American Gods Wiki
American Gods Wiki

I'm really trying to see things from your perspective. Then I remembered that you're literally fucking blind so I might have to spell this out for you. May I remind you, one word from me and you go back to trolling the Dark Web on IRC bots and GeoCities pages.

Technical Boy to Argus, "Muninn"

Argus Panoptes is an all-seeing Greek giant whose many eyes allowed him to sleep and be awake at the same time. Argus does not appear in the novel.


Zeus fell in love with Io so Hera turned her into a cow. She sent Argus to watch over Io, however, Zeus sent Hermes to kill Argus. Hera turned Argus into a peacock and over time, he became the God of Surveillance. Argus does not appear in the novel.

Significance in series[]

"Head Full of Snow"[]

Shadow and Mr. Wednesday arrive at the bank they're going to rob. Shadow is incredulous and doesn't want to enter but Wednesday drags him along, promising him he won't get in trouble. Shadow notices all the cameras in the building as Wednesday tries to avoid having his face captured.

"Lemon Scented You"[]

Buffer takes Shadow into the same interrogation room as Wednesday and handcuffs him across from Wednesday. She lays out the pictures of them from the bank robbery and leaves them to talk with each other. Wednesday explains that the photographs belong to a particular "god's eye view" of the world.

"House on the Rock (episode)"[]

In the underground bunker, Mr. World tells the Caretaker he needs the "eyes of Argus" to see his enemies. The Caretaker protests, saying only the President is allowed. Mr. World explains to the Caretaker that he is behind everything from Operation Paperclip to the Crack Wars and the Caretaker ultimately works for him.

"The Beguiling Man"[]

In the Black Briar bunker, Mr. World pours liquor from a decanter and brings it over to Bilquis while the Caretaker continues monitoring the "eyes of Argus". Mr. World commiserates with Bilquis that none of the Old Gods joined her. She blames his attack on the diner for pushing the Old Gods into joining Wednesday's side.


At the Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Parlor, Laura worries about how much longer she will have before her body falls irreparably apart. Wednesday invites her to come with him to find Argus Panoptes, someone who might be able to help her condition.

Mr. Ibis uses a praxinoscope to tell Bast the tale of Argus, symbolized by a peacock. Zeus became lovers with the river nymph, Io, so Hera turned her into a heifer and sent Argus to protect her. Zeus sent Hermes to kill Argus and eventually Argus was reborn in America as the God of Surveillance.

An "Argus" drone flies overhead tracking Shadow and Sam before it is knocked out of the sky by a raven. The Caretaker replays the drone footage for Technical Boy and Mr. World in the Black Briar bunker. The Caretaker blames the outdated network and that they were unable to get an exact GPS location from the drone. Technical Boy complains about Argus not updating the bunker like he asked. Mr. World is angered that Technical Boy failed to keep Argus in order and demands he go in person to sort out the upgrade.

Wednesday and Laura enter the Argus headquarters and walk down a long corridor and up a set of stairs. A door opens and they enter Argus' memories where the body of the first incarnation of Argus lies dead in a field. Wednesday questions Laura's purpose for returning from the dead. Laura insists it is for Shadow because she sees a golden beam of light shining from him. Wednesday points out to her it is selfish of her to only see Shadow as her means to an end instead of thinking about what his needs might be. He walks over to a cow and personally thanks it for its gift before slicing its neck open. The cow changes into Io and falls to the ground, dead. Wednesday retrieves a wooden peacock feather from her body.

Wednesday and Laura have arrived at a vast library deep within Argus' Backstage. Another version of Argus lies dead on a table. Wednesday reveals that he knows about the book she borrowed from the library when she was ten (Tiger Eyes). Her drunk dad spilled alcohol so she never returned it, nor did she ever return to a library. Wednesday points out that Laura needs excitement to get her heart beating again and it scares Shadow, who fell in love with the old Laura. In order to move on through Argus' mind, they need a sacrifice: the burnt offerings of the books within the Library of Alexandria. Laura begins lighting the scrolls on fire.

Technical Boy and New Media have arrived at Argus' office. New Media hints at their similarities now that she has upgraded. She tries to finagle bandwidth from him.

Wednesday and Laura have finally made it to the final level of Argus' lives, except Technical Boy and New Media got there first and Technical Boy is threatening Argus for not upgrading his tech. Argus has been playing both the New Gods and the Old Gods and Wednesday tells Laura that she needs to kill Argus by aiming for the tattoo on his neck. Laura calls him a fraud and he calls her his puppet. She is full of self-interest and right now, it is in her interest to kill Argus. He passes her the wooden peacock feather.

Technical Boy continues arguing with Argus before New Media interrupts and begins seducing Argus. She grabs one of his wires as she offers him the opportunity to merge since everyone watches her and he watches everyone. One of his wires snakes up her leg and up her skirt as they begin to synergize their marketing opportunities.

Laura enters the room and is spotted by Technical Boy, who momentarily feigns protest. She stabs Argus in his neck tattoo, breaking his bond with New Media. With Argus in his death throes, Technical Boy drags New Media off and Laura calls Wednesday to enter. Wednesday warns Argus to remember which side he is on when he comes back. When Argus dies, the coin within Laura glows, her heart starts to beat, and she is rejuvenated. Wednesday warns her it is not permanent before leaving her behind because the Laura Shadow loves does not exist anymore.

"The Greatest Story Ever Told"[]

In the Black Briar bunker, Mr. World reprimands Technical Boy and New Media for what happened with Argus. The Caretaker acts as Mr. World's chorus as he explains to them how losing Argus has left him blind. Mr. World shoves his thumbs in Technical Boy's eyes as he demands for him to restore his sight. Technical Boy tells him there is someone in Silicon Valley who owes him and he will get Mr. World an upgrade.

At XieComm in Silicon Valley, Technical Boy explains to the CEO how with Argus' death, a vacancy has been left for him to fill. People are willing to give up all of their information and data for free and Technical Boy has access to everything and his own eyes are everywhere.

Mr. World appears in the Motel America diner where Wednesday and Shadow sit waiting to speak with Money. He confronts Wednesday for Argus while Wednesday confronts him about Zorya Vechernyaya.

"Moon Shadow"[]

A newscaster reports on a hack at XieComm to gain control of the Argus drones. At XieComm, the FBI are cleaning out Mr. Xie's office, questioning him about how to stop the hack. He tells them to pray.

Powers and abilities[]

Argus is an entity of surveillance and watch.

In Greek mythology, he was renowned for being an excellent guardian due to having a hundred eyes, and thus never needing to sleep, for he rested half of his eyes at night and the other half during the day.

As the "updated" god of surveillance, Argus became the embodiment of mass surveillance. While he can still manifest several eyes all over his body, most of them were "turned" into a wide array of surveillance equipment spread throughout the United-States - ranging from drones to security cameras. It is unknown if he can only connect to the surveillance equipment affiliated to the "Argus" company, or if he can take control of any surveillance device across the United-States.

Argus is also an entity related to recording and archiving. While in Roman times he was the embodiment of the Library of Alexandria, and recorded all the knowledge of the world in books and scrolls, after his deal with the New Gods he started recording and archiving everything he ever saw or filmed in a vast supernatural computer warehouse.

It seems that Argus is locked in a perpetual cycle of reincarnation. His original myth seems to repeat itself over and over throughout each of his incarnations, forcing him to be killed and reborn under a different shape regularly.


Notes and trivia[]

  • Argus was the guardian of Io, one of Zeus' lovers. Hera turned her into a cow and assigned Argus to watch over her.