‘The Winchesters’ Has Plans to Change ‘Supernatural’ Backstory

The Winchesters is the prequel to Supernatural, but that doesn’t mean you know the whole story. Obviously, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) knew about their parents’ past. But, The Winchesters is going to tell a slightly different story about how John (Drake Rodger) and Mary (Meg Donnelly) met. 

'The Winchesters': Drake Rodger holds a torch and Meg Donnelly reaches into her bag in the 'Supernatural' prequel
Meg Donnelly and Drake Rodger | Matt Miller/The CW

Ackles and showrunner Robbie Thompson were part of a Zoom press conference for The Winchesters on Oct. 4. They explained how they can change some of the Supernatural history without breaking the canon. The Winchesters premieres Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

‘Supernatural’ fans will notice something fishy in ‘The Winchesters’ pilot 

Thompson said the very first episode of The Winchesters indicates that all is not as John told Sam and Dean. It’s a surprise, but the whole first season will play out twists on Supernatural.

“It was crucial to us to kind of have an understanding of where we were going and why we were going,” Thompson said. “We have a lot of options was what we discovered, and a lot of different misdirects of where we’re going. And it’s one of the reasons why we are keeping our cards close to the vest now. There’s some hints in the pilot and then there’s some hints in subsequent episodes.”

Jensen Ackles will protect ‘Supernatural’ from ‘The Winchesters’

Supernatural ran for 15 seasons. As much as fans want more, they don’t want to invalidate the 15 years they invested in the original show. Ackles said fans needn’t worry. He’s here to protect the Supernatural canon.

“The integrity of the mothership is certainly something that is of vital importance to us that we do not want to tamper with,” Ackles said. “That said, we also want to make sure that this show is given its space to be what it needs to be and what we all want it to be. Doing so requires some tricky writing. And Robbie has come up with ways to facilitate that, that I think are not only acceptable, from my perspective, but exciting as a fan of this world and of this show. I’m excited for when we can actually talk about it and dissect it.”

‘The Winchesters’ Season 1 finale will reveal a lot 

Ackles and Thompson said The Winchesters is building to a season finale in its 13th episode that will explain all the differences you notice along the way. Ackles is just hesitant to give them away too early. 

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“I would love to have an answer that puts everybody at rest and say, ‘Oh, okay, okay, we can breathe easy,’” Ackles said. “But in order to do that,  I would spoil half the season.”

Continuing his poker analogy, the season finale of The Winchesters would be the river.

“We have a little run at the end of these, this first 13 where we’ll start to turn over some more cards as well,” Thompson said. “But I promise we’re gonna turn ’em all over in 13. That was always the design that we came up with, with our partners at the studio and network.”

This sounds like the best of both worlds for Supernatural fans. You get The Winchesters prequel that pays homage to the backstory of the show, but you don’t know where everything is going. Plus, there’s magic and time travel on Supernatural so nothing is set in stone narratively.