Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings sets up an impressive legacy for Xialing and Shang-Chi to take over following the death of their father. Wenwu spent a thousand years building his empire, gaining power, and mastering the magic of the Ten Rings. Following his death, the two major sources of power are taken over by his children.
The Ten Rings organization that he built, which Xialing takes control of, and the powerful magical Ten Rings, which Wenwu gives to Shang-Chi. Wenwu is one of the most prolific villains in the MCU with an impressive body count and power, but now that he is gone it will be interesting to see how his children take on the legacy he built.
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Following the death of his wife Wenwu lost himself to grief, resentment, and rage leading to the destruction of his family. Both of his children ran from him when they were teenagers. One trained through endless physical abuse as a child to become a murderer and the other neglected for years. Ironically these same children are the ones who will carry on the legacy that he has left behind, each taking on one aspect of the Ten Rings.
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HOW THE LEGACY OF THE TEN RINGS IS TAKEN ON BY SHANG-CHI AND XIALING
Shang-Chi taking the Ten Rings and the power that comes with them is different then Wenwu from the start, not only in motivation and use, but visibly based on color. When Wenwu used the Ten Rings the power was blue while Shang-Chi’s power was a deep golden yellow. The color of this power mirrors his mother’s when she first went up against Wenwu indicating that Shang-Chi has her power inside of him, not just the darkness that Wenwu instilled.
This is evident in the way he uses the rings in the final battle not solely as weapons, but tools as well. Wenwu’s legacy with the Ten Rings is one of destruction, strife, and death, but Shang-Chi is already changing the narrative. Using the rings to keep people safe and fight powerful dark forces. Shang-Chi’s actions have already led to a breakthrough with the rings activating a mysterious beacon that is hinted at in one of two exciting post credit scene.
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Xialing is perhaps a more enigmatic case. At the end of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, Xialing takes over Wenwu’s Ten Rings organization. This legacy that Wenwu built being taken over by the child he neglected has a certain poetic irony to it. Especially given that Xialing has a certain similarity to her father having built her own empire of violence, power, and money before taking over Wenwu’s.
While both Shang-Chi and Xialing believed that they had escaped the influence of their father, Xialing in many ways became quite similar to him while Shang-Chi did everything in his power to be the opposite. Xialing amassed power and wealth with violence and brutality, while her brother purposefully stayed in a job that didn’t challenge him or use his many talents, a position with very little power and no violence.
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With Shang-Chi taking on the Ten Rings he is now an extremely powerful individual even being contacted by some of the remaining members of the Avengers team and defeating an evil who could only be caged before. Xialing has an army at her disposal and though it is unclear what exactly she will do with them, the possibilities are endless. Especially with Xialing not only gaining the loyalty of Wenwu’s people, notably Razor Fist, but bringing the organization into the twenty-first century by training women to be a part of the Ten Rings organization.
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings ends with “The Ten Rings Will Return” pointing to the importance of the legacy of the Ten Rings and indicating that not only will Shang-Chi, and Katy, return, but Xialing and her people as well. For a thousand years the legacy of the Ten Rings has been built by Wenwu to be indicative of violence, destruction, death, and power. With Shang-Chi the legacy of the rings themselves seems to already be changing and although Xialing’s motivations are less clear, she appears to be more morally grey then her predecessor.
At the end of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings Shang-Chi believes that Xialing is shutting down their father’s compound, but it is revealed she has instead taken it over along with the Ten Rings organization. How this plays out will be undoubtedly fascinating especially since the siblings worked together throughout the film, with their father as a common enemy, and seemed to finally reconnect.
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Depending on how Xialing leads the Ten Rings organization it could either pit the siblings directly against each other or in certain cases they could work together otherwise staying out of the other’s business. This could actually lead Shang-Chi to becoming one of the more interesting heroes, one who isn’t as rigidly stuck in the idea of “good guys” and “bad guys” as blanket concepts. Instead, attributing trust to the actions taken when it matters most.
The legacy of the Ten Rings has been built by Wenwu for a thousand years, but it has already begun to shift to follow his children’s ideals instead. How Wenwu’s legacy comes into play will be especially fascinating. Will people that Shang-Chi and Xialing meet be aware and even wary of them because of his actions? It will be interesting to see how this legacy and the changes made to it continue to develop as the Ten Rings, Shang-Chi, and Xialing continue to flourish in the MCU.
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is in theaters now! Are you excited to see Shang-Chi, Xialing, and the Ten Rings continue to develop in the MCU? How do you want to see the legacy of the Ten Rings further explored in the MCU? Do you think the Ten Rings will be more prominent within the larger MCU? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.
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