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You're a monster. „ 

— Madison to Emma Russell

Overview

Madison Russell is the daughter of Monarch scientists Drs. Emma and Mark Russell, and Andrew Russell's younger sister. She first appeared in the 2019 MonsterVerse graphic comic, Godzilla: Aftershock, before appearing in the 2019 Godzilla film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, as a reluctant antagonist and eventual secondary human protagonist. She reappeared in the 2021 film Godzilla vs. Kong as the human lead of the Godzilla plotline.

Personality

Dad...I'm sorry. „ 

— Madison

Like her parents, Madison is academically gifted in science. However, she takes after her outdoorsman father and prefers hands-on experience in the field instead of learning in a classroom. Madison has gained vast knowledge of the Titans from accompanying her mother on assignments when permitted. Madison possesses a natural scientific curiosity, particularly fascinated by insect entomology, largely those found in the family's Boston home backyard when she was a child.[3] Due to her mother denying her access to containment units at outposts, Madison got several security violations and residential infractions whenever she tried to satisfy her curiosity. From often traveling with her mother on assignments, Madison doesn't have many friends outside of her parents and Monarch employees.[4] In the end, all Madison truly wants is ordinary life and to spend her days playing video games, watching YouTube videos, and making and listening to music playlists. Additionally, she has a flippant sense of humor, as when Alan Jonah gave her a false smile in Outpost 32's elevator, she subtly flipped him off while using the said finger to "scratch" an itch on her face.

Madison cares about both of her parents, but like most children caught between warring parents, she feels trapped, needing to please them both to try and keep their family intact. Despite her father leaving her and her mother after Andrew's death, Madison still loves Mark and doesn't want him to come to harm, but she's now slightly wary of him after her mom claimed he abandoned them. Living with her mother after her parents split, Madison wants to be a good daughter and support her. However, during their time with Jonah carrying out Emma's plan to restore nature's balance, Madison's loyalty to Emma gets tested; Madison's faith begins to waver as she realizes that she no longer knows her mother.

Convinced by Emma to take part in the plan under the premise of helping people and saving the world, Madison soon becomes distraught and disillusioned with Emma after seeing her mother endanger her father and friends. Madison's disenchantment with Emma grows after listening to Mark confront her mother for believing she now has the right to decide everyone's fate. Seeing the truth in her father's words, Madison realizes Emma was wrong about him. She also understands that her mother gave up on humanity after Andrew died and kept her in the dark about certain things, like Jonah's true murderous nature and the number of casualties that would occur despite Emma telling Madison they would be careful. Overwhelmed with guilt for her complicity in the death and destruction caused, Madison beats herself up for blindly believing and trusting Emma without question for so long. After watching the horrors that happen around her from the sidelines and letting her mother make all the decisions for her, Madison takes it upon herself to forsake her mother's plan and save the world by helping Monarch and her father.

According to the Godzilla vs. Kong: The Official Movie Novelization, Madison suffers PTSD from her ordeals with Jonah and Ghidorah. She also suffers bullying at school for her mother's legacy and her obsession with Godzilla and the Titans.

Relationships

Alan Jonah

Madison dislikes Alan Jonah for his cold, condescending nature; his enjoyment of having power over others;[5] and his cruel ways of trying to "save" the world, like slaughtering Monarch scientists and allowing Titans to ravage the planet. When Jonah tries showing humor to her while wiping blood off his face, Madison is unamused and casually flips him off. After learning about his daughter's death, Madison sympathizes with Jonah but believes that his loss doesn't condone his actions and hatred towards humankind. She understands that Jonah lost his soul long ago and would kill her when he deemed it necessary or just for fun.

Andrew Russell

You said we were doing this for Andrew. Do you really think he would've wanted this? „ 

— Madison to Emma

Madison's relationship with her older brother Andrew is primarily unknown; however, judging from photos and an old family video, it's clear the two siblings loved each other. When she was young, Andrew tricked Madison into eating wasabi after telling her it was green frosting.[6] When mentioning him to her mother, Madison becomes emotional, showing that Andrew's death hurt her deeply as it did her parents.

Bernie Hayes

???

Walter Simmons

???

Emma Russell

According to plan? You said that you were gonna be careful. That you'd release them one at a time, that you would restore balance! „ 

— Madison to Emma

Ever since Madison was a small child, her mother has taught her everything she knows about the Titans. After Emma and Mark separate, Emma retains custody and raises Madison alone, often taking her to work at Monarch. Madison cares much for her mother and her safety, as she becomes frantic and upset every time Emma is in danger. Though at first supporting Emma in her choice to work with Alan Jonah, she quickly comes to oppose her mother's actions after seeing the death and destruction they cause. Their time with Jonah continually tests Madison's loyalty to her mother as Emma keeps going through with awakening the Titans despite everything falling apart, to the point where the disillusioned Madison disowns her mother. Having grown up believing that Emma kept herself together after Andrew died, Madison realizes her mother's grief caused Emma to lose her mind. However, Madison is devastated when witnessing Ghidorah chase down and kill Emma despite her mother's betrayal.

Ilene Chen

Madison seemingly has a close relationship with Ilene. Ilene calls her name when retrieving her in Boston. Madison thinks of Ilene alongside Vivienne and Dr. Mancini when considering her friends in Monarch whom she could've warned about her mother.[7]

Josh Valentine

???

Mark Russell

Dad, are you okay? „ 

— Madison

Since Madison's parents separated when she was seven years old, her father's relationship with her has been slightly distant. Madison became wary of her father due to Emma's claims that Mark left them because he no longer loved them and didn't want to be with them anymore. Despite this, Madison still loves him and remains in contact with him as she calls him several times a week. She still worries about him and what condition he's in as she notices his healthy appearance in the email photos he sent her. Seeing Mark come back for her, putting himself in danger, and risking his life to help people, Madison can't help but admire his bravery[8]. When finally reuniting with him, Madison hugs him, completely forgetting any family tension between them. Mark then comforts Madison after watching Ghidorah chase down and kill Emma.

When Godzilla starts rampaging five years later due to Mechagodzilla provoking him, Madison tries unsuccessfully to talk sense into her father regarding a possible lead on the cause of Godzilla's rampage. He dismisses everything she says as he wants her to stay out of the matter and focus on school, and Madison angrily calls him out for losing faith in Godzilla. Despite this, they still embrace when reunited in Hong Kong after Mechagodzilla is destroyed. The novelization shows that after the events in Boston, which left Madison in Mark's custody, their relationship is highly strained. Mark forces her to attend public school instead of letting her continue being homeschooled and remains unmoving about her complaints about being miserable at school. Madison resents her father for treating her like she's a scared little girl who needs coddling after her traumatic experiences with Alan Jonah and Ghidorah.

Vivienne Graham

Madison was very fond of Vivienne, regarding her as something of an aunt. It's hinted she might've even seen Vivienne as a parental substitute without knowing it, in light of her mother's personality shift after Andrew's death. Vivienne acted like a babysitter and secondary maternal figure to Madison, who appreciated Vivienne's attentive presence while her actual parents drowned themselves in work and anger, respectively. Upon arrival at Outpost 32, Madison internally hopes that Vivienne wasn't among the Monarch personnel massacred by Jonah's mercenaries.[9]

Godzilla

???

Mothra

???

Ghidorah

???

History

Born in 2007, Madison spent much of her childhood living in Boston and traveling the world with her mother on field assignments. Through her mother and Monarch Field Tutor, Madison gained extensive knowledge on Titans, and others noted her for being academically gifted like her parents.

At an unknown point, the family moved to San Francisco after Emma accepted a job offer. However, during the battle between Godzilla and the MUTOs in 2014, Madison's older brother Andrew died from rubble crushing him. The grieving family moved back to Boston, and Mark and Emma destroyed their prototype of the ORCA, a unique device that releases sonar pulses only understood by Titans. Losing Andrew became too much for Madison's parents to deal with as her father started drinking to cope, and her mother poured herself into rebuilding the ORCA to ensure Andrew's death wasn't meaningless. Madison often found herself in the middle of her parents' disputes and tried to help them stay together, but Mark and Emma eventually separated. After her father left, Madison chose to stay with her mother and help her heal.[10] Since then, Madison has continued traveling around with Emma to follow in her mother's footsteps.

Godzilla: Aftershock

He's hurt, Mom. He's really hurt. „ 

— Madison, about Godzilla

While Emma is working at Monarch Outpost 14 in the Philippines, Madison surprises her mother after Vivienne Graham told Mark that seeing Maddie would help ease Emma of the stress she's been suffering recently. However, Madison's reunion with her mother is cut short by Dr. Graham telling Emma about MUTO Prime's recent attack. Then they watch a live video feed of Godzilla returning to the ocean after his latest fight with the creature, and Madison tells her mother how injured Godzilla looks.

After Godzilla kills the MUTO Prime, back in Boston, Emma tells Madison the world will experience some enormous changes soon; things might get scary for a while, but sometimes matters must worsen to get better. Then Emma promises to always be beside Madison and keep her safe. Madison tells Emma that Godzilla was called a hero on the news, something Emma credits to the accounts left behind by the ancient Phoenicians. Madison asks what happened to them, and Emma replies she doesn't know but expresses how much she admires those who have the guts to venture into the unknown alone.

Between Aftershock and King of the Monsters

Despite becoming distant from her father over the next five years, the now 12-year-old Madison keeps in contact with him regularly and spends some time with him now and then. Madison and Emma are currently at Monarch Outpost 61 - The Temple of the Moth in the jungle of China's Yunnan province. Maddie spends her free time studying the insects in the ecosystem as Emma forbids her from having containment access. However, as she is entering her teenage years and desiring normalcy, Madison spends her evenings taking up common interests like a normal kid.[1]

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Maybe Dad is right. Maybe this isn't the way. „ 

— Madison to Emma

Madison is listening to music and watching videos online on her laptop. She receives an email from her father, Mark, who is away in the Colorado wilderness studying wolves. Madison types a quick reply about missing him and wanting to talk to him about growing concerned for her mother, but before she can send it, Madison hears the smoke alarm go off as she makes breakfast for her mother and herself and burns the bacon. Madison lies to her mom about looking for recipes, but her mother isn't convinced, so Madison admits to answering her father's emails. She asks if her dad will be okay, and Emma says Mark is safe where he is and reveals she finished rebuilding the ORCA.

Madison and Emma get caught in Jonah's raid.

Then Madison and Emma witness the hatching of Mothra, a prehistoric moth-like Titan. The larva quickly becomes agitated after Monarch personnel begin firing electrical pulses at it to calm it. Emma rushes into the containment chamber with the ORCA. Madison swipes Dr. Mancini's ID badge and runs into the room to protect her mother but is helpless as the large larva prepares to strike down on them. Emma manages to find the right frequency and calms the worm, which leans downwards and allows Madison to touch her. Soon after, eco-terrorists and their leader, Alan Jonah, raid the facility, executing all Monarch personnel except Madison and Emma. The mercenaries fail to capture Mothra, who retreats behind a nearby waterfall and seals herself in a cocoon.

With a Monarch Osprey, the eco-terrorists take Madison and Emma to the Monarch outpost in Antarctica, killing all personnel stationed there as they did in China, with Madison visibly shaken. The terrorists then escort Madison and Emma down into the depths of the containment facility, where they intend to awaken a three-headed, dragon-like Titan dubbed Monster Zero. Madison marvels at the sight of Monster Zero, frozen under hundreds of feet of ice. She runs her hand across the ice as Monster Zero's massive silhouette towers over her, frozen in the same position as he was in many millennia ago. Jonah has his men drill large holes in the ice and place charges in them to aid Monster Zero in waking up, but Monarch reinforcements soon arrive, along with Mark Russell.

Madison getting pulled away by Emma and Jonah while trying to save Mark from Ghidorah with the ORCA.

During an intense standoff between Jonah and G-Team, Mark tells Madison and Emma to come towards him. Madison begins walking to him slowly, but Emma calls her back. Madison reluctantly backs away from Mark and escapes with Emma and the terrorists after her mother detonates the charges. Reboarding their Osprey, Madison tells her mother they can't leave Mark behind before watching Emma use the ORCA to awaken Monster Zero, who rises from the shattered ice and begins terrorizing her father and the trapped Monarch personnel below. Fearing for her father's life, Madison snatches the ORCA out of Emma's hands and sends out sonar pulses to distract Monster Zero. Emma and Jonah quickly pull Madison away from it, and Jonah restrains her so Emma can turn off the ORCA to prevent Monster Zero from killing them. Then Madison watches somberly as Monster Zero closes in on her father, trapped in a damaged Osprey below, before flying off.

Madison pleading to Emma to reconsider releasing Rodan.

Jonah takes Madison and Emma to a Monarch bunker just outside of Boston, which the eco-terrorists have taken over to use as a hideout. From there, Emma contacts Mark and Monarch via video feed from the control room. Relieved that her father is alive, Madison apologizes to him for what happened before. Then she listens to Emma as she reveals that she and Jonah are working together to "save the world" by freeing the Titans before her parents argue about Emma's reasoning stemming from Andrew's death. Then Jonah orders Emma to wake up another Titan, a massive pteranodon-like creature dubbed Rodan, located in Isla de Mara, Mexico. After hearing what her father said, Madison begs Emma to reconsider and let the village near Rodan's volcano outpost evacuate. Then Jonah interjects and mockingly asks Madison if Emma sold her on the idea to release the Titans by promising humans and monsters living together in peace. Madison still begs her mother to let the islanders find shelter first, but the disheartened Emma proceeds to wake Rodan anyway. Rodan creates a massive cyclonic drift stream and wipes out the village and many of its inhabitants by merely flying overhead before decimating a jet squadron.

Madison turning her back on Emma while arguing with her mother about the plan to release the Titans.

Soon after, the military fires a prototype missile called an "Oxygen Destroyer" at Monster Zero and Godzilla as they fight in the ocean in Mexico. Godzilla appears to die while Monster Zero survives; he regrows the head Godzilla previously tore off during the fight, perches atop Rodan's volcano, and gives out a roar that awakens the remaining Titans around the world. Horrified by the needless death and destruction, and disenchanted with her mother's beliefs, a teary Madison calls her a monster. Later, Madison storms down a corridor, followed by her mother. She angrily confronts Emma about the plan to gradually release the Titans and restore balance to the world, as her mother told her she would be careful. Then Madison says Emma told her they were doing it in Andrew's memory and asks if Andrew would approve of what they've done before locking herself in an old radio room.

The Titans continue ravaging the planet under Monster Zero's leadership, now known as Ghidorah, who usurped the Alpha Titan's position from Godzilla. Overhearing Emma and Jonah discuss the chance of using the ORCA to broadcast a signal from the Fenway Park stadium, Madison decides to carry out her mother's plan herself. Hence, she steals the ORCA, escapes the bunker undetected, and heads into the city, reaching the stadium just as the last evacuations finish. Madison goes into the broadcast booth and uses the ORCA to blast sonar pulses through Fenway's speakers, effectively distracting the Titans worldwide, including Ghidorah.

With the ORCA, Madison flees from Ghidorah as he attacks Fenway Park searching for her.

Ghidorah eventually arrives at Fenway, slamming down into the stadium and searching for the sonar pulses' source. He destroys the speakers but continues hearing the ORCA; Madison tries disabling it, but Ghidorah spots her and attempts to kill her with his gravity beams. Madison escapes the stadium but comes face-to-face with Ghidorah on the field. She throws the ORCA at him, which he stomps on and destroys. Madison braces herself with nowhere left to run or hide as Ghidorah charges up his gravity beams, ready to kill her. Suddenly, the three-headed beast is thrown back by a blast of energy. Godzilla arrives from the ocean with an entourage of jets and naval vessels, ready to face Ghidorah again. The two Titans proceed to battle each other viciously while Madison escapes. Meanwhile, Mothra and Rodan also arrive and begin fighting each other. Madison runs to her family's old house on Beacon Street and screams in terror as the very Earth shakes due to the battle between the colossal beasts.

Madison, Mark, and Monarch see the Titans recognize Godzilla as the true Alpha.

Emma and Mark eventually find Madison in the bathtub of their old house, buried under some rubble unconscious. Upon reviving Madison, the family shares an emotional reunion and watches as Ghidorah lifts Godzilla thousands of feet into the air and drops him. Mothra, who just barely defeated Rodan, attempts to defend Godzilla but Ghidorah obliterates her. Madison's parents repair the ORCA as Ghidorah begins draining Godzilla's remaining energy, and an Osprey arrives with Monarch. Saying her final goodbyes to Madison and Mark, Emma takes the repaired ORCA. She drives off into the city, grabbing Ghidorah's attention and allowing her family to escape with Monarch safely. Madison tearfully watches as Ghidorah closes in on Emma and blasts her with his gravity beams. Before Ghidorah can finish Emma off, Godzilla enters the scene, glowing orange and melting everything around him. Godzilla incinerates Ghidorah and secures his position as Alpha once again, and Madison somberly watches as she flies off with Mark and Monarch in the Osprey.

Godzilla vs. Kong

There's something provoking him that we're not seeing. „ 

— Madison to Mark

Madison became a fan of Bernie Hayes's podcasts and is surprised when she hears Godzilla attacked innocent people, unaware that he destroyed the Apex base because it tried reviving King Ghidorah. She tries to convince her dad that Godzilla knew something they didn't, but Mark tells her that like people, animals like Godzilla can change. So, she and Josh Valentine drive to Bernie's place and convince him to help them uncover why Godzilla went rogue. They go to the wrecked Apex base to uncover secrets the public may have missed but accidentally end up in an underground transport vehicle that's shipping Skullcrawler eggs to another Apex base in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, they find themselves in a room doing tests on Mechagodzilla. When Number 10 is released, Madison, Josh, and Bernie seek refuge in a bunker while Mechagodzilla slices Number 10 in half using his proton scream. Later, security apprehends the three for trying to foil Apex's plan to use Mechagodzilla to destroy the titans. Unbeknownst to them, King Ghidorah's consciousness had taken control of Mechagodzilla, and (possibly) kills Ren Serizawa and kills Walter Simmons with a swipe of its hand. After Mechagodzilla's demise to Kong and Godzilla, Madison introduces Bernie to Mark. Bernie asks for Mark's permission to mention him on his podcast, but this is interrupted with Godzilla roaring at Kong. Then the two titans end their many millenniums of conflict and part ways peacefully.

Trivia

  • Madison and her father share the same initials.
  • In both a deleted scene and the novelization, Madison shows considerable fighting ability, proving Emma's claim of her training Madison to survive. In a scene cut from the film, Madison spars with one of Jonah's men in boxing practice while he and some of his other mercenaries watch. In the book, when Madison attempts to steal the ORCA, she takes down Jonah's mercenary she dubbed "The Mountain" with a stun gun.[11]
  • The novelization reveals that a Monarch employee named Tana taught Madison calculus and counting to ten in the Chuukese language.[12]
    • The novelization also reveals that while Madison has a close relationship with Vivienne and Ilene[9][7], she apparently hasn't met Colonel Diane Foster or Dr. Rick Stanton[13]
  • According to Michael Dougherty, Madison was indeed complicit in her mother's eco-terrorist plan before the movie's main timeframe. However, she was likely tricked into it and more conflicted about it than Emma.[14][15][16][17]
    • This gives Madison the distinction of being the MonsterVerse's first reluctant human villain to the point that she ultimately ends up as a hero.
    • It also makes Madison the first or one of the few child antagonists in the Godzilla franchise though she's not exactly a villain, and that role doesn't last very long.

List of appearances

Films

Comics

Novels

References

This is a list of references for Madison Russell. 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 Operatives: Madison Russell - Monarch Sciences. Retrieved May 7, 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 Keyes, Greg. Godzilla vs. Kong - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. ASIN: B08R6PKDFS
  3. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 24. ISBN: 9781789090925
  4. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 13. ISBN: 9781789090925
  5. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 215. ISBN: 9781789090925
  6. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 275. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 189. ISBN: 9781789090925
  8. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. ISBN: 9781789090925
  9. 9.0 9.1 Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 77. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  10. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 132. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  11. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 215. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  12. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 74. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  13. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 289. ISBN: 9781789090925
  14. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253487267030511617?s=20
  15. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253482940035510275?s=20
  16. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253477790252298242?s=20
  17. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253474883910033408?s=20


Godzilla: King of the Monsters


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