Unlike most gaming protagonists, God of War’s Kratos has never been meant to be a role model for players. He’s been a selfish and vicious character who has placed vengeance as the ultimate goal, and this has been the result of a lifetime of bad decisions.
You might be surprised to realize that all of the tragedies that happened to Kratos are of his own doing rather than it being the fault of the gods, with Kratos’ choices directly leading into death and slaughter. In case you want to know more on this, here are 10 of the worst decisions Kratos made in the God of War series.
10 Saving Freya's Life
Ironically, the one time Kratos decided to save someone rather than kill them is what will probably lead to a lot of problems for him. In this instance, Kratos could have easily walked away while Baldur choked the life out of his mother, Freya. Instead, Kratos chose to kill Baldur.
His reasons to do so was because he was done with children killing their parents, and also because Freya had helped him so many times. On her part, though, Freya was angered beyond reason over her son’s death, vowing that she would make Kratos rue this day. She just might make good on this, and all Kratos had to do was let her die.
9 Sacrificing The Innocent Soldier
Kratos had committed uncountable atrocities in his lifetime, but we believe this kill was the one that pushed him over the edge into being completely without mercy. In this scene, Kratos was given the choice between walking away or sacrificing an innocent person to proceed.
Rather than considering an alternative (which we’re sure he would’ve found), Kratos was remorseless in pushing the caged prisoner over to his doom. He would then burn the man to death, and with it probably the last remaining traces of his humanity. Decades later, Kratos would admit he was guilty of killing people who didn’t deserve it.
8 Pledging Loyalty To Ares
Kratos was obsessed with making people see “the glory of Sparta”, but the reality was he was getting too hungry for power. Spartans are known for having taken their deaths with honor, but Kratos cowardly pledged his complete devotion to Ares to escape being killed by the Barbarian King.
Due to this oath, Kratos was committed to doing unspeakable things in Ares’ name, the very same guilty acts that would come to haunt him for the remainder of his days. Had he just died that day, he might have found some peace as a soul in the Underworld, but he got a fate worse than death.
7 Opening Pandora's Box
At the time, this seemed like the best decision ever as it led to Kratos being empowered enough to kill Ares. As we now know, opening the box was what spelled doom for all of Olympus.
It was by opening Pandora’s box that Kratos let out the evils of the universe, which infected the gods and led to Zeus plotting to kill Kratos. Kratos himself became a god because of this, something that turned out to be more of a curse as he was ostracized by Olympus and still haunted by his nightmares.
6 Pledging Loyalty To The Gods
Had Kratos just let go of the lifestyle he had followed while being Ares’ follower, he could have had a shot at a normal living in Sparta. After renouncing Ares, Kratos then turned over to the rest of the gods, who exploited Kratos for all he was worth.
For the next ten years, Kratos was given false promises over and again for his nightmares to be taken away, only for the gods to renege on the deal by condemning him for his actions forever. All that time of servitude was for nothing, and Kratos should have decided to retire rather than fight to be inevitably letdown.
5 Letting Go Of Pandora
Kratos’ anger really was too terrible for anyone’s good, as he lost all his senses at a time when he needed to collect them. Knowing that Pandora would die if she fell into the Flame of Olympus, Kratos still fell for Zeus’ taunting and let Pandora go to perish into the flames.
After he realized what he had done, it didn’t matter that Kratos managed to kill Zeus, because he still mourned the fact that Pandora was dead for Kratos’ quest for petty vengeance. Had he kept hold of her, he might have managed to kill Zeus and still keep Pandora alive.
4 Trusting Gaia's Word
Honestly, despite overcoming the odds time and again, Kratos really is a big duffer. He’s easily manipulated by anyone who offers him weapons or a way to get his revenge, never stopping to think why that particular person would be helping him.
He found this out the hard way when Gaia betrayed him at the start of God of War III when she let him fall into River Styx after admitting he was only her pawn. Earlier on, Kratos had killed the Sisters of Fate just to get Gaia and the Titans into the future, which ended up doing nothing other than making Kratos’ quest even more difficult.
3 Swearing Vengeance On All The Gods
Even though he himself was at fault for starting wars around the world to belittle the gods, Kratos took it personally when Zeus intervened to stop the bloodshed. After almost managing to kill Zeus, he realized that the other gods would naturally try to stop him. So, Kratos’ solution was to kill everyone.
And we saw just how that decision worked out, as the world stood in decimation after Kratos was done with killing all of Olympus. The skies were scorched, the oceans flooded the Earth, the souls were in eternal torment, and a massive plague fed on the population - in the end, none of this was worth it.
2 Attacking The Village
This is one decision Kratos can never blame anyone but himself for, and it is because of that fact that Kratos was haunted by his nightmares. Upon Ares’ orders, Kratos headed into this village to kill everyone present, and he did so personally and with noticeable glee.
Unknowingly, he ended up killing his own wife and child, leading to him becoming the Ghost of Sparta as their ashes were then permanently cursed onto his skin. You can’t even feel sorry for Kratos, because his wife and daughter got the same fate Kratos was very happily doling out to other women and children - and it was all on his own decision.
1 Falling In Love With Faye
We’ll see how the next God of War game elaborates on this, but for the time being, Faye seems to be pretty much confirmed as an expert schemer who plotted to marry Kratos to have Atreus.
We found out at the end of the game that Atreus was fated to be born to take revenge on Norse gods for the slaughter of the Frost Giants; one of the casualties in this story is supposed to be Kratos, who is meant to die here. So, it appears as if Kratos falling in love with Faye will end up in him signing his own death warrant.