John’s journal may not be used that much anymore, but it was a clue for the Winchesters from the very start of Supernatural
Many things have come and gone throughout Supernatural. John’s journal is one of those items mentioned now and then, but it’s no longer used for almost every hunt. The brothers now have the books in the Men of Letters’ bunker at their disposal. The last time it was used was by Mary to get to know the man her husband became after her death.
For fans, John’s journal is a cornerstone of the show. Think of it like Dean’s leather jacket, the amulet, Baby, and even Bobby’s panic room. It’s constantly talked about in fan groups and on sites like Tumblr.
Why was John’s journal so important?
In the pilot episode, Dean was arrested where his father’s journal was thrown at him. Inside was a page with “Dean” and a set of co-ordinates. The Winchester brothers knew that this was serious. John never left his journal behind.
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After realizing that John had left his case behind, the journal was the first clue for the Winchester brothers to find out what their dad was up to. It never actually led to him, but a case that the brothers needed to solve. This was more of a chance for fans to learn more about the bond between the brothers and their personalities.
However, John’s journal did offer an insight into the amount of hunting John Winchester had done. There were drawings, clippings, and content on all the different things that went bump in the night. One of those was the wendigo that the brothers would face in the second episode of the show.
Over time the journal would become clues to not just John’s whereabouts but the demon that killed Mary and the research John had done. One of the people mentioned in the journal was Missouri, who would appear in “Home” and is now slated to return in Supernatural Season 13. The Winchester brothers would also use the journal to help them fight against the monsters of the week in the earlier seasons.
Think of John’s journal a little like the Book of Shadows in Charmed or Giles’ amazing mind in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The brothers have often commented that information about monsters hasn’t been included. Some of the information would remain in John’s head, especially when it came to his feelings about Mary’s death.
John’s journal wasn’t always his!
Did you know that the journal that is often referred to as “Dad’s journal” wasn’t actually his to begin with? It had been Henry Winchesters, John’s father. Henry had made notes about all his findings as a Man of Letters, until he disappeared and many presumed he had ran away. The journal was delivered to John, who was supposed to become another Man of Letters, but the bunker had been left forgotten about after Abaddon.
The journal has H.W. embossed into it at the front. It would be interesting to know what John originally thought of that journal when he first got his hands on it.
Not all hunters have journals
The majority of hunters have journals of their own. Bobby has been seen writing in his, which is now in the Winchesters’ hands and sometimes used for research. Other hunters have been see with or mentioned their journals.
Surprisingly, the Winchester brothers have never started one of their own. There hasn’t even been a mention of Sam putting anything on a phone or computer. Neither have added to Bobby’s or John’s journals over the years. Maybe one will do it in the days before the show ends, leaving something for kids of their own if that ever happens.
Even though it doesn’t have all the information the Winchester brothers could need, it has been an invaluable resource over the years. It gave Mary an insight into the Winchesters’ upbringing after her death and did help the brothers through a few scrapes over the years. Now if only we could see it once more onscreen!
Supernatural Season 13 premieres on Oct. 12 at 8/7c on The CW