Greater Rathalos

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Greater Rathalos
The Greater Rathalos in Monster Hunter
Alternate names Rathalos, Liolaeus, Giant Liolaeus, Greater Liolaeus
Subtitle(s) King of the Skies
(空の王者,   Sora no Ōja)[1]
Species Wyvern
Height 14 meters[2][3]
Place(s) of emergence The New World
Enemies Natalie Artemis, the Hunter, the Admiral, the Handler, Aiden, Lea,
U.N. armed forces, Apceros
First appearance Monster Hunter
More roars

The Greater Rathalos (巨大リオレウス,   Kyodai Rioreusu, lit. "Giant Liolaeus") is a giant wyvern monster featured in the 2020 film Monster Hunter. It is based on the Rathalos species from Capcom's Monster Hunter video game series, in which they have appeared since 2004.


In the Monster Hunter franchise, Rathalos is the name of the males of a species of "Flying Wyvern" whose female counterparts are called Rathians. Their name in Japanese is Liolaeus (リオレウス,   Rioreusu). The "Greater Rathalos" name does not originate from the game series, and was possibly chosen to indicate his much larger size in comparison to traditional Rathalos.[citation needed] His equivalent name in Japanese is Kyodai Rioreusu (巨大リオレウス,   Kyodai Rioreusu), translating to "Giant Liolaeus." Despite this, he is exclusively referred to as Rathalos throughout the film.


The Greater Rathalos has a posture similar to that of a theropod dinosaur. His armored scales are red in color with black tips. His head has a mane or crown-like appearance with three short, horn-like protrusions on the top and sides of his head. Below the head, he sports two blunted, spike-covered protrusions. The creature's face superficially resembles a bird of prey with a sharp beak on his upper jaw, which contains a mouthful of sharp teeth. The Rathalos sports two ears behind his jaw, and has a spike on his chin. Save for his underbelly and lower jaw, the Rathalos' body is covered in variously-sized plate-like scales, which end in sharp, spike-like structures. A central row of these scales runs down his back. His talons, meanwhile, appear to be covered in much lighter scales reminiscent in texture to those of predatory birds. Unlike the Rathalos from the Monster Hunter games, the Greater Rathalos has bronze-colored eyes rather than blue.

The Greater Rathalos' wings overall resemble those of bats, with his patagium sporting jagged black patterns and rows of sharp, downward-facing spikes which lead to what resemble thumbs. The tip of the monster's wings terminate in two pincer-shaped spikes. A pattern similar to the one on his wing membranes can also be seen on the creature's underbelly, extending from his neck to his tail. His tail ends in a spiked club similar to the thagomizer of a stegosaur. The very tip of this club ends with a single, large spike.


Rathalos is shown to be incredibly aggressive and territorial, attacking and burning humans as soon as they came through into his world. He would go on to chase Artemis through the portal and into her world, where it would destroy and burn several craft and kill multiple people. He also relentlessly attacked the hunters, without any attempt to retreat. When angered enough, Rathalos became reckless in his battle with Artemis, resulting in serious injuries leading to his demise.


According to the Admiral, the Greater Rathalos was employed by a long-dead civilization to guard the Sky Tower. Whether he was engineered, bred, or domesticated is never specified.


Reiwa era

Monster Hunter

Sometime during Artemis and the Hunter's journey to the Sky Tower, the Greater Rathalos raided the oasis. This caused a herd of Apceros to stampede toward the duo. However, the two made it out of the stampede with the help of the Admiral and the sandship crew. Later, they trekked to the Sky Tower and arrived at night. The group discovered glass shards on the ground and, taking this as a sign that the Rathalos was present in the area, spread out to draw out the wyvern. Suddenly, two hunters were set ablaze from above as the monster flew down and perched himself on two pillars before letting out a shrieking roar. He spotted Artemis and The Hunter hiding underneath the rubble and approached them, charging his fire breath to incinerate them. However, the Admiral shouts and gets him to focus on him. He attacked with his Switch Axe but the wyvern dodged before unleashing his own flames as he flew off. Luckily, the Admiral was able to quickly get behind a pillar, avoiding incineration.

Artemis, the Admiral, and the Hunter stepped out of the rubble and charged forward to battle the gigantic wyvern. The wyvern slowly circled back around to face them again. The Admiral hit the beast, causing him to recoil. This allowed Artemis and the Hunter to approach the monster from the side. The Rathalos charged his fire breath before narrowly avoiding the Hunter's explosive arrows by aligning his head so that they hit the side of his face rather than the inside of his mouth. Artemis sliced through the creature's wing membrane, making him shriek in pain.

Lea and Aiden rushed in to join the fight, the former firing her slinger at the Rathalos' face. Aiden was apparently killed by his spiked tail club. The runway of pillars activated and created a portal to Earth behind the wyvern as Artemis continued to battle the monster with her dual blades. The Handler rushed to assist in the fight, only to be knocked away by his wing. The Hunter fired an explosive arrow into the monster's side. She then attacked the creature, throwing her away with its wing. She recovered and barely evaded fire breath blasts by jumping through the portal.

As Artemis reawakened on Earth, the Rathalos emerged and attacked the Osprey, crashing it in the process. The military engaged in combat with the wyvern, only to be completely decimated. Artemis emerged from the wreckage and used her slinger to soar up onto the monster's wing before cutting it down. Rathalos, enraged by this, charged his fire breath, leaving an opening for Artemis to fire and ignite explosives in his mouth using her slinger. Upon impact, several internal explosions occurred inside the wyvern’s body. The beast collapsed, leading Artemis to believe he is dead. However, the Rathalos rose up from the ground and approached her. Before the monster could crush her in his jaws, the hunter arrived and unleashed a salvo of explosive arrows. One strikes a large open wound in the Greater Rathalos’ neck. This caused it to explode and kill the giant Wyvern once and for all.


The Greater Rathalos tearing into an Osprey

Physical abilities

The Greater Rathalos was shown to be able to easily tear through aircraft and a tank with his jaws and talons, throwing the latter a great distance. He actively used his tail to bash enemies away. He also demonstrated quick reflexes, moving his his head out of the way of an explosive arrow.


As implied by its bat-like wings, the Rathalos can fly at great speeds. This made him difficult for the Hunters to attack, as he spent most of their confrontation in the air.

Flame breath

The Greater Rathalos can expel flame from his mouth hot enough to turn sand into glass. He can do this either in the form of fireballs or a concentrated stream.


Main article: Greater Rathalos/Gallery.


  • While not related to the Monster Hunter movie, a Rathalos was previously featured alongside Godzilla and other Japanese characters in an advertisement for Universal Cool Japan 2017.[4]
  • The Greater Rathalos shares his epithet of Sora no Ōja ("King of the Skies") with Chibi Rodan. The Monsterverse Rodan was also called "the king of the skies" on the website for Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
  • The Greater Rathalos was the first Rathalos in the Monster Hunter franchise to be able to breathe continuous streams of fire. This would finally be introduced in the video games with Monster Hunter Rise.

External links


This is a list of references for Greater Rathalos. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Ota 2021, p. 17.
  2. Ota 2021, p. 27
  3. @Monster_Hunter (7 December 2020). "Ever wondered how you'd scale up next to a Black Diablos or even Apceros? 🏹 Click on each image to find out. Which one of these creatures would you want to take on? ☄️ #MonsterHunterMovie coming soon to theaters". Twitter.
  4. Master Blaster (5 December 2016). "Universal Studios Japan announces 2017 line-up of Cool Japan attractions". Soranews24.



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