Shadow Moon's journey continues in American Gods season 2, and the Starz series is introducing a host of new deities as Mr. Wednesday tries to recruit allies for his war against the New Gods. As forces gather on both sides, American Gods has added cast members like Dean Winters as Mr. Town and Sakina Jaffrey as Mama-ji, while Kristin Chenoweth (Easter) and Gillian Anderson (Media) have both left the cast.
Based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman, American Gods follows Shadow, an ex-convict who finds himself caught up in a war between the Old Gods who were brought to America by previous generations of immigrants, and New Gods like Technical Boy and Media, who were born in America and have grown powerful from their recent decades of devoted worshippers. Now the old and new gods are being driven into a war, led by Mr. Wednesday on one side and Mr. World on the other, and caught up in it all are Shadow and his wife, Laura, who has returned from the dead with the help of a certain lucky coin.
American Gods has experienced a shake-up behind the scenes, with original showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green leaving and Jesse Alexander taking the reins. Disputes over the show's budget and direction meant that season 2 was a long time coming, so fans may have forgotten who's-who in the pantheon of American Gods. Here's our guide to the show's cast and characters - both new and returning.
- This Page: Shadow, Mr. Wednesday, and Other Main Characters
- Page 2: The Jinn, Czernobog, and Other Gods and Mortals
- Page 3: The New Gods: Mr. World, New Media, and More
Shadow Moon - Ricky Whittle
An ordinary human, Shadow was in prison for robbing a casino when the series began. He was released slightly early with the devastating news that his wife, Laura, had been killed in a car crash while cheating on Shadow with his best friend. With the life he had planned to return to gone, Shadow found himself hired as a bodyguard by a mysterious stranger called Mr. Wednesday. As the two of them embarked on a road trip, Shadow learned about the existence of the Old Gods and New Gods, and at one point was literally lynched for his loyalty to Mr. Wednesday. That didn't scare him off, however, and Shadow is ready to join the fight in season 2.
Mr. Wednesday - Ian McShane
Dramatically revealed to be none other than the Norse god Odin at the end of season 1, Mr. Wednesday is an experienced manipulator who always has a few tricks up his sleeve. In season 2, he calls the Old Gods to assemble at bizarre Wisconsin tourist attraction The House on the Rock, where he warns of the threat that the New Gods pose to their existence and tries to convince them that a war is inevitable.
Mad Sweeney - Pablo Schreiber
An old friend of Mr. Wednesday's, Mad Sweeney is a leprechaun who was brought to America by Irish immigrants. His godly superpower used to be incredibly good luck, until he mistakenly gave away his lucky gold coin to Shadow Moon, who then threw it on his wife's grave. Now Mad Sweeney is stuck following Laura Moon around in the hope of eventually getting his coin back. As for Mr. Wednesday's war... well, Sweeney is always up for a fight.
Laura Moon - Emily Browning
That casino robbery that Shadow (almost) pulled off was planned by his wife, Laura Moon, who met Shadow when she was working as a dealer at the casino. While her husband was behind bars, Laura carried on an affair with his friend Robbie, which ended abruptly when Laura and Robbie were both killed in a car accident. However, when Shadow threw Mad Sweeney's lucky gold coin onto Laura's grave she was resurrected as a slowly decomposing corpse, and now has the unique ability to track Shadow wherever he goes, seeing him as a bright light on the horizon.
Bilquis - Yetide Badaki
Based on the Queen of Sheba, Bilquis is a goddess of love - but don't be fooled into thinking she's all hearts and flowers. She has the power to inspire adoration and lust in mortals and offer them heights of unimaginable pleasure, but Bilquis' love is all-consuming... literally. After coming to America, Bilquis experienced a famine of worshippers and sacrifice and became weakened, but after being introduced to the wonders of the internet by Technical Boy she has since become rejuvenated.
Mr. Nancy - Orlando Jones
Mr. Nancy, also known as Anansi, hails from West Africa and was brought to America by African slaves. In the original mythology he often takes the form of the spider, and in America Gods Mr. Nancy is frequently surrounded by spiders who do his bidding. Nancy is a born storyteller, supposedly having an omniscient knowledge of all the stories in the world, and frequently tells stories to his companions (whether they want to hear them or not)