Study Guide

Horus the Elder

  • Profile

    Often imitated but never duplicated, Horus the Elder was Big Bird long before Sesame Street. But instead of a tall yellow bird with an invisible buddy, he was a giant hawk as big as the entire sky, with the sun and moon for eyes. When the sun and moon were given to other gods who came along, Horus was made second son of the sun-god, Ra. Horus's brother and sister, Osiris and Isis, named their son Horus the Younger after him, and a bunch of other protector gods started calling themselves Horus, too. Apparently lots of gods in Egypt wanted to be the hawk-headed tough guy who kicks evil's butt and keeps everything in order.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Horus the Elder (Haroeris)

    Nickname

    Powerful One, Greatly Speckled Hawk, The Boss, Great God of the Winged Disk, Hawkman

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Edfu

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Soldier, fighter, protector

    Education

    On the battlefield

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Kill 'em all, and let me sort 'em out.

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Nut (Mom), Geb (Dad), Ra (Stepdad)

    Siblings

    My older brother Osiris; my younger brother and twin Seth; my little sister Isis; and my little sister Nephthys.

    Children

    Ihy (with my smoking hot wife Hathor)

    Friends

    Anubis, Seth, Thoth, the four divisions of Pharaoh's army

    Enemies

    Apophis, the giant serpent of chaos. Oh, and all evildoers everywhere.

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Married to Hathor. I'm the luckiest god in the world.

    Interested in

    My wife (and I'm not just saying that)

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    24 (Jack Bauer is my hero.) 
    American Chopper (When I'm not flying in my hawk form, I'm riding.) 
    Band of Brothers (Heroes aren't born. They're made.) 

    Quotations

    "War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children."
    – Jimmy Carter

    "No catalogue of horrors ever kept men from war. Before the war you always think that it's not you that dies. But you will die, brother, if you go to it long enough."
    – Ernest Hemingway

    "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend."
    – J.R.R. Tolkien

    "There goes my hero / watch him as he goes."
    – The Foo Fighters, "My Hero"

    "Bird of prey
    flying high
    in the summer sky
    bird of prey
    flying high
    gently pass on by"
    – Jim Morrison

    Books

    The Art of War by Sun Tzu (I'd say I wrote the book, but actually, a Chinese guy did.)  
    "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Cannon to the left of them, Horus to the right of them… What? That's not how it goes?) 
    Dune by Frank Herbert (Ruling the universe is a thankless job. Godlike powers make it a little easier to handle.)  
    Gun: A Visual History by DK Publishing (We didn't have these back in Egypt, but if someone had invented them for us, I would've used them all.) 
    "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (Sonnet 43)" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (I love reading this to my wife. Don't you dare laugh. Tough gods can be cuddly.) 
    The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of fun, but you need to know how to hold on to it. This guy understands that power, violence, and morals don't always get along.) 
    Qadesh 1300BC: Clash of the Warrior Kings (Osprey Military Campaign Series) by Mark Healy (I never get tired of hearing about the greatest battle of Egypt's history. Even if Ramses II didn't really win, and asked Amun-Ra for help instead of me, it was a great fight.) 
    The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (War is hell. Take it from someone who was there.) 
    Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert) by Craig Luebben (Need a hobby? Do something that's good for your body and your mind. I like mountains.) 
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Some people take the challenge thing just a little bit too far. It's all in fun, until someone loses their head.) 

    Music

    Blitzkrieg Bop by the Ramones (If you're going to fight, you may as well make it catchy.) 
    Fight the Power by Public Enemy (It's always right to fight what's wrong.)
    Iron Man by Black Sabbath (I dare you to listen to this without singing along to the guitar line as well as the words.) 
    Mortal Combat Theme (Remix) by KMFDM 
    Street Fighting Man by the Rolling Stones (I really like these guys and their guitars.) 
    Swords in the Wind by Manowar (Yeah, it's about the Norse gods, but it's still a great song. Sons of Odin fight to die and live again!) 
    We are the Champions by Queen (Stomp your feet and march to victory!) 
    Wherever I May Roam by Metallica (I get restless. It's good to have heavy metal on your wanderings.) 

    Movies

    300 (Too bad these guys weren't Egyptian.) 
    Live Free or Die Hard (Now this is a cop.) 
    Conan the Barbarian (I know there's a newer version. I liked this one better.)
    Gladiator (What we do in life, echoes in eternity.) 
    Green Lantern (No evil ever escapes my sight. Then again, the Eyes of Horus are probably more powerful than Hal's ring.) 
    Iron Man (Red and gold, two of my favorite colors. Nice choice, Tony.) 
    All the James Bond movies (The name's Horus. Elder Horus.) 

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Avenging wrongs
    Being a hero
    Drinking
    Fighting
    My gorgeous wife

    Interests

    Bodybuilding
    Epics
    Formula 1 Racing (so much faster than my chariot!)
    Ironworking and Blacksmiths
    Military history

    Groups

    Ancient Egyptian Gods 
    Lord Horus  
    Warcraft  
    The Gods of War 

  • Spotter's Guide

    This guy is kind of hard to miss. He's a giant hawk as big as the entire sky, after all. Oh, and the sun and moon are his eyes. So yeah, we don't think you'll have any trouble spotting him. Just be careful: he's a force to be reckoned with.

    Sex: Male
    Age: Adult
    Build: Muscular. This god works out!
    Complexion: Tan
    Hair Color: Probably bald, wears a blue wig and a hawk mask (or actually has a hawk's head)
    Facial Hair: In hawk-head form, he actually has feathers on his face
    Scars/marks/tattoos: Plenty of battle scars
    Jewelry and accessories: Sometimes a necklace and bracelets, but usually dressed for war, which means no jewelry.
    Clothing: A short white and red kilt
    Armor: Golden scale mail on his chest, sometimes a shield
    Type of Weapon: All of them, but especially the khopesh (long, curved sword) and spear

    Typical Companions

    When he's not off exploring alone, you can find Horus the Elder with:
    Hathor, his really hot wife
    Other warrior gods like Montu, Sobek, and Horus the Younger
    Seth
    Soldiers and warriors

    Known Hangouts

    Battlefields

  • Sightings

    Jan 1, 1970

    Horus versus Seth, Version 1

    Whose god can beat up your god? The people of northern (Lower) Egypt, who worshipped the desert god Seth, found out the hard way, when the people of southern (Upper) Egypt followed their god, Horus the Elder, to victory over the north. After this victory, both north and south were united as Tawy, the "Two Lands." Even modern Egypt, more than 6,000 years later, talks about Lower and Upper Egypt, and its two crowns and two lands.

    Jan 1, 1970

    Hierakonpolis (Egyptian: Nekhen), the City of the Hawk

    Horus the Elder's ancient city was home to King Scorpion, thought to be one of the kings who united the Two Lands. (You probably remember the Scorpion King from the movie where The Rock got to play him.) The City of the Hawk got started as early as 2,000 years before it was the capital of the Two Lands: lots of time to get ready for that big war.

    Dec 21, 2019

    Pyramid Texts

    The ancient Egyptians wrote about their king being a form of Horus the Elder, the "living falcon" on earth. Parts of these texts end up inside pyramids, so their spirits can read them in the afterlife, in case they forget, or in case they need to create wings so they can fly with the sun-god Ra.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Horus versus Seth, Version 2

    This time it's Horus versus Seth: The Revenge. Seth's still the bad guy, but this time the good guy is Horus the Elder's nephew, the son of Isis and Osiris that we call Horus the Younger. Horus the Younger and Seth battle for more than 80 years, while other gods try to help either side. But just like the first time: Horus always wins.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Horus the Elder and Seth make up (kind of)

    Horus the Younger and Seth are eternal enemies because of Seth's killing of Osiris. That's never going to change. But sometimes, Horus the Elder and Seth actually get along. Horus the Elder becomes half of Bawy, the "Two Powers," a god who is a mash-up of Horus the Elder and Seth as twins and complimentary opposites. Sometimes, Bawy is actually drawn as one body with both gods' heads.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Metal God (for real)

    Images of Horus the Elder made out of bronze or stone were very popular with the Late Period pharaohs.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Edfu (Behdet) Temple

    A giant temple to Horus the Elder was started by the Ptolemaic kings, who kept adding to it up until 57 BCE. It was built atop older versions of the temple, but this version still stands today and is a major tourist attraction. It is also the best-preserved of all ancient Egyptian temple ruins, and still has most of its roof and walls. If you go there, you can see the entire battle of Horus and Seth carved into its stone walls.

    Dec 20, 2019

    The Book of the Law

    Horus the Elder is a very powerful god, but did you ever think of him as a magician? Aleister Crowley, a famous magician and philosopher, did. In his Book of the Law, Crowley created a new composite god out of Horus the Elder, called "Heru-ra-Ha" for his new religious philosophy called Thelema.

    Flying to Egypt

    The head of Horus is in the logo for EgyptAir (Egypt's national airline), and even used to decorate its planes. If you ever fly to Cairo from the U.S., they'll give you a cute pair of socks with Horus's face on them!