Kratos, the protagonist of the popular video game series God of War, has become a pop culture icon known for his Blades of Chaos, Leviathan Axe and his violent, ruthless killing of Gods. But is Kratos a real God in Greek mythology? Yes, but it’s not as simple as that.
Kratos vs. Kratos
Kratos in Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology, there exists a deity named Kratos who is the personification of power and is the brother of Bia (personifying strength) and Nike (the goddess of Victory). Kratos and his siblings allied themselves with Zeus and the Olympian gods during the Titanomachy, the great war between the Titans and the Olympians.
After the war, Kratos and his brothers took prominent positions by Zeus’s side as he established a new regime, with the presence of powerful entities such as Kratos increasing his authority. In the play Prometheus Bound by the Greek playwright Aeschylus, Kratos is depicted as enforcing the punishment of Prometheus, who had stolen the sacred fire, by chaining him to a rock where his liver would be devoured by a terrible bird. This depiction of Kratos symbolizes Zeus’s despotic power and the harsh, exemplary application of justice.
Kratos in God of War
In contrast to this, in the God of War video game series, Kratos is depicted as the son of Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, and a mortal woman named Callisto. In this version, Kratos seeks revenge against the Greek gods after they trick him into killing his family. More recently the series sees Kratos take on Norse Gods like Odin, Thor and Baldur with the help of his son Atreus. This is after Kratos wipes out the Greek Gods.
So is Kratos a real God? Well, yes, but It’s important to note that the mythological Kratos and the Kratos of the God of War video games are not the same character. While they share a name and some similarities, the modern-day Kratos is much more revered than the version in Greek mythology.