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King Ghidorah, "The One Who is Many"

Portrayed By: Jason Liles (Center Head), Alan Maxson (Right Head), Richard Dorton (Left Head)

Appears In: Kong: Skull Island (cameo) | Godzilla: Aftershock (tie-in comics - cameo) | Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Species: Gargantuan flying three-headed electric alien reptile | "Titanus Ghidorah"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/godzilla_king_of_the_monsters___ghidorah_poster___clear_keyart.jpg
"They have as king over them, the angel of the Abyss. A star fallen from heaven to earth, he opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like that of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened..."
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"The Devil has three heads."
Dr. Vivienne Graham's field notes

A gigantic three-headed dragon Monarch found frozen in the Antarctic and initially refers to as "Monster Zero".

Known to have a special kind of enmity with Godzilla himself, Ghidorah is an ancient monstrosity dating so far back that countless legends have been made based on his physical appearance. Though his name is mostly lost to the ages, never spoken as though to deliberately any trace of his existence clean from history, he is described by Monarch as a "living extinction event," assured to cause massive destruction in his wake from simply existing.

His wings cause so much turbulence that thunderstorms form around him wherever he goes. That, coupled with his gargantuan size, and his ability to control lightning, makes Ghidorah is a destructive and chaotic force of nature that will surely cause the collapse of human civilization if left alone. Through Ghidorah's constant demonstrations of power by merely existing, lesser Titans flock to him and view him as their Alpha, a King to lead them towards the destruction of humanity and the planet as we know it.

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For the Toho versions of Ghidorah, see here


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    A - H 
  • Adaptational Badass: King Ghidorah has usually been a major threat in the past Godzilla movies. But after his first Showa movie Villain Decay kicked in, with him being repeatedly being used by other alien races as a mind controlled pawn. Heisei King Ghidorah had no difficulty fighting the newly nuclear powered Godzilla, but only with the Futurians directing him in battle. GMK Ghidorah was practically the weakest version of them all, being easily beaten by Godzilla even after getting a last minute powerup. However, this incarnation has not only defeated Godzilla, he also curb-stomped Rodan, has a Healing Factor, called upon other Titans to be the alpha taking Godzilla's position as King of the Monsters, and drops the original's cowardice in favor of even more sadism. The only time Godzilla is able to get the advantage on him one on one is when they're underwater and he has a Homefield Advantage. Even then Ghidorah No Sells the Oxygen Destroyer and wins again.
    • Even worse is the fact that Ghidorah wins his fights by analyzing his foes and adjusting his tactics to fight them. Closer inspection of the first fight shows Godzilla choke slamming Ghidorah and forcing him backwards towards the crater in a short fist fight. This, along with the events in their second fight, indicate Godzilla is physically stronger than Ghidorah. Ghidorah's reaction? Use his wings to create a gap between them where his covering fire and longer reach allow him to attack Godzilla from a relative safety. Ghidorah effectively used the rock-paper-scissors theory from professional boxing to hold his own against Godzilla. Unfortunately, the second fight has Godzilla employ a sneak attack to allow him to secure a solid grab on Ghidorah, denying the dragon his reach or maneuverability, allowing Godzilla to dismember him with such ferocity that Ghidorah's fate was sealed... until a certain missile was launched.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Played with. King Ghidorah has usually been a villain outside of GMK and the end of Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, where he was a Hero Antagonist. Showa Ghidorah especially stood out for his sadism, but this version drops his campy nature or status as a servant in favor of showing what would really happen if a giant alien space monster ran rampant on Earth. This Ghidorah is a wholly independent being who's entirely out for his own personal gain and actively enjoys killing.
  • Age Lift: Judging by The Stinger of Kong: Skull Island, Ghidorah is also a lot older than his Toho counterparts. The original movie involving Ghidorah mentioned that he was over 5,000 years old, and his Rebirth of Mothra incarnation was 65 million years old, but based on Godzilla's own Age Lift and the fact that the two have already fought at some point in ancient history, he's most likely significantly older here.
  • Alien Blood: Ghidorah has black blood that in the novelization is described as being similar to oil.
  • Alien Invasion: Came from outer space to Earth to terraform it into a suitable habitat for himself.
  • Aliens are Bastards: The first extraterrestrial creature featured in the MonsterVerse and the first giant monster who is outright evil.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Ghidorah is from another planet. How he got here is unknown, but he arrived on Earth during the last Age of the Titans, where humans viewed him as a cataclysm and the Titans saw him as a potential Alpha. His biology is vastly different from theirs and he's trying to remake the planet into the perfect habitat for himself.
  • Ancient Evil: He's older than most life on the planet and little information on him remains, likely because ancient civilizations wanted him to be forgotten. This is because he turns out to be the only Titan who is genuinely evil and malicious.
  • The Anti-God: While he is obviously a Satanic Archetype, he's this as well. Rather than being a former servant that went rogue, he is an equal and superior opposite force to Godzilla, a false king that could easily destroy everything and reshape it to his liking.
  • Arch-Enemy: Of Godzilla. The press release for the film even refers to him as Godzilla's nemesis and the film itself describe him as a 'rival Alpha to Godzilla.' On the short ORCA communication video he's labeled as Godzilla's Ultimate Nemesis. In the film proper he and Godzilla oppose each other multiple times and Godzilla goes out of his way to kill Ghidorah when he senses the dragon has reawakened. Unlike the MUTOs, the two's expressions and body language during these moments make it clear they genuinely despise each other.
  • Armless Biped: Averted this time. Ghidorah's wings are essentially his forelimbs, which he uses to walk on the ground wyvern-style. But in homage to his original design, when Ghidorah stands upright and spreads his wings, he looks like he has no arms.
  • Ax-Crazy: Ghidorah is thoroughly sadistic, with all three heads having their own personalities. Where the insanity comes in is that the heads often squabble, especially with the middle and left heads, and his own habit of biting himself to keep his three heads on track.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Was apparently the basis for many mythical creatures throughout various ancient cultures, from the Greek Hydra to the Zoroastrian Aži Dahāka to the Australian Rainbow Serpent.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The left head may be not as smart as the other two heads, but he's just as dangerous as them.
  • Big Bad: He's Godzilla's main opponent for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. While sharing the spot of main villain with the human antagonist, Alan Jonah, Ghidorah quickly becomes the biggest threat as he awakens many other kaiju and intends to terraform the Earth into a suitable habitat for himself. Notably, this is the first time since his original appearance that King Ghidorah has been the Big Bad of a Godzilla film rather than the Dragon-in-Chief.
  • Big Brother Bully: The central head has this dynamic with the left head, abusing it whenever it gets distracted by something to get it back to focusing on whatever they're doing.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Literally, in this case. While the other Titans are at least recognizably of the Earth (with most being scaled up versions of animals that exist or have existed at some point in the planet's history), Ghidorah's mere presence upsets the balance between the Alpha Titan and the others. His Healing Factor is remarked as being impossible, especially compared to creatures like Godzilla (who also posesses a healing factor, though it can take years depending on the severity of his injuries). It is all but stated in the text that this is why Ghidorah was able to No-Sell the Oxygen Destroyer, as he presumably doesn't require oxygen to survive like the other Titans. According to Mike Dougherty, his neurons are scattered throughout his entire body and limbs, like an octopus.
  • Blood Knight: The middle head is more vicious and aggressive than his side heads, bullying the left into listening and roaring a challenge to Godzilla, while the right head sizes up their foe and the left waits for the middle head's decision.
  • Breath Weapon: His signature Gravity Beams, bolts of yellow lightning fired from his jaws. The cave painting shows Ghidorah and Godzilla locked in a Beam-O-War, and an ancient Sumerian carving depicts it firing beams of lightning at a group of warriors.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Has a bright gold color scheme and is the most evil character in the film.
  • Butt-Monkey: The left head. Whether getting bullied by the other heads, taking missiles to the face, or getting decapitated by Godzilla twice and painfully regenerating, he's the one who suffers the most indignities. Ironically, this head is all that's left of Ghidorah by the end of the movie.
  • The Caligula: After defeating Godzilla and becoming king, he wastes no time in destroying as much life on the planet as possible.
  • The Cameo:
    • Makes one via cave painting in the post-credits scene of Skull Island.
    • The golden hydra makes a minor appearance scanned by a monitor in Godzilla Aftershock.
  • Character Development: Surprisingly, but only his left head. In his first scenes, as soon as he wakes up, he looks around aimlessly and took a curiosity towards the humans that where trying to attack him. Before facing Godzilla the third time, he's shown cowering in fear when the other two heads are sizing Godzilla up, to viciously biting a weaken Godzilla when he was at their mercy.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Is often seen with a toothy smile on all three of his faces.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: Unlike the rest of the kaiju's roars that are fitting, for their stature and appearance King Ghidorah has a trilling shriek, that sounds like crazed laughter.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The right head shows a degree of cunning in battle, using a nearby power generator to charge up a lightning attack from their wings.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Averted. At first, Monarch calls him Monster Zero. Then ancient texts call him Ghidorah, and finally he is briefly referred to as King Ghidorah.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Each head can fire a single gravity beam. However if they all fire in the same direction, the beams merge into a much more powerful blast.
  • Composite Character: He is a mashup of every incarnation of Ghidorah that came before him.
    • His roar is a combination of the original Showa cackle with a little of the Heisei shriek and Millennium echoic laugh. He's an Ax-Crazy evil space alien like the original Showa King Ghidorah, with a sadistic streak a mile wide.
    • Like the Heisei King Ghidorah, he is gigantic and towers over Godzilla, with the original three Dorats being replaced by his three personalities, and he has the wing lightning abilities and Healing Factor of the Rebirth of Mothra 3 King Ghidorah.
    • Like the Millennium King Ghidorah, he's found frozen in ice, and can fold his wings out of the way when not using them. He has Keizer's Life Drain bite and Death Ghidorah's ability to absorb energy, albeit this time it is electricity.
  • The Comically Serious: The right and middle heads try their best to look terrifying, minus the left head who just lives in his own little world, not that Ghidorah himself isn't exactly comedic as a whole.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Whereas the MUTOs and the Skullcrawlers were generally seeking to live out their natural life cycles (albeit life cycles that greatly threatened the resident humans), Ghidorah is a vicious and intelligent alien, who is indicated to be actively seeking the Earth's destruction.
  • Control Freak: He forces many of the other monsters on Earth to be his slaves, tearing down human cities and causing earthquakes and other disasters so that they aid his Hostile Terraforming of the planet.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Quite possibly the most violent and brutal death Ghidorah has ever experienced. First, Godzilla, in his Fire form, sets off an explosion that vaporizes Ghidorah's wings, then the second explosion vaporizes his two side heads, leaving only the middle one to experience the wrath of his nemesis, who stomps on his chest before the former grabs the remaining head in his mouth and vaporizes it entirely, wiping out any trace of the alien forever. Until the post credits scene where it is revealed that the head Godzilla tore off in Mexico has been recovered and Jonah has some... plans for it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ghidorah hands one out to almost everybody that tries to fight him. He dominated his first fight with Godzilla in the Antarctic, defeated Rodan in aerial battle, destroyed an entire Naval armada, and obliterated Mothra. The only times this gets flipped on him is when Godzilla is able to get him underwater and later when he unlocks his Super Mode.
  • Dark Is Evil: Unlike the other cave paintings his is pitch black and has skulls surrounding it, implying that he is extremely dangerous and maybe even malevolent.
  • Draconic Abomination: A towering three-headed dragon from space with a physiology that goes completely against the laws of physics and an insatiable appetite for destruction. His very presence on Earth drives the lesser Titans into a destructive rampage, and can cause catastrophic storms just by flying.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: Presented as a sinister, malevolent presence who bypasses merely being destructive by dint of being massive like most Titans and is instead consciously a danger to everyone around him; his three heads have four horns apiece; his body is covered in Spikes of Villainy; he's often framed in shadows or surrounded by a great, swirling vortex; one of his titles is "The One Who is Many", which seems like a reference to a certain story in The Bible; he takes control of the world's Titans in a way that makes him a corrupter to them and a destroyer to the humans of the world; in terms of power he's equaled in power only by Godzilla — and even then, Godzilla is only able to beat him with the help of Mothra and Monarch's air-force. Between all that and his backstory, he's basically the MonsterVerse version of the Devil!
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Subverted. At first, it seems like Emma Russell and Alan Jonah intend to use the ORCA to control Ghidorah for their own ends but the three-headed dragon goes completely against their plans by awakening all the Titans at once and setting them loose upon the world to serve his own agenda. By the climax, Emma and Jonah have lost control of the situation — not that Jonah minds, though, as he's perfectly content to let Ghidorah ravage the world.
  • The Dreaded: MONARCH reports that Godzilla himself is keeping his distance from the site that contains him. Ancient civilizations were also terrified of him, to the point where most ancient cultures didn't even leave any writings on him. What little there is have him being called 'the Death Song of Three Storms' and his name 'unspoken through millennia of whispered nightmares.' Even Rodan has an Oh, Crap! moment when he first sees him (though this doesn't stop him from challenging him).
  • Enraged by Idiocy: The left head is as clueless as a toddler and gets sidetracked by things, therefore forcing the middle head to have him focus on what they're trying to do.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Anti-God to Godzilla's God, being a rival Alpha Titan with not just the capacity to annihilate human civilization, but the intent to.
  • Eviler Than Thou: To Rodan, Jonah and Emma.
  • Evil Is Bigger: The cave painting portrays him as towering over Godzilla, and what seem to be skulls definitely imply he's no Gentle Giant. The Monarch site puts his height at five-hundred and twenty-one feet, the largest live-action incarnation of the character to date and more than fifty metres taller than Godzilla.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Emma Russell and Alan Jonah release him in hopes that he'll help restore the world to balance. What they fail to realize is that unlike the other Titans whose actions seem to revitalize the world, Ghidorah's actually a hostile alien who has no ties to Earth. After they release him, he quickly goes off script, seizing power from Godzilla and proceeding to command the Titans to ravage the entire world indiscriminately while terraforming the planet to suit his own desire.
  • Expressive Hair: His horns, which flare out whenever he tries his threat display.
  • Fake King: He is scornfully called a "false king" by Serizawa when Ghidorah becomes the new "King of the Monsters" and his own alien origins are revealed.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: His left head has straighter horns than his middle and right heads, which have horns that curve inward and out.
  • Foil: To Godzilla. They're both massive Alpha Titans, but Godzilla is designated as a guardian of the Earth (if not the humans on it), while Ghidorah is an Omnicidal Maniac. Godzilla is an amphibious walker while Ghidorah's wings allow him to fly. They both have light-like beam attacks at their disposal, but Godzilla's are blue, while Ghidorah's are yellow. They have Healing Factors, but Ghidorah's is much faster. Both are passingly identified with religious idols, but Godzilla is compared with God, while Ghidorah is compared to the other guy.
  • For the Evulz: Several times he intentionally kills or attacks people who haven't attacked him or don't have the ORCA, such as swallowing Vivienne whole or attacking the Argo while it's running away from him. Notably, he continues to go after Madison even after she's thrown the ORCA closer to him and disabled it, attempting to atomize her with his Gravity Beams. While only implied by his body language and Slasher Smiles in the film, the novelization outright states Ghidorah enjoys killing and practically lives for it, and makes it clear nearly every act he commits is for his own pleasure.
  • Freudian Trio: The left head is the Id, the middle head is the Ego, and the right head is the Superego.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Actually averted in this case. While small arms fire predictably does little more than catch his attention, missile strikes visibly injure him and during their second battle, Godzilla rips off one of his heads. However, his extremely fast Healing Factor makes up for this.
  • Giant Flyer: The very biggest of the three flyers. In fact, he's one of the biggest in the history of the franchise.
  • Gravity Master: The Monarch Sciences website reveals that not only can he create powerful storms, but he can create an 'anti-gravity maelstrom' in the scrolling text at the bottom. His primary energy attack is also called the "Gravity beam", although exactly what this entails is unclear as it otherwise seems to look and behave like lightning.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Ghidorah doesn't take action until King of the Monsters but he's the greatest threat in the MonsterVerse, and his presence has impacted human history and culture. The Stinger of Kong: Skull Island depicts a cave painting of him battling Godzilla from what appears to be prehistoric times, stating that Godzilla and Ghidorah's blood feud has, at the very least, endured for centuries. He was apparently the basis of several draconian myths, such as the Hydra and the Rainbow Serpent, which were actually sightings of him. Despite being frozen by the present day, Ghidorah's presence on Earth is enough to make the threats of the MUTOs and the Skullcrawlers seem insignificant by comparison.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: His enormous golden bat-like wings are powerful and intimidating, in contrast to the colorful and divine wings of Mothra's.
  • Hate Sink: The Titans, despite their size and ferocity, seem to prefer just staying away from humans and remain in hibernation. By contrast, Ghidorah is a genuinely malevolent beast who earns hate from human and monster alike. He goes out of his way to eat Vivienne Graham and kill several soldiers at the South Pole not out of hunger or need, but solely for his own twisted amusement. Once Godzilla is out of the picture, he commands the other Titans to cause widespread death and destruction on the planet. This is because he's an invasive alien species and is making them remake the world for his liking. Even after Madison discards the ORCA, he attempts to kill her anyway.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Due to his world destroying storms and waking up several Titans, King Ghidorah sets it up so even if he loses the battle he wins the war even if he were to be killed thus creating an environment that results in a world of monsters. Untold damage is done to the environment and mankind that will take a long time to repair, and while many Titans he awoke end up being good, the novelization states he riled up bad ones like the Skullcrawlers which sets up the events for Godzilla and Kong's fight in Godzilla Vs Kong. He won posthumously and may even return from death in his remade world.
  • Healing Factor: This turns out to be his unique power, in this 'verse; whilst Godzilla can also heal, it generally requires prolonged periods spent resting. By comparison, Ghidorah can regenerate wounds in seconds. During his second tussle with Godzilla, his left head along with a good chunk of his neck are ripped off. After No Selling the Oxygen Destroyer, which hits him moments later, he regrows his head in less than a minute. While his healing factor is overcome by Fire Godzilla's nuclear pulse, his middle head is still alive despite being completely detached from the body. He's finally killed after being incinerated by Godzilla's atomic breath, though in the novelization it's speculated that he might be able to grow new bodies from dismembered pieces.
  • The Heavy: Alan Jonah is the mastermind behind his resurgence, but Ghidorah, being a giant space dragon who can rival Godzilla in power, has more screentime than Alan and is much more dangerous. Eventually he abandons this to become the true Big Bad.
  • Hero Killer: Kills Mothra by incinerating her with a massive burst of gravity beams, and is also responsible for Vivienne Graham and Emma Russell's deaths as well.
  • Hive Mind: Averted. While each head is almost a character, each head is more an aspect of Ghidorah's personality rather than a separate creature entirely. Ghidorah is never referred to in the plural, only as one monster, except as a joke, which makes the way his heads occasionally attack each other rather disturbing.
  • Hydra Problem: Ghidorah is capable of regenerating from wounds far faster than any other Titan seen so far. This even applies to regrowing severed heads, like the creature of myth. Thankfully, he never grows more than three.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: "Righty", also called Ni (as in the Japanese number 2). He is the most intelligent of the three. Righty is the one who found Madison with the ORCA box. When Godzilla arrives, he thinks fast by biting into a power generator that allows him to create a blast attack knocking out Godzilla and shoot lightning into the air to wipe out all Air Force units. Righty is the only one to avoid getting All Webbed Up by Mothra.

    I - Y 
  • It Can Think: Each of Ghidorah's heads has a distinct personality: the right head is pragmatic and tactical, the left head is absentminded and curious, and the middle head is extremely vicious and dominant over the other two. Upon awakening, as the G-Team open fire with their guns, the left head curiously leans down (completely unphased by the weapons) and examines them, before being disciplined by the middle head who bites his horns. In general the middle head seems to be stern and want the left to focus on the mission. He's also prone to slasher smiles and in general Ghidorah is portrayed as genuinely sadistic and evil rather than an actual animal. During the final fight with Godzilla, the right head recognizes an electrical power station and quickly uses it to give Ghidorah a massive boost in energy. He also uses the other Titans as weapons to change the planet's environment into something that is for him more hospitable.
  • In-Series Nickname: Monarch calls him Monster Zero, as there's so little mythology surrounding him they don't know his actual name at first. It isn't until the halfway point that they find out his name is Ghidorah (and subsequently dub him King Ghidorah after Godzilla is injured), and as Emma Russell and Alan Jonah don't know this, they still call him Monster Zero.
  • It's All About Me: Ghidorah's aggressive terraforming of Earth is likened to an invasive species that harms an ecosystem. Hailing from space, Ghidorah exists outside the natural order of the Titans and uses them to ravage the world indiscriminately, to forcibly transform Earth's ecosystem to his liking.
  • It's Personal: He seems to treat his feud with Godzilla this way, their rivalry remarked as being unique among the titans. It's mutual, and in general he and Godzilla hate each other.
  • Knight of Cerebus: He's built up as this by the marketing, and it proves to be no exaggeration. The other kaiju are natural disasters, but Ghidorah is a living extinction event and genuinely evil.
  • Large and in Charge: Ghidorah towers over all the other monsters, and usurps Godzilla's place as the King of the Monsters. Among his three heads, the middle one also has the longest and most curved horns, as well as the tallest neck.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: While his left head is just as violent as the center one, he isn't completely vain and hateful, just a goofball and a dunce. The same can be said for the right head as well, he's more focused and willingly follows the middle head's commands and is easily the most intelligent head.
  • Leitmotif: A very dark and eerie piece filled with Ominous Hindi Chanting. Where Godzilla's themes exude power, Rodan's theme evokes unbridled aggression and rage, and Mothra's theme is filled with grace and beauty, Ghidorah's theme gives an ominous, out-of-place feeling that invokes dread. According to commenters, the lyrics in the theme are drawn from the Heart Sūtra, which in its original context is about emptying one's mind to achieve enlightenment, but when applied to Ghidorah, is twisted into a more sinister connotation, Ghidorah, known as Monster Zero, comes from nothingness (space), seemingly needs nothing to survive (not even oxygen), and if allowed to reign over the Earth, is liable to wipe out all life on the planet.
  • Life Drain: In reference to his Expy Kaiser Ghidorah, after a wounded Godzilla begins to morph into Fire Godzilla, Ghidorah bites down and begins to drain the life out of the fallen Titan. Only Emma's use of the ORCA stops him from sucking Godzilla dry.
  • Light Is Not Good: He's a golden three-headed dragon, but also extremely dangerous and actively malevolent, being described as a 'living extinction event.'
  • Losing Your Head: When Godzilla reduces him to just his middle head, the head continues to roar and try to bite Godzilla until he incinerates it.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: "Kevin" (the Left-head), who only seems competent in the sense he just mimics whatever the other two heads do. During the Antarctic scene, Kevin tries to observe the soldiers shooting at him being fascinated in what they're doing. That said, his role in battle is often as a lookout. He's the head that watches what Godzilla does in their first fight and is the reason they notice Godzilla charging his atomic breath to counterattack in time. He has a habit of looking over his respective shoulder whenever something happens. The implication is his curiosity is just a side effect of his status as a lookout and the middle head gets annoyed with him not doing his job properly.
  • Monster Lord: One of the Alpha Titans. After overpowering Rodan and surviving being hit by the Oxygen Destroyer, he wakes the 17 known Titans and drives them to destroy as much of the planet as possible in a form of aggressive terraforming. He's ultimately dethroned by Godzilla.
  • Multiple Head Case: He has three heads, each with their own individual personality, which are portrayed through multiple motion capture actors.
    • His middle head (the dominant one) is the most vicious and aggressive, the left head is the most absentminded and unfocused, and the right head is the most alert and pragmatic.
  • My Hero Zero: He is known as "Monster Zero", though he's definitely no hero.
  • Mysterious Antarctica: Is found frozen in ice by Monarch there.
  • Mysterious Past: The Monarch profile states his origins as ancient but unknown. After piecing together what little legends there are about him along with his biology, they reason he must be some form of alien.
  • Mythology Gag: Ghidorah had always been referred to as King Ghidorah, in the vast majority of his Japanese incarnations. In King of the Monsters, he is simply called "Ghidorah" for most of the film, (though all marketing and supplemental materials all call him King Ghidorah and he is briefly called such in the film) but his eventual status as the Alpha among the Titans essentially makes him a literal King.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "The Death Song of Three Storms" is not exactly the name of anything good.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Twice. Once when Godzilla is injured by the Oxygen Destroyer, which Ghidorah NoSelled, and again during the final battle where Ghidorah nearly kills Godzilla himself.
  • No Body Left Behind: Ghidorah's Healing Factor is so powerful Godzilla has to basically atomize him to finally take him down. And The Stinger with his remaining severed (seemingly dead) head implies he's not completely out of action yet.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: During the first battle Godzilla fires his Atomic Breath at Ghidorah but due to his long necks, the middle and left head only moved a couple of inches (well, given the scale probably more like a few dozen feet) away from it.
  • No-Sell: The Oxygen Destroyer that seriously wounds Godzilla, to the point that he's legitimately feared to be dead for a good part of the movie? It doesn't even scratch Ghidorah.
  • Not Quite Dead: Heavily implied in The Stinger of King of the Monsters, as his charred severed left head is recovered and obtained by Alan Jonah. Keep in mind, when Ghidorah's body was destroyed by Godzilla, the middle head was still alive and trying to escape before Godzilla incinerated it.
  • Oh, Crap!: After Godzilla gains his Super Mode all three of King Ghidorah's heads are astonished, especially when their combined gravity beams can't stop Godzilla from advancing on them.
  • Only Sane Man: The right head. While the middle head is a bossy, sadistic psychopath and the left head is curious, dim-witted and with a short attention span, the right head is the most alert, quick-thinking and eager to fight among the three, easily displaying cunning and pragmatism in battle.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He's described as being a "living extinction event" and his ultimate goal is bringing about extinction conditions which will create an environment more suited to his tastes, which implies whether intentionally or not he is capable of singlehandedly causing a mass extinction. The novel even suggests that he's not terraforming Earth at all, but rather wants to gleefully destroy it for his own pleasure.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: A three-headed, two-tailed draconic kaiju. Every time he flies makes generates destructive storms. He's also a literal alien, having fallen to Earth thousands of years ago, and is attempting to remake the Earth's environment into something he finds hospitable.
  • Our Hydras Are Different: A giant, three-headed reptile capable of regrowing severed heads, although they do not increase in number.
  • Outside-Context Problem: In-Universe! Monarch is puzzled by Ghidorah's uncharacteristic malice and unusual powers, such as his Healing Factor, which they describe in-film as "biologically impossible". When they find legends that claim Ghidorah is a "dragon who fell to earth from the stars", they deduce he must be some kind of alien creature, having originated on an entirely different planet, which is why he's so different to the Earthly Titans.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Is described as a "living extinction event" in viral marketing, being capable of generating massive hurricanes around itself using its bioelectric abilities. His hurricane gets larger and stronger the long he generates it, eventually resulting in a Category 6. The novelization reveals this hurricane gradually evolves into a super cell generating more hurricanes and if it continues to expand he may blanket the entire planet in a perpetual hurricane that would wipe out all life as we know it.
  • Power Glows: His necks crackle and glow while he charges up his breath weapon. Another shot of him firing from one head shows the attached neck is glowing there as well. This may be a trick of lighting, but so far it fits with the fact that Godzilla and Mothra also light up in various ways when charging their built-in weapons, (I.E. Godzilla's dorsal spines light up when he's charging his breath attack, and Mothra's wings seem to do the same when charging her own energy ray.) while Rodan has yet to be seen with any such ability at all. Ghidorah's Heisei and Showa predecessors have light up horns in Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and Godzilla: Save the Earth, so this may be a subtle Call-Back to the games in this regard.
  • Physical God: Having been worshiped by ancient civilizations as an evil god and being Godzilla's chief rival, he qualifies as this. He's so strong, in fact, that Godzilla needs to get a Super Mode to finally put him down.
  • Psycho Electro: The viral marketing associates him with electricity, and of all the Titans, he's the most malevolent. It turns out in the film that he can absorb electricity from other sources and redeploy it to his advantage; when fighting Godzilla, he bites onto a nearby electrical transformer, and proceeds to unleash a cascade of arcing electrical bolts from all over his body, including his outstretched wings.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The left head is the least mature of the heads, showing childish curiosity and needing correction from the center head, but also shows plenty of enjoyment from killing.
  • Quizzical Tilt: The left head is fascinated by all the tiny things with the loud shooty sticks that greet him upon awakening. The right head shifts his head confusedly and looked rather perplexed at Godzilla's sudden arrival, seemingly trying to size up and analyze the new opponent.
  • Rasputinian Death: In the battle of Boston alone, where he finally meets his end, Ghidorah is mauled half a dozen times by Big G, blasted again and again by a super-charged atomic breath, thrown into buildings, and the foundation of the city. What finally does Ghidorah in is when Godzilla's Fire form vents nuclear heat with enough force to level Boston, twice, resulting in Ghidorah's side heads and most of his body being incinerated by the blast. And after that, Godzilla still has to stomp on Ghidorah's charred but still alive body and point blank him with another blast of nuclear heat, and finally Godzilla swallows the remaining head and roasts it with an atomic blast as it goes down his throat.
  • Reconstruction: In contrast to the anime version of the character, this Ghidorah takes the original concept and adds enough realism to make it work beautifully. A giant flying dragon would need enormous wings he could fold out of his way, that are also sturdy enough to support his weight when leaning forward. The three heads all have minds of their own, causing a certain independence from each other, and move around like cobras due to their long necks. He belches a conductive ionized gas ignited by his body’s bio-electricity, and his electrical powers allow him to summon storms. His occasional mind control powers are reworked into his status as an Alpha titan with the ability to direct the other Titans as he sees fit on an instinctual level.
  • Red Baron: The viral marketing repeatedly refers to him as Monster Zero, which is also the name given to him by Monarch for most of the film, as they don't know his name. Ancient Sumerians called it the "Death Song of Three Storms". In the movie he is called "The One Who is Many".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes even glow blood-red, when he charges his Gravity Beams.
  • Sadist: The middle head is the most pronounced, but Ghidorah as a whole has a sadistic streak to the point of killing people who hadn't done anything to provoke him. This is best shown when the heroes' Osprey is downed and he could easily crush it with his foot or vaporize it with his Gravity Beams, but chooses instead to take his time and slowly crush it and everyone inside, something the novelization directly points out and calls attention to as abnormally sadistic. The novelization also makes it far more explicit that he's this trope in general.
    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.
  • Satanic Archetype: One shot frames him beside a cross, lit infernally by lightning and the lava of an erupting volcano. Dr. Graham's notes specially call him the Devil; in the final book of The Bible, the Devil appears as a multi-headed dragon; in Dante's Inferno, he's imagined as a three headed monster stuck in a frozen lake in the final circle of Hell. In the movie proper, he's stated to be a great dragon that fell from the stars, or rather, the heavens, adding more to the archetype.
  • Savage Wolves: While obviously draconian in design, his three heads, each having a mind of its own, display behavior very similar to that of a wolf pack, with the outer two heads being subservient to the center head.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: He was discovered frozen in a glacier in the Antarctic, and Monarch built a base to study and contain Ghidorah's icy prison. He was unleashed by Alan Jonah's terrorist organization, which seeks to use him as a weapon to further their anarchist cause.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After getting ambushed by the military, he decides to book it by flying out of the arctic scenery much to Godzilla's agitation.
  • Siblings in Crime: The three heads are described as being like siblings to each other, with the middle head being the eldest and the leader.
  • Silent Snarker: The right head at times, most notably when the middle and left heads disagree.
  • Sinister Silhouettes:
    • One shot in the film shows him silhouetted with lightning flashing behind him as he unfurls his wings. You can even see his eyes faintly shining.
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus also shows his shape illuminated by lightning in the storm clouds during the Washington D.C. attack.
  • Slasher Smile: He tends to give these off when he is about to kill someone, especially the middle head.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: His serpentine traits are much more emphasized in this version, including how he has forked tongues that occasionally flick, and how his tail occasionally producing rattle sounds. In his third and final clash with Godzilla, his heads actually constrict Godzilla in a fashion similar to pythons.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Has wings with numerous spiked tips on the sides, crowns of horns on each head, and his long 2 tails that're covered in various pointed spikes.
  • Split Personality: While the three heads of Ghidorah are unique and act differently, it's implied that there is only one true consciousness and that each head is only an aspect of Ghidorah's mind. While the heads to fight and quarrel at times, Ghidorah's movements aside from the heads never suggest different beings controlling one body as Ghidorah never act erratic or with conflicting movements. The implication is disturbing as its basically the same as one person fighting with the voices in his head.
  • Terraform: His ultimate goal. Whether because of necessity or preference, he is trying to use the Titans to alter the Earth's environment into a state he prefers.
  • Terrible Trio: He's a rare case of a single character who can form one of these by himself, thanks to being effectively three characters rolled into one with each of his three heads having its own individual personality.
    • The middle head is the leader as it's clearly the one calling the shots when it comes to coordinating teamwork between the heads during battles. It also has to discipline the left head more than once to stay on target.
    • The left head is the Butt-Monkey of the group, suffering the most abuse be it from human forces, Godzilla, or the other heads themselves. His behavior is decidedly a bit of a Psychopathic Manchild, being dim-witted and curious, and often does other things out of focus that often tend to annoy the middle head.
    • The right head is the brains as it seems to be the most observant, being the first head to notice Godzilla's arrival in Antarctica, as well as the one who was stalking Madison and destroying the speakers in Fenway Park. It is also the one who found and utilized a nearby power station to give Ghidorah the power boost that allowed him to gain the upper hand during the Boston fight until Mothra arrived on the scene.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: He seems to have a preference towards unleashing his Gravity Beams on humans including attempting to kill Madison, an unarmed child, with them in Boston although he was lured to her by her activating the ORCA, on the ground whereas other kaiju would stomp or eat them. Given his appearance in ancient cave paintings have him blasting soldiers with spears with them, he's always done this.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: The right head, after noticing Godzilla's reflection on a building moments before he bodyslams Ghidorah through said building.
  • Throat Light: This is presumably the first time audiences see any indication of a visible charge up (more likely his necks crackling with electricity) of his Gravity Beams.
  • To Create a Playground for Evil: Seeks to rapidly alter Earth into a state he finds more preferable by leaving human civilization in ruins.
  • Token Good Teammate: The right head is not good by any means but easily the least sadistic as he never gives off slasher smiles (middle head) or acts excited about killing (left head). That said, he does show a degree of single-minded determination, as he is quick to act in hunting down Madison.
  • To Serve Man: The middle head eats Vivianne along with a huge clump of ice she was running across, and the right head snaps up a piece of her that falls out of the middle head's mouth.
  • Unperson: Ancient cultures barely wrote about him simply out of fear, hoping he would be eventually just be forgotten.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Name: Mike Dougherty confirms the names of the heads on his Twitter account: Ichi (center), Ni (right), and San AKA Kevin (left)note 
  • The Usurper: Is presented as this after he ousts Godzilla as the King of the Monsters, even being referred to as a "False King".
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ghidorah has a minor one when Godzilla traps him underwater, and is visibly panicking when Godzilla bites off one of his heads and struggles to break free. The real one comes when Godzilla activates his Super Mode. Ghidorah goes from the arrogant, sadistic tyrant to frantically crawling away, hissing and shrieking as Godzilla powers through all his attacks, incinerates most of his body, and then eats his remaining head.
  • Walking Techbane: Due to his electrical powers, he tends to short circuit or damage any technology in his broad vicinity.
  • Walking Wasteland: Much like the fairly realistic depiction of a creature Godzilla's size displacing enough water to create tsunamis upon landfall, Ghidorah's massive size, powerful wings, and Shock and Awe powers alter the barometric pressure around him to create typhoons.
  • Weather Manipulation: A combination of his hurricane force wind-generating wings and electrical powers cause him to generate a devastatingly powerful storm more or less by flying.
  • Wing Shield: Employs this as a defensive maneuver. Works well against the military's weapons, and against Godzilla's atomic breath. Doesn't work at all against Fire Godzilla's nuclear pulse.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Wakes up several Titans both good and bad and changes the environment enough for the bad ones to continue his campaign of destruction should he be stopped.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: Ghidorah's bioelectric Gravity Beams are yellow in coloration, as is the lightning of the storms he creates.

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