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Who Is Moon Knight's Arthur Harrow?

Contains spoilers for "Moon Knight" Episode 1

If a hero is only as good as their villain, the bad guy in "Moon Knight" has his work cut out for him. After all, the latest Disney+ Marvel Cinematic Universe show is all about one of the most brutal and complex Marvel superheroes in the MCU. As museum gift shop employee Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) slowly learns that he's not alone in his head, he tends to wake up in places he doesn't remember going to, and in dangerous situations he can't make any sense of. What's more, an unnecessarily snarky supernatural being (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) keeps yelling at him to yield control to some guy called Marc.  

Yet, before you even get to see Steven, you're introduced to a man who's even stranger. The show opens with a shot of Ethan Hawke's Arthur Darrow, calmly drinking some water before crushing the glass and putting the shards in his shoes, presumably for penance. Over the course of the episode, Darrow establishes himself as a dangerous zealot who's more than enough to threaten everything Moon Knight — or anyone else, for that matter — holds dear, and Hawke plays the character with a combination of charismatic pleasantness and terrifying dedication that immediately sets him apart from every other MCU villain out there. But who, exactly, is Arthur Harrow, and what can you expect from him in "Moon Knight?" 

Harrow is a terrifying cult leader on a mission

In the comics, Dr. Arthur Harrow is a disgraced Nobel Prize candidate who has a penchant for pain experimentation, and who carries on — and expands upon — the terrifying experiments of Nazi scientists like Josef Mengele. He also suffers from a painful condition that has twisted one side of his face in a permanent grimace. 

Based on "Moon Knight" Episode 1, the MCU version of Harrow is precisely none of these things, and eschews the "evil scientist" angle in favor of a religion-tinted one. Played with terrifying calmness by the ruggedly handsome Ethan Hawke, this version of the character leads a cult devoted to the goddess Ammit who, per Ancient Egypt Online, is an eater of souls that are judged unworthy. This seems to track with the MCU version as well, since Harrow has a scale tattoo that can judge whoever he touches — and kills the unworthy. Apart from this, he demonstrates control over a powerful, jackal-like humanoid that he sends after Steven. 

However, Harrow's personal powers are just one part of the vast threat he poses. His cultists are extremely devoted and seem to have infiltrated the society pretty deeply. What's more, Harrow seems to have a plan that involves some pretty large-scale judging of humanity, which will involve the deaths of millions. Even more frighteningly, he seems to be far more familiar with the strange and supernatural voices Steven hears in his head than Steven himself is.

Combine all this, and it certainly seems that Arthur Harrow has the potential to be a MCU villain for the ages.