'American Gods' Season 2 Spoilers Hint At An Expanded Universe
It’s hard to believe, but the end is almost here. It seems like just yesterday that audiences set out on a trippy road trip with Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday, and yet it’s already time to start talking about American Gods Season 2 spoilers, since Season 1 of the Starz drama wraps its eight-episode run on June 18.
With shorter and shorter running times becoming more prevalent in the current over-saturated television market, shows like American Gods, FX’s Legion, and Netflix’s Stranger Things feel like they’re over just as soon as things are getting good and events are hitting their stride. (It’s a problem Game Of Thrones fans will be facing soon with that show’s shortened seventh season.) But while audiences begin to mourn the loss of Bryan Fuller’s phantasmagorical adaptation, they can also start looking ahead to what the showrunner will be serving viewers in Season 2.
Since the next batch of episodes hasn't even been written yet, there aren't too many concrete details to be gleaned at this point — not that Fuller would be sharing them, anyway. But that doesn't mean nothing is known about the show's sophomore outing; in fact, from the few hints and teases Fuller and his crew have let slipped, it sounds like American Gods will only be getting wilder as it goes along.
1. Season 2 Could Be More Than Eight Episodes
Although Season 1 was originally supposed to be 10 episodes, that order was cut down to eight during production, according to TVLine. While such a downsizing would typically be a sign of no-confidence from the studio, in this instance the decision was made by Fuller and co-creator Michael Green as they laid out the plan for their freshman year in more detail.
An exact episode count hasn't been confirmed for Season 2 yet, but Deadline notes that it will consist of "at least the eight that the first season had," which means it's also possible that it will have more — like the 10 that the first season was originally supposed to have, maybe.
2. It Will Feature More Original Material
Since Game Of Thrones has now run out of source material to adapt, fans of that show might forget how good they had it for a while there; George R.R. Martin provided the writers with literally thousands of pages of material to translate to the screen. Neil Gaiman, however, only wrote 465 pages of American Gods, which Fuller and Green have to stretch out over the course of multiple seasons. As such, that requires the insertion of plenty of original material — with Gaiman's blessing of course.
"Some of my favorite scenes are scenes that could not have existed in the book," Gaiman, who is an executive producer on the show, told Inverse in an interview, citing the episode about Laura Moon's backstory and the inclusion of original character Vulcan as examples. He teases that next season will include storylines that he envisioned for his book before discarding them: "There's enough stuff left over [from plotting the novel], that you'll probably see some of it in Season 2," including a new "1940s 'Coming To America' sequence" that Fuller and Green got excited about when Gaiman described it to them.
3. Czernobog's Backstory Will Be Explored
Even though viewers spent plenty of time with Slavic god of darkness Czernobog and the Zoryas — Vechernyaya, Utrennyaya, and Polunochnaya — this season, the story of how those deities arrived in America in the first place was never explored. Hopefully that will be fixed next year, according to Green. "Neil drafted a beautiful 'Coming To America' for Czernobog and the three Zorya sisters," the showrunner said in an interview with Crave. "At one point we were talking and he said, 'Oh, I wanted to do one.' We have it, we've read it, it should be published but instead hopefully we'll film it!"
(Could this be the sequence set in the 1940s that Gaiman himself referenced? It's easy to imagine Czernobog arriving in the States with refugees fleeing Eastern Europe during the second World War.)
4. Low-Key Will Make A Comeback
Speaking of Season 1 characters fans are probably clamoring to see more of, Shadow's former cell mate Low-Key Lyesmith — portrayed intriguingly in the season premiere by Kingdom's Jonathan Tucker and then never seen again — will pop up again, perhaps next season. "Give it time," Green said in an interview with Collider when asked about the character's absence. "We love him, as much or more than he is effusive about his time on the show. There's plenty more to do with him, and we can't wait."
Of course, those who have already read Gaiman's novel will already know why Low-Key will be an important presence on the show moving forward. The rest will just have to wait and see…
5. Wednesday & Shadow Will Arrive At Their Destination
Season 1 has consisted mostly of Mr. Wednesday and Shadow Moon traveling around America, recruiting Old Gods to fight in the brewing war with the New Gods. But every road trip has a destination, and Wednesday has been encouraging his immortal friends to meet him somewhere; unfortunately, that ultimate destination will have to wait until Season 2 to be revealed in all its glory.
TVLine reports that, while Fuller and Green originally planned to have Season 1 end with Wednesday and Shadow arriving at the House On The Rock, that particular turn of events got pushed into Season 2, likely as a result of their reduction from 10 episodes to eight. The council at the popular Wisconsin tourist attraction is one of the most memorable sequences in Gaiman's novel… and viewers will have to wait a little while longer to see it come to life onscreen.
6. The Story Will Expand Into Urban Legends
So far, all of the deities on American Gods have sprung from various world religions and/or mythologies — but that could change in next year, as the show's examination of worship expands to include less formal belief systems. "We're excited to start expanding the mythology of thoughtform in Season 2, where it's not just gods but also urban legends and things of that sort," Fuller teased in the same interview with Crave. "That will give us a similar quality from a different angle."
But when asked if that expansion of belief could include literal superheroes, Fuller is quick to shoot the theory down. "Are you asking, in the rules of the universe, […] that if we believe in Superman, will we manifest him into reality?" the showrunner said to Crave. "It's an interesting question. We don't necessarily cross over into those kind of broader superheroes, but we do extend the thoughtform umbrella over other things that Americans believe in and may have manifested into reality because of those beliefs," he teased ambiguously.
7. The Show Is Setting Up A Marvel-Like Universe
However, the series could potentially have something in common with the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward — even if it's not the presence of actual superpowered heroes. Although Fuller doesn't yet have the rights to Gaiman's American Gods spinoff Anansi Boys, his ultimate goal is to one day craft an interconnected universe of shows that all focus on different deities.
"Potentially what we're looking at with American Gods is developing a Marvel Universe, not with superheroes but with gods," Fuller told Crave. "So who knows? In success we may have spin-offs of American Gods that follow lesser gods in greater detail than you might in the main series. But there's all sorts of potential for this show that we're very excited about. and I hope the audience is as enthusiastic as we are so we can bring those dreams to fruition."
There may be a long wait ahead for American Gods Season 2 — but it certainly seems like, when it comes back, the world of the show will be even wider and crazier than before.