Kratos is the Spartan protagonist of the God of War games. Kratos was the brother of Deimos and the son of Zeus, God of thunder. He is well known for the extreme acts of violence he is capable of, and for his signature weapon, the Blades of Chaos, two short blades attached to his arms by long chains, allowing for some very acrobatic and brutal combat, can be ignited while swinging. These blades were first granted to him by Ares, the God of War. After betraying Ares and subsequently losing the blades, Kratos is given the Blades of Athena which function identically to the Blades of Chaos. As a demigod who later becomes a real god, Kratos is a fighter with unusual strength and a quick learner of magic. The name Kratos is derived from the minor god in Greek mythology called Cratos, though Kratos shows little in common with the character apart from his initial loyalty to the Gods. The word “Kratos” means ‘power’ in Greek.
Kratos was the son of Zeus and a mortal named Callisto. Kratos was a Spartan kid who helped train his brother, Deimos, and Deimos was taken by Ares and Athena. Kratos was once a general in the Spartan armies, and he was well known for his ruthlessness. His army had been undefeated until they stood against the mighty Barbarians. After a long and bloody battle, Kratos lay before the Barbarian King utterly defeated, his soldiers’ blood flowing around his prone body. As the Barbarian swung his hammer, Kratos shouted to the heavens, pledging his life to Ares in return for the power to defeat his enemies. In that moment Kratos became Ares’ servant, endowed with the power of the Blades of Chaos. Using these new weapons, he easily cut down the Barbarian King and stood victorious. But this power came at a price. As Ares’ servant Kratos led his army to many victories, blindly following the God of War’s orders he burned and pillaged a village, personally murdering everyone within the local temple of Athena. When his bloodlust had finally passed, he looked down to see the bodies of his wife (Lysandra) and daughter (Calliope), their blood on his hands. Horrified, Kratos vowed revenge on Ares, who calmly explained that he had arranged for this to happen so that Kratos would have no other motivation than to serve him. As the bodies of his loved ones burned, Kratos was cursed by the village’s Oracle to forever carry the evidence of what he had done with him; as she spoke the ashes of Kratos’ family carried by the wind magically attached themselves to Kratos’ skin, making him unnaturally pale and giving him the title “Ghost of Sparta”.
God of War: Ascension
It has been 6 months since Kratos became the Ghost of Sparta. The only way to break his link with Ares is to kill the Furies with the help of Orkos. Orkos told Kratos to go to Delphi to find the oracle named Aletheia. Kratos killed Pollux and his conjoined twin, Castor. The Oracle told Kratos to go to Delos to find the Eyes of Truth. The Eyes of Truth were Aletheia’s eyes. The Eyes breakthrough illusions made by the Furies. Kratos kept the Amulet of Uroborus from Pollux and Castor. Kratos traveled back to the Harbor of Kirra and met Orkos again. Orkos revealed his origins to Kratos that Orkos is the son of Ares and Alecto, the leader of the Furies. At Delos, Kratos and Orkos were captured by the Furies and sent to Aegaeon. Kratos and Orkos stayed in the prison for two weeks. Megaera infected Aegaeon’s hands and mouth to kill Kratos. He killed them both and retrieved the Amulet and Eyes. Kratos was in illusions made by Tisiphone and Alecto. Alecto was disguised as Kratos’ wife, Lysandra. Alecto transformed into a sea monster. Kratos killed both Furies and Alecto warned Kratos that her death means nothing. Orkos claimed that Alecto was right. Orkos became his mother’s oath keeper. Kratos sadly killed Orkos to break Ares’ link. Kratos mournfully put Orkos’ body on Lysandra and Calliope’s bodies at Kratos’ home.
God of War: Chains of Olympus
After killing the Furies and Orkos, Kratos served the other gods and helped them find Helios from Persephone and Atlas. After the death of Persephone, Atlas was sent to carry the world on his shoulders.
God of War
After ten years of working with the gods, Kratos was fighting the Hydra in the seas on behalf of Poseidon when he finally grew tired of his endless service. He summons Athena, who states that his nightmares will come to an end if he agreed to help Athena defeat Ares, who was personally besieging her most beloved city, Athens, out of jealousy and hatred. Kratos agreed on the sole condition that the gods would finally ease his pain and remove his nightmares. Thus coming to an agreement, Athena leads Kratos to the war torn Athens and guides him to the Oracle, who tells him that the only way to defeat Ares is with the Pandora’s box, an ancient artifact that could grant Kratos the power to defeat a God. Pandora’s Box contained the evils of the Great War. Athena wanted to prevent madness by adding the power of Hope. After making his way to the Temple of Pandora, which is chained to the back of the titan Cronos, Kratos overcame many challenges, including escaping from Hades itself after he was killed by Ares. Persevering, Kratos finally managed to find Pandora’s Box upon Cronos and unleash the power of Hope, allowing him to slay his former master. During Ares’ death and the opening of the Box, the gods were cursed by the evils of Pandora’s Box. Distraught that the death of Ares had not stopped his nightmares, Kratos tried to take his own life but was saved by Athena who offered him the position that had just opened up in Olympus, the seat of the God of War, and replaced his Blades of Chaos, which had been lost when Ares had died, with almost identical weapons known as Athena’s Blades.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Kratos is not yet a god but was tasked to kill the rest of his family. He found his brother, Deimos who was kept in the Domain of Death. He and his brother battled Thanatos and Thanatos killed Deimos. Kratos is now a god. As the new God of War, Kratos looked over the world, and whenever there was hatred in man’s heart for his fellow man he was there to fuel it.
God of War II
Kratos became the new God of War, showing obvious favoritism to the armies of Sparta, leading his brethren to many victories for twelve and a half years. As he descended from Olympus to help his army take the city of Rhodes, an enchanted eagle breathed life into the immense statue known as the Colossus of Rhodes and attempted to steal all of Kratos’ godly power. Although it failed, it still shrunk Kratos to human size. Kratos believed it was Athena who had arranged this after she had warned him not to continue sacking cities for Sparta. After fighting the Colossus numerous times and losing, Kratos was advised by Zeus to use the Sword of Olympus to take down the Colossus. Draining all his godly powers into the sword, Kratos managed to destroy the giant but was left mortal and defenseless, allowing Zeus, who had been the true culprit of the attack on Kratos, disguised as the eagle, to kill him and send him to Hades. Betrayed and murdered once again, he was awoken by the voice of Gaia the Titan, as she told him of the only way to defeat the King of the Gods, was to go back in time and retrieve the Sword which contained his godly power. After fighting his way out of Hades, Kratos traveled to the Island of the Fates where he fought his way through challenges even more dangerous than those in the Temple of Pandora. Ultimately, Kratos killed the three Sisters of Fate, allowing him to go back in time to the moment when he was murdered by Zeus. Retaking the sword, he fought Zeus, almost ending his life when Athena suddenly jumped in front of her father and took the mortal blow for him, explaining in her last moments that Zeus was in fact Kratos’ father and that he had always feared that the son would overthrow the father, the same way he had overthrown his own father Cronos. Zeus managed to get away as Athena died, but Kratos, traveling through time once again, soon returned to Mount Olympus with the power of all the Titans by his side, this time vowing to kill each and every God on the mountain.
God of War III
Climbing Mount Olympus with the Titans, Kratos vows to kill Zeus and anything standing in his way, starting with the God of the seas, Poseidon. Killing Poseidon results in massive floods that blanket all the cities below Olympus.
Making his way to the top of Mount Olympus with Gaia, an angry Zeus quickly sends the pair tumbling back down the way they came, with Gaia betraying Kratos to save herself, and Kratos once again ending up in Hades, the realm of the dead, with all of his powers stripped. There he meets the ghost of Athena, who gives him a new set of blades: the Blades of Exile. She explains she also wants Zeus dead, but her motivations are not entirely clear. Making his way through Hades, Kratos ends up fighting and killing the lord of the realm, Hades himself. Doing so releases all the souls of the dead into the realm of the living. Kratos also encounters Hephaestus, the smith god, whose daughter Pandora has the ability to enter the Flames of Olympus, which contains Pandora’s Box, the key to killing Zeus, according to Athena. Kratos sets out to find her, but she’s trapped by Zeus in a huge labyrinth created by Daedalus in order to prevent anyone from using her to open Pandora’s Box again. On his way to Pandora’s Labyrinth, Kratos encounters (and kills) several more Olympians, starting with Helios, the Sun god. Killing him causes a thick bank of clouds to perpetually cover the sun’s light. Kratos also runs into Gaia once more, who is hanging on to the side of Olympus. Her arm is damaged, however, and for her betrayal, Kratos cuts off her hand and sends her plummeting, seemingly to her death.
Next up is Hermes, the Messenger god, whose death causes a plague of insects to swarm the lands. Upon returning to Hephaestus, the Smith god tricks Kratos into fighting the Titan Cronos, to obtain a rare ore. Upon his return, a surprised Hephaestus tries to kill Kratos with the weapon he created for him because he doesn’t want Kratos anywhere near his daughter. Kratos makes short work of the Smith god and returns to Olympus, his new weapon allowing him to open new paths. Kratos then encounters Hera, Zeus’ wife, who sics Zeus’ bastard child Hercules on him. Kratos kills Hercules and obtains his weapon of choice, the Nemean Cestus, two lion-shaped gauntlets with immense power. When Kratos later encounters Hera again, he breaks her neck, causing all plant life to wither and die. This finally allows him to access Pandora’s Labyrinth.
Kratos traverses the Labyrinth and manages to escape with Pandora, taking her to the Flame of Olympus. Upon their arrival, though, Kratos realizes he won’t let her sacrifice herself to kill Zeus and insists they find another way, but Pandora sacrifices herself regardless. Kratos opens the box, but there is nothing inside. Zeus and Kratos do battle, and Kratos kills both Zeus and Gaia in one attack, battling inside of Gaia’s heart. However, the Spirit of Zeus has survived and he attacks Kratos, seemingly killing him, but actually sending him inside of his own mind. Kratos, slowly realizing he is a destructive force to everything around him, from his family to Pandora to the very world he lives in, returns to life and kills Zeus for good. Athena appears and explains that what Pandora’s Box actually contained were the powers of Hope and Fear. Fear gripped Zeus, which led to him becoming obsessed with the death of Kratos out of fear that he would come after him, and it also led him to banish Hephaestus to Hades and imprison Pandora. Athena wants to inherit the power of hope for herself so she can rule the world. Kratos, however, realizes there is only one way to redeem himself. There’s one last person responsible for the tragedies of his life, and that is himself. He impales himself on the Blade of Olympus, killing himself and releasing the power of Hope to the entire world.
Kratos’ corpse is gone and there is a trail of blood leading off-screen, hinting at his survival.
God of War (2018)
Years later, Kratos settles down far away from his homeland, in a place ruled by northern gods. Married Laufey and had a son Atreus, Kratos became much calmer and lived a peaceful life, until Laufey died a natural death. Kratos agreed to fulfill her last wish: spray her ashes on the top of the highest mountain.
Carrying the Leviathan Axe, a relic from his wife, Kratos prepares to start his long trip along with his son. However, an unexpected guest knocks on Kratos’s door before his trip and challenges him. Fails to injure this skinny, crazy man, Kratos breaks his neck after a battle nearly destroyed a mountain, and seemingly stops him, but not permanently.
Kratos feels something strange and scheming is happening around him, he decides to start his long trip immediately. He met dwarf brothers, the world serpent, a mysterious witch, and the knowledged one Mímir, they all offered Kratos help on his trip. Finding out the highest mountain lies in the realm of giants Jötunheimr, Kratos needs to carry a magic chisel to open the portal to Jötunheimr. However, Magni and Modi, the sons of Thor the god of thunder were sent to stop them, leaving Kratos no choice but to fight them.
Although not willing to do so, Kratos is forced to kill Magni and brutally injures Modi. Modi keeps mocking Atreus’s mother, making Atreus angry and awaking god’s blood inside his body. Manifested god’s power around his body, Atreus is not strong enough to control this force, thus falls into a coma. In order to save his son, Kratos needs to go to the land of death to get a cure. The land of death is extremely cold, the frozen force attached to the Leviathan Axe is not enough to fight the creatures living there. Kratos travels back to his house to get the weapon he hides for a long time under the floor of his house, which is Blades of Chaos.
After he cured his son, Kratos continues his trip. He finally met the guest who challenged him at the beginning. It turns out that this rude challenger is Baldur, a northern god of light who is gifted a spell preventing everything from hurting him by his mother Freya. And the mysterious witch who helped Kratos before turns out to be Freya. Baldur’s gift becomes a painful curse for him since he cannot feel anything, this drives him crazy, leaving Kratos no choice but to kill him.
Finally reaches the highest mountain and fulfills Laufey’s wish, Kratos finds that their trip is already written in the giants’ prophecy. It seems Kratos’s adventure still has not come to an end. Years pass, Kratos is awakened by thunderbolts one night, and Thor, the god of thunder pays a visit to his door.
Appearances in Other Games
In the design process, Kratos was intended to look powerful and angry, showing little other emotion. He is depicted as a violent antihero who commonly shows little to no compassion for others.
In Greek Mythology
Mortal Kombat (2011) Moveset
- Apollo’s Bow
- Head of Helios
- Hermes Dash
- Golden Fleece
- Zeus Rage
- Apollo’s Inferno
- Helios Flash
- Hermes Rush
- Argos Ram
- Revenge of Olympus
Kratos attacks with his twin blades, cutting into his opponent’s shoulders. He uses them to drag himself towards the combatant, and as he approaches, he removes them only to stick into the victim’s torso, breaking several ribs. He them switches weapons to his Nemean Cestus, which shatters the opponent’s skull and jaw in a powerful strike.
- Blade of Olympus – Kratos stabs his opponent much like his X-ray with his Blades of Exile turning them around on their knees, execution style, he pulls out the Blade of Olympus and slices his opponent vertically in half.
- Medusa’s Gaze -Kratos pulls out the head of a Gorgon and uses it to freeze his opponent to stone, he then takes the Nemean Cestus and smashes his opponent to bits.
Kratos has been voiced throughout the God of War series by Terrence ‘T.C.’ Carson.