Khonshu Is a Terrifying Presence in 'Moon Knight' — His Real Mythology Isn't Far off

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Apr. 21 2022, Published 7:00 p.m. ET

Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham/Karim El Hakim)
Source: Marvel Studios

The sight of Khonshu would likely terrify onlookers.

When it comes to Egyptian mythology, Moon Knight isn't afraid to dive deep into existing lore. The Disney Plus series depicts many Egyptian gods and discusses how these omniscient beings factor into human society. The most notable of these gods is Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon. As a deity within the MCU, he is able to use humans as avatars to achieve his goals. Mysterious, aggressive, and never too forthcoming, he's a suspiciously conniving sort of god. But is Khonshu a real god in Egyptian mythology?

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The Marvel series has depicted several different Egyptian gods, all of whom also exist in Egyptian mythology. Ammit — an antagonistic entity within the series — is, in reality, a deity of divine retribution. Hathor is a tentative companion to Moon Knight in the series, and a goddess of love, beauty, and compassion.

But of all the gods in the series, we've gotten to know Khonshu best. Interestingly enough, his mysterious nature is pretty accurate to Egyptian mythology.

Source: YouTube/ReligionForBreakfast

Khonsu, the god of the moon

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Is Khonshu real? The Egyptian god has a lot going on.

According to Ancient Egypt Online, Khonshu is indeed the Egyptian god of the moon, and is actually named "Khonsu." His name also has several other spellings, including "Khons," "Chons," or "Khensu." He was known for ruling over time and was even revered as a god of healing. Khonsu was also infamous for his violent tendencies, and has been described as blood-thirsty. Though he has a human appearance, some depictions of Khonsu present him as a bird.

As his title suggests, Khonsu's full power is drawn out whenever there is a full moon. Ancient Egypt Online discusses some of the abilities Khonsu has during this time, including having power over evil spirits that infested the land. Khonsu would even use those spirits to plague humanity, inflicting people with illnesses and aches.

Even as a part of actual Egyptian mythology, Khonsu has quite a lot going on.

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Khonshu (Karim El Hakim/F. Murray Abraham) speaks to his avatar, Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac)
Source: Marvel Studios

Why did Khonshu choose Marc as his avatar?

The 'Moon Knight' version of Khonsu is pretty accurate.

MCU's Khonshu (spelled with an "h") uses Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) as an avatar, granting the troubled mercenary power in order to carry out his will. Unfortunately, Khonshu gets more than he bargained for with Marc's dissociative identity disorder. While Marc is arguably a competent and physically capable avatar, Khonshu also has to deal with the timid Steven Grant.

In the series, Khonshu's depiction is remarkably accurate to the way Khonsu is portrayed in Egyptian mythology.

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Khonshu (voiced by F. Murray Abraham, performance capture by Farim El Hakim) is a pretty aggressive and pervasive god in Moon Knight. His efforts to interfere with human affairs have earned him the contempt of the Ennead. Otherwise, he is quite insistent in trying to get Marc and Steven to do his bidding, even going so far as to haunt the latter in order to keep him in line. Through Marc, Khonshu certainly isn't afraid to enact violence against those who oppose him.

Even his powers of healing make it into the show, with Moon Knight's suit having healing properties to help Marc survive blows that would otherwise be fatal. Khonshu can even turn back the night sky by thousands of years.

With Khonshu having been sealed away for his transgressions, it'll be interesting to see how the god will fare during the full moon.

New episodes of Moon Knight stream every Wednesday on Disney Plus.

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