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The Celtic Folklore That Inspired Mars Neto In The Winchesters

As fans of the death-defying CW series "Supernatural" know, the show never ceased to plumb obscure mythology for its monsters. Now, it's apparent that the show's spinoff series, "The Winchesters," will be no different. Exhibit A: In a recent episode of the show, a relatively unknown god from mythology reared his head — and delivered an unsettling warning to the series' protagonists.

"The Winchesters" on the CW follows John Winchester (Drake Rodger) and Mary (Meg Donnelly) — the parents of beloved "Supernatural" monster-slayers Sam and Dean — as they meet, fall in love, and discover a nebulous evil force known as the Akrida. But in the show's fourth episode, which aired November 1, John learned a bit more about the Akrida than he bargained for. In the process, he also fought a deity based on a short-tempered Irish war god, proving that the most unassuming stories can sometimes be the most terrifying. Here's Mars Neto's Celtic origins.

In the show, Mars Neto hails from Celtiberian mythology

In Season 1 Episode 4 of "The Winchesters," titled "Masters of War," Mary and John and their friends, a.k.a. the Monster Club, go in search of a faceless evil that is killing war veterans around the country. Since John and his new friend Carlos are both Vietnam War veterans themselves, the case has profound implications for both of them. They are led to confront their trauma further when they join a therapy group to conduct underground research.

But the pair soon learn that evil can sometimes hide in plain sight, as their fellow therapy group member reveals himself to be Mars Neto, a Celtiberian deity. The Celtiberians were a group of Celtic peoples who lived in the northern regions of Iberia (now modern-day Spain) during the final centuries B.C. (via University of Oxford). However, as followers of Celtic mythology will know, Neto is actually based on yet another mythological god from a bit further north — Ireland, to be exact.

Neit was the Celtic and Irish god of war

Seemingly, Mars Neto is inspired by Neit, a relatively unknown figure from Irish and Celtic mythology. While Neto is, in fact, a character that appears in Celtiberian religious texts, his personality and domain are somewhat unclear. As for his apparent inspiration, Neit, it's clearer that he was the undisputed god of war in ancient Ireland. In fact, his name came from "neit-t," a Proto-Celtic word that meant "passion" or "fighting." And while Neit had no obvious origin story in the region's mythology, he did form a part of the Tuatha Dé Danann, or pantheon of gods, in Irish mythology. This group was incidentally the last race of supernaturals to descend upon Ireland (via Timeless Myths).

Considering this context, it's appropriate that Mars Neto on "The Winchesters" would be so preoccupied with war veterans and other embattled humans. He also divulges to John, ominously, that he hopes to prepare the monster-hunter for an upcoming war with the Akrida — that is, before John slays him. Ultimately, viewers can only hope that Neto's short stint on the show — an auspicious indicator that "The Winchesters" is not your average monster show — will give John an adequate amount of time to prepare for this growing threat.