|“||Deep within the Bog of the Forgotten, amidst choking vines and the stench of death, lies the hidden sanctuary of the Gorgon, Stheno. Many have journeyed to this place in an attempt to control their fate. All have found their destiny written in stone.||”|
Stheno is one of the three Gorgon Sisters. She appears only in the Bog of the Forgotten in God of War: Ascension's multiplayer. She is a giant gorgon and was queen of the Gorgon Temple before the reigns of her sisters.
Stheno in Greek mythology was the eldest of the Gorgons, vicious female monsters with brass hands, sharp fangs and "hair" made of living venomous snakes. The daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, she was born in the caverns beneath Mount Olympus. She and her sister Euryale were both immortal, and the third sister, Medusa, was mortal even though her image was immortalized in its hideousness by Athena. Of the three Gorgons, Stheno was known to be the most independent and ferocious, having killed more men than both of her sisters combined. In Greek mythology, she was transformed into a Gorgon because of standing with her sister Medusa, who was allegedly being raped by the sea god Poseidon in the Temple of Athena. Athena was furious with Medusa. As a punishment, Medusa was changed into a terrible monster, along with her sisters Stheno and Euryale.
God of War: Ascension
In the multiplayer stage of the Bog of the Forgotten, Stheno is first encased in stone in the middle of the swamp but can interact with the warriors of the four gods by unleashing her petrifying gaze onto those unlucky enough to find themselves standing before her.
A warrior must obtain a golden shield (the same one that Perseus had in God of War II) and reflect the dealt beam back at the creature, which will shatter the stone and free the beast, and additionally petrify enemy players near. The one who freed her possesses her and gains the ability to use the giant Gorgon's magic in battle to petrify and kill enemies within a certain radius.
Unlike Polyphemus, Stheno cannot be killed by any team. The only interaction a player can have with her is awakening her and possessing her to petrify other players. Due to this fact, her ultimate fate remains unknown, as it's never revealed if she actually breaks out of the temple structure around her and escapes the Bog of the Forgotten, or even who imprisoned her there in the first place.
Powers and Abilities
Stheno is a powerful gorgon. Like all of her kind, she has the power turn all who look at her to stone though she is a bit different. While other gorgons must keep their eyes on the target to petrify them, Stheno has to charge up her shot but it immediately petrifies whoever she looks at and kills them instantly. She also has the power to release an AOE style petrification as shown when she is released from her prison. It is not known if all Gorgons can eventually develop these abilities with time or if Stheno is unique among them.
- The introduction to the Bog stage confirms the giant Gorgon to be Stheno.
- Though Kratos does not face Stheno in the campaign, her presence as the Gorgon Queen during the time of Ascension tells she had died or given up her throne and was replaced by Medusa before God of War, probably during the events of Chains of Olympus.
- Stheno is far bigger than her other sisters and is the largest gorgon seen in the series. Her size might be accounted to Stheno as she is the eldest sister, and due to a snake's natural growth rate due to age.
- It is unknown to why Stheno is held captive in stone in her own sanctuary or why she is stopped from moving by a brick wall that appears to have been built around her.
- It's possible that, in order to become the Gorgon Queen in the place of Stheno, it was Medusa who petrified her in the Bog, since the reason Stheno is petrified and why Medusa assumed her place as the Queen in the Series were never revealed. If Medusa had enough power to do such thing, then it's assured that she would be respected by Euryale and the other gorgons and worshiped as their Queen.
- 'Stheno' in ancient Greek means 'strong', 'mighty', or 'forceful'.
- Stheno was probably going to appear in God of War III as 3D models of the character were made, but they did not make it to the final product. However, the concept of having the gorgon was later re-used in Ascension.
- The gaze of Stheno is an instant kill: if a warrior gets petrified by her, he'll die instantly, without the need of another one destroying his statue. This is different from the gazes of all the other gorgons, including the gorgon head seen in Multiplayer, which won't kill any being, just petrify them.
- Awakening Stheno three times grants the warrior the helmet of the armor of Medusa.