- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Mothra from the MonsterVerse. The mainstream version can be found here: Mothra.
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|“||Mothra, Queen of the Monsters.||„|
|~ Dr. Ilene Chen describing Mothra.|
Mothra, also dubbed Titanus Mosura, is the deuteragonist of the 2019 film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. She also appeared as a cave painting in the 2017 film Kong: Skull Island.
She is a lepidopteran-like kaiju of significant benevolence towards humans, who is capable of defending the natural world and was revered as a goddess by ancient human civilizations. Mothra also serves as Godzilla's trusted ally as she aided him in battle against his nemesis, Ghidorah.
Unlike the other Titans in the movie, she is portrayed entirely by CGI.
Mothra is a prehistoric lepidopteran Titan who had a symbiotic relationship with Godzilla's species and was worshipped by ancient humans as a goddess. Hieroglyphs and cave paintings indicate she fought alongside Godzilla against Ghidorah in ancient times and that hse was also involved in Godzilla's feud with the Titanus Kong species. Because of the Chen sisters' knowledge of Mothra and being third generation members of Monarch, they have a secret connection with Mothra. It's heavily implied (particularly in the King of the Monsters novelization) that Mothra has a psychic connection to the Chen twins, and that their family's ancestral link to Mothra worship is the reason why at least three generations of the family (and implicitly more generations going further back) has uncannily consisted of identical twin girls.
Kong: Skull Island
In 1973, after the discovery of Kong on Skull Island by James Conrad and Mason Weaver, Mothra appeared as a cameo on a cave painting during a brief slide show.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Mothra is first seen as a larva hatching from her egg in an ancient temple in the Yunnan rainforest in China after being closely monitored by Monarch for years. She becomes agitated when Monarch operatives fire electrical pulses at her and spits silk at them in defense. Dr. Mancini nearly attempts terminating her before she can destroy the facility, but Dr. Emma Russell manages to calm Mothra down using the ORCA device, which releases sonar pulses only understood by Titans (including an Alpha frequency which is a combination of her symbiotic partner Godzilla's bio-acoustics with a human's). Now more relaxed, Mothra leans close towards Dr. Russell and her daughter, Madison, and allows Madison to reach out to touch her. Moments later, eco-terrorists led by Alan Jonah raid the facility, killing all the Monarch personnel except for Emma and Madison, who they abduct. Mothra escapes the facility as a result, and retreats to a nearby waterfall where she cocoons herself to begin metamorphosing.
When Ghidorah usurps Godzilla as the dominant Alpha Titan and begins using a combination of the other Titans and global Weather Manipulation to begin razing man and nature alike to create an extinction event, Mothra hatches from her cocoon in her imago form in front of Dr. Brooks, Ling Chen and numerous other Monarch operatives, spreading her wings. The novelization confirms she sped up her metamorphosis wilfully when she sensed Ghidorah's global takeover.
She takes flight, heading to Castle Bravo and calling out to Godzilla, which alerts Monarch that Godzilla is still alive after nearly being killed by the Oxygen Destroyer. It's also implied in the film and confirmed in the novelization that Mothra knowingly guides Monarch's submarine towards the vortex to the Hollow Earth so they can reach Godzilla and hasten his recovery so that Godzilla can save the Earth from Ghidorah.
Mothra travels to Boston and assists Godzilla in his re-match against Ghidorah. She spits silk at Ghidorah, pinning him to the side of a building and allowing Godzilla to brutally ram him through. Before she can further assist her alpha, Rodan appears and intercepts her, slamming her into a building. The two Titans grapple each other in the sky, and a fierce aerial battle ensues. Rodan, being much larger and, arguably, more powerful than Mothra, has the advantage for most of the fight. He pins her to a building and prepares to deliver the killing blow, but Mothra pierces Rodan with her hidden stinger, which incapacitates him.
Severely wounded and weakened from her fight with Rodan, Mothra later flies over to Godzilla, who has just been dropped from thousands of feet by Ghidorah. Using the last of her strength, she flies towards Ghidorah, who blasts her with his gravity beams. As Mothra burns up and disintegrates, her radioactive ashes fall down onto Godzilla, transferring her power to him. Godzilla, now burning red, blasts Ghidorah with thermonuclear pulses, which take the shape of Mothra's wings. Using these thermonuclear pulses, Godzilla is able to avenge Mothra by destroying Ghidorah and secures his position as the Alpha Titan.
Following Ghidorah's death, newspaper articles reveal that an egg believed to be Mothra's (expliitly confirmed by the director to have been laid by her) has been discovered, meaning Mothra will one day be reborn again.
Godzilla Dominion and Godzilla vs. Kong novelization
Although Mothra apparently remains dead for the time being, it's revealed that a part of her powers remains permanently transferred to Godzilla due to her sacrifice, granting him an increased awareness of the very elements of the Earth around him.
Upon Mothra hatching from her egg as a larva, she display signs of curiosity and inquisitiveness at the Monarch personnel around her, however, she becomes aggressive when they try to contain her and webs up some of them with her silk attacks. When Emma emits the Alpha frequency from the ORCA, Mothra immediately calms down, allowing Madison to approach and nearly touch her. Even when provoked to aggression, Mothra notably goes out of her way to avoid killing humans unnecessarily, such as when she throws a containment team guard caught in her jaws into a nearby spiderweb (which cushions his impact whilst immobilizing him) instead of just crushing or devouring him.
Mothra remains loyal to Godzilla even after Ghidorah became the alpha Titan and immediately flies to his location after emerging from her cocoon. Mothra implicitly displays both intelligence and a capacity for self-sacrifice when she charges at Ghidorah in defense of the downed Godzilla, which prompts Ghidorah to vaporize her with his Gravity Beams but causes her radioactive ashes to empower Godzilla and unlock his Burning Godzilla form.
Like Mothra's previous incarnations in her larval stage, she resembles the appearance of a giant segmented caterpillar. The segments of her body are rounded, and her head is very small compared to the rest of her body. The legs of her larval form are larger and more visible than they have been in her past designs. Instead of the large oval-shaped eyes of the imago stage, Mothra's larval stage has much smaller blue eyes. She possesses a vaguely armadillo-like segmented back, and three arthropod-like mandibles and teeth, as opposed to her past incarnations which only possessed two mandibles. Her larval stage possesses several bioluminescent patches, which emit a soft blue light when she is calm but change to a red color when she is hostile and is ready to attack.
Like Mothra's previous incarnations in her imago stage, she resembles the appearance of a gigantic moth with a segmented insect-like body, equipped with six legs and two wings. Her legs are considerably different from those of her past designs, which are typically small and equally-sized, with clawed bird-like feet. Mothra also has two long hind legs with two joints and two clawed toes. She has four forelimbs, two on each side of her body, with one large pair and one smaller pair. Her forelimbs are longer and more muscular than those of her past designs, and end in large hooked claws, similar to a praying mantis. Mothra's head is comparatively smaller than it usually is, though it retains her traditional large blue eyes, which are oval-shaped rather than circular while she retains a facial resemblance to her larval form in the form of her mandibles. She possesses two large white antennae which typically lay flat against the top of her head. Also, Mothra possesses an abdomen shaped like a wasp's with a large, retractable stinger. Mothra has two gigantic compound wings each composed of two segments; a larger segment near the front of her body and a smaller segment toward the rear. The wings possess intricate patterns with the character's traditional orange, yellow and black coloration, which can emit bioluminescent glows that shift in color. There is a circular pattern on both sides of the front corners of Mothra's wings, as is the case with her previous designs. However, these circles are meant to represent Godzilla's eyes, demonstrating a connection between the monsters. Mothra also is clearly seen possessing white fur, with some orange fur on her forehead.
Powers and Abilities
- Lepidopteran Titan Physiology: As a Titan in resemblance to a lepidopteran, Mothra is incredibly powerful, possessing several physical and supernatural attributes.
- Advanced Strength: Despite her smaller size compared to other Titans, Mothra is strong enough to pick up and throw a guard into a wall in her larval form and is capable of knocking off Rodan with her claws for a short period of time.
- Advanced Durability: Mothra was able to withstand conventional weaponry such as electrical pulses from Monarch operatives in her larval form and continued fighting throughout her clash with Rodan, despite being half-burned by exposure to the latter Titan's high temperatures.
- Advanced Speed and Agility: Mothra can fly at high speed and is extremely agile while flying. During her fight with Rodan in Boston, she was capable of dodging his attacks while being pinned against a skyscraper and was quick enough to use her stinger to stab him in the chest before he could deliver the killing blow on her.
- Advanced Stamina: Mothra does not seem to grow tired as she is able to fly at great speed in the air for long periods of time. Even during her battle with Rodan in Boston, Mothra does not even show any obvious signs of fatigue since completing her metamorphosis.
- Advanced Endurance: Mothra's endurance is shown to be high as she is capable of enduring attacks from Rodan during their battle in Boston.
- Advanced Senses: Mothra has a very strong sense of hearing as she is capable of sensing Godzilla in pain after he was injured by the blast of the Oxygen Destroyer.
- Self-Sustenance: As a Titan, Mothra does not need to eat or sleep.
- Longevity: Mothra has lived for millennia seemingly without aging or weakening, thus she still retains the appearance of a giant moth in her prime.
- God Rays: Mothra's signature weapon is her "god rays", concentrated beams of beta-wave bioluminescence which she can project through the patterns of her wings. She first uses this as a beacon to communicate with Godzilla and lead Monarch to him and can even weaponize it to create brilliant, near-blinding blue light or angelic-looking golden-white light. These god-rays are also powerful enough to completely dispel storm clouds and produce mighty winds.
- Energy Dispersal: Upon her death, Mothra can release a cloud of energy which can empower Godzilla following the latter's thermonuclear overload, allowing him to emit smelting heat and release a series of all-devastating thermonuclear pulses.
- Flight: In her imago stage, Mothra can use her massive wings to fly through the air at high speed and high altitudes.
- Telepathy: Mothra is capable of using telepathy as she and Godzilla are able to communicate with each other due to their symbiotic relationship.
- Immortality: Mothra is effectively immortal as she has the ability to asexually lay an egg from which a new specimen will be reborn. It has been confirmed that each new Mothra born from an egg is not simply an offspring, but rather a true reincarnation that genetically inherits the memories of her ancestors. This ability has allowed Mothra to survive as a lineage for eons.
- Meteorokinesis: Mothra is notably able to clear the sky in her immediate vicinity of the storms being spread around the world by Ghidorah. She first does this before she emerges from her cocoon and again when she arrives at Castle Bravo.
- Silk: Mothra can fire short, controlled, and sudden blasts of sticky spider-like silk from inside her mandibles as she can do this in both her larval and imago forms. Her silk is strong enough to immobilize humans and is even shown to temporarily glue Ghidorah's heads to the side of a building for a significant length of time.
- Symbiosis: Mothra has a symbiotic relationship with Godzilla where they can share their life-force to one another to gain an edge in combat. When taking Ghidorah's gravity beams, she managed to disperse every ounce of her life energy to Godzilla in order to empower him.
- Thermal Vision: Mothra in her larval form is capable of sensing thermal radiation, although it is unknown if she still possesses this sense in her imago form.
- Advanced Combatant: Mothra can use her raptorial forelimbs and stinger in combat against other kaiju such as Rodan. Despite resembling a moth, her combat style is very similar to that of insects such as praying mantises and wasps; which use their raptorial legs and stinger in combat.
- Stinger: Similar to wasps, Mothra possesses a large stinger in her abdomen that can be used as a formidable weapon. She is able to use it to incapacitate a target simply by impaling or stabbing them at point-blank range as she demonstrated against Rodan when the latter has momentarily pinned her down. Presumably, her stinger also injects venom, though its properties are unknown.
- Raptorial Forelimbs: Similar to praying mantises, Mothra's legs possess pointed tips which allow her to slash at opponents and fight other kaiju at close range when needed. Also, a single strike from them is strong enough to ward off Rodan.
- Limited Durability: Although Mothra was incredibly powerful, she did have her limits; for example, Rodan's extremely-high body temperature was able to slowly burn away and weaken her during their fight in Boston, to the point that after the end of their fight, Mothra was reduced to weakly slouching and crawling. This also singed her wings, making Mothra unable to fly. She was also completely killed and disintegrated after being hit by a direct blast from all three of Ghidorah's gravity beams when she sacrificed herself to protect Godzilla.
Mothra and Godzilla have a symbotic relationship. Mothra helps Monarch find Godzilla when Godzilla's nearly dead. Mothra remains loyal to Godzilla even after Ghidorah becomes the alpha Titan. Mothra sacrifices herself to save Godzilla from Ghidorah and empower him with her radioactive remains.
When Mothra hatched, even in her aggravated state she notably (but warily, delivering a warning gesture) allowed Emma to approach her carefully, and she became completely docile towards her and Madison once Emma successfully used the ORCA to calm Mothra down. Even when Emma initially used the wrong Titan frequencies and ended up provoking Mothra further before finding the right frequency, Mothra seemed to hold back from straight-up attacking her and Madison.
Madison was fond of Mothra when she hatched out of her egg. Mothra seemed to hold back from attacking Madison when she was aggravated, and after she was calmed down with the ORCA, Mothra was friendly and docile to Madison as she even let Madison touch her. The novelization heavily implies Mothra formed a telepathic bond with Madison upon hatching, and that Mothra psychically intervened to bring Madison back to life when the latter suffered a near-death experience in Boston.
Rodan viciously fought Mothra in Boston during the final battle. Rodan overpowers and nearly kills Mothra, but she stabs him with her stinger and pushes him on the ground - it's unclear whether it was merely good fortune for Rodan that he survived the blow from Mothra's stinger, or if Mothra deliberately made sure to deal him a crippling but non-fatal blow.
Hieroglyphs and cave paintings indicate Mothra has aided Godzilla in fighting off Ghidorah before in ancient times. In modern times, when Mothra senses Ghidorah usurping command of the Earth's Titans from Godzilla and beginning to inflict an extinction event, Mothra refuses to acknowledge the hostile, life-threatening alien as the new alpha, and she speeds up her metamorphosis to aid Godzilla and humanity in defeating Ghidorah. During the Boston battle, she intervenes on Godzilla's behalf against Ghidorah, webbing him up and giving Godzilla and advantage, and it's implied she was aiming to skewer the alien monster with her raptorial forelimbs before Rodan arrived and forcibly kept her occupied fighting him. Even when debilitatingly wounded, Mothra charged at Ghidorah in defense of Godzilla's life, and it's implied she deliberately tricked Ghidorah into killing her so that her remains would empower Godzilla to end the three-headed monster's menace.
- This is the first incarnation of Mothra to appear in an American-made film.
- It is revealed that Mothra and Godzilla are in a symbiotic relationship; which is where two species of animals take care of each other and receive a benefit from the relationship. Benefits received in symbiotic relationships are food, protection and shelter these benefits are given to animals that help to take care of another animal of a different species. Thus in Godzilla and Mothra's case, using their energy to empower one another.