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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Shinnok from the film Mortal Kombat Legends. The mainstream version can be found here: Shinnok.
My soldiers will escort you to the temple of elements. You will open the gates and bring me what's inside. Then my brothers and sister will see how mad I really am. (Scorpion: Or?) Or I will flay you alive until you perish. And then bring you back to do it again, you cannot escape me.
~ Shinnok threatening Scorpion.
Shinnok is the unseen overarching antagonist of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge and one of the two main antagonists (alongside Shao Kahn) of the 2021 direct-to-video animated movie Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms.
He was once an Elder God before he betrayed his brothers and sisters and was banished to the Netherrealm which he took over. He now seeks to awaken the One Being and destroy all the realms as revenge for his imprisonment.
Most of Shinnok's backstory is unknown. All that is known is that he was an Elder God who at some point betrayed his fellow Elder Gods and was imprisoned in the Netherrealm which he took over. At some point, his right-hand Quan Chi took over.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge
He never makes a physical appearance in the fiilm, 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.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms
Shinnok first appears greeting Scorpion in the Netherrealm having claimed his soul. Shinnok tells Scorpion that the keys he needs to open a temple was fused with his magic as he died with it on Shang Tsung's island.
He threatens to flay Scorpion alive and bring him back to do it again if he does not cooperate, Scorpion however escapes. Shinnok also hired the Lin Kuei to make sure that Scorpion gets the Kamidogu, lying to them about what his true intention was as well as who he is.
Shinnok doesn’t make many more appearances in the film until near the end when the Grandmaster of the Lin Kuei gives him the last Kamidogu. The Grandmaster is also horrified to discover this and tries to stop him though in vain as Shinnok’s demons murder him along with Sektor and Cyrax. Shinnok then summons the One Being merges with him and merges all the realms together to destroy them all. Though he is luckily stopped by Liu Kang and killed.
Shinnok's appearance is identical to his Mortal Kombat X attire so if you want to know more check out.