Vulcan, God of Guns, Will Join the 'American Gods' TV Show

Thursday, 22 December 2016 - 3:32PM
American Gods
Thursday, 22 December 2016 - 3:32PM
Vulcan, God of Guns, Will Join the 'American Gods' TV Show
American Gods is based on a concept Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett played around with for years: what if believing in gods actually made them stronger or weaker? What if humans' belief in (or worship of) things could actually create new gods? Pratchett explored that idea in Small Gods, while Gaiman wrote American Gods, which, starting next year, will have its own highly anticipated TV adaptation on Starz, overseen by none other than Bryan Fuller, who left his position at Star Trek: Discovery to make sure American Gods hits all the right notes. That apparently included adding a brand-new god to the show: Vulcan, god of guns. Here he is with Mr. Wednesday and Shadow:


We've already noted some of the ways the show will differ from and expand on the lore in the book (the Author's Preferred Text is one of our recommended purchases), but Vulcan is a surprise. It makes sense that Americans would have a god like Vulcan, considering the unofficial American motto "God, Guts, and Guns", but who came up with him? Well, it turns out it was Gaiman himself. According to the interview between Bryan Fuller and EW:

Opening quote
"He's a brand-new addition who came from an experience Neil had. He was going through a small town in Alabama where he saw a statue of Vulcan. It was a steel town and, as he told the story, there was a factory that had a series of accidents where people were killed on the job and they kept happening because an actuarial had done the numbers and realized that it was cheaper to pay out the damages to the families of people who lost people, rather than to shut down the factory long enough to repair, and that occurred to him as modern a definition of sacrifice as there might be."
Closing quote


Fuller goes on to explain how he and Neil bounced ideas back and forth about "America's obsession with guns and gun control" and struck upon the idea that Vulcan, aka Hephaestus for all you Greek mythology nerds, was at once the god of weapon-smithing and volcanoes, and that when you hold a gun, it's similar to a miniature volcano. The two thought the character would be a good addition to America's pantheon and an interesting way to explore the place of guns in the US.

From what Fuller said in the interview, Vulcan is one of the few old gods who have managed to carve out a new, strong role in the modern world, as opposed to, say, the god of bread-making or Amazon rainforests. Still, he retains a lot of his old characteristics, and it sounds like he and Mr. Wednesday will have an interesting relationship, one we never saw in the book. According to Fuller:

Opening quote
"They're both old, fiery gods and there's something fun about these proper geezers getting together and causing trouble."
Closing quote


Pretty awesome. Even more awesome? There's going to be a comic book series in 2017.

American Gods is set to premiere on Starz in 2017.
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