The Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t yet confirmed what the big baddie for the franchise is going to be. Almost all the projects in MCU have a tendency of establishing connections with the ongoing narratives. This was seen in the case of various projects in the past where references and nods were made in a very subtle manner. It seems the Disney+ show Hawkeye is also making references to various MCU events. While there was a clear reference to the events of the Infinity Saga considering the series will be exploring Hawkeye’s arc during that period. It seems that episode 3 of Hawkeye references Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Thor: Ragnarok through dragons.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
A major part of the narrative of Shang-Chi was about the giant monstrous dragon-like creatures who end up battling each other out in the finale of the movie. When Shang-Chi is kicked by Wenwu into the river we see him come face-face with a dragon who is revealed to be the “Great Protector”. The other great dragon-like monster is the Dweller-in-Darkness, who is freed by Wenwu, as the latter thought he was actually freeing the soul of his wife.
Ying Nan tells Shang-Chi and his sister that:
Thousands of years ago, all of our people lived in peace and prosperity, until the attack of the Dweller-in-Darkness. He came with his army, devouring every soul in their path, and with each kill, they grew stronger. After decimating our largest cities, they were headed to your universe to do the same. The leaders of Ta Lo sent their strongest warriors here to stop them from reaching the portal to your world. But our ancestors were no match for them.
Dragon in Thor: Ragnarok
Before Shang-Chi we got to see Thor battle Muspelheim in Thor: Ragnarok when Thor went to confront Surtur. When Thor ends up freeing himself from Surtur’s imprisonment we get to see the latter summoning his Fire Demons to attack the God of Thunder. Thor uses his hammer to defeat Surtur and take his crown and this leads to the Fire Dragon freeing himself from the chains so that it can kill Thor for killing his master. As Thor asks for the Bifrost Bridge to head back the Fire Dragon ends up catching up to him but being new to the task Skurge ends up decapitating the Fire Dragon who was following Thor. It seems that Dragons have again been referenced in the MCU.
Dragons in Hawkeye
There are no literal dragons in Hawkeye, (not yet) but there was a reference to Dragons along with a reference to the theory that was introduced to us in Shang-Chi. Here we get to see that Maya has a certain fascination with dragons and this was seen at the very opening scene where she is in school. We see her workbook where she has filled in the blanks as”… run as fast as a dragon..” and she has also doodled a dragon there.
While that could have been just because of her fascination for the mythical creature but later a conversation with her father indicates a lot of reference to what we saw in Shang-Chi about dragons becoming more powerful if they come from the other universe their’s. The conversation goes as:
Maya: Are dragons real?
William: Maybe they are. But dragons live ina different world.
Maya: What if they learned to come into our world?
William: Well, that would make them stronger.
This clearly indicates that there is something at play here rather than Marvel just poking nods to characters. There is a chance that this is actually a part of the mythology behind the MCU. The Dweller-in-Darkness would have grown stronger if he would have entered the world of MCU.
There is a chance that Maya’s fascination with dragons might end up playing a big part of the narrative of her character as we go ahead. Maybe this will be explored in Hawkeye as her character gets a bit more introduction or maybe this will be the underlying arc of her solo series Echo.