ByHeather Snowden, writer at
Lover of bad puns, nostalgic feels and all things Winona. Email: [email protected] Tweet: @heathbetweetin
Heather Snowden

There's a lot of ground to cover in Starz's TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods — a novel that pits the gods of old against the new. Often cited as one of the most important works of modern literature, its convoluted storyline and complex characters make for a gripping, thrilling read — taking us through America's untrodden lands and re-introducing to deities the world has forgotten.

And, as the adaptation has already been heralded as rival to HBO's Game of Thrones, the show certainly has some intricate boots to fill. It makes sense then, that Starz has gone and added a couple of totally new characters into the mix — like Vulcan, for example, who has just been announced courtesy of an EW exclusive.

First things first, here he is standing with Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) and Shadow Moon (Rick Whittle):

Vulcan [Credit: EW & Starz]
Vulcan [Credit: EW & Starz]

So, what's his deal? is essentially based on the old god of weaponry and fire, a pal handy (one would assume) to have around in a time of conflict, which is probably why he's hanging out with old Weds in the shot above. One would also assume that Vulcan is pretty loaded — in both sense of the word.

showrunner Bryan Fuller told EW:

“Vulcan’s the god of the volcano and the forge, and what is the modern-day extrapolation of what that god could do? We started talking about America’s obsession with guns and gun control and, really, if you’re holding a gun in your hand, it’s a mini volcano, and perhaps, through this character, there’s a conversation to be had.”

  • Check out the first teaser trailer for American Gods below:

The character will be played by Corbin Bernsen (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), and was apparently a rather recent brainchild of Gaiman's. Fuller explains:

“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.”

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It'll be interesting to see how exactly the character of Vulcan fits into A.G.'s narrative. The novel bases itself around the dilapidation of the Old Gods due to a lack of widespread belief and the arrival of newbies like Media and the Internet. However, for an old god who represents weaponry — the belief in which is obviously still strong — it's probable that Vulcan will be caught in the midst of a bargaining battle, with both the Old and the New vying for his alignment.

Co-showrunner Michael Green gives us a little insight:

“What’s interesting about a god like Vulcan who has bound himself to guns is it’s an evolution of what he was to what he could be, and that’s finding a new place in a world that didn’t have a place for old gods. That comes with a series of compromises but also a series of benefits for him. To say that maybe you can find a new place in this country, that it doesn’t always have to be so hard, makes him an interesting person as someone with a long history with Mr. Wednesday.”

Certainly food for thought, and this character could be a game-changing addition to the development of American Gods, don't you think?

(Source: EW)


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