Warning: This article may contain spoilers for Episode 4 of Moon Knight.
Mythology has served as a source inspiration in storytelling across a wealth of cultures since the dawn of human history. Religious and spiritual communities have pivoted their customs, traditions, and beliefs around figures in mythology. Mythology is founded on the four basic theories of myth: structural, psychological, functional, and rational. Constructed by allegories and morals, mythologies were also viewed as cautionary tales for early civilizations to reflect upon. Though myths have become dominant on a global scale, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian myths in particular have earned exceptional popularity due to their influence on modern media. Iterations of tales borrowed from common myths or the likeness of certain icons have been incorporated heavily into modern literature, film, television, and video gaming. Egyptian mythology specifically has shaped how North Africa has been perceived by the rest of the world, as its symbolism has piqued endless curiosities.
Throughout Phase 4 of the MCU, Marvel Studios has been eager to include more of their lesser-known and unusual characters. The MCU has proven itself to be boundless as it departs from its main pillars of popular characters that previously posed as a draw of committing, if not investing, in the almighty leader of comic book cinema. Moon Knight has joined the ranks as a Disney + limited series that promises to sample more of the supernatural fare that the comics have to offer. At the heart of the Moon Knight comic run is a deep and imperative connection to Egyptian mythology. Egyptian Moon God Khonshu rehabilitates Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac), who subsequently assumes the role of the Fist of Khonshu. As a human avatar, Marc battled street-level crime through superhuman feats while navigating life with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Moon Knight relies heavily on subject matter that is commonly associated with Egyptian mythology, which was destined to serve a greater purpose in the live-action adaptation. In a way, the importance of mythicism is treated as the centerpiece of the series without having to strong-arm it out of its source material. The show has been eager to depict the gods of Egyptian myths within the MCU. Their incorporation into the Disney + original is crucial to driving the show forward, and Moon Knight Episode 4, “The Tomb,” has brought the arrival of Taweret.
Who is the Taweret in Egyptian Mythology?
Known by a number of nicknames, Taweret is a respected divine being in Egyptian mythology. The goddess of reproduction and childbirth, she was said to be married to Bes, who was the god of luck. Mythology details the kindness found in her personality as she is viewed with an even temper and good nature, though her anger has been known to overpower her more gentle attitude. Taweret’s physical appearance is as eclectic as it is striking, as she is pictured as a bipedal hippopotamus accompanied by feline arms. Her crocodile-like legs and tail tap into the connotation that she was responsible for keeping the Nile River from flooding. Ancient Egyptian culture placed a firm emphasis on family structure and the importance of children, and women were often seen wearing amulets dedicated to Taweret with hopes that they would be blessed with children of their own. She was honored as a protective guardian of women and children. Taweret may be viewed as vital when promoting new life, though she is just as important when associated with death. Her powers are imperative for a safe journey to the afterlife as she guides the recently deceased onward.
Is Taweret in the Moon Knight Comics?
Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios alike have drawn inspiration from mythology throughout their past work. The Thor series harnessed the ferocity of Norse mythology and elevated them through comic book retellings. The Nine Realms and off-worldly tales were later adapted into the MCU through the Thor saga and its companion spin-off, Loki, to an extent. Early looks at Thor: Love and Thunder tease that Taika Waititi’s return to Thor will be paired with even greater icons from other myths such as Zeus and Hercules. The Eternals series likewise relied on an accumulation of deities across multiple forms of mythology when banding its characters together. Namesakes from icons found in an array of myths are given to those among the Eternals; a majority of each finds a counterpart across stories that were fundamental to early societies.
The Moon Knight comics have generously shared an abundant amount of imagery from Egyptian mythology across their pages and have inserted Khonshu as a primary character. Khonshu is a driving force in Marc’s life as he is imperative for him to retain his identity as Moon Knight among his other personalities. Ammit, or Ammut, has been featured from issue to issue throughout Moon Knightand was later written into the Disney + series after claiming Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) as his earthly avatar. Taweret, curiously enough, is not to be found in the comics and is assumed to be a creative decision from the team behind the live-action rendition. Director and executive producer Mohamed Diab dedicated his mission to presenting Egypt and its culture through the most authentic representation, meaning that there is an attempt to reach past the inspiration of the comics in order to craft a series that can articulate its most necessary details while being able to honor the North African nation.
What Taweret Means for the Future of Moon Knight
The conclusive moments of the fourth episode of Moon Knight have delivered a long-awaited twist to the series that dares to lean its weight into more compelling material that strays away from Marvel Studios’ traditional formula. “The Tomb” succeeds in approaching the show from a cerebral angle in which it deconstructs the plot of the series and teases that perhaps there is something more beyond what audiences are led to believe. Taweret’s brief-but-memorable moment of screen time successfully piles on to the excitement and confusion that the episode had promised. Moon Knight taking the initiative by making more room for Egyptian deities to play a more pronounced role is an active step forward in assisting the series in finding its thematic footing.
As if it were pulled from the pages of Welcome to New Egypt: Part 2 of 5 written by Jeff Lemire, “The Tomb” leaves Marc’s reality in question as he navigates the legitimacy of his existence through a pattern of delusions. Taweret greeting both Marc and Steven Grant is a surprise that reinvigorates the excitement of the show itself. The full purpose for her making her way into the series in such a later episode has yet to be uncovered, though it points to the direction towards Marc and Steven visiting the afterlife as Moon Knight cautiously approaches its finale. Taweret may act as a guide throughout the spiritual realm after it is hinted that Marc and Steven have been proclaimed dead. The Egyptian goddess is among the Ennead, the nine deities primarily worshiped at Heliopolis, who were previously assembled to deem judgment over Khonshu. Her absence from their first gathering is suspiciously timed. It’s hoped that her unexpected inclusion is responsible for even a greater elaboration of the Ennead. There’s an excuse for Moon Knight to take after its supernatural roots when shifting its attention to new realms and realities that can assist in redirecting itself towards its desired metaphysiology. Taweret’s presence is a straightforward clue that her first appearance may not be her last.
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