ALL the Prequels! ‘The Winchesters’ and ‘Walker: Independence’ Pilots Are A Go!

There’s something almost ‘Supernatural’ about the pilots for two new shows  from Supernatural costars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles  getting greenlit by the CW on the same day and announced in the same press release.

It made perfect sense for multiple reasons, though. Ackles and Padalecki worked together for 15 plus years and have remained the closest of friends even through a couple of those inevitable bumps in the road, proving their friendship can withstand challenges and come back strong. Both continue to profess their undying love for both Supernatural and their characters, Sam and Dean Winchester, reassuring fans that they’re not gone, but safe with the actors who portrayed them for so long.  Ackles is about to direct an episode of Padalecki’s new show, Walker. So it just made sense to announce the pilots were greenlit for both of their new projects on the same day, with Padalecki happily tweeting the news about both prequel series.

As a forever Supernatural fan, that made me very very happy.

A little while later, Jensen Ackles joined in the joint celebration, posting a celebration of The Winchesters and congratulating his brother Jared on the Walker: Independence prequel too.

Jensen and Danneel Ackles are executive producing the Supernatural prequel, ‘The Winchesters’, which tells the story of Sam and Dean’s parents, John and Mary. We know some unusual things already about how John and Mary ended up together, some of it the result of supernatural manipulation, so it will be interesting to see how the prequel depicts their early days. Sam and Dean thwarted all kinds of (even Godly) manipulation pretty successfully, so I wonder if their parents did some of that too?  Apparently they “put it all on the line to not only save their love, but the entire world” so it sounds like something interesting happened! Robbie Thompson, one of my favorite Supernatural writers and EPs, is shepherding the prequel into being. And Jensen Ackles will narrate as Dean Winchester, who I and many many fans have missed intensely for the past 15 months. Just knowing Jensen Ackles is inhabiting Dean Winchester again feels like the balance has been restored to the universe.

Padalecki, who has been starring as Cordell on ‘Walker’ since Supernatural wrapped, is executive producing the prequel, ‘Walker: Independence’, set in the late 1800s. The show follows Abby Walker, who’s looking for revenge after her husband is murdered right in front of her as they make their way West. She meets Hoyt Rawlins, “a lovable rogue in search of purpose” and they end up in Independence, Texas, whose eclectic population make up the rest of what sounds like an ensemble cast, similar to Walker. I’ve really been enjoying getting to know the Walker family on the original show, so I’m looking forward to a glimpse into their past too. I’m guessing this one will also be filmed in Austin, which should provide some great visuals for the West of the 1800s.

With Ackles already set to direct on Walker, I can’t help but hope that Padalecki reprises his role as Sam at some point on The Winchesters every now and then, with a little narration of his own. Or maybe there’s a time jump into the future… hey, it’s just a thought…

Whatever the future and the two new prequels hopefully bring, I’m celebrating with the SPNFamily tonight – congrats Ackles and Padaleckis!

– Lynn

You can read Jared and Jensen’s thoughts on

Sam and Dean and the legacy of Supernatural

In There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done and

Family Don’t End With Blood. Links in banner or:

Happy Birthday, Dean Winchester – A Year Later, I Still Miss You

Last year was the first year that on his birthday, I wrote about missing Dean Winchester. I thought maybe that would also be the last time I celebrated his birthday; that by the next year, he would be put on a shelf, remembered always but as a cherished part of my past.

Instead, it’s January 24, 2022 and I am still missing Dean Winchester.

I know how grief works, how it’s a process that eventually results not in letting go of who or what you love, but slotting it into a place where you can remember and love always but also move on and love other things. I thought, by this time, maybe I’d have fallen head over heels for another fictional character, another TV show or book or movie. I thought everyone else would have too – and that’s certainly what happened for many of my friends. Some people I met and became good friends with in the Supernatural fandom did move on, either to other shows and characters or away from fandom all together.

That’s never easy for me – I am beyond thrilled for them, but change is hard and I sometimes wish we were “all in this together” as it felt for so many years as a Supernatural fan. That we might not agree about where we wanted the show to go or who was our favorite character, but we all watched together and cared about Supernatural.  I tend to be pretty fandom monogamous, and it seems my love for Dean Winchester and Supernatural is very much alive and well fourteen months after the series wrapped.

But guess what? That’s okay. This is a post of gratitude, not sadness. I am so happy to be able to say that my love for Dean hasn’t waned in the past year, and I’m even happier to say that I’m not alone in that.  My timeline may not be as overwhelmingly Supernatural as it was when the show was airing, but it’s still full of gorgeous pictures and gifs of Dean Winchester doing what he does best – saving people, hunting things. Protecting the people he loves. Sometimes bloody, sometimes brave. Sometimes scared, sometimes vulnerable. Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying.

Always, to me, endlessly fascinating.

I’m so grateful that there are other fans who are still as in love with Supernatural as ever and still want to talk about it.  Grateful for the online book club that has read Family Don’t End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done and my other books on Supernatural, and to all the Supernatural actors who joined in over the past year to talk about the chapters they wrote (pretty sure Jensen Ackles made a lot of people’s day when his chapter was discussed.)

Grateful for my little rewatch group who are watching the show from the beginning. I’m so enjoying writing reviews of those early seasons so that this website will have a review of every single episode. Grateful for the facebook chats and discord groups and twitter DMs that give me a space to gush as much as I want about why yes, Dean Winchester IS still the most fascinating, complex, compelling fictional character of all time, thank you very much.

I’m grateful to everyone who follows this blog and comments on these posts, and to everyone who chats and shares and laughs and cries together on twitter and tumblr and Instagram and facebook. Grateful to the talented creative fans still writing the most amazing fanfiction and creating the most amazing art and taking con videos and photos and sharing with all of us. I was so afraid there would be no new content once the show ended and that hasn’t happened; I am thankful for that every single day.

I’m also really grateful that the people who love the Winchesters as much as I do and brought them to life so brilliantly have not forgotten them either. Jared and Jensen’s chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done and Family Don’t End With Blood are all about how much these characters and this show and this fandom have meant to them, and what they hope the Winchesters’ legacy will be. I knew that they didn’t want to let these characters go, but I still worried – I’m so glad they have found a way to throw themselves into new characters and projects while still hanging onto their love for Sam and Dean.

When Jensen says, “Dean is not gone, he’s right here, I’ve got him”, I believe him. When Jared says Sam will always be a part of him, or Misha writes poetry from Castiel’s point of view, I know that’s true for them too.

And I’m so grateful.

I’m celebrating all the exciting new ventures that have been undertaken since Supernatural wrapped, settling in with the queso and a warm blanket on Thursdays for a new episode of Walker with Jared. Anticipating Jensen joining The Boys, which I’ve loved from the start, with a new character we will undoubtedly love to hate. Reading Misha’s poetry and watching him roadtrip across the US with Roadfood. I’m so happy for all of them, and for us, that we get to have these new things.

But make no mistake, I miss Dean Winchester.

I miss Supernatural.

I love knowing Robbie Thompson is busy writing more Supernatural verse with ‘The Winchesters’ and that Dean Winchester will at the very least be narrating some of that show if it comes to be. Even if it doesn’t, I love knowing that Jensen wanted it to. I love that they still want to talk about and celebrate and remember the show and the characters I’ll never stop loving.

So happy birthday, Dean Winchester. I still miss you. But mostly, I’m grateful that you exist. The beauty of a fictional character is that they can live on forever. We’ve got fifteen seasons of getting to know Dean and who he is and what he cares about and how he fights and grieves and persists and loves. We’ve got sixteen years and counting of fanworks that celebrate and explore and share the beauty of that character and what makes him tick (according to each and every person who shares their head canon with the rest of us). We’ve got Jensen Ackles, who was so instrumental in making Dean who he is and helping us all fall in love with him, still reassuring us that “Dean’s right here, I’ve got him.”

I don’t think any other fictional character will ever capture my imagination and inspire my devotion like Dean Winchester.

And really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

— Lynn

You can remember and celebrate what

the Winchesters and Supernatural meant

and the legacy they leave with chapters by

actors and fans in There’ll Be Peace When

You Are Done and Family Don’t End With

Blood. Links on the home page or at:

Carrying On – One Year Since the Supernatural Finale

It’s November 19 – a date that will always make my heart ache a little. For most people, it’s just another day, but for me it carries a significance that might seem silly to some, but has real emotional weight for me. It’s the day Supernatural ended. After 15 seasons, the show that changed my life aired its final episode, Carry On, on this date one year ago.

I sobbed my way through the second half of that episode, so violently I came close to making myself ill, and then smiled through my tears as Sam and Dean were finally reunited in Heaven and allowed to live happily ever after. As much as I was on the same page as Jensen Ackles with having a hard time just getting my head around the idea of Dean Winchester dying at all, once I did I was on board, as he was, with how the finale showed us his last moments and gave us an even deeper understanding of him than we’d had in the fifteen years before.  I’ve had several conversations with Jensen about Dean’s ending and the finale episode (and one with Eric Kripke) over the past year or so, and my appreciation for Carry On has only grown as a result. None of us wanted to say goodbye to Dean Winchester – I sometimes think they are the only two people who love him more than I do, though I know some of you might quibble with that – but that ending felt true to the show that I love and to Kripke’s vision, and ultimately to Jensen’s understanding of Dean and Jared’s understanding of Sam.

I know some people don’t feel that way. Some of my closest friends don’t feel that way. I know it’s been a tough year for people who didn’t like the finale, or even hated it, and that anger and disappointment has fueled a year of infighting in the fandom that – improbably – sometimes seems worse than the infighting that went on when the show was actually on the air! I am tremendously grateful that it worked for me. I feel fortunate, because I care so much about this show, and if it didn’t it would hurt. A lot. So I have empathy for the people for whom it didn’t work, and I hope that one of these days that sense of loss and disappointment will ease and new passions can help people heal.

For me, the show ended reiterating the themes that came to characterize it over its entire run. The Winchesters finally had free will, thanks to their own determination and intellect (and help from Cas and Jack). We got to see them living what passes for a normal life as a Winchester, long enough that there were well established routines and rituals and time for pie fests and snuggles with Miracle, while also doing what gave their lives purpose and meaning: hunting.

The fact that the inherent danger of their profession caught up to them just made their heroism more powerful, to me. Every time they went out there, saving people and hunting things, they knew they could die. They knew there could be a bullet that found them or a monster that ripped them apart or an exposed rebar that a vampire could use to impale them. Every single time. And they did it anyway. That’s what makes them big fucking heroes. The fact that it stuck this time (forgive that choice of words) makes it glaringly obvious that the stakes were back to where they were when we started this journey. No deals with demons to bring them back, no pleading with Death, no playing with time. They were mortal, as vulnerable as all of us are.

And they went out there and did their jobs anyway.

Graphic offlarjun

I could have watched 300 hours of Winchester domestic life – that episode that Robbie Thompson always wanted to write and never got to – but I’m grateful for what we got. And as much as it was agonizing to watch Dean die and to watch Sam lose his brother, the raw genuineness those last minutes allowed felt like a gift. Dean got to say what he wanted to say, right out, defensiveness stripped away. All those times he covered up his feelings or struggled with vulnerability, we got to see how far he’d come, how open he could be. I love everything that Jensen and Jared added on that day, from the ‘yeah, there he is’ to the ‘always keep fighting’ to the callbacks to the pilot when they started this journey together so many years ago, both the characters and the actors. I know how much it meant to them and how proud they are of it.

Graphic huntersspn

I was teaching a graduate course in Grief and Loss most of last year, and I used the finale episode so many times, with its realistic depiction of grief and its hopeful message of being able to carry on. I’m also grateful that the show didn’t leave me there in the barn.

It’s a beautiful scene, one of the most emotional I’ve ever experienced, but it still makes me tear up every time I watch. Supernatural could have left us there, or ended with Sam having permission from his son that it’s okay for him to go now too. Instead we got to experience Sam and Dean’s reunion, Sam and Dean and Baby on that bridge, smiling. The scene didn’t need many words and it didn’t give us many. “Hey Sammy.” “Dean.”  A call back, along with their close-to-the-pilot wardrobe. Saying each other’s names has always meant a lot more anyway.

I kept crying long after Bob Singer called that final “cut” and Jared and Jensen said goodbye to us, the fans, forever incorporating us into the story. Simply because the ending was an ending, and I don’t think I was ever going to be truly ready to say goodbye to this show. I was so worried, a year ago today, that the fandom would disappear. That everyone would find a new show to love and forget about this one, while I knew damn right well that I’d be sitting here one year later still madly in love with these characters and this show and missing them. I don’t do moving on very well when I’m this passionate about something. I worried that I’d be all alone here, marking the anniversary with a glass of wine and a rewatch and a box of tissues and wondering if I was the only one who remembered the significance of November 19.

Instead it has been a week of shared emotions and memories and beautiful tributes to Supernatural and its ending, social media timelines filled with art and meta and gifs and heartfelt posts about what the show has meant and still means to so many people. I’ve smiled over a million photos of Dean hugging Miracle and Sam kicking the washing machine. I’ve sobbed over every line of dialogue in the barn scene flowing over a screencap that has no right to be as gorgeous as it is. I’ve smiled reading fans’ imaginings of what Heaven is like for the Winchesters and what Sam and Dean are up to now. I’ve tripped down memory lane and all the best times with Sam and Dean and Cas (and Jared and Jensen and Misha) over the years. My timeline has been every bit as vibrant and alive this past week as when the show was on the air and on the covers of EW and TVGuide and everything in between.

I don’t know why I was so worried.

Supernatural has never been ordinary – it has always been extraordinary. It stayed on the air when the network didn’t support it, when viewership was tiny, when the WB went out of existence. It pulled people in from the tiny CW network, and then from Netflix, and TNT, and Hulu, and…  It kept pulling people in year after year after year, word of mouth spreading the word organically and the talents of its cast and crew keeping people hooked. For most of the past year, it has remained in the top 10 streaming content despite being off the air. And more than all of that, what’s extraordinary about Supernatural is that the show has made a difference to countless people. When I decided to put together two books about how Supernatural had changed lives with Family Don’t End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, I wasn’t prepared for the powerful stories I’d receive – not only from fans but from the actors themselves. The show has changed us, and it has changed them. And that is extraordinary.

I don’t know what will happen a year from now. I don’t know if this will be the last big hurrah of a fandom that has survived a lot of ups and downs and a level of infighting that would have tanked a less determined group of people for sure. But here we are. Still loving this show and these characters. Still wanting to celebrate what it’s meant to all of us.

Tweet spnmaisiedaisy

In their chapters of There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, Jared and Jensen both wrote about what they hope Supernatural’s – and the Winchesters’ – legacy will be. I reread both their chapters and a few others to remind me today that there is a legacy, and how proud these actors are of that and the characters they brought to life.

From Jensen’s chapter:

I think that the people who have found Supernatural and become part of the fandom and found each other through the show—the SPNFamily—are probably the legacy that we’re going to be proudest of… The show carries the message to always keep fighting for each other, and that has inspired the fandom to keep fighting too, whatever fight they are facing… We started out thinking we were making a horror show about monsters, but it became clear pretty quickly that’s not what made the show important. So many fans have told me that what is special is that it’s a show about two brothers who will do anything to fight for each other and to fight to save the world. Not in a way that people tell them to or according to what’s written in a book, but by making their own choices about what’s right and wrong and always trying to do what’s right. That’s the legacy of the show and that’s what has made a difference.

From Jared’s chapter:

I’m very proud of what we’ve done and of the story that we got to tell. Sam Winchester has inspired me, just like he’s inspired many fans… I think most of us, like Sam, probably do struggle to forgive ourselves sometimes. But I feel like Sam’s actions have been kind and sacrificial and loyal, and I have always wanted him to keep fighting—for his brother, for his family, to save people. I value that about him. The way the Winchesters have faced insurmountable odds inspires me and hopefully others to keep on working as hard as we can.

Jensen’s chapter had an important ending that will be a comfort to me every November 19th and all the days in between:

And let’s be clear. Supernatural will never end. The show might, but what it has built? This will never end. Besides, nothing ever stays dead on Supernatural.

Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Ackles.

Happy one year anniversary of wrapping up, Supernatural.

Here’s to celebrating many more.

— Lynn

You can read Jared and Jensen’s chapters

in both Family Don’t End With Blood and

There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done,

along with contributions from Misha and

many more – Links on home page or at:

 

 

 

Happy Supernatural Day 2021!

My fear was that I’d be the only one to remember this year. That this year, Supernatural Day would feel more sad than joyous, and I’d be sitting here recalling years past when we all took to social media with posts and tweets and photos celebrating the premiere day of the Little Show That Could, together.

I should have known better.

The fandom can feel like a fractured and contentious place sometimes, especially now a year after Supernatural ended, but I woke up today to find my timeline overflowing with beautiful memories and heartfelt sentiments about what the show has meant to people who are still grateful – and still missing it, like I am. One of the best things about fandom has always been that it feels like having a community of like-minded people around you, sharing the joy you find in something, and understanding just how passionate you are about that something. It’s validating, and it makes the experience of being a fan a million times more enjoyable. It’s why so many of us describe joining the fandom for the thing we love as ‘coming home’ or ‘finding my people’. Being able to wake up today and feel all those wonderful things all over again is such a gift.

So I’m joining the chorus (which is the best feeling ever – to raise your voice and express your emotions along with a whole bunch of other people doing the same).

Happy Supernatural Day!

We came a long long way over the fifteen years this show was on the air.

Thank you, Eric Kripke, for creating these characters and this story that has changed so many people’s lives.

Thank you, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins and so many more gifted actors for bringing these characters to life and making them so real – imperfect, complex, struggling, enduring loss and pain and confusion and despair just like the rest of us do.

But never giving up.

I am so grateful for the journey we got to take with Sam and Dean and Cas and all the other memorable characters who were a part of this fifteen year story. Grateful that the story itself was never simple, and rarely easy, just like real life. We watched the characters we loved go through unimaginable pain and loss; watched the actors portray their grief and rage and longing and love so vividly that we could feel it ourselves, in our own hearts.

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Looking Back to One Year Ago…As Supernatural Filmed Its Final Episode

It was one year ago today that Supernatural filmed its final episode. I don’t know how that’s possible, because in some ways it seems like yesterday, and yet when I think of everything that has happened since, it seems like maybe it was even longer. Jared has filmed a whole season of Walker and is starting another. Jensen has filmed a whole season of The Boys. Misha has recorded a podcast season and published a poetry book. Some of my friends in the fandom have moved on, found other shows to love, even if they will always have a soft spot for this one. Some got pulled into this drama or that drama and walked away disillusioned or disappointed. Some, like me, are still here – I’m grateful every single day that the SPN Family still exists and I can still hop on social media and find people who want to talk about Supernatural and how much we love and miss it.

A year ago, I was already anticipating how much things would change, and of course they have. I knew that life would feel different just knowing that Jensen and Jared and Misha and the crew that felt like family too were no longer up there in Vancouver making magic for us to enjoy. I knew I’d miss Jason Fischer posting the Quote of the Day – it started out my every day for so long, a part of my daily routine that I cherished. He probably doesn’t know how good it felt, to know that everyone in my little corner of the world (ie, the Supernatural fandom) was starting out their day with that white board too.

It was something they shared with us simply because they wanted to – and it helped us as fans feel a part of everything they did. We knew when the day started, when the day was slated to end, what scenes they were filming. I miss that feeling of connection that was pretty unique in the world of television.

A year ago, as the cast and crew headed to work for their very last day of shooting, they wanted to share that with us too. Jared and Jensen both candidly shared their emotional reactions to their last day being Sam and Dean, taking the time to post something for the fandom even as they had to do the actual filming of those final scenes on the bridge.

I don’t know that there’s ever been a show and a fandom so closely tied that the fans got to ‘know’ so many of the behind the scenes people who made Supernatural so special, not just the actors. So many of those people wanted to show us where they were and how they felt as the last day spun out. It made it a little easier to deal with my own feelings when I knew they were shared by all these talented and hard-working people.

It was rare and special that so many of the crew worked on the show for nearly its entire run – when everyone said it was a family, I think they really meant it.

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