Moon Knight: Arthur Harrow’s Tattoo And Staff Explained

Moon Knight opened up its pilot episode with the introduction to Steven Grant and the different problems he was facing in life, such as his apparent personality disorder. Of course, it was through this disorder that we were able to meet Arthur Harrow, the series’ villain. Early on, Harrow already displayed his powers, such as the ability to move around his tattoo and the staff that he used to summon jackals. That said, we are here to explain what we know about Arthur Harrow and his apparent powers.

Does Harrow Have Powers In The Comics?

When episode 1 of Moon Knight premiered, it didn’t take long for it to introduce Arthur Harrow as the main antagonist of the series. This happened when Steven Grant found himself in a Hungarian town after falling asleep. Apparently, his other identity, Marc Spector, took their body on a mission in that town.

Steven found himself getting chased by armed gunmen but eventually hid among the crowd in the town. The crowd gathered to meet Arthur Harrow, who was apparently a cult leader. In the series, he is the leader of a cult that worshipped the Egyptian goddess, Ammit, who is known to be a goddess that judges people.

The series didn’t take time to display what Harrow could do because he moved his tattoo in one of the scenes when he more or less indoctrinated a person into his cult after apparently judging him using Ammit’s powers. Of course, he did it again to an old woman, who ended up getting killed when Harrow’s powers deemed her unworthy of Ammit’s blessings.

After that, Harrow saw Steven in the crowd, recognized him as Marc, and demanded the return of a stolen artifact, which is the golden scarab that is somehow quite important to him and to his cult. This led to a wild chase that culminated in Steven blacking out and waking up in his flat in London. 

Nevertheless, Harrow was able to find Steven back in London and presumed that Marc was simply hiding in the guise of Steven to keep his identity as a mercenary hidden. And when Harrow’s demand of the return of the scarab was futile, he used a staff that summoned a jackal that ultimately led to Steven giving control over their body to Marc, who became the Moon Knight.

RELATED: Moon Knight (Marc Spector): Powers, Weapons and Equipment

From what transpired in episode 1, it was clear that Arthur Harrow has powers in the Disney+ version of Moon Knight. However, what fans should know is that Harrow doesn’t have powers in the comics. Instead, he is simply a mad scientist with no augmented abilities or powers whatsoever. 

Nevertheless, we already knew beforehand that Harrow was going to be some sort of a superpowered cult leader, as explained in the teasers before the series even premiered. This is one of the major changes introduced by the series, as Ethan Hawke himself said that the showrunners of Moon Knight had a lot of creative freedom in handling the series.

What Are Harrow’s Tattoo And Staff?

Now that we have explained that Arthur Harrow does have powers in the Moon Knight series, even though his comic book counterpart is an entirely different character, let’s now look at what his tattoo and his staff could possibly be.

First off, it was never a secret that Harrow was a cult leader that led people in worshipping the Egyptian goddess Ammit, who is associated with judgment. And considering that the series explores how the Egyptian gods have avatars who basically represent them on the planet (like how Steven/Marc is Khonshu’s avatar), there are reasons to believe that Harrow himself is the avatar of Ammit.

While Khonshu allows Steven/Marc to don the Moon Knight suit, which provides him with augmented physical abilities, it could be possible that Harrow’s tattoo and his staff are what Ammit gave him as his means of achieving what the goddess wants. Then again, it’s important for us to look at Harrow’s tattoo and staff first.

RELATED: Moon Knight’s Khonshu: F. Murray Abraham’s Character Explained

Harrow’s tattoo on his arm (the one that he moves around) represents a scale that is held by two crocodilian heads. For those who don’t know, Ammit is a goddess with the head of a crocodile and is said to be connected to the day of judgment. This means that the scales represent how Ammit judges people to be either good or bad whenever Harrow uses his powers. We saw this when the tattoo moved during the scene wherein he judged someone in Hungary.

Meanwhile, the top part of his staff is also represented by two crocodilian heads facing opposite directions. This further enforces the fact that his staff was a gift from Ammit to his avatar on Earth so that she could use her avatar as a means to dispense her brand of judgment. And from what we saw in episode 1, Harrow used the staff to summon demonic jackal-like creatures that resemble the Egyptian god Anubis.

With that said, it is apparent that Arthur Harrow’s tattoo and staff are the counterparts of what Steven/Marc could do, which is to transform into the Moon Knight using Khonshu’s powers. However, the manner in which they perform their duties is different.

Steven/Marc dispenses Khonshu’s brand of justice by acting as some sort of a crime-fighting vigilante. However, Harrow dispenses Ammit’s brand of justice by judging people through his tattoo, as they allow the goddess to act through him to determine whether or not someone is evil or is capable of doing evil.

In a sense, we have two different ways of dispensing justice here as both Khonshu and Ammit see things differently from their own perspectives. Of course, it’s only natural for them to have avatars with abilities that mirror their own sense of justice. This is why Harrow has his tattoo and his staff, which he uses as symbols of his power in the religious cult that he heads throughout the entire Moon Knight series.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.