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Villain Overview
Remove the shadow from the light, the shadow grows.
~ Words of Lord Shinnok.
The legacy of life is death, Raiden. My followers accept this and live on. They fight for me!
~ Shinnok
You turned on your fellow Elder Gods. You betrayed your title. You deserved much worse!
~ Raiden about Shinnok in Shinnok's Mortal Kombat Gold ending.

Shinnok is one of the Elder Gods that fell from grace and was banished into the dreaded Netherrealm after he attempted to conquer the Earthrealm as well as the rest of the realms and even tried to overthrow his fellow deities. Shinnok is the son of the Titan Kronika and the brother of female fellow Elder God Lady Cetrion. Shinnok is also forever worshipped by an ancient and fanatic cult of demons and evil conjurers known as the Brotherhood of Shadow.

He is one of the most powerful villains from the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games. He first appeared in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, where he served as the main antagonist. He is also the main antagonist of Mortal Kombat 4, the overarching antagonist of Mortal Kombat (2011), the main antagonist of Mortal Kombat X, and a major antagonist in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and is one of the two main antagonists of the whole series (the other being Shao Kahn).

He is the known maker of the legendary Amulet of Shinnok, a talisman with powers beyond comprehension and also one of the Elder Gods' sacred relics known as the Kamidogu which helped make reality possible.


Original Timeline

The Elder Gods

The Elder Gods

Lord Shinnok's fall from grace was caused by his lust for power and more specifically, his desire to take Earthrealm for himself. At the dawn of time, when the realms were created by the Elder Gods, Shinnok desired to rule Earthrealm, and thus acquire absolute power for himself.

The Amulet of Shinnok

The Amulet of Shinnok

However, Shinnok could never enter Earthrealm without the Elder Gods being aware of his actions. To resolve this issue without directly defying the sacred rules, Shinnok created a powerful amulet, weakened the dimensional barriers, and entered Earthrealm. During the war against his fellow gods, he came into direct conflict with the thunder god Lord Raiden.

While in the final stages of the war, Lord Raiden was forced to choose between sacrificing Earth's indigenous races, or ceding the rule of Earthrealm to Lorf Shinnok. The Elder Gods intervened, and assisted Raiden in his struggle. Raiden defeated Shinnok, and stripped him of his Sacred Amulet and his status as an Elder God. Shinnok was then banished from the Heavens to the deepest regions of the Netherrealm. However, at the expense of Shinnok's defeat, the dimensional fibers of the worlds were severely weakened, and the Saurians - Reptile's people and Earth's indigenous life form at the time - were nearly exterminated.

The Netherrealm

The Netherrealm, Shinnok's eternal prison and domain.

In the Netherrealm, Shinnok endured constant torture from the Netherrealm's overlord, Lucifer. Shinnok was at his mercy until he encountered a sorcerer, Quan Chi, who could travel through the realms at will. Quan Chi would aid Shinnok in overthrowing Lucifer and taking his throne, becoming ruler of the Netherrealm. As payment for Quan Chi's efforts, Shinnok endowed him with incredible powers, making him arch-sorcerer of the Netherrealm, and made him his most trusted servant.

Shinnok began building his Army of Darkness, and plotted to escape the Netherrealm once more. In order to do so however, he would need his lost Sacred Amulet. After centuries of searching, Quan Chi eventually discovered the amulet's whereabouts for him.

It had been placed in the forgotten Temple of Elements by Raiden, and guarded by four Elemental gods. Using the Lin Kuei warrior Sub-Zero (the elder), Quan Chi recovered it, but unbeknownst to Shinnok, he created a flawed replica in its place which he delivered, keeping the original for himself.

In Mortal Kombat: Deception, Shinnok sends Shujinko to retrieve the amulet and return it to him, claiming Quan Chi had left in a city of the Netherrealm. Once returned, Shinnok notices a "difference" in the amulet. Implicating it was Quan Chi's fake amulet returned.

His time in the Netherrealm was well spent, having built a massive army, as well as a fanatical cult of demons called the Brotherhood of the Shadow, dedicated to worshiping him. Also loyal to him was Tanya, an Edenian woman who became a traitor to her realm after she let Shinnok into the realm. He changed the Netherrealm's appearance as well, to make it look closer in appearance to Earthrealm, the very realm he sought to rule.

Shinnok would ultimately be the catalyst for Shao Kahn's successful breach of Earthrealm. Years before, through his sorcerer servant Shang Tsung, the emperor of Outworld had bargained with Quan Chi to have Shinnok resurrect the soul of the deceased Edenian monarch Queen Sindel upon Earthrealm, which would allow Shao Kahn to cross over to it from Outworld.

In return, Shang Tsung had been the one to provide Quan Chi with the location of Shinnok's amulet. By the time Shao Kahn's forces were prepared, Sindel was resurrected, and Earthrealm was laid open. During Kahn's failed invasion, Shinnok ordered Noob Saibot to spy on these events and eventually sided with the Earthrealm warriors (Shao Kahn had also unsuccessfully attempted to invade the Netherrealm, which Shinnok had seen as a sign that the Emperor was becoming too powerful).

With the defeat of Shao Kahn and the retreat of the Outworld forces, Shinnok's Army of Darkness began its own assault on the realms. Its first target was Edenia. After successfully posing as a group of refugees, Shinnok and his highest generals, using Tanya's Edenian connections, were allowed entrance to the peaceful realm. Immediately, he seized this opportunity to bring in a full-scale invasion force, and captured Queen Sindel and Princess Kitana. After that, he began his attack against the Heavens and there, he killed three of the four Elemental Gods (a weak Fujin escaped barely but was followed by demons and before the final blow by them, he was saved by Liu Kang and Kai).

Despite all these successes, the specter of doom arrived for Lord Shinnok. The amulet he had was a fake, the real Amulet of Shinnok in Quan Chi's hands. The sorcerer himself was captured by Scorpion and trapped in the Netherrealm. Raiden and his warriors defeated many of Shinnok's soldiers and the former Elder God faced Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat. Although the evil deity tried his best, he lost to the Shaolin Monk and Raiden ultimately banished Shinnok back to the Netherrealm.

In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, it is revealed that Shinnok knew Taven and his family well before the start of Taven and Daegon's quest, as Taven is at first confused as to why an Elder God would reside within the realms. He calls upon Taven for help when being attacked by Li Mei in the Netherrealm, Taven ordering her to get away from "Lord Shinnok". Shinnok lied to Taven after Li Mei was defeated, claiming that he was no longer an Elder God because he "meddled in the affairs of mortals", and that, in his weakened state, he needed Taven to help clear out his sanctuary, a spire-like temple which has been "overrun by demons".

Taven completed this task, but alas, Shinnok was revealed to have easily deceived Taven, tricking him into combating images he conjured up himself. Shinnok tells Taven that Daegon (whom Taven was chasing) had already departed the Netherrealm after he defeated Shinnok's Kintaro and Sheeva illusions.

With Taven gone, Shinnok was revealed to be aiding Daegon; Daegon was shown to be hiding behind Shinnok's throne at the spire the whole time. Shinnok began to doubt his choice in favoring the skills of Daegon immediately afterwards, claiming that Taven defeated his illusions much faster than Daegon did, and it was Shinnok who alerted the many combatants to the prize at the top of the Pyramid of Argus, telling them that whomever obtained this power would be granted godlike power.

Current timeline

Mortal Kombat (2011)

Shinnok is revealed to be the ultimate mastermind behind the events of the game's story mode, having used his acolyte Quan Chi to manipulate Emperor Shao Kahn into invading Earthrealm and merging the realm with Outworld without victory in Mortal Kombat. Shao Kahn was killed by an Elder God-empowered Raiden, who afterwards departed with the few surviving Earthrealm warriors; Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade. Quan Chi and an astral projection of Shinnok discussed their plan's success and Raiden's survival. Shinnok was unconcerned and declared that he would be free soon and that both Earthrealm and Outworld would not survive the coming onslaught from the Netherrealm.

Mortal Kombat X comic series

Shinnok's imprisonment in his amulet was strengthened when the amulet is banished to a dark dimension, the lock being the Kamidogu bound in Raiden's blood. Havik, the cleric of chaos, seeks to claim all the Kamidogu to gain possession of the Amulet of Shinnok.

Shinnok is briefly seen in a flashback from Reiko's perspective reveals he witnessed Shinnok and Quan Chi discussing their manipulations of Shao Kahn after the Konqueror's death at the Elder Gods hands.

Mortal Kombat X

2 years after Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm, Lord Shinnok launches an invasion of his own with Netherrealm forces and the Brotherhood of Shadow. Shinnok personally goes to the Jinsei Chamber underneath Lord Raiden's Sky Temple in order to taint Earthrealm's life force with death. He defeated and nearly imprisoned Raiden and Fujin within his amulet, only to be struck down by Johnny Cage. As an outraged Shinnok incapacitates Johnny's companions, the Earthrealm warrior holds him off and passes the amulet over to Raiden, who imprisons the fallen Elder God within his own amulet.

Later, due to Quan Chi's and D'Vorah's machinations, Shinnok is freed from his Amulet within the Special Forces base via the uttered incantation needed to activate the Amulet and set him free, and easily swats aside the already weakened Earthrealm warriors. Not wanting to take any chances for more surprises, he personally takes Johnny Cage with him and departs with the revenants to the Sky Temple in order to finish what he started years ago: to claim the power of the Jinsei. Once there, he is confronted by Bo' Rai Cho, but easily defeats him while a recently revitalized Raiden looks on helplessly as Shinnok makes his friend suffer in front of him.

He then heads for the chamber and leaves his servants to deal with him, promising to imprison Raiden within the amulet once his work is complete. With D'Vorah at his side, he has her hold Cage in place with her adhesives while her insects begin to devour his innards. As Shinnok approaches the Jinsei, a battered Raiden tries to take on the Elder God, but Shinnok holds him in place with a giant skeletal hand, grievously wounding him.

Finally unimpeded, Shinnok steps into the Jinsei and corrupts it, blanketing Earthrealm in a crimson red sky that taints the entire planet. As his powers grow, his form changes into a much more demonic visage. Now powered by the Jinsei, Shinnok seems unstoppable.

However, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade's daughter Cassie Cage shows up along with Kung Jin to stop him. Shinnok steps out of the chamber, fully empowered by the Jinsei and easily knocks Cassie aside. Poised to kill Johnny himself in front of Cassie, he slowly burns his body with repeated energy blasts, enraging Cassie and prompting her to jump in front of his finishing attack. A repeat of twenty-five years ago occurs as Cassie blocks the attack with her body, now empowered by the same energy that her own father used.

In spite of his newfound power, the fallen Elder God is once again soundly defeated in battle by yet another member of the Cage family. With Raiden freed from his grasp, the Thunder God tells the Earthrealm warriors to put him in the Jinsei chamber, where he absorbs Shinnok's power into himself in order to purify the Jinsei and return Earthrealm to normal. Shinnok and D'Vorah are then taken into custody by Sonya and the Special Forces.

In the post credits scene, a corrupted Raiden arrives in the Netherrealm Palace and warns Liu Kang and Kitana, now the de facto leaders of the Netherrealm, not to threaten Earthrealm lest they face fates worse than death. As a final warning, he shows them the severed, albeit still living head of Shinnok. As he could never die due to his Elder God nature, Shinnok is now condemned to a catatonic state.

Mortal Kombat 11

Shinnok is seen the opening cutscene of Mortal Kombat 11, where he is tortured by Raiden. Shinnok notes how the last fight between them changed Raiden for the better. Raiden reveals his plan to stop Earthrealm's invaders before they start, before beheading Shinnok. Raiden plans to deliever Shinnok's head to Liu Kang as a warning, but as he leaves, Kronika the Keeper of Time approaches his head, revealing her plan. Eventually Kronika is revealed to be Shinnok's mother and the Elder Goddess Cetrion is his sister.

The Cathedral of Shinnok

The Cathedral of Shinnok

Shinnok is last physically seen in the heart of his Cathedral/Bone Temple beneath the Netherrealm Palace in the depths, his severed head contained inside a spiked altar, arcs of energy infusing into him. When the cathedral is destroyed and then restored alongside the demonic castle by his mother Kronika, Shinnok is not seen again, leaving his ultimate fate unclear.

Powers and Abilities

Lord Shinnok

Lord Shinnok

Being a (former) Elder God, Shinnok possesses and wields immeasurable powers. His powers seeming to mainly revolve around darkness and the Netherrealm, such as summoning a skeletal hand from the ground to grip his opponent and take them into the Netherrealm.

Shinnok can also shapeshift and mimic the powers of other kombatants, however the powers he mimic must be in his jurisdiction. He can also take on a larger demonic form as shown in the final level of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero when his precious amulet became stolen from him and in his anger, he transforms into a gigantic, unholy monster.

The Amulet Staff of Shinnok

The Amulet of Shinnok

His magic abilities also include the ability of creating demons and wraiths to do his bidding, as well as creating clones and illusions of others and himself.

The fallen Elder God Shinnok, when combined with his Sacred Amulet (Amulet of Shinnok) once more, becomes already more powerful then ever, meaning he is allowed him to freely traverse the realms and open up portals as well as instantly destroys anyone and anything that stands in his way.

In Mortal Kombat X, when absorbing Earthrealm's life force, he turns into a demonic creature with immense power and the ability manipulate fire, as well as conjuring objects such as stones and bladed pillars.



  • One Being
  • Old Quan Chi (killed by Scorpion)
  • Brotherhood of Shadow
  • Old Baraka (killed by D'Vorah in MKX game, revived in MK 11)
  • D'Vorah (MIA)
  • Havik (killed by Scorpion in MKX comics)
  • Drahmin (killed by Quan Chi in MKX comics)
  • Kintaro (killed by Sonya, Cassie and Jacqui in MKX comics)
  • Mavado (killed by Cassie and Jacqui in MKX comics)
  • Hsu Hao (killed by Scorpion in MKX comics)
  • Red Dragon
  • Kabal (MIA)
  • Smoke (MiA)
  • Noob Saibot (formerly)
  • Tanya (MIA)
  • Rain (MIA)
  • Skarlet (MIA)
  • Triborg (MIA)
  • Sindel (MIA)
  • Shang Tsung (returns in DLC for MK 11)
  • Shao Kahn (killed by Raiden and the Elder Gods, revived in MK11)
  • Goro (dead)
  • Netherrealm Demons
  • Revenants
  • Revenant Liu Kang (dead)
  • Revenant Kung Lao (dead)
  • Revenant Kitana (dead)
  • Revenant Jade (MIA)
  • Revenant Kurtis Stryker (MIA)
  • Revenant Nightwolf (dead)
  • Daegon
  • Reiko (killed by Havik in MKX comics)
  • Geras (defeated by Raiden)
  • Kronika (killed by Liu Kang)


  • Cetrion (intended to be his arch-enemy by Kronika, devoured by Kronika)
  • Elder Gods (depowered and defeated by Kronika)
  • Raiden (currently retired mortal advisor to Liu Kang)
  • Pre-Revenant Liu Kang (young Liu Kang from original timeline, currently the God of Fire and the Keeper of Time)
  • Pre-Revenant Kitana (young Kitana from original timeline, currently Kitana Khan, ruler of Outworld and later Keeper of Time)
  • Pre-Revenant Jade (young Jade from original timeline, currently Kitana Khan's advisor and bodyguard)
  • Pre-Revenant Nightwolf (young Nightwolf from original timeline)
  • Pre-Revenant Kurtis Stryker
  • Pre-Revenant Kung Lao (young Kung Lao from original timeline, current leader of the Shaolin Monks)
  • Scorpion (freed from Quan Chi's control)
  • Hanzo Hasashi (previously a revenant, killed by D'Vorah in MK11)
  • Sub-Zero (previously a revenant)
  • Old Jax Briggs (previously a revenant)
  • Special Forces
  • Old Sonya Blade (sacrificed herself in MK 11)
  • Fujin
  • Earthrealm heroes
  • Bo' Rai Cho
  • Old Johnny Cage
  • Erron Black
  • Old Kenshi Takahashi (soul removed by Shang Tsung in DLC)
  • Kotal Kahn (former leader of Outworld)
  • Ferra and Torr
  • Outworlders
  • Reptile
  • Ermac
  • Cassie Cage
  • Takeda Takahashi
  • Jacqui Briggs
  • Kung Jin

Movie Appearance

The evil Elder God Shinnok is portrayed by Reiner Schöne in the second Mortal Kombat movie, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and according to Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Shinnok is the father of Raiden and Shao Kahn in the movie and he also appears to be the Elder God of Wind.


  • Shinnok is loosely based on the demon Yan Wang from the classical story Journey to the West.
  • In one of Kung Lao's match intro dialogues in MK X, he called Shinnok, "Lord Cockatrice." The name however might be loose reference to the mythical creature.
  • The figure that looks a lot like Shinnok that died in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is his clone sent by the real Shinnok who was in the Netherrealm.
  • Shinnok was mentioned in an episode of Jeopardy.
  • Shinnok was the main villain of three games while Shao Kahn was the main villain of four games (5 if you count Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe).
  • During an intro dialogue between Raiden and Cetrion, the former questions/suggests that Shinnok's madness and evil were actually the works of his mother, Kronika's manipulations. Whether this is true or not is unknown.
  • The Crown of Shinnok

    The Crown of Shinnok

    The Crown of Shinnok comes with 3 different designs throughout the entire MK franchise.
    • It was originally a crimson bokgeon-styled headdress. This was its initial design since its first appearance in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero.
    • It is a crimson-ruby, ornate and spiky crown that is shaped like a spine or head of a dragon. This is the crown's primary semblance since Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
    • The Helm of Shinnok

      The Helm of Shinnok

      In Mortal Kombat X, its front containing the famous spikes, was remade to combine regal and religious elements but with twisted details, representing the corruption of the fallen Elder God himself and giving him such additional boldness fitting for his dark nature, and clearly takes the form of diabolical horns, showing a more menacing and predatory appearance than religious.


           Kombat2 MortalKombat Villains Kombat2

Main Villains
Dark Kahn | Kronika | Onaga | One Being | Quan Chi | Shang Tsung | Shao Kahn | Shinnok

Other Villains
Baraka | Cetrion | Chameleon | Cyrax | D'Vorah | Daegon | Drahmin | Ermac | Frost | Geras | Goro | Havik | Hsu Hao | Jade | Jarek | Kabal | Kano | Kintaro | Kira | Kobra | Kollector | Mavado | Mileena | Moloch | Motaro | Noob Saibot | Rain | Raiden | Reiko | Reptile | Scorpion | Sektor | Sheeva | Sindel | Skarlet | Smoke | Tanya | Tremor | Triborg

Undead Villains
Kitana | Kung Lao | Kurtis Stryker | Liu Kang

Guest Star Villains
Alien | Catwoman | Darkseid | Deathstroke | Freddy Krueger | Jason Voorhees | Joker | Leatherface | Lex Luthor | Predator | Terminator

Non Playable Villains
Bannak | Cilene | Forrest Fox | Hideyoshi | Jataaka | Jola | Kebral | Kia | Kiri and Ankha | Komodai | Lin Kuei Grandmaster | Liu Kang | Oni Warlord | Oniro | Peron | Rojack | Ruby | Ruutuu | Siann, Mika and Sora | Zaggot | Zara | Zenkaro

Evil Races
Centaurians | Cyber Ninjas | Dragons | Hellspawn | Kytinn | Oni | Shadow Assassins | Shokan | Tarkata | Titans | Tormentors | Wraiths | Zombies

Evil Organizations
Army of Darkness | Black Dragon Clan | Brotherhood of Shadow | Dragon King's Army | Festival of Death | Forces of Darkness | Kahn Guards | Masked Guards | Red Dragon Clan | Shaakans | Shadow Priests | Tekunin

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