Does Moon Knight take place within Marc’s imagination?

‘Moon Knight’ is the latest series from the MCU and it revolves around Marc Spector, a mercenary who serves as the avatar of the Egyptian god, Khonshu, and carries out his brand of justice.

The series stars Oscar Isaac in the titular role while Ethan Hawke stars in the role of the villainous ‘Arthur Harrow’. Marc Spector has always had a history of mental illness ever since the inception of the character and it would not be surprising if this was the case in the on-screen depiction as well. So the real question is what is the difference between reality and nonsense when it comes to the mind of Marc Spector.

Sharing his mind with more than one person

Does Moon Knight take place within Marc's imagination? 1
Image source: Disney+

Very early on it is shown that the person we see believes himself to be ‘Steven Grant’ who works in a museum in London. Steven seems to be a very simple man who speaks with a British accent and has an interest in archaeology.

As the series moves on we learn that Marc suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder and that Marc and Steven are the same person, alter egos sharing the same body while also dealing with Khonshu in their ear. Steven is the voice of reason while Marc serves as the dedicated muscle.

The fist of Khonshu

Does Moon Knight take place within Marc's imagination? 2
Image source: Disney+

Marc was a marine in the US Army before he was discharged for his mental issues after which he began serving as a mercenary for hire. At a particular job at a dig site in Egypt, Marc is left for dead by his partner near the tomb of the ancient moon god, Khonshu.

The MCU has already confirmed the existence of Norse gods and celestials so the reveal that Egyptian Gods exist is not that far-fetched. Khonshu appears to Marc in his last moments and takes advantage of his situation and troubled mind to convince Marc to serve as his avatar and protect the travellers of the night.

The afterlife and exploring Marc’s mind

Does Moon Knight take place within Marc's imagination? 3
Image source: Disney+

The one portion of the series that is truly set inside the mind of Marc Spector is soon after he is shot by Harrow in the chest. He’s meant to be travelling to Duat, or the Egyptian afterlife but due to it being a concept that humans cannot comprehend, it appears to each person as something within their realm of understanding.

In Marc’s case, it appears in the form of a mental institution with Marc and Steven both existing separately and the rooms of the ward housing the various memories of Marc’s life. He also flits between his exploring his memories with Steven and an office with Harrow appearing as his doctor, trying to get to the bottom of his illness.

This sequence was the perfect representation of the conflict within Marc’s mind and his efforts to deal with all the stresses he has to face. The audience learns that Marc created Steven as a means to deal with the abuse he faced at the hands of his mother, and it became his escape from reality.

Eventually, Marc and Steven learn to co-exist and upon their return from death, they convince Khonshu to release them from his servitude. Only later is it revealed that there is a third alter sharing their mind, Jake Lockley, and he’s more than willing to carry out Khonshu’s bidding.


Also Read: Moon Knight season 1 episode 6 recap & review: Gods and Monsters