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Playing With History: Kratos vs. Norse Mythology

Kratos vs. Thor. Fight!

As you may have noticed whilst reading the last few Playing With History features, I’m a teeny tiny bit mega excited for the upcoming release of God of War. And if you haven’t read them, then there are no words to express my disappointment.

Not only is God of War one of my favourite action adventure games, even with Kratos’ god-awful jumping – thank Zeus it’s been removed – but it also proved to be an excellent resource for learning about Ancient Greek mythology. This looks likely to continue with Sony Santa Monica’s foray into the Norse Myths and Legends.

There’ll be plenty of time to investigate how successful the studio has been in delivering the gameplay and graphical experience that modern gamers expect of a triple A title – catch Tef’s preview here – but for Playing with History, we’re not going to worry about that. Instead, I’ll be looking at just some of the the many, many contenders from Norse mythology that Kratos is most likely to be going up against and inevitably kill. I’ve even added the most likely means of execution!

To quote the great Maui from Disney’s Moana, “You’re welcome!”


Thor

The Thor that we know and love from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a rather different god to the one that the Vikings would have worshipped. Marvel’s Thor is dashingly handsome, heroic, and, up until this year’s Thor: Ragnorak, capable of flying around by giving his mighty hammer Mjolnir a good swing. The version from the Norse sagas on the other hand, was ugly, cruel and flew around on a chariot pulled by two magical goats called Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. Those names just roll of the tongue.

This Thor has an ugly visage, a big red bushy beard and, if he were a little hungry after a busy quest of frost giant slaying, he could kill his two goats, eat them, and then bring them back to life the following day with his magical hammer.

Thor is one of the most famous of the Norse gods. We even have a day of the week named after him, Thursday or Thors-day. Because of this it seems inevitable that Kratos will face off with the god of Thunder during God of War.

There’s another point I’d like to make, which is pure speculation on my part. During one of the trailers, Kratos and his son meet a giant ocean dwelling serpent. This is surely Jormungand, the massive serpent that encircles the earth. There’s bad blood between Jormungand and Thor, ever since the latter tried to pull the former out of the sea whilst on a fishing trip. During Ragnarok (the apocalypse of the Norse gods) the two of them will battle each other to the death. Perhaps Jormungand meeting with Kratos is an early indicator that Kratos will bring about the Ragnarok. After all, he’s already wiped out one pantheon of gods, so why stop there?


How will Kratos Kill Thor?

One of two ways, either by bashing him over the head with his own magical hammer or, slightly less likely, bashing him over the head with his own magical goat. Either way, Kratos will surely end up wielding Mjolnir during his adventure as, unlike Marvel’s version, there’s no caveat of ‘being worthy’ to use this devastating weapon.


Fenrir

If Fenrir wolf doesn’t crop up at some point in God of War, I will literally eat my own hat. My preferred choice of head garb is a purple velvet top hat, surely a clear indication of my confidence in this prediction, as all of that velvet would prove a rather unpleasant meal.

Fenrir is one of the three children that the trickster god, Loki had with the giantess, Angrboda. Fenrir is a giant wolf, Jormungand the giant serpent mentioned above, and Hel the half dead and half alive creature who runs Hel. Hel also popped up as the ‘antagonist’ in last year’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. I know what you’re thinking, Loki must have some really weird sperm.

Anyway, Fenrir was essentially the Incredible Hulk of Norse Mythology. The stronger the chain that bound him was, the more powerful he would become. Eventually he was tricked by the gods into being bound by a chain forged by dwarves, which looked incredibly light and thin but was the strongest chain ever made. For good measure the gods placed a sword in Fenrir’s mouth so he couldn’t close his jaws and snap the chain. Ultimately, during Ragnarok, Fenrir will escape his entrapment and then run across the earth with his lower jaw against the ground and his upper jaw against the sky, devouring everything in his path. He’ll even have time to kill Odin on the way.

Considering my theory, perhaps it is Kratos that will set Fenrir free and be the one who will finally slay the beast, rather than one of Odin’s children as the myths suggested.


How will Kratos kill Fenrir?

Strangling him with his own chain seems the way to go.


Baldur

Baldur, isn’t as famous as Thor, Odin or Loki in the modern world, but he stands apart from the other gods as he is one of the few that met his demise prior to Ragnarok. Baldur was, as a giggling teenager might describe, ‘a hottie’. He was incredibly handsome, generous and was so perfect he gave off actual light. In some way he was like a sexy lightbulb that could walk and talk, which must be the weirdest analogy I’ve ever made.

Baldur started having dreams of his own death, so Frigg went around the earth and made every creature, weapon and object, promise a solemn oath not to harm her son. Once this was done the gods, just for fun, started throwing weapons at Baldur knowing they would all bounce off him to no effect.

Loki asked Frigg if there was any item she had overlooked in seeking an oath from. She replied the mistletoe, because what harm could that cause a god? Unless they’re allergic to snogging. Loki then immediately made a spear from mistletoe and convinced the blind god Hodr to throw it at Baldur. He was impaled and died. Not a fun way to end a party.

Hel, the goddess of the underworld, told the gods that Baldur could come back to life if every creature wept for his passing, to prove how popular he was. Every creature did, apart from Þökk, the giantess, which was actually Loki in disguise. Because of that, Baldur stayed in the underworld.


How Kratos will kill Baldur?

Tricky you might think, seeing how Baldur is already dead. Well, after Ragnarok, Baldur finally comes back to life and brings joy to those in the new world that survived the apocalypse. It’s at this point that I expect Kratos murders him with a twig of mistletoe. Kratos hates a happy ending.


Bonus Kratos Kill

Kratos will probably kill Ull, the god of skiing, with his own ice skate. Yes, there’s a Viking god of skiing.

10 Comments
  1. Steelhead
    Member
    Since: Oct 2013

    ‘Loki must have some really weird sperm’

    Best TSA comment ever, bar none. Actually made me choke on my flapjack in laughter, and no that’s not as rude as it sounds.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2018 at 14:28.
    • Adrian Burrows
      Member
      Since: Jul 2017

      Thanks man, glad you enjoyed it! Hope the rest of that flapjack went down silky smooth.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2018 at 17:14.
  2. MrYd
    Member
    Since: Mar 2011

    So what you’re saying is that Norse mythology is completely mad?

    And given a choice between an ugly nutter that keeps killing and eating the same two goats, or a Hemsworth, Marvel made the right choice? (Although obviously a Hemsworth is usually the right choice, assuming you want nice things to look at and not acting ability)

    Comment posted on 22/03/2018 at 14:45.
    • JR.
      Member
      Since: Apr 2013

      And with the short hair in Ragnarock :O I’m secretly shipping Thor, Captain America and Star Lord in Avengers Infinity. Hey, it’s the end of the world, anything can happen.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2018 at 19:22.
      • MrYd
        Member
        Since: Mar 2011

        And I need to go and have another lie down.

        Comment posted on 22/03/2018 at 19:38.
  3. Adrian Burrows
    Member
    Since: Jul 2017

    It’s completely bonkers.

    Any mythology that has a giant cow called Audhumla bring people into existence by licking them free from blocks of ice is certainly mad.

    Though that doesn’t even compare with Ancient Egyptian mythology, which saw the twin gods Shu and Tefnut ejaculated into existence via ‘the hand of God’.

    And yes, Hemsworth every time.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2018 at 15:11.
    • MrYd
      Member
      Since: Mar 2011

      Osiris is my favourite mad Egyptian myth. Many variations of it, but it may involve being killed by being tricked into getting in a box, briefly coming back to life to get Isis pregnant, dying again, being cut into anywhere between 14 and 42 pieces, having all the bits collected except for the penis (which had obviously been eaten by a fish, because reasons) and that somehow impressing the gods.

      But that cow thing is even more mad.

      And you used the words “licking”, “ejaculated” and “Hemsworth” in one post, so I think I need to go and have a lie down now.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2018 at 17:09.
      • Adrian Burrows
        Member
        Since: Jul 2017

        Haha! Can’t blame you for that.

        Comment posted on 22/03/2018 at 17:18.
  4. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    I’m enjoying your occasional mythology series but i’m going to be disappointed if i don’t get to kill Thor with a goat! ;)

    Comment posted on 22/03/2018 at 15:54.
    • Adrian Burrows
      Member
      Since: Jul 2017

      Thanks! And me too.

      Being killed by your own goat… if that doesn’t get you into Valhalla nothing will!

      Comment posted on 22/03/2018 at 17:20.
God of War
  • Developer:Sony Santa Monica
  • Publisher:Sony Santa Monica
  • Platforms:PS4
  • Release Date:TBA