God of War: Nornir Chest and Door Guide

There are lots of different treasure chests throughout the new God of War, but the most important are undoubtedly the Nornir Chests – some players may refer to these as Rune Chests. These chests each have three Norse runes on their front that indicate three identical runes nearby in the environment. To open the chests, these three runes in the environment must either be destroyed, rung, unveiled or otherwise.

In the first 18 of the 22 chests players find, there will be one of two items: the Idunn Apple or the Horn of Blood Mead. Once players collect three Idunn Apples, their health bar will increase significantly and the same goes for three Horns of Blood Mead increasing the Spartan Rage meter’s full capacity. Once the first eighteen chests are found, the remaining four simply hold useful treasure, as both health and the Spartan Rage meter can only be increased three times using these items. There are also six doors that use the same puzzle mechanics that the Nornir Chests do, and their locations and solutions are outlined here as well.

Spoiler Warning: It’s impossible to read or watch this entire guide without running into a few major story spoilers as a result. Though the most major spoilers don’t appear until about the eighteenth chest, smaller spoilers naturally occur throughout. You’ve been warned.

Types of Nornir Chests and Doors

Broken Runes

These are the simplest of all Nornir locks. The three runes are hidden somewhere nearby the chest or door, often hidden very well, and you need to throw the Leviathan Axe to break them before unlocking the chest or door.

Bell Runes

Similar to the broken runes, the three bell runes nearby the Nornir chest or door must ring simultaneously to unlock. These are typically easier to find than the broken runes but can be tricky to figure out how to position yourself in the most efficient spot to hit all three quickly enough with a throw of the Leviathan Axe. Other factors often impact how long each bell will ring, like if the bell is dangling on a rope or if it’s grounded and unable to ring out properly.

Contraption Runes

Contraption Runes are relatively simple, but the game throws multiple wrinkles in the mix to make them more complex, like obscuring a contraption or stacking them to make them interfere with one another. Each contraption contains three runes within it, and there are three contraptions near each Nornir chest or door. The trick here is to make the runes displayed on the contraption match the runes on the chest or door. To change the rune displayed on the contraption, throw the Leviathan Axe against the discs on either side of the contraption until it corresponds with the rune on the chest or door.

Hel’s Wind Runes

Once you acquire the ability to transfer Hel’s Wind from conduit to conduit, these chests and doors can be unlocked. Simply transfer the Hel’s wind to the conduit and let it shuffle through its various runes. Whichever one matches one of the runes on the chest or door is the one you’ll want the conduit to be on when you remove Hel’s Wind. You only have ten seconds to move from conduit to conduit with the Wind, so you have to be quick in order to unlock these Nornir chests and doors.

Nornir Chests

Nornir Chest 1 – Midgard: Wildwoods

Received: Idunn Apple

Just after defeating your first few draugr, Kratos and Atreus reach a three-way fork in the road. Proceed forward and break open the wood planks with your Leviathan Axe to find the first Nornir Chest. Its three symbols are all in the same room: the first is just to its right, the second is on the left in a cracked open chest and the third is towards the entrance on the left.

Nornir Chest 2 – Midgard: Wildwoods

Received: Idunn Apple

Soon after fighting your first revenant, you’ll climb up some walls and cross a small jump. You’ll soon see the second Nornir Chest in an area just before two raised bridges. The first rune is just to the right of the chest, the second is across a chasm to the left of the bridges. After throwing your Leviathan Axe to break two locks and lower the bridges, the third rune is across the bridge, hidden away in a little nook just past the bridges.

Nornir Chest 3 – Midgard: The River Pass

Received: Horn of Blood Mead

After getting past the room where you use the Leviathan Axe to raise and lower the celling, turn around and jump atop the dropped ceiling. The first rune is just above the spot you jumped on from. The second is in the room to the left. The third rune is a bit trickier: use the Axe to raise the ceiling you’re standing on, and the rune is above the contraption you use to raise the ceiling. Let the ceiling drop again, and the chest is off to the right of the dropped ceiling.

Nornir Chest 4 – Midgard: The River Pass

Received: Idunn Apple

Just after defeating the troll Brenna Daudi, the fourth Nornir Chest is right next to the mouth of a small waterfall. The first bell is just above the chest, the second is up and to the left on some rocks, and the third is further away, behind the stone/bone arches. Make sure you hit them all quickly enough to have them ring out at once.

Nornir Chest 5 – Midgard: Forgotten Caverns

Received: Idunn Apple

From here on out, the order in which you come about the chests may differ, as the game becomes far less linear once you reach the Shores of Nine. After speaking with the World Serpent and lowering the water level, make your way to the Forgotten Caverns in the North West area of the Shores of Nine. The fifth Nornir Chest is just to the left of the docking shore, and you can see all three rune bells dangling on an odd spinning contraption to its left. Simply hit each one as quickly as you can but expect the contraption to spin each time you hit a bell.

Nornir Chest 6 – Midgard: Veithurgard

Received: Horn of Blood Mead

After reaching the second dragon shrine, you’ll come across the sixth Nornir Chest in front of a closed gate. The first rune is just behind the chest at the end of a fallen log on a small cliff. The second is hidden behind the open spot in one of the arches around the circular arena. The third is just before the gate on the right, which you can now open and exit through to reach the chest.

Nornir Chest 7 – Midgard: Shores of Nine (Near Lookout Tower)

Received: Idunn Apple

Just after docking near Lookout Tower on Shores of Nine, you’ll see the seventh Nornir Chest plainly in front of you. To ring all of its bells, you must first lower the spikes surrounding the bells by throwing your axe at the mechanism above the chest. While the spikes are down, quickly hit the bell to the left, then the one above the chest, then one off to the right atop a small waterfall.

Nornir Chest 8 – Midgard: Foothills

Revieved: Horn of Blood Mead

In the Foothills region, soon after opening the door at the south end of the large bridge in the Shores of Nine, you’ll go right up a small hill and find the eighth Nornir Chest. This chest has contraption runes, meaning you’ll use the Leviathan Axe to spin one of three runes on three separate contraptions until each matches one of the runes on the chest. The first contraption is just above the chest, hit it until it displays a rune that looks like an “E.” The second is just at the bottom of the hill, hit it until it displays a rune that looks like a “P.” The third is further to the right, hidden in a poisonous cloud – freeze its source to see which symbol the contraption is displaying and hit the contraption until it shows a rune that looks like a backwards “B.”

Nornir Chest 9 – Alfheim: Lake of Light

Received: Idunn Apple

After gaining access to the boat and reaching the Lake of Light, hook a right and dock your boat at the alcove. Keep moving forward, and you’ll find the ninth Nornir Chest sitting in a roofless inlet. There are eight bells in total, but only three correspond to the correct runes. Because you can’t see the runes, you either have to use trial and error to see which ones make the chest respond, or just read this guide or watch the video. Hit the bell just above the entry way first, hit the bell the third to the left, then the bell the second to the right.

Nornir Chest 10 – Alfheim: Lake of Light

Received: Idunn Apple

After making your way into the Alfheim structure, you’ll plainly see the tenth Nornir Chest in an alcove to the far left. Its runes are well hidden, and tricky to get. First lower the floors with the wheel across from the chest, then freeze the exposed gear with the Leviathan Axe. Go across the lowered floor until you reach the line where the first tier of the floor will raise. Recall the axe and wait at the right side of this tier until the first rune appears – be quick and hit it once that tier finishes rising, but before the middle section begins rising. The second rune is on the opposite tier, just beneath the wheel, and must be hit quickly as well, so repeat this process to expose it. The third rune is behind the wheel, and can be hit by turning around and climbing up the tier as the gear is frozen.

Nornir Chest 11 – Alfheim: Lake of Light

Received: Horn of Blood Mead

Across from the area that you can find Sindri for the second time in Alfheim you’ll find the eleventh Nornir Chest. The three bell runes are easy to find: one is outside the alcove by the foot of the stairs, another is up and to the right of that, and the last is just above the chest. However, hitting them all quickly is another story. Hit them in the order listed and attempt to throw the axe at the last bell above the chest from somewhat far away before the other two stop ringing out.

Nornir Chest 12 – Alfheim: Lake of Light

Received: Horn of Blood Mead

After freeing the pillar of light and obtaining the light arrows, exit that large chamber with various light bridges until you enter an area with a light crystal at the bottom of some stairs. Pick that up, walk up the stairs, and place it in a holder to the left of the stars. Have Atreus fire his light arrows at this crystal to make a small light bridge appear above. Climb up to this platform until you see the twelfth Nornir Chest in an alcove. There’s a gold circle just before that alcove – stand on it and turn around to find the first rune bell. Hit that, turn around and hit the bell above the chest, then throw the Leviathan Axe through some holes in the alcove at the far away bell to unlock the chest.

Nornir Chest 13 – Midgard: The Mountain

Horn of Blood Mead

Make your way up The Mountain until you reach an area where you plainly see a contraption rune. Hook left past this until you see a light stone. Shoot it with a light arrow and progress until you see the thirteenth Nornir Chest. If you light the torch with a light arrow just next to the chest, you’ll see runes that look like “B,” “n,” and “R” written on the wall behind it in blood. The first contraption is just to the right of the light bridge you crossed, hit it until it displays an “R.” Turn right and drop down to find the second contraption, hit it until it displays an “n.” Turn right and look up the rock wall until you see the third contraption, hit it until it displays a “B.”

Nornir Chest 14 – Midgard: The Mountain

Received: Idunn Apple

Soon after acquiring the shock arrows, you’ll run into the fourteenth Nornir Chest, just before a small bridge. Turn around and destroy a rock wall by throwing some explosive tree sap at it and igniting it with a shock arrow. Through here is a broken rune to the right on the wall. Return to the bridge and walk up it. Raise the bridge and freeze it to go up it again until you see the second rune on your right. Drop down and look across the small gap from the bridge to find the third rune.

Spoiler Warning: The following Nornir Chests can only be found after the water level of the Shores of Nine is lowered a second time.

Nornir Chest 15 – Midgard: The River Path (Beneath The Witch’s House)

Received: Horn of Blood Mead

Though you probably noticed this chest just before reaching the Shores of Nine for the first time, you can’t actually reach it until the water level is lowered for a second time following your stint up The Mountain. The chest is on an island in the water that can be reached using light arrows on various light stones strewn about the cave. From the chest, climb up the short wall until you reach the locked Odin’s Door – the first broken rune is to the left of this. Return to the chest and turn around – walk forward until you see the second broken rune. The last broken rune is lodged into the wall of the well you climb up to reach the outside of the Witch’s House.

Nornir Chest 16 – Midgard: The Light Elf Outpost

Received: Idunn Apple

After taking out a troll and some pesky draugr, you’ll see the chest just above. From the chest, look off and to the left to see the first broken rune. Turn right from the chest and head outside. To the right, you’ll see the remaining pillars of a broken bridge out on the water – the broken rune is tucked inside one of these pillars. Then circle around the island, slowly moving upward until you reach a chain you can kick down – the third rune is out and to the left of this spot.

Nornir Chest 17 – Midgard: Fafnir’s Storeroom

Received: Horn of Blood Mead

Just before entering the waterfall to find Fafnir’s Storeroom, the seventeenth Nornir Chest can be found back and to the right of this waterfall. First hit the bell atop the waterfall, then the one just above the chest, and then the bell just to the right of it.

Spoiler Warning: major story spoilers can be seen in the footage following this point.

Nornir Chest 18 – Midgard: The River Path (Outside The Witch’s House)

Received: Horn of Blood Mead*

Once you have the ability to transfer the Winds of Hel, return to The Witch’s House and head outside. You’ll see the Hel energy on a column – transfer it to the other side of the column. Then, run along the Cliffside until you see a chain, climb it to see the eighteenth Nornir Chest. Continue along the top of the cliff until you find the Winds of Hel energy you transferred a moment ago. Take this and transfer it to a node halfway down the path, then transfer it again to the node above the chest to show only two runes need to be unlocked: one that looks like a “B” and one that looks like a “B” on its side. Return the Winds of Hel to the last node in order to see the runes on the contraptions above. If you hit the bottom contraption, both will spin, but if you hit the top contraption, only it will spin. Tinker with these until the top displays a “B” and the bottom displays a sideways “B.”

*We initially found the first Nornir Chest after opening the following eighteen, so the items received in the first and eighteenth chests are what we assume you will find. You may also find every Apple or Horn in the same order, just shifted down a chest because of this. Regardless, opening all eighteen of these chests, or missing a few and opening the remaining ones, will increase your health bar three times and you Spartan Rage meter three times.

Spoiler Warning: The following Nornir Chests can only be found after the water level of the Shores of Nine is lowered a third time.

Nornir Chest 19 – Midgard: Cliffs of the Raven

Received: Symbol of Providence

After docking your boat, you’ll find pink vines behind an iron gate towards the left. Lower the gate and throw your Leviathan Axe through these vines in this tunnel to reveal a Winds of Hel energy. Circle across the shore while fighting some tough enemies until you come to the other end of the tunnel. Take this energy and transfer it to the node by the nearby gate. It will open the gate, but you can’t get through. Instead, run around the cliffside until you see the node across from the Nornir Chest – transfer it here. Climb up to the chest to see its runes: one that looks like a sideways “N,” a “p” and an “R.” Take the Winds of Hel energy and transfer it to the contraption to the right. Then climb up the chain next to it and remove the energy when the contraption shows a sideways “N.” Transfer that to the node at the top of the chain and remove it when it shows an “R.” Then run and jump across the platforms behind you quickly until you reach the last node. Remove this energy when it displays a “p,” then return the energy to the empty node across from the chest.

Nornir Chest 20 – Midgard: Tyr’s Temple

Received: Polished Crest of Tenacity

After turning the wheel in the first chamber, you can see a Nornir Chest off at the far end of a hall with spiked, crushing walls. Use the Leviathan Axe to freeze one of the two crushers to proceed. Once at the chest, freeze the closest crusher with the axe as the spikes hit the wall and use your other weapon to hit a rune inside of the further crusher. Return to the chamber and make a right to the hall with the ceiling crushers – the second rune is in the right piston of this crusher, which can be hit when it’s dropped. The third rune is in a nook in the wall of the connecting chamber.

Nornir Chest 21 – Helheim: Bridge of the Damned

Received: Symbol of Bounty

After returning to Helheim and before boarding the ship, explore the area across from the docked ship. You’ll find the Nornir Chest in plain sight. To its right is a large block you can drag backwards. Drag it until it’s just a little bit outside of its initial spot. The first rune is in this spot. The second rune is inside the block, but you’ll have to slip around to its other side to see it exposed and hit it. Finish dragging the block as far back as possible and climb it. Look out across the water and to the right – the third rune is on the backside of a pillar.

Nornir Chest 22 – Midgard: Konunsgard

Received: Symbol of Fortitude

After defeating the final dragon, proceed until you come across the final proper Nornir Chest on a balcony to the left. Back and to the left of the chest is a bell with a node for the Wind’s of Hel – transfer the energy from right next to the chest to this node until the bell with the symbol spins around to face you, then remove the energy. Transfer it again to the node beneath the bells in the wall on the right side of the chest. Return to this first bell and throw the Leviathan Axe at it. Quickly go to the spinning bells, and time your throws to hit each one.

Niflheim Nornir Chests

Received: Mist Echoes and Hacksilver

Though there are technically an infinite amount of Nornir Chests inside the maze of Niflheim, they aren’t proper Nornir Chests and won’t produce Idunn Apples or Horns of Blood Mead. Because this maze is randomized each time you enter it, it’s impossible to say exactly how to solve these chests, but there are two Nornir Chests inside each time you enter. The first can be found just past the entrance, behind the long walkway you previously used. This chest will have three runes on it that change each time you enter the maze. Spread throughout the maze, you can find three Contraption Runes randomly atop the cliff sides of the maze. If you can remember the three runes from the chest, hit each one until the three runes are accounted for. Because this process can take upwards of twenty minutes and is totally random, we did not include solving this in our video – it will be different for everyone every time they enter the maze.

The second chest is far simpler. Due to the random nature of the maze, the other Nornir Chest could be in any connecting segment between battle areas in the maze. When you do find one, there will be three rune bells spread across the cliffs but sanctioned to the general area around the chest. One will typically be further away from the others and much harder to hit, so hit this one first, then quickly hit the other two. Both chests can be reopened an infinite amount of times upon subsequent maze runs.

Nornir Doors

There are six Nornir Doors throughout God of War, and they all operate just like the chests do. The rewards for each are different, though they’re all definitely worth the trouble of opening and claiming the treasures within.

Nornir Door 1 – Midgard: Veithurgard

Received: Fight Against Souleater

Before fighting your first Souleater, you’ll be blocked by your first Nornir Door. Its broken runes are scattered across the same room as the door. The first rune is invisible, but can be broken by throwing the Leviathan Axe at the fire urn above and to the right of the door. The second rune is in front of the door and to the right. The third is in an alcove far to the left and below the door, through which there’s a gate you can see but not reach the Souleater. After reaching this rune, you will be forced to fight a couple waves of enemies.

Nornir Door 2 – Midgard: Thamur’s Corpse

Received: Mark of the Ranger, Hacksilver, Solid Svartalfheim Silver

Soon after docking your boat just outside of Thamur’s Corpse, you’ll see three runes and a small gate beneath them – this is the second Nornir Door. To open it, there are three contraption runes to solve in this icy area. The first is to the left of the door, but only has one spot to hit, meaning you’ll have to move Kratos around it a couple of times to keep it spinning in the same direction until it displays a sideways “R” rune. The second is in an alcove to the right of the door – hit it until it displays a triangle on a base line. The third is across the icy field from the door and has to be raised by throwing the Leviathan Axe at the spinning device in these ruins. Quickly hit the contraption until it displays an “E” rune.

Nornir Door 3 – Midgard: Thamur’s Corpse

Received: XP, Glacial Catalyst, Hacksilver

Right after beating the bosses in the Thamur’s Corpse area, you’ll see a large gate with runes above it – this is the third Nornir Door. The first broken rune is far above the archway you came through: throw the Leviathan Axe to hit it. Then climb up the copper plates until you reach a platform. Turn around and look at the rubble across from this platform until you can see another broken rune inside a hole and destroy it. Drop down to the lower platform and walk to the edge. Look up at the pile of rubble and move around until you see the final broken rune.

Nornir Door 4 – Midgard: Iron Cove

Received: Mists of Helheim (Heavy Runic Attack), Hacksilver

This door can only be accessed after the water levels have dropped three times. Turn around from the door and look to the right across a drop to find the first contraption rune: hit it until a “B” is displayed. Drop down, and before the left of the ship you’ll see a second contraption rune below: hit it until a “p” is displayed. Past the broken ship and to the right you’ll find the last contraption rune: hit it until an “E” is displayed.

Nornir Door 5 – Midgard: Konunsgard

Received: Dragon Tablet

Sometime before freeing the dragon in this area, you’ll come across the fifth Nornir Door. The three bells are all nearby this door. Throw some explosive sap halfway between the two bells on the left. Have Atreus hit this with an electric arrow, then hit the large explosive sap to the right in order to ring all three bells at once. A large area opens up behind this door, and includes enemies, lore and a dragon tablet that needs to be destroyed to free the dragon.

Nornir Door 6 – Midgard: Shores of Nine (Buri’s Storeroom)

Received: Glaivestorm (Heavy Runic Attack), World Serpent Scales, Hacksilver

Start by defeating the difficult enemies on the beach. If you can’t beat them, play the game further until you’re strong enough. Go to the back side of the island with electric arrows and shoot the tree sap that’s binding the gears. Go to the gear above and rotate the water wheel until the beach on the backside of the island is exposed and can be docked. Take your boat from the front of the island, dock at the new location and circle around to the gate – lower it with the nearby chain to expose a rune bell. Return to the front side of the island. Hit the bells in this order: the one with the “C” rune to the right, the one with the “N” rune above the gate, then the one with the “R” rune just to the left of the door – this one only rings for a moment because it’s grounded. Enter Buri’s Storeroom for some final goodies.