King Ghidorah

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Toho Kaiju
Monster Icons - King Ghidorah - King Ghidorah 2001
King Ghidorah ®

Spacial Three-Headed DragonGTHM-GvG
Mutated DoratsGvKG
Guardian MonsterGMK

Ghidorah, Ghidrah, Monster Zero, Thousand Year-Old Dragon, The King of Terror, The Dragon King, King Ghidrah, The Super Dragon
100 meters
150 meters
49 meters
150 meters
175 meters
93 meters
30,000 tons
70,000 tons
20,000 tons

Dorat (Unirradiated Form)GvKG
Mecha-King GhidorahGvKG


Gigan, MothraGMK, BaragonGMK

Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Anguirus, Minilla, Gorosaurus, Kumonga, Manda, Baragon, Varan, M.O.G.U.E.R.A., Medical Jet Jaguar, MechaGodzilla 2GKoM

Mothra (Fellow guardian)GMK
Baragon (Fellow guardian)GMK

Controlled by
XiliensIoAM, KilaaksDAM
Created by

Ishiro Honda, Tomoyuki Tanaka, Senichi Sekizawa

Portrayed by
Haruya SakamotoGTHM,
Shōichi HiroseIoAM,
Susumu UtsumiDAM,
Kanta InaGvG
Hurricane Ryu Hariken
Akira Ohashi
First Appearance
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
Latest Appearance

More Roars

King Ghidorah (キングギドラ?, Kingu Gidora) is a three-headed dragon kaiju created by Toho that first faced Godzilla in the 1964 Godzilla film, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.


King Ghidorah's name is composed of "King" (キング?) and "Ghidorah." The "Ghidorah" part of King Ghidorah's name comes from the Japanese word for "hydra" (ヒドラ?, Hidora), which is spelt very similarly to the Japanese katakana for Ghidorah.

King Ghidorah was referred to as either "Ghidrah" or "Ghidorah" in the American versions of his first three movies, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster and Destroy All Monsters, because they sounded more like "hydra." He wasn't referred to as "King Ghidorah" in an original American release of one of his movies until Godzilla vs. Gigan.


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. King Ghidorah was brought to life on the movie screen by a stunt actor inside an elaborate three-piece suit, with a team of puppeteers to control the suit's many appendages. His design was mostly created by Eiji Tsuburaya based on a minimal description in the script: "It has three heads, two tails, and a voice like a bell."


King Ghidorah does not have much of a developed personality because it is under someone's control in most of his appearances. The only times he was not under mind-control throughout most of the film were Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. He temporarily was free of mind-control in Invasion of Astro-Monster and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, where, in the former, he fled from Godzilla and Rodan in fear and probably from being overwhelmed, and in the latter, he was very confused to what was happening and was killed by Godzilla. It seems that each of King Ghidorah's heads can think for themselves separately, although the middle head appears to be dominant. In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, King Ghidorah was said to be evil, and he destroyed civilizations on several planets for reasons unknown. He tried destroying Earth and its civilizations, but he fought the three monsters that got in his way and retreated eventually. In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, King Ghidorah is one of the Guardian Monsters, being the God of the Sky. King Ghidorah was a protector of Japan, making Ghidorah a protagonist for the first, and by far only, time.


King Ghidorah has a different origin in every series.

In the Showa series, King Ghidorah was created by the Garogans and was given to the Xiliens, who sent King Ghidorah to Earth to weaken its forces and take it over without any trouble. But the Xiliens did not know of Earth's monsters. King Ghidorah was destined to be given to different alien races, losing his history on the way.

In the Heisei series, King Ghidorah is the result of three Dorats fusing due to an atomic bomb being dropped in Lagos Island, the island where the original Godzillasaurus was mutated. The Dorats were put on the island by the Futurians.

In the Millennium series, King Ghidorah was an eight-headed serpent god, or Yamata no Orochi, that was prematurely awoken before he could grow all eight of his heads, instead only growing three.


Showa Series

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster


King Ghidorah in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

Initially, King Ghidorah was said to have come from outer space, an ancient evil responsible for destroying civilizations on many planets, including Venus, as well as the planets themselves. Arriving on Earth in a magnetic meteorite, King Ghidorah devastated much of the Japanese countryside before being repelled by the monstrous trio, Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra.

Invasion of Astro-Monster - 6 - DaisensoGhido King Ghidorah 1965

King Ghidorah in Invasion of Astro-Monster

In the follow-up movie, Invasion of Astro-Monster, it was revealed to be a mind-controlled pawn of beings from Planet X, a newly discovered planet in Jupiter's umbra, who called him "Monster Zero." These Xiliens coveted Earth's water resources and took control of Godzilla and Rodan in an attempt to conquer Earth. However, the human characters intervened by freeing the monsters, and after a fight with Godzilla and Rodan, King Ghidorah flew back into space. While generally accepted as a victory for Godzilla and Rodan, some have argued that King Ghidorah actually won the encounter and left of his own accord, maybe because he was too injured to continue attacking Earth. Some have looked to the fact that in the next film Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Godzilla is found on an island supposedly dead but other fans say that Godzilla is recovering or sleeping.

Destroy All Monsters - 9 - SoshingekiGhido King Ghidorah 1968

King Ghidorah in Destroy All Monsters

King Ghidorah made two more appearances in the Showa Series, both times as an agent of alien invaders. In Destroy All Monsters, controlled by the Kilaaks, he fought and was seemingly killed by the combined might of ten of Earth's monsters in the year 1999.

Godzilla vs. Gigan

Showa King Ghidorah

King Ghidorah in Godzilla vs. Gigan

King Ghidorah reappears in Godzilla vs. Gigan, as one of the monsters controlled by the M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens, and an ally of Gigan in a battle against Godzilla and Anguirus.

It should be noted, though, that Destroy All Monsters was set in the year 1999, while Godzilla vs. Gigan is to all appearances set in the early 1970s.

Zone Fighter

ZF - King Ghidorah

King Ghidorah in Zone Fighter

King Ghidorah made guest appearances in two episodes of the tokusatsu superhero TV series, Zone Fighter. He appeared in two back-to-back episodes, along with Godzilla and Gigan. Godzilla was allied with Zone Fighter, and Gigan was allied with King Ghidorah.

King Ghidorah was one of the few monsters to survive his encounter with Zone Fighter.

Heisei Series

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

King Ghidorah 91

King Ghidorah in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Mecha King Ghidorah

Mecha-King Ghidorah in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

King Ghidorah was revamped for 1991's Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Time-travelers from the 23rd century called Futurians released three Dorats onto Lagos Island, the location at which a Godzillasaurus was believed to be exposed to radiation from hydrogen bomb testing and become Godzilla. Instead, the irradiated Dorats fused into King Ghidorah, which the Futurians then used to devastate present-day (1992) Japan. The marauder was defeated by a strengthened Godzilla; this newer Godzilla was larger and more powerful than ever before owing to an encounter with a modern nuclear submarine. Even so, King Ghidorah appeared to be winning the battle until its controlling computer was sabotaged. Godzilla recovered and blasted off the monster's middle head. King Ghidorah fell into the ocean, where he remained comatose for hundreds of years.
Mecha-King Ghidorah

The Futurian Emi Kano recovered the beast in 2204 and, from its body and futuristic technology, created the cyborg Mecha-King Ghidorah (メカキングギドラ?, Meka Kingu Gidora), equipped with solar-paneled wings, an entirely mechanical middle head, and several devices specifically designed for combat with Godzilla. This incarnation managed to stun Godzilla with its Capture Cables, grasp it with the giant Machine Hand, and carry it out to sea. Godzilla finally blasted the monster at point-blank range, crippling it, and both plummeted into the water. Godzilla would return the following year (Godzilla vs. Mothra), but King Ghidorah would not appear again in the Heisei series. The cybernetic remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah, however, would later be studied by the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center (U.N.G.C.C.) and the technology used to design and construct MechaGodzilla in Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 2 and later Moguera in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla.

Godzilla Island

Cast kingghidrah

King Ghidorah in Godzilla Island

In Episodes 6-15, the Xilien Zaguresu controls the monsters into fighting against each other and sends King Ghidorah to. The humans break the mind-control, but most are too injured to continue fighting. Godzilla and Rodan battle King Ghidorah and all three monsters are knocked off the cliff. King Ghidorah lay at the bottom of the ocean, but Zaguresu zapped him with her beam and revived him. He battled furiously against Godzilla, who's atomic ray did nothing. Godzilla finally went down, but Torema unleashed a pyshic wave that knocked King Ghidorah back. Godzilla fired his ray again, and this time King Ghidorah could feel it. She eventually weakens from an attack from Zaguresu earlier and King Ghidorah continues his fight with Godzilla. Godzilla eventually gains the upper hand, biting one of King Ghidorah's necks. King Ghidorah tries to fly away but Godzilla bites on King Ghidorah's leg. King Ghidorah uses all of his strength to free himself, even lifting Godzilla into the air, and eventually breaks free and flies away.

Millennium Series

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack


King Ghidorah in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

King Ghidorah adopted yet another origin for this film, as one of three legendary guardians of the Japanese isles, similar to the eight-headed dragon Yamata no Orochi. In fact, King Ghidorah is said to be underdeveloped, awakened from hibernation before it could grow all eight of its heads. Godzilla again attacks Japan and is repelled by the combined might of the guardian monsters, Baragon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, and the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Despite killing all three guardian monsters and decimating the JSDF, the spirits of the three Guardians entered Godzilla's body, stunning him long enough to allow General Tachibana to burrow his way out of Godzilla after internally firing a D-03 missile, an explosive drill. This eventually destroyed him when he tried to use his atomic beam again after it burst out the inflicted hole in his shoulder and finally caused Godzilla to vaporize himself from within.

This film was the first time that King Ghidorah was depicted as a hero, instead than a villain. It was also the first time that King Ghidorah was physically portrayed as being smaller than Godzilla.

Legendary Series

Godzilla 2

King Ghidorah was confirmed to be appearing in Godzilla 2, along with Mothra and Rodan, on July 26, 2014.[1]


King Ghidorah 3

King Ghidorah's Gravity Beams

King Ghidorah has had a number of changes made to himself over the years, but most of his traditional battle characteristics have remained the same. His different forms in the different movies have their own abilities.
  • King Ghidorah flies at the speed of Mach 3.
  • King Ghidorah is able to fire Gravity beams from his mouths.
  • King Ghidorah is able to create hurricane winds from his wings.
  • King Ghidorah uses his necks to constrict an opponent.


King Ghidorah, in the Showa series, had the ability to generate what appeared to be magnetic fields, but what were stated to not be, and instead be a "mysterious pulling power". While it was never stated directly what purpose they served, it was stated that they were somehow connected to its powers. It seems possible that it used them as a form of levitation. In the Game Boy Advance video game Godzilla: Domination, the space monster King Ghidorah has two new, never-before-seen fighting abilities: first, the ability to emit devastating magnetic beams from his mouth, and second, the ability to produce a powerful magnetic pull around him which will draw nearby monsters closer and injure them. King Ghidorah is able to maintain the presence of his magnetic pull for roughly ten seconds before halting the attack and needing to recharge in order to reuse the attack.


Video Game Appearances

Godzilla: Unleashed

King Ghidorah in Godzilla Unleashed game of 2007

King Ghidorah in Godzilla: Unleashed

Height: 120 meters
Weight: 80,000 tons

"If Gigan is the hammer of the Vortaak invasion forces, then King Ghidorah is the anvil. King Ghidorah is the most physically powerful monster in the universe, and blends immense size, incredible strength, and near invulnerability into a unified engine of monstrous destruction. The Vortaak often hesitate to deploy King Ghidorah at all, lest he demolish their enemies and leave nothing to subjugate. King Ghidorah is at home in the vacuum of space, and travels between planets under his own power. King Ghidorah's wings allow him to fly in Earth's atmosphere, though his great mass hinders his aerial mobility. He naturally generates intense electrical energy that he unleashes as a powerful Triple Gravity Beam from his three heads. Despite all this, King Ghidorah's greatest ability is his asset to withstand damage-all known forms of attack splinter against his thick golden scales."


Main article: Gallery:King Ghidorah.


  • King Ghidorah appears four times in Courage the Cowardly Dog, notably two episodes when LeQuack turns on a TV with King Ghidorah on it, and shoots fire from the TV. Another time is when Courage opens a door and King Ghidorah is behind it giving a loud roar. Both clips were from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.
  • In the film Independence Day, a young boy is seen playing with a King Ghidorah toy.
  • In Growing Up Creepie, King Ghidorah was seen in a drive through movie screen, the clip was also from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.
  • In one episode of the TV series T.U.F.F Puppy, Dudley Puppy, the show's protagonist, turned into a giant, 3-headed monster that could breathe fire.
  • An episode of Histeria covering Ancient Rom described the strength of Roman architecture, but saying it couldn't stand up to Ghidorah. The segment ended with the host being crushed by Ghidorah's foot, similar to "Bambi Meets Godzilla."
  • In the Cartoon Network television show M.A.D., there's a skit involving the Jonas brothers where a fan sends them a letter asking how they stay so close. They reply by saying they are a giant three headed monster and go on attacking a city.
  • In the anime series Shinzo, a similar monster named "Grandorah" was the antagonist in a few episodes.
  • King Ghidorah appeared briefly in a Crest commercial.
  • In an episode of the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy titled "Modern Primitives", there was a parody of King Ghidorah called "Kitty Rah" and barfed hair balls as opposed to King Ghidorah's gravity beams.
  • There's a Pokémon called Hydreigon that resembles King Ghidorah.


The most common version of King Ghidorah's roar is screeching with some clicking sounds added and modified to sound deeper. In the Heisei era, his roar is borrowed from Rodan and it was made to make it sound more dragon-like and somewhat metallic.

In Other Languages

  • Spanish: Rey Ghidorah
  • Russian: Кинг Гидора
  • Chinese: 王者基多拉


  • King Ghidorah can be considered the primary antagonist of the Godzilla franchise due both to his popularity and his film count of 6.
  • King Ghidorah was the very first alien to fight Godzilla.
  • King Ghidorah consistently ranks as one of viewers' favorite monsters in the Godzilla films. This fame, coupled with the unimpressive box office run of Godzilla vs. Biollante, inspired Kazuki Omori to revive King Ghidorah for the 1991 film.
  • King Ghidorah in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is the tallest monster in the Heisei Godzilla series.
  • King Ghidorah is one of few monsters to appear in all 3 series, the others being Mothra, Rodan, MechaGodzilla, Godzilla's son, and Godzilla.
  • King Ghidorah is considered to be one of the strongest out of all of Godzilla's enemies and might possibly be just as strong or even stronger than Godzilla due to the fact that Godzilla always has help from other monsters or characters with control over King Ghidorah being interfered with.
  • Once the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy came out, the word "Ghidorah" changed its meaning, as it was no longer an alias for King Ghidorah, it now means a species of space monsters, as there have been other Ghidorahs appearing in some of Toho's movies ever since the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, Desghidorah from Rebirth of Mothra, Grand Ghidorah from Rebirth of Mothra III and Keizer Ghidorah from Godzilla: Final Wars.
  • The Heisei King Ghidorah and Mecha-King Ghidorah are the tallest main series Godzilla monsters.
  • King Ghidorah, along with Mothra, were offered to TriStar to oppose Zilla for the original 1994 American film, but the price they offered was too high, so it was declined by TriStar. Instead, the monster Zilla was going to face was the Gryphon.


This is a list of references for King Ghidorah. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

Toho Kaiju
Showa Godzilla Monsters GodzillaAnguirusGiant LizardGiant OctopusKing KongMothraSkeleturtleRodanKing GhidorahEbirahGiant CondorKamacurasMinillaKumongaMandaGorosaurusBaragonVaranGabaraManeaterHedorahGiganJet JaguarMegalonFake Godzilla/MechaGodzillaKing CaesarTitanosaurus
Heisei Godzilla Monsters Godzillasaurus/GodzillaShockirusBiollanteDorat/King Ghidorah/Mecha-King GhidorahBattraMothraMechaGodzillaRodanGodzilla JuniorFairy MothraSpaceGodzillaM.O.G.U.E.R.A.Destoroyah
Godzilla Island Monsters GodzillaRodanMothraMothra LeoKing CaesarGodzilla JuniorAnguirusBaragonGorosaurusMechaGodzillaMogueraProto-MogueraJet JaguarMedical Jet JaguarFire Fighter Jet JaguarUnnamed Godzilla-like Alien CreaturesGiganDestoroyahMegalonBattraSpaceGodzillaKing GhidorahFake GodzillaHedorahMecha-King GhidorahDogoraBlack MechaGodzillaKamacurasDororinGororinSuper Special SpaceGodzilla High Grade Type TwoNeo HedorahHyper Mecha-King Ghidorah
Millennium Godzilla Monsters GodzillaMillennianOrgaMeganulonMegaguirusBaragonMothraKing GhidorahKiryuKamoebasMandaRodanZillaAnguirusKing CaesarKamacurasKumongaMinillaEbirahGiganHedorahMonster X
Legendary Godzilla Monsters GodzillaM.U.T.O.RodanMothraKing Ghidorah
Non-Godzilla Monsters SnowmanMeganulonRodanMogueraVaranOrochiMothraVampire PlantMagumaMandaMatangoDogoraFrankensteinBaragonGiant OctopusGairaSandaMechani-KongGorosaurusKing KongGiant Sea SerpentBlack MothDaigoroGoliathGezoraGanimesKamoebasAmano ShiratoriKumasogamiKaishin MubaUtsuno IkusagamiDesghidorahMothra LeoFairy MothraGaru GaruGhogoBaremDagahraGrand GhidorahPrimitive MothraZillaBaby ZillaZilla Junior
Video Game Monsters Super GodzillaBaganThe GlogMechatronSphectraTarantusMister MeringueBalkzardanBarugaronJyarumuRazinShiiganVagnosaurusBeta GodzillaGiant Doctor SerizawaMGR-IIndSMG-IIndObsidiusKrystalakThe Sphinx
Unmade Monsters RedmoonErabusHafunMoguMajin TuolGaruganBaganDeutaliosGigamothMechaMothraGhost GodzillaBarubaroiGryphonProbe BatDogolasGiant MosasaurDeathlaLightning BugFire LionThe Visitor
Toho Monsters in Other Media Popular CultureTelevisionNovels and ComicsVideo GamesToys


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