Fair warning: There will be spoilers for Season 2 of DAREDEVIL and Frank Miller’s “The Man Without Fear.”

Daredevil and Elektra. Two people who are polar opposites. Two people with different values, upbringings, and morals. They are glued to each other. From the comics to the Netflix Original Series, one thing has remained constant — Elektra is a master manipulator.

She psychologically abuses Matt Murdock, pressuring him to do things he would not otherwise do. She twists Matt’s psyche, trying to pull out his dark side, a part of him he tries hard to repress.

Humble Beginnings

In most depictions, Elektra and Matt first met during his time as a law student at Columbia University. Right from the start in both Frank Miller’s “The Man Without Fear” and Netflix’s DAREDEVIL, Elektra makes a game out of seducing Matt. She uses her sensual nature to get him to do things he’d otherwise consider crazy.

READ: Thinking of checking out Daredevil? Follow our essential reading guide for all of Daredevil’s best stories.

He still considers them crazy, but something about Elektra overrides his superego, and he follows his ID — his raw natural reactions. Daredevil and Elektra may make one hell of a crime-fighting team, but their romantic relationship is something else on its own.

The Man Without Fear, But With Lust

In Miller’s “The Man Without Fear,” Matt and Elektra first interact when Matt decides to prowl through the city, attuned to its ambient sounds. She plays with him, being the mouse to his cat. He knows he is crazy to follow her but does it anyway, drawn to her sensual scent. She taunts him, able to avoid him and keep running, chuckling to herself. It is a game to her, much like everything else in her life.

Making a game out of provoking Matt is manipulation, she is trying to get a rise of him. She wants to test his limits and see how far he will go just for her. It works, as Matt thinks that “whomever that woman is — she enjoyed every second of it.” Some people love to play hard to get, but Elektra takes it to the extreme. She loves the attention Matt gives her, the craving he has for her. At this point, Matt had not even met Elektra, yet he still longs for her!

Daredevil and Elektra
Matt hops into Elektra’s car without question, leaving Foggy behind

The two formally meet the next day as she pulls up next to Matt and his best friend Foggy in a red convertible. Without question or a word, Matt jumps into the car, and Elektra speeds away. Elektra drives dangerously fast, going 95 mph as it blizzards, weaving past semis and taking her hands off the wheel as the tires screech.

Matt knows he should not enjoy it, and has a “good scare,” but, nevertheless, he persists. Suddenly, as Elektra plunges the car off of a cliff, they both jump out. As someone who just met Elektra, if I were Matt I would’ve left immediately. However, he could not leave, he had to hear her out.

Daredevil And Elektra: Two Of A Kind

What she says next best sums up their relationship. As they stand feet from the edge, she tells him that is where they belong, “always on the brink,” saying that “they are two of a kind.”

These words are simply mind-games, as Elektra is just trying to get into Matt’s head to make him feel special.

READ: What will Elektra’s Role in THE DEFENDERS be?

This is basic manipulation — she knows what Matt wants and how to make him want it even more. By talking about them being “two of a kind,” she implies that they are the only person in the world for the other, that they are each other’s halves. She nurtures a dependence, even in the early beginnings of their relationship.

To make it worse, she plunges off the ledge, knowing full well Matt would jump after her just trying to be her hero. When he does, she is somehow back in the car, driving off as Matt (a blind man, mind you) plunges into icy waters, hundreds of feet below. Matt’s prior experiences have left him terrified of women falling, having inadvertently led a woman to her death. Understandably, this situation hits close to home for him.

Daredevil and Elektra
Elektra plunges off the cliff as Matt is reminded of his past mistakes.

A Less Adventurous Adventure

In Netflix’s DAREDEVIL, the two meet after Matt and Foggy break into a staff party at Columbia University. The two immediately hit it off, flirting with each other as they try to figure each other out. She knows that by knowing the real him better than anyone has known him, she is getting him to fall. While it is cute love at first sight on the surface, we can draw parallels to her speech in the comics about how they are “two of a kind.”

Two of a kind, the Daredevil, and Elektra. Two people whom society rejects. We can see that she is trying to get Matt to see her as the one person who understands him, trying to get into his head and under his skin. It works, because without question, Matt joins her in stealing a sports car and driving off.

Daredevil and Elektra
Matt and Elektra meet and flirt at the bar.

Craving the Girl

Matt so desperately craves Elektra. In Miller’s run, after Daredevil and Elektra’s initial meeting, he breaks into a party at Elektra’s father’s mansion. Him breaking in causes her to climax as she plays the piano; she loves that he broke in just to see her. She loves that he caused a scene and did not care about the repercussions.

Elektra only cares that she is the only thing on his mind. The way Matt craves her, she craves his lust and attention. With his lust and attention come tools for her to manipulate him with.

LISTEN: How does Marvel.com’s Tim Steven’s feel about Daredevil? Check out our Podcast with him!

In the show, the two break into a mansion in the suburbs, talking about the great lives they will lead together after college ends.When Matt follows her, he finds her holding a hostage: Robert Sweeney — the owner of the house and the man who ordered the murder of his father.

Doing What She Wants

Elektra ties Sweeney to a chair, telling Matt to hit him. Due to his rage over his father’s death, and presumably an urge to impress Elektra by doing what she wants, Matt mercilessly beats him. Elektra, drawing parallels to the comics where she “climaxes” at Matt craving her attention and breaking into her home, begins to do the same here.

She loves the fact that Matt is doing this at her will. She loves that she made him do this, that she got the primitive, animalistic side out of him. It is when Elektra wants Matt to kill Sweeney, handing him a knife, which Matt refuses. Killing breaks his cardinal rule — it is the one thing he would never do. This is what broke the spell, as he thinks to call the police only to discover she has gone.

Daredevil and Elektra
Elektra enjoys as she gets Matt to hurt Roscoe Sweeney.

Matt would do anything just to get a hint of Elektra, as she keeps pulling him in and pushing him back at the last second every single time. Currently, in the show, Matt does whatever he can to save Elektra, does whatever he can to make her happy, even when it is against his best interests or wishes.

Years later and even after that incident, Matt still has that lust for Elektra. He cannot escape it because she essentially played him like a fiddle. In the comics, it is the same situation, where he is extremely infatuated with her. Daredevil and Elektra work in tandem since they need each other in different ways. His infatuation is her motivation. His attention is her motivation.

Matt’s Inner Demons

With Matt, there’s also a type of primitive, carnal aspect. Matt is always fighting for justice as a selfless hero. He is always either playing a lawyer by day or the swashbuckling Daredevil at night.

With Elektra, he gets to release his inner desires and instincts. He gets to act without thinking about the consequences. Going with the flow, not worrying about upholding the law, and pushing himself to his limits, boundaries, and ultimately his dark side.

The Source

When looking into Elektra’s psyche and past, it is evident where the need for attention and manipulation comes from. In the comic books, Elektra had false memories of being abused physically and sexually by her father. As these memories still impacted Elektra, they perhaps led to her issues as an adult.

In real life, children of sexual abuse often have damaged psyches. Some grow past it, but others are influenced negatively for life. In Elektra’s case, it seems that this has caused her to become somewhat deranged.

She has voices in her head telling her to attack people, described as something “she can barely control.” She takes out her frustrations and repressed thoughts on others, often attacking people in the street; or by manipulating Matt.

Daredevil and Elektra
Elektra disrobes, as the voices in her head tell her to beat up some thugs

In the show, Elektra is primarily raised by Stick, who trains her to be the ultimate weapon. She is ruthless and does whatever he, as leader of The Chaste, commands her to.

READ: Our Thoughts On What’s Going to Happen in THE DEFENDERS

Daredevil and Elektra’s interactions in DAREDEVIL are centered around this, wherein she is trying to get the darkness out of him to recruit him to The Chaste to fight the Hand. This is a step beyond just manipulating him for the goals of a relationship, for feelings; she is manipulating him so that’d he would fight in Stick and The Chaste’s war.

The Implications

Both types of Elektra’s manipulations are just as dangerous. They mentally drain someone by causing conflict between their self-interest and the interests of the person they pine over. They would do anything for this person, yet they never get the same in return.

Whatever effort Daredevil puts in, Elektra does not entirely reciprocate. When he is looking out for her, she does not return the favor. She uses Matt. Moreover, even when she does have real feelings for Matt, they are overridden by her manipulation of him.

Real Life Lessons From Daredevil And Elektra

If you are reading about Daredevil and Elektra and you think all of this feels all too familiar — then you know what it is like, whether you were the manipulator or the manipulated. Having been in friendships and relationships where I felt manipulated, I know how it feels.

Conversely, I have been on Elektra’s side of the fence as well. I have been the manipulator. While at first, it feels great to have someone craving after you and needing you as Elektra had with Matt; however, it never feels that good after the fact. This manipulation is a form of abuse that is not as obvious. A type of abuse that sometimes is overlooked. It is psychological abuse.

Daredevil and Elektra
Foggy warns Matt about Elektra, showing he cares and can see the warning signs.

If after reading this you believe that you might be the victim of a manipulative relationship or believe you are a manipulator in your relationship, try talking to your partner — see how you can improve yourself or how they can stop. This sort of relationship is not healthy.

It is not the kind of relationship you want to find yourself in on either side. If you think this may be something happening to friends, then speak up and try to help. Be a Foggy, not an Elektra.

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