|“||Knowing my brother-in-law, he probably deserves whatever you're about to do to him...||”|
Jonathan Carnahan was the son of Howard Carnahan, brother of Evelyn O'Connell, brother-in-law of Rick O'Connell and uncle of Alexander O'Connell. A clever man with an eye for treasure and wealth, Jonathan accompanied his sister and brother-in-law on digs and explorations from time to time, often causing some problems for others.
Personality and Traits
Jonathan was a man that was well known for taking little seriously, cracking jokes whenever he felt the need to and playing an occasional prank on those who suspected it least. A man who was susceptible to naivete in some instances, Jonathan well known by some, including his sister, to be a dilettante in his profession and a fraud in Egyptology; his knowledge on treasures and the pursuits of such, however, were as advanced as could be. The consummate playboy in his later years, Jonathan had learned nothing from his past experiences and continued to be as naive as ever, taking women to his brother-in-law's mansion, claiming it to be his.
As skittish as he often appeared, Jonathan had proven his capability. While not a fierce fighter such as Rick or as knowledgeable as his sister Evelyn, Jonathan had had his fair share of contribution to the protection of his family and victories over the undead Imhotep and Han (Dragon Emperor). In fact, some of his accomplishments include being able to use the Book of the Dead to control the mummified guards to slay Anck-Su-Namun, shot a Cultist saving Ardeth's life and most importantly: helping Alex resurrect Evelyn.
A tall, thin Englishman with blue eyes and brown hair, Jonathan sported, when on explorations or digs, the clothing typical of a English man in the foreign countries: a cream-coloured jacket and shirt, along with a set of matching knickerbocker trousers, blue ascot and plus-two stockings. One gold ring was worn at times, a pith helmet was sometimes worn with Jonathan's ensemble, and when in such a setting as Cairo, Jonathan would wear a necktie instead of an ascot and hiking shoes in place of his spectator shoes. While in the Cairo, Jonathan's cream-coloured jacket bore pinstripes, and when in the field, searching for artifacts, Jonathan wore a plain light jacket. During the summer of 1933, Jonathan wore the same lightly-coloured jacket as he had, but instead of a cream shirt, he wore a blue one, and his trousers were brown; Jonathan wore shoes instead of plus-twos. Years later, in settings such as London or Hong Kong, Jonathan wore extravagant forms of evening wear.
Generally a coward a heart, Jonathan rarely engaged in battle, often fleeing if the option was available to him. However, while he lacked the skills to be a competent physical combatant he was shown to be a capable marksman, stating he was a repeat Fox-and-Hounds Grand Champion, a claim he later proved true by saving Ardeth Bay's life.
Jonathan was born in London in 1901 in a rich family. He and his sister Evelyn became interested in exploration and Jonathan loved finding treasure. Jonathan wanted to set himself up as a famous treasure hunter, but he was too incompetent to do so and was reduced to stealing from real explorers.
Jonathan is first introduced as Evelyn's bumbling older brother. He spooks Evelyn moments after she destroyed the library when Jonathan leaps out of a sarcophagus with his arm round a mummy. Evelyn snaps "Don't you have any respect for the dead?" and Jonathan says "Sometimes I like to join them," and Evelyn says he might soon if he doesn't grow up. Jonathan notices Evelyn's upset and tries to calm her when she says she wrecked the library. However, he reveals a cryptex which contains a map to Hamunaptra, the mythical city of ancient Egypt. The two find the map and see Professor Chamberlain about it, who says that the ancient city is cursed because no one returned and to avoid it. Jonathan later confesses he stole the map from explorer Rick o'Connell who is about to be hanged for theft but he punches Jonathan as soon as they meet in retribution for stealing from him. Rick furiously kisses Evelyn, angering her, and then says to get him out of jail. Evelyn tells the hangman that Rick knows where Hamunaptra is, and to save him. Rick is freed, and Jonathan confesses his true conception of Rick, "Filthy, rude, a complete scoundrel" but to his astonishment Rick shows up, clean and smart, and Jonathan has to take back his mis-judgement. Rick apologizes for hitting Jonathan and they head downriver.
The ship is attacked and sunk by pirates after the map to Hamunaptra and Rick, Evelyn and Jonathan move on to the city. Beni Gabor, Rick's enemy, mocks him by saying "Hey, O'Connell, looks like we've gotten all the horses" and Rick mocks him with "Hey, Beni, looks like you're on the wrong side of the river! which Beni shouts about. However, everyone reunites at Hamunaptra, and they wait for sunrise to reveal the city. They have a race to see who gets into Hamunaptra first, will get a financial reward. Evelyn gets their first, with Jonathan cheering her on. Then they split up to explore.
Jonathan and his team find the American explorers in an underground tunnel, scaring each other with their echoes. However, they soon find the corpse of Imhotep, mummified, after Jonathan played golf and swung a rock at the coffin. The camp is attacked by Medjai who want to protect Imhotep's tomb for fear of his resurrection, but Jonathan humorously takes a shot of whisky during the attack but is fought off by Beni who steals the drink from him. Confused why Imhotep looks so juicy after being mummified for centuries, they are interrupted by the hangman who got a scarab in his eye and smashes into a stone wall in front of them in his fear, killing himself with a blow to the head.
Evelyn resurrects Imhotep by reading from the Book of the Dead and the Mummy goes on a killing spree. Jonathan realizes that Biblical prophecies are coming true in Cairo when they return to civilization, due to Imhotep's presence, with water going to blood, fire from the sky, and swarms of parasites, and three day darkness. Soon, the Egyptians themselves become infected by Imhotep, and he uses them as an army to attack. Jonathan survives the attack by pretending to be possessed, and then he gets robbed by Beni on the way out who takes the key the Book of the Dead. Jonathan and his friends escape as the professor is killed by the Egyptians.
At Hamunaptra, they set after Evelyn, taken by Imhotep and Beni. Then Jonathan survives a sandstorm attack by Imhotep but an old friend of Rick's is killed in the attack. At Hamunaptra, Jonathan desperately wants to steal the treasure of pharon Seti I, being overcome with greed. However, mummies interrupt the attack and a battle begins, with Rick breaking into Imhotep's chamber. Rick fights the mummy henchmen and Jonathan arrives, shouting he doesn't know how to read The Book of the Living. Jonathan's presence notably saves Evelyn from having her throat cut by Imhotep, who instead goes after the Book. Jonathan seeks out Horus' statue because it has the spell to finish Imhotep. He realizes it's "Amenophus" which is a stork symbol in ancient Egyptian, and recites the spell, giving him the power to control the mummies. He turns their loyalty from Imhotep, and orders them to kill the resurrected Anck-su-Namun.
Furious, Imhotep tries to kill Jonathan, ordering him to give the Book to him, but then Rick slices off Imhotep's arm. Nonchalantly, Imhotep picks up Rick and tries to suck out his soul, but then Evelyn summons Anubis, who takes away Imhotep's soul. Then Rick stabs Imhotep and, being mortal, Imhotep dies.
Then Hamunaptra falls apart, and on his way out, Jonathan desperately wants to steal a treasure, but Rick pulls him away from temptation. Then, Jonathan escapes with Rick and Evelyn, but Beni gets consumed by scarabs. Jonathan is rewarded by Ardeth Bay, leader of the Medjai, who says Jonathan has got their respect for killing Imhotep. Then Jonathan complains they have no treasure, unaware that their camels have the stolen treasure Beni hoarded.
The Mummy Returns
Ten years later, Rick and Evelyn are married, living in a manor in London with Jonathan, who is also living a life of luxury thanks to the left behind treasure of Beni. He womanzies often, and has stolen the attention of Sheila, another rich woman, impressing her with the account of him killing Imhotep the Mummy. Seeing intruders in his home, Baltus Hafez among them, Jonathan is confused and thinks Baltus is Sheila's husband. Baltus denies this and asks for the Bracelet of Anubis. Jonathan makes up a lie about the Bracelet being in a safe downstairs but then Meela Nais comes in. She's the reincarnation of Anck-Su-Namun and wants to kill Jonathan for causing her previous death. She threatens Jonathan with an asp for the Bracelet, but Jonathan pleads with her to spare his life, Meela just says "And when did we make that arrangement?"
As Jonathan is about to be bitten by the asp, Rick comes in. He thinks its one of Jonathan's wild parties, and he laughs it off, but then sees the men are armed and mean business. Rick says its his house and he has rules about snakes. Simultaneously, Lock-Nah, a rogue Medjai, comes in and is confronted by Ardeth Bay. Sure enough, tensions rise and a battle begins with Ardeth almost being killed by Lock-Nah. The Bracelet is already on Rick's son, Alex's wrist, but the men take the Bracelet's chest regardless. Evelyn is kidnapped by Lock-Nah. Rick yells at Ardeth about what he's doing at his house, and Ardeth says the next Apocalypse will begin. Jonathan is infatuated by the golden Bracelet and when they get to the British Museum, where the next resurrection of Imhotep will take place, Jonathan is ordered to stay and protect Alex. He is kept amused by tales of the golden Pyramid of Ahm-Shere, which no one ever returned from. Imhotep is resurrected and Anck-su-Namun reunites with him. She has Evelyn sacrificed, but Rick runs in and saves Evelyn. A battle begins, but Jonathan accidentally breaks the car keys upon hearing the gunfire. Alex complains he's broken it, but Jonathan steals a double-decker bus, infuriating Rick, and mummies sent by Imhotep smash Rick's car on their pursuit. Rick really hates mummies so he kills all of them. Jonathan inadvertently saves Rick by smashing the bus through a low bridge, killing the last mummy and leaving Rick alive. But after the chase, Alex is kidnapped by Imhotep's men. They drive off leaving Rick and Evelyn morose.
However, Rick remembers his friend Izzy Buttons, who has a dirigible (or at least a plane in the old days) and Rick is disappointed that Izzy has "degraded". However, Izzy proves a valuable asset. Jonathan is impressed with Ardeth Bay's falcon, Horus. Together, they set off for Imhotep and Ahm Shere.
Izzy crashes the dirigible when Imhotep senses their chase and sends a tsunami after them. However, Jonathan and the team go into the jungle. They soon catch up with Imhotep's men and see them all getting killed by mummified pygmies. Jonathan saves Ardeth from being shot by one of Lock-Nah's men. Then during the chase Jonathan is separated and runs into Shafek, one of the enemy survivors, and they try to escape, with Jonathan saying the mummies will not cross the sacred stones. But one of them does. This mummy stabs Shafek through the chest, and Jonathan screams in fear, but the mummy is also frightened of Jonathan's scream so it runs off. Jonathan apologizes to Shafek and abandons him to die.
Jonathan returns to Rick just as he is about to incinerate the pygmies by giving them a lit torch. Jonathan runs along the tree trunk just as the mummies reach it, and Rick throws the torch to them, causing them all to blow up. Then, the Sun rises, and as Alex would die when the Sun hits the Pyramid, a race to the Pyramid starts. Rick does get there before Alex would die, and saves him. The Bracelet falls off Alex's wrist, and he throws it away. But Hafez picks it up and steals it.
Jonathan is attacked by Imhotep who throws him away and Anck-su-Namun kills Evelyn. Rick goes off to fight Imhotep. Jonathan tries to comfort Alex by saying Evelyn's now in Heaven. Together, Jonathan and Alex see the awakening of the Scorpion King by a scorpion shadow flying overhead, marking the grave of the Army of Anubis, who resurrect as the Medjai approach. But Jonathan starts a fight with Anck-su-Namun and Alex steals The Book of the Dead. Jonathan says "This is for my sister!" but is punched by Anck-su-Namun. He manages to fight her off when Alex finds the resurrection spell, with Anck-su-Namun almost strangling him. Jonathan throws her off and tells Alex it's "Amenophus" given that he knows that spell. Then Alex resurrects Evelyn and when Anck-su-Namun slices Jonathan, Evelyn saves him. They go to help Rick and the Scorpion King has now arisen. Jonathan screams in fear at the monster. Hafez is killed by the Scorpion King pleading for Imhotep's help but Imhotep, his powers taken by Anubis, just says "Why?" Then Jonathan fights for control of the Spear of Osiris. He opens it up and throws it at the Scorpion King, saying "I'm a professional." But Imhotep catches it, throws it, but Rick catches the Spear and kills the Scorpion King with it. The King explodes into ash and screams as he dies. Then Ahm Shere gets destroyed, along with the Army of Anubis. The oasis is being sucked in and Rick and Imhotep are hanging over Hell. Anck-su-Namun refuses to help Imhotep despite his pleas and he ends up killing himself by throwing himself into Hell. Rick tells Evelyn to run but she drags him out. At this, Jonathan can't believe what he's seeing. Then they escape the Pyramid with Jonathan. He desperately wants the Diamond, taking it insisting on Izzy to lower his dirigible so he can steal it. He takes it and then argues with Izzy over who the Spear belongs to.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Jonathan returns in this film as somewhat wiser and less comic relief. He has matured from his adventures, After selling the diamond he stole in the Mummy returns, he used the capital to build a nightclub in Shanghai, China. MI6 gives Rick and Evelyn a mission to see Jonathan and return the Eye of Shangra-Lai back to the Chinese government as a peace gesture. However, this whole thing was arranged by General Yang, who wanted to resurrect the First Emperor of China, entombed in a terracotta statue by a witch. He succeeds in resurrecting the Emperor, and reveals far from being a peace mission, it was his intention of beginning World War Three and a new order.
Jonathan contemplates how this mummy has superhuman powers, and can control practically anything. Nonetheless, he joins Rick and Evelyn in the Himalayas and they fight against Yang's invading men and are saved by Yeti. The witch's daughter had joined them Jonathan is interrogated by a Yeti, who is confused by him but Jonathan tells it he's on his side and that soon there'll be an explosion from the bomb he's hoping to kill the Emperor with, and Jonathan warns them of an impending avalanche. The Emperor holds back the snowstorm but is eventually engulfed and Jonathan hides in the temple. The others are protected by Yeti. Rick was stabbed so they head to Shangra-La to heal him. Zi Yuan, the witch is there and she greets her daughter. However, when Rick is healed, Jonathan contemplates building a casino to make the place a tourist destination. The Emperor invades, and regains his youth and immortality. He can also shapeshift into any monster. He turns into a three-headed Dragon and flies Yang to his army. Rick and Jonathan, furious that Ling, the witch's daughter, was kidnapped, fly after them with Evelyn and Ziu Yan.
Alex goes in to save Ling and her mother resurrects the doomed souls cursed by the Emperor under the Great Wall of China. Then a battle begins between the resurrected Terracotta Army and the dead soldier mummies. Rick is helped by the mummies and Ziu Yan's former lover, Ming Guo, also a mummy. Then Jonathan enters the battle dropping bombs, one of which hits Yang's jeep. He says his pilot "Mad Dog" Maguire can have the nightclub and that Jonathan's leaving China for good.
When the Emperor is destroyed, Jonathan hands over the nightclub to Maguire and leaves for a better life, "Somewhere they don't have mummies". He is cradling a diamond he took in the mountain and used it to open a business in Peru like he did in China. However, despite not being any mummies in Peru, soon after, mummies were found there.
The Mummy: The Animated Series
Though fairly similar in personality as he is in the films, such as a strong desire for a rich and easy life, Jonathan is very cowardly and will almost always run away whenever danger is near, but makes himself out to be more brave and greater than he actually is in attempts to impress strangers. He would unquestionably go after treasure at every opportunity he found and was often clumsy, the trouble he caused annoying his family, particularly his brother-in-law Rick. When he was faced with a challenge that required everyone present to be free of all self-doubt, he freely and happily admitted that he was "a liar, a cheat, a coward, and those are my good points" before questioning if he left anything out. When the O'Connells' quest began, they only let Jonathan come with them because he was being shot at and pursued by men he owed money to, Rick coldly telling him that he should thank his sister and not him.
In spite of the negative traits he possessed, Jonathan meant well and was willing to stand his ground and fight on occasion, often when his family were in danger, especially his sister Evelyn who he was most fond of. He accepted that his sister and brother-in-law didn't have a high opinion of him but insisted that he and Rick at least shared a strong love for Evelyn even if they had little, if anything, else in common, and when they were considering dropping Jonathan off permanently after all the trouble he had caused them was more than willing to work to redeem himself in their eyes. While the family were hunting the Eye of Shiva, he was revealed to have extremely good aim and hand eye coordination, his skills proving to be instrumental in neutralising its power. He also once saved his sister's life when he gave her waters from The Lake of Eternity to resurrect her, although it should be noted when gathering the waters earlier he hadn't collected it for this reason but rather got them for himself and nearly clumsily dropped the canteen they were stored in over a cliff before Alex caught it. He later helped the others in making sense of Alex's visions he had experienced prior to Imhotep's plot to use the Medallion of the Medjai to raise an army, correctly identifying that they needed to travel to Gibraltar.
Since childhood, though generally cowardly anyway, Jonathan's biggest fear has always been clowns, which later manifested when they entered a Russian haunted house. He spent many of his childhood days at fairgrounds and carnivals, which he claims his good aim and hand eye coordination came from, later proving crucial in redeeming himself in his family's eyes. He also set up a date between Evelyn and childhood friend Charlie Royce, though this didn't go well and ended with Evelyn dumping dessert on his lap. He claimed to have once also taken an engineering course, but later failed it.
In spite of his exposure to numerous magical and mystical objects and powers throughout his encounters with Imhotep amongst other enemies, Jonathan remained somewhat a realist. He firmly believed that if something sounded too good to be true, chances are it probably is, and always suspected a catch whenever good news presented itself. When Imhotep used time travel to rule the world, the memories of Jonathan, along with everyone else except Alex, was altered; he therefore quickly dismissed what Alex was saying about alternate timelines as he doesn't remember any of it happening and thought it sounded crazy. However, he was willing to be convinced when he saw how adamantly Alex believed his claims and realised that it was the only chance Evelyn and Rick had when Imhotep had them executed.
Behind the Scenes
Jonathan Carnahan was portrayed by actor John Hannah in all three "Mummy" films and was voiced by Tom Kenny in the animated series. In the The Mummy Returns video game, Jonathan was voiced by James Horan.
While filming The Mummy Returns, John Hannah was given instructions by the directors to not change his portrayal of Jonathan from the first film, in the hopes that it would make him appear as naive as always.
Jonathan's status as a Fox-and-Hounds Grand Champion varies with the source given: in the film The Mummy Returns, Jonathan boasted that he was named champion five times, while in the film novelisation, Jonathan cites that he was name champion three times.
- The Mummy (First appearance)
- The Mummy: Valley of the Gods
- The Mummy Returns
- The Mummy: The Animated Series
- The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor