Moon Knight voice actor F. Murray Abraham thinks Khonshu is ultimately a good guy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Earlier this year, audiences were introduced to Oscar Isaac’s Marc Spector and Steven Grant as the latter learned the truth about his Dissociative Identity Disorder and ties to the Egyptian moon god Khonshu—who uses Marc’s body as his avatar (a.k.a The Fist of Khonshu) to enact fatal justice upon evildoers. In addition to Isaac and Murray, Moon Knight stars May Calamawy as Layla El-Faouly, the late Gaspard Ulliel as Anton Mogart, and Ethan Hawke as the cult leader Arthur Harrow.
The series’ primary antagonist is Khonshu’s former avatar, Harrow, who betrayed the former and chose to follow the goddess/demoness Ammit. Where Khonshu punishes criminals after the fact, Ammit aims to rid the world of pain and suffering by preventing evil before it can occur—which may or may not involve killing children. Although Khonshu, Marc, and Steven fail in preventing Harrow from resurrecting Ammit, the trio (with a little help from Scarlet Scarab) was able to imprison Ammit inside Harrow’s body. Unbeknownst to Steven and Marc, Moon Knight’s post-credits scene saw their third alter, Jake Lockley, kill Harrow under Khonshu’s morally gray orders.
In a recent interview with DiscussingFilm, Abraham discussed being cast and approaching the role of Khonshu in Moon Knight. When asked how much he researched the lore of Khonshu (comic book or real world), Abraham said he mostly relied on the script before going on to describe his character as a “good guy.” Read the full quote below:
“All you had to do was look at the script. The guy is a treat, he really is. I see him as outrageously funny. I think he’s a good guy, he’s willing to do things that a lot of people wish they could do. It’s kind of vigilantism but just the way he is like, “Go ahead. Give it to him, break his windpipe!” (laughs) I didn’t have to do too much research when I was working on the voice, but I looked into the mythology afterward and it is very rich.”
Khonshu standing behind Marc in Moon Knight.
As a comic book vigilante equipped with Moonrangs, Moon Knight often draws comparisons to DC’s Batman. Their aesthetic and propensity for theatrics may be similar (not to mention billionaire alter egos) but Moon Knight is better equated to Marvel’s Punisher if Frank Castle made a deal with a sinister, ominous, and creepy deity. Some comic book fans may have been surprised at the show’s overt literal and occasionally goofy take on Khonshu, which reminded fans of how Eddie Brock’s Symbiote is portrayed in Sony’s Venom films. However, Abraham’s grandeur landed with many as his vocal performance earned him a nomination at the 2022 Emmy’s. On top of that, the character remains an antagonistic force, not unlike his comic book counterpart.
In Moon Knight, Khonshu hates his fellow gods for abandoning the human race. Among the Ennead Council, he’s an outlaw who’s been banished for his constant meddling. While his refusal to sit idly by may seem admirable, Khonshu tends to torment his avatars and threaten their loved ones, which is what arguably drove Harrow to fanaticism. Khonshu isn’t necessarily good or evil but his methods for obtaining justice are questionable even if he isn’t as bad as Ammit or Thanos—whose ultimate goal was to improve the lives of the living. Abraham’s character ended the season by “freeing” Marc and Steven while still using Jake as his servant. As the puppeteer of his suffering, Marc Spector would never call Khonshu a “good guy” in a possible Moon Knight season 2.