God of War Ragnarok's early draft saw Kratos killed off in a battle with Thor

god of war ragnarok
(Image credit: Sony)

In an early version of God of War Ragnarok, Kratos was bested by Thor in battle.

The below contains major spoilers for God of War Ragnarok, so if you've yet to see what the gods have in store for Kratos and Atreus, look away now. 

The end of 2018's God of War predicted that Kratos would meet his maker in God of War Ragnarok, but against all odds, the Ghost of Sparta manages to escape his fate and lives to fight another day. It turns out this wasn't always the case, as in an early draft of the story, Kratos actually did die.

In an interview with MinnMax, God of War Ragnarok's narrative director Matt Sophos reveals that in a very early draft, the gruff protagonist was killed by Thor at the very beginning of the game. This wouldn't be the last we'd see of him, though, it would have a massive impact on how the rest of the game played out. "It wasn't a permanent death," Sophos explains, "he would get pulled out of Hel by Atreus, but now twenty years have passed, it was going to be a big time jump."

According to Sophos, this version of the story was scrapped because it would've felt repetitive and undermined the themes the team was going for. "As we were developing the story, we knew that we wanted the story to be one about letting go and changing. Norse mythology is all about fate and prophecy, and we wanted to say that that's bull****. Nothing is written that can't be unwritten as long as you're willing to change, make changes in your life and then you're not bound to fate. And so when we landed on that, when we knew that was the story we wanted to tell, we knew that Kratos couldn't die."

If you've gone up against Thor early in Ragnarok, you'll know that he, in a sense, does kill Kratos (then instantly revives him) in one of the game's coolest and most shocking scenes. Sophos says that this wasn't a nod to the team's previous intention to have the character die for real at this point. He also revealed that the original idea was to have Thor revive the player only if he managed to defeat them, but ultimately the developer decided it was a moment every fan should be able to enjoy.

We gave God of War Ragnarok 4.5 out of 5 in our review, describing it as "a fitting close for Kratos' Viking adventure".

Done with Ragnarok and need something to play next? Check out these games like God of War

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.