Warning: *Contains Spoilers*
The television series American Gods, first originated from Neil Gaiman’s books before finding success in television. Upon first hearing of the series, I was excited. Firstly because I love fantasy. Anything supernatural or otherworldly captures my interest quite easily. Secondly, it focuses on mythology and incorporates all kinds of myths and gods from various cultures. I find it difficult to encounter a type of tale like this one that draws from so many different sources for one, singular story. However, despite my initial impression of the show based on it’s title and description, the show itself threw me for a loop. As I expect it did for a great many people who hadn’t first read the book.
When I finally watched the trailer, I was initially caught off guard by how vulgar this series can be. Do not misunderstand me when I say this. I am just as much a fan of Game of Thrones as the next person. It just simply was not what I was expecting in this show. The swearing? Not a problem, but the incorporation of blood was a very dramatic and often disturbing, element of the show. However, while it was over exaggerated, for the purpose of film/television, this added an artistic element. Yes that may sound pretty strange to think of blood and gore as being “artistic”. But let us consider how exactly the blood is used.
Within the first episode, the newly released prisoner named Shadow, is beaten up by the faceless men of the god of technology. Then he is saved by a mysterious being who causes a giant bloodbath. I recall blood practically raining in that scene. Yet was it the same quality of gore as a 80’s or 90’s low budget slasher film? Most definitely not. The blood actually made the scene more dramatic and as I have said previously, artful.
Another element of the show I would like to consider would be the characters themselves. The gods to be more specific. Within all the Marvel films I have seen, I found that it was fairly easy to determine a good character from a bad character (with the exception of Loki of course because really, who knows what he is thinking). They typically have rather clear morals of what is good and bad. More importantly, these morals are revealed to us quite clearly. Within American Gods, it is difficult to determine whose side we are supposed to be on. The lines of good and bad are blurred.
Is Wednesday a good god?
Are Shadow Moon and Laura Moon good people?
Is anyone in this series truly innocent of selfish motives or sin?
I believe that is for the viewer to decide.