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Death is not a debate. How many do you think have come before you, all with promises and threats and offers of glory, gold, and love? Who are you to misguide me from my duty? You are but a man, not even one I should remember. You will go into the darkness and I will forget ever having met you.

–Anubis to Laura, "Git Gone"

Mr. Jacquel is one of the Old Gods and a supporting character in American Gods

Background Edit

Mr. Jacquel runs Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Parlor with his partner, Mr. Ibis.

Significance in narrative Edit

Main article: Mr. Jacquel/Novel

Significance in series Edit

"Head Full of Snow" Edit

Somewhere in America

In Queens, Mrs. Fadil cooks dinner for visiting family when there is a knock on the door. Anubis enters and explains to Mrs. Fadil that she has died and he has come to take her to the Afterlife because of her belief in her Tita's stories. She follows him to her fire escape and up a seemingly never-ending staircase until they reach a sandy desert. They sit down in front of his scales and he places a large feather on the right scale. He removes her heart and places it on the left scale to see if she used her heart well. Mrs. Fadil tells him she tried her best and Anubis replies that her best is good. He leads her to five pillars, each of which will lead to one of the many worlds of the Du'at, and tells her to choose. She tells him he is kind and asks him to choose for her. He points to the center pillar and a door opens. Mrs. Fadil pauses at the entrance expressing momentary doubt, and her cat pushes her through the doorway anyway.

"Git Gone" Edit

After Laura Moon dies, she is transported to the Underworld and Anubis appears. Anubis explains that she is now dead and leads her to his scales. He places a feather on one scale and reaches for her heart. Laura slaps his hand away and pushes down the scales as she tells him that her heart is heavier than the feather. Anubis leads her to her hot tub and tells her she will go to darkness because she believed in nothing. She starts to argue but he tells her he won't even remember her just as she is yanked out of the afterlife.

A black jackal and Mr. Ibis stand in the middle of the road, stopping Audrey's car. The jackal stands up into Anubis, telling Laura that he remembers her. Jacquel and Ibis take Laura to their funeral parlor. Ibis explains they have been in business for 200 years. They repair her with pins and threads and paint her skin. Jacquel asks if it was love that brought her back. She says it wasn't but it is now. Jacquel lets her know that when she is done, he will complete his task and deliver her into darkness.

"A Prayer for Mad Sweeney" Edit

Mr. Jacquel puts on a jazz record as he begins his mortician work on a corpse at Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Parlor. Mr. Ibis enters the room, bringing Irish red ale for them to drink at the end of the workday. Mr. Jacquel wants to finish his work because he knows they will have two more bodies coming the next day. He sends Ibis away because Ibis "has a story to tell." Mr. Ibis begins writing when the phone rings to announce the two new bodies. As Jacquel answers the phone, Ibis continues writing his story about criminals being transported to the Americas as indentured servants.

Physical appearance Edit

In his human form, Mr. Jacquel is described as having darker skin than Mr. Ibis and is "a very tall dark-skinned man." In "Git Gone," he also appears as a long-muzzled, black dog with high, pointed ears.

Powers and abilities Edit

  • Premonitions: In "A Prayer for Mad Sweeney," Mr. Jacquel exhibits the ability to know when two people have died when he reveals to Mr. Ibis they will be receiving two more bodies at Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Parlor.
  • Psychopomp: Mr. Jacquel acts as a psychopomp and escorts the newly deceased to their afterlife.
    • In "Head Full of Snow", Mr. Jacquel weighs Mrs. Fadil's heart against a feather before guiding Mrs. Fadil through the Duat to a set of three doors for her to select her afterlife.
    • In "Git Gone," Mr. Jacquel receives Laura after her death but she is pulled back by Mad Sweeney's gold coin before she can start her afterlife.
  • Transfiguration: Mr. Jacquel has the ability to transform into a black jackal as shown in "Git Gone."


Cultural Background Edit

Anubis is one of the main and more popular gods of the Egyptian mythology, as well as a divinity associated with death and the afterlife.


His birth is quite unclear: some versions claim he was the son of Osiris, lord of the underworld, and thus associate him with the figure of Horus. Other think he was the son of Isis, Osiris' wife, or the son of Bast, the cat-goddess. The most popular and well known version of the myth describes Anubis as the illegitimate son of Osiris and his sister-in-law Nephtys. Nephtys, trying to protect her son from her husband's wrath, hid Anubis in a swamp where he was later found by Isis who, being childless at the time, decided to raise him as her own to become her faithful guardian and companion. [1]

Later, when Osiris was murdered and mutilated by his brother Seth, Anubis put back together the pieces of his corpse to allow him to be resurrected by Isis and Nephtys, thus creating the first mummy. This myth explains why Anubis is the god of the embalmers, nicknamed "he of the bandages", and the processus of mummification practiced by the Egyptians on their dead, believed to be the key to eternal life, was merely a repetition and imitation of Anubis' work on Osiris' corpse.


Anubis was said to be the protector of the dead. As the "lord of the necropolis", he protected the tumbs and the "city of the dead". He also welcomed the recently deceased at the door of the Amenti, the underworld, and protected them from all dangers and harms until they reached the palace of Osiris, lord of the afterlife.

Once before Osiris, the defuncts are judged and put on trial for the sins of their life. Their heart is taken and weighed on a scale against a Maât (the embodiment of truth, good and virtue, usually represented as a feather). If their heart weighs more than the Maât, they'll be condemned to destruction, their essence devoured by a dreadful monster. If not, then they'll have access to a peaceful afterlife. Opinions disagree on Anubis implications in the trial: some say he is the one responible for weighing the heart of the dead and the mediator between the judged deceased and the judge-gods [2], while others think he had no role in the trial and merely acted as the guardian and guide of the soul from the door of the Amenti to Osiris' courthouse. [3]

If a dead also desired to go back to the world of the living, he needed to inform Anubis of their project and ask him for his authorization, for only a decree of Anubis could allow such a thing to happen.


"Anubis" isn't the actual deity's name. Despite being know as such today, "Anubis" is the name the Greek gave to this psychopomp, who was known in Egypt as "Inpou" (a word meaning "young dog" or "young being"). [4] Indeed, Anubis was represented as a jackal, or a man with the head of a jackal. Jackals and wild dogs, due to living in the desertic surroundings of the necropolis and feeding of carrions, were turned by the Egyptians into divinities protecting the dead. There were many of those canine death gods, such as Oupouaout in Assiout or Khentamentiou in Abydos, but they all stayed minor and local gods, overshadowed and then assimilated with the very popular Anubis, who was worshipped in all the main religious centers of Egypt, from Thebes to Memphis.

His main sanctuary (and probably where his worship started) was in the city of Assiout, later renamed by the Greeks Cynopolis, "the city of dogs".


Gallery Edit

To edit the Gallery page, go to Mr. Jacquel/Gallery.

Pictures

Note: The pictures are shown in episodic order. To see the order of the episodes, please visit the Episode guide.


Video
American Gods - Season 1, Episode 4 Clip- Funeral Home - STARZ

American Gods - Season 1, Episode 4 Clip- Funeral Home - STARZ

Notes and trivia Edit

  • Mr. Jacquel is an incarnation of Anubis, the Ancient Egyptian god of death, the dead, mummification, embalming, the afterlife, cemeteries, tombs and the underworld.
    • He is a cynocephalus, having the head of a dog and body of a human
    • He is also a protector of graves
  • Mr. Jacquel does not appear in human form in Season Two[5], however, he appears in his jackal form in "The Ways of the Dead" when he leads Shadow to Froggie James.

References Edit

  1. The Egyptian Mythology, by Gros de Beler
  2. The Egyptian Mythology, by Gros de Beler
  3. Gods of Egypt, by Sylvie Albou-Tabart
  4. Gods of Egypt, by Sylvie Albou-Tabart
  5. https://twitter.com/obidon1/status/1047603503525502977
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