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Rock City begins as an ornamental garden on a mountainside: its visitors walk a path that takes them through rocks, over rocks, between rocks. They thrown corn into a deer enclosure, cross a hanging bridge and peer out through a quarter-a-throw binoculars at a view that promises them seven states on the rare sunny days when the air is perfectly clear. And from there, like a drop in some strange hell, the path takes the visitors, millions upon millions of them every year, down into caverns, where they stare at black-lit dolls arranged into nursery rhyme and fairy tale dioramas. When they leave, they leave bemused, uncertain of why they came, of what they have seen, of whether they had a good time or not.

Chapter Seventeen

Rock City[1] is a location in American Gods where the battle between the Old Gods and the New Gods takes place.

Background Edit

Significance in narrative Edit

Chapter Seventeen Edit

On the top of Lookout Mountain, is one of the biggest tourist attractions known as Rock City. It is here where the Old and New Gods gather from all across America waiting for the oncoming conflict. As the gods gather at the Mountain and start preparing for the upcoming war, Technical Boy roams among them, searching for Mr. World.

Easter watches the crowd of gods who have gathered at Lookout Mountain. Macha of the Morrigans approaches her and tells her that she can smell in the air that the battle will start soon. A hawk circles overhead before dropping down to the grass and appearing as Horus. He asks Easter to come with him to the Tree to help Shadow who has been stabbed. Easter tells him she can't abandon the battle but Horus insists that if Shadow is gone forever then it won't matter who wins the battle.

Technical Boy finds Mr. World in the Rainbow Room of Rock City. Technical Boy has found himself troubled after having killed Bilquis and asks why they need to fight the Old Gods when they can just wait around for them to die out anyway. Mr. World tells him it is because he doesn't have all the information as his mouth twists into Loki's. He explains to Technical Boy that he is waiting for the stick from the World Tree so he can throw it over the battle, turning it into a spear as he dedicates the battle to Odin in order to gain power. He proceeds to show Technical Boy what he means by stabbing Technical Boy through his chin to his brain as he says, "I dedicate this death to Odin." He hides the body and a little while later, a voice from the shadows tells him it's a "good start."

Chapter Eighteen Edit

At Rock City, Czernobog, Anansi, Kali, and many others continue to gather for their war. The gods start marching up a hill at Rock City and a sniper takes out a kitsune, starting a skirmish.

Laura and Mr. Town drive away together from the World Tree. They pass a sign for Rock City and Mr. Town tells Laura that is where he is heading. She decides to accompany him to have an adventure. Town fancies himself in love with her and tells her he will pay for her room for the night. They reach Rock City and he asks her to wait in the car while he delivers the stick in the backseat to his boss. Laura asks him for a hug before he leaves and, as he comes in close, she asks him if he wants to know what really happened to Woody and Stone.

Laura takes the stick from Mr. Town's car and heads through Rock City unimpeded, reaching a cavern in an off limits part of the attraction. Mr. World welcomes Laura for bringing him his spear. When she tells him she is Shadow's wife, he comments that she is looking better than she should. He warns her that drinking from Urd's Well is only temporary and asks for his stick. Laura asks him for a cigarette and answers before she will give him his stick. He tells her Shadow was a distraction and it's all about patterns and symbols. She asks him what side he is on and Mr. World says, "the winning side." She turns away from him, briefly glimpsing out the window the skirmish below, as Mr. World approaches her from behind. Laura waits until Mr. World is close behind her and touching her before she takes his stick and says, "I dedicate this death to Shadow," and rams it through her chest and into Mr. World behind her. They are stuck together on the stick and Mr. World takes out a knife and starts stabbing her in the chest before she knocks it out of his hand. He flails about, trying to free himself as he cries and wails before they both fall down.

Shadow arrives in Rock City and finds Mr. Town dead in his car from a broken neck. He catches Laura's scent in the air and follows it, feeling a brief moment of pain in his side. He hears a man call out something, only capturing, "...to Odin!" and begins to hurry through the seemingly abandoned park. He finds the off-limits cave and hears Mr. Wednesday speaking to him from behind. He tells Shadow that he was the misdirect and did everything he was supposed to do. He is proud of Shadow because the power in the sacrifice of a son was enough to "get the whole ball rolling." Without turning around, Shadow tells him it was all a crooked setup for a massacre before asking where Laura and Loki are. Mr. Wednesday doesn't answer.

Shadow walks further into the cave and encounters Loki, propped up against a cage with a blanket over him. Loki tells Shadow he is too late and he has thrown the spear and dedicated the battle to Odin. Shadow tells him he figured out the two-man fiddle con but didn't realize Low Key and Mr. World were the same. He demands Mr. Wednesday to show himself, who can't because he is a ghost. It is Wednesday's death that drew all the gods together for their blood sacrifice. Loki and Wednesday plotted a massacre of gods because Wednesday feeds on death that is dedicated to him, like Shadow's death on the tree, whereas Loki feeds on chaos. Wednesday needed a son to die for him and finally tracked down Shadow, locked away in prison. They had orchestrated everything to get Shadow to play the part of the fiddle in their con. Shadow asks what caused Loki's fatal injuries and Wednesday tells him it was Laura but the war will bring Loki back just as it will bring back Wednesday.

Shadow leaves to find Laura and wonders at the emptiness of Rock City before realizing the battle is being fought Backstage. He shifts his perspective and sees the "moment of the storm" with the Old and New gods readying themselves for the oncoming war. He enters the center of the arena and hears the Buffalo Man's voice encouraging him. Shadow tells the gods that it's not a war and wasn't intended to be a war. He exposes Wednesday's and Loki's plan to con the gods in a game of "Let's You and Him Fight." The winning and losing don't matter because only the deaths matter since that is what gives Loki and Wednesday their power. Shadow finishes up by saying he'd rather be human than a god because humans keep going regardless of whether or not anyone believes in them. The Old and New gods begin disbanding, realizing they've been had. Mr. Nancy tells Shadow he is proud and they exit from Backstage. There are several gods injured from the initial skirmish and helicopters come to clean up the mess left behind.

Shadow returns to the cavern in search of Laura, finding her bleeding all over the floor of the cave where she stabbed Loki. He tells her he stopped the war from happening and that she successfully killed Mr. World. She asks if he ever found a way to bring her back from the dead and he tells her he found one way. She says she thinks she has earned the opposite of that, meaning death. Shadow concurs and takes the gold coin from around her neck and disappears it. Laura is finally truly dead and Shadow kisses her cheek before walking back out into the night. The storm has cleared and Shadow looks forward to the beautiful day tomorrow will bring.

Notes and trivia Edit

  • Rock City is a real location in Lookout Mountain, Georgia

References Edit

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_City_(roadside_attraction)

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