God of War is coming to the small screen. In the spirit of Sony’s push to adapt its most popular franchises into television series, like the upcoming Last of Us show on HBO, Sony Santa Monica’s gruff god killer will be coming to Amazon. Fans have many questions about this show, like what part of the story it will tell. Perhaps the biggest question, though, is who will play Kratos. But there is really only one answer — Christopher Judge.
Christopher Judge wasn’t the first voice of Kratos — that honor goes to Terrence C. Carson who voiced the character through the entire original trilogy. Yet Christopher Judge quickly showed he could expertly embody Kratos, especially the more solemn version seen in God of War (2018) and its sequel Ragnarok.
In the current discussion of who should play Kratos, most people throw around a myriad of famous names. Gerard Butler, Dwayne Johnson, and Idris Elba are a few names that have popped up in the conversation. Yet some agree that the perfect choice is already in front of us, Christopher Judge can do the job.
The argument against Judge is two-fold. The first claim is that in order to make the show appealing to the general public, namely people who may not have played the games, the show needs to have a star. Second, voice actors are talented but don’t have the training or presence to do the live-action work a TV show calls for. But Judge has points in his favor to offset both claims.
Before playing Kratos, Judge’s most iconic role was as Teal’c in the long-running science-fiction show Stargate SG-1. Judge trained originally as a screen actor, taking work in television and film before beginning to break into animation and video games with voice work.
Judge also embodies Kratos in his mannerisms. Motion capture for AAA games like God of War often pulls heavily from film and television in its style, which is one of the reasons Sony Santa Monica recast Kratos with Judge in 2018.
Not to say that the voice isn’t important. While characters like Joel and Ellie in the Last of Us aren’t defined by their voices, Kratos’ booming growl is an iconic aspect of his character — not every actor can do it justice. Judge’s voice is Kratos to many gamers.
Even though Judge is perfectly suited to reprise his role as Kratos in the Amazon TV show, some still believe that he just doesn’t have the star power to carry a prestige television series. To which I say, he doesn't need to be. God of War alone will lure people to the show, and the showrunners can fill out the supporting cast with bigger names.
Additionally, the God of War TV show already has a built-in audience in the fanbase for the game series. The fans love Judge for his portrayal of Kratos, which has continuously been praised by gamers and critics alike. He has won two Best Performance awards at the Game Awards in 2018 and 2022 for God of War and its sequel.
When it comes down to it, Christopher Judge is Kratos. Amazon would be foolish not to see that.