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John Winchester Part II

Heroic Man of Secrets


Dammit John! What the hell did you know?!

(For Part 1, Check out John Winchester: The Mechanic From A Family of Mechanics)

What did you know John? How much? When did you begin to suspect? At what point did the first dribbles of suspicion and information make it to your hyper paranoid, intelligent and terrified mind? These questions, and more, are questions I doubt the show I love will EVER answer for me. But they haunt me more than any other strayed away plot point.
And ever since ‘Swan Song’, another unanswered question has wandered into my mind. Did part of John’s unease and drive come from a warrior’s gut feeling of being hunted?  Sammy was being hunted. He was being pursued and watched early on in his childhood. Teachers, acquaintances, girlfriends and who knows who or what else watched. Did John’s senses pick up on this? Could it have played upon his obsession even more?  His fear of Sam going away to college, where he would be alone and unsafe, very well could only stem from John’s single minded grief. But could it have also been an unknown and unknowable intuition of true danger for his youngest? Either way, if it were simple paranoia or a deep seated suspicion, I would like to point out that John, in this, was right. He was so very wrong in so much else, but in fearing for Sam, he was spot on.
“It was Dad who said if I was gonna go I should stay gone.”

How he handled it, of course, was entirely wrong.   Oh John, you break my heart.
For nearly four years he didn’t call his youngest, he didn’t knock on his door; leave a note, a voicemail…nothing. Instead he chose to drive by once in a while (stalk much John?) and brag about him when possible. All the while he was doing this, he did not give a portion of this fatherly attention to his eldest. He did not only make a wrong action, he lived wrong on that action for four years. Wrong piling upon wrong. 
Give the man credit, he certainly knew how to wreak havoc. 
“Come on. This crap ain't real. There ain't nobody can track a demon like this.”
“Our dad could.”
At least all the havoc he created was not solely directed on his sons’ hearts. He was also a kick ass hunter. And during some of this kick ass hunting, he finally kicked over the right stone that begun to point him toward Yellow Eyes. I believe that this over turned stone also gave him the first hint of whatever the hell it was he knew about Sam. His son. (What did you know John!)
I have given his actions a lot of thought. Why did John act as he did? Why did he separate himself from Dean with no word? Why did he keep contact with the boys so minimal? Why did he claim protection while sending them on dangerous hunting missions? I tried my best to step into his boots, with the little we do know, think his thoughts, and reason his reasons.
How frightening, how terrifying, how panic inducing would it be to find out that your worst fears were minimal when compared to the truth? His fear is a reason I believe John went haring off without Dean. Not a fear of Dean being physically hurt, but a much worse fear. He did not want to pass on his own newly found terror to his eldest. 
John was well aware of the bond between his sons. He was witness to its development after all. In the way he emphasized the importance of family, he was a part of its forming. He knew his boys, very well. We, as viewers, rarely have seen John with Sam and Dean, especially their younger selves. In the role we see on screen he is either gone, leaving or angry. But I look to the silences and unfilled blanks. This is the man who drove them for miles as they played or squabbled in the seats of the Impala. He taught them how to shoot a gun/crossbow, knife fight, use their fists, drive a car, run a con, make fake IDs, impersonate various professionals, lie to the cops, read a map, conduct research, recognizance, how to remain invisible to the system, get past alarm systems, and cover their tracks. He also taught an appreciation for classic rock, probably spent hours with Dean under the hood of the Impala, how to shave, how to not clean a motel room, find a derelict building to squat in, got them their first drink, gave them THE TALK about the birds and the bees, familial loyalty, reverence for Mary and a willingness to sacrifice for strangers. My point, he spent a whole lot of time with his sons, not just apart from them. Granted, the majority of this time was spent turning them into Hunters, but he was around them enough to know and understand how important they were to each other. 
And knowing that bond, I believe he did not want to ruin it.
“He said that I might have to kill you Sammy.”

John somehow came to the conclusion that his baby boy may need to be killed. For the safety of mankind.  Can you imagine having that piece of knowledge riding around in your head? 

No really. Imagine it. Are you a parent? Or if not a parent, think of someone you love. Love more than yourself. Now try, just try to think of how it would be, to become utterly convinced that that loved one might have to be put down. 
So John has kicked over this ugly stone and now has a suspicion in his mind, and he has a choice. Does he go back to Dean, faithful, obedient Dean, and look him in the eye? No, no he does not. How could he? How could he possibly tell his eldest this piece of knowledge? Hide it from him then? Dean followed orders, but John was well aware of Dean’s intelligence. If John let him in on the trail, Dean probably would have started putting two and two together. The fear and suspicion John felt, while hating to feel it, is something that he would not want Dean to know. How could he possibly contaminate the bond between his boys? So instead he split. He found the trail of Yellow Eyes. He needed to find the demon and the entire truth about the plans for his son Sam. He needed to stop things before they got worse. 
Filled with revenge, fear, and a protective need to shield his sons, John went solo. He was not primarily protecting his sons from danger. He was protecting them from knowledge that could drive a wedge between them. But unbeknownst to him, Sam was having visions, DemonBrady lay in wait, and Jessica was scheduled to die. 
And when Jess did die, on the ceiling as Mary did, that would have been a huge signal of confirmation. Yellow Eyes was after Sam. No way was that coincidence. The thing John feared was true. But as he told Missouri in “Home”, he evidently did not yet know the entire truth and must have felt desperate to find it. 
“Saving people. Hunting things. The family business!”

But how could John even entertain the thought of killing Sam? What kind of sick bastard would allow that concept into his mind? This was his son. HIS SON. (How much did you know John!?)  This was a hard one for me to empathize with. I love John. He’s my favorite. But this is his son we’re talking about. So I again attempted to walk in his shoes.
John had his life turned upside down when a monster invaded his home. And being the sweet sensitive man he was, though later tried not to be, it may be he saw ‘civilians’ as who he used to be. He needed to protect them because no one had protected him. (This is of course separate from his issues of guilt that doubtless surrounded Mary’s death.) John raised Sam and Dean so that they were infused with a marrow deep instinct and need to protect others. Considering everything they are willing to do for strangers, it was core in their upbringing and comes as naturally as breathing. (I still remember my sense of shock during ‘Hammer of the Gods’ when the boys first impulse was to save the poor saps in the freezer. I’d forgotten all about them!) 
And I think we all remember Dean’s conversation with John’s grave in ‘What is and What Should Never Be.’ That seems to sum up John’s education of his children quite well. “Them first.”  Revenge and self sacrifice were apparently very high on John’s list of life rules. 
But that still doesn’t explain how John, the man who taught the importance of family, would be willing to consider the murder of his son. 
I again reference Sam to learn about his father. Sam has been known to look at the bigger picture. So I assume John would do that as well. Now again my mind is asking how much John knew, but it HAD to be a lot for him to consider killing Sam to be an option. The big picture must have loomed large.
But still, the mind screams “This is Sammy??” How dare he, that bastard!
“You know the truth, right? About Sammy? And the other children?”
“Yeah. I’ve known for a while.”

Well…as we were reminded recently in “The French Mistake”, the Apocalypse happened rather bloodily. Earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters were occurring. Not to mention the things we saw ourselves. Hail, fire and blood in one town, Sam drinking that nurse, oh yeah, and letting Satan out of his cage. Am I saying that the entire onus falls purely on Sam’s shoulders? Come on, no! He was manipulated, tricked, twisted and driven. Not to mention that Dean played his role. But, BUT, it all did happen. Disaster, blood and death follow Sam around like a pet puppy. 
So let’s break this big picture down to a personal level. What if it was your town hit by an earthquake? What if your family died in a strange and unnatural disaster? What if you found out that it never would have happened if a young man had not accidentally let Lucifer out of his cage? How many people have died because of the wrong decisions made by Sam? 
When I think of it in that light, I find myself reconsidering. Especially since, (and please remember, I’m pretending this universe is real) I wouldn’t actually know the Winchesters or anything about them. So one of their lives against the lives of those I love? I think I’d vote to kill the boy off. Sorry Sam. 
And John, seeing a big picture, had to weigh the lives of those unknown sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, loved ones, against the life of his son. I doubt that John knew the Apocalyptic end game. But he did see a tide of death if he couldn’t save Sam. His was a logical mind. It follows that considering murdering his son came from a logical conclusion. A painful one. I cannot imagine how it must have hurt him to come to that conclusion. And that conclusion led to three choices. Spill Sam’s blood. Watch the blood of many be spilled. Save Sam. 
“I mean, come on you can't, you can't leave me here alone with dad, we'll kill each other, you know that.”

Now I come to a crux. The deal. The deal that John made. And more importantly, what John said to Dean. 
This one was the hardest yet for me to find any empathy for. How the hell could John say that to Dean?  Seriously? Seriously?! Dammit John! WHY would you do that?? WHY?? It was cruel beyond measure.
It took me a long time to come to peace with John over this one. It was those words of Sam’s to Dean as he lay in a coma “..we’ll kill each other...” and my mind slowed down. Wait a minute. Wait just one minute. 
John knew of the bond between the brothers. He loved both of his sons, and he also knew, just as Sam knew, that he and his youngest did not get along. We see Dean wandering the halls of the hospital, hunting the Reaper. We see Sam desperately searching for an answer. And we see John, thinking. 
There was his eldest, dying in a hospital bed. There was his youngest, railing against him. There was the something he knew. That day in the hospital, I believe John was not only contemplating the loss of one son, but of both. John knew, he knew, that he couldn’t save Sam. And I think he was right. 
Let’s play the ‘what if’ game. (Granted, a rather dangerous and infinitely ended game. But bear with me.) What if John did not make the deal? Dean would have either died and gone with Tessa, or died and become a spirit. What followed wouldn’t be too difficult to imagine. Yellow Eyes would have continued priming his ‘favorite’. Considering the flexibility both heaven and hell have displayed while manipulating destiny, the highlights of Sam’s road probably would not have changed that much. I’d bet the Devils Gate would have still been opened, allowing Lillith and the others out. Ruby would have shown up in one form or another, only instead of a strong brother bond to try to worm her way between, she would have had ripe pickings in the already fractured relationship between John and Sam. Ruby was a Master at manipulation. Man I hate her but she was good. A real talent. How long would it have taken her to coax Sam away from his Father? Not long I think. Not with Sam grieving for Dean. Not with John grieving for Dean. Not with those two men being as similar as they were. I think they would have clashed and clashed hard. 
So there is John, knowing Dean is dying and knowing there is no clean way to fix things. And there is John, knowing that there is no way he’ll be able to save Sam. So he makes a decision, takes the Colt, and gives Yellow Eyes a call. He did not go down to that basement with the intent of selling his soul. That was not the plan. But desperate times…and John decided to exchange his soul to save Dean, and the hope of saving Sam. 
“No, John, not yet. You still need to sweeten the pot.”
“With what?”
“There’s something else that I want, as much as that gun. Maybe more.”

But still, none of that excuses what John next did to Dean. No, no excuses at all. But I asked myself what I would have said and came up against a brick wall. 
John suddenly finds himself with very little time left to live. He has what, perhaps an hour, before he will be in hell. For eternity. To never again hope to see Mary. To never again see his boys. To never have a chance to exact vengeance. To die. To suffer. To become a hell tortured soul. 
Soak it in John. But don’t panic. You can’t panic yet, because you can’t let your sons know. And besides, you can’t leave Dean completely in the dark. No, a message has to be passed on to look out for Sammy. But how to say it? How to express it without obliterating the bond between them? 
He had very little time to phrase those words. Trudge up the stairs, maybe sit for a few minutes in the stair well, tuck the Colt behind his belt, find Dean’s room, see that he is alive, say goodbye to Sam, say goodbye to Dean and then…and then lay a burden on Dean like none other. Walk out of the room, clear the tears from eyes, face the Demon, lay down the Colt and die. Welcome to hell John Winchester. They have been waiting for you. 

One quick side note. John basically walked into hell. He walked to the gates of hell for love of his sons. John, you stubborn, stupid, magnificent bastard. 
What John told Dean was inexcusable. But, (and I almost hate putting that ‘but’ in) he was a bit preoccupied at the time. There were some heavy things on his mind. Terror and panic must have screamed and scrabbled at the edges of his sanity. All he had to cling to was the love he had for his sons, his old habits of doing things alone, and keeping his secrets. The three combined into the messy stewpot of instructions he left for Dean. 

Just one more opinion on this incident. While John’s deal was for his sons in many ways, in one way I think it was just as selfish as Dean’s deal. John was tired. John was running. He could not handle the idea of killing Sam. He could not handle the idea of outliving Dean. It was too much, so he passed the baton to Dean. He gave up, rolled over and died. Hell was preferable to a world without his sons. See, he knew, he knew better than anyone, that Dean was the better man. He allowed himself this cowardice, knowing his son would finish what needed to be finished. 


Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2011-04-21 03:34
Dammit Naismith, I love you and every brain cell and thought process you possess!! I squinted through this this morning at about 6.30 (Im reading and replying on iPhone. My computer is in the clinic. I miss it...) and it's still haunting me! And your first article!! Beautiful. can't believe I missed it first time round. My honing beacon for all things John Winchester must have been on the blink that day.

I can't wait to get Liam the Laptop back so I can at least attempt to put together a reply to your article that is some way coherent but until that happens all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you.
# Naismith 2011-04-21 09:29
Hello Tim. You are welcome you are welcome you are welcome?? I am so pleased you enjoyed! I look forward to the return of Liam and your (I have no doubt) wonderful coherent thoughts. Give my best wishes and “Get well soons” to Liam for me.

Thanks for reading!
# Sylvia37 2011-04-21 05:47
I love this article. It really brings insight into a character on the show that has had more speculation than any other. I think my main problem with John, other than the fact that he laid that burden on Dean, was the fact that he never trusted Sam enough to tell him the truth. I know that Sam has changed over the years, matured and strengthened, and that John only knew him really as his rebellious son. But knowing Sam was like him in so many ways, he never tried once to tell Sam what was really going on. Even after he saw what a hunter Sam became, he never even considered that maybe being honest with Sam might have changed their whole outlook and relationship. In my mind, that is what would have been the game changer. I don't think Sam would have considered leaving the family if John had just told him and tried to help him deal. To me, that's his biggest sin.
# Naismith 2011-04-21 09:31
Hello Sylvia37, thank you for reading and sharing your opinion. This is one aspect that I had never considered before! It definitely gave me food for thought. I love that you saw this, I honestly did not think of it as an option and felt surprised at my initial, and almost violently emotional, reaction to the suggestion. You rock for challenging things?

So I thought some thoughts and came to the conclusion that I will fully support John in this decision. I am not saying that he was right, but that it is a sin I would also knowingly commit. If you’ll hang with me, I’ll explain.

I do not see it in the light of John not trusting Sam, but of John not wanting to burden him with that information. Though the wording would be different, John would basically be saying, “You are the reason your mother died. You are the reason Jessica died.” Not fault, mind, but reason. If a parallel (though much less supernatural) decision was presented to me, I’d keep my mouth tightly shut. Not because of lack of trust, but out of love. Considering the protective nature of Papa Winchester, that would be one of the last things he would want to tell his son. Not to mention, considering the tempestuous nature of their relationship, I am not sure John had the ability to tell Sam without some sort of fault being implied or at least heard by Sam.
Dean’s first instinct was the same after he came back to the future (heh, that just never gets old) and did not tell Sam about the Demon Blood. Sam already knew, Dean left that bit out. And it was the bit that again, basically said “You are the reason for their deaths.” Considering the fact that Sam did not tell Dean when he first learned of the Demon Blood, his mix of emotions did not make him feel clear of guilt. The very thing that I believe both John and Dean wanted to keep Sam from feeling.

Again, I am not saying that John (and Dean) made a right decision in not telling Sam, but I am chalking up this decision into my love columns for them.

Thanks again for reading. Your comment is much appreciated.
# sn_chills 2011-04-21 09:15
Fabulous article. You and I agree on many points.

I love John, he's one of my favorite characters and I believe had JDM been available we might have seen a more "rounded" version of him. I always suspected that he knew more than he let on. Even from the pilot, that look on his face as he watched his house burn intrigued me. It didn't seem to be a look of a man who had just lost his wife under terrible circumstances. It looked like a man who was angry, pissed off and vengeful, almost as if he was fully aware of what had really happened and why. Thats just my take of course.

I also believe given that John became Michael's vessel, even if for a short time, he retained some innate angel knowledge. Even though Michael said he'd wipe John's memories perhaps John remembered just enough. Maybe that's how John was able to see the big picture or at least figure it out. Perhaps Michael was still in John in come capacity (or John said yes again) when John went to hell. That could explain why Azazel made the comment about John making "Deals with Devils". That could also explain why John didn't break in hell despite how long he was down there.

Agggg so many questions. Will we ever get answers? I hope so, someday.
# Naismith 2011-04-21 10:44
Hello # sn_chills, thanks for reading and loving on John!

You present some interesting thoughts about John retaining angel knowledge. It isn’t something I’ve considered before. While I saw John’s initial reaction as and angry and innocent bystander, I can see what you mean.

The rest of what you say are all (or similar) questions that I am still struggling with. I’ve theories, ideas and so on, but when it comes to the mytharc, the waters get muddily confusing. Suffice to say, all my own confusion is too lengthy to express here…and besides, still working my way through it.

Here’s to hoping we do get some answers at some point in the future! Maybe Season 10? The writers may need to use the idea! Thanks again!
# Junkerin 2011-04-21 10:09
Great artikel agin! You sure put some tought in it.
I only think that (I´m playing a what if) if John didn´t made a deal to save Dean, heaven and hell would have had a little problem putting the apocalypse to gether. First no righteous man in hell to break the first seal because I think Dean would end up in heaven. Second the right vessels needed to be brothers and Michael prefered to be the older brother.
Just a thought.
Agin great artikel.
# Naismith 2011-04-21 10:44
Hello Junkerin. Thanks for reading, and yes, I did put a lot of thought into this. Probably too much thought.

Your points about the “what ifs” are also ones that run around my head. I can only say what I said to sn_chills. My theorizing is too muddy, confused and lengthy to put here.

Thanks for reading!
# Jasminka 2011-04-21 11:22
Yay, Naismith! Another installment of your tribute to and tale of John. It's beautifully described and paced, and it's very tangible how much you like this troubled, probably profoundly sad and courageous man.

I know, John and I would have ended up having some serious disagreement occasionally, but that doesn't mean that I can't like the man. I do. There a lot of Sam in me after all, it seems... :lol: , ha multiple personality?

love, Jas
# Naismith 2011-04-21 13:27
:-) Thank you Jasminka.

And if your multiple personalities reflect Sam, that can't be a bad thing.

By the way, I have been meaning to thank you for allowing me to rip off your method of titling articles. I liked it and am using it. While it's probably used elsewhere and by others, yours are where I saw it first.
# Jasminka 2011-04-23 04:29
You're very welcome, Naismith. It's nice to be an inspiration in whatever way... ;-)
# Bevie 2011-04-21 13:12
Another amazing insightful article about John's inner thinking and motives for what he did and didn't do.

He must have been desperate indeed to have laid that burden upon Dean, but what other course could he have taken at that time?

My heart ached for Dean at that time and also for John in his desperation. Wish we could have had more time with dad John on the series.

Again, wonderful article Naismith.
# Naismith 2011-04-21 13:30
Thank you Bevie

I also wish we could have had more time with him. It built a lot of empathy with the boys though didn't it? They wanted more of their Dad and so did we. Well played show! Cruel, cruel, wonderful show.
# Naismith 2011-04-21 13:31
Alice, I wanted to give you thanks for adding on the pictures to the article. They are great!!!
# Danam 2011-04-21 15:08
My thought has always been that somewhere in Sam's childhood John learned a dark something about Sam and changed from being the protective father to protecting (not trusting) the world from Sam. It may have been the true catalyst for them drifting apart, as losing faith in a loved one frequently is. I think he knew much much more and far earlier. Just a thought tho.
# alysha 2011-04-21 20:00

Fact is...John could have killed Yellow eyes, but then Dean still would have died and Sam, consumed with grief and revenge and estranged from his father would have still turned evil. In fact, he would have embraced evil in ways we can only imagine. I think this is what John imagined and why he chose to save Dean. He knew Dean could best handle Sam. Still, he must have been really really paranoid and worried to have told poor Dean that horrible secret!
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2011-04-21 21:30
Hi Naismith,

Another thought-provoki ng article. Great work!

Quick thoughts.. I don't think John went to the basement intending to sell his soul, but I do think he went with the full intention of doing something to save Dean. When he realized selling his soul was the only option, he took it. He made that choice for the myriad of reasons you listed, but mainly love for his child, and the knowledge Dean might be able to do what he could not.

I agree with you that it was also a selfish decision. But then love is always somewhat selfish. Dean summed it up beautifully when he said to Sam, "I couldn't live with you dead".

Loving, and being loved, makes us feel whole and human. We don't give that up easily, especially when it comes to our offspring. Like I wrote in my first article, when your child is in a potentially life-threatenin g situation, you find yourself willing to consider all kinds of options.

I also appreciated your comment about John recognizing Dean as the better man. Maybe he believed more in Dean being able to save Sam, than in himself, because he knew that Dean was driven more by love and the need to protect, that a thirst for vengeance. I've never believed John was the "righteous man" and that he didn't break, even after 100 years of torture. I think Alistair said that just to push Dean's buttons, and make him more vulnerable.

I also think John recognized his Dean's strong sense of right & wrong, and trusted that Dean would do what needed to be done, regardless of how abhorrent that task might be. But, I'm not sure John realized how fully he was condemning Dean with that final command. Because if Dean is ever in a position to kill Sam, I think his own death will swiftly follow.

I also appreciate your reasoning that time and circumstance forced John to be blunter and harsher with Dean than he might have been otherwise. It makes sense in that situation.

But, all that being said... Asking one son to kill his beloved brother, is bound to leave a mark on someone's psyche and soul. In some ways, Dean and Sam still labour under the burden of that final request.
# rmoats8621 2011-04-22 00:03
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Another fantastic article on one of my favorite characters on Supernatural. As you said, let's hope that the writers will explore him more by Season 10 (I hope it will continue that long, like Smallville) and we will get to know a lot more about him. I would love to see JDM again before the end!
Diane McClure
# Diane McClure 2011-04-22 05:10
You went and did it....NOW I love him even more!! Making decisions as aparent is never easy, but, you make them and live with the consequences... .and thats what he did....DAMMM, DAMMM, DAMMMM!
# Julie 2011-04-22 06:03
Naismith, I maintain that this is even better than Part One, and you know how good I thought that was!
I love the way you raise all these interesting questions, you really make people think and question what they would have done in the nightmare situation this guy found himself in.
I want to know how much he did really know about Sam and his destiny, AND also how long he had known this, all we got was `for some time`!!! HOW LONG????? I have a suspicion it may have been longer than we imagine.
I had never thought about him leaving Dean to go off on his own because of his fear that Dean would work out `the secret`, but this is a very creditable theory, I think you have hit on something here. It would have been immpossible for them to have hunted YED and Dean not work this out so he was probably trying to protect Dean from this knowledge then.
You ask about the question of contemplating killing Sam. Yes this is a thorny issue. Could John have done this? I am not sure, but I think Dean did make that decision in AIS,those looks through the panic room door said it all.
The fallout from John`s deal with YED raises even more to ponder on, I am sure if Dean had died it would have pushed John and Sam further apart and pretty quickly too without Dean to smooth the path and be a buffer, they were, as many have often said, far too alike. I think it was so sad that only then when that deal was made did he feel able to make the speech to Dean that he had needed to hear since he was a child, that he was proud of him and that he had made him grow up far too quickly, but then there was the most awful sting in the tale imaginable, BTW you might have to kill the little brother you love so much. Realistically though at this point what else could he have done? There was no way he could have left Dean blissfully in the dark about his little brother? Who else could he tell? He had no friends as we were told he had alienated everyone, and this knowledge had to be passed onto someone. I hate that he did this but he really had no choice. Just in case you are getting worried about me here, I still reserve the right to hurl abuse at the tv when I watch Something Wicked as usual ;-)
Irrespective of what anyone thinks about John though, he did something right, he did raise two amazing men, they had no mother so their values must have come from him and he deserves credit for that. Though the onus of responsibilty on Dean in Sams upbringing is also very significant and was far too great for a child.
Time to stop rambling now and just congratulate you again on your wonderful writing, You know I cannot wait for Part Three
Love Ju
# Karen 2011-04-22 11:39
Hi Naismith
There’s an old saying, I can’t remember it word for word but here goes.
‘You never really know a person until you have walked in their shoes’
I have to say you have pretty much succeeded in doing so with both your articles.
You really opened the door to what John’s motives and his perspective of things might have been.

I too wonder just how much John really knew and had wished he had laid everything out on the table to both boys. At least they would have been better prepared with what they were dealing with. But he may not of known or have been sure until after he was possessed by Yellow eyes, that it was only then that he was able to pick up what Yellow eyes plans really were. And of course there wasn’t any time to even work out his own thoughts about it, with the car crash and Dean being in the coma. I also believe that when John called upon Yellow eyes he went in only to negotiate the Colt for Dean’s life. It was Yellow eyes that up the anti by wanting John’s soul as well.

As I have stated in previous articles about John, I really felt for him and truly believed he did the best he could in raising his boys. And I would never deny that he loved his son’s.
However there is only one issue that, I don’t think I could ever condone or find justification on his actions. That is in Something Wicked.
It’s one thing to leave a 10 year old to watch over his younger brother, make sure he eats and brushes his teeth and goes to bed. But to expect a 10 year old to protect/defend his little brother from a Monsters!? To be fully responsible for his younger brothers life like that…sorry but that will never fly with me.

Thank-you for this wonderful and insightful article.
# spnfan 2011-10-13 10:10
Hey! I loved your article, it was a great analysis of John and the situation when the deal was made. I agree with you on all points except one, and that is the idea that John was a coward and running. I think John loved his sons very much and the thought of losing Dean upset him so much that he made a deal with his most-hated enemy. This Azazal was the thing John had been searching for his whole life, it would have been the best moment of his life to kill the demon but, this idea paled when he thought about Dean dying and he made the deal because of his love for both hi sons. Also, I think John knew that Sam would be better influenced by and listen to Dean much more easily than he did with John. So, he wanted his boys to be alive and together.
I love John Winchester!
Again, a great article. Loved it!