|“||He doesn't know, does he? About your true nature...or his own?||”|
– Freya to Kratos
In Norse Mythology
In Norse mythology, Freyja (/ˈfreɪə/; Old Norse for "(the) Lady") is a goddess associated with love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death. Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, is accompanied by the boar Hildisvíni, and possesses a cloak of falcon feathers. By her husband Óðr, she is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi. Along with her brother Freyr, her father Njörðr, and her mother (Njörðr's sister, unnamed in sources), she is a member of the Vanir. Stemming from Old Norse Freyja, modern forms of the name include Freya, Freyia, and Freja.
Freyja rules over her heavenly field Fólkvangr and there receives half of those that die in battle, whereas the other half go to the god Odin's hall, Valhalla. Within Fólkvangr lies her hall, Sessrúmnir. Freyja assists other deities by allowing them to use her feathered cloak, is invoked in matters of fertility and love, and is frequently sought after by powerful jötnar who wish to make her their wife. Freyja's husband, the god Óðr, is frequently absent. She cries tears of red gold for him, and searches for him under assumed names. Freyja has numerous names, including Gefn, Hörn, Mardöll, Sýr, Valfreyja, and Vanadís.
Freyja is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; in the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, composed by Snorri Sturlusonin the 13th century; in several Sagas of Icelanders; in the short story Sörla þáttr; in the poetry of skalds; and into the modern age in Scandinavian folklore.
Scholars have debated whether Freyja and the goddess Frigg ultimately stem from a single goddess common among the Germanic peoples; connected her connection to the valkyries, female battlefield choosers of the slain; and analyzed her relation to other goddesses and figures in Germanic mythology, including the thrice-burnt and thrice-reborn Gullveig/Heiðr, the goddesses Gefjon, Skaði, Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr and Irpa, Menglöð, and the 1st century CE "Isis" of the Suebi. Freyja's name appears in numerous place names in Scandinavia, with a high concentration in southern Sweden. Various plants in Scandinavia once bore her name, but it was replaced with the name of the Virgin Mary during the process of Christianization. Rural Scandinavians continued to acknowledge Freyja as a supernatural figure into the 19th century, and Freyja has inspired various works of art.
Prior to the Events of God of War
Freya had been the leader of the Vanir gods and had agreed to marry Odin in order to bring peace between the warring Vanir and Aesir. During that time, she became Queen of the Valkyries but some time during her marriage to Odin, Odin began to learn the ways of Freya's magic and began using it for unjust purposes, including using it against her. Freya chose to leave Odin due to his unjust ways but she couldn't flee to her own people for refuge as they saw her marriage to Odin as a betrayal, thus forcing her to flee to Midgard.
Because Freya broke the marriage off from Odin, he placed a number of curses on her. First, preventing her from ever leaving Midgard, and another preventing her from harming any living creature- through both physical and magical means. Some saw this as petty cruelty on Odin's part, for Freya was a warrior in spirit and cursing her to prevent her to fight robbed her of her fighting spirit, thus she could do nothing else but live in isolation.
The only thing she cherished from her marriage with Odin was their son, Baldur. Though she loved him dearly, a prophecy foretelling his death as an unnecessary one drove her to find a way to prevent it. With her fears controlling her, Freya placed a spell on her son, granting him invulnerability. She hoped that the spell would spare her son from death and herself from the pain of loss. However, her spell left Baldur unable to feel anything at all, including taste and other pleasures. Full of fury and resentment, Baldur demanded his mother to remove the spell but she claimed she was unable to and tried to assure him that what she had done was for the better. Baldur was not convinced or moved by her motherly love. He attempted to kill her but couldn't bring himself to do so and instead vowed that he would hate and never forgive her, much to her sorrow. To this day, she remains blind to her son's desire to feel again and that her own fears brought about the torment Baldur endures. In fact, she lied to her son that she didn't know how to break the spell when in fact it was mistletoe and thus viewed the plant as wicked and sought to destroy it.
Freya is implied to have lived a life similar to Kratos, saying she sees a lot of herself in him and by helping him, she hopes to atone for her mistakes.
Under the alias of the Witch in the Woods, Freya first meets Kratos and Atreus in an incident where a boar she was protecting was shot and injured by Atreus. Kratos and Atreus agree to help heal the boar and are taken back to her home. She takes an immediate liking to Atreus, and becomes his friend. Kratos, however, is wary of Freya, especially after it is revealed that she is a goddess. When Atreus is outside gathering materials for the healing process, Freya reveals to Kratos that she knows he is a foreign god and warns him that the Norse gods will not tolerate his presence in their realms. She continues to express her worries for Atreus and the fact that Kratos keeps him ignorant of his true nature, but Kratos sternly states that it is not her concern.
After the boar is healed, Freya gives thanks to Kratos and Atreus by placing marks on them that will protect them from the Norse gods. Before they leave, Atreus asks Freya if they will meet again, to which she smiles and kindly responds "as much or as little as you like."
Freya catches up to Kratos and Atreus as they begin scaling the mountain, offering to help them overcome the roadblock in front of the two. She leads them to Tyr's Temple, all the while explaining its purpose and how to overcome the obstacles. She shows Kratos how to use the Bifrost and has him set a passage to Alfheim. However, she is unable to follow as the curse Odin placed on her quickly drags her back to Midgard.
Freya is once again encountered when Kratos brings her Mimir's severed head to resurrect, much to her shock. Before she resurrects Mimir, she notices that Atreus is equipped with mistletoe arrows. Knowing that mistletoe is the only thing that can kill her son, she quickly replaces Atreus's arrows with her own and destroys the mistletoe ones. Upon Mimir's revival, it immediately becomes apparent to Kratos that the two greatly dislike each other, and Mimir accidentally reveals Freya's identity to Kratos and Atreus. This deepens Kratos' distrust for Freya.
However, Kratos is forced to seek Freya's help when Atreus falls ill after a battle with Magni and Modi. Freya is initially reluctant to help Kratos due to his open hatred of divine beings, and only agrees to help when she realizes Atreus's plight. She scolds Kratos for keeping Atreus unaware of his divine heritage, as Atreus's current situation was a result of the conflict between Atreus's divine nature and his belief that he is a simple mortal. She tells Kratos that she needs a rare ingredient from Helheim to cure Atreus, and that Kratos would need a non-ice based weapon in order to fight the beasts living in that realm.
After retrieving the ingredient, Kratos brings it to Freya who uses it to create a cure for Atreus. She then tells Kratos that she too has a son whom the runes have foretold on the day of his birth of his needless death and so she swore to do anything to protect him, no matter the sacrifice. She laments her decisions that had led to her son's resentment of her and implores Kratos to avoid making the same mistake and to have faith in his son.
After Kratos and Atreus end up in the realm of Helheim after another encounter with Baldur, Kratos and Atreus watch as an illusion plays in front of Baldur. They learn that Freya is Baldur's mother, whom he despises due to the spell she cast on him that took away his ability to feel anything.
Just before the final encounter with Baldur, Freya appears before a cautious Kratos and Atreus to look for Baldur, claiming that the fields and woods speak his name, leading her to believe that he is in Midgard. She notices that Kratos and Atreus are more distant towards her, but before she could figure out the reason, Baldur appears. Freya is happy to see Baldur and tries to reach out to him and atone for his suffering only to be met with scorn. Baldur attempts to kill Freya but Kratos intervenes and soon it escalates into a fight. When Atreus stood before Kratos to protect him, Baldur punches him square in the chest, inadvertently causing the mistletoe arrow that was tied to Atreus's quiver strap to slice right through his fist which, much to Freya's dismay, breaks the invulnerability spell on him.
With Baldur vulnerable once more, a desperate Freya uses her magic to revive the corpse of the frost giant Thamur to try to separate Kratos and Atreus from Baldur, pleading for them to stay out of her affairs. When Kratos retorts that Baldur cannot be reasoned with and means to kill her, she proclaims that she doesn't care and that she will protect him at all costs. Baldur soon reappears and the battle continues. Throughout the brawl, Freya begs them to stop fighting, believing that she can still reason with Baldur. After the battle dies down, she begs Kratos not to hurt Baldur, to which Kratos agrees.
Baldur continues to berate Freya, condemning her for always interfering in his life. Freya admits she was wrong and tries to help Baldur find it in himself to give up his resentment of her, hoping to repair their relationship, but Baldur refuses to forgive her. Freya finally gives up trying to reason with Baldur and decides to let him kill her since it is the one thing that would bring him peace. As Baldur strangles her, she tells him she loves him. However before Baldur could kill her, Kratos grabs him from behind and snaps his neck.
Freya, her face stained with tears and livid from her son's needless death, swears horrible vengeance upon Kratos. She berates him and taunts him about his past that he has yet to reveal to his son. This prompts Kratos to finally divulge his violent past to Atreus. She is last seen carrying Baldur's lifeless body offscreen as Kratos and Atreus leave to finish their journey.
Powers and Abilities
Vanir Magic - Freya is a genius with the magic of her people the Vanir Gods. Her magic is able to manipulate the surrounding flora and fauna, transform herself, and place runes of various effects on others. She is also skilled in healing and reanimation. Kratos called her competent in her craft even before Mimir revealed she was a Vanir Goddess.
Weapons - Before Odin cursed Freya to never be able to harm a living creature again, it is likely that she was proficient with a bow. Despite her curse, she still finds some use with it creating light bridges by shooting arrows infused with the light of Alfheim. Freya also carries a sword, another weapon she was likely skilled with, but it is unknown why she still keeps it with her.
- Her Greek equivalent (in terms of being the Queen of the Gods) is Hera. As the archetypical Germanic goddess, she encompasses a vast variety of roles and doesn't appear to have a direct Greek functional analogue.
- In recorded Norse mythology, Frigg and Freya are usually two separated goddesses, though they are believed to have the same origin: Germanic goddess Frija. The distinction between the two goddesses is an exclusively Scandinavian phenomenon as "Freya" isn't attested elsewhere, being simply a title.
- Frigg or Frigga (means 'Beloved' in Old Norse), wife of Odin, is Aesir goddess of home and hearth, and family matters.
- Freya (means 'Lady' in Old Norse) is Vanir goddess of lust, love, battle and magic.
- Both Frigga and Freya are claimed to be the most beautiful of all gods.
- The boar that Freya claims is her friend could be Hildisvíni, a boar that is said to accompany Freya in Norse Mythology.
- Despite her threats of vengeance and fury towards Kratos for killing her son, Odin's curse prevents her from killing anything, thus preventing her from fulfilling that vengeance. This likely made her threat a hollow one.
- She was most likely acting out of emotional grief, regret, and rage.
- Since she believes in Ragnarok, she must have known that Baldur's death signals its beginning. This likely plays another role in her rage towards Kratos: not only did he kill her son, he also set the events of Ragnarok into motion.
- However, Mimir states that while Atreus and Kratos were on the peaks of Jotunheim, Freya came to him and sought information -- however much he had -- on where her Valkyrie wings were hidden by Odin. This heavily implies that she seems to be doing everything in her power to act on her threats, and could in fact manipulate the other gods to get her revenge.