If you were left wondering about the significance of that particular thing that was unearthed at the end of The Defenders, we've got you covered.
Marvel's The Defenders had a pretty interesting final act, which brought the four Marvel Netflix heroes (and their supporting players) together to battle the threat of The Hand, their leader Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) and The Black Sky (Elektra).
However, it seems that a lot of Marvel fans are still a bit confused about what exactly The Hand's plan was, and what transpired under the Midland Circle building during the final two episodes. For those folks, we have a quick little recap to help straighten things out.
Here are Iron Fist and The Hand's dragon bones connection explained.
So far, we know that there have been multiple Iron Fists throughout history, with Danny Rand being the latest in the line of K'un-Lun protectors (and not a particularly good one).
Each Iron Fist can only earn his/her title by defeating the mythical K'un-Lun dragon Shou-Lao The Undying, and plunging a hand into the dragon's molten heart, thereby earning the Iron Fist. While the details of this ritual are largely unknown, The Defenders seemingly reveals that there is one definite consequence of it:
As seen in The Defenders, while Shou-Lao may indeed be "undying," the battle with the mythical dragon leaves behind some kind of corpse. When the dragon is nothing more than skeletal remains, those fossils can be processed to create something The Hand calls "The Substance."
The Substance is the black goo that The Hand puts into human-sized urns, allowing anyone submerged in them to be resurrected. Hand leaders like Madame Gao, Bakuto, and Alexandra have all used The Substance to cheat death, but Alexandra used up the last of The Substance the group had stockpiled in bringing back Elektra as The Black Sky.
The Hand's main goal was therefore to secure the dragon bones under Midland Circle to rebuild their stockpiles of The Substance. In order to burrow down to the tomb even faster, Alexandra set off charges that caused a seismic event at the end of the first episode; if The Defenders hadn't stopped them, The Hand's excavation project could've caused part of Manhattan to sink.
Of course, in order to get there, The Hand needed one important component...
There's a lot of evidence which suggests that K'un-Lun has checks and balances for its mystic rituals. In The Defenders, The Hand knows where the corpse of a former manifestation of Shou-Lao is buried in Manhattan; however, the group has no hope of accessing the tomb, as it is mystically sealed.
The only "key" to opening the tomb of the dead dragon is the Iron Fist which was created from Shou-Lao's heart, meaning the Iron Fist would have to willfully summon it and break the seal on the tomb. Theoretically, it's a full-proof plan, but that doesn't stop our modern MCU Iron Fist (Danny) from being tricked by Elektra into doing the one thing he absolutely should not have done.
In the end, the Midland Circle tomb is buried under tons of rubble, though it remains unknown if Hand members like Elektra and Madame Gao survived, or what they may/may not have done with the dragon bones buried there.
In other words: The Hand may indeed live to fight another day.
The Defenders and Iron Fist Season One are now streaming on Netflix. Iron Fist Season Two is gearing up for production at the moment.