There is no shortage of creatures that go bump in the night in the world of the Supernatural. Over the last ten seasons, the Winchesters have fought ghosts, werewolves, demons, curses—you name it. The show is constantly expanding its mythology and threats, and as Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) have grown up and leveled up, so have their adversaries. Remember the days when the brothers flipped through their father’s journal to see how to defeat a wendigo? They were so precious. Now, they’re about take on a pre-biblical threat known as the Darkness. The stakes are slightly higher.
Before the next season of Supernatural premieres on October 7, let’s look back at the road so far and the big, bad villains the Winchesters battled in each season.
The first season of Supernatural followed a monster of the week format. As Sam and Dean searched for their missing father, they took on case after case and the audience learned alongside them. The wide variety of threats eased us into the world and its many scary sides. We learned about the Yellow-Eyed Demon, also known as Azazel, and John Winchester’s obsession with him. The Yellow-Eyed Demon was responsible for killing Sam and Dean’s mom. Azazel’s servant Meg was another regular threat throughout the season.
The battle against Azazel flipped into full gear in the second season. The Winchesters learned Azazel’s attack on Mary wasn’t random and that the demon visited multiple infants and gave them special abilities by feeding them demon blood. One of Azazel’s other psychic children killed Sam at the end of the season, leading to Dean sell his soul to a Crossroads Demon in order to resurrect his brother. They finally managed to kill Azazel in the finale.
The third season started slow with the Winchesters wrestling with the consequences of opening the Devil’s Gate in the Season 2 finale. They loosed a variety of especially nasty demons, including manifestations of the Seven Deadly Sins. But eventually, a new and powerful demon presented herself. Lilith wanted to take leadership of the demons, and she went after Sam because he was supposed to be Azazel’s successor.
Since the third season was cut short because of a writer’s strike, Lilith continued to be the primary villain in Season 4. Lilith led demons trying to free Lucifer from hell. To spring Lucifer from his prison, she had to break 66 seals and Sam and Dean spent the season trying to stop her from doing so. They were helped by a new character named Castiel. The end of the season brought the end of Lilith, but…
When Sam killed Lilith, he broke the last seal and freed Lucifer from his cage. Oops. With Lucifer, came the threat of the apocalypse. No, the Winchesters never get time for a vacation. To trap Lucifer again, the brothers had to take on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Sam had to be Lucifer’s vessel. Whew.
The sixth season jumped one year ahead and was all over the map. Sam returned but not quite as himself. The Winchesters went after different monsters as they tangled with the angels Balthazar and Raphael, Crowley, Eve, and even Sam–a soulless version of Sam. Eve wasn’t introduced until past the midpoint of the season but she was powerful enough to keep Sam and Dean busy for a few episodes. After she was defeated, Crowley stepped up into the main villain role with Castiel by his side.
Castiel suffered from a god complex at the end of Season 6 and started causing all manner of trouble. However, the leviathan–the first creations of God–escaped from Purgatory and began to overpower him. The Leviathans spread outward from Castiel, and one of them took control of a human named Dick Roman. He became their leader. Dean became obsessed with killing him, and he and Castiel teamed up to take Dick Roman down while Crowley’s demons dealt with the other Leviathans on earth.
Crowley was never exactly a friend of the Winchesters, but Season 8 saw him become more of a villain. He kidnapped Kevin Tran, a prophet of God, in order to translate a tablet that would unleash every demon in hell and help Crowley take over the world, etc. You know, the usual villainous plan. The same tablet also had instructions to send all the demons back to hell and keep them there forever. Kevin figured out the instructions and the trials that had to be completed to close the Gates of Hell. His discovery led the Winchesters to Metatron, the Scribe of God. Metatron turned on them and manipulated the situation to expel all the angels from heaven and made Castiel a mortal.
Metatron took control of heaven, and since the Winchesters kidnapped Crowley, a rival of his rose up to take his place as ruler of hell. Abaddon, a Knight of Hell, started wreaking havoc, and her ambitions forced Crowley to work with the Winchesters. Their partnership led them to the First Blade, a weapon belonging to Cain. Dean got the Blade and the Mark of Cain from Cain and used the combo to kill Abaddon,. However, the First Blade and the Mark started to change him.
The tenth season was a little different since the villain was the Mark of Cain. True, it caused Dean to become Demon Dean and then a cruel and deadly rage-monster. Sam and Dean continued to battle creatures such as werewolves and shape-shifters, but the Mark affected everything. The focus of the season–especially the back half–was about removing the curse. The brothers succeeded in the season finale and in doing so, unleashed the force the Mark was keeping in check: the Darkness. Again, oops.
Which of Supernatural’s villains do you like the best/hate the most? Talk to me in the comments.
Images: The CW