|“||By the Gods of Olympus and order of Zeus, we are the Three Judges. Face your final judgment, mortal. King Aeacus has found you wanting. King Rhadamanthus has found you worthy. It falls to me, King Minos, to make the final decision. Your future is cloaked in shadow. The realm of the afterlife is not yet ready for you. Beyond that door awaits your destiny.||”|
King Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanthus judge the heart of each soul that enters the Underworld. Souls deemed righteous were allowed to enter the Elysium Fields, while souls deemed as being evil were sentenced to the depths of Tartarus. They were the sons of Zeus and Europa.
Rhadamanthus was supposed to judge the souls of Asians, Aeacus those of Europeans, while Minos had the casting vote. (Plato, Gorgias, 524A).
God of War IIIEdit
Kratos encounters the statues of the Three Judges in the Underworld who judge him after Kratos completes three trials. King Minos deems that Kratos still has time left in the mortal world, and grants him access to a Hyperion Gate so that he may proceed on. Later on, the Judges grab the Chain of Balance, preventing Kratos from accessing the The Flames of Olympus. After rescuing Pandora from the Labyrinth, Kratos returns to the Underworld and smashes the Onyx on the back of their heads with the Nemean Cestus, killing them and releasing the Chain.
- Strangely enough, Kratos never encountered the judges before during his travels to the Underworld in God of War, God of War II, and God of War: Chains of Olympus. This may be due to the fact that in God of War, he escaped before getting a chance to be judged, in God of War II, he was rescued by Gaia before falling entirely to Hades, and in God of War: Chains of Olympus, he didn't enter the Underworld through death, he was led there by Helios' fire steeds.
- They decide where the souls of the deceased go to spend their eternity at the afterlife - Tartarus for the evil souls, Elysium for pure and heroic souls and Asphodel Field for neutral souls.
- The Judges deemed Calliope, Kratos' daughter worthy of Elysium, and assured her "it will be nice there".
- In Greek mythology, the Judges were mortals of flesh and blood, rather than statues. In God of War, supposedly after the kings died, they were made the Judges of Hades and had their souls contained within the statues. They only awaken when a soul enters their court to receive their final judgment.
- In The Inferno segment of Dante's Divine Comedy, King Minos plays the role of judge of the dead in Limbo, sentencing the damned souls to their proper Circle of Hell.
- Like the Jailers of Tartarus, they were once mortal.
- It seems that even Hades himself is unable to interfere with the judges' verdicts. Otherwise, when Kratos entered their court to receive his judgment, Hades could have simply instructed them to sentence him to Tartarus.
- It is likely that Hades wished to destroy Kratos himself, and let the judges pass on their verdicts so that Kratos can continue his journey.