Everything fans of the show Supernatural knows about John and Mary Winchester is what we see in flashbacks, time travel, stories, possession, ghosts, and the occasional resurrection. Before the prequel airs, let us review what we already know about the couple and what lies ahead for the two.
Every fan of Supernatural knows that just because a character is dead, does not mean they are going to stay that way and John and Mary Winchester are no exception. In the first episode of the show, we learn that Mary dies in 1983 when Sam is only six months old. We learn how she died and who killed her as well which works out for the best because finding what killed her is the main storyline for some time. The event of Mary’s death is what shaped the lives of main characters Sam and Dean, and they would do anything to set things right.
The Mary of Supernatural was raised a hunter and wanted nothing more than to get out of that life. She was a petite, blonde-haired, blue-eyed teenager when she met John. She loses her father, mother, and John all at the same time but because of a deal with a demon, John is brought back to life. The two get married and she gives birth to Dean, then Sam. On the night of Sam’s half-birthday, Mary is killed in a fire because of the deal she made with the demon. It is because of her death that John becomes a hunter.
The John of Supernatural is a Vietnam Marine veteran turned mechanic. He is not a hunter and knows nothing of monsters, demons, or angels until Mary dies. The audience sees Mary’s parents die and her make her deal because this happened during a time travel episode; in the same episode we find out that it is Mary, not John, that is the hunter. There is one additional time travel episode in which Dean talks his dad into buying the iconic ’67 Impala and we find out that John still does not know about monsters because he thinks that Mary’s parents both died of heart attacks.
Throughout the show, John and Mary both make appearances in flashbacks, where we learn that John raised the boys in the hunter lifestyle of constantly moving, living in cheap motels, eating fast food, and devastatingly unnatural deaths. Even though John loved his sons, he was not the best dad. He frequently missed holidays, left the kids alone in dingy motel rooms with Dean watching Sam for weeks at a time, or with other hunters. The kids were raised the one way Mary did not want, as hunters.
Young Mary was played by Amy Gumenick. The actress has done several one-episode roles on big shows like Law & Order, NCIS, Bones, and How I Met Your Mother. She played Mary as a fierce and loving young woman who will stop at nothing for the ones that she loves. Adult Mary is played by Samantha Smith. The actress has been in several movies, including Jerry Maguire and Transformers. Samantha’s version of Mary is the one that Dean remembers as his loving and devoted mom. Young John was played by Matt Cohen who has spent a lot of time on the Soap Opera General Hospital. Cohen’s John was young and in love and maybe a little naïve. Adult John is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan who is currently playing Negan on The Walking Dead, and was recently announced as joining the fourth season of Amazon Prime’s hit series The Boys. Jeffery’s version of John is broken, looking for answers, and out for revenge. These are the Marys and Johns that we all know and love – but their upcoming prequel spinoff seems to be a new take on the story that is misaligned with the established history and, dare I say it, lore already established in Supernatural.
In the prequel, The Winchesters, we are introduced to a young Mary Campbell and John Winchester. Mary is played my Meg Donnelly who has been in several made for TV movies on Disney. John is played by a fairly new actor named Drake Rodger; he is so new to the game that his acting credits only start in 2020 but the CW usually does really well when it comes to casting.
The Winchesters is the story of John Winchester who is looking for answers about his father, who is mysteriously missing and Mary Campbell who is also looking for her mysteriously missing father. The show will focus on Mary and John’s love, their search for the truth, and the quest to save the world.
My hope for this show is that it is every bit as amazing as Supernatural was and I think the best bet this show will have is for the fans of Supernatural to forget what was learned about this couple. For this premise to work, forget that John was not a hunter before the death of his wife. Forget that Mary wanted out of this life more than anything else in the world. Forget that we already know what happened to Mary’s family, and forget that Mary sealed her own fate. I do not think that I can forget those things, but, I can and will separate the two stories to see where the new story takes us. Is The Winchesters set in an alternate reality? It’s not outside the realm of possibility; later seasons of Supernatural established a multiverse for Sam and Dean’s world. Whatever the case may be, The Winchesters looks to be a totally new take on something fans are already familiar with – but whether it will be embraced by them or not remains to be seen.