We’ve seen 2 trailers for the upcoming God of War game, and of course they both look fantastic.
We know that Kratos is now somewhere in Scandinavian territory, we know he has a son, and we know that his previously god-like power has diminished since we saw him take down the gods of Olympus. Beyond that? There hasn’t been anything really revealed. There’s been precious little revealed as to what the story behind this new Norse Kratos is actually about.
However, that hasn’t stopped fans from coming up with their own theories about the plot of the new game.
Today, I wanted to focus on one of those: the theory that Kratos and his son (whose name we’re told is Atreus) are somehow involved in the impending apocalyptic battle known in the Norse world as Ragnarök. For anyone unfamiliar with that part of Norse mythology, Ragnarök is to the Norse what the Apocalypse is to Christianity. However, with the Norse being a more war-like people, their mythology is more….colorful, so to speak. During Ragnarök, the Midgard Serpent / World Serpent known as Jörmungandr releases his tail from his mouth, a battle ensues which kills off several of the gods (including Thor, Odin, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), and the entire world becomes submerged in water. After the waters recede, the remaining deities will meet, and two human survivors will repopulate the planet with people.
Given Kratos’s history with deicide, a story revolving around him and his child somehow participating in the world-ending battle would fit with who Kratos is and what he may teach his offspring. There’s one thing about this that seems to keep popping up, though. In a Reddit post by user 10SB, the OP talks about how Kratos doesn’t seem to be actually looking to pick a fight. I would be inclined to agree here. Kratos seems more intent on teaching his son how to survive, rather than how to kill. There’s far less aggression in his demeanor (which may come from fatherhood), and he seems more likely to want to live out the rest of his life in relative peace and safety. However, we all know that this wouldn’t be a God of War story unless some wrench was thrown into the works of Kratos’s life. So, what if his son is actually somehow a key figure in the climactic battle at the end of this world’s cycle? That would light a fire under Kratos to show his son the ways to take down whatever enemy he may face – up to and including a god.
Getting back to the Reddit theory, though… I don’t personally agree with the theory about the boy’s name, but if we pay attention to some key moments in the trailers, we see that the young man is definitely special. His arrows have magical properties, there are some small moments where he seems to know more than he lets on, and (in my opinion), the most telling, is that the boy understands the speech of Jörmungandr (the World Serpent/Midgard Serpent). As we saw in the trailer, old Jörmungandr certainly doesn’t have his tail in his mouth, and the sea in which the serpent lives seems quite angry. Why would the child be able to understand the offspring of a god (the World Serpent is one of Loki’s spawn, after all), unless there was some deeper connection between the two? In thinking along those lines, if the boy can understand the serpent, and he’s Kratos’s son, why can’t the former war god understand as well?
As those of us who’ve followed the God of War games will know, Kratos is one of Zeus’s (many) illegitimate) children. That being the case, the boy would still carry some god-like aspect in him, which would allow him to channel lightning into his arrows, speak to the World Serpent, and possibly perform other (yet unrevealed) feats. Kratos may also realize that, much to his chagrin, his son is still part god. This would probably account for the old man’s gruff and (somewhat) unfeeling attitude we see him display towards the young man, and it would fall in line with Kratos’s rocky relationship with any deities he’s encountered in his life. Finally, it would also not be outside of the type of story that Santa Monica Studios has brought us before. With all of the things we’ve seen during the 7-game run of the God of War franchise.
What do you think, dear readers? Is there something about Kratos’s son that we don’t yet realize? Do you think Atreus will play a pivotal role in the game, or is he there as more of a moral foil to Kratos? Let us know in the comments below!