American Gods – S03E10 – Tears of the Wrath-Bearing Tree [Transcript]

Teetering on the edge of war and peace, the gods gather to mourn a loss. Bilquis' divine journey brings her to an unexpected revelation, while Shadow finally embraces destiny.
American Gods - S03E10 - Tears of the Wrath-Bearing Tree

Original air date: March 21, 2021

* * *

[woman] My grandfather had a hen.

Always laid eggs with two yolks.

Not one. Not three.


Every other day, there they were.

Two perfect yolks.

We named that hen Deuce.

Paw-Paw won him in a card game.

You ate two of those eggs in the morning,

you could go all day without another morsel.

[water boiling]

I’m grateful for our time together, short as it was.

Don’t you worry yourself about me.

I’m past the caring.

My time on this earth is done.

And you have work to do.

Shadow Moon.

He’s strong.

But I still fret about him.

This damn icebox is working my last nerve!

Let me help you.


Help is what Shadow needs to steer him in the right direction.

He’s a special one, all right.

Trouble is, he knows it now.

But that ain’t your never-mind.

What you need to do is find The Other.

His soulmate.

Convince him he ain’t no solo act.

Yes, indeed.

That tall order falls to you.

[wind whistling]


[liquid pouring]


[indistinct whispering]

[Ibis] In 1918, the Coast Geodetic Survey, using a cardboard cut-out balanced on a pin, determined the geographic center of America to be 2.6 miles north of Lebanon, Kansas, on Johnny Grib’s hog farm.

Johnny Grib didn’t share his neighbors’ eagerness to cash in on his sudden fame, so they erected a monument a half mile away.

They also built a motel for the tourists who were sure to visit the center of America.

Only, the tourists didn’t come.

Nobody did.

Because we are standing at ground zero of the least sacred place in America.

If the House on the Rock is a place of spiritual power, this, uh, is a soulless void.

A wasteland Gods fear and men avoid.

The perfect spot to conduct diplomacy between enemies of the divine persuasion.



Faithful to the last.

They always stay close to their master.

They’re with me now.


So if this is a DMZ where nothing violent goes down, why didn’t Wednesday just have his peace talks here?

I mean, he’d be alive, and we wouldn’t be in dirt-road Kansas.

The thought of being powerless was no doubt… unappealing to your father.

And neither was he constrained by logic or reason.

Thank God you’re here.


Oh, it was like a bad dream.

Wednesday told the creepy guy with the hat to go fuck himself.

We were just walking out to the car when some 5-foot rage bitch with some ancient spear steps out and straight harpoons the old man.


You know her?

It’s my ex-wife.

When were you planning on telling me?

One shock at a time.

[bell dinging]

[ball bouncing]

Who the fuck are you?

You don’t recognize the instrument of your survival?

Mr. World?

From time to time, I, uh, see the reflection in the mirror and… I need change.


Well, you can put lipstick on a weasel, but it is what it is.

Why did you bring me to this shitbox full of Gods who want me dead?

And what about Doyle? Can you find him?

Your collaborator is outside of the scope of our agreement.

We brought you here for your protection and safety, as agreed, because no god can harm you here.

But… you must be patient.

We will return Wednesday’s remains at midnight to his associates and arrange for your safety of passage.

Okay. Well, I’m gonna want to weigh in on the particulars.

No, you can’t be there.

If there was any thought of collusion between you and us from the Old Gods, it could ignite a war.

Y-you don’t think they’re gonna figure that out with me being in your custody?

Oh, we-we’ll tell them that we uh, tortured you, and when you didn’t talk, we understood that you were not an agent provocateur.

We guaranteed your safety of passage.

And you think they’re actually gonna agree to that?

What other choice do they have?

You said that no one can harm me here?


‘Cause this room smells like ass so I’m gonna go find a fuckin’ candy machine.

Uh, one more thing.

Shadow Moon’s here, and it’s not entirely clear that he’s under the same prohibition as the others.

Stay here.

[door closing]

[door shaking]

I want my fuckin’ tennis ball!

[footsteps approaching]

[keyboard clacking]

Well, you fellas have our last two rooms.

The last time the motel was full was…



Some government men are here for an important meeting.

Cletus, our dishwasher, thinks they might be… [whispering] …the Illuminati.


Rented the whole east wing and the dining room.

[keyboard clacking]

[Czernobog] No, no, no, no. No.

Not until midnight.

It’s our tradition.

Out of my way.


He wanted an old Norse death ritual.

And we wanna honor his request, right?

It’s called respect.

And that is something that he won’t get from our enemies.

Don’t you understand?

They don’t wanna honor him; They wanna shame us.

Well, I’m supposed to sit vigil for him so…

You’re supposed to do what?

It’s part of our arrangement.

[clearing throat]




Read the sign.

I’m sorry.

Do you mind?

Thank you.


I believe our rooms are this way.

Hey. Can you believe this idiot thinks that he will sit the vaka for Votan?



Vigil for a Norse God requires being bound upon Yggdrasil, the World Tree, as Odin once did.


For 9 days and 9 nights.

An endurance test for a God, a death sentence for a mortal.

Yeah. [chuckling]

Well, Wednesday said that if I walk with him, greatness would be mine.

Maybe this is what he meant.




[paper rustling]

♪ Floating through the darkness ♪

♪ Awaiting on transmission ♪

♪ Drifting on a mission alone ♪

♪ Wine won’t pour my dear ♪

♪ When I get back, my dear ♪


♪ Streaming through creation ♪

♪ Trying to catch your laughter ♪

♪ Blinded by the darkness ♪

♪ Alone and so it goes ♪

♪ My bitter heart can’t figure ♪

♪ The distance in between ♪

♪ Six trillion miles away dear ♪

♪ The evenings follow me ♪

♪ How can I explain ♪

♪ With no voice ♪

♪ With no chance ♪

♪ As I’m travelling ♪

♪ Upside down ♪

♪ Into a world ♪

♪ Of the unknown ♪

[wind blowing]

[voices whispering] Shadow.



Shadow Moon.

Come with us.

We need you, Shadow.

Come along.


♪ I am you ♪

♪ I’ll see you on the other side ♪

[mirror squeaking]

[door closing]

[door closing]

He requested extra towels.

[metallic creaking]

[footsteps approaching]

[bell tolling]

[bell tolling]

He could be a bastard, but he was a good boss.

He was a selfish dick.

He might have believed his intentions were noble, but he never did anything that wasn’t in his own self-interest.


But… he did care for you, though.

It’s not a side most people get to see.

He cared about you too, you know.

Showed it by murdering my wife?

That puta with the spear?

[Cordelia] She seemed pretty goddamn alive to me.

[Shadow] Yeah.

She’s the stubborn type.

I, uh, and my associates would be remiss if we did not acknowledge, with respect, the foundations laid by the Old Gods.

Get to the fuckin’ point.

What do you want from us?

We are gathered here in this place of godlessness… to deliver this body to eternity in accordance with…

Norse ritual.

In return, we just want peace.

We do not want this unfortunate death to ignite violence or war.

Then give us the murderous cow who did this.

The malefactor, Laura Moon, is a mortal acting on a personal vendetta against a God!

We know this cannot stand!

We are in agreement!

But we have vowed to abide by Norse custom wherein, if my memory serves me correctly, it is the duty of the son… to avenge the father’s death.

It is true.

If ancient protocols are to be observed, it is you who would have to avenge Wednesday’s murder.

Yeah, he means you have to bash her head in until brain dribble through her eyes.

All right.

Give her to me.


Where is the cow?

Oh shit.


[metallic creaking]

Where is the cow?

Where the hell is she?

Where the hell is she, huh?


Three lifetimes; I’m still trusting the wrong fucking people.

This motherfucker is just as guilty as I am.

He recruited me in order to kill Wednesday without starting a war.

Well, what else would you expect her to say?

Fuck off. How could I get the spear from Sweeney’s hoard without a God’s help?

How could I possibly know the exact time and place to find Wednesday if he didn’t tell me?

She’s telling the truth.


You talk of peace?


While you hide behind a mortal female, huh?

You mudák.




Remember where we are.




I’ll take care of this.

Let us bury our dead, mourn our losses, and discuss our options.



Believe what you will.

But peace is to the benefit of your side, not ours.

Think about it.

By the time that you would gather your armies, SHARD will be in completion, and the Old Gods will be de-indexed, erased, and forgotten.

Once we deliver Wednesday’s remains to the Tree, I strongly suggest you move past this.

Get on with your life.

And do not look back.


[Czernobog] Hey, listen.

Since we can’t do it here, there’s a field just in the back, across the street.

It’s a good place to die.

Now, hit straight on the forehead for a quick and clean.

If you hit the neck, it will be slow and painful.

I recommend the neck.

I’ll wait in the car.

The fuckin’ smell on that guy.

Bad tuna on a smoke break.



I didn’t do this for purely selfish reasons.

Oh, bullshit.

Okay, fine.

But, Shadow, you’re free now.

No more of his compacts or schemes or war-fuckin’ murder.

Okay, you can go after what you’ve always wanted:

A white picket fence, wifey giving you a couple kids instead of blowing your friends.


Don’t you fuckin’ dare tell me that you killed him to make my life better.

You have no idea who I am, what I want.

I know that you don’t owe him shit.

What did he ever do for you except make your life fuckin’ miserable?

He gave me a purpose.

To be a better leader than he ever could’ve been.

A leader?


Of what?


Before humanity goes down the tubes.




Are you saying that you’re a God now?


I’m sayin’ I have a destiny.

And I need to follow it wherever it takes me.


Cool, so you’ve lost your fuckin’ mind.


Just kill me now because you finally have a chance to unfuck your life, and what do you do?

You drink Wednesday’s Kool-Aid?

He says, “All aboard,” you jump on the fuckin’ crazy train?

Just put me out of my misery so I don’t have to watch.


Hey, where are you going?

What, y-you don’t believe I’m capable of doing great things, so, you know what? This-here’s your life.

Okay? Miserable, lonely.


You didn’t corner the fuckin’ market on destiny, you know?

I have been through nine gates of hell since I saw you last.

And I have gained a little insight too.

Good luck with that.

[car engine running]


You’re officially on the way to becoming your old man!

Let’s go.

What, you’re leaving her?

You’re not gonna finish the job?

I am Wednesday’s last living son, so what happens to his assassin is my prerogative.


Well, he can see you right now and your disrespect.

Shame on you.

I’m sitting vigil for the old motherfucker.

Let’s go.

[door opening]

[door creaking]


[liquid dripping]



This fuckin’ place.




[knocking on door]


Thank Gods I found you.

♪ Carry me home ♪

♪ When the light in my eyes does fade ♪

♪ Carry me home ♪

♪ When the shadow comes to take me away ♪

♪ Lay down my bones ♪

♪ Knowing I’ll be in a better place ♪

♪ Release my soul ♪

♪ Carry me home ♪

♪ Oh yeah yeah ♪

♪ Oh yeah yeah ♪

♪ Oh yeah yeah ♪

♪ Oh yeah yeah ♪

♪ Oh yeah yeah ♪

♪ Oh yeah yeah ♪

♪ Carry me home ♪

♪ When the light in my eyes does fade ♪

♪ Carry me home ♪

♪ When the shadow comes to take me away ♪

♪ Lay down my bones ♪

♪ Knowing I’ll be in a better place ♪

♪ Release my soul ♪


♪ Carry me ♪

♪ Home ♪

Who the fuck’s this?

The Norns.

They tend to the World Tree and Urd’s Well, whose water nourishes said tree.

[multiple voices together] We’ve been waiting for you, Shadow Moon, son of Odin.


We must prepare.

Please tell me there’s not a gimp involved.

I don’t want to stipulate to that.

This is my first vigil.


[Czernobog] If you’re not man enough to execute your father’s murderer, you don’t deserve to sit at his vaka.

Wasn’t your call.

Well, you better hope to die because if you don’t, I’ll take care of it.

[water pouring]

The water of time will wash away your past and prepare you for your future.

You know about this stuff, right?

Am I making the right decision?

Have you changed your mind?


[alarm ringing]


[alarm sounding]

[electronic glitching]

[electronic beeping]

Are you trying to consume raw data?


That is so messed up.

What’s in the sub-basement?

Artifact 1?

There is no sub-basement in this building.

I just wanna help you.


I know that you are lying.


[mechanical creaking]



You think if I could hack my way out of that thing, I wouldn’t know how to reprogram it?


Well, I’ve done my part for your vaka, Votan.

It’s not the burial you deserve, but it is something.

You, you could have just walked away, but you choose the suffering of a fool’s death.


You understand there is no turning back once you’re on the tree.

I get the rules, Ibis.


What does it matter if you break your promise to the old man, huh?

He’s dead.

I don’t really have a choice.

I-I survive this, I become something more.

Or I stay and Czernobog hammers me in the face.

Or we find a way out.

We can do like, a… a number 38 or 41 or 50.

I don’t know. Just… Just don’t get on the tree, fuck’s sake.

You have nothing to prove.

I’ll see you in nine days.


[speaking Norse]

[branches creaking]

Don’t fight it.

It makes the pain worse.



[elevator dinging]


[elevator dinging]


All this… for a fucking rock?


[fire crackling]


[mechanical creaking]


[breathing heavily]

Is it everything you hoped it would be?




What the fuck is this thing?

That’s your totem.

You have no idea how vital you are to everything.

You are perhaps the most powerful of us all.

The embodiment of human innovation, which makes you the bridge from the Old Gods to the New.

Why don’t I know any of that?

Every time there’s an evolution in human technology, you evolve along with it, and forget who you really are.

Being that you never have your mnemonic of your totem, you forget your origin.


SHARD is… progress.

There is no progress without you.



What the fuck?

Who are you?

People say this is the age of technology.

They’re wrong.


This is the age of manipulation.

Trickery is what I do best.

Who the fuck are you?


Who the fuck are you?

[continues whistling]

[elevator dinging]

Who the fuck are you?


[birds chirping]

Oh, come on.


It’s easy. Come on.

There’s a trick to it.

You should do it before you die.

You do it or you die.


[crickets chirping]

[Zorya] When you cannot see your way, the night sky will guide you.


[thunder crashing]

[Yemoja] We’ve been awaiting your arrival, Shadow.


This the destiny you were talkin’ about?

[thunder crashing]


[breathing heavily]

Take it from me, Puppy.

You’re dying.

I can do this.

I can do this.



[breathing heavily]




Okay. Enough.


[branches creaking]






[branch slicing]


[branch slicing]


[seatbelt sign dinging]

[airplane rattling]

[worms squeaking]

[Mr. Wednesday] Cashew?


I love ’em.

Native to Brazil, but grow like motherfuckers in Florida.



He was also a liar, a cheat, and a con man, capable of deception and great cruelty.

[seatbelt sign dinging]

You, uh, you might want to buckle up, huh?

Could get a little bumpy.

And they’ve got these cover-your-ass seatbelt signs lit up so you can’t sue ’em.

Not that dead men can sue anyway.

Oh, please tell me death isn’t being on a plane with you.

Well, technically, we are somewhere in between.




No, no, no, no. This isn’t happening.

Something that was planned even before you were born.

A blood sacrifice by a son?

Wow, that’s powerful enough to restore me to all my former glory.

Odin, the All-Father. All powerful, once again.

[Laura’s voice] Attention passenger Moon:

What did Wednesday ever do for you except make your life miserable?

Now, earning your love proved a little trickier than I anticipated, so I appealed to your godly ambition.

If I’m your son, I am a God.


Jury’s still out on that, son, but you’re definitely a chip off the old block.


No, no, no.


We both crave power.

The only difference is, I’m not ashamed of it.

You needed a martyr.

Now you’re getting it, huh?


Oh, this…

[unbuckling seatbelt]

…is where I get off.

[door opening]

[wind blowing]

Thank you, son.


[paper rustling]




Is he…

[branches creaking]


[thunder rumbling]

Is this the death of the Old Gods?


[thunder rumbling]

Or something much worse.


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