‘American Gods’: A powerful parable for our times

Look, we know you’re only reading this because you want to know if the new season of American Gods is any good or not, but it seems impossible to start telling you anything about a show that largely concerns the Norse God Odin trying to start a war in America without first acknowledging that a few days ago we all watched as a deluded man wearing Viking horns and covered in Odin tattoos stood inside the US Capitol screaming that a war is coming.

American Gods takes place in a world where mere belief is enough to think terrifying power into existence, which certainly makes it relatable. The arrival of the show’s third season couldn’t feel more timely, dealing as it does with an aging, once-powerful megalomaniac whose lust for control sets him on the path to violence. Ian McShane’s Mr Wednesday, Odin by another name, is such a charming man that it’s easy to lose sight of quite how hell bent on all out war he is. In the new season’s opening episode, he offers our hero Shadow Moon (Hollyoaks‘ Ricky Whittle) his side of the argument. “I’m just trying to save the human race from itself,” he claims, and he’s perfectly convincing – but then a trickster God would be, wouldn’t he?

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