Athena is the first goddess of Wisdom, and the deuteragonist of the God of War series, mostly appearing as an ally of Kratos.
Athena (pronounced /əˈθiːnə/) or Athene (/əˈθiːniː/; Attic: Ἀθηνᾶ, Athēnā;), also referred to as Pallas Athena (Παλλάς Αθηνά; pronounced /ˈpæləs/), is the goddess of civilization, wisdom, strength, strategy, craft, justice, and skill in Greek mythology. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and the goddess of heroic endeavor. She is the virgin patron of Athens. The Athenians built the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens, in her honor (Athena Parthenos). In Roman Mythology, Athena was referred to as Minerva.
In the city of Sparta, two brothers, Kratos and Deimos, trained in the hopes of one day joining the ranks of the great Spartan army. Interrupted by the gods Ares and Athena, who were sent to abduct Deimos because of his unusual birthmarks, Kratos unsuccessfully attempted to foil his brother's abduction. As Kratos charged Ares, the god of war smacked Kratos' across his face, leaving an open wound over his right eye. Ares lifted his sword in order to kill the child, but saw Athena force him to relent. As Ares took Deimos with him, Athena quickly apologized to Kratos and followed, leaving the boy distraught and injured.
Throughout the series, Athena served as Kratos' main ally. She watched over him, and offered guidance and protection where needed. After Ares tricked Kratos into murdering his family, Athena became Kratos' refuge. In exchange for years of service, she promised to purify him of his past crimes. It was she who often told Kratos of the tasks the gods wanted him to perform, frequently speaking with the Ghost of Sparta through statues in her own image. After witnessing the Temple of Helios, Kratos is greeted by Athena through one of her statues and informs him that Helios has been kidnapped, then tasking Kratos to find the Sun God. Without the light of Helios to shine down on the world nothing would stop Morpheus from seizing permanent control as the gods were slowly falling into a deep slumber. Shortly after meeting with Kratos, Athena herself succumbed to the power of Morpheus and joined the other gods in slumber.
At the completion of his quest Kratos is seen riding Helios' Chariot back into the sky. Weak from his battles he falls unconscious from the Chariot but is saved by a mysterious force before he hits the ground. Athena and Helios are then seen approaching Kratos, proclaiming his service to the gods while simultaneously disarming him of the Gauntlet of Zeus and the Sun Shield. As the pair depart for Mount Olympus Helios questions Athena whether they should help further, however Athena declines and states "He'll live. They must."
Out of utter hatred and jealousy towards Athena, Ares summoned monsters from the Underworld and attacked the city of Athens to prove his superiority over her to Zeus. Since Zeus had forbidden the gods from battling each other directly, Ares himself led the attack on Athens, thinking that nothing short of a fellow Olympian could hope to stop him. Athena and the other gods sought to empower Kratos to save Athens and put an end to Ares' rampage once and for all. She guides him throughout the game to Pandora's Box. After the death of Ares, she reveals that Kratos is forgiven of his sins, but the gods never agreed to relieve him of his nightmares; no mortal or god could ever forget the terrible things he had done. With all hope lost, Kratos felt abandoned and flung himself from the Suicide Bluffs overlooking the Aegean Sea, believing death was his only escape from his madness. However, Athena saved Kratos from falling to his death.
The gods had not abandoned Kratos at all. Athena gave Kratos the throne of Ares and the title of God of War. She also granted him the Blades of Athena to replace the Blades of Chaos given to him (and taken away) by Ares.
As Kratos made his way to the Ambrosia once again, Athena tried to warn him about the many dangers on the path to the Ambrosia. Kratos simply shrugged off her warnings however, and moved on. Kratos later encountered her again, and was told by the Goddess that it is now the dead he must fear. Further onwards, Kratos found the dead Spartan soldiers who he had abandoned many years ago. They returned from the dead, ready to fight Kratos and kill him in anger and vengeance. After the events of God of War, Kratos set out on a journey to find his mother, an act which Athena tried to prevent. After the two debated on whether or not Kratos should abandon this quest, soldiers of Triton attacked the ship. After Kratos defeated Callisto in battle, he proclaimed to Athena the Gods lied to him about his brother. After gaining no response to his proclamations, Athena finally answered, trying to warn Kratos about many attempting to stop him. Enraged, Kratos destroyed the statue which Athena used to communicate with him. After the death of both Deimos and Thanatos, Athena came out of a portal, and attempted to empower Kratos to full Godhood. Kratos refused however, and swore the Gods would pay for the pain they had caused. After Kratos left for Olympus, Athena begged for his forgiveness, even going so far as to silently acknowledge him as her brother.
|“||Enough, Kratos! With every city you destroy, the wrath of Olympus grows, soon I will no longer be able to protect you.||”|
Unfortunately, Kratos was a far more ruthless God of War than Ares ever was. Shunned by his fellow gods, and angry towards them for not ridding him of his nightmares, he turned to his Spartan army. Together, they began conquering all of Greece. Athena warned Kratos that if he did not stop his path of destruction, the wrath of Olympus would grow ever stronger and she would not be able to protect him. Kratos, disbelieving Athena, turned his back on her and went to the island of Rhodes where his Spartan army lay siege. Athena was left with no other choice but to help rid Olympus of Kratos.
As a colossal god, Kratos tore apart the city of Rhodes until an eagle flew over him, draining much of his godly power and shrinking him down to mortal size. Kratos believed it was Athena’s act of defiance against Kratos, until it was actually revealed to be the King of the Gods himself – Zeus.
During Kratos’ journey through the Island of Creation, he came upon the Garden of the Gods, where a golden statue of Athena warned him not to listen to Gaia or the Titans (this warning would later prove to be a reality during the events of God of War III). She explained to Kratos that there were more important things besides seeking revenge and that Zeus did what he had to in order to protect Olympus. The King of the Gods did in fact fear Kratos. However, Kratos ignored the warning and destroyed the statue, continuing on his quest to the Sisters of Fate.
Athena's death.Added by Stan AlexandruThe warnings of Athena did not move Kratos, and he continued his path of vengeance until he faced Zeus once again. Taking the Blade of Olympus, Kratos stabbed Zeus with it repeatedly until Athena intervened. Angered by her interference, Kratos pushed her aside and struck at the fleeing Zeus. Athena threw herself in front of Zeus before he could be stabbed, and fell by Kratos’ hand. Saddened by what he had done, Kratos asked Athena why she would sacrifice herself. Athena replied that Zeus must live so that Olympus could prevail. She also revealed that Kratos was the child of Zeus, compelled to destroy his father just as Zeus had done to Cronos. Sickened by this very fact and more vengeful than ever, Kratos claimed he had no father, leaving Athena to die in a spectacular burst of green light. The time of Olympus would come to an end.
|“||I see truths where I did not before...||”|
After falling from Gaia's back during the attack on Mount Olympus, Kratos wound up in the River Styx that lead him into the Underworld. There, Athena, now in a ghost-like state, appeared to Kratos, giving him the Blades of Exile and telling him that in order for him to defeat Zeus, he had to venture back up the mountain and extinguish The Flame of Olympus, which he would find on the other side of Hera's Garden. Athena also informed Kratos about Pandora's Box once he reached the Flame. When a skeptical Kratos inquired as to her sudden change in heart, Athena explained her death had brought about a change in her, an ascension to a level beyond that of the Gods, and how she understood more in this form than she did in the past. She stated Zeus' death was necessary if humanity were ever to be freed, and would aid Kratos throughout his quest.
Athena aiding Kratos.Added by GreyhemAfter Kratos succeeded in killing Zeus, Athena stated it was time mankind heard her message and insisted that Kratos gave the powers of the Box back to her. Kratos however, sneered at her sentiments, citing the chaos ravaging the world and the fact that Pandora's Box was empty. Confused at first, Athena then realized that when Kratos opened the box to defeat Ares, it unleashed all the evils Zeus captured and infected the gods. Instead of drawing on the evil powers within the box as she had once thought, Kratos had in fact acquired the power of Hope, the power that Athena herself had sealed in the box, should it ever be opened again. During all this time however, Kratos had this power buried underneath all his anger, sorrow, and guilt, thus shielding it from everyone, including himself.
Athena insisted again upon Kratos returning the power of Hope to her, to have her restore the world and rule it as the new Queen of Olympus. Kratos instead decided to impale himself with the Blade of Olympus, thereby releasing Hope to mankind. A horrified Athena exclaimed mankind would not know what to do with such power, before expressing her disappointment in Kratos. Then, after having removed the blade from his chest, she vanished, leaving Kratos in a puddle of blood. It is widely assumed that Athena was infected with the evil of Greed, although it was not noticeable until after her death.
Of all the gods on Mount Olympus in the God of War series, Athena is arguably the least selfish and is in fact, very noble. As displayed not only by her deep love for her people and her horror of Ares' siege on Athens, but her deep concern and love for the rest of humanity - as in God of War III she states that she intends to "liberate" mankind with the power of hope. She also is seen as loving her family - particularly her father Zeus deeply, even sacrificing her own life to save him, although it's possible that she only did so to save the world, as the death of Zeus would mean the death of Olympus, and thus the destruction of the entire world. She even cares greatly for Kratos - elevating him as a god, shielding him from Olympus' wrath, and guiding him on his quest, remaining his closest ally in all of the games. This is possibly due to her knowledge that Kratos is her brother. But in God of War III, her motives have somewhat changed. For some reason, she now desires the death of Zeus and motivates Kratos's quest for vengeance. It is possible she was affected by the evil Greed when Kratos opened Pandora's Box, changing her motives for personal gain. She also claims to have a message for humanity. It is unknown what she ultimately had in mind, but it seems that she wished the destruction of the Olympians so she can rebuild the world and rule mankind as the sole all-powerful god. Furthermore, according to Erin Torpey, Athena's voice actress for God of War III, she considers Athena as "trying to do some good to the world, but ultimately wants to take it over," further lending to the possibility that she is not as benevolent as she presents herself to be.
Athena was very devoted to protecting Olympus and her father, Zeus. She was favored by Zeus among the rest of his children, igniting the jealousy of her brother, Ares. In both God of War and God of War II, it is noted that Athena cares very much for Kratos (possibly because she already knew Kratos is her brother). Kratos was shown to care about her to a degree, since he was saddened by the fact that he killed her when he tried to kill Zeus. In contrast, Zeus showed no emotion over her death, despite favoring Athena -although he had already been corrupted by the evils of Pandora's Box by this point, and his fear of Kratos may have overshadowed any grief for his daughter.
After her death, something changed Athena. She became devoted to the destruction of Zeus and overthrowing the Olympian order, becoming Kratos' main ally once more, eventually fulfilling the prophecy that he would overthrow Olympus. After Zeus' death, she revealed she intended to drive the world into chaos and rebuild it with the power of Hope.
As a goddess, Athena possessed numerous powers and was able to appear in many forms and was invincible to certain forms of attack. Like all other gods, she was immortal and very powerful, only able to be killed by the power of the Blade of Olympus. She granted Kratos the Rage of the Gods in God of War to use to destroy his enemies. She bears two short swords on her back, which she used to stop Kratos from killing Zeus with the Blade of Olympus. She also had the power to communicate through various statue depictions of herself, usually doing so to guide Kratos.
After her death by Kratos' hand, Athena returned as a mysterious specter made of translucent green light. She retained the ability to communicate with Kratos, although without the need for a physical medium, suggesting some form of telepathy. She also displayed the new ability to empower objects, transforming the ruined Blades of Athena into the Blades of Exile. Additionally, Athena's "ghost" could apparently become tangible and intangible at will, passing through Kratos at one point yet grabbing his weapons as she did so.
Despite this, it appears that Athena can still be injured in her new form. When Kratos lifted the Blade of Olympus against her, she assumed that he was going to strike her down again, implying that the Blade, at least, can still harm, if not kill her.
Athena also claims that the power of Hope is "hers". If this is the case then Athena is incredibly more powerful than most other Gods as the power of Hope grants Kratos the strength to kill many Gods, including Ares and Zeus. It is far more likely that she merely harnessed the already existing power of Hope, and feels a sense of ownership due to this.
- In God of War and God of War II, Athena is voiced by Carole Ruggier, who also voiced Athena in the video game Age of Mythology.
- In Chains of Olympus, Ghost of Sparta and God of War III, she is voiced by Erin Torpey.
- In God of War II, one of the Bonus Costumes has the player look like Athena.
- She is the only goddess that plays a major role in all of the games.
- With her death, both the original god and goddess of war have died.
- Athena's weapon of choice are 2 swords.
- The result of Athena's death was the loss of wisdom for all people. However, as she was associated with wisdom, but not the source of it, it is considered an abstract concept. It did not imply mortals suddenly becoming unwise or foolish because of her demise.
- Athena's sacrifice for Zeus has an ironic twist in Greek Mythology. When Athena's mother, the Titaness Metis, was pregnant, Zeus attempted to kill them both out of fear that the child would be the prophesized son to overthrow him.
- Athena's death in God of War II is very reminiscent of Lysandra and Calliope's, since Kratos killed both his family, and Athena, by accident.