Like Joel and Ellie in The The last of us franchise, the most recent God of War The title is very defined by the relationship between Kratos and his son Atreus, unlike the rest of the franchise. Even having a child as a partner indicates a big change from Kratos’ lifestyle in previous installments in the series.
This game is a truly epic story spanning a wide variety of lands and kingdoms. With this, the relationship between the two certainly takes a long time to develop over the course of your journey. Despite the number of times players had to hear Kratos refer to Atreus as “boy”, there is much more to his dynamic than meets the eye and this is even more true as the story progresses.
10 Its dynamics before the events of the game
To better understand their relationship throughout the game, it is important to have the context of what they were like before the events of the main game. Before the players took over and Baldur arrived, the two of them didn’t spend as much time together.
Kratos would make sure to go out into the woods just to make sure he kept his Spartan rage in check. Atreus thought his father was going hunting, but was still prevented from going hunting with Kratos when he did so due to his condition. Atreus was, at the time, a very sickly child and so he got closer to Faye.
9 Why Atreus is not ready
As mentioned, Kratos made sure to keep his rage in check in the lead up to the main story. This was something he took responsibility for himself and something he also looked for in his son.
Their relationship started off distant and it didn’t help that Kratos continually told Atreus that he wasn’t ready. Yes, he proves his worth when he helps his father against a troll. Still, it’s his anger and temper that makes Kratos see him as not ready. From the beginning of the game, Kratos is working to make sure Atreus doesn’t follow in his footsteps.
8 Dialogue between Atreus and Kratos
Of course, Atreus being ready could be sped up if it weren’t for the fact that Kratos is truly a man of few words. As mentioned above, the most common word that is exchanged between the two is “boy.” The reason behind this is actually because the name Atreus was given at the end of the developmental stages and before he was simply called “boy”.
Another thing to note about their dialogue is found within the various ship stories. While they are not as deep as Mimir’s stories, which are much shorter and seem more fable, they do have value in the grand scheme of things. Often times these stories tend to hint at events that will come later in the game. For example, it tells a story of the thief and his mother that recalls the story of Freya and Baldur.
7 Sister Atreus never met
Sometimes people don’t realize how old Kratos is. While not much is said about this, there is a 150 year old vase found in the game with its history. Part of this story includes Kratos’ mortal daughter, Calliope, who was born when he was 30 years old.
With Kratos’ age and the premature birth of his daughter, Atreus missed the opportunity to meet her for a long time. It is very crazy to think that Atreus has a sister more than 150 years older than him, although whether he knows a lot about her or not is another question.
6 Its mythological origins
While both Kratos and Atreus have origins that go back to mythology, Kratos and the series in general have done a good job of sticking to this mythology. That is, until Atreus appeared as his mythological namesake it is quite different from the one we know in the game. Atreus in mythology is a Mycenaean king, the son of Pelops and Hippodamia, as well as the father of Agamemnon and Menelaus. As in the game, he is the grandson of Zeus and Zeus is his great-grandfather.
Looking more at his identity as Loki, he also has certain descendants which include Jormungandr, Hel, and Fenrir, his wolf son. All of these come from his predestined wife, Angrbooa. Atreus is special because he has the ancestry of Zeus and the Frost Giants within him.
5 The cast behind the characters
In regards to the actors behind the two, Kratos was voiced by Christopher Judge and Atreus by Sunny Suljic. Judge was new to the role as of the 2018 game and, before him, six others took up the mantle of the character. It’s very unique in how much the actors varied throughout the franchise.
Although initially hesitant, Christopher Judge agreed to take on the game after convincing him. Like Kratos and Atreus, Judge also spoke about the growing relationship between him and Suljic. On the other hand, Christopher called his role in the game a love letter to his family after watching his own son play it.
4 Behind the scenes with the director
Speaking of father-son relationships in real life, it was director Cory Barlog’s relationship with his son that is largely due to appreciation for the game’s conception. He has confirmed that the story was inspired by his own son and the idea of an adventure they could have together. Of course, the coldness and distance between the pair in the game is not something Cory took from his own life exactly, but much of the story and its dynamics were.
Even some of the specific details, like Atreus translating Old Norse, were inspired by the times when Cory’s own son helped him with Swedish. While there are many larger world-altering events that take place, the game is in essence an illustration of Atreus and Kratos’ father-son dynamic.
3 How the game was almost very different
Speaking of direction decisions, things turned out almost very different for the game and its plot. Even the inclusion of Atreus was something Cory Barlog wanted, but executives doubted. They felt it was too ambitious to include it with everything else that was going on throughout. Of course, Cory won in the end and used Atreus to make Kratos a character with many more layers than he had been in the past.
The other changes were in regards to Kratos himself. The early versions of the game saw a much meaner and harsher Kratos in the way he treated his son. On the other hand, the studio also almost made Kratos too nice and quiet, which didn’t quite fit the mold of who he was either. Finally, they arrived at the balanced end product that you see in the game.
two Similar skills between the two
As for how the two fight, there are also things that Kratos and Atreus have in common. When Modi insults Atreus’ mother, he activates his Spartan fury, causing his body to break due to his lack of control. Spartan rage is something that both parent and child can use. However, fire emanates from Kratos’ body when he uses it, while lighting can be seen around Atreus.
An ability that is not confirmed for either of them, but that will likely be given to Atreus, is the ability to shapeshift. Asking if Kratos can turn into an animal is one of the first things Atreus does after his divinity is revealed. Speaking of mythology again, Atreus is expected to inherit this power, as it is one possessed by Loki and Zeus, who could shapeshift.
1 The future of your relationship
As for exactly what the future of Kratos and Atreus’s relationship holds is still unknown, though it is hinted a lot in the final moments of the game. The two find a giant mural towards the end of the game, which shows the history of Atreus and confirms his identity as Loki. One image shows Atreus holding his father, which could be Kratos’ death, although it is not entirely clear. A curious part of the mural is the lack of tattoos of Kratos that, according to some, could signify the end of the cycle of violence that has permeated his entire life.
With the death of Magni and Modi, Thor’s arrival is shown at the end of the game. It is confirmed that the next game will focus on the Ragnarok event. Much is unclear in terms of what kind of Loki Atreus he will be and what the next game will mean for the dynamic between the father-son duo.
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