Sep. 13, 2005
60 min.
The CW TV Network

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Stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki as Dean and Sam Winchester. Ever since they were little, their father has been consumed with an obsession to find the evil forces that murdered his beloved wife, and recruited his two young sons to help. They have grown up as hunters of the supernatural, but conflicts between them continue to surface.

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John Winchester Supernatural
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John Winchester

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  Played by:
Jeffrey Dean MorganJeffrey Dean Morgan
Jeffrey Dean Morgan's leading-man charisma, undeniable charm and versatility have landed him a variety ...

Character Bio

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Born in 1954 in Illinois, John Winchester was apparently abandoned by his father in 1958, causing him to grow up to hate the man, not knowing that he was part of a secret order known as the Men of Letters and had traveled into the future where he died at the hands of the demon Abaddon. John left high school to join the Marine Corps, eventually attaining the rank of corporal and receiving many medals for his service in Vietnam. After leaving the service, he found a job as a mechanic, and fell in love with Mary Campbell, whom he would later marry. Following the mysterious death of his wife years later, John Winchester investigated the incident and learned of the existence of the supernatural.

His desire to find and kill the being that took Mary's life led him to become a hunter of supernatural creatures. He took his sons, Sam and Dean, with him during his travels, but often left them alone in motels for long periods of time during his hunts, leaving Dean with instructions to "shoot first and ask questions later" while watching over Sam. John slept with a woman he met while away on a hunt. Learning over a decade later that he had fathered her son Adam, John made occasional visits over the years to partake in father-son activities with him. He hid the truth from Adam to protect him, and never revealed to him the existence of Sam and Dean, nor vice-versa. Meanwhile, John trained Sam and Dean to become hunters. However, Sam later left this life to start anew in college, leading to a fallout between John and his son. Twenty-two years after Mary's death, John disappears while on a hunt, forcing Sam and Dean to reunite in an unsuccessful attempt to find him. Sam returns to the life of a hunter after Azazel, the demon that killed his mother, also kills Sam's girlfriend.

John reluctantly chooses to avoid his sons throughout most of the season while he investigates something, eventually reuniting with them in the episode "Shadow". However, the demonic Meg Masters attacks them and reveals that Azazel is after John. After escaping from Meg, the brothers split up from their father to keep him from the demons. When vampires murder his old mentor and steal the Colt—a mystical gun capable of killing anything—John teams up with Sam and Dean to retrieve it. Because demons cannot be killed by conventional means, they hope that the Colt will be effective against Azazel. In response, Meg begins killing the Winchesters' friends, and threatens to kill more unless they deliver the Colt. John is captured after trying to give her a fake gun, and reveals himself to be possessed by Azazel when the brothers come to his rescue. However, he manages to resist the demon's control. Despite John's pleas for Sam to shoot him with the Colt, Sam cannot bring himself to do so and allows Azazel to escape. As the Winchesters flee in Dean's Impala, a demonically-possessed trucker crashes into them. Sam and John awake in the hospital with only minor injuries, but a dying Dean is comatose. John secretly summons Azazel, and seems to know what the demon's plans are. He then makes a deal to save Dean, giving up his life, soul, and the Colt. Before his death, John whispers something in Dean's ear, later revealed to be orders for Dean to kill Sam should he be unable to stop him from becoming evil—Sam had been secretly fed Azazel's blood as an infant on the night of Mary's death, granting him demonic abilities with the potential to corrupt him. Alastair tortured John in Hell for over a century, and offered to stop if he would torture someone else—agreeing to do so would break the first seal holding Lucifer in Hell. However, John never gave in. The soul of John later appears when a gateway to Hell is opened. He saves Dean from Azazel, and distracts the demon long enough for Dean to kill him with the Colt. John then gives Sam and Dean a loving smile before becoming engulfed in a white light. However, the fifth season episode "Dark Side of the Moon" suggests that he is not in Heaven. Dean is sent through time by Castiel. He meets his parents' former selves, and ends up convincing John to buy the Impala that he eventually inherits. Dean later watches John being killed by Azazel, though the demon then resurrects him in exchange for Mary's permission to enter her house in ten years. When the angel Anna Milton travels back in time to prevent the brothers' births, John agrees to serve as a temporary vessel for the archangel Michael to stop her. Michael subsequently erases John and Mary's memories of the incident. John's father Henry arrives in 2013 looking for John to enlist his help to defeat the demon Abaddon.
Henry- who had been about to ascend to become a full member of the Men of Letters before Abaddon's attack slaughtered the rest of the order- is disgusted to learn that John became a hunter, regarding them as little more than 'mouth-breathing apes' who automatically resort to violence, but after reading John's journal, tries to change history so that John grew up with him. He is stopped by Dean, who argues that Henry could end up making matters worse, and eventually killed by Abaddon while helping Dean save Sam, but tells Sam and Dean that after seeing them, he is proud of the man John became, hunter or not. John is a "tormented soul", motivated by an "equal combination of revenge and protecting his sons". Following the death of their mother, Sam and Dean became secondary to John's quest of killing the demon responsible, although there is no doubt he loved them. He did things, even when they were wrong, for the good of his sons.

Episode Screenshots

08x23 - Sacrifice
Season 8, Episode 23
11x12 - Don’t You Forget About Me
Season 11, Episode 12
01x01 - Pilot
Season 1, Episode 01
04x02 - Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester
Season 4, Episode 02
[More Episodes]

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