www.cbr.com

Iron Fist: The Second Season's Two-Fisted Final Scene, Explained

Iron Fist

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Marvel's Iron Fist Season 2, streaming now on Netflix.

A mummified corpse wearing a familiar yellow mask in a trailer for Iron Fist's second season sparked speculation that the body belonged to Orson Randall, who in Marvel Comics lore was Danny Rand's predecessor as the champion of K'un-Lun. As intriguing as the theory was, we learn in the closing moments of Season 2 that it isn't quite right, but was surprisingly close. Although the Iron Fist of the early 20th century doesn't appear onscreen, he certainly has a hand in the events of the 10 episodes.

Introduced in 2006 in The Immortal Iron Fist #1, Orson, like Danny, was an outsider to K'un-Lun, born in the mystical city after his father's airship crashed there. He trained and grew up there, eventually defeating Shou-Lao the Undying and assuming the mantle and responsibilities of the Iron Fist. Orson set out into the world, only to be recalled to represent K'un-Lun in the Tournament of the Heavenly Cities, an event that takes place every 88 years, when the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven merge. However, Orson, changed from all the blood and death he'd witnessed in the world, refused to fight. In a scuffle that ensued, he killed one of his would-be opponents, the Crane Champion of K'un-Zi, and then took the History of the Iron Fists and fled.

REVIEW: Iron Fist Improves On Season 1, But Still Fails Danny Rand

Although Davos' father Lei-Kung, the Thunderer, sent to kill Orson, he didn't, and instead lied and said he had died. Armed with twin pistols, through which he channeled his power (sound familiar?), Orson fought in World War I and even joined up with a team of heroes. He also crossed paths with Danny's father, Wendell Rand, and trained him while telling him stories of K'un-Lun. Over the years, Orson acquired both a sizable fortune and a serious opium addiction; when the latter seemingly killed him, he left his wealth to Wendell Rand. But he didn't actually die (well, at least not that time), but was instead lost in an opium haze. When Davos finally tracked him down in the modern era, Orson fled to New York City, where he met Danny Rand, with whom he imparted his knowledge of the Iron Fists, and, ultimately, his own power.

Orson Randall as Iron Fist

That brings us to Iron Fist's second season, where the first clue to an Orson Randall -- OK, the second, after the mummified body -- is the revelation that the ancient Tibetan singing bowl that Davos (Sacha Dhawan) and Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup) acquire for the ritual to strip Danny (Finn Jones) of his power comes from the collection of Ernst Erskine. It's only a passing reference, and one that won't mean much to most viewers, but it's a connection to Orson Randall: In the comics, Ernst (aka Lucky Pierre) was his companion and "biographer," whose life was greatly prolonged by the healing power of the Iron Fist. Logically, the bowl as well as the scroll detailing the transference ritual, and its dangers, were acquired through Ernst's association with Orson.

1 2
No, Scarlett Johansson Shouldn't Be Able to Play Every Role

More in CBR Exclusives