NYCC saw the release of the first teaser trailer for the new season of American Gods, and with it, that old swelling of excitement. Let’s break it down and dissect it scene by scene so we can obsess about next season until its release in 2019. Ready? Ok!

Haven’t seen it? Go ahead and watch it now. I’ll wait.

We open up with shots from The House on the Rock– the very real tourist trap in Wisconsin where Shadow and Mr. Wednesday go to meet with the other gods and discuss the looming problems with these new American gods. A bunch of old friends show up: Bilquis, Mad Sweeney, Czernobog, Mr. Nancy, and more. But we also have this gorgeous man:

Who is he? What is he about? My first thought was Thor, for the soul reason that he’s wearing armor, and there is a Thor mentioned off-handedly in the books at The House on the Rock. But he could be any number of warrior or smith gods, including Ares or even Hephaestus from Greek mythology. That mythos is absent in the books, but the wonderful Charles Dance played Vulcan last season. If we can go Roman, why can’t we go Greek? Anyway, I’ve spent too long staring at that screenshot. Let’s move on.

I’ve been to The House on the Rock a number of times. I was even there WITH Neil Gaiman once (a story for another time). The one thing you need to know about it is that when Gaiman wrote American Gods, he claimed to tone the House on the Rock down. He did. He absolutely did. It’s the weirdest place you’ll ever go and trying to describe it in the human language won’t do it justice. Luckily, we’ll get to see it on-screen next year– including the world’s largest carousel (which doesn’t have a single horse). I wish they had saved the carousel for the show. It’s alarming and terrifying and beautiful in person and it plays a very important part in the tale. I can only imagine how impressive it would be on-screen if you’ve never seen it before.

We have Laura and Mad Sweeney hugging in a field of bluebells. I associate bluebells with Texas, so maybe they’re making their way down there for some reason. But their is an oddly intimate hug between the zombie wife of our hero and her murderer. The panel hinted that Laura would discover unknown information about Shadow this season. I can only wonder what that means.

Noticeably absent is Gillian Anderson, who played Media last season. Anderson quit after show-runner Bryan Fuller quit last year, which is a cryin’ shame because her Bowie was ethereal. Instead. we’ll be gifted with Kahyun Kim, a South Korean actress, seen as the girl blowing out the electric lights in the diner. And it sounds like she isn’t going to be replacing Anderson, but a whole new character entirely– New Media, who is more representative of a trollish comment section on a YouTube-type website than the elegant but still skeevy Lucy we saw in Season 1.

Author and producer Neil Gaiman said at the NYCC panel where the trailer was released that American Gods was aiming to have five seasons and is on track for that. I have a lot of respect for a TV show that knows when to quit and doesn’t keep dragging things out past the end of the story (looking at you, Supernatural). Gaiman has another series coming out in 2019– the long-awaited Good Omens. Next year is going to be a year of Gaiman.

Norse longhouses, Coming to America segments, new gods, and Odin’s true form. What are you looking most forward to for the return of American Gods?