Difference between revisions of "Alternate Universe"

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An alternate universe (commonly called an AU) or alternate reality occurs when accepted reality (or canon) is altered. There are a number of forms of AU. Characters may actually move into a universe that is separate from their own, they may find themselves in a reality constructed by a powerful being, or induced by a drug, or it may be related to time travel. It occurs both in the Show, and in Fanfiction.

Episodes featuring alternate universes or altered reality

2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be

A Djinn posions Dean and traps him in a dream state while it feeds from his blood. The AU is commonly referred to as the Wish Verse. It is a construct formed by Dean's subconscious arising from one wish - that his mother had never died.

3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me

Jeremy Frost is able to trap people in their dreams, by mixing some of their DNA with African Dream Root. What happens in the dreams affects the dreamer - including death.

3.11 Mystery Spot

The Trickster creates a Time Loop in which dean dies in every iteration regardless of what Sam does. When the [{Trickster]] is discovered by Sam, he ends the loop - with Dean dying. Sam spends six months searing for the trickster. When he finds him, Sam begs him to bring Dean back. The Trickster says he was trying to teach Sam that Dean is his weakness, and his enemies will use this against him, but he does restore the original time line. Dean does not remember his final death, although it is unclear if Sam remembers the previous six months.

4.17 It's A Terrible Life

Zachariah creates an AU where the Winchesters are Dean Smith and Sam Wesson who are not brothers, and who work for Sandover Bridge and Iron Company. They eventually team up to hunt a ghost in the building. At a time when Dean is seeming to resile from hunting, Zachariah constructed the reality to demonstrate to Dean that he will always pursue hunting.

5.08 Changing Channels

The Trickster traps Sam and Dean in a universe based on TV shows and advertisements. The biys finally expose him as the Archangel Gabriel, who is trying to teach them to play their roles as Lucifer and Michael's Vessels.

6.17 My Heart Will Go On

On [{Castiel]]'s command, Balthazar stops the Titanic sinking. This has many flow on effects, changing reality in many ways - Bobby and Ellen are married, Dean drives a mustang, and Cuba is a popular American holiday destination. A confrontation with Fate, leads Castiel to reversing the effects, but he leaves Sam and Dean with the memory of what happened.

AUs in Fanfiction

In fan fiction, an AU refers to a story that diverges significantly from the canon in the Show. Generally the writer will choose to alter key events in canon (known as the Point Of Divergence (POD) ) eg John dies when Sam is a baby and the boys are raised by Mary, Dean doesn't go to hell or Castiel falls and becomes human.

Some stories may become AU as new information is later revealed on the Show, this is especially true of stories written between seasons, where a fic is based on certain assumptions of what may occur, that are then disproven by later canon, also known as being Jossed, a term coined in relation to Joss Whedon and the Buffy verse. In Supernatural fandom the term Kripked was coined to describe the opposite phenomenon - when events in fanfiction are later confirmed by canon.

If a story is generally complaint with the major events, the introduction of a sexual relationship between characters - whether it's Wincest, or Dean/Castiel or Gabriel/Balthazar, is not considered to make a story an AU.

Some stories may be set in a totally different universe (eg Sam, Dean and Castiel are professional bullriders or FBI agents). These stories more closely resemble original fiction in that the characters share little in common, other than their names and some personality traits, with their canonical versions. These stories are more common in RPF fics.


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