Fandom

American Gods Wiki

Mad Sweeney

144pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Comments2 Share
To edit the Series page, go to Mad Sweeney/Series. To edit the Novel page, go to Mad Sweeney/Novel.
To edit the Gallery page, go to Mad Sweeney/Gallery.

Do you know who he is? Who he really is?

Mad Sweeney to Shadow about Wednesday, American Gods trailer

Mad Sweeney is a leprechaun.

BackgroundEdit

Mad Sweeney is originally from Ireland and was guardian of a sacred rock there over three thousand years ago. He was brought to America by a girl from Bantry Bay and eventually lost his accent after living in America for so long.

Significance in seriesEdit

The Bone Orchard Edit

At Jack's Crocodile Bar, when Wednesday goes to the bar for drinks, Mad Sweeney approaches Shadow to warn him about Wednesday.

Wednesday returns with three shots of mead for Shadow to drink. Shadow takes the first shot and Wednesday tells him the mead seals their bargain. Shadow will be his driver and bodyguard and will hold his vigil upon Wednesday's death. Shadow agrees to $2000 a week on the condition that he won't hurt anyone for fun or profit and that he will quit if Wednesday pisses him off. Shadow drinks the second shot to seal the deal and the third shot as the "charm." Wednesday spits on his hand and they shake.

Sweeney starts pulling real gold coins out from everywhere and Shadow asks how he does the trick. Sweeney tells him it's the easiest trick in the world to just pluck them out of the air. Shadow asks again and Sweeney challenges him to a fight for the answer. Shadow declines, yet Sweeney keeps egging him on. He starts to insult Laura and Shadow punches him in the face. They begin brawling, tearing up Jack's bar and fighting until Shadow blacks out.

Head Full of Snow Edit

At Jack's Crocodile Bar, Jack enters the bathroom with a shotgun to evict Mad Sweeney. Sweeney tells her to not push her luck by trying to shoot at him because it won't work but she does anyway. The beer bottle in Sweeney's hand explodes and it surprises Sweeney. He leaves and is walking along a highway when a friendly man pulls over and offers him a ride. Sweeney gets in and they begin driving. The truck in front of them has a blowout and a load of pipes in the back come loose. A pipe flies through the air, stabbing into their car's windshield and impaling the friendly driver's head. The police come and one of the officers mentions to Sweeney that it is "some crazy bad luck." Sweeney begins looking frantically through his pockets, tossing gold coins everywhere as he discovers one is missing.

Sweeney tracks down Shadow and Wednesday eating lunch in Chicago. He demands his gold coin back from Shadow because he gave him the wrong coin. Shadow asks him how he did the coin trick before he'll tell him what he did with the coin. Sweeney once again claims that he plucked the coin out of thin air. Shadow says Sweeney can find the coin on Laura's grave back in Eagle Point. Sweeney leaves, telling Wednesday he'll see him in Wisconsin.

Mad Sweeney arrives at Laura's grave and begins digging, looking for his gold coin. He gets all the way to the casket and finds a hole burned through the lid. He opens the lid and discovers the coffin is empty.

Physical appearance Edit

Mad Sweeney is described as having a short, red beard and mustache with "pale blue eyes." He is lanky and taller than Shadow, who has to look up at him.

Notes and trivia Edit

  • Mr. Ibis reveals that Mad Sweeney is the American version of Buile Shuibhne, a Medieval Irish ruler
    • Mad Sweeney started out as the guardian of a sacred rock in a small Irish glade over three thousand years ago. His madness gave him power.
  • Sean Harris had to exit the series for personal reasons, causing Mad Sweeney to be recast with Pablo Schreiber in the role.[1]

References Edit

  1. http://tvline.com/2016/05/06/american-gods-sean-harris-leaving-mad-sweeney-recast-exit-starz/

I only met Mad Sweeney twice, alive. The first time I thought he was a world class jerk with the devil in him. The second time I thought he was a major fuckup and I gave him the money to kill himself. He showed me a coin trick I don't remember how to do, gave me some bruises, and claimed he was a leprechaun. Rest in peace, Mad Sweeney.

Shadow Moon at his wake, Chapter Eight

Mad Sweeney is a leprechaun.

BackgroundEdit

Mad Sweeney is originally from Ireland and was guardian of a sacred rock there over three thousand years ago. He was brought to America by a girl from Bantry Bay and eventually lost his accent after living in America for so long.

Significance in narrativeEdit

Chapter Two Edit

Mad Sweeney arrives at Jack's Crocodile Bar in Nottamun and joins Shadow and Mr. Wednesday. Shadow begins doing a coin trick and Mad Sweeney then performs his own coin trick, making gold coins magically appear from all over and collecting them into an empty glass. He drops the coins into his pocket where they disappear once more. Shadow is impressed and thinks it is a variation on the "Miser's Dream." He challenges Shadow to fight him and he'll reveal how he did the trick and then starts a fight with Shadow when Shadow won't accept. Later, Shadow discovers Mad Sweeney had given him a gold coin. It is this coin that raises Laura Moon from the grave.

Chapter Eight Edit

Shadow again encounters Mad Sweeney in Cairo, IL. Shadow goes out for a walk in the early morning after it had snowed the night before. He sees Mad Sweeney under a bridge smoking hand-rolled cigarettes. He asks Mad Sweeney what is wrong, and Sweeney says that he made a major mistake. He refers to the coin he gave Shadow when they first met at the bar, the coin that Shadow gave to Laura, and says that it was the wrong coin, reserved only for royalty. He asks Shadow to give him the coin back and tells him he’d give him as many coins as he wants, but Shadow explains that he no longer has the coin. Sweeney explains that Wednesday had asked him to pick a fight with Shadow at the bar to see “what he was made of”, and warns him against working for Wednesday, who he refers to as Grimnir. He is also shivering, and Shadow recognizes the shiver of a junkie in withdrawal. Mad Sweeney asks for some money for “a ticket out of here”, and Shadow gives him a twenty.

When he returns, Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jacquel are hosting a service for Lila Goodchild, and they ask Shadow to pick up a body the police phoned about. When he arrives at the site, he sees Mad Sweeney frozen with a twenty-dollar bottle of whiskey in his lap. On the way back to the funeral home, Mad Sweeney talks to him, saying that Shadow killed him. Shadow, however, insists that it’s the cold and the alcohol that killed him, not Shadow. Sweeney also asks that he get one more meal.

That night, Shadow, Ibis, and Jacquel set an extra place on the table and pour everyone expensive Irish whiskey. Ibis tells Mad Sweeney's story: he was made to protect a precious stone in Ireland, and was brought to America by a young Irish girl looking for a place to make money. They all get drunk to the point that Sweeney starts adding to the conversation and Sweeney reminds Shadow how to do the coin trick: you take the coin out of nowhere, out of the hoard, and out of your mind.

Physical appearance Edit

Mad Sweeney is described as having a short, red beard and mustache with "pale blue eyes." He is lanky and taller than Shadow, who has to look up at him.

  • He wears a denim jacket covered with sew-on patches, one of them showing two vultures on a dead branch and beneath them, the words PATIENCE MY ASS! I'M GOING TO KILL SOMETHING!
  • He wears a T-shirt which says: IF YOU CAN'T EAT IT, SMOKE IT, OR SNORT IT...THEN F*CK IT! and a baseball cap which states: THE ONLY WOMAN I HAVE EVER LOVED WAS ANOTHER MAN'S WIFE... MY MOTHER!

Notes and trivia Edit

  • Mr. Ibis reveals that Mad Sweeney is the American version of Buile Shuibhne, a Medieval Irish ruler
    • Mad Sweeney started out as the guardian of a sacred rock in a small Irish glade over three thousand years ago. His madness gave him power.
    • Most Irish focused on local myths such as the Bean Sidhe, the banshee, who came to wail at the walls of a house where death soon would be, and Saint Bride, who was once Bridged of the two sisters (each of the three was a Brigid, each was the same woman), and the tales of Finn, of Oisin, of Conan the Bald, and the leprechauns (which were actually the tallest, not the smallest, of the mount folk).
  • He smokes Lucky Strikes
  • He drinks Southern Comfort and Coke, instead of Guinness. "Stereotypes. You have to learn to think outside the box, there is a lot more to Ireland than Guinness" said Mad Sweeney.


Note: The pictures are shown in episodic order. To see the order of the episodes, please visit the Episode guide.


  • Jack's Crocodile Bar - Shadow and Mad Sweeney

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.