Hunters, Warriors, Monsters

Shannon Ford

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter


A central moral concern in the TV series ''Supernatural's is Sam and Dean Winchesters'' frequent killing of innocent attackers. That is, innocent people who are a deadly threat because they are possessed by malevolent demons. Sam and Dean do a lot of killing. Normally, we think of killing as morally wrong. But the brothers don't live in an ordinary world. For starters, their mother was murdered by a mysterious yellow-eyed demon when they were children, and while that doesn't excuse everything they do, it was through this tragedy that they learned that horrific monsters do exist. Subsequently, they are brought up believing it's right to hunt them all down. As hunters, Sam and Dean kill monsters because such creatures pose a threat to the lives of innocent people. But matters aren't that simple; Sam and Dean are confronted with a complex array of moral issues in killing. Although they frequently deliberate on the ethics of killing, the moral principles by which the Winchesters justify these actions are sometimes ambiguous. Things get really murky morally when they find it necessary to kill innocent humans. In fact, the ongoing conflict the Winchesters have with certain types of monsters in Supernatural might be better described as warfare rather than hunting. Often times, Sam and Dean display behaviour and attitudes toward killing that calls to question whether ''hunters"� is the appropriate title for them at all.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSupernatural and Philosophy
Subtitle of host publicationMetaphysics and Monsters... for Idjits
EditorsGalen A Foresman
Place of PublicationChichester, UK
Number of pages11
Edition1 / 3
ISBN (Print)9781118615959
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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