Villain Overview

Rodan. The Fire Demon.
~ Ilene Chen about Rodan aka the Fire Demon.

Rodan, also dubbed Titanus Rodan or the Fire Demon, is the secondary antagonist of the 2019 action film Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the third film in the MonsterVerse and a sequel to the 2014 Godzilla film. He also appeared as a cave painting in the 2017 film Kong: Skull Island. He is a destructive pterosaur-like kaiju capable of mass destruction and sometimes being seen as a god of destruction. He is also the former subordinate of Ghidorah and later Godzilla.

He was portrayed by Jason Liles in motion capture, who played King Ghidorah's middle head in the same movie.

Biography

Rodan first appears when the eco-terrorist Alan Jonah uses a device known as the Orca to awaken Rodan from a Mexican volcano where he has been resting for many years. Once Rodan is out of the volcano, he simply sits atop and doesn't attack anybody. However, Monarch has pilots attack Rodan so that he will come closer to Ghidorah, planning that they would kill each other. Rodan then flies off his volcano to destroy the Argo. Rodan chases after the Argo, destroying all of the jets in the process. Rodan enters the storm and battles Ghidorah While Rodan manages to last about a minute gets a few hits in (such as tackling Ghidorah in mid-air), Ghidorah easily defeats Rodan by restraining his wings with two heads then blasting him with his middle head causing Rodan to fall in the ocean. Ghidorah flies to Rodan's volcano in order to absorb energy, in which Rodan flies to Ghidorah and becomes his minion, showing his loyalty by bowing to Ghidorah. Rodan and the rest of Ghidorah's minions go on a lengthy massacre throughout the world on Ghidorah's orders.

In Boston, as Godzilla and Mothra fight Ghidorah, Rodan arrives and attacks Mothra. The two battle each other, and Rodan gains the upper hand and is going to win, but Mothra impales Rodan through the shoulder with her stinger, supposedly killing him. However, Rodan somehow survived, although he is severely wounded. He returns at the end of the film when Godzilla has been crowned king of the monsters after killing Ghidorah, and although he seems as if he'll challenge Godzilla he decides to become a minion to him now, showing his loyalty by bowing to Godzilla (being the first to bow in front of Godzilla) along with the other Titans.

News clips during the credits reveal Rodan made a nest in a volcano north of Fiji, attracting thousands of spectators. This implies he is no longer a threat to humans.

Characteristics

Personality

Rodan is extremely aggressive when threatened, as he was seen destroying jets and other aircraft that fly near him as well as devouring a pilot that had ejected himself from his cockpits, after they attack him.

Like the other titans, Rodan has an honorable side to him, in which he follows the strongest among the titans, believing that the one who is the most powerful is the alpha. This is seen when he bowed down to Godzilla, after he had defeated Ghidorah, who had usurped the title from him.

It's possible Rodan was never truly evil as he just looked the civilians out of curiosity when he was woken up, and he didn't attack or kill anyone until the jets attacked him first, him killing the civilians seemed to be unintentional. He did try to defeat Ghidorah and only served him, as he was defeated in fair combat and thought Godzilla was dead.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Titan Physiology: As a titan, Rodan is incredibly powerful; as he possesses various physical and supernatural attributes that surpasses that of most other titans.
    • Advanced Durability: Rodan has an extreme tolerance to heat and magma, having hibernated inside a volcano for at least several decades. He is also completely immune to conventional weaponry such as gunfire or missile strikes. A layer of volcanic rock acts as armor plating for Rodan's wings.
    • Advanced Strength and Combat: Rodan can use his beak, wings and talons as weapons for combat as they can easily crush fighter jets and even used his wings to knock off the Raptors he was attacking. Rodan is also strong enough to last a significant length of time grappling in the sky with Mothra and Ghidorah.
    • Advanced Stamina: Rodan possesses far more stamina then most other titans; allowing him to remain physically active for long periods of time.
    • Flight: Similar to pterosaurs, Rodan can fly at supersonic speeds sufficient to outmaneuver fighter jets and is highly agile while flying, Rodan is seen destroying several fighter jets pursuing him by rolling while in flight and smashing them with his wings. When Rodan is flying at his top speed, his wings generate cyclonic drift streams that can level entire cities instantly by literally ripping structures out of the ground and into the air.
    • Shockwaves: Rodan produces destructive shockwaves, described by Monarch as "cyclonic drift streams", while flying at his top speeds which can flatten buildings he passes over and launch debris such as vehicles and people into the air. Monarch scientists speculate the monster's wingspan is vast enough to level cities with this technique.
    • Magma System: Rodan has an internal combustion system of magma that flows throughout his body. His hot temperatures allow him to survive the temperature of his volcano and at one point in his feud with Mothra, he sets her and the building on fire.

Relationships

Ghidorah

Rodan and Ghidorah were initally enemies. When Rodan woke up from his volcano and encountered Ghidorah, the two engaged in battle. Ghidorah won and blasted Rodan into the ocean, though he didn't kill Rodan and spared him. After Ghidorah seemingly defeated Godzilla and became the Alpha titan, Rodan bowed to Ghidorah and became his right-hand man, seeing Ghidorah as the Alpha titan. Rodan and Ghidorah teamed up to cause destruction in Washington D.C. Rodan even saved Ghidorah fom Mothra during the final battle in Boston as Mothra was attacking him.

Godzilla

Despite Rodan serving Ghidorah in the final battle, Rodan and Godzilla never directly attack each other. After Godzilla killed Ghidorah, Rodan arrives and seemingly is going to fight Godzilla. However, Godzilla glares at Rodan in which he is forced to bow down to Godzilla, now seeing him as the new Alpha titan. Godzilla forgives Rodan in which Rodan now serves as Godzilla's loyal minion.

Mothra

Rodan and Mothra are shown to be hostile towards each other. Rodan attacks Mothra during the final battle and the two engage in a fight. Rodan severely injures Mothra and nearly kills her, but Mothra incapacitates him with her stinger. It's unknown if Mothra simply stabbed him in the chest, just to try and kill him or if she stabbed him right in the shoulder and not the heart because she didn't want to kill him. Regardless, Mothra stinging Rodan does not kill him even though Mothra does not try to kill Rodan after he falls on the ground while she goes over to Godzilla to support him.

Trivia

  • The MonsterVerse Rodan is somewhat smaller than his previous incarnations. However, the height of this incarnation may be a matter of posture whether or not to be forward‐bent.
  • This Rodan is the first of its incarnations with a wider wingspan than that of Mothra within the same continuity.
  • Rodan is the second villain in MonsterVerse to be redeemed followed by Emma Russell.
  • Much like the MonsterVerse King Ghidorah, the MonsterVerse Rodan is the first incarnation of the character capable of taking on a quadrupedal stance by using his wings as forelimbs.

See also

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