|“||He doesn't know, does he? About your true nature… or his own?||”|
– Freya to Kratos
Freya, also known as The Witch of the Woods, is a supporting character in God of War (2018). She is a Vanir goddess who helps Kratos and Atreus on their Journey. She is the daughter of Njörd, a former wife of Odin, the mother of Baldur, and the sister of not only Freyr, but also the Valkyries, who she was the Queen of before passing down the title to her sister, Sigrun.
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.
Freya's boar Hildisvini was once a man named Ottar who has a close bond with her. Ottar wanted to learn more about his family but he needed a disguise so Freya turned him into a boar named Hildisvini. Together they went to meet with Hyndla the giant seer to find out about his past.
Freya has a necklace called Brisingamen that the dwarves made for her. She came across the dwarves while traveling the realms she noticed their amazing craftsmanship. Freya had them make a beautiful necklace for her.
The dwarves would only give her a necklace if she agreed to spend some time with them for awhile. When Freya returned to Asgard word about what Freya did reach Odin's ears which angered the All-Father. The necklace Brisingamen was stolen while Freya was asleep when she woke and found it was gone. Freya approached Odin asking him about the necklace the All-Father would only give Brisingamen back only if she started a war for him.
Odin wanted to start a war with kings Hogni and Hedin Freya reluctantly followed Odin's order. Her necklace was returned but it came with a price that she didn't like.
In the God of War SeriesEdit
Prior to the Events of God of WarEdit
Little is known about her childhood, aside from being the daughter of Njörd, and sister of Freyr and the other Valkyries. Freya had been a leader of the Vanir gods during the Aesir-Vanir War and eventually agreed to marry Odin in order to bring peace between the two sides. During that time, she became the 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. While she and Odin were acknowledged by Mimir to be genuinely in love, Freya eventually chose to leave Odin due to his unjust ways. However, 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, and thus incurred the Allfather's wrath and spite. Feeling deeply betrayed, Odin 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 physically 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 physically 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 Aesir 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 Bifröst 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 break the invincibility spell placed on 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 of 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 gods 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 physically 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, a desperate Freya uses her magic to reanimate 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 quotes his father by telling Baldur "the cycle ends here" before snapping Baldur's neck, finally killing him.
Freya, livid from her son's needless death, swears vengeance upon Kratos. She 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 the most powerful of the Vanir gods. Her power was great enough that even the Valkyries referred her for it.
- Seiðr Mastery : Freya is one if not the most powerful user of the Seiðr magic practiced by the Vanir Gods. 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. Her magic was even considered by Atreus to be much stronger than Odin's own. With Mimir confirming this and saying that Odin only managed to curse Freya by taking advantage of her weaknesses. While she cannot engage in active battle using her magic due to Odin's curses, Freya's magical capabilities nevertheless made her highly useful in helping others and she is shown able to manipulate others to fight for her. Freya is able to use her magic to manipulate the surrounding flora and fauna to various effects, such as making an entire wall of vines disappear and conjuring vines strong enough to hold down Kratos and Baldur despite their immense strength, manipulate the environment such as raising the ground to reveal the door to her house and later the shortcut to the mountains as well as opening the door that leads through it, transform herself into an eagle, teleport herself instantly, and summon other entities to fight for her behalf. She is also skilled in using magical runes for a variety of purposes, as she was able to use them to cloak Kratos and Atreus from even the sight of Mimir himself. allow Kratos to open a gate to Helheim as well as predict that Baldur would die a needless death so she may attempt to prevent it. Freya is a highly capable and knowledgeable healer, knowing several spells and the ingredients needed that allowed her to treat the fatal wounds that the boar she protected sustained from Atreus's hunt for it and save Atreus from the illness he suffered from using Spartan Rage. Her most famous feat was casting a spell that made Baldur invulnerable to anything except for mistletoe. For it was the only thing that can vanquish the spell for good. Even Odin himself being deemed unable to undo the spell. However, the disadvantage was that it also made Baldur unable to feel anything such as eating, smelling, drinking, pain and pleasure, which made Baldur consider it a curse that drove him to rage. Freya herself also once managed to use her magic to disguise herself and Thor in order to enter Jotunheim and later used a powerful spell to forcibly stop Thor from massacring the Giants and send them back to Asgard. Although on her own admission, she had not practiced reanimation for a long time, deeming it to be an old magic. Although she still displays profiency with it, successfully reanimating Mimir's head. Also she has demonstrated the ability to reanimate corpses and use the powers they had in life. For 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. 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.
- Valkyrie Powers: Freya was known for having Valkyrie Wings and Powers, although they were stripped from her when she broke off her marriage with Odin. However, as she was considered the true Queen of the Valkyries, it is safe to assume that she is the strongest Valkyrie, with her power at least rivaling, if not, surpassing even Sigrun's.
- Immortality: As a Vanir God, Freya is unaging, as despite being millennia old, she still retains the appearance of a woman in her prime. However, she can be killed by other gods or powerful weapons or beings.
- Superhuman Durability: Freya was able to withstand a high fall without any damage. She even withstood being choked by Baldur without restraint and recovered quickly after Kratos freed her without any lasting damage.
- Shape-shifting: Freya was able to shape-shift as she could transform herself into a eagle searching before a cautious Kratos and Atreus to look for Baldur.
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. She has long shoulder-length dark hair with some beaded. She wears a brown dress with animal skins and has tattoos on her arms. She's also barefoot and very tall, considering that she can see Kratos eye to eye.
Initially, Freya is very friendly and hospitable towards Atreus and even towards Kratos, despite the latter's open distrust of virtually everyone and hatred for godly 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 possibly reminded Kratos of Athena, which was why he was reluctant to trust her at first and not open with her as well.
Freya is incredibly loyal and selfless. She married Odin without hesitation in order to protect her people. However, the eventual pains that she would later face would yield negative results on her mentality. After the deaths of her mother and father, the dissaperance of her brother, the imprisonment of her sisters, and the resentment she received from her people, as well as losing her powers and being banished to Midgard for the rest of her life, Freya did whatever she could to protect the only person she had left in her life, her son Baldur. Due to the trauma of her previous losses, Freya became extremely paranoid and overprotective of him. 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 angrily 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.
Although Freya hated herself for the pain her curse put on her son, the possibility of losing the only person she had left was too much for her to bare, and she refused to lift the spell, even lying that the spell could not be broken by any means. Freya was willing to do anything to protect her son, putting her life on the line to prevent Kratos from hurting him. After Baldur was freed from the curse, and told her that he would never forgive her, Freya offered to let her son kill her to make up for the pain she made him go through. She was perfectly willing to sacrifice herself if it meant Baldur would live, something that Kratos himself understands.
Kratos is eventually forced to kill Baldur in self-defense, causing Freya to have a mental breakdown and earning her hatred. She swears vengeance against Kratos for killing Baldur, as despite the fact that she saved his son's life and was the reason they would be able to reach Jotunheim, he took away the only person she had left in her life. She scolds him, calling him an animal and saying that he will never change. This gets Kratos to confess his murderous past to Atreus. After picking up her son's body, she looks back at the two, hinting that despite her hatred for Kratos, she respected him for admitting his past, and at least hopes that his child will not meet the same fate as her own.
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 equivalents (in terms of being the Queen of the Gods) are Hera and (in terms of abilities) Aphrodite. As the archetypical Germanic goddess, she encompasses a vast variety of roles and doesn't appear to have a direct Greek functional analogue. In the games while Hera openly hated Kratos from the start of his life and till she died, even before he killed her son Ares and before being affected by the evils, Freya was friendly towards Kratos up until he killed Baldur, her son only after which she started hating him and swearing revenge.
- 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 Frigg and Freya are claimed to be the most beautiful of all gods.
- If one travels through the mystical gate often enough, Mimir will reveal the truth behind the Frigg-Freya confusion within the God of War universe: Frigg is but a fabricated identify by Odin to which Freya's deeds and achievements (Including being the mother of Baldur) during their marriage are publicly credited to. According to Mimir, Odin simply doesn't like the idea of a Vanir earning fame amongst the Aesir.
- The boar that Freya claims is her friend is Hildisvíni, a boar within Norse mythology that is said to accompany Freya. This is proven 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, meaning that Freya has locked her home in order to prevent Kratos from asking her for any further help, implying she at least had no more intentions to help him and may very well be planning how to kill Kratos. Both Atreus and Mimir will comment that it is not a good idea to see Freya at the moment.
- Freya carries her sword everywhere, 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.
- According to the official cosplay guide, her sword is named Sparrow's Bite.
- Her necklace, the Brisingamen, has the name of her son Baldur spelled in Runes.
- According to the cosplay guide, her beaded necklace and bracelet were gifted to her by Baldur when he was young.
- Freya, Mimir 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.
- In Norse mythology, rather than being the sister and Queen of the Valkyries, Freya, also known as Freyja, is simply the ruler of the heavenly field Fólkvangr, where the Valkyries send half of the souls they collect, while the other half are sent to Valhalla.