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Mothra, Queen of the Monsters. „ 

Ilene Chen (Godzilla: King of the Monsters)

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Mothra (モスラ,   Mosura?), also dubbed Titanus Mosura, is a giant moth daikaiju created by Legendary Pictures that first appeared in the 2019 film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Name

Mothra is given her name due to the fact she resembles a gigantic moth. The name "Titanus Mosura" comes from the Latin term "Titanus", meaning Titan, with "Mosura" being a Japanese translation of Mothra. The novelization of the film reveals that "Mosura" is the name that is given to her by the natives of a small Indonesian island that worship her, and that the name itself means "giver of life".

Design

Appearance

Mothra's egg was fleshy rather than hard, and appeared to be coated in vine-like structures which fell away during Mothra's birth (whether these were a part of the egg or due to Mothra's life-attracting influence is unknown). When metamorphosing, her chrysalis (from what little was seen of it through the waterfall) appeared to resemble a gigantic version of a moth chrysalis with a long and slender shape, producing bright and flashing bioluminescent lights which highlighted blue- and yellow-seeming segments.

Her larval form is much more insectoid in appearance compared to other incarnations; possessing a vaguely armadillo-like segmented back, double-jointed and somewhat caterpillar-like legs, and three arthropod-like mandibles and teeth, as opposed to past incarnations which only possessed two mandibles. Her back-segments can shift and vibrate slightly with her emotion when she's aggravated. Her head is somewhat round with beady, surprisingly vertebrate-like blue eyes. She prominently produces a bioluminescent glow from under her skin - this glow is normally colored bright-blue, but she changes color to red when provoked to aggression.

Mothra's imago form overall bore a resemblance to a gigantic moth; with a hair-lined body consisting of numerous colors, feathery antennae ('varied-antennae'), and four large wings which sweep or drag behind her body when they're not extended. Her wings are patterned with black, orange, yellow and blue colors and possess prominent eye patterns (akin to her Showa, Heisei and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. designs). When her wings are bioluminescent, they glow with a series of brilliant colors. Her wings are also much longer and narrower in proportion to the rest of her body than in most incarnations.

Her main body's hair is white and brown, and her head is stockier than most incarnations. She retains a facial resemblance to her larval form in the form of her mandibles, whilst her blue eyes are now larger and slanted, making them appear vaguely more insectoid. She possesses an abdomen shaped like a wasp's (much like her 2001 incarnation) with a large, retractable stinger. She possesses three pairs of insectoid legs - a double-jointed front and middle pair (the latter pair are often kept tucked between and under the former) which she uses as blade-like offensive weapons, and a triple-jointed pair of hind legs.

Portrayal

TBA

Roar

Mothra's roar is a very high-pitched wail not dissimilar to previous incarnations, and she is also capable of shrill or lower-pitched trilling vocalizations.

The filmmakers used a mix of different insects' noises to create Mothra's vocalizations, and as an example, they exponentially slowed down crickets' chittering to make it sound like a song.[2] There are a few moments in the film where she gives off her classic roar such as when she goes berserk in her larval state when she emerges from her cocoon in her imago state, when Ghidorah kills her, and can also be heard within Godzilla's Nuclear Pulse.

Personality

Mothra appears to be a particularly intelligent Titan; shown by her various actions such as her defiance of Ghidorah after the latter usurped Godzilla's position as alpha in favor of continued loyalty towards Godzilla, her first actions upon hatching from her cocoon being to seek out Godzilla, and her flight against Ghidorah in a weakened state (which led to her death and also to her remains enabling Godzilla to defeat Ghidorah, displaying a seeming capacity for self-sacrifice).

In stark contrast to Ghidorah, Mothra appears to be generally benevolent towards humans due to her association with life; showing mild curiosity to find herself confronted by Monarch personnel upon hatching from her egg and cocoon respectively, and leaning her head towards Madison Russell close enough for the latter to touch after she was calmed by the ORCA. In her earlier encounter with Monarch, Mothra only became warier after their failed attempt to use a containment field on her, and outright attacked after one of them fired on her with a stun gun. Even then, Mothra went out of her way not to kill any of the humans present (demonstrated most prominently when she grabbed one of the fleeing guards in her mandibles, and instead of crushing or devouring him proceeded to throw him into a Giant Spider's web, which immobilized him and cushioned his impact); and in her aggressive state, she still allowed a submissive Emma Russell to cautiously approach her with the ORCA. Even when defending herself against Rodan, Mothra was somewhat less aggressive than her opponent.

Origins

From erased Nazca lines to the hidden Temple of The Moth, the name "Mothra" is woven throughout the most secret mythologies of our planet. The folklore and fairy tales tell of a winged creature of blinding light, an angel of the clouds whose god-like luminescence has the power to shatter the sky.

Ancient spirit tablets discovered in the mountain jungles of the Yunnan Province portray a giant winged alpha of the Lepidoptera order. In all of our findings, human civilization is pictographically shown in poses that imply deification of the so-called "Queen of the Monsters", suggesting that the creature was once a benign part of the natural order.

When Monarch containment crews discovered the live Titan chrysalis within the Chinese myth site, Dr. Emma Russell was quickly dispatched to closely monitor the creature that lay dormant within it. A quickening sonar pulse suggests the creature is awakening. If she ever emerges from her ancient slumber, a superspecies that once illuminated the sky will be reborn as Mothra.

Pupal DNA samples suggest a remarkable, multi-stage evolution. On reaching adulthood, Mothra's gigantic thorax is capable of emitting beta-wave bioluminescence which can be projected through the intricate patterns on its wings and weaponized into blinding "god rays".

As one of the deadliest and most beautiful natural phenomena in Earth's history, no wonder this devastating guardian angel was worshipped as a goddess by the ancient human civilizations blessed to witness her.
„ 

— Cryptid Profile[1]

The MonsterVerse incarnation of Mothra returns the character to her Toho incarnations' roots as a mystical being of resurrection; being capable of returning from death by laying an egg, from which she is reborn as a larva when her previous form dies - she has conquered death many times this way, to the point that she does not fear it.[3] She is an insect-like superspecies which evolved in a highly vicious prehistoric environment that was full of predators, leading to her developing equally-harsh methods of self-defense in the form of her stinger[4] and her sharp legs[5]. Godzilla's species lived alongside Mothra, and Mothra and Godzilla had a warm, symbiotic relationship.

In a nod to the original Japanese films, Mothra was worshipped as a deity by a primitive culture living in the Yunnan Province more than 10,000 years ago, possessing a mutual symbiotic relationship with them - Mothra's human worshippers used a temple to protect her egg, and Mothra in return would protect them from predatory Titans after hatching. Her last egg before the 21st century went unhatched in the remote temple for millennia, during which time her religion largely died off[6][7][8], albeit still surviving in some form.[9]

History

80px-Spoiler.png SPOILER WARNING: This section may contain major plot and/or ending details. Proceed at your own discretion.

Kong: Skull Island

In 1971, Houston Brooks and San Lin would brief James Conrad and Mason Weaver on multiple other monsters who ruled the world alongside Kong. This included Mothra, along with Godzilla, Rodan, and Ghidorah, who were all shown to the two via classified Monarch cave paintings.

2009

In 2009, a team led by Monarch scientist Dr. Emma Russell followed a strange bio-acoustic signature to a previously undiscovered megalithic temple in the high-altitude jungles of China's Yunnan province. A giant cocoon was found within the temple, with a rapid heartbeat detected inside.

Godzilla

Before the meltdown at Janjira in 1999, the Brody family had an aquarium that had a creature dubbed "Mothra" in it.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Mothra Larva (Monsterverse)

Mothra is first seen as a larva hatching from her egg after being closely monitored by Monarch for years. She becomes agitated when Monarch operatives fire electrical pulses at her and spit silk at them in defense, as well as flattening them with her massive bulk and devouring them in her 3-part mandibles. The Monarch scientists decide to terminate her before she can destroy the facility, but Dr. Emma Russell manages to calm her down using the ORCA device, which releases frequencies only understood by Titans. Now more relaxed, Mothra leans close towards Dr. Russell and her daughter, Madison, and allows them to touch her. Soon after, eco-terrorists raid the facility, killing all the Monarch personnel except for Emma and Madison, who they abducted. Sensing danger, Mothra retreats into a waterfall before the eco-terrorists can capture her, and seals herself off in a cocoon.

Godzilla King of the Monsters - Official Trailer 1 - 00021

Sometime later, Mothra hatches from her cocoon in adult form and spreads her wings for the first time. She takes flight and later assists Monarch in discovering where Godzilla was regenerating after nearly being killed by the Oxygen Destroyer.

Mothra's Strike

Mothra travels to Boston and assists Godzilla in his re-match against Ghidorah. She spits silk at Ghidorah, pinning him to the side of a building and allowing Godzilla to brutally ram him through. Before she can further assist her alpha, Rodan appears and intercepts her, slamming her into a building.

Mothra vs Rodan

The two Titans grapple each other in the sky, and a fierce aerial battle ensues. Rodan, being much larger and, arguably, more powerful than Mothra, has the advantage for most of the fight. Rodan then pins her to a building and prepares to deliver the killing blow, only to have Mothra stab him in the sternum with her hidden stinger, which incapacitates him.

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Severely wounded and weakened, Mothra flies over to Godzilla, who had just been dropped from thousands of feet by Ghidorah. Using the last of her strength, she flies towards Ghidorah, who blasts her with his gravity beams.
Mothra's Sacrifice
Mothra burns up and disintegrates, her ashes falling onto Godzilla as he roared in grief, transferring her power to him. Godzilla, now burning red, blasts Ghidorah with thermonuclear pulses, which take the shape of Mothra's wings. Using these thermonuclear pulses, Godzilla can defeat Ghidorah and secures his position as the alpha.

Following Ghidorah’s death, newspaper articles reveal that an egg suspected to be that of Mothra has been discovered.

Abilities

Abdominal stinger

Mothra's stinger is powerful enough to pierce clean through Rodan's geothermal armor at close range. For ambiguous reasons, she appears to only use her stinger as a last resort.

Durability

Mothra was able to continue fighting throughout her clash with Rodan despite being half-burned by exposure to the latter Titan's high temperatures, though her durability is still less than Rodan's, Ghidorah's or Godzilla's (see below).

Energy dispersal

Upon dying, Mothra released a cloud of energy that empowered Godzilla following the latter's thermonuclear overload, enabling him to emit smelting heat and release a series of all-devastating thermonuclear pulses.

Flight

Mothra's gigantic wings allow her to fly across the sky at great speed.

God rays

God Rays

Mothra's body in her larval form, and later her thorax in her imago form; are capable of emitting beta-wave bioluminescence that can be projected through the patterns of her imago form's wings. She uses this as a form of communication and can weaponize it to create brilliant, near-blinding 'god rays' of blue light or angelic-looking golden-white light. These god-rays are powerful enough to almost-instantly disperse storm-clouds and produce mighty winds. Additionally, electronics nearby were damaged when she hatched from a cocoon and extended one of her arms with a flash of bioluminescence from the waterfall.

Raptorial forelimbs

Mothra's front and middle legs possess pointed tips, which she utilizes as blade-like weapons for combat against other Titans.

Reincarnation

Mothra can cheat death by laying an egg upon reaching her imago state, into which she will reincarnate with her memories intact after her previous body dies.[3]

Silk attack

Mothra can fire short, controlled, and sudden blasts of strong, spider-like silk from inside her mandibles in both her larval and imago forms. The silk is strong enough to immobilize humans, and even trap Ghidorah for a significant length of time by gluing its heads to surfaces.

Speed and agility

Mothra is a fast and agile flyer, though she's seemingly surpassed in those regards by Rodan.

Strength and combat

Her fighting style varies depending on what stage of life she is currently in. In her larval form, she primarily relies on her silk attack, as well as her legs and mandibles as her offensive weapons, but can also cause damage to her surrounding environment (particularly where humans are concerned) sheer size and bulk. In her imago form, Mothra was a fierce enough aerial fighter to match Rodan and keep the latter occupied for a time, before Rodan began to overwhelm her.

Weaknesses

Extreme heat

Rodan's extremely-high body temperature was able to slowly burn away and weaken Mothra during their fight, to the point that after the end of their fight she was reduced to weakly slouching and crawling.

Gravity beams

After being weakened by her fight with Rodan, Mothra was disintegrated by a direct blast from all three of Ghidorah's gravity beams.

Trivia

Mosura Orginal

Pre-production design of Mothra

  • Though Michael Dougherty has confirmed this incarnation of Mothra is technically mystical, the film only hints at it.
  • This Mothra incarnation's long forelegs resemble Mothra's pre-production designs by Toho.
  • The revealed image for Mothra reads "Terrasearch #63061: Yucca Province". June 30, 1961 (6-30-61) was the date the original Mothra film released. However, Yucca appears to be a typo as it's supposed to be "Yunnan", and there is no such place as the Yucca Province.
    • As seen on the Monarch Sciences website, Monarch Outpost 61, where Mothra was located, homages 1961; the year when Mothra was released.
  • Based on the fact that the Nazca Lines are mentioned in Monarch Sciences' description of Mothra, it can be assumed that she has some ties to Nazca culture. Mothra's connection to the Latin American continent is similar to that of her counterpart in the AniGoji continuity.
  • Mothra's bioluminescence-based abilities are similar to a special ability of the male MUTO, originally dubbed 'Hokmuto', in an early version of the 2014 Godzilla film. Said ability was said to be a lightning-like "shockwave" that created aurora-like lights.
    • Furthermore, some scenes of Mothra (MA) are similar to the description of this Mothra's bioluminescence.
  • Though Mothra's chrysalis in the film is largely obscured, behind-the-scenes images reveal it was somewhat flexibly and fleshy like the egg, and that Mothra's imago form emerged from the bottom which opened up like petals.[2]
  • When Godzilla unleashes thermonuclear pulses against Ghidorah, an image of Mothra's wings is visible in the blasts and an echo of her cry is audible. This was deliberately inserted by the crew.[2]
  • According to Michael Dougherty:
    • Mothra's eyespots are intentionally designed to look like Godzilla's eyes[10] because he "wanted to create a connection between [her] and Godzilla". Additionally, he gave her slightly larger feet because he wanted her to be able to defend herself and fight with the other monsters if she needs to.[11]
    • Mothra's bioluminescence was designed with the idea that ancient humans would have seen her flying and assumed she was a god or an angel.[12][5]
    • Mothra's bioluminescence uses different colors and brightness to convey her emotions.[2]
    • Mothra uses sound as a method of communication more so than the other Titans in the film.[2]
    • He thinks Mothra's stinger could be an ovipositor that she uses to lay her eggs, and jokingly suggested Rodan could be pregnant with her after being impaled during the film.[13]
    • Mothra's ancient human worshippers likely sang to her due to discovering how sound and music affected Titans such as her, similar to the ORCA in the 21st century.[14]
    • The script originally mentioned that Mothra's egg in the film's opening was over ten-thousand years old.[8]
    • Apparently, Mothra was surprised upon hatching to find her egg surrounded by Monarch soldiers, as she'd been expecting twin priestesses of her religion singing to her to greet her upon her birth.[15]
    • Life is attracted to Mothra, which is why her egg's temple is filled with insects and flora.[16]
    • He likes to think Mothra is the ancestor of nearly all insects and isn't a literal moth.[17]
    • Among the film's four main Titans, Mothra was intended to represent the element Earth[18], and the Tarot card the High Priestess.[19]
  • Mothra's design in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack by Shusuke Kaneko shares many similarities with this incarnation; much smaller in size compared to Godzilla, more sharp and aggressive facial expressions, long hairless legs and a slender body. Both incarnations of Mothra don't originate from Infant Island and not related to Shobijin, and gained new weapons/abilities including needle-related attacks instead of the iconic poisonous scales. Both incarnations also shared similarities in terms of behaviors: attacked humans as imagos, completed transformations into larvas at aquatic environments, and sacrificed themselves to protect allies from enemies' ranged attacks and powered up allies afterward.
  • The concept of kaiju/Titans influencing real-life mythology is very similar to the cases seen in Shusuke Kaneko's Gamera trilogy and his Godzilla incarnation.
    • Shusuke Kaneko pointed out multiple similarities between his film Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack and Michael Dougherty's Godzilla: King of the Monsters, including Mothra becoming "that"[20]
  • The Monarch timeline states that Mothra was first discovered in her cocoon state when in reality, she was discovered as an egg.
  • Much like the land-based Servum, Mothra's larval form shares many similarities to the Ohmu from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind such as the armored carapace, dagger-like legs on the front part of her body, and a glowing body changing colors depending on her mood (blue for calm and red for enraged or distressed).

List of appearances

Films

Novels

In other languages

Mothra's name remains the same across many languages employing the Latin alphabet.

  • Bulgarian, Serbian and Russian: Мотра
  • Chinese: 魔斯拉 (Mó sī lā)
  • Italian: Watang, Mattra, Pulluk
  • Yiddish: מאָטהראַ

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 https://www.monarchsciences.com/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH54-qjKJtI
  3. 3.0 3.1 https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253502238367944704?s=20
  4. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253501934641704962?s=20
  5. 5.0 5.1 https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/herocomplex/la-et-hc-godzilla-director-ghidorah-mothra-rodan-20190602-story.html
  6. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253475290040262656?s=20
  7. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253475335460368386?s=20
  8. 8.0 8.1 https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253475417106771968?s=20
  9. https://screenrant.com/godzilla-2-king-monsters-michael-dougherty-interview/
  10. https://twitter.com/Mike_Dougherty/status/1136212857379545088?s=20
  11. http://www.scified.com/u/Mike_I_3.PNG
  12. https://collider.com/godzilla-king-of-the-monsters-michael-dougherty-interview/#directors
  13. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253501935539257344?s=20
  14. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253475935401066497?s=20
  15. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253475418394386432?s=20
  16. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253475053699608584?s=20
  17. https://www.instagram.com/p/B_as_oXA-94/
  18. https://twitter.com/GodzillaMovie/status/1253489855004151808?s=20
  19. https://twitter.com/Mike_Dougherty/status/1176718028425162752?s=20
  20. Eiga Hiho July 2019 Special, 2019, Yosensha, p.2, ASIN: B07RQ3VBFM
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