‘Godzilla X Kong’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: What Happened To Shimo?

Iconic characters survive the brunt of time and stay relevant through generations by adapting to new themes and varying treatments—an aspect that is clearly noticeable when we take a look at the seventy-year journey of Godzilla in the pop culture landscape. In a journey that mimics that of another pop culture legend, Batman’s transformation in comics itself, Toho’s Godzilla movies have ranged from originating in grim-dark disaster horror-themed spectacles to pure campy monster battles intended for the amusement of the younger section of the audience to metaphorical sci-fi allegories. Such a variety of treatment has not only made character timeless but has also paved the way for the global popularity of the iconic Kaiju. Which is why we can have a Godzilla movie set as a post-World War II human drama and, within a few months, have another one radically differing in tone as a monster bash-em-up movie, and have fans love both ventures. 


With their latest release, Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire,  Legendary’s Monsterverse has become a microcosm of Godzilla’s enduring journey, as director Adam Wingard’s love letter to Showa era Kaiju madness turns unabashedly zany and bonkers to the max. With that being said, it would be wrong to dismiss the movie as plain logic-less fun despite being devoid of engaging human storylines, as several sequences of non-verbal communications conveying the ideas to the audience showcase a bold new approach the makers wanted to take with the creatures, developing them as characters as well. 

Spoilers Ahead


What’s The Present Status Of Kong And Godzilla?

Since their previous altercation and combined struggle to defeat Mechagodzilla, the two alpha Titans of Earth, Godzilla and Kong, have gone their separate ways, living in peace in their own territories. While Godzilla is busy on the surface world to protect nature’s balance between humans and the Titans—by decimating a few of them—as shown in the beginning as Godzilla decimates the Titan Scylla in Rome, Kong has properly settled in the subterranean Hollow Earth. The movie opens on Hollow Earth, and Kong is seen being chased by a flock of quadruped predator Titans, or wart dogs. As he gets himself cornered, the nearby ground turns out to be a sinkhole, which traps the majority of the wart dogs and allows Kong to escape safely. However, his infected teeth are still pestering Kong, along with a lack of a sense of belonging, as Kong spends his days alone in the vast swathes of the Hollow World wilderness. Kong’s movements are being observed by Monarch’s lead operatives, especially by Dr. Ilene Andrews, who played a significant role during the events of Godzilla Vs. Kong. While shouldering huge responsibilities as an expert Titan researcher, Ilene already has her hands full as the adoptive mother of Jia. Fans will surely remember the kid as the only person able to communicate with Kong and the last surviving member of Hollow Earth’s Iwi tribe.

At the Monarch outpost at Hollow Earth, a strange seismic pattern is recorded during a couple of occasions, which matches the sketches of the inexplicable visions Jia is recently having. Baffled and a bit scared, Ilene goes to Bernie (the conspiracy theory podcaster who played a key role in “Godzilla Vs. Kong” as well) to seek advice. Bernie agrees to help only if, in exchange, Ilene allows him to get inside the Hollow Earth. Later, as Ilene returns to the Monarch outpost in Barbados, Kong comes back to the surface world, sensing Jia’s presence, to get assistance in remedying his tooth-related ailments. Ilene’s old flame, Trapper, a Titan veterinarian, is introduced, who helps Kong by affixing a replacement tooth. Bernie arrives to inform Ilene that, according to his research, the seismic patterns are some kind of SOS signal sent from the Hollow Earth. A recon team is arranged, consisting of Trapper and Ilene, to be sent to ascertain the possible source of the signal, and Jia and Bernie manage to convince Ilene to take them on as well. In a HEAV vehicle, the team follows Kong as they enter the Hollow Earth through a portal.


Who Are Skar King And Shimo? Why Is Godzilla Empowering Himself?

Inside the Hollow Earth, the recon team finds the Monarch outpost to be destroyed and the researchers of the outpost to be brutally massacred. From video footage, Ilene surprisingly finds out that an enormous ape named Titan is the possible perpetrator. On the other hand, as Kong returns to his lair in Hollow Earth, he senses someone’s presence and is amused to find a young member of his species, whom viewers later identify with the name Suko. However, Suko is a part of a hostile ambush group as he tricks Kong into lowering his defense as three larger ape titans attack Kong, but eventually, Kong manages to best all of them. Considering the possibility that there is an entire population of his species out there, Kong forces the young Titan to lead him to their habitat. During the journey, Kong protects Suko and shows him kindness, ignoring his several attempts to beguile and trick him, thereby earning Suko’s trust in the process. 

On the other hand, Monarch operatives in the surface world observe Godzilla to be systematically preparing himself for an impending conflict by empowering himself through radiation. After defeating Scylla, the king of the monsters moves to France to feed on a nuclear power plant and proceeds to the Arctic, where he attacks and kills the significantly strong energy powerhouse Titan (Tiamat). Moving inside Tiamat’s lair, Godzilla goes into a temporary hibernation state as he absorbs the energy stored inside. 


Inside the Hollow Earth, Ilene and co. continue to move towards the possible location from where the distress signal originated and find ancient ruins of the Iwi tribe, which signifies that the tribe is the earliest among modern humans and also that they had established civilization inside Hollow Earth before moving to Skull Island much later. Jia triggers a mechanism in the ruins, which leads the team to a hidden settlement of the Iwi tribe, and it is revealed that the Iwi people were sending the distress signal in the first place. Iwi Queen, who was anticipating Jia’s arrival, takes the team inside their mystical double pyramid construction, where Ilene observes a number of Iwi murals, which she is able to translate to ascertain the reason behind the distress signal. As the story inscribed through the murals reveals, in ancient times, Iwi lived in harmony with the Titans inside the Hollow Earth, and the species of Kong were protectors of humanity. Eventually, a malicious, violent leader known as Skar King rises among the ranks of the Kong species, who aims to dominate the surface world by leading his species in a war against Godzilla.

At long last, Godzilla was somehow able to trap the Skar King inside the most treacherous depths of the Hollow Earth. However, Skar King and his troops got their hands on an ancient Titan named Shimo—a frost Titan whose powers are so immense that she was able to cause the second ice age to happen. Skar King was able to entrap Shimo into submission through a mystical crystal, which somehow inflicts great pain on the Titan, using which Skar King forces her to comply with his commands. The opening of the sinkhole, as shown previously in the movie, has opened up the possibility of Skar King and his troops continuing their pursuit of dominating the surface world, which is why the Iwi were sending a distress signal to Godzilla. Accordingly, Godzilla was preparing himself for the upcoming conflict and empowering himself through various means. Iwi legend had also foretold of a member of their tribe, belonging to Skull Island, who will be able to awaken their guardian deity, Mothra, who can guide Godzilla to the conflict. The calling of destiny was the reason why Jia was experiencing visions erstwhile.


How Did Kong And Godzilla Band Together To Fight Skar King And Shimo?

As Suko and Kong finally arrive at the lair of Skar King, Kong is horrified to see the oppressive, ruthless way the Titan is dominating over the rest of his species. An infuriated Kong challenges Skar King to a battle of leadership and initially gains upper hand, but as the wicked leader unleashes Shimo upon Kong, he gets severely injured by receiving frostbite in his hand and is forced to retreat. Suko shows Kong the way to escape, and as Skar King’s troops chase Kong, they fall prey to several of Kong’s traps, which he had installed near his lair. Suko helps Kong thwart the remaining members of the troops, and as a weakened Kong senses Jia’s presence in the Iwi temple, Suko helps him reach there. 

After the battle with Mechagodzilla, the Monarch operatives had designed some augmentations for Kong for added protection, and seeing Kong in an injured state, Trapper proposed to install the augmentations on Kong’s damaged hand. A giant mechanical cybernetic B.E.A.S.T. (Bio-Enhanced Anatomech Seismic Thunder) glove is affixed to Kong’s hand along with healing enhancers, which restores the giant ape to his original strength. In the meantime, one of Skar King’s troops sees Kong near the Iwi temple and informs him, which prompts Skar King to take Shimo and an assault team consisting of his loyalists to the temple. Suko senses their presence and warns Kong about the upcoming danger. As Jia communicates with Kong and mentions the necessity of assistance, Kong rushes to return to the surface world to get Godzilla’s help in the upcoming conflict. This is a battle that neither of them can take on their own, and Kong takes on the responsibility of somehow luring Godzilla inside the Hollow Earth to face the Skar King and Shimo. On the other hand, Godzilla has awakened in a new, evolved form in the Arctic and has started moving towards the south through Europe.


However, at the same time, Kong’s own life is in danger, and Godzilla won’t tolerate his presence in the surface world. Before engaging in a battle with Skar King and Shimo, there is a high chance that the alpha Titans might once again engage in a scuffle against themselves like it happened during Godzilla vs. Kong, and to prevent that, the presence of Mothra is necessary. The Iwi Queen guides Jia to a designated altar, where her presence mystically summons Mothra, the enigmatic queen of the Titans. 

Kong surfaces near Cairo, and sensing Godzilla’s presence nearby, he lets out a battle cry to trigger him to arrive at his location. An enraged Godzilla arrives and, without paying heed to Kong’s efforts to make him realize the possible reason for the call, starts attacking, hurling Kong across the pyramids. Kong retaliates and, due to new augmentation, momentarily gains an upper hand, but this infuriates Godzilla even more as he pummels the giant ape to submission and prepares to launch his atomic breath on him. However, a timely intervention by Mothra and Jia breaks the conflict for good, and Mothra’s presence calms Godzilla’s mind. Jia and Mothra guide the two alpha Titans to the Hollow World to prevent Skar King and Shimo from arriving on the surface. 


What Happened During The Final Showdown?

Meanwhile, Iwi Queen evacuates her tribe from the temple and decides to activate a mystical anti-gravity state using the opposite pyramid structure mechanism of the temple, which can provide some assistance to Kong and Godzilla during the battle. As Godzilla and Kong face Skar King and Shimo, the anti-gravity trigger flings all of them to the air. This helps Mothra entrap the majority of Skar King’s troops, and even Suko manages to land a few good blows using the levitation objects. However, Skar King manages to escape through a portal, with Kong chasing after him, and Godzilla and Shimo follow suit as well. 

The Titans surface in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Skar King forces Shimo to trigger a new ice age, putting the entire planet in a mass extinction crisis. A vicious, final battle begins among the four behemoths, and soon the mystical crystal becomes the target object for both Kong and Godzilla, as it is the key to breaking Skar King’s hold over Shimo. Suko makes a timely entry into the battle with Kong’s battle axe and destroys the crystal, which finally frees Shimo from Skar King’s mind control. Now Skar King faces the wrath of all three Titans as the trio takes turns beating him. At the end, Shimo freezes her former captor, and Kong destroys Skar King in his frozen form to end his threat once and for all. Godzilla uses his empowered atomic breath to undo Shimo’s ice age trigger, saving the world for the nth time in the process. 


With her destiny fulfilled, Jia finds a place to belong among the Iwi, but chooses to stay with her adoptive mother, Ilene. Mothra hides the Iwi tribe in veil once again as she continues to fulfill her destiny as the protector of humanity. Being tired after taking part in a number of battles, Godzilla decides to take rest and curls up to sleep in the Colosseum in Rome, and the historical architecture has never received a glow like this since the day of its inception. On the other hand, Kong and Suko take Shimo back with them to the lair of Skar King—not as a prisoner but as a friendly companion. Shimo seems happy to be present along with her new Titan friends as well. Kong liberates his species from the oppression of Skar King and truly becomes the iconic ‘King’. As the movie ends, the possibility of another Kaiju team-up remains open, as director Adam Wingard had mentioned making a third movie to complete the trilogy of the Godzilla-Kong series. With a number of Titans still remaining in obscurity and only five percent of the Hollow Earth being explored, there is no telling as to how deadly or immense the upcoming threats might be, but we know for sure that this isn’t the last rodeo for Godzilla, Kong, and Mothra. 

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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