|“||He doesn't know, does he? About your true nature… or his own?||”|
– Freya to Kratos
Norse Mythology Edit
In Germanic mythology, Frigg (Old Norse), Frija (Old High German), Frea (Langobardic), and Frige (Old English) is a goddess. In nearly all sources, she is described as the wife of the god Odin. In Old High German and Old Norse sources, she is also connected with the goddess Fulla. The English weekday name Friday (etymologically Old English "Frīge's day") bears her name.
Frigg is described as a goddess associated with foreknowledge and wisdom in Norse mythology, the northernmost branch of Germanic mythology and most extensively attested. Frigg is the wife of the major god Odin and dwells in the wetland halls of Fensalir, is famous for her foreknowledge, is associated with the goddesses Fulla, Lofn, Hlín, and Gná, and is ambiguously associated with the Earth, otherwise personified as an apparently separate entity Jörð (Old Norse "Earth"). The children of Frigg and Odin include the gleaming god Baldr. Due to significant thematic overlap, scholars have proposed a particular connection to the goddess Freyja.
After Christianization, mention of Frigg continued to occur in Scandinavian folklore. In modern times, Frigg has appeared in modern popular culture, has been the subject of art, and receives modern veneration in Germanic Neopaganism.
In the God of War SeriesEdit
Prior to the Events of God of WarEdit
Nothing is known about her childhood and parentage. Freya had been the leader of the Vanir gods and had agreed to marry Odin in order to bring peace between the warring Vanir and Aesir. During that time, she became Queen of the Valkyries but some time during her marriage to Odin, Odin began to learn the ways of Freya's magic and began using it for unjust purposes, including using it against her. Freya chose to leave Odin due to his unjust ways but she couldn't flee to her own people for refuge as they saw her marriage to Odin as a betrayal, thus forcing her to flee to Midgard.
Because Freya broke the marriage off from Odin, she incurred the wrath and spite of Odin and in his anger, he cursed her to prevent her from ever leaving Midgard, or harming any living creature - through either physical or magical means. Additionally, he stripped Freya of her Valkyrie wings and hid them in an unknown location. Some saw this as petty cruelty on Odin's part, for Freya was a warrior in spirit and the curse would force her to do nothing else but live in isolation.
The only thing she cherished from her marriage with Odin was their son, Baldur. Though she loved him dearly, a prophecy foretelling his death as an unnecessary one drove her to find a way to prevent it. With her fears controlling her, Freya placed a spell on her son, granting him invulnerability. She hoped that the spell would spare her son from death and herself from the pain of loss. However, her spell left Baldur unable to feel anything at all, including taste and other pleasures. Full of fury and resentment, Baldur demanded his mother to remove the spell but she claimed she was unable to and tried to assure him that what she had done was for the better. Baldur was not convinced or moved by her motherly love. He attempted to kill her but couldn't bring himself to do so and instead vowed that he would hate and never forgive her, much to her sorrow. To this day, she remains blind to her son's desire to feel again and that her own fears brought about the torment Baldur endures. In fact, she lied to her son that she didn't know how to break the spell when in fact it was mistletoe and thus viewed the plant as wicked and sought to destroy it.
Freya is implied to have lived a life similar to Kratos, saying she sees a lot of herself in him and by helping him, she hopes to atone for her mistakes.
Under the alias of the Witch in the Woods, Freya first meets Kratos and Atreus in an incident where a boar she was protecting was shot and injured by Atreus. Kratos and Atreus agree to help heal the boar and are taken back to her home. She takes an immediate liking to Atreus and becomes his friend. Kratos, however, is wary of Freya, especially after it is revealed that she is a goddess. When Atreus is outside gathering materials for the healing process, Freya reveals to Kratos that she knows he is a foreign god and warns him that the Norse gods will not tolerate his presence in their realms. She continues to express her worries for Atreus and the fact that Kratos keeps him ignorant of his true nature, but Kratos sternly states that it is not her concern.
After the boar is healed, Freya gives thanks to Kratos and Atreus by placing marks on them that will protect them from the Norse gods. Before they leave, Atreus asks Freya if they will meet again, to which she smiles and kindly responds "as much or as little as you like."
Freya catches up to Kratos and Atreus as they begin scaling the mountain, offering to help them overcome the roadblock in front of the two. She leads them to Týr's Temple, all the while explaining its purpose and how to overcome the obstacles. She shows Kratos how to use the Bifrost and has him set a passage to Alfheim. However, she is unable to follow as the curse Odin placed on her quickly drags her back to Midgard.
Freya is once again encountered when Kratos brings her Mimir's severed head to resurrect, much to her shock. Before she resurrects Mimir, she notices that Atreus is equipped with mistletoe arrows. Knowing that mistletoe is the only thing that can kill her son, she quickly replaces Atreus's arrows with her own and destroys the mistletoe ones. Upon Mimir's revival, it immediately becomes apparent to Kratos that Freya greatly dislikes Mimir, and Mimir accidentally reveals Freya's identity to Kratos and Atreus. This deepens Kratos' distrust for Freya.
However, Kratos is forced to seek Freya's help when Atreus falls ill after a battle with Magni and Modi. Freya is initially reluctant to help Kratos due to his open hatred of divine beings and only agrees to help when she realizes Atreus's plight. She scolds Kratos for keeping Atreus unaware of his divine heritage, as Atreus's current situation was a result of the conflict between Atreus's divine nature and his belief that he is a simple mortal. She tells Kratos that she needs a rare ingredient from Helheim to cure Atreus and that Kratos would need a non-ice based weapon in order to fight the beasts living in that realm.
After retrieving the ingredient, Kratos brings it to Freya who uses it to create a cure for Atreus. She then tells Kratos that she too has a son whom the runes, on the day of his birth, foretold of his needless death and she swore to do anything to protect him, no matter the sacrifice. She laments her decisions that had led to her son's resentment of her and implores Kratos to avoid making the same mistake and to have faith in his son. At this point, Freya begins to warm up to Kratos, while the Ghost of Sparta hesitantly lets his guard down around her.
After Kratos and Atreus end up in the realm of Helheim after another encounter with Baldur, Kratos and Atreus watch as an illusion plays in front of Baldur. They learn that Freya is Baldur's mother, whom he despises due to the spell she cast on him that took away his ability to feel anything.
Just before the final encounter with Baldur, Freya appears before a cautious Kratos and Atreus to look for Baldur, claiming that the fields and woods speak his name, leading her to believe that he is in Midgard. She notices that Kratos and Atreus are more distant towards her, but before she could figure out the reason, Baldur appears. Freya is happy to see Baldur and tries to reach out to him and atone for his suffering only to be met with scorn. Baldur attempts to kill Freya but Kratos intervenes and soon it escalates into a fight. When Atreus stood before Kratos to protect him, Baldur punches him square in the chest, inadvertently causing the mistletoe arrow that was tied to Atreus's quiver strap to slice right through his fist which, much to Freya's dismay, breaks the invulnerability spell on him.
With Baldur vulnerable once more, a desperate Freya uses her magic to revive the corpse of the frost giant Thamur to try to separate Kratos and Atreus from Baldur, pleading for them to stay out of her affairs. When Kratos retorts that Baldur cannot be reasoned with and means to kill her, she proclaims that she doesn't care and that she will protect him at all costs. Baldur soon reappears and the battle continues. Throughout the brawl, Freya begs them to stop fighting, believing that she can still reason with Baldur. After the battle dies down, she begs Kratos not to hurt Baldur, to which Kratos agrees.
Baldur continues to berate Freya, condemning her for always interfering in his life. Freya admits she was wrong and tries to help Baldur find it in himself to give up his resentment of her, hoping to repair their relationship, but Baldur refuses to forgive her. Freya finally gives up trying to reason with Baldur and decides to let him kill her since it is the one thing that would bring him peace. As Baldur strangles her, she tells him she loves him. However, before Baldur could kill her, Kratos grabs him from behind and snaps his neck.
Freya, her face stained with tears and livid from her son's needless death, swears horrible vengeance upon Kratos. She berates him and taunts him about his past that he has yet to reveal to his son. This prompts Kratos to finally divulge his violent past to Atreus. She is last seen carrying Baldur's lifeless body off-screen. Then Kratos and Atreus leave to finish their journey.
After Kratos and Atreus return from Jotunheim, Mimir tells them that more time passed than they thought and in that time, Freya came to visit Mimir and asked where Odin kept Freya's Valkyrie wings. Mimir told her what little he knew of it. To which he says "The Cycle of Vengeance is not so easily broken".
Powers and Abilities Edit
As the leader of the Vanir, it is certain that Freya holds considerable power, likely one of, if not, the most powerful of the Vanir Gods.
Vanir Magic: Freya is the most powerful user of the magic of her people the Vanir Gods. Her magic is able to manipulate the surrounding flora and fauna, transform herself, and place runes of various effects on others. She is also skilled in healing and reanimation. Due to Odin's curses, Freya can't harm any living creature, but she can still summon flora to restrain enemies or summon other entities to battle on her behalf. Even Kratos was impressed by her magical capabilities enough that he called her competent in her craft even before Mimir revealed she was a Vanir Goddess. Freya has demonstrated the abillity to reanimate corpses and use the powers they had in life, as she reanimated the giant Thamur to attack Kratos and his son, summon creatures from its palm, and use his icy breath to nearly freeze them. Her most famous feat was casting a spell that made Baldur invulnerable to anything except for mistletoe, the only thing that can vanquish the spell for good, with even Odin himself was unable to undo the spell. However, the disadvantage is that it also makes the subject unable to feel anything such as eating, smelling, drinking, pain and pleasure. She believes it was a blessing for her son to prevent him from dying a needless death. But for Baldur, it is a curse that drove him to rage. Despite her mastery of magic, she can only reanimate someone that is dead and isn't able to fully resurrect them. Her magic also seems to depend on the state of the corpse, as the fact that Mimir's head was cleanly cut and that his brain wasn't damaged made his resurrection easier. Mimir still had his awareness, consciousness, and memories. However, in the case of Thamur, whose brain had been impaled, the Giant didn't seem to have any kind of consciousness and could only perform basic actions like moving and blowing (at Freya's command). It is unknown if this was something Freya did intentionally to control the Giant. The limits of resurrection and its implications made Freya not want to resurrect her son Baldur, according to Mimir.
Weapons: Before Odin cursed Freya to never be able to harm a living creature, it is likely that she was proficient with a bow. Despite her curse, she still finds some use with it creating light bridges by shooting arrows infused with the light of Alfheim. Freya also carries a sword, another weapon she was likely skilled with, but it is unknown why she still keeps it with her.
Shape-shifting: Freya was capable of shape-shifting into an eagle while searching for Kratos and Atreus.
Due to her godhood, Freya's youthful appearance belies her advanced age. Despite her son Baldur's claims that it had been at least 100 years since the two were last together, Freya has the appearance of a woman in her late 30's.
Initially, Freya is friendly and hospitable towards Atreus and even towards Kratos, despite the latter's open hatred and distrust of divine beings. It is implied that Freya sees herself in Kratos and that this is why she decided to help him, although she also teases "or maybe I just like you". It is unknown which of these answers is true, but she is shown to care for Atreus, both as a friend and as a mother-figure of sorts. She occasionally scolds Kratos for keeping his past a secret from Atreus, and for distrusting divine beings despite being one himself. However, she understands his distrust due to the past actions of divine beings like the Aesir.
She is also paranoid and extremely overprotective of those she cares about, especially her son Baldur. Prophecies foretelling her son's demise drove her to cast a spell on Baldur, rendering him invulnerable to everything except mistletoe. For this reason, Freya panics when she sees Atreus carrying mistletoe arrows, immediately destroying them and telling Atreus to never go near them again. Freya also placed a discrete spell on Mimir when she resurrected him, preventing him from speaking about Baldur's weakness and of her connection to him. She is shown to be selfish in that she will do anything to protect those she loves, even if her actions make their lives miserable, as seen with Baldur and the very clear resentment and rage he feels for her because of her actions. She admits these faults to Kratos but clearly hasn't learned from them, as she refused to remove the spell despite her son's desperate desire to feel again.
Freya shows clear signs of a “Narcissistic Parent”, in that she is not concerned in the slightest with Baldur’s happiness or even his mental health with her protection spell, only that he stays alive, showing a complete possessiveness with him, even after learning the side effect of the spell and the effect it was having on Baldur, she lied to him and said it couldn’t be undone despite knowing mistletoe would undo it and going as far as jinxing Mimir to not being able to tell Baldur. Baldur himself stated that Freya can't help but interfere with his life. A narcissistic parent disorder can stem from a bad/dysfunctional marriage, which Freya certainly had with Odin. Again, she admits these faults but continued to show them throughout the final battle with Baldur.
Kratos is eventually forced to kill Baldur in self-defense, earning Freya's hatred. She swears vengeance against Kratos for killing Baldur, even though her son was hellbent on killing her and would have forced Kratos to kill him anyway right afterwards. She was perfectly willing to sacrifice herself if it meant Baldur would live, something that Kratos himself understands.
With the intent of reclaiming her Valkyrie powers, it is clear that Freya has not given up her drive for vengeance and she may never let it go.
- Her Greek equivalent (in terms of being the Queen of the Gods) is Hera. As the archetypical Germanic goddess, she encompasses a vast variety of roles and doesn't appear to have a direct Greek functional analogue.
- In Norse mythology, Freya is mentioned as being the daughter of the Vanir God Njordr. It is not known if this also true for God of War series.
- In recorded Norse mythology, Frigg and Freya are usually two separated goddesses, though they are believed to have the same origin: the Germanic goddess
. The distinction between the two goddesses is an exclusively Scandinavian phenomenon as "Freya" isn't attested elsewhere, it is simply a title.
- Frigg or Frigga (means 'Beloved' in Old Norse), wife of Odin, is Aesir goddess of home and hearth, and family matters.
- Freya (means 'Lady' in Old Norse) is Vanir goddess of lust, love, battle and magic.
- Both Frigga and Freya are claimed to be the most beautiful of all gods.
- The boar that Freya claims is her friend could be Hildisvíni, a boar within Norse mythology that is said to accompany Freya.
- Also, when you enter Freya's house and the boar is still resting, Atreus asks the boar's name, to which she replies "Hildisvíni, he's a good friend of mine".
- Despite her threats of vengeance and fury towards Kratos for killing her son, Odin's curse prevents her from killing anything, thus preventing her from fulfilling that vengeance. This likely made her threat a hollow one.
- She was most likely acting out of emotional grief, regret, and rage.
- Since she believes in Ragnarök, she must have known that Baldur's death signals its beginning. This likely plays another role in her rage towards Kratos: not only did he kill her son, he also set the events of Ragnarök into motion.
- However, Mimir states that while Atreus and Kratos were on the peaks of Jotunheim, Freya came to him and sought information—however much he had—on where her Valkyrie wings were hidden by Odin. This heavily implies that she seems to be doing everything in her power to act on her threats, and could, in fact, manipulate the other gods to get her revenge.
- Despite the Curse Odin put on her that prevents her from harming living things, she apparently can use her magic to manipulate others to harm someone, as when she revived Thamur and when she summoned enemies to keep Kratos at bay from Baldur during their final battle.
- Should the player make Kratos return to Freya after completing the main game, all entries to her home will be inaccessible. Both Atreus and Mimir will comment that it is not a good idea to see Freya at the moment.
- Freya carries her sword eveywhere, despite the fact that she's unable to use it in combat. This demonstrates that she has not given up on her search for recovering her warrior spirit and her Valkyrie wings to get revenge on Odin.
- Her necklace has the name of her son Baldur spelled in Runes.
- Freya and Zeus are the only characters in God of War to directly address Kratos by his name. Note that Kratos has never introduced himself to her, so how she knew his name is uncertain. She either knew who he was from the start or she put the pieces together and realized that he is the "Ghost of Sparta" from the legend.