As MCU continues to expand, religious pantheons from all over the world become part of it. The Asgardians have been there since the beginning. One can argue that the ancient Egyptian religion was first featured in ‘Black Panther,’ where Sekhmet was mentioned, and Bast made an appearance during the exposition. With ‘Moon Knight,’ the focus is significantly more on the pantheon.
The titular character (Oscar Isaac) is the conduit for Khonshu, the Egyptian god of Moon, who also appears in the series. Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), the leader of a cult dedicated to a goddess named Ammit, appears to be the main antagonist of the season. If you are wondering whether Ammit is based on a real Egyptian deity like Bast and Sekhmet, this is what you need to know. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Ammit a Real Egyptian Deity?
While there is indeed a deity named Ammit in the ancient Egyptian religion, she is significantly different from what Arthur claims she is. Actually, Steven isn’t that far-off target when he describes her as the “world’s first bogeyman.” According to tradition, Ammit is both a demoness and a goddess. She has a head resembling that of a crocodile, forequarters resembling those of a lion, and hindquarters resembling those of a hippopotamus. She is a funerary deity closely associated with Anubis, the god of death, and the Scales of Justice.
When the dead arrives in Duat, the Egyptian afterlife, Anubis weighs their heart on the scales against the feather (which resembles an ostrich feather) of Ma’at, the goddess of truth. If the heart proves to be lighter, the person it belongs to gains access to Aaru or the Fields of Reeds, the heavenly kingdom ruled by Osiris. If it turns out to be heavier, Ammit devours the heart, and the unfortunate soul is left to wander restlessly for eternity. Because of this, Ammit received the titles “Eater of Hearts,” “Great of Death,” and “Devourer of the Dead.”
Ammit’s name is generally and appropriately translated to the “devourer.” But it can also be translated to “bone eater.” Ammit represents the complexity of her pantheon. She was not worshipped in ancient Egypt, but her symbols and images were believed to be powerful tools against evil. Despite her appearance and role, she was regarded as a force of order. Her very existence compelled people to follow the path of Ma’at.
In Marvel comics (known there as Ammut or Ammitu), her characterization is virtually the same. At one point, she even teams up with Khonshu against Marc Spector. In ‘Moon Knight,’ it seems that the creators have given her more significance. She appears to have the same authority and power that Anubis does in mythology. All her followers have tattoos of scales on their arms, representing the Scales of Justice.
She seems to have given Arthur some powers. Using the scales, he judges two of his fellow cult members. While one passes, the other — an elderly woman — doesn’t and subsequently dies. Arthur later claims that Ammit was betrayed by other gods and her own avatar and was subsequently imprisoned. It appears that the cult wants to create new world order by releasing her.
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