SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings end-credits scene. If you have not yet seen the film, read on at your own risk!
Congratulations, Marvel fans: you all have a new hero to love and cherish just as much as all of the other established Avengers. Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings has arrived in theaters, and it adds another fantastic protagonist to the ever-expanding blockbuster cannon. That’s not all it adds, however, as the movie also adds to another key franchise tradition: end credits scenes.
As has become standard with most (but not all) Marvel Studios releases, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is equipped with two extra scenes – one after its primary credits sequence, and one right at the very end. With this feature we’ll be diving into what happens in both and what it means for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so if you haven’t seen the film yet and are spoiler-phobic, this is your last chance to bookmark this page and save it until after your screening!
What Happens In The Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings End Credits
Presumably picking up almost immediately after the very final moments of the main film, the Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings mid-credits scene begins with the titular hero (Simu Liu), Katy (Awkwafina), and Wong (Benedict Wong) in consult – but they aren’t alone. Joining them for a conversation via hologram about Wenwu’s legendary weapons are a scientist and an intergalactic hero: a no-longer-Hulked-out Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson).
Though the room contains experts about all things magical, scientific, and alien, not to mention Wenwu’s kin, none of them know the precise nature of the Ten Rings. What is clear is that they are incredibly ancient, and also that usage of them has activated a beacon. Exactly who or what is being called isn’t clear, and Captain Marvel and Banner have to cut the conversation short to handle other business (the former tells Shang-Chi & Co. that the latter has her number, but he denies this claim, and instead signs off, essentially welcoming them into the Avengers fold).
The mystery of the Ten Rings’ beacon is left open-ended, teasing Marvel fans with a cliffhanger question that we will hopefully see addressed sooner rather than later – either in one of the many upcoming blockbusters on the schedule, or in one of the developing Disney+ originals.
Wong tells the duo that they should probably go home, as they are surely still exhausted from their insane journey… but Shang-Chi has a different idea. One smash cut later, the three heroes are together in the karaoke bar, singing their hearts out to “Hotel California” by The Eagles.
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings doesn’t end things there, however, as there is also a brief extra sequence included at the very end of the credits. The action returns to the compound formerly run by Wenwu (Tony Leung), but, as teased in the final scene of the main film, the operation has a new leader. Meng'er Zhang's Xialing is in her old room looking at pictures hung on the wall when Razorfist (Florian Munteanu) enters telling her that there are people waiting for her. Xialing goes to the middle of the compound where she literally takes her father’s seat and observes training that is being conducted. It’s instantly made clear that one major rule has changed: it’s no longer men only.
As the camera zooms out through the hidden complex, we see that it has been given an updated, modern look – the walls designed with graffiti art – and the film ends with a promise that we haven’t seen the last of the group, as on-screen text reveals “The Ten Rings Will Return.”
That covers what plays out in the Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings end credit scenes, so let’s now move on to examine the potential consequences of them, and when/how said consequences will coalesce.
What Is The Origin Of The Ten Rings, And Who Is The Beacon Signaling?
While it’s hard not to be curious as to why Bruce Banner is no longer in his Smart Hulk form from Avengers: Endgame, obviously the big takeaway from the mid-credits sequence in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is the persisting mystery regarding the blockbuster’s titular weapon.
The film does cover the origin of the Ten Rings to some degree, as the opening scene takes audiences a thousand years into the past of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – but that only covers Wenwu’s personal history with the mystical and magical bracelets, which he apparently either discovered in a crater or took from a tomb. They have to come from somewhere, but the precise details elude Wong, Captain Marvel, Hulk, Shang-Chi, and Katy.
Wherever the Ten Rings are from, the heroes may not have to go looking for answers, as answers may wind up coming to them instead. The whole concept of a beacon is sending a signal with specific intent to a second party, so it’s possible, if not likely, that whoever is receiving said signal may decide they want to pay Shang-Chi a visit.
So, who is on the other end? Two specific answers spring to mind, and one plays to short term goals for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while the other is more about the bigger picture.
The first option that springs to mind is that it has something to do with The Eternals. Marvel movies have frequently used end credits scenes to tease titles that are on the immediate horizon (the Black Widow end credits scene just did it this summer, setting up the Hawkeye series), and this would be a nice tee up for Chloe Zhao’s upcoming blockbuster. Like the Ten Rings, the Eternals are also thousands of years old, and it’s possible that Shang-Chi/Wenwu’s weapons are pieces of technology that the ancient beings invented. If this turns out to be true, then this big mystery may have an explanation before the end of the first weekend of November is over.
Alternatively, this Shang-Chi’s mid-credits scene could be the very first piece in a massive puzzle that eventually builds towards revealing the identity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s post-Infinity Saga villain. It’s possible that whoever the big bad is, maybe the Ten Rings are calling out to them, letting them know that their time is nigh.
Either way, given Marvel Studios’ track record, don’t expect anyone to officially spill the beans on what’s going on until the action is playing on the big screen.
The Ten Rings Will Return, But When?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has an impressive number of titles set to launch in the coming years. In addition to having eight blockbusters scheduled to hit theaters between now and the end of 2023, there are also eight Disney+ original series on the way (not including second seasons of both Loki and What If). So, where will the Ten Rings fit into all that? That’s a very good question that doesn’t presently have a clear answer.
Applying Occam’s Razor, the most logical path might be a Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings sequel – though such a project does not yet officially exist. Given the familial connection between the hero and the organization, it would make all the sense in the world that they would come back in tandem.
That being said, if that were the case, why wouldn’t the text instead read “Shang Chi And The Ten Rings Will Return”? It may be that their paths are now going to diverge.
If this is the case, the Ten Rings could pop up in any number of upcoming projects – big screen or small. It’s entirely possible that we are even going to eventually hear about the organization getting a Disney+ original series of its very own with Meng'er Zhang as the lead.
With everything that Marvel has scheduled right now, it’s possible that the promised return of the Ten Rings is something we won’t get to see until 2024 – but, regardless, it’s exciting that we’ll be seeing more of the kick-ass group.
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is now playing exclusively in theaters, and you can learn about all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s developing films and shows via our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV shows guides.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.