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SPN Meta Recs

This list is mostly for me because keeping things in my memories sort of annoying, but I figured maybe other people might be interested in the thoughts floating around the fandom. 
 
Most of the stuff I find interesting concerns characterization and motivation and wonderfully long, rambling comparison posts stuffed with facts, tables, references and screencaps (which doesn’t mean anyone else will be equally squee induced).  Yeah, I’m a geeky meta muncher and it makes me happy to see there are other people lurking around who think about fictional characters in a fictional universe and how their fictional lives spin around and around and around.
 
So for my own self-indulgent purposes, here’s my SPN Meta Rec list sorted by season and posting date. Feel free to comment with any of your own recs because spreading the OCD compulsion is good and, like we all learned in kindergarten, the world needs more sharers. :)
 
Gen and Pre-Series fic recs hang out here.
Het/Slash, AU/ Future, Humor/Crack fic recs mingle here.
Vid recs lurk in
this dark corner

+
added 12/10/08.

S1
 
SPN Meta: Character Motivation, Devil's Trap by  dodger_winslow (5/13/06)
The three Winchesters and what turns their cranks. Why for Sam, Dean, John, and the YED it’s all about Dean, John, the YED, and Sam respectively. A must read meta that ties itself into a nice, neat bow. IMHO, this should be required reading for the entire fandom.
 
A commentary about Sam’s choice not to shoot John in “Devil’s Trap” that discusses literary archetypes, the Winchester fatal flaw, Dean and Sam as balanced opposites, and the differences between Sam and John’s journeys. Empty your brain to make room for this meta, you’ll need it.
 
Looking at Sam and Dean’s journey through the lens of Joseph Campbell’s “A Hero With A Thousand Faces” and how certain episodes fit into stages of the Hero’s Journey. Thorough and well written, this meta will make you wonder just how formulaic The Show is. See S2 meta recs below for her analysis of S2.
 
An analysis of “Faith”, “Nightmare”, and “Devil’s Trap” and their thematic and structural similarities. Cross-episode/full-season meta that pick apart episodes like this are rapidly becoming my new favorite thing.
 
 
S2
 
An amazing meta chocked full of all sorts of biblical factoids. It covers the regular tidbits about The Watchers, Azazel, The Nephilim, but then elaborates with interesting thoughts about demonic genetics, Azazel’s corporal form, and immortality and the supernatural hierarchy. Brain food of the highest quality. Mmm.
 
Entertaining, funny, and full of pretty pictures, this meta shows how the Impala is a metaphor for Dean and his headspace. It’ll make you watch the scenes with the Impala very carefully.

A chase-your-tail discussion about free will, determinism, and predestination and how they do and don’t apply to the wild-card Winchesters.
 
A discussion of Sam in “Heart” (2x17) that also delves into the heart of the show, the brotherly relationship, and touches on Sam’s journey. It’s a nice analysis (with angst) that compliments a meta-juicy (angst-filled) episode.
 
Redemptive narratives, smooches, and fairy tales as they relate to “AHBL-2” (2x22). Yes, there are pictures!
 
An analysis of Sam and Dean from a literary perspective: what they want, what they fear, and how that was threatened in S2. After reading this, you’ll see why S2 is a textbook exercise in “upping the stakes”.
 
Rack-focus and arc shots accentuate Dean’s existence on a different spiritual plane and the exit signs speak volumes about his choices. A great cinematography-slanted meta set to lovely pictures.
 
The continuation of a set of interesting S1 meta that apply Joseph Campbells’ “A Hero’s Journey” to Sam and Dean’s S2 story.
 
 
S3
 
This is a well written four-for-one-meta deal about Ruby, Sam, Dean, and the most mytharc-juicy S3 episode to date. It covers loads of stuff and then some and reads smooth and easy.  
 
More than just an episodic meta for 3x05, this elaborates on the rose motif and discusses pink, red, and white with respect to the feminine ideal. The incorporation of the Grimm Brother’s fairy tale “Snow-White and Rose-Red” is a nice touch and shows how much thought and research went into this meta.

+Speculation: The Demon War.  What is it?  And where is it going to end? by willoweese (11/07/07)
Three demon factions, three fallen angels, three different motivations, one end game, and Sam.  Handfuls of research make for a compelling argument.  After reading this you’ll wonder just how much Kripke has plotted or if it’s all some bizarre coincidence.
 
Hero Worship by  gwendolyngrace (11/19/07)
Why four-year old Sam looks up to Dean and how that relates to parental approval and hero!John.

+Meta: Sam in Season 3 by girl_wonder (11/19/07)
An interesting look at Sam’s choices and his seemingly downward spiral in light of his S3 prime directive: save Dean. 

3.12 Jus in Bello: If That’s How You Win Wars, Then I Don’t Wanna Win by bardicvoice (02/23/08)
Ethics, choice, and why Ruby’s assertions that Sam and Dean were responsible for Lilith’s murders are invalid.  There are also interesting questions about Ruby’s motivation.


S4


+Sam’s Destiny and Dean’s Choices by failing_light (10/04/08)
Written after the 4x03 as the collective fandom brain was tied in knots over time travel, this meta discusses how fate and free will aren’t mutually exclusive, the time paradox being a matter of adopting an “inside” or “outside of time” perspective, the future being written but unknown to those existing inside of time, and Castiel the wild card who navigates in and out of time.  Mmm, chewy brain food. 
 
 
Multi-season and Character-based Meta
 
Dean Meta by  noelql (5/23/2006)
An interesting read postulating why Dean is a four-year old trapped in a twenty-six year-old’s body.
 
One side of the classic argument laid out so convincingly you’ll lie down at the foot of the “John Winchester, Dad of the Millennium” alter. Meta at its very best.
 
The other side of John Winchester debate summed up with “it was the Demon that broke Papa, but it was Papa that broke the boy(s).”
 
Insight on why Dean, the woobie pretty-boy tough-guy smart-mouth walking contradiction, behaves the way he does.

More good-papa John meta. The argument is laid out clearly and the points are well articulated. 
 
The Sam Meta by dunkle_feuer
A great group of meta that examine S1 Sam in digestible increments.
 
An answer to the “is Sam selfish” question. 
 
An interesting discussion about Sam in the bread and butter episodes of S1: Home, Asylum, Scarecrow, and Faith (1x09-1x12).

The King of Freaks - Sam's powers (and his family and foes) (7/31/2006)
 
 
A comprehensive guide to “Deanamagics” complete with Deanisms. By the end, you’ll agree that, yeah, he’s like an onion. :)
 
An amusing look at why “Dean is who we want to be; Sammy is who we are.” Don’t let the giggles distract you from the massive amount of thinkiness lurking between the parentheses.

A mind-opening discussion about alpha and beta males. Technosage constructs a compelling argument for Sam as the alpha, Dean as the beta, and why the Winchester pack hierarchy is not a matter of domination vs. submission, but of mutual teamwork. 
 
The women in Dean’s life through “Roadkill” (2x16) sorted into three categories (antagonists; sisters, moms, and guides; and potential romantic interest) and analyzed.  
 
How Sam interacts with women through “Heart” (2x17). A nice comparison meta to “Dean’s girls”.
 
A statistical analysis of how and why Dean establishes physical contact in S1 and S2. The time and thought that when into this meta is considerable and its methodical approach scratches my detail-oriented/science geek itch.
 
The colors blue and green and their meanings in Supernatural’s color palate. *squee*
 
Meta by  sarahwilder (11/26/07)
Freud and Horney’s psychological personality theories applied to Dean Winchester. This’ll give you a new, more academic perspective on Dean and just how messed up the poor boy is.
 
A handy compilation of all the color meta. The blue meta is particularly interesting (it has graphs)!
 
Why the Winchesters -- John, Mary, Dean, and Sam -- keep secrets and how that reflects their personalities. Ruby, the sly demon she is, also sneaks into this meta.

Supernatural Face Time Meta by zazreil (05/06/08)
Using screen time to answers the question: Does Kripke favor one brother over the other?  The effort put into this meta makes my eyes go wide and methodology and color-coded tables makes me smile.

+Supernatural and Joseph Campbell by seleneheart (05/24/08)
An analysis of S1-S3 through the lens of J. Campbell.  Much of this is predicated on the assumption that Sam saves Dean from Hell post 3x16.  But regardless if the predictions were true or not, it lays out the stages of the hero’s journey in an easy to read and straight-forward manner that will give you something to chew on for future seasons. 

+Life and Love: Morality Under War in Supernatural by hagar_972 (06/06/08)
The moral value of acts carried out in war and the evolution of the Winchester moral code (love, life, mission) over three seasons.  A well-written meta with heavy dose of THINK, it grabs bits and pieces of canon and weaves it into a seamless argument.  Read this.

+Incest in My Canon? by chasingtides (10/03/08)
The title says it all.  A look at Sam and Dean’s romantic involvement and incestuous relationships in the Campbell-Winchester line since the first deal was brokered in 1973.


Meta that step outside the SPN universe


Hell Hath no Fury like a Woman Born by deadbeat_nymph (02/01/08)
Misogyny in “Malleus Maleficarum” (3x09).   Warning: language.

Wincest and Romanticism by fannishliss (02/13/08)
The echoes of Romantic Incest in the idea of Wincest.  How Sam and Dean’s relationship shares components of Romantic incest, specifically the ideas and lives of Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

One feminist take on Supernatural by fannishliss (02/25/08)
How women are not limited to the less than fully human pedestal perfection of misogyny, but rather live fully fledged human lives that Sam and Dean cannot allow themselves to join.

Supernatural Gender and Race breakdown for S3 by black_samvara (05/17/08)
A statistical analysis of the alignment (evil, good, neutral), fate (dead, alive, unknown), and presentation of death (sexy or not) in terms of gender and race.  If you’re a number muncher, there’s plenty here to chew on.

+“The epic love story of Sam and Dean”: Supernatural, queer readings, and the romance of incestuous fan fiction by Catherine Tosenberger (09/08)
Sam and Dean made it into an academic journal!  An examination of how Wincest can be derived from latent textural elements of the show, incestuous fan fiction is an expression of romantic love and happiness that isn’t addressed in canon, as well as SPN’s homosexual ties to the Romanticism and Gothic genres.

+Angels by fannishliss (10/10/08)
A down and dirty summary of angels in the bible (the Books of Genesis, Exodus, and Revelation). It touches briefly on angelic free will and accountability, walks through the roles of angels, and points out instances/curiosities that have potential relevance to canon.


Crackmeta

The Mathematics of Winchesters by too_rational (03/10/08)
The title is self-explanatory.  Crackmeta of the highest caliber!

 
Other Meta Rec Lists
 

Comments

bowtrunckle
May. 21st, 2008 06:07 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed both your meta, so thank you for writing them!

Plot tigers, Winchester!tigers, real tigers, they're all fun. :D

*loves your fist-pumping icon*

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