|“||"Do you know me, Shadow?" said Wednesday. He rode his wolf with his head high. His right eye glittered and flashed, his left eye was dull. He wore a cloak, with a deep, monk-like cowl, and his face stared out from the shadows. "I told you I would tell you my names. This is what they call me. I am called Glad-of-War, Grim, Raider, and Third. I am One-eyed. I am Called Highest, and True-Guesser. I am Grimnir, and I am the Hooded One. I am All-Father, and I am Gondlir Wand-bearer. I have as many names as there are winds, as many titles as there are ways to die. My ravens are Thought and Memory; my wolves are Freki and Geri; my horse is the gallows." Two ghostly--gray ravens, like transparent skins of birds, landed on Wednesday's shoulders, pushed their beaks into the side of Wednesday's head as if tasting his mind, and flapped out into the world once more.||”|
Mr. Wednesday is the leader of the Old Gods in their war against the New Gods. He is Odin, the All-Father and most prominent god of the Norse pantheon, god of wisdom. In America, he works as a con artist. He meets Shadow on an airplane after Shadow's release from prison and hires him on as a bodyguard.
Mr. Wednesday is responsible for recruiting gods to help fight his war. He hires Shadow to help him as well as be a bodyguard. The gods he recruits include Mr. Nancy, Czernobog, Easter, and Mama-ji. He is often unsuccessful in recruiting gods who claim to be happy in the amount of worship they are currently getting. It is Mr. Wednesday who arranges for Shadow's home in Lakeside under the name Mike Ainsel, and his relationship with Shadow is responsible for the bulk of the events in the narrative. Toward the end of the book, it is revealed that the entire plot was a two-man con between Wednesday and Loki, with Shadow acting as a distraction. His son, Thor, is only briefly mentioned in the book as having killed himself in Philadelphia in 1932.
Significance in narrative Edit
Shadow Moon is released from prison early to attend his wife's funeral. On his journey home, he encounters Mr. Wednesday who offers him a job. Shadow eventually agrees to be Mr. Wednesday's bodyguard after a night of drinking with him and Mad Sweeney.
Mr. Wednesday takes Shadow to Chicago where they meet Czernobog and the Zorya sisters. It is Shadow who entices Czernobog to join Mr. Wednesday's cause by betting on a game of checkers. He loses the first game, allowing Czernobog to smash Shadow's head in with a hammer but wins the second game, meaning Czernobog will have to wait until the war is over.
Shadow and Wednesday rob a bank before leaving Chicago and heading to the House on the Rock in Wisconsin where they meet up with Czernobog and Mr. Nancy. They meet Backstage with several other Old Gods, including the forgotten god, Alviss, and Mama-ji, as Wednesday tries to convince them to go to war against the New Gods. After Shadow is captured by the Spooks and escapes with Laura's help, Wednesday sends him to Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Parlor to lay low for a while.
Shadow and Mr. Wednesday leave Illinois and travel to Wisconsin. Wednesday sends Shadow to the town of Lakeside under the guise of Mike Ainsel. Mr. Wednesday frequently visits and takes Shadow on trips around the US to recruit more Old Gods for the coming war, including Easter, Whiskey Jack, and John Chapman.
Mr. Wednesday meets on his own with the leader of the New Gods, Mr. World, and is assassinated.
Shadow travels with Mr. Nancy and Czernobog to the Center of America to retrieve Mr. Wednesday's body from the New Gods. They take Wednesday's body to the World Tree in Virgina and Shadow climbs onto the tree to hold the nine-day vigil for Wednesday.
Mr. World kills Technical Boy and dedicates his death to Odin, starting the process to bring Mr. Wednesday back from the dead. Shadow discovers that he was in fact not a bodyguard, but a distraction so Wednesday and Loki could pull off their two-man con: the war. This war would arrange for Odin and Loki to gain power and strength. Shadow arrives in Rock City to stop the war. He reveals to the gods it was all a con between Mr. Wednesday and Mr. World and the gods disband.
Shadow visits Iceland where he encounters the Old World version of Mr. Wednesday and returns his glass eye to him.
Physical appearance Edit
Mr. Wednesday is first introduced as a man with grayish-red hair and a stubbly beard that matched. He has mismatched eyes, one of which is glass. He is smaller than Shadow but seems to take up more room with a "craggy, square face with pale gray eyes."
- Grimnir, Grimm, Gondlir Wand-Bearer
- Odin, Bor's son
- Cargo (by Spooks)
- "Uncle" Emerson Borson (by Shadow in Lakeside)
- James O'Gorman
- All-Father, Oldfather, Olfather
- Votan (by Czernobog)
- Glad-of-War, Raider, Third, One-Eyed, Highest, True-Guesser, Hooded-One
- Lord of Asgard, Lord of the Gallows, Lord of the Aes
- "So you aren't American?" asked Shadow. "Nobody's American," said Wednesday. "Not originally. That's my point."
- "There has never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous."
- "Information and knowledge: two currencies that have never gone out of style."
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Notes and trivia Edit
- He is Odin, the All-Father and most prominent god of the Norse pantheon, god of wisdom.
- He has two ravens: Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory)
- He has two wolves: Freki and Geri
- Mad Sweeney calls Wednesday "tree-hanger," a reference to Odin's self-sacrifice on the World Tree, Yggdrasil, which lasted nine days and during which he learned the nine runes, nine secrets, and twice-nine charms. The charms are an important factor in the character of Mr. Wednesday.
- It is also a reference to the nature of the sacrifices made to him.
- Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab created a perfume oil based on Mr. Wednesday for their line "American Gods I". It was described as: Sleek cologne, the memory of a Nine Herbs Charm, gallow wood, and a splash of whiskey. They also created another perfume oil based on Mr. Wednesday's glass eye, described as: The depths of Mimisbrunnr: mugwort and frankincense, grey amber and ash. Finally, a third perfume oil was created for the "American Gods III" line, representing Mr. Wednesday in his All-Father form. It is described as: Oak leaves and ash, honey mead, wolf musk, a flutter of black feathers, and bronze fennel.