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The "Old Gods" and Their Allies

    Shadow 

Shadow Moon/ Baldur

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Click here to see Shadow in the graphic novel 

  • Affectionate Nickname: Laura's nickname for him is "Puppy".
  • Ambiguously Brown: It's not entirely clear what race he is, although his mother is implied to have been black by the fact that she had sickle-cell anemia. (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".)
  • Audience Surrogate: Much like the readership, he's unfamiliar with the bizarre world of gods the story is set in.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: 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 dismantles Wednesday and Loki's plans with a single awesome speech.
  • Coin Walk Flexing: Shadow manipulates coins as a hobby, and can easily roll them across his knuckles despite his large hands. In an interview, Ricky Whittle, who played Shadow in the TV adaptation, stated that the knuckle roll was Shadow's way of taking his mind off his being in prison.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Look at his nickname and compare it to his actual identity as a Light Is Good deity.
  • Divine Parentage: The son of Odin by a mortal woman.
  • Flat Character: Played with. Shadow's main defining characteristic is that nothing really seems to get an emotional reaction of any sort, though we slowly learn that his stoicism and ability to take everything in stride, aren't entirely what they seem. The reader gets confirmation in some dialogue from Laura that Shadow was still a stoic and strangely subdued man before the beginning of the story, but though Shadow is in something of a sense of shock at the start of the story when the weirdness starts, which eases him into the stranger moments. In his private moments and at the end of the book, we see Shadow is still getting very stressed and weirded out by the supernatural events and beings around him.
  • Genius Bruiser: Very well-read for a physical trainer, getting absorbed in books on Greek history and coin tricks while in prison. It's explained that he was a bookish nerdy introvert as a kid, then puberty hit and he suddenly scored big in the muscle department. He observes that he actually likes being The Big Guy, as it means people tend to leave him alone and not expect much of him.
  • Gentle Giant: He's noted to be a very large man, but is not inclined towards violence.
  • Given Name Reveal: In Monarch of the Glen, it's confirmed that the name on his birth certificate is Balder Moon.
  • Has a Type: Platonically, he makes at least one friend like Mr Wednesday after the events of the book - charming, amoral, and borderline Affably Evil.
  • The Hero: The book's main protagonist and the one who topples the plans of the Big Bad. He's also a Hero in another sense, being the half-mortal son of a god.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: One reason that he's able to take things apparently in stride. He says nothing has shocked him since he learned Laura and Robbie were having an affair.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: And the cat goddess loves him too.
  • Meaningful Name: He's named Shadow, which reflects how much he's a counterpart to Baldur, the Norse God of goodness and light.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He got the nickname "Shadow" as a child because in the absence of other children, he would follow after adults in the various embassies. His real name is never mentioned by the third-person narrator. It's finally revealed to the reader in '"The Monarch of the Glen''.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Everyone assumes he's just a big dumb guy until he starts talking.
  • The Stoic: Throughout the book, Shadow takes most of the crazy shit he sees with aplomb.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Turns out he's actually Baldur.
  • Unfazed Everyman: 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. Makes sense since he is one himself, so he isn't a pure example of the trope.
  • The Watson: Given he's a regular mortal, characters often explain things to him (and subsequently the audience).
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    Mr. Wednesday 

Mr. Wednesday/Odin

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Click here to see Mr. Wednesday in the graphic novel 

  • Adaptational Villainy: While Odin from Norse Mythology did many questionable things that only his Omniscient Morality License could protect him from, it was all to prevent The End of the World as We Know It, protecting his fellow gods (and by extension the mortals at Midgard) from certain destruction. Here he is encouraging the war to end all wars between gods — Old and New — in a Taking You with Me moment of nihilism brought on by his Fall From Grace and plain-old Greed.
  • Affably Evil: He might be a grumpy old con-man and the book's ultimate Big Bad, but he is capable of being quite charming (charm is one of his powers, after all), and he's kinder to Shadow than he is to most people (given that Shadow is his son, this isn't surprising). Oddly enough, Shadow misses him a little after the end of the book, and in Monarch of the Glen ends up befriending someone very similar to Wednesday (though he knows the personality type by now, so he doesn't exactly trust him).
  • Arrow Catch: His recitation of his charms says that he can catch arrows and put out fires with a look, although his diminishing powers may prevent that.
  • Big Bad: In a sense, as the conflict is driven entirely by him, and he's a self-admitted Con Man and all-around Jerkass. Most of the Old Gods are more or less content with dying in obscurity, until he riles them back up knowing full well many will die in the war he is starting to regain their former glory. In his view, it is a worthy risk. Then it turns out the whole war is a scam to get himself more power and he doesn't care about the other Old Gods at all.
  • The Casanova: He charms the pants off of nearly every young woman he meets. Quite literally, as one of his 18 charms seduces women.
  • The Charmer: It's one of his particular charms. Quite literally, in fact.
  • Character Rerailment: Post-Eddas, Odin has been mostly portrayed as a Grandpa God. Here, he has the more chaotic and selfish personality of older mythology.
  • Consummate Liar: He calls himself the best liar Shadow will ever meet. He is right.
  • 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.
  • Dirty Old Man: He's described as sleeping with girls who look barely legal.
  • Evil Mentor: He's Shadow's mentor, and he's technically the Big Bad.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Averted, as he uses a glass eye instead, although his more traditional form in Valhalla has an eyepatch. Iceland's Odin wears an eyepatch though to show his less modern styles.
  • Grumpy Old Man: 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.
  • I Have Many Names: The King of the Aes, the God of the Gallows.
    'I have as many names as there are winds and as many titles are there are ways for men to die.'
  • Iconic Outfit: Averted, as Mr Wednesday avoids Odin's traditional wide-brimmed hat, cloak and eyepatch. Iceland's Odin embraces them though, due to Iceland's greater continuity.
  • Jerkass: Likes to use one of his runes to seduce girls, then use another one to make them incapable of ever getting over him, just for shits and giggles.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He's a cranky old condescending lech and as trustworthy as a chocolate hammer, but he's right that the Old Gods need to do something because they're all dying slowly in America. This is true, but Wednesday's actually only out to help himself survive by provoking the gods to slaughter each other, because the deaths of such powerful beings in his name will sustain him good. Well, himself and his partner Loki.
  • Louis Cypher: Wednesday is named after Odin's old name, Wodan.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: To Shadow.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: All his pretense of returning the Old Gods to their former glory is a con to empower himself.
  • Pet the Dog: 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 that she had to die in the first place. He also tells Shadow, his son, that he's proud of him.
  • Running Both Sides: Some accuse him of this, pointing out it is unlike Wednesday to go into such a clearly-stacked-against-him conflict. Then Mr. World confirms it
  • Self-Proclaimed Liar: He admits he's a Consummate Liar, and most distrust him for it. Evidently not enough, though.
  • The Social Expert: It goes along with his Con Man tendencies.
  • Technically a Smile: Shadow notes early on that his smile has a sinister motive just behind it, more bearing teeth than an actual display of emotion.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Dying is the motivation all the other Old Gods need to band together against the new. He doesn't mind because, once the battle is dedicated to him, he stands to get more power than he ever had before.
  • Trickster God: Gaiman emphasizes Odin's cunning, a strong feature in his traditional tales, more than other adaptions. Wednesday makes ends meet as a con man.
  • War God: Less pronounced in this depiction, but a war god all the same. It's also a vital part of the plot, as Wednesday tries to empower himself with the gods' war.

    Mr. Nancy 

Mr. Nancy/Anansi

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Click here to see Mr. Nancy in the graphic novel 

  • Animal Motif: Spiders, since that's how his mythological origin is portrayed.
  • Cool Old Guy: Unlike veteran conman Wednesday and bitter loner Czernobog, Nancy's just fine with passing the days doing his own thing.
  • Dirty Old Man: He talks about his love of "women with big high titties" in his first appearance.
  • Disappeared Dad: Inverted, he has two sons and an ex-wife that we don't learn about in American Gods. (One of his sons get an offhand mention when he meets Shadow and again towards the end, when Shadow stays at his Florida home). His sons get their own book, though.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Anansi is what modern culture might understand to be a god of mischief, and this shows up in that, outside of survival, his chief concern is women or having a laugh, particularly at someone else's expense. While this is hardly a positive trait, he's still fundamentally a good individual.
  • Louis Cypher: The god, Anansi calls himself Mr. Nancy amongst humans.
  • Nice Hat: A lime-green fedora.
  • Trickster God: Less pronounced than Wednesday, since he's less visible throughout the story, but this is Anansi in a nutshell.

    Mr. Ibis 

Mr. Ibis/Thoth

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Click here to see Mr. Ibis in the graphic novel 

  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Like all Ancient Egyptian gods connected to death, he's a nice guy.
  • Louis Cypher: He uses the name because the god, Thoth had the head of an Ibis bird.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: 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.
  • The Smart Guy: The most intellectual of the gods.

    Mr. Jacquel 

Mr Jacquel/Anubis

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Click here to see Mr. Jacquel in the graphic novel 

  • Autopsy Snack Time: Will eat parts of bodies as he's preparing them. Shadow notes that it seems oddly respectful.
  • 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.
  • Louis Cypher: He's called Mr. Jacquel because Anubis is an anthropomorphic jackal in Egyptian mythology.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Into a jackal, naturally.

    Bast 

Bast

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Click here to see Bast in the graphic novel 

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    Czernobog 

Czernobog

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Click here to see Czernobog in the graphic novel 

  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Czernobog is very sad and somber over the apparent "death" of his twin "brother" Bielebog. In the end of the book, Shadow observes Czernobog is happy for the first time in the entire book when he reveals Bielebog is his alternate persona, and is soon returning.
  • Ax-Crazy: Looking forward to beaning Shadow with a sledgehammer. And he does, but ultimately changes his mind about actually hurting him.
  • Cain and Abel: He's known as the "evil" brother; his brother, Bielebog, is the "good" one.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: A god of darkness, but that doesn't mean he's a bad guy.
  • Drop the Hammer: His weapon of choice in mythology, and he used to have a day job slaughtering cattle with a sledgehammer.
  • The Eeyore: Not as demonstrative as many examples, but he's a very gloomy guy.
  • Exact Words: He does indeed hit Shadow with the hammer at the end. But he does it very, very lightly.
  • God of Evil: How he's seen by those who remember him. He's resentful of the fact that all it took was being dark-haired when his twin was blond, but he also reminisces fondly about all the bloodshed he and his followers used to get up to in the old days.
  • I Am the Trope: When Shadow asks if he's worried about cancer from all the smoking, Czernobog replies "I am cancer. I'm not afraid of myself."
  • Jekyll & Hyde: He and Bielebog are the same person.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's rough around the edges, but means well.
  • Retired Monster: Czernobog occasionally references his heyday as a god. Those references tend to paint quite a dark picture, as he talks of things like massive human sacrifices and butchering enemies during armistice.
  • Seers: It's unclear whether he foresees Mr Town's death, or if he curses him to die that way. Whatever he did, it turns out exactly the way he says it would.
  • That's What I Would Do: He's against going to Kansas to pick up Wednesday's body "under truce" because (apart from a truce being the site of Wednesday's murder in the first place) Czernobog always used to use truces to kill his own enemies.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Gets his powers from sacrificial murders, but after his followers dried up, he worked at a slaughterhouse rather than becoming a Serial Killer.

    Bilquis 

Bilquis/Queen Sheba

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Click here to see Bilquis in the graphic novel 

  • Asshole Victim: She's brutally murdered by Technical Boy, but the reader is unlikely to have much sympathy considering she murdered a man in cold blood in her very first scene, and was looking for a fresh victim when she was killed.
  • Country Matters: Her power is described as "cunt-magic".
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Technical Boy runs her over with his limo over and over until she is literally a smear on the street.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: The first of the Old Gods to be killed off is the one that's working as a prostitute. And her death at Technical Boy's hands parallels that of a pimp killing off his hooker after he lured her to him by posing as a client.
  • Dying Curse: She uses the last of her strength to lay a curse on Technical Boy when he kills her. We never get the specifics, but it's apparently pretty awful. In the Hotel at the Center of America, he can be seen suffering from it.
  • Literal Maneater: She sustains herself by swallowing her worshippers, although the method she does is very... unorthodox.
  • Riches to Rags: The former Queen of Sheba that was worshiped as a Love Goddess reduced to a Streetwalker that has to prey on men to sustain herself.
  • Sex Goddess: The man she had sex with seemed to be in a state of euphoria through the whole scene, and doesn't even seem to mind she's actually killing him.
  • Vagina Dentata: Played With, Bilquis's vagina doesn't seem to have actual teeth, but she can devour worshippers via her vagina.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: She's one of the first victims of the war between the Old and New Gods, being murdered by Technical Boy in her second scene.

    The Zoryas 

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

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Zorya Utrennyaya
Click here to see Zorya Utrennyaya in the graphic novel 

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Zorya Vechernyay
Click here to see orya Polunochnaya in the graphic novel 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_phoenix_zorya_polunochnaya.jpg
Zorya Polunochnaya
Click here to see orya Polunochnaya in the graphic novel 


  • Bad Liar: Although they can all see the future, Zorya Vechernyaya is the only one who can actually earn money as a Fortune Teller. The other two are too bad at lying (most people want good fortunes, after all).
  • Canon Foreigner: Zorya Polunochnaya isn't actually from Slavic myth and was invented by Gaiman based on vague references to a third Zorya sister in some myths.
  • Cool Old Lady: All three - though it's unclear how old Polunochnaya is, since her skin is apparently unlined.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Polunochnaya is only awake around midnight.
  • The Mentor: Polunochnaya to Shadow.
  • Seers: All three of them have the power of foresight.
  • The Sacred Darkness: Polunochnaya has aspects of this. Her sisters represent morning and evening, and her aspect is the night. Unlike Czernobog, who is a more stereotypical dark god, Polunochnaya represents unfearful elements of darkness and night, such as the moon.

    Mad Sweeney 

Mad Sweeney

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    Easter 

Easter/Eostre

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Click here to see Easter in the graphic novel 

  • Big Beautiful Woman: As befits a Fertility Goddess.
  • 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.
  • Fertile Feet: Appears to have the ability to make things grow with her touch. She's a fertility goddess, after all.
  • Nice Girl: 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.
  • Stepford Smiler: Is flirty, cheerful and apparently happy. However, Wednesday quickly penetrates her façade and as the Break the Cutie entry shows, she nearly breaks down in tears.
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    Horus 

Horus

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    The man in the charcoal suit 

The man in the charcoal suit / Forgotten God

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Click here to see the Forgotten God in the graphic novel 

  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Shadow forgets everything about him - including his name - immediately after learning them.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: 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.
  • The Nondescript: His only description is that he's dark-haired, clean-shaven, and his face is forgettable in every sense of the word.
  • The Unreveal: We never actually find out who he is.

    Hinzelmann 

Hinzelmann

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Click here to see Hinzelmann in the graphic novel 

  • Affably Evil: 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, he literally murders children for a living, in order to sustain his powers as a god and to keep the town of Lakeside prosperous.
  • Big Bad Friend: He's the villain of the Lakeside subplot.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: When he explains his actions, he notes that he only took good kids who he liked (with a couple exceptions over a few centuries he's been doing it). Which makes sense for the old religions: you are supposed to offer what you think is the best animal in the flock as the sacrifice to the gods. And in this case it is the god himself doing the choosing. He also rescues Shadow from drowning and hypothermia, even though he'd have been better off just letting him die - though as Shadow deduces, he's so old and tired that he wants to be caught and he arranges his own death.
  • Cool Old Guy: How everyone in Lakeside views him, including Shadow.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: He makes no attempt to cover up his unusual longevity and is using his real name, banking on his own obscurity. He also hides his victims in the trunks of cars that are not only sitting in the middle of the town's lake, in full view of anyone driving by, but that the town raises money by betting on when they'll fall through the ice.
  • Loophole Abuse: He agreed to protect Shadow from various prying eyes, but he uses his powers to drag people into town who could expose Shadow and force him to leave.
  • Minnesota Nice: What he appears to be. Turns out he's not actually from America at all, and he's only nice in the Affably Evil sense.
  • Nice Guy: Subverted when he turns out to be a Serial Killer.
  • Our Kobolds Are Different: He's a kobold who was "born" when an ancient Germanic tribe ritually sacrificed a young child to create a minor god. In the present day, he appears as a kindly old man who brings good fortune to his town but secretly sacrifices a town child to himself every year to maintain his power.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: He was created from a child sacrifice many centuries ago, and he sustains his powers in the modern-day by sacrificing children to himself once a year.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He's actually a god (and a kobold) from centuries ago.
  • Serial Killer: He's been sacrificing a child to himself every year. Though the reason he's doing this is because he's an old god and he needs the sacrifices in order to sustain himself and keep Lakeside prosperous, he still counts as this trope since he's methodically killing one type of person.
  • Suicide by Cop: When finally confronted with his crimes (something he'd arranged), he provokes the police chief into shooting him.

    Samantha Black Crow 

Samantha Black Crow

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Click here to see Samantha in the graphic novel 


  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Bitterly accuses herself of this when she gets into a car with Shadow after dinner, because at that point she's been visited by the spooks who accused him of murder.
  • 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 Native American heritage.
  • Friendly Address Privileges: She informs Mr. Town and Mr. Road that her friends call her Sam, and then rebukes them sharply when they do so because they aren't her friends.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: She's estranged from her Cherokee dad, who calls her a "half-breed", but she's proud of her heritage.
  • Girl Next Door: Well, technically, the girl next door's little sister.
  • Granola Girl
  • Little Miss Snarker: Well evidenced in her interaction with Mr. Town and Mr. Road. Calling Audrey a cunt is just icing.
  • "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.
  • 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 Moon 

Laura

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Click here to see Laura in the graphic novel 

  • Action Girlfriend: Rather, Action Wife. For a dead woman, she's pretty capable of doing some damage to a group of trained government agents.
  • Back from the Dead: Not in a nice way, though. 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.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Even when she was alive, Laura was not as nice as she seemed. But she really does love Shadow (and is at least somewhat self-aware), which keeps her on the sympathetic side of the trope.
  • Came Back Wrong: She's not truly alive, she's left disconnected from the real world, and her body keeps decomposing.
  • Dead All Along: Not that it's a revelation; the twist is that she comes back.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Whenever she talks to Shadow, or anyone else.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: See Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. She does it for Shadow's sake.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: She kills Loki by stabbing him through her own chest.
  • Lady Macbeth: Seems Shadow's involvement in the robbery that got him in prison was her idea.
  • The Lost Lenore: Shadow misses her throughout the novel, and her resurrection does little to help that.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Deconstructed Character Archetype. 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.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: This one is self-aware and in control of her actions, but steadily rotting away.
  • Poisonous Friend: Very big on protecting Shadow and quite violent about it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: According to her, dying did a lot to remove her inhibitions about killing people.
  • Uncanny Valley: On her return from the dead. She only gets more uncanny as time goes on - her resurrection wasn't exactly complete. She also has a strangely flat voice and an inability to filter.
  • Undeath Always Ends: She gets temporarily restored to life, then stabs herself through the chest to help Shadow, and finally Shadow takes back the coin that made her undead at her own request.

The "New Gods" and Their Allies

    The Technical Boy 

The Technical Boy

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Click here to see Technical Boy in the graphic novel 


  • Animal Motif: Toad. He smokes synthetized toad skin, his eyes are said to look like those of a toad, his appearance can be reminiscent of one (overweight with acne), and Bilquis even says he "puffs like a bullfrog" when pleased.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: He's one of the Internet.
  • Badass Longcoat: Subverted. He dresses like the characters in The Matrix but is a physically weak nerd.
  • Child Soldiers: Not "a soldier", but he looks about 15 and is in the middle of this brutal divine war, which adds a bit of tragedy to him - he may be an asshole, but deep down, he's just a kid.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Out of the New Gods he's the one with most presence and menace (despite being a pathetic nerd). Then Mr. World kills him to make way for the true Big Bad: Wednesday.
  • Evil Nerd: As the embodiment of all that is worst about the Internet and the people who hang out on it, he's very much this.
  • Geek Physiques: A fat, "puffy-faced" young man barely out of his teens with acne-covered cheeks. Very fitting for the embodiment of computers and the Internet in the 90s.
  • The Heavy: He's the central antagonist (from the perspective of the Old Gods) throughout most of the book. However, he's just one of many Unwitting Pawns to both Mr. World and Wednesday.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: He's suggesting to Mr. World that they just go home and abandon this useless war when Mr. World kills him in Odin's name.
  • 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.
  • Hidden Depths: It's subtle but over the course of the novel it becomes clear for all his bravado, Technical Boy doesn't really want to kill anyone. His murder of Bilquis in fact ends up traumatizing him.
  • Internet Jerk: Since he is the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Internet, it's only natural he acts like this.
  • Jerkass: He's a rude, nasty little punk who likes to throw his weight around.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Technical Boy doesn't quite get there, but the weight of his actions slowly start to bear on him as the story goes by. Mr. World kills him just as he seems to fully realize what he's done.
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: His efforts at being intimidating come across as rehearsed and poorly executed.
  • Only Knownby Their Nickname: While "Technical Boy" became the name of this entity in both the fandom and the television adaptation, in the novel it seems to be more a title or a description than a true name. He describes himself as "a technical boy", Media refers to him as "the technical boy" without capitals, and most of the time Shadow and the narration only call him "the fat kid".
  • Otaku: Beneath the attempts at a threatening demeanor, the Technical Boy is little more than a pathetic nerd.
  • Peaceful in Death: Mr. World observes he smiles in bliss as he collapses dead. Though it should be noted, given how the worship of the Internet has only grown in the years after the novel, he's bound to come back.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Killed by Loki as a demonstration of his plan to sacrifice the new and old gods, thereby resurrecting Odin's ghost.
  • 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."
  • These Hands Have Killed: It's implied that killing The Queen of Sheba damaged his consciousness. Shadow sees him crying and bashing his head against a wall at one point, and while he has no idea why, the readership knows the murder wasn't long ago. Being a personification of the internet in a dead zone at the time probably isn't helping.
  • Wicked Cultured: He's surprisingly well-read, dropping both pop culture references (like singing Madonna) and more obscure ones (like alluding to the Omertá). However, it doesn't really make him much more impressive, and comes off as someone dropping references pulled off Google.

    Media 

Media

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_phoenix_media.jpg

Click here to see Media in the graphic novel 

  • Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble: 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.
  • Hidden Depths: At first you would only remember her for her superficiality, seduction and fake cheerfulness. But a closer reading of her scenes reveals that she has a dark fascination and enjoyment of violence and misery. She jokes about people committing murders in her names, she admires Shadow for the supposed massacre he committed, she plays in loop and slow-motion the murder of Mr. Wednesday to all of his friends and allies... Already in her first manifestation to Shadow she turned an episode of the Dick Van Dyke show into a depiction of real-life marital abuse, for no good reason than to screw with his mind.
  • Stepford Smiler: Her personality resembles that of a passive-aggressive newscaster. It's about as genuine as a three-dollar bill.
  • 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. It's so blatant and done so vulgarly that it mostly just annoys him.
    "Hey, do you want to see Lucy's tits?"

    The Spookshow 

The Spookshow

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_phoenix_spookshow.jpg
Click here to see the Spooks in the graphic novel 

  • Alas, Poor Villain: The end of Mr. Town is somewhat tragic. We get to see a portion from his POV where he seems to have finally found peace and a woman to love for the rest of his life, and just as he's about to live happily ever after, said woman kills him.
  • Ambiguously Human: While they are definitively humans (they have a normal life outside of their job, human needs and families, don't believe their superiors are gods), there is something strange about them. Their impossible names, the fact Shadow identifies Mr. Wood and Mr. Stone as identical somewhere at a "molecular" level, the fact their "bones" (symbol for their life/souls) are guarded in the Backstage by a giant mechanical spider... Given said spider is described as a "search engine", it is possible that the Spooks were specifically selected and chosen among regular humans to "fit the mold" of the Spookshow/Agency.
  • Avenging the Villain: Mr. Town is not happy about his buddies getting killed, but leaves Shadow alone because Mr. World says so.
  • Exactly What It Saysonthe Tin/ Generic Name: The agency the Spooks work for is called... the Agency.
  • 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.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Mr. Town seems to be the highest-ranking member, answering directly to Mr. World.
  • Mooks: They work for Mr. World and the New Gods.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: They're not much more than jerks in suits, doing the bidding of a villainous god.
  • Villainous Friendship: Mr. Town, Wood and Stone seemed to have been close friends, and thus why Mr. Town wants to desperately avenge them.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: By the end of the novel, Mr. Road is unaccounted for.

    Mr. World 

Mr. World / Low-Key Lyesmith / Loki Lie-Smith

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_phoenix_low_key_lyesmith.jpg
Click here to see Mr. World in the graphic novel 


    Railroad Baron 

Railroad Baron


  • The Cameo: He's only shown for about a page during the final confrontation.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Shadow notes that, like the old Gods, he's seen better days as something newer comes to take away his main base of power and worship.
  • Railroad Baron: He's described as the embodiment of one, having sprung into existence when the railroad was worshipped in all but name.

    The Intangibles 

The Intangibles

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_phoenix_the_intangibles.jpg

  • The Almighty Dollar: Their power and existence is implied to be related to money and the stock market.
  • Hufflepuff House: None of the New Gods besides Technical Boy and the Spooks appear much in the book, but the Intangibles are only mentioned three times despite being implied to be one of the more powerful factions of New Gods.
  • Opt Out: According to Technical Boy, the Intangibles don't want a war against the Old Gods, with their already fading power, and would prefer to resolve things peacefully and "let market forces take care of it."
  • We ARE Struggling Together: It's briefly mentioned that their arguing with a lot of the other New Gods about where to have a "policy meeting" and want it in their own home base, Wall Street.

    The Players 

The Players


  • The Beautiful Elite: They're gods representing the awe felt to human celebrities, specifically Hollywood stars.
  • Power Glows: They have a sense of human radiance, and backstage they're literally emitting phosphorus and glowing.

Alternative Title(s): American Gods Literature

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