bjornwilde: (01: Danny Rand)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
Thinking about Danny Rand and the problems with Iron Fist I would need to address and fix if I were to play him in Milliways. Spoilers behind the cut.

tl;dr: Iron Fist has many problems and uses problematic tropes to tell its story. Among them are; All Asians are one, Mighty Whitey/White Savior, and a toxic portrayal of masculinity. Why would I chose to work with such a canon, even if I intend to fix the problems? Well, I’m a fan of the Iron Fist mythos and I love the sweet innocence Danny Rand has at his core.

All Asians are One: The portrayal of Asian culture is horrible. They pretty much show Chinese culture as one homogenous thing, lumping Taoism, Buddhism, and other cultural aspects as part of one thing. They also portray the Order Danny grows up in as being abusive and dismissive of emotions.

Ways I mean to fix this: K’un Lun is a mystical city that is only accessible to Earth every fifteen years. I mean to have it be a crossroads of sorts for East Asian cultures, the most numerous being those within the Chinese area. I know this isn’t a perfect solution but it makes more sense than assuming all things Asian are the same. This will also explain why Danny knows so many different styles of kung fu.

As to the Order of the Crane Mother (the people Danny grew up with), I am going to assume the instances of abuse that were shown in the Netflix show were rare and had a purpose beyond toughening Danny up. I mean to have Lei Kung (Danny’s adoptive father/guardian) be protective of Danny but at the same time means to prepare him to become the Iron Fist. Abuses to Danny may come from other members of the Order that don’t like an outsider like Danny daring to train to become an immortal weapon.

Mighty Whitey/White Savior: Canon first states that the only reason Danny became the Iron Fist was because his father taught him to set high goals. Later in the series, it’s revealed Danny did it because he felt empty inside. I am going to use this and spin it that Danny chose and pushed to enter the training to become an immortal weapon (i.e. the Iron First), to give the death of his parents meaning. He doesn’t become Iron Fist because he is inherently better, just that he has one hell of a reason pushing him.

Toxic Masculinity
: Danny, in a lot of ways, is still a ten year old boy. He's never had a chance to develop and learn expectations of maturity in a Western or not martial society. He has problems with anger, boundaries, and respect.

A lot of this is how brittle and angry Danny became as the season progressed. He also did not respect the boundaries of women when they presented them. I’m leaning towards him having trouble with boundaries period since his training didn’t allow much in the way of social skills or development. Some of his ignoring boundaries also may come from exuberance, i.e. see this cool thing I can do (see Danny trying to teach Coleen martial arts). Don't worry, I mean to have him learn that boundaries are a things and that they are important.

His anger is due to his deep seated PTSD from his parents death coming back to haunt him. He never got to work through those feels and so when confronted with the world he grew up with, he reacts poorly. I do mean to have characters who put up with his shit call him out instead of just raising an eyebrow and accepting the situation.

I think this is it, but feel free to leave comments with questions or concerns.

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August 2017

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