It feels strange to say it, but 2018’s God of War was a game which stood out most of all due to its story. Why it’s strange to say that is because God of War was never known for its storytelling. From the first game to God of War: Ascension, all we saw of Kratos was of him coming across a random opponent, who would boast about being the one to finish Kratos, only for Kratos to then easily dispatch them. That was almost literally the story for God of War until the latest game changed everything up.
The factor for this change was little Atreus, Kratos’ son, whose relationship with Kratos was the main aspect of 2018’s God of War. The gameplay was second fiddle to what the story was unfolding and the developers made it so by employing a single shot camera, which made the story unfolding more palpable and real. It paid off in the end as God of War ended up winning dozens of Game of the Year awards and is now considered the best game in the series thanks to it combining both great gameplay and wonderful storytelling.
Since Kratos and Atreus’ relationship is the glue holding God of War together, it needs to be analyzed further for you to appreciate what the game’s message was. And for that, we’ll be listing out everything that was revealed about these two. There were a lot of subtleties on hand here, so it’s likely you missed a great deal about the relationship between this father and son duo.
25 Atreus Accused Kratos Of Not Caring For His Mother’s Demise
You might have missed this while playing the game, since the scene involved the two whispering to one another, Atreus made it clear to Kratos he thought Kratos didn’t care bou Atreus’ mother’s demise.
Up until then, there had been something boiling up between the two, and Atreus looked to be holding back some sort of accusation; he let it out when they were on the boat. Kratos countered that he was mourning, just in his own way. This prompted Atreus to apologize; realizing his father did have capacity for grief.
24 Atreus Wished Kratos Had Passed Away Instead Of His Mother
Even though Atreus did have feelings of love for his father, there was no question that he preferred his mother over Kratos. Kratos hadn’t been a very communicative parent, which meant that Atreus started talking to himself to let out what he wanted to say to his mother.
Kratos would overhear Atreus admit to the memory of Faye that he would’ve preferred Kratos have passed away rather than Faye. Although Atreus hastily took back what he said, it was clear he did mean it in the heart.
23 Faye Manipulated Kratos Into Siring Atreus
Ah yes, the big twist at the end of the game revealed that Faye, for all the care and affection she’d shown Atreus and Kratos, only used them to achieve her endgame. As it was, Faye’s plans were to have a child with Kratos so that the boy would fulfil a prophecy.
This prophecy was for the Giants to gain their revenge on Asgard, and for that Faye used Kratos to have this child who would go on to become Loki.
22 Kratos Was Fated To Be Atreus’ Father
Building on the point mentioned above, Kratos was not only manipulated into becoming Atreus’ parent, he was fated to be it. Kratos fulfilled all the prophecies that had been in place in the Greek world, and now it was revealed he had been in a prophecy in the Norse world as well.
As fate intended it, it was specifically Kratos who was supposed to marry Faye and then have the child who would go on to lead the Giants’ revenge. Kratos was a tool in these plans, but he had always been fated to be this tool.
21 Kratos’ Parenting Style With Atreus Was Very Different Than With His Daughter
From what we know, Faye was a loving mother who always treated Atreus with the care and attention a child needs. Kratos didn’t treat Atreus like this at all, instead of being a parent who was something of a drill sergeant.
However, Kratos had once been exactly the kind of parent Faye was: with his daughter, Calliope. When Calliope was alive, Kratos had been an extremely doting parent, which was unlike anything we’ve seen from him as he was always affectionate and soft with her. Atreus never knew a relationship like this with him.
20 Atreus Doesn’t Know He Has A Deceased Stepmother And Sister
Not only did Atreus not get treated how Kratos treated Calliope, he doesn’t even know he ever had a sister and a stepmother. Kratos did tell Atreus he was a God, but he never revealed to him that he had a family before Faye and Atreus.
It would have been interesting to see how Atreus would’ve reacted to the news he had an extended biological family and an actual sister, but Kratos doesn’t seem to have any plans in informing Atreus of this very real fact.
19 Kratos Wasn’t Around For Most Of Atreus’ Upbringing
People rightfully wonder why Atreus and Kratos weren’t close seeing that Kratos had only him and Faye in his life, but the fact of the matter is that Kratos wasn’t really around. Faye never told either one of them that she was a Giant, which meant Kratos treated them as humans and would hunt for food.
Food hunting took so long that Kratos would be gone for weeks, and would only return when he brought game. Once they had finished these supplies, Kratos would go off hunting again; this meant Kratos and Atreus never had much interaction.
18 Kratos Was Ready To Perish For Atreus
Never mistake Kratos’ absence for apathy, though. He did love Atreus about as much as he had loved Calliope as Kratos made it clear that he would sacrifice himself should the need arise to protect Atreus.
Atreus was surprised to hear his father admit this to him, but Kratos brushed it off in a matter of fact manner, which means inwardly he saw his relationship with Atreus the same way he saw his fatherhood with Calliope. For a guy who takes so many lives, it was nice to see he was willing to give up his own.
17 Their Loving Relationship Breaks Cycle Of Taking Fathers' Life In Kratos’ Family
Ultimately, Kratos and Atreus’ relationship became a loving one, and the two were much close by the end of the game’s storyline. This was more significant than you’d have thought, since the father and son dynamic has been horrible in Kratos’ family.
Kronos took the life of his father; Zeus overthrew Kronos, who would have his life taken by Kratos. Kratos would then also take the life of Zeus, continuing this vicious cycle of patricide. Atreus and Kratos’ relationship, though, finally broke this curse.
16 Atreus' Name Is A Link To Kratos’ Time In Sparta
For those who had been hoping for many references to the Greek world in the latest game were disappointed as it didn’t have much of them. However, what had been hidden the whole time was that Atreus’ name was a constant reference to Sparta.
Kratos revealed he had named the boy after a warrior called Atreus, who had been the only happy Spartan Kratos knew of. This meant the whole game you were playing, you had a permanent piece of the Greek world with you.
15 Kratos Spent All Of Atreus’ Life Trying To Hide His Godhood
Kratos hated it that he’d been lied to all his life by his family and the gods, but he himself lived this kind of life with Atreus. Atreus mistook Kratos’ apprehension for a lack of care, and kept his innate godhood buried inside.
Kratos had always been afraid of Atreus letting these powers out since he saw being a god as a curse. Thus, all of Atreus’ life, Kratos pretty much lied about who he was.
14 Without Kratos, Atreus Would Become A Sinister God
Atreus was so intolerable during the middle part of the game that you just wanted to throw him into Helheim; that is what ended up happening. Atreus became so arrogant, that he became nothing like he used to be.
The vain, smug Atreus was going down a dark path as he took the life of a defenseless person, regularly berated all creatures, insulted his friends, and boasted about his abilities. Without Kratos being his moral compass, Atreus would surely have become a sinister god just like how Zeus and Odin were.
13 They Don’t Talk To Each Other Much
If you ever thought your relationship with your dad isn’t a very communicative one, then at least be happy it’s not as quiet as the one Kratos and Atreus had. For a good portion of the game, the two wouldn’t speak to each other, or if Atreus had a question, Kratos would silence him.
Go and play any side missions and you’ll see how uncomfortably silent these two are; it puts their relationship in perspective. They are together, but don’t know each other all that well.
12 Atreus’ Personality Is More Like His Mother’s
Perhaps why they don’t speak to each other much is because of how different they are in personality. It’s okay for different personalities to be romantic, as the other partner fulfills a quality lacking in you, but when it comes to family, the contrast in personalities might be a problem.
This is why Atreus and Kratos were distant since Atreus mainly took after his mother. It’s also that way since Faye was the constant companion of Atreus and the boy was obviously going to take after the one who raised him.
11 Atreus Became Almost Exactly Like Kratos Used To Be
It’s a good thing too that Atreus didn’t take after Kratos since the latter was anything but a role model. When Atreus became arrogant, Kratos was greatly at unease as it reminded him of who he used to be.
An Atreus with the sole influence of Kratos – rehabilitated or otherwise – was always going to be a recipe for disaster. And we all so just how vain and destructive Atreus could be when he became too brash with his godhood. It’s a good thing he took after Faye rather than Kratos.
10 Kratos Knows He’s Destined To Pass Away In Atreus’ Arms
The Kratos in the latest God of War is different in a big way when it came to knowing his fate. He wasn’t reactive as he used to be, and would always put Atreus at ease by telling him they’d deal with future problems when the time arose.
In this way, Kratos was also okay with the knowledge that his fate is to pass away in Atreus’ arms. While it’s not said that Atreus would take his life, the fate seems to have sealed for Kratos in that he’ll be breathing his last under the cradling of his son.
9 Atreus Felt Kratos Was Ashamed Of Him
Remember when we mentioned that Atreus thought Kratos didn’t take him seriously? Well, the little boy mistook it so much he figured Kratos was actually ashamed of how he turned out. A lot of Atreus’ characterization came from the insecurity that he was unneeded to his father.
Of course, this wasn’t the real case, but we’ll have to be glad that Atreus felt this way as when Kratos told him he wasn’t ashamed, Atreus became that arrogant, sinister child who could have become a destroyer of worlds.
8 Kratos Stopped His Thirst For Vengeance For Atreus
They say having a child changes you, and this point was driven straight home for Kratos as well with Atreus. Kratos always changed for children he loved; Calliope, Pandora, and now Atreus. We saw him still have that rage within him, but he learned to control it.
Rather than stomping down people at every turn, the presence of Atreus made Kratos reasonable, and he would consider other alternatives first, and fighting only as a final resort. Wonder how Atreus would feel at the carnage Kratos left behind in Greece.
7 Atreus Represents The Innocence In Kratos
You might think that the latest game was set up to be an origin story for Atreus, but it was actually a kind of character study for Kratos, who was painfully underdeveloped beforehand. The juxtaposition Atreus brought to Kratos was what made him change.
The boy was Kratos’ kin, which made him a part of him. And Atreus was an innocent boy, who ultimately represented that innocence which Kratos had either lost long before, or never possessed up until Atreus’ birth.
6 Atreus Didn’t Know Any Survival Skills Until Kratos Taught Him
While Faye taught Atreus how to be a good person, she didn’t teach the boy how to survive in the world. Kratos can take credit in molding his son to be a man who can make his own way into the world.
We saw at the beginning of God of War where Atreus was hopeless in both hunting and being outdoors by himself. So, Kratos did get to do what all dads want with their son, and that is to make a man out of him.
5 Atreus Still Believes His Mother Didn’t Have An Agenda
The sad thing is that Kratos probably realized he had been used by someone yet again, but kept his resentment and hurt away to protect Atreus. The boy found out his mother had done everything to fulfill a prophecy, but still didn’t see how he had been used.
Faye’s agenda was for her son to destroy Asgard and not to have him just to be a good mother, but by the end of God of War, Atreus still believed his mother was inherently good. At least Kratos and Atreus' bond is the real deal.
4 They Are Both Supposed To Contrast Baldur And Freya
The latest game was all about family, both good and bad. This was confirmed in the end when both Kratos and Atreus battled Baldur, while his mother tried everything she could to protect him. Kratos filled a similar role of protector of his child, and there’s quite a clear contrast of parenting styles.
While Kratos toughened Atreus up to face what was coming to them, Freya estranged her son away by effectively cursing him so he wouldn’t perish in the future. Eventually, Atreus loved Kratos, while Baldur despised Freya.
3 Atreus Was The First Person To Accept Kratos Knowing All His Crimes
Although Faye was supposedly the first person who accepted Kratos knowing all he’d done, she had an agenda in her mind the whole time so she can’t count here. This means that Atreus has been the only one so far who has continued to stand with Kratos despite knowing who he is.
Not even Kratos’ first wife was willing to be with him after she saw what a monster he had become. But perhaps it comes down to childhood innocence as Calliope was also perfectly willing to love her father, although she never understood how bad he had been.
2 Atreus Inherited Kratos’ Invulnerability
Since you play as Kratos the whole time, it’s easy to overlook how Atreus is a freaking strong creation of nature. The boy looks feeble enough to break in two with a snap, but he’s so sturdy that he never had any injuries despite falling literal hundreds of feet.
Of course, this means he inherited the godhood powers Kratos possesses, but not even Kratos was this invulnerable at Atreus’ age. Looks like Kratos’ and Faye’s DNA mixture brought Atreus some nifty powers.
1 Kratos Finally Laughed Because Of Atreus
This is the biggest achievement anyone ever made in the God of War universe. Before this game, Kratos had only been seen smiling in God of War: Chains of Olympus for Calliope, but that was just a one-off.
In this game, Kratos routinely smiled for Atreus and even chuckled at various times when he found the boy to be amusing. Kratos has never been one to even flash a smirk; for someone to make him smile and laugh is something unheard of. Now that’s true familial love.