The first trailer for Moon Knight is here. The Oscar Isaac-led super(anti)hero series takes on one of Marvel’s most complex characters. But while the mystery of Isaac’s Marc Spector is key, there’s another big and unexpected enigma here. Though many thought Ethan Hawke would be playing Marc’s brother Randall in Moon Knight, instead he’s revealed—thanks to captions—as the MCU’s Arthur Harrow. So who is Ethan Hawke’s Arthur Harrow? How could he play into Moon Knight? And what does it mean for the MCU? We’re here to answer all your burning questions about this new Moon Knight villain and to throw some theories into the mix!
Who Is Moon Knight‘s Arthur Harrow?
The first and only appearance of Arthur Harrow in Marvel Comics came in Moon Knight (Vol. 2) #2. Introduced as an antagonist to Moon Knight, the disabled scientist—who was partially paralyzed and constantly in pain—was an incredibly intelligent man. In fact, Arthur Harrow’s chief power is his genius intellect. However, he squandered his abilities by utilizing his brain to experiment on humans in his research on pain theory. Not only that but he was using Nazi science to do it. The villainous Harrow even ends up creating some zombie-like servants—something we perhaps get a hint of in the Moon Knight trailer.
In the comics, Harrow appears to Moon Knight in a vision after he’s visited by apparitions of the Priests of Khonshu. When Moon Knight eventually faces off against Harrow, the doctor escapes with the help of the evil organization O.M.N.I.U.M., which had also given him the Nazi research he used for his work.
Harrow was never seen again… until the Moon Knight trailer, that is.
If Arthur Harrow Is Only in One Comic Issue How Does He Fit into the MCU’s Moon Knight?
The Disney+ MCU series have set a precedent of taking names and characters from the comics and completely reimagining them. Most recently, Hawkeye dropped a ton of big superhero and villain names, making them regular human players in the show. So there’s a likelihood that Arthur Harrow could be nothing more than a Moon Knight villain by any other name. But seeing as this is Moon Knight, one option does seem particularly appropriate. If the series wants to reflect Spector’s own multiple identities, Hawke could still potentially play Marc Spector’s brother Randall. He could just use the name Arthur Harrow as a pseudonym to protect his true identity. While that would be simple, we noted hints that Harrow might also have a different role to play in Moon Knight.
Though his original appearance was brief, one of the things that immediately stood out about his horrifying experiments is that he performed them on unwilling subjects. If this is a reimagining of Harrow—and his cane could fit in with his constant pain or some kind of chronic illness—then it could be the case that Spector might have been one of his patients. Perhaps that’s why we find him confused and unsure of his past life. And is that why Arthur Harrow has appeared in London and seems so interested in the stuttering gift shop employee?
Could Arthur Harrow Also Be an MCU God?
During the trailer we see Arthur Harrow walking with an alligator-headed cane. In the context of Moon Knight, that’s pretty relevant. The official description for the show from Disney teases that Marc Spector will be “thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.” Moon Knight himself gets his powers from the moon god Khonshu, but what of these other powerful Egyptian gods? Well, it could be that Harrow represents—or even is—the god known as Sobek (sometimes spelled Sebek). It’s not hard to imagine that with Khonshu on the rise, other gods may want a piece of Earth.
In the Marvel universe, Sobek already has his own cult; the Black Panther comics introduced it. That could tie into what we see in the trailer where it appears that Harrow has his own followers already. And Sobek even had a very brief appearance in the Moon Knight comics too. But if he’s not a representative of Sobek and the alligator cane is nothing but a red herring—or a hint that he’s an Egyptian scholar—then there could be another answer. During his talk with Marc, Harrow says, “There’s chaos in you. Embrace the chaos.” That could hint that he’s connected to famed monster Shuma-Gorath, a god from the Chaos Dimension whose catchphrase is “Embrace chaos!” in his video game appearances.
We’ll soon see Shuma-Gorath, renamed as Gargantos, in Doctor Strange 2 when it releases on May 4… but that’s another theory for another time. Either way, it seems like Ethan Hawke’s Arthur Harrow will keep Marc Spector busy playing the villain in Moon Knight.