What Is Cole's Father On 'Supernatural'? The Mysterious Monster May Be a Type of Shapeshifter
I know that last Tuesday night's episode of Supernatural, "Girls, Girls, Girls," was chock full of crazy moments, including the final reveal that the big bad witch Rowena is actually Crowley's mother (what the what?!), but something else that was very intriguing happened as well. As Cole suddenly reappeared to take revenge on Dean in the midst of he and Sam trying to solve a case, Dean revealed why he killed Cole's father. Apparently back in the day when Dean was hunting without Sam, he came across a monster who killed people and ate their livers. That monster happened to be Cole's dad, but he had to die regardless. When Cole asks what his father was, Dean answered that he didn't know, as it was a monster he had never seen before then and hasn't seen since. So what kind of monster was Cole's father?
It never ceases to amaze me that more than 200 episodes in, there are still creatures and myths that Supernatural hasn't even begun to introduce to its world. How is that even possible? Especially considering that many of the episodes feature the patented "monster-of-the-week" format. While I obviously don't know the precise monster Dean saw as Cole's father, I have decided to guesstimate based on my very own version of John Winchester's notebook and Sam's favorite resource: The Internet. Thank goodness you can find out all about mythical monsters on the internet, amirite?
The most obvious thing Cole's father could have been was a shapeshifter. I know, I know, Sam and Dean have definitely seen their fair share of shapeshifters in the past 10 seasons, but what they've seen only scratches the surface of myths in the world. Since he would to be a shape-shifting monster that still is rare to Dean after years of hunting, it seems likely that this monster is not from his normal hunting areas.
If this is the case, then shapeshifters from other countries seems plausible. Perhaps Cole's monster father immigrated to the United States? We don't have to worry about the specifics of how he got here at the moment, but there are myths about shapeshifters from The Philippines and Korea that could describe Cole's father.
In The Phillippines, there is a mythical creature called the Aswang that does indeed shift its shape. It is normally described as a vampire and werewolf mix (surprising, since in several American works of fiction, vampires and werewolves hate each other) and they typically feed on the livers, and sometimes hearts, of mostly newborn babies and children. Dean did not specify to Cole the age of the people his father was killing, but one reason Aswang could be a stretch for Cole's father's identity is that the Aswang are typically depicted as female throughout lore. However, they are also known to be quite unassuming and inconspicuous in everyday life, as they are normally portrayed as one of the many townspeople who at night transform into other animals, mostly dogs. The Aswang has actually appeared on American TV before. Grimm has featured the fascinating and terrifying creature, though Grimm's version might be more similar to a different kind of Aswang.
There is also another version of the aswang called the Manananggal, which is a more evil version of its brethren (or sistren?). It can detach its upper torso and sprout bat-like wings to fly around looking for its prey, which are usually the hearts and blood (and sometimes liver) of sleeping, pregnant women. Again, they are typically depicted as female and it wouldn't make sense for Cole's father to be a Manananggal, because Cole would never have been born, as his father would have eaten his mother.
Another shape-shifting mythical creature is called the Gumiho or Kumiho, and it's most popular in Korean lore thanks to a film called My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox. The Kumiho is typically thought to be a fox who had lived for a thousand years, which then turned into the creature that can shape-shift. The Kumiho will frequently transform into beautiful women to seduce men and eat their liver or heart, though they can transform into other things as well. Some Korean myths say that the Kumiho can turn itself back into a human if it abstains from eating humans for a thousand days. If Cole's father was a Kumiho, maybe he didn't get the memo.
Finally, there's another legend from Native American lore called Spearfinger that bears quite a few similarities to Dean's confession about Cole's father. The Spearfinger was said to have the appearance of an old woman with stone-covered skin and an incredibly sharp index finger that resembled an arrow or spear head. While again being described as a woman, the Spearfinger was known for shifting into the family members of children and had a "ravenous appetite for livers." It is possible that the Spearfinger killed Cole's father and took his shape sometime after Cole was born and lived among humans, killing people and eating their livers.
The only problem with all of these insanely cool myths is that if Cole's father was killed, wouldn't he turn back into his real, true shape? And if that's true and he's not any of these creatures, are we looking at someone more like Mr. Tooms from The X-Files' Season 1, who could stretch himself and again took a liking to livers? Or maybe Cole's father doesn't come from lore at all, but is a new creature made with love by Supernatural for its loyal, ravenously curious fans.