why does anyone even care about other people doing things that have no negative outcome? like let girls take selfies with starbucks!! let straight dudes wear weird clothes!! let gay people be as feminine or as masculine as they want!! the next time you find yourself getting annoyed at someone, ask yourself “is this disrespectful? is this harmful to me or anyone else?” if the answer is no, then let it go - you probably have bigger things to worry about anyways
Just a few more thoughts on this post, because I can’t stop thinking about the scene between Dean and Gadreel, and how this was essentially Dean talking directly to himself. This was Dean talking directly to that dark, poisonous thing inside of himself that he refuses to let die.
Charlie asked Dean last season if he would ever let it go, and we see now that he was being truthful in his answer when he told her that he never would.
He thinks that you are just a scared little boy who is afraid to be on his own because daddy never loved him enough.
This line was important, this is really getting to the heart of the matter in a way the show really has not thus far this season. There have been numerous mentions of John, but no acknowledgment from Dean that his father is truly the one responsible for his mindset. It’s canon fact that Dean was conditioned to put Sam’s life and wellbeing above his own, that is the reason he sold his soul for him all those years ago, after all. But what that lead to, other than toxic co-dependency, was Dean concluding that his father simply did not love him as much as he loved Sam.
And he is right, isn’t he? Right to think that you are a coward. A sad, clingy, needy, pathetic, bottom feeder who can not even take care of himself.
I find that last part to be particularly interesting, because all things considered, Dean has always been the caretaker in his relationship with his brother. What I think this really means, is that Dean can’t take care of himself inside, because he doesn’t even know who he is. He doesn’t allow himself time to consider his own wants and needs, because he is too busy taking care of Sam. So while Dean may be in the stereotypical caretaker role, he has neglected himself in every way that counts.
Who would rather drag everyone through the mud than be alone, who would let everyone around him die—
This is a powerful moment, especially considering what Dean said to Sam on that bridge in Road Trip. He told him he refused to drag anyone else through the mud with him. It’s that last part I find most interesting, however, considering all the sacrifices Dean has made to keep Sam safe. So many bonds broken, so many people pushed aside in favor of taking care of his brother above all else. All literal deaths aside, there have been so many relationships killed in Dean’s life due to the sense of duty he feels that it’s hard to keep track of them all.
You’re not afraid to die are you, you’re afraid to be left in these chains forever.
This is the moment that gave me goosebumps, because this is Dean’s greatest fear right here. Dean is not so much afraid of letting go of the toxic bond with his brother as he is afraid of being trapped inside of it forever. He feels incapable of letting go, has known nothing more than this his entire life and he doesn’t know how to be anything but Sam’s caretaker. He is not afraid of being alone, or letting go…he is afraid of himself because he thinks he can’t let go. He believes himself to be so incapable of changing that he is welcoming of death, and an end to it all. In his eyes, death is the only thing that can free those that he loves from his toxic grasp.
I’m not an “active” shipper while watching the show - I save all those squealy feels for the fanfic and art and other fandom-created stuff. The show is just the show, focused on giving us a good story and, I believed firmly until watching this again, any “subtext” the fans chose to read into was either coincidental or just confirmation bias based on wishful thinking.
Metatron was performing a spell in 9x18, “Metafiction”.
He was making sure, as he discusses with Gadreel at the end of the episode, that Heaven stayed securely closed.
And how did he perform that spell?
He ensured that Dean and Castiel did not reunite, but stayed on their separate paths - Cas as a leader of fallen angels, Dean on his further descent into the darkness invoked by the Mark of Cain.
Metatron’s spell was performed with Griffin feathers and fairy bones.
Griffins, according to their origins in Greek mythology, have the body of a lion and the wings and head of an eagle. This recalls the description of Seraphim we have from Isiah in the Bible - six winged beings with the faces of a man, an ox, an eagle and a lion.
We know Cas is a Seraph, and he calls attention to his feathered form in the episode, when he tells Dean he misses his wings.
So, Cas links to the Griffin feathers in Metatron’s metafictional spell.
Dean is already linked to bone through his connection to the First Blade (made from the jaw-bone of an ass - or “old donkey teeth” as Crowley calls it).
But why fairy bone?
Well, Dean has been abducted by fairies before of course (6x09 “Clap Your Hands if You Believe”) but there is also the ”inappropriate” subtext (so-called by Cas in “Metafiction”) which has linked Dean in particular to queerness since the show’s inception (“fairy” as a [derogatory and partially re-claimed] slang for “queer”).
Metatron’s original Heaven-emptying spell involved objects concerned with angel-human love (heart of a Nephilim, a Cupid’s bow, grace of a loving angel - namely Castiel). Here we see him consolidate that spell by keeping that same loving angel (Cas) and the person of his affections (Dean) firmly apart.
As the episode ends we watch Dean and Cas part company unhappily whilst a satisfied Metatron plays the Walker Brothers’ “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine”, a song all about losing love:
"The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
Loneliness, is the cloak you wear
A deep shade of blue, is always there
The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky
The tears are always cloudin your eyes
When you’re without love, baby”
Metatron’s spell of “un-love”, woven of feather and bone, is complete.
OK, I have one last thing before I stop blathering on about Kurt Vonnegut. I kind of mentioned this before, but considering Meta Fiction, I think maybe there’s something that might be of interest.
Metatron had Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five on his desk. And he also had some of Chuck’s books on his desk. And we saw a book by Philip Jose Farmer in Road Trip in Abner’s house. It fell on Dean when Gadreel knocked Dean into Abner’s bookcase. How might all these things connect?
Chuck compared himself to Vonnegut. Specifically he compared himself to Vonnegut adding semi-alter-ego character, Kilgore Trout, to his writings. So, he’s actually comparing himself to both author and character at once.
Philip Jose Farmer wrote a book called Venus on the Half-Shell and credited it to Kilgore Trout. In Vonnegut’s book God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, there was a tiny little exerpt from the not-actually-written book, Venus on the Half-Shell. It was never a real book, it was just there to give us some idea of the fictional Kilgore Trout’s writing style.
Philip Jose Farmer got this idea to write books in the style of fictional writers and get them published and credit them to the fictional writer without letting on to the public that they were actually written by someone else. He tried to recruit other writers to write some of these books and also wrote to writers to get permission to use their characters and story ideas. I think there were a couple takers, but not a lot of enthusiasm. He wrote to Vonnegut twice for permission to use Trout and expand Venus on the Half-Shell into a full book. He got no response, so he finally called Vonnegut up. Vonnegut was hesitant to allow the project because he thought people would think it was a hoax. Farmer replied that of course it was a hoax, that was the point. Vonnegut finally agreed under the condition that nowhere in or on this book should his name be used.
So Farmer wrote the book and got it published, and sure enough, people were confused. They thought Vonnegut wrote it. Vonnegut denied writing it. Interviews happened and things were said and misunderstandings happened and Vonnegut apparently got rather miffed by the whole thing. Farmer wanted to write another Trout book and Vonnegut denied permission.
I tried to read Farmer’s Venus on the Half-Shell. (I’m getting most of this information from the introduction to that book so I can’t link to my source. Even if some things are off about the story, which I don’t think they are, please play along for the sake of the little meta-legend that might have some impact on SPN.) Farmer thought he wrote this book in such a manner that Vonnegut should have been flattered to have people thinking he wrote it. I’ve read many Vonnegut books, but I just could not get through this one…even though it’s less than 200 pages long. It doesn’t in any way make me think I’m reading a book by Vonnegut. It actually bears a striking resemblance to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, though I think it lacks the charm and humor of that book.
I fully admit that part of my problem with it may be that in the introduction, Farmer kind of subtly insults Vonnegut. I think because he basically was expecting praise and instead got rebuffed. I’m paraphrasing because I already took the book back to the library, but he basically says that he can’t imagine why Vonnegut wouldn’t want to be credited with Venus on the Half-Shell, but would want his name on Breakfast of Champions and some of his later works. I don’t think he realized that that was kind of an arrogant thing to say. Not only did he insult Vonnegut, I felt rather insulted, too, because I like those other books he put down as being sub-par and beneath his own book. So, I went into it not liking him. I read for a while and didn’t like his book. I recognized that I had formed a bias so I put it away until the library due date was approaching and picked it up again, determined to read it on its own merit. I still didn’t like it. It isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just not the type of sci-fi I like. And, again, it did not sound like Vonnegut to me.
But what does all this have to do with SPN? Well, Robbie pointed out in his tweets that there were books by Chuck and Vonnegut on Metatron’s desk. As the writer of this episode, he wanted us to know that. And what is Metatron doing? He has not created his own characters or his own “universe” for them to play around in. Metatron is using God’s characters. He is using Chuck’s characters. (You can pick which of those two entities is the actual author. I’m going with God…or even the actual show writers and creators…as the author and Chuck as his Kilgore Trout.) Metatron is trying to manipulate them in such a way that they are going against the original authors’ intent. Metatron did not seek permission for this. He basically just stole some other writers’ work. And he’s not doing it simply for his own entertainment like fan fiction. He’s completely stealing everything and self-publishing it all on a global or cosmic level.
Farmer admired Vonnegut. He tried to emulate Vonnegut. He ended up making Vonnegut angry and his admiration appears to have turned into something a bit hostile on both sides.
Metatron admired God and writers such as Chuck. He is using characters they created. He tried to emulate their “writing style” in putting his own words in Gabriel’s mouth. But it just wasn’t the same style…we could tell something was off. Where is God? Where is Chuck? Neither appears to be dead, just absent. Might they become angry if Metatron’s writing starts being credited to them? And if they did get angry, Metatron seems far too arrogant to simply back down and apologize for the whole deal. He, like Farmer, might decide his work was superior to God’s.
What if Gadreel, “God’s most trusted”, managed to find God and show him Metatron’s script? Gadreel was the one who knocked Farmer’s book off the shelf.
I mentioned earlier that Metatron seems to have forgotten about Death. He also doesn’t seem to care that God might not like him stealing His creation and manipulating His characters in such a manner. While playing a role like Farmer’s, he might not have considered that he would be calling God’s disdain upon himself rather than His appreciation. He also may not realize that he could be a Kilgore Trout character himself, and ultimately under the control of someone else’s pen. Allowed to play around a bit in the story. But unlike Trout, who Vonnegut actually “released” at the end of Breakfast of Champions, Metatron’s aspirations may get overwritten. Like Vonnegut cutting Farmer off from the universe he created, God may deny Metatron the opportunity to play with His creation any further.
Wow fascinating about Farmer writing as Trout! (it’s a shame Farmer went about that in such a sucky way, it could have been a cool thing I think).
This is interesting, because I’ve been considering Metatron as something of a fanfic writer on and off - writing stories using the characters and universe created by someone else. But GOOD POINT that what he’s doing ISN’T fanfic, he’s trying to take over the story in the original author’s absence and, as you say, without permission.
This outlines the other way I’ve been considering Metatron v. nicely however - which is as a stand-in for Carver. Who is doing exactly what Metatron is - taking over a story created by someone else in the original author/creator’s absence (though Carver, of course, is doing it WITH permission :p).