Frequently Asked Kaiju Questions: Can Godzilla Die?

We answer the age-old question of Godzilla's potential mortality… or lack thereof.

For 70 years and counting, the King of the Monsters has delighted fans by facing off against everything from humankind's defense forces, extraterrestrials, kaiju, mecha, robots, cyborgs, time travelers, and even gods. In essence Godzilla always endures, but that's not to say Godzilla is completely unfettered or even undefeated. In fact, Godzilla has even been destroyed. But can Godzilla die? Has Godzilla ever died? Will Godzilla ever die? Is it even possible to kill Godzilla? And why would anyone ever want to???

To answer these questions, we highly recommend consuming every piece of official Godzilla media, but particularly every Godzilla movie, TV series, and anime. If you have already enjoyed the entire Godzilla canon, you may continue reading undeterred. If you are new to Godzilla, however, be forewarned. This is an inherently spoiler-y piece of writing.



Godzilla (1954)



Following the devastation of Tokyo by the King of the Monsters' rampage, Dr. Serizawa sacrifices himself to defeat Godzilla by detonating his "Oxygen Destroyer" weapon, which disintegrates oxygen atoms. This suffocates Godzilla, dissolves its tissues down to its bones (later repurposed in the Kiryu version of Mechagodzilla from 2002's Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla), and definitely "kills" the kaiju. And yet, even after its skeleton sinks to the bottom of the sea, a "new" Godzilla returned to theaters five months later to battle Anguirus in 1955's Godzilla Raids Again.

Godzilla Raids Again (1955)


Godzilla Raids Again


After battling humankind and Anguirus from Osaka Bay into the city itself, the highly destructive Godzilla was lured further north to Hokkaido. There, Godzilla inadvertently caused an avalanche while firing on the planes of The Japan Self-Defense Forces, inspiring them to blast the surrounding hills for even more avalanche action. Godzilla is eventually completely buried, prompting humankind to proclaim it defeated. The King of the Monsters wouldn't be seen on film again for seven years, returning once again with a revamped look in 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla.

The Return of Godzilla (1984)



In a return to its roots, Godzilla makes its way from feeding off a power plant in Shizuoka to eventually attacking Tokyo directly. Godzilla faces down conventional military firepower, advanced lasers, and more before eventually being lured into a volcano, where it was presumed trapped and potentially even destroyed. This only seemed to slow Godzilla down, however, as the King of the Monsters would be back for more monster battles just five years later in 1989's Godzilla vs. Biollante.

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)



After absorbing an overabundance of energy at the beginning of the film, Godzilla battles the Tokyo-attacking Destoroyah (a monster inadvertently created by the Oxygen Destroyer from 1954's Godzilla film) in a tragic "burning" state, all the while trying to protect a similar young kaiju called "Godzilla Junior" by scientists. After Destoroyah kills Godzilla Junior, Godzilla uses the power of its own energized heart to blast Destoroyah with a powerful enough heat ray to end its reign of terror while the Japanese Self-Defense Force finished it off. While Godzilla does not survive its energy affliction, the resulting energy is absorbed by the momentarily dead Godzilla Junior's body, reviving it. Hence, a new Godzilla is born.

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)



Known as "GMK" by fans, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is a film where the King of the Monsters lives up to its name with distinctly anti-humankind behavior. Unlike many other films where Godzilla defends Earth from other kaiju, this movie casts the typically villainous King Ghidorah as a protector against the film's raging, white-eyed Godzilla. After defeating Baragon, Mothra, King Ghidorah, the J.S.D.F. on a tear through Japan, Godzilla is eventually defeated when a missile fired into its mouth interacts with its heat ray, causing the King of the Monsters to explode and sink to the bottom of the sea. While humankind celebrated its survival, the end of the film reveals Godzilla's disembodied heart has begun to beat at the bottom of Yokohama Bay.

Shin Godzilla (2016)



Following a multi-phase evolution rampage through Tokyo, the toxic-waste born Godzilla is targeted by the United Nations for a thermonuclear attack. Fortunately, the scientists at work deduce that they can instead use a coagulating agent to freeze the King of the Monsters in its tracks. After distracting Godzilla using multiple methods, and drawing out its heat, the still-evolving behemoth was filled with enough coagulant to effectively transform it into the most terrifying statue in human history.

Godzilla Minus One (2023)



Following multiple attacks on Japan, the heroic humans of Godzilla Minus One lure Godzilla into Sagami Bay in an attempt to crush it with a clever mix of technologies and the ocean's own pressure. While an improvised modification to these plans successfully results in damage to Godzilla, ultimately the King of the Monsters is thought to be killed by an explosive-filled airplane being flown into its gaping maw. At the end of the film, however, viewers watch as Godzilla tissue seems to reconstitute itself, implying it could completely regenerate as it did throughout the film.

So, Can Godzilla Die?

To answer the internet's omnipresent question, can Godzilla die? Yes. And no. And it depends. And of course not.

As long as humankind refuses peace…

As long as there are Godzilla fans…

Godzilla can never die.