Who Are the Ennead? 'Moon Knight' Egyptian Gods Explained

Moon Knight explores Egyptian mythology and its gods through the eyes of Steven Grant, one half of Oscar Isaac's character in the Marvel Disney+ series.

One of the most important groups in Egyptian mythology is the Ennead, who are referenced in the show's first episode, which premiered on Wednesday, March 30.

Here is everything you need to know about the Ennead.

Who Are the Ennead?

The Ennead are a group of nine Gods from ancient Egypt, the word "Ennead" literally means the number nine, which is three-by-three so it signifies plurality and a complete system, according to British archaeologist Joyce Tyldesley.

In Moon Knight, Isaac's Steven has a deep love of ancient Egypt and its myths and legends, going so far as to work in the British Museum.

While he does have a wealth of knowledge on ancient Egypt, and wants to be a tour guide in the museum, he actually works in the gift shop.

The Ennead are brought up when Steven talks to his boss about an exhibition at the museum, saying that a poster is wrong because it only depicts seven of the nine gods, and he later researches the group while at home.

As previously mentioned, the Ennead consists of nine gods: Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Seth, Isis, and Nephthys are the gods of Heliopolis.

Atum fathered Shu and Tefnut, who then beget Geb and Nut, who then birthed Osiris, Seth, Isis, and Nephthys.

Steven also mentions Horus in Moon Knight, and the falcon-headed god is the son of Osiris and Isis.

What Are the Ennead's Powers?

The first five represent the gods of light, air, water, earth and sky, and were responsible for the creation of the Earth, Tyldesley wrote in her book "Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt."

The final four members of the Ennead were said to "belong to the world after creation," and the nine are believed to have been made a group prior to the creation of the Old Kingdom in ancient Egypt.

The Egyptian gods are meant to be seen as mythic personifications of different aspects of nature, such as the Earth and sea.

Atum is seen as the creator god and is often associated with sun god Re, while male and female deities Shu and Tefnut are also symbolic of breath and order, according to Vincent Arieh Tobin in his journal article "Mytho-Theology in Ancient Egypt."

Geb is the god of earth and Nut is the goddess of the sky, respectively, Osiris represents death and resurrection and Isis is the goddess of life and magic, and Seth and Nephthys are associated with disorder and darkness.

Will the Ennead Appear in 'Moon Knight'?

Egyptian gods, like the Ennead, are often presented as anthropomorphic beings. The reasoning, Tobin explained, is because the gods are "mysterious and indefinable" therefore humanity cannot know their true nature until after death.

This is why Moon Knight's Khonsu is depicted with a bird's skull, though he is not part of the nine Heliopolitan gods and is actually a separate deity who represents the moon.

In the first episode, Marvel fans will only be introduced to two Egyptian gods Khonsu, whose name is written as Khonshu in the show, and Ammit.

Ammit is the god who has lent her power to Ethan Hawke's Arthur Harrow by making him her avatar, and she is the "eater of the damned," per Tyldesley.

Tyldesley wrote that Ammit has the head of a crocodile, the front body of a lion and the bottom half of a hippopotamus, and her anthropomorphic depiction is meant to signify that humans cannot "hope to run" from her judgement.

This is when Harrow's tattoo of scales tests a person's spirit and if they fail, meaning they lack virtue, their spirit is immediately absorbed by the villain.

While the Ennead do not appear in Moon Knight's first episode, it does not mean that they won't make an appearance later in the season, especially given the show's focus on Egyptian mythology.

Moon Knight airs Wednesdays on Disney+.

Moon Knight
Oscar Isaac in "Moon Knight", the Marvel show explores the mythology of ancient Egypt including the Ennead. Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.