When you consider that Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have been playing Sam and Dean Winchester for 13 seasons of Supernatural by now, you kind of have to wonder how they've managed to keep the roles from getting stale after all that time. Padalecki has kept things interesting by playing an assortment of characters other than just Sam over the years, but Ackles has mostly just stuck with Dean — until now, that is.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jensen Ackles revealed that he'll be stepping into the shoes of a new character or characters this season, totally different from Dean Winchester.

"Over the years I've only ever had to just play Dean, whereas Jared has had to be Lucifer and Gadreel and all these different actual characters other than Sam. Dean never had to do that. He's only been Dean. The biggest stretch was Demon Dean but it was still Dean, it was just the demon version of himself, which I always love because it makes my job easier — I can just play the character I know," Ackles said. "That is all going to change soon. Something big's coming."

As far as hints go, "something big" is about as vague as it gets, which leaves us with too many guesses and not a lot of answers.

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There's always a chance that an alternate version of Dean is headed our way, given we've ventured into an alternate dimension this year, but that doesn't seem to fit the bill. Ackles has already played different version of Dean (the time travel episode showed us a post-apocalyptic Dean for example), and this character sounds entirely new.

A shapeshifter also feels like a subpar guess, since Ackles technically got to play one way back in Season 1. The shapeshifting idea does present us with an interesting possibility though, since it's a power Asmodeus (Jeffrey Vincent Parise), a Prince of Hell, possesses, and it looks like he could cross paths with the Winchesters soon.

The biggest question we have to raise from this bit of news is how long will Ackles be playing this new character? We're excited for him to tackle something new and all, but if we have to suffer through an extended arc with no Dean Winchester, we may actually die.

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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Jensen Ackles, <em>Supernatural</em>Jensen Ackles, Supernatural