The ‘American Gods’ Bible: A Guide to the Old Gods and the New

     May 22, 2017

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We’ve all heard the phrase, “a storm is coming,” but the one that is currently happening on Starz is a brewing battle-frenzy amongst gods. It is, of course, American Gods, the long-awaited and long-gestating adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s magnum opus.

With the author’s blessing, showrunners Bryan Fuller (NBC’s Hannibal) and Michael Green (ABC’s The River) offer their dizzying cinematics to the story of Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), an ex-convict who, upon release, hears the devastating news of his wife’s death and the adultery that caused it. His grief is put on hold though when he’s enlisted by a mysterious man calling himself Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). Wednesday needs some muscle as he recruits beings from classical mythology to fight for place in the world against the New Gods, entities of modernity such as media, technology, celebrity, and the like.

It’s a show fans of Gaiman are hoping to be worthy of the sacred text — and from what has been seen so far, it is; critics have been worshipping at the altar of American Gods. But with changes that have come about in the jump from page to screen, the show is taking on a life of its own, featuring characters both fresh and familiar, as well as an updated thesis for the nation’s current political climate. To aide you alongside Shadow’s odyssey through America, here’s a guide to the humans, gods, and creatures you’ll encounter.

Note: Those of you wishing to keep spoilers to a minimum may not want to read the Book Comparison sections, as they dive into how each character appears on the page.

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Television