As you explore the various worlds of GoW Ragnarok, you will often come across the padlock icon. This page explains what the padlock icon means, how to get rid of an obstacle, and how to unlock an inaccessible area.
The padlock icon is first encountered in the early stages of the game. Various objects such as doors or ropes can lead to plot-locked areas. Don't worry, all regions are revisited from time to time as you go through the story.
Barriers and obstacles
You may also encounter natural barriers or other obstacles that will prevent you from entering a room or an area in a particular region. When attempting to destroy such a blockade with your currently carried equipment, your companions will notify you that you probably don't have the right tool yet.
The padlock icon also appears on locked Nornir Chests. If you want to unlock such a chest, you must destroy 3 runes located somewhere in the vicinity of it.
Some obstacles require help of a companion, who in such a situation, will tell you what you need to use or which of their abilities might just come in handy.