Destiny….or not?
 
This article is brought to you by my aggravation and annoyance every time someone says "It had to be you Sammy, it always had to be you!”  Do any of you get frustrated by that phase?  I do.  I don’t believe everything that has happened, or will happen, was determined since the dawn of time, either in this world or in the Winchester world. And as this whole destiny issue has increasingly become an underlying point in the myth arc, I thought it was time to  look into what the angels and demoms have been babbling about for 2 years, and see how it all fits together…….or not…….
 
Since season three, we have been told that it had to be Sam, no other choice. However, once the angels got involved, it wasn't just Sam, it was also Dean. There was no indication any where prior to season five that it also had to be Dean.  Let’s see….. how many times have the boys died? You’d think if they were predestined to be meant for the big ‘showdown’, they would have been more protected. Maybe have archangels tethered to them as well? However, we are told Sam was always meant to be Lucifer’s vessel, and Dean, Michael’s sword. Their human ancestry decided by a ‘higher authority’ using Cupid’s arrows to match the right people for the ultimate vessels directly descended from Cain and Abel, a very interesting twist to the Winchester gospel.
 
If you’re into genealogy, you will know in ancient times, when methods of transportation were slower, and moving more difficult over long distances, families in small communities married into each other over many generations. There just weren’t a lot of choices. In the world of genealogy, it is a given that a family’s history is its own back through four generations. After that, everyone is related to everyone else.   Cain and Abel would have passed on their genes equally, even if you factor in the biblical account of Noah’s Ark. Also, if Cain and Abel were suitable vessels for archangels, so would have been Adam and Eve, since Cain and Abel would have had to inherit the ability from their parents. However the selective breeding program does bring up the interesting concept of Sam’s powers. He certainly inherited them from somewhere! But does that make him predestined to be Lucifer’s vessel? So far, Sam’s powers don’t seem to enter into the equation, only the bloodline. But all it not said and done yet. Anyway, from a biblical stand point, all are equally suited to be hosts, which is kind of creepy really. But, from a genealogy stand point, we are all related to Jensen and Jared, and that’s just plain cool! 

Okay, back to the destiny thing.   The angels keep stating that Dean and Sam were fated for millennia to be Michael and Lucifer’s vessels, even down to orchestrating their linage.  Ahhh…nope...I don't think so.
 
For one thing, Azazel plan doesn’t fit into that concept. He stated he’d been working for generations on his ‘end game’ plan. In, In the Beginning (4.03), Cass sent Dean down memory lane to find out what Azazel’s end game was. If it was always supposed to be Dean and Sam, what would it matter WHAT the end game was? When Lucifer first spoke with Azazel (Lucifer Rising, 4.22), he told Azazel to “find a special child”. In a more literal sense, there were many special children, including another brother duo, Andy Gallagher (Simon Said, 2.05 and ALL Hell Breaks Loose Part 1, 2.21) and Ansem Weems (Simon Said, 2.05). If it could only be Sam and Dean, why would Azazel test all those other children? And if it could only be brothers, why have female children involved, Lily (ALL Hell Breaks Loose Part 1, 2.21) and Ava (Hunted 2.10, ALL Hell Breaks Loose Part 1, 2.21) being two?   If Dean and Sam were the only possibilities why bother with all the rest?  One could believe that Azazel expected the ‘special child’ to be the strongest in his fight-to-the-death battle. Well, if Sam was the ‘special child’, we know that didn’t happen. Sam died, which is not want the demons want…Dean, yes, Sam, no. Why wasn’t Azazel clued in to all of this?
 
Maybe all those children were from the Winchester blood line? We know there are others (The Song Remains the Same, 5.13). And if Lucifer and Michael have to have a special bloodline, Nick also has to be a relative, otherwise he couldn’t host Lucifer. So yes, we do know there are others. But if that’s the case, Azazel sure had a very haphazard way of finding them.
 
In the beginning, Azazel’s ‘end game’ was to open Hell’s gate, but that really didn’t affect the outcome of Lucifer’s release. What determined Lucifer’s release was Sam killing Lilith and breaking the last seal, which wouldn't have happened if Dean hadn't broken the first seal, which wasn’t supposed to be him. It was supposed to be John (On the Head of a Pin, 4.16), not Dean. Dean only became a viable option after John refused to cooperate. If Dean and Sam were destined to play these roles, why was John supposed to break the first seal? Was it his destiny first? Which brings up another question, if John was supposed to break the first seal, who is his brother?   The angels have made a big deal out of it needing to be blood brothers, and there has never been any mention of John having a sibling, brother or not. For me, I think it would have been simpler for Lucifer just to tell Azazel to find Sam and Dean and protect them, or at least, not kill John.
 
The next question is Ruby. Why did she have to go through such an elaborate scheme to get Sam to kill Lilith? If everything was predetermined, why did both Ruby and Lilith feel the need to coerce Sam to do the ‘right’ thing? Running such an elaborate plan, all for something that was already determined? That seems like an extreme contradiction. Did Sam have different paths he could have taken? Why manipulate if everything is already decided? 
 
The same logic can be applied to Zachariah. If everything is all cut and dry, why are Zach, and his rebel band, working so hard to convince Dean to say yes? In The End (5.04), Zach showed Dean the future if he continued to say no. But if it is Dean’s destiny to only say yes, how could that future exist?  In that future, Dean DID say no, so Dean DID have a choice, and he choose his own path, which is not the one predicted.   
 
Maybe Zach’s future was just a trick to get Dean to agree to Zach’s terms (one that really backfired).  But there again, you’d have to ask, why would he need to trick Dean? If all is fated, he wouldn’t need to bother. 
 
In The Song Remains the Same, Anna escaped from her angel captives to stop the apocalypse by time traveling into the past to kill Mary and John, so the boys would never be born. Now we know the angels WANT Sam to be Lucifer's vessel, and Dean to be Michael’s vessel.  So why wasn’t Anna on board with the whole destiny plan? Why try to stop their births if all is unchangeable? Maybe the angels just used Anna to set up the talk between Michael and Dean, so Michael could once again tell Dean about his inevitable fate. Hummm…if inevitable, why bother? You have to ask, if all is prearranged, what are they waiting for? Just get on with the apocalypse already. 
 
Another point to contemplate, if it was John’s bloodline that was supposedly passing on the genetic trait for vessels, why did the demons kill all of Mary’s family (The Kids are All Right, 3.02), and not only her relatives (those that Azazel left alive), but her doctor and all of her friends? It would have to be assumed that the dark forces were trying to hide something from the boys, but if they didn’t have a choice anyway, why bother.  (That phase just keeps coming up!)
 
If this whole destiny thing is real, it seems a lot of players are out of the loop. Azazel, Alastair, Lilith, Ruby, Zach, even Michael, all seem very active at doing stuff that’s not necessary. To me, this whole destiny, ‘fated to be the ones’, thing has many holes. It certainly is what the angels WANT, but not necessarily a given…..no matter how hard they try, how much they believe it, or how convincing they are. And we can see they can be VERY convincing…manipulation is something they have mastered over the millennia. Ditto for the demons!
 
I really don’t think that the concept of ‘destiny’ is an inescapable, predestined fact.  It seems that the orchestrators of this ‘showdown’ in Detroit had to do a lot of manipulating to find the ‘destined’ ones, even with all of Cupid’s arrows. Manipulation implies choice and free will, not an inevitable fate from which there is no escape. The only reason for schemes and manipulation is to secure a particular outcome, which is not necessary, the only one possible.
 
So it NEVER JUST HAD TO BE Sam…or Dean. It’s just the way the angels would like it to be.  Do the boys have a choice? I believe so. The angels and demons are just working too hard to convince themselves, and the boys, otherwise for me to buy it. The phase, “He doth protest too much”, immediately come to mind. So, destiny….or not? ….your call, but for me, I think ‘Team Free Will’ is going to prevail!
 

Comments  

Eva
# Eva 2010-03-22 12:57
I think the whole "it's your destiny" the boys are told about every time, is something very simple. It's a form of psychological warfare. If you tell someone the same thing every time, there is a big chance they are going to believe it one day.

So I think all the players are scrambling to get the puzzle pieces to fit and the "it's your destiny" thing is just another weapon to get the boys to do what they want them to do...
Karen
# Karen 2010-03-22 15:09
Hi Sablegreen
I have to agree with you, it doesn’t add up for me as well.
I’m also getting tired of this destiny jargon.

I really believe that these destiny speeches are to break down Dean and Sam’s spirits so they will say YES. If (Lucifer, Zack, Michael etc) keep beating in their heads that no matter what decisions they make or direction they take it will always lead to their destiny of saying Yes…then eventually they will break and give in.
Team Free Will has been putting a wrench in their plan since the release of Lucifer, they’re getting desperate and playing dirty. As long a Dean and Sam stay strong and stand by each other, their plans will never come into play.
Thanks for the article.
Ash
# Ash 2010-03-22 17:07
Yes, Yes, YES!!!

I have ALL these questions myself.... we were cruising along so well till season 5, and then all these contradictions started cropping up....

I am really really hoping they can explain all this by the end of the season, or I will be seriously disappointed... ..But till then... I am going to enjoy the show!
MyMADWorld
# MyMADWorld 2010-03-22 17:21
Thanks for putting down in words what I've been thinking for quite a while. Soooo many loopholes.

If Sam is Lucifer's vessel why did Azazel allow him to get killed in AHBL? If Castiel told Dean that he could not change the past why did Anna try the same thing? When Azazel met Mary in "In the Beginning' he was surprised by her - didn't act like she was someone he had already chosen and her sons were destined to play parts in the plan.
I think Azazel just wanted the 'child' to open Hell's gate and release Lilith. What if Dean did not make the deal, Sam died and Dean never broke the first seal? Do they know Dean that well? Is that where his destiny comes in? If they had originally planned on John how did they know that he would make a deal? Is that why the truck hit them? Couldn't all of them have died in the crash?

We all know that these series (like Heroes and Lost as well) are written 'as they go' and they often lose a story line along the way or get a great idea for a new story and need to fit it in.
What I really enjoy is the characters, the dialog, the acting, the effects, the music, the directing and overall 'mood' of the show - that's what keeps me watching - the stories are just the means to put all of that together.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-03-22 17:38
Hi Sablegreen, interesting point, thank you!

The idea of being related to Jared and Jensen is not at all far fetched, as we all are inter-related from a genetic point of view. There’s a great book by Prof. Sykes (that you probably know), called ‘The Seven Daughters of Eve’ which describes beautifully – genetically - where our ancestors came from, and since every American (except of course the American Indian – who also immigrated a long time before any white man set foot on that continent’s soil) is a descendant of immigrants, we might all be related. Wow, metaphysics at its best – the great brotherhood of man… well, no, it’s plain science.

As you know, I will always root for Team Free Will, it’s my personal stand point. I need to believe that we can choose our destiny, at least to some point, though I will never know what might be decided the moment we are born.

It occurred to me the other day that this whole it-had-to-be-Sa m thing might also be a huge, well crafted MacGuffin.

As much as I would love to see the brothers overcome the odds they will undoubtedly face – from an actor’s point of view, I would just love to see them use those brilliant acting muscles in a clash of titans. Only a few more episodes to go… I can’t believe the creators will leave us hungry, except for more – which is not a difficult task.

Take care, Jas
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-03-22 19:33
Thanks for the article, Sablegreen!

Like Eva, I tend to think the whole "it's your destiny" repetition is a form of psychological warfare. It's pretty hard to believe the opposite when destiny is being pounded into your head practically every day.

And though I'm sure that all the story inconsistencies you mentioned are due to the writing process and having an overall outline for the story plotted while not filling in all the details, in my head, I like to imagine it's because demons and angels aren't fully in the know. We've seen time and time again that they don't know what the larger plan is and are only given specific instructions on a case-by-case basis, so inevitably, there are conflicts and screw-ups and accidents and such. It's chaotic and unorganized and sure makes predetermined destiny seem less likely when even supernatural beings can't get their act together! In fact, the angels' level of dysfunction seems downright human! ;-)
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-03-22 21:20
Thank you all for the comments. As Ash said, it would be very nice to see all these loose ends tie up..…kind of like working out a crossword puzzle. There is no question, the angels and demons are playing on the brother’s emotions. They have worked for 2 years to drive a wedge between the boys because even they know, they boys are invincible together. Is that all there is to it? I wonder…..

From a realistic point of view, the series was never expected to go 5 years (and counting), so there were no long tern plans for s4 and 5. To me, I could see that at the start of s3, the plan was to save Dean from hell. And as I have always heard the Kripke wanted to do a SPN movie, ending the series with the boy’s together, hunting monsters and saving people would set up a nice stage for a good SPN movie. That would really fit in more with the ending of ‘Mystery Spot’ too.

However when the show was renewed for a s4, they changed gears, sent Dean to hell, and then had trouble fitting all the pieces from the previous three years together. But all is not over yet! We could still see all of it coming together, and that would be really nice! But either way, it works for me! :D
Kalixa
# Kalixa 2010-03-23 05:19
I answer a lot of your questions in this post:

http://hells-half-acre.livejournal.com/80594.html

But yeah, I agree - what the angels mean by continuing to tell Sam and Dean that there is no free will is that there is no free will FOR HUMANS. Obviously, the angels/demons are allowed to manipulate to their hearts content.

(As for Anna traveling back in time: much like Castiel, she had gone rogue - hence why she too collapsed after traveling through time (that didn't happen to Cas when he had Heaven's support) - except her rogue solution to the apocalypse problem was to kill the Winchesters not help them.)
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-03-23 10:55
Hi Kalixa and Dany. Thanks for commenting. Repeating the Destiny thing over and over is the angels/demons convincing themselves they have the right brothers. Really, they never had a clue who would fulfill their prophecy, they are just so intent on having it come true. I think they really BELIEVE the brothers have no choice, which is really sad. They are in for a rude awakening! ;-)
Randal
# Randal 2010-03-23 11:37
I have to second everyone else: nothing but pure propaganda from the masters of, heaven and hell.

Doth protest too much? These narcissists? Naw.

Of course, if it IS true, then such convoluted scenarios aren't wholly unexpected due to said renewals. Which is why ever TV show should employ a handful of lunatic, obsessive fans to keep track of such details. 8-)
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-03-23 12:02
Lunatic, obsessive fan? I'll take that as a compliment Randal! :D I'm in good company! :twisted:
Carrie
# Carrie 2010-03-23 16:56
Nice perspective. My thoughts exactly! I have wondered about these issues also, and it's neat to see others do to. Really like it when it all comes together, so I hope they work out all the issues by the seasons end. If not, I'll continue to watch regardless. It's just a GREAT show.

Thanks for writing this.
SPN4EVER
# SPN4EVER 2010-03-23 20:14
I've wondered about this too. Glad I read your article. It makes a lot of sense. Thanks for writing it.
Freebird
# Freebird 2010-03-23 20:49
Beloved brothers and sisters, the world is a peculiar place with some weird things happening in it.
I'm guessing, after all what's happening God isn't very happy anymore that he gave away free will. The angels and demons try to defy free will by stressing the sanctity of destiny over and over again, and the humans desperately try to cling to free will to defy destiny. But, it's the Big Boss only that knows the truth.
I imagine God sitting somewhere in a secluded place with a great view on the world and watching this whole show. From the Bible and other scriptures we know that He demands worship and total obedience, a complete love. Giving free will has made these things much more difficult. But that's supposed to be the meaning of life, to overcome your little devil on your shoulder by making the right choices as hard as it is sometimes, right?
Sablegreen, everything you said here, I agree. These really are probing questions. And I agree with you who say it's manipulation, a psycho-war against the boys. But what if... God is behind all this? We know he's tempted his children before. We still don't know what prophecy it is the angels and demons believe in, and it doesn't seem to be the same one (or am I missing something?). And what is the non-touristy version of the Bible? Does Bobby have it? Maybe God has put three versions of the prophecy out there, for each entity one, making each believe their's the correct one. Bad joke, huh? Well, the world has been going rogue for quite a while now, and maybe God thought it's time to get His kids back on the right track, so let's see who are the faithful ones. Maybe the ones who know that it doesn't take any prophecy or destiny to be saved, just plain common sense (free will?) and a heart full of love.
Okay, it's late, I'll blame this rambling on the a.m. hour (and on my limited english vocabulary), please, throw no tomatoes, they're better used in a pasta sauce. Frankly, I don't even know where this is all coming from ..... when is Supernatural back on air? Need some answers....
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-03-23 21:19
Love it Firebird! Ramble all you want. No tomatoes from me, and your English is fine! I, too, have wondered what God is doing in all this. Maybe he just wants to watch everyone run around…not letting the left hand know what the right hand it doing. And I really find it hard to believe he WANTS to see one of his sons kill the other. But who knows? The God of the old bible was not a nice person!

And SPN is back on this Thursday in the states, March 25th. Hope you get to see it then!
Suze
# Suze 2010-03-24 07:53
It's a load of cobblers, this destiny stuff. It makes no sense at all when you think about it ( and thanks, Sablegreen, for thinking about it so I don't have to! :D ) It's just the usual suspects putting the pressure on and trying to make it look like there's no other game in town.

Predestination - Just say No! :lol:
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-03-24 09:29
Good one Suze. New motto..... Predestination - JUST SAY NO!! :-)
Jeangal
# Jeangal 2010-03-24 14:56
I'll have to agree with everyone else. This "destiny" is all angel and demon gobblely gook. I know Sam and Dean are not going to let either Michael or Lucifer win...no one battlesMhme for earth if the Winchesters are around. I just can't wait to see the brothers turn the tables on all of them.