On Supernatural

Another Roadside Attraction

The Role of the Trickster in Supernatural

By Maria Lima

TRICKSTER: Sam. There’s a lesson here that I’ve been trying to drill into that freakish, Cro-Magnon skull of yours.

SAM: Lesson? What lesson?

TRICKSTER: This obsession to save Dean, the way you two keep sacrificing yourselves for each other? Nothing good comes out of it. Just blood, and pain.

-“Mystery Spot” (3-11)

What I really dig about the Trickster . . . is that we didn’t put a unique spin on him. We were faithful to real characterizations of trickster gods throughout history.

-Eric Kripke, Supernatural: The Official Companion Season 2

Making Mischief

As with all of the monsters, demons, and weird occurrences in Supernatural, the Trickster, a character who first appeared in “Tall Tales” (2-15), is based on genuine myths and legends from around the world. Every culture has a Trickster figure, whether it’s Loki, Anansi, Puck, Br’er Rabbit, Raven, Crow, or Coyote. Modern times have their own manifestations in Captain Jack Sparrow, Wile E. Coyote, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and arguably the most well-known of all: Bugs Bunny. This demigod immortal prankster exists to create chaos, and by doing so, teaches important lessons to those affected. From his introduction as the jokester/mischief-maker in season two’s “Tall Tales” to his darker incarnation as the Chaos-bringer in the episode “Mystery Spot,” the Trickster plays a seminal role in the mythos of the show.

Though he only appears physically in these two episodes, the Trickster’s role goes beyond providing humor to acting as a catalyst, bringing realization through upsetting the norm. As  …

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