Lei-Kung (The Thunderer)

As promised, let’s start seeing the characters appearing in Iron Fist. Let’s begin with one we saw in the trailer but we couldn’t identify yet: Lei-Kung, the one who acts as Danny Rand‘s teacher in K’un-Lun. Albeit he’s one of the first characters seen in the trailers prior to the series’ release, he only appears in the sixth episode, Immortal Emerges from Cave, where we witness Danny’s memories of his training to become the immortal weapon Iron Fist. Lei-Kung, portrayed by Hoon Lee, acts as Danny’s mentor, and he guides him through the secret of K’un-Lun’s martial arts…just as he does with his own son, who has quite a relevant role in the series later on. We’ll get to him eventually, but in the meanwhile let’s get a good look at his father, the teacher of immortals Lei-Kung.

Lei-Kung was born in the mystic city of K’un-Lun, a realm on a different plane of existence from Earth, accessible only once every ten years. It’s unknown when exactly he was born, being him immortal, but he claims to have protected the city for millions of years, and even if that might be a hyperbole, surely he inhabited K’un-Lun for thousands of years. When he was a child, his father taught him one simple truth: life lays within the heart, and all kinds of death have eventually the same result: stopping the heart from beating; strenghtening the heart, making it impenetrable, would have granted him the secret of immortality. This simple advice actually had incredible effects, as Lei-Kung devoted his entire life to training, perfecting his body to its limits, learning to channel the energy from his heart (the chi) to make his body an impenetrable fortress. Earning the name The Thunderer, Lei-Kung became the mightiest warrior in K’un-Lun, devoted to protect the immortal city from any kind of threat. One of K’un-Lun’s deadliest enemies, Master Khan, learnt to fear Lei-Kung’s prowess when his best agent, the Ninja, attacked and defeated each and every one of the city’s defenders…until he faced Lei-Kung, whom he was overpowered by. His specific task became the one of training the promising young men and women that would have been selected to face the mighty dragon Shou-Lao and obtained the power of the Iron Fist, the immortal weapon guarded by K’un-Lun, and he did so for millennia, selecting his best students to face the dragon. Only once he allowed a man he didn’t think to be worthy to enter the cave: around 700 AD, the pacifist Li Park was the only one among his students not to have fallen victim to a plague, and he was allowed to test himself against Shou-Lao…managing to obtain the power of the Iron Fist by tricking the dragon. This time, his judgement was proven wrong, as it was thanks to Li Park that K’un-Lun was repopulated after the plague. Eventually, he was as proud to dictate Li Park’s story to be written in the archives, as he was with his best students.

Not all the Iron Fists he had trained succeeded in their mission of protecting K’un-Lun from outside invaders: in XIX Century the Iron Fist of that time, Kwai Jun-Fan, was slain by Zhou Cheng, a Chinese man who had become the host of the Ch’i-Lin, a mystic beast bent on destroying the Immortal Weapons…so it was up to Lei-Kung to face him. As the Ch’i-Lin defeated all the guards, Lei-Kung reached for him in Shou-Lao’s cave, where the monster was about to devour the dragon’s egg, thus putting an end to its eternal cycle of death and rebirth. Lei-Kung was unable to kill the beast by piercing his heart…so he eventually cut off his lower jaw, forcing him to retreat, unable to eat the egg. The danger, for the moment, was evaded, but he knew the Ch’i-Lin would have come back. The next Iron Fist Lei-Kung trained was another “failure”: Orson Randall, once obtained the power of Shou-Lao, came back to the world, but when he returned he was a changed man, and he even tried to end the legacy of the Iron Fist, thus becoming an enemy to K’un-Lun. Randall escaped with the Book of the Iron Fist, and everybody believed him to have died on the mountains…everybody but his master, Lei-Kung. In the following ten years, Lei-Kung had a son from an unknown woman, and he called him Davos; being the son of K’un-Lun’s greatest warrior, Davos grew believing he was destined to greatness, and when he came of age Lei-Kung even accepted him among his disciples. When the city reappeared on the Himalayas, on Earth, a boy came to its gates, half-dead for the cold: Lei-Kung took him in, but from an instinctive reaction in him he realised that his old disciple, Orson Randall, lived…and that the boy had trained under him. Confirming his suspicion in a training room, Lei-Kung took also the boy, Wendell, among his students, and trained him to face the trial of Shou-Lao. Lei-Kung trained Wendell along with Davos, and saw the two of them becoming the best of friends…not realising how much their relation would have changed K’un-Lun’s history forever, after Davos failed the trial and Wendell, on the opposite, succeeded it but renounced to the right of becoming the Iron Fist…

Lei-Kung the Thunderer is a serious and disciplined warrior, a wise teacher and a caring mentor, both severe and understanding with his pupils. As K’un-Lun’s best fighter, he’s incredibly skilled in martial arts, having mastered every armed and unarmed style in the immortal city; he also has complete control over his chi, something that allows him to heal himself and others, to access limited telepathic abilities, and even to gain a strength that puts him on par with adversaries such as Namor the Sub-Mariner; he’s also immortal, and albeit not precisely invulnerable, his endurance to physical assaults is clearly superhuman. Master to warriors and teacher to immortals, Lei-Kung is K’un-Lun first and best line of defense, a tireless combatant who’s molded some of the finest martial artists in history…as well as some of the greatest threats the world has ever seen.

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5 Comments

  1. […] Lei-Kung (The Thunderer) […]

  2. […] Lei-Kung (The Thunderer) […]

  3. […] them as they turned thirty-three, but he always failed to consume the dragon egg, stopped by Lei-Kung the Thunderer and the other warriors from K’un-Lun; every time, however, he got closer to his objective. The […]

  4. […] was born in the mystical city of K’un-Lun, the son of the capital’s greatest warrior Lei-Kung the Thunderer. Since his childhood, he knew he was meant to be a great warrior just like his father, maybe even […]

  5. […] by Yu-Ti in the City of the Immortals‘ philosophy, and he was trained in martial arts by Lei-Kung the Thunderer. Upon coming of age, Orson was chosen to face the dragon Shou-Lao, and he defeated him, obtaining […]


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