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God Of War Ragnarok's Original Beginning Would Have Changed The Game Entirely

Without question, "God of War Ragnarok" is a masterclass in video game development and storytelling within the "God of War" series' main story arc and the industry at large. The critically acclaimed title from Santa Monica Studio boasts not only stellar visuals and excellent combat but a fantastic story that follows main character Kratos and his son Atreus as they experience Ragnarok, Norse mythology's Apocalypse equivalent. This story resonated heavily with gamers and critics alike and allowed "God of War" to dominate the 2022 Game Awards with ten award nominations. However, this modern classic story might never have been. Or, at least, it would've been entirely different.


After the launch of the highly successful 2018 "God of War," the writing team at Santa Monica immediately began to work on the next installment in the series. Early ideas included bold creative choices such as long sections with entirely different characters and even an alternative ending. However, the most shocking of the early ideas for "Ragnarok" pertains to Kratos, whose fate was initially intended to be much different.

Kratos was originally going to die in his first battle with Thor

In an interview with MinnMax's Ben Hanson, "God of War Ragnarok" narrative director Matt Sophos and story lead Richard Gaubert covered a range of subjects, including narrative themes, gameplay, and how the writing team at Santa Monica Studio had changed since the release of "God of War" in 2018. But among the more interesting tidbits in the interview was when Sophos revealed what the team had originally planned for the story. As wild as it may sound now, "Ragnarok" was initially written to have Kratos die near the start of the game – which would have made it yet another PlayStation franchise that killed off its main character.


"There was the earliest, earliest draft of an outline that we had come up with ... Kratos died in the Thor fight at the very beginning of the game," Sophos told Hanson. According to Sophos, Kratos' death would only be temporary, as later in the game, Atreus would pull him from the depths of Hell.

Ultimately, this idea was shot down. Sophos said, "Eric was like, 'I don't want to do that, Kratos has died and come back from it too many times, and it'll feel a little bit too 'oh, you said he was gonna die and oh, you just killed him but he came right back.'"

While it's not the fate players saw in-game, this detail remains an interesting tidbit of "God of War Ragnarok" trivia.