Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for Moon Knight episode 5! Turn back now if you haven’t seen the latest episode yet!
Moon Knight made waves when it introduced a massive twist and a strange new character last week – and in episode 5, we see even more of the hippo figure. But if you’re still wondering what on Earth is going on, we’ve got everything you need to know right here.
That hippo god is none other than Taweret, as Oscar Isaac’s Steven Grant points out to Marc Spector. In the previous installment, Ethan Hawke’s villainous Arthur Harrow shot Spector dead, and he woke up in a psychiatric hospital. While it all got very confusing, we find out in episode 5 that, as it turns out, Marc/Steven is in the Egyptian afterlife.
So who exactly is Taweret, and what does her presence in the Disney Plus show mean for Moon Knight and the MCU? We explain all…
Who is Taweret in Egyptian mythology?
Taweret is the Egyptian god of fertility and childbirth. As in Moon Knight, she is depicted with the appearance of a hippo – but with a lion’s arms (and paws), and a crocodile’s tail and legs. Her epithets include “Lady of Heaven,” “Mistress of Pure Water,” “She Who Removes Water,” and “Mistress of the Horizon,” while her name Taweret translates to “The Great One.”
In keeping with her fearsome look, the god was believed to be fierce – but she was a protector of women and children, and was particularly important to expectant mothers, who wore her amulets to defend themselves and their children against evil. Taweret was believed to help during childbirth, and the yearly flooding of the Nile was also linked to her.
Along with life, though, the god has an association with death: she used her powers to help the dead make their way safely to the afterlife through the dangerous mountains of the west.
Who plays Taweret in Moon Knight?
Taweret is played by Antonia Salib in Moon Knight.
“It felt like such a collaborative process, which was brilliant for such a big organization,” she told Variety (opens in new tab). “From the moment I read the scenes when I was auditioning, and started working with the director Mohammed Diab and the costume team, the VFX, it really felt like I was given license to create my character, and everyone was on board to work together, which was lovely.”
Has Taweret been in Moon Knight before?
Taweret had a brief cameo in Moon Knight episode 1. In one scene, Steven handles some hippo-shaped toys in the gift shop. Do they look familiar?
Steven also corrects his boss when she calls them hippos, explaining they’re the goddess Taweret – and that explains why he recognizes the god in episode 5.
Has Taweret been in Marvel comics before?
Unlike Khonshu and Ammit, Taweret has never appeared in Marvel comics. That leaves her future in the MCU wide open.
What does Taweret mean for the MCU?
Taweret reveals to Marc and Steven that the psychiatric hospital they’re in is actually Duat, the Egyptian afterlife. She removes their hearts to weigh against the feather of Maat (god of truth and justice), and begins the journey to the Field of Reeds, which is essentially paradise. But, the scales won’t balance, so the duo need to investigate their past in the hopes of making it safely through the journey.
The god also agrees to take them to the way out of Duat, but before they get there, the unbalanced souls of the sands come to claim Marc and Steven, as the scales never balanced. That unfortunately leaves Steven trapped, which has upset the internet, but Marc makes it to the Field of Reeds.
Whether Taweret still has a part to play in the series remains to be seen, but the god is part of the Ennead – and we’ve already seen some of these deities gathering via their avatars in Moon Knight episode 3, but without Taweret. If the Ennead returns in the Moon Knight finale, we can expect her to potentially be part of the line-up.
At the moment, though, it’s unclear if Taweret will appear in the MCU again – but considering the Marvel universe’s trend of crossovers and cameos, we most likely haven’t seen the last of her.
If you’re up to speed on Moon Knight, check out our guide to Marvel Phase 4 for everything else the MCU has in store – and if you’re not signed up already, subscribe to Disney Plus (opens in new tab) here.