K’un-Lun, the mystical home of the Iron Fist and one of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven, exists in an alternate dimension from Earth and only opens its gates to mere mortals once every 15 years in Marvel and Netflix’s Iron Fist. But Danny Rand’s spiritual home is a very different place than he left it by the end of the show’s first season.
This post contains spoilers for the finale of Iron Fist Season 1.
After trekking through the Himalayas and clambering up icy cliffs for an undisclosed period of time, Danny and Colleen Wing finally come across the gate to K’un-Lun only to discover blood and death. The bodies of four Hand members lie in the snow at the foot of the gate and, most shockingly, K’un-Lun has disappeared. An explanation isn’t provided, but some Iron Fist fans online have an idea of what might have happened.
At the end of Episode 13, “Dragon Plays with Fire,” Danny appears baffled by the city’s departure. “It’s gone,” he says breathlessly.
“Gone?” Colleen asks after following him up a mountain. “Gone where?”
“I don’t know,” Danny says. “But I should have been here. It’s all my fault.” He then summons the Iron Fist and stares at it as the camera zooms in on the Fist’s light and eventually fades to black, ending the first season of Iron Fist with a full-on mystery. The assumption is that Season 2 of the Netflix show will explore this mystery, but that Danny will take a quick break to join up with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Matt Murdock back in New York City for Season 1 of The Defenders.
But, seriously, what happened to K’un-Lun? Where did it go? Unless the gate to Earth can be closed in case of emergency, which seems doubtful considering it needed a guardian in the form of the Iron Fist to protect it at all costs, then something very big (and very bad) happened to the city.
Obviously, the Hand attacked. But why is there a crater in the side of the mountain that makes it look like K’un-Lun went up in a fiery explosion?
“Seems as if the hand managed to whisk away the city, probably with some sort of magic,” Reddit user Reviken said in the r/Defenders Iron Fist discussion thread.
Iron Fist introduced Bakuto, the leader of one faction of the Hand who’s obsessed with the legend of the Iron Fist and, in conjunction, the mystical city of K’un-Lun. There’s a good chance that, after being defeated by his student Colleen and killed by Davos, Bakuto was feeling a little vengeful. While there’s still no explanation for how Bakuto came back to life (audiences are left to assume he went through the same walking dead treatment as Harold Meachum and, maybe, Elektra following Season 2 of Daredevil), he clearly took out his vengeance on K’un-Lun in one way or another.
So, either Bakuto magicked K’un-Lun somewhere else in order to enact some sort of evil plan for vengeance or the warrior monks of K’un-Lun magicked the city away themselves in order to protect it. The Iron Fist wasn’t there to protect them, so they had to resort to desperate measures. Way to go, Danny.
Iron Fist Season 1 is now available on Netflix.