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The God Of War Scene That Fans Think Went Too Far

"God of War" is not a lighthearted franchise. Much like the mythology the series is based on, Kratos' story is rife with tragedy, betrayal and violence –- largely of his own making. Fans only familiar with the 2018 "God of War" might believe Kratos feigns disinterest, but that he is ultimately a hero. That's because Santa Monica Studio offered a different take on the protagonist. The new Kratos is older, wiser, and trying to set a better example for his son. 

In reality, Kratos is not much of a hero at all during most of the "God of War" timeline. In fact, his quest for revenge often leaves a sizable body count of innocent people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He throws King Midas into a pit of lava to make a shortcut up a cliff. He floods Olympus, drowns Atlantis, and unleashes the legions of the dead across all of Greece. He even kills the same boat captain three different times across the original trilogy. One scene stands out as being particularly brutal, however, and it happens right at the beginning of the first game.

Kratos killed his own family

Of all the scenes depicting the thousands of people Kratos has slaughtered, few are more memorable than the one in which he kills his wife Lysandra and daughter Calliope. This happened back when he was still under the command of Ares, the original God of War. As Ares' champion, Kratos killed soldiers and innocents alike in the name of his god, but Ares wanted more. He wanted Kratos to become the ultimate warrior and he saw his family as a hindrance to this goal. So, he sends Kratos to destroy a village that worships the goddess Athena without letting the Ghost of Sparta know that his wife and daughter are inside the temple there.

Kratos kills his spouse and child along with everyone else in the temple in a blind rage. He is then cursed by the temple seer so that the ashes of his dead family stick to his skin, turning it white. This event sets Kratos on his path for vengeance against the gods, but it's also one of the most controversial in the series. There are numerous threads debating the scene and whether Kratos was a victim of the gods or merely using them to shift blame for his own misdeeds.

Is it Kratos' fault his wife and child are dead?

Several fans have argued that Kratos was tricked by Ares and that he didn't know he was killing his own family. Others have countered that he knew he was killing innocent people regardless of who they were. While Kratos has killed a lot of bystanders, this scene seems to go beyond other, more graphic moments because its one of the few murders he has a strong emotional response to. It's also the only time in the series that players actually see Kratos kill a child.

In response to a YouTube clip of the scene in question, one commenter wrote, "Kratos runs into a church and starts swinging his blades before he knows who's in the temple, killing his wife and child in his mission to kill everyone else's wives and children, and blames Ares for something that is CLEARLY his fault." Another user stated, "How many innocent [men, women,] and children has Kratos killed? ... It's like opening machine gun fire on a crowd killing hundreds but being angry at someone else because your woman and child were there."

While Kratos' potential guilt does not absolve Ares and the other gods of their own actions, looking at the incident from this perspective does bring to light a certain hypocrisy in the Spartan general's attitude toward killing. This in turn affects his justification for his entire revenge story.