“People create gods when they wonder why things happen… You want good things to happen, be good to your god,” Mr. Wednesday told Shadow. Shadow on the other hand believed that the gods are cruel beings that only give good things after they take something in return. According to Wednesday, that is a fair trade, but is it? Don’t the gods take away too much sometimes?

The lack of black and white is what makes American Gods such a great show. The show reiterates that gods exist only if you believe in them, but to believe in the gods, you have to see them doing something, or at least saying something. That is why there are so many wise quotes from most of the main characters.

10 The advantage of love, at first sight, is it doesn’t require a second look: Mr. Ibis

Mr. Ibis is the Egyptian god of knowledge, although, in American Gods, he is just a record keeper at his funeral parlor. He believes that his first impression when he meets anyone is the best judgment to rely on.

No one dares challenge his wisdom though, because he knows everything about everyone. He is the only god that doesn’t openly hate Wednesday, and according to him, once you love someone, you don’t have to hate them simply because you have seen them make mistakes.

9 Family is who you survive with when you need to survive: Zorya

“Even if you don’t like them,” Zorya added. That is probably the best advice on appreciating those that stick with you through your hardest times. Zorya was an unlucky god that lost her worship and now had to survive as a forgotten god with Czernobog.

She didn’t like the arrogant hammer-swinging god but she didn’t exactly have a choice. After spending so many years of hardship with Czernobog, they grew to love each other and Czernobog would eventually go to the ends of the earth for her.


8 There is nothing like a knife in the back for close-up efficiency: Mr. World

This was Mr. World’s advice on why betrayal is good, but it acts as the best clue into how the mind of an evil person works. Mr. World is the most cold-hearted god in American Gods. To him, no one is indispensable. Not even his minions whom he enjoys ordering around and bashing as he wishes.

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The third season revealed him to be the trickster Norse god Loki which means he was Wednesday’s pal at one point, so he may have stabbed him in the back. He is always planning to hurt someone, and he has betrayed everyone that works for him including Technical Boy whose identity he keeps hidden in his vault.

7 Just because someone wrote it in a book, it doesn’t mean it is true: Laura

Laura Moon may or may not be a god but that hasn’t stopped her from surviving in the realm of the gods. She represents the resilience of human beings, proving that gods don’t have the right to make human beings suffer just because they make normal human mistakes.

Her advice to Gilbert about not believing everything written in the bible extends to all humans on how to treat the gods. Laura believes that everyone should be allowed to live life on their own terms and not have to rely on anyone’s definition of truth to survive. She is the ambassador of human freedom from the gods.

6 Neutral in the face of injustice, is on the side of the oppressor: Wednesday

Wednesday is one of the oppressors in American Gods but his advice to shadow is always timeless. Shadow Moon is a good person that finds himself in a crooked world where love is so scarce and gods enjoy oppressing their followers.

Being a hybrid, meaning he is half-god and half-human, Shadow has been forced to become the bridge between gods and humans. Wednesday’s advice was sarcastic at the time but it has become an important part of Shadow’s development into the man that would never let injustice slide.

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5 People only fight over imaginary things: Mr. Nancy

The show has not explained what happened to Mr. Nancy but he went down as one of the best characters in the show. He always had a reply, even for Wednesday who thinks he is the smartest one in the room. He was skeptical about Joining Wednesday’s war because he didn’t believe it was the priority.

He was more interested in the unity of the Black gods to fight for the rights of African Americans which he considered an actual problem and a priority. He was right, Wednesday’s war proved to be pointless. The glory he promised the Old Gods was just imaginary.

4 The only thing that scares me is being forgotten: Wednesday

“Better to be dead than forgotten,” Wednesday added. His statement is selfish but it is true, especially when you are a god that was once used to lots of worship and sacrifices. However, being forgotten is not supposed to be as scary as Wednesday approached it.

His fear of fading from memory has pushed him to do despicable things including sacrificing his own son to resurrect from the dead. If he had treated his worshipers better, maybe he wouldn’t be on the verge of being forgotten. The best way to avoid being forgotten is to do good deeds that people won’t forget.

3 Great battles require great preparations: Wednesday

Mr. Wednesday should probably have listened to his own advice here. He is the god of war, meaning no one knows how to plan for war better than him. When he decided to go to war against the New Gods, he was totally unprepared though.

He has been unable to unite all of the Old Gods, and instead of becoming a formidable force to be able to fight, the Old Gods started fighting among themselves. Gungnir, his own weapon, was repaired, lost, then recovered by Laura used against Wednesday himself. So, great preparations only win wars if you do them before the battle, not after the battle has started.

2 War tears lovers asunder: Bilquis

The Queen of Sheba is the god of love, but her worshipers distracted her from the type of love she was supposed to be protecting which is why she was so cruel in the first two seasons. However, even while on the wrong side of the war, she didn’t take part in it. She only joined the new gods because they helped her get a stable stream of worshipers.

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When the New Gods tried to force her to fight the Old Gods, she refused and got the chance to rediscover herself. She is now the ambassador of peace, helping Shadow defeat crooked gods like Wednesday. She has also embarked on the mission of reuniting Shadow with the love of his life, who was revealed to be Laura because they were separated by Wednesday’s war.

1 Gods only give gifts when they get something in return: Shadow

The part about taking away is what most people don’t consider when they worship the gods, but as the show has proved, gods are not always sweet beings that only do good things. That was Shadow’s disapproval of Wednesday’s form of worship where humans have to give sacrifice for the gods to do good things for them.

Shadow believes that someone doesn’t have to suffer at the hands of any god. He is also a god who doesn’t know about his powers yet, but he is an ambassador for justice. Shadow represents the new regime of gods who won’t have to rely on human sacrifices to be good to their worshipers.

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