Most of the talk surrounding Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ credits scenes has been focused on the first one, which is fair enough when it features Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, two marquee Avengers who welcome Simu Liu’s title hero into the fold.
The second is perhaps the more intriguing of the pair, though, and shows Shang-Chi’s estranged sister Xialing as the new leader of her father’s organization, followed by an ominous warning that “the Ten Rings will return”. Xialing wasn’t interested in following Wenwu’s path, but she was clearly more than happy to assume control of the family business.
Not only does that set up more sibling conflict as the driving force behind a Shang-Chi sequel, but it could end up tying to several characters from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in any number of ways, according to a new theory at least.
The Ten Rings have been part of the MCU since the beginning, and it’s established that they’ve impacted world affairs for a millennia, long before they got their claws into the United States government. As per the theory, if Xialing operates on the side of good, then she could realistically lend an assist to Emmy-nominated Falcon star Don Cheadle’s Rhodey during Armor Wars, especially if the plot revolves around a rogue Ten Rings cell acquiring Stark Industries tech, deepening the Iron Man connection.
On the other side of the coin, an international criminal syndicate would certainly draw the attention of both Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, both of whom put their own schemes in motion before The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s final episode had ended, meaning that the Ten Rings could play a pivotal role across the entire MCU, not just the Shang-Chi franchise.