There are many treasures to discover in the realms of Norse mythology through which players venture in God of War. Not all of them are special, though. Some of the best, most important items in the game are locked in special boxes called “Nornir” chests, each marked with three magic runes. Finding them can be tough, but unlocking them is even more involved: Each of the game’s Nornir chests is a puzzle unto itself.
Not to worry, though: We have scoured the realms and come back with knowledge of every single Nornir chest in God of War, and all the information necessary to unlock them. Here is all you need to know find all 23 Nornir chests and get all of their extremely useful upgrades, in the order they become available as you move through the game.
Chest No. 1: Wildwoods
You will find the first Nornir chest as Kratos and Atreus are hunting the stag. The path will take you to a stone ruin where you will fight Draugr, where you will find several paths. Atreus will try to go forward, but take the path to the right instead. Break the wood barrier you find to reveal the chest. Look for three stone tablets bearing runes, and destroy them all with the Leviathan Axe, to open the chest.
Chest No. 2: Temple
As you continue through the Wildwoods, in the direction of the mountain, you will enter a stone temple where you first fight a Revenant. Follow the path downward and you will see the Nornir chest ahead of you. Look for the first rune to open it on the right side of the chest. The other two are across the drawbridge on the other side of the room.
Chest No. 3: Wildwood’s Edge
As you work through the transition between the Wildwoods and the Riverlands, you will enter a building were you eventually find a ceiling covered with spikes that you have to raise in order to travel beneath it. On the far side of the spiky ceiling, follow the path around to the right and you’ll find a spot where you can climb up on top of it. Once you’re on it, look to the right for a Nornir chest. The runes are scattered around in the area on top of the ceiling, but you might need to raise it to get angles on them — especially the one that is in the scaffolding above where you first jumped to cross beneath the ceiling.
Chest No. 4: Fire Troll arena
Up ahead, you will fight a fire troll and a number of Shadow bad guys. When you kill them, check the left side of the arena to find a Nornir chest with a new kind of puzzle. Instead of destroying three rune tablets, you need to ring three bells marked with the runes. All three bells need to be ringing at the same time to open the chest. Two chimes are near the chest, but the last one is on the far side of the path, near the big ribs sticking out of the ground.
Chest No. 5: Forgotten Caverns
When you reach the Lake of Nine, you can travel around its coast to find a number of places to dock your boat and explore. Head to the west side of the lake to find the Forgotten Caverns and dock at the beach. To the left of where you can land, you will find the Nornir chest. Three chimes are above it and to the left, hanging off a wood pillar.
Chest No. 6: Veithurgard
From the landing at the beach, head up the stairs toward the dragon, then follow the path to the left. The Nornir chest is just up the hill from the bridge to the castle. The first rune stone is in the cave area beside the iron gate next to the Nornir gate. The second is in the foothills near the wood bridge nearby. The last is tough to spot: Climb up the hill on the west side of the area near the Nornir chest, where you will find one of the dragon shrines. From the edge of the area, look down toward the stone ruins ahead. The last rune is on the outside of the ring, near the cliff edge.
Chest No. 7: Lookout Tower
Land on the beach east of the Vanaheim Tower, where you will find spikes protruding from the sand. Left of where you land, you will see the Nornir chest. The chimes are scattered on the cliffs above, but you need to clear spikes from in front of them before you can hit them with the aax Use the spinning wood gear to lower the spikes.
Chest No. 8: Foothills
Leave the Lake of Nine and head for the Mountain. When you hit Sindri’s shop, head up the hills to the west to find the Nornir chest. To open this one, you’ll need to find three pillars, which you can spin with your axe to match the runes on the chest. You’ll find the first next to the chest, and the second at the base of the path you had to climb to reach it. The third is up the path to the north of you, hidden by a torch spewing poison. You need to freeze the torch to see the spinner, then quickly recall the ax and hit the pillar in order to match the symbols.
Chest No. 9: Alfheim Lake of Light
When you reach the Lake of Light, row southeast to find a beach where you can land the boat. Head up the path and you will hit an iron gate that will only stay open for a short time. Sprint through it and turn left to find the chest in a round gazebo-like area. There are chimes scattered all around the chest, but only three of them are the real thing, so you have to test them to find the right ones.
Chest No. 10: Alfheim Ringed Temple Trench
Continue through the trench until you reach a place where a control lowers the floor. The Nornir chest is on the left of the area. Lower the floor halfway to find the first two rune tablets below you; drop it all as far as it will go to reveal the last rune tablet behind you.
Chest No. 11: Alfheim Ringed Temple
On the far side of the trench, you will reach the blue door to the temple, although you won’t be able to go through it. Turn left from the door and head down the path to find a door half-sealed by vines. Clear them, then hit the two bells outside the door before going through it. You’ll see the chest inside, with the last bell directly above it.
Chest No. 12: Alfheim Ringed Temple Exit
After you have finished your work in the Ringed Temple, the path will take you back to the blue door, but now on the other side. You will find a Light crystal to plug into a socket on the bottom floor to create light bridges above. Climb onto the second level with the light bridges to find the Nornir chest with a lattice wall around it. Stand on the right side of the chest to find a hole you can look through to spot two chimes. The third is behind you.
Chest No. 13: Fafnir’s Ravine
Past Sindri’s shop, head into the woods and clear out the Draugr. Facing the entrance of the stronghold, check the right edge of the area for the Nornir chest. You will find two of the bells to open the chest just above it, but the third is at the top of the waterfall to the southwest.
Chest No. 14: Inside the Mountain
After you clear the Black Breath, the path through the mountain will take you into some darkened tunnels. You’ll hit a room where you’ll cross a wooden bridge with holes in it into a large open chamber, with waterfalls in the distance. You’ll likely see the spinning podiums before the chest, which is ahead on your left. To get to it, you’ll need to head to the northwest side of the area, where you’ll find a wooden barrier and a Light crystal behind. Activate it to create a bridge upward into a room with the chest inside, but no runes on it. They’re painted on the wall behind the chest; match them to the spinners to open it.
Chest No. 15: Inside the Mountain — above the claw
Once you take the claw up inside the mountain, you will pass Sindri’s shop and get lightning arrows for Atreus. Follow the path up until you hit a vertical shaft with a wooden ramp up to the right. The Nornir chest is on the wall to the left. The first seal to break is in a room behind you off the hallway you just came through; the second is beside the elevator shaft on the wall, and you can hit it by lowering and crossing the drawbridge to get an angle. You will reach the third by raising the drawbridge and crossing to the platform above, then looking to your right.
Chest No. 16: Witch’s Cave
After you have lowered the water level in the Lake of Nine, you will eventually row back to the Witch’s Cave. Take the elevator up, then cross to the path that leads south, down into an area of the cave that was previously unavailable. Shoot the crystals to create light bridges and follow the path down to find the Nornir chest. The first rune is behind you, beside a chest covered you can’t open yet. The second is back up the hill behind you, near the climbable wall path out of the cave, to the north and east. To get the last rune, clear the sap barrier to the left of the chest and climb up the wall, then look to the left.
Chest No. 17: Light Elf Outpost
Head to Light Elf Outpost at the north end of the Lake of Nine. With the water lowered, you will be able to land at a beach where you will find a bunch of enemies, a sealed hidden chamber, and the Nornir chest. Look for the first rune stone east near the Light crystal socket; the second on a pillar just off the coast of the island on the western side, and the third on the northwest side, on the cliff wall as you climb toward the top.
Stop! This guide contains unavoidable story spoilers beyond this point. Do not read further until you’ve visited Helheim!
Chest No. 18: Witch’s House
Once you’ve been to Helheim, return to the Witch’s Cave and climb the wall to exit the cave into the yard in front of the turtle house. Head to the north west side of the yard and climb the chain, then turn left to find a Nornir chest. Turn around and head to the end of the path, past the chain, to the cliff’s edge. You will see a stone structure beside the house to find a wind trap with the Winds of Hel energy inside. Snag it and use it to power the chest, which will reveal the runes. You then need to locate the two pillars near the chest. One is a spinner in which one paddle moves a single rune, but the other paddle moves both. The second is a sideways Winds of Hel trap that, when you power it, turns to reveal runes. Match the spinner to the first two runes, then power the third until it matches the last rune. Remove the wind’s energy and return it to the chest to open it.
Chest No. 19: Tyr’s Vault
Once you’ve opened Tyr’s Vault, you will start to solve a puzzle to get the Black Rune from a spinning sphere in the middle of the vault. You will open three rooms that have gears inside you need to turn to solve the puzzle. The second room includes a Nornir chest set in one wall. You’ll find the first rune stone to destroy on the east wall of the room with the gear. The second is in the hallway with the two crushing blocks that move horizontally back and forth. Go past them toward a chest at one the far end, then turn around to face the crushers again. Freeze the one closest you in its extended position, then look through the machinery on the right side when the second block extends to find the rune stone. The third rune is in the hallway with the crushers that drop vertically. Wait for the first to drop down, then look at the piston o the right side to find it.
Chest No. 20: Helheim Dock
On your second trip to Helheim, the Nornir chest will be straight below you from the start but you won’t reach it for a while. Keep moving until you reach the dock with the ship on your right. Instead, go left and push the big cubic rock along the bridge on the left until it drops into a gap and you can cross to the area below the first tower where you started. You will find the Nornir chest here. The first rune stone is to your right, heading north under the tower. Burn some brambles on your left and then go past them, looking for the stone on your left. To find the second, pull another big cubic rock from the north wall of the tower, but position it next to the archway you just cleared so that you can get around the other side of it: The rune stone is inside the cube. To get the last rune, pull the block out as far as it will go, then climb up on it and the platform with the chest. Face north to find the rune on the back of a broken pillar in the water. Note that this chest isn’t tracked as a Nornir chest on the Helheim collectibles list, but it should provide you a Horn of Blood Mead to increase your Rage meter.
Chest No. 21: King’s Hollow
You need the “Hail to the King” Favor from Brok and Sindri to enter King’s Hollow, so make sure you have completed all their other tasks before you bother trying to go there. Once you’re inside, work your way through the area until you have opened the main gate with the three entry stones. Eventually, you will find the remains of the dwarf king hidden behind his throne. The secret passage will take you outside and you will hit the stronghold wall. Find an opening in it and head to the edge of the wall to find the Nornir chest. To open it, grab the Winds of Hel to rotate the two bells on the right and left side of the archway so you pass through to reach the chest. Use the winds to rotate the right bell so it matches the chest, then put the winds in the left bell, which actually contains two rune bells. You need to hit the right bell first, then head left and hit the two rune bells as they spin to get all three.
Chest No. 22: Cliffs of the Raven
The final Nornir chest is the most complex. Head into the Cliffs of the Raven area and work your way through, dropping all the chains and opening all the gates. You should spot the Nornir chest on the cliffs above you. Return to the path north of the dead giant, heading back toward the beach and down the hill. Look to the left for a hallway that leads into a dark tunnel to a wind trap. Grab the winds and throw it into the trap up above on the wall, left of the hallway where you found it, to open the gate there.
Next, climb up to the Nornir chest and look for a spot to the left of it where you can jump across to a cliff wall and climb up. You should be able to grab the winds from the gate here, then look north for a wind trap attached to a rune spinner. Leave the winds until the rune with the triangle pointing right appears, then take the winds and turn east to find another trap nestled against the cliffs.
Climb around back down to the Nornir chest, then grab the wind, and put it in the spinner southwest of the Nornir chest, and leave it there until the rune that looks like a “Z” appears. Return the winds to the trap against the cliffs again, then climb up the chain, where the last spinner will be to your right. Grab the winds and spin the rune to the one that looks like an “R”. Return the winds to the cliff, then climb down and open the chest.