Warning: The following contains spoilers for Godzilla: King of the Monsters
What happens at the end of Godzilla: King of the Monsters? The kaiju sequel takes the MonsterVerse franchise to a whole other scale, with four central monsters duking it out for supremacy while many others are hinted at for future movies. Since these beasts aren't much for words, much of the back-half is dedicated to a four-way battle to decide who's truly king.
In the climax, Godzilla, the defending champion, is almost dethroned by the mighty King Ghidorah, a three-headed alien dragon with the power to alter Earth's entire landscape. Ghidorah is reawakened from slumber in Antartica by eco-terrorists, and, Rodan in tow, starts working to dominate the planet and every living creature in his way. With a little help from Mothra, the queen of the monsters, and some clever humans, Godzilla manages to retain his position at the top of the food-chain.
But the victory is not without casualties, nor does Godzilla do it without assistance. Quite the opposite, leaving prospects wide open for future instalments.
Godzilla Is King Of The Monsters – And Has An Army Of Titans
After Godzilla finally overcomes King Ghidorah, the legendary lizard re-installs himself as the apex predator. The other re-awakened monsters, among them a wounded Rodan, bow to their king as Godzilla lets out that iconic roar. The status quo has been reinstated, but now more titans than ever have been revealed, which places a lot of emphasis on Godzilla as a leader.
Newspaper headlines seen during the credits at the end state Godzilla is keeping his fellow titans in-line. Many of them are simply heading back to their own territory, with the big G keeping an eye on them via the Hollow Earth. Godzilla wants to protect the planet and every creature on it, which is good for humans, but it's important to keep in mind there's now a bunch of titans ready to fight on 'Zilla's side should it be required, and us minuscule people tend to feel the brunt of all collateral damage in such bouts.
Rodan Joins Godzilla (And Flies Back To Fiji)
The prehistoric bird kaiju has now fully joined Godzilla. After working with Ghidorah and being defeated by Mothra, Rodan decided to cut its losses and kneel before Godzilla with the other titans. A viewable newspaper report has Rodan flying back to its volcanic home in Fiji, where it may live in relative secrecy not to be disturbed.
Mothra Is Dead (But Lives On In Godzilla?)
Mothra's ultimate fate is an odd one – the creature sacrificed herself to give Godzilla the energy to rise again and take down Ghidorah. The film wisely dodges getting into the weeds of trying to explain exactly what went on. There's a symbiotic relationship between those two in particular, and all we know is the Mothra we saw in the movie is dead, and gave her life so Godzilla may live.
It's entirely possible (and likely) a new Mothra will be born in an upcoming sequel, given a larva hatching is literally the opening motif of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Where the new egg comes from may be where Godzilla comes in; perhaps they lay one, transferring the genetic memory of the Mothra we encountered? Or there's a bunch of eggs hidden within the Earth, awaiting discovery, and one of them was disturbed by one of the Titans coming out of hibernation. There's many options.
Ghidorah Is Dead (But Could Return Thanks To Fourth Head)
Speaking of dead titans – unlike his first appearance in 1964's Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, King Ghidorah was unequivocally killed at the end of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Godzilla breathing atomic breath through his disembodied head just to make sure there's no regeneration this time. The problem, though, is a head that was bitten off Ghidorah earlier in the movie has been found and salvaged by the terrorist group responsible for awakening the thing in the first place.
In the post-credits scene, Charles Dance's Col. Alan Jonah is seen doing a deal to get the lifeless head. Between Ghidorah's regenerative powers and the Godzilla universe's propensity for man-made, mecha versions of kaiju, we can be sure whatever Jonah is up to is going to be more than the average challenge for Godzilla and the other titans.
Monarch Opens Up To The World About Titans – And Their Past
Monarch would've had a tough job sweeping everything that happens in Godzilla: King of the Monsters under the carpet, so instead, they lean into it, revealing themselves and becoming a more public body for knowledge and research on Titans. This comes from news reports visible in the credits.
It makes sense given the chaos that ensued in the film. The world needs someone to help us understand what the Titans are and what we can do to make sure they don't trample us all. Monarch fit into that role perfectly, having already been advocating for the kaiju on an animal welfare level for years. This will surely make their operations more stressful, however, as more and more government scrutiny comes into play.
The Return Of The Titans Helps Humanity And the World
The massive creatures coming back gives the world's eco-systems a much-needed boost. As seen again in the headlines on the credits, the natural world as we know it starts to regrow and replenish, especially the rain-forests, with the Titans around. Research has started into how to exploit this new synergy, like turning titan excrement into energy.
One of the film's sticking points is we are an infection that has disrupted the natural cycles of the planet, and this sets up a complex angle about figuring out how we reconcile the Titans with our own need for expansion and consumption.
The Titans Are Drawn To Skull Island – And Kong
The home of the mighty King Kong, introduced in Kong: Skull Island, is drawing attention from the Titans for an unknown reason. The obvious thinking is adult Kong, holding court on Skull Island, is seen as a new titan alpha and they're drawn to a new potential apex predator. This sets up 2020's Godzilla Vs. Kong nicely, perhaps creating tribes between the two of available titans for a real slobber-knocker.
But it's also possible something else on the island is creating a stir. The land there is filled with strange creatures that have probably only gotten weirder in the years since Kong, and with a major hollow earth entry point, anything could be brewing on Skull Island.
The important part, though, is Godzilla is on his way, and there's only room for one king of the monsters.
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020