Supernatural

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Contents

Promotional image from Supernatural.

Introduction

Supernatural is a television series that first aired in 2005 on The WB Network, which became the The CW network in 2006 after a merger with CBS-affiliated UPN and independent The WB. [1]

The series itself offers two primary male leads: Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as older brother Dean Winchester. The series has a large appeal to both gen and slash fans, and the fact that the two lead characters are brothers has lead to Sam/Dean being one of the more popular brother-incest pairings from a television series since Simon & Simon, though not without there being some controversy within the fandom about it.

Also, due to some slash-writers aversion to incest pairings, Jared and Jensen have been widely featured in RPS fiction as well, though again not without some controversy within the fandom. Indeed, Supernatural has been unique in that it has lead many slash writers to tackle one or both of these genres which still maintain a certain taboo within the media fandom community. The fandom, indeed, seems to attract a fair amount of wank, with kerfluffles breaking out regularly over everything from incest, rpf, actor/fan- and TPTB/fan-relations, and bad fan behavior at conventions.

Multi-chapter, multi-author story lines are popular in Supernatural, both within the gen and slash fandoms. Given the supernatural theme of the show, in addition to the expected array of vampires, werewolves, and post-apocalyptic stories, fan writers explore any number of impossible situations that would otherwise be labelled Crack!Fic. Wingfic, Genderswap, and the ani-morphing of the characters into animals, are very common story and plot devices. Crossover stories are popular as well, and popular shows to write crossovers with include Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Highlander, NCIS and Smallville

The fandom exists largely on LiveJournal and FanFiction.Net, with a few independent archives, but as of this posting no single, all inclusive archive exists. The fandom held its first online awards in early 2006, The Lawrence Awards.

The Canon

The basic premise of the series involves brothers Dean and Sam Winchester travelling across the United States in a black 1967 Chevy Impala investigating and fighting paranormal events and other unexplained occurrences. Throughout season one of the series, the brothers were also seeking their father, John Winchester. After finding him, they focus on finding the demon responsible for the death of their mother two decades before, Azazel.

See also Supernatural canon release dates

Actors & Characters

The main characters on the series are:

For minor characters, see article Supernatural minor characters.

Terminology

Following the style of playing with names and "smooshing" them, the term "Wincest" was created to refer to the incestuous sexual relationship between Sam and Dean Winchester, and also may include pairings with their father, John Winchester.

Papa'cest is occasionally used when depicting incestuous relations between John Winchester and either of his sons. Papa! or Papachester is often used to describe the character of John Winchester.

Wee!chesters - fiction written about Dean and Sam as children (pre-series).

SPN is the most commonly used acronym for the fandom. SN is sometimes used, but it causes some confusion between Supernatural fandom and the Sports Night fandom which uses the SN acronym exclusively.

Metallicar is the fan-given nickname for the Winchester's classic 1967 Impala. The nick comes from Dean's love of the band Metallica. The Car is often treated as the third regular cast member.

Character/Actor Acronyms/Terms

General fandom timeline

Below is a partial list of events that have taken place in this fandom community.

2005

  • On September 13, 2005, the Pilot episode of Supernatural first aired in the United States.[2]
  • By late 2005 through early 2006, some Sentinel fans had migrated to the Supernatural fandom. Curiously, in transitioning to this fandom, many did not bring with them the terminology set from their old fandom, including words like smarm. [3]

2006

2007

Looking at migration patterns in the Supernatural fandom by community creation dates.
Google Keywords: FanHistory WebMaster Tools: Period: December 15 to December 21, 2007 for all Google searches.

2008

2009

Actors

The actors on Supernatural have quickly developed their own sub-fandoms inside of the Supernatural fandom, particularly the two main stars, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.

Please see individual articles in the Supernatural actors category for more information on these specific fandoms.

Pairings and ships

For a series with only two main characters, Supernatural has a surprising number of pairing possibilities both canon-based and not. Some guest stars have made multiple appearances, others are presented as characters from Sam and Dean's past.

Taking into consideration that for fans, all pairings are possible, the list below reflects only the most likely and/or possible due to plot points, some more likely than others, or reflective of interest by fans of seeing such pairings. (i.e. Sam/Ellen or Dean/Ellen is unlikely but the characters of Ellen is popular as is the idea of older woman/younger man.

Het Pairings-canonical

Het Pairings-potential

Slash Pairings

  • As noted, the primary slash pairing in the fandom is Dean/Sam, but varying degrees of commonality include John/Dean and John/Sam, bringing father/son incest into the mix. Some of the other more commonly used m/m combinations are geared toward either coercive or non-consensual sex or outright rape and as such are not included in this listing as a pairing. (i.e. a popular "pair" is the Shapeshifter version of Dean from the episode Skin with Sam and the possessed-by-a-demon version of Sam from Born Under A Bad Sign with Dean. Technically they could be considered Slash merely by m/m content, but since it is unlikely for a Het pairing based solely on rape or Non con to be labeled as Het, for the purposes of this article, simple m/m combinations aren't listed as Slash either.)
  • Upon the arrival of Castiel in Season 4, the slash pairing of Castiel/Dean has also appeared and become quite popular.
  • With the reveal of The Trickster as the Archangel Gabriel in season 5, the pairing of Sam/Gabriel as sprung up and gained a devoted following, after a fic by kijikun.
  • With the arrival of Adam Milligan in the season 4 episode Jump The Shark, the slash pairing of Dean/Adam emerged. Though not as popular as the Dean/Sam pairing it still has several fans supporting the pairing.

RPF Pairings

Fanworks

Supernatural has a highly active creative community, producing many different types of fanworks.

Fan Art

Fan art in the Supernatural fandom tends to fall into three broad general categories: art, icons and wallpaper, and macros. They are supported by an active screencapping population. Each has its own cultural rules regarding borrowing and using images and screencaps. sn_daily is a popular livejournal community largely catered to icon and wallpaper makers.

Fan Fiction

Influential Stories

The sudden explosion of fan fiction at the airing of Supernatural across LiveJournal, FanFiction.net, and various mail lists, makes pinpointing influential stories difficult at best. There are certainly firsts in a variety of areas, including Slash, Wincest, Genderswap, Wee!chesters, and any number of other tropes and premises. There are premises that have become popular such as Futurefic and Post-apocalyptic stories, although it could be argued that the premise of the show prompts such things rather than any single or combination of stories.

Any such listing would be highly subjective and as of yet, there is probably no single story or premise that has fundamentally changed the way a large number of fans view either the series or a particular character. Popular stories, yes, as well as universes, but popular does not necessarily equal influential.

Common tropes

Below is a list of common kinks, tropes and cliches in Supernatural fan fiction.

Fanvidding

Fan vidding plays an important role in some parts of the Supernatural fandom. It was helped by the rise of YouTube, fans bringing their vidding traditions from other fandoms and the ease of being able to create vids.

Roleplaying

This section needs more information.

Fan Communities on the Internet

Supernatural fandom is largely internet based, with fan communities on numerous different websites, social networks, and journaling sites. The following section presents more information about these communities including timelines for their establishment.

LiveJournal

Many people who are Supernatural fans who would be found on LiveJournal were already part of the site when the show premiered. Early on, the community had access to a number of multifandom communities which they could post early fan fiction to, such as allfandomfics and 3_ships. As the show gained in popularity and the fandom grew bigger, people created specific and then even more specific LiveJournal communities to cater to their specific needs. This transition started before the first episode of the show even aired.

Below is a timeline of LiveJournal communities focused on Supernatural:

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

LiveJournal clones

Prior to 2007, a number of Supernatural fans on LiveJournal had migrated to LiveJournal clones including Blurty, DeadJournal, GreatestJournal, InsaneJournal and Scribblit. The events of Strikethrough only helped accelerate part of this migration. Each service developed its own unique culture, and demographics. GreatestJournal, prior to its collapse in late 2007, was mostly known for its role playing.

Below is a partial timeline of events on LiveJournal clones, sorted by site:

GreatestJournal


InsaneJournal

GreatestJournal had stability problems, wasn't able to handle the loan and other suspicious problems were going on behind the scenes. This caused some people to abandon the site for InsaneJournal which wasn't without controversy itself. Some people had problems with the name of the site and the name of the site's communities, finding it insulting and belittling to people with mental health issues.

JournalFen

JournalFen is a fan-run blogging site that requires members to be 18 or older. It is also the home to fandom wank. Both of these were reasons why a number of Supernatural fans avoided creating a home on JournalFen.

Mailing Lists

Mailing lists play and important role in centralizing some parts of the Supernatural fandom and in letting far flung parts of the fandom know what is going on.

MySpace

There is a large and active fan base on MySpace. People use groups to communicate, blog and create accounts to promote their fan projects. Below is a partial timeline of events that took place in the Supernatural fandom on MySpace.

Supernatural fans

See List of Supernatural fans.

Fandom Size

Story totals from random fandoms are from FanWorks.Org, FicWad, SkyHawke, AdultFanFiction.Net, FanDomination.Net, MediaMiner.Org, FanFiction.Net and FanLib as of June 13, 2007.

Kerfluffles

See main article, Supernatural kerfluffles, for more information.

External Links

Meta discussion

See also

Sources

Below is a partial list of articles and academic sources to help you continue to learn about this community.


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