In Black Panther, in order to be King you must consume a plant which in the comics is referred to as the Heart Shaped Herb and then "enter the ancestral plane and reconnect with the past Black Panthers."

When T'Challa consumes the plant

He meets up with his father and other past black panthers and this is not just once it happens twice once when he originally becomes King and after when he is revived in the mountains.

However when Killmonger consumes the plant

He sees his father [who is not a Black Panther] and talks to him.

Why doesn't Killmonger see previous Black Panthers if that is the point of the vision ceremony?

  • Yeah @Paulie_D I meant why doesn't he see the other black panthers? Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 11:06
  • @Paulie_D + His father wasn't a black panther his father was a spy and his brother T'Chaka took the throne and the role of Black Panther. Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 12:21
  • 1
    I've edited the question to what I think you meant to ask but feel free to make your own clarifications.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 12:36

3 Answers 3


As far as I feel, the literal sense is made for the ancestral plane, as his father wasn't a Black Panther (although he was of royal blood), so Killmonger not seeing previous black panthers but his father makes sense.

As far as movie's explanation about ritual goes, they meet their ancestors (usually father), or whoever they have deep emotional anguish or love for. It isn't explicitly stated that the ritual ceremony needs to contain a vision of the previous black panthers.

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    I noticed that on the second watching that the sky in the background of Killmonger's vision is the same as the one in T'Challa's ancestral plane.
    – AShelly
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 2:14

Killmonger's Ancestral Plane vision is different because each person perceives the "planes of untethered consciousness" differently.

The Ancestral Plane is expounded upon in Moon Knight (2022 MCU TV series) S01E05 "Asylum", where it was mentioned by Taweret, an Egyptian goddess*, that there are "many intersectional planes of untethered consciousness" and that the Ancestral Plane is one of them.

* Bast in Black Panther is also an Egyptian goddess.
Dialogue from Moon Knight S01E05 "Asylum" (emphasis mine):

Taweret: You'd be surprised how many intersectional planes of untethered consciousness exist. [Gasps] Like the Ancestral Plane. Oh! Just gorgeous. Anyway.

The background to the scene where the above dialogue took place was that Marc Spector (Moon Knight) and Steven Grant (Marc Spector's alter-ego) were in a realm called the Duat. Taweret was explaining to them what the Duat is. In Moon Knight, the "planes of untethered consciousness" are called the Duat, and in Black Panther, the Ancestral Plane.

Taweret: Because the Duat's true nature is impossible for the human mind to comprehend, you may perceive this realm as something more easily recognizable to you.

Killmonger's Ancestral Plane vision is different because each person perceives the "planes of untethered consciousness" differently. Unlike T'Challa, Killmonger didn't grow up in Wakanda, so he isn't as familiar with Wakandan traditions and views as someone like T'Challa, who grew up in Wakanda and was groomed to be the next king and Black Panther.

Killmonger's vision of the Ancestral Plane is something more recognizable to him, based on his past, in the apartment he grew up in and with his father, and not including his other ancestors or past Black Panthers who he won't be as familiar with.

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Shuri's vision of the Ancestral Plane is also different from T'Challa's. Her vision was of the flooded Wakanda throne room (reflecting recent events she experienced) and the person she met was not her father, brother, mother, nor any ancestor, but Killmonger, reflecting her state of mind at the time.


Killmonger was NEVER the legitimate king as he did not fulfill the terms of the trial, death or yield.

Since he wasn't the legitimate king, his access to the knowledge of the lineage of Black Panthers was denied.

Further, it could be inferred that Bast denied him access to the full Wakandan ancestral plane since his motives and tactics for claiming the throne were in conflict with the still-living legitimate king.

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