- “Too Dark?”
- ―After going off on one
Ahkmenrah is a fictional teenaged, around 17, ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who, with his tablet, came to the Museum of Natural History in 1952. More specifically, he is thought to be the 4th Pharaoh of Egypt, based on a statement from his older brother, Kahmunrah, in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
It is implied in the movie, but stated in the original script, that he was brutally murdered by his brother, Kahmunrah having being stabbed 73 times front and back. In one behind the scenes clip (exclusive), "Ahkmenrah tries to escape this monster, this incredibly jealous riddled brother. He did break free for a second after being stabbed in the back once, but was pulled back to the bedroom with Kahmunrah's hand tightly over his little brothers mouth as he was screaming for someone to help him. But you know that was it, Kahmunrah had murdered Ahkmenrah in his bed repeatedly stabbing him." Ahkmenrah does not remember any detail of how he died or why.
Ahkmenrah is portrayed by the Egyptian/Arabic-American actor, Rami Malek. He is a major character in Night at the Museum, a cameo character in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, and the deuteragonist of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
Ahkmenrah is characterized as a kind-hearted individual, and is implied to be a fair and just ruler. It is officially unknown why the previous night guards kept him locked in his tomb, or why they told the other free-roaming exhibits not to let the young pharaoh out during the night.
There are a few theories as to why the exhibits were so quick to trust the words of the guards. One popular theory is that the previous night guards propagated a rumor about Ahkmenrah's nature, telling them that he was evil.
It has been known since the end of the first movie that Ahkmenrah is afraid of waking up with no one to let him out. It is, however, speculated that he may have developed claustrophobia in response to his situation. This could be implied due to the fact he screamed and banged against the lid of his sarcophagus every night for fifty-four years. If he is seen as uncooperative, that might be incentive enough for whomever to seal him back in his tomb. This may explain his cooperative demeanor.
Ahkmenrah was gifted his tablet by his parents, who loved him so much, that they wouldn't let the inevitability of death separate them. Ahkmenrah was favored by his parents, though this could not be said for Kahmunrah. As the first born child, Kahmunrah was to inherit the throne. However, due to his brash, violent, and irresponsible nature, their parents gifted Ahkmenrah the throne, thereby skipping Kahmunrah in the line of succession.
In the original script of 'Secret of the Tomb', Merenkahre states that "it was the darkest and hardest day of my life when I lost you, you were butchered. I'll never forget your mother running in and screaming your name, she couldn't believe that you were gone." Then Shepseheret adds "A parents grief is one of the worst, especially when my young gorgeous boy had been slashed into pieces."
Kahmunrah is the primary antagonist in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, where he is introduced as Ahkmenrah's older brother. In contrast to their parents, Kahmunrah loathes Ahkmenrah, carrying on about how he was clearly the "favorite son." He holds a grudge against Ahkmenrah for the special treatment he received from their parents, saying that they "always gave him the best of everything." As the film's antagonist, he aims to steal Ahkmenrah's tablet for himself. In doing this, he will be able to summon an immortal army from the underworld, so that he may resume his reign and expand his territory to claim the rest of the world. In the original script for Battle of the Smithsonian, it is revealed that Kahmunrah murdered Ahkmenrah to assume the throne. Although this is not actually mentioned in the film, the audience could very well assume that he had something to do with his younger brother's death.
In the original scripts of NatM, Ahkmenrah has a backstory.
Ahkmenrah's tomb was excavated near the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, during the Ahkmenrah Expedition of 1938. His sarcophagus, along with his 24-carat gold tablet, were brought to the Egyptology Department of Cambridge University to be displayed. During his time on display, he learned British English, presumably from hearing the students and staff conversing. It could also be assumed that he spent many of these nights outside of his sarcophagus, as he never mentions being trapped while at the university. After leaving Cambridge in 1952, it was arranged for Ahkmenrah to become a permanent exhibit of the Museum of Natural History in New York City. His sarcophagus rests in the middle of the exhibit, walls of hieroglyphics surrounding it. On the back wall behind the sarcophagus rests the tablet, which glows and activates during the beginning of each night. The entrance is guarded by two Anubis statues, both twenty feet tall. These statues were also excavated from his tomb. Just outside of the exhibit are display cases, filled with other Egyptian artifacts.
Night At The Museum
Ahkmenrah's tomb is first seen during daylight as Cecil the previous night guard shows Larry. Larry is then showed the 24 kart gold tablet behind Ahkmenrah that Cecil says is Ahkmenrahs "Most prized possession" and that it was "Worth a fortune". Later when Larry is confused on how everything in the museum is coming to life Theodore Roosevelt shows him the tablet in Ahkmenrah's tomb and explains that it is what brings them all to life. While he does this you can hear Ahkmenrah wailing from inside his sarcophagus and Theodore tells him "Yell all you want Pharaoh, you been in there for 54 years, you're not getting out tonight!" It is thought that the previous night guards told all the free-roaming exhibits not to let Ahkmenrah out with no explanation as to why. That is what lead the other exhibits to fear Ahkmenrah. The next time Larry is at Ahkmenrah's tomb is when he and his son are locked in the tomb by the previous night guards as they steal artifacts. The Anubis, Ahkmenrah's protectors start to attack Larry and his son, Nick. To save their lives Larry slides the stone holding Ahkmenrah in his tomb off and lets the pharaoh out. At first, as Ahkmenrah gets up from his tomb he seems scary with the rags covering his face, however, upon removing the wrappings from his head, Ahkmenrah states " You would not believe how stuffy it is in there" in a British accent, which of course confuses Larry and Nick. Ahkmenrah then explains he was on display at the Egyptology Department at Cambridge University and learned English there. From that point on Larry can tell Ahkmenrah isn't dangerous and has Ahkmenrah help them out of his tomb. later Ahkmenrah translates Hun so that Larry won't be ripped apart by Huns and uses his tablet to summon all the exhibit's back to the museum before dawn so they won't turn to dust. He helps Larry tally up all the animals and exhibits. Then there's a huge dance party the next night where you can see Ahkmenrah playing soccer and dancing.
Battle of the Smithsonian
Ahkmenrah has a cameo role in the film, but his actor's name appears at the opening titles of the movie.
He makes a brief appearance at the start but has a bigger part at the end where he is giving a lecture on the Tablet to visitors of the Museum. During the film, it is revealed that he had an older brother named Kahmunrah. It's also revealed that his parents favored him more than his older brother, to which Kahmunrah told Larry Daley that their parents gave Ahkmenrah "the best of everything", including the throne, which Kahmunrah was supposed to inherit first. After Ahkmenrah's death,
caused by his jealous brother, Kahmunrah ascended to the throne. It can be assumed that his reign had not lasted long due to his sadistic nature.
Secret of the Tomb
Ahkmenrah and the rest of the Museum residents start acting strangely due to the Tablet losing its magic. The symptoms include freezing back to wax, normally peaceful characters becoming violent, Teddy losing his memory and babbling unintelligibly and Ahkmenrah becoming ill. Ahkmenrah is affected more than anyone else because it is his tablet and is later revealed by his father that the tablet was made with Khonsu's magic to keep the royal family together, even after death, which is why the tablet brings the museum to life. Larry, his son Nick, and a few of the favourites of the NYC gang travel to London, England and to the British Museum to find Ahkmenrah's parents, who know the secrets of the tablet and possibly what is wrong with it. During the film, the young pharaoh steadily gets worse with every tablet flare-up and toward the end he almost reverts back to his dead, full-mummy form where he rapidly begins to rot and turn into 'zombie like' state again. Both of Ahkmenrah's parents are introduced in this film.
Real Life Basis
Ahkmenrah wasn't an actual pharaoh in Egyptian History. It is confirmed that the basis of Ahkmenrah was taken from King Tutankhamun, the Boy King, another teenaged pharaoh who ruled and died young. However unlike Ahkmenrah, Tutankhamun's death was unexplained.
In the novelisation of Night at the Museum, Ahkmenrah has his own curse that he developed after his discovery of what his brother did to him when he was alive. From then on, it has been told Ahkmenrah became kind of bitter and hateful so that if anyone annoyed or triggered him, he would set a curse on you to make your eyes bleed and have cockroaches (insects) flooding from your mouth as you become brittle and begin to crumble from the inside out. Along with the hate on his brother and a bit on life, he also became more caring about those around him, not wanting the same fate on them. (Night at the Museum Promo Christmas with Atilla, talking about the Kourtney K.)
With that said, Ahkmenrah is still a very kind and sweet character who we feel sorry for as he was taken at such a young age.
- The first film mentions that his tomb was discovered and brought to New York in 1956, however, the third film shows that Robert and Cecil discovered his tomb in 1938.
- However, those 18 years may have been the time in which he was on display at Cambridge University.
- In an early version of the script for Battle of the Smithsonian, during a conversation with Larry, Kahmunrah reveals that he murdered Ahkmenrah. He would have been an Egyptian counterpart of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" character, Claudius if this information was in the final film.
- It's never explained why Ahkmenrah was sealed in his coffin since arriving at the museum. One theory is those night guards before even Cecil Fredericks thought that letting a real person out and about, not a stature or other fake figure, was more unpredictable and dangerous. Besides, pharaohs weren't known for their kind spirits and agreeable natures.
- Although not mentioned in the movies, it is a popular fan theory that Ahkmenrah is claustrophobic because of his time trapped in his sarcophagus, wrapped tightly in the bandages.
- Although not mentioned in the movies, it is a popular fan theory that Ahkmenrah died at seventeen years old, similar to King Tut.
- Surprisingly this is actually confirmed in the novelisation of "Night At The Museum" when Cecil and Larry first enter Ahkmenrah's tomb, Cecil mentions that King Ahkmenrah "Died Young"; later in the book the scene where Ahkmenrah is freed from his sarcophagus is described "The lid slammed to the floor, causing dust to puff up. Inside was a mummy wrapped in old, dirty linen shrouds. The jacket guards turned and pointed their swords at Larry and Nick, when suddenly, the mummy began kicking and screaming. Without the lid, the screams sounded human. Nick and Larry began unwrapping the mummy. Once the dust cleared, they found themselves face-to-face with King Ahkmenrah. He was a teenage kid."
- The novel version of "Secret of the Tomb" goes on to narrow it down to being seventeen years old at the oldest "Dressed in an ornate tunic and wearing a tall headpiece, the boy looked no more than seventeen years old. Larry knew differently. Ahkmenrah was actually several thousand years old. In truth, he was a mummified pharaoh from ancient Egypt. The power of his magical tablet had restored back to what he once was."
- Goldman, L., Lennon, T. and Garant, R. (2007). Night at the Museum. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's Educational Series. (Page 109)
- Steele, Michael Anthony. (2014). Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
- Goldman, L., Lennon, T. and Garant, R. (2007). Night at the Museum. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's Educational Series. (Page 30)
- Goldman, L., Lennon, T. and Garant, R. (2007). Night at the Museum. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's Educational Series. (Page 109)