Godzilla: King of the Monsters may be a cleverly misleading title, and the real King of the mighty kaiju could be Ghidorah - at least, when the movie begins. As the first and most popular of Toho's legacy of gigantic, battling beasts, Godzilla has long held the nickname "King of the Monsters". However, Godzilla 2 may turn out to be a stealth tale of how the big G has to ultimately earn his nickname and status in the MonsterVerse - and to do it, he has to bring down the real king, Ghidorah.
Godzilla 2014 debuted not just its namesake monster, but also the concept of a shared MonsterVerse monitored by an international government agency called Monarch. In this new continuity, Godzilla first appeared during World War II, after which Monarch was formed to track and catalog what they called M.U.T.O.s - massive unidentified terrestrial organisms. 2017's Kong: Skull Island widened the universe to include Kong and the various creatures he battles to protect his isolated home, with Monarch making contact with the Eighth Wonder of the World in 1973. Skull Island's post-credits scene then set the stage for King of the Monsters by teasing not just Godzilla but also Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah.
Godzilla 2 rockets the story forward to an era where the Earth is undergoing a cataclysm and it seems the only hope for the planet is to find and bring back "its original and rightful rulers, the Titans", which is a reclassification for the monsters that replaces "M.U.T.O." The trailer for Godzilla 2 sets up the four main Titans in the film, yet the viral website Monarch Sciences teases many more creatures that could possibly appear. Regardless of how many kaiju there prove to be in Godzilla 2, according to the specs offered by Monarch, the undisputed mightiest and most dangerous of the Titans is not Godzilla, but King Ghidorah. Here's why Godzilla may have to go through Ghidorah to earn the title "King of the Monsters":
- This Page: King Ghidorah Explained
- Page 2: Godzilla Must Beat Ghidorah To Become King
"King" Ghidorah Explained
Since his first appearance in 1964's Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster, the horrifying kaiju has always been known as the King. King Ghidorah was created by Tomoyuki Tanaka, who also created Godzilla. Tanaka was inspired by the Learnaean Hydra of Greek Mythology and the 8-headed Orochi dragon of Japanese folklore - a perfect enemy for Godzilla. Originally a space monster that annihilated the planet Venus thousands of years ago, King Ghidorah made his way to Earth inside a meteorite and attacked Japan in his debut film. It took the combined powers of Earth's monsters Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan to beat Ghidorah and send the tri-headed golden dragon scurrying back into space (which could be a clue to what will happen in King of the Monsters, considering the very same four are the main Titans of the 2019 film).
King Ghidorah - sometimes also referred to as Monster Zero - made almost a dozen more appearances in the Godzilla franchise throughout the years. Ghidorah's powers and origins have also been retconned. However, the basics remain the same: he's a gigantic three-headed dragon with two tails and enormous bat-like wings. Along with the ability to fly, all three of his heads can emit devastating, lightning-like gravity beams. Later incarnations of the King boasted the ability to electrocute enemies with his teeth, the power to absorb the spirits of dead monsters, and he could even deflect Godzilla's atomic fire breath. King Ghidorah is typically too powerful for a single kaiju to defeat on its own, including Godzilla himself.
Ghidorah In Godzilla 2
Fans were thrilled when Kong: Skull Island revealed its connection to the MonsterVerse, and that Ghidorah would appear in King of All Monsters. The fearsome dragon is generally regarded as Godzilla's greatest enemy, and the MonsterVerse's version of Ghidorah looks to be the most horrific incarnation ever seen. According to the information found on the Monarch Sciences website, the Titan (also designated Monster Zero) frozen in the Antarctic ice is "a living extinction event." Ghidorah is the largest superspecies Monarch has discovered and stands at 521 feet tall - dwarfing Godzilla himself by nearly 200 feet.
It gets scarier: Ghidorah's three heads may be capable of independent thought. While his wingspan has not yet been determined, the creature is massive enough that if he flies, his wings could create hurricane force winds and could tear open the stratosphere. The scales on the Titan can conduct electrical bioelectrical currents, meaning he can most certainly emit lightning or his trademark gravity beams from each of his three mouths. Since Monarch's crypto-linguists have uncovered references to Ghidorah going back ten thousand years, the three-headed dragon could be the oldest kaiju on Earth - and he may truly be the King of all of the Titans.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: May 22, 2020