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Characters / God of War Series – Kratos

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Voiced by: Terrence C. Carson (English, Greek Era), Christopher Judge (English, Norse Era), Antony Del Rio (English, young)additional VAs 
Appears in: God of War: Ascension | God of War: Chains of Olympus | God of War | God of War: Ghost of Sparta | God of War: Betrayal | God of War II | God of War III | God of War (2018) | God of War: Ragnarök
Above: Kratos in Greece
Below: Kratos in Midgard, with his son Atreus

"The gods of Olympus have abandoned me. Now there is no hope."

The Ghost of Sparta. The Bane of Olympus. Slave of the Gods. Bastard Son of Zeus. Former Servant of Ares.

The Berserker Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. THE God Slayer.

The God of War.

The Protagonist of the God of War series, Kratos is known by many as the Ghost of Sparta, due to his ashen white skin and his Dark and Troubled Past not unlike that of a traditional Greek tragedy.

Once the brutal captain of the Spartan army, Kratos led his men throughout several conquests all across the lands, eventually coming across a savage Barbarian horde. Confident of his own victory, Kratos led his army into battle, but soon found himself hopelessly outmatched and outclassed. The Barbarians' brutality exceeding his own, and on the verge of death, Kratos struck a deal with the God of War Ares to further his exploits. He would then commit atrocity after atrocity in Ares's name, spreading death throughout the world with his armies and justifying it all by proclaiming his intent to make "the glory of Sparta known throughout the world." For a time, it seemed, his only tether to humanity was his beloved family, yet even they grew horrified by him, to the point where his wife Lysandra would state outright he cared nothing for Sparta's glory, but for his own. He would not listen to her, and continued his rampage, blindly following the will of Ares in his pursuit of more bloodshed and infamy — yet this took a tragic turn when the god tricked him into killing his wife and child, all to destroy what little humanity he had left. Branded the Ghost of Sparta for this terrible deed, the ashes of his wife and child would remain fused to his skin forever.

Completely undone by the killing of his wife and child, Kratos became a constantly-suicidal and greatly-bereaved wreck of a man beloved by none yet known to all. Devoting himself to the other gods of Olympus in a desperate attempt to rid himself of his memories, Kratos would hang on to the small glimmer of hope that perhaps he would one day be able to redeem himself. Yet no matter how many enemies he'd slaughter or how many lives he would save, the gods would continue to put labor upon labor upon Kratos' shoulders, forcing him to endure the pain of his memories for ten long years of servitude. Maddened by his memories and unable to find a moment of peace, Kratos would develop a deep-seated hatred of the gods, and especially Ares in particular, for toying with his life. Though Kratos would eventually defeat Ares and claim the throne of the God of War for his own, his resentment of the other gods would bring him in conflict against all on Olympus, culminating in a cataclysmic series of battles against them that would decide the fate of Greece itself.

Eventually leaving Greece as well as his bloody past behind, Kratos moves up north and makes his way into Midgard. Having come to view his troubled past with great shame, Kratos has taken the initiative to mature and grow past his self-destructive tendencies, choosing to live as a man under the thumb of the Norse pantheon. He even finds love again with a woman named Faye, eventually fathering a child with her named Atreus. When Faye dies of mysterious circumstances, Kratos and Atreus set out on a journey to spread her ashes from the highest peak in all the nine realms. However, he and Atreus come into conflict with various supernatural creatures along their way, and are constantly pursued along their path by a mysterious Stranger — seemingly under orders from the leader of the Norse pantheon himself, Odin.

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General Tropes

  • Accidental Murder: His murder of his wife and child while in a blood frenzy. Athena's death is unintended too — she happened to get in the way of a very angry Kratos.
  • Action Dad: Is the father of two children (that we know of), and is also an unstoppably powerful warrior who can and will kill most anything that remains in his way.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Before he got his skin coated with ash, Kratos used to have mildly brown skin. Additionally, both his voice-actors have been African-Americans. That said, both his children are white, and so are his parents Zeus and Callisto, so where he got his skin tone from is uncertain, although it's possible it was tanned, considering the climate of Greece.
  • Anti-Hero: Goes through multiple shades of it, zigzagging between this and being a Villain Protagonist. For specifics, check the folders below.
  • Anti-Villain: The Noble or Woobie variations. Basically, what makes him somewhat sympathetic is his frankly depressing backstory and some honorable traits, even respect shown towards others at times, though whether it still holds weight after the horrendous and honestly unjustifiable actions he commits at times is polarizing, to say the least.
  • Arc Symbol: The Omega (Ω) symbol.
  • The Atoner: While Kratos does dwell a lot on his family's death, it's mostly just used as a source of his volcanic rage, and his idea of atoning for his actions is partially wishing his bad memories away. Played more straight after he destroys Olympus, where Kratos has come to realize that his constant desire for vengeance in his youth had become little to nothing more than petty immaturity and seeks to end the cycle of violence. The PS4 installment is essentially one long quest to make his son into a better person than he ever was, and though at first he is convinced that he can never become a better person himself, by the end he seems to have realized that he can keep trying.
  • Bald Head of Toughness: Kratos is never seen with hair, not even as a child, and he is The Determinator when it comes to taking his revenge against the gods of Olympus for killing his family. He's also a Made of Iron, Strong and Skilled, One-Man Army as he nearly single-handedly accomplishes his mission.
  • Baritone of Strength: Both TC Carson and Christopher Judge play Kratos with a deep, gravelly voice that befits such a badass Spartan warrior. In the Japanese dub, Tesshō Genda and Kenta Miyake also do the same thing as well.
  • Barbarian Hero: Rather hilariously, since 'barbarian' originally meant 'non-Greek'. He hails from Sparta, by far the most barbaric of all Greek city-states if not one of the most barbarous nations of the Ancient World in general. He's a warrior of pure unadultered physical power and immense savagery, driven by animalistic and atavistic fury, and is often opposed by sorcerous adversaries. Also, in true Barbarian Hero fashion, his first instinct when accosted by beautiful women in scant clothing making advances is to have sex with them. His throne as the Greek God of War was also draped with willing female slaves like a Frazetta piece.
    • Emphasized even more after making it to Midgard, in which his aesthetic as a Barbarian is further enhanced by the slightly enormous beard he's grown and the furs he wears. He's also switched out the Blades of Chaos for a battleaxe, a much more classically Barbarian weapon. Ironically enough, his temperament is actually less barbaric than his days in Greece; having found love again, raising a son, and actively reining in his rage.
  • Bastard Bastard: Born out of wedlock to a Spartan woman named Callisto, it can easily be determined that Kratos growing up without a father figure in the city-state of Sparta contributed to him growing up into the Jerkass he would, at the least, make of himself with some severely callous actions. To his credit, he's always been shown to give some respect to others such as his Spartan army, love and care for his family members (save the Greek Pantheon), and in the Norse Era is actively trying to rein in his worse instincts. Despite his potential for heroism, Kratos can't truly be called a Heroic Bastard because for the longest time, he's been almost entirely too self-serving to have cared about putting himself on the line for others, outside his loved ones.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Subtly implied with Kratos. Some of his heart to heart conversations paint a picture that he encountered important Greek historical figures, but in a bizarre fantasy Alternate History version of what happened in reality. Kratos makes reference to an old man who made fables (Aesop), claims to have wished he could have died with the 300 Spartans at the Hot Gates (Thermopalye and Leonidas), and he makes reference to the Trojan War poem being inaccurate to the real thing (meaning he probably met guys like Odyessess and Achilles personally). Kratos never expands on these tales in extreme detail, but he says just enough that you can guess the rest.
  • Berserk Button: While Kratos is in an almost perpetual state of fury or simmering anger and it's a bit hard to tell if he's more irritated than usual, there are a few sore points you don't want to press unless you want to learn the difference in agony between a savage beating and a horribly disfiguring, dismembering, mutilating death. To wit:
    • Don't mention how he "failed his family" around him, as that was enough for Kratos to want to rearrange Zeus' dental work with many a solid shot to the face, including a screen covered in blood.
    • Don't lie to him or use him as a pawn. Most of his tragedies came from the fact that the gods kept messing with him, and as such he's distrustful of most people, to put it mildly.
    • Disrespecting people who have respect from him - one might as well Hera after the goddess badmouthed Pandora.
  • The Berserker: A lighter version, ironically. Kratos won't let anything stand in his way, and he is full of fiery rage. But he can tell friend from foe in the middle of a fight. He just has way, way more foes than friends. This was sadly played straight the night Ares tricked him into killing Lysandra and Calliope; Kratos was in a blood frenzy at the time and didn't realize what he was doing or who he was attacking until it was too late.
  • Blade Enthusiast: The trusty Blades of Chaos, later replaced with the near-identical Blades of Athena, and, later still, with the Blades of Exile. As of his entry into Norse Mythology, he's taken up a rough-looking runic battle-axe called the Leviathan Axe. He later retrieves the Blades of Chaos from his home to fight in the deathly cold realm of Helheim to find the cure for Atreus's sickness.
  • Blood Knight: In his backstory, much to the discontent of his wife. It didn't end well for him, as he ended up facing an opponent who he couldn't defeat. And then he made his Deal with the Devil. After becoming god of war, he engaged again in this, much to the discontent of the other gods. It didn't end well for him, as he ended up facing an opponent he couldn't defeat. And then he made a deal with Gaia, and that went so poorly he ended up just killing most everybody.
  • Body Horror: The ashes of his wife and daughter are magically fused to his skin, turning it white. Furthermore, the chains of the Blades of Chaos were seared into his forearms, to the point where long after abandoning them, he still has their marks along his flesh. The novelization also reveals that the chains burned so deeply into his arms, the heat's scorched his bones.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Kratos hates the gods and think of them as untrustworthy at best, even after becoming a god himself and later discovering his Divine Parentage by Zeus. As a result, he doesn’t have a high opinion of himself, either, claming twice that others "shouldn't" expect him to do what is right. Mimir calls him out on this in the Norse era, citing this is as the main source of tension between him and Atreus.
  • Born Winner: Being the demigod son of Zeus, the Top God himself, has its perks. Those perks are coming Back from the Dead often, Super-Strength to rival or possibly best Hercules, and becoming the leader of the Spartan Army!
  • Bright Is Not Good: The "Ghost Of Sparta" moniker refers to both his ghost-white skin and him cheating death. He was also a psychotic madman whose rampages caused a lot of suffering.
  • Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting: By the end of God of War (PS4) Kratos absolutely intends to play this straight. He's come to terms with his monstrous behavior being part of this cycle and intends to teach Atreus to be better, becoming a better father in the process.
  • Broken Ace: One of the greatest warriors the world has to offer... and one of the most troubled.
  • Brought Down to Badass: For being the tough godslayer that he is, Kratos never manages to hang onto anything he gets for more than one adventure, and will always need to fill out a new arsenal and get his life bar up to maximum length all over again as soon as the player's gotten used to the controls in a sequel.
    • This gets lampshaded by the Huldra brothers in Ragnarök, as they ask what happened to all the gear they made for him last time. The actual answer alluded to in-game is that the Fimbulwinter, a cold so devastating that it destroys stone within a few short years, wore it down, but Kratos's own characteristically terse response is that he used it. They ask him to at least try to make his new equipment last longer. He refuses to promise that.
    • In Ragnarök, a conversation with Atreus or Freya reveals that with the destruction of the Greek Pantheon, Kratos no longer has access to any of the magical abilities or equipment he obtained in the original games; only the superhuman strength, durability, and agelessness of godhood remain. The Blades of Chaos, the one relic that he cannot ever escape, is the sole piece of his old arsenal left, and even they are falling apart before Brok and Sindri give them a Nordic makeover.
  • Bullying a Dragon: A walking breathing dragon who is a One-Man Army capable of ending giant monsters and gods like it's a normal day for him. To be fair, he has wanted to avoid fights when possible, but his opponents' hubris ends up their undoing, and they would end up leaving many a bloody smear on a wall. This includes the Norse entries when he just want to go on his way, but the Aesir end up being a roadblock in his journey.
  • Byronic Hero: Kratos is characterized mainly by his desperate desire to escape the many atrocities that plague his past, culminating in a vicious cycle of events wherein he would constantly commit more atrocities when his guilt over his actions, and his rage at his terrible life, overwhelm him. He's been near-utterly self-concerned, uncaring of any set standards or values from society and even the gods. He is deeply cynical and world-weary, often dwelling on the many injustices brought upon him by the gods, and yet unable to truly accept or forgive himself for his own transgressions. But when the chips are down and Kratos has something he truly wants to fight for, he gives it everything he has, often to the point of self-defeat.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Downplayed. Though Kratos absolutely cares for his mother and calls her as is, once he finds out who his father is, Kratos still refers to Zeus by his name; the only times he called him "father" he does in a mocking, condescending tone. Considering what a Jerkass God he was, you can't blame him. He still does so in Midgard, but has since mellowed out.
  • Cartwright Curse: Any woman Kratos has gotten romantically involved with ends up dead, sooner or later. His first wife, Lysandra, was killed by him completely by accident, as all part of a machination by Ares to deaden Kratos' humanity. Kratos' Second Love Faye died in much more peaceful circumstances, and he was even given the closure of giving her a proper funeral, something he could never achieve with Lysandra.
  • Character Development: Despite being infamous among the gaming community for being one of the most monomaniacal characters in all of gaming history, Kratos has gone through more ups and downs in his personality than one would expect. The extent of which is detailed in the folders below, but for a general overview: Kratos grows from a blood-drunk Glory Hound, to a violently depressed and suicidal shell, to an out-and-out Villain Protagonist almost entirely only out for himself, to a gruff but stern Cynical Mentor who only wants to protect his son from harm... and ultimately have Atreus be a better person than he was.
  • Child Soldier: He was taken to the agōgē with the specific intent of being one. Both he and his brother Deimos were trained at young ages, and he becomes a very effective warrior well into adulthood. His Spartan training however worked too well.
  • The Chosen One: An Oracle prophesied that one day, a mortal "Marked Warrior" would take up arms against the Greek gods and destroy all of Olympus. The Olympians initially assume that Kratos' brother Deimos was the Marked Warrior thanks to his peculiar birthmarks, but Thanatos manages to figure out that the prophecy spoke of Kratos, the eponymous "mark" being the ashes of his wife and child fused to his skin. And when Kratos later moves up to Midgard, it is revealed that his coming was prophesied by Faye and the Jötnar, and that Kratos became known to them as the "cruel striker" Fárbauti, known in Norse myth only for his role as the father of Loki.
  • Color Motif: Kratos is strongly associated with the color red, with all the associations of anger, violence and bloodshed. This is displayed via his tattoo, his Greek-era clothing, the red orbs he collects, and the massive amounts of literal and metaphorical blood on his hands. From 2018 onwards it gains connotations of somewhat more straightforward heroism.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Kratos will use whatever means and dirty tricks to defeat his enemies. If he figures out an enemy's weakness, he'll gladly and quickly take advantage of it. Just ask all the cyclopes whose eyes had been ripped out of their sockets, or Hercules, who he performed a sneak attack behind his back and then pinned him underneath a very heavy floor that Herc was going to use against him before beating him to death.
  • Composite Character: Kratos is a combination of several different characters: he shares the same name with the Anthropomorphic Personification of power, while his backstory was inspired by Heracles (who ended up a separate character later on) as a demigod son of Zeus who murdered his family in a fit of madness and spent several years trying to atone for it. The 2018 game combines him with characters from Norse mythos such as Farbauti due to being Loki's father, Hodr due to killing Baldur, and Odin himself, since he carries Mimir's head in his belt.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Deconstructed. Kratos' life went down the drain the moment he gave his life to Ares, and later on he develops a hatred of gods that only gets worse the more they toy with his life. Not only does this hatred spur Kratos to action against them when he reaches his Rage Breaking Point, it allows him a means to blind himself to his own faults and failings—eternally blaming the gods for all his problems (even when they're self-inflicted) until it's too late. He tries to move past this mindset by the time he makes it to Midgard, and imparts upon his son the importance of responsibility and discipline in order to protect the boy. In Ragnarök, the Norns reveal that the gods never dictated what path he would choose but just exploited his existing flaws. Realizing that he was truly responsible for how badly his life went, Kratos pushes himself to be better, which ends up incidentally pushing him out of this trope completely.
  • Crusading Widower: Twice. He accidentally killed his first wife due to the trickery of Ares, and spends the entirety of the very first game trying to kill the God of War in revenge. The second time he marries, his wife died in presumably more peaceful circumstances, and Kratos at least has the closure of cremating her and eventually spreading her ashes atop quite a high place.
  • Cultured Badass: Very downplayed during the Greek Era, but it was shown in God of War: Chains of Olympus that Kratos was a skilled enough woodcarver to hand-carve a flute for his daughter to play. The Norse Era and especially God of War Ragnarök would delve much deeper into this aspect of Kratos, revealing that he has an appreciation for poetry (specifically citing The Iliad as his favorite poem), music (he mentions that he can play the lyre), and plays (he disagrees with Mimir about how Greek Plays would relate events by having a character talk about them, as opposed to showing them while discussing Oedipus the King).
  • Dance Battler: The only reason Kratos' trademark twin blades work as well as they do on the battlefield is because, despite his savagery, Kratos is the only one with enough brutality yet enough grace to handle them with such finesse and skill. The Leviathan Axe he gains in the Norse entries lends itself to a more methodical moveset of course, but when Kratos retrieves the Blades of Chaos, they use the same moveset from the Greek entries. Even after what must have been a long time of refusal to use them, he never missed a step.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • He shows some signs of this in the third game.
      Hephaestus: Kratos. I thought that Zeus would have killed you by now.
      Kratos: I thought you would have escaped this cavern by now.
    • He doesn't pull any punches with his son, either.
      Atreus: What're we hunting?
      Kratos: You are hunting deer.
      Atreus: Which way?
      Kratos: In the direction of deer.
  • Death Glare: Pretty much all the time. In Midgard, despite mostly having his back to the player, he gives several obvious ones to people who annoy him or threaten his son, but none more hateful and seething than the one he gives to Athena's ghost when she implies he is merely pretending to be a father.
  • Defiant to the End: Although, all things considered, dying is more or less a Wednesday for him, so he knows he can get back to fight another day.
  • Deity of Human Origin: While Kratos was the son of Zeus, his mother was mortal which makes him a demi-god. However, later he is raised up to Olympus as a full fledged god. While Zeus strips him of his power in the second game, Kratos gains more power through the second and third games to the point where he can kill any of the Greek gods including Zeus. Even after he finishes and almost dies at the end of God of War III, it's implied that he still has the full power of a god as with most pantheons, the Greek one revolves around You Kill It, You Bought It, with a god's power inherited from another god that kills them or from their own offspring. This is further implied as Kratos ends up perhaps thousands of years old in Midgard without aging all that much and is still super strong and capable of killing gods.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: His brutality, selfishness, and almost utter lack of scruples are all right in line with the values of the source of inspiration, and if anything, he's probably less of a dick overall than many other classical heroes. This actually gets played up when Kratos is forced to raise Atreus by himself in Midgard, as Atreus’s more virtuous and selfless nature heavily conflicts with Kratos’s pragmatic and often self-focused mindset.
  • Destroyer Deity: It's heavily implied come the end of Ghost of Sparta that Kratos has become this. The shadow of death has always been a part of Kratos from the very beginning, but after Kratos kills Thanatos, god of death in vengeance, he's left in a rare moment of self-awareness and wonders aloud what he's become, all the while with a rae, almost uncharacteristically somber tone of voice. The Gravedigger answers Death, the Destroyer of Worlds, implying that Kratos has now taken Thanatos' place and has inherently become the God of Death as well as War. This development is especially relevant come the events of II, where he outright declares war upon the Greek Gods for their transgressions against him. Sadly, even after Kratos' migration from Greece to Midgard, it's revealed that Kratos' son is likely destined to follow in his father's footsteps and bring about the destruction of the Norse pantheon, as well as the rest of the Nine Realms... and Kratos killing Baldur is what helps set it all off hundreds of years too early. Really, it'd be weird at this point if Kratos couldn't be classified as a Destroyer Deity.
  • Determinator: Nothing will stand in his way. Whether it's the Gods, the Sisters of Fate, the legions of Hades, the army of Rhodes, the Titans, monsters, or "heroes" from all the corners of Greece, Kratos is more than up to the challenge. Hell, not even Death itself can stop him. Literally, in Ghost of Sparta, Kratos actually kills Thanatos. And by Zeus saying he has become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds, one can theorize that Kratos has inherently became the God of Death himself.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Throughout the series, it's been shown time and again that Kratos can be quite shortsighted. This is a flaw that costs him just as much as his selfishness or his refusal to take responsibility for his actions. Much of the plot of the original series could have been avoided if Kratos literally just stopped and thought for a second about what effect his actions could have on himself and those around him. He does get better as time passes, especially by the time he moves up north, but he still shows shades of it in his interactions with Atreus, to whom he withholds the truth of his Divine Parentage until the boy’s life gets put in danger because of it. It takes a visit to the Norns in Ragnarok for Kratos to realise that the predictable nature of his hasty actions is what defined his fate all along, and overcoming it is the only way he can Screw Destiny.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Expect Kratos to kill at least one god and at least one creature of great size and intimidating appearance once every game. But just like other legendary heroes, he is half-Cthulhu himself, being a god born from Zeus.
  • Disappeared Dad: His mother raised him and his brother by herself. Kratos eventually finds out who his father is, and is none too happy to learn that, of all people, it's Zeus.
  • Distinguishing Mark: His ash-white skin marks him as the Ghost of Sparta. Also, his signature red markings across his face and arm.
  • Does Not Like Magic: He has no love for the gods and isn't too welcoming of magic. He wears the ashes of his original family because an oracle cursed them on to him. He also grabs the Witch's hand when she tries to put a magic sigil on his neck for solitude.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: He typically gives characters in his way that he is not out to kill a single chance to walk, which is never heeded due to either their sense of duty or their hubris (or a combination of both).
  • The Dreaded: His infamous reputation as the Ghost of Sparta. On more than one occasion during the first game, the citizens of Athens are actually more terrified of him than of the monsters attacking them and prefer certain death to being saved by him. In the third game, Pandora generally, if not outright states that everyone — including the Olympians — is scared of Kratos.
    • His reputation does not die with Greece. Mimir, a Norse god of wisdom, is taken aback when he realizes Kratos is the Ghost of Sparta, and it's implied that the rest of the Norse pantheon knows his history as well.
    • When Odin himself meets him for the first time, he offers the former God of War peace in exchange for him to not interfere with his plans. While he exudes bravado in this encounter, it's not wrong to assume the Lord of the Hanged is very cautious not to get on Kratos's bad side.
  • Emotional Bruiser: To quote Kelly Turnbull on the topic:
    Anyway, I'm of the opinion that Kratos is a bit of an anomaly in the world of Macho Action Dudes, in that he is just a bottomless sieve of emotions. Like, usually action dudes have their moment of unrestrained rage at the end of the story to prove What A Badass Dude they can be, that Super Saiyan “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” moment where they let it all out. Kratos, on the other hand, is like… perpetually exhaustingly angry. And when he runs out of angry, he’s sad. He’s just this constant torrent of unrestrained heart-on-his-sleeve emotional whiplash. He’s never the cocky, aloof, too-cool-for-school emotionally distant robot you expect to play in a macho action dude game, he just kind of exists in this cycle of getting all angried out and trying to kill himself until someone on the suicide watch crew can find him a new thing to be angry about. He’s the only game hero I can think of who’s like “Oh man, I checked everything off my to-do list and now I’m out of things to be mad at, I am so drained I think I’m going to kill myself now”.
  • Escaped from Hell: He's escaped from various underworlds and afterlives a grand total of six times. He even makes it a Badass Boast in III, saying "The gates of Hades have never held me!” In the first Norse entry of the series, he’s even escaped Helheim, the realm for those who died dishonorably, after being flung straight past the point of no return. Mimir is quick to note that he wouldn’t have to escape Helheim if Kratos hadn’t killed the gatekeeper, who usually stops living souls from crossing the bridge, the first time he visited the realm.
  • Experienced Protagonist: By the time of the first game, he's already a seasoned Spartan warrior. It also counts by the time he enters Midgard, as he had the whole original series as experience.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Goes from having a goatee in the original series to a full mountain man beard to signify his Older and Wiser status and newfound maturity.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Kratos, even when causing evil without much of a thought, showed no intentions for his daughter to be the ruthless warrior he was, even though Calliope was considered unfit by Spartan standards. Having calmed considerably by the time he settles in Midgard, he's very adamant about making sure that Atreus doesn't turn out like him, let alone how he used to be.
  • Evil Weapon: Implied with the Blades of Chaos, whose power often tempts and enable Kratos to commit all sorts of atrocities. Even when Kratos tries to get rid of them after leaving Greece, they always return to him, refusing to let their master forget his tormented past. Subverted in the Norse Saga, in which Kratos decides to use them for good and seemingly gains some amount of respect for them.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Starting with II, Kratos begins to wear armor on his right shoulder and arm only. At first, it is the Golden Fleece, but Kratos has cast it aside for other pieces of armor for the retool (though he can equip a full suit of armor).
  • Fatal Flaw: Considering his personality is largely based off characters in Greek Mythology, it's no surprise that this trope comes into play. Kratos, however, is not necessarily beset by one huge major flaw that plagues his character; rather he's faced with multiple character flaws that often overlap, causing him way more trauma than he can handle, most of the time. These are expounded upon in the folders below.
  • Fight Magnet: Kratos is always getting into a fight with someone or something. He's been involved with a prophecy or two and people either fight him to prove their worth or to take his former title as the god of war. By the 2018 game, Kratos has stayed under the radar for a century and has still managed to find a fight when Baldur came to the door and started one.
    Mimir: Why don't you tell me how all this began with Baldur?
    Atreus: He just knocked on our door!
    Mimir: Baldur of Asgard just knocked on your door?
    Atreus: Yeah, he just showed up and started a fight
  • Genius Bruiser: Can go toe-to-toe with gods as well as solve puzzles and death traps.
    • A downplayed but relatively understated example from the 2018 game: when trying to retrieve Thamur’s chisel, Kratos, Mimir, and Atreus find it buried deep in ice so thick Mimir points out that Thor, even wielding the full might of Mjolnir, was unable to break it and get the chisel. It takes Kratos all of a few seconds to analyze his surroundings and quickly come up with a plan on the spot to retrieve it using Thamur’s own gigantic hammer. Kratos even gets in a dig at Thor for failing to realize this.
  • Good Counterpart:
    • "Good" is a stretch, but even at his lowest, Kratos is this to Ares during his tenure as the God of War. While hardly a paragon, Kratos was at least respected by Sparta, had loved ones, had a sympathetic background, and his rebellion against Zeus was him responding to being mistreated one too many times. On the other hand, Ares was despised by everybody, treated everybody contemptuously, and rebelled against Zeus only to fulfill his selfish desire to rule over Olympus.
    • To Odin; by the end of Ragnarök, Kratos is everything that the All-Father is not, being honest, forthright, loyal, just, and a good father. The ending even implies that Kratos is destined to become Odin's polar opposite; unlike the tyrannical Top God, Kratos is shown in a mural becoming a beloved figure, having healed the wounds Odin left on the Nine Realms.
  • Good Parents: For all his laws, he was this to Calliope, given the fact that his most humanizing moments in the original games are when he's with her. He also becomes one to Atreus, though Kratos at first struggles to emotionally bond with him in God of War (2018). By the end of the game, they become much closer.
    • In Ragnarok, this is a bit complicated as Atreus and Kratos have a more strained bond due to the former's worries of prophecy and the latter's closed off personality, their bond is still stronger than the start of the previous game. Indeed, as Kratos is more concerned about Atreus' safety and does anything he can to drive him off the prophecy. A visit to the Norns, has him realizing his flaws in his own personality being a part of why his bond with Atreus is strained, as he is desperately relying on him to not relpase to his past. Unsuprisingly, when Atreus returns being regretful by releasing Garm, where everybody else even Freya and Mimir are angered, it's Kratos who comforts and reassures his son that they will fix the issue.
  • Guilt Complex: A suprisingly realistic example; the impetus for much of Kratos's Never My Fault tendencies lies in how much he grows more to hate himself for the many terrible things he's done. His inability to accept the weight of his own atrocities, coupled with his inability to forgive himself for them, leads him to commit more atrocities in a vicious cycle to stave off his own guilt. While much of his anger directed towards the gods is understandable, a large portion of it is just him projecting his inner self-loathing onto them. Even hundreds of years later, when he’s managed to get away from Greece and his terrible past, he’s haunted constantly by everything he’s done, and hopes for Atreus to not make the same mistakes he once did.
  • Guttural Growler: All that rage really does a number on Kratos's throat.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Throughout his time in Greece, Kratos has a predisposition for Unstoppable Rage that would put most other examples of this trope to shame. After leaving Greece, however, he actively makes attempts to control and refine his rage, to the point where he would “train” by actively getting ravaged by wolves, all the while choosing not to fight back—just to see if he can go through a single tussle without giving in to anger. Still, if a being push him hard enough, he’ll just unload and said corpse had might as well be paint by the time he’s done.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: He is a demigod, after all.
  • Has a Type: If Lysandra and Faye are anything to go by, Kratos seems to have a thing for kind-hearted women who can stand up to him and/or kick ass themselves.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After an unbelievable amount of bloodshed in the third game; however, it was too late for him to truly fix all the collateral damage. This is taken further after the setting shift to Norse Mythology. Over the years, Kratos has worked on taming his rage and has a better understanding about the responsibilities and consequences that come with being a Physical God.
  • Heroic Build: Well, anti-heroic at the very least. Ragnarök sees Atreus ask him in one conversation if being a god means he'll ever grow muscles like his father; Kratos replies that, while his strength is still innately that of a god's, his body has been honed by discipline and testing his limits.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: For most of the Greek era, Kratos tried to externalize his flaws, to the point of rejecting blame to horrific effect. No matter what he did, it was in the service of the Cycle of Revenge, even if he had what happened to him coming. It takes his Heel Realization at the end of God of War III to get him to stop thinking this, and his Rage Against the Heavens shifts into his belief as My Greatest Failure by the Norse era, to the point of shame at almost everything he did as a god. While at this point he still externalizes it to a hatred of gods in general, he hates none of them as much as himself for his Jumping Off the Slippery Slope Never My Fault complex and role in the Cycle of Revenge, and has become somberly aware that he is to blame for many of his own problems. Mimir eventually flat out says it to him:
    Mimir, to Kratos: Look, I get it. You hate the gods. All gods. It's no accident that includes yourself.
  • Hot-Blooded: With his volume constantly on maximum and his be-as-visceral-as-possible fighting style, you will feel his fury. By the Norse era, this seems to have leveled out on the surface, but his Spartan Rage makes the fact that it’s more kept in restraint than outright gone.
  • Hunk: Very muscular, very manly, and quite the ladykiller — figuratively speaking...
  • Hypocrite:
    • Kratos's whole motive throughout the original series is revenge for the deaths of his family, but he killed countless men and thus tore up families without hesitation or even realization during his service to Ares and shows little to no hesitation to doing the same during his quest for vengeance. Not to mention he eventually rages at Zeus for trying to kill him, when he’s killed, directly or otherwise, ‘’thousands’’ more people and for even more petty reasons.
    • In the first Norse entry, when Kratos is pissed that Freya concealed the fact that she's a goddess, she dryly points out that he's not really in a position to point fingers. Kratos ultimately concedes the point, and works to correct it over the course of the game.
  • I Am a Monster: Kratos knows just what kind of person he really is, but has a very difficult time coming to terms with it, since it would mean actually owning up to his actions. In the original Greek entries and even after moving to Midgard, Kratos has resigned himself to the fact that the many terrible things he's done can't be redeemed in any proper sense. He, twice in God of War III, tells others that they "shouldn't" expect him to do the right thing. But by the time of God of War (PS4), he has at least learned that while he cannot be redeemed, he will always have the chance to be better, and as such strives towards that goal.
  • Immune to Fate: In II, when the Sisters of Fate refuse to grant Kratos control over his own destiny, he decides he will take it using his force. After a brutal fight, he manages to trap two of the Sisters in a dimensional mirror and then shatters it, erasing them both from existence, while kills the last one by impaling her skull with a giant blade. Having being able to destroy the primordial beings who control Destiny, Kratos is undoubtedly capable to overcome Fate. In God of War (PS4), he manages to kill Baldur hundreds of years before his fated death, triggering Ragnarök way earlier than was prophesied. Mimir even lampshades that Kratos has "changed something." See Spanner in the Works below for more details.
    • Ultimately deconstructed, it's revealed in Ragnarök that Kratos is Immune to Fate because predestined fate doesn't actually exist. The Sisters of Fate don't control destiny, they merely predict the future and retroactively meddle with the past to influence events, which is why they are forced to battle with Kratos at all instead of simply decreeing that he dies. Of course, this also means that Kratos has no one but himself to blame for the consequences of his own choices.
  • Implacable Man: No amount of monsters, warriors, obstacles, traps, or Gods will stop Kratos from getting his revenge. Even death itself is little more than a delay for Kratos.
  • Irony: The deaths of Lysandra and Calliope, along with their ashes grafted on his body, sets his long self-destructive path of vengeance. The death of Faye and her ashes sets his long self-reflective path of inner peace.
  • It's All About Me:
    • This guy killed a pantheon rather than admit that maybe, just maybe, something was his own damn fault. Most evident in the second game, when he starts doing the exact same thing that Ares did, i.e. the thing that prompted the gods to help Kratos kill him, by violently conquering lands. Then he claims that the Gods of Olympus betrayed him by stopping him. This gets called out in the third game, where Hermes gives him a Breaking Speech on how his path only leads to destruction and Kratos undergoes a slow Heel Realization. Also lampshaded in the first game, where it's shown in a flashback that his wife Lysandra refused to believe that his brutality was for "the glory of Sparta" as he claims, telling him that he does it all for his own personal glory.
    • Downplayed in God of War (PS4). While he's not as bad as he was before, he still actively endangers Atreus's life — despite warnings from both Freya and Mimir — by refusing to tell Atreus about their true nature as gods because he's too ashamed of his past and is more interested in hiding from it than facing it. He gets better, but not until it's nearly too late.
  • Jerkass: He's an extremely unpleasant human being (especially during the Greek era), even while enough scenes indicate he was not all the way there. His family's death isn't an excuse either: flashbacks show that he was largely and loudly liable to be a giant douche before as well, having ruthlessly doomed many a soldier and likely civilians with families and realizing little to nothing about it even while brooding for his wife and child. Kratos appears to have two default settings, one being molten fury who has, in II and III, used living people as tools for painful sacrifices (once telling one to "die with honor") to get past obstacles, and the other who, while not trying to be a snide, rude asshole, quickly loses his mind and gets very dangerous. He once stated himself that he cares little for the issues of mankind and the gods alike.
    • Even after a ton of Character Development, he still demonstrates a self-centredness that seems more out of pragmatism’s sake than anything from callousness. That being said, the script in the PS4 game would still insert unkind lines of dialogue to contradict his desire through the story to let others be (as, despite not trusting gods at all, he was not out to kill Baldur) and have his relatively cheerful son Atreus be a better person than he was.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Although on a couple of occasions he has decided to take things into account and show a more selfless, caring side to him. Ascension, despite being a prequel to other games' stories, has a few scenes where he shows others some respect, such as pushing an unknown man away from an incoming spear. Upon arriving at Midgard, he’s mellowed out a lot more thanks to Faye and Atreus, and actively starts helping people at his son’s urging midway through the game. By the next installment, he is more likely to reach out to help others, on some level.
  • Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: He earned the title Ghost of Sparta after accidentally killing his first family during a berserker rage, something arranged by Ares; the oracle of the village where it happened proceeded to use a spell to fuse their ashes to Kratos' skin, ensuring the mark of his "terrible deed" would be known to all. Kratos himself was so horrified that he instantly renounced his servitude to Ares. In III, Cronos spitefully calls him "a coward who kills his own kin," though he has little room to talk.
  • Lack of Empathy: More often than not. This exchange from III stands out:
    Athena: As we speak, the war for Olympus rages on and mankind suffers.
    Kratos: Let them suffer. The death of Zeus is all that matters.
    • In God of War (PS4) this is instead played for drama. Kratos can't relate to Atreus's grief when Faye dies and he's never had a normal relationship with his father. The arc of the story is having Kratos learn how to open up to Atreus and move on his past.
  • Last of His Kind: After the death of the Last Spartan in the original timeline. And by the end of III, he’s the last living remnant of the Greek pantheon of gods, discounting Atreus, who is only half-Greek.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Both of his children are nothing like him. Calliope appears to be a sweetheart, if even just compared to her father, before her tragic death. However, he is deliberately attempts to make Atreus to be anything but his worst possible traits. He is a bit successful with his son.
  • The Lost Lenore: Make no mistake, Kratos is indeed capable of love and compassion, as much as they're buried under a boatload of cynicism, callousness, and self-loathing. Killing his first wife Lysandra (along with his daughter Calliope) sent him in a spiral of torment and self-destruction, that culminated in him becoming even more of a psychopath than he'd already been. You'd think he would've gotten over the pain of loss by the time he reaches Midgard, but losing his second wife Faye clearly takes a toll on him even then.
    Atreus: I guess you never really get over losing the ones you care about.
    Kratos: Hmph. Never.
  • Maddened Into Misanthropy: What could easily be one of the BEST explanations for why Kratos turns out the way he does over the course of the story! As demonstrated early on, Kratos, wasn't exactly a saint, but he was a far better person at the beginning of his journey during his time in Greece than the person he became later on by the time of The Second Titanomachy.
    • From Ascension, Kratos demonstrates that, despite his anger and his desire for vengeance, he is perfectly capable of sympathy, as shown when he attempts to save the Oracle of Delphi, Alethia, and, when that didn't work, comforted her in her final moments.
    • Also later on in in Ascension, he also showed concern for others, as, when he arrived at the ruined Statue of Apollo, when a hoard of enemies attacks as workers attempt to flee, he pushes a final worker out of the way, saving his life before engaging the group of enemies
    • Something else worth mentioning as well, is that, from Ascension, until, Ghost of Sparta, Kratos has also been known to say, "by The Gods,' every now and then, showing that somewhere, deep down, perhaps he still had a sense of, if not reverence, at least respect for them. Unfortunately, that is all thrown out the window due to the Olympians' constant manipulating and hypocritical behavior which caused him to resent them for not helping him despite him even going out of his way to complete various tasks for them and even SAVING THE WORLD from being destroyed!
    • Kratos was also remorseful for accidentally killing Athena when the latter stepped in front of him to shield Zeus at the end of II).
    • As of III, Kratos displays near-complete apathy for the suffering and well-being of others around him and is only concerned with obtaining vengeance, not caring if he destroys his homeland and the world in the process, but, through all of that bitterness, along with generally leaving those not in his way be, he does understand and then shows care for Pandora, and he attempts to stop her from sacrificing herself to The Flame of Olympus so as to gain access to Pandora's Box.
  • Made of Iron: Even if he's no longer a god, he still can take punishment such as physical hits strong enough to kill an average person. Justified in that he is Zeus's son, making him a demigod.
  • Magic Knight: While by no means a skilled mage by enthusiasm, Kratos always ends up coming across a variety of magical powers and/or artifacts in every game that he uses to either solve puzzles or devastate his enemies.
  • Manly Tears: For his ragaholic tendencies, Kratos is very capable of sadness, such as losing those closest to him and his first family. He gets on Atreus for thinking he had no empathy in the first Norse entry, but has the need to clarify that he does mourn for Faye, but they have to stay on task at hand. But the perfect example of this is at the end of Ragnarök where he sees a mural made by Faye where he becomes a beloved god in the Nine Realms.
  • Mark of Shame:
    • Cursed to bear the ashes of his murdered family forever, turning his skin ghostly-pale.
    • His eye scar and tattoo as well. He gained this scar when he tried to stop Ares from taking Deimos, while the tattoo is a tribute to Deimos, who had a birth mark with the same shape. In other words, his whole body is a Mark of Shame.
    • In God of War 2018, the scars of the chains on his arm become one as well. He spends most of the game hiding them in cloth wraps. Naturally, at the end of the game Kratos is more at peace with who he was and discards these wraps.
  • Master of All: There is no form of combat or warfare Kratos isn't an expert at, if not the best in the setting. His unique Blades of Chaos aside, he's skilled with wielding a shield, spear, sword, axe, hand-to-hand striking, grappling, etc., not to mention an experienced wartime leader. He's an Instant Expert with whatever magical tools he gets his hands on—some of them are noted to require years, if not decades of dedication to master. He can sneak by traps and defenses when he wants to, striking from a complete blind spot, or simply march in through the front door while bashing heads. There's a reason he's unanimously voted as the general in the final battle of Ragnarök.
  • Meaningful Name: "Kratos" means "strength" or "power" in Greek. And Fárbauti means "cruel striker", which sometimes theorized to be a kenning of Lightning, the power of his own father.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: In Greece, Kratos had nothing to lose in his path vengeance and would only consider his own death once he's calmed down. By the Norse Era, Kratos gives himself purpose by raising Atreus and ensuring that he has the means to protect himself from those who desire to harm him.
    Kratos: Death can have me, when it earns me.
  • Morality Pet: His family. In III, Pandora, whose very presence reminds him of the daughter he once had. And in after falling in love with Faye, she and his son Atreus become this to him to an even greater extent, as the latter's presence actively reminds Kratos to restrain himself and be a better person. Kratos also will appear to be one to Atreus as well; since the boy is in fact Loki, and Kratos’s prophesied death in front of Atreus will likely mark the beginning of Ragnarök.
  • Multi-Melee Master: In every game Kratos usually wields an assortment of melee weapons with near unmatched power and expertise. In just Ragnarök alone, he has the powerful Lethiathen Axe, the long reaching Blades of Chaos, and finally the Draupnir spear.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Making the deal with Ares that indirectly led to the trilogy and beyond.
    • Killing his own family in a bloodthirsty rampage. Kratos is so ashamed of it that it's one of the only things not told to Atreus.
    • Killing Athena by accident as she threw herself in front of Zeus to save Olympus.
    • The entire original trilogy is a long one to Kratos. Especially after he found out he was played by Athena to kill the whole Pantheon so that she reigns as the only Goddess.
    • And as revealed in God Of War (2018), he was not too happy after all with killing his own father, Zeus, just as it was implied at III's end that he realized leaving the world around him in ruins was wrong.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Three in the original trilogy. Failing to save his little brother Deimos from being kidnapped, murdering his family by accident, and failing to save Pandora.
    • In God of War (2018), his entire rage-fuelled god-slaying rampage has become one big collective failure on his part, one he's too ashamed of to speak of openly to his son. His greatest secret is killing his own father, Zeus, as revealed by the illusions in Hel. This is the very last secret he reveals to his son.
  • Naytheist: He interacts with the gods on a regular basis, but he by no means worships them and openly declares them to be useless. Considering all of the shit they've put him through, one can't honestly blame him. This did not improve by the time of God of War (PS4) where he now lives in the domain of the Norse Gods, but holds disdain for them and human's worship. He tells Atreus that "men should never pray to monsters" and believed for some time, "there are no good gods".
    • He becomes significantly less hostile about this by the time of Ragnarök, having met several divine beings that were fundamentally decent people. He doesn't believe that being a god inherently entitles a person to worship, but he recognizes that they aren't inherently monstrous either and can become worthy of respect through action.
  • Never Found the Body: The post-credits scene in God of War III shows Kratos's body missing from the spot where he stabbed himself, and a trail of blood leading over a nearby ledge, raising the possibility that Kratos had survived even his Heroic Sacrifice. Indeed, he did, and made his way up to Midgard.
  • Never My Fault: The bulk of his turmoil is caused by an inability to blame himself. Our Spartan friend prefers to point fingers at the gods rather than own up to what he's done. That being said, it's made clear throughout the series and its spin-offs that he's perfectly aware of how atrocious his actions throughout the series have been, but he simply can't bear the weight of all of them because the pain's just too much. By the time he finally realizes this and the full consequences of his actions in III, it's seemingly too late to fix anything. After moving to Midgard, Kratos has taken great pains to move past this mindset of his, but it rears up every now and again; Kratos would constantly criticize and be gruff with his son Atreus, yet would rarely chastise himself for his own mistakes, such as destroying the trees acting as a protective stave around their home (though to be fair he had been advised to do so by Faye, before her death).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • By opening Pandora's Box, he released the evil inside, which possessed the Olympians and turned them all into bastards... Well, moreso, since the atrocities of Greek Mythology establish that they were dicks beforehand.
    • While the Greek Gods were no saints, Kratos practically brings the world to ruins with each God he slain, as their power would go way out of balance and ravage the world. Once Zeus is killed, the world is practically in Chaos.
    • His killing of Baldur in the 2018 game, while done to save Freya's life, not only gets the ungrateful Freya to swear revenge on him, but also kick-starts Ragnarök over a hundred years ahead of schedule.
  • No Badass to His Valet: His first wife Lysandra told him straight to his face that his bloody campaigns throughout Greece were monstrous, and were all driven by Kratos's own desire for personal glory. Likewise, Kratos's son Atreus does as his father tells him, but it's clearly a matter of respect, not fear: the boy has no qualms about calling his father out if he deems it necessary. Ragnarök also shows that Faye wasn't intimidated by him in the least, finding his stoic nature endearing.
  • No Indoor Voice: Which makes the few times he isn't screaming (notably in Ghost of Sparta and Ascension) rather surprising. By the time of the Norse era he's much more taciturn and soft-spoken.
  • Nominal Hero: Kratos has repeatedly expressed his usual Lack of Empathy towards others and in the original trilogy has gone on record stating that his need for vengeance matters, forgetting the lives of innocent people quite often. Much of the "heroic" acts attributed to him (namely defeating Ares, and slaying all manner of creature terrorizing Greece) were done with hardly a hint of desire to defend others but rather out of Kratos desire for either vengeance or peace from all the trauma-fuelled nightmares he endures daily. Even in the PS4 game, where he's become a much kinder individual, his primary motivations are taking care of his son and getting Faye's ashes to the highest peak in Midgard. In optional questlines where he can help out the Dwarves or disturbed spirits, he is quick to voice out that any altruistic actions he takes on are largely for his and Atreus's benefit, and that they just so happen to align with helping out others.
    • Finally averted in Ragnarök, most notably in the titular final battle where, upon seeing Atreus' distress at the Midgardians caught in the crossfire, realizes that he was wrong to pursue vengeance at the expense of others once again and quickly summons his commanders to change their strategy and focus on saving as many people as possible from Ragnarök while using a surgical strike to take out Odin.
  • One-Man Army: The gods throw everything they have at him, and it barely slows him down. Even in a World of Badass, Kratos is still able to tear his way through endless hordes of zombies and monsters. There's a very good reason he's the page image for the Video Games section of the trope.
  • Only One Name: Since ancient Greeks didn't use surnames, he only has his first name.
  • Papa Wolf:
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: To be fair, a lot of his victims really deserved it. Looking at you, Ares. And Baldur, though even that was played out in a more Alas, Poor Villain kind of way, where Kratos genuinely didn’t want to kill him, but had no choice, as the guy was too far gone in his insanity to be stopped in any other way.
    • Ragnarok takes this further with Heimdall. Unlike Baldur, Heimdall had nothing redeeming or sympathetic going for him, and constantly abused Atreus, and made no secret in wanting to kill him. Even the trophy for killing Heimdall is fittingly called “comeuppance.”
  • The Peter Principle: Kratos is an excellent fighter and able to adapt during any battle to defeat his enemies after his Spartan training. But when Kratos is promoted to General of the Spartan Army? He charges in his usual Blood Knight tendencies, which nearly leads to his death and his entire army's decimation, only getting out of it with a deal with Ares (which he then uses to make Kratos kill his wife and daughter). And after the end of the first game and being promoted to the new God of War? Kratos makes the same mistakes Ares did, just to spite the gods for not removing his nightmares, which leads to him being kicked out from the Pantheon, necessitating the whole story of II and III. By the time of Ragnarök, Kratos after Character Development is painfully aware of this weakness, and refuses to lead the battle against Odin and the Aesir fearing he might make a bigger mistake than any of the two instances above. Nonetheless, by the end of the game he's put in command of the various allies he's gathered by lieu of having the most military experience. He manages to successfully get out of this trope, by being not just more strategic but developing a level of empathy.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: In a more personal level. Kratos usually doesn’t do monumental damage...unless it kills his enemies. Then comes III, and for every god that Kratos kills, the world suffers a natural calamity that appears at least will never end. This is made all the more apparent when ‘’Ghost of Sparta’’ reveals that Kratos was destined to be the Marked Warrior, prophesied to end the reign of Olympus. Sadly, this doesn’t get averted even when he leaves Greece for Midgard. In killing Baldur, Kratos kickstarts Fimbulwinter hundreds of years too early, setting the stage for Ragnarök.
  • Pet the Dog: Flashbacks to his life indicate that for all his brutality, Kratos was a loving family man who cared greatly for his family. In Ascension, prior to the other games' stories, he shows others respect on several occasions. This extends to Atreus in the Norse era, whom Kratos is far more patient with than anyone he's ever encountered before. Kratos even genuinely compliments his son after his first kill. In Ragnarök, he shows willingness to give others respect.
  • Really Gets Around: Between his first wife's death and meeting his second, Kratos slept with many women. However, he could find no comfort from it.
  • Real Men Wear Pink:
    • He’s apparently talented with woodworking, as he carved out his daughter’s flute.
    • Dialogue in Ragnarök, reveals that he’s talented in playing the lyre, and his knowledge of Oedipus implies that may have watched Greek plays in his spare time.
  • Red Baron: The Ghost Of Sparta.
  • Redemption Rejection:
    • In Chains of Olympus, he was forced to undo his redemption by embracing his monstrous self again when Persephone reveals her scheme to undo reality. The consequence is that he will never see Calliope again, for his monstrous aura forbids him from ever entering Elysium.
    • After moving to Midgard, this has become a defining character trait. He tries to act like a better person, but he's resigned to the fact that he is, and will always be, a monster defined by the enormous atrocities he leaves in his wake. The reason he raises Atreus the way he does is to ensure the boy doesn't become another him. At the end of Ragnarok, Kratos sees his future as a God of peace, finally achieving redemption.
  • Red Hot Masculinity: Kratos has a red tattoo across his face and torso. He is also large, muscular, aggressive, and gruff.
  • Revenge Is Not Justice:
    • He wanted revenge against Ares for tricking him into murdering his wife and daughter. When he succeeds in killing Ares, Kratos doesn't feel any better and he resorts to killing himself but is saved by the Olympians who give him Ares' title as the God of War. In the sequel, he decides to kill Zeus and anyone who gets in his way. Hermes and Hera try to tell him that his crusade against the gods has only brought him more nightmares and thrown Greece into chaos, claims that Kratos ignores until he kills Zeus. Once Kratos killed Zeus, he realized that what he's done and he seemingly commits suicide, only for that to fail and for Kratos to spend the next 150 years regretting what he did and hating himself.
      Hermes: I thought Spartans fought with honor, and yet, you seek to kill me when I have no way to defend myself? Not fair! ...But you have your own sense of honor. Right, Kratos? And what has that honor brought you? Nothing but nightmares of your failure! Today, you may defeat me. But in the end Kratos, in the end, you'll betray only yourself.
    • Inverted in God of War (PS4), during his journey to Jotunheim, he meets Mimir and takes him along for the rest of the journey with Atreus. After Atreus falls sick, Kratos and Mimir travel to Helheim and Mimir learns of Kratos's true identity as the Ghost of Sparta. While Kratos believes that his actions were wrong and he should still hide his past, Mimir believes the Olympians had it coming and that he should be honest with Atreus.
  • Say My Name:
    • In addition to bellowing the names of people when he wants their attention, Greek-era Kratos practically has a Verbal Tic of ending the first sentence of every conversation with the name of the person he's addressing, or if he doesn't know their name, Race-Name Basis. This makes his The Nicknamer tendencies in the Norse era stand out that much more — he's become so socially withdrawn that he's very uncomfortable calling anyone by name. By the time of Ragnarök however he addresses people properly.
  • Screw Destiny: Even when the Fates themselves dictate Kratos's death, he just storms their home and murders them to change the moment of his death. In the PS4 game, it's implied by the fact that the three-year-snow preceeding Ragnarök has happened a hundred years early, and the deaths of Thor's sons (who were supposed to survive it) that Kratos's presence may allow him to play with or possibly even break the prophecy of Ragnarök, one of the biggest examples of You Can't Fight Fate in any mythos. Indeed, Kratos eventually learns in Ragnarök that the concept of "predestined fate" is nothing more than a myth perpetuated by foolish gods unable to change their corrupt ways, that it was Kratos' own moral failings that led him to commit so many terrible deeds, and that prophesies are merely guidelines with divergent possibilities. This spurs him ever more to forge a better path for himself and his son, Atreus, and to avoid repeating the same mistakes he did in his youth, which ultimately pays off for him in the end.
    Kratos: Fate is another lie told by the gods. Nothing is written that cannot be unwritten.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Killed his mother, though forced, after she was turned into a monster, then kills his father Zeus. Deconstructed later on, in that even when he arrives at Midgard, ''hundreds’’ of years after his rampages throughout Greece, the death of Zeus has become the biggest in a long line of regrets, and he fears that Atreus may one day follow him down that dark path.
  • Semi-Divine: He's revealed to have been born demigod in God of War II, and a son of Zeus, to be specific. After ascending to full godhood as the new God of War and then later being sapped of his divine powers through Zeus' betrayal, Kratos still retains his immortality and superhuman nature due to his inherent divinity.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Though he Really Gets Around, it's noted in-universe that Kratos finds no real comfort or happiness in doing so, with his wife Lysandra being the only woman he ever properly loved. Averted come the first Norse entry, where he's found love again and fathered a son, and his reminiscent dialogue, despite his silence being often, makes it clear he really, sincerely loved Faye.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Kratos is blunt as Spartans apparently were, speaks with purpose, easily annoyed and prone to extreme bursts of Unstoppable Rage that understandably puts a lot of people off him, both in and out of universe. But his life's just one big Trauma Conga Line that never stops going bad for him, so it's at the very least understandable why he's so volcanically angry and unpleasant almost all the time.
  • Strong and Skilled: Due to his divinity, Kratos has extraordinary power that easily dwarves almost any enemy he fights, and he only grows more powerful in time. He's also an exceptionally skilled warrior, once the captain of the Spartan army, capable of using both weapons and unarmed combat with devastating efficiency. His moves may be brutal, but they're all highly precise, and his technique focuses more on swift decisive bloody dispatches rather than rage-driven sadistic attacks. In his older days, Kratos actually relies much more on his skill rather than his overwhelming power, having been taught from experience, being that he's holding himself back from using too much strength.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: He grapples bare-handed with everything from civilians to soldiers, mythical heroes, large monsters, huge monsters, gods, and Titans, and no matter who or what he's fighting, they all seem to cause him the exact same amount of physical strain. Even opening wooden doors and treasure chests seems to give him the same amount of trouble as, say, tossing the Colossus of Rhodes across the city. This is perhaps best displayed in the very first scene of the Norse era: he expends great effort into chopping down a tree with his magical axe, then hefts the entire tree on his shoulder effortlessly.
  • Super Mode: The rage ability present in every main game grants Kratos increased offensive power and durability can be built by killing enough enemies with large combos or taking damage. The "Rage of the Gods" in the first game covered him in lightning, the "Rage of the Titans" engulf him in flames and can be turned on and off, the "Rage of Sparta" allows him to use the Blade of Olympus. In God of War (PS4), the "Spartan Rage" has him use his bare fists on fire, amongst many other attacks.
  • Super-Strength: Kratos has occasionally pushed down giant stone structures by himself, used large and heavy objects to bludgeon enemies to death, and regularly manhandles beings several orders of magnitude larger than himself. Not without a lot of effort, as the QTEs prove.
  • Superior Successor: To his father, Zeus. Kratos plunges the whole world into Chaos by defeating every single god in opposition against him, defeating Zeus with his bare hands in an uncomfortably bloody Extreme Mêlée Revenge. That being said, after moving up north, Kratos clearly expresses quite a lot of regrets towards his actions in his past life, and after revealing Atreus's heritage to him as well as confessing to his killing of Zeus, Kratos outright invokes this trope in that he and Atreus resolve to be better gods than the generations that spawned them.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Surprisingly for a main character, Kratos tends to end up in the land of the dead in nearly every installment. And his trip during the PS4 installment was the first time he didn't actually die to end up there. See the Resurrective Immortality entry in the Norse Era folder for more information on this.
  • Time-Passage Beard: Between the two eras, his goatee has grown into a full beard.
  • Tragic Mistake: The worst of his misfortunes and tragedies that haunts him for the whole series can be traced back to making the deal with Ares.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: In Greece, Kratos was known as the Ghost of Sparta, the God-Slayer, the God of War, and after the events of Ghost of Sparta, Death, the Destroyer of Worlds. The most recent game adds a new alias to the mix in a mural in Jötunheim: Fárbauti, meaning "cruel striker".
  • Tsundere: For all of his harsh brutality, he is an unusual version of this as he is extremely harsh to his allies, but he does love his loved ones, and a death of one of his family members will throw him into depression. In the Norse duology, he at first has a harsh treatment of his son Atreus, but he does love him as a father and his entire journey in the first game allows Atreus to bond with him.
  • Übermensch: Deconstructed, as Ares's apprentice he was trained to be the perfect warrior and his mentor tricked him into killing his own family so he'd be free from any ethical and moral restraints. However, Kratos's status as the ubermensch has only brought him misery, trauma, and bottomless guilt because he decided that the deaths of the gods is a better alternative to letting them continue plaguing him with tragedies (even though nobody asked him to do this and would prefer that he didn't destroy Greece in his revenge quest).
  • Unstoppable Rage: His rage is a form of him getting his vengeance.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Kratos gets played for a fool a lot in the series. He only wises up at the very end of III and kills himself rather than allow Athena to become Greece's only goddess. There's also the reveal at the end of God of War (PS4), which implies he might have been this to Faye.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: Befitting as a Spartan Warrior and later a God of War, Kratos is not above snatching his opponents’ weapons and killing them with them. Notable examples include Hades, whom Kratos steals and uses his claws to rip out his soul, taking the Blade of Olympus to use against Zeus, usurping and dropping a Troll’s pillar onto their skulls, and disarming a Traveller’s sword and using it to cleave them in half.
  • Variable-Length Chain: His chain blades can stretch quite far. Justified as the blades are explicitly stated to be magical.
  • War God: Surprisingly, for the protagonist of a series titled God of War, Kratos's status as a War God is pretty complicated. After defeating Ares, Kratos himself ascended to godhood and was awarded with the mantle of the God of War—considering how much of a Blood Knight he was even as a mortal, it's a title all too fitting for one such as he. However, his resentment of the gods leads him to abuse his power, to the point where he begins a Divine Conflict against all on Olympus when Zeus retaliates by stripping him of his powers and sending him to the Underworld. In subsequent Greek entries after II, Kratos is no longer addressed as the God of War, but is still addressed as a god because of his inherent divinity as Zeus's son. It's also implied that his killing of Thanatos ascends him to the status of a straight-up Destroyer Deity, embodying both Death and War. By the Norse Era, Kratos no longer wears the mantle of the God of War because he decimated his whole pantheon, but his Character Development by that point has shaped him into a world-weary man who's just plain tired of conflict, much like a soldier who's suffering from PTSD long after his war has ended. So while he may no longer be the God of War in terms of title, it can be argued that he's almost certainly an embodiment of the glory to be found in a war, the rage and suffering that spurs men to begin one, and ultimately the consequences one must face when it ends.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: The younger, hot-headed, Unwitting Pawn Kratos of the Greek era wielded various burning blades literally chained to his arms, while the Older and Wiser, violence-averse Kratos of the Norse era instead prefers a frost-summoning axe that is just as useful for woodcutting as it is for battle.
  • When He Smiles: You almost never see him smile. Trapped in an unending spiral of rage, grief, self loathing and guilt, Kratos understandably does not have much to be happy about... but if ever caught off guard or allowed moments to true happiness, such as his afterlife reunion with his daughter Calliope or when trying to bond with his son Atreus, Kratos has a disarmingly warm, gentle and kind smile; even if it is always twinged with a distinct melancholy and sadness.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Kratos has evolved into something of a mascot for the PlayStation brand, having made appearances in several first-party games for the console brand, while also making crossover appearances in games such as Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny and Mortal Kombat 9.
  • World's Strongest Man:
    • Kratos starts out as already the strongest Spartan and a remarkable powerhourse before he then grows increasingly stronger and more skilled to where he can kill some of the strongest monsters of the Greek pantheon, culminating in him defeating the God of War, Ares himself, and acquiring the ultimate power of Hope. He even defeats Thanatos, the Primordial of Death, when full of rage! Even Zeus himself fears him to where he would only face and kill him when he had temporarily given up his divine powers, and he decisively proves his status as the strongest of Greece by casually dispatching the likes of the Titan Chronos and most Olympians in his way, even killing the Big Three themselves in a fierce fight, even dispatching Poseidon by beating him to death and straight-up overpowering Zeus with the Blade of Olympus while Kratos himself was unarmed and using it to kill him.
    • Even after moving to the Norse era and spending years not engaging in any significant fights, he has actually gotten even stronger and it's made evident on both the 2018 game and Ragnarok he's still the top contender for the title of the strongest entity there, which is with him holding himself back the entire time and never truly using his full strength. Leaving aside his casual dispatches of countless monsters of the Norse Realm, including quite dangerous ones such as Dragons, Trolls, and Ancients, Kratos starts his first journey on Norse by defeating Baldur with his infamous invulnerability, killing him three times, despite Baldur having the advantage of swiftly resurrecting with all the damage Kratos dealt healed and not feeling any of the pain and strain Kratos would feel, and their other confrontations has Kratos still proving himself stronger and turning the tides all the way even with Atreus' presence giving him more of a burden, eventually snapping his neck once he was no longer invulnerable. The powerful sons of Thor ganging up on him? He easily handles both of them while being inconvenienced due to their taunts making Atreus more of The Load than ever before swiftly cutting loose and killing Magni in moments and then sending Modi crying back to Thor after no-selling his surprise lightning attack upon seeing Atreus in danger with a single punch.
      • While his battles against both Thor and Odin, both contenders for the strongest Norse god, were some of the toughest fights he's ever endured, it's clear that he was not fighting at his best. In his first fight with Thor, he'd only had a few small hours of sleep and only had the Leviathan Axe; Thor flat-out calls out Kratos for still holding back and even then he still keeps up with the God of Strength before eventually ending the fight in a stalemate. The next time he and Thor fought, Kratos ended up the victor even though he was the only one not fighting to kill, and both had engaged in different fights prior. And when the time came to fight Odin, whilst he needed help from Atreus and Freya to win, all three had just come from other battles whilst Odin was fresh; even then, Kratos was going most of the heavy lifting against the All-Father, with his allies in comparison serving as assistance. Odin himself specifically avoids fighting him the best he could before all this, making it clear even the All-Father fears the Ghost of Sparta on a level. The only one being who could possibly be stronger than he is would be Surtr, at least when he's Ragnarok, although Kratos didn't outright fight either incarnation (Surtr only blasted him back once instead of engaging in an outright fight and Kratos' mission in the final battle was to get to Odin himself, not completely stop Ragnarok from destroying Asgard), leaving the question of who is stronger as being forever undeterminable.note  With Thor, Odin and Surtr dead, Kratos is unquestionably the strongest being in the Nine Realms.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Would? Kratos not only would hit, as he would kill them in a way just as gruesome as the men, at least if need be, though it's usually monstrous females in his path. Kratos is a lot of things, but his violence is equal for all genders.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Kratos killed his own daughter, but didn't do so intentionally, and later claimed that "a simple child will not trouble me" when Athena tells him that Pandora must be sacrificed in order to kill Zeus. However, when the time actually came to let Pandora die, Kratos couldn't bring himself to do so, and only released her into the flame in a moment of blind rage to attack Zeus. Even after heading up to Midgard, Kratos maintains this trait; he is stern and not above shouting at his son Atreus to reprimand him for what he's done wrong, but he never lays a hand against him. The one time he does get physical with Atreus, it is under duress (the Stranger is there to kill them both and Atreus refuses to step back from the fight) and Kratos is clearly shocked with what he did and is momentarily unable to get out a sentence to Atreus. When he wrestles and beats down a crazed bear in Ragnarök, once he realises that he was fighting a transformed Atreus, he is visibly distressed by the fact that he might have hurt his son, let alone mortally.
  • Villain Killer: Although Kratos himself was hardly a noble figure in the Greek era, the gods he was up against were hardly any better, and in the Norse era, he is definitely nobler than the Aesir gods he finds himself up against. In either case, Kratos musters an impressive bodycount, managing to kill the Furies, Persephone, Ares, Thanatos, the Sisters of Fate, Poseidon, Hades, Hermes, Hercules, Hera, Zeus, Magni, Baldur, and Heimdall, while defeating Thor in single combat and playing a vital role in the defeat of Odin.
  • You Are Worth Hell: He will brave through afterlives to save his children, even if he had to spill more blood to do it.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Despite killing the Sisters of Fate themselves, Kratos actually fulfills a prophecy spoken of long ago, wherein a Marked Warrior would one day bring about the end of Olympus itself. And long after he's left Greece, Kratos very much wants Atreus to grow into a better man than him, but due to Atreus's true identity as Loki and his apparent role in Ragnarök, it is heavily implied that despite all of his efforts, Kratos's son will indeed make the same mistakes as his father once did. In the end, however, this trope is proven wrong in Ragnarök as Kratos learns through conversation with the Norns that predestined fate does not exist, and the only reason the prediction came true was because Kratos was predictable; he was only bound to destroy Olympus so long as he refused to stop being a vengeful and deicidal berserker. Through Character Development and determination to avoid repeating the same mistakes he did in the Greek era, Kratos ultimately succeeds in thwarting the grim prophecy he saw in the 2018 game, instead fulfilling a different and much more uplifting path that Faye had envisioned for him.

Greek Era
"The hands of death could not defeat me, the Sisters of Fate could not hold me, and you will not see the end of this day! I will have my revenge!!"

After killing his wife and child, Kratos becomes a willing servant of the gods, dedicating himself to their every whim and performing every task they would demand of him. His efforts would eventually bear fruit when the city of Athens falls under siege from Ares himself; a petty move of jealousy from the God of War. With the knowledge that the gods are forbidden from waging war upon each other, Athena tasks Kratos to find Pandora's Box and empower himself with the evils laying within, ordering him to defeat Ares and save Athens.

And by defeating Ares, Kratos, the once mortal warrior, becomes the new God of War. However, Kratos soon finds himself alone on Olympus, shunned by his fellow gods; the feeling is mutual, as Kratos resents them deeply for their refusal to rid him of the memories of his past. For, in Athena's own words, no man nor god could ever forget his terrible deeds.

A spiteful Kratos proceeds to send out his Spartan armies all throughout Greece in a massive campaign of war, putting him in conflict with Zeus himself. When it then becomes clear that he's made an enemy out of every god on Olympus, Kratos then proclaims, "If all on Olympus will deny me my vengeance, then all on Olympus will die." Allying himself with the Titans, Kratos triggers the Second Titanomachy and sets the stage for Olympus' fall.

  • Anti-Hero: In Ascension, the first game, and the prequels, he's more or less a Byronic Hero, who eventually shifts into pure Villain Protagonist territory by the time of the second and third games, allowing the destruction of the world around him all for the sake of his petty vengeance.
  • Anti-Villain: Kratos's more unsavory actions, especially throughout II and III, can be seen as reprehensible at best and irredeemable at worst, as at his lowest point he proves himself ready and willing to kill about any innocent on his path and while causing an Apocalypse Wow on all Greece solely for the sake of vengeance. That being said, Kratos's suffering, though largely self-inflicted, is equally perpetuated by the machinations of the gods and forces just plain beyond his control. Whether or not one can feel sympathy for the man is entirely up to the player to decide.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Becoming a marauding Spartan captain with an army numbering the thousands bolstered Kratos's ego to incredible heights, and his desire for glory only intensified after his declaration of servitude to Ares. He was taken down a peg the minute Ares forced him to kill Calliope and Lysandra, but didn't learn his lesson even then—after killing Ares and becoming the God of War, he becomes even more petty and arrogant than before. Though to be fair, by that point, he's lost his brother and his mother thanks to the trickery of the gods, so his unflappable anger is at least somewhat understandable if not sympathetic.
  • Ax-Crazy: If he wants to kill something, don't expect that something's corpse to look pretty - and he will use any possible object as a weapon in battle, though axes were not exactly common yet.
  • Back from the Dead: He's died twice, and escaped from the underworld. In fact, he is too damn angry to die, and he even says it best.
    "The hands of death could not defeat me".
  • Badass Boast: He sends these out pretty often. The baritone helps. Just look at the quote for this section!
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: One of Kratos' alternate costumes in the first game, Tycoonius, puts him in a black business suit and replaces his Blades of Chaos with giant suitcases. When worn, the suit grants Kratos extra red orbs and doubles his damage output, but heavily reduces his defense.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: Or, in particular, Elysium. The reason Kratos doesn't just saunter over to the Underworld to meet Lysandra, Calliope, or anyone else he's lost, is because he once, though apparently forced to do so, massacred a vast majority of the Elysium Fields in order to kill Persephone, horrifying his daughter to the point of tears. He's barred from entering Elysium on principle, but it's heavily implied that even if he wasn't, he's far too guilt-ridden to even think of facing his daughter again after what he's done.
  • Bash Brothers: With his younger brother, Deimos, in Ghost of Sparta.
  • Benevolent Boss: He treats his fellow Spartans as his brothers, and shows the Spartan soldier gratitude for looking after his weapons in Ghost of Sparta, and when he realises he's killed the Last Spartan by accident, Kratos is horrified.
  • Big Brother Instinct: When Ares and Athena showed up to kidnap his brother Deimos in Ghost of Sparta, he, despite being a little kid at the time, actually tried to attack Ares directly to save Deimos. And when he found out Deimos was still alive years after that, he immediately went on a quest to save him despite the warnings of Athena. It didn't end well at all.
  • Blasphemous Boast: "A choice from the gods is as useless as the gods themselves!" He even says this straight to the face of Zeus, who was impaling him on the Blade of Olympus at the time.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: In Chains of Olympus, Kratos manages to reunite with his beloved daughter Calliope in the Elysium Fields. To do this, he had to forsake all of his weapons and powers, in turn rendering him completely mortal but pure. However, thanks to Persephone's plot to destroy the world (which would, in turn, destroy Elysium and Calliope), Kratos is forced to abandon his daughter and slaughter nearly every soul in Elysium in order to reclaim his powers. Leaving a horrified Calliope in tears, and stoking Kratos's hatred of the gods.
  • Brought Down to Badass: After losing his godhood in II. He's still a One-Man Army capable of throwing down with creatures several times his size.
  • Cain and Abel: With Ares and Hercules. Though it's justified, in that Ares made him kill his own family. Hercules wanted to kill him and actually attacked him first. His list of killing his other siblings is long, though: Hepheastus, Perseus, Persephone, Peirithous, Pollux, Athena (though Kratos regretted the first one and the last one was an accident). The one time where he was the Abel instead of the Cain was with his mortal brother Deimos, whom he genuinely loved, but he ended up blaming Kratos for being trapped in Thanatos' domain and tried to kill him (they make peace with each other before Deimos' death, however).
  • Cerebus Retcon: Much of Kratos's actions throughout the main trilogy of the Greek series are contextualized and expanded upon further by the prequels and midquels. With these releases, Kratos Jumping Off the Slippery Slope in II is no longer him merely lashing out in petulant vengeance, but instead it becomes decades of pent-up anger and aggression at the gods and himself being unleashed completely.
    • Ascension features Kratos at his most vulnerable point in the whole series. Having killed Calliope and Lysandra just months prior to the events of this game, Kratos is faced with nightmares and illusions that plague him daily—partly because the Furies are trying to torture him with visions, partly because he's just so horrified by the things he's done. As if that weren't enough, it also shows Kratos being fully capable of interacting with others and even forming friendships, striking a bond with Orkos and regretting having to kill him in order to free himself from his oath to Ares. All this goes to show just how damaged Kratos ends up becoming while under the servitude of the other gods later in life, as well as how much empathy and compassion he lost from all the pain and suffering he's endured.
    • Chains of Olympus features Kratos reuniting with his daughter Calliope, only to be forced to abandon her thanks to the trickery of Persephone. Worse yet, Kratos has to re-traumatize his daughter by slaughtering every soul in Elysium right in front of her eyes, so as to regain enough power to kill Persephone. Cast out of Elysium for good, without a single chance to reunite with his daughter ever again, Kratos's hatred of the gods begins to fester right at this point.
    • Ghost of Sparta follows Kratos as he travels throughout all of Olympus in search of his brother Deimos, who had been kidnapped by the gods at a very young age, on the grounds that he was the Marked Warrior destined to destroy Olympus. However, along his journey, he loses his beloved mother, as well as Deimos himself, thanks again to the gods. Worse yet, his relationship with Athena gets strained, when he learns that she had directly aided Ares in the kidnapping of Deimos in the first place. This is where Kratos promises to make the gods pay for everything they've done to him, and sets the stage for God of War II. Ghost of Sparta also reveals that Kratos's red tattoo was in fact made as a reminder of his failure to protect Deimos when they were children.
  • Chained by Fashion: The Blades of Chaos were attached to his skin by magic chains. The ending of the 2018 game shows that they left chain-shaped scars across his forearms after Ares ripped them out to kill the illusory Lysandra and Calliope. The Blades of Athena/Exile were attached to a pair of armlets Kratos wore to cover the scars.
  • Character Development:
    • In a journey of conquest with his fellow Spartans, Kratos comes across a Barbarian King; assured of his victory, Kratos and the Spartans do battle against the King and his horde, only to find themselves epically outclassed. On the brink of death and in an uncharacteristic act of some cowardice, Kratos begs the God of War, Ares, to destroy his enemies in exchange for his allegiance. Ares does as promised, granting Kratos the power to slaughter the Barbarians — but Kratos would serve Ares's whims all his days, enabling his Blood Knight Glory Hound tendencies even more. While Kratos justifies the atrocities he later commits under Ares's name "for the glory of Sparta," Kratos's wife feels that his monstrous acts were all for his own glory, never Sparta's.
    • This all comes to a head when Ares sends Kratos to a village worshipping Athena, ordering him to slaughter all who lay within — naturally, Kratos obliges, but finds himself wracked with guilt and horror at having murdered his own wife and child in the haze of violence. Knowing this was all a manipulation by Ares to make Kratos a more efficient warrior, Kratos would be forever marked by his sin — with the ashes of his wife and child fused to his skin forever, Kratos transforms from a ruthless warrior devoted only to conquest and violence into a cold shell of a man endlessly tormented by his crimes against humanity. This would only get worse when he later encounters his daughter Calliope in the Elysium Fields—though their reunion brings out one of the few moments of genuine joy we'd see from Kratos himself, he's forced to abandon her yet again due to the machinations of Persephone. Leaving Calliope in horrified tears, Kratos abandons her and his rage at the gods begins to gnaw and exhaust him both physically and emotionally.
    • After defeating Ares and becoming the God of War himself, Kratos becomes bitter against the gods of Olympus, who refused to remove the PTSD-fuelled nightmares and visions he'd endure daily, despite having promised him they would do so with the defeat of Ares — in Athena's own words, no one could ever forget the many atrocities Kratos has committed. Though Kratos seethes with rage, he feels no immediate need to clash against the gods — that is, until he discovers that his brother Deimos, who had been kidnapped as a child by both Ares and Athena under the belief that he was the prophesied "Marked Warrior" who would destroy Olympus, is actually alive and kept tucked away in an Eldritch Location to be endlessly tortured by Thanatos. Though Kratos would defeat Thanatos, he would lose both Deimos and his mother along the journey — his grief for his loss eventually turning into rage against the gods themselves for stealing more family members away from him. In his rage, he sets the Spartans all across Greece in a mass slaughter campaign, earning him the ire of Olympus.
    • After being betrayed by Zeus in II and left to die, and discovering that Zeus later on destroyed Sparta just to spite him, AND being told by Athena that every god on Olympus would deny him his vengeance against Zeus due to Zeus's intrinsic ties to Olympus and reality itself, Kratos decides then and there that he's had enough of the gods and their manipulations, declaring that any god who would dare stand in his way would die. So consumed is Kratos by his vengeance and his refusal to take any responsibility for his own actions at this point that he deliberately ignores the rampant destruction he causes to the world from the deaths of the multiple gods he encounters throughout his quest. But even all this gets eclipsed thanks to the advent of Pandora, who forms a shaky bond with Kratos himself — as she resembles Kratos's daughter, though he knows that Pandora is not his daughter. Once Pandora decides to sacrifice herself in order to grant Kratos the power to defeat Zeus, Kratos's burgeoning emotional attachment to her clouds his senses, and when the time comes, he cannot bring himself to let her die. She manages to sacrifice herself anyway, only for her death to have meant virtually nothing, since the power to defeat Zeus had been inside Kratos all along. It is this that destroys Kratos's will, and propels him to make his first possibly heroic act, at least in a long time, by sacrificing himself to grant humanity the power of Hope, and let them live without need for the gods.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the very first game, Kratos was basically a shell of his former self. Though vengeance against Ares was his top priority, much more emphasis was given to how he is basically edging closer and closer to the Despair Event Horizon. His hope in defeating Ares is less out of a desire for vengeance and more out of desperation to escape from his madness and guilt, to the point where when he's denied release from his past, he throws himself off a mountain. Later entries have him subsumed by his desire for vengeance against the gods, to the point where it's his primary motivation and defining character trait in both II and III. Multiple spin-offs and prequels were produced to add more nuance to Kratos's character, and better contextualize how he could jump so quickly off the slippery slope into crazed vengefulness.
  • Deal with the Devil: As a young Spartan commander, he was nearly defeated by the Barbarian King until he promised to serve Ares in exchange for the strength to achieve victory. He turns on his master after Ares tricks him into killing his own family to remove his only "weakness".
  • Death Seeker: Zig-zagged. Depending on the situation, Kratos may be attempting to take his own life to end his torment, or he may be literally clawing his way out of Hades to avoid death.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • Of the traditional heroes of Greek Mythology. Many of those heroes, such as Oedipus, Achilles, and even Hercules at some points, had a Might Makes Right mentality; their worth as heroes wasn't measured by their moral character, but through their strength and power. Kratos is essentially what these kinds of heroes would be in real life; sociopathic, selfish, bloodthirsty, and extremely entitled and largely indifferent.
    • Kratos also lacks a key component of the classic Greek heroes and his fellow Spartans: They should never commit hubris and think themselves above the gods, and if they did so, divine punishment would usually ensue to either humble them and provide a lesson that would temper their wisdom or just outright kill them. Kratos shows what happens when said hero doesn't give a crap and keeps pushing forward regardless of the consequences.
    • In a broader sense, he's also a deconstruction of the '90s Anti-Hero. Normally, someone who goes on a campaign of destruction across their homeland after being treated like stomped-on crap by the universe would be framed as not only morally justified but also heroic for mowing down anyone and everyone that stands in their way, regardless of how wrong it would be in any other context, consequences be damned. Not Kratos. Here, his actions have consequences that reverberate across the world and haunt him for hundreds, if not thousands of years with the actions that led to them being treated as deplorable and atrocious as you would expect them to be. He's basically everything you'd expect a '90s Anti-Hero to be in real life: a murderous sociopath with next to no redeeming qualities whatsoever looking everywhere but within to just make the pain stop.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Crosses it when he accidentally kills his family, and remains past it from that point onward. But it gets real bad when he learns that the gods cannot (or will not) end his nightmares, even after the death of Ares that they apparently asked for. He attempts suicide soon afterward, only to be saved by Athena. Whether or not he actually recovers, or simply finds other channels to ease his suffering, is left ambiguous.
    Kratos: The gods of Olympus have abandoned me. Now, there is no hope...
    • In God of War II, when The Last Spartan passes away after their encounter in the Palace of the Fates (they were in a dark room and could not see each other clearly), Kratos loses all will to fight and is about to let the Kraken kill him, but then Gaia, taking on the appearance of Kratos's deceased wife, talks to him in a vision and brings him back into battle.
    • He nearly crosses it again at the end of Ghost of Sparta after the death of his brother Deimos. He briefly considers jumping off to his death at the Suicide Bluffs again, but pulls out of it at the last moment. He then decides to turn his despair into hatred for the gods.
  • Detrimental Determination: His goal of getting revenge on Zeus and the Olympian Gods is ultimately this. While Kratos’s grievances and anger are justified, provided they played a hand in the deaths of his mother and brother, what isn’t excusable is his need of vengeance overriding his better judgement and even involving and killing bystanders for daring to be in his way. Even worse, Kratos’s mass deicide ends up causing natural disasters, killing untold numbers of people, but he doesn’t stop until he finally kills Zeus, whereupon he then realizes his need for vengeance only made him more miserable. Though he gets to live after an attempt at sacrificing himself, he survives with the guilt that vengeance could override and corrode your mind and hates himself for that.
  • Dirty Coward: Generally, no. But a few rare moments of cowardice pop in and out. His greatest moment being the circumstances that led him to swear his life to the War God. More obsessed with his reputation than his Spartan traditions (which demanded soldiers to either win a battle or die honorably), Kratos called upon Ares to bail him out when he was threatened by the Barbarian King. This, of course, ruined his life. In Ghost of Sparta, the ghost of his child self actually calls him a coward as he tries to beat him up. He would eventually grow out of it.
  • Disney Death: At the end of III, it was unclear if Kratos survived his self-inflicted wound, or simply cast himself off the cliff, as he tried to do at the end of the first game. God of War (PS4) reveals that he totally did.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • At the end of the first game, when he is told that the Gods can't end the horrific nightmares caused by Kratos's guilt over his family's deaths. He is saved by Athena, who had other plans for the Spartan. Such as giving him Ares's now empty throne, making Kratos the new God of War.
    • He seems to briefly consider suicide again after Deimos is killed, but ultimately decides against it.
    • He impales himself on the Blade of Olympus at the end of III, but that is more of a Heroic Suicide, and even then, it turns out he survived that.
  • The Dragon: To Ares, during his time in the God of War's service. He is a Dragon to the gods of Olympus, Athena in particular, after the deaths of his family, acting at their behest to perform tasks that they either cannot or will not do themselves, such as killing Ares.
  • Dual Wielding: The Blades of Chaos/Athena/Exile, the Claws of Hades, the Nemean Cestus, and the Nemesis Whip.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Two, really, during the first chapter. The first is when Kratos finds a trapped slave/prisoner, who declares that even being locked up on a sinking vessel with monsters swarming over it won't persuade him to accept Kratos's help. The second is at the end of the boss fight, where Kratos retrieves the captain who was previously Swallowed Whole... then yanks away the key he was wearing around his neck before deliberately throwing him down into the dead hydra's stomach. For apparently no reason, though it may have been in disdain at the captain fleeing from the beast earlier and leaving his men to die.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Throughout Kratos's search for his brother, he is confronted repeatedly by Athena, who desperately attempts to turn him away from this path he's taken. Though Kratos is furious at the gods for their hand in kidnapping his brother, he actually seems to consider Athena's advice at one point, only to fall back on anger when he realizes that she helped Ares kidnap Deimos. Judging from the Tranquil Fury he displays towards her later on, it's clear that this betrayal stung Kratos pretty deep.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He did care for Callisto, and was enraged and guilt-ridden when she turned into a monster and he had to kill her.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Kratos is a callous and violent man, but even he has been loved. He and his wife were actually Happily Married, before Kratos let his Glory Hound tendencies get the better of him, and when Calliope reunited with him in Elysium, she happily ran over to him and embraced him tightly. When he first encounters his brother Deimos, Deimos rages against him for "leaving him behind" in their youth, yet after Kratos saves his life from Thanatos, the two brothers work side-by-side to defeat the God of Death. His mother Callisto also loved him dearly, to the point where even after Kratos kills her in Ghost of Sparta, he can find a note in the Underworld presumably written by her, begging the gods to punish her in his place. If we're gonna go real far with this, even Zeus is said to have cared for Kratos at the very least (before succumbing to his fear), having taken pity upon him at his birth. When Kratos falls into the Underworld thanks to Ares, Zeus even helps Kratos escape under the guise of a lowly Grave Digger, affectionately referring to him as "my son."
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: You'd be surprised at how many. His wife Lysandra and his daughter Calliope were Kratos’ last tethers to humanity, and his love for them was so strong that in accidentally killing them, he immediately renounced his service to Ares. He also loved his mother Callisto dearly, to the point where when she transformed into a monster, he killed her in the most humane way he could. He also was so distraught over losing his brother at such a young age that when Kratos discovered that Deimos was still alive, he immediately went off to go save him from wherever he'd been trapped.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • He expresses much disgust at the torture the victims of the Olympians get. Kratos is no saint, but there are levels that he will never stoop to — well, not willingly anymore. The first sign that there's more to Kratos than just mindless fury is when he has to burn an innocent man alive as an offering to the gods. He does it, but he makes it clear how much he hates having to.
      "The gods demand sacrifice. From all of us."
    • Despite almost being killed by Hephaestus, he understands why he did it and bears no animosity for it, Hephaestus wanted to save his child by any means necessary. As a father himself, Kratos truly values the importance of family and the duty of fatherhood. Kratos's face also changes to a sorrowful one, showing that he really didn't want to kill Hephaestus but he had no choice. To an extent, the expression also shows that Kratos sees Hephaestus as a better parent than him because Kratos accidentally killed his family and believes he failed as a father for doing so.
    • Kratos also has a strong sense of brotherhood, due to the fact that he lost his brother Deimos at a young age as well as Sparta instilling this in all Spartans. After discovering that Zeus is his father, Kratos tries and fails to reason with his half-brother Hercules. In Ascension, he was most likely disgusted as well by Pollux's cowardice, when the guy tried to pin the blame for his and Castor’s atrocities on the latter — while crawling away all the while.
    • It's noticeable that all of Kratos's many lovers all appeared to be fully consenting. That might not seem all that impressive; but compared to what the Olympians usually did when someone was unlucky to catch their eye, he's downright saintly by letting these women be once done with them.
    • While he's willing to do anything to accomplish his goals without remorse, Kratos doesn't target people unless they specifically get in his way or he has to defend himself. As Kratos says to a dying Athena in II he doesn't seek to destroy Olympus, only Zeus. Indeed, II and III shows Kratos is fine letting his opponents live, be they demigods, Olympians, or Titans, but they kept provoking him. His destruction of Olympus was largely done in self-defense.
  • Evil Costume Switch: He starts wearing a suit of God Armor which resembles Ares’s own armor when he fully becomes the God of War and spearheads his own conquest of Greece.
  • Expy: Kratos' character and backstory in the Greek era are heavily inspired by Heracles', most noticeably in the first game; both are supernaturally strong warriors sons of Zeus with a mortal woman who murdered their own families in a fit of mad rage caused by a god and had to do several chores to be pardoned — Kratos with his servitude to Olympus and mission to defeat Ares, and Heracles with his twelve labors under the orders of Eurystheus —, receiving help and advice from the Olympians during their journey, adventuring in the Underworld as the final challenge to accomplish their goals, and eventually being turned into gods themselves around the moment of their death. Some of the main differences are that Kratos was tricked by Ares while Heracles was bewitched with madness by Hera, Kratos was saved from his attempt of killing himself while Heracles only became a deity after dying on a pyre, Heracles never resented the gods, and Kratos was much more brutal and feared than Heracles ever was. When Heracles/Hercules makes his debut in III, this becomes Expy Coexistence.
  • Family-Values Villain: Kratos deeply loved his immediate family, to the point where when he discovered he'd killed them in a blood frenzy, he nearly went mad from the grief alone. In fact, the death of his brother Deimos is a large factor in what caused his rage against the gods to fester, culminating in his eventual declaration of war upon Olympus. Ironically, though he hates the gods and makes motions to destroy them in III, him being Zeus's son means that throughout the game, he's slaughtering all his family members.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • In his younger years as a Spartan captain, Kratos's Blood Knight and Glory Hound tendencies were so insatiable that when he dedicated his life to Ares, he grew drunk on the atrocities he committed daily under the God's name, justifying himself endlessly by proclaiming his intent to spread the "glory of Sparta" throughout the world...even though it was possible that he only sought personal glory. This mad dash for power and bloodshed cost him dearly when Ares tricked him into killing his wife and child in a blood frenzy, solely for the purpose of undoing more of Kratos's humanity.
    • Kratos's Unstoppable Rage is exactly that — unstoppable. He's perpetually in a state of grueling anger and self-loathing, and it's awfully easy for him to take his anger out on bystanders in the wrong place and time; when anybody wrongs him in any fashion, whether they be gods or men, Kratos is generally prone to going in for the kill and likely causing collateral demolition regardless of their reasons. After becoming the God of War and going on a massive campaign all over Greece just to anger the rest of the gods, Kratos is warned by Athena that Olympus won't take too kindly to his rampage. Shockingly, when Kratos refuses to listen to her and tries to destroy Rhodes by entering the battlefield himself, Zeus takes action and proceeds to end his life.
    • His unbelievably deep-seated self-loathing is one of the biggest contributors to why he is as screwed up as he is. Kratos is completely aware of what kind of man he is, and he bears a great many regrets about the numerous atrocities he's committed over the years, his greatest failure being his killing of his own family. Unable to bear the weight of his sins, furious at the gods for refusing to remove his memories of them, and driven to the brink of madness from the multiple travesties they committed against him and his loved ones throughout the years, Kratos unleashes all his self-hate in a projection against the gods and lashes out in II and III, to the point where he outright declares war on Olympus itself.
    • His shortsightedness and self-centeredness have cost him much throughout the series. Kratos spent his entire life doggedly focused on singular goals, and as such has a very difficult time seeing the big picture, so to speak. Throughout the original series, he's so blinded by his desire for revenge that he fails to notice or even care that in killing the gods, he's heralding the destruction of Greece.
  • A Father to His Men:
    • The Spartans are loyal to him even in death itself. What we see of living Spartans has them treat Kratos with reverence and awe. In III and the most recent entry, it's their power he draws upon, not the Gods or the Titans as in previous games.
    • Two of the particular Spartans he's particular with is Atreus and the Last Spartan:
      • Atreus was a Spartan warrior who believes in having hope and often inspire his fellow Spartans in battle. After his death, Kratos decides to honor him by naming his son after him.
      • The Last Spartan had served Kratos even after Kratos's fall from grace as a god. Even after his accidental murder by Kratos's hands, he still puts faith into Kratos before he dies.
  • Freak Out: Kratos was always a little unstable, what with the constant nightmares, the shame of killing his family weighing down on him, his short-sightedness and temper causing him to lose what few things held him in check and the gods playing a constant game of "kick the Spartan". But by the time of II, he's on the knife's edge of madness, and Zeus's betrayal shoves him right off said edge into full-blown insanity: by that point, nothing truly matters to him but killing Zeus, no matter who gets hurt, more or less. While his actions are reprehensible, they're potentially understandable to a point: Kratos has literally nothing left but revenge.
  • Glory Hound: Used to be a big one. During his tenure as the captain of the Spartan army, he led his men throughout the lands in an endless pursuit of conquest. This only got worse when he dedicated his life to Ares, as from then on Kratos began slaughtering more people and became infamous all throughout the world. And of all the ways he could've had a Humble Pie moment, it had to be him killing his family during one of his many random slaughters.
  • God Is Evil: As the God of War, he leads a brutal and ruthless conquest of all of Greece in the name of Sparta (as far as non-Spartans can see, though he has good reasons), mainly to spite the gods for everything they've put him through.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Ares wanted to make Kratos the perfect warrior in his bid to conquer Olympus. First he gained his loyalty through a Deal with the Devil. Then he gave him the powerful Blades of Chaos. Then he tricked Kratos into killing his wife and child because they were all that was holding him back from being the perfect murder machine. Kratos even acknowledges this at the end of the first game.
    Ares: That night... I was trying to make you a great warrior!
    Kratos: ...You succeeded. (runs Ares through with the Sword of the Gods, killing him)
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a scar near his eye given to him by Ares himself, when Kratos attempted to attack him for kidnapping his brother. He also has one on his stomach where he was impaled with the Blade of Olympus, as well as marks along his arms from the chains he’d wear during his time in Greece.
  • Hated by All: Not entirely, as he had his army and a few on his side... but he was feared by so many. As the series goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that Kratos's hatred of the gods is mutual, and in II he's explicitly described from the beginning of the game as being shunned by the rest of Olympus. By the time of III, when Kratos has declared war upon the pantheon, the vast majority of the gods immediately take up arms and fight him without hesitation.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: By the opening of II, he's become as bad as Ares, doing all of the horrible things Ares himself had done, which led to the gods assigning Kratos the job of killing him in the first place.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The only reason Kratos managed to kill any of the gods after opening Pandora's Box is because he's been powered by the light of Hope itself.
  • Heel Realization: After causing the apocalypse, Kratos realizes that he's made a bad call.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: Kratos's birthplace, Sparta, is the only place in all Greece where anybody accepts him with open arms. After the death of Ares, the Spartans immediately welcomed Kratos as their new God of War, to the point where Ares worship quickly dwindled from that point on.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: While "hero" is stretching it, notice how the Olympians constantly throw flak on Kratos for supposedly trying to Take Over the World, without remembering that maybe they shouldn't have transformed his mother into a grotesque creature that he had to Mercy Kill. The Spartans' rampage through Greece was more of a giant "Screw you" than it was out of boredom or conquest as Zeus feared. Granted, Kratos wasn't really forthcoming about it, but he never actually tried attacking the Olympians until after Zeus destroyed Sparta. Not only that, but during his ten years of servitude to the gods, it's shown that several mortals who are aware of his past deeds are more scared of him than they are of the monsters attacking him and would rather be killed than be saved by him. It only gets worse after he becomes the God of War, though it's largely because he begins abusing his power upon the whole of Greece. This is averted when it comes to Sparta, though; seeing as how the city-state is founded upon a Proud Warrior Race Guy mentality, it only makes sense that they would be rather pleased with their fellow Spartan Kratos becoming the new God of War.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After all is said and done in III, Kratos runs himself through with the Blade of Olympus, releasing the power of hope to mankind.
  • Heroes' Frontier Step: He did heroic deeds in the past, like fighting off a Persian invasion and saving Athens from Ares, but they were more purely done for his own interests rather than any altruism. However, by the end of III, he reaches something of a Heel Realization, having finally discovered just what kind of colossal damage his quest for vengeance had done to himself, the world, and those close to him. His response to this is to impale himself on the Blade of Olympus in a Heroic Sacrifice, bestowing Hope upon the rest of mankind in the process.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Kratos has, in addition to removing enemies' weapons and turning their own sharp objects against them. repeatedly used godly weapons to kill other deities. In Chains of Olympus, Kratos defeats Persephone through use of Helios' Sun Shield and the Gauntlet of Zeus (the latter of which he used to deliver the final blow); this is important because Kratos hadn't even opened Pandora's Box yet, so he didn't even have any innate power to kill a god at this point. When Kratos and Zeus do battle at the end of II, Kratos manages to put Zeus on the ropes because he's wielding the Blade of Olympus (which contained Kratos's godly power at that time) throughout the whole fight. It's implied even that Kratos might have actually managed to pull off killing Zeus had Athena not intervened at just the right time.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: Of all the characters to associate with this trope... It's complicated. In the original series, Kratos obtained the power of Hope when opening Pandora's Box to defeat Ares, while all the evils contained within the Box spread out amongst the gods of Olympus. Fast forward several years later, Kratos comes in conflict with Zeus and the other gods, and, driven by vengeance, utterly demolishes all of Greece in the ensuing Roaring Rampage of Revenge. But, upon realizing the full weight of his actions and how utterly empty his quest for vengeance has been, Kratos unleashes the power of Hope unto mankind by stabbing himself in the gut with a giant sword.
  • Idiot Ball: Throughout the original Greek entries, the guy gets manipulated left and right by gods and titans, repeatedly makes foolish decisions because he constantly chooses immediate satisfaction over long-term benefits, and end up collaterally causing suffering to innocent people (as well as himself) all in the name of his petty refusal to take responsibility for his own actions.
  • Insane Troll Logic: When Zeus confronts Kratos at the beginning of II, after the latter was drained of his godly powers, Kratos vocally demands an answer as to why Zeus would "betray" him. Note that at this point, Kratos has been ransacking the whole of Greece with his Spartan armies and has expressed nothing but disdain towards Zeus and the other gods after their refusal to remove the nightmares of his past, as well as their involvement in the deaths of Callisto and Deimos. Zeus even lampshades it:
    Kratos: Why? Why would you betray me?
    Zeus: It is you who would betray me! Am I to stand idly by while Olympus is threatened?
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: He was always a Sociopathic Hero on his very best of days, but he was perfectly capable of compassion and feelings of camaraderie. But then his mistakes start to add up, he spends every waking second being pushed and prodded and tormented by the gods, he loses half the things he cared about to his own failings and the other half is taken away. As of the second game, he's devolved into a straight-up Villain Protagonist. The game opens up with him waging war alongside the Spartans in Rhodes, and after Zeus betrays him, the man just snaps. It's all downhill from there.
  • Kick the Dog: Kratos does this a lot, more by accident, but sometimes the player must slash at or otherwise harm bystanders to get through an area - though an In-Universe one that counts as well as a Moral Event Horizon to all who know him is the killing of his wife and child in a blood frenzy. Literally in the case of the ever-annoying Cerberus Pups.
  • Kill the Gods: By the end of the series, the only gods he didn't kill are Artemis, Apollo, Aphrodite and Morpheus, and that's because the first and the latter sort of suffered a case of What Happened to the Mouse? while Apollo was only mentioned by others...though then again, one could assume that all three of them died due to the events of III.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Mind you, it was by complete accident. Kratos left Calliope and Lysandra back in Sparta, but Ares transported them over to his position as he was slaughtering dozens of people in the same room.
  • Large Ham: What do you expect from an Axe-Crazy, Psychopathic Manchild demigod that's been poked one too many times by Jerkass Gods like Ares and Zeus?
  • Light Is Good: Post God of War I, Kratos is powered by the Light of Hope. Almost entirely his sole redeeming trait, for a given value of "redeeming", is his stubborn refusal to give up hope (of revenge, of closure, etc.) and die. Ultimately, the realization of the kind of power that gives him leads him to try to atone by killing himself and releasing hope to the world to help make up for the destruction he's caused.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: In III, he spends the entire game plotting to kill Zeus, killing multiple Physical Gods who get in his way in the process, which each cause a progressive Apocalypse Wow. Although he can survey the destruction at some points, and in-game text at these spots do indicate what is happening, it's rather evident that, past killing Zeus in a state of Revenge Before Reason, Kratos doesn't actually have any plans for what he's going to do afterwards. Ultimately, in the finale, he sees what he has wrought, and is Driven to Suicide mostly to spite Athena and keep her from getting Hope, but does seem to comprehend that he left the world in a horrible state, and while the gods won't rule over man any longer, there's not much left to rule over anyway.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Eventually turns on the entire Greek Pantheon of gods for all the times they've shafted him and his loved ones.
  • Moral Event Horizon: His frenzied rampage in a settlement and the subsequent murder of his wife and daughter is treated as this In-Universe. Kratos was punished by having his skin grafted by the ashes of his wife and child to forever remind Greece and its gods of the heinous acts the Ghost of Sparta committed and then chained within Aegaeon by the Three Furies. Kratos spends the first three games chronologically in earning the god’s forgiveness and to erase the memories. He succeeds in being forgiven, but his memories and the reminder of his family’s death was kept, which furthered Kratos’s disdain for the gods.
  • Moment of Weakness: Begging for Ares's help after being defeated by the Barbarian King. That one moment of cowardice ultimately proved to be the bane of Kratos's existence.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: At the end of God of War III, Kratos looks out at the complete and utter devastation his vendetta against the gods has wrought on the world, with each death at his hands causing a new disaster, and with him having cleared the way for Athena as the last surviving god to rule over humanity with them as slaves to her whim, Kratos, aside from the incidents with pandora, finally feels remorse after such a long while, (supposedly) kills himself, and leaves Greece forever after giving hope to humanity.
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech:
    If all on Olympus will deny me my vengeance, then all on Olympus will die. I have lived in the shadow of the gods for long enough. The time of the gods has come to an end!
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the past, Kratos was a warmongering, bloodthirsty Spartan who led his soldiers on conquest after conquest. When his wife Lysandra called him out on it, Kratos declared that he was going it for the glory of Sparta; Lysandra was not convinced and sensed that he only did it for his own personal glory.
  • The Oathbreaker: He broke his Blood Oath to forever serve Ares. Ascension reveals that The Furies captured and punished him for it, but he managed to escape and kill them.
  • Offing the Offspring: Kratos accidentally killed his daughter Calliope in a blood frenzy.
  • Paradox Person: If II has any implications on the timeline, Kratos has either created an endless time loop of his own death and resurrection in his pursuit of vengeance, or, he has moulded with his past self, undoing the events of the game.
  • Pet the Dog: He, on some level, does this. The Last Spartan and Pandora stand out. The former, who is a loyal follower, and the latter whom he feels fatherly affection to (despite killing her father in self-defense, he understand why he did it).
  • The Pornomancer: Aphrodite, two of her daughters, two random slave girls, two random matrons, and eight prostitutes simultaneously, each get a Hot Coffee Minigame. It's possible that Alecto wants in on that too, and so do Aphrodite's handmaidens.
  • Power Copying: Has a habit of taking weapons, items, and powers from defeated enemies. In certain cases, he even uses decapitated heads as weapons.
  • Properly Paranoid: In III. When the ghostly Athena confronts him in the Underworld and states her intent to help him kill Zeus, Kratos is suspicious, since Athena had previously sacrificed her life to save Zeus from Kratos's wrath. Athena claims she sees truths she didn't before, but during the ending, it turns out Kratos was right to be suspicious; Athena was just using him to take Zeus out so she could become the sole god of Greece and rule over mankind for herself.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: While he was never a particularly good man in the first place, it can be argued that the events that occur in Ghost of Sparta is what kickstarts Kratos's transformation into the infamously unapologetic, psychotic, and selfish brute that eventually destroys much of the surrounding world out of revenge.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: He was born in Sparta, where war was a way, if not THE way of life.
  • Psychological Projection: Kratos has a tendency to blame pretty much all of his problems on the gods or on others, when it's perfectly clear to everyone and especially himself that his own actions are largely to blame for why his life has been as awful as it is. Naturally, he can't forgive himself for the things he's done, because that would actually mean facing his failures head-on, so he ends up causing way more trouble to others than he's worth.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Kratos can act like a mature adult, particularly to his daughter and the Last Spartan, but more often than not, he acts like a selfish, entitled, irresponsible brat who acts without thinking. The second and third games are stand out examples, where his rampages throughout Greece and Olympus are little more than him reaching emotional overflow and throwing deranged tantrums.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: He succeeds in destroying the Gods and the Titans,and as well as getting over the guilt of killing his loved ones... at the cost of Greece's destruction and being forced to walk the earth forever for his crimes.
  • The Quiet One: In Ascension, he has considerably fewer lines.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: The perfect poster child for it. In fact, he currently is in this trope's page.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Played with, at the end of III, he kills himself with the Blade of Olympus to release the power of Hope. It is up to the viewer to decide if this was to humanity and try to make up for destroying the world in his quest for revenge or just to spite Athena. Either way, it didn't stick.
  • Reforged Blade: After the Blades of Athena are damaged in the River Styx, Athena's spirit remakes them into the Blades of Exile.
  • Regret Eating Me: In III, Cronos tries to finish him off by eating him alive. Kratos just cuts his way out with the Blade of Olympus.
  • Revenge: It's the fuel that runs Kratos's Character Development throughout the Greek entries.
  • Revenge Before Reason: If the fact that he singlehandedly destroys much of the surrounding world in his crusade against Olympus in God of War III is anything to go by. At the end of III, he has to choose between saving Pandora who he has come to see as a surrogate daughter or sacrificing her to complete his revenge against Zeus. Though he’s initially ravaged by the choice, as Pandora reminds him of Calliope, he, though distracted by his own rage, chooses revenge over her due to Zeus’s taunts.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Basically his entire objective, throughout almost ‘’every single game’’ taking place in Greece.
  • Satanic Archetype: Kratos is widely feared and reviled for the horrible things he's done, and once he becomes a god he ends up abusing his power out of sheer spite towards Olympus. In II and III, Kratos becomes so fed up with the gods that he outright wages war against them, disregarding the consequences completely. By the time his vengeance is complete, he's ended what seems to be all of reality and plunged the world into Chaos. The only "positive" aspect here is his association with light; by the time of III, Kratos is revealed to have been imbued with the power of Hope, when he first opened Pandora's Box all the way back when he fought Ares. So when Kratos discovers the weight of his actions in triggering an Apocalypse How upon all Greece, he performs a Heroic Sacrifice by impaling himself on the Blade of Olympus, releasing Hope to the whole world.
  • Scars are Forever: Long after leaving Greece, he still has the scar over his eye that he's always had, as well as scar on his stomach from when he was stabbed with the Blade of Olympus in God of War II. The ending of the 2018 game also shows his forearms are still scarred from having the Blades of Chaos attached to his arms.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Kratos usually displays an Undying Loyalty towards Sparta and its values. In the comics, however, when the authorities decided Calliope had to be sacrificed because of her skin disease that made her be deemed weak by Spartans, Kratos was willing to defy the laws of his land and fight the soldiers tasked with seizing her. He eventually would take the quest to find the Ambrosia to heal his daughter.
  • Semi-Divine: As revealed at the end of II, he's one of Zeus's demigod sons.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: He's constantly attacked by the memories of his campaigns through Greece and the only way he can cope with them is through battle. The reason why he allied with the Olympians in the first place was the hope that they would take them away. Their promising to forgive him but not take the memories away if he killed Ares was what pissed him off. In the third game, Zeus attempted to use his memories to break Kratos's will through a Mind Rape and almost succeeded.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Extremely concerned with self-interests, morally near-bankrupt, finds a temporary gratification in the deaths of his enemies, extremely prone to emotional outbursts, violently reacts to things like betrayal, and severely lacking most empathy for his fellow man.
  • Start of Darkness: Regarding his Villain Protagonist mention below, he seems to start down this path in earnest by the end of Ghost of Sparta, owing to the deaths and divine manipulations of his mother and brother, followed by Athena essentially congratulating him for losing his mortal binds and becoming ready to become a god.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: After accidentally mortally wounding Athena, he is horrified and tries to assure her that he doesn't mean to harm Olympus, just to kill Zeus. When Athena tells him that the survival of Zeus and Olympus are co-dependent, he angrily declares that Olympus will fall. Though that declaration alone is not a straight example, his lack of worry over the disastrous consequences lingers.
  • This Means War!: "ZEUS! Your son has returned! I BRING THE DESTRUCTION OF OLYMPUS!"
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Make no mistake, Kratos was never a properly nice person. But, as seen in Ascension, there was a time in which he still had detectable empathy for others. However, he gradually loses more and more of whatever standards he had left until, by the time, at least apparently, when not brooding by III, he has cast almost all of his moral concerns aside. In a Game Informer interview hyping Ascension, one of the developers was quoted as describing Kratos as "unlikable" and "an asshole" by the time of III.
  • Tragic Villain: While it doesn't excuse the countless combatants or even civilians he directly slaughtered, Kratos essentially lost his family twice over because of the Olympians. In II, he's described right from the beginning narration as having "no need for the love of petty gods," and expressly tells Athena he "owes her nothing," after she brings up concerns that his warmongering throughout Greece is causing unrest among the Olympians. This is after she literally made him the God of War. Ghost of Sparta actually contextualizes this: his hatred of the gods intensified once Kratos discovered that his long-lost brother Deimos was still alive, trapped in the Domain of Death under the suspicion that he would one day fulfill a prophecy in which he would bring Olympus' destruction. Realizing that Athena herself had aided the gods in kidnapping Deimos, Kratos ventured forth to free his brother, refusing to heed any of Athena's warnings; sadly, Kratos lost both his brother and his mother in the process, and blamed the gods for it. It was actually one of the few instances where he lost a loved one through no fault of his own. Not to mention the whole 'making him the God of War' is, in context, just one more kick to the ribs for Kratos: forget being denied death, which he had hoped for when he learned he would always be haunted by his nightmares and guilt. He's now condemned to live forever, in the throne of the god who had destroyed his life.
  • Undying Loyalty: Regarding Sparta. Kratos has shown dedication to their cause and almost fatherly concern for his fellow soldiers, particularly the Last Spartan. Unlike his predecessor, Kratos doesn't backstab his fellow Spartans or manipulate them like pawns. If anything, Kratos was lending Sparta a helping hand to their cause - it just so happened that the Spartans are very much a Blood Knight society, which (intentionally or otherwise) played into his hand of flipping the essential bird to the Olympians over what happened to his mother. Furthermore, Kratos only swears revenge on Zeus after he destroys all of the soldiers (from both sides of the conflict, no doubt) before his eyes. Ironically, the destruction he causes by killing the gods in III is all but stated to have destroyed Sparta as well. By then he is too far gone to give any thought to his actions.
  • The Unfettered: Ares purposely made him into someone who would be capable of anything by removing the only things grounding him in morality, his family.
  • Unstoppable Rage: His default emotion, when not in a smouldering, foul mood.
  • Villain Has a Point: His rampage against the gods has done way more harm than good, but he wasn't entirely wrong to bring up how, back when he served them, they've either tricked or manipulated him, changed what his objective should be, or found other ways to screw him over or weasel out of honoring their end of a deal, which has made his previous service a waste of time at best or slavery at worst. No wonder he refused to pledge himself to Zeus in II and tried to convince Hercules in III his own service to the gods is not gonna get him very far.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: His cheekbones jut very prominently out of his face, which combined with his hairless scalp and bone-white flesh, makes his head look more skull-like and sinister.
  • Villain Protagonist: In the second numbered game, Kratos cares little about anyone but himself, and leaves countless innocents to die in his wake. This is added to by the fact that he ended up trying to do the exact same thing he was told to kill Ares for attempting, and spent the remainder of the game and most of the third in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that led into a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum as a result. Even though he had his reasons as shown in Ghost of Sparta, it's still enough to make him rather unsympathetic.
  • Villain Respect: Kratos seems to have a respect towards famed heroes. In God of War 2 & 3 he spoke civilly to both Theseus and Hercules and offered to spare them if they stood aside or joined him. Theseus blinded himself with his ego and Hercules was driven by his envy of Kratos and loyalty to Zeus.
  • War Is Glorious: Definitely believed in this, having been raised as a Spartan. After the killing of his wife and child, though, Kratos began to suffer from visions of his past atrocities in Ares's name, which he could only quell through...more violence, in service to the other gods.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: By the end of III, he's succeeded in obtaining his revenge, having killed everyone who ever wronged him... but by that point, he's realized that most of his misery was his own damn fault. He also finally notices the devastation he wrought upon the world during his campaign for vengeance and he's been changed enough to actually give a damn about it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The past Kratos is left unaccounted for due to the current Kratos's ability to time travel in II, and he is last shown lying on the ground. However, Icarus' death still happened, so either past Kratos still escaped from the Underworld and still killed him, or he made time fix itself (somehow).
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Averted. In spite of the games implying that Zeus considered Kratos his favorite child, Kratos has no intentions of pleasing or gaining Zeus's approval. Even after discovering the truth about his parentage, Kratos is further driven to spite Zeus and destroy everything he built.
  • What Have I Become?:
    • At one point in the first game, Kratos has a rare moment of self-awareness and, horrified by the carnage around him, asks himself this question.
      Kratos: By the gods... what have I become?
    • Asks himself this again at the end of Ghost of Sparta. Zeus/The Grave Digger answers with ''Death, The Destroyer of Worlds.'’
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: This is a man that was completely broken by the gods and, in his rage for vengeance, turned the world to complete chaos.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The only demigod to ever defeat Kratos in single combat is Kratos's own brother, Deimos. Deimos had been kidnapped by the gods at a very young age because they believed he was fated to destroy Olympus thanks to his bizarre birthmarks, and throughout his torture by Thanatos in the Domain of Death always blamed Kratos for being unable to protect him. Kratos easily could wipe the floor with Deimos, especially since at this point he's become the God of War. The only possible explanations for the ensuing beatdown Kratos endures by the end of the fight is that he either loves his brother too much to try to seriously fight back, or that he completely agrees with Deimos' assessment of him and lets him beat him down.
  • Worthy Opponent: Cronos calls him a "skilled warrior".
  • Would Hurt a Child: Though his killing of Calliope was done so unintentionally and he in general avoids hurting children, Kratos does get into a violent fight with a ghost of his teenage self in Ghost of Sparta. He avoids the gory finishers typical of the series' boss battles, but he tosses the teen at a wall multiple times and bashes his head into it to kill him. An atypical example in that the child Kratos hurts is himself.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: By the time of the Norse series Kratos' awareness of his divine nature has allowed him to develop the ability to heal his wounds through focus. Despite this however, there are two scars that appear permanently etched into his body. The wounds from the chains of the Blades of Chaos burning Kratos's arms, which even still bleed years later judging by the bloodstained bandages on his arms, and the scar on his midsection from when he impaled himself on the Blade of Olympus.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: When Kratos encounters Gaia again after killing Hades, she is in a similar situation he was in when Zeus knocked them out; namely that Gaia refused Kratos's aid and told him that he was nothing but a pawn to the Titans. She asks Kratos to help her, only for him to get annoyed and call Gaia out for being hypocritical over now demanding aid despite her literally casting Kratos aside the last time when he needed it. While Kratos doesn't say the trope, his choice of words and reaction evoke the spirit of it.
    Gaia: You live Spartan? The blood of Cronos serves you well. Quickly! You must help me!
    Kratos: Help you?!
    Gaia: Yes, child! Quickly! I suffer greatly! tried to return to battle but...
    Kratos: Without me!
    Gaia: You know I had no choice! You must help me!
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Kratos became the God of War after killing Ares, and in later killing Thanatos, is implied to have also become the personification of Death itself.
  • You Killed My Father: Kratos rages against the gods because of the many terrible things they've done unto himself and his loved ones. Of the latter, these include: tricking him into killing his wife and child, casting a curse upon his mother so she'd never be able to reveal the name of Kratos's father (on pain of Body Horror), and kidnapping his brother on the suspicion that he was the Chosen One of a prophecy detailing the downfall of Olympus. Ironically enough, with the reveal that Kratos is Zeus's son, his attack on Olympus is him taking out his extended family. He ends up killing his own father.
  • You Monster!: Typical reaction people get when seeing him. One instance of note takes place in the first game: while on a ship currently being attacked by a Hydra, Kratos approaches a terrified fisherman, who proceeds to lock himself in a cage immediately afterward.
    Fisherman: I know who you are, Spartan! I know what you've done! I would rather die than be saved by you!

Norse Era

"I am from a land called Sparta. I made a deal with a god that cost me my soul. I killed many who were deserving... and many who were not."

Now Older and Wiser, Kratos is thrust back into fatherhood and is forced to raise Atreus by his lonesome when his Second Love Faye dies. Though he and his son are willing to work together to disperse Faye's ashes, it's clear he and his son have a strained bond; though Kratos cares deeply for Atreus, he's more than willing to dispense some Tough Love and is so ashamed of his past actions that he actively tries to hide his son's Divine Parentage from him.

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Played with. In God of War (PS4), Kratos killing Magni objectively should not have been possible; Magni was fated to survive well past Ragnarök and even become stronger than his father Thor. Kratos ups the ante later on by killing Baldur hundreds of years before his own fated death, triggering Ragnarök far earlier than ever anticipated. In essence, Kratos did something that broke a prophecy wide open. This is all done while having little to no knowledge of the intricacies of the Norse pantheon, let alone Ragnarök itself. However, Ragnarok plays with the concept of You Can't Fight Fate, since it's revealed both that there really isn't any such thing as "destiny" as far as prophecies go, and the people who were telling Odin that Magni was fated to live past the aforesaid date just outright lied to Odin about it. So even if there was such a thing as fate at work in the background, the prophecy wasn't true to begin with.
  • Act of True Love: When Atreus falls gravely ill due to igniting his own Spartan Rage, Kratos is told that the only cure can only be found in Helheim, one of the most dangerous realms where his weapons and magic will be useless, and that he will need something powerful enough to burn through the icy hordes there. He then goes home to retrieve a relic of his past that he tried to seal away forever, the reminder of his true, monstrous nature: his Blades of Chaos. When he unwraps them, his breath quickens and his hands visibly shake as if he's having a panic attack, but takes up his old weapons once again without hesitation to save his son.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Downplayed twice.
    • When Atreus innocently laughs at the idea of Faye teaching Kratos something instead of the other way around, Kratos quietly agrees that it is humorous.
    • When Atreus makes a pun about a submerged water wheel being an underwater wheel, Kratos snorts. He then immediately claims that he never laughs.
  • Aesop Amnesia: To an extent. Kratos has learned the futility of vengeance, the consequences of giving in to blind rage, and the necessities of discipline and taking responsibility for one's actions. But he has not fully internalized how his selfishness, his amorality, and his single-mindedness are massive catalysts to the things that have gone wrong in his life, and this leads to all sorts of complications during his interactions with Atreus. Finally Subverted in Ragnarök, where Kratos' conversation with the Norns reveals to him that predestined fate does not exist, making him realize it is his own flaws that lead him to suffering and that he needs to master them if he wants to move on.
  • The Ageless: Double-subverted. Despite anywhere between 100 and 1000 years passing since the end of the Greek saga, Kratos only looks about a decade older than he did then. However, he struggles mightly against Baldur, who claims that Kratos' "old body will break eventually", and it seems he just isn't the fighter he once was. But once Kratos starts to knock off the rust, it becomes clear that even after all those years, he's still just as strong and skilled as he once was, if not more so.
  • The Aloner: In God of War (PS4), Kratos would rather be left alone to raise Atreus and spread Faye's ashes. Unfortunately for him, the gods have other plans.
  • Always Need What You Gave Up: Kratos locked away his Blades of Chaos after moving to Midgard, using the Leviathan Axe in their place as his main weapon throughout most of the game. However, when Atreus ends up suffering from a serious illness, the cure of which can only be found in Helheim, a realm where no flame in all the nine realms could ever burn, Kratos realizes there is only one thing that can help him. Luckily, but unfortunately for Kratos, the Blades of Chaos aren't from the Nine Realms.
  • Amazon Chaser: A conversation with Atreus earlier in the game implies that this amongst other reasons is what attracted him to Faye.
    Atreus: She could fight, couldn't she?
    Kratos: Yes. She fought... beautifully.
  • An Ice Person: Faye's Leviathan Axe was bequeathed to him after her death, the axe itself has ice related abilities that allow cryokinetic combat and was said to be infused with the "echoing screams of 20 Frost Trolls".
  • Animal Motifs:
    • In the steel book version of the game, the translated version of the runes on the cover regards Kratos as a bear. The Norse translation is "This is the story of a bear and a wolf, who wandered the realms of nine to fulfill a promise of one before; they walk the twilight path, destined to discover the truth that is to come."
    • Like bears, Kratos is a solitary figure and, as his enemies learn, the most dangerous position for them to be in is between Kratos and Atreus.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • At the beginning of the journey, he is a pronounced Nominal Hero, as opposed to being an out-and-out Villain Protagonist. He still puts his own goals over actively thinking of others specifically, and continues to very much despise the gods. But now, Kratos actively goes out of his way to do things in a non-violent manner, only resorting to violence when he finds no other option available. He's also shown deeply regretting the many terrible things he had done while in Greece, even the killing of Zeus, and as such tries to instill in his son the importance of discipline. Thanks to his bonds with the people he meets upon his journey, such as Sindri and Brok, along with Mimir's and Atreus's influence, he becomes a much more protective and actively heroic character by saving Sindri from a rampaging dragon and preventing Baldur from killing his mother. This turns him towards being a Classic Anti Hero as detailed below, and by the end of the game after making peace with his past and reconciling with Atreus, he transitions into a Pragmatic Hero.
    • By the end of Ragnarök, after realizing that there is no fate but what he makes after a meeting with the Norse version of the Fates and guilt after giving into his anger and killing Heimdall, he transitions into a Knight in Sour Armor, still gruff and aggressive, but only using violence when absolutely necessary and even sparing his enemies instead of killing them, going out of his way to try to redeem Thor instead of killing him. After defeating Odin, he's perfectly okay with Atreus' solution of imprisoning him instead of killing him. After seeing a prophetic mural showing him being a beloved and worshipped god of the people, he goes out of his way to repair the damage that Ragnarök did, showing that Kratos may even be transitioning into becoming a full Ideal Hero.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: He's fully aware of the fact that no matter what he does, he will possibly never be able to redeem himself for his past mistakes and by his own admission he will always be a monster. However he's no longer the Greek Pantheon's monster and can use his experience and wisdom to help prevent his son from making the same mistakes as he did, and try to dissuade Baldur from going down the same path. He might not be able to atone for all the harm he's done, but he'll certainly try.
    Atreus: [...]Is this what it is to be a god? Is this how it always ends? Sons killing their mothers... their fathers?
    Kratos: No. We will be the gods we choose to be, not those who have been. Who I was is not who you will be. We must be better.
  • Anti-Villain: Kratos's act of killing the final boss of the PS4 title was done entirely with noble intentions in mind, in order to prevent him from killing his own mother and perpetuating the cycle of patricide that plagues even the Aesir. But despite being completely in the right, Kratos's actions have set the entirety of Asgard against him and his son, namely because the death of Baldur has triggered Ragnarök hundreds of years ahead of time. Mimir even lampshades this:
    Mimir: Guess we're the bad guys now.
  • Apologetic Attacker: After killing the gatekeeper and carving out his heart, you can see Kratos momentarily placing his hand on the gatekeeper's chest, indicating an apology.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: He scoffs at the idea of the World Serpent being flung back in time to before his own birth. Apparently just ignoring how he himself was thrust back into his own past during his duel with the Sisters of Fate.
  • Arc Words: Kratos's advice to Atreus whenever the boy fails or is on the verge of despair is always some variation of "be better". On the one hand, this highlights his nature as a Stern Teacher, since Kratos will just give Atreus an order to improve without really telling him how to improve. But on the other hand, it also shows that Kratos wants to make sure that Atreus doesn't turn out like his father. Faye told him this when he tells her he fears for Atreus. She tells him "We are not our failures. We must be better".
  • Ascended Extra: Played with; Kratos isn't directly based on any mythological character, but in the end of God of War (PS4), the prophecies of the Jötnar call him Fárbauti, making the character the protagonist of the series. Fárbauti himself is rather scarcely mentioned in the myths, being only attested as Loki's father.
  • At Least I Admit It: When the specter of Athena visits to mock Kratos in his attempt to save Atreus, she tells him a teacher, husband, and father is something he can never be—but that he will always be a monster. Kratos doesn't deny it, but replies with how he is no longer her monster.
  • Audience Surrogate: As a Greek warrior in Ancient Norway, Kratos lacks knowledge about the Gods and lore of this new land, requiring others to explain it for him, putting him in the shoes of fans who also lacks said knowledge.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Kratos isn't afraid to perform some gloriously brutal acts of violence upon his enemies, even when he's right in front of his son, but he is well aware that there's a difference between being witness to violent acts and actually acting them out. When he and Atreus are confronted by bandits early on in their journey, Kratos reminds Atreus to keep his distance and even asserts, "When we encounter them, you will leave them to me." When Atreus is forced to kill one of the bandits in self-defense, he falls into a Heroic BSoD and in response, Kratos comforts him as best as he possibly can...but maintains that they have to continue their journey. Likewise, Kratos absolutely refuses to let Atreus get involved in any business with the Norse gods, though this is more because the Aesir Would Hurt a Child, have much more experience in combat than Atreus, and because Atreus simply isn't yet ready for the consequences of killing a god.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Kratos is forced to grab his Blades of Chaos, which he originally planned to never touch again, once Atreus becomes ill and he has to travel to Helheim, where his Leviathan Axe would be about useless.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: During the Greek era, Kratos was a monster, feared and hated by most, selfishly waging war against the gods for the sake of his own vengeance, only seeming to come to a Heel Realization after all was said and done and he'd single-handedly ravaged his own homeland. By the end of Ragnarök, he's become empathetic, selfless, and a genuine hero, seemingly destined to become a beloved figure after justly bringing about the downfall of Odin. Kratos is near tears to realize that he's successfully become the polar opposite of the man he once was.
  • Berserk Button: Ordering him to kill. While he doesn't mind fighting if it's to help his friends or protect his son, he doesn't like being ordered to, as it reminds him of his past as a monster being led around by Ares and Athena. The only time he gets actually angry with Freya (who, keep in mind, was trying to kill him not even a few hours earlier) is when she tells him to disdainfully to stop talking and "kill things", saying that he will not be hers, or anyone's, monster.
  • Best Friend: With Mimir, of all people, he is somewhat of a friend. By Ragnarök, the two confide in each other, snipe possible insults, and give moral support but aren't afraid of criticising the other.
  • Beyond Redemption: At one point, he's confronted by the spirit of Athena, who tells him point-blank that no matter how much he tries to be a better person, he can't change and will always be a monster, to which Kratos concurs. However, while Kratos is convinced he can't be redeemed, he still makes an effort to ensure Atreus doesn't walk down the same path as he did, and by the end of the game, he seems to have realized that he can at least keep trying.
    • Firmly defied in Ragnarök. During his dealings with Thor who asserts that they are both destroyers, Kratos rebukes them, saying that they are not doomed to be monsters or destroyers, they are people, and they control their own destiny. By the end of the game, Kratos sees a prophecy that shows him as a widely adored deity, showing that even if he hasn't yet forgiven himself, the world around him no longer sees him as a merciless destroyer.
  • Big Good: Surprisingly, Kratos is put squarely in this position by the end of the first Norse entry of the series.
    • At the end of the PS4 game, with the Norse pantheon being just as evil if not worse than the Greek gods, as well as Freya swearing vengeance on Kratos for the death of Baldur, Kratos has taken it upon himself to instruct Atreus on the responsibilities of being a god. He even tells him that they must be better than the generations of gods that spawned them. Come the next installment, he shows great improvement.
    • In Ragnarök, Kratos is the leader of the group of allies that eventually assemble around him. During the final battle he's even formally placed as general and commander of the entire multi-realm force storming Asgard. By the end of the game Kratos is well on his way to fulfilling a prophecy that shows him as an adored godly protector of the people.
  • Blessed with Suck: Kratos has come to view his godhood as a curse; a lifetime of having to suffer thanks to the treachery of his own pantheon, as well as self-loathing at his own arrogance after having become a god himself, has convinced him that "there are no good gods," and as such he desperately wants to spare Atreus from the life of tragedy that comes with being a god. Subverted by Ragnarök, by the end Kratos embraces his godhood after seeing a prophecy showing him as a beloved deity.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: When Atreus becomes ill and Freya asks Kratos to bring her the heart of Helheim's Gatekeeper to cure him, she warns that Hel is deathly cold, that no magic in the Nine Realms can make a blaze, and the ice magic of the Leviathan Axe would not avail him against the cold denizens of Hel. Kratos grimly realizes that he must unbury his past and returns home, retrieving his old Blades of Chaos hidden beneath the floorboards. The Blades, having been forged in the depths of Hades and infused with magic outside the Nine Realms, nicely fit his needs.
  • Brought Down to Badass: A boat conversation in Ragnarök has Kratos reveal this happened to him after the destruction of Greece at the end of III. He can no longer invoke the magic that he was able to use in the Greek era games. Atreus believes it's because magic is tied to a domain. So when Greece died, so did Kratos' magic. Despite this, Kratos still retains his Super-Strength, immortality, Healing Factor, and Spartan Rage.
  • Brutal Honesty: Kratos, after a life of near-constant conflict, understandably doesn't handle social situations well, and often tends to shut down conversation as bluntly as possible.
    Atreus: But why would a fire troll burn mother's garden? And since when are draugr so close to the house? And what was that frozen thing that attacked us?
    Kratos: I do not know. Now be silent. We are almost home.
    • Even his non-combat life lessons for Atreus are very taciturn and grim, driving home their importance by being "brief and purposeful", as he puts it. When collecting Gullveig's bones from across the Lake of Nine, he repeatedly states that the spirit is lying to them so that his son doesn't get his hopes up for speaking with Faye one last time; later, he senses another spirit playing the role of a fool for trying to wage war against Thor in the afterlife, because — even if Kratos doesn't know yet how impossible it is to escape Hel — the ghost of a long-dead mortal man still has no chance against a god.
  • Burning with Anger: His Spartan Rage takes the form of his fists becoming covered in fire. As shown by Atreus's brief, unsuccessful use of it, this seems to be derived from his own divine Greek powers as the God of War, much like Ares's own pyrokinetic affinity.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke:
    • Or in this case rather, a story; He bungles in telling the story of The Tortoise and The Hare to his son, emphasizing the tortoise's victory due to the Hare's foolishness and the Tortoise's discipline, never mentioning the specific action therof that the Hare took a nap halfway through the race. He gets better at telling stories later.
    • A less funny example later on is when he tells the story of the thief on death row who bit off his mother's ear because she showed him nothing but love instead of discipline. Kratos either forgot, was never told, or deliberately omitted that in the original fable, the mother spoiled the thief since he was a child, overlooking and forgiving every one of his crimes, and he never learned about consequences until it was too late.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: A platonic example. His training, history, and personality have greatly reduced his ability to thank the people who help him, or to tell his son that he loves him. His actions, however, eventually show quite enough. Unfortunately, this often leads to his intentions being misunderstood while he refuses to clarify until it's too late; for example, Atreus genuinely believes that Kratos doesn't care about him because Kratos never told him the reason for his distant behavior. Sindri eventually comes to believe that Kratos was using him for similar reasons; though the players know that being a grump like always but occasionally risking his life for someone (like saving Sindri from a dragon) is Kratos's way of saying thanks, but the grief-stricken Sindri isn't in the state of mind to put that together and would've liked a clear affirmation that Kratos did indeed care about their friendship.
  • Canon Character All Along: A bizarre example; Kratos is referred to in murals throughout Jötunheim as Fárbauti. The name itself means "cruel striker", but in traditional Norse legends, it is the name of the father of Loki... which is revealed to have been the name given unto Atreus by Faye.
  • Canon Welding: A discussion with Mimir in Ragnarök reveals that one of the stories he has heard about Kratos is how he fought in a tournament, with Kratos replying that he has fought in several contests. The people referenced however heavily hint that this is a reference to the events of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale of all things, though Kratos refuses to talk about it any further. With that in mind, his comment about fighting in other contests could be a reference to him being a guest fighter in games like Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny and Mortal Kombat 9. Since most of these games had character exclusive endings for Kratos, if we assume these guest appearances are indeed canon that means Kratos lost these fights since the endings often show him gaining some sort of new power which would conflict with God of War canon.
  • Character Development: It's clear at this point that Kratos deeply regrets his past actions, especially his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, and has become a stoic yet more empathetic individual. Though he is still largely concerned with self-interests, he has gained greater control over his rage and is more willing to accept his own faults as a person. He still holds great disdain for any deity in his way, but doesn't go out of his way to massacre them indiscriminately — he knows that the consequences of killing one can be disastrous, and doesn't want to make a repeat of what had happened in III. The simple act of finding love with Faye shows that he's at least managed to move past the deaths of his original family. Though he tries to spend the whole game running away from his traumatic past life, his time spent with Atreus and others throughout the journey forces him to come to terms with who he is and what he's done, and by the end, he undoes the bandages along his forearms — a symbolic act signifying that Kratos has finally accepted himself and forgiven himself for his past sins, thanks to Atreus's acceptance of him. By Ragnarök, he clearly wants to avoid the impending war with Asgard despite them threatening him and Atreus, and refuses Atreus's pleas to think like a general in order to stop Asgard, knowing and regretting what he did the last time he was a general. Reaches its crux when he visits the Norns and learns that predestined fate does not exist, making him realize that it was his own flaws that kept leading him down the same miserable path across the ages. This causes him to take great strides to become a better person, and by the end of the game, he's gone all the way to being an Ideal Hero.
    • Ragnarök also features smaller elements of character growth compared to the first Norse era game. Kratos now seeks counsel more proactively, asking Mimir and other allies for their thoughts or suggestions, and even taking suggestions to heart even if he didn't ask for them Such as when Mimir suggests he goes along with Atreus' plan to find Tyr. He's also far more willing to offer information about himself, especially when it is relevant - he volunteers the story of his first family to Freya to show he does know what losing a child to one's own actions feels like. He's generally far more open about discussing his past in Greece. Kratos has learned the price of keeping secrets, especially from Atreus and he's realized his own discomfort with his past history is no excuse for the harm secrecy brings. During the war in Asgard, Atreus seeing civilians getting injured has him command his allies to save any civilians getting caught in the crossfire, as they did not want to kill innocents. This is a huge development for him because previously, it was a bad idea for anyone to remain in his path, regardless if they are a soldier or civilian in his own wars. Furthermore, while in the previous installment Kratos mostly only did favors because he wanted to find valuable spoils and gain rewards or teach Atreus a lesson, in Ragnarök he does them out of genuine empathy and desire to spend time with his son.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Kratos has moved on from being a modern Anti-Hero, and has become a much more Classical example. While he's still a stoic One-Man Army capable of tossing around very large, heavy objects, he's now faced with a situation in which he's completely unprepared for. He's often very stern and distant from his son, to the point where his actions can be classified as Parental Neglect if not outright abusive. But, underneath his constant frowning, Kratos is very clearly terrified of losing Atreus, having Atreus make the same mistakes he once did as a War God, or even letting Atreus know the truth behind his Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: It's revealed in the novelization (And mentioned in Ragnarök) that Kratos tried multiple times to be rid of the Blades of Chaos, but they'd always find their way back to him through various contrived situations. One of the strangest offenders of this was when he tried to dump them into the ocean while on a ship, and the sea got so "angry" that it wrecked his vessel and left him ashore with the Blades. Giving up, he decided to just keep them under the floorboards of his house as an eternal, painful reminder.
  • Combat and Support: Kratos does most of the dirty work up-close while Atreus generally supports him with his arrows.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Outright states this to Atreus, after he reveals his Divine Parentage to him. Kratos is now fully aware of the responsibilities and dangers that come with being a god, and does not want his son to suffer the same way he once did.
    Atreus: So I'm a man now... Like you?
    Kratos: No. We are not men. We are more than that. The responsibility is far greater. And you must be better than me. Understand?
  • The Comically Serious: Midgard's a lot more whimsical than Greece was, so Kratos becomes this when put next to characters like Brok, Sindri, Mimir, and Ratatoskr. Ragnarök amps it up even further, as Kratos is more willing to indulge Atreus' whims but is also visibly biting his tongue over the shenanigans and dangers he gets them involved in.
  • Competitive Balance:
    • The Leviathan Axe has the best single-target damage, but outside certain runic attacks, isn't too amazing when dealing with mobs.
    • The Fist/Shield combo has the fastest attack speed and best stun damage, but is the weakest physical damage and has no elemental damage, in addition to sharing the same area of effect weakness as the Leviathan Axe. On the plus side, it builds up Spartan Rage the fastest.
    • The Blades of Chaos have the best Area of Effect damage, best used for large mobs, but is noticeably worse for fighting single bosses than the Leviathan Axe due to the lower damage.
    • The Draupnir Spear, forged during the events of Ragnarok is easily the most effective weapon at range and deals hefty damage with the right set up, but many of its most effective attacks require time to set up, and in terms of basic combo damage it's outclassed by the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The original series is very much this to Kratos. Though he's now become a father, and he deeply cares for his son, it's clear that Kratos is still wracked with guilt over what he used to be.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Stern Teacher and Sink or Swim Fatherhood; Kratos' violent past and breathtaking family issues still haunt him and hamper his own ability to function as a father, and his internalization of Greek values versus Norse values drives a wedge between him and his more emotional son. While Kratos does genuinely want to atone for his past, he also still doesn't fully understand how his selfishness and inability to recognize the consequences of his actions continues to affect his behavior. Overcoming his flaws and his own violent tendencies is essential if he's going to make sure Atreus doesn't go down the same path he did.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Even with hundreds if not thousands of years gone by, Kratos still holds true to the values and ways of his homeland, making him a little inscrutable to some in the Nine Realms.
    • Along with his emotionally distant nature and determination to teach his boy to survive in the unforgiving world of Midgard, his own upbringing in Sparta has made him a stern, sometimes harsh father. Eventually, after mending his relationship with his son, he admits that he stopped training Atreus as a Spartan because he saw him as capable of being something else.
    • He very much believes in Sacred Hospitality, even if it presents an inconvenience to himself as either a guest or host. He doesn't shut the door in Baldur's face at first even though he had every right to, and he (warily) lets Thor inside and goes through the motions of entertaining him in spite of knowing that he would kill them both if he could, all with a very grim look on his face. The stories of Thor killing his hosts in a drunken rage and Freyr being tortured by the Aesir hit a special nerve for him because both were invited to Midgard and Asgard, respectively.
    • While exploring Helheim, Mimir tells Kratos that it's where those who died dishonorable deaths go. Kratos assumes this means criminals, but Mimir explains it means everyone who didn't die in battle, including death from "disease, mishap [and] age". Kratos, coming from a culture where elderly veterans were celebrated for their skill and wisdom, is surprised that it is considered dishonorable to grow old.
    • Played for laughs at one point in Ragnarök, when Kratos maintains that the primitive ancient Greek idea of stagecraft — one act, no scene changes, mostly expository and choral — is a good way of telling a story because it's "clear" what's happening. Mimir points out that a bunch of people entering, saying that things happened off-stage, and then exiting, doesn't sound all that engaging for the audience.
  • Dented Iron: Kratos is still extremely badass compared to the average mortal (and even god), but it's clear age has started to catch up with him. While a younger Kratos is capable of tearing through hordes of enemies and killing gods without needing to stop to even take a breather, now even a small group of enemies can be dangerous and his first fight with Baldr leaves him bloodied and barely able to stand.
  • Determinator: Kratos doesn't know when to quit, and will do anything to protect his son. Baldur even asks him why he can't just give up.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Kratos killing Magni came as a surprise to everyone — Atreus, awestruck that his supposedly mortal father slew a god; Modi, traumatized, devastated, and in disbelief at the death of his brother, which wasn't supposed to have been possible; Mimir, dreading Thor's response to Magni's death.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Kratos may be quiet and doing his best not to talk about her much, but when Atreus claims he doesn't actually care about his mom dying, he corrects him very quickly.
    Kratos: Mind your tongue, boy! Until our journey is over, one of us must remain focused. Do not mistake my silence for lack of grief. Mourn how you wish, leave me to my own.
  • Discard and Draw: Kratos discarded his signature chain blades and instead uses a magical axe as his primary weapon. He eventually recovers his old weapons, revealed to be hidden under the floorboards of his cabin.
  • Doesn't Trust Those Guys: He rather understandably has an instinctual hatred of all gods, claiming that there are no "good" ones and that they aren’t worthy of worship. This behavior negatively colors his experiences with Freya, but he seems to be okay with Mimir, mostly because he has a similar opinion on most of them.
    • He eventually comes to grow out of this mindset by Ragnarök, having met several gods who were demonstrably decent people and befriending many of them.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Kratos really doesn't like it when Mimir finds out who he is and calls him the Ghost of Sparta.
  • Double Meaning: Kratos remains enigmatic about his past and during key plot points when he speaks to Atreus. It sounds like he's trying to assure himself more than Atreus.
  • The Dragonslayer: Ends up adding dragon-slaying to his list of feats when he kills Hraezlyr to save Sindri. Notably, Kratos doesn't go out of his way to kill dragons, as there are three trapped dragons that he releases without any intent to kill after Atreus asks him to help them - he only kills Hraezlyr because the latter was trying to eat ythe dwarf.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap:
    • Literately, all of his lessened performance compared to when he was in Greece is confirmed by Word of God to be attributed to multiple handicaps preventing him from using his full abilities, which is deemed to be capable of making him a Story-Breaker Power level character. It's not a case of Feeling Their Age but it's more that he has gotten rusty after years of only fighting mediocre monsters whereas back in Greece he had all the time in the world to slaughter Titans and Gods. Not only that, he is later revealed to have been holding back the entire time as he doesn't want Atreus to suspect him being a god, and as Atreus is inexperienced and not able to use much of the strengths he gained from being Kratos and Faye's son, having him around actually makes it more difficult for Kratos rather than helping him. When he is free to display his full capabilities, pushing building-sized objects with his bare hands and summarily dispatching Magni and even killing Baldur several times displays that he certainly is still capable of performing at a similar level to his Greek Era self if he is allowed to go all-out.
    • In a boat conversation in Ragnarök he admits to Mimir and Atreus that he's lost much of his magical powers he had in Greece. He's tried to use them again, to no effect. Atreus suspects that these powers were tied to Greece itself, and when Greece died in God Of War III, Kratos' magic went with it.
  • The Dreaded: Mimir recognizing Kratos as the infamous Ghost of Sparta who destroyed the Greek Pantheon makes it clear that the gods of other realms, including the Aesir, know of his exploits and possibly fear him. And given Odin's paranoia, it would make sense that he would send his best tracker after the guy who killed gods left and right during his rampage. It's eventually revealed to be a Red Herring, though Kratos does end up becoming an actual legitimate one after defying one prophecy after another (killing Magni and Baldur, the former meant to survive Ragnarök with his brother and Baldur's meant to signal the beginning of Ragnarök). In the latter case, he kickstarts Ragnarök years before it's even meant to start.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After decades of the series running and two entirely different eras of him being a Cosmic Plaything, Kratos finally not only redeems himself for all of his past failures by the end of God of War Ragnarök but is promised a hopeful future he never considered once as becoming the Hope Bringer much like Tyr had been, not to mention he is happy to see Atreus having matured into a responsible man looking to fulfill his own destiny, telling him he's ready to go out on his own.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: How he's introduced in the trailer for the 2018 game.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • While he is still gruff and anti-social, he calls out Atreus when he talks down on Sindri, and hurts his feelings, stating that he had no reason to talk to him so cruelly. He's also a bit annoyed when Atreus bluntly asks Sindri about Brok's blue skin.
    • When Mimir explains that dying of old age is dishonorable enough to end up in Hel, Kratos is given genuine pause at the punishment for the "crime". This does make sense as a bit of Deliberate Values Dissonance though; with how brutal and short-lived ancient Spartans were, one that could live to old age was likely exceptionally badass, and were venerated as having earned their peaceful golden years, and almost guaranteed a peaceful eternity in the Elysian fields for their valor (if not their heroism, bloodthirsty as the Spartans were). It's the whole reason why "Beware of an Old Man in a profession where Men die Young" is a common and well-known phrase to begin with.
    • He's visibly disgusted by Modi's wounds that were caused by Thor, his own father, and even goes as far as to openly show disgust at Thor for always putting Modi last even in death and blaming Kratos for his death when it was Thor who beat him to where just a single stab from a mere knife is enough to kill him. For all his flaws, Kratos would never play favorites with his children or abuse them in the same way as Thor.
    • He's also now against needless killing, unlike the old him who would potantially kill people just for being in his way. He repeatedly offers Baldur the chance to just walk away, even refusing to fight back while being hit until Baldur has made it clear he isn't leaving and Kratos must put him down. He also ignores Modi's insults towards him and Faye, as he's already beaten and specifically stating, not worth killing. When Atreus kills Modi anyway, Kratos is genuinely angered and horrified that Atreus killed a defenseless opponent "as an indulgence", saying that they should only kill in self-defense. In Ragnarök, he fights the valkyrie which attacks him near their home but he doesn't want to kill her - he channels his Spartan Rage into Valor, healing himself so he can shield Atreus. When the valkyrie turns out to be Freya, he doesn't even try to defend himself against her and instead focuses on calming down a raging Atreus, reminding him that she used to be their friend.
    • Related to the above he's now decisively against seeking revenge. He shows absolutely no desire to go after the Aesir Gods even after they send Baldur and Magni and Modi to hunt them down and was seemingly content to just live in peace with his son until Thor and Odin came calling. In general he seems to operate on the principle of only attacking those who threaten him/the ones he loves and has no interest in pursuing someone once they are no longer a threat. After seeing all the damage his quest for revenge caused to his homeland, Kratos' position is more than understandable.
    • He doesn't even hesitate to reject Odin's offer to deal with Freya in exchange for peace, straight up admitting in his thoughts that regardless of Freya being an enemy, to work with her ex-husband to handle her is something he would never cross.
    • He is especially aghast when he learns that Freyr was attacked and burned by the Aesir while he was their guest. Sacred Hospitality is a big thing in Greek culture, after all.
    • When he learns that Odin's ravens are the souls of sacrificed children who were corrupted by The Raven Keeper, Kratos is, once a bit uncharacteristically, horrified and taken aback by this revelation but he quickly and calmly decides to find and kill The Raven Keeper before she corrupts any more souls. Even after killing her, Kratos still asks if there's more he can do for them.
    • Likely due to his servitude to Ares in the Greek Era, Kratos detests slavery in any form. He's especially disappointed with, and chides, Mimir when Mimir tells about the Lyngbakr, a huge whale-like beast, whom Mimir had trapped and enslaved to gain favor with Odin over a century ago. Kratos, without hesitation, works to free the creature shortly after finding it.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Despite the fact that Northern Europe is far colder than the Mediterranean, the most he wears is a leather shoulder-strap on his upper body by default. He can however equip actual chestplates that cover his body.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Upon seeing the Jotun prophecy of his death and Atreus holding him in his last moments, Kratos is calm and accepting of this - possibly because it also shows Atreus surviving and continuing on his own path.
    Atreus: Come on, we're so close to the end now!
    Kratos: Yes... Yes we are.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • As he's mostly gotten past the whole Never My Fault thing by this point, perhaps the most destructive flaw Kratos has nowadays is his inability to just talk to his son. So many problems in the game could have been avoided had Kratos been able to communicate with Atreus: besides keeping Atreus's true nature from the boy, which caused Atreus's illness as detailed below, even after revealing the truth he keeps key tidbits away from Atreus, and this causes the boy to go Drunk with Power. Case in point, Kratos mentions that there are consequences to killing gods after Atreus kills Modi, and refuses to elaborate: predictably, Atreus blows him off and continues on his path down the slippery slope.
    • His self-loathing and refusal to face his past actions. Though Kratos wants to protect Atreus from the knowledge of being a god, it's revealed later on that Atreus's body is wrestling with his divine nature. If Kratos had entrusted Atreus with the truth from the very beginning, Atreus would never have become ill. Later on, Kratos is forced to face the shame of his past actions; while it's clear he deeply regrets who he once was, what's most troubling to him is what his son might think of him. Even when making a confession, Kratos remains vague. He admits to killing his father Zeus, but settles on leaving out many other details for another time.
    • His shortsightedness rears up every once in a while. Even after moving up to Midgard, Kratos is primarily focused on caring for his son and getting Faye's ashes to the highest peak in all the realms. Despite his intentions being significantly more noble than they were before, he focuses on his relationship with Atreus and their goal so much that he brushes off the prophesies of the mural in Jötunheim — namely the fact that Atreus will trigger Ragnarök through Kratos's death — along with the implication that Faye had intended for all of it to happen.
    • Per the Norns in Ragnarök, his biggest flaw, one that defines all the others, is his unwillingness to commit to change. He makes numerous attempts throughout the series to better himself, but when push comes to shove he always makes the same choices, which usually entail killing anyone who gets in his way and damn the consequences. Subverted at the end: While he does end up killing Heimdall anyway, he makes every possible effort to avoid it, even when Heimdall goes out of his own way to provoke Kratos. He notably doesn't end up killing Thor or Odin and becomes more willing to prevent harm to innocent bystanders during Ragnarök when he decides to save as many people as possible.
    Urd: He still slays gods, but now he's sad about it? You are the sum of your choices, nothing more. And because your choices never change, you will learn that Heimdall intends to kill your son in Asgard and you will do what you do best.
  • The Fettered: Time and realizing the extent of the consequences of his actions has forced Kratos to become this, something he's trying to teach his son Atreus lest he turn out like Kratos had been in the past.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Kratos' new axe deals Frost damage and freezes his opponents in contrast to his Blades from the old games, which were constantly on fire and burned whoever touched them. He ends up wielding both, and will often need to switch between them depending on what he's facing: helwalkers, for instance, are immune to his axe but vulnerable to the Blades.
  • Foil: Done subtly, but every god that Kratos encounter is played as a foil of his in some capacity.
    • To the Norse Pantheon:
      • In the case of Baldur, Kratos and he are at two ends of the same path; being that Baldur is very much like the unstable, violence-prone god Kratos once was, and has since overcome. Both also want to kill one of their parents, albeit Zeus tried to kill Kratos, and Freya tried to protect Baldur too much. This is highlighted when the two enter Hel; Baldur’s biggest regret is that he didn’t kill one of his parents, whereas Kratos's is that he did.
      • Kratos and Freya share commonality as they both at times have selfishly put the needs of themselves over the needs of their offspring. Freya condemned her son to a living hell for her own sake, whereas Kratos kept himself aloof from Atreus so that he might keep his shameful past hidden from the boy, which caused Atreus to resent his father. Of course, Kratos grew past his mistakes whereas Freya... not so much. The most startling commonality, however, is that both Kratos and Freya are completely willing let their own children kill them if it meant that they (the children) would survive.
      • Magni and Modi, also being demigods with a terrible father, seem to represent everything he has risen above; namely his immature bloodlust, cruelty, and shades of cowardice.
      • There is also more than a passing similarity between him and Mimir. Both, driven by ambition, swore allegiances to gods that they would vehemently come to regret. But whereas Mimir started to realize his mistake due to a growing sense of compassion, Kratos had to be personally harmed by his decision before he forswore any allegiance.
      • Thor. Kratos and the god of thunder are the sons of their resident Top God, they are both destroyers, legendary for wreaking havoc across their realms and feared by all. But Kratos has made immense strides in moving beyond his awful past, while Thor remains stuck in place, firmly under Odin's thumb. Kratos makes efforts to teach and bond with his son, while Thor treats his sons extremely poorly, savagely beating Modi for his failure when he returned to Asgard following Magni's death.
      • Heimdall. Kratos is much more reserved, quiet and attempts to downplay himself in terms of power in spite of his large, muscular appearance, whilst Heimdall is smaller and slimmer in comparison yet constantly runs his mouth due to his powers giving him a swollen ego. Whilst Kratos seeks out the appropriate means to take on a foe, including against Heimdall himself, Heimdall completely falls to pieces when his precognitive abilities fail him against the Draupnir Spear. Kratos is naturally protective of his son Atreus, whilst Heimdall almost immediately has it out for the young man. And whilst Kratos uses a shield and prefers to block attacks over dodging them, Heimdall uses his precognition to avoid any attacks with casual dodges.
      • Odin. Kratos destroyed his home of Greece by killing the gods whilst Odin fashioned the Nine Realms out of Ymir's body after killing him. Whilst Odin is the leader of the Aesir long before the game begins, Kratos becomes the leader of the army against Asgard by the very end of Ragnarok. The most dramatic difference is that Kratos has become deeply ashamed of his past actions and goes on to make up for them any way he can, whilst Odin never takes account of his own flaws leading to results he never desired. The secret mural even demonstrates that Kratos is well on his way to being everything Odin wasn't; an adored and respected god who protects his people.
    • Kratos has also become this to his father, Zeus. When confronted with the possibility that his children would overthrow him, Zeus would rather kill his own offspring out of a desperate need to preserve his reign. Kratos, on the other hand, bluntly admits he would allow Atreus to kill him if that meant the boy would live. There's also the fact that while Zeus usurped Cronos' position as the ruler of the Greek realms, Kratos regretted the destruction of Olympus so much that he exiled himself away to seek a more mundane life up north. All of this underlines the primary difference between the two: Zeus sought to preserve his glory as King of Olympus at the cost of his children, while Kratos has begun making strides to better himself for the sake of his son.
    • Finally, the former God of War has no greater foil than his own son, who is everything he was almost entirely not: kind, thoughtful, attentive, curious, friendly, full of hope, and has a lust for life that Kratos has long since abandoned. The developmental team even stated that when they were designing the boy, they gave him a diametrically different set of skills and abilities. Where Kratos is an up-close-and-personal berserker with as much finesse as a dump truck, Atreus fires precise arrows and magic from afar, distracting, disabling, or holding their enemies in place so his father can punch their heads off.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Kratos's decision to migrate to Midgard essentially kicks off Ragnarök. If he'd never decided to leave Greece, he wouldn't have met Faye, and if neither had met, Loki would not have been born.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse:
    • Kratos appears to have developed this mindset after God of War 3, when Mimir explains the villainy and cruelty of Magni and Modi as stemming from the abuse they suffered at the hands of their father, Thor. Atreus sympathizes with them but Kratos dismisses it, saying that the two are adults now and no longer have that excuse. Considering in the previous series Kratos blamed a large number of his troubles on his father Zeus even as he murdered about anything and everything in his way for revenge, he's had plenty of experience with this kind of thinking. That said, his sheer disgust toward Thor's abuse, which Kratos expresses during their first battle, shows he does have some sympathy toward their plight, particularly Modi, though this happens after his Character Development in between both games.
    • The narrative in both Norse games makes it clear that while he shows immense regret, it doesn't excuse the fact that he's deliberately hiding things from Atreus, which strains their relationship as their journey goes on. Kratos wants to be a better person, but he thinks he's beyond redemption, and the Norns even pointed this fact to his face when he sees them. Even Faye thinks he shouldn't let his own flaws and excuses to cloud his judgment and be better.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Kratos may have been a War God, but in the land of Midgard, he's practically just some guy living with his family, in a shack in the middle of the woods. He ends up killing Baldur, thus kickstarting Fimbulwinter and signaling the beginning of the end times. What's more, his Second Love Faye turns out to have been Laufey the Just, and their son is destined to become Loki, the herald of Ragnarök itself.
    • By the end of Ragnarök, Kratos has killed Heimdall, kickstarted Ragnarök, turned all of the realms against Asgard, defeated Thor and Odin back to back (the former with no assistance from his allies), and become the closest thing left to a Top God in the nine realms. Not bad for a shack-dwelling retiree.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Kratos has the ability to regenerate or heal himself as shown with the fight against The Stranger however he doesn't use this ability when fighting in game, requiring him to find healing stones in order to properly recover. The closest explanation could be that Kratos never knew he had this ability until he impaled himself or he never wanted to use it. It could be that this power weakened or slowed down with age, which is why Kratos used this as a last resort albeit strenuously. This is implied to be the case in Ragnarök, where Kratos is able to use this ability as a replacement to Spartan Rage during his fight with Heimdall.
    • That being said, in both the original and new games Kratos can survive getting hit with absolutely devestatingly brutal attacks, which even his increased durability dont explain. It can be rationalized that the HP bar represents his vitality and strength to sustain his healing, with him recieving a fatal blow when it runs too low.
  • Genre Refugee: Literally, having fled from the Greek tragedy he caused in his homeland and landing in the middle of a Norse Saga. Despite the centuries between both eras, Kratos still conducts himself like a character from a Greek epic, standing out among the noticeably casual and crass Norse cast he interacts with by speaking very composed and formally, (when he speaks at all that is).
  • Given Name Reveal: Kratos never introduces himself by name in the entire game and is only ever referred to by nicknames, pronouns, and titles like "sir" or "father." The first of two exceptions is in a flashback where a figure from Kratos' past calls him by name. Since it's Zeus saying it, the name and Kratos' parentage are fittingly revealed in the same moment.
  • God Is Good: After everything that’s happened to him and because of him in the original series, Kratos acknowledges that the things he’s done can never be redeemed, and as such pleads with Atreus to "be better than him,” not because he wants to atone for his past mistakes, but rather because he doesn’t want his son to repeat them. After the defeat of Baldur, Kratos even declares to Atreus that they "will be the gods they choose to be," and he makes it clear that they must be better than the generations that spawned them. By Ragnarök, Kratos is more openly respectful to others and better understands why his son has felt others' pain.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When Atreus falls ill, Kratos is informed that the only cure is in the deathly cold realm of Helheim, where no magic in the Nine Realms can make a blaze, and the ice magic of the Leviathan Axe would not avail him against the cold denizens of Hel. With no other options, Kratos goes back home and retrieves the Blades of Chaos from under the floorboards; he hates having to use them, since they remind him of his shitty past, but he needs them, since their Greek magic means that they'll work just fine, even in Helheim.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Early on, Kratos makes an effort to teach Atreus not to feel for his enemies, because they won't return the favor. He also justifies any of his callousness towards the people they meet as 'we do what we want to complete our mission,' and later says that as gods, they must be/are better than men. It works a little too well; after learning of his godhood, Atreus, suffering from Acquired Situational Narcissism, kills Modi, who was beaten bloody and defenseless, in cold blood despite Kratos ordering him not to on the grounds he was already beaten and Not Worth Killing, even repeating that 'they can do whatever they want'.
  • Good Is Not Nice: By the time we meet him centuries after he destroyed Greece, Kratos is still a pretty self-serving individual, but he is a much better person than who he used to be, and while not a saint yet in the first Norse game, to his credit he is trying to be a better human being, even if it is with some difficulty, but if you hurt the ones he loves, all bets are off the table - this is the God of War, one of the last of the Greek Pantheon, after all. After his substantial Character Development in Ragnarök, where he warns that harming his son could make him show the god who he used to be, he sheds most of the selfish aspects of his character and even openly shows warmth towards several characters, putting him all the more in the Good Is Not Soft camp.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Where his character ends up after his development in Ragnarök. He's a far more patient man capable of showing great empathy to others, but that doesn't make him a pacifist. If his loved ones are on the line, he will kill if the being threatening them refuses to stand down.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Falls into this, especially when he's anti-social with other characters.
  • Happily Married: Kratos deeply loved Faye, and though he maintains a stoic and grim demeanor throughout the journey to spread her ashes, her absence causes him great turmoil. It's apparent that Faye cared for Kratos as well, as the default shield Kratos uses throughout the journey was given by Faye as a gift celebrating the anniversary of the day they met. How much Faye truly cared for Kratos is initially put in question thanks to The Reveal, but Ragnarök clarifies that Faye did legitimately love Kratos, with the journey she posthumously put him and Atreus on meant to help him grow and for the rift between him and their son to heal.
  • Hates Small Talk: Speaks with purpose, and is as blunt and honest as Spartans tend to be. He used to be pretty keen on yelling his lungs out, and so it's clear that part of his attempt to rein in his more violent side is his decision to be more concise with his words.
  • Healing Factor: By the time of the Norse era, Kratos has somehow developed the ability to concentrate hard enough that he can regenerate from wounds (at least in cutscenes). This would explain how he survived impaling himself in the previous game. Though, whether he developed this power thanks to his natural divinity as Zeus's son, or if he regained his godly power after impaling himself on the Blade of Olympus is unclear.
  • Hearing Voices: It is not clear if he is hallucinating or being haunted by the ghost of Athena, but he's the one who can see or hear her.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • After Kratos' killing of Zeus is played out before his and Atreus' eyes in Helheim, Kratos can only mutter in shock about the event, and is only comforted by Atreus' claim that he saw nothing.
    • In Ragnarök, after Kratos kills Heimdall, Kratos briefly sits in shock as he realizes what he just did and as he leaves the area, he's only talking in grunts and wheezes to Mimir.
    • At the end of Ragnarök, Kratos uncovers a mural of him being worshipped and loved by people. This renders him utterly speechless, shocked, and trembling, seemingly on the verge of Tears of Joy, realizing that the mural is showing his path in the future and admits he never thought he would be capable of fully redeeming himself.
  • Heroic Neutral: All things considered, he just wants to be left alone to raise his son. Unfortunately, trouble keeps on finding its way to him.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: Kratos knows he can't exactly cry his eyes out for his dead wife while fighting Draugr on the battlefield, so he keeps himself steady and stoic throughout most of his journey with Atreus, despite grieving immensely for the loss of Faye.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Well, wolves given the setting, but despite his gruff personality Kratos quite clearly has affection for Speki, Svanna, Fenrir, Sköll, and Hati. There's even a scene in Vanaheim where Kratos tries to see the twin wolves again, and gets somewhat teased about it by Freya.
  • Hey, You!: While the Greek-era Kratos was either more 'forced' or inclined to calling people by their name, this much older Kratos has become very withdrawn and seldom does so, to the point that saying someone's name frequently invokes O.O.C. Is Serious Business.
    • His default term of address for his son Atreus is "boy". He only uses his actual name when he is seriously concerned for his safety.
    • He exclusively refers to Mimir as "Head".
    • He always refer to Brok and Sindri as the "dwarves".
    • He briefly calls Freya "woman" but this is subverted later on when he regularly calls her name.
      • He seems to have dropped this habit by Ragnarök, almost exclusively referring to people by name and only calling Atreus "boy" once to try to prevent him from running from him.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite not caring much for Kvasir's Poems, he does admit to Mimir that he does have a favorite one from his homeland - one about a war fought over forbidden love and involved a wooden horse. In Ragnarok, he demonstrates at least a passing familiarity with the Classical Unities, as he explains the concept of Unity of Place to Mimir when he criticizes Oedipus the King for having too many things take place offstage.
  • Hiding Your Heritage: Kratos has not told Atreus that he's a demigod of Zeus, and has not told Atreus that he too is a demigod. Kratos refused to tell Atreus that he's demigod because he believes godhood is more a curse than a blessing and wants his son to be as normal as possible. However, Atreus is eventually put in a coma when he inadvertantly uses Spartan Rage for the first time, as he's spent his whole life believing that he's a normal kid. Forcing Kratos to reveal their godhood to prevent this from happening again.
  • Hope Bringer: By the end of Ragnarok, Kratos discovers a second shrine behind Atreus', and the final panel reveals a golden-colored Kratos, uniting all the realms and being loved by gods and mortals. This revelation shows that Kratos can change for the better and become a force for goodness and hope instead of war and bloodshed.
  • Humble Goal: He's not out to kill a deity in the name of petty vengeance. All he wants is to get to the highest peak in all the nine realms and spread the ashes of his dead wife along with his son. The deicide just sort of happens because even the Aesir participate the time-honored tradition of bullying Kratos.
  • Humble Hero: Becomes this by the end of Ragnarök. Instead of endlessly hating himself for his past and wishing to hide from it, he now accepts his sins and works to atone for them by not only changing his behavior for the better, but from going to a Badass Bystander who wanted to be left alone to helping the people of the Nine Realms out of wanting to do justice by them for centuries of Odin's monstrous behavior.
  • Hypocritical Humor: He's genuinely stunned by Mimir's theory that Jörmungandr is actually from the future and he was thrown back in time after a chaotic battle with Thor. Kratos calls this theory "madness" despite Kratos himself killing the Sisters of Fate and going back in time to change his own fate to kill Zeus.
  • I Am a Monster: He clearly admits this in his short exchange with the spectre of Athena. But that doesn't mean he is her monster any longer.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Word of God states that Kratos was holding back through the game, explaining why he struggles more with monsters and gods in the Norse Realm, and he only shows more of his true strength when absolutely necessary, proceeding to beat down enemies who previously were giving him trouble. Baldur proving persistent? Kratos goes full rage mode on him and throws him off a cliff with a snapped neck. Magni holding him to a standstill? Once Modi gets his hands on Atreus, Kratos instantly pushes Magni away and kills him in a matter of seconds. Modi electrocuting him? Once Atreus uses Spartan Rage, Kratos activates his anger and easily catches his mace with his bare hands, knocks aside his shield, and punches him to a wall and sends him crying back to Asgard. Played for Laughs in Ragnarök, where after an eventful, tiring and frustrating ride through the mines he is suddenly attacked by a troll, seemingly setting up a boss fight to cap things off. By this point Kratos is so angry and done (not to mention having beaten a legion of trolls in the previous game) that he immediately hacks the troll's head off with little hesitation or even input from the player. And Played for Drama much later on in Ragnarök, in his fight with Heimdall. After a whole brawl of trying to avoid killing him as was "fated", the god's arrogant taunting, staunch refusal to surrender even after losing his arm, and jamming Kratos' Berserk Button by going into detail on how he's going to kill Atreus one too many times, Kratos eventually snaps, deciding he's had ENOUGH, and the fight ends immediately after. His face changes into his familiar wide-eyed gritted teeth scowl, and his punches begin to absolutely batter Heimdall, repeatedly knocking him around like a ragdoll, pinning him with no effort and beating his face bloody into the ground; before finally gripping his neck, almost casually smacking away his arms trying to stop him, and slowly crushes it. Unlike the bare-handed beatdowns of the original trilogy, this scene is played for it's utmost horror, highlighting how Kratos is starting to slip back into his old ways.
  • I Hate Past Me: Kratos has repeatedly approached his past with shame and utter regret, having come to terms with the fact that much of the horrors taking place in the original series were largely his fault. He opts to Change the Uncomfortable Subject when people bring up his past, talk of patricide renders him silent, and being called the Ghost of Sparta appears to have become a minor Berserk Button. This self-loathing is one of the major reasons why his and Atreus's relationship is so strained, as not only is Kratos quite insecure with the idea of being a dad again, but also his refusal to open up to his own son causes the boy to be resentful towards him.
    • Downplayed in Ragnarok. While Kratos still hates the person he once was, he's made some peace with it and he isn't afraid to forgive himself or open up about his past to those he trusts. He even displays the Blades of Chaos, the ultimate symbol of his wrath, alongside the Leviathan Axe in his home, rather than hiding them below the floor like he once did.
  • I Have No Idea What I'm Doing: A Played for Drama example. The death of his second wife Faye leaves Kratos adrift in a position he admits he's just not yet ready to return to: having to be a father figure again. Despite the fact that his hugely traumatic past life is centuries behind him at this point, Kratos is still so terrified of messing up with Atreus (as he has with so many other things) that he really doesn't know what to do or how to act, now that he and the boy are forced to deal with each other. It certainly doesn't help that Kratos kept himself distant from Atreus throughout most of the boy's childhood, again likely because of his own insecurities towards being a father again. Faye had always been the mediator between father and son, and now without her, Kratos is left grasping at straws. Aggravating this is Kratos' deep loathing of himself and his past, and his fear of Atreus picking up his worst traits.
    Kratos: Faye... What do I do? Our son is not ready to carry your ashes to the top of the mountain... and neither am I. I do not know how to do this without you.
  • Ideal Hero: The ending of Ragnarök shows that he is on his way to becoming this, if not already there. Whereas Kratos was once a psychopathic brute whose love for his family drove him mad, he has now exhibits a more healthy and stable form of love with Atreus and restrains himself from giving into his rage. Beyond that, he has now come to care for people beyond his immediate family, such as Freya, Mimir, Brok and Sindri, etc. and goes out of his way to help victims of Odin's cruelty, whereas the old Kratos cared "little" as he once said, to virtually nothing for those whom he wasn't related to and didn't give a fuck about how the Gods also affected them.
  • Heroic BSoD: After killing Heimdall, Kratos briefly goes into this as he realizes what he's done. Mimir's attempts to talk to Kratos are met with grunts and wheezes as Kratos still grapples with what just happened.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: As of Ragnarök, Kratos and Mimir serve as this. Kratos has even come to see Mimir as a brother, valuing his input and his help in rearing Atreus.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Kratos wants absolutely nothing to do with gods of any kind, and would be more than happy to just live his life pretending to be just a normal man. Encountering the Stranger, and facing the consequences of hiding the truth from Atreus, resigns him to the fact that he can never live a normal life, and convinces him that the best thing that he can do at this point is to make sure that Atreus never repeats his mistakes.
  • It Was a Gift: Both the axe and shield were gifted to him by Faye.
  • It's All My Fault: Blames himself entirely for the destruction he caused in the first three games. And when Atreus suffers a Heroic RRoD thanks to his godly powers going haywire, Kratos took full blame for Atreus falling ill. A surprising change from the man who once rarely accepted fault for any of his own actions.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: In the various sidequests, he initially states that he's merely taking them on to gather resources for his and Atreus's journey, and those goals just so happens to align with helping others... but oh so gradually, he begins to more genuinely care for, respect and show compassion towards the world around him the more he helps people.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: He was raised to be a Spartan soldier and has a fitting personality, whereas his son is scholarly.
  • Kill the God: It's kind of what he does. Though in this case it's treated sympathetically as he's learned from the Greek era and doesn't want to kill anyone, but the Aesir keep forcing his hand no matter how many chances he gives them. He kills Magni because Magni and Modi ambushed him and Atreus, and Magni was keeping him from protecting Atreus from Modi. He kills Baldur because Baldur made it clear that nothing would dissuade him from trying to kill Freya or drag Kratos and Atreus to Odin. In Ragnarok, his sole Aesir kill leaves him deeply shaken and terrified that he's falling back to old habits, even though Heimdall had explicitly rejected mercy and repeatedly threatened Atreus's life, leaving Kratos with little choice but to put him down. The only god who actually listens to Kratos and stands down is Thor.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Kratos normally gets the answers he demands and keeps the secrets he wants to. But when Mimir refuses to answer his question about a section of Hel and tells him sternly to "Never go there.", Kratos takes heed and backs down.
  • Lack of Empathy:
    • In the first Norse installment, it seems apparent, though some lines of dialogue vastly contradict how, despite not trusting gods, Kratos was still generally willing to let Baldur go after threatening him and his son. Encountering spirits and raiding tombs, eithwer way, isn't his problem at this point unless there's some value to gain from it. He makes it clear that he was not much for assisting against the plight of spirits and generally considers them annoying, but Atreus has to egg him in helping anyway. He reluctantly agrees if it's in their way and that they would not stop to help unless asked.
    • In Alfheim, Atreus thinks he doesn't care about Faye's passing, and took offense to it. He makes it very clear that he does grieve for her, but he has keep himself focused on their journey. Atreus apologizes for thinking this, since Kratos has grieved his own way.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Him being a demigod and the son of Zeus were massive spoilers, back in the original series. Here, Kratos being a god is brought up in the first two hours of the first Norse entry, and Kratos outright reveals Zeus is his father when Helheim conjures up a vision of Zeus to torment Kratos.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Though Atreus is significantly more virtuous and generally a lot more sociable than his gruff, pragmatic-to-a-fault father, the boy can very easily lose his temper and fly into a mad rage. Kratos is fully aware of how this could cause problems for the boy in the future, and constantly tries to reign his son's more violent tendencies in by exercising his discipline and focus. Sadly, with the reveal that his son is none other than Loki, one of the biggest proponents of Ragnarök and the Satanic Archetype of Norse mythology, it's likely that his efforts to prevent his son from making his past mistakes might be all for naught. Fortunately, destiny turns out to be malleable in the titular sequel, and Atreus manages to bring about the prophesized event in a way that doesn't lead to the completely destruction of the Nine Realms.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Kratos is abrasive, single-mindedly focused on his mission to spread Faye's ashes, blunt to the point of insensitivity, and generally unsociable even in situations where it'd benefit him greatly to simply talk and ask others for help. Atreus, on the other hand, is gregarious and forthcoming, always willing to help others in need, greatly concerned for the well-being of innocent life, and fully embraces the adventures presented by the world around him. This is even portrayed through gameplay, in that while Kratos gets up-close and personal with his weapons, Atreus keeps himself at a distance and fires using arrows. It's shown as the game progresses that as much as Atreus's cheery personality can irritate Kratos at times, he would much prefer it over Atreus taking after him.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Seemingly on purpose. Due to his time in the Greek era, he has zero desire to have anything to do with mythological figures, and so makes no attempt to learn anything about Norse culture. This is in direct contrast to how the story of Ragnarök is known to quite a few figures across that era to the point of it being common knowledge to nearly everybody except himself, and leads to him killing Magni and Modi who were meant to survive Ragnarök and killing Baldur, starting the event itself.
  • Love at First Punch: Kratos met Faye near a river, and according to her, they nearly took each others' heads off. This is after his genocide of the Greek Gods, and she manages to calm him down. That point onward, they would fall in love, and bore Atreus.
  • Loved by All: Implied in the shrine he saw of himself at the end of Ragnarök. By the end of his story in the Norse era, he managed to save almost all the realms, save for Asgard, and its inhabitants from the apocalypse and ended Odin's long reign of terror. Although, he was willing to save the remaining Asgardians from Ragnarök who would soon begin to broker peace with the Vanir. Multiple characters have expressed their gratitude to the Spartan warrior for such a monumental achievement.
  • Love Redeems: Kratos initially does not believe that he deserves redemption for the things he's done, but it is thanks to his love for his son that he manages to find it in himself to improve as a person. He knows he'll never be able to make up for his past sins, but is equally aware now that he has every opportunity to do better for himself and for his child.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Kratos was gifted a retractable shield from his wife Faye, along with his other weapons, to protect himself from strikes and projectiles alike.
  • Manly Tears: He remains The Stoic throughout the Norse games, though moments clearly wound him emotionally, like the death of his second wife, Faye. But in Ragnarök, he finally caves when he sees the Giant Shrine Faye had painted of him, particularly of his future: being worshipped and beloved by all. Seeing a future where he can finally be seen, not as Kratos, The Ghost of Sparta, The God-Killer, The Destroyer of Greece, but as Kratos, The Hero, The Good God, The Savior; seeing a future he had convinced himself that he could never have, his stoic walls cave in, the sight driving him to tears as he braces himself against the shrine.
  • Martial Pacifist: It's clear that Kratos has come to loathe his inability to control himself, and actively makes an effort to rein his more violent impulses in; he also constantly tries to hammer in the importance of discipline to Atreus, in hopes that the boy won't Turn Out Like His Father. He initially refuses to fight the Stranger, simply warning him to leave and insisting that the Stranger does not want this fight. The Stranger not only refuses to leave, but starts actively provoking and punching him; Kratos gives in, pulls off a Punch Catch, and lays him out flat after saying the following:
    Kratos: I warned you. You would not listen.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Played with. Kratos is by no means short, but due to a shift in art style, his older self has lost over a foot in height, going from, by word of mouth, 7'6" to 6'4". This is because the art style of the older games used comic book style proportions while the newer games shifted to more realistic proportions.
  • Mundane Solution: Tyr needed The Unity Stone, a supernatural MacGuffin so ancient that Mimir wasn't even sure it existed, in order to travel to and from different mythologies. As for Kratos, the novelization reveals he was able to make it to Midgard through ship.
  • Mundane Utility: Kratos wields the Leviathan Axe, a magical weapon imbued with the powers of frost and can be remotely recalled, forged by Brok and Sindri to rival Mjolnir, the greatest weapon ever made, and he uses it to mow through hoards of undead, monsters, and even gods. He also uses it to chop down trees, solve puzzles, and traverse ziplines.
    • Discussed in Ragnarök, when Mimir asks if Kratos has ever tried to use the Blades of Chaos flames to cook meat. Kratos admits that he actually did try… but the blood from all the countless victims spoils the food.
    • In Ragnarök, Kratos reveals to Sindri that he uses the mystical dimension-travelling Bifrost as a light source in dark areas.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he shoves Atreus to the ground in a fit of anger at the boy's insubordination. He immediately realizes what he did and attempts to stammer out an apology before a furious Atreus nails him with a lightning arrow.
    • In Ragnarök, he realizes that his desire to keep Atreus safe has become an obsession to the point of ignoring that his son is becoming an adult capable of making his own decisions, and that his behavior has been pushing Atreus away, for which he gives a truly heartfelt apology.
  • My Greatest Failure: By the time of the reboot/sequel, he considers his massacre of the Greek gods, particularly his father, to be this (though he does hold a pretty dim view of gods in general). He is so ashamed of it that he does everything he can to hide it from his son. At his worst, he not only ignores but actively feeds into Atreus's growing god complex to avoid having his son learn that he did a terrible thing.
  • Never-Forgotten Skill: Wanna know how much of a Genius Bruiser Kratos really is? When Kratos wields the Blades of Chaos, after having refused to use them for what must have been a very long time (implied to be hundreds of years), he retains most of his moveset from his days in Greece.
    • Also applies to the Draupnir Spear in Ragnarok. Despite not wielding a spear since the events of God of War 2, he takes to the new weapon easily, including mastering its infinite duplication and wind powers. He justifies the basic ability by explaining to Brok that a spear was the first weapon learned to wield by up-and-coming Spartans.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Downplayed. Kratos didn't spend as much time as he should have with Faye and Atreus in their early days as a family, likely because of his own insecurities towards them. After Faye is cremated, Kratos keeps the pouch of her ashes latched onto his person for as long as he can, to the point of refusing Atreus's requests to carry her. He's clearly trying, in some fashion, to make up for the lack of time he'd spent with her. By the end of the game, he lets Atreus carry her ashes himself, signifying Kratos's newfound acceptance of himself and of Faye's passing.
  • Never Learned to Read: While he's conversant in the local language, Kratos cannot read Nordic runes and requires Atreus to translate them for him. He does point out to Atreus that he can read, just not the local tongue. Atreus at one point does make attempts at trying to teach him how to read runes only to interrupted by an ambush from Modi.
    • By Ragnarök he's become fluent in written Nordic, no longer requiring Atreus to read it for him.
  • The Nicknamer: Kratos rarely seems comfortable with calling anyone by name, even his own son whom he named; with rare exceptions, Atreus is simply "Boy". Additionally, Mimir is "Head", Freya is "the witch", and Brok and Sindri are "the dwarf/dwarves" (there's also "the blue one" for Brok). This trait seems to be symbolic of his inability, or at least his issues with, connecting to others — back in the Greek era, addressing everyone he met by name (usually by bellowing it at them) was practically a Character Tic. Here, the only person he easily addresses by name, is his deceased wife Faye, and of course, she is dead.
    • By Ragnarök, he has dropped this habit and addresses everyone by their proper name unless he is significantly displeased with them. It aligns with his Character Development of learning to grow attached to others again. Interestingly, Kratos himself is being addressed by his name more during the events of Ragnarök too.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Kratos delivers an absolutely brutal but satisfying one to the arrogant, bullying Heimdall, smacking him down to the ground before subsequently smashing his face into the ground repeatedly and choking the life out of him.
  • Nominal Hero: Despite being FAR nicer than the Greek entries, he's still ultimately a self-serving and would nearly only help people if it helps him and (especially Atreus) get stronger or if there is a reward out of it. He gets better, though. He eventually grows out of the "nominal" part by the end of Ragnarok, regretting his earlier inaction and actively deciding to help people in need.
  • Noodle Incident: In Ragnarök, Mimir expresses disbelief about a story he heard of Kratos's past, when he fought in a tournament involving beasts, scoundrels, princesses, the undead, automatons, and "the world's greatest musician." Kratos mumbles, seemingly embarrassed, "I would not speak of this."
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: Gives a short but effective one to Athena's ghost.
    Athena: Put as much distance between you and the truth as you want, it changes nothing. Pretend to be everything you are not... Teacher... Husband... Father... But there is one unavoidable truth you cannot escape: You cannot change. You will always be a monster.
    Kratos: I know. But I am your monster no longer.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: His response to the taunting of Athena's specter.
  • No-Sell: Kratos does this to Modi's lightning when Atreus collapses from unleashing his Spartan Rage for the first time.
  • No Social Skills: Kratos has a hard time bonding with anyone and talks to people because he has a purpose. This puts a strain on his relationship with Atreus, as the latter thinks Kratos doesn't really care about him.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Kratos puts on a no-nonsense attitude at pretty much all times throughout his and Atreus's journey, but even he shows that his sense of humor (or at least an ability to be mildly sarcastic) isn't completely gone, such as when Kratos pushes an entire bridge in an arc with his bare hands alone. Afterwards, he feels the need to dryly clarify that he isn't that old to his own son:
      Atreus: You didn't hurt your back, did you?
      Kratos: [indignantly] I did not hurt my back.
    • At several points in the game, the player has to carry large crystals and place them in racks so Atreus can shoot them with his arrows, creating pathways upon which to walk. The first time Kratos hoists one of the crystals over his shoulder, we get this dialogue as the player searches for a place to put it:
      Atreus: You gonna carry that everywhere?
      Kratos: I just might.
    • When Kratos warns Atreus not to trust a spirit they encounter, the boy remains optimistic that it will keep its word to reward them for their assistance. When it tries to kill them instead, he resigns that his father was right. Kratos responds with ice-cold sarcasm:
      Atreus: Alright. Say it. "I told you so."
      Kratos: I told you so.
      Atreus: "You are a naive, foolish boy."
      Kratos: This is true as well.
    • When Kratos summons Sköll and Hati the second time by player input, he actually admits that he wants to see them again.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Just before the final battle the two have, Kratos tells Baldur that he has seen the path Baldur is walking down by trying to kill his mother, Freya, and that it won't bring him peace. Baldur, however, is too far gone to care. This is also how he deals with Thor, pointing out that though they might be destroyer gods, they're both fathers, and thus have a duty to be better for their children. It works, and Thor defies Odin for the first time in his life.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Kratos has become a lot more stone-faced and reserved with his emotions, having learned to temper them to a degree through time and experience (while still a Perpetual Frowner, he now merely looks stern all the time rather than furious). The few times he breaks out of being The Stoic frequently involve Atreus's safety; the mere idea of his son being in danger is enough to make him uncharacteristically restless, and when Atreus suddenly falls ill due to his body and mind in conflict over his divine nature, Kratos immediately does everything in his power to cure the boy, even going so far as to unearth an old memento of his dark past. The very first moment in the game shows Kratos tenderly caressing a tree that his wife once marked, and then later grasping at the pouch of her cremated ashes, clearly showing that he's experiencing immense grief, only to snap back to a stone-cold visage without a hitch.
    • When he has to put on his Blades of Chaos to save his son, his hands are visibly shaking. This is a guy who has literally gone to hell and back without breaking a sweat in almost every one of his games, but it's clear that this is less a fear of danger, and more of becoming the monster he used to be.
    • Kratos comes close to tears multiple times in Ragnarök, most notably during an emotional heart-to-heart with Atreus, and multiple times during the ending of the game. Namely when Atreus goes off to make his own way, and when he sees a prophetic mural showing him as a Hope Bringer to the mortals of Midgard.
  • Obsessively Normal: Kratos hates the gods for how they treated and tortured him. He hates himself for what he did to Greece and now lives in the Scandinavian region in an attempt to sever all ties to his past and to the gods, and makes no attempt to learn anything about them. His greatest fear is Atreus finding out about his godhood and turning into a monster because of it. He now lives a reclusive lifestyle to avoid gods and conflict.
  • Oh, Crap!: Being The Stoic, it takes a lot to get genuine shock out of Kratos, but the aftermath of his trip into the Alfhelm Light, which took WAY longer than he thought, completely takes the wind out of his sails.
    Kratos: BOY, I WAS GONE ONLY...(sees the mounds and mounds and mounds of dead Dark Elves that Atreus has killed in the time he was gone)...moments?
  • Older and Wiser: He's much calmer in the 2018 PS4 game, years after the end of GoW III, but he had a really low bar to clear. This isn't just reflected in his personality, but also his fighting style: methodical and measured, without the overt sadism and brutality shown in the earlier games. His killing of Baldur is the best example of this. No eye-gouging, ruthless pummeling or stabbing once his opponent was beaten: just a quick, clean Neck Snap.
  • Old Soldier: Once a Spartan warrior-turned-God of War, Kratos is now simply an old man who wants to live his life without conflict, though the Norse gods appear more than willing to break him out of his comfort zone.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Kratos is a very old warrior (in sheer numbers of years) who has faced titans the size of mountains without a hint of fear or hesitation, and yet when his son falls ill and he cradles the boy in his arms, he has a very obvious panic attack and is barely able to contain himself.
    • When he goes back home to retrieve the Blades of Chaos, his hands are visibly shaking, and he has to psyche himself several times to chain them back to his arms. This is doubly out-of-character, because he's willingly putting on the symbols of his enslavement, something his former self literally killed an entire world to escape from.
    • During the final stretch of escaping Helheim, Kratos witnessing a vision of his own past self killing Zeus in the presence of Atreus causes him such a massive Heroic BSoD that completely shuts him down in horror, freezing in the middle of an intense situation until Atreus takes the reins and forces him to move to action, but even then, he shows a slight hesitance and fear around his son until Atreus lies to Kratos that he witnessed nothing to get him back on his feet.
    • In Ragnarök, after brutally killing Heimdall, Kratos briefly goes into this as he realizes what he just did, rendering him speechless and staggering to leave the area.
    • In Ragnarök, after killing enough of the Spectral Ravens, it being revealed that they are the souls of literal children horrifies Kratos to the point of near speechlessness, and by the end of the questline is openly asking if any more can be done for the poor souls.
    • By Ragnarök, Kratos and Mimir are close as brothers, and he treats Mimir with unconditional kindness and listens to his council, however, when he discovers that Mimir had captured an innocent creature for Odin so that its blubber can be harvested in a torturous procedure, he's audibly shocked and furious with Mimir.
    • In the opening chapter of Ragnarök, Kratos' shield is damaged by Thor. Kratos usually places little value on items of equipment, telling Atreus that weapons are just tools to be used and replaced like any other, but his shield was given to him by Faye, and even after being told by the dwarves that they could just replace it, he softly says he wants them to repair it because it's important to him.
    • Throughout the entire Norse era, Kratos often gives Atreus a lesson that emotions can not get in the way over the course of two games, but when Sindri's compromised emotions cause him to not do what he's told, especially after Brok’s death, Kratos is at loss for words, likely sympathizing with the latter after all that’s happened.
  • Open-Minded Parent: In Ragnarök, has he gradually opens himself to other people, he's willing to let Atreus open his own path, and lets him go so that Atreus can go on his own to find the missing giants.
  • Outdated Hero vs. Improved Society: The spirit of the trope is what causes friction between him and Atreus, as he and his son can’t reconcile the differences between his Ancient Greek pragmatism and Atreus’s more modern moralism.
  • Outside-Context Problem: After the events of III, Kratos somehow managed to find his way into Midgard, and judging from Mimir's dialogue, it appears that the Aesir have caught wind of his reputation as a god-slayer. This is actually something of a plot point; Kratos's mere presence as a Greek god in a Norse world appears to be shifting the balance somewhat, as he's directly responsible for, or is at least partially related to, several events that defy Norse mythology's own mythos: the deaths of Magni and Móði (both of whom were fated to survive Ragnarök itself), the death of Baldur (which was slated for hundreds of years into the future), and the triggering of Fimbulwinter (which heralds Ragnarök, having come hundreds of years too early—in conjunction with the death of Baldur).
  • Papa Wolf: An obvious way to get on his bad side is to go after his son— The Stranger even obliquely making a threat against the boy is enough to make Kratos go into Spartan Rage, and try and turn him into a bloody smear; with the implication that Kratos hasn't used the Spartan Rage since he left Greece. Kratos may have a hard time connecting with the boy, and at times make poor decisions and flat out mistakes in raising him, but the love is clearly there. Kratos is willing literally willing to go through hell for his son and to getting the Blades of Chaos for this express purpose, despite swearing to never use them again. Later, when Atreus asks Kratos if he would let his own son kill him, Kratos replies that he would if meant that Atreus would live. In the comic he was willing to spare a group of Norse Berserkers until they invade his home and try to kill his son, at which point he returns the favour and burns their compound to the ground, leaving no survivors for daring to come after his family.
    • A good chunk of his motivations in Ragnarök are hinged heavily on seeing that Atreus survives the titular event, and when he hears from the Norns that Heimdall will kill Atreus in the future, Kratos immediately starts making plans to kill the god himself in order to protect his son. A course of action that he ultimately makes good on after giving Heimdall multiple chances to back down to no avail.
      Kratos: I do not seek war...but if Odin has stolen my son, do NOT doubt the lengths I will go to.
  • Parental Neglect: In the 2018 game, Kratos has spent most of Atreus's life a cold and distant father, to the extent that Atreus was closer to Faye than Kratos and goes so far as to wish that Kratos had died instead of Faye (though he quickly takes it back). A big part of the game is Kratos moving past this and genuinely bonding with his son.
    • Kratos is never shown to be physically abusive, but his abrasive demeanor and deliberate distance from Atreus have obviously damaged the boy, ironic in that Kratos is trying to protect Atreus from his bloody past as the Ghost of Sparta. As the game wears on, Kratos undergoes Character Development and learns to bond with Atreus.
  • Parents as People: He tries to be a good father to Atreus, but his tendency to only tell him the minimum amount, be dismissive of his son's feelings and "do as I say, not as I do" approach causes tons of problems.
    • His flawed off-hand parenting is clearly demonstrated during the two instances when Atreus truly resents his father. In the first instance at Alfheim when Atreus believes that he is gone for a long time while it is only a few minutes in his perspective, he doesn't try to ask what's wrong with the boy nor properly explain his encounter inside and continues to push the boy around even as the latter continues to snark at his supposed negligence. In another instance when Atreus becomes Drunk with Power over his status as a god, Kratos doesn't really do much in trying to quell his perceived godhood and even when the latter demands the truth, Kratos just keeps silent which just gives the boy no reason as to why he shouldn't be arrogant and rude which is highly contrasted by Mimir trying as hard to quell this trait by informing what good gods are like. In both instances, Kratos's unwillingness to open up or console his son ended up making the problem far bigger that what is supposed to be and those two instances only end by Atreus being regretful for his actions.
    • He's also, especially at the start of the game, reluctant to give praise to Atreus. For example at the very start of the game, when Atreus correctly identifies tracks Kratos had spotted as belonging to goats, not deer, Kratos notes that "{his} mother taught him well", rather than complimenting Atreus on doing well. Atreus notably cools at the lack of praise (and reminder of his dead mother).
  • Pelts of the Barbarian:
    • Kratos noticeably begins dressing in more pelts, with his shoulder and waist guards lined with fur, after moving to the inhospitable climes of Midgard, and his wardrobe only gets more beastly after Fimbulwinter begins.
    • The start of Ragnarök sees him in a bear-fur cloak and mantle, though it's quickly lost in an ambush. The New Game+ update not only brings it back as the "Cloak of the Black Bear", but makes it Kratos's default NG+ loadout and the basis for a high-level, upgradeable armor set.
  • Practically Different Generations: Has Atreus centuries after having and losing his daughter Calliope, and due to his father being Zeus many gods would be his half-siblings despite being centuries older than him.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Kratos isn't opposed to Atreus being a Cheerful Child, but is well aware that anything but ruthless pragmatism won't do him good in the heat of battle. And in a world where the Norse gods have taken up a huge dose of Adaptational Villainy, we can see where he's coming from.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: After supposedly killing the Stranger for the first time, Kratos spends a few seconds on the ground gasping for air before getting up and slowly walking back to the house.
    • Nearly suffers one of these after his first fight with Thor, doubling over and grabbing his ribs in pain after Thor calls off the fight and flies away.
  • The Power of Love: It is implied that Kratos's transformation from a monstrous Hair-Trigger Temper Villain Protagonist War God to a much more mellow and stoic hunter-gatherer is largely because of how Faye's love for and acceptance of him forced him to change. Years of reflection and regret notwithstanding, Kratos became a better man partly because Faye's presence gave him an avenue to mature and find a new life in Midgard. There's also his relationship with Atreus, as only through the boy's acceptance of him does Kratos find some measure of redemption for his past sins. Ultimately, it's Faye's trust and posthumous support of him that Kratos shakes off his bloody nature and decides to actively help the Nine Realms find peace.
  • The Power of Trust: Kratos's intense shame of who he used to be isn't unwarranted. But his refusal to open up about his past, along with his emphasis on teaching Atreus discipline over providing actual fatherly affection, creates a massive rift between himself and the boy. Only when Kratos finally decides to tell the boy the truth behind his Divine Parentage do they truly form a bond. In Ragnarok, despite their lack of trust in each other driving each other away for a bit, when both he and Atreus learn to completely trust in each other's judgement, do they perform at their very best,, and ultimately, saves Kratos from dying as prophecy foretold.
  • Properly Paranoid: In Ragnarok, Kratos has very good reason to be prepared when something is or going to easy in their journey. When discussing the plan on using the now completed mask Atreus obtained, Kratos gives his thoughts on the matter to the group. He claims that the knowledge given from the mask is too good to be true, and that "Shortcuts always have a high price". Despite this, he still allows Atreus to make the final call about the Mask, since it was he who earned it. Also, when they convince Surtr to become Ragnarok on his own and it's all going well, Kratos tells Atreus that it is going too well for his liking, since Odin knows they would do this. His worry are proven right when Odin sent two Valkyries against the two to stop Ragnarok from happening.
  • Race Lift: From what little we know of the mythical Fárbauti, it can definitely be said that he wasn't a Greek God of War.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Throughout his first fight with The Stranger, he spends much of the fight trying to forcefully persuade him to leave. But when he makes a threat of going after Atreus, Kratos completely loses it and spends the remainder of the fight dead set on killing the Stranger.
    • During his first battle with Thor, Kratos remains even-headed even as Thor howls and hollers in something between rage and playful glee at getting to fight the God of War. This changes when Thor grabs him in a choke and says that Odin has plans for his son. Kratos immediately breaks the hold and knocks out one of Thor's teeth with a powerful punch. Spot a trend?
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Played with. Kratos is The Stoic and has a very difficult time bonding with Atreus emotionally, but it's not out of some perceived sense of pride or manhood, but rather because he's still very shell-shocked from the events of Greece, and is so intent on teaching his son discipline that he neglects to show proper affection or concern and otherwise just finds it difficult (multiple times near the beginning of the story, he reaches to comfort Atreus when the latter is sad, only to pause and awkwardly lower his hand). Eventually subverted as he begins to encourage, compliment, apologize to, comfort and finally even hug Atreus as they begin to properly bond as Father and Son on their epic saga. That being said, he does play this straight at times, for a few laughs.
    Atreus: (sees a submerged wheel structure) Hey, that looks like a water wheel. Or I UNDER-water wheel.
    Kratos: Hmph.
    Atreus: Did you just...laugh at that?
    Kratos: No.
    Atreus: Are you sure?
    Kratos: Yes. I do not laugh.
    Atreus: Don't I know it.
  • Really 700 Years Old: God of War (PS4) is apparently set centuries after the third game, despite the fact that Kratos looks like he's merely aged up by a few decades. Judging from how he was an adult during the Persian Wars, he would be pushing a thousand years old by this point.
    • And with the revelation that he's a veteran of The Trojan War, that bumps his age up closer to two thousand.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He and his son zigzag positions between both. Naturally, when compared to his son, Kratos definitely more of a Red Oni—volatile, ill-tempered, sometimes ill-mannered, and just plain abrasive. However, Atreus is a lot more capable of flipping out in times of extreme duress, and the more experienced Kratos is the one who tries to rein in his more violent tendencies by instilling discipline into the boy.
  • Redemption Earns Life: By the end of God of War Ragnarök, after much Character Development and atonement, he finally conquers his Death Seeker ways and the worst of his faults to earn his redemption from the Villain Protagonist he was at the beginning of the series due to the death of his original family to the Ideal Hero he is by end thanks to Atreus, Faye, and everyone he met along the way's influence on him. The fact he goes from a bitter loner who'd rather not get involved with the world out of shame of his prior actions to actively wanting to get involved with rebuilding the world in the wake of Rangarök shows how far he's come.
    • This is most represented at the end of Ragnarok by a story he tells his son to comfort him when he cant sleep on the eve of the namesake battle itself. He tells him the story about a man who served his village his entire life by carrying and chopping logs every day until he finds himself old and weak, unable to bear the burdensome logs any longer, with death responding to his call. Becoming increasingly distraight as he tell the story, he stops before the end when he realizes Atreus has fallen asleep. The game establishing this as a straight example of his Death Seeker status and sets up a red flag for his prophesized death as Atreus previously asked to make sure to "finish his story in the morning" incase he fell asleep, indicating Kratos will do so by dying. This is subverted however as during in the epilogue, Kratos has survived to continue the story, changing the ending by saying that upon seeing death come, the old man realized he wished to continue living and instead asks death to help him carry his logs so he could return home to his loved ones.
  • Redemption Rejection: Of a sort. Kratos just wants to wash his hands of any divine affairs and is perfectly content to live as a normal man, with Atreus. He doesn't concern himself with seeking any form of redemption because he simply believes it's too late for him to be anything but a monster, instead he just wants to ensure that Atreus does not repeat his own mistakes. Athena even arrives just to insult his attempts at being a family man again, only for Kratos to admit that he will always be a monster, but he will no longer be hers.
    • In Ragnarök, Kratos, gradually decides to change this. A much needed talk with the Norns gives him insight to the fact that his fate has always been in his own hands, and Atreus and Faye's memory pushes him to open himself up to others and strive to be better. After seeing Faye's mural depicting him as a benevolent God loved by many, Kratos sheds tears at the realization that he actually can become a better person and actively decides to help the Nine Realms recover from Odin's rampage.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Kratos wants nothing to do with gods of any sort, and his decision to live a mundane life posing as a mortal is largely driven by his guilt over his past actions as a god. He tries his best to end conflicts in a non-violent manner, but will resort to violence the second he decides it's necessary. There's also the fact that while he's not trying to antagonize anybody, his brusqueness as well as his self-centeredness easily rubs people the wrong way, and causes rifts during his interactions with others who might otherwise be willing to help him. Indeed, the only reason Kratos ends up on good terms with roughly anybody is because his son is often endearing enough to compensate for his father's lack of social skills, though this diminished over time.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: He's long since cast away the Ghost of Sparta, but his enemies insist that he will never change, and he'll always be that man. Kratos initially agrees with them, though by the end of his and Atreus's journey, he's come to accept that they're wrong.
    Freya: You are just an animal, passing on your cruelty and rage. You will never change.
    Kratos: Then you do not know me.
  • Reluctant Psycho: In God of War (PS4) Kratos prefers to give stern warnings to any threats to him and Atreus. He'll only be violent when he needs to protect his son or himself.
  • Resurrective Immortality: The novelization of the first Norse entry indicates that Kratos is essentially cursed to live with the guilt of his sins forever, to the point where when he tried killing himself all the way back in III, he was brought back to life. It's even pointed out that when impaling himself on the Blade of Olympus failed, he hurled himself off a nearby cliff, only to be carried back onto land without a hitch. It's also made clear that this is why he can never part with his chained blades. Even when he tries to rid himself of them, they will always come back to him in some form or another.
  • Retired Monster: A slight subversion, in that Kratos knows that he will never be able to atone for all the atrocities he committed, but he is ashamed of what he has done, and has long since cast aside his rage to live a life of peace and isolation. But if you are foolish enough to try and endanger his son, he will show you just how much of a monster he still is. At the end of Ragnarök, both "Retired" and "Monster" no longer apply. Kratos instead resolves to help rebuild the Realms.
  • Screw Destiny: By killing Magni, he defied the prophecy of Ragnarök. On the other hand, by killing Baldur, he's also kickstarted it much sooner than it was meant to happen. At the next game's story, he tells Atreus to do what is necessary over what is prophesized. As of the next game, it's a bit more complicated than that. For one thing, the "prophecy" was bollocks; the seer who Odin manipulated into telling him about Ragnarok lied, because that's what happens when you try to trick people who can tell the future. On the other hand, he does avert the giants' real prophecy that Thor would kill him and that Heimdall would kill Atreus. And it turns out predestination is not actually a thing; the key to avoiding destiny is to simply make better choices so you can create a better future. Kratos does this, and it turns out that Faye, due to her trust in him, was able to see him change and foresee a future where he is a revered deity- a prediction that the ending shows him well on the way to fulfilling.
  • Seen It All: He has centuries of experience with monsters, gods, and magic, and as such things that are surprising to Atreus and other characters are commonplace to him. When they have to go down Jormungandr's gullet, even the well-traveled Mimir finds it a novel experience, while Kratos just says it's only novel because the giant in question isn't trying to eat him this time.
  • Shipper on Deck: He may not seem the type, but in Ragnarök, after the showing Angrboda and Fenrir displayed during Ragnarök, especially saving their lives, Kratos showed interest in seeing her and Atreus being together and trusts her with his life as much as Atreus would.. After seeing her paintings, Kratos mentions that Atreus also paints, possibly trying to impress her. Helping Angrboda's case is her saying that Atreus needs discipline to hone his artistic talents. Which amuses Kratos enough to chuckle and say he likes her.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • When Kratos is confronted by the spirit of Athena, she tells him that no matter how much he pretends otherwise or tries to change, he cannot be redeemed and will never be anything more than a monster. Kratos acknowledges this, but responds with one of these before dismissing them.
    Kratos: I know. But I am your monster no longer.
    Kratos: Return my son. Or you may meet the god I once was.
  • Sink or Swim Fatherhood: Kratos loves Atreus, but spent most of the boy's childhood as a distant figure. Atreus had a much better relationship with his mother Faye, and with Faye's death, Kratos is forced to raise the boy by himself. Given Kratos's massive family issues from way back in the original series, it's clear that though Kratos keeps a stoic facade, he's very much afraid of failing as a father figure again.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Kratos has difficulty bonding with Atreus, to put it mildly. Their relationship is so strained that Atreus at one point even comes to the conclusion that Kratos never wanted him, and viewed the boy's weak constitution as a curse. Kratos's sour disposition at all times certainly doesn't help, and more often than not his attempts to prepare Atreus for the cruelty of the world end up damaging the boy's self-esteem and innocence. Kratos truly does love Atreus, but it is difficult for him to act as a father-figure again, especially since he killed his first family, and spent most of his life from then on engaged in warfare. He wants to be a good father, and doesn't want Atreus to make the same mistakes he once did, but is so focused on strengthening the boy and teaching him to survive that he neglects to show proper affection. A big part of the game comes from Kratos learning to become a father once again, and recovering the humanity he had long ago buried beneath rage and vengeance.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • He and Atreus defeat Baldur hundreds of years prior to his fated death in Ragnarök, and in doing so they kickstart the world-ending event rather early. It is even implied that Kratos's very presence as an Outside-Context Problem in Midgard is causing some reality-bending and literal fate-defying issues, and as such he's capable of altering or outright breaking prophesied events.
    • Ultimately this is because in this continuity, predetermined fate doesn't exist as a fixed future, predicting "fate" is just being an Excellent Judge of Character and counting on them to not change their character, as well as Groa giving Odin a fake prophecy in defiance of Odin's earlier genocide of the giants. Magni and Baldur only perished due to them not taking the chance to back off when Kratos gave them the opportunity, and Odin didn't bother to suspect for a little bit that Groa may have it in her interests to deceive Odin and folks, thus being completely surprised when seeing her real prophecy.
  • The Spartan Way: Subverted; While he tends to be harsh and strict towards Atreus it's explicitly stated that he didn't give him the exact type of Spartan upbringing that he personally went through. Not because he saw Atreus as weak, but because he thinks that no child should ever have to go through such an ordeal.
  • Spock Speak: Once he gets to the 4th main game, every sentence of his is lexically well-crafted and notably averse to slang and profanity (the latter of which he even goes as far as to chide Atreus for using, even in a dire situation).
  • Stern Teacher: Kratos is still nursing some old wounds from the original series, and attempts to impart upon Atreus his knowledge of how cruel the world can be, in an attempt to prepare the boy for the future hardships he's undoubtedly going to face. When Kratos is trying to teach Atreus something, he'll give the "what" without giving the "how" or expect his son to just figure it out on his own. When telling Atreus to hunt deer, his only advice on how to hunt them is to go "in the direction of deer" (the idea being that Atreus knows how to track deer if he can do such a thing). And when Atreus shoots a deer without Kratos's permission, he yanks the bow away and only tells him to "be better".
  • Still Got It: Upon retrieving his Blades of Chaos, Kratos is quick to prove that he can still brandish them as skillfully as he did in the original Greek series.
    • When he gets the Draupnir Spear, Kratos remarks that it's the very first thing a young Spartan learns to wield, and as such, hard to forget despite his years without using one.
  • The Stoic: Kratos deeply loathes the Villain Protagonist Psychopathic Manchild he used to be, and so his attempts at control his impulses has led to him becoming much more stone-faced. Though this could just be because he's old, tired, and wartorn.
  • The Storyteller: Kratos starts telling stories to Atreus at the boy's urging; at first his stories are brief and straightforward but have poor lessons or meanings to them. By the time they spread Faye’s ashes, throughout all their experiences, it’s displayed that the pair have truly bonded when Kratos tells the story of an old friend called Atreus. Atreus remarks on this by admitting that Kratos finally told a good story and Mimir would be ashamed to have missed it.
  • Supporting Protagonist: It's made clear by the end of the game that while the player is controlling Kratos, Atreus is the one whom the plot and future events revolve around.
  • Suppressed Rage: His Unstoppable Rage has progressed to this over the hundreds of years since the Greek era. He does his best to keep it in check, even if he does lash out and yell, but if his son is in danger, he will let loose.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Kratos can't stand being around the dwarves Brok and Sindri, and it seems that the only reason he sticks around them is to get them to upgrade his stuff. Though, to be fair, he clearly recognizes their skill as blacksmiths, and is more than impressed with their handiwork on his weapons.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Word of God confirms that his age hasn't actually made him weaker. While Kratos maintains his godly powers and strategic mind, he's been holding himself back for several decades and it's taken a toll on his fighting abilities and overall stamina Not only that, as Kratos himself has long since forsaken his brutally efficient ways, it shows itself as his victories aren't as spectacular or theatrical as the older games because he no longer wants to use that level of energy. For example in God of War 3, he kills Poseidon by first having Gaia send Kratos on a collision course with Poseidon's human form, which Kratos rips out of the watery construct and onto a platform. He then beats Poseidon uncontrollably; slamming his uncle's face repeatedly against a wall, and hitting him with his own head, before throwing him to a nearby wall. Where Kratos then breaks Poseidon's neck after gouging his eyes out. In God of War (PS4), he struggles against Baldur and Magni more than ever due to having not fought such high-level opponents for a long time. He does win, but he kills Magni by embedding his axe into Magni's skull and kills Baldur by breaking his neck. A far, quicker cry from his past brutalities.
    • While Kratos has matured considerably from his past self, he still has a very long way to go before he can truly be redeemed for his sins. He may have taken a level in kindness and is trying his damndest to be a good father to Atreus. But he's so deeply set in his self-serving and pragmatic ways that, despite his willingness to go the distance for his loved ones, he still has the potential to alienate them and anyone close to them due to his impenetrably grim demeanor.
    Cory Barlog: ...because in that beginning pitch, that I talked to people about, I kept talking about this idea's not like we're gonna erase Kratos's past. It's not like, all of a sudden, you start this game, and Kratos is this great guy, and he's gonna be saving people, and he's gonna be a good dad. No, he's the same guy, right? It's just that, in the previous games, the monster that was inside of him was let out all the time. And in this one, he's making the attempts to keep the monster inside.
  • Terse Talker: Now speaks like this. Of course, he is from Laconia (a region of Greece that included Sparta), the source of the very word 'laconic'.
  • They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: So ashamed is he of his past as a War God that he deliberately keeps his son out of any divine affairs unless forced to, and when pressed by his son and by others to just come out with the truth, he bluntly shuts them down when he can't just Change the Uncomfortable Subject. It's also apparent, however, that Kratos's evasiveness only builds barriers between himself and Atreus, and that if he and the boy are even going to have a chance at a healthy relationship now that Faye is dead, he must learn to accept himself and his past for what they are. And a big part of that, as painful as it is for him, involves facing that pain, taking responsibility for it, and finding the courage to forgive himself.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • By the Norse Era, he is a relatively calm, yet stern father to his son. He still has his Spartan Rage, and does yell at him at times, but he seems to actively rein himself in in order to be one of the Good Parents, as opposed to his father.
    • By Ragnarök he's taken another level. He's less taciturn, far more willing to seek out advice and listen to others' opinions. He calls people by their name rather than blunt generic nicknames like "Boy" and "Head". He's far more willing to do sidequests to help people whereas in the previous game he'd more or less only begrudgingly do it for the potential rewards. This furthers as the game goes on where Kratos develops more into a straight up heroic figure. For example he has Brok bless his spear while Brok is having a Heroic BSoD over missing part of his soul to help the Dwarf get over it. He even tries to get his rage under control, realizing how succumbing to it is what so often leads him to foreseeable tragedy. He appeals to Thor to be a better man for the sake of Thrúd. The game ends with Faye having left an image of Kratos' future, as a beloved, worshipped god, which convinces Kratos to stay in Midgard and help fix the nine realms.
  • Tough Love: Kratos can appear distant, harsh and cold towards his son, but he genuinely wants to prepare Atreus to survive as he explains, being a god like him means they will have a target painted on their backs until the end of their days. It rapidly becomes clear this isn't fully intended by Kratos. While he is indeed a stern teacher, he has genuine trouble expressing affection and opening up, no doubt in small part due to his own shame over his past.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The Leviathan Axe he wields used to belong to his late wife. Similarly, the Guardian Shield was built by her which is why he asks Brok to repair it instead of just replacing it for a new one when it is heavily damaged by Thor.
  • Tranquil Fury: He's trying to conquer his demons and keep himself emotionally controlled, but a couple of times the control slips. Seeing how he's motivated and pretty much has Unstoppable Rage as his default emotion in the trilogy beforehand, this is especially notable.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Defied. By the time of the 2018 game, Kratos does everything he can to prevent his son from making his mistakes.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The Spartan Rage mechanic is an embodiment of Kratos' deep fury, but unlike most examples of this trope, this is portrayed somewhat positively. While Kratos fears that he is still capable of becoming the monster that he once was, he has better control over his rage and can release it as pinpoint bursts rather than be consumed by it. In doing so, he can access extreme fonts of power that quickly overwhelm his opponents, then subdue his rage and exploit the openings with precision. The best example of this is in Ragnarok, during his fight against Heimdall. The latter has precognition powers that make him nearly impossible to hit, so Kratos continually gets angrier and angrier throughout the fight until he just begins wildly flailing without any thought. This means that there's nothing for Heimdall's precognition to predict in his movements, so Kratos lands a serious blow to his face that causes the Heimdall to become enraged himself and begin ignoring his own powers in favor of beating Kratos down. This gives Kratos an edge and ends up winning him the fight.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It is heavily implied that Faye intends for Atreus (whose birth name was Loki) to trigger Ragnarök, meaning that Kratos's efforts to protect his son are essentially helping kickstart another god-apocalypse.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: After spending most of the previous series in a state of Revenge Before Reason, he has come to this realization, warning his enemies that revenge will not bring them peace. Sadly for Kratos, the message he's sending sails right over the heads of anyone who hears it.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Kratos and Mimir serve as this. The two constantly engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat, ranging from genuine compliments to occasional, possible insults, but remain on good terms.
    Mimir: Ah, a Sgian-dubh from my homeland (a Sgian-dubh is a small knife). Used to have one of my own back in the day. You should take it, boy!
    Kratos: Yes, boy... take it. We might need to butter bread somewhere on our travels.
    Mimir: This is why no one likes you.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Dramatic inversion; Kratos is wrought with regret and self loathing to the point of being blunt and no-nonsense, while Atreus is a more-often Cheerful Child who enjoys doing the right thing even when there isn't a benefit to their journey.
  • War Is Hell: In his younger years, Kratos's default reaction to those who wronged him in any way (even if he was in the wrong) was to exact violent vengeance upon them in the most brutal way possible. Though he'd experienced severe bouts of PTSD, and had often been maddened by visions of his past brutalities, he'd use violence to solve his problems because he often didn't know how else to react otherwise. Having come to terms with the weight of his mistakes years after the destruction of Greece, he has at this point decided to abstain from acts of wanton violence. Dialogue with Mimir and others reveals that even the War God Kratos has come to view war itself as a senseless loss of life.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: In his old age Kratos has come to regret his path of destruction and revenge against the Olympians, viewing his revenge as hollow. He also speaks of Zeus in a mournful tone in Helheim, implying that he regrets killing his father.
  • The Watson: In the Norse-era games, Kratos mentions he hasn't bothered to learn much about the lore and mythology of the land and its gods. While Faye told Atreus many stories about them, Kratos never paid much attention. This gives a perfect excuse for Atreus and Mimir, among others, to give him (and the player) exposition and backstory when necessary.
  • Weirdness Magnet: What started out as a simple task of spreading his wife's ashes lead to a battle against the Norse pantheon and a quest to reach Jötunheim. Even Mimir has a hard time believing that Baldur just came to the door and started a fight. He highlights this when he finds out Kratos's origin.
    Mimir: I knew you hate gods, but you really can't stay away from them, can you?
    • Several of the conversations in Ragnarök has Mimir asking about the stories he's heard of his past, specifically which part were hyperbole or not. When Kratos mentions that he has actual experience with time travel, Mimir just rolls with it.
  • What If the Baby Is Like Me: One of Kratos's principal fears is the idea of Atreus inheriting the more unhealthy parts of his personality. Sadly, his insecurities concerning his own past constantly inch the boy closer and closer into turning out like his father, due to a combination of both the boy's resentment towards his father's evasiveness, as well as Atreus's desire to prove himself in his father's eyes.
  • When He Smiles: It's extremely rare to see him smile, and even then his beard can make it hard to tell. But when he does, it's surprisingly heartwarming. A couple stories from Mimir actually get him to chuckle.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: From the very beginning, it's clear that Kratos was very absent for most of Atreus's childhood, and Faye spent far more time raising the boy. Kratos has to even ask Atreus if he knows how to hunt, something that many have noted makes it look like he literally just showed up into the boy's life.
  • Worf Had the Flu: In the Norse Realm, a combination of being Willfully Weak, having spend years not engaging in any real fights for his life, only hunting monsters, losing access to magical enchantments and weaponry of the Greek world, and having to keep his son safe while also engaging in genuine fights for the first time in a quite long time has clearly reduced his efficiency in battle. That said, the Norse Gods are no pushovers themselves, and he's still capable of moving building-sized objects with his bare hands.
    • During the fourth game, he visibly struggles against Baldur, partly because of Baldur's own extreme power but mainly due to his invulnerability, and notably despite the fact that Baldur would resurrect shortly after Kratos killed him completely healed, he still manages to eventually secure a win by breaking his neck for the third kill while not having the time to recover like Baldur easily did. Likewise, even after taking a brief pummeling from Baldur, he still manages to turn the tides on him, although he accidentally destroys the gateway to Jotunheim. Their final fight ends with Kratos snapping his neck. To a lesser extent, Magni manages to hold him to a stalemate with his sword bearing down on his shield while Modi actually briefly incapacitates him, though on both occasions, the sons of Thor had the element of surprise and once he has enough, he instantly destroys them.
    • In Ragnarök, he gets this twice. The first moments of the story has Freya managing to repeatedly corner and get vicious shots at him, although he only had the usage of a single hand, which still ends with Kratos eventually coming out on top, and when she gets her Valkyrie wings back, he actually nearly loses to her, but it's more due to being caught by surprise upon recognizing her, and as Freya noted, Kratos never actually fought her with real lethal intent, as he didn't wish to kill her. Likewise, to show just how much more formidable Thor is compared to his sons and even Baldur, the God of Thunder repeatedly manages to beat him down and give him a hell of a struggle to break out of his grips. Kratos actually has the Guardian Shield broken and Thor choking him at the end of the fight, only narrowly reaching a stalemate when he is reminded of Atreus and punches Thor hard enough to rip out a teeth, which does nothing but make Thor amused and he calmly leaves by flying away while Kratos actually reels from his wounds, showing just how close he came to losing the fight. However, Thor himself states that the Kratos he was fighting was a lesser version of the God of War he once was in Greece and when they do fight it out to the max, Kratos no longer holding himself back and taking the entire Ragnarök as a true war he must win, he comes out on top, although not without a serious struggle. When he and Odin finally battle, Kratos was already worn out from his previous fights, allowing Odin to gain the upper hand, despite previously being unwilling to tangle with him, and it took Freya and Atreus working together to defeat him.
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: As cold and stern and authoritarian as he is, the closest Kratos ever comes to corporal punishment is grabbing Atreus firmly by the wrist. When he loses his temper and shoves Atreus to the ground at one point, he immediately tries to stammer out a horrified apology.
  • You Are Not Ready: Kratos says this to Atreus when the latter goes into a uncontrolled berserker rage after the first troll fight, and that he cannot go to the top of the mountain to spread his mother's ashes (Kratos also says this of himself as he doesn't see himself as a worthy father to Atreus). The Stranger showing up at their doorstep a few moments later gives Kratos no choice but to force the journey on the boy, and himself.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: He only uses names when he's afraid or distressed. Freya was keen to ignore him or push him away but as soon as he said her name. She immediately unlocked the door and helped him.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Partway through the game, Kratos and Atreus come upon Tyr's hidden vault, and discover that it is filled with relics from other realms...including a vase depicting an image of Kratos, pulled directly from Greece. Seeing as how there'd been no mention of the appearance of Tyr or foreign gods in the original Greek series implies that the vase was procured after the events of III, hinting that Greece was ultimately able to recover from Kratos's god-killing rampage. Despite this, it's probable Kratos won't ever return, out of shame for what he'd done.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: While walking through Jötunheim, the two uncover a mural of prophecies that show the Giants foretold with perfect accuracy what would happen on their travels — including one that only Kratos chances to see, depicting Atreus in the near future, cradling his father's body and birthing the World Serpent in grief. This clearly troubles Kratos, but moreso for the implication that his son is going to do something he won't be able to stop.
    Atreus: C'mon, we're so close to the end now!
    Kratos: ...Yes. Yes, we are.
  • Zen Survivor: Kratos is an Old Soldier who wants nothing more than to live his life peacefully, with his son, in the outback of Scandinavia. But when his back is against the wall, he proves he’s still good enough to take on Physical Gods, if a little rusty.


Video Example(s):


Kratos and Thor Clash

During their fight, Thor's Hammer and Kratos' Axe collide mid-air, causing the element's within their mythic weapons to explosively interact and create a frozen lightning bolt, but not before Kratos calls out the God of Thunder for his failures as a father.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / BladeLock

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