Kratos’ return in the recent God of War comes with a slew of changes to the franchise’s status quo. When he first appears, players see a Kratos who has quit the God-killing business. Additionally, he now resides in Scandinavian lands far from Sparta with a wife and son. This Kratos leads a simple life. According to Santa Monica Studio Creative Director Cory Barlog, the simplicity was initially meant to visually show in Kratos’ having “let himself go.”
During the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con God of War panel, Barlog told fans that he originally pitched Kratos with a “dad bod.” Obviously, the director’s plan didn’t come to fruition, since the rest of the team wasn’t on board with his idea.
In the beginning we were talking about, you know, “What is Kratos going to look like?” And I kind of wanted to go extreme. I was like, “He should have really let himself go, right?”… Yeah, dad bod, right? David Harbour as Kratos. And I thought it could be really cool.
Throughout development, however, dad bod Kratos became less and less visible. The character’s sculpted frame returned, older and weathered, but still ripped.
Then we started describing it as an athlete in the off-season. Then we just very slowly moved away from that–without my knowledge. So they just kept changing it a little, like, “It looks different today,” and they’re like, “Don’t worry about it, it’s cool. Same as yesterday. Same thing as yesterday.” Then eventually he just got really ripped again. And then it was really the beard and Chris’s [Judge] voice that aged him.
Considering the battles he engages in and the stunts he must pull off at a moment’s notice, ditching dad bod Kratos was probably for the best. But Kratos having a resemblance to Stranger Things‘ David Harbour sounds like a sight worth seeing. Here’s hoping it won’t take long for fan art.
God of War Kratos Was Originally Pitched With a 'Dad Bod'
God of War is available for the PlayStation 4.