So…I wanted to get this theory out before the Game Awards because I’m hoping to have more videos about Kingdom Hearts IV after the show on 12/8. There are no signs of that happening, but one must always be prepared.
As bad luck would have it, I couldn’t be where I wanted to be to record and edit a video in time to do that, so I’m going to write this out!
This blog will contain HEAVY SPOILERS for both God of War: Ragnarok and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road. So if you want to remain fresh on those, please leave now!
Alright, so this theory has all to do with the identity of the Master of Masters (MoM) in Kingdom Hearts. We’ve known about MoM for a while, but we still haven’t figured out who he is exactly.
It’s still not entirely clear whether he’s a protagonist or an antagonist, but he will be a heavy hitter in the Lost Masters Arc, which is the next phase of Kingdom Hearts following Xehanort’s demise in the Dark Seeker Saga at the end of Kingdom Hearts III.
After playing God of War: Ragnarok though, my mind started racing with a theory about the MoM’s identity. Why is this not as weird of a connection as it seems?
Well, because the next phase of Kingdom Hearts revolves heavily around characters named after legends in Norse Mythology and God of War: Ragnarok takes place within those Norse legends and includes characters of the same names.
As this is a theory, I could be completely and totally off. This theory could also already be out and about and being discussed, but after playing GoW, I was putting all these connections together in my own head. So if you’ve been onto this theory for awhile without having played GoW or without some background knowledge in Norse Myth, I applaud you and I’d like you to call me out in the comments for being late to the party.
So, there are a few red flags that went up in my head and I will be addressing who I think the MoM is in Kingdom Hearts. There’s going to be plenty of lore jumping back and forth between Kingdom Hearts, God of War, and Norse Mythology, so please buckle up and enjoy the show!
To begin with the seed that grew this theory: let’s start with the Kingdom Hearts side of things.
The Gazing Eye and the Case of Odin
In Kingdom Hearts Unchained X/Union Cross, we learned that the MoM has read and seen the future, but bestows his “gazing eye” to his disciples so he can ensure that the future that is written in the Book of Prophecies comes true.
We discovered that the little blue eyes in ALL of these keyblades throughout the series are the Gazing Eye of the MoM, including Xehanort’s keyblade.
Xehanort’s keyblade was passed down to him in a long line of keyblade masters that includes the MoM himself, his dark disciple Luxu, and Xehanort’s own Master, named Odin.
Xehanort and his classmates (Eraqus, Bragi, Vor, Urd, Hermod, Vidar, Sigrun, Vala, Helgi, Vali, Heimdall, Hoder, and Baldr) are all taught by Odin in Scala ad Caelum, the epitome of society for keyblade wielders. Scala ad Caelum used to be Daybreak Town, where the MoM taught his pupils. Once that world was destroyed, it was rebuilt by the survivors to create Scala ad Caelum.
Each of the classmates, except for Xehanort and Eraqus, are named directly after Norse gods of Myth…but I’ll be back to that in a second.
So, Odin both in Norse Mythology and in God of War: Ragnarok is considered the “All-Father” and the god of gods, in a sense. He taught or created all of the gods in the Norse myth and houses them all in the realm of gods, called Asgard.
Odin loses his eye trying to peer too far ahead into the future and discover the purpose of his own life. This is also represented within God of War: Ragnarok. Because he loses his eye, he employs an army of ravens throughout the Nine Realms to ensure that the future he’s foreseen comes to fruition. We see these throughout God of War: Ragnarok as green ravens that Kratos can destroy for rewards within the game.
While Odin pleads the titular God of War Kratos and his son, Atreus, for peace, we also learn that he’s not afraid to let Ragnarok (aka the destruction of the Nine Realms) happen if it means he’s allowed to see his purpose without losing his other eye.
Odin also uses his two main ravens, Huginn and Muginn, to travel the realms and communicate on his behalf. Huginn and Muginn are adorned with Odin’s blue eyes, so he can see directly what and who they interact with.
If we head back up to Kingdom Hearts Odin’s design, he is purposely drawn with only one eye being visible. Tetsuya Nomura, the character designer and director of the Kingdom Hearts series, designs his characters very deliberately.
Going back to something as simple as the “Recusant’s Sigil” otherwise known as a symbol for the “X” throughout the series, Nomura used simple means of the “X” on characters’ clothes or within their names to mark them as attached to Xehanort.
Nomura is also very into Norse Mythology and he makes that quite apparent in his breakout role as the character designer for the all-time classic Square Enix game Final Fantasy VII (1997). In which, many characters, towns, summons, and more are named after Norse legends.
So, it makes sense that the Kingdom Hearts Odin draws more than just the namesake from the actual Odin of myth, and thus, the Odin from God of War: Ragnarok.
The parallels between the eyes of the ravens and the Gazing eye of the keyblade makes too much sense, as well as being the “high teacher” in the “highest realms” of Asgard and Scala ad Caelum.
While I was looking into the eyes of Huginn and I realized that God of War: Ragnarok Odin sends his eyes everywhere and likes to peer into the future, everything just clicked!
Kingdom Hearts Odin was in possession of the main Gazing Eye keyblade, is missing an eye, and taught all of the keyblade wielders in Scala ad Caelum that used to be Daybreak Town……..I MEAN COME ON!
It would make complete sense that the MoM put Odin in his line of succession prior to the destruction of Daybreak Town! His dark disciple, Luxu, has proven multiple times in Kingdom Hearts lore that he’s placed his heart into the vessels of others to continue to pass down the Gazing eye keyblade.
“But wait, wouldn’t that make Odin a vessel of Luxu then and not the MoM?”
While this is an excellent question, we find out in the end of Dark Road that Luxu has been hiding within the body of Bragi, one of Odin’s students. Bragi is a Norse prince, and considered to be Odin’s prime pupil.
The Case of Baldr
The other pupil that ties this whole damn thing together is Baldr. There are Baldrs that exist in both Kingdom Hearts and God of War that also gives this Odin/MoM theory legs.
I touched upon the full ending of Baldr and Dark Road in this breakdown video, so please watch that for further detail. But basically, Baldr was touched by darkness and began killing off all of Odin’s other pupils. Once discovered, it came down to a clash between Odin, Xehanort, and Eraqus to vanquish Baldr. Although, Odin didn’t strike the final blow, he held Baldr in place and Xehanort finished him off.
Once Baldr is killed, Odin bestows the Gazing eye keyblade upon Xehanort, who eventually becomes the main antagonist for Sora in the Dark Seeker Saga of Kingdom Hearts. Seems like an oddly great reward for striking down another pupil, eh?
Well, no. Xehanort, a former inhabitant of the Destiny Islands, was viewed as the “Child of Destiny” AKA the child that would balance the light and darkness in the world, according to the Book of Prophecies that the MoM wrote.
What MoM didn’t know was that Sora, the real protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts series, also came from the Destiny Islands and would eventually defeat Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts III. Sora foils all that “destiny” has foretold in the MoM’s prophecy and thus, the MoM must find a way to defy Sora’s destiny in Kingdom Hearts IV and beyond, which hasn’t been written yet.
Here’s how prophecy and Baldr tie together to God of War:
In the first God of War (2018), Baldur is sent by Odin to confront Kratos, the Greek God of War, for trespassing in Norse Midgard. Kratos has settled down, but unbeknownst to him, a frightening prophecy tells that the offspring of Kratos would lead to the demise of Asgard. Kratos and Atreus have no idea the adventures they’re about to be on, but it begins with Baldur.
I won’t rehash the whole plot of 2018’s God of War, but it ends almost identically to how the Kingdom Hearts Baldr meets his end. Kratos kills Baldur and fulfills his prophecy by being able to raise Atreus to confront Odin and kill him during Ragnarok.
Following the demise of Baldur, Odin tries to make Atreus his pupil. He tries to defy his own destiny, the destiny of Ragnarok, by winning Atreus over to his side. It ultimately fails and both Kratos and Atreus become heroes of the Nine Realms by defeating Odin.
In Norse Mythology, the death of Baldr brings upon the events of Ragnarok. In God of War, that absolutely happens, but the true Ragnarok is defied by Kratos and Atreus. The remainder of the Realms live on in peace. In Kingdom Hearts, the world’s destruction is consistently defied by Sora, while Xehanort and all of the gazing eye pupils are defeated throughout the Dark Seeker saga.
While God of War‘s Odin is defeated, the fate of Kingdom Hearts Odin has yet to be revealed. While he may have died of old age off screen in between Dark Road and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, I truly believe that he returned to his true form as the Master of Masters and is plotting to destroy Sora in order to finally balance light and darkness, as he originally thought Xehanort would accomplish.
An Oath to Return…?
So, to wrap it all up, we have yet to see who the Master of Masters is. All we know is that he’s going to play a pivotal role in the next Kingdom Hearts saga, which is everything after Kingdom Hearts III.
Following a long and winding road through mobile games like Kingdom Hearts Unchained X/Union X and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road, we’ve learned very little about the Master of Masters, but we know that both he and Odin are mysterious beings with very little screen time in the grand scheme of things.
After playing God of War: Ragnarok and making some connections with Norse Mythology, it just makes complete and total sense to me that the Master of Masters and Odin are one in the same.
Ragnarok has yet to truly happen in Kingdom Hearts, but maybe the “Oath to Return” means more than just the return of Sora to the realm of light. Maybe it also means the return of the Master of Masters as Odin and the destruction that once brought Daybreak Town to its knees to become Scala ad Caelum.
We’ll just have to wait for more in Kingdom Hearts IV and beyond to find out!
Thank you so much for sticking around this long if you have! I plan on using this as a script for a YouTube video so I can pair all these words to some gameplay from God of War: Ragnarok and Kingdom Hearts.
Here’s hoping I’m right back here tomorrow after the Game Awards with some more Kingdom Hearts news and updates!