When Does MOON KNIGHT Take Place?

A transcription of this video is available below!

The first season of Moon Knight can be incredibly frustrating to place on a Timeline, but there may be a simple method to date the series that’s right in our faces. Today we’ll go over all available timeline information within the first six episodes of the series, and extrapolate on what we now believe is the correct placement for the series as a whole. That means that, yes, I got it wrong on the most recent MCU Timeline, v7.0. I’m so sorry.

But if new information presents itself, I’m more than willing to admit I’m wrong, and I make it my responsibility to show you why the new information is correct.

This video is only one of a multi-part series called When Does the MCU Take Place? You’ll find the full playlist in the description. If you enjoy this, or think we’re on to something with our breakdown, please give this a like, and comment your thoughts! If you aren’t subscribed and you’re into this type of content, please hit that subscribe button!

Let’s take a step back and discuss why we originally placed Moon Knight in the Spring of 2025. If we look at Moon Knight’s current placement on the Disney+ MCU Timeline, it claims to be the very last title on the list. And if it’s after Hawkeye, which occurs in Christmas 2024, this must surely occur in 2025, along with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And one of the few dates featured in the first season is showcased early on, as Steven Grant enters the museum he’s employed at. The Ancient Egypt exhibit on the Ennead runs from April 22nd to July 29th. And thus I determined the show must naturally occur in the Spring of 2025, as I have it featured on my MCU Timeline. It’s also worth noting I wrote much of the Moon Knight section in the Timeline almost a month prior to the show even finishing, so I didn’t get the opportunity to look at all of the data. Anyway, I apologize, I’ll make it up to you though.

But as I mentioned in my Timeline, the creators have been purposely vague about its placement. Jeremy Slater, writer and developer for the series claims “A lot of people have asked (about the timeline), but I have no idea, sorry. We didn’t know when our show would debut in relation to their other shows and films, so the timeline was intentionally left vague.” This presumes that, because the creators didn’t have any concrete information about when Moon Knight would release in relation to other films and shows, they don’t feel obligated to explicitly suggest it occurs before or after another title. And that’s fair. But for some fans, myself included, we require a bit more concrete information.

Hector Navarro of Nerdist, and fellow timeline geek, interviewed director and executive producer on Moon Knight, Mohamed Diab, and asked the burning question, where does it fit on the timeline? “We had a set date, but just so you know, before the show, because the Marvel world was so complex; we had a date. We had a year. But I’m not gonna say just because it doesn’t matter anymore.” “Right, I’m sure that, that the fans will decide for themselves, they’ll figure it out. So maybe at some point in the future, maybe they would appreciate some kind of confirmation, but until then, let us hunt the Easter eggs – we will figure it out, Mohamed.”

Well, Hector, I’ll take you up on that challenge. I find two things really interesting about this answer. Firstly, Mohamed claims “we had a date, we had a year.” Before the show aired, they had a date and time that the events were supposed to occur, dates that they presumably stuck with throughout the production of the series. That’s a promising start. We’ll try our best to decipher when that occurs.

But secondly, like writer Jeremy Slater suggested about Marvel being so large that they don’t want to suggest it takes place here or there, Mohamed claims “it doesn’t matter anymore.” This means that, even if we do figure it out, it likely has been or will be retconned at some point. Grant Curtis had similar sentiments: “We always wanted to keep the audience guessing where we were, and where we were at, and where we were headed.” It sounds to me like the Moon Knight team had their timeline in tact, but there was no one at Marvel supervising how it was incorporated into the wider MCU. So who knows, maybe my timeline got it right. Maybe this new information I’m about to share with you is closer.

But fascinatingly, we know that earlier in Moon Knight’s production, these dates were tethered to certain Easter eggs that were eventually removed entirely, like a reference to Thor: Love and Thunder. This removal of Easter eggs and greater Marvel references helps it stand alone, so it could very easily be slotted in anywhere Marvel wants it to. But the opposite is also worth exploring. Because it doesn’t connect with anything, it won’t step on any other titles if we find a way to place it correctly. So that’s what we’re going to do.

We have the date range of April 22nd to July 29th to play with, the dates of the exhibit. Does Spring still work for the rest of the show? Absolutely. In the London scenes we see the general attire is perfectly suited to Spring. Also in the Slovenian countryside which is meant to depict Germany, it’s clearly Tulip season, and they even share a prolonged shot of some wildflowers. The town we visit, filmed near Budapest, also has flowers in the town square. All signs so far point to a mid-Spring time period. But where does it thematically fit between April 22nd and July 29th?

The dialogue is somewhat telling. Steven comments on the signage of the new exhibit. “When I was coming in this morning, I saw the banners outside.” Usually signage doesn’t change much mid-exhibit, so this line makes it seem as if the exhibit, along with the posters and banners, is new. So this leans into the idea that this is late April or early May.

Another useful aid in determining time is the inclusion of days of the week. We know that the first day we meet Steven is on a Thursday. He was supposed to go on a date on Friday, but doesn’t end up getting there until Sunday. We know Monday is when Harrow tracks him down at the museum, and the jackal attack was that night. And he’s fired from the museum the next day on Tuesday. After the second episode the days aren’t expressly outlined, and there are unseen time jumps, but there may be another way to determine the days, and their corresponding dates.

Or rather. There may be another way to determine the nights. You see, a fascinating quality about this show that sets it apart from others is the one true way it wants you to decipher, to decode it’s timeline. Remember that at the end of episode three, the only way to find the correct path to Ammit’s tomb was through Senfu’s star map. “I remember that night. I remember every night.” Khonshu, the god of the night sky, literally turns the sky back to the night in question 2000 years prior so they can decipher the tomb’s location. Just as this is a pivotal moment to Marc and Layla’s hunt in the story, this is an essential clue as to how we can unlock the path to the timeline. Not by going back in time to look at the night sky, but by looking forward. And how fitting is it that a show called Moon Knight, about a guy who does dirty deeds for the Egyptian god of the moon, would hide its timeline in the night sky. The key is the moon and it’s lunar phases.

It’s no coincidence that throughout the series, each credits sequence offered the exact same lunar phase that we see in the night sky throughout pivotal moments in each episode. It’s also no coincidence that as time passes, every time we see the moon on screen it follows the natural arc and correct order of a moon cycle. It’s definitely no coincidence that, if you look at the shooting schedule of the days they filmed in each location, the lunar phases match up with the corresponding moon cycle of the scene’s shot. It’s all about the moon.

So now, all we need to do is find the corresponding dates that the lunar phases match up with days of the week where the moon is featured in the show, within the confines of April 22nd and July 29th in 2025, the year Disney+ has Moon Knight listed. And that’s where… we hit a wall. There are no days of the week that line up with the lunar cycles in that time range in 2025. I had actually gone down this route before releasing the MCU Timeline video, but gave up because I was stumped. My mistake? I gave the Disney+ timeline too much credit. I don’t know why, after they misplaced almost every title on the Phase 4 timeline, I didn’t simply dismiss Disney+’s Moon Knight placement altogether.

It wasn’t until after I released the timeline that Chris Evans reached out to me about the missing piece to the puzzle. No, not THAT Chris Evans, just A Chris Evans who follows us here at Geekritique. Anyway, he showed me that while the moon cycles didn’t line up at all in 2025, like I had it on the timeline, it DOES line up perfectly in 2024. You see, the 11 days between the dates of June 6th and June 16th happen to fall in step with, not only the time frame that the Egyptian exhibit takes place, but also perfectly with the days of the week mentioned, and the lunar cycle featured. If this is true, Moon Knight is perhaps one of, if not the most timeline conscious title in the MCU. This falls in the tail of end of Spring technically, so the setting still makes sense.

My biggest concern initially was the dialogue in episode one, where Steven made it seem like it was very early on in the exhibit’s time frame, so I assumed it had to be about a month before. But at the end of the day, what’s more telling? A one-off line meant to prove Steven’s knowledge about Egyptian mythology, or the meticulous attention to detail of not only how the moon looked like in the show, but also choosing to film on days that matched that lunar phase in the real world?

No, I’m certain at this point that Moon Knight occurs in June 2024, between Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Let’s break it down for you.

The Monday that Steven is attacked in the museum, we see a waxing crescent, which is also the same moon we see in the credits. This corresponds to Monday, June 10th, 2024. The following day, as Marc takes over and defeats another jackal, we see a slightly larger waxing crescent, the same one we see in the credits. This corresponds to Tuesday, June 11th, 2024. Some time passes as Layla and Marc head to Egypt, and all shots with the moon in it, even in passing, are of a first quarter moon, the same as we see in the credits. This corresponds to Saturday, June 15th, 2024. The early morning of the following day we see a waxing gibbous, the same as we see in the credits, which corresponds to Sunday, June 16th, 2024

That day, Marc Spector dies, and enters the Duat and the entirety of episode 5 is a mix of memories and afterlife scenes. The moon that lights up the credits isn’t the waxing gibbous we would see on June 16th, but a waning crescent moon, the same moon that corresponded with the night that Khonshu saved Marc in Egypt.

And lastly, the final episode, still on Sunday, June 16th, Khonshu alters the night sky to become a full moon, as Moon Knight’s powers are strongest during a full moon, and he’ll need all the strength he can muster as they take on Ammit and Harrow. This is the same full moon we see in the credits, and though a true full moon won’t naturally occur until the 22nd, we know this to be June 16th, 2024.

So shoutout to Chris Evans, I am over the moon you’ve brought this to my attention. The filmmakers had a date that the series occurred in, and they had a set year, and now, by removing the crutch that is the Disney+ MCU Timeline, we can see clearly where they intended it to be placed.

Now, it’s very possible future titles will ignore this timeline placement, in favor of placing Moon Knight in the following year, retconning it because it’s easier than acknowledging it. As Mohamed Diab said, “it doesn’t matter anymore.” But I don’t believe that’s true. There was conscious thought and effort put into these decisions, which all fittingly revolve around our titular hero in ways no other title can boast. Until this is retconned, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: this timeline placement is canon.

But we’re not done here! With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some other dates the show presents us with, and see if we can’t figure out where each memory we see occurs. First and foremost, with the inclusion of a passport for Marc Spector, we know he was born March 9th, 1987, making Marc 37 at the time of this first season. We also know that he survived Thanos’ snap, as his passport was issued several months after Infinity War.

When Layla first meets Steven Grant, she claims “I’ve been texting and calling you for months.” She had never met Steven prior to this period, despite being married to Marc for some undefined time. Marc claimed “for what it’s worth I had it under control until very recently,” meaning he hadn’t suffered from his dissociative identity disorder for some time. We eventually learn in episode 5 when Steven began showing back up. “This was it. Mom’s death and shiva two months ago. This was the moment our lives started bleeding into each other.” A shiva is a week-long, 7-day mourning period for close relatives, so if we assume that Steven was Marc’s primary personality for two months prior to the show’s beginning, then Marc’s mother likely died at the end of March or early April 2024.

The first birthday Marc celebrates after the death of his brother Randall is his 10th birthday, making this March 9th, 1997. This means that RoRo drowned at some point in ‘96 or early ‘97. The next birthday we see is Marc’s 12th birthday, March 9th, 1999. This is presumed to be the day Steven first came into existence, as a coping mechanism to protect his mind from his mother’s abuse. It’s unclear how old Marc was when he left home, and I tend to believe he’s meant to be 16 to 18 here. I won’t assign a year to that, as there simply isn’t enough information.

Layla says that she hasn’t been home to Egypt in 10 years. “It’s been 10 years.” If we take that literally, we can say that Marc and Layla met in 2014, shortly after her father’s death. Her father died in Egypt, after all, so his funeral was likely held there, so that was likely the last time she went back home. And we know Marc met Layla at her father’s funeral. If our logic tracks, that means that Marc became Khonshu’s avatar in 2014. It’s impossible to date it concretely due to a lack of information, but the waning crescent we see in that scene, which we later see in the credits, could line up with May 24th, in 2014.

And lastly we have the post credits scene. We see a waning gibbous above the London skyline as a white limo drives off. If this scene occurs shortly after the events of the show, this waning gibbous would line up closest with June 26th, 2024.

In these When Does the MCU Take Place videos we usually delineate how much time is spent in each year, but considering the flashbacks in the Duat episode aren’t really flashbacks, but explorations of Marc’s memories and psyche, I can concretely say 100% of the show’s runtime is in 2024.

Because this video corrects a mistake I made in my MCU Timeline, you can find a revised edition of the massive MCU Timeline png free in the description. If you liked this video, and you haven’t seen our massive MCU Timeline yet, you need to stop whatever you were planning on doing and click that video on the screen right now. But before you go, don’t forget to like and subscribe. Have a good one.

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