Supernatural is returning for an unprecedented 13th season (and it’s already been renewed for a 14th!) of the popular series about the monster hunting brothers Sam and Dean. With so much history and lore sometimes it can be hard to keep track of what’s happening, so here’s a quick guide to the main players.
Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki)
The younger of the Winchester brothers, Sam is a hunter, dedicated to fighting monster, ghost, and the forces of evil wherever they may appear. Thanks to a deal with a demon made by his mother decades ago, Sam was given demon blood when a baby, giving him psychic powers. This allowed him to be manipulated into freeing Lucifer from his prison by the forces of hell.
The ‘true vessel’ of Lucifer, Sam was supposed to give his body over to the devil to destroy the world. Instead, Sam has spent the last several years fighting against Lucifer in his various hosts.
After helping to end the fight between God and his sister, Amara, Sam’s mother was brought back to life. Despite having never known his mother he formed a quick relationship with her, working together with the British Men of Letters.
Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles)
The elder of the Winchester brothers, Dean is a hunter alongside his brother Sam. Following the death of his mother, and his father becoming a hunter, Dean not only learnt about the world of the supernatural, but played a large part in raising Sam. As adults, following the disappearance of their father, Dean convinced Sam to join him in his search, hunting monsters along the way.
Following the death of Sam, Dean made a deal with a demon to bring him back to life, though it resulted in Dean being sent to Hell. Despite spending only a few months in Hell from Earth’s perspective, it was 40 years for him, resulting in deep psychological scars that are still around to this day.
Over the years Dean has been to Purgatory, travelled through time, and even briefly became a demon thanks to the mystical Mark of Cain, though he was cured thanks to Sam and his friends. After helping to end the war with Amara, whom he inadvertently unleashed, he began to reconnect with his long dead mother, though the two of them often argued about her working alongside the British Men of Letters.
Castiel (Misha Collins)
Castiel, often called Cass for short, is a powerful Angel, one of the soldiers of Heaven sent to Earth to fight in the war against Lucifer. He was the Angel that rescued Dean from Hell, and soon developed a bond with the Winchesters, even going so far as to rebel against Heaven in order to save them, and stop Lucifer.
Following the prevention of the apocalypse, Castiel took part in a civil war in Heaven, fighting against other Angels to prevent a hard-line faction from restarting the end of the world. During the course of this war Castiel was corrupted by the power he was absorbing and briefly became ruler of Heaven, before unleashing the Leviathan from Purgatory.
When Amara, the sister of God, was released from her prison, Castiel made a deal with Lucifer to become his vessel, using him in the fight against her. Unfortunately, Lucifer managed to escape into the world. Castiel spent the next year hunting him down, but when he and the Winchesters discovered a woman pregnant with Lucifer’s son Castiel took it upon himself to protect the unborn child, wanting to raise him to be a force for good.
During the climactic confrontation with Lucifer at the end of the last season Castiel was killed as the fallen angel was trapped in another world. Having been resurrected more than once in the past, it remains unclear if Castiel will return to life again, or if he is gone for good.
Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith)
Sam and Dean’s mother, Mary grew up in a family of hunters, but tried to give up the life when she fell in love with John Winchester. Unfortunately, John was killed, leading to Mary to make a deal with a demon to bring him back to life.
This deal resulted not only in Sam being made a psychic child, but also led to Mary’s death at the hands of a demon. Spending decades as a ghost in the former Winchester house, Mary eventually moved on to Heaven.
Following the end of the war against God’s sister, Mary was brought back to life as a thank you to Sam and Dean. Struggling to reconnect with her sons, who had both aged 30 years, Mary became involved with the British Men of Letters, and was even brainwashed into being a killer for them.
Fortunately, she was saved by her sons and helped to end the threat of the British Men of Letters in time to help them stop Lucifer from getting his infant son. Unfortunately, Mary became trapped in an apocalyptic alternate dimension with Lucifer in the process.
Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino)
Also known as the Devil, Lucifer was the second Archangel created by God, and God’s favourite son. When he refused to bow before humanity he fell from Heaven, leading to a war between Heaven and Hell. Eventually, he became trapped in The Cage, deep in Hell.
Thanks to plans put into motion by his followers, Sam unleashed Lucifer from the Cage. Lucifer spent much of the next year building his forces for the coming apocalypse, and tried to get Sam to agree to be his vessel. Despite briefly inhabiting Sam, he was defeated and trapped in the Cage a second time.
When Amara was unleashed onto Earth the Cage was damaged, allowing Lucifer to reach out to Sam through a psychic link. He tricked Sam into journeying into Hell, making him believe that he was needed to defeat Amara. Despite Sam not agreeing to let him inside, Castiel agreed, freeing Lucifer from the Cage.
After reconciling with God, Lucifer worked alongside him and the Winchesters against Amara, but was banished out of Castiel’s body in their final confrontation. After searching the Earth for a suitable vessel with power and influence Lucifer managed to possess the President of the United States.
Despite being removed from the President’s body, Lucifer did manage to impregnate one of his aides with a half angel child. Lucifer made it his mission to try to track down his son, resulting in a confrontation with the Winchesters that ended with Castiel dead, and him and Mary Winchester trapped in another dimension.
Crowley (Mark Sheppard)
Born in Scotland in the 1600’s as Fergus MacLeod, Crowley made a deal with a demon for ‘an extra three inches below the belt’, resulting in him going to hell when he died. With his soul in Hell, Crowley was eventually corrupted and became a Demon. Working his way up the ranks, he eventually became the head of the Crossroads Demons.
After Lucifer failed to bring about the end of the world during the apocalypse Crowley moved into the vacuum left behind and became the King of Hell. Over the years Crowley has bounced back and forth from being a villain to an unwilling hero, working alongside the Winchesters multiple times and even forming a strange kind of friendship with them.
When Lucifer escaped from the Cage and tried to take over Hell once again Crowley worked alongside the Winchesters to stop him. Luring Lucifer through a tear in reality to a parallel world, Crowley stabbed himself with a demon killing knife, sacrificing himself to complete a spell and trapping Lucifer. It’s unknown if this is indeed the end of Crowley, or if the King of Hell will somehow make a surprise return.
Rowena MacLeod (Ruth Connell)
The mother of Crowley, Rowena is a witch from the 17th Century who has survived for hundreds of years using magic. Rowena has been an antagonist and ally for the Winchesters, sometimes helping them in their missions if it helps her gain more power or stay alive.
She has worked with them to stop Amara, helped to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean, and assisted in the fight against Lucifer. It appears that Lucifer killed her recently, burning her body to a crisp, but as she has returned from the dead before, Rowena could very well appear again.
Jack Kline (Alexander Calvert)
Jack is the son of Lucifer and Kelly Kline (Courtney Ford). Born at the end of season 12, Jack’s birth led to the death of his mother, due in part to his immense power as a half angel, half human Nephilim.
It’s unknown what Jack will be like, or where he allegiances will lay. Will he be evil like his father, or a force for good as Castiel believed.