Hester Shaw: The Complex and Resilient Heroine of Mortal Engines

The 2018 film Mortal Engines, based on the book series by Philip Reeve, tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world where cities have been turned into giant mobile machines that prey on smaller towns. The film stars Hera Hilmar as Hester Shaw, a scarred and vengeful woman who becomes an unlikely hero in the fight against the predatory cities.

Hester's Tragic Past

Hester Shaw's character is deeply intertwined with her tragic past. She is scarred both physically and emotionally by the loss of her mother and the betrayal of her father figure, Thaddeus Valentine (played by Hugo Weaving). Her physical scar, a large gash across her face, serves as a constant reminder of her past and the pain she has suffered. This scar also serves as a powerful symbol of Hester's resilience, as she continues to fight despite her physical and emotional wounds.

Hester's quest for vengeance against Valentine, who killed her mother and left her scarred, drives much of her actions throughout the film. She sees him as a monster who deserves to be punished for his crimes. However, as she gets to know the other characters and becomes a part of their journey, she begins to realize that there may be more to the situation than she initially thought.

Hester's Growth and Development

Throughout the course of the film, Hester's character develops and grows in many ways. She starts out as a lone, vengeful character, but as she becomes part of the group, she begins to open up and form connections with the other characters. Her relationship with Tom Natsworthy (played by Robert Sheehan) in particular, serves as a catalyst for her personal growth.

As she opens up and becomes more vulnerable, she becomes a more relatable and likable character. The audience can see her transformation from a closed-off, vengeful person to a more open, compassionate individual. This development also serves to make her a more effective leader, as she becomes more able to inspire and rally those around her.

In addition to her personal development, Hester also plays a key role in the film's main plot. She is the one who ultimately leads the charge against the corrupt and powerful figures controlling the mobile cities, and her actions ultimately lead to the defeat of the enemy.

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Hester's Legacy

Hester Shaw's character is a complex and multi-faceted one. Her tragic past, growth, and eventual leadership make her a compelling and relatable hero. Her journey is one of personal growth, and in the end, she emerges as a leader who is able to inspire and rally others to join her cause.

Hester's legacy in the film is that of a resilient and determined hero. She is a survivor who has been through unimaginable pain and loss, but who has not let that defeat her. Instead, she has used her experiences to become a stronger and more compassionate person. She is a role model for all who have suffered and overcome adversity, and her story is one of hope and inspiration.


Mortal Engines tells a story of a post-apocalyptic world, but at its core, it's the story of Hester Shaw's personal journey. Her character is both complex and relatable, and her journey is one of growth, redemption, and ultimately, triumph. Her legacy in the film is that of a resilient and determined hero, and her story is one that will resonate with audiences for years to come.

Video : Mortal Engines - Official Trailer

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