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!”
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.
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, 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.