King Ghidorah

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Toho Kaiju
Monster Icons - King Ghidorah - King Ghidorah 2001
King Ghidorah®
Species Nicknames
Extraterrestrial Three-Headed DragonGTHM-ZF, RoM3
Mutated DoratsGvKG
Guardian MonsterGMK
Ghidorah, Ghidrah,
King Ghidrah,
Monster Zero,
Thousand Year-Old Dragon,
The King of Terror,
The Dragon King,
Grand King Ghidorah, Kinggidrah
Height Wingspan
100 meters[1]
150 metersGvKG[1]
60 meters[2]RoM3
49 meters[3]
150 meters[1]
175 metersGvKG[1]
80 metersRoM3
93 meters
Weight Forms
30,000 metric tons[1]
70,000 metric tonsGvKG[1]
50,000 metric tons[2]RoM3
20,000 metric tons[3]
Dorat (Unirradiated Form)GvKG,
Mecha-King GhidorahGvKG, GRoE,
Cretaceous King Ghidorah (Young Form)RoM3,
Modern Type King GhidorahRoM3, GhidorahGMK,
Thousand Year-Old Dragon King GhidorahGMK
Controlled by Relationships
XiliensIoAM, KilaaksDAM,
M Space Hunter Nebula AliensGvG, GarogasZF
Desghidorah (Relative)RoM3
Mothra (Fellow guardian)GMK
Baragon (Fellow guardian)GMK
Allies Enemies
Gigan, MothraGMK, DestoroyahGiH Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Anguirus, Minilla, Gorosaurus, Kumonga, Manda, Baragon, Varan, Mothra Leo, M.O.G.U.E.R.A., Medical Jet Jaguar, MechaGodzillaGKoM, Zone Fighter, BiollanteGCRA, KiryuGHCW, BattraG:C
Created by Portrayed by
Ishiro Honda, Tomoyuki Tanaka, Senichi Sekizawa Showa
Haruya SakamotoGTHM,
Shōichi HiroseIoAM,
Susumu UtsumiDAM,
Kanta InaGvG
Hurricane Ryu HarikenGvKG, Tsutomu KitagawaRoM3
Akira Ohashi
First Appearance Latest Appearance
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
HeiseiGhido, RaishuGhido, HakuAkiGhido
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,   Kingu?) 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.

In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, the guardian monster Ghidorah's name is spelled in kanji but pronounced the same: 魏怒羅 (Gidora). When Ghidorah is revived to fight Godzilla again, it is now known as King 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 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 he 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, Rebirth of Mothra III, 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 nearly 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 Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah caused the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period, then returned to Earth in the modern day to feed on humanity. 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 so far, only time.


King Ghidorah has traditionally been depicted as an evil destructive creature from outer space, although his origin has varied throughout his appearances.

In the Showa series, King Ghidorah is an alien dragon said to have attacked Venus under his own power many thousands of years ago, wiping out the planet's entire civilization. He later attacked Earth, but was repelled by Earth's monsters. At some point, he was taken control of by the Xiliens and used as a pawn in their invasion of Earth. King Ghidorah was destined to be taken control of by different alien races, losing his history on the way. The Garogas later claimed to have created King Ghidorah, but whether this is true or not is never definitively explained, given the monster's ancient history.

In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, King Ghidorah is part of a scheme by time-traveling terrorists known as the Futurians to destroy Japan in the past to prevent it from becoming a global economic superpower. He is the result of the Futurians placing three genetically-engineered creatures from the future called Dorats on Lagos Island in the year 1944. In 1954, the Dorats were exposed to the Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb test conducted at nearby Bikini Atoll, which caused them to merge and mutate into King Ghidorah. According to the novelization of the film, the Dorats were engineered using DNA recovered from the corpse of another King Ghidorah found on the surface of Venus, suggesting that like in the Showa series King Ghidorah is originally an alien creature, but the one created by the Futurians is simply a clone of him.

In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah, a more powerful relative of Desghidorah, arrived on the Earth millions of years ago and caused the Cretaceous extinction. He returned to Earth in the present in order to feed off of humans, especially children.

In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, King Ghidorah is reinvented as a heroic monster for the first, and so far only, time. In this film, King Ghidorah is the God of the Sky and one of the three Guardian Monsters, along with Mothra and Baragon. An ancient Yamata no Orochi, an eight-headed dragon from Japanese mythology, King Ghidorah was slain by Japanese warriors thousands of years ago and laid to rest underneath Mount Fuji. The warriors prayed for King Ghidorah's soul, and over the next several centuries he slowly regenerated, empowered by the souls of Japan's honorable dead. However, he was awakened before he could grow back all eight of his heads, instead growing only 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 also made an appearance in the tokusatsu superhero program, Zone Fighter. In the series, King Ghidorah is under the control of an evil race of aliens called the Garogas, who claim to also be his creators, and is deployed to Earth. While on Earth, King Ghidorah is confronted by Zone Fighter and the epic battle is chronicled in two back-to-back episodes featuring Godzilla and Gigan.

After King Ghidorah's encounter with Zone Fighter, he manages to escape with his life, something which rarely happens to Zone Fighter's enemies.

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. The injured King Ghidorah attempted to fly away, but Godzilla blasted his wings with his atomic breath, causing King Ghidorah to plummet into the ocean, where he remained comatose for 200 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.

Rebirth of Mothra III

Cretaceous King Ghidorah

Cretaceous King Ghidorah in Rebirth of Mothra III

King Ghidorah's younger form, Cretaceous King Ghidorah (白亜紀キングギドラ?Haku Aki Kingu Gidora), first arrived and attacked the Earth 130 million years ago in the Cretaceous period. Cretaceous King Ghidorah quickly caused the KT extinction event; he exterminated the dinosaurs and almost every other life form on the planet. Cretaceous King Ghidorah then encased himself within a meteor and left the Earth, using the life-essence of the creatures he had destroyed to live as he travelled through space. Millions of years later, during a meteor shower in 1999, the same meteor crashed into the Mount Fuji region, with Cretaceous King Ghidorah now being in his adult King Ghidorah form. Mothra Leo, as Rainbow Mothra, came in and attacked King Ghidorah, but ended up being overpowered by him. Then, with the aid of his priestess Moll, Leo transformed into Light Speed Mothra and traveled back in time to battle Cretaceous King Ghidorah, when he wasn't as powerful. During the battle, Leo cut off one of Cretaceous King Ghidorah's tails and the tail burrowed into the ground, which would regenerate an entire King Ghidorah body millions of years later. Cretaceous King Ghidorah was defeated when Rainbow Mothra used paralyzing powder on him and then dropped him into an active volcanic Mt. Fuji, destroying the first Cretaceous King Ghidorah.
Modern Type King Ghidorah
Gurando Gidora

King Ghidorah in Rebirth of Mothra III

130 million years later, Cretaceous King Ghidorah arose again as Modern Type King Ghidorah (現代型キングギドラ,   Gendai-Gata Kingu Gidora?). King Ghidorah came to Japan to feed on humans, mainly children, but he soon started to eat adults. Rainbow Mothra heard of this monster, and he quickly took action to defeat it. Even with all of Rainbow Mothra's power, King Ghidorah quickly defeated him. Rainbow Mothra retreated home, and was transformed into Light Speed Mothra and he flew through time to destroy King Ghidorah in his weaker form, Cretaceous King Ghidorah. He defeated the young form of the Ghidorah, but King Ghidorah's tail dug into the ground, and regenerated his body over millions of years. King Ghidorah returned, only one day later than he arrived the first time. Rainbow Mothra was then reborn as Armor Mothra, and he engaged King Ghidorah in battle. After a long battle, Armor Mothra destroyed King Ghidorah once and for all.

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 Earth. 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


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, Ghidorah (魏怒羅,   Gidora?) is said to be an undeveloped Orochi, 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 Ghidorah, and the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Godzilla defeats Ghidorah easily, but Mothra gives up her energy to revive Ghidorah, turning him into the Golden Thousand Year-Old Dragon King, King Ghidorah (千年竜王,   Chitose ryūō'?). King Ghidorah fires his beams at Godzilla which Godzilla absorbs. Godzilla retaliates but King Ghidorah is protected by a golden shield. Eventually, Godzilla manages to destroy the powered up King Ghidorah by absorbing his gravity beams and infusing them with his atomic breath.

When Godzilla was in the sea after he had killed the Guardians and decimated 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 a wound on Godzilla's neck after internally firing a D-03 missile, an explosive drill. This eventually led to Godzilla's defeat when he tried to use his atomic beam again after it burst out the open wound on his shoulder and finally caused Godzilla to vaporize himself from within.

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

Legendary Series

Godzilla 2

On July 26, 2014, King Ghidorah was confirmed to be appearing in Godzilla 2, along with Mothra and Rodan.[4]


King Ghidorah 3

King Ghidorah firing his 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 is able to fly up to speeds of mach 3 in the Earth's atmosphere. He exceeds this speed while flying through space. In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah can encase himself within a meteorite while traveling from planet to planet. In Godzilla vs. Gigan he encases himself in a large diamond-like structure while traveling through space. In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah is able to fly even with the loss of one of his wings using a zero gravity field.

Gravity Beams

King Ghidorah's most famous ability is the golden lightning bolt-like gravity beams he spits from his three mouths. These beams are roughly equal in power to Godzilla's atomic breath, and are capable of causing large-scale explosions when fired at buildings. King Ghidorah's younger form from Rebirth of Mothra III, Cretaceous King Ghidorah, spit fireballs from his mouths instead of gravity beams.

Hurricane Winds

King Ghidorah can produce hurricane-force winds by flapping his wings, which are capable of blowing away buildings and knocking other kaiju off their feet.

Constricting Necks

In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, King Ghidorah constricted his necks around Godzilla in an attempt to strangle him, causing him to foam at the mouth.


King Ghidorah is usually portrayed as being extremely durable and resistant to damage, often to an extent close to Godzilla. He withstands conventional weaponry with no noticeable effect, and can even shrug off point-blank blasts from Godzilla's atomic breath. In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, he survives having his middle head decapitated and his wings shredded, and remains alive but comatose for over 200 years laying on the sea floor. In Rebirth of Mothra III his mature form cannot be damaged at all by Mothra Leo's attacks until the latter transforms into Armor Mothra. In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, King Ghidorah's durability is reduced, but he still survives being knocked out by Godzilla multiple times and withstands multiple blasts from his atomic breath.

King Ghidorah tends to use his durability to his advantage, as he often prefers to escape from a battle that he can't win before he suffers more injuries than necessary.


In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah is shown to have regenerated his entire body from a severed tail that was cut off by Rainbow Mothra in the past.


In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah's scales can manipulate the light from projectiles to form a protective barrier.

Electric Bolts

In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah can shoot six bolts of electricity from each of his wings.


In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah is able to create a dome that allows objects to pass through, yet has a corrosive effect when they try to leave. The dome's exterior is laced with tentacles that pull outside victims inside. Living creatures inside the dome slowly have their life-force drained and transferred to King Ghidorah.


In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah can teleport smaller beings inside his dome.

Mind Control

In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah can install a weak mind control on other beings susceptible to it.

Electric Bite

In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Ghidorah can release a strong electric shock through his bite. After absorbing Mothra's power and becoming King Ghidorah, this ability is replaced by his traditional gravity beams.

Energy Shield

In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, after absorbing Mothra's energy, King Ghidorah can form a golden round energy shield that deflects Godzilla's atomic breath. King Ghidorah can release this energy shield and send it colliding with the ground, which will cause a massive explosion.

Magnetic Powers

In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, while encased in the meteorite, King Ghidorah had the ability to generate what appeared to be magnetic fields that varied in strength from time to time. 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 King Ghidorah 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."

Godzilla: The Game

PS3 Godzilla King Ghidorah Full

King Ghidorah in Godzilla: The Game

King Ghidorah appears as a boss on multiple levels, and an ending boss on the final level of some paths. King Ghidorah is one of the most powerful kaiju in the game. He attacks using his gravity beams, flying kick and melee attacks. He will approach Godzilla quickly by flying through the air and firing his gravity beams. He appears as a playable character in the PS4 version.


  • Square
    • One tap: Pincer Bite
    • Two taps: Three Headed Bite
    • One tap (Mid Air): Bite Kick
  • Triangle
    • Tap: Three Headed Attack
    • Tap (Mid Air): Rotation Attack
  • X
    • Tap: Jump
    • Hold: Fly
    • Tap (Mid Air): Land
  • Circle
    • Tap: Gravity Beam
    • Down + Tap: Wind Gust
    • Roar + Tap: Triple Discharge
  • R2
    • Tap: Windstorm

Kaiju Guide

King Ghidorah, the Super Monster from Outer Space

Kaiju Guide King Ghidorah

This fearsome space monster destroyed a once highly developed civilization on Venus in mere days, earning it the name "Venus Hellfire" by the Venusians. It absorbs solar heat and cosmic rays with its golden wings and converts them into energy. It arrived on Earth via a meteor that landed in Kurobe Gorge. It began to ravage Tokyo, shooting gravitational rays out of the mouths of its three heads. Mothra, who sensed this brutality and the crisis facing Earth, convinced its former foes Godzilla and Rodan to intercept King Ghidorah at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

In the Heisei series film, "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" (1991), King Ghidorah appeared in the form of a super dragon, an artificial lifeform equipped with a genetic mutation system and created by the Futurians before being warped back to the 20th century to fight Godzilla. Later, King Ghidorah became a mechanical cyborg.

In the Millennium series movie "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack" (2001), it appeared as "Ghidorah," on of the three sacred guardian monsters who protected Japan that had been stuck in hibernation under Mt. Fuji for 10,000 years, Once its energy was fully restored, it transformed into its complete form, the "Thousand Year Dragon King".

The original King Ghidorah was a full-body costume at first, with a blue body and iridescent wings. However, some of the crew mistakenly thought it was supposed to be golden, and special-effects director Eiji Tsuburaya liked the idea so much he gave the word, having the crew change the color right before filming. As the arch-enemy of Godzilla, King Ghidorah had a costume that required 25 people to operate its three heads and two tails.

100 meters
30,000 tons
Gravity beam
Shockwaves from its wings
"Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster"
"Invasion of Astro-Monster"
"Destroy All Monsters"
"Godzilla vs. Gigan"

Second Generation
140 meters
150 meters
70,000 tons
Gravity beam
Shockwaves from its wings
"Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah"

Third Generation
50 meters
93 meters
25,000 tons
Gravity beam
Electric bolts it shoots into adversaries as it bites them
"Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack"


Godzilla, King of the Monsters

Kodansya KG

King Ghidorah III in Godzilla, King of the Monsters

In this manga produced by Kodansya Comics, King Ghidorah is the first opponent Godzilla faces in the second and final volume, although he first appears in Volume 1 approaching Earth with Neo Gigan. He was either resurrected or acquired by Doctor Oniyama and utilised as one of the many kaiju in his collection, being named as King Ghidorah III, indicating that both the Showa and Heisei King Ghidorahs are present in the manga's continuity. King Ghidorah III fought Godzilla viciously, but was defeated after Godzilla tore off his auxiliary necks. King Ghidorah is also one of the genetic donors for King Godzilla, and his auxiliary necks and heads form King Godzilla's arms.

The Godzilla Comic Raids Again

King Ghidorah appeared in the The Godzilla Comic Raids Again manga, being used by the Xiliens to take over Earth. Before reaching Earth, King Ghidorah encounters Biollante, who later becomes a King Ghidorah clone.

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters

King Ghidorah GKoM

King Ghidorah in Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters

King Ghidorah was featured in IDW's Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, where he is portrayed as an ancient monster. In issue #8, he was revived after a young Asian monk performed a suicide ritual in order to revive the monster. Upon awakening, King Ghidorah flew to combat Godzilla in Washington, D.C. In the ensuing battle, King Ghidorah was beaten when knocked down by Godzilla. In a later issue, he briefly participated in a battle between Godzilla and MechaGodzilla. In the following three-way battle, Steven Woods fired MechaGodzilla's special weapon at both King Ghidorah and Godzilla, knocking out both monsters in the process. King Ghidorah did not appear again in the series and is presumed to be dead.

Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths

King Ghidorah later appeared in three issues of the mini-series Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths. Here, it is shown that King Ghidorah is a resident of Monster Island along with Godzilla, Mothra, Anguirus, and Battra.

Godzilla: The Half-Century War

King Ghidorah GHCW

King Ghidorah in Godzilla: The Half-Century War #5

King Ghidorah appears in Godzilla: The Half-Century War, where he and Gigan were lured to Earth via a transmitter made by rogue Anti-Megalosaurus Force scientist Dr. Deverich. The device had already summoned SpaceGodzilla to Earth by accident, and soon enough, King Ghidorah and Gigan picked up the signal and headed to Earth. Upon making landfall in 2001, the duo proceeded to destroy half the world in a year. By 2002, the Anti-Megalosaurus Force had developed a weapon called the Dimension Tide, a device that could open miniature black holes. The AMF planned to use it on the alien duo and Godzilla himself. The two aliens were lured to Antarctica, soon were involved in a four-way battle between themselves, Kiryu, and Godzilla. At the fight's climax, the Dimension Tide fired and opened a miniature black hole. King Ghidorah and Gigan were soon sucked into the hole, with a heavily-damaged Kiryu following in suit shortly afterwards.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth

King Ghidorah GRoE

The near-dead King Ghidorah in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #16

King Ghidorah returns as Mecha-King Ghidorah in issue #15 of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth. In issue #16, the Cryog leader Rhizon recalls discovering the badly wounded body of King Ghidorah following his earlier battle with Godzilla and MechaGodzilla. Rhizon ordered Gigan to slice off Ghidorah's middle head so that he could replace it with a mechanical head that gave him control over the entire monster.

In issue #24, it was revealed by Rhizon in a flashback that the Cryogs' homeworld was destroyed by King Ghidorah, and that the race's emperor, Karkaro, fled the planet when King Ghidorah arrived, prompting Rhizon to seize control of the planet.

Godzilla: Cataclysm

King Ghidorah appears in Godzilla: Cataclysm Issue 1 locked in battle with Godzilla. King Ghidorah bites Godzilla and shocks him through his bite, but Godzilla lifts Ghidorah by his head and slams him to the ground. Godzilla then blasts Ghidorah at point-blank range with his atomic breath and defeats him. It is unknown if King Ghidorah survived the encounter or not. Arata's grandfather later recalls that some members of his village pray to King Ghidorah as a deity that brings rain.

Godzilla in Hell

King Ghidorah in Hell

King Ghidorah in Godzilla in Hell

King Ghidorah appears in the second issue of the series Godzilla in Hell. He appears after Godzilla defeats the Demon Varan and sends him into a whirlpool with his gravity beams. King Ghidorah returns in the fourth issue, where he and Destoroyah are seen, defeated by Godzilla, in the ruins of a city. Suddenly, both kaiju heal and get back up, then relentlessly attack Godzilla together in a recreation of Tokyo in Hell, surrounded by a wall of flesh. Any time any of the three monsters were killed or mortally wounded, they instantly recovered and continued their assault. Godzilla eventually tricked King Ghidorah and Destoroyah into aiding him in escape by ducking when they both fired their beams and combining his beam with them, creating a blast powerful enough to destroy the wall. As Godzilla marched onward, King Ghidorah, Destoroyah, and everything else on the battlefield besides Godzilla disappeared into nothingness.

Godzilla: Oblivion

In Godzilla: Oblivion, King Ghidorah attacked and chased the humans visiting the alternate dimension in which he lived. Due to power problems, he was able to follow them through the inter-dimensional portal and began rampaging in their dimension. After emerging through the portal, King Ghidorah attacked the eastern United States for two weeks, completely destroying the cities of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. and resisting all attempts by the U.S. military, NATO, and the United Nations to stop him.


Main article: King Ghidorah/Gallery.


  • 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 Rome 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 "Giant Billy and Mandy All Out Attack", there was a parody of King Ghidorah called "Kitty Rah" and barfed hair balls as opposed to King Ghidorah's gravity beams.
  • The Pokémon Hydreigon resembles King Ghidorah strongly.
  • In August of 2014, the 1998 film was mocked by RiffTrax Live, which was created by and shares many of the former members of Mystery Science Theater 3000. During the riffing, they made witty references to King Ghidorah and Mothra.
  • In the film Pee Wee's Big Adventure, during a chase scene through a movie studio, both Godzilla and King Ghidorah can be seen on a set during the filming of a movie.
  • In the Cartoon Network television show Teen Titans Go!, The Twin Destroyers of Azarath were transformed into a giant 2-headed monster by Starfire's affection.


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 and modified from Rodan and surprisingly Biollante (as seen and heard in the behind the scenes and film) in order to sound more dragon-like and somewhat metallic. This was done by multi-tuning Rodan's roar in both high and low pitches. This roar was used again for the mature King Ghidorah in Rebirth of Mothra III, but deepened and mixed with growling noises. Cretaceous King Ghidorah's roars were modified from Desghidorah's elephant-like roar with an increased pitch, and were later used for Orga in the Japanese version of Godzilla 2000: Millennium. In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack , King Ghidorah's new roar was created to sound more similar to his Showa roar.

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 six.
  • King Ghidorah was the very first alien monster 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 three series, the others being Mothra, Rodan, MechaGodzilla, Godzilla's son, and Godzilla himself. King Ghidorah has also been confirmed to be appearing in Legendary's Godzilla series, along with Mothra and Rodan.
  • 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 almost 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 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 Godzilla for the original 1994 American film, but the price they offered was too high, so it was declined by TriStar. Instead, the monster Godzilla was going to face was the Gryphon. This too was scrapped in favor of the 1998 film directed by Roland Emmerich.
  • In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah became the only monster to debut in the Godzilla series and later appear in a non-Godzilla film.
  • King Ghidorah is traditionally depicted as a space monster in both film and non-film media, however his origin has been changed throughout his appearances.
    • In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, King Ghidorah's origin was changed, making him the mutation of three genetically-engineered creatures from the future called Dorats. This was due to the fact that the film's director, Kazuki Omori, reportedly did not want King Ghidorah to be a space monster again. However, the film's novelization explains that the Dorats were genetically engineered from DNA recovered from the corpse of another King Ghidorah found on Venus. Toho planned to produce a direct sequel to the film where Godzilla was to battle another King Ghidorah from outer space called The Return of King Ghidorah, but opted to produce Godzilla vs. Mothra instead.
    • King Ghidorah's uncharacteristic heroic portrayal as well as his status as a terrestrial monster in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is due to the fact that Shusuke Kaneko originally intended the role for Varan, but Toho pressured him to include King Ghidorah and Mothra in the film to increase the marquee value. As a result, King Ghidorah is portrayed as a hero for the first time and is smaller and weaker than Godzilla. King Ghidorah also possesses Varan's facial fins on his three heads in this film. King Ghidorah was included in early drafts for Godzilla: Final Wars, but was replaced by Monster X and Keizer Ghidorah.
  • Stock footage of King Ghidorah from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah was to be included as part of a training simulation in Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 2, but the scene was cut.


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]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Official Godzilla Compendium. Profiles of the Monsters; Page 132.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Rebirth of Mothra III; Page 104
  3. 3.0 3.1 Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack; Page 111.
  4. Holy Mothra: Gareth Edwards Reveals ‘Godzilla 2′ Monsters At Comic-Con


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