Anck-Su-Namun was the imperial concubine of Pharaoh Seti I. She began an affair with the High Priest of Osiris, Imhotep, which was forbidden because no other men were allowed to touch her. When the affair was discovered by Seti l, she helped murder him and committed suicide.
Shortly after her death, Imhotep was ordered to, along with his priests, to perform the funeral services of the concubine. It involved casting spells on the corpse that condemned her soul and burying her remains at Hamunaptra. Also, ordering the slaves present to bury the body, and be killed as they were systematically killed by the soldiers present. The soldiers themselves were murdered by the priests so as to ensure that the location of Hamunaptra would remain secret forever. Under the cover of night, Imhotep broke into Anck-Su-Namun’s crypt and stole her body, bringing it to the necropolis Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead. Here, the blasphemous priest used the forbidden Book of the Dead to try and resurrect her, but was unaware that he had been followed by the Medjai. The ritual was interrupted before Anck-Su-Namun’s soul could properly return to her mortal body, and her soul was sent back to the Underworld. As punishment, Imhotep's disciples were to be mummified alive, while Imhotep himself was cursed with the dreaded Hom-Dai, and was buried alive beneath Hamunaptra.
In 1926 A.D., Imhotep was inadvertently brought back by a librarian named Evelyn Carnahan, and set out to reprise the ritual that had been botched so many centuries ago. Imhotep had, the last time, been close to performing the completing the ritual, then needing no sacrifice, but after three thousand years, he needed a human sacrifice that would provide Anck-Su-Namun with fresher flesh. After taking the Book of the Dead, recovering Anck-Su-Namun's five sacred canopic jars, and choosing Evelyn - Nefertiri's reincarnation - as his sacrifice, he recovered Anuk-Su-Namun's body and bound Evelyn by her ankles and wrists to a sacrificial altar within Hamunaptra. After Anck-Su-Namun's spirit and body were reunited, bringing her back to life, Imhotep was about to kill Evelyn with a ceremonial dagger when Evelyn's brother, Jonathan, came into the chamber with the Book of Amun-Ra, the only force capable of killing the High Priest.
As Imhotep stepped forward to catch Jonathan, he set down the dagger and stepped forward, leaving Anck-Su-Namun alone with the dagger; the undead concubine tried to kill Evelyn with the dagger in order to complete her resurrection herself, as well as out of hatred having recognized Evelyn as Nefertiri. As Anck-Su-Namun attempted to kill Evelyn, Jonathan read some incantations from the cover of the Book of Amun-Ra, summoning mummified soldiers, which he commanded to kill Anck-Su-Namun. One of them ran her through the stomach with a spear and the others joined in hacking her mummified body to pieces.
In the years that had passed, Anck-Su-Namun was reincarnated as a woman named Meela Nais, a matriarch millionaire, also a female crime lord who had an unnatural memory spanning to things that no living person could have known. Using this past knowledge to her advantage, Meela assisted a nefarious cult that had the goal of resurrecting Imhotep so as to take control of the powers that were said to come from killing off a fabled figure known as the Scorpion King using an artifact known as the Spear of Osiris.
Enlisting native diggers in Egypt and ordering the cultist group's hired guns to oversee work, the cultists began to probe around the ruins of Hamunaptra, where they would find the mummy and the texts that could bring him back to life. Recovering the Book of the Dead and the Book of Amun-Ra, the cultist group, after having run into a swarm of scarabs which were subdued by the cultist forces, had found the preserved corpse of Imhotep, preserved in a large mass of an amber-like substance. Meela knew at once that the body inside of the mineral was that of her beloved, but her joy was cut short as three grave robbers named Spivey, Red, and Jacques that the cultists had enlisted stepped forward informing the cult leader, Baltus Hafez, that they had come back empty-handed. The Bracelet, the thieves explained, was bound for London.
The cultists headed to London, taking the Black Book of the Dead and the incased Imhotep with them, and with that, they headed to the loading docks of the British Museum of Antiquities, where Hafez performed the rite that brought Imhotep out of the mineral and back to life, as a mummy. Imhotep demanded to know what year it was, and was told by Hafez that the year was 1933, the Year of the Scorpion. That said, Imhotep saw a familiar face walking towards him: Anck-Su-Namun had come back to life as well, in a different form. As Hafez told her to not be frightened, Meela explained that she was not, and explained to Imhotep in Ancient Egyptian that she was Anck-Su-Namun reincarnated, to which Imhotep replied that she was only Anck-Su-Namun in body, but after bringing her soul back from the Underworld, their love would be whole.
Meela then brought Imhotep a gift: Evelyn Carnahan, long since married to Rick O'Connell, the adventurer that had helped to kill Imhotep several years back, tied up: Meela knew that it would please Imhotep to see Evelyn die, and Meela ordered the cultists to drop Evelyn into a flaming stone basin. Rick O'Connell, stopped the killing and, along with Ardeth Bay, fought back against the cultists, escaping with Evelyn. The cultist group had had its own victory, however, kidnapping the son of the O'Connell couple, Alex O'Connell, as Alex had put on the Bracelet of Anubis, rendering himself as a human map that would know the way to reach Ahm Shere. That evening, Meela and Imhotep stood on a balcony, seeing London, when Hafez informed Imhotep that the Spear of Osiris was in the possession of the O'Connell family, but Imhotep replied that it was of no importance, as by the time that they reached Ahm Shere, the residing place of the Scorpion King, his powers would have regenerated enough beyond the need for the Spear. With that, Imhotep brought Meela's memories as Anck-Su-Namun back, putting her into a trance that made the balcony appear to her as the one in her home long ago, and London was made to appear as Thebes. Entranced completely, Meela kissed Imhotep deeply, as she saw Imhotep whole again, rather than decayed; Meela did not see, however, that she was kissing Imhotep not in his human form, but in his decayed mummified state, and that his flesh was rotting away further as he touched her.
Time passed and the cultists boarded a train bound for Karnak, which also transported the three thieves that were hired to retrieve the Bracelet of Anubis. The thieves had been duped into becoming Imhotep's sacrifices, from which he drew their organs and fluids. Imhotep returned to his full state, he kissed Meela deeply, and soon after, stopped to catch Alex, who had attempted to escape. That night, Alex was chained by his ankle and the cultist group had camped in Karnak for the night; Imhotep, however, took Meela to a sacred pool within the temple where he cast the same trance from before on her, linking her with her past life. Meela saw herself once more as Anck-Su-Namun, and relived her past memory of engaging Nefertiri, the Pharaoh's daughter, in a duel: Anck-Su-Namun won the duel as the Pharaoh commended both women's efforts.
The memories went on in her trance until Meela had seen once more how she had died as Anck-Su-Namun, and, deeply in her trance, reenacted it, stabbing herself in the stomach as she had years ago, ending her life as Meela Nais. At that moment, Imhotep, with the Book of the Dead, summoned up Anck-Su-Namun's spirit from the Underworld and brought her back to life within her reincarnated body as the woman that she had been centuries ago.
The next morning, the cultists continued their trek to Ahm Shere by camel, traveling through deserts, and as they rode, Imhotep and Anck-Su-Namun rode side-by-side. The cultists first reached the temple island of Philae, then the statues at Abu Simbel, and finally, a canyon that spanned out of modern Egypt and into Abyssinia, the canyon marked by the Blue Nile. As the cult had traveled, however, they were being followed by Alex's parents, and Imhotep knew it, having seen them travel by means of a dirigible. Imhotep then summoned up a great tidal wave of water with his powers, which caught Anck-Su-Namun, along with the other cultists watching the phenomenon, by surprise. The tidal wave brought down the balloon and its passengers, and Imhotep, assuming that his foes were finished, strode confidently onwards. Within Ahm Shere the cultists had reached the Oasis of Ahm Shere and beheld the remains of soldiers from Julius Caesar's time, along with Napoleon's troops from the previous century, all either in cages or mutilated in appearance.
Imhotep knew that something was coming, but the cultists knew not what to expect, being surprised horribly when they were attacked by skeletal cannibal pygmies. Most of the cultists were killed by the little mummies, save for Imhotep and Anck-Su-Namun, who stood behind her lover as the pygmies kept their distance from him. After some time spent walking through the jungles, Imhotep and Anck-Su-Namun had reached the pyramid; the other cultists had all been killed by the pygmies or by the O'Connell family and their allies, most of whom had also reached the pyramid. As Rick O'Connell and his son had been reunited in the melee, they had run into the pyramid at once, unlocking the Bracelet of Anubis from Alex's wrist. Evelyn came after them, standing outside the pyramid, tired from their rush and relieved that they had made it.
As Evelyn was caught off guard, Anck-Su-Namun snuck up on her and stabbed Evelyn in the stomach with a dagger, killing her. Jonathan tried to help Evelyn by stopping Anck-Su-Namun, but was quickly deterred as Imhotep lifted him by his throat and threw him aside. Anck-su-Namun then walked into the pyramid with Imhotep and sardonically waved hello to Alex as she held the Book of the Dead. Soon as they continued walking into the pyramid, Imhotep stepped onto a platform that was surrounded by two large statues, both of which to stripped him of his immortality, taking away his powers. Imhotep stated that the god Anubis had taken his powers, wishing him to face the Scorpion King as a mortal. However, Imhotep was firm in his decision to fight the Scorpion King all the same. Anck-Su-Namun begged him not to go; Imhotep insisted that he could win the fight without his powers, reminding Anck-Su-Namun that if he died, she must bring him back with the Book of the Dead. Anck-Su-Namun forbids this, saying she could not bear the heartache of losing him again. He kissed her as a distraction, then proceeded forth to face the Scorpion King as Anck-Su-Namun screamed after to him in despair.
After Anck-Su-Namun had waited for some time, however, she found herself face to face with Jonathan Carnahan, who decided to fist-fight her in order to "teach her a lesson"; Jonathan was actually distracting Anck-Su-Namun from watching over the Book of the Dead and its key, which she had left behind as she fought Jonathan off, punching him hard. His nephew Alex, stole the Book and its key, using them to restore his mother to life. As the two fought, Anck-Su-Namun took a pair of twin blades from a nearby statue and slashed Jonathan in the chest. Anck-Su-Namun was about to kill Jonathan when the newly revived Evelyn intervened, shaking her off before sending Jonathan and Alex to find Rick. Evelyn and Anck-Su-Namun fought as they had centuries ago, but Evelyn employed her fighting skills acquired in her current life as well as those from her past life; having been quickly struck with wounding blows, Anck-Su-Namun realized that Evelyn had surpassed her and fled. After some time had passed, both women heard that their loved ones were doing battle with the Scorpion King and ran to see the outcome of the fight. Rick managed to stab the Scorpion King with the Spear of Osiris, but the following explosion knocked Rick and Imhotep into a pit overlooking Hell.
Betrayal and final Death
Evelyn and Anck-Su-Namun watched as their lovers called for them. Rick urged Evelyn to take Alex and Jonathan and flee, but she rushed to help her husband, regardless of the falling rocks. Imhotep called for Anck-Su-Namun's aid as he hung onto the ledge of the pit for dear life, but not wanting to die after finally being resurrected successfully, Anck-Su-Namun fled, proving that their love for each other was not as strong as the love between Rick and Evelyn. Imhotep, devastated, then looked at Evelyn and Rick before he let go willingly and fell to his death inside the pit, ending the two lovers' bond for eternity. However, as she fled, Anck-Su-Namun's escape route was blocked off by another falling rock. She ran to find another route, but found herself standing over a pit filled with scorpions, which panicked and swarmed as their king, the Scorpion King, had been defeated. Anck-Su-Namun panicked and lost her balance, falling into the pit where she met her final demise when the scorpions suffocated and stung her.
Anck-Su-Namun was considered so beautiful that, in ancient times, men always turned to behold her regardless of their respective positions in life: she had long, glossy black hair, an olive complexion, barefoot, and a slim but voluptuous physique. As Pharaoh's concubine, she was most frequently seen nude with only coats of gold and black body paint as cover - not as a personal choice, but as a security measure taken by the Pharaoh Seti I to ensure that no other man could touch her without leaving proof.
In ancient times, Anck-Su-Namun was Seti's bodyguard as well as his mistress and was also Princess Nefertiri's dueling instructor. She had a preference for dual daggers, but was extremely skilled with spears and staves as well, and was more than competent in unarmed combat when the need arose.
As Meela Nais, Anck-Su-Namun seemed to retain few of her combat skills, relying on psychological manipulation, threats, hired muscle, and even snakes to get what she wants. She regained her martial prowess when Imhotep reunited her original soul with Meela's body.
Personality and Traits
A beautiful woman who was not above breaking rules to attain what she wanted, Anck-Su-Namun was haughty, scornful, and more than capable of pathos and manifested it most when in the presence of Imhotep, whom she loved passionately. Through her resurrected form, Meela Nais, Anck-Su-Namun exhibited many of her traits of old, namely her haughty, near vain manner and her callousness towards others except for Imhotep. This callousness could and would often progress to outright cruelty and viciousness, driven almost exclusively towards those that dissented against her.
It is easy and possible to feel some sympathy for Anck-Su-Namun: in life, the man she truly loved was unattainable due to her being the Pharaoh's concubine and property, and she later died a brave and defiant death by her very own hand. However, her ultimate betrayal of Imhotep at the moment where he needed her most contrasts the darkness of her soul to the blinding brightness of Evelyn's, making it obvious that she actually deserves no true sympathy, as the one whom she loved most was ultimately her own self. This also proved that she had no love for Imhotep when he really needed it.
The Mummy: The Animated Series
Like in the films, Anck-Su-Namun and Imhotep were lovers, however, she was not involved in him being mummified but rather he was cursed to this fate after attempting to steal the Manacle of Osiris. After her resurrection, she also possessed magical powers similar to those of Imhotep. Prior to her own demise, Anck-Su-Namun was chosen to accompany Princess Nefertiri in placing the Scythe of Anubis in the Temple of Anubis for safe-keeping, the Princess not realizing at that time that she couldn't be trusted. Anck-Su-Namun later betrayed Nefertiri's father and killed her, for which she earned the nickname Viper. For this, vipers were carved into her sarcophagus after her death. She was described as the most dangerous woman in the world.
When the Lake of Eternity appeared during its 5000-year cycle, Imhotep took her corpse and traveled to the Lake to resurrect her. Despite the efforts of the O'Connells and Ardeth Bay, Anck-Nu-Samun was brought back to life, and attacked them, personally dueling Evelyn O'Connell for fun. Before she could finish her off, however, Imhotep scooped her and Colin Weasler away to safety, seeing that the Lake was about to disappear.
Desiring the Scythe of Anubis, Imhotep asked her to reveal its location. When they reached the Temple and found the Scythe, however, Anck-Su-Namun knew that Imhotep would force her into being subservient to him and betrayed him, taking the Scythe for herself. The O'Connells and Ardeth gave chase where Evelyn, whose body was currently under the control of Princess Nefertiri's mind due to after-effects of the waters from the Lake, fought her. Nefertiri eventually brought a large statue of Anubis to life, which dragged the Scythe and Anck-Su-Namun, who refused to let go of her prize, into the Underworld.
Escape from the Underworld
Through unknown means, Anck-Su-Namun escaped the Underworld and appeared in Thailand, where she obtained the Ring of Sukhothai, which allowed her to drain others of their youth and life force. Despite her mummified and ancient state, she still possessed her magical abilities as seen in her previous dealings. Her first victim was Jane Sherman, friend, and co-worker of Evelyn O'Connell, who happened to be in the area studying ruins. Anck-Su-Namun stole her youth and left her for others to find, believing that a rescue team would be summoned to investigate.
Much to her satisfaction, the O'Connells are sent to investigate. Bringing nearby totems to life and summoning bat-like creatures to subdue them, she first steals some of Rick's youth before Alex intervenes to prevent her stealing anymore. By this time, however, Anck-Su-Namun starts to regain her human appearance, albeit still wrinkly and older-looking. She manages to steal Evelyn and Jonathan's youth, turning them both extremely old, by which time she has now managed to revert back to her youthful appearance as seen in their previous encounter. When she touches Alex, however, the Manacle shields his life energy from her, causing the energies from that and the ring to rebound in all directions and knocking her back. However, she reveals that the ring is capable of transferring the Manacle's powers into her body, allowing her to become even more powerful. However, during one of their struggles, the others use mirrors to reflect the energy discharges back to allow them to hit her, knocking her out temporarily. Alex uses this crucial moment to destroy the ring, reversing all previous effects and turning Anck-Su-Namun back into the mummified corpse seen when she first appeared, swearing that she'll return to enact revenge before turning to dust and being taken back to the Underworld.
Doomed to the Underworld
Imhotep and Colin Weasler later travel to Duat to raise an army using the Medallion of the Medjai. Whilst passing through one of the corridors, they find Anck-Su-Namun trapped within a wall. She calls them over and smiles at the thought of them freeing her, however Imhotep responds that they did not come there to free her. Remembering their previous encounter, he tells her that everyone makes their own destiny and to enjoy her's before walking away, much to her extreme dismay, leaving her to scream out in sadness at the thought of her being trapped forever.
The Mummy The Animated Series
Behind the Scenes
The source of her name is most likely taken from that of Queen Ankhesenamun, daughter of Queen Nefertiti and Pharaoh Akhenaten and Great Royal Wife to her well-known half-brother Tutankhamun.