'American Gods' Season 2 preview: Neil Gaiman finally gives fan-favorite Mad Sweeney his backstory

In a recent tweet, it was revealed the creator of 'American Gods,' Neil Gaiman, finally got to cover Mad Sweeney's history

                            'American Gods' Season 2 preview: Neil Gaiman finally gives fan-favorite Mad Sweeney his backstory

When someone tells you to picture a leprechaun, you'd picture a shamrock-hunting, gold-loving, 3-foot-tall being of magic, who's a little partial to pranks. Well, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised with Neil Gaiman's version of the fabled Irish imp.


'American Gods' details the story of an upcoming war between the old gods and the new gods. The old gods are being overshadowed by the gods of Technology and Globalism, and are losing their followers. The story depicts the gods of mythology as seemingly day-to-day people, who conspire against the new gods in order to restore the status quo.

Mad Sweeney is a leprechaun unlike anyone you've ever heard of before. Being six feet tall, and having a penchant for bar brawls and chugging-beer, Mad Sweeney was once a king who got cursed to insanity and to wander for the rest of his life, hence his name. Mad Sweeney's origin is directly taken from the Irish folk legend of Buile Suibhne, or The Frenzy of Sweeney, or The Madness of Sweeney, where it is revealed he was cursed because he messed with the wrong holy man.


In a recent tweet by American Gods' twitter handle, Gaiman said while he never really had a true backstory for Sweeney, for the 'American Gods' series, he "got to build something big and beautiful and completely mad", just like our favorite leprechaun. The latest trailer also shows Sweeney leading an army of tattooed warriors into battle against a troop of giants, and that setting is quite different than what we're used to seeing Sweeney in, namely a bar or the front seat of a car.


Mad Sweeney is a down-on-his-luck leprechaun who is having a hard time understanding how he lost his charm and way. Always up for a good fight, Sweeney is never deprived while in the employment of Mr. Wednesday. Mad Sweeney, is very close to Mr. Wednesday (Odin), and although he's not a god, he seems to be much more than just a leprechaun, and it pains viewers to see Sweeney serving as the errand boy to the old god.

Leprechauns are said to be lucky, but that is not the case with Mad Sweeney. While he was lucky before, Mad Sweeney's "lucky" gold coin was lost to Shadow in a bet, and Sweeney loses his luck along with it as seen in the episode 'The Secret of Spoons'. The coin imbibes Sweeney with superhuman strength and infinite prosperity, and he's pretty darn good at coin tricks too, able to seemingly pull gold coins out of thin air (everyone wishes they had a friend like Sweeney). With less than a month to go, fans patiently await Sweeney's backstory to be revealed.

'America Gods' season 2 is slated to release March 10 only on Starz.