Mathayus is the Akkadian warrior that was well known as the Scorpion King among all that knew his identity, and would become an ancient evil that was stopped from decimating the Earth by Rick O'Connell. He is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Imhotep) of the 2001 film The Mummy Returns and the titular protagonist of The Scorpion King saga.
In The Mummy Returns, the first Scorpion King movie and Rise of the Akkadian, he is portrayed by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in his first villainous role. Johnson also portrayed Sarge in Doom and Agent 23 in Get Smart. Mathayus is played by Michael Copon, Victor Webster, and Zach McGowan in the prequels and sequels.
Rise of the Akkadian
Mathayus was picked by King Urmhet to protect the lord of Khemet and a concubine from a dangerous beast. The beast was summoned by Magus, who convinced him to join forces before Mathayus declined to the sorcerer. He got sent to Magus' prison and met an elderly prisoner named Hammet. He eventually found his way through the Netherworld and retrieved the Sword of Osiris. Magus reveals himself as the man who mislead Mathayus into helping him summon Set, the Chaos God once he sacrifices Mathayus' brothers. Once Magus died at the hands of Mathayus, he became a vessel for Set, which Mathayus quickly defeated and rescued his brothers.
The Last Akkadian
Mathayus, along with his two brothers, the last of a dying people, the Akkadians, Mathayus became a mercenary, training extensively in the deadly arts and only applying service to those whom he and his brothers personally favoured, though upon the death of his brothers, Mathayus went on to end the reign of Memnon, a murderous warlord who sought to conquer all around him, and went on to become a warlord himself known as the Scorpion King. Upon Memnon's death, Mathayus ascended power by assuming the role of a king, becoming a formidable ruler in ancient Egyptian times, before the era of the Pyramids.
Following his ascension, Mathayus' launched a campaign of conquest with the intention of bringing the rest of Egypt under his control. Commanding a large army, Mathayus' remained a formidable warrior and was not afraid to lead his men from the front line. The campaign lasted seven long years and reaped a massive bounty across Egypt.
Finally though, after one final siege on the city of Thebes, the monarch and his men were decisively defeated. Thinking the war was over, the Scorpion Kings enemies drove the defeated monarch and his soldiers into the sacred, but empty wastelands of Ahm Shere. Without food, water or shelter all of his men died of heat stroke one by one until finally, only Mathayus himself was the last survivor. He probably endured longer than the others due to the training in his early life, but even he was not immune to the effects of the desert.
A Deadly Pact
The Warlord left the corpses of his men behind and continued walking until he finally collapsed from exhaustion, somewhere near the heart of the desert. Though he now stood on the verge of death, Mathayus' hatred for his enemies had not subsided and he yearned more than ever to make them pay for his defeat and suffering. With nothing to lose, The Scorpion King made one final gamble.
He prayed to Anubis, the Egyptian God of death and mummification, reciting a passage from the Book of the Dead, offering the dark god a deal. If Anubis spared his life, allowed him to defeat all of his enemies and build the golden pyramid he was promised, Mathayus would give Anubis the most precious thing in his possession, his soul. A scorpion emerged from the ground at that moment as if in answer.
Ignoring the sting, the Scorpion King (who was immune to the arthropods venom) picked up the creature and ate it. He soon discovered that this had been a test from Anubis, who wanted to make sure Mathayus was serious about his proclamation. With this Mathayus earned the favour of the god himself, who used his powers to create a giant oasis around the Scorpion King, filled with trees, fresh water and various forms of protection from outsiders. It was here that the Scorpion King made his headquarters, in the Oasis of Ahm Shere.
Anubis also gave the Scorpion King overall command of his own deadly army. This legion of practically immortal warriors succeeded where his human soldiers had failed, allowing Mathayus to build a golden pyramid in the heart of his oasis, which he dedicated to his new master. The final act of the campaign of vengeance was a retaliatory strike on Thebes, where Mathayus' watched on happily as the army of Anubis slaughtered the entire city until no final resistance remained.
Anubis however, did not seek to destroy all of Egypt's citizens, since doing so would be dangerous to his own existence. He watched as his champion carried out the revenge Anubis had promised him. During the final moments of the fall of Thebes, Anubis judged the Scorpion Kings mission complete and decided the time had come for him to honour his side of the bargain. Whilst the Scorpion Kings back was turned, a statue of the God within Thebes was suddenly surrounded by divine light, which struck Mathayus from behind.
The Scorpion Kings body and soul were separated, the former disintegrating into dust, leaving only the bracelet behind. Mathayus' army returned to the hibernation in the sands, allowing the Egyptians to rebuild and recover. His soul was condemned to return to the sacred oasis Anubis had granted him. There Anubis gave his champion a new body, a twisted but perhaps fitting composition of scorpion and human.
Anubis placed his champion in hibernation, putting a curse on him. Mathayus would awaken in the next year of the scorpion, an event that happened only once every five thousand years. When that time came, Mathayus would face a challenger. If he defeated the challenger, the Scorpion King would return to hibernation. If the challenger defeated Mathayus however, they would gain control over the army of Anubis. They would then be free to make one of two decisions: either use the army for themselves to conquer the entire world or banish the soldiers of Anubis back to the underworld and break the cycle forever.
The Egyptians sealed any remaining relics of Mathayus under lock and key. Over the course of several millennia, his name was forgotten, and he was remembered only as the Scorpion King. By the early 1900s, many egyptologists doubted he had ever existed.
Return and Death
|“||Go to hell, and take your friends with you!||„|
|~ Rick O'Connell after fatally impaling Mathayus.|
5,000 years later, Mathayus remained in his state. His bracelet was discovered by Rick and Evelyn O'Connell, who took it from its resting place back to England. There, their son Alex put the bracelet on for a little bit of fun. However, the magic was imbued with powerful spells that would guide the wearer towards the great pyramid of Ahm Shere. However, these same spells would also awaken the Scorpion King seven days after the wearer put it on. The bracelet also had a deadly curse put upon it so that if the owner did not reach the pyramid by the time morning light struck it on the seventh day, the bracelet would kill them.
Unfortunately for the O'Connell's, Alex was kidnapped shortly after the resurrection of their arch-nemesis the High Priest Imhotep, who sought to use the Scorpion Kings invincible army to conquer the world. Following several encounters and misadventures, both sides reached the Pyramid. There Imhotep descended to challenge the Scorpion King, but not before Anubis stripped him of his great powers to make the fight fair. The adventurer Rick O'Connell followed with the intention of stopping Imhotep's ambitions. Both men sought Mathayus' destruction, but when the giant monstrosity emerged from hibernation, Imhotep feigned loyalty to the abomination. Since Imhotep and Mathayus spoke the same language, Imhotep claimed that Rick was the champion sent to kill him, causing the Scorpion King to focus all of his attention on Rick, killing one of Imhotep's servants in the process.
Rick eventually discovered carvings on the wall of the pyramid, probably put there by Anubis himself, telling him how to defeat the Scorpion King. It turned out that a trinket Rick's brother in law Johnathon had been carrying was in-fact the Spear of Osiris, the one weapon, which could harm the Scorpion King. Whilst Rick distracted the giant monstrosity, Johnathon and Alex activated the spear, then tried to launch it, only for it to be intercepted by Imhotep. The mummified High Priest proclaimed that the Army of Anubis was now his, and threw the spear at Mathayus.
At the last second, however, Rick jumped in the way and grabbed the spear. Recognising the danger to him, the Scorpion King lunged at Rick intending to destroy the Spear. Rick slipped on the edge of a chasm leading to the underworld, however, and at the last second managed to impale Matahyus through the abdomen. Having fulfilled the prophecy the Ancient Egyptian King exploded in a puff of black smoke, fulfilling Rick's command and taking his forces back to the Underworld with him.
The Oasis was destroyed shortly afterwords, ending the threat of the Scorpion King once and for all.