Michael Dougherty, the director of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, recently had a virtual party with fans watching a live stream of his film and sharing trivia, behind the scenes tidbits and unused plot points from the story's narrative on Twitter. One such piece of information was in connection to the giant insect Kaiju Mothra, who is a lot older than you might imagine.
"In the script it was originally mentioned that this egg was over 10,000 years old, but Mothra's cult has obviously died off since then. That's why the larva is caught off guard when she emerges from the egg."
The reboot of the Godzilla franchise has established a long, intricate mythology behind the giant lizard monster and its cronies. Not only is King Kong now a part of Godzilla's world, but the connection of the giant creatures to humanity dates back far longer than the era of the nuclear testing which gave birth to Godzilla in his original movies.
According to the Monsterverse lore, Godzilla and its ilk have existed on Earth for untold millenia and even had multiple members of the same super-species instead of being one-off anomalies. When it comes to Mothra, the creature is at least 10,000 years old, and in all that time, has found reference in multiple human cultures as an object of worship.
The reboot places Mothra in the realm of actual monsters, instead of her more mystical origins from her original movies. This Mothra might not be a literal goddess, but she goes out of her way to protect humanity, and has almost a symbiotic relationship with Godzilla, coming to the lizard's aid even at a time when Ghidorah had established himself as the new alpha and leader of the Titans.
Making Mothra and the rest of the Titans so incredibly old helps add another layer of grandiose mystique to the characters. They are depicted not as mindless monsters, but as gods and primordial forces of nature, with complex motivations and hierarchies, and a right to the resources of the planet that predates humanity.
While some Titans like Ghidorah actively hate humanity, others like Godzilla are willing to work alongside them, while Mothra goes out of her way to protect them, in keeping with her reputation as a benevolent deity. Interestingly, another aspect of Mothra's long-standing godhood found mention in the Monsterverse.
As Dougherty mentions in his tweet, Mothra had a cult devoted to her worship that had since died out. This cult traditionally included a set of twin priestesses whose job was to communicate with Mothra. In Godzilla: King of Mosnters, this role was fulfilled symbolically by Dr. Ilene Chen and her twin sister Dr. Ling Chen. Both were revealed to be the descendants of twin sisters who have all worked for Monarch through multiple generations.
With Mothra being the most helpful Kaiju the Monsterverse has introduced so far, fans are looking forward to seeing the creature make a comeback with the upcoming Godzilla Vs Kong, in which we might get to see Mothra interact with the giant ape for the first time.