How God of War matches up to Norse Mythology. (Spoilers!!!)
God of War is an action-adventure mythology based game. It was released on 20th April, 2018. God of War has quickly risen in popularity with a completely new outlook than previous games. The game made Gavin’s Top 10 Games of 2018 and achieved the second highest score on OpenCritic in 2018. It’s based on Norse mythology rather than Greek and it’s got a much more cinematic feel. At some points, it looks more like a film rather than a game. In this article, I will be diving into the mythology of the current game and finding out how close the God of War Norse mythology holds up to the actual myths. I won’t be going through every myth in Norse mythology that’s mentioned as that would take a long time. I’ll only cover two myths. However, I do warn you that I’ll be going through some contents within the game in great detail. So spoilers ahead!!
The 13th Warrior
The first hint Norse mythology we, the audience, watch is Atreus saying goodbye to his dead mother. His exact words are “Lo there do I see my mother, lo there do I see my father, lo there do they call to me”. This isn’t the complete quotation. However, anyone who knows the complete sentence will know that it comes from The 13th warrior. A 1999 film which is loosely based on a Norse prayer:
“Lo there do I see my father; Lo there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers; Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning. Lo, they do call to me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.”
While Valhalla is directly from Norse mythology, it’s the hall of the fallen, located on Asgard for warriors and brave and good people, ruled over by Odin.
The next myth I would like to talk about is Loki, and be warned, this is big spoilers for the end of the game. In the end of God of War, it’s revealed that Atreus is Loki. Now this is very interesting. Based on the legend, some parts do make sense while others not so much, and clearly made up for the game. The first two obvious changes are his appearance and his personality. Though you could argue that, at times, Atreus became more like Loki when he had that temper tantrum for a while (after Kronos revealed his true nature). Atreus became very arrogant, which possibly reflects the Loki in the myth. Despite that, he shares none of Loki’s negative characteristics.
However, he does share similar backstories. Loki was born a giant. However, in the myths, the giant was called Fárbauti and was Loki’s father. Not much is known about Loki’s mother in the myths, other than her name was Laufey. How Atreus killed Balder is also similar to the myths, apart from a few differences. It wasn’t an accident, though I guess that can be argued, and it was direct and from a spear made out of mistletoe. Not from just a piece of mistletoe that had been tied to Atreus’ quiver harness. There are other examples, like the fact that the World Serpent seems to know Atreus. While in the myths, the World Serpent is Loki’s son. Atreus’ magic is also similar to the transformations that Loki is said to be able to turn into, or somehow connected too.
There are a lot of similarities and differences throughout the game between myth and fiction. But we have to be amazed at how the game’s story intertwined Norse myth to create a fantastic fantasy, mythology, hack and slash adventure.
Written by Clare Dunsford