The Norse gods are the main pantheon of deities in God of War (2018), most of them are the overarching antagonists. They are one of most powerful races to inhabit the Nine Realms and are viewed as protectors of Midgard and humankind. Despite being the same race, the Norse gods are divided into two tribes, the warlike Aesir and the pacifistic Vanir.
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 honored death is to die in battle.
- Búri: The first Aesir 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, Battle, Sky, Wind, Crafts, Healing, Royalty, Frenzy, Divination, Ravens, Runic Alphabet and Magic/Sorcery. The All-Father and king of Asgard.
- Vili: Brother of Odin.
- Vé: Brother of Odin.
- Thor: God of Thunder, Strength, Storms, Fertility, Lightning, Oak trees, Consecration, Bravery and Hallowing.
- Höðr: God of Winter and Darkness.
- Týr: (Presumably deceased) God of War, Victory, Law, Justice, Single Combat, Trial, Heroic Glory, Honor, Courage, Oaths, Authority and Duels.
- Baldur: (Deceased) God of Light, Joy, Purity, Peace, Spring, Forgiveness, Prophecy, Beauty and the summer sun.
- Modi: (Deceased) Son of Thor, God of Bravery.
- Magni: (Deceased) Son of Thor, God of Might.
- Hoenir: God of Silence, Indecision, Avoidance and Mystery
- Heimdall: God of Foresight.
- Ullr: Stepson of Thor and Son of Sif, God of Justice, Hunting and Duelling.
- Bragi: God of Music and Poetry.
- Hermoðr: Messenger of the Gods .
- Sif: Wife of Thor. Goddess of Hunt and Fertility.
- Iðunn: Goddess of Youth and Spring. Keeper of the Golden Apples and the wife of Bragi.
- Víðarr.: God of Space, Silence, Vengeance, and Footwear.
- Nanna: Goddess of Peace and Devotion
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 try to keep peace and order on the nine realms.
- Njordr: God of the Seas, Winds, Seafaring, Crop Fertility, Wealth, and Fishing. King of the Vanir.
- Freya: Goddess of Sorcery, Love, Lust, Beauty, Gold, War, Death, Witchcraft, Fertility, Warmth and Foreknowledge. The former wife of Odin and Queen of the Valkyries.
- Freyr: God of Sacral Kingship, Virility, Prosperity, Sunshine, and Fair Weather.
- Nerthus: (Deceased)
- Atreus / Loki: Future God of Mischief, Evil, Deception, Artifice, Magic, Lies, Fire, Serpents, Stories, and Trickery.
- Kratos: Formerly the Second Greek God of War.
- 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.
- Skadi: Goddess of Hunting, Skiing, Winter and Mountains.
- Hel: Goddess of the Death
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
- Super agility
- Super durability
- Super speed
- Super stamina
- Super strength
- Super Senses
- Enhanced Skills
- Illusion Casting
- Reality Warping
- Energy manipulation
- Power granting/bestowal
- Mental manipulation
- Sensory enhancement
- Sound manipulation
- Time manipulation
- Animal manipulation
- Amokinesis or Love Magic
- Elemental manipulation
- In 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 the 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, 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 perform 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 as 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 Norse Gods, as Baldur and Magni gave Kratos a noticeably greater challenge than the Greek Gods.
- 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 winter preluding to Ragnarök was the consequence of killing Baldur, whereas the two sons of Thor were only Demi-gods.
- 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 winners 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 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. Furthemore, 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 colour blue as shown by their attire and eye colour.
- 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.