John Winchester

From Super-wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
For information on the character as he appears in The Winchesters, see John Winchester (The Winchesters)

OG JohnWinchester.jpg
Name John Eric Winchester
Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Matthew Cohen (Young John)
Nels Gulofen (Child John)
Dates 1954 – July 19, 2006 (killed by Azazel)
Location Heaven (currently)
Lawrence, Kansas (formerly)
Occupation Marine
Vessel for Michael (5.13)
Episode(s) 1.01 Pilot
1.04 Phantom Traveler (voice only)
1.09 Home
1.10 Asylum (not seen)
1.11 Scarecrow
1.16 Shadow
1.18 Something Wicked
1.20 Dead Man's Blood
1.21 Salvation
1.22 Devil's Trap
2.01 In My Time of Dying
2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two
4.03 In the Beginning
4.13 After School Special (not seen)
5.13 The Song Remains the Same
7.03 The Girl Next Door (not seen)
8.12 As Time Goes By
9.07 Bad Boys (not seen)
11.04 Baby (vision)
14.13 Lebanon

You gotta understand somethin'. After your mother passed, all I saw was evil. Everywhere. And all I cared about was, was keepin' you boys alive. I wanted you prepared. Ready. So somewhere along the line I uh, I stopped being your father, and I, I became your, your drill-sergeant. So when you said that you wanted to go away to school, all I could think about, my only thought was, that you were gonna be alone. Vulnerable. Sammy it just, it never occurred to me what you wanted. I just couldn't accept the fact that you and me... we're just different.

– John Winchester to Sam, 1.20 Dead Man's Blood

You know, when you were a kid, I'd come home from a hunt, and after what I'd seen, I'd be, I'd be wrecked. And you, you'd come up to me and you, you'd put your hand on my shoulder and you'd look me in the eye and you'd... You'd say 'It's okay, Dad' [...] You shouldn't have had to say that to me, I should have been saying that to you. You know, I put, I put too much on your shoulders, I made you grow up too fast. You took care of Sammy, you took care of me. You did that, and you didn't complain, not once. I just want you to know that I am so proud of you.

– John Winchester to Dean, 2.01 In My Time of Dying


Surviving a lonely childhood, a stinking war... only to get married and have his wife taken by a demon... and later killed by one himself. That man got a bum rap around every turn. But you know what? He kept going. And in the end, he did a hell of a lot more good than he did bad.

Dean to Henry Winchester, 8.12 As Time Goes By

John Winchester was Sam and Dean's father, and husband to Mary Winchester.

A photo of a young John and Henry Winchester.

John was born in Normal, Illinois, to Millie Winchester and Henry Winchester. Henry was a member of the Men of Letters, who intended to induct John into the order when he was old enough. However, when John was four, his father disappeared. John thought Henry had simply left, never knowing that his father had fled through time to escape the grasp of the Knight of Hell, Abaddon, who later killed him in the 21st century. This left John with a deep resentment -- in Dean's words "he hated the man."[1] Nothing is known of John's mother Millie. John described himself as "a mechanic from a family of mechanics" and when he is an adult there is someone in his life who an acquaintance refers to as "his old man."[2] There may have been mechanics on his mother's side, including Millie, and possibly Millie re-partnered or the "old man" was John's maternal grandfather.

After returning to Lawrence, Kansas, from the Vietnam War where he served as a marine, John worked as a mechanic and was eventually co-owner (with Mike Guenther) of a garage. On March 23, 1972 after seeing the film Slaughterhouse-Five, Mary Campbell bumped into John Winchester, knocking him down. While Mary was embarrassed, John simply laughed it off, and told her she could get him a cup coffee to make it up to him. The two would go to Mulroney's Diner and talk. When John asked for Mary's number, she gave it to him, despite knowing her father wouldn't approve. Heaven was also interested in bringing together the lines of hunters and Men of Letters, and so a cherub intervened, causing the two to fall in love.[3] John and Mary's marriage was not always happy, and at least once he moved out of the family home.[4]

In 1973, as John went to a car yard to purchase a beige VW van but was persuaded by Dean, who had come from the future, to get the Impala instead.[5] Soon after John was about to propose to Mary when Azazel killed him. Mary made a deal with Azazel for John's life, in exchange for a promise to allow Azazel into her home in ten years' time.[2] After John's resurrection, the two married in Reno on August 19, 1975, at Mary's instigation.[6]

John was unaware of Mary's life as a hunter, but did learn of this when Sam and Dean return to 1978 protect their parents from the angel Anna, who had gone back in time to prevent Sam from being born by killing John and Mary.[7] John consented to being possessed by Michael, thinking it would help save Mary, allowing Michael to kill Anna. Afterwards, John and Mary's memories are wiped of the encounter with the angels and Sam and Dean by Michael.

When Mary was murdered by Azazel in 1983, John raised their two sons, Sam and Dean, alone. Mary's mysterious death became an obsession for John, who sought to learn what happened that night and kill the thing that pinned Mary to the ceiling. His quest for revenge led him Missouri Mosely, who revealed to John the world of the supernatural. After taking to the hunter life, John moved his family from town to town following leads on supernatural creatures (telling Sam that he was a traveling salesman). In the early days, he would often leave the boys with other hunters like Pastor Jim or with babysitters he'd find at motels, but sometimes he left them to fend for themselves for days or even weeks[8].[9][10] Though he never settled anywhere for very long, John did establish a lock-up where he stored weapons (including landmines and grenades), curse boxes, and mementos from Sam and Dean's childhood. When Dean was six or seven, John began training him to use a shotgun, while keeping Sam unaware of hunting. Sam believed John was a salesman until he read John's Journal when he was eight.[9]

John met Bobby Singer who advised him about hunting and also, at least by 1989, looked after Sam and Dean while John was on the road.[11] In 1991, he gave an 8-year-old Sam an amulet as a Christmas present to give to John, which he eventually gave to Dean.[12].

In 1990, unbeknownst to Sam and Dean, John was injured on a hunt in Windom, Minnesota, and went to the hospital where he met Kate Milligan. During a brief fling, he got her pregnant, although he didn't meet his son -- Adam Milligan -- until he was 12 years old. John had sporadic contact with Adam from 2002 until John's death in 2006. While John raised Sam and Dean in a very militant and non-conventional environment, it seemed he used his time with Adam to do more traditional father-son activities such as going to baseball games that he either couldn't or wouldn't do with his older two sons.[8]

After Sam chose to leave the family and hunting and attend Stanford, John cut off contact with him, although he regularly visited Palo Alto to check up on him.[13] John and Dean continued hunting together, with Dean also going on hunts on his own as he got older. Around this time John and Bobby had a falling out -- Dean comments that the last time Bobby saw John he nearly "filled him with buckshot."[14]

In 2003, John ends up in 2019 after Dean uses a Baozhu to grant "what his heart desires," hoping it will remove Michael, who is trapped in his mind. John gets a chance to reunite with Mary, and reconcile with Sam and Dean. However John being in 2019 is tampering with the timeline, so they destroy the pearl and send John back to 2003, where he wakes with no memory of what has happened. [15]

In 2005, John got a lead on the demon that was responsible for Mary's death, and he left Dean in order to pursue it. He tried to keep both Sam and Dean at a distance in order to protect them, even refusing to respond when Dean called him when he and Sam returned to Lawrence in response to Sam's visions[16] or when Sam called to tell him Dean was dying.[17]

Following a car crash caused by a demon, John offered his own life and the Colt to Azazel to save Dean. John revealed that he had known the "truth" about Sam all along. Before he died, John warned Dean that he may have to kill Sam if he couldn't save him.[18]

Due to his deal with Azazel, when John Winchester died he was sent to Hell, where over the next ten months (equivalent of a hundred years) he was tortured by Alastair. Alastair later told Dean that John never "broke" -- that is, he never gave in to Alastair's temptation to protect himself by torturing others. Dean, by contrast, gave in after three months (equivalent of thirty years) of torture, thus breaking the first of the 66 Seals to free Lucifer that required that a righteous man shedding blood in Hell.[19] When the Devil's Gate in Wyoming was opened, he was one of the spirits who managed to escape and helped Dean kill Azazel by ripping him out of his meatsuit, distracting him long enough for his son to reclaim the Colt and shoot Azazel in the heart after he returns to his meatsuit. After sharing one last tearful moment with his sons, John's spirit passes on to Heaven.

Following Mary's resurrection and second death, she is confirmed to be sharing a Heaven with John which carries over into the version of Heaven that exists after it was reshaped by Jack Kline and Castiel.

Supernatural Episodes

John with Sam and Dean after escaping the house fire that killed Mary.

1.01 Pilot

John discovers his wife Mary on the ceiling of Sam's nursery, which is on fire. He gives the infant to young Dean, instructing him to flee the house, but is unable to rescue his wife.

22 years later
Dean visits Sam at Stanford, telling him that John has gone missing. Sam reluctantly accompanies Dean to Jericho where John was on a case, but while they find his motel room and belongings including John's Journal, he is not there.

1.04 Phantom Traveler

At the end of a case with an old friend, the boys get a cell phone number. The message on it is from John, redirecting people to call Dean if they want help - the first sign the boys have that John is still alive.

1.09 Home

Distressed at returning to his home town as they follow one of Sam's visions, Dean calls John but receives no answer. While investigating the haunting at their old home, Sam and Dean visit the garage John once owned with Mike Guenther. He directs them to Missouri Mosely. She helps the boys, but unbeknownst to them John Winchester is in town and in contact with Missouri. He tells her he can't contact them until he knows "the truth."

1.10 Asylum

John sends Dean a text message with the coordinates of the Roosevelt Asylum in order to send them to hunt the ghost of Dr. Ellicott who is killing people there. They believe at first he's meeting them there but eventually realize that it’s just another job.

At the end of the episode Dean's cell phone rings and Sam answers it. To his shock, it is John.

1.11 Scarecrow

Dean’s cell rings, and Sam answers to hear his father’s voice. John expresses sympathy at the murder of Jess, and for the first time reveals that he knows that what killed Mary and Jess was a demon. John tells Sam that he must stop looking for him and he starts to give Sam details of a new hunt, but Sam argues that he wants to help John hunt the demon. Dean grabs the phone and takes the details from John about couples who have gone missing near Burkittsville, Indiana.

Later, Sam leaves Dean, intending to travel to California and find John. However he returns after Dean goes missing on the case, saying that while he still wants to find John, he and Dean need to stick together.

1.12 Faith

With Dean near death, Sam tries to call John for help but gets no answer.

John being attacked by a daeva.

1.14 Nightmare

After the Winchesters' encounter with Max Miller - another boy who acquired powers after the demon visited him as a child and killed his mother -- Sam notes for the first time that they were lucky to have John as a father; where Max's father turned his anger and rage at the loss of his wife on to his son, John channeled his grief at the creatures that killed Mary while doing what he could to protect his children.

1.16 Shadow

When Sam and Dean encounter Meg in Chicago and realize she is linked to the demon that killed Mary and Jess, Dean calls John. He later arrives and Dean embraces him warmly. John reveals that Meg was trying to kill him because he is hunting the demon with the intention of killing it, something he isn't sure is possible but which he is determined to try. Just as he reunites for the first time in years with Sam, greeting him warmly and showing some regret that it has been so long, they are attacked by daevas and are nearly killed before Sam manages to dispel them with flares. Afterward, Dean supports John when he says it is too dangerous for them all to be together, and they part with John promising that the fight is just beginning and that they will be a part of it.

John saves Sam and Dean from a shtriga.

1.18 Something Wicked

Dean reveals to Sam that in 1989 when John was hunting a shtriga, he left Dean and Sam alone. When the shtriga attacked Sam, John returned just in time to save him. In the present, John sends them the coordinates to Fitchburg, Wisconsin, knowing the shtriga is there and that killing it is unfinished business for Dean.

1.20 Dead Man's Blood

Following up on the death of the hunter Daniel Elkins, Sam and Dean are surprised when John arrives. He tells them about the Colt, a gun that can kill any supernatural beings, which he now realizes Elkins had. Together they fight the vampires that killed Elkins and retrieve the Colt, although John and Sam clash almost immediately and argue. John tries to send Sam and Dean to safety while he confronts the vampires, but he is nearly killed. Sam and Dean defy him and return, saving his life. John then kills the vampire leader Luther with the Colt. After the hunt, John finally realizes that Sam and Dean are right and decides to continue hunting the demon with Sam and Dean.

1.21 Salvation

As hunters they know start being killed, the Winchester begin to hunt for the demon in earnest, following signs that John has learned are associated with its appearance to Salvation, Iowa. Sam has a vision concerning a young woman and her baby, suggesting she is a target of the demon. John is angry that the boys hadn't told him about Sam's visions, but Dean stands up to him, berating him for almost never picking up the phone whenever they called.

When Meg calls she demands the Colt, killing his friend Caleb as John listens. John plans a ruse to give her a fake Colt, as Sam and Dean take the real Colt to kill the demon. Both plans go wrong when John is captured by Meg and Tom and the demon eludes the boys.

1.22 Devil's Trap

Sam and Dean turn to Bobby for help. When Meg turns up, they capture her, and manage to find out John's location. The boys rescue John and take him to a remote cabin. It is while he is telling Dean he is proud of him that Dean gets suspicious and realizes that John is possessed by the Yellow-Eyed Demon. He taunts Dean and Sam and is killing Dean when John manages to wrest control for a moment and allow Sam to get control of the Colt. Sam, however, can't shoot to kill and the demon escapes after Sam only shoots John in the leg. As they escape in the Impala, a demon-possessed truck driver totals the car.

2.01 In My Time of Dying

All the Winchesters are in the hospital, with Dean near death. When Sam discovers John is planning on pursuing the Yellow-Eyed Demon, they argue. John promises to hold off until Dean recovers, but actually summons the Yellow-Eyed Demon and makes a deal - his life for Dean's.

John has a final few moments with his sons. He tries to make peace with Sam, and then whispers a secret to Dean. The secret is later revealed to be John's warning to Dean: Dean needs to save Sam, but if he can't, Dean will have to kill his brother.

Moments later the deal is called in - John dies and Dean recovers.

2.04 Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

Following their father's death, Sam insists on him and Dean taking a trip to their mother's grave, a memorial erected by an uncle that Sam and Dean have never met, to bury their father's dog-tags with her; this results in them getting caught up in a case involving the reanimated Angela Mason, returned to life as a zombie after she died the week before.

2.08 Crossroad Blues

While talking with a crossroads demon, Dean is informed that John is currently in Hell after saving his life.

2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be

In a dream world created by a djinn where Mary was never killed, John died of a stroke at approximately the same time as he died in the real world. He apparently played in a softball team in this world.

When Dean learns that, in the world where he and Sam are not hunters, the people he saved are all dead, he goes to John's grave to talk about his frustration over the idea that they have to sacrifice their chance at normal lives for others. He admits in the end that, while he doesn't know what the John of this world would say, the father who raised him would remind him that he cannot let others suffer for his sake.

2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two

When Jake Talley manages to open the Devil's Gate in Wyoming using the Colt, John escapes from Hell and saves Dean from the Yellow-Eyed Demon. John distracts the demon by temporarily pulling him out of his meatsuit long enough for Dean to retrieve the Colt and finally kill him as the demon returns to his body. John then shares an emotional moment with his sons and disappears in a flash of white light.

John's spirit has a final quiet moment with Sam and Dean.
John's spirit moves on.

3.03 Bad Day at Black Rock

Dean and Sam receive a call on one of John's old cellphones about a break-in at a lock-up where John kept various supernatural artifacts that he either couldn't or didn't want to destroy, along with some items from Sam and Dean's childhood such as an old soccer trophy of Sam's and the sawed-off shotgun Dean made in sixth grade.

3.14 Long-Distance Call

A creature called a crocotta impersonates John's voice and contacts Dean on his cell phone, telling him about an exorcism that can allegedly kill the demon that holds his contract (in reality, the crocotta sends Dean after a grieving father that the crocotta has been calling posing as his daughter, the father assuming Dean to be his daughter's murderer). After the ruse is revealed, Dean confides to Sam how scared he is of going to Hell.

4.03 In the Beginning

John in 1973 with Dean and the Impala.

Back in 1973, Dean meets a young John Winchester, not long returned from Vietnam. Dean follows John to a car lot, where he suggests his father buy the '67 Chevy Impala instead of an old VW van. Dean introduces himself as Dean Van Halen and assures John that the car will still be "bad-ass when it's 40." Dean tries to get info about any mysterious events but John doesn't know anything. Dean follows John on a date with Mary Campbell - whom John is planning to propose to.

Later, as Mary decides to elope with John to escape a life of hunting, he is killed by Azazel. She makes a deal to bring John back to life in return for letting Azazel access to her house ten years in the future, when unknown to her he will feed demon blood to baby Sam.

4.04 Metamorphosis

Dean tells Sam of his encounter with John in 4.03 In the Beginning and describes him as having been surprisingly hopeful as a young man (like Mary). Sam wonders what the point was to Azazel killing him and the rest of their family, just to give Sam himself Demon Blood. Dean and Sam go to help Travis with a hunt; it appears that Travis was another hunter friend of John's, as he had known Sam and Dean when they were younger and says that John would've been proud of them sticking together the way that they are.

4.13 After School Special

In flashbacks, John drops off Sam and Dean at a high school they attended for a few weeks while he was on a job. Throughout the flashbacks he calls Dean and picks them up after the job is done. John's face is never seen throughout the episode, mostly from the neck down in the Impala or as a silhouette.

4.16 On the Head of a Pin

As Dean tortures Alastair, he reveals that in the hundred years John spent in Hell, he never broke and accepted the deal that Dean was offered - that the torture would stop if he started doing it himself. If he had, this would have broken the first of the the 66 Seals - instead it was Dean who did.

4.19 Jump the Shark

Sam and Dean learn that John had a son with Kate Milligan, a nurse he met January 1990 when he was injured during a hunt. Adam Milligan was born on September 29, 1990. He didn't have any contact with John until he was twelve, after which John showed up at some of Adam's various birthdays to buy him his first beer or take him to baseball games. Adam last saw John "a couple of years ago", so perhaps some time in 2007. In 1990, John killed a ghoul; now its children want revenge on John, and use Adam and Kate to lure John in. Adam and Kate both die.

5.13 The Song Remains the Same

Castiel takes Sam and Dean to 1978 to save their parents from Anna, who is trying to kill them. John is shocked to learn the truth about the supernatural, and that Mary was raised as a hunter. When Sam reveals he and Dean were also raised that way, John, unaware of their true identity, criticizes their father. Sam gets a chance to defend his father and says he now understands better that John tried his best, and that he loves him.

When Anna and Uriel attack the family, John is injured. Michael appears and asks for John's permission to take him over as a vessel and save Mary. John consents. Later Michael erases all memory of the events from John and Mary.

5.16 Dark Side of the Moon

While in Heaven, Sam and Dean meet Ash, who informs them that he has been unable to locate John, Mary, Ellen, or Jo in Heaven, despite his success in tracking down psychic Pamela Barnes.

7.03 The Girl Next Door

In 1998, a 15-year-old Sam is on the phone to Dean discussing a suspected Kitsune case. Dean hands the phone to John who Sam seems unwilling to talk to. John reminds him that people are dying and that Sam must hurry to solve the case to which Sam responds by telling him that he is "on the way to the library right now." John hangs up without saying goodbye.

John Winchester when he was a child.

8.12 As Time Goes By

In 1958, before his father leaves for his initiation into the Men of Letters, he visits John in bed, accidentally waking him up. John asks what Henry's pin is and Henry promises to explain one day before putting on John's music box and leaving.

In 2013, Henry arrives looking for John and wanting his help to protect a mysterious box and defeat the demon Abaddon. He is shocked to find Sam and Dean instead and to learn that John is dead. Henry is also disgusted to learn that his son became a hunter as the Men of Letters look down on them. Sam and Dean are unsure about their grandfather as John had always believed Henry had abandoned him and hated him for it, though they realize that perhaps he never made it home instead. Searching through John's Journal for information on Abaddon, the Winchesters learn that John once tortured a demon who made his bones working for Abaddon and learned that Abaddon is a Knight of Hell. Henry finds that John's Journal is actually the journal he had ordered for himself before he disappeared. Henry reads through the Journal, learning of John's life as a hunter and tries to return to the past to raise John in a better life, but is stopped by Dean. Henry is killed defeating Abaddon, explaining why he never returned to John, but tells Sam and Dean that after meeting them, he is proud of the man John became. Sam and Dean are left wondering what would have happened had Henry been there to raise John. They also realize that John and Mary were brought together by Cupid, not only for them to conceive Sam and Dean, but to unite the Winchester and Campbell bloodlines: the brains and brawn of the supernatural world.

8.21 The Great Escapist

When Sam is ill after completing the second trial, Dean makes him "John Winchester's famous cure-all kitchen-sink stew" with "enough cayenne pepper in there to burn your lips off, just like Dad used to make." Later in the episode, Sam confesses to Dean that the illness from the trials has brought back some childhood memories including one in particular where John had taken them to the bottom of the grand canyon on donkeys. Dean admits he barely remembers the trip and that Sam was around 4 at the time.

8.22 Clip Show

Sam and Dean use John's old army field surgeon's kit to sew Abaddon's decapitated head back onto her body, planning to use her to complete the third trial—to cure a demon.

9.07 Bad Boys

After Dean is caught stealing food, John tells the arresting deputy to let Dean "rot in jail." This leads to Dean spending two months at a boys home, before John and Sam come to retrieve him for a job.

9.11 First Born

Crowley approaches Dean for help as he is looking for the First Blade and the only demon who knew about it had been hunted down by John. From John's Journal and information at John's lock-up, Dean learns that John hunted and exorcised the demon with a hunter named Tara. Tara reveals that she and John had a sexual relationship and that while the demon did mention the First Blade, John never believed it was real.

9.17 Mother's Little Helper

While on a final assignment before he is properly initiated into the Men of Letters, Henry Winchester begins to show doubt about joining the group. He confesses to Josie Sands his worry that if something were to happen to him, he doesn't know who would take care of John and his mother.

10.03 Soul Survivor

While Sam is administering the demon cure to Dean, Dean taunts Sam by telling him their father brainwashed them into wasting their lives on his losing battle.

10.05 Fan Fiction

Sam and Dean are investigating monster-related kidnappings at an all-girls academy, and find themselves confronted with a musical based on Chuck Shurley's Supernatural book series. A girl plays John in the musical, and the songs "The Road So Far" and "A Single Man Tear" mention the way John's raising of Sam and Dean have negatively impacted their sense of autonomy and free will. At the end of the play, several cast members, including Mary, Bobby, and John, perform a rendition of "Carry On Wayward Son."

10.09 The Things We Left Behind

While at a bar sulking, Castiel asks Sam and Dean if they love their father. Despite not having had an easy childhood, they both say they do. Sam and Dean tell Castiel a story about a time when they and John were investigating a haunting on Long Island, New York. They begged him to take them to New York City, despite John's distaste for New York (and the Yankees) he was eventually talked into taking them into the city for sightseeing and pizza. Later that night, as John and Sam were asleep, Dean snuck off to visit CBGBs despite being underage. There, a woman invited him to drink with her and her friends. He got drunk for the first time, so much that according to Dean, "the room starts to spin, and I feel like I'm going to puke forever." John found Dean and rescued him from the situation, intimidating everyone in the bar with his militaristic appearance and tone of voice. Dean recalls telling John that he embarrassed him, and that he hated John, to which John replies, "Son, if you don't like me, that's fine. It's not my job to be liked. It's my job to raise you right." Dean tells Castiel that John succeeded in that.

11.04 Baby

While driving to Quaker Valley, Oregon, to check out a possible case, believing Sam to be exhausted, Dean tells him to get in the back and get some rest. Suddenly Sam is awakened by Judy Collins's "Someday Soon" playing on the radio. He asks Dean what he's listening to, only to find the younger version of John Winchester in the driver's seat. Sam believes he's having another vision. John says he is only here to deliver a message -- that the Darkness is coming and only the boys can stop it. Sam insists that there should be a way to stop the Darkness and that John needs to tell him, but John only answers, “God helps those who help themselves.” Sam asks John one last question before he wakes up: “Who are you?”

After waking up, Sam tells Dean about the dream and his belief that it was someone masquerading as John to deliver a message. When Sam points out that John told him everything he wanted to hear, Dean agrees that that didn't sound like their father at all, but brushes off Sam's claims that it could be God responding to his prayer. Dean admits that he dreams about their father all the time, usually a dream where John is teaching Dean how to drive when he's sixteen, not a young boy as when John actually taught him, with Sam in the back seat and John telling him "perfect landing son" when they get home. The dream, which Dean has every couple of months, is something that he finds comforting. Sam says he usually has the same type of dream about their mother - a dream of a normal life with their parents.

11.15 Beyond the Mat

When Dean finds the obituary of a wrestler John was a fan of, he and Sam reminisce that watching wrestling was one of the few moments they could remember seeing him actually happy. Dean considered their time at wrestling shows as the nicest thing John ever did for them.

12.15 Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell

As they are returning from cases involving ghouls, wraiths, and sirens, Dean comments on how John used to love the weapon he was carrying, a bat wrapped with barbed wire which was covered in raw pieces of the monsters they were hunting, as is Dean.

14.13 Lebanon

John and Mary share a moment together.

When Dean uses the Baozhu and wishes for his heart's desire, he inadvertently summons John Winchester from 2003. After attacking and overpowering his sons, they talk about everything that's happened since his death: how they saved the world multiple times, discovered the truth about the Men of Letters from their grandfather, and live in the Bunker with Castiel and Jack. John also sees Mary for the first time since her death in 1983.

While he looks through the lore books, John also talks with Sam about their fight the night Sam left for Stanford. Sam tells John that while he thinks about him a lot, he never thinks about their fights. Sam felt bad about how he never got to say goodbye before finding John on the floor in the hospital. However, Sam acknowledges that John did the best he could for them.

Later, they discover that they tampered with time by pulling John from the past. The consequences include Sam never getting back into the hunting life, Dean being wanted for $100,000 on multiple charges, Mary never being brought back to life by Amara, presumably Jack never being born, and Castiel never meeting the Winchesters. They realize that they need to send John back to 2003 to correct the past. Sam, Dean, and Mary are hesitant, but John accepts that he has to go back. John also tells Dean that he never meant for his sons to have to live the hunter life as it was supposed to end between Yellow Eyes and him. He wanted Dean to have a normal life and have a family of his own, but Dean acknowledges that he already has a family. After sharing their first meal as a family, they gather around for one last tearful goodbye. As John holds Mary's hand, Sam smashes the Baozhu, sending John back to 2003.

As John wakes up in the Impala back in 2003, he gets a call from Dean. He tells Dean that he had "one hell of a dream" and that he will see Dean soon.

14.18 Absence

After Mary is accidentally killed by Jack, Dumah allows Castiel to see her special Heaven, where Mary is at peace and reunited with John.

During Mary's hunter's funeral, John appears in a flashback to 14.13 Lebanon.

14.19 Jack in the Box

After Castiel tries to get to Jack Kline, Dumah threatens to end John and Mary's shared Heaven with a snap of her fingers if Castiel doesn't do as she says. In retaliation and to protect John and Mary, Castiel instantly kills Dumah with his angel blade, ensuring their safety.

15.20 Carry On

Sam and Dean investigate a vampire case that John is revealed to have also investigated in 1985. However, John had been unable to catch the vampires at the time, although the information on the case in John's Journal helps Sam and Dean track them down.

After Dean dies and arrives in Heaven, he is met by Bobby, who tells him that all the walls have been taken down by Jack and Heaven is everyone happy and together. He notes that John and Mary have a place "over yonder."

The Winchesters Episodes

1.13 Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye

After the defeat of the Akrida, Dean tells an alternate version of John and Mary that he had been searching for a universe where his family got a happy ending when he had learned about the creatures. Telling the alternate John about John's Journal, Dean provides him with Dean's own hunter's journal to return the favor of guiding his parents through the hunting life the same way that John and his journal did.

Age Speculation

  • A draft script of the 1.01 Pilot places John's age at 30 when Mary dies (therefore early '50s at present).
  • John's email address,, could be read to refer to his birthdate - December 1946. This fits with the use of Mary's date of death throughout the show (it is used as a lock combination, or referred to as 110283 or 1183). This would place John at age 60 in 2006.
  • John cannot plausibly have been born any later than 1957 (so as to have been 18, and in the Marines, in 1975). Considering the notes below about Vietnam force reduction, the likelihood is high that he turned 18 before 1971 (in which case his birth year would be 1953 or earlier). This is supported by the fact that he is clearly at least a few years old in 8.12 As Time Goes By.
  • In an alternate reality experienced by Dean, John's gravestone indicates he was born in 1954. This would mean he was in his early fifties at his death. [20] Henry Winchester, John's father, disappeared when he was four years old in 1958. This confirms that the year he was born was 1954.

Known Acquaintances

Dean: Well, yeah, but last time we saw you, I mean, you did threaten to blast him full of buckshot. Cocked the shotgun and everything.

Bobby: Yeah, well, what can I say? John just has that effect on people.

Dean: Yeah, I guess he does.

Bobby Singer and Dean Winchester discussing John, 1.22 Devil's Trap

John tended to work alone and avoid other hunters, although many appeared to know him or know of him and he seemed to have a good reputation as a hunter. According to Jo's Journal, John used to visit the Roadhouse before her father's death in 1995. Ellen infers that her husband's death was John's fault - they were both usually solo hunters who were hunting together when Bill died.[21] While in Heaven, Ash told Dean and Sam that he searched for John Winchester when he arrived, but he reported that he hasn't seen John.[4]

  • Bobby Singer - Knew John since the boys were small. The last time he saw John alive, they argued and Bobby pointed and cocked a shotgun at him.
  • Adam Milligan - John's son, the product of a brief relationship John had with Kate Milligan.
  • Kate Milligan - A nurse who slept with John after a ghoul hunt, causing Adam to be born.
  • Jim Murphy - Knew John since the boys were small.
  • Caleb - Weapons and munitions supplier for hunters.
  • Missouri Mosely - A psychic he sought help from after Mary's death and the person who first told him of the supernatural.
  • Deacon - Was in the Marines with John.
  • Bill Harvelle - Was on a hunt with John when he was killed.
  • Ellen Harvelle - Part of the hunting world, she also partly blamed John for her husband's death.
  • Daniel Elkins - A hunter John had fallen out with.
  • Martin Creaser - A hunter who had a mental breakdown.
  • Fred Jones - A psychokinetic John was acquainted with.
  • Tara - A hunter John worked with briefly and had a fling with.
  • Joe Barton - A former police officer who worked with John to kill a ghoul in 1990.

John's Military History

John's dog tags.

Dean says that John was a Corporal in the Marine Corps, with company 'Echo 2/1' (2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, Echo company) in 2.09 Croatoan, Sam reiterates this to Stan Thompson in 8.08 Hunteri Heroici.

In 2.19 Folsom Prison Blues, we meet Deacon, who served in the Corps with John, and saved his life.

Speculation on Rank

In 4.03 In the Beginning, John is referred to as 'Corporal' by the man welcoming him back home in the diner.

In The Winchesters, an alternate universe version of John was also a Corporal with Mars Neto even addressing him as Corporal Winchester.

Speculation on Dates

It's unlikely John graduated from high school. The badges/medals/photos in his journal (see below) suggest he was a rifleman. High school graduates were almost always sent to aviation or communication schools, rather than combat arms.

The Tet Offensive, that marked the escalation of the North Vietnamese offensive against the South Vietnamese, along with the United States Armed Forces and their allies, took place in January 1968. It is possible that this got John all fired up with patriotic fervor and he decided to screw school and enlist in the Marines. If he joined with his parents' permission, he could have been seventeen at this point. At that stage in the war, recruits were given four months of training then shipped straight out to Vietnam, so he would have been there by June 1968, by which time American bombing was already being curtailed and negotiations were beginning. Even so, it would be another year until troop withdrawal began.

Given the timing of the events in 4.03 In the Beginning (April 1973), and the knowledge that he'd just returned from Vietnam, he would've had to have joined in 1971 in order to have served 2 years. If the headstone in 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be is true, then John would have turned 17 in April 1971, and this is the earliest he could have joined the Marines. Therefore, John didn't finish high school.

In an alternate universe, John was able to join underage by forging his father's signature on a waiver. Given the similarities between the universes, this John might've done likewise to enlist.

Dog Tags

John's dog tags are buried by Sam at Mary's grave.[22] They have the following printed on them:

John's social security number suggests he was born in, or obtained his first job in, Indiana (source) (Although most children born today receive a SSN at birth or within their first year, this was not common practice when John was a child.)

Ribbons and Medals in the Journal

Medals on the inside of John's journal.

In 1.01 Pilot, the Combat Action Ribbon was briefly seen in the position of the Vietnam Service Medal. For all subsequent episodes, the ribbons have not changed from the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Metal, and Vietnam Service Medal.

Vietnam Information

These are all the official military campaigns for the Marines in Vietnam from 1970-73:

  • Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970 : November 1, 1969 to April 30, 1970
  • Sanctuary Counteroffensive : May 1 to June 30, 1970
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive, Phase VII : July 1, 1970 to June 30, 1971
  • Consolidation I : July 1 to November 30, 1971
  • Consolidation II : December 1, 1971 to March 29, 1972
  • Vietnam Cease Fire : March 30, 1972 to March 28, 1973

Although the Marines were in Vietnam until the end of the war (assisting in the evacuation of US embassies, for example,) ground force reduction began in July of 1971. However, if Dean's statement was correct and John was in the 2nd Battalion 1st Marines (Echo 2/1), then he would have been reassigned to Camp Pendleton in June 1971.

USMC units in Vietnam

In 2.19 Folsom Prison Blues Dean states that John served in the "Echo 2/1".

In April 1971 the battalion was sent to Da Nang to join the 3rd Marine Amphibious Brigade (IIIMAB). The battalion was in Da Nang for three months, until June 1971, and then it was sent to the newly-established Camp Pendleton in California.

Although John's job in the Marines was never specified, an alternate universe John who went to Vietnam identified himself as a Marine Scout, meaning that his job was to find people which that John was very good at. Given the similarities between the Johns, this John may have been a scout as well with his talent for finding people translating well over into his career as a hunter.


John's barbed wire wrapped baseball bat.
  • In one version of the pilot script, Sam and Dean found John dead on the ceiling.S1Com,p.11
  • After having given the Impala to Dean, John drives a GMC Sierra Grande with the Kansas license plate CSG 8R3.
  • John appears in a flashback in the spin-off novel Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon, where he hunts a fire demon in San Francisco in 1989 (the Campbells, unknown to John, having defeated and banished the same demon in 1969), with Dean, Sam, and Castiel permanently defeating the demon in 2009. His presence is also hinted at in the 1969 flashback, when Deanna Campbell reflects on a mechanic that Mary is acquainted with back home.
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan on The Walking Dead, has joked about a crossover between Supernatural and The Walking Dead along with Jensen Ackles and fellow Walking Dead actor Michael Cudlitz. Negan's signature weapon Lucille, a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, appears in 12.15 Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell with Dean even commenting on how much John loved the bat.
  • John Winchester's age at the time of 2.01 In My Time of Dying would have been 52 years old. With Jeffery Dean Morgan's return to Supernatural in 14.13 Lebanon, he would have been the same age as John Winchester was in his last appearance. However, in "Lebanon" he was playing John Winchester three years younger.

See also

John in Fandom