Beware of unmarked spoilers.

!''The "Old Gods" and Their Allies

-->'''Portrayed by:''' Ricky Whittle
* AmbiguouslyBrown: 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".
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Shadow's a nice guy, but he's also a very large man who knows how to handle himself. Even outside of his physical prowess, Shadow [[spoiler:dismantles Wednesday and Loki's plans with a single awesome speech]].
* DarkIsNotEvil: Look at his nickname [[spoiler: and compare it to his actual identity as a LightIsGood deity]].
* DivineParentage: The son of [[spoiler: Odin by a mortal woman.]]
* GeniusBruiser: Very well-read for a physical trainer, getting absorbed in books on Greek history and coin tricks while in prison.
* GentleGiant: He's noted to be a very large man, but is not inclined towards violence.
* GivenNameReveal: In ''Monarch of the Glen'', it's confirmed that the name on his birth certificate is [[spoiler: Balder Moon]].
* TheHero: The book's main protagonist [[spoiler:and the one who topples the plans of the BigBad]]. He's also a Hero in another sense, being [[spoiler: the half-mortal son of a god]].
* KindheartedCatLover: And the cat goddess loves him too.
* MeaningfulName: He's named Shadow, which reflects how much he's a counterpart to [[spoiler: Baldur, the Norse God of goodness and light.]]
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: His real name is never mentioned by the third-person narrator. It's finally revealed to the reader in '"The Monarch of the Glen''.
* SmarterThanYouLook: Everyone assumes he's just a big dumb guy until he starts talking.
* TheStoic: Throughout the book, Shadow takes most of the crazy shit he sees with aplomb.
* TomatoInTheMirror: Turns out he's [[spoiler: actually Baldur.]]
* UnfazedEveryman: {{Subverted}}. He takes it rather calmly that there are tons of deities all all around him. But in a few private moments, he shows that he's almost going out of his mind with all the weirdness, and the drama of trying to get fiercely individualistic gods to work together. [[spoiler: Makes sense since he is one himself, so he ''isn't'' a pure example of the trope.]]

!!'''Mr. Wednesday'''/[[Myth/NorseMythology Odin]]
-->'''Portrayed by:''' Creator/IanMcshane
* BigBad: Turns out the whole war was [[spoiler: a scam to get himself more power.]]
* TheCasanova: He charms the pants off of nearly every young woman he meets.
* ConsummateLiar: calls himself the best liar Shadow will ever meet. He was right.
* TheChessmaster: Effortlessly plays [[spoiler: both sides of the war against the other]].
* ConMan: How he goes about these days. He's done every con in the book.
* DirtyOldMan: He's described as sleeping with girls who look barely legal.
* EvilMentor: He's Shadow's mentor, and he's technically the BigBad.
* GrumpyOldMan: he's often grumpy or pretending to be cheerful and reveals himself to be deeply bitter about the fact that as a god who went out of style in a land that's bad for gods, he essentially has to live off scraps.
* {{Jerkass}}: Likes to use one of his runes to seduce girls, then use another one to make them [[UnrequitedLoveLastsForever incapable of ever getting over him]], just for shits and giggles.
* LukeIAmYourFather: To Shadow.
* PetTheDog: not often, but he does occasionally get more sympathetic moments, such as when he seems to sincerely regret that he can't truly bring Laura back to life and [[spoiler: that she had to die in the first place.]] He also tells Shadow, [[spoiler: his son, that he's proud of him.]]
* RunningBothSides: With Mr. World.
* TheSocialExpert: It goes along with his con man tendencies.
* TechnicallyASmile: Shadow notes early on that his smile has a sinister motive just behind it, more bearing teeth than an actual display of emotion.
* ThanatosGambit: Dying was the motivation all the other Old Gods needed to band together against the new. [[spoiler: He didn't mind because, once the battle was dedicated to him, he would get more power than he ever had before.]]

!!'''Mr. Nancy'''/Anansi
-->'''Portrayed by:''' Creator/OrlandoJones
* CoolOldGuy: Unlike veteran conman Wednesday and bitter loner Czernobog, Nancy's just fine with passing the days doing his own thing.
* DirtyOldMan: He talks about his love of "women with big high titties" in his first appearance.
%%* JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* NiceHat: A lime-green fedora.

!!'''Mr. Ibis'''/Thoth
-->'''Portrayed by:''' Demore Barnes
* DontFearTheReaper: Like all Ancient Egyptian gods connected to death, he's a nice guy.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: quite clearly loves words, something that goes with his mythical connections as a scribe, and telling the stories of people - though how true they are is in doubt, with Mr. Ibis suggesting that he does it for the love of the story.
* TheSmartGuy: The most intellectual of the gods.

!!'''Mr Jacquel'''/Anubis
-->'''Portrayed by:''' Chris Obi
* DontFearTheReaper: Like Mr. Ibis, he's not such a bad guy.
* ImAHumanitarian: 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.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Into a jackal, naturally.

* AnimalEyeSpy: She sees through the eyes of cats, and uses it to keep tabs on Shadow.
* CatGirl: The original, practically.
* IntimateHealing: She provides some for Shadow in a dream. It heals him of his cuts and bruises, but leaves him with some fresh claw marks on his back.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: As befitting a cat goddess.
* SurveillanceAsThePlotDemands: Keeps an eye on Shadow through the eyes of all cats.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Into a cat, of course, and spends most of her time in that form.

-->'''Portrayed by:''' Creator/PeterStormare
* AxCrazy: Looking forward to beaning Shadow with [[DropTheHammer a sledgehammer.]] [[spoiler:And he does, but [[DarkIsNotEvil ultimately changes his mind about actually hurting him.]]]]
* CainAndAbel: He's known as the "evil" brother; his brother, Bielebog, is the "good" one.
* DarkIsNotEvil: A god of darkness, but that doesn't mean he's a bad guy.
* DropTheHammer: used to slaughter cattle with a sledgehammer.
* TheEeyore: Not as demonstrative as many examples, but he's a very gloomy guy.
* GodOfEvil: How he's seen by those who remember him.
* JekyllAndHyde: He and Bielebog are the same person.
* VegetarianVampire: Gets his powers from sacrificial murders, but after his followers dried up, he worked at a slaughterhouse rather than becoming a SerialKiller.

!!'''The Zoryas''' (Zorya Utrennyaya, Zorya Vechernyaya and Zorya Polunochnaya)
* CanonForeigner: Zorya Polunochnaya isn't actually from Slavic myth and was invented by Gaiman.
* CoolOldLady: All three.
* HeavySleeper: Polunochnaya is only awake around midnight.
%%* TheHecateSisters
* TheMentor: Polunochnaya to Shadow.
%%* {{Seers}}

!!'''Mad Sweeney'''
-->'''Portrayed by:''' Pablo Schreiber
* BloodKnight: So he says. [[spoiler:While probably true, it was also a setup.]]
%%* DrunkenMaster
* FightingIrish: He's Irish and a BloodKnight.
* {{Leprechaun}}: Though you wouldn't know it looking at him because he's tall, doesn't speak with an accent, and doesn't drink Guinness.

!!'''Easter''' /Eostre
-->'''Portrayed by:''' Creator/KristinChenoweth
* BigBeautifulWoman: as befits a fertility goddess.
* BreakTheCutie: 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.
* ChekhovsGunman: Her holiday celebrates mornings, life and rebirth. [[spoiler:She plays a vital part in Shadow's resurrection.]]
%%* FertileFeet
* KissOfLife: To Shadow.
* MsFanservice: As befitting a fertility goddess.
* NiceGirl: is kind to Shadow and to Horus alike, with her thoughts regarding the latter being mostly that he needs to be wrapped up and taken somewhere warm to babble his way back to sanity.
* StepfordSmiler: is flirty, cheerful and apparently happy. However, Wednesday quickly penetrates her façade and as the BreakTheCutie entry shows, she nearly breaks down in tears.

* ChekhovsGunman: Thoth and Anubis mention him in Cairo. [[spoiler:He pops back up in Kansas to convince Easter to save Shadow.]]
* CloudCuckooLander: [[StealthPun He's a Bird Brain.]]
* NobleBirdOfPrey: Averted. He's a hawk but he has none of the gravitas.
* NonSequitur: "I can stare at the sun without blinking". This is after [[spoiler: he's reminded [[NakedPeopleAreFunny he's naked]]]].
* TheOphelia: A male version, but both Thoth and Anubis say he's lost his mind.
* PowerOfTheSun: has this, though he forgot how to use it for a very long time.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: From a hawk to a naked man with a hawk's head.

!! The man in the charcoal suit
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Shadow forgets everything about him - including his name - immediately after learning them.
* ManOfWealthAndTaste: An impression of wealth is all Shadow can remember of him. He wears a suit and drinks expensive whiskey with Wednesday. He also appears to be a god of wealth or similar, able to sense the exchanges of money going on around him.
* TheNondescript: His only description is that he's dark-haired, clean-shaven, and his face is forgettable in every sense of the word.
* TheUnreveal: We never actually find out who he is.

* AffablyEvil: He's friendly to everyone, tells jokes all the time, and goes out of his way to help Shadow on multiple occasions, even saving Shadow's life when it would have been in his best interests not to. But at the same time, [[spoiler: he literally murders children for a living.]]
* BigBadFriend: [[spoiler: He's the villain of the Lakeside subplot]].
* CoolOldGuy: How everyone in Lakeside views him, including Shadow.
* MinnesotaNice: What he appears to be. [[spoiler: Turns out he's not actually from America at all, and he's only nice in the AffablyEvil sense]].
* NiceGuy: [[spoiler: Subverted when he turns out to be a SerialKiller]].
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: [[spoiler: He was created from a child sacrifice many centuries ago, and he sustains his powers in the modern day by sacrificing children to himself.]]
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: [[spoiler: He's actually a god (and a kobold) from centuries ago.]]
* SerialKiller: [[spoiler: He's been sacrificing a child to himself every year.]]
* SuicideByCop: When finally confronted with his crimes, he provokes the police chief into shooting him.

!! Samantha Black Crow
* AgentMulder: Delivers an amazing and lengthy monologue to Shadow about all the things she believes in to get him to open up to her.
* BadassNormal: 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.
* BraidsBeadsAndBuckskins: She doesn't dress like it, but she's proud of her Indian heritage.
* BiTheWay: With the exception of her interest in Shadow and a hinted past with a boy in Lakeside, all of Sam's mentioned relationships are with women.
%%* GenkiGirl
* GirlNextDoor: Well, technically, the girl next door's little sister.
%%* GranolaGirl
* LittleMissSnarker: Well evidenced in her interaction with Mr. Town and Mr. Road. Calling [[{{Jerkass}} Audrey]] a cunt is just icing.
* TakeThatKiss: 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.
* {{Tomboy}}: She's very independent and adventurous, she goes by "Sam", and Shadow, upon first seeing her through the car window while half-asleep, had to ask if she was a boy or a girl.

!! Laura
-->'''Portrayed by:''' Creator/EmilyBrowning
* ActionGirlfriend: Rather, Action Wife. For a dead woman, she's pretty capable of doing some damage to a group of trained government agents.
* BackFromTheDead: Not in a nice way, though.
** [[spoiler: After drinking the water of time and a highly unpleasant process of getting rid of all the formaldehyde, maggots etc. inside her, she's back to her living self, though Loki notes that this is temporary.]]
* BitchInSheepsClothing: 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.
* CameBackWrong: She's not truly alive, she's left disconnected from the real world, and her body keeps decomposing.
* DeadAllAlong: Not that it's a revelation; the twist is that she comes back.
* DeadPersonConversation: Whenever she talks to Shadow, or anyone else.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: She [[spoiler: kills Loki]] by stabbing him through her own chest.
* LadyMacbeth: Seems Shadow's involvement in the robbery that got him in prison was her idea.
* TheLostLenore: Shadow misses her throughout the novel, and her resurrection does little to help that.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: 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 [[spoiler: Mr. Town before gruesomely killing him.]]
* MoreDeadlyThanTheMale: She is far more likely to kill you than her husband is.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: This one is self-aware and in control of her actions, but steadily rotting away.
* PoisonousFriend: Very big on protecting Shadow and quite violent about it.
* TookALevelInBadass: According to her, dying did a lot to remove her inhibitions about killing people.
* UndeathAlwaysEnds: [[spoiler: She gets temporarily restored to life, then stabs herself through the chest, and finally Shadow takes back the coin that made her undead at her own request.]]
* YourCheatingHeart: A classic. Was sleeping with Shadow's best friend while he was in prison, although she maintains they were going to end the affair when Shadow was released.

!''The "New Gods" and Their Allies

!!'''The Technical Boy'''
-->'''Portrayed by:''' Bruce Langley
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: In the novel, he's consistently described as "fat" and acne-spattered, but he doesn't seem to be either of those things in the trailer. Conspicuously, again in contrast to the novel, he's wearing what appears to be a ''track suit.''
** [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], since the Internet of 2017 is very different from the Internet of 2001, as is the society's image of a tech-savvy person.
* BadassLongcoat: Subverted. He dresses like the characters in Film/TheMatrix but is a physically weak nerd.
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler: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 AnthropomorphicPersonification of the Internet, it's only natural he acts like this.
* HeelRealization: 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.
* {{Jerkass}}: He's a rude, nasty little punk who likes to throw his weight around.
* NerdInEvilsHelmet: His efforts at being intimidating come across as rehearsed and poorly executed.
* {{Otaku}}: Beneath the attempts at a threatening demeanor, the Technical Boy is little more than a pathetic nerd.
* SuperLoser: He may be a god, but nobody gives him much respect, and the narrative tends to refer to him as "the fat kid."

-->'''Portrayed by:''' Creator/GillianAnderson
* AcCENTUponTheWrongSylLABle: She sprinkles heavy emphasis on particular words throughout her speech (though not when possessing a TV character), in the same fashion as a news anchor.
* StepfordSmiler: Her personality resembles that of a passive-aggressive newscaster. It's about as genuine as a three-dollar bill.
* SurveillanceAsThePlotDemands: Can take any character that appears on TV as her avatar. Shadow eventually stops watching TV because he feels [[ProperlyParanoid (rightfully)]] that he's being watched.
* TheVamp: She tries to seduce Shadow onto the side of the New Gods various times throughout the story. It's so blatant and done so vulgarly that it mostly just annoys him.
--> "Hey, do you want to see [[Series/ILoveLucy Lucy's]] tits?"

!!'''The Spookshow'''
* AvengingTheVillain: Mr. Town is not happy about his buddies getting killed, but leaves Shadow alone because Mr. World says so.
* FlatEarthAtheist: Mr. Town thinks all the gods are just mutants with mind control powers.
* TheMenInBlack: What they seem to be the archetype of.
* MookLieutenant: Mr Town seems to be the highest ranking member, answering directly to Mr World.
* {{Mooks}}: They work for Mr. World and the New Gods.
* PunchClockVillain: They're not much more than jerks in suits, doing the bidding of a villainous god.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Mr. Wood and Mr. Stone.

!!'''Mr. World / Low-Key Lyesmith'''
-->'''Portrayed by:''' Crispin Glover / Creator/JonathanTucker
* ChekhovsGunman: Shadow first mentions him in passing. He shows up in person later.
* DistinguishingMark: [[spoiler: His scarred lip; it's a reference to a story in Myth/NorseMythology where Loki's [[MouthStitchedShut mouth was sewn shut]] and he had to tear it open.]]
* TheDragon: To [[spoiler: Wednesday.]]
* EvilRedhead: TheDragon to [[spoiler:Wednesday]], and a redhead besides.
* LouisCypher: Low-key Lyesmith. [[spoiler: Loki Liesmith]]
* MeaningfulName: Low-key is no mere prison nickname.
%%* ReliableTraitor
* RunningBothSides: With [[spoiler:Wednesday.]]
* TwoAliasesOneCharacter: Goes by Low-key and Mr World.
* WalkingSpoiler: Describing him as anything more than Shadow's former cellmate spoils a plot twist later in the book.