Since the release of the new trailer for God of War: Ragnarok, fans have theorized on the roles of three characters making their first appearances in the series: Tyr, Thor, and Angrboda. The physical appearance of both Thor and Tyr has caused somewhat of a stir on the internet, and Angrboda received a mainly positive reception despite a few ignorant comments regarding her ethnicity. Both physically and in terms of narrative importance, Tyr promises to be huge in the next game.
While Tyr’s most immediately obvious trait in the trailer is his enormous height, towering over the Spartan Kratos, he is also one of the only characters that can answer many of the unresolved questions players have from 2018’s God of War. In fact, Tyr’s physical appearance gives more clues for the next game than some fans may expect, and his inclusion in the next game proves theories about his importance to the overarching narrative correct. Since Tyr is the only character known to have traveled between different pantheons of gods, aside from Kratos, he may hold the key for where the series goes next.
The God of War Mythological Timeline
Based on both mythological knowledge and lore established in God of War, a couple of facets of Tyr’s appearance are surprising, aside from his height. The foremost of which is the fact that he has two hands. In mythology, Tyr loses his hand to the great wolf, Fenrir (who is also the son of Loki). This story is told in God of War, although all depictions of Tyr that Kratos encounters have the god with two hands. Stories told about Fenrir, despite the fact that Loki, as Atreus, is only a young boy have made fans wonder if the next game will feature time travel in some way.
There is a possible mythological explanation for Tyr’s apparent two hands. Since we know the god Tyr can travel to different realms and cultures, it is worth noting that in Irish mythology there is also a one-armed god, Nuadha. However, this god later has a silver replacement fitted and then goes on to have his missing arm completely regrown by the god of healing, Dian Cecht.
Since Celtic and Nordic mythology are so closely linked, it’s not impossible Tyr’s arm has been regrown by another god within the many realms he has traveled. If this is the case, then the event with Fenrir could have already happened, and Fenrir simply has no connection to Loki in this version of events. However, the time travel angle is still in play until Tyr can shed some light on the situation.
Kratos and Tyr
Related to the time travel theory was the idea that Kratos may in fact be Tyr, only at an earlier point in time. Even without this, Tyr and Kratos’ first meeting and relationship are sure to be a major part of God of War Ragnarok. In the simplest sense, the series is called God of War and Tyr is the Norse god of war, and considering Kratos’ history with Ares, then Tyr is set to be vital to Kratos’ journey and fate in the next game.
A vase found in Tyr’s chamber depicts Kratos in a Spartan rage, so this implies that Tyr is familiar with the Greek gods, and perhaps with Kratos’ history. Mimir comments that he heard the Greeks deserved Kratos’ wrath, but Tyr, as the most diplomatic god, may have formed bonds with certain Greek gods. Tyr’s level of knowledge of Kratos’ past will set the tone for their interactions.
However, since the means by which Kratos has traveled to Midgard remain unknown, Tyr could answer this question and may even have been the one to transport Kratos. Tyr’s connection with the giants and Kratos’ relationship with Faye are sure to be big plot points in God of War Ragnarok too. As such, Tyr could hold the answers to many of the questions posed in the last game and illuminate where the series may go next.
The End of the Norse Saga
The news that God of War Ragnarok would be the end of the Norse saga in these games surprised most fans who expected a trilogy of Norse games. The developers seem certain of this move though and have a longer plan for the series. Again, the only characters that have traveled between mythologies in the series are Kratos and Tyr, with Tyr the only to have visited multiple realms. This does open up a huge range of worlds that Kratos, Atreus, or perhaps new characters could explore in future games, and a wealth of material to draw on for story inspiration.
God of War ends with a mural that implies Kratos may die soon, which would also fit into the larger trend of video game dads eventually passing the mantle to their children. However, the Spartan is an immortal god and has survived seemingly mortal wounds from Zeus himself before. While this game could be the end of Kratos, it is equally as plausible he will travel to a new realm with the help of Tyr for the next game. Thematically, God of War Ragnarok will have a lot of decisions to make about Kratos’ narrative arc, and whether the Spartan should retire, die, or fight on. Even if the end does come for Kratos, Atreus/Loki may become the next protagonist.
Regardless of what permeations of current characters survive to the next game, the statement that this is the end of the Norse saga is a definitive one. Unless the series jumps to entirely new characters, which is unlikely, it is Tyr that holds the key for transporting this series to another world. From his chamber in God of War and his physical appearance in the trailer, it is clear Tyr has traveled to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and an unknown number of other realms. Thus, Tyr is a central character in whatever direction the series goes in future.
God of War Ragnarok is set to release in 2022 for PS5 and PS4.
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