God of War Ragnarok was a monumental and fitting end to the Norse chapter—the characters, the writing, the mythology come to life in interesting ways, all of it was masterfully crafted. However, in the grand scheme of things, that’s all it was: a chapter of Kratos’ life, though undoubtedly a significant one that opened many doors for the future.
I’d love to explore more of the Norse realms as much as the next fan. After all, plenty of questions were left unanswered that could perhaps be explored with time-travel, like more of Kratos and Faye’s relationship or, more importantly, a certain tragic death. The franchise has used it before, so should God of War Ragnarok have time-travel story DLC?
***Spoilers for God of War (2018) and God of War Ragnarok Follow***
Time Travel is Messy and Unpredictable
Setting aside the inherent problems of time travel (paradoxes and so on), how would time travel even work? There are a few examples of time travel shenanigans such as Thor pummeling Jormungandr so hard he was sent back in time and puzzles in God of War (2018) featuring temporal magic. I’d argue that neither are viable paths for some sort of time travel DLC.
In Thor’s case, his attack on Jormungandr was so devastating, he splintered Yggdrasil and disrupted the flow of time. He wounded the World Tree, the very force that holds the realms in place. Luckily, the realms are still functional, but it does suggest that enough disruptions could destroy the realms altogether.
Temporal magic isn’t any different; in fact, it has its own nasty side effect. According to Mimir, the High Vanir gods used to dabble in magic that froze time, but soon realized their magic did not stop Skoll and Hati from chasing the sun and moon—one of the many signs of Ragnarok.
If Kratos could travel back in time, a power not even the Norns possess, he runs into the same issues everyone does: changing the future. Kratos might jumpstart Ragnarok much sooner, even before Atreus’ birth and now we’re left to deal with a timeline where Odin wins. Is bringing back Brok worth all that death and destruction? It’s as if the writers are quietly preventing the use of time travel in any meaningful way.
Throughout God of War and Ragnarok, numerous themes are explored—two of the most prevalent being consequences and redemption. The Norse realms are littered with reminders of past mistakes.
Take Mimir, for example, who enslaved a Lyngbakr as a supply of oil for Odin’s lanterns or his hand in the construction of mining rigs that belched out black smoke in Svartalfheim. Of course, Sindri’s failure in finding all of Brok’s soul ultimately stripped Brok of whatever afterlife he would’ve had otherwise, too.
These mistakes can surely be solved with a quick do-over, but that kind of hand waving cheapens the narrative and weakens character growth. Why should you grow when time travel is readily available?
Instead, God of War Ragnarok pushes this narrative that some form of redemption can be earned by improving the situation, to leave it better than it was. Does it absolve the characters of their sins? No, but at least a path for healing is made.
Give Me Sequels, Not DLC
God of War Ragnarok answered many of my burning questions, but left an equal number of questions. Where will Atreus end up? What will Kratos do with the Norse realms? And, of course, what will become of Sindri? Answering those questions through DLC doesn’t quite sit well with me. I’d argue these questions are better left explored in sequels where the time and effort would be better spent.
What’s interesting to note is that both Sindri and Freya share similar arcs to Kratos at different points in his past. Sindri as he is now is what Kratos experienced up until the fall of the Greek Realm, whereas Freya ended her journey by letting go of vengeance and revenge.
In other words: I see the potential for Sindri to possibly be a villain in the future. Vengeance can so easily turn into revenge, especially with so much regret weighing Sindri down. Odin may have pulled the trigger, but it was Sindri’s mistake that prevented Brok from having an afterlife.
DLC is Unlikely, Anyway
Even if DLC were in the cards, time traveling to save Brok is pretty unlikely. Don’t take my word for it, but the director of God of War Ragnarok himself, Eric Williams. In an interview with IGN’s Podcast Beyond, Cory Barlog had three stipulations moving forward with the sequel: Atreus has to leave, Ragnarok will happen, and Brok has to die.
According to Eric Williams, the reason is that Brok is “the family dog,” which is an apt description given how powerful and heart wrenching his death is. He was the fun uncle with no filter, but still had nuggets of wisdom to offer whether you asked for it or not. So, with that in mind and given Barlog’s reasoning for ending the Norse storyline, it would seem odd for Santa Monica Studio to walk that back.
It pains me to say it, but God of War Ragnarok shouldn’t get time travel DLC, and Brok should stay dead. In the words of Kratos, “Journeying through time is more trouble than it is worth.” What do you think? What kind of DLC would you love to play? Let us know in the comment section below or explore relevant guides here at Twinfinite.