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Recap / American Gods S 2 E 6 "Donar the Great"

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Season 2, Episode 6

Donar the Great

Shadow and Mr. Wednesday seek out Dvalin to repair the Gungnir spear. But before the dwarf is able to etch the runes of war, he requires a powerful artifact in exchange. On the journey, Wednesday tells Shadow the story of Donar the Great.

Tropes That Appear In This Episode:

  • Call-Back: In "The Ways of the Dead", Mr. Wednesday casually mentions his "Burlesque days". This episode elaborates on this, revealing that he, Nancy and Donar ran a burlesque troupe in the 30's.
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  • The Con Within a Con: Shadow and Wednesday's means of getting Lous Reed's jacket involved Wednesday impersonating a bishop and paying a small fortune up-front in cash for the Lous Reed jacket. Then Shadow plays the part of a cop that outs him as a counterfeiter, where they then confiscate both the money and the jacket as evidence, claiming that they will return the jacket once it has been processed. While Wednesday could easily con the money back, he believes that actually spending money on dwarves was not worth it, and he thought that the old False-Bishop Con was too good for him to pass-up.
  • Deader Than Dead: Wednesday reveals that suicide is one of the few ways to permanently kill a god, as with what happened with Thor/Donar.
  • Matriarchy: Nancy's story to Donar tells about a world ruled by Goddesses, where women and woman gods held the power, only for a young male god to go back in time, give fire to man and change the world into one ruled by men. He then reveals that he is telling his story.
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  • My God, What Have I Done?: While Wednesday claims that he does not regret his actions, it is very clear that he feels guilty for the hand he played in his son's suicide. While Wednesday usually shrugs off any insult or harsh reality that is thrown at him, mention Donar and his death and it wipes the smile right off of his face.
  • Mythology Gag: The song playing during Donar's act is Ride of the Valkyries.
  • Older Than They Look: While it was originally believed that Technical Boy came into existence when the Internet hit its stride and computers became commonplace, here it is revealed that he had existed since the '30s as a god associated with the technology of that era (telephones).
    • That said it seems likely that this is a case The Nth Doctor like Media and New Media. After all, this version of the Technical Boy seems smoother and more sociable (befitting him drawing his power from communication). Furthermore, neither Wednesday, nor the "modern" version of the Technical Boy acknowledge a prior encounter during their past meetings. The version of Technical Boy shown here probably did fade away like Wednesday predicted, only to be reincarnated due the growing force of technology in the late 20th Century.
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  • Opening Chorus: The episode opens with Mr. Wednesday giving the introduction song to a burlesque show in Philadelphia in the '30's.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Back in the 30's, Wednesday used to go by "Al Grimnir."
  • The Strongman: Donar contributed to the troupe by showing off his Super Strength in an elaborate performance. He is later hired by the Friends of New Germany to be their weight-lifting champion.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The Friends of New Germany (which were real, by the way) is a political party associated with the Third Reich and had started in America during Fascism's rise in Europe and before Nazis began to be universally recognized as evil. Because of this, Grimnir and Donar do not bat an eye when they ask for Donar to be their strongman champion to give them legitimacy, more fascinated with their swastikas than their politics.
  • Throwing the Fight: While at first ecstatic of regaining his former glory when the Friends of New Germany hire him as their champion, they demand that Donar throw the fight for Germany's contestant with veiled threats towards the Burlesque troupe if he does not comply.
  • Two Decades Behind: When a mall was built over the sight of where the Nordic dwarves set up shop, they had a brief chance of luck before online shopping turned The Mall into a ghost town.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: It is revealed that Wednesday, Thor, Nancy and the other Old Gods had a brief comeback through the use of a burlesque show back in the 1930s.

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