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Article - Who is who in the new God of War? its Nordic mythology

Throughout all the trailers and the promotion campaign of the new God of War, many characters from the Nordic mythology collected in the Edda, the original poems, have been happening. We explain where each of them comes from and we try to trace the path that Kratos and his son Atreus follow throughout this adventure of colossal proportions.

The Norse mythology does not have such solid foundations as the Greek. Their stories are collected in the Edda, of oral tradition, whose compilation in prose was created by Snorri Sturluson hundreds of years later. That is why its history is so fragmented and many of its gods are simply named without greater prominence.

The team of Sony Santa Monica has been very smart to take advantage of this resource to create the story of Kratos in the new God of War for PS4, taking advantage of these gaps to tell the lost story of the god and his son Atreus. This formulation is already glimpsed before the game has seen the light thanks to the series The Lost Pages of North Myth (The Lost Pages of the Nordic Myth) that are on its official website and that represent a succulent source of information for those who want to know more about the video game.

We will use this small digital book as well as the trailers to name the most important beings seen in the new video game, because so many videos shown as official information hide many more secrets than it may seem at first sight.

The Sony Santa Monica team and Cory Barlog, in particular, feel some apprehension about the mythological gods. Unlike other interpretations of popular culture, God of War has always envisioned the cruelest and selfish side of these divinities. In the Greek saga of the franchise proved to have few scruples with mortals and everything points to the gods of Norse mythology will also end up being the enemy to beat.


A new Saga

In interpretations such as that of Marvel herself with her Thor, the possessor of Mjolnir, as well as Odin and other gods, are considered the heroes of the legend. In the Edda itself, despite the constant arrogance and selfishness of their deities, they are nevertheless the ones who pick up the bravest warriors among men to fight with them in the Ragnarok against Loki and his offspring. But in the universe of God of War, it is not strange that the gods are the rivals of Kratos. The fact that Jörmundgandr, the snake of the world and one of Loki's sons, wants to help us, seems to confirm this fact.

The story of God of War, however, remains a mystery. We know that he will follow closely the steps of Kratos and his son Atreus after the death of his mother. Kratos seems to show some concern because his son has inherited his godhood, as well as the internal anger that characterized him in the previous games of the God of War saga and seeks a way to stop this dark heritage.

Sony Santa Monica seems to be very suspicious with the demonstrations of the video game and its history, to the point that none of the famous gods of mythology appears, at least directly, in their trailers. We will review the characters that do it to better understand this mythological universe, as well as the story that God of War intends to tell us.

Mímir

In the GoW story trailer, Kratos and Atreus meet Mímir, a horned being perched on a tree (possibly Yggdrasil or at least one of its ramifications) that is self-proclaimed the "smartest man there is". Mímir explains to Kratos that there is only one person capable of guiding them to where they have to go, and that is none other than him. But for this, they must cut off his head. And boy do they do it. Mímir's head can be seen on the back of Kratos in several scenes of the trailers.


In the myth, Mímir was the guardian of the well of wisdom, from which he drank through the Gjallerhorn, the horn that Heimdall would sound to announce the Ragnarok. Mímir was known for giving good advice, to the point that when the war between the Aesir and the Vanir broke out, he was sent by Odin to negotiate with Hoenir. When I was with Mímir, Hoenir was wise. When not, he made bad decisions, and the Vanir, tired of this, curiously decided to cut off Mímir's head and return it to Odin. The god anointed her with herbs and enchantments and Mímir spoke again, giving the best advice anyone could offer.

It seems that in the universe of God of War, Mímir will be our guide, someone who explains to Kratos the places and events wherever he goes. Next, to Mímir, a portal to another world awaits you, probably towards Jötunheimr, the home of the ice giants.

Sindri and Brok

Also known as Eitri, he was with his brother Brok the best dwarven smiths that existed, children of Ivaldi. They created the treasures of the gods, among which is Gungnir, the spear that never fails Odin or the famous Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor, something smaller than foreseen because of Loki. Using the shape of a fly, Loki managed to deconcentrate Brok from his task to fan the flames incessantly with the bellows, thus sabotaging the true form of Sindri's masterpiece.


In the video game, Sindri and Brok will be in charge of improving our equipment, unlike the orbs that we collected in the previous saga. They know perfectly the Ax of the Leviathan, because they also created it, according to it counts, to compensate the force granted to the Gods by their other creations. The ax, embroidered with runes, also has several holes for embedding gems, which will give Kratos new abilities.

Why, being, brothers, Sindri and Brok are so different? In the first place, they seem to have certain discrepancies about the creation of the weapons of the gods, which have kept them apart in recent years. The bluish skin of Brok is due to the fact that, during the creation of the Leviathan's Ax, the dwarf died. He was stung by a spider (Loki again?) Incessantly, but this time he did not stop in his effort to build the weapon, which ended his life. His brother managed to resuscitate him, entering the lake of souls and finding his spirit, which he would gather with his glove.

The witch of the forest

One of the most prolific characters in the trailers is the forest witch, as she is known in the game. However, there is no record in the mythology of a character that responds to this term. The closest thing could be the nornas, oracles able to see the events that await the future and that are sometimes able to control weaving their own destiny.


They are usually represented as three women, while in God of War we only see one. Most likely it is a new character, created by Santa Monica, responsible for guiding Kratos in the beginning of the adventure. A similar role had Athena in the previous saga of the hero so it would not surprise us that in the future it was revealed as a goddess. Freya, for example.

Draugr

The Draugr are the basic enemies of God of War and the representation of the undead in Nordic myths. The bravest warriors who die in Midgard are picked up by the Valkyries, the ones sent by the gods, to guide them to Valhalla, where they celebrate until the day of Ragnarok. The Draugr, however, are souls who have not been guided by the Valkyries, but who have not fallen into the hands of Hel, the goddess of the underworld and daughter of Loki. The Lost Pages tell the conversion to Draugr of a man who is assaulted by bandits, after fighting bravely. When the Valkyrie approaches, he believes it is a new trap for the bandits and refuses to accompany her. His soul, lost between the worlds, becomes a Draugr. His armor, now fused with the flesh, for all eternity.


Jörmundgandr

During one of the trips to the land of the ice giants, Loki had three children with the giant Angrboda. When Odin learned of this, he had a vision that they would become the world's greatest enemies. He then traveled to Jotunheim with Tyr and Thor to take the children back to Asgard. One of them was Fenrir, a wolf cub with a hungry hunger. Another was Hel, who liked more the dead than the living. The other, Jörmundgandr, had the form of a snake, and Odin threw it into the oceans, where it could not harm anyone, to grow to gigantic proportions and become the Serpent of the World and Thor's natural enemy.


In God of War, Jörmundgandr goes to the ritual perpetrated by Kratos and, although the god is not able to understand it, his son does. "He wants to help us." In the last trailer, we see Kratos showing the head of Mímir to the snake, so it is possible that it is in the first place who indicates to the god how to take the first steps in his adventure. Beyond this, the role of the Serpent of the World is not clear, but in the Ragnarok will be present to battle against the gods and, above all, against his greatest enemy: Thor.

Fafnir

We do not know if the dragon that is seen at the end of the first trailer of God of War is Fafnir, but if so, it would make sense. Fafnir was a dwarf who killed his own father to seize his treasure. By a curse of Loki and his own greed, Fafnir was turned into a dragon and hence we have the number of legends of gold-loving dragons that have survived to this day.


In God of War, we see again a dragon guarding a temple. Being the treasure chamber, which includes works of art from other cultures such as Greek and Egyptian, it would make sense that it was Fafnir who protected the treasure. Unfortunately, the footage we have of these moments is so fleeting that we can only guess.

Thamur


In the trailer " Be a Warrior ", we see Kratos in front of an ice giant. Thanks to the Lost Pages, we know that this giant is Thamur, a builder whose intention is to create a wall that protects them from the god of thunder: Thor. For this, he asks for help from his son, Harinthur, but he refuses and the discussion ends in dispute. Harinthur leaves to Midgard and its father follows it, but instead of to its son, it finds Thor, that after a fierce fight it demolishes it with its hammer. Thamur falls on his own chisel and this is how Kratos finds him on his way through Midgard.

Wolves

Who are these flaming-eyed wolves that cross the road? At first, the most characteristic wolf figure in Norse mythology is that of Fenrir, one of Loki's sons whose voracious hunger seems to have no end, to the point of devouring the Sun and the Moon itself. However, we see two wolves in the image, which suggests that they could well be Geri and Freki, the wolves that accompany Odin with their crows Hugin and Munin, so they could perfectly be the eyes and swords of the god of gods. he watches us on the adventure.

Loki


During their appearance in the trailer, the wolves are accompanied by a mysterious voice that says: "Far from home, right?" With a sure and mocking tone that we will hear seconds later in the treasure chamber: "And I thought that the [gods] of your class were much better than us". Although we dare not assure anything, the mocking tone of the voice irrevocably reminds us of Loki, the god of mischief, who is also known to be capable of changing form. Is it possible that these wolves were one of its manifestations or is it just a trailer assembly game? In any case, the god Loki is one of the clearest manifestations we see of the divine in the video game.

Thor


Although it does not look like it, Thor appears in the game. Or rather, his statue. There it is, along with its hammer, when the Serpent of the World rises. The god of thunder is undoubtedly the character that has more chapters in the Nordic myths, creating a number of deeds in its path, but also showing his arrogance and his bellicose attitude because everything he tries to solve by hammering. Considering what the dwarf brothers Sindri and Brok say when creating the Leviathan Ax to counter the power of Mjolnir, the mighty hammer (and possibly also Gungnir, Odin's spear), it is more than possible that Thor is a contender in God of War, if not in this, in subsequent deliveries.

Odin

The chief of the gods does not appear in any of the trailers, but one of his passages from Norse mythology is included in the Lost Pages. It's where Odin loses his eye. Or rather, it is voluntarily removed.


When Odin met Mímir for the first time, the guardian of the well of wisdom, asked him to drink from its waters. Mímir refused and asked for an eye of the god in exchange for drinking from the well. Odin did not hesitate a moment, casting his eye to the pond after tearing it with the help of a knife. From that time, and after drinking from the well with the horn of Gjallerhorn, he saw beyond with a single eye of what he could see with both of them.

The nine kingdoms


The nine kingdoms that make up Nordic mythology are:
  • Midgar, the realm of humans.
  • Asgard, home of the gods Aesir.
  • Vanaheimr, of the Vanir gods.
  • Svartálfaheimr, the kingdom of the dwarves.
  • Álfheimr, the house of the elves.
  • Niflheim, the frozen world.
  • Muspelheim, the world of fire.
  • Jötunheimr, the kingdom of the giants.
  • Helgeimr, hell or underworld, where the dead goes and governed by Hel.

Although it may not seem like it, we have seen at least three of those kingdoms in the trailers of God of War. Midgar is prominent in the first video, where humans inhabit and the adventure begins. There we will also meet the Serpent of the World, which seems to lead us to where Mímir lives, that will open the portal to Jötunheimr or Niflheim because clearly, we can appreciate a completely frozen kingdom, whose enemies are also formed by ice. Finally, in the trailer of the story, we can see the interpretation that makes the game of the elves, almost as human-sized fairies that attack the protagonists so we can assume that father and son will visit Álfheimr. Finally, we may also have seen remnants of Vanaheimr, the kingdom of the Vanir, place of abundant vegetation and nature, as the Vanir are gods associated with fertility.

The mission of Kratos and Atreus


Throughout the article, we have revolved around the idea of what is the search for Kratos and Atreus. And although the truth is that it is not clear with all the information we have, we do have our own theories. In the story trailer, Kratos tells Atreus: "It always has a consequence to killing a God. " It would not be unreasonable to assume that in his quest, whether to free Atreus from his inheritance or for some other circumstance, they must end up with one of the gods of the Nordic pantheon.


And who among them can be? The most logical thing would be to think that, given the tradition of the saga and his own name, be the god of war. And the god of war, and also of wisdom and even death, is Odin. He is the god of gods, so it is easy to point the arrow at him. Anyway, there's something else. There is "another" god of war.

Tyr. Son of Odin. The god with one hand. The often forgotten god Tyr could also be a target. A more convoluted theory pointed out that Tyr is none other than Atreus. This theory was based on some of the runes that are written on his arm, which seem to mean "Strong Arm" (strong arm) and "Tyr". However, it has been shown that, while the "Strong Arm" runes are present, those of Tyr is a continuation of other words written with runes on their arm. The question, however, still stands: Can Atreus represent Tyr and become the new God of War?

Little remains to clear all doubts, but although God of War does not seem to have lent itself to conjecture, it has been able to show abundant information of its interpretation of the Nordic myths, while it has jealously guarded many of its most iconic characters. Luckily, on April 20 we will leave doubts and we will see everything that the vision of this God of War for PS4 is capable of offering to this fascinating mythology.

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