It goes without saying that all of the people, living, dead, and otherwise in this story are fictional or used in a fictional context. Only the gods are real.
--From the Caveat, and Warning for Travelers from American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Hi! If this is your first visit to this site, please read this brief introduction. If you're here, you've probably read American Gods, and realize just what a large role mythology plays in the story.
I really liked American Gods (as I do all of Neil's works) so I decided to do a little bit of research, and I was just amazed by how much more interesting the book was when I realized just how on the mark he was with his mythology. (And I was equally amazed by how little I actually knew about mythology!) So that's under "gods," as is some information about the etymology of a few non-mythological people and places, including a section on the geography of the book. "House on the Rock" is pictures from the House on the Rock, and everything else should be pretty self explanatory.
And, just to keep my ego up, I'd like to share that on his online journal, Neil Gaiman said "What an excellent site", in regards to this site ^_^ (November 23, 2002.)
That said, I would like to add my own two-part caveat:
1. This site is by no means definitive. It is not meant to give every possible detail about all the gods. There's enough information out there to write a book about each one. (Of course, some gods would have shorter books than others...) Furthermore, there is all sorts of conflicting information out there regarding mythological beings, from different eras, different regions, different perspectives... which makes it all the more fascinating to read about, but also more complicated to summarize concisely. But my point is, this site only intends to give brief backgrounds, and any random bits of information that either are signifcant to the book, or that I just happened to find particularly interesting. If you want to know more about any certain god, check my sources page, check your local library, use a search engine. There's plenty of information out there.
2. I am by no means an expert on mythology. It's just a hobby, and not even one that I'm particularly well-informed in. I feel almost deceitful when I read emails and people are asking me complicated questions. So while it's flattering... the reason I made this site in the first place was to teach myself more about mythology, and while I've been careful to check things, it's always quite possible that I've made a mistake in putting stuff together. If you spot an error, please email me at renata [at] frowl [dot] org and let me know!
Finally, I just want to thank everyone for visiting this site and for all the feedback! It's so cool for me to get all this information and new perspectives on things from all over the world.
Last updated: 10/01/2005. New forgotten god theories, and new information on Loki, Pan, Medusa, Leucotios, the Warrior Twins, and Balder. Just by coincidence, by the time I got around to updating again it's one day shy of this site's 3-year anniversary. Happy birthday, OTGAR! Apologies as usual for the delay between updates and my impossible tardiness with email replies. (This season's round of excuses, in case you were wondering-- I worked at a camp this summer, with no Internet; almost immediately after the end of camp I packed my bags and headed to London for the semester, where I then had to send my poor computer off to the Apple repair people for 2 weeks. Currently the computer's working but my secret pirated wireless Internet is iffy, and then there's always the schoolwork to do! In short, are you ever going to get a prompt email reply from me? Probably not, but I will feel guilty about it.)
Continued exciting news: for anyone who bought the Hill House lettered edition of American Gods, it will be coming with a version of this site, in book form. Here's some more information.
(I really do recommend signing up for this if you're interested in the site-- I update so infrequently that it's nice to just be told when to come back for new stuff, rather than have to keep checking back here. And I promise that neither I nor NotifyList will send you any emails other than the occasional notification that there's new stuff here.)