Humans have been the dominant species for thousands of years, and look what's happened. Overpopulation, pollution, war. The mass extinction we feared has already begun. And we are the cause. We are the infection. But like all living organisms, the Earth unleashed a fever to fight this infection. Its original and rightful rulers, the Titans. „ 

— Emma Russell


Dr. Emma Russell is the central antagonist of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. She was a scientist who first appeared in the 2019 MonsterVerse Godzilla graphic comic, Godzilla: Aftershock, before appearing in the 2019 Godzilla film.


I'm sorry, Madison. This is bigger than just you and me. „ 

— Emma

Emma was described as being brilliant and independent but somewhat unorthodox, she was passionate about the wellbeing of the planet, stemming from her pre-Monarch days as an environmental activist, Emma was also a dedicated mother to Madison, and feeling a duty to both her and the planet, Emma seeks to prepare her daughter for the post-Godzilla world, Emma holds resentment towards Mark for running out on the family after Andrew's death; that bitterness probably manifested in parental alienation, in which Emma tried to turn Madison against her father by telling Maddie that he was a drunk who left them because he couldn't be strong for Madison's sake and he didn't care about them anymore.[2] Her grief over Andrew's death gave Emma the desire to right old wrongs, determined to correct humanity's mistakes, and ensure that her son's death means something.


Mark Russell

You are out of your goddamn mind! First. you put our daughter's life in danger and now you get to decide the fate of the world. That's rich, Emma!
I couldn't be more sane, and Madison couldn't be stronger. After we lost Andrew, I trained her to survive. And at least now, she will have a fighting chance.

— Mark and Emma

Before they were recruited by Monarch, Emma and Mark were co-leaders on Project ORCA and leaders in the field of bioacoustics. They grew close with each other through their shared love of the sounds of nature, and the band "The Pixies". After Andrew's death in the Battle of San Francisco, Emma and Mark separated. Emma unconsciously knew that Mark blamed her for Andrew's death since he wanted to stay in Boston but she felt the job offer in San Francisco was too good to pass up, and she hated him for believing that.[3] An element that added to their conflict is their opposing views on the Titans. Emma believes humans and Titans can co-exist peacefully, and she wants to figure out how and protect the creatures. However, still reeling from their loss, Mark believes the Titans are destructive beasts that should be destroyed, especially Godzilla, as they have brought his family nothing but trouble and grief. Emma knows Mark is still a good man at heart, as he left his comfort zone in the wilderness and risked his life for her and Madison's sake.[4]

Andrew Russell

Having lost her son in Godzilla's first battles in the modern age, Emma suffered terribly. She loved her child dearly, which caused her to bury herself in her work in memory of him. However, her grief over Andrew's death drove her to commit many misguided actions in his name.

Madison Russell

Listen, I know things haven't been easy for you. But we're gonna get through this. Together. „ 

— Emma to Madison

For years, Emma took Madison around the world with on assignments and taught her everything she knows about Titans. Despite Madison being gifted in her studies, Emma denied her requests for access to outpost containment units. After separating from Mark, Emma let him keep in touch with Madison and spend time with her. When she and Madison are taken captive by Jonah and his mercenaries, Emma tries to shield Madison from the bloodshed committed by the eco-terrorists. Emma convinced Madison to join her and Jonah's efforts to release the dormant Titans and create a better world in Andrew's memory; however, as the plan gets out of hand and Madison becomes conflicted, Emma falls out of favor with her daughter. When Madison runs away, Emma holds Jonah at gunpoint, as she still loves her daughter and refuses to lose another child.

Alan Jonah

I've already lost one child, I’m not losing another. I have to fix this.
Let her go. We have everything we need.

— Emma and Jonah

Emma began as a person of interest to Jonah. As a victim of targeted surveillance, Emma was stalked by Jonah around the globe to a number of her labs before he takes her hostage to gain control of her invention, the ORCA, as it enables communication with the Titans and can potentially control them as well. Despite hating him and his misanthropic views, Emma reluctantly went to Jonah with the plan to gradually awaken the Titans and orchestrated her and Madison's kidnapping. As Madison begins to have doubts, Emma and Jonah debate the plan as things get out of control. After Madison runs away, Emma comes into conflict with Jonah when she wants to go after her daughter and points her gun at him.


This section is a stub. You can help expand this section by adding some information.


This section is a stub. You can help expand this section by adding some information.


From a young age, Emma Williams was considered a "brilliant but rebellious" maverick as she was involved with environmental activism, and she took part in protests that resulted in the occasional arrest. She went on to get her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Rochester, her Masters in Paleontology at the Ohio State University, and her Ph.D. in Paleobiology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[1]

In 2002, Emma and her new husband Dr. Mark Russell had a son named Andrew. Three years later, the doctoral candidates caught Monarch's attention when they sent out a sonic pulse wave signal from the greater Boston area, a signal that matched a previously recorded Titan song. Monarch dispatched Dr. Serizawa, Dr. Graham, and a field unit to investigate and found Emma and Mark at MIT working on the prototype for the ORCA, a revolutionary communication device that could potentially change the course of human and Titan co-existence. Together, Emma and Mark's groundbreaking research in the field of bioacoustics revolutionized inter-species communication. Two years later in 2007, Emma and Mark had a daughter named Madison, and they were activated by Monarch on May 4th. As a Monarch scientist, Emma often took Madison with her on assignments but forbade her daughter access to the containment units at the outposts.

Emma and Madison see Godzilla pass them in the ruins of San Francisco.

In 2009, following a strange bio-acoustic signature, guided by Dr. Ilene Chen and her sister Dr. Ling, Emma led a team of operatives to the high-altitude jungles of China's Yunnan province, where they discovered a megalithic temple containing a giant cocoon with a rapid heartbeat detected inside. Five years later in 2014, Emma was offered a job in San Francisco so the family left their home in Boston.[5] As Godzilla fought the MUTOs in the city, Emma and Mark's 12-year-old son Andrew was killed. After the battle, the surviving Russell family moved back to Boston, and Emma and Mark destroyed the ORCA prototype. Emma focused on rebuilding and perfecting it in the hopes of preventing another catastrophe. Disagreements on the implications of the ORCA and the loss of Andrew eventually caused Emma and Mark to separate.[6] Emma retained custody of Madison and continued taking her along on assignments around the world. Knowing that Godzilla didn't mean to kill Andrew and that her son would still be alive if the world was in balance, Emma strived to bring balance as a legacy to Andrew so that his death wouldn't be meaningless.[7] In 2016, a three-headed, dragon-like Titan is discovered frozen in Antarctica under hundreds of feet of ice, and Emma gives it the designation, "Monster Zero".[8]

Godzilla: Aftershock

Had Godzilla not stopped the creatures, they would have mated. After that, who can say? Perhaps the impregnated female would have killed the male and metamorphosed into her adult form. The creature the ancients called Jinshin-Mushi. „ 

— Emma, about the MUTOs

This section is a stub. You can help expand this section by adding some information.

Between Aftershock and King of the Monsters

Now living in an apartment in the jungle near Monarch Outpost 61 - The Temple of the Moth of China's Yunnan province, Emma and Madison build a new life together. While she lets Madison keep in touch with Mark and spend quality time with him now and then, Emma continues trying to perfect the ORCA. At some point, knowing that he has the resources to pull it off, she seeks out Jonah and enlists his help in her plan to save the world by releasing the Titans and bringing nature back to balance.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Trust is a little hard to come by, Dr. Russell. Especially after what you pulled.
I know. And I can only imagine what you're all thinking. But if there were any other way to do this, I would.

Diane Foster and Emma

As Emma reminisces about Andrew's death five years prior, she watches a news report about the U.S. government's continued insistence to destroy the Titans. Then the smoke alarm goes off as Madison was cooking breakfast for them and the bacon is burning. Emma turns the alarm off and asks Madison what she's doing. Madison says she was looking at recipes online but Emma sees through her daughter's lie, so Madison admits that her father has been emailing her. Emma asks if she has responded, and Madison says not yet. Emma says she doesn't want to see Madison get hurt and though things haven't been easy for her, they will get through them together. Madison asks if her father will be alright and Emma assures Madison that Mark is in the safest place he can be right now. Emma then tells Madison that she has finally finished repairing the ORCA. Suddenly, their apartment begins shaking and they hear a deafening screeching noise. Emma is told by Monarch entomologist Dr. Tim Mancini that she is needed at the containment area.

Emma approaches Mothra with the ORCA.

As Emma and Madison enter the temple, Mancini informs them that the Titan housed there has suddenly become active. Emma tells Mancini that she can handle everything now so he can go get some rest but Mancini refuses to miss the Titan's awakening. As they watch from an observation room overlooking a large chamber, they see a giant glowing blue egg that hatches, revealing a giant larva identified as Mothra. The containment field is activated around Mothra but inexplicably fails shortly afterward, and Mancini tells Emma that someone might be interfering with their systems. As Mothra sees the armed men standing around her, she becomes agitated. The men try to pacify her with electrical rifles but she proceeds to spit silk at them. Emma stops Mancini from activating the termination protocol to kill Mothra and runs into the chamber with the ORCA. As she tries to calibrate the ORCA to the correct frequency, Emma enrages Mothra further. Madison swipes Dr. Mancini's ID badge and rushes to her mother's side. Just as Mothra is about to attack them both, Emma finds the right frequency, activates the ORCA, and successfully pacifies Mothra, allowing Madison to touch Mothra's face. Then an explosion goes off in the observation room. A group of armed assailants storm the room and immediately kill the Monarch personnel except for Mancini, who is then shot in the head by their leader, Alan Jonah.

After taking Emma and Madison hostage, Jonah and his mercenaries commandeer a Monarch Osprey and fly to the off-the-books Monarch Outpost 32 in Antarctica, successfully fooling the personnel stationed there. Upon landing, Jonah and his men exit calmly before opening fire and killing everyone while Emma and Madison sit inside the Osprey and listen in horror. Surrounded by Jonah and his men, Emma and Madison are escorted into the Outpost. Inside the containment facility, they find a giant wall of ice containing Monster Zero. Jonah's men begin to drill large holes into the ice and place explosives in them, while Emma calibrates the ORCA to Monster Zero's frequency.

Emma uses the ORCA to awaken Ghidorah.

Eventually, Monarch's command ship, the USS Argo, reaches Antarctica. Monarch's G-Team enters the outpost and is soon ambushed by the eco-terrorists. A firefight breaks out as Emma and Madison are being escorted out by Jonah and some of his men. Seeing Emma and Madison inside the outpost on a video feed, Mark leaves his Osprey and charges in with a gun in hand. He makes his way to a catwalk where he comes face-to-face with Emma and Madison, aiming his gun at Jonah. G-Team leader Diane Foster manages to kill Jonah's right-hand man Asher before he can shoot Mark. In a standoff with Jonah, Mark tells Emma and Madison to walk to him. They begin walking towards him slowly but Emma suddenly stops and starts calling Madison back to her. Madison reluctantly goes back to her mother and Emma picks up Asher's detonator for the explosive charges. Emma apologizes to Mark, tells him to run, and presses the detonator, setting off charges planted in the ice.

As the ice begins coming apart, Emma and Madison escape with Jonah. Back aboard his Osprey and taking off, Madison tells Emma they can't leave her father but Jonah tells Emma to wake Monster Zero. Emma sets the ORCA to Monster Zero's bioacoustic signature and activates it, emitting sonar pulses that awaken the dormant creature. Everyone watches the demonic Titan rise from the shattered ice and vaporize several G-Team soldiers with his gravity beams. When Madison sees Monster Zero approaching her father trapped in an Osprey on the ice, Madison grabs the ORCA from her mother and emits sonar pulses painful to Monster Zero, successfully distracting him and saving her father. Then Emma and Jonah pull Madison away from the ORCA so Emma can turn it off to prevent Monster Zero from killing them before leaving Antarctica.

Emma contacts Monarch and reveals her motives.

Now holed up in a Monarch bunker just outside of Boston the eco-terrorists have taken over to use as a hideout, Emma contacts Mark and Monarch on the Argo via video feed from the control room. After assuring Mark that Madison is safe, Emma explains that she is "saving the world." After Andrew died, she swore his death wouldn't be in vain. She tried to find the reason why the Titans were suddenly appearing again, and soon found it: After being the dominant species for millennia, humans have damaged the environment through their actions to the point where a mass extinction is inevitable. She believes the Titans are part of the planet's natural defense system to maintain its balance but if governments are allowed to contain them, destroy them, or exploit them for war, the infection of humanity will continue spreading until the planet and everyone on it perishes.

So, she took matters into her own hands and chose to work with Jonah to awaken the Titans and restore balance because, as proven with San Francisco and Las Vegas, the Titans' radiation triggers the growth of life wherever they go. Mark and the others are appalled but Emma promises humanity won't go extinct, explaining that she wants to return the world to its forgotten natural order, where humans and Titans coexisted in balance with each other. Serizawa accuses her of gambling with billions of innocent lives and messing with things beyond their comprehension, but Emma affirms that her actions are necessary as they will have little to no chance for survival if the government has its way. Mark accuses Emma of going crazy for putting Madison in danger and deciding everyone's fate for them, however, Emma assures him that she is sane and had Madison trained to survive. Mark tells Emma off for trying to control things that aren't meant to be and she fires back at him for running out on her and Madison after losing Andrew. Mark tells her that what she is doing won't bring their son back but, after a moment's hesitation, Emma only implores everyone to find Monarch's bunkers and use them to take shelter before signing off.

Emma, Madison and Jonah debate whether or not to continue releasing the Titans.

In the bunker's control room, Jonah's men disable the containment unit on Isla de Mara in Mexico, and Jonah orders Emma to awaken Rodan, a massive pteranodon-like creature contained at Outpost 56. After hearing what her father said, Madison begs Emma to consider what he said and stop going through with her plan but Emma tells Madison they had already discussed this. Then Jonah furiously asks Emma if she told Madison that everything they were doing would be easy and painless. Emma demands that he leave her daughter out of this but Jonah reminds Emma that she was the one who got Madison involved before mockingly asking Madison if Emma convinced her to go along with everything with the sales pitch of "man and monster living together in blissful harmony." Then he also reminds Emma that she went to him with the plan and they need to see it through if they expect to save the world as they want. Madison still begs Emma to let the islanders find shelter before waking Rodan but the emotionally-torn Emma tells Madison she is sorry but everything happening is bigger than them and activates the ORCA.

As G-Team is evacuating the island, the ORCA's sonar pulses are broadcast through speakers at Outpost 56, awakening Rodan, who proceeds to decimate the town and kill many of its people by simply flying over it. After destroying a jet squadron, Rodan then fights Monster Zero and is quickly defeated. Godzilla suddenly arrives and fights Monster Zero in the ocean, managing to tear off one of the dragon's heads. Then the military fires a prototype "Oxygen Destroyer" missile at Monster Zero and Godzilla as they fight. Godzilla is seemingly killed while Monster Zero survives.

Emma and Madison argue about the plan going sideways.

Perching himself atop Rodan's volcano, he regrows his severed head and releases a roar that awakens the remaining Titans around the world. As Jonah and Emma observe the mass awakening on monitors, Jonah remarks that he was under the impression they would awaken each Titan individually but Emma says that she isn't the one doing this. Seeing Rodan bow to Ghidorah, Jonah sarcastically quips "Long live the king". Taken aback by what's happened, Emma turns to see Madison behind her. Distraught, Madison coldly calls her a monster and walks off. Later, Emma follows Madison as she storms down a corridor. Emma tries to reason with Madison and reassure her that despite things not going according to plan, she can fix them, but Madison angrily confronts Emma, saying that Emma told her she would be careful, release the Titans one at a time, and restore balance. Emma claims she didn't have a choice since the government was going to take over Monarch and kill the Titans but Madison calls her out, saying that Emma told her they were doing it in Andrew's memory. Then she asks Emma if Andrew would have wanted any of the things they've done in his name. Emma doesn't answer and Madison locks herself in an old radio room, ignoring her mother calling her.

Emma suggests broadcasting the ORCA from Fenway Park to stop the Titan attacks.

As the Titans rampage under the command of Monster Zero, now known as Ghidorah, Emma tells Jonah now that Godzilla is gone, the three-headed beast is using the other Titans to destroy the world instead of restoring it, but Jonah says despite Ghidorah not being what they expected, there's no stopping what they released when they opened Pandora's Box. However, Emma proposes using the ORCA to broadcast a signal from Fenway Park a few miles away since the city's already being evacuated so she can stop the attacks and figure out what Ghidorah is and stop it. Nonetheless, Jonah recalls Emma telling him the world originally belonged to the Titans so perhaps it's about time for mankind to give it back. Unbeknownst to them, Madison overhears them over the speaker and takes it upon herself to fulfill her mother's new plan and set things right. She steals the ORCA and crawls through the air ducts, seeing Emma sitting in the cafeteria, depressed and contemplating what to do now. Madison sneaks out of the bunker and treks through the woods to Fenway Park, where civilians are being evacuated from. She hooks the ORCA to the stadium's loudspeakers and transmits an amplified signal.

Determined to save Madison, Emma defects from Jonah.

As G-Team battles Rodan in Washington D.C., all of the Titans around the world suddenly stop attacking. After Jonah alerts Emma to the ORCA going missing and its signal coming from Fenway, Emma goes to Madison's room and finds her daughter gone. She loads a Humvee with supplies to go look for Madison but then Jonah and his men surround her. Jonah derides Emma for now prioritizing Madison over their mission, saying that man doesn't control the laws of nature any more than she can. Emma draws a gun on an unfazed Jonah and says she refuses to lose another child. As they already have everything they need, Jonah tells his men to let Emma leave.

The Russell family is finally reunited.

At Fenway, Mark and G-Team members Jackson Barnes, Lauren Griffin, and Anthony Martinez can't locate Madison but find a damaged ORCA. Emma pulls up and tells them all to get in. They're understandably hesitant but comply as the damage from Rodan and Mothra's fight gets closer. Leaving Fenway, Emma and Mark argue about where Madison could be and how she ran away. Then Barnes comments that he'd run away from home as well if he had them for parents, making Emma and Mark realize they could find Madison at the family's former home on Beacon Street. Reaching the townhouse's location, they find it reduced to rubble. They find Madison hiding in a bathtub covered by debris, unconscious. They revive her and the family embraces as they're finally reunited.

Emma lies injured and helpless as Ghidorah closes in on her.

Then everyone watches as Ghidorah lifts Godzilla thousands of feet into the air and drops him. After barely defeating Rodan, Mothra tries to protect Godzilla from Ghidorah but gets obliterated. With no time to waste, as Ghidorah begins to drain the remaining energy out of Godzilla, Emma and Mark repair the ORCA so Ghidorah can be lured away long enough for Godzilla to get back up. An Osprey arrives and Mark, G-Team and Madison board it as Emma stays behind to activate the ORCA. Once it is activated, Ghidorah releases Godzilla and begins making his way towards them. As Ghidorah draws near, Emma realizes that the Osprey won't be able to escape with the ORCA aboard. After telling Mark and Madison that she loves them, Emma drives off in the Humvee with the ORCA, causing Ghidorah to chase after her and enabling the others to escape. Ghidorah pursues Emma before destroying the Humvee with a gravity beam, throwing Emma and the ORCA from the vehicle. As Ghidorah looms over her as she lies mortally wounded on the ground, Emma repeats Jonah and utters the phrase "Long live the king". Then a recovered Godzilla returns and unleashes thermonuclear pulses that incinerate Emma alongside Ghidorah.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Years after the awakening of the Titans, the media are still debating whether Emma Russell should be viewed as a villain or a hero for her actions.


  • Emma Russell is the first female villain (and the 3rd human villain) in the MonsterVerse, with Preston Packard and Alan Jonah serving as the first male human villains. According to Michael Dougherty, Emma and Madison are a mother-daughter villain team, making them share the distinction of being the first reluctant human villains in the series.
  • According to Emma's Monarch profile:[1]
    • She was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey on 6 August, 1973.
    • Her last recorded official address is 59 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts.
    • Her blood type is A-positive.
    • Her height is 5 foot, 5 inches and her weight is 110 pounds.
    • She received the Merck Prize in 2004 for her research and academic work in Biophysical or Bioinformatics Sciences, and she received the 2006 W.O. Crosby Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geobiology, MIT.
    • Before her employment at Monarch; she took a graduate teaching assistantship at the Ohio State University School of Earth Sciences from 1998 to 2000.

List of appearances





  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253485250241413121/photo/1
  2. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 188. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  3. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 291. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  4. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 238-239. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  5. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 291. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  6. Operatives: Emma Russell - Monarch Sciences. Retrieved May 7, 2019
  7. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 239. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  8. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 90. ISBN: 9781789090925.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Cast and characters