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God of War Ragnarök originally included another Kratos fake death

That would have been how many times?
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You know how we often learn about different drafts for scripts of movies and video games and think ‘wow, that would have been so much better’ and are then eternally disappointed by it? An early script draft for God of War Ragnarök, 2022’s biggest PS5 hit, was not like that at all. More like the opposite, in fact.

Kratos, the series’ main protagonist, would have died another well-deserved death at the start of the game according to the original script, being struck down by Thor. However – predictably – his son Atreus would have helped him escape hell through the power of love or something so that he wouldn’t actually have died. This is all according to narrative director Matt Sophos, who revealed that in an interview with MinnMax (as transcribed by VGC).

God of War Ragnarök Kratos and Thor.

In the initial script, Thor was to kill Kratos, albeit only temporarily.

The thing is: Kratos has died so often and crawled back out of the underworld over the course of the series that it’s almost become a running gag.

Thankfully, the writers later came to the same conclusion, as Sophos tells it: “Eric [director Eric Williams] 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.’ The hook, the emotion, wasn’t really going to be there, and he was absolutely right, and so that’s why it didn’t last very long.”

Kratos did find a mural in 2018’s God of War that depicted his own death, which was taken as a prophecy by fan circles and in-game characters, but by no means confirmed anywhere. Instead, the story was about how Kratos could change his own fate and be forgiven for his past atrocities.

Sophos explains: “Nothing is written that can’t be unwritten, as long as you’re willing to make changes in your life 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. Because then it would be like, ‘well, are we just going to say that Kratos couldn’t change?’ And that would suck.”

As things have turned out, God of War Ragnarök did not, in fact, suck, raking in many awards at the end of the year, though it had to bow down to Elden Ring in a lot of Game of the Year votes.