I do like the link you make with the "unspokeness" theme, though. Secrets, the past, godlike authority figures found to be all too human, flawed, even abusive of their power, these are all major themes that occur over and over in Neil's work.
Also, do you have a link with a definition of the 8th Dynamic? What attributes did you see in it connecting it to the Nameless God? It's mentioned in your first link but not really described much... Though given the secretive nature of the church, that might be a bit much to ask. hm, there's that unspokenness again... though I'm not thinking that's enough to make a strong connection.
I have heard the Languages of Apocalypse,
and now I shall embrace the silence.
|Weirdy American Tart Thing|
I just finished re-reading American Gods and while I was reading it I thought the unnamed god was Luck, but the more I think about it, Luck would be female and this was obviously male and I just don't know who he was. It could be the Flying Spaghetti Monster for all I know. Although that'd be a new god though...
Minister of Kraftwerk in the Realm of U & P, Order of the Pineapple with frond for advancement in Nap studies.
The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive
|Great wyrm of Toronto|
I'm thinking it's Hades.
Traditionally, in addition to being god of the Underworld, Hades was also the god of all the earth's treasures as well. Also, Hades was not his actual name.
Hades' actual name was apparently purposefully forgotten by the Greeks who, while they gave him his due as most gods-fearing people do when worshiping, did not want to call his attention and wanted to remain clear from his realm for a while. It was considered really bad-luck to utter Hades' true name, if he actually had one.
This might have already been mentioned here or in some of the other threads -- but I think our unknown rich gentleman is the American equivalent of the Greek god of the Underworld: his hands in unseen (and probably in some cases illegal) riches and gambling enterprises, and his face always unseen -- from a resonance of over a thousand years of attempting to obscure him out of fear.
You can't take the sky from me.
My guess is GAD - a semitic god of fortune who appears in Isaiah 65:11 whith the goddess of fate/fortune, Meni.
Ah, this is a good and interesting question and since the debate rages eight years on, I'd say a consensus hasn't been met.
I like Luck, but it sounds too neat, too pat. And Neil's writing never felt that neat for me. Hades is better but there's still something wrong, something off about it. A few websites have popped up discussing the Unnamed God but still, no dice. (No pun intended.)
I'd love to know the answer - I just finished reading American Gods again - but at the same time, some things are better left unsaid (or unread).
Don't you think?
I think that the unnamed god may have something to do with the Masons. That is an all-male group with a great amount of wealth on their side. While the members of the organization do not worship a single god in particular, they all do hold a firm belief in a "greater power," usually God or Yahweh or Allah. It could be that the unnamed god is an amalgamation of the three western religions.
It might as well be Elvis?
This is nøt å signåture.™
I think it could be either Gad (the god of fortune), or Kairos/ Caerus (the god of opportunity). Sorry if these have already been suggested... I haven't had time to read the entire thread! My money's on Kairos/ Caerus though... on wikipedia it talks about how he is the god of opportunity, of the fleeting instant in which chances arise before disappearing, which could explain why in the novel he seems to be there one moment and gone the next.
Edit: also, after having done a bit more internet browsing, I guess it could be Shai, the Egyptian god of fate and luck... I guess I might be over-speculating lol. This message has been edited. Last edited by: scarlett1,
I vote for Hades/Pluto as well.
As has been pointed out, Hades simply means unseen and Pluto means wealthy - his real name is unknown or forgotten. He was not the god of death (that would be Thanatos or Orcus), he was primarily identified with the riches that came from under the earth. His realm was thought to be a bog formed at the mouths of several subterranean rivers (Styx and Acheron among them, I think) and he spent the Spring and Summer waiting for his kidnapped bride Persephone. Also, someone else pointed out that as God of the "Underworld" he would have a natural affinity for Vegas, a city run by the Mafia which was in turn based on the Roman Empire. Though originally a Greek God, Hades/Pluto was also worshiped by the Romans. Also, he had a helmet that made him invisible. I think Gaiman's depiction of how hard it is to look directly at and remember the god is a definite nod to this ability to be "hidden" (hades).
Mythologically, it's hard to think of any other deity that so perfectly fits the description in the novel.
I have an idea of who the Forgotten God may be.
Set, the ancient Egyptian God.
Why? Three reasons:
Wealth - Set was the local deity for Nubet, which meant "The Gold Town." One of His earliest names was "Nubty" or "He of the Gold Town." Being a God of gold, meant that He was also a God who was in charge of wealth. Not only was gold under Set's domain, but so was iron, silver, and copper. These three were very important metals to the Ancient Egyptians. Silver was rare, so it was considered even more precious than gold in Egypt, but I have never found reference saying Set was associated in any way to silver...though metal ore and Set are both said to be the "Bones of Geb." Also, Nubet controlled, as it was on the edge of, the trails and roadways to the desert which lead to other countries, the trade routes. Merchants and traders equal wealth and money, I would say is a very good guess.
Forgotten - Set's earliest roots and His original forms and names are pretty much forgotten. In fact, Set as a God, instead of a "demon" or God of "evil," and most of what He was a God of, is pretty much forgotten and lost due to reasons no one is sure of in Egyptology, but it is heavily debated and speculated about. He's a God that has gained much interest, and yet, He's a God that people quickly forget and push aside as simply "evil," "chaotic" and "rageful." I will disagree with the first, but I can see and agree - at times - with the last two. Plus, the animal, the "Set Animal" is forgotten. No where seen, it is not even known if it was a mythological or a real animal.
Alcohol - Now, I realize in the ancient world, alcohol was pretty much universal, and it was considered very sacred. Set was known for His love of it! He had a festival with HatHaru (HetHert/Hathor), the Goddess of love, sexuality, children, protection, and foreign lands (something else she shared with Set, along with copper and sexuality.)
Set was a sexual God, which along with wealth, and being a God who loves action, Las Vegas sounds like His kind of town. Of course, there I am only going with the "stereotypical" Las Vegas vision. He was the ancient Egyptian God, from what we known, of the desert, storms, change, death, war...many things else.
I do not profess at all to know everything of Set. I don't know half of it all! I wish I did though. I am very interested in this God though. I am reading up the scholarly books and articles on Him (and all the Religion and Gods of Ancient Egypt) though, as I can find them.
Another clue, from the book, is that Set hasn't been heard from in 200 years, and this "she" he is looking for was last seen 200 years ago. Depending on what importance "she" and He have together, it could make sense that He disappears when "she" does. It also seems like "she" needs to be hidden or likes to remain hidden, for some reason.
taken fromthis site about 3/4 down the page
I was just reading the Edda (here) and i wondered, " what if the forgotten god was God?
"After Noah's flood eight of mankind remained alive, who peopled the earth; and the races descended from them. And it was even as before: when the earth was full of folk and inhabited of many, then all the multitude of mankind began to love greed, wealth, and worldly honor, but neglected the worship of God. Now accordingly it came to so evil a pass that they would not name God; and who then could tell their sons of God's mighty wonders? Thus it happened that they lost the name of God; and throughout the wideness of the world the man was not found who could distinguish in aught the trace of his Creator."
might not work, because many people (myself included) still worship God, but its something to ponder.
I'm really ticked off that Neil won't reveal who the unnamed god is.
But I'm inclined to think it's Santa Claus.
Some of the clues fit. Others don't, but:
S.C. IS a god - we leave offerings of milk and cookies for him in return for his presents. He probably had a taste of Soma back when ppl. were more faithful or thankful to him. SO after a diet of milk and cookies for the past 70 odd years or so, he'd certainly have a yearning for the 'good stuff'.
Living in the north pole, Vegas would definitely be appealing. Perhaps Mrs Claus left 'home' first, hence his search for her. Also, we don't know what the 'real' Santa looks like, since the image we have was first created by the Coca Cola company (I think). He knows if you've been bad or good, hence his giving his 'gift' to the waitress. And his real name, i.e. the person whom S.C. is based upon, has been forgotten, tho not entirely. So when you hear it, yes it's familiar but one (including me, I must admit) is likely to forget it. As for Shadow not being able to get a good glimpse of the U. God - well, that's how S.C. operates - in secret, ergo ppl never getting more than a glimpse of him.
This theory of mine is only part flippant,
so I invite arguements from all comers.
quinis - I had a similar thought at one time, but ruled it out as God was never said to have a female counterpart. Jesus however, is another matter. Christianity has evolved into an industry rather than a religion. Originally, Jesus was all about redemption, tolerance and aspiring to greater spirituality. Today, this spiritual aspiration has been superseded by material aspiration. Vegas, in many ways, represents "Sin City" - a natural place for Jesus to look to spread "The Word". But who'd listen to him, or even believe he'd be in, Las Vegas. Also, "Jesus Christ" is not his real name, but an adaptation that has 'evolved' over time. So perhaps hearing his real name may sound familiar, but go in one ear and pass out the other. As for his lost female companion, Mary Magdalene, perhaps?
hmm. I'll have to re-read the refs to the Un. God in A.G. to freshen my memory.
I have to agree with the guy who said it's that thingy from Scientology. I'd come up with something similar myself because (1) the forgotten god follows the money and the church of Scientology is famous for asking its people for money, and (2) nobody but the highest members of the church is supposed to know about all their secrets, so the outsiders of the story forget him.
Hey, I'm replying to my own post, weird. Anyway, I just read this: As for withholding information... before the Internet, I'd tell anyone anything they wanted to know. ("Who's the missing member of the Endless?" "Destruction." "Oh.") After the Internet, I would try and avoid answering some direct questions because it might spoil things for people. "Why did Delight become Delirium?" "Who's the Forgotten God?" -- they're questions I would happily have answered for anyone who asked at a signing 20 years ago, because it wouldn't have gone any further, not in any way that mattered. Not any longer, because one day I may tell those stories. (If I knew for sure I wouldn't tell them, then I'd happily answer people now.)"
Here: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/...wers-of-romance.html http://journal.neilgaiman.com/...wers-of-romance.html So, don't worry about it and wait until he tells the bloody story.
Well, maybe I'm reading way too little into this, but:
What about FAME?
Certainly would have lots of power here in America, where we worship the tabloids.
If his female counterpart were Lady Luck, a.k.a. Fortune..."Fame and Fortune" is a pretty common phrase.
Just a thought.
I should point out that I'm re-reading for the first time in some years (can't believe I've waited this long!) so forgive me if I'm missing something huge and obvious.
OK, now that I've finished, I really have to lean back towards Dis...or maybe simply Wealth.
|aka Fiona Banks|
I think the unamed God has something to do with money or comerice, since it seems like he can feel the movement of money and I don't really remember but didn't he know where the flow of money was going to?
Wining means winning over the discord in yourself. Those who have a warped mind, a mind of discord, have been defeated from the beginning
Zoroaster or the Zerdüşt as we call it. He is not exactly a god but very close. The connection of soma makes me think he is the Zerdüşt. I believe having only one Greek/Roman god (i.e. Hades) does not make sense.
I still haven't seen anything that outdoes Pluto (a.k.a. Hades).
First, Pluto and Hades were not the god's name. In fact, no one knows what his name was since people were too afraid to ever say it or write it down - he was an unnamed god (really, few gods were referred to by an actual 'name' for that matter).
He was not actually the god of the dead, he was lord of the underworld where the dead dwelt. Pluto means "wealthy one" and he was considered a god of wealth since he owned the riches buried beneath the earth. This ties directly into his relationship to the money moving through the subterranean counting rooms in the casinos.
Hades means "hidden one" and refers to the helmet given him by Vulcan (I think) that allowed him to become invisible. This obviously coincides with his ability to not be seen directly or remembered.
Hades' queen was Persephone, goddess of Spring, who he kidnapped and only agreed to allow leave his kingdom for six months of the year. Thus he spends half the year waiting for her return just as he's waiting for the unnamed woman in the novel.
Also, it mentions he likes bogs and Hades' realm was centered in a bog at the convergence of four infernal rivers (Styx, Phlegethon, Acheron and Cocytus).
It's very difficult to find any other deity, well known or otherwise, to match that.
Also, I don't know if Gaiman thought of this, but Vegas was founded by the mob with Sicilians obviously at the forefront. Sicily was at first a Greek island and then a Roman one connecting its descendants to those pantheons. Also, according to myth, Persephone was gathering flowers in Sicily when Hades appeared and abducted her.
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