In American Gods, the reason Laura is so blase about killing anyone who poses a threat to ShadowPuppy is that she's already died, and it seems like it wasn't any big deal to her, so why should it be any big deal to her for making other people have died? Either she went to some sort of heaven despite being an adulteress and being guilty of manslaughter and figures anyone who couldn't make it had to really have deserved not getting in, went to some sort of purgatory and figured that it wasn't all that bad, went to some sort of hell and got broken, or went to oblivion or some sort of waiting room and figured it was no worse than life. -JET 73 L
Recently, I was reading the Prose Edda and came across the part where Odin is on the tree. For the duration the Eagle of Wisdom perches on the topmost branches. Shadow? He gets a crazed hawk whose symbol protects the dead in the afterlife and also works against evil. - Delyse
Maybe she's not aware of any afterlife but just doesn't care about the difference between a person being alive and being dead, the way a living person does. Imagine if she didn't have a sense of smell and had the ability to stop people getting in her way by turning them anosmic: Intellectually she might recognize that it's inconvenient for them, although not the biggest deal in the world and she wishes they wouldn't be such big babies about it, but beyond that she's fundamentally incapable of fully understanding what smells are and how the body experiences smells and honestly doesn't get why it is a thing people care about at all.
Aunt Nancy. I had to face-palm when I figured out who it was - duh! Clever, Gaiman.
Same with Low-Key Lyesmith. I wanted to bang my head against the wall for not noticing sooner.
Easter resurrecting Shadow — she's the goddess of fertility, not much she could do, right? Right - until you remember she's also the goddess of resurrection.
It recently struck me how cruelly-manipulative this innocent statement was: "Speaking of Bielebog, have you heard anything from him?" Wednesday knows full well, of course, that Czernobog hasn't heard from him. But it goes further: Recall that Bielebog only resurfaces when winter/the storm is over. But the storm was from the heightened conflict between the old and new gods coming to a head — that is, the series of events that Low-Key and Wednesday fabricated. It's Wednesday's fault that Bielebog has been missing, and he's using that knowledge to convince Czernobog to participate in the war. Wow.
Fridge Horror: gods are created because people believe in them. So all those horror stories and urban legends that are convincing enough to make people believe in them...
Some Nightmare Retardant, don't forget Paul Bunyan. Famous and wide spread stories aren't enough. The people need to actually believe they exist to an extent. So it is unlikely Freddy exists, but some convincing Creepypastas....
For further retardant, consider that while gods are created by the act of imagining them, they're sustained by prayer and worship. When people get through their day only by the hope that in the end they'll get to sit down in front of the TV and turn their brain off and that kind of thing; feeling intense and repeated emotions about, building a ritualistic habits around, sacrificing to and seeing as something bigger and better and more important than yourself an object gives this object power over you, and I imagine it's precisely this power which if it can be wielded by a sentient being gives that being what we'd call godlike powers, such as the power to manifest physically. It'll be a while until people start building altars to Slenderman's glory.
Fridge Brilliance: Fridge Logic makes you realize that it is really weird that everyone would call Shadow that, even prison officials, but it makes a lot of sense when his divine identity is revealed and you think of the power of names. Something similar but less cool is the case with "Fat Charlie" in the "sequel" Anansi Boys- in both cases, there's something like a Perception Filter that affects other people that they aren't initially aware of, that makes it so that people can't help but think of Shadow as "Shadow", and can't help but see Fat Charlie as fat even though he's thin.
Fridge Brilliance: Shadow has a pretty crappy deal. His wife dies, then he finds out she cheated on him, then her mother blames him for the whole thing, then he gets beat up and humiliated by people he doesn't know. Get this: turns out he's Wednesday's son, and "Wednesday's child is full of woe". Impressed with Neil Gaiman yet?
Fridge Brilliance: Why does Czernobog like checkers so much? It's an abstract battle between black and white.
Hinzelmann liked to create artificial "puddles" for trouts, so that they could rest there and he could later fish them. He created the lake near Lakeside, and once a year he "fishes" a child to keep the city prosperous.
Fridge Brilliance: When you realize that the word "Wednesday" is derived from "Odin's Day", and learn that Mr. Wednesday is Odin.
Fridge Horror: When you realize the power of blood sacrifice means the mindless, brutal, pollution-breathed car gods are the most powerful gods to ever exist.