Questions tagged [american-gods]

For questions about "American Gods", a novel by Neil Gaiman, adapted as a TV series by Starz in 2017 onwards. The story is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology. Use this tag with [books] or [tv] if your question is specific to one medium or the other, or with [adaptation-comparison] if it's about comparing the two.

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What is waiting for Shadow in the U.S.?

In the final chapter, when Shadow meets Iceland's version of Odin, he asks if Shadow will return to the U.S.. Shadow answers there is nothing waiting for him there, which he realizes is false, and ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Why did Wednesday ask Shadow to hold his vigil?

In the beginning of American Gods, Wednesday includes holding his vigil in the deal with Shadow: "We haven't made a bargain." "Sure we have. You work for me. You protect me. You hep me. You ...
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3 votes
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In American Gods is the Myths of the gods, something that happened, or something that emerged as a belief?

One of the central themes of American god lore is that Gods, like Wednesday, Mr.Nancy, Chernobog were made out of people's beliefs. and their existence is tied to the devotion of their followers. But ...
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38 votes
2 answers
8k views

In American Gods, is there another version of the gods in their native lands?

In chapter 6, Wednesday says to the council of old gods, When the people came to America they brought us with them. So what happened to the lands that they left? Do they no longer have gods? Or ...
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5 votes
1 answer
700 views

Why shouldn't Shadow practice the coin trick Mad Sweeney taught him?

In the book American Gods Mad Sweeney taught Shadow how to grab gold coins from the horde. However, after Sweeney died from exposure, Mr. Wednesday (Odin) told Shadow he could practice any trick but ...
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4 votes
2 answers
375 views

Why does Laura never mention that she has been "sacrificed for a god"?

Note: this is the question about the TV Series At the end of the first season, Laura asks Easter to resurrect her. Easter replies that she cannot help because Laura has been killed by a god - ...
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3 votes
1 answer
773 views

What's the real nature of Samantha Black Crow in American Gods?

Sam is shown in the end as having dreams similar to Shadow. What is the author hinting at? (Edit: Its not a duplicate of this question as some people have suggested, because that question deals with ...
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7 votes
1 answer
622 views

Why does Horus consider Shadow critical in American Gods?

Just before the main battle, Horus asks Easter to save Shadow, but she refuses saying that the battle is the main priority at that time. Then, Horus says that if Shadow isn't saved, the whole battle ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Why Wednesday tells Shadow to "be nice, but not too nice" to Easter?

When Wednesday and Shadow are about to visit Easter, Wednesday says: Be nice to the lady we are visiting. But not too nice. [...] “Let me put it bluntly,” said Wednesday. “You must be very ...
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2 votes
1 answer
737 views

Why doesn't Wednesday have unlimited money?

Mr. Wednesday pays Shadow $4000 a week (apparently, we never see any such exchange) yet they stay in the low-end American Motel (owned by one of the gods?) and Mad Sweeney, Wednesday's ally, also has ...
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2 votes
2 answers
210 views

Why did Wednesday tell Shadow to toss the cell phone?

Why did Wednesday tell Shadow to toss the cell phone when "2 Cell Phones" was on his shopping list? Why didn't he note that to Wednesday?
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4 votes
1 answer
173 views

Why does Easter appear so early in the TV series?

In American Gods (book), the character of Easter appears only a couple of times in the story: once when Wednesday is trying to recruit her, and then (if I recall correctly) later on to In American ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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The ending of American Gods makes no sense to me. Wednesday's plan

I still have about 30 pages to go so maybe the story is resolved there but it has veered off to different plot strings. I am a huge fan of the book but can someone explain Wednesday's plan here: Plan ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Why is Laura superpowered in the TV adaptation of American Gods?

I've read the novel American Gods, and I don't remember anything about the dead Laura being physically superpowered. She was able to kill people, but I always read that as being her simply taking them ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Was the "Gambler" god from "Lucifer" the same entity as the unnamed god from "American Gods"?

In the Lucifer comic series, Jill Presto used to be a vessel for Basanos, a living Tarot deck. Their relationship didn't end well, Basanos forcefully impregnated her against her will. She managed to "...
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3 votes
1 answer
275 views

Were there any other serious contenders for the role of Mr. Wednesday?

When I read the book, I imagined Mr. Wednesday looking quite different from Ian McShane, the actor who plays him in the TV episodes - more wolf-like, leaner, a tad smoother, suave-like, sort of. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Are the American Gods from the TV series omniscient?

Major spoiler alert for those who have not read the book. In the second episode of American Gods, we see Anansi give a speech in the hold of a slave ship in which he reveals detailed information ...
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14 votes
2 answers
14k views

What was Mad Sweeney screaming in Gaelic?

In the "Prayer for Mad Sweeney" episode, the car accident throws Laura through the window and rips the golden coin from her body. Mad Sweeney picks it up and he is ready to walk away from the dead ...
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6 votes
4 answers
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What has happened to the Technical Boy in the exact center of USA?

In the American Gods novel, the old and new gods meet in the motel located in the exact center of the USA. Mr Nancy says that this place is truly neutral and none of them can use their powers there. ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What was the point of the murder committed by Technical Boy?

There will be spoilers from the book here. In the "Interlude", after chapter 12, we see as she stands on the sidewalk of Sunset Boulevard. She is picked up a passing limo, which belongs to the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Why did Hinzelmann owe a debt to Mr. Wednesday?

In chapter 20 of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Hinzelman says that he saved Shadow's life because he owes a debt to Mr. Wednesday. Do we know why he owes this debt? Is it explained somewhere in the ...
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10 votes
4 answers
16k views

What is the gold coin?

In Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Shadow receives a magic coin from the leprechaun Mad Sweeney. That coin has the power to animate a dead person to undead and keep them undead. Shadow's undead wife ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How did everyone find out about Shadow's dream?

In chapter 11 of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Mr. Wednesday gets very upset that Shadow gave away his location to everyone when he's supposed to be hiding in Lakeside. “What do you think is the ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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What was restored in the American Gods "tenth anniversary" edition?

The tenth anniversary edition of American Gods is Gaiman's "preferred text" version of the book. In the foreword, he claims to have restored about 12,000 words that were edited out of the original for ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Who is "the fat kid"?

One of the New Gods in Neil Gaiman's American Gods is never (as far as I can remember) referred to by name, but usually as "the fat boy" or "the fat kid". As the name suggests, he has the appearance ...
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13 votes
3 answers
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Where is The Devil/ Satan in American Gods

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?
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8 votes
3 answers
991 views

The women who tied Shadow to the World Tree

Are the women who tied Shadow to the world tree the Zorya sisters? If not, who are they and why would they help revive Laura?
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5 votes
1 answer
3k views

Who (or what) was Hinzelman?

The spirit of lakeside, presumably linked to Shadow's dream about the child raised in darkness. What (or who) was he? Google tells a story about a kobold in a castle, but that must be much later than ...
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2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it explained why the gods in American Gods can't leave the US

If America is so bad for gods, why do they stay here? Surely just as many people or more believe in them from their original countries so why can't they go back? We know that when one of them dies ...
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6 votes
1 answer
730 views

How do the gods become corporeal in American Gods?

In American Gods, Gaiman appears to have been deliberately vague about how the gods come into corporeal form in their new homeland of America. The only reference I came across is to the dead Mr. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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In American Gods, what were Wednesday's plans regarding Sweeney and Shadow?

[Spoilers] Why did Wednesday hire Mad Sweeney to pick a fight with Shadow? Did he intend for Shadow to get the magic coin? If so, then for what purpose? Obviously it didn't go according to plan, since ...
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13 votes
5 answers
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Was Shadow's race ever determined?

First let me say I am not trying to start a debate on what Shadow's race is. I am looking for any actual evidence from the book, Gaiman or the series in production as to what race Shadow is. If there ...
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8 votes
1 answer
792 views

What's the consequence of the sacrifice dedicated to Shadow?

By sacrificing the death into Shadow's name, it seems that Laura created a significant precedent. What's the consequence of the sacrifice dedicated to Shadow?
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31 votes
7 answers
67k views

Who is the unnamed God in the book 'American Gods'?

In Neil Gaiman's American Gods novel, many of the gods and other mythological creatures are recognizable from real-world cultures. With most of these, the link to the real-world is very clear (either ...
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18 votes
3 answers
59k views

Why doesn't Shadow realize that?

According to Neil Gaiman's account, How is it possible that he does not realize that? Or does he?
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31 votes
6 answers
7k views

Where in the real world is the farm that has the ash tree from Neil Gaiman's American Gods?

Many webpages discuss visiting some of the real locations from the American Gods book. I have seen a few discussions about which town in Wisconsin served as inspiration for Lakeside. What I can not ...
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14 votes
3 answers
792 views

Will there be a movie based on "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman?

I loved reading excerpts out of "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman and I also saw that it was received very well by receiving a bunch of awards, especially the Hugo and the Nebula, so I was wondering if ...
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