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The synopsis of Lord Shinnok from the Mortal Kombat fighting videogame franchise.


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. Thus, he planned on betraying his fellow Elder Gods.

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, who refused to let his former superior get away with his crimes.

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 Lord 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.

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.

At some point during this time, Shinnok would prematurely awaken Daegon. He then convinced Daegon that his parents were against him and due to his manipulation Daegon would kill his parents.

Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero

His amulet 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.

Mortal Kombat: Deception (Past)

During a flashback in the game, 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. This indicates that he was well-aware of his former ally's treachery.

Original Timeline

Mortal Kombat-Mortal Kombat 3

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).

Mortal Kombat 4

Shinnok in Mortal Kombat 4.

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 of 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.

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Shinnok in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.

In the game, 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.

Shinnok would later participate in the Battle of Armageddon and was seemingly one of the many combatants that died. However, it should be noted that Shinnok's arcade ending revealed that he created a clone to aid Deagon which was what participated in the Battle of Armageddon. Though in the end, it doesn't matter as Raiden resets the timeline back to the first Mortal Kombat tournament.

Current Timeline

Mortal Kombat (2011)

Spirit of Shinnok.jpg

Lord 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 Shinnok's amulet.

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

Shinnok, before being captured by the Amulet.

Tremble before me, Elder Gods, as I absorb Earthrealm's power.
~ Shinnok

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, and almost kills Sonya. Enraged, Johnny after unlocking his hidden power,  holds him off and passes the amulet over to Raiden, who imprisons the fallen Elder God within his own amulet. This increased the former Elder God's resentment towards Raiden and resulted in him holding a grudge against Johnny.

Shinnok after being freed from the Amulet with D'Vorah.

Later, due to Quan Chi's and D'Vorah's machinations and Hanzo's sucessful attempt to kill the former, 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  he easily defeats him while a recently revitalized Raiden looks on helplessly as Shinnok makes his friend suffer in front of him. It is unknown whether Bo' Rai Cho survived the encounter.

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 25 years ago occurs as Cassie blocks the attack with her body, now empowered by the same energy that her own father used and possibly becoming even more powerful because of her youth.

In spite of his newfound power and knowledge of the Cage family, the fallen Elder God is once again soundly defeated in battle by yet another member of the Cage family with the possible help of Kung Jin. 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, unable to move and in great agony, having been tortured before Raiden severed his head.

Mortal Kombat 11

The prologue shows what happened to Shinnok after his defeat but before Mortal Kombat X's epilogue.

Shinnok, first seen tortured by Raiden.

The new Dark Raiden is shown torturing Shinnok in the Jinsei Chamber with his lightning, but despite his agony, Shinnok taunts Raiden, saying their battle changed him for the better and states Raiden sees the "truth" of what the Elder Gods denied before casting him out by wearing his amulet. Raiden, claiming that the only "truth" he embraces, tells Shinnok he will not allow anyone else to harm Earthrealm, and that the thunder god will go on preemptive strikes against those who attack by destroying them first, starting with Shinnok. While Shinnok again taunts Raiden that he can't kill an Elder God, Raiden replies back with "There are fates worse than death" and creates an energy blade with his lightning.

The fallen Elder God realizes to his horror Raiden's plan but is helpless to protect himself as Raiden decapitates Shinnok and prepares to send his head back to the Netherrealm to serve as a warning against those who would attempt to attack Earthrealm.

The Cathedral of Shinnok

After Raiden leaves the Jinsei Chamber, a mysterious woman named Kronika approaches Shinnok and states that Raiden has upset the balance of history. Kronika is later revealed to be Shinnok's mother, who sired him and his sibling Elder God Cetrion as a means of representing and upholding her view of balance, with Shinnok representing death and corruption, while Cetrion represents life and virtue.

Shinnok is last physically seen in the heart of his Cathedral in the Netherrealm, his severed head contained inside a spiked altar, arcs of energy infusing into him. When the cathedral is destroyed and then restored by his mother Kronika, Shinnok is not seen again, leaving his ultimate fate unclear. He could have been erased along with the rest of the timeline.

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath

Shinnok's severed head makes a cameo in the game.


Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Shinnok as seen in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

The evil Elder God Shinnok is portrayed by Reiner Schöne in the non-canonical second Mortal Kombat movie as the overarching antagonist. in this continuity, Shinnok is the father of Raiden and Shao Kahn, who wishes for power not only over all realms, but over the gods as well. Shinnok is also never without his Sacred Amulet (Amulet of Shinnok) which in its alternate version, is made of gold with a ruby gem instead of bronze with an emerald gem.

He favors Shao Kahn, considering Raiden too weak and caring to be his son. Shinnok orders Shao Kahn to kill his brother while guiding him in his path to merging the parallel universes of Earth and Outworld. Shinnok is later imprisoned by his fellow Elder Gods and Raiden was offered his position in their ranks.

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge

Shinnok serves as the unseen overarching antagonist of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge. Despite that, he never makes a physical appearance, only being mentioned by Quan Chi and a few others. However, he plays a significant role. as he is the reason Quan Chi does everything in the movie to free him and the fact the Quan Chi has control over the Neatherrealm. Quan Chi also says that he was sealed away by the Elder Gods for his betrayal, and Quan Chi is running the Neatherrealm in his absence.

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