The Norse Gods are the main pantheon of deities in God of War (2018), most of which serve as the overarching antagonists. They are one of the most powerful races to inhabit the Nine Realms and are viewed as protectors of Midgard and mankind. Despite being of the same race, the Norse gods are divided into two tribes; the warlike Aesir and the pacifistic Vanir. It can also be noted that most Norse Gods are usually less powerful than an Olympian or Titan, with exceptions such as the king of Asgard, Odin and his half-Jotunn son, Thor who are believed to be on equal level with that of Kratos who has killed many Olympians and Titans.
The Aesir Gods are more aggressive and warlike than the Vanir, representing the brute strength and raw power of nature. They also believe that the only way for someone to achieve an honorable death is to fall in battle, with everything else being seen as cowardly and shameful.
- Búri: The first Norse God to exist, ancestor of the Aesir and father of Borr.
- Borr: Father of Odin, Vili, and Vé.
- Odin: God of War, Death, Knowledge, Wisdom, The Gallows, Poetry, Victory, Sky, Wind, Crafts, Healing, Royalty, Frenzy, Divination, Ravens, Runic Alphabet and Magic/Sorcery. The All-Father and king of Asgard.
- Frigg: Goddess of Marriage, Motherhood, Clairvoyance and Prophecy. Wife of Odin and real mother of Baldur, Höðr and Hermóðr. Daughter of his father Fjorgynn and a unnamed mother.
- Vili: Brother of Odin.
- Vé: Brother of Odin.
- Thor: God of Thunder, Lightning, Strength, Storms, War, Sky, Fertility, Oak Trees, Consecration, Bravery, and Hallowing.
- Meili: Son of Odin.
- Hodr: God of Winter and Darkness.
- Týr: God of War, Law, Justice, Trial, Heroic Glory, Honor, Courage, Oaths, Authority and Duels.
- Baldur: (Deceased) God of Light, Joy, Purity, Peace, Forgiveness, Prophecy and Beauty.
- Modi: (Deceased) Son of Thor, God of Bravery and Lightning.
- Magni: (Deceased) Son of Thor, God of Strength and Lightning.
- Hœnir: God of Silence, Indecision, Avoidance, and Mystery.
- Heimdallr: God of Foresight, Surveillance, Order and Foreknowledge.
- Ullr: Stepson of Thor and Son of Sif, God of Justice, Hunting and Dueling.
- Bragi: God of Music and Poetry.
- Hermoðr: Messenger of the Gods, God of Comunication and Courage.
- Sif: Wife of Thor. Goddess of Wheat, Earth, Harvest and Family.
- Iðunn: Goddess of Youth and Spring. Keeper of the Golden Apples and the wife of Bragi.
- Vidar: God of Space, Silence, Vengeance, and Footwear.
- Nanna: Goddess of Peace and Devotion. Wife of Baldur.
The Vanir Gods represent more peaceful aspects of nature and possess far more magic knowledge than the Aesir. Instead of focusing on war, the Vanir tries to keep peace and order in the nine realms.
- Njörðr: God of the Seas, Winds, Seafaring, Crop Fertility, Wealth, and Fishing. King of the Vanir.
- Freyja: Goddess of Sorcery, Love, Lust, Beauty, Gold, War, Death, Fertility and Warmth. The former wife of Odin and Queen of the Valkyries. (In Norse Mythology, she is the wife of Óðr)
- Freyr: God of Fertility, Sacral Kingship, Virility, Prosperity, Sunshine, and Abundance.
- Nerthus: (Deceased) Goddess of Fertility and Magic.
- Kvasir: (Deceased) God of Peace, Mead and Wisdom.
- Gullveig: (Deceased) Goddess of Gold, Dark Arts, Resurrection and Prescience. Appears to be a Revenant.
- Atreus/Loki: Future God of Mischief, Evil, Deception, Artifice, Magic, Lies, Fire, Serpents, Chaos and Stories.
- Kratos: Formerly the Second Greek God of War, now known among the Jötnar as Fárbauti, the cruel striker.
- Mimir: Ex-Aesir. God of Wisdom and Knowledge. Former Ambassador for Odin; Guardian of the Well of Knowledge.
- Sol: Goddess of the Sun.
- Mani: God of the Moon.
- Skaði: Goddess of Hunting, Skiing, Winter, and Mountains.
- Hel: Goddess of Death and Underworld.
- Ægir: God of the Sea and Brewing.
Powers & Abilities
In addition to being immortal, the gods are supernatural beings. It's assumed that most of the Norse Gods share many if not all the abilities of the Greek Gods have such as:
- Superhuman Condition
- Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Durability
- Superhuman Speed
- Superhuman Agility
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Senses
- Enhanced Skills
- Reality Warping
- Curse Bestowal
- Power Bestowal
- Illusion Casting
- Healing Magic
- Sealing Magic
- Animal Manipulation
- Mental Manipulation
- Sensory Enhancement
- Energy Manipulation
- Amokinesis or Love Magic
- Sound Manipulation
- Elemental Manipulation
- In Norse mythology, Norse gods are said to only possess longevity instead of true immortality thus making them able to die of old age or die by non-divine means, however, they can extend their lifespan and stay eternally young thanks to Idunn’s Apples of Eternal Youth. Unlike in actual mythology, Norse gods in God of War universe are immortal to begin with. With the golden apples being made to be their favored food instead of their source of immortality. This is similar to how certain sources, credit the immortality of the Greek gods to be achieved by Ambrosia the divine food/drink of the gods.
- Norse gods do not seem as powerful as their Greek counterparts, as they lack certain abilities such as size alteration, nigh-omniscience, and projecting themselves through statues depicting them. For example, Baldur never finds out Kratos' true identity as a foreign god and the infamous Ghost of Sparta, not to mention his real name. He mistakenly believes Kratos is the jötunn Guardian. However, the most powerful among them have performed impressive feats comparable to, if not superior to that of the Greeks'. For example, Freya’s mastery over her seiðr magic allowed her to control the corpse of the mountain size jötunn Thamur. However, it should be noted that not all Greek Gods possessed great powers like size alteration but only the most powerful ones like Zeus, Athena and Ares and the fact that we haven't seen other major Gods. In God of War 2018 Novel, Baldur was referred to as the strongest opponent Kratos has ever faced.
- Although they seem to lack mystical powers, except of course Odin, Freya, and the Vanir, their strength seems to be greater than the Greek Gods, as Baldur and Magni gave Kratos a noticeably greater challenge than the Greek Gods. However, it has been confirmed that Kratos has been holding back his true power in the Norse Realm so it's very likely that Magni, Modi and Baldur would've been defeated much quicker and with less effort if the Spartan had given it his all.
- Freya and Mimir were able to immediately discern that Kratos and more importantly, Atreus, were gods. However as mentioned, Baldur, nor apparently Magni or Modi, could not.
- Unlike the Greek gods, the death of a Norse god doesn’t have a chain reaction to the world. The deaths of Magni and Modi didn’t cause an explosion or negative influence on the world. It could be argued that Fimbulwinter, the three long winters preluding to Ragnarök, was the consequence of killing Baldur, whereas the two sons of Thor were only demigods.
- Even though the morality and mindset of the ancient Norse people were different than ours, their gods (specifically the Aesir) were mostly on the side of humanity. Here, however, the Aesir are warmongering tyrants with genocidal tendencies who are either ignorant of mortals or outright treat them as livestock, not unlike the Greek Gods. This is actually justified in-universe, as this take on the mythology follows a written by the winner's theme, wherein the gods make themselves out to be significantly more heroic than they actually are. But even then, how far this goes is pretty ambiguous, as so far most of what we know about them is told from the perspective of their enemies or people who don't like them. So only time will tell if the Aesir are really as bad as the Greek ones.
- So far most of them have only been referenced or mentioned, be it in-game or in the supplementary material (or at best, are seen in drawings and murals). The number of Norse gods that physically appear and interact with Kratos and Atreus can be counted on just one hand (Mimir, Freya, Magni, Modi, and Baldur), or two hands if one also counts Atreus being Loki and Thor's brief appearance in the secret ending. While obviously more of them will appear and play a bigger role in the sequels, this does also have a justified reason in the story. After the events of God of War III, Kratos goes north and settles down to start a new life, no longer wishing to deal with any gods whatsoever and avoiding them at any cost. Unfortunately for him and his son, fate has other plans with Faye's magical protective barrier revealing their previously concealed location, causing the death of Baldur thus triggering Ragnarok and Atreus revealed to be Loki, who will turn into the biggest enemy of the Aesir. And if the ending is any indication, it's only a matter of time before the other Norse gods find Kratos and Atreus...
- From what we've seen and heard so far, the Aesir of the Norse pantheon isn't any better than the Olympians of the Greek pantheon and are just as bad. Though it's worth mentioning that there are some legitimate reasons for this that stay true to the original Norse myth. According to the Aesir (and by proxy all Norse people's belief), it's more honourable to die fighting than from old age, disease or a mishap. Furthermore, the Aesir, despite their immense power are paranoid due to most of them being prophesied to die at Ragnarok. Odin, however, is actively trying to make sure this doesn't happen.
- In the previous games, the Greek Pantheon can change their size, communicate through statues, and their deaths ended either in a nuclear bomb-level explosion or they turn into flies that cause a world-wide calamity. The Norse Gods appear to be human-sized and for them dying appears to be normal as seen with Mimir, Magni, Modi, and Baldur. However, it still causes Fimbulwinter which triggers Ragnarok years earlier than it has been prophesized.
- Compared to the Greeks who were on the melodramatic side, but relatively held back on the profanity, the Norse are less shouty but have a surprisingly colourful vocabulary. Essentially, as shown by Baldur, Freya, Magni, and Modi, the Norse Gods act and speak more like modern-day people. Then again, flyting is an Old Norse art-form.
- According to Mimir, the Aesir are not bound by the rules of Valhalla as they do not require Valkyrie escort and are able to make their own way to Valhalla. However, when Kratos killed Magni, the latter did not come back to life, seemingly because of the Valkyries imprisonment. It's a likely result of Odin locking the gates of Valhalla, which also locks out the Aesir.
- The Aesir have an association with the color blue as shown by their attire and eye color.
- A major difference between the Greek and Norse Gods are the classification of their powers. While the Greek Gods didn’t have any specific name for any of their powers using only basic terminology. The Norse Gods are different, especially the Vanir with the use of their magic powers being called Seiðr.
- Unlike Greek Gods, Norse Gods aren't born with their specific power over certain domains. Instead, the Norse Gods seems to take things as their own, allowing for multiple overlaps such as Odin and Freya both being gods of magic, Freya and Frey both Gods of Summer, and virtually all of Norse Gods are associated with War in one way or another.