|Yahr, fear the power of the elf-man!|
I don't agree with your Hades theory but I like the cut of your jib. You give some very thought provoking insight on the book. I also agree that Neil does not want us to come by information too easily. He read many a book to acquire his vast knowledge of mythology. If he can make us do a little research and discovery I think he feels he has accomplished something.
There are definitely greek and roman gods in American Gods. eg Medusa is the woman in the cottage with the dead mice in the fridge.
I'd have to go back and read that part, but I don't remember that character being Medusa. According to Greek myth Medusa was the mortal sister of the three and she was killed. Again, my copy is elsewhere, but could someone re-read that section to find out who that character is? And weren't there three of them? To me they bore some resemblance to the Euminides (the Kindly Ones) that appear frequently throughout the Sandman series. Again they are Greek mythological characters, and I'm quite sure that I'm wrong.
Hi all, I am not ready to propose any new hypothesis at the moment, but I would like to point out a couple of things:
I really liked all the hyotheses I found here, yet I think the guy can be none of the old gods you proposed. The reason is this: none of them perfectly fits, and we all know how meticulous Neil is when quoting mythology. He wasn't forced to include any of the clues, so I guess they should fit, am I right? I mean, if he should say, for example: "it's Hades", would you feel satisfied? And why him and not Amen or Pachacamac? There must be a god with ALL the chararcteristics of the guy.
I especially liked the idea of Neil making up a god and pretending he knows who that god is so that we look around and read mythology. I think that would be like him, and it would be supported by one of the links he just posted in the FAQs, where you can read:
"In fact, younger readers are among Gaiman's most enthusiastic, and expressive, fans. "What I enjoy most is when people say to
me, 'When I was sixteen I didn't know what I was going to do with my life and then I read "Sandman" and now I'm at University studying mythology,' or whatever. I think it's wonderful when you've opened a door to people and showed them things that they never would have been interested in, things that they would never've known they would have been interested in." Recognizing his responsibility to his audience, Gaiman considers it a "point of honor" that the history reflected in his fiction is "good
history: that the mythology is good, accurate mythology."
I also appreciate the idea of the Judaeo-Christian God, yet I think that the guy is too well characterized to be Him. First, the relation with money seems too strong (it is described as addiction, if I'm not wrong), second, the question about the woman would not fit at all.
I do not believe that Shadow is his son, 'cause this would complicate things in such a terrible way! And I think Wednesday needed to sacrifice HIS son, not ANY son. Yet, there are a couple of things which might seem to support this idea: Shadow is always playing coin tricks. This could be a suggestion of his connection with a money god. And: in the end, he gives roses to Samantha, and she doesn't remember seeing him, so that she doesn't know who gave her the flowers! Doesn't that sound familiar?
Maybe there could be some kind of relation between them, passing through Wednesday. This would also explain the fact that the forgettable god seems to have understood what Wednesday is doing (when he asks something and the answer is "I know it's crooked, but it's the only game in town").
And what about him being a new god? After all, he is in the "sanctum sanctorum" of a casino (which in truth is, we are told, a place where people go to make sacrifices, so there should be a god to whom these sacrifices are made). And if he knows what Odin is doing, the fact that he is with him when he meets the old gods is not a problem. At the same time, the other gods, as well as Shadow, can not remember him, so he can stay among them without them really noticing him.
So, I think the options are: an old god not yet proposed (unless thre is something else to the ones proposed that no one has found), a new god, or just a character Neil made up.
Any other suggestion?
A stupid point or two
1) I tend to believe Mr. Gaiman when he says he didn't use any Greeks or Roman gods. There is just no legitimately credible explanation of how they could be in America. Greeks would have had to come to the US in, what, at most recent 100 BC? Kind of far fetched. Hades seems to be a longshot at best.
2) I'd like to think that no one here has the answer yet because there are problems with everyone mentioned. I'd like to think that whoever the god is, they fit perfectly.
3) I really liked Amen. I think the Luxor is a big clue and the characteristics seem to match for the most part. Seems to have been associated with money. Could be in Vegas because well, Egypt isn't exactly desert but it's close. Who knows though?
A side point about the who is it thing. When reading the book and stumbling across the unnamed gods question about the god who has been missing for 200 years, something clicked. There was a previous reference to a god who had been missing for 200 years! All excited I tore through the ealrier parts of the book to find it, finding it on page 157. My heart sank though when I realized Ibis was talking about Set, so the genders don't match. Pissed me off immensely.
Actually, it's "You can be me when I'm gone."
I doubt it's significant. According to "The Sandman Companion," that poem came out of a silly joke:
"The phrase 'You can be me when I'm gone' was something I said years ago to author Geoff Ryman at a science fiction convention. I was leaving early, so I took off my name badge and said, 'Here you go, Geoff. You can be me when I'm gone.'"
He also says he wrote six or seven verses of that poem. I'd like to see the others.
He is god of money, probably just called Money or Cash... Figured that since all the major influences of the West was represented by a god,except money, he should be it. Fits considering he appeared to have some power and also was always wearing expencive clothing.
The Greeks were not the source of all their deities. They borrow a good many from previous cultures and gave them new names. Years and years ago I read about a Sumerian/Babylonia god from whom the idea of Mercury came. I am earnstly seeking that reference again in hopes that it might shed some light on this matter.
Ah-ha! Here it is! Oh, damn. Forget it again.
But the Sumerian connection might fit -- darker skin, indistinctive, a name that's hard to remember for myriad reasons...
Anyone consider it might be Gilgamesh...the forgotten one?
Just a thought.
But what is the connection between Gilgamesh and currency or transactions? Besides, in Sumerian lore, Gilgamesh was not a God, but a Hero.
But I'm sure that point could be debated. ;>
Although that is certainly another consideration to be pondered...
I'm posting this partially to bring it to the top, since there's someone who wants to know the answer, and there'll probably be some others soon enough.
The other reason is to add in, since it's been a while since I've posted it, that I feel that the god is Tezcatlipoca, who matches in powers, style, and look the description of the forgettable god. Points out of his favor are that he isn't particularly attached to soma, except insofar as all gods are, and he isn't egyptian, which may have been a hint from which hotel he was in. For more details, read my previous posts on the subject.
Just a quick note on the Amun theory. One factor that would suggest it is him is that the original god was subsumed in the persona of Amun-Ra. Thus, the god as such would still exist and be worshipped by the Egyptians, but not in the form that he was originally. In this way, he can be a god who everybody "forgets," in a way.
Just a thought.
I actually liked the idea that this god is a god of Luck or of Gamblers that someone posted earlier, but I can't think of any such gods off the top of my head.
Just wanted to hop in and mention a couple things regarding this issue:
1) Neil didn't make up the god, as some have proposed. He tells us in the beginning: "only the gods are real". I took this to mean that if we were interested in any of the gods in the book, you'd be able to find info on them without Neil (Internet, books, etc)
2) We keep coming back to Pluto/Hades, and I think I understand why: familiarity. For most of us, the Greek/Romans myths were our entrance to all of mythology, and I'm sure plenty of us know more about Greek/Roman myth than any other pantheon. Again, though, I take Neil for his word that he couldn't get them to America, so they're not there. However, that being said...
3) Neil could've easily gotten the Greek Gods to America. Back in the time of the Trojan War era there was a minor chief from a Greek island whose ship had gone past the Pillars of Hercules, and instead of reaching the land of the Dead (as it has been reported), he found himself in a different land...what happened there is not known [and here's the problem, how do you avoid duplicating the Viking story?], but at some point he made his way home, where he found his wife had married some other chief. Angered, he killed them both. Eventually this man's story became entwined with others to make up the Odysseus/Ulysses myth.
That's an example, but the fact that Odysseus sails past the Pillars of Hercules is more or less the 'enabler' for incorporating the Greek gods into American Gods. Of course, it's a little late now.
4) I'd be interested in the '200 years' connection between Forgotten Guy and Ibis, but of course, when I looked for Forgotten Guy's conversation with Shadow where the 200 years was mentioned, I couldn't find it
That's all of my thoughts for now, I need review the book and the ideas posted above before I can venture further
Has anyone suggested:
or better yet:
I was in Vegas a week or so ago, and that particular manifestation lurks over every shoulder.
|Companion to owls|
Hey, I like the idea of Desire!! As desires are something difficult to grasp, then it would explain the fact that no one remembers this god long enough.
I dont really think that's the answer, though, but I like the possibility
Since Neil's into Indian gods, perhaps it's Soma/Chandra: the Moon God. He is the God of psychic visions, dreams, inner planes, and the God of forgetfulness.
Or the Okoloma god Amafoobramienga.
|Companion to owls|
I assume you talk about Indian gods from India, not native American. If so, then you're talking about more or less what I said -Soma, which as he srpung from the holiness of soma the substanc,e is also related to sacrifices. I admit there wasn't much substance in my theory, but sacrifice is so predonimant in the book I am very reluctant to discard the theory. Also, if he's a Moon god, and Shadow's surname would be Moon, it's another connection.
You made this one up, didnt you?
No, it's a real god. African. Check out this site: http://www.igbaniawo.org/Religion.html
Perhaps his extremely unpronouncable name is a factor in its inability to be remembered.
My initial feeling upon reading the book was that the god in question was Pluto/Plutus. Which of course made no sense, as who would bring him over to America? Then I got to thinking about numismatics. Since Roman coinage was the province of Juno (in her guise as Juno Moneta) I think that may eliminate any consideration of the unnamed god being Pluto/Plutus (although the obvious connection to the lost goddess being Persephone is still very attractive).
I got no ideas. I figured out who Shadow was supposed to be (that is, which god he would represent) about the time of the whole mistletoe dealie. But I don't believe that answer is in any sense definitive. I am troubled by the question of who this god is. Pluto/Plutus was such a good answer...
Hi, i'm new to the site, have been flicking through, and isn't soma also a drink which is basically the essence pf spirit. Trying v hard to remember where I read this but as the forgotten god, it just doesn't seem right.
Hades seems like he might be the right way to go, but again, I think maybe he's a god who just never had a name. Too old, perhaps?
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