I picked up the most recent God of War at the start of lockdown to give me something to do while I stayed with my partner; a friend of mine did some work on the game and I'd heard good things about the franchise. I also know a bit about Norse mythology due to an incident with a library in my youth.
Lucky me, my partner is content to sit and watch people play games, so I booted up God of War one afternoon and away we went on our journey with Kratos and Boy into the Norselands. I immediately recognised Baldur for who he was, and after enjoying the incredible first fight, told my partner the story of Baldur I learned from myth books; how his mother made everything in all the realms promise not to harm him, except for a sprig of mistletoe which she didn't think would ever bother him, and how Loki, the eternal Norse prankster, had carved the mistletoe into a dart that he helped the blind god Hod throw at Baldur and kill him during a feast. The mistletoe arrows Sindri gave Atreus later in the game caused me to immediately point and cry "See? I told you! Mistletoe!"
A lot of other stories and lore in the game are edited versions of legends that involve Loki, too, and I delighted in telling her about Brok and Eitri, how Loki caused Mjolnir's hammer to be so short, and the birth of Sleipnir among other things. It's rare I get to show off that kind of knowledge, so I really enjoyed myself joining in with Atreus, and later Mimir, as they told the tales of the Norse mythic cycles.
This lead us both, about halfway through the game, to wonder: "Where's Loki in this canon, anyway?"
Suffice to say the revelation blew me out of my seat. I'd been talking about Loki for most of the game, in a variety of terms, and there he'd been, right in front of me.
I loved playing God of War, not just for its wonderful story and satisfying gameplay, but for the chance it gave me to play storyteller to my partner, and engage with the story on a personal level. I had known, like Faye, parts of Kratos' and Atreus' journey, and being able to enrich my gameplay with my own knowledge was an experience I've never had in any game before.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you all continue to enjoy God of War. I certainly will!
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