If you aren’t a Supernatural fan, or you’re behind on Supernatural, or you would like to watch it at some point in time and remain unspoiled until then…I’d advise staying away from Tumblr for the near future. The show just returned from hiatus with episode 8.17, “Goodbye Stranger.” In the aftermath of a new Supernatural episode, the fandom comes out in droves to squee, complain, argue, hate on each other, and give group fandom hugs. All at the same time. And last night’s episode? It was a doozy.
Season 8 has been the most talked-about season of the show since season 5. The new showrunner has revived the show from its floundering (and somewhat disappointing) last two seasons—not only has the show moved out of the Friday night death slot for this season, it’s also been renewed for season 9. What was once “the little show that could” is now winning People’s Choice Awards (if you care about that sort of thing), while the fans take over the internet by force whether you want to see them or not. Even if you don’t follow Supernatural blogs, my guess is you could pick the two Winchester boys out of a lineup.
I’m sure you must be asking, “But Lady Lumos, if the show is doing so well, what are the fans arguing about?” Sometimes it’s a simple matter of not being able to please everyone—if there’s a Dean-centric episode, the Sam fans will not be happy, and vice versa. I personally love both boys equally, but that seems to be a rare trait in this particular fandom.
But the biggest problem within the Supernatural fandom is far too easy to pinpoint: Ship Wars. If you’re not sure what a ship is, I feel bad for you. Take a moment to consult Urban Dictionary and get back to me. I’ll wait.
There are two main ships in Supernatural, and while I may personally prefer one over the other, I’ll take no side here. I will simply point out the simple fact that both are pretty messed up, if you think about it. And the probability of either of them becoming canon on the show is a resounding zero. But that won’t stop either side from shipping so fiercely that I’ve never really seen the likes of it anywhere else. These shippers are Serious with a capital S. If you delve into either ship tag on Tumblr (which I wouldn’t recommend doing at work, or when there are sane people in the room), you’ll find equal amounts porn, thoughtful meta, and hate from the other shippers. Why can’t we all just get along?
I can’t answer that question for the Supernatural fandom. But I can give the rest of you some reasons why people love these ships so much. Follow me into the rabbit hole, if you dare.
Today’s Novembeard post is a special In Memoriam edition. After being zapped into Purgatory with Dean at the end of last season of Supernatural, our first glimpse of Castiel this season showed him sporting some sweet new facial hair. This is Castiel’s fourth season on the show, and the angel’s vessel (the human body his Celestial Being is possessing, for those of you out of the loop) has never changed out of his trademark suit and trenchcoat, let alone had to shave that five-o’clock shadow.
Dean, for one, seemed to like the change, affectionately calling it “peach fuzz” and stroking Cas’s face in a very manly and non-gay way. Right.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Cas with a beard, though this one is much more lush and stroke-able than the beard the hippie (and human) version of Cas we saw in season 5, episode 4 “The End.” But that was an alternate future that we never thought we’d see again. My hopes for a beardy Cas had been crushed until this season. Thank you, season 8 (or, as the fandom has come to call it, season gr8). Oddly enough, out of our trio of badasses having adventures in Purgatory, only Dean doesn’t have a beard. Which leads me to believe that either Dean has been taking some time off from running for his life to do some manscaping with his knife, or…I really don’t see another option, here.
The Purgatory!beard far surpassed my expectations. Not only did it make the angel look super BAMF-y while killing monsters in Purgatory, he also looked like even more of a creeper than normal when he finally got out of the monster-land and got back to his favorite hobby of following Dean around and staring at him through windows. I swear I’m not making this up.
Alas, Purgatory!beard didn’t last through this week’s episode. Upon his return to Earth, Cas went off to the bathroom while Dean angsted with his brother over the angel’s reappearance, spent all of 20 seconds with the shower running, and came back out looking like this.
It’s good to have the old Castiel back, but I can’t help but feel that something is missing (and it’s not his marbles this time, the writers have conveniently ignored last season’s descent into insanity…the only explanation is that the beard made him sane again). Rest in peace, Purgatory!beard. You will be sorely missed, but I’m sure Dean will find a reason to touch Cas’s face again soon. It’s really just a matter of time.
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