Since the beginning of the God of War franchise in 2005, Kratos has been through a lot of drama. In his seventeen year run he has killed an uncomfortable number of gods and basically anything with a pulse. Kratos died, climbed his way out of Hell, harnessed unfathomable powers and weapons, and became a god himself. In 2018, Kratos attempted to put Sparta behind him and start a new life with his new family. However, no amount of time passing could let him escape his past catching up to him. Now God of War, Ragnarök, looks to be to be an emotional and relentless challenge for Kratos and his son. This is everything you need to know about his journey from tortured servant to god-slaying dad of the north.
God of War (2005)
When the game begins, Kratos is a Spartan soldier in a losing battle who makes a deal with Ares, the god of war. The bargain gave him the power to defeat his enemies and spare his men. Kratos becomes a powerful weapon of Ares and, with the Blades of Chaos, carries out whatever task he is given. While he carries out his duties with no question, Kratos soon is manipulated into unknowingly killing his wife and daughter. To rid himself of these scars, he vows to kill Ares in service of the gods on Olympus. With the ashes of his family permanently bonded to his skin, Kratos becomes the “Ghost of Sparta.” At the end of the game, Kratos keeps his promise and kills Ares in a glorious fashion.
God of War II (2007)
For his actions in the first game, the gods name Kratos the new God of War. Because he is still a warrior at heart, Kratos begins fighting alongside the Spartan army against the advice of the goddess Athena. During a battle at Rhodes, Kratos encounters Zeus and has his powers stripped away from him using the Blade of Olympus. Zeus then uses that same sword to kill Kratos and his army and has Kratos dragged into the Underworld. After crawling his way back to the surface world, Kratos vows to exact his revenge on Zeus. When he finally is able to challenge Zeus to battle, things do not go as planned and Athena attempts to stop Kratos by impaling herself on the blade, allowing Zeus to retreat. In her final words she reveals that Zeus is Kratos’ father. What a shocker.
God of War: Chains of Olympus (2008)
This PSP spinoff game takes place alongside the events of the first, and follows Kratos’ ten years of service to the gods after the horrific death of his family. Chains of Olympus follows Kratos’ quest to locate the god Helios and restore the sun, which was hidden by Morpheus to put all the gods into a deep slumber. Along the way Kratos encounters the titan Atlas who he would meet again in God of War II.
God of War III (2010)
Riding on top of the titan Gaia and with the rest of the titans following behind, Kratos approaches Mount Olympus and lays siege to all the gods that dwell on it. Zeus instructs all the remaining gods to defend Mount Olympus, sending them all to their doom. The game then follows Kratos’ ultimate mission to hunt down every god and kill them. After absorbing each of the slain gods’ power and finding Pandora’s Box, Kratos finally confronts Zeus.
During their battle, Gaia appears and attempts to kill both Kratos and Zeus which causes the two gods to resume their fight inside of the Titan’s body. Kratos is able to defeat both Gaia and Zeus and makes the decision to kill himself with the Blade of Olympus so that his powers will return to the people of Sparta. While Athena watches Kratos die, we later find out that he was not actually dead and may have even escaped.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta (2010)
The next PSP game takes place between God of War and God of War II and has a more independent plot. Ares and Zeus are told by the oracle that Olympus will fall at the hands of a mortal and marked warrior, not the titans. Meanwhile, Kratos and his brother Deimos are training when suddenly Ares appears before them. Because of Deimos’ birthmark, Ares takes him away, believing him to be the mortal who will one day take down the gods. In the process, Kratos is scarred by Ares in his attempt to stop the kidnapping. The rest of the game follows the newly appointed god of war in his search for his brother. While Kratos eventually finds his brother, Deimos is soon after killed.
God of War: Ascension (2013)
Ascension takes place during the events of the first game, beginning as Kratos is being held captive by the Furies, chained up and tortured for breaking his oath to Ares after killing his own wife and daughter. Most of the story revolves around a back-and-forth time jump around Kratos’ imprisonment. Its a mostly inconsequential spin-off, but it at least somewhat explains why Kratos continues to have visions of his past and why he continues to serve the gods for 10 years.
God of War (2018)
Taking place many years after the events of God of War III, this game finds an older Kratos living far from Greece in Midgard with his son Atreus. Kratos’ wife has just died, and her final wish was for Kratos and Atreus to spread her ashes at the highest peak in the realm. Kratos encounters a man named Baldur who seems to be invincible and god-like. After a furious fight, Kratos seemingly defeats the man and he and his son depart on their journey. Along the way, Kratos and Atreus encounter countless Norse mythological beings and Atreus slowly begins to learn the truth about his father’s past. The two make a few enemies as well that will come back to haunt them in the near future…
While God of War Ragnarök is a direct sequel to God of War (2018), the events of Kratos’ past will continue to play a major role in both his relationship with his son and the Norse gods he meets. After killing Freya’s son Baldur, Atreus is the main target of Freya’s rage and Kratos will stop at nothing to protect his son. After finding out Atreus’ true heritage, his relationship with his father is even more strained than it was before going into this sequel. If that wasn’t enough, it seems that Thor is coming for Kratos in what looks like one of the most memorable fights of the series. This game is sure to be Kratos’ most emotionally tiring adventure yet and we hope a satisfying capstone on this new saga for God of War.