American Gods finally reveals how Wednesday and Demeter met and why they split up, and it’s a tragedy.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for American Gods Season 3, Episode 6, “Conscience of the King,” which aired Sunday on Starz.

The history between Mr. Wednesday and Demeter unfolds in Season 3, Episode 6, “Conscience of the King.” The episode starts with a flashback to the end of the American Revolutionary War, which a young Wednesday and Tyr fought in. At this time, Tyr was in love for the Demeter, but Wednesday fell for the goddess himself.

It’s also revealed that Wednesday is writing out this story because he plans to create a shadow play retelling their romance in an attempt to convince Demeter to leave the mental health facility with him. The play picks up where the flashback ended; however, it provides a little more insight into how Wednesday enjoyed the thrill of war while Tyr took comfort in love. Wednesday also acknowledges that Tyr was the more worthy of suitors, but Wednesday’s passion won over Tyr’s kindness.

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The courtship was brief, but the two married, and Demeter became pregnant. While they were starting a family, Tyr also stuck around, but he had no plans on causing the couple trouble, once again proving himself to be a noble god. Marriage bliss ended too soon, as the gods’ baby died, and in light of her death, Wednesday left Demeter with only Tyr to comfort her.

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This explains why Demeter is still in contact with Tyr, not Wednesday. It also explains why their relationship ended so badly. For Wednesday, he left on his own terms, so it’s easier for him to try and restart the relationship; however, for Demeter, she was abandoned at one of the lowest points in her life. This was a tragic act of betrayal, so it’s understandable why she does not want to hear Wednesday out, especially when he is still focused on war, proving he’s not changed.

When the play ends, it’s revealed Demeter even invited Tyr for moral support, and she leaves with him, not Wednesday. Wednesday calls Tyr out for still being sore over Demeter choosing him originally; however, Tyr simply wants Wednesday to come clean about only wanting her money. Meanwhile, Demeter steps in to remind Wednesday that he can’t admit he actually loves her because he’s too consumed by his games, hence why their relationship cannot work. For Demeter, Wednesday is obsessed with his aspirations, no matter the cost, but Tyr is genuine.

After leaving the two to talk, Wednesday mocks Tyr for being a dentist instead of a warrior; however, Tyr is not ashamed of changing with the times. Wednesday, on the other hand, comes off like a stubborn, petty, old man, one who cannot change for the better. Despite it all, Tyr advices his old friend to actually listen to Demeter and remember who he was before losing himself to war and greed.

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Wednesday somewhat listens to Tyr, approaching Demeter’s room to apologize for leaving when their daughter died. He acknowledges they could’ve gotten through this together, and she acknowledges that it was easier to hate Wednesday than mourn their child.

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This is one of the few times Wednesday is seen being vulnerable with Demeter, and it almost pays off, with the goddess acknowledging that she should return to the world; however, Wednesday fails to learn. After hearing that Demeter is willing to leave, he jumps the gun, saying they can mourn their child together and lead the Old Gods in Wednesday’s triumphant war.

While the following day Demeter and Wednesday are set to be released, when Wednesday goes to get Demeter, he finds her outside. They share a glance before Demeter turns herself into a gust of grains and flowers, leaving Wednesday. It isn’t a surprise because Demeter has been critical of Wednesday’s war since her introduction to American Gods, so when he focused on that instead of their relationship, Demeter knew there was no hope for them as a couple because he refuses to change.

Based on the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, American Gods stars Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Ian McShane, Omid Abtahi and Ashley Reyes. The series airs Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.

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