Chris Obi first appeared as Mr. Jacquel in American Gods Season 1, Episode 3, titled Head Full of Snow. Mr. Jacquel is Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead.
His name Jacquel is in reference to the fact that the ancient Egyptians depicted Anubis with a human body and the head of a jackal.
If you’ve been wondering who Chris Obi is and in which TV show or movie you’ve seen him before, here is everything you need to know about the actor and the character he portrays.
Who is Chris Obi?
Chris Obi is an English actor, director, and writer of Nigerian descent. He graduated from the Drama Center London in 2001. Fans who have seen Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) and the Roots (2016) miniseries will likely recognize him.
His film credits include his role as Mirror Man in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Malkina’s bodyguard in The Counselor (2013), Sergeant in The Call Up (2016), and Ambassador in Ghost in the Shell (2017).
His TV credits include the role of Kintango in Roots (2016). He also played Klingon captain T’Kuvma in Star Trek: Discovery (2017).
Everything you need to know about Mr. Jacquel
Mr. Jacquel is one of the Old Gods based on Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead. Mr. Jacquel co-owns Ibis and Jaquel Funeral Parlour with Mr. Ibis (Demore Barnes). Mr. Ibis is the manifestation of the ancient Egyptian deity Thoth, the god of writing, wisdom, and magic.
Mr. Jacquel is the manifestation of the dog-headed Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of the rites of embalming and afterlife. He is the protector of graves and tombs.
Anubis is also what the ancient Greeks called a psychopomp, that is a daemon or deity who ferries the souls of the dead to the afterlife.
Anubis is depicted in ancient Egyptian murals and texts as having a human body and the head of a dog or jackal.
The dog-headed deity is often represented in an upright or kneeling posture, holding golden scales which he uses to weigh the heart (soul) of the departed to see if it is lighter than the Feather of Truth.
The first time Mr. Jacquel was seen on American Gods, he showed up in Queens, NY to escort a woman to the afterlife. He weighed her heart against a feather and she was deemed worthy to choose her own path in the afterlife.
She was accompanied to her peaceful transition in the afterlife by a cat called Bast, a reference to Bastet, the ancient Egyptian cat goddess who also helps to guide the souls of the departed.
The ancient Egyptians believed people who committed evil acts without remorse have heavy hearts but people who were good had a heart lighter than the Feather of Truth.
We may presume that the lightness of the virtuous soul makes it possible to choose its plane of afterlife existence. If a deceased’s soul is too heavy to rise to higher afterlife plane, Mr. Jacquel chooses their fate.
This was shown with Laura Moon, who after her death was taken to the scales. When she refused to allow her heart to be weighed, and her fate decided, Mr. Jacquel told her that she would live an eternity in darkness.
American Gods airs Sundays on Starz at 8/7c.