God of War Ragnarök: mythological secrets behind the reveal trailer

After an agonising wait, PlayStation fans finally got to see God of War Ragnarök in action, its first trailer brimming with secrets.

Sony Santa Monica clearly love their Norse myths. From sedate beginning to epic conclusion, 2018’s God of War was heavily influenced by Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda – the primary source of all modern knowledge on Norse mythology. Judging by its brand-new – and very exciting – trailer, God of War Ragnarök will continue the trick of re-imagining ancient tales to great video game narrative effect. When viewed through a mythological prism, what possible secrets can the latest trailer reveal about GOW Ragnarök’s storyline direction and gameplay?

Totally Thorsome

First off, let’s talk Thor. Whilst not revealed during the trailer in his foreboding entirety, the image of Thor that accompanied the reveal show that Sony Santa Monica is using the original depiction of Thor as their inspiration.

There’s no superhero shenanigans of the MCU to be seen here; God of War Ragnarök’s Thor has no ripped physique, handsome features or golden hair. Instead, he’s an absolute bruiser, entirely living up to Mimir’s description of being the “Biggest Butchering Bastard in the Nine Realms”.

This Thor emulates the description of the thunder god from the original myths; a mighty ferocious warrior with red hair, red eyes aglow and a big red beard. More pertinently for gameplay lovers though, is that there’s no requirement in the Norse Myths for Thor’s hammer – Mjölnir – to be wielded by someone ‘worthy’. Therefore, I’d bet my bottom pound that Kratos will end up wanging around Mjölnir after Thor’s inevitably gory demise. This will leading to the intoxicating possibility of adding a lightning shooting boomerang hammer to Kratos’ already formidable armoury.

God of War Ragnarok Secrets Centaur

What a load of Centaurs

As you’d expect, there’s a lot of fisticuffs and Blade of Chaos swinging to be had in the trailer. Kratos takes on all sorts of hideous beasties, including what appear to be some centaurs. These half human/half horse creatures are referred to as ‘Stalkers’. Now – and feel free to correct me if I’m totally wrong here, dear reader – I cannot find any reference to centaurs in Norse Mythology, instead they are purely of Greek origin. This could mean nothing but maybe, just maybe, characters from Kratos’ past as the Greek God of War will be returning to make an appearance in his latest adventure. Could we see Greek heroes, gods and monsters return for more than just a cameo in this outing? There are clues found throughout the first game that suggest we may see a clashing of mythologies.

God of War Ragnarok Secrets Tyr

The Tyr Effect

As suggested by the trailer, the initial thrust of God of War Ragnarök’s narrative is for our occasionally heroic father and son duo to find Kratos’ counterpart: the Norse God of War, Tyr. The end of the footage shows Kratos meeting a very tall – but not quite as lengthy as Lady Dimitrescu – Tyr. The thing is, Tyr is shown to have both his hands where they should be, more or less. I found this very intriguing, as in the myths Tyr had his right hand chewed off by the ferocious beast Fenrir. Now, in the previous game Mimir stated that the binding of the giant wolf Fenrir had already taken place. All this means that Tyr should be missing a hand. Admittedly, Tyr is depicted with two hands in the murals seen in his secret rooms in God of War but these events could have happened before his run-in with Fenrir. So, either Kratos has just met an imposter posing as Tyr (Odin, like most gods, does enjoy a spot of transformation), there’s some time travelling nonsense going on or the whole hand biting incident is just a legend. I can’t wait to find out where Sony Santa Monica are going with this!

Scrubbing through the latest God of War Ragnarök trailer, there is plenty that still needs dissecting. If you’re hungry to know more about where the story could go, what destiny has in store for Atreus, and who exactly Angrboða is, we have a deep dive for you right here.

Playing with History is our ongoing series spotlighting video games and the real-world people and events that inspire them. From walking with dinosaurs in Jurassic World Evolution and talking real-life zombies in Days Gone, to learning about the Peaky Blinders, and chatting Ghost of Tsushima with a samurai expert, there’s plenty you may not have known about your favourite video games.

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