7 Things God Of War Ragnarok Changes About Norse Mythology
Myths are fun as creatives can take them in all sorts of directions, as seen with the Norse mythology twist from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. God of War: Ragnarok and its 2018 predecessor have done that and gone more than just throwing a Greek god into Midgard.
Sony Santa Monica paved a road to touch on how the myths were told while still having fun with it. Over the course of history, it has withered away, so historians and creatives know what the ancient people believed in. This has led to some guesswork and creative liberties on top of the usual ways people like to bend myths into their original stories.
Warning: potential spoilers for God of War: Ragnarok below.
7/7 Loki And Angrboda Had Children
Loki is Atreus' Jötnar name, his Giant name, in the second and final part of the duology. He is Kratos and Faye's child, and with some deeper connections to the story, he is still their son. In Norse mythology, there are layers to his identity. The game nods at his mischievousness, as people might know from other media, particularly the MCU.
In the actual myths, he was a god, nothing else. While in the games, Atreus meets an ally named Angrboda, forming a friendship; they are more in the myths. The two have three children, who may sound familiar to players of the Norse duology that the PlayStation studio crafted. Their children included Fenrir, an enormous wolf; Hel, the goddess and ruler of Helheim; and the World Serpent, Jörmungandr.
6/7 Fenrir: Pet Or Child?
Fenrir gets introduced to players at the start of Ragnarok, only to watch Atreus cry as he holds his pet during the final moments before death. As mentioned, this was not the case in the myths, as the wolf was Loki's son and much bigger (which we see later in the game when the soul transfer happens in Helheim).
The gods feared the wolf when they met him. They had bound him with powerful magic to wait until the realms were engulfed in the cataclysm that Sony Santa Monica based the sequel to God of War 2018. We also had an interaction between the wolf and Tyr, which resulted in the Norse god of war losing his hand.
5/7 Everyone Is Tattooed
Tattoos make anyone cool, even evil, all-powerful gods. God of War paints gods with all kinds of tattoos. Not just gods but most fantastical beings have some ink, as seen with the Angrboda. It makes for a cool aesthetic but is not historically accurate.
Vikings were not the greatest record keepers in history, and with various factors, much of that history was lost over time. So, we don't know if Vikings, Nordic people, or the gods they worshipped had any body modifications. Still, it makes for striking characters in a video game.
4/7 Travel Between Realms
How gods or any being traveled between realms was hazy. The rainbow bridge connected to Asgard and Midgard allows for travel with the Bifröst. Getting to the other realms is more abstract compared to how Kratos goes on his journey of gathering every collectible in the game.
Kratos, Atreus, and their allies use a Bifröst in a contraption connected to the World Tree. In Ragnarok, you use the fast travel mechanic through the Mystic Gateways, which connect to the World Tree. As the tree in Norse mythology is a major component to the creation of the realms, it is a smart way to dissect the source material to work in-game.
3/7 Týr The Lawful And The Brave
In Ragnarok, we get introduced to Týr. As depicted in the PlayStation game, he was the Norse god of war, and a brave one. However, he was more than that; he was also all about justice and law.
In the game, he is a tender god who refuses to fight after being captured by Odin. This history between the All-Father and him was made up by Sony Santa Monica. He was more respected and did not turn his back on what was needed, like war, when the time came. Also, as mentioned before, he loses his hand while the gods bound Fenrir. In Ragnarok, he has both hands.
2/7 Freya, The God Of Sex
In God of War, Freya is the Witch of the Woods and Odin's ex-wife. The developers play loose with her history, as Odin was married to Frigg. As history is muddy, some say Freya and Frigg were the same god, or a duplication due to the relationship with Odin. Still, the games don't scratch her identity in the myths.
Freya was the god of love, fertility, and sex. She was the god of many other things, but she was best known for these qualities. What the games got right was that she was a Vanir god, not Aesir like Odin and the others from Asgard. She was the mother of Hnoss and Gersemi, while Frigg was the mother of Baldur.
1/7 Thor, The God Of Thunder
The portrayal of Thor in Ragnarok is quite accurate. He is a red-haired warrior whose power is unrivaled, mostly due to his hammer, Mjöllnir. When introduced to the Aesir, they don't like the Giants and have killed most of them. Thor dedicated himself to that job, which he expresses to Atreus on their venture into Muspelheim. He also has a sour relationship with Jörmungandr, as mentioned by Mimir in God of War 2018.
His relationship with Atreus/Loki differs from what was described in Norse mythology. Loki and Thor were not brothers, as Marvel depicts, but they got along. Loki played tricks on the god of thunder, but they were not enemies being forced to work together in Ragnarok.
His temperament and relationship with other gods also differ. He was highly respected and one of the most worshiped of the gods. He drank a lot of mead, which in Ragnarok suggests he has stopped drinking so much. He could consume a great amount of alcohol to no effect. So, he could be a fun guy to be around when he was not killing in service of Asgard.
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