It is revealed in the tenth episode of Iron Fist that the Hand has been doing a mass surveillance all over New York City. Aside from having encounters with Matt and Danny, they also know about Luke (Madame Gao even referenced him in another episode), and they might know about Jessica.

Chances are, the Hand probably see the four of them are threats, and what a better way to get rid of them than to fight the Defenders in the Hand's home court. The Hand is going to manipulate events that will prompt the four Defenders in going there.

We know from the trailer footage that Matt may have involuntarily joined the fight. He is in his suit and tie, not in his Daredevil suit, and he had to steal Jessica's scarf at the last second to improvise a mask.

Loads of random WMGS
  • The Hand schism will split them into fingers
    • Gao, Pinky; Bakuto, Ring (represent the heart) or thumb (humanity), Elektra/formerly Nobu's faction, Middle; Danny's mom or Sigourney Weaver's character (the thumb)
      • The Defenders are the counter hand each defender fighting a finger boss
    • Did Cottonmouth die broke? Is there any reason to bring him back?
      • Cliffhanger characters like Will Simpson and Diamondback are working for the Hand and represent a foil to their character (Simpson's power as a foil to Jessica and Diamondback foil to Luke)

The Netflix shows post-Defenders will have more crossovers
Since The Defenders is the Netflix version of The Avengers, it stands to reason that the standalone shows will start having more crossovers than just Claire Temple; like how the films had more crossovers after the first Avengers movie (Cap's appearance in Thor: The Dark World or Banner's appearance in Iron Man 3 come to mind).
  • For instance, the appearance of Karen Page in The Punisher (2017) seems to suggest that she has taken up the role Ben Urich played in the comics as an informant and ally (and girlfriend in Matt's case) to the street-level heroes.
  • Marci Stahl and Foggy Nelson, introduced in Daredevil (2015), might make appearances in season 2 of Jessica Jones (2015) since Jeri Hogarth is an ally of Jessica's
  • Will Simpson, or Nuke, introduced in Jessica Jones (2015), might appear in season 3 of Daredevil (2015) and still carry out his attack on Hell's Kitchen on Fisk's orders like he did in the Daredevil: Born Again storyline
  • On May 9, 2017, Marvel and Netflix released a number of motion graphics through their social media accounts for each series, showcasing various character crossovers: Matt sitting on a bus stop bench advertising Trish Talk; Luke at Fogwell's Gym; Danny meditating outside Jessica's front door; Jessica at Rand Enterpries; and Matt in an elevator stopped at the floor where Madame Gao's secret office is in the Rand building.

Everyone will call bullshit on Iron Fist's backstory
Because everyone of them, even though they've seen some weird stuff in their lives, no one's gonna believe that Danny got his powers from punching a dragon in a mystical plane of reality.
  • Partially Confirmed. Matt doesn't have much of a reaction either way, Luke is skeptical, and Jess even more so.

The Defenders will have sub-team ups before the big teamup

Based on what trailer footage is available, it looks as if the Defenders will already have teamed up with other members before Midland Circle. The pairings going in will be Matt and Jessica, and Luke and Danny. This makes sense given that Jessica and Luke know each other, but neither of them knows Matt or Danny.

Matt and Jessica already have a lot in common: they likely be the most reluctant in joining a team, preferring to work alone (Matt remembers what happened to Elektra the last time he worked with someone; while Jessica was reluctant to work with others in her show because she couldn't trust that Kilgrave might be able to get to them), and preferring the cover of darkness and rooftops to overt operations. Plus, they gained their abilities in car accidents, and they have profound struggles with identity and purpose. For Matt and Jessica, their similarities will likely be what bring them together.

With Luke and Danny, it's a different story. It will be their differences that factor into their teamwork: Danny is desperate to be a hero, to find purpose; Luke is your classic reluctant hero, opting to mostly stay out of things if he can. Danny has an irrational and overly emotional approach to most things; Luke is a calm and rational actor. Danny is classically and strictly trained in the art of kung fu; Luke is a brawler with no real need for form.

  • Partially Confirmed. Matt and Jess meet first, as do Luke and Danny, but neither pair works together before the big meeting.

Stick will lose a hand
At least one of the production stills appears to show Stick looking like he's missing his right hand, if not his entire right arm. Stick chopped off Hand hands in both seasons of Daredevil, so maybe this is payback.

Plus, Stick said during Daredevil season 2, "Enough with these amateurs. Time to get the band back together." Acknowledging Matt’s utter failure against the Hand (and assuming they don’t know or– possibly– trust Danny’s capabilities yet), perhaps the Chaste will attempt to take the Hand down on their own. They will fail, probably sustaining some serious damage (e.g. Stick’s hand or full arm). In fact, since Stick seems to be alone in all of these shots, he may be the only survivor of the altercation, which would be really upsetting but not out of the question. This setback may be what prompts him to ask Matt, Jessica, Luke, and Danny to give him a hand.

  • Confirmed. He chops it off to escape the Hand.

The Shockwave
The trailer shows the characters being knocked off their feet by a shockwave that also bounces cars around on the street. There are some theories as to what this means:
  • An enemy (possibly Weaver's character) is attacking the group.
  • Way back in the first season of Daredevil, Stick mentions "the gate" opening with the question of whether or not Matt will be ready when it does. Whatever this gate is, perhaps it opens underground, creating a huge tremor. We know the Hand has been digging underground for some time.
  • Some have speculated that this ties into K'un L'un disappearing at the end of Iron Fist. Maybe the Hand somehow made it reappear under the streets of New York. Again, this could be why the Hand dug a huge hole in the ground.
  • The Bulletin Tumblr page has one headline showing the construction of the Midland Circle building on what was Elena Cardenas' tenement, with the ominous caption "Earth shaking, ground-breaking". Perhaps the construction of the building is somehow involved.
  • The Emergency Awesome youtube channel speculated that Stick is leading the team in a training session and perhaps Danny and Luke collided, creating a shockwave that knocked the team down.
  • Confirmed. The big shockwave is caused by the Hand trying to open the gate.

What Matt has been doing since Elektra's death

From the trailer shots, we can see that Matt still lives out of his apartment, meaning he clearly has some form of income given the high rent prices in Hell's Kitchen. Which makes one wonder what Matt has been doing for a day job since telling Karen his secret.

  • He never lost his job. He's still a lawyer. In fact, going by Charlie Cox's statements, he's been mostly retired from Daredevil since Elektra's death, which would mean he has more time to spend doing his job, and making amends with Foggy and Karen. Matt presumably has thrown himself into helping out Nelson & Murdock's old clientele, with Foggy possibly throwing the occasional "complexities" case to Matt to give him something to do. Despite some tension, I believe Foggy and Karen will still help him.
  • He almost certainly probably got all of Elektra's money. We don't know what was written into Elektra's will, but Elektra admitted she fell in love with Matt against orders, so she probably had her will changed to bequeath all of her assets to Matt.
  • Even if Matt's reputation as a lawyer has soured due to Frank Castle's trial, he is still a good lawyer and there are always going to be people who need legal help and can’t afford anyone else. Matt has time to re-establish himself. He can try to run an independent practice. Plus, with Matt's reputation is a walking lie detector, he's more likely to take cases that the person should win (because they are not guilty), so that will allow him to have a nice-looking win ratio, and lawyers with good win/loss ratio records on paper are the ones you'd probably be more willing to consider hiring for cases. Alternately, perhaps he starts doing pro bono work for Blake Tower or whoever has become district attorney in light of Reyes' murder, since it helps to have connections, and having contacts in the DA's office (through Blake Tower) and the NYPD (through Brett Mahoney) can help him get information that can help him during his Daredevil activities.
  • It's likely that Karen is helping Matt with his finances. As Nelson & Murdock’s de facto office manager, she presumably was the one who dealt with their creditors and handled paying the bills. However Karen might feel about Matt personally after his big reveal, she probably owes it to him to make sure he understands the firm’s finances and can manage them himself going forward. Maybe Karen is even doing part-time work as Matt's secretary to help him with the financial aspects of running an independent practice.
  • On a related note, that Matt is likely stepping back from Daredevil for a while, has some precedence in the comics. A lot of fanfics out there for post-season 2, have Matt going out all night every night and running himself ragged, it's more realistic to imagine Matt adapting a slightly less grueling schedule. In the comics, Matt has occasional breaks from Daredevil, and Matt and Foggy always seem to be closing their business and re-opening under another name. So Nelson & Murdock falling apart in Daredevil season 2 doesn't exactly seem too out of place.
  • There's some evidence suggesting that Karen is working with Matt to investigate the Hand, through Rand Enterprises. The chemical plant story doesn't seem like something that Karen would publish unless she was trying to deflect suspicion. Also consider how at the press conference, Karen's colleague Jennifer Many asks a question about Danny's stay at Birch Psychiatric Hospital, which the Meachums had taken efforts to cover up through paying off people; which could suggest Matt or Karen are plugged in at Rand.
  • Partially confirmed. Matt has been working, but mostly or solely pro bono cases (ie. he doesn't get paid). It gets Lampshaded in a conversation with Jessica.

Alexandra is the leader of The Hand

We know she's the head of an investment group called Midland Circle, but recent comments from costume designer Stephanie Maslansky imply that she's also the leader of The Hand:

I’d say very elegant, very beautiful. I had so much fun designing her wardrobe. It was very, possibly even in a way, grounded in an older world. Maybe very, in a way, European. More of a global feeling to her wardrobe, very lush. I think that she’s clearly a baddie, and she’s the head of an ancient organization which is grounded in the comics. I hope that her wardrobe reflects that kind of ancientness. I hope I haven’t said too much. I hope Marvel doesn’t come after me.

So when Bakuto said to Danny that there was someone from the Hand who's interested in meeting him, that "someone" probably is Alexandra.

  • Confirmed. She is in charge, but it's more of a "first among equals" deal.

The Chinese restaurant where the team eats in the trailer is the new Genghis Connie's.
Connie probably got a lot of insurance money from Cottonmouth blowing up her building. After cashing the insurance company's check, she probably used it to buy a newer, nicer space for her restaurant.
  • Alternately, it's the Golden Sands. Danny and Colleen are on good terms with the Triad boss who runs that joint, and it's unlikely that the payout for destruction caused by criminal activity would be enough for Connie to buy a nicer space.
  • Both jossed. It's a new place called the Royal Dragon.

Elektra will eventually make a Heel–Face Turn against the Hand
In the comics, those brought back from the dead by the Hand fall completely under their control. This would have been an easy explanation for how Elektra might become an antagonist in this show– but as Harold Meachum’s efforts in Iron Fist (2017) to fight the Hand (even after coming back twice) demonstrate, it doesn’t seem to be true in the show continuity. Instead, the resurrection results in a loss of humanity, which depletes the victim’s capacity for love and empathy and turns them violent. As Ward described Harold, "It's like a piece of his soul got left in the grave."

Couple Ward's remark, with Elektra’s skills and predisposition for killing, would make her massively dangerous. But it wouldn’t necessarily result in a willingness to help the Hand. She rejected them in Daredevil after all, and getting skewered by Nobu probably didn’t make her any more enamored of them. One factor that is unclear is what effect becoming a fully realized Black Sky will have on Elektra. It's possible that perhaps with Elektra, she gets subjected to some form of mental numbing or brainwashing, and demonic possession is still a very real possibility. She’s clearly doing the Hand’s bidding to a certain degree here, and the details of how that happened are still ripe for speculation.

What is clear is that Elektra now has super strength, as there's one shot where she punches Matt with enough force that Matt is sent flying backwards. However, it’s also notable that she decides to just hit Matt, rather than gutting him with her sword. This, coupled with how long she waits before even entering the fight, suggests that either A) that she’s been told to keep them alive, or B) that she’s fighting whatever control she’s under.

  • Partially Confirmed. She does break their conditioning, but makes a strong Heel turn... though she seems to turn Face later on with Matt.

Karen Page will take over from Claire Temple as the crossover character for Phase 2 of the Netflix shows
Claire Temple can't stay the crossover character that links the Defenders together. This means it's likely that someone else will have to take over that role after The Defenders. That is where Karen would be a perfect fit, as a newspaper confidant and informant to the Defenders. She will fill the role that Ben Urich had in the comics, now that as of the end of Daredevil season 2 she's got Ben's old office and his job. In the comics, Ben learned Daredevil’s identity, but he refused to divulge it; and he and Matt act as sources of information for each other on various cases. With Karen now knowing Matt's secret, she seems to be now filling that same role, just with her also being romantically attached to Matt on top of the above. Karen and Jessica also would be very likely to get along and bond over the trauma of killing people (James Wesley and Kilgrave respectively), while she would also likely bond with Luke seeing him as a victim of injustices, and Danny for the same reasons.

The seeds for this seem to have been planted in Iron Fist, when Danny mentioned to the board of directors in "Felling Tree with Roots" that Karen was the reporter that publicized his decision to close down the chemical plant.

Bakuto will return from the dead

Given the comments in Iron Fist about how he might come back from the dead the same way Harold Meachum did, I think Bakuto's resurrection is guaranteed. I can imagine Colleen being negatively affected by this: for one, with Bakuto back on his feet, messing with her former students and acting as a threat to her and her friends, she may experience some major regret about not ensuring his death when she had the chance. Her decision to spare him at the time was vital to her rejection of the Hand.

And clearly, Colleen never made it far enough into the Hand’s inner circle to learn about their resurrection practice, so having watched Davos stab him, she made the logical assumption that he was gone for good. But logic aside, she has the capacity to kill when required to (she’s a samurai, after all– even if it hasn’t been emphasized in the show as much as it is in the comics), and she’s going to blame herself for not preventing Bakuto from returning. At the same time, the Hand was her family and primary support system for years, and everything happened so quickly toward the end of Iron Fist that she hasn’t yet had time to fully process this loss. She went from devoting her life to Bakuto and the Hand to fighting for her life against them, and that’s a trauma she’s not going to get over anytime soon. Jessica Henwick has confirmed that the Hand’s betrayal will factor in a big way into Colleen’s arc in The Defenders.

As much as she wants Bakuto dead, Colleen's love for him was so strong and recent and long-lasting that confronting him again will likely really, really hurt. Matt’s not the only person who will be forced to face down a supposedly dead loved one who’s gone bad.

  • Confirmed by the second trailer.
How Matt comes to know Jessica

It's kinda surprising, from the trailer footage, that Foggy Nelson isn't the one showing up to defend Jessica, given that Jeri Hogarth hired him on Marci Stahl's recommendation and on his experience in defending Frank Castle, and Hogarth has a close working relationship with Jessica.

This means, there's a number of possibilities as to why Matt shows up instead of Foggy:

  • Hogarth tries to get Foggy to defend Jessica, and Foggy instead tips off Matt and fumbles around so that Matt gets there first.
  • Whoever died is someone that Matt knows as well (unlikely)
  • Whoever died is someone that Matt and Karen were using for information on the Hand (likely)
  • Sgt. Brett Mahoney tips Matt off that the case is weird. True, Brett may have been more of Foggy's friend than Matt's friend, but he still has his working relationship with Daredevil, and probably is still tipping Matt off to "interesting cases" along the way.
  • Claire reaches out to Matt to defend Jessica (unlikely as Claire's relationship with Jessica is weak and I doubt they're in contact)
  • The first possibility is partially confirmed. Hogarth orders Foggy to help Jess, but to do it in a way that won't be tied back the firm. He turns to Matt, and the rest is history.

Danny Rand will (hopefully) be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap
The Iron Fist series hasn't exactly been a good introduction to the character, but hopefully his partnering up with Luke Cage and having good rapport with the rest of the team, and maybe having a few hilarious or awesome moments will redeem him somewhat in the eyes of the fans.
  • Confirmed or Jossed as a matter of taste. Some fans who disliked him still do so, and others find his interactions with the other make him tolerable.

There will be a Running Gag of the Defenders forgetting Matt is blind
And Matt will have to sarcastically remind them that he can't see things on screens or paper, or colors.
  • Mostly Jossed. It does come up once or twice when figures of speech are used, but that's it.

The Chinese Restaurant scene occurs after the team defeats the Disc-One Final Boss and they think they've won.
Going by the trailer, the heroes seem fairly relaxed when they're in the Chinese restaurant, as if there are no more threats to worry about. Danny seems to be trying to get them to form an ongoing team, as opposed to just teaming together for one mission. Maybe, when the team first comes together, they take out some bad guys and believe they've won the day. They then grab a bite to eat to cool down. Then Stick shows up and tells them "the war has just begun". Then Alexandra shows up (both scenes are shown in the trailer and it seems like it's all a part of a long sequence). She threatens them and their loved ones, letting the team know the worst is ahead of them.
  • Jossed. The restaurant is the first place they take shelter in after escaping Midland Circle, at the beginning of their team-up.

Alexandra pulls a hit on the Defenders' loved ones, which results in Misty Knight losing an arm
.In the trailer, Sigourney Weaver's character threatens the Defenders' friends and family, so it's likely she will attempt to make good on her threats and dispatch assassins. While Foggy, Trish, Karen, Claire, and Colleen will make it out intact, Misty will lose an arm, one way or another. They did have a fake-out for this when she got shot in the right arm by Diamondback during the hostage situation at Harlem's Paradise, and Inspector Ridley subsequently telling Misty that she could make her injury worse by refusing to go to the hospital to get it checked up on. And there is behind-the-scenes footage showing the Defenders running down the street with Luke holding Misty who appears to be injured and has a coat around her arm. The second trailer further emphasizes this, as there's a brief shot in which we see Karen and Foggy in a precinct, with both clearly upset, Foggy trying not to cry, and Karen clutching him like a life preserver.
  • Jossed. The Defenders take their loved ones to a police station to deter the Hand from pulling another kidnapping. Misty does lose her arm, but it's when she saves Claire from Bakuto.

The backstory of Colleen's mother will be revealed

A lot of Colleen’s past in Iron Fist was left really vague and underdeveloped, and it’s tough to tell if that was just writer/showrunner negligence, or if it was to leave room for future revelations. Colleen says that she doesn’t know what was happening to her mother at the time. This is either a really poignant and realistic depiction of how a young child might perceive/not perceive illness, or a hint that her mother's death was not normal. There’s also the fact that we’re meant to assume she died of cancer, which immediately reminds us of Harold Meachum, who was resurrected by the Hand after dying from cancer. That could have been a little subliminal hint, maybe?.

Plus, we never get all the details about how Colleen joined the Hand in the first place. She says that she went to Bakuto's compound after her grandfather died, and Bakuto references her being “lost” before she arrived… but did she end up there purely by chance? Or did her grandfather tell her to go there? Colleen’s comment about the Hand in Episode 10, “This is my family. Maybe the only one I’ve ever known,” is an intriguing statement when juxtaposed with the clear love she felt for her grandfather, and could support the latter possibility. There’s also the fact that Madame Gao acts as though she knew him ("honor the warrior your grandfather created").

Taking all of this into account, there’s a good possibility that Colleen’s mother and grandfather (and maybe even her father; we know practically nothing about Lee Wing in this universe) could have been involved with the Hand. And of course, that means they might not even be dead anymore.

There's also a theory that Colleen's family were/are involved with the Chaste instead, and Bakuto actively recruited Colleen in order to steal her from the enemy. Regardless, either option would be a big enough revelation to warrant saving it for The Defenders.

Also, on the topic of dead mothers with possible Hand connections, you have to remember that Madame Gao also mentioned having known Danny's mother long before she knew Harold. Which has its own meanings.

  • Jossed. Colleen's past is mentioned, but only in the context of being in the Hand.

What Elektra's resurrection will mean for Matt...
In the interview that Charlie Cox did with Entertainment Weekly, he said that Matt was very shaken about the loss of Elektra, as he feels it is partially his fault for endangering her. Imagine that The Hand uses Elektra as Daredevil bait? It wouldn't be that hard to see that Matt was emotional about her death, and he even wanted to run away with her as he says in the last episode of Season 2, if only so that he couldn't cause Foggy and Karen any more pain. Maybe the possibility of Elektra being alive might be enough to lure him over to the other side, or at least consider it. Now, it would be interesting to see this, but something suggests that Danny or Stick will convince Matt that Elektra is basically gone. Danny now knows what happens after revival because of his experience with Harold, and Stick must be aware of how revival works as he seems confident that Nobu is dead for real due to the decapitation. Chances are they will tell him that there's no hope, but Matt is very stubborn, and even shows signs of always trying to see the best in people (which is why he pushed to defend Frank Castle). Chances are Elektra is probably going to end the season beheaded or in the Hand's control. Revived warriors tend to fight those closest to them, as we learn from Harold. We even see in the trailer that the only one that she attacks is Matt. It's possible that she will be a persuasion method going into the series, and an enemy/corpse leaving the series. And let's just hope that The Hand don't have possession of Kilgrave's body, because that would be bad news for Jessica.
  • Partially Confirmed. Matt does have faith that Elektra will break her conditioning, and is proven right... but she turns to the dark side of her own volition.

Misty Knight and Colleen Wing will have a team-up of their own
It is the first time that the MCU Daughters of the Dragon would be in the same series, so why would they ignore the chance? It would also help to prevent that The Main Characters Do Everything. One of the stills even shows Colleen wielding her katana while providing cover to a wounded Misty.
  • Pretty much confirmed to be happening as of San Diego Comic Con 2017, as the showrunners confirmed Misty would appear in Iron Fist (2017) season 2.

Danny will be kidnapped or severely injured and this will cause Matt, Luke and Jessica to team up

In the second trailer, it's clear that Danny is the only one with any interest in teaming up. But when Matt comes around (the moment where Matt says "I'm glad we found each other" and Luke replies "I'm not hugging you"), Danny is noticeably absent. Also consider the stinger on the subway: it's just Matt, Luke, and Jessica, with no Danny. So it's possible that Danny will get kidnapped by the Hand, forcing Matt, Luke, and Jessica to finally work together and save him.

  • Confirmed. Danny is taken, and the others have to rescue him.

The 29th Precinct will become a sorta headquarters for the team
A lot of the production stills clearly show the heroes and their allies in the 29th Precinct, which suggests that it may become a base of operations where they can all share information on the Hand whenever they dig it up.
  • Partially Jossed. They do take refuge their briefly, but are made to escape it later on.

Stick and Alexandra were once lovers.
Needless to say, it didn't end well.
  • Jossed. While they do have a past, it's as adversaries.

     Post Season One 
Sowande was responsible for Matt getting his name

He's an African warlord and probably a very ruthless one based on Stick's description. But what we see and hear of Sowande suggests that he may be the ruthless militia commander that Father Lantom talked to Matt about back in Daredevil season 1.

The destruction of Midland Circle was the plans of someone else, say, the Hand

How does an architect get C4? It's not something you buy at 7-11.

Which leads me to think, "What if the Hand wanted John Raymond to blow up the building?" They tell him to disappear and they provide him with an apartment and C4 and he hides his plans to blow up the building in his piano, plans that the police are only supposed to find after the building is destroyed. Somebody from the Hand was going to pick up the C4 and place the C4 in the building so the Hand could cover their tracks. Raymond would then die in the explosion, his wife would confirm to the cops that he had been acting strangely. He would have been their fall guy. However, Raymond had a change of heart and decided not to play ball, and that's why Elektra followed him to Jessica's apartment - either to threaten him into compliance or more likely to kill him.

The reason no charges were laid against Colleen or any of the other Defenders was because they survived the explosion and thus couldn't be the patsies. Bakuto was there to kill Colleen but he did nothing to stop her from planting the C4. The police didn't press charges because there are people in the Hand working with the NYPD who want all of this swept under the rug.

Midland Circle's destruction was Wilson Fisk's plan

Fisk had had a falling out with Nobu and Gao over the death of the first Black Sky, and Gao's complicity in Vanessa's poisoning. So Raymond's plans to blow up Midland Circle may very well have been something Fisk directed from prison, to get back at the Hand. He may even still have some level of ownership on the property even after helping Nobu acquire it, allowing him to cash in on the insurance. The show never did get into John Raymond’s head far enough to properly explore his possible motivations for trying to blow up Midland Circle.

Season 2 will focus on IGH
The Hand storyline, which connects Daredevil and Iron Fist, has been (mostly?) wrapped up. Clearly Elektra will be a player, and Madame Gao as well if she survived, but the Hand probably won't be the force they were leading into Season 1. Matt and Danny had the connections to the plot, where Luke and Jess were dragged in for their own reasons. However, the IGH storyline is still ongoing. We know that it connects Luke Cage and Jessica Jones (and possibly even Daredevil as well). This time, Luke and Jess will have the big connections, and Matt and Danny will be dragged in.
  • The second seasons of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage give credence to this theory. Jessica Jones gets involved with IGH, but the plot is clearly left unfinished. The plot of Luke Cage clearly leaves out the experiments involving himself and Diamondback so it is clear they will be expanded on during the next season of The Defenders.
    • Jossed: Everything is cancelled.

Gao is related to Daisy Johnson
Gao and Daisy have similar powers, being able to push people around by projecting force from their hands. It is not explained how Gao got this power, she could be an Inhuman. Daisy's mother Jiaying was long lived like Gao, Afterlife could have been founded with the help of the Hand.

Season 2 will include Punisher.
He will be a foil for the entire team as he is much more willing to kill than they are, but they are forced to work together anyway.

Matt didn't survive the collapse of the Midland Circle Building.
Electra did, then she used the dragon bones to resurrect him. We've been shown that the substance doesn't completely heal mortal wounds and that the resurrection process is rather traumatic, and nothing shown in the stinger diverges from that.
  • The resurrection process also requires large amounts of blood (enough to fill a casket). It doesn't seem as though she had access to that.

Wilson Fisk will take over the Hand
If the Hand doesn't regroup soon afterward, then there's a whole lot of corporate leaders, politicians, and criminals who have been in thrall to the Hand and who now have no one to keep them in line. Could result in a gang war between the gangs that were subordinate to the Fingers. Coupled with the gangs that Frank Castle already has done damage to - the Gnuccis, the Kitchen Irish, Dogs of Hell, and cartel - and there's a lot of open territory for Fisk to make a power grab.

Somehow, some way, the writers will work out how to make Stilt-Man into a credible Big Bad for season 2

Season 2 will be an adaptation of Shadowland...
With Matt becoming totally corrupted by the Beast and the others having to find a way to either beat him or dissuade him.
  • Alternately, Shadowland happens with Elektra taking Matt's place.
Constrictor and his Serpent Society will become major villains, if not necessarily the main villains

Finally becoming convinced to expand her circle of trust, Jessica will expand her PI firm to allow Danny and Luke on as partners, thus creating Heroes for Hire
Danny provides the money. Matt wishes them the best and encourages them to drop him a line where necessary, but feels that the Devil of Hell's Kitchen needs to be a bit more secretive. Meanwhile the others relocate the office to a flat just above the Gem Theater, introducing landlord and film buff D. W. Griffiths.

Alexandra intended for Elektra to kill her and take her place
The substance isn't well-defined. It is possible that with Alexandra, the reason she was dying was because the substance was no longer rejuvenating her body the way it should have. Not even a fresh dose of the substance would've saved her. This could be why she decided to use every last drop of substance the Hand had at the time to revive Elektra: maybe she saw Elektra as her replacement. Alternately, she could have had a very specific intent behind calling Elektra a 'vessel,' and was planning on destroying every part of Elektra that was a free-thinking person, and moving her own consciousness into her body, somehow.

Foggy and Karen will spend some time pretending Matt is alive

Foggy and Karen are probably going to be under a lot of strain keeping up the appearance that Matt is alive or at least that his things are in order for when he does return in Daredevil season 3, since they can't risk Fisk or anyone else finding out Matt's identity and the shitstorm blowing back on them, or on Matt once he returns. Like with Matt's apartment, seeing as the set designers probably don't want have to design another set.

Likely, Foggy pays for Matt's rent until Matt comes back and is back on his feet. As Bobby Fish said to Luke in the third episode of Luke Cage, "No one's gonna be asking questions and shutting things down as long as things are paid for on time. Why do you think so many people get Grandma's house without having to fill out extra paperwork or hire a lawyer? You pay the bills, people shut up and get on with things." Somehow, it seems likely that Karen, refusing to believe Matt is gone for good, might break the lease on her current apartment and move into Matt's place so she can keep it clean and welcome for when Matt returns, and trying to hold onto him in some form.

  • At least in The Punisher, Karen is clearly still believing Matt is "dead". But Matt isn't discussed or even mentioned in The Punisher, so we don't know if someone like Foggy or Danny is paying the rent on Matt's place. Karen's apartment did look a little cluttered though when Frank was in it, suggesting she has taken up possession of some of Matt's things.

The dragon skeletons are the remains of the Dragon Lords of Kakaranathara.
The particular skeletal ribs the characters were inside of belonged to Fin Fang Foom. Madame Gao mentioned that the dragons came from another world, which is likely Kakaranathara, that some believed was a mythical realm. But similarly done with Asgard and the other Nine Realms, Kakaranathara is an alien planet, like in the comics.

The "Black Sky" is a line of bullshit used by Alexandra to assert authority over the other Fingers
There is no clear indication of what the Black Sky is, nor how it affected Elektra following her resurrection, because Elektra's trip through the memory regaining process is identical to Harold's process in Iron Fist. So maybe Alexandra just made the whole thing up.

As Stick explains at the Royal Dragon, the Fingers were trained in K’un-L'un, then got kicked out. Earlier, in Daredevil Season 2, Stick revealed to Matt that at a certain point afterward the Fingers became aware of the Black Sky, which is some kind of weapon. We learn that they want one, but have never managed to actually use one before. It’s all very vague and mysterious to Matt and to the audience.

Upon meeting the five Fingers (Alexandra, Murakami, Sowande, Bakuto, and Madame Gao), we learn that the only one of the five who is actually interested in or informed about the Black Sky is Alexandra. In fact, she's kinda obsessed. She has apparently been talking their ears off about it for centuries and, much to their alarm, is now willing to risk all of their permanent deaths to acquire one.

That seems kinda odd. Alexandra claims that having the Black Sky on their side is essential, and will allow them to return to K’un-Lun (and presumably conquer it). And the Black Sky will give them the power they need to last another fifteen years, to acquire more of the substance, and to overcome their enemies. Except there’s a logical fallacy when you think about it. Thanks to what Madame Gao and Nobu had been doing with Wilson Fisk prior to Matt breaking up that operation, the Hand acquired Elena Cardenas's tenement so they could construct Midland Circle, and thus have access to the dragon bones underneath. (They didn't yet discover the sealed door until after they started digging. At the time when Alexandra was actively pursuing Elektra, she had no clear need of extra firepower in order to access the substance.) And more to the point, if Alexandra hadn’t used the substance on Elektra– who, again, was not necessary for the Hand’s goals at the time – the Hand wouldn’t have been in such dire straits. Alexandra, in fact, helps create the mortality problem– something the others even point out to her (Murakami even says, "You made a unilateral decision and used the last of the substance to resurrect her, and now we're all vulnerable").

But did the other four Fingers really need the Black Sky? No. They have been able to defend themselves for centuries, and are certainly capable of capturing Danny on their own. But Alexandra does. She needs power, by any means possible. We see throughout The Defenders that her leadership is faltering, and she is losing control of the rest of the Hand. She needs to cement her authority, to show them that only she is capable of keeping them alive and giving them what they need. Quite coincidentally, she is the only one who knows what’s up with the Black Sky. Notice that Alexandra personally oversaw Elektra’s training with no input or oversight from the other four. She even makes sure that she is the only one to build a bond with Elektra, or to spend any real time with her. And she repeatedly emphasizes the necessity and power of the Black Sky (in suspiciously vague terms) at every opportunity… and particularly when her colleagues start acting rebellious.

By dangling the threat of this super powerful weapon in front of the other Fingers, and insisting that they need it before they can carry out their plans, while also keeping all of the practical information about what the Black Sky does to herself, Alexandra has managed to hold her leadership position over the centuries. They need the Black Sky, and in order to acquire one, they need Alexandra. But once they finally get one… nothing changes. Sure, Elektra is a good fighter, but that's what she always has been because of how early Stick had trained her, and her combat prowess speaks more to the intensity of Stick's training than to anything supernatural. And more to the point, Elektra doesn’t do much to help the Hand. Alexandra’s colleagues are baffled, annoyed, and frightened by what looks like a severe lapse of judgement from their leader.

As Alexandra's strength weakens and her authority crumbles, she becomes more and more adamant about how great her new weapon is. Elektra is just a tool for Alexandra, just a power play, a weapon to hold in front of her enemies. But does she have any actual powers, beyond those Alexandra projects onto her? Maybe. There are a few moments during fights where Elektra displays possible super-strength and super-speed, like when fighting off Matt, Luke and Jessica as she's capturing Danny. But a strong argument could be made that she does not, and that the only new power she acquires as the Black Sky is the false significance that Alexandra places on her.

It also makes more sense, considering that Elektra doesn't seem to have undergone any personality change at all, so her years of vigorous training under Stick is a much better explanation for her abilities.

Elektra has telekinesis
The “substance” that the Hand was looking for were actually dragon bones. In Daredevil, the substance was pulverized and then mixed with drugs so that the Hand can profit from it.

Shou Lao the Undying is the dragon from which an Iron Fist will gain its abilities from. However, Shou Lao can and will die if there is a new candidate for a new Iron Fist. But, it will be reborn sometime again, like a phoenix. (thus, continuing a cycle of iron fists)

So The Hand use the bones of Shou Lao to resurrect their fallen members or use it for other means (i.e. the drugs to make them profit). This “bonds” the DNA strand of Shou Lao or something like that to the user when they are being resurrected.

The five Fingers of the Hand all demonstrate incredible strength and reflexes. They are able to manipulate Chi as well with the help from the abilities they gained from Shou Lao’s corpse (such as the palm strike move Madame Gao does).

As for the Black Sky, its abilities could even be equal to what all five leaders altogether could offer. And they're very rare, according Nobu in his interactions with Fisk during the first season of Daredevil, as the child he brought in with the shipping container was supposed to be the candidate for being the Black Sky, but Stick killed “it”. It's unclear why they didn't resurrect the kid. But let's also remember that the boy's death took place offscreen. So while Stick told Matt that he stuck an arrow in the kid’s heart, he also can be pretty deceptive and it's more likely that what really happened is he decapitated the kid and lied to Matt. Stick knew that the only way to prevent the Hand from resurrecting someone is by decapitating them, like what he did to Nobu and Sowande.

As for Elektra post-resurrection, she has gained super strength, agility and reflexes, durability (she's able to hold her own when fighting Luke or Jessica), and even Chi manipulation (when Elektra enters the Royal Dragon, she breaks the blockade that Jessica set up in the front door by using the same palm strike move that Madame Gao later uses to shove aside the dumpster blockading the back door).

Elektra is a peak human in the comics but it is stated in the show that she got abilities as a side effect of her resurrection. Even in the volume 1 run of her solo series, she states that she heals fast. It is also stated in the comics that she COULD manipulate chi to hasten her regeneration, numb her pain or maybe boost her strength. She could even punch through a wall in the comics.

While the show isn't very clear as to what its version of Elektra can really do, it’s obvious that she isn’t peak potential YET. She hasn’t even showcased her telepathic and limited psychotic prowess, some of which she had even before her resurrection. We know that she can mask her heartbeat, as that's the only explanation for how Matt doesn't sense her in his apartment when he came back in from kissing Karen, or is unable to tell when she's lying).

There won't be a second season of The Defenders, at least not under that tile
Instead, we'll get crossover seasons, each with a different name and setup for each one. The most likely possibility for a setup like this would be to have The Defenders be followed by Heroes for Hire and only feature Luke Cage and Iron Fist as the leads. Another season, should it continue after that, could be Daughters of the Dragon, a Day in the Limelight for Misty Knight and Colleen Wing.

Wilson Fisk will be the main antagonist for the next Defenders teamup

Daredevil season 3 certainly won't be the last we see of Fisk. He's pretty much set to swoop in once he gets out of jail. Cottonmouth and Mariah are dead, The Hand has been destroyed, most of the rival gangs have been killed for various reasons. It's kind of a fortunate thing for him he was sent to jail cause he's perfectly set up to build a syndicate larger than the one he had in Daredevil season 1...and his only contribution was killing Dutton's crew in jail, and even that wasn't by his own hand, it was by manipulating Frank Castle into doing the messy stuff.

    Alexandra was once Alexander the Great 
Alexandra had a slipup at the Turkish restaurant in episode 3 where she said the restaurateur's dish was “better than they made it in Constantinople.” Was her first life as Alexander the Great? She also listens to Brahm’s Tragic Overture, which he is considered a Tragi character, mostly because he never died a warrior, but was dying from the inside (it’s believed Alexander died of it). She had cancer though (sorta like Harold Meachum), as malaria in New York C Ity might not be believable and too on the nose.

There is also quite a bit written about Alexander the Great’s sexuality and gender identity, which makes it plausible he would choose to be resurrected over and over again as a woman. Jessica finds 5 old documents with her handwriting, all starting with A and all female. One of the names has the last name King as well. It would also explain how the 5 leaders of the Hand are all equal in theory, yet Alexandra has established herself as the undisputed leader over 4 other extremely powerful people.

Alternative Title(s): The Defenders