Slaying dragons is a Western concept. In the East, they are sacred. Divine creatures that brought wisdom, strength... even redemption.
— Ilene Chen (Godzilla: King of the Monsters)
A third-generation member of Monarch, Dr. Chen studies ancient mythology in order to make new discoveries about the Titans from a time when they once walked the Earth alongside humanity. She understands that mythology is not simply ancient stories or museum exhibits, but rather a compass that can lead to discoveries about real once-forgotten superspecies in the present day. In 2009, Dr. Chen and her sister Dr. Ling investigated accounts from loggers in China's Yunnan province of haunting singing in the forest at night, which they connected with ancient accounts of singing forests spirits. She and her sister guided a Monarch team led by Dr. Emma Russell to the ancient Temple of the Moth, where inside they discovered a cocoon containing the mythological Titan Titanus Mosura, known to the ancients as Mothra. Dr. Chen takes a personal interest in her work beyond just scientific curiosity; as the mother of two daughters, she believes learning about a time when mankind lived alongside gods and in harmony with nature may be the key to ensuring a better future for all of humanity.
Ilene is a calm, compassionate, and idealistic woman who believes that "myth is our compass" through which mankind can learn how to peacefully coexist with creatures such as Godzilla and Mothra.
Dr. Chen was present at a briefing at Monarch Outpost 54 discussing the recent kidnapping of Emma and Madison Russell and the theft of the Orca. Dr. Vivienne Graham revealed that the culprit behind the kidnapping was a British eco-terrorist Alan Jonah. When Dr. Rick Stanton stated that Mothra was merely a larva and that she would cocoon into something "bigger" and "meaner," Chen told him that they didn't know that. Chen and the other members of Monarch and G-Team then listened to the rest of the briefing. When Godzilla approached the Outpost, Chen remarked to Mark Russell that he had never come that close before. When Mark suggested that they lower the weapons and shields around the base, Chen witnessed as Godzilla swam toward a large window, his dorsal fins glowing in an intimidation display. Chen accompanied the rest of Monarch aboard the USS Argo as they traveled to Outpost 32 in Antarctica, where Godzilla was found to be heading. She remarked that there was very little historical evidence speaking of the Titan contained there, Monster Zero, as if it was "meant to be forgotten." Chen and the others landed at the Outpost in an Osprey, and watched a video feed as G-Team stormed the base. They witnessed as G-Team was ambushed by Jonah's men, which prompted Mark to run into the base after them. Chen remained in the Osprey and watched as charges in the ice were detonated, causing Outpost 32 to collapse into a fissure. The three-headed Monster Zero then erupted from the ice and vaporized many members of G-Team before approaching the Osprey. Fortunately, Emma used the Orca to distract Monster Zero before it could destroy the Osprey. Godzilla subsequently rose from under the ice and challenged Monster Zero, their battle knocking the Osprey dangerously close to a fissure in the ice. Chen escaped with most of the others, while Dr. Graham remained behind to help Mark. She and the others watched helplessly as Monster Zero bit down on the ice and swallowed Graham whole. The Argo arrived soon after and forced Monster Zero to flee with a barrage of missiles.
Chen re-boarded the Argo and was present on the bridge as the members of Monarch discussed the fact that it was Emma who detonated the charges in the ice. They were then contacted by Emma, who explained her motivation for siding with Jonah and releasing the Titans. Chen angrily accused Emma of "killing the world," but she responded that she was saving it. After Emma warned the others to seek shelter and signed off, Chen bitterly remarked "that bitch." Monarch discovered that Emma was broadcasting from an unknown location and not actually at Isla de Mara, the location of Outpost 56. G-Team was deployed to evacuate the nearby village before the Titan inside the volcano was released. When Emma used the Orca to awaken the Titan in the volcano, Mark asked Chen if there was a "catchy name" for the Titan. She replied that local legends called it "Rodan, the Fire Demon." G-Team's fighter jets opened fire on Rodan, prompting him to give chase after the squadron and the Argo. The Argo led Rodan directly into the path of the approaching Monster Zero, prompting the two Titans to fight. The Argo was contacted by Admiral Stenz, who ordered it to withdraw as the military had launched a new weapon, the Oxygen Destroyer, to the area to kill the Titans. Monster Zero quickly dispatched Rodan and approached the Argo before Godzilla burst from the sea and dragged him under. The Argo fled as the Oxygen Destroyer impacted the water. Chen and the others watched as Godzilla's life signs faded following the weapon's impact, whereas Monster Zero flew out of the water and perched himself atop Isla de Mara's volcano. The evil creature regenerated the head Godzilla had torn off in their battle and emitted a call that awakened countless Titans all over the world, bending them to his will.
Aboard the Argo, Mark asked Chen if she managed to find anything of note in her ongoing research. She replied "Myth is our compass," a phrase her grandmother used to say. She explained that she was a third-generation Monarch member, and showed Mark how identical twins ran in her family. The other members of Monarch and G-Team entered the bridge, discussing how Monster Zero had managed to regenerate his head and awaken the other Titans. Stanton remarked that it violated everything they knew about the natural order, prompting Chen to reply that it was because Monster Zero was not part of the natural order. She explained that she pieced together more about the creature, which legends spoke of as a "dragon that fell from the stars" and whose storms "swallowed men and gods alike." Ishiro Serizawa asked Chen what the legends called this dragon, and she replied "Ghidorah, the One Who is Many." Since Ghidorah was an alien and not part of the natural order, that explained his regeneration and the affect he was having on the other Titans. The Argo returned to Castle Bravo, where a US Navy fleet was waiting. Chen and Mark listened as Stenz briefed everyone about the situation, claiming the Titans' behavior was "erratic" now that they were no longer taking nuclear weapons as bait. Chen replied that Stenz was wrong, as the Titans' behavior was not random or erratic. Mark elaborated, explaining that the Titans were responding to an alpha: Ghidorah. If they could stop Ghidorah, he said, they could stop them all. Unfortunately, with Godzilla dead, there was nothing that stood a chance against King Ghidorah. However, the imago Mothra soon approached the base, emitting rays of blinding white light and emitting bioacoustics which Chen compared to a song. Stanton found that something was responding to Mothra's cries, which Serizawa recognized as Godzilla. Chen remarked that he was still alive, while Mark asked how many nukes the Navy had, as they could help Godzilla with them.
Chen accompanied Mark, Serizawa, and Stanton aboard the USS Scorpion as it followed Mothra's beacon of light to Godzilla's location. The sub was without warning pulled underwater violently, to what Stanton determined was the Hollow Earth as Houston Brooks hypothesized. They discovered the ancient sunken ruins of a city inside the Hollow Earth and saw there was what appeared to be a radioactive air pocket deeper into the ruins. Stanton warned them they should stop approaching the pocket as the radiation levels were too high, so the sub sent drones ahead to observe. Before going offline, the drones recorded Godzilla sleeping atop a huge altar in the middle of the air pocket. The scientists determined that this was Godzilla's home, the place he retreated to in order to heal and absorb radiation which allowed him to live for as long as he had. However, this process could take an unknown amount of time before Godzilla was ready to face Ghidorah again, and the Scorpion's firing system was too damaged to launch a nuke to accelerate the process. Furthermore, they could not manually place and arm a warhead inside the pocket as the radiation and heat would prove lethal. Without hesitation, Serizawa stated that he would do it. Chen protested that there must be another way, but Serizawa stated there was no time for debate. As Serizawa suited up, Chen tearfully embraced him before he bid farewell to Stanton and Mark and boarded a mini-sub. Serizawa departed and entered the air pocket, climbing the altar with a warhead in hand before placing it next to Godzilla and arming it. The Scorpion withdrew just as the warhead detonated, the explosion pushing it to the surface. Chen and Mark climbed atop the Scorpion and watched as Godzilla rose from the sea, completely revitalized, and fired his atomic breath into the sky. Godzilla leaned in and observed the humans on the submarine, with Mark warning them not to move. Godzilla then turned and began making his way to Boston, where Madison had activated the Orca.
Chen and the others returned to the Argo and prepared for the final confrontation with Ghidorah. As the Argo accompanied Godzilla into Boston, Chen remarked: "For Serizawa." Mark and G-Team headed into the city aboard an Osprey to look for Madison and the Orca, while Chen remained aboard the Argo and watched the battle between Godzilla and Ghidorah. She watched as Mothra arrived to back Godzilla up, only for Ghidorah to summon Rodan to intercept her. The battle raged on, with Mothra incapacitating Rodan and sacrificing her life to defend Godzilla from Ghidorah. Mark and Emma activated the Orca to draw Ghidorah away from Godzilla. Chen boarded an Osprey which arrived to pick Mark and the others up, but Emma chose to drive away with the Orca to keep him away from the Osprey. The Osprey took off as Emma lured Ghidorah away and was mortally wounded when Ghidorah blew up her vehicle with his Gravity Beams. Chen and the others witnessed as Burning Godzilla confronted Ghidorah and incinerated his wings and heads with nuclear pulses in the shape of Mothra's wings. Godzilla then stepped on Ghidorah as his nuclear energy exploded, decimating what was left of Boston. Those aboard the Osprey then saw as Godzilla rose from the ruins with Ghidorah's last head in his mouth and burned it away with his atomic breath. Stanton remarked that it was a good thing Godzilla was on their side, to which Chen replied "for now." Madison pointed out that the other Titans were approaching Godzilla, and everyone watched as Rodan, Methuselah, Scylla, Behemoth, and the Queen MUTO submitted to Godzilla, the new King of the Monsters.
- Chen and her twin sister Dr. Ling reference the Shobijin, the miniature twin priestesses who usually accompany Mothra.
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