American Gods – Easter Eggs

<<updated for episode 8>>

The season is now over and I have scoured each episode for Easter eggs and other breadcrumbs.  I’ve tried to consolidate everything from my other posts, but please let me know what I’ve missed and what I’ve missed the boat on.

 1.   The one-eyed god

You may have noticed Wednesday’s glass eye already.

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He makes mention that he “has an eye for things, just the one”.

2.   The significance of numbers

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  • Shadow mentions that he read 813 books in prison.
  • 813 AD is the date of the Coming to American story.  CE refers to “Current Era”, a term more politically correct in a story about the gods.
  • 8 and 13 are consecutive Fibonacci numbers which have been shown to correlate with the branching patterns on trees, fibonacci-treetying in with the world tree imagery.

 

  • Salim’s room number was 318 (thanks to @QueenJean4 for that one on twitter)

 

 

3.   Shadow’s first dream

In Shadow’s first vision of Laura, the imagery evokes crucifixion/sacrifice and the blue represents the Virgin mother. Shadow would have seen this just at the time of her death, as he’s called in by the warden the next morning.  Perhaps there is more to Laura’s story.vlcsnap-error859

4.   Shadow’s second dream

The last time Shadow had a vision of the bone orchard, he saw Laura first.

This time, there is an image of a woman in an accident, assuming it’s Laura again.  Amongst her and other things flying around, we can see the 7 of spades: vlcsnap-error495

In episode 4, we see it again a couple of times:

I haven’t quite figured out what it means yet, but here’s a start:

7

It’s not just the seven of spades, though.  Seven is a recurring number for Laura:

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Laura and Shadow were together for 7 years at the time of her death.

Laura’s obituary appears on page 7 (see below)

In Episode 7we meet Essie (also played by Emily Browning) and see her connection to Sweeney.  Essie was sentenced to 7 years transportation instead of death by hanging.  Lucky.

5.   Laura’s Death

The circumstances of Laura’s death are a bit mysterious. The driver of the other vehicle seems to have fled the scene.  Plus, she died in the early hours of Wednesday and her obituary is on page 7.vlcsnap-error361

 

6.   Shadow’s lucky coin

The coin that Shadow has is a 1979 Susan B Anthony dollar coin. The first time a woman was depicted on US currency and a symbol of abolition.

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It’s not a super rare coin, but one that isn’t in circulation.  It may not mean much, yet. <<Update:  same year that Bilquis came to America via @Leticiadelp ‏>>

Later, Zorya Polunochnaya gives Shadow a different dollar coin: the 1922 Liberty Silver dollar.

It remains the only coin that used the Latin spelling of the word “trust”, reading “IN GOD WE TRVST”.  It was meant to commemorate the end of WWI, which was also the beginning of mass immigration from Europe to the United States.  It was also known as the “Era of Restriction” due to the severe controls that were imposed on immigrants to limit entry.

7.   Crossroads

Eagle Point is a fictional place in Indiana, “Crossroads of America”, the state slogan of Indiana and a metaphor for Shadow’s current situation.vlcsnap-error574

In folk mythology, crossroads represent a location between the world of humans and the supernatural.

Odin was honoured at the crossroads in De Falsis Deis (On False Gods)

8.   Mad Sweeney’s lucky coin

Shadow was so confident of his ability to call the toss before he met Wednesday. It was always tails. Yet, Shadow lost the toss to Wednesday in the bar and when flips the coin onto Laura’s grave, it also lands heads up.

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It looks a lot like aztec gold, but has the face of the sun on it.

Zorya Polunochnaya tells Shadow that he was once protected by the sun.  She may have been referring to this coin, although I think her statement may have many meanings.

9.   The shopping list

In Episode 2, Shadow is given a list that clearly has “2 cell phones” on it.  Wednesday comments that Shadow can read a list, yet when Wednesday sees that he purchased cell phone, he chucks them out the window.  Editing error, possibly.

 

10.   Star Gazers

In the zorya household, Shadow sees a framed drawing on the wall of Ursa Major, the very constellation that the sisters protect.

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11.  Licensing Issues

When Salim inherits the Jinn’s identification, he notices that the man pictured is not the Jinn.  There are also some very strange things with the dates on the 2 licenses.

Notice the DOB and the license expiry.  Strange, right?

12.  Wednesday’s charms

When Wednesday is buying Shadow a hot cocoa, he puts a $5 note down on the counter and receives back a $20.

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Then it also seems that the Chinese restaurant is in on the joke

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13.  Ravens

There is shadow of 2 ravens over the car on the way to Chicago.

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Odin is known to travel with 2 ravens, Huginn and Muninn.

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More raven sightings:

The ones at Robbie’s house are hard to see, but they land on the roof across the street as they boys are discussing Shadow’s fitness regime.

14.  Watchers

In the bank, when Shadow and Wednesday were being watched by the cameras, we can see a silhouette reflected in the glass of the monitor. and we also see an eye flash onto the screen just before the monitor goes off.

The first picture shows a figure in a top hat in the upper right.  Could this be Mr. World?  The eye in the middle seems to belong to Gillian Anderson, Media, who is watching him watching them. The last one is hard to see, but in the reflection, you can see that the shadowy figure is outdoors….. watching a CCTV feed, on a CRT.

Thanks to   for pointing this out on twitter.

15.  Dandelion

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Wednesday picks up a dandelion from Laura’s house and then blows it into the wind on the way to Chicago, resulting in a storm.

As children we believed that blowing dandelions into the wind would grant us a wish.  Others believe that it is a symbol of survival under threat of extermination.

From episode 4, we know that Laura was hiding in the hot tub at this very moment. Did Wednesday know?  Could the dandelion be carrying a message on the wind to Ibis and Jacquel?

16.  Laura’s TV

Laura’s TV is always on when she gets home.  Always playing Woody Woodpecker.  If you look closely, you’ll see that Laura’s TV seems to be watching her.

At first it looks judgemental because she’s late home, but then sees Shadow and has a renewed curiosity.

Later, when the cat dies, Woody is about to walk the plank.  This could signal the beginning of events leading up to Laura’s death.

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Media has a dark sense of humour.

17.  Room 55

When Shadow meets Laura at the end of episode 4 (…and episode 3) he is in room 55.

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55 is known as an angel number, or more specifically, a combination of 2 angel numbers.  It’s a symbol of transformation, opportunity, and a time of pivotal change.  Maybe I’m just reaching here.

After episode 5, Bryan Fuller confirmed that the room number refers to page number 55 from American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition with the author’s preferred text.  This is the scene in the book where Shadow meets Laura in the motel.

In episode 3, when Shadow is walking to the hotel, he passes behind the hotel sign. It lights up while he is behind it then goes dark after he passes.  This could be foreshadowing the end of episode 4 (aka glowing Shadow).

18.  The Fly

We see a single fly 3 times in episode 4, and a swarm of flies at the very end.

Lots of people are saying that it symbolises the fact that Laura has always been dead inside, and that may be so.

However, I would like to take this opportunity to put it out there into the universe…. the Fly = Loki.  Yes, the tin foil IS spectacular.  I think this one warrants its own post.  Please also check out my episode 4 review, What’s bugging Laura Moon.

We see the fly again in episode 5 and 6 with Laura.  However, in episode 6, when Shadow and Wednesday have escaped the police station, the music creates a distinct buzzing sound…. just before Shadow tells Wednesday that he saw Laura.

We see flies around Laura constantly in episodes 7 and 8, but we also see one around Easter as she argues with Media just before the climax of episode 8.

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19.  Vulcan

The ancient Roman god of fire, Vulcan was a blacksmith.  He is the god of arms, adornments, and armour.

As we see the funeral procession in Episode 6, the factory in the background has seven smokestacks….smokestacks

the 7 is a recurring theme, as we have seen with Laura, but Vulcan is decidedly unlucky in this episode.  So it may mean nothing 😌

Vulcan is celebrated annually on August 23, in a festival called Vulcanalia, where offerings are made into the fires in his name.  Fish and poultry have replaced human sacrifice these days, for obvious reasons.  Please note the door number on the butcher shop.

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vlcsnap-error861Vulcan’s aggression can also be traced back to his rough childhood.  As an infant, his mom threw him from the mountain because he was not a very pretty baby.  he fell for 2 days (it varies in the stories) and badly hurt his leg, which never properly healed.  This explains the limp in the show.

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There was also a bonus little hint at the beginning of potential collusion with the new gods.Vulcan Bullet

…and Mexican Jesus was also “crucified” by Vulcan bullets, and ironically by men carrying rosary crosses.  What does that say about their faith?

So, it seems that Vulcan has been collaborating with the new gods for some time.

20.  The Hanging Tree

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Back at the motel, the clerk is reading a copy of John Grisham’s Sycamore Row.

It a story that involves a hanging, discrimination, slavery…

Later, Vulcan shows Shadow the old Hanging Tree in his front yard, indicating that he was aware that Shadow had been lynched.

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It’s too early to draw any conclusions without book spoilers, but just important to see the recurring themes.

21. Easter eggs!

Take a look at what Laura sees in the window of her mother’s house:

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It’s clearly a memory as we are looking at the shot from a different angle, but there is still a portrait frame effect around the edges.   I discuss more on this scene in my episode 6 review.  The literal Easter eggs were just a nice touch.

We also see Laura with eggs in episode 4

Seems like this is pointing to a connection with Easter.  Could this be linked to the resurrection that Sweeney mentioned in Episode 6?  Easter also falls within 7 days after the vernal equinox.

In Episode 8, Sweeney also mentions that Easter owes him a favour.  Could there be a connection with Laura and her family?

22.  Strange Frequency

This just seemed odd.  Throughout their marriage, Shadow leaves his ring on the Eiffel Tower each time he goes to The Muscle Farm.

The Eiffel Tower was one of the first long-range radio transmission towers.  Could it be a sign that Mr. World is watching?

 

23.  Essie’s Coin

The coin that Essie first offers to the leprechaun is a gold half Guinea.

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I’ve traced it back to somewhere between 1666 and 1719.  Learn more about the coin here.

24.  Smoke and Mirrors

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We see Laura smoking Virginia Slims in episode 5 and 6.

In episode 7, we learn that Essie married a tobacco farmer in Virginia.  Just one of the parallels with see with Laura.  Her husband started sharing tobacco leaves from his harvest for the leprechaun.  The start of Sweeney’s smoking?

25.  Year After Year

Some creative touches were used to show the passage of time in Bilquis’ story in episode 8.

 26.  Keeps Going and Going…

In episode 8, Wednesday makes a sacrifice in Ostara’s name which gives her immense power.  You could say, he charged her batteries.

27.  Hindsight is 20/20

When Ostara looks into Laura’s eyes to understand the moment of her death, she sees two images:

28.  Just Desserts

Easter was serving stigmata cookies at her brunch (via @coach_markus06)

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29.  Irish Gold

In case you were wondering about Mad Sweeney throwing coins onto the road on the way to Kentucky in episode 7, I took this as an offering to Easter who’s help he was seeking for Laura’s resurrection.  The bunny was the clue.

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Sweeney’s coins have a 7-pointed star.  This is known as the Elven Star and is a symbol of protection for the Faerie folk

he mentions that the resurrection will get done, for a favour or for gold.  In episode 8, he mentions to Easter that she owes him a favour.  I ca’t quite figure this out, so if you have any ideas, please share.

 


Please check out my other posts by episode for more background and some points that didn’t really seem to fit here.

 

What have I missed?  If you have spotted anything else, please leave me a comment or find me on twitter @jezzie_bell.

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