American Gods

American Gods

Richie Hinzelmann Character Analysis

An overly nice old man in Lakeside who acts as the unofficial town leader. Hinzelmann’s affable exterior hides a Germanic kobold (cursed spirit) who is forced to sacrifice one child each year to protect Lakeside, ensure Lakeside’s prosperity, and keep himself alive. Hinzelmann begs Shadow to kill him after Shadow uncovers Hinzelmann’s plot, depicting the dark side of sacrifice and the toll it takes on everyone when the cost of the sacrifice is not worth the promised reward.

Richie Hinzelmann Quotes in American Gods

The American Gods quotes below are all either spoken by Richie Hinzelmann or refer to Richie Hinzelmann. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the William Morrow edition of American Gods published in 2013.
Chapter 11 Quotes

"You shouldn't think badly of the town because of this," said Brogan. "It is a good town." …
"So what I'm saying is that Lakeside's lucky. We've got a little of everything here—farm, light industry, tourism, crafts. Good schools."
Shadow looked at her in puzzlement. There was something empty at the bottom of all her words. It was as if he were listening to a salesman, a good salesman, who believed in his product, but still wanted to make sure you went home with all the brushes or the full set of encyclopedias.

Related Characters: Shadow Moon (Baldur), Richie Hinzelmann
Page Number: 281
Explanation and Analysis:

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Richie Hinzelmann Character Timeline in American Gods

The timeline below shows where the character Richie Hinzelmann appears in American Gods. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
...gets in the old man’s vintage Wendt Phoenix. The old man introduces himself as Richie Hinzelmann, and Shadow responds that he is Mike Ainsel. Hinzelmann gives Shadow a short tour of... (full context)
Chapter 10
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
...that afternoon, Shadow is unpleasantly surprised by a knock on his door, but it’s just Hinzelmann. Hinzelmann has brought some things for Shadow, explaining that Shadow can pay him back by... (full context)
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Hinzelmann cracks jokes about how this cold is nothing compared to how cold it used to... (full context)
Chapter 11
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...Lakeside, Shadow spends his days trying to stay warm and out of trouble. He visits Hinzelmann, looking at his collection of fishing lures and listening to Hinzelmann’s tall tales about the... (full context)
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
Hinzelmann, Shadow, and a man named Brogan are assigned to search County road W for any... (full context)
Interlude 2
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
...Sam says that she is coming to visit. They end the phone call laughing about Hinzelmann’s tall tales. (full context)
Chapter 13
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
...Lakeside Council minutes he bought at the library sale. He finds out that a Mr. Hinzelmann was responsible for building the lake that gave Lakeside its name, and he marks the... (full context)
Deception Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
...to the local bar. He brings along the Lakeside minutes, on the off chance that Hinzelmann will be there. (full context)
Chapter 20
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Shadow wakes in pain, finding himself in a small bathroom hot with steam. Hinzelmann tenderly helps Shadow ease into a bathtub of hot water, though the sudden change in... (full context)
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’s head clears after the shock of the cold water and he wonders how Hinzelmann, a small old man, could pull his own large frame out of the water or... (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
Shadow realizes that Hinzelmann controls who comes into and out of Lakeside, angrily asking Hinzelmann if he brought Sam... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Hinzelmann tells Shadow that he is an Old God who was turned into a “kobold” in... (full context)
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
Chad Mulligan suddenly comes into the room, his gun pointed at the floor, soothingly telling Hinzelmann that he came over to tell him that the klunker went through the ice. Hinzelmann... (full context)
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Chad woodenly shifts Hinzelmann’s body so that his head is in the fire in the fireplace. Shadow assures Chad... (full context)
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
...Eagle Point and broke his heart, while Shadow tells him that the whole thing was Hinzelmann’s fault anyway. Shadow asks Chad what he will do now, and Chad explains that his... (full context)