Part of Netflix’s Marvel universe, this crossover miniseries sees Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the Iron Fist teaming up in New York City to fight The Hand. At the time of its release, The Defenders was Netflix’s third most "binge raced" original series—meaning the number of viewers who watched the entire thing within 24 hours.


How can I watch The Defenders?

The Defenders is available on Netflix and iTunes.

How many seasons of The Defenders are there? How many episodes of The Defenders are there?

The Defenders is an eight-episode stand-alone miniseries.

What is The Defenders about? (Some spoilers ahead!)

At the beginning of the series, the four Defenders are all carrying out individual missions. The Iron Fist, hunting agents of the evil and elusive organisation The Hand, is lead to New York City, where Jessica Jones has been doing a lot of drinking to avoid thinking about the events that took place at the end of her first series. Meanwhile, Matt Murdock is working as a pro-bono lawyer and Luke Cage, recently released from prison, has only just returned to Harlem.

An earthquake, a few clues and a series of other events lead the four superheroes to one another. Though they all share a common enemy, The Hand, the group doesn’t exactly gel when they first meet each other, throwing their goal —and civilisation— into jeopardy.

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Who is in the cast of The Defenders?

All of the main series leads reprise their roles in The Defenders.

Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) plays Matt “Daredevil” Murdock, a lawyer-turned-vigilante. Daredevil is blind, but his other senses are extraordinary.

Marvel's Daredevil
Marvel's Daredevil

Jessica Jones, the private investigator with superhuman strength, is played by Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad).

Krysten Ritter in Marvel's Jessica Jones (Netflix, HF)
Krysten Ritter in Marvel's Jessica Jones (Netflix, HF)

Mike Colter (The Good Wife) stars as Luke Cage, the ex-con with unbreakable skin.

Mike Colter in Marvel's Luke Cage (Netflix, HF)
Mike Colter in Marvel's Luke Cage (Netflix, HF)

Rounding out the Defenders is Finn Jones as Danny Rand, aka the Iron Fist, a billionaire Buddhist monk and martial arts expert.

Netflix, TL
Netflix, TL

Together they fight The Hand, led by an adversary named Alexandra, played by Alien’s Sigourney Weaver.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Sigourney Weaver attends 'A Monster Calls' May Fair Hotel Gala screening during the 60th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 6, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI)
Sigourney Weaver (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI) Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI

In what order should I watch the Marvel series?

The Defenders is part of a larger collaboration between Marvel and Netflix involving multiple franchises, seasons and characters. It can be a lot to wrap your head around if you haven’t been following the releases from the beginning!

If you want to watch them in chronological order, it goes like this:

  • Daredevil Season 1
  • Jessica Jones Season 1
  • Daredevil Season 2
  • Luke Cage Season 1
  • Iron Fist Season 1
  • The Defenders
  • The Punisher Season 1
  • Jessica Jones Season 2
  • Luke Cage Season 2
  • Iron Fist Season 2
  • Daredevil Season 3
  • The Punisher Season 2
  • Jessica Jones Season 3

When is The Defenders set?


The Netflix Marvel universe series tend to follow chronological order, and the cast (along with some sleuthing fans) have given us some clues as to where The Defenders fits in to the universe’s timeline.

Iron Fist’s Jessica Henwick told Entertainment Weekly the miniseries takes place a month or so after the events of Iron Fist, and Charlie Cox said it was “a few months” after the end of Daredevil season two. Since the events in Luke Cage take place after Jessica Jones season 1 and Daredevil season two, Luke has had a bit less time to recover than Jessica Jones and Daredevil Matt Murdock—but a bit more than Danny Rand/Iron Fist.


A savvy redditor also pointed out a shot of Jessica’s laptop in The Defenders which shows a November 2016 date.