Neil Gaiman borrowed gods from legends and mythologies he found around the world and used them to construct his epic fantasy novel American Gods. Gaiman’s America is populated with Irish, Norse, Slavic, African and Middle Eastern deities – and now they’ve been brought to TV by Amazon and Starz.
If watching American Gods has left you desperate to know more about the stories behind the Old Gods, here is a round-up of our mythology explainers for each of the characters:
(SPOILER ALERT: We should probably warn you that there are a few spoilers here and there in these explainers. So if you want to avoid plot details about how each god first appears on screen, you’d be best advised to wait until you’ve seen that episode.)
Who is Germanic spring goddess Easter or Ostara?
Who is Bilquis, the goddess who consumes her sexual partners?
Who is Ancient Egyptian god of wisdom Mr Ibis?
Why are there multiple versions of Jesus?
Who is Ancient Egyptian god of the afterlife Mr Jacquel?
Who is the jinn in the taxi with the flaming eyes?
American Gods has caused quite a stir with a ground-breaking, erotic gay sex scene between this down-on-his-luck god and his passenger, Salim. But what is a jinn or an ifrit, and why do his eyes burn? Read more here.
Who are the three Zorya sisters and where do they come from?
Who is Mr Nancy the African trickster god?
Who is bloodthirsty Slavic god Czernobog?
Which god is Mr Wednesday based on?
Who is Irish leprechaun Mad Sweeney?
American Gods is available on Amazon Prime Video in the UK, with new episodes added every week. Episodes air on US channel Starz on Sunday nights.