Supernatural Interview with Eric Kripke – “Sam and Dean will always come together”

Supernatural Season 8 Episode 4 Bitten

Recently, TV Equals got to be part of a roundtable interview with our fearless leader himself, Eric Kripke. The Kripkeeper was on hand to chat about the latest guide to the show, a book called The Essential Supernatural: On The Road with Sam and Dean Winchester.

Kripke spoke at length about the new book, describing it as an “all-inclusive collection of everything Supernatural,” joking that the beautiful volume was so go that “frankly, it’s far classier than we deserve.”

Regarding what fans will find within its pages, Kripke said the book holds “a history of the show, both for the fans and frankly for the people who are making it. It’s nice for us to remember what the hell we’ve been doing all these years.”

“Supernatural will always be my first child.”

In addition to speaking about the book, Kripke fielded questions about the show itself. Though he doesn’t work as closely on the show as he used to, Kripke said, “Supernatural will always be my first child, I’m incredibly proud of it.” He said that looking through the book, “offered me an opportunity to really look back at what the experience was. I look back emotionally, very much like how you would look back at old photos of your friends and family.

When asked about how Supernatural began all those years ago, and whether or not he ever pictured it delving into some of the deeper storylines it has, Kripke said, “I had a storyline in the back of my head when we began and this sort of five-year plan. It did eventually escalate to facing the devil and facing the apocalypse, but I started out with much more b-movie aspirations. I was a fan of horror movies and would have been happy with just a gory show that was a part “Evil Dead” and part “American Werewolf in London.”

“We’re putting characters first and monsters second.”

Kripke’s b-movie aspirations changed as they started writing more serious episodes. “By the time we hit the second season, my mandate to the writers was ‘we’re putting characters first and monsters second.’ The more we ran with that ball, the more we discovered we could tell stories of faith and destiny. It really helped to deepen the show,” Kripke said.

Asked about why it is that the boys always seem to be fighting and splitting up on the show, Kripke replied, “Conflict is the basis of good drama and there’s more storyline to play when there’s static between them and they don’t completely trust each other. I’ve always felt, even when I was writing the show, that the seasons where Sam and Dean were in agreement the whole time weren’t as interesting as when we gave them a conflict.”

“It’s a stressful position to be in to have one brother chosen by angels and the other chosen by demons and have them in the same family. The theme of the show has always been that family can overcome everything. If the show has had one message it’s that nothing is more important than the bonds of family, more important that even the bonds of heaven and hell.”

“Sam and Dean will always come together.”

Kripke added, “We give them lots of obstacles but I believe at the end of the day, Sam and Dean will always come together.”

We asked Kripke if going through the pictures in the book brought up any particular memories and he said, “Some of my favorite photos in the book are conceptual artwork, not even necessarily stuff that made it into the show. That really brought me back. [Such as]: we were in the nitty-gritty of producing the show and having arguments and debates over what Blood Mary should look like and what the Wendigo should look like. That was really exciting. Beyond that there is some awkward photos of me directing the show and that brings back really visceral memories. There is no harder job than directing an episode of TV and Supernatural is one of the hardest shows I think anyone has ever directed. Those long hours and figuring out the scene where Dean kills Ruby and Lucifer rises: we’re in this beautiful church set and for some stupid reason I chose that particular time in my life to go on a diet. I got so dizzy on set that I thought I was going to pass out. It always strikes me as funny because there’s really no way to demonstrate leadership to your crew than to pass out in front of them. I had to grip the edge of my director chair and go to my trailer to get my head back and then spent the rest of the shoot eating burritos.”

“Chuck has always been my surrogate on the show.”

Kripke was also asked which character is the most like him on the show and he said, “I would say that probably would’ve been Chuck. Chuck has always been my surrogate on the show.”

It was an honor to chat with the man who created this show and hear straight from the horse’s mouth on those subjects that I know a lot of fans have been curious about. Now that you’ve seen what Kripke himself has to say about the need for conflict between the boys, has that changed your opinions of what has been happening in the most recent season? Sound off in the comments below. We love hearing from you guys!

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  • Eva

    I trust every word Kripke utters. I agree the boys need conflict to evolve and conflict moves the plot forward but it was getting tiring, especially because their motives for doing what they were doing weren’t explained well, in my opinion. They still aren’t but I hope they will be in the upcoming episodes. Last one left me very hopeful for what’s coming next for the brothers.

  • joed5122

    I feel like they’ve been fighting non-stop forever. They can have disagreements but I liked Sam and Dean when they were together and would joke on each other.

  • oh how much I miss him in this show, he gave us the heart till to the end, and now its gone! The core, caring about the brothers, I still could feel their connection in the 5 seasons he was in, now I don’t. I didn’t like all of his directions, but I was connected to their relationship, and now that’s lost for me! He gave his last shoutout to Sam in 6.22 where he was allowed to say “I am not leaving my brother out there alone” Thank you Erik Kripke! I appreciate him much much more since he is not involved anymore!

  • daria

    I just love Kripke … he’s awesome, funny and has created show that stole my heart and mind xD

  • OneStoryteller

    I understand that there needs to be some conflict. But, in my opinion, it’s not necessary to have this much of it. Especially, as someone else said, we aren’t shown any good motivations. Why can’t we have the brothers on the same page fighting together against the bad guys? That’s still conflict. I miss the days when Sam and Dean actually seemed to care about one another. I also miss the brotherly humor they used to share.

    I’m still enjoying this season but I’d like to see more of the familial closeness/brotherly love come back.

  • Honestly a healthy amount of conflict is good, but its getting extreme. At a certain point a fight crosses a line where you can’t go back to the way things were. That’s great for progression of story, yet I think that the entire point of Sam and Dean’s relationship through out the story is to prove that through everything they are still there for each other and that their bonds don’t change. Relationships evolve, but now we have hit a point where they are going to have a hard time fixing things between them, which would be the end of the duo. A team needs trust to operate at full efficiency. If they don’t find the way back to a happy medium or close to soon, I’m afraid I might lose interest in the show. When they are at their peak, we have a team to root for. I understand somethings in the show are necessary for plot development and later episodes, however, we have hit the limit. Dean is still upset with Sam for not coming to get him from purgatory and now Sam is upset that Dean faked a 911 text, but its more of the underlying distrust they have had since the demon blood issue. Besides, they need to smile a bit, even if its only at each other; they have hell to deal with. Maybe a laugh or two in the face of danger?
    Ah well its only an opinion, and I have only seen up to season 8 ep 10, but I might catch up by tonight or tomorrow. If I am behind a bit with a new twist in plot disregard my comment. Have a wonderful day.

  • Disappointed

    There’s no question shows need conflict, but they also need a core story. This year, the conflict between the boys goes against their established charcterization to begin with and has been poorly told ever since. The deconstruction of their relationship is more profound than its ever been and for incoherent reasons. At a certain point, it will be past the point of no return and at that point, there is no more Supernatural. The boys’ bond is the point of the show, as Kripke said and as he showed in his tenure as showrunner. And we have to feel it and believe it, as we did from the premiere of the show. If last episode was supposed to be a mature step in the right direction, it completely missed the boat.

    • The LARP episode would seem to indicate otherwise. There is a long way to get their relationship back to where it was, but they look to be getting back on the same page. For the first time in a long time, they had fun together.

      I’ll agree with Sam perhaps being a little bit out of character not looking at all for Dean during that year, but it’s well established that he doesn’t care for the life, but I don’t see how Dean’s been out of character.

  • There’s a great difference between the conflict between brothers before and that of season 8. With Kripke the conflict had a greater meaning and actual context. The brothers were for the most part in character through the fighting. Most importantly, they came together as brothers when they needed to despite most conflicts (demon blood is a whole other story). In season 8, the brothers are out of character, there seems to be no point to the conflict at all except conflict for conflict’s sake, and they act more like resigned co-workers stuck with each other than brothers who think family is the foundation of everything.

    • jane

      I totally agree with you. Before the conflict was touched with the fact that they knew each other so well and they were so protective of each other physically and mentally. They had conflict where it could only be between them because they are brothers and blood. They made in r/l, now they could replace the other with anyone to have conflict with, it doesn’t seem personal.

  • Terrinp

    Sadly the heart of this show left the day Kripke did. In the current season the boy’s fighing makes very little sense and is unbelievable. Sam’s motivations for the things he did are so beyond far fetched that it’s just all very OOC. Same for Dean. Same for their fighting. Season 8 lacks a coherant storyline between Sam and Dean and their motivations for fighting with each other, for treating each other the way they are treating each other and for being together and for being apart. Back in the Kripke era when they used to fight you could feel how much that tore them up and how much love was behind it. Now it feels like there’s only contempt and resentment behind it. Such a sad way for a once amazing show to go out.

    • It’s hardly going out and we are only midseason. Did you not see the end of the last episode? They are going to repair their relationship, and they were on the same page all last season, perhaps moreso than at any other time in the series.

      The brothers have always fought and gotten back together. It’s not like it’s been one long break up. Brothers fight all the time. How is Dean out of character for being pissed that Sam didn’t look for him?

      • Renee

        To me it’s out of OOC that they wrote that Sam didn’t look for Dean. Not that Dean got upset about it.

      • The ending of 8.10 had the brothers looking miserable and not talking. It doesn’t bode well for the future now that they have even more ammunition to throw at each other.

  • jake

    Heart and soul of Supernatural is the Winchesters relationship and making it beyond doubt and the devotion between these two. How come they can’t get it right now Kripke has left. They still have the ingredients but they fail to mix them properly

  • Renee

    I watch the show for Sam and Dean’s relationship. I wish they had more time together on screen and less of the supporting characters. It will always be Sam and Dean against all odds. I do miss Bobby though.

  • debbie

    i miss w3hen dean called sam a bitch and sam called dean a jerk and when they be silly with each others they have been serious to long need that sillyness back as well dont get me wrong all seasons have been special but i do miss the sillyness keep up the good work

  • kivina

    It was said that season 8 will serve as a time to form a healthy relationship between Sam and Dean. Because let’s face it, they were in a codependent relationship since the beginning where John thrust Sam into Dean’s arms.

    So of course they have to fight and finally settle their differences without one sacrificing himself for the other one’s happiness. Finally.

    • and the show is unrecognizable now because of that, their conflict feels unnatural and far fetched from character, but I think the heart is gone with EK and now we only have shallow conflict and shallow characters. Their history of those 5 years is still managing to not let go….still

      • Clearly, you missed the part where kivina said that Sam and Dean are working on building a HEALTHY relationship, now. The ‘brotherly bond’ that people speak so fondly of from seasons 1 through 5 represented a co-dependent dysfunctional wreck of a relationship.

        Regardless of the warm fuzzies the relationship between Dean and Sam gave you, most of the brother fans don’t get (or don’t want to get) how unhealthy they were.

        You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs and you can’t make a better relationship between two grown men without them knocking heads and confronting their crap with each other.

        If you want the unhealthy warm-fuzzies with Dean as a happy-go-lucky, emotionally repressed self-loathing womanizer go back and watch seasons 1-3. After all this time, I’d much rather watch the characters I love grow and mature and become more complete, healthy, functional human beings at long last.

  • CAT

    Kripke knew the characters and understood their motivations.

    Sam and Dean made Supernatural special. I wish K was still invested in the show, honestly, because something got lost after his departure.

  • Lor Te

    i am enjoying this season a lot, Dean and Sam are not OOC, they are growing up (CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT)

  • Mei Mei

    Soap opera

  • Pinchy

    Sure Sam isn’t a clone?

  • Berly

    Supernatural is my favorite show on tv so I just wanted to say thanks to Erik for giving it to us.

  • Monica Yamauchi

    Is Kripke leaving because of his new show Timeless?