Pretty much every other god is mentioned, even Jesus in the author's preferred text (after the end of the actual book).

But where in the devil is the Devil?

  • 10
    Pretty much every other god is mentioned - uh, really? 'Cause the way I read it there were gaps in pretty much every pantheon, and I'm not versed enough in world mythology to know which pantheons were skipped.
    – Radhil
    Mar 28, 2017 at 15:17

3 Answers 3


Going off of the author's in-universe justification for not including Jesus in the main story, namely that Jesus wouldn't fall for Wednesday's con, it only makes sense that the Devil is similarly uninterested in participating. He has things to do and people to tempt and isn't in any danger of being forgotten.

Jesus, at least, has some motivation to appear to Shadow to help out because Jesus helps people. The Devil, on the other hand, has no reason to be interested in Shadow at all. Shadow had already been tempted plenty of times over the course of the book and has risen above it.

If Wednesday isn't going to try to involve him and he isn't going to involve himself, why would he show up?

  • I will try to find the actual quote from Neil Gaiman later, but my book is at home and the internet doesn't seem to have the afterword anywhere. Mar 28, 2017 at 15:42
  • This makes a lot of sense. Thank you! Please ping me once you find the NG quote.
    – marundu
    Mar 31, 2017 at 7:09
  • My copy has appeared to have gone missing. Apr 4, 2017 at 14:30
  • 1
    I've been thinking about this: if Jesus is doing well (in the sense enough people believe in him to keep him alive), then by axiom so is the devil, Jesus's adversary. It would be difficult to believe in a good god and not believe in a bad one. This is something that is captured in the good-evil dichotomy of Christianity. Thus, Neil Gaiman needn't mention the devil.
    – marundu
    Apr 7, 2017 at 6:15
  • 2
    @marundu But Christians do believe in a good God and not a bad one. Satan is not a god--he's a fallen angel with very limited powers, waging a futile struggle against an omnipotent God. Sep 19, 2017 at 14:47

Simply, the devil is not a god. All other characters, be them from the old pantheons or the new one, are gods; Satan is just an ordinary angel, small powers, no dominion at all, and he is worshipped as such; it would be really weird to see him included in a list of gods.

  • 1
    I think you're very wrong. Jesus isn't a god. I don't think Baron Samedi is a god. The very point of the book is that the beliefs are shifting from gods to other things - gods aren't necessary, any anthropomorphic personification will do. Other than that, in some media Devil is portrayed as very powerful - take Gaiman's own Lucifer, for instance. And Satan is worshipped as well. Sep 19, 2017 at 18:15
  • 2
    Jesus is God itself, created of the same substance of the father blah blah blah. Baron Samedi is an emanation of God, and has a domain to manage. Lucifer, Satan, or whatever you wanna call it, it's just a random angel without any domain at all. The very point of the book is that beliefs shift from domain to domain, and the Gods are loosing or gaining power from that, and new Gods get to born while old are dying.
    – motoDrizzt
    Sep 19, 2017 at 21:16
  • In the mythologies I'm aware of, Lucifer is commonly depicted as ruling over the domain of Hell. Christianity believes in Hell; so do other Abrahamic religions (afaik). Lucifer is not a random angel - he is the most beautiful, the strongest, and some may call him the wisest. Take Mad Sweeney - he's not a god. Neither is he depicted as having a domain. Sep 20, 2017 at 16:21

Jesus technically is “God” almighty, in that he represents part of the holy trinity, which is somewhat paradoxical in and of itself.

Baron Samedi too, is, in fact, a “god”. He is known to worshipers as the chief deity of the Ghede family of Loa (spirits, in this case concerned with matters of balancing life and death) in Haitian voodoo.

I think Lucifer would qualify as a legitimate “god” within the loosely defined structure of the series, however, the old saying “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist” wouldn’t hold so true based on this particular worship-power belief system that is in effect.

It might make for an interesting side scene/cameo in the series, but I don’t think the core plot of American Gods is overly concerned with Christianity (again, any Gods, angels, etc. of THAT particular nature are “doing just fine” and would not have any desire to participate in Wednesday’s gambit.)

  • So basically, there's no DEvil?
    – Jenayah
    May 12, 2019 at 17:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.