Whose Rage At The Death Of His Family Allowed Him To Harness
A sequel to the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie seems all but certain given the film's success, but will the next movie include fan-favorite villain Sub-Zero? Death is not the end for most characters in the reality of Mortal Kombat and there are many avenues open for resurrecting the cryomancer even ignoring the continuity of the games.
Originally Bi-Han of the Lin Kuei clan, the warrior known as Sub-Zero is one of the most formidable fighters of the Mortal Kombat universe. The 2021 film adaptation made Sub-Zero into its chief villain, with the ninja acting as one of the champions of Outworld in the Mortal Kombat tournament for several centuries. Though he proved a canny foe for the current generation of Earth's heroes, he was ultimately defeated by the spirit of his rival, Hanzo Hasashi, whose rage at the death of his family allowed him to harness the fires of Hell, transforming him into Scorpion.
Scorpion avenged his family by slaying Sub-Zero in the original and current timelines of the Mortal Kombat games, but this was not the end of Sub-Zero in either case. In both timelines, Bi-Han's soul was sent to the Netherrealm, where it was enslaved by the sorcerer Quan Chi. The time spent in the Hellish dimension transformed Sub-Zero as it had Scorpion, stripping him of his humanity and his pride. He was given a new name, Noob Saibot, and inducted into the Brotherhood of Shadow; a ninja clan who drew power from darkness as the Lin Kuei manipulated elemental ice.
One Easter egg in the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie suggests another way that Sub-Zero might be resurrected if the filmmakers decided to go in a different direction from the games in a Mortal Kombat sequel. When Cole Young, Sonya Blade, and Kano first arrived at the Temple of Raiden and were being shown around by Liu Kang, Kano attempted to steal an intricate medallion. Fans of the games recognized this as the Amulet of Shinnok; an artifact of great power that increases the natural talents of its wearer and grants them additional abilities, including raising the dead and restoring life to the undead.
Another possibility lies with Raiden and the Elder Gods. While the Elder Gods are technically prohibited from interfering in the lives of mortals outside of defending the Realms and enforcing the rules of Mortal Kombat, Raiden's actions in the movie showed that they are not above exploiting loopholes so long as the greater spirit of the laws is being upheld. To that end, Raiden potentially has the power to resurrect Bi-Han and offer him a chance at redemption, arguing that Earthrealm needs all the help it can get. Conversely, one of the darker Elder Gods could resurrect Sub-Zero, arguing that Raiden's aiding in Scorpion's resurrection required another wraith to maintain the balance.