So, Who Are The Gods Of American Gods?

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
In the vacuum left by Game Of Thrones’ delayed return, we’re all down one beloved violent premium cable series with a deep mythology to obsess over. Starz is here to fix that problem for us with American Gods, an adaptation of a Neil Gaiman novel of the same name. The gorgeous new drama follows recently released prison inmate Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) into the battle between the Old Gods and the New Gods.
The ex-con is pulled into the monumental war by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) who is definitely more than he seems. After the mismatched pair’s meeting, viewers end up meeting other deities from both sides, whose identities are playfully hidden in their names and mannerisms. The journey requires lots of Googling, because, seriously, who are these people really?
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To save you the trouble of pausing your new favorite show every three seconds to look up a new character, we’ve put together this guide to the American Gods world ahead of its April 30 premiere, "The Bone Orchard." This way you can enjoy all the dazzling visuals and one mind-bending sex scene instead of staring at your phone. Take a look at the gallery for everything you need to know about the gods of American Gods.
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What’s Going On With Shadow?

Shadow was convicted of assault and battery, leading to a six-year prison ruling, which is shortened to just three years. Mere days before Shadow is set to be released, his wife Laura dies in a car accident, leading to an even earlier release.

On the way home for Laura’s funeral, Shadow crosses paths with Mr. Wednesday, an apparent con man. The mysterious gentleman really wants Shadow to accept a job as his new bodyguard, meaning Shadow may have to assault new people just days after leaving prison.

The mourning husband eventually accepts, although it’s clear he has no idea Mr. Wednesday has manipulated him into entering a cosmic battle between literal gods. So, what’s Wednesday’s deal any way?
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Who Is Mr. Wednesday?

Remember when I said spoilers were on the way? Well, they’re starting for real right now. In American Gods the novel, Mr. Wednesday is eventually revealed to be the Norse god Odin. This makes sense, since the word "Wednesday" actually has its etymological roots in Odin’s Old English name, Woden.

You learn something new every day.
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Who Is Bilquis?

Bilquis (Yetide Badaki) appears in about seven minutes total of the American Gods premiere "The Bone Orchard" and she’s still the MVP. The deity is the ancient goddess of love and sex, and she lives up to her name with a sex scene that will stay with you long after the episode ends.

Bilquis is also known as the Queen of Sheba and survives on the love and worship of her followers. We mean this literally.
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Who Is Mad Sweeney?

Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber, a.k.a. Orange Is The New Black’s Pornstache) is a leprechaun who can pull gold coins from the air and hails from Ireland. He’s a reference to the Irish tale of Buile Suibhne, a king who goes mad during a battle and wanders the land.
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Who Is Technical Boy?

Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) is essentially technology made "man."

While the source material’s version of Technical Boy is basically a basement-living nerd trope, the updated American Gods turns the deity into the kind of guy you would expect to be an EDM-loving social media influencer with millions of Instagram followers. He uses drones, he smokes a vape, and he’s ready to delete people from existence.
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Who Is Low Key Lyesmith?

Shadow has a friend in prison named Low Key Lyesmith. Let’s think this through. Low key, low-key, Loki. Oh, yeah, he’s the Norse trickster god Loki, guys.
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