Since the announcement of God of War: Ragnarok, I have revisited the GoW (2018) and begun speculating about the story going forward. Let's start with a common theory.
Thor will kill Kratos early in the story:
Its almost a certainty Thor and Kratos will face off in the next game, especially after the secret ending of GoW (2018). I don't think anybody doubts that Kratos could take on Thor, but after the death of Baldur and his sons, he will be particularly furious. I believe Thor will overpower and kill Kratos, and kidnap Atreus.
Like I said this isn't exactly a new theory, a lot of people have suggested that Kratos will die, it is also foreshadowed on the mural at the end of GoW (2018). But many have suggested that Kratos will survive by being sent to Valhalla, but seeing as Odin rules over Valhalla, I doubt this would be the case. Instead, I think Kratos will be brought to Folkvangr, by Freya.
What is Folkvangr?
In Norse Mythology, Folkvangr is a counterpart to Valhalla, a place ruled by Freya where warriors go when they die. There was no mention of Folkvangr in the previous game, so I believe that Freya creates it at some point after Baldur's death. We know from Mimir that she was looking to reclaim her Valkyrie powers. I believe this is so she could raise an army of fallen warriors to rival Valhalla.
Why bring Kratos here if they're enemies?
I think Freya will broaden her goal to take vengeance on Kratos by also planning to destroy the Aesir. We know Freya believes in Ragnarok and that she feared it, but this is likely because she knew Ragnarok would only commence upon the death of Baldur. I believe now that Baldur is dead, Freya will will work towards Ragnarok, seeing it as the only way to kill Odin.
This is where Kratos comes in. Freya knows Kratos has already shown that he has the power to fast forward the events of Ragnarok. I think she will spare Kratos by bringing him to Folkvangr to enslave him, using him as a pawn to ensure that Ragnarok happens. This could harken back to how Athena used him to destroy Olympus.
Ok, but why would Thor kidnap Atreus?
We know that it is part of Odin's plan to bring Atreus to Asgard. Both Baldur and Modi tried to kidnap him, and after Magni is killed, Modi ominously says that Atreus is going to be his new brother. As the last descendent of the Giants in Midgard, perhaps Odin believes that Atreus can help Thor stop Ragnarok, which leads me on to my next theory:
Thor will be a playable character.
I know suggesting playable characters other than Kratos is a controversial topic, but I believe playing as Thor in GoW: Ragnarok could be very possible. Many of the Norse tales involve Thor and Loki and their exploits together across the nine realms. Many of these were stories were creatively rewritten in GoW (2018) not to include Loki seeing as he hasn't even met Thor and the other gods yet at that point in the story.
I believe that playing as Thor would work for many reasons. Atreus would most likely act as a companion to Thor similarly to how he functioned in GoW (2018). With both characters respective hatred of each other's kind, we can assume their relationship would be very… uneasy This could provide in an interesting contrast to Atreus' relationship with Kratos, and would be faithful to their tense relationship in mythology.
It would also grant an interesting perspective on Asgard and the other gods. We can assume that by the time Kratos gets to Asgard, he will be there to kill the other gods. If we explore Asgard with Thor and Atreus, it will be more impactful when we return as Kratos to destroy it.
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