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The Winchesters Boss Breaks Down What Secrets Will Be Revealed After That Series Premiere

Showrunner Robbie Thompson explains why you have to wait for Episode 13 before you start worrying.

Lauren Piester

[Warning: The following contains spoilers from The Winchesters series premiere. Read at your own risk!] 

You can't keep a Winchester down for long. Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) has officially returned to our screens, but not to take down any demons (other than maybe a few emotional ones). This time, he's telling the story of how his parents met, fell in love, and built a family of supernatural monster hunters with serious mommy AND daddy issues, and that is no easy task. For 15 seasons, Supernatural slowly pieced together the story of John, Mary, and their complicated family histories, offering glimpses at multiple time periods of their lives and even introducing us to their parents, revealing a long line of humans who know a little too much about the world of the paranormal. Now, we're getting an even deeper look at who John and Mary really were. The pilot introduced (or rather reintroduced) John Winchester (Drake Rodger) as a newly returned Vietnam vet who had barely gotten off the bus before running into Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly) outside a movie theater, and from there, sparks (and punches) were flying. 

After reuniting with his mom at his family's garage, John went to an address written on a letter bearing the Men of Letters symbol, accompanied by a key. There, he was attacked by a demon who wanted that key, and was saved by none other than Mary, who demanded he tell her why he was there. John explained that when he got back from the war, a strange man handed him a letter from his father that said if he got the letter, his dad is gone. He was supposed to go to the address to get more answers, and conveniently, that address was also supposed to hold answers about Mary's dad as well. 

Who Are the Men of Letters? All the Supernatural History to Know As You Watch The Winchesters Premiere

It turned out to be another Men of Letters bunker, or rather a chapter house in Lawrence. Neither John nor Mary had ever heard of the Men of Letters, but John found his dad's locker and personal possessions inside. From there, John and Mary headed out on the road to chase the clues left behind by Mary's dad, and ended up in a monster fight underneath a cemetery with some assistance from Mary's friends Latika (Nida Khurshid) and Carlos (Jojo Fleites). After trapping the monster in a powerful trap, John and Mary headed to Savannah to chase the next lead. Voiceover Dean then explained that what they were fighting was a threat to all of existence, and that he was going to continue to put the pieces of the story together in a way that might really surprise us all. 

So what does this all mean for both the past and the future of Supernatural lore? TV Guide got on the phone with showrunner Robbie Thompson to find out what we're in for as the first season continues.

The Winchesters, Meg Donnelly, Drake Rodger

The Winchesters, Meg Donnelly, Drake Rodger

The Winchesters will not erase Supernatural canon. Thompson says that when Jensen and Danneel Ackles approached him with the idea for the show, his first thought was that he didn't know how that would work, which made it even more intriguing. "And then it was like an itch I couldn't stop scratching, in the best way possible," he says. "We were all very, very clear that we wanted to make sure that we weren't breaking anything. I know it seems like we have, but without spoiling anything, I can say with 100 percent certainty that we will not be undoing anything of Supernatural." 

If you're skeptical, just wait for Episode 13. Thompson says that episode will "show all of our cards" in terms of how the writers are making sure that the prequel fits cleanly within the history that the show has established. "We have to make sure that what we are doing does not upend or undo 15 years of Supernatural. We have our way of doing that, which, again, all will be revealed." 

We will find out where, why, and how Dean is telling us this story. Again, by Episode 13, this will all be revealed, but in the meantime, there are clues to be found. "We're not necessarily being totally covert about where Dean is in the timeline. There's some instant easter eggs within the shots where you see Dean again, and I think savvy fans will probably start to piece it together." 

We will also learn where Sam is. "Without spoiling anything, the 'where Dean is' in some ways explains where Sam is. I'm trying to be as vague as possible, but it was not a sin of omission. We were very deliberate about that, because as Dean Winchester said, 'There ain't no me if there ain't no you.' So obviously, if there's a Dean, there's a Sam, and if there's a Sam, there's a  Dean." (We're just going to guess that Dean is telling this story from heaven while Sam is still alive, but that is just our theory, please do not @ us.) 

The Winchesters will not hold out on the romance. There's clearly a connection between Mary and John in the first episode, and Thompson says they actually have to get Drake and Meg to "dial it back" sometimes on the chemistry front. "Like, guys, it's Season 1, you're not there yet," Thompson jokes. But in all seriousness, they won't be dialing that chemistry back for too long. This is a supernatural love story, and things don't usually go all that well on the show we know as Supernatural. "There will be a lot of will they, won't they, oh god, how did they mess it up this time?" 

And yes, Thompson has some feelings about Supernatural's lack of romance. "I tried. I tried for years," he says about pitching romances. "And I was always roundly rejected, so I guess this is my revenge." 

They are not ignoring John's—or anyone's—dark side. "I think within fandom, John is a complicated character. He was obviously pretty cruel to those boys when he's on his mission to avenge his wife's death," Thompson admits. "But at the same time, when we see the Jeffrey Dean Morgan version versus the Matt Cohen version, he's such a different sort of life force, and obviously we know that his wife getting killed changed him, and it made me wonder what was there before that, that allowed for this darkness to come forward?" 

Drake Rodger and Meg Donnelly, The Winchesters

Drake Rodger and Meg Donnelly, The Winchesters


Mary's hidden secrets will be explored as well. "I always loved the complexity of Mary, to be born and raised in something and then to make a choice to leave it, and then to find a partner and not tell them the full truth of your life was really interesting to me," Thompson says. "This show is an opportunity to say, okay, what is the generational trauma she was dealing with? What was the reason she wanted to get out of hunting? Why John?" 

There will be a monster of the week. While there is absolutely a season-long arc going on here, the show will also be returning to Supernatural's tried and true method of offering up something new and terrifying for each episode. It's a structure that Thompson refers to as "classic," and this is definitely not a 13-hour movie. 

Jensen is very involved. He's particularly dedicated to being respectful of what has come before, and has helped get Dean's voice correct in the voiceovers. "We, as writers, will put our spin on the voiceover, I'll send it to Jensen, and then he and I will just go through it together, and then he records it. In each step of that, there's always more and more of Jensen just being Jensen. After 15 years, nobody knows Dean's voice better than him." 

The Winchesters continues Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.