|“||Medusa, the Queen of the Gorgons. Bring me her head Kratos, and I will give you the ability to wield its power.||”|
Medusa was first of the Gorgon sisters in Greek mythology, and one of the many foes encountered by Kratos.
The three Gorgon sisters—Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale—were children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys (or Phorkys) and his sister Ceto (or Keto), chthonic and Phorkys and Ceto are two of children of Pontus and Gaia monsters from an archaic world. The Gorgon sisters lived in a temple on an island at the edge of the world (or Underworld), Medusa was the only one who was slain by the hero Perseus.
Roman poet Ovid depicted Medusa in his poem Metamorphoses as an exceptionally beautiful maiden and a priestess of Athena's Temple. Medusa was greatly admired by many men, both mortal and god. Poseidon, so enamored by Medusa, approached her in the sanctuary of the temple and raped her. Athena would appear before them, catching them in the act. Enraged that her temple had been defiled in such a manner, she cursed Medusa, painfully transforming the once beautiful maiden into a grotesque monster, whose head was christened with venomous serpents, and a face so hideous that one glance would turn anyone who saw her to stone.
While Athena was furious that Poseidon had taken favor of Medusa in her temple, she was not angry with the God of the Ocean himself. As a powerful male god, this would be expected of him. In the eyes of Athena, it was Medusa who deserved to be punished. Ovid's depiction of Medusa reflects a society where women were valued as objects in a male-dominated world, as Perseus describes Medusa's punishment by Athena as just and well-deserved.
God of War
During the siege of Athens, she was given the title of Queen of the Gorgons. She and her race are among the armies of Ares, as it is known that Gorgons hated Athena. As Kratos progressed through the ruins of the city, he met Aphrodite, who commanded him to slay Medusa by decapitating her. The hissing Gorgon arose from the shadows and fought with Kratos, who eventually tore her head from her body with his bare hands. Pleased, Aphrodite granted the power of Medusa's Gaze to Kratos, who in turn used it to destroy a group of Minotaurs.
Medusa's existence had come to an end, leaving her sisters, Euryale and Stheno, to lead the race of Gorgons until Euryale's death at the hands of Kratos in God of War II. Since Stheno appears in God of War: Ascension, this would mean that Medusa was the second queen of the Gorgons, and not the first.
Another interesting fact is that Medusa's relation with the hero Perseus in the series is never stated explicitly: it is never told if she was simply called by Ares to attack Athens (without having met Perseus or been killed by him before) or if she was actually killed by Perseus once, like in the original myth, and then resurrected by Ares to help in the siege. The fact that most of Ares' army was composed by undead warriors supports the second hypothesis. Also, many items related to Perseus, including his shield and armor in Multiplayer, have images of Medusa's head on them, indicating he is connected to her in the God of War myth in some way.
Powers and Abilities
Like the lesser Gorgons, Medusa has the power to turn Kratos to stone with her gaze. Even though it is implied otherwise, Medusa's power is that of a regular Gorgon. However, she is slightly less vulnerable and thus more hits from the Blades of Chaos are needed to kill her. Medusa can also teleport by vanishing in a cloud of blood red smoke, as shown when she confronts Kratos. Medusa is also very fast and can attack with her tail.
- In the Character Graveyard feature in God of War, it stated that in production Medusa was going to have legs and wings instead of a snake tail much like the Gorgons in Greek mythology.
- Originally, Gorgons were depicted as human females with snakes for hair, and on occasion wings and tusks, but due to the 1981 Clash of the Titans film, the image of a complete serpentine body was settled in representations of them throughout the God of War franchise ever since.
- "Medusa", in Greek, means "Guardian" or "Protector".
- It is implied that Medusa imprisoned Stheno in stone to become Queen of the Gorgons.
- Though her skin color is pinkish/red, her head is green after Kratos beheads her similar to the lesser gorgons. This is probably a design fault and not intentional.
- In Greek mythology, Pegasus and his brother Chrysaor sprang from the blood of Medusa's decapitated head.
- Her sister, Stheno, had the title of Queen during the time of God of War: Ascension. However, she only appears in the multiplayer.
- Medusa makes a cameo appearance in Mortal Kombat (2011) in the PlayStation 3 and PSVita versions. Her head is used in one of Kratos' fatalities which is called "Medusa's Gaze".
- Medusa's Head is the only weapon which Kratos used in Mortal Kombat (2011) that was acquired in the original God of War, as the others were acquired in God of War II and God of War III. Its also the only one who isn't seen in God of War III.
- Medusa's Head in Mortal Kombat (2011) has a very different appearance from the one in the original God of War, looking more like a gorgon serpent than a standard gorgon.
- Medusa's Gaze can fortify armor, improving its durability.