Towards the end of Shang Chi, Wong says to Shang Chi something to the effect of, "we noticed the 10 rings when you put them on" (I don't have the exact quote handy).

But the rings had been in use on earth for at least 1000 years, why wouldn't they have appeared on any sorcerer supreme's radar (or maybe any sorcerer - Wong isn't an SS but he is the one who approaches Shang Chi).

Dr. Strange says to Thor, "I keep a watch list of individuals and beings from other realms that may be a threat to this world." But these rings (though they are not beings, I think they would qualify), which clearly had an impact on the entire development of human history, seem not to have been known about.

Why would Shang Chi's wearing them have triggered the Sanctum's awareness while his father's use of them over 1000 years not have done so?

  • 2
    Perhaps they did show up on their radar but it was assumed they were lost or they were forgotten about. Maybe they were in the lost books of Caliostro or something? I'm just spit balling here. Sep 10, 2021 at 11:48
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    To be fair Shang-Chi used the rings to blow up an ancient evil entity of darkness. His dad mostly used them to long range punch people. Maybe Shang-Chi's use just resonated through the universe more.
    – Kitkat
    Sep 10, 2021 at 14:16
  • It would seem that this is likely to be explained in future films. I don't think this can be answered as things stand. Mar 22, 2022 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


First of all, the post-credits scene was very obviously setting up something in a future film (The Eternals, Shang-Chi 2, or a future Avengers movie being possible guesses, but it could be something else) so we may get more answers down the line, but there are suggestions that something unusual happened when Shang-Chi used the Rings beyond what happened with Wenwu.

Wong talks about how when Shang-Chi first used the Ten Rings a beacon within them was activated which is sending a message out to somewhere in space. This is presumably what drew the attention of Wong and the others. Exactly who the beacon is contacting and why now will presumably be explained when this plot is picked up in a later film, but we can make some plausible guesses.

As Kitkat points out in a comment, Shang-Chi was using the Ten Rings to fight a powerful ancient monster, which may well have required power beyond anything Wenwu had ever used them for. Alternatively, this may have been related to the dragon that was present at the time - in the comics the Ten Rings were made by dragon-like shapeshifting aliens called Makluans, maybe that dragon was one of them. Another possibility is that there is something special about Shang-Chi himself that activated new powers within the Rings.

  • Thor was on Dr. Strange's radar and he didn't do anything at all.
    – rosends
    Sep 13, 2021 at 13:15

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