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What happened in God of War based on the incoherent Ragnarök recap

Kratos did what?

An image of Kratos holding up a severed head to a giant monster that looks like a dragon. Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

This is just a wild guess, but I don’t think I’ll be the only person whose first God of War game will be God of War Ragnarök. Luckily for me, the developers already anticipated players who didn’t play God of War (2018). As you boot up Ragnarök, a very convenient option appears at the top of the main menu titled “God of War recap.”

At first, I thought it would help folks like me go into Ragnarök knowing confidently what happened in the previous game and what to expect in this game. However, after watching it, I’m more convinced that it’s actually intended for those who just haven’t played God of War in a while. That’s because the minute-and-a-half-long video jumps incoherently from scene to scene, and it gets delivered without context or any actual direct plot summary of the first game. Even though I watched it, I have no clue what happened. So I decided it would be funny to write a post about what I think happened in God of War based on the official recap in Ragnarök’s main menu.

Let’s begin.

There’s a big, strong bearded guy named Kratos and a little child named Atreus. I can figure at least this much out because, surprise, I knew who they were already. The game starts because Atreus’ mother passes away, and he and his father want to spread her ashes on a mountain peak.

Kratos holds a small satchel containing the ashes of Atreus’ mother. He looks solemnly upon them as he gently holds them. Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

It seems like a pretty difficult task, because a random lady says that the region is a realm of the gods. I don’t know if that’s the region of the mountain they have to go to, but I’m going to assume that it is, because why on Earth would they want to go there otherwise. Kratos tells someone they are a god; however, I can’t tell if it’s being addressed to Atreus or to this lady, Freya. I’m assuming it’s Freya, because the recap shows her using magical powers that can make plants grow, and she refers to being the leader of the Vanir.

Kratos cuts the head off a guy named Mimir and then promptly presents it to a giant dragon thing. I don’t know why Mimir would invite Kratos to cut off his head, but the clip shows Kratos lifting a head up, so I think Kratos did the thing. Mimir mentions Kratos killing the children of Odin, who I’m guessing are gods. Then Kratos gives a lil’ hot gossip about himself. Apparently he chose to become a man, but actually he’s a god. So I don’t know if he’s a god or a man or just a really strong man now.

Atreus learns he’s a god. He says he’s a giant but he looks to be of normal height to me. That leads Atreus to think he can do whatever he wants as a god, so then he goes and kills another god. (This god doesn’t appear to put up a fight against a child, somehow.) Kratos seems very upset, because he shouts and tells Atreus that there are consequences if you kill a god.

Kratos holds Atreus by the arm and looks seriously at him. Atreus also looks back with furrowed brows. Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

At this point, the story gets extra dramatic. Some other dude named Baldur enters the picture. He doesn’t seem to like Kratos or Freya. And I’m assuming that Kratos and Freya linked up again, so I suppose Freya serves as a guide to Kratos. But now everything seems bad because this Baldur guy gets pissed, and Kratos twists his head and kills him. I don’t really know why he’s pissed, but it might be because Atreus literally killed a god. Meanwhile, Freya mourns Baldur’s passing and calls him her boy, so I’m assuming that’s her son.

Then Atreus mentions that someone called him Loki and he asks about that. Kratos doesn’t seem to care about explaining anything! He deflects Atreus’ question. So I’m assuming Atreus isn’t just a god but an extra-special god because Loki is a pretty important Marvel character.

In the end, we see them high up in the clouds and somewhat at peace, so it seems like they completed their goal of spreading the ashes. (Although once again, I wish I knew why that was important.) The recap doesn’t say if Atreus is directly related to Kratos, which seems pretty dang important. Overall, it looks like there are a whole lot of unresolved plot points from the first game that will get developed in Ragnarök. The recap wasn’t amazing, but you know what? I’ve just resigned myself to looking up wikis when I need some extra background.

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