Dean drops the Colt just before being transported back to the present day, where it is presumably retrieved by the saloon owner Elkins, the ancestor of Daniel Elkins. The gun used in the series is actually a replica Paterson modified to fire metallic cartridges. On the barrel of the gun is inscribed the Latin phrase non-timebo mala , meaning "I will fear no evil".
Ruby possesses a mysterious and presumably magical demon-killing knife, which Kripke refers to as "a hand-to-hand version of the Colt". Upon being stabbed in a vital area, the demon is almost immediately killed, usually taking the human host with it. The only known survivor is Bobby Singer who stabbed himself with it while fighting off a possession and was left paralyzed as a result. It is unknown if it is effective against other supernatural beings, although it is useless against angels.
Furthermore, the higher-ranked demons are resistant or even immune to the effects of the knife. Creator Eric Kripke doubted that how the knife functions would ever be revealed, stating, "I like to leave some things mysterious. And that's likely to remain mysterious. Sometime in the distant past, God dictated the angel scribe Metatron to write a compendium of tablets known as the Word of God. They cover a variety of subjects, including demons, angels, and leviathans. God then sealed the tablets inside the "Vault of the Earth" and even if someone were to find them, only a few chosen humans, the prophets, are able to decipher them.
The Leviathan Tablet, which was dug from somewhere in Iran , has an instruction regarding how to kill a leviathan. The Demon Tablet, recovered by Crowley through unknown means, contains an instruction about locking all demons in Hell forever as well as techniques about disposing demons, such as devil's traps, holy water, and demon bombs. The Angel Tablet, stored in one of Lucifer's crypts, has the information on how to make all angels fall from Heaven as well as an incantation to imbue an angel with great power.
The Demon Tablet is currently in the possession of Castiel, who has destroyed the Angel Tablet in the ninth season to prevent Metatron from using its powers. For centuries, supernatural activity on Earth was logged and observed by the Men of Letters, a secret society dedicated to gathering knowledge and artefacts, occasionally working with elite teams of hunters to eliminate particularly dangerous supernatural threats.
This tradition came to an end when Henry Winchester, attending his final initiation rite in , became the sole survivor of the organization when it was attacked by the demon Abaddon, forcing Henry to attempt a desperate escape by using a spell to take himself to , where he met Dean and Sam. Although Henry is killed in the subsequent battle with Abaddon, he is able to pass on information about the Men of Letters to his grandsons, who track down the Men of Letters' secret bunker, which stores all the knowledge and artefacts that the society had gathered over the centuries.
After this, Dean and Sam adopt the bunker as a 'home', residing in the bunker when between cases and using its books to carry out further research. They experience an unexpected challenge when the British Men of Letters come to America to try to take control of the local hunters, perceiving the Winchesters as too dangerous, but the Winchesters and a small army of hunters are able to force the British Men of Letters to withdraw after Dean and Sam confirm that the British branch are too brutal for their tastes, such as attempting to immediately kill new werewolf Claire Novak where the Winchesters would prefer to cure if possible, or killing hunter Eileen Leehy just because she accidentally killed a Man of Letters rather than accept that it was an accident.
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After God and the archangels successfully battled the Darkness to submission at the beginning of creation, God sealed the latter inside a metaphysical cage, whose seal was handed over to Lucifer for safekeeping. However, the Darkness' influence was as such that Lucifer was corrupted by it, eventually becoming the first fallen angel after refusing to honor humans.
Lucifer then offered the seal to Cain, which empowered a blade made from the jawbone of a donkey that he used to kill and send his brother, Abel, to Heaven. Whenceforth, the seal was known by the moniker of the Mark of Cain, while the blade was dubbed the First Blade. Wielders of the Mark are corrupted by the Darkness so they would have the lust for power and bloodbath.
This power in turn activates the First Blade, otherwise useless when wielded by other people, to become an invincible weapon capable of killing everything, even angels and higher demons. If killed, wielders of the Mark are resurrected as demons, as shown by Dean in the finale of the ninth season. At the start of the series, Cain had thrown the First Blade to the bottom of the Marianas Trench , only to take it back and give it as well as the Mark to Dean as part of the latter's quest to kill Abaddon.
However, this gives Dean the attendant problems of the Mark, which slowly corrupts him, as releasing the Mark requires an arduous ritual, and if not transferred to someone else would release the Darkness from her cage. Sam is eventually able to remove the Mark, but this unleashes the Darkness, forcing the Winchesters, Castiel and Crowley to join forces to stop the Darkness by releasing Lucifer from the Cage and reunite the Darkness with God who is identified as Chuck Shurley, the Prophet who wrote the Winchester Gospels.
After Lucifer is released from the Cage to assist with the Darkness and is eventually 'restored' to his old vessel of Nick, the Winchesters are forced to defeat him by using a rift in reality to trap Lucifer in an alternate reality they come to call 'Apocalypse World', which is established to be a world where Dean and Sam were never born as Mary never made the deal with Azazel to restore John Winchester to life. As a result of Dean and Sam's absence, Michael and Lucifer took new vessels to wage their final battle, which led to Michael's victory, only for Michael to set out to destroy all humans as a failed experiment, aided by the Apocalypse World version of Kevin Tran, who is now a 'loyal' prophet to Michael in return for the promise that he will be reunited with his mother in Heaven.
Although the Winchesters had intended to leave Lucifer trapped there, various events force them to re-open the rift, which leads to Mary in particular becoming attached to the people of Apocalypse World, which include still-living versions of Bobby Singer and Charlie Bradbury.
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Eventually the Winchesters are able to evacuate most of the human survivors to their world, but the alternate version of Michael follows them into this world, with Dean forced to become Michael's vessel to stop Lucifer for good only for Michael to pursue his own agenda on this world. The advertisements The WB chose for the show went beyond just commercials and billboards. Before the series debuted, the network placed signs for the show at gas station pumps, and gave out rubber glow-in-the-dark bracelets at New York and Los Angeles movie theaters. The series also has many real-life tie-ins.
The urban legend website Hellhounds Lair featured in the season one episode "Hell House" was a real website set up by the show's producers.
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Series tie-ins, however, extend beyond the internet. For a time, Dean's cell number—revealed in the first-season episode "Phantom Traveler"  to be 1————was a real number, with Jensen Ackles reading the message: "This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, leave a message. If you are calling about 11—2—83, page me with your coordinates.
The February 19 and March 19, , editions of the paper featured exclusive interviews with Sam and Dean, the articles being written by Paul Kupperberg. Supernatural has a vast amount of merchandise available, including calendars, T-shirts, shot glasses, temporary tattoos and posters. Further information on the series' mythology and production have been detailed through print. Irvine's books function as resource guides that contain illustrations and detailed descriptions of the supernatural creatures the Winchester family has encountered, giving additional background on creatures and mythology featured on the show.
Premiering on November 27, , was the Official Supernatural Magazine. The series has also developed an expanded universe. Three six-issue comic book mini-series have been published by WildStorm ,  a company under the DC Comics umbrella. After their first season debut in "Hell House" episode 17 written by Trey Callaway , the growing popularity of "amateur spook-hunters" Ed Zeddmore and Harry Spangler prompted Kripke to consider a spin-off series for the characters.
He discussed the idea of an online venture with actors A.
Buckley and Travis Wester , and held a successful meeting with studio and network executives. Buckley and Wester, along with Patrick J.
Doody and Chris Valenziano, penned the series. That helps not only with the storytelling but with the comedy With drama, it takes time to establish an emotional connection with the characters. With comedy, you can jump right in. Though an initial idea of Kripke's involved the cast searching real haunted houses,  the first season instead features the Ghostfacers investigating a haunted theater.
In August , a webisode was released online in which the Ghostfacers meet Castiel. On June 9, , the official Japanese Warner Bros. The anime's first season consists of 22 half-hour episodes; while the storyline covers the first two seasons of the live-action series, it also includes original content exploring the Winchesters' childhoods and expanding upon secondary characters. Jared Padalecki voices Sam in the English-language version of the series, while Jensen Ackles voices Dean only in the last two episodes for scheduling reasons; Andrew Farrar voices Dean in English for the first 20 episodes.
On July 22, , The CW announced there was a spin-off of Supernatural in the works, with the 20th episode of season nine serving as a back-door pilot. The backdoor pilot was written by Andrew Dabb and directed by Robert Singer.
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The series was going to set to explore the "clashing hunter and monster cultures in Chicago". The show was not picked up by the CW for the — season. However, the network has remained open to another spin-off of the series. During production of Supernatural ' s third season, Kripke stated that the writers sometimes discussed the possibility of a prequel series. Set in the Old West , the spin-off would follow Samuel Colt and a group of hunters.
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The spin-off debuted as a backdoor pilot during the thirteenth season of Supernatural. After the first four episodes of Supernatural aired in , the WB decided to pick up the series for a full season of 22 episodes. During those first episodes, the series was ranked third in males aged 18—34 and 12— In this category, it ranked eighth of all returning series broadcast by a major network. On October 30, , the show climbed to its best performance in adults 18—34 1.
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During its first season, the show received generally mixed critical reception, but reception from critics has grown more favorable as the series progressed with subsequent seasons receiving generally positive reviews from critics. The first season received a Metacritic score of 59 out of based on 22 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". The website's consensus reads, "Despite some too-hip dialogue and familiar thematic elements, Supernatural' s vigilante brothers manage to stir up some legitimate scares.
He also noted that the season finished "with one bang of a cliffhanger". Swindoll also liked the third season, saying "Eric Kripke must've sold his soul to the devil so that the show wouldn't suffer a third season slump.
He also felt that new characters Ruby Katie Cassidy and Bela Lauren Cohan were "disappointingly unexplored and ineffectively used". Another Monsters and Critics reviewer, June L. She praised Misha Collins for his portrayal of the angel Castiel, and felt that the interactions between Dean and Castiel were "one of the highlights of the season". The Chicago Tribune ' s Maureen Ryan named Supernatural among the top ten shows of , stating that the "thoughtfully crafted show got bolder and more creative in , coming up with hilarious and innovative episodes and taking risks with its storytelling.
In , Entertainment Weekly listed the show at No. The characters have literally been to hell and back, and along the way, they have woven a complicated and compelling mythology filled with friends angel Castiel , recurring foes demon Crowley , and inside jokes Wincest!