God of War Ragnarok: Every Time 'Boy' is Used in the Game – GameRant

Kratos called Atreus ‘Boy’ so many times in God of War (2018) that it became a meme, but the sequel is far more selective in using this phrase.
PLEASE NOTE: This article takes great care to avoid SPOILERs as much as possible, but given the nature of Boy's usage, fans may still find spoilery details below.
God of War (2018) saw Kratos call Atreus "boy" so much that it became a meme. Many would mimic Kratos by shouting "Boy!" in his voice, while others would sometimes call the game "Boy of War." Because of this, the fact that Kratos only calls Atreus "Boy" ONCE in God of War Ragnarok comes as a big surprise. In total, it's only used four times, with one of those simply being a passing joke.
This storytelling choice no doubt reflects how Kratos sees his son. In God of War, Atreus had a lot of growing up to do, was immature as they come, and was unprepared for the fights that came his way. Atreus, by the time of God of War Ragnarok, has grown a lot—physically, but more importantly, mentally. He is no longer the annoying kid that fans knew, as Kratos and Atreus spent the majority of Fimbulwinter training. This change in how Kratos sees Atreus is evident throughout the game, even if Kratos still struggles with seeing his son on his own path, and this gives the handful of times "Boy" is used extra meaning.
SECOND and FINAL POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNINGRELATED: Christopher Judge Shares Adorable Video of Kratos Making Dad Jokes
To get it out of the way, Brok will use the word as a joke at one point in the game. This is just a simple reference to God of War 2018, while Thor will call Kratos "boy" in his initial boss fight. This is used to discourage Kratos, though it doesn't exactly accomplish that, but Thor is suggesting the experience between them is vastly different. Thor is basically belittling Kratos as a god, and it serves as showing how Thor and Kratos are two sides of the same coin in God of War Ragnarok. This is obviously more malicious than how Kratos used it with Atreus, but it serves an important purpose: the use of Boy in the franchise is mostly familial but also an indicator of experience differences. The other two uses are far more important.
When Atreus runs away from Sindri's house, Kratos stands at the door and shouts "Boy" at the top of his lungs. Here, it can be argued that it's largely due to Atreus' inexperience and rash decision-making, but the familial ties are far more important. Atreus is setting out on a path that scares Kratos, something that he doesn't think Atreus is ready for or should do, and it's an emotionally heart-breaking sequence. It sets the emergency and tone that follows, but this single use of it by Kratos throughout the entirety of God of War Ragnarok shows how important Atreus is to him.
Finally, God of War Ragnarok's Thor will call Atreus "Boy" when he—the former—is drunk at a bar. Atreus protests and is quite angry by the word, but it also goes a long way in establishing the parallels between Atreus and Thor.
What's ultimately clear is how important the word "boy" is in God of War (2018) and God of War Ragnarok. With this major usage shift, that's only reinforced and goes even further in showing Kratos' relationship with Atreus and how Atreus operates with the surrounding gods. Indeed, in Ragnarok, Atreus earns the respect of his father, proves worthy of his namesake, and forges his own identity as a warrior, distinct from his father.
God of War Ragnarok is available now on PS4 and PS5.
MORE: Gamers Debate Who Would Find if God of War Ragnarok's Kratos Fought Elden Ring's Malenia
When Joshua Duckworth received Pokemon Yellow for Christmas at 5-years-old, his fate as a gamer was set. Since then, he's been involved with every step of the gaming industries' growth from the golden PS1 era and the dying days of the arcade to any current gaming trend. When he's not writing, playing his own games, or thinking about writing or playing his games, he's probably the second player to his son's Pokemon Let's Go, Pikachu! file. Joshua has an MA degree in English from Jacksonville State University.


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