So, okay–maybe you began and finished God of War Ragnarök when it released last year, but some of us have this thing where we buy a game and we’re lucky if we play it within a year of purchasing it because of limited attention spans. I just recently finished Ragnarök‘s main story and as much of the extra stuff as I could stomach — Muspelheim Crucible, you can go to… another place that reportedly looks a lot like Muspelheim — and so am left with passionate opinions about who should play who in the God of War series Amazon is developing.
Two things to note: First, this is by no means an exhaustive list. For example, I’m not casting any of the younger characters (because by the time the show gets made, who knows how old the actors will be). Second, I have yet to play the previous entries in the series, so you’ll only find my casting choices for characters in 2018’s God of War and the 2022 follow-up God of War Ragnarök.
Kratos – Mark Strong
My guess is the majority of the fan-casting for the god of war himself, Kratos, is focused on Gerard Butler. That would be understandable considering in Zack Snyder’s 300 he plays King Leonidas, the lead of what remains possibly the most popular action film set in ancient Greece, Kratos’ homeland.
But I’m going to go against the herd and instead choose Mark Strong (Shazam!). He’s brilliant at expressing the kind of always-bubbling intensity masked as stoicism that is the signature of Kratos. And playing the god of war would give him a well-deserved chance at a big leading role.
Baldur – Jeremy Davies
Upon first playing God of War and realizing — without even having to look it up — that it was Jeremy Davies doing the voice and motion capture for the nearly unkillable Baldur was, to say the least, a surprise. After all, while he plays someone with a bit more grit in Justified, before seeing that show I remembered him best as the absolute last guy you would want watching your back in Saving Private Ryan.
In spite of my shock, Davies is incredible as the mentally unhinged Baldur, and it would be nothing more than a damn shame to see anyone else cast in the role.
Thor – David Harbour
As soon as Thor showed up in God of War Ragnarök (when we get to see more than just his hammer like in the previous game’s end credits scene), I actually thought it was David Harbour playing him. It’s not — it’s Ryan Hurst. But since my initial reaction it’s been impossible to imagine this version of Thor being played by anyone else.
I don’t know that Harbour would agree to play Thor. He might balk at the idea considering between Jim Hopper, Red Guardian, and even Violent Night‘s Santa Claus he’s already played a few past-their-prime, heavy-drinking big mouths. But he’s still my first pick.
Mimir – Alastair Duncan
Another member of the don’t-fix-what-ain’t-broke department is the casting of God of War‘s Mimir. As long as the Mimir of the show appears chiefly as a decapitated, talking head acting as Kratos’ closest adviser — as he is in the games — then unless Amazon somehow locates a member of SAG-AFTRA who is likewise just a head, then it will be a voice actor playing the wisest of the Aesir regardless. So why not get the voice actor whose voice we all remember?
Brok – Danny DeVito
As long as Danny DeVito has time to play him and still appear in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I would love to see him play the blue-skinned dwarf Brok. Sneer words like “woke” at me as much you want–in the case of dwarf characters I think it’s best to cast people who are actually of shorter stature. It’s tough to imagine DeVito with Brok’s accent, otherwise he would be perfect as the heroic blacksmith with the gruff exterior.
Faye – Deborah Ann Woll
It’s tough to imagine why Marvel wouldn’t want her back for Daredevil: Born Again, but letting anyone but Deborah Ann Woll play Faye in the God of War series would feel wrong. She might need to bulk up for the role–after all we eventually find out the late wife of Atreus fought Thor one-on-one and survived. But if Natalie Portman can do it, so can Deborah Ann Woll.
Heimdall – Paul Rudd
This may be more on the hot take side of things, but I would love to see Paul Rudd play the God of War Ragnarök version of Heimdall. First, because the Ant-Man star doesn’t play bad guys nearly enough. Second, because the insufferable Heimdall is precisely the kind of villain Rudd would be perfect at playing.
I would also accept Jared Leto, chiefly because you pretty much want to reach through the screen and punch Heimdall as soon as you meet him, which seems to be similar to how just about everyone feels about Leto these days.
Odin – Richard Schiff
This is one of those choices that feels almost too obvious to mention. If Richard Schiff is willing to play Odin for Amazon’s God of War, and the series casts someone else, that would be the granddaddy of red flags. Schiff is as irreplaceable as this version of Odin as he was as The West Wing‘s Toby Ziegler. If you can cast him, you cast him.