Out of all the many monsters that the Godzilla movies have featured over the years, few are quite as prolific as the villainous King Ghidorah, the three-headed dragon who’s been Godzilla’s arch-nemesis for decades. Like Godzilla himself, Ghidorah has been depicted in several different incarnations throughout his film career.
Wherever Godzilla goes, King Ghidorah is never far behind, from his first appearance in 1964 to his MonsterVerse debut in 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Ghidorah has taken on a multitude of forms over the course of the franchise, some of which are more beloved than others. So without further ado, here’s a list of every variation of King Ghidorah, ranked from worst to best.
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Often forgotten even by die-hard fans, the 1996-1998 Rebirth of Mothra trilogy introduces three unique Ghidorah variations. The first movie features Desghidorah, called Death Ghidorah in some translations, seemingly a relative of the King. Meanwhile, Rebirth of Mothra III includes the genuine article, depicted as both the modern Grand King Ghidorah and the prehistoric Cretaceous King Ghidorah. Unfortunately, these three Ghidorahs bring little new to the table, and as such remain footnotes in Godzilla history.
2001’s Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is an oddity within the series, featuring a purely villainous Godzilla battling a heroic Ghidorah. The King is reimagined as an ancient guardian of Japan instead of an alien invader, but it seems heroism doesn’t agree with him, as this iteration is potentially the weakest on the list. While most Ghidorahs are too powerful for Godzilla to defeat alone, this one requires Mothra’s aid to put up a fight. He's not exactly the most kingly Ghidorah.
Ghidorah’s only Heisei era appearance, 1991’s Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, creates a convoluted new backstory for the classic monster, in which he’s created by a group of time-traveling terrorists to destroy Japan. But even setting that aside, this Ghidorah has less personality compared to other incarnations, and his fight with Godzilla is flashy yet brief. However, this iteration nevertheless receives major points for the film’s finale, in which he’s transformed into the cybernetically enhanced Mecha-King Ghidorah to quell Godzilla’s rampage in a spectacular showdown. What Heisei Ghidorah lacks in substance, he certainly makes up for in style.
While 2016’s masterpiece Shin Godzilla hasn’t received any sequels, its story has continued in other ways. 2019 saw the release of Godzilla vs. Evangelion: The Real 4-D, a 4D ride at Universal Studios Japan. As the name implies, the attraction is a crossover with Neon Genesis Evangelion, the classic mecha anime created by Shin Godzilla director Hideaki Anno. The ride initially features the Evangelion cast facing off against Shin Godzilla, but things take a turn when the fight is interrupted by the arrival of King Ghidorah, sporting a fresh design and new powers to fit the Shin Godzilla aesthetic.
Due to the brief nature of the ride, Shin Ghidorah has little screen time, but he nevertheless manages to leave an impression as one of the most terrifying Ghidorahs yet. The skies turn red and a storm rages all around as Ghidorah takes on Shin Godzilla and the three EVAs all at once. The King’s classic Gravity Beams are reimagined as full-on gravity manipulation, allowing him to levitate skyscrapers and use them as weapons. Even with his brief screen time, Shin Ghidorah’s striking design, innovative powers, and thrilling battle are sure to thrill any fan.
Keizer Ghidorah is Godzilla’s final enemy in 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars, appearing at the end of a long gauntlet of kaiju summoned as part of the Xiliens’ alien invasion. First appearing as the humanoid Monster X, this Ghidorah fights Godzilla with an agile, acrobatic fighting style before revealing his true form: a quadrupedal Ghidorah with black and gold scales. This Ghidorah was meant as a stronger evolution of King Ghidorah. Even his name, Keizer, is derived from “kaiser,” the German word for Emperor. But despite his cool design, transformation gimmick, and flashy powers, Keizer Ghidorah is only introduced in the film’s final battle. As such, he receives far too little screen time to place any higher on the list.
First appearing in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, the original Showa era King immediately made an impact. Not only was he the first alien kaiju in the series, he was the first enemy to force Godzilla to ally with his fellow monsters, heralding his transformation from tragic villain to noble hero. Ghidorah returned only a year later in Invasion of Astro-Monster, in which he spearheaded the alien invasion of the Xiliens.
The Showa era King Ghidorah may seem quaint compared to his successors, but the essential elements of the character are all clearly established from the beginning. He’s a sadistic space invader who travels the stars, leaving destruction wherever he goes, and forms a fierce rivalry with Godzilla. Ghidorah’s signature Gravity Beams and high-pitched, trilling roar have become iconic attributes of the monster, and they started with the original incarnation. He may be dated, but the original Ghidorah has just about everything fans would want from the iconic villain.
Despite remaining controversial among fans, the Godzilla anime film trilogy features the boldest reimagining of Ghidorah yet, taking him from an alien invader to an eldritch extradimensional planet-eater. He’s worshiped as a god of destruction by the Xilien-inspired Exif, who sacrifice entire worlds to him. To them, the universe and everyone in it are just food to sate Ghidorah’s hunger. For Ghidorah to be summoned into this dimension means the death of a planet, and thus, all we see of him are his three heads reaching through portals. Even without fully manifesting, Ghidorah nearly kills Godzilla. However, their showdown has little in the way of action, and ends rather anticlimactically. But despite this, anime Ghidorah’s unique design, fascinating lore, and apocalyptic scale make him one of the most memorable takes on the King.
Appearing in 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the MonsterVerse’s King Ghidorah was an immediate hit with fans, taking everything that made his Showa incarnation so iconic and elevating it to the next level. He’s deadlier than ever, with his grudge against Godzilla reinterpreted as an ancient rivalry between dueling rulers. His detailed CGI makes him the most expressive Ghidorah to date, emphasizing his vicious personality, and even giving each head its own unique mannerisms. And like his anime counterpart, this Ghidorah is portrayed as a threat of apocalyptic proportions. He's not just an interstellar destroyer, but a tyrannical conqueror who remakes worlds in his image and commands an entire army of loyal kaiju.
As for fight scenes, KOTM’s final battle is arguably the greatest Godzilla-Ghidorah clash ever, showcasing both Kings at the pinnacle of their power. However, even it isn’t enough to finish Ghidorah off. He’s revived in Godzilla vs. Kong as the will controlling Mechagodzilla, combining Godzilla’s two greatest foes into a single ultimate nemesis. In summary, MonsterVerse Ghidorah perfectly captures the traits that made him such an iconic villain, and even iterates on them further for a fresh new take. If any Ghidorah is worthy of the title of King, it’s this one.
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The incarnation seen in Godzilla: The Planet Eater is without a doubt the most powerful version of King Ghidorah. He couldn't even be touched by Godzilla! And if it weren't for Haruo, King Ghidorah would have killed Godzilla, and Earth would have been destroyed!Is Keizer Ghidorah the strongest Ghidorah? ›
Keizer Ghidorah is arguably the most powerful and dangerous version of Ghidorah, as well as one of the most powerful kaiju in the entire series.How many versions of Ghidorah are there? ›
Ghidorahs (ギドラ, Gidora) are a species of powerful gigantic three-headed space dragons. The only three known Ghidorahs are King Ghidorah, Desghidorah, and Keizer Ghidorah.Which version of Godzilla is the strongest? ›
Millennium Series Godzilla
This Godzilla had purple spikes and red atomic breath. He also retained the 1990s Godzilla's healing factor. But in Godzilla: Final Wars, Toho made it clear that this was strongest Godzilla had ever been.
In Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, the three-headed dragon was defeated by the reborn Godzilla in their first battle. King Ghidorah lost his middle head, suffered severe damage to his wings and ended up at the bottom of the ocean, leaving the enraged Godzilla to begin a new rampage.What is King Ghidorah the god of? ›
In the anime, Ghidorah is the deity worshipped by the Exif under the titles of "Wings of Death", "Golden Demise", and "God of Destruction". He is summoned to Earth by Metphies and his cult in order to destroy Godzilla and devour Earth just as they fed him other planets they visited and converted to the Exif faith.Can Destroyah beat Ghidorah? ›
But in Destoroyah vs Ghidorah, Destoroyah would easily win. One way, he would slice one of Ghidorah's heads with his horn katana, and then Ghidorah would fire his gravity beams and Destoroyah would turn the direction of both heads facing each other. All of Ghidorah's heads would be dead.Who eats Ghidorah? ›
The middle head was only known to show fear at the end of Ghidorah's life, being visibly terrified by a thermonuclear Godzilla's advance after the latter destroyed the other two heads. Ghidorah deliberately consumes Vivienne Graham, devastating Ishiro Serizawa.Why does the Ghidorah have 3 heads? ›
Each head of King Ghidorah represents a different character, complete with his own unique personality. Godzilla's ancient, three-headed rival was brought to life through motion capture by actors Alan Maxson, Jason Liles, and Richard Dorton.Is there a Queen Ghidorah? ›
Queen Ghidorah is a female Ghidorah and the main antagonist of the fan film Godzilla Battle Royale made by Rockstar Fan Films.
Along with the confirmation of Ghidorah's official designation by Monarch Sciences, the sequel confirms that Ghidorah has no gender. Unlike Mothra (which has been designated female), Ghidorah will neither male nor female.What is the smallest Ghidorah? ›
Not counting Cretaceous King Ghidorah, the GMK King Ghidorah is the smallest incarnation of the character, as well as the only one to be shorter than the Godzilla incarnation it appeared with.What is the weakest version of Godzilla? ›
Ebirah is one of the weakest monsters Godzilla has ever faced. A giant crustacean, Ebirah lacks many of the traits and capabilities necessary to fight the King of Monsters effectively.Which Godzilla can defeat? ›
Godzilla has been a household name since 1954 as a commentary on nuclear war. When pitted against fellow monsters like Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, and Kong, he has been the one to come out on top.Who helped Godzilla beat Ghidorah? ›
With M-11 and Terasawa's aid, Emmy sabotages the UFO's control over King Ghidorah, causing the three-headed monster to lose focus during the battle. Godzilla eventually ends the battle by blasting off Ghidorah's middle head.What planet did King Ghidorah destroy? ›
An evil extraterrestrial three-headed dragon, King Ghidorah attacked Venus over 5,000 years ago, effortlessly eradicating the planet's advanced civilization.Is dorat King a Ghidorah? ›
After the Godzillasaurus was transported to the Bering Sea, the Dorats were left behind to be exposed to the hydrogen bomb test in 1954, which combined and mutated them into King Ghidorah.Is Ghidorah pure evil? ›
While the novelization expands on Ghidorah's character and sadism more, Ghidorah qualifies as Pure Evil in the movie as well, considering the novelization version's actions are largely the same, and his sadism is still presented even if in a much more subtle way.Who is Ghidorah brother? ›
DesGhidorah also known the Demon from Mars is a Space Kaiju and a member of the Ghidorah, he is even the younger brother of King Ghidorah.What is King Ghidorah in Japanese? ›
Etymology: “Ghidorah” is derived from the Japanese word hidora, meaning hydra. He is called “King” because, well, he's the king. But only until Godzilla takes him out. Species: Golden hydra. Description: Three-headed, armless, winged bipedal dragon.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty reveals that Ghidorah being frozen was due to losing to Godzilla in ancient Antarctica.Who would win Keizer Ghidorah or Destroyah? ›
Destoroyah would wreck keizer ghidorah,He is stronger than mothra and battra which are able to destroy a planet buster asteroid.Is Ghidorah immortal? ›
While Ghidorah is defeated and repelled from this dimension by Godzilla, he is not actually killed as he is immortal and exists outside of this dimension.Who is Ghidorah's sister? ›
Unlike her brother, Ghidorah, Icely wants to save all life from threats that threaten to destroy the planet.Is void Ghidorah a God? ›
The few surviving members of the Exif clergy took to worshipping Ghidorah as a god of destruction, locating planets with sentient life and converting the inhabitants to their religion before sacrificing them to their god in an attempt to enable him to permanently manifest and destroy everything.What is Rodan Godzilla? ›
Essentially a prehistoric pteranodon, Rodan was mutated by radiation and became the gigantic kaiju that monster fans know and love today. He's able to fly at blazing speeds (in some cases, supersonic), and has also been known to emit Uranium heat beams from his mouth.What is the name of Ghidorah's left head? ›
Kevin Ghidorah is the nickname of the left-most head of King Ghidorah, a three-headed dragon and the main antagonist in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The head, less serious than the other two, was nicknamed "Kevin" by director Michael Doughtery, and has inspired jokes and fan art.What animal is Rodan? ›
Rodan is depicted as a colossal, prehistoric, irradiated species of Pteranodon. In 2014, IGN ranked Rodan as #6 on their "Top 10 Japanese Movie Monsters" list, while Complex listed the character as #15 on its "The 15 Most Badass Kaiju Monsters of All Time" list.Do King Ghidorah's heads have names? ›
The names given to Ghidorah's heads during production, Ichi, Ni, and San (the middle, right and left heads respectively), are the Japanese words for "one", "two", and "three". San is also given the nickname "Kevin", which likely refers to how he is easily distracted. This has become a joke amongst Legendary.Can King Ghidorah fly? ›
Supersonic Flight - King Ghidorah can fly at mach 3 on Earth, and presumably is able to fly at light speed through outer space. Hurricane Winds - Ghidorah's wings can produce powerful hurricane force winds capable of blowing away buildings with ease or knocking enemies like Godzilla over.
The GODZILLA anime trilogy's version of King Ghidorah retains the very basic premise of the character's appearance. He is a gigantic golden three-headed dragon-like creature with two bat-like wings at his sides, two legs, and two tails.What animal is Ghidorah? ›
King Ghidorah is a golden dragon monster with two legs, three heads on long necks, giant bat-like wings, and two tails. King Ghidorah's multiple heads were primarily inspired by Yamata no Orochi, an eight-headed dragon from Japanese mythology that had been featured in the 1959 Toho film The Three Treasures.What is the female Godzilla called? ›
Gojirin (ゴジリン, Gojirin?) is a female Godzilla kaiju created by Toho and Gakken that first appeared in the 1996 Recommend!Is Ghidorah a lizard? ›
King Ghidorah is a golden dragon monster with two legs, three heads on long necks, giant bat-like wings, and two tails. King Ghidorah's multiple heads were inspired by Yamata no Orochi, an eight-headed dragon from Japanese mythology.Is Godzilla asexual? ›
Godzilla Reproduces Asexually
Godzilla has never been shown to have a mate, yet in almost every Godzilla continuity, at some point, Godzilla finds a way to reproduce.
The largest and strongest of the Kaiju, Slattern is unrivaled by any of its brethren in battle. The creature's high toxicity levels and intelligence makes it the most lethal Kaiju the Pan Pacific Defense Corps has ever faced.How tall is Ghidorah 1991? ›
However, the Battle History of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah manga collection, released in January of 1992, says that King Ghidorah is 140 meters tall, and says that Mecha-King Ghidorah weighs 80,000 metric tons whereas Godzilla vs.Who is Ghidorah mother? ›
References[edit | edit source]
- #8. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) ...
- #7. Destroy All Monsters! ( 1968) ...
- #6. Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster (1965) 75% 59% ...
- #5. Godzilla, King of the Monsters! ( 1956) ...
- #4. Shin Godzilla (2016) 86% 75% ...
- #3. Godzilla (2014) 76% 66% ...
- #2. Godzilla vs. the Thing (1964) 92% 68% ...
- #1. Godzilla (1954) 93% 89% #1.
Godzilla (Japanese: ゴジラ, Hepburn: Gojira) is a 1954 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Co., Ltd., it is the first film in the Godzilla franchise.
In Godziban, Little is the youngest of the Three Godzilla Brothers, but is incredibly smart for his age. When training under Godzilla-kun, he also typically does better than middle child Minilla in performing physical challenges.Which Godzilla is the heaviest? ›
Godzilla Earth is also the heaviest Godzilla incarnation at 100,000 metric tons, surpassing the 92,000 metric ton weight of Shin Godzilla's fourth form and the MonsterVerse Godzilla's 99,634 ton weight in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.Who is the strongest enemy of Godzilla? ›
King Ghidorah, and even more so in GMK: Giant Monsters All-out Attack. Even in those two movies, Ghidorah was still a formidable opponent, and the other films have sealed Ghidorah's place in history as Godzilla's greatest foe.Who is Godzilla's arch enemy? ›
Perhaps Godzilla's greatest opponent and arch enemy, Ghidorah is a space dragon born from a meteor that crashed into Japan. He is so strong that he cannot be taken down by one monster alone; Godzilla, Mothra, and a third kaiju, Rodan, must team up to defeat him.
In a separate interview with Collider's Steve Weintraub, Borenstein revealed that the axe was actually made from the scales of a Godzilla-like creature, which explains why he's able to power it up during the big Godzilla vs.What weapon kills Godzilla? ›
The Oxygen Destroyer (オキシジェン・デストロイヤ, Okishijen Desutoroiyā?) is a weapon of mass destruction used to kill Godzilla in the 1954 Godzilla film, Godzilla.Did Godzilla ever lost a fight? ›
The Legendary Era
Over three films so far, the monster does have a loss with a giant Kong right when Godzilla was about to get wrecked by a new, Ghidorah conscious Mechagodzilla.
Mecha-King Ghidorah has a futuristic and mechanical look, with his middle head mechanized as well as his wings, torso and a few other areas. He's considerably more powerful than the purely organic King Ghidorah.How strong is legendary Ghidorah? ›
Strength and Combat
His prehensile tails are strong enough to wrap around and lift the 99,634-ton Godzilla thousands of feet into the air with little effort before dropping him onto the ground. Ghidorah's fighting style was similar to that of a snake quickly lashing out and biting onto opponents.
Destoroyah would wreck keizer ghidorah,He is stronger than mothra and battra which are able to destroy a planet buster asteroid.
Keizer Ghidorah incorporates elements of both King Ghidorah and Desghidorah in his appearance.Is King Ghidorah an Alpha? ›
From then on, the characters of Godzilla: King of the Monsters primarily call the alien monster "Ghidorah". He's only ever referred to as "King Ghidorah" by Diane Foster and by a label on a digital map during the military Castle Bravo meeting after Ghidorah has become the new reigning alpha.Who is the baddest kaiju? ›
1. King Ghidorah. The terrifying three-headed King Ghidorah has been Godzilla's greatest foe since his movie debut in 1964. This three-headed, two-tailed, winged dragon was first introduced as a destructive creature from space who had caused chaos on Venus before heading to Earth.Which kaiju is the smartest? ›
Godzilla, King Kong, Mothra, and Ghidorah all seem to have at least a semblance an ability to strategize. Gigan, Jet Jaguar, and Mechagodzilla 1 are all as smart as their creators, but that's probably because they are directly controlled by said creators. SpaceGodzilla and Destoroyah are both extremely cunning.How strong is Grand King Ghidorah? ›
Grand King Ghidorah is able to fly even with the loss of one of his wings using a zero gravity field. Grand King Ghidorah's scales can manipulate the light from projectiles to form a protective barrier. Grand King Ghidorah can shoot six bolts of electricity from each of his wings.Does King Ghidorah have 3 brains? ›
According to cranial scans, King Ghidorah has a divergent frontal lobe density in the brains of all three heads, indicating that each of his heads can have disparate levels of cognitive functions, possibly including independent thought.