Ever since it was announced that the new God of War will take place in Norse mythology, I’ve been wondering whether Kratos will have something to do with Ragnarok. After all, he has caused so much death and destruction, it’s surprising there’s anything left of the world. I don’t expect the God of War franchise to so much restraint as to not have us in the middle of another apocalypse. Then again, they’re clearly going for a markedly different tone this time around. So, let’s examine what we know so far, and try to answer if Kratos will bring about Ragnarok. This is just me hypothesizing, so don’t take any of it at face value.
Anybody who has even a cursory knowledge of the God of War franchise knows that Kratos is basically the end of the world personified. By the end of God of War 3, he’s killed almost the entire Greek pantheon and caused untold natural disasters. So, really, what’s to stop him from pulling yet another massacre of gods? Or, at least, kick one off? Well, let’s see what we can come up with.
First of all, what is Ragnarok? It is the end of the world in Norse mythology. Long story super short: Almost all of the gods die in a massive war, and the whole world sinks into the water. After the world surfaces back up, it’s essentially been purged by fire and water. So, the humans and gods that have survived go into a much brighter future. Now, the first question we have to answer is: has Ragnarok already happened?
Some people have been theorizing that the end of God of War 3 was, in fact, Ragnarok. And, I see where they’re coming from. By killing the Greek gods, Kratos has caused massive natural disasters, such as floods and storms. It was pretty apocalyptic. However, I don’t think that it was actually Ragnarok. There’s too much evidence to the contrary. For one, the world we’ve seen in the promo material until now is pretty far from paradise on Earth. Also, we’ve clearly seen Jormungand, the World Serpent. It’s still alive, but it dies during Ragnarok. It’s a huge event; Thor dies from the serpent’s venom. There’s more evidence, but I don’t want to get too bogged down.
So, if Ragnarok hasn’t happened yet, what’s Kratos’s role in the whole thing? Will he play any role in it at all? Let’s look at his motivation to go on this new adventure. The God of War story trailer tells us that Kratos and Atreus want to take the ashes of Kratos’s wife to “the highest point in all of the realms”. That would, presumably, be Asgard. Needless to say, I’m sure the Aesir gods will not take too kindly to Kratos kicking their door down. So, that could be the first point of contention between the Norse gods and Kratos.
The second important point is that, as Cory Barlog has stated, Atreus is Kratos’s chance at atonement. His last chance at reclaiming his humanity, as it were. However, Atreus carries his own curse. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that he has a dark side to him, very similar to Kratos himself. Surprisingly, Kratos stops Atreus from killing a god, being very much aware of the consequences of killing a god. Looking just at the trailer, it almost seems like Atreus is going to be the god-killer, not Kratos.
So, here’s what I think is going to happen: Atreus will start Ragnarok, not Kratos. We already know that Atreus especially adept with the bow and arrow. The events of Ragnarok start with a mistletoe arrow killing Baldr. In the myths, Baldr’s blind brother Hodr shoots the arrow, after Loki tricks him. However, in the alternate mythology of God of War, maybe Loki will trick Atreus into shooting the arrow.
Why do I think this will happen? Well, my theory hinges on the World Serpent. We’ve seen that Jormungardr wants to help Atreus and Kratos on their journey. And, who is the father of the World Serpent? None other than Loki himself. Loki and his offspring, including Jormungandr and the wolf Fenrir, aren’t too keen on the Aesir. So, it would make sense that the World Serpent would lend a hand to Kratos and Atreus to get the Ragnarok ball rolling.
So, in conclusion, if there will be Ragnarok in God of War, I don’t think Kratos himself will start it. If he ends up killing gods, I think it will be to protect Atreus. And, if anybody does start Ragnarok, it will technically be Atreus, after getting tricked by Loki. Maybe, at one point, Kratos will have killed some Norse gods and upset the final result of Ragnarok. Then, we’ll have to kill the Jotun, Fenrir, Jormungandr, and the rest, in order to have Ragnarok end the way it’s supposed to. That way, when the world is reborn as a paradise, Kratos would have atoned for his sins, and Atreus can keep living his life in heaven on Earth.
Of course, like I’ve said before, these are just my conjectures based on the material we’ve seen so far. I could be way off in these predictions. In fact, I kinda hope that I am. I really want this game to surprise me as much as possible. Can’t wait for April 20th to find out.