|“||I am the Titan, Gaia; ever-present Mother of Earth. I have watched you become a powerful warrior, and I have been with you through all the events of your life, but I can no longer simply watch.||”|
Gaia is the Primordial entity of the Earth, mother of the Titans and the grandmother/great-grandmother of the Olympian Gods. She is the narrator of the series, the deuteragonist of God of War II, and the secondary antagonist of God of War III.
In Greek mythology, Gaia (Γαîα) was the primordial goddess personifying the earth. She was an ancient chthonic deity and was considered the Mother Goddess of all life. Gaia is also known as Mother Earth. Gaia created Ouranos but later Ouranos (Roman: Caelus) and Gaia created the starry sky. Together they created the elemental Titans, amongst others the world ocean Oceanus, the pre-Olympic sun Hyperion ("The High-One"), Iapetus (father of Prometheus), Rhea, Mnemosyne ("Memory"), Phoebe ("Light") and Tethys (wife and sister of Oceanus, mother of the world rivers). After they were born, Cronos, the wily, youngest, and most terrible of her children, who hated his sire, was asked by Gaia to punish Ouranos for sending the Cyclops and Hecatonchires to Tartarus. Wielding a flint sickle, Cronos castrated him and threw his testicles into the sea, it's foam creating Aphrodite. After that, Cronos would rule the world until he was overthrown by Zeus and his siblings. Other Titan-born creatures came from Gaia such as the Hecatonchires and the dragon Python.
Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra.
In the God of War series
In the God of War series, Gaia is the narrator for all of the games but has only actually appeared in God of War II and God of War III. She is portrayed as being made of earth, covered head to toe with trees, and fuller in shape reminiscent of the Venus of Willendorf, though in Greek Mythology she was essentially the Earth itself.
Birth and Early Days
Being one of the Primordial, Gaia was a descendant of Calligo and Chaos. Together she and the other Primordials created the universe. Wishing to survey their work, they made the Island of Creation, where all life would begin. The first to be born was Gaia, who would become the mother of the earth. Ouranos, the Primordial god of the sky and lord of the heavens, joined with Gaia and giving birth to the Tartarus, Pontus, Elder Cyclopes, the Hecatonchires, and the Titans.
It was prophesized that one day Cronos would also be overthrown by his children, just as he overthrew his own father. In an attempt to avoid this, he swallowed them whole after they were born. However, Cronos's wife, Rhea, could not bear another loss and tricked Cronos into swallowing an Omphalos Stone wrapped in cloth. This baby was named Zeus and would be raised within Gaia's own body until he came of age and decided to take revenge upon Cronos.
When Zeus became an adult, he freed his brothers and sisters from the belly of Cronos and began a revolt against the Titans, starting the Great War. During this war, Gaia aided the Titans in the battle and was eventually cast into Tartarus along with her children.
God of War II
Alliance with Kratos
Following Zeus betraying Kratos and his subsequent fall into the Underworld, Gaia deemed the time was right to finally reveal herself to Kratos. She appeared before the Spartan who questioned her identity as she revealed her name and how she been watching him throughout all his life and has decided to help him destroy Zeus. She then heals his wounds and tells him with her help, she would guide to the Sisters of Fate to aid him in his quest.
Once Kratos escaped, Gaia sent the Pegasus to help in his journey. When Kratos ordered the Pegasus to take him to Olympus, Gaia told him he was no longer a god and that he could no longer access the Mountain. She then explains for Kratos to get revenge, he would need the power of the Sisters of Fate to travel back in time to the moment Zeus betrayed him so he could reclaim Blade of Olympus as Zeus would be at his most vulnerable. She directed him to her son Typhon but the latter was not willing to aid an "Olympian" trapping the Pegasus as Gaia told Kratos it was needed to reach the Sisters. As a result, Kratos was forced to explore the cavern before he managed to steal Typhon's Bane and soon coming upon Prometheus and after killing him to put him out of his misery, his blood merged with the fires granting Kratos Rage of the Titans which he used to free the Pegasus and leave the cavern.
Kratos soon arrived on the Island of Creation where he journeyed facing many enemies. In the middle of his quest, Kratos inquired as to why Gaia chose to aid him as she told Kratos the story of events that led to the Great War and how she was banished at the end of the but helped Kratos in his quest for revenge.
When Kratos nearly fell into the Underworld after a fight with Icarus, Gaia told Kratos that he needed to return to the surface. Perhaps fortunately and unfortunately, Kratos landed on Atlas who nearly crushed him but he managed to persuade him to aid him in destroying Zeus. Atlas helped Kratos in returning to the surface and the Spartan resumed his journey. When reaching the Garden of the Gods, Athena possessed a statue and warned Kratos not to trust Gaia or the Titans stating they are using him but he disregarded her warning by destroying the statue. When Kratos fought and killed the Last Spartan and was distraught by the destruction of his home Sparta, Gaia appeared in a mental image posing as Lysandra, Kratos' wife. As the Ghost of Sparta lost hope, Gaia warned him if Zeus discovered he was still alive the latter would come after him relentlessly and that when Kratos dies Zeus' brother Hades would ensure his soul would be forever tormented. She soon gave him hope again by telling him to take in his loss of his city and people to fuel his rage and achieve victory. She told him that he was needed to lead the Titans into battle. Her words encouraged Kratos and he defeated the Kraken and soon made his way to the Sister's palace.
When Kratos trapped them both in a mirror, he destroyed erasing them from existence before he killed the last Clotho. With the sisters gone, Kratos had access to the power of time as Gaia told him to look among Threads of Fate for his own in order to go back to the moment of Zeus' betrayal. Kratos returned to the moment Zeus tried to kill him where he reclaimed the Blade of Olympus and confronted Zeus. After a fierce battle, he nearly succeeded in killing him but Athena intervened and Kratos stabbed her instead. A dying Athena revealed that Kratos was Zeus' son which by extension made Gaia his great-grandmother.
After Athena's last pleas failed to convince Kratos to abandon his revenge, Gaia reminded him that he still had the power to control time itself. With this Kratos returned to his time, he soon rewinds time to go further into the past going farther than his own birth to the final moments of the great war. Kratos called out to Gaia who had been expecting his arrival stating the gods were too much for them now. However, Kratos told her that Ares and Athena were dead while Zeus was weakened and that he now possessed the Blade of Olympus. He told her that if they work together, they could destroy the gods and see Mount Olympus crumble.
Realizing that he needed them to come to his future, Kratos told Gaia to come to his time along with the other Titans from the first Great War. This act saved them from their banishment to Tartarus and allowed them to scale the mountain to exact vengeance. Gaia carried Kratos on her back as the Spartan told Zeus that his son had returned to bring forth the destruction of Olympus. This marked the beginning of the Titans' Second Great War with the gods.
Gaia and Kratos led the Titans in battle as they climbed Mount Olympus, however, the Olympian Gods were not scared and quickly engaged their former enemies again igniting the Second Titanomachy. As Titans clashed against the Gods they also encountered the minions of Gods who jumped into the fray and used their abilities to attempt to knock the behemoths off the mountain but this did not deter the Titans nor Kratos who defended them with his powers determined to make the Gods pay. Unfortunately, the Sea God Poseidon entered the battle and after killing Epimetheus summoned his Hippocampi which began to attack the Titans pulling them to their deaths. One of the monsters latched onto Gaia preventing her from climbing, the titan had told Kratos to free her from the constraints after doing so the two came face to face with the Hippocampi version of Poseidon who using his mighty trident and his minions had delivered many powerful blows to Gaia. However, after Kratos defeated the monsters and attacked Poseidon's head, the god was left immobilized. Taking advantage of this, Gaia punched at her grandson's chest which also launched Kratos in a clear path of the sea god's chest knocking him out of his monster projectile and throwing him on a platform of the mountain where he was brutally killed off personally by Kratos.
After Poseidon's death, Gaia told Kratos the death of Zeus was within their reach and the two continued their travel towards Zeus. Arriving at the Dias, the two confronted Zeus who traded words with his son over his quest for vengeance as Kratos swore to destroy him but the King of the Gods prepared to fire a lightning bolt at them. Gaia attempted to halt the attack but it was futile as the blast sent Gaia and Kratos plummeting back down the Mountain.
|“||Listen carefully Kratos, you were a simple pawn nothing more! Zeus is no longer your concern. This is our war! Not yours!||”|
–Gaia betraying Kratos and allowing him to fall to his "death".
Gripping to Mount Olympus for dear life, one of Gaia's hands partially snapped off due to Zeus' attack barely connected by enormous vines. Kratos attempted to hold onto Gaia's back with the Blade of Olympus, but after calling for aid, Gaia refuses. Stating both of them would die if she tried to help, and trivializing Kratos' revenge as being secondary to the Titans' own goal for vengeance. Gaia then told him that he was a mere pawn that had lost its usefulness, before letting him fall stating the war was for the Titans. As the Spartan fell, he swore revenge on Gaia for using him.
|“||You were a means to an end, Gaia. Nothing more!
But I must face Zeus. The Titans must take down Olympus!
No! This is my war. Not yours.
–-Kratos to Gaia after her betrayal.
When Kratos escaped the Underworld after killing Hades, he managed to reach the city of Olympia, where he encountered Gaia again. The titan was astonished to find Kratos still alive remarking the "blood of Cronos" served him well. She was in distress, asking Kratos for his help as Kratos, still enraged about Gaia not having helped him in his hour of need, questioned why he should. Gaia soon begged her great-grandson for help but Kratos started to sever the vines connected to Gaia's snapped-off hand. Desperate and in pain, Gaia asked Kratos if she meant nothing to him to which The Ghost of Sparta retorted in a show of cruel irony it was, in fact, Gaia who was the pawn, his pawn while telling a pleading Gaia that the war against Zeus was "his war" not hers. Kratos then destroyed the root of Gaia's hand with the Blade of Olympus, sending a screaming Gaia plummeting to her apparent doom at the bottom of Mount Olympus. This resulted in most the Titans growing hatred and resentment towards Kratos for killing their beloved "Mother of the Titans".
Much later, Perses attacked Kratos in shafts of the labyrinth presumably for what happened with Gaia but Kratos killed him instead.
When Kratos visited Tartarus, he came across Gaia's severed hand and met with Cronos, who stated Gaia was dead and subsequently attempted to kill Kratos to avenge her only for Kratos to kill him.
When finally having reached Zeus again, Kratos did battle with him before their fight was interrupted as Gaia had returned, having replaced her severed hand with one made of twisted tree roots. Declaring the reign of Olympus ended now, Kratos was shocked that she survived as states she never sought Kratos' death, but she now saw no other option due to the damage he had inflicted upon her Earth. Zeus commented she should have chosen the other one, but Gaia simply replied she would destroy them both, crushing the Shrine of Olympus in her hands.
Both father and son fell into Gaia and found their way back to her heart, where Kratos shattered its defenses, and drew energy from the Titan, causing her immense pain. After Zeus made his appearance, the battle resumed, until Kratos stabbed Zeus with the Blade of Olympus and ran him through Gaia's heart, she screamed in terrible agony and pain as her heart exploded, killing her as her body collapsed onto Olympus possibly killing all of the remaining survivors while dissolving into dust.
When Kratos awakened from the fall, all that remained of the mighty Titan were large chunks of earth, and some withered trees and branches.
Gaia was once a caring and loving Titan, helping anyone no matter the cost. She even cared for and nurtured Zeus, when the young god was hiding from his father Cronos. However, after the Great War, when all Titans were punished for the crimes of one, Gaia's heart became filled with hatred for Zeus and the Olympians. She became so obsessed with vengeance that she started to rebel against the Sisters of Fate themselves, manipulating Kratos as a pawn and then, discarding him and anyone else who dared to cross her path, only seeking to exact her revenge against the Gods of Olympus.
Powers and Abilities
- Omniscience: She also can be considered to have omniscience since she is narrator of the games.
- Geokinesis: As the primordial and personification of the earth, Gaia has absolute control and manipulation over rocks and plants of the world.
- Superhuman Strength: As a Titan, she has superhuman strength.
- Superhuman Durability: As a Titan. she had superhuman durability.
- Telepathy: She also seems to have the power to communicate throughout time as she was expecting Kratos during the first Titanomachy even though it was centuries before Kratos' birth.
- Healing Factor: She also possesses considerable regenerative abilities, as she was able to grow back the hand Kratos chopped off of her.
- Immortality: As a Primordial, she is immortal.
- According to the God of War II novel, which was stated to be canonical and in continuity unless otherwise shown, Gaia's physical form is unbound by her true, ethereal form, which exists as an inchoate spirit - the Earth itself, hence why she was able to communicate with Kratos and watch every moment of his life even after the Titan War. This suggests that Gaia might still be "alive", in the loosest sense of the word, in her true form.
- Gaia, serving as Narrator in all of the God of War games prior to God of War III, is voiced by actress Linda Hunt. In God of War III, no longer the narrator, she is voiced by Susan Blakeslee. However, in the opening cinematic detailing Kratos' past, Linda Hunt still narrated the prologue. Susan Blakeslee voiced the Oracle of Athens who helped Kratos on how to kill a god.
- Interestingly, Gaia only narrates the story of God of War II up until the point when Kratos first meets her in the Underworld. Beyond that, she does not narrate but has a similar job by speaking directly to Kratos in the background on numerous occasions throughout the game.
- The last words Gaia said as the narrator, right before rescuing Kratos, were: "Kratos was destined to bring about change so severe that it would shake the very pillars of Mount Olympus. His death was something that I could not allow."
- In God of War II, it is strange to note that Gaia had expected Kratos' sudden arrival in the Titanomachy's end, even though the battle had taken place thousands of years before, in which the Titans were defeated and imprisoned. It could be that, due to the fact that Gaia is, essentially, the earth itself, she would be able to foretell events that transpire(d) in the past, present, and future.
- When Gaia is rescued at the end of God of War II and brought back to Kratos' time, it is a wonder what happened to the Gaia who is being held in Tartarus, who has been instructing Kratos the whole time. The Gaia whom Kratos rescues also says that she and the Titans are expecting Kratos, even though she is from the ages past, and is not the one who guided him to the Sisters of Fate (all of which happened in the future). Because of Kratos' interference in the timeline, it is likely that the Gaia in Tartarus has been "erased" and "replaced" with the one Kratos brings back to his time.
- Though Gaia is addressed as being one of the Titans in the God of War series, she wasn't considered one in real myth. In real Greek mythology, Gaia was essentially the earth itself. With Ouranus embodying the sky, she then gave birth to the twelve Titans. She, in fact, was a member of the first generation of deities in the Greek pantheon known as the Protogenoi (Primordials). Other members were Ouranus, Pontus, her sister Nyx and brothers Erebus, and Tartarus to name a few.
- Gaia first sided alongside Kratos in his quest for revenge, only to reveal he was being used as a pawn when finally reaching Zeus. This turn of events did not bode well and proved her downfall.
- Gaia's deceptive nature and future betrayal are alluded to in God of War II in two instances.
- When Kratos visits Garden Of Gods, he comes across a statue of Athena telling him to stop his quest and not listen to Gaia by saying, "Gaia speaks nothing but half-truths and falsehoods".
- When Kratos finds Lahkesis, she tells Kratos that his journey ends now while he says his destiny is not hers to control Gaia is a liar in words "I see Gaia has filled you with her lies".
- Gaia makes a cameo in the fighting game Mortal Kombat 2011, on the Chamber of the Flame stage. She is revealed when she destroys a section of the wall, and her face can be seen in the distance viewing the fight on the platform.
- Gaia and Athena have similar voices to each other in the first game but they are not voiced by the same actress.
- Gaia, like the Furies, was directly born from the Primordial War and could thus be considered a "primordial entity", regardless of her status as a Titan in the God of War mythos.
- When the Hippocampi appears for the first time, it seems to rip a hole through one of Gaia's hands. However, when Zeus strikes Gaia with a lightning bolt and she falls from the top of the Mount Olympus, the wound caused by the Hippocampi is not seen. This possibly makes an error or a part of her regenerative power.
- Out of all the Titans present in the game, Gaia plays the largest role in Kratos's story, serving as the narrator prior to the second game, the deuteragonist in the second as well as an antagonist in the third. It could even be argued that she played a much greater role than the other Titans combined including Kronos and Atlas.