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Who won Godzilla vs Kong? The ending, explained

Godzilla vs Kong who wins? Ending explained
(Image credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures)

Warning: Godzilla vs Kong ending spoilers ahead!

Godzilla vs Kong is streaming now on HBO Max, after dropping on March 31. The monster match-up pits the two iconic creatures against each other and the marketing campaign for the film promised, "One will fall." So, does the movie live up to the hype? 

Yes, one of the titans does fall and the other titan triumphs (with a couple of caveats, however). Fans were worried that this MonsterVerse battle would turn out like the 1962 Japanese film King Kong vs. Godzilla, which sort of danced around crowning a definitive winner. Not the case with Godzilla vs Kong.

Godzilla vs Kong stars Millie Bobby Brown, Brian Tyree Henry, Rebecca Hall, and Alexander Skarsgård — and of course, the titular CGI monsters — in a spectacular battle for the ages. With the help of his protectors, including a young orphan girl named Jia, Kong attempts to find his true home but comes across an enraged Godzilla. Their epic clash has been instigated by unseen forces involved in a bigger mystery deep in the Earth's core. 

First, the giant lizard and the enormous ape fight in Antarctica. Then, everything comes to a head in a final face-off in Hong Kong. 

Godzilla vs Kong: Who wins?

Seriously, we're about to spoil the ending ... so stop reading now if you don't want to know what happens.

First, let's talk about the Antarctica battle. Early in the film, Godzilla attacks a facility of Apex Cybernetics. The CEO, Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir), believes there is a power source in the Hollow Earth — the birthplace of all titans — could be used to create a weapon to defeat Godzilla.

Simmons recruits Dr Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård), who in turn persuades Kong's protector Dr Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) to lead them to Hollow Earth. When they arrive at the entry point in Antarctica, Godzilla senses his old enemy and attacks. 

Godzilla vs Kong who wins? ending explained — the battle in Antarctica

(Image credit: Warner Bros/HBO Max)

In their brawl, Kong almost drowns but the Navy ships turn off all power to trick Godzilla into thinking it has won. Kong barely makes it back aboard a boat. 

Round one: Godzilla.

In the final face-off in Hong Kong, Godzilla and Kong's duel is more evenly matched, thanks to a Hollow Earth axe that the ape wields. But Godzilla still overpowers Kong,  slashes his chest its claws and stomps on him. But he doesn't finish him; instead, Godzilla leaves a dying Kong. The ape tries to stand up, but falls — making the film's tagline come true.

Round two and overall: Godzilla.

Does Kong die?

At that point, it sure looks like Kong is a goner. However, Dr. Lind who uses one of Apex's machines to jumpstart Kong's heart. When he gets back up, Jia convinces him that Godzilla isn't the true enemy.

Kong actually teams up with Godzilla to take on Mechagodzilla, the metal monster built by Apex using the Hollow Earth power source. Godzilla fires up the axe, which Kong uses on Mechagodzilla before ripping its head off.

After the two titans defeat Mechagodzilla, they form a wary truce toward each other. Godzilla returns to the ocean and Kong journeys to his new home in Hollow Earth.

So, while Godzilla did win in his head-to-head bouts with Kong, both live to fight another day — and perhaps each other, because who knows how long this peace will last.

Godzilla vs Kong who wins? ending explained — the final ending?

(Image credit: Warner Bros/HBO Max)

Is there a Godzilla vs Kong end credits scene?

Legendary hasn't indicated it might continue Godzilla vs Kong into a sequel, so there's no end credits scene to tease a future film. However, the ending is left open, so it's possible the two titans could meet again.

“The MonsterVerse is at a crossroads now,” director Adam Wingard told Dread Central. “It’s really at the point where audiences have to kind of step forward and vote for more of these things. If this movie is a success obviously they will continue forward. But I actually think it’s good that there’s not a post-credit scene because, you know, the MonsterVerse is different from the Marvel universe. Just because you have a [shared] universe it doesn’t mean you have to do all the things that Marvel does. And ultimately I think it’s better with sequels to not pigeonhole yourself."

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.