Probably the biggest one of them all is how King Rhadamanthus found Kratos worthy of Elysium. This is what Minos says the man thinks of Kratos, and a nearby book on the upper level says that only those found worthy by the judges may pass through towards Elysium. While Minos then says "The afterlife is not yet ready for you", that just means "It ain't your time, my boy. Not yet." Given Kratos survived releasing the power of Hope into the world, left Greece, moved to Midgard, and formed a new life and family there, he was right.
In Ascension, there's a subtle focus on Apollo, as Kratos frees his temple at Delphi from the divine twins and goes to Delos (the god's birth place) to reconstruct his statue and acquire the lamp. Almost as if the god was helping him subtly. Which makes sense - what are the main enemies of the game? The Furies, who cast illusions. What is Apollo's domain? Light, and thus truth, hence his role as the "oracle god". Combine that with Apollo's nature as a god of justice that punishes evil doers - something that the Furies not only were taking too far, but also corrupted as they were truly evil -, and you might see why he would want them dead.
Furthermore, the developers really spared no expense in his attributes - snakes are blatantly depicted at Delphi, while Kratos acquires Zeus' lightning there, as Zeus was another oracular god often said to be the true source of Apollo's light and prophecy.
No pun intended, but considering that Theseus is the son of Poseidon, his powers over Ice (frozen Water) may actually be justified.
Why did Kratos keep Helios' head? Because three of the four people he didn't mean to kill, his family and the last Spartan were killed in the dark, and he wanted to avoid doing that again.
Hercules is the only god in the game to use his Latin name and not his original Greek one. His outfit also looks a lot more Roman than the other Greek warriors we see.
Despite the Sisters of Fate decrying Kratos was meant to die in the Temple, he still manages to kill them all, and changes his Fate. At first, it can be chalked to Kratos being Kratos, but after the ending of the third game, we realize that Kratos managed to change his Fate because he had the power of Hope within himself all that time, thus literally being able to beat Fate to death because his hope proved to be greater than the power of time.
Kratos is in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and is downright furious throughout the entire game. When you think about it, lashing out in anger is spontaneous and doesn't require much thinking. No wonder the game is a button-masher...
Not exactly. While the overall combat tactics themselves aren't hard to get used to, actually fighting tough enemies in the game require studying their moves and precise time when dodging and attacking. You can also learn new moves that require various button combinations. If anything, simply mashing the buttons to attack will (in the long run at least) get you killed quickly.
GoW3's combat mechanics actually match Devil May Cry's quite well.
That would show Kratos working through his rage. No wonder why he rose so quickly in the ranks.
Systematically using rage in combat? Guy really is a badass.
The mural of the Three Wise Men visiting Baby Jesus in God of War II seems a bit out of place in an overly violent game based off Greek mythology. However, it actually provides some Foreshadowing for what happens in the third game. The birth of Christ is supposed to be a sign of hope for humankind. Said hope was imbued into Kratos when he opened Pandora's Box to combat the evils set out by the box, and was released when Kratos stabbed himself with the Blade of Olympus. Guess who also nearly died to give humanity hope?
Something I didn't catch until about halfway through the second game: the first game and most of the second show an _absurdly_ detailed knowledge of Greek Myth, down to getting it right on subtle (and not-subtle) distinctions between the Greek versions of the gods and their roles and the Roman versions.
Most specifically, Rome treated Ares (Mars) as THE war-god. Title of the game notwithstanding, the greeks divided the role much more evenly between Pallas Athena and Ares. Athena controlled the "civilized" aspects of war, like strategy, cunning, conservation of resources, logistics, occupations, honor, etc. Ares controlled... the other bits: slaughter, mayhem, basically all of the "war is hell" aspects of war. The whole "is Kratos the hero or the villain" ambiguity actually fits his role perfectly, as Ares was probably the most outright 'evil' of the gods, being actively bloodthirsty and malevolent rather than just prideful and possessed of other, more important things to deal with than humanity.
Similarly, Hades is played as somewhat possessive, but overall the most reasonable and outright decent character in the game save Athena. He only attacks Kratos because Kratos screwed him massively, then walked right into his throne room to spit in his eye. This is very consistent with his portrayal in Greek myth, where he was by far the most adult of the big three, and the only one that actually managed his domain instead of running about having affairs all the time.
The only Olympians Kratos doesn't kill are Aphrodite, Apollo, Demeter and Artemis. In the end, Kratos maims himself and grants hope to the surviving remnants of mankind. A combination of love, truth, farming, hunting and hope. Suddenly, the ending doesn't seem as bleak.
To add to the above, in God of War (PS4), Kratos has essentially become a hunter/gatherer, living off the land. He turns to hunting and farming as his main livelihood. Furthermore, he shows parental love towards Atreus and Atreus for him. It seems some of his new behaviors are inspired by the traits of the surviving gods, specifically Aphrodite, Demeter and Artemis. As for Apollo, they do most of their hunting by daylight.
And there is one more goddess spared from his wrath: Hestia, goddess of the hearth. Not only does he need to makes fires to survive in his new lifestyle, but the hearth is also associated with family. Not to mention, when all else is gone, she remains, as she is the last Olympian.
Long running fans of the series will question how not knowing of his deific status would affect Atreus so negatively, while Kratos grew up without such effects. However, it's clear from the end. Kratos grew up as a demigod, son of Zeus and a mortal. Atreus, on the other hand, was the son of a god and giant, a full-blooded immortal. It's an early game "plot hole" that turns into being a huge spoiler.
For God of War (PS4), going by the E3 gameplay trailer, it seems that Kratos' destruction of the Olympians, save Aphrodite, Apollo, Demeter and Artemis did not go unnoticed by other deities and mythological figures. Naturally, given his role in Ragnarok and their possible family relationship, Jormungadr would jump at the chance to ally with Kratos. Hell, Kratos may end up BEING the cause of Ragnarok. Whether or not Jormungadr has good intentions, or if Kratos trusts him after what happened with Gaia, remains to be seen.
Kratos is prone to being an Instant Expert in nearly any weapon or artifact he finds, no matter how one-of-a-kind they are or how odd their purpose. While a lot of this can be attributed to his military training as a Spartan since the age of 7, another factor can go heavily into the fact he was likely to be a War demigod from the very beginning. It would, quite literally, be one of his divine powers to understand and excel with anything he can get his hands on that can be used for killing or for getting him to the killing, even before he learns of his heritage and ascends to full godhood.
Why is the Stranger described as "Odin's best tracker", despite his condition? It's precisely because of his condition. He doesn't have any sense of touch, smell, taste or pain - and this sensory deprivation is torture for him. It's safe to assume that he focused on his remaining senses (sight and hearing) because they're the only things that he can feel; and he ended up developing them to an immense degree, hence why he's so good as a tracker.
Kratos was given the Blades of Chaos by Ares, who set him on the path of destruction, bloodshed, and murder. After killing Ares and achieving godhood, Kratos was given the Blades of Athena by the eponymous goddess of wisdom. In doing so, Athena was telling Kratos to wield his blades, as well as his new divine power, with wisdom.
Kratos was revealed to have initially wielded Hope to kill Ares instead of the Evils but in God of War III it was shown to have been buried under all his guilt and he only regained access to it when he learned to forgive himself. Yet there is a logical reason why he could use it against Ares; it was because he was confronting what he knew was the biggest reason (aside from his own shortcomings). Faced with his most hated adversary, Kratos was no longer wallowing in guilt before there Ares was, the source of his problems and the one he could truly blame for everything. It was only after Ares was dead and Kratos was left with no-one to blame but himself did Hope eventually get smothered by his shame before he was able to re-ignite it within himself.
Ares's beard is an old dutch beard and it distinctively lacks a moustache. In many militaries around the world, full beards are considered improper or are just not allowed, but moustaches are accepted as long as they are neatly trimmed and well-groomed. Ares is the god of the war but he lacks any and all military strategies because he's simply the embodiment of the brutality of war, not the strategy or tactics (which are embodied by Athena). His lack of a moustache reflects how Ares is simply a chickenhawk who enjoys seeing people die in his name but refuses to take part in any actual wars.
What exactly did Perseus go through to make him decide seeking the Fates' attention by killing Kratos would solve his problems? It seems that he snapped from spending too much time trapped in a room...
From what can be gleaned, he sought to change his Fate and bring back his loved one, Andromeda. This can mean only one thing: As Kratos slew Medusa and took her head, Perseus was unable to obtain it. Without Medusa's head, Perseus was unable to save Andromeda from being sacrificed and eaten by Cetus. Suddenly, it makes a lot of sense for Perseus to try to kill Kratos on sight, as he blames him for Andromeda's death.
Given that Zeus took the form of an eagle to steal much of Kratos' divine power in II before trying to kill him with the Blade of Olympus, one wonders why Zeus didn't do something similar to Ares in the first game: weaken him, then give Kratos the Blade. Yes, there was a line saying Olympians are forbidden from fighting each other, but Zeus ignored that when he let Kratos go up against Thanatos, and again when he handled Kratos directly. Just as Cronos feared his children, so did Zeus- the events of the first game, and possibly the whole series until Kratos killed the Sisters of Fate, were all a plan by Zeus to make his offspring kill each other. After all, Zeus was not corrupted by Pandora's Box when he had Deimos captured and imprisoned.
Thanatos is son of Nyx, like the Furies, and not an Olympian, so he was free game. Also, Zeus and the Sisters sought to stop the rise of the Marked Warrior at all costs, not knowing he was Kratos until it was too late.
What happened to Apollo, the god of light and brother of Artemis? He's never physically appeared in any of the games, although he is still worshipped by the Greeks. Kratos finds his bow in Perithous' hands, in Hades, and even in Delos, his monuments lie in disrepair. Asclepius is mentioned in the comics, and his death by Zeus' hand turned Apollo against him. It's possible Zeus did more than just take away his immortality and exile him... he might've been killed by Zeus personally, as he was mortal at the time, and therefore, unprotected by Zeus' own rules to keep the Olympians from killing each other. It would also explain why Artemis wasn't in Olympus, as she probably turned on her father after he killed her nephew and her brother.
How exactly did Daedalus, a man being graphically killed and hanging by his arms (which are spread open by said chains), write such a long letter to Kratos in his own blood?
Maybe Athena helped him.
When Kratos gets the power to control time at the end of GOW II, why didn't he use it to go back in time and stop himself from killing his family? Or even making the deal with Ares?
Because Kratos is the "only have a hammer" sort of thinker. He thinks he can solve all his problems by killing things.
Another possibility is that Gaia had tangled her own timeline with Kratos', thus preventing him from changing those aspects of time and being able to return to the Titan war. Kratos didn't question it though, probably being blinded by rage as he is want to do.