God of War Ragnarok Norse mythology prep guide

Reimagining mythology from ancient times is the goal of The God of War. While the series originated in Greece — pitting main character Kratos against a slightly more monstrous take on Zeus, Poseidon, and the rest of the pantheon — God of War (2018), and the 2022 sequel. God of War RagnarökThese events take place in Norse mythic lands.

God of War can be considered a sweet treat for lovers of mythology. The series always includes an entertainment layer that shows how prophecy compares to interpretation. 2018. God of War The reboot was an important part of the original Norse myth, while making key changes. Who is that Odin guy? You are less intelligent and intuitive than you might think. Santa Monica Studio developer and Sony have jointly marketed Ragnarök — a reference to the prophesied Norse apocalypse — as a similar treatise on how one can tell fate to go fuck itself.

We already know a lot about Ragnarök thanks to Mimir’s stories in 2018’s God of War. But before we see Santa Monica Studio’s interpretation of the end of the world, we wanted to run through each of the series’ characters and explain their prophesied role in Ragnarök. It’s the heart of the series.

While this post doesn’t contain any spoilers for Ragnarök All of the characters below appeared in God of War or have been shown in trailers for the sequel), Santa Monica Studio has been purposefully tight-lipped about anything about the game’s narrative beyond its basic plot beats. If you don’t want to know what may happen in God of War Ragnarök, it’s best to bookmark this page and come back after you roll the credits. This way you will be able to see how it differs from the original game.

Most of this myth is common knowledge at this point, but scholars disagree on certain interpretations of the Prose Edda (the 13-century text that catalogs a ton of Norse myth, including Ragnarök) and its “heroes.” For this post, we’ve cross-referenced information from a variety of sources, including wikis, Britannica.com, the inimitable norse-mythology.org, and even the Norse myth subreddit. Where there are notable discrepancies between sources, we’ll mention the disagreement.

Kratos

Kratos — a shirtless Greek man covered in tattoos — stands at the top of Mt. Olympus in God of War 3

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Santa Monica Studio has completely fabricated Kratos, but he originally comes from Ancient Greece. Obviously this means that he doesn’t have a foretold role to play in the Norse myth of Ragnarök. The end is however. God of War (2018) explicitly portends Kratos’ death come Ragnarök.

Loki (Atreus)

Kratos and Atreus face away from the viewer, looking at a shadowy angelic figure with antlers, in 2018’s God of War.

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

God of War (2018) ended with a big reveal that Kratos’ son, Atreus, is known as Loki to the Jötnar (the giants). The twist changes the meaning of the Norse game duology, but it also has major implications. Ragnarök.

traditional Norse myth, Loki’s biggest role to play is actually as a parent. Loki fathers three children with the giant Angrboda (who we’ll get to shortly): Fenrir, the giant wolf; Hel, the goddess of the underworld; and, would you believe it, that lovable scamp Jörmungandr, the World Serpent.

Fenrir and Jörmungandr play a major part in Ragnarök. As for Loki himself, it’s foretold that he will join the side of the giants in the final war between his people and the Aesir (Odin, Thor, etc.) gods.

Mimir

Mimir on a round end table in God of War Ragnarok

Image: PlayStation/Twitch

In God of War (2018), Mimir is the severed head who hangs from Kratos’ belt and tells stories about the Norse pantheon. There are few better people for the role. He was once a counselor to Odin, at most in the game.

This is an exception to the Norse legend. In the traditional story, Mimir (also called Mim) is known far and wide for how wise and smart he is — hence Mimir’s self-appointed “smartest man alive” title in the games. However, instead of being trapped in a tree by Odin, Mimir is decapitated during the initial war between the Aesir and Vanir — the Aesir are gods that hail from Asgard and the Vanir are the gods from Vanaheim. (In God of WarThis conflict is said to have occurred before Kratos relocates in Midgard.

Odin does, however, find Mimir’s head after the battle and reanimates it. He asks the head of Mimir for advice — including advice on how to handle Ragnarök — but Mimir himself doesn’t have a specific role to play in the original apocalypse myth.

Freya

Kratos and Freya battle in a screenshot from God of War Ragnarok

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Freya is the mysterious Witch from the Woods. God of War (2018); she’s the ex-wife of Odin and mother to their son, Baldur.

In terms of Norse mythology, the interesting thing you should know about Freya is that it’s unclear — in the original story — whether Freya (a Vanir goddess) and Frigg (an Aesir goddess) are actually the same person. There’s no shortage of debate on this topic among scholars, although it seems most now agree they are one.

Regardless of scholarly quibbles, it seems pretty clear that they are, in fact, the same person in God of War’s universe. In the myth, Frigg is Odin’s wife and Baldur’s mother, whereas Freya was married to Odr and hails from Vanaheim. From the first game we can see that Freya was a Vanir god. God of WarShe also revealed that Odin was her husband and Baldur is her son.

Neither Frigg nor Freya are mentioned in the Ragnarök poems, and it’s assumed they (or she, depending on your interpretation) survive the war.

Thor

Kratos and Thor battle on a cracked, frozen lake in God of War Ragnarok

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Thor was teased God of War (2018), but the game only ever showed his hand hovering over the hilt of Mjölnir — the god of thunder’s trusty hammer — during a mid-credits stinger. In God of War Ragnarök, we know he’ll be one of the main antagonists, portrayed by The Walking Dead’s Ryan Hurst.

In the world of God of War, Thor is more of a violent bully and monster than he is in other modern interpretations — namely Marvel comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor in tradition myth is brave and strong, as well as a noble Asgard defender. But he’s also a bit of a drunken, sporadically violent ass. Based on Mimir’s stories in God of War, the games are clearly leaning into Thor’s more wanton, unpredictable tendencies.

In terms of the traditional Ragnarök prophecy, Thor is destined to kill Jörmungandr, the Midgard serpent. However, immediately after, Thor is supposed to only take nine steps before Jörmungandr’s venom kills him. It’s also worth noting that, in God of War (2018), Mimir mentions that Thor will punch Jörmungandr so hard during Ragnarök that the serpent travels back in time.

This means that Thor either won’t kill Jörmungandr in God of War Ragnarök, or that there are two versions of Jörmungandr in the game — past and future — and Thor will kill one and time-smash the other.

Odin

Odin stands in a doorway, shrouded in shadow in God of War Ragnarok

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Odin is the Zeus — the head honcho — of the Norse pantheon. As he did about Thor in the first game, Mimir recalls plenty of stories about the All-Father’s penchant for manipulation.

Odin in Norse myth is the father of both Thor and Baldur. He wanders the realms seeking information. And even in the myth he’s a bit of a selfish bastard. His right eye is sacrificed for his knowledge, and he’s portrayed as an old man with one eyes. Odin is also sometimes referred to as the “Hanged God”; he once hanged himself from Yggdrasil — the world tree that connects the nine realms — for nine days and nights, which allowed him to perceive runes. Odin is a prominent character in Norse mythology.

In terms of his fate during Ragnarök, Odin eventually falls to Fenrir, the giant wolf and son of Loki.

Tyr

Atreus encounters Tyr in a still from God of War Ragnarok

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

In Norse myth Tyr is called the god of war, but it’s not inGod of War (2018) he’s depicted in Mimir’s stories as more of a diplomat, having traveled between not only the Nine Realms but also between pantheons. He is also shown in the game as having visited Egypt, Greece and other places. The first game also claims that Tyr is dead, although he’s present in prerelease footage and previews for Ragnarök.

Tyr in mythology is often associated with law, justice, and security. He’s mostly known as the god who was able to help bind Fenrir the wolf prior to Ragnarök. When the Aesir gods attempted to imprison Fenrir as a child, the wolf refused to be chained — not trusting the gods to ever let him out — unless Tyr would place his hand into the wolf’s mouth as a sign of trust. Fenrir was right to be suspicious, as the gods had no intention of letting him go, so Fenrir bit off Tyr’s hand as retribution. Trailer for God of War Ragnarök, Tyr still has both of his hands, which is mysterious, as he’s known specifically for the Fenrir story.

In terms of the Ragnarök myth, Tyr is slated to face Garm, a giant dog who resides in Hel. They are supposed to kill each other — a pretty common theme when it comes to Ragnarök.

Brok und Sindri

Brok and Sindri, two dwarven brothers, stand in their smithery from God of War (2018)

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Brok, Sindri (also known as the Huldra siblings in India), God of War (2018), are two dwarves who forged both the Leviathan Axe, the ax used by Kratos, and Mjölnir, the hammer wielded by Thor.

In the myth, Brok (commonly spelled “Brokkr”) and Sindri are rarely mentioned. However, they are in fact the original creators of Mjölnir. After incurring Thor’s rage, Loki commissions the sons of Ivaldi — who, fun fact, is the owner of the workshop inGod of War (2018)’s Niflheim region, and is regularly referenced throughout the game — to create a trio of objects: new hair for Lady Sif (Thor’s wife), a spear for Odin, and a foldable ship.

Loki then went to Brok and Sindri and pitted them against Ivaldi’s sons, daring them to make something better. Brok and Sindri then made a ring called Draupnir (which replicated itself), a glowing boar named Gullinbursti, and Mjölnir. Loki gifted these treasures to the gods, but the various dwarves wanted Loki’s head as payment. These treasures were gifted to the gods by Loki, but many dwarves wanted Loki’s head as payment. Merchant of VeniceFashion, Loki stated that they could remove his head, but not his neck. So the Dwarves simply sewed his mouth closed.

The dwarves aren’t mentioned in the tale of Ragnarök.

Angrboda

Angrboda, a young girl in a blue dress with braided hair, as she appears in God of War Ragnarok

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Angrboda, a brand new God of War character that has only been seen in trailers. Ragnarök. She wasn’t mentioned at all in God of War (2018). (2018).

Angrboda is a Norse myth. Not much information exists about her. She is often referred to as the “mother of monsters,” and is one of Loki’s love interests. The two of them are the parents of Jörmungandr, Fenrir, and Hel.

Jörmungandr

Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir speak to Jörmungandr, the humungous World Serpent, in God of War on PC

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/PlayStation PC

Jörmungandr, the giant serpent who resides in the Lake of the Nine, is a fan-favorite character from God of War (2018) — or, well, he’s my favorite at least.

He claims Atreus is familiar to him, even though he has never met him. This seems to suggest that there’s some timey-wimey stuff going on here, and that Jörmungandr knows Atreus from sometime in the future. The Jörmungandr we meet in the game has also already seen Ragnarök, after all, as Mimir says that Thor will punch him so hard he will go back in time.

In the myth, Jörmungandr lives in the oceans of Midgard and is so large that he is wrapped around the entire world. Come Ragnarök, he and Thor will kill each other. (Just a fun side fact: Germans in the Middle Ages would apparently blame Jörmungandr and his movements along Midgard for earthquakes that impacted their towns!)

Fenrir

Atreus and Fenrir the wolf sit in Midgard, looking solemn, in God of War Ragnarok

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Fenrir didn’t make an appearance in God of War (2018).

As we mentioned in Tyr’s entry, Fenrir was imprisoned by the Aesir gods in order to keep him from causing chaos in the various realms — which cost the Norse god of war his hand. Fenrir is also Jörmungandr’s brother in the myth (as well as brother to Hel), and is another son of Loki and Angrboda.

Come Ragnarök, Fenrir will kill Odin by swallowing him whole. Fenrir will then be slain by Odin’s son Vidar, who is the Norse god of vengeance.

Skoll and Hati

Atreus, a young teen boy, stares up in the sky as one of the two wolves, Skoll or Hati, fly through the air. The other wolf is standing next to Atreus in God of War Ragnarok.

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

In passing, the two wolves Skoll & Hati are briefly mentioned. God of War (2018). They make an appearance in one of the many Jötnar shrines hidden around the game, as well as in a particularly obnoxious puzzle in Tyr’s temple.

Skoll, Hati and their chase of the sun and moon through the sky is a Norse myth. It’s said that when the wolves catch and devour the celestial bodies, Ragnarök will begin. These are allegedly the sons Fenrir.

You can find the trailer here RagnarökAtreus fires an arrow towards the heavens and it is followed by two wolves, who turn from day to night.

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