Deities are powerful anthropomorphic beings that have control over various aspects of the world. They are thought-forms who have been created by the collective beliefs and imagination of humanity. The gods are main characters (protagonists and antagonists) of both the American Gods TV series and the novel of the same name.
Deities and other mythical beings get their power from worship. Their effectiveness and strength vary from god to god depending on the amount of worship, belief, faith, prayers, and sacrifices they receive. Gods cannot be killed or destroyed by conventional means (i.e. aging, diseases, ailments, man-made weapons, etc . . .). Without any form of worship, they may weaken, contract diseases, age, and eventually fade away completely into a place known as the Hall of the Forgotten Gods.
A Demigod is the creation of a human and a god. They are conceived when a human and a deity have sexual intercourse. Demigods inherited mystical powers and abilities, which may be similar to those of their godly parent. Like other mythical creatures, demigods can gain power from worship and sacrifices, however, they can survive without them.
The Old Gods are the gods of religion and culture that were brought over to America by the immigrants who worshiped them and passed them down through the generations. They hold dominion over certain aspects of the natural world.
- Charm: According to Norse Mythology, Odin hung himself from the World-Tree for nine days to obtain the secret of the runes, a sacrifice of himself to himself. This rewarded the god with incredible magical powers. Mr. Wednesday describes "the world opening to him," however, he states that "it's since closed," implying that his powers aren't nearly as great as they once were. In "A Murder of Gods," Mr. Wednesday claims to be able to perform eighteen charms with various magical effects, though has so far only demonstrated a few of them.
- Weather Manipulation: Mr. Wednesday summons winds for the Viking sailors to return home in "The Bone Orchard" and manipulates the rain in "The Secret of Spoons." Later in "Come to Jesus," he weaponizes it by calling down lightning to sacrifice the Children in the name of Easter. Wednesday's 9th spell allows him to "sing the wind to sleep and calm a storm for long enough to bring a ship to shore".
- Healing: Mr. Wednesday's first spell allows him to "cure pain and sickness", while his second spell allows him to "heal with a touch". He demonstrates this ability in "A Murder of Gods", healing Shadow from Mr. Wood's wound and removing the tree-fragment from his body.
- Curses: Mr. Wednesday's third spell allows him to "turn aside the weapons of an enemy". He demonstrates this ability in an unusual way in "A Murder of Gods," cursing Vulcan's weapons and ruining an entire batch of ammunition.
- Technopathy: While not nearly as potent as the Technical Boy's powers, Mr. Wednesday can influence technology. He demonstrates this in "The Secret of Spoons" when he magically turns on his car's radio.
- Mind Manipulation: Mr. Wednesday's first spell allows him to "lift the grief from the heart of the grieving", while his sixteenth allows him to "turn the mind and heart of any woman", and his seventeenth allows him to make "no woman he wants ever want another". Throughout the story he appears to be the lover of several young women despite his old age, which implies that he's using these spells.
- Materialization: Mr. Wednesday shares Mad Sweeney's power of materializing coins out of nothing
- Telepathy: Mr. Wednesday appears to communicate with his wolves with nothing but a stare.
- Telekinesis: Mr. Wednesday's fifth spell allows him to halt arrows mid-track and take no damage from them. In "A Murder of Gods", the bullets falling from the skies magically avoid both him and Vulcan, showing that they were somehow sending them away from them. In "Come to Jesus", he summons a storm, pulling faraway clouds towards his location at Easter's home.
- Godly Sight: In mythology, Odin sacrificed his eye in exchange for knowledge from the Well of Mimir, and doing so rewarded him with godly sight and perception.
- Animal Communication: Mr. Wednesday can communicate with his ravens, Huginn and Munnin, and perfectly understands their croaking. He can also command his wolves, Freki and Geri, as demonstrated in "Head Full of Snow."
- Vaginal Feeding: As the goddess of love, Bilquis feeds on the love of her worshipers by consuming them with her vagina.
- Love Manipulation: As the goddess of love, Bilquis can control and influence the emotions of humans. She can cause mortals to fall in love with her in order to feed on them.
- Blessing of Bliss: Bilquis can bestow her gift of eternal bliss and pleasure upon her worshipers.
- Object-based power: Mad Sweeney's lucky gold coin imbibes him with supernatural strength, luck, and unnatural prosperity. When he loses his coin to Shadow and subsequently to Laura Moon, he loses this luck as seen in "The Secret of Spoons."
- Animal Communication: In "Git Gone," Mad Sweeney is shown communicating with Mr. Wednesday's ravens. He also converses with one of Wednesday's ravens in "A Prayer for Mad Sweeney."
- Psychopomp: Mr. Jacquel acts as a psychopomp and escorts the newly deceased to their afterlife.
- In "Head Full of Snow", Mr. Jacquel weighs Mrs. Fadil's heart against a feather before guiding Mrs. Fadil through the Duat to a set of three doors for her to select her afterlife.
- In "Git Gone," Mr. Jacquel receives Laura after her death but she is pulled back by Mad Sweeney's gold coin before she can start her afterlife.
- Transfiguration: Mr. Jacquel has the ability to transform into a black jackal as shown in "Git Gone."
- Premonition: In "A Prayer for Mad Sweeney," Jacquel exhibits the ability to know when two people have died when he reveals to Mr. Ibis they will be receiving two more bodies at Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Parlor.
- Transfiguration: Mr. Nancy has the ability to transform into a spider as shown in "The Secret of Spoons."
- Mythological Weapons: Vulcan forges a sword for Mr. Wednesday that can kill other gods. Wednesday uses this god-forged weapon to behead Vulcan in "A Murder of Gods," resulting in Vulcan's death.
- Environmental Manipulation: Easter is able to directly change the seasons. In "Come to Jesus," Easter brings an immediate end to spring by setting winter upon the land.
- Resurrection: It is revealed in "Come to Jesus" that Easter has the power to "relife" people after death, however, she cannot return life to people who have been killed by gods (i.e. Laura Moon).
- Animal Communication: Easter is able to communicate with her rabbits.
- Divination: All three of the Zorya sisters have varying degrees of premonition and precognition and use various tools to assist them. In "The Secret of Spoons," both Zorya Utrennyaya and Zorya Vechernyaya use coffee grounds to read Shadow's future while in "Head Full of Snow," Zorya Polunochnaya uses the stars to guide her.
The New Gods are the gods of society, technology, and globalization.
- Transfiguration: Media has the ability to transfigure into characters from various media platforms.
- In "The Secret of Spoons," Media takes on the appearance of Lucy Ricardo from I Love Lucy
- In "Lemon Scented You," Media first appears as Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie) from Ziggy Stardust
- Later in "Lemon Scented You," Media appears as Marilyn Monroe from The Seven Year Itch
- In "Come to Jesus," Media arrives at Easter's house in the form of Hannah Brown (Judy Garland) from Easter Parade
- Levitation: Media exhibits this power when she floats into the interrogation room where Shadow and Mr. Wednesday are being kept in "Lemon Scented You."
- Telekinesis: In "Lemon Scented You, Media blows a kiss to Technical Boy and it hits him hard enough in the mouth to knock out his front teeth.
- Technopathy: Technical Boy is able to influence technology. He reveals to Shadow in "The Bone Orchard" that he can "reprogram reality" and he can delete Shadow from existence.
- Illusions: Mr. World is able to create illusions. In "Lemon Scented You," he displays images on walls to show Mr. Wednesday and Shadow the possibilities the New Gods can provide for them.
- Transfiguration: Mr. Wood can disguise himself as a wooden object and can transform into a tree as shown in "Lemon Scented You."
- Parasitism: Mr. Wood is capable of infecting others with pieces of himself as shown in "Lemon Scented You" when he stabs Shadow with one of his branches. Mr. Wednesday later has to remove the parasite from Shadow in "A Murder of Gods."
Several other characters who are not gods or mythical creatures also display powers of their own.
- Precognition: Shadow has the ability to see future events in prophetic dreams. He uses this ability in "The Bone Orchard" when he fell asleep in his cell and saw the noose that would later lynch him. He then went to sleep on the airplane and saw the Buffalo for the first time.
- Premonition: Shadow has the ability to sense the elements and sense bad things happening before they do. This is first seen in "The Bone Orchard" when he told his cellmate, Low Key Lyesmith, that he smelled snow. Also that same day when he was talking to his wife, Laura Moon, he said he sensed a storm coming and that night it did. In "Lemon Scented You," he told Laura that during the last phone call they had when she was alive, he somehow knew she was going to die.
- Weather Manipulation: Shadow is shown using this ability for the first time in "Head Full of Snow" when he created a snowstorm just by thinking about snow.
- Clairvoyance: Shadow is shown to have this power in "A Murder of Gods" when he saw Laura in his mind and told Mr. Wednesday where and what she was doing. His eyes glow a golden color when using this ability.
- Object-based power: Mad Sweeney's "lucky" gold coin imbibes him with supernatural strength and unnatural prosperity. When he loses his coin to Shadow, Laura ends up with the coin's power, as seen in "Git Gone."
- Resurrection: After Shadow gifts Laura with Mad Sweeney's gold coin in "The Bone Orchard," Laura returns from the Underworld. When she loses the coin in "A Prayer for Mad Sweeney," she turns into a lifeless corpse. When Sweeney returns the coin to her, she re-inhabits her corpse.
- Super Strength: Laura is able to use minimal physical force to cause maximum damage as seen in "The Bone Orchard" when she tears apart the Children and in "Lemon Scented You" when she easily overpowers Mad Sweeney.