|“||After thousands of years, Pandora's Box was finally opened. The power of the Gods unleashed.||”|
Pandora's box is an artifact in Greek mythology. The "box" was actually a large jar (πιθος pithos) given to the young Pandora. She was told not to open it by any means necessary, but, due to her ever-growing curiosity, she opened it and out of the vase came great evils which spread widely across the Earth.
However, before closing the box, Pandora also discovered a power called Hope in it. She then reopened it in an effort to aid mankind, and released Hope to the world along with many other evils.
In God of War Series
God of War
The Box was created by Hephaestus, by the order of Zeus, to contain the evils created by the Titanomachy. Knowing that no mere metal could contain the evil power, Hephaestus forged the box out of a power greater than that of the Gods: the Flame of Olympus. The Flame, as lethal as it was beautiful, would kill all who dared touch it, therefore being the perfect safeguard for the Box. The key to pacifying the Flame was a child Hephaestus created from the flame itself - Pandora. Knowing that Zeus would take Pandora from him, Hephaestus tricked Zeus into believing that placing the box on the back of the Titan Cronos would be the safest place, thus hereby saving Pandora, but condemning Cronos to a life of agony.
The brilliant architect, Pathos Verdes III, was assigned to build a temple to house the Box, ensuring that none would be able to reach it. Over time, he descended into madness, and the temple's puzzles grew more vicious and complex accordingly. He would eventually commit suicide, leaving the temple somewhat unfinished.
Although many would-be heroes and treasure seekers fell to the traps of Pandora's Temple seeking the Box, only Kratos would claim the powerful artifact in order to destroy Ares. As he found it, however, it was immediately stolen by Harpies as Ares himself slew Kratos. The God of War then raised the box to the heavens, threatening to unleash it on Olympus itself.
However, Kratos returned from the Underworld and reclaimed the Box from Ares. At long last, he opened it and drew from its power, allowing him to meet Ares in battle and eventually destroy him. That would seemingly bring the role of Pandora's Box to an end, but this would not be so.
God of War II
Unbeknownst to Kratos, the opening of the box would have grave consequences on the world. After Pandora's Box was opened, the evils of the Titanomachy escaped and infected the Gods, which caused them to become paranoid and power hungry. Zeus himself fell prey to Fear, causing him to begin his campaign to destroy Kratos.
Fear also motivated Zeus to confront Hephaestus about how Kratos retrieved the Box from the seemingly-unassailable hiding place atop Cronos. Beating the smith god horribly, he learned of Pandora's role as a key to the Flame of Olympus-the true safest place to hide the Box-and began making preparations to move the box and hide Pandora.
Pandora's Box is never really seen or mentioned in God of War II, but its role in corrupting the Gods sets the stage for the game, as fear of Kratos led to Zeus' attempt to kill him, in turn spurring Kratos to seek vengeance on the King of the Gods-and eventually, all of Olympus.
God of War III
Pandora's Box plays a central role in God of War III, where Kratos again seeks it in order to gain power. Along the way, he confronts and destroys most of the infected Olympians, causing the evils within them to be released into the world as disasters. Kratos eventually discovers the Box, placed within the Flame of Olympus, and is told by Athena to seek out Pandora, in order to calm the fires.
Eventually, Kratos succeeds in dispelling the Flame (sacrificing Pandora in the process), but finds the Box to be empty. This revelation only strengthened his rage and desire for vengeance on Zeus, and he eventually struck what seemed to be a fatal blow on the King of the Gods. However, Zeus released a ghost-like projection of himself from his body, which began attacking Kratos by forcing him to feel the fear and pain of his many victims, as well as his own, long-buried guilt over all of the terrible things he had done in his life.
As Zeus' spiritual image attacked Kratos, the Spartan withdrew into his own psyche, guided by the spirit of Pandora. After absolving himself of his sins, he was able to unlock the power Athena had told him to find, symbolized by his astral self opening Pandora's Box, and used it to destroy Zeus for good.
Shortly after Zeus' death, Athena revealed that she placed the "most powerful weapon in the world" in the box, the power of Hope, to counteract the evils in case it was opened again. The first time Kratos opened the box, Athena believed the power of Hope to remain inside, while Kratos drew from the evils. In truth, however, the goddess realized that Kratos had actually accessed Hope, while the evils corrupted the Gods. Until his confrontation with Zeus, Kratos had been unable to use the power, because it was trapped beneath his overwhelming hatred and guilt, but now that it was freed, she could reclaim it and use it to reshape the world. In response, however, Kratos impaled himself on the Blade of Olympus and released Hope to the world, completing the escape of the powers once held in Pandora's Box.
According to Athena and Hephaestus, Pandora's Box contains the evils of the world, created in the wake of the first war with the Titans. Exactly what this means is never truly explored, but this does not appear to encompass all of the world's flaws; ample amounts of anger, cruelty, and other negative traits are apparent in the series long before Kratos opens the box.
However, Athena claims that the evils within the box could destroy the world if left unchecked, implying that the powers within Pandora's Box may be extremely potent versions of natural negative traits, focused to unnaturally destructive levels by the widespread violence of the Titanomachy.
- Anger (Poseidon): Acts and fights Kratos in extreme anger and rage for his crimes, like the destruction of Atlantis. In a note left for his princess in his chamber, he also apologizes for making her the subject of his rage, which shows how he had been very angry during this period.
- Mockery/Arrogance/Pride (Hermes): Takes pride in his own speed and mocks and bullies Kratos about his speed and brutality.
- Pride/Deceit/Slander (Helios): Acts proud and later, when defeated, pleads to Kratos to spare his life; and tries to trick Kratos into entering the Flame of Olympus by lying to him.
- Gluttony/Sloth (Hera): Behaves in a lazy, unenthusiastic way and drinks alcohol casually. Also became obsessed with having Zeus' illegitimate children killing each other off in gladiator style fights.
- Fear/Obsession/Treachery (Zeus): Behaves in a paranoid manner, and becomes obsessed with killing Kratos for fear of betrayal. Also betrayed a lot of his family members
- Greed/Selfishness (Athena): Tries to usurp the power of Hope from Kratos in order to use it for herself against humanity.
- Hate/Rage (Hades): Hates Kratos in a very irrational way, perhaps for having killed his wife, Persephone. This hatred then grows when Kratos kills Hades' niece, Athena, and his brother, Poseidon.
- Lust/Vanity (Aphrodite): Controlled by carnal desires, she even helps Kratos only for pleasures with him. She also deems her husband, Hephaestus "Worthless" and constantly cheats on him with multiple men and women. However, these traits might not be from the plague and instead may be natural traits, since she is the goddess of sex and pleasure.
- Envy (Hercules): Full of jealousy and resentment for Kratos for the way they both did penance for the gods, but Kratos has more fame than he does, and wants to take the title of God of War for himself.
- Misery/Deceit (Hephaestus): Full of sadness and depression after Zeus tortured him and took Pandora away from him, then, in order to protect Pandora from Kratos, lied about helping Kratos in his quest to kill Zeus and then sent Kratos on a suicide mission to bring the Omphalos Stone from Tartarus (which still resided in Cronos' stomach) so Hepaestus could build Kratos a new weapon: the Nemesis Whip. However, Hephaestus tried to use the new weapon as a conduit of electricity to kill Kratos with his ring.
- Insanity/Hatred (Deimos): Attempts to kill Kratos even after being saved by him. Although this isn't confirmed, this evil, along with the torture from Thanatos and the feeling of having been abandoned by the brother, may have been what drove Deimos insane and even made his birth mark glow like fire, as he yells "I hate you, Kratos!" when beats Kratos to the ground.
- Insanity (Daedalus): a note is found that states Daedalus has lost all sanity trying to bring back his son from the dead.
- Hope (Kratos): Obtains the power to kill gods and has his eyes opened to the chaos he ended up causing.
- Hope (Pandora): Pandora tells Kratos that "As the fear in the gods rose, mine was replaced by hope". She was referring to the time that Kratos opened the box to kill Ares. It was this hope that helped her to endure the loss and the torture of her father and her prison in the Labyrinth until she was rescued by Kratos.
- Hope (Deimos): It is unknown if Deimos was actually affected by the opening of the box but, apparently, he was consumed by the evil hate. Curiously, however, when Kratos saved him for the second time in Ghost of Sparta, by preventing his fall from the Suicide Bluffs, he seemed to have recovered the faith and hope he had for his brother, Kratos was finally forgiven. Maybe, even unintentionally, Kratos transmitted part of the hope he had earned previously to his brother by pulling him back to land, extinguishing his hate. The excess of hope may have been what caused Deimos to attack Thanatos and save his brother during their battle, thus causing his death by the hands of the god.
- God of War III: Ultimate Edition was made available in a scaled replica of Pandora's Box.
- Pandora's Box, along with Olympian-forged weapons (such as the Blade of Olympus and the Gauntlet of Zeus), are the only known ways for a mortal to kill a god. Pandora's Box gives whoever opens it the powers to slay a god (along with other abilities, such as increasing their size dramatically).
- It is possible that since Pandora was created to extinguish the flames of Olympus and thus making Pandora's box reachable, Pandora was almost a "key" not only to the powers inside of it but what the powers do and how to use them, as she explains them to Kratos
- Pandora's Box's depiction in God of War shows the lid has visages of tormented souls on it. In God of War III, it was replaced with images of emaciated hands and horned demons.
- In mythology, the gods used the evils of Pandora's Box to punish humanity for Prometheus' crime, creating the first human female - Pandora, and ensuring that she would eventually open the box to bring about Man's downfall. In the game, the Evils are seen as a threat to both humanity and the Olympians, and thus are sealed to never again bring harm to the world; Furthermore, the background story also provided an origin for where the Evils came from - The Titanomachy, unlike the original myths, which never stated where they were created or how they came to be. In an ironic inversion of the original myths, it is a mortal (Kratos) who unleashes the Evils upon the Gods, rather than the other way around.
- Additionally, the leveling-up screen's background in God of War III contains designs found on the Box.
- In Greek mythology, Pandora's Box was actually a Greek storage vase known as a pithos. In Roman mythology however, it was a box. Furthermore, due to most people knowing it in the Roman myth, it was possibly made into a box and not a pithos in the game.
- The power from pandora's box should not be confused with kratos' god of war power.