God of War Ragnarok was released over two weeks ago and fans have been experiencing the latest journey for Kratos and Atreus following the events of 2018’s God of War. While some have completed the main story, others are still enjoying their trip through Midgard and unfolding the mysteries surrounding the apocalyptic events of Ragnarok and the long Fimbulwinter. We’ve now worked through the main scenario to present the entire story of God of War Ragnarok explained.
Since this is a thorough breakdown of God of War Ragnarok‘s story, we’ll be discussing major spoilers and plot points, including many from 2018’s God of War. Take this as a warning in case you haven’t reached the ending of Ragnarok.
Where We Left Off…
To understand where God of War Ragnarok begins, we first have to explain (in brief detail) the general story behind 2018’s God of War since Ragnarok is a continuation and conclusion of it.
Several years have passed since Kratos reigned hell on Olympus and Greek mythology. The Spartan warrior finds himself in the Norse realm of Midgard, now with a son named Atreus. The story begins with Kratos cremating his deceased second wife, Faye, aiming to fulfill her last wish to scatter her ashes from the highest peak in all the realms, located in Jotunheim. Before Kratos and Atreus can embark on their journey, they’re visited by a stranger named Baldur who is the son of the All-Father Odin and the Vanir goddess Freya.
Kratos and Baldur clash, but Kratos seemingly kills him. The pair head off to the Lake of the Nine and encounter the friendly World Serpent, Jormungandr, which Atreus can mysteriously communicate with despite the snake speaking in a rare language. They eventually meet Freya who recognises Kratos as a god, the dwarf brothers Sindri and Brok, and Mimir, a decapitated head that accompanies them on their remaining journey to enter Jotunheim.
After encountering and killing Baldur’s nephews (and the sons of Thor) Modi and Magni, Kratos once again confronts a surviving Baldur. He also learns that Baldur is the son of Freya, who isn’t very happy about Kratos’ attempt to kill him. Regardless, Kratos is forced to kill him again after he tries to strangle Freya. Kratos and Atreus head to Jotunheim, with Freya swearing vengeance on Kratos.
Kratos and Atreus venture to Jotunheim where they see a startling prophecy on a mural: Kratos will die. Atreus is also discovered to be part-Giant (from Faye’s side) going by the Giant-given name Loki… The pair scatter Faye’s ashes and return home.
Hammer and Axe
God of War Ragnarok begins three years after the events of the last game. Fimbulwinter, the long winter that precedes Ragnarok, has arrived. Kratos and Atreus are surviving against harsh conditions and occasionally flee from Freya’s attacks. Upon returning home, Atreus lays his wolf Fenrir to rest. Kratos dreams of hunting with Faye, but awakens to find Atreus missing. He goes in search of his son, only to be confronted by a large bear that’s revealed to be a transformation of Atreus in his grief.
After Atreus comes to his senses, the pair return home only to be visited by the god of thunder, Thor, as well as Odin. Odin proposes to leave Kratos’ family alone if Atreus gives up his secret search for the Norse god of war, Tyr. Kratos refuses and fights Thor, who’s angered by the death of his sons Modi and Magni. The two battle to a stalemate, but Kratos is visited by Sindri and Brok and taken to their home on the branches of the World Tree, Yggdrasil, along with Atreus and Mimir.
Prophecies of War
Atreus admits to Kratos that he’s been receiving help from Sindri in locating Giant shrines scattered throughout Midgard, which could hold clues for Tyr’s location. Kratos reluctantly agrees to help Atreus search for Tyr, who is determined to be somewhere in the Dwarven realm of Svartalfheim. They travel there and find a traumatised Tyr imprisoned in a jail. After some push, he eventually agrees to accompany them.
Before heading to Alfheim, the group finds Groa’s shrine which reveals a prophecy surrounding Ragnarok and the impending war that breaks out. They later discover an alternate prophecy regarding Ragnarok – one where Asgard is destroyed but all other realms survive. Atreus is also believed to be a champion of this war under his Giant name of Loki.
Kratos and Atreus return to Sindri and Brok’s home only to have an argument over the latter’s prophecy. While sleeping that night, Atreus suddenly awakens in Jotunheim and meets the Giantess Angrboda. She shows him another mural which once again shows Kratos’ supposed death during Ragnarok, with Atreus joining Odin. Atreus angrily rejects this prophecy. He also learns that Giants survived Odin’s slaughter by transferring their souls into spirit stones.
Atreus then helps Angrboda stop her grandmother, Gryla, from stealing animal souls. She entrusts Atreus with the last spirit stones, though he places one Giant’s soul into the body of a dead snake. The snake slithers away, though it’s not the last we’ll see of him. Atreus returns to Midgard where he’s confronted by an angered Kratos, informing him that he was missing for two days.
Things only escalate when Freya attacks them with her Valkyrie powers restored. Following a brief clash, Freya makes amends after sparing Kratos under the condition that he helps her break a curse that’s binding her to Midgard – a task that involves slaying the beast Nidhogg.
Freya transforms into a falcon to avoid Odin’s spell and travels with Kratos to Vanaheim, where they meet Freya’s brother Freyr who is leading a resistance against Odin. The pair head deeper into Vanaheim to slay Nidhogg, thus breaking Freya’s curse. During this time, Kratos opens up to Freya about his turbulent past and his vengeful cycle of violence. She says that she can’t forgive Kratos for killing her son but can’t kill him in return.
Kratos returns to Brok and Sindri’s house, once again confronting Atreus about his secretive behaviour. Atreus flees to Asgard in order to find a way to prevent his father’s death. He runs into Heimdall, who taunts Atreus before he’s interrupted by Odin and Thor. Odin requests Atreus’ help by assembling a mysterious shattered mask which is said to offer a glimpse between worlds and grant infinite knowledge.
Meanwhile, Kratos and Freya encounter the Norns who inform them that Heimdall is prophecised to kill Atreus. Kratos and Brok visit Ran, a mermaid-like being that can forge powerful weapons. Together the pair craft the Draupnir Spear, which is capable of defeating Heimdall.
All Helheim Breaks Loose
Atreus is joined by Thor’s daughter, Thrud, who both head to Helheim to search for a missing piece of the mask. Here, they encounter the giant wolf named Garm. Atreus accidentally frees Garm who then goes on a rampage across Helheim, chaotically tearing rifts between realms. Atreus and Kratos reunite and journey into Helheim to stop Garm before it destroys all nine realms. Kratos slays Garm, but Atreus realises that he bound Fenrir’s soul to his knife. He then transfers Fenrir’s soul into Garm’s corpse, resurrecting him as Fenrir.
Upon returning to Brok and Sindri’s house, Atreus shares his knowledge of Odin’s mask with the rest of the group as well as what he’d experienced in Asgard. The conversation is cut short when they learn that Freyr had been captured by the Aesir. Kratos, Freya and Atreus return to Vanaheim to rescue Freyr. However, Heimdall shows up and battles Kratos, who – in a fit of rage – kills him and claims the Gjallarhorn, inadvertently setting the events of Ragnarok in motion.
Kratos allows Atreus to return to Asgard and continue assembling the mask so that he can steal it from Odin. Unfortunately, Odin intervenes once Atreus assembles the mask and Thor nearly kills him. Atreus returns to Sindri and Brok’s house where he hands the mask over to Tyr. He tells Atreus that he’s now willing to fight and knows a secret way into Asgard. Brok begins to grow suspicious of Tyr’s sudden change of heart, leading to Tyr stabbing Brok.
Tyr is then revealed to have been Odin in disguise the whole time. The group fends off Odin and reclaims the mask, but a mortified Sindri blames Atreus for Brok’s death. He leaves everyone and returns to his old forge to mourn.
Cause and Effect
Kratos and Atreus commit to bringing about Ragnarok, heading to Vanaheim to rescue the giant wolves Skoll and Hati who are key figures in causing the apocalyptic event. They also venture to Muspelheim to convince Surtr to merge with his wife and take on the primordial form destined to destroy Asgard. Surtr originally declines but uses Kratos’ Blades of Chaos as an alternate way to change his form.
After battling Odin’s valkyries, Kratos and Atreus witness Surtr fall into a void; his primordial form is set to arrive in Asgard soon. Kratos and Atreus return to unite the remaining forces of Midgard and form an army capable of breaching Asgard’s defences. Kratos has one more vision with Faye before the final battle, this time also including a memory of Atreus as a baby. Faye asks Kratos to raise Atreus well and protect him.
Gathering at Tyr’s Temple in Midgard, Kratos collects the united forces and sounds the Gjallarhorn, which opens up all realm travel to begin the siege of Asgard. However, things begin to fall apart quickly. Other realms are closed off, Sindri informs Kratos that no dwarves other than himself with taking part in the battle, and Surtr’s rampage begins killing innocent refugees. Angrboda arrives at the last minute with Fenrir and Jormungandr – the same snake that Atreus fed a Giant soul to, now massive due to rapid growth.
Jormangundr fights Thor as Sindri destroys Asgard’s defences. Thrud and her mother Sif meet Atreus and tell him that they’ve defected from Odin’s service after learning that the All-Father had used the refugees as shields. Thor uses Mjolnir to send Jormangundr back in time, who ends up becoming the same World Serpent that we met in 2018’s God of War.
Kratos and Thor clash again, but his family quickly intervenes and begs him to stand down. Odin then kills Thor after disobeying him, setting his sights on Kratos and his group. However, they swiftly overpower him. Atreus shatters the mask, preventing Odin from peering into it. They defeat Odin and place his soul in a spirit stone, agreeing to let him be, though Sindri rushes in and smashes the stone, seemingly killing Odin.
Freyr holds off Surtr and sacrifices himself, allowing the group to retreat through a rift made by Fenrir and Angrboda.
After awakening, Atreus reunites with Angrboda who shows him and Kratos a mural Faye had deliberately destroyed, allowing them to determine their own fate and not rely on prophecies and destiny. Finding renewed purpose, Atreus says farewell to Kratos and Angrboda as he journeys to distant lands in search of the other surviving giants.
Kratos more closely observes the mural, noticing people worshipping him as a beloved and respected god rather than the tyrannical god of war that he once was. Freya kills the Valkyrie Queen Gna to reclaim her title. As a result, the Aesir move to Vanaheim and make peace with the Vanir. The real Tyr is later discovered in Niflheim. Thrud begins wielding Mjolnir in honour of Thor. The game ends with Freya joining Kratos to rebuild the ruined realms together. A funeral for Brok is held in Svartalfheim.
God of War Ragnarok is now available for PS4 and PS5.