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Who Actually Won At The End Of Godzilla Vs. Kong?

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Contains spoilers for Godzilla vs. Kong

In the lead-up to giant monster movie mashup Godzilla vs. Kong hitting HBO Max, picking one the film's two lead kaiju to win the matchup promised in its title became the talk of social media. NBA all-star Kevin Durant, for example, publicly declared Godzilla to be the film's likely victor in advance of its release. The Ringer, meanwhile, posed the question to working scientists, who ultimately determined King Kong to be the more powerful of the two. Some fans took a contrarian approach and simply wished the two combatants well before their fated matchup.

Given the way fans were treating the forthcoming giant monster melee more like a pay-per-view MMA fight than a scripted film, Godzilla vs. Kong would have disappointed a significant percentage of its viewers had it not presented a clear victor by the time its credits rolled. At the end of Godzilla vs. Kong, both of its leads survive to fight another day following a bout against a rogue Mechagodzilla that requires them to team up with one another. Fortunately, the film had indeed already declared the winner of its title fight prior to Mechagodzilla entering the fray.

And the winner is...

Based on the times the titular monsters fight each other in the film, Godzilla vs. Kong's victor is Godzilla. Their first fight takes place while a team led by the scientist Nathan Lind (Alexander SkarsgÄrd) and Kong researcher Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) transports King Kong to Antarctica with an armada of aircraft carriers. Godzilla detects the presence of his rival and attacks. By the fight's end, Godzilla walks off into the sunset leaving King Kong passed out on one of the ships. While Kong may have been in restraints at the start of the fight, qualifying his loss to some extent, a loss is nevertheless a loss.

Later on in the film, Godzilla attacks Hong Kong in order to destroy Mechagodzilla, who is being kept there in an underground lab. Soon after his arrival, Godzilla bores a hole into the Earth connecting its surface to its center, where King Kong is at that point in time. Kong uses the hole like a freeway to get to his next fight with Godzilla, which promptly takes place amidst Hong Kong's neon skyline. Midway into the fight, Kong uses his axe to subdue Godzilla for a moment. Lind explicitly states, seemingly more for the sake of the King Kong stans in the audience than any of the film's characters, that Kong has won round two. The fighting soon continues, however, and Godzilla leaves King Kong so incapacitated that an amount of energy equivalent to what's required to power the city of Las Vegas is needed to defibrillate his heart.

In total, then, Kong had an advantage mid-fight, but Godzilla ends the film with one qualified and one definitive victory, crowning him Godzilla vs. Kong's decisive winner.