|“||Are you watching me now, Sisters? Give me a sign! Am I, the great Perseus, to kill this fallen God to receive an audience with you? Will that allow me to bring my love back from the grasp of Hades himself!? If not, then at least I can bathe in the glory of being the one who brought down the mighty Kratos. The Slayer of Gods. Although I hardly think a harpy's fool such as yourself deserves such praise.||”|
In Greek myth, Perseus was the famous hero who killed the Gorgon, Medusa. Born a son of Zeus and a mortal woman, Danae, he was commonly said to have accomplished this feat with a variety of magical items lent to him by the gods, including a helmet of invisibility, the winged sandals of Hermes, a magical sword, a special pouch to store Medusa's head, and a reflective shield that allowed him to find and kill the Gorgon without actually looking at her and turning to stone. On his way back to save his mother from the advances of a king named Polydectes, he found Andromeda chained up on some rocks. She explained to him that she is the daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopoeia of Aethiopia. When her mother boasted that her beauty surpassed that of the Nereids, the sea nymphs, they complained to Poseidon, and, as punishment, he sent the sea monster Ketos (Cetus) to ravage the land of Aethiopia. Desperate to save his kingdom, Cepheus consulted an oracle who decreed that only through sacrificing his daughter will the kingdom be spared. Thus, Andromeda was left to be eaten by Ketos. Perseus used Medusa's head to turn Ketos to stone and took Andromeda as his wife after petrifying her uncle Phineus following a quarrel. He then used the Gorgon's head again to turn Polydectes and his court into stone, thus saving his mother. Together, Perseus and Andromeda had nine children: seven sons and two daughters. One of their sons, named Electryon, had a daughter named Alcmene who would become the mother of Hercules, through Zeus.
In God of War
Perseus' role in the God of War series creates a plothole in the series' mythology. Perseus is famous in Greek mythology for having slain the gorgon Medusa. However, in the first God of War game, it is Kratos who kills the Gorgon, thus leaving unclear what made Perseus a hero in the game's universe.
Beyond this, Perseus only appears in God of War II. Some time prior to the game, Perseus embarked on a journey to the Island of Creation to meet the Sisters of Fate and change his destiny so that he could bring "his loved one" back to life. However, at some point he became trapped in a large bathing house above the Hall of Atropos. When Kratos reaches the hall, Perseus calls to him for assistance, though the Spartan is unable to reach him immediately.
Eventually, Kratos reaches the bathing house where Perseus is trapped and shuts the door, unknowingly trapping himself inside with Perseus. Having gone somewhat mad after being trapped for a long time in that room, Perseus assumes the Sisters are trying to test him and attempts to kill Kratos using his magic sword and helmet of invisibility.
Nonetheless, Kratos manages to smash Perseus' helmet and stabs him with his own sword. He then kills his half-brother, by throwing him through a wall to impale him on a hook. By throwing Perseus through the wall, he also manages to make his way out of the bathing house to continue his quest.
Powers and Abilities
Being a demigod, Perseus possesses supernatural strength and agility. He also uses a large variety of items given to him by various Gods. In the first part of the battle, he uses Hades' Helm to turn invisible. While Kratos can't see him, he then throws projectiles at Kratos with his sling. After Kratos destroys the helmet, Perseus still has his sword and shield. After Kratos breaks his sword, he then uses the shield to reflect the light of the sun, which can then blind Kratos momentarily, leaving him open to attacks.
As many who traveled to the Island of Creation, Perseus was desperate to change his fate, in his case to save his loved one. After his entrapment in the Hall of Atropos, Perseus goes mad but is still able to produce rational thoughts as before he attacks Kratos he reasons with himself, asking the question what the presence of Kratos means.
While the circumstances of Andromeda's death aren't explained in the game, Perseus seems to feel entitled to her affections despite only having met her for the first time on the day of her sacrifice. This shows that his relationship with Andromeda was more a case of obsessive love than a genuine relationship between the two.
As most heroes in the God of War series, Perseus is very confident in his own skill and quickly underestimates the abilities of Kratos. He also doesn't believe that Kratos should have been granted the chance to kill Ares as he finds this too much praise for the Spartan. However, in his fight with Kratos, he saw the Spartan's strength and realized his error in his judgment.
- Perseus's appearance in this game is modeled after his voice actor, Harry Hamlin, who had previously portrayed the character in the 1981 Clash of the Titans film.
- Despite their lengthy encounter, Kratos never says a single word to Perseus which is odd as he usually speaks to half-siblings before engaging them in battle.
- The most likely explanation, is that since Kratos doesn't know that Zeus is his father he also doesn't know that Perseus is his half-brother.
- It could possible he simply had nothing to say to Perseus and wanted him to get out of the way.
- It is unknown what Perseus is famous for in the God of War universe as Kratos was the one who killed Medusa, rather than Perseus as mythology stated.
- It was speculated that he killed the gorgon Stheno, as she did not appear in the main plot of any God of War game. However, in the Multiplayer mode of God of War: Ascension, Stheno is shown to have been imprisoned in stone in the Bog of the Forgotten.
- Another idea could be that while he killed a different gorgon, he didn't reach Andromeda in time and she was killed by Ketos. In vengeance, Perseus killed Ketos (which is how he got his fame) and then Perseus travelled to the Sisters of Fates in order to save Andromeda.
- Medusa's death in the hands of Kratos could have greatly altered Perseus' destiny. In Greek Mythology, he sought to kill Medusa and use her gaze to kill the sea monster named Ketos and save princess Andromeda. However, since Medusa's head had already been taken by Kratos, Andromeda could not be saved and the Ketos killed her, so he went to find the Sisters of Fate and bring her back to life. Before his fight with Kratos he even says: "Will that allow me to bring my love back from the grasp of Hades himself?"
- A second hypothesis is that Perseus indeed killed Medusa and took her head prior to the events of God of War. Medusa as fought by Kratos could have been summoned from the Underworld during the Siege of Athens. This would make sense as Ares' army mostly consists of the undead. It is possible that they struck a deal: her life for her assistance. This would also imply that Andromeda died at a later point and Perseus wanted to rectify that.
- This could also explain why Perseus wasn't hateful of Kratos. As Kratos would be the reason that he lost Andromeda in the first place, his actions would be driven by hate, instead of pride and ambition. He fought Kratos for the honor of killing the fallen God of War or to win the favor of the Fates rather than out of revenge.
- Perseus's quest to rescue Andromeda from Hades's grasp serves as a parallel to Orpheus's quest to rescue Eurydice from the underworld. Both ended up failing on their quests: Perseus after being killed by Kratos, and Orpheus after looking back at Eurydice just before she could re-enter the world of the living.
- Due to Kratos using the power of the Sisters of Fate to return in time to the moment Zeus killed him, it's possible that Perseus, as well as everyone else killed by Kratos after this moment, are alive due to changing the timeline.