Transforming Supernatural: What if John Winchester died instead of Mary?

Supernatural -- "Lebanon" -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural -- "Lebanon" -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

At the beginning of the pilot episode of Supernatural, Mary Winchester died in Sam’s nursery. What could life have been like for the Winchesters had John died instead?

In the Supernatural pilot episode, everything kicked off with Mary dying in Sam’s nursery. It would start off everything, but what if the other parent died? What if John Winchester was the one to die on the ceiling in the pilot episode? How would that have transformed the show?

We’ve had the chance to learn much more about Mary Winchester in recent years. She wasn’t the perfect mother that Dean had always remembered her has. She wasn’t the perfect wife that John Winchester had imagined her as. There were flaws, whether it was hiding the hunter part of her past or going off to do the hunting despite promising her children would be raised away from it all.

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It’s hard to say exactly how Mary would have reacted. She would have remembered the deal she made, unlike John, who had to learn everything from the beginning and still never got the full details before he died. Mary would have known it was a demon and would have known that there was a danger to Sam as he grew up.

This could have certainly taken her on the run. The Winchester family may have still grown up in motel rooms but for a different reason. Mary may have wanted to raise her sons as far away from demons as possible.

She never wanted the hunter life for them. Would John’s death have led to her deciding to pull them into the hunter way of life after all? Would she have gone on a mission of revenge?

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Supernatural — “Game Night” — Image Number: SN1417b_0397bc.jpg — Pictured: Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester — Photo: Diyah Pera /The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supernatural — “Game Night” — Image Number: SN1417b_0397bc.jpg — Pictured: Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester — Photo: Diyah Pera /The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

But what about Season 12 Mary?

At least if she had decided to pull them into the hunter way of life, she could have taught them more. Despite what we’ve seen in Supernatural Season 12, there’s a high chance that she would have been a present mother, not purely hunting for revenge but with a plan in mind considering how much she already knew.

In Supernatural Season 12, Mary was trying to deal with 30 years of her life gone in the blink of an eye. Her babies were suddenly grown up, in a life that she never wanted for them. She had to deal with the new technology and simply coming back from the dead. It was a lot to take in and her actions weren’t surprising considering all that.

But if she hadn’t died and come back 30+ years later, everything could have been different. She’d have been a mother, trying to raise her boys without a father.

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Does Dean’s wish world give us a clue?

Of course, we could have seen her have a life with her boys at home like we saw in “What Is and What Should Never Be.” I don’t think that would have been the case, though. In Dean’s wish world, John died of a stroke and they’d clearly spend most of Dean and Sam’s childhood together. If John died in the pilot episode, Mary wouldn’t have had the chance of a normal life as a family of four.

By dying younger and under demonic circumstances, Mary would have felt a need to get some sort of revenge. It would have been planned revenge, full of the knowledge of the past. This could have helped preventing her running unless, as I said, she felt the need to run to protect her brothers.

Family over friends?

I do wonder if we would have seen Mary turn to her family more than friends. Dean and Sam wouldn’t have likely been raised around Bobby Singer. They wouldn’t have known Pastor Jim and the other hunter friends that John made on the way.

There’s a high chance Mary would have turned to her Campbell relatives, ones that we met in Supernatural Season 6. This could have added another layer of stability to the boys, but they probably wouldn’t have been the men they are now, especially Dean, who we saw turn out to be a man with questionable morals in “What Is and What Should Never Be.”

One thing is for certain, the brothers wouldn’t have been raised as soldiers in the war on revenge. However, that doesn’t mean they would have had a better life.

Next. The transformation of the Winchesters' bond over the years. dark

What do you think would have happened in Supernatural had John Winchester died in the pilot? What would life have been like with Mary Winchester? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Supernatural Season 15 premieres on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8/7c on The CW.