|This article is about the High Priest of Osiris. You may be looking for the soundtrack theme, "Imhotep".|
|“||Know this: this creature is the Bringer of Death; he will never eat, he will never sleep, he will never stop.||”|
–Ardeth Bay to Rick O'Connell, The Mummy
Imhotep was an ancient Egyptian priest, the high-priest of Osiris, and the adviser to Seti I. For his crimes of murdering the Pharaoh and using dark magic from the book of the dead, Imhotep was executed with mummification, becoming the only known person to be cursed with the Hom-Dai, the evilest of all ancient curses.
Imhotep was brought back in the first Mummy; this, in turn, gave him the desire to devour human flesh and the intent to spread evil and corruption throughout the world. Imhotep's intentions to rule the Earth turned towards the direction of taking over the command of the Army of Anubis or in the animated series, coveting an ancient text of powers called the Scrolls of Thebes.
- 1 Early Life and Curse
- 2 Resurrection
- 3 Found Again
- 4 Revival
- 5 Journey to Ahm Shere
- 6 Reaching Ahm Shere
- 7 Posthumous
- 8 Biography (The Mummy: The Animated Series)
- 9 Personality and Traits
- 10 Powers and Abilities
- 11 Appearances
- 12 Behind the Scenes
- 13 Trivia
Early Life and Curse
Imhotep was born in Egypt and eventually assumed the position of High Priest of Osiris, and carried out his position effectively, becoming the trusted adviser and close confidant of Seti I, along with being the Grand Vizier to Zozer, and by 1280 B.C, Imhotep designed and oversaw the construction of the temple of Amun Ra, even devising the means of moving the large bricks of the pyramids.
Despite his position, Imhotep lived out a great secret: the mistress of the Pharaoh, Anck-Su-Namun, was the love of Imhotep, and they took precautions to keep their romance a secret. He attended on many occasions with the Pharaoh, including a sparring match between Anck-Su-Namun and Nefertiri, the daughter of the Pharaoh. Nefertiri lost the fight to Anck-Su-Namun, and was embraced by her father. There, Nefertiri witnessed a moment of presumed romance between Imhotep and Anck-Su-Namun; something that would become more than clear later on.
One night, Nefertiri looked across from her balcony at Anck-Su-Namun's home and noticed Imhotep coming to Anck-Su-Namun, where they shared a passionate kiss. Imhotep and his beloved spoke to assassinate the Pharaoh so they could finally live together. Anck-Su-Namun chose freedom, wherein they gave into passion by having another shared kiss, however as he was embracing her, Imhotep gripped Anck-Su-Namun's arm close, smearing the gold paint on her body. Seti soon arrived and realized that Anck-Su-Namun had been touched by another. As Seti turned around, he came face-to-face with Imhotep, who took his sword right from under him. Anck-Su-Namun took this opportunity to stab Seti in the back, before Imhotep partook in the slaughter. Horrified at what she was witnessing, Nefertiri alerted Seti's faithful guards, the Medjai, who stormed the residence. With only moments left to leave, Imhotep still refused to leave Anck-Su-Namun, but his priests scurried him away to safety, wherein he promised to resurrect Anck-Su-Naman, watching in horror as his lover stabbed herself to death in front of the Medjai.
Sometime later, Imhotep and his priests stole Anck-Su-Namun's body and brought it to Hamunaptra in order to resurrect her. He entered the city's lower chambers to do so, bringing along his priests to aid him. Imhotep read from the Book of the Dead and called his lover's soul out of the Underworld. Unfortunately, the Medjai, who had followed them, intervened and stopped Imhotep before he could complete the ritual, forcing Anck-Su-Namun's soul to return to the Underworld.
Imhotep's priests were mummified alive and buried inside the walls of the city. Imhotep meanwhile was forced to suffer the Hom Dai, a legendary curse that granted the victim eternal suffering as an undead revenant yet also bestowed them unholy powers and control over the Ten Plagues of Egypt. His tongue was cut out, he was bound tight in wrappings, and as he was placed inside a sarcophagus, carnivorous scarab beetles were poured onto his body, which would feed on his body over many years. His sarcophagus was buried at the feet of a statue of Anubis, and from that day forward, the Medjai were tasked with preventing anyone from setting foot in Hamunaptra, fearing Imhotep's return.
|“||He was to remain sealed within his Sarcophagus, the Undead for all of eternity. The Medjai would never allow him to be released, for he would arise a walking disease, a plague upon mankind, an unholy flesh eater with the strength of ages, power over the sands, and the glory of invincibility.||”|
Imhotep remained imprisoned in Hamanaptra for three thousand years, sealed inside his sarcophagus, until in 1926, three treasure-seekers: Richard O'Connell, Jonathan Carnahan, and Evelyn Carnahan, came to Hamunaptra, hoping to find treasures. Imhotep's chamber was located at the base of the statue of Anubis. Meanwhile, another treasure-seeking party including Dr. Allen Chamberlain, Bernard Burns, Isaac Henderson, David Daniels and their guide Beni Gabor came across a compartment above that contained the Book of the Dead. With the chest opened, these four men would be killed by Imhotep should he ever return from the dead.
|“||Is he supposed to look like that?
No, I've never seen a mummy look like this before, he's still...still...
–Richard O'Connell, Jonathan Carnahan, and Evelyn Carnahan upon finding the remains of Imhotep., The Mummy
Imhotep's sarcophagus was opened using the same key the Medjai had attempted to take from Evelyn on the boat during their journey there. With it finally pried open, Imhotep's body burst out of the coffin, being stuck popped outstanding, frightening all three of the treasure-seekers. They were surprised at what they saw; Imhotep's body was still "juicy" even after over three thousand years of decomposition. The group then examined the sarcophagus, finding markings made from fingernails, and among them was a message, which read, "death is only the beginning".
That night of Imhotep's discovery, Evelyn was taken over by her own curiosities about the Book of the Dead. She took the book from Dr. Chamberlain as he slept. Evelyn headed back to her campsite and examined the book before reading it. Reading aloud to O'Connell, he asked her what the hieroglyphs meant, and she began to read. Unbeknownst to either of them, the words she spoke from the book caused the mummy below to awaken, roaring. Dr. Chamberlain awoke at once and screamed out to Evelyn that she must not read from the Book.
Suddenly, a swarm of locusts came from the horizon and engulfed the campsites, forcing a number of the explorers and diggers to the underground tunnels. The first plague had arrived. In their haste in escaping the locusts, one of the Americans, Bernard Burns, tripped and fell in the tunnels with his glasses being knocked off and stomped on accidentally by his guide Beni Gabor. Not stopping to help Bernard back up, Beni ran after the others, leaving Bernard to stumble along the corridors essentially blind.
Imhotep made his way around the underground chambers, despite his own eyes and tongue having rotted away over the centuries. Upon finding Bernard in the corridors, Imhotep used his powers to forcibly remove Bernard's eyes and tongue. The curses, meanwhile, continued in the form of frogs. On their way through the corridors, O'Connell, Jonathan, and Evelyn were running for their lives from a large number of scarabs that erupted from the floor. As they ran through the corridors, Evelyn had lost O'Connell and Jonathan, and fell through a secret entrance. The entrance had led Evelyn to Bernard, who had now lost his eyes and tongue and was reduced to pain and shock. Before she could make her way out, Imhotep stepped out of the shadows, causing Evelyn to shriek in horror at the sight of the reanimated mummy. Imhotep stepped closer, squinting at her, believing her to be his long-lost lover Anck-Su-Namun; Having stolen Bernard's eyes, Imhotep's eyesight was faulty. He then extended his hand to her, telling her to come with him.
O'Connell quickly ran into the chamber to retrieve Evelyn, and had a moment of shock when he saw the mummy. Jonathan, Henderson, and Daniels then entered the chamber at that moment, equally startled. Looking back to O'Connell, Imhotep released a great roar, unhinging his jaws and stretching out his decayed body; O'Connell reciprocated by mocking the gesture and blasting the mummy with his shotgun. Running from the chamber at once, Imhotep emerged once again, angrier, having recovered from the mortal weapon.
While the Medjai and the expedition headed straight for Cairo, Beni had gotten lost in the underground passages, and was separated from the others. Trapped in a chamber and hearing strange sounds, Beni turned and found himself face-to-face with a snarling Imhotep. In terror, Beni attempted to use a variety of different religious charms and trinkets, praying in their respective tongue in an effort to protect himself from the advancing mummy, including a crucifix, a Khanda, and a Buddhist symbol, all of which had no effect on the mummy, who was stepping forward to throttle Beni to death. Imhotep raised his hand, ready to kill him. Beni then used his last icon, the Star of David, and began to pray in Hebrew. Imhotep stepped back, recognizing the language of the former slaves, and decided to enlist Beni as his servant, offering gold as well as immunity to his wrath in return for servitude. Beni humbly accepted the mummy as his master; Imhotep then brandished the broken canopic jar from before and demanded to know where the other jars are.
Agreeing to help him find them, the Hungarian then took his new master to Cairo, where the entire expedition sought refuge after the recent disturbing events. Imhotep had reached Cairo with Beni's help by means of disguising himself as a prince in black garments, complete with a mask to hide his face. The plan set forth was that Imhotep would remain in disguise so that he could enter Mr Burns' residence without being discovered. He first went after the now blind Bernard Burns, under the pretenses of being a bidder seeking Burns' canopic jar. During the meeting, Beni revealed to Burns that Imhotep's intent was to take the rest of Burns' organs and fluids, and Imhotep did so by first removing his mask, revealing his rotted face.
As Imhotep finished off the American, the next plagues from his curse occurred outside, as the waters of Egypt turned red with blood and the skies rained hail and fire. Imhotep let out a great roar that was heard by the people outside. O'Connell and Evelyn had heard the roar and rushed to Burns' quarters to investigate. As they entered, they saw that Burns had been killed, reduced to a shriveled husk of a man. They then saw Imhotep standing in front of the fireplace as his flesh and muscles regenerated itself, creeping up his dried bones. O'Connell, along with Jonathan and the remaining Americans, opened fire on the corpse as he walked forward. The shots did nothing to Imhotep, who then shoved O'Connell through the air, throwing him into the other men.
Subsequently, Imhotep walked towards Evelyn, cornering her into a wall as he spoke to her, calling her "Anck-Su-Namun" and thanking her for freeing him from the Underworld. Upon telling her this, Imhotep leaned in towards Evelyn and was about to kiss her, when Cleo, Evelyn's white cat, stepped onto the keys of a piano, getting Imhotep's attention. This scared off Imhotep, who shrieked in fear and left the room by turning himself into a small sandstorm as his means of escape.
After Imhotep had consumed Burns, his next victim was to be Dr. Allen Chamberlain, the expedition's Egyptologist, who was running from Fort Brydon through the streets of Cairo in an attempt to escape, all while not knowing that Imhotep was tracking him. After some time, Imhotep had finally caught the Egyptologist and killed him in front of the townspeople of Cairo. He had now regenerated into a partially decayed, chalky white appearance that contrasted to his previous rotted form. Imhotep then plucked a canopic jar and the Book of the Dead from Chamberlain's death grip. After taking those two artifacts, Imhotep opened his mouth to an inhuman size, expelling thousands of flies that covered the townspeople and swarmed all over the city as Imhotep made his way calmly through the streets.
Soon after, while O'Connell, Jonathan, and Daniels were out of sight, Imhotep had breached Fort Brydon and killed off Henderson by swarming into the room that Henderson was in by means of a sandstorm, having grown more powerful over his first two kills. He robbed Henderson of his organs and fluids, and flung his body across the room as he materialized. He had now regenerated further, almost fully restored, save for two spots on his neck and cheek. A scarab scurried out of the hole in his neck, only to be chewed up when it reached the hole in Imhotep's face.
At that point, Imhotep had entered Evelyn's room as she slept by slipping through the keyhole as sand. Coming close to her bed, he mused on Evelyn being Anck-Su-Namun, and kissed her full on the lips, unknowing that her touch was actually corrupting his regenerated flesh. As his face rotted away, and Evelyn woke up screaming, O'Connell and Jonathan burst through the door, O'Connell commanding Imhotep to take his face away from Evelyn. Imhotep growled angrily and uttered a phrase in ancient Egyptian, as O'Connell pulled out Cleo, Evelyn's cat, once more and Imhotep exited once again from the room like a cloud of sand.
Now even stronger than before, Imhotep had used his powers to create a great fog of green gas that first caused the citizens of Cairo to choke, gain painful boils and sores, then become his slaves now bent to Imhotep's will. At that point, Imhotep had his newly acquired slaves march through the town, chanting his name in a tranced manner. Imhotep then ordered the slaves to break open the doors of the Cairo Museum, where O'Connell, Evelyn, Jonathan, and Daniels had hidden along with Ardeth Bay, the chieftain of the Medjai, and Dr Terence Bey, the museum curator. Beni had alerted his master to the escape of the resisters, and Imhotep then ordered his minions to attack them. The resisters had escaped from the library, attempting to leave the city in Jonathan's car, until the slaves had caught up with them and taken down Daniels, who had been found by Imhotep. Calmly striding up to Daniels, Imhotep looked at the American with a pleased look as Daniels shuddered in fear. In the last effort, Daniels pulled out his canopic jar, which only led to Imhotep roaring in response and killing Daniels, taking his organs and fluids in the process.
Soon after, Imhotep's slaves had cornered the resisters in one spot as Imhotep himself calmly strode towards the group, fully regenerated. Speaking to Evelyn, he bade her come with him, telling her that if she did, he would spare her friends. Imhotep's true intent was to use Evelyn as a sacrifice in order to bring his lover back from the dead. Evelyn was left with no choice but to step go with Imhotep. O'Connell was about to stop her when Evelyn reminded him that Imhotep still had to perform the ritual, which would buy them time; Evelyn then left with Imhotep as O'Connell swore to the mummy that he would see him again. Imhotep then went back on his word and ordered O'Connell and the others to be killed.
O'Connell, Ardeth Bay, and Jonathan escaped into a manhole, but Terrence sacrificed himself, keeping the slaves at bay. Returning to Hamunaptra the next day, Imhotep appeared in the Sahara desert with Evelyn and Beni, neither of which remembered when they had ended up in the desert. Imhotep then heard a loud engine sound and looked up into the sky to see an airplane, carrying O'Connell, Jonathan, Ardeth Bay, and their pilot Winston Havelock.
Summoning up the sands of the desert with his powers, Imhotep conjured a great sandstorm that chased after the biplane over the sandy crater where the ruins were located. The cloud then took on the face of Imhotep himself, which smiled menacingly at the plane and its passengers before opening its mouth to engulf the plane in a flash of sand. Evelyn protested against this, but Imhotep did not hear, concentrating instead on the sandstorm. To distract his attention from killing her friends, Evelyn rushed up to Imhotep and kissed him full on the lips, breaking his concentration and causing the sands to ebb. The plane, however, had overheated and crashed to the ground. Imhotep, believing his adversaries to be defeated, calmly strode off towards the ruins.
Once inside the ruins, Imhotep began preparing the resurrection ceremony. He then heard a gunshot echo from the halls, making him realize that O'Connell and his friends had survived the crash.
Imhotep reached into the broken canopic jar that once had held Anck-Su-Namun's heart and pulled out the desiccated organ, holding it in his hand before crushing it into dust and blowing it against a stone mural of two priests. Muttering an incantation, Imhotep brought the stone priests to life; the priests in the mural were two of his priests from ancient times who had been mummified alive by being encased within the walls. Imhotep gave them the order to kill O'Connell and the others and awaken the other priests. Imhotep began the ritual, tying up Evelyn while placing Anck-Su-Namun's mummified body next to her's, and summoning up his priests to begin the incantations.
Imhotep read from the Book of the Dead as the soul of Anck-Su-Namun emerged once again from the Underworld and merged back into her mummified remains, and came back to life. Imhotep then lifted a ceremonial dagger and proclaimed that as Evelyn died, his lover would live, and he would be invincible. As he was about to stab Evelyn with the dagger, he was interrupted by Jonathan, who had found the Golden Book of Amun-Ra, which Imhotep quickly acknowledged.
O'Connell managed to sneak himself into the chamber and caught Imhotep's priests by surprise, taking them down in droves with a golden sword taken from a nearby statue. Witnessing his priests being taken down, Imhotep then saw that Jonathan had summoned a number of mummified soldiers, which Imhotep then commanded to kill O'Connell.
As the soldiers were about to finish off O'Connell, Jonathan managed to finish reading the inscriptions that brought them to life, stopping them and leaving them motionless. Jonathan then commanded them to kill Anck-Su-Namun. As they marched towards Anck-Su-Namun, Imhotep angrily walked towards Jonathan to take the book away. But Imhotep was too late to save her, and he could only watch in horror as the soldiers stabbed and speared Anck-Su-Namun to death. He attempted to exact his revenge by choking Jonathan, which O'Connell halted by slicing off Imhotep's right arm with the sword. Imhotep grabbed O'Connell and flung him across the room. Reattaching his arm, Imhotep then proceeded to throw O'Connell a second time, before seizing him by the throat.
He was about to kill O'Connell, opening his mouth inhumanly wide. Before he could, however, Evelyn opened the Golden Book of Amun-Ra and read an inscription that summoned the god Anubis, who soared in on a ghostly chariot and stripped Imhotep of his immortality. Enraged at what had happened, Imhotep stepped forward to kill O'Connell, but was stabbed in the stomach, and instead of being unharmed, he was mortally wounded.
Stunned at what had happened, Imhotep staggered backward into a black pool, where various souls began to pull him down. His regenerated flesh began to rot away as he spoke his final words, the words that he had scratched into his sarcophagus thousands of years before:
|“||Death is only the beginning.||”|
–Imhotep, The Mummy
Years after the High Priest had been killed, his remains had stayed in Hamunaptra, where a cultist group bent on world domination had set out to find him. The cult maintained that the Scorpion King, an ancient warlord that had been cursed by the god Anubis and given an army that conquered the land long ago, was the key to conquering the world; if he was killed, whoever killed him would gain control of his army and be able to either use it to destroy mankind or to send it back to the Underworld.
The cult had headed to the City of the Dead in the hopes of finding Imhotep's remains, as they believed that Imhotep was the only one that could best the Scorpion King. The cult had enlisted a large number of native diggers to excavate the ruins and find Imhotep. Before the High Priest was found, the Book of the Dead and the Book of the Living were recovered, both being held by the cultists, and with the two texts the cultists had also found a large blue-and-gold urn that contained the remains of Imhotep's servants. In time, the cultists succeeded in finding Imhotep, encased in a large chunk of amber-like material. The remains were taken to London, where the cultists sought out the next piece vital to defeating the Scorpion King: the Bracelet of Anubis.
The remains of Imhotep were taken to the British Museum to be brought back to life by reading from the Book of the Dead, a ritual performed by the museum curator and cultist leader, Baltus Hafez. The cult had dispatched several thugs to retrieve the Bracelet of Anubis, believed to be in the possession of Richard O'Connell and his wife Evelyn, who, since they had last encountered Imhotep, had been married and had a son, Alexander O'Connell. The cultist group, led by the cult enforcer, Lock-Nah had dueled with Evelyn O'Connell and Ardeth Bay, the Medjai chieftain, in the O'Connell home to obtain the Bracelet; emerging victorious with Evelyn as their prisoner and the chest that contained the Bracelet as their prizes.
Imhotep remained inside of the chunk of mineral as Hafez performed the rite that would bring Imhotep back to life within the British Museum. The final incantations were read, and Imhotep broke free of the mineral, roaring fiercely as the rotted flesh surrounding his skull crept up to his face, regenerating partially. Imhotep demanded to know what year it was and was informed by Hafez that the Year of the Scorpion had come.
A woman named Meela Nais stepped into the room, appearing as Anck-Su-Namun to Imhotep, as she had the exact appearance of his lost love; Meela then explained that she was Anck-Su-Namun reincarnated, to which Imhotep replied that she was only Anck-Su-Namun in body, but soon after calling back her spirit from the Underworld, she would be her true self and their love would once again be whole. Meela proffered a gift to Imhotep: Evelyn O'Connell was brought forward, bound down by ropes, and carried on a board by several cultists; Meela knew that watching Evelyn die would please Imhotep, as he recognized Evelyn at once. Evelyn was moved closer to a large stone basin that was filled with fire as Imhotep gave the order to have her burned. Evelyn was almost thrown in when Rick O'Connell leaped in and saved her before she could be harmed. The cultists then began to open fire as the O'Connells fired shots: Ardeth Bay, who was covering the O'Connells from a staircase, fired shots at both the cultists and Imhotep, but the shots did not register to Imhotep as they made holes, but caused no permanent damage. As Imhotep witnessed both sides fighting, he saw O'Connell and was shot in the chest by the adventurer. The fight progressed on until Imhotep walked to a side of the loading dock where the urn containing Imhotep's servants was stored: Imhotep opened the jar, unleashing four mummified soldiers, which he gave the order to kill off his enemies.
That night, Imhotep stood out from a balcony with Anck-Su-Namun, looking out at London, when Hafez came and informed Imhotep that his enemies had taken the Sceptre of Osiris, which Imhotep considered to be of little concern, as he stated that his powers would be so great once they reached Ahm Shere that nothing could stop him. Imhotep then leaned in to kiss Meela, and although she loved him she was still reviled at his appearance: Imhotep then put Meela into a trance that enabled her to see herself in her past life as Anck-Su-Namun. As Meela was in her trance, she saw Imhotep not as a mummy, but as his living self, whole again, which she then kissed deeply, not seeing that she was actually kissing a mummy that was rotting away further as she touched him.
Journey to Ahm Shere
Sometime after, Imhotep and his cultists headed to Cairo by train, Imhotep remaining in a boxcar adorned with ancient Egyptian artifacts and antiquities. As the cultists were traveling on, Alex O'Connell, who had been taken prisoner by the cultists, was brought forward to Imhotep, for the mummy wished to speak with Alex. To hide his rotted appearance, Imhotep donned long black robes and a detailed dark mask. Speaking to Alex in ancient Egyptian, knowing that the Bracelet of Anubis, Alex having put it on while back in London, would grant him the knowledge of the ancient Egyptians, particularly their language. Imhotep explained that Alex was the chosen one, and that Alex would guide their way to Ahm Shere. Alex, slightly frightened, attempted to defy Imhotep by stating that he might get them all lost, to which Imhotep then commended Alex on having his father's strength, and remarked to Alex that he still knew something that Alex did not: the Bracelet of Anubis marked both a gift and a curse, and Alex explained that he already knew of the Bracelet's properties: from the moment that the Bracelet was put on, the wearer would have seven days to reach Ahm Shere until the Scorpion King would awaken. What Imhotep then revealed to Alex the boy did not know: Alex would have until the time that the sun hit the Bracelet on the morning of the seventh day to reach the pyramid in Ahm Shere, or the Bracelet would suck the life from him. Alex tried to act defiant once more by remarking that his father would defeat Imhotep, stating it in the earthy phrase "kick your arse", but Imhotep did not believe that it would happen as he knelt towards Alex and removed his mask, which showed his rotting face, stating his disbelief.
Imhotep then waited in his chamber as three thieves were brought in: the same three thieves that had been employed by the cultists, and who had taken with them into the chamber the chest that had once contained the Book of the Dead and five sacred canopic jars. Imhotep hid somewhere within the room as he caught the three thieves off guard by jumping forward and roaring. The three thieves, horrified at the sight of that dead man, screamed and fired their guns at the mummy, which had no negative effect on Imhotep, who simply stood there laughing. As one of the thieves headed back towards the door, Meela Nais appeared through the spy-hole, telling him to open the chest that they had brought, for the mummy wanted the chest opened, and as the thief tore off the lid, another thief cried out against it. The chest was opened and as the dust cleared, the mummy was gone, appearing to be the first thief that had opened the chest by coming down from the ceiling, where he was crawling upside-down like a spider. Imhotep then seized Spivey by the shoulders and killed the screaming man by sucking out his organs, fluids, and flesh, leaving the thief with a skeletal husk. Red and Jacques screamed in horror at what had happened, began to fire at the mummy in vengeance, but they were killed off as well.
After the thieves had all been killed, their bodies littered the floor of the boxcar and Imhotep stood fully regenerated as Meela came closer to him, bowing before him before sharing a kiss. Before long, the train had stopped in Karnak and Imhotep had looked outside the window, seeing that Alex was trying to escape the train as he was being fired at by two cultists with machine guns. Imhotep then used his powers to lift the two men into the air, knocking them against one another and throw them at a pair of stone pillars. As Alex ran, the next location appeared to him: the temple island of Philae, but the vision was interrupted when Imhotep strode in, using his powers to lift Alex into the air, suspending him from moving, and jokingly wagged his finger in a "no" manner.
That night, the cultists had camped out in Karnak, and Imhotep spent some time with Meela, who sat beside him in front of a sacred pool of water within the ruins. Imhotep told Meela that the time had come for her to resume being who she truly was, and placed Meela in a trance that brought her back to her previous life as Anck-Su-Namun; the trance also affected Evelyn O'Connell, who was in a dirigible that was tracking the cultists, and so both women entered a trance that showed them their past lives. As the trance continued, Meela relived the moment that caused her life to end: the murder of Seti, and her suicide before the Pharaoh's royal guards: Meela had unknowingly re-enacted her suicide and stabbed herself in the stomach with a dagger as she had done centuries ago. As Meela slumped down dying, Imhotep read the verses from the Book of the Dead that brought Anck-Su-Namun's soul back to Meela's body, and both lovers recognizing each other, shared a passionate kiss.
The next morning, the cultists left Karnak and headed for the temple island of Philae, followed by Abu Simbel, and onwards to the Blue Nile, to Abyssinia, where the river waters flowed closely to what would be the Oasis of Ahm Shere. Imhotep stood in the waters of the Nile and noticed that Lock-Nah was hounding Alex; Imhotep stopped Lock-Nah, and revealed to Alex that he knew that Alex's parents were following them in a dirigible. Mockingly bidding Alex's parents a safe journey, Imhotep used his powers to summon the waters of the Nile so that they would create a great tidal wave that would pursue the dirigible that Alex's family was traveling in, bringing the craft down as it tried to escape the wrath of Imhotep.
The dirigible went down and Imhotep, feeling his victory, mockingly consoled Alex before walking on.
Reaching Ahm Shere
That night, Imhotep, along with Anck-Su-Namun, Hafez, Lock-Nah, and the other cultists reached the Oasis of Ahm Shere. Lock-Nah, frustrated with Alex's antics, requested that he be able to kill Alex, but was reminded by Hafez that he could not; Hafez stated to Imhotep that the boy was of no further use to them, but Imhotep reminded the curator that they needed the Bracelet. Hafez expressed surprise at the knowledge that the Bracelet was the key, and not the boy. With this new knowledge in mind, Hafez gave Lock-Nah the order to retrieve the Bracelet, which Lock-Nah was eager to do, but could not as Alex had escaped his grip, running off into the brush.
As the cultists continued on into the jungle, they found a small village that had the skeletal remains of Roman Legionnaires and Napoleon's troops, finding tiny skeletons of small shriveled-looking humanoids: the remains of the cannibal pygmies. The skeletons sprang to life, killing as many men as they could, but hesitating to harm Imhotep, who protected Anck-Su-Namun from their attacks as well. The cultists were all killed soon after, save for Hafez, who headed off from his cronies in another direction, and Imhotep and Anck-Su-Namun soon reached the golden Pyramid. O'Connell, Evelyn, Jonathan, and Alex reached the Pyramid as well, but Evelyn was mortally stabbed in the belly by Anck-Su-Namun.
Jonathan was thrown aside by Imhotep before he could react as the two lovers walked on towards the entrance.
Entering the Pyramid, Imhotep and Anck-Su-Namun walked in between two large statues that drained away Imhotep's powers and immortality. Attempting to use his powers to move a far-off vase, Imhotep saw that his own abilities were gone, revealing that Anubis, the god of mummification and death, wished for Imhotep to duel the Scorpion King as a mortal. Imhotep gave Anck-Su-Namun the Book of the Dead, reminding her that if he were to die, she might bring him back, much to her chagrin as Imhotep stepped forward, entering the corridor that would take him to the chamber of the Scorpion King.
Once in the chamber, Imhotep took a large pole and began to sound a massive gong that would alert the Scorpion King to his presence; as O'Connell entered the chamber, Imhotep engaged him in a fight, which was brought to a close when the two looked to a massive set of wooden doors and saw that a giant creature was emerging from the doorway: the Scorpion King, a massive scorpion-human that burst down from the ceiling before landing on its feet. The Scorpion King lunged forward to harm Imhotep, but the former mummy spared himself by proclaiming that he was the Scorpion King's disciple. Imhotep went on to lie that Rick O'Connell was sent to kill the Scorpion King, and the Scorpion King lunged forward to try and kill Rick.
The Scorpion King pursued Rick onward, killing Hafez in the process, and as the Scorpion King chased the adventurer, the true nature of the Scepter of Osiris was shown to Rick: the Scepter extended into a spear that could be used to eradicate the Scorpion King. Jonathan and Alex, upon finding O'Connell, were told of the true nature of the Sceptre and opened it: Jonathan attempted to throw the spear but was stopped by Imhotep, who declared that once he threw the spear and killed the Scorpion King, he would have control of the warlord's armies. Imhotep threw the spear through the air as it went through the fires within the chamber, almost hitting the Scorpion King.
At that second, O’Connell leaped and caught the Spear in midair, enraging Imhotep. O'Connell succeeded in stabbing the Scorpion King, who was about to attack him, but was stopped by the Spear wound, which would give Rick O'Connell the control over the Army of Anubis. O'Connell screamed at the Scorpion King that he to go to Hell and to take his Army with him. In response to this, the Scorpion King burst into dust, as did his Army outside. This new command given, released a blast of dust that blew Rick O'Connell and his enemy Imhotep off the ledge that overlooked the Underworld, the stone ceiling of the temple crumbling down in huge rocks. Both of their loves stepped onto the scene as Rick and Imhotep called out: Rick screamed to Evelyn that she go and save herself and Alex, but Evelyn defied this by rushing over and helping Rick out of the abyss and out the doorways. Imhotep called out to Anck-Su-Namun for help, but Anck-Su-Namun fearfully shunned the request, running from the chamber for fear of being crushed by the falling rocks, and abandoned her lover.
As the pain and shock of being betrayed by the woman that he loved was too strong for him to live with, and as he was confronted by the sight of his enemies, the O'Connells, helping one another out, furthering his pain, Imhotep was left with his final choice: he let go of the ledge that he was holding onto and slipped away into the abyss, furthered by fiery demons within the pit that hauled the former high priest further into Hell.
|“||...may the bugger actually stay dead.||”|
–Jonathan Carnahan at his nightclub to a guest, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Years after his final death, Imhotep was derisively honored by Jonathan Carnahan, who had decided to name the nightclub he owned in Shanghai after him. He was also referred to as the antagonist in the literary works of Evelyn O'Connell, and mentioned by Rick O'Connell in regards to having put down "[the] same mummy, twice".
Biography (The Mummy: The Animated Series)
Giving that Imhotep in the first two movies was mentioned by Rick O'Connell who claimed that he has stopped him twice (see Posthumous above) and Imhotep's own remains was unlikely to be discovered again after he led himself fell to the pit to the Underworld, Imhotep in the animated series is clarified to be a separate incarnation.
This iteration of Imhotep was entombed alive for attempting to steal the Manacle of Osiris instead of reviving his lover Anck-Su-Namun. However, he did love Anck-Su-Namun during his mortal life, which was also the reason why he would revive her albeit in modern times during his journey for the Manacle of Osiris, after it was accidentally embedded on Alex's arm.
A rival scholar of Evelyn O'Connell named Colin Weasler was agitated that Evelyn had been given a promotion that was intended for Weasler himself, and Weasler, in an effort to settle things with Evelyn, managed to sneak into Hamunaptra and resurrect Imhotep, attempting to control the mummy on the grounds that he had the Book of the Dead. Imhotep, however, managed to overpower Weasler with his own magic and read the incantations of the Book, bringing himself back to his human form, more durable than his previous state of being covered in scarabs and bandages.
Imhotep then summoned up several mummy soldiers that stood embedded in the walls and called upon them to retrieve the Manacle of Osiris, an ancient bracelet with magical powers, from Hamunaptra: Weasler then attempted to coax the mummy into forming an alliance, but Imhotep had instead threatened Weasler with finding the Manacle or paying with his life. Weasler conceded and arrived at a tent in the O'Connells' camp in the ruins with Imhotep, who brought some of his soldiers, which engaged in a fight with O'Connell and Ardeth Bay, who had just arrived at the camp to aid the O'Connell family. As Evelyn and Alex tried to escape, Imhotep summoned up a wall of fire that blocked the tent's exit. O'Connell rushed to fight Imhotep but the mummy escaped, causing a whirlwind of sand and taking Alex from the campsite, along with Weasler, to the ruins of Saqqara, where the Scrolls of Thebes, the texts that would control the Manacle of Osiris. As Imhotep used his powers to open a passageway in the stony pyramid, Alex used his pocket-watch to flash a signal to his parents, who were reaching the ruins in their airship. Imhotep noticed this and took Alex's watch from him, smashing it before pulling out a stone with a painted scarab from his robes. The stone was turned into a living scarab and was launched at the airship while Imhotep forced Alex along into the pyramid, throwing the boy onto the stony floor of a ritual chamber within the pyramid and informing Weasler that the Scrolls he sought were in the royal burial chamber, with the orders to retrieve them while Imhotep prepared Alex for a ritual to separate him from the Manacle.
Alex attempted to escape but Imhotep used his powers to fling him onto a stone slab within the chamber and bind the boy down with magical snake-like bindings that Imhotep himself conjured. Alex defiantly called out that his father would defeat Imhotep but Imhotep, unfazed, used his powers to show Alex what was happening aboard the airship: the scarab had reproduced and brought forth a horde of ravenous beetles that tore apart the entire ship, making a large hole in the balloon, causing it to sink. Imhotep concluded that Alex's family and friends were doomed, as was Alex himself. The O'Connell party had managed to stop the ship from sinking down and reached the pyramid, stopping Imhotep just as he was about to read from the Book of the Dead. Imhotep, infuriated at their interruption, roared and summoned several skeletal warriors from underneath the chamber floors. During the ensuing mêlée, Ardeth attempted to attack Imhotep directly with his sabre but was thrown back by the mummy's powers. Imhotep then launched himself up onto a statue and caused part of it to crumble free, with the intent of crushing O'Connell, who was held back by the skeletal minions but Alex, screaming in protest at this, unknowingly caused the Manacle to release a burst of energy that destroyed the skeletons and break a massive chasm in the chamber floors, destroying the statue chunk that Imhotep held as it did. The Manacle then summoned the Book of the Dead and Alex called out to his mother that she could use it to send Imhotep back to the Underworld but Imhotep lunged forward to try and take the Book; Alex flung it under his legs and Evelyn caught it in time to read verses that caused Imhotep to become weaker, as a mummy, but before the reading could be completed, Weasler tackled Evelyn and knocked the Book from her hands. Weasler then went to help his master up, who had been weakened, as Evelyn noted, "caught somewhere between being human and undead"; the Book slipped through the chasm and was lost forever. Imhotep then transformed into a whirlwind of sand, taking Weasler with him as he blasted his way through O'Connell and Ardeth out the chamber doorway. Imhotep then commenced his quest to find the Scrolls of Thebes, conjuring the clouds above the pyramid in his own mummified profile.
Personality and Traits
Imhotep was the High Priest of Osiris in ancient Egypt and carried his position out with great intent. Although he had been considered a friend by the Pharaoh, Imhotep was instead more focused on the mutual romantic love requited him by the Pharaoh's concubine, Anck-Su-Namun. Intent on gaining that which he desired, the High Priest once went out to break the rules and laws of his religion to attain that which he desired; Imhotep broke the sacred law by taking the Black Book of the Dead out of its resting place so as to read it and resurrect his love. Despite his love for the concubine, Imhotep could also be duplicitous in nature, lying to Evelyn Carnahan about sparing her friends' lives, and betraying Baltus Hafez by leaving him to be killed. Arrogant in his resurrected years, Imhotep feared little and did his best to work problems to his advantage.
A tall, muscled bald man, Imhotep was considered handsome by many, wearing long dark robes embroidered with silvery images of scarabs, and wore a dark tunic at his waist to match. Imhotep wore two leather wristbands and a necklace at all times with a serpent gold ring that was worn during the years 1290 B.C and 1926 A.D.
In The Mummy: The Animated Series which the storyline based upon The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, Imhotep was resurrected with a partial scalp and a small goatee, with a kaftan-like garment in place of his customary black robes; after his resurrection, Imhotep had reverted to a partially-rotted state with a long black coat-like robe and tunic. This incarnation of Imhotep had begun to speak English, albeit with a thick accent.
Powers and Abilities
As a resurrected immortal, Imhotep's form was truly invincible, with any wounds he receives healing in moments. As part of the Hom-Dai curse that comes with him, the mere presence of Imhotep upon gaining power invoked the Biblical Ten Plagues of Egypt. Imhotep was able to transform himself into the sand, fly in the form of a sandstorm while transporting others within the sandstorm, and exercise control over sand, water, and wind. He was also able to telekinetically move objects with his mind at a distance with mere gestures, Imhotep’s strength and agility were superhuman; as he was able to scale walls and ceilings and superhuman strength in his first fight with Rick. As an adept sorcerer, Imhotep knew the spells required to resurrect the dead if, given the right circumstances, notably a sacrifice if the deceased’s organs were too old; along with this, Imhotep could also summon mummies and order them to do his bidding. Along with this, Imhotep was also proficient in hand-to-hand combat and using Egyptian weapons.
As an immortal, however, Imhotep was still vulnerable to certain ancient Egyptian spells contained within the Book of Amun-Ra, notably that which stripped away his immortality. Every time, immediately after he was resurrected, Imhotep’s abilities were weak but growing, and were nourished by killing and assimilating the organs and fluids of those that had opened the chest containing the five canopic jars that he had employed to resurrect Anck-Su-Namun.
- The Mummy (First appearance)
- The Mummy: Valley of the Gods (Mentioned only)
- The Mummy Returns
- The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai
- The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Mentioned only)
Behind the Scenes
The shots of Imhotep in his skeletal form as shown in the first two films were achieved by Vosloo's motion performances while wearing a black jumpsuit that would later trace movements back to a computer to be analyzed.
In the novelization of The Mummy Returns, Imhotep mutilated himself in order to spare his life by tearing his own scalp off as a sign of loyalty to the Scorpion King. In this telling, Imhotep spoke the phrase "Mi Phat Ahs", which means "I am your disciple", to the Scorpion King.
The backstory of Imhotep is different in both version; whereas in the television series The Mummy: the Animated Series Imhotep was entombed alive for attempting to steal the Manacle of Osiris, the films go on to explain that Imhotep was entombed for attempting to bring Anck-Su-Namun back from the dead. Giving that the animated series goes on a different storyline albeit based upon the first two movies and Rick's claim that he had defeated Imhotep twice, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor confirmed that the animated goes on separate continuities.
- Imhotep was portrayed by Arnold Vosloo in the first two Mummy films and was voiced in the animated series by Jim Cummings. Vosloo accepted the role on the terms that he plays the character "straight".
- As O'Connell wasn't one of the treasure seekers who opened the chest, whether Imhotep could have killed him off like he had the four treasure seekers before Evelyn saved him is unknown.
- Surprisingly, Imhotep was scared of cats. This is explained to be due to "cats guarding the afterlife" by Evelyn.
- In Egyptian mythology, Imhotep is believed to be the architect of Pharaoh Djoser's step pyramid. After his death, he was deified as a medicine god.