Moon Knight: Episode 2 – Who Is Layla El-Faouly?

Warning: spoilers for episode one and two of Moon Knight follow.

Episode two of Moon Knight effectively concluded the first act of the new Marvel show, setting up events for the main adventure.

Part of that was introducing us to May Calamawy’s character Layla El-Faouly, who still remains somewhat a mystery as the credits on the episode rolled.

So, who is Layla El-Faouly? Is she based on a character from the comics? What role will she play in the series going forward? We dive into it all…

Who Is Layla El-Faouly In The Moon Knight Series?

Marvel Studios

In the show Layla is the wife of Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac), tracking him down after Steven discovered a phone with her number stored in it.

She seems pretty upset that he disappeared, especially since the couple are in the middle of getting divorced, although they clearly still have affection for each other.

Given that Layla was confused upon meeting Steven, it appears that she wasn’t aware of his dissociative identity disorder – clearly Marc hasn’t been entirely honest with his partner.

The Steven personality may have only developed during the time Marc was missing, with Layla assuming he was dead – it’s safe to say that she was pretty shocked to receive a call from him.

Marvel Studios

We also learn that Layla is aware of the Moon Knight persona, suggesting Marc has been Khonshu’s avatar for quite some time now.

Additionally, as an archaeologist and adventurer with a passion for history, Layla does connect with Steven who has similar interests, also being of great help on his mission to uncover what on earth is going on.

Layla’s introduction also tells us that this isn’t the first time the duo have encountered the scarab Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) is so keen to get his hands on so he can discover Ammit’s tomb.

She describes it to Steven as the thing “we fought side by side for”, indicating that they have history with the artifact.

Is Layla Based On A Comic Book Character?

Marvel Comics

Although Layla might be an entirely new creation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), there is the possibility she is based on a character from the comic books – Marlene Alraune.

In the comics Marlene is Marc’s love interest, supporting him and his Moon Knight persona, although that sometimes gets complicated.

There was also the theory that Layla is actually the MCU version of mutant superhero Layla Miller, the only character from the comics who shares that first name.

Marvel Comics

That seems highly unlikely though, especially considering the character never interacts with Moon Knight in the comics. It is also a rumour Calamawy has consistently put to bed too.

So if Layla is based on anyone, it is probably Marlene, with the MCU just switching out the names.

What Does The Future Hold For Layla In The MCU?

Marvel Studios

It is clear that Layla will be a prominent figure moving forward in the series due to her crucial ties to Marc.

Layla plays a key role in the relationship between Marc and Khonshu, as we learn that the god has threatened to choose her as his next avatar if our protagonist doesn’t do what he is told.

Marc seems desperate not to let that happen, wanting to protect his wife, although she can fight for herself too – the episode establishes Layla as a bad-ass.

Marvel Studios

We will see how that affects Layla’s relationship with Marc and whether this secret will come out.

It also leaves us with the question of why does Khonshu want Layla to be his next avatar? Is it just a threat for Marc, or does she hold the key to something he needs?

Whilst in the comics a handful of women have been Khonshu’s avatar, the character Layla may be based on (Marlene) never did become Moon Knight. But you never know what to expect with the MCU…

Marvel Studios

It’s worth noting that so far we haven’t seen Layla interact with Marc yet, given that for the scenes he has been Steven. However, episode two does end with Marc taking over the body, with Layla presumably not far behind on the adventure, meaning this will happen soon enough.

Meanwhile Layla’s knowledge of Egyptian history and mythology is sure to come in handy for Marc’s quest to uncover Ammit’s tomb.

Most importantly, since Layla may not be based on a comic book character, the possibilities for her future are endless.

Moon Knight airs weekly exclusively on Disney+.

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Emily Murray

Emily Murray


Emily is a journalist and film critic who unashamedly cries at most movies having got too emotionally attached. When not at the cinema, she is at home cuddling her cat Holmes, whilst binge watching New Girl. She can be found on Twitter @emilyvmurray