FANDOM


This article is about House on the Rock (location). You may be looking for House on the Rock (episode).
Sixty years ago, Alex Jordan began to build a house on a high spot of rock in a field he did not even own. And even more, he could not have told you why. And people came to see him build it. The curious and the puzzled, and those who were neither; they could not honestly have told you why they came. So, he did what any sensible American male of his generation would do: he began to charge them money. Nothing much. A nickel. A quarter. And he kept building, and the people kept coming. So, he took those nickels and quarters and made something even bigger and stranger. He filled the land beneath the house with things for people to see, and they came. Millions of them every year.

Mr. Ibis, House on the Rock (episode)

The House on the Rock is a location in American Gods where Mr. Wednesday takes Shadow to first meet with the Old Gods in their war against the New Gods.

Background Edit

The House on the Rock is a genuine tourist attraction that can be found near the town of Spring Green, WI. Alex Jordan reportedly built the house itself to spite the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who also lived in the area and refused to work with him. It also houses tens of thousands of items from Jordan's personal collections (consisting of both genuine and forged items) in a number of eclectically-themed rooms, and a carousel that's often billed as the "world's largest."

Chapter Five Edit

Shadow and Wednesday drive through Madison, WI and continue on another hour down country roads before arriving at the House on the Rock. Wednesday explains to Shadow that people feel pulled to places of power and in other countries, they build temples and monuments while in America, they build roadside attractions, which gives this particular location its power.

They buy tickets and enter the attraction, which takes at least two hours to go through according to the clerk. Wednesday leads them through the attraction, pausing in the Infinity Room to discuss the powers of Disneyland versus Disney World, before taking Shadow along the "Streets of Yesterday." Wednesday tells Shadow about Alex Jordan, the man who built the place. At the end of the Streets of Yesterday, they arrive at a fortune-telling mannequin, whom Wednesday dubs their Urd. They both insert tokens to receive their fortunes before proceeding on to The Mikado room, where they encounter Czernobog seated on a bench.

They proceed with Czernobog down several corridors and through various rooms and attractions before arriving at a pizzaria-cafeteria where Mr. Nancy is seated. Wednesday leaves for the restroom while Shadow is introduced to Mr. Nancy. Once Wednesday returns, they set off again through the House on the Rock, finally reaching the Carousel Room.

The carousel goes round and round without stopping because it is meant to be admired, not ridden. Wednesday then asks Shadow to help them onto the platform where he, Czernobog, and Mr. Nancy jump on board the carousel. Shadow joins them, feeling more uneasy breaking the rules at the carousel than he did robbing the bank that morning.

Once on the carousel, each of the men select a mount with Wednesday picking a golden wolf, Czernobog choosing an armored centaur, and Nancy climbing on a roaring lion. Shadow eventually selects a tiger with an eagle's head to ride. The four men laugh and enjoy their ride on the carousel as the Blue Danube waltz plays and the lights glisten. Then, the lights go out and Shadow sees the gods.

Chapter Six Edit

When the lights go out on the carousel at the House on the Rock, the only illumination is from starlight as the eagle-headed tiger beneath Shadow seemed to come to life. He is able to see multiple dimensions with Mr. Nancy appearing to him in all his various forms. The creatures they're now riding trot them to a wooden hall on a hill. Czernobog tells Shadow that none of it is really happening and it's all in his head. Shadow also sees Czernobog in his various forms as Wednesday steers his giant wolf over to Shadow's side and tells him his various names, leading Shadow to ask if Wednesday is Odin, which Wednesday confirms.

They enter Valaskjálf, Odin's old hall, as Mr. Nancy explains to Shadow they're in Wednesday's mind. Wednesday is upset that there aren't as many people waiting for them in the hall as he expected. Mr. Nancy steps up as the "warm-up" man and tells the crowd of Old Gods a story about how he stole Tiger's balls and blamed it on Old Monkey, which is why to this day, Tiger chases monkeys. Wednesday next stands before the people gathered. He gives them a speech about how the New Gods are growing in America and it is now time for the Old Gods to act. Mama-ji gets into an argument with Wednesday, saying they only have to wait for the New Gods to die out like the ones of the past. Wednesday tells them all they have already lost everything and he is offering them the chance to take something back.

The fire burns out and the meeting ends. Shadow asks Mr. Nancy what happens next and Nancy says Wednesday buys them all dinner and will work them one-by-one over to his side. They are suddenly back in the Carousel Room and Wednesday is talking to what looks to be a group of tourists. Wednesday leads them out of the House on the Rock as Shadow asks Nancy if it really happened. Nancy replies, "Heck, nobody's allowed to ride the carousel. Didn't you see the signs? Now hush."

"A Prayer for Mad Sweeney" Edit

While stopped at Derek Arnold Jr.'s ranch, Salim brings out his prayer mat and Laura sits on the base of the buffalo statue to watch him pray. Sweeney goes out to a hedge and begins to relieve himself when a raven caws at him. He gets in an argument with the raven about how he is holding up his end of the bargain. Laura interrupts them and tells Sweeney they should let Salim go. Sweeney argues with her, accidentally revealing that all the gods are meeting up at the House on the Rock in Wisconsin. Laura lets Salim know that he can find his Jinn at the House on the Rock and Salim takes off in his taxi.

"Come to Jesus" Edit

Bilquis is on a bus trip to the House on the Rock in Wisconsin and invites the man seated next to her to the bathroom.

"House on the Rock" Edit

House on the rock 2x01 overhead

Mr. Ibis relates the history of the House on the Rock, built by Alex Jordan fifty years prior. He began to charge admittance and used the money to keep building and creating more things for people to see. Bilquis enters the House on the Rock as it is closing and feeds on one of the employees. She wanders through the deserted building and encounters the Jinn. They greet each other and Bilquis reveals she was not invited. Salim arrives, surprising the Jinn.

At the House on the Rock, Shadow attempts to pick the lock open on the entrance gate. A spider enters the lock and opens the gate as Mr. Nancy appears on the other side. He greets Mad Sweeney and comments on Laura's stench. Wednesday asks if some of the old gods like Whiskey Jack have arrived. Nancy replies that they did not come and Easter is not coming either because Wednesday ran over some of her rabbits. Wednesday informs Laura she can come along but she is "not invited to the party." He reveals to her that he was also dead once when he sacrificed himself for knowledge and hung on the tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days. He offers her an arrangement and she refuses.

Inside the House on the Rock, the Jinn asks why Salim followed him when he could have gone anywhere else and done anything he wanted. He tells Salim to leave but Salim replies back, "I do not grant wishes." They are interrupted by Wednesday's entrance. Wednesday asks the Jinn how many have arrived. The Jinn replies there are about a dozen plus Bilquis, who was not invited. Wednesday and Nancy take tokens from the Jinn and the Jinn offers Shadow a token as well but he does not let Laura and Sweeney through.

Bilquis greets Nancy before confronting Wednesday for not inviting her when she is an Old God. Wednesday acquiesces and invites her to "consult the Norns." She inserts a token into a machine where Selina, a fortune telling mannequin, moves around to music before a card is dropped into a slot below for her to retrieve. Wednesday inserts his token next and chortles when he receives his card, causing Shadow to ask what it is. He won't reveal what it says because, "a man's fortune is his own." Shadow inserts his token and receives his card, reading it out loud:

Every ending is a new beginning. Your lucky number is none. Your lucky color is dead. Motto: Like father, like son.

They continue deeper into the House on the Rock before Wednesday splits off on his own. He finds Zorya Vechernyaya in a room with a snowy backdrop. He flirts with her as Czernobog arrives. Czernobog reminds him the only reason he is there is because he lost a game of checkers to Shadow. Wednesday leaves them and Czernobog starts the music playing, inviting Zorya Vechernyaya to dance.

In a room housing the Chalet of the Raven, Shadow plays with the silver coin Zorya Polunochnaya gave him while Bilquis inspects him. Nancy reveals that when he made Shadow his suit, he also got a measurement of Shadow's life and how he was bullied for being little until he was fifteen and bulked up and grew a few inches. He mentions that Shadow reminds him of his stupid son. Shadow thanks him for the compliment of comparing him to a member of his family.

Laura asks the Jinn for a coin so she can get a fortune. He refuses but both Salim and Sweeney convince him to give her one. She inserts her token and receives her fortune, however, it is blank.

Wednesday leads the group through a hall full of beer steins as he explains the immense power contained within roadside attractions in America. They arrive at the Carousel Room and Wednesday asks Shadow to feel the power. As the carousel spins round and round, the Old Gods reappear on the carousel. Nancy sits on a roaring lion while Wednesday invites Shadow to join them and Bilquis offers to keep him safe. Shadow climbs uneasily aboard and chooses a tiger with an Eagle's head to ride. The carousel continues to spin faster and faster and Shadow begins to enjoy himself. Wednesday's wolf mount opens up and a bright light shines forth as the carousel figurines detach and fly away into space.

Shadow awakens on a beach next to human skulls and where a Norse ship has dropped anchor. Bilquis tells him he is "Backstage" in Wednesday's memories. As Bilquis leads him up to Odin's Hall, she explains how if the meeting had been held in Bilquis' mind, it would be a warmer experience with hanging gardens and ziggurats. Once within the hall, Shadow is able to see the gods in their various non-human forms: from Odin, Bilquis, Czernobog, the Zorya sisters, and Anansi to Ame-No Uzeme, Ahura Mazda, the Lion-god, and Frau Holle. Anansi calls everyone around for a story about being at constant war with the New Gods. Odin speaks, reminding them how people brought the gods, including everyone present, with them to America. The Old Gods have been abandoned as the "true believers" either died or stopped believing. They are only getting by as they are replaced by the New Gods, who now want to destroy them.

Mama-ji interrupts, saying that she has seen New Gods rise and fall and they should wait them out. She does not see any of the battles that Odin claims are happening. Bilquis defends Odin, explaining how the New Gods have more followers, more attention, and more power, however, it is not a bad thing. She has been given the tools of the New Gods and warns them they need to evolve or die. Shadow speaks out that he believes Odin. He has lost everyone and everything but he is regaining his belief and faith because of Odin. If they help Odin, they can be worthy of their believers.

Places Edit

  • 1960s Bachelor Pad, then up a winding staircase
  • Knick-knack room, then up and down more stairs
  • Infinity Room
  • A room with over 6000 Santa Clauses
  • The Streets of Yesterday
  • Musical instruments room
  • The Mikado
  • The Drunkard's Dream machine
  • A blood-colored room filled with organ pipes
  • A room with a whale devouring a ship
  • The Travel Room
  • A pizzeria-cafeteria
  • A room with suits of armor
  • The Carousel Room
  • A room with life-sized models of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The Norns Edit

House on the rock s2 promo

Shadow and Mr. Wednesday "consult the Norns" before the start of their enterprise via a mannequin fortune teller at the end of the Streets of Yesterday, dubbing her their Urd.

Shadow's fortune from the Norns at the House on the Rock reads: "Every ending is a new beginning. Your lucky number is none. Your lucky color is dead. Motto: Like father, like son."

Drunkard's Dream Edit

The Drunkard's Dream is an attraction at the House on the Rock that Czernobog drags Shadow over to view. Shadow inserts one of the tokens Wednesday gave him and a scene plays out before him of a drunk in a graveyard drinking from a bottle. The headstones flip up with ghosts and corpses appearing around the graveyard and church scene before the church door opens and a priest comes out, scaring them away and leaving the priest and drunkard alone. The priest looks disdainfully at the drunk before returning inside the church. It leaves Shadow feeling unsettled and Czernobog says that's the real world.

Music Edit

Musical references from the House on the Rock.

  • Bolero - Maurice Ravel (plays when they first enter)
  • Danse Macabre - Camille Saint-Saëns (plays in the broken instrument room)
  • Octopus's Garden - The Beatles (plays in the room with the ship and a whale)
  • The Blue Danube - Johann Strauss II (plays at the carousel)
  • Emperor Waltz - Johan Strauss II (plays at the carousel)

Video Edit

American Gods - Neil Gaiman’s America- The House on the Rock - Neil Gaiman

American Gods - Neil Gaiman’s America- The House on the Rock - Neil Gaiman

Quotes Edit

"Plan is as follows. On Saturday night, which, as I have already remarked, is tomorrow, we shall be meeting with a number of persons pertinent in their respective fields - do not let their demeanor intimidate you. We shall meet at one of the most important places in the entire country. Afterward we shall wine and dine them. There will be, at a guess, thirty or forty of them. Perhaps more. I need to enlist them in my current enterprise."
- Mr. Wednesday, Chapter Four
"This is a roadside attraction," said Wednesday. "One of the finest. Which means it is a place of power."
- Mr. Wednesday, Chapter Five
"The House on the Rock is a real place about an hour west of Madison Wi, that I write about in American Gods, and I had to tone down my description of it and leave things out in the book in order to make it believable."
- Neil Gaiman

Notes and trivia Edit

  • Wednesday gives Shadow a metal coin at the House on the Rock and Shadow sees a little boy watching him so he holds the token in his forefinger and thumb and then vanishes it.

References Edit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.