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Kratos was originally going to have a different fate in God of War Ragnarök
An early fight in the game was going to have a drastically different outcome
Kratos was going to have a different fate in God of War Ragnarök, its narrative director has revealed.
Warning: This article has spoilers for God of War (2018) and God of War Ragnarök.
Speaking to MinnMax, Matt Sophos was asked about the end of the 2018 God of War title, in which Kratos sees a mural that shows his death, suggesting a prophecy that could happen in the next game.
Although the mural is shown again early in Ragnarök, Kratos ultimately doesn’t die, and Sophos was asked if there ever plans to actually kill him off.
“There was the earliest, earliest draft of an outline that we had come up with, that we took to [director Eric Williams],” Sophos replied, revealing that in this draft “Kratos died in the Thor fight at the very beginning of the game.”
He continued: “And so, he was gonna die, and then it wasn’t a permanent death. What was going to happen – and I don’t care, we can tell this, because it doesn’t happen any more so this is all fan fiction at this point – he would get pulled out of Hell, essentially, by Atreus.
“But it’s now been, like, 20 years have passed – it was going to be a big time jump-type thing. So that was a version of it.”
Ultimately, Sophos explained, Williams wasn’t keen on going down that direction, a decision Sophos says was the right one.
“Eric was like, ‘I don’t want to do that, Kratos has died and come back from it too many times, and it’ll feel a little bit too ‘oh, you said he was gonna die and oh, you just killed him but he came right back”,” he recalled.
“The hook, the emotion, wasn’t really going to be there, and he was absolutely right, and so that’s why it didn’t last very long.”
Sophos also added that the game’s current ending, in which Kratos is still very much alive by the end, helped create a message to players that their fates aren’t sealed.
“As we were developing the story, we knew we wanted it to be about letting go and changing,” he explained. “Knowing that Norse mythology is all about fate and prophecy and everything, and we wanted to say ‘that’s bullshit’, you know?
“Nothing is written that can’t be unwritten, as long as you’re willing to make changes in your life then you’re not bound to fate. And so when we landed on that, when we know that was the story we wanted to tell, we knew that Kratos couldn’t die.
“Because then it would be like, ‘well, are we just going to say that Kratos couldn’t change?’ And that would suck.”