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Why does Kong protect the little girl?

Kong’s protective relationship with the little girl in the recent Kong movies can be explained by several key factors. In this article, we will explore Kong’s motivations and the symbolic meaning behind his bond with the young girl.

Kong’s Isolation

As one of the last surviving members of his species, Kong lives a solitary existence on Skull Island. He has no peers or family group to interact with. The little girl represents the first meaningful connection Kong has had in a long time. She treats him with kindness and understanding, offering companionship to the isolated ape.

A Sense of Kinship

Though they are vastly different in size and species, Kong likely senses a kinship with the little girl. They are both relatively young, vulnerable beings in a dangerous world. The girl’s size and demeanor invoke in Kong a protective instinct. He recognizes a bit of himself in her and feels compelled to keep her from harm.

Reminder of Home

The presence of the young girl also serves as a reminder to Kong of the home he has lost. She evokes memories of the community and family ties he once knew among his own kind. Defending her gives Kong purpose. By keeping her alive, he is preserving the memory of all he has lost.


After being taken from his island home against his will, Kong’s encounters with humans have often been frightening and traumatic. The little girl represents an opportunity for understanding between the ape and human worlds. Protecting her allows Kong to redeem some of the pain caused by humanity. It is a gesture of forgiveness.

Parallels with King Kong

There are clear parallels between Kong’s relationship with the little girl and the original 1933 King Kong film. In the original, Kong bonds with the female lead Ann Darrow, who is small and vulnerable in his hands. This evokes in Kong a sense of protection and kinship. The imagery of beauty and the beast is recapitulated with the young girl, emphasizing Kong’s tender, misunderstood nature.

A Softer Side

The bond with the little girl allows Kong to showcase a softer, gentler side of his monstrous persona. He is not just a roaring beast, but a thinking, feeling entity. The girl humanizes Kong, drawing out his capacity for empathy. This complexity makes him a more sympathetic character.

Parallels with Human Behavior

On a metaphorical level, Kong’s relationship with the girl parallels certain human bonding behaviors. Humans often feel innately protective towards helpless beings that remind them of children or family members. Kong’s instincts reflect this, suggesting an underlying connection between ape and human. His behavior hints at a shared ancestry and psychology.

The Beauty Within

The little girl draws out Kong’s humanity because she is able to look past his intimidating exterior and connect with his inner beauty. Though initially frightened, she comes to realize Kong is not the bloodthirsty monster he appears to be. Her ability to show Kong empathy highlights the beauty within him.

Longing for Companionship

As the last surviving member of his kind, Kong suffers from extreme isolation and loneliness. The little girl’s company satisfies Kong’s longing for companionship and gives him an opportunity to interact gently with another living being. He protects her because he cannot bear to lose this newfound connection.

Surrogate Family Member

Having lost his biological family and community, Kong transfers his protective instincts onto the little girl, who essentially becomes like a surrogate family member to him. Just as humans often grow deeply attached to pets or other people needing care, Kong forms a powerful bond with the girl.

Contrast with Other Humans

Unlike other humans Kong interacts with, who attack or capture him, the little girl treats him with wonder and empathy. This contrast emphasizes her innocence and lack of malice. It’s easier for Kong to trust her and see her as separate from dangerous humanity.

Driving Force of Plot

From a storytelling perspective, the bond between Kong and the girl drives much of the plot. Their relationship gives Kong stakes in the human world and motivation to leave Skull Island. It sets up his climactic sacrifice to save her from harm.

Makes Kong Relatable

Despite his monstrous appearance, Kong’s gentleness with the little girl makes him more relatable to human audiences. It draws a parallel between his feelings for the girl and human protective parental instincts. This makes Kong easier to empathize with.

Symbol of Hope

The burgeoning friendship between Kong and the little girl symbolizes hope for reconciliation between humans and nature. Just as the girl can overcome her fear of Kong, humanity has potential to develop greater empathy for the natural world and its imposing but vulnerable creatures.

Kong Recognizes Her Innocence

Unlike the military members and scientists who view Kong as a threat or research specimen, the little girl regards him with pure wonder and curiosity. Her openness gives Kong a sense that she means him no harm. He recognizes her innocence and lack of hostile motives.

Gentleness Despite Strength

Kong has the power to crush the girl in an instant, yet he handles her with incredible care and gentleness. This juxtaposition emphasizes Kong’s self-control and emotional sensitivity beneath his imposing strength and aggression when threatened.

Transference of Previous Bonds

Having lost his family and community on Skull Island, Kong transfers the strong protective bonds he felt for his own kind onto the first small creature that evokes those feelings – the little girl. She fills an emotional void.


In summary, Kong protects the little girl because she gives him companionship, evokes poignant memories, and embodies hope for reconciliation with humanity. Their bond drives the story while highlighting Kong’s softer side. At a deeper level, Kong’s care for the girl reflects universal protective animal instincts, showing how even formidable beasts can be gentle when moved by empathy.

Key Factor Explanation
Isolation The girl is Kong’s first real connection after living in solitude
Kinship Kong identifies with the girl’s vulnerability
Reminder of Home The girl evokes Kong’s lost family and community
Redemption Protecting the girl atones for humanity’s mistreatment of Kong
Soft Side The bond makes Kong seem more sympathetic than monstrous
Parallels with 1933 film The girl echoes Kong’s relationship with Ann Darrow
Hope The bond represents hope for reconciliation between humans and nature

Parallels with Real Ape Behavior

There are some parallels between Kong’s protection of the little girl and protective behaviors exhibited by apes and monkeys in the real world:

Bonobo Adoption

Bonobos have been observed adopting unrelated young bonobos into their family groups and caring for them altruistically.

Mothering Instincts

Female apes of many species display strong maternal instincts to care for small, vulnerable infants, even if they are not their biological offspring.

Community Protection

Groups of some monkey and ape species will collectively protect juveniles and infants in their community from potential threats.

Companionship Seeking

Solitary chimpanzees have been documented seeking out companionship from small animals like kittens, suggesting an innate social need.

Gentle Touch

Despite their strength, apes are very gentle when interacting with babies and young juveniles within their troops.

Surrogate Infant Care

Female apes experiencing traumatic loss of their own infant have been known to transfer parental care to a substitute infant.

Reflection of Human Psychology

Kong’s protection of the little girl also mirrors some common human psychological motivations:

Parental Instinct

The drive to protect vulnerable children is an integral human parental instinct, shared by Kong.


Kong’s ability to identify with the girl’s plight reflects the capacity for empathy that underlies human altruism.

Defense of Innocence

Standing up for the powerless against the powerful is a recurring motivation for human heroism, seen in Kong too.


The longing for companionship and connection is a profoundly human desire mirrored by isolated Kong.


Kong’s redemption through protecting the girl evokes human impulses to forgive others.


The affection Kong develops echoes human protective love, found even in unlikely places.