- "What about a human by day, a freak animal killing machine by moonlight don't you understand? Werewolves are badass; we haven't seen one since we were kids!"
- ―Dean Winchester[src]
|Type :||Creature (Monster)|
|Notable distinctions :||Can morph to gain fangs, claws and lupine eyes|
|Main weaknesses :||Silver|
|Related to :|| Eve|
|Culture(s) of origin :||European folklore|
|Native range :||Earth|
|First appearance :||Heart|
Werewolves - also called lycanthropes, or wolves for short - are a partially-human supernatural species, distinguishable by their ability to transform into a deadly animalistic state (usually at the time of the full moon) and their need to devour the hearts of their prey. Werewolves can turn humans with a bite.
Werewolves are a supernatural disease which infects humans; transforming them into monsters which are usually both physically and psychologically human, but possess the ability to transform into a powerful, bestial and deadly animalistic state; when a werewolf shifts to its animalistic state which it attacks and feeds in, this is referred to as it "wolfing out."
The most common way lycanthropy is passed on is when a werewolf, while in its wolfed-out state, bites a human, turning that person. The Myers family labelled this type of werewolves as "bitten." (Heart et al.) Lycanthropy can also be inherited from birth from werewolf parents. (Sharp Teeth) There is no known cure for werewolves, and it's believed that their condition is irreversible. (Heart)
When a werewolf wolfs out, its eyes take on a more lupine colour and appearance, its fingernails grow out into claws, and its teeth take on a more jagged and animalistic tooth-shape which includes wolf-like fangs. When wolfed-out, a werewolf will be either have its behaviour influenced by, or its personality completely overtaken by (depending on whether it's a pureblood or a 'run-of-the-mill' werewolf); their animalistic form's bestial mindset, increasing the risk of the werewolf hunting and attacking humans.
Werewolves' wolfed-out state is useful for hunting and killing prey. Whenever werewolves kill, they always tear out and devour their victim's heart. It also seems that werewolves' usual hunting tactics when going after human prey is: to stalk their prey from in the dark and behind cover, heard but unseen, slowly closing in and then swiftly emerging to attack.
Werewolves' physical capabilities are also heightened to a superhuman degree when they wolf out; in their hunting state, werewolves display deadly enhanced levels of speed and agility, enough so to move before a human can act and to perform amazing jumps and feats. (Heart) Also, pureblood werewolves have heightened super-strength even in their human forms when they's not wolfing out: one pureblood showed that werewolves are strong enough to casually tear wooden doors of their hinges with barely any effort, and to lift and hold a grown human above their heads. (Bitten) At least born werewolves apparently have a heightened-enough sense of smell to detect, track and find other werewolves. (Sharp Teeth) Werewolves can also regenerate most forms of bodily damage within a short amount of time, and it has been implied that they can survive harm that would conventionally kill a human.
While they're very formidable and dangerous creatures, werewolves do still possess some weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The most common and effective way of killing a werewolf is by stabbing or shooting it through the heart with silver. (Heart et al.) Alternatively, werewolves can die from massive physical damage the likes of which is beyond human capabilities; such as being overpowered and ripped apart by another werewolf. (Bitten) Also, the Leviathans' Turducken formula was, according to Edgar, engineered so that tainted humans would be fatally-poisonous to and kill off werewolves among other monsters. (There Will Be Blood)
Besides killing werewolves, silver can also harm them and be used against them in other ways: it burns werewolves when it breaks their skin, and can more significantly wound and temporarily weaken them when it does so. Silver bindings, when used on a werewolf, will weaken its powers and be much harder for the werewolf to break free of; even wearing a piece of silver on their person such as on a necklace has a mild weakening effect on werewolves. (Sharp Teeth, Paper Moon)
Types of werewolvesEdit
Regular, 'run-of-the-mill' werewolves will only wolf out during the week leading up to the full moon, at night. A regular werewolf must also be asleep on the night of or leading up to a full moon to wolf out, and thus they can avoid wolfing out at night by staying awake throughout the entire night. When a regular werewolf wolfs out, most vestiges of its human personality and thoughts are suppressed, and its mind is overtaken by a bestial, predatory mindset; for the night, the werewolf becomes a deadly, feral predator, which will hunt and attack lone humans in the local area, with no human control over itself. When a regular werewolf reverts to their human state the following morning, they will have no memory of what they did in their beast state or of wolfing out at all. Due to this, some werewolves may live for years completely unaware of what they are or of how they become monsters and hunt during the full moon.
However, fragments and some vestiges of a werewolf's human self's fears and feelings can translate into and influence the werewolf's actions in its beast state. When a werewolf feels scared or threatened, then when they wolf out, their beast self may attack the one who frightens them; and when a werewolf's human self feels attracted to a human, then when they wolf out they may infect and turn that person with a 'love bite.' (Heart)
Pureblood werewolves are werewolves that are closer to the Alpha Werewolf and are up to fourth-generation. (Bitten) Purebloods are different from regular werewolves in that they can wolf out regardless of the lunar phase (either at will or due to a need to devour hearts), and they afterwards retain all memories of their actions when they wolf out. Also, when a pureblood werewolf wolfs out, their human personality will mostly retain control over their actions. (Bitten, Sharp Teeth, Paper Moon)
Because of purebloods' ability to control their bestial states when they wolf out, they can resist the temptation of eating human hearts and instead feed on animal hearts (which they are implied to find satiating but repulsive). However, each and every time a pureblood consumes a human heart, it will have less control over the temptation to kill. Another difference between purebloods and 'run-of-the-mill' werewolves is that bite wounds from pureblood werewolves will close up and heal moments after the person is infected and turned, whereas regular werewolves' bites leave scars. (Bitten, Paper Moon)
Werewolves have presumably existed as a species for at least 10,000 years. The species started with the Alpha Werewolf, when the Alpha was created by Eve and subsequently became the progenitor of the werewolf race. (All Dogs Go to Heaven) Werewolves appear to, at least in modern times, have little - no societal structure or hierarchy amongst their race, although some werewolves do live together in packs as families. There was also, until the 21st century, a cult among the werewolves called the Maw of Fenris, which worshipped Fenris and Ragnarok. (Sharp Teeth)
In 2010 - 2011, when Eve's influence over her monster children on Earth began compelling them to attack and multiply more, werewolves were said to have been affected in that they now began wolfing out out of phase with the lunar cycle - according to Sam Winchester and Samuel Campbell, Eve's influence caused at least some werewolves to wolf out on half moons instead of full moons. (Exile on Main St., All Dogs Go to Heaven) After Eve's death, (Mommy Dearest) werewolves apparently reverted back to their normal cycle of wolfing out during the full moon. (Bitten)
Hunts and encountersEdit
- A young Sam and Dean Winchester apparently hunted at least one werewolf with John during the summer. (Heart, After School Special)
- Starting in 2006, an unaware werewolf, Glen, in San Francisco, California, would hunt and kill women and prostitutes when he wolfed out during the full moon, and he turned Madison while wolfed out in 2007. On the following month's full moon cycle, Madison herself began wolfing out and attacking and killing those she felt threatened by. Sam and Dean came to investigate, and Dean tracked and killed Glen while he was wolfed out (in a failed attempt to cure Madison); and Sam killed Madison at the latter's request when she proved incurable and couldn't live as a werewolf. (Heart)
- According to Sam, six months before his and Dean's skinwalker case, Sam and Samuel Campbell hunted a werewolf which was wolfing out on a half moon due to Eve's influence. (All Dogs Go to Heaven)
- According to Bobby Singer, among the spikes in monster activity caused along the I-80 by Eve's presence was a group of werewolves wildly acting out. (...And Then There Were None)
- In 2013, pureblood werewolf Professor Ludensky began hunting and killing humans after 10 years living only on animal hearts. When Ludensky feared the killings would attract a hunter, he ambushed Michael Wheeler and turned him into a pureblood werewolf as a decoy. Brian Wilcox later forced Ludensky to turn him as well, and Brian shortly afterwards turned Kate. Sam and Dean discovered and killed Ludensky, Brian killed Michael and was then killed by Kate, and Sam and Dean allowed Kate to flee and escape to live on animal hearts. (Bitten)
- Irv Franklin apparently at some point hunted werewolf Siamese twins. (Devil May Care)
- Garth Fitzgerald IV was bitten in the field and turned into a pureblood werewolf, and was subsequently taken in by the Myers pack of born purebloods who fed strictly on animals. Joy Myers and three other werewolves among the pack secretly followed the ideals of the Maw of Fenris, and so intended to kill Garth and Bess and frame Sam and Dean, so as to galvanise the unaware other wolves into shedding their refusal to harm humans; but the plan failed when Sam and Dean discovered, thwarted and killed all the rogue werewolves. (Sharp Teeth)
- A family of werewolves, the Duval family, were one of the five mafia-esque monster families ruling Chicago's underworld (owning Chicago's Gold Coast), and had a rivalry with the shapeshifter Lassiter family. The Duvals and Lassiters were on the brink of gang war after Sal Lassiter was murdered and Margo pinned the blame on the werewolves. The war was averted when Sam, Dean, Ennis Ross and David Lassiter investigated the murderer and learned it was actually a rogue hunter. (Bloodlines)
- After being turned and leaving school, Kate turned her sister Tasha into a werewolf to save the latter's life after a car accident, and took her with her to live on the road. However, unlike Kate, Tasha embraced her newfound strength and sense of power as a werewolf, and began killing and feeding on humans, but Kate was unable to kill her sister or give up on helping her. While Kate and Tasha were in Durham, Washington, Tasha killed four people, and turned two men into werewolves with the intention of starting a pack. Tasha was killed by Kate with a silver knife when the latter realized she'd irreversibly lost her sister, the two werewolves Tasha had sired were killed by Sam and Dean, and Kate herself escaped and resumed her nomadic life, alone once more. (Paper Moon)
- Alpha Werewolf
- Bess Fitzgerald
- Brandon (deceased)
- Brian Wilcox (deceased)
- Garth Fitzgerald IV
- Glen (deceased)
- Reverend Jim Myers
- Jobah (deceased)
- Joy Myers (deceased)
- Julian Duval
- Professor Ludensky (deceased)
- Madison (deceased)
- Michael Wheeler (deceased)
- Sheriff Pat (deceased)
- Russ (deceased)
- Tasha (deceased)
- Travis (deceased)
- Violet Duval
- Rose (deceased)
- Corbin Tilghman (deceased)
In folklore and mythology, a werewolf or lycanthrope is a human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf or a wolf-like creature. Some lore and legends state that werewolves' transformation from their human form to wolf form is triggered or influenced by the full moon, while other mythology states that werewolves can transform at will. A human can become a werewolf purposefully, or due to being placed under a curse or afflicted with a supernatural condition, via a variety of methods. Methods of becoming a werewolf include: being a seventh-born child, sleeping under the light of a full moon, or drinking water that has been touched by a wolf. Some methods of curing a werewolf of their condition are described - with curing methods including conversion to Christianity, or kneeling in the same spot for 100 years - while other werewolf lore claims that lycanthropy is irreversible.
- According to Supernatural: The Official Companion - Season 2:
- Other ways of becoming a werewolf besides being bitten by one include: being cursed by a witch, making a deal with a demon, or studying black magic; the latter two methods of becoming a werewolf have also been widely used since the 1500s. It has been thought by a few fans that this may have been retconned from canon mythos due to monsters such as werewolves being revealed in Season 6 to be races originally created by and descended from Eve.
- Holy items can burn werewolves, but not enough to stop them.
- It was implied by Dean in Heart that werewolves are among the more vicious, deadly and formidable creatures that hunters encounter. He also seemed slightly excited to hunt an opponent like a werewolf for the first time since childhood.
- How pureblood werewolves occur in those infected with lycanthropy is uncertain; it has only been mentioned that they are closer to the Alpha and are up to fourth generation.