The Norse saga of the long-running franchise God of War has come to an end with God of War: Ragnarok. Kratos and his son Atreus have faced down the Norse gods, taken down Odin and seemingly freed a land under his iron fist. Yet, the second entry in this revival hasn’t truly answered every question that was left open from the events in this new duology of games. We still don’t know who blew the horn in 2018’s entry, what exactly the mask was all about or even if there’s more to that bizarre tear that rippled through reality. Kratos’ vision leaves us wondering if his story is truly over, or it’s just only begun. Luckily, there are some hints on what could be in store for players.
God of War‘s return was originally conceived quite a bit differently. Cory Barlog, who directed the first entry that released in 2018, actually wasn’t sure which direction to go with the new entry. It seems he wanted to explore different pantheons but couldn’t decide between Norse mythology or Egypt. Interesting enough, the fact that Kratos would have a son that uses a bow and arrow was the one concept that carried over. While we now know which direction he went, it’s still interesting that concept art exists of that original concept. We even have a tease during the exploration of Tyr’s treasure room in that same game.
Speaking of, a mural of Tyr’s travels in that same area also includes various symbols of Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythology. What stands out is that there’s also a fourth in the form of a Japanese Shinto symbol that opens up the question if perhaps the team at Santa Monica Studio wanted to keep the door open to explore different pantheons depending on where the story leads them. While Egypt would seem like the more natural fit given just how close the original game almost turned into that story, there’s still a lot to explore moving forwared.
Still, the question remains on how exactly these pantheons will be explored. Kratos’ journey leads him through Ragnarok and saying goodbye to his son as he ventured out on his own adventure. So, it would seem easy to assume that whatever Atreus’ search leads to may be the cause of him wandering through other pantheons. We get to play as him throughout the game at different occasions, though it would be weird not to play the character that the entire franchise has been about throughout six console games and two portable spinoffs. It simply wouldn’t be the same without Kratos. While the final scene of the story could work as a way to cap off his journey, it also could be a guide for his own personal path moving forward.
A tweet by director Cory Barlog may have hinted that whatever story we’re set to explore will not fully move away from the Norse setting. One of the big moments during Ragnarok was when Jormungandr was hit by Thor and transported back in time to eventually grow into the version we meet in the first of the Norse saga entries. Yet, Barlog seems to imply thatthere’s actually more story to tell and we could find out what exactly was the true cause for Thor suddenly hitting someone through time and space. Perhaps it is something connected to Mjolnir?
Either way, it does seem like we’re not fully done with the Norse setting. Perhaps the eventual sequel still starts off in the setting that Kratos has called home and leads to an unexpected discovery. Whatever that crack in reality was, it could also act as a gateway that ends up dragging Kratos into a different place and forces him to face a new pantheon. We’ve seen word spread about what Kratos has done in Greece. So, any of the remaining gods out there would be worried that a man that took down two would eventually desire to reach out and do the same elsewhere. Wouldn’t it seem fitting that gods end up becoming their own demise by getting involved with those they should’ve just left alone?
Director Eric Williams, who took over from Barlog who took on a producing role for God of War: Ragnarok, has also hinted that there are active hints in the game about where they’ll go next. After you finished the main story, you can actually discover a prison from asgard that housed the real God of War Tyr, who ends up taking some personal time to travel the Nine Realms. The quest to find him sadly doesn’t really yield any benefits in Ragnarok, but Williams has pointed out that his actions may be our biggest clue to what’s to come.
The biggest hint might be the fact that you can find Tyr in Vanaheim doing something akin to Tai chi. We know that he’s traveled to other places on Midgard (if these pantheons even exist in the exact same realm, something the series is very vague on) and could become the bridge in the next story. Instead of a full-on invasion, perhaps someone is seeking Tyr’s help and he resides in Kratos to join him due to his own experiences from a different home. It would create an interesting dynamic and also help further explore a new dynamic between to Gods of War.
Of course, Santa Monica Studio isn’t bound to producing a singular franchise but Williams seems quite open to dedicating his career to doing just that, as revealed in a quote with the LA Times.
I remember talking to someone from another game company, where they were trying to get me to leave. The said, ‘Do you just want to be known as the “God of War” guy for the rest of your life?’ That was your big pitch to dissuade me? Because yes, I kind of doEric Williams
There hasn’t been an official announcement for a sequel, but any franchise that decides to use the wording “saga” is definitely not going to wrap it up anytime soon; the Marvel Cinematic Universe made sure of that very sentiment. If they are working on other unannounced projects, perhaps we’ll get a Spider-Man: Miles Morales type spinoff focused on Atreus as he seeks out the missing giants that now reside in other realms. Perhaps his actions in that game could lead to Kratos having to seek him out, setting up the next mainline sequel. For now, we can only speculate and it looks like we’ll have to wait quite a bit until we get any real news on a sequel.