|“||The Oracle may have yet spoken truth. The Marked Warrior shall bring about the destruction of Olympus. Ares chose poorly that day. He took your brother when it should have been you. None of that matters now. Nothing you do is of your own choosing.||”|
In Greek mythology, Thánatos (in Greek, Θάνατος – "Death") was the daemon personification of death. He was a minor figure in Greek mythology, often referred to but rarely appearing in person. His name is transliterated in Latin as Thanatus, but his equivalent in Roman mythology is Mors or Letus/Letum, and he is sometimes identified erroneously with Orcus (Orcus himself had a Greek equivalent in the form of Horkos (Όρκος - "Oath"), God of the Oath).
In God of War Series
God of War: Ascension
Thanatos isn't mentioned in the game itself, but it's curious to notice that, for being a Primordial god, it is very likely that he participated in their war, which was mentioned at the intro of the game.
The war was so vicious that almost all of the Primordials died during it, and Thanatos was one of its few survivors, which is also a proof of the great strength and power he possesses, even against other Gods. It is possible that, since many Gods were dying in the war and he is the God of Death, he was getting stronger at each time another God perished.
In the Multiplayer, when a warrior respawns after death, the announcer may sometimes say "Thanatos will have to wait".
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Thanatos is described as an ancient and fearsome God, who predates the cycle of life and death, and is the reaper of all souls. He imprisoned Deimos, who is believed to be the Marked Warrior by Zeus, Ares, and Athena. Zeus sent the siblings to capture him and hide the Spartan where he wouldn't be found.
After Kratos, Deimos' brother and the real Marked Warrior, killed Ares and became the new God of War, he was summoned by his mother Callisto, who told him his brother was alive. This started Kratos' quest to find his brother.
Kratos' search for his brother led him to realize where Deimos was imprisoned. At one point of the journey, Thanatos uses a corpse as a medium, warning Kratos to not pursue his path any further. The Spartan eventually confronts and kills Thanatos' daughter, Erinys.
Finally, Kratos makes his way into the Domain of Death, where Deimos angrily attacks Kratos for failing to save him from Thanatos all those years ago. In the final moment of the battle between Kratos and Deimos, Thanatos appears, snatching Deimos from behind, and angrily reminding Kratos that he had killed Erinys and that he would 'suffer for it'.
Thanatos flies down with Deimos to Suicide Bluffs (the location of Kratos's attempted suicide); Kratos follows behind, determined not to lose Deimos again. As Kratos arrives, Deimos attempts to resist the God of Death, but is ultimately overpowered by Thanatos and knocked over the edge. Kratos rescues Deimos at the very last minute, finally making peace with his brother, and the two decide to jointly confront Thanatos.
Thanatos, seeing the ashes of his wife and daughter fastened to Kratos' skin, realized that the true "Marked Warrior," the warrior prophesized to destroy Olympus, was not Deimos, but Kratos. He then remarks that Ares chose poorly for not taking Kratos as his victim. Thanatos then suggests to Kratos that he was "nothing but a pawn in a game he doesn't know is being played". Both brothers ignore his mockeries and begin to fight the God of Death.
During the battle, Thanatos fights Kratos and Deimos using his blade, and takes the form of a gigantic winged black dragon-like monster, similar to Erinys. In the heat of the battle, Deimos saves Kratos from Thanatos' grip, only to be smashed into the rocks and killed. A furious Kratos attacks Thanatos, destroying his monstrous thick armor. Thanatos, mortally wounded, reverts to his humanoid form.
With Thanatos weakened, Kratos beats him down without mercy, only to be met with taunts. Kratos then grabs Thanatos' cracked chest, opens it further, and impales him with his blades, ending his life. Before he perishes, Thanatos taunts Kratos one final time by giving him a devilish grin before exploding into dust and light.
Later on, the mysterious Grave Digger revealed to Kratos he had become "Death, the destroyer of worlds."
As the embodiment of Death, Thanatos has a sinister look. In his humanoid form, he looks like a tall and muscular man with pale grayish skin which has long black hair and completely white eyes. His hands are huge compared to his size with claws-like fingers and like his daughter is barefoot. Like her, he also can let grow raven-like wings on his back. Thanatos also wears a black worn-out robe and golden bracelet around his left biceps, and almost always carries his blade with him. In his second form, Thanatos takes a form a huge dragon-like horned monster with raven wings having steel-gray colored armored skin.
Thanatos seems to be a greatly dissociative being, who likes his own peace and very rarely leaves his realm or cares about other gods. He also seems to be cruel and sadistic, as he tortures Deimos for years both physically and mentally, which he seems to enjoy.
However, Thanatos has isn't completely evil, as he deeply cares for his daughter Erynis. He becomes considerably angry when Kratos kills her, and tries to kill his brother Deimos to make Kratos suffer. Before this occurs, Thanatos also possesses a corpse in order to offer a warning to Kratos, indicating he would prefer to maintain the status quo rather than invite confrontation.
As a Primordial entity, Thanatos looks down on the Olympian Gods, having no respect towards them. He openly mocks that Ares choose the wrong marked one, and he seems to have no fear of the fall Olympus. Instead, his fear seems to be any intrusion into the domain, which he sees as a threat to his power. His arrogant belief that he can not be defeated ultimately proves his undoing, as it leads him to greatly underestimate the threat that Kratos represents. Even before dying, Thanatos shows no fear and only taunts Kratos to his very end.
Powers and Abilities
Being an entity older than the Olympians themselves, and the fact that the very few gods or mortals who dare to enter his domain never come back, Thanatos is a very powerful being. His great power was enough to see him through the war of the Primordials. He was likely responsible for the deaths of many Primordial gods which is an incredible demonstration of the fact he is strong enough to fight and kill other gods and his kind.
- Superhuman Strength: Thanatos as a Primordial God and one of the oldest and strongest among them, has an immense amount of strength enough to kill another Primordials or Gods. He proves himself to be physically on par with Kratos during a battle with him and Deimos where he seemingly overpowers them.
- Superhuman Durability: Thanatos, as a God of Death, is extremely durable as one of the survivors from the war of Primordials, with only a single scar on his chest. He is able to withstand punishment from both Kratos and Deimos seemingly unfazed. Thanatos is also shown to be very resistant against divine weapons as he was impaled on his own blade but took it out completely unharmed and seemingly only annoyed. Only after Kratos impales his heart with his blades filled by Thera Bane was finally enough to destroy him.
- Death-Force Manipulation: As a God of Death, Thanatos has primary authority and represented the death itself, he can kill or manipulates death forces to his will. His very existence allows everyone to die.
- Immortality: As a Primordial God, Thanatos is immortal and can live forever. He does not age and is unaffected by time or succumbing to mortal frailty an, he could not be killed by earthly weapons; only divine forces and other gods, Titans or Primordials can kill him.
- Possession: Thanatos is capable of manipulating dead bodies and uses them as the medium as he did during Kratos journey to war him to leave his goal to save his brother fro his domain.
- Superhuman Speed: Despite his size, Thanatos is very mobile and is able to keep up with both Kratos and Deimos speed in combat. with his strength is able to leap great distance.
- Superhuman Stamina: As a God, Thanatos has unlimited stamina and can remain in battles for very long periods without tiring.
- Flight: Thanatos can reveal raven-like wings from his back which allow him to fly. In his second form are those wings much larger and are visible all the time.
- Divine Light: Thanatos can emit dazzling light to stun and dazzle his opponents.
- Master Combatant: Thanatos has proven to be a very skilled and formidable combatant as he defeats another Primordials during their war at the beginning of time and survived. He was even able to keep with Kratos and Deimos, both being extremely skilled and powerful combatants on their own, losing only due to their fraternal cooperation. In fights, he prefers to use a long curved blade, which he uses with deadly proficiency.
- Shapeshifting: Thanatos can transform into a large powerful armored dragon-like beast which grand him other abilities.
- Enchanted Strength: His strength is increased to point when he can shake to ground itself, tear apart cliffs and kill Deimos in two strikes.
- Enchanted Durability: His skin becomes seemingly invulnerable and can be only injured via Thera's Bane.
- Divine Blast: In this form, Thanatos can release blast similar to that Erinys from his mouth albeit much larger and powerful as the mere reflection of this attack is strong enough to temporarily knock even Thanatos himself.
- At the end of the Rage of Sparta soundtrack, Thanatos' name, or "death" in the English translation, is chanted by the choir repeatedly, followed by "Kratos! Deimos!" and the Greek words for "The end has come". This was foreshadowing for Ghost of Sparta.
- Thanatos is the second son of Erebus and Nyx Kratos killed, the first being Charon.
- In Hesiod's Theogony, it is said that the Moirai (Fates) are the sisters of Thanatos, Charon, and Hypnos.
- Thanatos along with his sisters Hemera, Clotho, Lahkesis, and Atropos and brothers Hypnos, Charon and Aether are cousins of the Titans, Ouranos, and Typhon since Nyx and Gaia are sisters.
- When Thanatos turns into a giant monster, his head resembles The Skull of Keres.
- He seems to have a sour disposition towards Ares, as he called him "unwise", and even claimed that Ares chose poorly the day Deimos was taken. Despite this, Ares seems to have had the strongest relationship with Thanatos than any other god. Thanatos agrees to take Deimos from Ares, implying Ares is willing to enter the Domain of Death and the Skull of Keres is located in the Temple of Ares.
- In the in-game cinematics, his eyes are pale, whereas during gameplay, they are not.
- There may have been a reference to Thanatos in God of War III, when Kratos faces Zeus and tells him that "The hands of death could not defeat me." Although, he also could be referring to the events in the second game, where he escapes being dragged into the underworld, or possibly both.
- In Greek mythology, Thanatos had no children.
- At the end of God of War II, Kratos proclaims to Gaia, that both Ares and Athena were dead. He never mentioned the death of Thanatos. This may imply that Thanatos didn't choose sides during the Great War, so his death shouldn't make a difference or maybe because he is not an Olympian.
- Thanatos is the first one in the series who mentioned the Sisters of Fate and also the first who planned to defy them as he proclaims to Kratos that the Fates wouldn't hold him from killing him. Additionally, this foreshadows the end of the game.
- After Kratos stabs Thanatos' chest, he had made a "girly" scream or possibly an error or the sound of the explosion.
- It is possible that Thanatos had a human lover, who gave birth to his daughter, Erinys. Although he may have reproduced asexually.
- Kratos reflected Thanatos' attack, although he does not possess the Golden Fleece or the Sun Shield. It is possible that the beam is weak enough to get reflected by the Blades of Athena or added at Kratos' godly powers.
- The Blade of Thanatos is available for download on the PSN store. This sword focuses on ranged attacks, instead of melee ones.
- Despite his death, no consequence occurred on the mortals.
- It's possible that Kratos assimilated Thanatos's powers and essence upon killing him, which would explain the enigmatic claim that he had become Death itself. Said power would also have been absorbed into the Blade of Olympus after his death at the hands of Zeus, explaining why nothing happened after Kratos's downfall as a God in II.