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King Ghidorah, "The One Who is Many"

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

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

Species: Gargantuan flying three-headed electric reptile | "Titanus Ghidorah"
"They have as king over them, the angel of the Abyss. A star fallen from heaven to earth, he opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like that of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened..."

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

A gigantic, three-headed, dragon-like, extraterrestrial 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 with the aim of usurping the latter's dominance over the lesser Titans as their Alpha. But unlike Godzilla, Ghidorah is truly malevolent.

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

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 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 has not only defeated Godzilla three times (whereas not a single other version has beaten Godzilla), he also curb-stomped Rodan, has a Healing Factor, called upon other Titans to be the alpha taking Godzilla's position as King of the Monsters, and drops the original's cowardice in favor of even more sadism. The only time Godzilla is able to get the advantage on him one on one is when they're underwater and he has a Homefield Advantage. Even then Ghidorah No Sells the Oxygen Destroyer and wins again.
    • Even worse is the fact that Ghidorah wins his fights by analyzing his foes and adjusting his tactics to fight them. Closer inspection of the first fight shows Godzilla choke slamming Ghidorah and 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, the second fight has Godzilla employ a sneak attack to allow him to secure a solid grab on Ghidorah, denying the dragon his reach or maneuverability, allowing Godzilla to dismember him with such ferocity that Ghidorah's fate was sealed... until a certain missile was launched which nearly kills Godzilla but does nothing to Ghidorah. In the third fight, Ghidorah defeats a supercharged Godzilla by supercharging himself with a power plant, 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.
    • 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, would allow 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 Ghidorah to not only be the main antagonist of multiple films, but not suffer any Villain Decay between them, as even reduced to a severed head and neurons, he remains a cataclysmic threat.
  • 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 that journey might have taken him — he's most likely significantly older here.
  • 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.
  • 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. Ghidorah unleashes the Earth's native Titans to wreak destruction on their planet, and his motive is believed to be Hostile Terraforming. Notable in that while past 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 is outright evil.
  • 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.
  • 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 little information on him remains due to him being the Unperson. This is because he turns out to be the only Titan who is genuinely evil and malicious.
  • 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. According to the novelization, his alpha call's meaning when he takes over the Titans is roughly: "Hunt together".
  • The Anti-God: While he is obviously a Satanic Archetype, he's this as well. Rather than being a former servant that went rogue, he is an equal and superior opposite force to Godzilla, a false king that could easily destroy everything and reshape it to his liking.
  • Arch-Enemy: Of Godzilla. The press release for the film even refers to him as Godzilla's nemesis and the film itself 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.
    • 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.
    • To top it off, he ends up hijacking the body of Godzilla's other Arch-Enemy, Mechagodzilla, in Godzilla vs. Kong to take another shot at killing Godzilla. There's even an implication that Godzilla would've never attacked Apex Cybernetics or sought out Mechagodzilla if they hadn't incorporated Ghidorah's remains into the machine.
  • 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: Besides being the only known extraterrestrial Titan, Ghidorah is the only Titan who'll go out of his way to kill humans who've neither provoked him nor pose a threat, and he'll do it just because they were in his sights; at times with a Slasher Smile or two. 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.
  • Battle in the Rain: His mere presence is enough summon raging electric storms, and sure enough once his dominance on Earth is established he's almost never fought or encountered without a vicious rainfall.
  • 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 this role with Alan Jonah, they are against each other. Jonah, Dr. Emma Russel, and Jonah’s men tried to take control of Ghidorah, but when he was set free he had plans of his own.
  • 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. While the other Titans are at least somewhat recognizably of the Earth (with most being scaled-up versions of animals that exist or have existed at some point in the planet's history), Ghidorah's mere presence upsets the balance between the Alpha Titan and the others. His Healing Factor is remarked as being impossible, especially compared to creatures like Godzilla (who also possesses a healing factor, though it can take years depending on the severity of his injuries). It is all but stated in the text that this is why Ghidorah was able to No-Sell the Oxygen Destroyer, as he presumably doesn't require oxygen to survive like the other Titans. Although All There in the Manual materials 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 decayed to just a skull apparently retains some trace of the three-headed dragon's consciousness/es, enough that it eventually overtakes Mechagodzilla after the skull is used as part of a brain for the mech.
  • 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 while the other two heads tear off the membranous sac enclosing it the first organ to develop in the growing mass is its tongue. Then jaws form around it, 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 Life Drain 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 is the evilest character in the film.
  • The Caligula: Rodan is Made a Slave to Ghidorah by conquest, and once Ghidorah usurps Godzilla's position as Alpha, the planet's other Titans respond to him as their new Alpha and are directed to rapidly (seemingly deliberately on Ghidorah's part) begin inflicting mass devastation on the Earth to an extent which will cause rapid mass extinction. Ghidorah is furthermore more than sadistic and evil enough for this trope. Fortunately, the Rightful King Returns.
  • Came from the Sky: Myths state that he "fell from the stars."
  • 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.
  • Clip Its Wings: The first thing Godzilla does to Ghidorah after gaining his Super Mode, was to unleash a Nuclear Pulse that eradicated 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 original three Dorats being replaced by his three personalities, and he has the wing lightning abilities and Healing Factor of the Rebirth of Mothra 3 King Ghidorah.
    • Like the Millennium King Ghidorah, he's found frozen in ice, and can fold his wings out of the way when not using them. He has Keizer's Life Drain bite and Death Ghidorah's ability to absorb energy, albeit this time it is electricity.
    • 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 he pulls a Tyrant Takes the Helm and causes things to go From Bad to Worse, Ghidorah effectively kills both Monarch's conflict with the military over whether or not the Kaiju should be exterminated and also the military's own foolish fixation on intervening in Kaiju crises with WMDs; and even Emma Russell pulls a Heel–Face Turn once she realizes how dangerous Ghidorah is to the planet. It leads to Monarch, all four branches of the military, the Russells, Godzilla and Mothra all effectively working together to see King Ghidorah brought down.
  • 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). 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 Hostile Terraforming of the planet. He isn't pleased when Madison briefly thwarts his control over them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, and later when he unlocks his Super Mode.
  • Dark Is Evil: Unlike the other cave paintings, his is pitch black and has skulls surrounding it, implying that he is extremely dangerous and maybe even malevolent. Goes to Light Is Not Good when part of him is turned into Mechagodzilla, who is as shiny and chromed as ever.
  • Deconstruction: He serves as this to how his previous incarnations were presented: ever sense 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.
  • Destroyer Deity: The kaiju are described as The Old Gods, and though he isn't the only destructive one, Ghidorah is the only one who actually threatens the entire world's natural order with his Apocalypse How.
  • Draconic Abomination: A towering three-headed, two-tailed dragon from space, with physiology that goes completely against the known natural order and an insatiable appetite for destruction. His very presence on Earth drives the lesser Titans into a destructive rampage, and he causes catastrophic tempests with his mere presence.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: Presented as a sinister, malevolent presence who bypasses merely being destructive by being massive like most Titans and is instead consciously a danger to everyone around him; his three heads have four horns apiece; his body is covered in Spikes of Villainy; he's often framed in shadows or surrounded by a great, swirling vortex, 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 backstory, he's basically the MonsterVerse version of the Devil!
  • 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.
  • 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. When Ghidorah first rises, Emma and Madison's faces are full of nothing but horror compared to how they reacted to Mothra. Even Rodan has an Oh, Crap! moment when he first sees Ghidorah (though this doesn't stop him from challenging him). In Godzilla vs. Kong, both Madison and Hayes are horrified when they discover Ghidorah's skull is being used by Apex as the hub of Mechagodzilla's neural system.
  • Defiant to the End: When Burning Godzilla emerges with his newfound power, King Ghidorah turns around and screeches at him with visible astonishment as well as anger. After Godzilla vaporizes his wings to atoms, the hydra attempted to return fire with all three Gravity Beams despite not having form of affect on Godzilla's Super Mode which shows that even if he's getting overpowered he'll won't back down on his own terms. After Ni and Kevin were incinerated, Ichi, once more, shrills at Godzilla, albeit in more panicked state than being furious. Even after he was nothing but a living alien noodle in Godzilla's jaws, in his final moments he still remains hostile and feisty, similar to an aggressive pet not wanting to be bathed.
  • 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.
  • Eldritch Abomination: A bit tamer than other types but there is enough wrongness about Ghidorah that puts him into this territory. First of all, he's an alien being that 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 speeds (which could be due to his ability to alter gravity, as if he can affect his own mass then FTL is possible, or due to opening spacial distortions), as trying to find life on a habitable world 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, 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 to create storms that would cover the whole world. He has three heads with minds of their own connected to one body, which communicate telepathically. He can mentally influence and control other creatures to the point of outright domination and can affect people who are sensitive to the Kaiju as well (his mental influence can reach all over the world as the other Kaiju responded immediately though they were thousands of miles away). And what's more, even when it's decomposed to just a skull and some neural tissue, Ghidorah's severed left head still retains some aspect of his will and malevolence: hijacking the manmade Brain–Computer Interface built into the skull, and evidently connecting to the Humongous Mecha that's linked to the interface, with it being creepily unclear whether Ghidorah performs full-on Brain Uploading into Mechagodzilla or merely reprograms the Mecha to become hostile. Honestly, this version of Ghidorah has a lot in common with a certain octopus headed dragon being.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: Although all the Titans are capable of causing great destruction merely by existing, their radiation and biological byproducts ultimately make them and their destruction regenerative to the planet's ecosystems. Ghidorah however, as an extraterrestrial, does not in any way regenerate the planet's biosphere, and worse yet he's an Omnicidal Maniac who actively tries 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 to Eleven.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When he's free and a bunch of panicking soldiers ineffectively shoot 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. With a smile on his face.
  • 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.
  • Eviler Than Thou: One of the things separating this Ghidorah from his previous incarnations: this Ghidorah is nobody' minion, and every other antagonist to challenge or attempt to control him come to regret.Rodan, Jonah, Emma, and Apex in the sequel all learn this the hard way.
  • 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 terraforming the planet to suit his own desire. They 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 Slinks: His body's and necks' movements are rather fluid and snakelike sometimes.
  • 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).
  • Expressive Hair: His horns, which flare with the heads' moods or when he's making an intimidation display.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: His left head has straighter horns than his middle and right heads, which have horns that curve inward and out, and its eyes appear to be further apart and its facial structure slightly broader (particularly noticeable in images featuring all three heads). Probably a visual motif to highlight this head as the odd one out personality-wise.
  • Fatal Flaw: While he relishes in the act of murdering victims in his vicinity, his sadistic thirst for pursuing others who've done nothing to him is his possible downfall. If he didn't go out of his way to fly after the people inside the Argo, he wouldn't have been assaulted by Godzilla who dragged him into the ocean (which is Godzilla's element and Ghidorah's Weaksauce Weakness) and had his left head horrifically bitten off.
    • When he corners Madison, he decides to incinerate her with Gravity Beams when stomping on her would've been the quicker method. Him charging up the beams pretty much made him target practice for Godzilla, as he was instantly floored by his Atomic Breath, therefore, engaging in another climatic throwdown with him.
    • There's also a minor moment after Emma activated the ORCA to lure Ghidorah away from Godzilla, and does her best for the hydra to follow her. While that moment was highly justified; after destroying her car and injuring her, all three of Ghidorah's heads loom towards her with varying bloodthirsty expressions as she's lying on the street immobile as if they're going to savor seeing her die somewhat slowly — and they ultimately don't get that pleasure before Burning Godzilla's arrival.
  • Fisher King: Justified by his elemental powers. Besides his Perpetual Hurricane; after Ghidorah takes over rule of the planet's Kaiju from Godzilla, he begins spreading massive atmospheric storms all over the planet. As a result, there's not a single location on the Earth's surface that's visited by the heroes (except Boston before the Final Battle) that doesn't have torrential weather. It signifies Ghidorah's purely-destructive nature as an Omnicidal Maniac, and how he completely overturns and upsets the world's natural balance.
  • 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 is 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: Several times he intentionally kills or attacks people who haven't attacked him or don't have the ORCA, such as swallowing Vivienne whole or attacking the Argo while it's running away from him, often with a grin on one or two of his faces. Notably, he continues to go after Madison even after she's thrown the ORCA closer to him and disabled it, attempting to atomize her — a single, ant-sized human who also happens to be a youngling among her species — with all three heads' Gravity Beams. The novelization outright states Ghidorah enjoys killing and practically lives for it, and makes it clear nearly every act he commits is for his own pleasure.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: King Ghidorah represents the element Air.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Actually averted in this case. While small arms fire predictably does little more than catch his attention, and missiles do little more than annoy him; Godzilla, a Titan which is considerably smaller, manages to rip off one of his heads in their second battle. However, his extremely fast Healing Factor makes up for this.
  • Giant Flyer: The very biggest of the three flyers. In fact, he's one of the biggest in the history of the franchise.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: His eyes often appear to glint brightly in a certain light, with the change in the glint seen most notably when he was flying towards the Argo.
  • God of Thunder: Ghidorah has a lot of characteristics that makes 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 literally rides a storm so fierce that it can cover half a continent.
  • 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, stating that Godzilla and Ghidorah's blood feud has, at the very least, endured for centuries. He was apparently the basis of several draconian myths, such as the Hydra and the Rainbow Serpent, which were actually sightings of him. Despite being frozen by the present day, Ghidorah's presence on Earth is enough to make the threats of the MUTOs and the Skullcrawlers seem insignificant by comparison.
  • 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 (if there's a source of radiation handy). During his second tussle with Godzilla, his left head along with a good chunk of his neck are ripped off. After No Selling the Oxygen Destroyer, which hits him moments later, he proceeds to Rodan's volcanonote  and regrows his lost head in less than a minute. While his healing factor is overcome by Burning Godzilla's nuclear pulse, his middle head is still alive despite being completely detached from the body. He's finally killed after being incinerated by Godzilla's atomic breath, though in the novelization it's speculated that he might be able to grow new bodies from dismembered pieces.
    • His middle head is also seemingly the source of his life-force or Healing Factor, since not even disintegrating the body could kill it, whereas the left head that was severed earlier didn't regenerate, Godzilla vs. Kong reveals Ghidorah's conscious persists in his remaining neurons.
  • Hell Is That Noise: 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: Kills Mothra by incinerating her with a massive burst of gravity beams, and is also responsible for Vivienne Graham and Emma Russell's deaths as well.
  • Horns of Villainy: Five horns on either side of each head. 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: Dr. Stanton speculates that Ghidorah's Apocalypse How is perhaps intended to reshape the planet to suit Ghidorah's extraterrestrial environmental preferences, comparable to how an invasive species in an ecosystem devastates the local biome in the process of adapting it to their liking. In the novelization, that's the theory the characters run with, although Mark at one point inwardly speculates that perhaps Ghidorah really just hates and wants to kill every living thing that isn't him.
  • 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 its 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.
  • 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 dubbed 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.
  • It's All About Me: Implied. Whether as a form of Hostile Terraforming or out of sheer sadism, Ghidorah is actively trying to raze the entire Earth's ecosphere and native life to the ground for nobody's benefit but his own.
  • Kill All Humans: Notably, Ghidorah loves going out of his way to kill humans when he sees them. While his goal is to inflict an extinction event that will likely wipe out all non-Titan complex life on Earth, both Ghidorah and the Titans under its command seem to actively prioritize rampaging through human cities, with Ghidorah turning Washington D.C. into a roost for himself.
  • Klingon Promotion: Technically averted in King Ghidorah's case, as it was the Oxygen Destroyer that took out Godzilla during their fight. It provides another reason why he can be called the False King.
  • 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. The moment he appears onscreen everything takes a much darker turn.
  • Large and in Charge: Ghidorah towers over all the other monsters, and usurps Godzilla's place as the King of the Monsters. Among his three heads, the middle one also has the longest and most curved horns and tends to stretch its neck higher than the other two.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: His Omnicidal Maniac tendencies lead to humans and Godzilla being united against him. He also particularly enjoys slaughtering humans, and said puny primates become responsible for using the ORCA to distract Ghidorah long enough for Godzilla's Super Mode to activate and deliver a Rasputinian Death to the dragon.
  • Leitmotif: A very dark and eerie piece filled with Ominous Hindi Chanting. Where Godzilla's themes exude power, Rodan's theme evokes unbridled aggression and rage, and Mothra's theme is filled with grace and beauty, Ghidorah's theme gives an ominous, out-of-place feeling that invokes dread. According to commenters, the lyrics in the theme are drawn from the Heart Sūtra, which in its original context is about emptying one's mind to achieve enlightenment, but when applied to Ghidorah, is twisted into a more sinister connotation. Ghidorah, known as Monster Zero, comes from nothingness (space), seemingly needs nothing to survive (not even oxygen), and if allowed to reign over the Earth, is liable to wipe out all life on the planet.
  • Life Drain: In reference to his Expy Kaiser Ghidorah, after a wounded Godzilla begins to morph into Burning Godzilla, Ghidorah bites down and begins to drain the life out of the fallen Titan. Only Emma's use of the ORCA stops him from sucking Godzilla dry.
  • Light Is Not Good: He's a golden three-headed dragon, but also extremely dangerous and actively malevolent, being described as a 'living extinction event.'
  • Lightning Bruiser: He is the largest kaiju to appear in the movies thus far, and is not slowed down by it when it comes to combat, especially with his heads' agile necks. 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, despite being a flyer, Ghidorah is no slouch in close combat. Due to his sheer size and strength, he's 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 before Ghidorah is directly seen. Then lightning flashes reveal Ghidorah's huge silhouette flying directly in front of the Argo amid the darkness.
  • 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 decomposes to leave just the skull, but it proves that some of Ghidorah still lives on inside the skull when it takes over Mechagodzilla's programming.
  • 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 overall creating extinction-level conditions is similar to what Godzilla: Aftershock reveals the MUTOs' species do (destroying or Hostile Terraforming entire ecosystems to their needs until all the 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 in his goals. It actually seems like the MUTOs where foreshadowing Ghidorah's coming.
  • 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.
  • 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 Lord: One of the Alpha Titans. After overpowering Rodan and surviving being hit by the Oxygen Destroyer, he wakes the 17 known Titans and drives them to begin destroying as much of the planet as possible. 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 teeth are visible in a few uneven places along their gums. It's also visible in Ghidorah's skinless skull in Godzilla vs. Kong.
  • Multiple Head Case: He's one of the first incarnations of the character to play this trope straight, with each of his three heads exhibiting a unique personality and interacting with each other. The middle head (the dominant one) is the most intelligent and focused, the left head is the most docile and absent-minded, and the right head is the most alert and aggressive. It's driven home by the fact three separate motion capture actors portray each head
  • 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).
  • Mysterious Past: The Monarch profile states his origins as ancient but unknown. After piecing together what little legends there are about him along with his biology and unnaturally malicious behavior, Monarch reason that he must be an alien lifeform.
  • 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: His method of destroying the Earth's biosphere. 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 an extinction event, but with the other Titans rampaging globally at his command, they will together rapidly and radically change the Earth's environmental conditions in a way that none of the planet's native life more advanced than bacteria can adapt to, causing the worst mass extinction in the planet's known history. In fact, the filmmakers of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) intended Ghidorah to be a metaphor for Climate Change.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Twice. Once when Godzilla is injured by the Oxygen Destroyer, which Ghidorah No Sold, and again during the final battle where Ghidorah nearly kills Godzilla himself.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Although his endgame 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 allowing him to regenerate from damage that'd kill any other Titan, as well as a decentralized nervous system that means so long as any sufficiently large enough chunk of him with enough neurons survives, Ghidorah isn't completely dead and completely destroying every trace of him is about the only way to make sure he's dead for good. Even reduced to a skull and a collection of neurons is enough for him to survive in some form, possess Mechagodzilla, and return to being a threat.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Ghidorah attempts to enact this via spreading Perpetual Storms across the planet as part of his Omnicidal Maniac actions. The novelization notes that if it keeps up for days or even months, the decreased daylight alone (never mind all the other devastation) will have the effect of a nuclear or volcanic winter, causing plant life to die and then the animals to follow in a domino effect.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: Averted. Ghidorah has no problem surviving in Earth's atmosphere, but isn't fazed in the slightest by the Oxygen Destroyer's effects, suggesting together with legends about him that he can potentially survive the vacuum of space.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: During the first battle, Godzilla fires his Atomic Breath at Ghidorah, but due to his long necks, the middle and left head only moved a couple of inches (well, given the scale probably more like a few dozen feet) away from it before immediately retaliating.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The middle head (who happens to be the leader) has two rows of spines on its neck, while the other heads have a single row of spines each. Meanwhile, the left head (who happens to be the trio's Minion with an F in Evil) has a slightly more rectangular facial shape with further-apart eyes 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.
  • Not Enough to Bury: Ghidorah's Healing Factor is so powerful Godzilla has to basically atomize him to finally take him down. And The Stinger with his remaining severed (seemingly dead) head implies he's not completely out of action yet, and his consciousness survives even after being converted into Mechagodzilla.
  • Not Even Human: Ghidorah is a variation of this. After it's released, it immediately proves itself to be unnaturally sadistic and malicious, particularly when compared with the other Titans who can be hostile or benevolent but are all ultimately animals with animal instinct. It 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 discover from analyzing ancient texts that Ghidorah is in fact an alien not from Earth, which also means he does not in any way have a renewing effect on Earth's biosphere like the other Titans but instead acts like a planetary invasive species.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We know Ghidorah is an extraterrestrial like most of his previous incarnations, but otherwise we don't know anything about this incarnation's Mysterious Past before he came to Earth. However, Ghidorah's powerful and sadistic nature is enough to create plenty of Fridge Horror concerning the questions of where he came from originally.
  • Not Quite Dead: Only suggested in The Stinger of King of the Monsters. Ghidorah's severed left head, swarming with flies, is recovered and obtained by Alan Jonah — keep in mind, when Ghidorah's body was destroyed by Godzilla, the middle head was still alive and trying to escape before Godzilla incinerated it. Godzilla vs. Kong reveals that after Ghidorah's skull and another part of him have been incorporated into Mechagodzilla, whatever's left of Ghidorah's will and malevolence inside its remains is able to seize control of the mech when it's sufficiently powered up and make it begin to Kill All Humans and attempt to kill Godzilla.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He's described as being a "living extinction event", and for good reason. He surrounds himself with a destructive, lightning-filled typhoon that follows him wherever he goes, but upon taking over as alpha of the Earth's Titans, Ghidorah actively seeks to bring a Class 4-6 on the Apocalypse How scale. Ghidorah's modus operandi is using his Weather Manipulation to spread Perpetual Storms across the planet (the novelization notes this on its own would be enough to kill off most of the biosphere within a matter of months), while commanding the other Titans to wreak mass destruction with their powers so rapidly that entire ecosystems will perish and none of Earth's multicellular life will have any chance to adapt. The main theory about Ghidorah's motives is that he's enacting a form of Hostile Terraforming on the planet, but Mark at one point speculates that Ghidorah isn't really even doing that and is just trying to kill every living thing that isn't him out of hatred and malice.
  • 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, Hinduism Vritra) to Shintoism Yamata-No-Orochi (which was heavily influenced by Vedic branch of Indo-European religion) to the Australian Rainbow Serpent (which civilization has no contact with any Indo-European civilization in 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 and is all that's left of Ghidorah (apart from the earlier-severed head in The Stinger) before Godzilla destroys it too; 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.
  • 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 to 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 balance," Ghidorah is not part of that balance, and his awakening is not a good thing for the Earth.
  • Overarching Villain: Of the four film arc comprising the MonsterVerse thus far, being the Greater-Scope Villain of Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island, and the Big Bad of King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong as Mechagodzilla.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Is described as a "living extinction event" in viral marketing, being capable of generating massive hurricanes around itself using its bioelectric abilities. His hurricane gets larger and stronger the longer he generates it, eventually resulting in a Category 6. The novelization reveals this hurricane gradually evolves into a supercell generating more hurricanes, and if it continues to expand, it may blanket the entire planet in a perpetual hurricane that would wipe out all life as we know it even if he didn't have the other Titans to speed up the process.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: It's only a very subtle hint, but the King of the Monsters novelization at one point seems to hint that he might have caused the Permian-Triassic extinction event (the single most severe extinction event in Earth's known history, which wiped out 90% of all life) when he arrived on Earth, and worse yet it sounds like the event might've merely been caused by his landing as a meteorite. Ultimately Played With, as it isn't until later in the story that it's revealed just how big a threat Ghidorah really is to all life on Earth.
  • Physical God: Having been worshiped by ancient civilizations as an evil god and being Godzilla's chief rival, he qualifies as this. He's so strong, in fact, that Godzilla needs to get a Super Mode to finally put him down.
  • Power Glows: His necks glow with light while he charges up his breath weapon — think Smaug with lightning. Another shot of him firing from one head shows the attached neck is glowing there as well. It fits with how Godzilla and Mothra also light up in various ways when charging their built-in energy weapons (i.e. Godzilla's dorsal spines 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 in this regard.
  • 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, 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 alone, where he finally meets his end, Ghidorah is mauled half a dozen times by Big G, blasted again and again by a super-charged atomic breath, thrown into buildings, and the foundation of the city. What finally does Ghidorah in is when Godzilla's Fire form vents nuclear heat with enough force to level Boston, twice, resulting in Ghidorah's side heads and most of his body being incinerated by the blasts. And after that, Godzilla still has to stomp on Ghidorah's still alive body and point-blank him with another blast of nuclear heat, and finally Godzilla roasts the remaining head with an atomic blast which goes up the head's neck from the cut while it's held in Godzilla's jaws. Justified, as Ghidorah's Healing Factor practically requires his death to be this.
  • Reconstruction: In contrast to the anime version of the character, this Ghidorah takes the original concept and adds enough realism to make it work beautifully. A giant flying dragon would need enormous wings he could fold out of his way, that are also sturdy enough to support his weight when leaning forward. The three heads all have minds of their own, causing certain independence from each other, and move around like cobras due to their long necks. He belches a conductive ionized gas ignited by his body’s bio-electricity, and his electrical powers allow him to summon storms. His occasional mind control powers are reworked into his status as an Alpha titan with the ability to direct the other Titans as he sees fit on an instinctual level. Also, while previous King Ghidorahs 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 all life on Earth by virtue of his storm 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 for most of the film, as they don't know his name. Ancient Sumerians call it the "Death Song of Three Storms". In the movie, he is called "The One Who is Many".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He has beady, bright-red eyes that glint in the dark.
  • Rule of Symbolism: He's a Satanic Archetype and is even called the Devil in Dr. Graham's notes, and there are times in the film where one can really see how and why Satan might be humans' memory of ancient encounters with him. In Antarctica, he emerges from a pit filled with smoke and lightning (fire); 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. The novelization actually provides some extra Revelation-evocative imagery of the global destruction Ghidorah is wreaking when he takes control of the other Titans. One shot frames him beside a cross, lit infernally by lightning and the lava of an erupting volcano as if to say "Where's your God now?" in light of Ghidorah taking over control of the Titans, and by extension the Earth.
  • 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 by one of Burning Godzilla's thermonuclear pulses during Ghidorah's Rasputinian Death. And then in Godzilla vs. Kong, Mechagodzilla — who is controlled using the skull of Kevin's head from Isla de Mara and who furthermore goes on an all-murdering rampage due to Ghidorah's influence taking it over — gets defeated specifically by Kong ripping his head (along with the spine) out.
  • Sadist: As the director noted, him going after humans is similar to some predators (particularly cats) who tend to play with their food before eating them — except, of course, Ghidorah doesn't always kill for food at all. The middle head is the most pronounced, but Ghidorah as a whole has a sadistic streak, which mainly manifests in killing humans who haven't done anything to provoke him just because he can, and a ridiculous tendency toward overkill. This is prominently shown when Monarch's Osprey is downed and he could easily crush it with his foot or vaporize it with his Gravity Beams, but chooses instead to take his time and slowly crush it and everyone inside; something the novelization directly points out and calls attention to as abnormally sadistic. The novelization also makes it explicit that he's this trope in general, and that his bloodthirsty behavior is a complete contrast to the ruthless but ultimately nature-driven actions of the other, non-alien Titans.
    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: He looks very Satan-like at times throughout the film (see Rule of Symbolism). Dr. Graham's notes especially call him the Devil; in the final book of The Bible, the Devil appears as a multi-headed dragon; in Dante's Inferno, the Devil's imagined as a three-headed monster stuck in a frozen lake in the final circle of Hell. In the movie proper, he's stated to be a great dragon that fell from the stars (or rather the heavens), adding more to the archetype. He emerges from a giant pit where he's been long sealed away and enacts an Apocalypse How. And all that is to say nothing of how he's an Evil Counterpart to Godzilla who actively wants to usurp the latter's dominion over the world and its Titans. Ghidorah leads other Titans (the enforcers of Earth's natural order) astray into instead serving his own goals of perverting the world's natural order to his hellish image, similar to how the Devil leads his fellow angels astray. Ghidorah's nature and speculated end goal is also Satan-like: by his very nature he doesn't conform to Earth's natural order (he's the incarnate evil which by its very nature infects and perverts an otherwise-good world), and he seeks to overthrow that natural order so he can destroy everything and remake it in his own perverted, hellish image. What hints we get in the film and the novelization suggests Ghidorah will essentially turn the entire planet into a lightning-bombarded Hell on Earth. Basically, Ghidorah is the MonsterVerse version of the Devil.
  • 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. It's implied Godzilla regularly checks up on Antarctica precisely to make sure Ghidorah remains contained. He's unleashed by Alan Jonah's terrorist organization, which seeks to use him as a weapon to further their anarchist cause.
  • Sequel Adaptation Iconic Villain: The first film had the MUTOs, Canon Foreigners, as the kaiju Godzilla faces. The sequel brought in many more from the Toho films, including his iconic archenemy Ghidorah.
  • Serkis Folk: Each head has its own motion-capture actor.
  • 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.
  • Single Specimen Species: Unlike the other Titans, he technically fits this trope according to the summary, so far. He's the only one of his kind we know about and it's unknown if he's part of a species or what his origin is, all of which are justified because he's an extraterrestrial of unknown origin.
  • 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 inside the storm clouds during the Washington D.C. attack, illuminated by the 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 tail occasionally producing rattle sounds. In his third and final clash with Godzilla, his heads actually constrict Godzilla in a fashion similar to pythons.
  • The Sociopath: Ghidorah cares nothing for other lifeforms, except for going out his way to kill and toy with humans for his own sadistic amusement, and using Earth's Titans as extensions of his will (and fighting them to the death if they're able to oppose him). He forces all of Earth's Titans to aid him in killing as much of their planet's biosphere as possible, and he's completely okay with devastating an entire planet and all its native life to serve his own goals (not only that but he actively seems quite happy to do so). 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 films' monster Big Bads, Ghidorah is not just a daikaiju, he's one who's powerful enough to rival Godzilla for dominance over all the others. He's far more powerful and more malevolent than either the MUTOs or Skullcrawlers, and as an alien who acts like an invasive species and is actively trying to destroy as much life on the planet as possible, it's made clear that 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 an extinction event — Ghidorah is that much worse than them).
  • Spikes of Villainy: Has wings with numerous spiked tips on the sides, crowns of horns on each head, and his two long tails end in spiky clubs.
  • Super Power Lottery: Out of all of the Titans who're 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 create storms large enough to cover a whole city's worth (or most of the planet in the novelization), channel electrical energy from his body (mostly from his mouths), great regenerative capabilities, Super Strength, absorbing a victim's life force just by biting, oxygen independency, and being able to awaken and enslave multiple Titans by command. There's a reason why Godzilla and humanity view him as a horrible threat to everything that must be destroyed, and why Godzilla was the only Titan who could seriously challenge him.
  • Super Toughness: He manages to actually power through Godzilla's Atomic Breath twice in the final confrontation in Boston. What makes this feat impressive, is that Godzilla's strength was increased from the nuke Serizawa set off earlier.
  • There Can Only Be One: Downplayed in that Ghidorah seeks to overthrow Godzilla, and afterward uses the Earth's other Titans as extensions of his will to aid him in destroying the planet. But based on his response to Rodan's awakening, it seems Ghidorah's response to literally any other Titan is it must bend or break. It's also implied this is why Ghidorah reacts to the ORCA by attacking whatever is producing the acoustics — oh, he hears and understands it, he just thinks it should be killed.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • He seems to have a preference towards using his Gravity Beams, an attack that throws Godzilla around, directly on humans. Including attempting to kill Madison, an unarmed child, with all three of them in Boston after she activated the ORCA. Given his appearance in ancient cave paintings have him blasting soldiers with spears with them, 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 his Healing Factor and decentralized nervous system means that this is the only way to truly kill King Ghidorah, as if a large enough piece with enough neurons survives, he could potentially come back. Godzilla atomizes him...but the severed head of San/Kevin allowed his consciousness to survive in some form inside it and Mechagodzilla. Thus, it's likely only complete annihilation is enough to permanently put Ghidorah down for good.
  • Three Beings, One Body: The director indicates Ghidorah's Multiple Head Case is this rather than Split Personality, while All There in the Manual material states Ghidorah's heads have a level of independent thought.
  • Throat Light: This is presumably the first time audiences see any indication of a visible charge up (more likely his necks crackling with electricity) of his Gravity Beams.
  • Too Powerful to Live: Arguably the single most powerful (and most malevolent) Kaiju in the MonsterVerse yet, and he's killed in the same film he makes a proper appearance in — of course, then there's The Stinger suggesting he might be Not Quite Dead...
  • Top God: As a rival Alpha Titan in his own right, Ghidorah becomes King of the Gods when Godzilla is crippled and left near-dead by the Oxygen Destroyer, taking advantage of the immediate power vacuum. However, he's presented as The Usurper and his takeover is an apocalyptic case of Tyrant Takes the Helm. The film's Final Battle focuses on Godzilla fighting to take back his kingship via You Kill It, You Bought It.
  • Truer to the Text: This version of King Ghidorah is the most faithful to the original incarnation in his debut film, being a sadistic alien, nigh-unstoppable killing machine who destroys worlds not because he's ordered to, but because he enjoys doing so.
  • 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 global natural disasters on every continent and obliterate human cities.
  • 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 about him simply out of fear, hoping he would be eventually just 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 alien true nature.
  • Viler New Villain: Whereas the MUTOs and the Skullcrawlers were generally seeking to live out their natural life cycles (albeit life cycles that greatly threatened the resident humans and local ecosystems); Ghidorah is a vicious and intelligent alien, who is indicated to be actively seeking the Earth's destruction.
  • 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 Legacy: After he's defeated and his Apocalypse How stopped, what actions he managed to commit beforehand seem to have left a surprisingly positive impact at the end overall. The end credits indicate any lasting environmental damage from his global Titan-rampage is being cleaned up by the Titans; but Titans around the world remain awakened, and humanity's global cities have suffered untold devastation. Ironically, Ghidorah's actions have aided the planet in the long run due to the awakened Titans having a positive environmental effect, although the novelization states he also riled up bad ones like the Skullcrawlers. 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, in Godzilla vs. Kong, Ghidorah's head is used by Apex to create 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.
  • Walking Wasteland: Much like the fairly realistic depiction of a creature Godzilla's size displacing enough water to create tsunamis upon landfall, Ghidorah's massive size, powerful wings, and Shock and Awe powers alter the barometric pressure around him to create typhoons.
  • Weaksauce 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.
  • Weather Manipulation: His electrical powers cause him to generate a devastating, typhoon-like Perpetual Storm around himself filled with yellow lightning, aided by the hurricane-like winds produced by his wings. When he first awakens in Antarctica, his awakened presence immediately causes unnatural winds and tempests 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 can damage aircraft with lightning bolts. And the superpower doesn't even end there: when Ghidorah takes over as the Alpha Titan, his hurricane begins producing massive offshoot storms and spreading them all over the planet, threatening to plunge the planet into a makeshift volcanic winter while the perpetual rainfall drowns and over-saturates entire ecosystems. "Living extinction event" indeed!
    • Making a Splash: After he books it out of Antarctica, Ghidorah's hurricane brings torrential downpours wherever he goes (likely due to him flying above the southern hemisphere's ocean and incorporating liquid water and moisture into the storm). His hurricane explicitly 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 this 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 seem to indicate his wingbeats before his storm has arrived.
  • 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 nuclear pulse.
  • World's Strongest Man: The only Titan on Earth that can defeat Godzilla in a straight fight. 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 simply to satisfy his own sadistic tendencies.
  • 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 of the storms he creates, in contrast to Godzilla's bright-blue atomic rays.

     Tropes applying to the heads 
  • Adaptational Dumbass: The Toho versions of Ghidorah were FAR from stupid since the original Showa incarnation knows when to actually quit and live to fight another day when facing defeat. With this incarnation however, only the left head AKA Kevin is struck with this without a doubt. It takes a bite to the horn from Ichi, just to get him on track and at one point, actually lets soldiers directly shoot him in his face with puny firearms (not that he could actually feel pain from them anyhow) until he was ordered to blast them to smithereens.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: San/Kevin (the left head), somewhat, especially when compared with the other two heads. He has his sadistic moments in his own right and seems fine with fighting and exterminating when the heads are working together, but he seems quite curious about humans instead of just obliterating them straight away and is a Minion with an F in Evil.
  • Affably Evil: Downplayed but suggested with Kevin (the left head), who often sports docile facial cues, and seems more interested in curiously investigating and playing with Ghidorah's food than in actually killing it. The director entertained the notion that Kevin probably wouldn't be a bad guy, if Ichi weren't calling the shots.
  • Alpha and Beta Wolves: When he usurps Godzilla, Ghidorah acts as the Alpha over the other Titans according to this dynamic, but Ghidorah's heads themselves have this dynamic. 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 keeping San/Kevin in line is also comparable to a wolf pack.
  • Ambiguous Disorder / Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The left head's tendency to get distracted and sidelined has been compared by fans to A.D.H.D.. Probably the most Ambiguous Disorder thing he does in the film is looking momentarily at something else in a different direction when Ghidorah is getting obliterated one portion of his body at a time.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The left head may not be as smart or as mean as the other two heads, but he's just as dangerous as them, and he won't hesitate to strike in the middle of a fight. See the Spoilers folder for additional detail.
  • Big Brother Bully: The central head has this dynamic with the left head, abusing it whenever it gets distracted by something to get it back to focusing on whatever they're doing.
  • Blood Knight: The middle head is the most focused on challenging Godzilla in Antarctica and Boston, while the right head seems to want to savage anything it lays eyes upon and is said by Word of God to be constantly eager for a fight. The left head is a little bit timider — 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 one who suffers the most indignities. According to Mike Dougherty, he's probably been suffering the latter indignity regularly. Ironically, this head is all that's left of Ghidorah by the end of the movie.
  • 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.
    • Also, the left head begins out very timid against Godzilla, showing reluctance as the other two heads challenge him in Antarctica, and mostly hanging back out of the way through most of the fight and only attacking once the other two heads do so. However, after being decapitated by Godzilla and regrowing, he becomes far more aggressive in the Boston battle and even viciously tears into Godzilla's throat when they drain Godzilla's energy, suggesting that Lefty holds quite a bit of a grudge...
  • 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 their wings. The right head keeps an eye on what's happening around it when it's trying to free the other heads. One of the heads also appears to possibly call out to Rodan just before he arrives, so he can keep Mothra out of Ghidorah's fight with Godzilla.
  • The Comically Serious: The right and middle heads try their best to look terrifying, minus the left head who just lives in his own little world, not that Ghidorah himself isn't exactly comedic as a whole.
  • Death Glare: Ichi gives Madison one when Ghidorah's heads spot her in Boston and realize she was responsible for broadcasting the ORCA signal.
  • The Dividual: (Syndividual) Ghidorah's three heads are physically near-identical and work as one in a fight. But individually they display differing personalities, their horns are slightly different from each-other, and the middle and left heads respectively have some Non-Standard Character Design (see above folder).
  • Ear Notch: A variation. The right head (Ni) has a distinguishing chipped horn, to denote his Blood Knight personality and him being slightly rasher than the middle head.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: The left head is sometimes clueless and gets sidetracked, forcing the middle head to have him focus on what they're trying to do.
  • Fearless Fool: The right head without the other two to keep it in line. Look closely when Godzilla charges an All Webbed Up 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 tends to attack anything that catches his attention, such as the speakers at Fenway Park.
  • 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 Minion with an F in Evil, and his personality is very Ditz in a nutshell. But it's heavily implied that he functions as a lookout — he has a habit of looking over his respective shoulder, he's the head that reels back and watches what Godzilla does in their first fight instead of engaging, and he's the first head to notice Godzilla charging his atomic breath to counterattack in time. By comparison, Kevin does a much poorer job of watching their flank when Godzilla blindsides Ghidorah above the ocean. The implication is Kevin's curiosity is just a side effect of his status as a lookout, and Ichi gets annoyed with him not doing his job properly.
  • Hot-Blooded: The director states Ni (the right head) is this, and he demonstrates it in the film with his seething expression and when he tries to fend Godzilla off with nothing but his own jaws and no backup. In most scenes where the trio are confronting what they intend to kill, it’s going to be Ni who’s going 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.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: "Righty", also called Ni (as in the Japanese number 2). Though not as intelligent or mission-focused as the middle head (Ichi), he has his tactical priorities straight and reacts a lot more quickly when the other two heads are All Webbed Up by Mothra.
  • It Can Think: Each of Ghidorah's heads has a distinct personality. The right head is tactical and looks like it wants to savage everything it lays eyes upon; the left head is absentminded, curious, and slightly timid; and the middle head is intelligent, focused, and dominant over the other two. Upon awakening, as the G-Team open fire with their guns, the left head curiously leans down (completely unphased by the weapons) and examines them, before being disciplined by the middle head who bites his horns. In general, the middle head seems to be stern and wants the left to focus on the mission. He's also prone to Slasher Smiles, and in general, Ghidorah is portrayed as genuinely sadistic and evil rather than an actual animal. Then there's the creepy Death Glare that Ghidorah's middle head gives Madison when the heads find her in Fenway Park. 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. Ghidorah also uses the other Titans as weapons to destroy their own planet as Ghidorah wishes.
  • It's Personal: Ghidorah seems to treat his feud with Godzilla this way, their rivalry remarked as being unique among the Titans. It's mutual, and in general, he and Godzilla hate each other.
    • Implied with Kevin (the left head), who at first is timid and fearful when facing Godzilla, but after being beheaded and regenerating becomes far more vicious in the Boston fight (even tearing into Godzilla's throat as they drain his energy), suggesting that Kevin held some degree of a grudge against what Godzilla did to him earlier in Mexico.
  • Laughably Evil: Though it doesn't make him harmless in the slightest, it can be amusing to watch Ghidorah's heads squabble and the left head act like an idiot; not that it makes him any less dark, ominous and serious in every scene featuring him.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: "Kevin" (the left head), who only seems competent in the sense he just mimics whatever the other two heads do, displaying an almost Punch-Clock Villain attitude to attacking Titans and killing humans. He acts a lot more docile than the goal-focused middle head and the hotheaded right head, and he's initially the most curious and eager to get a look at humans and their new technology (this characteristic apparently fades over the film).
  • 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 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) appears to be this. He gets Ichi annoyed when he's distracted licking a bunch of charred human corpses (he seems to enjoy the taste). When Ichi eats Vivienne and Ni is eating the falling ice, Kevin looks like he's thinking "I wish they'd let me have some", before he promptly turns his attention to the other humans. And in Boston, Kevin seems very, very eager to chomp on Godzilla when Life Draining him.
  • Odd Name Out: Played With. 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!: Kevin (the poor bastard) gets brutally decapitated, courtesy of Godzilla during the underwater battle in Mexico. It even happens to him again in Boston when Burning Godzilla's Nuclear Pulse disintegrates both Ni and Kevin to ash leaving Ichi as the hapless victim to truly suffer the wrath of their enemy's unyielding rage.
  • Oh, Crap!: In quick succession:
    • Look closely at Kevin's head when Ghidorah senses Godzilla's Super Mode after Emma's Last Words.
    • When Godzilla obliterates both the side heads, the middle head Ichi is becoming visibly terrified for the first time.
    • And then when Ichi's surviving head starts emerging from the rubble, he only seems to realize that his neck is in Godzilla's jaws in the exact same moment that the audience realizes it.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Compared to the other two, Ni's (the right head's) default expression is a crooked-shaped, teeth-baring grimace.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Kevin (the left head) is one, mostly leaning towards the Cute and Psycho variety. He's the least mature of the heads, showing childish curiosity and needing correction from the center head; though he's still very nonchalant about joining the other heads in blasting whatever's in their way to atoms, and he actually seems to enjoy Life Draining Godzilla more than the other two heads. Probably his best display is when the head curiously investigates the humans shooting at it... and after all three heads kill them, Kevin gets distracted licking their ashy corpses, like a kid at the supermarket who's gotten their hands on a bar of tasty chocolate before their mum has paid for it.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Ni notably does this 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, right before the head in question gives her a Death Glare.
  • Siblings in Crime: The three heads are described 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: His faces often look like they're smiling when he's doing something evil. Notably, Ichi pulls a lopsided smirk after the right head chirps something to it in Antarctica... right before they prepare to blast a bunch of humans to ashes. Kevin and Ichi are likewise sporting this when they're pursuing the Argo, whilst Ni has one when Ichi kills Vivienne Graham.
  • The Starscream: According to Ghidorah's actors, Ni hates the fact he's taking orders from Ichi and wishes he was the head calling the shots.
  • 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 spoilers folder for details).
  • Terrible Trio: He's a rare case of a single character who can form one of these by himself, thanks to being effectively three characters rolled into one with each of his three heads having its own individual personality.
    • The middle head is the 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 unexpected occurrences. Unlike the other two heads, he tends to arch its neck so 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 Butt-Monkey of the group, suffering the most abuse; be it from human forces, Godzilla, or the other heads themselves. His behavior is decidedly a bit of a Psychopathic Manchild, being dim-witted and curious, and often does other things out of focus that often tends to annoy the middle head.
    • The right head is the most aggressive and Hot-Blooded, and is a bit of a Fearless Fool without the other two heads. He near-constantly looks like he wants to murder anything that catches his attention.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Kevin's reaction compared to Ichi's when they're All Webbed Up and Godzilla is approaching seems a bit like this.
  • Token Good Teammate: Downplayed with San/Kevin, who's more a Minion with an F in Evil. 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 confirms 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 Vivianne along with a huge clump of ice she was running across, and the right head snaps up crushed ice and possibly bits of her that fall out of the middle head's mouth.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Played With. Ghidorah overall is extremely malevolent and dangerous, but San/Kevin is generally a goofball and a dunce, and he gets bitten and pushed around by the serious, sadistic leader Ichi for it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ghidorah has a minor one when Godzilla traps him underwater and is visibly panicking when Godzilla bites off one of his heads and struggles to break free. The real one comes when Godzilla activates his Super Mode — all three heads seem enraged to the point of freaking out after Godzilla incinerates their wings, and after the left and right heads are both obliterated, the remaining middle head grows visibly terrified.

     Unmarked spoilers for Godzilla vs. Kong 

Mechagodzilla (The Mecha)

Portrayed By:

Appears In: Godzilla vs. Kong

Species: Giant mech incorporating Ghidorah's organic remains
A bionic Titan emulating Godzilla's appearance and powers, secretly built by Apex Cybernetics five years after Ghidorah's defeat with the intent of usurping Godzilla and securing Earth for humanity as the dominant species. It later turns out to be made in part with King Ghidorah's remains, eventually rebelling to continue its plan to annihilate the world and get Revenge against Godzilla.

For the Toho versions of Mechagodzilla, see here.

  • Achilles' Heel: Ghidorah's ability to control Mechagodzilla is dependent on the Apex Hong Kong computer mainframe broadcasting his mind into the machine. If something disrupts this even for a second (say, having alcohol spilled on the main computer system), he'll lose control of Mechagodzilla.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Zig-Zagged. This incarnation of the character is technically called the Mecha by Apex Cybernetics, and Mechagodzilla is what a shocked Josh Valentine dubs it when Team Godzilla witness it.
  • Adaptational Badass: This Mechagodzilla is arguably the most powerful interpretation of the character to date. The Showa and Heisei counterparts packed far more firepower but were typically crushed whenever Godzilla closed the distance. The anime and Kiryu versions were able to fight him directly but were usually outmatched and could only work out a draw with outside help. This version trades all of the flashy weapons for a more powerful atomic breath that can outmatch Godzilla's and is strong enough to not only go toe to toe with the Big G, but utterly maul him to near death. Not even Kiryu could claim such a feat. He's also the largest version by a considerable margin if one doesn't count Mechagodzilla City from Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: The other three Mechagodzilla incarnations are largely robots with no mind of their own, with the exception of Kiryu, but even in his case it's only twice. This Mechagodzilla has Ghidorah's intelligence and once it activates at the climax, shows he knows exactly what he can do and how to exploit it. There's also implications he may have been conscious the entire time and actively manipulating Godzilla by intentionally signaling him.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Played With. The original Mechagodzilla was built by aliens in a plot to Take Over the World and all variations since were built to combat Godzilla as a means of being humanity's best shot at protection. This version, based on the latter interpretation, was built by a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist to wipe out Titans. Even then, Mechagodzilla goes rogue and causes rampant destruction on its own, and based on the fact its rampage was directly instigated by Ghidorah's influence...
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: It wasn't intended to be self-aware, merely piloted by a brain interface that allows the pilot to use it like an extension of their own body. Too bad part of that interface is what remains of King Ghidorah. When infused with Hollow Earth energy, Ghidorah's consciousness is reawakened and merges with Mechagodzilla's AI, taking over the Mecha and causing it to slaughter its creators and begin trying to level Hong Kong before turning his attention to Godzilla.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Once Kong gets a second charge to his axe he systematically dismembers Mechagodzilla limb by limb.
  • Arch-Enemy: Undoubtedly to Godzilla, he’s Ghidorah reborn into a new mechanical body created by Apex for the soul purpose of killing all Titans from the face of the earth. It’s implied that Apex as a whole were unwitting pawns to Ghidorah for his consciousness to possess the Mecha.
  • Arm Cannon: It has arm-mounted plasma cannons in addition to its pincer-like claws and Proton Scream.
  • Artificial Zombie: Played With. Mechagodzilla gained sentience due to the decomposed skull and neurons of King Ghidorah being hooked up to technology to act as a neural network.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: It's extremely powerful...but there isn't a conventional power source in existence capable of actually powering it and it can only operate for a few minutes at a time. This is why the Hollow Earth energy source is required, as without it Mechagodzilla can't really remain active long enough to do much.
  • Back from the Dead: King Ghidorah's able to take over the Mecha, essentially resurrecting himself. The novelization indicates there's little left of Ghidorah's consciousness which has suffered Death Amnesia when it takes over Mechagodzilla.
  • Beam-O-War: Once again, Mechagodzilla and Godzilla have one during their battle. It ends with Mechagodzilla's beam overpowering Godzilla's.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: It has a blade on the tip of its tail that can be rotated like a drill.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Played With. Mechagodzilla is partly made and controlled using the remains of the third head of Ghidorah, a.k.a. San/Kevin, the most child-like and generally oddest one of the three — which is very much not evident in how absolutely vicious Mechagodzilla is when battling Godzilla.
  • Big Bad: The true villain of Godzilla vs. Kong, due to actually being King Ghidorah reincarnated, as its very existence drives Godzilla to war in an attempt to destroy it before Ghidorah can gain control.
  • Bottomless Fuel Tanks: Averted - unlike prior incarnations of Mechagodzilla, it's made very clear that no human derived power source could ever hope to power Mechagodzilla for more than a few minutes. The primary objective of the mission to Hollow Earth is to acquire a power source that could maintain Ghidorah indefinitely.
  • Brain–Computer Interface: Apex Cybernetics inflict this on two of Ghidorah's skulls, taking advantage of its telepathic capabilities, to create Electronic Telepathy between a human pilot utilizing the Interface in Ghidorah's skull and Mechagodzilla itself — which has one of Ghidorah's skulls ingrained into it. The skull used as a control unit even has glowing, thrumming cables hooked into and connecting out of it, although the connection to Mechagodzilla is remote. Unfortunately for the humans, once Ghidorah's remnant consciousness in the skulls is awakened, it hijacks the Electronic Telepathy and connects to Mechagodzilla itself, subsequently causing the Mecha to become hostile to all humans and attempt to kill Godzilla.
  • Breath Weapon: It's equipped with a blood-red energy cannon mounted in its mouth called the Proton Scream, in emulation of Godzilla's atomic breath. It's able to actually visibly wound a weakened Godzilla.
  • Came Back Strong: Played With and Zig-Zagged. When Ghidorah's remains override Mechagodzilla's programming, the Mecha has none of Ghidorah's world-ending abilities, with the lack of a Healing Factor making it much easier to put down once it's taken enough damage. 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 both Godzilla and Kong with frightening efficiency that keeps both on the ropes until his weakness is exploited.
  • Composite Character: This version takes aspects from almost every prior iteration of Mechagodzilla, along with Mecha-King Ghidorah from the Heisei era and Mechanikong from the Showa era.
    • This is the third time a Mechagodzilla has been depicted in a villainous role, after his Showa counterpart's debut in the 70s and Mechagodzilla City from the anime trilogy (fourth if you count the Mechagodzilla from Ready Player One). His hands rotate like Showa Mechagodzilla and like the Showa and anime versions, he's also an alien, in a sense, since he's actually Ghidorah. Like Mechanikong, his arms are long and ape-like and he's capable of using them to grapple and punch with his enemies in ways other Mechagodzilla incarnations lacked the dexterity for.
    • He was made from the remains of King Ghidorah like his Heisei counterpart, and he is designed with weapons that counter all of Godzilla's main abilities. His own Breath Weapon is more powerful than Godzilla's and in a Beam-O-War Godzilla comes out the loser. There's hints of Mecha-King Ghidorah, both in his origin, being made from Ghidorah's corpse, and the plot point of Ghidorah taking over to finish what he started was used in the manga adaptation of Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II.
    • Like Kiryu, he is a cyborg whose original consciousness reawakens and causes the mech to go berserk. Kiryu's habit of using his jets to shoulder ram and outmanuever Godzilla also carried over to this Mechagodzilla. He also has a drill, but it's mounted on his tail rather than his right arm.
    • Like the anime version, he's more or less autonomous and a threat to the entire planet, and operates on a strange energy source that lets him run indefinitely. His body is as flexible and powerful as the Ready Player One version and has the same red eyes.
  • Conflict Killer: When Ghidorah takes control and Mechagodzilla starts rampaging, it leads to the Rivals Team Up between Godzilla and Kong to end him for good.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He can utterly dominate Godzilla in a one-on-one fight, however...
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Kong prevents him from delivering the final blow to Godzilla and he is outmatched by the combined might of Godzilla and Kong, though only barely as Mechagodzilla still held the upper hand for much of the fight and could very well have killed them both had he not been momentarily stalled when Josh poured alcohol over his satellite uplink systems.
  • Cutting the Knot: During his final fight against Godzilla and Kong, whenever he's caught by both Kaiju, rather than try to overpower them, he uses the various weapons on his body to force one to let go and then beats down the other. For example, when Kong has his right arm and Godzilla has his left, Mechagodzilla uses shoulder-mounted rockets to blast Godzilla in the face and then starts brutalizing Kong.
  • Cyborg: Much like Kiryū from Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and Godzilla Tokyo SOS, Mechagodzilla is an anti-kaiju mech that integrates organic kaiju matter, which eventually seizes control of it and causes it to rampage. The novelization reveals that one of Ghidorah's skulls was integrated into Mechagodzilla, with another being integrated into the control unit. When infused with Hollow Earth energy, Ghidorah's remains are reanimated and its remaining consciousness merges with Mechagodzilla's AI.
  • Death Amnesia: The novelization reveals that the remnants of Ghidorah's consciousness — merged with Mechagodzilla's AI through the Hollow Earth energy — "did not know who it was or what it was, but it was full of rage and the black joy of finally being."
  • Decapitation Presentation: At the end, Kong tears off Mechagodzilla's head and mechanical "spine", fountains of black oil still spewing and lights still flicking, and Kong roars triumphantly to the sky with it to proclaim his final victory.
  • Defiant to the End: Even as Kong is hacking it apart limb-from-limb, Mechagodzilla still attempts to fight back and even tries to use his Breath Weapon in retaliation before Kong ruptures it's core. The influence from Ghidorah might be a driving factor behind this steadfast determination.
  • Discard and Draw: As Mechagodzilla, Ghidorah trades his physical body's Gravity Beams and Healing Factor for his own version of Godzilla's atomic breath, a drill tail, a massive arsenal of inbuilt weaponry, and extremely powerful arms. While this enables him to mandhandle Godzilla and Kong for the majority of the final battle, once Kong gets in a good hit with his axe, Mechagodzilla rapidly loses ground as he no longer has the ability to regenerate from said wound.
  • Effective Knockoff: He's built in Godzilla's image, and fully capable of overpowering the former in a straight fight, something that no other Mechagodzilla has ever accomplished.
  • Enemy Mine: Mechagodzilla's very presence - and the consciousness of Ghidorah within him - winds up being more than enough for Godzilla and Kong to forgo battling each other and team up against him.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Once Ghidorah's remains take over Mechagodzilla's programming, the Mecha pulls this on Walter Simmons while he's distracted Evil Gloating to Team Godzilla. Then he turns and sees what's happening behind him, and barely gets out an "Oh, sh--" before Mechagodzilla plows and kills him with a claw.
  • Expy: While combining various aspects of MechaGodzillas past, the fact that it's controlled by a human linking their consciousness to the remnants of a kaiju, basically 'dirfting' with it, and is decked out to the teeth to take down kaiju specifically brings to mind the Jaegers from Pacific Rim. It soon going on a rampage due to the remnants of Ghidorah hijacking it also brings to mind the Kaiju brain-controlled Jaegers of Pacific Rim: Uprising.
  • Evil Is Bigger: It's shown to stand significantly taller than Godzilla, and Kong for that matter, particularly during the Final Battle. As for the evil part, it's King Ghidorah resurrected.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: The villainous Apex Cybernetics have both the hubris and the truly-unprecedented stupidity to incorporate Ghidorah's remains including its decapitated head into Mechagodzilla to act as the mech's neural pathways through which Ren can pilot and control Mechagodzilla's actions. When the mech is under-powered, nothing goes wrong, but as soon as Mechagodzilla reaches 100% power, whatever's left of Ghidorah inside its remains seizes control of the mech from Apex and succeeds in killing Ren and Simmons and destroying Apex's base, before it begins to Kill All Humans in sight, doing exactly what Simmons claimed the Titans would do without Mechagodzilla to attack them first. The fact Mechagodzilla's eye glows and emits a sound that seems to signal Godzilla all on its own and when its not even being used (notably, it never does this when Ren is actually using it, and Godzilla doesn't sense it after the test against the Skullcrawler is finished and Ren's powered it down), implying Ghidorah may have been pulling the strings even earlier.
  • Evil Knockoff: A robotic version of Godzilla which is designed to be superior to Godzilla, and to act under Apex Cybernetics' control as the true defender of humanity and put them back on top as the reigning Alpha species.
  • Evil Laugh: Mechagodzilla lets out a few mechanized, warped cackles just like King Ghidorah, signifying who's in the driver's seat. It's faint at first and easily mistaken for the machine simply charging up, but after he breaks out of the Apex facility it gets really obvious who's controlling the mecha after leveling part of Hong Kong.
  • Eye Awaken: An ominous Glowing Mechanical Eyes variation happens whenever he's activated, often with a close-up on his optics.
  • Eye Lights Out: After his beheading by Kong, his eyes slowly flicker and fade away as Kong brandishes his severed head.
  • Final Boss: He's the final enemy faced in the movie, and the final enemy of the MonsterVerse overall — for now.
  • For the Evulz: Mechagodzilla's first act upon emerging from Apex's base is to start leveling Hong Kong, before giving what appears to be an Evil Laugh.
  • Glowing Mechanical Eyes: Played Straight. He has very artificial-looking optics which glow with bright-red light whenever he's active. Note that the eyes flashed between red and bluish-white when Ghidorah's influence was overtaking Mechagodzilla's programming.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Apex built Mechagodzilla to be the Ultimate Destroyer which can defeat any Titan on the planet including an Alpha Titan in a fight. This means that when whatever's left of Ghidorah's consciousness hijacks Mechagodzilla and makes it begin to Kill All Humans, Godzilla is more outmatched than he was against Ghidorah, and it's only the intervention of another Alpha Titan that stops Mechagodzilla from becoming an unopposed threat to the world. In fact, this is the film's take on humanity wanting to surpass nature and build the ultimate anti-Titan weapon. You wanted the ultimate anti-Titan weapon, humanity... you got the ultimate anti-Titan weapon.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Apex Cybernetics built Mechagodzilla in secret in their headquarters in Hong Kong to realize their Corrupt Corporate Executive's egotistical vision and use the Mecha to make humanity the uncontested dominant species against all the Titans, and they power it up with (untested) Hollow Earth energy because the Mecha drains all other power much too quickly. The problem is, they're using King Ghidorah's alien neural tissue as Mechagodzilla's neural system through which Ren can control the Mecha remotely, and when the Hollow Earth energy grants the Mecha a lasting power supply, whatever's left of Ghidorah's consciousness hijacks the Mecha and uses it to slaughter Apex and any humans it sees.
  • Good Lips, Evil Jaws: He has teeth-like protrusions in lipless metal jaws, and both the heroic Alpha Titans he fights have expressive, lipped faces.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Mechagodzilla inflicts and suffers this trope at the same time, taking the role of Big Bad from Apex and becoming the film's Final Boss, not because of the mech developing a will of its own, but because Ghidorah's influence still lingers within the neural interface and finally uses the mech in the climax to finish what Ghidorah started. This allows Ghidorah himself to return as the Big Bad in the final act of Godzilla vs. Kong against the two eponymous Titans.
  • Humongous Mecha: A gigantic man-made bionic designed to fight and kill Godzilla, which is built in Godzilla's image but is twice Godzilla's size and equipped with several technological anti-Titan weapons. It's remotely piloted by a human, until Ghidorah's influence takes control...
  • It's Personal: Implied. When Ghidorah takes control, Mechagodzilla immediately goes after Godzilla upon singling him out in Hong Kong, with even his penchant for random destruction taking second priority to putting the King of the Monsters in the ground. Note that the novelization indicates Ghidorah's consciousness had Death Amnesia when it first hijacks Mechagodzilla.
  • Implacable Man: Once Ghidorah makes it go rogue, it's completely unfazed and undeterred by Godzilla or Kong — able to power through all of their attacks, even together, and wipes the floor with both of them at once without missing a beat. It's only thanks to a brief malfunction due to it's remote control panel being sabotaged that any pause is given long enough for Godzilla give Kong the means to kill it for good.
  • Impossibly Graceful Giant: Mechagodzilla is decked out with not only rocket-powered punches but has jets on its back to allow it to have incredible ramming power. As a by-product, it is able to almost quite literally run circles around Godzilla. It takes Kong and Godzilla working together to pin it down, and later having its control panel short-circuited, for them to really land any good blows on it.
  • It Can Think: It's unclear just how much influence Ghidorah's mind/s have on Mechagodzilla once Ghidorah's remains make it go rogue, but after the Mecha commits its first Kill All Humans actions and subsequently engages Godzilla, it displays frightening tactical thinking against him and Kong, and furthermore seems to target Godzilla specifically as if it has Ghidorah's memories.
  • The Juggernaut: He shows off his nearly unstoppable mechanical strength when giving Godzilla probably his worst beating ever. Even when Kong is revived to even the odds, Mechagodzilla is still able to overpower the two Alpha Titans together. Only after the humans momentarily short-circuit Mechagodzilla's satellite uplink are the pair just barely able to triumph.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: The first thing Mechagodzilla did upon being taken over by Ghidorah's influence is to murder Walter Simmons. After he and Ren engineered a war against Godzilla that lead to likely thousands of human deaths, no one will shed tears for them.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The moment Team Godzilla stumble upon him, their adventure gets a lot more serious and everything regarding MechaGodzilla itself is played dead seriously, especially it actually being King Ghidorah reborn. When it finally takes over as the Big Bad, the stakes suddenly skyrocket from being able a grudge match between Godzilla and Kong to having to stop MechaGodzilla from killing them both and continuing from where Ghidorah left off.
  • Lean and Mean: His torso is noticeably slim compared to Godzilla's, and is outright malicious.
  • Legacy Character: Due to King Ghidorah's last head being integrated into its CPU, it's essentially his successor.
  • Light Is Not Good: Despite being an immensely shiny chrome all throughout and furthermore radiating bright red light, Mechagodzilla is decidedly the Big Bad of the film, especially after Ghidorah takes control.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Extremely fast and agile, and one of the most powerful kaiju in this universe. He's able to handle both Godzilla and Kong in a two on one fight.
  • Logical Weakness: Being a machine, the one thing Mechagodzilla lacks compared to Ghidorah is the ability to regenerate. Thus, once a way is found to actually deal damage, he is able to be defeated fairly rapidly and doesn't need to be incinerated.
  • Machine Blood: He bleeds a black, oil-like fluid as Kong hacks off his limbs with his supercharged axe.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: It just wouldn't be Mechagodzilla without mounting more missiles than a regiment of BattleMechs. The Mecha opens with a Salvo that even Godzilla can't just shrug off.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Aside from having King Ghidorah's remains as part of the Wetware CPU powering the beast, Mechagodzilla was specifically designed to exploit Godzilla's weaknesses, being able to move extremely fast via a propulsion system that lets him outright juke around Godzilla and attack his blind spots. His hands are claws meant to be able to dig into Godzilla's gills (his one main weak point), his tail is prehensile with a tip capable of drilling right through a Titan's flesh, and his weapon systems are explicitly Anti-Kaiju weaponry that can actually injure where conventional arms fail. He even has his own Breath Weapon with a distinct advantage over Godzilla's own... as Mechagodzilla doesn't need to breathe, he can maintain the laser indefinitely while Godzilla will eventually need to take a breath and end up taking a salvo for his trouble.
  • Mechanical Abomination: An incredibly powerful machine powered by an unearthy energy source humanity doesn't understand and possessed by the consciousness of a Draconic Abomination.
  • Mood Ring Eyes: Downplayed. Mechagodzilla retains the same Red Eyes, Take Warning color both when under human control and under Ghidorah's influence, but its eyes are flickering between red and white when it's in the process of being infected with whatever's left of Ghidorah's consciousness, before it becomes mobile.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: When he finally faces off against Godzilla, he’s absolutely brutal, savagely beating him to an inch of his life with staggering ease and nearly killing Godzilla before Kong arrives to help even the odds.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Having learned from his previous fight with Godzilla, the Ghidorah-possessed Mechagodzilla opts to just quickly kill Godzilla rather than spend time showing a force of dominance against him to prevent him from powering up again. It almost works, if not for circumstances outside of his control with Kong running interference and ultimately the kids sabotaging his control panel long enough for Godzilla to empower Kong with the means to kill him for good.
  • Off with His Head!: How Kong ends him, tearing off the head with his bare hands. It seems Mike Dougherty wasn't entirely joking when he said decapitation is a Running Gag where Ghidorah's left head is concerned (in some form or another).
  • Our Liches Are Different: Downplayed, but Ghidorah's decapitated head rotting away to a skull, and yet retaining at least some vestiges of Ghidorah's will and malevolence in its telepathic neurons after Ghidorah's living body is vaporized, is particularly lich-like. The skull's remnants of Ghidorah furthermore manage to hijack Mechagodzilla, and it's strongly implied that Ghidorah essentially used the Mecha as a direct or indirect host through which it could physically influence the world again.
  • Power Pincers: Both of its arms are equipped with four pincer-like claws that are powerful enough to lift and throw Godzilla through multiple skyscrapers.
  • Reconstruction: Just like Godzilla and his former self, Mechagodzilla has been tweaked so that he's overall more believable as a weapon to kill Godzilla. His arms have clawed hands that allow him to grasp Godzilla, and he's received boosters that massively increase his mobility, allowing him to run circles around his opponent, so he can get in tons of hits before Godzilla can strike back. His tail is drill-tipped, giving him a way around Godzilla's tough hide. All of his weapons are explicitly meant to take down Kaiju, and work very well. His atomic breath equivalent is a continuous weapon and thus can overpower Godzilla's by simply pushing the latter until he has to breath. Even the logistics behind him are addressed - there might not be any existing human-derived power source that can sustain him, but such a power source easily exists in a world filled with Kaiju.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When active, he has glowing red eyes — a trait he happens to share in common with Ghidorah — and he's anything but good news.
  • Red Is Violent: Besides his Red Eyes, Take Warning, his internal power produces a bright, ominous-looking scarlet light, standing in contrast to Godzilla's blue light. And not only was he built to be a weapon against the Titans, but once Ghidorah's influence overrides his programming, he deliberately begins trying to kill anything human or Titan that he sees.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Mechagodzilla is specifically out to kill Godzilla. Kong is an interference to be dealt with as needed, but it's clear that Ghidorah's influence means the mech is out for revenge.
  • Robeast: It is an anti-Titan mech built in emulation of Godzilla, and it utilizing one of Ghidorah's brains causes it to go berserk and rampage.
  • Robotic Psychopath: Given he's possessed by King Ghidorah, this is no surprise. Whether Ghidorah is completely in control or not, MechaGodzilla levels a large portion of Hong Kong and laughs about it before trying to brutally beat Godzilla to death.
  • Robot Me: It was built by Apex as a robotic doppelgänger of Godzilla, which makes Ghidorah's influence taking it over and driving its actions all the more ironic.
  • Rocket Punch: Of the thruster-assisted variety as he can use the jets on his back to propel forward.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • Mechagodzilla first appears on what looks like a pedestal, is intended to be humanity's own Titan to overthrow Godzilla, and is ultimately the avatar for Ghidorah to return. In essence, Mechagodzilla is a false idol.
    • Mechagodzilla is only seen in either the Apex compound or Hong Kong, both manmade areas, signifying how artificial he is.
  • Sadist: Like Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla enjoys what it does. The first thing it does upon emerging from Apex's base is level a large part of Hong Kong before letting out an Evil Laugh. He seems to very much enjoy trying to beat Godzilla to death.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The official toy merchandise spells its name as MechaGodzilla, but the film's subtitiles call it Mechagodzilla.
  • Superior Successor: While Zig-Zagged in regards to King Ghidorah himself, Mechagodzilla is considered by his creator not only to be Godzilla's equal but his superior. This is not a hyperbole, Mechagodzilla really is THAT powerful.
  • Telepathy: Apex exploit the Ghidorah skull's telepathic neural tissue by building a Brain–Computer Interface into it and incorporating a sample of Ghidorah's DNA into Mechagodzilla, so that a human pilot at the BCI can harness Ghidorah's telepathy to control Mechagodzilla's actions with the Mecha's Ghidorah-DNA acting as a receiver. 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 awakens and telepathically hijacks Mechagodzilla via the link, causing the Mecha to become independent of the humans and go on a kill-anything-that-moves rampage.
  • Terminator Impersonator: With his glowing red eyes, skull-like face, partially-organic components and single-minded mission to exterminate all Titans, Mechagodzilla is essentially a kaiju version of the Terminator in all but name.
  • Throat Light: His internal power core's red light shines into his mouth whenever he's charging up his psionic scream.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Played With, though it mainly depends upon Alternative Character Interpretation. Most if not all of the parts from Ghidorah that were used to create and control Mechagodzilla came from the severed left head. Whereas Ghidorah's left head had a bit of an Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! and was somewhat afraid of Godzilla, Mechagodzilla once Ghidorah's influence makes it go rogue is a vicious No-Nonsense Nemesis which hands both Godzilla and Kong a savage beating.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Played With. The Ghidorah skull incorporated into Mechagodzilla's neural network which causes the Mecha to go rogue was that of San/Kevin, the dumbest and most playful and childish of Ghidorah's three heads. If there's anything of San's individual personality left in Ghidorah's remains, it does not show in Mechagodzilla with the utter, ruthless ferocity that Mechagodzilla attacks Godzilla and Kong with.
  • Truer to the Text: This version of Mechagodzilla is much closer to its roots in the Showa Era. By having the brain of one of Ghidorah's heads, this gives it an extraterestrial origin. Also, despite what its makers intended, this robot is no friend to Earth or its people.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: It was created by Apex to be a weapon against Godzilla and the other Titans, using the remains of Ghidorah as a neural piloting system. However, after Mechagodzilla becomes fully charged for the first time by the power source from the Hollow Earth, Ghidorah's will and malevolence in its remains resurfaces and takes control, causing the Mecha to obliterate the Apex facility in the process of emerging.
  • Twitchy Eye: A variant. After whatever's left of Ghidorah's mind hijacks Mechagodzilla, the Mecha visibly twitches its neck when it takes notice of Godzilla, as if Ghidorah or its influence is struggling to maintain full control of the mechanical systems.
  • Unstoppable Rage: After Ghidorah hijacks the device, he breaks free of his containment, rampages through Hong Kong and brutalises Godzilla in one of the most one-sided fights in the franchise. Only Kong’s assistance gives him a little pause and even then he quickly begins pummelling the both of them simultaneously. The only thing that ends his vengeful rampage against the two in the end is his death.
  • Undead Abomination: Played With by the Ghidorah skull. The decapitated head is dead enough that its flesh decomposes to eventually leave just a skull, yet its telepathic neural pathways remain alive and retain at least some vestige of Ghidorah's consciousness. When Mechagodzilla is charged with Hollow Earth energy, Ghidorah's remnants hijack the psionic uplink that's been created from Ghidorah's own neurons and basically infect and take control of Mechagodzilla, with the implication (depending on Alternative Character Interpretation) that Ghidorah might've actually performed Brain Uploading into Mechagodzilla to come Back from the Dead in a new body.
  • Undignified Death: Suffers a slightly comical death at the hands of Kong where he is practically hacked apart limb from limb like branches off a tree, before having his head ripped off (spine included) by Kong's bare hands and presented as a trophy. What's more here, Ghidorah's left head seemingly cannot catch a break when it comes to being decapitated.
  • Villainous Rescue: Mechagodzilla, when still under human control, pulls an entirely accidental one when it grabs the Skullcrawler as it was a split-second away from eating Madison alive.
  • Voices Are Mental: Listen closely, and you'll definitively hear Mechagodzilla producing slightly-mechanized versions of Ghidorah's vocalizations from King of the Monsters several times after Ghidorah's consciousness remnants hijack it. It's also worth noting, faint repetitions of Ghidorah's alpha roar were audible repeating and then gradually growing mechanized when the skull was connecting to Mechagodzilla and the mecha began reprogramming.
  • Walking Spoiler: While its existence was spoiled by the merchandise and trailers, it doesn't directly appear until late in the movie, where it's deployed to stop Kong and Godzilla. invoked
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Even after Ghidorah's influence turns Mechagodzilla into an indiscriminate killing machine, the mecha's still reliant on its satellite link to function. His ultimate undoing: Josh spilling a flask of liquor onto Apex's control panel, interrupting the link and causing Mechagodzilla to seize up momentarily, providing just the momentary leeway that Kong and Godzilla need.
  • Wetware CPU: It's revealed that Ghidorah's skull is being used as the central hub of the neural network that Ren uses to pilot Mechagodzilla, with Heyes speculating it was used precisely because of Ghidorah's heads' telepathic neurology and that there's another piece of Ghidorah's remains inside the actual mech. At first, Apex seemingly have no problems from this, but once Mechagodzilla is fully juiced up, whatever's left of Ghidorah's will and personality inside its remains seizes control of Mechagodzilla and makes it attack.
  • The Worf Effect: Its first establishing act when it's still under human control is to utterly decimate a giant Skullcrawler, one of the baddies of Kong: Skull Island; effortlessly cleaving it in two with his Proton Scream.
  • World's Strongest Man: As a mixture of technology specifically tailored to kill kaiju and the dastardly mind of at least 1/3rd of Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla is the only being seen thus far capable of absolutely dominating Godzilla, the official strongest monster, in a straight fight. Fair to say the cyborg held this spot until his death.
  • You Don't Look Like You: A very slight detail, but Mechagodzilla's dorsal plates look more like mechanical spines rather than copies of Godzilla's plates.


Video Example(s):


Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

King Ghidorah in this film is outright referred to as "The Devil with Three Heads," and is also alluding to the form Satan takes in the Book of Revelation that being of a multi-headed dragon. A cross is also seen in the foreground.

How well does it match the trope?

4.45 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / SatanicArchetype

Media sources:

Main / SatanicArchetype