Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight is wasting no time introducing fans to a whole new sector of the MCU by bringing Egyptian mythology to life. This helped make the new Marvel show immediately and distinctly different from recent Marvel entries like Spider-Man: No Way Home, but its second episode may have just teased how Moon Knight plays into the greater MCU by using the same magic from Marvel’s last movie.
Considering Oscar Isaac’s Marc Spector is wrestling with invisible jackals while serving as the avatar of Khonshu the Egyptian moon god, it’s hard to imagine how Moon Knight can relate to the greater MCU narrative that’s exploring something as grand as the Multiverse. However, it becomes much easier to picture it when Marvel Studios uses the same colors and effects in Moon Knight on Disney+ as they did in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
No Way Home took the concept of Variants that was explored in Loki and used that to introduce audiences to the idea of Marvel’s Multiverse. Peter Parker asked Doctor Strange to cast a spell that made the world forget that he’s Spider-Man, but Strange lost control of the spell due to Peter’s interference, and eventually, it caused a tear in the Multiverse.
In the third act of No Way Home, the sky glowed purple as it tore apart reality to reveal the greater Multiverse. As the wall between worlds began to crumble, dozens of Variants of Spider-Man villains began to seep through the violet cracks.
Interestingly, Moon Knight used a similar visual effect that led to the second episode's most climactic moment.
Episode 2 of Moon Knight used identical imagery when Arthur Harrow summoned a jackal from a purple portal that he opened by casting his own spell, possibly hinting that the jackal is being summoned from beyond the confines of Moon Knight’s universe.
Did Moon Knight Just Tease Marvel’s Multiverse?
As Harrow knelt down and spoke to the ground, a purple glow came up from beneath the floor. When he took a step back, the ground caved in and a creature crawled out of the purple-glowing portal in the floor.
Was the jackal summoned from beyond the MCU? Does Arthur Harrow’s spell allow him to pull in other-worldly threats from beyond the boundaries of the universe?
There is the chance that the jackal literally lives underground, with Harrow only needing to break through the ground to free him. However, it's also possible that the other side of this purple portal opens to an entirely different dimension.
Granted, Doctor Strange’s spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home was more of a ritual than a spoken spell like Harrow's, so the villain's methods in Moon Knight are distinctly different from those of the Sorcerer Supreme. Despite this, Doctor Strange and Arthur Harrow can still be accessing the Multiverse with their various methods.
Audiences saw in WandaVision that there is more than one way to practice magic in the MCU when Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha Harkness stole the show with her wicked ways as a Salem witch. Her use of magic consisted of more casual hand movements than the Mystic Arts and spoken words in Latin, showing that magic can still be wielded without the ritualistic nature of Doctor Strange and co.
What fans will likely learn in the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is that there will be new ways to access the Multiverse that Doctor Strange will have to learn about and adapt to - like America Chavez’s portals. So, although the Mystic Arts may be what audiences are familiar with now, Doctor Strange’s magic likely isn’t the only way to hop between universes.
Ancient Egypt is regarded as one of the most advanced (and mysterious) civilizations in history, and how they created many of their practices and constructs is still left unexplained. How likely is it that the Egyptians practiced a form of ancient magic that was advanced enough to allow multidimensional travel?
With all of this in mind, it could be the same purple-glowing Multiverse from Spider-Man: No Way Home that fans just saw the jackal climb out of in Episode 2 of Moon Knight. Egyptian gods like Ammit and Khonshu may be from an alternate universe that found a way to communicate with Earth through the Multiversal barrier.
Filling in the gaps of Egyptian mythology with Marvel’s Multiverse would be a fun and natural way to incorporate something as wild as jackals and moon gods into the greater MCU while still staying true to Egyptian mythology when portraying the characters.
This can explain why Khonshu needs an avatar to work for him, since he’s only able to have a limited physical impact on his Earthly surroundings, like whipping up a gust of wind or pushing some chairs around. This is similar to the impact Doctor Strange has on his surroundings when he’s in his Astral form, hinting that Khonshu may be in a different dimension.
If the Egyptian gods and monsters are truly from another universe, then that would help tie the events of Moon Knight into the MCU by sharing the greater issue of Marvel’s Multiverse—especially with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness debuting the same week as Moon Knight’s season finale.