Finn Jones (Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist) caught up with TheWrap ahead of the release of Netflix’s latest foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “The Defenders,” to talk about being part of two of TV’s hottest shows.
Jones is probably best known for his role as Loras Tyrell, brother to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” But since Loras and his sister (spoiler!) died at the end of Season 6, Jones has been keeping himself plenty busy as a young New York superhero.
Jones opened up about how his “Defenders” character, Danny, will fit in with more seasoned heroes Daredevil a.k.a. Matt Murdoch (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) and Luke Cage (Mike Colter). “It’s like he’s just met a bunch of older brothers and sisters for the first time,” Jones said of the relationship with the other heroes.
“This is one of the first times that he’s run into people that also have abilities. And these people seem to be jaded as well, but have kind of got their s— together a little bit more than Danny,” the actor went on to say. “They’re a little bit older and a little bit wiser. And I think Danny is kind of inspired by that, it’s like he’s found brothers and sisters. And I think that’s deeply what Danny has always needed throughout his life, ever since he lost his parents he needs … that friendship.”
We’ll also see Danny grow up in “The Defenders,” completing the character arc set into motion in Season 1 of “Iron Fist.”
“Definitely in ‘The Defenders’ we’re seeing Danny becoming more self-aware, knowing how to deal with his emotions, deal with his responsibility a lot better, and in the process, yes, that means him kind of growing up,” Jones said. But that doesn’t mean Danny will lose his characteristic optimism. “One of the great things about the hero is he really has got this very pure optimism, but I think his level of naivety is certainly going to become more grounded.”
And that growing up is helped along by the brother/sister figures of Matt, Jessica and Luke. “We all know what older brothers and sisters do, they kick you in the balls and they tease you, but ultimately it’s to help you grow into a better adult,” he said. “And I think that’s what Danny is experiencing in the Defenders.”
Danny’s optimism certainly shows when the four street-level heroes meet for the first time. “He needs help,” Jones explained, saying that Danny is less hesitant than the others to join forces (though you will see Danny have some clashing of personalities, at least at the beginning). “He’s been trying to track down members of the hand for a while now and he keeps not making any progress … I think on an emotional level and a much deeper level, he’s longed for friendship, longed for allies, and he’s longed for a connection to people that understand him.”
As for his relationship with friend/sidekick/martial arts badass Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Jones said it’s strained at the beginning of “The Defenders.”
“Definitely tensions are starting to fray with them. Just because Danny — he can be very hot-headed, buried in his own head at times because he has so much on his plate and he doesn’t really know how to handle it.” By the end of Season 1 of “The Defenders,” however, “Danny is kind of in more of a position to give more to the relationship, to be more present in the relationship. And I think that will help steady them going in to Season 2.”
Jones is confident in Danny’s superpowers, too — so much so that he believes the superhero would beat his flowery counterpart from Westeros.
“Loras is always a showman, he was a jouster, a knight of the summer, as it was explained in the book,” Jones said. “He never knew what it felt like to be on the battlefield, to be actually in sort of fight or flight combat. Whereas Danny has got more experience hand to hand. And, he also has the Iron Fist. So that kind of trumps Loras just from the get-go. But if Danny didn’t have the Iron Fist I still think [he] would take Loras down in hand to hand combat.”
The first season of “The Defenders” premieres Aug. 18 on Netflix.