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Odin, also known as the Allfather, is the Norse God of the Sky, War, Death, Wisdom, Poetry, and Magic, the King of Asgard, the King of the Aesir Gods, and the overarching antagonist in God of War (2018).

He is the father of Thor, Baldur, and Týr, grandfather of Magni and Modi, and the former husband of Frigg, Fjörgyn and an unnamed woman.

Norse Mythology

Odin, also known as Woden and Wotan, was the Chief God of Norse mythology.

Odin appeared in heroic literature as the protector of heroes; fallen warriors joined him in Valhalla. He had a mythical horse called Sleipnir, who had eight legs, teeth inscribed with runes, and the ability to gallop through the air and over the sea. Odin was one of the greatest wizards among the gods and was associated with runes. He was also the God of Poets. His outward appearance he was an old man, with flowing beard and only one eye (the other he gave in exchange for wisdom).

He was usually depicted wearing a cloak and a wide-brimmed hat and carrying his spear Gungnir.

In the God of War Series

Prior to the Game

Odin was a grandson of Búri, the first of the Aesir gods, who had sprung from Ymir, the first Giant and father of all life. However, unlike Ymir, Odin felt that the Aesir were fit to be the supreme rulers of the Nine Realms and so he, along with his brothers Vili and Ve killed Ymir and anyone else who stood in their path, with Odin himself taking the place of the "Allfather". Odin would then create the realm of Midgard from Ymir’s torn flesh. Eventually, Odin would create the first Humans; Ask and Embla.

At an unknown point in time, Odin would go on to form Asgard and declare himself the King of the Aesir. He would also take control of Valhalla. He would later use Valhalla as part of his future plans to try and thwart Ragnarok, a prophesied catastrophic event that would lead to an apocalypse and the deaths of most of the Norse Gods. To prepare for this impending threat, Odin would permit only the best warriors who had died in battle into Valhalla. Everyone else he relegated to the icy wasteland known as Helheim.

At some point, Mimir came to Odin with a "Mystic Well of Knowledge" but it was really a well laced with enough hallucinogenic magic mushrooms to give even a god as powerful as him visions. Odin was initially so impressed with this well that whatever he saw in his hallucinations made him start to tear out both of his eyes. Fortunately, he was stopped by Mimir from finishing the job and was convinced by Mimir that he had sacrificed his eye for knowledge. However, Odin instantly figured out that Mimir had fooled him but allowed him to become his adviser due to his immense intelligence. After he imprisoned his adviser, Odin removed one of Mimir's eyes and tortured him on a daily basis. Odin also searched for Brok and Sindri to construct a Statue of Thor within which to hide Mimir's severed eye. The Dwarves refused but were still forced to construct the statue.

Around this time, Odin also began to wed women and expand his family, hoping to gain strong sons. Odin took at least two wives during this period, the first of which giving him Týr. Odin also wed the Giantess Fjörgyn, with whom he had Thor. Sometime after Thor's birth, Fjörgyn died, leaving Odin heartbroken and lonely for many years.

Odin at one point met the stone giant Hrungnir and was so amused by the latter's gullible nature that rather than killing him immediately Odin invited him to Asgard and made him drunk and goaded him into all manners of boasts and antics, even taking the threat of Hrungnir killing all the Aesir and taking all the women of Asgard back to Jötunheim as a joke. However, it came to an end after another fit of laughter upon Thor killing the stone giant and being crushed by his corpse and Odin ordered all his men to remove it from Thor but none of the Aesir was strong enough to do so and Thor himself was too drunk to remove the stone giant off him until Odin's grandchildren Magni and Modi came and freed Thor.

After cementing his rule as the "Allfather," Odin continued to wage wars over the other realms. He did not encounter any difficulty until the Vanir, where the two forces fought to a stalemate. At this point, both sides grew tired of fighting, and Odin eventually agreed to marry Freya to end the fighting, and so that Odin may secretly learn her magic. Together, they produced Odin's youngest son, Baldur. For a time, the two appeared to have greatly cared for one another, with Mimir noting that their relationship seemed to echo that of Odin and Fjörgyn's, with Odin treating her in a loving manner and conceding to most of her wishes, giving the Valkyries some freedom when she wished it. However, Freya eventually abandoned Odin, having become distraught over his treatment of the Giants, the abuse of her knowledge and betrayal of her trust. This angered the Allfather greatly and left him with a strong sense of betrayal, which caused him to curse her to remain imprisoned in Midgard and to never harm another living thing, even in self-defense, out of petty revenge.

Odin also sought the secrets of Jötunheim and the Giants. However, he made an enemy of them, and he started a genocidal campaign to kill any Giant the Aesir could find. His son Týr attempted to bring a peace by inviting Odin to a summit with the Giants, but Odin only agreed to get the secrets of Jotunheim. The giants foresaw this and expelled Odin from their homeland. Týr then permanently opposed Odin's attempts to learn the Giants's secrets, which led to Odin imprisoning and possibly killing Týr.

God of War (2018)

While not actually making an appearance in the game, he is frequently mentioned by several characters. He is the one who imprisoned Mimir in the past and personally tortured him every day. He also sent Baldur to gain knowledge of Faye's whereabouts, as the Giantess has been a thorn in the Aesir's side for quite some time.

He employs a large number of icy ravens (known as Eyes of Odin) to observe the world and gather information for him. Kratos can destroy all of these ravens. Odin also has secret vaults scattered throughout the world that contain murals depicting legends, and an entrance to a Valkyrie's prison.

Personality

Ruthless? Barbaric? Heartless? That's Odin.

–Mimir, speaking about Odin

According to Mimir, Odin is extremely paranoid about anything and everything that he believed would possess even the slightest chance of threatening his rule and that of the Aesir, much like how his Greek counterpart Zeus was before Kratos killed him. This included the Giants, the Vanir and even the beloved Týr, his own son. Also, Mimir said that Odin is extremely clever, almost as clever as Odin believes himself to be, as he was able to figure out that Kratos and Atreus had an important role in the coming of Ragnarök, possibly due to Gróa's prophecy. It is implied that he has an intense fear of Kratos as well like how Zeus had, however unlike the Olympian he knew nothing about him except that he is extremely powerful, having faced and killed Modi, Magni, and Baldur.

In addition, Odin jealously guards all the knowledge and secrets he collected. He betrayed and deceived many revered figures in Norse mythology who possessed knowledge that he did not and once he obtained them, he disposed of them cruelly. Mimir stated that Odin is obsessed with prophecies of the future, stylizing himself to be "all-knowing and all-seeing" but more importantly, motivated to control the future, his fate, and every realm. Mimir exploited this to become his adviser when he offered him a "well of knowledge" that allowed him to see visions, not knowing that it was really a well with water laced with hallucinogenic mushrooms.

It is also stated that Odin could be very cruel if pushed too far, as seen by his having tortured Mimir during his imprisonment every day. He also ordered his strongest son Thor to kill every Jötunn he could find and betrayed the Jötunn, Ymir, at the beginning of all things under the self-righteous belief that he and the Aesir were bringing order to the realms. In truth, he and his brothers believed that they were superior and deserved to be as such. Additionally, while he may've originally truly loved and cared for Freya he overtime feigned affection for Freya during their marriage just so he could learn how to use her Vanir magic for his own purposes. Once he got what he wanted and Freya started to rebel against him, even going as far as to break off the marriage; out of rage, Odin banished her to forever remain in Midgard, as well as robbing the goddess of her warrior spirit; therefore, rendering her unable to directly harm anything, even to defend herself. To add insult to injury, he wrongfully corrupted the Valkyries into monstrous beasts by condemning them to physical forms out of his spite for Freya's rebellion, an act which ended up dangerously overflowing Helheim with the souls of the departed in the process. Finally, he left the Nine Realms to suffer during the Desolation, closing Asgard's gates.

Odin is also shown to hold petty grudges to an almost hilarious degree, as he never forgot that Mimir had outwitted him when they first met. When Mimir finally fell out of favor, Odin removed one of his eyes. In addition, when he lost the arrangement he made with the disguised Hrimthur in finishing Asgard's walls, he feigned to keep his end of the bargain to allow the builder to speak with his queen, Freya, only for the Allfather to then double-cross the Giant and have Thor kill him. In addition, when Skaði spurned his affections, he deceived her into killing her own father during a hunt.

Its implied that Odin may possess both a Superiority complex and an Inferiority complex as he genuinely believes that his way is the only way and that the Aesir are destined to be the Supreme Rulers of the universe yet seemingly loses any and all composure when someone or something comes along to challenge these beliefs.

Many individuals, such as Freya and Mimir, state that Odin is driven by fear of his own fate which is said to be at the hands of Giants, resulting in his paranoia and hatred of them. However, he is also envious and desirous of the Giants's abilities of precognition, wishing to use such abilities to alter his fate when Ragnarok occurs. Perhaps this is the one thing that the Allfather and Kratos, who doesn't believe in fate, have in common and would agree on.

Overall, Odin's depraved actions throughout the centuries have led him to be wholly despised by many figures; such as the Vanir, Freya, The World Serpent, Mimir and even the Valkyries.

However, Odin is not complete without the ability to feel love and trust others. He was known for having genuinely fallen in love with Fjörgyn despite his subsequent hatred for the Giants, eventually marrying and conceiving the mightiest of his sons Thor with her. Her death caused such grief and sadness to Odin that even Mimir acknowledges that Odin was distraught and lonely after the death of his great love.

To alleviate his pain and put an end to the Aesir-Vanir War, Mimir suggested that he married Freya. During this time, Mimir noticed the same happiness Odin had with Fjörgyn resurfaced and while he married her partly to end the war (as well as to learn her seiðr magic), Odin treated Freya in a loving manner and conceded to most of her wishes, in fact fulfilling so many of Freya's desires that Mimir said that even he lost count of how many wishes that Freya made to Odin that he willingly granted. He was willing to give the Valkyries some measure of freedom because Freya wished it. Their relationship eventually became strained when Odin became increasingly obsessed with Ragnarök and the Jötnar, which caused Freya to break off the marriage. From Odin's reaction to Freya's betrayal, it is obvious that he did have romantic feelings for her and felt a strong sense of betrayal from their divorce.

It's implied that in the beginning Odin's intentions were noble, if misguided, and he genuinely wanted what was best for his people and everyone else in general as he seek to prevent Ragnarok (an event that would go on to kill billions of innocent people including the Aesir and the Vanir) from happening. Centuries of reigning undisputed with unlimited power as well as a lifetime of failed trials however, had gradually hardened him to the point where he was unable, or perhaps, unwilling to accept that his actions and the actions of his fellow Aesir was having a negative effect and was in fact leading them all ironically into causing the very disaster that he was trying so long to avoid.

He is also known to have a great deal of confidence and trust in his sons Baldur and Thor unlike with his other son Tyr, likely as he knew that Tyr's peaceful nature was unfit for an Aesir. Odin was confident Thor could single-highhandedly eradicate the Giants and considered Baldur his finest tracker. Although he apparently could not lift the invulnerability spell that Freya placed on Baldur, Odin promised his son he would find a way to lift the spell if he found the Jötunn Guardian. It is unknown if Odin's promise was sincere or just a lie to motivate Baldur, but as Baldur went along with it anyway, it can be assumed that Odin is willing to go to great lengths to reward and keep promises he made to his children should they remain loyal and achieve a significant enough deed. However, Odin has been shown to punish his sons for their failures, the best examples being the imprisonment of Tyr after he correctly deduced his alliance with the Giants and revoking his promise to Baldur to lift his curse after the Light God's numerous failures to bring him Kratos and Atreus.

Odin is also manipulative and deceiver. He only "befriended" with Groa but only to kill her to steal her library. According to Mimir, Odin deceived Baldur that following Kratos and Atreus to Jötunheim would bring the cure for his son's immortality.

He also seems to be willing to take mercy on his enemies should they provide amusement for the Allfather, as shown when rather than killing Hrungnir, one of the Giants, Odin instead was highly amused by his gullible nature and chose to have him amuse him and his court, as well as forget any personal offences as long as said offender would willingly prove to be a value to him, as shown when he allowed Mimir to become his advisor despite knowing all along that Mimir had fooled him into removing his eye and even Mimir acknowledged that Odin trusted him for a long time until Odin eventually took Mimir's advises of peace as disloyalty and bound him to his prison tree but not letting anyone to harm his former advisor.

Powers and Abilities

As the King of the Aesir Gods, Odin is incredibly powerful, possibly the most powerful of his kind. He along with his brothers Vé and Vili was designated as the strongest Aesirs their time.

  • Immortality: Odin, as a Norse God, is immortal, having lived for many millennia. Only a sufficiently powerful weapon or an extremely powerful being like Fenrir can kill him.
  • Superhuman Strength: Odin must have tremendous amounts of superhuman strength as the King of the Aesir, being at least stronger than Baldur and Tyr. It is even possible that his strength, if not in the physical sense, rivals and/or surpasses that of his son Thor, the God of Strength. The only known beings to surpass his strength are Starkaðr, Fenrir and Surtr, the latter of whom would take both Odin and Thor to defeat in Ragnarok and the former being the one destined to devour Odin to death.
  • Superhuman Durability: Odin must be extremely durable as he was able to survive a clash with Ymir, the first being in existence and most powerful of the Frost Giants. During Ragnarok Odin also survives a battle against Surtr, Ymir's brother and the strongest Fire Giant. However, as Mimir stated, Odin would not survive for long in Hel, the Norse Realm of the Dead, so his durability is limited and during Ragnarok will be ultimately devoured by Fenrir.
  • Master Combatant: As the King of Asgard, Odin must be an extremely proficient fighter with centuries worth of battle training and experience. Even during his younger years was able to kill Ymir along with his brothers. Alongside Thor, Odin would be capable of defeating Surtr, the Primordial Fire Giant and also a highly exceptional fighter during Ragnarok.
  • Magical Mastery: Odin is an extremely powerful and skilled sorcerer, being a master of many magical arts, including ancient magic. He also learned Seiðr from Freya. Odin is also the only one from the Aesir gods who use magic which along with his physical abilities makes him even more formidable.
    • Black Breath: Corruption of magic Odin created to act as a deterrent to those who wanted to reach the highest mountain in Midgard. Only the pure Light of Alfheim could dispel it.
    • Curses: Odin can cast curses so powerful that not even Freya is able to lift them despite her own highly stated Vanir abilities. He can prevent people from leaving a Realm, as well as transforming the Valkyries into monstrous, physical versions of themselves, an act that made them unable to carry out their duties of transporting those killed in the battle to Valhalla.
    • Concealing Spell: Odin can conceal events that happen to others, even if the person is a powerful seiðr who is able to see into the future.
    • Knowledge Absorption: Odin can somehow absorb people's knowledge into himself using magic as he did with the seiðr Gróa.
    • Protection Magic: He can cast powerful protection enchantments on objects making them unbreakable, such as making the tree Mimir was bound to invulnerable to Thor's hammer.
    • Realm Travel Block: He prevented the travel runes on Tyr's temple from granting access to Asgard, Svartalfeheim, and Vanaheim.
  • Summoning: As the Raven God, Odin is able to summon ravens to observe and gather information from them across the realms.
  • High Intellect: Odin is extremely intelligent and clever, as even Mimir, the smartest being alive in all the Nine Realms, acknowledged his cleverness, saying that he is almost as clever as he believes himself to be. From having heard the prophecy of Ragnarok, he was able to figure out that Kratos and Atreus will play a part in it. Odin was not fooled by Mimir's lie that he had sacrificed his eye for knowledge, correctly deducing that Mimir had fooled him and the well of knowledge was actually just filled with magic hallucinogenic mushrooms to give even a god visions.
  • Master Torturer: Odin was known to be a very creative and skilled torturer, as he personally tortured Mimir for many centuries to the point that Mimir said that he would rather die than continue to be tortured by Odin.

Weapons

  • Gungnir: In Norse mythology, Odin possesses the Dwarven made spear, Gungnir, which always hits its target.

Trivia

  • According to a lore marker, Odin was responsible for creating Ask and Embla, much like his mythological counterpart.[1]
  • His Greek equivalent (in terms of being the king of the gods) is Zeus.
    • His Greek equivalent, in more general terms, is probably Cronos. Both of them were the first beings to rise against their universe-creating father, in Cronos's case Ouranos, and in Odin's case, Ymir, forcefully establishing themselves as the rulers of everything, and both were paranoid towards anything that could threaten their respective reigns, going as far as killing or trying to kill their own sons for it.
    • In terms of attributes, however, Odin encompasses multiple roles shared by different Greek Gods (e.g. Ares, Athena, Apollo, Hermes and Thanatos).
    • Odin is much like Zeus and Cronos, both are paranoid toward anything that they considered a threat to their reign even their own sons. Odin killed Týr after he suspected him plotting with the giants to overthrow him, while Zeus killed Kratos out of fear of The Marked Warrior prophecy, and Cronos tried to consume his own sons in fear of a prophecy. The difference however was Týr never thought of overthrowing Odin and only prevented him from accessing Jötunheim, whereas Kratos had intentions of vengeance against Zeus for killing him and previously torturing his mother and brother and for betraying him.
    • They also treated their progenitors wrongly due to their desire to reign over others, Odin killed Ymir because he believed that he and his brethren the Aesir are bringer of order and deserved to be such, while Zeus imprisoned the titans because of his desire to rule over the mortal world.
    • Both are destined to die at the hands of Kratos and his family in certain prophecies, Odin is destined to die at the jaw of Fenrir which is technically Kratos' grandson, while Zeus was destined to die at the hands of the Marked Warrior which is Kratos himself.
    • Both requested one of their children to kill powerful beings. Odin commanded Thor to kill the Jötnar, while Zeus ordered Kratos to kill Ares.
    • Both are afraid of Kratos, While Zeus was afraid of him because he was the one destined to destroy the Gods, the Greek Pantheon and his killer, trying everything on his power to stop him and put and end to the circle of patricide only to be killed by him, Odin of the other hand, he is afraid of him because of his actions involving Ragnarok, accelerating it's coming because of Baldur's Death, killing also his two grandsons Magni and Modi, who were prophecied to survive even after Ragnarok and his important role for his own demise, although is unknown how he will be part of it.
  • In nearly all the murals Odin appears in, he is riding his mythological mount, Sleipnir. This is odd, seeing as Sleipnir in the Norse Mythos, is the offspring of Loki and Svadilfari who was the stallion who helped the disguised Jötunn build the walls of Asgard.
    • Despite being Loki in this universe, it's unlikely that Atreus is the mother of Sleipnir, seeing as the horse was alive thousands of years before even the World Serpent's first appearance, being with Odin when he and his brothers slew Ymir.
    • Another piece to support this claim is that in the Prose Edda, Loki distracted Svadifari from his task of helping the builder complete the wall in time by taking the form of a mare and the intercourse that followed produced Sleipnir. In the God of War universe however, Hrimthur was able to complete the wall in time and gain an audience with Freya.
  • In an ironic twist of fate, Odin's efforts to prevent Ragnarok and his death from occurring could be argued to be the very reason to it, as this led many inhabitants in the 9 realms to be very hateful toward him and his brethren including the Vanirs, the Wolf Fenrir, and the giants.
  • In mythology, his mother is the Jötunn Bestla, though it is unknown at this time if she will fulfill this role in the series.
  • Tacitus, a Roman historian and senator, associated Odin with Hermes's Roman equivalent Mercury due to their status as a psychopomp.
  • Throughout the game, Kratos and Atreus encounter Odin's ravens. A side mission includes killing 51 of these ravens.
  • Despite his hatred of the Jötnar, and they him, one of Odin's great loves was the Giantess Fjörgyn, who bore him a son, Thor. In addition, before or after her, Odin sought the affections of Skaði, Queen of the Hunt.
  • As of the events of God of War (2018), Odin is responsible for the desolation of five of the nine realms, those being Midgard (through his corruption of the Valkyries), Niflheim (By intervening in Ivaldi's creations), Asgard and Vanaheim (through the Aesir-Vanir War) and Jötunheim (through Thor's genocidal campaign).

Reference

  1. Find here our sacrifice, mighty Allfather, and deliver Midgard from Hel's wild hunt. Odin, wisest of all, whose breath gave life to Ask and Embla, first among our people, we beg your protection. Send forth your noble Valkyries and cull the deathless. Send forth your noble sons, Thor and Baldur, to shield us. Send forth dragons to consume the frigid horde. Save our souls that we may serve you evermore.
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