What is the bird skull monster in Moon Knight (and is it real?)

During Marvel’s show Moon Knight, Oscar Isaacs Steven Grant / Marc Spector is confronted with a large creature with a bird’s skull.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Moon Knights episode 1.

Marvels Moon Knights reveals Oscar Isaacs Steven Grant be chased by a monster with bird skull dressed in robes. What is it? Is it real? And why is it chasing Steven? The terrifying supernatural stalker makes Isaacs completely question his reason when the big creature with a bird’s skull as his head appears in the corridor of his apartment. But this monster may not just be a scary fabrication by Grant’s imagination. Either way, this is viewers’ first look at Khonshu, the reason why Oscar Isaacs new Marvel hero became the violent vigilante known as Moon Knight.


Moon Knights episode 1 reveals Steven Grant that he has a condition where he can not tell the difference between when he is awake or when he is sleeping, so much so that he has even tied himself to his bed. On top of that, he begins to see things he thinks are hallucinations, including another version of himself that speaks to him in reflective surfaces. Eventually, he even takes a phone call on a phone he did not know he owned, which he refers to as Marc instead of Steven, confirming that Oscar Isaacs true character Marc Spector has dissociative identity disorder (where Spector is Moon Knight’s primary personality in the comics).

Related: Moon Knight Vs. Batman is the first real Marvel vs. DC battle in 2022

At this point, the origins of the Moon Knights remain a mystery, but a focal point for that transformation is the bird’s skull, which scares him into a dark hallway before disappearing. Moon Knights‘s bird skull monster is Khonshu, the Egyptian moon god who in the comics saves mercenary Marc Spector from death in the comics and chooses him to be his avatar on earth known as the lunar knight. Surely his depiction in the comics shows the skull of an eagle or falcon – in line with mythological descriptions – as well as the staff with a crescent moon at the top.

Who is Khonshu? Marvel Powers & Origin

Khonshu sits cross-legged in Moon Knight # 1 by Warren Ellis.

That Marvel character Khonshu, an Egyptian god, is actually based on a true ancient Egyptian deity (whose name is spelled Khonsu), the god of the moon, traveler, revenge and time. Marvel’s comic book canonize much of Khonshus’ symbolism and associations of power, as he is depicted as a time traveler / teleporter, an angry spirit and of course the patron god of Moon Knight, who possesses special lunar abilities. There are lots of gods and god-like figures based on the folklore of reality in the Marvel pantheon, where some of the most recognizable characters and places are those taken from Norse mythology, namely people like Odin, Loki, Hela, Thor and Asgård. Likewise, the Egyptian gods also play a role in the Marvel comics. The Enneades, also known as Heliopolitans, are an immortal and immensely powerful race that resides in a pocket dimension (called Celestial Heliopolis) right next to Earth. Worshiped by the ancient Egyptians as deities, Ennead (which includes Khonshu) is also known to occasionally engage with Marvel’s other heroes and figures.

Khonshu is often portrayed in the Marvel comics as temperamental and vengeful, both of which are qualities Moon Knight himself expresses. Because Khonshu cannot operate directly on Earth, he carries out his will through a long line of lunar knights, which go back to ancient Mesopotamia and currently exist in the 21st century in the form of Marc Spector. While Moon Knight may be his earthly fist, Khonshu himself is also very powerful. He possesses the typical power set of all the heliopolitic gods: superhuman strength and endurance, regenerative healing, immortality, and magical manipulation. In addition, Khonshu also has insane abilities that give him control over the moon cliffs, and the ability to absorb and store the powers of various heroes over time.

Is Khonshu really in Moon Knight


In the comics, it took some time before the question of whether Khonshu was really real or just a fictional Marc’s fantasy was finally answered, with the revelation that the moon god was actually real. As such, a similar mystery is likely to be presented in MCUs Moon Knights. Either way, Marc and his god certainly have a rocky relationship that could also be adapted to the new series. While Spector has had eras where he is a devoted priest, there have been others where he opposes Khonshus will, so it will be interesting to see how their partnership develops in MCU.

Related: Is Moon Knight Marvel’s most brutal ever?

This new trailer has already confirmed that Steve / Marc is going to experience a pretty adjustment period when he begins his development into the brutal vigilant Moon Knight. It also seems that he will question his own reason, at least until he potentially decides to simply follow the plans this Egyptian moon god has for him – provided he is not just in his head. Really or not, Khonshu will no doubt play a big role in the journey of Knights of the Moon, bird skull and all.

More: How many episodes of Moon Knight are there and when is the finale

New sections of Moon Knights released every Wednesday on Disney +.

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release Date: May 6, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release Date: July 8, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever / Black Panther 2 (2022)Release Date: November 11, 2022
  • The Marvels / Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release Date: February 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release Date: May 5, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release Date: July 28, 2023

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