Endverse

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: End!verse, Croat-verse, 2014-verse, 2014!verse, 5x04verse, Futureverse
Related: Alternate Universe, Canon AU, Post-apocalyptic
See Also: Evil!Sam
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Endverse is a canon alternative universe shown in episode 5x04, The End, of Supernatural, taking place five years into the future of the series' canon. This universe has several elements, the most prominent being that Sam Winchester accepted Lucifer and became his vessel, Castiel is no longer an angel, Dean is the leader of a resistance group fighting against Lucifer's forces, and the world has been ravaged by the Croatoan virus.

The Endverse has proved enduringly popular with fans, even more than a decade after the episode aired, due to the many possibilities presented by the episode's post-apocalyptic setting (particularly for angsty and dark fanworks) and the alternate versions of the characters found there.

Fandom

Fan creators like to explore the Endverse in fanworks because of the vastly different characterizations of the show's main characters, especially Castiel, who is shown to be using drugs and participating in orgies, this being very different from the staid and righteous Cas shown in early canon. It is also fertile ground for the Evil!Sam trope, and potential angst between the Winchester brothers, who in the Endverse hadn't spoken to each other in five years. Fans also enjoy exploring what life may have been like for characters not shown in the episode.

The Endverse is particularly popular with Destiel fans as Dean and Cas are shown to still be by each other's side after everything, which to shippers is a powerful statement about the strength of their bond. A majority of fanworks set in the Endverse are thus focused on the Dean Winchester/Castiel pairing, although there is also a fair-sized body of gen fanworks.

The hoarding toilet paper gif that became popular in March 2020, during the early days of the pandemic in North America. The original creator of this gif is unclear, but a tumblr post by pimentogirl using this gif received over 80,000 notes, plus this gif, or ones similar to it, were tweeted or retweeted by hundreds of individuals on twitter

The vision of a virus-ravaged world depicted in the episode also found a new resonance with fans in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly Chuck's instruction to Dean to "Hoard toilet paper like it's made of gold", which turned out to be eerily prescient.[1]

Common Tropes in Fanworks

  • Apocafic: a lot of fanworks explore dark themes, because of the post-apocalyptic nature of the universe
  • Everybody Lives: Dean or Castiel, or both, survive their demise at the end of the episode, stories often focus on their continuing struggle to survive in this universe
  • Lucifer is Killed: Lucifer is killed by Dean, and Sam as his vessel also dies, often focusing on the trauma associated with Dean having to kill his brother. There are some stories where Sam survives the death of Lucifer, usually explained away by magic or divine intervention
  • Sam is free from Lucifer: Sam somehow is freed from being Lucifer's vessel, either he survives Lucifer's death, or is somehow released from Lucifer's hold, but he is often deeply disturbed after being Lucifer's vessel for so many years
  • PTSD: how disturbing to the characters mental health it is to live in such a post-apocalyptic universe
  • Substance Abuse: a large portion of fanworks feature Castiel's issues with drug use, sometimes it is directly addressed, and other times it is just a background issue in the greater story.
  • Castiel and sex with women: some fanworks explore Castiel's sex life with women in the endverse, characterizing it anywhere from Castiel using it as a distraction, usually distracting himself from the fact he is no longer an angel or his relationship issues with Dean, to Castiel possibly having sex addiction issues. There are also a few fans that dislike that Castiel uses this influence as a former angel to convince women to have sex with him[2], so it helps to explore his motivations
  • Time Skip Fic: trying to fill in the gaps of what happened to the characters during the five year period prior to this time jump, this usually focuses on Dean and Cas and their changing relationship over time, although there are some fics that also focus on Sam and explore what could have made him say yes to Lucifer
  • Crossover: characters from the alternative timeline are somehow brought into the main storyline

Fan Commentary

Endverse is one of my go-to tags when I want to cry and feel miserable... Endverse almost never lets me down, except when people don’t write it miserable enough :’D I mean, when you make a character suffer, then you do it. I’m not a fan of those over the top fics (usually HS AU, sorry) in which too much hit shits the fan, but in Endverse you can just play with the broken characters.[3]

endverse was ONE episode and yet eleven years later im still fucking. insane over it. the way they were like dean and cas fuck but they hate each other and wont look at each other but more importantly they love each other but more importantly they can’t stand to be around one another but more importantly it’s all about nihilism vs hedonism baby but most importantly, to circle back, its about the freaky sex we know they’ve been having in their cabins pretending no one else can see or hear them.[4]
The fandom hysteria over "The End" goes on,... that one episode now has it's own LJ comm. I've never been part of a TV fandom before but I think it must be pretty rare for one episode to inspire this much excitement. Me, I practically feel like I've fallen into a whole new fandom. It's so exciting.[5]

Supernatural's Endverse is my favorite canon AU ever, the world feels so full and lived in despite only being developed for one ep, and I love apocafic and small ragtag survivor communities and last stands and the small stuff that's suddenly a big problem, like the toilet paper shortage.

Unfortunately most of the fic for it, especially the long stuff, is destiel which I couldn't be less into.[6]

2016 Anon on FFA

hey remember when an angel sent Dean to the future to show him how bad it got but once there Dean saw that Castiel was still with him and with him to the very end because the only thing that fallen angel had left at the end of the world was a broken human and their one final mission and they both died trying to save the world but both knew it was coming and wouldn't have wanted to survive without the other anyway so

i mean that's some Shakespearean level love tragedy right there[7]

I still can't believe that "The End" is like. Real. Like, that's an actual episode of Supernatural that really exists. I'm just going on normally through the day and then I'll remember that endverse is a thing and then I'll promptly lose my mind.

I firmly believe that episode permanently damaged my brain and I would like to experience it again for the first time.[8]

I was never that into Endverse fic* and I was pretty frustrated by fandom spending the next five years going "Endverse! Happening any day now! These new developments definitely lead us to the Endverse!" when that episode was so very much about where those characters were at that point in S5 -- but man, that episode. That's one of the episodes I could watch a hundred times and never get bored.

* Though there is still a terrible fic living in the back of my head in which the Terrible Life 'verse never concludes, and Endverse happens, approximately, but with Dean initially in the wind as Dean Smith, who has no idea what the fuck is happening or why he knows how to use a gun.[9]

Example Fanworks

Fanfiction

Fan Vids

Graphics and Gif Sets

Fanmixes

Meta

Podcast

Example Art Gallery

Resources

References

  1. ^ How Supernatural Predicted Our Toilet Paper Hoarding in Crisis, The Mary Sue. Published March 16, 2020 (Accessed February 13, 2021).
  2. ^ aside from the uncanny covid parallels what did you think of the endverse episode?
  3. ^ "Response to tumblr ask July, 23, 2019". Archived from the original on 2021-01-26. 
  4. ^ "December 22, 2020 Tumblr post". Archived from the original on 2021-01-26. 
  5. ^ "A Great Episode, October 26, 2009 Dreamwidth post". Archived from the original on 2021-02-02. 
  6. ^ Anonymous comment on Fail-Fandomanon. February 9, 2016.
  7. ^ Tumblr post by foundfamily4eva, July 9, 2020. Accessed February 13, 2021.
  8. ^ Tumblr post by astermacguffin, January 29, 2021. Accessed February 13, 2021.
  9. ^ Anonymous comment on Fail-Fandomanon. September 11, 2016.
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