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The Arthur Harrow Line From Moon Knight That Means More Than You Think

Contains spoilers for "Moon Knight" Episode 2.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps growing bigger and, through their Disney+ television projects, has fleshed out fan-favorite movie characters like Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in "WandaVision" and Tom Hiddleston's titular God of Mischief in "Loki." But the streaming service has finally introduced its first new hero in their own solo series with "Moon Knight." The TV show follows Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac), a museum gift shop employee with dissociative identity disorder who discovers his mind and body are home to another personality: a former mercenary named Marc Spector. Steven's life only gets more chaotic when he realizes he and Marc work for the ancient Egyptian god, Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham) as his white-clad human avatar Moon Knight.

If an existential crisis wasn't enough, Steven and Marc also have to deal with a sinister cult led by Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), who has ties to the fellow ancient Egyptian god Ammit. With the help of Ammit, Harrow judges the souls of humanity using a strange power channeled through in his staff, as well as a tattoo of scales on his arms. When the series kicks off, he has already amassed a dedicated following that listens to his every command and readily submits to judgment — even if it means they will meet their end right then and there. 

Episode 2 of "Moon Knight" broadens the view of Harrow's world, with Steven being forcibly brought to the bustling commune in London where many of his acolytes live. But there's an interesting dynamic between Steven and Harrow, especially when the latter figures out what's really going on in Moon Knight's head.

Arthur Harrow calls Marc Spector's mind 'weak'

"Moon Knight" Episode 2 takes the opportunity to get to know Arthur Harrow a little better as he explains to Steven that he's had what he sees as a positive impact on the community he's created with his followers. But there's one moment, in particular, that is taken right out of the comics (albeit with a small change) that is far weightier than you might think. 

When Steven first arrives at the London compound, Arthur talks to him about his DID diagnosis and suggests that's the reason why Khonshu picked him as his human avatar. Harrow says, "I'm curious, do you think that Khonshu chose you as his avatar because your mind would be so easy to break or because it was broken already?" This line embodies a key theme from Jeff Lemire's 2016 run of the comics, where Marc (one of the other personalities inhabiting the same body as Steven) is forced to confront the idea that Khonshu has an ulterior motive. One panel from "Moon Knight" Issue #2 sees the Moon God berate the hero, telling him, "You must know you have a weak mind, Marc? It was why I was able to use you as my aspect so easily." The live-action series is clearly taking the same approach by challenging the balance between Moon Knight's heroism and Khonshu's manipulation of Marc and Steven.

Harrow is a formidable force, but he's not exactly a typical villain. Ethan Hawke previously opened up about the character and the challenges that come with playing him. After all, he later tells Marc that his methods of cleansing the streets are much more effective than Khonshu's. He points out that Moon Knight arrives "after people have suffered," but Ammit's judgment kills them before they have the chance to be evil. It's an interesting debate, which proves the show is committed to giving these characters as much depth as possible.