(Note: Yes, I’m English. Therefore I use the spelling ‘Mum’.)
After giving this a good extent of thought, I have realised that there are quite a few mother characters on the show. So, let’s go through some of the best…
The most obvious, most prominent mother character (as well as being the first mother to appear on the show) is clearly Mary Winchester and she is shown to have a big place in both brother’s hearts, especially Dean’s as he has memories of her before her death whereas Sam doesn’t. She is very important to the whole story and, although at first she is just seen as a weak, innocent girl who gets killed within the first few minutes of the “Pilot”, we do find out later, in Season 4, that she was in fact a highly-skilled, courageous hunter, who also had strong morals and principles of not letting her children be raised in the hunter lifestyle like she was. A very inspirational character in my opinion.
I’m going to talk about Lisa Braeden next (who I awarded my Favourite Human Character back in Day 3). As a single mum who had to deal with a very changeable and emotionally tender Dean Winchester as a boyfriend, I think she did an awesome job at keeping things safe and normal for her son, Ben, and, I believe, that she would have always put him first.
Sheriff Jody Mills is also a cool mum but, as her son dies very early on in her story arc, we don’t really see much of her being a mother. However, sometimes her attitude towards Sam and Dean comes across as very motherly, protective and caring but that could be interpreted as grief and her way of dealing with her loss. Due to recent events with a certain oddball Annie/Alex Jones, who appeared in episode 9.19 “Alex Annie Alexis Ann” as a vampire nest’s adopted human pet, we have gotten to see more of Jody’s mother persona. At the end of the episode, with Annie’s vampire family dead, Jody decides to look after and care for Annie, almost like a daughter. Hopefully that will turn out well as both Jody and Annie seem to have a lot in common as they have both lost their families and both have substantial knowledge of the Supernatural. Together, they have the awareness and strength that potential hunters have. I love the newly-formed relationship between them and I’m really looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
In contrast to the fan favourite Jody, there are also many mums on the show that have become easily forgettable. Deanna Campbell, Mary’s mother and Sam and Dean’s grandmother, appeared in a grand total of one episode, 4.03 “In the Beginning”, and we don’t really find out anything about her at all. She’s slightly brushed aside and then is brutally murdered by the Yellow-Eyed Demon before we get a chance to assess her mothering abilities. Mary seems adequate that she wants to get away from her parents so maybe she is not close to either of them but, when Sam and Dean’s grandfather, Samuel Campbell, comes back from the dead in Season 6, his wife is absent. So, when we get more information, characterisation and development for Mary’s father, we get almost nothing on Deanna. It seems that all we know is that she is the mother of a family of hunters therefore, from that we have to conclude that she isn’t the best mum around.
Amelia Novak (4.20 “The Rapture”) was another mother I had forgotten about. She was the wife of Jimmy Novak, Castiel’s vessel, and together they had one young daughter, Claire. Despite the fact that Jimmy became possessed by an Angel and disappeared for at least a year without any explanation, Amelia still tried to put her daughter first and, similar to Lisa’s tactic, tried to keep things as ordinary as possible. She was concerned and cautious when Jimmy returned and was very careful to make sure he was safe and well before allowing Claire to reunite with him. Amelia and Jimmy were strong, religious believers who both had a caring bond with their daughter (shown through Jimmy giving his life for Claire when Castiel was possessing her) and, even though Amelia didn’t trust or support Jimmy when he was trying to explain the existence of Angels and Demons, her aim was to keep Claire safe no matter what.
I also want to mention Kate Milligan, the mother of Sam and Dean’s half-brother Adam. Like Deanna and Amelia, Kate also appeared in just one episode (4.19 “Jump the Shark”) and her character was only featured in the first scene before she gets murdered, eaten and then impersonated by a ghoul for the rest of the episode. So, again, we don’t get to see much of Kate or her relationship with her son. However, Adam does appear in various episodes prior to “Jump the Shark” where he expresses a lot of love for his mother. She is mentioned a lot more after her death. The fact that the bait that the Angel’s use to lure Adam into becoming Michael’s vessel is the promise that they would resurrect his mother, shows how important she was to him. Adam explains how his father, John, was never there for him like his mum was, implying that Kate had a very close relationship with him and holds a special place in his heart. It is speculated that Kate and Adam only had each other and, as a single mum, she apparently did a great job (but, then again, we don’t know any of this for sure, we’re just going on Adam’s word).
Finally (before I reveal my favourite mother character), Linda Tran kicked ass. Prophet Kevin Tran’s protective, if a little controlling, mum really did everything she could for her son. When Sam and Dean overlooked her, she challenged them and, when they explained that they needed to put Kevin under protection from Demons, she insisted that she stay with Kevin and help. When she gets possessed by Crowley it makes her stronger and she fights harder afterwards, and even when she is captured and imprisoned by Crowley, she keeps the hope that she will see her son again and gets revenge for Kevin’s death with pleasure and pride.
(May I just add: Eve is also technically a mother of her many monstrous children and I have always loved her as a villain and her relationship with her children is so unique and sinister. However, she does willingly allow her monsters to get killed by hunters regularly which can be seen as child cruelty.)
Even with all of these amazing, inspirational mothers, I think it is fair to say that my favourite is most definitely a Mrs Ellen Harvelle.
Mother of the determined and courageous Jo Harvelle, she can not compare to any of the single mum line-up. After dealing with the loss of her husband to a hunt, she had to continue to raise Jo completely alone, whilst trying to steer her away from the hunting lifestyle in order to keep her safe. I think the fact that there was so much tension and disagreement between mother and daughter here was what made it so believable and relatable. Ellen, after understanding and accepting that Jo needs to hunt (as she feels like a “freak” when asked to try and fit in and be normal) agrees to team up and hunt with her so as to protect her and give her guidance.
As well as being a mother figure for Sam and Dean, she also helped them try to take down the Devil in 5.10 “Abandon All Hope” being the mother and friend that the Winchesters so desperately needed. After Jo gets mortally wounded by Hellhounds in this episode, Ellen doesn’t leave like Jo requests, but stays with her until the very end (breaking every fan’s hearts). Ellen literally goes to the grave for her, dying with her daughter in her arms.
No. 1 Mum Award.