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The Real Reason Neil Gaiman Wanted This Character's Death In American Gods Season 3

Caution: Spoilers ahead for American Gods season 3

Considering that Neil Gaiman, the author of American Gods, has such a considerable role on the production end of the Starz adaptation of his book, it's a little bit remarkable how fast and loose the show's approach to the source material can be. 

Exhibit A: Laura Moon, played on the show by Emily Browning, who just can't seem to land a role as someone experiencing fortunate events. In the novel, Laura plays an important role, but doesn't get nearly as much face time as she does in the television version. She also, notably, doesn't die with quite the same frequency as she does on TV. Season 3 of American Gods opened hard and fast by killing Laura off for a second time — and, to hear Gaiman tell it, did so for a particularly counterintuitive reason: to expand on her character.

This revelation comes courtesy of a Screen Rant interview with the author, in which he outlines the show's season 3 location change, the overall oeuvre of the program, and most importantly, the thought process behind murdering a main character, and why doing so might give audiences a better idea of who she is.

Why American Gods put Laura Moon back on the slab

The upshot to setting a series in a world inhabited by literal gods is that death really isn't the end of the line, narratively speaking. From the sounds of things, that's one of the aspects of American Gods that Gaiman was most excited to explore.

"Laura, when we first met her at the beginning of season one was already dead, and she returned from the dead. One of the things that we wanted to do with her in season three was kill her, and kill her again, right at the beginning. And this time, kill her and let her grow," Gaiman told Screen Rant. "We get to follow Laura Moon into the afterlife of Laura Moon this time. She was offered a trip into the afterlife in season one, and she turned it down. This time, she's accepting it, but it's also not necessarily going to take her where she thought it was gonna take her."

Opening the season by sending one of the series leads into the afterlife is an indisputable power move ... and a long, hard look at what's waiting for her on the other side is an intriguing existential carrot for American Gods to dangle in front of viewers' faces. The show's third season is set to run for a longer-than-usual ten episodes, so there'll be plenty of time to explore what death holds in store for Laura and, more importantly, whether it'll stick this time.