American Gods season 2: Dark times ahead for Shadow Moon


What can we and Shadow Moon expect from American Gods season 2? Here are a few hints from the show runners and some guesses from me.

The American Gods season 1 finale left many open questions and possibilities for season 2. So what’s next? Much like the world we live in, in 2017, it’s going to be much darker than what we’ve seen before.

There’s a bad moon rising in America, so here is your suggested earworm for this article.

Pay attention to the lyrics. It’s like they were written for Shadow.

Season 1’s slow reveal

The first season covers about a third of the book, with a few bits taken from later on. But there are a few reasons we don’t need to worry about stretching it out to make six seasons of TV. For one thing, this season was a slow reveal because both the audience and Shadow have to learn to believe.

That’s the same for the first third of the book. Shadow follows Wednesday like a shadow, with no will of his own and nothing to live for. Aside from the fact that most of us, if told gods walk among us, would take a major amount of convincing, Wednesday is the one introducing Shadow to this world, and he’s about the most unreliable narrator ever. He’s an admitted liar and con man. No less, he’s proud of it.

The end of the season 1 finale leaves Bilquis heading for Wisconsin and the House on the Rock. Whether or not we get there in the first episode of season 2 is another question. The main characters are still at Easter’s. They all have unsettled business.


So our queen is on a bus to the House on the Rock in Wisconsin, but why? Whose side is she on? Is she going there on Technical Boy’s orders, to disrupt Wednesday’s plans? Or perhaps she’s just one of the old gods invited to Wednesday’s meeting. Maybe she’s a double agent. She could just be looking out for herself, ready to double cross whichever man, god or boy seems the most dangerous to her. Not that I blame her for that. Bilquis has no reason to trust the plans of men or male gods.

Dead wife

Laura Moon is still dead, and magic coin or no, she’s not going to last much longer without divine intervention. But he truth is out: she was a sacrifice to Wednesday. Easter can give life, but she can’t help Laura, probably she can’t take back another god’s sacrifice. Now that Easter, Laura, and Wednesday all know and are in the same place, perhaps that can be remedied. Wednesday needs to address this somehow, because he can’t have Shadow turn against him.

Easter isn’t the only god Laura might turn to, though. Is there a chance she might get help from Jacquel and Ibis? They helped her before. In any case, we will be seeing more of Laura Moon, whether she’s further preserved or ends up getting a real life. Via Deadline, Fuller tells us

"I think the bigger interpersonal dramas that are waiting for us in Season two that excites us greatly is the notion of Laura Moon versus Mr. Wednesday.[…]Now we get to dig deeper into characters that feel like we’ve just scratched the surface of, like Laura Moon. There’s so much more to tell and now that we’ve spent a season introducing the character and providing a couple of new facets that we’re allowed to take her in even more unexpected directions."


Will Wednesday and Shadow head straight for Wisconsin in episode 1 of season 2? Wednesday’s spend all of season 1 talking about going to Wisconsin, but has he completed his search for pre-eminent experts in their fields?

I can think of quite a few reasons why we won’t see the house on the rock in episode one. The first is the aforementioned issue of Laura. She still needs to have that talk with Shadow, and he’s going to learn how much Wednesday has been messing with his life. That means Wednesday need to deal with her before they leave Easter’s.

And Easter just took the spring. Can’t you just see the opening scene, winter sweeping across America. Will there be riots and panic in the streets? I bet climate change denialists are going to have a field day.

But those two issues could be handled briefly, so it’s entirely possible they will at least start driving to Wisconsin in episode 1. I kinda doubt it, though.

When we do finally get to Wisconsin, there are other questions. Will Salim find his Jinn there, or will he have to keep searching? And will Media and the new gods crash Wednesday’s party? Because of how some scenes from the book have already been rearranged, there’s no telling what the new gods have planned.

New old gods, old old gods

We have only met a few of the old gods of American Gods. Fuller mentions Mama-Ji and Sam Black Crow in that Deadline interview. For book reasons, I think Mama-Ji will show up first, possibly in episode 1 of season 2. The Hindu pantheon is stunningly fantastic and vivid. I think we will probably learn her story just before Wednesday’s meeting at the House on the Rock.

I also think Shadow may spend some time with Sam Black Crow, but I can’t predict whether they meet before or after Wisconsin. He will probably tell Shadow more about his dream buffalo.

Of course, Mama-Ji and Sam Black Crow won’t be the only ones. There will be more old gods, and some we already know will show up again. We know that Czernobog promised to meet Wednesday in Wisconsin.

Then there’s the question of Vulcan. Oh, you say he’s dead because Wednesday sacrificed him? Well, my mom has some insight for you. After finishing episode 6, she commented, “It is rather silly. You can’t kill a god any more than you kill an idea. You can forget them and ignore them, but if you think of them again, they are as if they had been there all the time in the same strength as the last time you thought about them.”

In case you doubt my mom, Bryan Fuller said (same Deadline article) “we’re really excited about seeing characters from the first season, again, that you may not expect to see again.” He could totally be talking about Vulcan.

Bad moon rising

What can Shadow expect from season 2? Personality-wise, his character just took a major and literal leap of faith. He believes that all these gods and their powers are real. In the book, that doesn’t change his personality, actions or motivations. He remains a shadow. But that’s going to change. Continuing his interview with Deadline, Fuller said

"There is a certain expectation of how the character evolves in the book that we want to subvert and challenge, in our own way, to have a protagonist that has as much agency in the story as the gods themselves."

This is exactly the right decision for the medium of television, especially if they plan to carry this protagonist through six seasons. He can’t just be a Shadow to Wednesday and Laura. I mean, he could, but it would be boring. It worked in the book, but TV calls for a more animated Shadow Moon.

Even after his epiphany, season 2 is not going to be easier for him. Via Entertainment Weekly, Fuller says we “should be very worried for Shadow Moon.” And he’s not the only character who has dark times ahead. Michael Green addresses the tone of season 2 in the same Deadline interview:

"We can’t help but acknowledge that the world we’re going to be writing in is so much darker now, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Season 2 got a lot angrier."

Related Story: Gaiman says TV series drops hints about American Gods book sequel

Wednesday says he wants the people hungry so they’ll pray. But maybe he’s really looking for more sacrifice. Because hunger makes people angry. Anger may get things done, but it also brings destruction. Dark times indeed.