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"Who was that?" asked Shadow, as he drove them down the ramp, grinding the gears.
"Just like he said, Alviss son of Vindalf. He's the king of the dwarfs. The biggest, mightiest, greatest of all the dwarf folk."
"But he's not a dwarf," pointed out Shadow. "He is what, five-eight? Five-nine?"
"What makes him a giant amongst dwarfs," said Czernobog from behind. "Tallest dwarf in America."

Shadow, Czernobog and Mr. Nancy, Chapter Fourteen

Alviss is one of the Old Gods whom Mr. Wednesday recruits for his war against the New Gods. He is the son of Vindalf.


An Old God and the King of the Dwarves, Alviss is the son of Vindalf. A builder and forger, Wednesday seeks him out to repair the spear Gungnir.

Significance in series[]

"The Ways of the Dead"[]


Significance in narrative[]

Chapter Six[]

Alviss attends Wednesday's meeting at the House on the Rock. Afterwards, Shadow shuttles the gods to the restaurant where Wednesday will be wining and dining them. As he's driving Mama-ji and two other gods (one of whom he thinks is named Elvis and the other he cannot seem to remember), Mama-ji asks Shadow what he thinks of Wednesday's plans and Shadow tells her it's not his job to ask questions.

Chapter Fourteen[]

After Mr. Wednesday is assassinated by the New Gods, Czernobog and Mr. Nancy take Shadow to Minneapolis where they meet up with Alviss and change from the black town car to a 1970 VW bus. Alviss expresses his sympathy to Shadow and asks if the "vigil" falls on him, which Czernobog says Shadow will not have to do.

Physical appearance[]

Alviss is around 5'8", which is considered tall for dwarfs. He has a white-streaked beard and a deep voice with a pleasing hum. He is barrel-chested with tree-trunk legs, fists like catcher's mitts, and "flat, squared-off fingertips."


Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Graphic novel

Notes and trivia[]

  • Alviss is a dwarf from Norse mythology who was promised to marry Thor's daughter but Thor tricked him and caused him to turn to stone.
  • Alviss provides Shadow, Czernobog, and Mr. Nancy with a hippie VW bus so they can drive to the center of America for their meeting with the New Gods.
  • Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab create a perfume oil based on Alviss for their "American Gods III" line, described as: Thick, tangled and strong: ash and oak, elm and pine, reaching down, down, and deeper down into earth.