It features lots of high-octane action, sets up the conflict between Kratos and Norse gods like Freya and Thor, and teases more about Atreus’ ties to a prophesied apocalypse called Ragnarok. While the trailer has a lot going on, there’s one Easter egg that can go easily overlooked.
The trailer’s opening scene may seem unimportant and a bit casual, but it could be a subtle but brilliant piece of foreshadowing about what could happen to Atreus in God of War Ragnarok.
What’s the Easter egg? We’re talking about the first shot of the trailer, which you can watch below.
We see Kratos crafting an arrow before Atreus walks in with a buck that he’s. It’s a relatively simple scene that should feel familiar to anyone who played the first game, but it also serves to introduce us to the subtle ways that these iconic characters have changed since then.
When we first see Atreus’ silhouette, however, it isn’t that of a “boy!” Here’s a closer look:
From that specific angle, it looks like a hunched, horned figure lumbering out of the fog behind Kratos. Rather quickly, it becomes obvious that it’s Atreus carrying a buck with large antlers. While this might just be a fun visual gimmick for the character’s introduction, it could tease Atreus’ full ascension into Loki in the final game.
In Norse mythology, Loki is associated with having horns or antlers. That iconography has been associated with the character thanks to Marvel Comics and the MCU’s version of Loki, who often sports a helmet with two long horns on the front of it. Vikings are also often depicted in pop culture with helmets featuring horns or antlers, even if it’s not historically accurate.
Thematically, it’s a visual cue that could signal a growing rift between Atreus and Kratos as the former embraces his identity — and his destiny.
Horns are also associated with magic and the occult, which Atreus is associated with to a great extent. We even see him summon a magical deer during a fight later in the trailer. Initially presenting Atreus with horns like this could just be a clever visual gag, but it could also be teasing his ascent to Loki and/or a new look for the character later in God of War: Ragnarok.
What will Atreus do in God of War: Ragnarok? In Norse mythology, Loki is heavily associated with Ragnarok and the downfall of the Norse pantheon of gods. Sony Santa Monica briefly teased what Atreus, who is actually Loki, will do in the sequel in a PlayStation Blog post:
“Atreus is desperately curious,” the article reveals. “Like most young people, he wants to understand who he is more than anything. In this case, he wants to understand who he could be. The mystery of Loki’s role in the upcoming conflict is something that Atreus cannot let go of.” His destiny, it would seem, hangs on the precipice. He wants to know the truth, but what will he decide?
“He wants to keep his family safe, but Atreus also doesn’t want to stand by and do nothing while conflict consumes the Nine Realms,” the post reads.
While Atreus is positioned more positively here than in the actual mythology, that may change by the end of God of War: Ragnarok. As God of War: Ragnarok is the finale of the series’ Norse saga, we’ll definitely find out once the game is released.
God of War: Ragnarok will be released for PS4 and PS5 in 2022.