The ending of Moon Knight episode 4 is truly a game-changer for the series, and it has certainly left a lot of Marvel fans scratching their heads in utter confusion. (MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW!) Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) is shot down by Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) while inside the tomb of Egyptian goddess Ammit – but it isn't quite death that's waiting for Marc. Instead, Marc Spector wakes up to a new reality, in which he is nothing more than a patient in a mental institution, and "Moon Knight" is an entire fantasy of his troubled mind.
If that all wasn't weird enough, Marc discovers that in this reality, Steven Grant is also present as a separate person from Marc! If that wasn't all weird enough, Steven and Marc try to escape the mental ward, only to discover that the doors are guarded by a giant Egyptian Hippopotamus deity with a friendly-sounding voice.
So who is the Hippopotamus goddess at the end of Moon Knight Episode 4?
There are several Egyptian deities (see: Ahti) that use the hippopotamus in their design, but the one that seems most applicable to what's happening in Moon Knight is Taweret. In fact, since actress Antonia Salib listed as playing Taweret in Moon Knight, it's not really a question.
In Ancient Egyptian religious lore, Tawaret is the Egyptian goddess of childbirth, fertility, rejuvenation. There's a lot of intricacy to the legends and role of hippo goddess in Egyptian culture, but short version: Taweret's myths suggest everything from her being the force behind the flooding of the Nile (an important piece of Egypt's ecological cycle), to being the deity that oversaw the rejuvenation of the dead – i.e., cleansing and purifying souls so that they can pass into the afterlife. Taweret is viewed as both a nurturer and fierce protector, making a her a tricky goddess to deal with.
Obviously, the ending of Moon Knight Episode 4 left Marc Spector and Steven Grant stuck in a place somewhere between life and death. Having Taweret there as a sort of guide and/or judge for what happens to Marc/Steven from here on is fitting – as is the depiction of the deity in a sort of nursemaid guise. But while Taweret looks silly in harmless in her initial meeting with Marc and Steven, it must be remembered that hippos are some of the most dangerous animals around.
Moon Knight is now streaming on Disney+