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Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire ending explained (and what it means for the MonsterVerse franchise)

Everything you need to know about the latest film from Warner Brothers and Legendary's MonsterVerse

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The fifth installation in the MonsterVerse cinematic universe has just been released, with a battle royale of Titans that also follows through on a number of the bigger questions of the series, including What exactly did happen to Kong and Godzilla’s peoples? Why does Jia, the young Iwi girl who is the last of her tribe, have such a hold on Kong? Where does Godzilla sleep at night?

And most important, What do you get if you multiply Kong times Godzilla? The answer, my friends, is absolute bedlam.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, which is out now in theaters. Buy tickets on Fandango or Atom Tickets.

What Happens in the Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire ending?

Having defeated the King Ghidorah-possessed Mechagodzilla at the end of 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong, our heroes withdrew to their separate corners of the MonsterVerse — the surface of the planet for Godzilla, and the world-within-the-world known as Hollow Earth for Kong. As Godzilla x Kong opens, Godzilla is protecting humanity against any Titans who pop up, while Kong roams Hollow Earth trying to find some trace of his lost people.

It’s a very much 'Careful what you wish for' scenario for Kong, as a sinkhole trap he creates to stop a pack of Hollow Earth Monster-wolves opens up to a whole other world within the world called the Subterranean Realm. Here Kong finally finds his people, ruled by a vicious, red-haired ape known as Skar King. It turns out Kong’s tribe got locked away forever after they murdered all of the Godzillas. They’ve been looking for a way out ever since.

None of this is good for Kong, who almost gets frozen to death by Shimo, Skar King's enslaved stegosaurus Titan with ice ray breath. Luckily, an adorable Kid Kong helps Kong escape back to Hollow Earth, where some of Kong’s human pals from the Titan-monitoring group Monarch (see: the recent Apple TV show) have set up shop. Pretty quickly they’re able to set him up with a giant mechanical arm that really doesn’t seem to do much, but does add a nice Transformers vibe to the proceedings.

Kong goes to the surface to seek Godzilla's help. Unfortunately, the King of the Monsters interprets his presence as an end to their cease-fire and charges him all the way from the Rock of Gibraltar to the Pyramids of Egypt, a journey of almost three thousand miles. The two fight, reducing the Pyramids more or less to rubble in the process. (The MonsterVerse loves nothing more than to watch its Titans trash important places.)

Meanwhile—*deep breath*—the orphan child Jia (Kaylee Hottle) and her guardian Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) find themselves taken into a secret dimension of Hollow Earth where they meet a whole other Iwi tribe who have special nature-tech that gives them the power to affect gravity. And Jia is revealed to be the long-prophesied Iwi who can bring about the rebirth of Mothra, the enormous-and-glowing-and-not-all-creepy moth from Godzilla: King of the Monsters, who is destined to help save everything.

Jia does her part, Mothra comes back, sings, and flies to the surface to get Godzilla and Kong on the same page. The three of them then travel back to the secret Iwi area within Hollow Earth just as Skar King, his pet ice-breathing dragon, and all the other giant apes show up. Chaos ensues, the moreso because the Iwi kill gravity for a couple minutes, allowing us all to see what a Godzilla/Kong/Titans fight in space could look like. More, please, and thank you.

Then our major characters are thrown through one of Hollow Earth’s portals back to the surface. Skar King, Shimo, Kong and Godzilla thrash each other (and also Rio de Janiero) over and over until finally our heroes (and Kid Kong) are able to destroy Skar King’s leash on Shimo, allowing her to turn her ice ray on him. Kong then smashes Skar King to pieces.

In the end, Kong returns with Kid Kong and Shimo to the Subterranean Realm, where he is welcomed by all the other Kongs, who never liked Skar King anyway. Godzilla curls up in the Coliseum in Rome, because that’s where he sleeps when he’s not protecting humanity. (Really. It's adorable.)

Meanwhile, like the Coen Brothers’ proverbial Dude, Mothra abides.

Who dies in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire?

Other than Skar King and the unnamed Titan sea serpent Godzilla wrestles through the streets of Rome at the film’s start, Godzilla x Kong has a remarkably low body count.

(Note: The residents of Rome, Cairo, and Rio de Janeiro, each of which gets completely trashed during the film, may have other things to say about that.)

What’s the Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire best fight?

Godzilla x Kong is filled with Titan battles. But the greatest is the four-Titan fight in Rio, which begins with Shimo using her ice ray to destroy the city's beachfront (sorry, tourism!), and quickly descends into the four main characters doing WCW through the streets of Rio. In the end, Kong delivers the kind of body slam on the ice’d up Skar King to make a pro wrestler proud.

Are there any Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire surprise stars?

In addition to Rebecca Hall, Kaylee Hottle, and Brian Tyree Henry returning (as Titans conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes), Godzilla x Kong stars Downton Abbey and Legion’s Dan Stevens as the kind of ultra-cheery Crocodile Dundee-esque Australian veterinarian that drives Australians absolutely insane and delights everyone else.

But the big guest stars, both figuratively and literally, are the Titans. In addition to the evil giant ape Skar King and the not-at-all-terrifying moth Titan Mothra, the series introduces two new Titans that seem likely to become fan favorites: Shimo, an ice white stegosaurus-like Titan with the ability to emit a ray of ice so strong it can flash freeze pretty much anything, who goes from Skar King's weapon of choice to Kong's very good boy at the end; and Kid Kong, a young Titan ape with red fur and the most adorable facial expressions.

Who's a good Titan? You are, yes, you are.

Is there a mid-credit or post-credit scene in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire?

In a mid-credit scene, Kong takes off his mechanical arm and leaves the room. Suddenly, the arm transforms into Bumblebee the Transformer!

J/K! (For now...Kong's arm enhancement IS yellow and black, is all I'm saying.)

Sorry, no, there were no mid or post-credit scenes.

Will there be another Godzilla and Kong film?

Director Adam Wingard has said that he’d love to do a third Godzilla and Kong film to complete the trilogy, and indicated “really cool ideas” have been talked about. (A Land of the Lost filled with Godzillas under the Subterranean Realm under the Hollow Earth? Shimo gets separated from Kong and Kid Kong and has to travel through all the different Earths on his own to find his family?) But no official word has been given. It’ll likely depend on how well the film does.


Whichever giant monster is your favorite, Popverse has you covered. We have a guide to Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire's ending (and what it means for the broader MonsterVerse), as well as watch orders for both Legendary's MonsterVerse and Godzilla's overall movies, as well as why Godzilla Minus One left theaters early (and why New Empire could be to blame!), and if you're a Popverse premium member, a New York Comic Con-exclusive interview with the cast and crew of Legendary's kaiju-hunting drama Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.

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Jim McDermott avatar

Jim McDermott

Contributing writer

Jim is a magazine and screenwriter based in New York. He loves the work of Stephen Sondheim and cannot take a decent selfie.
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