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Shadow's Real Name - Confirmed
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Just got back from the signing in Savoy, IL. I'll probably post a description of that over in the tour portion of the bbs in the morning, if someone else doesn't beat me to it. But, as soon as I got up to the table, I /did/ ask the Big Question.

Question: Shadow's real name is Baldur Moon, correct?
NG: Yes. I thought it was a bit of a giveaway.

I didn't think to ask about the other big question on the boards, the "forgettable God." Sorry. (I'm only human. ^_-)
 
Posts: 12 | Location: Charleston, IL, USA | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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nice work, koanju.
 
Posts: 6 | Registered: June 16, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Trendy Nihilist
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This must be embarrasing for the Salon.com reviewer who thought that Shadow was Jesus!

http://www.salon.com/books/review/2001/06/22/gaiman/

Michael
 
Posts: 13534 | Location: Denmark | Registered: June 20, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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koanju, good job and thanks for asking. And Neil said that it would take several readings. Hah, it only took a you and Kitty to figure it out.

um... what was the other big question? I forgot or did I not know.

Anyone want to send that reviewer a notice about Shadow's name?

Note for anyone skiping the "Shadow's Real Name Thread": For any finding or speculations as to Baldur Moon it's on this url if you're too lazy to find it yourself.
http://www.americangods.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000003.html

[This message has been edited by Salpsan (edited 06-22-2001).]
 
Posts: 936 | Location: N. Miami Beach, FL | Registered: June 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for asking and getting that confirmed.


I am now $40 richer smile I made a bet that Baldur was Shadows real name and now I win.

The sad part is I just took it as a shot in the dark...Yay for Baldurs Gate 2
 
Posts: 325 | Location: New York, New York USA | Registered: June 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yay! That would have bothered me forever if we hadn't had it confirmed! I kept second guessing myself, and worrying about it. I'm not very patient. I can sleep peacefully now though! Yay for koanju!
 
Posts: 389 | Location: Alabama | Registered: June 16, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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so what are the clues given that that is his real name? i feel so slow on the uptake now...
 
Posts: 21 | Location: new york, usa | Registered: June 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you didn't find it. it's in the Shadow's Real name thread. My url above will take you to it.
 
Posts: 936 | Location: N. Miami Beach, FL | Registered: June 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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right, so i posted too soon before reading the rest of the topics...whoops!! smile
that's what i love about gaiman's stories, there's always so much hidden within it that it's fun to read a bazillion times...something new pops out each time!
 
Posts: 21 | Location: new york, usa | Registered: June 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by aeya:
that's what i love about gaiman's stories, there's always so much hidden within it that it's fun to read a bazillion times...something new pops out each time!



And one of my teachers in High School said, "He doesn't write literature, he writes SF."
"but teach, some colleges have classes on Neil and his work."
"What are you reading?"
I smile, "A satire," and I stopped talking to her and returned to GO
 
Posts: 936 | Location: N. Miami Beach, FL | Registered: June 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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you knowI'm kinda suprised it was that simple. if for know other reason then Baldur existed in mythology before. so i would think that Baldur would already be walking around as a god.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Angle Man:
you knowI'm kinda suprised it was that simple. if for know other reason then Baldur existed in mythology before. so i would think that Baldur would already be walking around as a god.



Maybe Baldur never came over with the rest of the gods.
 
Posts: 936 | Location: N. Miami Beach, FL | Registered: June 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mtxx:
This must be embarrasing for the Salon.com reviewer who thought that Shadow was Jesus!

http://www.salon.com/books/review/2001/06/22/gaiman/

Michael



Oops - didn't mean to post twice.

[This message has been edited by calliope (edited 06-28-2001).]
 
Posts: 139 | Location: bethlehem, pa, usa | Registered: June 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mtxx:
This must be embarrasing for the Salon.com reviewer who thought that Shadow was Jesus!

http://www.salon.com/books/review/2001/06/22/gaiman/

Michael



I thought that the reviewer was merely pointing out the parallels between Shadow's journey and Christ's, making Shadow a dead-ringer for a 'christ-figure,' a term overutilized in dissecting fiction (and thus oft-avoided). I didn't feel that it was her opinion that Shadow was, in fact, Jesus. But then, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she did think Shadow was Jesus.
 
Posts: 139 | Location: bethlehem, pa, usa | Registered: June 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<Tindalos>
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As far as Shadow being a Christ figure, look at most western polytheistic religions and you may find more than you think. Odin on the tree, Prometheus(sp) on the cliff having his liver devoured, Arthur awaiting mankind's need. All represent penance of one sort or another. The fact the reviewer chose a Jesus figure is a sign of the times and perhaps it illustrates the point that was made in the books. Our interest is fleeting, our needs immediate, and when all else fails, pick a great birthday.
 
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>As far as Shadow being a Christ figure, look at most western polytheistic religions and you may find more than you think. Odin on the tree, Prometheus(sp) on the cliff having his liver devoured, Arthur awaiting mankind's need. All represent penance of one sort or another. The fact the reviewer chose a Jesus figure is a sign of the times and perhaps it illustrates the point that was made in the books. Our interest is fleeting, our needs immediate, and when all else fails, pick a great birthday.<

The ordeal on the tree/rock shows up throughout western religions, and I agree that the Christ figure conclusion is a bit of a leap. I wouldn't be surprised if the reviewer was pointed to that conclusion by the spear in the side during the ordeal, simply because someone with a Christian background and only a passing knowledge of mythology could easily see the ordeal and spear as referring directly to Christ on the cross.
 
Posts: 3 | Registered: June 27, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'll accept that Neil "confirmed" Koanju's suggestion for Shadow's name, but what I can't accept is that the name really describes his identity. I see at least three different mythological identities surfacing in Shadow.

1. Baldur - sure, the mistletoe references, the fact that he's Odin's son, the fact that he's always described as having a "good heart," and the "new spring" at the end seem to point to Baldur. But it's just not enough. It also bothers me that the only important legend about Baldur is the legend of his death, and Shadow doesn't die the way Baldur does.

2. Thor - 1932 suicide or no 1932 suicide, some of the elements just point too strongly to Thor to completely discount his presence. First Shadow calls an enormous winter storm, later on the tree he first feels "fully alive" in the midst of the storm, and the description of his ride on the thunderbird implies a major affinity with the beast and the natural force it represented.

3. The Fisher King - while the stories of Odin on the tree, Prometheus on the rock, etc. are numerous and old, I don't think that the notion of the "death and rebirth of the king leads to the rebirth of the land" is part of all of them. Odin's "vigil" seems to have been about personal growth and insight, not revitalization of the land. The connection suggested by the fact that "The Land" speaks to Shadow in his dreams indicates that he has a deeper spiritual connection to this particular area than "Baldur the Norse god" would.

In short, I think that whatever it may have read on Shadow's birth certificate, his actual IDENTITY is far more complex than one simple name. I think he's a new, American God, one with native blood and the strengths and affinities of his father's other sons. What do others think?
 
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<Angle Man>
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I also have trouble thinking his mother's going to name her son baldur. you'd think if that was his birth name shadow would have figured things out a lot sooner.
 
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Well, if you've ever travelled (or even talked to people) from say, Minnesota, you'd be surprised. Besides, if I remember correctly, Baldur was born in Norway. Which means it wouldn't be as uncommon as say, someone in L.A. being named Baldur.
 
Posts: 12 | Location: Charleston, IL, USA | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with Hiro, that Shadow is made up of many traditions. That was why I thought his mother was significant, and Shadow's coloring was brought up too many times for it too be unimportant. I tend to think she is native american, and so maybe Shadow is a mixture of the old-world gods that do not flourish, and the people of the land. Also, it occurred to me, that scene that Shadow was showed with his mom and Wednesday (and how creepy is that, by the way? Watching your friend hit on your mom?) only showed them flirting. It never specifically stated that DNA tests would match them up. I know, I know, several of the things Shadow does (such as dying) may not have worked if he was not W's son, but maybe believing he was was enough? There just wasn't enough proof for me; it would really change things if Shadow was really sired by some other sneaky god. Oh well, just ruminating. Too many English classes trying to make you read stuff into things, so now I always think there are hidden meanings. I should probably take it as said.
 
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