God of War Ragnarok is almost here, and will continue the tale of Kratos and his son, Atreus. The previous game was a fresh slate for the Ghost of Sparta who, after conquering the Greek pantheon in the original trilogy, travels to the Norse realms to start a new life. Of course, things don’t stay peaceful forever, and Kratos is forced to engage with the Nordic lands and its inhabitants. It’s a great story full of major twists and turns, and it’s worth getting up to speed on all the details ahead of the sequel’s arrival.
In preparation for God of War Ragnarok, we’ve recapped the entire story of God of War. Here you’ll find a full rundown of all the major beats in the epic adventure to jog your memory and get in the mood for the new entry. It goes without saying that this feature contains full story spoilers for God of War. If you’ve somehow clicked on this and don’t want any story details, scroll no further! Let’s waste no time — there’s a big ol’ story to go over. Hope you’re sitting comfortably.
God of War: The Greek Era
Before we get into the nitty gritty of God of War 2018, it would be remiss to ignore Kratos’ exploits in the original three games. We won’t be going into crazy detail here, but it’s useful to have this context as we move from the Greek era to the Norse era. Those first games were pretty formative for Kratos’ character, after all.
God of War (2005)
When God of War begins, Kratos is seemingly a mortal human. He’s captain of a Spartan army, an expert fighter, and a relentless soldier, though far from invincible. In one fateful battle, he’s about to be overpowered and killed, but a last-minute cry for help changes him for good. Realising defeat is imminent, Kratos shouts: “Ares! Destroy my enemies, and my life is yours!”
With this, Ares — the Greek god of war — descends from Olympus and does as Kratos asks, eliminating the threat to his life. However, with gods, nothing is handed out for free. Kratos pledged his life to Ares, and to symbolise his servitude, the god gives him the Blades of Chaos. These deadly weapons, attached to long chains, are permanently fused to Kratos’ arms. With the Blades, he slaughters whomever Ares tells him to, gradually turning Kratos into a savage killing machine.
The god of war orders his pawn to raid a village worshipping Athena. Blinded by his bloodlust, Kratos kills many people, only to realise that his own wife and daughter are among the victims. It’s revealed that Ares transported them to this village so Kratos would kill them, removing his human attachments to the world so he can focus on becoming the ideal warrior. This, understandably, makes Kratos very, very angry. As he leaves the burning village, an oracle — who warned him bad things would happen — binds the ashes of his family to his skin as a reminder of what he has done. This earns him the nickname Ghost of Sparta.
Kratos spends the next 10 years serving the gods of Olympus in the hope that his loyalty will free him from his nightmarish plight. Eventually, Athena gives Kratos an opportunity; kill Ares, and all will be forgiven.
To kill a god, he’ll need Pandora’s Box which, when opened, will bestow enormous power. After finally finding it, Kratos is killed by Ares and sent to the Underworld. Seeking revenge and aiming to fulfil Athena’s mission, he escapes Hades’ realm and confronts Ares with the power of Pandora’s Box. Athena gives him the Blade of the Gods for this final battle, and with it, he finally vanquishes Ares.
Athena tells Kratos all is forgiven, but that the memories and nightmares of his bloodied past will remain with him. Capping it all off, the dejected Kratos is crowned the new god of war.
God of War II
Kratos is spiteful and reckless in his godhood, picking fights and spreading war needlessly. Despite the other gods’ wishes, he joins a fight in the city of Rhodes. Disguised as an eagle, Zeus saps Kratos of his godly power, which is then given to an enormous bronze statue. Zeus appears as himself to give Kratos the Blade of Olympus, and tells him to use his remaining power to defeat the Colossus of Rhodes. After doing so, Zeus reveals his trick to weaken Kratos, and ultimately kills him.
Of course, Kratos doesn’t actually die. He’s saved by Gaia, one of the ancient titans, who explains how Zeus betrayed the titans. She tells him to find the Sisters of Fate in order to revert back to the moment Zeus kills him so he can take revenge.
Kratos meets other titans like Prometheus, Typhon, and Atlas in his search for the Sisters. Eventually finding them, they tell him Zeus has destroyed his old home, Sparta. They refuse to help Kratos, and attempt to change fate so he loses his fight with Ares. Kratos isn’t having that, of course — he kills them and takes their Loom of Fate.
With this, he travels back to his confrontation with Zeus, now fully powered up, and almost kills him. Athena intervenes, and is impaled by the Blade of Olympus in the process. She reveals Zeus is in fact Kratos’ father, and that the god’s intention of killing his son was to prevent himself from being overthrown.
Using the Loom of Fate one last time, Kratos travels all the way back to the moment the titans were defeated by Zeus. He saves them, brings them all back to the present, and they all head towards Olympus for one epic finale.
God of War III
Kratos is seriously peeved by this point, with several of the Greek gods betraying him or lying to him. With the titans on his side, he wages war on the remaining gods, defeating Poseidon with Gaia’s help. Zeus of course intervenes, attempting to prevent the invaders from climbing his mountain. Gaia reveals she’s not really Kratos’ ally, and has been selfishly using him in order to exact her revenge on the gods. The Ghost of Sparta once again takes a tumble into the Underworld.
There, he encounters the spirit of the deceased Athena, who says the only hope is to overthrow the gods and extinguish the Flame of Olympus. Using the freshly retrieved Blade of Olympus, Kratos kills Hades, escapes the Underworld, and begins a rampage that results in the death of basically the entire Greek pantheon.
With the help of Pandora, the Flame of Olympus is put out, and the only thing left to do is defeat Zeus. During the battle, Gaia appears to try and kill them both, but Kratos ultimately bests the deceitful titan and his father. Athena appears once more, and says opening Pandora’s Box to kill Ares unleashed an evil that infected the rest of the gods, and that he needed to return its power so she could restore order. Kratos is distrustful of this revelation, as you might imagine, and refuses to cooperate, instead stabbing himself with the Blade of Olympus and relinquishing his powers. This restores Greece, which had been suffering in the wake of all the chaos.
Kratos appears to die, but obviously doesn’t. A post-credits scene shows he has disappeared.
Now we move to the main attraction. Kratos, who has now eliminated the Greek gods entirely, spends an undisclosed amount of time travelling, eventually settling in the frosty, harsh lands of Norse mythology. He attempts to leave his violent past behind him, and resolves to live a human life despite his godly power. Kratos, hiding the fact he’s a god, meets Faye, who hides the fact she’s a jotun (or giant). The pair marry and have a son, who they name Atreus. Also, Kratos is now rocking a seriously impressive beard.
A Funeral and a Stranger
The game begins on a sad note. Faye has passed away, and her last wish is for her ashes to be scattered from the highest peak in all the realms. A mourning Kratos cuts down a specially marked tree, which he then prepares for Faye’s cremation. In the meantime, Atreus offers a prayer and some final words to his mother. Her body is set alight, but Atreus notices her knife and takes it from the fire. This burns his hand. Kratos dresses the wound and, giving his son the knife, the pair go hunting so Atreus can prove himself ready for action.
What’s made clear is the complicated nature of Kratos and Atreus’ relationship. The Ghost of Sparta is a cold, distant, and strict father figure. Atreus was ill in his early years, and has slowly been regaining his strength, but the result is that Kratos thinks of him as weak. With Faye now gone, the pair are forced to deal with each other. Kratos must fully step into his parental role and take care of Atreus, who is respectful yet fearful of his father.
Anyway, they find a deer, but it runs away. Tracking the animal, the pair are attacked by draugr, which have ventured closer to their home than normal. Eventually, they find the deer and Atreus successfully hits it. Following the trail of blood, Kratos and Atreus are met with a large, aggressive troll. They fight and kill it. Atreus slashes at the troll’s corpse, letting out his anger. Seeing his past self in this behaviour, Kratos scolds the boy, telling him he’s not yet ready to fulfil his mother’s dying wish.
Returning home, Kratos gathers Faye’s ashes into a pouch, giving his last goodbyes. He enters their log cabin home and attempts to teach a frustrated Atreus a lesson about rage — using it as a weapon and a strength rather than letting it make one careless.
Suddenly, they hear a man’s voice from outside. He calls for them to come out, as he “knows what they are”. Ensuring Atreus is hidden away, Kratos steps outside to greet the stranger. This man, who we later learn is Baldur, comments he thought Kratos would be bigger. He attempts to goad the Ghost of Sparta into a fight, shouting and hitting him repeatedly. Despite Kratos’ warnings, Baldur refuses to leave, and so he smacks the Norse god down. Baldur returns the punch with an uppercut so powerful it sends Kratos barrelling through the air and over the house.
An intense, fierce battle ensues between the two formidable gods. It’s really cool. Eventually, Baldur reveals he can feel no pain, and that he was sent by Odin to the house to find answers. Kratos ultimately defeats him by snapping his neck. Exhausted, he goes back to the house to retrieve Atreus. With their location no longer safe, they’re forced to begin their journey to the mountain immediately.
The Witch of the Woods
As Kratos and Atreus ascend a snowy mountain trail, they notice some sort of magical barrier in the distance, broken where Kratos had cut down the tree marked by Faye. This was, presumably, how Baldur and those pesky draugr got so close.
The pair cross paths with Brok, a blue dwarf who claims to be partially responsible for making the Leviathan axe — the weapon Kratos wields in the game, initially belonging to Faye. He pledges to make the axe stronger whenever necessary.
Further down the path, Atreus spots a mysterious-looking boar ahead. Wanting to show his skills with a bow, he aims and fires at the beast, but it’s unharmed and runs off. They track it down and Atreus shoots again, this time piercing its hide. Excited, the boy runs ahead. When Kratos catches up, Atreus is in the company of a woman, telling him off for trying to kill the animal. Known as the Witch of the Woods, she enlists the pair’s help in remedying the boar’s wound.
At her home — which happens to be underneath a giant tortoise — she sends Atreus out to get some supplies. Alone with Kratos, she tells him she knows his and the boy’s true nature — that they’re gods — and questions the father’s choice to hide this fact. She warns they will be in trouble if the Norse gods discover them. With the remedy for the boar made, the Witch of the Woods gives the pair special marks that will apparently hide them from the gods.
The Lake of Nine
Passing through a shortcut from her home, Kratos and Atreus find a small boat and row out into the enormous Lake of Nine. They discover a message written in a language only Atreus understands. It instructs them to sacrifice their weapons to the water. Kratos throws his axe into the lake, which wakes up Jormungandr — the World Serpent.
The gigantic creature returns Kratos’ axe, and as it rises from the lake, the water level drops dramatically, revealing Tyr’s Temple — a key location throughout the remainder of the story. There, they meet Brok again and open up a path to continue their journey up the mountain. It’s not long before Sindri, Brok’s estranged brother, is introduced, who also offers to upgrade the axe.
Further up the trail, Kratos and Atreus’ path is blocked by a strange, black smoke. The Witch of the Woods appears, and explains this barrier can only be cleared using the light of Alfheim, the realm of the light elves. Returning to Tyr’s Temple, she leads the father and son to a special room in which they can travel between realms. She gives Kratos a Bifrost, with which he can travel to each realm and also capture the light of Alfheim.
As Kratos, Atreus, and the Witch of the Woods enter Alfheim, she is forced to return to Midgard, and tries to warn the pair about the light. Ahead, the pair see the light and dark elves of the realm at war. They’re forced to fight their way through the battling creatures in order to reach the realm’s special light.
Kratos gives Atreus the Leviathan axe and enters the light. Inside, he sees a vision of Atreus talking to Faye about Kratos’ distant behaviour. This doesn’t last long, though — the Spartan is pulled from the light by his son, who lambasts him for staying inside for so long. Kratos argues he’d only been a few moments, but it’s clear Atreus has had to fend off numerous dark elves in the meantime. With the light of Alfheim captured in the Bifrost, Kratos imbues Atreus’ bow with its power, and the pair head back to the temple. The king of the dark elves doesn’t make it easy, though, forcing the pair into another scrap.
As they go back to the temple, Atreus asks Kratos if he saw Faye in the light, and asserts he wouldn’t care even if he had. This triggers an argument between them, in which Kratos says he grieves in his own way.
The pair return to Tyr’s Temple and Midgard so they can continue their ascent of the mountain. Kratos uses the Bifrost to clear the black smoke, and they carry on up the path. However, they eventually come face to face with a large, lightning-spewing dragon. The scene erupts back to the outside, where Kratos defeats the dragon with Atreus’ help. Sindri, who had been under attack from the dragon, thanks them for their help and gives Atreus some mistletoe arrows. Kratos uses one of the dragon’s teeth to give Atreus’ bow lightning powers.
Once again, the pair head up the mountain. Kratos repairs Atreus’ quiver strap using one of the mistletoe arrows.
As they approach the summit, they see Baldur and two others talking to a mysterious man stuck inside a tree. Hiding out of sight, they overhear Baldur asking where Kratos and Atreus are heading, but the man doesn’t know.
Once they leave, the pair meet the man in the tree, who says he is Mimir, the smartest man alive. Mimir tells them the highest peak in all the realms is not this mountain at all. The mountain they seek is in the realm Jotunheim, that of the giants. Unfortunately, only one bridge to the realm still exists, and it’s protected by a rune only giants understand.
Mimir offers to help them find and speak with the last remaining giant in Midgard. He orders Kratos to cut off his head and take it to the Witch of the Woods, who will be able to reanimate him. Before Kratos does this, Mimir warns him he shouldn’t keep his godly secret from Atreus for much longer. With the head cleaved from Mimir’s shoulders, Kratos ties it to his belt, and they head back to the Witch of the Woods.
Freya and the Last Giant
Back at her house, the Witch of the Woods demands that Atreus hand over his mistletoe arrows. She promptly throws them in the fire and explains how dangerous they are. Next, she helps bring Mimir’s head back to life. He recognises the Witch of the Woods by her real identity — Freya, a goddess and Odin’s ex-wife. Kratos is angry that she kept this from them, though she quickly points out the hypocrisy. Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir leave her home and head back to Tyr’s Temple.
Here, Mimir says he can speak with the last remaining giant, which turns out to be the World Serpent. After summoning the beast by sounding a large horn, Mimir and Jormungandr speak. The giant then rotates Tyr’s Temple to align with where they need to head next. To travel to Jotunheim, they will need to find a special chisel with which they can carve the rune to open the bridge.
Magni and Modi
Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir continue on to find the corpse of the giant Thamur. They climb the giant’s hammer in order to release it from its chains and smash through the icy floor. The group makes its way towards the chisel, but before they get much further, they’re confronted by the two men accompanying Baldur earlier — Magni and Modi, the sons of Thor.
Ordered to put a stop to Kratos and Atreus, a fierce battle commences. After trading blows, Modi angers Atreus by speaking ill of his mother. Kratos defeats Magni, and Modi runs off in fear. After the battle, Atreus collapses from his affliction, but quickly walks it off. They carry on, ultimately finding the chisel. Kratos breaks off a piece for himself, and Mimir warns there will be repercussions for killing one of Thor’s sons.
Unperturbed, Kratos and Atreus head back to Tyr’s temple, where they enter Tyr’s vault, looking to find the rune required to get to Jotunheim. Inside the vault, they’re ambushed by Modi, who subdues Kratos. He then taunts them, once again insulting Faye and angering Atreus. The boy springs at Modi who simply bashes him to one side with his shield. Atreus’ true nature as a god begins to peek through: a Spartan Rage-like effect takes him over for a couple of seconds before he collapses to the floor. This enrages Kratos, who overcomes Modi’s trap and injures him, sending the god running off yet again.
Still a Monster
Kratos carries Atreus back to Freya in the hopes she can revive him. As he approaches, he hears someone call the World Serpent with the horn, though it is never revealed who did this. At Freya’s, she explains his godhood is fighting within him, and that Kratos keeping it a secret is to blame for it making the boy unwell. To help Atreus, Freya says Kratos will need to travel to Helheim — the realm of the dead — and retrieve the Bridgekeeper’s heart. However, because the realm is so cold, the Leviathan axe’s icy attacks will do little harm to any threats there. Kratos will need to use something else — perhaps something fiery?
Knowing exactly what he must do, Kratos leaves Atreus with Freya and travels all the way back to his log cabin home. On the way, the spirit of Athena appears before him, taunting him as he recalls his bloodied past. Back at home, he finds what he’s after — the Blades of Chaos, the weapons Ares bound to his flesh all those years ago. As he stares at the weapons, Athena appears again, saying he hasn’t changed despite his efforts, and that he’ll always be a monster. Accepting this, he states he’s at least not her monster any more. What a badass.
With the Blades back on his arms, Kratos heads back yet again to Tyr’s Temple.
Kratos travels to Helheim, which is the Norse realm of the dead. It’s in a permanently frosty state, and so his Blades of Chaos slice through the icy enemies with ease. Mimir remarks the realm is seeing an unusually high number of souls passing through its gates.
Kratos battles his way to the Bridge of the Damned, where he then fights and kills the Bridgekeeper. He needs the creature’s heart in order to revive Atreus, and so he removes it, with a look of shock and remorse at this bloody deed. Before he leaves the realm, he spots a large illusion of Zeus, his father, in the sky. Mimir warns him not to approach, as Helheim torments its inhabitants with visions from the past.
As Kratos makes his way back to Tyr’s Temple and Midgard, Mimir connects the dots, and realises he’s the Ghost of Sparta. The head once again urges Kratos to tell Atreus they’re gods, as it may be the only way to reconcile with each other. Kratos heads back to Freya’s home.
We Are Gods, Boy
Kratos hands the Bridgekeeper’s heart to Freya. She says the truth is the only way to fully restore Atreus’ health. Freya explains her past with her own son, who was prophesied to die a meaningless death. She took matters into her own hands to try and protect him, but this act drove them apart. The heart revives Atreus, and the father and son leave to continue their quest.
As they retrieve their boat and head back to Tyr’s Temple, Kratos notices Atreus is quieter than normal. When questioned, Atreus says he overheard him talking with Freya, and now feels Kratos thinks he’s weak. It’s at this moment Kratos finally tells Atreus the truth. He states he is a god from a distant land, and when he came to Midgard, he chose to live as a normal man — though he can’t escape his true nature. He explains that Atreus is also a god.
The boy is shocked by this enormous revelation, but his first question is whether or not he can turn into an animal. He also asks if Faye was also a god, and Kratos tells him she was a mortal — not knowing that she was, in fact, a giant. Kratos also says he didn’t want to tell Atreus about their lineage in order to spare him from the tragedy that a god’s life can lead to.
Heading to the temple, Atreus points out he doesn’t have any godly powers. Mimir suggests is aptitude for languages may be a power.
It’s a Trap!
Finally, Kratos and Atreus can make their way into Tyr’s vault to look for the rune required to open the gate to Jotunheim. They enter a room full of treasures and artefacts from around the world. This includes a vase depicting Kratos as the Greek god of war, which he quickly throws to the floor, smashing it.
They find the rune, though it’s not that straightforward. Kratos uses a mechanism to lower it, but is caught in a trap. Atreus must quickly solve a puzzle related to Ragnarok, the prophesied world-ending event in Norse legend. When he does, spikes begin to lower from the ceiling. Atreus uses his knife — an heirloom from his mother, remember — to jam the gears and give Kratos time to escape.
Once they get the heck outta there, Kratos gives Atreus a new knife, one he’d prepared himself to give his son when he was ready. Aww.
Using the new knife, Atreus takes the rune and notes it down. The pair are unceremoniously attacked by two trolls, and they fight them off, of course.
The Bit Where Atreus Becomes an Arse
Kratos and Atreus return to the surface to make their way to the Jotunheim gateway. They meet Sindri, and Atreus insults him, wielding a newfound arrogance now he knows he’s a god. Kratos asks him what his mother would think of this behaviour. His son replies that her opinion wouldn’t matter because she’s just a mortal. Yeesh. Kratos says Faye was better than a god, and warns Atreus not to disrespect his mother.
As the pair continue their journey towards Jotunheim, they’re once again stopped by Modi. He’s been badly beaten by Odin, who blamed him for Magni’s death. Clearly weakened, Modi collapses to the ground. Atreus, remembering that Modi had badmouthed Faye in their last encounter, approaches him with intent to kill him. Kratos says he’s not worth it. However, Modi goads Atreus one last time, and it’s enough to make the boy stab him in the neck and kick him into the ravine below.
Kratos tells him off for this act. Atreus killed a downed enemy in spite rather than defence, and killing gods is especially a big no-no, with potentially huge consequences.
They press forward, reaching the gate to Jotunheim. Kratos etches the rune required, and the gateway opens at last. However, as they’re about to enter, Baldur barrels into the scene to stop them. In the scrap, the gateway to Jotunheim is destroyed.
Atreus, desperate to fight, is told not to by Kratos. However, the boy shoots his father with a lightning arrow to temporarily stun him. He then launches at Baldur, stabbing his arm with his knife. Feeling no pain, Baldur removes the knife and stabs Atreus back. He carries Atreus under his arm and jumps from the mountain to a dragon. Having recovered, Kratos runs after them and also leaps onto the flying beast. The Ghost of Sparta fights Baldur, but is knocked off the dragon, landing on the bridge of Tyr’s Temple.
Kratos runs into the realm travel room, but Baldur has already locked it in to take them to Asgard, the realm the Norse gods call home. The two struggle for control of the room, and Kratos manages to change course to Helheim. Baldur, Kratos, and Atreus are sucked into the realm.
Separated from Baldur, Kratos and Atreus work their way towards a boat they can use to return to Tyr’s Temple — but not before the father gives his son a few stern words. Atreus did shoot Kratos with an arrow, which just isn’t how you should treat your elders.
The pair witness a vision from Atreus’ past — his murder of Modi — and later oversee a vision from Baldur. Kratos and Atreus learn he is in fact the son of Freya. It transpires that, when she made him invincible, she inadvertently robbed him of all feeling, meaning he can’t feel pleasure either. The vision shows a young Baldur pleading for the curse to be removed, but Freya refuses, as it’s the only way to protect her son. This is what led him to loathe his mother.
The visions of the past don’t end there. As Kratos and Atreus board the boat and prepare to leave, the Ghost of Sparta’s final battle with Zeus begins to play out in front of them. The boat, magically ascending, crashes, but Kratos is too distracted. Atreus snaps him out of it, and the pair must abandon ship. They leap off and burst through the roof of a building — one of Odin’s hidden temples.
Exploring inside, they find a carved wooden panel, showing Norse war god Tyr travelling to various places, including Kratos’ home turf. Using his magical sight, Mimir analyses the panel and reveals plans to create a key for a super secret chamber that can lead the group to Jotunheim.
With this new goal in mind, they head back to Tyr’s Temple. They realise that, when Freya reanimated Mimir’s head, she secretly put a spell on him, ensuring her relationship to Baldur and his sole weakness couldn’t be revealed.
Kratos and Atreus find Brok and ask him to produce the key they need. He refuses, but his brother Sindri appears and wants to make amends. Together, the dwarven pair smith the special key to Tyr’s hidden chamber.
Using the key, they then find themselves below the realm travel room, though it appears that the room is upside down. Some puzzles are solved with smarts, but this one just needs someone really, really strong. Kratos, using all his godly might, flips the whole damn room over.
They head back up to the realm travel room itself and find the Unity Stone, a special relic that allows its bearer to move between realms untethered. This was how Tyr travelled so far and wide. Kratos uses the Unity Stone and jumps into the void. Upon landing, they see a tower in the distance that will, finally, lead them to Jotunheim.
You’ve Got an Eye for This
As they head inside the tower, Kratos places the Unity Stone in a central slot. This triggers a battle trial, and so the father and son fight their way through numerous enemies to emerge victorious. Leaving the tower, they find themselves back in Midgard opposite Tyr’s Temple. Restored to its rightful position, the tower is now accessible from the temple’s bridge. All they need to do is go back, use the realm travel room to move the bridge to Jotunheim, and they’ll be on the home stretch at last.
It doesn’t go that smoothly, though. The stone powering the realm travel room is missing. To move between realms, Mimir says they’ll need his other eye, which was removed by Odin a long time ago. Speaking with Brok and Sindri, they reveal Mimir’s eye was stashed inside a statue of Thor. This statue was swallowed by the World Serpent earlier in the game. Putting two and two together, it seems Kratos and Atreus would have to retrieve the eye from inside Jormungandr.
They summon the giant, who agrees to let them search his stomach for Mimir’s eye. They sail inside on their trusty boat, secure the eye, and insert it into Mimir’s head, his full vision and power restored. Success!
However, as they’re heading back out of the World Serpent, they feel powerful tremors and rumbles from outside. The giant snake spits the group out, landing nearby, and Jormungandr is knocked out.
Freya appears before Kratos and Atreus, curious about what had just happened to the giant. They, understandably, treat her with caution. Suddenly, Baldur emerges from the Lake of Nine, and is surprised to see Freya — his mother — with his enemies. He threatens Freya, but Kratos intervenes, and says there’s no peace to be found in vengeance. He would know. Baldur doesn’t want to hear what he has to say, however, and this leads to another showdown between the two gods.
Freya tries to stop Kratos and Baldur from fighting, and ensnares the former in vines. Atreus steps in front of his father to defend him, but the young boy is sent hurtling back as Baldur delivers a powerful punch to his chest.
Worried his son has been gravely injured, Kratos comments that Atreus is covered in blood. The boy says it isn’t his. The pair look up to see Baldur clutching his hand, which has been impaled on a mistletoe arrowhead — the one attached to Atreus’ quiver strap when it broke earlier in the adventure. As it so happens, mistletoe is the only thing that can break Baldur’s curse — that which protects him from all harm, but also prevents him from feeling anything else either. The god, feeling pain for the first time in decades, is elated.
Freya, realising Baldur’s protection is gone, restrains her son and reanimates the corpse of the giant, Thamur. The undead giant scoops up Kratos and Atreus and carries them away. However, Baldur escapes and follows the pair, picking up the fight where it left off.
Baldur revels in the battle, happy he can finally feel again. Freya manipulates Thamur to interrupt the fight, but eventually, Kratos pins Baldur down and beats him to within an inch of his life. Thamur blows Kratos away with his frost breath.
Both Kratos and Atreus are caught in the breath and slowly freezing. The boy, remembering what Mimir said about his language skills, speaks in the language of the giants to summon Jormungandr. The World Serpent, who has since regained consciousness, fast approaches and takes down Thamur with a big, powerful chomp.
With the main threat gone, Kratos bears down on Baldur once again and begins to strangle him. Atreus reminds him there’s no sense in killing an already defeated enemy. Kratos stops, but warns Baldur to leave the pair, as well as Freya, alone.
The god ignores this warning. He approaches Freya and attempts to strangle her, still angry about the curse that prevented him from feeling anything. She doesn’t resist. However, Kratos grabs Baldur and gets him in a choke hold, ultimately breaking his neck to save Freya’s life.
Baldur dies, and snow begins to fall. Freya is distraught, clutching her son’s body and vowing to use all her might to punish Kratos and Atreus for what they’ve done.
She says Kratos will never be anything more than a rage-filled monster, and asks if Atreus knows the true extent of his father’s past. Kratos takes the opportunity to give Atreus the full truth; he tells of his deal with Ares, which led to him killing hundreds, whether they deserved it or not, including his own father, Zeus.
Atreus is worried he will follow in these footsteps and kill Kratos one day. His father says they will choose their own path, and not that of those who came before. Freya leaves, holding Baldur’s corpse.
With Baldur out of the picture, Kratos and Atreus can finally use Tyr’s Temple to travel to Jotunheim, the realm of the giants and home to the highest peak in all the realms. They open up the gateway and head through, leaving Mimir with Brok and Sindri.
They walk up the path to the mountain’s peak. Near the top, Kratos removes the bandages on his forearms, which have been hiding the scars left by the Blades of Chaos. He gives Atreus Faye’s ashes to carry the rest of the way.
Inside a cavernous room, they find statues depicting the giants leaving Midgard. As they wonder why Faye sent them there, Atreus touches a wall, and this unveils a large mural. This mural shows Faye watching over all the events Kratos and Atreus went through during the game, including their fateful final battle against Baldur.
The father and son realise that Faye was in fact a giant, disguised as a mortal. This means Atreus is part-god, part-giant, and part-mortal. It also transpires that Baldur’s intention was actually to track down Faye, not Kratos. As Atreus heads forward, Kratos spots one final image, showing his son kneeling down holding a man’s body. It’s unclear exactly what this means, though likely depicts the future.
Kratos catches up with Atreus and they finally stand at the highest peak. It overlooks the remains of dozens of deceased giants. The pair scatter Faye’s ashes into the wind together and say their last goodbyes.
As they head back, Atreus admits something about the mural confuses him. He says the mural refers to him by another name — Loki. Kratos says this was a name Faye wanted to give Atreus, but thinks nothing more of it.
Kratos and Atreus return to Tyr’s Temple and pick up Mimir. The severed head explains that their actions — specifically, killing Baldur — have brought on the beginning of Fimbulwinter. In Norse mythology, this is the three-year-long winter that precedes Ragnarok, the enormous battle fated to end the world. Doesn’t really sound good, does it?
For now, though, the pair can finally go home to rest. As they sleep, Atreus sees a vision of the future, in which their home is ripped apart by a fierce lightning storm. They look outside to see a large hooded figure. Kratos asks who he is, and it’s revealed the mysterious being is Thor himself, as we see Mjolnir — his famous hammer — at his side. Uh oh.
So, there you have it — pretty much everything you need to know about the story of God of War. We head into the sequel with a few juicy plot threads — Freya is pissed at Kratos and Atreus for killing Baldur; Faye was a giant who knew what would happen long before it did; Atreus is actually Loki, god of mischief; Thor is likely very angry that his brother and two sons, Magni and Modi, are dead; and Fimbulwinter has begun, meaning Ragnarok is coming. Even with all that weight already present, God of War Ragnarok will no doubt have plenty of its own surprises. Are you excited to find out how it all goes down? Discuss in the comments section below.