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God Of War Timeline: Where Chains Of Olympus & Ghost Of Sparta Fit

Kratos, the iconic protagonist in the God of War series, has had a long, eventful, and mostly tragic life. As Kratos is once again dragged into the affairs of the gods in God of War’s ongoing Norse saga, he seems far removed from his past in Greece. The series’ mainline entries, the trilogy of God of War 1 through 3, constitutes most of the important events from the Spartan warrior’s time in his home country. In addition to the earliest prequel, Ascension, two PlayStation Portable games were released, titled Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, which help fill in details pertaining to the earlier parts of the God of War chronology.


Chains of Olympus was released for the PSP in 2008, with Ghost of Sparta following two years later in 2010. In terms of release order, Chains of Olympus predates God of War 3, and Ghost of Sparta immediately followed it, meaning the latter was released after Kratos’ revenge on the gods of Mount Olympus had already been depicted. In 2011, both PSP games were remastered for the God of War: Origins Collection on the PlayStation 3. The next year those remasters would also be included in the God of War Saga, which bundled all five God of War games together prior to the release of Ascension.

Related: God of War Ragnarök Could Be The End For Kratos

Both Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta were developed by Ready at Dawn rather than Santa Monica Studio. Ready at Dawn is also known for releasing The Order: 1886 in 2015, and – more recently – for creating the Echo series of games for the Oculus VR platforms. For Chains of Olympus, Ready at Dawn was tasked with creating the series’ first prequel, set roughly five years before the events of the original God of WarGhost of Sparta, on the other hand, takes place after the first game, between it and God of War 2. While secondary in importance to the main trilogy, each PSP game fills in important information in the timeline, especially in regards to Kratos’ past, and depicts some of the events which fuel the revenge that culminates in God of War 3‘s massacre of the Olympian gods.

God Of War Timeline: Chains Of Olympus

Chains of Olympus is a prequel to the original God of War

Chains of Olympus‘ title is an allusion to Kratos’ 10 year long service to the Greek gods prior to the events of the original God of War. Kratos originally served Ares as a prolific Spartan warrior, but turned his back on the god of war when Ares tricked him into murdering his own wife and daughter. Kratos then pledged himself to the Olympians in exchange for them getting rid of the nightmares that haunt him following Ares’ betrayal. Chains of Olympus takes place in the midst of his pact with the Olympians.

Chains of Olympus opens during a Persian siege on the Greek city of Attica. Kratos defends the city, killing the Persian king and the basilisk which assaulted it, but the world is subsequently cast into darkness by the disappearance of Helios. As Kratos follows the dying light through Marathon, Morpheus, the god of dreams, casts a fog over the world, hoping to lull the gods of Olympus into a deep sleep. When Kratos reaches the Temple of Helios beyond Marathon, a statue of Athena informs him that freeing Helios from the titan Atlas will dispel Morpheus’ fog, and Kratos will be rewarded by being freed from his nightmares.

Kratos then travels to the Underworld to confront Atlas, who had been released from Tarturus, and was attempting to destroy the world. While traveling down the River Styx, Kratos spots his daughter, Calliope, near the Temple of Persephone, but only finds the Queen of the Underworld herself inside. Persephone offers Kratos a chance to be reunited with his daughter in Elysium, but first he must shed all the powers he has been granted as Champion of the Gods. Kratos succumbs before learning that Atlas’ destruction of the world is Persephone’s plan, revenge for being stranded in the Underworld by Zeus and Hades. Kratos overcomes the desire to be reunited with Calliope, destroys the souls in Elysium to regain his powers, and kills Persephone.

Related: God of War Norse vs. Classic Kratos Is Player’s Dream Fight

During the battle, Kratos chained Atlas to the world and destroyed the pillar which previously held it, subjecting Atlas to his fate. Kratos then returns Helios to the sky, banishing Morpheus’ fog and saving the Olympians. The ending of Chains of Olympus sees an unconscious Kratos left to recover from battle by Athena and Helios, reneging on their promise to end Kratos’ suffering. He will awaken on the Suicide Bluffs where the original God of War begins. This seems to imply that the final scene in Chains of Olympus leads directly into the beginning of God of War, but that would cause a continuity error, since this is supposedly years prior, and God of War flashes back to have the player take control of Kratos three weeks prior to his suicide attempt.

God Of War Timeline: Ghost Of Sparta

Ghost of Sparta takes place between God of War 1 and 2

The second PSP game’s title refers to one of Kratos’ monikers. He is called the Ghost of Sparta due to the color of his skin, stained a pale white by the ashes of his wife and daughter – a curse for murdering them. Like Chains of OlympusGhost of Sparta similarly explores Kratos’ past, beginning with his first interaction with Greek gods Ares and Athena. Afraid of a prophecy which cited a marked warrior bringing about the end of the Olympians, Ares found and planned to kill Kratos’ brother, Deimos, when they were children. Deimos was presumed to be the marked warrior because of birthmarks which covered his body. Athena convinced Ares to spare his life, and imprison the boy instead.

After taking over Ares’ throne on Olympus, Kratos becomes curious as to the fate of his mother and brother. Kratos travels to Atlantis, a city controlled by Poseidon, and after much resistance from the water monster Scylla, locates his dying mother, Callisto. She manages to reveal the location of Deimos before Poseidon turns her against Kratos, forcing him to battle a beastly form of her. Escaping Atlantis, Kratos frees the titan Thera, which results in the flooding of the city. Kratos returns to Sparta only to learn that the gateway to Death’s Domain, where Deimos is being held captive by Thanatos, is in Atlantis.

Kratos returns to Atlantis, enters Death’s Domain and frees Deimos, who is angry at Kratos for not coming sooner. The brothers eventually reconcile, and team up in a fight against Thanatos near the Suicide Bluffs, a battle in which Deimos is killed. After Thanatos is defeated, Ghost of Sparta ends with Kratos carrying his brother’s body back to the Suicide Bluffs, where a grave digger – later revealed to be a disguised Zeus – buries him outside the portal to Olympus. This leads directly into the grand events of God of War 2, and a post-credits scene shows the grave digger burying Callisto next to Deimos, with a third grave open, implied to be prepared for Kratos.

The two PSP games may not have been developed by Santa Monica Studio, but they received a similar level of critical acclaim. While the mainline God of War trilogy is still the most centrally important to Kratos’ revenge against the gods of Mount Olympus, Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta do an impressive job of filling in more of Kratos’ past, thus deepening his characterization. God of War has largely moved Kratos on from its Greek saga, but Ready at Dawn’s two entries initially released on the PlayStation Portable are still integral to the overall timeline.

Next: God of War: What Greek Gods Are Still Alive

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