acknowledging and remembering your sins is true strength

Lloyd Irving

At first, Lloyd does not take much liking to Kratos. Not that he really disliked him in the beginning, but he found Kratos really irritating because his swordsmanship made Lloyd’s pale in comparison and the guy was almost always reprimanding or critiquing him. Lloyd has no idea why Kratos is so strict and insistent on Lloyd’s skills improving because he cannot even imagine Kratos being his father. Though Kratos does know from almost the very beginning of the game, he has absolutely no intention of letting Lloyd know. Naturally, that would involve explaining that he killed Anna and various other things. Kratos also knew that he was really betraying them at the end of Colette’s journey anyway, so there would be no point in bringing up something of the past. So, Kratos continues on irritating Lloyd with his strength and training. He comes to believe that Kratos is “sooo perfect” and isn’t capable of making mistakes because Kratos always tells him to take responsibility, but that isn’t what Kratos is trying to teach him. The reason why Kratos pushes Lloyd so hard is because he wants him to be able to protect himself from any kind of harm he may come across, as he knows he won’t always be there to save him. He’s concerned for Lloyd’s well being, and displays it on numerous occasions subtly by asking to accompany him when the group splits up and other such things, but Lloyd never really notices until later.

Despite Lloyd’s complaining about Kratos being cold, better at him at swordsmanship and always pushing him to the next level, he ends up growing pretty attached to Kratos. He can hardly believe that “even Kratos” would betray them, and is very upset about it for quite some time. He wants to know why. Why did he pretend to be their ally? Lloyd only gets more frustrated when he hears that Raine sensed gentleness in the words that Kratos spoke to him, because he can’t justify Kratos’ actions at all. Kratos’ loyalty wavers back and forth between Mithos and Lloyd, which leaves him hoping that maybe Kratos wasn’t really an enemy and that he’d come back to them at some point. Still, Lloyd pushes those feelings to the back of his mind and covers them with anger directed at Kratos. When Yuan informs Lloyd that Kratos is really his father, Lloyd cannot accept it. He would not accept it. How could his father be the person who betrayed them and made Colette suffer? Once Kratos shields Lloyd from a devastating blast from Mithos and passes out, Lloyd calms down a little. Even so, he can’t call him “dad.”

I can only imagine this time was incredibly hard for Kratos. Deep down, he probably figured that Lloyd would never accept him as a father after everything he had done, but hearing Lloyd actually say that he wouldn’t must have been just as painful all the same. Kratos seemed to be looking for Lloyd’s approval while they were traveling together, occasionally asking what Lloyd knew about his father. After Lloyd is informed that his father killed his mother, Kratos inquires for his opinion. This is one of the few, if not the only time in the entire game that we see Kratos’ “sad” skit expression. He’s obviously concerned what Lloyd things of the action he took that day with Anna, and desperately wants his understanding to ease his own pain. His face lightens a little when Lloyd tells him that it was Kvar’s fault for causing the situation, and not his father’s, but Kratos still isn’t so sure. Lloyd has become the center of his universe since Kratos realized he was still alive, so even though he didn’t say anything when Yuan mocked him about Lloyd not accepting him as a father, I’m sure he was hurt. Kratos ultimately decides that he will fight Lloyd one-on-one in order to face the sins of his past. Lloyd needed Origin’s seal to be released, and Kratos would have to die for that to happen, so he had the perfect excuse for it. But even Lloyd saw through the freeing Origin act and realized that Kratos needed to fight Lloyd in order to be at peace in his mind with the past. Kratos wanted to believe that if they fought and Lloyd won, the future would prevail over the past. Once the time comes for them to fight, Lloyd is still unsure, and asks Kratos once more if there is any other way. No matter what Lloyd says, he cares about Kratos and doesn’t want his death for any means. Kratos is not willing to talk about the subject any further, as he just wants to get the fight started. As a friend of the former Mithos, and more than anything as his father, he wants to fight a battle he won’t find shameful.

Lloyd still isn’t able to call Kratos “dad,” for quite a while after finding out the truth and every time he is about to, he corrects himself and says “Kratos.” After losing all of his friends in each trap set out by Mithos, Lloyd is attacked by a dart that should have killed him. However, the pendant that Kratos gave him in Flanoir while talking to him about his mother and how she died protected his heart and saved his life. Finally, Lloyd realizes everything that Kratos has done for him.

“Kratos’ pendant… He protected me… Dad…”

Still, even though Kratos did do a lot for Lloyd in terms of looking out for him, training him and teaching him some lessons, Lloyd ended up doing more for him than he could possibly imagine. Lloyd saved Kratos from despair, from death, from losing himself, again and again. Kratos ends up telling Lloyd his point of view of everything that happened in Tales of Fandom 2 when he is asked about it, and once he finishes, Lloyd says nothing. Kratos kind of laughs to himself and asks if Lloyd is too shocked for words. Again, I believe Kratos is worried of what Lloyd’s opinion of his actions is, but tries to stay strong in order to cover his concern. However, Lloyd pulls through once again and comments that Kratos has been carrying over 4000 years of regrets, which is more than a normal human being could have, so it would be okay for him to help him. Kratos is shocked. How could Lloyd possibly want to help him, how could he even care about him after he learned that he couldn’t choose between his own son and a man’s ideals he didn’t agree with? Even so, Kratos admires Lloyd’s strength and deeply appreciates him as his son. And though Dirk will always be Lloyd’s “dad,” he comes to be grateful for and love Kratos as his father as well. He is able to call Kratos “dad” to his face during their parting words.

All of Kratos’ love, fears and other feelings for Lloyd are expressed in his simple and final goodbye before going to Derris-Kharlan forever.

“Don’t die before I do, Lloyd…my son.”

b a c k   .   c l e a r   .   f o r w a r d    Count the Stars and its contents are © Samantha, however Kratos and Tales of Symphonia are © NAMCO. Count the Stars is a part of AFTER-DEATH.ORG.