I was sadly not a kid, or a teen the first time I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman and caught a wicked crush on Shadow Moon. I’m a girl. Maybe that means I’ve been somehow conditioned to be attracted to the hero. Maybe not. I’m certainly not a woman who really gets into romance fiction and I’m definitely not a “need a hero to rescue me” female either. I’m sort of the opposite. I want the girl to save the day. I want the damsel to rescue herself. Actually, I want it to not even be an issue of “who” does the rescuing.
But Shadow Moon is the hero and he’s a damn fine one in American Gods. I’d go so far as to say he is the hero paradigm, (if you’re following Campbell’s guidelines). Likely, it’s his “do anything, save everyone, leave me alone” attitude that attracted me to the character. Of course, imagining Vin Diesel as Shadow might have just a bit to do with it as well.