Kratos has pretty much decimated everything in the Greek pantheon and now he is onto colder climes with new gods, monsters and entities in his way. Some might help him, others will hinder him and I am sure there are a few who will need to feel the rage of Kratos. While we know a few Norse names thanks to a certain sexy blonde man who flings a hammer around in the MCU, there are a lot of fascinating characters and monsters in Norse mythology and some of them are a lot stranger than what we have seen. While we wait until next week for God of War to arrive, there is time to look at Norse mythos before the game arrives with its own version of events. From draugr to valkyries, here is what we hope to see Kratos crosses paths with.
Draugr (draug, dréag)
The draugr are undead beings of Norse lore. These undead possess similar physical abilities as what they had in life, and becoming a draugr is the fate of many nasty, greedy individuals. They can also be created by an infection caused by draugr, quickly swelling their ranks. If we need grunts to fight, these could be the rank and file enemies that Kratos chops into small bits.
With his two faithful wolves (Geri and Freki) in tow as well as his ravens (Huginn and Mininn), Odin lost one eye in the pursuit of knowledge of the Runic alphabet. He rides on a mighty eight-legged horse named Sleipnir (also one of Loki’s children, but this time Loki was the mom after shape-changing into a mare.) Odin not only killed Ymir, but he also breathed life into the first two humans, Ask and Emble. Odin has a lot in common with Greece’s Zeus, from being a powerful warrior to a forceful magician and having many children with many different women and goddesses. Unlike Zeus, though he fought hard to achieve his greatness and might just be the most formidable god that Kratos might ever meet. Add to that how he is loved by many and his strong children and grandchildren and Odin is a force to be reckoned with. Odin is also a shapeshifter, so he might be present in the game as a helpful NPC or a traveller on the road without us knowing who he really is.
We need some giants to fight, right? Kratos is quite at home killing Cyclops and all manner of larger foes and the giants of the Norse will give him something larger to fight than the draugr. Interestingly, when spoken of as a collective, giants are referred to as monstrously ugly and possessing a child-like wit, but when individual giants are mentioned, they tend to be wise or beautiful (this might just be defending all the gods that keep having children with giants, but who knows). The most notable giant was Ymir, the first living being formed from primordial chaos. Ymir gave birth to many giants including the frost giants and fire giants and several monsters. Ymir was eventually killed by Odin. Even if we don’t see Ymir, I hope we see many giants in God of War. Some of these beings are so old that they have wisdom from bygone times. Maybe Kratos needs to know some deep truth of the universe? Nah, we will probably kill a giant the size of a city and then use the body as a bridge to our next adventure. Imagine killing Surtr and taking that sword?
The wolves (Fenrir, Geri and Freki)
There are many giant wolves in Norse mythology, from Loki’s child Fenrir to Odin’s faithful Geri and Freki. Fenrir is so mighty that no chains can hold him and he is forever growing, waiting for Ragnarok. At this time he will be free of his magical bonds and he will eat Odin. Fenrir was tricked into the magical bonds that currently hold him in place, but it cost the mighty Tyr his hand. Meanwhile Geri and Freki are so ravenous that they eat everything at Odin’s plate, leaving him to exist solely on a diet of mead and wine.
Midgard Serpent (Jörmungandr)
Also known as Jormungand, this monster is the child of Loki. Living in the ocean, the serpent is so large that it encircled all the lands and grasps its own tail. This mighty serpent is feared by mortals and gods alike and it is said that when Ragnarok comes, Thor and the World Serpent will kill each other in a fierce battle. (This one felt a bit like cheating because the promotional material has shown the World Serpent already.)
Nidhug (Nidhogg / Níðhöggr)
With a name that translates into Malice Striker, you know that there is something malevolent at work. The Corpse Eater is a dragon that feeds on the roots of Yggdrasil and the corpses of the dead. This dragon hopes that it will eventually topple Yggdrasil and he will fight against the gods when Ragnarok comes. A dragon large enough to damage a tree that is the size of the universe would make for a great opponent. (Despite being called a dragon, Nidhug has a lot more in common with wyverns and lindwurms.)
Odin’s warrior maidens, led by Freyja, take the souls of those who die in battle to Valhalla. These warriors rode winged horses across the sky, their armour flickering and creating the Aurora Borealis. Besides collecting fallen warriors, the valkyries are also messengers for Odin. Will we bump into them with a message, or have to fight one of the more notable valkyrie warriors?
While many of us will immediately picture Tom Hiddleston’s brooding but likeable villain, Loki is a lot darker in the actual mythos. The god of mischief and fire is the father to three chaos monsters: Fenrir, Jormungand and Hel and it his machinations that lead to the deaths of Baldr and Thor. He is the personification of hate, the devil equivalent in Norse mythos and is responsible for a lot of suffering and cruelty in the pantheon. Oh and he will do anything to save his own skin, just look at the story of Svadilfari if you are interested in more.
The mighty hammer-wielding Thor, god of thunder, lightning, storms, strength, hallowing and fertility is the protector of humankind. Thor is the strongest of the Aesir and his special weaponry and armour make him much more fearsome. Besides the mountain-crushing Mjolnir, he has a magical staff and a magical belt that doubles his already superhuman strength. Thor is at home on the battlefield and if he stands in Kratos’ way, expect a titanic contest of strength.
The goddess of death and ruler of Niflheim, Hel is cursed to appear as half-alive and half-dead, her bottom half rotting away. She was cast into the underworld by the gods, where she resides over those who died a dishonourable death. She is a necromancer with power over death and disease and should she ever get free her Kiss of Death and power ability to channel the essence of death will make her an angry, terrifying foe.
Yggdrasil and Mimir (Mímir)
If we bump into Nidhug, it makes sense to take a look at the massive tree and another resident. Yggdrasil connects the nine worlds together with Asgard at the top and Helheim at the bottom. Deep beneath one of the tree’s mighty roots is a well where Mimir lives. Mimir once used Gjallarhorn to drink from the well and he gained the wisdom of ages from it. He jealously guards the well now, his asking price fairly high for its knowledge. Odin visited Mimir once and the price was one of Odin’s eyes, which remains near the well. Mimir’s knowledge and wisdom are so vast that his name means “the rememberer” or “wise one”. Mimir is also a smith of great skill and many see him as the keeper of the world tree.
Next week we will be able to see which of these made it into God of War and what changes have been made by Kratos arriving in the mix. Considering the reveal trailer we know draugr and jotun are in the game and a picture of Kratos meeting the World Serpent keeps popping up too.
Disclaimer: This article was sponsored. The content was created in-house and we chose the topic and tone of the article.