Rodan (Monsterverse)

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Rodan incarnations
Rodan (Millennium)
Rodan (Monsterverse)
Rodan (Godzilla Singular Point)
Rodan® trademark icon
Rodan®
Rodan in Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Alternate names The Fire Demon,[1] Tsé Nináhálééh,
Big Bird, Turkey, king of the skies,[2]
Subtitle(s) The One Born of Fire[3]
A Titan of Winged Fury[1]
Volcanic Rage[4]
Airborne God of Fire[5]
Rock Monster Eagle[6]
Class-
ification
Titanus Rodan
Species Giant bio-volcanic pterosaur Titan
Height 154 feet[3] / 46.9 meters[7][a]
Wingspan 871 feet[1][3] / 265.5 meters[7][b]
Weight 39,043 tons[1][3][c]
Place(s) of emergence Isla de Mara, Mexico[1]
Allies King Ghidorah (Temporarily)
Enemies USS Argo, King Ghidorah, Mothra, Godzilla (Formerly)
Played by Jason Liles[9]
First appearance Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Roar(s)
Mark Russell: “You got a catchy name for this one?
Ilene Chen: “Local legends call it Rodan, the Fire Demon.
Mark Russell: “Well, that's comforting.
― Dr. Mark Russell and Dr. Ilene Chen discussing Rodan after he is awakened (Godzilla: King of the Monsters)

Rodan (ラドン,   Radon) is a winged Titan who first appeared in a cave painting in the 2017 Legendary Pictures Monsterverse film Kong: Skull Island, and was later featured in the 2019 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters. He is the first incarnation of the character to appear in an American-made film.

With the ability to level entire cities simply by flying, Rodan was dreaded as a destroyer by ancient humans, who dubbed him the "Fire Demon." Born in the El Nido del Demonio volcano in Isla de Mara, Mexico, a containment facility was established there by Monarch in 1991. The Titan was unleashed in 2019 by Monarch defector Dr. Emma Russell and eco-terrorist Alan Jonah as part of their plot to restore the planet's natural order. Rodan immediately engaged in battle with Monarch's G-Team before encountering the three-headed King Ghidorah, who soundly defeated him. After Godzilla was weakened by the Oxygen Destroyer and Ghidorah assumed the role of the alpha of the Titans, Rodan submitted to Ghidorah and began to do his bidding. Rodan fought against the military in Washington, D.C. before Ghidorah summoned him to Boston to aid him against Godzilla and Mothra. Rodan attacked Mothra and battled her across the city, nearly killing her before she drove her stinger through his left shoulder. By the time Rodan recovered, Godzilla had defeated Ghidorah. Rodan approached Godzilla to challenge him, only to back down and submit to him, followed by all of the other Titans who had once served Ghidorah.

Name

Rodan's Japanese name, Radon, is a truncation of "Pteranodon." It may also have been chosen to suggest radiation. The name was changed to "Rodan" in English-speaking markets, possibly to avoid confusion with the element Radon. Toho eventually trademarked the name "Rodan," making it the monster's official English name.

According to Monarch, Rodan is referred to in some legends as the "Fire Demon" and "The One Born of Fire."[1] Monarch's Titan classification for Rodan is Titanus Rodan, which unlike the classifications for Godzilla and Mothra, utilizes his English name rather than his Japanese name. In Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization, he is referred to at one point as Tsé Nináhálééh, the name of a winged monster from the Navajo creation myth.

Development

Godzilla: King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty holds Rodan in high regard, but even he admitted that the kaiju has "always been more of a sidekick. He's a henchmonster."[10] In one version of the story, Rodan defected to Godzilla's side to oppose King Ghidorah, but to switch up expectations, he stuck with Ghidorah for as long as he could in the film.[11]

In Rodan's debut film, he and his mate seemingly perished in Mount Aso, and either he or his offspring emerged from that same volcano in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. Dougherty wanted him to live in a volcano again — and look the part, with wings covered in cooled magma. The sparks and lava falling from his wings also helped him evoke the image of a phoenix.[12] One piece of concept art by Christopher Shy even showed him spitting fire, and he seems to have a breath weapon of some kind in the Kong: Skull Island cave painting as well. However, Toho seems reluctant to depict regular Rodan spitting any weapon, only ever giving one to the separately trademarked Fire Rodan; the monster's wind breath seen in the original film has never returned either. Influences from the animal kingdom included pterosaurs, turkey vultures, eagles, hawks, and the feet of ostriches.[10][13] Matt Allsopp, returning from the 2014 film, recalled that the artists quickly realized they had to steer clear of anything that looked too much like the male MUTO.[13] Some concepts even gave Rodan feathers, which would have been a first for the character - and a callback to the unused feather-winged Rodan designs all the way from 1956. Tim Martin of ADI included the feathers in his maquette, dubbed the "final maquette" in The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, though they were ultimately removed.

Rodan's awakening and battle with Monarch was one of the first sequences to go through the previsualization process.[11] Outpost 56 restrained him with giant harpoon guns in this version, only for Monarch's own jets to blow them up so they could lure him towards Ghidorah.[14] The animators based his fighting style on eagles, with The Third Floor supervisor Andrew Honacker describing him as a "drunken brawler" as well.[10] His new roars were derived from recordings of owls, penguins, vultures, and some cranes Dougherty's mother filmed in her backyard.[13]

Dougherty didn't originally plan to use any motion-capture for Rodan, but he decided to let Jason Liles have a try at the end of a day of filming.[15]

Design

The Monsterverse Rodan is a giant pterosaur-like creature with a large beak, two horns protruding from the back of his head, and huge wings with molten rock trailing off their edges. He can walk like a pterosaur by using these wings as front limbs. Like the Rodan design in Godzilla Final Wars, each of his forelimbs has two fingers and a thumb. Rows of spikes adorn his chest, and his tail is large, flat and fan-shaped. His body is a burgundy red color, while his serrated beak is black. Unlike past incarnations, he does not have teeth. Furthermore, this version of Rodan has feet that are more like the talons of an eagle or a hawk, having a vestigial claw and a spike on his ankle. The way he stands on his legs greatly resembles the stance of modern birds.

Personality

According to Godzilla: King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty, "[Rodan] is a bit of a rogue... you never quite know where his loyalties lie."[16] After losing his fight to King Ghidorah, Rodan submits to him and assists him in Boston by attacking Mothra. Following Ghidorah's death, he challenges Godzilla briefly, before ultimately submitting to him. These occasions demonstrate Rodan’s loyalty and obedience towards a Titan that has established themselves as the alpha such as Ghidorah and Godzilla. Monarch classifies Rodan’s behavior as that of a "destroyer,"[17] along with fellow Titans King Ghidorah, Scylla, MUTO Prime, Camazotz, Mechagodzilla, Tiamat, and the Skull Devil, unleashing "airborne devastation" upon the natural world.[3] Much like Ghidorah, Rodan displays homicidal aggression towards humans, albeit only after he's provoked to retaliation and after he's fallen under King Ghidorah's thrall respectively; chasing after the Argo and picking its escort apart in the process, and later assisting Ghidorah in massacring the U.S. military. He also attempts to kill Mothra on Ghidorah's behalf when under the three-headed dragon's thrall. Rodan’s behavior shifts when he faces Godzilla. Visibly intimidated by Godzilla, Rodan is the first to “bow” to Godzilla, acknowledging him as the Alpha. Afterwards, Rodan settles at Mt. Fiji and causes no conflict like fellow titans Scylla and Amhuluk eventually did.

Origins

Rodan lay dormant in pyrostasis within the El Nido del Demonio volcano (literally meaning "The Demon's Nest") in Isla de Mara, Mexico[1] where, according to Michael Dougherty, he was born after his parents nested there.[18] Monarch first ventured to the volcano in 1991 and established a quarantine zone around it, eventually building up a containment facility over the course of years.[19] Rodan must be extremely old, as he is depicted in ancient cave paintings. Similar, presumably-contemporary paintings exist of Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, suggesting Rodan either appeared alongside them in the past or was prophesied to in the future. According to Monarch, Rodan is spoken of in legends, with his name referenced within many ancient temples in volcanically-active regions. Monarch notes that Rodan's body structure resembles that of Pteranodon, although he is far larger.[1]

History

Monsterverse

Kong: Skull Island

A cave painting of Rodan documented by Monarch.

After their adventure on Skull Island, Monarch members Houston Brooks and Lin San showed James Conrad and Mason Weaver a cave painting of Rodan, along with paintings depicting Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah, as proof that the inhabitants of Skull Island were not the only monsters in the world.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Rodan emerging from the Isla de Mara volcano

After awakening King Ghidorah from Antarctica, Emma Russell awakened Rodan from Outpost 56 in Isla de Mara. An explosion burst from the volcano's crater and from it, Rodan emerged. In order to prevent Rodan from attacking the civilians still evacuating the village, Monarch's G-Team opened fire on Rodan with fighter jets, drawing his attention. At the same time, Monarch discovered that Ghidorah was drawn to Rodan's calls, deciding to lure Rodan directly to him. Rodan took flight and pursued the USS Argo and its complement of fighter jets. As he flew over the village, Rodan caused powerful winds that decimated the village. Rodan brought his wings together and propelled himself higher into the air, generating a sonic boom that took out several jets. He then descended and caught two jets in his talons, tearing them apart. Rodan then attempted to catch a jet with his beak. When the pilot ejected from his jet, Rodan ate him. Rodan suddenly spun through the air, destroying the remaining jets with his wings. Upon entering the storm surrounding Ghidorah, the Argo dove out of the way and the two Titans collided in the air. Ghidorah quickly gained the upper hand, restraining Rodan's wings with his right and left mouths before firing a gravity beam from his central head that blasted Rodan into the ocean. As Ghidorah landed atop the Isla de Mara volcano and awakened Titans all around the world with his roar, Rodan landed at the foot of the volcano and submitted to Ghidorah.

Rodan accompanied Ghidorah to Washington D.C., assisting him in battling the military. He later followed Ghidorah to Boston and intercepted Mothra on his behalf so she could not help Godzilla against him. Rodan and Mothra fought across the city, slamming each other into buildings and tearing at each other with their claws. Rodan eventually pinned Mothra against a skyscraper, but she used her claws to push him off. Rodan circled back and landed on top of Mothra, trying to bite her. Suddenly, Mothra impaled Rodan through the left shoulder with her stinger. Immobilized by her venom, Rodan was then pushed off by Mothra, screeching in pain as he fell.

Rodan bowing down before Godzilla

Upon Ghidorah’s demise, Rodan regained functionality and confronted Godzilla along with Behemoth, Methuselah, Scylla, and the Queen MUTO. Rodan looked up at Godzilla and roared in challenge, but Godzilla retaliated with an expression that intimidated Rodan into subtle submission. The others followed suit, all "bowing" to the new King of the Monsters. After this, Rodan began nesting in a volcano near Fiji, with spectators gathering around to catch a glimpse of him.

Abilities

Rodan is a powerful aerial combatant. He dismantled a squadron of fighter jets, briefly fought against King Ghidorah, and pressured Mothra in an airborne battle.

Supersonic flight

Rodan can fly at supersonic speeds sufficient to outpace F-35 Lightning II and F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets, and is highly agile in flight. Rodan is destroyed several fighter jets pursuing him by rolling while flying, dispatching them with his wings. When flying at top speed, Rodan's wings generate “cyclonic drift streams” as Monarch describes them. This occurrence can level entire cities instantly, literally ripping structures out of the ground and flinging debris into the air.[3] Monarch scientists speculate that the monster's wingspan is vast enough to level cities with this technique.[1]

Durability

Courtesy of his bio-volcanic nature, Rodan has an extreme tolerance to heat and magma, having hibernated inside a volcano for at least several decades.[19] He is also completely immune to conventional weaponry such as gunfire or missile strikes. A layer of volcanic rock acts as armor plating for Rodan's wings.[3] This volcanic rock also covers many parts of his body, giving him extra protection in combat. When Mothra threw him to the ground at one point, Rodan instantaneously recovered and got back up. When Mothra struck Rodan's head with one of her claws, the attack failed to pierce his skin, although it succeeded in harming Rodan nonetheless. Rodan survived being completely impaled by Mothra's stinger, the attack only temporarily incapacitating him before he recovered virtually unharmed despite the gaping wound in his shoulder. However, he was quickly defeated by King Ghidorah, who used a single Gravity Beam to knock him out.

Magma system

Monarch describes Rodan as "bio-volcanic."[17] Rodan has an internal combustion system of magma that flows throughout his body.[1] The magma throughout his system can reach temperatures up to 1,200°C.[3] The magma leaks through the ends of his wings and was able to burn Mothra's wings.

Physical capabilities

Rodan mainly uses his talons and beak in combat. When in the midst of several fighter jets, he performed an aileron roll maneuver to smash them with his wings. He was even able to briefly trouble King Ghidorah with his aerial prowess during their fight. In Boston, Rodan proved himself stronger than Mothra when the two of them fought throughout the city.

Volcanic eruptions

As noted in Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization, Rodan can seemingly cause volcanoes to erupt just by merely flying over them. This is supported by the film itself where an explosion blows off the lid covering the volcano Rodan slept in before he awakens.

Weaknesses

Rodan was bested in his fight against King Ghidorah, being blasted out of the sky with a single Gravity Beam. Despite having the upper hand for much of his battle with Mothra in Boston, he was also ultimately defeated by her, falling to the ground after being punctured by her stinger.

Video games

  • Roblox (2006; added in 2019) - Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Xbox One [head; accessory]
  • Monsterverse (2020) - Empire DCX slot machine

Comics

Books

Gallery

Main article: Rodan (Monsterverse)/Gallery.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
China and Taiwan Flags.png Mandarin Chinese 拉顿
Lā dùn
Transliteration of English name

Roar

Rodan's cries were primarily derived from recordings of owls, penguins, vultures and sandhill cranes.[13] Elements of the crackles and creaks produced by the MUTOs are also recycled for some of Rodan's quieter vocals.

Rodan's roars in
Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Trivia

Videos

Wikizilla: YouTube Kaiju Profile: King Ghidorah,
Mothra & Rodan (2019)
Rodan flight test

See also

Notes

  1. While TOHO CINEMAS Magazine vol. 144 rounds Rodan's height down to 46.9 meters, a video posted by the official Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Douyin account rounds it up to 47 meters.[8]
  2. While TOHO CINEMAS Magazine vol. 144 rounds Rodan's wingspan up to 265.5 meters, The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters rounds it down to 265.4.
  3. While American sources contemporary to Godzilla: King of the Monsters give Rodan a weight of 39,043 tons, a video posted by the official Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Douyin account instead states that he weights 30,000 tons.[8]

References

This is a list of references for Rodan (Monsterverse). 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. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "Monarch Outpost 56 - Isla de Mara, Mexico". Monarch Sciences. Retrieved 2 May 2019.[dead link]
  2. MV rodan king of the skies.png
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Toho Kingdom (17 May 2019). "Specimen: Titanus Rodan". X.
  4. "Rodan: Volcanic Rage" used in merchandise
  5. "Rodan: Airborne God of Fire" from the Monsters 101 bonus feature from the first Blu-ray release
  6. Keyes, Greg (28 May 2019). Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 40. ISBN 178909092X.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Godzilla: King of the Monsters Investigation Report". TOHO CINEMAS Magazine. Vol. 144. TOHO CINEMAS. 14 April 2019.
    MonsterVerse Rodan Japanese stats.jpg
  8. 8.0 8.1 电影哥斯拉大战金刚2 (March 5, 2024). "哥总用实力说话:我还能打十个!#怪兽之王哥斯拉时隔5年回归 #哥斯拉大战金刚2". Douyin.
  9. Maxson, Alan (22 August 2018). "I'm very excited to be part of this team and working with @coolwatersprods! I'll being seeing all you G-Fans at many conventions and events this year! #Godzilla #Kingghidorah #ghidorah #monsterverse #Coolwatersprodcutions". Twitter. Archived from the original on 26 August 2018.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Bernstein, Abbie (2019). The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Titan Books. pp. 52, 146–147, 154. ISBN 1789090687.
  11. 11.0 11.1 File:Rodan was originallysupposed to be an ally.mp3
  12. Parks and Cons (13 April 2019). "Rodan Talk w/Michael Dougherty - Godzilla: King of the Monsters Panel". YouTube.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Reimagining Rodan" featurette on Godzilla: King of the Monsters home video releases
  14. Rpin (22 August 2019). "Godzilla: King of the Monsters | Rodan Emerging Previs". YouTube.
  15. Chaffins, Benjamin (17 June 2020). "Portraying Rodan and Ghidorah's Center Head: An Interview with Jason Liles on Godzilla: King of the Monsters". Godzilla Movies.
  16. Bui, Hoai-Tran (20 March 2019). "'Godzilla: King Of The Monsters' Director Compares Rodan To A "Massive A-Bomb"". /Film.
  17. 17.0 17.1 @Legendary (23 April 2020). "Monarch Titan File: Rodan #MonsterverseWatchalong #NerdistFromHome". X.
    Rodan Titan profile.png
  18. Dougherty, Mike (5 June 2019). "His parents nested there". X.
  19. 19.0 19.1 @kongskullisland (5 July 2017). "1991: A covert Monarch team establishes a quarantine zone around a dormant volcano in Isle de Mona. #KongSkullIsland". Twitter. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017.
  20. Dougherty, Mike (25 September 2019). "Godzilla = The Emperor Mothra = The High Priestess Rodan = The Fool King Ghidorah = The Devil". X.

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