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Shadow Moon

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To edit the Series page, go to Shadow Moon/Series. To edit the Novel page, go to Shadow Moon/Novel.
To edit the Gallery page, go to Shadow Moon/Gallery.

I think I'm losing my mind.

–Shadow

Shadow Moon is the primary protagonist and central subject of American Gods. He is an ex-convict who is caught up in the war between the Old Gods and the New Gods when Mr. Wednesday hires him as a bodyguard.

Early life Edit

Shadow Moon was born in Norway and raised by his mother in America. Shadow was a very small, bookish boy who enjoyed reading but was often bullied by his classmates until he was thirteen. Then he went through a growth spurt, becoming a big, strong man. He joined the swim team and the weightlifting team, and no one expected much of him until he met Laura.

BackgroundEdit

Before the events of the story, Shadow married Laura McCabe and worked with his friend Robbie Burton at a gym called the Muscle Farm in Eagle Point, Indiana. He was arrested and imprisoned for assaulting somebody who stole from him and planned on returning to his wife and job after leaving prison where he met Low Key Lyesmith, Johnnie Larch, and Iceman. When he leaves prison, he discovers that Laura and Robbie had been having an affair and died together while having oral sex while driving. As the same time that he learns this, Shadow meets Mr. Wednesday on a plane. Mr. Wednesday hires Shadow as a reluctant bodyguard, enlisting him in the war against the New Gods.

Significance in series Edit

The Bone Orchard Edit

TBD

Physical appearance Edit

Various characters question Shadow's race, the ambiguity of which contributes to a later revelation. Gaiman has confirmed that Shadow's mother is black. Shadow is thirty-two years old at the start of the novel. He was "big enough and looked don't-fuck-with-me enough" to keep out of trouble while in prison. Shadow's eyes are described as gray in color.

Notes and trivia Edit

  • Baldr is the second son of Odin and is known as "the god of love, peace, forgiveness, justice, light, or purity."
  • Ricky Whittle as Shadow was the first casting announcement.[1]
    • He sent in 16 audition tapes before being cast in the role of Shadow.
    • He gained close to thirty pounds.[2]
  • Jonathan Tucker and Ricky Whittle filmed the prison scenes between Low Key Lyesmith and Shadow at a real penitentiary in Oklahoma. [3]

Quotes Edit

References Edit

  1. http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/01/american-gods-ricky-whittle-shadow-the-100-neil-gaiman
  2. https://twitter.com/MrRickyWhittle/status/728308647688851456
  3. http://collider.com/jonathan-tucker-american-gods-interview

Okay. My life, which for three years has been a long way from being the greatest life there has ever been, just took a distinct and sudden turn for the worse. Now there are a few things I need to do. I want to go to Laura's funeral. I want to say goodbye. After that, if you still need me, I want to start at five hundred dollars a week. If we're happy working together, in six months' time you raise it to a thousand a week."

–Shadow to Wednesday, Chapter Two

Shadow Moon is the primary protagonist and central subject of American Gods. He is a seemingly ordinary man from the Midwest, who is caught up in the war between the Old Gods and the New Gods when Mr. Wednesday hires him as a bodyguard. He is also the main character of the follow-up novella, The Monarch of the Glen and of the short story, "Black Dog," in Trigger Warning.

Early life Edit

Shadow Moon was born in Norway and raised by his mother in America. Shadow was a very small, bookish boy who enjoyed reading but was often bullied by his classmates until he was thirteen. Then he went through a growth spurt, becoming a big, strong man. He joined the swim team and the weightlifting team, and no one expected much of him until he met Laura.

BackgroundEdit

Before the events of the story, Shadow married a woman named Laura McCabe and worked with his friend Robbie Burton at a gym called the Muscle Farm. He was arrested and imprisoned for assaulting somebody who stole from him and planned on returning to his wife and job after leaving prison where he met Low Key Lyesmith, Johnnie Larch, and Iceman. When he leaves prison, he discovers that Laura and Robbie had been having an affair and died together performing oral sex while driving. As the same time that he learns this, Shadow meets Mr. Wednesday on a plane. Mr. Wednesday hires Shadow as a reluctant bodyguard, enlisting him in the war against the New Gods.

Significance in narrative Edit

Part One Edit

It is Shadow who entices Czernobog to join Mr. Wednesday's cause, by winning a game of checkers. He loses the first checkers game, however, allowing Czernobog to smash Shadow's head in with a hammer when the war is over. Shadow meets several other gods, including the forgotten god, Alviss, and Mr. Nancy, and helps Mr. Wednesday recruit several other gods, including Easter and Mama-ji.

Part Two Edit

Shadow is sent to live in Lakeside, Wisconsin, hiding away under the name Mike Ainsel with Mr. Wednesday stopping by on occasion to take him on recruiting missions.

Part Three Edit

When Mr. Wednesday dies, Shadow holds his vigil by being hung from Yggdrasil for a week, at which point he dies and goes to the Underworld of Egyptian mythology. There he meets his two friends from earlier in the story, Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jacquel, both Egyptian gods. Ibis and Jacquel claim that he came to the Egyptian Underworld because they always believed in him. The goddess Easter helps bring Shadow back into the world. Shadow discovers that he was in fact not a bodyguard, but a distraction so Wednesday and Low Key could pull off their two-man con: the war. This war would arrange for Odin and Loki to gain power and strength. Shadow thwarts the plan, making light of Odin's and Loki's con to all the gods who are about to fight in the "Backstage" and the war between the gods is narrowly avoided.

Part Four Edit

Mr. Nancy takes Shadow to his home in Florida, where he helps him recuperate. When Czernobog finally fulfills his pact of smashing Shadow with a hammer, the day before turning into his other form, Bielebog, for Spring, he states that while blood is good, so is compassion. He was impressed with Shadow ending the war and he lightly taps Shadow with a small hammer. This fulfills their agreement and Shadow is free to go. Afterward, Shadow travels to Iceland, where he meets the old-world version of Odin.

Monarch of the Glen Edit

After the events chronicled in American Gods, Shadow travels around Europe, including his birthplace in Norway, then goes to Scotland, where the events of The Monarch of the Glen take place.

Black Dog Edit

He continues his stay in the UK in the short story, "Black Dog," in Trigger Warning.

Physical appearance Edit

Various characters question Shadow's race, the ambiguity of which contributes to a later revelation. Gaiman has confirmed that Shadow's mother is black. Shadow is thirty-two years old at the start of the novel. He was "big enough and looked don't-fuck-with-me enough" to keep out of trouble while in prison. Shadow's eyes are described as gray in color.

Notes and trivia Edit

  • Baldr is the second son of Odin and is known as "the god of love, peace, forgiveness, justice, light, or purity."
  • House on the Rock fortune:
    • "Every ending is a new beginning.
      Your lucky number is none.
      Your lucky color is dead.
      Motto: Like father, like son."
  • He was initially sentenced to six years of prison for beating up Larry Powers and B. J. West (his partners in the bank robbery) when they wanted to rip him and Laura off. His sentence was later reduced to three years.

Quotes Edit

"You're Shadow, huh? The asshole who killed Woody and Stone?"
"No" said Shadow. "That was someone else. And I know who you are." He did. He has been inside the man's head. "You're Town. Have you slept with Wood's widow yet?"
Mr. Town fell off his chair.

Chapter Fourteen

He was burying himself in the fictional madness of Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, trying to escape the stark reality of his mother's sickness. He sat next to her in the hospital reading when she died from lymphoma. He pretty much stopped reading after that, as "what good were books, if they couldn't protect you from something like that?"

Chapter Sixteen


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


  • Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle BTS
  • Emily Browning as Laura Moon and Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon BTS
  • BTS of Ricky Whittle as Shadow and the Special Effects Team
  • Ricky Whittle and Emily Browning BTS
  • Bruce Langley and Ricky Whittle
  • Bruce Langley and Ricky Whittle BBC Radio 1Xtra

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