Laura was prepared for every question he might ask and is fully prepared to dominate this conversation the way she’s familiar with dominating every conversation with him. She expects her puppy to come to heel. And Emily [Browning]’s performance in the scene is very sly and very sharp in that she is slowly and patiently dismissing his concerns about her death and her infidelity so that she can just start again.
Michael Green for Entertainment Weekly on American Gods episode, “Lemon Scented You.”
This is what I mean. My feelings of discomfort for that scene doesn’t just come from me hating Laura for being a flawed woman (because I still see you guys throwing those accusations around). My assumptions about Laura’s motivations and intentions when she showed up at Shadow’s hotel room were correct - she just wants to move on without ever having to answer for the things she’s done.
She’s an awful person, so I’m really curious to know why some people are going so hard on those who don’t like Laura. I’m really confused as to why this is even a thing.
That moment when you find a Steven Universe criticism blog and get really excited to see what new and thought-provoking ideas it will bring to light so you can think about your favorite TV show in a new and more analytical way, and all the “criticisms” are just:
“I headcanon that Lars is trans. Lars is a jerk. Therefore, Steven Universe is transphobic and provides horrible representation for children, the show should be critically panned, and if you like anything past Gem Harvest you’re just desperate for representation lol.”
“I headcanon that Peridot is autistic. I don’t like Peridot. Therefore, Steven Universe is ableistic and neurotypical and provides horrible representation for children, the show should be critically panned, and also my dog pooped on the floor today so let’s hope the crewniverse dies in a fire.”
“Villains are written as characters and not one dimensional vessels of the plot? Crucify Rebecca Sugar right now.”
“The new episode had pink. I hate pink. End this show.”
So I have an American Gods fantheory about Laura Moon, and I will explicate it in convenient bulletpoint parlance. Potential Spoilers, as it works off somethings from the book.
Laura Moon is dead.
Because she’s dead, the world is dull -dim, muted, cold, and colorless- to her.
Except for anything doing with Shadow, and the color blue.
To her eyes, a weird golden aura pulses off of Shadow.
This aura is the most significant source of color and light in her world. She directly correlates it to the sun, the source of all life, and can see it for miles, sense it(in the books) from nearly anywhere.
Undead Laura is drawn to Shadow, and her reference to this aura in talking about her new love of him with Audrey suggests this aura is its primary cause.
In American Gods, deities and other divine beings(daimon in ancient greek, from which we get demon) are sustained by faith; belief, memory, and devotion.
Shadow believes in, remembers with love, and is devoted to Laura.
In the series, Wednesday asks Shadow if he believes in love: he responds “I believe the Fuck out of Love.”
Hinzelmann’s story, the story of the sacrificial child, shows that the Dead can become deities through faith and devotion.
While Laura is raised by the Sun-Coin Shadow gave her, she is sustained by his belief, remembrance, and devotion.
Laura is a daimon: a divine being and potentially, to Shadow, something like a God.
Gods and daimons are defined and redefined by the belief people have in them.
It is possible that Laura’s newfound interest to Shadow is not just a “hunger” for his devotion and faith, but also partly a slight redefinition of her character to match what Shadow wants from her, though it’s impossible to say anything about this from just one episode.
Devotion and belief itself is not enough, the Gods need specific rituals and direct, explicit, belief in their existence and power; they need Worship. This is the point of the visit to Easter and one of the points of the story of Nunyunnini. It isn’t enough for Easter that people celebrate her feast day with her symbols and holy foods; they don’t believe in or worship her when they do it.
It’s why Bilquis requires Worship from her sacrifices.
This raises a significant contradiction at the center of the book.
The New, American, Gods are not directly worshiped. No one worships Media or Technology or Science or Medicine or Globalism in the personal forms of Media/Fame, The Technical Boy, and Mr. World. No one makes icons and idols to these characters, or sacrifices to them. No one genuinely believes in the existence of, say, movie monsters, yet they appear, fighting on the side of the New Gods, at the climax of the story(iirc). They feed off of mortal participation in their portfolios.
The Intangibles(The Market/Invisible Hand) is debatable on this issue :|
The New Gods are, at essence, conceptual in a way the Old Gods are not, which explains why they would not need the specific worship the Old Gods did.
Odin’s whole plan is predicated on his ability to feed off of those partaking in his portfolio. If he could not gain power merely from other beings fighting and killing, then there would be no benefit for him in fomenting war between the Old and New deities, since none of them worship him.
Which, incidentally, undermines the whole story. If deities can be sustained by simple participation in their portfolios and representation, then they would be perfectly sustained by the modern world. Heck, Athena, goddess of Athens and Civilization, would be the most powerful deity on the planet and Odin -a God of War, Sacrifice, and Knowledge- would probably be the second or third most honored, and therefore powerful, deity in the US even without widespread popular devotion.
But they would have been fighting in his name: The battle between the Old and New Gods is set off directly by Odin’s “death”. The Old God Faction is fighting specifically to avenge him.
Can we talk about American Gods? We really have a dark-skin black woman playing a Biblical Queen and a Love Goddess. We have Black People portraying Egyptian Gods. The lead of the show is black. They have West African Gods being portrayed on mainstream media. Seeing black people’s mythology and history represented on screen by black actors is a big thing. People aren’t even aware of nor regard the several figures in Abrahamic religions being African. .