Why Shadow Moon Is the Way He Is

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Hello, gents.

  • Listening to your remarks about Shadow appearing to take a turn for the better in episode three, I think the thing to consider regarding Shadow and Ricky Whittle is that in the book itself Shadow is largely devoid of personality and excitement. The show version of Shadow was bound to fall under this description to an extent. For example, in episode two, Wednesday goes as far to tell Shadow that he doesn’t have the type of personality needed for a guy doing coin tricks. So clearly it was intentional how the writers wanted us to gauge our protagonist initially. That being said I also believe the show runners recognized the flaws with how Shadow was presented in the novel and understood how he wouldn’t work as a main character of a TV series if they didn’t change things. This included instructing Whittle to stop reading the novel of American Gods because they didn’t want him mimicking the way Shadow was presented on the book page. Ultimately I feel the choices made by the show runners and Whittle in the first two episodes worked out. Shadow is a guy who has a small inner circle, has been locked up for a few years and has only one or two things to look forward to in his life going forward. When those things are taken away a numbness grabs hold of him. But we slowly see Shadow break out of his shell and come to life. Seeing that growth is better than if he had been presented like that from the very first moments the viewers were introduced to him. What makes Shadow so sympathetic though is how he rolled with those punches. I never understood any criticisms from people, not just you guys, that Shadow wasn’t likable. How not? The guy didn’t do anything to anyone to make him unlikable. Instead bad things kept happening to him. Perhaps his passivity caused him to be seen as a boring protagonist to some. But unlikable? I liked Shadow immediately because his circumstances engender such sympathy. He is a man beaten up on the outside and beaten down on the inside.
  • As so far as Mad Sweeney is concerned I’m assuming the police could see him during the scene following the road accident. What I think is going on is that we are catching up to the moment after the police have already questioned him. If Mad Sweeney couldn’t be seen by them why does he even stick around long enough for the police to even arrive? What would he be waiting for? I could be wrong about this but that’s my take as of now.
  • For a bunch of dudes who first indicated you had some issues with the handling and story placement of the Jinn/Salim scenes, your take on that particular section of the episode was more interesting to listen to than any other discussion I heard on different podcasts. And you were the only ones that I’m aware of who tossed out the possibility that the scenes took place way back in the past, possibly as far back as the 1980s. My mind is blown. You may be on to something there. Perhaps some listener to this podcast who is familiar with Middle Eastern music can tell us if the song playing in the cab initially was a more contemporary tune. The more I think about it though the more I feel the suit Salim wore (the one that the Jinn also wore in episode 2) was a Rico Tubbs reject.
  • Neil Gaiman told a reporter that the caper that Wednesday thought up has occurred in real life. I can’t however recall whether it occurred before his novel and inspired his writing or if it happened after the novel as some sort of copycat crime.
  • All of Shadow’s dream scenes involve a touch of CGI to represent surrealism. So why would the Shadow scene with the third Zorya sister (albeit not completely a dream) or his dreaming of a car driving over marshmallows be any different?

First time listening to you guys and it is clear you know how to have fun. And that makes your podcast fun.

Jonathan H.
Silver Spring, MD

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