Welcome to Bae Watch Wednesday, where I tell you all about the fictional characters you ought to be crushing on. I’m in full on Daredevil mode now, so this week’s bae is Elektra Natchios!
Who Is Elektra Natchios?
Elektra Natchios is a major character in the Marvel Netflix shows Daredevil and The Defenders. She first appears in season 2 of Daredevil as a sort of antagonist/love interest and general all-around complication for protagonist Matt Murdock.
Matt is the vigilante Daredevil and has recently successfully stopped criminal kingpin, Wilson Fisk. He is doing decently well with his law firm Nelson and Murdock, has his best friend Foggy Nelson in his corner and supporting his vigilante efforts, and is even starting a budding romance with Karen Page. So, naturally, Elektra comes along to screw up Matt’s life.
Back when Matt was in law school, he and Elektra started a relationship. Elektra, the daughter of a wealthy and powerful politician, found Matt intriguing. She saw beneath his veneer of normality and tried to bring out more in him. Elektra didn’t treat him as fragile because of his blindness and pushed him to take risks and be reckless.
Things came to a head when Elektra confronted Matt with the mobster who had his father killed. She pushed him to kill the mobster as revenge. Their whole relationship had been violent and crazy, but this was a step too far for Matt. He refused to cross that line and Elektra just left. Matt was upset but moved on.
Foggy remembers how off course Matt’s life went the last time Elektra was a factor. Matt nearly derailed his law career before it had a chance to begin. Elektra tried to convince him to leave a normal life behind, and that’s exactly the last thing Foggy wants to see happen to Matt now. So Matt isn’t thrilled to see Elektra show up, asking for help.
Warrior Of The Chaste
Elektra tells Matt she needs help dealing with some corporate espionage. Of course, she’s there for more than legal aid. She knows what he’s been doing as Daredevil and sees this as another chance to get Matt under her sway. He agrees – reluctantly – to help her and soon ends up over his head.
It turns out, Elektra being in Matt’s life was never a coincidence. Elektra wasn’t just the daughter of a rich politician who found a mysterious law student interesting. No, Matt was a mission. Elektra is a warrior for the Chaste, a mythical organization devoted to stopping the Hand, a centuries-old criminal syndicate.
Matt has some experience with the Chaste. When he ended up in an orphanage after the death of his father, he was given some training by Stick, a member of the Chaste. Stick saw that Matt had potential to be a key weapon for the Chaste, but Matt was too sensitive, too emotional, to fall in line. So Stick leaves but doesn’t forget – and later sends Elektra to finish the job.
Elektra was raised by Stick in the Chaste. She was trained in combat from a very young age and proved exceptionally skilled. So Stick sent her to seduce Matt away from his morals. Sadly, Elektra failed because she fell in love with Matt. Now she’s back, and the two of them try to take on the Hand together. Then Stick reappears and throws a wrench in things.
Matt is furious that Elektra lied to him and angry at her violent approach. He still won’t condone killing. As he gets more and more embroiled in things, however, his feelings for Elektra are rekindled. He realizes that she is the only one who gets him and tries to picture a future together.
Sadly, Elektra is killed fighting the Hand. She was originally a Black Sky, a living weapon that the Hand would use to achieve their goals. When they try to corrupt her, she refuses. In the end, she sacrifices herself for Matt.
Unfortunately, the Hand has a way of reanimating the dead, and they do so with Elektra. In the process, they remove her memories, making her purely the Black Sky and no longer Elektra Natchios. Her fighting skill remains, and they use her to try and topple New York. Their plot forces the Defenders – Matt, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand – to band together to save the city.
They have a hard time stopping Elektra, but Matt recognizes her. He is shocked that his love is not dead and not sure how to feel. Elektra, for her part, starts remembering things after facing Matt. Eventually, she remembers who she is and how the Hand used her. She rebels, killing her handler. She doesn’t stop their plot, however.
In death, Elektra had seen a black void and was afraid to return. So she takes over their plot to achieve further immortality – anything to save herself. Now, Elektra is in charge of the Hand. Matt and the other Defenders must stop her to save New York, but it’s difficult – Matt is the only one capable of fighting Elektra, and his emotions get in the way.
In the end, Matt and Elektra have a final face-off underneath Midland Circle. Matt decides he doesn’t want to live without Elektra again, having lost it when she died the first time. So they stay together as the building collapses. They never really had a future together, just heartbreak and death.
Why Is Elektra Natchios Bae?
Okay, first of all, Elodie Yung is not human. There is no way. She is far too gorgeous to be on that level. She must be some sort of mythical creature to be that stunning. Yung is quite possibly the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen. I am in awe.
c/o Vanity Fair
The first time we saw Elektra Natchios on screen, she was played by Jennifer Garner, who is already a beautiful woman. But Elodie Yung? A whole new level. There’s no comparison. Few people could ever hope to have the slightest chance of competing with Elodie Yung. She’s that gorgeous.
Sorry not sorry, but yes, this is going to be another post where my uncomfortable attraction to fighting comes through. Because Elektra Natchios can fight. That’s kind of her whole point; as the Black Sky, she is a living weapon, a force of destruction, nothing to be trifled with. And it’s awesome.
Daredevil is already a feast in this regard. Matt Murdock is kick-ass and delightfully extra when he fights. But when Elektra comes on screen, things are bumped up to 11. She is the definition of deadly grace. She moves with purpose, none of the over-the-top theatrics Matt throws in (no, Matt, you don’t need to do random flips and shit, that’s inefficient).
Elektra is one of few people who can hold their own with Matt. He’s an excellent fighter with a background in boxing, martial arts training from Stick, and enhanced senses. Elektra can handle everything he throws at her and gives back just as good. Their fights in The Defenders are tense but beautifully choreographed.
The Defenders really drives home just how powerful Elektra is. It takes four superheroes to stop her, and even then Matt is the only one who really can stand against her. Her skill at fighting is unparalleled, and that makes her distressingly appealing.
And, of course, Elektra isn’t just a hand-to-hand fighter. No, she is also proficient with a variety of weapons, only adding to her appeal. The Defenders really plays this up, showing her practicing with various weapons the Hand provides her with. In the end, when she remembers her past life, she remembers her weapon of choice: the sai. She certainly slayed me.
But to say that Elektra is only appealing because of her fighting ability is selling her short. Elektra is one of the most complex and interesting characters in the MCU. She defies categorization. The Marvel Netflix ‘verse is already great about providing shades of gray: are they really heroes? Or just vigilantes?
Elektra takes that to the extreme. How do you categorize her? She’s clearly not a hero. She kills people without hesitation. Yet, she fights to stop people who are worse. In working for the Chaste, she’s essentially an ally/soldier of Danny Rand. She works with Matt to stop the Hand, even if she can’t abide by his no-killing policy. She’s trying to help.
Then, of course, Elektra is corrupted and works for the Hand, making her clearly a villain. But she’s being used by them. For the first bit of The Defenders, she doesn’t even remember her name. She’s not a simple villain. Yes, she does continue their work after she remembers, but out of fear, not a desire to help anyone. She’s hard to pin down.
Elektra is full of contradictions. She plays as a sophisticated, rich, shallow heiress. Yet, she is shown to be shrewd at business. She is smart and able to outmaneuver her opponents, whether in a boardroom or in battle. She shows no mercy when she fights, seems to be all sharp edges, but genuinely loves Matt and shows a softer side with him.
Being who she is, Elektra never stood a chance at being normal. She is the Black Sky. She was raised by the Chaste as a warrior. But she is so much more than they ever wanted her to be. She is a deeply complex person with emotions and issues that make her fascinating.
What’s Not To Love?
Elektra Natchios is interesting. There’s a lot going on with her. She’s far from simple, and it’s hard to categorize her. But that just makes her more appealing. Simple, one-dimensional characters can only hold your attention for so long, no matter how attractive they may be.
But while Elektra Natchios is stunningly gorgeous, that’s wholly secondary to everything else about her. Watching her fight is like watching art. She’s beautiful and brutal and the perfect essence of deadly grace. She’s the perfect match for Matt Murdock: able to hold her own against him and push against him. She understands him like no one else.
Because Matt is a complicated person. Foggy, Karen, they don’t understand him. But Elektra does, because she is just as – if not more – complicated. Her history is a mess. She was designed as a weapon for the Hand and recruited by the Chaste. She was raised to be a warrior, then given to a politician to be a pretty accessory.
Elektra Natchios makes herself. She defies whatever anyone else tries to make her. The Hand tried to make her their weapon. They removed her memory, told her she was their tool and tried to force her to do their bidding. She refused. The Chaste tried to make her a warrior, tried to make her push Matt into becoming like her. She refused.
Because Elektra Natchios belongs to no one but herself. She is willing to belong with Matt, but won’t let him control her either. Because she has never been in control of her destiny, she takes control. She is powerful, deadly, beautiful, and complex, and that is the most appealing thing about her.