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Shang-Chi’s Ten Rings: How They Work And What They Can Do

Wenwu with the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

In the last 13 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has familiarized audiences with all varieties of magical and alien treasures, and that is a particular legacy that is very much continued in Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. The new movie reveals not only the history of the group known as the Ten Rings (which was first introduced in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man), but also puts the magical bands that inspired the organization’s name front and center. First possessed by Wenwu and then transferred over to the titular hero at the end of the blockbuster, the bracelets possess immense power, and it seems very likely that we are going to be seeing them used on the big screen for many years to come.

This in mind, we figured it would be an appropriate thing to build a guide for fans examining everything that we know about the Ten Rings. Where do they come from, what can they do, and how have we seen them used? We answer all of those questions and more in this feature, so read on! (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings spoilers ahead!)

Wenwu and Shang Chi with the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

The Origins Of The Ten Rings, And What They Can Do

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings doesn’t waste any time introducing its titular mystical weapons. The movie begins a thousand years in the past when Tony Leung’s Wenwu first discovers them, and throughout the adventure we learn more about their origins and uses.

Wenwu with the Ten Rings blasted by water in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

The Ten Rings Were Possibly Found In A Crater Or A Tomb

The most information we get about the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi is delivered both at the very beginning of the film, and during the movie’s mid-credit sequence. It’s noted in voice-over narration by Fala Chen’s Li that Wenwu found them at some point during the late 18th/ early 19th century in either a crater or a tomb. When analyzed by Wong, Dr. Bruce Banner and Carol Danvers, the precise nature of the Rings can’t be determined (a pretty big deal considering they are experts in all things magical, scientific, and alien), though they do come to the realization that there is some kind of beacon inside of them that is calling out to a mysterious party.

Wenwu with the Ten Rings with his future wife in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

The Possessor Gains Eternal Life

Easily one of the most impressive benefits of wearing the Ten Rings is the fact that they seem to halt the aging process and stave off all kinds of disease. One should also note that the Rings don’t simply hold back the effects of nature and time either, as Wenwu is able to remove them after centuries of use when he begins a family with Li and it doesn’t cause him to either rapidly age or leave him with a defenseless immune system.

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Wenwu with the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

They Enhance One’s Strength, Speed, And Agility

The possessor of the Ten Rings sports them on their forearms, and while they can do some pretty impressive things while being actively controlled (we’ll get to that in a moment), they also do plenty while seemingly inert. While they are powerful weapons, they also increase an individual’s natural abilities, including strength, speed, and agility.

Wenwu with the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

They Can Be Projected And Recalled

When the Ten Rings are worn, the wearer seems to create a kind of psychic bond with them, because they respond to mental commands. When the owner wants them to shoot off their wrist and have them become projectiles, all that seemingly must be done is for said owner to think it happening.

Wenwu with the Ten Rings and his wife in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

They Can Be Whipped Around, Bound By Energy

The Ten Rings can apparently be controlled individually when they are thrown, but they can also be bound together by some kind of energy. This lets them function akin to a whip-like weapon, with control coming from the owner’s hands.

Wenwu with the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

They Can Boost Leaps

Flying is not an ability that is put on the table by the Ten Rings, but there is the next best thing: they can let an individual make leaps through the air across long distances. This is kind of a part of their projectile capacity, and a user can fire the Ten Rings off their forearms a short distance behind them, and ride the propulsion wave that is created as a result.

Wenwu with the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Biggest And Best Uses Of The Ten Rings

Between being used by both Shang-Chi’s villain and hero, we get to see the Ten Rings utilized in a number of amazing and impressive ways, and looking into the future we expect that the list of the biggest and best uses of them will only continue to grow.

Wenwu with the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Wenwu Uses Them To Shield Arrows

While the Ten Rings are primarily used for offence in Shang-Chi, their very first usage in the movie is in a defensive capacity. As Wenwu leads an army to storm a compound, he is able to whip around the bands and use the energy that links them to deflect a wave of arrows that are shot at him by hundreds of archers.

Wenwu looks out a window in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Wenwu Lives For A Thousand Years

It’s never specifically said exactly how old Wenwu gets to be thanks to the power of the Ten Rings, but it is confirmed in Shang-Chi that he experiences a full millennia between birth and death. That’s a hell of a long time to be alive, but he’s clearly a character who deals with such an existence pretty well psychologically.

Wenwu with the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Wenwu Jumps Across Water To The Dragon Scale Barrier

When Wenwu arrives in Ta-Lo, accomplishing his mission of trying to save his wife requires getting to the dragon scale barrier she is behind, and said barrier is separated from the border village by a large body of water. This isn’t actually any kind of obstacle at all for him, though, as he is able to use the Ten Rings to launch himself over to his destination with just a thought and a flick of his wrists.

Wenwu at the dragon scale barrier in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Wenwu Uses The Rings To Shatter A Barrier Made Of Dragon Scales

It’s established in Shang-Chi that dragon scales are an immensely powerful material, as they are used to keep the Dweller In Darkness at bay for a great amount of time. When Wenwu wants to get through the barrier, however, that proves to be a surprisingly easy feat thanks to the Ten Rings. More than a few blasts are needed to take the wall down, but ultimately it’s still pretty impressive how quickly the job is accomplished.

Shang-Chi with the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Shang-Chi Uses The Rings To Kill The Dweller In Darkness

Shang-Chi only takes possession of the Ten Rings at the very end of his solo movie, as Wenwu transfers ownership of them shortly before his soul is eaten in the third act battle, but it doesn’t take long at all for the hero to put them to good use. Demonstrating a quick understanding of how the bands work, he is able to embed the rings in the Dweller in Darkness’ chest, and then proceeds to pull them back in such a way that the giant monster is killed.

If you’re excited to see the Ten Rings in action again, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is now playing in theaters everywhere. To learn about all of the feature films coming up from Marvel Studios, be sure to check out our Upcoming Marvel Movies guide and our Upcoming Marvel TV guide.

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.