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God of War Ragnarök Ending Explained: The End of the World As We Know It

God of War Ragnarök has an explosive finale with shocking twists and turns; check out our ending explained!



God of War Ragnarok Ending Explained

God of War Ragnarök Ending Explained

No one can say that God of War 2018 didn’t end on one hell of a cliffhanger; the revelation that Thor himself would one day show up at Kratos’ doorstop, lightning crackling through the sky, was enough to sustain fans for years. But now, Ragnarök is here, and the Norse duology has come to a close. Our ensemble cast has been through highs and lows, redemptive arcs, betrayals, and enough combat to make even a war god weary. The story of God of War Ragnarök is epic in the extreme, a phenomenal example of satisfying video game storytelling. While it’s sad to say farewell to Midgard, Ragnarök manages to wrap things up well.

God of War Ragnarök ending explained
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Putting Off the Inevitable — Kratos and Odin

Early on in their quest to find Týr, the Norse god of war, Atreus tells Kratos to “stop thinking like a father for a minute and start thinking like a general.” Kratos, a wartime leader in a past life, takes this to heart over the course of Ragnarök. With every new revelation of Odin’s iron chokehold over the Nine Realms, it becomes more and more clear that Kratos must not only gear up for battle, but may in fact have to take the fight to Odin himself. But it isn’t until a heartbreaking moment towards the end of the game that Kratos is willing to step into the role he was fated to play.

After a meeting at Sindri’s treehouse, it is revealed that Týr is Odin in disguise, and has been ever since he was “rescued” and given access to the Realm Between Realms. Odin has been leading Atreus down a breadcrumb trail, manipulating him into reconstructing and translating a rune-covered mask that may hold the key to infinite knowledge, and possibly the solution to Odin’s own murky fate. Odin takes Atreus hostage, and in the scuffle, Brok, the Dwarven blacksmith with a heart of gold and a mouth of filth, is stabbed. A fight breaks out, Atreus is freed, but Odin escapes, now knowing full well Team Kratos’ plan of attack.

Brok dies, and this turns out to be the catalyst for the true unleashing of Ragnarök. It’s a bleak chapter, as Sindri hardens against Kratos and the rest of his allies, vowing no forgiveness to Odin (or maybe anyone) ever again. Kratos feels the weight of vengeance once again settling on his shoulders as he sees the path laid out for his allies.

Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Things Falling Into Place — The Key to Ragnarök

As the group deals with the grief of losing Brok, Kratos takes Atreus aside privately. For the first time in a long while, Kratos and Atreus are alone together. No wisecracking Mimir; no Odin in disguise. Atreus is shaken, but needs to believe that the reign of the Aesir will end, and that he will be the key. Atreus and Kratos make the choice to visit the primordial realms, Muspelheim and Niflheim, in the hopes of triggering the arrival of the cataclysm Ragnarök by pleading their case to the powerful beings who reside there.

There’s just one catch: Surtr, the fire giant and forgemaster of Muspelheim, refuses to help. When approached by Kratos, the giant flicks the god of war off a ledge without a second glance. After Kratos and Atreus defeat a slew of enemies and make their way back to him, Surtr explains that the reason he will never bring about Ragnarök is that doing so requires the fusing of himself and his love, Sinmara. Though the two share a bond that exists beyond all mortal understanding, they decided eons ago to isolate themselves and remain bound to completely different realms to deter the approaching calamity. If they remain apart, they can never fuse and create Ragnarök. When asked why they won’t help defeat Odin, Surtr simply resoponds: “Have you ever been in love? It’s pretty good.” Even if he wanted to help, he would be unable to do so without murdering Sinmara.

Kratos accepts this, and turns to leave. But when Surtr lays eyes on Kratos’ Blades of Chaos, he realizes that their primordial fire may be enough to create the spark that draws forth Ragnarök without having to sacrifice Sinmara. Surtr reveals that he carries Sinmara’s freezing cold heart within his body; he urges Kratos to plunge the blades into his beating heart to fulfill the prophecy of the giants.

After a battle with two terrifying Valkyries, Ragnarök rises, and awaits the call of Gjallarhorn. They promise to stand by until Kratos gives the word. Kratos contemplates that the Blades of Chaos- the cause of so much cruelty, those weapons stained with the blood of his family, the part of him that he cannot ever truly forget- have become the key he needs to save not only his son, but all the realms.

Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The Last Hurrah — Reuniting

After a series of desperate Hail Mary plays, Kratos and Atreus have come up with a plan to assault Asgard. With one last alliance of Dwarves, Elves, and even the vanguard of Hel itself, Kratos and Atreus make their way to Týr’s temple in Midgard, linking up with all the allies they’ve made along the way. Freya and Kratos have buried the past; she no longer wishes him harm. She may never fully forgive him in her heart of hearts, but she knows that Odin is the true threat to the realms and is proud to have Kratos at her side.

As the resistance gathers on the bridge at the gates to the temple, the restored Valkyries greet Freya and Kratos with warmth. The Valkyrie Queen Sigrún recognizes Mimir, and takes him aside for a night of stories before what could be their final battle. Everyone wants to have one last rest before the battle, and heads off to their separate tents. Just as Kratos is laying down to sleep, Atreus slips into his tent; in a touching moment, he asks for Kratos to tell him a story. His eyes moist, Kratos agrees- but tells Atreus he promises to finish the story “tomorrow” if Atreus falls asleep. Kratos begins to tell the tale of an old man carrying wood up a hill, who feels weary and begs for Death to take him; but before Kratos can finish the tale, he notices Atreus has drifted off. Kratos places a hand on his son’s shoulder and gives him a tender look before falling asleep himself.

Kratos is visited by his wife Faye in a dream, who tells him that death is a natural part of life. Though Kratos would rather his wife live, she firmly reminds him everything ends, eventually. We finally see a vulnerable Kratos, who is on the cusp of collapse at the prospect of losing his love- but she gently chides him that “to grieve deeply is to love fully.” When Kratos wakes, he feels powered by purpose. This quiet moment of reflection in his dreams is exactly what he needed to steel himself for the carnage to come.

Return of the Spartan — Final Battle with Kratos, Odin, and Thor

Despite their best efforts, war is on the verge of engulfing Kratos and his allies. Though they are battling against the tide of prophecy itself, they decide to bring everyone and everything they can to Odin’s doorstep. In a rallying cry around the realm travel room, Kratos reminds his group of rebels that “Wars are won by those that are willing to sacrifice everything.” This is the final push to overthrow Odin, and Kratos knows he must once again assume the role of god-killer.

All the realms open up portals to Asgard, and the pitched battle begins. Kratos blows Gjallarhorn, in the hopes to summon Ragnarök as soon as possible. Almost immediately, the tide starts to turn against Kratos’ band. The people of Asgard have powerful war machines that can disrupt the troops pouring into the realm, and Odin’s new Valkyrie Queen is wreaking havoc. But Kratos and Atreus are a force, carving their way to a side door with a secret flaw that only the Dwarves can exploit. Along the way, Atreus has the horrible realization that Odin isn’t even on the battlefield, that he is using the civilians of the realm as pawns to slow down Kratos in any way possible. Atreus attempts to close his heart to their plight, but Kratos tells him to “Open your heart to their suffering. This is your mother’s wish.” Through empathy for the innocent, Atreus finds the steel within himself to do what must be to done.

Kratos expects Dwarven reinforcements, but they never arrive; at the last possible moment, Sindri appears. Sindri has been changed by grief. Gone are his signature arm-length gloves; gone is his fastidious appearance. Caked in gore, Sindri growls that the Dwarves have done enough to fight Odin as a collective, and that his appearance is strictly for the sake of revenge for his brother. Using a special tuning fork, Sindri is able to crumble part of the impenetrable wall protecting Asgard. Ragnarök appears, causing enough distraction for Kratos, Atreus, and Freya to run to Odin’s home base.

God of War Ragnarök ending explained
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Thor finally appears and wages a pitched battle against Kratos. It’s a terrifying fight, but Kratos prevails. Rather than kill Thor in a fit of rage, Kratos puts down his axe and urges the god to break the cycle of violence that Odin perpetuates. Kratos knows that gods, even violent, destructive personalities like himself and Thor, can be more than destroyers. Kratos pleads with Thor: “For the sake of our children, we must be better.” But just as it seems Thor might listen to Kratos, Odin appears and stabs Thor through the heart. Thor’s death at the hands of Odin is misinterpreted by Thrúd, Thor’s daughter, as a betrayal by Atreus- but before anything can be resolved, the battle with Odin begins.

In a multi-phase fight that spans several locations, Kratos, Atreus, and Freya whittle down Odin’s strength until he finally cracks. Freya uses Vanir magic to create a noose; the gallows god is nearly choked to death. But they do not kill Odin right away. Odin pleads with Atreus, the champion of the Jötnar, to use the mask he’s assembled to peer into the cracks of reality, to find out answers, to use his abilities to discover what it’s all for, but Atreus shatters the mask. Odin, in a rage, screams that he will never stop trying to find out what happens next, and this is when Atreus realizes that he need not kill Odin himself; instead, he uses his developing Giant magic to trap Odin in huge marble. He gives the marble to Kratos; but Kratos instead gives it to Freya, saying that “I swore I would never rob from you the choice between life and death” after he killed her son, Baldur.

Just as it seems like everyone is content to leave Odin in marble form, Sindri blinks into existence again, snatches the marble out of Freya’s hands, and smashes it with a hammer. Just as soon as he appears, he’s gone; and Odin, the all-father, is no more.

God of War Ending Explained
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Denouement — The Secret Jötnar Shrine

Even though Odin is defeated, Ragnarök is still on track to completely wipe Asgard from the realms. Odin’s hall is collapsing, but Angrboda and Freya’s brother Freyr turn up to help bring our heroes to safety. Freyr sacrifices himself to Ragnarök to ensure everyone’s escape, and the survivors meet back up to discuss what happens next.

While the remaining forces are grateful to be alive, the losses are steep. Kratos and Atreus have brief conversations with Mimir, Freya, Thrúd, and Sif. Eventually, Atreus confronts what he knows he must do, what he’s known for a long time: he must leave his father’s protection, and pursue his own destiny. An emotional Kratos tells Atreus that he is, finally, ready. But Kratos knows that Atreus won’t be alone, as he’ll have fellow giant Angrboda at his side.

In one last reveal, Kratos discovers a secret Jötnar shrine. However, instead of finding an image of himself dead, or his son in battle, Kratos finds what looks like a depiction of himself, ascended, being worshipped by humans. If this future is to be believed, Kratos has truly followed in the path of Týr to become a new kind of god: one who seeks knowledge not to use it against anyone, but to benefit everyone. Kratos has finally accepted that he is a natural leader who inspires those around him, and who can provide hope to the desolate.

God of War Rangarok Ending Explained
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

More to Come

While the battle of Ragnarök is complete and our heroes victorious, there are many more threads to be resolved in the nine realms. Players will be pleased to learn that the story continues after the final fight and Odin’s demise. Kratos must begin the work of reconstruction, and the realms can finally begin to heal.

Cameron Daxon is a video game evangelist and enthusiastic reader. He lives in Los Angeles, California and once nearly collided with Shigeru Miyamoto during E3. His favorite game is Bloodborne, but only when he’s not revisiting Super Mario World. He’s also in the writer’s room for YouTube personality The Completionist and other places on the internet.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    January 4, 2023 at 8:30 pm

    Hi, it seems you made a mistake in this article. As far as I’m aware Thrud realized it was Odin himself that killed Thor, not Atreus, hence why she tried to reach for Thors hammer to fight Odin, and Odin knocked her away.

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