|“||After thousands of years, Pandora's Box was finally opened. The power of the Gods unleashed.||”|
Pandora's box is an artifact in Greek mythology. The "box" was actually a large jar (πιθος pithos) given to the Pandora. She was told not to open it by any means necessary, but, due to her ever-growing curiosity, she opened it and out of the vase came great evils which spread widely across the Earth.
However, before closing the box, Pandora also discovered a power called Hope in it. She then reopened it in an effort to aid mankind, and released Hope to the world along with many other evils.
In God of War SeriesEdit
God of WarEdit
The Box was created by Hephaestus, by the order of Zeus, to contain the Evils created by the Titanomachy. Knowing that no mere metal could contain the Evils of the world, Hephaestus forged the Box out of a Power greater than that of the Gods: the Flame of Olympus. The Flame, as lethal as it was beautiful, would kill all who dared touch it, therefore being the perfect safeguard for the Box. The key to pacifying the Flame was a child Hephaestus created from the flame itself - Pandora. Knowing that Zeus would take Pandora from him, Hephaestus tricked Zeus into believing that placing the Box on the back of Cronos would be the safest place, thus hereby saving Pandora, and condemning Cronos to a life of agony.
The brilliant architect, Pathos Verdes III, was tasked to build a temple to house the Box, ensuring that none would be able to reach it. Over time, he descended into madness, and the temple's puzzles grew more vicious and complex accordingly. He would eventually commit suicide, leaving the temple somewhat unfinished.
Although many would-be heroes and treasure seekers fell to the traps of Pandora's Temple seeking the Box, only Kratos would claim the powerful artifact in order to kill Ares. As he found it, however, it was immediately stolen by Harpies as Ares himself slew Kratos. The God of War then chained the Box to his wrist, threatening to unleash it on Olympus itself.
However, Kratos returned from the Underworld due to help of the mysterious gravedigger and reclaimed the Box from Ares using Zeus' Fury. At long last, he opened it and drew from its power, allowing him to meet Ares in battle and eventually kill him with the Blade of the Gods. That would seemingly bring the role of Pandora's Box to an end, but this would not be so, for the power of the Box would still rest in Kratos even after he became the new God of War.
God of War IIEdit
Unbeknownst to Kratos, the opening of the Box would have grave consequences on the world. After Pandora's Box was opened, the Evils of the Titanomachy escaped and infected the Gods, which caused them to become paranoid and power hungry. Zeus himself fell prey to his own Evil-Fear, causing him to begin his campaign to kill Kratos for fear of falling victim to the father-son cycle his own father started all those years ago. He grew obsessed with the prophecy that foretold the destruction of Olympus by mortal hands. Those fears seem to be accurate since Kratos was angry about the trick the Gods played on him, in which they forgive his crimes, yet didn't remove the nightmares. However, despite all these fears and reasonable thoughts, it would be Zeus's actions that would cause Kratos to want to act out of revenge.
In God of War III, it was revealed that this Fear also motivated Zeus to confront Hephaestus about how Kratos retrieved the Box from the seemingly-unassailable hiding place atop Cronos. Beating the Smith God horribly, he learned of Pandora's role as a key to the Flame of Olympus-the true safest place to hide the Box-and took Pandora away from Hephaestus while turning him into a crippled monster and leaving him in the torment of The Forge. Also in God of War III, it revealed that Zeus feared that Kratos would seek help from Cronos and so Zeus banished Cronos to the Pit of Tartarus.
Pandora's Box is never really seen or mentioned in God of War II, but its role in corrupting the Gods sets the stage for the game, as fear of Kratos led to Zeus' attempt to kill him, in turn spurring Kratos to seek vengeance on the King of the Gods, the Olympians of the Mortal World, and eventually destroy Mount Olympus.
God of War IIIEdit
Pandora's Box plays a central role in God of War III, where Kratos again seeks it in order to gain power to kill Zeus and destroy Olympus. Along the way, he confronts and destroys most of the infected Gods, causing the Evils within them to be released into the world as plagues or disasters. Kratos eventually discovers the Box, placed within the Flame of Olympus, and is told by Athena's spirit to seek out Pandora, in order to calm the Fires.
Eventually after killing many Gods, and reaching the Chamber of the Flame next to the Throne of Mount Olympus, Kratos succeeds in dispelling the Flame (fighting Zeus and sacrificing Pandora in the process), but finds the Box to be empty, which causes Zeus to mock Kratos for "another stunning failure". This revelation only strengthened his rage and desire for vengeance on Zeus, and he eventually fought Zeus again and, with the Blade of Olympus, struck what seemed to be a fatal blow on the King of the Gods while inside the Titaness Gaia, which also killed her. However, Zeus released a ghost-like projection of himself from his body, which began attacking Kratos with a powerful blast that knocked all of his weapons and armor down and then by infecting him with Fear, the same Evil that corrupted the King of the Gods, thus forcing him to feel the fear and pain of his many victims, as well as his own, long-buried guilt over all of the terrible things he had done in his life like killing his wife and child and killing Athena.
As Zeus' spiritual image attacked Kratos and infected his mind, the Spartan withdrew into his own psyche, guided by the spirit of Pandora. After absolving himself of his sins, he was able to unlock the power Athena had told him to find, symbolized by his astral self opening Pandora's Box, and used it to kill Zeus for good and thus the Lighting of the World is unleashed.
Shortly after Zeus' death, Athena revealed that years ago when Zeus gathered all the Evil and trapped them in the Box, she placed the "most Powerful weapon in the world" in the Box, the Power of Hope, to counteract the Evils in case it was opened again (she later revealed that she anticipated on the moment that Pandora's Box would be opened). The first time Kratos opened the box, Athena believed the power of Hope to remain inside, while Kratos drew from the Evils. In truth, however, Athena realized that Kratos had actually accessed Hope, while the Evils corrupted the Gods including Zeus which caused him to be obsessed with Kratos's death. Until his confrontation with Zeus, Kratos had been unable to use the Power freely, because it was trapped beneath his overwhelming hatred and guilt and the sins and failures of his past, but now that it was freed, she could reclaim it and use it to reshape the world. In response, however, Kratos impaled himself on the Blade of Olympus and released Hope to the world, completing the escape of the powers once held in Pandora's Box.
According to Athena and Hephaestus, Pandora's Box contains the Evils of the world, created in the wake of the Titanomachy. Exactly what this means is never truly explored, but this does not appear to encompass all of the world's flaws; ample amounts of anger, cruelty, and other negative traits are apparent in the series long before Kratos opens the box.
However, Athena claims that the Evils within the box could destroy the world if left unchecked, implying that the powers within Pandora's Box may be extremely potent versions of natural negative traits, focused to unnaturally destructive levels by the widespread violence of the Titanomachy.
- Anger/Violence - Poseidon: Acts and fights Kratos in extreme anger and rage for his crimes, like the destruction of Atlantis, his beloved city, caused by Kratos when he released Thera. In a note left for his princess in Poseidon Chamber that appeared in God of War III, he also apologizes for making her the subject of his rage, which shows how he had been very angry during this period but realizes this (something his brethern didn't). Poseidon, in his letter, also doubts that Pandora, a child, deserved such cruelty and that Zeus is no longer the brother he once knew.
- Mischief/Pride - Hermes: Takes pride in his own speed and mocks and bullies Kratos about his lack of speed and brutality.
- Pride/Deceit/Slander - Helios: Acts proud and later, when defeated, pleads to Kratos to spare his life; and tries to trick Kratos into entering the Flame of Olympus by lying to him. Helios also says that Hephaestus, the one who told Kratos not to believe him and that the Flame kills all who touch it, is a freak that was exiled from Olympus, representing the evil or sin of Slander.
- Gluttony/Sloth - Hera: Behaves in a lazy, unenthusiastic way and drinks alcohol casually. Also became obsessed with having Zeus' illegitimate children killing each other off in gladiator style fights.
- Fear/Obsession/Treachery - Zeus: Behaves in a paranoid manner, and becomes obsessed with killing Kratos for fear of being overthrown. Also he betrayed a lot of his family members, using them more as pawns then as brethern in the fight against his son. Though later on in the final battle, he was freed by the evil when Kratos was beating him to death.
- Greed/Selfishness - Athena: Tries to usurp the Power of Hope from Kratos in order to use it for herself to become the only Goddess. This Evil is only shown when she was a spirit.
- Hate/Rage - Hades: Hates Kratos in a very irrational way, perhaps for having killed his wife, Persephone. This hatred then grows when Kratos kills Hades' niece, Athena, and Hades' brother, Poseidon.
- Lust/Vanity - Aphrodite: Controlled by carnal desires, she turns her handmaidens into sexual slaves by her powers and even helps Kratos only for pleasures with him. Her sexual obsession blinded her for problems of the rest of the world. She also deems her husband, Hephaestus "worthless" and constantly cheats on him with multiple men and women. However, these traits might not be from the plague and instead may be natural traits, since she is the Goddess of Sex and Pleasure, however, it could that the plague emphasized her traits or it had infected her servants before reaching Aphrodite.
- Envy/Jealousy - Hercules: Full of jealousy and resentment for Kratos for the way they both did penance for the Gods, but Kratos has more fame than he does, resulting in Hercules wanting to take the title of God of War for himself.
- Misery/Deceit - Hephaestus: Full of sadness and depression after Zeus tortured and disfigured him and took Pandora away from him and forced him to work in the Forge, then, in order to protect Pandora from Kratos, lied about helping Kratos in his quest to kill Zeus and then sent Kratos on a suicide mission to bring the Omphalos Stone from Tartarus (which still resided in Cronos' stomach) so Hepaestus could build Kratos a new weapon: the Nemesis Whip. However, Hephaestus tried to use the new weapon as a conduit of electricity to kill Kratos with his ring.
- Hope (Kratos): Obtains the Power of Hope to kill Zeus and the Gods and destroy Olympus and has his eyes opened to the chaos he ended up causing.
- Hope (Pandora): Pandora tells Kratos that "As the fear in the Gods rose, mine was replaced by Hope". She was referring to the time that Kratos opened the box to kill Ares, the fallen god of war. It was this Hope that helped her to endure the loss and the torture of her father and her prison in the Labyrinth until she was rescued by Kratos.
- Hope (Athena): While she never actually used the Power herself, she was the one who placed the Power within the Box along with the many Evils fearing the time of when it would be opened. And, after she was consumed by Greed and thus killed Kratos with the Blade of Olympus after the Spartan sacrificed himself to release Hope to the world, in the end maybe the Goddess' spirit finally found Hope and with it, peace.
- God of War III: Ultimate Edition was made available in a scaled replica of Pandora's Box.
- Pandora's Box, along with Olympian-forged weapons (such as the Blade of Olympus, the Blade of the Gods, and the Gauntlet of Zeus), are the only known ways for a mortal to kill a God. Pandora's Box gives whoever opens it the powers to slay a God (along with other abilities, such as increasing their size dramatically) but it is the weapons that allow a human to truly kill a God.
- It is possible that since Pandora was created to extinguish the Flames of Olympus and thus making Pandora's Box reachable, Pandora was almost a "key" not only to the Powers inside of it but what the powers do and how to use them, as she explains them to Kratos.
- Pandora's Box's depiction in God of War shows the lid has visages of tormented souls on it. In God of War III, it was replaced with images of emaciated hands and horned demons.
- In mythology, the Gods used the Evils of Pandora's Box to punish humanity for Prometheus' crime of giving fire to the mortals, creating the first human female - Pandora, and ensuring that she would eventually open the Box to bring about Man's downfall. In the game, the Evils are seen as a threat to both humanity and the Olympians, and thus are sealed to never again bring harm to the world; Furthermore, the background story also provided an origin for where the Evils came from - The Great War, unlike the original myths, which never stated where they were created or how they came to be. In an ironic inversion of the original myths, it is a mortal (Kratos) who unleashes the Evils upon the Gods, rather than the other way around.
- Additionally, the leveling-up screen's background in God of War III contains designs found on the Box.
- In Greek mythology, Pandora's Box was actually a Greek storage vase known as a pithos. In Roman mythology however, it was a box. Furthermore, due to most people knowing it in the Roman myth, it was possibly made into a box and not a pithos in the game.
- It is clearly unknown how Zeus was freed by the Evil, Fear from Pandora's Box when Kratos was beating him down as the other Gods were killed but weren't seen being freed by the Evils, though a possibility is that when Kratos achieved the power of Hope he was able to dispel Fear from Zeus.
- The only individuals who didn't seem to be affected by the Evils of Pandora's Box (that Kratos accidentally released) were Ares, Thanatos, the Titans, Gaia, Athena (when alive) and the Sisters of Fate.
- It is possible that Ares just didn't live long enough after the opening of the box to showcase any traits of an evil.
- The reason why Thanatos, Gaia, and Sisters remain unaffected, could be cause they are Primordials.