WARNING: This post contains serious spoilers about God of War easter eggs and secrets. Don’t read further if you intend to play the game without spoilers!
There’s a lot to discover in Kratos’ new outing. God of War has changed, and so have God of War easter eggs and secrets. Years back, players would be treated to a sex game with Aphrodite. Now, there are some genuine lore secrets to find.
We’re not talking about the obvious stuff like when Kratos‘ wrist bandages start falling of at the beginning and he remembers his old days wielding the Blades of Chaos.
We’re talking about the more hidden stuff.
Starting with the true nature of Atreus…
Atreus is Loki
At the end of the game, it’s revealed that the giants prophesied Kratos and Atreus’ entire journey. Though Atreus is referred to as “Loki,” the name Faye wanted for him. Kratos had wanted to name him Atreus instead, after an honourable Spartan warrior he fought with.
The only question at that point is, are they making Atreus into the Loki? The stepbrother of Thor?
This is kind of a confusing one, since Atreus was never portrayed as a trickster or a mischievous child. His powers are not yet fully manifested, but so far they look to be more along the lines of an unnatural affinity for languages (such as calling the World Serpent for help), and telepathy. The two might be connected.
Neither of those scream “Loki” as we’re familiar with from mythology. However, Loki was half giant, and Sony Santa Monica could be taking license with Loki’s nature, as it has with a few other things.
The inevitable conclusion, of course, is God of War is a prequel to Infinity War.
Kratos Sees Death… Again
Within the same scene at the end of the game, Kratos spots a partially covered conclusion to the giants’ prophecy. It depicts a dead Kratos, being held by Atreus.
Something is coming out of Atreus’ mouth – perhaps a scream of anguish or some future magic he’ll be capable of.
As Atreus notes, everything else the giants prophesied has come to pass. But Kratos has defied fate many times (literally killing the Fates, in fact), and changing the course of destiny is almost routine for him.
There are undoubtedly some hard challenges ahead for the two of them (see below). But what could actually kill Kratos? The god-killer-in-chief? The dean of deicide? What could the Norse gods do that Zues, Poseidon, Hades, Chronos, and the other Greeks couldn’t?
After defeating Baldur and seeing Freya willing to die for her son — even at his hands — Atreus asks if Kratos would do the same. He says yes — he would die if it meant Atreus could live.
It seems unlikely that Kratos would die in such a simple way as being defeated by a Norse god. But the poetic justice of sacrificing himself for Atreus could fit. Or it could even be Atreus who kills him.
While still young, Atreus displayed ideological, philosophical differences during his brief stint as an egomaniac, claiming he could judge who should die and who shouldn’t because he was “right.” Perhaps those differences, with high stakes, could result in Kratos’ death. Such an end would be a fitting continuation of the cycle of patricide that no pantheon seems to be able to escape.
‘The Stranger’ is Baldur
This is made well clear by the end of the game, but for those who just want to know straight away, Baldur is the god who visits Kratos at the beginning and goads him into an epic fight.
Over the course of the game, the two will clash three times. It’s revealed that Freya — originally known as the witch you encounter in the forest — is Baldur’s mother.
She used magic to make him invulnerable to physical and magical damage. In the process, he was made to feel nothing. Something he eternally resents her for.
Baldur was looking for Faye — not Kratos or Atreus — due to her heritage as a giant.
Freya, the Real Valkyrie Queen
After you’ve defeated a few valkyries, Mimir posits that since there was only one person who could have put all of the valkyries into these cursed forms, it must have been the valkyrie queen.
When you actually fight the valkyrie queen — a tough fight with all the movesets of the previous valkyries — you find out she wasn’t always the queen. There was someone who came before her.
When you investigate, Mimir tells you that none other than Freya was seen looking for her “wings.” This sets the stage for a later confrontation with a very powerful, and very pissed off, valkyrie Freya.
Thor is in the Secret Ending
After you scatter Faye’s ashes from the highest peak in the realms, there’s still an open world for you to explore and tame. Or, you could just go back to your house.
Should you head back to the Wild Woods and hop into bed for a well-earned rest, the screen will fade to black. You’ll cut to several years later, and be awoken by thunder and lightning.
Kratos opens the door to see a dark, cloaked figure. “Who are you?!” he yells.
The figure pulls back his cloak to reveal Mjolnir, brimming with electrical energy, and then the real credits roll.
Earlier in the game you had killed both of Thor’s sons, Magni and Modi. It makes sense that he’d seek you out just like Baldur did.
Kratos is already doing what he does best, and turning a whole clown car of deities against him. Looks like we’ll have an epic showdown with Thor to look forward to, either in DLC or a sequel.
Ratatoskr the Squirrel
This is more of a fun one. At the very top of the Light Elf Outpost, after you’ve solved a few puzzles, beaten some enemies, and sealed a realm tear, there will be a very special chest.
It contains the ability for Atreus to summon Ratatoskr, a mouthy squirrel who seeks out items for you. If Atreus has Light Arrows selected, Ratatoskr will dig up health stones. If Atreus has Shock Arrows selected, Ratatoskr will dig up rage stones.
Look I've been patiently waiting to share this with you but Ratatoskr is the freaking best summon in the game. Recorded this after I finished it so I'm in all late game stuff hence the dad of war pic.twitter.com/RY6jXv8cRF
— Broccoli Joab (@Joabyjojo) April 19, 2018
Is that an ethereal squirrel throwing out the F-bomb? Sure is. Every time you bring him out, Ratatoskr will complain about it. But that’s half the fun.
This is one of the rare abilities that benefits you outside of combat as well as in, so it’s worth picking up. But we count Ratatoskr as an easter egg purely because he’s so foul-mouthed. It’s hard to imagine Sony highlighting this particular piece of the game when presenting to ratings boards.
To be fair, he seems to be a well-kept God of War secret as well. Most people we spoke to didn’t know about Ratatoskr, and hadn’t yet explored the Light Elf Outpost.
We’ll add to this post as more God of War easter eggs and secrets come to light, so check back here soon!