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  • Kratos is shown to be rather gentle and patient with his son in the trailers we've seen. Compare this to how he treated everyone else in the original series barring his first wife and daughter, and it's almost sweet to watch.
  • The entire premise of the story is this. What is the main goal of this game? Seek blind revenge on the gods of this land? Taking down some monster? Nope; it's just to lay Kratos's wife and Atreus's mother's ashes to rest.
    • If the opening is any indication, Kratos genuinely loved his wife. In between building a large funeral pyre for her, and the way he speaks as he lifts her body from its resting place, it's clear he tried his best to be a good husband to her.
    • In that same scene, Atreus tries to take the knife off his mother's burning body, only to get his hand burned by the heated metal. Kratos, who up until this point has only spoken to his son in cold, simple orders, hands Atreus a pack of snow to soothe the burn, gently asks him to squeeze, and gives the boy a piece of his hand wraps to cover the wound, before gifting the knife to Atreus. It is quickly established that despite his brusque demeanor, Kratos is capable and willing to protect his young son, and he has discarded much of his old brutal ways.
  • Any time Atreus is threatened or injured, Kratos immediately, with no concern for his own safety, moves to protect him. Not only that but the feeling is mutual even with how cold Kratos can be.
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    • A distinct example comes early in the game. Kratos opens a door, and an Ogre burst through from behind it and Atreus stabs it in the face. It lunges at Atreus, jaws open. Kratos’ immediate reaction is to throw his arm out between the two, letting the Ogre bite on his upper (bare and unarmored) arm which leads Atreus to pull his knife clear and stab the Ogre again in the eye this time forcing it to let go.
  • In general, the fact that there are good people in a God of War game. In the first 7 games, barely a single person was not outright evil, and even those that were acceptable people (such as Pandora and Orkos) were working with Kratos in order to kill a common enemy. However, Brok, Sindri, Mimir, and Freya are each genuinely friendly and kind-hearted to Kratos and Atreus.
  • Kratos' fight with the Stranger (later revealed to be Baldur) due to the fact that the entire time Kratos is fighting simply to protect his son, and the minute the man threatens to harm Atreus the gloves really come off.
    • To elaborate on the above, the Stranger remarks just before then that Kratos has two beds in his house and immediately assumes he's hiding someone. He then tries to use this information to goad Kratos;
    Stranger: You won't talk? Fine. Maybe whoever it is you've got stashed in that house will.
    Prompt: Spartan Rage Available
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    • After the fight, Kratos limps back home, breathing heavily and barely able to stand. When he reaches the door, he takes a moment to steady himself before striding in, not limping and with steadier breathing, with the implication that he's trying to seem as okay as possible so as not to worry Atreus too much. The exchange they have afterwards also has a notable moment of gentleness from Kratos.
    Kratos: Boy.
    Atreus: There was so much... I thought... ...You're all right.
    Kratos: [raising a placating hand] I am all right.
    • Afterwards, when the two are navigating the damage resulting from the fight, they have this exchange.
    Atreus: You could have died... Never leave me alone again. All right?
    Kratos: All right.
  • A rather easy-to-miss moment, but there is a bit of this in the opening dialogue between Kratos and The Stranger. When directly confronted by someone who clearly wants to fight him, and explicitly tries to goad and antagonize him into it, to the point of saying he'll have to kill him to get him to leave, what does he do? Tries to talk him out of it, repeatedly, and even let's himself get punched at least three times before he finally retaliates, and then only with a normal punch that just knocks him down. After that, while The Stranger is lying on the ground apparently dazed and hurt, Kratos' demeanor implies he still has no intention of seriously fighting The Stranger yet, as he turns away and berates the man's insistence rather than kick him while he's down. The biggest part is what Kratos does next, as he goes up to The Stranger, and helps him back up to his feet. This shows that even when he would be in some ways justified for reacting violently, the newer, older Kratos of this game won't do so until he genuinely is given no better option, a far cry from the younger Kratos, who ruthlessly and unflinchingly slaughtered anyone who was even slightly a problem for him...or could be used as a meat-tool to get through a trap.
  • While the scene with Atreus having to kill his first human is sad, it's one of the first times we see Kratos genuinely try to comfort his son as he gently holds his face in his hands and tells him to close his heart to the violence. It's a gentle fatherly moment as Kratos helps his son deal with his feelings and pushes his thoughts back to the journey.
  • During their travels in Midgard during the opening Atreus opens up enough to mention he wasn't sure he would ever leave the woods, or his bed implying he at one point thought he'd die a sickly child. Kratos immediately points out his sickness was not his fault. Given how Kratos holds Atreus for every single action he makes trying to hone his control to perfect (and given what the sickness actually was), it's touching to see him jump right in to making sure Atreus doesn't feel bad for something that wasn't his fault.
  • In a mix of heartwarming and sad after the events at the light of Alfheim, Kratos takes a moment to explain that he really didn't know he left Atreus alone for more then a few minutes and offered the closest thing to an apology he's been able to make up to that point. It's small, but for Kratos very meaningful because he admitted fault. Not only that but Atreus accepted it and appeared to actually take it to heart.
  • It's a small moment, but when the duo meets Mimir who explains that no weapon can release him from the tree he's trapped to, Atreus can be seen in the background giving a brave attempt at cutting the tree with his knife. Amusing, but it's nice to see Atreus make the effort to help Mimir from his predicament.
  • Mimir turns into a Cool Uncle over the course of the story, giving advice to Kratos and especially Atreus, particularly counseling him over the harsh reality of the world but comforting him that he's on a good path. Mimir refers to Kratos "brother" frequently, and then Atreus "little brother" once again after the boy gets over his Jerkass phase in Helheim.
    • Both Kratos and Mimir come to respect each other. Considering their nature as Jerkass Gods in a universe of Jerkass Gods, this says a lot.
    • By the end of the game, after Kratos and Atreus completed their goal of scattering Faye's ashes, they actually take Mimir back with them home.
  • After seeking out Freya's help after Atreus falls ill, just before Kratos leaves to retrieve the Blades of Chaos, he pauses and tries to apologize for his earlier words against her after finding out that she's a Goddess only for her to gently stop him and tells him that she understands why he would distrust a god before affirming that she would keep Atreus safe. It's a small moment that really shows how much Kratos has changed over the centuries, going from someone that only cared about himself to a person who's willing to admit and try to make amends for their mistakes.
    • What makes it better is that despite Kratos's natural distrust of gods, when push comes to shove and Atreus's life is in danger, he unhesitatingly seeks out Freya for help. Goddess or not, she has become someone he's willing to trust the wellbeing of his son with. Which only makes it all the sadder when Freya swears revenge against Kratos near the end for killing Baldur, her own son.
    • Also within this segment, after Kratos has retrieved the Blades and is headed to Helheim, Brok curiously asks Kratos where Atreus is, calling the kid a "little turd" in a clearly affectionate way. As soon as Kratos tells him the situation, Brok gives off a Little "No", asks for the names of those who might be responsible, and offers to help however he can, and including accompanying Kratos to Hel itself. In a rare moment of gratitude and sincerity, Kratos tells him that his work as a blacksmith is enough. After Kratos takes the heart, Brok teleports himself to Hel anyway and empowers Kratos' blades so he can escape. A strong demonstration of both Kratos' hidden heart (especially since he frequently proclaims that the dwarves are "annoying") and Brok's natural Big Brother Instinct.
  • Over the course of the game, Kratos goes from a stern and cold father who barely talks to his son only to issue orders, to a still stern but considerably more open father. At the beginning, Kratos never indulges his son in the surrounding world which captivates Atreus so much, but he opens up little by little, first by (badly) telling stories, and revealing glimpses of his past. When Atreus becomes very ill because of his contradiction as a god believing himself to be mortal, Kratos realizes how close he was to losing his son because of his closed heart and secretiveness and reveals his past, and opens himself up to several comforting moments, like sharing Lemnian wine (from an island close to Kratos' Sparta) with Atreus. He also begins to praise his son's combat prowess more openly and actively gives him counsel during fights.
    • As things progress Kratos also finds little ways to indulge Atreus while still being focused entirely on the task. For example, Atreus wants to help Brok and Sindri with their side quests but Kratos is entirely focused on the journey. If you go there anyway, Kratos specifies that he is gathering supplies for journey, but if Atreus wants to look around for what Brok and Sindri asked for, Kratos won't stop him.
  • Kratos deciding to pick a fight with a neutral Soul Devourer, even though they have already gotten the basic information they need on their quest involving it. Why go out of his way to fight something not actively attacking him? Because Atreus is terrified of it and Kratos wants him to help kill it. In his own admittedly slightly messed up way Kratos is helping his son overcome what fears he has.
  • There's a truly heartfelt scene with Kratos and Atreus in Tyr's Vault before Modi ruins it and leads to Atreus falling ill where Atreus, despite Kratos lack of interest in the subject, tries to teach his father to be able to read the Nordic runes around them. His reason? Kratos has taught him so much that Atreus felt he should teach him something in return.
  • For most of the game, the dwarven brothers Brok and Sindri work in separate workshops and only have mean words for each other. However, some words slip out here and there that show they care for each other still, and they finally make up near the end of the story, working together to forge a seal able to activate a secret passage to Jötunheim. Not long afterwards, Atreus apologizes to Sindri for speaking cruelly to him a few chapters earlier. Sindri tells him he's already forgiven.
  • The origin of Atreus' name. Atreus was a Spartan soldier who fought beside Kratos, a different sort of Spartan from the rest because still believed in the Spartans' capacity for kindness, even as machines of war. The Spartan Atreus sacrificed himself for Kratos and the other Spartans in battle, so Kratos honored the fallen soldier with a proper burial. And now, centuries later, Kratos names his son after this Spartan soldier. It really shows that despite his brutality, cruelty and ruthlessness, Kratos does value altruism and kindness and wants that to be what he passes onto his son.
    • When he regales his son of the tale of Atreus of Sparta, his tone is one of fondness and pride, not sorrow. Kratos views his Heroic Sacrifice for his fellow Spartans as a truly noble end. As a result, his son is impressed not just with the story but also the telling of the tale, noting Mimir would regret not being there to hear it. Kratos also says that the memories of Atreus brought him comfort in the worst of times.
      • He named his son after someone from the original series who was not scum in any way. The gods screwed him, life screwed him, here's someone who didn't, someone who was worthy of honour and being remembered.
  • Later in the game, Kratos asks Atreus to help him push a giant hammer lodged in ice, with all his strength. Nothing up to this point indicates that Kratos needs any sort of assistance, so it's clear he's trying to reward his son's diligence and growth by treating him as his equal.
    Kratos: Now dig in and push with everything!
  • After Atreus has to sacrifice his mother's knife to save Kratos from a trap, jamming it into a mechanism and getting it smashed, Kratos stops his son Atreus to hand him a knife. He explains that when Atreus was born he had two knives forged, knives that were forged from metals in Greece and in Midgard. Atreus takes it to be a coming of age token, signifying that he is now a man in Kratos' eyes, but Kratos corrects him that they are more than that (being gods) and therefore his responsibility is far greater. Kratos then adds in such a soft, pleading tone that he wants his son to be better than him, commanding him gently to vow that he will fulfill that promise. Kratos then comes back to the blade, saying that the power of that or any weapon comes from a warrior's heart; but it must be tempered by that warrior's mind, through discipline and self-control. Kratos has come a long way from when his life was dominated by his rage, and he's clearly desperate to make his son a good man who will not repeat the mistakes he made.
    • This applies to the other examples as well, but can we just say what a lovely depiction this is of fathers? It is nice to see a depiction of the healthy model for fatherhood: the father is role model for the son, providing an example for the son to lead a responsible lifestyle, but also protecting and nurturing the son until he is ready to assume the complete role of manhood. Kratos is far from a perfect person, but he clearly wants Atreus to live a good life, and especially one better than he led. It's a very simple and captivating depiction of a father's love for his son, and for someone like Kratos it shows that love can redeem even the darkest of souls.
  • When Atreus calls for Jörmungandr's help to free him and Kratos from Freya's ice attack resulting in the serpent charging in and attacking Freya, Kratos says "Well done, boy!" It's really sweet seeing Kratos compliment his son, especially after saving his ass.
  • In the ending, Kratos gently unwraps his bindings, and lets them fly off into the wind, and his expression changes to calm serenity. It seems, at long last, Kratos has finally forgiven himself.
  • Atreus convincing his father to have what might be his first purely heroic moment: rescuing Sindri from a dragon.
  • Atreus and Kratos share a bottle of Lemnian wine. This scene is one of the few times that Kratos remembers his time in Greece with fondness and after Atreus recoils from a sip of the wine, Kratos gently takes the bottle and downs the whole thing. Afterward he stares Atreus in the eyes and exhales confidently, which Atreus repeats.
  • Kratos has finally learned how to be a good person. He's not perfect, but all the fuck-ups, all the murders, all the sheer uncontrollable rage, it's finally gotten through to him - the cycle of murdering parents and children for their mistakes must stop because it never ends well; he and his son have to be "better" than the ancestors that spawned them.
    • On that note, the favors (side quests) show Kratos emotional development over the course of the game. The first set you get from the lingering spirits of dead men in the Lake of Nine have Kratos reluctantly agreeing to help, and only for a reward. After a while, he starts agreeing right away, and even if he does claim it's because it's "good practice", it's clear that's not the case.
    • One quest, for the captain of a failed expedition who wishes he could put to rest his reanimated crew, even has Kratos comfort the man by praising his good qualities in life and when Atreus naively regards him as a bad leader for causing the deaths of his men, Kratos responds with his views on responsibility and leadership, and that the captain fulfills the requirements for a good leader. In a rare moment of admiration from Kratos, he tells the captain that he was a great man for rallying so many men under his banner.
    Kratos: Even good leaders make poor choices. The best take responsibility for them
    • And to make it even better, you can find a note from one of the members of the ghost's crew, who causes them to get trapped on an island after they impulsively attempt to break into some sort of archive. The crewman, however, realizes that it's their fault that they're stuck there, rather than blaming the captain, and apologizes to the Captain for disobeying his orders.
  • Kratos calling Atreus 'son' for the first time at the peak of Jotunheim, after spending the entire game calling him 'boy' and occasionally 'Atreus.'
  • After they've finished scattering Faye's ashes, Atreus says he is "part giant and part god". Kratos immediately adds "and part mortal" - the mortal part coming from the only death at Kratos's hand that he's ever regretted when committing it, rather than several hundred years later: His beloved mother, Callisto. It's been several hundred years, but Kratos still remembers her. She's the only mortal tie he has and he chooses to remember her.
  • If you go into inventory and look at a golden skin for Kratos' shield, the description says it's a shield Faye crafted for Kratos on the anniversary of the day they met. Their relationship clearly meant a lot to Faye as well.
  • Jörmungandr looks relieved to meet Mimir. Presumably because Mimir is the only one who is capable of understanding him and speaking to him. According to Mimir, Jörmungandr is a "sparkling conversationalist". During the final fight with Baldur, Jörmungandr immediately answers Atreus' call for help despite his own injuries and attacks the giant. After the battle, Mimir gratefully recommends that they not bother Jörmungandr again and let him rest. Atreus understands and yells his thanks to him.
    • Also there is the fact that the Serpent decides to help Kratos and Atreus reach Jötunheim after an initial misunderstanding from Mimir. Why is he willing to help? It's because he understands Kratos and Atreus's loss, after all he witnessed Thor slaughtering everyone of his kind so he empathizes their suffering that he willingly offers his aid to them.
      • It's also because Atreus, as Loki, is his father. Atreus is a son helping his father; now Jörmungandr is too - it's why he answers; his father and grandfather are calling for assistance and he helps.
  • Any time you managed to liberate a Valkyrie's spirit from their feral physical form. However hard those fights are, it genuinely feels good to see the freed Valkyries spread their wings in joy and thank you for freeing them before returning to their duty, becoming the guardians of the slain they are famous for once more.
  • During a side mission to find a Dwarven vault filled with loot Kratos and Atreus get ambushed and Kratos tells Atreus that he wasn't ready. The next time Atreus proudly declares that he was ready and Kratos compliments. And finally, after one of the last battles Atreus asks how he did and Kratos proudly declares "You did well".
  • Sindri is the more cowardly of the dwarf brothers and hates blood. Kratos towers over him and it is clear he could never defeat him. But out of his respect for Faye he is willing to fight Kratos if he hurt her.
  • The love Kratos has for Faye. While he tells Atreus at times not to bother helping people when he speaks of Faye wanting to help others he says so with utter PRIDE and never insults or belittles her choices.
  • A mix of funny and adorable, when Atreus is told by Brok to speak to Andvari's ring. Atreus is amazed by this but Brok only cares about Andvari's possessions, this causes Atreus to hide the ring in his hands and say "you're upsetting him". Brok responds by saying that he doesn't care.
  • When Baldur attacks Kratos a second time, Mimir offers himself as a hostage so he can leave them alone, Baldur however isn't interested. Over the course of the game Mimir understands that neither Kratos or Atreus wants a fight with the Norse pantheon and he'd rather return to his torture than let Atreus or Kratos suffer the same fate.
    • After he's healed, Atreus thinks his father didn't want a "weak" son like him, having misunderstood what Kratos meant when he called him cursed. How does Kratos reply when Atreus says he knows the truth? He opens up a bit and tells Atreus the truth.
    Kratos: I am a god, boy. From another land, far from here. When I came to these shores I chose to live as a man. But the truth is: I was born a god, and so were you.
  • A small moment but during the sidequest for the spirit of a father betrayed and killed by his son, Atreus is incredulous that a son would kill his own father, expressing that though he gets angry at Kratos sometimes, he would never try to kill his father. It's adorable to see how earnest Atreus was and how Kratos sounded genuinely amused, much like any father would.
    Atreus: "His own father? I mean ... I get angry at you some times, but ..."
    Kratos: (amused) "Do you?"
  • When tracking down the ingredients to make the Dwarf King's armor, Kratos is advising Atreus that he shouldn't trust the legends such as the one behind the armor. When Atreus asks what does Kratos trust, he says point blank that he trusts Atreus who responds with a surprised "Oh".
  • This game shows that the Gods of Midgard are basically appalling with very little redeeming qualities. Whatever the failures of the Olympians, at least they had redeeming qualities - it was Pandora's box that made them all go loopy; before that, things seemed to be fine, if not perfect, on Earth but the Gods of Midgard, however, are willing to let everything go to shit. This shows in Kratos's development - yes, he has a flaw like the rest of the Olympians from which he descends, namely his usually uncontrollable temper, but he's trying to be better. The same can't be said for the Midgardians...
  • The Blades of Chaos are dull and scratched... then their master puts them back on and, immediately, they light up in flames again. They're working with their master this time, to save Atreus, rather than being a punishment to him.
  • The original God of War saw Kratos cast himself from the highest mountain in all of Greece out of despair, utterly alone and abandoned with no more will to fight. Here? He casts himself from the highest mountain in all of Midgard out of love, to save his son.

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  • Cory Barlog decided to put up a reaction video of him seeing, for the first time, the score for the game. He bursts into tears at seeing the high scores and thanks all the fans. To make it even better Cory reveals in the description that he only posted it because his son has been having problems crying in front of people, not wanting people to see him sad. Cory stated he wanted to do the video to show his son that it is okay to cry.
  • In a behind the scenes video, we see filming of a cutscene with Christopher Judge and Sunny Suljic doing their thing. After they finish a take, the two start playing patty-cake, with Judge being the one to initiate it.
    • It seems that Atreus isn't the only one nervous and uneasy around adults, as b-roll footage show Suljic to be quite nervous working on the game's mo-cap. Cory Barlog and crew are seen repeatedly comforting and encouraging Suljic and it's clear they are doing everything they can to make the experience comfortable and fun for young Sunny.
  • Who had the final say in the new actor to play Kratos? Sunny Suljic, as Barlog knew that the person Sunny got along with the best would make for the best Kratos.
  • This Guerilla Games artwork of Aloy giving bow aiming pointers to Atreus while a proud Kratos watches.
  • The very fact that God of War, one of the darkest, most mean-spirited and un-apologetically cynical franchises in Video Games, is willing to even entertain the possibility that its bloodthirsty monster of a protagonist has the capacity to love, change and become a better person.
  • This thank you video from the developers to the fans for their love, support, and creativity towards the game, released ahead of its one year anniversary.
  • Watching reaction videos of the E3 2016 reveal, seeing the fans light up in joy seeing Kratos is back. They grew up with Kratos' quest for revenge, believing his story (and life) had ended and moved on. Then they learned that their hero was coming back, to universal approval.
  • An open letter to Cory Barlog, from a son of a father.
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