|Godzilla film series character|
Thousand Year-Old Dragon,
The Dragon King
King of Terror
|First appearance||Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)|
|Latest appearance||Godzilla 2 (2018)|
|Created by||Tomoyuki Tanaka|
King Ghidorah (キングギドラ Kingu Gidora?) is a kaiju who first appeared in the 1964 Toho film Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. It appears as an armless, three-headed dragon with large wings and two tails.
The initial idea for King Ghidorah came Tomoyuki Tanaka, who also created Godzilla. Tanaka's inspiration came from an illustration of the Lernaean Hydra in a book about Greek Mythology, and the Eight-Headed Dragon of Japanese folklore. Tanaka was enamored with the idea of Godzilla fighting a multi-headed serpent, but considered 7-8 heads to be excessive, so the number of heads was reduced to three.  The monster costume itself was designed by Akira Watanabe, and worn by Solomon Hirose, who played King Kong in Toho's King Kong vs. Godzilla. Hirose walked hunched over inside the Ghidorah costume, holding a metal bar for balance, while puppeteers would control its heads, tails and wings off-camera like a marionette.
King Ghidorah is portrayed in the Godzilla film series as sort of a hybrid between a hydra and a wyvern, with three serpentine heads, huge finlike wings, golden scales and two tails, cackling maniacally while spewing "gravity rays" from its jaws. Its origin story varies from one continuity to the next, but it consistently portrayed as an enemy of Godzilla. Though usually portrayed as the villain, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack would feature role-reversal scenarios casting a heroic Ghidorah against an antagonistic Godzilla.
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964) - The original version of the monster is an alien who travels to Earth in a magnetic meteorite, and devastates Japan until repelled by monsters Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra.
- Invasion of the Astro-Monster (1965)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
- Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
- Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) - The creature is portrayed as an "ancient guardian monster" summoned to unite with two other guardian monsters (Baragon and Mothra) to defeat Godzilla.
- Rebirth of Mothra (1996) - "Desghidorah" (or Death Ghidorah) appeared as a black, quadrupedal, three-headed extraterrestrial dragon.
- Rebirth of Mothra III (1998) - "Super Dragon King Ghidorah", appears in a more traditional form.
- Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) - A creature called "Monster X" appears and transforms into a quadrupedal monster called "Keizer Ghidorah".
- Godzilla 2 (2018) - Legendary Pictures and Gareth Edwards, director of Godzilla, confirmed that the rights to King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan from the Toho Studios films have been acquired, and that the characters may appear in "future franchise installments".
- Godzilla: Monster of Monsters (NES - 1988)
- Godzilla / Godzilla-Kun: Kaijuu Daikessen (Game Boy - 1990)
- Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters (NES - 1991)
- Battle Soccer: Field no Hasha (SNES - 1992)
- Super Godzilla (SNES - 1993)
- Kaijū-ō Godzilla / King of the Monsters, Godzilla (Game Boy - 1993)
- Godzilla: Battle Legends (Turbo Duo - 1993)
- Godzilla: Monster War / Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters (Super Famicom - 1994)
- Godzilla Giant Monster March (Game Gear - 1995)
- Godzilla Trading Battle (PlayStation - 1998)
- Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact (Dreamcast - 1999)
- Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (GCN, Xbox - 2002/2003)
- Godzilla: Domination! (GBA - 2002)
- Godzilla: Save the Earth (Xbox, PS2 - 2004)
- Godzilla: Unleashed (Wii - 2007)
- Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash (NDS - 2007)
- Godzilla: Unleashed (PS2 - 2007)
- Godzilla: Rulers of Earth (2013)
- Take Me To Your Leader is the second studio album by American hip hop artist Daniel Dumile (also known as MF DOOM) and was released under the alias "King Geedorah" on June 17, 2003. The cover features a figure very similar to the appearance of King Ghidorah.
- Rebirth of Mothra III Toho 1998
- "King Ghidorah Official Trademark". Toho. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- "North American poster for GHIDRAH". Continental Releasing-1965. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- "Ghidorah Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Toho. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLGd5Nnl_Uw&list=UUU03keCaesfRWZPYV1FUxXw Teruyoshi Nakano interview
- David Kalat - Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster, Classic Media R1 DVD Audio Commentary
- Jeffries, Adrianne (July 26, 2014). "Gareth Edwards returns to direct 'Godzilla 2' with Rodan and Mothra". The Verge. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- Sullivan, Kevin P. (2014-08-14). "‘Godzilla 2′ Gets Release Date: ‘Let Them Wait’". MTV.
- "King Geedorah "Take Me To Your Leader"". HipHop-Elements.com. Retrieved 2014-06-23.