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King Ghidorah, "The One Who is Many" / Monster Zero
Bow down... and worship the Golden Demise. (L-R: Ni, Ichi, San/"Kevin")

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 | Godzilla vs. Kong (skull)

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

"The Devil has three heads."
Dr. Vivienne Graham's field notes

A gigantic, three-headed, dragon-like daikaiju which Monarch found frozen in Antarctica and initially refers to as "Monster Zero". He's known to have a special kind of enmity with Godzilla himself as a potential rival Alpha, battling Godzilla to usurp the latter's dominance over the lesser Titans. But unlike Godzilla, Ghidorah displays true malice, and his rule is a complete disruption of the natural order which Godzilla normally maintains.

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 wipe 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' extreme turbulence combined with his bio-electricity causes hurricane-sized thunderstorms to form around him wherever he goes. That, coupled with his gargantuan size, and his ability to control lightning, makes Ghidorah a destructive and chaotic force that will surely cause the collapse of human civilization if left alone.

Each of Ghidorah's three heads — Ichi (middle head), Ni (right head), and San (or Kevin; left head) — have a distinct personality.

For the Toho versions of Ghidorah, see here.

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Tropes applying generally

  • Adaptational Abomination: In the original Godzilla continuity of the Showa films, Ghidorah was established as a civilization-destroying world eater from the depths of space, but when he became Godzilla's most frequently-recurring enemy, Villain Decay set in pretty hard, and even his first film has a pretty light and campy tone. Most of the Japanese films since played him as just another kaiju, albeit one of the franchise's more iconic villains. With this version of Ghidorah, his alien biology defying the known laws of science is emphasized; his threat level is returned to a truly global scale, with his capacity to rival Godzilla and malevolent intentions for the Earth; and he's given a folkloric backstory as The Dreaded tormentor of ancient civilizations.
  • 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 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 the last-minute powerup. However, this incarnation not only defeats Godzilla three times (whereas not a single other version has beaten Godzilla), but he also curb-stomps Rodan, has a Healing Factor, can call upon and dominate other Titans to make them do his bidding, 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 scarier 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 grabbing his side heads. 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 relative safety. Ghidorah effectively used the rock-paper-scissors theory from professional boxing to hold his own against Godzilla. In the first fight, he even learns to dodge the atomic breath and defeats Godzilla by blasting him with all three heads at the same time knocking Godzilla into the hole Ghidorah came out of. Unfortunately for Ghidorah, the second fight has Godzilla employ a sneak attack to allow him to secure a solid grip on Ghidorah, denying the dragon his reach or maneuverability, allowing Godzilla to dismember him with such ferocity that Ghidorah's fate is sealed... until a certain missile arrives, nearly killing Godzilla but doing nothing to Ghidorah. In the third fight, Ghidorah defeats a supercharged Godzilla by feeding on an active city-wide power grid to supercharge himself, outsmarting and beating Godzilla a third time.
    • Ghidorah is shown in his third fight with Godzilla to turn the latter's own grappling and slamming techniques on him, further enhancing them with his wings to allow him to completely lift his opponent off the ground.
    • In the original incarnation and the Heisei incarnation both, Ghidorah losing one of his three heads was more or less a mortal blow, prompting him to immediately flee the battle and wait inbetween movies to recover (if he wasn't killed mid-retreat). That is not the case with the Three-Headed Devil of the MonsterVerse: not only does he barely seem to notice after Godzilla has ripped off one of his heads, but unlike the Showa and Heisei Ghidorah's, he has a powerful Healing Factor which enables him to completely bounce back from losing a head within minutes, none worse for wear, and then the conflict against him for the fate of the world resumes. In fact, unlike the previous iterations of Ghidorah, the climax of King of the Monsters reveals that this version still remains alive when there's nothing left of him except his dominant middle head and a neck stump, implying that Ghidorah could furthermore regenerate his entire body from just a severed middle head if he was given enough time and regeneration-fueling radiation.
    • While all King Ghidorah incarnations are capable of destroying all life on a planet, most of them have to spend their time doing it via the typical kaiju destruction. While this Ghidorah does his share of that, his storm generation, according to the novel, enables him to blanket the Earth in a never-ending hurricane that will destroy all life on Earth in short order.
    • He's also the first incarnation to not only be the main antagonist of multiple films but not suffer any Villain Decay between them. Notably, the eco-terrorists are completely unable to control him with the ORCA in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and even when Apex Cybernetics try to posthumously turn Ghidorah into their puppet by using his telepathic skull as a Mechagodzilla control mechanism, Ghidorah's lingering consciousness takes over the system and annihilates Apex, in Godzilla vs. Kong.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: For his Toho film appearances, whenever he's received lethal injuries from other kaiju such as Godzilla or Anguirus, his blood was colored red, which is similar to the many organisms of Earth. To highly show off how completely alien this depiction of King Ghidorah is, he bleeds out an oily black liquid when Godzilla tears off San's head with his jaws, as his blood spills and oozes out of his neck.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: One of the things that set this particular King Ghidorah apart from his predecessors: he's extremely intelligent by kaiju standards. Not only does he show extreme intelligence in combat, unlike previous versions whose strategy to destroy the Earth was 'spam gravity beams until everything is dead' or were being controlled by the invaders via mind control, but this Ghidorah also has an actual plan and is leading the invasion himself.
  • 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 — coupled with the uncertainty of how long he'd already lived before he first came to Earth, or how long the journey here might have realistically taken him without FTL — 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: Legends indicate he fell to Earth from outer space, which also means he exists outside Earth's natural order of Titans, and he's likened to an invasive species whose presence harms the ecosystem. Upon temporarily succeeding in usurping Godzilla as the dominant Alpha Titan, Ghidorah commands the other Titans on Earth to tear down humanity's cities and wreak total destruction on the planet's biosphere, with Dr. Stanton speculating that his goal is destructively xenoforming the Earth to suit himself. Notable in that while past King Ghidorah incarnations have been part of alien invasions, this incarnation is actually leading the invasion.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The first extraterrestrial creature featured in the MonsterVerse, and the first giant monster who crosses the line between being an aggressive predator and outright evil.
  • Allegorical Character: As described by this Tumblr user, in line with the Green Aesop theme of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and how the Titans come into it, Ghidorah is essentially reimagined as a Climate Change Allegory. It's also worth noting that Ghidorah's unquenchable desire for domination over the Titans (nature) is comparable to humanity's own attitude toward the rest of the animal kingdom which manmade Global Warming is a product of. The King of the Monsters novelization specifically compares Ghidorah's extinction event-creating process to Global Warming but massively sped up.
  • All There in the Manual: Ghidorah's heads do not receive individual names in the film; the designations Ichi, Ni, and San and/or Kevin are production nicknames.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Of all the tiny primates' cities he could take up residence in when he becomes king, the one he chooses just happens to be the capital of the United States — when he was on the other hemisphere's America no less.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Ghidorah is extraterrestrial in origin. 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 been around since at least ancient human history (and he's likely much, much older than that due to his extraterrestrial origin coupled with the MonsterVerse's comparatively realism-grounded tone among most of the Godzilla continuities), and he's the only Titan so far who is consciously evil and malicious. Little information on Ghidorah from before modern times remains due to him being the Unperson, with Drs. Chen and Serizawa commenting that it's as if the ancient peoples who witnessed Ghidorah were deliberately trying to forget him.
  • Animal Talk: Can hear and understand the ORCA's bioacoustic messages like the other Titans (though he never responds positively). Besides that, Ni (the right head) chirps something to Ichi (the middle head), which puts a Slasher Smile on the latter head, before they all proceed to blast the G-Team to ashes. He can also utilize the Titans' whale-like reliance on complex bio-acoustic communication (which also applies to him) to take command of the Earth's non-Alpha Titans and direct them to help him destroy the planet.
  • 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: To Godzilla. The press release for the film even refers to him as Godzilla's nemesis and the film itself describes 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, proving once again, no matter the reality, Godzilla and Ghidorah will always remain bitter enemies.
    • Of note is just how Ghidorah chooses to engage Godzilla. Does he use the natural advantage of flight, as he did during his duel with Rodan? No, he chooses to brawl at close range on the ground with Godzilla, fighting and overpowering his enemy on their own terms. He wants to get in close, and he wants to show that even without one of his greatest abilities, he's stronger.
  • 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 the only Titan who goes out of his way to slaughter any humans he sees (with a Slasher Smile or two) without any kind of provocation; contrasting how the other Titans — even the truly hostile ones such as the MUTOs and Skullcrawlers — only cause harm to humans due to Horror Hunger, territorialism, or the humans actively provoking them. The novelization explicitly states that unlike any other animal Mark Russell has encountered, Ghidorah lives for killing, and at another point speculates on Ghidorah's nature thusly:
    Maybe he was a god - but there was nothing that said a god had to be sane.
  • Beam Spam: Pulls this off as a Multi-Directional Barrage with devastating effect in Boston after chomping on a transformer; firing lightning-bolts in all directions which singe and beat back Godzilla, and single-handedly obliterate the majority of the considerably numerous aircraft in the skies.
  • Berserk Button: Hearing the ORCA's signal always drives him to chase down whatever's emitting it with murderous intent until the signal stops (and even if you live just beyond the moment he destroys the speakers, he might still kill you anyway).
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Very much downplayed. He has sharp, flexing spines along the clubbed ends of his tails, but he never really uses them offensively (at least not on purpose). Whenever his tails knock over something, it's often unintentional on his part.
  • Big Bad: He's Godzilla's main opponent for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. While sharing the spot of the 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 just The Heavy. And he continues to maintain this role into Godzilla vs. Kong by being made into Mechagodzilla after regaining his sentience.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While Ghidorah shares the Big Bad role with Alan Jonah, they're technically against each other. Jonah, Dr. Emma Russell, and Jonah's men intend to take control of Ghidorah, but he can't be controlled by the ORCA and has plans of his own. Poetically, Emma's realization that Ghidorah is much more dangerous than they thought he was and that his continued victory will spell the opposite of their own end-goals causes her and Jonah's Big Bad Duumvirate to break apart.
  • Big Entrance: His awakening has him emerging from a pit filled with howling wind, fog and lightning-flashes surrounded by fiery-looking light, while thunder crashes and lightning flashes in the sky in Antarctica. There's also his arrival in Boston where he's heralded by his ominous unnatural storm billowing lightning-filled mist between the buildings, and him shaking Fenway Park when he himself physically appears.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Literally, in this case. Stanton remarks that Ghidorah's Healing Factor "violates everything we know about the natural order", especially compared to creatures like Godzilla (who also possesses a healing factor, though it can take years to finish its work depending on the severity of his injuries). It's all but stated in the text that this trope is why Ghidorah was able to No-Sell the Oxygen Destroyer, as he presumably doesn't require oxygen to survive like the other Titans. Although Ghidorah's Monarch Sciences profile indicate there's a brain in each of Ghidorah's heads like with a one-headed terrestrial organism, Mike Dougherty states most of his neurons are scattered throughout his entire body and limbs like an octopus, which enables his heads to recover their memories and personalities if they're lost and then regenerate. What's more, one of Ghidorah's severed heads when it's decomposed to just a skull still retains the heads' telepathy, and it also retains a Soul Fragment of the three-headed dragon's consciousness/es, with the Godzilla vs. Kong novelization outright stating that the skull's bone matter is an integral component of Ghidorah's consciousness rather than just being a casing for the brain matter.
  • Body Horror: Ghidorah regenerating his severed head is not a pretty sight. The stump of the neck basically sprouts a cancerous-looking mass at its end, and the first organ to develop in the growing mass is its tongue. After Ichi tears off the membranous sac protecting the regrowing mass, jaws form around the tongue, followed by a skull, and finally fleshy tendrils wrap all around it to fully reconstruct the head. Oh, and the head starts regenerating upside-down before snapping around into place.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Downplayed. When he had Godzilla downed in Boston, the smartest thing might've been to break Godzilla's neck with his jaws and then drain the excess radiation from his corpse, what with how Godzilla is the only Titan able to oppose Ghidorah's rule and has proven very difficult to get rid of.
  • 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 he's one of the evilest characters if not the evilest in the whole of the MonsterVerse.
  • Bring It: When Ghidorah and Godzilla see each-other for the first time since Ghidorah went into the ice, Ghidorah tries to make himself look big and intimidating (despite the Kevin head's lone anxieties) just before they square off: the hydra stands up tall on his hind legs, spreads his wings wide and arches his necks like cobras while roaring. The director commented that his intention was for Ghidorah to look blusterous and defiant in the face of his renewed war against Godzilla.
  • Came from the Sky: Implied. Ancient legends say that he "fell from the stars" (which leads Monarch to conclude that he's actually an alien lifeform based upon this and other evidence); indicating that ancient humans saw Ghidorah falling to Earth like a meteorite.
  • The Cameo:
    • Makes an Early-Bird Cameo 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. When Ghidorah first wakes up in Antarctica, the left head looks at their environment almost in awe and takes a curiosity towards the humans that are trying to attack him — all three heads even take time investigating and cruelly toying with the human-filled Osprey nearby. After Antarctica, none of the heads show much interest in humans beyond obliterating them for the fun of it. See the heads' folder for more details.
  • Clip Its Wings: The first thing Godzilla does to Ghidorah after gaining his Super Mode is unleash a thermonuclear pulse that eradicates Ghidorah's wings. No wings = no flight = no methods of escaping = Ghidorah is screwed.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Averted. At first, Monarch calls him Monster Zero. Then ancient texts call him Ghidorah. This shortened form of his name is the one that sticks, although the military refers to him as King Ghidorah when he's controlling all the Titans from in Washington D.C..
  • 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 Heisei incarnation's Three Beings, One Body origin being reimagined as the MonsterVerse incarnation's Multiple Head Case, 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 Ghidorah's Vampiric Draining bite and Death Ghidorah's ability to absorb energy, albeit this time it is electricity.
    • Lastly, like the Anime King Ghidorah a year prior, he can manipulate storms and weather upon his arrival. He seems to have some control over the lightning in question. During their first on-screen battle, Godzilla is hit by a golden lightning bolt from an angle Ghidorah couldn't have spat out of his mouths.
  • Conflict Killer: Once Ghidorah usurps Godzilla's dominance and directs the subordinate Titans to begin ravaging the planet, it leads to pretty much everyone else who was formerly at odds throughout the movie (with the exceptions of Alan Jonah and his troops) working together to take their planet back from King Ghidorah: Monarch, all four branches of the U.S. military (whom were formerly opposed to Monarch and their pro-Godzilla stance), Godzilla, Mothra, all three of the divided Russell family (with Mark Russell putting his rage against Godzilla behind him, and with Emma Russell outright making a Heel–Face Turn after realizing how dangerous Ghidorah is to the planet).
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • In both the previous two films, the MUTOs and the Skullcrawlers were ferocious and an apocalyptic threat, but they were ultimately animals following their instincts to survive; furthermore, in both cases, they mostly match the Anti-Hero Kaiju in a fight due to superior numbers rather than individual superiority. By contrast, Ghidorah is an actively malicious Omnicidal Maniac whose behavior defies nature as we know it and indicates he's truly evil, and in Ghidorah's case it's Godzilla who implicitly needs a second kaiju's back-up or a Home Field Advantage to get one up on Ghidorah.
    • He also serves as this to his previous incarnations: after his first movie, every villainous Ghidorah has somehow or another been Demoted to Dragon even in cases where he's the main monster enemy (even the anime version is entirely reliant on his anchor to function) with the exception of the Rebirth of Mothra 3 Ghidorah. This King Ghidorah is always the one in charge and leading the Alien Invasion instead of being a weapon of it. Previous villainous Ghidorahs also generally only cause mass destruction with their sheer power, whereas while this Ghidorah is incredibly powerful, he's actually smart enough to have his own Evil Plan.
  • 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 apparent Hostile Terraforming of the planet. He isn't pleased at all when Madison briefly thwarts his control over them with the ORCA.
  • Converging-Stream Weapon: 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.
  • Counter-Attack: During the Antarctica battle, Ghidorah at one point waits for Godzilla to fire his Atomic Breath. When he does, Ghidorah's heads dodge the beam thanks to their flexible necks, and they fire back with Gravity Beams while Godzilla is open mid-Atomic Breath, successfully knocking Godzilla down and sending him toppling into a crevasse. Godzilla takes a few lengthy moments to recover.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: He has a trilling shriek that sounds like crazed laughter. It's quite unnerving for a kaiju of his size and stature to have such a shrill voice.
  • Crown-Shaped Head: Each of his three heads is adorned with ten horns, giving them a crown moniker, befitting Ghidorah's King moniker after he usurps Godzilla as the reigning Alpha Titan and befitting his true nature as a creature who is on the same power level as Godzilla in his own right. Furthermore, although it's only visible on closer inspection, each of the heads' horns signifies which head is the most dominant and expressly cruel (Ichi has longer horns as the sadistic leader head, whilst San/Kevin has short and straighter horns as the most submissive and least aggressive head).
  • 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 reduces Ghidorah's wings to their bones; then the second explosion vaporizes his two side heads, leaving only the middle one to experience the wrath of his nemesis. Godzilla next stomps on Ghidorah's chest and causes him to explode, then he grabs the surviving and still-kicking 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 an 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 which is Godzilla's home turf, and later when he unlocks his Super Mode and Mothra stabilizes him, as even when Godzilla got a power boost Ghidorah still managed to turn their fight into his favor fairly quickly.
  • Dark Is Evil: Unlike the other cave paintings in The Stinger of Kong: Skull Island, Ghidorah's is pitch black and he's surrounded by skulls, implying that he's extremely dangerous and maybe even malevolent (which the next movie confirms). He forms pitch-black stormclouds around himself which follow him wherever he goes just by being awake, and if he succeeds in usurping Godzilla and reigning unchecked, he can cover the Earth in stormclouds which will create the practical effect of an impact winter. This is a stark contrast to Mothra's bioluminescence and ability to dissipate stormclouds.
  • David vs. Goliath: Godzilla ends up being the David to Ghidorah's Goliath in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). He is not only physically significantly larger than Godzilla but also equipped with a Super Power Lottery against him.
  • Deconstruction: He serves as this to how his previous incarnations were presented: ever since his first appearance, various villains have managed to take control of Ghidorah and use him as a weapon without much problem. Every single person to try to exploit or control Ghidorah in the Monster'Verse, however, learns the hard way that an incredibly ancient, planet-destroying sapient apocalypse isn't so keen on playing along with their plans, and the best anyone manages is Jonah simply deciding to go with Ghidorah's rampage.
  • Defiant to the End: Zig-Zagged between the three heads when Burning Godzilla shows up, with Ghidorah initially refusing to back down. After Burning Godzilla vaporizes Ghidorah's wings to atoms, the hydra attempts to return fire with all three heads' Gravity Beams: Ichi and Ni fire back furiously, whilst a visibly-frightened San/Kevin does so reluctantly, and this ends up being the defiant Ni and reluctant Kevin's last stand when Burning Godzilla vaporizes both the side-heads. With his brother heads gone, Ichi's body language, his neck movements and the Oh, Crap! when his bodiless head realizes he's caught in Godzilla's jaws visibly indicate he's in frantic panic for the short remainder of his life and just wants to escape, before Godzilla finishes vaporizing Ghidorah.
  • Demon/Devil Distinction: The Devil to Rodan's Demon, being explicitly compared by Monarch to the biblical Devil whereas Rodan is called "the Fire Demon". Despite his elegant appearance, Ghidorah is far more destructive, irredeemable, and all-round purely evil than Rodan; actively and absolutely seeking global destruction, and being impossible to pacify. An extraterrestrial Draconic Abomination of an animal who fell to Earth "from the stars" like a fallen angel, Ghidorah poses a direct singular threat to Godzilla as a rival Alpha Titan, forcing Rodan and nearly every other Titan Monarch has found to submit to his apocalyptic will as his thralls.
  • Destroyer Deity: The Titans are described as The Old Gods, and though Ghidorah isn't the only destructive one, he's considered the worst of them by far. He's the only Destroyer-class Titan who is 100% in the same weight class as Godzilla (enabling him to pose a serious challenge to the big guy on his own and dominate all the other Titans to do his bidding), and he's an Omnicidal Maniac who actively and consciously desires the complete eradication of mankind from the Earth via engineering an extinction event. Whereas the MUTOs are implied to be responsible for mass extinctions in the Earth's prehistory, the movie novelizations explicitly say that if Ghidorah has his way with our world, nothing except for Ghidorah himself and single-celled organisms is likely to survive.
  • Draconic Abomination: A towering three-headed, two-tailed dragon from space, with an insatiable appetite for destruction and physiology that goes completely against the known natural order on Earth. First of all, he can recover unscathed from being frozen solid for centuries. He'd also have to be either Time Abyss-level old or otherwise able to move through space at super-luminal speedsnote , as trying to find life on a habitable world as he did, without knowing where to look, would be like finding a needle in the infinite expanse of space. He breathesnote  but he can No-Sell being completely deprived of oxygen, so he might very well have come to Earth without any kind of shell protecting him from the vacuum of space. He can regenerate large portions of his body, including heads, in a matter of minutes, and if Ichi's demise during the Rasputinian Death is evidence, he can probably regrow his whole body from just one head (as a disembodied head which would only account for less than 10% of his body mass). He can control the weather, ionic energy, and atmospheric conditions; constantly forming a catastrophic, otherworldly tempest around himself from the second he's awoken, and creating further storms which can potentially cover the whole world if he's allowed to reign unchecked. He has three heads with minds of their own that are connected to one body and communicate with each-other telepathically. He can mentally influence and control the lesser Titans on Earth to the point of outright domination, simultaneously driving them into a destructive rampage with his Alpha Call. And what's more, even when Ghidorah is reduced to just a single decomposed skull, that's still enough to retain some aspect of the three-headed dragon's will and malevolence: the upper-skull of San/Kevin's severed head hijacks the manmade Brain/Computer Interface that Apex Cybernetics have built into it and uses it to connect to Mechagodzilla, with it being creepily unclear whether Ghidorah performs full-on Brain Uploading into Mechagodzilla or merely reprograms the Mecha to become hostile. This version of Ghidorah has a lot in common with a certain octopus-headed dragon being.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Subverted. 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 to completely exterminate humanity.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: He looks like a western-style dragon straight out of legend, with three heads, and he's presented as a sinister, malevolent presence who bypasses merely being destructive by virtue of sheer size 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, with red eyes that glint in the dark; 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 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 "fell from the stars" backstory, he's basically the MonsterVerse version of the Devil! This is subtly lampshaded by a conversation where Ilene Chen and Mark Russell discuss the moral distinction between western and eastern dragons (put simply, Godzilla is the eastern dragon).
  • 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." The Monarch scientists themselves, who normally hold the Titans in awe and wonder, go dead silent at the mention of Antarctica where Ghidorah is encased. When Ghidorah first rises, Emma and Madison's faces are full of nothing but horror, in contrast to how everyone reacted to Mothra's birth. Even Rodan has an Oh, Crap! when he first sees Ghidorah (though this doesn't stop him from challenging him). In Godzilla vs. Kong, both Madison and Bernie Hayes are horrified when they discover Apex are using Ghidorah's skull as the hub of Mechagodzilla's neural system.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: His goal is taking over control of the other Titans and devastating the planet with mass extinction-level conditions; and even without the fact Ghidorah's alien origins make him an Enemy to All Living Things who doesn't affect the Earth in a renewing manner, his sadistic streak makes it seem safe to assume he'd make the Earth a very miserable world to live on if anything besides himself survived his apocalypse. The novelization makes it clear that every act Ghidorah commits is motivated purely by sadism.

  • Elemental Absorption: After spotting a power generator, Ichi takes the opportunity to bite down on it, draining the Boston city's electrical grid into Ghidorah to achieve a massive power boost, which causes the tide of the Final Battle to turn in Ghidorah's favor against Godzilla.
  • Energy Absorption: Besides his Elemental Absorption described above, Ghidorah is capable of feeding on radiation like the other Titans, such as when all three heads try to violently suck Mothra's Bequeathed Power out of Godzilla via Vampiric Draining. We can only imagine what Ghidorah would have become if he'd finished draining that power into himself.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: Although all the Titans are capable of causing great destruction merely by existing, their radiation and biological byproducts have regenerative effects on the planet's ecosystems in the long term, meaning that if they aren't actively seeking destruction or Hostile Terraforming ecosystems for themselves then they can actually be entirely beneficial for the planet. Ghidorah however, as an extraterrestrial, does not in any way regenerate the planet's biosphere, and he's an Omnicidal Maniac who actively wants to bring as much destruction to the planet's biosphere as possible.
  • Era-Specific Personality: He's reintroduced in this series as a wrathful and menacing alien, who'll murder anyone or anything in his sights for his malevolent methods, as a form of morbid entertainment just like his Showa counterpart but with his gleeful sick-twisted sadism taken up a notch.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When he's free and a bunch of panicking soldiers ineffectively shoot at him, Ghidorah's reaction makes it clear he doesn't see them as a threat — and then he kills them anyway, showing that he doesn't attack because sees things as a threat, but because he can. This scene also works to establish this King Ghidorah incarnation's Multiple Head Case and the relationships among the three heads: Ghidorah's left head (San/Kevin) in particular responds to being shot at by trying to get a closer look at the soldiers, the middle head (Ichi) promptly shoves Kevin back to get him back in line, and the right head (Ni) chirps a suggestion at Ichi which prompts the dominant head to pull a Slasher Smile (we find out when Ghidorah's gravity beams start charging up just what that suggestion likely was).
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Godzilla. He's The Anti-God to Godzilla's God, with not just the capacity to annihilate human civilization, but the intent to do it.
    • To Mothra in terms of religious symbolism. Ghidorah is a Satanic Archetype, even called the Devil In-Universe, with his physical appearance and role in the story being remindful of the draconic multi-headed Beast from The Bible. Mothra is rather often compared to an angel, being a Messianic Archetype and possibly having a genuine divine nature to herself. Whenever she appears, she produces bright bioluminescence from her body, and also blinding God Rays to beat back Ghidorah's dark stormclouds.
  • Evil Is Angular: All 3 of his snouts are way more stretched out compared to Godzilla's, especially when they're particularly seen from a side view while his chins possess tiny, spiked protrusions underneath, as more of them are visibly seen jutting out of their lower jaws, which greatly convey and brings out more of his villainous expressions.
  • 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 meters taller than Godzilla. He's shown in the Antarctica scene to be about twice the size of Godzilla when standing at his full height with his wings spread.
  • 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's natural order. 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 ostensibly xenoforming the planet to suit his own desire. Humans haven't learned their lesson by Godzilla vs. Kong either, leading to disastrous consequences.
  • Evil Laugh: One of his roars is an updated version of his Showa Era cackling cry, which has traditionally been used to convey this. Most notably is when he emerges from the water after No Selling the Oxygen Destroyer while Godzilla was seemingly killed, giving the impression he knows he's won and is laughing his head off.
  • Evil Overlooker: His character poster depicts him in partial silhouette, towering high and looking down on foregrounded fighter jets.
  • Evil Slinks: His body's and necks' movements are rather fluid and snakelike sometimes.
  • Evil Smells Bad: Justified. The novelization states that Ghidorah's hypercane encroaching on Boston is preceded by a stench like "burning hair and rotten eggs". The latter smell is distinctly associated with hurricanes: it occurs due to the hurricane disturbing sediments in low-flowing waters, which hold the anaerobic bacteria responsible for producing this odor.
  • Evil Virtues: Creativity (using the Titans to destroy their own world and accomplish his goals), Determination (it's implied he'd already been trying and failing for some time to usurp control of the Earth's Titans from Godzilla before he was frozen), Passion (his extreme sadistic streak, as well as the side heads' Hot-Blooded and overly curious tendencies respectively), and Resourcefulness (see Combat Pragmatist).
  • Eviler than Thou: One of the things separating this Ghidorah from most of his previous incarnations: this Ghidorah is nobody's minion, and every other antagonist to challenge or attempt to control him comes to regret it. Rodan, Jonah, Emma, and Apex (specifically Walter Simmons and Ren Serizawa both of whom Ghidorah's reincarnation personally offs) in the sequel all learn this the hard way.
  • Expressive Hair: His horns, which flare with the heads' moods or when he's making an intimidation display.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: There are subtle physical distinctions between the mostly identical-looking three heads, as someone kindly detailed here: the left head has subtly straighter horns than his middle and right heads (which have horns that curve inward and out), probably as a visual motif to highlight this head as the odd one out personality-wise. Furthermore, the shapes and prominence of the heads' noses and "beard" spikes vary between each of them.
  • Fatal Flaw: His excessive bloodlust and his overt hatred of humans are often his undoing. During the Antarctica battle, Ghidorah shifts his attention back to terrorizing the humans on the ground the moment Godzilla topples into a crevasse, which results in him failing to see Monarch's air support incoming until Ichi and San/Kevin take several missiles to their faces, and it gives Godzilla time to get back up. Ghidorah repeats this mistake when going out of his way to fly after the Argo above the Pacific Ocean, allowing Godzilla to blindside the hydra and drag him into the water (Godzilla's Homefield Advantage and Ghidorah's Weaksauce Weakness) and come close to defeating him. When Ghidorah has Madison cornered at Fenway Park, going to the trouble of charging up all three Gravity Beams to vaporize her instead of quickly stomping on her because he's that irate with her buys Madison just enough time for Godzilla's long-range Atomic Breath to floor Ghidorah before he can kill her. And when Emma lies dying, the three heads looming over her as if they're going to savor watching her die slowly for challenging them with the ORCA's signal means they don't notice Burning Godzilla's approach until it's too late, leading to Ghidorah's death.
  • Feathered Serpent: There are various ancient murals displaying the Titan styled with smooth and wavy-looking multiple hairs around his heads as well as having visible whiskers, which gives him the traditional depiction of an Eastern dragon. At one point in production, a CGI model of the left head even has small individual hairs blended in his horns.
  • Fisher King: Justified by his elemental powers: Ghidorah literally causes a massive, howling tempest of fog, black stormclouds, and unearthly yellow lightning to follow him wherever he goes; reflecting his sheer power as a rival Alpha Titan to Godzilla, his purely-destructive nature as an Omnicidal Maniac who wreaks apocalyptic havoc on man and nature alike, and his alien origins. More than that, when Ghidorah is the reigning King of the Monsters during the second half of the movie and he's commanding the Titans to begin destroying the planet in his name, nearly every location the cast visits around the world (from the Yunnan rainforest to the North Atlantic Ocean) is being pelted by gray thunderstorms and torrential downpours, which is reflective both of the superstorm that accompanies Ghidorah and of the havoc he's currently wreaking on nature using the Titans (a.k.a. living forces of nature). A brief remark by Dr. Stanton in the movienote  hints, and the novelization more explicitly confirms, that the worldwide stormy weather is indeed being caused by Ghidorah In-Universe as part of his efforts to clear the planet once he becomes the reigning alpha. Ghidorah might actually be deliberately invoking this trope during the global apocalypse, since Stanton speculates that he's reshaping the planet in his own image.
  • Foil:
    • To he’s one 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.
    • Also to Mothra. They're both intelligent, sentient, and powerful airborne Titans with high-pitched wailing vocalizations, they both influence the weather with their presence (Mothra clears up stormy weather when her cocoon hatches, whereas Ghidorah creates catastrophic tempests), and both of them have certain natural ways of cheating certain death (Healing Factor for Ghidorah, plus his severed left head's decayed remains retain at least some of his consciousness, Born-Again Immortality for Mothra). Though that's about where their direct similarities end and give way to contrasts. Ghidorah is reptilian and Mothra insectoid. Mothra has a culture of human worshippers who've survived in some form to the present day, whereas Ghidorah is the Unperson. Mothra is very benevolent towards other life including humans, whereas Ghidorah is a Sadist Omnicidal Maniac. Life and hope are drawn to Mothra, whereas Ghidorah brings as much death and destruction as he can. Mothra produces mainly teal-colored lights and has multiple colors, whereas Ghidorah solely produces yellow-colored light and has yellow and gold colors. Mothra is initially reborn in a rainforest in the northern hemisphere whereas Ghidorah reawakens in Antarctica. One has a symbiotic relationship and possible genuine emotional connection to Godzilla, while the other is Godzilla's Arch-Enemy. One barely defeated Rodan while the other more or less Curb-Stomped him. Mothra possesses her allies (Godzilla) via symbiosis and common goals, whereas Ghidorah possesses his (Rodan and the awakened Titans) through domination. Even the elements they're meant to represent are opposites.
  • For the Evulz: He shows multiple signs of committing senseless malice for its own sake throughout the movie. Even assuming per Stanton's theory that Ghidorah is trying to destroy the world because he needs to xenoform it into a more habitable environment for himself, the three-headed hydra seems to despise humanity just for existing: his first reaction to the G-Team firing at him in Antarctica makes it clear he doesn't see us as a threat, yet Ghidorah repeatedly goes out of his way to intentionally attack any humans he sees even when doing so is relatively impractical for him (such as during the Antarctica battle, where he takes his attention off of Godzilla in favor of going back to terrorizing the humans within seconds of Godzilla temporarily tumbling into a crevasse). The novelization outright says Ghidorah lives for killing, and it portrays him as a creature of pure cruelty and rage. It's even briefly speculated by Mark Russell in the novel that Ghidorah isn't really xenoforming Earth at all but simply desires the annihilation of all other life in and of itselfnote .
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Slightly downplayed in this case. Small arms fire predictably does little more than catch Ghidorah's attention if anything, but ballistic missiles can at least irritate him and even distract him, though that's about the full extent to which conventional manmade weaponry can demonstrably harm Ghidorah.
  • Giant Eye of Doom: The movie trailers depict Madison slowly turning around to see all three of Ghidorah's heads looming on a screen behind her, one eye on each head turned towards her. In the film proper, this shot occurs in the Fenway Park scene, when the heads have pinpointed the ORCA's exact location in the press box and are glaring in through the box's viewing windows. Then Ichi narrows his visible eye at Madison in an unambiguous Death Glare.
  • Giant Flyer: The very biggest of the three flyers. In fact, he's one of the biggest in the history of the franchise.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: While Ghidorah and Godzilla are grappling in and above Fenway Park, Ghidorah's foot unintentionally stomps on and destroys the Osprey that Mark Russell and the G-Team have flown into the stadium, leaving them with no way out of the chaos except on foot, until Emma shows up in a Humvee.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: His red eyes often glint brightly in a certain light to the point where they appear to be glowing, even in dark environments such as when Ghidorah is looming in front of the Argo inside his hypercane. Ghidorah's eyes are clearly glowing along with his necks when he's sucking Godzilla's power dry in Boston.
  • God of Thunder: Ghidorah has a lot of characteristics that make him one of these; he is a Physical God (even by Titan standards) whose primary means of attack is breathing condensed bolts of lightning, and he literally rides a storm so fierce that it can cover half a continent.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: Ghidorah's scales are almost entirely golden, and his Gravity Beams take the form of golden lightning bolts. He's also at least as powerful as Godzilla, his Bizarre Alien Biology enables him to defy the laws of science as we understand them to an extent beyond even the Titans' usual standards (even cheating death through his severed head's skull); and overall, he's one of the most powerful (if not the single most powerful) Titans by far. The MonsterVerse incarnation of the Golden Demise also has the distinction of being the only Titan antagonist thus far to actually succeed in usurping Godzilla or Kong, even if only temporarily and with a significant assist from the military.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: His enormous golden bat-like wings are powerful and intimidating, in contrast to the colorful and divine wings of Mothra.
  • 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, indicating 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 Zmei, 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.
  • Harmless Freezing: King Ghidorah was frozen in Antarctic ice sometime in the past, yet it appears to have done nothing to slow him down once he escapes. Justified, as he has an insane Healing Factor, as well as not needing oxygen to survive, being a space creature.
  • 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 severed appendages in seconds (at least, if there's a source of energy/radiation handy). During his second tussle with Godzilla, Ghidorah's 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 proceeds to Rodan's volcanonote  and regrows his lost head in less than a minute. During the Final Battle, Ghidorah is visibly regenerating holes torn in his wings in one shot, directly after rapidly absorbing Boston's citywide power supply for a Beam Spam (he's presumably using the leftover absorbed energy in his body to mend the damage). It's also worth noting that Ghidorah's central head is still alive and kicking when that head and a bit of neck are literally all that's left of Ghidorah at the battle's end (unlike the earlier-severed left head, which decomposed to a skull and became an Undead Abomination by Godzilla vs. Kong), indicating that head is the source of Ghidorah's life-force or healing factor and implying that Ghidorah might have been able to regenerate just from a severed middle head if Godzilla hadn't finished the head off by vaporizing itit's speculated in the King of the Monsters novelization that Ghidorah might be able to grow new bodies from dismembered pieces.
  • Helicopter Flyswatter: During the Boston battle, he sends one or two helicopters crashing to the ground with his sheer weight and size while he's engaging Godzilla. Then when he's powered up by draining the city's power grid, Ghidorah's skyward Beam Spam spontaneously destroys almost every remaining aircraft flying above the city, choppers included.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Have a listen here. His roar sounds like a mix of his Showa chirps, his Heisei screeches, and his Millenium roars rolled into one and made more sinister.
  • Hero Killer: He kills Mothra by incinerating her with a massive burst of gravity beams, and he's also responsible for Vivienne Graham and Emma Russell's deaths.
  • Horns of Villainy: A trope he shares with his Dragon Rodan (with Ghidorah being the worse of the two); Ghidorah has five horns on either side of each head, whilst the heroic Godzilla and Mothra don't have any horns. The horns are also each head's distinguishing characteristic, as the leader middle head's horns are slightly longer than the other two, the battle-thirsty right head has a chipped left horn, and the docile, dim-witted left head's horns are less curvy than the other two heads'.
  • The Horseshoe Effect: Ghidorah's end goals make him similar to the MUTOs (see Meet the New Boss), but whereas the MUTOs were Non-Malicious Monsters who merely wanted to live out their natural life cycles, Ghidorah is genuinely sadistic and malevolent.
  • Hostile Terraforming:
    • Upon becoming aware of Ghidorah's extraterrestrial origin, Dr. Stanton speculates that the purpose of his global destruction — which the movie makes clear will eradicate humanity and cause rapid mass extinction, and which both the Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong novelizations explicitly state will likely cause the eradication of ALL multicellular life sans Ghidorah — is that he's probably reshaping the planet to suit his own likings. In the novelization, that's the theory the characters run with, although Mark at one point inwardly suspects that perhaps Ghidorah's end-goals for killing everything are much simpler.
    • During the aforementioned global apocalypse, Ghidorah also inflicts this trope on a regional scale when he makes Washington D.C. his roost: his expanding tempest (which his continued presence is anchoring over the city) inundates D.C. with water-spouts and floodwaters deep enough for a battleship to sail through, and the buildingtops high enough to stand above the water are scorched by either the superstorm's constant lightning or Ghidorah's Gravity Beams, turning the capital of the United States into a hellscape in which no human life can live.
  • Humiliation Conga: Sort-of during the Boston battle. Godzilla returns seemingly from the dead to reclaim his kingship from Ghidorah, halting the latter's Near-Villain Victory. Ghidorah succeeds in killing Mothra, but she imbues Godzilla with her radiation; the very humans Ghidorah loves killing so much and who are usually hopeless against him, successfully distract him from finishing his mortal enemy off until it's too late for the dragon; and then Ghidorah gets a merciless Rasputinian Death served to him by Godzilla using his Super Mode which Mothra unlocked.
  • 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. It's also worth noting, Ghidorah's side-heads are both destroyed for the last time before Ghidorah's death by white-hot pulses (similar to how cauterization stopped the hydra's extra heads regenerating in the Greek myth).
  • Informed Attribute: It gets mentioned early in the film that Ghidorah is the Unperson due to ancient civilizations seeming almost too scared to write anything about him and seemingly trying to forget about him altogether. Besides how Dr. Chen later in the film pieces together a myth of Ghidorah's origin in seemingly short time, the Unperson aspect really doesn't come across in supplementary materials and the novelization, which indicate Ghidorah is the source and inspiration of a lot of well-known ancient myths and legends around the world.
  • 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 when he's directing the Titan attacks), and as Emma Russell and Alan Jonah don't know this, they still call him Monster Zero.
  • Introduced Species Calamity: Dr. Stanton compares him to an invasive species once his origins come to light. Unlike the other Titans, many of whom have a Fertile Feet effect where they go and are capable of maintaining the world's equilibrium if a benevolent Alpha Titan keeps them in line, Ghidorah as an extraterrestrial superspecies that fell to Earth is incompatible with our planet's established natural order. His presence outright harms the planet's ecosphere without bringing any kind of renewal, and his goals upon becoming the reigning King of the Monsters are to create a global extinction event – according to the novelizations, if Ghidorah completed his destructive goals, everything on Earth except for Ghidorah and bacteria would have died.
  • It Can Think: Generally, Ghidorah comes across as being just as intelligent, tactical, and aware of his environment (and of humans when taking an interest) as Godzilla is; yet unlike Godzilla, he's genuinely sadistic and evil. His heads' distinguishing quirks and them "talking" to each-other in the Antarctica scene make Ghidorah seem more like a character (well, three characters) who happen to be a giant hydra-dragon, his body language makes it clear he mutually despises Godzilla beyond having a rivalry for survival, and the slasher smiles which all three heads have displayed at some point or another while Ghidorah is doing something devious make it clear that he's aware of the havoc he causes and actively relishes it. Ghidorah is also attuned to and understands bio-acoustic long-range communication like the other Titans, recognizing the ORCA signal as a challenge to his dominance. See the heads' folder for more details.
  • It's All About Me: It's speculated that his motives for trying to wipe out life on Earth are xenoforming the planet, whilst Mark suspects at one point in the novelization that he's really motivated by a simplistic sheer hatred of all other life. Either way, Ghidorah is actively trying to raze the planet's biosphere for nobody's benefit but his own, and in fact relishes in how this negatively affects everyone who isn't him.
  • It's Personal: Beyond vying for dominance, Ghidorah and Godzilla seem to genuinely hate each-other, and one gets the impression that they have an unknown history almost like two cowboys standing off in a western. Godzilla looks outright pissed when he sees Ghidorah free of his prison, whilst Ghidorah's middle head roars defiantly back at his Arch-Enemy before performing an intimidation display and charging him. See the heads' folder for more details.

  • Karmic Death: After killing Mothra, nearly succeeding in torturing Godzilla to death, and killing pretty much all human life he encounters just For the Evulz and attempting to end the vast majority of life on Earth for his own desires; Ghidorah suffers a merciless Rasputinian Death at the hands of Burning Godzilla who's empowered by Mothra's ashes (and implicitly by her spirit). What's more, the very humans who Ghidorah was gleefully exterminating are responsible for distracting Ghidorah from finishing Godzilla off before the latter could go Burning mode because Ghidorah's omnicidal intentions have just made him a complete Conflict Killer for most of the human cast and the benevolent Titans.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: The novelization version of the Washington D.C. battle portrays King Ghidorah taking a military battle cruiser out of the battle for good by snapping it in half, and then using his Gravity Beams to obliterate the bisected cruiser's remains. The book calls attention to how Ghidorah didn't need to do this, but just did it because taking the ship out on its own wasn't pleasing enough for him.
  • Kill All Humans: Ghidorah loves sadistically killing humans whenever he sees us, to a point where he goes out of his way to resume terrorizing the Monarch brass in Antarctica when he has Godzilla only briefly downed. Notably, whilst Ghidorah's actions wreak apocalyptic havoc on nature and threaten to overall wipe the Earth clean of life, Ghidorah and the Titans under his command seem to prioritize destroying humanity's cities personally (with Ghidorah turning Washington D.C. into a roost for himself), and one gets the impression that he has something against our species in particular; especially when compared with how Ghidorah is at least willing to enslave the Titans of our world to his will instead of killing them outright. In the novelization, Serizawa speculates that this trait will reduce whatever slim chance the human race has of surviving Ghidorah's apocalypse in some shape or form to zero: because of Ghidorah's unnatural hostility towards humans, any survivors of the initial global onslaught and disasters, no matter how deeply hidden, will eventually be rooted out and exterminated.
  • Klingon Promotion: Technically averted in King Ghidorah's case, as it was the Oxygen Destroyer that took out Godzilla during their fight. The fact Ghidorah technically never even killed Godzilla without outside aid is another reason why he can be called the False King when he becomes the reigning King of the Monsters.
  • Knight of Cerebus: He's built up like 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. Although the three heads' bickering and the left head's subtle bumbling adds just a dash of black comedy, mostly the tone of the movie takes a much darker turn the moment Ghidorah appears onscreen.
  • Large and in Charge: Ghidorah towers over all the other monsters in the MonsterVerse thus far, and he briefly succeeds in usurping Godzilla's position as the King of the Monsters. Among his three heads, the middle one (who is the leader of the trio) tends to hold its neck higher than the other two and it has slightly longer horns than them.
  • Lean and Mean: His physique is rather slender, scraggly, and rawboned (albeit in a muscular variant) despite being the largest monster in the film while also being the most heinous and cruelest Titan imaginable. His design seems to heavily contrast Godzilla's. Even though King Ghidorah is way more enormous than him, he's slimmer and has a body suited for flight while Godzilla is smaller but has a wider, sturdier, and bulkier look that makes him more grounded.
  • 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.
  • Light Is Not Good: He's a golden three-headed dragon who produces torrents of yellow lightning from his body and within the massive hurricane that he forms around himself. He's also the most truly malevolent Titan in the MonsterVerse, a "living extinction event" who actively threatens all complex life on Earth if allowed to reign unchecked.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Obvious pun aside, he is the largest kaiju to appear in the MonsterVerse movies thus far, and he's not slowed down by it when it comes to combat, especially with his heads' agile necks. To reinforce the "lightning" aspect, though Rodan is a more acrobatic flyer than this gigantic three-headed serpent, Ghidorah is still able to fly at a greater speed than any natural storm. To reinforce the "bruiser" aspect, due to Ghidorah's sheer size and strength, he's no slouch in combat; fully capable of trading blows with, and even overpowering, Godzilla himself.
  • Lightning Reveal: When the Argo flies through Ghidorah's storm towards him with Rodan in pursuit, Rodan has an Oh, Crap! reaction and pulls back. Cut to pitch-blackness in front of the Argo, until lightning flashes reveal Ghidorah's huge silhouette flying directly in front of the carrier.
  • Logical Weakness: Ghidorah is a powerhouse, easily able to fight and kill the likes of Godzilla, but he cannot swim. This especially comes to bite him in the ass when Godzilla ambushes him in Mexico, dragging him into the ocean and mercilessly savaging him. Word of God agrees that Godzilla would've won that fight if not for the Oxygen Destroyer's intervention. It's also almost poetic that a monster that creates lightning storms — which require hot weather to form in real life — is indefinitely incapacitated by being frozen in ice before human intervention frees him.
  • Losing Your Head: When Godzilla reduces Ghidorah to just his middle head, the bodiless head continues to roar and frantically try to escape Godzilla's jaws until he incinerates it — possibly justified by Bizarre Alien Biology. Downplayed with the decapitated left head — externally, it appears dead, and its flesh has decomposed to leave just the skull by the time of Godzilla vs. Kong, but it retains its telepathic capabilities (which Apex Cybernetics exploit to create a psionic uplink), and it turns out that some of Ghidorah's consciousness lives on through the skull when it takes over Mechagodzilla's AI.
  • Mad God: In the novelization, Mark Russell briefly regards Ghidorah as such when he's contemplating the malevolent and destructive Titan's motives for trying to create global mass extinction. Whereas Dr. Stanton suspects that Ghidorah's motives are xenoforming the Earth in his own image, Mark at this point passingly wonders if Ghidorah really just desires total destruction in and of itself.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The three heads' names — Ichi, Ni, and San — mean One, Two, and Three in Japanese, but they also denote the order of most to least intelligent head.
    • The "King" in his name carries particular relevance with this incarnation (see Mythology Gag).
    • His alternative title, The One Who Is Many, fits both his Multiple Head Case and his use of other Titans as extensions of his will.
  • Meet the New Boss: His goal of wiping out entire ecosystems and creating extinction-level conditions, ostensibly with the goal of xenoforming Earth to his liking, is similar to what Godzilla: Aftershock portrays the MUTOs' species as being liable to do (it's speculated that a MUTO brood will destroy or reshape entire ecosystems until resources are depleted), but whereas the MUTOs have no higher motive than living out their natural life cycle regardless of how it affects other species, Ghidorah is genuinely malevolent and actively enjoys the torment and destruction he's causing. With this in mind, it seems like the MUTOs were foreshadowing Ghidorah's coming and goals.
  • Mind Hive: It's implied his heads function this way. While the heads do fight and quarrel at times, Ghidorah never acts erratic or with conflicting movements, and the heads can work disturbingly in sync with each other when there's something other than squabbling to occupy them. More to the spirit of this trope, however, is that Ghidorah's biology means while the three heads each demonstrate their own personality, their brains aren't where the consciousnesses are centralized; rather, Ghidorah's neurons are scattered throughout his entire body (the director stated this is why Kevin regenerates with his memories and personality intact after Godzilla tears him off). It's mentioned in Godzilla vs. Kong that Ghidorah's heads communicated with each other telepathically.
  • The Misophonic: He reacts to the sound of the ORCA being activated with instant, murderous rage. Beyond Ghidorah perceiving the device's acoustics (which mimic a Titan's bio-acoustics including his own to effectively communicate with Titans) as a challenger which threatens his dominance on Earth, Madison playing the ORCA's signal on overdrive in Antarctica causes Ghidorah to writhe and screech in clear pain and disorientation, and Ghidorah is the only Titan, Alpha or otherwise, who's shown having such an extreme reaction to the device. The device's final activation in Boston drives Ghidorah to immediately abandon killing a weakened Godzilla, heads shrieking as he does so, and relentlessly pursue the source of the ORCA signal through the ruins; trying to kill it and howling in fury.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: His twin tails rattle like a rattlesnake, his wing-spreading posture is a threat display of many birds of prey, and the dominant and submissive behavior of his three heads is similar to pack behavior in wolves.
  • Monster in the Ice: He was discovered by Monarch frozen in a millennia-old Antarctic glacier, before he's awakened by eco-terrorists.
  • Monster Lord: He's an Alpha Titan in his own right, existing in the same weight class as Godzilla, Kong and Mothra, and being capable of dominating lesser Titans. After overpowering Rodan and surviving being hit by the Oxygen Destroyer, Ghidorah becomes the de facto King of the Monsters with Godzilla unable to oppose his quest for domination, and he promptly wakes the seventeen known Titans and drives them to begin destroying as much of the planet as possible, with Rodan in particular serving as Ghidorah's vanguard. He's ultimately dethroned by Godzilla.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Downplayed. Ghidorah's heads each mainly have a single row of teeth, but tiny secondary teeth are visible poking out of the gums in a few uneven places; they're also more clearly visible on Ghidorah's skinless skull in Godzilla vs. Kong.
  • Multiple Head Case: Something which sets this Ghidorah incarnation apart from others, sans the Godzilland incarnation, is that his three heads each have personalities of their own, and they occasionally squabble or get into physical altercations with each-other like bickering brothers. The middle head Ichi is the leader, the most intelligent, and the most prominently malicious of the three; the right head Ni (Ghidorah's right, our left) is the angriest, most battle-thirsty head and he's bitter that he isn't the leader head; and the left head San/Kevin (Ghidorah's left, our right) is the most playful, curious, childlike, submissive and clumsy of the three heads, often getting pushed around and berated by the middle head. It's driven home by the fact three separate motion capture actors portrayed each head. Despite the squabbling between the heads, when Ghidorah is in a serious fight then the heads become very well-coordinated. Ghidorah in this iteration can also regenerate his heads from the body if they're cut off, with the head's original personality intact according to the director.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: He also has two tails to go with his three heads, fitting with his real-world origin as inspired by Yamata-no-Orochi.
  • 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 — Word of God states this was a deliberate reference to The Thing (1982). The Godzilla vs. Kong novelization states that the Vile Vortex to the Hollow Earth that Monarch has found in Antarctica is no more than a few miles away from where Ghidorah was frozen, leaving Monarch to speculate on whether or not Ghidorah was headed to the vortex when he got frozen.
  • Mysterious Past: His Monarch Sciences bio describes his origins as ancient but unknown. Monarch eventually deduce after piecing together what little legends there are about him that he must be an alien lifeform, but it's still unknown how Ghidorah came to Earth, where he originally came from before crossing the stars, and if there are others of his species out there.
  • 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 usually simply called "Ghidorah" (though all marketing and supplemental materials call him King Ghidorah). But his eventual status as the Alpha among the Titans essentially makes him a literal King — the military seem to be aware of this.
    • Before he lands in Boston where Madison is using the ORCA inside of the football stadium, his infamous flying sound effect from the Showa series can be actually heard but it's extremely faint.
    • At one point where Godzilla and Ghidorah tussle for supremacy a third time he briefly lets out a screech from his Heisei incarnation.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "The Death Song of Three Storms" is not exactly the name of anything good.
  • Natural Disaster Cascade: Upon usurping Godzilla as alpha of the Earth's Titans, Ghidorah uses his Weather Manipulation to spread massive storms over the planet, whilst commanding the other Titans to wreak ecosystem-obliterating mass destruction in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other severe disasters. The novelization notes Ghidorah's spreading storms on their own could cause mass extinction in a matter of months at most, but with the other Titans rampaging globally at his command, the likeliest outcome is all non-bacterial life on Earth besides Ghidorah perishing faster than they can adapt to Ghidorah's new world. In fact, the filmmakers of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) intended Ghidorah to be a metaphor for Global Warming.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Twice.
    • Basically, the entire second half of the movie is this trope in the bigger picture: Godzilla being crippled by the Oxygen Destroyer, achieves Ghidorah's goal of usurping his dominance of the other Titans by default. And the three-headed hydra promptly awakens the monsters around the world, commanding them to rampage in his name; decimating human cities and threatening to plunge the planet into the extinction event Ghidorah desires, and Mothra and humanity are initially hopeless to stop him with Godzilla out of action.
    • During the Final Battle, the tide rapidly turns in King Ghidorah's favor after he absorbs the Boston power grid whilst Godzilla's power boost begins causing him to "crash". He manages to beat down and severely injure Godzilla, kills Mothra, and then begins Vampiric Draining Mothra's Bequeathed Power out of Godzilla before the latter can achieve his Burning mode. Only the Russells using the ORCA to divert Ghidorah's attention stops Earth's last hope from perishing there and then.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Although his goal was to end all life on Earth, after he's completely destroyed, the numerous Titans he awakened remain awake, now answering to Godzilla as their new alpha, and are healing the damage to Earth's ecosystems not only caused by Ghidorah but also by humanity beforehand. Bear in mind, before this, Monarch was on its last legs short of being shut down by the anti-Titan military and government, and with all the Titans awake and ready to defend themselves but overall being kept in line by Godzilla, delusions of the military euthanizing the Titans in their sleep (and likely screwing the Earth's future overall) are now a pipe dream.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: In addition to the usual reasons; Ghidorah has an insane Healing Factor that allows him to regenerate from damage that would kill any other Titan, as well as a decentralized nervous system and Bizarre Alien Biology that mean, so long as any sufficiently large chunk of him with enough neurons survives, Ghidorah isn't completely dead. Even reduced to half a decapitated skull, some vestige of Ghidorah's consciousnesses is able to survive, reincarnate into Mechagodzilla and return to being a threat. Destroying every last piece of Ghidorah is the only surefire way to make sure he's gone for good.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Upon becoming the reigning King of the Monsters, he begins spreading massive storm systems all over the planet, darkening skies with thunderstorms and torrential rain. The novelization notes that if this keeps up for months or even just weeks, the dramatic decrease in sunlight alone will have the practical effect of a nuclear/volcanic/impact winter, causing plant life to die off, followed by everything above them in the food chain.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: Downplayed. Ghidorah is revealed to be an ancient creature who's apparently not even from our planet, and he has no problem surviving in Earth's atmosphere (and can even breathe it, as he produces fogged breath in Antarctica). However, he's the only lifeform that demonstrably isn't fazed at all by the Oxygen Destroyer's effects, which were explicitly designed to exterminate all lifeforms within the blast radius, and which prove to be enough to annihilate the marine habitat next to Isla de Mara and even severely cripple Godzilla himself).
  • Nonchalant Dodge: During the Antarctica battle, Godzilla fires his Atomic Breath at Ghidorah, but San/Kevin's sharp eye has noticed Godzilla's charge building in advance: when Godzilla fires, Ghidorah's long necks enable Ichi and San/Kevin to fluidly move their heads a couple of inches (more like a few dozen feet given the scale) away from the beam before promptly firing back with their Gravity Beams.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: When he's first shown as a cave painting for The Stinger of Kong: Skull Island as an Early-Bird Cameo, he's depicted with each of his three heads having strands of feathery-like manes that extends in length at around the upper sections of their necks, likely as a nod to the Showa incarnation being depicted with manes. In his actual film appearance in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), none of Ghidorah's heads possess any actual manes — official models indicate that Ghidorah was designed with tendril manes, but they were removed from the model at the very last minute, and even then, the manes were left in one shot of the finished film when Ghidorah is at Isla de Mara.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Subtle distinguishing traits exist in all the heads, but there are some which are each unique to one head. The middle head (who happens to be the leader) has two rows of spines on its neck, while both the other heads have a single row of spines each. Meanwhile, the left head (who happens to be the trio's least efficient/malicious member) has straighter horns than the other two.
  • 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, implicitly because Ghidorah is an extraterrestrial Titan who is unlike any lifeform on Earth.
  • Not Enough to Bury: Ghidorah's Healing Factor is so powerful that 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, with Godzilla vs. Kong confirming that his malevolent subconsciousness lives on in the head's skull.
  • Not Even Human: Ghidorah is a variation of this. After he's released, he immediately proves to be unnaturally sadistic and malicious, in contrast to the other Titans who can be hostile or benevolent but are all ultimately animals with animal instinct. The effect increases halfway through the film when Ghidorah No-Sells the Oxygen Destroyer (which brought Godzilla to the brink of death) and when his unnatural Healing Factor is revealed. Monarch discovers from analyzing ancient texts that Ghidorah is an alien not from Earth, which also means he does not in any way have a renewing effect on Earth's biosphere like most of the Titans do but instead he acts as a planetary invasive species.
  • Nothing but Skulls: The very last cave painting for The Stinger of Kong: Skull Island shows a confrontation between Godzilla and Ghidorah, as the latter's side is shown to have plenty of skulls (which are rather large compared to the drawn humans) placed on a hillside from he's standing for unspecified reasons, other than to possibly display his bloodlust and cruelty to others who'll witness the ancient recording.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We don't know anything about this Ghidorah incarnation's Mysterious Past before he came to Earth. However, Ghidorah's powerful and excessively sadistic nature leaves enough up to the imagination concerning the questions of where he came from originally, as described under Fridge Horror here.
  • Octopoid Aliens: Downplayed. Whilst the three-headed Draconic Abomination which originated in Japanese media doesn't look at all like an octopus – with the closest visual approximation to an octopus trait he has being his possession of a few extra appendages (two extra heads and an extra tail) – the director explicitly said that Ghidorah's displays of Bizarre Alien Biology are based on an octopus'; and Ghidorah is just as much an extraterrestrial here as he is in most iterations. Like octopi, Ghidorah has a de-centralized nervous system which leaves his neurons scattered throughout his body; much like an octopus' tentacles, Ghidorah's heads are capable of operating autonomously to the point of developing distinct personality traits; and also like an octopus, Ghidorah can regenerate lost appendages, while the severed pieces can still retain some cognitive functions on their own.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He's described as being a "living extinction event", and for good reason. He surrounds himself with a ferocious, lightning-filled super-typhoon that follows him wherever he goes and evolves into a "Category 6" hypercane, but upon taking over as alpha of the Earth's Titans, Ghidorah actively seeks to create destruction that will cause a global Class 5note  on the Apocalypse How scale. He instigates the other Titans to actively tear apart humanity's cities and engulf the world in a global Natural Disaster Cascade, causing entire ecosystems to perish faster than the Earth-native Titans' Fertile Feet can regenerate them and faster than any non-bacterial lifeform can adapt, plus Ghidorah himself expands his Weather Manipulation to blanket the planet's atmosphere in even more perpetual storms besides his hurricane. Worse yet, Serizawa speculates in the Godzilla: King of the Monsters novelization that Ghidorah will promptly repeat his destructive campaign in the Hollow Earth once he is done asserting himself on the Earth's surface, with the Godzilla vs. Kong novelization all but confirming that Ghidorah at least had knowledge of the Hollow Earth's existence. The main theory about Ghidorah's motives is that he's xenoforming the planet to his own liking, although Mark Russell in the novelization at one point wonders if Ghidorah really just wants to kill every living thing that isn't him as an end-goal in and of itself.
  • One Myth to Explain Them All: He was apparently the basis for many mythical creatures throughout various ancient cultures, with the novelization listing a host of various myths, legends, and tales which Ghidorah seems to have had an influence on, from Proto-Indo-European Chaoskampf-derived myth (Greek Hydra, Norse Jörmugandr, Persian Aži Dahāka, Hindu Vritra) to Shinto Yamata-no-Orochi (which was heavily influenced by the Vedic branch of Indo-European religion) to the Australian Rainbow Serpent (whose civilization had no contact with any Indo-European civilization in the pre-modern era). The remote Taza of Highland New Guinea have a myth about Mandandare Aquenomba which seems to describe Ghidorah with disturbing accuracy, calling him a younger son from somewhere else who came to the world seeking his own territory. That particular shot in the film with the volcano and Dr. Graham's promo material notes suggest the literal Devil might actually be humanity's diluted memory of him...
  • Our Dragons Are Different: A three-headed, two-tailed draconic kaiju. From the moment he wakes up, his presence generates nightmarish, yellow-themed tempests. He's also a literal alien, having fallen to Earth thousands of years ago, and is attempting to remake the Earth's environment to his own liking. He and Godzilla are at one point subtly compared to western and eastern iterations of dragons, respectively (guess which iteration is the evil kind).
  • Our Hydras Are Different: A giant, three-headed reptile capable of regrowing severed heads, although they do not increase in number. The middle head seems to be the main source of Ghidorah's Healing Factor (as it was still alive and kicking when that head and a bit of neck were literally all that was left of Ghidorah, whereas the earlier-severed left head is revealed to be (un)dead and rotting); similar to the Lernaean hydra's single immortal head in Greek mythology. Ghidorah's blood isn't known to be poisonous, but it does have a poison-evocative color. There's also Ghidorah's extreme sadistic streak when it comes to eating and killing humans. Unlike the original hydra, Ghidorah doesn't fare well in water.
  • Our Wyverns Are Different: This iteration of King Ghidorah notably averts its classic Armless Biped portrayal, being able to fold its wings to trek on surfaces like a bat.
  • Outside-Context Problem: In-Universe! Monarch is puzzled by Ghidorah's uncharacteristic malice, and his unusual powers such as his Healing Factor, which they describe in-film as "biologically impossible". When they find legends that claim Ghidorah is a "great dragon who fell from the stars", they deduce he must be some kind of extraterrestrial lifeform, which is why he's so different from the other Titans on Earth. It's also what derails Emma's plan. Even though she's got a point about the Earth's Titans restoring the ecological balance, Ghidorah is not part of that balance, and his awakening is the complete opposite of a good thing for the Earth's biosphere.
  • Perpetual Storm: Once he's awoken, he generates a Perpetual Hurricane filled with yellow lightning around himself which follows him wherever he goes and gets more and more powerful the longer he's active. Once he takes over as the ruling alpha from Godzilla and leads the Titans toward creating an extinction event, Ghidorah's effects on the weather begin spreading offshoot storms around the globe, and it's overall suggested that if he hadn't been stopped, he would've enveloped the entire planet in endless storms. Kingdom Kong reveals that a perpetual superstorm made by Ghidorah during his passage by Isla de Mara has been raging in the same spot for years since his death, before Camazotz causes it to shift location and permanently merge with Skull Island's own perpetual storm system.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: He is described as a "living extinction event" in viral marketing, and it's no exaggeration. He can fire all-destroying electrical Gravity Beams from his mouths; when he's supercharged by Boston's power grid, he fires lightning arcs from his wings which spontaneously and utterly decimate Godzilla's aerial military backup in one fell swoop; and he generates massive hurricanes which in turn spawn thunderstorms, tornadoes and water-spouts around Ghidorah's vicinity. His hurricane gets larger and stronger the longer he generates it, eventually resulting in a Category 6; and it's heavily implied in the movie, and explicitly confirmed in the novelization, that this hurricane gradually evolves into a supercell generating more storm systems. Mark thinks in the novel that if the storms continue to expand, Ghidorah could essentially blanket the entire planet in a perpetual hurricane which would wipe out all life as we know it even without the other Titans aiding the destruction.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: Implied. It's only a very subtle hint, but the King of the Monsters novelization at one point seems to suggest that Ghidorah might have caused the Permian-Triassic extinction event (a.k.a. the Great Dying, which wiped out 80-90% of all life at the time and is considered the single most severe extinction event in Earth's known history), and worse yet it retroactively sounds like the event might've merely been caused by Ghidorah's landing as a meteorite.
  • Physical God: Being Godzilla's chief rival and being a nigh-unkillable Draconic Abomination who forms massive hurricanes just by being awake and can single-handedly engineer global mass extinction, Ghidorah qualifies for this trope even amongst the Titans. He's so strong, in fact, that Godzilla needs to get a Super Mode to finally put him down.
  • Power Glows: His necks glow with light when he's charging up his electrical Breath Weapon — think Smaug, but with lightning instead of fire. Another shot of him firing from one head shows the attached neck is glowing there as well. It fits with how Godzilla and Mothra light up in various ways when charging their built-in energy weapons (i.e., Godzilla's dorsal plates and Mothra's wings), 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.
  • Prehensile Tails: Uses his twin tails to grapple and lift Godzilla off the ground.
  • Psycho Electro / Shock and Awe: The viral marketing associates him with electricity, and of all the Titans, he's by far the most malevolent. His Gravity Beam attack takes the form of yellow lightning streams surging from his mouths, and from the moment he's awoken, he begins forming a lightning-filled superstorm which follows him wherever he goes. Plus, 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.

  • Rasputinian Death: In the battle of Boston, Ghidorah is mauled half a dozen times by Big G, blasted again and again by a super-charged atomic breath, and thrown into buildings and the foundation of the city. Burning Godzilla vents nuclear heat with enough force to level Boston twice, resulting in Ghidorah's wings and side heads being incinerated by the blasts, and after that he still has to stomp on Ghidorah's still-alive body and point-blank him with another blast of nuclear heat; and after that, Godzilla finally roasts the remaining and still-kicking head with an atomic breath which goes up the head's neck from the cut while it's held in Godzilla's jaws and explodes it from the inside-out. Justified, as Ghidorah's insane Healing Factor practically requires his death to be this.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: By the time that he's taken up roost in Washington D.C., Ghidorah's body-surrounding tempest, which was originally mistaken for a mundane cyclone, has rapidly evolved into what Colonel Foster formally calls a "Category 6 hurricane". The Saffir-Simpson scale officially uses no category higher than 5, which is reserved for any hurricanes with sustained wind speeds of 157+ miles per hour. "Living extinction event" indeed.
  • 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 will need enormous wings he can 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 certain independence from each other, and move around like cobras due to their long necks. Ghidorah belches a conductive ionized gas ignited by his body’s bio-electricity, and his electrical powers cause massive storms to form around him. 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. Also, while previous King Ghidorah incarnations were said to be Planet Killers, how they did so wasn't elaborated on other than 'fly around spamming Gravity Beams until everything is dead.' This Ghidorah is capable of destroying life on Earth by a combination of: commanding the Titans to tear down humanity's cities and eradicate ecosystems faster than they regenerate them, and by virtue of his storm system spreading until it blankets the entire planet in a neverending hurricane.
  • Red Baron: The viral marketing repeatedly refers to him as Monster Zero, which is also the name given to him by Monarch before they discover his real name from ancient legends. Ancient Sumerians call him the Death Song of Three Storms. Other legends such as this which name him Ghidorah also call him the One Who Is Many, and in the novelization he's implied to be the source of the myths about Azhi Dahaka whilst the Taza of Highland New Guinea (whose legends about him appear to be the most accurate to the reality) know him as Mandandare Aqenomba.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He has beady, bright-red eyes which glint to the point they appear to be glowing in the dark (and outright do glow when Ghidorah is draining Godzilla's power).
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: He is a three-headed, reptilian-looking dragon from outer space who wants nothing more than to dominate and eliminate all life on Earth.
  • Roar Before Beating: Like his arch-enemy Godzilla, he tends to wail in rage when he's mid-charging into a battle against another Titan. He shrieks at the start of his first and last battles against Godzilla during the movie, and when he's flying towards Rodan.
  • Rule of Symbolism: He's a Satanic Archetype, even being called the Devil in Dr. Graham's notes, and there are times in the movie where one can really see how Satan could very well be humans' memory of ancient encounters with him. In Antarctica, Ghidorah emerges from a pit filled with smoke and lightning (fire), looking like Satan coming unbound from his prison in Hell to bring about the End Times; and in Antarctica and Boston, he has reddish-yellow light coming from underneath him (due to fires and/or his own electrical powers) which make him look like a dragon born straight out of Hell. One of the MonsterVerse's most iconic shots frames Ghidorah beside a cross, lit infernally by lightning and the lava of an erupting volcano as if to say "Where's your God now?" as Ghidorah takes control of the other Titans unopposed and basically begins the End Times.
  • Running on All Fours: Whenever he's on land he can fold his gargantuan wings that can be visibly seen as his "arms" and uses them for mobility across the terrain in a wyvern-like fashion. When Godzilla starts charging towards him in the climax, Ghidorah lifts himself off the ground with the boost and leverage of his wings to give himself a running start.
  • Running Gag: Godzilla: King of the Monsters director Mike Dougherty stated he likes to think that San/Kevin has gotten decapitated a lot during Ghidorah's god-knows-how-long life. In King of the Monsters, Kevin is the only head that gets decapitated twice (first when Godzilla rips his head off halfway through the film, then again after Ghidorah regrows Kevin's head and the new one gets obliterated alongside Ni during Ghidorah's Rasputinian Death. And then in Godzilla vs. Kong, Mechagodzilla — which is controlled using the skull of Kevin's head from Isla de Mara, and which essentially becomes Ghidorah reincarnated as a direct result of this — gets defeated specifically by Kong ripping the Mecha's head (along with the spine) out.
  • Sadist: Excessively so when it comes to his interactions with humans. The middle head is the most pronounced, but Ghidorah as a whole has a sadistic streak. He takes joy in personally slaughtering humans and trying to wipe them off the face of the Earth not because he views them as a real threat (if his first reaction to the G-Team shooting at him upon his awakening is any indication), but because he can and because he gets a kick out of it; going far beyond the callousness and provoked aggression of the MUTOs, the Horror Hunger of the Skullcrawlers, or the other purely-animalistic instincts which motivate the Earth Titans generally. Ghidorah also has a ridiculous tendency towards overkill when it comes to how he slaughters humanity, something which the novelization explicitly points out. One of the best examples of Ghidorah's sheer malice is when Monarch's Osprey is downed and Ghidorah could easily crush it with his foot or vaporize it with his Gravity Beams, but instead he chooses to take his time slowly crushing it with everyone inside — the novel again notes that this shows an abnormally high level of malice. Another example of Ghidorah's sadism is when he attempts to kill Madison, a single human who's barely larger than one of Ghidorah's teeth, using all three heads' Gravity Beams once she's crossed him. The director himself compared Ghidorah to a cat toying with a mouse before he kills it and says that he outright enjoys what he does more than anything else.
    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: A multi-headed dragon (like in the final book of the Bible) who fell from the stars (or rather the heavens), was imprisoned in ice (like the three-headed Satan stuck in Cocytus in Dante's Inferno), and he's a complete aberration to everything that's considered natural (or holy) in the world. Ghidorah is the dark foil and Arch-Enemy of the setting's God (Godzilla), whom he actively clashes with and seeks to usurp so that he can dominate Godzilla's former kingdom and destroy the entire Earth while ostensibly remaking it in his own image. To help accomplish this, Ghidorah enthralls the other kaiju which are meant to aid Godzilla into instead serving Ghidorah (similarly to Satan seducing his fellow angels into rebelling against God with him) — Ghidorah's vanguard Rodan is even called a demon whereas Ghidorah is described as a devil. Ghidorah happens to embody what humanity consider the worst traits within themselves, namely malice, cruelty, disregard for the very environment which all life on Earth depends on, and a desire for domination and supremacy over all others. Emerging from a giant pit when his ages-spanning imprisonment ends, Ghidorah sets his monstrous minions on the world and brings global calamity, before he's ultimately defeated by God(zilla) in a great battle for the fate of the world, again like Satan's role in the end of the Bible. Made out to look like Satan throughout the movie, Ghidorah is outright referred to in Dr. Graham's notes as the Devil, with an allusion to Dante's Inferno.
  • 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. Word of God reveals that Godzilla caused Ghidorah to freeze solid after the three-headed dragon during their last ancient battle, and it's implied in the movie that Godzilla regularly checks up on Antarctica precisely to make sure Ghidorah remains contained. The three-headed hydra is unleashed by the actions of Alan Jonah's Eco-Terrorist organization, who seek to use Ghidorah to further their anarchist cause; underestimating how impossible Ghidorah is to control in any direct shape or form, and unaware that Ghidorah's destruction will mean the complete opposite of ecological restoration for the planet.
  • Sequel Adaptation Iconic Villain: The first film had the MUTOs, Canon Foreigners, as the kaiju Godzilla faces. Likewise, Kong: Skull Island had the equally-foreign Skullcrawlers as the MonsterVerse Kong's primary foes. The next movie brings in Godzilla's iconic archenemy from the Toho films, Ghidorah, as the movie's Big Bad.
  • Serkis Folk: Each of Ghidorah's three heads has its own motion-capture actor, providing each head with a distinct set of quirks and mannerisms.
  • Short-Lived Leadership: Unlike all of Godzilla's (and also Kong's) other Titan enemies so far, Ghidorah stands apart for actually succeeding in wresting Godzilla's dominant position from him, however temporarily. Although Ghidorah's reign seems to last less than 24 hours before Godzilla kills him, during that time, Ghidorah manages to spontaneously awaken and enslave over a dozen other Titans around the world and command them to attack, causing worldwide devastation to mankind's cities and to multiple ecosystems, and he also kills Mothra. One of the major indirect consequences of Ghidorah's brief reign of terror as King is that one of the Titans he awakened, Camazotz, subsequently invades Skull Island and causes the island's functional extinction as an ecosystem.
  • Shown Their Work: Unlike most incarnations, this version of Ghidorah uses his winged forelimbs to aid walking and running in a manner similar to vampire bats and pterosaurs.
  • Siblings Share the Throne: Implied. Word of God compares Ghidorah's Multiple Head Case to conjoined siblings, which would make Ichi, Ni and San a case of this trope when they take over as the reigning King of the Monsters, by virtue of the fact they're technically one Titan with three minds attached to it.
  • The Silent Bob: Like Godzilla, his three voices exclusively consist of shrieks and roars, but his actions and expressiveness speak volumes about his personalities. He's clearly a genuinely-malicious and intelligent beast who takes sadistic pleasure in attacking practically-defenceless humans, and each of his three heads has a distinct personality and have a codependent relationship with each-other akin to a pecking order.
  • Single Specimen Species: Unlike the other Titans, he technically fits this trope according to the summary, as far as we know. He's apparently an extraterrestrial that never originated on Earth, and we don't know anything about where he came from originally or if there are others of his kind.
  • 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.
    • His silhouette is also visible in the cyclone above the flooded, hellish ruins of Washington D.C. when he's made a roost there, illuminated by lightning flashes.
  • 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 tails occasionally produce rattling sounds. In his third and final clash with Godzilla, his heads actually constrict Godzilla in a fashion similar to pythons.
  • The Sociopath: Compared to the other Titans, Ghidorah seems less like a survival-driven animal and more like a bloodthirsty, megalomaniacal psychopath. He doesn't care about anyone or anything but himself, the only two uses he sees for Earth's native lifeforms that aren't him are either making them hapless victims and prey to satisfy his insane bloodlust or making them bend to his will as subordinates and aid him in destroying their own planet, and he has no compunctions against creating mass extinction to serve his own goals in a way which, based on how he seems to survive fine in Earth's current environment, likely isn't necessary to his survival. The novelization explicitly points out that Ghidorah is the only Titan whose behavior indicates he's truly evil, whereas all the other Titans including the bad ones are ultimately animals following natural instincts.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Unlike the previous two MonsterVerse movies' monster Big Bads, Ghidorah is not just a daikaiju, he's one that's powerful enough to rival Godzilla for dominance over all the others, and he's also a true match to Godzilla's power level, whereas the Skullcrawlers and MUTOs all relied on extra numbers to get an advantage over Godzilla and Kong respectively. Furthermore, Ghidorah is much more malevolent and destructive than the previous antagonists, and as an alien who acts as an invasive species and is actively trying to destroy as much life on Earth as possible, it's indicated he'll cause a far worse Apocalypse How than either of the previous two villains if he wins (bear in mind the MUTOs could've caused Multiple Species Extinction if they won – Ghidorah however could cause the complete extinction of all humanity and, according to the novelizations, the thorough eradication of all multicellular life on our planet). When Ghidorah is briefly reborn in Mechagodzilla in Godzilla vs. Kong, he loses his previous identity's more outlandish and apocalyptic storm-wreaking powers, but he does exchange them for a strictly anti-Godzilla manmade arsenal that allows him to utterly dominate a weakened Godzilla even when the latter has backup from Kong, and Mechagodzilla fully retains Ghidorah's malevolent desire to wipe out all human life he encounters.
  • Spikes of Villainy: He has bat-like wings with spiky, blade-like tips on the fingers' ends, crowns of horns on each head, and two long tails ending in spiky clubs.
  • The Stormbringer: Ghidorah is essentially a living hurricane — his electrical powers cause him to generate a devastating, typhoon-like perpetual thunderstorm of yellow lightning which follows him wherever he goes, aided by the hurricane-like winds produced by his wings. The moment he awakens in Antarctica, unnatural winds, fog and yellow lightning stir up before he's even taken flight; and over the film, Ghidorah's storm rapidly evolves into a hurricane nearly the size of Central America, and by the time of the final battle is a Category 6. Although Ghidorah's hurricane gets a lot of Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud treatment in the film, it still makes conditions around him very ominous and foreboding, and it can damage aircraft with lightning bolts. The art book implies that Ghidorah's storm generation is a direct byproduct of being in Earth's atmosphere where he doesn't belong.
  • Super Power Lottery: Out of all of the Titans which are able to destroy cities, survive military weapons and affect environments, it's no contest that King Ghidorah is absolutely the key winner. Having the power to surround himself with a tornado- and water-spout-spawning superstorm which covers a whole city's or even continent's worth wherever he goes, and the ability to furthermore cover most of the planet in widespread offshoot storms; the power to channel electrical energy intense enough to instantly disintegrate humans from his body (mostly from his mouths); great regenerative capabilities; Super-Strength; the power to absorb a victim's life force just by biting; oxygen independency; and the power to awaken and enslave multiple Titans by command, there's a reason why Godzilla and humanity view Ghidorah as a horrible threat to everything that must be destroyed, and why Godzilla is the only Titan on Earth who can seriously challenge him.
  • Super-Toughness: He tanks Godzilla's Atomic Breath without any lasting damage done twice in the final confrontation in Boston. This feat is made all the more impressive by the fact Godzilla's strength is currently greatly increased due to absorbing a nuclear warhead's full power.
  • Telepathic Spacemen: Ghidorah is the first and so far only extraterrestrial Titan introduced in the MonsterVerse, and it's confirmed in Godzilla vs. Kong that Ghidorah's heads are telepathic. Whereas Titans like Mothra and Camazotz have shown possible signs of having psychic powers, Ghidorah's telepathy is confirmed explicitly.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • He seems to have a preference towards using his Gravity Beams, an attack that throws Godzilla around, as his main method of killing humans. He attempts to kill Madison with all three of them in Boston, after she uses the ORCA to disrupt his global Titan control and essentially issue a challenge to him. Given his appearance in ancient cave paintings has him using the beams to blast soldiers with spears, he's always done this. The novelization notes that Ghidorah can never settle for just killing opposition quickly and efficiently, he absolutely has to inflict deranged overkill when finishing them off.
    • On the other hand, a combination of Ghidorah's Healing Factor and decentralized nervous system means that this is the only way to truly kill him, as if a large enough piece with enough neurons survives, he can potentially come back. Godzilla atomizes him... but the severed head of San/Kevin allows something of Ghidorah's consciousness to survive and reincarnate into Mechagodzilla. Thus, it's likely only complete annihilation is enough to permanently put Ghidorah down for good.
  • Thin Chin of Sin: Each of their wicked chins look incredibly skinny, sharp, and heinously chiseled. While it may be rather difficult to see because of the film's lighting, his chins also have defined, but particularly two tiny visible spikes that are poking beneath them.
  • Three Beings, One Body: The director indicates Ghidorah's Multiple Head Case is this rather than Split Personality, comparing them to conjoined triplets; while Ghidorah's Monarch Sciences bio comments there's "a divergent frontal lobe density in the brains of the three heads, denoting each head has disparate levels of cognitive functions and possibly even independent thought".
  • Throat Light: Yellow light visibly ripples through the undersides of Ghidorah's necks and fills his mouths when he's charging up his Gravity Beams to fire, somewhat similar to the incarnations in the Pipeworks Software video games.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: Each of his three heads is roughly the size of a house excluding the necks, and yet the rest of his body is so much larger (especially his wings when he spreads them), to the point that his heads comparatively don't look much larger than three of his toes; as shown in this image.
  • Too Powerful to Live: Arguably the single most powerful (and most malevolent) Kaiju in the MonsterVerse yet, and the only way to stop him from ending the world after he escapes his evil-sealing can is by killing him in the same movie. Of course, then there's The Stinger suggesting he might be Not Quite Dead, with the sequel confirming that his mortal remains have ensured he can still live on in some form or another.
  • Top God: As a rival Alpha Titan in his own right, Ghidorah has the capacity (and also the active desire, unlike Kong), to usurp Godzilla as King of the Gods; a task in which he temporarily succeeds once Godzilla is crippled to near-death by the Oxygen Destroyer and thus unable to fight Ghidorah off. Unlike Godzilla however, Ghidorah is presented as The Usurper and Tyrant Takes the Helm on a truly apocalyptic scale. The film's Final Battle focuses on Godzilla fighting to take back his kingship via You Kill It, You Bought It.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Slightly downplayed. His legs are a lot shorter and skinnier regardless of his gigantic mass compared to his visibly protruding and muscular chest.
  • Truer to the Text: This version of King Ghidorah is the most faithful to the original portrayal in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster; being a sadistic, alien, nigh-unstoppable killing machine, who is entirely serving his own agenda rather than that of Human Aliens in his campaign to destroy humanity and scorch the Earth.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: When Godzilla is taken out of action by the Oxygen Destroyer, Ghidorah usurps his position as King of the Monsters; and he wastes no time in directing the other Titans to trigger cataclysmic, ecosystem-ravaging natural disasters on every continent while obliterating human cities. It's furthermore implied in the novelization that the Earth Titans under Ghidorah's control would've eventually died if Ghidorah remained in charge.
  • Undignified Death: After Burning Godzilla obliterates Ghidorah's side-heads and body, the surviving middle head is all that's left. Normal Godzilla has him in his mouth by the neck stub as he screeches and writhes futilely before Godzilla destroys him with his atomic breath. For a planet-destroying alien, it's almost comical.
  • Unperson: Ancient cultures barely wrote anything about him, and Serizawa and Chen observe it's as if they were scared to leave any record of him and were hoping he would eventually be forgotten.
  • The Usurper: Is presented as this after he ousts Godzilla as the King of the Monsters, even being referred to as a "False King" due to his true nature as an extraterrestrial invasive species who doesn't in any way conform to this planet's natural order.
  • Vampiric Draining: In reference to Keizer Ghidorah; after a wounded Godzilla begins to morph into Burning Godzilla, Ghidorah begins viciously and excruciatingly draining the life out of Godzilla via bites. Only Emma's use of the ORCA stops him from sucking Godzilla dry.
  • Victorious Roar: A villainous version. First, he's wailing his two remaining heads off when he blasts out of the Pacific Ocean, having survived the Oxygen Destroyer unscathed whilst Godzilla is critically injured. Just a minute later, immediately after regenerating his lost head, Ghidorah lets out a far more impressive and terrible roar from atop Rodan's volcano; one which awakens all the other Titans around the world and bends them to his will, now that Godzilla is no longer around to stop the three-headed monster, marking the point at which things go From Bad to Worse for the heroes and the setting. And from the looks of video feeds that are monitoring Ghidorah later during the ensuing global disaster, he kept on posing and roaring to the heavens atop that volcano for quite some time, just to show how triumphant he is.
  • Viler New Villain: Whereas the MUTOs and the Skullcrawlers were generally just following their natural instincts (albeit instincts that greatly threatened the resident humans and local ecosystems), Ghidorah is an intelligent alien who displays true malice in his interactions with humans, and he poses an even greater threat to humanity and Earth's natural balance. The novelization even suggests that perhaps Ghidorah isn't driven by any kind of necessity to reshape the Earth with an extinction event but is really doing it purely out of hatred for every living thing that isn't him.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After getting ambushed by the military and seeing Godzilla recover on his flank, Ghidorah decides to book it by flying out of the Antarctic scenery, much to Godzilla's agitation.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ghidorah has a minor one when Godzilla traps him underwater, visibly panicking and struggling to break free. The real one comes when Godzilla activates his Super Mode — Ichi and Ni in particular seem enraged to the point of freaking-out, while San/Kevin looks cowed more than anything else after Godzilla incinerates their wings. Immediately after Ni and Kevin are obliterated, Ichi's body language (well, neck language and facial language) grows visibly intimidated and frantic.
  • Villainous Legacy:
    • After his death, humanity's cities have suffered untold devastation due to his reign of terror, but in a positive twist, the Earth's ecosphere is being renewed by the Titans he awakened now that they answer to Godzilla, which has furthermore (as noted in the Godzilla vs. Kong novelization) silenced the public's and The Government's outcry demanding that the military try to wipe the Titans out. Ironically, Ghidorah has indirectly played a role in aiding both man and nature in the long run. While Ghidorah failed to make Earth his own hostile world or kill all life on it, he did succeed in making Earth a world of monsters.
    • On the downside, it's revealed in Kingdom Kong that Ghidorah's passage over the Pacific Ocean left a perpetual superstorm anchored there which didn't dissipate upon his death, and Camazotz takes advantage of this by drawing the superstorm into Skull Island's own Perpetual Storm barrier, ultimately causing the certain doom of the island's ecosystem. Godzilla vs. Kong reveals that Ghidorah's leftover severed head's skull is being used by Apex Cybernetics to control Mechagodzilla, and Ghidorah's influence is directly responsible for the mech going rogue.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Terrifying, cruel, has the ability to manifest endless widespread storms, and is pure malevolence compared to the other Titans (especially Godzilla). Yet his screeches and shrills don't seem to match his sadistic nature. This can be purely justified mainly because he's an alien with Bizarre Alien Biology, so it makes sense why his "roar" is different and off-putting.
  • Walking Techbane: Due to his electrical powers, he tends to short circuit or damage any technology in his broad vicinity. Ghidorah using his Gravity Beams nearby is enough to cause a static power surge which strands Mark's and the Monarch brass's Osprey on the ground.
  • 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 a lightning-filled hurricane, and it only gets more powerful the longer he's active.
  • Washington D.C. Invasion: Upon taking over as King of the Monsters, whilst the other Titans now under Ghidorah's thrall attack various cities around the world, Ghidorah himself flies north from Mexico to quickly invade Washington D.C.: turning the city into his roost, he scorches the buildings with his lightning and he inundates the entire city with his hypercane. For bonus points, Ghidorah unlike the other Titans is actually an alien creature. And thus Bill Randa was proven quite wrong when he said there would never be a more tumultuous time in D.C..
  • Weapon Stomp: After he's drawn to Fenway Park by the ORCA's signal issuing a challenge and disrupting his global Titan control, a cornered Madison throws the still-transmitting device towards him in a last-ditch effort to save herself. One of Ghidorah's heads (likely the left) leans in to get a closer look at the device, before he crushes it underfoot, then prepares to kill Madison anyway.
  • Weather Manipulation: Ghidorah is The Stormbringer, and his weather-altering superpower doesn't even end there. When he takes over as the ruling Alpha Titan, Ghidorah's hurricane begins causing massive offshoot storm systems to spread all over the planet. Mark notes that the decreased daylight alone will plunge Earth into a makeshift volcanic winter if it keeps up, "[n]ever mind all of the flooding, the saturation of reefs with fresh water...". A "living extinction event" indeed!
    • Blow You Away: Downplayed. He's capable of creating massive and destructive Category 6 hurricanes simply by existing in the Earth's atmosphere, although Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud is in full effect throughout the movie, making the winds look no worse than a mild gale when the humans are out in the open underneath Ghidorah's storm; in contrast to what Rodan's devastating wingbeats can do.
    • Making a Splash: After he books it out of Antarctica, Ghidorah's hurricane brings torrential downpours wherever he goes, presumably due to his storm absorbing the water of the South Atlantic Ocean while he was flying over it. His hurricane floods Washington D.C. in waters so deep that a battleship can cruise through the flooded ruins.
    • Ominous Fog: His hurricane brings eerie, billowing clouds of otherworldly-looking fog wherever he goes, to dramatic effect.
  • Wind from Beneath My Wings: The promotional materials state his wings produce hurricane-force winds, which help his electrical typhoon to form and expand. It doesn't really show in the film, except for a rather chilling moment where winds falling and then rising again seemingly in rhythm appear to indicate his wingbeats as he approaches; before his storm surges into the city.
  • 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 Burning Godzilla's thermonuclear pulse.
  • World's Best Warrior: The only Titan on Earth that can defeat Godzilla in a straight fight one-on-one and needs an arduous and dedicated team effort to be defeated every time. Likely because he isn't from Earth.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He comes uncomfortably close to vaporizing Madison shortly after landing in Boston. He could have easily just squished her but preferred to use overkill on a teenage girl, either because he was pissed at her for crossing him by using the ORCA to disrupt his global control over the Titans and issue a challenge at him, or simply to satisfy his own bloodlust.
  • Written Roar: The onomatopeia of "BIDIBIDIBIDIBIDI!" has been widely embraced by the fandom as his signature cackling cry.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: Ghidorah's bioelectric Gravity Beams are yellow in coloration, as is the lightning in the storms he creates, in contrast to Godzilla's bright blue atomic rays. The "standard warning sign color" of Ghidorah's lightning fits with how it ultimately turns out that he isn't really a part of Earth's natural order at all, and that he will cause even more destruction than either humanity or the Earth Titans acting on their own wills would if he's allowed to reign unchecked.
  • Yellow/Purple Contrast: Across two movies, Ghidorah has this contrast. See the Skull's character folder for details.

Tropes applying to the heads

    Ichi, Ni and San (a.k.a. Kevin) 
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Only the left head, a.k.a. Kevin, is struck with this without a doubt. The original Showa incarnation of Ghidorah was FAR from stupid since he knew when to actually quit and live to fight another day while facing defeat. With Kevin, it takes a bite to the horn from Ichi just to get him on track, and he shows signs of clumsiness or carelessness comparative to his brother heads: misfiring his Gravity Beam at Fenway Park's surroundings, whereas Ichi and Ni kept their beams focused on the stadium itself where their quarry is located, and also being the only head who rams himself through buildings instead of sliding his neck around them when Ghidorah is chasing Emma's Humvee.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: San/Kevin (the left head), somewhat, especially when compared to the other two heads. He has his sadistic moments in his own right, and he seems fine with fighting and killing when the heads are working together, but he also seems quite curious about humans instead of just obliterating them straight away, and he seems to be acting more on instincts and/or submission to the other two rather than outright malice.
  • Affably Evil: Downplayed with San/Kevin (the left head). There's nothing onscreen to really imply that he's nice per se, but his tendencies hint that he's less actively malicious than the other two heads. He seems more interested in curiously investigating and playing with Ghidorah's food than in getting around to killing it in Antarctica, and his facial features upon closer inspection often look docile and almost air-headed; comparative to Ichi's Slasher Smiles and glares of calculated malice, or Ni's constant teeth-baring grimaces of anger and hatred. The director himself jokingly admitted that he thinks Kevin probably wouldn't be an antagonist if he wasn't taking orders from Ichi.
  • Alpha and Beta Wolves: Mark compares Ghidorah to a pack alpha when explaining to Admiral Stenz how Ghidorah is making the other Titans ignore the military's nuclear bait and actively rampage as an extension of Ghidorah's will, but Ghidorah's heads themselves have this dynamic with each-other. Ichi (the middle head) is described as the "alpha" head who leads the other two, Ni is next on the pecking order, and San/Kevin is at the bottom. Ichi also tends throughout the movie to hold his head and neck slightly higher or further forward than Ni and Kevin hold theirs, similarly to how pack wolves express dominance or submission by holding themselves higher or lower.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The left head (San/Kevin) tends to get distracted and sidelined, comparable to A.D.H.D.. Probably the biggest instance of this is when he momentarily looks off to the side when Ghidorah is right in the middle of being obliterated, one portion of its body at a time.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The left head may be a little sillier and more inept-seeming than the other two heads, but he's just as dangerous as them and won't hesitate to strike in the middle of a fight. One also has to wonder about the fact that it was Kevin's skull specifically which granted Mechagodzilla a ferociously sadistic and murderous mind of its own, even if the Mecha's personality traits were markedly different from Kevin'snote .
  • Big Brother Bully: The central head has this dynamic with the left head, growling at it and biting its horns whenever it gets distracted by something to get it back to focusing on whatever they're doing.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Right after Ichi and Ni were devouring Graham on the spot, Kevin lowers himself to see the human bystanders as potential snacks where Ichi was probably going to bite his horn again, only to have missiles blow up him in their faces. One of their wings is used to shield Kevin from being attacked again.
  • Blood Knight: The middle head is the most focused on challenging Godzilla in Antarctica and Boston, whilst the right head seems to want to savage anything it lays eyes upon and is furthermore said by director Mike Dougherty and animation supervisor Spencer Cook to be constantly ready and eager for a fight. The left head however is a little bit timider when about to face Godzilla — a little bit.
  • Butt-Monkey: The left head. Whether getting bullied by the other heads, taking missiles to the face, being the only one to smash his head through a skyscraper, or getting his head violently destroyed by Godzilla twice, he's the head who suffers the most indignities. According to Mike Dougherty, the latter indignity has probably been happening to Kevin A LOT over Ghidorah's long life. Ironically, this head (or rather its previously-severed rotting remains) are all that's left of Ghidorah by the movie's end.
  • Character Development: Surprisingly. When Ghidorah first wakes up in Antarctica, the left head looks at their environment almost in awe and takes a curiosity towards the humans that were trying to attack him — all three heads even take time investigating and cruelly toying with the human-filled Osprey nearby. After Antarctica, all three heads don't show much interest in humans beyond obliterating them for the fun of it.
    • San/Kevin begins very timid against Godzilla, showing reluctance as the other two heads challenge him in Antarctica, and mostly hanging back out of the way through the up-close-and-personal part of the subsequent fight. However, after being decapitated by Godzilla and regrowing, Kevin's notably more ready to fight Godzilla at the Boston battle and he even tears viciously into Godzilla's throat when the heads are draining Godzilla's, suggesting that Lefty holds quite a bit of a grudge...
  • Cloudcuckoolander: San/Kevin is a Genius Ditz who stands apart from Ichi and Ni for being easily-sidetracked, wiggling his horns like a puppy at one point, for being timid of Godzilla (when Godzilla isn't vulnerable that is), for being clumsy with his head and his Gravity Beam, and being curious about humans to a point where it sometimes seems like he'd rather play with them than murder them if he could have his own way. However, despite his silly antics and despite being abused by Ichi for them, San/Kevin can still be competent and dangerous in his own right.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Ichi acts as a rather harsh one towards San/Kevin, snapping at the latter head to get him back on-task whenever his curious and distractible tendencies make him go off-track.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The middle head is the most focused on the bigger picture, such as the ORCA or challenging Godzilla, and it shows a degree of cunning when it uses a nearby power generator to charge up a lightning attack from Ghidorah's wings. The right head keeps an eye on what's happening around it when it's trying to free the other heads. During the Final Battle, one of these two headsnote  appears to summon Rodan and have the latter keep Mothra from backing Godzilla up, based on how Rodan emerges and intercepts Mothra just moments after this head trills at the sky in the Queen's direction.
  • The Comically Serious: Downplayed. 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 if still terrifyingly intimidating.
  • Death Glare: Ichi notably gives Madison one when Ghidorah's heads spot her in Boston and realize she was responsible for broadcasting the ORCA signal. Ni looks like he's sporting such a glare whenever he sees humans.
  • Dirty Coward: Downplayed by San/Kevin. He doesn't hesitate to join his brother heads in obliterating any human life that crosses their path for fun, even flashing a Slasher Smile of his own when Ghidorah is attacking the Argo while the ship is helpless, but he's visibly more afraid when it comes to their Arch-Enemy Godzilla who can put up a real fight against them and poses a serious mortal threat to them. In Antarctica, Kevin is visibly more timid than the other two heads are to confronting Godzilla again and keeps his head and neck out of the initial brawl, and he moreso flashes a look of unmistakable fear when the heads first sense Burning Godzilla, and he's visibly shocked after Burning G incinerates Ghidorah's wings to the point that he hesitates longer than Ichi and Ni do to fire back, although he ultimately dies trying in vain to defend himself. It's about the closest that MonsterVerse Ghidorah ever comes to exhibiting past Ghidorah incarnations' much-straighter Dirty Cowardice.
  • The Dividual: (Syndividual) Ghidorah's three heads are physically near-identical, and they work as one in a fight. Individually however, they display distinct personality traits, their horns are slightly different from each other, and the middle and left heads each have some Non-Standard Character Design relative to uniform physical traits among their fellow heads (see the General folder for more details).
  • Ear Notch: A variation. The right head (Ni) can be distinguished from the other two heads by his chipped horn. It reflects how he's more of a Blood Knight than the other two heads, and how he's rasher and less calculating than the middle head.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: The left head (San/Kevin) is sometimes clueless and gets sidetracked, forcing the middle head (Ichi) to bring Kevin's focus back to what they're trying to do. Ichi accomplishes this by biting at Kevin's horns or roaring in his ear, something Ichi is never seen doing to the somewhat more competent Ni (even when Ni is messing up himself, such as when both side-heads are distracted eating the G-Team's ashes).
  • Fearless Fool: The right head when the other two heads are too engaged to keep it in line. Look closely when Godzilla charges a webbing-restrained Ghidorah through a skyscraper, and you'll see that this head actually tries to stop Godzilla with nothing but its own jaws. This head also appears to be the first head to start attacking and dismantling the Fenway Park speakers when Ghidorah is drawn in by an alpha frequency challenging his dominance.
  • Flat Character: San/Kevin is curiosity-driven, submissive, and an implicit Genius Ditz sentry; Ichi is dominant, intelligent, yet also the most prominently sadistic head; and Ni is... just a teeth-baring hothead.
  • Freudian Trio: The left head is the Id, the middle head is the Ego, and the right head is the Superego.
  • Genius Ditz: Implied with San/Kevin (the left head). He's for the most part an easily-distracted goofball who displays comparatively less active malice than his "brothers", and his personality is, in a nutshell, very ditzy. Spencer Cook furthermore said that San/Kevin generally waits to see what the other two heads are doing and follows their lead instead of taking his own initiative. However, it's also implied that San/Kevin actually functions as a lookout for the trio: he has a habit of looking over his respective shoulder, he's the head that reels back and watches what Godzilla does instead of engaging during the Antarctica battle, and he's the first head to notice Godzilla charging his atomic breath, enabling Ghidorah to dodge in time and counterattack. Kevin does however do a comparatively poorer job of watching their flank when Godzilla blindsides Ghidorah above the ocean. The implication is that Kevin's curiosity is just a side-effect of being hardwired to be a lookout, and Ichi gets annoyed with him not doing his job properly.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Word of St. Paul describes Ni as having such a temper, although it's hard to tell in the film since he's a Perpetual Frowner who seems angry all the time. Spencer Cook likewise described Ni as "hyperactive".
  • Hot-Blooded: Both the director and the animation supervisor have described Ni (the right head) as the most Ax-Crazy, impulsive and hyperactive head who is "always ready" to fight and attack. Ni demonstrates this in the film with his near-constant seething expression, and when he tries without hesitation to fend a charging Godzilla off with no backup and nothing but his own jaws. In most scenes where Ghidorah has set his sights on something or someone with murderous intent, it's going to be Ni who's going to have the most vicious snarl and stare.
  • Humans Are Insects: San/Kevin is somewhat curious about humans, but still doesn't hesitate to blast them into oblivion alongside the other heads once Ichi gets him back in line.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: "Righty", also called Ni (as in the Japanese number 2). Though he's not as intelligent or mission-focused as the middle head (Ichi), he has his tactical priorities and spatial awareness straight — he takes stock of Mothra's position and his immediate priority to free his brother heads when they're glued to a building by Mothra's webbing, and he notices remarkably quickly when Godzilla is coming up behind them.
  • It Can Think: Each of Ghidorah's heads has a distinct personality. The right head is angry, tactical and looks like it wants to savage everything it lays eyes upon; the left head is absentminded, curious, playful and slightly timid; and the middle head is intelligent, focused, and domineering 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 to get back in line by the middle head. In general, the middle head seems to be stern and wants the left to focus on the mission, and he's also prone to slasher smiles. The death glare the middle head gives Madison in Fenway Park hammers home how unmistakably intelligent Ghidorah is, not unlike Godzilla. During the final fight with Godzilla, the middle head recognizes an electrical power station as a power source and quickly uses it to give Ghidorah a massive boost in energy. See the General folder for more details.
  • It's Personal: Implied with Kevin (the left head), who at first is timid and fearful when facing Godzilla, but after being beheaded and regenerating, he's notably more confrontational and willing to get into the fight at the Final Battle. He even tears into Godzilla's neck like a puppy with a chew toy as the heads drain Godzilla's energy, something which notably causes Godzilla to scream in pain each time Kevin bites down, whereas the other two heads biting other parts of Godzilla's body produces no such reaction. This suggests Kevin holds some degree of a grudge for what Godzilla did to him earlier in Mexico and is probably torturing Godzilla on purpose as payback. See the General folder for more details.
  • Just Desserts: Played With. After Ghidorah's body and side heads are vaporized, Godzilla is munching on Ichi's leftover severed head by the neck stump, before he reduces the head to ashes with his Atomic Breath. Apparently, Godzilla was originally going to play this trope straight with the head, but Toho (who have a taboo against Godzilla being shown eating living things) persuaded the director to change it.
  • The Klutz: On top of being a Psychopathic Manchild and exhibiting a limited attention span, San/Kevin shows clumsiness. When Ghidorah is razing Fenway Park with his Gravity Beams while trying to obliterate Madison and the ORCA, Kevin mis-aims and sweeps his Gravity Beam widely over the buildings outside the stadium where Ghidorah's targets are located. Later, when Ghidorah is pursuing the ORCA-carrying Humvee through Boston and frantically trying to destroy it, Kevin's head bulldozes through buildings in Ghidorah's way whereas Ichi and Ni have the sense to slink their necks around the buildings.
  • Laughably Evil: Though it doesn't make him harmless nor any less threatening in the slightest, it can be amusing to watch Ghidorah's heads squabble and the left head act like an idiot.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Downplayed by San/Kevin (the left head). He's decidedly less aggressive and malicious than the other two heads, acting more docile and curious about humans than the goal-focused, malicious middle head and the hot-headed, battle-thirsty right head. His first response to humans firing bullets at Ghidorah is to lean his head down in order to get a closer look, even knocking down and nuzzling a soldier with his chin, which annoys Ichi into pushing him back. Spencer Cook commented that he'll wait to see what the other two heads do and then follow their lead. Overall, the left head's characterization seems to hint that he's only a villain because he was born attached to the decidedly-murderous and -genocidal Ichi and Ni. That having been said, San/Kevin does still bare a Slasher Smile when Ghidorah is launching an unprovoked attack on the Argo, and he does perform competently enough when the heads are working together in a fight.
  • The Nose Knows: Played With. When the trio have Emma dead to rights and are staring her down before the kill, Ichi notably smells the air with his nostrils, and San's nostrils also appear to be moving, as both heads sense Burning Godzilla's approach before seeing him.
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: Played With during Ghidorah's fight with Rodan, when the side-heads restrain Rodan's wings and Ichi blasts his gravity beam point-blank at Rodan's chest (bear in mind Ghidorah's gravity beams are a rather devastating long-range attack). It immediately takes Rodan out of the fight.
  • Obsessed with Food: San/Kevin (the left head) is apparently a bit of a foodie when Ghidorah first awakens. Alongside Ni, San/Kevin eagerly licks at the G-Team's charred human corpses in Antarctica, but more than that; when Ichi eats Vivienne and Ni is eating the falling ice, San/Kevin looks like he's thinking "I wish they'd let me have some", then he promptly turns his attention to the other humans as if intending to make snacks for himself out of them.
  • Odd Name Out: Downplayed. All three heads have a Japanese number as their name, but the goofball left head has a second, rather plain, English name.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • Subverted in the first instance. Kevin (the poor bastard) gets brutally decapitated by Godzilla during the underwater battle in Mexico, but Ghidorah regrows a new head which (as confirmed by Word of God) has Kevin's personality and memories intact. Meanwhile, the severed head is mostly dead, but Godzilla vs. Kong reveals it retains its innate telepathy and some vestige of Ghidorah's malevolent consciousness/es.
    • Played Straight in Boston when Burning Godzilla's thermonuclear pulse disintegrates both Ni and Kevin's heads to ash and the Big G promptly proceeds to vaporize the rest of Ghidorah before he can regenerate.
  • Oh, Crap!: In quick succession:
    • Look closely at Kevin's head when Ghidorah senses Godzilla's Super Mode after Emma's Last Words, and you'll see that he's openly frightened.
    • After Burning Godzilla obliterates both the side heads, the middle head Ichi becomes visibly terrified, based on the way he slightly recoils his neck and the frantic neck movements when Burning Godzilla is planting his foot on Ghidorah's chest.
    • When Ichi's head emerges from the rubble, look closely at his facial cues – he only seems to realize that his neck is in Godzilla's jaws at the exact same time as the audience.
  • Only Sane by Comparison: Ichi (the middle head) appears to be the most intelligent of the three and has quicker reactions than the other two when they notice an unexpected turn of events. He also appears to be the most sadistic of the three if his greater propensity for slasher smiles than his brothers and his attack on Dr. Graham are any indications, plus if just one of the heads can be held responsible for Ghidorah's Evil Plan to reshape the Earth and wipe out life on it, it'd be Ichi as the leader head.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Compared to the other two heads, Ni's (the right head's) default expression is a crooked-shaped, teeth-baring grimace; reflecting his perpetually angry and violent personality.
  • Pet the Dog: Downplayed. When Ghidorah awakens, San/Kevin alone seems genuinely interested in playing with the humans more than anything else: he lowers his head and "nuzzles" them with his chin once the G-Team have drawn the heads' attention, and Ichi has to physically shove Kevin back to get the latter back on point. Still, it doesn't save those humans from being atomized by Kevin once Ichi's gotten the side-heads in line.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Kevin (the left head) leans towards the Cute and Psycho variety. He's the least mature of the heads, showing childish curiosity and often needing correction from Ichi (the middle head), and the animation supervisor even said that he just waits to see what his brother heads are doing before he follows their lead; yet Kevin is still very nonchalant about joining the other heads in blasting whatever's in their way to atoms, and he's fine with causing Godzilla excruciating pain by biting into his neck when the three heads are draining his radiation. Kevin responds to the G-Team shooting at Ghidorah by bending his neck down to get a closer look at them, and even nuzzles one of them with his chin. After Ichi gets him back in line and all three heads kill the G-Team, Kevin resumes his curious inquiry by licking their ashy remains, like a kid in the grocery store getting their hands on a bar of tasty chocolate before their mom has paid for it. This is reinforced by Kevin's relationship with Ichi, who is in charge of the trio and abuses Kevin (more than he does Ni) whenever Kevin's not doing what Ichi wants.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Ni notably tilts his head when Ghidorah and Godzilla are facing off in Antarctica, as if sussing their old enemy out for strengths and weaknesses. In the Fenway Park scene, Ichi turns his head from one side to the other when all three heads spot Madison, before narrowing his eye in a Death Glare.
  • The Resenter: A villain-on-villain case with Ni. According to Ghidorah's actors, he hates the fact he's taking orders from Ichi and wishes he was the head calling the shots.
  • Revealing Reflection: When Ni is trying to free his brother heads from Mothra's webbing which has glued them to a glass skyscraper, he's alerted to Godzilla approaching behind him by Godzilla's reflection in the building.
  • The Runt at the End: The left head is named San ("Three" in Japanese), and he's quite a quirky character even among Ghidorah's heads: he's the least aggressive and least intelligent of the trio, and he's a Butt-Monkey who seems to care more about making pets or toys out of humans than he does about getting around to the part where he kills them, chronically prompting the middle head to berate him; although San can still be efficient and dangerous in his own right. He even has an Odd Name Out: unlike Ichi and Ni, San also officially has the moniker Kevin in the tweet which named Ghidorah's heads.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Yes. Amusingly, Ichi – the most dominating, wicked, and vicious of the three heads – emits a very high-pitched squeal of alarm and panic when he's realized that his severed head's neck stump is lodged in Godzilla's jaws in the aftermath of Burning Godzilla nuking his body. The seemingly girlish scream adds a lot more humiliation to his imminent Undignified Death.
  • Siblings in Crime: The three heads are described by Word of God as being like brothers to each other, with the middle head being the boss and the left head being the runt who gets picked on.
  • Slasher Smile: The heads often look like they're smiling when Ghidorah is doing something evil. Notably, Ichi pulls a lopsided smirk after the right head chirps something to him in Antarctica... right before the trio prepare to blast the humans before them to ashes. Kevin and Ichi are both smiling when Ghidorah is closing in on the Argo with full intent to kill everyone onboard, and Ni can be seen smiling cruelly right after Ichi kills Vivienne Graham.
  • Telepathy: It's revealed in Godzilla vs. Kong that Ghidorah's heads each have telepathic capabilities which they used to communicate with each-other. Apex Cybernetics exploit this (see the Skull folder for details).
  • Terrible Trio: Ghidorah is 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. He's also a lot more serious, scary and efficient overall than most examples of this trope, with his position as the movie Big Bad being very well-earned.
    • The middle head is the brains and leader, as he's clearly the one calling the shots when it comes to coordinating teamwork between the heads during battles, as well as being the quickest head to notice and react to unexpected occurrences. He's also the most visibly and actively malicious of the three towards humans, and he growls at and bites San/Kevin when the latter in particular doesn't do what Ichi wants. Unlike the other two heads, he tends to arch his neck so that his head is positioned above them, he has the longest and curviest horns of the three, and he has an extra row of spines on his neck indicating his dominance.
    • The left head is the biggest Butt-Monkey of the group, suffering the most abuse; be it from human forces, Godzilla, or the other heads themselves. His behavior is decidedly indicative of a Psychopathic Manchild (dim-witted curious, and often losing focus which prompts the middle head to harshly berate him in order to get him back on track), and he's the submissive omega wolf (a.k.a. the scapegoat) among the three heads.
    • The right head is the most aggressive and Hot-Blooded, and a bit of a Fearless Fool. He's submissive to the middle head's dominance, but still doesn't get treated as badly as the left head, and he shows a degree of tactical competence and spatial awareness when the other two heads are immobilized by Mothra's webbing.
  • Token Good Teammate: Downplayed with San/Kevin; he seems to be more curiosity-driven than malice-driven compared to the other two heads, and the animation supervisor commented that he tends to follow the other two heads' lead instead of taking the initiative himself when doing evil; but he still displays a sadistic side in his own right, and he doesn't balk at Ghidorah's acts of evil at all. The director himself joked that San/Kevin probably wouldn't be a bad guy if he weren't stuck to the other two heads with Ichi calling the shots.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Mike Dougherty confirmed the names of the heads on his Twitter account: Ichi (center), Ni (right), and San A.K.A. Kevin (left)note .
  • To Serve Man: The middle head eats Vivienne along with a huge clump of ice she was running across. The right head snaps up crushed ice and possibly bits of her that fall out of the middle head's mouth, while the left head is looking at them both and chirping as if he's thinking, "I want some too, I wish they'd let me have some".
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Downplayed. Ghidorah overall is extremely malevolent and dangerous, but San/Kevin is a bit of an easily-distracted goof who's a bit too curious about humans, forcing Ichi to bite him and push him around to get him to focus on killing people.

Unmarked spoilers for Godzilla vs. Kong

    Ghidorah Reborn 

    The Skull 

The Skull

Appears In: Godzilla: King of the Monsters | Godzilla vs. Kong

The post-mortem remains of Ghidorah, presumed to have come from the severed left head which was retrieved by Alan Jonah at Isla de Mara after the rest of Ghidorah was vaporized by Godzilla. It's been converted by Apex Cybernetics into a living supercomputer which acts as the core component of their psionic uplink technology for controlling Mechagodzilla, with the pilot sitting inside a cockpit fashioned into the skull and taking advantage of its lingering telepathy.

It turns out the skull retains some of Ghidorah's consciousness as well as the telepathy, which hijacks Mechagodzilla and causes it to begin killing its masters and anything else human or Titan that it encounters.

  • Alien Autopsy: Somewhat in the novelization: Ren Serizawa discovered from examining Ghidorah's skull that metals and minerals considered rare on Earth are laced through the bone, and that Ghidorah's skulls were actually an integral part of Ghidorah's consciousnesses like the nervous tissue rather than just a casing for the brain.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Although it's clear that the skull retains Ghidorah's consciousness to some degree and that this is responsible for Mechagodzilla going haywire, it's unclear if the skull retains Ghidorah's full sentience and awareness (making Mechagodzilla essentially Ghidorah as a Man in the Machine) or if it only gave the Mecha a Soul Fragment (essentially making Mechagodzilla a reincarnation of Ghidorah's mind/s at most). Word from the director has supported the latter interpretation, as he believes Ghidorah's consciousness merged with the Mecha's AI to create a new personality; and the novelization further supports the director's interpretation. The novel version of the story also seems to hint that Mechagodzilla's mind is partly formed by Ren Serizawa's mind, which in this version drowns within the Mecha's half-formed mind (instead of bouncing back to his body and being electrocuted as in the movie); and it occurs in the same moment that the Mecha's mind is becomes fully realized.
    • It's also unclear whether the skull's consciousness remnants only awaken when the Hollow Earth energy is integrated into Mechagodzilla as an unforeseen side-effect of the substance, or if the skull was awake the entire time and waiting to take control of its new body. It's implied in the movie, and confirmed by the novelization, that Ghidorah's remains were signaling Godzilla with a Ghidorah-like call whenever Mechagodzilla was activated (notably, the Mecha's parts visibly send out this signal after the Mecha's activation phase when it's supposed to be out of power). And that Ghostly Wail that the skull is producing before it comes into contact with the Hollow Earth energy isn't exactly a green flag. The novelization also hints that Ren has been suffering some low-grade Sanity Slippage due to repeatedly interfacing his mind through the skull with experimental technology, which is driving Ren towards seeing Mechagodzilla completed with a power source so he can realize his Godhood Seeker ambitions, lending further credence to the idea that Ghidorah was active and was inflicting More than Mind Control on Ren to push him to complete the undead hydra's reincarnation.
  • Artificial Zombie: Played With. Ghidorah becomes reincarnated within Mechagodzilla as a direct result of the skull, which retains a Soul Fragment of Ghidorah's consciousness/es, being hooked up to psionic technology to act as the Mecha's remote brain. Probably the most shocking thing is that Apex didn't expect using a scientifically-incomprehensible Draconic Abomination's telepathic remains as a Black Box in this kind of way would liably backfire on them.
  • Back from the Dead: Downplayed. Ghidorah's remnant consciousness is able to take over the Mecha, essentially resurrecting himself, but Word of God and the film's novelization both indicate Mechagodzilla itself is more a reincarnation of Ghidorah than an actual Man in the Machine, with Ghost Amnesia and with the Mecha's AI and/or Ren Serizawa's consciousness being absorbed by the Ghidorah Soul Fragment to form a new mind.
  • Black Box: What Apex Cybernetics have done with the skull screams of "monkey see, monkey do". They know that this alien hunk of bone is still telepathic, and by wiring up the skull, they've learned to harness that telepathy to make it a remote control system for Mechagodzilla, but that's about all that Apex really understand. Ren Serizawa's thoughts in the novelization explicitly confirm that Apex have been using Ghidorah's remains with only a surface understanding of how they work. As a result, Apex are completely blindsided when Ghidorah's very-much potent and malevolent subconsciousness resurfaces from the skull and takes over Mechagodzilla's systems for itself.
  • Brain/Computer Interface: Apex Cybernetics built one into the skull, taking advantage of its telepathic capabilities to enable a human pilot who sits inside the BCI to use it as a psionic transmitter. Mechagodzilla meanwhile has another piece of Ghidorah — speculated by Bernie in the movie and explicitly confirmed in the novelization to be a second Ghidorah skull, although that opens up the question of where the hell Apex got a second skull when San/Kevin's skull was all that was left after Ghidorah's vaporization — integrated into it which acts as a receiver, enabling the pilot to directly control Mechagodzilla's actions. The skull even has glowing, thrumming cables hooked into and connecting out of it per this trope, although the telepathy-based connection to Mechagodzilla is naturally semi-wireless. Unfortunately for the humans, once Ghidorah's remnant consciousness in the skull(s) emerges, it hijacks the Electronic Telepathy and connects to Mechagodzilla itself, subsequently causing the Mecha to become murderously hostile to all humans and attempt to kill Godzilla.
  • Came Back Strong: Played With and Zig-Zagged. When Ghidorah's remains override Mechagodzilla's programming, the Mecha has none of Ghidorah's apocalyptic Weather Manipulation nor its Healing Factor. But what Mechagodzilla does have is an extremely specialized anti-Titan body, which combined with a frightening intellect in the Final Battle, allows him to decimate Godzilla and Kong with frightening efficiency that keeps both on the ropes until his weakness is exploited. It's also speculated in the novelization and implied by the movie that the Mecha is more than capable of taking control of the other Titans just as Ghidorah did should it kill Godzilla and Kong, meaning it's still capable of destroying the world.
  • The Corrupter: In the novelization, it's strongly hinted that the Ghidorah skull's subconsciousness has been subtly corrupting Ren Serizawa's personality over the course of his repeated usages of the psionic uplink during which his mind is filtered through the skull's telepathy, although it's ambiguous whether or not the skull is consciously doing this.
  • Death by Adaptation: Sort-of. It's stated in the novelization that the Skull Room (and implicitly the skull itself) has been trashed due to the damage Mechagodzilla has caused to the Apex headquarters, with the novel specifying it happened in the same moment the Mecha killed Simmons before breaking out of the facility. The movie, however, cuts to the Skull Room directly after showing Simmons' death, and the room and skull are completely intact.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Apex had both the hubris and the truly-unprecedented stupidity to incorporate Ghidorah's neurological remains including the skull into Mechagodzilla, to act as the Mecha's brain for Ren to pilot it. When Mechagodzilla is under-powered, nothing goes wrong. But as soon as Apex integrate a second eldritch Black Box (the Hollow Earth energy source) to power Mechagodzilla up, whatever's left of Ghidorah's consciousness in the skull overrides the system and turns Mechagodzilla into a sentient Robotic Psychopath; causing both Simmons and Ren's deaths, whilst Mechagodzilla begins killing everything (human and Alpha Titan) that it sees, doing exactly what Simmons claimed the Titans would do without Mechagodzilla to attack them first. There are even some hints in the movie and its official novelization that Ghidorah's remnant consciousness might have been active the entire time, manipulating Apex towards unwittingly giving it a new body.
  • Ghostly Wail: A variation. Although the skull is physically just a hunk of bone with no vocal chords, it's still producing audible echoes of Ghidorah's signature roar and growls, foreshadowing that Ghidorah's consciousness is still in there. Hearing the skull's wailing is actually what draws Madison's attention to the door leading to the Skull Room in the first place, confirming that humans In-Universe can hear it too. Which makes it all the more staggering on Apex's part that they still thought it wasn't an overly-risky idea to hook the thing up to Mechagodzilla as its brain.
  • Grand Theft Me: In the novelization where Ren Serizawa has a Dies Differently in Adaptationnote , it's hinted that Ghidorah's subconsciousness probably performs this on Ren's body. The novel explicitly mentions a "feedback loop" where Ghidorah's subconsciousness is entering Ren whilst Ren's mind, in turn, is stuck inside the Mecha as it gains sentience, and after Mechagodzilla breaks free of the Apex facility, Ren's body has seemingly disappeared from the (admittedly trashed) Skull Room.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: Subverted big time. Apex aim to harness the skull's telepathy by building a Brain/Computer Interface into it, and at first they don't seem to have any apparent troubles from this; until the Hollow Earth energy is synthesized and infused into Mechagodzilla, at which point Ghidorah's subconsciousness from the skull hijacks Mechagodzilla for itself. It's furthermore hinted that Ghidorah's consciousness in the skull might have been aware and subtly playing Apex like fiddles the entire time.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's ambiguous whether the skull's Soul Fragment is Ghidorah's lingering consciousness or Ghidorah's soul literally possessed the Mecha. Madison briefly contemplates the latter in the novelization, and while breaking the satellite link hinders and temporarily stuns the Mecha, it starts moving again a couple of moments later, despite Josh believing (albeit based purely on guesswork about a field he doesn't have a remote understanding of, which the movie lampshades when his movie pirating skills prove useless for Hollywood Hacking) that should've shut it down entirely, implying Ghidorah's control is more ingrained than a simple remote control.
  • More than Mind Control: Implied in the novelization, which hints that Ren has been suffering some mild Sanity Slippage which further drives him to see Mechagodzilla completed due to him repeatedly interfacing his mind through the Ghidorah skull with experimental technology. And the movie and its novelization both do make it quite ambiguous whether Ghidorah's subconsciousness only awoke when exposed to the Hollow Earth energy, or was consciously waiting for its new body the entire time with Apex none the wiser...
  • Named by the Adaptation: Sort-of. In the novelization, the skull and/or the chamber holding it is nicknamed the Skull Room.
  • Not Quite Dead: First suggested in The Stinger of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). Following King Ghidorah's death in Boston — keep in mind, when Ghidorah's body was destroyed, the middle head was still alive and conscious, trying to escape before Godzilla incinerated it — the left head that was earlier severed is seen being obtained by Alan Jonah, though it's now decomposing and swarming with flies. Come Godzilla vs. Kong, and it's revealed this trope is downplayed: the head's upper-skull and another piece of Ghidorah have been incorporated into Mechagodzilla for the heads' telepathic capabilities, but it turns out near the film's end that they retain at least a Soul Fragment of Ghidorah's consciousness/es which hijacks the Mecha.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The skull came from Kevin's head, but when its consciousness overtakes the system and grants Ghidorah's Soul Fragment to Mechagodzilla, the Mecha ruthlessly and efficiently murders and destroys all humans in its sights, then proceeds to mercilessly brutalize Godzilla and it almost succeeds in killing both him and Kong. Notably, Mechagodzilla exhibits none of Kevin's clumsiness, curiosity, childness, distractibility nor his fear of confronting Godzilla, whilst fully possessing Ghidorah's murderous and sadistic impulses.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The Skull Room is saturated in deep purple light from the machinery hooked into the skull which takes advantage of its telepathy, similar to the lighting in Simmons' observation deck. That the room has true purple light like this, compared to the false purple light created by the red-and-blue lighting of the Apex facility's hallways, emphasizes that Apex think they're in control but really Ghidorah's remains retain more agency than Apex thinks.
  • Soul Fragment: The skull retains at least something of Ghidorah's consciousness(es) if not the full package, which is directly responsible for hijacking control of Mechagodzilla's system and turning the Mecha into a Robotic Psychopath. Word of God and the novelization both indicate that rather than being Ghidorah as a direct Man in the Machine, the sentient Mechagodzilla is essentially a reincarnation of Ghidorah, created by Ghidorah's consciousness and the Mecha's AI merging to form a new mind. Regardless, the skull's influence once Mechagodzilla was newly-empowered proves to be enough to grant the Mecha the same Kill All Humans tendency that Ghidorah exhibited — if the Mecha razing half of Hong Kong unprovoked the moment it sees it is any indication — and Mechagodzilla seeking a fight with Godzilla (and actively focusing more on him while initially treating Kong's intervention like a mere nuisance) seems to hint the skull also passed on Ghidorah's desire for domination and possibly even his grudge against Godzilla.
  • Telepathy: Although the Ghidorah skull is "dead" in the sense that its tissue has rotted away, it still retains the telepathy which Ghidorah's heads naturally used to communicate amongst themselves. Apex exploits this by building a Brain/Computer Interface into the skull and incorporating a sample of Ghidorah into Mechagodzilla as a receiver, so that a human pilot at the BCI can harness Ghidorah's telepathy and control Mechagodzilla's actions. If you thought this was way Too Dumb to Live, you'd be right, since Ghidorah's consciousness (or whatever's left of it) in the skull surfaces and hijacks Mechagodzilla the moment the Mecha is empowered with the Hollow Earth energy, causing the Mecha to become independent of the humans and go on a kill-anything-that-moves rampage.
  • Undead Abomination: Ghidorah's leftover is close enough to a given definition of "dead" that its flesh has decomposed instead of regenerating as the hydra's living body was capable of doing. Yet the skull retains Ghidorah's telepathic capabilities, and what's more, Ghidorah's consciousness/es (or at least some remnant of them) still survive within the bonenote , hijacking the Electronic Telepathy once Mechagodzilla is charged with Hollow Earth energy and acting as a Soul Fragment to make the Mecha begin to Kill All Humans and challenge Godzilla. It's furthermore ambiguous whether Ghidorah's consciousness awoke when the skull came into contact with the Hollow Earth energy formula through the system, or if Ghidorah's ghost was awake the entire time and waiting to gain a new body.
  • Wetware CPU: The skull is being used by Apex as the central hub of a techno-organic neural network which Ren uses to pilot Mechagodzilla. Bernie speculates that a Ghidorah skull was used because of the heads' telepathic neurology, and that there's another piece of Ghidorah's remains inside the actual Mecha acting as a receiver. Concept artist Jared Krichevsky furthermore claims that Apex used the skull because Mechagodzilla's systems are too much for any single human brain to run without assistance of some kind. At first, Apex seemingly have no problems from integrating Ghidorah's neurological remains in such a way, but once Mechagodzilla is fully juiced up with the untested Hollow Earth energy, whatever's left of Ghidorah's will and personalities in its remains seizes control of Mechagodzilla and makes it attack.
  • Yellow/Purple Contrast: Whereas the all-powerful living Ghidorah in Godzilla: King of the Monsters has a golden-yellow color theme, with his aurum-scaled body and his hypercane's and Gravity Beams' lightning; the undead skull has lost its flesh and golden scales, and the technology that Apex are using to harness the skull's telepathy for Mechagodzilla casts the entire Skull Room in a deep purple light, fitting the surprise reveal that the skull still has some of Ghidorah's consciousness in it and is able to transfer that consciousness into Mechagodzilla.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The manner in which Ren Serizawa dies (killed by an electrical surge to the skull in the same moment that the newly-sentient Mechagodzilla kills Simmons) certainly makes it almost seem like the skull is invoking this trope on him now that the arrogant human's usefulness is at an end. It's hinted, particularly in the novelization, that the skull might have been conscious and waiting for Apex to unwittingly complete Ghidorah's mechanical reincarnation the entire time, though it's ultimately ambiguous.


Video Example(s):


Godzilla vs Ghidorah

Godzilla and Ghidorah are two rival Alpha Titans battling for control of Earth, and they absolutely despise each other. But while Godzilla wishes to protect life on the planet, Ghidorah seeks to eradicate it.

How well does it match the trope?

4.95 (20 votes)

Example of:

Main / BehemothBattle

Media sources: