The prologue opens in the desert oasis of Ahm Shere, which first
appeared in The Mummy Returns;
it is the home of the Temple of Anubis, where the Scorpion King is
held, awaiting an
Arising from the dead once again, the Scorpion King pulls the Spear
of Osiris from his chest. Rick O'Connell thrust the spear into him
(for the time-being) in The
Page 2 describes the Scorpion King's skull as being exposed, but he
seemed to have a full skin-and-flesh covered head in
The Mummy Returns.
Page 3 reveals that many men have entered the pyramid in Ahm Shere
over the millennia, but none had made it out alive until the
O'Connell party in
Chapter 1 opens south of Aswan. Aswan is a city in southern Egypt on
the east bank of the Nile.
Page 6 reveals that Alex has had a recurring dream,
for the past four years,
from the approaching dawn
into the Temple of Anubis
with the Bracelet of Anubis on his wrist, to escape the prophecy of
death for he who wears it. He lived this scene in
Page 8 reveals that Alex is now 12 years old. This goes in hand with
his having been 8 years old in
Mummy Returns (1933), as described in that film (even
though Rick and Evie only first met in 1926 (in
The Mummy), so the boy should be
year younger in both cases).
The four novels of
The Mummy Chronicles seem to suggest that the
O'Connells are currently living in Egypt, rather than London,
England as seen in
Mummy Returns. Page 8 reveals that Rick and Evie often
leave Alex in the care of Ardeth Bay when they are away and the
Medjai has begun training the boy to be a Medjai himself when he
becomes an adult.
Page 9 reveals that Rick and Evie are in England for three weeks as
she presents a paper to the Bembridge scholars.
Page 9 also reveals that Ardeth has sent Alex on his Mushwar Wa,
the lone walk, a solo trek through the desert that is one of the
many rites of passage for those in training to be Medjai. As far as
I can find, the
trial of endurance was made up for the story, not based on an
Page 10 uses the word "suffragis" for Egyptian servants of the
Germans. Possibly the word is Egyptian, but I've been unable to
On page 14, the tomb raiders salute a German Kommandant and bark, "Heil
Hitler!" This is "Hail Hitler!" in German and was often spoken
as part of the Nazi salute during Adolf Hitler's reign over Germany
On page 17, Alex reflects that Ardeth told him that most Egyptian
mummies were actually slaves in life. This is largely true, most of
the mummies found in royal Egyptian tombs were the servants of the
Also on page 17, Alex tries to remember the last word of a spell
taught to him by Ardeth meant to put mummies to sleep. Alex's
struggle to remember the last word is a touchback to similar scenes
The Mummy (by Jonathan) and
Mummy Returns (by Alex himself) when reading from the Book of the Dead.
Trying to remember the last word of the spell, Alex wishes he had
his Budge's Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian. This is likely
a reference to Sir E.A. Wallis Budge (1857-1934), an Egyptologist
who wrote many books on ancient Egypt and the deciphering of
hieroglyphics, though none with the title of
Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian
as far as I can find.
On page 20, a German cries "Ein saboteur!" This is German for "A
Page 21 describes Alex's camel, Stinkwad, as being hobbled nearby.
"Hobble", in this case, means to tie a short length of rope between
the legs of an animal to prevent free motion.
The book seems to hint that German tomb robber Zorin Ungricht has
mystically sacrificed his soul at some time in the past.
Two of the Nazis appearing in the book are called only Commandant R.
and General H. Possibly these are meant to be references to Lt.
Colonel (at the time) Erwin Rommel and Reichsführer-SS (leader of
the German secret police) Heinrich Himmler. Why author Wolverton
chose not use full names is a mystery.
Alex and Rachel ride out from Aswan in the evening and reach the
valley of Ahm Shere near dawn. This would suggest that Ahm Shere is
located only about a 12-hour camel ride from Aswan.
Page 30 mentions the ankh, the ancient Egyptian symbol of eternal
life. This was an actual ancient Egyptian symbol.
Page 30 also describes the great Sphinx of Giza as being referred to
as Abu el Hol in Arabic (Father of Terror). This is true.
Page 31 describes the headquarters of the French Foreign Legion as
being in the city of Sidi Bel Abbès, Algeria. This was true at the
time. Since 1962, the Legion has been headquartered in Aubagne,
Menaced by a cobra on page 34, Alex whispers "mer-segrit", which is
described as an ancient Egyptian greeting for soothing a cobra. This
is a reference to an Egyptian serpent-headed goddess called
Mer-segrit, who was also described as a lover of silence.
Page 34 reveals that Jonathan had sold the giant diamond he stole
from the top of the Temple of Anubis in
Mummy Returns to a wealthy couple in Oxford, England. The
end of the movie had hinted that Jonathan and Izzy would be
co-owners of the diamond, but no mention is made here of whether
Izzy received any profit from the sale.
Page 37 describes the army of mummies as carrying ancient bronze
swords. This would be correct since the Scorpion King existed during
the Bronze Age, before known civilizations had learned to smelt iron
for making tools and weapons.
On page 43, a mummy threatens to rip out Alex's living guts and feed
them to the Eater of Souls. This is a reference to the ancient
Egyptian female demon Ammit, who had a body that was made up of
crocodile, lion, and hippopotamus. In Egyptian theology, when a
person died, their heart was weighed by Anubis for purity and if it
was found wanting, it would be fed to Ammit, denying the person's
soul the completion of the journey to Osiris and immortality.
Alex finds that he can somehow understand the language of the
underworld on page 43 (and through the rest of the book). It's never
explained how this happened and this page seems to indicate that
even Alex himself does not know.
Pages 58-59 refer to a desert area called Desh-ret, described as
"the red lands". This seems to be a general term used to describe
the deserts of the Sahara.
This book reveals that Ardeth has taught Alex several spells that
prove useful in summoning help or thwarting mystical menaces. Why
have we never seen Ardeth use them himself in any of the stories of
the Mummy series?
On page 64, Commandant R. shouts, "Angriff! Angriff!" This
is German for "Attack!"
On page 65, the pygmy zombie called Foot Rot insults Alex by calling
him a "nasty little dung beetle." Normally, this wouldn't seem to be
an appropriate epithet from an ancient Egyptian since they
worshipped the dung beetle as a symbol of the death and rebirth of
the human soul. However, since Egypt is not known to have ever had
native pygmies, the pygmies of Ahm Shere were probably slaves
brought from other places on the African continent where,
presumably, the dung beetle was not looked upon with such favor.
On page 74, Alex recalls a story told him by his mother about how
people in the Victorian era of England (1837-1901) would often
unwrap mummies at Christmas to search for antique trinkets on the
bodies. This is true and the practice did not necessarily have to be
at Christmas; they would hold special unwrapping parties at any time
Page 78 describes Alex and Rachel riding into the Ramlat el Kebir,
the Great Sea of Sand. I've not been able to find a real world
Ramlat el Kebir, but there is the Gilf El Kebir region west
of Aswan that is referred to as
the Great Sea of Sand. "Ramlat el Kebir" essentially means "Sand
Barrier" in Arabic.
On page 97, Alex comments to Rachel that the museum that his mother
worked at for years was swarming with mummies. This is a reference
to the mummy fight at
the British Museum in
On page 101, the mummies are calling out, "Heru, Heru!" This is
probably a reference to Heru-ur, Horus the Elder.
Horus was the god of the sky and of protection; he was the son of
the original Egyptian gods, Osiris and Isis.
Page 104 describes a room in the Temple of Anubis containing a
sacrificial altar as the Holy of Holies. The term "Holy of Holies"
is borrowed from the Old Testament and originally refers to a room
in a Jewish temple which was said to hold the Ark of the Covenant.
The term has since been borrowed by writers to refer to a Most Holy
Place in various other religions.
On page 107, General H.'s soul is captured in two canopic jars in
the form of two black cobras that slither from his nose during the
soul-sacrifice ceremony. I've been unable to confirm whether cobras
were considered symbolic of human souls in ancient Egyptian theology
or if it was simply made up by the author as a creepy way for a Nazi
to dispense with his soul. If General H. is intended to be Heinrich
Himmler as speculated above, then it would imply that Himmler fought
WWII and lived the rest of his life without a soul.
On page 109, General H. shouts "Sieg Heil!" This is German
for "Hail Victory!"
On page 113, the Scorpion King's deadly tail stinger is said to be
oozing green venom. I've been unable to confirm the actual color of
On page 114, Alex hears a Medjai shout, "Allah yisallihmak!"
"Allah" is Arabic for "God", but I've been unable to translate "yisallihmak".
On page 117, General H. shouts, "Meine seele!" This is
German for "My soul!"
On page 121, Ardeth reveals that some evils never die and the
Scorpion King is one of them.
On page 124, Ardeth gives Alex his dagger, which he claims once
belonged to Saladin himself. Saladin (1137-1193) was a Muslim sultan
who ruled Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Kurdistan, Hejaz, and Yemen
On page 127, Rick says he was worried that Alex would be bored to
death staying with Ardeth while they were gone and Ardeth replies,
"You underestimate me, O'Connell. Have you forgotten our two
adventures together?" The novelist is obviously counting only
The Mummy and
Mummy Returns, but there is also the third adventure
"Valley of the Gods".
Page 127 reveals that Evie has been offered a teaching position by
the Bembridge scholars and the family is moving back to London.
Page 129 reveals that Alex has never wanted to live anywhere but in
Page 130 reveals that Alex possesses a piece of crumbling stone from
the Scorpion King's temple.
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