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Characters In Godzilla Vs. Kong With More Meaning Than You Realize

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Contains spoilers for Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla vs. Kong is finally out in the world, released in theaters and at home on HBO Max on March 31. It's been two years since Godzilla: King of the Monsters and four years since Kong: Skull Island. Since then, there have been multiple comic book continuations to fill in the gaps and help us understand what happened to the world (and to our beloved monsters) between movies. It's not surprising that some of the narrative heavy lifting and character arcs would take place in supplemental media. After all, the point of Godzilla and King Kong movies is for giant monsters to fight, especially when they appear in the same film.

While there's a message in Godzilla vs. Kong concerning humanity's place in nature, it is primarily a film where a giant lizard and a supersized ape duke it out for domination. However, there are still a lot of human characters in the film, including some we've even met before. Most notably, both Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) and her father, Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler), return after their first appearance in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. We already know they are important to these stories, but what might be less clear is how important some of the other human characters are to this universe.

Here are five characters from Godzilla vs. Kong who are more important than you probably realize. As is often the case, expect to see them in future films or tie-in comics and novels.

Bernie Hayes: Podcaster to the (monster) stars

In the last few years, podcasts and podcasters have increasingly grown in popularity. The McElroy Brothers and podcasts like Critical Role often dominate the space, but as the volume of podcasts increases, so, too, does the number of podcasters becoming household names. It seems safe to say that by the end of Godzilla vs. Kong, that Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) is about to become the most famous podcaster in the world of kaiju.

By the time we're introduced to Bernie, he's already dedicated several hundred episodes worth of podcast time to exploring the conspiracies behind Monarch and giant monsters. Most notably, it seems that he is popular with people who have had direct contact with Monarch and said monsters because Madison is a devout listener and her father at least knows about Hayes by proxy.

If Bernie's podcast was popular before the events of Godzilla vs Kong, then imagine how popular he will be after playing an active role in helping the two monsters defeat Mechagodzilla — and imagine how informed the public at large will be about Monarch and their shenanigans. And while we're on the subject of Monarch's giant robots...

Ren Serizawa: The man behind the mech

There aren't exactly villains in Godzilla vs. Kong so much as there are antagonists who think they're doing something smart, only to wind up hoisted by their own egomania. Ren Serizawa (Shun Oguri) is one-half of a duo of "bad guys" whose belief is very simple: in order for humanity to thrive, they must prove themselves to be a stronger, collective apex predator than any giant monster.

The creation of Mechagodzilla using the combined might of King Ghidorah's brain and the human mind may have failed, but that doesn't mean it will be the last effort made toward a similar end. And while Ren seems pretty dead by the end of Godzilla vs. Kong, that doesn't mean his story is over.

We could always see a prequel story explaining how Ren came to create Mechagodzilla. Ren is, after all, the son of Ishirō Serizawa (Ken Watanabe), who was much more of the opinion that humanity should play its part in the world by sometimes standing back and letting the giant monsters fight. What caused Ren to employ a decidedly opposing tactic?

Mostly, though, what makes Ren important is that he's part of the team that kept Ghidorah's mind alive, a decision we expect will come back to haunt our heroes later. And by crafting mech technology, it's entirely possible Ren's work will lead these Godzilla stories down a more Pacific Rim-like path.

Nathan Lind: Making Hollow Earth make sense is hard work

Not to restate things, but Godzilla vs. Kong is primarily focused on the stories of two giant monsters. Some characters — even the main ones — get huge swaths of their stories glossed over, which is fine! We really just want to see monsters fight. However, Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) has a backstory way too important not to flesh out later.

When Lind is approached by Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir) about his potential involvement in traveling to the center of Hollow Earth (a concept only slightly less ridiculous than Flat Earth), we get a very brief mention of his past attempt. What we know is that Lind's brother died in an attempt to get the kaiju stomping grounds, but we don't really know how that happened. We don't know why Lind is fixated on Hollow Earth, we don't know how he became affiliated with Monarch, and we didn't see him fall out with the organization either. That story is at least worth a tie-in comic.

But much like Ren, the other reason why Lind is so important is that it's his ideas that helped drive the journey to Hollow Earth in the first place. It seems likely that Lind will play an important role in understanding (and even benefiting from) Hollow Earth in forthcoming stories.

Ilene Andrews: Kaiju whisperer

Nathan Lind is important, arguably more important than you may have realized, but there's a limit to his importance when it isn't combined with that of Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall). Andrews is the reason King Kong stays safe for as long as he does — she is his guardian in many ways. The containment area Kong calls home exists in part because of Andrews, and the safeguards used to keep Kong safe as he travels to Hollow Earth are a result of her care as well.

More and more, we are discovering that Earth is covered in monsters, and that doesn't even cover what might appear from outer space. When we see Hollow Earth, one of the things we notice straight away is that there is even more monster life down there. And if there's anyone who can catalog and understand that life, it's Ilene Andrews.

Godzilla vs. Kong was an example of man's hubris gone awry on a catastrophic level. Walter Simmons and Ren Serizawa bet on humans out-fighting monsters physically, and humanity lost a lot in the exchange. Andrews is important for the future of this franchise precisely because she'll likely stand opposed to the "destroy all monsters" edict. And if she takes on more power at Monarch in the wake of this story (and it's almost certain she will), any attempts to build mechs will likely be tempered by Andrews' level head and respect for all of nature's creations, including Kong.

Jia: the savior of humanity and monsterdom alike

All that being said, there is one character in Godzilla vs. Kong who (at least metaphorically) stands head and shoulders above the entire rest of the cast — Jia (Kaylee Hottle). To say that Jia's empathy and ability to communicate with Kong literally saved all of humanity's collective bacon is probably an understatement. And she's only going to become more important for humans and monsters alike both as she gets older.

If you recall, in Kong: Skull Island (and in many other previous King Kong films), the aforementioned location itself is home to more than just the big ape — there's also a tribe of people living symbiotically with him. And while Kong protects those people, they also respect and watch out for him. We find out in Godzilla vs. Kong that the only surviving member of that tribe is Jia and it's through her ability to use sign language that humanity learns Kong isn't just intelligent but also able to communicate.

Jia is so in tune with Kong that she can feel his heart slow down to the point of death. Without her, he wouldn't even be alive right now. Jia, in some ways, is similar to the twins who communicate with Mothra in the old Toho movies. It's hard to say that there's anyone else who could convince Kong to fight for the human race at this point other than Jia.

Similarly, we may discover that other monsters are able to communicate through sign language. As she gets older, it seems likely that Jia may not only be the person best able to understand these creatures; she may also be their strongest advocate.

Godzilla vs. Kong is now streaming on HBO Max.