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Pictured: Kratos (left) on his way to work.

This page is for the God of War series as a whole. If you're looking for the first video game in the franchise with the same name, please click here. If you are looking for the 2018 installment of the series, please click here.

"The gods of Olympus have abandoned me. Now there is no hope."
Kratos, God of War

God of War is a Hack and Slash and Action-Adventure video game series for the PlayStation line by SCE Santa Monica Studio. To put the setting in simple terms, imagine the world of antiquity where all the omnipresent saviors and detrimental scourges found in countless mythology textbooks exist. One Spartan soldier, Kratos, has a personal relationship with the gods that can best be described as complicated. A brutal, tormented man, Kratos begins the series as the sword of Olympus, fighting the enemies of the gods while trying to escape the horrors of his past.

The first seven games features a simple, intuitive combat interface that made fighting remarkably easy. Kratos's default weapons are the Blades of Chaos, which are swords on the ends of very long chains; they function as both melee weapons and Whip Swords, or perhaps Sword Chucks. Face buttons allow the player to jump, switch between Weak and Strong attacks, and use throws and Finishing Moves, stringing together combos and special moves in a visceral and satisfying combat engine that combines graceful, almost balletic special attacks with the gruesome satisfaction of literally ripping enemies in half. Many enemies and all boss battles have unique finishing moves involving Action Commands; boss battles in particular become highly cinematic Puzzle Bosses. Finally, besides dodging and rolling, Kratos gets access to magic spells. These typically include: a ranged attack; an area-of-effect attack; a ray that causes enemies to freeze somehow; and a swarm-of-souls attack that damages everything in sight.

In 2018, the franchise had a Soft Reboot with differences in storytelling and gameplay. Centuries after the events of the previous games, Kratos settles down in Scandinavia after meeting his second wife and tries to leave his past of brutality and violence behind to become a better person for his new child, Atreus. After Kratos' wife passes away, he and Atreus go on journeys of self-discovery and betterment as they make new allies and foes from the beings of Norse Mythology. Features such as jumping outside of designated areas and magic were removed, at the same time that Kratos gained new playable companion characters assisting him, as well as creating an opportunity for much more Dialog During Gameplay. Another innovation is Kratos' new primary weapon, the Leviathan Axe — a frost-infused battle axe which can be used in puzzles and combat alike to freeze enemies and mechanisms, and, much like Thor's hammer, always returns to its wielder's hands. Runic attacks, a light and a heavy one, are used to grant powers to each weapon, and enchantments and talismans give specific abilities to Kratos in gameplay. Furthermore, armors with different capacities can be crafted and improved in Dwarven shops with resources and hacksilver to give certain powers to Kratos and change his status at the player's choice, such as vitality, strenght and defense. The narrative is also more character-driven, with an over-the-shoulder free camera and one continuous shot without cuts or loading screens accompaning Kratos as he tries to follow a path of redemption.

Each is also something of a "hack-and-slash" game, and that's not just in reference to the bloody combat. Primarily in the action/adventure genre, God of War included platforming and puzzle aspects as well. These usually involved Kratos swinging over bottomless chasms, pushing blocks into position, and so forth.

There have been nine games in the series thus far:

    List of Games 
  • God of War was released for PlayStation 2 in 2005. Kratos begins by declaring that "The gods of Olympus have abandoned [him]" and flinging himself over the tallest cliff in Greece; the rest of the game details How We Got Here. In this extended flashback, Kratos is charged by Athena with the task of killing Ares, the God of War, who has declared war on Athens; to do this, he will have to dungeon-crawl through the Temple of Pandora and find Pandora's Box, which contains in it the power to kill a god. In return, Athena offers him absolution for his Dark and Troubled Past, in which he served Ares as a Blood Knight and was manipulated into slaying his beloved wife and daughter. After a long, arduous journey, including being killed but escaping from Hades, Kratos succeeds at his labor. Athena, unfortunately, was only speaking literally — she forgives Kratos' sins, but she cannot take away his personal guilt or end his recurring nightmares. Kratos, despairing, re-enacts the game's opening scene. Athena saves him, however, and says she has a consolation prize for him: with Ares dead, there is an empty throne on Mt. Olympus...

  • God of War II was released for PlayStation 2 in 2007. Kratos, now the new god of war, leads his Spartans in a bloody conquest of Greece, heedless of the mutterings of other gods who think he's out of control. Zeus takes matters into his own hands by stripping Kratos of his godhood and slaying him. Kratos escapes Hades with the help of the titan Gaia, who tells him to travel to the Island of Creation, where The Hecate Sisters work the Loom of Fate and can change his destiny. After a game's worth of adventures, Kratos uses the Loom to travel back to the moment of his death and manages to escape with his life... but Athena gets involved in the resulting brawl, leading to her death. She reveals that Zeus will never stop trying to kill him, because of a recurring Greek prophecy that the current king-god will be overthrown by his son. Zeus did it to his father Cronos; Kratos might do it to Zeus. Kratos, now royally pissed off, changes his goal from "survive" to "kill my father," and uses the Loom to help the Titans stage a full-on invasion of Olympus. Cliffhanger.

  • God of War: Betrayal was released for mobile phones in 2007. Taking place during Kratos's crusade as the new god of war, Kratos finds himself in hot water when he's framed for the murder of one of Hera's pet monstrosities. It also details Kratos's blood lust getting the better of him, leading him to Shoot the Messenger—in this case, Hermes' son Ceryx, who had come to warn him that the gods thought Kratos's blood lust was getting the better of him. Whoops. (This the only game besides Ascension that does not feature a visit to Hades.)

  • God of War: Chains of Olympus was released for the PlayStation Portable in 2008. Taking place ten years before the first game, it details the first time Kratos was used as a sort of celestial hit man. Morpheus, the god of sleep, is running rampant, because Helios, god of the sun, has gone missing. Athena has Kratos look into the matter, and he discovers that Persephone has masterminded the situation. Feeling betrayed by her Arranged Marriage to Hades, she has kidnapped Helios and given his power to the titan Atlas, who plans to destroy Olympus with it. Kratos must abandon his daughter Calliope and bring an end to Persephone's scheming... permanently.

  • God of War III was released for PlayStation 3 in 2010. Picking up exactly where II left off, it details Kratos and the Titans' assault on Olympus. After killing Poseidon, Kratos is betrayed by Gaia and tossed into the underworld, but escapes and begins to climb Mount Olympus, killing all who stand in his path—Hades, Perses, Helios, Hermes, Hercules, Cronos, Hephaestus, Hera—and learning that Pandora's Box still exists, now deep in the Labyrinth and guarded by an eternal fire which can only be snuffed out if Pandora herself immolates herself on it. This proves troubling, because as Kratos escorts Pandora through the dungeon, he begins to think of her as a daughter. Kratos wants to kill Zeus, but he also wants his family back. Which one will he choose?... (Who are we kidding, it's a video game. But there's sufficient Character Development to make us believe that Kratos actually has qualm about killing Pandora, so, kudos there.) This is officially the end of the trilogy, but not the franchise.

  • God of War: Ghost of Sparta was released for PSP in 2010. It starts with a flashback to Kratos' childhood, in which he trains with his brother Deimos. Deimos is believed to be The Chosen One who will topple Olympus, and so he is kidnapped by the gods, particularly Ares. In "the present day" (some time between I and Betrayal) of gameplay proper, Kratos decides to find out what became of his brother.

  • God of War: Ascension was released for PlayStation 3 in 2013. A prequel set six months after Kratos murdered his family, it features Kratos' attempts to find a way to deal the Furies, who punish oathbreakers, with the help of a new companion Orkos in order to kill them so that he can break his blood oath from his own dealer Ares. This is also the only game in the series that has a multiplayer mode.

  • God of War: A soft reboot of the series released on the PlayStation 4 in 2018. Centuries after the events of III, Kratos now lives in the woods of Midgard. Having turned over a new leaf and tamed his rage, Kratos has gained a new family in Faye, a mortal huntress, and then Atreus, his son, from whom he hides his true nature and past. Faye has just died, and Kratos and Atreus now leave their home to scatter her ashes at the top of the highest peak among the nine realms. The quest reveals itself to be harder than anticipated as several mysterious Norse Gods pursue them for unknown reasons, and the peak is in Jötunheim, the realm of the Frost Giants whose passages are closed off.

  • God of War Ragnarök was released in 2022 on the PlayStation 5 and the PlayStation 4. Set three years after the previous game, Kratos and his now adolescent son have been surviving Fimbulwinter that started after the death of Baldur. However, the Aesir, especially Odin, have begun their advances on the two, forcing them to set off on another journey across the realms. Learning of their part to play in Ragnarök, they decide to seek out Tyr, the Norse god of war, in hopes to stop the aforementioned apocalypse.

Kratos has also made guest appearances in the following games:

The first seven games don't change much from the original; the combat interface is almost completely unchanged, and while Kratos loses his magical powers at the beginning of each game, the new magic granted to him each game closely resembles the powers he earned in the previous.


The games provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    A-D 
  • Aborted Arc:
    • A secret video of the original game had Kratos revealing that he trapped Ares' soul inside a secret room and he will eventually use it against the gods. It is never mentioned again and by the end of the third game, it is unlikely it will be brought up ever again.
    • Another video showed Cronos' remains being discovered in modern day, with soldiers entering Pandora's Temple. Any idea they had for this sequel would have been radically different than what we got.
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The Sewers of Athens in the first God of War are wide enough enemy legions to walk shoulder-to-shoulder and cut you down. They are also tall enough to have balconies out-of-reach of Kratos' jumping from which undead archers will fire down upon you.
  • Accuser of the Brethren: The Greek Gods are more or less this, given that Athena tells Kratos that while they will forgive him for killing his family, they will never let him forget. However, Athena also notes even the Gods couldn't forget what he did, so it's less intentional than others.
  • Action Commands: It wasn't the first game series to feature them, but every single action command you see in games these days is because of how popular the series made them.
    • The first seven games occasionally prompt Kratos to press a random button to kill certain enemies. Doing so spawns a bunch of orbs that increase his life and magic meters. Some enemies require action commands to be beaten: while for Mooks the finishing move is optional, they are required on bosses, which allows the game to turn each boss's demise into a Video Game Setpiece. God of War is the father of Quick Time Events.
    • God of War III put a nifty, helpful spin on the standard formula: the on-screen prompt for each button appears relative to its position on the controller. For example, the prompt for the Triangle button is near the top edge of the screen.
    • The Norse games generally only use quick-time events during cutscenes, rather than when being prompted to finish off an enemy. Unlike the previous game, you can often wait indefinitely to press the button with no consequence.
  • Action Prologue: The series typically starts out by, as Yahtzee put it, "throwing you into the middle of a pitched battle just in case you thought you might be playing something with a modicum of restraint."
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptational Badass: Some of the gods are depicted as at least likely being much stronger than the Greek Myths presented them as. Ares, the Big Bad of the first game, is presented as a titanic warrior who requires a MacGuffin for Kratos to have a fighting chance against, where in the Greek myths he was a coward that would run away from a fight at the first sign of trouble despite being immortal (though Ares as an Adaptational Badass is also done in every other adaption of him—including Roman mythology), and Persephone in Chains of Olympus, who has never been dreaded for her close-quarters combat skill, is presented as being able to fight Kratos in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Practically every god who appears is presented as a giant asshole so the player won't feel bad about Kratos murdering them. No matter how kind, wise, or heroic they're generally portrayed in their actual legends.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Typhon is just another Titan in this series and is far less powerful than in the original mythology. Typhon was not a Titan but a monstrous enormous beast and the only being Zeus feared and almost singlehandedly overthrew him but was defeated.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom:
    • A few times; the first two (one each in God of War and God of War II) are defeated by killing off the horde of Mooks that spawns on top of you, while the second is actually a time-based puzzle where you have to open a door.
    • A new variation appears in the new 2018 game. Kratos is trapped while water rises around his position, and his son Atreus must solve the puzzle before Kratos drowns. It doesn't help that Spikes of Doom in the ceiling threaten to skewer them both shortly after.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Zeus. In the third game, it's revealed that he wasn't actually fully evil, he was just consumed by the evils of Pandora's Box, which came out when Kratos opened it. Though going by Greek Mythology, he was a Jerkass God before that and the box only made him worse.
    • Baldur in the 2018 reboot, whose gift of invulnerability came at the price of being unable to feel anything, and who was manipulated by Odin into believing that tracking down the heroes would result in Odin's lifting this curse for him.
  • All for Nothing: Four examples:
    • In Chains of Olympus, Kratos spends most of it chasing after his daughter in the Underworld, even going so far as to give up his weapons, magic, and appearance. Then Persephone comes along and reveals that the world is about to end, and the only way for Kratos to save it is to sacrifice being with the child he fought so hard to be reunited with.
    • While fighting Ares, the God of War traps Kratos in a separate dimension where his family is attacked by dopplegangers of him. He succeeds in defending his family, only for Ares to rip his weapons out of his forearms and kill his wife and child again. Although, it is possible that Lysandra and Calliope were just magic duplicates and thus had no chance of living at all, but the effort is still in vain.
    • The original game and its prequel Chains of Olympus have Kratos doing various tasks for the gods in exchange for freedom from the nightmares caused by him murdering his wife and child in blind rage. As it turns out, they never explicitly said they would do that, only that he would be forgiven for his sins, making ten years of servitude almost completely pointless.
    • In God of War III, Athena tells Kratos he must open Pandora's Box to destroy Zeus and spends the game trying to get to it and extinguishing the lethal flame guarding it. He rescues its namesake with the intention of offering her to the flame, but he has a change of heart and cannot go through with it. Then Zeus appears, and after the first of three final boss fights, Pandora runs to the flames. Kratos catches her and tries to prevent her from getting sucked in, but Zeus pisses him off so much he releases Pandora to tackle Zeus. The flames are gone, Pandora is dust, and Kratos opens the box to reveal... Nothing. It's empty, rendering pretty much the entire game and the Pandora plotline moot. The soundtrack for this moment is even called "All for Nothing".
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In-game example. It would explain how Kratos can score threesomes so easily.
  • Already Undone for You: When Kratos traverses the dungeons to get to Pandora's Box/The Sisters of Fate, he finds that hundreds of adventurers have died trying to get the treasure as well. (Their bodies are lying all over the place, and you even fight a few others en route in the second game.) This is all very well and good, except that not only do many of the doors require all manner of oddly shaped keys to open (from a ram's horn to specific human skulls) but also in order to progress it is often necessary for Kratos to smash through walls and on occasion destroy entire buildings. Apparently the temples rebuild themselves every time someone eats it on the way there.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: In Chains of Olympus, one of the first things you do is try to open a door via Button Mashing tutorial... only for a Cyclops wielding a giant pillar to smash through immediately and teach you about Button Mashing and Press X to Not Die. As if that wasn't enough, then a Basilisk smashes in and devours the Cyclops whole.
  • Anachronic Order: The chronological order of the series is Ascension, Chains of Olympus, God of War I, Ghost of Sparta, God of War II, God of War III, God of War (2018) and God of War Ragnarök. The ambiguously canonical Betrayal takes place between God Of War I and II, either before or after Ghost of Sparta.
  • Anachronism Stew: If you're looking for accurate Greek history, God of War is not the game for you. Kratos, before ascending to godhood, is somehow a veteran of both The Trojan War AND the Greco-Persian Wars, despite the 700 year time gap. Probably the most egregious example is Kratos finding the Archimedian Screws in Atlantis. Never mind that Archimedes died in 212 BC while Atlantis sunk in 9600 BC.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Helios is implied to be this, as his head is implied to still be alive. At least the screaming part is taken care of...
    • Following a secret message in the original God of War, Ares' soul was confined to a small chamber in Kratos' throne room, to be tormented by an unknown force. This part may have been retconned out (see Aborted Arc).
    • Dear God, what Aegaeon the Hecatonchires goes through in God of War: Ascension. For starters, when he broke his oath to Zeus, the Furies hunted him down and put him through the mother of all Fates Worse than Death: having his body hollowed out and turned into a giant prison for those who followed his example. And then Megaera uses her parasites to infest different parts of his body and turn them into monsters to fight Kratos. Judging by the way his eyes are moving when Megaera infests his head, he's still alive and fully conscious through it all.
    • God of War: Chains of Olympus: After being defeated by Kratos, Atlas is shackled and forced to stand atop the Pillar of the World, carrying the world itself on his shoulders for all eternity.
    • God of War II: After providing the Fires of Olympus to mankind, Prometheus was punished by Zeus by being stripped of his powers, chained to Typhon's fingers, and being disemboweled and Eaten Alive by a giant eagle every day, his wounds automatically healing by nightfall. Kratos actually ends up Mercy Killing him at his own request by burning him alive in the Fires of Olympus.
    • Later revealed that the Olympians, most notably Zeus and Hades had planned this for Kratos, wanting him to suffer their personal tortures for all eternity, if dialogues during their boss fights were any indication. Zeus due to the fear and paranoia that Kratos was out to usurp the Olympian Throne, and Hades due to Kratos murdering his nephew, niece, wife and his brother by the time of their boss fight. Needless to say, Kratos made sure their plans came to nothing.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Kratos becomes the new God of war.
  • Antagonist Title: Subverted in the first game. The Title Drop at the end makes it clear that Ares was not actually the title character, but Kratos, who takes his place and will soon cause serious harm himself.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: When you're killed, you continue from the last checkpoint you passed, with the same amount of health. This can get really annoying if you had low health and there are no orb chests between you and whatever killed you. However, continue from the same checkpoint enough times in a row and your health begins to increase slightly each time. You're also offered a chance to lower the difficulty if you're consistently dying in the same area again and again...which falls apart when the difficulty levels only change combat difficulty, and you're far more likely to die repeatedly on the platforming sections.
  • Anti-Grinding:
    • There are a limited number of enemies, preventing you from grinding to get Red Orbs and in addition, after you kill enough number of respawning enemies, they will not spawn anymore Red Orbs. However, you can circumvent this once- the area where you get Medusa's Head has enemies that respawn unless you kill them by petrifying them and you have infinite magic until you accomplish this. While they quickly stop giving you Red Orbs from killing them, you can still get them for getting large combos, which is easily accomplished by endlessly spamming Poseidon's Rage on them.
    • There's also another way to get an unlimited amount of Red Orbs later in the game, but this relies more on a Good Bad Bug which involves killing a Harpy at a specific location so that it falls on specific piece of level geometry while dying, gets stuck in its dying animation and continues spewing out an endless stream of Red Orbs.
  • Anti-Hero: Kratos, despite being the hero of the story, is a sociopathic warrior who has little to no compunction over the numerous lives that he has taken. His only humanizing trait is his love for his wife and daughter. Later, Pandora's influence does help him to examine his actions. He actually seems genuinely regretful when he observes the damage he caused after his final battle. But the franchise must continue and Kratos must slip back to his basic character. In God of War III, he kills gods and titans that he himself, though unknowingly in this case, is responsible for making evil in the first place. Interestingly, Kratos is pretty close to what antique cultures would've considered "heroic". It could even be argued that in the transition from the second and third installments, he went from anti-hero to villain himself, making him no better than the gods he was hunting down and murdering. Hints of this are shown all over the saga, even in the first game, and after he replaced Ares to become the same, or even worse. The fourth game has him refer to the events of the older titles with regret, and he actively fears Atreus would follow in his footsteps.
  • Anyone Can Die: Kratos' mission in life is to put this trope to the test. He even gets himself killed a half dozen times (not that they stick but...) Rule of thumb is that if a character shared a scene with Kratos, they would die horribly. Considering the games are literally about killing the Greek Pantheon, it shouldn't come as a surprise.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Kratos gets this problem at the end of the second game when he finds out Zeus is his father. It takes him the whole of the next game to actually kill him.
  • Arc Words: "We must be better". The Norse saga has a story about overcoming your nature and rise as a better version of yourself, and this phrase appear at many times when a character think that we can change, and can take a better path.
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • How about all those sheer cliffs Athens seems to be built near? Not to mention the adjacent desert.
    • How about how Kratos WALKED from Crete to Sparta in Ghost of Sparta?
  • Art Shift: The Greeks Saga as a whole is characterized by an edgy, exaggerated and cynical "spikes and leather heavy metal gothic-punk" style that is popular amongs the rebellious emo-teen culture of the 2000's, whereas the Norse Saga adopts a more realistic, melancholic and classically Heroic Fantasy aesthetic.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Athena in God of War III. Thanks to her Heroic Sacrifice saving the life of Zeus she has become an Angel creature that lives along the River Styx. She's also fully transparent.
  • Asshole Victim: Kratos is a sociopathic Villain Protagonist who systematically murders the gods, but the one saving grace is, almost all of them are even worse than he is. Zeus most of all, seeing as Kratos is his own son, whom he betrayed out of fear he'd overthrow him. (In game, all were previously corrupted by Pandora's Box, but even compared to the original mythology, this depiction isn't far off.)
  • Asteroids Monster: The green Cerberus-like creatures in the first game.
  • Atlantis:
    • Referenced in God of War III in the battle with Poseidon, who claims that; "Atlantis will be avenged!" hinting that Kratos had a hand in the city's destruction, which is hardly surprising.
    • Kratos travels to Atlantis in Ghost of Sparta. You guessed it: Kratos sinks it.
  • The Atoner: Kratos feels guilt from the very beginning of the series, but how and why he acts on it changes with each game.
    • Kratos may be on a Redemption Quest in the first game, but it's only because he wants to be able to sleep at night without being assaulted by memories of the awful deeds he has committed in the past, including murdering his own wife and child in blind, furious conquest. He has little to no qualms about slaughtering just about everybody he encounter if need be, either. By the start of the second game, he's stopped caring about redemption altogether, and just goes back to trying to help Sparta conquer the world.
    • In the third game he had the power of hope inside of him the whole time after opening Pandora's box to fight Ares. He kills himself (or rather severely injures himself) with the Blade of Olympus, letting its power seep into the now ruined world and Athena is simply disappointed in Kratos. It is indeterminate if this was to truly atone or to spite Athena. It may have been a combination.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!:
    • From Chains of Olympus:
      Soldier: (while trying to fight off a Cyclops with his fellow soldiers) Flank him! Flank him! (Cyclops squashes one of the soldiers) Flee! Flee for your lives!
    • From the Novelization:
      Athenian Soldier: (while running from a Minotaur) Run! You have to run!
      Kratos: (with scalding contempt) Spartans run ''toward'' the enemy.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The series absolutely loves this trope.
    • The first game features, among its bosses, a Hydra so large it more or less takes up the entire level, a gigantic robot/cyborg/Steampunk minotaur, and Ares, who could probably wrestle Godzilla.
    • The sequel has Kratos get in on the act briefly, pulling a Godzilla-Of-War on Rhodes, and then fighting the Colossus of Rhodes while normal-sized. While Zeus is close to Kratos' size the time you fight him, he's still noticably larger than the already-abnormally-large Kratos. Titans, giant monsters, and oversize gods abound in the rest of the series.
    • But in the 3rd game, the biggest enemy of all may be Cronos, who seems bigger than the SEARS TOWER! To give perspective, when he tries to squish you, your chain-swords can make a small mess on his fingernails. Not to mention the fact that he carries on his back the entire Temple of Pandora, which was the setting of the first game. If not him, than Poseidon may be the biggest boss out of everyone. The base of his body was at the base of Mount Olympus where the ocean is. The rest of his body was busy fighting Gaia and Kratos, at least halfway up the mountain.
    • Ascension gives us Aegeon the Hekatonkheires. And he's the tutorial boss.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: Scylla in Ghost of Sparta and later Poseidon himself in III. Both are type 2.
  • Attack Reflector: Kratos could do this once he obtained the golden fleece (or Helios shield in the prequel) and once he levels up his regular shield with enough XP in the reboot. It even works on gorgon stares and leads to a Playing Tennis with the Boss match with Persephone in the prequel.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Rage of the Gods in the first game. It grants Kratos invulnerability and increases his damage. However, it takes a long time to charge. And even when you do fill it up, it's best just to save it for the nearest boss fight, because once it's on, you can't turn it off. The second game onward fixed this problem, with being to turn the Rage off at will, though you still couldn't use it unless the meter was full.
  • Awesomeness Meter: Each game has a meter that fills up by killing enemies (or, more rarely, collecting gold orbs) and briefly grants Kratos invulnerability when used - Rage of the Gods (God of War), Rage of the Titans (God of War II), Rage of Sparta (God of War III), and Spartan Rage (God of War (2018) and God of War Ragnarök).
  • Axis Mundi: The Greek era has two Axes Mundi: the Pillar of Olympus, which supports the Temple of the Fates as well as the whole surface of the Earth, and the Chain of Balance, a titanic chain connecting Olympus on one end and the Underworld on the other one. Kratos indirectly destroys the first one by killing Persephone and breaks the second one in his quest for Pandora.
  • Back from the Dead: Kratos has escaped from the Afterlife not once, not twice, not even thrice times but four times. Whether through the aid of a disguised Zeus, disgruntled Gaia, astral Athena, or sheer rage at death, Kratos just can't stay down.
  • Badass Boast: Hera manages to threaten better than most gods Kratos with just her words by making it clear her maze is more deadly than the arms of Hercules.
    Hera: (in Hera's Garden) Your brute strength may have bested Hercules, but your simple mind could never find the way out of here. I look forward to watching you die here, as an old man.
  • Badass Normal: The Last Spartan who somehow survived the wave of energy Zeus unleashed with the Blade of Olympus that practically killed every other Spartan and Rhodes soldier within a thousand meters then somehow manages to get back to Sparta and survive its destruction at the hands of Zeus, then somehow travels to the Isle of Creation and somehow makes more progress through the island faster than Kratos.
  • Bag of Spilling: Each game finds a way to start Kratos off without his upgraded equipment and alternate weapons.
    • Justified. At the end of the Chains of Olympus, Athena and another god (believed to be Helios) relieve Kratos of his swag to explain why he doesn't have all that cool stuff in God of War I
    • Completely unjustified in Ghost of Sparta, where Kratos has none of his gear from the first game and then doesn't retain any of his gear from this one going into the second game.
    • Kratos starts the second game with (some of) his gear from the first, only to be tricked by Zeus into discarding it.
    • Despite occurring minutes after God of War II, you only retain the Golden Fleece, Icarus Wings, and Poseidon's Trident at the beginning of God of War III. Most of your powers are soon stripped when you fall into the River Styx.
    • The fourth game again justifies his lack of previous weapons in that he starts off in a completely new realm, having left is old life behind many years ago. Averted slightly, in that the Blades of Chaos are stored beneath the floor boards of the family home. You start the game with just about all your gear you'll use almost immediately, however.
    • In the fifth game, it is downplayed; Kratos has his axe and blades from the start, as well as items from the previous game, like the Bifröst and Thamur's chisel, but both he and Atreus have none of the equipment, enchantments, runic attacks and talismans they gathered three years prior in God of War (2018), as well as the upgrades in their weapons. It is explained the Fimbulwinter has corroded all magic in the realms, meaning most of their items had been rendered dysfunctional by the time the game is set.
  • Bald of Evil: Kratos at his worst can get just as evil and treacherous as he is bald or the other way around. He was a murderous conquerer even before making a Deal with the Devil, killing his family, and butchering the gods who keep Greece alive, leaving the land as bare as his head.
  • Bastard Bastard: Kratos slaughters dozens and burns cities to the ground out of his hatred for the gods, only to learn that they not only abandoned him in his adulthood, but also in his infancy. Zeus was his father, which doesn't dissuade the spartan at all from destroying Greece to kill the god who abandoned him twice.
  • Beard of Barbarism: The Barbarian King is also the KING of this trope with his giant, black beard, thick pelts, and massive hammer all making him a perfect epitome of fictional barbarism.
  • Beast Man: Most of the enemies are armed soldiers with bestial features, ranging from satyrs to minotaurs to centaurs and even to elephantaurs seen in Ascension. The servants of the Fate, while not resembling any major mythological character, otherwise fit this trope.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Oh, Ares. If you wanted to make Kratos stronger, why didn't you redirect his anger toward someone else rather than you? Talk about asking for it!
  • Behemoth Battle: God of War III opens up with battle between the Titan Gaia and Poseidon's One-Winged Angel form.
  • Being Evil Sucks: The more murderous Kratos is, the worse his life becomes. In his backstory, his thirst for conquest leads to his slavery to Ares and the death of his family, while his search for vengeance in the series only leads to misery for his home of Sparta and the deaths of those few he still cares about. It's only when he starts to hesitate to kill that he forms lasting bonds and happiness through his relationship with his second wife, son, and friends in the Nine Realms.
  • Berserk Button:
    • In Hera's final scene, Kratos actually tries to go around her, even though she tried to have him killed several times, until she calls Pandora a whore. And you have an over-the-shoulder view facing Kratos when she says it. From this vantage point, you just know that she's going to get it. (Talk about your assisted suicides, though she was drunk as a skunk on all her scenes)
    • Occasionally when people remind him of his family and what happened to them. In the third game, Hermes becomes an amputee for his troubles and Kratos actually lets Pandora go into the flames—something he was trying to desperately prevent—and beats Zeus to undeath when he mentions it.
    • Probably Kratos' angriest moment in the series (which is really saying something), is when Thanatos kills Deimos.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Oh dear, where to start?
    • The series begins with Athena asking you to kill her brother, who turns out to be your brother. By the time you figure that out, it turns out your dad wants to kill you, because he tried to kill his dad for eating his siblings. So you decide to kill him with the help of his grandma, but along the way you kill your step-mom, three of your half-brothers, and two of your uncles.
    • The Aesir gods from the Norse mythology have a similarly screwed up family dynamic. Odin is an abusive father who fews his family members as pawns, Freya is an overprotective mother to the point of stealing her son's ability to feel against his will, and Thor is a drunk who killed his mother's people because his father forced him to.
  • BFS:
    • The first game features the second weapon Kratos ever uses, the Blade of Artemis. It's as big as Kratos himself and does much more damage and knockback than the Blades of chaos do at the same level.
    • The second and third game both feature the Blade of Olympus, a fairly similar blade even taller than Kratos and Zeus that was mighty enough to single-handedly defeat an army of mountain-sized Titans.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: It's pretty hard to actually sympathize with a Sociopathic Hero like Kratos, but the games help out by making the gods he face leagues more despicable. Kratos may kill a boat captain in his way, but Ares will crush a city, Zeus will incinerate loyal soldiers, and Odin will enslave an entire realm.
  • Blinded by the Light:
    • Perseus in God of War II uses his reflective shield to blind Kratos several times in his boss battle.
    • Aside from using it as a makeshift flashlight, Kratos can put Helios's severed head in God of War III to great use by blinding enemies with it. In fact, employing this strategy is how you're supposed to defeat Kronos the Titan.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage:
    • A plot point. Kratos needs the power of the Golden Fleece to continue past some unavoidable obstacles. The armor can deflect nearly anything, even the Blade of Olympus wielded by Zeus himself. The ones the Fleece can't block are those attacks with a surface area large enough to hit parts of Kratos the fleece doesn't cover him. Sometimes it makes less sense, such as when the third punch in a three hit combo from Zeus in God of War III hurts him.
    • The Guardian Shield from the Norse games can block lightning bolts, streams of lava, and blows from a god with none of the electricity, heat, or force from the blows doing even a fraction of damage to Kratos. It doesn't matter if the blow comes from a jaw too large for the shield to block or if the blow still has enough force to send Kratos sliding back a couple dozen yards, if the attack can be blocked, you don't get hurt.
  • Blood for Mortar: The temple that contains Pandora's Box also contains the tombs of its architect and his family- apparently the gods required their sacrifice for the temple's construction. Some of the puzzles found within require the family members' skulls as keys.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Ancient mythology was more violent than you'd think, but this series takes it up to eleven.
    • Ramping it up with III, to the point where the studio said some screenshots are so violent, they cannot be released on gaming news websites without being censored. They have an independent engine in place to animate enemies being ripped to pieces and having their organs fall out. Some highlights: Kratos disemboweling a centaur, complete with falling organs; a much more graphic animation of Kratos ripping the eye off Cyclopes, with blood flooding out of the socket and sinew hanging from the eye and finally, Kratos ripping off Helios' head. Yes, that Helios.. aAnd then using it as a flashlight.
    • Ragnarok ups the gore closer to the level of the Greek games after the 2018 soft reboot toned the violence down. You'll fight dozens of normal humans in the game who you can now decapitate, impale, and immolate to your hearts content, with all the blood you'd expect.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Kratos, obviously. He delves into this at varying times in his life. It definitely applies in his backstory in the first game, as well as the interim between the first and second. During the games he seems to have a definite cause he's fighting for, but between them, he's more than happy to just go out and kill whatever the gods point him at.
    • Ares, who's the freaking GOD OF WAR himself... well until Kratos took over.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: The series has Zeus throwing his lightning at you in the latter two games during the battle with him.
  • Book Ends: The first begins with Kratos jumping off the highest mountain in Greece saying "the Gods of Olympus have abandoned me." He jumps off a cliff again saying nearly the exact same line near the end of the third game, while in a vision caused by being killed (temporarily) by Zeus. Also, The Stinger at the end of the third game shows a blood trail leading from where Kratos' body used to be to the edge of a cliff off Mt. Olympus.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The series does this, but only in concept. While you can mix your light and heavy attacks to make some really cool looking moves, on higher difficulties, the only reasonable way to make progress is with the grapple moves. It instant deaths minor Mooks, sometimes killing others in the area, and you're invincible while you do it most of the time. Granted the grapple moves are pretty cool to watch, but mashing Circle seems like a really boring way to fight.
    • The best attack to use when you're getting swarmed by enemies that you can't grab is to repeatedly spam your Square-Square-Triangle attack. It's short enough that enemies have a hard time hitting you out of it or blocking it mid combo, and it knocks enemies into the air, stunning them. Too bad it's basically the shortest combo.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy:
    • Pandora's Guardian, the giant, armored, demonic, fire-breathing zombie minotaur, fights Kratos in a narrow corridor with some sort of ballista mechanism at one end of it; Kratos can use the ballista bolts to chip away at its armor, and eventually defeats it by impaling it on the door at the other end of the room.
    • Clotho fights in an arena filled with deactivated traps that aren't at all suited for hurting someone the size of a normal human. Kratos, of course, uses them to kill her in an elaborate puzzle boss battle.
    • Perseus' preferred tactic is to use his helm of invisibility, then either sneak attack Kratos with his sword or take potshots with his sling. Unfortunately for him, he is forced to fight Kratos in a room with a shallow pool of water, meaning you can use the ripples and splashes to help figure out where he is.
    • In the third game Hercules is wearing armor made from the pelt of the Nemean Lion, whose golden fur is nearly impregnable. Heracles by extension would also be invincible, were it not for his tendency to stop, bellow loudly, and drop his guard with a bum rush long enough for Kratos to counter it and slam him into one of the walls of spikes set up around the arena that keeps him in place long enough for Kratos to remove his armor.
    • The mountain dragon from the 2018 game choses to attack you near a nearly endless supply of crystals that explode upon contact with its lightning breath. Without them, you'd have nearly no way to reach or damage the thing.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Greek game had a couple minions who seem like normal enemies, but are far hardier than their fellows monsters.
    • The Centaurs. They almost never flinch, love interrupting your combos while you fight smaller mooks (because they always come with smaller mooks), have a crapton of health, and the QTE when they grab you requires super-human reflexes to win. The finishing move on them is one of the squickiest of the game, but you won't mind. Chimeras are a similar case, although they are arguable easier to deal with. Since there are only three centaurs in the first game, they could be considered Elite Mooks or minibosses.
    • The Satyrs actually pay attention to your attacks and punish you for poor timing, making them incredibly difficult to deal with in groups or when fighting under time pressure. A testament to their difficulty is that you only fight them three times in the third game, with their last encounter being the penultimate fight before the final boss.
  • Boss Remix: In the third installment, the final boss battle with Zeus has this song that contains sections from Zeus' Wrath Divine from the first God Of War and The Isle Of Creation from God of War II. Both remixed themes appeared in final boss battles of their respective games.
  • Boss Tease: At one point during the Challenge of Hades segment in Pandora's Temple, the player passes a huge set of locked doors. Later, in the end of the Challenge, these doors unlock and immediately something starts to hammer them from behind. After passing a Save Point and walking through a door that closes behind, it becomes obvious to the player that the room he/she is returning to is actually a Boss Room. When the player reaches the gate, the doors swing open and suddenly we're facing a frikin' gigantic cyborg minotaur.
  • Bowdlerise: If you have played the Japanese localized version of the first three games, you'll notice the naked breasts and the sex moans of Kratos' conquests have been censored.
  • Breaking Speech: In God Of War III, Hermes deconstructs Kratos in the path of the Caverns and he can only listen. Before his death, Hermes gives another one to Kratos, and later on, it's revealed that it registered on Kratos; something Zeus had use of during his mind attack on the K-man.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    • The sex minigame in God of War III is with Aphrodite depending on who you ask. If you're of the "Aphrodite is Zeus' daughter" school of thought then yes. If you're of the "Aphrodite was born from the foam of Ouranos's severed testicle as it hit the seas" school, then it's a whole lot more complicated...
    • Also Zeus and Hera, Aphrodite and Ares, Aphrodite and Hephaestus (both with the same snag as above)...really, divinity just doesn't care. It's Greek Mythology. They don't care.
  • The Brute: Hades relies more on hitting Kratos with his chain blade things than the magic or minions of the other gods, and his second form relies on NASTY physical attacks.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • Theseus can't help but mock and challenge Kratos even though the god-killer has no beef with him. He ends up dead as Ares was.
    • Go ahead, Hermes, taunt Kratos about how he killed his family. Never mind that he's been known to kill out of spite.
    • The 2018 game subverts this in the opening. In the opening, the tatooed strangers starts mocking and aggravating Kratos as the music builds up in anticipation of Kratos laying a well-deserved smack-down on this idiot. Kratos lays him out with one punch and it seems like he's down for the count, only for the man to get up, send Kratos rocketing into the air with one punch, and fighting him on equal terms.
    • Heimdall is so used to dodging every blow that he mocks people as a matter of principle, so when he comes across Kratos, he can't help but poke fun. Kraots pokes back.
  • Butt-Monkey: The ship captain. Also a borderline Yuppie Couple, seeing as Kratos has managed to kill him three times in two games. (Alas, he doesn't appear in the third, but you can read a note from him.)
  • Byronic Hero: Kratos vacillates between stoicism and bombastic rage with little emotion or expression in-between, but in his greatest moments of vulnerability, we see he's a man of deep love who never forgets those he's lost and will do anything for those he still has.
  • Cain and Abel: Kratos ends up killing many of his half-brothers in his quest to kill his father Zeus, but he doesn't seem bothered by it. However, his conflict with his mortal brother Deimos from Chains of Olympus is far more personal for him.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • Sheer murderousness aside, Kratos has a few striking similarities with Hercules of legend, including accidentally killing his own family in a fit of madness, as well as his habit of tearing apart monsters and using their body parts as armor or weapons (see Hercules skinning the nigh-invulnerable Nemean lion after he killed it and wearing the skin, and dipping his arrows in the poisonous blood of the Hydra). It becomes all the more amusing when Hercules finally shows up in God of War III and claims that Kratos is stealing his thunder. Considering that Kratos has already killed the Hydra and an abnormally powerful lion himself, he may well be right.
    • The developers actually feared that Midway would view Kratos' design as this to the Mortal Kombat character Quan Chi and file a lawsuit. However, not only did Midway not care, but Boon actually liked the character enough to include him as a Guest Fighter in Mortal Kombat 9, complete with many of his signature moves and original voice actor.
  • Casting Gag: The series did this twice: Perseus is voiced by Harry Hamlin and Hercules is voiced by Kevin Sorbo, roles the actors previously played in the original Clash of the Titans and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys respectively.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: The first two games make use of this in combination with the games' static cameras, making it so the player will only actually notice the waterfall with treasure behind it if they specifically set out to see if something's behind it.
  • Chain Lightning: The Nemesis Whip is a visual pun on this; it's yet another chain-weapon for Kratos, and it produces chain lightning.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: By the end of the trilogy, the only named characters left alive are Artemis, Thyphon, Atlas and Aphrodite. If we count the other games, Eos, Morpheus and Thera can be added to the mix. But Atlas is the only character whose survival can be really confirmed since the world hasn't fallen down from not being sustained by him The ending is still surprisingly hopeful. However, Kratos's survival is confirmed by the 2018 sequel
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the first game, Kratos uses a statue's sword as a bridge immediately after saving the Oracle. In the final battle, he uses it after Ares strips him of all his abilities, and stabs the God of War through the chest. In the second game, the Fates use their time-travel powers trying to prevent this gun from being fired.
    • In GoW III, at one point you take a brief trip inside Gaia while trying to save her from one of bigform-Poseidon's crab-horse-claw-things. You pass by her very heart, the passageway to which was opened up by Poseidon's attacks. Three guesses as to where the final fight of the game takes place, and the first two don't count.
  • Chewing the Scenery: You have no idea. To explain: Kratos chats it up with Atlas in the second game by screaming and yelling at the top of his lungs, since the huge monster's ears are about a thousand feet away. He uses the same volume and emphasis any time he's angry.
  • Clothing Damage: Happens to Kratos over the course of the series. His outfit in most of God of War II is the remains of his God armor from the beginning of the game, and there's even less of it left in God of War III.
  • Colossus Climb:
    • In the sequel, the player climbs on and inside a literal Colossus: the Colossus of Rhodes and faces Titans so massive their bodies often are the stage.
    • Doing the math on Kronos, his fingernail is right next to six foot Kratos, so it's about 30 foot long. A fingernail on a normal person is more or less half an inch long, so doing the proportions, Kronos would be over 4,000 feet tall if he ever stood up. The stage induces fake difficulty at some points due to the sheer perspective of the wide angle shots.
  • Combat Commentator: A drunken Hera provides a surly commentary to Kratos's fight with Hercules, starting with an almost-motherly "Now you boys play nice!"
  • Combat Sadomasochist:
    • Some of Hades' taunts imply that he may be one of these.
    • Baldur relishes the pain Kratos inflicts on him after his invulnerability curse is broken, as he had passed the previous one hundred years without feeling anything, neither good nor bad.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Kraken has these, as does Ares. Scylla too.
  • Come Back to Bed, Honey: "Stay, Kratos. Just a bit longer."
  • Compilation Rerelease: The God of War Collection on PS3, which includes the two PS2 games, updated to run in 720p at 60 frames per second and with PS3 trophies. It also include sa code for unlocking an exclusive ''God Of War III'' demo and, of all things, the District 9 Blu-Ray.
    • Happening again with God of War Origins Collection, also on PS3. This has both PSP games, updated to HD with optional stereoscopic 3D. Now the only game not on PS3 is the mobile phone game Betrayal.
    • The first two God of War games have now been made portable with the release of the God of War Collection on the Vita, with the trophies of the PS3 version included and a control scheme that utilizes the touch screen and rear touch pad.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Dear God! In Ghost of Sparta Kratos walks around into an erupting volcano and has no trouble whatsoever. Also Scylla got a stream of magma poured on her and she barely flinched. Also with King Midas later, as he puts his hand in boiling lava and still survives (if in immense pain)
  • Continuity Nod: Several references to the previous works of the franchise are made in the Norse era through Kratos' dialogue, such as his battle with the Sisters of Fate and Poseidon's hippocampus, his servitude to Ares, the loss of his brother Deimos and Zeus' death in his hands.
  • Cover Drop: All three games of the Greek era did this. In the first two, the title screens turn out to be the first frame of the opening cutscenes, and in the third one, it shows Kratos silhouetted against the world after it's been plunged into eternal chaos, which just so happens to be the last cutscene of the game.
  • Crapsack World:
    • Even before everything that happens in God of War III, life in Greece wasn't exactly peaches and cream, thanks in no small part to the Jerkass Gods running the place. If you're a human, you have two choices; Lawful Evil gods who view you as little more than a plaything or possession, and are only good in that they represent stability, or a demigod who's Chaotic Evil at worst and a Nominal Hero at best and might kill you for no other reason than you're in his way while he's having a bad day, which is often.
    • The Norse setting is no picnic either being a Grim Up North land filled with monsters, and it's implied some kind of disaster happened that left several settlements and villages deserted with only undead. Not only are its local gods just as bad (if not worse, since its implied the ruined state of the world is their doing), but Ragnarök - the end of the world - is just around the corner.
  • Crashing Through the Harem: In God of War II, your escape from the Colossus of Rhodes's rampage takes you crashing through the ceiling of a bathhouse where two women wait in a state of undress. You can stop and have sex with them by hitting the action button!
  • Creepy Mortician: The Gravedigger from the first game is happy to dig a single grave as Athens burns, even promising that it is for Kratos without a hint of menace. He is unnerving at the time, though turns out to be Zeus.
  • Crossover Cosmology: While it predominately focuses on Greek mythology, creatures from outside the Greek pantheon have appeared. Chains of Olympus features the appearance of a Basilisk and an Efreet, both from Arabian mythology. God of War (PS4) takes place within Norse Mythology, but Mimir was apparently a Celtic deity originally and according to the relics found in Tyr's Vault, Egyptian, Japanese, Mayan, and possibly other realms exist as well in this universe. And if the mural of the Three Wise Men being guided by the Star of Bethlehem in the Temple of the Fates in God of War II is any indication, the big-G God and the angels are out there.
  • Cross Counter: Kratos and Hercules have one of these when Kratos steals the right Nemean Cestus. If Kratos wins the duel, he will steal the left Nemean Cestus. Zeus and Kratos has one of these in the end.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: One of the most notorious traits of the series in general. Many are the times when you are forced to do something cruel or spectacularly brutal to someone in order to advance.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Pretty much the final moments of any boss fight, but the ones in III are especially painful to watch (for some, at least). Even if you're into watching people getting their heads stomped on, you can't help but flinch a little...
    • There's also a Curb Stomp War early on in God of War III: the Gods manage to down a half dozen of the Titans climbing Mount Olympus within the first ten minutes of gameplay, and the rest more or less are beaten off-screen. Odds are, without Kratos on the Titans' side, the war would have been wrapped up in a half hour with the Gods being victorious.
  • Curse of The Ancients: Ancient Grecian Sociopathic Hero Kratos often uses the term "By the Gods!" as an exclamation. Given that he is ancient, it's highly appropriate for his setting.
  • Cutscene Incompetence:
    • In the first game, Kratos, despite killing the Hydra and retrieving Pandora's Box, is killed by a pillar thrown by Ares (though to be fair, he does escape from the Underworld).
    • In God of War III, after killing Poseidon with his bare hands, Kratos is sent all the way back down Mount Olympus and into the Underworld yet again by a single lightning bolt attack from Zeus.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: If Kratos were allowed in normal gameplay to pull off acrobatics and feats of strength a fraction as impressive as the ones he does in cutscenes, a huge chunk of the games obstacles would suddenly cease to be an issue.
  • Classical Cyclops: The Greek series, being based on Greek Mythology, has these as recurring enemies in a few varieties, typically resembling hulking, neckless giants with a bulging white eye; some have horns. A common method of finishing them off is to rip their eyes out, which you can trade in for goodies. God of War: Ascension has Polyphemus as an especially gigantic cyclops boss on the multiplayer map "Desert Of Lost Souls".
  • Darker and Edgier: The games claim to be this in regards to their Classical Mythology source material. God of War I and II are around the same level of darkness, but III manages to one-up the original stories by a mile. Let's face it, works like The Odyssey were dark, but they didn't involve the death of the gods and catastrophes of apocalyptic scale.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Hades, averting the stupid stereotype, and who has genuine reasons to hate Kratos, as well as the implication that all of his less likable traits are the Pandora's Box fault, except maybe greed, if the manuals are to be considered reliable (and thus adding Fridge Logic to his plans for Kratos).
  • Deal with the Devil: Kratos' brilliant military career (as well as his life) was almost cut short when his army faced a numerically superior army of Barbarians, in a battle that only lasted a few hours. Kratos promised his soul to Ares in return for destroying the Barbarians, and Ares gladly obliged. This marked the beginning of Kratos' fall from grace.
    Kratos: "ARES! Destroy my enemies...and my life is yours!"
  • Death by Irony: In ancient Greece, worshipers of Hades would knock their heads on the ground so the god of the underworld would hear them. What does Kratos do to Hades immediately before stealing his soul?
  • Death Is Cheap: Well, it is for Kratos anyway, though it makes little sense. Kratos can leave the underworld if he's dead and does so about four times, but nobody else can seem to even if Hades wants them to.
  • Death of the Old Gods: Kratos doing his thing. Especially in III. At the end of his quest for revenge, Kratos has killed most of the deities he met, while the ones left unscattered likely vanished in the chaos he created, effectively completely annihilating the greek Pantheon. In the series the are several clues suggesting that with all the greek gods and goddesses destroyed, humanity will reborn and embrace monotheism, making Kratos an unconscious catalyst for the age of man and Christianity.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Each of the first three games has a magic item that's just a severed head from someone Kratos killed and uses by holding it in front of his enemies. The first two games have Medusa and her sister and the third has Helios, whose magic can be activated just by shoving it in someone's face. The Norse games have a much lighter situation with Mimir, who himself asks to be decapitated and revived, as it was the only way for him to be freed from his prison, and accompanies Kratos as an adviser and friend for the rest of his journey.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The giant lava minotaurs from the second game explode when defeated. So do Ares, Athena, Thanatos, and to a degree the other gods in other ways except Hephaestus. Not all deities, though, like not Helios or other goddesses.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • Gorgons in the first game. Medusa serves as the introduction to the enemy type as well as a demonstration of how to perform a special grab kill, but every Gorgon you meet from that point on is not only a standard enemy, but stronger than she was. Even the ones you meet just a few minutes later.
    • In God of War (2018), the Dark Elf Lords are relatively weaker versions of the Dark Elf king Svartaljǫfurr who act as Elite Mooks.
  • Dem Bones: The second game has introducers reanimated skeletons armed with swords and shields as enemies. They are largely inspired by the legendary special effects of Jason and the Argonauts.
  • Depth Perplexion: An entire puzzle is made out of this in III, in Hera's Garden. Basically, when you activate a switch, a green filter appears on the screen, the camera zooms away and stairways that are only adjacent by perspective become connected for real. You will thus get at the top of the garden through completely disconnected platforms, without having to perform a single jump.
  • Determinator: Kratos. Nothing will ever stand in his way for revenge, whether it's barbarians, other Greek soldiers, nasty monsters, geographic difficulties, the fires of Hades, the gods or Death and Fate itself. All those who are unlucky enough to do it anyway WILL be very sorry. Also The Barbarian King, who fought Hades just as hard as Kratos, and the Last Spartan soldier, who came just as far as Kratos in the temple of the Sisters of Fate, even though he was just a mere mortal.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Did you just horribly slaughter a Greek god / demigod / minor mythological creature? Well on your way to doing so many more times?
  • Disappointed in You: At the end of the third game, Athena says this to Kratos when he runs himself through with the Blade of Olympus, giving the power to the humans instead of her.
  • Disney Villain Death: Icarus in II. Specifically, he falls into the pits of Tartarus deep beneath the Earth, with his screaming just growing more distant and seemingly never stopping.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Zeus, as per The religion of ancient Greece, chose to punish every member of the Titans when taking his revenge on his father Kronos.
  • Divine Conflict:
    • Being based on Classical Mythology, the Greek Saga has several conflicts between immortals. There was the war between the Gods and the Titans, the conflict between the primordial beings, and the demigod Kratos' own battles between pretty much any divine being who dares stand in his way. Zeus has expilicitly forbidden these conflicts, which ironically why they recruited the mortal Kratos to fight Ares. Once he gets a taste for divine blood, he can't stop hungering for more.
    • The Norse Saga has the war between the Aesir and Vanir gods and the conflict between the Aesir and the Jötnar. The former was provoked when some Aesir burned the Vanir Freyr after they mishandled the magic he had taught them and blamed him instead, and only got a truce when Mimir suggested a marriage between Odin and Freya to unite both clans. The latter was a result of Odin's desire for the Jötnar's secrets and prophecies and the killing of Ymir, the ancestor of all Jötnar, through his hands.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The hilariously suggestive sex QTE in III certainly counts. Though given where the half-circle-up is, it does rather suggest Kratos takes an unholy amount of time getting out of the practically nothing he's usually almost wearing.
  • Doomed by Canon: The series has two spin offs on PSP: Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. The former is a prequel to the original game and the latter is set between the first and the second. The plots of both games are predictable due to this trope. I wonder if Kratos will succeed in saving his brother..
  • Downer Beginning: Most notably, the beginning stage of God Of War II, where Kratos launches a brutal invasion of Rhodes and is subsequently punished and killed by Zeus. He also loses all the extra power he has gained from the previous game. He later manages to climb his way out of Tartarus, though.
  • Downer Ending: By the end of GOW III, the natural order has completely broken down, monsters roam the Earth, storms wreck the skies, disease is rampant, floods have covered everything except the highest mountains, and most of humanity is dead. Kratos realizes he has gained nothing, destroyed everything, and impales himself as one last insult to Athena, releasing Hope into the world so the few remaining people in Greece would at least be able to thrive after such disasters.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Kratos gets physically dragged into Hades by some disembodied hands at the start of God of War II. He gets better, though you should expect a temporary visit to Tartarus to be a feature of every installment. After all, it's a well known fact among videogame players that death's revolving door was inaugurated in Tartarus by Hades entirely for Kratos' personal use.
  • The Dreaded: Kratos is portrayed as being feared by nearly all of Greece, in part due to the various atrocities he committed while serving Ares. In the first game, several people are more scared of him than of the various monsters and beasts, with one person even flat-out telling Kratos to his face that he would rather die than be saved by him. Pandora even says outright in III that everyone who knows about Kratos is scared of him, to which Kratos simply remarks that "there are reasons for that."
  • Drowning Pit: The third game has you escorting Pandora late in the game. She ends up getting stuck in one of these somewhere down the line, forcing Kratos to come to the rescue before she dies.
  • Dual Boss: Two against the Furies in Ascension: first against Megaera and Tisiphone (in a flashback, since you already killed Megaera earlier in the game), then against Tisiphone and Alecto.
  • Dual Wielding: Kratos wields twin blades bound to each of his hands with chains. They are the first weapon to be used and arguably the most useful weapons in the entire game.
  • Driven to Suicide: The series begins with Kratos trying to committ suicide out of despair and the rest of the first game is spent explaining how he came to that. He seems to succeed by the trilogy's end, though this time to give hope to humanity.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Most notably between the first two games. Part of the whole reason Kratos waged wars alongside the Spartans was because the gods didn't even accept him as the new God of War.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome:
    • When Helios' plea for his life ends in vain, he out of nowhere screams "FEEL THE POWER OF THE SUN!!!" and shines so bright that nothing can be seen. Doesn't stop him from losing his head.
    • Kratos (apparently) kills himself, ruining Athena's plans and releasing the power of hope to mortals.
  • Dynamic Loading: received a great deal of applause for this, hiding the loading behind long corridors and hiding those behind Scenery Porn, resulting in a game that is almost seamless. (A cheap and meaningless form of Sequence Breaking is to traverse those long corridors at faster-than-running speed—via Unnecessary Combat Rolls, for instance—to cause an actual Loading Screen to pop up.)

    E-L 
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first game lacks of combos that will appear later. Most of the Gods have been redesigned after (Poseidon was originaly a bald old guy, Hades had a demon face, etc) and the elements in the extra videos would be retconned.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: God of War III.
  • Easter Egg: There are two in the first game, one gotten through a secret code, and the other gotten through destroying the two statues in the throne room at the very end of the game.
  • Elaborate Equals Effective:
    • In each game, Kratos' weapons start pretty rugged, but gain more elegant designs and brighter colors as you level them up to be stornger.
    • In the Greek games, enemies start off the game largely naked or barely so, but as they become stronger with you, they gain more and more armor with greater decoration and greater lethality.
  • Elder Abuse: God of War II allows the player to partake in Elder Abuse via a quick time event in which you have to brutally beat and kill a helpless protesting elderly scholar in order to get him to read a book you can't.
  • Elemental Powers: While Kratos doesn't have any individual control over the elements, he does gain magic spells that harness the power of the elements.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: What Kratos' actions lead to in III (although it is unclear whether it happens to the entire world or just Greece).
  • Enemy Mine: There's little stranger than seeing Theseus team up with a bunch of minotaurs and working together, but in the face of a threat like Kratos, even the slayer of the Minotaur can't be picky about his friends.
  • Escaped from Hell: Kratos does this habitually. It almost isn't a GoW game without him getting sent to Hades somehow and climbing out. He even lampshades this in III.
  • Escort Mission: Cleverly, if brutally, twisted in these games.
    • In the original, you need to push a cage containing an Athenian soldier up an enemy-infested ramp. Of course, you're only protecting him in order to burn him alive at the top of the ramp and move on in the temple. He pleads for his life the whole way up.
    • In the sequel, you have to protect a translator who can read a holy incantation and help you advance. The incantation indicates that a blood sacrifice is called for, so you slam his face repeatedly into the book...
    • In God of War II, he puts a wounded soldier on a Conveyor Belt of Doom to jam it.
    • Kratos does this again in God of War III, dragging "Poseidon's Princess", along with him in order to use her still living body to jam a gear mechanism so that he can make it through a door. She is very painfully crushed.
    • God of War has a more compassionate escort mission in the form of the second stage of the final boss, where you must protect a stationary target from a horde of enemies.
    • Surprisingly averted with Pandora in God of War III. While you help her get to Pandora's Box, she only really is in dire need of protection from enemies maybe twice. She is quite competent at avoiding enemy attacks, which is great, due to the major enemy rushes that happen.
  • Essence Drop: Red orbs for experience, blue for magic and green for health. The red ones are heavily implied to be blood, although they're also gotten from the sex minigames.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Kratos just beat down the Hydra singlehandedly, marched into the throat of the great beast, and the ship captain is hanging at the precipice of his stomach. Kratos picks him up, grabs the key to the captain's quarters from him...and chucks the captain down into the belly of the dead hydra for no seeming reason other than to be a dick, thoough some say he had disgust for the captain's slight cowardice.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: When Kratos' mom turns into a monster, which Kratos had to kill, he is very sad about it and then takes her into his arms. Also, he does her will and looks for Deimos, his younger brother.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: In Ascension, there's a major character, Aegaeon, who is one of the Hekatonkheires. When Megaera tries to set him on Kratos, the PS3 has a meltdown.
    We will see how you fare against the (no suggestions)!
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Due to No Name Given (a lot of them at that), this is natural. Even Pathos Verdes III, who's one of the very few NPCs with an actual name, he's more often called Pandora's Architect. Even with The Reveal of the Barbarian King's name and Kratos' Wife, there still addressed as such. Granted, this is probably because most people aren't even aware that they've been revealed, due to the names being revealed in the God of War comic miniseries. Also, their names are Alrik and Lysandra in case you're wondering.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Considering how ruthless and bloodthirsty Kratos is, and the atrocities he's committed in the backstory, it's actually quite surprising that Kratos is rarely the one who starts the fight (during the games' events, at least). Most fights are against monsters that attack Kratos on first sight, while the dialogue in boss fights usually makes clear it's the boss the one who's starting hostilities against Kratos, for whatever reason, with Kratos sometimes outright declaring he considers his opponent Not Worth Killing and trying to avoid the fight (which seems a bit like Moral Myopia considering those bosses tend to be the same ones that call Kratos a violent murderer — yeah, just before attacking Kratos without provocation).
  • Eviler than Thou: Potentially the main redeeming factor for Kratos is whether you feel he was a worse person for being the almost unrepentant blatantly Omnicidal-by-default Maniac he is by series' end or that the gods are worse beings than him.
  • Evil Gloating: Hercules' undoing. He actually manages to knock Kratos out, but he stops to boast to Hera. Kratos revives and takes this opportunity to steal the Nemean Cestus from him.
  • Evil Laugh: Skeletons in the second game do it occasionally, among a number of other characters.
  • Evil Versus Evil:
    • The gods actually invoke this trope by sending Kratos after monsters that more traditional Greek heroes could not even hope to survive against, much less defeat.
    • While the first and the third games were of the Black-and-Gray Morality category, it's played straight in the second game. It's Kratos, who's pretty much the main villain then, against Zeus, who's a paranoid dictator.
  • Exact Words: Athena promises to Kratos that once he would kill Ares, his sins will be forgiven. At the end, Kratos learns tragically that his sins are indeed forgiven but that doesn't mean his nightmares about the night when he killled jhis family will stop.
  • Exploding Barrels: There are exploding oil pots in God of War III that can be ignited by the Bow of Apollo.
  • Expository Gameplay Limitation: In Ghost of Sparta, when in Sparta or in his flashback sequence, Kratos is unable to run or use his weapon.
  • Expy:
    • Kratos bears a strong resemblance with Mighty Kongman/Bruiser Khang from Tales of Destiny, except with the skin color, as both are bald and powerful fighters with arena associations. The fact that both of them are voiced by the same voice actor in the Japanese version doesn't help either, though development and personality-wise, they differ: Kongman ended up becoming a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and his jerk moments in original were relatively harmless, Kratos went full blown Villain Protagonist that destroys everything and only in the end that he might have done something selfless to make up for all those, whether it's for good or bad.
    • Kratos also bears a strong resemblance to the classical mythical version of Heracles: Heracles was the founder of the Spartan people, killed his wife in a fit of rage, and became a god as part of the reward for completing a series of tasks given him by the Olympian Gods when he sought their forgiveness for killing his wife, all closely mirrored by Kratos.
  • Eyeball-Plucking Birds:
    • In the first game, at the end of the cutscene when Kratos climbs up Pandora's temple, a vulture feasts on the fresh corpse of a Greek soldier and it plucks out an eyeball just before Kratos reaches the platform it's standing on.
    • God of War III: The teaser trailer "Fear Nothing" begins with a raven scavenging the corpse of an unnamed human. Just before Kratos drives the bird off, it plucks out the remaining eyeball and eats it whole.
  • Eye Scream:
    • This occurs in the battle against the Hydra, and is made more gruesome due to the fact the the beast ends up flossing its eye socket with a ships mast. Yeesh.
    • Kratos performs a Finishing Move against Cyclops enemies by ripping their eyes out, and stabs Typhon in one eye in order to gain a new power.
    • Kratos gouges out his enemies eyes with his thumbs. No blades this time, just thumbs. Made funny when you realize the prompt to do so is pushing the thumb sticks, made insane when you learn he does this one to POSEIDON. HOLY SHIT.
    • At a few points during the battle with Cronos, Kratos is required to blind him by giving him a burst of sunlight from Helios' head.** In Ascension Megaera takes control of Aegaeon, a giant titan-slayer, by borrowing her fly monsters into his lower eyelid! To get a sense of scale, the flies are about the same comparative size as argentine ants are to your eye, so Aegaeon can definitely feel them.
  • Fake Difficulty: Every time you received a new weapon or magic, you will often fight against first level mooks with and temporarily giving you unlimited in order to demonstrate your newfound powers against them. However, when you receive a new upgrade in Ascension, you will receive a new weapon element. While that sounds good enough, the problem is you will only utilize their powers if you either max your rage level which requires you not get hit (Which in this game, is incredibly difficult), or if you waste your red orbs just to level the weapon to its maximum with the sole exception of the fire element where you will receive the magic. Essentially, when you first received it, it's no better than an ordinary weapon and since you couldn't even switch the element, the showcase sections has turned from feeling badass about your new powers into one of the most tedious enemy sections in the game in one of the worst level designs possible.
  • Fanservice: Many female characters and enemies in the series are shown topless and in general wear very revealing and voluptuous clothes. Some goddesses like Aphrodite or Eos, or creatures like the sirens, for example, leave their breasts completely exposed. The Greek games also each have a sex mini-game with a beautiful woman or two.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Euryale is a naked woman with a not unpleasant face... and a horrid scaly body.
    • Clotho is a giant, bulbous silkworm-like woman whose naked deformed breasts are exposed. Made worse because she has not just two breasts, but a dozen or so all over her body.
    • Ironic, since Clotho was described as the most beautiful of the sisters in the old myths.
    • Megaera has a large, mostly exposed chest.... which is also the site of her huge, disgusting rash she uses to spawn her critters.
  • Fantastic Light Source: Kratos can rip off Helios' head and use it as a lantern.
  • Fatal Flaw: Kratos' flaws are his volcanic rage and inability to accept the consequences of his actions. By the time he's finally gotten his revenge and killed everyone who ever wronged him, he's singlehandedly caused the apocalypse.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Prometheus, who after giving fire to mortals was punished by being forced to eternally get his gut eaten by a bird, only to revive and suffer the same thing the next day and so on. This was the only Mercy Kill Kratos had done for a long time.
    • As of Ghost of Sparta, it now isn't the only one. He also mercy kills his mother and King Midas.
    • Mimir convinces Kratos to behead him by telling him how Odin has tortured him every day for a hundred years. He doesn't care if he can't be brought back, he sees his no life as no life at all.
  • Fighting Down Memory Lane:
    • During your final confrontation with Ares, after direct combat has failed, he sucks you into some kind of mental plane, where he forces you to relieve your most defining moment - the day you unwittingly murdered your own family. Or at least, he tries - you have to fight off a horde of 'clone' Kratoses while protecting your family. Fail, and Kratos will simply collapse with a moan of "No... not again..."
    • During the last battle of ancient Greece, Kratos goes through all of the evil he's committed over the course of the series, showing that Kratos really did feel guilt for what he did deep down.
  • Fingore: In III, Kratos rips one of Kronos's fingernails off during the fight with him. The sheer crudeness of it makes even the toughest gamers cringe and shiver, but compared to what Kratos does to Kronos later on in the fight, that is pretty tame.
  • Finishing Move: When the circle symbol appears above an enemy that you've been giving the beatdown, it's time for Kratos to finish that enemy in exceedingly brutal fashion. Kratos's most brutal and badass kills are reserved for the many bosses he faces.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Kraots will often only use his blades in cutscene and forget he has a huge arsenal og magic to help him out. He won't block enemy attacks with his Golden Fleece, save himself from a fall with his wings, or use his Runic Attacks against the viking gods gunning for his head.
  • Fragile Speedster: The series has twice had bosses whose relative weakness is compensated by extreme speed.
    • Hermes from God of War III spends most of his "boss fight" running away from you and even when you fight him, he runs circles around Kratos while smacking him about. But it only takes a few hits to beat him down and end him once and for all.
    • Heimdall from Ragnarök starts his fight doing barely any damage with slaps and kicks while being impossible to hit due to the speed of his dodging. It's only once he gives up dodging and slows down that he can do any real damage to you.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: You don't encounter any nude human enemies to speak of, but there's plenty of topless female mythological beings (like Gorgons and Harpies) who attack you on sight. Also some of the goddesses who are fought by Kratos wear clothes that leave their breasts completely exposed (Lahkesis or Erinys) and in general do little to cover their bodies. Kratos is barely more than a loincloth away from this trope himself.
  • Gaia's Vengeance:
    • God of War II takes the term a bit more literally, as Gaia herself joins in the revolution against the Olympians (although this has more to do with avenging the Titans' defeat at the hands of the gods than avenging nature). Like most entries, it's worth noting Gaia was pretty much like this in Greek Mythology as well. There wasn't any generation of deities that she didn't take issue with. If she wasn't providing assistance to their enemies, she was spawning monsters to kill them on her behalf.
    • In the third game, Gaia turns on Kratos partly because his rampage has nearly destroyed the world.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Icarus' Wings alternate between Cutscene Incompetence and Cutscene Power to the Max in III. At the beginning of the game, Kratos doesn't think about using them before falling into the Styx. But in several cutscenes afterwards he uses them to actually fly, while you can only glide in gameplay. You do get a couple of actual flying segments though, once by using a powerful updraft, and again by skydiving down the same tunnel.
  • General Failure: When he still had an army, Kratos. His primary method of spreading the glory of Sparta is by slaughtering at least the resistance in cities, and ended up nearly dying and losing most of that army because he faced off against a numerically superior foe in open terrain, which is especially ironic given the primary source of Spartan combat fame. How does he save the day? Selling his soul to Ares and letting the actual god of war win the fight for him.
  • Generational Trauma:
    • The Cycle of Patricide is the hidden mechanism that set in motion both the beginning and the end of the Greek world: the cycle began when the Titan Cronos overthrew his father Uranus, only to be defeated by his son Zeus after a failed attempt to eat him as a baby (an oracle foretold the end of the Titan era at the hands of Cronos' children). This generational conflict is passed down onto Kratos, whose thirst for vengeance brings the destruction of Olympus and Zeus' demise. After becoming a father himself, Kratos was afraid to become the next victim of the cycle, but both he and his son Atreus learn to become the gods that they want to be and, as shown in God of War Ragnarök, they succeed in ending the patricide curse once and for all.
    • Ragnarok reveals that Odin abused Thor for most of his life by telling him he's a Dumb Muscle only good for drinking and killing Giants and anyone else Odin tells him to kill. This in turn leads Thor to abuse his sons Magni and Modi to cope with his own self-loathing. After Kratos and Atreus kill them, Thor starts trying to sober up and become a better parent for his only surviving child: his daughter Thrud. Unfortunately, he's clueless as to how to go about it because he doesn't have any references for what a positive parental role is to go on.
  • Genius Bruiser: Kratos. Not just capable of tearing up monsters orders of magnitude his size , he also unravels difficult puzzles across all of ancient Greece and beyond.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: The majority of your encounter with Hermes is simply chasing him down; since he's the speedy messenger of the gods, he delights in dashing about making fun of you. Once you manage to knock the wind out of him he barely puts up a fight to speak of—chasing him down was the real contest.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Kraken. It just appears with no build up to fight Kratos and no reason as to why it is there is ever given. True, it could have been sent to stop Kratos from getting to the sisters, but it's never revealed.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Kratos, from Ares' perspective.
    Ares: That day... I was trying to make you a great warrior!
    Kratos: You succeeded. [kills him]
  • Go Out with a Smile: After Kratos stabs himself at the end of the third game, he dies content with the fact that he got his revenge against Zeus, gave hope to mankind, and foiled Athena's plan to rule over mankind.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Played straight and then averted.
    • The first Gorgon you meet in the first game, Medusa herself, is fairly attractive (and topless, to boot), but the other Gorgons you meet are not as much ugly as faceless. And then there's II's Euryale...*shudder*
    • God of War III gorgons even more so. Thanks to stunning graphics and Jiggle Physics the many gorgons you fight have a slick scaly body and a pretty gorgeous face to match it.
  • Gorn: It's strongly hinted that the red Experience Orbs that you collect from dead enemies and Experience Chests throughout the three games are in-game representations of blood, for example in the second game the upgrade screen displays a Hoplite helmet that fills with blood as you collect more orbs, and which drains out once you go below 1k. If this is accurate, the Squick factor is upped exponentially, since that would mean you power up your weapons by (at higher levels) bathing them in the blood of roughly a thousand enemies.
  • Götterdämmerung: The Greek trilogy explains why Greek myths aren't around anymore. The deicidal mission of Kratos can be seen as a catalyst for the age of men and Christianity. In God of War II Kratos visits the Temple of the Fates where it is possible to notice the presence of three murals that describe past and future events. The first of them describes the war between gods and titans, the second depicts a lonely man surrounded by chaos (resembling the ending of III') while the last mural shows three men walking towards a star in the sky, alluding the journey of the Three Wise Men towards the birth of Jesus Christ guided by the Star of Bethlehem. It is possible that this last prophecy will be fullfilled in the years to come. At the end of his journey Kratos have annihilated most of the greek pantheon, while the deities who survived his rampage likely vanished in the unsuing chaos (along with the Titans and most of the Greek mythological creatures). With all the greek gods and goddesses destroyed and the power of Hope released to humanity people of Greece can reborn in a world freed by the old pagan deities and embrace the new monotheistic religion of Christ. In the original draft by David Jaffe, the series would have followed the Norse and Egyptian Kratos' counterparts destroying the gods of Asgard and the Egyptian Pantheon and (unconsciusly) bringing monotheism to their respective worlds. It is unknown if the new course of the series (set in the Norse miyhology) will partially follow the original script.
  • Grand Finale: God Of War III concludes the story of the Greek Pantheon. The 2018 game begins its own arc.
  • Grapple Move: A core gameplay mechanic. Kratos can grab any small Mook for an easy kill or a good amount of damage, and be invulnerable while doing it. Elite Mooks, Giant Mooks, and Bosses require Action Commands after the grab. All grabs feature gruesome disembowelment and such, and is one of the selling points of the game. On harder modes, this becomes the safest way to attack enemies without getting damaged along with the "Plume of Prometheus" C3note .
  • Ground Pound: The Hermes Stomp from the firs two games is a maneuveur where Kratos launches himself shoulder first into the ground at an angle. It is a great way to fend off enemies on the ground after killing somethin in the air.
  • Ground Punch:
    • The Atlas Quake magic attack in God of War II has Kratos smashing the earth repeatedly to send out waves of rock in a large area around himself (Atlas himself did this in a cutscene).
    • The Nemean Cestus in God of War III can also be used to smash the ground and create a shockwave that launches enemies into the air. You learn this trick only after having Hercules use it against you.
  • Guest Fighter: Kratos appears as one in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny, the PS3 version of Mortal Kombat 9, and Playstation All Stars Battle Royale. Zeus also joins as a DLC character for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Kratos is almost always furious, angry, pissed off, enraged, or something in between. The only exceptions are rare moments of reflection or moments with his family. In flashbacks before any of the games he would fly into rages that scared his daughter and only his wife was willing to stand up to. Anything that irks him or does not immediately go his way switches him to barely controlled rage at best.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The anti-hero protagonist, Kratos, is the demigod son of Zeus, King of Olympus and All the Gods, and a mortal woman.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The Olympus Fiends. Even when bisected, they will still try to crawl towards you and try to explode on you.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Hera spends most of her time drinking herself into a stupor while the rest of the Gods and Titans fight. Dionysus himself would probably tell her to lay off the wine and sleep it off.
  • Harder Than Hard: God difficulty in the first game, Titan in the second, and Chaos in the third are the highest difficulty options only unlockable after beating the game.
  • Hated by All: Kratos gets this, in part due to the various atrocities he committed under Ares; in the first game, one character is actually more terrified of Kratos than of the monsters attacking him and openly states he would rather die than let Kratos save him. After becoming the new God of War, it's stated that all of the other Olympians despised Kratos and refused to accept him.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: In the first game, the second phase of the final battle has Kratos protecting his family from clones of him. If he fails, the family dies, Game Over. If he wins... Ares takes his blades and rams them both into his family anyway.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Kratos goes through a gradual one over the course of God of War III. While he's still not a great person, he becomes noticeably more concerned for his fellow man by the end. Thanks, Pandora.
  • Hero's Evil Predecessor: Ares is the titular god in the first game of the series. He's so bad that the other Greek gods recruit Kratos to kill him. When Kratos ultimately succeeds, his reward is to become Ares's replacement, though YMMV on how much of an improvement he is.
  • Heroic BSoD: Kratos has a brief one in the second game after he ends up killing the only Spartan warrior that survived Zeus's massacre and was trying to change the past himself under Kratos's orders. This is actually one of the few times Kratos shows regret for killing an enemy, so much so that he nearly gives up the quest altogether.
  • Heroic Resolve: Kratos gets a genuine moment of heroism at the end of the first when Ares sends him into a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • At the end of battle with Zeus at the end of the second game, Athena, the only god who showed any form of compassion to Kratos takes the blow instead and is killed. This scene is one of the few times Kratos shows genuine remorse for killing someone.
    • Later, Pandora dies to unlock her box despite Kratos' attempts to save her. The fact that her sacrifice turned out to be completely meaningless only worsens the blow.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Kratos may not be the most ideal of heroes, but really, if YOU were forced into battle on a regular basis, particularly by the gods themselves, having to fight entire armies, elephant men, a giant undead minotaur, even the god of war himself (not even Herc took up that kind of task), chances are, you wouldn't be either.
  • Hidden Depths: Say what you will about Kratos, he still cares about the children when he's not murdering everyone else for doing little if anything more than looking at him funny.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: "Petard-hoister" is pretty much listed in Kratos's resume given that a ton of his patented O-button finishers involve using an enemy/boss's own weapon (or anatomy) to do him in.
    • In II, he impales Theseus with his own spear (must've gotten bored doing it to just satyrs) and plays a a very easy game of whack-a-mole with the undead Barbarian King's own hammer. The mole? The king's head.
    • Hades has his soul devoured by his own weapons. Hercules' head is caved in with the Nemean Cestus. The giant scorpion is impaled by her own stinger.....
  • Using enemies' own weapons to slay them in finishers is a common tactic Kratos uses in the Norse era: he kills Raider Chiefs by using their staffs to break their necks, Dark Elves by impaling them with their spears, Stalkers by using their own bows or spears, and so on.
  • Homage:
    • The Labyrinth in the third game reminds one of Cube.
    • David Jaffe (the game's creator) has admitted God of War was heavily inspired by Harryhausen Movies. Harry Hamlin even has a cameo in God of War II, as his original character, and skeletons clearly inspired by Jason And The Argonauts show up as well.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • Kratos' first encounter with Zeus in God of War II. The game doesn't even let you attack effectively. The battle in question takes place right after your power is drained, and the hand of Colossus smashes Kratos. Thus, you can't roll or jump, your fastest attack takes about three seconds to perform, and you can only limp to where you want to go. Try to make Kratos jump here - he bends his legs, grunts, then straightens them again as if to say "Yeah, not gonna happen."
    • Something similar happens during the first few moments fighting the Kraken, also in II. When you press a button, Kratos merely screams out "I cannot change my fate!" or something to that effect until you get to a scripted point that gives him an ability upgrade and, of course, the will to fight on.
    • The prequel Chains of Olympus also has a scripted defeat against Charon, who cannot be beaten without Zeus' Gauntlet which you get from a statue of Zeus in the Tartarus (after Charon gleefully tosses your defeated ass down there). This holds true even in bonus play, where having the gauntlet doesn't matter, because then Charon's pillars aren't actually destructible.
  • Hot Coffee Minigame:
    • Five of the Greek games have a sex mini-game. Amusingly, Kratos gets paid if you do it successfully. Those minigames included two slave twins, two daughters of Aphrodite, two matrons, Aphrodite herself and, in Ghost of Sparta, with eight prostitutes at once!!!.
    • Subverted in Ascension. It looks like the game is leading into this, albeit with less optional... but then Kratos sees that the woman who is leading him past the other prostitutes is wearing his wife's ring, so he attacks her, breaking the illusion. The Master of Illusion in question, Tisiphone, is then attacked by Megaera, who claims that Kratos is hers.
  • How We Got Here:
    • The first game begins with Kratos attempting to commit suicide, with the rest of the game leading up to why.
    • Ascension does an interesting take on this. The game takes place in the present, there are flashbacks to how Kratos got into the situation we found him in at the start of the game and every time it cuts back to the present the item obtained during each flashback is now suddenly part of his inventory.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Kratos spends most of the games in naught but a kind of battle skirt. It's OK, he's buff, he can pull it off. But it's sort of hard to figure out where Kratos stores his secondary weapons (a massive sword in the first game, a huge hammer and large spear in the second) with such little apparent storage space. There are also a collection of smaller trinkets Kratos carries around (Gorgon eyes, phoenix feathers, etc.) without having to place them anywhere. The first game at least tries to justify the sword - when you switch weapons, Kratos slams his regular blades together to form them into the sword; after all, it's a god's weapon.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • In the first game, Kratos is pierced by a pillar thrown by Ares that strikes through and out of his chest, leaving him stuck dying in the middle of the thing. He escapes the underworld, though, and gets him back for it in the final battle.
    • This actually happens a lot in cutscenes and action commands. Special mention to the Blade of Olympus, as most of the plot-relevant impalements happen on that.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The Blades of Chaos/Athena/Exile. Dual swords that catch fire when swung and are attached to chains that are seared onto Kratos' arms. Kratos will hurt tear a nice gash into himself if he ever fails to catch his swords on the way back.
  • Incoming Ham:
    • Atlas is about as loud as you'd expect someone big enough to hold the planet':
      "WHO breaks my CHAINS OF TORMENT?!"
    • Hermes laughs and jeers Kratos like the most theatrical jester the world's most decadent court. That laugh. Just watch the boss fight in all its glory.
    • Poseidon makes up for his lack of screentime with an abundance of bombast:
      "You challenge ME, mortal? A GOD of OLYMPUS?!"
    • Helios sounds like a Sunny Delight commercial:
      FEEL THE POWER OF THE SUN!!!
  • Inescapable Ambush: Red barriers with a wolf's head appear to lock Kratos in to a certain area until he kills all the enemies.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Even Hades and Helheim have chests full of health and magic power ups.
  • Injured Vulnerability: Many enemies can't be grabbed till you soften them up.
  • The Insomniac: The whole reason Kratos agrees to serve the gods in the first place is because he believes it will rid him of the nightmares that started after he crossed the Moral Event Horizon by murdering his wife and child. After he kills Ares, he believes the gods will fulfill their end of the bargain. They don't. Decades later in Norway, he still goes nights without rest.
    Athena: Your sins are forgiven. But we never promised to remove your nightmares. No man, no god, could ever forget the terrible things you have done.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Given Kratos' immense strength and agility it can be quite noticeable when the Kratos is unable to get somewhere a normal human could reach or is blocked by a barrier that seems much more fragile than ones he's smashed though already.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Gaia telling Kratos he was just a means to an end after both get knocked down Olympus and Kratos falls off her. After Kratos makes his way out of Hades and back up the mountain. He meets up with her and throws the words back in her face before personally knocking her down the mountain again.
    • The ending of God of War III has a version of this. During the mind trip caused by Zeus, Kratos repeats his opening line from the first game. Then, after finally killing Zeus, Kratos says a few lines ("I owe you nothing" and "You shouldn't") from earlier in the game and in previous games to Athena.
  • It Has Only Just Begun: The caption at the end of God of War II, "THE END BEGINS," evokes this phrase as Kratos goes off to destroy Olympus just as the game cuts to credits.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Kratos is selfish beyond belief in the Greek games. The world very nearly collapses as a result of his actions, it's quite close to nothing he cares about as long as he gets what he wants. In all fairness, he does seem to realize this seconds before impaling himself. Though whether he impales himself as one last spiteful act to Athena or a case of true selflessness is ambiguous.
    • At the beginning of the third game, Zeus gives a Rousing Speech to try to get the other gods to cooperate against the titans. It starts out talking about "our mountain" and "our authority" being threatened. As he gets worked up, it transitions to "my mountain", etc.
  • Jawbreaker: Kratos finishes Cerberus this way, in order to steal the artifact held within its mouth.
  • Jerkass: Ostentatiously in enough ways, Kratos. The only thing he ever thinks about is "My vengeance, my vengeance!", he does nothing for no one and usually kills everyone around him, enemy or not. Every one of his actions usually makes things worse and for most the gods he's killed untold many died as a direct consequence. Can be even more jarring if you stop to think about it for a while and notice that, despite his rising-to-enormous levels of jerkassery, Kratos is still labeled as ideal by some characters! It's true that Greek "heroes" behaved like huge jerkasses more than once, but Kratos takes it further regarding the scope of consequences for his actions.
  • Jerk Ass Gods: Many of the Greek gods, especially Ares and Zeus, are total assholes. To be fair, however, the games are actually pretty accurate as to how they acted in actual Greek myth. Exceptions include Athena at least, until the end of III, Hephaestus, and Artemis.
    • Hades? He's hardly a nice guy. Sure his hatred for Kratos is justified but you forget that he kidnaps his niece and forces her to become his wife and when her mother demands her return, Hades tricks her into eating fruit from the underworld ensuring that she has to stay in the underworld at least 1/3 of the year. Persephone even hated him and the rest of the gods so much, she tried to destroy the world, herself included, just to be free of her miserable existence. Although Hades isn't as much of a Jerkass God as some of the other gods, he still, at least in those behaviors, counts somewhat.
    • Kratos himself qualifies with his ruthless rampages when he was the god of war.
  • Jerk Justifications: "Virtue Is Weakness". Kratos' justification. Not entirely wrong, since many times he must kill innocent bystanders if he wants to survive. The Olympians' justification is more like Moral Myopia.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind : Done in God of War III. Kratos loses the final fight against Zeus, and while he's dying he explores his own mind. In there, he learns to have compassion for his fellow man, to never give up hope, and to forgive himself for killing his family, which gives him the strength to come back to life and defeat Zeus.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: As shown in the first game and its prequels, Kratos was always a Sociopathic Hero at his worst and an Anti-Hero at his best, but from the second game onwards, his obsession with revenge against the Olympians causes him to devolve into a straight-up Villain Protagonist. In the third game, he indiscriminately kills the gods that stay in his way and essentially brings about The End of the World as We Know It just for his revenge.
  • Just Eat Him: This is how Kronos attempted to prevent his own offspring from rising up against him: devouring them as infants! (They survived because they're gods). He later tries this on Kratos as well, chuckling "This will probably hurt me more than you!" He doesn't know how right he is.
  • Karma Houdini: Morpheus apparently never gets any proper punishment for trying to cover the world in darkness, retreating back into the shadows
  • Karmic Death: Hermes, who boasts constantly about being faster than Kratos, gets rewarded by becoming a double-leg amputee.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Video Game Cruelty Potential notwithstanding, Kratos does this a lot. There's even an attack in both games that lets you literally kick Cerberus pups; the third game requires you to do so in order to solve a puzzle.
    • Zeus gets one in the third game, when Pandora seems to have sacrificed herself in vain and Kratos becomes all sad. Zeus then mocks Kratos about how, no matter much he tries, he always fails, and then laughs hard about it. Kratos is not amused.
  • Kill the God: Of course. Kratos goes on a killing spree in Olympus as well as many other legends from Greek Mythology. Of course, killing the gods that govern the elements or the guy that guards the souls of the dead may have small inconveniences, but hey, no plan is perfect!
  • Lady Drunk: Hera. It seems she never took Zeus' multiple meddlings of mortal affairs well.
  • Large Ham: According to myth, Kratos is really being punished for stealing the secret of hamming from the gods. In particular, it seems like Kratos's script for God of War II had the instruction "Yell every single line at the top of your voice" written on it. He frequently bellows his lines at characters even when he's RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM and they could probably hear him fine if he talked normally.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The fact that Kratos himself killed his wife and daughter was a major revelation halfway the first game as we were lead to believe that Ares did (Though Ares actually planned this murder). This is casually mentioned at the beginning of all the next games including prequels.
    • In the opening cinematic of God of War II, we learn that Kratos is the God of War, not Ares.
    • The trophy names in the PlayStation 3 re-release make no attempt to hide the plot details of the first two games. The God of War Collection has helpful trophy descriptions, viewable as soon as you start the game, such as "Daddy Issues: Defeat Zeus."
    • Also, if you happen to speak Greek, the goddamn title song is a spoiler, as the lyrics, translated, are:
      The end begins! The end begins! The end begins! The end begins now!
      Betrayal, rage, rage! The end begins now!
      I will kill him! I will kill him!
      Patricide! Genocide!
      I will kill them all! Olympus shall fall!
  • Late to the Tragedy: Kratos can find several journal passages from the architect who constructed Pandora's Temple. They don't serve to forward the plot at all, but it's very interesting nonetheless to watch him design the temple, slowly go mad, kill his sons, turn their skulls into keys you use to unlock doors, and eventually pull a murder-suicide on his wife.
  • Lead the Target: Since Hermes is so fast, the only way to hit him is to throw your blades into a spot he's running to.
  • Lighter and Softer: When you look at it at one way, the series is really a Lighter and Softer take on Greek myth heroes. Their idealized hero is a guy who raids and pillages non-Greek villages, taking slaves and plunder... who kills dozens of men for daring to seek his wife's hand when he's been considered legally dead for years... and who hangs all the servant-girls who have been taken advantage of by said men, just because. Kratos? He kills a few people if apparent need be, but mostly just chops up monsters. Doesn't even have a single known case of rape to his name. It also has the same approach to the Greek gods as well; while Zeus is still a heinous bastard, he was far, far worse in numerous stories featuring him, and Ares, rather than working towards any specific goal, existed to incite wars for shits and giggles.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: An interesting example. On one side, the Gods of Olympus, famous for toying with or outright squashing humanity when they feel like it, but also the sources of wisdom, love, agriculture, and even the Sun itself. On the other, a completely psychotic killer who thinks nothing of slaughtering anybody in his way, but with basically sympathetic motives for bringing war against the gods, and who ultimately grants his enormous power to humanity after bringing down Olympus. In the end, which side is Lighter comes down to the viewer.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • Helios, specially considering how fire is equated with light in the third game, and to a lesser extent Zeus, with his lightning bolts, and Hermes, who has his hair made of light in the third game (in the second he appears to have flaming hair; the character design hadn't settled by that time yet). Also Athena, specially after her "death", in which she became something akin to an angel.
    • The Light Elves seem to be innocent victims from the Dark Elves pursuit for their light, but in truth they ruined Alfheim's ecosystem by harnessing the power of the light for themselves and attack anyone they consider to be a threat to their war against their dark relatives.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Kratos can dodge the blows of a god even when moving in slow motion, flip giant temples with barely a struggle, and endure lighting blasts powerful enough to raze a city to the ground. He is a master of strength, speed, and endurance, attributes only enhanced as he steals the equipment of gods and demigods and gains their powers.
    • Zeus, no pun intended, is insanely fast, strong, and durable. He's durable enough to get smacked around with stone pillars without a problem, fast enough to Flash Step and create Speed Echoes that fight independenty of him, and strong enough to be match the god-killer Kratos fist-to-fist.
    • Hercules, when his heavy armor and weapons are removed, changes from a Mighty Glacier to a more of a speeding bullet train. He even uses the Flash Step as he's smacking Kratos across the room and shrugging off magical blades to his bare skin. This is all a Shout-Out to how he was portrayed on The Legendary Journeys.
  • Limit Break: Kratos has a meter which fills each time he deals damage. When it fills, it allows him to unleash the Rage of the Gods (Titans in the second game, Sparta in the third), which lets him attack quicker and stronger and unleash infinite magic attacks for as long as it lasts without draining his magic meter.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Athena reveals at the end of the second game that Zeus is Kratos' father. This explains why he was so sure Kratos would rise against him, because Zeus rose against his own father.

    M-R 
  • Made of Iron: Even before he becomes a god, Kratos is able to fall from any height and land on his feet with no ill effects. He can take a Minotaur's axe to the face and still keep fighting. He's able to hold onto the Blades of Chaos even when the chains are on fire and not get burned. All of this is justified, however, when you learn in the second game (and the bonus features of the first) that Kratos is Zeus' son, and therefore a demigod. This also explains why he possesses the superhuman strength required to perform most of his attacks, especially impaling the Hydra on the mast of a ship.
  • The Magic Goes Away: If there is anything magical left alive it is because Kratos has not met and murdered it yet. God of War III explicitly shows why there are no more Greek Myths (Kratos killed all the Greek Gods).
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Killing an immortal like a god or a titan is supposed to be a pretty big deal; Kratos spends the entirety of the first two games trying to get his hands on Pandora's Box or the Blade of Olympus just to have a viable way of killing off the god he's currently mad at, and at the end of 2 uses Time Travel to rescue the Titans to have a divine army of his own to storm Olympus. By 3, though, there's hardly a boss who isn't a god or primordial being of some kind, yet Kratos has no trouble killing most of them with his trademark chained blades or even his bare hands. During the opening portion alone Kratos is the only guy on his side who's effective at all against Poseidon, who one-shots several titans and effortlessly holds Gaia at bay, but is worn down by Kratos's blades and then becomes the first of the bare-handed kills mentioned above. The only god he needs to make any special effort for is Zeus himself. After everything's over something of an explanation is offered, that Kratos had absorbed the power of hope from Pandora's Box into himself all that time, but if it were any other character we'd have to ask if he's really so revenge-crazed he never once stops and asks why the gods are suddenly dropping like flies without the use of a supremely-powerful divine weapon.
  • Magic Skirt: A rare male example, Kratos will flip around in his loincloth without the loose fabric showing a glimpse of his naughty bits.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Every Greek god Kratos encounters attempts to manipulate him to further their own ambitions to his detriment.
    • Ares takes advantage of Kratos in a desperate moment to earn his fealty forever, and tricks him into killing his family in a bid to make him a warrior unshackled by love and family.
    • Zeus comes to Kratos offering aid in his conquest of Rhodes, only to stab him in the back at a moment of weakness, kill him and his men, and go on to destroy everything else Kratos cares about using the power of his own godhood.
    • Gaia sends Kratos to kill the Fates in hopes he'll bring the Titans back to destroy Olympus. Once he does, she has no problem tossing him off the side of a mountain and leading the war herself.
    • Athena spends the third game egging Kratos on to kill the gods so she can be the sole deity left in Greece.
  • Marathon Boss: Self Imposed Challenges are a big part. One such challenge in God of War II involves using General Kratos on the hardest difficulty with no upgrades to weapons or magic. Almost every boss becomes a Marathon Boss due to the incredibly low damage Kratos deals in this mode, and the absurdly high damage he takes. For bonus points, some veterans complete the game using nothing but the starting Blades of Athena at Level 1, and ignoring chests.
  • Mask of Power: Charon's golden mask in Chains of Olympus allows him and Kratos to use Charon's Wrath, a stunning and damaging green flame.
  • Meaningful Name: Kratos roughly translates as 'strength' or 'power with an impact'. In the classical Greek mythology, Kratos was the personification of aforementioned tributes as well as a servant of Zeus, sent to kill or otherwise disable anything that displeased the King of the Gods. He was responsible, for example, for Sisyphus and Haephestus' punishments.
  • Medusa: Gorgons are a standard enemy type in each of the Greek games. They're your standard Medusa in appearance, a scaly green women with a nice face, snake hair, and a monstrous body. The only unique things are that these gorgons are naked and they don't automatically turn people to stone upon a glimpse. They have to activate their gaze and stare at you for a few seconds for the stoning to kick in.
  • Mêlée à Trois:
    • More appropriately, fighting the Sisters of Fate in the second game - The last phase of the Lakhesis fight takes place with Atropos trying to snipe you from inside the mirrors.
    • The final boss battle in the third game is a three-way showdown between Kratos, Zeus, and Gaia. Gaia doesn't get to do much, though that's because the fight takes place in her body.
  • Midair Motion Shot: Kratos is often seen about to stab something.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Every time you kill a god in the third game, something terrible happens to Greece. For example, killing Posideon floods the country.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Manticore appearing in Ascension has an interesting design, having a large lion-like body with chiropteran wings and chitinous plates, a spiked scorpion tail, the upper head and nuzzle of a lion and the maws of a shark.
  • Mook Horror Show: You get to witness (and control via Quick Time Event) Kratos brutally killing Poseidon from the latter's POV. It's every bit as disturbing as it sounds.
  • Morality Pet:
    • Calliope, Kratos' daughter in Chains of Olympus. Upon being reunited with her in the Elysium Fields, he soon had to part with her, including a button-mashing game to push her away.
    • The Spartans in God of War II are this to Kratos when he was the God of War. The destruction of Sparta by Zeus's hands is what make Kratos's grudge more personal.
    • Pandora in God of War III, mainly because she reminds Kratos of Calliope. In fact, she actually succeeds in forcing Kratos to see the consequences of his actions, making him feel genuine guilt.
  • Moral Myopia:
    • Kratos in the Greek games never once shows any compunctions against killing people brutally if it'll get him closer to his vengeance, or launching full campaigns of war even if they displease the gods. But the source of most of his angst stems from how he was tricked into killing his wife and daughter (while he was out massacring a village in Ares' name), and his personal war against Olympus in the second and third games happened after they tried to kill him for his excessive warmongering.
    • Kratos is pissed that his family is dead and blames Ares for tricking him. Yet without a thought he slaughters the entire family of gods if they remain in his path and previously spent a decade leading his men killing civilians inhabiting the villages and cities he attacked including innocent women and possibly children. He doesn't give much thought to it either after he starts to "reform."
  • Motive Rant: Hades gives a pretty impressive one before fighting Kratos. He hates the Spartan for killing his niece Athena, his wife Persephone and his brother Poseidon over the course of the series. After all that, it's perfectly clear that he'll enjoy tormenting Kratos' soul a lot if he wins.
  • Multi-Stage Battle: The battle with the Colossus of Rhodes in God of War II; the battle against Zeus in God of War III.
  • Multiple Head Case: Some of the monsters.
    • Averted with the Hydra, which has one main head and dozens of smaller ones. The lesser heads are actually just appendages of the main head, basically just tentacles with mouths.
    • Intentionally played straight with the Chimera, which walks on all fours when the goat head is in control, but when the lion head takes on, it becomes bipedal. In an interview with the designers, they said that "the lion and the goat actually don't get along."
    • Also the Cerberi, whose heads act as one.
  • Mundane Utility: In a hilariously audacious example, Kratos uses Helios' severed and still screaming head as a flashlight.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Probably what Kratos was thinking the moment he realized that two of the people he just murdered were his wife and child.
    • He also does this in the second game, when he realizes that the unknown assailant he just killed was the Last Spartan.
    • Done with quietly exquisite beauty in some of Kratos' last words in the third game. "She died for my revenge."
  • A Mythology Is True: Guess which one!
    • Not only the Greek one though. In Chain of Olympus, the Persian King face you with the power of an Efreet, a creature from Arab Floklore... so it's plausible that there are other gods out there..
    • By the time of God of War (PS4), Kratos has found his way to the lands of Norse Mythology (see Crossover Cosmology).
  • Narrator All Along: One-and-a-bit games are narrated before the narrator reveals that she's actually Gaia. The line that reveals this is "[Kratos's] death was something I could not allow."
  • Never Found the Body: The Stinger in God Of War III shows a blood trail that leads off a cliff.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • When Kratos opened Pandora's Box back in the first game, darkness was unleashed that consumed Zeus and turned him evil.
    • Not to mention all of the calamities that happen when Kratos kills a god in the third game: the seas flood the world, the souls of the dead are released from the underworld, the sun is blotted out, a plague is unleashed, and all plant life dies.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Persephone had just gotten Kratos to cast aside his blades and renounce his powers as the Ghost of Sparta so that he can be with his daughter in the Elysian Fields. All she needs to do in order to win is leave him alone for a few hours so that her plan can be completed while he's playing with Calliope. Instead she makes a point of telling him that she's the villain of the game (Something he didn't have the slightest inkling of until she explained her plan), and that thanks to his actions the world will soon be destroyed, and that the Elysian Plains and all the spirits living there will be destroyed with it. This motivates Kratos to reclaim his powers and save the world. Mere moments later she prevents Kratos from falling to his death, just because she wants to kill him herself in an epic duel. Needless to say, she fails.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The Undead are the most common basic enemies of the games; in the Greek era, the undead legionaries are used by Ares and Olympus as part of their army, and in the Norse era, Draugr, Hel-Walkers and other undead roam the realms and attack anyone at first sight.
  • '90s Anti-Hero:
    • If Kratos' muscle-bound and grizzled appearance combined with his multitude of oversized weapons and dark backstory don't convince you, then his lethal and very brutal methods and HIS MONOLOGUES IN WHICH HE DECLARES THAT HE WILL ASCEND OLYMPUS TO KILL THE GODS!!! may show otherwise.
    • Unlike most examples, Kratos is very emotional. He only has the stunted and stoic attitude associated with this trope in the 2018 entry, because he is actively trying to keep a lid on his worse instincts, but if anything tries to harm his son Atreus he falls right back into unfathomable rage.
  • Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot:
    • Pandora's Guardian is a Giant Zombie Robot Demon Minotaur.
    • The Chimera is a Demonic Three-Horned Vampire Goat With A Freakin' Snake-Headed Tail.
  • Nintendo Hard: Those damn trap levels! The Labyrinth in the the third game is especially frustrating.
  • Noble Demon: Kratos could be considered this; even at his worst, he does SOME good.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Hera tried to convince Zeus to kill Kratos when he was a infant, but Zeus took pity on him and didn't kill him, and without Kratos the evils of Pandora's box would have stayed locked away. Also the Greek Pantheon apart from maybe Ares would be alive.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown : Kratos is more the god of this trope than he is the God of War.
    • God of War II — After his battle with the Colossus, Kratos can barely muster the strength it takes to walk, and Zeus seizes the opportunity to toss him around before impaling him with his own godhood. And there is nothing you can do to stop him. ...yet.
    • The end of the Poseidon fight, from Poseidon's view, where Kratos brutally beats, mutilates, and then finally murders the sea god, with the latter being completely helpless the entire time once his oceanic avatar is beaten.
    • The end of the final Zeus fight. Kratos' points of view while you beat Zeus' face in and the screen fills with his blood. And you can go on beating him as long as you want after the screen is completely red. Zeus had done a lot more to earn it, though.
    • Much as he does in the Greek game, Kratos unloads on Heimdall with all his fury for threatening Atreus. He beats and chokes him to death as Mimir begs him to stop, only for the all-seeing Heimdall to look in Kratos' furious eyes and says "Monster" with his last breath.
  • No Indoor Voice: Kratos is not such a quiet person.
  • No Kill like Overkill: Kratos' favorite method of dispatching his enemies.
  • Nominal Hero: Kratos, to the point that, particularly after the first game, many consider him an outright Villain Protagonist, even worse than the people (or gods) he's trying to kill. In which case the gods themselves become Nominal Hero antagonists. Their motivations for opposing Kratos are purely selfish, and they have little concern or empathy for humanity itself. This gets epically flipped on its head in the finale of the third game which reveals that the Gods were actually a bit heroic until Kratos opened Pandora's Box in the first game to beat Ares. The evils from inside infested and corrupted the Gods and twisted them from benevolent leaders into despotic bastards. Kratos is so shocked by this reveal, as well as the realization that he's caused and inflicted so much pain and destruction in his quest for revenge, that he injures himself severely and releases the powers of hope in order to give humanity a chance to survive on their own.
  • No Name Given: With the exception of Kratos, Calliope, and Pathos Verdes III (Pandora's Architect) no character that wasn't originally from Greek Mythology has a name. Subverted, somewhat, in the God of War comics where the Barbarian King (Alrik) and Kratos' Wife's (Lysandra) names have been given.
    • Kratos and Calliope are people from Greek Myth. Kratos was an enforcer for Zeus, and Calliope was said to be Homer's muse.
    • The Novel as well, where, for example, it is stated that the two girls on Kratos' ship are daughters of Aphrodite.
  • Nonhumans Lack Attributes: Averted for several monsters. The gorgons and harpys have breasts, and in God Of War III the centaurs have barely noticeable sheaths. Played straight with the Cyclops in the first game, which were planned to have penises, but they were taken out.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The Naiads. Poseidon apparently gussied his daughters up, presumably to make Spartans want to make out with them.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • During the final battle in the first game, Kratos is hurled back to the moment he killed his family, only to find them alive... whereupon Ares conjures up an army of Kratos clones. The family has their own health bar in the following battle; should it run out, a cutscene starts, showing Kratos collapsing in abject despair and sorrow, murmuring, "Not again..." The Kratos clones then gang up and chop him apart.
    • During one of the last battles in the second game, Kratos is hurled back to the moment that he defeated Ares. The boss, Atropos, was going to destroy the giant sword you originally used in the first game to slay the god of war, which would lead to your retroactive death. If you failed to defeat Atropos before she could destroy the sword, you get a cutscene of past Kratos kneeling in defeat and getting stabbed by Ares, which causes present Kratos to wretch in pain and fall over, dead.
    • In God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta, Kratos runs into King Midas, who lunges at him. Fail the Quick Time Event, and Midas will grab Kratos, turning him to solid gold.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In a rare moment of spooky suspense during III, you have to turn a very slow crank while four Stone Talos statues surround you, who you've been fighting with quite some difficulty one-on-one until now, and you just know they're gonna ambush you. They don't attack until you have to backtrack through that same area about an hour later, and even then, only three of them do.
  • Odd Name Out: Most characters in the Greek Saga use Hellenic names, except for Hercules, who uses his Roman name.
  • Off with His Head!: Kratos has a tendency of ripping off certain enemies' heads and making good use of them. In the first two games he rips off the heads of Medusa and Euryale to freeze enemies in place while in the third he uses Helios' head as a lantern.
  • Once an Episode:
    • Kratos has been to Hades or some other land of the dead, and killed his way out in each game, except in Ascension.
    • An Optional Sexual Encounter at some point in each game, except for Ascension, which subverts it, and in the Norse Saga.
    • Each game opens with a fight against a massive boss taking place across the entire opening level.
    • Each of the main games has Kratos using someone's severed head for his advantage. The difference is that in God of War (2018) and in God of War Ragnarök, Mimir actually asked to be decapitated to be released from his prison, and even comes to befriend Kratos.
  • One-Hit Kill: Many grab commands on lower-class enemies result in Kratos quickly killing said enemy. Multi-option grabs on many humanoid enemies often have at least one one-hit kill option.
  • One Hit Poly Kill: In God of War II, Zeus single-handedly ends the Great War by using the Blade of Olympus to banish all of the Titans to the underworld with one magical attack.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Alecto turns into a giant Kraken-like monster during the final boss battle. This form is often confused with Charybdis, but there's nothing in the game to confirm the relation between the two.
    • Also Thanatos and Erinys in Ghost of Sparta.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Each of the Greek games has one of these. You get a decent amount of red orbs for doing them, although this is useless in God of War II since you lose all your red orbs shortly after, before you have a chance to use them. However it could be worse - you could get blue orbs. These were entirely dropped by the 2018 game.
  • Order Versus Chaos: A very prominent theme in the franchise, with the Fates and Olympians representing Order and Kratos representing Chaos. Fitting, as this is also a prominent theme in all of the original Greek mythos. The Greek gods (especially, amusingly enough, Athena) represent order, while the various forces that fight against them (especially the Titans and monsters like Typhon) represent chaos.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: The series has the typical "enemies bleed a set amount from weak attacks, and you can often hit them over and over without killing them" variety. This can get a bit absurd when you're making rotting zombies bleed twice their weight from Cherry Tapping.
  • Overly-Long Gag: At the climax of the final confrontation against Zeus in God of War III, you're required to mash the Circle button while Kratos punches out Zeus' head after pinning it against a rock. Since you're in first-person mode, Zeus' blood slowly obscures your vision while Kratos keeps hammering away at Zeus' skull and you have to keep mashing the circle button, in theory until the whole screen is bloodstained. In practice, this can go on for as long as you want, letting you unload all of your stress until you decide to stop frenzily hammering the Circle button. You can see it in all its glory here.
  • Parental Favoritism:
    • Hercules accuses Kratos of being Zeus's favorite son. This is debatable.
    • The reason why Ares attacked Athens, as Zeus favored Athena more than Ares, in keeping with the original mythology.
  • Papa Wolf: The closest Kratos ever gets to being heroic is when someone brings up the memory of his family. Zeus on the other hand...
    • Hephaestus, in regard to Pandora. He's the only one of the gods who attacks Kratos out of selfless reasons, as he think Kratos just would sacrifice her for no reason than for revenge. When he dies, he begs Kratos to spare her. Kratos later lampshades it to Pandora when he tells her that Hephaestus did as a loving father would do.
  • Pegasus: Gaia sends Pegasus to Kratos so he can ride it to the island of the Fates in God of War II. It is portrayed as a black steed with flaming wings.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Kratos only smiled twice in the Greek Saga: in Chains of Olympus and Ascension when he gets reunited with his daughter in the first and when he encounters an illusion of his wife and daughter in the second. Eloquently shown here. He smiles a few more times with his son in the Norse Saga, but he continues to be mostly stoic.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Kratos. Unstoppable Rage given form. He gave One-Man Army a new meaning by becoming a one-man armageddon. If anything from Greek myth was left alive by the end of God of War III, it's because he hadn't killed it yet.
  • Planet Heck: Appears in all four games. The River Styx in the first, Tartarus in the second, and the Elysian Fields in the prequel. You go to and from it in the third game, and the appearance of Kratos' brother Deimos in Ghost of Sparta all but guarantees that game will have such a level as well.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me:
    • In Chains of Olympus, Calliope uses this on Kratos, when he's forced to leave her forever in order to become the Ghost of Sparta again so he can defeat Persephone. The game even twists the knife by making his pushing her away into a button-mashing minigame!
    • In the third game Kratos drags a woman around for a short section before using her body to jam a gear mechanism so that he can make it through a set of doors. She begs for her life, says this, he leaves her there anyway, and judging by the screams you hear she dies very painfully or at least in great fear.
  • Plot Hole:
    • GoW I has Kratos retrieving Pandora's Box to gain the power to kill a god, with Zeus and the other gods actively helping him. However, GoW III retcons the box as not only having the power to kill a god inside it, it also contains all the evils born from the war between the titans and the gods. GoW III makes it clear that Zeus never intended the box to be opened. So why does he help Kratos retrieve the box when he fully knows what will happen if it were to be opened? And Athena, being the goddess of wisdom, really should have known better, and yet is advising him to open it.
    • Another one: It would seem odd for Kratos to buy into Athena's story about needing to regain the power to kill a god when at that point he has already killed Poseidon, Hades and Helios. And in the case of Poseidon and Helios, with his bare hands. Not to mention the fact that he almost killed Zeus at the end of GoW II already.
  • The Pornomancer: It sure would explain why Kratos gains experience orbs after a sex minigame...
  • Power-Up Mount: The second game has Kratos riding Pegasus and a Phoenix, and forcing Cerberus, Cyclopse, and harpies to be your "rides" before killing them in third game.
  • Press X to Not Die: If you're caught in certain situations, the right prompt will avoid death, or at least save a chunk of health. This includes saving from falling off narrow beams and breaking out of the gorgon's stone gaze.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: Yeah, deicide is really not a good thing in hindsight, no matter how much they may have deserved it.
  • Production Throwback: The stylistic precap and flashback scenes of God of War III were designed by Imaginary Forces, whose Word of God says they are an allusion to the ending credits of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, also designed by them.
  • Prophecy Twist: In Ghost of Sparta, it's explained that an oracle prophesied that a "marked warrior" would overthrow the Olympians. Zeus, deciding he'd rather have none of that, sends Ares and Athena to abduct Deimos who apparently fit the description with his birthmark. Only problem is, the prophecy didn't specify exactly what KIND of mark it would be. Three guesses as to who had the true mark.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • "I CANNOT CHANGE MY FATE!!! I - AM - CURSED!!!"
    • "ZEUS! YOUR SON HAS RETURNED! I BRING THE DESTRUCTION! OF OLYMPUS!!!"
  • Rash Promise: The whole reason Kratos spirals into a god-killing spree is because he made an oath to serve Ares in the heat of battle. Had he not been so lustful of victory, he would not have been compelled by Ares to kill his family and he would not have killed Ares in revenge. The terrible repercussions of breaking such a vow would be seen in God of War: Ascension, when the Furies tortured Kratos for his betrayal.
  • Rated M for Manly:
    • In just the first 10 minutes of God of War, you get to make Kratos literally tear foes in half, rip the wings off of a harpy, gouge a Hydra head's eyeballs out, and impale another head on the mast of a ship. It only gets better from there...
    • In number 2, you start off by fighting the Colossus, a giant animated statue using a man that would bring Leonidas to his knees in shame, then just move on from there.
    • In three, you start off by fighting the leviathan, the apocalyptic living embodiment of the sea itself, as it is destroying the Titans who are climbing up Mount Olympus to wage war with the gods. Even more epic than it sounds. And then it's god slaughtering time.
    • The handheld version sets you off against a Cyclops as your first big boss. Well, that's understandable, smaller platforms gonna mean WHAT THE FUCK SOMETHING JUST ATE THE DAMN CYCLOPS!
  • Reality Is Unrealistic:
    • While designing the look of Kratos, and various other characters in the game, the art team was frustrated because they kept getting told that it "didn't look Greek enough." They were using actual Greek sources, and doing extensive research into Greek mythology in an effort to get everything correct. But eventually they came to realize that "Greek" should mean "Greek according to the general public," since that was the audience they were targeting.
    • This might also explain why so many think the series is Darker and Edgier than the myths despite it actually being the other way around: so many people grow up with white-washed versions of the myths, and the games are certainly much darker and more brutal than the Ray Harryhausen movies that inspired them.
    • One of the directors of the game justified the changes they made, explaining that the ancient writers were telling the stories in a way most appropriate to ancient Greece, while they're telling the myths in a way most appropriate to the 21st century.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: The weapons and spells are usually this. Every game has at least one alternate melee weapon that you can switch between on the fly.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Every god in the third game has one to some degree, along with some Evil Gloating. The kicker? Their accusations of Kratos being a monster who seeks only destruction and vengeance are far from unfounded. Special mention to Zeus who mocks Kratos for failing everyone he's ever cared about.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Played with, Kratos forgives himself for his family's death and commits suicide at the end of GOW III releasing Hope into the world. Its ambiguous as to whether he released Hope to truly benefit humanity or one last "Screw You!" to Athena - if not a combination thereof - and whether it truly makes up for all the evil and chaos he caused in his life for his own selfish reasons.. And Kratos didn't actually die, either.
  • Redemption Quest: Kratos' service to the gods in Chains of Olympus and the first game is done in exchange for forgiveness for the sins. He honestly couldn't care much about the redemption beyond getting over the nightmares about of his terrible crime.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Used in a sequence just before the final battle with Zeus in III. Plenty of red blood for the sins Kratos has committed, and blue flames of hope to erase it.
  • Refuge in Audacity: All games utilize this, but a particular moment in III stands out. So, Kratos trapped in the Underworld, with a very pissed off Hades taunting him the whole way. He blocks his path with a statue of himself and tries to guilt trip Kratos into giving up by showing him the casket of his dead wife that Kratos murdered. So, what does he do? He turns the casket of Hades' dead wife into a fucking battering ram and smashes through the statue, allowing him to proceed to the next area.
  • Retcon:
    • It is mentioned at least twice in the first game that Kronos (who carries the Temple of Pandora) is the only living Titan, but since the plot of the second game revolves around Gaia and Titans in general this minor plot point was quietly ignored.
    • The ending of the first game indicates Kratos remains the new God of War for all time. Come God of War II, and the story takes a completely different route as Kratos loses his godhood in the prologue and spends the next two games wiping Olympus off the map.
    • Every storylines in the extra videos had been rewritten.
      • The backstory of Kratos' brother: Originaly Deimos was taken away by the spartan soldiers and left to die in the mountains. In Ghost of Sparta, Deimos had been caught by Ares and Athena and put into Thanatos' dominion.
      • "The Fate of the Titan": Chronos is said to die in the desert 100 years after the events of the first game which contradicts God of War III
  • Revenge Before Reason: Kratos entire life. He's willing to wreck the world for revenge on Zeus. Even his final impalement is an act of revenge against Athena, and/or a genuine attempt for a last act of redemption.
  • Rewarding Vandalism:
    • Kratos receives power ups in the form of red orbs for smashing anything that can be smashed, which is practically everything. And any time you see random human characters running around, they, too, can be murdered for health.
    • Subverted/Justified in the prequel where Kratos was given the choice of either preventing a Persephone-sponsored apocalypse or reuniting with his daughter (for whatever time remained before aforementioned Persephone-sponsored apocalypse occurred). To re-acquire your strength for the final boss, you have to savagely murder bystanders.
    • These aren't regular bystanders, mind you. These are souls in Elysium. Yes, to progress in Chains Of Olympus, you have to slaughter everyone in Heaven.
  • Revenge Is Not Justice: Kratos is the Spartan warrior who 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 and stays 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 it 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.
  • Rule of Cool: Just about every last thing regarding these games. You play as a large Spartan wearing little but a tunic, wielding blades attached to chains that are sheared into his arms, and you kill monsters 10 times bigger than you in brutal over the top ways. Also, you get to kill a god. Several times. Hell, half the stuff Kratos does would seem appalling if they weren't so damn awesome.
  • Running Gag:
    • In God of War II, Kratos develops quite a habit of yelling up at the gods (mainly Zeus) every time they effectively make his life hell. The result? They're not happy, and have him attacked by the Colossus of Rhodes or cause The Kraken show up to squeeze him to death. He seems to have learned in this department by the third game, though.
    • The boat captain who constantly has the bad luck of running into Kratos and not surviving, or being referenced otherwise. Even when already dead, he can't escape his wrath. He is seen or referenced in all of the games of the franchise, apart from the ones made for PlayStation Portable and Mobile.
      • After being killed by Kratos in God of War by being thrown into the Hydra's throat, he is seen in the Underworld trying to avoid falling in the River Styx by holding onto a bridge, only for Kratos to use him as a leverage after he was killed by Ares and then kicking him into the depths below.
      • In God of War II, he is one of the spirits summoned by the Barbarian King to be one of his mooks. Surprised to see Kratos, he tries to run away, and is yet again killed by the Spartan.
      • In God of War III, a note made by him can be read in the Underworld, in which he blames Kratos for his torment.
      • In God of War: Ascension, an artifact called "Boat Captain's idol" can be found in a sunken ship.
      • One of the treasure maps in God of War (PS4) was written by one of the members of the captain's crew, saying how, with the captain in the Hydra's belly, he had his key and ship, and the message eventually ended up in Norse lands.
      • And finally, on a far sadder note, a much more mature Kratos mentions the boat captain in his journal when writing about the Lyngbakr in God of War Ragnarök, expressing regret with how needlessly cruel he was to the man. Even after centuries, Kratos still regrets all the times he made people like the captain suffer for his own selfishness and needless cruelty as the Ghost of Sparta.

    S-Z 
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Towards the end of the third game, Kratos has to decide whether to sacrifice Pandora, who has become like a daughter to him, or to save her but let Zeus go free. Avenge his family or save his family: pick one. (Zeus goads him into the former.)
    • The games themselves sometimes do this directly to you. Occasionally, instead of having both health and magic chests at a resting location, you'll be given a single chest that switches between the two. You have to choose between resilience and a surefire way to defeat enemies.
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • Just about everything. Besides the obvious — at no point in the original myths are the gods of Olympus massacred by an angry bald man — God of War makes an all-too common mistake modern adaptations of Greek myths often make (mainly due to Values Dissonance): depicting the Greek pantheon as ruthless tyrants who oppress and abuse humanity. The truth is that Greek myths were lighthearted, reflecting the general disposition of the people they came from. The Darker and Edgier elements were first conceived in the dark ages. It's somewhat justified in the ending of the final game where it turns out all the gods, including Zeus, were infected by humanity's evils after Kratos opened Pandora's Box in the first game.
    • Beyond the personalities of the gods, the games are full of things that are nowhere to be found in the original myths. Pandora's Box imbues Kratos with power that allows him to fight Ares on equal footing. The Golden Fleece is... a pauldron... which allows Kratos to throw balls of energy... All right, moving on. Kronos being condemned to wander a desert carrying a mountain likewise is a completely new invention by the developers.
    • A special award goes to Pandora's Box, which has in common with the original legend: 1. It's a box (Actually Pandora's Box was a pithos, a type of jar, but there was a mistranslation that stuck); 2. They're both from Greece (Although the God of War version of Greece contains a desert); and 3. Something happens if you open it (not the same something, just generally something). The trope is then downplayed in III when it is revealed that the box indeed contained the evils of the world, and hope, since always. The only thing that truly changes is that the evils in the box were intended for mankind in the original hesiodic myth, not the gods.
    • Hera is the Goddess of Marriage. So why does all plant life die when when Hera dies? Demeter is the Goddess of the Harvest. She would have a reason to attack Kratos, as well, he did kill her daugther.
    • The sirens in The Odyssey resided on jagged coastlines and tempted sailors to smash their ships on the rocks. So naturally God of War puts them in the desert just outside Athens.
    • There's also the name "Kratos" itself. He doesn't get mentioned a lot, but there was a Greek god by that name, representing strength and power. He's usually depicted as Zeus's personal guard/enforcer, though, not his archenemy.
  • And the list goes on.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: In the third game, this is technically what Aphrodite pulls on Kratos, refusing to help him unless he has sex with her. (You can refuse - although let's be frank, it's hard to say "no" to Aphrodite here - but it's sort of a But Thou Must! situation; Kratos can't progress any further in the game unless you say yes.)
  • Scary White Man: (although voiced by a black man.)
    • He looked the opposite prior to getting coated in white ash.
    • Played straight in GoW II with his "Dark Odissey" bonus costume.
  • Scenery Porn: Literally brought to life.
  • Scenery Gorn: "In the end, there will be only chaos" indeed. The sea floods the land, the souls of the dead are released, the sky is darkened by a violent unending storm, a deadly plague is released and all plant life dies upon the deaths of Poseidon, Hades, Helios, Hermes and Hera respectively.
  • Sea Monster: The Hydra, The Kraken, Leviathan/Hyppocami.
    • Scylla in Ghost of Sparta takes the cake: It looks like a hybrid of different sea creatures, including a shark, a squid, a crab and a narvhal.
    • Ascension has Charybdis as a colossal tentacled fish with a huge mouth who tries to eat Kratos.
  • Second-Person Attack: In the third game, one part of the Poseidon battle has you seeing Kratos' brutality through Poseidon's eyes.
  • Serial Escalation: Pretty much everything Kratos does, starting with killing the Hydra and working from there. By the end of the series, you can be guaranteed that if there is anything from Greek myth still alive, it's only because Kratos hasn't met and killed it yet.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
    • Given the source material, it's no surprise that this one appears, most notably in the second game's plot. Kronos overthrew his father, Ouranus and devoured his children to keep them from overthrowing him, thus providing Zeus with the motivation to do just that. Later on, when Zeus murders Kratos for the same exact reason, this gives Kratos an excuse to track down the Three Sisters of Fate and kill them in order to gain their power and reverse the event, and then he kills Zeus in a vicious No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Even the Fates themselves fall victim to this trope, as they were the ones who orchestrated all of these events to begin with. It turns out, even though they can control your circumstances, they can't do the same with your actions. This becomes one of the main themes in Ragnarök, with Kratos and Mimir discussing occasions such as how the oracle of Athens in the first game foresaw the god of war causing to destruction of Olympus and helped Kratos to overthrow Ares, not knowing that Kratos would become the new god of war and complete the prophecy, as well as commenting about other times this happened in Greek culture, like in Oedipus Rex.
    • Ragnarök takes this even further. Fate doesn’t exist. Fate and prophecies are merely predictions of the future based on what is perceived to be what will happen. Prophecies don’t come true due to fate, they come true because the people involved made them come true. Freya’s attempts to stop Baldur from dying a needless death are what forced Kratos to kill him. Odin’s attempts to prevent Ragnarök led to the war.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Kratos kills both of his parents; his mother because she was turned into a monster, and his father for vengeance.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Pandora died so that Kratos could open an empty box
  • Sequel Hook: The End Begins.
    • More or a Prequel Hook, but Zeus mentions an "other pawn of Gaia."
    • During Kratos's mind trip, one of the many quotes you hear towards the end of it is "A Spartan never lets his back hit the ground... right, brother?" The very same thing that Ghost of Sparta reveals is what Kratos and Deimos always said to each other.
    • Another Prequel Hook: One of Poseidon's battle quotes is "Atlantis will be avenged!". In Ghost Of Sparta it is revealed that Kratos' actions sunk Atlantis.
  • Sequence Breaking: Entire communities on GameFAQs and YouTube are devoted to finding new breaks, primarily for the three console games.
    • It's possible to beat the entire first game without collecting any magic or the Blade of Artemis.
    • In the second game, it's possible, even without Bonus Play, to use an out-of-bounds swimming glitch to essentially warp from acquiring the Amulet of the Fates straight to Icarus (the downside being that you have to play the rest of the game without the Barbarian Hammer, Head of Euryale, Golden Fleece or Spear of Destiny.
    • An easier, more obvious non-glitch sequence break that most everyone will pull off on their New Game Plus is releasing Prometheus from his chains and dropping him into the fires of Olympus without having to take on Typhon, as you start out with every magic spell, including Typhon's Bane.
  • Sex God:
    • Kratos. In God of War III, his having sex with Aphrodite turns on her servants so much, they start making out with each other while Aphrodite screams in the background. In Ghost of Sparta he starts having a threesome, and by the end of it, at least 10 girls are in his bed. Older and Wiser, he leaves this behind in the Norse era, especially considering he was greatly griefing the loss of his second wife Faye.
    • Aphrodite herself is a Sex Goddess, being the only woman that is capable of outlasting Kratos in case the player fails the Quick Time Event, with her teasing him about her being "too much woman for him", with the implication he failed to last long with her.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot:
    • During a Hot Coffee Minigame Kratos has rough sex with two topless Greek ladies on his boat. As the "action" starts, the camera pulls to the side, and focuses on a large vase on the nightstand. Then the room starts shaking and loud moans fill the air; if the player is successful, and the vase falls and breaks. Surprisingly, no congressional hearings were called on this one. Nor were they called for the second game, where he does it again, and during a battle, no less. This time, the shot cuts to a "peeing" cherub fountain... Chains of Olympus also features one in the middle of a pitched battle with Persians, no less.
    • The third game, however, intentionally subverts this. While Kratos has sex with Aphrodite (technically his great-aunt by strange shenanigans regarding Ouranus's genitals, or his half-sister depending on the version) the camera pans... to two of Aphrodite's slave girls feeling each other up while watching the whole thing. The two handmaidens murmur about how it's for mature audiences and parents shouldn't let their children watch it while fondling each others' naked breasts... And actually, if you succeed there is another discretion shot, as the two maidens "go to the next step" and the camera pans back to Aphrodite.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Most of Ascension is this, as everything in the game that comes before the In Medias Res beginning is rendered pointless. The only change brought about is the introduction of the artifacts that you retake from the furies in the chronologically final act.
  • Shaky P.O.V. Cam: When Poseidon is finished off from his perspective, i.e, You seeing Kratos beating him to death - with his bare hands, for a change - in a QTE, through their perspective. Yes, the game actually has second-person sequences.
  • Ship Tease: Quite a bit of it between Kratos and Athena, especially in God of War II. This gets subverted big time at the end of God of War III though when it turns out that Athena has just been manipulating Kratos (possibly for as long as he has been serving the gods) and is no better than the rest of (at least) certain gods and Titans Kratos has killed.
  • Shoo the Dog: Actually made into a QTE in Chains of Olympus, as Kratos pushes Calliope away from him so he can actually bring himself to leave her side again, in order to regain his powers and defeat Persephone.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silliness Switch: The games generally have silly costumes as unlockables, such as a fish costume, a cow suit or a business suit. Said costumes not only change your weapons, but also have different gameplay attributes (more magic, more red orbs, etc.).
  • Sinister Scimitar: Played straight by countless monsters and arguably Kratos himself. Even before getting the Blade of Chaos he used one in the comic book.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The Greek Saga is among the most mercilessly pessimistic and nihilistic works in video-game history, with no faith that people can change for the better, as befitting of the cyncism that was popular from the 2000's whence it came. The Norse Saga, sorrow and violence nothwithstaning, is almost apologetically idealistic and hopeful in comparison. In fact, the signature Arc Words that drives the Norse Saga is "Be Better", a steadfast declaration of faith in fundamental human decency and the ability to learn from one's mistakes.
  • Start of Darkness: Though he and his army paved a very harmful path of conquest, an additional start is formed with Kratos' Deal with the Devil, in which he promised his soul to Ares in exchange for the latter agreeing to destroy his enemies. In return, he received the Blades of Chaos and the blessing of the God of War.
    Narrator: But he would soon learn the true cost of such power. A cost too high even for Kratos to pay.
  • Stock Scream: Throughout the Greek Gods story, Wilhelm screams can be heard multiple times.
  • Stripperiffic:
    • The Oracle in the first game with her see-through top (no, they didn't have bras in Ancient Greece). Kratos himself arguably qualifies as well.
    • In III, Aphrodite's outfit consists of a strip of cloth across her chest (which is so thin that it doesn't cover her breasts) and another covering her hips. It also seems to be her maiden's standard outfit.
  • Strong as They Need to Be:
    • GoW 2 provides a villain example. The Blade of Olympus kills Athena in one stab, yet you spend the last twenty minutes before that stabbing Zeus with it in both gameplay and cutscenes, yet he just walks off like it was nothing. It seems to work fine in the third game after a final epic battle, although the finishing blow ends up being more... personal
    • The titans also qualify, since in God of War II they able to give Kratos powers, implying they have magic powers themselves, yet during God of War III they don't display any magic beyond their size.
    • At one point in III you lash Poseidon's Princess to a crank to hold a door open. As soon as you're through the door her strength fails and the crank crushes her, but if you don't go through the door and just stand there, she can hold the crank in place indefinitely.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: In II and especially III, Kratos throws his Tantrum Throwing at the events of Ghost of Sparta into overdrive. End result: much of Greece flooded by Poseidon's death, the dead roaming aimlessly in the Underworld due to Hades', a plague to humanity due to Hermes' inthe form of infected locusts, an inability for people to be judged to be let into Elysium due to the destruction of the three judges, and total chaos and storms due to the death of Zeus. Kratos releases Hope, the god-killing power, to humanity, but given some interpretations of pandora's Box, that might not be a good thing.
  • Sadly Myth Characterized: Typhon is just another Titan in this series, and far less powerful than in the original mythology. Typhon was not a Titan, He was a monstrous enormous beast and the only being Zeus feared and almost singlehandedly overthrew him but was defeated. And while his mother is Gaia, she sired him with Tartarus in order to avenge the defeated Titans, but he is not a Titan himself (as they are the children of Gaia and Ouranos).
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Scylla. That beast will chase you from open sea through all Atlantis and right into a Flaming Volcano in order to stop Kratos. Not that it will work, mind you..
  • Sword Plant: Happens a few times in the games, mostly with the Blade of Olympus.
    • One of the moves available with the Blades of Chaos involves slamming both of them into the ground and summoning either a shockwave or a spurt of lava that burns through any enemys around Kratos. This is known as the "Lance of the Furies."
    • In God of War II, Zeus stabs the ground with it and single-handedly ends the war by banishing all of the Titans to the underworld with the ensuing magical attack. God of War III has Kratos stabbing the ground with for a magic attack in a manner reminiscent of the way Zeus used it.
  • Taken for Granite: Medusa and her sister Eruyale can turn people to stone. You too, once you rip their heads off. King Midas has the "turns to gold" variety, of course.
  • Take Your Time: In the first game, an NPC is dangling from a rope at one point, and you need to rescue her before she falls. You need to solve a puzzle to be able to climb up to a certain platform, and then a Timed Mission starts in which you must navigate an obstacle course to reach her. However, you can Take Your Time in reaching that platform, despite her cries of agony.
  • Tempting Fate: Theseus doubts Kratos could even kill him, much less Zeus. Funnily enough, Theseus is literally a servant of the Fates.
  • Tennis Boss: Lakhesis also somewhat counts, and you can keep throwing her energy blasts back at her, and she'll often catch them and toss them right back a few times before you hit her with them.
  • They Killed Kenny: The poor Boat Captain gets killed three times by Kratos. In the first game, Kratos deliberately lets him fall into the belly of the Hydra, then when they meet in the Underworld, Kratos kicks him into the Styx and leaves him to drown as he escapes. When the Barbarian King summons the Captain as an undead minion to do battle with Kratos in II, he screams "No! Not you again!" before Kratos kills him. He seems to have gotten used to it.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Hercules considers defeating Kratos a thirteenth Labour. It gets him killed.
  • Throw the Mook at Them: Some Mooks can be thrown to other Mooks when you use your Grapple Move against them, Kratos will automatically aim at the closest other Mook in front of him, with the "targeting reticule" being a Pillar of Light.
  • Time Travel: How the Hecate Sisters mess around with the timeline to control Fate. It's not clearly explained but it is all done with threads, mirrors, and a bit of Trolling around.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Anyone who knew who Kratos was and still decided they were going to try and kill him, you can hardly feel sympathy for people who go into a fight knowing you killed a god and not just running.
    • The gods of Olympus. Even when Kratos has got them bloodied and broken on the ground, none of them can resist spitting in his face one last time. Even when given a chance to live, they'd rather be running their mouths at the guy who literally has them by the throat. This may show the degree of contempt they have for Kratos, and considering what a monster Kratos has been, this attitude may be justified.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: The first game ends with Kratos sitting on Ares' throne, with flash-forwards suggesting he will preside over human warfare until the modern day. The second game starts him with losinghis throne, and ends him with leading a crusade against all of Olympus that then takes up the third game.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Hades, Hephaestus, and Kronos are all deformed giants, while their wives Persephone, Aphrodite, and Rhea are all beautiful human women. In all cases, the giant hideous monstrosity is the husband, while the attractive human is the wife.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: In II, there is a segment where the player has to climb up to a ledge to continue. There is a pushable block nearby, but standing on the block still leaves the ledge just out of reach. There is a switch the player can hit that causes a square part of the floor to raise up on a thin, round pillar, but it falls back down too quickly for the player to use it. The solution is to kick the block UNDER the raised floor before the pillar falls. Like many examples here, in real life this solution would be obvious, but most players would expect the entire floor-pillar object to act as a solid rectangle.
  • The Unfettered: Absolutely nothing will stop Kratos when he's on a warpath (which is to say, all the time).
  • Unwinnable by Design: In-universe, Hera's Garden, which could not have been solved if, during it, Kratos hadn't given its owner a Neck Snap for unrelated reasons.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Kratos tends to be too easily manipulated by both the gods and the Titans. By the end of God of War III, Kratos has finally had enough and sees through Athena's attempt to regain her power and become Greece's only goddess.
  • Vapor Wear:
    • The Oracle in the first game, with a translucent top and nothing underneath.
    • Also, Hercules in God of War III. A glitch reveals his bare behind here starting at about 0:57.
  • Variable-Length Chain:
    • Kratos' standard weapons are two very large daggers that instantly attach to the chains welded to his wrists, allowing him to swing them about to slash stuff at a distance.
    • God of War III gives us dueling Variable Length Chains, when Kratos fights Hades, who has some very similar weapons.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: Kratos tends to steal weapons and artifacts from his defeated enemies.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The game is not just full of delightfully malicious attacks, it even forces players to pull of some serious Jerkass moves.
  • Video Game Long-Runners: The series just recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. Since the first title on the PlayStation 2, Kratos' story has been chronicled in six canonical games, as well as a non-canonical mobile game.
  • Villain Ball: Caught by the entire Greek pantheon with the opening of Pandora's Box and dropped post-mortem. With apocalyptic results
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: Pandora's Box was needed to defeat Ares in the first game. It was also needed to defeat Zeus in the third game except that it's devoid of its power because it was already used against Ares.
  • Villain Protagonist: Let's be honest here, Kratos starts off God of War II doing the exact same thing Ares did in the first game. He also willingly sacrifices others in order accomplish his goals. He's subsequently killed in the A Taste of Power segment of the game, and spends the remainder of 2 and almost every second of 3 on a rampage against his killer for... stopping exactly what he was told to stop in the first game.
  • Visual Pun: You literally give Gaia a heart attack in the final boss of 3.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Kratos is too badass for his - or about any - shirt.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: Extremely common death traps in every game include spiked walls moving close to closer to Kraots. In nearly every case, the only way to deactivate them is to endure the Multi-Mook Melee that accompanies them.
  • Weapon Across the Shoulder: Kratos regularly carries weapons that are bigger than himself in this fashion.
  • Weaponized Offspring: Cerberi in the first game spit out puppylike Cerberus Seeds that, if given enough time, will grow into full grown Cerberi.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Ares has shades of this in the first game. His whole motivation for wiping out Athens was jealousy of Athena, Zeus' "favored" child.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Lampshaded in the third game. There's a sex minigame that's played with Aphrodite as your partner. The camera then pans over to her two female concubines who provide reactions and commentary while you put in the action commands. One of the bits of commentary is as follows: "Wow, this really is for mature audiences only!" "Parents shouldn't let their kids watch this!" invoked
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Artemis, who was seen helping Kratos by giving him a weapon in the first game, was never seen again in any of the sequels. Maybe she was smart enough not mess with Kratos, maybe she was killed offscreen by a Titan, we don't know
    • We never really see what becomes of most of the other Titans assaulting Mount Olympus in God of War III, because Kratos is otherwise occupied for much of the game. We see at least one (Perses) about halfway through the game, but most of the rest apparently failed in their assault on the gods. We see two of them get knocked off the mountain mid-climb, but their survival or demise is left ambiguous.
    • Apollo never once shows up. He's the only notable Olympian god never to, though you do get to use his bow in III. You can find a mural depicting Apollo in the Temple of the Oracle in Ascension, and a later part of the game involves traversing a statue of him. Apollo himself is still absent though.
    • At the end of III, Aphrodite seems to be the only remaining goddess alive. That might screw with Kratos deciding to let mortals handle their own fate from then on...
    • The mobile game God of War Betrayal ends with a mysterious assassin who kills Argos. His identity is never revealed but whether this game is canon or not is arguable.
  • What Have I Become?: Kratos says it verbatim in the Temple of Pandora.
    • He repeats it at the end of Ghost of Sparta, to which the Gravedigger replies "Death, the Destroyer of Worlds."
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Other than her creator, Hephaestus, the other gods shunned Pandora, as she is really a statue that had been given life. They tend to address her as "It" instead of "She". Ironic, considering she's arguably the most important character in the series next to Kratos, and is certainly one of the most decent or nice people we see. Made especially shocking considering that Kratos treats her with more kindness and common decency than the Gods themselves.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Averted. Oh sure, lots of people are disgusted with Kratos' actions, often calling him out (usually as he is butchering them or about to), but it's not like he can be considered a hero to begin with.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Kratos is what priceless antiquities have nightmares about when they go to sleep.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Kratos has become Sony Computer Entertainment's Wolverine, seeing as how he appeared in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny as per fan-request as well as the PS3 version of Mortal Kombat 9. He's also stated to be the "beginner's character" in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, similar to Mario in Super Smash Bros.
  • Womb Level: More like Womb Action Sequence. A few boss battles require you to go inside the boss to mess them up. There's the Hydra, the Colossus of Rhodes, Kronos, and Gaia. There is also Atlas, though not a boss.
  • World of Ham:
    • Considering that this game can't go five minutes without someone ravenously feasting on the scenery, it's to be expected. Even the rocks are Large Hams! Kratos spends most of the time killing everything, but when he speaks...
    • The titans deserve special mention. Near the beginning of the second game:
      "YOU WILL PAY... FOR THAT... KRAAAAAAAATOOOOOOS"!
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: "I am what the gods have made me" said Kratos in GOW II; now, if you were to study ALL of the games and comics that take place, chronologically before that game, you would see that he was far from lying.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The entirety of Ascension is this. You fight your way through the Temple of Delphi, to have the Oracle die as soon as you get there. The majority of the game is spent on a quest for the Eyes of Truth, and as soon as you get them, they are taken from you by the Furies. Then, after Kratos finally is free and finds a genuine, Fire-Forged Friend in the form of Orkos, you are forced to kill him. Definitely setting him up as The Woobie.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: The series uses both in regards to the gods, with Zeus' usual lightning attacks being yellow/golde, but with Poseidon's, Kronos' and younger Zeus's being blue. Kratos later gains the whips of Nemesis, which generate green lightning.
  • You Bastard!:
    • The series he is in is based on Greek Mythology. The player has to do completely heartless things like smash a person's head on stone from an altar, which the player drags him to while he is screaming "No! No! Get away from me!" (this is from the second game). There is no resistance from the man or a way to stop this if you wish to progress...twice.
    • In the first game, Kratos is a champion of the Gods, in the second, he is a champion of the Titans, who eventually kills the Fates, which gives him the ability of time travel. This may sound fine, but the level of bloody violence is so much so it was mentioned on the back cover. Then again, at that time morality was different, and they are not afraid to show some of it. Also, Kratos commits an act of treachery at the beginning of the second game. The plot revolves around being and/or doing evil. Just look at the page mentioned above for more examples.
    • However, in the third game several characters (most notably Hermes) tell him how much of a bastard he is being in enough ways, as well as him gaining a sort of Morality Pet in Pandora. It actually affects him enough that he makes a slight Heel–Face Turn more towards the end.
    • In God Of War III, Kratos can find letters in Hades written about him. One is from his mother lamenting how everything around her son dies and that she failed as a mother, and another is from the boat captain damning Kratos to Hades.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: You really can't. Except literally. Kratos finds you cannot only fight the Fates, you can kill them too.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Kratos might kill those he 'needed' around once they're no longer useful or, more likely, if their death becomes useful. Karma kicks him in the ass when the Titan Gaia thought that he had outlived his usefulness too, and attempts to leave him for dead as the Titans try to overthrow the Olympians. It fails, of course.
    • Subverted in God of War III. Kratos actually refuses to let Pandora sacrifice herself even if it means giving up on killing Zeus.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: Hades in III tries this on Kratos, even uttering the [Trope Name] in the pre-battle cutscene. Guess what Kratos does to him in the battle's finale.
  • Yo-Yo Plot Point: After being a Cosmic Plaything so long, one would think that Kratos would learn to not trust any god who tells him to do something. And yet, he always goes along with the machinations and whims of one of the gods of Olympus or the titans who claim to be on his side, and acts surprised when they inevitably turn on him. Kratos then swears vengeance against the gods and that he'll never trust them again, only to completely forget about this come the next game. It's only in the Grand Finale of the series, God of War III, that Kratos finally seems to wise up.


If you've got this far without Kratos killing you accidentally or deliberately, congratulations. There's a severe chance you'll die in one of the sequels to this page.

 
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Alternative Title(s): God Of War Series, God Of War Betrayal

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The New God of War

After earning absolution for his crimes in Ares service by slaying him, but not a reprieve from his nightmares, Kratos attempts to end his life, only for Athena to intervene, for a greater reward awaits him on Olympus.

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