‘The Defenders’: Breaking Down The Villains Of Marvel's New Netflix Series

  • Superhero
'The Defenders' Netflix series releases after 'Iron Fist.' Netflix

If you’re confused about the The Defenders villain situation, you’re not alone. Based on every piece of information we have from Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Daredevil, the last two shows in particular, here’s every clue we have so far.

The Chaste from Daredevil is coming back for The Defenders. While this was kind of a given since the first Defenders teaser dropped where Stick says, “You think the four of you can save New York? You can’t even save yourselves,” a report from a Spanish-language magazine confirms the reappearance of the ancient ninja organization. Chilean actor Marko Zaror will play Shaft, another member of the The Chaste alongside Stick, who we last saw kill Nobu in the Daredevil Season 2 finale.

Factor The Hand into all this, and there are a lot of different agendas and names to remember heading into The Defenders. To make matters even more complicated, we have yet to learn what villain Sigourney Weaver is playing and how she’ll fit into the series.

Stick was Daredevil's mentor. Photo: Marvel / Netflix


Let’s start with The Chaste, since their return prompted this villain breakdown. We were introduced to The Chaste by Stick, and they are particularly interesting because there seems to be competing agendas and lots of lies even though they are supposed to have only one goal: Fight The Hand and stop them from using Black Sky.

Daredevil wants nothing to do with The Chaste, even after Elektra and Stick practically begged him. He doesn’t agree with all the killing and when he found out Stick wanted to kill Elektra to prevent her from becoming Black Sky (which he tried to protect her from becoming her entire life by training her as a member of The Chaste and sending her away as a kid). Matt is also holding onto the fact Stick abandoned him as a kid.

READ: How ‘Iron Fist’ and ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 Lines Up ‘The Defenders

But in the end, Stick proved his allegiance is with Daredevil by killing Nobu. However, this came after Stick ordered Jacques Duchamps to kill Elektra for betraying The Chaste earlier in the season. So for now, Stick himself doesn’t look like he’ll be a straight up villain, but he’s definitely one to watch, because The Chaste members aren’t always on the same page and Stick’s true agenda remains unclear.


Gao runs a rogue group of The Hand that operates very much on its own terms and has competing interests with the other factions, like Nobu and Bakuto. While The Hand has the ability to resurrect people (as long as their head doesn’t get chopped off), it’s clear Gao’s backstory is extremely important to understanding this puzzle.

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Madame Gao and her blind servants packing heroin. Photo: Marvel

What’s more curious about Gao’s character, other than the fact she has powers too,  is the strong relationships she has with so many main characters. Gao had close ties, at certain points in time, to Wilson Fisk, The Russians, Nobu and Harold Meachum, and has shown a peculiar interested in Iron Fist and Daredevil. Danny is the second Iron Fist she has met in her lifetime and she was alive in the 17th century. She is also one of the only characters aware of Daredevil and Luke Cage, though she doesn’t speak of Jessica Jones.


It doesn’t look like Davos, known as Steel Serpent in the comics, will appear in The Defenders , but we can’t forget his symbol from the comics appears on the synthetic heroin being spread across New York City first seen in Daredevil then in Iron Fist. This whole complicated storyline with Madame Gao sitting right in the middle is very peculiar and an Iron Fist scene between Danny and Harold Meachum mentions a suspicious comic book character who has a history with Steel Serpent in the comics, Crane Mother, by name.

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Davos and Danny were best friends on K'un-Lun, but not anymore. Photo: Netflix

“I understand you were taken in by some monks by order of the Crane Mother. Where exactly is the monastery?” Harold repeatedly asks Danny until he responds, “Ku’n Lun.”

READ: Breaking Down ‘The New York Bulletin’ Archive Teaser

In the comics, Davos is eventually embraced by the Crane mother (who, if popular fan theories are correct, could be Madame Gao). She asks him to be the champion of K'un-Zi in exchange for killing Iron Fist. Since Danny betrayed Davos in the Iron Fist season finale and his alter-ego is somehow related to Madame Gao, this all can’t be a coincidence. While it may not be the center of the plot in The Defenders , there may be some interesting clues dropped about what to expect from Davos in upcoming series. The final scene of Iron Fist certainly suggests so.

“He [Danny] destroys everything he touches. Isn’t it true your world fell apart after his return? If you have any hope of returning to your old life, he must be removed. I can help you with that,” Davos tells Joy.

“I’m listening,” Joy says, as Madame Gao listens at a table close by.

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Madame Gao spies on Davos and Joy Meachum with a smirk on her face in the final scene of 'Iron Fist.' Photo: Netflix


While we don't know if Nobu’s faction of The Hand is the samie as Bakuto’s, they had similar agendas until Nobu died -- draining blood in dark, dirty, basements. The facility where Bakuto tried to drain Collen’s blood is the same one as we saw in Daredevil.

By the end of Iron Fist, Bakuto captures Madame Gao and is doing business with The Meachum’s and Rand Industries, who backs The Hand in exchange for resurrecting Harold Meachum. The Meachum’s also help distribute Gao’s heroin. The Hand has also infested Ku’n-Lun and it’s a safe bet that was Bakuto’s or Gao’s doing. Who else would know the pathway was open without meeting Danny? Let’s just say Danny’s beef with Bakuto’s faction of The Hand is far from over. Bakuto has something up his sleeve with Darryl, who we first met in Luke Cage and is supposedly the “future” of The Hand.

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Bakuto started off as an ally, but quickly became a foe. Why is he so obsessed with Iron Fist? Photo: Netflix


Will The Defenders finally tell us what’s up with Elektra and her alter-ego, Black Sky? Is she, or it, an evil weapon? There’s definitely a mystical element in play here, and it could have something to do with Sigourney Weaver’s role.

It’s safe to assume Elektra is coming back to life, and it probably has something to do with those zombie kids who had their blood drained by The Hand in Daredevil ... and the huge, deep hole in the ground we saw at the Midland Circle construction site. What’s in the hole The Hand is protecting? The Defenders teaser confirms the hole at Midland Circle is where the series will begin, so expect this question to be addressed head-on.

According to Entertainment Weekly, The Defenders will first meet at Midland Circle (the location of this mysterious hole). Photo: Netflix

Whether or not The Defenders can save Elektra remains one of the biggest mysteries. She could be a strong ally if they can prevent her from being used at The Hand’s disposal, though she would have to be resurrected first.


For now, she goes by Alexandria. Set photos don’t give us any clues about if she’s from the comics or not. But since that giant deep hole and Black Sky seem like the biggest questions moving from Daredevil and Iron Fist to the Defenders, it seems quite likely Weaver is directly related to The Hand and their ancient origins.

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Elektra is in The Hand's custody. Photo: Marvel



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