Characters of God of War

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The characters of the God of War video game franchise belong to a fictional universe loosely based on Greek mythology. As such, the series features a range of traditional figures, including the Olympian Gods, Titans, and heroes. A number of original characters have also been created to supplement storylines.

The overall story arc focuses on the series' only playable character, the protagonist Kratos, a Spartan warrior haunted by visions of himself accidentally killing his wife and child. The character finally avenges his family by killing his former master and manipulator, Ares, the God of War. Although Kratos becomes the new God of War, he is still plagued by nightmares and is eventually betrayed by Zeus, the King of the Olympian Gods—revealed by the goddess Athena to be Kratos' father. The constant machinations of the gods and Titans and their misuse of Kratos eventually drive him to destroy Mount Olympus.

God of War (2005), created by Sony's Santa Monica Studio, was the inaugural game in the series, which continued with the sequels, God of War II (2007), God of War: Betrayal (2007), God of War III (2010), and God of War: Ghost of Sparta (2010), and the prequels, God of War: Chains of Olympus (2008) and God of War: Ascension (2013). The God of War mythos expanded into literature, with a novelization of the original God of War published in 2010,[1] and a six-issue God of War comic series that introduced new characters and plot developments was published from 2010–11. A novelization of God of War II was published in 2013,[2] and a film adaptation of the original God of War has been in development since 2005.[3]

God of War has become a highly lucrative franchise on account of the commercial and critical success of the series. Products include action figures, artwork, clothing, Slurpee cups, sweepstakes, and special edition video game consoles. The character of Kratos received positive comments from reviewers, and was described as a "sympathetic antihero" by GameSpy.[4] Game Guru claimed "Practically anyone, even if they hadn't played any of the God of War games, would know about Kratos."[5] Several reviewers have praised the portrayal of the characters: PAL Gaming Network claimed that God of War's voice acting is "up there with the best",[6] while IGN have complimented most of the games in the series, saying of God of War II that the characters were "timeless"[7] and the voice acting was "great".[8]

Concept and creation[edit]

During the creation of God of War, the game's director David Jaffe attempted to create a version of Kratos that looked brutal but had a different appearance from what is considered to be the traditional Greek hero.[9] The character's traditional armor was removed to show the character's individualism,[10] and details such as hair and other "flowing things" were removed.[11] Jaffe said of his final version of the character, that while "[Kratos] may not totally feel at home in Ancient Greece from a costume standpoint, I think he achieves the greater purpose which is to give players a character who they can play who really does just let them go nuts and unleash the nasty fantasies that they have in their head."[12]

When designing Ares, Charlie Wen was advised that the character should be 90% elemental and 5–10% human, then began sketching. He said that the rest of the team liked the designs, but were uncertain about execution. The transition towards Ares' human form was slow, and Wen said of the final design, "he's still a huge guy, but he's got all this armor on that allows him to do all these things."[13] Like most of the Olympian gods in God of War, Zeus first appeared as a floating translucent head, and was modeled on the typical representation of the god in Greek mythology.[14] Cory Barlog (Game Director of God of War II) said that for God of War II, they wanted to maintain Zeus' appearance from literature, but also to add their own interpretation to the character.[15] Zeus' human appearance was originally designed by Charlie Wen for God of War II. This design was also used in God of War III, with updated graphics and the addition of an arm piece during the final fight. Andy Park was responsible for designing Zeus' spirit form for the final fight. Park produced several sketches, and imagined Zeus as a "massive tornado creature with lightning searing throughout the form." Park said that the ultimate goal was that "we are looking at Zeus, but it is him transformed into a big cloud of smoke."[16]

Hades in God of War (left) and the reimagined appearance introduced in God of War II (right).

Hades first appeared in God of War; the original design portrayed Hades as a fiery, demonic face with horns. Statues in the game adhered to this design.[17] Hades' character design was changed in God of War II, with the character now appearing in a more human-like form with spikes protruding from his body and wielding a pair of chained claws, similar to Kratos' chained blades. The new design featured a helmet that appeared to cover a fiery face, which in God of War III, it is eventually revealed to be very grotesque but more human-like than the original design from God of War.[18] Hermes was originally designed for God of War II by Andy Park and did appear in the final cut scene of the game. For God of War III, Park updated the design and painting of the character. Park said he "wanted to create a character that was sly, cunning, and a bit comical in both appearance and personality" and he imagined he would be "much like a dancer."[19]

The Titan Oceanus was sketched by Erik San Juan and was originally intended to appear in God of War II in a completely watery form with no feet. This concept, however, was cut during development.[20] Oceanus appeared in God of War III, with a similar appearance to the other Titans and with an emphasis on lightning instead of the original watery design. Oceanus's original watery design was the basis of the design for Poseidon's avatar sea construct for God of War III.[21]

The character Daedalus was designed by Izzy Medrano, who said that he imagined Daedalus as a brilliant architect gone mad, and that Daedalus, similar to Kratos, was a pawn of the gods. The character was originally intended to have long white hair, but was eventually rendered bald, "as long hair is a difficult thing to manage."[22] Icarus was conceived as an "old disgusting man" and portrayed as an evil, although slightly comedic, character.[23] Medrano also designed Pandora, whom he said is vital in reintroducing the player to the human side of Kratos. Medrano also said that they knew Pandora had to be young and reminiscent of Kratos' daughter, Calliope, and that "[Pandora] had to be pretty without being sexy and spunky without being saucy." Medrano said the character's final attire was a "Greek Punk" fashion style.[24]

The first version of the Gorgon, Medusa, was to have five feet, but due to perceived animation difficulties, the final version had one tail. Other Gorgons in the game adhered to this design.[25] The goddess Artemis was considered for inclusion in God of War: Ascension as a playable female character, offering alternative combat options. Game Director Todd Papy said she would have been depicted as half-human and half-feline, with the head and torso of a woman and the legs of a lioness. However, she was ultimately cut from the game and thus only appears in the original God of War as a translucent head.[26]

Major characters[edit]

  • Kratos – The protagonist of the God of War series. The character is a power-hungry Spartan who, to save his life, was eventually forced to serve the Olympian god Ares. During one murderous rampage, Kratos accidentally killed his wife and child. Kratos renounced Ares, became a tormented soul (including imprisonment by the Furies), and served the gods for ten years in hopes of becoming free of the nightmares. He eventually killed Ares and became the God of War, but was betrayed by his father, Zeus. A series of attempts to free himself from the influence of the gods and Titans followed, culminating in a final confrontation with Zeus, ending in the god's death and the reign of the Olympian Gods. In the aftermath, Athena appeared and Kratos sacrificed himself to prevent her from becoming the supreme goddess of the world. Kratos' final fate remains unknown. The character has been consistently voiced by Terrence C. Carson,[27][28] and Antony Del Rio voiced the character as a child in God of War: Ghost of Sparta.[29]
  • Athena – The Goddess of Wisdom and Kratos' mentor and ally. In Chains of Olympus, Athena initially tasked Kratos to find Helios as in the absence of light, the god Morpheus had caused many of the gods to fall into a deep slumber.[30] In God of War, she charged Kratos with the murder of Ares, as Zeus had forbidden divine involvement, and was instrumental in allowing Kratos to become the new God of War.[31] Although she begged Kratos to stop his second quest for the Ambrosia of Asclepius in the God of War comic series and lied to him about his brother Deimos in Ghost of Sparta,[32] Athena was still sympathetic towards Kratos even after he renounced the gods and was betrayed by Zeus in God of War II. Athena died trying to protect Zeus from Kratos, and was resurrected and elevated to a new level of understanding in God of War III. With ulterior motives, Athena became Kratos' ally once more and guided him to the Flame of Olympus surrounding Pandora's Box, which allowed Kratos to kill Zeus and end the reign of Mount Olympus.[33] The character was voiced by Carole Ruggier in God of War[34] and God of War II,[35] and Erin Torpey in God of War: Chains of Olympus, God of War III, and God of War: Ghost of Sparta.[28][29]
  • Gaia – The mother of the Titans and embodiment of Earth.[36] At the request of Zeus' mother Rhea, Gaia raised and protected the young Zeus to prevent Cronos from devouring him, as he had devoured his other children.[37] When Zeus grew to manhood, he betrayed Gaia, freed his siblings, and Gaia was banished with her fellow Titans at the conclusion of the Great War.[38] In God of War II, she saved Kratos from the Underworld after a disastrous encounter with Zeus, and directed the Spartan to find the Sisters of Fate in order to take revenge on Zeus. A successful Kratos plucked Gaia and the Titans from the moment in time before their defeat in the Great War to launch an abortive attack on Olympus. In God of War III, Gaia was wounded in the assault on Olympus and abandoned Kratos, stating he was a pawn of the Titans so that they could have their revenge. Kratos eventually found and crippled Gaia, but she returned and interrupted the final battle between the Spartan and Zeus. The pair entered Gaia's neck wound, and with the Blade of Olympus, Kratos destroyed her heart, killing the Titan.[33] The character was voiced by Linda Hunt[27] in God of War II, and Susan Blakeslee in God of War III.
  • Zeus – The King of the Olympian Gods and the main antagonist of God of War II and God of War III. Zeus and Ares believed the destruction of Olympus would come at the hands of Kratos' brother Deimos, so they had Deimos imprisoned and tortured by Thanatos.[39] Many years later, in God of War, Zeus aided Kratos against Ares by bestowing him with the magic, "Zeus' Fury", and as the mysterious gravedigger. In God of War II, it is revealed that Zeus had become infected with fear. He tricked Kratos into draining his godly powers into the Blade of Olympus, stating it was required to deal with the new threat actually created by Zeus. Kratos, stripped of his power, was mortally wounded while human, and killed by Zeus. With the help of the Titan Gaia, Kratos used the power of the Sisters of Fate to return to the moment Zeus betrayed him and defeated Zeus after extensive combat. Zeus was saved by Athena, who sacrificed herself to preserve Olympus. Before dying, Athena revealed that Kratos is Zeus' son, and that Zeus feared a perpetuation of the son-killing-father cycle, as Zeus imprisoned his father Cronos.[40] This was confirmed in God of War III when Kratos discovered that Zeus was infected with fear when Kratos first opened Pandora's Box and used its power to kill Ares. After a lengthy battle and an enlightening encounter with Pandora in his psyche, Kratos finally overcame and killed Zeus.[33] In God of War: Ascension's multiplayer mode, Zeus is one of the four gods that players can pledge their allegiance to. The character was voiced by Paul Eiding in God of War,[34] Corey Burton in God of War II,[35] God of War III, and God of War: Ascension, and Fred Tatasciore in God of War: Ghost of Sparta's after-game "Combat Arena" mode.[29] Zeus is a downloadable playable character in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, released on March 19, 2013.[41]

Olympian Gods[edit]

Artwork of Ares, former God of War and main antagonist in God of War
  • Aphrodite – The Goddess of Love and Sexuality, and wife of Hephaestus. In God of War, Aphrodite helped Kratos by empowering the head of the slain Medusa.[42] In God of War III, she offered advice regarding the architect Daedalus and after seducing Kratos, she directed him to her estranged husband.[33] The character was voiced by Carole Ruggier in God of War,[34] and April Stewart in God of War III.[43]
  • Ares – The former God of War and main antagonist of God of War.[44] Ares captured Kratos' brother Deimos and had him imprisoned and tortured due to a misinterpreted prophecy,[39] and later chose Kratos as his champion during a successful wager with other Olympian Gods in the God of War comic series. Years later, in God of War, during a battle, Kratos called on the God of War, and pledged his life in servitude if Ares spared him from his foes and provided the power to destroy them. Ares granted Kratos' wish and empowered his new servant with the Blades of Chaos. A victorious Kratos eventually renounced his servitude to Ares when the god tricked Kratos into accidentally killing his own wife and child. When Ares waged war on the city of Athens, Kratos was tasked by Athena to find Pandora's Box, an artifact capable of destroying Ares. Ultimately successful, Kratos ascended to Mount Olympus and replaced Ares as the new God of War.[45] In God of War: Ascension's multiplayer mode, Ares is one of the four gods that players can pledge their allegiance to. The character was voiced by Steven Blum in God of War,[34] God of War: Ghost of Sparta, and God of War: Ascension, and Fred Tatasciore in God of War III during the psyche sequence.[43]
  • Artemis – The Goddess of the Hunt. Artemis participated in the Olympian wager in the God of War comic series, and years later in God of War, she aided Kratos in the Temple of Pandora by providing him with the "Blade of Artemis".[46] The character was voiced by Claudia Black in God of War.[34]
  • Eos – The Goddess of Dawn and the sister of Helios. Eos told Kratos of the machinations of Morpheus, who had taken advantage of her brother's disappearance. When Kratos found Eos in the Caves of Olympus, she advised him to find the Primordial Fires and free Helios' loyal Fire Steeds, as they could find the Sun God.[47] The character was voiced by Erin Torpey in God of War: Chains of Olympus.
  • Hades – The God of the Underworld. Hades participated in the Olympian wager in the God of War comic series. In God of War, Hades aided Kratos in Pandora's Temple,[48] but with the combined murders of Hades' wife Persephone, niece Athena, and brother Poseidon, it drove him to near madness and a final confrontation with Kratos in God of War III, ending in the god's death, which subsequently released all souls from the Underworld.[33] In God of War: Ascension's multiplayer mode, Hades is one of the four gods that players can pledge their allegiance to. The character was voiced by Nolan North in God of War,[34] Clancy Brown in God of War III,[43] and Fred Tatasciore in God of War: Ascension. In PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Hades appears as an environmental hazard on the God of War/Patapon inspired stage called Hades.
  • Helios – The God of the Sun. Helios had entered into Ares' wager, choosing the fiery-being Cereyon, who was drowned by Kratos in the God of War comic series. Years later, in Chains of Olympus, Helios was kidnapped by the Titan Atlas on behalf of the goddess Persephone, who intended to use Helios' power to destroy the Pillar of the World, causing the destruction of Olympus. The plan was thwarted by Kratos, and Helios was rescued. When Kratos turned against the gods and lead the Titans in an assault against Olympus in God of War III, Helios was injured and left for dead by the Titan Perses. Found by Kratos, Helios remained loyal to Zeus and attempted to trick Kratos at the cost of his life, but was decapitated by the Spartan, which caused worldwide darkness and storms.[33] The character was voiced by Dwight Schultz in God of War: Chains of Olympus, and Crispin Freeman in God of War III.[43]
  • Hephaestus – The Smith God and husband of Aphrodite who had fallen from the grace of Olympus. The creator of Pandora and Pandora's Box, Hephaestus concealed the truth about his artificial "daughter" from Zeus, advising that the Box should be stored in an impregnable temple on the back of Cronos instead of in the Flame of Olympus. When Kratos eventually penetrated the temple and opened the Box, it released previously trapped evils into the world. Infected by fear, Zeus beat and deformed Hephaestus as punishment for his deception before trapping him in his forge in the Underworld. Kratos encountered Hephaestus in his quest to find the Flame of Olympus and eventually found Pandora, the key to quenching the flame and opening Pandora's Box. Hephaestus betrayed Kratos by sending him into what he had hoped to be a fatal confrontation with the Titan Cronos for the Omphalos Stone, but a triumphant Kratos returned with the stone, angered at Hephaestus. The surprised god then crafted the stone into a weapon for Kratos before attempting to kill the Spartan himself, but was killed by Kratos, who took the newly forged weapon. The character was voiced by Rip Torn in God of War III.[28][33]
  • Hera – Zeus' jaded wife and the Queen of the Gods. In God of War: Betrayal, Hera's giant pet, Argos, was sent by the gods to stop Kratos' rampage across Greece. In God of War III, the drunken goddess ordered the demigod Hercules to kill Kratos. Kratos, however, killed Hercules and eventually Hera herself in her own gardens for mocking Pandora, thus ending all plant life. The character was voiced by Adrienne Barbeau in God of War III.[33]
  • Hermes – The God of Speed and Commerce, the Messenger of the Gods, and the father of Ceryx. Hermes participated in the Olympian wager in the God of War comic series. In God of War III, Hermes taunted Kratos about murdering his family during Kratos' assault on Mount Olympus, leading to a chase through the city of Olympia. Kratos eventually caught Hermes off guard, and killed him, which released a plague on the world. The character was voiced by Greg Ellis in God of War III.[33][43]
  • Morpheus – The God of Dreams and the silent ally of the goddess Persephone in God of War: Chains of Olympus. After Helios was taken from the sky by Atlas plunging the world into darkness, Morpheus forced both gods and mortals to slumber as the Black Fog of Morpheus covered the lands. An unseen character, Morpheus was thwarted when Kratos killed Persephone, imprisoned the Titan Atlas, and returned Helios to the sky.[49]
  • Persephone – The Queen of the Underworld and main antagonist of God of War: Chains of Olympus. Bitter at being abandoned to the Underworld by her fellow gods, Persephone entered into an alliance with Morpheus and then freed and used the Titan Atlas to capture the god Helios, intending to use Helios' power to destroy the Pillar of the World. Persephone offered to reunite Kratos with his daughter Calliope in the Fields of Elysium. This she did, but Kratos reluctantly abandoned Calliope and killed Persephone to stop her from destroying the Pillar.[49] The character was voiced by Marina Gordon in God of War: Chains of Olympus.
  • Poseidon – The God of the Sea. Poseidon also participated in the Olympian wager in the God of War comic series, and later tasked Kratos with slaying the Hydra in God of War.[50] Poseidon came to resent Kratos for his role in the destruction of Atlantis in Ghost of Sparta,[51] and, in God of War III, he was killed by Kratos during the Spartan's assault on Olympus, which caused the oceans to flood the world.[33] In God of War: Ascension's multiplayer mode, Poseidon is one of the four gods that players can pledge their allegiance to. The character was voiced by Fred Tatasciore in God of War,[34] and Gideon Emery in God of War III,[43] God of War: Ghost of Sparta, and God of War: Ascension.
  • Thanatos – The God of Death, father of Erinys, and main antagonist of God of War: Ghost of Sparta. Thanatos was the Ruler of the Domain of Death, and imprisoned and tortured Kratos' brother Deimos. Thanatos eventually killed Deimos in battle, but was killed in turn by an angered Kratos. The character was voiced by Arthur Burghardt in God of War: Ghost of Sparta.[52]

Titans[edit]

  • Atlas – A four-armed Titan imprisoned in Tartarus after the Great War. In Chains of Olympus, Atlas was freed by the goddess Persephone and used to capture the god Helios. Persephone directed Atlas to use Helios' power to destroy the Pillar of the World. Atlas, however, was chained to the weakened pillar by Kratos, and was doomed to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders forever. After Kratos defeated Persephone, Atlas mocked Kratos and his choice to defend the gods. In God of War II, Atlas and Kratos met again, and although he was initially bitter towards Kratos, Atlas decided to help him reach the Sisters of Fate, and stated that they will meet again. The character was voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan in God of War II,[35] and Fred Tatasciore in God of War: Chains of Olympus.[40]
  • Cronos – The father of Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, and Hera. Cronos learned of a prophecy that foretold that one of his children would become greater than him. In an attempt to cheat fate, Cronos devoured his own children and imprisoned them in his stomach. Due to the trickery by Cronos' wife Rhea, the young child Zeus was spared the fate of his siblings, and secretly grew to manhood. Zeus freed his siblings and defeated Cronos and the Titans in the Great War. In an attempt to change his fate, Cronos offered a gift, the gigantic stone "Steeds of Time", to the Sisters of Fate, but they declined his request.[40] As punishment for Cronos' role in the Great War, Zeus forced the Titan to crawl through the Desert of Lost Souls with Pandora's Temple chained to his back.[31] In God of War III, Kratos traveled to Tartarus in search of the Omphalos Stone where he was confronted by a vengeful Cronos (who still had Pandora's Temple chained to his back). The Titan blamed Kratos for Gaia's death and his imprisonment, as when Kratos penetrated the Temple and retrieved the Box in God of War, a fearful Zeus cast Cronos into Tartarus. The Titan is killed in battle by Kratos.[33] The character was voiced by Lloyd Sherr in God of War II,[35] and George Ball in God of War III.[43]
  • Perses – The volcanic Titan of Destruction featured in God of War III. Perses participated in the assault on Olympus. After mortally wounding Helios, Perses attacked Kratos, but was wounded with the Blade of Olympus.[33]
  • Prometheus – Punished by Zeus for giving mankind the Fires of Olympus. Prometheus was made mortal, and attacked by an eagle that rips out his liver, which regrows instantly, on a daily basis. Kratos encountered Prometheus near Typhon's lair. Prometheus is eventually freed by Kratos, dies by self-immolation in fire, and his ashes empowered Kratos. The character was voiced by Alan Oppenheimer in God of War II.[35][40]
  • Rhea – Featured in a flashback in God of War II, Rhea is the wife of Cronos. When Cronos devoured their children in an attempt to cheat the prophecy that one of his children would become greater than him, Rhea tricked Cronos and ensured the young Zeus was hidden away and protected by Gaia.[37]
  • Thera – A lava-based Titan, Thera is an original character and does not appear in Greek mythology.[49] Imprisoned beneath the Methana Volcano just outside the city of Atlantis. Kratos freed the Titan, gained her power, and in addition to destroying the archimedean screws, the volcano erupted. The eruption destroyed the city and submerged it under the ocean, and caused great damage to the Island of Crete and its capital city, Heraklion.[53] The character was voiced by Dee Dee Rescher in God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
  • Typhon – A Titan imprisoned within a mountain after the Great War. Gaia directed Kratos to Typhon for aid. When Typhon refused to help him, Kratos blinded him and stole his magical bow. The character was voiced by Fred Tatasciore in God of War II.[35][40]

Greek heroes[edit]

  • Hercules – A demigod and the half-brother of Kratos. Hercules sought to claim the throne of God of War after performing a thirteenth and unofficial labor: the murder of Kratos. Jealous of his half-brother, Hercules attacked Kratos, but was killed by the Spartan.[54] The character also appears as a boss in God of War: Ascension on the Forum of Hercules multiplayer map. Hercules was voiced by Kevin Sorbo in God of War III and God of War: Ascension (who was chosen for his previous portrayal of the character in the television series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys).[28]
  • Perseus – The second Greek hero Kratos encountered in his quest to find the Sisters of Fate. Perseus was also seeking the Sisters in the hope of reviving his dead love. Believing Kratos to be a test from the Sisters, he battled Kratos, but was killed by the Spartan. The character was voiced by Harry Hamlin in God of War II (who was chosen for his previous portrayal of the character in the 1981 film Clash of the Titans).[35][40][55]
  • Theseus – A servant of the Sisters of Fate guarding the Steeds of Time. Theseus challenged Kratos to determine who is the greatest warrior in all Greece, but was killed in battle. The character was voiced by Paul Eiding in God of War II.[35][40]

Mythological characters[edit]

  • Aegaeon – Featured in God of War: Ascension, Aegaeon the Hecatonchires had pledged a blood oath to Zeus, but later betrayed the god. The first victim of the Furies, they captured and tortured the multi-armed creature. Instead of killing him, the Furies turned him to stone — making him the giant Prison of the Damned — becoming a symbol to all who may think of breaking a blood oath to a god. As Kratos attempts to escape the prison, Megaera uses her parasitic insects to bring Aegaeon to life and control him as his many arms mutate into monstrous forms and begin to attack the Spartan. Fending off two of its parasite-controlled arms, Megaera then infects Aegaeon's head which attacks Kratos, but the Spartan outsmarts and kills Megaera; this also causes Aegaeon to die, freeing him from his suffering.[56]
  • Aletheia – The Oracle of Delphi gifted with prophetic sight. When she is encountered by Kratos, she is shown to be an elderly woman who has no eyes. Castor and Pollux crushed her under rocks so that Kratos could not see her. Her dying words to Kratos told him to seek the Eyes of Truth across the sea in the Lantern of Delos[57]—the Eyes being her own eyes that were taken by the Furies.[58] The character was voiced by Adrienne Barbeau in God of War: Ascension.[59]
  • Argos – The multi-eyed giant pet of the goddess Hera that was sent by the gods to stop Kratos' rampage across Greece in God of War: Betrayal. After several skirmishes with Kratos, Argos was killed by an unknown assassin who framed Kratos for the murder.[60][61]
  • Castor and Pollux – An elderly conjoined twin, they usurped the Oracle of Delphi and decide who can see her.[62] When Kratos attempted to see the Oracle without any offerings, the twin made themselves younger by using the Amulet of Uroborus and then fought Kratos.[63] They attempted to kill the Oracle so that Kratos could not see her. After crushing the Oracle under rocks, Kratos then killed the twin and took the amulet.[64] Castor and Pollux were voiced by David W. Collins and Brad Grusnick, respectively, in God of War: Ascension.[59]
  • Ceryx – The son of Hermes, a messenger of Olympus, and the main antagonist of God of War: Betrayal. He attempted to warn Kratos about the consequences of his bloody rampage across Greece, but Kratos killed him for interfering.[65]
  • Charon – The ferryman of the River Styx in the Underworld who guides lost souls to their final destination.[49] Kratos encountered Charon on the River Styx twice. Although he almost killed Kratos during their first encounter, Kratos returned and destroyed Charon. The character was voiced by Dwight Schultz in God of War: Chains of Olympus.[49]
  • Daedalus – A brilliant architect, Daedalus constructed the labyrinth in which Pandora was imprisoned after Zeus discovered her existence. Zeus also promised to reunite Daedelus with his son Icarus as a reward, but never revealed that Icarus was already dead. Kratos encountered Daedalus hanging in a part of the labyrinth, and the architect revealed that the labyrinth must be united to free Pandora. Daedelus was killed when Kratos united the labyrinth. The character was voiced by Malcolm McDowell in God of War III.[33][43]
  • Erinys – The daughter of Thanatos. After the destruction of Atlantis, Erinys searched for Kratos, killing various Spartans as a warning to Kratos to stop his quest to find Deimos. Erinys eventually found Kratos in the Mounts of Aroania, and after a land battle, an aerial battle ensued as Erinys shape shifted into an enormous bird before being killed by Kratos. The character was overdub voiced by Jennifer Hale and Erin Torpey in God of War: Ghost of Sparta.[52]
  • Euryale – A Gorgon and a servant of the Sisters of Fate. Euryale sought revenge against Kratos for killing her sister Medusa, but was killed and decapitated. The character was voiced by Jennifer Martin in God of War II.[35][40]
  • The Furies – Born from drops of blood spilled during the war of the Primordials, the three Furies are the guardians of honor and enforcers of punishment. The sisters seek retribution from those who have betrayed the gods. They are the main antagonists of God of War: Ascension.[56]
    • Megaera – The first of the three Furies, she is ruthless in her punishment and accidentally facilitates Kratos' freedom from his imprisonment. Despite her best efforts of having the Hecatonchires destroy Kratos, the Spartan overcomes the brute and kills Megaera. In a flashback two weeks prior, Kratos cuts off her right arm in a battle in Delos also involving Tisiphone and facilitates in Kratos' capture. The character was voiced by Nika Futterman.[59]
    • Tisiphone – The second sister, she often confounds Kratos with illusions and is aided by a winged creature, the Daimon. Although Kratos seemingly kills her in Delos, it was an illusion. She facilitates in Kratos' capture, but is killed by the Spartan along with Alecto. The character was voiced by Debi Mae West.[59]
    • Alecto – The Queen of the Furies, who aligned with Ares and bore their son Orkos. The leader of the sisters, she captures Kratos. Alecto tried deceiving Kratos into staying in imprisonment by becoming an illusion of his wife, Lysandra, but Kratos saw through the lie. Despite morphing into a giant sea monster, she is ultimately killed by Kratos. The character was voiced by Jennifer Hale.[59]
  • Gyges – Featured in the God of War comics #4, #5, and #6, he is one of the three Chaos Giants with one hundred arms and fifty heads. During Kratos' first quest for the Ambrosia, his battle with Cereyon burned off the hundred arms of Gyges. During Kratos' second quest, Gyges revealed that he had planned to use the Ambrosia to revive his brothers, Briareus and Cottus, and then reclaim the world, but Kratos' initial retrieval thwarted that plan. Kratos destroyed both Gyges and the Tree of Life — which contained the Ambrosia — with the Fire of Apollo.[66]
  • Icarus – The son of Daedalus, and now insane and obsessed with finding the Sisters of Fate. Kratos encountered Icarus by the Great Chasm and attacked him. The two battled while falling down the chasm. Kratos eventually stripped Icarus of his wings, took them, and allowed Icarus to fall to his death into the Underworld. The character was voiced by Bob Joles in God of War II.[35][40][55]
  • The Judges of the Underworld – Featured in God of War III, King Minos, King Rhadamanthus, and King Aeacus are the judges of the dead. The statues of the trio hold the Chain of Balance connecting Olympus to the Underworld. Kratos encountered the trio who declared that he was not yet ready for the afterlife where they spoke through their statues. Kratos later returned to the statues of the Judges and destroyed them in order to raise the labyrinth so that Pandora could reach Pandora's Box. King Minos was voiced by Mark Moseley.[33][43]
  • King Midas – A king whose touch will turn anything to gold, he is now grief-stricken and hallucinating as he accidentally turned his daughter to gold. Kratos encountered Midas in the Mounts of Aroania where the Spartan killed him by throwing him into a lava river — turning it to gold — which created a passage for Kratos. The character was voiced by Fred Tatasciore in God of War: Ghost of Sparta.[52]
  • Medusa – The Queen of the Gorgons. She was decapitated by Kratos in God of War at the directive of Aphrodite.[42][45]
  • Orkos – Also known as The Giver, he is the keeper of oaths sworn to the gods and is the son of Ares and Alecto. He helped Kratos by enabling him to see through illusions. He also provided Kratos with his Oath Stone, allowing Kratos to be in two places at once. Orkos revealed to Kratos Ares' and the Furies' plan to overthrow Olympus,[58] and Ares chose Kratos to help him do so. After Kratos defeated the Furies, Orkos told him that in order to be free from Ares' bond, Kratos would have to kill Orkos. After begging for an honorable death, Kratos reluctantly kills him, freeing them both from Ares. The character was voiced by Troy Baker in God of War: Ascension.[67]
  • Pandora – An animated creation of Hephaestus who became like a daughter to the god, and was neither living nor dead. Pandora was imprisoned in the labyrinth by Zeus when he was infected by the fear released from Pandora's Box. Kratos rescued Pandora after he learned that she was the key to pacifying the Flame of Olympus that surrounded Pandora's Box. Kratos reluctantly allowed Pandora to sacrifice herself to open the Box and mourned her death, as Pandora reminded him of his deceased child Calliope. Pandora reappeared in Kratos' psyche and helped him find the power of hope locked deep inside himself, which allowed him to overcome and kill Zeus. The character was voiced by Natalie Lander in God of War III.[33][43]
  • Peirithous – A prisoner of the Underworld who possesses the Bow of Apollo and is in love with Persephone; he was imprisoned by Hades for trying to make off with her. He offered his bow to Kratos in exchange for freedom, but the uncaring Spartan ignored the offer, killed Peirithous, and took the bow. The character was voiced by Simon Templeman in God of War III.[33][43]
  • The Sisters of Fate – Featured in God of War II, they are the three sisters who control the fates of all mortals, gods, and Titans, and live on the Island of Creation. All are eventually killed by Kratos when they refuse to allow him to go back in time to seek revenge on Zeus.[40] In God of War III, their voices are heard in Kratos' psyche.
    • Lakhesis – The first Sister, she was determined to deny Kratos his revenge. The character was voiced by Leigh-Allyn Baker in God of War II.[35]
    • Atropos – The second Sister, she attempted to alter the result of Kratos' battle with Ares. The character was voiced by Debi Mae West in God of War II,[35] and Marina Gordon in God of War III during the psyche sequence.[43]
    • Clotho – The final Sister who was the gigantic and grotesque keeper of the loom from which the threads of all life are spun. The character was voiced by Susan Silo in God of War II,[35] and Marina Gordon in God of War III during the psyche sequence.[43]

Minor characters (comic series and video games)[edit]

Kratos' family[edit]

  • Calliope – Kratos' daughter. As an infant, she was stricken with the plague and was to be killed due to Sparta's law. Calliope was saved by Kratos when he obtained the Ambrosia of Asclepius, but was eventually killed with her mother by Kratos during a berserker rage in a temple dedicated to Athena. Kratos was briefly reunited with Calliope in the Underworld in the Fields of Elysium, but was forced to abandon her to save the world from Persephone and Atlas.[49] Kratos later found a note from her in the Underworld, and when Kratos entered into his psyche during his final fight with Zeus, he was spiritually reunited with both Lysandra and Calliope. The character was voiced by Debi Derryberry in God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War III.[33][43]
  • Callisto – The mother of Kratos and Deimos. Kratos found his ailing mother in the city of Atlantis. As she attempted to reveal the identity of Kratos' father, she was punished by Zeus and transformed into a beast, which Kratos was forced to kill. Before dying, Callisto advised Kratos to find Deimos. The character was voiced by Deanna Hurstold as Old Callisto and Jennifer Hale as Young Callisto in God of War: Ghost of Sparta.[52]
  • Deimos – The younger brother of Kratos. He was kidnapped by Ares and imprisoned and tortured by Thanatos because of his unusual birthmarks, as a prophecy predicted the demise of Olympus would come at the hands of a "marked warrior". As time passed, Deimos' hatred for Kratos grew, as his hope of rescue decayed. When eventually reunited with his brother, Deimos was initially bitter for Kratos' perceived failure and the two battled. When Kratos saved Deimos from falling to his death, he joined his brother and battled Thanatos. Deimos, however, was killed by Thanatos, who was killed in turn by Kratos.[52] The character was voiced by Elijah Wood in God of War III during the psyche sequence,[43] and Mark Deklin as an adult and Bridger Zadina as a child in God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
  • Lysandra – Kratos' wife. Although she was responsible in granting Kratos his quest for the Ambrosia to save Calliope, she was killed with her daughter. After being spiritually reunited with both Lysandra and Calliope in his psyche, Lysandra aided Kratos in forgiving himself for his crime.[33] The character was voiced by Gwendoline Yeo in God of War[34] and God of War III,[43] and Jennifer Hale in God of War: Ascension (illusion created by Alecto).[67]

Other[edit]

  • Barbarian King Alrik – The ruler of a horde of barbarians. As the champion of Hades, he sought the Ambrosia to save his ailing father. Alrik was ultimately unsuccessful and was killed by Kratos. Resurrected by Hades, Prince Alrik learned that he had become King after the death of his father.[68] Alrik sought vengeance against Kratos, and his barbarian horde threatened to overwhelm Kratos' opposing Spartan army. Alrik almost killed Kratos in combat, but this was undone at the critical moment when Kratos offered up his life to Ares and was returned to battle equipped with the Blades of Chaos, which Kratos used to decapitate Alrik. Alrik eventually fought his way out of the Underworld, and intent on revenge, found and confronted Kratos on the Island of Creation. Kratos killed the Barbarian King once again.[40] The character was voiced by Bob Joles in God of War II,[35] and Fred Tatasciore in God of War III during the psyche sequence.[43]
  • The Boat Captain – A humorous addition, the Boat Captain encountered Kratos on several occasions, although these were always to the Boat Captain's detriment: Kratos ignored him when in the belly of the Hydra[45] and brushed him aside in the Underworld (God of War). The Boat Captain fled from Kratos as a spirit even though summoned to fight him (God of War II) and he left a note of hatred towards Kratos in the Underworld and his voice was heard in Kratos' psyche (God of War III). The character was voiced by Keith Ferguson in God of War[34] and God of War II,[35] and Josh Keaton in God of War III during the psyche sequence.[43]
  • The Body Burner – Granted Kratos passage into Pandora's Temple. The Body Burner was the first warrior to die while seeking Pandora's Box, and was cursed by the gods to continue to live as a rotting corpse and act as custodian of the Temple where he burned the dead bodies that the harpies brought to him. The character was voiced by Christopher Corey Smith in God of War.[34][45]
  • Captain Nikos – Featured in the God of War comics #2, #3, and #4, Captain Nikos was a Spartan who Kratos met after he had slain the Hades Phoenix. Captain Nikos and his men assisted Kratos in his search for the Ambrosia of Asclepius. Nikos was injured in battle against Poseidon's champion Herodius, but survived. Hades later sent fireballs from the sky to stop the Spartan army. As a fireball was about to strike Kratos, Nikos sacrificed himself to save him. Before dying, he passed the rank of Captain to Kratos. During Kratos' second journey, Nikos' corpse, and those of other Spartans, were reanimated by Hades, but Kratos easily defeated them.[69]
  • Cereyon – Featured in God of War comic #4, he is the fiery champion of Helios. Although he never revealed his intent for finding the Ambrosia, he fought Kratos, but was drowned by the Spartan.[66]
  • Danaus – Featured in God of War comic #3, he is the champion of Hermes that can magically command beasts. With the animals in his village dying of a plague, Danaus was forced to seek the Ambrosia. He was decapitated in battle by Barbarian Prince Alrik, who retained Danaus' head as it could still command beasts.[70]
  • The Gravedigger – A mysterious figure, eventually revealed to be Zeus,[71] that was digging a grave in the midst of a war in God of War. The Gravedigger counseled Kratos and eventually rescued him from the Underworld. In Ghost of Sparta, he counseled Kratos against making enemies of the gods after Kratos' rampage through Atlantis. The character was voiced by Paul Eiding in God of War[34] and God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
  • Herodius – Featured in God of War comic #4, Herodius is a warrior from the village of Thera. Poseidon chose Herodius as his champion in Ares' wager. His village was stricken with a plague, cast by Poseidon, so that Herodius would search for the Ambrosia. Herodius was killed by Kratos.[66]
  • The King of Sparta – Featured in God of War comic #6. The King's Guard was convinced by Kratos' wife Lysandra to allow Kratos to embark on a quest for the Ambrosia that would restore their plague-stricken daughter, Calliope. Kratos and his men were given until the next full moon to return before the King executed his daughter. Ultimately successful, Kratos returned, saved Calliope, and gave the rest of the elixir to the King. The King then officially awarded Kratos with the rank of Captain.[72] The King of Sparta also appears as an illusion created by Tisiphone in God of War: Ascension, and was voiced by Crispin Freeman.
  • Lanaeus – An Atlantean worker and servant of Poseidon who ensures that the archimedean screws are functioning properly in the Methana Volcano. In his first encounter with Kratos, he released an automaton to stop Kratos, which the Spartan destroyed. Kratos later encountered him in the sunken Atlantis and killed him by knocking him into the electrified water. The character was voiced by Fred Tatasciore in God of War: Ghost of Sparta.[52]
  • The Last Spartan – A loyal follower of Kratos. In Ghost of Sparta, he ordered the replacement of a statue of Ares with one of Kratos and gave Kratos his former weapons, the "Arms of Sparta", which Kratos had used as Captain of the Spartan Army. In God of War II, he witnessed the destruction of Sparta at the hands of a vengeful Zeus. Thinking Kratos dead, he attempted to find the Sisters of Fate to change the fate of Sparta. He was accidentally killed by Kratos, but revealed the extent of Zeus' treachery before dying. The character was voiced by Josh Keaton in God of War II,[35] and Gideon Emery in God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
  • The Narrator – Voiced by Linda Hunt, she has narrated every game, except God of War: Betrayal, and only provided an introductory narration for God of War III. In God of War II only, the narrator and the Titan Gaia are the same person.[35]
  • The Oracle of Athens – An oracle that lives in Athens. Shocked at Athena's decision for choosing Kratos, the Oracle directed him to find Pandora's Box. Kratos later returned to Athens and found her mortally wounded due to Ares' war on the city. The character was voiced by Susan Blakeslee in God of War.[34][45]
  • The Persian King – Leader of the Persian forces that invaded the Greek city of Attica, he was killed in battle by Kratos. The character was voiced by Fred Tatasciore in God of War: Chains of Olympus.[49]
  • Pothia – Featured in God of War comic #3, she is the warrior-queen of an Amazonian tribe. Pothia was seeking the Ambrosia to make the Amazons whole again, as their children were stillborn. Artemis chose Pothia as her champion, but she was ultimately killed by Kratos.[70]
  • The Scribe of Hecatonchires – The first mortal imprisoned by the Furies for breaking a blood oath. To keep his sanity, he wrote meticulous records of the sisters and their schemes, which Kratos found throughout the prison. He informed Kratos that originally, although the Furies were cruel, they were fair, but became ruthless on account of Ares.[73] The character was voiced by Robin Atkin Downes in God of War: Ascension.
  • Unknown Assassin – An unidentified assassin in God of War: Betrayal who framed Kratos for the murder of Argos. Kratos chased the assassin throughout Greece to discover the identity of the assassin's master, but the assassin ultimately escaped when Ceryx intervened.[61]
  • The Village Oracle – A female soothsayer who attempted to warn away Kratos—still in the service of Ares—when he arrived at a village dedicated to Athena. The Village Oracle cursed Kratos once he was tricked by Ares into killing his wife and child, and proclaimed that "from this day forward, the mark of your terrible deed will be visible to all" as the ashes of Kratos' burnt family merged with his skin. This turned Kratos' skin ash-white and earned him the title, "Ghost of Sparta". The Village Oracle briefly appears as an illusion created by Tisiphone in God of War: Ascension. The character was voiced by Susan Blakeslee in God of War[34] and God of War: Ascension.[74]

Reception[edit]

God of War received praise for its voice acting. Chris Sell of PAL Gaming Network stated that the voice acting is "up there with the best" in comparison to other games, and that the cut scenes are "superbly voiced, but it’s the narrator of the story that is the most professionally convincing throughout."[6] Eric Blattberg of PlayStation Universe stated that the voice acting is a great feature of the game, that narrator Linda Hunt's "authentic voice really helps set the attitude during the unbelievable [full motion video]’s", and that that Kratos "acts and sounds like a badass."[75] Kristan Reed of Eurogamer wrote, "Even the straight-laced voice work is handled with an expertise so sadly lacking in most other videogames."[76] Raymond M. Padilla of GameSpy, wrote that some of the voice acting and music tracks are overstated; one of his few dislikes in the game.[77] Matt Leone of 1UP wrote that "There's a mixture of in-game characters that speak to you and extremely nice CG sequences that show moments such as flashbacks, and it all blends together surprisingly well."[78]

God of War II received similar praise for its voice acting. Chris Roper of IGN said the characters were timeless[7] and the voice acting was great.[8] Kristan Reed said that the voice acting was "top notch."[79] Alex Navarro of GameSpot wrote that "The voice acting is ... all-around excellent, though it's not quite as enjoyable as it was in the last game", and that "Kratos is as gruff and over the top as ever." He praised the supporting voice performances, such as Linda Hunt as Gaia and the narrator, Corey Burton as Zeus, and Harry Hamlin as Perseus, as "top-notch work." However, Navarro said that a few of the performances felt "a bit labored or overwrought. In particular, Michael Clarke Duncan as Atlas feels more wooden than imposing. The voice is right, but his performance is oddly subdued." With these exceptions, Navarro said that "this is another enjoyable voice cast."[80] GameSpy described Kratos as a "sympathetic antihero"[4] and Game Guru claimed "Practically anyone, even if they hadn't played any of the God of War games, would know about Kratos."[5]

God of War III action figures produced by DC Unlimited featuring (clockwise from bottom-center) Kratos, Zeus, Hercules, and Hades

God of War III received mixed reviews; Chris Roper of IGN stated that the voice acting "could be better",[81] and that some of the characters are the "biggest culprits" to "creating an uneven feeling in the visual presentation" and that they "don't feature the same level of lighting quality or perhaps texture work as others." Roper also said that a few look "fantastic ... but many are clearly not on the same level as Kratos, and some are even only passable as 'good'."[82] Garry Webber of Gamestyle wrote that the game has "an impressive voice cast which is so suitable it’s scary", and that Kevin Sorbo as Hercules was a "good choice." Webber also said that since Kratos is such an "utterly vile and angry" character, having other characters speaking of the goodness within him seemed rather strange.[83]

Chris Roper of IGN said that the voice acting on Chains of Olympus was nice.[84] For God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Nicole Tanner of IGN wrote that it "[c]ontinues the tradition of great voice acting" that "we've come to expect from a God of War installment."[85] Joe Juba of Game Informer said that the voice work was solid.[86]

Merchandise[edit]

Two series of action figures based on God of War II have been produced by the National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA). The first set included two versions of Kratos; one wielding the Blades of Athena and the second wearing the Golden Fleece and holding a gorgon's head. The second set included a twelve-inch figure that plays six game quotes.[87] A second two-figure set was also released, with Kratos wearing the God of War armor.[88] DC Unlimited produced a line of action figures based on God of War III, which included the characters Kratos, Zeus, Hades and Hercules.[89] Between February 1, 2010 and March 31, 2010, 7-Eleven sold a limited edition Slurpee drink called "Kratos Fury", available in four exclusive God of War III cups, which featured codes that could be used to access God of War III and Slurpee-themed downloadable content on the Slurpee website.[90] Kratos' visage has appeared on the PlayStation Portable Chains of Olympus exclusive bundle pack,[91] and on the PlayStation 3 God of War III sweepstakes prize[92] video game consoles. Other products include artwork, clothing, and sweepstakes.[93]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]