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WARNING! This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for The Defenders. Keep reading this article at your own risk.
"I've been alive long enough to watch the world change in many ways. But this change now, it feels significant."
―Madame Gao to Danny Rand[src]

Madame Gao is one of the five leading founders of the Hand. Over the years, she focused on running her own trade of heroin across New York City using Rand Enterprises' infrastructure as means for it, and aligning with Wilson Fisk to further her own goals. While fighting off the efforts of the new vigilante Daredevil, Gao betrayed Fisk and, as a result, she decided to leave New York City to reflect upon the future. However Gao soon returned and gained a rival with the Blacksmith who was selling his own heroin, so Gao then manipulated Daredevil and Punisher to kill him. Gao's heroin trade was interrupted again by the return of Danny Rand, who used both his position within Rand Enterprises as well as his Iron Fist title to destroy Gao's enterprise. This led to Gao being captured by a rival Hand leader named Bakuto until Gao was able to manipulate Rand and finally set herself free to exact her own revenge.

Gao's own schemes was put to a hold when the supreme Hand leader, Alexandra Reid, had ordered Gao to hastily proceed with the operation involving Midland Circle, which played the most important role in the survival of the Hand. This led to Gao joining forces with fellow hand leaders Murakami, Sowande, and even Bakuto, as they came into conflict again with the Defenders. Like the other Hand leaders, Gao eventually became disillusioned with Reid's leadership, especially after the death of Sowande as well as Reid's unrelenting faith in the Black Sky. Gao, along with the other leaders, witnessed Reid's sudden assassination by Black Sky and continued to operate under Elektra's orders. In a final clash against the Defenders, Gao and the rest of the Hand were defeated, in the underground caves deep beneath Midland Circle.

Biography

Early Life

Joining the Hand

This section needs a rewrite
"I spent most of the 17th century being interrogated."
―Madame Gao[src]

Madame Gao has been alive for many centuries, claiming she spent most of the 17th century being interrogated.[1] She spent some time in K'un-Lun where she encountered many. At some point she became a leader figure in the ranks of the Hand.[2]

Killing the Rands

"You know I didn't kill your parents. Why would I have gone to such trouble to hide it with a plane crash? It was someone much more treacherous than I. In fact, I tried to talk him out of it, as I thought it would draw too much unwanted attention."
―Madame Gao to Danny Rand[src]

When Harold Meachum was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he was approached by Madame Gao for aid who promised to return him from the dead. Meachum also asked for Gao to kill Wendell Rand, his business partner, so she arranged a plane crash which killed Wendell and Heather Rand while their son Danny Rand disappeared in the mountains. After Meachum died, Gao had her division of the Hand infiltrate Rand Enterprises and kept watch on Meachum, who was under the Hand's control after returning from the dead. Her influence made her the biggest drug dealer in New York City.[3][4]

Drug Dealer

Work in New York City

Steel Serpent 2

Gao inspects the Steel Serpent manufacturing

"Heroin is illegal, and as far as territories go, New York is only one of mine."
―Madame Gao[src]

Madame Gao is a master in the drug trade; she is in charge of an illegal drug manufacturing operation where her subordinates allowed themselves to be blinded, except for the security guards. Gao was approached by Wilson Fisk for assistance in his ambition to change Hell's Kitchen. To this end, Fisk proposed assisting Gao with the distribution of her heroin. Together they worked out a system where Gao's blind workers would take all of the bags of heroin to Vladimir and Anatoly Ranskahov who would in turn help to deliver it across the city.[5]

Clandestine Meeting

Crime Cartel

Madame Gao with some of her associates.

"He took Barrett and our guys out while they were loading the containers"
"這些人,他是偷貨給自己的,還是把你們弄成大傻瓜?[6]"
Anatoly Ranskahov and Madame Gao[src]

One night, Madame Gao sat atop an empty building, along with her various associates, awaiting the arrival of Wilson Fisk. When Leland Owlsley complained about the cold and how Nobu Yoshioka did not seem bothered, Gao claimed that men like Yoshioka who had blood on their hands stayed warm. Eventually James Wesley arrived for the meeting instead of Fisk, citing Fisk was too busy to come in person, and for that he wanted to apologize to everybody and especially Gao personally.

MadameGao-MocksRanskahovs

Gao speaks to the Ranskahov brothers

Gao listened as Owlsley protested about Fisk's absence and Anatoly and Vladimir Ranskahov called Wesley a lapdog. When Wesley then questioned Anatoly and Vladimir about why their payment was short, they explained that a masked man freed their captive girls and beat up Turk Barrett and their subordinates. Gao spoke in Mandarin, but only Wesley understood, asking if the masked man took the girls for himself, but the Ranskahovs informed her that he had let them go. Gao quietly listened as the meeting continued and tensions between Wesley and the Ranskahov brothers increased even more.[5]

War with the Russians

MadameGao-LearnsOfAnatolysDeath

Gao learns of Anatoly Ranskahov's death

"I removed Anatoly's head with my car door."
"不请教我们,就破坏平衡![7]"
Wilson Fisk and Madame Gao[src]

Gao was later called for another meeting, this time without either of the Ranskahov brothers; Leland Owlsley commented on the pints of blood being drained from a nearby car, to which Gao only laughed. They were interrupted by James Wesley and Wilson Fisk's arrival; Gao told Fisk she was happy to see him. Fisk however announced that the Ranskahov brothers were no longer a part of their organization as Fisk had murdered Anatoly the night before due to a personal matter which he did not share with the group yet, which only annoyed them all.

Madame-Gao-Fisk-Arm

Madame Gao speaks to Wilson Fisk in private

Both Gao and Nobu Yoshioka expressed their anger at the news and demanded to know how their own work could continue without the assistance of the Russians. However Gao was told by Fisk to still continue moving all of her shipments of Steel Serpent heroin to the Russians until Fisk could take over all the distribution. The group reluctantly agreed on the matter and departed while Fisk offered to walk Gao to her car, where she asked if he wanted something from her, but Fisk insisted that he only wanted to put the matter behind them all as quickly and effectively as was possible.[8]

Controlling Wilson Fisk

Gao-Wesley-Fisk-Meeting-Penthouse

Madame Gao drinks tea with Wilson Fisk

"I am not here to pluck flowers from the thicket. This is a courtesy, because you have shown me respect. Restore your house to order, or I will begin dealing with Nobu and Leland directly."
―Madame Gao to Wilson Fisk[src]

Before long, Gao learned where Wilson Fisk's Penthouse was within New York City arrived for a private meeting with him. Fisk poured her tea which he had brought back from his last trip to China, which Gao approved of, but she assured him that she had not come to his home for tea. Gao then began speaking to Fisk in English, much to his surprise, and revealed that she was fully aware that Fisk spoke Mandarin and Japanese and did not need James Wesley to translate for him any longer, so Fisk ordered him to leave them alone.

Serious Gao

Gao threatens to bring down Wilson Fisk

They began speaking to each other in fluent Mandarin and Gao told him that neither Nobu Yoshioka nor Leland Owlsley were happy with Fisk's handling of recent events. She then called Fisk emotional and sloppy, making an example of her discovery of his residence as proof that Fisk was losing control. Before she departed, she told Fisk that if he did not restore his business to order, she would cut him from their organization and begin dealing with Yoshioka and Owlsley directly. She calmly left Wilson Fisk's Penthouse, thanking him for the tea as Fisk, enraged due to Gao's threat and overthrew the table.[9]

Making a Choice

KingpinGarden

Gao has a conversation with Wilson Fisk

"There is conflict within you."
"Conflict?"
"Man cannot be both savior and oppressor, light and shadow. One has to be sacrificed for the other. Choose, and choose wisely, or others will choose for you."
―Madame Gao and Wilson Fisk[src]

Gao had a meeting with Wilson Fisk on a rooftop garden. When he arrived, she commented on James Wesley's absence, as he was no longer needed to translate. Gao spoke to Fisk in Mandarin and told him a metaphorical tale of a snake that died after biting an elephant. When Gao expressed her disappointment at Nobu Yoshioka's death, Fisk claimed that he did not expect Yoshioka to go against the masked man himself.

Madame Gao

Gao orders Fisk to choose a path forward

Gao warned Fisk that the Hand was preparing for retaliation. She asked him if his ambition would ever turn to her, but Fisk assured her that she had his respect. She told him that his mind was distracted since falling in love with Vanessa Marianna. She told him to decide if he was the savior or oppressor of the city. Believing Fisk's love for Marianna would endanger their business, Gao decided to join forces with Leland Owlsley and together they planned to poison Marianna at the benefit Fisk was attending. Although Marianna did drink the poison, she was rushed to the hospital in time to be saved.[10]

Encounter with the Masked Man

Madame-Gao-sees-Daredevil-Yell

Gao tells her men to attack the Masked Man

"All those people, you took their eyes."
"No, they blinded themselves."
"Why would they do that?"
"Because they have faith."
Masked Man and Madame Gao[src]

While in her warehouse, Gao watched over her blind workers as they continued producing Steel Serpent Heroin. However, she spotted the masked man in her warehouse, who was snooping around to find for answers about the drug trade in New York City. Gao yelled a warning to her workers and ordered them to attack, hoping that their numbers would overwhelm him and he would be detained long enough for her to escape.

Gao's escape

Gao attempts to escape the warehouse

While her workers found and surrounded the intruder, Gao took two armed guards with her and attempted to escape the warehouse during the fight. However, just as Gao quickly moved through the warehouse towards safety, they were attacked by the masked man who quickly defeated the guards and confronted Gao, causing a fire to break out when one of her guards shot a nearby barrel. With just Gao and the man alone in the slowly burning room, Gao stood tall and prepared for the confrontation with the feared vigilante who had so far defeated both Nobu Yoshioka and the Russian mob.

MadameGaoMeetsDD

Gao is confronted by the Masked Man

The man demanded to know why her people had been blinded, but Gao assured him that they had blinded themselves because of their faith in what she stood for, and now the masked man had taken that faith away from them. The man questioned if their faith was in her drugs but Gao insisted it was about more than heroin and that he had no faith at all. When the man asked about Wilson Fisk, Gao struck him in the chest and knocked him a few feet across the floor. As the man recovered from the shock, Gao vanished without a trace, while the warehouse and all of her heroin burned down.[11]

Reflecting upon the Future

GaoOwlsley-FinalChat

Gao has a meeting with Leland Owlsley

"I will visit my homeland, and reflect upon the future."
"Home? China?"
"It is a considerable distance further. We shall not speak again."
―Madame Gao and Leland Owlsley[src]

Having escaped from her warehouse before the New York City Police Department could find and arrest her and her business burned to the ground, Gao met with Leland Owlsley to discuss the recent events. She greeted Owlsley in English, apologizing for her lateness. She informed Owlsley about the encounter with the masked man and the destruction of the heroin. When Owlsley suggested she bring in more heroin, Gao explained that she never had any real interest in selling drugs.

Madame-Gao-leaves

Gao decides to leave New York City

They then discussed the risk of Wilson Fisk discovering their plan to assassinate Vanessa Marianna, with Gao noting that Fisk believed that the poison was meant for him. Owlsley then asked if Gao was responsible for killing James Wesley as well, but she assured him she was not as Wesley had never shown her discourtesy. As Gao left the meeting, she then informed Owlsley that she was returning to her homeland to reflect upon the future. Knowing that Fisk would likely learn the truth about Marianna's poisoning, Gao told Owlsley that they would not speak again as she walked away.[11]

Hunting the Blacksmith

MadameGao-Season2-Cameo

Madame Gao is confronted by Daredevil

"I see from the uniform you've taken the devil's name to heart."
"Yeah, I had to, because of people like you."
"So you continue your fight, but for how long, I wonder."
―Madame Gao and Daredevil[src]

Gao either returned or never left New York City, continuing her heroin trade despite running into trouble when a rival dealer known as the Blacksmith began stepping into her territory. Gao was visited by Daredevil who demanded to know how and where he could find the Blacksmith. Once Gao had ordered her men to leave, they discussed the Blacksmith, with Daredevil threatening to call the New York City Police Department to her location if she did not assist him in the search.

MadameGao-MakesDealWithDevil

Gao tells Daredevil about the Blacksmith

Madame Gao started to explain how the Blacksmith was eliminating her chemists and street dealers, causing trouble for her. Daredevil assured her that he could end the Blacksmith's career that night. Gao directed him to the docks as her men believed he brought his drugs over by ships although she did not know which pier and so could not have him killed herself, advising him that the Blacksmith's ship would be well guarded. As Daredevil thanked Gao for all of her assistance and prepared to leave, Gao then warned him that his path would not be an easy one before allowing him to leave.[12]

Challenging Iron Fist

Harold Meachum's Prison

Iron Fist Gao

Gao orders Harold Meachum to kneel to her

"We have an agreement. You must honour it to the letter or there will be consequences."
"I...I understand."
―Madame Gao and Harold Meachum[src]

Upon Danny Rand's mysterious return to New York City, Gao learned that Harold Meachum had left his penthouse prison to investigate the identity of Rand. Furious at Meachum's actions, she left a Hand print on the outside of his window. While Meachum was training later that night, Gao arrived in person to reaffirm his cooperation. Shocked at Gao's arrival, Meachum accidentally broke a glass, only for Gao to order him to kneel on the glass as a sign of respect to her, causing Meachum to cut his hands and knees on the broken glass, causing him pain.[13]

Meechum GAO

Gao shows Harold Meachum his daughter

Due to the threats made against him, Meachum did as he had been instructed by Gao, as a reward Gao had him wear a blindfold and took him to take a look at Joy Meachum from the building across from hers. As he looked at his daughter who he had not seen since she was a child, Meachum noted that his daughter had been hit, as Gao explained that she had had a run in with the Yangsi Gonshi, only to have been rescued by her bodyguard. Meachum asked for one more favor, which Gao granted, to be allowed to personally execute the man who had injured his daughter in the attack.[3]

Allegiance to Gao

Gao orders King to kneel down before her

Gao had Meachum, through his own son Ward Meachum, purchase a pier property with the intention to smuggle a scientist into New York named Radovan Bernivig to produce all of their heroin. However before he arrived, Iron Fist intercepted Bernivig and escaped. Having inspected the truck with Iron Fist had punched through, Madame Gao killed the bodyguard assigned to secure Bernivig and left his head behind in the abandoned truck for Rand to find, along with a challenge to him, as to free Bernivig's daughter from her would be to then complete her upcoming Da Jue Zhan contest.[14]

Da Jue Zhan

Immortal Emerges from Cave

Gao greets the Iron Fist for the Grand Duel

"Welcome. My master agrees to your terms. Should you lose, but remain alive, you must remove yourself from all of our dealings."
"Agreed."
―Madame Gao and Iron Fist[src]

As expected, Danny Rand arrived at the location where he set the terms for Gao that if he won the duel, she would be forced to free the captured Sabina Bernivig and the Hand would leave New York City, never to return. Gao accepted this and in turn demanded that if he were to lose the contest, then he would never get involved with the Hand's activities again, with Rand accepted. With their terms agreed upon, Gao and Rand washed their hands as she led him to the first challenge.

Gao Returns

Gao watches Iron Fist fighting her champions

Gao led Rand through the warehouse were he was first challenged by Andrei and Grigori Veznikov, who mocked the Iron Fist for not taking his place at K'un-Lun before drawing blood from their own hands to make a ring around them all, explaining that if the Iron Fist fell out of the ring or died, who would lose. Gao watched as Iron Fist battled the brothers who together attempted to overpower him by using their expert team work and knives to their advantage, however the Iron Fist soon got the upper hand and forced them to yield.

Gao took Rand into the next room which was filled with smoke where he was then was attacked by the Bride of Nine Spiders who tried to first seduce and then poison Rand. With all the Iron Fist's senses damaged by the Bride's poison, he struggled to continue fighting, allowing the Bride to beat him mercilessly. However, Gao watched as Iron Fist regain his strength and he fought though the pain and eventually defeated her as well. Seeing that he was hurt, Gao then recommended that Iron Fist withdraw from the Da Jue Zhan, but he refused without having saved Bernivig from Gao.[2]

Breaking the Rules

"Stop! Strike him down, the girl dies. Withdraw from the duel, and she'll be spared."
"That's dishonorable.:
"What do I care for honor?"
―Madame Gao and Iron Fist[src]

With one last chance to destroy him, Gao took Iron Fist into his final opponent, Scythe, who used all his skills with bladed weapons to try and kill the Iron Fist. Gao watched the fight unfolding, seeing Scythe put up a good fight, however he was not as skilled as Danny Rand, so she made a silent retreat. Rand used the power of the Iron Fist to punch through his weapon, smashing it apart before landing a final blow on Scythe.

However, before Iron Fist could lay the killing blow, Gao revealed herself and threatened Sabina Bernivig's life, promising that if he did not withdraw from the Da Jue Zhan, she would kill the hostage by cutting her throat. Rand insisted that this action was dishonorable, but Gao made it clear that she did not care about the honor of the duel as long as she came out victorious in the end. Despite being haunted by Lei Kung's lessons about being merciless against his enemies, Rand eventually chose to withdraw with great reluctance and Gao released the hostage to him, laughing to herself.

Gao said she found it amusing that the Iron Fist had saved an innocent life over defeating the Hand, questioning why he was in New York City. Gao mentioned that she had met previous Iron Fists and made it clear that she had been to K'un-Lun herself. While talking about Rand's honor, she then mentioned Wendell Rand's lack of honor, but before Rand could then learn more, Gao was able to throw him back without physically touching him, and she was gone by the time he recovered.[2] Gao later sent Alexi and Vando to punish Harold Meachum for not mentioning that Rand was the Iron Fist.[15]

Confronting Danny Rand

"History says that the Iron Fist and the Hand are mortal enemies. But I wonder in the spirit of change, perhaps we can be something different. Last night showed me the truth. K'un-Lun did not send you to hunt us down. You left of your own free will, because you wanted to be Danny Rand. So, why not enjoy the life you traveled so far for?"
―Madame Gao to Danny Rand[src]

Seeking to speak with Danny Rand in person in the wake of the Da Jue Zhan, Madame Gao and her own henchmen travelled directly to the Rand Enterprises Building were she found Rand in a meeting with Joy Meachum as she was confronting him over his own work ethic. With Rand having seen her arrival, Gao calmly entered Rand's office and waited for him there, putting a plant down on a table for decoration and noting on how poorly designed the office was.

Gao if

Gao tells Danny Rand to end his mission

As Rand questioned how Gao had gotten into the building, she just calmly explained that she had been a part of Rand Enterprises far longer than Rand himself had, noting that she did not plan on ever leaving. Seeing Rand was ready to fight, Gao noted he could not be seen attacking an old woman in public. Gao compared Rand to the other Iron Fists she had known, while Rand questioned why the Steel Serpent heroin was designed with a symbol from K'un-Lun. But Gao continued discussing the Iron Fists and how they would have never surrendered a duel to save just one innocent girl's life.

Gao noted how over her own long life she had seen the world greatly change, but with the arrival of Daredevil and Luke Cage among some others in New York City, she felt this change would be significant. Gao suggested that perhaps with him having broken tradition and left K'un-Lun, the Iron Fist and the Hand could now end their battle and become allies. Gao told Rand to enjoy the life he had left K'un Lun for, suggesting that he end their ages old war now and instead spend his days with Colleen Wing and Claire Temple, enjoying his money by buying a yacht and eating at various fancy restaurants.

Telling Rand to focus on his business and claiming that this would be the best offer he would get, Gao went to leave his office only to be stopped and asked about her relationship with Wendell Rand. Gao however refused to answer Rand's question and simply walked out, also reminding Rand to continue watering his new plant. Entering the lift with both her bodyguards, Gao used her Rand Enterprises key card to activate the lift and be taken to her floor while Rand watched in horror. During the ride down, Gao felt a bump in the elevator but she and her bodyguards chose to simply ignore the noise.

On the thirteenth floor, Madame Gao had a meeting with one of her subordinates about how the Steel Serpent heroin was to be moved by the Russians and the Dogs of Hell using the Rand Enterprises trucks across New York City. When the woman referred to the Dogs of Hell as Gao's partners, she corrected her that the Dogs of Hell worked for the Hand but her not their partners. Gao noted that she would soon be dealing with Hai-Qing Yang and also that Radovan Bernivig was going to surrender his heroin formula to them shortly. Gao left the office, also noting that it needed more light.[15]

Ambush in China

MadameGao-Bodyguards

Gao explores her own heroin factory in China

"Anger is a gift, Mr. Rand, if you know how to control it. It would be my privilege to teach you."
"I don't wanna hurt you. I just want to know what happened between you and my father."
"Is that what's driven you to this state?"
―Madame Gao and Iron Fist[src]

Having forced Radovan Bernivig to give up his heroin formula, Gao had him killed and then departed for China.[15] As Gao and her three bodyguards entered the factory, they heard somebody honking on a car horn, so Gao then sent her people to investigate. Gao soon came across Zhou Cheng, the watchman of the factory, who was sound asleep and still drunk, so Gao kicked him and ordered him to move aside so she could explore her own heroin factory.

Before long however, Cheng was defeated by the Iron Fist in single combat, at which point Gao revealed herself to him and claimed that she could teach him how to control his rage which had almost lead to him beating Cheng to death. Iron Fist demanded to know more about Gao's own relationship with Wendell Rand, but she refused to answer, ordering him to keep his distance from her. Gao then ordered Iron Fist to surrender to her and the Hand, claiming that if he did as he was instructed then both Claire Temple and Colleen Wing would be granted a merciful and pain free death by her own hands.

Iron Fist vowed that he would die before allowing Temple and Wing to come into harms way, at which point Gao claimed that she would not allow him to die just yet, and ordered her men to kill the weapon and leave Iron Fist alive. Gao watched her soldiers attack the group only to be defeated, however one of her own men stabbed another, revealing the poisoned blades which Danny Rand recognised as the same poison that killed his parent's pilots resulting in their deaths in the plane crash. In a fit of rage, Iron Fist destroyed the wall behind Gao and proceeded to take her into his own custody.[16]

Danny Rand's Hostage

"If you allow this charade to continue, all will be lost. Release me and I will allow you to proceed with your life untouched. I can guarantee that. They are coming, Ms. Wing. You know what they'll do when they arrive. Get out now, before it is too late."
―Madame Gao to Colleen Wing[src]

Having been taken back to Chikara Dojo, Gao watched with satisfaction as Danny Rand argued with Colleen Wing over why she had been taken there, with Gao noted that the would never end up in the hands of the New York City Police Department. Rand demanded to know about the Hand and Gao's relationship with Wendell Rand, but Gao refused to answer. Rand threatened to strike her with the Iron Fist but Gao was unaffected, smiling at Rand's efforts to intimidate her.

The Mistress of All Agonies

Gao attempts to manipulate Claire Temple

While waiting, Gao was given some water by Claire Temple who also questioned if Gao was uncomfortable. Gao quickly deduced that Temple was the sort of person who ended up close with people with gifts like Rand, as well as Daredevil and Luke Cage, claiming that Temple wanted to be special like they were. Although Temple argued that she had helped the heroes, Gao noted that they had all ended up broken. Gao claimed that Temple should leave now to save Rand, even hinting that if she did not then her mother would now be at risk, leading to Temple furiously threatening Gao's own life.

As the night wore on, Gao was guarded only by Wing, who insisted that Gao keep silent under the threat of a sock in her throat. Gao commented on Wing's grandfather training her and spoke to her in Japanese when Wing told her to be quiet. Gao however made it clear that she knew more details about Wing's upbringing with her family, as Gao told Wing to set her free before it was too late, knowing Wing was secretly a member of the Hand and therefore knew the dangers that would coming. Gao then watched with satisfaction as the posion Wing was affected with took over her body.

Eventually Rand returned with truth serum he had gotten from Rand Enterprises which Temple prepared to inject into Gao. Unaffected by this, Gao warned Rand that he was going to face something he was completely unprepared for. When Rand claimed that it could not be scarier than Shou-Lao, the dragon he had faced in K'un-Lun, Gao informed him that it was. Pretending to be affected by the drugs and acting drowsy, Gao claimed she had known Rand's mother who she said she had found to be easy to manipulate, noting that Rand's father had wanted nothing to do with the Hand.

Gao told Rand that Harold Meachum had made the deal with the Hand, but when Rand then tried to get more information out of her, Gao pretended to be knocked out by the drugs. Gao then watched silently as Colleen Wing collapsed due to the affects of the poison she had been affected with by the Hand's blades. Gao then revealed she was unaffected, claiming she had spent much of the seventeenth century being interrogated. As Rand tried to call Wing's sensei to come and help, Gao told them that the more time they wasted the closer Wing came to her inevitable death.[1]

Captured by Bakuto

"I am treating you with respect by being who I truly am. Not everyone around you does the same."
"That's not true!"
"They are stealing your ability to trust."
―Madame Gao to Danny Rand[src]

As Colleen Wing awaited assistance, Gao remained tied to her chair and mocked the group until all the lights across Chikara Dojo were cut out by the Hand. Gao watched with amusement as the group prepared to fight as the Dojo was filled with smoke and soldiers stormed in. With the assistance of the Iron Fist, the soldiers were defeated, although Wing's pain continued, with Gao offering the antidote if they freed her.

Wing eventually collapsed from the poison as Claire Temple admitted there was nothing more she could do for her. They were all then greeted by the arrival of Bakuto, who offered to assist Wing in her recovery, explaining that he had already taken care of all of Gao's mercenaries, which he proved by pointing out the body that was now hanging from outside the window of the Dojo. Although Gao warned that Bakuto had no business there and that Danny Rand would be making a mistake by letting him inside, Rand ignored her and open the door for Bakuto to come and assist Wing.

Gao was forced to watch as Bakuto ignored her objections and instead trained Rand to use the power of Chi to burn the poison out of Wing's body, thus saving her life. However the procedure proved too much for Rand as he collapsed from exhaustion. Bakuto then took the chance to take Rand and Gao into his custody, leading them downstairs and into his cars to be taken to the Hand Safe Haven, telling Temple that she was not allowed there as she was not a member of the Hand.[1] Under Bakuto's orders, Gao was then locked inside a small room with no windows to await her fate.

Eventually Gao was visited in her cell by Rand, who she mocked by claiming that her situation was barely prison compared to the slavery Rand had allowed himself into by joining with Bakuto. As Rand became annoyed at Gao's insults, she revealed to him that he was at the base of the Hand, although Rand refused to believe it. Before Gao and Rand could continue their discussion, they were interrupted by the arrival of Bakuto who tried to convince Rand that Gao was manipulating him yet again and led him away, leaving Gao to return to her bed and then contemplate on the future.[17]

Gaining Freedom

"It's no mystery why you're such a poor Iron Fist. You don't understand your own path. Your chi is so polluted with guilt, yet you refuse to face it."
"And what should I be guilty of?"
"The death of your parents."
―Madame Gao and Danny Rand[src]

Gao was left in her cell for days without food or water for days until she was eventually found by Danny Rand, who had returned to the Hand Safe Haven looking for answers. Under the threat of Colleen Wing cutting off her head, Gao agreed to give them whatever information they required, although she soon informed them that there were no copies made of the information on the Hand's tablet which Rand had stolen, although Wing accused Gao of being a liar.

As they entered her cell, Gao told Rand his Chi was damaged due to his guilt over his parent's deaths, claiming his thirst for vengeance led him to leave K'un-Lun. When Rand questioned why he should feel guilt, Gao explained it was because he had survived the plane crash with barely a scratch while his parents had both been killed. As they discussed Rand's desire to punish the one who had killed his parents, Gao revealed to Rand that she was not the one who had killed them, claiming that if it had been her then she would not have even bothered to hide their deaths with a plane crash.

Gao-reveals the truth

Gao tells Danny Rand to kill Harold Meachum

Despite Wing insisting that she was playing more mind games with them, Gao then told Rand that Harold Meachum was the one who had killed Rand's parents to gain control over Rand Enterprises, as she explained that Wendell Rand had discovered Meachum's deal with the Hand and so Meachum had killed him. Gao told Rand that the only way he could become the true Iron Fist would be for him to rid himself of his desire for vengeance and kill Meachum. Rand then stormed out as Wing told Gao that if she was not found soon by her own minions then she would rot inside her own prison cell.

MadameGao-IFFinalScene

Gao overhears Davos' plans for revenge

Gao was eventually freed from Bakuto's prison by some of her own subordinates and was able to walk free in New York City again. Soon Gao had discovered that Rand's former friend and ally from K'un-Lun, Davos, had felt betrayed by Rand's decision to leave his home and decided to plot his own revenge against him. Gao positioned herself in a cafe to overhear Davos' meeting with Joy Meachum in which they discussed their mutual hatred for Rand and agreed to kill him, which Gao listened to with great amusement as she sipped her tea and continued to listen to their discussion closely.[4]

War for New York

Alexandra Reid's Orders

Gao confronts Alexandra

Gao in a private meeting with Alexandra Reid

"We all agreed, this plan, it makes sense."
"Made sense."
"It took great efforts to arrange this. If we speed the process it will not be quiet."
―Madame Gao and Alexandra Reid[src]

In the months that followed, Gao had reported to her superior, Alexandra Reid, for a private meeting at the Central Park in Manhattan. Gao had informed her that the arrangements in their plan to obtain the substance that sustains the Hand has come to fruition. When questioned by Reid on the best time in proceeding further, Gao had told her it will take three months. Not satisfied, Reid ordered Gao to inform the other members of the Hand that they must accelerate their operations. Gao had slightly objected to moving so quickly noting that the activities of the Hand will be felt throughout New York. Reid, however, insisted that they must move quickly regardless. Acknowledging Reid's instructions, Gao declared that she will inform the others to move forward. Reid had then departed, but not before asking Gao to finish feeding nearby pigeons, stating that they are starving, much to Gao's annoyance.

The following evening, Gao had met Reid at her residence. She informed Reid that the others have been briefed on the orders to move quickly and will proceed to do so. When Gao continued to question her leader about their plans, Reid quickly dismissed her, and ordered her to leave. Gao did so without further questioning her leader.

An Unexpected Obstacle

" It's a door. It's meant to be opened."
"By What?"
"The conviction of the elders of K'un-Lun was always unwavering. They think it's a virtue. But in the end, all it ever did was make them predictable. They've locked it away. But a lock is not a lock without a key. And from the beginning, they have valued one thing above all else. "
―Alexandra Reid and Madame Gao [src]

Gao had later met Reid at a Gallery for Musical Arts. When updating her leader on the progress in the underground facilities of Midland Circle, Gao had revealed that there was a wall with inscriptions from K'un-Lun blocking their access to the substance for the Hand. Reid had ordered her to tear down the wall, but Gao insisted that she and the others have tried their best efforts to succeed, but has failed, and that the Elders of K'un-Lun we're aware of the Hand's arrival. When Gao suggested to revise their plan in gaining more of the substance, Reid had berated her for giving up so quickly, before sharing her insight. Reid was able to decipher that the apparent wall blocking their way was instead a door to be opened. When Gao questioned what they will need to open the mystical door, Reid revealed that the door must be opened by the one thing that the Elders of K'un-Lun have valued for the longest: The Iron Fist.

Personality

Madame Gao is a ruthless criminal, able to gain complete trust of her subordinates and even make them blind themselves. While working with others, she is highly calculating and even spoke only Mandarin to make them underestimate her and let them believe she would not understand them without translation. She was quick to turn on her allies but seemed to respect Wilson Fisk more than the rest of his associates, as she warned him that he was losing himself on his mission. Despite this, she ultimately ended up trying to kill Vanessa Marianna as she considered her a distraction for him. She seemed to have some level of respect for Daredevil, however, and when their interests temporarily aligned, she willingly gave him information on the Blacksmith.

Madame Gao speaks a lot in riddles and surrounds herself with an air of mysticism during her interactions.  

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Longevity: Gao's connection to the mystical city of K'un-Lun has enabled her a immensely long physical life, as she has stated she was alive in the 17th Century indicating she has lived for more than four hundred years. She could even have been alive for millennia, as the Hand was believed to be responsible for the destruction of Pompeii in 79 AD. Her immense longevity also allow her to remain physically very strong and fit despite her appearance of an elderly woman.
  • Telekinesis: Gao has shown the ability to move objects and people with her mind. This allowed her to shove Iron Fist against a wall with only a raised hand to the air, move a dumpster that was obstructing a door from the other side, and even move cars.
  • Enhanced Strength: Regardless of her smaller stature, Gao has shown to possess incredible strength during her fight against Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, able to match both of their enhanced physical abilities.
  • Enhanced Endurance: Gao has extreme endurance as she was able to withstand powerful blows from Jessica Jones without any lasting effects or injuries from the attacks.

Abilities

"I speak many languages."
"How many?"
"All of them."
―Madame Gao and Wilson Fisk[src]
  • Omnilingualism: Gao is fluent in Mandarin, English, and Japanese, and she claims to be able to speak all languages.
  • Master Martial Artist: Gao is extremely well trained in martial arts, able to push Daredevil to the floor and sliding a few feet with a strike to the chest, although he was still suffering from his injuries taken in the duel with Nobu Yoshioka, her appearance as a frail old woman fooled Daredevil enough to catch him by surprise. He even spat out blood due to the force she applied into her hits.
  • Drug Resistance: Gao has shown to be immune to Sodium Pentathol when interrogated. Being repeatedly exposed to similar drugs in the past has allowed her to develop a strong resistance to the effects of such substances.
  • Master Tactician: Due to her extended length of life, Gao has gained immense life experience and wisdom akin to a wise master strategist and had been shown to plan far in advance of her enemies, such as Daredevil or Iron Fist.
  • Master Manipulator: Gao is adept at using observations to deceive, persuade, and unnerve others, only requiring seconds to get inside a person's head.

Equipment

Gao kills King

Gao stabs King through the back of the head

  • Cane Sword: Her walking cane has a hidden sword which Gao used to execute King for failing her.
  • Handgun: Fearing that Iron Fist would soon be killed in the crossfire, Madame Gao took one of Sowande's soldier's guns and executed another man to stop him firing at the Defenders and Iron Fist.

Relationships

Allies

Enemies

Appearances

Appearances of Madame Gao

In chronological order:

Behind the Scenes

References

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