Hercules and Iolaus arrive in Egypt just in time to save Queen Nefertiti from assassins. Iolaus suspected Princess Amensu of perpetrating the crime, because Amensu wanted Egypt to attack Greece while her mother did not. But the real traitor turned out to be Prince Ramses, who had appeared to support the Queen. He found the Necronomicon -- the Book of the Dead -- and used his new powers to send stone statues after Hercules and Iolaus. But they evaded the statues and retrieved the book. Ramses was destroyed upon reciting the book's incantation, while Nefertiti and Amensu were reconciled.moreless
The shows Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess never agreed on what the time period in Egypt was. This episode takes place in between two Xena: Warrior Princess episodes ("The King of Assassins" and "Antony & Cleopatra") that feature Cleopatra as the queen of Egypt. Nefertiti, of course, existed long before Cleopatra, in the 13th century BCE. This is far before the time period usually depicted in both series.
Amensu: Don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong, Hercules. It's liable to get your head cut off.
Hercules: What do you think about that?
Iolaus: Well, I think it's potentially fatal... good delivery, excellent style. I'd give it a 4.5.
Hercules: Style I'll give you, but originality? Mmm, nah. 3.0 tops.
Nefertiti: My daughter's tongue is sometimes too quick for her brain.
Hercules: Hmm... Iolaus has the same problem.
Iolaus: Do you wanna know what they do with the Pharaoh's insides before they mummify him?
Hercules: Do I have a choice?
Hercules: Sure, yeah. I said, yeah. Who wouldn't wanna know?
Disclaimer: No pyramid schemers were harmed during the production of this motion picture.
The healing spell from the Necronomicon that Ramses reads contains the phrase "Klaatu verada nikto." Those were the magic words Ash (Bruce Campbell) had to recite in Army of Darkness before claiming the Necronomicon from the cemetery. The phrase, of course, is also a modification of the famed "Klaatu barada nikto" from The Day the Earth Stood Still.
In this episode, Nefertiti's seal is an Eye of Horus (later known as the Eye of Ra). It is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities. Horus was a sky God, son of Osiris and Isis, and fought with Set to avenge his father's death and become ruler of Egypt. During this fight, he lost an eye, but it was later healed by Isis. It was said that his right eye was the sun and his left eye was the moon, thus giving rise to the fact that the symbol of the Eye of Horus has different meanings depending on the direction it faces.
Near the beginning of the episode, Iolaus relates an important Egyptian myth. Set, the God of the desert (often portrayed as evil), was jealous of his brother Osiris, who was a prosperous king. Set made a sarcophagus and had a party where anyone who fit in it could keep it. When Osiris tried, the lid closed and locked, and Set threw it into the Nile, killing him. Osiris became Lord of the Afterlife.
Ramses (sometimes Ramesses) is the English transliteration of the name of eleven Egyptian pharaohs from the 12th century BCE to the 10th. The name translates as "Born of the Sun-God Ra". None of these Ramses were known to be related to Nefertiti (13th century BCE).
Nefertiti was Queen of Egypt during the 13th century BCE, wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten (a.k.a. Amenhotep IV). She may have ruled alone briefly after her husband's death. Nefertiti and her husband were known for changing Egypt's religion from polytheistic to monotheistic, believing in only one God, Aten. They had six daughters, and were succeeded by their daughter, Ankhesenamen, and Akhenaten's son (not by Nefertiti), Tutankhamen.
The Necronomicon is a famous fictional book, first invented by horror novelist H. P. Lovecraft in 1924. Lovecraft was purposefully vague about the contents, but said that it contains an account of deities, their history, and the means for summoning them. The Necronomicon also makes a slightly revamped appearance as The Necronomicon Ex-Mortis in The Evil Dead trilogy, written and directed by Sam Raimi (one of Hercules' and Xena's Executive Producers). In fact, as Ramses acquires the scroll noting the Necronomicon's location, music from Joseph LoDuca's score for Army of Darkness is played.
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