Making the Mortal Engines Movie

News, views, quotes and trivia about Philip Reeve's 'Mortal Engines' books and the Peter Jackson movie production.

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Monday, November 7, 2016

What is the Shrike in Mortal Engines?

The Shrike bounty hunter from Mortal Engines.

In the Mortal Engines quartet, 'Shrike' is a ruthless killing machine.


Originally a dead man by the name of Kit Solent, Shrike was re-animated and brought back to life.

You could hardly call it life, as he is more machine than man and programmed to follow his orders.

But does he?

A key part of of the Shrike's journey is discovering his true identity which was lost to him.

As his story progresses he hunts for one of the protagonists of the series (and crucially his adopted daughter), Hester Shaw which requires him to go on a murderous rampage to get to her.

Through a convoluted plot point, Shrike acts as a bounty hunter with a kind of self defense mechanism of not harming children. In the book of Mortal Engines, he is conflicted with his mission given him by Magnus Chrome, the Mayor of London.

The Shrike is ordered to kill Hester and in return, she will be re-animated like himself so they may live together. He however does not want Hester to die, and gives her every chance to live.

The Shrike was originally a man named Kit Solent. His story can be read about in Philip Reeve's prequel novel, Fever Crumb.

In the Mortal Engines movie, Shrike is being played by Steven Lang. Lang is most famous for his role as the General in James Cameron's Avatar. 

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