Women can be anything they want to be. Supernatural really lets its female characters break out of the stereotypical, normative molds. There are no damsels in distress here. When Supernatural began in 2005, the story starts with two brothers, Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) looking for their father who has not returned home from a monster hunt. Fast forward to 15 years later, not only do we fall in love with two beautiful human beings and a beloved angel, we also fall in love with all those women who help make the show great.
In this article, I will compare the male and female characters and how they have impacted the show. These characters will be of my choice in these categories: villains, heroes, and allies.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD if you have not watched past season 14.
Supernatural Key Facts
Mark of Cain
The Mark of Cain is an essential factor to explain a couple of characters like Amara and Abaddon. The Mark of Cain is considered the first curse that God creates to lock up the darkness (Amara). The mark was first given to Lucifer to seal up the darkness and then passes it down to Cain. The Mark of Cain is a biblical reference to the first children of Adam and Eve: Cain and Abel.
Lucifer creates the Knights of Hell, with Cain as the first command and Abaddon as the subordinate. Cain realizes that the Knights of Hell are the worst creations and kills all of them, except Abaddon, who escapes. Centuries later, Cain gives Dean the mark so he can kill Abaddon and use the first blade as a weapon. After Abaddon, Dean does not want to bear the mark anymore and finds a way to remove it. However, when Dean removes the mark, he also releases the darkness onto the Earth.
The Four Horsemen references back to the book of Revelations in the Bible. They are four creatures that ride on white (Pestilence), red (War), black (Famine), and pale (Death) horses. In Supernatural, the four horsemen ride in colored mustang cars, modernizing the biblical figures. When Dean and Sam release Lucifer from Hell, an apocalypse breaks out, as well as the four horsemen. However, Lucifer rose Death from Hell and took him hostage. Their powers come from the rings they wear, and the four rings together are what traps Lucifer back to Hell again.
King of Hell
As King of Hell, the King would look at contracts and see which demons make the most deals. A deal goes as follows: a demon can get you whatever you want, but after ten years, your soul is dragged to Hell.
Crowley vs Abaddon
When Crowley (Mark Sheppard), King of the crossroads, first meets with the Winchesters, he immediately allies with them to get rid of Lucifer. After Lucifer is put back in the cage, he deems himself King of Hell. he believes he deserves it. Crowley is a businessman, and when he wants something, he negotiates, as he does with the Winchesters.
Although Crowley is an antagonist character, we often see Crowley ally himself with the Winchesters when it benefits him. Crowley helps the Winchesters with Lucifer, works with Castiel to get Purgatory (where monsters go after they die), and again with Dean to defeat Abaddon. We see Crowley as a power-hungry villain, but when things do not go his way, he runs away. However, in the end, Crowley sacrifices himself to help the Winchesters, to save the world one last time.
Abaddon (Alania Huffman), a knight of Hell, possesses anybody that is valuable and important to her. Abandon takes possession of Josie Sands to learn about the Men of Letters, then she nearly kills them off during initiation, except two members: Larry Ganem and Henry Winchester. Henry jumps through time and runs into the Winchester boys. Henry is Sam and Dean’s grandfather, who gives them the key to the bunker of the Men of Letters. Abaddon jumps through time after Henry to get the special key so she can use it to create chaos. Abaddon temporarily possesses Ganem’s Wife to find out where the bunker is and then kills them both.
The Winchesters beat Abaddon twice–not kill, just beat. When Abaddon comes to, she realizes that Crowley “the salesman” became the King of Hell. After she hears that the demons use the deals to take souls, she retaliates with, “We’re paying for what we should be taking.” Instead Crowley’s orderly Hell, Abaddon wants domination, not a business.
Abaddon is witty, smart and walks around town like she owns it, even after she jumps through time. The first thing she does after her persuasive speech to the demons is to give them an upgrade on their meat suits. She hijacks a military vehicle and lets the demons possess the military soldiers along with access to weapons too. Even though Abaddon is a Knight of Hell, she suits up with a bulletproof vest to protect herself from demon trap bullets. Abaddon manages to double the number of souls in Hell as she collects the deals before their expiration date.
However, when the time came for the demons to fight/kill on Abaddon’s command, they were hesitant. Abaddon wants to fight to the death, but Crowley says that it’s not a fight, it’s a political debate; demons choose between Crowley or Abaddon. Before Abaddon jumps to the future, she plans for war. Abaddon and her demons took souls from humans to create a demon army, only loyal to Abaddon. Her plan would’ve worked if she was not so power-hungry against Crowley.
Lucifer and God vs. Amara (God’s Sister)
The story of Lucifer and God in the Bible is similar in Supernatural. In the Bible, Lucifer is cast out of heaven because he was corrupt and wants to be superior to God. In Supernatural, Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) is cast out of heaven because after he bears the mark of Cain, he becomes corrupt and sinister, the effects of the mark. So God (Rob Benedict) decides to cast Lucifer out rather than help him. The show portrays Lucifer as a bratty teenager who wants nothing more than God’s approval. Before God creates humans and other beings, he establishes the four Archangels: Lucifer, Michael, Raphel, and Gabriel. God’s favorite creation was Lucifer because he was perfect in every way. God creates humans and makes them his new favorite creation, which makes Lucifer jealous and the reason for his eternal damnation.
Once God creates the Earth and all the living beings and gives the planet a reset through Noah’s ark, he disappears. The character of God is very complex. There are many mentions of God, but his first appearance is not until season 11 when he has to go against Amara (Emily Swallow), his sister (more on that later). There are theories that God lives among us because we are God’s favorite creation; the assumptions are not far off in this series.
The first time the Winchesters realize they are fictional characters is when they hear they are part of a book series called Supernatural by Carver Edlund. We soon find out that Edlund is Chuck Shurley, who gets visions, and Castiel says that he’s a prophet of the Lord.
Spoilers: Chuck is God, and, for whatever reason, prefers the name Chuck instead of God. So “Chuck,” placed himself among the humans because he wants to be part of his own stories and watch his creations from a front-row seat. Chuck is a self-righteous narcissist. That’s why he made so many creations that were less than him.
So as long as there is light, there will always be darkness. There are many references to how darkness and light coexist with each other. If God is the light, then Amara is the darkness. Amara destroys everything God creates. If light or darkness dies, then the very existence of life will also perish. So God and the Archangels lock Amara up, with the Mark of Cain. Thousands of years later, the Winchesters free Amara after Dean removes his mark from his arm.
When Dean releases the darkness onto the Earth, she is reborn as a baby and becomes Amara. Crowley took Amara in and taught her what God did while she was locked up. Amara grows up and decides she wants to reshape Earth in her image after she destroys all of God’s creations first. Amara desperately wants to get God’s attention, so she starts to kill God’s most faithful humans, the preachers, and churches. The angels smite Amara in hopes they could kill her, but they fail. There were multiple attempts to kill Amara, even a joint army of angels, demons, and witches to weaken Amara. So Sam can take the mark, and God can put her back. In the end, Amara just wants her brother’s love, she loves her brother, but God betrays her.
When Amara plans to recreate the world in her image, she wants everyone to live ‘blissfully’ instead of in pain like how God made the world. Amara notices that the world is beautiful and she realizes that she’s envious of what God had and made amends with God. Thankful for Dean’s help, Amara resurrects his mom, Mary Winchester. Amara knew she was wrong and made things right. However, God refuses to change and goes about his egoistic ways.
Bobby Singer and Sheriff Jody Mills
Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) is an old friend of John Winchester (Sam’s and Dean’s father). Now and then, he watches over the Winchester boys. The Winchesters see Singer as a second father to them, so whenever Singer gives the boys advice, they take it seriously. Whenever the boys get in a sticky situation, Singer does not hesitate to help them out. When the Winchesters are in the middle of an investigation, and the authorities do not believe them, they use Singer as their boss; whether they pose as FBI, Health Inspectors, Police Officers, or the CDC, the authorities call him.
However, Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rodes) does not fall prey to their actions when they first meet each other. Sheriff Mills and Singer live in the same town, she knows Singer as the town drunk. The story of Sheriff Mills begins when the dead men rise from their graves in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. One of the risen is Sheriff Mills’ 11-year old son; the dead soon turn on their loved ones, which included Sheriff Mills’ husband and herself. The Winchesters came just in time to save Sheriff Mills. Since then, Sheriff Mills is no stranger to monsters. Not long after, Sheriff Mills adopted two daughters: Alex Jones and Claire Novak. These troubled teenagers experienced a run-in with monsters as well.
As a final note, Sheriff Mills is the longest lived character in Supernatural. The Winchesters don’t count because they have died multiple times and came back to life. Sheriff Mills did not die once in all of ten seasons she’s been in.
Singer watched the boys grow up, so the crazy ideas they come up with are no surprise to him. Singer grew to love them and would do anything and everything to help them, which includes when he dies and becomes a ghost. He helps them against the Leviathans. Sheriff Mills was already a mom so when the Winchesters come to town, she helps them out when she can. Every now and then, she uses her “mom voice,” on them to set them straight. Although Sheriff Mills is not their mom, she is very protective and does have some influence on the Winchesters.
Charlie Bradbury (Felicia Day) is one of the nerdiest and smartest characters we’ll ever meet; Harry Potter, Star Wars, Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, you name it and she’s a proud fan of it.
Bradbury works at the Roman Enterprise, owned by Dick Roman, the leader of the Leviathans. We meet Bradbury when the Winchesters find her after she hacks their friend’s hard drive. Once Bradbury sees Roman devour her boss, she decides to help the Winchesters and hack Roman’s computer. Bradbury barely escapes and gets her arm broken. Afterward, Bradbury chooses to leave town to try to gain back some normalcy. While the Winchesters work a case, they find Bradbury in the city and ask for her help. Reluctantly Bradbury helps the Winchesters.
Bradbury decides she’s done running and becomes a full-fledged hunter with the help of Chuck’s books. When Bradbury meets up with the Winchesters, she tells them she finds a case and helps out. The Winchesters use research through their dad’s journal and books from the Men of Letters; however, Bradbury uses her tablet to do research. She proves that she’s not only smart but also handy when it comes to research.
When she hunts monsters, she wants more of an adventure and less of an unpaid life choice. Enter Dorothy from Oz. Bradbury gets excited about a new quest and helps Dorothy kill the Wicked Witch. Afterwards, Bradbury joins Dorothy in Oz for adventure and more quests. After some time, though, she’s come back from her journey and helps the Winchesters remove the mark of Cain. However, Bradbury’s help ends with her demise. After she decrypts the book of the damned and gives it to the Winchesters, the Styne family kills her.
Death and Billie the Reaper
When the Winchesters find the last horsemen, Death (Julian Richings), he gives them his ring. Once Lucifer summons Death from Hell, Death was put on a lease to go from town to town to cause hurricanes, floods, and natural disasters. Death wants the Winchesters to put Lucifer back in Hell so he is no longer bound to a whiny kid who wants to have a tantrum. Death is as old as God or older, so a little apocalypse by two angels meant nothing to him. They are bacteria in one small planet that is still very young amongst other worlds. Death’s character is cold, scary, and bitter; he portrays a true grim reaper.
The Winchesters call on Death a couple of times; Dean asks for Sam’s soul back and to kill Godstiel. Sam nearly dies after the Winchesters try to close the gate of Hells. Instead of a reaper to take Sam, Death himself arrives because he finds Sam an honor to collect his soul. Death says, “well-done.” Of course, Sam does not die because of Dean. Death sees the Winchesters die more times than any being, and he finds it funny. When Dean summons Death, he asks Death to kill him or get rid of the mark. Death offers an ultimatum: to take Dean away from Earth if he kills his brother. Instead, Dean kills Death.
Billie the Reaper
Billie (Lisa Berry) is a reaper after the darkness is free from its cage. She meets with Sam and says, “what dies stays dead.” This is what she believes in. Billie helps the boys out a couple of times before Castiel takes her life. Then she reincarnates into the new Death. When the boys work a case that involves ghosts, Dean dies and meets with Billie. Billie shows Dean her “reading room,” more specifically an entire shelf that shows how Dean dies. With Billie’s new role, she realizes how important the Winchesters are and helps them.
Billie believes in no interference with lives because of “rules.” She likes to have clean hands. When Winchesters go to Billie for help, in return she asks them to take their own life because of her “rules.” Billie does not trust the Winchesters that much, so she has reapers watch them, to make sure they don’t mess up on a global scale. Although Billie does not believe in interference, we see her help the Winchesters a lot more than the old Death did. Billie even breaks her “rules,” to help the Winchesters. She becomes a key player in season 15 as well.
It may have taken a while before we started to see strong women’s roles in Supernatural, but when we did get them, they did not disappoint. These strong women characters are brilliant and badass. Even if they were short-lived, they are remembered. Currently, production for Supernatural season 15 is paused due to COVID-19. The first 13 episodes already aired and you can watch them on Amazon, and the last five episodes are free on CW.
Do you think I nailed the Supernatural women? Or did I miss someone? Let us know at @Geekgalsco
Most of this article is from personal knowledge and with the help of Supernatural Wiki, which goes in-depth about who and what each character is.
Read more of Grace’s articles.
Sign up to get news, announcements, and other fun stuff straight to your inbox.
Featured image credit: The CW