American Gods

American Gods

Czernobog (Bielebog) Character Analysis

The Russian God of darkness, thought to be the cursed twin of Bielebog, the god of light. Little is known about Czernobog other than his black appearance and his hammer weapon. Gaiman interprets Czernobog and Bielebog as two halves of the same man, with different aspects coming out in different seasons. The gruff, blood-obsessed Czernobog rules over the winter and agrees to help Shadow and Mr. Wednesday only because Shadow promises to give Czernobog the chance to smash Shadow’s skull with a hammer. After Czernobog turns into Beilebog in spring, though, he has mercy on Shadow.
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Czernobog (Bielebog) Character Timeline in American Gods

The timeline below shows where the character Czernobog (Bielebog) appears in American Gods. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
...a crack and gruffly asks what “Grimnir” wants. Wednesday promises information to his old friend Czernobog, and the man (Czernobog himself) opens the door, smoking an unfiltered cigarette, but does not... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
When Czernobog first came to America, he says, he settled in New York with all his countrymen,... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Shadow goes out to the bathroom and returns to find Czernobog yelling at Wednesday that they want his brother instead. Another old woman peeks out from... (full context)
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Czernobog then challenges Shadow to a game of checkers. Shadow, having played a lot of checkers... (full context)
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...third sister, but Zorya Verchernyaya says that Zorya Polunochnaya is still asleep. As they eat, Czernobog tells his sisters that Shadow’s checkers victory means that Czernobog has to accompany Wednesday on... (full context)
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
...pay the same as they would at a hotel. Zorya Utrennyaya goes to bed while Czernobog, Zorya Verchernyaya, Wednesday, and Shadow eat a delicious store-bought apple pie. Wednesday compliments Shadow on... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...the next time she comes back. Zorya Polunochnaya then brings up the checkers game and Czernobog’s prize, explaining that people in the old days would sacrifice people to Czernobog by smashing... (full context)
Chapter 5
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
Shadow and Wednesday wander through the large house, then find Czernobog in the Mikado room, which is decorated in a vaguely Asian manner with an off-key... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Mr. Nancy is smoking a cigarillo, and Czernobog lights a cigarette, musing that “our kind” like cigarettes because they act as reminders of... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
Mr. Nancy, Shadow, Czernobog, and Wednesday make their way to the House on the Rock’s famous carousel. Shadow is... (full context)
Chapter 6
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
...and a small garden spider overlaid on Mr. Nancy’s body. He turns his head to Czernobog and sees there a small dark thing with coals for eyes and a dark-haired prince... (full context)
Chapter 13
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...heard about Wednesday. Shadow recognizes the voice, realizing that the officers are Mr. Nancy and Czernobog. Shadow thanks them for getting him out, and asks if Wednesday is really dead. Mr.... (full context)
Chapter 14
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
...chapter starts with Greg Brown’s song, “In the Dark with You.” Shadow, Mr. Nancy, and Czernobog reach Minneapolis and meet up with some of the other Old Gods. Alviss, the barrel-chested... (full context)
Deception Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
Shadow, Mr. Nancy, and Czernobog stop at a restaurant for lunch. The waitress comes to their table saying that there... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
...in his stomach. They keep driving, back north to Kansas where it is still winter. Czernobog forces them to stop in a meadow outside Cherryvale, Kansas, where mortals once sacrificed people... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
...deliriously cites the opening lines of Yeats’ “Second Coming,” ending at “the center cannot hold.” Czernobog and Mr. Nancy speak of the Old Gods’ obligation to give blood for blood, making... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
By dawn, Shadow, Mr. Nancy, and Czernobog have reached Princeton, Missouri with Wednesday’s body. Mr. Nancy advises Shadow to run to Mexico... (full context)
Chapter 19
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
...outside Fort Pierce. Nancy insists that Shadow stay with him, and then tells Shadow that Czernobog will be waiting for him to visit in Chicago. Mr. Nancy and Shadow walk to... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
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Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
...try to con each other. Shadow asks what will happen if he doesn’t go see Czernobog today, but Mr. Nancy tells Shadow that they will inevitably run into each other. (full context)
Chapter 20
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Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
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Shadow reaches Czernobog’s building in Chicago, noticing that the entire place seems much cleaner than the first time... (full context)
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Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
Czernobog arrives home and Shadow greets him, saying that he has come to fulfill his promise.... (full context)