The Justice Systems Of Khonshu And Ammit In ‘Moon Knight,’ Explained


The main conflict in “Moon Knight” is between Khonshu and Ammit. Both of them aim to serve justice. However, it is the timing of justice of these two Gods that makes them worthy of discussion. Goddess Ammit, “Devourer of the Dead,” knows the past, present, and future of a person and thus doles out punishment before the person even commits a crime. On the other hand, we have Khonshu, who punishes only those who have  committed a sin and thus going down the wrong path is a matter of choice for them.

Faces From the Past

Goddess Ammit in a way reminds us of Arnim Zola’s algorithm, doesn’t it? In “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” Jasper Sitwell reveals that Zola’s algorithm evaluated people’s pasts to predict their future. Accordingly, the helicarriers of Project Insight would scratch people off the list, i.e., kill all those people who may become a threat to Hydra’s evil plans in the future. But while Zola’s algorithm predicted the future, Ammit already knew it. However, in both cases, the world becomes a safer place no matter how unjust it may seem. To not be biased is what matters here. This is just as Thanos intended when he offered his solution to an imminent extinction, i.e., random dispassionate genocide, fair to rich and poor alike.

The Ammit Logic

According to Harrow’s words, Ammit grew weary of waiting for people to sin before punishing them. This certainly would have prevented a lot of world-level tragedies, like World War II. Hitler would be dead long before anyone knew him. So this does make us reconsider Ammit’s image of being an evil goddess. However, if you are worshiping Ammit, it doesn’t mean that you will be spared from her justice. So if you do something 30 years from now that is a sin for Ammit, you’re as good as dead and have been robbed of 30 years of your life that you might be living without any sin. Here again, being a follower of Ammit is to live in a dilemma. But there is a condition here as well.

Harrow is an ardent devotee of Ammit. He took it upon himself to free Ammit and let her justice prevail on Earth. If we are to consider what we mentioned in the previous paragraph, Harrow too should have been punished by Ammit. After all, he did kill many people. But apparently, and despite Harrow voluntarily submitting to his sins in the future, Ammit doesn’t bring her justice upon him because he freed her. She further says that whatever he does in the future is a part of his service to her. So this means that if a person carries out Ammit’s orders, even if it is a sin, he or she will be pardoned from death at the hands of Ammit or their death will be delayed. And since Harrow has freed Khonshu, he has thus earned the right to be her avatar. So, it seems that Ammit’s sense of justice is biased and is a matter of her choice, which in turn leads us to our next contestant in this game of crooked justice, Khonshu.

Justice Of Khonshu

Here’s a question: To what extent will you allow yourself to be exploited knowing that you are doing God’s work of punishing evil? Marc knows that if he doesn’t listen to Khonshu and deny being his avatar, Layla will be Khonshu’s next target. While it makes sense that Khonshu punishes a person only after he or she sins, isn’t it too late already? The sin is already committed and the outcome has already taken its toll, i.e., pain and sorrow. Yet, holding a person responsible for a crime he hasn’t committed doesn’t make sense. Captain America tells Nick Fury in “Captain America: Winter Soldier” that for him, punishment came only after the crime. This is what Khonshu stands for.

Since time immemorial,  punishment for the guilty has been a norm. Then why this debate? Khonshu is clearly doing what is right. However, it is not what he does but how he does it that makes him, unlike a just God. He is on the lookout for a soul that has no way to deny his offer. The last time, it was Marc Spector who was about to die. In “Moon Knight” Episode 6, again, it is Layla who has no way out. Furthermore, the mid-credits scene also shows how manipulative and shrewd Khonshu is. Unbeknownst to Marc and Steven, he has taken control of their third personality, Jake Lockley. This proves that Khonshu’s means of seeking justice are themselves unjust. So, if he makes a person, who is his avatar, seek vengeance by killing a sinner without the person knowing it, he is making the person sin too. So where is the justice here?

During the last fight between Khonshu and Ammit, Ammit tells Khonshu, “There is so little difference in what we want for this world.” This seems very true, which makes sense since both belong to the same band, i.e., Ennead.

An Unnecessary Savior Complex

In “Moon Knight” Episode 3, during the trial of Arthur Harrow, Horus mentions that the gods were abandoned by humanity. And the only way for them to observe humanity was by using avatars. Khonshu, on the other hand, claims that it was they who abandoned humanity. And he was banished for not following the other gods in that endeavor. Their “self-righteous” attitude is what led to Ammit’s release, and humanity is in danger. So, we see the two sides of the god complex here. On one hand, we have the Ennead, whose righteous pride made them stay away from the affairs of man. On the other hand, we have Khonshu, a god who remained with humanity, seemingly proving his selfless nature, one that the other gods should have shown as well.

Another point to mention here is Horus’s words about humans abandoning God because they don’t need them anymore. Humans have their own judgment systems and live in a society that is managed by certain legal laws. In that case, there is a jury, there is a judge, and there is a particular punishment assigned for each crime. So, do we need a god like Khonsu or Ammit in our modern society? These gods are probably suffering from a savior complex. Humans didn’t ask for their help neither yet Gods like Khonshu and Ammit want to interfere and serve judgment. Additionally, their methods of punishment aren’t civilized either. These gods lure men and women in need in order to feed their own complexes and then coax their egos into believing they are serving humanity. In some scenarios, they are both the problem and the solution, but humans won’t be needing a solution if the gods don’t create a problem in the first place.

So, if we consider Khonshu’s opinion, doesn’t this make him akin to Ammit? Ammit too chose to remain on Earth to bring her justice to humanity, just like Khonshu. The only difference is in their outlook. And if we disregard Ammit’s sense of justice, which sounds wrong, she too is, in a way, selfless in that she remained on Earth despite being abandoned by humans. Thus, Ammit’s words to Khonshu start to make more sense. Unfortunately, we do not know if we will get more of Ammit in “Moon Knight” Season 2. Be that as it may, the justice systems of Khonshu and Ammit are a matter of debate.

See More: ‘Moon Knight’ Ending And Post-Credit Scene, Explained – Who Is Jake Lockley? Is Harrow Dead?

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Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
When Shubhabrata is not breaking his head trying to find out more about the trending movies , he spends time with his mom and dad, surrounds himself with books, listens to songs, plays games and writes poems (P.S- Tries to). He loves going for walks, prefers full sleeve t-shirts and seldom wishes he was Peter Parker's neighbor or had a small hut of his own in the suburbs of Dublin, Ireland.

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