A new interview reveals that God of War Ragnarök director Eric Williams fought to keep Ratatoskr when he was almost cut from the game.
We met Ratatoskr in God of War Ragnarök, after meeting his manifestation, Bitter, in God of War 2018. While this means that his role and development in the God of War Norse Saga makes sense, it turns out that he could have been cut at one point.
In a recent interview with Game Informer, God of War Ragnarök director Eric Williams talked about Ratatoskr’s inclusion in the game, why he fought to stay, and he and actor SungWon Cho talked about the character’s development in the game.
It turns out that when Ratatoskr first appeared in God of War Ragnarök, many developers questioned whether they had gone too far with the character. The sight of Ratatoskr on Kratos’ shoulders definitely doesn’t feel like part of the franchise, or maybe even necessary. Even the music director questioned what to do with the character, since it’s “so far from God of War”. However, when everyone was saying “we have to cut this. We have too many characters,” Williams stuck to her inclusion for one main reason: the lightness to offset the darker, more mature story of God of War Ragnarok.
Williams also wanted Cho to play him from day one, and Cho revealed that he was brought on board long before the project was announced. Cho was able to write and design Ratatoskr’s personality, including how to deal with the fact that he has these spectral projections, and revealed that the writing team stayed true to their design for the character (although some lines of dialogue were changed or added). Cho cites that his vision for Ratatoskr in God of War Ragnarök was that he was “almost like a car salesman who wants you to like him so he can sell you more cars”.
Of course, with any game as grandiose as God of War Ragnarök, there’s a lot left in the editing room. Ratatoskr doesn’t, but a very funny scene between him and Brok obviously does. Cho revealed that he was asked to write a rap battle in the style of the Northern Flyting (as seen in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla). “It was between Ratatoskr and Brok and I was happy with how it turned out, but a lot had to be cut due to time (or maybe stupidity).” This rap battle may have been lost to time, but maybe if fans are lucky and the demand is ever high enough, this scene will see the light of day for fans.
God of War Ragnarok is now available for PS4 and PS5, you can read the review here.