Editor's Note: In this week's Fan Video article, LK goes far beyond finding videos that interpret an episode's theme. She has done extensive biblical research and shares with us her insights on the Mark of Cain's plot line. She also tackles the confusing canon issues on whether the Mark was shared or given to Dean, the lock and key idea, Lucifer's role in the Mark and much more. Given that, I've made this a Let's Discuss article, so you can freely discuss your questions, confusion and theories. I also highly recommend the third video that is linked at the very end of the article. LK was too modest to showcase it, but it is her own creation about the MoC...and it is outstanding.   - Nightsky


aka Cain and Abel, story about two brothers, foreshadowing and the MOC

"8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground." 

- Genesis 4:8-10, New International Version (NIV)

I have waited to do this "Fan Video of the Week" article a while. Maybe even since the episode "First Born" aired in season 9. First because Cain and Timothy Omundson made a big impression on me. Second, because of the iconic characters and their legendary story. Last but not least, it's all in one package in a Supernatural way! I honor the characters and story with two epic fan videos so I hope you all will like them.

The story of the MOC started long ago. The back story was a part of it all from the start. Now you are expecting I will tell you it all started from "First Born" when we first saw Cain and when he gave Dean the Mark Of Cain but I won't. It all actually started from the pilot, from the two brothers who were destined to ride with one another. Their mythical and legendary tale would be entwined and added to the line of their ancestors, enriching it and their own. 

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In school I studied the Bible from archaeological and science points of view among my religion studies. In an essay, I combined the Arc of the Covenant story to Raiders of the Lost Arc movie. Only time I actually got an A+ from something at school. I followed the Arc's trail to the last entry in the Bible and cross searched references/myths where the arc could be found in real world. With this topic I also searched the past - things that connect the MOC to the brothers' lives. The leap came from season two with the episode "Houses of the Holy". In one of the scenes, Sam points at the painting of Michael on the wall but he is actually also pointing at Dean. The gesture is a coincidence but in the later seasons it appeared to have been foreshadowing, like they are also talking about the Michael sword or the words of dream Demon!Dean in 3.10 "Dream a Little Dream of Me" "Demon!Dean: You can't escape me, Dean. You're gonna die. And this? This is what you're gonna become!"

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Sam: Father, that's Michael, right?
Father Reynolds: That's right. The archangel Michael, with the flaming sword. The fighter of demons, holy force against evil.
Sam: So they're not really the Hallmark card version that everybody thinks? They're fierce, right? Vigilant?
Father Reynolds: Well, I like to think of them as more loving than wrathful; but yes, a lot of Scripture paints angels as God's warriors. 'An angel of the Lord appeared to them, the glory of the Lord shone down upon them, and they were terrified.' Luke 2:9.

- 2.13 Houses of the Holy
Whether or not you are a believer, the Bible is good source material for mythical references and stories. The bond of these brothers is so great you can't help but think how Lucifer's and Michael's, and Cain's and Abel's stories can be compared to the brothers' story. I think it is a coincidence that Archangel Michael, Lucifer, Cain and Abel were mentioned during those earlier seasons but from the pilot to season 10 everything connects and the coincidence turned out to be something else (or the writers planned this all along and are brilliantly evil masterminds). That is why the MOC was so appealing for me. I like the stories, legends and examination of them. It was very interesting that these brothers whose lives pulled us in were also connected to real life material. The full story is about brothers after all (at the moment all six of them) and that these ordinary brothers, Sam and Dean, have a greater and larger story behind them.

Michael: Lucifer defied our father, and he betrayed me, but still, I don't want this any more than you would want to kill Sam. You know, my brother... I practically raised him. I took care of him in a way most people could never understand, and I still love him. But I am going to kill him, because it is right, and I have to.
Dean: What, because God says so?
Michael: Yes. From the beginning, he knew this was how it was going to end.
Dean: And you're just going to do whatever God says?
Michael: Yes, because I am a good son.

Michael: It's a bloodline.
Dean: A bloodline?
Michael: Stretching back to Cain and Abel. It's in your blood, your father's blood, your family's blood.
Dean: Awesome. Six degrees of Heaven Bacon. What do you want with me?

– 5.13 The Song Remains the Same
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This also changed and broadened the story of Supernatural. The monsters, demons and angels were trying to control and rule Sam's and Dean's lives by telling them what they should do, and it all started from the man up top. If God presents himself ever on the show I hope Sam and Dean smack him right into his face (Chuck is not God in my mind) because he has literally screwed over their lives even before they were born. Mostly all of the supernatural beings in the show think people are nothing, i.e. inferior beings, so I am glad Sam and Dean show them what's what. Kripke planned that the supernatural acts superior but the only things that are real are the humans of the story.

Gabriel: You do not know my family. What you guys call the apocalypse, I used to call Sunday dinner. That's why there's no stopping this, because this isn't about a war. It's about two brothers that loved each other and betrayed each other. You'd think you'd be able to relate.
Sam: What are you talking about?
Gabriel: You sorry sons of bitches. Why do you think you two are the vessels? Think about it. Michael, the big brother, loyal to an absent father, and Lucifer, the little brother, rebellious of Daddy's plan. You were born to this, boys. It's your destiny! It was always you! As it is in heaven, so it must be on earth. One brother has to kill the other. 

- 5.08 Changing Channels 
It is no surprise that the story of Cain and Abel was connected too to the whole story. We can see the resemblance but the difference is that Sam and Dean chose another path in the end. They chose one another. They remained human and stayed with each other. They have not killed one another even though it has been hinted it is their destiny. They have kept their free will. How is the Supernatural story of Cain and Abel different from the real story? Like all stories, and as you can see in the references, all pieces are there just interpreted differently like some pieces in the origin story even are. 

"Castiel: You know, I've...I've been here for a very long time. And I remember many things. I remember being at a shoreline, watching a little grey fish heave itself up on the beach and an older brother saying, "don't step on that fish, Castiel. Big plans for that fish." I remember the Tower of Babel...All 37 feet of it, which I suppose was impressive at the time. And when it fell, they howled 'divine wrath'. But come on - dried dung can only be stacked so high. I remember Cain and Abel...David and Goliath...Sodom and Gomorrah." 6.20 The Man Who Would Be King

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"Big Plans For That Fish" by Sunsetagain. Check also the rest of ©Sunsetgains art and the bigger versions here. They are gorgeous.

So, let's move on to Cain and Abel's original story mixed with Supernatural differences. They were still the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain became the first murderer, the father of murder, when he tried to prevent Abel from going to hell by killing him. Lucifer tried to corrupt Abel so Cain made a deal instead that Abel's soul would go to heaven and his would go to hell. Lucifer agreed if Cain would do the deed himself. Cain did it with the jawbone of a donkey that then became the First Blade. Cain was marked with a brand that, combined with the blade, gave him supernatural powers. It was also a lock and a key to the Darkness which Lucifer out of spite probably gave away to Cain. It was a gift from his father but he might not have known it was a curse that big. Or did he?

Cain: Abel wasn't talking to God. He was talking to Lucifer. Lucifer was gonna make my brother into his pet, I couldn't bear to watch him be corrupted, so I offered a deal — Abel's soul in Heaven for my soul in Hell. Lucifer accepted... as long as I was the one who sent Abel to Heaven. So, I killed him. Became a soldier of Hell — a knight."

– 9.11 "First Born"
Cain didn't want to live as a killer so he tried to kill himself. I don't know if it was with the blade or what but he couldn't die and he was turned into a demon. He was now the first knight of hell. He was the leader who created and trained more knights who destroyed and killed everything in their path on Earth. His "right hand" was Abaddon. Cain stopped his ways when he found his love Collette because he promised her, but the knights tried to get him back by killing the woman he loved. He slaughtered all of them except one - Abaddon.

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Mark lore and the effects of it are not totally out in the open, but Cain meeting Dean and sharing the mark with him felt very personal. The mark corrupts and was more of a disease because of the entity it held in (the Darkness). Cain did not know that. Only God and Death probably did. The mark was attached to the Cain and Abel lore and it made me wonder what was true and what was not. Seems to me that not even Cain knew the real deal about the MOC.

Both Sam and Dean fit in some sense to be both Cain and Abel. They are both from the same bloodline. I felt also that Cain was a father figure to Dean that again died and left him. When Cain said "You're welcome, my son." shivers ran through my spine. Dean could understand his choices just because he saw himself in Cain. Then he made a mistake while he was trying to save his brother too.

The threat of the Cain and Abel story was there because I combined everything I saw in the earlier seasons and about the other stories together. The past was the warning sign. Cain's words were the warning sign. Dean killing people that were not supernatural was a sign. Of course when Dean heard the "false prophecy" he did everything he could to do the opposite, to not take those steps Cain said he would. Of course it wouldn't happen if he didn't kill Crowley and Castiel right? Except that focusing on just the order of the list made Dean loose sight that "Whatever you do, you will always end up here. Whatever choices you make, whatever details you alter, we will always end up—here" like Lucifer said. Well, he did and I was not sure what the outcome would be. I kept my fingers crossed the show would not go there because I would have been a blabbering smush on the floor. Sam and Dean were just like Abel and Cain through the whole story.  Sam tried to keep Dean safe by making a deal with the evil "queen" to save his brother from the mark. Dean turned into Cain when he was making a deal with Death that demanded him to take Sam's life.

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Original lore:

Cain and Abel (Hebrew: הֶבֶל ,קַיִן Qayin, Heḇel) were, according to the Book of Genesis, two sons of Adam and Eve. Cain is described as a crop farmer and his younger brother Abel as a shepherd. Cain was the first human born and Abel was the first human to die. Cain committed the first murder by killing his brother. Interpretations of Genesis 4 by ancient and modern commentators have typically assumed that the motives were jealousy and anger.In the Cain and Abel story found in the Quran, the text refers to them simply as the sons of Adam.

Pseudo-Philo, a Jewish work of the first century CE, narrates that Cain murdered his brother at the age of 15. After escaping to the Land of Nod, Cain gave birth to four sons: Enoch, Olad, Lizpha and Fosal; and two daughters: Citha and Maac. Cain died at the age of 730, leaving his corrupt descendants spreading evil on earth. According to the Book of Jubilees, Cain murdered his brother with a stone. Afterwards, Cain was killed by the same instrument he used against his brother; his house fell on him and he was killed by its stones. A heavenly law was cited after the narrative of Cain's death saying: "With the instrument with which a man kills his neighbour with the same shall he be killed ; after the manner that he wounded him, in like manner shall they deal with him.

A Talmudic tradition says that after Cain had murdered his brother, God made a horn grow on his head (see the mark of Cain). Later, Cain was killed at the hands of his great grandson Lamech, who mistook him for a wild beast.

A millennia-old explanation for Cain being capable of murder is that he may have been the offspring of a fallen angel or Satan himself, rather than being from Adam.
Many people have been confused about the facts of the MOC so I tried to write a short summary about it. You have seen some of the quotes too that explain a few things. Retracing the timeline of who had the Mark:

The First Blade was useless without the MOC so Cain tested Dean to see if he is worthy, i.e. a killer like him, but Cain might have seen himself in Dean even more. Cain shared the MOC with Dean (he had it still when he fought the demons in the end. It was seen on his arm) and the deal was for Dean to kill him with the blade because he couldn't do it himself. Cain said that the Blade could not be destroyed. 

The MOC made Dean irritated, on edge, more cold but the spiral got worse when he held and killed the first time with the blade. If he didn't kill he got sick and eventually he would die. A human is not strong enough for the power of the blade. The MOC/The Darkness lock and key vessel needed to be supernatural because a human vessel would die.



Dean was killed by the angel blade and he was resurrected to a half demon/ half human knight of hell by the combined forces of the MOC and the Blade. Sam used the purified blood cure to reset Dean to human. This erases the influence of the Blade because the demon goes dormant so Dean doesn't become sick if he doesn't use the blade because he is not fully human. The MOC continues to amp up everything and makes Dean more violent. He kills more people. As the MOC was shared it didn't matter that Dean lost it when he turned into a teen as Cain still had it. The space time continuum also to be considered, Dean would get the mark back when he  reached the age when he got it. MOC was "dormant" and would have appeared back.

Next crucial turn was when Cain appeared and Dean knew he would need to kill him. Evidence that the MOC was "shared" (not given away) was that Cain was amped up and could use the blade still. He could be killed with the blade. But Cain only knew the Abel/Cain part of the story and not the rest (about the Darkness). So Cain was killed and we can assume the MOC vanished from his arm. After that it was all downhill  for Dean.

Then Dean finds out the whole story from Death. Lucifer gave away/shared the MOC originally (it actually doesn't really matter which one it is because in "Brother's Keeper" it would have been released from him too!). The MOC was different for Lucifer because Lucifer added his own spice to the story for Cain and Abel. That story we don't fully know. Lucifer didn't need the blade but Cain did and that was Lucifer's doing. God didn't care about transferring the MOC to Cain because the lock and key was still safe with Cain that couldn't be killed and later, he just stopped caring all in all and split from heaven.

Death said that the bearer of the MOC couldn't be killed but because Death is old and wise and he sees the bigger picture he probably meant that Dean couldn't be killed because the Darkness would be released aka it would be VERY very bad thing if Dean was killed as Death could kill anything so it makes sense.

In short that is my take about the MOC.

I will miss Cain. Omundson made it feel like the character had always been there and that we got more episodes than only two with him. His charisma can bring down the house and it only got higher when he had Cain's complex character to act. I am glad we got him as long as we did but still I wish that he would have not died. As to the rest of the story, it still continues. The Darkness was revealed to the lore and we move on. It made the lore of the Winchesters even richer and gave a surprising twist to the stories about Lucifer and Cain and Abel. I am actually glad that there are still things that come as a surprise not only to the brothers but also to everyone else. In the end, biblical brothers and the MOC proved for us that both Sam and Dean are and always will be their brother's keeper.

SPN: The Hammer's Comin Down || Dean vs Cain made by: Supernatural Addiction


The Hammer's Coming Down by Nickelback

Where will you be when the sky comes down?
And what would you do if the strength was found?
Stay right beside me when the ground starts shaking
The only sound you'll hear is the breath we're taking

If there is one thing I can promise you
We'll see the light again

This is the calm before the coming storm
This is the red sky morning
Without warning now
This is the fight that we've been waiting for
And there's no sense in running
The hammer's coming down, down
The hammer's coming down, down
The hammer's coming

Once it's started, there's no turning back
But I'll be with you when the sun turns black
'Cause finding faith will always be the hardest
While you're standing in the heart of darkness

If there is one thing I can promise you
We'll see the light again

This is the calm before the coming storm
This is the red sky morning
Without warning now
This is the fight that we've been waiting for
And there's no sense in running
The hammer's coming down, down
The hammer's coming down, down
The hammer's coming (down, down...)

Holding on
We'll make it 'til the dawn
It'll be here before long
Holding on
If we can find the light
We can make our way back home

Holding on
We'll make it 'til the dawn
It'll be here before long
Holding on
If we can find the light
We'll find the light, come on

Hold on
We'll make it 'til the dawn
It'll be here before long
Hold on
If we can find the light
We can make our way back home

Hold on
We'll make it 'til the dawn
It'll be here before long
Holding on
If we can find the light
We'll find the light, come on

If we can find the light
This is the calm before the coming storm
If we can find the light
This is the fight that we've been waiting for

Hold on
We'll make it 'til the dawn
It'll be here before long
Holding on
If we can find the light
We'll find the light, come on

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Nickelback is a Canadian rock band formed in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta. The band is composed of guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger, and drummer Daniel Adair. The band went through a few drummer changes between 1995 and 2005, achieving its current form when Adair replaced drummer Ryan Vikedal.

Nickelback is one of the most commercially successful Canadian groups, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and ranking as the eleventh best-selling music act, and the second best-selling foreign act in the U.S. of the 2000s, behind The Beatles. Billboard ranks them the most successful rock group of the decade; their song "How You Remind Me" was listed as the best-selling rock song of the decade and the fourth best-selling of the decade. They were listed number seven on the Billboard top artist of the decade, with four albums listed on the Billboard top albums of the decade.
Here is the second video. Enjoy!

we're killers {spoilers 10x14} (for Alina) made by: LaudeniaBonk

Song: Audiomachine - Fearless [Epic Modern Drama]

Quotes:

Cain: From your fate. Has it never occurred to you? Have you never mused upon the fact that you're living my life in reverse? My story began when I killed my brother, and that's where your story inevitably will end.
Dean:No. Never.
Cain:It's called the Mark of Cain for a reason! First ... first, you'd kill Crowley. There'd be some strange, mixed feelings on that one, but you'd have your reason. You'd get it done, no remorse. And then you'd kill the angel, Castiel. Now, that one ... that I suspect would hurt something awful. And then! Then would come the murder you'd never survive, the one that would finally turn you into as much of a savage as it did me.
Dean:No.
Cain: Your brother, Sam. The only thing standing between you and that destiny is this Blade. You're welcome, my son.

Death: Creatio ex nihilo -- God created the earth out of nothing -- or so your Sunday-school teacher would have you believe.
Dean: What, so Genesis is a lie, eh?Shocker.
Death: Before there was light, before there was God and the archangels, there wasn't nothing.There was the Darkness, a horribly destructive, amoral force that was beaten back by God and his archangels in a terrible war. God locked the Darkness away where it could do no harm, and he created a Mark that would serve as both lock and key, which he entrusted to his most valued Lieutenant, Lucifer. But the Mark began to assert its own will, revealed itself as a curse, and began to corrupt. Lucifer became jealous of man. God banished Lucifer to Hell.Lucifer passed the Mark to Cain, who passed the Mark to you, the proverbial finger in the dike.
References:

en.wikipedia.org
biblegateway.com
azlyrics.com
supernaturalwiki.com

I hope you enjoyed the lengthy article and that it raised some questions for you. If you would like to check it out, I also made a fan video about the MOC and you can view it here: Mark of Cain - Dean Winchester / Supernatural (S9).

What additional thoughts did this article give you? Were the videos spot on or did you find one of your own? If Abel would have appeared during the MOC story, who would you have liked to be cast to play him? Share in the comments below!