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Tear Jerker / God of War (PS4)

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Even after all this time, he can't forgive himself...

"Oh come on, where's the 'Hug' button?! PRESS X TO DAD!"
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WARNING: Spoilers Off applies to Tear Jerker pages.

  • The demo shows an elderly and battle worn Kratos teaching Atreus, his son, how to hunt. You'd think there'd be plentiful amounts of him yelling and ripping heads off deer right? You'd be surprised that by now Kratos is not just battle scarred... he's worn out and tired. He just looks like he wants to lie down and sleep. A far cry from the battle hungry Spartan he started out as.
  • Even with the death of the Olympians, Kratos still has his wife and daughter's ashes bound to his skin. His nightmares may be gone, and he has now forgiven himself for his past deeds, but his original sin can never truly be erased. And that's just.... cruel.
    • At the very beginning, Kratos stares at his unraveling bandages covering his arms' scars from the various chained blades he's wielded in all of the past games. It takes him a while to silently compose himself before fixing them up.
    • Even more painful is the fact that he has to hide them from his son, meaning he hasn't forgiven himself.
  • The entire extended scene of Faye's Funeral, starting with the reveal of her wrapped body in the house up until Kratos gathers her ashes in a bag. You see the the sheer defeated and sad look on Kratos' face as he just looks at the remains of Faye and you realize that after everything he went through in the other games, he managed to find some semblance of love and companionship afterwards, only to be lost again.
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  • When Atreus misses the deer with his bow during the first hunt, Kratos explodes on the boy for his failure. It is terrifying, especially because this is Kratos, who has killed men and gods for less provocation. Kratos immediately composes himself, clearly realizing that he was this close to losing control over his son, and he spends the rest of the game tempering his anger towards his son's many mistakes.
  • The immediate aftermath of the first battle with The Stranger is not at all victorious. Kratos, for the first time since he fought the Colossus of Rhodes all the way back in 2, is clearly weak, exhausted and pained from the intense battle. While this alone is a somber reminder of just how old Kratos has become, his monologue as he limps back to his house makes it even worse.
    Kratos: Faye...what do I do? Our son is not yet 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. (Beat) But we cannot stay here...
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  • Atreus having to take his first human life in self defense (and with his dead body falling on top of the poor kid no less) he understandably begins to break down as Kratos tries to comfort him. It really brings home that, son of The God of War or not, he’s still a child.
  • Mimir's description of Odin's cruelty can tug a few heart strings, the description of how he had to endure torture for 109 years or even more makes losing his life to beheading better than enduring more of Odin's torture.
  • At the climax of the Alfheim section, once they reach the light, Kratos gets pulled into the Light of Alfheim. This entire scene is filled with tearjerker after tearjerker. It begins with Kratos hearing Atreus showing his grief over his mother's death, and his frustrations with his father, to the point where he wishes that Kratos died instead of her, before immediately showing regret that he even said that, because he admits he loves him, but "wishes he was better." The real kicker of the scene comes when Kratos is on a bridge, and it looks like he sees someone, he reaches his hand out, and he calls out to Faye, his second wife, and Atreus' mother. But then, Atreus pulls him out, leaving Kratos to cry out "NO!! COME BACK!!" and afterwards, he snaps at Atreus "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!" and the heartbroken look on Atreus' face as his father yells at him for saving him. If anyone had any doubts that Kratos loved Faye just as much as his previous wife, it would be dispelled with this scene.
    • It gets worse. After pulling him out, it's revealed that Atreus had been waiting a "long, long time" for Kratos to come out. Word of God revealed that Atreus waited "at least a whole day" for Kratos while he was in there. And throughout that entire time, he had to fight off a horde of Dark Elves. While it's incredibly badass that he pulled this off, it is terrible to think that he was left to fend for himself a whole day. Atreus is understandably upset, especially at Kratos "leaving him again" after promising not to do so after the fight with The Stranger. Kratos, meanwhile, was completely unaware that he was gone for so long, because for him it felt like "only moments passed".
  • During the tail end of the Alfheim section, Atreus, who has been snarky and rude to Kratos throughout the leaving due to a perceived "leaving him again" when he was trapped inside the Light of Alfheim for a long time, when in reality, Kratos believed that he was only gone for mere moments; responds to Kratos not seeing his wife, and Atreus' mother in the Light (Which is a lie), with "Not like you would even care if she was". Kratos, having finally had enough of his son's backtalking sass, especially because of such an insensitive comment, snaps at Atreus for saying it with an utterly heartbreaking line, that puts into perspective why he's been The Stoic throughout the journey so far:
    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.
    Atreus: I'm sorry. I didn't know.
    Kratos: No. How could you? You don't know my ways.
  • The death of Baldur. Yes he was a jackass, yes he was insane.... but the way Kratos killed him you could just tell he sincerely hoped there was another way he could've stopped his insanity. Even his words about how the Cycle of Revenge has to end is rather sad. Then of course there's Freya's reaction... aka how ANY mother would react to seeing her son murdered, even if it was to save her life.
    • It's even more saddening when you realize that Baldur was essentially what Kratos used to be, someone who felt slighted by the gods and became obsessed with revenge above all else. Kratos wasn't just trying to stop Baldur from killing Freya, but to also prevent someone else from walking down the same dark path as he did. Unfortunately, it didn't take.
      • Wanna make it worse? Baldur's fate wasn't done because his mother hated him, though he clearly feels that way, but because she loved him TOO MUCH and wanted him protected from all harm... and in the process it seems she didn't realize HOW MUCH she took from him. He was going through pure sensory depravation and he hated her for it ever since... even calling his past self in Helheim a coward because he didn't kill her.
    • Kratos has shown extreme restraint during the moments before the final fight. Baldur was walking towards Freya, no doubt with the intent to kill, and Kratos got between them, however, instead of immediately fighting him, Kratos offers one last advice towards Baldur about the path he's walking, where it will not lead to peace. Kratos, of all people, knows what is like to walk that path and he's still suffering the consequences. Kratos would have spared Baldur if he had just given up that path, but Baldur was just too far gone to where Kratos had no choice but to fight and ultimately kill him.
      Kratos: This path you walk... vengeance. You will find no peace, I know.
      Baldur: You. I will deal with you later. But family first.
    • Not to mention Freya spends the entire fight trying to separate them, begging them to stop, holding down her own son more than anything because she doesn't want them to fight at all. Even when the fighting is done and they point out he got what he wanted with the spell being broken, Baldur is determined to kill her to make her pay for the 100 years he spent without being able to feel anything.
    • Atreus is at first confused by Freya's grief and vengeance, since Baldur had done nothing but express his desire to kill her. Kratos softly explains to his son that it's a feeling only parents would understand: the desire to ensure that their child survives regardless of what happens to the parents.
      Atreus: So you'd let me kill you?
      Kratos: If it would mean that you lived. Yes.
    • What's equally tragic and heartwarming about this line is that Kratos' own father, Zeus, did the complete opposite, trying to kill his own son to ensure that he himself lived.
    • Tying into the above, Kratos has already gone through this with his brother Deimos. Despite having ascended to the status of God of War, he barely puts up a serious fight against Deimos and lets his brother beat the shit out of him. By the time Deimos is captured by Thanatos Kratos is so badly beaten he's vomiting blood and can barely move, just like after the Colossus of Rhodes smashed its hand on him. If it came down to a fight between him and Atreus, Kratos would likely do the same thing.
    • Before Kratos kills Baldur he says "The cycle ends here". A YouTuber pointed out that this was a repeated line from Zeus in God of War 2, after he stabbed Kratos with the Blade of Olympus. Not only that but Kratos says the line sadly, as if he knows the consequences of killing Baldur and that he's put both himself and Atreus in a deadly position with the norse gods.
    • Also worth mentioning in terms of call backs, is a subtle one to Ghost of Sparta. When Kratos comes to rescue his brother Deimos his brother is deeply embittered by Kratos' failure to save him from Ares, and moves to attack him. During this encounter Deimos flat out says "I will never forgive you." Hearing Baldur say the same thing to his mother Freya must have been very haunting for Kratos.
    • In his final moments, drops of snow land on Baldur's face. He has a look of pure bliss as he, for the first time in years, feels something as simple as snowflakes touching and melting on his skin.
      Baldur: Snow...
    • The line ends up becoming nightmare fuel when you remember that Baldur's death triggers Fimbulwinter, the three year long winter that brings about Ragnarök.
    • Even Baldur's last words to Kratos invoke a sense of sorrow. For all intents and purposes, Baldur does have a point when he gasps (through Kratos' vicegrip) "WHY? Why do you even CARE? You could have just walked away!" The Kratos of old would have had no problem letting Baldur deal with Freya, and the Kratos of this game (at least the beginning) was all about living his life in peace and solitude. If he could have, he would not have gotten involved in the affairs of the Norse gods. But he wants to set the right example for his son, and has already seen what happens when he isn't fully invested in doing what is right. Kratos' last line before offing Baldur is particularly telling.
      Kratos: The cycle ends here. We must be better than this.
  • Go ahead and get a game over to see what happens. Atreus' reaction to seeing his own father dying is gut-wrenching. Particularly if he yells "No! Don't leave me alone here!" which makes sure that you know that, god or not, you've abandoned your young son in the middle of a harsh wasteland filled with danger.
  • At the end of the game, Kratos and Atreus finally scatter Faye's ashes at the top of the highest mountain among the nine realms. It is a very solemn and sorrowful scene as they pretty much say good bye to her, and that she's in a way returned to her home: Jötunheim, the realm of the Giants. Made even sadder with the fact that Faye was The Last Of Her Kind and you see the mountains of Jötunheim only to realize they're not just mountains, but the bodies of all the Giants.
  • Kratos' relationship with Atreus. The guy looks scared to be a father to him because Kratos doesn't want to repeat his history and he's trying his hardest to not lose control of his wrath.
  • During their adventure together, one of the conversations Kratos can have with Atreus is Kratos telling him a story. It's a metaphoric fable about a horse, a stag, and a hunter. But if you pay attention, and if you're familiar with Kratos' story, it becomes incredibly obvious that this fable is actually about himself, and the fateful deal he struck with Ares in the name of revenge against the barbarian king, and he's telling it through metaphoric prose in hopes of teaching his son to not let himself be swallowed in the same vengeance he had.
    Kratos: There was... a horse. The horse sought vengeance against his enemy, a stag. But he could not kill the stag alone. The horse met a man, a hunter, and made a deal. He took the man's bit and bridle, and allowed him to ride in a saddle on his back. Together, they killed the stag, and the horse tasted victory...But the hunter would not release the horse, and made a slave of him.
    Atreus: So getting revenge cost him his freedom. Hope it was worth it.
    Kratos: [Solemn] It was not.
    • Another story Kratos tells is that of a frog and his son, who have to leave to find a new home after their pond dries up. When they find a well, the son, seeing water below, makes to jump in, but the father frog stops him, as they would not be able to escape the well should the water in it dry up as well. Atreus complains that the story is boring, remarking that if the son jumped in while the father watches helplessly, unable to save his son, it would make for a better story. If you imagine that this story as another metaphor for Kratos and Atreus, then Atreus jumping down a hole, down a dark path, one that Kratos has been down before and fears he cannot save his son from, is Kratos' worst nightmare, and Atreus just casually suggested it would be more interesting. And considering what the ending reveals, this may just be the fate of both father and son...
  • When Atreus and Kratos discover the runes describing Atreus's destiny, including events that just happened and Kratos correctly says it is Atreus's story. Atreus considers this and concludes that Faye has never been wrong, which Kratos agrees with. As his son leaves, he looks at the final hidden painting just revealed by the wind, showing that Kratos will die in Atreus's arms. Given Atreus is Loki, it is not so subtly stated that Kratos's death will probably be the event that kicks off the beginning of Ragnarok. Much of Kratos's efforts are trying to prevent Atreus from going down the same dark path he himself went, and the fact that in life he manages to prevent it, his inevitable death will be the one that sees his own actions repeated.
    Atreus: Come on! We're close to the end!
    Kratos: [Staring at the hidden last mural, in a tone filled with foreboding] Yes... Yes we are.
  • Both of Zeus's cameos in the game. When he first sees Zeus, Kratos actually says "My father" in a remorseful tone. It indicates Kratos apparently became appaled at killing his own father. When he sees Zeus the second time, it is the scene at the finale of the previous game where Kratos beats Zeus to death, with Atreus witnessing it. Atreus is trying to tell Kratos about something important, but Kratos starts with "You saw" before they have to leave. Kratos did not want Atreus to see his father like that.
    • His two voice torments are just as tough to hear. The first one where he says "Such chaos. I will have much to do after I kill you.", and Atreus asks who it is. Kratos does not answer, but the deflecting statement he gives indicates he does not want to tell his son his past. The second one is even more gutwrenching, as Hel then has Kratos say "Face me father. It is time to end this." with Zeus replying "Yes my son, it is time." and a horrified Kratos says "No...", before Atreus asks if he knows who it is, while Kratos simply says "I... do not know...".
      • It's a subtle touch, but Kratos isn't remembering Zeus's lines properly. In God Of War 3, Zeus's tone held some rage and eagerness to fight, but here it's neutral. Kratos is so guilt-ridden that he forgot his dad wanted to kill him.
  • When Kratos returns home to retrieve the Blades of Chaos before he finally picks them up his hands physically tremble for a moment. There's a part of Kratos that is genuinely terrified to pick up perhaps the greatest symbol of his bloody, hate-filled past.
    • The novel explains why Kratos kept the Blades of Chaos despite their painful history. He cannot be rid of them, at all, the blades always find their way back to him under the most contrived circumstances. For example, he tried to dump them in the ocean but the sea itself rejected them and destroyed his boat. He washed up ashore with the blades next to him. After this incident, he gave up and buried them beneath the floorboards as a forced reminder of his tragic history and destructive rage.
    • As he retrieves his Blades, Athena's ghost taunts him from the doorway, giving him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech by mocking his attempts to change by being what he's not. The things she lists fail to get a reaction from Kratos... except for when Athena lists "father." What probably twists the knife more is the implication that Kratos still hasn't fully forgiven himself for murdering Calliope and Lysandra, as that act alone, more than all his god-killing, is what truly defines him as a monster, and he is terrified that he will screw up worse with Atreus.
      Athena: There's nowhere you can hide, Spartan. 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 will never escape. You cannot change. You will always be... a monster.
      Kratos: ...I know... ...But I am your monster no longer.
    • Just to add a new angle to this is the lyrics when Kratos uncovers the Blades: "Útlægr Gud Smán födur Von modur Und svídur Ger fortíd upp." In English: "Exiled god, Father’s shame, Mother’s hope, Wounds remain, Confront the past." Faye, being a Jotnar, knew what would happen to Atreus, but felt powerless to change anything because of her goal to defeat the Aesir.
    • What makes it even more gut wrenching is that Kratos knows he has no choice but to do this or else Atreus will die of his illness. This is because Helheim negates all Norse magic, but the Blades of Chaos being Greek magic most certainly will activate. The fact that he's doing this out of love for his son doesn't make the pain of having to relive such a dark time in his life any easier. Also keep in mind these same Blades of Chaos he uses to save his son are stained with the blood of the family he himself slayed ages ago, in effect redeeming their purpose — even if it took centuries for them to be used for the right reason.
    • Behind-the-scenes footage shows Christopher Judge actually crying while filming this scene. In interviews he speaks of going to a very dark and regretful place for all the terrible things he has done wrong to his own children. That is why this scene is so powerful and heartwrenching.
    • When Kratos kills the gate keeper of Hel and pulls out his heart, the man just has this look that screams exhausted and/or remorseful as he carries out an action that in the past he would've done without a second thought. What usually would've been an epic moment in the past games is instead played off here as a somber moment for Kratos. Again, all done because he loves his son.
    • All of this only occurs after Kratos carries an unconscious, dying Atreus from Tyr's Vault to the Witch's house. The entire way there he never moves faster than a hurried walk, cradling his son in his arms, clearly terrified of doing anything that might hurt the boy further. When he has to wait on the elevator up to the Witch's door, he starts pacing back and forth, unable to control his nerves as his child's life hangs by a thread.
    • One need only listen to how desperate Kratos sounds as he begs Freya to help him, pushing against the door and pacing impatiently. He sounds like a completely different person, almost wheezing from the effort of shouting.
      • And to top it off, the thing that causes Atreus' illness to reappear so rapidly? While Kratos is being tortured by Modi, Atreus enters a Spartan Rage, but only holds it for a few seconds before collapsing. This seemingly proves to Kratos that his Godly blood is what's causing Atreus' illness, and his reaction mirrors that of many parents whose children suffer from some hereditary illness they gave them.
        Kratos: I did this to him?
  • During a sidequest, the two encounter a river spirit, who was killed by his own son. Atreus gives a brief Flat "What" before the spirit admits he killed his own father. Atreus is utterly stunned in disbelief, and turns to Kratos. Kratos has his back turned with a look of horror and remorse on his face, and in a rare case in the game, does not even answer Atreus's question. It shows that after all this time, Kratos has still not gotten over his murder of his father, and that he feels utterly remorseful for it.
  • Kratos spends much of the game keeping Atreus in the dark about his divine heritage to shield the boy from potential grief, but it's increasingly apparent that the primary reason is that he's afraid of the conversation. When he finally decides to come clear, Kratos has his back turned to the boy, bracing for impact. How does the boy react? Like a child would: he excitedly asks if he can change into an animal. Kratos can only stare and parrot the question in disbelief, as if realizing how idiotic and pointless his secrecy is.
    • What makes this scene extra sad is what finally causes Kratos to tell Atreus the truth. Not because he had to explain why he was sick, but because Atreus overheard Kratos talking to Freya about their godhood being a curse, leading Atreus to misunderstand and think his own father hates him and is cursed with a son he never wanted. The idea alone is what finally causes Kratos to tell him the truth.
      Atreus: You said I was cursed... You think I'm weak because I'm not like you. I know I was never what you wanted. But after all this, I thought... maybe things were different.
      Kratos: You do not know everything, boy.
      Atreus: No... but at least I know the truth now...
      Kratos: The truth... The truth. 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. (is met with silence) Boy? Have you nothing to say?
      Atreus: I'm...Can I...turn into an animal?
      Kratos: Can you turn into an animal? No...no, I do not think so.
  • The sound of disgust in Kratos's voice when he sees the brutal beating Thor gave Modi off-screen, especially when Modi says it was his own father. Kratos is disgusted to see the son beaten so brutally for something he did not commit, especially given that his own father tried to do the same thing to him.
    • The reason why Modi was beaten in the first place, Magni getting killed by Kratos, counts as one. Despite their bickering, Modi was clearly devastated at his brother's sudden death. While he's recounting what happened to him, he sounds completely heartbroken by Thor's accusations and abandonment.
      • And while it doesn't justify the brutal beating... imagine Thor's reaction to finding out Magni was killed. More then likely while raging he was trying to process that one of his sons, someone who actually was prophesied to survive Ragnarok itself, was murdered while his brother just left him behind like a coward, or worse for all he knew Modi could have just let him fight all on his own against Kratos, and dared to try and excuse why he came back to him without his brother.
      • This might also remind veteran players of the beating Zeus gave to Hephaestus in God of War III.
  • After killing the Mountain Dragon. Atreus is all happy and cheerful about how they went from just hunting lessons to taking down creatures of legend. When Kratos reprimaced Atreus for being too cocky. Atreus replies that it just felt nice to be strong. Which Kratos hesitantly agrees. You can feel the impactful weight since he knows all to well how being strong is.
    Atreus: It feels like it wasn't that long ago we were hunting deer. Now we fought dark elves, and trolls, and ogres and even a dragon! I feel like we can beat anything now!
    Kratos: We win because we are determined. Disciplined. Not because we feel ourselves superior.
    Atreus: Sure...I know...It's just...It's good to feel strong. You know?
    Kratos:.....Yes. I know.
  • When Kratos and Atreus walk among the many objects collected by Tyr from around the world Kratos walks over to the table holding objects from Greece. At first he opens a wine bottle and seems to get lost in the scent (we find out later that it was a wine made on the island of Lemnos near Kratos' birthplace Sparta) which most likely made Kratos nostalgic if not a bit homesick. Then he sees a vase painted with the younger version of Kratos as the Ghost of Sparta, standing on a pile of bodies while screaming at the heavens. Kratos can only stare in silent horror as he examines it and you can almost feel his shame as he reflected on the man he was.
    • And then Kratos smashes it before Atreus can get a good look at it (granted, he was wearing an Egyptian crown that was far too big for him). And when Atreus sees one shard that depicted the image of Kratos standing over the bodies and screaming, he remains silent.
    • A subtle moment. When Kratos nostalgically sniffs the wine, he remembers his home and looks like he's considering returning at one point so he can show Greece to Atreus. However this idea is quickly crushed when he sees the painted vase and remembers why he can't and shouldn't return.
  • It’s heartbreaking to watch Atreus, the sweet and humble little boy, become increasingly and disturbingly cocky and downright rude after finding out he’s a God. At one point, he yells at Sindri for constantly talking about Brok and remarks “Yeah! We don't care about little people's little problems!” This leaves Sindri close to tears and Kratos absolutely stunned.
    • If you go to buy stuff from Sindri right after, it's clear from what he says that Atreus basically completely broke the poor sensitive guy.
      Sindri: (entering the shop) I guess I can muster the energy...
      Sindri: (entering the shop again) ...Can't guarantee you'll like my work...
      Sindri: (while switching to Atreus' gear) Sure you wouldn't prefer Brok help you instead?
      Sindri: (leaving the shop) Don't need me anymore, huh?...
    • This isn’t the first time Kratos had been stunned at Atreus’ behavior. After Atreus has an outburst and tells Mimir “Quiet, head!”, Mimir states that he’s acting more and more like Kratos with each moment which visibly pains Kratos.
  • Kratos carrying Atreus being ill. The coughs are hard enough for a parent to hear when playing the game, but seeing the boy grow pale and lifeless is painful. Kratos was desperate. This is the only time in the whole series where he asks someone for help instead of demanding. He was practically begging Freya to heal Atreus.
  • It's a bit sad when you think about Jörmungandr's situation. According to Mimir he's a "sparkling conversationalist" but he's trapped in a time where nobody understands his language or are too terrified to speak to him. No wonder he looks happy to see Mimir, he's the only one who's happily capable of having a conversation with him.
  • Atreus's fate. As Loki he will be father to the Jörmungandr, Fenrir, and Hel, and these will fight against and slay the gods of Asgard at Ragnarok. Kratos's family will continue his legacy of destruction. Kratos's hope for forgiveness and redemption for his crimes is doomed to end in failure.
  • The ending, when you discover that Faye was intentionally trying to activate Ragnarok through Atreus and Kratos, makes one wonder if Faye even loved her husband and son, or was just using them to avenge her people by kick-starting the apocalypse.
    • Even worse is that it makes one wonder if any of the Aesir Kick the Dog moment were anywhere near as bad as portrayed or just propaganda to trick Atreus and Kratos.
    • Possibly subverted, as Kratos, being from Greece, is not bound by Ragnarok and can alter it, meaning either Atreus could have inherited one good thing from his father after all, or at least Kratos can steer him away from that path.
  • Meta: The announcement that Kratos' mocap actor, Shad Gaspard, died saving his son from drowning. Makes any quote from Kratos in this game utterly heartbreaking in hindsight.


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