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The God Of War Theory That Could Change Everything About Atreus

The 2018 "God of War" reboot took the series in a surprising new direction. Sure, there was still plenty of action to be had, monsters to be slain and puzzles to be solved, but now there was also an emotional core to the narrative. The strained dynamic between Kratos and his son Atreus somehow made the half-god Spartan killing machine feel more human than he ever has before. The game's ending can be a little hard to understand as it marries together several aspects of the Norse Ragnarok myth with some of the "God of War" series' own established mythology in order to reveal a devastating secret about Atreus – the giants knew him as Loki.

Those familiar with Norse mythology know that Loki is the Norse God of Mischief, born a frost giant, but adopted into the Aesir tribe of gods. Santa Monica Studios has always taken a few liberties with the mythology that the "God of War" franchise is based on, but there are some pretty big omissions in claiming that Atreus is Loki. First of all, Jörmungandr: the World Serpent is supposed to be one of Loki's children. Then there's the fact that the original Norse Loki was certainly not half Greek god. But the biggest question is why he was never adopted into the Aesir. Well, one Reddit user's theory might have found a solution that ties up all these inconsistencies in a neat bow. It's possible that Atreus is Loki's reincarnated form.

The Theory

Reddit user TheMediocreCritic made a post where they explained their theory that Atreus may not have been the first Loki. The author posits that the original Loki (the one we know from Norse mythology) may have existed in this world and been a member of the Aesir alongside Odin and Thor. Only in this version of events, Odin heard the prophecy that Loki would be the instigator of the Norse end of the world myth, Ragnarok, and decided to kill the original Loki in order to prevent it from happening. This lines up well with the Odin character who was established in the game. The ancient god of wisdom is never portrayed directly, but stories about him from Memir, Freya, and what Faye told Atreus, all depict him as greedy, selfish, brutal, and paranoid. TheMediocreCritic writes in their theory about how the story unfolded that, "[Odin] killed [Loki], but prophecies are not so easily foiled, and Loki is reincarnated as Atreus, son of Kratos and Faye the Giant."

So in this theoretical version of events, Odin killed one Loki, only for Faye to create a new Loki and hide him from the gods until the moment of her death. Meanwhile, she protects him by "recruiting a [Pantheon] killer from Greece and [giving him] the Leviathan axe." This is similar to how prophecies work in other myths, like the story of Oedipus. Those who seek to outwit prophecies, inadvertently end up causing them to come true.

Why the theory stands up

This theory solves a number of inconsistencies between the Norse myths and the version of events portrayed in the game. This past-Loki may have been a full giant who was a member of the Aesir and Jörmungandr may well have been his child. It could also explain in more detail why Odin turned on the giants and why Thor and Jörmungandr hate each other so much. It would be natural for the World Serpent to hate the gods that killed its father after all.

TheMediocreCritic justifies why this Loki was seemingly missing from all of the legends and lore in the first game as well. They believe that Odin erased him from history in the same way he tried to erase many of the stories about Tir and Baldur. That would also explain why none of Mimir's stories mention the trickster god. TheMediocreCritic states in their post that "Mimir's memory was tampered with regarding what could kill Baldur, and this could also account for his lack of memory of Loki[.]"

Of course, it's also possible that Santa Monica Studios is just utilizing artistic license to diverge from the classic myth. There's no knowing for sure whether TheMediocreCritic's theory is correct or not until "God of War: Ragnarok" is released, but it does seem to be a tidy explanation.