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~ Dr. Vivienne Graham's field notes about King Ghidorah.
King Ghidorah, also known as Monster Zero or simply known as Ghidorah, is the main antagonist of the 2019 action film Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the sequel to the 2014 Godzilla film and the third film in the MonsterVerse.
He is an ancient extra-terrestrial three-headed dragon-like kaiju who came to Earth seeking to conquer it and terraform it into a state more to his liking. He is Godzilla's oldest and most formidable arch-nemesis as they have fought many times over the course of Earth's history for the title of alpha Kaiju.
His middle head was portrayed by Jason Liles (who also played Rodan in the same film), his left head was portrayed by Richard Dorton, and his right head by Alan Maxson.
While King Ghidorah's past is largely unknown, it is known that he arrived on Earth from another world in the past, seeking to convert it into a habitat suitable for himself. Ghidorah's goals would then bring him into conflict with Godzilla a number of times, who would continuously foil his attempts to terraform the planet, turning the two into bitter enemies. At some point, Ghidorah was frozen in Antarctica and kept in suspended animation for several million years.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
In the present, Alan Jonah and his terrorist organization go to Antarctica to free Ghidorah, as they believe he will be able to complete their goals to let the monsters overthrow humanity. Upon being released, Ghidorah instantly destroys everything in his path, before Godzilla arrives and tries stopping him, but Ghidorah manages to defeat Godzilla. Ghidorah proceeds to kill Dr. Vivienne Graham and eat her, and then flies away. After locating Ghidorah, Monarch manages to lead Rodan, who was awakened by Alan, to Ghidorah's location planning to have the two kill each other, but it ends up with Ghidorah nearly killing Rodan, before going after Monarch. However, before he can kill them, Godzilla comes and stops him from doing it, but once again Ghidorah manages to defeat Godzilla, this time more devastatingly than last time. Godzilla does get up again though and rips off one of Ghidorah's heads, but the military had something else in mind; using a de-oxygenator called an Oxygen Destroyer to kill both of them. Godzilla is hit by the Oxygen Destroyer and seemingly dies, but Ghidorah survives the attack, flying away and preparing to get his plan in motion now that his main opposition is dead.
Ghidorah flies to the volcano that Rodan used to be imprisoned in and regenerates his lost head by absorbing energy. Rodan flies to Ghidorah and, recognizing him as the new Alpha Titan, submits to him, becoming his right-hand. Ghidorah begins to awaken other titans across the world to become his henchmen as well, and with no opposition, he and minions set across the globe to massacre entire cities. 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 and engage Ghidorah again, Dr. Serizawa sacrifices himself to manually detonate a nuclear warhead which fully rejuvenates and empowers Godzilla. Ghidorah is lured to Boston by Madison Russell activating a device known as the Orca, and upon arriving there he starts chasing Madison, who is carrying the Orca, before Godzilla arrives. Mothra and Rodan start fighting, while Godzilla and Ghidorah battle to the death. Ghidorah is winning again, until Godzilla gets atomic and thus becomes more powerful, and nearly defeats Ghidorah. But Ghidorah decides to absorb electricity to get more powerful as well, and becomes stronger than Godzilla again. Ghidorah manages to get Godzilla down on the ground but as he's about to kill him, Mothra comes and sacrifices herself after defeating Rodan.
The Russel family try escaping from the ongoing chaos, and to prevent that anything bad happens, Emma Russell, the mother, distracts Ghidorah by driving with her car in front of him with the Orca so that he would chase her. Ghidorah kills her, but the rest of the family manage to escape. Godzilla awakens again, but this time gaining a glowing fiery form full of atomic energy and maximum radiation, activating a nuclear pulse that obliterates Ghidorah's wings. Ghidorah attempts to use his Gravity Beams on Godzilla; instead of injuring Godzilla, his beams inadvertently and seemingly charges up Godzilla's next nuclear pulse explosion, this time disintegrating Ghidorah's two side heads. Godzilla finally kills Ghidorah by stomping on top of his body and crushing 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 head emerges from the rubble, but is hanging from Godzilla's mouth. After a struggle, Godzilla fires his atomic breath which disintegrates the head and reduces Ghidorah into nothingness, ending the evil Titan's reign of terror for good.
However, a post-credits scene shows Alan Jonah with one of Ghidorah's heads, the one that Godzilla ripped off earlier, and planning on using it for unknown purposes.
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.
King Ghidorah is, as he often is in the Godzilla franchise, a malicious creature who frequently commits sadistic acts. However, this adaptation might be even worse than the previous ones, as Ghidorah's goals are more fleshed out here and are purely egotistical, wanting to destroy humanity so that the Earth can adapt better to himself, so that he can have an easier time living there. That said, Ghidorah isn't shown to be as openly sadistic as previous incarnations as most of his singular human victims are people who got in his way, rather than complete innocents. Also, though he's still a destroyer being, it's stated that he wants to only cause destruction to terraform the Earth to his likings rather than completly destroy it, as shown in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and nothing says he has destroyed others planets before.
Ghidorah, despite being revealed to be an alien, is very intelligent and aware of the consequences his actions cause. He is surprisingly capable of manipulation, managing to get multiple titans to help him with his goals in destroying big parts of humanity to adapt the environment to him. Ghidorah and Godzilla have been archenemies for an unspecified amount of time, but most likely they've been enemies for a very long time.
Ghidorah's heads each have different personalities. The middle one is obviously the leader of the other heads and the colder, more focused of the three. The head on the right is more focused on battle and not as calm as the others. The head on the left is the calmest of the three and also the most harmless, being very unfocused on battle and preferring to analyze what is happening out of curiosity, leading into the middle head sometimes being disappointed in the left head, as shown by occasionally snapping at it.
Powers and Abilities
Durability: Ghidorah's golden scales make him highly impervious to any form of weaponry, including the anti-Titan Oxygen Destroyer. He is also able to withstand a full-force charge from both Rodan and Godzilla, as well as the sheer power of Godzilla's atomic breath. However, even Ghidorah could not withstand the thermonuclear pulses released by Godzilla in his burning form, which easily melted away his wings and heads within seconds. Even after the complete destruction of his entire body, Ghidorah's center head still continued to struggle while in Godzilla's jaws, and was only destroyed when he was incinerated by the latter's atomic breath.
Intelligence: Cranial scans indicate each of Ghidorah's heads possess different levels of cognitive function and independent thought. The middle head is the most intelligent, acting like the leader, while the left and right heads are more akin to its lackeys, or trained dogs.
Strength and Combat: Ghidorah's intimidation style very similar to a king cobra. Much like cobras rise up their head and spread their neck, Ghidorah rises up his heads and spread his wings, making himself appear twice as large as Godzilla. Ghidorah is able to use his jaws, claws, wings, and tails in battle. He was strong enough to lift Godzilla thousands of feet into the air with little effort, before dropping him onto the ground. Ghidorah's fighting style is similar to that of a snake quickly lashing out and biting onto opponents. Also like that of a snake, Ghidorah is seen coiling his prehensile heads around Godzilla several times in an attempt to strangle him to death. Ghidorah can use his massive wings as a sort of shield, tucking his heads behind them to protect himself from projectiles.
Alpha Call: When Ghidorah becomes the Alpha, he is able to let out a powerful call that can be heard by Titans all over the world and make them compliant to his commands. However, this cry only works on lesser titans and does not work on Titans with their own alpha status. Such as Godzilla, Mothra, and Kong, who were unaffected by Ghidorah's cry.
Bio-electrical Nature: Ghidorah's skin is covered with traces of gold which act as a conductor that carries bioelectrical currents throughout his body. He has electro-receptor molecular biology and can conduct electrical currents, make water vapor heat up to extreme levels, and create localized storm systems, otherworldly tempests of thunder and lightning.
Energy Drain: Ghidorah has shown the ability to bite down onto power lines and absorb the power to himself, significantly boosting his strength. He is also able to siphon the life force of his opponents through his bite, attempting to do so on Godzilla during their final battle in Boston.
Gravity Beams: Ghidorah can shoot powerful gravity beams (concentrated beams of electricity) from his mouths. Much like how Godzilla's dorsal plates glow whenever he's about to release his atomic breath, Ghidorah's throats glow before he fires his gravity beams. After absorbing enough amount of power, Ghidorah can project gravity beams from the tips of his wings. The beams are golden in color, and they are more than powerful enough to obliterate humans, buildings, and aircraft. These gravity beams are so powerful, that when Mothra was struck by all three at once, she was almost immediately disintegrated. This does not affect Godzilla in his fiery form, as it has no effect on him and seemingly charges up his last nuclear pulse attack.
Flight: Ghidorah's massive and powerful wings enable him to fly with great speed over long distances.
Hurricane Winds: Ghidorah has hyper-tensile muscle tendons in his wings that are capable of generating hurricane-force winds while in flight.
Rattling: The spikes on Ghidorah's tails can be used to create a rattling sound as a form of intimidation, similar to a rattlesnake.
Regeneration: Ghidorah is able to regenerate one of his three heads that was decapitated by Godzilla almost instantaneously. He is also able to heal tears in his wing membranes during his fights with Godzilla.
Speed: Each of Ghidorah's heads are very nimble and quick, able to lash out and quickly strike their intended targets like snakes. When flying, his top speed can reach up to 550 knots.
At an estimated 521 feet in height, this is the largest live-action incarnation of King Ghidorah and second largest Kaiju in the entire franchise (next to his anime counterpart).
This is the first incarnation of King Ghidorah to have the ability to regenerate his heads.
Director Michael Dougherty revealed on his Twitter that, during the production of the film, he named King Ghidorah's individual heads from left to right; Ichi, Ni, and San, aka Kevin.
It might be possible if this King Ghidorah could have attack other planets prior to the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Unlike the MUTOs and Skull Crawlers, who were simply animals (if intelligent ones) acting on instinct, King Ghidorah is the only monster in the MonsterVerse who is genuinely malevolent and evil, and ultimately acting on a plan with an actual endgame rather than simple instinct.