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scares the hell out of me. You two are all I've got. But I guess we are stronger as a family. So ... let's go after this damn thing. Together.
~ John to his sons, Dean and Sam.

John Winchester was the son of Henry and Millie Winchester, the husband to Mary Winchester, and father to Sam and Dean Winchester as well as the father of Adam Milligan. Following the demon Azazel murdering his wife, John turned to fight the forces of darkness and became a hunter, convinced that evil was after his family and wanting revenge for his wife's murder. He trained his sons, Sam and Dean to combat the forces with him. However as time went on, the stresses of the job and trauma he had experienced changed John, turning him cynical and paranoid. This led to him neglecting his sons, and led to conflicts between him and Sam who wanted to seek a normal life the conflict eventually went so far that Sam left the family to attending college, leaving the family business behind. Dean meanwhile was left with him but his upbringing had left him with several problems.

He is portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and by Matt Cohen (young version). Morgan also portrays Negan in The Walking Dead, and Eddie Blake/The Comedian in Watchmen.

Biography

In 2005, John came close to finding Azazel, but terrified the demon might take his sons the same way it took his wife, he disappeared to hunt alone. Dean reunited with Sam to find John, but discovering this John kept them occupied with other cases while he got closer. However eventually they met up again, after going through several family issues, John finally agreed they were stronger together. Tracking Azazel to his next target, John was contacted by the demon meg who had began murdering his friends to lure them out. They demanded the one weapon that could kill Azazel to stop them. John formed a decoy, to give his sons time to kill Azazel. But the plan failed and John was kidnapped by the demons.

Sam and Dean managed to save him, but it turned out Azazel had possessed John. Turning on them, he started to murder Dean. Through sheer willpower however, John managed to wrestle Azazel for control. And in the confusion, Sam managed to drive him out of John. Unfortunately one of Azazel's followers than crashed a truck into them, leaving Dean critically injured. Knowing Dean was critically injured and unwilling to let his son die, John summoned Azazel and gave up his revenge offering the demon a deal to save his son. However Azazel forced John to give up his Soul as well. Dean was saved, but John was doomed for hell, in his last moments he told his sons he loved them and told Dean he was sorry for putting to much pressure on him growing up. Azazel then killed John and his soul was sent to hell.

However around a year later, John managed escapes when Azazel organized the Devil's Gate (a portal to hell) to be opened, so his army could escape. Now in spirit form, John managed to save Dean and Sam from Azazel, taking his arch-nemesis on, he managed to hold him off long enough for Dean to get the Colt, with it Dean shot Azazel his archenemy dead, and his family saved from his influence, John moved on to what came next, after giving his sons a silent goodbye. 

However in season 4, Castiel sends Dean back in time in the late 70's and he meets a young John Winchester, whom and Mary Winchester. At the time, John was a mechanic and was only dating. He was killed but then resurrected by Azazel (who was possessing Samuel Campbell) after making a deal with Mary, that in ten years he'll come to visit her child

John later appears again in the past when the angel Anna travels back in time to kill both him ans Mary to prevent Sam from being born. Dean and Sam go back in time to stop her. Anna lures John to the mechanical shop he works at by calling him (mimicking the voice of his boss). As The Winchesters go to the shop, they are attacked by Anna and Uriel(whom she summoned to aid her), who overpowers them and manages to kill Sam. The archangel Michael then intervenes and possesses John. Michael then kills Anna and sends Uriel away. Michael explains to Dean and gives his side of the story on why he must possess him, saying that free will is an illusion, to which Dean disagreed. Michael then resurrected Sam and erased John and Mary's memories of that moment.

John made a return in season 14 (with Jeffrey Dean Morgan reprising the role) as part of the 300th episode. John is taken from 2003 (two years before Supernatural began) and telported forward in time to 2019, in which he reunites with his sons. However this disruption causes timeline changes such as Dean being on the run as a serial killer, Sam becoming a lecturer, and Mary (who was brought back from the dead three years prior) being threatened to return to her dead state. Castiel had also become a robotic and ruthless servant for the Angels once again, as he never met the Winchesters in this new timeline. John eventually returns to his own time, which allows the timeline to set itself back correctly. Whilst back in 2003, it is hinted that John may be aware that those events weren't just a dream and that they happened.

Abilities

  • Master Soldier and Hunter Skills: One of the most seasoned veterans of the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and having excelled in the rigorous training required to enter the army and the many missions he accomplished while a soldier enough to earn several medals, John was already a highly capable fighter even before becoming a Hunter. Due to this, he was able to train his son at an early age in the basics of combat, molding them into already becoming skilled individuals at such age. It was also because of John's military background and the outstanding fighting abilities that came with it that he was able to become one of the greatest Hunters ever known, regarded with great respect by even other veteran hunters even after his death such as Bobby Singers and Gordon Walker, even after his death, as well as his highly accomplished sons, who John was known for having trained again in the arts of hunting, with Gordon stating with John dead, Sam and Dean had "big shoes to fill" and Sam and Dean stating that John had killed almost every monster he came face-to-face with. Even Azazel, one of the Princes of Hell, considered John more dangerous than the Colt, a weapon capable of killing him. Although Sam stated that while his father remains superior to him, Dean has ultimately surpassed his father by Season 8, this is proven to be false by how John made short work of his sons after being pulled to the future recently, although he did catch them off-guard and was at his prime conditioning. As such, John currently remains the most skilled Hunter in the series.
    • Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Owning from his military training in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and being one of the finest combatants of the time, John was clearly an exceptional martial artist. It was his skill and knowledge in hand-to-hand combat that allowed him to mentor his sons in martial arts, turning them into some of the greatest fighters in the world. John's skills even proved to be able to defeat both Sam and Dean at once with little effort, although he did caught them by surprise and was armed by a gun that he used as a melee weapon but this remained impressive considering his sons increased experience.
    • Master Weapon Specialist: Naturally for a seasoned veteran of the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, John was extensively trained and highly accomplished in the use of numerous weapons. His prowess in Marksmanship earned him USMC Expert Rifle Badge for having the highest score of qualification for the USMC with his riffle, an M16A1. He retained his capabilities and was henceforth able to successfully tutor his sons in how to use and even construct firearms at a young age and later on his years of hunting had likely increased his skills with weapons and he was known for having trained his sons more intensively in the use of weapons including melee ones. He proved to be able to easily decatipate the Vampire Hank and shoot Kate and Luther before they could react despite their vampiric speed and reflexes.
  • High-Level Intelligence and Knowledge: John, benefitting his rank of corporal during his time as a Marine, was highly compotent in leadership and tactics, which allowed him to effectively mold his sons into becoming prudent tacticians and excellent leaders. Due to this, John is one of the very few recognized by even Dean as a leader superior to himself, henceforth being the one who led his sons when they worked together against Azazel. He has accumulated a vast amount of knowledge on the Supernatural over his hunting years that he stored into his journal and his command of the lore was such that many times Sam and Dean consult his journal as their first source of information as John had been able to figure out ways to kill unkillable monsters. Several times it alone has proven to be enough for them to identify a creature and how to kill it. In The Rising Son, John's journal displayed knowledge of the Shedim, extremely obscure monsters that very few were aware even existed. The journal showed that John was aware of the Princes of Hell too despite all of the Princes being believed to be long-dead. As well, John knew enough to list in his journal that there were only four Princes of Hell. He was also aware of the existence of the Colt and First Blade, one of the very few who knew it.
  • Indomitable Willpower: Another notable trait of John's was his incredible willpower. He was temporarily able to retake control when possessed by the demon Azazel, an impressive feat as few others have been able to retake control from even weak demons, while Azazel was one of the most powerful. The only other people to display similar levels of willpower are Bobby Singer and Sam (with Sam managing to temporarily mentally subdue the archangel Lucifer). John's utterly indomitable willpower is also shown in how he never broke or gave in to Alastair's offer, even after the latter egregiously tortured him for a hundred years (of Hell-time), and was subsequently able to escape Hell itself while the Devil's Gate was open. Dean noted that if anyone had the willpower to do so, John did. John was even able to briefly overpower Azazel while just a ghost, though for only a few moments. This attack saved Dean, and allowed him to finally kill John's long-time archnemesis.

Trivia

  • His relationship with his sons is similar to God's with his children, specifically Michael and Lucifer.
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