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Characters: Supernatural Men Of Letters

Supernatural

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     Men of Letters in Supernatural 

Men of Letters in Supernatural

"We're preceptors, beholders, chroniclers of all that man does not understand. We share our findings with a few trusted hunters—the very elite. They do the rest."
- Henry Winchester in "As Time Goes By" (S08, Ep12)

The Men of Letters are members of a secret organization dedicated to preserving and studying knowledge about the supernatural. Membership is a legacy which is passed down through generations in certain families, but before someone can be initiated into the order, they must prove their level of knowledge and skills.

Sam and Dean's grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather were Men of Letters. John Winchester never learned about this legacy as his father disappeared when he was a child and the Men of Letters was nearly wiped out in 1958. Sam and Dean only learn about the Men of Letters when their grandfather, Henry Winchester, time-travels from 1958 to 2013 in Normal, Illinois, in order to keep the key to the Men of Letters' bunker safe from Abaddon, a Knight of Hell who slaughtered almost all of the other Men of Letters. Sam and Dean use the bunker in Lebanon, Kansas, as their Home Base after obtaining the key.
  • Abstract Scale: The Men of Letters have a rating system used for demonic possession where The Exorcist would have been a Class 2 Infernal Event and the scale goes up to at least a Class 5.
  • Anti-Magic: The bunker is described as "the safest place on earth, warded against any evil ever created."
  • Art Deco: The bunker is decorated in this style.
  • Badass Bookworm: The Men of Letters in general.
  • The Big Board: The main room of the bunker has a map of the United States on the wall which is marked with every city Sam and Dean have visited. The table has a map of the world, which can display lights when a supernatural event (like falling angels) is detected. The table typically has protractors and red and black disks sitting on it.
  • Brains and Brawn: The Men of Letters work with hunters, but many seem to have contempt for hunters as Dumb Muscle.
  • Character Name Alias: "Albert Magnus" is the name members use when going incognito. Albertus Magnus was a 13th-century German bishop and philosopher who argued for the coexistence of science and religion, and is the patron saint of natural scientists and mentor of Thomas Aquinas.
  • Cool Key: In order to enter the Men of Letters bunker, you need a key which is decorated with the Aquarian Star. This key is kept in a wooden box which is also engraved with the Aquarian Star. Henry Winchester traveled through time from 1958 to 2013 to keep this key safe from Abaddon.
  • Creature Hunter Organization: They work with hunters to battle supernatural creatures.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: While women may be initiated as Men of Letters, Dorothy Baum seemed to consider sexist attitudes to be the norm for Men of Letters in 1935. Charlie Bradbury lampshades the exclusionary name.
    Sam: Let us introduce you to the Men of Letters.
    Charlie: Holy awesome! Too bad they got wiped out. Though that is what they get for the sexist name.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: In 1935, the Men of Letters started to use a secret Bunker located in Lebanon, Kansas.
  • Geometric Magic: The symbol of the group is the Aquarian Star. The Aquarian Star is a unicursal hexagram or Star of Solomon, which was also used in Thelema, a spiritual philosophy or religion created by Aleister Crowley.
  • Homage:
  • In the Blood: Membership in the Men of Letters is a legacy passed down through families.
  • In-Series Nickname: Dean refers to the bunker as the Batcave.
  • Lockdown: If a major supernatural event is detected by the computer in the bunker, it can seal off the bunker, which occurred to Kevin after the angels fell.
  • Magical Library: The Men of Letters' bunker holds "every object, scroll, spell ever collected for thousands of years under one roof."
  • Magitek: The bunker has a computer installed in 1951 that fills a room full of blinking lights and dials and has a magical power source.
  • Not So Extinct: The Men of Letters was thought to be wiped out when Abaddon slaughtered almost all of the members in 1958 in Normal, Illinois.
  • Oh Look, More Rooms!: Besides the War Room surrounded by a balcony and the library, the bunker also has a kitchen, bedrooms, firing range, shower, archives, dungeon and garage. The dungeon is accessed by pulling apart rows of files in room 7b. Room 28, level 2 is a laboratory.
  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: Initiation into the Men of Letters depends on passing through different levels. Each level is associated with specific skills and knowledge.
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: When Sam and Dean enter the bunker, the electricity and water are still on. Everything is in working order despite the bunker being abandoned since 1958.
  • Secret Legacy: Sam and Dean never learned about their legacy as Winchesters, as Henry Winchester disappeared before he could tell his son John Winchester.
  • The War Room: The door to the bunker opens to a balcony surrounding a large circular room with maps, a wall of gauges and a conference table. The room contains a ham radio, telegraph and switchboard. There is also a collection of weapons.


     Larry Ganem 

Larry Ganem

"In the box is the key to every object, scroll, spell ever collected for thousands of years under one roof. It is the supernatural mother lode."

Larry Ganem was an elder who was at the initiation of Henry Winchester and Josie Sands in 1958. He was blinded by Abaddon, who had possessed Josie to slaughter the Men of Letters. Portrayed by Byron Noble and George Touliatos. Appears in "As Time Goes By" (S08, Ep 12).
  • Badass Long Robe: He wears a robe during the initiation ceremony where he is brave enough to attempt to exorcise Abaddon.
  • Eye Scream: Abaddon damages his eyes and leaves him blind.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Larry hands the key to Henry to keep it safe from Abaddon.
  • Tears of Blood: During Abaddon's attack at the initiation ceremony.
  • Voudoun: He leaves the "Haitian symbol for speaking to the dead" on the tombstone with his name as code to any Men of Letters who survived Abaddon's attack. This symbol appears to be a Veve of Baron Samedi.


     Josie Sands 

Josie Sands

"I hate nuns because I went to Catholic school and I have a lot of pent-up anger."

Josie was to be initiated into the Men of Letters at the same time as Henry Winchester, but Abaddon, a Knight of Hell, learned about her from Father Max Thompson, a priest trying to cure demons. Abaddon was able to possess Josie and use her identity to infiltrate and destroy the Men of Letters in 1958. Portrayed by Alaina Huffman. First appears in "Clip Show" (S08, Ep22), but she was previously mentioned and her body was seen as Abaddon's meatsuit in "As Time Goes By" (S08, Ep12). Also appears in "Mother's Little Helper" (S09, Ep17).

     James Haggerty 

James Haggerty

"There's nothing worse than adventure, my boy. Trust me."

One of the first Men of Letters to enter the bunker in 1935. He has a more world-weary attitude than his companion Peter Jenkins, but after Dorothy's disappearance, he works every day to find her. When he realizes the poppy's from the field in Oz can be used to stun the Wicked Witch of the West, he makes a deal with a fairy to get the poppy seeds. Portrayed by Gildart Jackson. Appears in "Slumber Party" (S09, Ep 04).
  • Benevolent Precursors: He left behind his research on the poppy seeds, which aided Charlie, Dorothy and the Winchesters in 2013.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: He calls the brand new bunker a "dump" and is not interested in adventures.
  • Garden of Evil: He realizes that the poppy flower seeds from the field in Oz can be used to stun the Wicked Witch.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: While he is much more cynical then Peter, he keeps Dorothy's case open and continues to work on it everyday trying to find a way to help her.
  • Smart People Play Chess: He plays chess with Peter Jenkins to pass time in the bunker.
  • Staking the Loved One: He is forced to kill his young companion, Peter Jenkins, after Peter is possessed by the Wicked Witch.

     Peter Jenkins 

Peter Jenkins

"This...this dump is the last true beacon of light in a world gone topsy-turvy. This dump is the epicenter of-of the ultimate chess match between good and evil."

Peter Jenkins is one of the first Men of Letters to enter the bunker alongside James Haggerty in 1935. Portrayed by Andrew Jenkins. Appears in "Slumber Party" (S09, Ep 04).

     L. Frank Baum 

L. Frank Baum

"They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies, and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies. Now it is well-known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever. But Dorothy did not know this, nor could she get away from the bright red flowers that were everywhere about; so presently her eyes grew heavy and she felt she must sit down to rest and to sleep."

L. Frank Baum traveled to Oz as part of his duties as a Man of Letters, but his daughter, Dorothy, stowed away on the trip. After his daughter was trapped in the Emerald City, he wrote the Land of Oz books with clues to help Dorothy fight the many evils of Oz. First mentioned in "Slumber Party" (S09, Ep 04).

     Cuthbert Sinclair 

Cuthbert Sinclair

Cuthbert Sinclair is a magic user who was initiated into the Men of Letters and was responsible for warding it. He was ejected for unspecified offenses in 1956, meaning that he survived their destruction in 1958. He surreptitiously buys the First Blade from a St. Louis museum. Portrayed by Kavan Smith. Appears in "Blade Runners" (S09, Ep 16).
  • Bow Ties Are Cool: He wore a bowtie.
  • Collector of the Strange: Besides relics like the First Blade, he also has a "zoo" of supernatural creatures like vampires and shapeshifters, which he also uses for security.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Sinclair is superficially charming and amiable, but really cares about nothing except what he can acquire.
  • Off with His Head!: How Dean kills him.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He's somewhere in his eighties or nineties, kept artificially youthful by magic.
  • Token Evil Teammate: For the Men of Letters. His methods were deemed too extreme and he was kicked out as a result.

Henry Winchester is listed in The Winchesters

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