Getting to know Starz network’s American Gods characters
Starz networks adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is forthcoming, and those unfamiliar with the novel are likely curious about the story and it’s diverse cast of characters ahead of its debut. American Gods imagines a world where if you believe in something enough, it will be manifested it into reality. Therefore all gods and mythological creatures walk the earth among humans and have followed their believers to America. As people’s faith in them has waned over time, their power has diminished leaving them in a struggle to become relevant once again. Meanwhile new gods have arisen which personify ideas currently worshiped by society.
The series follows ex-con Shadow Moon, who after losing everything dear to him reluctantly takes a job as a bodyguard for the inscrutable Mr. Wednesday. He then finds himself amidst a hidden world where a battle is brewing between the Old Gods and the New Gods, causing him to question both reality and his own sanity.
Helmed by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Star Trek: Voyager, Pushing Daisies) serving as co-showrunner along with Michael Green (Heroes, Kings), the series is set to be a visually sumptuous and enigmatic offering of an truly intricate world. Ahead of getting into the character descriptions, check out the trailer and official plot synopsis:
When Shadow Moon is released from prison, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and a storm begins to brew. Little does Shadow know, this storm will change the course of his entire life. Left adrift by the recent, tragic death of his wife, and suddenly hired as Mr. Wednesday’s bodyguard, Shadow finds himself in the center of a world that he struggles to understand. It’s a world where magic is real, where the Old Gods fear both irrelevance and the growing power of the New Gods, like Technology and Media. Mr. Wednesday seeks to build a coalition of Old Gods to defend their existence in this new America, and reclaim some of the influence that they’ve lost. As Shadow travels across the country with Mr. Wednesday, he struggles to accept this new reality, and his place in it.
The series introduces an extensive amount of complex characters, which can make keeping track of each one rather challenging, especially for those new to the material. Below you will find images and descriptions for the more prominent characters to help guide you. For the sake of avoiding any major spoilers and plot twists, only official series character descriptions will be revealed below. Those interested in learning more detailed information about the series ahead of its release can check out everything we know about Starz network’s American Gods adaptation.
“I don’t believe in anything I can’t see.”
Shadow Moon is released from prison to a life turned upside down — no wife, no job, and no bearings. He is offered a job by Mr. Wednesday as a bodyguard, and as they journey across America, Shadow ﬁnds himself questioning a world where gods exist and magic is real.
“Damn right, I’m a hustler, swindler, cheater and liar.”
Mr. Wednesday, a crafty and endlessly charismatic con man, is full of perverse wisdom, curious magic, and grand plans to unite the Old Gods in a battle for power against the New Gods.
“I’ve lived my life good and bad.”
Laura Moon is Shadow Moon’s ethereal wife. She dies unexpectedly just before Shadow’s release from prison. Little does she know that her untimely death will lead her to an epiphany about her relationship and afford her a second chance to make amends.
Robbie, Shadow’s best friend and employer, promises to hold Shadow’s job for him while he’s in prison. Robbie is married to Audrey, best friend to Shadow’s wife Laura, and he provides another shoulder for Laura to cry on while Shadow is away.
Audrey, Laura’s once kind and generous friend, has been pushed to the brink by recent events…those events being Laura’s affair with Audrey’s husband. But Audrey’s loyalty to Laura remains, despite Laura’s current undead state.
“Can you feel the joy – rising in your veins like the sappiness of springtime?”
Mad Sweeney, a down-on-his-luck leprechaun, is having a hard time understanding how he lost his charm and way. Always up for a good ﬁght, Sweeney is never deprived while in the employment of Mr. Wednesday.
“I’m not your enemy.”
Mr. World is the seemingly omniscient leader at the center of the New Gods coalition, sometimes more challenged by his own subordinates than his enemies. In keeping an eye on the activities of the Old Gods, he realizes that their ringleader, Mr. Wednesday, poses an imminent threat.
Bilquis, an ancient goddess of love who craves the worship she inspired in eras long ago, is eager to ﬁnd that same relevance in today’s world.
“We are the future and we don’t give a fuck.”
Technical Boy, a New God, is purveyor of all things technology. Desperate to prove himself, and hungry for respect and power, he struggles to keep his impulsivity and petulance in check, making him dangerously unpredictable.
“The screen is the altar, and I am the one they sacrifice to.”
A master of manipulation, Media assumes whatever form will deliver her message most effectively. And unlike some of her fellow New Gods, she favors persuasion over brute force.
“I don’t ressurect, I re-life.”
Once known as Ostara, goddess of spring, Easter’s holiday has been usurped by Jesus. But she embraces the jelly beans and chocolate bunnies in an effort to stay relevant.
“I know the killing.”
A Slavic god of darkness and evil, Czernobog is reluctant to join the coming war, wary of Mr. Wednesday’s motivations.
“Learning is beneath me.”
Zorya Vechernyaya is the eldest of three sisters who watch over the constellations, guarding against horrors forgotten by modern man. Once accustomed to royal status, the sisters have learned to survive on far less in a country that has no memory of them.
Zorya Utrennyaya is the middle child in a family of three sisters who watch the heavens for signs of impending doom. Unlike her elder sister, Zorya Vechernyaya, she prefers silent observation when dealing with the present world, which has no memory of her former royal glory.
Zorya Polunochnaya, the youngest of three sisters watches the night sky without regard to, and seemingly unaffected by, the elements. She gives Shadow an invaluable gift, providing some protection on his journey.
“Angry gets shit done.”
Mr. Nancy, or Anansi as he’s otherwise known, is the African trickster spider god. A god of knowledge and speech, he is happy to share his gifts with anyone who will listen. His taste for chaos, regardless of consequence, makes him an unreliable soldier in Mr. Wednesday’s army.
“Every bullet fired in a crowded theatre is a prayer in my name.”
Vulcan is one of Mr. Wednesday’s oldest allies. He’s created a comfortable life for himself by harnessing his powers for the modern world, which makes him resistant to Mr. Wednesday’s plans.
“I do not pray to God to ask for things.”
Salim longs for inspiration and meaning in his life, and an unexpected encounter while on a business trip in New York may just fulﬁll that deepest wish.
“I do not grant wishes.”
The Jinn is a mythical creature of the ﬁre who understands a person’s deepest desires better than they do. He fears for his safety with the coming war, and considers ﬂeeing America.
“I am of death.”
Anubis is the commanding ancient Egyptian god of the dead, gently guiding mortals through the judgment of their souls.
“It is time to leave this accursed land.”
Mr. Ibis is the keeper of stories, past and present, and he recounts them with great relish. His old-fashioned sensibilities do not preclude a wry wit.
“I feel terrible about this.”
A particularly recognizable Jesus, from a multiplicity of Jesuses, this Christ has always enjoyed sharing his most holy day of resurrection with Ostara’s feast day, Easter, and its ﬁtting theme of rebirth.
Low Key Lyesmith
“That hollow in the pit of your stomach is just you afraid of going back to the real world.”
Shadow’s one conﬁdante in prison, Low Key is a surprisingly philosophical individual. Wiry and fast talking, with an offbeat sense of humor, he has a theory for everything and gives Shadow some sage advice to ready him for the outside world.
American Gods will debut in the US on April 30th on STARZ network, and in the UK on May 1st on Amazon Prime Video. Which god will you worship? Check back next week for our spoiler free review of the American Gods pilot episode.
Image credits: STARZ, Amazon Prime Video
H/T: STARZ, Amazon Prime Video