|“||But this time, retribution finally comes to me, Spartan.||”|
–Cronos to Kratos.
Cronos (also spelled Cronus or Kronos), was the leader and last of the mighty Titans who were born to Gaia and Ouranos. He fathered the first of the Olympians with his wife Rhea. He fought in the Titanomachy where he was overthrown by his son Zeus. His punishment by Zeus after the battle was to forever carry Pandora's Temple on his back in chains. He is a minor character in God of War, a minor ally in God of War II and a major antagonist in God of War III.
In Greek mythology, Cronos was the last of Gaia and Ouranos' children and was the Emperor of the Titans. During the reign of Ouranos, the hundred armed Hecatonchires and one-eyed Cyclops were imprisoned within Tartarus, causing Gaia great pain. Gaia constructed a sickle and ordered her children to use it against Ouranos, but they refused. Only Cronos was brave enough to take the weapon. When Ouranos met with Gaia, Cronos ambushed his father Ouranos and castrated him with the sickle; from the blood sprouted the Gigantes, The Furies, and Aphrodite.
After defeating Ouranos, Cronos reimprisoned the Hecatonchires and the Cyclops along with the Gigantes and set the dragon Campe to guard them forever. He and his sister-wife, Rhea, took the throne of the world as Emperor and Empress, respectively. This period of Cronos' rule was called the "Golden Age," as the people of the time had no need for laws or rules; everyone did the right thing, and evil was absent.
Cronos learned from the Sisters of Fate that he was destined to be overcome by his own son, just as he had overthrown his father. As a result, although he sired the gods Demeter, Hera, Hades, Hestia, and Poseidon by Rhea, he swallowed them all as soon as they were born to prevent the prophecy from happening. The sixth and final child, Zeus, would become the son destined to overthrow Cronos and defeat the Titans.
Cronos was usually depicted with a sickle, which is used to harvest crops and also the weapon used to defeat Ouranos. Other children he is reputed to have fathered was Chiron, by Philyra.
In the God of War Series
Birth and Early Days
In the beginning, the mighty Titans were sired by the union of Ouranos and Gaia. They were all born on the Island of Creation, home to the Sisters of Fate. Above any other beings, including the Titans, the Sisters of Fate could see the future and predict what would happen to any living being. The Titans feared the Sisters of Fate for this and left the Island of Creation to rule the mortal world. This marked the beginning of the Golden Age of Mankind.
Cronos, the mighty ruler of the Titans, was prophesized to be overthrown by his own children in the future. To prevent this from coming true, Cronos tried to bribe the Sisters of Fate into changing his destiny by granting them the Steeds of Time. However, this gift would not prevent the prophecy from coming true. In a second attempt to prevent this from happening, his wife, Rhea, bore his children and one by one he swallowed them whole, imprisoning them within his belly. Rhea could not bear another loss, for she already had five children taken from her. When the sixth child was born, Rhea called upon an eagle to take the baby far away from the watchful eyes of Cronos. In the baby's place, Rhea wrapped a stone in cloth and offered it to Cronos, who foolishly believed it to be the baby and swallowed it whole.
The mighty Titan Atlas was the military leader of the Titans in their epic battle against the Gods. Mountains were hurled like pebbles and tremendous earthquakes shook the world. Cronos had almost been defeated by having his soul taken by his son Hades, but was saved by Atlas, who was defeated by Hades and Poseidon. After Zeus created the Blade of Olympus a powerful weapon, the Titans were banished to the darkest pits of Tartarus to endure great suffering for all time, but Cronos would be granted another great fate in time.
Not wanting to store Pandora's Box in the Flame of Olympus, which would require the sacrifice of Pandora to retrieve anything stored within the flame, Hephaestus lied to Zeus saying storing it on Cronos' back would be a much safer place since defeating Cronos is no easy task.
Believing Hephaestus, Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon ordered Pathos Verdes III to construct Pandora's Temple on top of Cronos, by chaining him down and constructing it on top of him. He was then forced to wander the Desert of Lost Souls with Pandora's Temple chained to his back forever. As suggested by Hephaestus, it was hinted Cronos was supposed to kill anyone who tried to obtain Pandora's Box, but it is implied he defied this order and allowed anyone to attempt to use Pandora's Box to destroy Olympus. When the Titan Horn would be blown, Cronos would be called upon to allow countless warriors to endure the many dangers which lurked within the temple. Above all warriors, Kratos, the Ghost of Sparta, was responsible for completing the many feats within the temple and even retrieving Pandora's Box so he could kill Ares, the God of War, for tricking the Spartan into killing his family. Kratos was successful at retrieving Pandora's Box, but Ares sensed that Kratos had the Box and hurled a pole at the Spartan, killing him. Ares then had his Harpies take Kratos to the Underworld and bring the Box to him. After Ares was killed and Kratos became the new God of War, Zeus became consumed with fear and banished Cronos to the pits of Tartarus so that the Titan is tormented for all eternity. That happened because Zeus blamed Cronos for Kratos's success on finding Pandora's Box.
Encounter with Kratos
Kratos also discovered the magic Cronos had hidden within the Steeds of Time. This magic, called Cronos' Rage, allowed Kratos to electrify his enemies much like Poseidon's Rage. Nothing else is known about the Titan other than the fact that he was responsible for destroying his own father, starting a vicious cycle. This cycle was between fathers being destroyed by their sons, much like Kratos tried to do when he fought Zeus upon the Summit of Sacrifice.
|“||Kratos! Your death will not be a gentle one!||”|
After Hephaestus, The Olympian Blacksmith God, "allies" himself with Kratos against Zeus he tasks the Spartan with retrieving the Omphalos Stone from Cronos' stomach, with which he can fashion a weapon for Kratos that "will give you the retribution you so rightly deserve." When Kratos enters Tartarus, he comes across Gaia's fallen hand before Cronos appears holding Kratos responsible for Gaia's death.
The Titan revealed that after Kratos used Pandora's Box to kill Ares, Zeus became consumed with fear and banished Cronos to the Pits of Tartarus so that the Titan would be tormented for all eternity. He blames the Spartan for his torment. Kratos defends that he was tasked by the Gods to kill Ares; Cronos retorts that he did so only because of his need for vengeance but now vengeance comes to him.
Cronos tries to squash Kratos, despite the latter claiming that he now fights against Zeus. When the Titan attempts to crush Kratos between his massive fingers, Kratos uses Solar Flare to blind him. Cronos still tries to squash him, but Kratos manages to maneuver his way around Cronos' body, tearing one of Cronos' fingernails off. Cronos eventually catches up with Kratos, and swallows him whole.
|“||I should have expected this from a coward such as yourself! A coward who kills his own kin!||”|
After being swallowed by Cronos, and falling down his throat to his stomach, Kratos located the Omphalos Stone, before he used the Blade of Olympus to slice his way out, causing him intense pain and spilling out his intestines. Cronos desperately tries to cover his wound while Kratos emerges from his stomach with the item. Cronos then pleads for his life, saying that since Kratos had what he came for he should just leave Cronos be. Ignoring the Titan's pleas, Kratos climbed up Cronos' chest, and shattered a piece of Cronos' shackles, which impaled him through the jaw, causing him extreme pain. Cronos desperately attempted to remove his chains from his jaw, before being left immobile cursing his situation. Kratos then walked over Cronos's face and prepared to stab him in the head with the Blade of Olympus.
In one final act of defiance, Cronos cursed Kratos stating "I should have expected this from a coward such as yourself! A coward who kills his own kin!" Kratos indeed killed his grandfather, Cronos, and sought to kill his father, Zeus. However, Cronos had turned on his own offspring centuries before by imprisoning them in his stomach, making his condemnation rather hypocritical. The Spartan ignored him and stabs his forehead, lethally wounding him. Cronos then slowly collapsed and died.
Cronos, much like his son Zeus, was very power hungry and paranoid, as he destroyed his father Ouranos, only so he could replace him as the new ruler of the universe, but became deeply afraid of his own children, fearing that one of them would overthrow him, swallowing any of his children moments after they were ever born. However, he seems to care for his titan brethren, unlike his son Zeus, who hardly cared for any Olympian, (though only after being infected by the evils) as he was ready to kill Kratos for supposedly killing his mother Gaia.
After being defeated during the Great War, forced to carry Pandora's temple on his back and then imprisoned in Tartarus to suffer for all eternity, Cronos became extremely enraged, feeling a deep hatred for Kratos, blaming him for Zeus's wrath and Gaia's supposed death, refusing to even listen to Kratos' reasons.
Unlike other foes, he doesn't underestimate Kratos since he knew the Spartan could defeat a Titan by himself. When overpowered by Kratos, he begged the latter to spare him since they were family but when that was ignored he (ironically and defiantly) called him a coward who slaughters his own.
Powers and Abilities
Cronos possessed extreme strength and stamina, which can be attributed to his massive size. As King of the Titans, he is the biggest and most powerful, and his strength, durability, stamina and resilience is arguably almost as great if not completely matched with Atlas. Like Atlas, he was able to show a great deal of resilience against the Claws of Hades as he was able to hold on to his soul for a great amount of time. He was also the only Titan brave enough to stand up to his father Ouranos, dismember him, and become the new ruler of the world. Cronos gave his remaining powers to Kratos on the Steeds of Time, which aided him in his quest to seek the Sisters of Fate. Cronos' powers showed similar capabilities to that of his sons Zeus and Poseidon, being that he could control lightning and thunder. Though not confirmed, he might also have had the power of regeneration as when Kratos cut open his stomach to break free, it is seen later that the stomach appears unharmed.
Cronos was strong enough to hold the entire temple of Pandora on his back for centuries without resting, and even walking on both legs with it. Proof of his enormous stamina was the fact that he endured his punishment for a long time, and he also suffered massive wounds from Kratos that would have killed any mortal, gods and even other titans, such as having his stomach sliced and his intestines spilled, as well as having his jaw impaled, and finally surviving some seconds with the Blade of Olympus on his forehead, whereas other gods were killed almost instantly by Kratos with much less effort. Standing at 1600 feet tall, Cronos is easily the largest titan in the God of War series.
- In God of War II, Cronos is voiced by Lloyd Sherr. In God of War III, he is voiced by George Ball. His Japanese voice actor is Shozo Iizuka.
- In God of War, Kratos was surprised that a Titan still lives. However, this makes little sense because he had seen and fought Atlas five years prior in Chains of Olympus. He might have believed Cronos was killed by Zeus, or it could have meant that death meant that the person was in the Underworld and Kratos was surprised that Cronos wasn't in the Underworld.
- In God of War, Cronos is shown in cutscenes with only four fingers in each hand, but in God of War II and God of War III, he has five.
- Interestingly, just before Cronos tries to kill Kratos, he mentions the opening of Pandora's Box as the reason Zeus was consumed by Fear of the Spartan, something Athena and Kratos didn't seem to realize themselves until the end of God of War III. It seems strange that Kratos was unfamiliar with this by the end of the game, considering Cronos had already mentioned it to him previously (it is possible Kratos simply didn't register what Cronos was saying, most likely consumed by bloodlust at the time).
- When Cronos is defeated and choking on his own blood, the cut Kratos made in Cronos' body is no longer there, and the chains on his left arm have reappeared as well. This was highly likely caused by a developer error.
- In God of War, Cronos' name was spelled as "Kronos" and as "Chronos" in the God of War soundtrack.
- Common misconceptions include mistaking Cronos for Chronus, the Primordial god of time, and vice versa.
- Pandora's Temple, which is chained onto the back of Cronos as he fights Kratos in God of War III, is much smaller in size than the one shown in God of War, but it also looks much more destroyed and wrapped in the same kind of chain that Cronos has all around his body. It is possible that the temple slowly decayed over time.
- The above was most likely done to make the fight with Cronos interesting, as in God of War, he barely moved on all fours, which would make the battle awkward.
- When returning to Hephaestus with the Omphalos Stone, you can clearly see Cronos' collapsed corpse from the Forge.
- It is unknown how the several creatures that he presumably ate have survived, as they appear throughout his body and even attack Kratos during God of War III.
- In God of War II, Gaia told Kratos before entering the Island of Creation, "Changing his fate, thus the fate of others." This could mean that Cronos was fated to die in the Desert of Lost Souls, but after Kratos had altered time with the Threads of Fate, he was then fated to die in Tartarus.
- Cronos is ranked on 84th place of the Top 100 Videogame Villains on IGN.
- In God of War III, at the same part of Gaia's Heart Chamber where Zeus' Eagle is located, there are two drawings Zeus made in the stone walls when he was a child, both showing Cronos. In the first one, Cronos is seen eating smaller people - probably Zeus' brothers and sisters. In the second one, Cronos is surrounded by more small people. If Kratos goes closer, he will see that one of the small beings is opening Cronos' belly with some kind of sword and the other figures are fleeing from the hole. This was most likely Zeus' first plan to rescue his brothers and sisters from inside Cronos and also what gave Kratos the idea to cut Cronos' belly to escape it. The sword used by Zeus isn't likely to be the Blade of Olympus, however, as it was created during the Titanomachy, a long time after. It was more likely to be a common sword, or the Blade of the Gods as it is golden.
- Unlike the other Titans who seem to be made of rock and other elements (for example, molten rock, like Perses), Cronos, and possibly Rhea and Atlas, seems to be fully organic, and even has intestines. The reason for this is partially unknown, as other Titans, such as Prometheus, are also fully organic, and as such he seems to be considerably weaker than the rest of the Titans.
- Cronos' head might possibly be modelled after Jay Z or Bruce Willis.
- Zeus had indirectly prolonged his father's life, as when Kratos flooded the world by killing Poseidon the Desert of Lost Souls would have been destroyed and Cronos with it if he had not been banished to Tartarus.
- It is unknown how Cronos knew right away that it was Kratos who tried to kill Gaia. It is possible that when he saw Kratos in the Underworld with Gaia's hand he was able to put it together (also, he himself mentioned that Kratos is possibly the only person alive who is capable of slaying Titans unaided).
- Before Cronos attempted to swallow Kratos, he stated eating him would be more unpleasant for him, a comment that unknowingly foreshadowed his death.
- According to Stig Asmussen, Cronos is 1,600 feet tall.
- It's ironic that Cronos would be pleading for his life before he was finished off by Kratos. One might think that after enduring millennia of torture, Cronos would prefer to be put out of his misery.
- According to Cory Barlog, Thamur was slightly smaller than Cronos at the time of his death; however, because the Jötnar can assume any size they want, Thamur could be larger than Cronos back when he was alive.