What Is the Scarab in Moon Knight? Why Is It Important?

‘Moon Knight’ is an MCU superhero action-adventure series. It revolves around a man that goes by the name of Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac). He is a mild-mannered employee at a museum in London. His job is to run the gift shop, even though he wants to be a tour guide and is quite knowledgeable about the ancient Egyptian religion. Steven often suffers from blackouts. When he regains consciousness, he has no idea what happened or what he did during this period. He thinks that he suffers from a sleeping disorder.

So, before going to bed every night, he ties one of his feet to the bed. One night, he goes to sleep after securing himself to the bed. However, when he wakes up, he finds himself in a village in the Alps, with people belonging to a cult chasing after him as he has stolen a golden scarab. He also starts hearing a demanding voice which appears to be of Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the Moon.

While Bast and Sekhmet are part of the narrative in ‘Black Panther,’ the ancient Egyptian religion arrives for good in the MCU with ‘Moon Night.’ The gold scarab will likely play a crucial role in the future plot of the series and might even affect the overarching narrative of the MCU. Here is everything you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD.

What Is the Scarab?

According to Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), the leader of the cult of Ammit, the scarab that Moon Knight /Marc Spector/Steven Grant has taken belongs to the deity he worships. Ammit perfectly represents the complexity of her pantheon. She is both a demoness and goddess. Generally associated with Anubis, the god of death, and the Scales of Justice, she is the entity that devours the heart of the dead if it is proven to be heavier than the feather of Ma’at, the goddess of truth. Despite her role in the pantheon — or perhaps because of it — she was regarded as a force of order by the ancient Egyptians, as she reminded people that they must remain on the path of Ma’at.

The series seems to have made Ammit a much more prominent deity than she is either historically or in the comics. The scarabs are perhaps a powerful relic of the goddess, just like the Scales of Justice. In ancient Egypt, scarabs were widely used as amulets and impression seals, thousands of which have survived till today. Scarabs were generally associated with the Sun god Ra. There is even a scarab-faced deity named Khepri, the god of the morning or new sun. He was viewed as a subordinate of Ra.

Scarabs of various types were sometimes used during funerary rituals. The heart scarabs, for instance, were placed over the heart, the only organ left inside the body following mummification. They had hieroglyphics inscriptions on them, including from the Book of the Dead. Beetle scarabs are one of the most recognizable symbols of ancient Egyptian religion, so the golden scarab with hieroglyphics inscribed on it fits perfectly into the narrative of the series.

Why Is the Scarab Important?

As mentioned above, the gold scarab might serve as an important plot device in the future. In Moon Knight Annual #1 (2019) by writer Cullen Bunn and penciler Ibrahim Moustafa, an ancient scarab made its first appearance. Several versions of Moon Knight fight Kang the Conqueror, the future primary antagonist of the MCU, over three objects — a scarab, an ankh, and a scepter. All three give its wielder power over time.

While the scarab “chews through the fabric of time,” the ankh grants knowledge to control time, and the scepter focuses time. It will be interesting to see whether the scarab featured in ‘Moon Knight’ is the same. If it is, then Kang can make an appearance in ‘Moon Knight.’ However, there is a significant chance that this is just a misdirection — a way for Marvel to hide what they truly have plans for the eponymous character.

Read More: What Is the Meaning of the Scales Tattoo in Moon Knight?