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Supernatural Fans Speak Out In Defense Of John And Mary

"Supernatural" has been one of the biggest television success stories of the last two decades. The fledgling CW series ran for an astounding 15 seasons on the network, powered mainly by its die-hard fanbase and a story engine that allowed the characters to travel all over America.

Though the series mainly followed Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), other mainstays joined the cast from time to time, including crotchety old coot Bobby (Jim Beaver), the double-dealing demon Crowley (Mark Sheppard), and the overpowered but aloof angel Castiel, which some think almost ruined "Supernatural" (Misha Collins).

Despite being dead for most of the series, two other characters who popped up occasionally were John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith). Though not always as beloved as some other side characters on "Supernatural," John and Mary are essential to the show's legacy. So the question becomes: what do the notoriously loyal fans of the series think of mama and papa Winchester?

Some fans wanted more of John and Mary

On the r/Supernatural subreddit, fans debated the merits and mistakes of John and Mary. u/JamesHatesLife started things off in their thread by declaring: "Unpopular opinion: I like John and Mary." They elaborated, making the points that fans disliked Mary because she didn't live up to the ideal the series set for her and that John was willing to do anything to avenge his wife and safeguard his sons.

Since Mary is only seen in the occasional flashback before returning to life in Season 11, it's easy for viewers to see her as the perfect, selfless mother who died trying to protect her sons. However, the character is given more layers when she returns later on.

U/eli454 agreed with the sentiment. "What I liked about Mary's return was that it was interesting to see her outside Dean, Sam, and John's romanticized versions of her," they said. Another user quickly defended John, saying: "He is an interesting character. People are a little too harsh. He cared before about both of his kids. But John is a broken man; he doesn't function properly."

It's evident in the series that John's mental state has been badly affected by the death of Mary, and he becomes very single-minded in his pursuit of vengeance. All the same, we might be seeing new layers of these flawed characters very soon.

The old Winchesters are new again

The new "Supernatural" prequel "The Winchesters" will air in the Fall. The series follows a young John and Mary as they initially meet and go on to hunt demons together while falling in love. The show stars Meg Donnelly and Drake Rodger and will be narrated by Jensen Ackles.

Since "The Winchesters" is diving so liberally into the franchise's past, it could help iron out the corners on John and Mary. After all, relationships are nothing if not complicated, and perhaps a little hindsight will allow fans to understand why the couple made the choices they did. The backstory could even inform the narrative of "Supernatural" to a certain extent.

Either way, the duo has a chance at redemption here, and with series alum Jensen Ackles also producing (via Variety), "The Winchesters" could be just the thing to soften the critics of John and Mary's legacy.