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a queer and pleasant danger
It’s in his kiss 
20th-May-2007 11:40 pm

Spoilers for "All Hell Breaks Loose" Parts One and Two. I have no idea if this makes any sense but hey it was fun!

caps thanks to marishna

Now before you get excited, don’t worry I am not about to try some fancy manoeuvres to try and demonstrate canon support for Wincest (that would be too easy!) But take this little trip with me as I look at where this sequence of images took my addled mind.

A kiss is not only a show of love, or lust. It has many meanings throughout history, and in art and literature. A kiss can be a sign of respect and loyalty from a subordinate to someone in a position of authority such as a parent, or ruler, or senior religious figure. Like all symbols it can be subverted, as it famously is in Christianity when, through Judas, the kiss became a symbol of betrayal.

 In folklore, vampirism subverts the kiss by turning it into a way of taking life.

 In fairytales, kisses are very powerful. They are used in two main ways. One is to revive someone who is dead, or under a sleeping spell such as in Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. The other use is transformative, to break a curse such as in The Frog Prince or Beauty and the Beast.

Interestingly in all these stories it is actually the act of being loved that is the triggering event. In their original forms, none of them involve a kiss, but over time this romantic symbol became the signifier of love in the stories.

Ahem. Yes well back to Supernatural. Let’s have a look at Sam at the beginning of the episode.


Now Sam is dead, yet he has not been covered as is usual. He is on a bed, his arms on his chest, not laid out like a body in a morgue. His posture is of one asleep, not dead. The image closely matches those associated with Sleeping Beauty.


      "Sleeping Beauty" by Edward Fredrick Brewtnall                                       Disney version of Sleeping Beauty

Now in fairytales, the kiss is a way someone is redeemed when they have been cursed. There is an interesting distinction to be made here with the Christian notion of redemption.

In Christian beliefs, when someone is flawed because they have sinned, they can redeem themselves through the performing of good acts. In fairytales, someone may be cursed though no fault of their own, in fact it is often innocents that are so targeted. Their redemption comes through being loved, not through their own action.

We see both these redemption narratives in TV and movies. The flawed hero, may be redeemed who through his struggle and good deeds or by the love of a good woman. (and yes, usually the hero is a man).

In Supernatural, Sam thinks he has been afflicted by the demon in some ways. In fact, in a subversion of the Christian notion that people can be redeemed by the blood of Christ, which is drunk symbolically during Communion (I John 1:7 "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin."), Sam has been tainted by the blood of the demon. It is this which he needs redeeming from. (although he doesn’t realise how literal this contamination is until the vision YED gives him in AHBL1 of Sam being fed the Demon's blood).

Sam has been trying to redeem himself by doing good - saving as many people as possible:

The more people I save, the more I can change! (Sam in “Plaything”)

 But good acts won’t redeem Sam because he was an innocent who was cursed. What he needs is redemption through love.

So we come to the kiss. Dean makes a deal with the Crossroads demon, and seals it with a kiss. In this scene there is a quick edit to Sam’s eyes opening as he is resurrected.


So - Sleeping Beauty/Snow White is revived by the Prince’s kiss. In effect Sam is revived by Dean’s kiss. Because that is how it works in fairytales.

Later we find out that maybe Sam has come back with a bit more demon in him. In some ways we have moved to the second type of fairy tale – where the transmogrified Prince must be transformed back through obtaining someone’s love.

I’ll be interested to see how that works out.

20th-May-2007 02:13 pm (UTC)
oh! I really like this! I hadn't thought of it that way, but it's very cool and I can totally see it. :D

I think I much prefer the fairytale schema. nifty
20th-May-2007 02:17 pm (UTC)
oh thank you, I'm glad it made some sense outside of my brain (which as you know is quite cracked at the best of times)
20th-May-2007 03:27 pm (UTC)
That is so awesome. The fact that Dean literally woke Sam with his kiss -- even if he didn't kiss *Sam* -- is the coolest thing ever. :D
20th-May-2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
thank you - it may be a bit of a stretch but hey it is such a lovely image.
20th-May-2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
You really give me such happy with stuff like this!! While I'm over there squeeing and flailing incoherently and just pointing at all the subtext, you're over here being all eloquent and edumacated. *hugs for you* oh, and here's a cookie. kthxbye!
20th-May-2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
*gobbles cookie*

Thank you! amazing what a twisted mind and a couple of hours research on WQIkipedia produces!
20th-May-2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, I loved that breakdown of the kiss.

And you know what's really interesting is that before the fairtyales morphed into what they are today, in some different traditions of the "Sleeping Beauty" tales and other similar "awakening" stories, the kiss became a symbol for the loss of innocence for the princess...the loss of virginity, the coming into adulthood/womanhood (so in the more modern versions, the "kiss" replaced "sex" as a method for coming into full awakening).

It's not really relevant here, but you know...:)

20th-May-2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
oh i think there is a lot more to be written about fairytale motifs in Supernatural.
20th-May-2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
EXCELLENT! God, I love your brain! *crushes*
20th-May-2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Me and my brain thank you - and you icon kills me!
(Deleted comment)
20th-May-2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you - glad my reading hit a chord.
20th-May-2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
Woah, lookit you with your brainy thinkin' n stuff.
There's even more in the "sacrifice" theme if you delve deeper. Dean doesn't like kissing demons in any shape or form. I've looked very hard at the caps (such a sacrifice on my part, I know) and the 'look' on Dean's face just before the crossroads bitch kisses him, yeah she may be hot and all, but the disgust on his face? So Dean is taking on even more....desecration?, to preserve Sam's innocence and bring Sam back.
In the oldest Sleeping Beauty tale the "Prince" had sex with her and she woke up having a child. It was all about blood, sex and sacrifice.
20th-May-2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
*nods* i think there's a whole toher meta to be written about the blood symbology, esp after that image of baby Sam with blood on his lips.
20th-May-2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
Holy crap, woman. This is the best thing EVER.

*adores you*
20th-May-2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
thanks sweetie!
20th-May-2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
You have clearly given this a lot of thought and it all makes perfect sense to me.

Very nice meta.
20th-May-2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks - glad it made some sense ;)
20th-May-2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
This? Is awesome. I am so so so excited by this. It is amazing and wonderful. Great job.
20th-May-2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much
20th-May-2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
Fandom teaches me something new ^^~ YAY since I love fairytales.

I love the explanation about the kiss and how you relate it~
20th-May-2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
thanks - glad it worked for you!
20th-May-2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
Very nicely brought together, it's a great point to make about the ep (and Dean and Sam in general).
20th-May-2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
thanks - glad it worked for you!
20th-May-2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
Ooh, nifty.

I did go a little bit 'nrrr?' at the way Sam was laid out at the beginning of the episode: fully clothed, head tilted to one side, not covered with a sheet; it's clearly a posture of sleep rather than death. Internally, of course, this is because Dean wasn't ready to accept the fact of Sam's death and was probably thinking of making the Deal from the moment Sam fell to his knees in 2.21.

RESURRECTED BY A KISS. I like that a lot.
20th-May-2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks! yes of course it was also important that Sam wasn't covered so that we were faced with the reality of his death. and yes the whole way Dean's 'conversation' with Sam was written and filmed was becuase he hadnt accepted his death.

oh show :)
20th-May-2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
OOh, yes. What a clever connection. I just adore the way your brain works. :D
21st-May-2007 12:57 am (UTC)
Missy's brain is the squish of love. *nodnod*
21st-May-2007 12:32 am (UTC)
Just wanted to say I love your meta!
21st-May-2007 02:30 am (UTC)
Thanks so much.
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