I believe in everything…
…said Shadow Moon at the conclusion of American Gods, Season 1.
So, what have we learned:
- Fear and desperation drive belief in a higher power
- Gods exist because people believe
- Beliefs change over time. They are just stories we are told and they are influenced by science, medicine, politics, commerce…
- The physical manifestation of god is linked to the visualizations associated to their stories
- Religion imposes a moral code and a set of rituals that fortify the idea of the wrath of god
- Fear of wrath leads to sacrifice; the willingness to give up something for fear of reaping something much worse.
- Sacrifice gives power to the gods by demonstrating the extent of devotion
- The gods are selfish bastards
- The gods fuck with everyone
What else have we learned:
- Laura has found a reason to live, after death
- Sweeney has found a reason to give a shit
- Wednesday has found his believer
- Americans are about to get very, very hungry
We were given plenty of detail, but with so much story to digest, let’s start with the basics.
The following is a high-level timeline of events as we have been told, plus approximations where we haven’t been given clear dates. These approximations are based on immigration patterns to the US, and some clues that we are given in the show.
There is a lot of information there, but here it is broken down.
Coming to America stories where dates are given:
Additional information on Bilquis from Anansi:
And some extrapolation for the other gods, based on American history:
We don’t yet know much about Media, Technical Boy and Mr. World. Media seems to be an incarnation of the Church as an early propaganda machine. Technical Boy could be rooted in Sir Isaac Newton as we get plenty of Newtonian clues in Episode 7, and the iPhone in Episode 8 just to tie the apple theme together. Mr. World seems to be a newly formed entity… like an umbrella corporation.
We also have had the following details confirmed for us:
- Current year = 2017
This is revealed in Episode 8, when Wednesday makes note of the date of Easter, Sunday April 16. The last time Easter fell on April 16 was 2006, but the Bilquis story that Anansi was telling ends in 2013.
From, that, we can work backwards to figure out the rest:
- Shadow was born in 1985; he was 32 in the book
- Laura was born in 1990; she was 27 years old when she died
- Laura met Shadow in 2010; they were together for 7 years
- Shadow went to prison in 2014; he was in prison for 3 years
So now we have a handy reference timeline with all the big events so far.
I hope you will find this useful as you chase your own rabbits down holes. If anyone would like a high-def version of the graphic from the video, please reach out to me on twitter @jezzie_bell or leave me a comment here.
Stay tuned for character bios over the next few weeks and a few theories about what the show may add to the story, including more thoughts on the Sweeney-Laura and Bilquis-Shadow connections.
Thank you for taking the time to read.
P.S. – As always, please feel free to use anything I post in your own discussions. I only ask for a shout-out in return.
Otherwise, it’s considered stealing (yah, you know who you are and what you did).