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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

The Scorpion King: Book of Souls The Scorpion King
Book of Souls
Written by David Alton Hedges & Frank DeJohn
Directed by Don Michael Paul
Released in 2018

Mathayus, now living a life as a simple blacksmith, is prodded to return to his calling as a warrior.


Read the movie synopsis at Wikipedia


Didja Know?


This movie was made as a direct-to-video release in 2018 as The Scorpion King: Book of Souls.


Zach McGowan takes over the role of Mathayus here. Mathayus was last portrayed by Victor Webster in the previous two Scorpion King installments Battle for Redemption and Quest for Power.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this film


King Memtep (mentioned only, deceased)

Anubis (mentioned only)

Nebserek (dies in this movie)

Khensa (dies in this movie)

Priestess Mennofer (dies in this movie)

Scar-faced jackal (unnamed, dies in this movie)


Abel (dies in this movie)

Abel's father

Abel's mother


Balthazar (mentioned only, deceased)


Kali (father of Uruk, mentioned only)

Enkidu (dies in this movie)

Amina (dies in this movie)

King Tarqa (dies in this movie) 


Didja Notice?


The opening narration explains that in ancient Egypt, before the time of the Pharaohs, King Memtep made a covenant with Anubis, lord of the underworld, to create a cursed sword fueled by taking the souls its enemies, with the names of those killed by the sword written in the Book of Souls. Both King Memtep and the Book of Souls appear to be fictitious elements of Egyptian mythology.


The Nubian king Nebserek appears to be a fictitious persona in history.


Nebserek's chief warrior, Khensa, may be based on the historic figure of the Nubian queen of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt who married King Piye, though the Khensa of this film dies as a soldier, not a queen.


Nebserek plunders the Mesopotamian tomb of King Memtep, taking the legendary sword called the Fang of Anubis. The Fang of Anubis appears to be a fictitious object.


As the narrator explains Nebserek's victories and raising of a powerful jackal army, he mentions the remorseless ruler's quest for vengeance against the last Akkadian, Mathayus, and remarks, "But some sleeping giants are better left to their slumber." Likely, the line was inspired by a line from the end of the 1970 film chronicling the U.S. war in the Pacific against the Japanese during WWII, Tora! Tora! Tora!, where the Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto says, in regards to the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."


Much of the writing seen on scrolls and engravings in this movie is similar to cuneiform, which makes sense considering it was adapted in reality to Akkadian writing. Later in the film, Mathayus remarks that the writing on the gateway arch he and Tala find in the desert is Sumerian, "Not so different than the language I learned as a boy." The Sumerian and Akkadian languages and cuneiform script are all related.


Tala explains to Mathayus that her father was Balthazar, king of Nubia, but he is now dead. Balthazar was seen in The Scorpion King.


Priestess Mennofer tells Nebserek that the Book of Souls lies in the Valley of the 13th Moon. This seems to be a fictitious location in Egypt.


On their quest for the Book of Souls, Mathayus and Tala encounter the Black Arrows. This is a fictitious tribe of Egypt.


Uruk is surprised when Mathayus shows mercy to him and his men. Mathayus tells him, "There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy." This is a quote from the New Living Translation of the Bible, the full quote being, "There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you."


The Book of Souls is guarded by the Temple of Scrolls. The Temple of Scrolls is a fictitious monument.


Tala remarks that a blue moon occurs every three years after a summer solstice. In reality, a blue moon can occur every two to three years. Officially, a blue moon is the third of four full moons in a season. Tala later remarks on there being a blue moon seven times in the 19-year Metonic cycle; this is accurate, a Metonic cycle being very close to 19 years and featuring seven blue moons.


Enkidu, the protector of the Book of Souls, seems to have been inspired by the character of Enkidu in the ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, c, 2100 BC. In both cases, Enkidu is a physically powerful artificial being formed from clay. Amina refers to Enkidu as a golem (a creature from Jewish folklore made from clay or mud).


When Amina (herself the Book of Souls) places part of her body into the shaft of light of the blue moon in the Temple of Scrolls, notice that the particles of "dust" in the moon beam are actually in the shapes of cuneiform characters.


At 46:02 on the DVD, Amina is suddenly wearing a bra that is much more concealing of her breasts when she sheds her meager vestments than what was seen under them before!
Anima clothed
Anima unclothed
Anima clothed Anima unclothed


Amina tells Mathayus the Fang of Anubis sword was found in her father's tomb beneath the city of Amonesh. Amonesh appears to be a fictitious ancient city.


Mathayus tells Amina they can hire a boat to Amonesh from the port of Aqaba. Aqaba is a port city on the Red Sea founded in 4000 BC in the country now known as Jordan.


Khensa announces her men will ride the Silk Road to where the dunes meet the sea. The Silk Road was a system of ancient trade routes linking Asia to Europe and nations in between, named for the lucrative trade in silk from China.


At 59:53 on the DVD, Enkidu punches a horse. This may be a swipe from the 1974 comedy western Blazing Saddles which featured a scene of the character Mongo punching out a horse.


At 1:00:36 on the DVD, notice that Enkidu is sitting amongst the rocks, almost camouflaged, on the outskirts of Mathayus, Tala, and Amina's camp and the campfire they have lit.



At 1:08:12 on the DVD, Nebserek kills King Tarqa of Nubia, son of Balthazar, sister of Tala.


As Mathayus and his friends arrive by boat on the beach at 1:11:22 on the DVD, what may be a couple of people on jet skis appear to be floating in the ocean in the distance. They may have been lookee-loos observing the film shoot or may have been members of the film crew placed in the ocean for the safety of the actors or other crew who might fall into the water and get pulled out by the ocean tide. 


At 1:12:06 on the DVD, the two pyramids seen in the ruins of Amonesh are actually the Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Khafre of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids of Giza.

Amonesh pyramids


Amina remarks that the sphinx statue they find in King Memtep's tomb is an androsphinx, a male sphinx, and that they were known as messengers of truth. In Ancient Greek mythology, a sphinx referred to a female of the creature, androsphinx a male. I've not been able to find an indication in either Greek or Egyptian mythology that an androsphinx was considered a messenger of truth. Both types were normally considered guardians.


Amina thought that the great Sumerian mage who raised her was her father, but she learns from the scroll they find inside the sphinx statue that she is actually the daughter of King Memtep.


As Mathayus is held prisoner and sedated by Nebserek's clan, Tala is somehow mystically able to call forth a swarm of scorpions who sting him all over his body. This awakens him and gives him renewed strength, enough for him to free himself from his chains. It would seem the scorpion venom from the stings has revitalized him. In The Scorpion King, he was first poisoned with scorpion venom and Cassandra prophesizes that, if he lives, the blood of the scorpion will always flow through his veins.


Memorable Dialog


power is not given.mp3

some sleeping giants are better left to their slumber.mp3

what do you want from me?.mp3

civilization became too uncivilized.mp3

four men to kill you.mp3

you never tasted pomegranate wine.mp3

the strength of ten men.mp3

I bet you wouldn't sell her.mp3

been looking for you.mp3


there is honor in payback.mp3

the Scorpion King.mp3


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