|“||This time, Ghost of Sparta, I will have your head!||”|
–The Barbarian King to Kratos
Alrik, better known as the Barbarian King, was the leader of the Barbarian army, a strong warrior himself and an old enemy of Kratos. He was killed by the Spartan after the latter gained the Blades of Chaos. He and his brutish army drove Kratos to beg Ares to save him, leading to the events of God of War: Ascension and thus the entire series.
God of War Series
Quest for Ambrosia
A contest was created by a few of the Gods of Olympus, where they choose mortals to be their champions, with the ultimate goal being the capture of the healing elixir known as Ambrosia. The God Hades chose Alrik as his champion, who went on a quest for Ambrosia after his father fell ill (Hades secretly placed this disease on him). In his journey, he encountered Danaus, Hermes' champion, but decapitated him with haste and pressed on. Alrik and his Barbarians then discovered that a warrior named Kratos and his Spartan army was searching for the Ambrosia as well, resolving to destroy them shortly after. The Barbarians then encountered the Spartans, and fought them after the latter's leader acquired the Ambrosia.
In their battle, Alrik unleashed the head of Danaus, who he revealed to be a commander of animals. He then used the head to command a massive army of Rocs to tear the Spartans apart. Alrik then flew away, clutching the Ambrosia in his hand. Kratos then slew the Rocs that were torturing him, yet Hades had then sent many devilish arms in order to kill the Spartans. Kratos then flew on a surviving Roc to catch up with Alrik, at the cost of his own men. Kratos and Alrik then met up with each other, and fought for the Ambrosia, spilling some on themselves in their struggle.
The battle then took to the ground, as Kratos tackled Alrik over the Roc. As the spilled Ambrosia healed Alrik, Kratos took the head of Danaus and commanded more Rocs to slash away at Alrik. Kratos then flew away on a Roc to Sparta, taking the Ambrosia with him and leaving Alrik to his fate. As Alrik lay bruised, bloodied, and near-death, Hades healed him and commanded him to slay the Spartan who denied him victory in the wager. As the Barbarian left for his home, he found his dead father's body being cremated. Alrik, as the new Barbarian King, then vowed vengeance on Kratos.
Battle Against the Spartans
During his conquest, Kratos overcame his most powerful and ruthless opponents, until he encountered the Barbarians from the east yet again. Even with the superior combat skills of the Spartans, the Barbarians numbered in the thousands. Kratos, gazing upon the massive army, realized this was an unwinnable battle. Alrik began the battle by launching an arrow into the face of a single Spartan soldier. The furious Kratos called out to his men and led them into combat. His men were being led into a massacre. The Barbarians showed no mercy to the Spartans, leaving their dead bodies filling the battlefield.
Even Kratos, who fought against Alrik himself, was no match for the wrath of this enemy. Standing atop a hill of dead bodies, he looked into the eyes of Alrik as he raised his large hammer to end Kratos’ life. Before Alrik could deliver the final blow to the young Captain, Kratos called upon Ares. Within moments, the Barbarians were eliminated by the powers of the God of War. Men were split in half, bodies were burned alive, and Kratos was granted the Blades of Chaos, which he used to decapitate the Barbarian King.
Alrik and his army fell to the Underworld, where it was thought that they would remain there forever.
Return from the Underworld
Reunion with an old enemy
Alrik managed to battle his way through the many guardians of the Underworld and rose to life again, though his appearance was radically altered by the fires of Hades. He was possibly helped by the Sisters of Fate to help them stop Kratos on his quest. He gained magical abilities and journeyed to the Island of Creation where he hoped, like others, he would change his fate and gain revenge on Kratos.
However, during his crossing through the Bog of the Forgotten, he attacked Kratos, and dragged him through the bog. The two ended up facing one another on a platform in the middle of a poisonous swamp. Alrik laughed as he gazed upon his greatest enemy. Feeling blessed by the gods, Alrik asked if Kratos remembered the day when both warriors’ lives were changed. Kratos claimed he would never forget that day, as he looked at Alrik’s scarred neck from what he had done. Alrik then declared to Kratos that this time he would have his head, and attacked him without delay. The souls of the dead were cast from the mighty hammer Alrik used in his fight against Kratos. Eventually, these souls were absorbed by Alrik and he grew three times larger than Kratos.
Ultimately, Kratos shrunk the king down to size and seized Alrik's hammer as the Barbarian tried to charge at him. His actions were for naught, as the Spartan used the mighty hammer to crush his head repeatedly therefore killing him once again. Looking upon the corpse, the haunting memories came back to Kratos once more before he continued on with his journey.
In God of War III
A note from a tortured soul is found in the Underworld and it reads:
"Hades, I beg at your Palace gates grant me a reprieve!
Have I not become all you wanted?
Are my debts not paid in full?
How long must I hope for a rescue that will never come?
He becomes a god, while I rot and suffer. Release me so that I may have my revenge!"
This note was most likely written by Alrik as he held a vendetta against Kratos, who was responsible for his torment. He was also shown in the comics to have been a servant of Hades, which would explain the tone of the note. At the end of the game, Alrik could have escaped from the Underworld due to Hades' death, along with the other tormented souls.
Alrik was the ruthless barbarian king with a deep hatred for the Spartans, and especially their general, Kratos. This hatred is rooted from the death of Alrik's father, as Kratos was partly responsible for that but Alrik likely never realized that Hades was the one that actually killed him. His hate towards Kratos resulted in a battle that ravaged both armies who had become equal in brutality. Winning by the larger number, the Barbarian King was eager to strike down Kratos. His hate and thirst for revenge could not even be quelled by death as he fought his way through the Guardians of Hades and tried to change his fate. When crossing Kratos on the Island of Creation, he saw this as a token of the Fates and eagerly fought Kratos in a rematch.
In the comics, Alrik showed an caring side as Prince Alrik, he risked everything to save his father and grieved deeply when he returned home to only find his father dead.
Powers and Abilities
Alrik was a powerful warrior with a large variety of skills:
- Archery: Alrik used a large battle bow and enhanced arrows as secondary weapon and had shown great accuracy with the weapon as he was able to decapitate a Spartan soldier across the battlefield with a single arrow, after hitting the soldier right in the face. He was also to fire from horseback and fire multiple arrows at once, all with high precision.
- Horseback Riding: Alrik was able to ride a horse, as seen when he took a steed with him from the Underworld. He later used it to attack Kratos, and was the first stage of the boss battle.
- Pyrokinesis: Using his hammer, Alrik could manipulate fire after he returned from the Underworld. By slamming the hammer in the ground, he could create waves of fire.
- Size Alteration: Alrik was a gigantic man but he was able to further increase his size, after absorbing enough power to do so. By doing this, he triples in size, although he is a bit slower.
- Soul Summoning: After escaping the Underworld, Alrik gained the ability to summon souls using his gigantic war hammer. They can be used to attack his enemies as well using them as a shield to protect him from harm.
- Necromancy: He also gained the ability to raise dead Barbarians and command them. He does this by moving the hammer over the ground. When he ran low on soldiers however, he accidentally summoned the boat captain from God of War.
- Soul Absorption: He was able to absorb the souls to heal himself and increase his power.
- Superhuman Strength: Even as a human, Alrik had shown to be incredibly powerful, able to defeat Kratos, a demigod and son of Zeus, forcing the Spartan to pledge his soul to Ares. After he returned from the Underworld, his power had only increased when he faced Kratos again.
- Teleportation: Alrik was able to create portals that allowed him to teleport across the battlefield, when he fought against Kratos.
When Kratos encounters Alrik on the Island of Creation, the King is riding on a large, demonic steed. When he rode the horse, cursed souls would protect and shield him; Kratos had to eliminate them in order to damage and kill the steed. The horse's body itself is bloodied, and is also wreathed in flames. It is not stated how the King obtained the horse, but chances are he got it while he was in the depths of Hades, during his escape from Hades or if in fact the horse was actually undead as barbarians also used horses. It is also possible that Hades himself gave it to him, wanting revenge for his defeat in the Gods' Wager. In the first part of Kratos' battle with the King, he actually sticks the Horse with his blades from behind, and is literally dragged through the Bog of the Forgotten. After that, Kratos fights the King while he rides on his steed and shoots arrows at Kratos. After damaging the horse, Kratos then ultimately kills it by leaping at it and plunging his blades into its head.
- When Kratos falls into The Pool of Blood in God of War III, Alrik's voice can be heard.
- It is possible that Hades helped Alrik to escape the depths of the Underworld, since he was his champion and Hades knew Alrik was thirsty for revenge on Kratos, their common enemy. Hades may also have given Alrik his new horse.
- Alrik makes another appearance in God of War: Ascension (as a flashback of the beheading scene).
- It is unknown how he knows of Kratos' reputation as the Ghost of Sparta, as he was killed long before Kratos earned his nickname (or before he even gained his pale appearance).
- Due to Hades' death in God of War III, Alrik could have escaped the Underworld, along with the other tormented souls of Hades.
- The breed of his undead horse in God of War II is a draft horse.
- Alrik and his eastern Barbarians may be a reference to the Goths of Late Antiquity. Hailing from Eastern Europe, a branch of the Gothic people, called the Visigoths, led by a King Alaric, was known famously as the barbarians who sacked the capital of Rome and led to the downfall of the Western Roman Empire.