9 Things About Ancient Egypt I Hope We See In Marvel’s #MoonKnight

Love This poster!

So, I’ve finally watched the trailer for the next addition to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, Moon Knight, and let me tell you . . .

I’m . . . so . . . stoked!

Until now, I had only seen the teaser put out on Disney+ Day back in November (2021), and I’ll admit that I completely misunderstood what it was going to be, and given that a million other trailers that were released that day, I was not really all that enthusiastic for it. I was looking ahead to Hawke Eye, What If? Season 2, Loki Season 2, and maybe Marvel Zombies as I’d just watched What If? Season 1 and the zombies in that had seemed a bit of a wacky kind of thing, not a full series.

Anyway, I had never heard of Mark Spector, Steven Grant, Jake Lockely, or any of the various alter-egos the Moon Knight is purported to contain.

Now that there’s a full trailer, there is still a lot we don’t know, but I’m much, much, more excited about this show for primarily one reason:

It incorporates Ancient Egyptian mythology and iconography into its very premise.

I’ve been building up quite a fascination for Ancient Egypt, and all things related to it, so I’m excited to see what aspects of this ancient culture they will include, and what role in the story it will take.

If you haven’t yet watched the trailer, please watch the Moon Knight trailer now. Also, shout out to Erik Voss and his break down video which inspired me to do something similar but with a more Ancient Egyptian vein instead of comic books.

Below (and probably why you clicked this link) is the 9 things that I hope they’ll include in the series:


Not really a question of IF, but a question of HOW they will represent this Ancient Egyptian deity. One thing that I noticed straight away, was Khonshu’s — in the MCU it’s spelt with a second H in the mix — large beak and undead-mummy vibe. Khonsu (according to wikipedia) is often depicted as a human mummy with a child’s sidelock, but sometimes shown as a falcon akin to Horus.

His name means “Traveler”, and is usually given epithets of “Embracer”, “Pathfinder”, and “Defender”. Defender feels like a superhero term, but the character in the trailer does not seem to do much embracing. Like Horus, he is thought of as a protector (often from animals) and a healer.

Interestingly, the trailer seems to give us almost the opposite of this unless protection and healing involves a healthy dose of horror and beating things up in a bathroom. But the Moon Knight seems to have many natures, and we haven’t been given the full picture yet so perhaps we’ll see these more beneficent natures later on.

The Rest of the Ancient Egyptian Pantheon

Because why not? We actually have heard some references to other Ancient Egyptian deities in other MCU films such as The Black Panther (specifically Bast and Sekhmet). Also, The Eternals each had names of Greek gods, goddesses, and heroes (and some other ancient cultures though I didn’t catch any Ancient Egyptian ones), so perhaps something like that will come into play.

There is apparently some precedence for this in the comics with the Heliopitans which all have their own mythology separate from those we know from ancient history (aka IRL). Comicbook.com mentions Khonsu, Anubis, Osiris, and Ra as likely candidates. Here’s who I’m hoping to see:

Bastet (Bast) An Ancient Egyptian cat goddess associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and fertility, but also a warrior. She is sometimes known as “eye of the moon” (fitting for this show). She’s already been mentioned and seems to be pretty much a total badass.

Sekhmet – Also a cat goddess, often said to be a another aspect of Bastet, only much more violent. Known as a warrior she is thought to be so ruthless, and brutal, that her name is invoked in medical texts to indicate disease. One myth I know of her is that she supposedly took such pleasure in the taste of blood, that she scourged Egypt and was so powerful that none of the other gods could do anything about it. Eventually, she was tricked into drinking beer by the god Ra, and only once she was good and wasted could they bring her to yield. Frightening but also hilarious.

Thoth – The Ancient Egyptian god of wisdom, writing, hieroglyphs, and the arts. He was the first moon deity I’d ever heard of. There’s a myth that Thoth became the moon by gambling. Doesn’t seem very wise, but apparently it worked out for him. There’s all sorts of legends of Thoth traveling to other worlds (or perhaps universes) to gain wisdom. I think this could fit nicely into Marvel’s multiverse and give Khonsu some competition as a god of the moon.

Sobek – A crocodile god, associated with both the dangers of, and protection from, the Nile. Of all the gods he’s represented as having the most animalistic qualities, militaristic, and viscous. But some scholars read his name as being derived from an Ancient Egyptian verb to unite. There’s several crocodiles in the Moon Knight trailer (one as a display in the museum and one on the phone screen), so it will be interesting to see how they represent this very dualistic figure.

Anubis – A jackal god responsible for leading souls to the afterlife. I’ll talk more about this later but he is very important to an Ancient Egyptian’s conception of divine order, justice, and judgement. Regardless of all that weighty importance, I think he’ll always be one of my favorites because who doesn’t love dogs? If only there were a whole city devoted to them . . .

Anyway, it seems likely this god will be of importance in Moon Knight considering we see this god, or perhaps a minion or aspect of him, in the trailer. We’ll see!

Honestly, everyone else too. There’s so many interesting gods and goddesses in the Ancient Egyptian pantheon, that this could probably be the whole post, but I’ll move on to the next thing.


Don’t worry I had to google it as well. Apparently, oneiromancy is a form of divination upon dreams and also uses dreams to predict the future. The best way to receive divine revelation was through dreaming or “incubating” dreams. Ancient Egyptians had special sanctuaries in which they used “dream beds” in hope of receiving advice or comfort from the gods. Also, there are mentions of using drugs to induce the dreams and revelations.

Off the top of my head, I can’t really think of any other MCU characters or shows that have had any type of fortune telling (maybe Dr. Strange?), or predicting the future, but I think this could be a very likely aspect of Moon Knight. After all, one of the titular lines of this trailer is: “I can’t Tell the Difference Between Life and Dreams.”

Plus, seeing that strange set-up he has around his bed with the crazy ring of sand (side note: rings were used in Ancient Egyptian magic for protection), it wouldn’t be hard to think it a modern take of the “dream beds” mentioned above. If the Moon Knight can predict the future, he might not be able to change it. I could see that exacerbating, if not downright causing the madness we see him dealing with in the trailer.

Ma’at and Isfet (divine order vs chaos)

I think it’s pretty hard to get remotely deep or philosophical in relationship to Ancient Egypt without first understanding the concept of Ma’at (order), and it’s opposite Isfet (chaos). Obviously, this is much more complicated than I’m making it, but the main gloss is that for Ancient Egyptians, order was more than making sure all your laundry was folded, and your books where shelved according to author name instead of spine color. It was truth and divinity. It was a stable kingdom, dependable crops, and everyone in their rightful place.

Isfet was the opposite of this. Upheaval, famine, and staring at your bookshelf for hours looking for that one reference you need but never bothered to file correctly. It was Chaos (with a capital C). Akin to evil.

Interesting that one of the main lines that we hear during this trailer is “There is chaos in you . . . Embrace the chaos.”

A Soul With Many Parts

Unlike our western conception of the soul — a single immortal essence tethered to a body of mundane flesh and blood — Ancient Egyptians conceived of the soul as having multiple parts. While we might practice mindfulness, or cross-fit, or whatever else during life, it seemed more important to the Ancient Egyptians to take care of themselves after death. They thought of the soul in parts as:

  • Khet or the “physical body”
  • Sah or the “spiritual body”
  • Ren or the “name, identity”
  • Ba or the “personality”
  • Ka or the “double”
  • Ib or the “heart”
  • Shut or the “shadow”
  • Sekhem or the “power, form”

(I swear not all my knowledge comes from wikipedia, but this reference to the soul does)

Wouldn’t it be interesting if each of these parts of the soul were taken to the extreme and each represented by a different personality altogether. Considering the dark vibe we get from the Moon Knight trailer, it seems that perhaps the Shut or “shadow” might be of particular interest, but I hope that they also focus on the Ka (double) and Ba (personality) as these are common things we see referenced in ancient texts.

Book of the Dead

The Book of the Dead is probably one of the things that Ancient Egypt is most famous for. It’s a group of funerary texts (mostly prayers and spells and such) which would guide a soul from this life into the next. Eric Voss notices that there is a puzzle of the Book of the Dead in the giftshop where Steven Grant(?) — one of Moon Knight’s alters — works, and I hope that this is not just a throwaway, but that Moon Knight may have his own kind of journey into the underworld . . .

Weighing of the Heart, Anubis + Amitt, and the 42 Negative Confessions

So, for most Ancient Egyptians, the weighing of one’s heart is more or less the quintessential moment of eternity. You come up to the court of gods, with every sin, careless act, and good deed you’ve ever done sitting in your heart, and that heart is weighed against the feather of Ma’at (mentioned earlier). Osiris is the primary judge of this moment and Anubis is working the scales . . .

If your heart does not weigh the same as Ma’at’s feather . . .

You’re fed to the demon Amitt, a horrifying mix of crocodile, lion, and hippopotamus.

If it seems like a lot of pressure, it’s because it is! Ancient Egyptian souls would come before this council (I should mention that a TON of other gods are present at this moment but for the brevity of this already long article, and my general narrative purposes they were not included), and recite the 42 Negative Confessions, and if any are found to be false? Well the scales shift and Ammit’s jaws open wider.

These confessions are written as phrases like:

  • I have not uttered lies
  • I have not stolen
  • I have not attacked any man
  • I am not a man of violence
  • I have not commanded to kill

Given the gritty-type hero we’re presented with in the trailer, how many of these confessions could he actually utter in truth? I’m sensing a bit of a redemption arc in progress . . .

Significance of Ancient Egyptian Colors

White was a color of purity among the ancients of Egypt, sacred and simple. Most often the color of linen clothing, I imagine it was hard to keep any cloth or clothing the pure white that we can get with Tide and modern laundry machines. Of course this signals a kind of privilege to any who wore it openly.

I imagine that the Moon Knight’s white costume has less to do with privilege and more to do with being sacred, and apparently:

I wear it so they’ll see me coming. So they’ll know who it is. Cause when they see white it doesn’t matter how good a target I am their hands shake so bad they couldn’t hit the moon.

Moon Knight Trailer Breakdown! Easter eggs & Details You Missed! by Erik Voss @ New Rockstars

In any case, this coloring is significant in terms of ancient mythology so . . . I hope they use it.

It seems like they do have some knowledge of Ancient Egyptian color symbolism (maybe not Khonsu-ously) because they clothe the apparent villain of the series, Arthur Harrow, in red . . . the color of desher . . . or Chaos! I’m picking up what you’re putting down Marvel. I see you.

Egyptian Numerology: 2, 3, and 9

So, admittedly 2 does not seem to mean much on its own.

But think of the dual contexts it could have applied to Ancient Egypt. For example, the whole of Egypt was known as the Two Lands. The Pharaoh wore a dual crown of Upper, and Lower Egypt (also the symbols of upper and lower kingdoms were White and Red. Might have something to do with the color symbolism mentioned above).

Two separate things that were also one.

Suddenly Order and Chaos inside the Moon Knight seem less like opposites, and more like two parts of a single whole.

The Ancient Egyptians used the number 3 as the symbol for anything that existed in plural. So far, Moon Knight has exhibited three personalities . . .


The inclusion of the number 9 is just for me. In Ancient Egypt, nine is three threes, or ALL of something. Mostly this was used to talk about enemies. But I used it here to number the amount of Ancient Egyptian themes, icons, and essences I hope The Moon Knight takes into account when creating what already appears to be an awesome show.

I can’t wait to find out when the show premiers March 30th.

Thank you for reading all of this. What are your favorite Ancient Egyptian myths and legends? What would you most like to see from Disney’s upcoming release? Let me know in the comments and thank you again for reading. See you next week!

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