King Ghidorah (MonsterVerse)
|King Ghidorah incarnations|
- Ishiro Serizawa: “A false king.”
- Rick Stanton: “An invasive species. That could explain how he's creating these massive storms and the effect he's having on the other Titans. It's almost like he's reshaping the planet to his own liking.”
- Ishiro Serizawa: “These legends, what did they call him?”
- Ilene Chen: “Ghidorah. The one who is many.”
- ― Dr. Rick Stanton, Ishiro Serizawa, and Ilene Chen as they uncover King Ghidorah’s origin (Godzilla: King of the Monsters)
King Ghidorah (キングギドラ, also known as Monster Zero Kingu Gidora) (モンスター・ゼロ, is a three-headed Monsutā Zero)Titan who first appeared in the 2019 Legendary Pictures Godzilla film Godzilla: King of the Monsters. He is the first incarnation of the character to appear in an American-made film.
An evil alien dragon who invaded Earth in the ancient past, King Ghidorah clashed with Godzilla and Mothra, who succeeded in sealing him away beneath the Antarctic ice. The organization Monarch discovered Ghidorah's resting place in the present day, and established Outpost 32 to study him, dubbing him "Monster Zero." In 2019, the eco-terrorist Alan Jonah, working alongside Monarch defector Dr. Emma Russell, unleashed Ghidorah from his frozen tomb in an attempt to release all of the Titans to restore the natural order. Being an invasive species, Ghidorah had no interest in restoring balance and resumed annihilating the global ecosystem, awakening all of the other Titans himself and bending them to his will. Assisted by Monarch, Godzilla and Mothra joined forces and engaged Ghidorah in Boston for a final confrontation. Ghidorah summoned Rodan to his aid to deal with Mothra, while Ghidorah overwhelmed Godzilla in one-on-one combat. After defeating Rodan, Mothra sacrificed her life to save Godzilla from Ghidorah, reinvigorating him with her energy and allowing him to finally destroy Ghidorah once and for all. With the three-headed terror finally vanquished, Godzilla took his place as the King of the Monsters, ending the rampages of the Titans previously under Ghidorah's control.
Following the three-headed monster's death, Jonah purchased a head Godzilla had severed from Ghidorah in Isla de Mara from a group of fishermen. The skull was eventually sold to Apex Cybernetics, who used it as part of the control system for Mechagodzilla. After the mecha was powered by an untested power source from the Hollow Earth, King Ghidorah's lingering consciousness merged with Mechagodzilla's A.I., driving it berserk. After killing its creators, the rogue Mechagodzilla began a rampage in Hong Kong, though it was eventually destroyed by the combined efforts of Godzilla and Kong, ending Ghidorah's brief resurgence.
Name[edit | edit source]
The "Ghidorah" (ギドラ part of King Ghidorah's name comes from the Japanese word for "hydra" Gidora) (ヒドラ, which shares two of its three katakana characters with "Ghidorah." It also, coincidentally or not, sounds very similar to the Hidora)Russian pronunciation of "hydra" (Гидра, ˈɡʲidrə). The addition of "King" (キング) to his name may have been influenced by King Dragon (キング・ドラゴン, the name given to Kingu Doragon)Zmey Gorynych, upon which King Ghidorah's design was based, in the Japanese version of the Soviet film Ilya Muromets. Monarch calls King Ghidorah Monster Zero (モンスター・ゼロ, and gives him the Monsutā Zero)Titan designation Titanus Ghidorah. He is typically only ever referred to by these names or just Ghidorah in-universe, with only merchandise and marketing using his full name, although Col. Diane Foster does call him "King Ghidorah" once in the film itself. A tracking label shown on a map in the film also reads "King Ghidorah." One ancient Sumerian text discovered by Monarch also called him Death Song of Three Storms.
Director Michael Dougherty individually nicknamed Ghidorah's heads Ichi, Ni, and San during production, literally translating to "one" (一, "two" ichi) (二, and "three" ni) (三 in Japanese. The leftmost head, nicknamed San, is also jokingly called "Kevin" by fans due to its more submissive nature and comical antics compared to the other two heads. Dougherty and san)Legendary Pictures themselves have even acknowledged this nickname on Twitter. In the film itself, Rick Stanton jokingly calls Ghidorah's heads "Moe, Larry, and Curly" in reference to The Three Stooges.
Development[edit | edit source]
Though clearly recognizable as Godzilla's arch-rival, this incarnation of King Ghidorah deviated from past designs in two key ways: a more muscular chest to support his three necks and a willingness to walk on his wings like a bat. Early concepts explored emphasizing the creature's extraterrestrial origins, but a more traditional design won out. According to sculptor Simon Lee, "I didn't want the creature to have the wings spread all the time, as that can actually create a problem with the camera framing, because of how big he is." Lee made nearly 60 concept sculptures of Ghidorah, including the final maquette, with Timothy Martin making some final tweaks during production. The artists were inspired by Asian dragons, reptiles, bats, dinosaurs, giraffes, horses, and various marine life. Once Ghidorah's design progressed to 3D modeling, his wings took on the texture of a bat, while his skin drew from corn snakes, iguanas, and chameleons.
At one point in his life, Godzilla: King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty owned three dogs, each with their own temperament. Ghidorah's heads followed suit, with a commanding center head, aggressive right head, and curious left head. Dougherty nicknamed them Ichi, Ni, and San, respectively, though fans embraced a second sobriquet he came up with for the left head: Kevin. A different actor played each of Ghidorah's heads for motion capture reference: Jason Liles in the center, Richard Dorton on the left, and Alan Maxson on the right. VFX supervisor Guillaume Rocheron explained that this helped the animators understand "how 3 different brains perform the same action at the same time." For battles against Godzilla, they worked with TJ Storm, reprising his role from Godzilla. Liles had experience in the genre as well, having played George in Rampage. In an interview with Nerd Alert News, he recounted the day that one of Dougherty's dogs visited the set. Much as Ghidorah whipped Titans around the world into a frenzy, the actors' performances were compelling enough to drive him "berserk [...] barking like crazy" as the staff tried to calm him.
With three heads, a pair of wings, and two tails, rigging and animating Ghidorah was no easy task, even in the pre-visual stage. The filmmakers based his fighting style on bears and Komodo dragons, giving him overlap with Godzilla. One of his most devastating moves was inspired by golden eagles, who kill goats by picking them up and dropping them off mountains. There was one physical Ghidorah prop on set, which was ultimately cut from the movie: a tooth that Madison Russell backed into while trying to evade him in Fenway Park.
Design[edit | edit source]
This incarnation of King Ghidorah maintains the traditional core design of the character, being a giant bipedal dragon with three heads on long serpentine necks, two tails, and two large bat-like wings at his sides, which stands upright on his two hind legs. His body is covered in overlapping golden scales, which according to Monarch actually contain trace amounts of gold. The membranes of King Ghidorah's wings are still gold in color, but are made of smooth skin and not covered in scales. Like past designs, the fronts of King Ghidorah's necks are also not covered in scales, but rather skin with a ridged texture. This skin pattern extends to King Ghidorah's chest, a trait unique to this incarnation. This King Ghidorah's heads are designed similarly to the character's Heisei incarnation, with a set of horns on each side as opposed to the Showa incarnation's single pair of horns and manes of hair. Unlike the Heisei King Ghidorah, each of the MonsterVerse King Ghidorah's heads has ten horns, five on each side rather than eight, and one of the right head's horns is chipped. These horns are also slightly larger and more curved, while the left head's horns appear to be straighter than the others, as opposed to the thin straight horns of the Heisei design. Depending on Ghidorah's emotions, the horns can flare up or flare down. There is also a small ridge atop each head. All three of King Ghidorah's necks are very muscular in addition to being very long. Two rows of spikes run down the back of his center neck, while the left and right necks feature one row apiece. The undersides of his necks glow yellow when he charges his gravity beams. The MonsterVerse King Ghidorah's central neck is positioned in front of his left and right necks much like Keizer Ghidorah's, whereas all previous incarnations of the character had their middle neck positioned behind the others.
King Ghidorah's body is considerably thinner than that of past incarnations, with the outline of his rib cage visible through his skin. Unlike past incarnations, he has defined arms that extend into his wings, with claws at the end of each fold. Some toys of this incarnation have thumbs on their wings, although he lacks them in the film. His wings are much larger than those of past incarnations and attach to his body well below his hips. When fully outstretched, they extend well above his heads. This incarnation also uses his wings for support when standing at times. King Ghidorah's legs are thin but muscular, with his knees bent forward in such a way that he has a slight forward hunch. His feet have at least four digits with defined claws. King Ghidorah's tails end in spiky retractable fans similar to the Heisei King Ghidorah. According to Monarch files, injuries have been discovered on several locations on King Ghidorah's body "reminiscent of claw and scorch marks.". When Godzilla rips off Ghidorah's left head, his blood is shown to be black; the novelization implies that it is similar to oil in terms of consistency.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Monarch classifies King Ghidorah's behavior as that of a "destroyer," along with fellow Titans Rodan, Scylla, MUTO Prime, Camazotz, Mechagodzilla, and the Skull Devil, and considers him "Godzilla's ultimate nemesis." He lives up to this reputation upon awakening, commanding the other Titans around the world to help him decimate the planet's ecosystems. Unlike Godzilla, Ghidorah demonstrates true malice and is shown to be openly hostile toward humans which are far too small to injure him, such as when he vaporizes a group of soldiers with his Gravity Beams, when he chases down and kills Vivienne Graham, and when he stalks and attempts to kill Madison Russell. Dr. Rick Stanton speculates Ghidorah's ultimate goal is to terraform the Earth in his own image. In the novelization, Mark Russell opts for a simpler explanation: Ghidorah is trying to kill every living thing that isn't him because he's driven by hatred and malice. King Ghidorah's three heads each have their own personalities and are akin to conjoined triplets rather than a single individual with three heads. Godzilla: King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty described the center head as "the one who's sort of the big brother and the most serious," the right head as "slightly more aggressive and tenacious," and the left head as "[displaying] signs of curiosity." King Ghidorah uses body language to intimidate Godzilla, shaking the ends of his tails like a rattlesnake and spreading his wings like how a cobra opens its hood. Ghidorah can also flick out his tongues like a snake or lizard.
Origins[edit | edit source]
According to Dr. Ilene Chen, Ghidorah is an ancient creature who was feared by many ancient cultures and was said to have been a "dragon who fell from the stars", suggesting that he is of extraterrestrial origin. Judging by his appearance in ancient cave paintings, he has invaded Earth sometime in the past, and clashed with Godzilla and Mothra. He was eventually defeated by Godzilla in Antarctica and sealed beneath the ice. He was discovered buried under ice in modern-day Antarctica before 2014 by a Monarch team headed by Vivienne Graham.[note 2] The massive wall of ice surrounding Ghidorah was dubbed the "Wall of Serpents." Monarch links King Ghidorah to mythical creatures such as the Hydra and the Rainbow Serpent, and describes him as a "living extinction event."
History[edit | edit source]
After their adventure on Skull Island, Monarch members Houston Brooks and Lin San showed James Conrad and Mason Weaver two cave paintings of King Ghidorah, along with paintings depicting Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan, as proof that the inhabitants of Skull Island were not the only monsters in the world. In the second painting, he was shown fighting Godzilla.
After obtaining the ORCA, Alan Jonah and his men traveled to Monarch's Outpost 32 in Antarctica, where they gunned down all of the Monarch personnel. They entered the base and found King Ghidorah frozen within the ice. Jonah's men drilled into the ice and planted explosive charges within it, while Emma Russell calibrated the ORCA to Ghidorah. Monarch soon arrived and stormed the outpost, engaging in a firefight with Jonah's men. Emma grabbed the detonator for the charges and pressed it, freeing Ghidorah from the ice. After retreating to their stolen Monarch Osprey, Jonah ordered Emma to awaken Ghidorah with the ORCA. She obliged, and the three-headed Titan rose from the ice. Monarch's G-Team opened fire on Ghidorah's heads as they eyed them curiously before retaliating with devastating gravity beams that vaporized them. Ghidorah completely freed himself from the ice and made his way to Monarch's Ospreys, though her daughter Madison used the ORCA to distract him before he attacked them. Godzilla soon erupted from the ice to confront Ghidorah, and the two Titans collided. Ghidorah was more than a match for Godzilla physically, forcing Godzilla to call upon his atomic breath. Ghidorah's heads weaved out of the way of the blast and countered with their gravity beams, which knocked Godzilla off of the ice shelf. Ghidorah resumed terrorizing the humans, destroying one Osprey and killing Dr. Vivienne Graham as she and Mark Russell tried to flee to safety. Before he could kill the others, the USS Argo flew overhead and bombarded Ghidorah with missiles. As Godzilla crawled back onto the ice, Ghidorah took flight and escaped.
Monarch tracked Ghidorah aboard the Osprey, only for him to disappear in a tropical storm over Brazil. Their new priority became dealing with Rodan, a winged Titan which Emma had unleashed from Outpost 56 in Isla de Mara, Mexico. As the Argo engaged in an aerial chase with Rodan, Ghidorah was detected moving to the location within the tropical storm. Monarch decided to lure Rodan to Ghidorah so they would fight each other. As the Argo entered the eye of the storm, it dove out of the way as Ghidorah and Rodan collided and began tearing at each other. Ghidorah restrained Rodan's wings with his left and right heads and fired a gravity beam from his central head that blasted Rodan into the water below. Ghidorah turned his attention to the Argo and pursued it, only to be dragged underwater by Godzilla. Godzilla pulled Ghidorah under the surface and bit down on his left neck, tearing it off. Just as Godzilla seemed about to win, the military's Oxygen Destroyer struck the water and produced a colossal green explosion. While Godzilla was severely injured by the blast, Ghidorah was unharmed and flew out of the water, landing atop the Isla de Mara volcano. Ghidorah regenerated his missing head in a matter of moments and spread his wings, shrieking loudly into the sky. His call awakened other Titans around the world, including Scylla, Methuselah, Behemoth, and the Queen MUTO, all of whom began to rampage. Rodan landed at the foot of the volcano and submitted to Ghidorah, doing his bidding along with the other newly-awakened Titans. Ghidorah made his way to the East Coast of the United States, bringing with him a massive hurricane that settled over Washington, D.C. When Monarch learned that Godzilla was still alive, it sent a nuclear submarine to try and revive him while the Argo battled Ghidorah and Rodan in D.C. along with the military.
Horrified at what her mother had helped to unleash, Madison stole the ORCA and brought it to Fenway Park, where she broadcast a signal that calmed the other Titans and lured Ghidorah to Boston. Upon landing, Ghidorah destroyed the loudspeakers broadcasting the sound and fired his gravity beams into the press box. Madison managed to escape onto the field, but Ghidorah found her and prepared to fire his gravity beams. However, the now-revitalized Godzilla arrived in the city surrounded by a military escort and blasted Ghidorah with his atomic breath. Ghidorah charged at Godzilla and the Titans collided with each other, producing a shockwave that shook the Argo. Monarch deployed two Ospreys to try and save Madison and recover the ORCA as Godzilla and Ghidorah continued to fight. Ghidorah restrained Godzilla with his heads and pinned him to the ground, but Godzilla used his atomic breath to force him off. Mothra flew overhead and used her silk to pin Ghidorah's heads against a building. As Ghidorah tried to free his heads, Godzilla charged and tackled him through the building. As Ghidorah lay on the ground and witnessed Godzilla approaching, he called to Rodan to intercept Mothra. With Rodan and Mothra fighting in the air, Ghidorah and Godzilla continued their battle on the ground. Ghidorah bit down on a nearby power substation and absorbed the electricity, which he projected through the tips of his wings, blinding and stunning Godzilla. Ghidorah pressed his advantage and leaped onto Godzilla, grabbing him in his claws and carrying him into the sky. Ghidorah used his middle neck to strangle Godzilla until he went limp, then dropped Godzilla from above the clouds. Godzilla struck the ground and was left immobilized as Ghidorah landed near him, ready to finish him off. The injured Mothra weakly crawled onto Godzilla and shielded him with her wings, then flew at Ghidorah as he fired his gravity beams, vaporizing her. After Mothra's energy flowed into Godzilla, Ghidorah bit down on his foe and began siphoning his energy through his mouths. Emma, having had a change of heart, repaired the ORCA with Mark and used it to distract Ghidorah and force him to release Godzilla. In order to allow the Osprey to escape, Emma took the ORCA and lured Ghidorah away in a jeep. Ghidorah pursued Emma and destroyed the vehicle with his gravity beams, launching Emma from the car. Mortally wounded on the ground, Emma looked up at Ghidorah and said "Long live the King" as her final words. Ghidorah turned to see Godzilla, covered in glowing orange cracks and emitting intense heat, approaching him. Godzilla emitted a nuclear pulse shaped like Mothra's wings and making the sound of her roar, with Ghidorah trying to shield his heads with his wings. The blast incinerated the flesh on Ghidorah's wings, and he fired his gravity beams at Godzilla, Godzilla was unaffected and unleashed another pulse, disintegrating Ghidorah's left and right heads. Godzilla stomped on Ghidorah's chest as the accumulated nuclear energy inside him exploded, leveling a huge portion of the city. When the smoke cleared, Ghidorah's last remaining head emerged from the rubble, hanging from Godzilla's mouth. Godzilla fired his atomic breath, which incinerated the head and reduced Ghidorah to nothing but ash.
In Isla de Mara, with the sea still devoid of life due to the effects of the Oxygen Destroyer, one fisherman had managed to dredge up Ghidorah's severed left head, which had been torn off by Godzilla in their second battle. Jonah and his men traveled to a warehouse in Isla de Mara where the head was being kept. After observing the head with sinister intent, Jonah simply remarked, "We'll take it."
Sometime during the five years following Ghidorah's defeat, Apex Cybernetics purchased the skull of the surviving Ghidorah head from Jonah, and converted it into an organic supercomputer by using the neural pathways scattered throughout it. Apex intended to use Ghidorah's skull as a neural interface for its artificial Titan, Mechagodzilla. Ren Serizawa piloted Mechagodzilla from within the Ghidorah skull during a demonstration of the mecha in which it cleaved a gigantic Skullcrawler in half with its Proton Scream. When Apex finally obtained the energy data from the Hollow Earth needed to fully power Mechagodzilla, it fed the copied energy into the mecha. However, doing so caused Ghidorah's consciousness to override control of Mechagodzilla, after which it killed Apex CEO Walter Simmons and Serizawa. Under Ghidorah's influence, Mechagodzilla freed itself from Victoria Peak and began attacking Hong Kong before engaging Godzilla in battle. Mechagodzilla easily dominated the fight before Kong joined in on Godzilla's side. The two Titans tag-teamed Mechagodzilla, and eventually defeated it when Godzilla used his atomic breath to power up Kong's axe. Kong sliced Mechagodzilla apart before tearing off its head, putting an end to Ghidorah’s vengeance from beyond the grave.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Gravity beams[edit | edit source]
Monarch describes King Ghidorah as "bio-electrical." Monarch scientists theorize that King Ghidorah's scales are gilded with trace amounts of aurum which act as conductors, capable of carrying bio-electrical currents throughout his body. This allows Ghidorah to conduct electricity through his body and project it in different ways.
His signature attack is spitting bio-electrical golden gravity beams from each of his mouths. These are powerful enough to tear through buildings and disintegrate human beings. The fronts of his necks glow yellow while charging this attack. This attack is also shown to cause physical harm to other Titans. With only one shot, Ghidorah was able to shoot Rodan down and a concentrated barrage was enough to disintegrate Mothra. This attack also had enough force to drive Godzilla off the ice during their first battle in Antarctica, though it does no lasting damage to the Titan. He can charge his gravity beams far faster than Godzilla can charge his atomic breath.
Wing lightning[edit | edit source]
Like the incarnation of King Ghidorah from Rebirth of Mothra 3, the MonsterVerse King Ghidorah can project lightning from the tips of his wings, albeit only after absorbing a large amount of electricity from Boston's power grid. In addition to damaging aircraft it strikes, this lightning blinds and temporarily stuns Godzilla, allowing Ghidorah to press his advantage. This ability damaged Ghidorah himself, scorching small holes in his wings, which were quickly repaired by his regenerative powers.
Flight and atmokinesis[edit | edit source]
The muscle tendons in King Ghidorah's wings are described as being incredibly hyper-tensile, and their massive aerodynamics could generate hurricane-force winds when flying. When combined with his body's electro-receptor molecular biology, water vapor in the air would be superheated, creating a localized storm system as he flies, equivalent to a Category 6 hurricane. The power of King Ghidorah's flight is so great that as a result, "the stratosphere would be torn open by an otherworldly tempest of thunder and lightning [Earth's] sky has never seen." When he usurps Godzilla's position as alpha, he begins creating multiple offshoot storms around the world. The novelization notes this on its own would be enough to cause the Earth's biosphere to suffer an extinction event even without the other Titans contributing to the destruction. King Ghidorah flies at a speed of 550 knots, or about Mach 0.8, while all previous live-action incarnations of the character could reach at least Mach 3 while in the Earth's atmosphere. Nonetheless, he was able to swiftly carry the 99,634-ton Godzilla into the troposphere before dropping him.
Alpha call[edit | edit source]
After the Oxygen Destroyer forced Godzilla to retreat from Isla de Mara, King Ghidorah established himself as Earth's new Alpha Titan and unleashed a call heard around the world compelling dormant monsters to awaken and destroy humanity. Rodan, already active, worked closely with Ghidorah as he invaded the United States. Only Godzilla, Mothra, and Kong resisted the call.
Intelligence[edit | edit source]
According to cranial scans, King Ghidorah has a divergent frontal lobe density in the brains of all three heads, indicating that each of his heads can have disparate levels of cognitive functions, possibly including independent thought. Monarch has determined that each of King Ghidorah's heads exhibits its own individual personality. King Ghidorah shows his intelligence during combat, such as when he bites down on electrical wiring during his battle with Godzilla in Boston, allowing him to temporarily stun his nemesis long enough to subdue and incapacitate him. While attempting to free his other heads from Mothra's silk, the right head was able to recognize Godzilla was behind him by looking at his own reflection. Realizing that he was overwhelmed by both Godzilla and Mothra, Ghidorah wisely calls in Rodan to keep the Queen of the Monsters occupied. King Ghidorah also recognizes the ORCA frequency as a potential threat and makes several attempts to take out the source, such as when he destroys the Fenway Park speakers to cut off the sound.
Posthumously, when Mechagodzilla was powered by the energy from the Hollow Earth, King Ghidorah's consciousness took the opportunity to possess the mecha, severing its neural link with its pilot, Ren Serizawa. Under Ghidorah's influence, Mechagodzilla killed its creators, and the mecha effectively utilizes its new body and abilities to overpower Godzilla.
Telepathy[edit | edit source]
Physical capabilities[edit | edit source]
When not using his gravity beams to attack from a distance, King Ghidorah uses his jaws in a similar manner to a snake, biting and grappling opponents. He also has the ability to constrict an opponent with his three necks and two prehensile tails, even strangling Godzilla at one point. He also has retractable spikes on the ends of his tails, though he seems to prefer using them as a threat display. His strength greatly outclasses that of Rodan, as King Ghidorah was able to easily restrain the Titan's wings with his left and right heads, allowing his middle head to fire a Gravity Beam at him. King Ghidorah is also shown to be capable of lifting enemies comparable to him in size with his tails, as seen when he carries Godzilla's 99,634-ton body up into the atmosphere in order to drop him. However, he was only able to do this by absorbing massive amounts of electricity and stunning Godzilla. When he landed after this attack, his wings effortlessly demolished two tall buildings.
Durability[edit | edit source]
King Ghidorah is immune to conventional weaponry, and is also able to withstand a blast of Godzilla's atomic breath at point-blank range, though it still pushes him back. Due to his extraterrestrial nature, Ghidorah is immune to the effects of the Oxygen Destroyer, which seriously injured Godzilla and killed all other life within a two-mile radius. King Ghidorah was seen using his wings as a shield to protect his heads from missiles. He tried using them to shield his heads from Godzilla's nuclear pulse, but they were unable to withstand the intense heat and were incinerated. Strangely, the middle head of Ghidorah is the only part of the three-headed dragon to have withstood Burning Godzilla's nuclear pulses despite being destroyed by Godzilla’s atomic breath moments later. In Godzilla vs. Kong, Ghidorah's long-dead disembodied skull retains active neural pathways that are used to control Mechagodzilla, and the creature's consciousness remains attached to the skull and eventually takes over control of the mecha.
Regeneration[edit | edit source]
King Ghidorah possesses an exceptional healing factor. After having his left head severed by Godzilla, he was able to completely regenerate it in a matter of moments. According to director Michael Dougherty, when one of King Ghidorah's heads is severed and a new one grows, "the newly regenerated head retains the memories and personality of the old one. Most of Ghidorah's neurons are scattered throughout his body and limbs, much like an octopus." However, he needs to absorb radiation or electricity to do this.  During his final battle with Godzilla in Boston, Ghidorah regenerated holes and tears in his wings after absorbing electricity from a nearby power substation. Though his regeneration was unable to keep up with Burning Godzilla's nuclear pulse, he survived having his wings, two of his heads, and the entirety of his body incinerated by the attack, and was only finally killed once Godzilla burned away his last head. According to the Godzilla: King of the Monsters novelization, Ghidorah was instantly regenerating any other wound or injury Godzilla was inflicting on him.
Energy absorption[edit | edit source]
King Ghidorah is able to absorb energy through his mouths. He is shown doing this twice in his final battle with Godzilla. At one point, he bites down on a nearby power substation and absorbs the electricity, which he projects through the tips of his wings. Later, he constricts his necks around Godzilla before biting down on him and draining his atomic energy. The energy is visible coursing through Ghidorah's necks as he bites down on Godzilla. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization notes that King Ghidorah absorbed radiation from the Isla de Mara volcano to provide the nourishment necessary to regenerate his severed left head.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
While a skilled fighter on the ground and in his element when in the air, King Ghidorah demonstrates considerable difficulty when fighting in the water, as shown when Godzilla dragged him underwater in Mexico and nearly killed him then and there if it were not for the interference of the Oxygen Destroyer. His regeneration takes time and he wasn't able to regenerate his wings and left and right heads after they were disintegrated by Burning Godzilla's nuclear pulse, nor when he was reduced to a single head before Godzilla incinerated it with his atomic breath. Godzilla also comes close to matching his strength. Because each head is capable of independent thought, they may become distracted and require the dominant middle head to get their attention and give them orders. However, all three were distracted by and pursued the ORCA when they had Godzilla at their mercy in Boston, giving him time to recover and ultimately leading to Ghidorah's downfall.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- Kong: Skull Island (2017) [cave painting]
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) [skull]
Video games[edit | edit source]
- Roblox (2019) - Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Xbox One [heads, wings; accessories]
- MonsterVerse (2020) - Empire DCX slot machine
- Go Big! (2021) - iOS, Google Play, Android [skull; background]
- Funko POP! Blitz (2021) - Android, iOS [skull; Mechagodzilla's stickers]
Comics[edit | edit source]
In 2014, after the most recent battle between Godzilla and MUTO Prime in Creys-Malville, France, King Ghidorah was being observed by Emma Russell from Monarch Outpost 14 in the Southern Philippines before reuniting with Madison and receiving a visual update on the injured Godzilla.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: King Ghidorah (MonsterVerse)/Gallery.
Roar[edit | edit source]
King Ghidorah's new roar in the MonsterVerse was developed to emulate the multi-pitched cackling sounds he produced in the Showa series. Recordings of snakes hissing and rattling were incorporated into these roars. The trill he emitted while flying in the Showa series briefly plays just before he lands in Fenway Park while his Heisei cry can be heard while battling Godzilla in Fenway. Throughout the movie, he also emits slightly modified Vastatosaurus rex roars taken from Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie. One of the female MUTO's groans was used when he called Rodan to fight Mothra. In a previsualization scene, Ghidorah utilizes King Kong roars from King Kong vs. Godzilla and famous stock roars which date back to the 1957 Universal Pictures films The Land Unknown and The Deadly Mantis. In Godzilla vs. Kong, Ghidorah's roars can be faintly heard as Hollow Earth energy first flows into Mechagodzilla. Ghidorah's roars, modified to sound more mechanical, are also used for Mechagodzilla after he took control of it.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The script for Kong: Skull Island called for the Iwi petroglyphs inside the Wanderer to depict many monsters, including "one with three heads." In the completed film, only Kong and the Skullcrawlers were shown. The film's novelization, however, does mention a three-headed creature depicted on the murals, along with several other creatures.
- Monarch's designation for King Ghidorah, Monster Zero, is the name given to King Ghidorah by the Xiliens in Invasion of Astro-Monster.
- The location where King Ghidorah is frozen in Antarctica, Outpost 32, is a reference to the 1982 film The Thing, in which the primary location is an outpost in Antarctica called Outpost 31. The titular alien monster in The Thing is also discovered frozen in the Antarctic ice, much like King Ghidorah.
- Excluding the King Ghidorah featured in GODZILLA: The Planet Eater, which is an estimated 20 kilometers (65,616.8 feet) in length with no definite "height," this is the tallest incarnation of the character, standing 521 feet (158.8 meters) in height - approximately 29 feet taller than the Heisei King Ghidorah, who was 150 meters. The MonsterVerse King Ghidorah is also the tallest monster featured in a Godzilla film besides Godzilla Earth, who stands over 1,000 feet tall.
- The MonsterVerse King Ghidorah is also the heaviest incarnation of the character at 141,056 tons, which is nearly double the weight of the Heisei King Ghidorah, and the heaviest member of the Ghidorah group. He is also one of the heaviest kaiju in the Godzilla series, behind the Heisei Mechagodzilla at 150,000 metric tons, Super Mechagodzilla at 150,482 metric tons, MOGUERA at 160,000 metric tons, Biollante's Plant Beast Form at 200,000 metric tons, Bagan at 280,000 metric tons, and SpaceGodzilla's Flying Form at 720,000 metric tons.
- The MonsterVerse King Ghidorah is the first incarnation of the character to be portrayed through motion capture, as well as the first to be portrayed by three actors simultaneously.
- The MonsterVerse King Ghidorah shares some characteristics with the incarnation of the character from Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. For example, his feet are bird-like with three large claws and a smaller fourth digit, while his wings have visible phalanges which connect to his body and can be folded at his sides when not in use. He also possesses electrical abilities in addition to his traditional Gravity Beams, much like the GMK incarnation of the character. Like the GMK King Ghidorah, this version of the character is initially discovered frozen in ice.
- According to a tweet answered by Michael Dougherty, King Ghidorah is represented by the Tarot card The Devil, which symbolizes confusion and misfortune.
- The Buddhist chants used in the background of Ghidorah's theme are the Heart Sūtra in Mahāyāna Buddhism. This Sūtra is about the universal truth about how all people come from nothing and go to nothing; all phenomena are subjected to Sūnyata, which means emptiness or Zero.
- In Godzilla vs. Kong, Bernie Hayes theorizes that Apex Cybernetics placed a second Ghidorah skull inside Mechagodzilla to take full advantage of the Titan's telepathic abilities, while the novelization shows Walter Simmons purchasing two skulls from Alan Jonah. Neither version of the story explains the second skull's origin.
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- The opening credits of Godzilla vs. Kong display King Ghidorah's weight as 121,000 tons, miswritten as "121,00".
- The Monarch timeline videos posted to Kong: Skull Island social media accounts in 2017 state that Monarch discovered King Ghidorah in 2016. Godzilla: Aftershock, set in 2014, shows a containment facility already built around him.
References[edit | edit source]
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