Why The Infinity Stones Influencing Marvel’s Ten Rings Are A Big Deal

The MCU made significant changes to the Ten Rings to differentiate them from the Infinity Stones, but the two sets of items may be close in power.

The Infinity Stones influenced the MCU’s redesign of the mystical Ten Rings, the weapons of the Mandarin (Xu Wenwu) in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, leading to fascinating potential implications. The Infinity Stones were vital to the first three phases of the MCU, now dubbed The infinity saga, where they served as MacGuffins and powerful weapons, eventually collected by Thanos and used to wipe out half of all life in the universe. The Ten Rings of the Mandarin extended Wenwu’s lifespan and gave him a variety of superpowers, sharing some similarities with the Infinity Stones.

The six Infinity Stones were created in the aftermath of the big bang. Each stone relates to a different core concept, such as the space stone which creates a portal or the time stone which manipulates time. Using all six stones allows powerful beings like Thanos to affect the entire universe in an instant. Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet, a dwarven gauntlet of the powerful metal Uru, to combine the power of the stones, and another gauntlet, made by Tony Stark with nanotechnology, was created to undo Thanos’ genocidal act.

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The MCU’s version of The Mandarin’s Ten Rings was significantly changed from their classic Marvel Comics iteration. Rather than being worn on each finger, the MCU’s Ten Rings were worn on the arms, like the rings of iron. Additionally, the rings given collectively gave their wearer a variety of superpowers, rather than associating each ring with a different ability. The filmmakers altered the rings in the MCU primarily to visually differentiate them from the Infinity Stones, but their depiction in the Shang-Chi suggests they may have comparable power to the stones.



Infinity Gauntlet Shang-Chi Ten Rings

Wenwu acquired the Ten Rings about a millennium before the events of Shang Chi. In addition to keeping Wenwu at his physical peak indefinitely, the rings imbued him with super-strength, defensive and offensive builds, concussion force blasts, and enhanced transportation (the rings propelling their wearer into the air and landing safely where they choose). The rings each seem to hold a portion of their total power, as demonstrated when Wenwu put all ten rings on one arm (instead of five on each arm), to deliver his most powerful blows when inadvertently releasing the Dweller-in- Darkness.


When examined by Captain Marvel and Bruce Banner, Shang Chi reveals that the rings are not only much older than Wenwu suggested, but that the ring may also have come from an extraterrestrial source that the MCU has yet to explore. Wenwu may have only scratched the surface of the Ten Rings’ potential power, and their cue in Shang-Chi’s mid-credits scene implies that their creator may be revealed soon. If the MCU follows the classic comic origin of the rings, the Makluan species could make its live-action debut in a future property.

The Makluans possessed some of the most advanced technology in the mainstream Marvel Comics Universe, perhaps explaining the immense power of the MCU’s Ten Rings. Since the Infinity Stones were destroyed at the end of the Infinity Saga, the Ten Rings could replace them as the most powerful items in the MCU. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings changed the design of the Ten Rings to differentiate them from the Infinity Stones, but both sets of weapons could have comparable levels of power and importance to the MCU.


Next: The Full MCU Ten Rings Timeline Explained

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release Date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: November 11, 2022
  • Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: February 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: July 28, 2023

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