Meet American Gods' Vulcan, an Old God Turned New

Image: Corbin Bernsen as Vulcan (Starz)
Image: Corbin Bernsen as Vulcan (Starz)

It’s to be expected that in adapting a book into a television show, some new characters are going to show up. On American Gods, Vulcan (Corbin Bernsen) is now in the very interesting position of being a old god who has found a way to glut his need for worship in America as, partially, a new god.


This version of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and metalworking, has turned himself into the god of firearms in the United States. And if there is a new god that is very American, it is the god of guns.

According to executive producer Michael Green in an EW interview, Vulcan’s appearance in the American Gods show owes its existence to a factory town visited by author Neil Gaiman. The town, which had a statue of Vulcan in it, had experienced a large number of fatal accidents, because it had been determined that it was cheaper to pay off the families than to fix the factory.


This clip from this week’s upcoming episode American Gods, courtesy of Nerdist, shows Vulcan explaining how his old form of worship fits perfectly into guns. It is, as with all things American Gods, very visceral and still cerebral.

Katharine is the former managing editor of io9.

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Jerk Dently

A god that I think is missing from Gaiman’s pantheon of New Gods is Automobile. The car has shaped American life and culture arguably more than than any other technology. It has impacted how communities were built and planned, businesses serve their customers, etc.