Werewolves

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MadisonWerewolf.jpg
MikeWerewolf.jpg
Werewolf
Powers and Abilities Superior strength and sight, sharp fangs and claws, and a simple, animalistic personality.
Vulnerabilities Silver, vamptonite, dismemberment
Appearance Human except when under the influence of a full moon, when they have yellow eyes, fangs, and claws.
Episode(s) 2.12 Nightshifter (mentioned)
2.17 Heart
4.05 Monster Movie (mentioned)
4.13 After School Special (mentioned)
6.08 All Dogs Go to Heaven (mentioned)
8.04 Bitten
9.07 Bad Boys (mentioned)
9.12 Sharp Teeth
9.20 Bloodlines

Werewolves

In mythology, werewolves are entities that are human but shape shift into wolf form during certain lunar timeframes. This phenomenon is also referred to as lycanthropy, for the Greek lykoi (wolf) and anthropos (man). The change from man to wolf is held to be possible by witchcraft or magic, and can be voluntary or forced by certain cycles of the moon and certain sounds (such as howling). In some folklore, werewolves are immune from aging and most physical diseases. They can be killed by any wound that destroys the heart or the brain or by any form of death that causes brain or heart damage (such as hanging or other oxygen-deprivation methods).

Pad of Definitions (1.06 Skin), Official Website

History

Werewolf

Emerging from Greek Mythology, the werewolf is a person who changes into a wolf by means of magic or by being placed under a curse. Most of the time, this transformation is brought on by the appearance of a full moon. It is believed that the only way to kill a werewolf is with a silver bullet.

Pad of Definitions (1.16 Shadow), Official Website

Werewolves are humans that transform into wolf-like creatures under the influence of a full moon. They can either be born as werewolves to werewolf parents, or become a werewolf as a result of being bitten (known as a "bitten"). Pureblood werewolves also prefer to use the term lycanthrope.[1]

John's Journal records that werewolves within four generations of a pureblood werewolf are "less feral and can transform before, during and after the lunar cycle." John noted that pureblood werewolves can control themselves and can survive on animal hearts.[2]

When they are in wolf-form, they appear human except for their yellow eyes, fangs, and claws, and they use their superior abilities and enhanced senses to hunt humans and eat their hearts.[3][4] They may not remember transforming or any of the details of what they've done as a werewolf once they return to human form, but it seems that whatever subconscious desires or fears they feel as human translate into action when they are werewolves.[3]

The only confirmed way to kill a werewolf is by piercing its heart with silver. An entry in John Winchester's journal posited that a werewolf could be cured of lycanthropy by killing the werewolf who infected him or her, but this is disproved by Sam and Dean, and the fallacy of the theory is in fact well known by other hunters, such as Bobby.[3] When they are killed in werewolf form, they revert back to their human form.[3]

After the Apocalypse is averted, it seems that werewolves no longer transform only during the full moon.[5] Crowley reveals that there is an Alpha Werewolf, but as of the year 2010 he has not been located.[6]

Werewolves may live solitary lives or live in a pack, and can survive eating animal organs, however it is extremely difficult, especially if they have fed on human hearts before.[1]At least one pack was involved in the Maw of Fenris, a cult which believed in the domination of werewolves and extinction of humans. Their beliefs are based on the Norse legends that Fenris (a wolf son of Loki) would kill Odin during the end times known as Ragnarok. This pack believed in this for generations until Reverend Jim Myers took over and turned the pack from violence. However, the reverend's wife and three other members of the pack still believed in this and strove to achieve it before being killed by Dean.[7]

Winchester encounters

Sam and Dean encountered werewolves when they were quite young.[8]. In 1995, Dean tells Sonny the bruises he has are from a werewolf.[9] In 1997, Sam writes an essay for English class about a werewolf hunt his family was on the previous summer.[10] The adult Winchesters hunted werewolves in 2.17 Heart, 8.04 Bitten and 9.12 Sharp Teeth. Winchester friend and former hunter Garth is also now a werewolf.

Characteristics

Werewolf

A person who shapeshifts into a wolf or wolflike creature, either by using magic, or after being placed under a curse. The idea of transforming during the appearance of the full moon was an idea that was picked up by fiction writers. In popular culture, a werewolf can be killed if shot by a silver bullet, although this was not a feature of the folk legends. The name most likely derives from Old English wer and wulf.

The first part, wer, translates as "man". The second half, wulf, is the ancestor of "wolf". An alternative derivation of the word has the first part coming from Old English weri (to wear), making the full form in this case: wearer of wolf skin.

Historical legends describe a wide variety of methods for becoming a werewolf, such as the removal of clothing and putting on a belt made of wolfskin, rubbing the body with a magic salve, drinking water out of the footprint of the animal in question, and drinking from certain enchanted streams. According to Russian lore, a child born on December 24th becomes a werewolf. Folklore and literature also depict that a werewolf can be spawned from two werewolf parents. Becoming a werewolf by being bitten by another werewolf is common in modern fiction, but rare in legend, in which werewolf attacks seldom left the victim alive long enough to transform.

Pad of Definitions (2.17 Heart), Official Website

Powers and Abilities

  • Have superior strength and agility.[3]
  • Have elongated, sharp fangs and claws.[3]
  • Have enhanced sight and smell.[3]
  • Can infect others with a bite so that they turn into werewolves themselves at the next full moon.[3]

Weaknesses

Episodes

2.12 Nightshifter

Dean tells Ronald Resnick that the old werewolf stories sprang from shapeshifters.

2.17 Heart

Sam and Dean haven't encountered a werewolf since they were young, and, when they come across a series of deaths they suspect are caused by a werewolf, Dean is excited for the hunt. In a cruel twist, the woman they begin by protecting, Madison, is a werewolf herself. In werewolf form, Madison has canine-like teeth and claws, as well as enhanced strength and agility. She does not remember anything of her wolf-time activities after she reverts to human form.

After tying her up, Sam learns that she was recently bitten by a "mugger" in the same area where their werewolf's victims have been killed. Sam is convinced that the mugger was actually a werewolf and, because information in John's Journal suggests that killing the werewolf who 'sired' her may cure Madison, they postpone killing her until they find her sire. Dean goes hunting and finds Madison's neighbor Glen, who in his werewolf form has been killing prostitutes (possibly due to his religious beliefs). Dean shoots Glen with a silver bullet, killing him.

Madison doesn't turn into a werewolf the next night, despite it being a full moon, so they believe her cured. Sam and she share a passionate interlude, but when she falls asleep the next night she transforms again. Seeing no other solution, Madison begs Sam to kill her, and he reluctantly shoots her with a silver bullet.

4.05 Monster Movie

In this episode, the Winchester brothers begin their supernatural investigation by looking into a vampire attack. However, the next victim seems to have been attacked by a werewolf. They are confused until they learn that they are dealing with a shapeshifter who disguises himself as classic horror movie monsters, including Dracula and the Wolf-Man.

4.13 After School Special

In an essay he writes about his summer vacation for his English teacher Mr. Wyatt as a kid, Sam mentions hunting a werewolf the previous summer with John and Dean.

6.08 All Dogs Go to Heaven

Sam: So, we know that werewolves are basically id gone wild, right? I mean, whoever they hate, they kill when they wolf out.

Crowley and the Winchesters suspect werewolves are the culprit behind a series of deaths where the victim's heart has been ripped out. Sam mentions that werewolves no longer only change on the full moon and relates that "Samuel and I ganked one about six months back on the half-moon." It is revealed that it is not werewolves responsible but skinwalkers, which Bobby tells Sam are cousins to the werewolves. Like the werewolf, a skinwalker can be killed with silver, eats its victims hearts, and can turn other humans with a single bite. However, skinwalkers are not bound by the moon cycle and can change at will, taking the form of everyday domestic dogs.

8.04 Bitten

Dean: Hey, check this out. 'Werewolves that are turned up to four generations from pureblood...' Think he means Alpha? '...are less feral and can transform before, during, and after the lunar cycle.' Boom.
Sam: Let me see that. Purebloods don't black out during the transformation. They can control themselves.

Dean and Sam (8.04 Bitten), John's Journal

Sam and Dean investigate a mysterious death in a college town that turns out to be the work of a pureblood werewolf who is a college professor in town. The professor, being a pureblood, had been able to control himself and was eating animal hearts instead of human, but gave into his urges and ate a human. Sam and Dean track him down and kill him to which he thanks them, but find a camera in his office. Tracking the camera back to Brian Wilcox, they find a movie put together by Brian and his friends Michael Wheeler and Kate that depicts how Michael was bitten by the professor in an attempt to get a scapegoat for when Sam and Dean arrived and his transformation into a werewolf. It follows through Michael killing another young man and eating his heart, the three listening in on Sam and Dean discovering the nature of pureblood werewolves and Brian discovering the professor is the werewolf who turned his friend and confronting him for answers and to get him to bite him. The movie contains the professor’s explanation of his activities and Brian returning home where he kills Michael and tries to get Kate to join him as a werewolf and fall in love with him. Kate kills Brian and finishes his movie, leaving it for Sam and Dean along with a message that she plans to control herself and only feed on animal hearts. Sam and Dean, rationalizing that she hasn't harmed anyone human yet and may not, decide to give her a chance but agree to kill her if she starts feeding on humans.

9.07 Bad Boys

After being dropped off at Sonny's Home for Boys, Sonny asks Dean how he got the bruises on his arms, to which Dean replies that he got them hunting a werewolf.

9.12 Sharp Teeth

Tracking down Garth after fining out he is in the hospital after being hit by a car, and under arrest for eviscerating a cow, Sam and Dean learn that he was turned into a werewolf six months earlier after being bitten while killing a rampaging werewolf. Garth has joined a pack of mostly pureblood werewolves who coexist with humans led by the Reverend Jim Myers and has married his daughter Bess Myers. While Garth insists the pack is harmless, Dean is suspicious despite all clues to the contrary. Eventually Sheriff Pat reveals himself to be a werewolf and lures Sam and Dean into a trap in an attempt to kill them. Sam kills him and they discover that a silver bullet he wears as an amulet has the word Ragnarok on it. Looking for clues, Dean discovers that the pack worships Fenris and are part of a cult called the Maw of Fenris that wants to bring on Ragnarok and rule over humanity. Dean confronts Reverend Myers who is innocent while his wife, Joy Myers and two other pack members, Russ and Joba capture Sam, Garth and Bess with the plan to murder Garth and Bess and frame Sam and Dean so that Reverend Myers will lead the pack against humanity and cause Ragnarok. Dean, having worked out who the true bad guy is, kills Russ with a silver knife and uses his jacket to mask his scent so he can get close enough to rescue his brother and friends. Joba attacks him after he gets inside the barn where Joy is about to kill Sam, but Dean kills Joba with his knife and then Joy in an impromptu duel. Reverend Myers is left horrified by what his wife and pack members tried and while Garth offers to return to hunting, Dean tells him to remain with the pack who Sam and Dean leave alone as they are not all bad.

9.20 Bloodlines

Werewolves in Lore

Lycanthropy

The ability or power of a human to transform into a wolf. There is also a mental illness in which a patient believes he or she is, or has transformed into, an animal and behaves accordingly.

Pad of Definitions (2.17 Heart), Official Website

A werewolf, also known as a lycanthrope (from the Greek λυκάνθρωπος: λύκος, lukos, "wolf", and άνθρωπος, anthrōpos, man), is a mythological or folkloric human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf or an anthropomorphic wolf-like creature, either purposely, by being bitten by another werewolf, or after being placed under a curse. This transformation is often associated with the appearance of the full moon, as popularly noted by the medieval chronicler Gervase of Tilbury, and perhaps in earlier times among the ancient Greeks through the writings of Petronius.

Werewolves are often attributed superhuman strength and senses, far beyond those of both wolves and men. The werewolf is generally held as a European character, although its lore spread through the world in later times. Shape-shifters, similar to werewolves, are common in tales from all over the world, most notably amongst the Native Americans, though most of them involve animal forms other than wolves.

Werewolves are a frequent subject of modern fictional books, although fictional werewolves have been attributed traits distinct from those of original folklore, most notably vulnerability to silver bullets. Werewolves continue to endure in modern culture and fiction, with books, films and television shows cementing the werewolf's stance as a dominant figure in horror.[12]

Werewolves in Fandom

References