God of War Ragnarok Ending Explained: What Happens to Kratos?

God of War: Ragnarok is the truly epic conclusion to the franchise's Norse saga as well as the pivotal chapter in Krato's own adventures. Here's how it all ends.

God of War Ragnarok
Photo: PlayStation Studios

This article contains spoilers for God of War: Ragnarok.

God of War: Ragnarok continues the adventure started by 2018’s God of War, as well as the journey of Kratos that began way back in 2005’s God of War. The events of the epic sequel lead to a conclusion that will surely leave fans buzzing.

After setting the events of Ragnarok in motion and earning the ire of Odin, Thor, and Freya in the process, Kratos and his son Atreus (who is actually Loki) set out to learn more about their role in the apparent end of the world. Along the way, they meet up with various familiar faces and new additions (including the Norse god of war, Tyr) who help them understand that they are so much more than players in the events to come.

Do Kratos and Atreus stop Ragnarok? Do they fulfill the prophecy set out for them at the end of the previous game? Will either live to see the answers to any of those questions? Here’s what you need to know about God of War: Ragnarok‘s incredible ending.

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Who is Angrboda?

One of the first significant early events of Ragnarok’s extended “ending” occurs when Atreus visits the mythical realm of Ironwood and meets a young woman named Angrboda. Angrboda reveals that she is not only one of the Jötnar but that there are other Giants whose souls are still trapped in orbs hidden throughout the world. 

Crucially, Angrboda also reveals that her mother was the one who crafted the prophecy that Kratos and Atreus saw at the end of the first game (the one which suggested that Kratos will die). Angrboda believes her role in that prophecy is to inform Atreus/Loki that he is destined to kill Kratos and aid Odin. The two strike up a pretty quick bond, though, which leaves Angrboda feeling confused about the extent of her involvement in the prophecy. More on that later. 

Before they go their separate ways, Angrboda asks Atreus to keep what he knows about Ironwood and the prophecy to himself. Unfortunately, that means that Atreus must lie to Kratos about where he’s been. That lie (or withholding of information) creates even more tension between Kratos and Atreus. Again, that tension will come into play a bit later. 

Why Does Atreus Agree to Help Odin?

Soon after Atreus return from Ironwood, he and Kratos are again attacked by Freya. The pair defeat Freya and agree to help her break the curse which binds her to Midgard. 

On their new journey, Kratos and Freya actually meet Freya’s brother, Freyr, in Vanaheim. Their reunion is cut short by the appearance of the World Tree defender, Nidhogg. By defeating Nidhogg, Kratos is able to help break Odin’s curse and release Freya from her mystical imprisonment. In return, Freya agrees to help Kratos and Atreus defeat Odin.

Unfortunately, Atreus throws a bit of a wrench into that plan by telling Kratos and Freya that he has decided to seek out Odin and join forces with him in order to better understand what Odin’s plans are (and, perhaps, to fulfill that prophecy). Kratos is angered by Atreus’ decision, which leads to Atreus running away (and attacking Sindri on his way out for good measure). 

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Soon, Odin uses one of his ravens to summon Atreus to Asgard. While in Asgard, Atreus is actually attacked by the guardian Heimdall. Thankfully, Odin and Thor intervene to help Atreus. 

Odin (who is surprisingly warm and fatherly towards Atreus) then reveals that he is looking to repair an ancient mask that, among other things, may allow him to make see the truth of the prophecy and perhaps prevent Ragnarok. He needs Atreus’ skills with languages to help locate and reassemble the mask pieces, though. Thor and Atreus then set out to recover the lost mask pieces. 

On their journey, Atreus meets up with Angrboda. The pair soon learn that Ragnarok will be caused by a flame giant named Surtr and a frost giant named Sinmara. Keep those names in mind for later. 

Is God of War: Ragnarok’s Prophecy True?

While Atreus and Thor are looking for the mask pieces, Kratos and Frey visit the Norns (essentially the Norse version of “The Fates”) for more information on the prophecy Atreus is seemingly fulfilling. The Norns reveal that prophecies don’t really exist. At least they don’t exist in the way we think they do. Instead, beings like them are able to make typically accurate predictions as to what will happen based on their knowledge of humanity, gods, and the common actions of both. 

Unfortunately, Kratos learns that the Norns have predicted that Heimdall will kill Atreus unless Kratos kills Heimdall. However, by killing Heimdall, they believe that Kratos will set in motion the events that will lead to Atreus killing Kratos. Undeterred, Kratos returns to Brok and Sindri to ask for a weapon capable of killing Heimdall. With a little help, they eventually craft a spear capable of doing just that. 

Interestingly, we also learn around this time that Brok actually died years ago and was resurrected by Sindri. Brok is as surprised by this information as anyone and isn’t really sure how to feel about his brother’s decision. Again, keep that in mind for later. 

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Who is Garm?

While on their journey for the missing mask pieces, Thor and Atreus encounter a giant wolf named Garm. Abiding by his nurturing instinct towards animals, Atreus decides to free the trapped Garm. 

Unfortunately, it turns out that Garm was imprisoned because he has the ability to rip holes and reality and travel through them. Odin is especially upset to learn that the beat has been freed, which leads to Atreus returning to Kratos to ask for his help to stop the creature. Kratos agrees to help, though he soon learns that neither Atreus’ charms or Kratos’ skills in battle are enough to stop the beast. 

However, Atreus soon realizes that he’s able to transfer the soul of his beloved pet Fenrir into Garm’s body. After doing just that, Fenrir becomes something of an ally to the pair, and Kratos and Atreus agree to work together despite what the “prophecy” has foretold. 

Heimdall and Gjallarhorn

Kratos and Atreus decide to travel to Vanaheim in order to thwart Odin’s plans (and his growing army). There, they find Heimdall who has kidnapped Freyr and stolen the moon (he’s kind of a jerk). Kratos battles Heimdall and actually manages to kill the powerful warrior. Unfortunately, that means that he is still fulfilling the “prophecy” outlined to him by the Norns

However, Kratos remains convinced that this is the right path. In fact, he is so convinced that he is doing the right thing that he decides to take Gjallarhorn from Heimdall with the intention of using the great horn to start Ragnarok.

Atreus is unconvinced this is the end of their journey, though, and asks for Kratos to allow him to return to Odin so that he may assemble and steal the mask and use it for their own purposes (or at least prevent Odin from securing it). Kratos has his doubts, but he decided to trust Atreus’ plan. 

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What Is Tyr’s Real Identity?

Atreus returns to Asgard to convince Thor to help him find the final piece of the mask. Thor somewhat begrudgingly agrees, and the two are able to find the final piece. Just then, though, Thor’s wife Sif appears and asks him to kill Atreus as revenge for the death of their sons. Before he can complete the deed, though, Atreus transports back to Sindri’s house with the now-finished mask in hand. 

Kratos, Atreus, Brok, Sindri, and the rest of their allies debate about what to do with the mask. They soon realize they’ll need to go to Asgard to actually use the item, and Tyr says he knows a way to get them there while avoiding Odin’s gaze. 

Brok finds that revelation to be highly suspicious. Not long after raising his suspicions, though, Brok is shockingly stabbed by Tyr. We then learn that Tyr has actually been Odin in disguise the entire time. Kratos is able to prevent Odin from taking the mask to Asgard, but the damage is done. A grief-stricken Sindri blames Atreus and Kratos for Brok’s death, though Brok tells Sindri that he forgives his brother for not telling him about his own resurrection. 

Out of options, our heroes agree that they must trigger Ragnarok in order to stop Odin. However, that soon proves to be easier said than done. 

Surtr and Ragnarok

Kratos and Atreus travel to Muspelheim in an effort to convince Surtr and Sinmara to fulfill their roles in Ragnarok. They meet Surtr who recognizes that Odin must be stopped but doesn’t want to drag Sinmara (his lover) into this and sacrifice her life in the process. However, Surtr offers an alternative solution that will seemingly allow him to become the embodiment of Ragnarok while sparing Sinmara. 

With the major pieces in the palace, Kratos uses Gjallarhorn to trigger Ragnarok. Thai causes all the realms to “bleed” into Asgard, which allows the armies that oppose Odin (as well as Kratos and Atreus’ many allies) to attack Odin’s home. Even Angrboda shows up, despite her earlier belief that she had largely fulfilled her role in this story. 

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While Surtur (as Ragnarok) also appears during this fight, he does so just as Odin reveals that he intends to use refugees from Midgard to shield himself from the attackers. Atreus is disheartened by that revelation, so Kratos asks Freya and Freyr to try to stall Ragnarok while he helps the refugees. 

During that rescue mission, Thor attacks Kratos. While Kratos is able to defeat Thor, he decides not to kill him. It’s a rare moment of mercy for Kratos, though it only really delays Thor’s fate for a few minutes as Odin appears soon thereafter to kill Thor himself. 

This leads to the final boss fight against Odin. Eventually, Kratos, Atreus, and their allies are able to defeat Odin. Before dying, Odin asks Atreus to please look into the mask and use it as he would have. Atreus instead decides to destroy the mask and trap Odin’s soul in a marble. Atreus tells Freya that she gets to decide what happens to Odin’s soul, but Sindri soon steps in to destroy the marble in order to get revenge for Brok’s death. 

While Ragnarok soon appears to destroy Asgard, Freyr is able to stall him long enough to allow the Kratos, Atreus, Freya, and others to escape via a portal. Asgard is destroyed in the process, though many of its own residents and the aforementioned refugees were able to escape.

Soon thereafter, Atreus wakes up in a strange room next to the Valkyrie, Eir. He has quite a few questions about what just happened. Somewhere near the top of that list of questions, though, is “What happened to Kratos?”

Does Kratos Die at the End of God of War: Ragnarok? 

Surprisingly, given the nature of the prophecy that has been unfolding, Kratos does not die at the end of God of War: Ragnarok

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It seems that Kratos may have prevented that prophecy by deciding to spare Thor’s life. Such an action went against what he would normally do, which seemingly upset the predictable actions that would normally define such prophecies (as we learned earlier).

That theory is supported by a climactic scene in which Angrboda shows Kratos and Atreus a shrine that depicts Faye (Kratos’ wife and Atreus’ mother) destroying one of the shires we saw the remains of in the previous game. It seems that Faye wasn’t convinced that her husband and child needed to live their lives according to a prophecy and wanted to help ensure they could find their own way. In a roundabout way, her actions helped ensure that Kratos and Atreus were able to subvert the destiny that was seemingly set by their “predictable” actions. 

Granted, that’s a somewhat simplified read of the matter (perhaps the pair actually fulfilled the new prophecy that was set for them by that action), but the results are the same. Kratos and Atreus were able to forge a new destiny for themselves and stop Odin.

Does Atreus Die at the End of God of War: Ragnarok? 

Atreus does not die at the end of Ragnarok, though his ending is certainly a tearjerker. 

After learning of Faye’s actions, Atreus tells Kratos that he must strike out on his own journey in order to restore the giants and return to his people. Kratos is saddened to learn that Atreus intends to leave him, but he tells him how proud he is of everything that he has learned and accomplished. In an incredibly emotional moment, he tells his son that Loki will go but that Atreus will remain in his heart. Get your tissues ready for that scene. 

Atreus leaves Kratos and embraces Angrboda. From there, they seemingly set out on their own journey. However, Kratos stays behind and discovers another shrine that tells him quite a bit about his own journey.

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How God of War: Ragnarok’s Ending Sets up a Sequel

The shrine Kratos finds depicts the major events of his life up until that point. The final scene in the shrine shows a golden version of Kratos standing on a platform in front of what appears to be worshippers. 

The drawing is odd for several reasons. While Kratos is shown wearing his Greek garb, he’s still holding the Leviathan Axe. That would seem to suggest that the drawing depicts a version of the character we haven’t quite seen yet. Though Kratos is still a god of renown (a title he has always struggled with), the mural implies that he will eventually be seen as the kind of god worthy of admiration and love that Odin and others (himself included) said that he would never become. 

Again, that theory is seemingly supported by the following scene in which Kratos meets up with Freya and Mimir. Mimir asks Kratos what he saw, and Kratos says “a path” that he “never imagined.” Freys then asks what comes next, and Kratos says that there is much to “do” and “rebuild.” Kratos then asks Freya and Mimir to join him. They agree to join him just before the credits roll. 

There are a few ways to interpret the significance of that final scene, and we’ll obviously learn exactly what it means in any future God of War games. However, Kratos’ use of the word “rebuild’ is certainly interesting. Unless he’s talking about rebuilding himself (which is a possibility), he seems to be talking about rebuilding Midgard/Asgard now that the old Norse gods are dead. He may also be talking about Greece, though that seems like less of a possibility. 

However, the God of War team has previously indicated that Ragnarok is the end of the franchise’s Norse saga. So while the game’s ending suggests that Kratos isn’t going anywhere, that idea does seemingly contradict what the team has said regarding the franchise’s future. After all, it can’t exactly be the end of the Norse era if Kratos intends to stay behind in Midgard.

At this point, my guess is that any future God of War games we may be lucky enough to receive will either find a way to take this new Kratos to different worlds, take us back into Kratos’ past (which doesn’t seem likely), or perhaps even explore entirely new characters in those different worlds. If I had to bet on one of those possibilities right now, my money would be on Kratos’ plans for peace (relatively speaking) being interrupted by some kind of outside force from some other world. It also seems likely that we’ll get another game starring (or featuring) Atreus at some point, though that also remains to be seen. 

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Does God of War: Ragnarok Have a Secret Ending or Post-Credits Sequence?

There is a secret ending in God of War: Ragnarok that you can unlock by beating the main game and accepting the “A Viking Funeral” favor from Lunda at Sindri’s House. 

As the name suggests, that favor is really just an elaborate cutscene that asks you to attend Brok’s funeral. All you have to do is meet up with fellow mourners, head to the funeral location, and trigger the climactic scene in which everyone watches Brok be laid to rest. 

Interestingly, this final scene shows that Sindri is still very much angry at Kratos for what he seems to believe is Kratos’ role in Brok’s death. Mimir suggests that there is a hole in Sindri that is only growing. He, Kratos, and Freya all seem to worry about what Sindri might do if he doesn’t make peace with his grief and anger.

Could Sindri’s lingering grief be setting up his role as a possible antagonist in future games? His many abilities (which include realm hopping) could certainly be used to introduce new worlds and new enemies to Kratos’ current circumstances. Again, we’ll see what happens when a new God of War game is (hopefully) eventually released, though the fact that Sindri leaves Kratos on such bad terms feels noteworthy for what could have otherwise been a simple post-credits sequence with no real impact on the rest of the story. 

It’s also worth noting that there are some other “post-game” missions to complete, though they don’t necessarily contribute to the story in the same way that the events above do. As such, we’ll save our discussion of those missions and events for another time. 

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