“Moon Knight” is filled with references and terminologies that come from Egyptian mythology. And whether they add to the plot or not, they do add to the character arc of “Moon Knight.” So, in order for us to understand the character and its backdrop, we need to understand the world that it comes from. Here are the different references that you will come across in “Moon Knight” Episode 1.
Field of Reeds
After Steven Grant enters the British museum where he works, he meets a girl and tells her about the Field of Reeds. In Egyptian mythology, the Field of Reeds, or Aaru, is a mirror image of a person’s life on Earth. The ancient Egyptians believed that the life one lives on Earth is just one part of the eternal journey. The body dies, but the soul goes on to the afterlife, where it gets back everything it lost. However, this afterlife has to be first justified by the gods, and only then would the soul have eternal life in Aaru.
Steven mentions to Donna how the poster of Ennead had two gods missing out of nine. Ennead is a group of nine gods of Iunu (present-day Heliopolis). At the head is Atum, the Sun God, and the creator. He fathered Shu, God of air and wind, and Tefnut, Goddess of moisture or water, who in turn gave birth to Geb, God of Earth, and Nut, God of Sky. Geb and Nut gave birth to Osiris (death and resurrection), Isis (life and magic), Seth (disorder), and Nephthys (darkness).
We do not know whether we will see the Ennead in “Moon Knight,” but it won’t be unusual for them to show up in one way or the other.
Khonshu, the Egyptian God of moon and time, had a darker side and was considered to be a dangerous and violent god. This is something that has moved on to his comic counterpart. In the comics, his mission is to exact vengeance on those who are evil. For millions of years, he has chosen bounty hunters, just as Mephistopheles chose Ghost Rider, to do his job. In Egyptian mythology, Khonshu is often depicted as a man with the head of a falcon with a headdress that carries a lunar symbol. In the comics, he has the face of a raven-skull, probably to make him look creepier. However, sometimes he appears in wrappings and robes, while sometimes he has a nice suit on. Whether this will be depicted in the show, we do not know. But we will definitely have the “Moon Knight” in his white suit which might be a reference to Khonshu’s suit counterpart in the comics. Khonshu is the one who gave Marc Spector a new life in return for being his bounty hunter on Earth.
An ancient Egyptian goddess, Ammit, or Ammut, is the patron of death and divine retribution. She is known as the Devourer, or the Bone-Eater, since she devoured all the souls that were deemed unworthy. She is more feared than worshiped. She has the face of a crocodile, the middle part of a lion, and the hind part of a hippopotamus.
In the show, clearly, Arthur Harrow is her pawn. We do not know what motive she has, but it certainly isn’t good. She must have promised Arthur unlimited power in return for his downright allegiance and the scarab that Steven has in possession of.
The Scales of Justice
There is a tattoo of scales on the right arm of Arthur Harrow. This seems to resemble the scales of Ma’at who is the embodiment of justice. According to Egyptian mythology, Ammit sat on the right-hand side of Osiris, God of the underworld as well as of fertility, with Ma’at’s scales of justice in front. Anubis, the God of death, would bring the souls to the scales for their judgment after death. Then Ma’at would place the dead person’s heart on one scale and an ostrich feather on the other. If the heart was found heavy, the soul would be sent to the underworld, where it would be doomed for eternity.
The scales tattoo on Arthur’s arm does have the heads of crocodiles on either end, which is proof that they are related to Ammit. But we will have to wait to find out more about them in the upcoming episodes of “Moon Knight.”
Scarabs were common seals and amulets in ancient Egypt. They were a symbol of rebirth. The Egyptians would remove the heart of the dead and replace it with a scarab amulet. By doing so, they believed that they were removing all the human qualities within the person’s body and replacing them with a new, fresh life. As for the scarab in “Moon Knight,” we do not know what it is for yet. Is it to give a new life to Ammit? We don’t know. It will probably be revealed in the 2nd episode.
Werewolf by Night
There is a scene where Arthur Harrow talks about the voices in the mind of Steven Grant. And that the more Steven asks for help, the more he sounds like the boy who cried wolf. This seems to be a Werewolf by Night Easter egg. “Moon Knight” made his first appearance in 1975 in the comic book Werewolf by Night #32. So an appearance by the werewolf, aka Jack Russell, will not be unusual, but rather reasonable.
There is a reason why Arthur tells Steven that there’s “chaos in you.” In a recent Marvel issue, King in Black: Black Knight #1, Knull, the King of Symbiotes, revealed that Khonshu is not just a Moon God but also one of the Elder Gods. Another Elder God that you must have heard about by now is Chthon, the creator of the Darkhold, the very source of Chaos Magic. At the end of WandaVision, we see Wanda reading from this book. So clearly she too has chaos magic in her presently. So it might just be that all the Elder Gods are connected by this Chaos magic, which will also connect “Moon Knight” and “Scarlet Witch.” What remains to be seen is if we will have a cameo from her or a mention.
All these references and Easter eggs do contribute to making a new world for fans. All that remains to be seen is how the events of “Moon Knight” unfold and connect all these dots.