Grand Vizier Ay

Vizier Ay

This my sketchy portrait of the Grand Vizier Ay, who is the main antagonist in my old short story The Battle Roar of Sekhmet. However, he is a real personage from ancient Egyptian history rather than a fictional character. Originally a nobleman from Akhmim in southern Egypt, Ay got his government career started under the Pharaoh Amenhotep III and continued under Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. After Tut’s early departure to the afterlife, Ay took his place as Pharaoh in 1323 BC, but seems to have been overthrown by the general Horemheb a mere four years later. Horemheb even went so far as to wipe out as much mention of him as possible from Egyptian records, as if trying to completely erase Ay from the annals of history.

In my story (which takes place in 1350 BC, early in the reign of Akhenaten), I portray Ay as a creepy and aging Vizier in charge of persecuting the traditional Egyptian religion on the behalf of Akhenaten’s “Atenist” reforms. And I honestly believe Ay was a creepy guy in real life, too. After Tut’s death, his widow Ankhesenamun sent a request to the Hittites to send her a prince for a husband, but the groom just happened to die en route and she ended up marrying Ay (her grandpa) anyway. Either he was ravenous for power and prestige, or he had a serious entitlement mentality with regards to women. Maybe both.


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