Re: Mandarin discussion thread
K this is kind of long but hear me out.
I think Mandarin will be connected to Asgard in a way, but his powers will come from the Midgard realm...
Mostly because the movies have to alter things a little to have all the movies actually be connected. And, in a way, to setup ideas so they can save time in later movies. Plus it seems like some of the groundwork for magic= advanced science has already been setup in part for Mandarin, and possibly Avengers(we've heard some quotes along the lines of them wanting to introduce the fantasy elements in a way that would jive with Iron Man's science-based world).
I have a strong feeling Marvel's already hard at work setting up the Mandarin with part of the Avengers movie, and planning out Iron Man 3 for 2013 at the same time. Ghost could still feature in it, though. And the "Leviathan" we've heard about in Avengers might be our first introduction to Fin Fang Foom, though we may not know it at the time. However, he may play the part of the Midgaard serpent as well, being summoned by Loki initially(possibly dwelling under Earth's ocean in Midgard).
We expect whatever this Leviathan thing is to be defeated in Avengers. But I think it's revealed it really doesn't die or somehow imparts the rings to someone within Mandarin's organization, or leaves behind the mystic gems for the 10 rings to claim before, or after the Avengers defeat it. That way FFF can end up far in the background in IM3, and the Mandarin can get his powers somehow.
Some of the myths place the word Leviathan as more of a dragon or crocodile creature that merely dwells beneath the ocean until just before the end of the world (Ragnarok coming soon after Avengers?)
"In Canaanite myth, Liviathan was the personification of the chaos at the beginning of the Universe: a seven headed, Fire-breathing crocodile-dragon, the power of the primordial ocean given form. He lurked in the depths of the sea..., Leviathan is not dead but merely sleeping, and one day will return to destroy us all."
I think Loki summons it(bringing in an Asgard connection), but that the fight will end quickly with Thor on Iron Man's side, while the other Avengers fight elsewhere. It may return in some form(maybe because of teleporting or shapeshifting abilities) in Iron Man 3, and if it's the midgard serpent as well: it could have a bigger role to play down the line in other movies. Like a Thor Ragnarok storyline.
Point is you guys are correct. All the magic=science stuff in Thor seems like a deliberate plant to make what we could see Mandarin do in Iron Man 3 more accepatable to the GA. Also, they have a real chance to work part of Mandarin's origin into Avengers to then carry over into IM3, and I think they might do just that.
That's just my theory anyway. It makes more sense to me than introducing FFF in IM3, and having him give the rings/powers, then play a large part in the story(this way he would't). FFF could seem to vanish in avengers after its head comes to a rest, then teleport or retreat to where Mandarin is near in the beginning of IM3...he finds it hiding in a cave, bang there you go, he's got magic powers for the whole movie. You've got Avengers-- a movie about science, magic, aliens and a Leviathan...and FFF is a magic(and science based) alien Leviathan.