[Explained] Why Did Kratos Kill Baldur?

Baldur "the Stranger" was the main antagonist in the 2018 God of War video game. Baldur was the Aesir God of Light before he was slain by the god slayer, Kratos, as he snapped his neck, freeing him of his cursed life.


Initial Encounter

The Aesir God of Light, Baldur

Kratos and Baldur's first fight

In the beginning of the 2018 God of War game, Kratos is found in a cabin in the snowy woods of Midgard, in the realm of Norse mythology. He is approached by a traveler who is searching for the Jottun Guardian, who happened to be Kratos’ wife and had just passed away. The traveler, Baldur, the Aesir God of Light, confronts Kratos, thinking that he is the Jottun Guardian. Kratos, in turn, thought Baldur knew him from his title as the Greek God of War. Baldur taunts Kratos, wanting him to fight, but Kratos refrains from fighting and tells the Aesir god to leave. 

Kratos finally gets pushed past his limit, punches Baldur to the ground, and warns him to leave his home. Baldur then punches Kratos through his roof, finds out Kratos is living with another person, and demands to know who it is. The two gods start their brutal battle, where Kratos finds out Baldur cannot take damage or feel pain. In the end, Kratos snaps the Aesir god’s neck and drops him right off a cliff.


Family Trip to the God of War

Baldur’s nephews, Magni and Modi

Kratos and Atreus encounter Baldur once again

Baldur, who did not die due to a spell cast upon him by his mother, the Witch Freya, gathered his two nephews, Modi and Magni, to head out and find the Ghost of Sparta and his son, Atreus/Loki. They journeyed to Midgard’s highest peak to find the whereabouts of the two from the all-knowing Mimir, the Ambassador of the Aesir. They demand answers from the imprisoned Mimir, but he refuses them because he knows Odin wouldn’t allow any harm to befall his prisoner, and he also just doesn’t know of Kratos and Atreus’ existence. Without any answers, the trio leaves Mimir to his eternal imprisonment.

Later, as Kratos and Atreus are headed to Jotunheim, they’re ambushed by Baldur, who makes quick work of Kratos and discards him, calling him "just meat." He then provokes Atreus into battle, but Kratos holds him back. In his rage, Atreus shoots Kratos with an arrow and charges at Baldur, only to get captured. Kratos chases Baldur and Atreus down until they reach the realm travel room, where they resume their tussle. Baldur then directed the portal to Asgard in order to exact the full wrath of the Aesir on Kratos. After trading some blows, Kratos changes the destination to Helheim, where the trio are pulled into the realm of the dead. There they finally witnessed Baldur’s resentment towards his mother, Freya, as they watched as he spoke of a past illusion of him and his mother.


Final Encounter

Kratos and Atreus in battle against Baldur

Final battle between Kratos and Baldur

Baldur then continues his hunt and finds out that Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir are in the World Serpent. Baldur engages in battle with the snake, attempting to get him to spit out Kratos and company. He finally succeeds and reunites with the trio, in addition to his mother. Baldur attempts to attack his mother but is intercepted by Kratos. The two battle as Freya tries to stop them by entangling them, but her spells don't work. Freya finally finds her chance and catches Kratos in her vines. Seeing how Kratos was caught, Baldur manages to avoid the vines and approaches Kratos, but is cut off by Atreus. The Aesir god punches Atreus straight in the chest, winding him. Kratos sees blood, which he believes to be Atreus’ but is actually from Baldur’s fist, which was stabbed by a mistletoe arrow tied to Atreus’ quiver. The mistletoe arrow finally strips Baldur of the cursed protection spell laid upon him by his mother.

In his newfound vulnerability, Baldur and Kratos continue their face-off, but he’s quickly overpowered by Kratos and Atreus. Freya tries to save her son by reanimating the giant Thamur, but he is shut down when Atreus calls the World Serpent to deal with him.


Baldur’s Death

Moments before Baldur’s death

In the end, Baldur is defeated, and he taunts Kratos to finish him off, but Freya and Atreus advise him otherwise. Kratos lets Baldur live on the condition he doesn’t come after him and his son, and he doesn’t lay a hand on Freya ever again. Baldur doesn't pay Kratos any mind, confronts Freya, and chokes her out anyway. Kratos intervenes once again and declares that the cycle of parricide must end as he snaps the neck of the Aesir God of Light for the final time, unleashing Fimbulwinter onto the realm of Asgard.

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