In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena gave the hero Perseus a reflective mirror-like shield (Aegis), to help him fight and kill Medusa: by looking at the gorgon's reflection on the shield, and not directly to her eyes, Perseus wouldn't be petrified.
After Perseus concluded his quest, he offered the beast's head to Athena, who also took the shield back. Athena put Medusa's head into the shield magically, so that anyone who looked at her shield would be petrified. Thus, it became one of the most feared items of mythology.
In God of War IIEdit
In God of War II, Perseus used the shield in his fight against Kratos, after Kratos had destroyed his helmet. With the shield, Perseus reflected the sun's rays, and momentarily blinded Kratos. The shield was also able to withstand some of Kratos' melee attacks, being Perseus' final defense in battle, after Kratos destroyed both his helmet and sword. However, the image of Medusa's face on it isn't able to petrify its owner's enemies in the God of War Universe. Also, while using the sword with the shield, Perseus had much more difficulty to block attacks with it, and when using only the shield in battle, the strikes blocked by it still pushed the warrior back (mostly because the floor of the battlefield is completely covered by water), and eventually Perseus was pushed against a wall, damaging and stunning him for a short while.
After Kratos had killed Perseus, he took the shield, placing it on a statue to use it with the Golden Fleece to deflect the beams in the Courtyard of Atropos. The shield is left on the Courtyard, placed on the mentioned statue, and isn't seen or used again in the game.
God of War: AscensionEdit
The Shield of Perseus appears in the multiplayer mode of God of War: Ascension. It is present in the Bog of the Forgotten stage and is used to awaken the gorgon Stheno. During the match the gods will intervene and the shield will appear on one of the pedestals located around the map. Warriors have to first find the shield and them pull it from the ground (this process can be interrupted). After the Shield has been obtained the warrior can use it in battle (it works like a regular secondary weapon) and can awaken Stheno. To release the gorgon, the champion must stand underneath her gaze and reflect the beam back at the beast, which can also be interrupted. The shield disappears when she is awoken.
- Perseus was the one who killed Medusa in original Greek mythology, however, Kratos did the task in the first game, so it is odd that the shield had a head that resembled Medusa's one imprinted on it, as Perseus does not have any relation with the creature in the God of War universe.
- Another hypothesis is that Perseus actually killed Medusa in the God of War mythos, and she was actually resurrected by Ares in the first game to fight Kratos. In this case, the fact of the shield having Medusa's head imprinted on it would make sense.
- The shield is also used in the special attacks of the Sword of Perseus, a DLC weapon of Multiplayer. Both special attacks resemble moves used by Perseus himself against Kratos in God of War II, including the reflection of the sun light, which makes the user invisible in Multiplayer.
- The ultimate fate of the shield remains unknown: probably, it remained in the Courtyard of Atropos for years, but it is also possible that the gods or even the Sisters of Fate themselves took it back after Kratos left the place, due to the high valor of the item.