With Sunday’s epic finale, Michael Green and Bryan Fuller’s adaptation of American Gods has wrapped its first season. While pulling a number of elements and characters from the books, the show still managed to tell a fresh story from the very beginning while adding plenty of new faces and plot threads. In fact, some of the most powerful moments came from altered material, like the relationship between Laura Moon and Mad Sweeney or the expanded role of Ostara. And while the captivating finale asked as many questions as it answered, it still pointed to a path forward for the show in its second season.
As the arrival at the House on the Rock is only Chapter 5 of the books, there’s still plenty of avenues for the show to explore over the course of one or more new seasons. There’s also no shortage of gods, both old and new, that can be introduced. From book characters we’ve yet to meet to new additions from the vast pantheon of world religions, the creators have plenty of source material to work with. Even the concept of the New Gods only gets lightly touched upon in Neil Gaiman’s novel, with a number of other modern forms of worship still unexplored. From old to new, here are the deities we want to see in season 2 of American Gods.
God(dess) of Social Media
When Gaiman first wrote his book in 2001, he was wise to add a god of technology and the Internet in the form of Technical Boy. Since that time, however, the Internet has became an entity of its own, arguably separate from our reliance on hi-tech devices like computers. While a case could certainly be made that each should be their own form of worship, one facet of the Internet absolutely needs its own god or goddess.
As demonstrated in the finale by Technical Boy and Bilquis, our online personas and the likes we acquire are the modern form of worship. As such, it would be interesting to see this idea expanded upon. As with Vulcan, Social Media uses an innovative form of worship. Every time you like something, receive a jolt of pleasure from checking your notifications, or share personal information on your profile, you’re saying a little prayer to Social Media. And while the gods and goddesses of the show have been oddly binary in the series so far, it would be interesting to see a more gender-amorphous god(dess) be presented on the series to reflect the breaking of traditions present in of the modern age.
For a show about the deities of the Americas, we’ve yet to spend much time with any Indigenous gods. In ‘Lemon Scented You’ we met Nunyunnini in the opening story, and the White Buffalo has been snorting fire around the outskirts of the series, but we haven’t met any Native American gods in the present. Luckily, the show is approaching a point in the book where the perfect candidate arrives.
Though the series would have to skip ahead a bit, one of the characters Shadow and Wednesday encounter later in the book is the old troublemaker Whiskey Jack. Like many of the gods on the show, Whiskey Jack is a corrupted form of his real name. Once, he was Wisakedjak, an Algonquin trickster spirit akin to Loki or Anansi. Now, he lives out his days in the small town of Lakota that factors into one of Shadow’s side adventures. Interestingly, it’s there that he’s mistaken for another god, the spider-trickster Iktomi from the Lakota pantheon. With so few roles for Native actors on TV, American Gods is perfectly poised to explore some of the oldest religions in the history of our country.
Like Whiskey Jack, Mama-Ji will almost certainly show up soon on American Gods. While the first season ends with people beginning to show up at the House on the Rock, the finale for next season could revolve around a more cerebral gathering. While we won’t spoil things too much for those that haven’t read the book, the meeting of the gods at the House on the Rock is just one of many gatherings in the books. Another serves as a further exploration of Odin’s past while also introducing us to some new characters.
One of those is Mama-Ji, the series’ version of the Hindu goddess Kali. Known mostly as the goddess of destruction, she actually rules over all time, from creation to entropy. She also represents a fascinating corner that neither Gaiman or the show have really explored: living Old Gods. Like Jesus, Kali isn’t some long-forgotten figure. Though not having as much influence in America, she still has plenty of believers and worshippers. As such, she provides an interesting opportunity for the show to examine Old Gods who still have power, even in the modern world.