'American Gods' Season 2 preview: Who are the Zorya Sisters, aka the Morning, Evening and Midnight stars?
The fates of these three sisters lay intertwined in 'American Gods', and one sister offers an important token to our protagonist, Shadow Moon
'American Gods' follows the story of an upcoming battle between the Old Gods of known mythology, and the New Gods of Technology, Society and Globalization. The reduction in the human population's belief in the Old Gods has decreased their standing and credibility in the world, and together, with the help of an unwitting protagonist, Shadow Moon, Mr. Wednesday (the Old God, Odin), rallies together with the remaining Old Gods in order to reclaim their rightful Godhood.
Author Neil Gaiman is known for his work in contemporary fantasy and his knack of painting sketchy characters with even sketchier backgrounds has kept fans guessing as to the motive behind the Old Gods he introduced us to in season 1.
Gaiman has a way of humanizing his God-like characters, and the series sees our two protagonists, Shadow and Wednesday, visiting another Old God, Czernobog, and his relatives in a dingy home in Chicago. Czernobog along with his three relatives, the Zorya Sisters, barely make ends meet and Czernobog brings home the bread by being a "cattle knocker" at a slaughterhouse, while the sisters read coffee grounds to tell people's futures.
The Zorya Sisters were a breath of fresh air from Czernobog's grim and grumpy persona and it is on a rare occasion that you will see all three sisters in the same room. The Zorya sisters are part of Slavic mythology and these sisters are a good representation of Neil Gaiman marrying theism and real mythology with his contemporary style of fictional storytelling.
The oldest out of the three sisters is Zorya Vechernyaya, who's associated with Mercury and is known as the “Evening Star". Her middle sister is Zorya Utrennyaya and is known as the “Morning Star”. She is associated with Venus, and has quite an addiction to Harlequin paperbacks. Their youngest sister, Zorya Polunochnaya, is the “Midnight Star".
The Zorya sisters serve the sun god Dažbog, who in some folk tales is actually their father. The Morning Star opens the gates to the sun God's palace every morning for the sun-chariots departure, and at dusk, the Evening Star closes the palace gates after he returns. Together, the Zoryas guard and watch the skies, keeping an eye on the winged doomsday hound called Simargl, who is chained to the star Polaris in the Ursa Minor constellation. But if the chain ever breaks, Simargl will devour the constellation and bring about its end.
The Midnight Star is a key character out of the three sisters in Gaiman's version because it is only her who truly interacts with our protagonist, and literally plucks the moon out of the sky to hand it over to Shadow as a silver dollar (a form of protection). This is the second coin Shadow receives through the show, where the first was a gold coin which was meant to represent the sun, given to him by the leprechaun Mad Sweeney.
She gives the coin to him knowing full well that he lost his old form of protection (the sun coin), and offers him the moon coin instead (a weaker form of protection). Taking literally the idea these heavenly bodies “watch over” the earth, both these coins offer protection in different ways. Together, they represent the importance of balance and duality, gold and silver, life and death, the sun and the moon.
Zorya Polunochnaya may stop watching the stars a bit in order to help Shadow out, and there did seem to be some sort of spark between the Morning Star and our protagonist, but I guess we'll have to wait for season 2 to find out.
'American Gods' season 2 is slated to release March 10 only on the Starz network, and you can check out the teaser for the show below.