Mothra is one of the core Titans in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and here's everything you need to know about the history, origin, and powers of the iconic Toho monster. Seven years after Godzilla's debut, Mothra's first on-screen appearance was in the 1961 Toho film Mothra, directed by genre legend Ishirō Honda, in which she was worshipped as a goddess on Infant Island.
What made Mothra special amongst other Toho monsters was that not only was she female but also on the side of humans. At the time, monsters were just that - monsters; creatures to be feared. But Mothra changed that, and she frequently fought to guarantee the people of Japan (as well as the rest of the world). This was evident in the 1964 movie, Godzilla vs. Mothra. Even though she was mistreated, Mothra died trying to protect humanity.
Throughout the various eras of Toho movies, Mothra has mostly remained the same. And now, she makes her debut in the MonsterVerse in Michael Dougherty's Godzilla: King of the Monsters. But there's a lot that franchise newcomers and casual moviegoers may not know about one of the oldest and most recognizable monsters in cinema history, including what Mothra's origin and powers are in both the Toho universe and the MonsterVerse.
Mothra's Origin & Powers In Toho's Movies
Considering that there have been numerous incarnations of Mothra on the big screen over the past half-century, there are, therefore, varying stories regarding her origin. However, Mothra is generally worshipped as a divine being who's endlessly reborn through eggs. In the original Showa/Godzilla films, Mothra came from Infant Island in the Pacific Ocean, which was guarded by the Shobijin priestesses (aka Mothra's fairies). But later movies referred to Mothra as the last in a line of ancient moths that defended the Earth, and after following a prehistoric battle, Mothra settled on Infant Island.
While Mothra's origin is roughly the same in most of her films, with some significant deviations in standalone installments, the character's powers have been altered time and again. Over the years, Mothra became one of the most powerful psychics in Toho's franchises. She could also fire projectiles from her body, including energy beams, poison dart-like bullets, and even fire arcs. Furthermore, even in larvae form, Mothra could use her body to physically harm other monsters.
What We Know About Mothra In The MonsterVerse
For the first time, Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidorah are appearing in a Hollywood-made movie in this year's Godzilla: King of the Monsters. But not much had been revealed about each character prior to the film's release, with the exception of details coming out of the Monarch website. She's so far been confirmed to be an ancient creature who was residing in the Yunnan Province in China. Certain details about Mothra's origins and powers are being kept under wraps until King of the Monsters hits theaters, but it seems that the MonsterVerse is combining her various stories into one, cohesive canon.
According to the Monarch website, Mothra is described as a "devastating guardian angel" who "was worshipped as a goddess by the ancient human civilizations blessed to witness her." As for Mothra's powers, she apparently has the power to emit a blinding light, ultimately releasing a "god-like luminescence" that is strong enough "to shatter the sky." While this isn't too specific, it makes sense given the fact that Mothra's wingspan is an enormous 803 ft. wide.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020