|“||Death cannot hold those with purpose, Kratos.||”|
Athena is the goddess of war and Wisdom, and the deuteragonist of the God of War series, mostly appearing as an ally of Kratos.
She is seen as a neutral character in God of War II, and her place as deuteragonist was taken by Orkos in God of War: Ascension and by Gaia in God of War II. In the middle stages of God of War III, after Gaia betrays Kratos, Athena takes back her place as the deuteragonist, helping Kratos in the ways she can.
Athena (also pronounced Athene), also referred to as Pallas Athena (Παλλάς Αθηνά; pronounced /ˈpæləs/), is the goddess of civilization, wisdom, war, strategy, craft, justice, and skill in Greek mythology. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and the goddess of heroic endeavor. She is the virgin patron of Athens. The Athenians built the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens, in her honor (Athena Parthenos).
In the God of War SeriesEdit
Hunting the Marked WarriorEdit
Zeus, driven by fear after hearing an oracle's prophecy that the Olympian rule would end at the hands of a "Marked Warrior", sent Ares and Athena to capture the one believed to be the "marked one": a Spartan boy named Deimos. His older brother, Kratos, tried to stop the two, but was easily swatted aside by the God of War. Before he could strike Kratos, Athena stopped Ares, telling him they already have what they came for. Before she left, she gave one last look to the young Kratos and asked for forgiveness. This would set in motion the prophecy, as they unknowingly picked the wrong Spartan youth; it would be Kratos who would destroy everything Olympus stood for.
Siege of AthensEdit
Out of utter hatred and jealousy towards Athena, Ares summoned monsters from the Underworld and attacked the city of Athens to prove his superiority over her to Zeus. Since Zeus had forbidden the gods from battling each other directly, Ares himself led the attack on Athens, thinking that nothing short of a fellow Olympian could hope to stop him. Athena and the other gods sought to empower Kratos to save Athens and put an end to Ares' rampage once and for all. She guides him throughout the game to Pandora's Box.
After the death of Ares, she reveals that Kratos is forgiven of his sins, but the gods never agreed to relieve him of his nightmares; no mortal or god could ever forget the terrible things he had done. With all hope lost, Kratos felt abandoned and flung himself from the Suicide Bluffs overlooking the Aegean Sea, believing death was his only escape from his madness. However, Athena saved Kratos from falling to his death. The gods had not abandoned Kratos at all. Athena gave Kratos the throne of Ares and the title of God of War. She also granted him the Blades of Athena to replace the Blades of Chaos given to him (and taken away) by Ares.
The new God of WarEdit
As Kratos made his way to the Ambrosia once again, Athena tried to warn him about the many dangers on the path to the Ambrosia. Kratos simply shrugged off her warnings however, and moved on. Kratos later encountered her again, and was told by the Goddess that it is now the dead he must fear. Further on, Kratos found the dead Spartan Soldiers who he had abandoned many years ago. They returned from the dead, ready to fight Kratos and kill him in anger and vengeance. But Kratos defeated them.
After the events of God of War, Kratos set out on a journey to find his mother, an act which Athena tried to prevent. After the two debated on whether or not Kratos should abandon this quest, soldiers of Triton attacked the ship. After Kratos defeated Callisto in battle, he proclaimed to Athena that the Gods lied to him about his brother. After gaining no response to his proclamations, Athena finally answered, trying to warn Kratos and attempting to dissuade him. Enraged, Kratos destroyed the statue which Athena used to communicate with him. After the death of both Deimos and Thanatos, Athena came out of a portal, and attempted to empower Kratos to full Godhood. Kratos refused however, and swore the Gods would pay for the pain they had caused. After Kratos left for Olympus, Athena begged for his forgiveness, even going so far as to silently acknowledge him as her brother.
|“||Enough, Kratos! With every city you destroy, the wrath of Olympus grows, soon I will no longer be able to protect you.||”|
Unfortunately, Kratos was a far more ruthless God of War than Ares ever was. Shunned by his fellow gods, and angry towards them for not ridding him of his nightmares (and the suffering his mother and brother went through), he turned to his Spartan army. Together, they began conquering all of Greece. Athena warned Kratos that if he did not stop his path of destruction, the wrath of Olympus would grow ever stronger and she would not be able to protect him. Kratos, disbelieving Athena, turned his back on her and went to the island of Rhodes where his Spartan army lay siege.
Athena was left with no other choice but to help rid Olympus of Kratos.
As a colossal god, Kratos tore apart the city of Rhodes until an eagle flew over him, draining much of his godly power and shrinking him down to mortal size. Kratos believed it was Athena’s act of defiance against Kratos, until it was actually revealed to be the King of the Gods himself – Zeus.
During Kratos’ journey through the Island of Creation, he came upon the Garden of the Gods, where a golden statue of Athena warned him not to listen to Gaia or the Titans (this warning would later prove to be a justified during the events of God of War III). She explained to Kratos that there were more important things besides seeking revenge and that Zeus did what he had to in order to protect Olympus. The King of the Gods did in fact fear Kratos. However, Kratos ignored the warning and destroyed the statue, continuing on his quest to the Sisters of Fate.
The warnings of Athena did not move Kratos, and he continued his path of vengeance until he faced Zeus once again. Taking the Blade of Olympus, Kratos stabbed Zeus with it repeatedly until Athena intervened. Angered by her interference, Kratos pushed her aside and struck at the fleeing Zeus. Athena threw herself in front of Zeus before he could be stabbed, and fell by Kratos’ hand. Saddened by what he had done, Kratos asked Athena why she would sacrifice herself. Athena replied that Zeus must live so that Olympus could prevail. She also revealed that Kratos was the child of Zeus, compelled to destroy his father just as Zeus had done to Cronos. Athena's revelation had confirmed that Kratos was her brother and he was a demi-god. Sickened by this very fact and more vengeful than ever, Kratos claimed he had no father, leaving Athena to die in a spectacular burst of green light. Kratos proclaimed "If all on Olympus will deny me my vengeance, then all on Olympus will die. I have lived in the shadow of the gods for long enough! THE TIME OF THE GODS HAS COME TO AN END!"
|“||I see truths where I did not before...||”|
After falling from Gaia's back during the attack on Mount Olympus, Kratos wound up in the River Styx that lead him into the Underworld. There, Athena, now in a ghost-like state, appeared to Kratos, giving him the Blades of Exile and telling him that in order for him to defeat Zeus, he had to venture back up the mountain and extinguish The Flame of Olympus, which he would find on the other side of Hera's Garden. Athena also informed Kratos about Pandora's Box once he reached the Flame. When a skeptical Kratos inquired as to her sudden change in heart, Athena explained her death had brought about a change in her, an ascension to a level beyond that of the Gods, and how she understood more in this form than she did in the past. She stated Zeus' death was necessary if humanity were ever to be freed, and would aid Kratos throughout his quest.
After Kratos succeeded in killing Zeus, Athena stated it was time mankind heard her message and insisted that Kratos gave the powers of the Box back to her. Kratos however, sneered at her sentiments, citing the chaos ravaging the world and the fact that Pandora's Box was empty. Confused at first, Athena then realized that when Kratos opened the box to defeat Ares, it unleashed all the evils Zeus captured and infected the gods. Instead of drawing on the evil powers within the box as she had once thought, Kratos had in fact acquired the power of Hope, the power that Athena herself had sealed in the box, should it ever be opened again. During all this time however, Kratos had this power buried underneath all his anger, sorrow, and guilt, thus shielding it from everyone, including himself.
Athena insisted again upon Kratos returning the power of Hope to her, to have her restore the world and rule it as the new Queen of Olympus. Kratos instead decided to impale himself with the Blade of Olympus, thereby releasing Hope to mankind. A horrified Athena exclaimed mankind would not know what to do with such power, before expressing her disappointment in Kratos. Then, after having removed the blade from his chest, she vanished, leaving Kratos in a puddle of blood. It is widely assumed that Athena was infected with the evil of Greed, although it was not noticeable until after her death. Like her brother her current fate is unknown and it is difficult to learn whether to tell if either of them will return in any future game installments.
Their final meeting:
Of all the Gods on Mount Olympus in the God of War series, Athena is arguably the least selfish and is in fact, very noble. As displayed not only by her deep love for her people and her horror of Ares' siege on Athens, but her deep concern and love for the rest of humanity - as in God of War III she states that she intends to "liberate" mankind with the power of hope. She also is seen as loving her family - particularly her father Zeus deeply, even sacrificing her own life to save him, although it's possible that she only did so to save the world, as the death of Zeus would mean the death of Olympus, and thus the destruction of the entire world.
She even cares greatly for Kratos, elevating him as a god, shielding him from Olympus' wrath, and guiding him on his quest, remaining his closest ally in all of the games. This is possibly due to her knowledge that Kratos is her brother.
But in God of War III, her motives have somewhat changed. For some reason, she now desires the death of Zeus and motivates Kratos's quest for vengeance. It is possible she was affected by the evil Greed when Kratos opened Pandora's Box, changing her motives for personal gain. However, she did not show any of that evil in God Of War II while she was alive. She also claims to have a message for humanity.
It is unknown what she ultimately had in mind, but it seems that she wished the destruction of the Olympians so she can rebuild the world and rule mankind as the sole all-powerful god. Furthermore, according to Erin Torpey, Athena's voice actress for God of War III, she considers Athena as "trying to do some good to the world, but ultimately wants to take it over," further lending to the possibility that she is not as benevolent as she presents herself to be.
Power and AbilitiesEdit
As a goddess, Athena was able to appear in many forms and was invincible. Like all other gods, she was Immortal and very powerful, only able to be killed by the power of the Blade of Olympus and Pandora's Box. She gave Kratos the Rage of the Gods in God of War to use to destroy his enemies. She bears two swords on her hips, which was used to stop Kratos from killing Zeus with the Blade of Olympus. She also had the power to communicate through various statue depictions of herself, usually doing so to guide Kratos. Like Ares, Athena could also forge powerful weapons of war, imbued with her own magic, and Athena remained able to do so in astral form. For example the Blades of Exile could ignite with flames, implying Athena's power over fire. The Blades of Athena could summon a destructive tornado, known as Divine Reckoning. Though she was never seen using any magic in combat, It can be inferred that her abilities were similar to Ares, as they were both Gods of warfare. It is not known if she is superior to Ares, although in the myths she bested him in a fight.
Athena was very devoted to protecting Olympus and her father, Zeus. She was favored by Zeus among the rest of his children, igniting the jealousy of her brother, Ares. Athena even went as far to protect Zeus from being killed by Kratos, though whether she did this to protect the world or out of genuine love for her father is unknown. Athena died by taking the strike meant for Zeus and the King of the Gods took this opprotunity to flee while showing no emotion for his beloved daughter despite favoring her but it could be that he had already been corrupted by the evils of Pandora's Box by this point, and his fear of Kratos may have overshadowed any grief for his daughter, however he did show some remorse for her death later on in the series.
After her death, something changed Athena. She claimed to see things where she didn't see before and believes that Mankind will suffer as long as Zeus lived. During the duration of the game, she does everything to help Kratos in order to succeed to kill Zeus. Athena never revealed herself to her father, possibly so he would not attempt to stop her or inform Kratos of her questionable intentions.
Athena always was the most caring God to Kratos. This stems from their first meeting during the Raid on Sparta. As Olympian forces (Centaur Generals), cleared the way for Athena and Ares, they grabbed Deimos. Kratos tried to revolt, but was beaten down by Ares. It was Athena who stopped Ares that day from killing Kratos. She saved the life of her brother and showed regret for what she and Ares had to do. In his 10 years of servitude to the gods, it was mostly she who told him which task was asked of him. Kratos was shown to care about her to a degree, since he was saddened by the fact that he killed her when he tried to kill Zeus. In direct contrast to Zeus who showed no emotion over her death, despite favoring Athena and fled afterwards. Kratos on the the other hand was shown to be grieving over the lost of his dying ally (later revealed to his sister) and asked her the reason for her sacrifice to which she revealed that it was to protect the world. But despite Athena's pleas for Kratos to stop his ambiton for revenge, he ignored her words and went on to state how he would destroy all of the gods who stand in his way and watched calmly as Athena died. Later on in God of War III when confronted by the specter of Athena, Kratos defended his actions stating his blade was meant for Zeus. He was doubtful about her desire to help him but later agrees to let her lead him to the flame. She tried win back his trust and she did at a certain point. In his psyche, Kratos came face to face with his past sins, one of which was forgiving himself for killing Athena showing that he was deeply tormented for killing one of the few people (besides his family) that stood by his side no matter what. But after revealing her true intentions, he felt betrayed once more, leading to an argument. He eventually repaid her by thwarting her plans by comitting suicide and releasing the power she craved the most. She was outraged and proclaimed to the dying Kratos "You disappoint me Spartan." She then pulled out the Blade of Olympus and soon left the area despite the fact that her brother was slowly "dying" and showed no concern for him as she disappeared. Kratos grinned before dying.
The relationship with her brother is quite complex. For a while, they seemed to be able to work together as both of them were deployed by Zeus to retrieve Deimos. But even when on a mission for Olympus, they argued. It was Athena that stopped Ares from killing their half-brother during the raid. With Zeus favoring Athena, Ares felt betrayed and as he estranged from Olympus, he grew jealous of Athena. Ares started his plans to overthrow Olympus, something he abandoned for a while after the death of the Furies. His jealousy led to him eventually to siege her city, Athens. It has to be noted that before his attack on her city, she had no intentions of having him killed. But afterwards, she never regretted his death as she considered him a threat to both Athens and Olympus.
The Other OlympiansEdit
In the first installments, Athena was quite protective of her fellow gods and spoke about them with great respect. She asked Kratos to stop angering them by pillaging their cities with his Spartan Army. But it was she who told Kratos, in her dying words, that every Olympian would be willing to put their life down in order to protect Zeus and if he proceed, they would try to kill him. Due to her words, she actually signed the death warrant of their fellow gods. In God of War III, she instead helped Kratos as he took out god after god and taught him how to use their weapons. In the end, it is implied she wanted them gone, so she could become the monotheistic ruler of the world.
- In God of War and God of War II, Athena is voiced by Carole Ruggier, who also voiced Athena in the video game Age of Mythology.
- In Chains of Olympus, Ghost of Sparta and God of War III, she is voiced by Erin Torpey.
- In God of War II, one of the Bonus Costumes has the player look like Athena, although the voice is still that of Kratos.
- She is the only Goddess that plays a major role in all of the games.
- With her death, both the original God and Goddess of war have died.
- Athena's weapon of choice are 2 swords though in mythology she used a spear and shield.
- The result of Athena's death was the loss of wisdom for all people. However, as she was associated with wisdom, but not the source of it, it is considered an abstract concept; it did not imply mortals suddenly becoming unwise or foolish because of her demise.
- Athena's sacrifice for Zeus has an ironic twist in Greek Mythology. When Athena's mother (the Titaness Metis) was pregnant, Zeus attempted to kill them both out of fear that the child would be the prophesized son to overthrow him. Later Zeus would attempt to kill Athena again by swallowing her but she would irritate him from within so badly that he calls for Hephaestus to crack open his skull and release Athena.
- Athena's death in God of War II is very reminiscent of Lysandra and Calliope's, since Kratos killed both his family, and Athena, by accident.
- Athena appears in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale as a minion, she is unlocked by levelling up Kratos to rank 8.
- In Homer's Iliad, she is also called Athenaia, and is also called "Spoilgatherer".
- The color that seems to represent Athena most is green.
- In Kratos' psyche, Athena re-appears as she's stabbed by Kratos. As he returned to her, she explains that fear drove Zeus to kill his own father, Cronos. But this is a mistake as Cronos didn't die by the hands of Zeus but Kratos'; Zeus only wanted to punish Cronos as he did by sending Cronos to wander the Desert of Lost Souls.
- God of War: Betrayal, God of War II and God of War: Ascension are the only games not to feature Athena as the deuteragonist and she doesn't even appear in Betrayal or Ascension. In God of War Ascension, Orkos takes her place, in God of War II, Gaia replaces her, and in God of War: Betrayal there is no deuteragonist.
- Concept arts were made for Athena to appear in God of War: Ascension though she was cut from the game.