‘God of War’: Everything You Need to Know
Games from “God of War” have always been the best examples of form and content combination that really fits. Mythical Greece was shown as a violent place, where thousands of people were murdered and where monsters existed for a long time. Kratos, an undesired son of the Spartan warrior Zeus, was a perfect example of all brutality and anger.
During six games, Kratos managed to go through entire Greek pantheon and bestiary. Having returned home, he was looking for new pastures up north in the land of Odin and Thor. It was quite obvious. However, all expectations were surpassed.
New 2018 God of War uses Norse mythology in a proper way, somehow masterfully and thoughtfully. It directly reflects the subject and spirit of the Norse canon. Designer Corey Barlog and his team managed to create a true and faithful mythic storytelling.
If comparing to the body of Greek myth, a small number of Norse tales remained the same. The most information we know now comes through the epic Prose and Poetic Eddas, with so many stories telling Thor and the way he was slaying giants. Actually, Thor is mostly depicted as a good-natured, both he and Kratos use murders as a key to solving all problems.
For the duration of playing this game, one important thing may come to mind: there are no people in this world. First of all, you meet some cannibals. Then, you have an opportunity to talk to ghosts. All people you meet on your way are either dwarves or gods. Taking into account that the story is based on Norse mythology, it makes sense since humans do not live there. In Greek myths, we often meet people dealing with some supernatural forces. If to speak about Norse gods, humans there are almost incidental. Gods, in their turn, deal with giants. However, the game later explains the absence of people. The story of a game also reflects the eschatological idea of Ragnarok. Ragnarok is the result of gods` anger and cruelty towards giants and monsters.
God of War may sound somehow critical in relation to gods, and this is an absolute truth. For ancient people, gods were usually personifications of a cruel world. They saw gods as capricious creatures which didn’t think about people at all.
Probably, the most interesting mythic interpretation is the character of Baldur, son of Odin and Freya.
Everything began when Baldur started having some dreams of his own death. His mother, in order to protect his son from any harm, went out and got a promise from everything in the world. Then we see how Baldur was standing in front of all gods, which were throwing the weapon at him. He managed to survive by bouncing everything off. However, his mother forgot about one god – trickster god, Loki, who later made a mistletoe spear and by blind god Hodr killed Baldur.
First of all, God of War initially shows us Baldur as The Stranger. It is a story when Freya is trying to protect her son from all feelings and sensations, while Baldur goes mad because of isolation.
At the same time, it also about some family concerns, mainly the ways parents and children shape each other. For example, such question arose: how parents` protection can harm you?
Baldur is seen as the brightest example of how God of War fits both the content and the myth form.
While talking about the concept of “myth”, it should be mentioned that there is no single one and correct version of it. As the main quality can be the fact of being shared and coming alive through different interpretations. Some new versions, added details and original perspectives aren’t in conflict with the canonical truth. Instead, it all makes myths powerful and alive through centuries.
Taking into account the precise engagement with liberties and gods, God of War is tied with myths in every sense of the word. All used stories were created to be alive and relevant as well.