In the world of cinematic giants, few creatures capture our fascination quite like Smaug the Dragon from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and Godzilla from MonsterVerse, the iconic King of Monsters. Born from the creative depths of different cultures and eras, both have left us awe-struck with their power and might. I remember the countless times I’ve found myself lost in their tales, always wondering what would ensue if these two legendary beasts ever clashed. So, let’s embark on a speculative journey to pit Smaug against Godzilla and determine who might emerge victorious!
In a showdown between them, Godzilla would likely emerge victorious! Not only is he larger than Smaug, but he also possesses intelligence beyond that of an average creature, giving him an edge in tactics. While Smaug’s fiery breath might not faze Godzilla (who has even survived molten lava inside a volcano), Godzilla’s atomic breath is a deadly weapon that could tip the scales in his favor.
In the rest of this article, we will explore both characters in terms of their attributes as portrayed in their different illustrations to buttress our position and make you agree with us. So, let’s roll.
How powerful is Smaug?
Smaug is said to be one of the greatest dragons to have inhabited Middle-earth. He was a fire drake. The great wealth of the Dwarves in the Lonely Mountain attracted him, and with his immense power, he captured the Lonely Mountain and drove the Dwarves that survived his onslaught into exile. He enjoyed the treasures of the Lonely Mountain for 171 years until some of the Dwarves could wake him from hibernation.
Smaug was such a powerful character that in a conversation with Bilbo Baggins, Bilbo called him such impressive names as Golden, Tremendous, Magnificent, Mighty, Stupendous, Terrible, Impenetrable, Tyrannical, Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities, Magnificent, and Unassessably Wealthy!
We have explored the strength of Smaug’s persona with various indices. These include:
Smaug’s size was never expressly mentioned, but in his various illustrations by Karen Wynn Fonstad in The Atlas of Middle-earth, he was said to measure about 59ft (18 meters) in length. This claim is, however, non-canonical.
In The Secret Tunnel, Tolkien said that Smaug was so big that a 5ft tall door and a passage that was wide enough for three people to pass was too small for him even at a young age and that when he was grown, only the tip of his nostrils could fit into the passage.
Smaug was a fully-grown dragon. He was massive and had enough power to easily crush a large stone. His enormous strength was seen when he attacked the Lonely Mountain.
He could breathe out fiery-hot flame and streams of vapor from his nostrils and mouth. As seen in The Hobbit, his body was so fiery that he glowed in the dark labyrinths of the Lonely Mountain.
He had a very keen sense, and his mind was dangerously sharp. His knowledge was more or less encyclopedic, and he knew so well about his treasure that he immediately knew when Bilbo stole a single cup when he first visited his lair. He was agile and quick, could dive at high speeds, and easily leap over objects despite his large size.
He could easily defend himself as his reddish-gold scales made him impervious to the many weapons that he was attacked with. However, his underbelly was soft and quite vulnerable, and he smartly protected himself against this weakness by sleeping with pieces of gold and other jewels covering his body.
His chest was bare on the left side. Bilbo discovered this physical weakness and told the Dwarves about it. An ancient thrush overheard Bilbo telling the Dwarves and also told Bard about it, thus making it possible for Bard to shoot his Black Arrow into this bare patch and defeat Smaug.
Smaug’s persona was that of an extremely sadistic, violent, psychotic, arrogant, confident, cruel, and greedy (he possessed a great desire for gold) character. He often boasted to Bilbo that he was impregnable and superior.
He greatly despised the dwarves, seeing them as pathetic and weak creatures far beneath him. He talked poorly of Thror and showed no remorse when he slaughtered the dwarves and claimed their kingdom.
How powerful is Godzilla?
Several reviewers and illustrators have described Godzilla as the King of the Monsters. In exploring how powerful he is, we must say that he is a handful, as several versions of him are portrayed in movies. However, the consistent thing about the Godzilla character in the different illustrations is his basic design, nuclear weapons use, and atomic breath.
In his many descriptions and reinventions by filmmakers, he cannot be said to be true, either a hero or a villain, but what simply stands out is his physical superiority over many of his rivals.
Godzilla has been severally described with such names as Gojira, Alpha Predator, Species 5146_Adam, G, G-Man, Nautilus, Legendary Godzilla, American Godzilla, LegendaryGoji, GareGoji, RejeGoji, DougheGoji, DohaGoji, Godzilla 2014, Godzilla 2019, and Hollywood Godzilla.
We have also explored the strength of Godzilla’s persona with the same indices used on Smaug. However, we will limit our critique to the MonsterVerse edition, which we believe will be a good competitor to Smaug.
As we said earlier, several versions of Godzilla exist. He was said to be towering from about 160ft (Showa) to about 389ft (Shin). The MonsterVerse version of Godzilla has a square-shaped face, a broad neck, and gills on his sides. His other reincarnations also had gills.
In his book Definitive Edition Godzilla Introduction, Tomoyuki Tanaka described the air holes on the necks of Godzilla suits in the Showa era as gills. However, the computer-generated edition needed no such accommodations. He has yellow eyes and small teeth, which are not well lined up as in previous editions.
The MonsterVerse edition of Godzilla has the trademark atomic breath capability. This capability exemplifies his immense power against his enemies, and he used it as a last-resort weapon during his fight with the MUTOs. He also used it frequently in his battle against King Ghidorah. His bio-nuclear circulatory system is activated whenever he is threatened, and he draws energy to charge his atomic breath.
He is also able to communicate with Mothra over long distances via sonar because of the symbiotic bond that they share. The MonsterVerse Godzilla also possesses a nuclear pulse capability, which he uses in his final battle with MUTO Prime. As Muto Prime is stunned by ORCA, Godzilla lifted him to his back and releases a huge load of atomic energy shockwaves from his dorsal plates that were shattered.
The MonsterVerse Godzilla is also highly durable. He survived the bombing of Castle Bravo by the 15-megaton hydrogen bomb. He also resisted the missile and artillery attacks of the United States Military until one of the missiles hit him on the gills, making him shrug in pain and plunge through Golden Gate Bridge.
He can absorb radiation and used this ability when the Oxygen Destroyer severely weakened him. He quickly retreated to his lair to rest and re-energize from the surrounding radiation.
The MonsterVerse Godzilla also features amphibious lungs and gills, allowing him to breathe well underwater or on land. His lungs and gills fold up whenever he is on land, making him a more versatile fighter. He is also a good swimmer and can swim at a speed of 40 knots. His good swimming skills helped him elude the United States Navy, his large size notwithstanding.
Godzilla exhibits a strong personality. The Monarch described him as a Protector and Guardian of the Ancient World. It described him as being inquisitive, slow, and graceful when not in battle mode. In Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla, Godzilla was portrayed as a territorial animal. Ishiro Serizawa suggests that he is a powerful force that tries to restore balance in Nature and the earth.
He is portrayed as a good character who is not on the path of being outright hostile to humans. He remained cool and unperturbed even when military escorts surrounded him on his way to Boston to face Ghidorah. In the Titans, he was good enough to keep the other Titans safely away from cities and thus prevented further destruction of humans and their cities.
Who wins, Smaug or Godzilla?
Having explored the worlds of both Smaug and Godzilla, we are proud of maintaining our stance that Godzilla will be victorious in a fight with Smaug. Though we agree the battle will be a keenly contested one that will be a marvel to behold, we are quite convinced that Godzilla will carry the day considering his larger size, intelligence, superior bio-nuclear capabilities, and strength of character.