After players suggested God of War character Atreus could be gay, the original game's director said it would be cool if the writers made that choice.
With calls for Sony Santa Monica studios to fly the rainbow flag in God of War: Ragnarok, the original franchise director says he's on board with making Atreus gay. While the God of War name stretches all the way back to 2005, most now think of the modern era thanks to 2018's critically acclaimed reboot. The PlayStation 4-exclusive God of War took the Ghost of Sparta out of Greece and plonked him in the icy backdrop of Norse mythology.
God of War games have always made the muscular Kratos their central figure, however, 2018's title saw the bald brute mellow into his advancing years with his son by his side. Atreus was introduced with God of War, but quickly became a fan-favourite who will have a crucial part to play in Ragnorok. Some think the series will go full The Last of Us and see Kratos take over his father's story as Naughty Dog did with Ellie and Joel.
The idea of Atreus' sexuality hasn't been broached before, but with a more mature version of the character expected in the sequel, fans have asked whether he could be LGBTQ+. Returning to The Last of Us, the decision to make Ellie gay was one that caused plenty of backlash, but one the writers decided to champion throughout Part II. Could romance be on the cards for Atreus in Ragnarok and will the macho series embrace the LGBTQ+ community?
God of War: Could Atreus be gay?
The conversation about Atreus' sexuality boiled over after one franchise fan Tweeted Game Director Cory Barlog and told him not to make Kratos gay. Barlog responded and asked, "What about bi?", which led to a flurry of supporting comments alongside some homophobic ones. Digging through the negativity, there was a suggestion from original Director David Jaffe that Atreus could be gay. In response to the debate surrounding Kratos' sexuality. Jaffe tweeted, "The franchise is in Cory's hands so that's all him. As for me, I think we need more LGBT characters represented in games. While I would not want to retcon Kratos (who-if you really wanna know-PROBABLY f****d anything w/a hole), it'd be very cool of Atreus grew up to be gay".
Discussing a potentially LGBTQ+ Atreus during a YouTube video, Jaffe said, "It's just really interesting that there are people who really seem to have a problem if Atreus is gay". He continued, "I get that you wouldn't want Kratos to be gay because that feels weird, like 'when did that happen?', it doesn't make sense. But Atreus is a kid. If the new game takes place and Atreus is 20 or whatever, there's nothing in the lore or canon that would say he can't be gay".
The former franchise overseer said that while he sees why some might have a problem with retconning a character's sexuality, he strongly disagrees with the claim making Atreus gay would "ruin" God of War. Talking about some fans being homophobic, Jaffe concluded, "Sometimes I wonder if these people know that about themselves". He said that a gay character shouldn't be a big deal.
God of War: Does it matter if Atreus is gay?
The subject of sexuality and the God of War games is a touchy one thanks to Jaffe's previous comments. In 2019, he made a joke Tweet saying Kratos was bisexual. He later retracted the idea and said he was poking fun at homophobes, however, it didn't go down well with anyone. When Jaffe originally joked about Kratos being bisexual, some believed it was to do with Atreus being named after one of Kratos' fallen comrades - whose body he'd carried out of battle. Before it could be made canon, Jaffe clarified he wasn't being serious.
Jaffe has clarified he'd always written Kratos as strictly heterosexual, however, the latest video circles back to a mention of Kratos potentially being bisexual. Jaffe was quick to avoid the idea, and although he said Kratos could be bisexual, he switched focus back to Atreus. In the end, Jaffe concluded the gaming community needs more LGBTQ+ representation.
In recent times, we've seen Apex Legends, Mortal Kombat, Cyberpunk 2077, and even Bugsnax introduce gay characters. Mass Effect 3 famously had a same-sex relationship, which led to EA receiving death threats. Jump forward to 2021 and the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition features FemShep's same-sex kiss with Liara at the centre of its trailer.
It will be interesting to see if Atreus prefers the company of men, women, both, nobody, or anyone in God of War: Ragranok, but does it really matter? The answer is, no. Still, we hope that if Atreus is gay, he has the love and support of his usually stoic father.
Images via Sony Entertainment | Unsplash Jiroe