Hammer of the Gods in the series Supernatural is a trainwreck of an episode
Authors Note: I have updated this article to reflect better grammar and look overall more professionally written. Last update — August 9 2023.
When it comes to the show Supernatural, I’ve honestly always been on the fence about it. My (now ex as of 2023 for this article update) boyfriend and I watched a good bit of seasons (forget where we stopped and got distracted by other shows), but this particular episode ticked me off on so many levels. I’m saying this as someone whose an ex Christain and is polytheistic (I worship gods primarily out of the Hindu circle of deities but I also worship some Greek deities).
The different pantheons…
Ok, for starters, this episode deals specifically with: Ganesha (Hindu), Lucifer (Christanity), Gabriel (Christanity), Kali (Hindu), Bladur (Norse), Zao Shen (Chinese), Hermes (Roman/Greek), and Odin (Norse), according to the Supernatural (if I missed any gods, I apologize, I really don’t want to watch this trainwreck of an episode to make sure I got everyone here).
Let’s look at how many, specifically, indulge in these different pantheons
- Hinduism: 900+ million
- Christanity: 2.1+ billion
- Norse: 1000+ (it’s tough to get an estimation for this because norse isn’t often offered on any kind of statistical/demographic sheet for “what religion you follow)
- Roman/Greek: Official numbers run from 2000 to 100000 (again, tough to get an official estimation)
- Chinese: Current estimates run around 578 million
Supernatural runs on the idea of “Since of these specific beliefs circles , Christianity has the largest amount of worshipers, ergo every other god from every other circle is weak”. This is immensely disrespectful to all these other deities and their modern day followers.
Look at the numbers above. We have a LARGE chunk of people still worshiping Hindu deities, just to give an easy example.
The cannibalism that makes no sense…
The idea of “primitive cultures ALL would have indulged in cannibalism” stems from the idea of “all exotic cultures that aren’t Christian and white are primitive and indulge in animalistic behaviors." It stems from the Victorian era when the wealthy would hire photographers to go traveling to learn about the world. In doing so, they ended up fetishizing and spreading disgusting stereotypes about these cultures and communities, especially anyone Asian.
Looking at history, we see Europeans in particular have had a nasty habit of invading different territorials and populations, saw the native’s religious/spiritual beliefs, and declared it “evil” or " obscene” due to the pictorial displays of their deities (like Kali from Hinduism often being depicted naked).
The forced conversion via missionaries is the reason why many different religious beliefs and spiritual beliefs numbers dramatically dropped). In some extreme cases, death was the only option many native populations faced if they did not convert to Christianity.
There is NO instance of ANY of the deities listed above partaking in cannibalism (as far as I could find). The “closest” related issue I could find with these deities is murder, but then again, what deity hasn’t killed or severely maimed someone (or taken some kind of “revenge plan”)? Ganesha is the god of luck, sweets, wisdom, and the arts. Ganesha is also known to avoid obstacles and help remove obstacles in his devotee’s life. Hell, in Smite (video game), Ganesha can’t even get a kill count. Attempting to turn him into a cannibal? COMPLETELY disrespectful.
A more complete story to the pantheons…
- Ganesha (Hindu): LOVES his sweets, known to be very clever when it comes to different obstacles, tends to have a stream of good luck (minus when his daddy came back and accidentally cut his head off)
- Lucifer (Christanity): Kicked out of Heaven for rebelling against God, his job was “a nuturer of the sun” before God got mad at him and banished him
- Gabriel (Christanity): Actually NOT an archangel in any verses in the Bible, typically serves as a messanger of God
- Kali (Hindu): The goddess of time, paradoxes, and destruction (NOT death, common misconception), she is arguably one of the (if not THE) most powerful deity in the Hindu circle, having beat a suppodely “unbeatable” demon (and could only “calm down” from her blood lust with the help of her husband), some say she is the “dark half” of Durga, a warrior goddess in the Hindu pantheon
- Bladur (Norse): son of the god Odin and the goddess Frigg; god of light, joy, purity, and the summer sun; he is loved by numerous other deities in the pantheon and known to be very handsome; often seen as a strong fighter
- Zao Shen (Chinese): known as the “kitchen god” or “stove god”; known to protect the households of those who worship him
- Hermes (Roman/Greek): The messanger of the Greek/Roman gods; Hermes is known also to be the god of trade, wealth, luck, fertility, animal husbandry, sleep, language, thieves, and travel; He was known to be quite cunning, he also had numerous love affairs across many species (gods, humans, nymphs); often seen as the “trickster” of the Greek/Roman pantheon;
- Odin (Norse): King of the norse pantheon; he is associated with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and is the husband of the goddess Frigg; He’s a relentless seeker after and giver of wisdom, but he has little regard for communal values such as justice, fairness, or respect for law and convention; played a vital role in the creation of the world in the Norse mythology; extremely powerful warrior when it comes to wars
As you can tell, some of these deities are known to be exceptionally powerful (I’m looking at Kali and Odin specifically). This is why the portrayal of Lucifer killing them off like he’s just tearing a piece of paper is so infuriating.
If this was an accurate portrayal, AT ALL of what these deities could do, Odin could have easily hammered Lucifer into oblivion while Kali would have utterly annihilated him (again, she beat a supposedly unbeatable demon in her own mythos). Hermes (while not being known to be a fighter) would have been clever enough to avoid Lucifer. Ganesha would have probably just made Lucifer disappear or have enough good luck to keep avoiding Lucifer (I’m thinking of how they portrayed Domino’s good luck power in Deadpool).
Kali is nowhere known to shoot fire from her hands (as far as the research I’ve been able to do), so I have no idea where the behind the scenes people got this idea from in regards to Kali. The way they make Kali look utterly terrified near the end is also a huge smack in the face of those who worship Kali and Kali, herself. If anything, Kali would have been the first one to take on Lucifer, screaming and utterly tearing him apart. I’m not saying this because she’s my matron goddess, I’m saying this because it’s the truth when it comes to her mythos. She is an extremely viscious goddess when it comes to fighting, where the ONLY way the Hindu gods stopped her was by sending in her husband (and supposedly stepping on him was enough to “shock” her out of her blood rage) because the rest of the Hindu pantheon realized they basically released what was equivalent to Pandora’s box on the world and were not strong enough to stop Kali from her “bloodrage”.
One final thing: why did they choose an African American to portray Ganesha, when they chose a pretty Indian woman for Kali? If they wanted to keep with the “correct” area of the world, they should have chosen an Indian man to be Ganesha.
In conclusion, this episode is extremely offensive to all the other pantheons they attempted to portray in this episode. It wreaks of Christanity-elitism and of writers who BARELY did any research prior to making this episode.