Unicorns and Soulmates Part 2 – The Obsession of Love
Okay, so in part one, the topic was Sam, Dean and what soulmates truly meant for them. In that article I declared that, as far as I was concerned, Sam and Dean were each other’s soulmates. They were uniquely and profoundly bonded to each other and though at times that bond may loosen and suffer its strains, it never breaks. This time around, let’s consider the predecessor of that bond – mom and dad.
John and Mary Winchester were the ultimate in star-crossed lovers. Mary Campbell, the beautiful wide-eyed girl by day and secret, seasoned hunter by night. John Winchester: the young, honourable marine and (albeit unknown to John himself) Man of Letters incumbent. We have the demon fighter and the demon researcher – slayer and watcher, if you will. They met, fell in love and had a perfect, white-picket life for four years. Or so it would seem. Of course, nothing in the Supernatural world is ever quite that straightforward. All of this romance was without ever having the curtain-pullback reveal about the other and, on top of that, in season four we learned that John and Mary were actually a special project for the cupids – brought together because Dean and Sam had to be born to fulfill the special role of Michael/Lucifer vessels, the offspring of two unique bloodlines, the older brother and younger brother; well, we all know the lore.
So, Mary and John were fated to fall in love. An emotional cupid reveals to Dean and Sam in My Bloody Valentine that their parents started off hating each other but because the boys needed to be conceived, the cupids overcame this with some well placed arrows and a love tap or two. Personally, I’m not 100% a believer on the “hated each other” part – stories change through the grapevine after all and this particular Cupid was a bit of a chatterbox gossip by all intents and purposes. This is all secondary to my primary focus however.
This episode also demonstrated just how powerful an attraction was between those who’d been marked by a cupid was – we see that two people so marked literally devoured one another. Granted, this was enhanced by the effects of Famine’s presence at the time, but nonetheless the picture stands: the love and its power, its draw - particularly when two are further pulled together by a cupid is incredibly potent and all consuming. So my question is – if John and Mary were soulmates without the cupid enhancement, what long-term effects did that little bow have on two already in-love people?
Let’s consider everything we know. Mary made a deal for John’s life as we witnessed in In the Beginning without a thought as to the consequences. Mary was not a naïve civilian in this exchange, she was a seasoned hunter raised in the lifestyle – she knew better. Yes, she made the decision out of love and grief and with no knowledge whatsoever of the life she was condemning her children to, none at all. But I can’t help but wonder, would Mary have made the same decision without the effect of the soul-bond created by the cupid? Would she have bartered harder to include her father? Her mother? Considered for just a second? Maybe, maybe not. Dean made a deal for Sam without a second thought in a moment of grief, and we know Sam tried to do the same, without the touch of cupids. Like mother, like sons?
Supposing Mary made the same choices, let’s look at John. This is the big question for me, after all. The couple affected by Famine was all-consumed by one another – they literally couldn’t get enough of each other and were driven to their own ends by it. John, though not touched by Famine, is much the same. He is consumed by his wife’s death to the point that he constantly uproots his children’s lives, offers them no stability and limited security and nothing at all by way of a real life or childhood. All because John is frenzied, obsessed and fixated on his sole motivation: Mary. This is not to say John doesn’t love Sam and Dean, that he doesn’t protect them or think about them, or any of these things. Of course he loves his boys – we know that, he’s proved it – there is no question. Like magnets though, John and Mary are irrefutably, uncontrollably drawn together; and the I wonder – is there an effect of the enhancement of the cupid bow that means that these two super strength forces do what is necessary to find one another regardless of obstacle? Death or demon included?
There are countless occasions in which characters, be it Sam, Dean or non-Winchesters recognize and/or acknowledge the obsessive, one-note focus with which John runs his life. It was a point a contention with Sam and John for many years. Dean admits it to his demon self in Dream a Little Dream of Me – “My father was an obsessed bastard”- and of course Bobby and John were said to have argued about the way he raised the boys in his single minded quest as well.
John and Mary were destined for one another – there really is no question about that, whether you have meddling forces of angelic kind with bows and arrows or not. The only question is how great the impact of that heavenly nudge had in the grand scheme – did it bring two pieces on the game board together sooner or did it cause an entire chain of dominos to collapse? So I leave you with this to consider: Just how long lasting is the effect of the cupid bow – and consider that the cupid mentions it took extra effort to put these two together. So, extra love dose then? Would Mary have made the original deal? Would John have been nearly as singularly obsessed and driven for all those years without the added power of Cupid? In your opinion, were John and Mary ultimately soulmates or just Heavenly tools?