|“||The Oracle may have yet spoken truth. The Marked Warrior shall bring about the destruction of Olympus. Ares chose poorly that day. He took your brother when it should have been you. None of that matters now. Nothing you do is of your own choosing.||”|
In Greek mythology, Thánatos (in Greek, Θάνατος – "Death") was the daemon personification of death. He was a minor figure in Greek mythology, often referred to but rarely appearing in person. His name is transliterated in Latin as Thanatus, but his equivalent in Roman mythology is Mors or Letus/Letum, and he is sometimes identified erroneously with Orcus (Orcus himself had a Greek equivalent in the form of Horkos (Όρκος - "Oath"), God of the Oath).
In God of War Series
God of War: Ascension
Thanatos wasn't mentioned in the game itself, but it's curious to notice that, for being a Primordial god, it is very likely that he participated in their war, which was mentioned at the intro of the game.
The mentioned war was so vicious that almost all of the Primordials died during it, and Thanatos was one of its few survivors, which is also a proof of the great strength and power he possesses, even against other Gods. It is possible that, since many Gods were dying in the war and he is the God of Death, he was getting stronger at each time another God perished.
It is unknown how harmed he was in this war, however. If he gained any scars from the conflict, they are probably hidden under his clothes, and do not cause enough pain to stop him in a battle.
In the Multiplayer, when a warrior respawns after death, the announcer may sometimes say "Thanatos will have to wait".
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Thanatos was an ancient and fearsome God, who predates the cycle of death, the end of life, and is the reaper of all souls. He imprisoned Deimos, who was believed to be the Marked Warrior by Zeus, Ares, and Athena, after Zeus sent the siblings to capture him and hide the Spartan where he wouldn't be found.
After Kratos, Deimos' brother and the real Marked Warrior, killed Ares and became the new God of War, he was summoned by his mother Callisto, who told him his brother was alive. This started Kratos' quest to find his brother.
Kratos' search for his brother led him to realize where Deimos was imprisoned. At one point of the journey, Thanatos used a corpse as a medium, warning Kratos to not pursue his path any further. The Spartan eventually confronted and killed Thanatos' daughter, Erinys.
Finally, Kratos made his way into the Domain of Death, where Deimos angrily attacked Kratos for failing to save him from Thanatos all those years ago. In the final moment of the battle between Kratos and Deimos, Thanatos appeared, snatched Deimos from behind, then reminded Kratos that he had killed his daughter and that he would 'suffer for it'.
Thanatos flew down with Deimos to Suicide Bluffs (the location of Kratos's attempted suicide); Kratos followed behind determined not to lose Deimos again. As Kratos arrived, Deimos attempted to resist the God of Death, but was ultimately overpowered by Thanatos and knocked over the edge. Kratos rescued Deimos at the very last minute, finally made peace with his brother, and decided to jointly confront Thanatos.
Thanatos, seeing Kratos' tattoo in the shape of Deimos' birthmarks, realized that the prophesied "Marked Warrior," the warrior told to destroy Olympus, was not Deimos, but Kratos. He then remarked that Ares chose poorly not to take Kratos as his victim, then he cackled evilly and reminded Kratos that he was "nothing but a pawn in a game he doesn't know is being played". Both brothers ignored his mockeries and began to fight the God of Death.
During the battle, Thanatos fought Kratos and Deimos using his blade and took the form of a gigantic winged black dragon-like monster, similar to Erinys. In the heat of the battle Deimos saved Kratos from Thanatos' grip, only to be smashed into the rocks and killed. A furious Kratos attacked Thanatos, destroyed his monstrous thick armor and, mortally wounded, Thanatos reverted to his humanoid form.
Now with a weakened Thanatos, Kratos beat him down without mercy, only to be met with taunts. Kratos then grabbed Thanatos' cracked chest, opened it further and impaled him with his blades, ending his life. Before he perished, Thanatos taunted Kratos one final time by giving him a devilish grin before exploding into dust and light.
Later on, the mysterious Grave Digger revealed to Kratos he had become "Death, the destroyer of worlds."
Powers and Abilities
Being an entity older than the Olympians themselves, and the fact that very few gods nor mortals dared to enter his domain, Thanatos was a very powerful being.
His great power was enough to let him survive the war of the Primordials. He was probably responsible for the deaths of many Primordial gods which is an incredible demonstration of the fact he is strong enough to fight and kill other gods.
He is capable of manipulating dead bodies and use them as mediums. In fights he uses a long curved blade, which he uses with great proficiency for powerful combos. He, like Erinys, can reveal a pair of large wings to power his already deadly combos with aerial combat.
Thanatos is powerful enough to fight both Kratos and Deimos at the same time, and seemingly overpower them. He managed to separate the two of them with his blinding attack, and grab either of them with relative ease.
Thanatos can transform into a large powerful armored beast which, like Erinys, possesses a durable skin and is also capable of using a blast similar to that of his daughter's from his mouth, albeit much larger and powerful as the mere reflection of this attack is strong enough to knock Thanatos temporarily. As a being older than the Gods, Thanatos was immortal, possessing vast strength, vast stamina, vast durability, vast agility, regeneration, flight (due to wings), shapeshifting, vast speed, vast endurance and accuary.
- Shape Shifting (He can grow to an enormous hybrid beast)
- Super Strength (He is physically on par with Kratos in humanoid form, but much much stronger than Kratos and Deimos combined in his 2nd form)
- Dark Magic
- Extreme Durability (Kratos penetrated Thanatos with his blade and Thanatos took the blade out of his stomach and wasn't fazed)
- Possession over the dead
- Divine Light (He is able to produce light that is bright enough to temporarily blind 2 demigods)
- At the end of the Rage of Sparta soundtrack, Thanatos' name, or "death" in the English translation, is chanted by the choir repeatedly.
- Thanatos is the second son of Erebus and Nyx Kratos killed, the first being Charon.
- In Hesiod's Theogony, it is said that the Moirai (Fates) are the sisters of Thanatos, Charon, and Hypnos.
- Thanatos along with his sisters Hemera, Clotho, Lahkesis, and Atropos and brothers Hypnos, Charon and Aether are cousins of the Titans, Ouranos, and Typhon since Nyx and Gaia are sisters.
- When Thanatos turns into a giant monster, his head resembles The Skull of Keres.
- He seems to have a sour disposition towards Ares, as he called him "unwise", and even claimed that Ares chose poorly the day Deimos was taken. Despite this, Ares seems to have had the strongest relationship with Thanatos than any other god. Thanatos agrees to take Deimos from Ares, implying Ares is willing to enter the Domain of Death and the Skull of Keres is located in the Temple of Ares.
- In the in-game cinematics, his eyes are pale, whereas during gameplay, they are not.
- There may have been a reference to Thanatos in God of War III, when Kratos faces Zeus and tells him that "The hands of death could not defeat me." Although, he also could be referring to the events in the second game, where he escapes being dragged into the underworld, or possibly both.
- In Greek mythology, Thanatos had no children.
- At the end of God of War II, Kratos proclaims to Gaia, that both Ares and Athena were dead. He never mentioned the death of Thanatos. This may imply that Thanatos didn't choose sides during the Great War, so his death shouldn't make a difference or maybe because he is not an olympian.
- Thanatos is the first one in the series who mentioned the Sisters of Fate and also the first who planned to defy them as he proclaims to Kratos that the Fates wouldn't hold him from killing him. Additionally, this foreshadows the end of the game.
- After Kratos stabs Thanatos' chest, he had made a "girly" scream or possibly an error or the sound of the explosion.
- It is possible that Thanatos had a human lover, who gave birth to his daughter, Erinys. Although he may have reproduced asexually.
- Kratos reflected Thanatos' attack, although he does not possess the Golden Fleece or the Sun Shield. It is possible that the beam is weak enough to get reflected by the Blades of Athena or added at Kratos' godly powers.
- The Blade of Thanatos is available for download on the PSN store. This sword focuses on ranged attacks, instead of melee ones.