Moon Knight’s Khonshu, Explained
Moon Knight, the newest MCU series on Disney+, recently took the internet by storm with its unique storyline, emotionally-filled scenes, and characters inspired by Egyptian mythology. Not to mention that having a main character with three distinct personalities gave audiences a new concept to look forward to. In each episode, there was a cliffhanger that pushed viewers to the brink. While the series has focused on Marc and his mental well-being, little has been discussed about the being who controls his life – Khonshu.
Khonshu is a name that might not be easily recognizable. Especially since in Egyptian mythology the god is largely eclipsed by the sun god Ra and his relatives: Amon-Ra, Ra-Atoum and Ra-Horakhty. This also includes Ra’s other two alter-egos, Khepri, who is known to move the sun over the horizon every morning, and Osiris, the god of the underworld. Even the ancient scriptures on the moon god are not as simple as Ra’s. However, this makes the whole concept of the bird-skull deity even more interesting to know.
Moon Knight Khonshu
Khonshu, known as the Egyptian deity Khons, first made its way into the Marvel Universe through the genius of Bill Sienkiewicz and Doug Moench in 1980. Similar characters have been used in Norse mythology, and the creators have used the stories of the Egyptian god to produce the God of the Moon and the Weather. The name Khonshu means “to wander”. It refers to the way the moon moves across the night sky, allowing travelers to travel at night without worrying about being in the dark or encountering thieves.
This interpretation projects onto the Marvel version of Khonshu, as he carries the same mission of being a defender, scout, and watcher of the Night Travelers.
To make it more interesting, he is also portrayed as the God of Vengeance, but since he cannot engage with mortals, he needs an avatar to do so for him. This is where Marc Spector comes in.
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Friend or enemy?
Khonshu has proven to be an intimidating personality in Marc’s life. While he is the being who saved Marc from his demise and gave him extraordinary powers, he is also shown to manipulate and provoke his avatar throughout the series. For example, when Marc asks Khonshu to release him from his oath after Ammit’s plan is foiled, the moon deity replies, “I know you appreciate the work I have for you. Let me remind you that if we parted ways, you might not like my next candidate, however near and dear to you.”
In many ways, Khonshu tries to dominate Marc’s mind by provoking him and deceiving his sense of reality. Although the God was there for Mark whenever danger arose, he is a presence Mark cannot escape.
According to episode five, Khonshu is believed to have groomed the protagonist by manipulating his environment since he was a child. For example, when Steven follows young Marc and Randall into a cave, he steps on a fossil that looks exactly like Khonshu. Soon after, heavy rains filled the cave; killing Randall and making Marc feel extremely guilty and responsible for his brother’s murder. Although not shown, it is hinted that Khonshu killed his brother in order to drive his future avatar to the brink. In another instance, when Marc Spector was left to die in the Khonshu Temple, the god took the opportunity to manipulate him into becoming the Moon Knight.
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Powers of Khonshu
The Moon God is an Ennead, which allows him to possess many superhuman powers and abilities. He can pass on these abilities to his avatar to complete his revenge and protection streak:
Immortality: This allows his avatars to be immune to disease and aging.
Healing: His avatars can resist and heal from any level of injury.
Moon Manipulation: The ability to manipulate anything made of moon particles. For example, when Moon Knight confronts Thor on the moon, he can be seen effortlessly lifting his hammer, as it is made of moon rock.
Sky and weather manipulation: In episode three of Moon Knight, Khonshu is seen spinning the sky backwards, with the help of Steven (Mr. Knight). This reveals what the sky looked like 2,000 years ago.
Khonshu is a liar
When Mark and Steven are resurrected in Moon Knight‘s finale, they ask Khonshu to release them once they imprison Ammit in human form. The god accepted their request. However, in the post-credit scene, this turns out to be a lie as Jake Lockley, Marc’s third alter-ego, can be seen still serving Khonshu. It’s still unclear if he serves as Moon Knight, but it seems he has no intention of letting him go just yet.
One thing is for sure, Jake Lockley likes to kill and Khonshu wants to continue his revenge streak. While there may not be much news for Marc and Steven, hopefully more scenes with Jake will be featured in future episodes. From another point of view, it is unknown if the avatars of the other gods were killed by Harrow. For now, only Tawaret seems to be alive in the MCU. There’s also the possibility of more gods appearing in the MCU.
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