|SPOILER WARNING: This section may contain major plot and/or ending details. Proceed at your own discretion.|
|“||Ghidorah, the one who is many.||„|
The main antagonist of the MonsterVerse, Ghidorah was first alluded to during the final moments the 2017 film, Kong: Skull Island, became the main antagonist of the 2019 film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and was one of the overarching antagonists of Godzilla vs. Kong.
Following its rampage across Earth and its presumed demise five years prior, Ghidorah's influence would then override Apex Cybernetics' ultimate destroyer, Mechagodzilla, during the events of the 2021 film, Godzilla vs. Kong. This resulted in a catastrophic conflict between it, Godzilla, and Kong. Ultimately, the mechanized terror would be destroyed, and seemingly, Ghidorah's influence with it.
Ghidorah's full name is likely based on Zmey Gorynych from the 1956 Soviet film Ilya Muromets, the inspiration source of the monster who was called King Dragon in Japan. The word "Ghidorah" itself is a direct translation of the pronunciation of Hydra in the Russian language.
This incarnation of Ghidorah is initially primarily referred to by the characters as Monster Zero, until they discover legends indicating its alien origin which call it "Ghidorah, the One Who Is Many". From then on, the characters of Godzilla: King of the Monsters primarily call the alien monster "Ghidorah". He's only ever referred to as "King Ghidorah" by Diane Foster and by a label on a digital map during the military Castle Bravo meeting after Ghidorah has become the new reigning alpha. It's indicated following Ghidorah's death that the original name "Monster Zero" is the name which most humans apart from those who personally fought him have remembered him by.
The names given to Ghidorah's heads during production, Ichi, Ni, and San (the middle, right and left heads respectively), are the Japanese words for "one", "two", and "three". San is also given the nickname "Kevin", which likely refers to how he is easily distracted. This has become a joke amongst the Godzilla fanbase and a source of numerous memes.
Like most of his past incarnations, Ghidorah is larger than Godzilla. Ghidorah's wings are much larger and more bat-like in appearance than most incarnations - the membrane of each wing is supported by four bat-like phalanges extending from Ghidorah's wrists, and an additional three phalanges that extend from the sides of Ghidorah's torso. All these phalanges end in blade-like tips that emerge from the wing membrane. Though Ghidorah takes on a bipedal stance when standing still, unlike past incarnations, Ghidorah is able to move on his legs and uses his wings as forelimbs to support his massive body for crawling or even running when needed. Ghidorah still has his traditional twin tails with spiked bludgeons at their tips that can rattle as an intimidation display. His legs are digitigrade and stocky with avian-like feet, similar to the 2001 incarnation. When Ghidorah's left head is ripped off, his blood is shown to be black and oil-like.
Each head has a crown of ten horns similar to the Heisei incarnation, which tend to flare depending on Ghidorah's current mood. There are subtle differences in each head's horn array. The horns of the middle head are notably longer, more curved, and more decorative than the other two, while the left head has straighter horns than the right head. Furthermore, one of the right head's left horns is chipped. The left head appears to have a slightly more rectangular facial structure with slightly further-apart eyes than the other two. The middle head's neck has two rows of spines while the left and right necks only have one. Ghidorah's heads each have crocodilian-looking jaws with flaring nostrils, forked tongue, and brows with a generally furrowed appearance. His eyes are beady and have a fiery reddish-orange color and circular pupils, and they tend to glint or glow blazing yellow at a distance (particularly noticeable in the dark) or when he prepares to fire his gravity beams. Ghidorah's necks also emit golden light of electricity from within whenever he charges up and fires his gravity beams .
Ghidorah is portrayed through a mix of motion capture and CGI. Jason Liles, who starred in Rampage, performed the mo-cap for Ghidorah's middle head, with Alan Maxson and Richard Dorton portraying the other two, while unnamed colleagues play the monster's body.
When designing Ghidorah, the VFX crew studied wolf packs and based the heads' movements on how wolves move around their pack alpha (the middle head). Rather than using direct motion capture to create Ghidorah, the animators merely used the actors' movements and facial expressions as references.
Ghidorah possesses a high-pitched, wailing roar with an underlying scratching quality - it is similar to some of the vocalizations of Vastatosaurus rex in Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie. He also at times produces serpentine hisses, and low growls not dissimilar to a lion's.
According to Michael Dougherty, Ghidorah's roar in the MonsterVerse is meant to emulate his original high-pitched cackling roar from the Showa series, but far more intense and louder. The unique point of this incarnation's roar is that sometimes Ghidorah's heads will roar one by one continuously three times. The filmmakers recorded sounds of snakes such as pythons and rattlesnakes to emulate Ghidorah’s serpentine traits and some of lion's growls .
Prior to his landing in Boston, Ghidorah's high-pitched ringing from the Showa films can be heard. During his fight with Godzilla in Boston, Ghidorah uses a roar from his Heisei incarnation.
Ghidorah is arguably the most malevolent and hostile Titan encountered so far. Unlike the other Titans, who attack humans or cause damage due to provocation, carnivorous hunger or merely by being indifferent to the humans and structures surrounding them, Ghidorah displays true malice. He willingly tries to kill as many humans as he can, whether they're trying to pose a threat to him or not, and there are glimpses of all three of his heads seemingly smiling when he kills or is about to attack his victims (more information on that below). Ghidorah also initially displays a willingness to toy with or curiously investigate humans before killing them, such as when his heads attempted to slowly crush the human-filled Osprey in Antarctica. Ghidorah notably prefers killing humans with his gravity beams, despite this being overkill for such comparatively small creatures.
Ghidorah actively seeks to usurp command of Earth's Titans from Godzilla, and upon successfully doing so, he immediately begins spreading various natural disasters of both his own making and the other Titans' across the planet, with enough intensity and devastating fallout that the likely end result will be the eradication of all multicellular life except for Ghidorah within a few years. Upon becoming aware of Ghidorah's extraterrestrial nature, Rick Stanton compares him to an invasive species and suggests the purpose of his apocalypse is terraforming (xenoforming) the planet into a more ideal place for Ghidorah to live. Ishiro Serizawa, Mark Russell and Emma Russell all run with this assumption; but Mark at one point alternatively speculates that Ghidorah is perhaps just driven by malice and hatred to destroy every living thing that isn't him. Upon usurping Godzilla's position as the reigning alpha, Ghidorah seems to exhibit a controlling streak and possessiveness of his new position that he didn't have before; whereas he'd previously disregarded the ORCA's Alpha signal in Antarctica as soon as it ceased broadcasting, during the Boston battle to maintain his control of the other Titans, Ghidorah instead went as far as abandoning the fight with Godzilla once he sensed the ORCA signal challenging his dominance.
Ghidorah possesses a strong rivalry with Godzilla, the reigning alpha of Earth's Titans. Ghidorah's right and middle heads were particularly confrontational and exchanged scowls with his ancient enemy when Ghidorah and Godzilla met again after Ghidorah's awakening, and the Titans attempted to size each other up before engaging. Ghidorah likewise maintained a one-on-one battle against Godzilla for the position of alpha in Boston despite Mothra's interference, allowing Rodan to keep Mothra occupied.
Each of Ghidorah's three heads, though capable of working in sync towards Ghidorah's overall goals (particularly in combative situations where they work as a single creature), has a level of independent thought from each other and a distinct personality.
The middle head (Ichi) is the most dominant and intelligent-seeming head of the three and appears to be the leader over the other two. It's also debatably the most gleefully sadistic of the heads and the most determined to go out of its way to be cruel; pulling a lopsided smirk directly before obliterating the G-Team, likewise seemingly grinning when Ghidorah was attacking the Argo, and targeting and devouring Vivienne Graham in Antarctica. The middle head appears to be more focused on pursuing Ghidorah's grand-scale goals and generally quicker-acting than the other two heads; being the most attentive head when Ghidorah first sensed Godzilla's approach in Antarctica and upon Emma Russell's apparent death, and twisting its neck slightly quicker than the other two heads when pursuing Emma and the ORCA. Because of this, the middle head appears to take Ghidorah's rivalry with Godzilla more personally than the other heads when challenging the terrestrial Titan. The middle head is somewhat creative in battle, such as when it bit down on a power station in Boston. The middle head was only known to show fear at the end of Ghidorah's life, being visibly terrified by a thermonuclear Godzilla's advance after the latter destroyed the other two heads.
The right head (Ni) is the most irritable and aggressive of the three, often producing grimacing facial expressions which set it apart from the other two. It appears to be particularly bloodthirsty and eager for battle based on these expressions, such as when it feebly attempted to fend Godzilla off while the other heads were incapacitated by Mothra's webbing. The right head displays pragmatism and better spatial awareness of its foes while fighting, such as when it destroyed the Fenway Park speakers broadcasting the ORCA's signal (although this may have been frustration), and when it was attempting to free the other heads from Mothra's webbing (first checking Mothra wasn't in a position to immediately strike again before the head got to the task, and quickly noticing Godzilla's approach in a building's reflection). Despite being mainly known for its angry-seeming disposition, the right head smiled sadistically when watching the middle head devour Vivienne Graham. This head is an obedient follower towards the middle head and is capable of interacting with the middle head without violence; often chirping suggestively to the middle head or being consulted by the middle head first (such as when Ghidorah was confused by the ORCA's deactivation in Antarctica). It appears to rank second on the trio's pecking order, devouring the crushed ice falling from the middle head's jaws (after flicking its tongue seemingly in a request) when it devoured Graham.
The left head (San, also called "Kevin") seems to be the least intelligent and least aggressive of the heads; and based on its facial expressions (or lack thereof) compared to the other heads when Ghidorah is engaged in action, it appears to be somewhat docile. The left head is easily distracted and unfocused, to the frustration and disappointment of the middle head who has to forcibly get its companion back on task. Possibly because of its behavior, the left head appears to be at the bottom of the three heads' pecking order. This head notably displays more of an inquisitive side than the other two, most prominently when Ghidorah first awakened. Its unique first reaction among the heads was to immediately look around when they were emerging from the ice, and it responded to the G-Team shooting at Ghidorah by bending its neck to get a closer look (even nuzzling one of them with its chin). It attacked the G-Team in unison with the other two heads only after the middle head had forcefully pushed it back to get it back on task, and immediately afterward it spent time off-task licking the team's ashy remains. Its curiosity towards humans seemed to ebb after this, although it still seemingly scented the air with its tongue when the heads were approaching Emma Russell after injuring her, appearing mildly curious about the human who'd broadcasted the ORCA's signal. The left head also at times seems somewhat clumsy or careless compared to the other two heads, seemingly firing its gravity beam in a more unfocused and broadly-destructive manner than the other two at Fenway Park, and smashing its head directly through a building when Ghidorah was pursuing Emma's Humvee through a cramped street. This head appears to be somewhat timider than the other two when the heads aren't working together, at times casting worried looks towards the other heads such as when facing Godzilla in Antarctica - the left head furthermore openly displayed fear of Godzilla at the time of Emma Russell's death when Ghidorah sensed Godzilla's approach (unlike the other two heads, who never openly showed such emotion except when Ghidorah was about to be killed). However, the left head behaves much more confidently when engaging alongside the other two in battle with Godzilla, since it does not hesitate to strike. The left head seems to function as a sentry, mostly rearing back and watching while the other two heads engaged Godzilla in Antarctica (and observing when Godzilla's tail-fins lit up before he used his atomic breath), and at other times scanning in the direction Ghidorah's back is facing. Despite its docile streak, the left head does at times display its savagery; being particularly eager to bite down on Godzilla's neck compared to the other two heads when Ghidorah was draining Godzilla's energy, and seemingly smiling when Ghidorah was attacking the Argo. This head seems to be more eager for food than the other two, based on its aforementioned action after the G-Team's deaths, and when it turned its attention to the remaining humans after watching the other two heads devour Graham and the ice she'd been standing on.
Despite the heads' differing personalities (or perhaps because of the middle head's dominance, given its aforementioned focus), Ghidorah tends to be persistent to a point bordering on obsessive when something has his attention. This was seen when, after being briefly and painfully distracted by the ORCA's signal from investigating a nearby Osprey, instead of pursuing the source of his pain once it ceased, Ghidorah resumed approaching the Osprey and toying with the humans inside. However, this can also be a weakness for Ghidorah, as seen when the Russells used the ORCA to draw him away from a downed Godzilla and kept him chasing the ORCA through Boston until Godzilla recovered.
|“||From the Hydra to the Rainbow Serpent, myth was the compass that led us to the resting place of the three-headed Titan. A name, unspoken through millennia of whispered nightmares. A living extinction event, named "the One who is Many". We call it Monster Zero.
At a Monarch containment facility deep in the frozen tundra of Antarctica, a three-headed winged serpent of ancient yet unknown origin lies frozen within a glacial tomb of ice. This is without question the largest superspecies ever discovered, easily dwarfing Godzilla at a height of over five-hundred feet tall.
Cranial scans reveal a divergent frontal lobe density in the brains of the three heads, denoting each head has disparate levels of cognitive functions and possibly even independent thought.
Monster Zero's dermal layer is gilded with trace amounts of aurum (See Ark Record # 73.126). Metallurgical studies theorize the scales act as a conductor capable of carrying bioelectrical currents through the creature's body. Injuries have been discovered on several locations on the beast's body, reminiscent of claw and scorch marks. Exo-Forensics are currently investigating.
Muscle tendons on the wings are so hyper-tensile that their massive aerodynamics could generate hurricane-force winds when in flight. Coupled with its body's electro-receptor molecular biology capable of conducting electrical currents, water vapor in the air would be heated at extreme levels creating its own localized storm system as it travels. Simply put, if Monster Zero were to fly again, the stratosphere would be torn open by an otherworldly tempest of thunder and lightning our sky has never seen. Cryptolinguistics has analyzed translations of every worldwide case study of Monster Zero in the Monarch database across tens of thousands of years. The ancients called it Ghidorah.
— Cryptid Profile
The MonsterVerse incarnation of King Ghidorah returns the character to his original roots as a villainous extraterrestrial life form. Monarch initially assumed that Ghidorah was part of Earth's natural order as one of the many Titans roaming the Earth, until it was discovered that Ghidorah survived the Oxygen Destroyer blast and regenerated his severed head in seconds. According to information pieced together from ancient mythological texts by Ilene Chen, Ghidorah "fell from the stars", which Monarch subsequently took as indicating alongside Ghidorah's non-terrestrial biology that he was an extraterrestrial lifeform who acts like an invasive species to Earth's biosphere. It is unknown where Ghidorah came from, or if there are other members of his kind in existence.
Ghidorah arrived at Earth around or during the time early humans evolved. Numerous mythological deities such as the Hydra from Greek mythology and the Rainbow Serpent of the Aboriginal Australian religion are credited as misremembered encounters with Ghidorah by ancient civilizations, while the Taza people of Highland New Guinea remembered him as Mandandare Aqenomba. Still, ancient people left very few writings about Ghidorah, as if willfully trying to forget the malevolent Titan.
If the aforementioned ancient texts are to be believed, Ghidorah was responsible for slaughtering humans and Titans alike. He established himself as a rival alpha to Godzilla, and the two battled each other several times before they vied for supremacy in ancient Antarctica. The latter battle ended with Godzilla's victory, and Ghidorah being rendered inert and left in icy waters to freeze solid near the tip of the continent (specifically the Scott Mountains). Ghidorah was frozen no more than a few miles away from Antarctica's vortex to the Hollow Earth, which was encased in thirty-million-year-old ice older than the ice surrounding Ghidorah, which may imply that Ghidorah tried to enter the Hollow Earth but was stopped by Godzilla.
|SPOILER WARNING: This section may contain major plot and/or ending details. Proceed at your own discretion.|
In 1973, Houston Brooks and San Lin briefed James Conrad and Mason Weaver on multiple other monsters who once ruled the world alongside Kong. This included Ghidorah, along with Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan, who were all shown to the two via classified Monarch cave paintings.
Ghidorah was discovered under the ice via the Reolus satellite, which detected an extreme electromagnetic pulse fluctuation from the frozen creature. In 2016, Vivienne Graham led an effort to build a containment and research facility around Ghidorah. Her classified field notes contained the mysterious footnote, "The devil has three heads." The creature was later dubbed 'Monster Zero' by Monarch scientist Dr. Emma Russell.
Ghidorah is first seen frozen in Antarctic ice, with the designation 'Monster Zero'. Eco-terrorist organization leader Alan Jonah and rogue Monarch agent Emma Russell free him with explosives and awaken him with the ORCA.
Upon awakening, Ghidorah slaughters the G-Team forces on the ground before turning his attention to a grounded Osprey aircraft. Shortly after, Godzilla emerges from the ice and the two Titans engage in battle, decimating the Monarch outpost. Ghidorah then eats Graham alive and gains the upper hand, but escapes into the sky before Godzilla has the chance to retaliate.
Ghidorah later reappears in a massive storm near Mexico, shortly after Rodan, is freed from his volcanic nest. Monarch attempts to goad the two monsters into fighting each other, with Ghidorah easily defeating Rodan by sending him falling into the ocean. He proceeds to attack the Monarch crew, but Godzilla emerges from the sea to fight him off. Godzilla tears off Ghidorah's left head. Desperate and left with no options, the military is forced to detonate the Oxygen Destroyer missile, seemingly killing both Titans. However, Ghidorah is unaffected by the effects of the missile, which was specifically designed to eliminate all lifeforms in the area by removing all surrounding oxygen.
Ghidorah flies to Rodan's volcano, where he regenerates his missing head. He then calls out to the other Titans around the world, Rodan included, who all acknowledge him as their new alpha. Ghidorah immediately instructs the Titans to behave hyper-aggressively, attacking major cities and triggering rapid cataclysmic natural disasters around the world (massive wildfires, mass die-offs, volcanic eruptions polluting the atmosphere with gigatons of ash and volcanic gases); which begin rapidly wiping out the planet's ecosystems and threaten to create rapid mass extinction for all other life. Ghidorah himself meanwhile begins spawning offshoot massive storms from his hurricane and spreading them around the world, further adding to the cataclysm; and Ghidorah personally roosts in Washington DC (which he completely destroys) with Rodan acting as his vanguard. Ilene Chen deduces that Ghidorah is an extraterrestrial, and thus has no ties to maintaining Earth's natural balance. Realizing they need Godzilla more than ever, Dr. Serizawa sacrifices himself to detonate a bomb to bring Godzilla back to full strength.
Ghidorah is lured to Boston by Madison Russell, who broadcasts the ORCA's signal from Fenway Park. Godzilla appears to challenge his rival once more, with Mothra and Monarch joining by his side. However, Ghidorah calls upon Rodan to distract Mothra while he takes on Godzilla himself. The battle is at first a stalemate, both Titans being evenly matched. Ghidorah manages to absorb massive amounts of electrical energy by biting down on a nearby transformer and proceeds to incapacitate Godzilla, nearly succeeding in doing so. In the process, he picks up Godzilla using his tails and talons, carries the injured Titan seemingly above the stratosphere, and then drops him, making him plummet tens of thousands of feet down to Earth. After slamming into the ground, mortally wounding himself, Godzilla lies defenseless. Mothra, who is grievously injured from her fight with Rodan, attempts to defend him but is killed by Ghidorah's gravity beams. As she dies, however, she releases a cloud of energy, which Godzilla absorbs, causing him to glow fiery orange.
Seemingly realizing the threat posed by this energy, Ghidorah grapples Godzilla and begins draining it through his bite. However, a repentant Emma Russell uses the ORCA to distract Ghidorah, who then chases her into the city and mortally injures her with his gravity beams, destroying the ORCA.
The few moments were enough for Godzilla to recover, who then enters the scene supercharged and glowing a burning red. Ghidorah manages to shield himself against Godzilla's first thermonuclear pulse, which incinerates his wings in the process. Panicking, Ghidorah tries to stop Godzilla with his gravity beams, which fails as this inadvertently charges Godzilla up with a second pulse, incinerating Ghidorah's two side heads. The remaining middle head struggles vainly, as Godzilla ferociously roars and steps on the fallen Ghidorah's chest, bursting out all of his energy from his body, as well as triggering a final thermonuclear pulse that obliterates Ghidorah's body.
After the storm ceased immediately when the pulse dissipates, Godzilla rises from the rubble with Ghidorah's middle head dangling from his mouth, still frantically struggling. Godzilla fires his atomic breath through Ghidorah's neck, incinerating it, seemingly leaving behind no remains and presumably killing him for good, thus avenging the deaths of Mothra, Graham, Emma and countless other humans.
It is revealed that Ghidorah's left head that was severed by Godzilla during their battle in Mexico has been recovered by fishermen from the ocean, and is now discolored and swarming with flies, seemingly dead. Alan Jonah, seeing a potential use for it upon being shown it, purchases it from a trader.
Although Ghidorah is dead, his passage by Isla de Mara left a perpetual superstorm anchored above the Pacific Ocean which didn't dissipate with his other storms, described by Houston Brooks as "a gift from the Devil to remember him by." After two years raging in the same spot above the ocean, Camazotz's influence on Skull Island draws the storm away from its original position and causes it to merge with the island's perpetual storm barrier in a Fukushima effect, causing the storm barrier to permanently close in over the island and render it uninhabitable.
At some stage after Alan Jonah acquired Ghidorah's severed left head, it was bought by Apex Cybernetics and was transported to an undisclosed facility in Hong Kong. The flesh apparently rotted away to leave only a skull, and Apex used the upper-head (minus the jaw) to form a psionic uplink cockpit to control Mechagodzilla through radio waves while Ghidorah's DNA was speculated by Bernie Hayes to be hardwired inside Mechagodzilla itself as the receiver. However, every time Apex activated the psionic uplink, Ghidorah's remains broadcasted a corrupted version of the three-headed monster's original bio-acoustics which Godzilla detected, provoking him to attack Apex's facilities looking for the source.
After Apex charged Mechagodzilla with energy from the Earth's core, remnants of Ghidorah's consciousness in its remains awoke and override Mechagodzilla's controls, electrocuting Ren Serizawa, and killing Walter Simmons with a swipe of its hand. While the skull itself was presumed to be destroyed during Mechagodzilla's escape from the Apex facility, Ghidorah's influence was ultimately ended when Kong and Godzilla destroyed Mechagodzilla.
When Ghidorah became the alpha, he let out an extremely loud and powerful call that could be heard by the other Titans all around the world. Upon hearing the said call, the Titans would immediately come to Ghidorah's aid, assisting him in destroying the Earth, minus Kong, who chose to ignore the call, not wanting anything to do with it. Additionally, his call did not affect Godzilla, who was a rival alpha, or Mothra, who was loyal only to Godzilla.
Ghidorah had electro-receptor molecular biology, and his skin was covered with traces of gold that acted as a conductor that carried bioelectrical currents throughout his body. Besides his Gravity Beams and Meteorokinesis (see below), this seemingly enabled him to draw his storm's lightning to himself as a living conductor, as he seemed to do when fighting Godzilla in Antarctica.
Immediately after absorbing electricity directly from a city transformer, Ghidorah blasted lightning bolts from the bladed tips of his wings, disabling numerous aircraft in the surrounding skies and injuring Godzilla.
Ghidorah's decapitated left head, though seemingly dead to the point that it decomposed to just a skull, retained Ghidorah's telepathic capabilities and with them some vestiges of Ghidorah's will and intent; enough that when Mechagodzilla was fully powered up with a Hollow Earth element, Ghidorah caused the mech to operate independently of a human pilot and begin killing any human it came across as well as trying to kill Godzilla.
Ghidorah's golden scales made him highly impervious to any form of weaponry. He was also able to withstand a full-force charge from both Rodan and Godzilla. Even a radiation-overloaded Godzilla's atomic breath couldn't cause any noticeable damage to Ghidorah, merely forcing him backward, though it did burn him.
Even after the destruction of entire body Ghidorah's middle head survived and completely conscious (possibly due to Ghidorah's alien biology) and was only destroyed by Godzilla's atomic ray firing up through the head's severed neck to atomize it. Ghidorah's severed left head, by comparison, appeared to be dead and rotting by the time it was dredged up.
Ghidorah could drain energy and electricity directly into himself by biting down on power sources. He gained a catastrophically-immense burst of electrical power by biting down on a live power station in Boston; and he was also able to slowly drain and siphon Godzilla's excess radiation by biting down on the latter, an act which caused the orange-colored excess energy to visibly flow down Ghidorah's heads and necks from Godzilla.
Ghidorah's massive and powerful wings allowed him to fly with great speed over long distances, and he only needed to pump them downwards to get airborne off the ground. This allowed him to easily chase down Emma Russell and attempt to attack the Osprey Mark Russell boarded.
Similar to monitor lizards and snakes, Ghidorah possesses three forked tongues in each of his three mouths which he can use to smell using the forked tips and allow him to sense Godzilla's arrival.
Ghidorah could shoot yellow gravity beams (concentrated, lightning-like beams of electrical energy) from each of his three mouths. Much like how Godzilla's dorsal plates glow whenever he is about to release his atomic breath, Ghidorah's necks, throats, and sometimes his eyes glowed before he fired his gravity beams. The beams were extremely powerful, as they could easily obliterate buildings, seemingly caused humans to instantly combust to ashes, singed Godzilla's scales and knocked him over, and incinerated a weakened Mothra within seconds during their battle in Boston, though they did no lasting damage to the former. They were also able to generate a great amount of static electricity that shorted out the circuits of all nearby electronics, as happened in Antarctica.
Ghidorah had hyper-tensile muscle tendons in his wings that were capable of generating hurricane-force winds while in flight. This was most notably seen when rhythmic bursts of wind seeming to indicate his wing-beats caused a flag in Boston to fly and fall ahead of his (and his main storm's) arrival.
Cranial scans indicate each of Ghidorah's heads possessed different levels of cognitive function and independent thought. The middle head was the most intelligent; acting as the leader and being quicker-acting, more resourceful, as well as more goal-oriented than the other two. Meanwhile, the right head displayed a combative spatial awareness when the other two were incapacitated in combat, and the left head was an observant sentry. Ghidorah overall is also very intelligent, capable of tactical fighting and improvization.
Ghidorah could conduct electrical currents, making water vapor heat up to extreme levels and creating localized storm systems, as well as otherworldly tempests of thunder and yellow lightning. As a result, Ghidorah was effectively constantly wrapped in or accompanied by lightning-filled typhoon, which seemed to worsen the longer Ghidorah was active after escaping the ice - starting as anomalous winds and near-constant flashes of thunder and lightning in Antarctica, afterward progressing to the equivalent of a tropical storm the size of Central America, and subsequently to a Category 6 hurricane when Ghidorah invaded Washington DC. Ghidorah's cyclone-like storms also produced tornadoes or water spouts in his immediate surroundings. Ghidorah's storms seemed to be somewhat radiation-influenced, as a radiation-supercharged Godzilla's presence in Boston caused the lightning to turn blue like the latter's bioluminescence.
When Ghidorah becomes the Titans' new alpha and begins using them to actively destroy the Earth, his main hurricane begins producing hundreds of offshoot super-cells, squall lines, tornadoes and thunderstorms which rapidly spread over the planet - Mark Russell notes that if these storms continue pelting the planet for even a matter of weeks, they could create a proto-volcanic winter which on its own would cause most life on the planet's surface to die off, while the storms and rainfall perpetually decimating and over-saturating ecosystems' terrains and over-saturating reefs would cause even quicker devastation.
When Ghidorah's body apart from its middle head was obliterated by Godzilla's thermonuclear pulses, his hurricane immediately dissipated - whether this was due to the destruction of Ghidorah's body or the thermonuclear pulses' effects is uncertain. However, even after his defeat the effects of Ghidorah's weather manipulating abilities had long lasting effects on the perpetual storms that surrounded Skull Island, which ultimately resulted in the near extinction of the Iwi when the storms began to overtake the island, some of which became frozen wastelands, as well as making it uninhabitable for Kong due to its perishing resources.
Due to being an extraterrestrial alien, Ghidorah did not require oxygen to survive, which made him completely immune to the Oxygen Destroyer. He appeared to produce some fogged exhalation in Antarctica however, though notably not as thick as Godzilla's breaths.
The spikes on Ghidorah's tails could be used to create a rattling sound as a form of intimidation, similar to a rattlesnake.
Using the radiation from Rodan's volcano, Ghidorah was able to regenerate the head that was decapitated by Godzilla almost instantaneously. The process was somewhat brutal, requiring that the severed head's tongue regrow first, followed by the skull (producing a bright-golden membrane, which the middle head seems to tear away from the regenerating left head prematurely), then muscle, skin, and scales. During the battle in Boston, after absorbing the Boston power grid's energy and blasting the military's airborne vehicles out of the sky, Ghidorah was able to regenerate holes in his wing membranes within seconds.
Ghidorah can use his three serpentine necks to wrap around and tighten Godzilla in combat, possibly to constrict him to death similar to that of constrictor snakes.
Each of Ghidorah's three heads have sharp teeth which grant him an incredibly lethal bite as he was able to bite into Godzilla's skin during both their battles in Antarctica and Boston.
Speed and agility
Each of Ghidorah's heads was very nimble and quick; able to lash out and quickly strike their intended targets like snakes, and also using their flexible necks and numbers to dodge attacks such as Godzilla's atomic ray. When flying, Ghidorah's top speed could reach up to 550 knots - however, unlike Rodan and Mothra, he appeared to be a somewhat heavy flyer without their aerial agility, making up for this with strength, speed, ferocity, as well as his electrical and meteorokinetic abilities.
Ghidorah was able to fly straight from Antarctica to Mexico to fight Rodan. When he arrived, he was able to quickly take down his target with ease and then caught in a fight with Godzilla right after. Despite Godzilla was able to sever one of Ghidorah's head, with the detonation of Oxygen Destroyer which stunned Godizlla, Ghidorah immediately recovered and flew away.
After fighting Godzilla for a certain amount of time at Boston, Ghidorah didn't show any signs of exhaustion while Godzilla had been began to breathe heavily and getting slowed down.
Strength and combat
Ghidorah's intimidation style was very similar to a king cobra. Much like cobras that raise their heads and spread their necks, Ghidorah's heads arched their necks and spread his wings to make him appear twice as large as Godzilla. His fighting style was similar to that of a snake, with his heads quickly lashing out and biting onto opponents.
Ghidorah was a tactical combatant. Ghidorah's jaws and his gravity beams were his primary and preferred weapons, with all three heads tending to work together (and often firing their gravity beams in unison) to combat Ghidorah's foe. He is much stronger than most other Titans with only Godzilla rivaling him in physical strength. Though Ghidorah initially mainly fought Godzilla with bites, his heads' ability to combine teamwork and ingenuity was disturbingly shown when the side-heads held Rodan pinned by either wing with their jaws, whilst the middle head blasted him at close-range with its gravity beam. The fact Ghidorah's heads could act independently of each other was also an advantage, limiting his opponent's ability to keep track of all three heads' actions. During the Boston battle, Ghidorah not only relied on his jaws but also used his wings to dislodge Godzilla from the ground while biting him. Ghidorah also severely weakened Godzilla by using his wings, legs, and tails' strength to lift the 99,634-ton Titan seemingly above the Earth's troposphere and then drop him, however, it is implied that the electricity he consumed in Boston greatly increased his strength in order for him to do this.
Ghidorah tends to use his wings as shields against projectiles such as man-made missiles by tucking them over his body and heads.
According to Bernie Hayes, due to the fact the immense length of Ghidorah's necks would normally interfere with how quickly the beast could receive and interpret sensory information Ghidorah ended up evolving telepathy so that his heads could communicate with each other instantaneously thus bypassing any information lag he might experience. Later on when his remains were used to construct Mechagodzilla, the remnants of the left head of Ghidorah's consciousness would use his telepathic abilities to hijack the robot and turn it against its creators.
Like his previous incarnations, Ghidorah has two tails with retractable spikes on the ends that he can use as formidable weapons, though he does not seem to use them specifically in combat. During his fight with Godzilla in Boston, Ghidorah is seen using his tails as prehensile limbs to restrain him while lifting Godzilla into the sky.
Even though Ghidorah is extremely powerful, he has several notable weaknesses.
Ghidorah was neutralized by freezing solid in ice after being rendered inert by Godzilla in Antarctica - this incapacitated him for centuries to millennia, and Ghidorah only recovered due to human interference deliberately freeing him from the ice.
Despite Ghidorah's immense durability, he could not withstand the thermonuclear pulses that Godzilla released in his burning form, which incinerated Ghidorah's wings and two of his heads in a matter of seconds.
Since Ghidorah's physical structure was that of an airborne creature, he was not entirely suited to move underwater. When Godzilla dragged him into the ocean near Isla de Mara, Ghidorah struggled to fight back and got his left head easily decapitated by the former.
- This is the first incarnation of King Ghidorah to appear in an American-made film.
- In the official Monarch timeline posted on the Facebook page for Kong: Skull Island, the label given to Ghidorah is 'Monster Zero', which was the name given to him by the Xiliens in Invasion of Astro-Monster.
- The trait where monsters had inspired humanity to create mythical creatures from the real world is very similar to the cases seen in Shusuke Kaneko's Gamera Trilogy and his Godzilla. Both incarnations of King Ghidorah have bird-like with three large claws and a smaller fourth digit, and wings with phalanges that can be folded at the side. They also possess electrical abilities along with the traditional gravity beams. Shusuke Kaneko also pointed multiple similarities between his GMK and King of the Monsters including "King Ghidorah in ice" and "a father in a submarine".
- This is the largest live-action incarnation of Ghidorah as well as the second-largest next to the anime incarnation.
- Monarch Outpost 32, where Ghidorah was contained, functions as a reference to Outpost 31 of the 1982 film The Thing. This is backed up by his location that is set in a tundra environment.
- This is the second incarnation of Ghidorah that can fire lightning from his wings, with the first being his Rebirth of Mothra III incarnation.
- Although this incarnation of King Ghidorah possesses the sadism of earlier incarnations, it's conveyed more subtly here. In Godzilla: King of the Monsters, it's speculated that Ghidorah's goal is converting the Earth into a suitable home for himself as an alien outsider to its existing ecosphere, whereas most previous incarnations of Ghidorah have been portrayed as serial planet destroyers who have seemingly little to no reason for committing their omnicidal actions except for the sake of it; furthermore, this incarnation only went out of his way to massacre the G-Team and attempt to kill Madison Russell when they provoked him first. The main clues to this Ghidorah's sadistic nature are that he also equally attacks humans who have done nothing to provoke him and who are trying to evade him, and his heads tend to smile when doing this; and he tends to utilize overkill when attacking humans, something expressly pointed out in the novelization.
- According to Michael Dougherty:
- Although King of the Monsters is not a comedy, he likened Ghidorah to Rip Van Winkle in the sense that he's puzzled by waking up to the modern world's technology; having "a very cruel personality" with a "sense of humor and mischief" as well as curiosity.
- He likened Ghidorah's three heads to triplets or brothers or physically-identical dogs, with different personalities and ways of expressing themselves and with interactions with each other. He described Ichi as the "big brother", "alpha" and "most serious" of the three as well as the head who's "calling the shots", and said of Ni and San/Kevin: "So if you're facing Ghidorah, [Ni] is batshit crazy. He will throw down with anybody; he is always ready and ready to go into a fight. And then [San/Kevin] is a little more curious. I would say maybe a little slower on the draw."
- He commented that Ghidorah loves playing cat-and-mouse with his prey due to his malice.
- Additionally, when designing Ghidorah, he wanted to create a "unique" design that still resembled Ghidorah and worked closely with Toho to make sure the new design respected past incarnations; he also studied various animals, specifically king cobras, to add a sense of realism to the design.
- He also told the design team to maintain an eastern dragon influence, and to avoid any western dragon influences, stating "They're not traditional western dragons. So those were marching orders from the beginning... We don't want it to look like Game of Thrones dragons".
- He's also jokingly suggested that San/Kevin probably wouldn't be antagonistic if not for Ghidorah's other two heads.
- He's jokingly suggested that San/Kevin has been losing his head regularly over Ghidorah's long life as something of a running gag, and it's gotten to a point that the head has gotten particularly skilled at regenerating itself.
- Most of Ghidorah's neurons are scattered throughout his body and limbs much like an octopus, which enabled the regrown left head to retain the severed head's memories and personality.
- Had the U.S. military not intervened in Ghidorah and Godzilla's underwater battle using the Oxygen Destroyer, Godzilla would have won the battle.
- Among the film's four main Titans, Ghidorah was intended to represent the element Air, and the Tarot card the Devil.
- According to the three actors who portrayed Ghidorah's heads:
- Alex Maxson thinks that Ni (the right head) wishes he was the leader head, and he obeys Ichi (the middle head) begrudgingly.
- Maxson and Jason Liles both think Ni is more of a wild card and the most unstable of the heads, while San/Kevin obeys Ichi's commands without thinking to question it.
- Mike Dougherty wanted Ghidorah's heads to have different personalities and different actors, including one head that was full of rage, before casting.
- In Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization:
- Unlike in the films, the novelization seems to portray Ghidorah's heads as lacking any independent personalities, only hinting that they can operate independently of each-other when necessary.
- The novelization outright states Ghidorah lives for killing. Mark at one point speculates about the MonsterVerse's god/kaiju allegory that Ghidorah is essentially an insane god.
- It's confirmed that Ghidorah was in pain when regenerating his severed head at Rodan's volcano
- Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard believes that Mechagodzilla's sentience when hijacked by Ghidorah's subconsciousness is the result of Ghidorah's remnant consciousness merging with the Mecha's AI to create a new personality. The film's novelization meanwhile states when Mechagodzilla gains sentience, "It did not know who it was, or what it was, but it was full of rage and the black joy of finally being, and having limbs, and teeth, a boundless, unending energy at its command" and it suggests Ren Serizawa's devoured consciousness was essentially digested to form the Mecha's personality.
- According to Godzilla vs. Kong - The Official Movie Novelization:
- The bone in Ghidorah's skulls is as much an integral component of Ghidorah's consciousness(es) as the brain tissue, making the skulls double as part of Ghidorah's brain rather than being a mere brain casing.
- Apex Cybernetics obtained Ghidorah's skull/s two years before the main time frame when a man indicated to be Alan Jonah sold them to Walter Simmons.
- The chamber containing Ghidorah's skull in Apex Cybernetics' Hong Kong headquarters, called the Skull Room in the novel, is obliterated when Mechagodzilla kills Walter Simmons and the skull possibly shattered along with it, unlike in the film where the chamber and skull are shown to be intact when Simmons dies.
- Whereas the only reference in the film to the existence of an extra Ghidorah skull was Bernie Hayes speculating there was "another one" inside of Mechagodzilla, the novelization explicitly states that there was a second Ghidorah skull of unknown origin which Alan Jonah sold to Apex alongside San/Kevin's skull. Where the second skull came from after all three of Ghidorah's attached heads were vaporized alongside his body in Boston is unexplained.
- Several features of this King Ghidorah could have been inspired by Smaug the Golden from the live-action Hobbit trilogy, specifically the collapsible wings that can be used as front limbs for walking, similar facial structures, menacing facial expressions, and their throats glow when using breath attacks. Additionally, both Smaug and King Ghidorah were portrayed via motion capture.
- Weta Digital Workshop participated in the CGI effects for both film series. The studio is known for its introduction of motion capture into live-action films, and Andy Serkis, known for his usage of motion capture for Gollum in the Lord of the Ring and the Hobbit trilogies, later played King Kong in the 2005 film.
- Ghidorah's heads having independent personalities is a trait similar to the octopus on which Ghidorah's decentralized nervous system was based: octopi have a central brain which is able to receive information and exert some control, but the arms each are able to receive and respond to sensory information independently, and it's been alleged that an octopus' arms can each exhibit distinct behavior habits. Although based on the explanation of Ghidorah's heads' telepathy in Godzilla vs. Kong, this particular resemblance to octopi is probably only superficial, or at least operates on different mechanics to an octopus, in Ghidorah's case.
- The coordinates on the official Monarch website indicating Ghidorah's location according to the Raolus satellite in actuality lead into the South Atlantic Ocean.
- The dragons from the 2002 film Reign of Fire share similarities to the facial structures of this King Ghidorah: the male dragon from Reign of Fire and the middle head of this King Ghidorah have more curved horns, and both play the "alpha" role, while the female dragons from Reign of Fire and the other heads of this King Ghidorah possess more linear horns and their heads are less built than their "alphas".
- This is the fourth incarnation of King Ghidorah to have an extraterrestrial origin and the third to act solely on his terms much like his debut film and Rebirth of Mothra III.
- The scene where Alan Jonah collects the severed Ghidorah head could be a reference to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, where the mechanical head of King Ghidorah was salvaged for the creation of Mechagodzilla.
- Some of Ghidorah's deeper vocalisations are that of the Vastatosaurus rex from Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, such as when he is struck by Godzilla's atomic breath upon entering Boston
- The opening credits of Godzilla vs. Kong display Ghidorah's weight as 121,000 tons, but it is miswritten as "121,00".
List of appearances
- Kong: Skull Island (Cave painting)
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (First appearance)
- Godzilla vs. Kong (Stock footage and skull)
- Kong: Skull Island - The Official Movie Novelization (Cave painting)
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization
- Godzilla vs. Kong - The Official Movie Novelization (Skull)
- Godzilla vs. Kong
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 106. ISBN: 9781789090925.
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 21. ISBN: 9781789090925.
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla vs. Kong - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. ASIN: B08R6PKDFS
- Specimen: Titanus Ghidorah. Toho Kingdom on Twitter (17 May 2019).
- Mount Light Cooperation (Pastel Video), 1984, the official pamphlet of Soviet SF Movie Festival
- Sony Magazines, 1998, Godzilla Chronicle, ISBN 978-4789712941
- Anello, Marie. Kingdom Kong. 2021. Legendary Comics. ISBN: 9781681160801.
- Verhoeven, Beatrice (April 26, 2018). ‘Rampage’ Breakout Star Jason Liles Joins ‘Godzilla: King of Monsters’ (Exclusive). The Wrap. Retrieved April 26, 2018
- White, James (April 26, 2018). Rampage's Jason Liles Playing King Ghidorah In Godzilla: King Of Monsters. Empire Online. Retrieved April 28, 2018
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 198. ISBN: 9781789090925.
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 202. ISBN: 9781789090925.
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 196. ISBN: 9781789090925.
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 244. ISBN: 9781789090925.
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 293. ISBN: 9781789090925.
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 90. ISBN: 9781789090925.
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 195. ISBN: 9781789090925.
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 162. ISBN: 9781789090925.
- Eiga Hiho July 2019 Special, 2019, Yosensha, p.2, ASIN: B07RQ3VBFM
- Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 286. ISBN: 9781789090925.