|“||The hands of death could not defeat me. The sisters of fate could not hold me. And you will not see the end of this day. I will have my revenge!||”|
–Kratos to Zeus
Kratos is the main protagonist and anti-hero of the God of War series. Born a Spartan, Kratos held the military rank of General, and would ascend to being a God before exacting his revenge on the Olympians who betrayed him.
Born in the Greek city-state of Sparta, Kratos is the demigod son of Zeus and a mortal woman named Callisto, although he would remain unaware of who his father was for most of his life. Outraged at Zeus for fathering yet another bastard child, Hera ordered Kratos' execution on the day he was born, but the King of the Gods took pity on the child and refused, leaving him in Sparta to be raised by Callisto.
Like all other Spartan youth, Kratos was monitored and trained for combat by the Spartan authorities; those that were deemed fit were to stay and be trained as Spartan warriors, while those who were deemed unfit would be sent to the mountains, sealing their fate. Already feisty and aggressive at his young age, Kratos trained together with his younger brother, Deimos, as they dreamed of joining the Spartan army when they grew up. Somewhere around this time, Zeus began to hear prophecies foretelling his demise at the hands of one of his sons, a "marked warrior". Hoping to circumvent the cycle of patricide before it was too late, Zeus sent Ares and Athena to the mortal realm to hunt down and dispose of the boy who would one day rise up against him. Ares, noticing the strange birthmarks on Deimos, decided to invade Sparta with an army of centaurs and take him to Thanatos, the God of Death. An enraged Kratos attacked the god to save his brother, but Ares punched him into a pile of wood, leaving him with a permanent scar over his right eye.
Insulted by the mortal's defiance, Ares raised his sword to kill him, but was stopped by Athena, who reminded him that they had what they were looking for. Athena apologized to Kratos before disappearing into the flames. The loss of his brother left an indelible mark on Kratos, as he vowed to never falter again. In honor of his brother, Kratos had himself tattooed in the exact image of Deimos' birthmark.
Quest for the Ambrosia
Shortly after her birth, Calliope contracted a plague, causing the Spartan authorities to deem her weak. As a result, Spartan law required that she be thrown into a chasm and left to die. Determined to save his daughter, Kratos set out on a journey for the Ambrosia after hearing from an elder of its exceptional healing capabilities, not knowing that Ares, the God of War, had chosen him to be his champion in the wager of the Gods, a contest with the ultimate goal being the capture of the Ambrosia; the victor would have statues erected in their honor all throughout Greece. A battalion of Spartans accompanied Kratos on his quest, including Captain Nikos. Along the way, he encountered a healer who gave him the Flames of Apollo.
Kratos eventually encountered Poseidon's champion, Herodius, and killed him as the Spartans conquered his army and stole their ship. Enraged at Kratos for costing him the wager, Poseidon unleashed a handful of hazards at sea in the hopes of killing him, but failed. Later on, Kratos encountered Artemis' champion, Pothia, and killed her as well, with her army also falling victim to the Spartans, although Artemis did not retaliate. In fear that Kratos would defeat his champion, Alrik the Barbarian King, Hades sent a torrent of fire through the sky. Although he failed to kill Kratos, he succeeded in killing many of Kratos' men, including Captain Nikos. As he found the Ambrosia, Kratos encountered Helios' Champion and killed him as well.
Alrik and his Barbarian army battled the Spartans for the Ambrosia, as Alrik's Father was very ill and in need of the elixir. After a grueling battle between the two leaders, Kratos successfully captured the Ambrosia at the cost of his own men, and summoned an army of Rocs to continuously torture Alrik. Kratos then returned to Sparta, healed Calliope, and obtained the rank of 'Captain' from the King of Sparta.
Birth of the Ghost
As a general, Kratos won battles through unorthodox, but effective tactics. However, his pride and hunger for power grew greater with every victory. Despite Lysandra's pleas, Kratos continued on with his bloody conquests, spending time with his family only when he was able to return to Sparta.
Kratos and his army finally met their match when they encountered the merciless Barbarian tribes from the East, led by Kratos' old enemy, Alrik. Outnumbered and overpowered, the Spartans quickly found themselves on the losing end of the battle, with Kratos himself left at the mercy of Alrik the Barbarian King, who sought revenge against Kratos for inadvertently causing the death of his father. In desperation, Kratos called out to Ares, the God of War, pledging his allegiance in exchange for victory. Ares accepted his offer, proceeding to kill all of the Barbarians, including Alrik, and give Kratos the Blades of Chaos as a sign of his servitude.
For a time, Kratos served Ares loyally, raiding villages, slaughtering innocents, and spreading chaos in his name. Under the God of War's influence, Kratos became utterly ruthless and gradually lost any semblance of humanity he once had. One day, during a raid on a village of Athena's followers, Ares secretly transported Lysandra and Calliope to a nearby temple. Ignoring the warnings of the village oracle, Kratos entered the temple and slaughtered everybody inside in a fit of blind rage, including his wife and child (whom he believed were still in Sparta). Ares justified this as a means of severing Kratos' remaining attachments to the world of mortals, thereby molding him into the perfect warrior. Stricken with horror and grief at what he had done, Kratos left the bodies of his family to be burned within the temple as he cursed Ares' name, renouncing his allegiance to the God of War. The oracle cursed Kratos, forcing him to forever wear the ashes of his dead family on his skin.
From that day forward, Kratos was known as The Ghost of Sparta; his skin now 'pale as the moon' from the ashes that coated him. To other mortals, he was now marked by his ghostly white skin - the knowledge of his past actions repulsed them to the point where they would rather die than allow him to save their lives. He became known as the personification of cruelty and selfishness.
Redemption and Vengeance
- See also: God of War: Ascension
For breaking his oath, Ares ordered The Furies to hunt down the Ghost of Sparta and force him to once again serve the God of War. Meanwhile, Kratos finds himself in the abandoned village of Kirra, where he is trapped in an illusion of his home in Sparta. The Furies' oath-keeper, Orkos, appeared before him and encouraged him to see past the hallucination, using Lysandra's necklace and ring to break it. Although Kratos distrusted him, he followed Orkos' instruction to seek out Aletheia, the Oracle at Delphi. She had earlier been captured by Pollux and Castor, but Kratos killed them both and took the Amulet of Uroborus. He spoke with the dying oracle before traveling back to Kirra, where he encountered Orkos once again. The oath keeper revealed that he is the son of Ares and Alecto, one of the three Furies.
Orkos explained Ares' true intentions to Kratos. As Zeus had forbidden the Gods from waging war on one another, Ares sought to breed a warrior capable of destroying Zeus in his stead, so that Ares may usurp him and rule Olympus for himself. Disappointed in Orkos' complete lack of fighting skills, Ares disowned his son, and Orkos became the oath keeper of the Furies in the hopes of pleasing his mother, Alecto. Ares saw in Kratos the makings of the warrior he needed to overthrow Zeus, and for that reason, he helped him against the Barbarians that day. The murder of his family was meant to be one of three "tests" that would bind Kratos to Ares' will. Orkos did his mother's bidding as the oath keeper and did not question her until Ares tricked Kratos into killing his family. Armed with this knowledge, Kratos took a ship to Delos.
Arriving at the island of Delos, Kratos traverses a giant, ruined statue of Apollo, where he is attacked by all three Furies. In the ensuing confrontation, Kratos manages to cut off Megaera's arm, but Alecto uses her power to capture him. Orkos appears and frees Kratos, escorting him to another location, with Alecto vowing that he will never succeed. After a perilous journey, Kratos uses the Amulet of Uroborus to fully restore the statue and retrieve the Eyes from the Lantern. But after completing the Trials of Archimedes, he is once again ambushed by the Furies, who take him prisoner and steal both the Eyes and the Amulet.
For two weeks, the Furies tortured Kratos in the Prison of the Damned. The Spartan managed to free himself when Megaera went too far with her torture, and pursued her through the prison. She and Tisiphone attempted to misdirect him, as a building he enters is projected as a brothel. When he goes to sleep with a woman, he spots the ring on her finger and realizes that it is an illusion. He responds by tackling Tisiphone, but Megaera intervenes, insisting that Kratos belongs to her. Megaera released insects into Aegaeon's hands and mouth, mutating them into insect-titan hybrids. As Kratos retrieves the Amulet of Uroboros by killing Megaera and the Hecatonchires, Tisiphone creates an illusion of him being honored by the King of Sparta. Kratos sees through it and, progressing further into the prison, finds the Scribe of Hecatonchires, who was the first mortal to ever be imprisoned by the Furies. He reveals that the Furies were originally fair in their punishment, but became ruthless under Ares' influence.
Making his way to Alecto's chamber, Kratos retrieved the Oath Stone from Tisiphone's pet bird, Daimon. Upon entering the chamber, the Furies project another illusion, this time of Kratos' home in Sparta. He is nearly taken in by this, for he saw his wife and daughter again. He came close to sleeping with the image of Lysandra, but soon notices the ring on her finger, revealing her to be Alecto. She then tries to convince Kratos that he could live in this illusion forever if he rejoined Ares; however, noticing the Eyes of Truth hanging on her hip, he refused, preferring the truth to living a lie. Enraged, Alecto drops the illusion and threatens to execute him if he would not serve Ares. Kratos breaks free of her sludge trap and snatches the Eyes from Alecto, who retreated back into her sanctum before she realized they were gone. Tisiphone joined Alecto as Kratos advanced on the remaining Furies. They created an illusion of a massive whirlpool, with Alecto transforming into a horrific sea monster.Using the Eyes, Kratos broke through the Furies' illusions and forced Alecto back into her human form. As he advanced on the Fury Queen, Tisiphone dispatched Daimon once more, but Kratos simply used the Eyes to destroy the bird. He proceeded to strike Tisiphone, shapeshifting between the forms of the King and Kratos himself, as she belittled him. As he wrapped his hands around her throat, Tisiphone transformed into Lysandra, causing Kratos to briefly hesitate. Tisiphone then changed into the Village Oracle, telling him that his family was not there by mere chance the night he killed them, before Kratos snapped her neck. With only Alecto left, Kratos drew his blades. The Fury Queen coldly tells him that the truth would only bring him pain before he plunges his blades into her chest. With her last breath, Alecto spitefully promises that her death would change nothing.With all three of the Furies dead, Kratos returned to his home in Sparta, where Orkos congratulated him on his victory. At the same time, he also revealed that he was made the new oath keeper, thereby maintaining Kratos' bond with Ares. He begged Kratos to give him an honorable death, as it would free them both from the God, to which Kratos initially refused, proclaiming that no more innocent blood should be spilled. Orkos' continuing pleas ultimately forced Kratos' hand. With this act, Kratos experienced the first of many nightmares, previously masked by his bond to Ares: this was the price he had to pay for the truth. He also discovered his path to redemption through continual service to Olympus. Kratos proceeded to burn down his house, with the corpse of Orkos inside it.
Service to the Gods
- See also: Chains of Olympus
|“||Is this all you would have me do? Is there nothing else!?||”|
–Kratos, serving the gods.
For the next decade, Kratos faithfully served the Gods of Olympus in whatever tasks they required of him. During the fifth year of his atonement, he joined the army of Attica in their struggle against the invading Persian Army and the great beast they brought forth, the Basilisk. After a lengthy battle, Kratos killed both the Persian King and the Basilisk, before asking the gods if they wished him to do more in his servitude. At that moment, the Ghost of Sparta saw the Sun fall from the sky and vanish, leaving the world in darkness.
Sensing a plot at work, Kratos followed the last remnants of light on the horizon, eventually reaching the Temple of Helios and the city of Marathon. Upon consulting with Athena, Kratos realized that Helios, the God of the Sun, had been kidnapped by an unknown force, allowing Morpheus, the God of Dreams, to put the other Olympians in a deep slumber. With the Gods of Olympus incapacitated, Kratos was tasked with finding and rescuing Helios before Morpheus could seize control of the land by covering Greece under his Black Fog. Fighting through Morpheus' minions, Kratos entered the temple of the Sun God, and after learning of the events that transpired, he was tasked by Eos, the sister of Helios, to awaken her brother's Fire Steeds, which would take Kratos to where their master was being held prisoner.
Having awakened Helios' Steeds, Kratos was taken to the Underworld where he saw Helios' glowing light in the distance, right before the Pillar of the World. Kratos fought his way through Hades' domain, acquired the mighty Gauntlet of Zeus, entered Tartarus and killed Charon, the ferryman of the dead. Kratos then discovered that the Titan Atlas had somehow escaped Tartarus and captured Helios.
Throughout his journey, Kratos was plagued by visions of his daughter, Calliope, and the song she played on the flute that he once gave to her. When Kratos reached the Pillar of the World and the Temple of Persephone that lay nearby, he had already forgotten his task, thinking only of reuniting with his daughter. He encountered Persephone, the wife of Hades who was kidnapped by the Underworld god and forced to wed him. She revealed that Kratos could be with his daughter again if he relinquished all of his powers to the Forsaken Tree. Desperate to see his daughter again, Kratos did as she asked, and she allowed him to enter the Elysium fields where he met with his daughter and was seen happy for the first time since he became the Ghost of Sparta.
Persephone appeared before him, revealing that it was she who freed Atlas and asked him to capture Helios. With his help, she devised a scheme to destroy the Pillar of the World, thus killing the Gods of Olympus and all of mankind as well. She taunted Kratos with the knowledge that he may live with his daughter for a short period, but would ultimately see her die again upon the completion of her plan. Kratos then forced himself to become the Ghost of Sparta again by killing the innocent souls of Elysium and regaining his powers. Whilst giving pursuit to Persephone, he realized that he would never have the chance to be with his daughter again. As he heard her crying behind him, his hatred for the Gods of Olympus deepened.
An enraged Kratos succeeded in killing Persephone and chaining Atlas to the ground above the Pillar of the World, thus completing his task. Before he left the Underworld, Atlas asked Kratos if he truly believed that the Gods would keep their promise. Kratos replied that it was the only thing he could hope for now, since he could not go back to Elysium. With the use of the Fire Steeds, Kratos then escaped the Underworld, but found himself too exhausted from the journey and fell from the Chariot to the ground below. He was saved by Athena and Helios, who stripped him of his powers and equipment, leaving him unconscious upon the cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea.
The Final Task
- See also: God of War
|“||Ares, you will die for what you did that night!||”|
Ten years after beginning his service to the Olympian gods, Kratos was sent to kill the Hydra and bring peace to the Aegean Sea. Following his victory over the sea monster, Kratos received a chance to seek his revenge on the God of War, and rid himself of the terrible nightmares that haunted him. He was ordered by Athena to seek out Pandora's Box, which would help him destroy Ares.
Kratos made his way through the war-ravaged city of Athens, killing countless minions of Ares and even the infamous Medusa, the Queen of the Gorgons. Following the Athenian Oracle's instructions, Kratos traversed the Desert of Lost Souls and found Pandora's Temple atop the back of the Titan Cronos, whom he summoned with the Titan Horn. He climbed the Titan, made his way through the temple, and retrieved Pandora's Box, being the first human ever to do so. Sensing that Kratos had obtained the Box, Ares hurled a large broken pillar towards Pandora's Temple, impaling Kratos. The Harpies collected Pandora's Box and took it back to Ares, while Kratos died and fell into the Underworld. As he plummeted to the River Styx, Kratos grabbed hold of the Captain's leg, climbed onto a ledge, and kicked him down below into the River Styx.
Reaching the top again, Kratos managed to escape the clutches of Hades. Meeting up with the Gravedigger again, whom he had met earlier at the Oracle's Temple, he reacquired Pandora's Box from Ares and used it to grow tremendously in size, as well as receiving a substantial amount of power in order to battle Ares on more even footing. After a vicious fight, Ares trapped Kratos in a void where demonic incarnations of himself attempted to kill phantom versions of his family. Kratos attempted to save them, but watched helplessly as Ares stripped him of the Blades of Chaos and used them to kill his family again. Kratos, now distraught and vulnerable, nearly met his end at the hands of Ares, but took notice of the Blade of the Gods, proceeding to use it to finally destroy the God of War.
Though his past had been forgiven, the Gods refused to relieve him of his nightmares. His last bit of hope taken from him, Kratos attempted to commit suicide by jumping from a cliff. Athena had a different plan for the Spartan; she saved his life and offered him the empty throne of the God of War on Olympus. He accepted the offer, sat upon the fallen god's throne, and became the new God of War.
As the God of War
|“||My Lord, Kratos! Another city is ready to fall! Soon all will know the glory of Sparta!||”|
Kratos entered Tartarus once again in search of the Ambrosia in order to destroy it, for Disciples of Ares desired to use it to resurrect their now dead God. Throughout his journey, Kratos received flashbacks of his first quest for the Ambrosia. Making his way through Tartarus, Kratos encountered and defeated a giant arachnid monster. After pulling his blades out from the beast, Athena spoke to him in an attempt to warn him about the new dangers on the path he took once before. Kratos shrugged off her warnings, confident that nothing would stop him.
Later, he encountered Athena again, and was told by the goddess that it is now the dead he must fear. Kratos ignored her warnings once again, proceeding to find the bodies of the Spartans who had died in his earlier quest for the healing elixir. The Spartans then rose from the dead, ready to exact vengeance on Kratos for abandoning them, although he defeated them all. Upon entering the island once again, the island revealed itself to be a monstrous beast named Gyges, who vowed vengeance on Kratos after one hundred of his arms were burned off in the Spartan's battle against Helios' Champion. Kratos, however, incinerated Gyges with the Flames of Apollo, destroying the Tree of Life and all of its Ambrosia. He then left the island, knowing that the disciples of Ares would hunt him down for destroying the last hope they had at reviving their fallen God.
Sometime later, Kratos experienced visions of his mother being held at the Temple of Poseidon in the City of Atlantis. En route to Poseidon's kingdom, Athena attempts to dissuade Kratos from his mission, only for his ship to be attacked by the Scylla. Chasing the monster off, he has another vision, this time of his childhood training with his brother Deimos. He enters the temple and encounters his long presumed dead mother Callisto, who then tells him that his father had taken her there and that Deimos is still alive; trapped and tortured in the Domain of Death. Both shocked and angered, Kratos asks who his father was and why she lied to him all those years ago. Callisto tries to tell him but is transformed into a hideous beast, forcing Kratos to kill her.
Enraged over the gods having taken yet another member of his family, Kratos embarked on a journey to save his brother. At one point, Kratos encountered the Titan Thera, imprisoned inside a volcano, who told him he would be incapable of leaving if he did not free her. After forcefully imbuing the Blades of Athena in the titan's chest, Kratos obtained Thera's Bane and left the volcano. Upon his descent, he impaled the Scylla, who had been pursuing him relentlessly ever since his arrival, finally defeating the monster. Before returning home, Kratos found himself under attack by Erinys, Thanatos' daughter.
Upon Erinys' defeat, Kratos journeyed through Sparta, killing the Piraeus Lion and a Dissenter before findd the key to saving his brother in the Temple of Ares. The Spartan then made his way back to the sinking city of Atlantis, although his route was fraught with danger as Poseidon had unleashed an enormous whirlpool at sea and attempted to blast Kratos from the sky in retaliation for the destruction of his city. Kratos survived Poseidon's assault, only to be contacted telepathically by the Sea God via one of his broken statues, warning him that he would pay for what he had done to Atlantis. Sometime later, Athena inadvertently revealed to the Spartan that it was she, along with Ares, who had taken Deimos from him that day, justifying their actions on the grounds that he was a threat to Olympus. This revelation deepened Kratos' hatred for the Gods even further. Proceeding onward, Kratos entered the Domain of Death and the Temple of Thanatos where he finally found his brother Deimos. Kratos set Deimos free, only to be attacked by him, as Deimos blamed Kratos for not helping him when in dire need. Witnessing the battle from close by, Thanatos intervened and snatched Deimos. Barely able to stand from the fight, Kratos followed Thanatos and Deimos to the Suicide Bluffs, and rescued Deimos from falling to his death.
After being reunited, and having reconciled their differences, the Spartan brothers took arms and joined forces against Thanatos. In a climactic battle, Thanatos took Deimos' life, only to have an enraged Kratos take his in return. Kratos then took the lifeless body of his brother to his grave. After putting Deimos in the grave dug by the enigmatic Grave Digger, Kratos stated that his brother was now free. He once again attempted to kill himself at the bluffs, but ultimately relented, asking himself what he had become. The Grave Digger, who had been close by, prophetically revealed that he had become "Death, the Destroyer of Worlds" before vanishing. Athena then pleaded with Kratos to forgive her, and offered to empower him to full Godhood, but saw her pleas ignored, as Kratos promised her the Gods would pay for their actions.
Kratos began to isolate himself from the other Gods, and spent most of his time assisting the Spartans in their conquest of Greece. During the siege of an unknown city, he was attacked by Argos, Hera's pet. Before he could defeat the beast, however, an unknown Assassin killed it in his stead, apparently trying to destroy his reputation on Olympus. Kratos pursued the Assassin, but saw his progress halted by the minions of Hades, causing him to believe that the Assassin was Hades in disguise (this notion is further supported by the fact that Hades already resented Kratos for the death of his wife Persephone). The God of War did not surrender, and continued his relentless pursuit, only to be stopped by Ceryx, messenger of the Gods, who allowed the Assassin to escape. Ceryx, in the name of Zeus, ordered Kratos to cease his pursuit. Providing no valid reason, Ceryx only managed to infuriate the God of War. Kratos killed the messenger on the spot, instantly realizing that Zeus would not stand for this action.
When Kratos decided to lead his Spartans to conquer Rhodes, Athena implored him to stop, as the other Gods grew weary of his destructive behavior. Kratos, as usual, ignored her warning and instead plunged down to Earth, aiding his army in further destroying the city. An eagle soon appeared and robbed Kratos of his immense size and a significant chunk of his godhood powers, shrinking him back down to the size of an ordinary human. Despite this, he will retained some godly powers, enabling him to easily defeat the warriors of Rhodes, but struggled with the statue. The eagle imbued these powers into the Colossus of Rhodes, which was then brought to life.
Kratos fought a long and arduous battle with the giant, until Zeus offered help in the form of the Blade of Olympus, which he himself used to end the Titan War. Infusing the remainder of his powers and immortality into the blade, Kratos defeated the Colossus. As he shouted at the heavens, the statue's falling hand crushed him, knocking the Blade of Olympus out of his grasp. Severely wounded, and stripped of all his powers, Kratos knew his only hope of survival lay with the Blade. Limping towards it, the eagle soon reappeared and revealed itself to be Zeus in disguise (Kratos originally believed that Athena was responsible). Zeus informs Kratos that he didn't want to suffer the same fate as Ares, demanding that Kratos surrender and serve him forever. However, when Kratos refused, Zeus attacked and killed him by driving the Blade into his abdomen. In his dying breath, Kratos swore that Zeus would pay for his hubris.
Changing His Fate
|“||You will never control your fate, Kratos!||”|
–Clotho, to Kratos.
Kratos was dragged down by the arms of the Underworld. The Titan Gaia, who had been watching him his entire life, saved Kratos, sealed his wound, and gave him the strength to escape death once again. Climbing out from the Underworld, and back into Rhodes, he then instructed the last surviving soldier to return to Sparta, in order to prepare for another battle.
Kratos then took Pegasus, a gift from Gaia, and attempted to fly back to Olympus so he could exact his revenge, but discovered that he could no longer enter Olympus, as he was no longer a God. Instead, Gaia instructed Pegasus and Kratos to seek out the Sisters of Fate. She informed him that the Sisters had the power to travel back in time, which he needed to use to reclaim the Blade of Olympus and take his revenge on Zeus. Kratos then first traveled to Typhon's lair, where he met with Prometheus, who pleaded him to release him from his torment in the Fires of Olympus. Kratos, after stealing Typhon's Bane from the Titan, used it to break Prometheus' last chain, sending him down into the flames, burning him alive, and finally releasing him. His ashes granted him the power of the Titans.
Kratos safely arrived on the Island of Creation, where he met Theseus, who guarded the Steeds of Time. Theseus mocked Kratos' quest to destroy Zeus and challenged him to a fight, wanting to see who was the greatest warrior of Greece. Theseus was defeated after Kratos bashed his head against a door and skewered him with his own spear. Kratos later defeated Perseus (who was on a quest to save his beloved Andromeda, challenging Kratos in the hopes that it would prove his worth to the Gods), the undead Barbarian King (who escaped Hades' torment to change his fate), Euryale (who wished to avenge her sister), and Icarus (who had lost his sanity).
After having defeated them all, he once again fell prey to the Underworld, where he was reunited with Atlas. Intent on crushing the former God for his imprisonment, Atlas ultimately ceased his attempt to kill Kratos when he revealed that he was now an enemy of Zeus, and sought to change his fate in order to destroy the King of the Gods. Atlas gave Kratos some of his power and aided him back to the surface, where he continued his journey into the Palace of Fates. There, unbeknownst to him, he encountered the remaining Spartan warrior, only this time shrouded in darkness. With neither of them aware of who they were facing, both warriors engaged in battle, intending to reaching the Sisters themselves.
Eventually, the Last Spartan fell prey to Kratos' Blades as they tumbled out of the stained glass window into the light, revealing their identities to each other. The Spartan warrior informed Kratos of the fact that Zeus had now destroyed Sparta before succumbing to his wounds, causing Kratos to be overtaken with anger and shout to the Heavens. Blinded by rage, he was then attacked by the Kraken, providing little resistance as it proceeded to strangle him. Held firm in its grasp, Kratos then saw an astral projection of his wife, which was actually Gaia in disguise, encouraging him to go on or face eternal torment in Hades. Kratos was informed of the fact that the Titans wanted the Spartan to lead them into battle. Kratos, ultimately regaining his will to live, killed the Kraken and continued his journey.
Kratos then entered the Sisters' throne room and met with Lahkesis, who told him that the Fates decided upon the destinies of all, and how it was she who allowed him to come as far as he did. She then proclaimed that it was not his destiny to kill Zeus, to which Kratos responded that they no longer control his destiny and engaged her in battle. Instantly, Lahkesis summoned her sister Atropos, who took Kratos back in time to his battle with Ares, determined to destroy the Blade of the Gods so that his past and present self would cease to exist. Kratos managed to subdue her, and teleported themselves back to the present. Now fighting both Sisters, he managed to trap them in a time void and shattered it, imprisoning them for good. Kratos then proceeded on to Clotho, who warned him not to go forward with his manipulation of fate. Kratos killed the obese Sister of Fate, took control of his own life thread in the Loom Chamber, and went back in time.
Arriving in the past, he immediately charged at Zeus and tackled him, taking the Blade of Olympus out of his past self. Zeus and Kratos then engaged in a vicious battle on the Summit of Sacrifice, with Kratos fighting Zeus in his full Olympian size as well as his normal mortal size. At the end of the battle, Zeus unleashed a powerful lightning storm, to which Kratos yielded defeat and surrendered. He then asked the King of Gods to release him from his torment, to which Zeus responded: "I will release you from your life, my son, but your torment is just beginning" before moving in to kill the Spartan.
However, it is revealed to have been a trick by Kratos, who then dodged the blow, pinned Zeus to a nearby rock with his Blades, took the Blade of Olympus from him and then furiously drove it into Zeus' abdomen, intending to kill Zeus in the same way that he killed Kratos in Rhodes. Athena arrived moments later to protect her father, begging Kratos to stop. Zeus then took advantage of the situation and tried to flee, but this did not escape Kratos' notice. The enraged Spartan made one final attempt on his life, only for Athena to jump in the way and take the blow. A distraught Kratos asked Athena why she sacrificed herself, to which she replied "to save Olympus". She further revealed to Kratos that Zeus is his father, and that his actions were driven by fear. Zeus' intention was to finally break the cycle of patricide by killing Kratos, whom he now recognized as the "Marked Warrior" destined to bring about the final destruction of Olympus.
Athena begged Kratos to forfeit his quest for revenge, warning him that all of Olympus would unite against him and that should he succeed in killing Zeus, the world would be destroyed. By this point, however, Kratos' sanity and compassion for others had been completely drained, and he vowed to destroy all of the Gods along with anyone else who stood in his way before proceeding to travel back in time to the Titanomachy, bringing the Titans with him to the present to confront the Gods on Mount Olympus itself. Meanwhile, a badly weakened Zeus calls forth a meeting of the Gods (although only Poseidon, Hades, Hermes, and Helios are present), urging them to put aside their rivalries and unite against their common enemy, Kratos. Moments later, Mount Olympus begins to tremble as the Gods look down in horror at the ascending Titans, who are now accompanied by Kratos. The Ghost of Sparta yells out to his father, declaring that the reign of the Olympians is now over.
The Second Great War
- See: God of War III
|“||Zeus! Your son has returned. I bring the destruction of Olympus!||”|
Zeus immediately ordered his fellow Olympians, along with his demigod son Hercules, to attack Kratos and his Titan allies, although Zeus himself elected to stay out of the fray for the time being as he was still recovering from his last battle with Kratos. The Olympians would initially have the upper hand, however, as Hades successfully dislodged several Titans while Poseidon shot down from Olympus like a torpedo and struck a death blow through Epimetheus' chest, sending the Titan to a watery grave. The God of the Sea then manifested himself as a massive water being and spawned several Hippocampi to aid him in battle. With Poseidon as their greatest threat, having already decimated numerous Titans and now going after Gaia herself, Kratos engaged the God of the Sea and, after drawing him into Gaia's grasp, managed to knock a weakened Poseidon out of his godly form and onto a nearby cliff. Poseidon begged Kratos to relent, warning him that the death of Olympus would mean the end of the world, to which Kratos coldly responded "then prepare for YOUR death, Poseidon". Kratos then grabbed the Sea God by his neck and battered him uncontrollably, slamming his head against the rocks before throwing him against a large boulder. In desperation, Poseidon attempted to crawl away and escape back into the sea, but Kratos easily caught up with him, gouged his eyes out and snapped his neck before tossing his corpse off the mountain. With Poseidon's death, the seas unleashed a cataclysmic flood that engulfed the entire world, drowning almost all of mankind save for those on Olympia and other mountain top locations.
The Spartan climbed back onto Gaia's hand and they both continued onward to Zeus' pavilion, where the King of the Gods angrily anticipated Kratos' arrival. Gaia wrapped her palm around Zeus' platform, trapping him there as an eager Kratos climbed down from Gaia's hand and confronted Zeus. The enraged Spartan taunted the King of the Gods, cruelly reminding him that with Athena's death, there was no one left to protect him. Zeus responded that Athena died because of Kratos' blind rage, asking him how far he was willing to go to sate his need for vengeance. Kratos then boasted that neither the Sisters of Fate nor the gates of Hades could stop him, ultimately declaring that Zeus would not live to see the next sunrise. As Kratos and Gaia prepared to attack, Zeus summoned a massive bolt of lightning which he used to knock both Kratos and Gaia off of the mountain, in the hopes they would fall into the River Styx below. The resulting blast tore off a portion of Gaia's arm, causing her to struggle to maintain her grip. Kratos urged Gaia to help him as he too was losing his grip, but the Titan refused, claiming that doing so would cause both of them to fall off the mountain. Kratos reminded her of why she saved him from death, to which Gaia replied that he was nothing more than a pawn whom they no longer needed, as the Titans had finally reached Zeus. Betrayed yet again, Kratos plummeted to his death and found himself stranded in the Underworld once more. Contemplating his life as he lurched through the River Styx and its caverns, he resolved to escape Hades and destroy Zeus once and for all. After being drained of nearly all of his power by the dead souls of the River Styx, he met the ghost of Athena, who claimed to have reached a "higher existence" and offered to help Kratos exact his revenge on Zeus. Suspicious of this turn of events, Kratos demanded to know why she had such a sudden change of heart. Athena then explained to Kratos how she saw truths where she did not before, and to regain his trust, she transformed Kratos' ruined blades into the Blades of Exile, which would help him survive the Underworld and the foes that awaited him. She then instructs him to find and extinguish the Flame of Olympus, claiming that it is the source of Zeus' power.
Kratos made his way through the Underworld, meeting lost souls, stealing Apollo's bow from Peirithous by burning him alive, and encountering The Judges, who decided that Kratos was not yet ready for the afterlife before urging him to proceed forward. Along the way, he would encounter a statue of Pandora, which called out to Kratos. Initially mistaking its voice for Calliope's, he soon realized that it was someone else and tried to walk away. Before he could, the voice claimed to know all about Kratos, telling him that everybody on Olympus was terrified of him, to which Kratos replied "there are reasons for that". Pandora tried to tell him more, but she was interrupted by the voice of Hades, who mocked Kratos. The Spartan ordered Hades to reveal himself, only for the God of the Underworld to reply that Kratos was too impatient and that soon enough, they would have their time to play. Descending deeper into the depths of the Underworld, he encountered a despairing Hephaestus, the Craftsman of Olympus as well as the God of Volcanoes and Fire, who blamed Kratos for his exile to the Underworld as well as the disappearance of his daughter Pandora. Despite his grievances, however, Hephaestus was passive and did not attack Kratos, even offering him helpful information about the secrets of Olympus, his adopted daughter Pandora, and Zeus. Progressing further into Hades' kingdom, Kratos occasionally found mysterious notes that he silently acknowledged to be from various people in his past. He eventually found and entered Hades' Palace, using the coffin-wed body of Persephone that Hades had restored to open a pathway into a dark room where he would encounter the Lord of the Underworld himself. Once there, Hades recounted his grievances against the Ghost of Sparta, blaming him for the deaths of Athena, Poseidon, and especially his beloved queen Persephone (seemingly unaware of or indifferent to her hatred for him, and her plot to destroy the world) before threatening that he would make the Spartan suffer for all of the pain he has caused him. Emerging from the darkness, Hades used his claws in an attempt to rip Kratos' soul out of his body and absorb it, although he was unsuccessful. As the room lit up, Kratos immediately engaged the God of the Underworld, viciously tearing off and destroying chunks of his flesh before he could reacquire them, thereby healing himself. As the battle wore on, Kratos used his blades to carve up Hades' neck in an attempt to remove his helmet, which only enraged the Underworld God further. Hades responded by tearing open a crevice in the ground, hoping to pull Kratos into the River Styx. However, Kratos intercepted Hades' claw with one of his blades, ensnaring the two weapons together and initiating a tug of war. With his other blade still free, Kratos continued to fend off Hades' attacks and damage him even more as the enraged god promised Kratos that his death would only be the beginning of his suffering. The Ghost of Sparta continued to have the upper hand, damaging Hades to the point where he could easily fire his other blade and use it to form a noose around Hades' neck. Kratos took full advantage of this opportunity and proceeded to slam Hades into the roof until his helmet was finally dislodged, robbing him of his Claws and causing him to plummet into the River Styx in the process. The Underworld God was not finished, however, drastically increasing his size and emerging from the River Styx in a last ditch effort to destroy his enemy once and for all. Using Hades' own claws against him, Kratos further weakened the God of the Underworld and attached the claws to his now exposed, damaged skull, ripping the soul right out of his body, killing him. Hades' death caused all of the souls in the Underworld to run rampant, tearing a giant hole in his abdomen which Kratos used to escape the area. Now in possession of Hades' soul, Kratos gained the ability to swim through the River Styx unharmed and use the Hyperion Gate at will.
Kratos used the River Styx to leave Hades' Palace, once again emerging in Hephaestus' lair. The Smith God then asked Kratos if Hades was truly dead, to which Kratos responded in the affirmative. Hephaestus laughed in approval, claiming that Hades deserved to suffer. Imparting more information to the Ghost of Sparta, Kratos bid farewell to Hephaestus and used a Hyperion Gate to escape from the Underworld. Back on Mount Olympus, on the outskirts of the city of Olympia, Helios rode by on his chariot and threw some fireballs at Kratos, prompting him to give chase. In the process, he encounters a struggling Gaia, who asks Kratos to help her. Remembering Gaia's betrayal, he adamantly refused to help her, instead severing her arm and allowing her to plummet to her presumed death. Later, he finds Helios engaged in a battle with the Titan Perses. Using a nearby catapult, he knocks the Sun God into Perses' grasp. The Titan then crushes him in his hand and throws him across the city. The Spartan proceeds to hunt Helios down and finish him off. He eventually finds Helios, but the badly injured Sun God summons a phalanx of shield carrying soldiers to shelter him from Kratos' onslaught. Kratos, however, takes control of a nearby Cyclops and uses it to eliminate the phalanx completely. With no other options left, Helios tries to trick Kratos into sparing his life with a promise that he would repay him in full. Although suspicious, Kratos considers the offer and asks Helios where he can find the Flame of Olympus. Helios refuses to provide a straight answer, instead warning him of the futility of his quest, to which Kratos responds "of all the lives you should worry about Helios, mine is not one of them". With his guard lowered, Helios attempted to blind Kratos with a beam of sunlight, but was unsuccessful. Kratos began to stomp on Helios' head until he finally relented and told him that in order to receive the Flame's power, he must step into the Flame itself. However, Kratos immediately knew that this was a lie, as Hephaestus had already told him that the Flame is lethal to both mortals and Gods alike. Helios responds by telling Kratos that Hephaestus is not to be trusted, for he is a "freak that has fallen from the graces of Olympus", but Kratos responds that this is exactly why he believed the Smith God in the first place. Helios then resigned himself to his fate, although he remained defiant to the end, telling the Spartan that his death would not lead him to Zeus, to which Kratos disagrees. The Spartan then grabs the Sun God and tears off his head with his bare hands, thereby causing the sun to be permanently veiled by dark clouds and rain storms. Now in possession of Helios' head, he uses it as a lantern to light his way through the dark caverns of Mount Olympus
Reaching the Labyrinth, Kratos is confronted by Hermes, who relentlessly teases and mocks the Spartan warrior both for his past failures and the foolishness of his current vendetta against Zeus. Kratos attempts to ignore Hermes at first, believing him to be nothing more than a "fly from the ass of Zeus" and therefore not worthy of his time, but Hermes joyously taunts him further, stating that the only reason he doesn't provide chase is because he knows he will never catch him, before speeding his way up the Chain of Balance away from Kratos. The Ghost of Sparta slowly climbs the Chain of Balance until he reaches a chamber containing Pandora's Box. Surprised to see the box, Athena soon appears and tells him that there is a dormant, unused power inside that he will need to defeat Zeus, although the box is currently inaccessible due to it being sealed off and engulfed by the Flame of Olympus. Athena tells Kratos that in order to quell the Flame, he will need the box's namesake, Pandora herself. As Athena departs, Hermes reappears and provokes Kratos into chasing him, which he does. Along the way, Hermes childishly mocks and belittles Kratos for his lack of speed and his perceived stupidity. Although he is reasonably successful in providing chase, Hermes soon finds a narrow chain leading to the head of a large statue which Kratos cannot reach. Hermes speeds across the large chasm and makes his way to the top of the statue, telling Kratos to "keep up". Greatly underestimating the mortal, Hermes is soon knocked from his perch and severely weakened when Kratos uses a catapult to destroy the statue, also using his blades to attach himself to the catapult fodder after launching it, thereby allowing him to close in on Hermes. Kratos follows a leftover blood trail and eventually corners a now defenseless Hermes. The Spartan makes short work of the Speed God, who bitterly insults him for his lack of honor and the terrible things he has done. An unfazed Kratos grabs Hermes and slices off one of his legs, watching as the humiliated God attempts to squirm away before slowly approaching him and taking off his other leg. The loss of both of Hermes' legs results in his death, which causes a deadly plague to spread across the land, affecting all human, animal, and plant life.
Kratos takes Hermes' boots, using them to traverse wide chasms and proceed further into the halls of Olympus. Eventually arriving in an empty forum, Kratos encounters a drunken Hera, who orders his half-brother Hercules to destroy him while she watches from above. Hercules expresses his resentment towards Kratos, claiming that Zeus had always favored him, before stating his desire to kill Kratos (calling it his 13th and final labor) and claim the God of War throne for himself. Kratos tells Hercules that his aspirations are a waste of time, since the reign of Olympus is coming to an end. Hercules replies "we will see about that", before ordering his legions to attack Kratos. Easily besting his undead warriors, Hercules himself eventually joins the fray, using the Cestus he acquired from his conquest of the Nemean Lion to fight Kratos. After a long and brutal fight, Kratos rips all of Hercules' armor off before taking the Cestus away from him. Hercules then tries to best his half-brother using his bare hands and legendary strength, hurling portions of the forum wall at Kratos and eventually lifting the floor out from underneath him in the hopes of causing the Ghost of Sparta to fall to his death. Kratos uses the Cestus to climb back up onto the platform before punching it back down on top of Hercules, trapping him underneath. Kratos then beats his half-brother to death with the Cestus, mutilating and completely destroying his face before they both plummet to the sewers underground.
Later, he encountered a radiant Aphrodite and her handmaidens in the goddess' chamber. Aphrodite did not seem to care about Kratos' war on Olympus, and implored the Spartan to have sex with her. After some initial hesitation, Kratos indulged Aphrodite before using the nearby Hyperion Gate to visit Hephaestus, who sarcastically asked Kratos if his wife "had conquered another God of War". Kratos did not answer his question, telling him that it is a matter between Hephaestus and his wife, before questioning the Smith God on the whereabouts of Pandora. Hephaestus, knowing full well what Kratos intends to do with Pandora, demanded that he stay away from her, telling him that it's his fault that she is imprisoned in the Labyrinth, and the reason that Hephaestus was exiled to Hades. Kratos insists that he has never wronged Hephaestus, but the Smith God tells him that by opening Pandora's box in his quest to destroy Ares, Zeus became infected with Fear and surmised that Hephaestus was hiding something from him. Zeus tortured the Smith God until he confessed to the creation of Pandora, a key to the box which had taken on a life of its own, with Hephaestus loving her as if she was his own daughter. Zeus took Pandora away from him and banished Hephaestus to Hades. Seemingly unmoved, Kratos insists that he will stop at nothing to obtain his revenge. Hephaestus then decided that the only way to stop Kratos would be to send him on a suicide mission. To this end, he asked Kratos to retrieve the Omphalos stone (unbeknownst to Kratos, it is contained in the belly of the Titan Cronos), promising to make him a special weapon with it. Making his way through Tartarus, he finds the severed hand of Gaia resting in the palm of Cronos, who immediately accuses Kratos of murdering Gaia. Blaming him for the torment he now suffers in Tartarus (Zeus banished Cronos there after Kratos conquered the Temple of Pandora), Cronos attempts to kill the Ghost of Sparta. Initially attempting to crush Kratos between his fingers, the Spartan uses Helios' head to temporarily blind Cronos and escape death. Landing on Cronos' arm, he goes unnoticed by the Titan until he scales his arm and destroys a massive pimple. Cronos makes several more attempts to flatten Kratos with his hand, only to have one of his fingernails dislodged, causing great pain to the Titan. Scaling Cronos' hand, Kratos once again blinds the Titan before making his way to the belt that keeps Pandora's Temple chained to his back. Opening the belt, Kratos attempts to remove the crystal nail holding Pandora's Temple in place before he is grabbed by Cronos, who attempts to smash Kratos between his palms. Kratos survives, however, by plunging the Blade of Olympus into one of his palms, eventually making his way to Cronos' shoulder joint. Using a skinless Cyclops to damage Cronos further, the Titan decides to eat Kratos, who retrieves the Omphalos stone from his stomach before using the Blade of Olympus to escape from his stomach, spilling the Titan's entrails in the process. Cronos begs the Spartan to leave, as he now had what he came for. However, Kratos ignores his pleas and once again makes his way to Cronos' belt, dislodging the nail and driving it into Cronos' chin. Now in tremendous pain, Cronos calls Kratos a "coward" who "murders his own kin". Kratos then stabs the Titan in the forehead with a completely charged Blade of Olympus, killing him.
The corpse of Cronos collapses just above Hephaestus' lair, and Kratos angrily accuses the Smith God of sending him on a suicide mission. Hephaestus pleaded innocence, claiming that he knew Kratos could handle himself, before taking the Omphalos stone and forging the Nemesis Whip. Hephaestus then tried to electrocute Kratos with his Ring in a final attempt to kill him, shouting "Here is your retribution!". Kratos managed to shake off the effect and kill Hephaestus by impaling him on his own anvil. In his dying words, the Smith God begged Kratos to spare his daughter, as well as begging for Pandora's forgiveness, after which he passed away. Kratos appeared to bear no ill will towards Hephaestus for the sentiment behind his betrayal, however, as he later told Pandora that Hephaestus had done what any father should: protect his child.
Using the Nemesis Whip to make his way to the Gardens of Olympus, he encounters a depressed and drunken Hera once more. Blaming Kratos for the deterioration of her garden along with all other forms of life on Earth, she ineffectually strikes Kratos but is easily pushed aside by the Ghost of Sparta. She taunts Kratos by telling him that his simple mind will never find a way out of the garden, although he eventually does. Deeper into the garden, Kratos encounters Hera one more time, and she continues to express her hatred for him because of what he is doing to the planet. Eventually, she calls Pandora a "little whore", prompting Kratos to snap Hera's neck. Her death causes all plant life to wither and die.
Kratos returns to the Labyrinth and meets an imprisoned Daedalus, who is the Labyrinth's main architect. Zeus promised him that he would have his son Icarus back once he completed the Labyrinth, but instead imprisoned him in one of the Labyrinth's traps. Nevertheless, Daedalus continued to delude himself into believing that Icarus was still alive and that Zeus would come through. His hopes were ultimately crushed when Kratos revealed that Icarus was dead (although the Spartan neglected to mention that he was the one who killed him by ripping off his wings and allowing him to fall into Hades), causing Daedalus to sob uncontrollably. Soon afterwards, and despite Daedalus's pleas, Kratos pulls a lever in order to progress, ultimately setting off a trap that kills the poor inventor. Moments later, he rescues Pandora from the Labyrinth and takes her with him. Initially believing her to be nothing more than an object, she reminds Kratos so much of his daughter that he soon comes to care for her as his own child. With Pandora in his possession, he has one final task ahead of him: neutralize the Three Judges. To this end, he travels back to the (now completely abandoned) Underworld and severs the Chain of Balance, destroying the Three Judges in the process. Making his way back up to the Flame's chamber, he raises the Labyrinth so that Pandora's box can be accessed. However, Kratos begins to have second thoughts and refuses to let Pandora sacrifice her life. However, Pandora resists, stating that she does not want to be treated as a child and that she needs to embrace her destiny, only to be interrupted and apprehended by Zeus himself.
Kratos ordered Zeus to let go of Pandora, only for the King of the Gods to refuse and berate him over his apparent obsession with Pandora, referring to her as an "object". Zeus tells Kratos that he should not confuse Pandora with his own flesh and blood, but mused that he already had. He cites the destruction of Olympus as proof of Kratos' need for atonement before expressing absolute horror at his son's actions, telling him to look around at what he has done. Kratos, in turn, snarled that he only saw what he had come to destroy. Zeus then expressed regret over taking pity on Kratos, calling it the "greatest mistake" he has ever made, before telling Kratos that taking pity on Pandora would be his greatest mistake. Kratos angrily insists that it has nothing to do with her, with Zeus replying that it has everything to do with her. The increasingly agitated Spartan once again orders Zeus to put her down, to which he responds by callously tossing her aside. Father and son engage in battle once more while Olympus continued to crumble around them. Meanwhile, Pandora tried to run into the Flame, intent on pacifying it, although Kratos attempted to stop her. However, Zeus inadvertently provoked Kratos into letting her go by stating that he should not fail her like he failed his family, causing Kratos to attack Zeus in a fit of extreme rage.
Kratos then opened the Box once again, only to discover that it was empty. Zeus then mocked him for "another stunning failure" and went outside to recover, while Kratos' fury boiled even further. Outside, father and son met again on the pavilion. Zeus, overlooking the destruction his son has caused, mused that he would have a lot of work to do after defeating Kratos, who urged his father to face him in combat, stating "it is time to end this", to which Zeus agrees. But before either could claim victory, the platform suddenly began to tremble as a reawakened Gaia grabbed hold of the pavilion. Kratos expressed shock at her survival, only for Gaia to blame the Ghost of Sparta for the destruction of her planet (not realizing that Kratos and Gaia shared the same goal of destroying the gods, and that the destruction he caused would have happened anyway). She attempted to crush the pavilion between her hands, declaring that father and son would die together. Seeing no other exit, Zeus and Kratos were forced to enter the wound on Gaia's chest (still present from her battle with Poseidon) and dueled near Gaia's heart, sucking the life out of it. A rejuvenated Kratos managed to kill Gaia by impaling Zeus to her heart with the Blade of Olympus, which apparently also killed Zeus.
Awakening amidst the cracked earth, Kratos found Zeus' body impaled on a rock and extracted the blade. However, when Kratos tries to leave, Zeus' still active spirit, consumed by some lasting hatred for his infidel son and empowered by Fear, attacked Kratos, draining him of his willpower and anger, and instead filling him with fear and loss, bringing him to the verge of death. Trapped inside his own mind and tortured by his memories, Kratos was aided by the spirit of Pandora, who abolished the various torments of his soul. Overcoming these hurdles with Hope, Kratos returned to the physical world and managed to free himself from Zeus' choking grip. He then attacked Zeus' spirit, forcing it back into his own body, temporarily resurrecting Zeus. Kratos then cast aside his blades and charged Zeus, beating him to death with his bare hands, thus ending his reign once and for all and destroying Olympus.
Arriving to congratulate Kratos, Athena asked him to turn over the power he claimed from Pandora's Box, stating that mankind was now ready to hear her message. Kratos responded that the world now stands in ruin, and therefore whatever message she has is now useless. Athena once again tells him to give her what he found in Pandora's box, only for Kratos to tell her that the box was empty. Believing that Pandora had died in vain, only to serve his need for vengeance, Kratos was suddenly struck with remorse over her death, as well as the death of the world around him. Athena did not believe him, however, as when the evils of the Titanomachy were first sealed into the box, she placed the most powerful weapon in the world in the box to counteract the evils.
She ordered Kratos to return the power he had obtained, as she believed it rightfully belonged to her. For now that the world was cleansed by chaos, she would rebuild it under her rule, using the power of hope. Athena quickly came to realize, however, that when Kratos first opened the box to kill Ares, the evils infected the gods of Olympus, taking hold of them, whereas she initially believed that all of the evils went into Kratos. As the evils took hold of the gods, the power of hope instead infused itself into Kratos. Buried underneath all of the guilt, anger, and need for revenge, Hope was finally released when Kratos finally learned to forgive his past deeds, thus releasing its power.
Kratos, wracked with guilt over the world's destruction and realizing that he had nowhere else to go and nothing left to live for, committed suicide by impaling himself with the Blade of Olympus. As a result, the power of Hope was inadvertently released into the mortal world, angering Athena. The Goddess told Kratos that he disappointed her, to which he merely responded with a smirk and a faint laugh. She then pulled the Blade out of Kratos' body and disappeared, leaving a laughing Kratos to die.
In a post-credits scene, the eagle-engraved mural where Kratos' body lay was deserted, and a trail of blood is shown leading to the sea that now consumed the world.
Many years after the destruction of Olympus, Kratos now finds himself in Norway, the realm of the Norse gods. The reasons for his survival and the rebirth of the world are still unexplained, but he is shown to have fathered another child, a boy named Atreus and is teaching him how to survive. His demeanor is much calmer and more pragmatic than before, although flashes of his earlier rage-filled persona can occasionally be seen.
Weapons & Powers
As a demigod, Kratos possesses incredible superhuman strength and endurance beyond that of any mortal or beast, the exact limits of which are yet to be determined. His strength seems to fluctuate depending on the situation. He can subdue many large and powerful beasts and is capable of overpowering the Hydra, throwing the Colossus of Rhodes after it attempted to crush him beneath its foot, and preventing both Cronos and Atlas from crushing him. Feats of durability include falling from great heights and walking away unharmed, getting crushed, stabbed, beaten, blasted, and burned by various enemies and traps. Kratos also has useful skills that include climbing mountains and building, jumping great heights, and swinging on ropes to cross long gaps.
In his battle against Hercules, who is considered to be unrivaled in terms of sheer strength, Kratos proved capable of stopping his charges, forcing him backwards and enduring his powerful bear hugs without any ill effects, even breaking free from them and defeating him. Kratos also possessed the power to kill immortal gods. When Kratos loses in battle or war and is killed, he simply escapes the Underworld to Earth. Kratos can change his fate by manipulating or traveling in time.
Kratos has shown being able to rip off Helios' head, and rip creatures such as Undead Legionnaires, infected humans, monsters, and magical beings in half, using only his bare hands. It is presumed Kratos was born with his god-like strength and abilities due to being Zeus' demigod son. He might also be partially immortal and may have gotten stronger when he absorbed powers from the Gods. Kratos' form when he became God of War after killing Ares, Kratos stood roughly 500 or more feet tall, and possessed all powers of a God of War. It is possible he had acquired a permanent level of power and ability beyond even that of demigod from his constant trials and contact with different powers and magic.
In addition to his vast physical strength, Kratos also possesses superhuman agility, stamina, durability, endurance, reflexes and speed. He is capable of sensing danger and possesses great skills and accuracy with all forms of weapon and powerful magic. Kratos can also keep up with opponents who possess vast speed, such as Zeus who has the speed of lighting, Charon, Hermes, and Pollux and Castor who possessed Chronokinesis. He is also able to regenerate from most wounds at a fast rate, though he didn't regenerate from the scar on his stomach caused by the Blade of Olympus and the scar over his right eye caused by Ares for reasons unknown (maybe he can't fully regenerate himself from scars caused by gods' power). Due to these abilities, Kratos is able to defeat monsters, magical beings, Titans and even the Gods themselves. Kratos also possesses powerful resistance to most forms of attack and magic (ex: time manipulation, illusion, and soul manipulation) that would easily kill most humans or magical beings.
Before serving Ares, Kratos' main weapon was his sword. Under Ares' rule, Kratos' main weapons became the Blades of Chaos, a gift from Ares as a sign of his servitude. They are essentially two Falchion-like blades on long chains, permanently fused and seared to the wielder's forearms. Once Kratos killed Ares, Athena replaced them with a nearly identical pair of blades called the Blades of Athena, and then replaces them again in God of War III with the very similar Blades of Exile. Kratos displays proficiency with all of his weapons. It's implied that he learned many of his fighting skills from Ares and other gods, the former God of War himself. Initially, Kratos also had a massive Spartan army under his command, used both before and during his servitude under Ares.
Kratos, before and after becoming a God, gained many powers and weapons from the Gods. When he relinquished his old powers to the Blade of Olympus, he was given new powers by the Titans. Some of these powers resemble the abilities given to him by the Gods. The Blade of Olympus is one of Kratos' greatest weapons, as he has infused all of his godly power into it.
Although often defined by his brute strength, he also has a wisdom almost matching the goddess Athena as he managed to solve many puzzle throughout his journey, many of them create by famous architects like Archimedes, Daedalus or Pathos Verdes III as such he not only survived all the traps and creatures within but he also become the only one to break those challenges. He also managed to solve the Olympus' Garden puzzle which even Hera hadn't believed he could. Interestingly enough, Kratos, when he had godly power that can make him into a giant, such as when he fought in Rhodes, and similar to his empowerment against Ares, he seemed to prefer to use his normal mortal size to battle many powerful creatures and gods. Kratos also was wise enough to use the environment against his enemies, like using the bridge mechanic to kill a Kraken or using Gaia's heart to restore his health. The most notable event that proves his wisdom is when he manage to break out of Aegaeon the Hekantonkheires prison by using Megaera's anger toward him.
Kratos is the epitome of what a Spartan soldier is in that he is essentially made for battle. He is exceptionally tall, standing at a height between 6 to 7 feet, in which, due to his status a warrior, he is at his peak physical condition. Based on his facial features and voice patterns, one can assume Kratos' age is ranging from late 30s to early 40s (60s in the 2018 game).
Prior to the series' actual time of taking place he had tanned skin and a red tattoo going down the majority of his upper body and up to his face. On his face, besides the aforementioned tattoo, he has a scar on his right eye and a black goatee. The scar was caused by Ares, when Kratos was a child and tried to save his brother from the raid of Gods on Sparta. After killing his beloved wife and child, two of the few people he truly cared for, the village oracle bound their ashes to his skin to be forever a reminder of the horrible deed he committed on that day.
As a Spartan General prior to his service to Ares, Kratos wore Spartan hoplite armor and after becoming the new God of War he wore a very elaborately decorated piece of armor. By the end of God of War III, Kratos only wears a leather loincloth and armlets without the chains of the Blades of Exile.
As of God of War (2018), Kratos' appearance changes slightly. He appears older, with more wrinkles on his face. His goatee has grown into a bushy, full beard which covers half his face and has several gray hairs. His skin is still pale with his Spartan families ashes, and his tattoos have faded slightly. He retains the scar on his abdomen, however it is larger and less jagged than before, (possibly due to him stabbing himself at the end of God of War III). Also present are faded scars from where the chains from the blades were attached to his forearms.
Kratos' Affixed Ashes
|“||From this night forward, the mark of your terrible deed will be visible to all. The ashes of your wife and child will remain fastened to your skin, never to be removed.||”|
As Kratos attacked a village which worshiped the goddess Athena at the behest of his lord at the time, Ares, the Oracle who resided in the village warned the Spartan to not enter the Temple of Athena. Kratos, however, disregarded her warnings and slaughtered the people in the temple. After the massacre, Kratos had realized that he had not only murdered all in the temple, but he had unintentionally murdered his wife and child. As Kratos mournfully cradled the unmoving body of his dead wife, he discovered that Ares had orchestrated his family's death. After leaving the burning temple, the Oracle placed a spell on Kratos, a spell which caused the ashes of his wife and child to be forever affixed to his skin.
- Kratos: "By the Gods, what have I become?"
- Grave Digger: "Death. The destroyer...of worlds"
- ―Kratos and the Grave Digger.
Throughout most of the series (particularly later entries), Kratos is incredibly cruel, reckless, and destructive, willing to kill anyone who gets in his way, even innocent people. He is also shown to be generally incapable of accepting full responsibility for his actions, usually blaming the gods (especially Zeus, Ares, and Athena) for his suffering while ignoring or denying his own part in it. The memory of his misdeeds has driven Kratos to attempt suicide on at least two separate occasions.
Earlier on in the series canon, he is less callous towards the lives of others, albeit perfectly willing to sacrifice an innocent bystander when it is required of him. He also exhibits a deep sense of shame and horror at his reputation as the Ghost of Sparta. One example is when Kratos tries to convince a woman in Athens to give him a key, only for her to run away in terror and call him a monster; Kratos is visibly aghast by the fear and hatred others have for him. This shame was further demonstrated when he observed the massacres committed by Ares' minions, causing him to question what he had become. Moreover, in God of War: Ascension, his earliest canonical appearance, he genuinely mourns the death of Orkos and the Delphic Oracle, even giving Orkos a decent funeral pyre. In Delphi, when Castor orders the guards to remove Kratos from the Oracle's temple, Kratos spares them when they have the good sense to flee. On the island of Delos, he is merciful enough to push an innocent man out of the way of an incoming spear, whereas he would have most likely just let him die in later games. It is possible that Kratos had yet to develop the apathy for others' lives that would come with his later experiences, but this is not proven. He is also very libidinous and is shown to be sexually passionate with many women, although as stated by Gaia, he never found true happiness or comfort in these acts, with Lysandra being the only woman he ever loved.
Before and during the original God of War, Kratos was also very respectful towards gods and divine entities (with the exception of Ares and Persephone), to the point of calling them "Lords", although he did not fully trust them. As time went on, he became disillusioned with the gods and began to respect them less and less. At the end of his service to the gods of Olympus, when it became clear that they would never relieve him of his nightmares, he became openly defiant and hostile towards them, even after being made a god himself. He was also respectful to Gaia due to her helping him in his quest though he was skeptical as to why she was helping him. Following her betrayal, Kratos has lost respect for all divine beings as he later caused Gaia to fall to a presumed death and even called Hermes "a fly from the ass of Zeus" that wasn't worth fighting.
However, he is shown to care for Athena to some degree (and vice versa), with Kratos being more affected by her death than even Zeus, who seemed to care very little (if at all) about her death. He is also tolerant of Aphrodite and Hephaestus, since they are both indifferent (and in the latter's case, even somewhat supportive) to his war on Olympus. Further, it is likely that he felt a certain level of kinship with Hephaestus, as they share a mutual hatred of Zeus as well as intense pain over their lost daughters, although he is eventually forced to kill the Smith God when he tries to prevent him from reaching his daughter, Pandora. In spite of this, Kratos respected Hephaestus' desire to protect Pandora as he told her that her father died doing what any father should do protecting the life of his child. By the time of God of War III, Kratos is so blinded by rage and obsessed with killing Zeus that he does not notice, or care, that he is destroying the entire planet in his quest for revenge, coldly ignoring the warnings of Athena, Poseidon, Hera, and Zeus himself that his murdering of the gods would bring about the end of life on Earth. He does, however, express extreme guilt for what he has done to the world after killing Zeus, ultimately attempting suicide over it.
Kratos is shown to care deeply for his wife and daughter, with the memories of their deaths driving him to the point of madness. In fact, the one and only time Kratos is shown to be happy is when he briefly reunites with his daughter, Calliope, in Chains of Olympus. He also cared for his younger brother Deimos and his mother Callisto, with their deaths further contributing to his growing hatred for the Gods of Olympus. In addition, Kratos respected his fellow Spartans, including the Last Spartan who he encountered several times during God of War: Ghost of Sparta andGod of War II. When he learned of Sparta's destruction at Zeus' hand, Kratos was devastated and angrily demanded for Zeus to come down and face him at that moment. During his battle with Zeus at the end of God of War II, he declared that he would not let him destroy Sparta, demonstrating that he cared for Sparta and its people. In God of War III, Kratos grows attached to Pandora as she reminds him of his own daughter, even mistaking her for Calliope upon their first encounter, despite the fact that she's only an "object". He became filled with rage after Hera insulted her going as far to kill her to silence the goddess for good.
When Kratos encountered his half siblings or cousins, he merely ignored them or tells them to step aside, indicating that he at least does not harbor any particular hatred for them, but will kill them if necessary this was shown with his confrontations with Theseus and Hercules. Despite his war on Olympus, Kratos (at least initially) only truly desired the deaths of Ares and Zeus, and possibly Poseidon and Hades as well. For example, Kratos was legitimately interested, though understandably suspicious, when Helios offered to help Kratos as a way of repaying his debt, implying that Kratos would have spared him if not for his treachery. He also tries to ignore Hermes at first, viewing him as more of a pest than a serious threat, and only attacks him after incessant provocation.
After obtaining his revenge and siring another child sometime later, Kratos is shown to be more mellow, although he retains some of the rage he had before, sometimes bursting out at his son. However, he did this to discipline his son, and told him not to be sorry, but be better. He is also very well balanced in terms of being a father as he managed to restrain himself from truly hurting him. He forces Atreus, his son, to hunt independently to help develop him as a warrior, but forces him to stay out of battles he is not yet ready for.
In Greek Mythology
- "Kratos" means "Power" or "Strength" in Greek, likely a reference to Kratos' god-like physical strength or overall power in general.
- Though Kratos isn't a character in actual Greek mythology, there is a being in myth named "Cratos". He is the son of Pallas and Styx and he is the personification of strength and power. The mythical Cratos and the Kratos in-game, however, have vastly different loyalties, whereas Kratos is concerned only for himself and openly despises the gods, while Cratos is utterly loyal to Zeus.
- In Greek mythology, Cratos and Bia were commanded by Hephaestus to imprison Prometheus. Ironically, it was Kratos who released Prometheus from his imprisonment in God of War II.
In God of War Series
- Kratos is voiced by Terrence C. Carson from God of War to God of War: Ascension, and by Antony Del Rio as a child in God of War: Ghost of Sparta. Christopher Judge took over the role for the first PS4 God of War.
- According to a God of War III special feature, Kratos stands 8 feet tall.
- Kratos kills about one god in every game (a total of 14 gods), with the most notable exception being God of War III, where he kills a total of 7 gods.
- Kratos' family is shown to be the only people he has ever truly loved. The only time he has been seen smiling was when he found Calliope in the Underworld. Kratos was very distraught when he had to leave her once again. Later, when he encounters an illusion of his late wife, he begs her for forgiveness, something he has never been seen doing before.
- From God of War to God of War III, Kratos' tattoo gets thinner and thinner and changes slightly in design. In the first game, it stretches on his chest from close to his sternum to past his left nipple. In the second, it is closer to his nipple. In the final game, it doesn't cover his nipple at all. It should also be noted that his tattoo in God of War circled more of his left arm, but in the games afterwards, it does not
- It is clearly unknown why many characters even if they are fully aware of still call him a mortal as he is the son of Zeus, it could be that they didn't feel like calling him a demigod or that they used it to make him appear weak.
- During the flashbacks in God of War III to Kratos from the events of God of War, the character model for Kratos in God of War III is used instead.
- In God of War II, when Kratos is taken back in time by Atropos to his battle with Ares, his past self's tattoos are very faded in color, almost invisible, until the ending scene where he grabs the Blade of the Gods. Curiously, the tattoos are colored orange instead of red.
- Oddly, he also has the scar from where Zeus stabbed him, despite his battle with Ares occurring long before his fight with Zeus.
- In the Temple of Lahkesis in God of War II, Lahkesis speaks to Kratos through a statue of herself and tells him "only death awaits you in the end of your journey", which Kratos' apparent suicide at the end of God of War III seems to prove correct. However, in the final post-credits cutscene showing the site where Kratos fell, his body is missing, and a trail of blood leads to the nearby sea, leaving his final fate unknown.
- Developer Stig Asmussen has revealed that David Jaffe intended for Kratos to take on the Norse and Egyptian gods after having defeated Zeus and the Greek pantheon. His intention was confirmed with the release of God of War IV.
- By technicality, Kratos managed to free himself from his past in Chains of Olympus. When he gave up his weapons, powers, and abilities, Kratos' tattoo and pale skin were also removed, thus granting him amnesty. Unfortunately, he was forced to regain everything at the cost of his daughter, Calliope.
- In all of the main installments of the series, Kratos is killed at some point by impalement through his abdomen.
- Kratos killed both his mother Callisto (in Ghost of Sparta), and his father Zeus (in God of War III)
- Most of Kratos' actions during the series were driven by rage and vengeance, except when searching for the Ambrosia to save his daughter, when saving his brother Deimos ignoring any and all godly warnings and when trying to prevent Pandora from sacrificing herself in the Flame of Olympus.
- In the series, when Kratos encounters any of his brothers or half-brothers, he initially does not intend to battle them, but is ultimately forced to later on when they either provoke him or challenge him. Prime examples include both Perseus and Hercules.
- In early screenshots of God of War, Kratos' tattoo was in the shape of the omega symbol when it was seen on his head.
- Throughout the God of War series, Kratos casts himself off a ledge in the trilogy. Firstly, in God of War, when Kratos attempts to commit suicide at the end of the game. Secondly, in God of War II, when he plummets down to Rhodes in the beginning. Lastly, in God of War III when Kratos drops to the Underworld from the Labyrinth, and during his psyche, where he drops the hope lantern and plows into the Pool of Blood.
- Kratos' standard outfit appearance had little changes throughout the games. In God of War and God of War: Ascension, his hands were without any gloves, and he had nothing but white cloth between the chains and the skin of his arms. His skirt is the same as in later games in God of War: Ascension, but seems like it is new and undamaged. In Chains of Olympus, his skirt seems to be torn apart in some places, as in God of War, and you can clearly see his red gloves. As a God, in God of War II, with his god armor, the skirt is intact, just to be torn apart again after the Colossus of Rhodes smashed him and broke the armor, and the gloves are kept. The final outfit from God of War II is pretty much the same as the one in the sequel. Also, in God of War II and III, Kratos wears an red leather armlet beneath the chains in his arms. The only difference between the two games is that his skirt seem to be shorter in God of War III than that in God of War II.
- It is never clearly mentioned how long Kratos reigned as a god, but judging from the 4603 days of working on the Labyrinth, Daedalus has spent a total of 12.6 years working on it. This implies that 12.6 years has passed between God of War and God of War III.
- With this information, one can assume that Kratos was born between 510 ~ 500 BC and that God of War III finished around 460 ~ 470 BC, as he spent about 12 years as a god, 10 as a slave to Olympus, and even before, he fought at Eurybiades' side against the Persians and their King (probably Xerxes I), event that took place in 480 BC (approximately). Judging by his voice pattern and physical appearance, his age in God of War III is estimated around 40 ~ almost 50 years.
- Prior to being revealed to be the Marked Warrior who's the prophecy foretelling the end of Olympus would be at his hand, Kratos was said to be marked by many individuals. The village oracle who cursed him when she bonded the ashes of his family to his skin stated that the mark of his deeds would be visible to everyone and a spider he encountered during his quest to destroy the Ambrosia to stop the followers of Ares from reviving him stated the he is just a mortal marked with destruction. Kratos also took a tattoo identical to his brother birthmark.
- One of Kratos' most major characteristics is his always angry facial expressions. He is almost never seen smiling. However, in the ending of God of War: Ascension, it is the most explicit time in the series that Kratos appears to be extremely sad and desolate, judging by his facial expressions.
- Kratos fight style change through out the game as he become more and more experienced. In God of War: Ascension he uses the Blades of Chaos to perform grabs while in all other game he prefers to overpower his enemies by grabbing them with his hands. In God of War III, many of his moved are slightly faster than the older game. And also in God of War III he disarmed and acquired the weapons of 5 different gods/demigods, more than any other game, while in God of War: Ascension, he only uses his Blades of Chaos, the least of all the game (God of War: Ghost of Sparta he acquired the Scourge of Erinys and so is considered to having a godly weapon/power).
- Kratos makes a guest appearance in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. He fights with the Blades of Chaos, Blade of Olympus, Icarus Wings, and Poseidon's Rage.
- The God of War Armor makes an appearance in Heavenly Sword. On a mission with the character Kai, the player enters an armory with a display of her mother's skeleton.
One of the other displays is the God of War Armour with the Blades of Chaos underneath.
The inscription reads to the effect of "Armour of the Prince who stood alone against the Persian Army."
This was confirmed by Ninja Theory (the developer of Heavenly Sword) as accreditation to the God of War series for being such a heavy influence to their own production.
- In the 2008 The Simpsons Game a parody of Kratos can be seen in the background of a level on a billboard. The words "God of Wharf" are written next to a picture of a Simpsons-esque Kratos eating a bowl of chowder.
- Kratos makes a guest appearance in the PS3 golf game, Everybody's Golf: World Tour.
Playing with the 'Clubs of Olympus', a set of clubs with the club heads attached to chains, Kratos is portrayed being quite rude to his caddy, blaming all his bogeys and missed shots on The Sisters of Fate.
- The PS3 exclusive kart racing game ModNation offers Kratos, and his Kart of Chaos, as a playable character when pre-ordering. Kratos, along with other pre-order incentives, were made available worldwide.
- In 2009's Game of the Year LitteBigPlanet, there is a rare character costume of Kratos, as well as Medusa and Pandora's Guardian.
- Kratos appears in the PS3 version of the 2011 game Mortal Kombat, with his own set of moves, and a personal God of War battle arena. He is not, however, a part of the storyline.
- In the game Age of Mythology and its expansion, The Titans, there is a character named Kastor. Interestingly, his name can be arranged into Kratos. His background shares slight similarities to Kratos', as he too distrusted the gods and sided with the Titans while, unbeknownst to him, being used as a pawn. Kastor, like Kratos, is a figure in Greek myth, invaded Mount Olympus, released the Titans, and fought them after being betrayed. It's worth noticing that AoM and its expansion was released 2 years before the first God of War.
- However, there are some rather odd similarities between AoM and GoW. AoM main character, Arkantos is aided by Athena just like Kratos, Carole Ruggier also voiced Athena in AoM, both of them are general of their army and Arkantos is devoted to Poseidon as Kratos to Ares. Arkantos, not unlike Kratos, also escaped the Underworld and soon betrayed by the god they are devoted to and AoM Poseidon, just like GoW Ares, betrays his fellow gods because of envy and Arkantos fights and defeats the god that betrayed him and his people after being empowered by Zeus. (In this instance, Arkantos fights the statue of Poseidon is similar to Kratos fights Colossus of Rhodes, and he is given powers by Zeus to defeat it, just like Kratos is given the Blade of Olympus). Athena then makes Arkantos a god as Kratos is made one by the same goddess at the ending.
- Kratos is one of the playable characters in the multi-franchise fighter Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale, similar to the Super Smash Bros. series. Along with him, God of War-franchise member Hades also makes an appearance, albeit as a background character. Zeus also appears as a playable DLC Character in the game.
- In God of War: Ghost of Sparta there was a piece of artwork for a female version of Kratos, but this was possibly cut due to its nudity and voice acting.
- A God of War themed event was added in Destiny of Spirits, alongside advanced summons which had Kratos in it.
- Kratos appears in the PlayStation 3/4/Vita versions of Shovel Knight.
- Kratos was voted as the "Manliest Man in Video Games" by video game review website ScrewAttack.com. The website also pitted him against Spawn from the Spawn series in the popular series Death Battle where he ended up losing.
- 7-Eleven featured a Slurpee drink called "Kratos Fury" in a promotion for God of War III.
- David Jaffe showed interest in having Djimon Hounsou portray Kratos in the upcoming God of War film. With the film currently in development hell, there are no updates on Hounsou's possible involvement, nor on the film itself.