American Gods' Ricky Whittle Thinks His Show Is 'More Beautiful' Than Game of Thrones

Yetide Badaki as Bilquis.
Yetide Badaki as Bilquis.
Image: Starz

When we think about “prestige” genre television shows that demonstrate how fantastical stories can be brought to the small screen, the series that most immediately comes to mind is, of course, HBO’s Game of Thrones (and perhaps Westworld). But American Gods’ Ricky Whittle believes that his show is the one that everyone needs to be talking about.


In a recent interview with Digital Spy, Whittle spoke at length about where American Gods fits into the current landscape of cable TV programming, and while he’s got an appreciation for the likes of Game of Thrones, he was adamant about the Starz series being something new that exists in a different space than its peers:

“I don’t think [American Gods is] going to replace anything. I feel it’s something completely fresh. When people say it’s the next Game of Thrones, I think they mean that it’s a big expensive show, it’s a monster of a show. I think it’s even more beautiful, I really do. Ian McShane said it right, Game of Thrones is ‘tits and dragons.’”

Yeah, McShane said that.

Cheeky as it is, Whittle’s point about Game of Thrones being a particularly male gaze-y show isn’t without merit, and to American Gods’ credit, it makes a point of depicting a variety of sexualities while also incorporating a substantial amount of the supernatural into its plots.

Whittle went on to elaborate that American Gods, like Game of Thrones, is meant to be something of a slow burn to give audiences time to become invested in its characters’ lives as the show moves into the future:

American Gods is going to take a while for people to follow. I feel we set a great foundation in season one with Bryan [Fuller] and Michael [Green] where we built this world, and we showed you the players. In season two, you know the world, you know the players, now you’re invested.

Now you want to follow Sweeney and Laura, now you want to follow Bilquis, you want to follow Tech Boy, and Mr. World, and Wednesday and Shadow. You want to see more of characters developing these relationships, watching these dynamics evolve, because you care more. Moving on to season three, it’ll be the same. Hopefully those bonds get stronger with those characters.”


At some point in the very near future, Game of Thrones will be no more, and people are going to want to latch onto another immersive, supernaturally-infused world they can get lost in. American Gods, for those who are interested, might be just the thing to fill that void in people’s lives of content consumption when it returns to Starz on March 10.

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Charles Pulliam-Moore is an NYC-based culture critic whose work centers on fandom, pop culture, politics, race, and sexuality. He still thinks Cyclops made a few valid points.


Mireille is sensational, like a She-Hulk

GoT is blood, mud and dragons. It’s not particularly pretty to look at, but it is a spectacle. America Gods is all magic and glitz and glamor, so yeah... prettier to look at. Personally, I got tired of watching dozens of nameless people throwing themselves at each other in the mud for an hour while barely advancing the story and stopped watching GoT, and while I enjoyed the first season of American Gods, I’m pretty skeptical about the second season. In fact, I’ve started doubting thatprestige TV” is any better than the rest of the junk. Lately, I’d rather watch Xena, with it’s awful 90s CGI, than GoT or American Gods. But if Fuller was able to continue Hannibal... I’d be all in for that.