↠ What are Stalkers and the Shrike in Mortal Engines?

Friday, March 31, 2017
The Shrike concept art from Mortal Engines

What are the Stalker Soldiers in Mortal Engines?

The Stalkers of Mortal Engines are a kind of 'universal soldier' combatant that can be programmed for warfare and assassination.

 Stalkers and their variations play various parts in each of Philip Reeve's Quartet of Mortal Engines, Predator's Gold, Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain.

What are the origins of the Stalkers?

Stalkers originally were designed as mechanisms for humans to transfer their consciousness from one body to another, thus defeating death. The human mind could literally be saved to hard drive and then transferred into the body of another human.

It was post the 60 Minute War that the technology was adapted to make Stalkers into emotionless monsters to serve at the whim of their masters.

Often referred to as 'Resurrected Men' Stalkers were originally were built by the Nomadic Empires that battled each other across the volcano maze of what was once Europe long before the Traction Cities Era began.

The Nomadic Empires built Stalkers by recovering dead bodies from the battlefields, placing them in laboratories and then bringing them back 'life' by using 'Old Tech' machines that were physically connected to the dead body's nervous system. This practiced continued on unto the Traction City Era.

The bodies were also operated on so internal organs that were no longer necessary. The designers also would graft on a metal carapace to the body. Weapons could be implanted into the body and the use of claws was a common feature.

The best subjects were taller specimens and they looked a scary site with their glowing green eyes that all Stalkers had.

Stalkers are generally considered emotionless automatons, only acting at the will of their Masters.

Once a dead human is resurrected as a Stalker, they have no feelings, display no emotions and they will not have any memory of who they were before they died. Any past memories are jumbled messes and lost glimpses of their former life.

In Mortal Engines, the City of London manufactures its own Stalkers.

The London Guild of Engineers builds new Stalkers from dead prison convicts at their experimental prison in the Deep Gut. These particular Stalkers are not considered as refined as the infamous 'Shrike' due to use of less sophisticated stalker-brains, the devices used in the brains and nerves of Stalkers.

The origins of these Resurrected Men, begin to be explained in the first prequel in the Mortal Engines series, Fever Crumb.

What is the Shrike in Mortal Engines?

The 'Shrike' was the first Stalker to be mentioned in the original Mortal Engines book.

His character was under the control of the Mayor of London Traction City, Magnus Chrome. Chrome used the Shrike to find Hester Shaw and Tom Natsworthy and he was ordered to kill them.

At face level this seemed a straight forward plot point however it was later revealed that The Shrike had once looked after Hester in a past life.

Due to his emotionally retarded state, his own goal in life was turn Hester into a Stalker as well, so they could live together forever.

In terms of memory retention, Shrike appears to be the exception to the rule as was able to recall his past life as 'Kit Solent' shortly before his death at the hands of Tom Natsworthy by sword. Kit Solent's tale and how he became a Stalker of the Lazarus Brigade in the prequel novel, Fever Crumb.

Are Stalkers invulnerable?

Stalkers are heavily protected their armour and but invulnerable to small arms fire and hand-held weaponry.

Due to their 'programming' they do not feel any pain as their nervous systems are rendered. This means they are pretty handy in hand to hand combat as even if their opponent is able to stab them or cause injury, they will not feel it and be able to continue to fight and thus increasing their chances of winning.

In Mortal Engines, Tom Natsworthy did manage to kill the Shrike Stalker with a sword by impaling it through his neck. The Shrike was suffering from some performance issues as he'd actually been run over by a Traction City!

But there's a reason Stalkers are known as Resurrected Men....

Anna Fang as a Stalker

In Mortal Engines, Ana Fang was Tom and Hester's rescuer from the the Shrike when he originally caught up with them.

Fang was ultimately killed by the dastardly Thaddeus Valentine. In Predator's Gold it was revealed that a splinter group of the famed Anti Traction League called Green Storm had recovered Fang's body and applied the Stalker Resurrection techniques to it.

Green Storm had intended that the revived Anna Fang would lead them in battle against the remaining Traction Cities. Eventually her resurrected Fang stalker would take part in many battles and features in Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain where her character wreaks some pretty spectacular havoc using the ODIN device. 

Extra for Experts (spoilers):
  • Stalkers are sometimes referred to as 'Jaegers'
  • All Stalkers have green glowing eyes
  • Stalker tech can be used on animals such as birds and even whales
  • In some American versions of Mortal Engines Shrike is named 'Grike'.
  • Shrike is named after the bird of the same name.
  • Shrike is actually the narrator of the Mortal Engines books as discovered in the final paragraph of A Darkling Plain. 

Who is in the cast of Mortal Engines film?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Who is in the cast of Mortal Engines movie?

There have been play of people cast in Mortal Engines. Some big names, some well known Kiwi and Australian players and a few budding stars to round the cast list out. 

Casting Director duties have been the responsiblity of long term Peter Jackson associates Amy Hubbard and Liz Mullane.

Here's a list of cast members with the names of their characters (as much as we know of them!)

"Fortitude” actor Robbie Sheehan and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’s” Ronan Raftery have been cast in Peter Jackson's Mortal Engines film.

Sheehan is playing Tom Natsworthy in the movie while Raferty has a smaller role, playing Bevis Pod

Hera Hilmar has nabbed the key lead role of Hester Ness.

Katherine Valentine is played by actress Leila George.

Anna Fang is played by South Korean singer-actress Jihae.

"Pops" Steven Lang is playing Shrike. You may know Lang as the bad guy from James Cameron's Avatar.

Australian actors Sophie Cox, Menik Gooneratne, Andrew Lees and Terry Norris have joined the film's cast.

Andrew Lees is having a crack at Herber Melliphant.

Kiwi actors Mark Hadlow, Nathaniel Lees, Caren Pistorius (as Hester Shaw's mother Pandora), Joel Tobeck, Stephen Ure, Maria Walker, Khan West and Megan Edwards who previously played Mrs Proudfoot in Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring.

Hugo Weaving is playing Thaddeus Valentine.
sophie cox from mortal engines
Sophie Cox has been cast in Mortal Engines

Legendary Kiwi actor Mark Hadlow played Dori in the Hobbit trilogy so has a close connection with produce Jackson. He is playing Orme Wreyland, the Mayor of Speedwell.

Nathaniel Lees is a well known actor having had notable parts in the 2 and 3 Matrix films and a role in The Two Towers.

The parts these actors are playing have not been confirmed. We keenly await news about whom is playing the Shrike.

Game of Thrones actor Patrick Malahide, Arrow actor Colin Salmon (Chudleigh Pomeroy) and Rege-Jean Page (Captain Khora)  have also been listed as having roles. Salmon is to play Chudleigh Pomeroy, the debuty Head Historian of London.

Malahide is playing Magnus Chrome.

Kiwi Liz Merton has a small part apparently named Babushka.

Leifur Sigurdarson is playing Nils Lindstrom

Jordan Rivers has a supporting role.

Kiwi actor and comedian Peter Rowley has an undisclosed role.

Doctor Twix is played by Sarah Pierse.

Menik Gooneratne is playing the character of Sathya. Sathya is a friend of Anna Fang's.

Katherine Valentine quotes from Mortal Engines movie

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Katherine Valentine quotes from Mortal Engines

Katherine Valentine's quotes from the Mortal Engines movie

The Daughter of Thaddeus Valentine, Katherine plays a key part in uncovering the hidden agenda of her father. Is he a monster or simply trying to make the world safer for his daughter?

Katherine Valentine is played by actress Leila George. 


leila george beach bikini slim

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