Characters: American Gods

Beware of unmarked spoilers.

''The "Old Gods" and Their Allies

Shadow

  • Ambiguously Brown: It's not entirely clear what race he is, although his mother is implied to have been black.
    • When asked jokingly by a fan, Gaiman has agreed that Dwayne Johnson/The Rock, who has black and Samoan heritage, would be fitting to play him, stating they are both "underestimated".
  • Unfazed Everyman: He takes it rather calmly that there are tons of deities all all around him. Makes sense since he is one himself, so he isn't a pure example of the trope.

Mr. Wednesday/Odin

  • Big Bad: Turns out the whole war was a scam to get himself more power.
  • The Casanova: He charms the pants off of nearly every young woman he meets.
  • The Chessmaster: Effortlessly plays both sides of the war against the other.
  • Con Man: How he goes about these days. He's done every con in the book.

Mr. Nancy/Anansi

  • Cool Old Guy: Unlike veteran conman Wednesday and bitter loner Czernobog, Nancy's just fine with passing the days doing his own thing.

Mr. Ibis/Thoth

Mr Jacquel/Anubis

  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Like Mr. Ibis, he's not such a bad guy.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: While conducting autopsies, he has a habit of eating some of the corpse's heart. Respectfully.
    • A shout out of sorts to the mythology of Anubis who would weigh the deceased's heart against a feather to judge where they would spend the afterlife.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Into a jackal, naturally.

Bast

Czernobog

The Zoryas (Zorya Utrennyaya, Zorya Vechernyaya and Zorya Polunochnaya)

Mad Sweeney

  • Blood Knight: So he says. While probably true, it was also a setup.

Easter /Eostre

  • Break the Cutie: Wednesday twists her arm into service by going into a diatribe about what people do and do not believe about her holiday. She very nearly cries.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Her holiday celebrates mornings, life and rebirth. She plays a vital part in Shadow's resurrection.

Horus

Samantha Black Crow

  • Agent Mulder: Delivers an amazing and lengthy monologue to Shadow about all the things she believes in to get him to open up to her.
  • Badass Normal: Faces Mr. Town and Mr. Road, and not only does she refuse to tell them anything about Shadow, she makes fun of their names. She also hitchhikes with Shadow, who's kind of scary before you get to know him.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: She doesn't dress like it, but she's proud of her Indian heritage.
  • Girl Next Door: Well, technically, the girl next door's little sister.
  • Take-That Kiss: She plants what she terms a "fuck off" kiss on Shadow in a bar, although it was to tell everyone else there to fuck off, not him.

Laura

  • Action Girlfriend: Rather, Action Wife. For a dead woman, she's pretty capable of doing some damage to a group of trained government agents.
  • Badass: After she was resurrected.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Even when she was alive, Laura was not as nice as she seemed. But she really does love Shadow which keeps her on the sympathetic side of the trope.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Deconstructed. Because of that personality, she cheated on Shadow with her best friend's husband while he was in the clink. She also puts on the MPDG act to charm Mr. Town before gruesomely killing him.
  • More Deadly Than The Male: She is far more likely to kill you than her husband is.

''The "New Gods" and Their Allies

The Technical Boy

  • Badass Longcoat: Subverted. He dresses like the characters in The Matrix but is a physically weak nerd.
  • Character Death: Killed by Loki as a demonstration of his plan to sacrifice the new and old gods, thereby resurrecting Odin's ghost.
  • GIFT: Since he is the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Internet, it's only natural he acts like this.
  • Heel Realization: After he murders Bilquis he realizes that his faction's motivations don't actually make any sense; unfortunately for him he brings this up to exactly the wrong person.
  • Super Loser: He may be a god, but nobody gives him much respect, and the narrative tends to refer to him as "the fat kid."

Media

  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Can take any character that appears on TV as her avatar. Shadow eventually stops watching TV because he feels (rightfully) that he's being watched.
  • The Vamp: She tries to seduce Shadow onto the side of the New Gods various times throughout the story.

The Spookshow

  • Avenging the Villain: Mr. Town is not happy about his buddies getting killed, but leaves Shadow alone because Mr. World says so.
  • Flat Earth Atheist: Mr. Town thinks all the gods are just mutants with mind control powers.
  • The Men in Black: What they seem to be the archetype of.
  • Mooks: They work for Mr. World and the New Gods.

Mr. World / Low-Key Lyesmith