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I could kill you. I could fix it. I done it before. You're not the first to figure it out. Chad Milligan's father, he figured it out. I fixed him. I can fix you.
~ Hinzelmann revealing his true evil nature to a helpless Shadow

Hinzelmann is the hidden, secondary major antagonist of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. He is a kobold who has founded Lakeside town and been there over two hundred years.


Hinzelmann comes from Germany, he was a demoted deity who became a household/forest spirit, and he was a Kobold, a young boy who had been sacrificed thousands of years ago, whose body still had the swords that had killed him thrust through him.  He came over to the United States of America by possessing  some poor bastard, a very devout Pagan, who had prayed for it. Hinzelmann the Kobold came to the States, and he set himself up in the mountainous regions of British Columbia, the cedar, the ash, the pine, the fern. Hinzelmann managed to take on human form, that of a kindly old man, and became a grandfatherly, respected figure to those in his community. He figured the country of the United States of America was a bad place for deities, as it sucked their power dry. Not wanting this to happen to himself, Hinzelmann made a deal with the founding fathers of Lakeside: One child would be sacrificed to Hinzelmann for every year, then the harvest would be good. If no child was given, the town would die.


Hinzelmann became a lumberjack, and he worked all day. He made the town Lakeside, and became very famous for mantaining influence as a human on the town's parole. Hinzelmann said he was a war veteran and a politician and he made himself popular amongst locals.

The cult

Hinzelmann was weakened from his lack of power and from the travel so he needed to rebuild his energy. Being a god, it meant he had to kill, and he had to kill humans, preferably children. He ordered and brainwashed the townspeople into believing it was "a good town" and nothing bad ever happened, and Hinzelmann used his lake to dump his victims' bodies in. He used to abduct and kill about ten children a year and then he would get stronger.

Hinzelmann built up his cult of followers who believed him to be doing good for their town and believed his lies that the missing children just "ran away to the big cities."


Odin sent his son, Shadow, to Lakeside, to protect him from the New Gods, and so Odin could start his war. Shadow met Hinzelmann and liked him and thought him eccentric but nice. When a young girl Allison went missing, "run away to the big cities" Shadow was questioned by Officer Mulligan then invited to join the search for her. There was the old Cadillac in the ice in the middle of the lake, nobody thought to look in there, even though it was staring at them in the face.

Shadow had a dream about the Buffalo saying "It's in the trunk" and he didn't know what he meant until he was with Anansi and he did know. He rushed to Lakeside because the ice was melting. He found Allison's body in the trunk of the car parked on the ice, but fell through the ice into the deep freeze before he could get her. He also saw the countless other children Hinzelmann had killed, and they were all under the lake, in rusting cars.

Shadow almost drowned, but was saved by Hinzelmann himself. Shadow asked him who he was, so Hinzelmann showed him, his true form, and Shadow asked if he had been ordering the sacrifices and brainwashing the townspeople.

Hinzelmann said it was his nature and he did a deal with Odin that he would keep Shadow safe. Mulligan had come into Hinzelmann's house and heard everything he said, about him killing the children. Hinzelmann attacked Mulligan by throwing a poker but Mulligan had to shoot him dead.


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