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When the shadows are long, that is my time. And you are the long shadow.

–Zorya Vechernyaya to Shadow

Zorya Vechernyaya was one of the Old Gods, and comes from Slavic mythology. She is one of the Zorya.


Zorya Vechernyaya represents the Evening Star, Mercury, and has two sisters, Zorya Utrennyaya (Morning Star) and Zorya Polunochnaya (Midnight Star). She lives in a brownstone in Chicago that she share with Czernobog and her sisters.

Significance in series[]

"The Secret of Spoons"[]

Shadow and Mr. Wednesday arrive at an apartment in Chicago. Zorya Vechernyaya tells Wednesday that Czernobog, who is currently in a field killing a cow with a bolt pistol, will not be happy to see them. She brings them into the apartment and Wednesday presents her with the vodka, romance novels, and binoculars that Shadow picked up from the store. Zorya Vechernyaya downs the entire bottle of vodka before calling for Zorya Utrennyaya to come to the kitchen. She explains that their other sister, Zorya Polunochnaya, is asleep. Wednesday passes Zorya Utrennyaya the books and sets the binoculars down in front of Zorya Polunochnaya's door.

Zorya Utrennyaya makes coffee for Wednesday and Shadow and Zorya Vechernyaya offers to read Shadow's fortune. Shadow heads for the bathroom just as Czernobog returns home. He is not pleased to see Wednesday and throws a lamp at him. Wednesday offers him the cigarettes and herb Havarti but Czernobog still wants him to leave. Zorya Vechernyaya tells Czernobog she already invited them to dinner.

Shadow offers to help with the cooking but Zorya Vechernyaya refuses. She tells him they are all relatives who came over together a long time ago and that family is people you stick with even when you don't like them. Shadow gives Zorya Utrennyaya his empty coffee cup and Zorya Utrennyaya turns it upside down to read the coffee grinds. She whispers with Zorya Vechernyaya who lies to Shadow that he will have a happy life with many children. Shadow asks if there is any good news and she replies that his mother died of cancer but he won't.

From the living room, Czernobog becomes upset with Wednesday and raising his voice. Zorya Utrennyaya hurries in to shush him so he doesn't wake up Zorya Polunochnaya. Wednesday is trying to get Czernobog to come to the meeting because everyone else will be there and will think Czernobog is weak if he doesn't show. Czernobog tells Wednesday he wants his brother, Bielebog, not him.

They sit down to a terrible dinner of tough meat and soft potatoes, which Wednesday enthusiastically enjoys. Czernobog asks Shadow if he is Black. Where he is from, everyone is the same color so everyone fights over shades. Bielebog has light hair where Czernobog has black hair so everyone thought Bielebog was the good one and it turned Czernobog into the bad one. They are both gray now so there is no longer a way to tell who is light and who is dark.

Czernobog shares how they first arrived in New York and it wasn't so bad but then they came to Chicago and it's not so great. He had to get a job in the slaughterhouse and became a "knocker" on the killing floor. Zorya Vechernyaya opposes him telling cow killing stories at dinner but he continues anyway. He explains how it takes strength and skill to artfully kill a cow properly with a sledgehammer. If not done properly, the cow becomes angry and angry meat tastes bad. He complains about the ease of the bolt gun that makes it so anyone can kill cows now. He asks Shadow if he plays checkers and invites him to a checkers game after dinner and Shadow agrees.

"Head Full of Snow"[]

Mr. Wednesday enters Zorya Vechernyaya's bedroom where she is getting ready for bed. He comments on how she has learned to live with less but she is deserving of better. He pours his coffee grounds onto his saucer and asks her to read his fortune. She tells him that whatever he is trying to do, he will lose. They go outside for a walk in the night and Zorya Vechernyaya warns Wednesday that what he is doing will kill him this time. He gives her a kiss to remind her of when they were young. Zorya Vechernyaya pulls away just as it starts raining and asks him angrily what he has done. Wednesday responds with "war."

"House on the Rock (episode)"[]

At the House on the Rock, Wednesday wanders 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.

Backstage in Wednesday's memories at Odin's Hall, the gods are visible 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.

At a Motel America diner, Wednesday pours mead as the Old Gods feast and socialize. A sniper fires into the diner, shooting down Old Gods with bullets engraved with "Deus Mortuorum" (Latin for "God is dead").

In the aftermath, Wednesday finds Zorya Vechernyaya incapacitated by a chest wound. He cradles her as Czernobog holds her hand and she dies. Czernobog curses the person who killed her so that they will not die in battle, no one alive will take their life, and "she" will find them.

"The Beguiling Man"[]

Outside the Motel America diner in the parking lot, Czernobog laments Zorya Vechernyaya's murder at the hands of the New Gods. Mama-ji tells Czernobog they will summon another Zorya but Czernobog explains that there are no more believers left for her old star to rise again. He blames Mr. Wednesday for allowing Zorya to die but a new star will still rise. Wednesday promises them vengeance. Mama-ji agrees to join Wednesday's war because the fight was brought to her doorstep.

Physical appearance[]

Zorya Vechernyaya is the first sister Shadow meets. She is described as a gaunt, old woman with a thick Eastern European accent and wears an "old red coat, buttoned up to the chin." She is birdlike with cold, thin hands and wears "a large amber ring on her middle finger."

Cultural Background[]

The Zorya, also called Zoria or Zaria (The Auroras) are Slavic mythological beings.

They were originally described as two beautiful virgins, the servants and daughters of Dažbog or Dajbog, the god of the Sun, tasked with opening and closing the gate of their father's celestial palace, allowing him to travel through the sky. Zorya Vechernyaya, also called Zoria Vetcherniaia, was the Evening Aurora, the Dusk, whose task was to close the gates of the palace behind her father when he returned from his journey in the world.  [1]

A later myth describes the Zorya as rather three "little sisters", the Evening, Midnight and Morning Auroras, tasked with guarding Simargl, a winged lion or dog, trapped in the Ursa Minor (Little Bear) constellation by an iron chain attached to the star Polaris. This task was of cosmic importance, for if Simargl ended up freeing himself, it would cause the end of the world. 

The Zorya were later confused with the Zvezda, two sisters, also servants of Dajbog, who embodied the morning and evening stars. Like the Zoria, they were tasked with opening and closing the gates of the celestial palace for the Sun, but they also attended to Dajbog's white horses. Zorya Vechernyaya was associated with Vetcherniaia Zvezda, the Evening Star (the planet Mercury), who shared Zorya Vechernyaya role as the gate-closer. Vetcherniaia Zvezda was invoked in a Russian exorcism ritual to banish the fever. [2]

According to some accounts, Zorya Vechernyaya was sometimes considered as the wife of Myesyats, the god of the moon, and the mother of the Stars in the sky (a role that was also filled by her sister, Zorya Utrennyaya, and by the Sun deity under its female form).        

 In Neil Gaiman’s interpretation of the Zorya sisters as a manifestation of the neopagan Triple Goddess archetype, Zorya Vechernyanya embodies the Crone, looking as an old woman and representing the “evening” of existence, the end of life.


To edit the Gallery page, go to Zorya Vechernyaya/Gallery.


Note: The pictures are shown in episodic order. To see the order of the episodes, please visit the Episode guide.

Notes and trivia[]

  • The Zorya sisters are based on two guardian goddesses of Slavic mythology. The two goddesses represent the Auroras, watching over the doomsday hound, Simargl.
    • Zorja Utrennjaja is the Morning Star and associated with Venus.
    • Zorja Vechernjaja is the Evening Star and associated with Mercury.
    • A third sister is described in some versions of the myth, however, Zorya Polunochnaya was created specifically by Neil Gaiman for the novel.


  2. New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, by Félix Guirand