The warring old and new gods are back in American Gods S2 teaser trailer

The second season of , the Starz adaption of Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel, has been plagued for months by production turmoil, including the recent sidelining of its replacement show runner. So there’s been some skepticism among fans of the series that season 2 could live up to the darkly haunting tone of the well-received first season.

Now we have our first teaser trailer, and honestly, it quite promising, even we mostly just get tantalizing glimpses of the returning cast.

(Mild spoilers for season 1 below)

The central character in is Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), a recently released convict whose wife, Laura (Emily Browning) is killed in a car crash the day he is supposed to be coming home. Numb with grief, he falls in with the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) and becomes his bodyguard. But Mr. Wednesday is not who he seems. He’s actually the ancient Norse god, Odin, seeking to rally all the remaining Old Gods, who are slowly dying off from peoples’ lack of belief. Their mission: beat back the encroaching influence of all the New Gods so they can survive.

Prepare to meet your gods

The first season covered roughly the first third of Gaiman’s book, culminating in a gathering of the gods at the home of the goddess Easter. So expect season 2 to cover much of the second third, including a major plot twist involving Mr. Wednesday. And we’ll likely see a few new faces, including Mama-Ji (Sakina Jeffrey), the Hindu goddess of death (now working as a waitress Motel America), and Mr. Town (Dean Winters), a ruthless agent of the New Gods.

Unfortunately we won’t see last season’s standout cast member Gillian Anderson, who frankly stole the show with her shapeshifting portrayal of Media, appearing as David Bowie, Lucille Ball, and Marilyn Monroe, among other pop culture icons. The delightful Kristin Chenoweth will also not be returning as the goddess Easter, apparently due to scheduling conflicts. These are huge losses, particularly given the departure of season 1 show runners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, and all the rumored onset turmoil and script rewrites.

But season 1 wasn’t perfect either, particularly the second half, so we’re still holding out hope that season 2 will pull itself together in time for its debut next year.

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