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I am mankind's greatest achievement. I am the compass rose. I am fucking binary. Without me, shit don't spin.

–Technical Boy to Media, "The Beguiling Man"

Technical Boy is one of the New Gods and, as a personification of the Internet, he is a purveyor of all things related to technology. Desperate to prove himself, and hungry for respect and power, he struggles to keep his impulsivity and petulance in check, making him dangerously unpredictable.


Significance in series[]

"The Bone Orchard"[]

As Shadow walks back from Laura's funeral, the street lights go out. He sees what looks like fireflies swarming over a box in a field off the side of the road. He investigates and the box opens and attaches itself to his face, transporting him into a virtual reality.

He is seated at one end of a long room with Technical Boy at the other end. Technical Boy's Children sit on either side of Shadow, prepared to hit him if he doesn't answer Technical Boy's questions. Technical Boy blows Os of synthetic toad-skin vape smoke continuously into Shadow's face as he grills him about Wednesday. When he discovers Shadow knows nothing, he tells his Children to kill Shadow, explaining that he can delete and overwrite Shadow.

Shadow is transported back to the side of the road where the Children beat him and then lynch him from a tree. The rope breaks and he falls to the ground as the Children are massacred in front of him.

"Lemon Scented You"[]

Technical Boy leaves a club and heads to his limo. The lights overhead go out and a virtual reality box is waiting for him. Technical Boy is transported to a meeting with Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy scolds Technical Boy for hanging Shadow and beating up the wrong guy. He states that Mr. World is demanding for Technical Boy to apologize to Wednesday and Shadow. Technical Boy argues that Mr. Wednesday is recruiting gods and should be stopped but Ziggy says Technical Boy is turning Wednesday into a martyr. Technical Boy claims it is delusional that an apology will make any difference. Ziggy explains that delusions create gods all on their own and that's all Wednesday needs is just enough, even just one person, to believe.

Shadow and Wednesday are locked up together in an interrogation room. The lights dim, the door opens, and Marilyn Monroe (from The Seven Year Itch) floats into the room. Wednesday tells her they don't have any business with her. Shadow begs for it to not be real as footsteps sound down the hallway. Mr. World enters and apologizes to Wednesday for not seeing him. Wednesday warns Shadow to not speak to Mr. World. Mr. World frees Shadow from his handcuffs and tells him he already knows all about him from his blood type to his nightmares. Everything about Shadow is stored and recorded in the Book of Life.

Marilyn coughs politely to remind Mr. World to stay on track. He whistles for Technical Boy. Technical Boy enters and apologizes for lynching Shadow. Mr. World slams Technical Boy onto the table and offers to let Shadow hit him and knock out his front teeth. Shadow refuses. Mr. World absolves Technical Boy for his crime against Shadow and has him sit next to Wednesday to offer his sales pitch. Technical Boy explains how the New Gods want to offer Wednesday the opportunity to evolve with them and they will help him find his own audience. Mr. World is offering a merger with the Old Gods and to upgrade Wednesday.

Marilyn clicks a remote and the walls light up with images of the ODIN guidance satellite to be launched over North Korea. Wednesday will be re-branded and 24.9 million people will know his name, giving him a lasting place in tomorrow. Wednesday slams his hand on the table and refuses, saying they offer him exile, not a merger. The New Gods simply occupy time while the Old Gods gave people meaning. Mr. World tells Wednesday to give them meaning again before he leaves with Marilyn following after.

Technical Boy stops them, asking why Mr. World is letting Wednesday go when he has him right there. Mr. World explains that Wednesday is older than Technical Boy will ever be and has wisdom and knowledge that Technical Boy does not have. He is giving Wednesday an opportunity and respect. Technical Boy says, "fuck respect." Marilyn blows a kiss to Technical Boy and knocks out his two front teeth. As the New Gods leave, Mr. World tells them he is not their enemy.

"Come to Jesus"[]

2013

Bilquis has been reduced to homelessness and is pushing a cart along the street when she stops in front of an Ethiopian restaurant named Marib. The menus have drawings of Bilquis on the front, reminding her she was once a queen. The TV in the restaurant shows live footage of her ancient temple in Yemen being destroyed by ISIS. Later, as she is sleeping on the street, Technical Boy pulls up to offer her a new altar, giving her a cell phone. She scrolls through an online dating app, and sees a picture of herself at her most beautiful.

Present Day

Bilquis once again visits the museum housing a collection of her artifacts. She ignores a phone call from "The Man" (Technical Boy). He appears behind her and scolds her for avoiding him. He is calling in the favor she owes him.

At Ostara's Easter Day celebration, Hannah Brown (Judy Garland from Easter Parade) and one of the Children dressed as Don Hewes (Fred Astaire) have arrived. Hannah reminds Ostara of their tradition of celebrating Easter together, having merged pagan beliefs into media gimmicks, like peeps and bunnies and brunch. Easter guides her outside to meet her sheep.

Wednesday spots Hannah and Easter strolling the grounds outside. Hannah asks about Wednesday and Easter admits he was trying to recruit her. The faceless Don begins to split into multiple Dons as Hannah questions Easter. The New Gods make Old Gods new again and she wants to know why Easter would listen to Wednesday. Easter replies that it is because she is feeling "misrepresented in the media." Hannah explains that the Old Gods have to evolve in order to survive in an atheist world.

Mr. Wednesday arrives as the Children circle protectively around Easter and Hannah. He argues with Hannah about the distribution methods of worship. Technical Boy takes over one of the Children and enters the conversation, warning Wednesday that he can't fight progress. Wednesday points out the New Gods wouldn't be there if he wasn't a threat. Hannah claims they are there for Easter because Wednesday doesn't matter anymore. Wednesday insists he still matters because gods make things happen to cause belief.

Mr. World takes over another one of the Children. As Mr. World speaks, storm clouds gather above. He tells Wednesday that he only matters when it comes to war and there isn't going to be a war. The New Gods have all the advanced technology while the Old Gods are left with swords and hammers. Whether they fight or not makes no difference because the Old Gods will die out either way. Wednesday responds by dedicating deaths to Ostara just as lightning strikes the circle of Children, killing them all.

Wednesday turns to Shadow and asks if he has faith. Shadow asks for a third time for Wednesday to tell him who he is. Wednesday recites some of his many names to Shadow before finally revealing himself to be Odin. He commands Ostara to show the New Gods who she really is. Easter steps forward and lifts her arms to the air, bringing a change in the wind and clearing the thunderclouds. She takes away the spring, causing life to retreat underground throughout the country as it returns to its winter state.

Mr. World tells Wednesday he has his war. Wednesday announces the believers and non-believers can have their spring back when they pray for it. He asks Shadow if he believes and Shadow answers that he believes "everything." Laura clears her throat to announce her presence and asks to speak with her husband.

"House on the Rock (episode)"[]

A golfer tees up at the Black Briar golf course as a limo careens onto the teeing ground and runs him over. The GPS announces the destination is on the right as Technical Boy swerves across the fairway, telling the GPS he knows where he is going. He speeds into a parking garage, slamming on the breaks as he reaches spot 353 located against a wall. Mr. World crawls out of the back of the limo and passes Technical Boy a paperclip to "show." Technical Boy holds up the paperclip to a camera and the wall swings open. The Caretaker challenges Mr. World, who replies with "büroklammer" (German for "paperclip"). He welcomes Mr. World to Black Briar. Technical Boy wants to take out all of the Old Gods. Mr. World cautions him they are not ready but when they are, they will eradicate the Old Gods. He tasks Technical Boy to find his "best salesman," Media.

In the bunker, Technical Boy complains that Mr. World sent Bilquis when he could have tracked them himself. Mr. World explains that he sent her because he needs Bilquis to be complicit with the New Gods. Mr. World picks up a red telephone and says, "recover the package."

"The Beguiling Man"[]

Technical Boy stands in the middle of Times Square, calling for Media to come out. He reads a message from Media in the form of a commercial on one of the screens. He tells her to get in the car but she protests with another message about advertising being an art form of the 20th century. Technical Boy tells her that it is ancient history, like her 20th century faces. Media talks through his phone about needing insight after Wednesday attacked them at Easter's. She is adapting and evolving and will not return until she is ready in her new form. Technical Boy switches to his own Backstage to track Media who has gone "ghost in [his] machine" and is using his technology to hide in. He confronts her electric ball and tells her Mr. World needs her before he flicks her off to put her face on.

"Muninn"[]

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. Behind them, the screens are overtaken by a completed download as pop music plays and a form steps forward out of the monitor. New Media introduces herself, fresh from her upgrade. Technical Boy asks how is it an upgrade.

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.

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.

"The Greatest Story Ever Told"[]

Personality[]

Bruce Langley does not consider the Technical Boy as a villainous character. As a reflection of society, he has a "brand of millenials" in its most "vicous aspects": he is entitled, obnoxious, arrogant. But like a coin he has two sides, because he also represents all the potential of technology and all the changes it brings to society, from the evolution of medicine to carrying all human knowledge in your pocket. Technical Boy does not care what people think, because he can think faster than them, and while it does not make him an "asshole" it rather makes him "his own creature". [1]

In several interviews, Bruce Langley explained that Technical Boy has a partially artificial mind, and an artificial way of thinking, forcing him to slow down his own brain to interact with human beings (something that is not an easy feat for the god). While very clever and with a mind more advanced than everyone else, he is also a very young god who hasn't developped any conscience or any "human connection". This lack of insight makes him unable to understand things such as the survival of the Old Gods today, and his youth among the New Gods adds an "extra struggle" to his interaction with them. As a result, in his quest to assert himself over both the Old and New Gods he decided to chose recognition over respect, since none of his "teammate" give him any credit for what he does. [2]

Bruce Langley also considers Technical Boy to be an extremely lonely being, and constantly in pain. While a part of his mind is artificial, another is emotional, a "distilled humanity" born from a "condensation of human belief", and this other part has to cope with his needs to be constantly worshipped (separating him from other beings) and his need to constantly achieve, adapt and upgrade (out of fear of obsolence or stagnation, which is death for a New God). Bruce Langley concluded that Technical Boy was the "manifestation of a consciousness in pain". [3] [4] Unable to be satisfied by anything, since he is linked to a technology eternally upgrading and updating, forcing him to always "chase the next thing" to be relevant, Technical Boy suffers from a "trauma" that is an emotional translation of how an artificial mind constantly needs to incorporate new calculations and algorithms. The only times we see Technical Boy exhale, both physically and emotionally, is after he took "a big hit of synthetic toad skin": since he is always ready to adapt and react, he can only "breathe out" with the help of some kind of drug or chemical engagement. [5]


Bruce Langley explained that the Technical Boy seen in season three is not exactly the same as seen in the previous season: while his upgrade into Quantum Boy failed, what he returned to was described as something "between" Technical Boy and Quantum Boy, some of the upgrade getting "stuck" in the god. [6]

Physical appearance[]

Technical Boy's look is "more punk than god"[7] and changes with every appearance.

After having some of his teeth knocked down by Media, Technical Boy wears grills - as Bryan Fuller mentionned, he "changes grills as much as he changes hair styles" [8]. Bryan Fuller also revealed that the grill Technical Boy wears at Easter party in Come to Jesus were inspired by Fabergé eggs. [9]

Powers and abilities[]

Technical Boy is the god and embodiment of technology. As a result, he can influence, manipulate and control technology, electronics and the Internet (though he cannot control the content of the Internet). He can create applications and websites but cannot spread information or rewrite what the Internet contains, a power that belongs to New Media. Similarly to Media, he can offer deals to the Old Gods, gifting them with new platforms for their worship: to Bilquis he offered the dating website/application Sheba, and to Argus he offered a system of mass surveillance through cameras and drones. The limits of the Technical Boy's powers are greatly discussed in the show, since several deities are co-dependant to him. While Media shows herself superior in power to Technical Boy in season one, by season two Technical Boy reaffirms his power over her, mentionning that she could not exist without the technology he represents. Technical Boy and New Media's relationship is filled with the tension due to how "redundant" and parasitic they are to each other, both representing the Internet but one as a platform (technology) and the other as content (social media). In a similar way, despite Technical Boy offering him the technology needed to evolve into the god of mass surveillance, Argus only wants to obey to Mr. World (being a god of the "system" and conspiracy theories Argus is part of).

Technical Boy shows several other supernatural abilities. After having his teeth knocked out by Media in season one, and wearing jewelled grids to replace them during the rest of the season, by season two his teeth grew back.


Bruce Langley explained that Technical Boy has a partially artificial mind, an artificial intelligence faster than any computer in the world and thus allowing him to process information quickly and deducing fast statistics and logics. [10]

The Technical Boy is actually one incarnation of an older and larger deity, a New God of technology. Technical Boy is the incarnation of this god for the early 21st century, however he had several previous incarnations and has shown the ability to upgrade into new entities (see Technical Boy/Incarnations). However, contrary to Media who willingly upgraded herself into New Media and thus had her next incarnation keep memories of the previous one, it seems the Technical Boy's upgrades are unwanted and caused by his own nature as a New God, resulting in each incarnation being unaware or lacking the memories of the previous one, acting more like a replacement than a metamorphosis. It has also been shown that Technical Boy's upgrades can be "forced" on the god by external manipulation: Mr. World, with the help of the CEO, tried to upgrade Technical Boy into Quantum Boy. However this forced upgrade was a failure, since the god returned to his Technical Boy incarnation by season three.

Other incarnations[]

Technical Boy is just one incarnation of a wider and older technological deity, which has taken numerous shapes and forms throughout the United-States history.

To know more about them, see: Technical Boy/Incarnations.

Relationships[]

Mr. World[]

Interviewed about season 2, Bruce Langley described the "power play" between the two deities as related to their mental abilities: Technical Boy is an extremely fast and intelligent thinker, thanks to his artificial mind, and thus as he listens Mr. World speaks he runs other paradigms and possibilities in his consciousness, ending up processing information faster than Mr. World himself. However, Mr. World is more knowledgeable than Technical Boy, and as a result Technical Boy has a hard time understanding the things Mr. World does. [11]

In an interview given for season three, Bruce Langley confirmed that Technical Boy perceived Mr. World as both his boss and a surrogate parent figure he needed to get the approval of. [12] He also explained that Technical Boy is deeply frustrated with Mr. World's behavior towards the Old Gods, unable to understand why he would give them so much respect and act in such an honorable way when he could just kill them on the spot - though Technical Boy is noted to not know everything about the Old Gods and their powers. [13]

New Media[]

Bruce Langley described in an interview the relationship between Technical Boy and New Media as a "symbiosis": New Media could not exist without Technical Boy, but without New Media a good part of Technical Boy's worship would be missing. However Technical Boy is more than a necessity for New Media than New Media is for Technical Boy, and she can only possibly supplant him by fusing with another deity (something she attempted with Argus). However New Media is also the closest thing Technical Boy could have for a "friend". [14]

Argus[]

Bruce Langley explained in an interview that Technical Boy has power and domination over Argus, since his powers are rooted in technology - however Technical Boy also needs to be careful, because if he is not the cutting edge anymore an "old" deity" such as Argus could easily overtake him. [15]

Mr. Xie[]

Bruce Langley described Mr. Xie as the closest thing Technical Boy could have of a "fraternal" relationship since they "grew up" together from childhood (even though human and god lifespans are very different). Technical Boy was the muse and inspiration of Mr. Xie, and in return Mr. Xie shaped how Technical Boy is today. The actor described them as "always there for one another, come hell or high water, they're the people who come back to one another". [16]

Gallery[]

To edit the Gallery page, go to Technical Boy/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_-_Technical_Boy_-_Season_2

American Gods - Technical Boy - Season 2

What's_the_Deal_with_Technical_Boy?_Bruce_Langley_Explains_All_-_American_Gods

What's the Deal with Technical Boy? Bruce Langley Explains All - American Gods

American_Gods_-_Technical_Boy_-_Season_1

American Gods - Technical Boy - Season 1

Notes and trivia[]

  • Technical Boy is considered to be one of the most changed character from the novel to the series, as the Internet has evolved significantly since the novel was written in 2001.[17]
    • In the series, Technical Boy's look is "more punk than god."[18]
  • Bruce Langley made a deliberate choice to not read the novel as he went auditioning for the role of Technical Boy, since he felt the character had changed very much and he wanted to base his own interpretation exclusively on the scripts. Neil Gaiman approved of this decision. [19]
  • The television series establishes that the Technical Boy is the god of all technology. He is actually a synthetization of the "techies", a group of technology gods in the novel of which the technical boy was but a representative.
  • When asked about the voice of Technical Boy, Bruce Langley explained that the particular tone he uses comes from the Technical Boy's physical attitude: Bruce Langley deliberately plays Technical Boy a bit "hunched", with a lot of tension in his chest, shoulders and neck, resulting in the particular tone of voice used. Bruce Langley intended this to reflect the tension in Technical Boy's character and how he never relaxes. [20]

References[]

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