Djinn lore and legends: Where did Supernatural get the lore from?

Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Sergei Bachlakov, Acquired via CW PR
Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Sergei Bachlakov, Acquired via CW PR /

In Supernatural Season 2, the show introduced the djinn, a magical type of genie but without the bottle. Here’s a look at the real lore behind the creature.

When Supernatural first introduced the djinn, my mind went to the Wishmaster franchise. This focused on the idea of an evil genie, who would grant wishes with terminal consequences. While Supernatural opted for a different take, there were some similarities between the creatures. That got me thinking of the real lore behind the creatures.

We wouldn’t see the djinn again until Season 6. And now we haven’t seen them since. However, it just so happens that one of my favorite creatures on the show is in one of my favorite episodes. Before moving onto the two-part Season 2 finale for the series, it’s time to delve into the lore behind the creature.

Supernatural‘s djinn lore

More from Supernatural

The djinn in Supernatural Season 2 is described as an evil genie (hence why I thought of Wishmaster). However, it doesn’t quite grant wishes.

Feeding on people, the creature will use an unspoken wish or a series of memories to build a world inside the mind. The victim can live in this world for years, although will die within days as the djinn feeds on the victim’s blood. Most victims never know, although there are flashes of reality that seep through now and then. Dean is able to understand the realities seeping through because of clues that it’s all just a dream due to his hunter nature.

The way the creature is able to make the wish world is by poisoning the victim. If delivered in a large amount, death is almost instant.

There are other versions of djinn. Rather than sending people into wish worlds, they trap people in their greatest nightmares and fears.

The colt and severe brain damage become two ways to kill the djinn. However, the first time we see one, it takes a silver knife dipped in lamb’s blood to kill.

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Supernatural djinn lore
Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Sergei Bachlakov, Acquired via CW PR /

Djinns in the real world

Djinn, or jinn, in real lore are Arabic creatures. This is something Supernatural kept, as a professor notes that they are found in the Qur’an. There are actually three types of jinn mentioned in the Qur’an: Jinn, Marid, and ‘Ifrit. There are many others, though.

According to the lore, they’re actually ghouls and they shapeshift. They’re also blood drinkers, which was the development used for the show, but they can also feed on the flesh of their prey. There are various types of ghouls in Arabian lore, which also makes it harder to figure out which lore exactly Supernatural used.

It looks like most of it was the generalized version of ghouls, which are commonly found in lonely places like ruins and graveyards. In Supernatural, the djinn preferred abandoned buildings. They can also feast on the living and the dead, which isn’t that surprising considering what we saw of the creatures in the show.

When it comes to the power to grant wishes, it’s the Marid that the show has developed the lore from. The way the Marid will grant wishes differs. It’s not a matter of survival, but through battles, rituals, and flattery. They are more like genies than evil, blood-thirsty creatures.

Next: Supernatural legends: Binding spells for spirits, reapers, and more

How much did you know about the real djinn lore? Are you impressed with how Supernatural is able to take real lore and twist it for the series? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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