Hunter's Funeral Pyre
A structure, usually a mound of wood, that is used for burning a body as part of a funeral rite. The body is placed upon the pyre and the pyre is then set on fire. In a Viking Funeral the pyre was built on a ship, which was then sent out to sea as it burned.
A funeral pyre is a traditional form of cremation in some cultures, particularly in the Hindu religion (Source). The pyre is usually a raised wooden platform on which the corpse, either in a coffin or wrapped in a shroud, is placed for cremation.
In Supernatural, the funeral pyre is a tradition for fallen hunters. Salting and burning the corpse also has the practical outcome of ensuring the person does not return as a vengeful spirit or similar entity. The images here of a warrior's death also recall the famous scene of the funeral pyre of Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi.
Interestingly, on none of the many occasions when Sam and Dean die have they been cremated. When Sam is killed by Jake, Bobby suggests they burn his body, but Dean resists. Dean, after digging his way out of his grave after being raised from Hell, expresses surprise that he was buried, not cremated:
Bobby: These last months haven't been exactly easy, you know. For him or me. We had to bury you.Bobby: I wanted you salted and burned. Usual drill. But... Sam wouldn't have it.
Dean: Why did you bury me, anyway?
- Rufus Turner would have been accorded a pyre, but the Jewish tradition forbids cremation. So Rufus is buried, in a Jewish cemetery, rather than given a hunter's funeral pyre. Bobby pours some of Rufus' favorite drink - Johnny Walker Blue Label - on the grave.
- Bobby is salted and burned by Sam and Dean, although it is not shown. Later, as a ghost, Bobby understands that he is becoming a vengeful spirit, and asks Sam and Dean to burn his flask, his last link with the living world, in a second pyre.
- Annie Hawkins requests a hunter's funeral after she is killed by Whitman Van Ness, which Sam and Dean carry out.
- When Charlie Bradbury is murdered by Eldon Styne, she is given a hunter's funeral. We see for the first time, Sam and Dean cutting down trees and building the pyre as they reflect on their time together. Dean carries Charlies body to the pyre. On the soundtrack, "Go Wherever You Wanna Go" by Patti Griffin plays.
- After the Bisaan are killed, Jesse Cuevas finds the body of his brother who had been killed by them in 1989. Jesse gives his brother a Hunter's Funeral attended by his husband Cesar Cuevas and Sam and Dean.
Appears in 2.02 Everybody Loves a Clown
Appears in 3.01 The Magnificent Seven
Appears in 4.19 Jump the Shark
Appears in 5.10 Abandon All Hope...
Appears in 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
Appears in 9.10 Road Trip
Appears in 10.22 The Prisoner
Appears in 11.19 The Chitters
Appears in 12.06 Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox
Appears in 12.20 Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes
Max Banes uses magic to give his sister, Alicia, a hunter's funeral.