A stark contrast between the older God of War entries and the newer ones is the heavier focus on world-building, narrative, and strong execution of its characters. Now God of War Ragnarok brings even more crucial Norse Gods into the fold and further builds upon those already established from the previous game.
Before 2018, it was solely Kratos against the enormous boss forms of Greek Gods that showed greater detail in their design than the meaningful layers to their existence. But there's certainly no shortage of compelling characters in God of War Ragnarok, and below are some of the most well-written.
God of War Ragnarok Story Spoilers Ahead
God of War featured many allusions to Odin through conversations and the collectible ravens Kratos could strike down, but the All-father makes his debut in the early part of Ragnarok. He may not seem like it at first, but he's a master at manipulation and becomes the main antagonist in the game, meeting a satisfying end at the hands of Kratos and his allies.
Though initially upset with Kratos for the loss of his son Baldur, Odin asserts himself as an understanding person and desires peace between Kratos and his living son Thor. Underneath it all, however, is a vile figure obsessed with power and control that has his sons do his bidding for him, even later killing Thor when he refuses to eliminate Kratos.
The Thor present in God of War Ragnarok strays away from the kindhearted hero Marvel shapes him out to be and is molded more to his mythology. He's a heavy drinker that boasts about murdering giants and is out for Kratos' head. In a way, he represents all the old impulses and behaviors Kratos was privy to in his slaughter of the Greek Gods in the previous God of War games.
There are also many admirable qualities to Ragnarok's version of Thor. He's a devoted husband and grieving father that exhibits love and care for his children. And toward the end of the game, he finally sees reason and ignores his bloodlust, defying his father by choosing not to kill Kratos. Thor had many memorable moments, especially within the Atreus questline, which made his death feel more impactful.
Odin may have manipulated Baldur and Thor into carrying out his evil deeds, but he instilled a worse fate for his son Tyr. He was the giant son of Odin and a Norse God of War until his father betrayed him and kept him imprisoned while ordering the slaughter of his kin. Now Tyr is completely transformed from the trauma of being confined to a cell for so long.
He's the epitome of a gentle giant and an antithesis of his true character's nature, highlighted by his innocent fear and distrust of running away from Kratos when freed and his relaxing tone of voice that constantly encourages peace instead of war. That is until one of the game's most shocking twists reveals him to be Odin this entire time, and he mercilessly slays Brok.
It would be remiss to leave out the titular character that makes this series what it is. Here you begin to witness an evolution in Kratos that showcases more of his vulnerability and emotion tied to his responsibilities as a father to Atreus and ensuring that he's not being led astray by forces out of his control.
Kratos still lets out his signature gruff and has a tough guy appearance, but his walls are softening, and he's gradually becoming more open with those around him. Although he's grown tired of bloodshed, there would be no God of War without it. And Ragnarok makes it an even more fun and smoother experience to use Kratos' weapons on enemies.
Making a surprising return in God of War Ragnarok is the hilarious talking squirrel Ratatoskr, this time in his incredibly charming physical form. In the 2018 game, it was possible to acquire the blue spectral version of Ratatoskr as a rune assigned to Atreus. It will summon Ratatoskr and have him dive underground to harvest either green or red orbs, always with disgruntled and foul-mouthed responses.
Rattatoskr's domain in Ragnarok is the World Tree, otherwise known as Yggdrasil, containing a Mystic Gateway that the dwarves Brok and Sindri made accessible for easier travel across the realms. It's there you first encounter Ratatoskr, who explains his spectral versions are unsavory personalities of his, and he's quite a cordial squirrel that you can continuously interact with.
A character absent from much of the lore and conversation in the previous title, Angrboda plays an integral part of Atreus' storyline, or Loki as she prefers. Following the deaths of all the giants in Jotunheim, she now finds herself alone in Ironwood. As a result, she comes off as socially awkward in her initial interaction with Atreus.
She has a lot in common with Atreus and can relate to him on several levels, such as the fact they're both young giants, she lost both her parents, and her life is affected by destiny. As the story progresses, Angrboda grows closer to Atreus, and their friendship soon displays hints of romance. In Norse mythology, Angrboda is married to Loki, so this may be what comes next in a sequel.
Before she passed away at the start of the first game, Kratos' wife asked that her ashes be spread from the highest peak of Jotunheim. Faye was only mentioned along the journey and never once seen in her natural form, but Ragnarok chose to include her as a character, and the story was better because of it.
Faye makes brief appearances by visiting Kratos in his dreams, and those sequences provide a deeper insight into their love for each other and how their personalities collided. She's portrayed as the voice of reason with a sweet and kind demeanor that's playful at times, like when referring to Kratos as "Grumbles."
Freya is one of the most complex and deeply thought-out characters, now having a much more prominent presence in Ragnarok than she did in the first game. God of War introduced her as a mysterious healer residing in a forest dwelling that helps Kratos on multiple occasions and later reveals her to be the former wife of Odin and mother of their adversary Baldur.
In Ragnarok, it's clear that Freya still has conflicting feelings and harbors bitter hatred toward Kratos for killing Baldur but eventually comes to terms and becomes an ally once more. More intriguing details about her past emerge, especially her relationship with her brother. She also transforms into a falcon and has an Oscar-worthy exchange with Odin during the final battle.
Were it not for Alastair Duncan's brilliant performance as the sarcastic decapitated head of Mimir tagging along Krato's torso, God of War wouldn't have been the same game. Mimir feels like an authentic companion that adds a lot of depth and uniqueness to the story, his conversations always being equal parts funny and engaging with never a dull moment passing.
Mimir also fell victim to Odin's wrath, his body confined to the vines of an impenetrable tree for eternal torment until Kratos cut off his head under his request, and Freya restored it with her magic. He's the Norse God of Wisdom and never hesitates to share his deep knowledge and stories about the Nine Realms and the interpersonal relationships of all the Aesir figures.
To say Atreus is dealing with a lot in Ragnarok is an understatement. When you remove all the mythological fantasy elements from the narrative, Atreus really just represents any young teenager grappling with the issues of their identity, grief, the pressures of living up to their parent's expectations, and carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Besides his epic magic and shapeshifting abilities, his character's growth and relatability are what make him the best. Even having lost his mother, his beloved wolf, and soon possibly his father, while also struggling with the truth about him being Loki, he never allows it to change who he is.
Source: Read Full Article