|“||Laufey was a rumor in the halls of Asgard -- a Giantess warrior who thwarted many an Aesir god's plans. Freeing those who they would enslave, feeding those who they would starve, generally making a nuisance of herself in the most noble of ways. Thor was terribly frustrated he could never find her to fight. Once my imprisonment began, I could only wonder what became of her, and who she would turn out to be.||”|
–Mimir, about Faye
Laufey or Nál is a figure from Norse mythology, the mother of Loki and consort of Fárbauti.
Laufey is mentioned several times in the Prose Edda, composed in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. The first mention occurs in Gylfaginning, where High introduces Loki. High says that Loki is the son of Fárbauti, that "Laufey or Nál" is his mother, and that his brothers are Býleistr and Helblindi. Elsewhere in Gylfaginning, Loki is referred with employment of the matronymic Laufeyjarson (Old Norse 'Laufey's son'). This occurs twice more in Gylfaginning and once in Skádskaparmál.
In the God of War Series
Faye is only seen in-game as a corpse wrapped in sheets and later cremated, but is a crucial character mentioned extensively in God of War. She is the second wife of Kratos and the mother of Atreus. Although she lived as a mortal, Faye was, in fact, a Giant (Jotünn) of Jötunheim—concealing her true nature from her family for reasons unknown.
Her real name was Laufey, and, according to Mimir, she was renowned as a great giant heroine, known as Laufey the Just, for her deeds in helping the weak and helpless and opposing the cruel Aesir and their king, Odin. She was also known to be a fearsome and respectful warrior in her own right, even drawing the attention of Thor, one of the most powerful Aesir. Even Kratos, her future husband, respected her fighting skills, saying she fought beautifully. At some point, she cooperated with Týr in hiding the Realm Tower to Jötunheim, cutting her off from her home in an effort to preserve her kin from Thor's genocide.
Having the foresight of the future regarding her son's journey, Faye eventually met Kratos, her future husband. They briefly fought but ceased as they shared world weariness and soon after got to know one another and eventually fall in love. Ten years later they built a house in the Wildwoods and Kratos divulges his past to his wife and hides the Blades of Chaos in the basement, still being unable to be rid of them. When Faye spoke about the Aesir Gods, Kratos decided to listen to her stories. Faye even learned about her husband's true nature as a god as well as his tragic and complicated past and kept it a secret from their son. Twenty-two years pass as Faye gives birth to a son named Atreus, although she initially wanted to name him Loki. The boy was raised mainly by Faye, who taught him how to hunt and how to read the Nordic language, among other things. Every day, Faye would teach her son about the different languages around the Nine Realms, or at least the ones she knew, and she also taught him archery. She was also the one who made Atreus his bow. She would teach him about the gods and the different creatures of the Norse wilds.
Before she died, she instructed Kratos and Atreus to cremate her body and scatter her ashes atop the highest peak of the Nine Realms. Unbeknownst to them, the highest peak wasn't in Midgard, but in Jötunheim, where a mural telling her life and a prophecy about Atreus, mentioned as Loki, was and would explain her origins to them. To ensure events turned out as she wanted, she also instructed Kratos to cut down specific trees marked with a golden, glowing hand sign that would disable the protection around her woods and alert the Gods to her presence in Midgard. Sure enough, Odin sent Baldur to track and find her, not knowing she was already dead, driving her husband and son to Jötunheim to learn the truth as they bonded in their journey.
When the pair eventually reach to Jötunheim, they discover a mural of all the past events that had occurred on their journey, beginning with Faye who was arguing with her kin. Kratos and Atreus realize that Faye was a Frost Giant, learning that she had foreseen everything before she died and that she was not a mortal. After her ashes were scattered, the pair return to Midgard where Brok and Sindri reveal they knew Atreus was part Frost Giant due to Faye, leading Mimir to conclude that it was none other than Laufey the Just, someone he never had the pleasure of meeting yet wished he had.
While Faye was never shown in person, it is clear that she cared deeply about her son, and taught him as many things as she could before dying and raised Atreus to be a kind soul. She also appeared to be a very close and loving wife to Kratos, as Kratos wondered if he could raise Atreus without her and reprimanded Atreus whenever he spoke ill of his mother, showing anger when Atreus accuses him of not mourning Faye. Despite thinking that she was a mortal, Kratos still described her as "better than a God". The Huldra brothers, Brok and Sindri, also thought highly of Faye, making the Leviathan Axe for her. Sindri, in particular, considered her a special woman and was saddened upon learning of her death.
Kratos and Atreus have both noted that Faye always wanted to help those in need, without any personal benefit to gain from the action. Atreus had clearly learned and inherited her kind nature and desire to help others from Faye. While Kratos would very much like to stay out of the affairs of others, Faye would always help those in need, a trait which endeared her to the Huldra brothers.
According to Atreus, Faye shared her husband's mistrust of Gods, though not without reason. As the last Guardian of the Jötnar, Faye had the opportunity and the hope of her fellow Giants to restore balance to the world following Thor's rampage. Instead, Faye placed her hopes in her family. Using her ability of foresight, Faye undertook the journey her son and husband would and left markings to help guide them.
Powers & Abilities
As a renowned Giant warrior, Faye has been hinted as a very powerful being, enough to gain the attention of Thor, the second most powerful of the Aesir Gods, and Kratos, former God of War from another land. The combination of her might, combat abilities, and cunning, would make her an extremely potent opponent.
- Superhuman Strength: As a warrior giantess Faye must have tremendous strength. As even Thor, the strongest Aesir, considers her a worthy challenge, she may rank as among the strongest of the Frost Giants, to have the strength able to force the high-tier Aesirs to be the ones after her. Her strength, however, is no match for Ymir, Surtr, or Jormungandr.
- Cryokinesis: As a frost giant Faye must have her kind's standard ability to control ice.
- Precognition: Another standard ability of her kind is the ability to foresee future events like her own death, her family's journey to spread her ashes, and even their possible future.
- Magic Mastery: Faye possessed great magical knowledge, allowing her to recognize and neutralize scorn poles and create a protective barrier around her house that was potent enough that no Aesir God, including Odin, despite his great magical mastery, was ever able to find her and her family until she dispelled it. It was possible that she used her magical power to hide her true nature, as Kratos didn't suspect her status as something other than mortal even after her death.
- Master Combatant: Faye was known to be a fierce and highly capable warrior, her skills being praised by even her husband Kratos, a highly trained and accomplished Spartan warrior who became a God of War in his own right, who described her fighting style as "beautiful." Her skills are so renowned that Thor, one of the most powerful Aesir, desires to fight her. Although her skills were never seen directly, she was at least a competent enough teacher to mold Atreus into a fairly capable fighter.
- Leviathan Axe: Forged by Brok and Sindri, this magical axe was Faye's weapon of choice during her time as heroine and the guardian of the Jötnar. She gave it to her husband moments before her death.
- Talon Bow: She made a bow out of a yew tree and instruct Atreus in its usage. It was strong enough to be used as a blunt weapon.
- Knife: Faye also possessed a knife, but after her death it was given to Atreus as a secondary weapon until it was destroyed when Atreus used it to save his father from being killed by a trap when he stabbed the knife into a gear mechanism.
- Her alias "Faye" is a play on the name "
," who in Norse mythology is the mother of . Similarly, Faye wanted to name her son Loki but was convinced otherwise by Kratos.
- In the mythology Laufey had an alternate name, Nal, however in the God of War universe Nal is a separated character who was the wife of Bergelmir.
- A writing in Jötunheim reveals that two Giants remained in Midgard after the remaining Giants fled. They referred to the World Serpent and "the Guardian", who was Faye herself. Faye was destined to return home near the beginning of Ragnarök, which she did in the form of ashes.
- It is revealed that Týr and Faye once cooperated to hide the Jotunheim tower.
- Faye had a gyrfalcon named Jöphie. Atreus would call to her, but she would only respond to his mother. (God of War, J.M Barlog, Chapter 3 page 19.)