A fan’s critique of the supernatural fandom

This is an essay about my favorite show, Supernatural and as such, if you aren’t familiar with the show, you probably won’t really understand what I’m talking about. But here it goes anyway.

This is about the fandom, the fans, and the culture surrounding it. Fan fiction writer, readers, and just plain fans of the show. For those unfamiliar with ‘fandom jargon’ the word ‘ship’ is short for ‘relationship’ and indicates a romantic relationship between two fictional characters and the following that particular pairing has.

Now, before I continue, and before people accuse me of attacking their ship, that’s not what I am trying to do. Yes, Destiel shippers irritate me sometimes, but it’s not the ship itself that annoys me, it’s the toxic haters that make up the ranks of that ship. You know who you are. I have every respect for Destiel, Megstiel, and any other ship, really. Just because I personally don’t ship it doesn’t mean I disrespect or hate on it.

But I also think that it’s time that my ship also gets the recognition it deserves. And it’s time that Hannah, as a character, gets the respect she deserves. I am always disappointed by how little credit she gets from the fans, I am continually seeing mood boards, aesthetics, collages commemorating the women of Supernatural, or the angels of Supernatural and Hannah is regularly absent from these boards. And she deserves way more than to be forgotten.

I hope that, with the show coming to an end, people who plan to rewatch the show through will remember her and give her a chance to shine.

To illustrate why I think that Hanstiel should be counted among the more popular ships that in involve Castiel, I’d like to debunk the top 10 arguments I have had thrown in my direction by people who think they can bully me away from loving Hannah and Hanstiel.

But they are literal siblings!

Ugh. This argument. Okay if that’s what you think, fine, that’s your opinion, but you need to realize that this is up to personal interpretation. Yes, the angels consider themselves siblings, but it’s evident that the SPN writers don’t necessarily consider this a literal thing because there are a few incidents of angel pairings. Daniel and Adina, fallen angels, were clearly lovers. Also, if Chuck created angels, he also created humanity, but do you consider some random Human on the street your sibling? This is really an old argument, and it doesn’t hold much stock, but it’s really up to personal belief about the show. You can’t force your views about this on me, and you can’t try to persuade me your opinion is right because it is just that- your opinion. Mine is valid too.

Also, a side note. If you ship Wincest but pull this ‘angels are siblings’ card, then you are a hypocrite.

But Caroline Johnson was married!

And? So was Jimmy Novak. Are you trying to imply that because Caroline was a woman, she needed to return to her husband any more than Jimmy Novak needed to return to his wife? This argument reeks of misogyny.

Hannah abandoned Castiel when she found out about his borrowed grace.

Yes, she did. But think about it from her point of view, she had this unwavering trust in Castiel as her leader and what he did was considered abhorrent to her and her fellow angels. Finding this out from Metatron instead of Castiel himself was no doubt a shock to her, and it left her scrambling to figure out how to reconcile this blow to her faith in him. And this doubt didn’t last long, as soon as she realized what was going on, she went right back to him and resumed her unwavering trust in him.

Hannah tried to tell Castiel to kill Dean

Again, see it from her point. She was trying to grasp and process what she had just learned. And she knew that angels were blowing themselves up in Castiel’s name. She didn’t want to believe it was true and she needed something to cling to. She doesn’t know the Winchesters, as well as Castiel, does, she has no reason to trust them, and she doesn’t understand the bond Castiel has with them.

Hannah tortured Castiel in season 11

No, Ephraim and Jonah tortured him. And even though it was revealed that Hannah was in on it, it also clear that she was pressured into it. Just look at how Ephraim and Jonah talk to her, they were very disrespectful to her, and it was clear this was their idea. And whatever part she played in this, she protested it, and in the end, she fought and died saving Castiel. She literally gave her life for him.

It’s Hannah’s fault Gadreel committed suicide!

No, it’s not. Hannah came down to the prison, and it’s clear she wanted to try to understand Castiel’s stance. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t have been down there in the first place. Castiel and Gadreel didn’t need a guard. She was trying to sort it all out, and Gadreel acted impulsively.

Hannah is hot-tempered and impulsive

Hell yeah, she is. She tried to attack Tessa when Tessa called her weak, and she totally started the fight with Adina. Oh, and we can’t forget how she smashed Metatron’s face into the bars for making a sexual remark towards her. But that’s all what makes her an awesome character. She has flaws. As a writer myself, I can tell you that perfect Polly’s are no fun at all. Hannah had depth, she was complicated. She was brave and badass, but she certainly had apparent flaws. Besides, are you trying to tell me the Winchesters don’t have flaws? Hannah is badass.

Hannah was obviously meant to be Castiel’s love interest

Yeah, she probably was, but I mean so? Can’t Castiel have a little happiness in his life? Besides, she wasn’t just that. She was his second in command, she was a leader in her own right. She even led heaven! She wasn’t only Castiel’s love interest, she was amazing in her own right.

If you don’t ship Destiel, then you are a homophobe!

First of all, I am a bisexual woman. I am allowed to be attracted to both men and women, and it’s obvious that I am crazy about Hannah. Also, it’s okay for me to prefer het relationships. I happen to be married to a man. I am generally attracted to what I can relate to, and there should be no shame in that. In any case, I don’t need to justify my interests to you. And anyway, you do know that Hannah took a male vessel at the end right? And that Castiel took a female vessel in the past?

Castiel obviously loves Dean!

Okay. Like I said, I respect all ships. But you are going to have to come to terms that in addition to Dean and Sam, Castiel also loved Meg and Hannah. He may have even harbored feelings for Kelly Kline. Since none of those ships became completely canon, we the fans, must interpret what we will about it. I don’t ship Destiel, Megstiel, or Castiel/Kelly Kline but I respect that Castiel may or may not have feelings for any one of them in canon. The world may never know if this was so. Chemistry is in the eye of the beholder. I could see clear signs that Castiel had feelings for Hannah, and I can document such signs, but that’s what fiction is. It’s something that’s not real in the first place so we the fans are free to interpret what we see as we will.

And here are some points I want to make as to why Hannah is amazing and why she is precisely what Castiel needed.

Hannah is the kind of rare angel that Gabriel was talking about back in season 9. The type that is more than a machine built to obey

Hannah has empathy. She is a rather passionate angel. This is her strength and her inner struggle. She is an angel, bound by her instincts to obey and stuck in her strict principles of angel code, but it’s pretty clear that she doesn’t obey without question. In many ways, she is a lot like Castiel was in season 4, but unlike Castiel, she seems to have had these feelings all along. Castiel had to learn them. In “meta-fiction,” Gabriel claimed that he and Castiel were rebels because they were different than other angels. And I think that Hannah was another one of those rare ones, with the potential to understand free will.

She never once brought up Castiel’s past nor never appeared to resent him or hold a grudge against him or feared him for what he did to heaven

All throughout season nine, when Castiel was without grace, whenever he encountered another angel, they were quick to blame him for the fall. They actively hated him or even feared him. Some even tried to kill him. Many still resented him for the war with Raphael. Pretty much all the angels Castiel encountered harbored these feelings towards him, but when Castiel met Hannah in that warehouse, she lacked that resentment. She had just been tortured by Gadreel and left in a room full of dead angels, and when she met Castiel, she knew who he was. She never once brought up the war with Raphael, or even the fall, something she herself was a victim of and was no doubt traumatized by. She never feared or hated Castiel.

She was devoted to him in a way that no one in the show has ever been

Castiel really needs someone who could devote themselves to him the way that he would devote himself to them in return. Hannah fits the bill. She listened to him when he taught her about humanity. I mean, really listened. And throughout their road trip, she was more concerned with trying to help with Castiel’s fading grace than she was with her mission. His suffering and deterioration clearly bothered her. Even though she acted on impulse many times, she’d listen to him as he explained why things are the way they are here on Earth.

She was even willing to make a deal with Metatron

This one is a big one because it proves that Hannah is like a Winchester! How many times has Sam or Dean made a deal to save one another? They would pick each other over the world any day. And has either of them ever made that sacrifice for Castiel? Well, Hannah was going to. She knew full well the possible consequences of letting Metatron out, but she was willing to do it to save Castiel’s life. If he hadn’t gotten there, she would have. I think it was a surprise to Castiel because no one has ever cared about him like that.

She literally begged him to take care of himself

It’s clear that Hannah had feelings for Castiel, and they motivated her to be concerned with. Maybe Castiel was uncomfortable with her affections because he’s not used to someone being concerned with his well being? Which is really sad if you think about it. Regardless of her feelings for him, Hannah was concerned that Castiel wasn’t taking care of himself. She begged him to try to save his own life or to at least be as concerned about it as she was. And he continued to blow her off and dismiss her, probably because poor Castiel does not value his own life. If he did, then he would at least be willing to try to work with her to find a plan to save himself instead of literally having to have the king of hell step in to save them both.

Castiel trusted Hannah enough to implore her to carry on in his place if he died.

When it became clear that Castiel may not make it to carry out his mission, to help Dean or to find the rogue angels, when Hannah confronted him and implored him to do something about his grace, even reminding him of his mission, he asked her to carry on in his place. She doesn’t think she could do it, but he did. He trusted her, he saw something in her that she didn’t see herself. He believed in her and thought that she was more than worthy of taking his place if he died. That right there is huge.

She is one of the very few angels to ever give up her vessel, and her actions inspired Castiel so much that he decided to look into Claire’s life after all this time.

Hannah did the one thing that even Castiel himself could not do. She admitted she had feelings for him and more than anything, she wanted to stay with him and see where their feelings lead them. She wanted that very badly, but then she encountered Caroline’s husband, and she was reminded about the life she had taken away, and she put her feelings aside to give Caroline her life back. Anyone could see how heartbroken Castiel was to see her go, but he was so inspired by her act of selflessness that he looked into Claire’s life.

In “Meta-fiction,” Metatron explained that he ordered Gadreel to kill all the angels in the warehouse but leave one alive. Gadreel chose to spare Hannah. Did he pick her at random or did he sense that she was different and that she had the power to persuade Castiel to be a leader?

I mean everyone else around them noted how well matched they were. The tow-truck driver, Adina, Metatron, even Crowley. Maybe Gadreel sensed that Hannah was not like other angels and that she might have the power to be an influence in Castiel’s life. Of course, his motives were less than good, but I think he knew that Castiel would respond to someone like Hannah, someone who was like him or had the potential to be.

It’s my headcanon that Castiel and Hannah both have autistic characteristics

This is the last stance, and it is something very personal to me. I am on the Autism Spectrum, and I hold the opinion that Castiel and Hannah both have Aspie characteristics and that if they were Human, they would surely be on the spectrum. This is the single reason why I love Hannah so much. Do you realize how marginalized us aspie girls are in mainstream media? There are so few of us, and most Autistic characters in fiction are male. It is hard to be autistic and female, and here is the one character I can admire and relate to because she is like me.

So there you have it. The case for Hannah and for the Castiel/Hannah ship. I don’t think it should be considered a rare-pair anymore. It is just as relevant as any of the popular pairings concerning Castiel. This will always be my one and only OTP. And Hannah is and always will be my favorite character. Her and Castiel both. I am a Cas girl and a Hannah girl. Just wondering if there are any other true Hannah girls out there.


Written by My Little Corner of Everything

I am a writer and a graphic designer who has a lot to say about life! I am a woman in her 30's who lives in California with her husband. Most of all, I am an explorer. I express myself through the written word and the visual world. I have Aspergers but I don't see it as a 'disability' but rather, an identity. It is who I am.

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