Kratos is the protagonist of the God of War games.
Kratos is known by many as the Ghost of Sparta, due to his ashen white skin and his dark and troubled past not unlike that of a traditional Greek tragedy.
Once the brutal captain of the Spartan army, Kratos led his men throughout several conquests all across the lands, eventually coming across a savage Barbarian horde. Confident of his own victory, Kratos led his army into battle, but soon found himself hopelessly outmatched and outclassed. The Barbarians' brutality exceeding his own, and on the verge of death, Kratos struck a deal with the God of War - Ares to further his exploits. He would then commit atrocity after atrocity under Ares' name, spreading death throughout the world with his armies and justifying it all by proclaiming his intent to make "the glory of Sparta known throughout the world." For a time, it seemed, his only tether to humanity was his beloved family, yet even they grew horrified by him, to the point where his wife Lysandra would state outright he cared nothing for Sparta's glory, but for his own. He would not listen to her, and continued his rampage, blindly following the will of Ares in his pursuit of more bloodshed and infamy — yet this took a tragic turn when the god tricked him into killing his wife and child, all to destroy what little humanity he had left. Branded the Ghost of Sparta for this terrible deed, the ashes of his wife and child would remain fused to his skin forever.
Completely undone by the killing of his wife and child, Kratos became a constantly-suicidal and greatly-bereaved wreck of a man beloved by none yet known to all. Devoting himself to the other gods of Olympus in a desperate attempt to rid himself of his memories, Kratos would hang on to the small glimmer of hope that perhaps he would one day be able to redeem himself. Yet no matter how many enemies he'd slaughter or how many lives he would save, the gods would continue to put labor upon labor upon Kratos' shoulders, forcing him to endure the pain of his memories for ten long years of servitude. Maddened by his memories and unable to find a moment of peace, Kratos would develop a deep-seated hatred of the gods, and especially Ares in particular, for toying with his life. Though Kratos would eventually defeat Ares and claim the throne of the God of War for his own, his resentment of the other gods would bring him in conflict against all on Olympus, culminating in a cataclysmic series of battles against them that would decide the fate of Greece itself.
Eventually leaving Greece as well as his bloody past behind, Kratos moves up north and makes his way into Midgard. Having come to view his troubled past with great shame, Kratos has taken the initiative to mature and grow past his self-destructive tendencies, choosing to live as a man under the thumb of the Norse pantheon. He even finds love again with a woman named Faye, eventually fathering a child with her named Atreus. When Faye dies of mysterious circumstances, Kratos and Atreus set out on a journey to spread her ashes from the highest peak in all the nine realms. However, he and Atreus come into conflict with various supernatural creatures along their way, and are constantly pursued along their path by a mysterious Stranger — seemingly under orders from the leader of the Norse pantheon himself, Odin.
Kratos is the epitome of what a Spartan soldier is in that he is essentially made for battle. He is exceptionally tall, standing at a height between 6 and 7 feet, in which, due to his status a warrior, he is at his peak physical condition. Based on his facial features and voice patterns, one can assume Kratos' age is ranging from the late 30s to early 40s of the first games.
Prior to the series' actual time of taking place he had tanned skin and a red tattoo going down the majority of his upper body and up to his face. On his face, besides the aforementioned tattoo, he has a scar on his right eye and a black goatee. The scar was caused by Ares when Kratos was a child and tried to save his brother from the raid of Gods on Sparta. After killing his beloved wife and child, two of the few people he truly cared for, the village oracle bound their ashes to his skin to be forever a reminder of the horrible deed he committed on that day.
As a Spartan General prior to his service to Ares, Kratos wore Spartan hoplite armor and after becoming the new God of War he wore a very elaborately decorated piece of armor. By the end of God of War III, Kratos only wears a leather loincloth and armlets without the chains of the Blades of Exile.
As of God of War (2018), Kratos' appearance changes slightly. He appears older, with more wrinkles on his face looking to be in his mid to late 50s or 60s. His goatee has grown into a bushy, full beard which covers half his face and has several gray hairs. His skin is still pale and covered with the ashes of his Spartan family, and his tattoos have faded slightly. He retains the scar on his abdomen, however, it is larger and less jagged than before due to him stabbing himself at the end of God of War III. Also from the same wound, he now has a long scar covering almost all of his back. Also present are faded scars from where the chains from the blades were attached to his forearms, which he prefers to keep covered beneath with what appears to be fur-lined leather, secured with thongs of leather.
As Kratos attacked a village which worshiped the goddess Athena at the behest of his lord at the time, Ares, the Oracle who resided in the village warned the Spartan to not enter the Temple of Athena. Kratos, however, disregarded her warnings and slaughtered the people in the temple. After the massacre, Kratos had realized that he had not only murdered all in the temple, but he had unintentionally murdered his wife and child. As Kratos mournfully cradled the unmoving body of his dead wife, he discovered that Ares had orchestrated his family's death. After leaving the burning temple, the Oracle placed a spell on Kratos, a spell which caused the ashes of his wife and child to be forever affixed to his skin.
As in God of War (2018), He keeps this appearance to his later life in Midgard, although some parts of his skin have pinked in color for some reason.
Only in God of War: Chains of Olympus is Kratos seen without the ashes, not including flashbacks and bonus costumes.
Throughout most of the series (particularly the later entries preceding his journey to Norway), Kratos is incredibly cruel, reckless, and destructive, willing to kill anyone who gets in his way, even innocent people. He is also shown to be incapable of accepting full responsibility for his actions, usually blaming the gods (especially Zeus, Ares, and Athena) for his suffering while ignoring or denying his own part in it. The memory of his misdeeds has driven Kratos to attempt suicide on at least two separate occasions.
Earlier on in the series canon, he is less callous towards the lives of others, albeit perfectly willing to sacrifice an innocent bystander when it is required of him. He also exhibits a deep sense of shame and horror at his reputation as the Ghost of Sparta. One example is when Kratos tries to convince a woman in Athens to give him a key, only for her to run away in terror and call him a monster; Kratos is visibly aghast by the fear and hatred others have for him. This shame was further demonstrated when he observed the massacres committed by Ares' minions, causing him to question what he had become. In God of War: Ascension, his earliest canonical appearance, he genuinely mourns the death of Orkos and the Delphic Oracle, even giving Orkos a decent funeral pyre. In Delphi, when Castor orders the guards to remove Kratos from the Oracle's temple, Kratos spares them when they have the good sense to flee. On the island of Delos, he is merciful enough to push an innocent man out of the way of an incoming spear, whereas he would have most likely just let him die in later games. It is possible that Kratos had yet to develop the apathy for others' lives that would come with his later experiences, but this is not proven. He is also very libidinous and sexually passionate with many women, although as stated by Gaia, he never found true happiness or comfort in these acts, with Lysandra being the only woman he ever loved.
Before and during the original God of War, Kratos was also respectful towards gods and divine entities (with the exception of Ares, whom he also called "Lord" up until his betrayal and Persephone), to the point of calling them "Lords", although he did not fully trust them. As time went on, he became disillusioned with the gods and began to respect them less and less. At the end of his service to the gods of Olympus, when it became clear that they would never relieve him of his nightmares, he became openly defiant and hostile towards them, even after being made a god himself, his hatred however reached it’s peak after learning of their role in his mother’s and brother's suffering after which he swore vengeance upon them .He was also respectful towards Gaia due to her helping him in his quest, although he was skeptical as to why she was doing so. Following her betrayal, Kratos lost all respect for divine beings, and began ruthlessly murdering god and titan alike. However, he is shown to care for Athena to some degree (and vice versa), with Kratos being more affected by her death than even Zeus, who seemed to care very little (if at all) about her death. He is also tolerant of Aphrodite and Hephaestus since they are both indifferent (and in the latter's case, even somewhat supportive) to his war on Olympus. It is likely that he felt a certain level of kinship with Hephaestus, as they share a mutual hatred of Zeus as well as intense pain over their lost daughters, although he is eventually forced to kill the Smith God when he tries to prevent him from reaching his daughter, Pandora. In spite of this, Kratos respected Hephaestus' desire to protect Pandora as he told her that her father died doing what any father should do: protecting the life of his child and even tried to stop Pandora from killing herself even requiring her convincing to allow her to sacrifice herself. By the time of God of War III, Kratos is so blinded by rage and obsessed with killing Zeus that he does not notice, or care, that he is destroying the entire Greece in his quest for revenge, coldly ignoring the warnings of Athena, Poseidon, Hera, and Zeus himself that his murdering of the gods would bring about the end of life on the Grecian world. He does, however, express extreme guilt for what he has done to Greece after killing Zeus, ultimately attempting suicide over it.
In spite of his cruel acts, Kratos is shown to care deeply for his wife and daughter, with the memories of their deaths driving him to the point of madness. In fact, the one and only time Kratos is shown to be happy is when he briefly reunites with his daughter, Calliope, in Chains of Olympus. He also cared for his younger brother Deimosand his mother Callisto, with their deaths further contributing to his growing hatred for the Gods of Olympus. In addition, Kratos respected his fellow Spartans, including the Last Spartan who he encountered several times during God of War: Ghost of Sparta and God of War II. When he learned of Sparta's destruction at Zeus' hand, Kratos was devastated and angrily demanded that Zeus come down and face him. During his battle with Zeus at the end of God of War II, he declared that he would not let him destroy Sparta, demonstrating that he cared for Sparta and its people. In God of War III, Kratos grows attached to Pandora as she reminds him of his own daughter, even mistaking her for Calliope upon their first encounter, despite the fact that she's only an "object". He became filled with rage after Hera insulted Pandora, and responded by killing her. Kratos ultimately tried to stop Pandora from sacrificing herself, although he was unsuccessful.
When Kratos encountered his half-siblings or cousins, he merely ignored them or told them to step aside, indicating that he does not harbor any particular hatred for them, but will kill them if necessary. This was shown in his confrontations with Theseus and Hercules. Despite his war on Olympus, Kratos (at least initially) only truly desired the death of Zeus, and possibly Poseidon and Hades as well. For example, Kratos was legitimately interested, though understandably suspicious, when Helios offered to help Kratos as a way of repaying his debt, implying that Kratos would have spared him if not for his treachery. He also tries to ignore Hermes at first, viewing him as more of a pest than a serious threat, and only attacks him after incessant provocation.
After destroying Olympus, remarrying, and siring another child, Atreus, in Norway, Kratos becomes a more stoic character, only bursting out in anger when antagonized or threatened. Although he is sometimes prone to outbursts when disciplining his son, he almost always manages to regain control of himself before doing any damage. He also accepts full responsibility for his actions in Greece, often exhibiting extreme sadness and regret, and at times even falling into a state of depression, when confronted about his past behavior, he now also dreads being called the "Ghost of Sparta", angrily telling Mimir not to call him that. He is also more considerate to others' feelings as well, as he sternly reproaches Atreus when the latter asking Sindri the reason of Brok's blue skin while he himself doesn't. As a result of his drastic maturity, Kratos is shameful of his past and prefers to keep it a secret from his son. However, he eventually realizes being open to Atreus with his mistakes would allow Atreus to learn from Kratos' mistakes and not go down the dark path he himself once trodden.
Following his union with Faye, Kratos went to great lengths to cover up his past as a God, especially from Atreus. Believing that his son’s godhood was a curse, Kratos kept the truth hidden with hopes that Atreus would live a normal life, though his secrecy became the source of his son’s recurring illness.
Unfortunately for Kratos, Atreus despite his compassionate nature appears to have inherited his father's impulsiveness and tendency towards rage. He is alarmed at Atreus' outbursts and is quick to reprimand him for it, fearing that he will become the same monster as Zeus was in Greece. He is shown to love Atreus just as he loved Calliope, Lysandra, and most likely Faye. Telling his son that they would complete the journey together. Kratos's relationship with Faye is not well-known but it is apparent that they had a very close and loving relationship, as Kratos openly acknowledges that Faye was better than a God and wondered if he could raise his son without her. He also respected Faye's wishes of not taking Atreus hunting, resulting in Kratos being gone most of the time hunting for the family.
However, his distrust for divine beings remains intact, opting to avoid interaction with the Norse Gods whenever possible, even when they (like Freya) try to befriend and help him. He is also shown to still harbor resentment towards the gods of Olympus, promptly telling the spirit of Athena to leave his head the moment she appears. He likewise reassures her that, while he is still a monster, he is no longer her monster. Despite this, Kratos is shown to have become more reasonable in dealing with the Norse Gods, as he was able to come to trust and care for Freya after she saved his son despite all of his previous distrust. Even after learning Freya had bewitched Mimir to prevent them from learning Baldur's weakness, Kratos cared enough to fight Baldur for her and later saved her life by killing Baldur when he attempted to choke her to death. He did not harm her when she swore vengeance on him, likely as he understands the pain she feels, having felt the same after killing his family, and believes that time will eventually cause her to forgive him. He also came to develop a strong friendship with Mimir, eventually taking his advice more and even comforting him at times.
Kratos now only kills out of self-defense and does not see the point in killing a weakened enemy. He even tries to be the voice of reason when Atreus finds out he is a god and lets it go to his head. Though he does not exactly like being around Brok and Sindri, Kratos is never rude or ill-natured around them and even allows them to work on his weaponry and gear, he was even shocked when Atreus asked why Brok is blue and when he badmouths Sindri, showing that he is at least sensitive enough to know when to not make an enemy. He was even willing to spare a weakened Modi and was greatly shocked and angered when Atreus, who learned of his godhood and became much more arrogant killed him. Likewise, for Baldur, Kratos offered him multiple chances to step aside and only fought him when threatened. He ultimately offered Baldur a chance to escape when he was defeated and even tried reasoning with him saying that vengeance is not a path to be walked by as people would not find peace, recounting his own experience with it.
Due to his slaying of the Gods of Olympus, Kratos now understands that vengeance will not bring him or others peace, even trying to talk Baldur out of killing Freya and then killing him when he attempts to do so to try and end the cycle of children killing their parents. When Freya threatens Kratos and swears vengeance against him, he does not retaliate in anger and simply replies that she does not know him, showing maturity and self-control. When Atreus accused Kratos of not caring for Faye, he was simply annoyed and told Atreus to stop talking.
Although Kratos does not seem to enjoy troubling himself by helping dead spirits, mainly because they no longer have any "needs, only wants", he does help people when need be. When prompted by Mimir to rescue the valkyries, Kratos complained, but submitted to the task. When they reached Jötunheim, Mimir wanted to stay behind because their business was between Atreus and Kratos, but Kratos objected at first because he didn't want any affliates of Odin finding Mimir.
At the beginning of his journey with Atreus, Kratos kept his forearms wrapped in bandages to hide the scars from his chained blades, symbolizing his desire to hide his past from his son. At the end of their journey, after coming clean to his son about his past, Kratos threw away his bandages, deciding he has nothing left to hide from his son.
Kratos has also developed a dry sense of humor such as when Mimir asked Atreus to carry him since Kratos was tackling deadly traps, Kratos replied he would not want Mimir to miss "this" (the excitement of dodging the traps) and smirk slightly when Mimir claimed Kratos was enjoying himself.
As the demigod son of Zeus, Kratos possesses incredible superhuman physical prowess, beyond that of any mortal or beast and surpassing all other Greek Gods, the exact limits of which are yet to be determined. His absorption of many of the powers of the Gods seemingly enchanted his powers. . Due to these abilities, Kratos was able to defeat monsters, magical beings, Titans and even the Gods themselves. His old age does not hamper his physical capabilities, as he has displayed the ability to outmatch the most physically powerful of the Norse Gods, such as Baldur and Magni. When using the Spartan Rage, he was able to easily scare off Modi. Apparently, he is one of the few in the Norse realm who has the physical power to potentially surpass the likes of Thor and Odin. It is worth noting that Odin is greatly afraid of him as he knows that Kratos will be involved in Ragnarok.
- Superhuman Strength: Kratos possesses incredible superhuman strength, which seems to fluctuate depending on the situation at hand. He can easily subdue and rip apart many large and powerful beasts and creatures such as Undead Legionnaires, infected humans, monsters, and magical beings in half, using only his bare hands and can easily rip off Helios' head. and is capable of overpowering the Hydra, throwing the Colossus of Rhodes after it attempted to crush him beneath its foot, and preventing both Cronos and Atlasfrom crushing him. In his battle against Hercules, who is considered to be unrivaled in terms of sheer strength, Kratos proved capable of stopping his charges, forcing him backward and enduring his powerful bear hugs without any ill effects, even breaking free from them and defeating him. He has always physically overpowered all other Greek Gods he fought in raw strength. His strength remains unaffected by his age, as despite being now older in the Nordic realm, Kratos was able to easily snap the neck of a troll with his bare hands, lift, throw and even smash massive boulders, and physically equal and eventually overpower among the strongest of the Norse Gods such as Baldur, one of the sons of Odin and Magni, the strongest of the children of Thor.
- Superhuman Durability: Kratos is extremely durable, capable of withstanding falls from great heights and walking away unharmed, getting crushed, stabbed, beaten, blasted, and burned by various enemies and traps without any lasting damage as well as survive extreme environments such as Hel, the Norse Realm of the Dead, which according to Mimir was said to be so cold that not even Odin himself can survive there for long, as well as Muspelheim. In addition, blows from most other extremely physically powerful opponents have little-to-no effect against him.
- Superhuman Speed: Kratos is also very fast, capable of matching the likes of Zeus who has the speed of lightning, Charon, Hermes, and Pollux and Castor who possessed Chronokinesis.
- Superhuman Agility: Kratos also has useful skills that include climbing mountains and buildings, jumping great heights, and swinging on ropes to cross long gaps.
- Healing Factor: He is also able to regenerate from most wounds at a fast rate, though he did not regenerate from the scar on his stomach caused by the Blade of Olympus and the scar over his right eye caused by Ares for reasons unknown (maybe he cannot fully regenerate himself from scars caused by gods' power).
- Invulnerability: Kratos also possesses powerful resistance to most forms of attack and magic (ex: time manipulation, illusion, and soul manipulation) that would easily kill most humans or magical beings. When Kratos loses in battle or war and is killed, he simply escapes the Underworld to Earth. Kratos can change his fate by manipulating or traveling in time.
- Power Absorption: Throughout his life, Kratos has been shown to absorb power from various sources, be it Gods of Titan. Among the greatest power he has absorbed is the power of god and Hope locked away in Pandora's Box, allowing him to kill the immortal Olympians.
- Electrokinesis: Kratos first gained the power to manipulate electricity from the Python Belly in the form of the Lightning of Zeus, allowing him to empower his blade with lightning to shock enemies and create electrical fields and mines as well as his chain and also create a large vortex. He was later given two versions of lightning magic: Zeus's Fury, which allowed him to generate powerful thunderbolts, and also from Poseidon in the form of the magic Poseidon's Rage, which allowed him to generate a circle of electricity around himself and summon lightning bolts from the sky. Although he lost that power after Zeus stripped him of his godly powers, he was given back the power to manipulate lightning by Chronos's Rage, allowing him to create blue orbs of electricity and after sufficiently leveling it up, he can also cause the orb to explode at will.
- Atmokinesis: With the Blade of Olympus powered by Athena, Kratos can summon a massive tornado by slamming the blade to the ground.
- Godly Energy Manipulation: With the Blade of Olympus, Kratos was able to fire powerful blasts of divine energy.
- Pyrokinesis: Throughout his journey, Kratos has been gifted with several powers to manipulate fire. First was the Fire of Ares, which allowed him to empower his weapons to create fiery explosions with combos and overall enchant attacks with fire as well as create searing cores of fire. Second was the Thera's Bane, which allowed him to greatly increase the power of the Blades of Athena and also create exploding searing cores. Rage of the Titans was acquired when he freed Prometheus from his torment, allowing him to generate fiery bursts and torrents. Upon arriving to the Nordic Realm, Kratos somehow acquired the power of Spartan Rage, which allowed him to empower his fists with fire and empower thrown stones to explode upon impact.
- Shapeshifting: While the God of War, Kratos could grow 500 or more feet tall, as well as become a fiery comet which would lay waste to all below him.
- Cyrokinesis: With the Ice of Poseidon, Kratos was granted the power to create tempests and waves of ice, empower his weapons with ice, fire ice shards and manifest spikes of ice. After arriving in the Nordic Realm, Kratos's power to manipulate ice lies with the Leviathan Axe, which while wielded by Kratos can fire waves of ice energy and freeze enemies.
- Geokinesis: With Atlas Quake, Kratos was capable of creating strong earthquakes and throwing large boulders.
- Soul Manipulation: With the Soul of Hades, Kratos was granted the power to summon blasts of soul energy and unleash the deceased souls that inhabit the Underworld upon enemies. The God of Death later granted Kratos the power to summon the souls of the Underworld in the form of the magic of the Army of Hades. Although he lost the power to do this after losing his godhood, Kratos regained a stronger version of the power after obtaining the Claws of Hades, allowing him to rip out others soul and control it to attack enemies as well as summon souls of the enemies he had defeated. In addition, Athena gave him the power to resurrect and control the souls of his deceased Spartan brethren.
- Wisdom: Although often defined by his brute strength, he also has a wisdom almost matching the goddess Athena as he is quite cunning and knowledgeable having managed to solve many puzzles throughout his journey, many of them created by famous architects like Archimedes, Daedalus or Pathos Verdes III, and even some Nordic puzzles as such he not only survived all the traps and creatures within but he also become the only one to break those challenges. He also managed to solve the Olympus' Garden puzzle which even Hera had not believed he could. Interestingly enough, Kratos, when he had a godly power that can make him into a giant, such as when he fought in Rhodes, and similar to his empowerment against Ares, he seemed to prefer to use his normal mortal size to battle many powerful creatures and gods. Kratos also was wise enough to use the environment against his enemies, like using the bridge mechanic to kill a Kraken or using Gaia's heart to restore his health. The most notable event that proves his wisdom is when he manages to break out of Aegaeon the Hekantonkheires prison by using Megaera's anger toward him. He even got the upper hand on Zeus during their second encounter by feigning defeat and causing Zeus to lower his guard enough for Kratos to effectively and immediately strike him and nearly kill him.
- Precognitive-Senses: He is capable of sensing danger.
- Master Combatant: Kratos is an extremely accomplished combatant with tremendous mastery over both armed and hand-to-hand combat. His skills were already great enough to allow him to be one of the best warriors in Sparta, considering he was one of the most respected Spartan generals. After discovering his powers and being trained by the Gods themselves, Kratos becomes far more formidable than ever, allowing him to easily massacre many opponents and also outfight the Gods. His age did not hamper his skill at all, allowing him to effectively hunt monsters and proved capable of overpowering the likes of Magni and Baldur in battle.
Before serving Ares, Kratos' main weapon was his sword. Under Ares' rule, Kratos' main weapons became the Blades of Chaos, a gift from Ares as a sign of his servitude. They are essentially two Falchion-like blades on long chains, permanently fused and seared to the wielder's forearms. Once Kratos killed Ares, Athena replaced them with a nearly identical pair of blades called the Blades of Athena, and then replaces them again in God of War IIIwith the very similar Blades of Exile. Kratos displays proficiency with all of his weapons. It is implied that he learned many of his fighting skills from Ares and other gods, the former God of War himself. Initially, Kratos also had a massive Spartan army under his command, used both before and during his servitude under Ares.
When he finds himself in the Nordic Realm, Kratos seems to have lost all the weapons he obtained from his quest of vengeance, having been destroyed by Zeus back when he was fighting him. But the Blades of Chaos are shown to still be in his possession, but decides to hide them under his cabin. This probably acts as a way for him to move on while still reminding himself of the atrocities he committed.
He initially wields a magic axe known as the Leviathan which he found in the woods where he met Faye, the mother of his future son, Atreus. The axe has the properties of ice magic as swinging its blade creates light blue energy waves, which can be charged up, and hitting the ground freezes enemies close to impact. Kratos also throws the axe directly towards opponents in battle and it seems that it can return to his hand by raising it but only for a limited range. While the Blades of Chaos, whom he unearthed to fight the forces in Helheim, possessed the properties of fire, which can also burn enemies in a certain heavy combo attack, the Leviathan's ice magic is very effective against enemies with the attribute of Burn, while the fiery swing of the Blades damage effectively those of Frost. After meeting with Brok and Sindri, gem slots called Runic Attacks are given on each weapon's head that modifies the axe's and the blades' abilities.
Kratos also wields the Guardian Shield, a golden circular shield attached to a golden gauntlet in his arm that he uses both offensively and defensively. He wears it like a brace for his left forearm but it instantly retracts to its full form at will. He is shown to pair this with his axe or his left Blade of Chaos in battle. He can infuse the magical abilities of his axe and the fire of his left Blade of Chaos into the shield, allowing for more explosive and devastating combos. And he is able to parry with the shield, managing to deflect enemy projectiles back at them.
- "Kratos" means "Power" or "Strength" in Greek, likely a reference to Kratos' god-like physical strength or overall power in general.
- Though Kratos is not a character in actual Greek mythology, there is a being in myth named "Cratos". He is the son of Pallas and Styx and he is the personification of strength and power. The mythical Cratos and the Kratos in-game, however, have vastly different loyalties, whereas Kratos is concerned only for himself and openly despises the gods, while Cratos is utterly loyal to Zeus.
- In Greek mythology, Cratos and Bia were commanded by Hephaestus to imprison Prometheus. Ironically, it was Kratos who released Prometheus from his imprisonment in God of War II.
- Kratos is voiced by Terrence C. Carson from God of War to God of War: Ascension, and by Antony Del Rioas a child in God of War: Ghost of Sparta. Christopher Judge took over the role for the first PS4 God of War.
- According to a God of War III special feature, Kratos stands 8 feet tall.
- From God of War to God of War III, Kratos' tattoo gets thinner and thinner and changes slightly in design. In the first game, it stretches on his chest from close to his sternum to past his left nipple. In the second, it is closer to his nipple. In the final game, it does not cover his nipple at all. It should also be noted that his tattoo in God of War circled more of his left arm, but in the games afterward, it does not. In the God of War (2018), his right arm's hooked tattoo changed differently to its appearance in God of War III, becoming closer to what it looked like in the original God of War.
- Kratos' family is shown to be the only people he has ever truly loved. The only time he has ever been seen smiling was when he found Calliope in the Underworld. Kratos was very distraught when he had to leave her once again. Later, when he encounters an illusion of his late wife, he begs her for forgiveness, something he has never been seen doing before. When he is forced to kill his mother, he is distraught by her passing. When his younger brother Deimos is killed, Kratos is devastated before he unleashes his rage on Thanatos for his actions. He also cares a lot about his second child, Atreus, protecting him on the way during some situations, he is also more concerned about his well-being and temperament, frantically seeking Freya's help because he fell ill from his induced rage, he also disciplines his son like any typical father could. While his relationship with Faye, his second late wife, was not known well, he was visibly angered when Atreus accuses him of not mourning for her.
- Kratos' standard outfit appearance had little changes throughout the games. In God of War and God of War: Ascension, his hands were without any gloves, and he had nothing but white cloth between the chains and the skin of his arms. His belt changes between God of War and God of War II, in the former, he wears a red leather belt, in the latter, he was wearing a gold one, this was kept to God of War III. His skirt is the same as in later games in God of War: Ascension, but seems like it is new and undamaged. In Chains of Olympus, his skirt seems to be torn apart in some places, as in God of War, and you can clearly see his red gloves. As a God in God of War II, while wearing his god armor, the skirt is intact just to be torn apart again after the Colossus of Rhodes smashed him and broke the armor, and the gloves are kept. The final outfit from God of War II is pretty much the same as the one in the sequel. Also, in God of War II and III, Kratos wears a red leather armlet beneath the chains in his arms. The only difference between the two games is that his skirt seems to be shorter in the HD scenes of God of War II and God of War III than that in the gameplay of God of War II. This could be because of his years of trial and error, fighting creatures and gods, that caused his skirt damage. In the new God of War, if inspected closely, one can see of what remains of his old skirt in his waist.
- Developer Stig Asmussen has revealed that David Jaffe intended for Kratos to take on the Norse and Egyptian gods after having defeated Zeus and the Greek pantheon. His intention for the former was confirmed with the release of God of War.
- Kratos kills about one god in every game (a total of 14 gods), with the most notable exception being God of War III, where he kills a total of 7 gods.
- It is unknown why many characters, even if they are fully aware of Kratos' demigod status, still call him a mortal. It could be that they did not feel like calling him a demigod, or that they used it to make him appear weak.
- In early screenshots of God of War, Kratos' tattoo was in the shape of the omega symbol when it was seen on his head.
- Prior to being revealed to be the Marked Warrior, who the prophecy foretold the end of Olympus would be at his hand, Kratos was said to be marked by many individuals. The village oracle who cursed him when she bonded the ashes of his family to his skin stated that the mark of his deeds would be visible to everyone, and a spider he encountered during his quest to destroy the Ambrosia to stop the followers of Ares from reviving him stated he is just a mortal marked with destruction. Kratos also took a tattoo identical to his brother's birthmark.
- During flashbacks in God of War III to the events of God of War, the character model for Kratos in God of War III is used instead.
- In God of War II, when Kratos is taken back in time by Atropos to his battle with Ares, his past self's tattoos are very faded in color, almost invisible, until the ending scene where he grabs the Blade of the Gods. Curiously, the tattoos are colored orange instead of red.
- Oddly, he also has the scar from where Zeus stabbed him, despite his battle with Ares occurring long before his fight with Zeus.
- By technicality, Kratos managed to free himself from his past in Chains of Olympus. When he gave up his weapons, powers, and abilities, Kratos' tattoo and pale skin were also removed, thus granting him amnesty. Unfortunately, he was forced to regain everything at the cost of his daughter, Calliope.
- In all of the main installments of the series, Kratos is killed at some point by impalement through his abdomen.
- Also, in each of the main games, he burned a man alive: the first being the Sacrificed Soldier, followed by Prometheus in God of War II, and finally Peiritheus in God of War III.
- Kratos has killed both of his parents in his quests. He is forced to reluctantly kill his mother Callisto in Ghost of Sparta, and brutally killed his father Zeus in God of War III.
- Most of Kratos' actions during the series were driven by rage and vengeance. Some exceptions are when he was searching for the Ambrosia to save his daughter, when saving his brother Deimos while ignoring any and all godly warnings, and when trying to prevent Pandora from sacrificing herself in the Flame of Olympus, and later to spread his second wife's ashes on the highest peak in the Nine Realms (which turned out to be in Jötunheim), accompanied by his son Atreus.
- In the series, when Kratos encounters any of his half-siblings or cousins, he initially does not intend to battle them but is ultimately forced to when they either provoke him or challenge him. Prime examples include both Perseus, Theseus and Hercules.
- Throughout the God of War series, Kratos casts himself off a ledge in the trilogy. Firstly, in God of War, when Kratos attempts to commit suicide at the end of the game. Secondly, in God of War II, when he plummets down to Rhodes in the beginning. Lastly, in God of War III, when Kratos drops to the Underworld from the Labyrinth. Also in God of War III during his psyche journey, he drops the hope lantern and casts himself into the Pool of Blood.
- It is never clearly mentioned how long Kratos reigned as a god, but judging from the 4603 days of working on the Labyrinth, Daedalus has spent a total of 12.6 years working on it. This implies that 12.6 years have passed between God of War and God of War III.
- With this information, one can assume that Kratos was born between 510 BC ~ 500 BC and that God of War III finished around 470 BC ~ 460 BC, as he spent about 12 years as a god, 10 as a slave to Olympus, and even before, he fought at Eurybiades' side against the Persians and their King (probably Xerxes I), event that took place in 480 BC (approximately). Judging by his voice pattern and physical appearance, his age in God of War III is estimated around 40 ~ almost 50 years.
- However, these years are contradictory with the appearance of Archimedes' corpse and his inventionsin Ascension and Ghost of Sparta, respectively, given that Archimedes died c.212 BC. The Colossus of Rhodes' appearance also supports a more recent setting, as the construction of the statue began in 292 BC, and ended around 280 BC. It was then destroyed in an earthquake in 226 BC. With this information, one can assume that in the God of War universe the statue was then nearly reconstructed around 36 years later (as it is shown unfinished in the events of God of War II). All this suggests that Kratos was actually born between 230 BC ~ 220 BC and that God of War III finishes between 190 BC ~ 180 BC.
- To explain Eurybiades' appearance in Chains of Olympus, one should assume that the conflict did not take place in the Greco-Persian Wars, and that the fallen commander was actually named after Eurybiades. This is supported by the fact that he is listed as "Leader of the Athenian Army", when historically, Eurybiades was a Spartan Commander. Another reason that supports this notion is that the original Eurybiades historically survived the Greco-Persian Wars, while the character from Chains of Olympus is shown unconscious and severely injured.
- Kratos is rarely seen feeling any emotion but anger during the events of the game. In God of War: Ascension, Kratos is seen desolated as he's trapped in the Furies' illusions. Later, he's seen genuinely sad by the fact he has to kill Orkos to free himself from Ares. The only time he's seen happy is when he reunites with his daughter in Chains of Olympus. In God of War (2018), he appears to be wiser and more reserved, being able to control his anger most of the times.
- Kratos' fighting style changes throughout the game as he becomes more and more experienced. In God of War: Ascension he uses the Blades of Chaos to perform grabs while in all other games he prefers to overpower his enemies by grabbing them with his hands. In God of War III, many of his moves are slightly faster than the older games.
- Because of Faye, Kratos is knowledgeable of some of Norse gods such as Thor and Odin.
- Since leaving his homeland, Kratos no longer uses the Ghost of Sparta moniker.
- Despite destroying Greece through his war on Olympus and his obvious regret over it, Kratos is shown to care little for the state of the world he is in now, with Atreus and Mimir constantly reminding him about the importance of freeing the Valkyries to help make Midgard safe.
- While on the Boat with Atreus, if Mimir is not present by this time, Kratos will count famous stories such as The Hare and Tortoise and Frog and Scorpion. However, he will also tell the tale of a horse who wanted revenge. The horse allowed someone to ride him to meet his desire for revenge, but ended up losing his freedom. The horse symbolizes Kratos, and Ares the rider.
- It is highly implied that the old man who told Kratos the stories was Aesop, a famous greek storyteller.
- In hindsight, The story of The Hare and Tortoise was very similar to the fight between Kratos and Hermes. Hermes, the Hare, is too confident of his speed and Kratos's inability to catch him while Kratos, the Tortoise, remains steady and determined and becomes the winner between the two. It also can be applied to Kratos' situation with other gods and titans, as he was often being underestimated, only to came out on top in the end.
- The Young Crab and his Mother story mirror the relationship between Kratos and his son. Kratos often verbally reminding Atreus to be a better person, especially to the former and his past self. However, Atreus instead followed the same path of arrogance after learning of his divine parentage, modelling his behavior after his preceptions of Kratos' action.
- When speaking with Freya about Helheim, he implies to her that he is familiar with another Underworld.
- While in Hel, Kratos witness a reenactment of his final battle with Zeus at the end of God of War III, however, the models for both Zeus and past Kratos looked to be remade from the ground up.
- The remade model for Kratos is not entirely accurate, as the Golden Fleece had been destroyed and he was using the Blades of Exile at the time.
- Kratos can hear his past self screaming at Zeus, because of Judge taking over as the voice of Kratos no re-used voice clips of TC Carson are used, instead the lines are re-done.
- While in Tyr's chambers he finds a vase containing Lemnian wine, from Lemnos, a Greek island near his birthplace in Sparta. He and Atreus drink the centuries-old wine and Atreus is disgusted by it, while Kratos enjoys it.
- Also in Tyr's chambers, he destroys a vase with his image during his "Ghost of Sparta" period on it.
- Kratos tells Atreus that he has met many annoying spirits before. He could be talking about Athena, or the many times he has faced undead foes like Alrik.
- When asked by Atreus if he can transform into an animal, Kratos stops to think, as the only god he has ever seen shapeshift was Zeus, and does not know how.
- He is known by the Jötnar as Fárbauti (ᚠᚨᚱᛒᚨᚢᛏᛁ), literally meaning "cruel striker", a fitting name for Kratos' former demeanor. Fárbauti is also the father of Loki and husband of Laufey' in Norse mythology.
- The Jötunheim mural also refers him as Einherjar, warriors chosen by the Valkyries to fight for Odinduring Ragnarök, despite he is not yet being slain in a battle and being brought to Valhalla by any of the Valkyries. Furthermore, Odin views him as a threat given that he will take part in Ragnarok.
- After defeating the Valkyire Queen, Kratos gets into a cheery but sarcastic mood, not because he has set those imprisoned free, but rather he could sell off the remaining Valkyrie helmets to the Dwarves.
- As part of his Greek Culture and of his past, he treats Atreus in a different way than he did with his daughter Calliope, as Spartans at a young age where tought how to fight and survive at young ages.
- When he reveals his past to Atreus, he mentions that he has killed those who were deserving, such as Ares, Persephone, and Thanatos, while he has slaughtered those who were not, such as the countless innocents he killed while serving Ares, including his daughter and wife.
- During some side missions, Kratos and Atreus learn of people killing their fathers, which Atreus finds surprising. Ironically, this was the case with Kratos and Zeus.
- Kratos needed to recover an item from the inside of beasts three times. The Hydra, for the boat captain's key, Cronos, for the Omphalos Stone, and The World Serpent, for Mimir's second eye.
- Kratos mocks and teases Mimir many times through the game (as seen in Tyr's Vault about Atreus finds a Celtic knife), which he does not find amusing, exclaiming "this is why no one likes you".
- The insult Kratos makes regarding the knife is actually the purpose of the Celtic knife in question.
- Many times through his adventure with Atreus he reminds his son of the danger of the gods, that there are no good gods, or that gods do not simply care for mortals. This is because he faced the Greek Gods who, just as himself, showed such qualities.
- Like in God of War (2005), Kratos can wear the armor of the fallen God of War in God of War (2018), but in this case it is Tyr's. If players complete the "Give me God of War" difficulty mode, they will also gain his shield: Radiant Shield of Unity
- You also gain The Aspis of Spartan Fury Shield, for completing "Give Me God of War" mode, a Golden shield with a Bloody makeshift "V", a reminder of his past.
- in new game+ Kratos gained Zeus and Ares' armors, which look strikingly similar, especially in the back area, to Kratos' own god armor in God of War II.
- Kratos makes a guest appearance in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. He fights with the Blades of Chaos, Blade of Olympus, Icarus Wings, and Poseidon's Rage.
- The God of War Armor makes an appearance in Heavenly Sword. On a mission with the character Kai, the player enters an armory with a display of her mother's skeleton. One of the other displays is the God of War Armour with the Blades of Chaos underneath. The inscription reads to the effect of "Armour of the Prince who stood alone against the Persian Army." This was confirmed by Ninja Theory (the developer of Heavenly Sword) as accreditation to the God of War series for being such a heavy influence to their own production.
- In the 2008 The Simpsons Game, a parody of Kratos can be seen in the background of a level on a billboard. The words "God of Wharf" are written next to a picture of a Simpsons-esque Kratos eating a bowl of chowder.
- Kratos makes a guest appearance in the PS3 golf game, Everybody's Golf: World Tour. Playing with the 'Clubs of Olympus', a set of clubs with the club heads attached to chains, Kratos is portrayed being quite rude to his caddy, blaming all his bogeys and missed shots on The Sisters of Fate.
- The PS3 exclusive kart racing game ModNation offers Kratos, and his Kart of Chaos, as a playable character when pre-ordering. Kratos, along with other pre-order incentives, were made available worldwide.
- In 2009's Game of the Year LitteBigPlanet, there is a rare character costume of Kratos, as well as Medusaand Pandora's Guardian.
- Kratos appears in the PS3 version of the 2011 game Mortal Kombat, with his own set of moves, and a personal God of War battle arena. He is not, however, a part of the storyline.
- In the game Age of Mythology and its expansion, The Titans, there is a character named Kastor. Interestingly, his name can be arranged into Kratos. His background shares slight similarities to Kratos', as he too distrusted the gods and sided with the Titans while, unbeknownst to him, being used as a pawn. Kastor, like Kratos, is a figure in Greek myth, invaded Mount Olympus, released the Titans, and fought them after being betrayed. It's worth noticing that AoM and its expansion was released 2 years before the first God of War.
- However, there are some rather odd similarities between AoM and GoW. AoM main character, Arkantos is aided by Athena just like Kratos, Carole Ruggier also voiced Athena in AoM, both of them are general of their army and Arkantos is devoted to Poseidon as Kratos to Ares. Arkantos, not unlike Kratos, also escaped the Underworld and soon betrayed by the god they are devoted to and AoMPoseidon, just like GoW Ares, betrays his fellow gods because of envy and Arkantos fights and defeats the god that betrayed him and his people after being empowered by Zeus. (In this instance, Arkantos fights the statue of Poseidon is similar to Kratos fights Colossus of Rhodes, and he is given powers by Zeus to defeat it, just like Kratos is given the Blade of Olympus). Athena then makes Arkantos a god as Kratos is made one by the same goddess at the ending.
- Kratos is one of the playable characters in the multi-franchise fighter Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale, similar to the Super Smash Bros. series. Along with him, God of War-franchise member Hades also makes an appearance, albeit as a background character. Zeus also appears as a playable DLC Character in the game. Kratos' rival is Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal.
- In God of War: Ghost of Sparta there was a piece of artwork for a female version of Kratos. This was possibly cut due to its nudity and voice acting.
- A God of War themed event was added in Destiny of Spirits, alongside advanced summons which had Kratos in it.
- Kratos appears in the PlayStation 3/4/Vita versions of Shovel Knight.