In the Spotlight: Kratos
The God of War trilogy is known as one of the best action series of all time. However, of all the characters in the PlayStation-exclusive franchise, brutal protagonist Kratos is undeniably the most iconic.
Kratos starts out his journey as a Spartan warrior. However, despite accumulating immense riches and scoring numerous victories in battle, he craves for more. As a result, Kratos asks that the Gods endow him with more power, a request which is ultimately granted, albeit at a price. In his fury, Kratos slaughters the one thing that meant more to him than anything: his family. It was only until after he held the dead bodies of his wife and child in his arms that he realized what he had done, before being covered in their ashes, turning his skin a ghostly white. Thus begins Kratos’ servitude to the Gods, to rid him of his suffering for killing his beloved family. At the conclusion of the first God of War, Kratos defeats Ares, only to discover that his torment was not over. In despair, he casts himself off a cliff only to be saved by Zeus and Athena; his servitude had become very valuable and useful to them.
In God of War II, Kratos is betrayed by the King of Gods, Zeus, who kills the former Spartan warrior and sends him to the depths of hell. Fortunately, Kratos isn’t gone for long and manages escapes hell thanks to the Titan Gaia. At the climax of God of War II, we find out that Kratos is actually a son of Zeus. The adventure ends as Kratos, accompanied by Gaia, scale mount Olympus as they prepare to mount an offense against Zeus.
God of War III picks up right after the events of the previous game, as we are reunited with our hero as he battles his way up mount Olympus. It is on the way up that Kratos is betrayed by the Titans, however, as it turns out they were merely using him all along to get to Zeus. However, the Titans and Kratos fail to reach Zeus, with Kratos ultimately embarking on his own journey in an attempt to locate his sworn enemy and eliminate him. In the end, Kratos utilizes Pandora’s Box to kill Zeus. What’s shocking is Kratos then takes the sword and ends his own life, but in the process, puts an end to his suffering. Thus the story of God of War was complete.
Throughout the series, Kratos is ruthless and merciless, and does not hesitate to use the lives of others to meet his goal, whether it be taking a key from them and letting them fall back into the beast’s belly or burning them alive. He also possesses a notable dislike for canines; he kicks Cerberus puppies around as if he utterly despises the creatures. Kratos also displays extreme acts of cruelty in the way he dispatches his foes, such as ripping the wings of Harpies off to completely decapitating Helios. You can’t really blame the bald brute for his violent ways though, especially considering all he has been through. Kratos literally has nothing left to loose, having lost the most important people in his life, being betrayed by the Gods, and then being used by the Titans. In fact, the only person he could trust in the end was Pandora, who reminded him of his beloved daughter.
In the end, Kratos is certainly a unique character and a warrior to be reckoned with; no one would mind having him as an ally on the battlefield. Furthermore, while Kratos may seem all muscle, he actually has good wits about him. Ask Zeus if you don't know what I mean. A formidable enemy, woe betide anyone who comes up against God of War’s merciless protagonist, and while Kratos’ journey may have come to close, this iconic PlayStation anti-hero will surely not be forgotten.
Article by Shawnee Lee