2018’s God of War was one of the PS4’s fastest selling exclusives, reviving the franchise and leaving many fans with high hopes for its upcoming sequel. Not much has been officially revealed about the next game aside from its tagline, “Ragnarok is coming.”
The last God of War, however, was packed full of hints about what might be included in God of War’s Ragnarok sequel. The final moments of the 2018 suggested that the next game could be Kratos’ last, and there’s been a lot of speculation about whether or not the series’ star will survive Ragnarok, and if not, what exactly will happen. Fortunately for fans of the franchise, there are a few major theories based on in-game prophecies and Norse mythology.
Towards the end of 2018’s God of War, Kratos and Atreus reach Jotunheim, the land of the giants, and enter a temple with a large mural prophesying the events of Ragnarok. This mural shows the name Atreus’ mother wanted to call him, Loki, revealing Kratos’ son to be the Norse god of mischief. The mural’s final panel is hidden behind a large piece of cloth which blows aside, revealing Atreus kneeling at the body of an unknown man. They are connected at the mouth by a strange, presumably magical substance.
Many fans have speculated that the dead or dying figure is Kratos himself. The runes around the figure mean “father” and “mourned,” while the ones near Atreus mean “betrayal” or “deceit” when translated from Old Norse. This has led many fans to conclude that Ragnarok will end with Atreus betraying and killing his father, Kratos.
This is the natural conclusion to many. God of War has long dealt with sons overthrowing their fathers. Zeus overthrew his father, Cronos. Kratos destroyed the Hellenic pantheon, including Kratos' father Zeus. Many suspect that the cycle of violence will continue with Atreus killing Kratos. However, there are some strong reasons that may not be the case.
While the figure kneeling is undoubtedly Atreus based on his depiction in other panels in the mural, the same cannot be said for Kratos and the body in the last panel. Elsewhere in the mural, Kratos and Atreus are depicted interacting with the World Serpent, battling Baldur, and fighting with Thor’s sons Magni and Modi. In all of these depictions, Kratos is shown with his red tattoos and with the pants, boots, and belt he wears in the 2018 game.
The lying figure in the final panel may be bald and bearded, but he may not be Kratos. He lacks Kratos’ trademark tattoos for a start. Kratos marked himself in honor of his brother, who had red birthmarks and was killed by the Greek gods. The Greek gods feared a prophesized “Marked Warrior” who would destroy their pantheon, assuming that "warrior" would be Kratos' brother. It’s possible that Kratos will lose his markings at some point in the next game to indicate that the cycle of revenge is finally over.
However, the figure also isn’t wearing the same clothes as Kratos is every other panel. While it’s perfectly possible for Kratos to change his outfit, it seems out of line with the depiction of Kratos in the rest of the mural, which doesn’t portray his clothing with one-hundred percent accuracy but instead reduces him to an easily recognizable figure.
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