In Greek Mythology, Zeus (Ζεύς) was the king of the Gods,all of the other gods were daughters and sons,ruler of Mount Olympus, and god of the sky and lightning. His symbols were the Thunderbolt, Eagle, Bull, Serpent, and Oak Tree. Zeus was the child of the Titans Cronos and Rhea, and the youngest but strongest to all his siblings. It was Zeus who led his brothers and sisters into battle against the Titans, claiming the throne of his father and banishing the Titans to Tartarus. He then married his sister Hera, goddess of women and marriage. Zeus was well known for his erotic escapades with beautiful mortal women, resulting in many godly and heroic offspring, including Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen and Minos. With Hera, Zeus fathered Ares, Hebe, Eris, and Hephaestus. His Roman equivalent is Iuppiter, commonly known for its Anglicized form, Jupiter.
It was foretold that Cronos would someday be overthrown by his children. To prevent this prophecy from becoming true, the mighty Titan swallowed his children, imprisoning them within his belly. Standing on the Summit of Sacrifice, Rhea, distressed by the loss of her children, saved her last child, Zeus, by tricking Cronos into swallowing a stone wrapped in cloth. She summoned an eagle to take Zeus to an island far away from the watchful eyes of Cronos. It was on this island that Gaia, mother of the Titans, would raise him and nurture his desire to free his brothers and sisters, overthrowing Cronos and becoming King of The Gods.
Zeus during The Great WarAdded by Kratos Jr.After freeing his brothers and sisters, Zeus declared war on the Titans, consumed with feelings of revenge. Betraying Gaia, the very Titan who had raised him, he waged war on all the Titans for the sins of only one. The new rulers of the world, the Gods, calling themselves Olympians, fought against their predecessors with great ferocity. The battle between the Olympians and the Titans formed the landscape of the mortal world, shaking the earth with massive earthquakes and crumbling mountains. During the war, Zeus created the all powerful Blade of Olympus, which was used to banish the Titans to the foulest pits of Tartarus, using the Gauntlet of Zeus to create the chains that bind them. Cronos would later be forced to endure great suffering by having Pandora's Temple chained to his back and wander the Desert of Lost Souls for eternity, carrying Pandora's Box which was created to seal away the evils that spawned from the war.
Some time after the Titanomachy, an Oracle foresaw a marked warrior would bring about the end of the Olympian Gods, including Zeus. Wanting to prevent this from ever transpiring, he sent out a search for the marked one. During this search, Ares and Athena came across young Kratos and his younger Deimos. Since the latter bore a red birthmark presumed Deimos was the marked warrior the prophecy spoke of. Ares and Athena forcefully took Deimos with them, despite Kratos' attempts to save him. Zeus then condemned Deimos to never-ending torture in Death's domain.
See also: God of War
|“||Is this the best you can do, Father!? You send a broken mortal to defeat ME!? The God of War!?||”|
At some point, Zeus had an affair with Callisto. The circumstances are unknown, but the affair resulted in a young child named Kratos. Kratos was a strong boy and a mighty warrior with unstoppable rage and ambition. Hera, displeased at Zeus for fathering yet another bastard, demanded he kill the boy, fearing only destruction will come from his existence. Zeus, taking pity on the lonely child, refused.
Around halfway through Kratos' penance, Zeus was one of the many gods that fell victim to an enchanted slumber, orchestrated by Morpheus when the sun god, Helios, was knocked from the sky. Kratos eventually discovered that this was the work of Persephone, who intended to use him to empower the Titan, Atlas, in order to destroy the Pillar of the World and bring an end to all life, as well as her own suffering. Fortunately for Zeus and the other gods, Kratos was able to defeat the Queen of the Underworld and save Helios, forcing Morpheus to retreat. What they did not know was that Kratos had been forced to relinquish any hopes of reuniting with his beloved daughter in the process of saving the world, pushing his disillusionment with the gods ever closer to open hatred and rebellion.
Near the end of Kratos' service to the gods, Ares besieged the city of Athens to gain favor from Zeus over his half-sister, Athena. Zeus had forbidden the gods from waging war on each other, so he allowed Athena to receive help from Kratos, who was told that defeating Ares would complete his penance. During his quest, Kratos met Zeus himself within the damaged city of Athens, where he was given Zeus' Fury, the ability to wield and throw powerful thunderbolts. In addition, Zeus, in the mortal guise of the Grave Digger, created a portal to the Underworld through a grave he claimed to be digging for Kratos, allowing the Spartan to escape the realm of the dead late in his adventure.
When Ares seemingly killed Kratos and took Pandora's Box for himself, he yelled to the skies, cursing his father for constantly favoring Athena and asking if Zeus could finally see what his son was capable of. He declared that he would not hesitate to use the box against Olympus itself, but then Kratos, having fought his way out of the Underworld, used a bolt of Zeus' Fury to reclaim it, at last opening the ancient artifact and harnessing its power to destroy his former master. Zeus and the gods guided Kratos to defeat Ares, as he was the only real threat to Olympus. With Ares dead, the Olympians forgave Kratos for the crime of killing his own family (although, to Kratos' dismay, they were unable to remove the horrible memories from his mind), and made him the new God of War.
It is later revealed that Zeus and the other gods fell prey to the evils locked away in Pandora's Box after Kratos opened it to defeat Ares. Apparently, the King of the Gods didn't realize that if Kratos used the Box, the evils would be released. As a result, Zeus became slowly overwhelmed by his personal plague: fear that the cycle of son killing father would repeat itself. Just as Cronos killed Ouranus, and as Zeus himself defeated Cronos, the king of the gods expected that Kratos, infuriated by the revelation that not even the gods could end his nightmares, would be the son who would try to kill him and take the throne of Olympus for himself.
e waged a vicious campaign in once again glorifying Sparta throughout Greece, capturing many cities. Zeus was uneasy about the new appointed god, feeling unsafe upon his throne in Olympus. Once, when Kratos was assaulting a city in his mortal avatar form, he encountered an elaborate plot to destroy his reputation, that included assassination of Hera's favorite beast, Argos, by an unknown assassin, with blame falling entirely on Kratos. The situation was made even worse when Hades' minions attacked Kratos, and the messenger of Olympus, Ceryx, who was sent to make sure Kratos will not uncover the culprit behind the events, was slain by the infuriated God of War.
Zeus advised Athena to warn Kratos that with every city destroyed in the Spartan army's conquest, the wrath of gods would grow ever stronger. Kratos failed to comply with Athena’s warning and descended from Olympus down to the island of Rhodes, where his men lay siege.
As an enormous god, Kratos tore Rhodes apart and was killing and destroying everything. However, Kratos did not realize that Zeus, in the form of an eagle, had followed him. Flying over the massive Kratos, Zeus drained some of the godly power from him which caused the God of War to shrink to his human size. Zeus then used the stolen power to animate the Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of Helios which overlooked the city. With the metallic monster assaulting Kratos throughout Rhodes, Zeus prepared to bait his trap with the one thing Kratos could never resist: Power.
Misleading Kratos into believing he was at his side, Zeus gave him the Blade of Olympus to use against the Colossus. Draining all of his godly power into the blade, Kratos defeated and destroyed the Colossus, weakening himself in the process. It was at this time that Zeus revealed himself to Kratos. Zeus stated that Athena refused to undo her "mistake" and was forced to attend to this matter himself. He asked Kratos to become his personal servant, but the proud god of war refused, disgusted. After a hopeless battle, the god of war finally fell. Claiming that the cycle would end here, the king of the gods took the Blade of Olympus and impaled Kratos, leaving him to die, and then experience eternal torment in Underworld.
Within seconds of his seeming victory, Zeus took the Blade of Olympus and destroyed everything in Rhodes, including Kratos' Spartan army. While Kratos was thought to be dead, Zeus also attacked and destroyed Sparta itself, partly because many Spartans had worshiped Kratos far more than the rest of Olympus, but mostly as an act of revenge for Kratos' unwillingness to succumb to him. Having done these deeds, and believing the problem with Kratos to finally be resolved, Zeus left for his throne on Mount Olympus.
"Come down here and face me now, Zeus!!" - Kratos
Unfortunately for Zeus, Kratos was far from finished. Aided by Gaia and the Titans, he returned back to life, journeyed to the Island of Creation, and defeated the Sisters of Fate. With time itself at his command, the Ghost of Sparta returned to the moment when Zeus betrayed and killed him, emerging from a portal and knocking the Olympian to the floor. Surprised at this development, Zeus declared that he had underestimated Kratos, presuming that the Sisters of Fate had aided him. Kratos, picking up the Blade of Olympus, told Zeus that the Sisters were dead. The two combatants charged towards one another, taking to the skies as they attacked. They ended up on the Summit of Sacrifice, where an epic battle began. Kratos fought Zeus furiously and managed to deliver several powerful blows, but Zeus unleashed his full might on the vengeful warrior in the form of a deadly electrical storm. Unable to overpower the furious god, Kratos feigned surrender, kneeling in front of the Blade of Olympus and asking Zeus to end his life, releasing him from his torment. Granting what he thought was the Spartan's final request, Zeus raised the Blade and warned Kratos that his torment was just beginning. The great god was tricked, however, and Kratos, using the Golden Fleece, repelled Zeus' blow and took the Blade from him, pinning both of his arms to a rock and stabbing him numerous times until Athena intervened.
Zeus took this opportunity to free himself and narrowly escape death at the hands of Kratos. This did not go unnoticed by Kratos, who immediately took the blade and made one more attempt on the severely weakened Zeus. However, Athena jumped in the way of what should have been the final blow, and died instead of her father. Despite this, Kratos was far more affected by Athena's death than Zeus himself, who coldly ignored her death while warning Kratos that he had started a war that he could never hope to win before fleeing. Before she died, Athena told Kratos that he was compelled to destroy Zeus just as Zeus did to Cronos, for Kratos was Zeus' son. This was the cycle Zeus had mentioned when he killed Kratos before. Declaring that no son should ever destroy his own father, Athena told Kratos that Zeus must live so that Olympus will prevail. God after god would deny Kratos his vengeance, for they would protect Zeus for the sake of Olympus. Kratos, watching the fallen Athena disintegrate, felt betrayed yet again and, using the Loom Chamber, he returned to the first Titan-God War, urging the Titans to accompany him back to his own time, where a defeated Zeus had fled back to Mount Olympus.
"My brothers, we were forged in victory. A victory that ended the great war and brought forth the reign of Mt. Olympus. Born from the depths of the underworld. Rooted in the river of souls. Our mountain emerged out of the Chaos. As it grew, so to did the might of the Olympians. We created a world of peace, a world of prosperity, a world that lives in the shadow and safety of my mountain. A mountain that has come to be the absolute measure of strength and power. Now, on this day, that power is to be tested. The mortal Kratos, seeks to destroy all that I have wrought. Brothers, put aside the petty grievances that have splintered us for so long. We will unite. We will stand together. And I will wipe out this plague! Olympus... will PREVAIL!!!" - Zeus
See also: God of War III
Fleeing to Olympus, Zeus called forth a meeting with fellow gods Hades, Poseidon, Helios, and Hermes, claiming that they must put aside their petty grievances and unite against Kratos. As he exclaimed he would wipe out the plague created by one mere mortal, Olympus began to shake. Looking to the edge of the mountain, the gods trembled as they gazed upon the Titans, who were thought to have been in Tartarus, being led into battle by Kratos himself.
Zeus dispatched the gods to deal with the Titans, who are mostly successful in dislodging their foes off Mount Olympus. However, Kratos and Gaia reach Zeus after their combined efforts destroy Poseidon, with Kratos again confronting his father. Irritated with his son's impertinence and willingness to destroy everything to kill him, Zeus created a huge lightning bolt to blast them both off Olympus, with Kratos ending up in the Underworld for the third time. However, Kratos returned to Olympus, killing Hades, Helios and Hermes along the way. He then sought out Pandora, the creation of Hephaestus, who was the key to pacifying the Flame of Olympus guarding Pandora's Box, and who had been hidden from Zeus by the smith god to protect her. Hephaestus revealed when Kratos killed Ares, fear gripped Zeus. Because Kratos retrieved Pandora's Box from Cronos' back - after Hephaestus assured his father that no one could possibly do so - Zeus savagely beat the truth out of Hephaestus. Zeus sent Hephaestus and Cronos down into the Underworld as punishment, while locking Pandora in the Labyrinth, built by the architect Daedalus, on the ultimately unfulfilled promise to return his son to him in exchange for his services.
When Kratos raised the Labyrinth to bring Pandora to the Flame, the latter was willing to commit to her purpose, but Kratos refused to let her. Unfortunately, Pandora ran right into Zeus, who stood before the Flame. Kratos demanded that Zeus release her; The King of the gods retorted that he shouldn't confuse Pandora, Father and son do battle.Added by Cronusfire01
whom he considers nothing more than an object, to his own daughter Calliope, but guessed that he already had. He shows the destruction of Olympus as proof of Kratos' need for atonement for the slaughter of his family. Zeus then remarked that taking pity on Kratos was his greatest mistake, as would the latter for showing pity on Pandora. Father and son then fought, causing even more destruction on Olympus. The latter then rushed to prevent Pandora from reaching the flame. Zeus encouraged him not to fail her like he did his family, a comment that hit a very sore spot with Kratos. In rage, he reluctantly let her go and then charged at his father, pounding him with his fists as a large burst of light from the destruction of the flame engulfed both of them. Kratos then awoke, picked himself up and opened the box, only to find it empty. Zeus laughed at Kratos, pointing out that after all he had sacrificed, all he’d accomplished was another stunning failure. In his rage, Kratos pursued Zeus to the very same dais he had first confronted the king of the gods at the beginning of the game.
The Ghost of Sparta found his father gazing out upon the ravaged world, musing that he had much to do once Kratos is dead. They then faced-off again before Gaia interrupted their fight, intent on killing them both. Exclaiming Kratos made her world bleed, Zeus retorted saying Kratos had failed her and she should have chosen the "other one". Zeus and Kratos then escaped into a chest wound inflicted upon Gaia during the initial attack on Olympus, where they continued to fight in front of Gaia's heart. Kratos was eventually able to throw Zeus against the heart, before stabbing both with the Blade of Olympus, defeating both Gaia and Zeus. When Kratos came to, he removed the blade from Zeus' body, only for a dark specter of the god to rise from it. Proclaiming that he had been tired of his son's defiance, Zeus grabbed Kratos and infused the power of fear into his very soul. However, with the help of Pandora's spirit, Kratos was able to forgive himself for his sins and discovered that the power of Hope, which he sought for inside the box, was inside him all along. Freed from his own psyche, Kratos broke Zeus' grip, slashed the ghost repeatedly, and forced his spirit to return to his body. Kratos then discarded his weapons and then beat Zeus to death with his bare hands. His vengeance finally complete, Kratos watched as the King of the Gods perished, releasing lightning into the sky and sending the world into utter chaos.
Outwardly, Zeus was benevolent and kind and would punish evil and oath-breakers. His noble side however, would soon fall to reveal his true nature: domineering and at times paranoid, power-hungry, tyrannic, and convinced his goals justified his means to hang on to his rulership and authority. Despite this, Zeus managed to keep those traits at bay, or at the very least hidden. After being infected with the evil of Fear, his negative tendencies, especially paranoia, were exacerbated to a large degree. Therefore, he allows his fear to overcome his reason and attack Kratos relentlessly.
Zeus appears as an old muscular white haired man. His eyes are pure white, best seen in the cutscene in God of War 2 where he kills Kratos. In God of War 2 and in the opening scene of God of War 3 he wears white Toga and golden arm guards but after the start of the Second Titanomachy he replaces his Toga with golden side guard.
Zeus' supernatural powers and natural abilities were both awe-inspiring and terrifying. He was one of the strongest gods alongside Hades and Poseidon on Olympus. He possessed the abilities of Invincibility and Projection, the ultimate power a god can possess, allowing him to do anything he wants to and even have the power to control the world itself. Others include Flight, Sensing, Prescience, Conjuration, Conjuring The Elements, Telekinesis, Power Granting, Teleportation, Immortality, Regeneration, Super Strength and Summoning (this last one was seen in his battle against Kratos in God of War II, where he was able to summon Sirens Widow to fight the Spartan).
Zeus could Shapeshift, growing to massive sizes and turning into an eagle. He possessed control over the weather, especially thunder and Lightning, making his title as the strongest being in the world very likely. But, like all gods, he was vulnerable to the Blade of Olympus, his own powerful weapon. In battle, he was capable of moving at immense supernatural speed and creating powerful barriers to shield himself. He also had an attack which creates an electrical silhouette of himself, but after draining power from Gaia, Zeus could make full clones of himself that, although not nearly as powerful as the original, could still put up a very impressive fight.
When Zeus unleashed the full wrath of his power, Kratos was unable to overpower him as he usually would have, even though he possessed the Blade of Olympus and had weakened him beforehand. In God of War III, after Kratos had stabbed Zeus through Gaia's heart, Zeus displayed the ability to release an astral projection of some sort. This manifestation, possibly originating from the evils that consumed him, showed limited similarities to Athena's ghostly form. His spirit fought Kratos and overpowered him, at first removing all of Kratos' weapons and equipment, then infecting the Spartan with fear itself. It brought Kratos to the brink of death and was only defeated when Pandora helped Kratos unleash the power of Hope, at which point Zeus displayed another vulnerability, as Kratos brutally beat him to death with nothing but his bare hands.
- In the first game, he was voiced by Paul Eiding. In "God of War: Ghost of Sparta," he was voiced by Fred Tatasciore. In "God of War II" and "God of War III," he was voiced by Corey Burton. Corey Burton also provided the voice of Zeus in Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series. Coincidentally, Rip Torn, the voice of Hephaestus, provided the voice for Zeus in the 1997 Disney film Hercules.
- In one of the bonus cut-scenes from God of War, Kratos reunites with his mother, discovering that Zeus is his father, who he would later take vengeance upon for abandoning him so many years before. Although this scene is not canon, the idea of Kratos being the son of Zeus was adapted for the sequels to come.
- In mortal appearance, Zeus is still exceptionally tall, muscular and somewhat youthful looking for his age, due to being a god. He had white hair even whilst a newborn child, continuing into early adulthood. His eyes have no pupils, being the same when he was in his early adulthood. But when he was a baby and in God of War II, his eyes had dark blue pupils.
- It should be noted that, even though Zeus is the younger brother of Poseidon and Hades, he seems much older than the two. Given his ability to shapeshift, however, this could just be a matter of personal taste. In some sources, the regurgitating of Zeus' siblings is regarded as a rebirth of sorts, making Zeus both the youngest and oldest of his siblings. This, and the desire to command respect through age, could explain why he chooses to portray himself as older than his siblings.
- In God of War, the Grave Digger that Kratos meets in his quest to destroy Ares has been confirmed to be Zeus in disguise, aiding Kratos in escaping the Underworld. This bears similarities to real Greek mythology, where the gods would often disguise themselves as humans in order to help them.
- When Pandora's Box was first opened, Zeus was infected with Fear which caused him to grow more and more paranoid of Kratos overthrowing him.
- According to God of War III, Zeus has had thoughts of revenge against his father Cronos since a very early age. On the ledge where Zeus' Eagle was found, a drawing of Cronos eating Zeus' siblings can be found. After taking a closer look to the right, another drawing can be seen, showing a stick figure, assumed to be Zeus, holding a sword and ripping open his father's insides to free its prisoners.
- At the end of God of War III, when Kratos charged a weakened Zeus, just before pummeling him to death, a sort of black mist evaporated from Zeus' mouth. This could refer to Pandora's Evil that had infected him.
- It is possible that Deimos' death in Ghost of Sparta made Zeus realize the prophecy was not referring to Deimos as the marked warrior, but Kratos instead.
- Each time Kratos had died before he managed to kill Zeus, the son-killing-father cycle ended, yet Zeus always reinitiated the cycle one way or another.