American Gods Wiki
American Gods Wiki

A trail of lightning speared across the clouds, and Shadow wondered if that was the thunderbird returning to its high crags, or just an atmospheric discharge, or whether the two ideas were, on some level, the same thing.
And of course they were. That was the point, after all.

Chapter Eighteen

Shadow often dreams of Thunderbirds and uses one for transportation between the World Tree and Rock City.

Significance in narrative[]

Chapter Eleven[]

Shadow heads to the library to research his dream about eagle stones and thunderbirds. That evening, Shadow practices coin tricks from one of the books he bought before falling asleep reading some of the Minutes book. He dreams about thunderbirds and a tower of skulls before being awakened by a phone call from Mr. Wednesday who yells at him for raising "such a ruckus that not even a dead man could miss it." He tells Shadow they're going to San Francisco before hanging up.

Chapter Twelve[]

While Shadow and Wednesday are Backstage, Whiskey Jack starts talking to Shadow about death and Shadow's dreams and thunderbirds. Whiskey Jack brings up Laura's not-dead state and the Buffalo and offers to help when Shadow finds his "tribe."

Chapter Eighteen[]

Shadow meanders about the meadow at the World Tree as he gets used to being alive again. He reflexively reaches into his pockets looking for a coin but only finds Mr. Wednesday's glass eye. He gets dressed and Easter takes him across the meadow to the thunderbird she had arrived on, telling him she is done and needs to rest. Horus tells Shadow he was the one who brought the thunderbird. Shadow climbs on the thunderbird's back and they take off off into the sky, with Shadow feeling as if he is riding lightning.

Shadow is consumed with joy flying on the thunderbird. He remembers his dream where he was hunting the thunderbird for a feather and then sees an image of a brown, female thunderbird, lying dead. A woman removes an eagle stone from its skull and uses it to resurrect her dead infant son. Shadow tells the thunderbird that he understands.


Graphic novel

Notes and trivia[]

  • The male thunderbirds are black and the females are brown.
  • The eagle stones within their skulls bring back the dead and their feathers are sought after by people trying to prove themselves.