God of War Ragnarok originally had a very different fate in mind for its star, Kratos. Speaking to MinnMax (via VGC), narrative director Matt Sophos revealed how the studio originally had a darker storyline mapped out for the sequel to 2018’s God of War

Warning: Spoilers below for God of War Ragnarok

Early on in the game, players get a chance to throw down with Thor. This boss fight occurs roughly an hour into the game, and developer Santa Monica Studio’s original early draft saw Kratos die at the hands–and hammer–of the thunder god. “There was the earliest, earliest draft of an outline that we had come up with, that we took to [director Eric Williams],” Sophos explained. “Kratos died in the Thor fight at the very beginning of the game.”

Kratos would eventually wind up in hell for a time, and after being pulled out by his son Atreus, he’d discover that 20 years had passed since his death. This idea was eventually scrapped by Williams, who said that the story of Kratos dying and coming back to life had been done before and had no real emotional payoff. “The hook, the emotion, wasn’t really going to be there, and he was absolutely right, and so that’s why it didn’t last very long,” Sophos said.

In the end, God of War Ragnarok ends on a hopeful note, with Kratos writing a new future for himself. “Nothing is written that can’t be unwritten, as long as you’re willing to make changes in your life then you’re not bound to fate,” Sophos added. “And so when we landed on that, when we know that was the story we wanted to tell, we knew that Kratos couldn’t die.”

God of War Ragnarok has been a huge hit for Sony since it launched late last year. After selling through 5 million copies in its first week back in 2022, Santa Monica Studio announced that 11 million copies of the game had been sold through as of February 1. The developer has no plans to support the game with post-launch DLC and an eventual port to PC probably won’t be for at least another year.