American Gods is a giant tome of a book, with huge chunks removed or left out once Neil Gaiman realized how long his tale was getting. So when Bryan Fuller and Michael Green turned the book into a show, they had to move things around, change characters, and create a natural season end. And so the ending we’re going to get is brand new.
When we asked star Ricky Whittle if he had read the book before he’d heard they were making a show, he said he hadn’t:
I didn’t read the book and I think I’m the perfect advertisement for this show in that I’m completely fresh to American Gods and to Neil Gaiman, and my mind was blown. It was a page-turner. The scripts were page-turners. And the episodes Ive been watching of the show made me want to binge watch the whole season. I want season two already. It’s incredible work. The storytelling is fantastic.
He also went on explain that he’s only just been able to recognize all the changes from the book to the screen:
I didn’t get to kind of finish the book until we wrapped, but that’s when I really realized what Bryan (Fuller) and Michael (Green) had done with the storyline. The whole kind of timeline had changed around, so even hardcore American Gods fans won’t know what’s going on in this show. It’s going to be fresh for their eyes. Even the season finale is not in the books. So, everything you loved that’s in the book is going to be in the show, but then so much more.
We’ve know for a while that the show was expanding the histories of the gods and the vignettes about immigrants and their gods in the United States. We also know that the backgrounds of the characters have been changed and updated to better fit 2017 (the book was released in 2001). But this tells us that a moment that is usually a big climactic event—the finale—has been written especially for the show. I’m sure we’ll get a better idea of the shape of those things as the episodes air, but right now we’re all left wondering.
American Gods premieres April 30.