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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

Villain Overview

Dr. Chen: It tells of a great dragon who fell from the stars. A hydra whose storms swallowed both men and gods alike.
Mark Russel: What, you mean an alien?
Dr. Chen: Yes, he's not part of our natural order; and he is not meant to be here.
Dr. Serizawa: A false king.
Dr. Stanton: An invasive species. That could explain how he is able to create these massive storms and the effect he's having on the other Titans. It's almost like he's reshaping the planet to his own liking.
Dr. Serizawa: These legends, what did they call him?
Dr. Chen: Ghidorah, the one who is many.
~ Ghidorah's origins are discovered by Monarch.
The Devil has three heads.
~ Dr. Vivienne Graham's field notes about King Ghidorah.

King Ghidorah, simply known as Ghidorah and dubbed Monster Zero, is the main antagonist of the 2019 science fiction monster film Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the posthumous overarching antagonist of the 2021 crossover film Godzilla vs. Kong.

He is a malevolent, extraterrestrial, three-headed draconic Titan who invaded Earth in the ancient past and clashed with Godzilla and his sidekick Mothra, who succeeded in sealing him away beneath the Antarctic ice. The organization Monarch discovered Ghidorah's resting place in 2016, and established Outpost 32 to study him, dubbing him "Monster Zero". He is also Godzilla’s arch-nemesis.

In 2019, the eco-terrorist Alan Jonah, working alongside Monarch defector Dr. Emma Russell, unleashed Ghidorah from his frozen prison in an attempt to release all of the Titans to restore the natural order. But as an invasive species, Ghidorah had no interest in restoring balance and resumed annihilating the global ecosphere, awakening all of the other Titans himself and bending them to his will. Assisted by Monarch, Godzilla and Mothra joined forces and engaged Ghidorah in Boston for a final confrontation. Ghidorah summoned Rodan, whom Ghidorah has previously enslaved, to his aid to deal with Mothra, while Ghidorah overwhelmed Godzilla in one-on-one combat. After defeating Rodan, Mothra sacrificed her life to save Godzilla from Ghidorah, reinvigorating him with her energy and allowing him to finally destroy Ghidorah once and for all. With his arch-nemesis vanquished for good, Godzilla took his place as the King of the Monsters, ending the rampages of the Titans previously under Ghidorah's control.

Years later, in 2024, Ghidorah's severed left head's skull was used to control the mecha-kaiju Mechagodzilla, with his consciousness later taking over the mecha. Thankfully, his short-lived reign of terror was stopped by Godzilla and Kong.

Ghidorah's heads were portrayed by Jason Liles, Richard Dorton and Alan Maxson in motion capture.

Biography

Background

While Ghidorah's past is largely unknown, there are some hints to where he came from. In the Godzilla: King of the Monsters novelization, the legends of the Taza people in Highland New Guinea (legends which describe Ghidorah with disturbing accuracy) state that one possible origin is that he was a younger son who came to Earth seeking to make it his own territory because he could not inherit any portions of his home for himself, which implies there may have been even stronger members of his species on his homeworld; but there would be no conceivable way the ancient humans to have known this.

It is known that he arrived on Earth in the past, seeking to bring destruction to the planet, and he attacked humans and Titans alike. Ghidorah's goals would then bring him into conflict with Godzilla a number of times, as Ghidorah would battle Godzilla a number of times seeking to usurp the latter as the ruling alpha of Earth's other Titans; turning the two into bitter enemies. Though not mentioned in the movie, it's speculated in the novelization and confirmed by the director on Twitter that Ghidorah and Godzilla fought for kingship in ancient Antarctica, and the battle ended with Ghidorah losing and being thrown into icy waters where he froze solid.

Kong: Skull Island

In 1973, after the discovery of Kong on Skull Island by James Conrad and Mason Weaver, Ghidorah appeared as a cameo on two cave paintings during a brief slide show, the first was by himself and the other depicting an epic battle between him and Godzilla.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

In the present, Emma Russell, Madison Russell, Alan Jonah and his eco-terrorist organization go to Antarctica to free Ghidorah, as they believe that he will be able to complete their goals to let the monsters decimate humanity and replenish the world's ecosystems, unaware that Ghidorah is in fact an invasive alien who doesn't conform to Earth's natural order. Upon being released, Ghidorah instantly destroys everything in his path, before Godzilla arrives and tries stopping him, but Ghidorah manages to defeat Godzilla by shooting him with his gravity beams and knocking him into the crater Ghidorah came out of. Ghidorah proceeds to target and eat Dr. Vivienne Graham, and then flies away after being fired upon by Monarch jets and the Argo when Godzilla recovers. He subsequently forms a hurricane around himself.

After Rodan is awakened by Emma at a Mexican island, Ghidorah senses it and his hurricane immediately changes direction, headed straight for the island. Monarch manage to lure Rodan into Ghidorah's hurricane planning to have the two kill each other, but it ends up with Ghidorah easily defeating Rodan, before going after the Argo. However, before Ghidorah can kill them, Godzilla arrives and tackles Ghidorah into the ocean. In the water, Ghidorah is at a severe disadvantage due to his body being ill-equipped for being underwater, whilst Godzilla is at an advantage. Godzilla rips off Ghidorah's left head, but before he can end Ghidorah, the Oxygen Destroyer that was fired by the military in response to Ghidorah and Rodan's presence strikes Ghidorah and Godzilla and detonates. Godzilla is seemingly killed along with all terrestrial life within a two-mile radius of the blast, but Ghidorah due to his alien biology survives the weapon's effects unscathed, flying away and preparing to get his plan in motion now that his main opposition is dead.

Ghidorah flies to the volcano that Rodan had emerged from, and regenerates his lost head by absorbing the volcano's thermal energy (confirmed by the novelization). Then he lets out a call that's heard around the world, awakening the other Titans across the world to become his new minions. Rodan flies to Ghidorah and submits to him by bowing, recognizing him as the new Alpha. With Ghidorah in charge, he leads the other Titans towards unleashing devastating natural disasters on a global scale (mainly from within human cities) whilst Ghidorah himself begins creating climate-altering massive storms - the novelization specifically notes that Ghidorah's actions threaten to rapidly cause an extinction event that will eradicate most of the world's ecosystems and likely cause the extinction of all complex life on Earth except for himself and maybe the other Titans. Ghidorah accompanied by Rodan flies to Washington D.C. to set up a roost there, and his hurricane inundates the city.

However, Godzilla is revealed to be barely alive and recuperating in his lair within the submerged and highly radioactive ruins of an ancient city; and, knowing that it will take years for him to return to his full strength without aid and that the world doesn't have that kind of time with Ghidorah rampaging; Dr. Serizawa sacrifices himself to manually detonate a nuclear warhead which fully rejuvenates and empowers Godzilla. Madison activating the ORCA from in Fenway Park disrupts Ghidorah's control over the other Titans around the world, making them stand down, and it prompts Ghidorah to immediately fly to Boston in order to hunt down and destroy what he perceives as another rival Alpha's call. Upon arriving there and discovering Madison with the ORCA, Ghidorah roots Madison out of the stadium while firing his Gravity Beams, then he destroys the ORCA and attempts to kill Madison anyway. Fortunately, the revived Godzilla arrives just in time to indirectly save Madison, and he challenges Ghidorah again. Mothra and Rodan start fighting, while Godzilla and Ghidorah battle to the death. At first, the overpowered Godzilla is winning, until Ghidorah bites into a transformer and absorbs the full electrical power of the city's power grid, at which point the two super-empowered monsters become more evenly matched; meanwhile, Godzilla seems to grow weaker from the energy overload inside him threatening to kill him. Ghidorah manages to get Godzilla down on the ground by carrying him up in the sky before dropping him back to earth. But just afterwards, Mothra comes to Godzilla's aid and flies at Ghidorah, who promptly kills her with all three heads' Gravity Beams. However, Mothra's death releases a radioactive cloud which seeps into Godzilla and saves him from his fatal overload.

Ghidorah starts biting into Godzilla and sucking his energy out. Meanwhile, the Russell family repair and reactivate the ORCA, and its Alpha signal catches Ghidorah's attention; making him immediately abandon the prone Godzilla to hunt down and kill the rival Alpha signal's source again. Emma keeps Ghidorah distracted chasing her and the ORCA in a Humvee through the ruins of Boston long enough for Monarch and her family to escape by Osprey without Ghidorah attacking them and long enough for Godzilla to recover. Ghidorah fatally injures Emma and destroys the ORCA, but the recovered Godzilla approaches, having unlocked a glowing fiery form full of atomic energy and maximum radiation due to Mothra's sacrifice. Godzilla unleashes a nuclear pulse that obliterates Ghidorah's wings. Ghidorah attempts to use his Gravity Beams on Godzilla, which has no effect before Godzilla unleashes his next nuclear pulse explosion; this time disintegrating Ni and San/Kevin's heads. Finally, Godzilla stomps on top of Ghidorah's body and crushes it in an electrical explosion. Once the explosion dies out, the city of Boston is left in ruins. When the dust clears, Ghidorah's last remaining still-living middle head emerges from the rubble, but is hanging from Godzilla's jaws, though the head is still alive and panicking. After a struggle, Godzilla fires his atomic breath which disintegrates the head; avenging the deaths of Mothra, Dr. Graham, Emma and countless other humans, and finally destroying Ghidorah for good. Nevertheless, the other Titans who were awakened, including Rodan, bow to Godzilla as their new leader.

However, the post-credits scene shows Ghidorah's severed head that was previously ripped off intact in Mexico has been dredged up by fishermen and is being obtained by Alan Jonah.

Kingdom Kong

It's revealed that Ghidorah's passage through Mexico during the film has left a perpetual superstorm which didn't disperse with the other storms upon his death, raging in the same spot above the Pacific Ocean. Dr. Houston Brooks comments that it's "a gift from the Devil to remember him by." Two years after Ghidorah's downfall, Camazotz stirring on Skull Island draws the superstorm to the island and causes it to merge with the island's perpetual storm barrier, which permanently envelops the island in an endless storm and causes its ecosystem's destruction in Godzilla vs. Kong.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Five years later, the upper-skull of Ghidorah's severed head is in the possession of Apex Cybernetics. It's unexplained in the film how the skull made its way from Jonah's possession to Apex's (given that their goals are diametrically opposed), but the novelization depicts a man heavily implied to be Jonah selling it to Walter Simmons in a prequel scene. Apex are using Ghidorah's skull's telepathic pathways to control Mechagodzilla, with the skull itself having been turned into a cockpit from which Ren Serizawa can pilot the Mecha and with another piece of Ghidorah's DNA incorporated into the Mecha as a receiver. The novelization states Apex actually bought two Ghidorah skulls from Jonah: besides the one being used by Ren as the cockpit, there's another skull inside Mechagodzilla as a receiver; although it's unknown where the second skull could have come from since in both the film and novelization of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, all of Ghidorah's heads except the severed one were disintegrated.

Thanks to the Hollow Earth, Ghidorah's subconsciousness hijacks the uplink to Mechagodzilla and infects the machine, causing the Mecha to become independent and actively attempt to kill all humans it encounters as well as attempting to kill Godzilla. Ghidorah's influence was ultimately ended when Godzilla and Kong destroyed Mechagodzilla. However, even though Ghidorah is back in his inactive state, his skull has not been shown to be destroyed, meaning he still may have a chance at returning.

Personality

It wasn't the expression of one animal that had bested another, or of a predator regarding its prey. Ghidorah enjoyed killing. He lived for it.
~ The film novelization on Ghidorah's sadism.

Ghidorah, as he often is in the Godzilla franchise, is a malicious creature who frequently commits sadistic acts. He targets and attacks any humans he encounters even though he doesn't consider them a threat - when the G-Team fire on him in Antarctica, San/Kevin responds with curiosity before all three heads kill them anyway, plus Ichi devours Dr. Graham and Ghidorah attacks the Argo when both were fleeing from Ghidorah. As explicitly pointed out in the novelization and demonstrated in the film, the other way that Ghidorah's sadism manifests is that he tends to use overkill instead of mere efficiency when he's killing his opposition - he attempts to vaporize Madison, a single human, using all three heads' Gravity Beams, and in the novelization's expansion of the Washington D.C. battle, Ghidorah goes out of his way to fire Gravity Beams on an already-sinking battleship.

Though Ghidorah is still a destroyer being, his mysterious past makes it unknown whether or not he has visited and destroyed others planets before coming to Earth like most of his other incarnations have. It's briefly speculated in King of the Monsters that this specific incarnation's motive for attempting to create a biosphere-ravaging extinction event is because he seeks to terraform (xenoform) the Earth in his own image when he takes over. However, the King of the Monsters novelization draws attention to the fact that this is merely speculative, and it's at one point speculated in the novel that Ghidorah isn't really xenoforming Earth but is really just driven by utter malice and hatred to try and kill every living thing he encounters that isn't him. The Godzilla vs. Kong novelization indicates when describing Ren's perspective or that of Ghidorah's neural pathways that Ghidorah is filled with pure, ceaseless, reason-less hatred and malevolence and that his thought-processes are highly inhuman.

Despite being an alien, Ghidorah is still capable of understanding the terrestrial Titans' hierarchy and how it works, and he seeks to dominate the other Titans and force them to aid it in destroying the Earth. Ghidorah and Godzilla have been archenemies for an unspecified amount of time, and their body language when they interact indicates they mutually despise each-other. Interestingly, Ichi appears to be the most confrontational towards Godzilla while San/Kevin actually seems to be slightly timid to the idea of fighting Godzilla (although Kevin still goes all in alongside the other two heads). Ghidorah seems to have a taste for control or a paranoia of any potential challenge to his dominance: besides his aforementioned rivalry with Godzilla, after he's usurped Godzilla's dominance as the King of the Monsters, Ghidorah relentlessly hunts down and seeking to destroy the ORCA whenever it emits a rival Alpha signal (whereas before Ghidorah took over, he didn't bother going after the ORCA when it woke him up or when it briefly disoriented his heads in Antarctica).

Ghidorah's heads each have different personalities, and are described by the director as being akin to conjoined triplets. Ichi (the middle one) is obviously the leader with the other two heads acting as his subordinates. He's the colder, more focused head and also the more psychopathic, sadistic and intelligently evil, as he in particular grins sadistically when about to kill humans and he's the head who ate Dr. Graham for the heck of it in Antarctica. Ni (Ghidorah's right head) is more focused on battle, angrier with his mouth almost-perpetually fixed in a crooked, teeth-bearing grimace, and he's not as calm as the others but doesn't show that much sadism compared to Ichi. San or Kevin (Ghidorah's left head), is the calmest of the three and also the least intelligent and seemingly the least violent; being unfocused on battle, quite distractible, and preferring to analyze what is happening out of curiosity. San/Kevin initially shows curiosity towards humans when Ghidorah wakes up, as he responds to the G-Team shooting at Ghidorah by bending his neck to take a closer look and even nudging one of them with his chin; he attacks the G-Team in unison with the other two heads only after Ichi forcefully pushed him back to work. When Ghidorah sees Godzilla for the first time since waking up, San/Kevin seems hesitant to face him, unlike the other two heads who challenge Godzilla with defiance; although the left head looks a little more confident when Godzilla is fighting Ghidorah for the alpha position in Boston. San/Kevin likewise reacts with open fear when he and Ichi first hear the sound of Burning Godzilla's approach in Boston, whereas Ichi is more focused on immediately detecting where the sound is coming from and Ni remains distracted snarling hatefully at the dying Emma Russell. San/Kevin seems to be genuinely clumsy - at Fenway Park, he at one point misfires his Gravity Beam at buildings surrounding the stadium whereas the other two heads were careful enough to focus their Gravity Beams on the stadium (with all three heads having seen Madison was inside it), and when Ghidorah is chasing Emma's Humvee, San/Kevin knocks his head through a skyscraper that's in their way. San/Kevin appears to function as a sentry during the battle in Antarctica, rearing up and looking mainly while the other two heads engage Godzilla, and watching when Godzilla's tail fins light up before he uses his atomic breath. Michael Dougherty even stated that San/Kevin would probably not cause destruction or mayhem if it was up to his own will. However, San/Kevin is not devoid of a violent side in his own right, shown when he actually seems more eager than the other two heads to use his Gravity Beam at Fenway Park. It's hinted in Boston that San/Kevin might hold a grudge towards Godzilla after the latter ripped off his head, with San/Kevin savagely tearing into Godzilla's neck when the heads are all sucking out Godzilla's energy.

San/Kevin's antics lead to Ichi sometimes being disappointed and expressing annoyance towards the former, as shown by Ichi occasionally snapping at Kevin and by Ichi ripping the protective membrane off Kevin's regenerating head seemingly prematurely. The director has confirmed that after San/Kevin's head is ripped off, the regrown left head retains his personality and memories due to Ghidorah having an octopus-like decentralized nervous system with neurons scattered in his body and limbs.

The mo-cap actors who portrayed Ghidorah's heads shared additional thoughts on the heads' personalities. According to them, Ni wishes he was the dominant head instead of Ichi, and Ni is something of an unpredictable wild card among the three. San/Kevin meanwhile, attempts to follow Ichi's orders to the best of his ability without thinking much for himself.

Faced with imminent death, Ichi grows visibly afraid as Godzilla begins to cremate Ghidorah with thermonuclear impulses and disintegrates the other two heads. Overall, when Ghidorah doesn't have the upper hand, he starts to panic as seen during the under water battle with Godzilla.

In Godzilla vs. Kong, it's ambiguous in the movie how much of Ghidorah's mind and personalities is left in San/Kevin's skull; it's unclear whether Mechagodzilla once it becomes independent is housing one of or all three of Ghidorah's intact minds, or if traces of Ghidorah's subconsciousness merely merged with the Mecha's AI to make it violent. The novelization indicates that the consciousness in Ghidorah's remains has no memories of who or what it was in its past life when it enters Mechagodzilla and merges with its AI, and it makes it clear that even this mere fragment of Ghidorah's consciousness is filled with black malice. This shows Ghidorah is a fundamentally evil monster who only cares about death and destruction.

Appearance

Like Ghidorah's previous incarnations, he resembles a gigantic bipedal dragon with three heads on long serpentine necks, two twin tails, and two large bat-like wings at his sides, which stands upright on his two hind legs. His body is covered in overlapping golden scales, which according to Monarch actually contain trace amounts of gold. The membranes of Ghidorah's wings are still gold in color, but are made of smooth skin and not covered in scales. Like his past designs, the fronts of King Ghidorah's necks are also not covered in scales, but rather skin with a ridged texture. This skin pattern extends to King Ghidorah's chest, a trait unique to this incarnation. This King Ghidorah's heads are designed similarly to his Heisei incarnation, with a set of horns on each side as opposed to his Showa incarnation's single pair of horns and manes of hair.

Unlike the Heisei Ghidorah, each of Ghidorah's heads has ten horns, five on each side instead of eight and one of the right head's horns is chipped. These horns are also slightly larger and more curved, while the left head's horns appear to be straighter than the others, as opposed to the thin straight horns of the Heisei design. Depending on Ghidorah's emotions, the horns can also flare up or flare down. There is also a small ridge atop each head. All three of King Ghidorah's necks are very muscular in addition to being very long. Two rows of spikes run down the back of his center neck, while the left and right necks feature one row apiece. The undersides of his necks glow yellow when he is charging his gravity beams. King Ghidorah's central neck is positioned in front of his left and right necks much like Keizer Ghidorah's, whereas all of his previous incarnations of the character had their middle neck positioned behind the others. Ghidorah's heads each have crocodilian-looking jaws with flaring nostrils, forked tongues, and brows with a generally furrowed appearance.

Ghidorah's body was considerably thinner than that of his past incarnations, with the outline of his ribcage visible through his skin. Unlike Ghidorah's past incarnations, he had defined arms which extend into his wings, with talons at the end of each fold. His wings are much larger than those of his past incarnations and attach to his body well below his hips. When fully outstretched, they extend well above his heads. This incarnation also uses his wings for support when standing at times. King Ghidorah's legs are thin but muscular, with his knees bent forward in such a way that he has a slight forward hunch while his feet have at least four digits with defined claws. King Ghidorah's tails end in spiky retractable fans similar to his Heisei incarnation. When Ghidorah's left head is ripped off, his blood is shown to be black and oil-like.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Dragon Titan Physiology: As an extraterrestrial Titan in resemblance to a three-headed dragon, Ghidorah was incredibly powerful, and one of the few Titans in existence who is in the same weight class as Godzilla as an Alpha Titan. He possesses several physical and borderline-supernatural attributes that surpasses that of other Titans. The only Titan who is capable of rivalling him in terms of "raw power" is Godzilla.
    • Advanced Strength: Due to his gigantic size, Ghidorah possesses enormous amounts of physical strength as he is much stronger than most other Titans with only Godzilla rivalling him. He is strong enough to restrain Godzilla with his serpentine necks, pin him to the ground and even carry the Titan into the Earth's troposphere with little effort, before dropping Godzilla thousands of feet below. However, it is implied that the electricity Ghidorah consumed in Boston greatly increased his strength in order for him to do this.
    • Advanced Durability: Ghidorah's armored golden scales and advanced bodily tissues provide him much greater resistance to physical injury as he is capable of withstanding conventional weaponry. He was also able to withstand a full-force charge from Rodan or from Godzilla, as well as the sheer power of Godzilla's atomic breath. Ghidorah even used his wings as a shield to protect his heads from missiles. However, he could not withstand thermonuclear pulses released by Godzilla in his burning form, which easily burned away his wings and heads within seconds.
    • Advanced Speed: Ghidorah's three heads are extremely flexible and quick as they are able to lash out and quickly strike their intended targets as well as using their flexible necks and numbers to dodge attacks such as Godzilla's atomic breath. When Ghidorah was flying at his top speed, he could reach up to 550 knots, although he seemingly wasn't as agile or acrobatic in the air as the smaller airborne Titan Rodan.
    • Advanced Stamina: Ghidorah's musculature is considerably efficient. His virtually inexhaustible stamina enables him to exert himself at peak capacity for an undefined period of time without tiring at all, never needing to slow down during his battles with Godzilla and Rodan. Even when he is flying in the air, Ghidorah does not even seem to have any obvious signs of fatigue.
    • Advanced Endurance: Ghidorah's endurance is shown to be high as he is capable of enduring powerful attacks from Godzilla and Rodan.
    • Advanced Senses: Ghidorah has a very strong sense of hearing as he is capable of sensing Godzilla's presence in Antarctica and also able to track down the ORCA in Boston.
    • Accelerated Healing Factor: Ghidorah could heal/regenerate much faster as he was able to regenerate one of his three heads that was torn off by Godzilla in less than fifteen seconds. He was also able to heal tears in his wing membranes during his fight with Godzilla in Boston. The novelization specifies that Ghidorah absorbs energy from external sources (such as the thermal energy of a volcano or the electrical energy of the Boston power grid) to make this power work. Dr. Stanton specifically comments that this ability "violates everything we (humans) know about the natural order" and it's an indicator of Ghidorah's extraterrestrial true nature.
    • Advanced Immunity: Ghidorah was completely unaffected by the blast of the Oxygen Destroyer, which was designed to exterminate all terrestrial life-forms caught in its blast and which was able to almost kill Godzilla. It's speculated that this is a direct result of Ghidorah's extraterrestrial biology, possibly because he doesn't require oxygen to function.
    • Consciousness Transferal: 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.
    • Flight: Due to Ghidorah's wings, he can fly at high speeds and at high altitudes.
    • Advanced Bite: Ghidorah has a particularly strong and powerful bite, either because of his sharp teeth, jaw-muscles, unusual jaw-structure or some other reason. Exactly what he could bite depends on the jaw-strength, resilience of his teeth/bite-surface and his shape.
    • Rattling: Similar to rattlesnakes, Ghidorah can use the spikes on his twin tails to create a rattling sound as a form of intimidation.
    • Bio-Electrical Nature: Ghidorah's skin was covered with traces of gold which act as a conductor that carries bio-electrical currents throughout his body. Besides it being hinted in the Antarctica battle to have enabled him to draw a lightning-bolt to himself and Godzilla, it aids Ghidorah's Meteorokinesis.
    • Energy Drain: Ghidorah was able to bite down onto power lines and absorb the power to himself, significantly boosting his strength. He was also able to siphon the energy out of Godzilla (who was empowered with both a nuke's energy and Mothra's Burning Godzilla-unlocking radiation) through his heads' bites, and the process caused excruciating agony to Godzilla which made the latter outright roar in pain.
    • Ghidorah firing his gravity beams.

      Gravity Beams: Ghidorah's signature weapon is his gravity beams, concentrated beams of powerful electricity which his heads can generate, create and project from their mouths. Much like how Godzilla's dorsal plates glow whenever he is about to release his atomic breath, Ghidorah's throats glow before he fires his gravity beams. The beams are yellowish golden in color and they were more than powerful enough to obliterate humans, buildings and aircraft. These gravity beams were so powerful that when Mothra was struck by all three at once, she was almost immediately disintegrated. This did not affect Godzilla in his fiery form, as it had no effect on him and instead, it seemingly charges up his last nuclear pulse attack.
    • Hurricane Winds: Promotional materials state Ghidorah has hyper-tensile muscle tendons in his wings that are capable of generating hurricane-force winds while he is in flight. It doesn't really show, with the only hint being a scene where rhythmic winds implied to be generated by giant wingbeats battering Fenway Park before Ghidorah is anywhere in sight.
    • Meteorokinesis: Ghidorah had electro-receptor molecular biology and could conduct electrical currents, make water vapor heat up to extreme levels. From the moment he was awakened, he caused unnatural winds on the ground and a storm of yellowish golden lightning. The longer Ghidorah was active, the bigger and more powerful his storm got: rapidly evolving into a ginormous typhoon, and finally to a Category 6 hurricane, and Ghidorah's storm furthermore produced offshoot tornadoes and water-spouts. It's also implied in the film and confirmed in the novelization that after Ghidorah takes over the other Titans, he begins creating other offshoot storms (without the yellow lightning) all over the planet to aid his extinction event.
    • Telepathy: 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 possesses 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 Ghidorah's consciousness in the left head's upper-skull would take advantage of the psionic technology Apex Cybernetics had hardwired into the skull in order to hijack the robot and turn it against its own creators.
    • Wing Lightning: As well as his gravity beams, Ghidorah can also project powerful lightning from the tips of his wings, seen after absorbing a large amount of electricity from a power grid. In addition to damaging aircraft it strikes, this lightning also blinds and temporarily incapacitates Godzilla, allowing Ghidorah to press his advantage.

Abilities

  • Genius-level Intellect/Leader: Ghidorah was amazingly intelligent, and each of his heads possessed different levels of cognitive function and independent thought. His middle head was the most intelligent by acting as the leader and being quicker-acting, more resourceful, as well as more goal-oriented than the other two. The right head displayed a combative spatial awareness when the other two were incapacitated in combat while the left head was an observant sentry. Ghidorah shows his intelligence during combat, such as when he bites down on electrical wiring during his battle with Godzilla in Boston, allowing him to temporarily stun his nemesis long enough to subdue and incapacitate him. While attempting to free his other heads from Mothra's silk, the right head was able to very quickly recognize Godzilla was behind him by looking at his own reflection. Ghidorah also seems to call in Rodan directly before the latter arrives and keeps Mothra occupied, which if the case shows Ghidorah knows when it's overwhelmed by Godzilla and Mothra's combined assault. Ghidorah also recognizes the ORCA frequency as a potential threat and makes several attempts to take out the source, such as when he destroys the Fenway Park speakers to cut off the sound.
  • Advanced Combatant: Ghidorah's intimidation style was very similar to that of a king cobra. Much like cobras rise up their head and spread their neck, Ghidorah rises up his three heads and spreads his ginormous wings, making himself appear twice as large as Godzilla. Ghidorah can also use his wings, jaws, claws and two tails in combat against other kaiju such as Godzilla. Although he resembles a three-headed dragon, his combat style is similar to that of snakes; quickly lashing out and biting onto opponent(s). Also like that of a snake, Ghidorah was seen coiling his serpentine necks around Godzilla several times in an attempt to strangle him to death. Ghidorah could also use his massive wings as a shield, tucking his heads behind them to protect himself from projectiles.
  • Alpha Call: When Ghidorah became the ruling alpha titan, he was able to let out a powerful call that could be heard by titans all over the world and made them compliant to his commands. However, this cry only works on lesser titans and did not work on other titans with their own alpha status; such as Godzilla, Mothra and Kong, who were unaffected by Ghidorah's cry.
  • Quadrupedalism: Although he is specifically adapted for flying, Ghidorah, similar to a bat, can crawl, walk or run on all fours in a quadrupedal manner if he is on the ground.
  • Sharp Teeth: Each of Ghidorah's three heads have powerful jaws lined with sharp teeth that are capable of biting through most materials as he was able to bite into Godzilla's reptilian skin.
  • Twin Tails: Ghidorah possesses two prehensile tails with retractable spikes on the ends that can be used as formidable weapons. During his fight with Godzilla in Boston, he used his tails as prehensile limbs to restrain him while lifting Godzilla into the atmosphere before dropping him.
  • Forked Tongues: Similar to monitor lizards and snakes, Ghidorah has three forked tongues which he can use to smell, navigate his surroundings or even allow him to sense from which direction a smell is coming.
  • Constricting Necks: Similar to that of constrictor snakes, Ghidorah can use his three serpentine necks to wrap around and tighten opponents in combat, possibly to constrict them to death.

Weaknesses

  • Freezing Temperatures: 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.
  • Water: Because 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 ended up getting his left head easily decapitated by the former. The Godzilla: King of the Monsters director indicates it was a combination of this and freezing temperatures that caused Ghidorah to become frozen in Antarctica.
  • Limited Durability: Although Ghidorah was incredibly durable, he did have his limits; for example, 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.

Relationships

Godzilla

Godzilla was King Ghidorah's primary arch-enemy. Dr. Serizawa described their rivalry as "unique". They both despised each other as both wished to rule as the Alpha Titan, as well as because Ghidorah was a threat to the natural order Godzilla embodied. Godzilla had opposed Ghidorah and successfully fought him off many times in the past when Ghidorah attempted to usurp Godzilla's dominance over the other Titans and destroy the Earth. When Godzilla and Ghidorah met again in Antarctica, it was clear from their body language and facial expressions as well as their intimidation displays that they both despised each-other and regarding the other as a serious threat. Ghidorah seemingly took pleasure in brutally torturing Godzilla in the process of draining his excess energy out of him.

Mothra

Mothra is one of Ghidorah's enemies. She rejected his Alpha Call and immediately sided with Godzilla over him. In Boston, Mothra attacked him without hesitation and it was shown she had no problem killing him. Even when she and Godzilla were brutally beaten, she still refused to back down to him and was willing to sacrifice herself for Godzilla. Ghidorah killed her with all three of his Gravity Beams for opposing him, without hesitation.

Rodan

When Rodan woke up from his volcano, Ghidorah's storm immediately changed his course as he flew towards Rodan, with the novelization indicating Ghidorah's goal was to dominate Rodan to his will from the start. Rodan at first reacted with fear when he flew into Ghidorah's storm and encountered him, but still refused to back down and engaged Ghidorah in battle. Ghidorah won and blasted Rodan into the ocean, though he didn't kill Rodan and spared him likely due to later use. After Ghidorah seemingly defeated Godzilla and became the Alpha Titan, Rodan bowed to Ghidorah and became his right-hand man. Rodan stayed by Ghidorah's side throughout the Titans' subsequent global rampage, accompanying Ghidorah to Washington D.C. and later to Boston. When Mothra intervened in the final battle on Godzilla's behalf and Ghidorah was thus outmatched, Rodan intervened to keep Mothra out of Ghidorah and Godzilla's fight.

Mechagodzilla

???

Kong

???

Trivia

  • This is the first incarnation of Ghidorah to appear in an American-made film.
  • At an estimated 521 feet in height, this is the largest live-action incarnation of King Ghidorah and the second largest Kaiju in the entire franchise (next to his anime counterpart, who debuted in the same year as this incarnation).
  • This is the second incarnation of King Ghidorah to have the ability to regenerate his body parts. Grand King Ghidorah regenerated an entire body from a tail.
  • This incarnation of Ghidorah is the second kaiju to almost kill Godzilla in the MonsterVerse, following the M.U.T.O.s.
  • Director Michael Dougherty revealed on his Twitter that, during the production of the film, he named King Ghidorah's individual heads. The center one being named Ichi, the right head is named Ni, and the left head is named San, sometimes jokingly named Kevin.
  • Unlike the M.U.T.O.s and the Skullcrawlers as they were simply animals (if intelligent ones) acting on instinct, King Ghidorah is one of the two monsters in the MonsterVerse who are genuinely malevolent, alongside with the Skull Devil (the alpha of the Skullcrawlers). Though Ghidorah is more evil because his plan concerns the whole Earth rather than just a localized place, and Ghidorah maliciously slaughters humans for pleasure rather than mere hunger.
  • The theme of Ghidorah has a Buddhist chant, the Heart Sutra, which refers to the phenomenon of Sūnyata, that everything comes from nothing and comes back to nothing. In fact, Sūnyata also means Zero, as his nickname Monster Zero.
  • 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 (though Ichi is the most prominent, San/Kevin and Ni are both respectively shown sporadically smiling when Ghidorah is sadistically attacking humans it doesn't consider a threat); and Ghidorah tends to utilize overkill when attacking humans, something expressly pointed out in the novelization.
  • Ghidorah was intended by the filmmakers to represent the climatic change. He is released from Antarctica, creates powerful hurricanes which destabilize the global weather, and he seeks to rapidly change the Earth's climate in a way that'll be too rapid and too destructive for the Earth's biosphere to adapt.
  • Although he is obviously the archenemy of Godzilla, he shares more contrasts with Mothra:
    • Mothra is associated with insects, Ghidorah with reptiles.
    • Mothra's passage clears the sky of any clouds while Ghidorah creates catastrophic tempests.
    • Mothra is actively worshipped by some humans even in the present time, while ancient humans seemingly tried to deliberately forget Ghidorah by leaving little writings about him.
    • Mothra is actively benevolent towards humans and (normal-sized) insects and is the most benevolent Titan; Ghidorah, on the other hand, is the total opposite.
    • Mothra is associated with life and has a theme who is associated with grace and hope, while Ghidorah brings death and has a very dark theme associated with fear.
    • Mothra is multicolored while Ghidorah's colors are only yellow and gold.
    • Mothra's relationship with Godzilla is symbiotic and possibly romantic while Ghidorah's relationship with Godzilla is one of animosity and shared hate.
    • Mothra allies with humans and other Titans via symbiosis and common goals whereas Ghidorah dominates Titans to force them into obedience.
    • Mothra was greatly injured fighting Rodan while Ghidorah was more or less easily able to defeat him.
  • Ghidorah's inability to cope with the water is the reason of his congelation and imprisonment in the ices of Antarctica. Long time ago, he fought with Godzilla and the latter dragged him into the water. The water froze, imprisoning the dragon for centuries.
  • Ghidorah's presence has inspired several myths in the universe, like the Greek Hydra and like him; as he can regenerate his head. He also gets destroyed the same way, with fire which neutralizes the extra heads until only the main head is left.
  • Ghidorah was the antagonist of an early script draft of Godzilla (2014), after crashing in the Arctic during the last ice age and being kept frozen in the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository (a MONARCH cover), before escaping and fighting Godzilla in San Francisco. Gareth Edwards, who felt that Ghidorah (being an alien) did not fit the film's "wrath of nature" theme, and to avoid similarities to the popular alien film Transformers (2007), removed him.
  • When designing the dragon, Mike Dougherty wanted to create a "unique" design that still looked like the previous versions of Ghidorah and worked closely with Toho to make sure the new design respected past incarnations. He also studied various animals, especially king cobras, in order to add a sense of realism to the design.
  • The way Ghidorah is presented has many satanic undertones. Dr. Graham's notes call him the Devil; in the last book of the Bible, the devil appears as a dragon with many heads; in Dante's Inferno, the devil is pictured as a three-headed monster stuck in a frozen lake in the last circle of hell. In the movie proper, he is stated to be a great dragon fallen from the stars (an analogy with the heavens). But the most blatant reference is in a scene where he makes his powerful call to the Titans on Rodan's volcano under a scorching sky while a cross in foreground occupies an half of the screen.
  • Like his other counterparts, he can lift Godzilla off the ground.
  • Outpost 32, the location where King Ghidorah's frozen body was preserved, is a reference to The Thing, which was preserved in Outpost 31.

External Links

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See Also
Adventure Time Villains | Batman Villains | Ben 10 Villains | Catwoman Villains | Cats & Dogs Villains | Cartoon Network Villains | DC Animated Movie Universe Villains | DC Extended Universe Villains | DC's Legends of Tomorrow Villains | Eraser Villains | Game of Thrones Villains | Gremlins Villains | Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe Villains | Harry Potter Villains | Lethal Weapons Villains | Loonatics Unleashed Villains | Looney Tunes Villains | Melanie Martinez Villains | Middle-Earth Villains | MonsterVerse Villains | Mortal Kombat Villains | New Line Cinema Villains | Pokémon Villains | Powerpuff Girls Villains | Primal Villains | Regular Show Villains | Rick and Morty Villains | Robot Chicken Villains | Rush Hour Villains | Samurai Jack Villains | Scooby-Doo Villains | South Park Villains | Steven Universe Villains | Superman Villains | The Banana Splits Movie Villains | The Conjuring Villains | The LEGO Movie Villains | The Matrix Villains | Tiny Toon Adventures Villains | Tom and Jerry Villains | TMNT Villains | Wild Wild West Villains | Xiaolin Showdown Villains | Yu-Gi-Oh! Villains

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Movies
Showa: Godzilla | Anguirus | Rodan | Meganulon | Moguera | Mysterians (Mysterian Leader) | H-Man | Natarls | Varan | Telegian | Human Vapor | Clark Nelson | Maguma | Oodako | Matango | Manda | Muans (Mu Empress) | Jiro Torahata | Kumayama | King Ghidorah | Malness | Dogora | Baragon | Xiliens (Controller of Planet X) | Gaira | Ebirah | Red Bamboo (Captain Ryuui) | Kamacuras | Kumonga | Gorosaurus | Kilaaks (Queen KilaakFire Dragon) Griffon | Bat People | Giant Rat | Malic | Lucretia | Captain Kuroiga | Gabara | Vampire Doll | Yog | Gezora | Ganimes | Kamoebas | Hedorah | Gigan | M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens (Fumio SudoKubota) | Megalon | Seatopians (Emperor Antonio) | Mechagodzilla | Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens (Kuronuma | Shinji Mafune | Mugal | Yanagawa | Tsuda | Katsura Mafune) | Titanosaurus | Space Beastman | Messiah 13 Third Planet of Yomi Aliens (Commander Hell)
Heisei: Godzilla | Biollante | SSS9 | Bio-Major (John LeeMichael Low) | Futurians (Chuck WilsonGrenchikoM10) | King Ghidorah | Battra | SpaceGodzilla | Dr. Susumu Okubo | Destoroyah | Belvera | Garu Garu | Desghidorah | Dagahra | Grand King Ghidorah
1998: Zilla | Baby Zilla
Millennium: Godzilla | Millennians (OrgaMillennian UFO) | Mitsuo Katagiri | Megaguirus | Meganulon | Xiliens (Controller XController of Planet X) | Keizer Ghidorah | Gigan | Rodan | Anguirus | Hedorah | Ebirah | Kumonga | Kamacuras | Manda | Zilla
MonsterVerse: M.U.T.O. | Skullcrawlers (Skull Devil) | Preston Packard | King Ghidorah | Rodan | Alan Jonah | Emma Russell | Asher Jonah | Mechagodzilla | Apex Cybernetics (Walter SimmonsRen SerizawaMaia Simmons)
Reiwa: Godzilla (FiliusShin) | Metphies | Mulu-elu Galu-gu | Servum | Mechagodzilla | King Ghidorah

Television
Alexandra Springer | Anguirus (Singular Point) | Battra | Cameron Winter | Destoroyah | Dororin | Garogas | Gigan | Godzilla (Singular Point) | Hedorah | King Ghidorah (Showa) | Xiliens (LandesZagres) | Giant Dark Emperor | Kumonga (Singular Point) | M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens | Manda (Singular Point) | Megalon | Rodan (Singular Point) | Salunga | SpaceGodzilla | Xiliens | Zilla (Cyber-Zilla)

Video Games
Anguirus | Bagan | Battra | Biollante | Desghidorah | Destoroyah | Ebirah | Gabara | General Gyozen | Gezora | Gigan | Godzilla | Gorosaurus | Hedorah | Kamacuras | Keizer Ghidorah | King Ghidorah | Krystalak | Kumonga | Mechagodzilla | Megaguirus | Megalon | Millennians | Obsidius | Orga | Rodan | SpaceGodzilla | Titanosaurus | Xiliens | Zilla

Comics and Manga
Bagorah | Battra | Biollante | Cryog | Destoroyah | Ebirah | Gamoni | Gezora | Gigan | Godzilla | Hedorah | Kamacuras | Keizer Ghidorah | King Ghidorah | Kumonga | M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens | Manda | Mechagodzilla | Mechani-Kong | Megaguirus | Megalon | Mugal | MUTO Prime | Orga | Rodan | Ryota Takahashi | Shinomura | SpaceGodzilla | Titanosaurus | Trilopods | Zilla

Other
King Ghidorah (Godzilla vs. Evangelion)

           MonsterVerse Logo.png Villains

Movies
Godzilla: M.U.T.O.
Kong: Skull Island: Skullcrawlers (Skull Devil) | Preston Packard
Godzilla: King of the Monsters: King Ghidorah | Rodan | Alan Jonah | Asher Jonah | Emma Russell | M.U.T.O.
Godzilla vs. Kong: Mechagodzilla | Apex Cybernetics (Walter Simmons, Ren Serizawa, & Maia Simmons) | Skullcrawlers

Comics
Shinomura | MUTO Prime | Walter R. Riccio | Camazotz

See Also
King Kong Villains | Godzilla Villains